Monday, 17 July 2017

A chalkhill, white-letter, dark green morning

I stood at the top of a Grangeland slope this morning and there were so many chalkhill blues fluttering through the short grass that I hardly knew where to look. I'd focus on one that had briefly settled and another would flutter past and distract me. It was such an amazing sight to see the short grass slope shimmering pale blue as hundreds of them flittered and danced! Not a bad problem to have, but it did make my head spin slightly!!

Chalkhill blue

Chalkhill blue
I didn't think things could get much better than that, but then I spotted a little brown butterfly that looked a bit different. As I got closer I almost dropped the camera when I realised it was a white-letter hairstreak. It's the first one I've ever seen at Grangelands and I was thrilled when I saw the distinctive white 'W' on it's hind wing and realised what it was. It was a bit tatty, but I don't mind!

White-letter hairstreak, showing the white 'W' on its hind wing 
White-letter hairstreak
There were butterflies everywhere, loving the wild marjoram and the sunshine. I got carried away following marbled whites, common blues and small skippers and trod in a rabbit hole, turned my ankle over and put my hand down on a thistle. It really hurt! As I sat there picking prickles out of my fingers, a dark green fritillary settled next to me. It was chased away by a meadow brown, but was back within a few minutes to almost the same spot.

Dark green fritillary
What a wonderful morning! As I walked back, there were brimstones, gatekeepers and meadow browns and I saw a comma and red admiral when I was almost back at the car park. Another beautiful morning at Grangelands!



Red admiral