To celebrate I decided to visit this afternoon and see what treasures I could find. It was hot and very sunny, so thankfully felt more like summer than autumn (I not quite ready to give up on summer yet!) Although, the signs were all around though that autumn is well on it's way. The bank looked dry and parched, with the lush green of spring replaced by crispy browns and yellows.
The hedgerows were full of juicy blackberries and sloes ...
|Thistledown was eerywhere|
A lot of the summer flowers had faded, giving the autumn blooms a chance to shine. The twinkly purple stars of gentian were opening along the slope and beautiful devil's bit scabious has started to turn its hide-away in the 'Hole in the Woods' into a sea of purple.
|Devil's bit scabious|
The male adonis blue is a brighter, more electric blue than the common blue and it has black lines crossing through the white fringes to the wings. These are very rare and we are incredibly lucky to have a thriving colony at Yoesden.
|Adonis blue male|
The chalkhill blues are not quite as rare as the Adonis blues, but still have very specific requirements so can only be found in a few locations in the South of England. The males are fairly easy to identify as they are a powder blue with smoky grey edges to the wings.
|Male chalkhill blue, looking a bit tatty|
|From underneath this could be either a female Adonis or chalkhill blue|
|Still not 100% sure whether this is a female Adonis or chalkhill blue|
Best way to tell your looking at a brown argus is to look at the underwing and check for no spots near the body on the forewing. The blues can get a bit confusing and you can get a bit carried away counting spots and trying to identify what's what. Best thing to do is just enjoy seeing them, as they're all beautiful!
We also saw speckled woods, meadow browns, brimstones, one small heath and one small tortoiseshell. No sign of any small coppers and I would have expected to see far more small tortoiseshells, as well as red admirals and peacocks.
Red Kites soared over the bank, a green woodpecker flew down the edge of the trees at the top of the slope and a family of long-tailed tits flitted through the bushes by the gate as we were leaving.