Back to the Heath

Since moving to town some of my old haunts are now a few miles further to drive to.  Because of this (and the forever on-going renovations) I have not visited them as much as I used to or as much as I would like to.  Mid-week, before the mini heat wave hit, I dropped in on the (now not so) local heath to see if the Silver-studded Blues (Plebejus argus) had started to emerge, they had!

On the purple heather flowers these lovely and fresh butterflies made for some nice colourful images.  When the sun was hidden by cloud they would temporarily ‘roost’ in the long grass.  I found them quite easy to spot even though there were only no more than ten on the wing.  Here’s a little sequence of shots I took as one got active again.

I have featured this species before in the past so will not bore you by repeating various facts.  Just a couple of things for anyone new to the blog.  The name is derived from reflective metallic scales in the outer row of black spots on the under hind wing, some adults lack these.  The upper wing of the female is not blue but brown with orange spotting (lunules) on the outer edge.

Two other species were seen for the first time this year.  The Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) Which is the UK’s most widespread and commonest butterfly.  Also spotted was a Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) which really isn’t that large.

Female Meadow Brown in the wooded area on the edge of the heath
Large Skipper

Nice to return to a favourite site and watch the comings and goings.  Must get back home, another room to refurbish.

45 thoughts on “Back to the Heath

  1. Lovely photos of these beautiful butterflies!!!

    I did not know you had moved. I may have been too busy moving myself. 😁 Wish you good luck with your new home, once it is finished with renovation and refurbishment. I know how it is, a mixture of joy and a lot of work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been almost two years now Anita, time really does fly! We have been taking it steady but the pandemic didn’t help as getting materials and experts in proved difficult.


  2. What a satisfying collection of splendid photographs!

    I’m jealous you managed a great shot of that Blue actually showing its “blue”! My experience has been those guys are reluctant to show off their upper side.

    The Meadow Brown may be common but it certainly is attractive.

    Just laying eyes on that skipper makes me dizzy! I didn’t know one could become dizzy while on your knees, but scrambling in the grass after a nervous skipper certainly made me disoriented.

    Very happy you made the visit back to the heath and even happier you shared the results!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Skippers can certainly give you the runaround, this one was no exception!
      I found with blue butterflies they will open their wings just as the sun emerges and sometimes just as it clouds over. When active they tend to keep them shut, so it’s a case of finding one and waiting!
      Thanks for dropping by Wally.


  3. Wow, I think I saw some of those blue butterflies on a recent trip to Alaska! I could see the blue wings fluttering around, but never could get a good photo of them, and nothing with the wings open. They were beautiful! These are lovely photos you have here, thank you for sharing! 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

  4. She was once very large the family of the blues. There was once. Many of them are already on our “Red List”. Arable toxins and lack of habitats are the most common reasons for their decline. I was able to observe the bird vetch photographed by the blue in the poor meadows of the Nollen ( flat dunes ) in the north of Holland .
    You have very nice photos in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Said it once, will say it again, those Silver-studded Blues are absolutely gorgeous. Probably a the top of the list of Butters you have introduced me to over the years. Nice job getting those in the tin B!

    Liked by 1 person

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