Tuesday, 29 August 2017

End of Season

Sorry to be back on the butterflies so soon, but this will probably be the last lepidopteral post of the year - the weather is turning tomorrow, and September looms. Today, though, was warm again and, off and on, sunny, so I headed for my favourite hillside to see what I might find. I was hoping - hoping more than expecting - that I might see that lovely, late-flying chalk downland specialist, the Silver-Spotted Skipper.
 What greeted me was a glorious abundance of Adonis Blues - yes, again; I've never known such a year - and large numbers of that other, paler blue beauty, the Chalk-Hill Blue. There were also lots of busy little Brown Arguses, Small Heaths galore, and of course Meadow Browns everywhere (including a rather pretty aberration with creamy white patches on the forewings - I took a photo, but it was no good). But no Silver-Spotted Skippers - until, suddenly, from nowhere, there was one on the path, just a couple of yards ahead of me, its wings neatly folded to show off those silver spots (more spangles, really, than spots) against that subtle olive-green ground. Not for the first time this butterfly season, but perhaps for the last, I felt that sudden surge of joy and gratitude that every true butterfly lover knows.
 In the next couple of hours, I saw four more of these beautiful Skippers, all nectaring on Scabious. A glorious end to a wonderful season.

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