We had originally planned to go to a meeting at Thursley today but as it was so cool + blustery early on we went to the London Wetland Centre instead. Before lunch I decided to do a 15 minute count for the Big Butterfly count. I was then perplexed by this black + white butterfly/moth flying along. As it landed it became obvious what it was but was a totally new observation for me.
It was a male Gatekeeper, but no ordinary one! It was an aberration where the orange chestnut colour was whitish with black borders + scent brand. From some research think it is ab. albidus- as something new a clear winner of my BOTD!
No Adonis Blues showing yet but am due to lead a walk in a couple of weeks, so hopefully add them then as I didn't catch up with the spring brood. Realistically unlikely to add more than 2 to my year list unless a rarity lingers not too far away.
Both at Denbies Hillside today, and both 'lifers' for me. Thanks again to aeshna5 for letting me join his group there today.
They also bring my list up to 30, which has been my target for the last few years (the last couple of years I got to 29). I think 30 is a reasonable number, considering that apart from today's trip to Surrey and one to Bison Hill, Whipsnade, (which is only 2-3 miles from my home and a place I visit regularly anyway), 27 of these butterflies were seen either in my mother's garden or on one of my many walks in the Chilterns.