With a warm southerly wind coming up from the continent, it looked good for clouded yellows I reckoned. And indeed by 8am I'd found one on the rifle range. Then I read a comment that these could be the emerging generation following a May immigration - who knows?
By 9am I'd seen eleven species, including a few hundred PLs, about 30 fresh common blues
As if that many species was not enough, it was time to drive up to Covert Wood near Barham, for an instructive walk led by Fran of the local Butterfly Conservation group.
White admirals were fluttering around the car park and butterflies were rarely out of sight during the stroll through woodland, clearings, heath and finally chalk downland.
I've got a jaundiced view of woodlands, and so many of them have too much shade and too few clearings, with the result that the fauna and flora are dull. Fran's Denge Woods project which has links to other woodlands in the Canterbury area, aims to persuade landowners to manage them more sympathetically. Covert Wood has interesting plants, bird and insect life, and is a good example to follow.
Devil's bit scabious -no.1 on my 'to find' list this month, so that's a good result (thanks to the incredibly-knowledgeable Alf for the ID on this and a variety of other rarities, and indeed for relocating the tiny basil-thyme, here sheltering under some wild basil).
Finally, another clouded yellow flew across the down and landed, well-camouflaged, in a patch of hairy St.John's wort. A bright, obvious butterfly when flying or settled on a green twig or leaf, this is clearly its plant of choice for hiding. Even the brown blotches on the leaves are mimicked by brown blogs on its wings.