|Beautiful Grangelands in the sun|
I walked over to the Rifle Range side of the reserve, but I didn't see any at all over there. They all seemed to like the Grangelands side, probably to catch the morning sun or stay out of the breeze. At one point I stood at the bottom of a slope and counted 16 male chalkhill blues flying ahead of me in a small area. I only saw the male butterflies, which are the pale blue colour, and didn't see any of the brown coloured females. Maybe they haven't hatched yet.
There were lots of marbled whites, meadow browns and ringlets flying and I saw several small skippers, a red admiral and a couple of small tortoiseshells. I also saw my first gatekeeper of the year (although I've just seen one in the garden as well).
I walked back through the shade of the woods and saw a speckled wood in the dappled sunlight.
|A spotted longhorn beetles bottom|
I was feeling pretty pleased with my morning already, but then a second silver washed fritillary appeared and started chasing the first one around me. They kept coming back to the hogweed, settling briefly, then setting off again. I stood there and watched them for several minutes.
|They look like they're bouncing up and down on the hogweed|
To top it all off, I saw a zebra through the bushes. Who needs to go on safari when you've got the Chilterns!