Out on the sunniest and hottest day for a while to trek down the Wyre Forest Butterfly Trail along an old railway line with JDO this morning.
We were after the Pearl-bordered Fritillaries which were emerging by the dozen but only have a short window of flight time. Pearl-bordered there were in abundance, though getting the shots proved far mare taxing. Firstly as they were flying a good deal to start with and secondly they were near the floor which meant a knee drop every minute to get up close and personal with ideally a prone position on the track but not practical.
The caterpillars hibernate amongst the dead vegetation after hatching on or near violets. They only fly till mid-June with a slight blip in August but not being a very mobile butterfly they tend to stay in the colonies in the coppiced woods. they are called pear-bordered because of the seven silver pearls along the outer border of the wing and another two near the body as seen here.
There has been an extraordinary decline and the numbers are still falling; the main culprit being the lack of coppicing and the increase of shady woodland.
Good to see so many on the wing today. Great to see Jill!