Me and my sister visited one of two of our main local nature reserves today. Armed with a jar, I.D book and net, we started our search on a grassy hillside near the entrance and into the reserve working our way through two joining fields and into the woodland. Patches were in dappled shade, perfect for Speckled woods. Bushes, believed to be budlia also attracted a font of Peacock butterflies. Total species noted...
4x Speckled wood
3x Male Common blue
1x Female Common blue (brown in colouration)
5x Green-veigned white
4x Small white
3x Large white (one i.d'ed as a male, a further two seen in flight)
3x Meadow brown
2x Southern hawkers (species: Aeshna cyanea) also patroled the woodland.
The final and best butterfly to mention was an absolute beauty. Instantly recognised as a Fritillarie we were itching to I.D it. Easily one of the largest butterflies I have ever seen it flew fast and evaded the net for the first few times and eventually we lost it over the trees. On finding it a second time later on our wanders the gloves were off and within one swift, decisive swoop of the net it was captured to the sounds of triumph but that was not the end of it. Whether it was divine fate or just plain bad luck but as we looked through the glass we found the prize was not the only thing we had captured. A fly had also found its way into the jar. What was the chances. How on earth could we even have consided it happening. There was no way the butterfly would tolerate a fly and stay still long enough to I.D it so we were left with an unexpected challenge, how do we remove the fly but keep the prize.... It didn't happen...it got away...and just to annoy us further the fly was still in the jar. Needless to say we left the fly with a suitable headache for our inconveinence before we let it go.