I took Pam's car for a "pre MOT" check this afternoon. This is the one where you get the list that needs doing, take a deep breath and book it in to get it done in a few days time! Well at least it gave me the opportunity to take a walk at the Lydden And Temple Ewell Downs (SAC).
Even though the weather hasn't been brilliant today was warm and there were some butterflies on the wing. Chalk downland is special and holds several local species. The first blue butterfly was a beautifully fresh Adonis Blue, a little later in the season many are looking battered ans worn, but not this one.
It was somehwat reluctant to completely open its wings, but I sat patiently waiting and in the end it rewarded me with a glimpse of them about 75% open.
Not evrything flying in the daytime is a butterfly and not all moths fly at night. This Yellow Shell is a good example of one of the daytime flying moths, but there are quite qa few to watch out for. There's a brief guide to many of them in a Butterfly Conservation publication
The lower part of the down, just above the Temple Ewell car park is full of Frgrant orchids at the moment.
Even with the wings close the distinctive black lines through the border are still evident. Apart from this the female is similar to other female blues.
A passing white butterfly caught my eye.It was flying somewhat differently to a small white and appeared to have almost white wings with a black border. It tracked it for a while and each time it landed it was only for a few seconds and during these times it never opened its wings. The picture above was the best I could get. I think it is the "helice" variation of the migrant Clouded Yellow butterfly, but I am waiting for confirmation.
There were Common Blues around, The lack the blacked chequered border of the Adonis, but are still a good looking butterfly.