Hardly any Small Coppers near me at the moment but usually a good number of them have the aberration, looking forward to the sunshine bringing them out. This morning 9C on my dog walk, but managed some Meadow Browns and a Gatekeeper, maybe better later.
A little while before we eventually saw my target species at Chobham. We walked into an area of small heather + bare ground when I spotted 2 butterflies chasing each other over the heath. I was pretty sure they were my target- Grayling + then one of them perched in front of us giving a fine view of its closed underwing-so beautifully intricate.
In total we eventually saw 6 or 7 but the real highlight was watching a female Grayling beside the path which my partner realised was laying an egg on a fine grass. I then saw her lay a second white egg on a nearby piece of grass- wonderful to observe.BOTD for sure!
Surprised to still see a faded female Silver-studded Blue, a couple of male Large Skippers too + singletons of Ringlet + Small Heath. Most numerous was Gatekeeper + good to see fresh Brimstone too.
My Botd are my first Small Coppers of the year, which I saw at Studham Common this afternoon. I made the 3-mile trip there specifically to look for them as it's a fairly reliable site for them (though I didn't see any about three weeks ago when I went on a cooler and cloudier day).
As it happens, my mother thinks she saw one in our back garden just before I went to Studham! Anyway it was a very good day for butterflies in the garden - Gatekeepers, Large White, Comma, Peacock, Brimstone, Meadow Brown and two rare visitors, a Common Blue and a very fresh-looking Painted Lady.
Nothing uncommon (just as well or I would not have recognised them) but Large Whites, Red Admirals and Peacocks at Beneden in Kent yesterday. The 'Butterfly Bush' they were on really lived up to its name.
One of my top butterfly days of the year on a trip to Denbies today. We had 22 species with:
Large White 4 Green-veined white 2+ Small White 6+ Brimstone 10 Clouded Yellow 1 male (year 1st) Painted Lady 1 Comma 2 Peacock 1 Dark Green Fritillary 1 Silver-washed Fritillary 1 Small Copper 2 Chalkhill Blue 1000+ (1st for year) Common Blue 10+ Holly Blue 3 Brown Argus 2 Meadow Brown c50 Gatekeeper c40 Speckled Wood 3 Marbled White 2 Small Heath 1 Small Skipper 6 Silver-spotted Skipper 7 (1st for year)
Wonderful to see the abundance of Chalkhill Blues though not quite the clouds of them of 2 +3 years ago.
Highlights included a fresh Painted Lady on Marjoram below me, finally tracking down Silver-spotted Skippers before seeing several, a settled Dark Green Fritillary (highlight for my partner) + having just said I probably won't see a Clouded Yellow as few have been reported, I looked round + there was one looking superb + settled on Scabious, even sharing it with a Silver-spotted Skipper. Butterfly heaven!