Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Bindon Hill

View of Bindon Hill from the Lulworth Cove car park

Butterfly spotting today at Bindon Hill which overlooks Lulworth Cove. It looks fairly stark in the photo above, but it is very different close up, with flowers and long grass. I parked in the car park and headed inland towards the village of West Lulworth taking a right turn to follow the route of the South West Coast Path onto the bottom of the slope of Bindon Hill.

I turned left, off the path, into a grassy area, spotting a pyramidal orchid ...

... and soon had my first sightings, some Large and Small Skippers and a Small Blue, my first of the year.

It quickly became clear that the whole hillside was covered with Marbled Whites, always exquisitely photogenic.

After a while I rejoined the SWCP and followed the curving track around the lower part of the hill. In the hedgerows to the right numbers of Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Gatekeepers could be seen.  At a certain point there was a sudden intensifying of the number and type of butterflies on the slope.

I began to see Dark Green Fritillaries, the first I have seen for ages.

Then, in quick succession, a Chalkhill Blue that I couldn't get a photo of, a few Silver-studded Blues ...

... a Brown Argus ...

... and, appropriately enough, a Lulworth Skipper (another first of the year).

There were even a couple of Red Admirals and a Large White, giving a pleasing count of 14 species. There was a nice view towards the chalky path which leads over Hambury Tout to Durdle Door.

This is perhaps a more realistic picture (the Isle of Portland can just be seen on the left).

Conditions: Hot and sunny.

Map: Explorer OL15 (Purbeck & South Dorset).

Rating: Four and a half stars.

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