Recent highlights have centred mainly around Clouded Yellows, of which there were 42 on New Downs on the 16th. BMS transect walks in weeks 20 and 21 took place close together, on the 17th and 19th, respectively, and despite rain all day on the 18th numbers were very similar, with 148 on the 17th and 145 on the 19th. By this time Gatekeepers in particular were looking very battered, though the same could not be said for a pristine male Brimstone that fluttered along Guilford Road in the early afternoon; very much a local rarity.
Transect day was rewarding, despite a further slight diminishing in numbers, with a very good variety of butterflies on the wing, including 8 Walls; the best local count for several years. Commonest insects were Gatekeeper (104) and Meadow Brown (42), with a slight resurgence in numbers of Small Heath (11) and Common Blue (9), though numbers of the latter continue to give cause for concern. 2 Holly Blues were also recorded.
Although aridity seems to be affecting variety and probably numbers as well, three different Wall Browns have been seen in the first four days of the month and an apparently pristine Large Skipper was seen on the Estate this morning; the first since 19th July.