I had a target at the start of the year to travel and see some new species of butterflies. A long weekend away in Hampshire enabled me to see the Pearl Bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne) at Bentley Wood, which straddles the border with Wiltshire. This is one of the UK’s premier butterfly woods and the Frits are found in the eastern clearing which is just a short walk back from the car park.
The Fritillaries are a fast declining species in the UK, they require open sunny areas of woodland with plenty of violets for their caterpillars to eat. Woodland management has changed and these areas are only cleared through conservation work. They are medium sized with a wingspan of 38-46mm (1 1/2-1 3/4 inches)
Tina and I saw several, they were constantly on the move, criss-crossing low to the ground, very rarely stopping.
There was so much more to see, moths, bugs and other butterflies. I have put together a collection of images, https://blhphotoblog.wordpress.com/portfolio/bentley-bucknell-woods/. For the journey home we stopped in Northamptonshire at Bucknell Woods near Silverstone. Here I saw my second target the Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) the smallest 42mm (1 3/4 inch) and most delicate of the whites. It is also now a rare butterfly which inhabits sunny woodland rides, and like the Pearls rarely stops.
A fantastic weekend. Don’t forget to check out the other images on the HOME page. https://blhphotoblog.wordpress.com/portfolio/bentley-bucknell-woods/