No not a post about a grumpy seafarer, or the captain of my local football team after another defeat. This is Norfolk’s rarest and smallest butterfly, the Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae) Today was glorious weather so Tina and I traveled across to Breckland, in the south west of the county, to search for them at the only two sites they occur.
We started at Foulden Common but after a couple of hours we only had the briefest of an in-flight sighting. There were many Brimstones and Orange Tips but on the Skipper front things were not looking good. They should have emerged by now, last year I saw them in April. So after a picnic we decided to go to the cut-off channel at Stoke Ferry, 4 miles away. Searching the chalk banks and eventually I spotted a fresh male. It sat on a purple flower of bugle wings open, perfect, except I hadn’t turned my Camera on!!
Luckily I did manage to get some nice shots, but not on a flower. These butterflies only have a wingspan of 23-29 mm (about 1 inch) and they fly fast and low to the ground so they are very difficult to spot and follow. They are becoming increasingly rare across southern England. Their caterpillars like to feed on wild strawberry and agrimony.
On my HOME page there is a portfolio with more info https://blhphotoblog.wordpress.com/portfolio/skippers-hairstreak-may-2017