Thursday, 2 August 2007

I got the Blues today

Having failed to see any of the blue butterflies during the past couple of days, despite spending a lot of time in what I thought was the right habitat, well it was last year, I was pointed in the right direction by Jack Chantler. I'd been within a couple of hundred yards of a colony of Chalkhill Blues yesterday, without knowing it, so it was get fit time again and a walk down to the lower foot path below the NT car park at Langdon.

The males were plentiful. this one was almost at the top of the path, just 20 yards from the car park.

Further down there were dozens of these beautiful powder blue butterflies. They are quite variable in pattern, some paler and some brighter, but always unmistakable. They are very showy and sit around mostly with their wings open, but sometimes showing the spotty underside.

The females, above, are quite different. They are much more difficult so see, and often settle low in the grass, half hidden. Even allowing for this they were much less numerous than the males, but I can't think of any reason for this.

The underside is duller than the males and they often tuck themselves away and become quite inconspicuous.

I did see one Common Blue, above, it is smaller than the Chalkhill Blues. Unlike the Chalkhill Blue the common Blue has two broods and this is one of the early second brood adults.

On this male Chalkhill Blue you can see the very "furry" body.

Other Wildlife Birds were very quiet, with no sign of any real movements. A Willow Warbler was calling from the scrub by the car park and there was a reasonable flock of Linnets, about 60 feeding on one of the ploughed fields.

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