Saturday, 9 August 2014

On / Off transect Comp 1 & 2 Portsdown Hill

I have just completed, what may well be my last butterfly transect of this year on Portsdown Hill. My circumstances have changed and I have taken up full time employment in West Sussex - this will considerably compromise my flexibility to head to the hill in good conditions to carry out the transect.

I have learnt a lot undertaking the transect, it has honed my butterfly identification skills, introduced me to new species - and stimulated a greater understanding of butterfly ecology, their food plants and flight times. It has also extended this interest to day-flying moths - and no doubt in the near future I will be turning to the dark side as well.

In conjunction with volunteering with Portsdown Hill Conservation Volunteers, undertaking the transect has made me take a much closer and critical appreciation of chalk grassland; helped develop a wider vocabulary of botanical ID skills; and let's be honest - turned what was an aside to birdwatching into a passion in its own right.

This afternoon I was chuffed to add clouded yellow (Colius croceus) in at # 26 of the total spp. recorded on transect across Compartment 1 & 2, so far this year. A single (perhaps 2?) clouded yellow zooming along the bottom path, giving me no opportunity for photographs.

Post transect I went off piste .. and managed to catch a quick record shot a painted lady (Vanessa cardui) - bringing my compartment total to 27.

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