Field Reports

Thursday 11 July     Levin Down Butterfly Walk

Leaders Chris Furlepa and Dorothy Rodefeld

 

Chris Furlepa and I were pleased the day turned out so well, both weather-wise and for the 20/21 accompanying us on our transect walk. Temperatures hovered around 22 degrees C. and the sunshine, with only a light south westerly breeze proved ideal for butterfly watching. Having split into two groups (hard climb or easy climb) we met up again in section 6 where some of us had already had an extended break. It was in this area that a Small Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar was discovered. The larval food plant of the moth is bedstraw, particularly Lady's Bedstraw which grows in profusion on Levin Down.  Much time was spent botanising and I am grateful to Bonita and Gill for their help in the flower identification of several uncommon plants. 

 A few left early taking a short cut back and the rest of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch break with a panoramic view from section 7, in fact it was somewhat difficult to get everyone back to the task of recording the butterflies.

 A large number of members managed the entire walk, not easy on a hot day. With the help of those present an amazing 21 species were seen and a total of 507 butterflies recorded. The species most abundant were the Meadow Brown (238) and Marbled White (21). There were sightings of a few notable species and some excellent photos were taken during the day by keen photographers accompanying CF in sections 1-5, including a Brown Argus and an Essex Skipper. My small party in sections 8 and 9 laid claim to two Dark Green Fritillaries which unfortunately proved camera-shy and flew far away.

 It was marvellous to see the abundance of different wild flowers, all there due to the skilful management of the reserve and which are so important for the nectaring butterflies. We are indeed fortunate to have Levin Down on our doorstep.

  Dorothy Rodefeld


The Small Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar


Gatekeeper

Ringlet - with 4 ring spots on each side

Chicory


Brown Argus


Peacock on Brambles


Marbled White, on Small Scabious flower


Soldier Beetles on Wild Parsnip


 

Large Skipper


Photography in Action


Brimstone

Chichester, West Sussex

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