Sighting

12-07-2018

11-12.50. It was a bit of shock at first to see the state of Clearbury, which is normally so vibrant with wild flowers, but terribly desiccated this year and not helped by heavy grazing and trampling by cattle until what looks like extremely recently. The approaching track and field edges used in getting to and from there were far more flower-rich. Botanically, some comfort in that the extensive white bryony scrambling over the brambles and blackthorn has escaped - one of my top-5 plants. As far as the butterflies are concerned, thank goodness also for thistles, which have survived unscathed, and were providing the main nectar source for whites, peacocks and silver-washed fritillaries (one pair seem in cop.). Chalkhills thin on the ground in many of their usual haunts, and only in decent numbers on the central upper parts of the main slope, which is least grazed and has fair amounts of scabious and knapweed. 2 females seen. I guess its early days for ChB, and a bit of rain might help, but not as joyful a place to visit as normally.

Simon Crampin

Photos