Sunday, 18 July 2010

Lydden - Temple Ewell

Another couple of visits to the lovely Lydden - Temple Ewell reserve, choosing the less-walked north-eastern end for a change. This area is apparently not ancient chalk downland but is reclaimed, but while the grass is taller in places it's still got a huge variety of interest.
Although I did take my camera I tried not to let it spoil the atmosphere of the place. The herbs smelt heavenly, with thyme crushed underfoot and the occasional clump of Wild Basil.
Marjoram was covered in Chalkhill Blues, Marbled Whites or Burnet moths, and Squinancywort and the Bedstraws foamed across the downs.
Centuary seems to have flourished this year with more flowers per clump, but this is one plant that the insects ignore.

The main target of the visits was White-Letter Hairstreak, but although eaten Elm leaves were seen, the culprits were not found.

Other species of butterfly were, however, present in large numbers. gatekeepers have quickly outnumbered Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns by about four to one, while Commas, Red Admirals and Holly Blues seem freshly emerged - second generations.
And everywhere Chalkhill Blues, fluttering over the downs like blossom from a cherry tree.

One for the family scrapbook

Essex Skipper

Lydden is well known for its crickets (the Wart-Biters are the special ones) and a Great Greenie was seen crashing its way through the undergrowth.

Post script.
The Mediterranean Gull seen earlier in the week was ringed in Holland as a chick in 2005, has spent most of its winters near Boulogne, was seen variously at Folkestone and Oye Plage in its first summer but then seemed to spend the breeding seasons of later years around the Belgium/Holland wetlands.
Last month it was seen at its birthplace, and then turns up on Kingsdown beach. Its ring has been reported an impressive 107 times!


Greenie said...

Steve ,
Great set of butterfly shots , only missing the WLH .
Still looking for Essex Skipper , and never seen a Wart-Biter .
Don't remember crashing through the undergrowth !

Phil Smith said...

Steve I can show you the exact spot where the WLH may be seen.

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks Phil, that would be good.
Assuming they go to bed before I've left work, perhpas we could meet on the weekend?
My email address is tucked away somewhere in my blog profile.

Warren Baker said...

What a great place, a step back in time.