Monday, 30 May 2016

Butterflies of Oaken Wood, B.C. reserve, Surrey

Oaken Wood is a small area within the Chiddingfold Wood complex and, is Butterfly conservation's reserve for Surrey, England, U.K.

The Wood White is one of the reserves flag ship butterflies, and is a rare species in Britain. It has two broods a year. The 1st brood fly from late April to the end of June and, the 2nd brood, from early July to late August.

1st brood Wood Whites copulating

2nd brood Wood White, female

 Please go to the 2.6.2016 for more information on the Wood Whites of Chiddingfold Wood.

And the 4.9.2015 for the life cycle of the 1st and 2nd brood Wood Whites.

Green Hairstreaks are building in numbers after a few bleak years and fly from late April to June

Small Coppers have become a rarity in this wood  and, are very rarely seen. This is a male Small Copper [which is smaller than the female] feeding on Fleabane, commonly found locally.

Brimstones are on the other hand, are doing well and, can be seen flying tirelessly up and down the woodland rides. Brimstones only have one brood but overwinter as a butterfly.

Here a male is trying to mate with a female, but the female is rebuffing the male, while another male is sitting to one side, waiting....

The Comma another hibernator, has fallen in numbers over the last couple of years, but can still be found in small numbers

The Green-veined White is regularly seen, with males continually seeking out females along the sunny woodland rides.  In the photo below is a 2nd brood male.

The Dingy Skipper is found in small numbers but, are increasing in number

Male Dingy Skipper

The Grizzled Skipper can still be found here, but for how much longer? As the population of this lovely little insect has fallen drastically.

Male Grizzled Skipper

Small Whites are also seen within Oaken Wood, but their numbers fluctuate yearly.

A newly emerged Small White female
Large whites, again can be found in small numbers.

Another of our hibernators, the Peacock is frequently seen here.

Male Peacock

As is the Small Tortoiseshell.

Female Small Tortoiseshell

The Small Skippers are found just about everywhere, and a lovely little butterfly thats so full of energy.

Male Small skipper
Again, the Large Skippers are found in very good numbers.

Female Large Skipper

Essex Skippers are also found here albeit in small numbers.

Male Essex Skipper
Speckled Woods are also present in average numbers, especially along the woodland rides.

Female Speckled Wood
Ringlets can be found everywhere, along the rides and footpaths.

Male Ringlet

Marble Whites are doing very well here and are spreading throughout the Chiddingfold Wood complex.

Female Marbled White

Meadow Browns are another butterfly that is found here in very good numbers.

Male Meadow Brown
Red Admirals frequent the wood on a regular basis, normally being seen feeding on Bramble Flowers and, taking salts from the damp ground, Horse droppings etc.

Male Red Admiral extracting salts from a discarded Snail shell

White Admiral another butterfly that can easily been seen here , even though numbers had fallen, but seem to be making a recovery.

Male White Admiral
Purple Hairstreak numbers have fallen drastically over the last few years, but can be found low down on very hot days. One off the hardest butterflies to get a photo off.

A 1st instar Purple Hairstreak larva

Brown Hairstreaks are very rarely seen here even though the eggs are found quite easily.

Male Brown Hairstreak
Small Heath is another butterfly that seems to be making a small comeback after a few barren years.

Female Small Heath
Silver-washed Fritillaries are found in excellent numbers, flying up and down the woodland rides on a sunny day.

Male Silver-washed Fritillary on Bramble flower, a favourite  with this species for nectar
Holly Blue is not so often seen, but can be found in very small numbers.

A freshly emerged male Holly Blue
Male Orange-tips can be seen flying up and down the woodland rides looking for females.

Male Orange-tip on Wood Spurge, a plant that attracts a lot of woodland insects
Common Blues are found in good numbers, but only with the 2nd brood. The 1st brood are practically none existing for some reason.

Female Common Blue
Brown Argus are very rarely seen here, but 3 were seen on the same day in early August of 2015.

One of the Brown Argus that was seen last year
Purple Emperor the star of this wood, and the one all butterfly enthusiasts want to see and photograph.

Male Purple Emperor taking salts

The photo everyone wants...


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