I'd promised myself that the first sunny day when I was free, I was heading off to Denbies Hillside (Nr. Dorking in Surrey), which is part of Ranmore Common (and approximately 500 ft above sea level). My mission: to see and, hopefully photograph, butterflies.
Well they were definitely about but, according to one local expert that I met, in very few numbers. Also it was very windy so the plants were blowing about and thus deterring the flutters.
Met a very nice couple who'd come down for the day from Essex! They were then off to Ashford Forest in West Sussex. This is something they do quite frequently. It's amazing who you meet, and what you learn about them, when you're staggering down a very steep hill!!
It was bright by very hazy and overcast when I first arrived, but the sun did venture out evenutally.
However, herewith some pictures of those flutters that would stay still long enough. I'm not familiar enough to ID them, so any names are purely my suggestions!!
Views south out towards Box Hill, Shere etc.
My only "captured" dragon of the day
No. 1 - Adonis Blue - great!
No 03 Chalk-hill Blue
No 04 Common Blue
No 05 Common Blue
(with thanks to Steve for the help with the IDs)
Having purchased a sandwich (only place en route = Waitrose = expensive) on the way to Denbies Hillside I ate that whilst watching the flutters and admiring the view in the sunshine.
Lunch over and having staggered back up the hill, I decided that I would go to Painshill Park I'd been talking about Painshill recently which reminded me I wanted to see the Grotto. I have to pay entrance money for this local park so I limit my visits. At the weekends, the Grotto is open so I thought - why not? Equally, the last time I was there I was somewhat restricted in where I could go.
Many "follies" exist within the Park - which is very big. I arrived at about 2.00 and didn't leave until 5.00 ish. I could have spent longer.
The lake in it's entirety can never be seen so there a many views. A photographic walk around the Park on a sunny Saturday.
The birds are pretty cool to.
For the second weekend running, a family of Great Crested Grebes - this time three young and one adult.
Just some of the views of today - there's so many that I will have a "Part 2" tomorrow or Monday - watch this space.
The grotto - still being restored inside.