Another hot day, so decided to avoid the New Forest and the coast and head inland up the Test Valley. We stopped for a picnic just south of Stockbridge and watched beautiful and banded demoiselle chasing up and down a chalk tributary. The males do wing-flick displays from prominent perches on their home stretch of stream.
It was then on up to Broughton Down once again, very hot on top of the Down and it was noticeable that there were fewer blue butterflies than last week, perhaps they were all seeking shade. The extra week had brought the fragrant orchids into flower, in all their different shades.
In the heat the butterflies that were out were very active, so I was quiet pleased to get this small blue which briefly settled.
Over the last week the dark green fritillaries have started to emerge, all far to fast for a picture though. I did manage to get a small copper, one species I did not see last week.
Sainfoin grows on the top of the Down, probably as a left over from fodder crops rather than a true native as these were tall plants, very handsome though. As I was looking at the plants I disturbed a wood tiger moth, not a species I see very often, they fly in sunshine and this one was not going to show itself properly so I had to settle for a hidden shot.
Back at home I found a common frog hiding behind the fern pots when I watered them, always good to see in the garden.
The day ended with a flying display by stag beetles, I had at least five in the air at once over the house roof and there were more clattering away in the grass. I see them every year but don’t think I have ever seen so many at once.
Must be wonderful to see the Stag Beetles in flight!
I haven’t explored the Test Valley or Broughton Down yet – must do, on the basis of your description!