Local butterflies and other goodies
Again, apologies for the lack of activity lately; however, summer seems to be here at last, and I have more time to post now.
Butterfly activity is hotting up now, and we are fortunate to be living quite near some excellent sites for nationally scarce species, including in particular Black and Brown Hairstreaks and Purple Emperor.
In the shots below, I’ll only post the technical details where they are particularly noteworthy – all generally taken handheld with the usual D800E and 200f4 micro with flash setup.
First, back to an outing in mid-June. On a warm and muggy day I first visited Bernwood Meadows in the vain hope of seeing my first ever Black Hairstreak. Although I did see something butterfly-like flitting high in the trees I couldn’t be sure, and sadly there were very few butterflies to be seen in this flower-rich environment, with Green-winged and Common Spotted Orchids particularly noteworthy. I did, however, manage to catch up with my first Small Copper of the year in the UK.
I then headed south and into Berkshire in the vain hope of finding the nationally rare Marsh Fritillary, but sadly no sightings were made at all in a couple of hours, with others also who had come from quite far afield; the viability of the colony at a small site must be questionable. Small Blues were, though, very much in evidence, and I picked up my first Large Skipper of the year. Similar species were also prevalent at another nearby site, but again no Fritillaries.