Friday 12 August 2016


'The big black eyes of a baby seal and the golden fur of a teddy bear...' That's Patrick Barkham rhapsodising about 'the cutest butterfly in Britain' - the Silver-Spotted Skipper. I was delighted to find a little group of these scarce downland skippers this afternoon nectaring on scabious (beside the old coach road at the foot of Denbies Hillside) , and I have to say - Barkham is right, they're just lovely. These heat-loving butterflies (they can't fly if the temperature's below 20C) are also, we are told, benefiting from 'global warming', expanding their range in recent years, after having come back from near-extinction in the Eighties. Good news.

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