I visited Ringstead Downs today to walk my weekly butterfly transect. This year there are carpets of sweet-smelling Lady's Bedstraw but some plants such as Small Scabious seem to be less abundant than previous years. I found 3 small plants of White Horehound and about 25 small plants of Basil Thyme in flower.
Ringlets are very numerous at the moment, especially in the long grass on the south-east bank. Also good numbers of Meadow Brown and Small/Essex Skippers. This week I had 5 fresh Commas on the transect. Last week I found a Comma perched on a dead Pheasant amongst the scarab beetles.
Today, although quite common, it was nice to see an Ear Moth feeding on Small Scabious (difficult to photograph as the flowers were blowing in the wind).
While walking my butterfly transect at Ringstead Downs today I noticed a patch of Pirri-pirri-bur Acaena novae-zelandiae on the north-west bank. I hadn't noticed it previously when it was in flower but the fruits, with their barbed red spines are very distinctive. It is believed that the Pirri-pirri-bur came to this country via wool from Australia and New Zealand in about 1900.