Scorchio. In cloud-free and very hot conditions the weekly butterfly transect was the best so far this year and, for some species at least, there were signs of a welcome improvement from a poor position earlier in the season. Most numerous species were Chalkhill Blue (78), Common Blue (23) and Wall (16), while 3 Small Tortoiseshells, it is sad to say, was a notably good count by recent standards. A Clouded Yellow was seen on Lighthouse Down and 4 Silver-spotted Skippers were the first this year.
Overcast last night and consequently a bit busier, even though it should be more so at this time of year. Still, 4 Whinchats and a Wheatear were on the farm and 3 Garden Warblers were fiddling about among the elderberries at the top of the valley. There was also a noticeable influx of Migrant Hawkers.
A bit chilly to start with it soon warmed up and turned out to be a good deal better than the last couple of days, with warblers including 29 Whitethroats, 16 Willow Warblers, 9 Blackcaps, 2 Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler. Butterflies were also much improved, with 21 Walls scattered about, at least 84 Chalkhill Blues along Lighthouse Down, 2 Clouded Yellows on the farm and 2 Dingy Skippers in the valley.
With the wind in the NW and feeling a good deal fresher after the heat of the weekend it was again almost eerily quiet, though a Hobby was hunting over the farm and one Clouded Yellow appeared when the sun came out.
Noticeably fresher and quieter than yesterday, the bushes were fairly quiet, though of local interest were 33 Corn Buntings and 130 Linnets on the farm, while 3 Siskins flew over.
A late start was enforced by a beetle-infested moth trap at home that would have amounted to even worse carnage had it been left. Still, a few good bits were seen, including a Hobby, at least 5 Kestrels, a Ringed Plover flying N over the farm and an excellent count of 6 Clouded Yellows on Wanstone.