Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Duke of Burgundy

Butterfly hunting again today. This time up on the downs looking for a Duke of Burgundy, a rare butterfly that looks a bit like a Fritillary but is actually a member of the Metalmark subfamily. Again it looked a bit disappointing first thing, overcast, low cloud and quite cool and there were no butterflies on the wing. As the mist started to burn off a few Dusky Skippers took to the air and I also saw a single Grizzled Skipper.

Grizzled Skipper

I was beginning to doubt that we would see any Dukes but then Neil Hulme turned up and confidently predicted that they would appear within the next ten minutes. I have to admit that he was spot on. As the ten minutes drew to a close we had three or four flying and we were able to get some pictures.

Duke of Burgundy

This was the first Duke of Burgundy that I had seen. It was perhaps a bit smaller than I had been expecting but a great butterfly. Not only did it look good  but it was quite obliging in sitting still and allowing a close approach so that I could take pictures.

Fortunately just as we were about to leave it clouded over and a butterfly that we had been following settled with its wings closed. This gave us the final shot we had been looking for.

I have seen twelve different butterflies so far this year and I am setting myself a target of forty so there is still some way to go. I just have to make sure that chasing these doesn't get in the way of the bird photography, or the dragonflies, or ......

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