Henfield Birdwatch Butterfly Walk Mill Hill NNR Friday 4th August 2023

A group of 8 of us (Ian, Nigel, Maggie, Hazel, Mary, Hilary, Val and Angela set off from Henfield in 2 cars for the Mill Hill Butterfly Walk. Ruth joined us a little later.

As Nigel’s car came to a stop at the Mill Hill main car park near the top of the reserve we recorded our first 2 butterfly species on the Buddleia Bush conveniently growing in front of our chosen parking spot. A rather weather-beaten Painted Lady and a Red Admiral. A good start. It was not long before we added a few more species, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, which were everywhere even when the sun went behind the clouds, Rather better sightings were a Dark Green Fritillary and a Wall Brown.

Some people were lucky enough to see a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly

As we waited for the sun to appear from behind some clouds we had a short walk along the access friendly woodland nature trail provided on the reserve. We spent the rest of our time enjoying the magnificent flower rich meadows which cover the hillside at this site. Altogether we managed to find 13 butterfly and 5 moth species as well as brushing up on our plant identification skills and of course birds were not neglected (see report below). We were lucky with the weather considering recent forecasts but were probably a week or two early for the hoped for Adonis Blue.

However there were plenty of fresh Common Blue and Brown Argus to keep us occupied looking and the views alone from this hilltop site made this an enjoyable outing.


Butterfly list

Large White, Small White, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Peacock, Dark Green Fritillary, Wall Brown, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown,, Small Heath

Moth list

Silver Y (2), Cinnabar (larva), Dusky Sallow (2), Common Carpet, Burnet Moth.

Bird list

Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Linnet, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Swallow, Magpie, Crow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Herring Gull, Buzzard.

Ian Woiwod