Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Day on Dunstable Downs - 16 May

A late post but my computer has been playing up. One OS upgrade and boom! it turns a Ferrari into a Trabant. Anyway ...

The three amigos set off for Bison Hill NE of Dunstable only to find the car park closed. we drove around for a while until we stumbled on the National Trust car park. We were unsure where to go but walked across the grass NW and found the tracks down onto the slope. We were soon finding butterflies and in particular Green Hairstreak - a new one for me. A few Skippers appeared and we added Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper to the list.

But the one we were in particular after - the Duke of Burgundy - was being more difficult. Eventually we found an area at the bottom of a track that looked like it had been cleared deliberately last year to allow low level regeneration. I said "this looks like it has been cleared specifically for Dukes" and Mike said "and here is one!"And so another lifer was added to the list. What a great little butt - those white wing edgings are really neat.

then back to the top for the splendid view and lunch, just time to take a photo of what I think may be clustered bellflower.

And so on to Totternhoe Knoll. We had a target species in mind - Small Blue, and were told they were down in the quarry. As we went down David was doing his usual grumbling about how he doesn't seem to find much stuff these days when "Oh look - Small Blue!" and a finger-nail sized dollop of pristine chocolate gorgeousness was perching on a blade of grass. We found a few more, then in the quarry had still more and some repeats of Dunstable Downs including Grizzled Skipper again.

and that was it. My first trip to this northern tip of the Chilterns, but not the last I suspect.

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