Sunday, 29 May 2016

Chasing butterflies at Martin Down NNR

Returning from Shetland I was keen to get some chalk under my feet again. I headed to Martin Down NNR an extensive chalk downland site in the NW of Hampshire, in the hope of bagging a LIFER or two? I was not to be disappointed.

Despite initial concerns about the wind direction (NE / E) and speed (Bft scale 4), I managed to connect with my target species after searching out of more sheltered areas of grassland, behind scrub blocks or on the SW facing slopes of the ancient earthworks.

small blue (Cupido minimus)
common blue (Polyommatus Icarus)
green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)
grizzled skipper (Pyrgus malvae)
dingy skipper (Erynnis tages)
Adonis blue (Polyommatus bellargus) LIFER

Marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) LIFER

common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsia)

burnt-tip orchid (Neotinea ustulata) LIFER
fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea)

Whilst head down looking at invertebrates and plants, I couldn't help but enjoy the soundscape of singing birds incl. at least two purring turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur), corn bunting (Emberiza calandra), skylark (Alauda arvensis) and yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella).

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