A few days ago, I came across references to a site in Surrey at Wrecclesham where Glanville fritillaries had been introduced (not exactly authorised) and over ten year or so had grown into possibly the biggest colony in the UK.
The old disused sand quarry proved a bit tricky to get to as there was no obvious access and it took a couple of wrong decisions up narrow lanes before we decided that the best bet was to park at the rugby club and walk.
It was a bit cool when we arrived, with a lot of cloud and nothing much happened for a while. We bumped into another first time visitor who had been present for a while and had a chat. I left them and wandered down into the quarry itself, thinking that it would be warmer and less breezy. The most obvious wildlife interest came from the very vocal Marsh Frogs which could be heard from a long way off. I found a few damselflies, my first Common Blue and Green Hairstreak for the year and another visitor wondering where the best spots were.
Withy the sun coming out and the heat building up I returned to the higher ground where the abundant clover and ox eye daisies looked to be the best nectar sources and not long after I found the first Glanville and got fair images. I met up with Colin and the other guy who had seen a couple and over about half an hour we eventually saw about a dozen, including several pairs.
I then took Colin down into the quarry where we had numerous Broad Bodied Chasers, a Beautiful Demoiselle, and about a dozen Bee Orchids. Glanvilles were starting to appear along the track as well, and we met up with more visitors including a local who filled us in on the site. Apparently Heath Fritillary was introduced last year despite a conspicuous lack of Common Cow Wheat.
We had a choice of going on to Frensham or Thursley Heath and the latter won out.
A circuit of the moat produced numerous damselflies-Common Blue, Azure, Blue Tail, Large Red and red Eyed. Four Spotted Chasers were common and although it took some time we eventually found four or so Downy Emeralds.
The walk onto the heath itself was not all that productive as bird life was a bit quiet-apart from a single Tree Pipit and a few Reed Buntings and Stonechats. One or two Hobbys were around. Due to the breeze insects were a bit hard to locate though a single Keeled Skimmer was seen. Several stands of orchids were found but most seemed to be Early Marsh, of the form pulchella much darker purple than my local pale pink incarnata.