Hambledon Hill surprises
One of the surprises, for our leader Andrew Graham, was that his group of 12 did in fact succeed in completing the route he'd mapped out for us in the hope of seeing as much wildlife as possible. For his detailed account, go to Field Trips/What you missed, but here are some of the highlights.
The Chalkhill blue butterfly is now quite rare - here's the male on the left, the female on the right.
Some butterflies are confusingly similar - on the left, the Gatekeeper and next to it, a female Meadow brown. You'd think the next one to the right was the underside of the female Meadow brown but no, it's of the Gatekeeper. And the male Meadow brown is the dingy one on the extreme right - just a hint of orange on its forewing.
The flowers were glorious, too, the hillside a riot of colour. We were all surprised to be introduced to the Carline thistle - we thought it was just a dead ordinary one, but they were there at all stages and fascinating especially close up.
Amongst the cattle grazing were some Park Whites, kept in Britain for more than 2,000 years. They are closely descended from Britain’s original wild white cattle that were enclosed in parks by the nobility during the middle ages.
A final and very appropriate touch of history.
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Photo: Avocets (Izzy Fry)
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