My intention when heading out to the meadow on day 52 of 365 Days Wild was to spend some time bug hunting. As is so often the case lately, I was a little distracted by the butterflies.
I had only just entered the area when I spotted a Brown Argus butterfly – which is not a species I’d ever spotted there before. When in flight these tiny butterflies appear to be silver and they flit past by quickly. Once basking in the sun, however, they show off their bronzy-brown wings, marked with a band of orange markings and a white border.
There were another two butterflies that I think might have also been Brown Arguses, but the task of identifying them was made rather more difficult by the fact that the Common Blues have also made a reappearance.
As the female Common Blue looks closer in appearance to the Brown Argus than to males of its own species, I had to get close enough to examine them carefully, which was not always possible. It also didn’t help that with their wings closed, they also look incredibly similar to one another.
It is only the males of the Common Blue who have the beautiful blue wings.
As well as Brown Arguses and Common Blues, I also spotted a brimstone Butterfly. Unfortunately it wouldn’t open its wings so I could catch a shot of their yellow colour – not even when taking flight – but it did show their lead like camouflage. As with the Common Blues, this was the first Brimstone that I’d seen in the meadow since May, which suggests that this is the second generation now transformed out of their caterpillar form.
The Small Copper butterfly also made a reappearance, and this time stayed sill long enough for me to get several photos.
They weren’t the only things I saw, either.
As there were so many butterflies in the meadow today, it was a perfect time to do a Butterfly Count. As you can see, there are still far more 6-spotted Burnet moths than anything else.
Here is what I counted:
6-spotted Burnet Moth – 69
Meadow Brown – 18
Gatekeeper – 5
Small White – 9
Large White – 6
Common Blue – 5
Brown Argus – 3
Small Copper – 2
Speckled wood – 3
Peacock – 4
Brimstone – 1
I did also spend some time hunting for other bugs. Here are some of the things that I saw: