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Friday, 22 August 2014

Butterflies and wild flowers of the South Downs in August including Autumn Lady's-tresses orchids & the "Pride of Sussex" the County flower.

This is the view to Castle Hill above Brighton on the Sussex Downs.  The wheat harvest is safely in and it only remains to harvest the straw bales down in the valley.

On the open access land from the viewpoint to Castle Hill and back there is a wealth of insect activity and beautiful plants.

Small Heath butterflies, above on a knapweed seedhead, appear an almost orange colour in flight when they are conspicuous.  At rest they are less obvious and smaller than Meadow Brown butterflies which were also abundant yesterday.

A Speckled Wood butterfly was in a small copse.
 Common blue butterflies lived up to their name inn being common.
Descending the warm south facing hillside towards a dew pond this sunny sheltered spot is favoured by Brown Argus butterflies.

A pair of Brown Argus butterflies were on a Devil's-bit Scabious flower.  One was highly active, perhaps a male trying to entice a female to mate.

For butterflies from August 2015 please see
Beyond the dew pond on the hillside and adjacent to the path in the valley bottom were Autumn Lady's-tresses orchids Spiranthes spiralis.  In the above photo' with a Pride-of-Sussex flower in the foreground and knapweed beyond

The flowers were waving around in a strong wind making photography difficult.  Spot the Common Eyebright, Euphrasia nemorosa above as well.  My thanks to Ralph Hollins for correcting my earlier misidentification of this lovely tiny flower.
Common Eyebright, Euphrasia nemorosa.  Thanks Ralph.

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