The patch has been alive with butterflies, as we enter the peak few weeks for our specialist species. The biggest news was a sighting of two Small Blues in the Banstead Woods sector on 15th, a testament to the conservation work of the Woodchips group. Other news from the sector includes the first Dark Green Fritillary on 18th, with the first Marbled White being seen on 13th and counts of this stunning species rising to 50 on 18th. The first four Essex Skippers of the year were logged on 18th, three days after the first Small Skippers. Singles of both Dingy and Essex Skippers were noted on 18th and two Green Hairstreaks were seen on 15th. Four Large Skippers were counted on 15th. A lone Small Copper is down for 18th. Counts of commoner species in the BW sector include nine Ringlets on 18th (after the first five on 15th), 63 Meadow Browns on 15th, and two Commas on 18th; five Red Admirals on 18th, and eight Small Heaths and nine Speckled Woods on 15th.
Butterfly news in the CF sector includes the earliest date this year for Ringlet on the patch, pipping BW by a day with two on 14th, this species rising to 30 on 17th (when 40 Meadow Browns were counted). 14 Small Tortoiseshells was a stong total on 17th, when three Speckled Woods and three Commas were seen.
After a sighting of our first Southern Hawker of the summer on 13th, another busy session for odonata on 18th saw four Broad-bodied Chasers, 15 Azure Damselflies and five Large Red Damselflies, all being seen around Piddly Pond but for one of the chasers, which was at Park Farm.
|Dark Green Fritillary at Fames Rough on 18th|
|♂ Green Woodpecker at Chipstead Downs on 13th|
|♂ Whitethroat at Harholt on 15th|
|juvenile Blackcap at Harholt on 15th|
|juvenile Blue Tit at Harholt on 15th|
|Broad-bodied Chaser in BW on 18th|
|Greater Yellow Rattle at Fames Rough on 16th|
|Yellow Bird's Nest in BW on 15th|
David Campbell (photo 2), Josh Burch, Paul Goodman (photo 8), Duncan Jennings, Ian Magness (photo 7), Mark Stanley (photos 3-5), Ian Pratley, Ian Ward (photos 1 and 6) and Woodchips