Thursday, 11 September 2014

Small Copper in the Firehills !

Some late summer sunshine lured us out for a walk in the country, our destination was the 1066 country walk running from the Firehills at Fairlight along the coast to  East Hill above Hastings Old Town.

We have done this walk annually for many years now, described as a moderate to hard walk, and a round trip of seven miles, doesn't sound a lot, but some of the inclines and descents are pretty gruelling, especially on worn and old knee joints.

       But the scenery is spectacular, and well worth the effort.

View looking down on Hastings old Town from East Hill

Ever vigilant for a wildlife sighting, a small orange Butterfly caught my eye as we passed along the footpath beside Ecclesbourne glen.

In all I saw about four or five of these Small Copper Butterflies, occasionally settling on the footpath I managed to get a couple of record shots.

This is a very small butterfly, easily missed but the bright orange on its wings catches your eye.

I didn't realise at the time, but the very first Small Copper seen was of the rarer blue spotted form ( cearula-punctata)
you can see the blue spots on the hind wing of this enlarged version.

And here is a photograph of a regular Small Copper.

These small Butterflies certainly live up to their reputation for being territorial, I witnessed one in an aerial combat with a Clouded Yellow Butterfly, almost twice its size.

Bird wise, there was an obvious visible migration across the channel of Swallows and Martins,  quite a few Wheatear were on the cliff top fences contemplating the flight ahead of them, sadly no Whinchats seen.

A single Raven was seen flying along the cliff tops.

A very enjoyable walk although my knees say not.

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