Monday, 2 May 2011

Quiet Long Weekend

Did not do a great deal this weekend, despite the two days extra holiday.
Friday and Saturday were largely spent in the garden, as I had a bit more work to do with the pond before the plants really got going. Missed the Royal Wedding as a result, but could not avoid the repeats all evening despite my best efforts.
Sunday was another quiet one. Not much to go for nationally, so we decided to stick with the Chilterns and butterflies.
Arrived at Bison Hill Whipsnade a bit before 0900 and found it a bit windy. Despite that, we found the first of many Grizzled Skippers on the path down from the car park. We split up and I covered the lower slopes, but apart from a few Dingy Skippers the wind proved a bit annoying and little else was seen. Plenty of Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat in the scrub.

 I eventually made my way up the slope, and having lost Colin I encountered another butterfly hunter. We spread out and covered the upper slopes, and having searched the top, I returned and found him down lying down in a track I had searched earlier. Before I got to him I found my own Duke of Burgundy, and soon after several more. Colin then arrived and we reckon on having seen around nine or so.

 We eventually returned to the car park, having got more Skippers as well as a large number of Green Hairstreaks.

 We next went to Aldbury Nowers, not far from Tring.
My first Small Heaths were seen near the lay by as we made our way up to the Ridge Way. The slopes of the reserve proved hard to work. Got more Green Hairstreaks, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers and various whites. Colin reckoned to have seen a Fritillary as well. I had expected to see orchids, but I suspect we should have visited the southern section for these as the steep slopes were not ideal.
 Our last site was Sewell Cutting near Dunstable. We had been told that Small Blues were flying. Unfortunately the cutting was more like a wind tunnel and little was flying.  We did see Common Blues and a single Brown Argus, along with yet another Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skipper.

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