All posts tagged Butterflies


Summer surveys

In between the rain and wind, we have had a few sunny days, and these are the best times to find wildlife at Dane Valley Woods.

We were contacted again by Malcolm Watling, who sent us in a butterfly survey here, from last year. This year he said:

‘The weather hasn’t been very butterfly friendly during my visits to Margate this year, but the 3rd July had some useful sunny intervals when I visited the site.  There weren’t many butterflies, but that was partly because this time of year is between the spring and summer broods of some species.  However, the Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns had recently begun to appear, and there were quite a few of them around, despite the rather cool wind.  I saw several Small Whites, some Holly Blues, a couple of Small Skippers and one each of Large Skipper, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Burnet moth and the pale, summer form of the Comma.  A botanical bonus was a Pyramidal Orchid in the Oxeye Daisy area patch.’

Pyramidal orchid

Such a beautiful photo from the eagle-eyed Malcolm!

Elsewhere in the woods, we have spotted 10 lizards in just a 20 minute stretch, including yet anther rare colour variation of the common lizard, which can be spotted in the middle in the photo below.


Butterfly survey

Every so often we are contacted by members of the public who have spotted various things in the Woods. Mr Malcolm Watling, a former Margate resident who now lives in North Wales, visited Dane Valley Woods during the summer and recorded butterfly species present. These included a Brown Argus, which has not been recorded here before. Malcolm writes:-

“On the 28th and 29th July I spent a couple of hours on each day looking round the site for butterflies and other wildlife. The weather was a bit breezy and cloudy, but warm with enough useful sunny intervals. Here is a list of my observations:

– Large White and Gatekeeper, very common
– Small White and Meadow brown, frequent
– Oak Eggar Moth (1) (by the Mill)
– Speckled Wood (1)
– Migrant Hawker dragonfly (2)
– Brown Argus, (1)
– Common Blue male, several
– Common Blue female (1) (with a lot of blue colour)
– Essex Skipper (4)
– Holly Blue (3)
– Red Admiral (1)
– Peacock (1)
– 6-Spotted Burnet moth (1)

There was also one Common Lizard, basking on a crumpled-up black bin-liner!”

Brown Argus (female) 29 July 2015

Brown Argus (female) 29 July 2015

Malcolm has also sent a picture of the Woods site from 1973, showing what is presumed to be the former tip site, with loads of starlings on a bush. He notes that the size of the trees along the road is worth comparing with now, as is the style of the cars. Thank you Malcolm for sending this information in, we look forward to hearing from you again, and we would also like to hear from anyone else who has memories like this or are recording wildlife – let us know via the contact page on this website.

Dane Valley Woods on 2 June 1973

Dane Valley Woods on 2 June 1973