Thursday 23 July 2020

Another Dalliance with the Downland : 23rd July 2020

I popped back to Lullingstone and Fackenden today to show a friend around and basically conducted a rerun of yesterday’s outing.  The weather was cooler, greyer and windier but we did ok.

The damselflies at Lullingstone down on the Darent were slow to get up and I just could not find a White-legged today at all but at least there were still a couple of Dark-green Fritillaries gliding around the top fields in the company of the same spread of species as yesterday although there were definitely more Small Heaths and Brown Argus on the wing.

Banded Demoiselle
Dark Green Fritillary



Small Heath

Small Copper

Small Copper

Nemophora scabiosella

My failure to find Andrena hattorfiana yesterday was corrected today with a single of this large specialised bee on the Scabious.  Dasysyrphus albostriatus, Cheilosia illustrata, Syrphus ribesii, Episyrphus balteatus and Eristalis tenax, pertinax and arbustorum were seen on the Hogweed amongst the Red Soldier Beetles.  The first Migrant Hawker of the season was patrolling the side of a small copse.

Andrena hattorfiana

Dasysyrphus albostriatus

Cheilosia illustrata

Syrphus sp

Graphomya maculata

A rumbling Merlin engine told us of an impending Spitfire arrival and the Lavender fields were still intoxicating as we looped back to the car.  A quick look at the Green-flowered Helleborines and then off to Fackenden Down where the Chalk-hill Blues dazzled despite the windy conditions. A couple of Small Blue and many Brown Argus were noted and there were some sulphurous male Brimstones now on the wing as well as two more Dark Green Frits.

Chalk-hill Blue

Chalk-hill Blue

Chalk-hill Blue

Chalk-hill Blue

Chalk-hill Blue

Chalk-hill Blues

Common Blue

I managed to locate Stripe-winged Grasshopper again and a smart but worn little pied micro moth that I think is Pyrausta nigrata along with the more familiar Pyrausta aurata.

Stripe-winged Grasshopper

Meadow Grasshopper - male

Meadow Grasshopper - female

Pyrausta nigrata

Pyrausta aurata

Oncocera semirubella

Eyebright was new to the plant tally and invisibly kronking Ravens eventually gave us a family of four tumbling overhead while Hobby, Buzzard and Kestrel were also seen.





The Adders were not on their pile when we arrived but at least two were watching us as we returned and were, as yesterday a fine way to end our visit.


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