Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Silver-spotted Skipper and Chalkhill Blues


Today's outing was a walk up Windover Hill in East Sussex, supposedly a search for Grayling, unfortunately they appear to be a little late this year. I diligently searched the area, where last year we found plenty on  a date nearly a fortnight earlier, with no success. Never mind there was still much to be found and photographed. I was very pleased when a Silver-spotted Skipper photo bombed the recording of a fresh Chalkhill  Blue. Plenty of other Skippers and Small Coppers on the wing, most of them looking fairly fresh too.
A strong south westerly breeze wasn't helping so I gave up early - hope the weather is better tomorrow.

A Large Skipper for comparison

Deep Dean - home of the Grayling
 When I took the Deep Dean photograph I was sat on a bit of an anomaly, Chalk Heath, a habitat that forms very locally when a shallow layer of sand or acid drift material overlies the chalk. Heather (Calluna vulgaris) and other calcifuges, plants that normally avoid calcareous soils growing in gay abandon.

It is so interesting that Miss M Cheveley Rayner published an article about it called "The Ecology of Calluna Vulgaris" in 1912.




Wild Strawberry, Fragaria vesca - delicious

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