Strawberry Fields Forever
On a very warm and sunny afternoon I visited a number of local butterfly sites on Friday. I started at Rudge Hill NNR (Edge Common), with eight Duke of Burgundy a short distance from the roadside car park, and a Small Blue, three Small Heaths, three Brown Argus and seven Dingy Skippers among the other butterflies, also a Burnet Companion moth and a Red and Black Frogghopper (Cercopsis vulnerata).
Duke of Burgundy:
Red and Black Froghopper:
My next stop was Strawberry Banks NR, near Chalford (top photo). At least 60 Marsh Fritillaries were quite a spectacle, with a supporting cast including four Small Blues, c10 Common Blues, two Small Coppers, and c8 Dingy Skippers.
Not far away, I visited Daglingworth Path, part of the Cirencester Park Bathurst Estate. I didn't have to walk far into the woods until I found at least 30 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries on the wing, and nectaring on Bugle. I crouched on the ground for some time before noticing I was on top of a Wood Ant highway, and one of the legion was biting my hand!
My final stop was at Crickley Hill Country Park. Butterflies here included three Dingy Skippers, four Common Blues and three Small Heaths, also a Speckled Yellow moth and Early Purple Orchid.
Early Purple Orchid: