Finding butterflies is one of my absolute favourite things to do and so this year, as spring arrived, I was excited to start my search once more.
Lockdown has brought a few challenges and my efforts have therefore been focused much closer to home.
Instead of travelling the county on the lookout for rarities, I have spent my daily exercise walking my dog, Benji, through our local patch, and I have not been disappointed.
Early spring brought slumbering butterflies out from hibernation and soon my route was filled with Peacocks (pictured above), Small Tortoiseshells (pictured below), Brimstones and even a lovely Comma.
I always think that the season truly gets in to full swing though, with the emergence of the Orange Tip (pictured below).
And this year, my local patch was absolutely covered in them. It has been wonderful to see so much wildlife so close to home.
So far, I had seen pretty much what I had expected. Holly Blues and Speckled Woods were added to my list of local butterfly sightings. Nothing too unusual but lovely all the same.
May, however, was full of surprises.
Benji and I were completing our usual circuit when something small and silvery caught my eye. It was tiny!
We chased it carefully through the long grass, catching fleeting glimpses of it as it briefly settled before fluttering off again. I was almost sure of what it was but I
dare not admit it until I had a better view.
And then it landed. A Brown Argus! I couldn’t believe it. One of my favourite butterflies (pictured right), just ten minutes away from my house.
How many times had I walked through these fields without noticing this delicate little butterfly?
And it didn’t stop there. Each time I went out, I was so excited to see what I would spot next. If Brown Argus could be found in my little meadow, what else was there to discover?
Every walk brought something new. I have found Dingy Skipper, Small Copper, Large Skipper (pictured below), Common Blue and even Marbled Whites (pictured bottom).
I have seen so much more than I ever expected. So far this year I have found 19 species here and I don’t think it will end there.
I have loved exploring my own patch and making my own discoveries and I’m excited to learn even more about all this local nature.
It just goes to show how much wildlife might be living right under our noses.
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