Sunday, May 06, 2007

Friday 4th May 2007 - A trip to Martin Down

Today I visited Martin Down spending the best part of 3 hours after lunch walking around the north section. The sun only appeared around noon but a cool northerly wind persisted all the time I was there. The main reason for going there today was to see the Marsh Fritilleries that have hatched in relatively large numbers. I saw my first this year there the previous Sunday but was told 9 were seen the day before. Then a friend of mine reported 47 on the following Monday.

After parking in the north section car park I walked to the Bockerley Ditch and started walking along it. Even though the wind was strong and cool it wasn't long before I saw my first Marsh Fritillary of the day. They were dotted all along the ditch, areas that were more sheltered there were higher concentrations. So along the ditch I counted some 50. The highest concentration was along the track from the crossroads to the mound, past the area where the Stone Curlews breed. Here some I counted over 30 well spaced individuals. In all over 90 were counted.

There were plenty of butterflies out, 16 species is good for this time of the year:

Small Copper - 6
March Fritillary - c90
Grizzled Skipper - 33
Dingy Skipper - 34
Green Hairstreak - 6
Common Blue - 13
Brown Argus - 7
Adonis Blue - 2
Brimstone - 7
Small Heath - 7
Peacock - 2
Small Blue - 6
Holly Blue - 4
Green-veined White - 3
Speckled Wood - 5
Red Admiral - 1

Some photos:

Adonis Blue

Green Hairstreak

Holly Blue

Small Blue

Small Heath