Chalkhill Blues

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Perseus
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Chalkhill Blues

Postby Perseus » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:30 pm

Hello,

2 July 2009
The brilliant sky blue of the first Chalkhill Blue Butterfly of the year rose from the lower slopes of Mill Hill just before 11:00 am in the humid sunshine.

14 July 2009

On Mill Hill, Old Shoreham, the male Chalkhill Blue count was now 14. Butterflies on an overcast day numbered about a hundred of fourteen species.

In the last good year in 2003 the estimated numbers of Chalkhill Blue recorded were:

11 July 2003: 50
20 July 2003: 1200
21 July 2003; 200
30 July 2003: 2000
2 August 2003: 3000+
7 August 2003: 120
20 August 2003: 30

on
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Vetch.html

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2009.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2009.html
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2008.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: July 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/July2009.html

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Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Perseus » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:49 pm

Hello,

16 July 2009
My first Clouded Yellow Butterfly since 2007 flew over Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, and disappeared from sight amongst the Creeping Thistles. On Mill Hill in the early afternoon the count of male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies was 30. As expected at this time of the year, Large Whites, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were all frequently seen. At least five Small Blues, most in good condition were seen on the southern bank of Buckingham Cutting and this must be a second brood. The fifteen butterfly species was the most in a single day this year.

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2009.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2009.html
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2008.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: July 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/July2009.html

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Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Perseus » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:10 pm

Hello,

3 August 2009
The sun was out, but alas not the Chalkhill Blues in their expected numbers on Mill Hill with just 47 noted which means that the number of the Chalkhill Blues in flight on Mill Hill were probably around 150 which is a disastrously low total.

Image

This Chalkhill Blue appeared to be ill or poisoned and it could he handled. This has been seen before in previous years.

There were well over a hundred Common Blues on the meadows to the north of the northern car park on Mill Hill with frequent Painted Ladies all over the hill, about ten Peacock Butterflies, a surprise Brimstone Butterfly, and just two fresh first of the year Essex Skippers (could have been Small Skippers). The variety of butterfly species was fine with twenty species recorded which was the second best day total ever. The list included my first Small Copper of the year on Anchor Bottom.

Mill Hill Reports 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2009.html


First Adur Butterfly Dates 2003 to 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/ButterfliesFFT.htm

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2009.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2009.html
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2008.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: August 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/August2009.html

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Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Perseus » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:22 pm

Image

cf.
The maximum transect day count for 2008 was 81 on 30 July 2008, which was even lower than 2007 when the maximum 1.2 acre day count was 96 on 5 August 2007. In 2003, the Chalkhill Blues were too many to count and the estimate for the 1.2 acre transect was at least 375 and possibly double that.

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Gruditch
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Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Gruditch » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:32 pm

Not good news Perseus :( . Just to show that it's not all bad news for the Chalkhill's. At Danebury Hill, Hampshire, until a handful turned up in 2006, we had no Chalkhill Blues. The peak count was 33, in 2007, for 2008 it was 78, and this year we had, 117 just last week. :D

Gruditch

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Perseus
Posts: 385
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Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Perseus » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:36 pm

Gruditch wrote:Not good news Perseus :( . Just to show that it's not all bad news for the Chalkhill's. At Danebury Hill, Hampshire, until a handful turned up in 2006, we had no Chalkhill Blues. The peak count was 33, in 2007, for 2008 it was 78, and this year we had, 117 just last week. :D

Gruditch


Other parts of Sussex are reporting hundreds, possibly thousands, and as Mill Hill had these sort of numbers in 2003, so it is especially disappointing. There is no obvious reason why the numbers should have plummetted.

See:

http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/sightings.html

Danny
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:41 pm

Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Danny » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:34 pm

Friston Forest on the South Coast Road, near Eastbourne/Seaford. There is a field which has a colony of many thousands, tis a sight to behold.

Danny

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Perseus
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Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Perseus » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:31 pm

Thursday 6 August 2009



Hello,

On a humid sunny morning the Chalkhill Blue count in a 15 minute transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was a paltry 37 with just one female seen. There were frequent Common Blues including males courting with very small females. The first male second brood Adonis Blues were recognised when they settled. There could have been up to a dozen of them. Four Clouded Yellows were notable, with one on the lower slopes and at least three on the upper slopes with two either sparring or courting. Small Heaths are back and at least two were seen one on the lower slopes and another in the upper meadows. Seventeen butterfly species were noted including four not seen the previous day and two of these not seen before this month. This total was missing some common species which could reasonably be expected if I had spent more time looking. (Andy Horton)

Mill Hill Reports 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2009.html


First Adur Butterfly Dates 2003 to 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/ButterfliesFFT.htm

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2009.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2009.html
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2008.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: August 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/August2009.html

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Lee Hurrell
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Posts: 2180
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 7:33 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Lee Hurrell » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:31 pm

Danny wrote:Friston Forest on the South Coast Road, near Eastbourne/Seaford. There is a field which has a colony of many thousands, tis a sight to behold.

Danny


Hi Danny,

I'm going to the Cuckmere Haven next weekend and will be going past Friston Forest on the way to Birling Gap. Would you know the name of the field or the map reference of the location?

Many thanks

Lee
To butterfly meadows, chalk downlands and leafy glades; to summers eternal.

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Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Re: Chalkhill Blues

Postby Perseus » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:49 am

Hello,

9 August 2009
The lower slopes of Mill Hill were more crowded with butterflies than the
previous week but the one acre transect still only recorded a meagre total
of 35 Chalkhill Blues (including two females) with 30 Adonis Blues
(including one female) and slightly less in number of Common Blues of both
sexes. Meadow Browns were about the same in numbers with a handful of huge
females. Wall Brown and Small Heath Butterflies were included in a total of
seventeen species of butterfly in under an hour including a Dingy Skipper on
the lower slopes of Mill Hill and a Small Skipper south of the Reservoir the
only part of the Nature Reserve visited in the morning.

Mill Hill Reports 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2009.html

cf. 2003, the Chalkhill Blue colony at Mill Hill was 3000+ at 750 an acre peak period. The cause of the demise is a mystery. It has happened before though and the numbers have gradually returned. It is Chalkhill Blues only that are diminished, the Adonis Blues seem to be about the same in number.

First Adur Butterfly Dates 2003 to 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/ButterfliesFFT.htm

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2009.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2009.html
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2008.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: August 2009
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/August2009.html


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