Went to Thursley today + seems like most of the Silver-studded Blues have gone over. We saw one female + a fresh looking male. As I thought a touch early for Grayling, though I know it has been seen nationally.
Most numerous was Large Skipper with over 30 seen + the only species out in the bogs.
A Dark Green Fritillary at Swyncombe Downs in Oxfordshire today. Meadow Browns were the most numerous butterfly I saw on my walk today, but I also saw quite a few Marbled Whites. There were several Small Tortoiseshell at Swyncombe Downs (lots in my garden too!), and I also saw several Speckled Woods, a few Ringlets and my first Small Skipper of the year.
This morning I did a quick survey of part of my local patch. The weather wasn't suitable for many insects being overcast, cooler + even a few spots of rain, so didn't see any butterflies + just kicked up a few grass moths as I walked through the vegetation.
This afternoon there were some pleasant sunny spells interspersed with cloud + had my highest number of species in my garden so far this year. July normally sees the greatest variety in my garden.
Large White Small White Green-veined White Holly Blue Painted Lady Comma Small Tortoiseshell Meadow Brown Gatekeeper
As it was new for the year I'll nominate Gatekeeper for my BOTD. In a couple of weeks it will probably be the most numerous butterfly in the garden, if recent years are to go by.
Close views of Silver-washed Fritillaries + White Admirals today. As we got to the area where I usually see the Purple Emperors it had clouded up though still very warm. A flock of over 20 tits were moving through the trees which seemed to dislodge some Purple Hairstreaks from the canopy.
After 10 or so minutes it became increasingly sunny again + I spotted 2 Purple Emperors.After a few minutes things got more acrtive with chasing between both species + then 4 Purple Emperor chasing + a fifth a bit further away.Eventually got one perched on the tip of a twig until mobbed by a hairstreak.
Great though that was my favourite was a sunny glade with masses of Marsh Thistle with several Silver-washed Fritillaries nectaring, a fresh Peacock + Brimstone, Comma, Ringlets + Meadow Browns with 2 White Admirals chasing above under an oak.
Visited Polesdon Lacey today in the rain. Had arranged to meet friends or might not have bothered because of weather. For those who know it there is a wildflower meadow area beyond the formal garden. As we approached a very small girl was asking her gran if they could look for butterflies. (She had possibly remembered them from a prior visit) Gran: "O h it's much too wet for butterflies, they only come out when it's sunny..........Oh! There's a butterfly....?and another one...? and look at that one over there......" There were dozens of ringlets and quite a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. Also loads of little moths. And a Hawk Moth I did not have time to identify. Every time I took a step I seemed to disturb a few. It is a long time since I have seen so many in a relatively small area. Good on the little girl.