Monday, 9 May 2016

Duke of Burgundy

My first butterfly blog of the year and I wasn't sure if I should call it Duke of Burgundy or Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

Sunday and I dropped in to Rewell Wood to have a quick look for the Pearl-bordered. I walked for miles and hardly saw a butterfly, and to top it all, I had forgotten too carry any water. Returning to the car, hot, bothered and thirsty, I ended up following a Brimstone along a small ride. I lost the Brimstone but in front of me I found a Pearl-bordered and then another and in the end I had close to thirty sightings in under an hour.


You would think I would be happy but it is the most annoying of butterflies. Apart from being hyperactive in the bright sunshine it seems to have the ability to just disappear in front of your eyes. You have it in sight, its only feet away, then it does a half turn, and it's gone. I got a few photographs but none that I was really happy with.

Monday and I picked Dave up and we went back to Rewell Woods for another go. Not so many sightings, perhaps twenty in the two hours we were there, but they were still just as difficult to photograph.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Showing the underwings and the pearls around the edge of the rear wing.

Look out for the patches of Bugle which it seems to favour and keep your fingers crossed for a female which will stay still for a bit longer than the roaming males.

We also had some good views of male Orange-tips in Rewell and were lucky enough to get one settled when it clouded over for a few minutes.


and a Red Admiral resting on its way along the ride.

Flushed with success we decided to head up to Kithurst Meadow to look for the Duke of Burgundy. This is an altogether more accommodating butterfly. It is a late riser, probably best after 11am, it does not fly too fast or roam too far, and it is a bit lazy, being quite happy to sit for long periods giving good photographic opportunities. 

Duke of Burgundy

The blog is named after the Duke of Burgundy as it is an altogether more agreeable butterfly.

Duke of Burgundy

We also found Dingy Skippers in the meadow including this mating pair.

Dingy Skippers

There were also a number of Green Hairstreaks flying through and I was lucky enough to get this one sitting out on the bank by the side of the road.

Green Hairstreak

A great day and it now feels as though the butterfly season is really under way. It reminded me of why I like the butterflies. If you do your research and get your timing right the butterflies are going to be there. That does not always apply when you are looking for birds. However, there is also the frustration of a hot sunny day when you cannot find one that will settle.

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