Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Mill Hill and Anchor Bottom

Today was on-going rehabilitation , with the weather set fair I decided that a full morning on the Downs was in order. The plan was to find and photograph more orchid botany, unfortunately our late spring meant that this was a forlorn quest. However, the slopes of Mill Hill were alive with butterflies, and as a nod is as good as a wink to a blind man, I adapted the plan to lepidopteran macro photography.

Now, to me, butterflies can be classified as those that I know and the rest which fall into categories such as, brown, orange, blue and white. Simples! Well the upshot is that I spent several happy hours engrossed in watching butterflies, the downside is that I am going to have to buy a new book. Nice to meet Ian again who was engaged in the same activity. I managed to record: Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Dingy Skipper, Small Heath and a Grizzled Skipper that flew away before I pressed the shutter button - just like birding!
The blues seemed to be preoccupied with another activity which made some of the shots easy to achieve.

Feeling quite pleased with myself I moved on to Anchor Bottom where I recorded Wall Brown and a Green Hairstreak. I had a pleasant conversation with a fellow member of SDOS who politely enquired "Any Green Hairstreaks?" I of course replied in the negative, wondering inside what on earth one might look like.  As it happens, just five minutes after this gentleman had departed, one settled in front of me - definitely green, the record shot is not the best, too much excitement. Perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye, though I shall have to rely on people like Leigh Prevost and Mike Hook to correct my IDs.

And finally! At home I recorded Holly Blue and a superb micro moth that loves my potato patch - Pyrausta aurata

Some flora -
Bladder Campion, Silene vulgaris

Houndstongue, Cynoglossum officinale


  1. Hi Dave, yep can confirm ID's correct but I think you may have seen a Grizzled rather than a Chequered Skipper! That would be an amazing find :-)

    1. Hi

      and many thanks - Grizzled Skipper it is - fascinating stuff - just planning where I might go tomorrow!!


  2. Hi Dave, I also think you may have seen Grizzled skipper. They don't stay still like the Dingy. Have managed a few shots this week struggling to process them all but will be on Flickr when i do. Going out to look for Small Blue at Dover tomorrow and Monkey Orchid at Park gate Down in the afternoon. A very good butterfly book is The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland. by Jeremy Thomas and illustrated by Richard Lewington. Not cheap £24.95 but a lovely book. Have tried 3 times this year for green Hairstreak and not one !!!

  3. Hi Mike
    thanks for that, bit of an amateur with butterflies but after yesterday's experience will give them more attention. Intended to go out on the commons today but am grounded again. Unfortunately I can't carry the big lens and tripod at the moment so have downsized what I carry and always include the 100mm macro. Very little activity in the garden, damsels are coming off the pond but the moth trap is a disaster, highest total so far -3 moths!