Visiting Old Friends

“Roll up, roll up folks.  Come and see the amazing spring.  One day only, be sure not to miss it.  roll up roll up”

Perhaps I’m being a bit pessimistic but our little bit of England, whilst being ‘green and pleasant’, has been a bit, er, ‘under the weather’.  Others have been ok, over here northerly winds, grey and very cool but also extremely dry.  Plants are growing and flowering but the poor old insects need to put on an extra woolly jumper!  However the last day of April and the sun shone!  After a week of having my head stuck in a pot of paint we just had to get out and enjoy it.  To some this post will seem a bit ‘deja vu’ but I do like to visit old friends.

Recognise this little fellow? Yes, the Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

My choice of destination was Wiveton Downs about 20 miles west up near the North Norfolk coast.  A lovely place at this time of year.  The top of the hill is covered in flowering Gorse bushes which have a heady scent of coconut.  The lower northern slope is sheltered and awash with Bluebells the flower of spring.  We had not gone far when a tiny butterfly caught my eye as it fluttered low down by some Gorse.  The first Green Hairstreak of the year.  If it had not been flying almost impossible to see when perched.

You must remember this handsome creature? The male Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

Butterflies were out in good numbers along the lower path.  Male Orange tips zig-zagging among the Bluebells looking for love, only stumbling across another male so a fight ensued.  In fact all the butterflies were getting a bit aggressive, pent up hormones I guess.  Only the little Holly Blues seemed quite sedate but not giving me many photo opportunities.

Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria) like slightly shady areas but are very territorial
We found one area with several Hairstreaks in but they spent most of the time kicking lumps out of each other!
Check out this fuzzy little guy! A male Green Longhorn Moth (Adela reaumorella). I bet he gets great radio reception with those antenna!
Green-veined White (Pieris napi) small and delicate
Speckled Wood and Bluebells

A really enjoyable few hours and with the forecast now set fair hopefully more to come.  I have a lot more ‘old friends’ I would like to visit.

44 thoughts on “Visiting Old Friends

  1. Excellent captures Brian. I’m very jealous of the Green Hairstreak. I’ve not seen one of them yet this year. We have plenty of gorse and have had some warm weather recently, so I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled. Hopefully they exist on the ‘other’ side of the UK? 🤞🤞

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  2. Marvellous B! Unfortunately there is nothing much to see around here and even if there is it is too hot for me to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors…

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  3. What a phot-treat, Brian. And most I have never seen. Commiserate about the weather. It’s also been flipping chilly and dry in Shropshire, though some sunshine yesterday. The cold wind never seems to let up for long.

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  4. Very nice series of photos, Brian. It’s spring, I guess and the pollinators are ramped up for the growing season. Hope you get a bit of rain (not too much) and that warmer temperatures (not too hot) are in the near future.

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  5. You have some really nice “old friends”!

    Superb photographs and I am totally jealous of all these beauties posing so nicely for you and knowing we have none in our area! There is a member of the Orangetip family that is rarely seen in the extreme NW part of Florida so I really need to visit my sister who lives there.

    Very happy you were able to get out for a bit. Fingers crossed on fair weather ahead.

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  6. Always been a fan of the Orange Tip – that Green-veined White I think is a new one for me. Love the antenna on that Green Longhorn Moth – as long as a cats! I chased a couple of interesting Butters on my recent trips, will try to get those out sometime soon so you can have a look at them – warning, those will not be anywhere near the quality of these.

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  7. These are absolutely amazing images of amazing butterflies!!! They are so beautiful and the Orange Tip, wonderful!

    I’ve seen several different species of butterflies here in Cyprus. It’s so exciting but, as you know, they’re pretty tricky to capture with the camera. Time and patience are the key, as well as being in the right place at the right time. 😁

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      1. Ohh yes, I’ve tried. The other day I came home with lots of pictures, all with a tiny blue blurred spot. Guess what that little spot was, hahaa…😁

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