25th May 2019
Being keen to see some new butterflies this year I had booked onto Carl Chapman's tour to the Chilterns to look for Duke of Burgundy and Small Blue. The old car park on Bison Hill was closed, so we began at Dunstable Downs, where I saw a new species straightaway as a Slender-footed Robberfly landed on the roof of the car.
We headed down onto the chalky landscape and headed to a sheltered area of Hawthorn. A smal orangey butterfly flew past us without stopping - almost certainly my first Duke but not the sort of views I was hoping for. Luckily it didn't take long for much better ones, as I found one sitting up patiently nearby.
Carrying on around the rest of the site we saw Dingy Skippers and then eventually quite a few more Duke of Burgundies, including a pale one that seems to be the aberration leucodes. A Grizzled Skipper, Grass Rivulet moths, great views of a Red Kite and a metallic green chafer-type beetle (Cryptocephalus sp) completed a successful and pleasant visit.