Sunday, 8 June 2014

Small Pearl-bordered and Marsh Fritillaries

Sadly today's outing would have been much better had we made it at least a week before. Both subjects were past their best and although numerous, the quality of freshly emerged butterflies was not there. That said, we still had a great day at two different venues capturing shots of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Marsh Fritillary.

First up was Bentley Wood, a well known butterfly venue just to the east of Salisbury. We parked up and made our way to the Eastern Clearing, unfortunately I made an error in navigation and we ended up at the wrong entrance. No matter, just two minutes later we spotted our first Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Finally, we found the right area and located lots of specimens, most of them nectaring on brambles. As the temperature rose in a clear blue sky they were joined by Large Skippers which were a minor distraction. During the search I managed to capture a Golden-ringed Dragonfly,  which, as I tried to alert Martin, did the Houdini trick and vanished.


Brown eyes indicate immature specimen
 Having taken sufficient photographs of the SPbF we wandered along the ride going north from the car park. A small clearing was reported as having Marsh Fritillaries present, alas nothing found. On our return we came across another obliging dragonfly, this time an immature male Black-tailed Skimmer (subject to confirmation)

Second venue for the day was Cotley Hill near Warminster, home of numerous Marsh Fritillaries. Martin had secured sound advice from another butterfly enthusiast and yet again the information was perfect. Within minutes a Marsh Fritillary landed in front of us. During our stay we probably never ventured more than 50 yards from the original sighting, the butterflies were everywhere, unfortunately most of them showing signs of age, faded and missing bits of wing indicative of the hard life they had endured.

"I've had a hard life" -  most specimens were worn...

....or faded....

...but still photogenic.


As the afternoon progressed more and more came out to nectar on the brambles and we made a conservative estimate of 40, just in the immediate locality. Lots of other butterflies present, we noted Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Small Blue, Dingy, Large and Grizzled Skippers, Green Hairstreak, Whites and Small Heath.

1 comment:

  1. Nice shots Dave love those frits and the GRD the icing on the cake. Must check the locals out looked last Friday but saw none. Seems early for the Kent ones.