Monday, 21 July 2014

A Feast Of Blues.....

So, off to Martin Down NNR this morning to look for plants and flutters. I warn you all now, this is an entirely self-indulgent post containing few words and lots of photos, most of them paying homage to those most beautiful of butterflies: The Blues (although as well as Chalkhills and Commons there are also Skippers, Fritillaries, A Brown Argus, A Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Small Tort and Some Small Coppers).

Rarely have I seen so many fantastic specimens in one place. As I was really struggling to narrow the pics down to one or two, I gave up trying and instead decided to post the lot and then you can chose your favourites :-)

Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did.....

A pair of Large Skips feasting on Knapweed

Mrs Brimstone sunbathing on a bramble leaf

Mr Chalkhill Blue eyeing me up

Sitting Proudly on his stone

Feeding on Marjoram

Mr CHB again showing us his underwings

And again... on wild marjoram this time
 
Dark Green Frit


Dark Green Frit on knapweed (see the green tinge to the underwing by the white spots? This helps distinguish it from other fritillaries)

Grass Emerald Moth (I think- very faded). Not seen one of these before :-)

Meadow Brown (diagnostic black spots on underwing mark it apart from the Gatekeeper and Small Heath)

Male Brown Argus (the orange markings on the upper wing go all the way to the top in the female). These flutters are very similar to the female common blue, except the argus is smaller.

Marbled White

MW

Marbled White underwing


Shaded Broad Bar moth

Small Copper. I LOVE these little butterflies and this is only the second I've seen this year. The lower wing looks a bit knackered but this is just their natural pattern. They like common sorrel and sheep's sorrel when pillars and the males are described as 'pugnacious' in my flutter book, although the ones we saw today were nectaring peacefully on their flowers and weren't all that bothered about us getting close with the cameras.
Small Tortoiseshell, nectaring on scabious on top of wild carrot :-)

Small Heath (no dots, white or black on the underwing, plus it is absolutely tiny so there is no danger of mistaking it for a Meadow Brown or a Gatekeeper in the flesh)

Small Copper enjoying some wild marjoram

Small Copper

Large Skipper

Small Copper







 And now (drum roll please.......), hold your breath for the Breath-Taking Common Blues (who must have been Freshly Hatched, they were the most perfect I have ever seen)...








I don't think there's much left to say after those magnificent butterflies have had their moment, so I'll leave you with a beautiful Yellow Hammer who was singing his heart out in the scrub, and a Skylark who was doing likewise, wish you all a peaceful evening and warn you to expect further flutter pics later this week as I've got two transects to do in the next fortnight......

Have a good evening all,

CT x

Skylark

Yellow Hammer


 

27 comments:

  1. The blues are just amazing, such a beautiful colour.
    Briony
    x

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  2. I think the blues are my absolute favourite, but what a wonderful time you must have had! A you can be as self indulgent as you like, it's your blog!
    Leanne x

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    1. So many fantastic flutters on the reserve, but the colour of those Blues is truly amazing x

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  3. Yes, the blues are fabulous.
    Study wall update: an ivory coloured flutterer with a very fine filigree pattern on its wings, like lace?

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    1. Hmmm, without a pic that's going to be a tough one to ID. Was it butterfly shaped? If so it could be a latticed heath (not sure how close you are to heathland). Otherwise some of the wave moths could fit the bill.

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  4. They are all beautiful Butterfly, you must have had a wonderfull day.
    Amanda xx

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  5. Fantastic photos!!! The Blues are absolutely gorgeous, such a wonderful colour. You must be very pleased with the photos.
    xx

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    1. I am really pleased with them- it was definitely a Good Photography Day :-) x

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  6. Fabulous! What a feast for the eyes. Great bird captures too. :-)

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    1. Thanks Mandy. A great place to visit :-)

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  7. I haven't seen a Yellow Hammer in years CT - they used to be up here in summer but seem to have just disappeared. Lovely to see it and all the other lovelies! xx

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    1. I saw a YH on Haytor when we were up in April, but didn't hear them anywhere else on Dartmoor. The farmland here seems to suit them- there are always a couple singing on my favourite walk with the dogs. xx

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  8. Amazing photos and I think about the time and search you must spend in creating such lovely photos of these butterfly's. I also love the birds, especially the yellow hammer as I have never seen one. Nice Post :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them. The Yellow Hammer is a pretty bird. In the UK his call is said to sound like he's saying: 'a little bit of bread and some cheese'

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    2. HI CT You certainly have out done yourself in this post. Such a lot of beautiful Butterflies and then to finish it off with 2 great bird shots. ALL wonderful.

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    3. Thank you Margaret, am so pleased you enjoyed them all :-)

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  9. Such fantastic pictures!!! I love the common blues, they are just amazing!! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy. They are completely stunning aren't they? Oh for a fabric that captured that colour! xx

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  10. Chalkhill Blues are beautiful and my favorite in this post!

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    1. They are glorious. I am trying very hard to see an Adonis Blue this summer. FIngers crossed!

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  11. What a superb location for butterflies - a great selection in this post CT :) I love the Small Coppers - one of my favourite butterflies too and I haven't yet seen one this year.

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    1. It is an amazing place and one I shall return to. Now keeping an eye out for the Adonis as I've never seen one before :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x