Strawberry Fields Forever

Friday 6th May 2011

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:

Brown Argus:

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.
Marsh Fritillaries:

Small Blue:

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!
Pearl-bordered Fritillary:

Daglinworth Path:

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:


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