Butterflies and Thistles

 

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My daily checks of the grass snake colony (8 individuals is my best count so far) now have an added distraction. The landowner has left an area of old paddock to it’s own IMG_8112devices and the grasses and wildflowers have flourished, growing deep and dense enough for a roebuck to mooch within.

Prime spot at the moment is an area dotted with flowering thistles. After a fortnight of dry, hot weather, the local butterflies are making the most of this food source, and I counted eleven species within quarter of an hour or so.

There is nothing extraordinary on the wing. In fact, it is a sign of the times that the single small tortoiseshell caused me as much excitement as the presence of the marbled whites (my personal favourites).

And having not seen a single ringlet during our first couple of years here, they are now the most abundant butterfly, although the meadow browns push them close.

Today also saw the first gatekeepers on the wing – such a smart little insect, particularly when fresh.

Anyway, I took some photos and rather than waffle on, I will simply share them with you. Happy July everyone.

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