Mike Robinson has sent us a nice shot of a Ringlet butterfly taken at Hollyhill open space this June. This was an expected species, having been seen at Streamway on the other side of Brook Street last year, but the sighting confirms it is getting a foothold in this area.
The Ringlet appears to have spread dramatically within Bexley in the last few years. Looking at the GiGL (London Biodiversity Records Centre) data, this sudden appearance of the species is either real, as they had no previous records from Bexley (and perhaps no one was looking – though this seems unlikely), or the species had been thinly scattered and unnoticed all along. Even so, the sheer number of sites it has now been found at does suggest a real range expansion has been going on.
Here are the sites in Bexley where the species has now been recorded. We are not sure when it may have first been seen at East Wickham Open Space, but we only received word of a record there three or four years ago, and all the other sightings have likewise come in this period. It was recorded for the first time (as far as we know) at those sites single asterisked in 2014, and for double asterisked, 2015.
– East Wickham Open Space
– Abandoned allotments by west edge of Bexley Park Woods.
– The Dell, Slade Green
– Long grass area by school near east end of Lamorbey lake, Sidcup
– Lesnes Abbey Woods meadows *
– Thames Road Wetland *
– Crossness (Erith Marshes) *
– Foots Cray Meadows *
– Barnehurst Golf Course *
– Streamway *
– Hollyhill Open Space **