Buxton Heath Blues

Plebejus argus

Photographing some of the more common butterflies around my village in 2016 I thought it would be nice to seek out some of Norfolk’s scarcer species.  A bit of research and in June I decided on Silver Studded Blues at Buxton Heath.



There are only a few sites in Norfolk this dainty little butterfly can be found, they are very slow in colonising, not willing to fly more than a few hundred yards from where they emerge, because of this they have been re-introduced to other suitable areas, even at Buxton they are not found over all the Heath.



If the weather has been favourable it is best to go early in the flight season, this is mid June to July/August.  It is then the males are in the best condition, in 2017 I did not manage to go until mid July, they were then past their best.



Buxton Heath is also well known for it’s population of Keeled Skimmer Dragonflies.  This is a scarce species in the County restricted to just a handful of sites, however I have found far more at Holt Lowes.



If you wish to see the Silver Studded Blues here are some directions.  Take the Holt road B1149 from Norwich heading north, pass the Marsham Arms PH  and take the second turning right (east) signposted ‘the heath’.  The car park is reached by turning left opposite the first cottages.  To find the blues, from the car park walk north through the woods to the first track on your right in the heather, they will be from here northwards.



















In 2018 I found a small colony of Silver Studded Blues closer to home at East Ruston Common.  Armed with the new Sigma 105 macro I captured some very nice images.

male silver studded blue
Male Silver Studded Blue
silver studded blue underwing
Silver Studded Blue underwing


female silver studded blue searching for egg laying site
Female Silver Studded Blue searching for egg laying site
Male Silver Studded Blue 2017
Green Veined White, a common butterfly but a nice sight on these brambles
bss DSC_0232a
Female Silver Studded Blue, Buxton Heath 2017
This stunning male Silver Studded blue is so fresh the wings still have a wet, oily sheen.  East Ruston 2018
Sparkling! The underwing of the Silver Studded Blue. The name derives from the small metallic marks in the outer row of black spots.  East Ruston 2018
Starting a new generation. The female (the browner one on the left) has beautifully marked silver studs on the outer edge of the wing.  East Ruston 2018
The newly hatched Silver Studded Blue inflates it’s crumpled wings.  East Ruston 2018
This male was the deepest of blues and surprisingly not on the heather. East Ruston 2020
The female is small and delicate it is also brown not blue.  East Ruston 2020
The male Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) East Ruston 2020


8 thoughts on “Buxton Heath Blues

  1. Hi. I’m not sure if this post is still live but I am heading to Buxton Heath very soon in search of SSB’s. Is the direction you are referring to parallel with the road to Holt or following the road that you turn off to the car park? Excuse my vagueness, I have never been before and I’m rather good at getting lost haha. Tina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tina, not sure which direction you will be coming from but keep on the B1149 if from Norwich pass the Marsham Arms PH (on your right) and take the minor road on the right, there is a small signpost saying the heath, the entrance to the car park is about 100yds on the left, good hunting!


      1. That’s great, thanks. It’s after that I get a bit stuck though too. I fear I may head in the wrong direction to see the Silver Studded Blues haha. Not sure which side of the car park I need to head out from when on foot? T


      2. There is a gate right by the car park (which is quite small) which leads straight out onto the heath ignore this! You need to go through the woods keeping the heath on your right, when you do eventually come out on the heath after a couple of hundred yards head for the woods ahead of you, the SSB’s will be from the first cross track in the heather onwards, if you follow the path to the woods then turn right there is also a big number along here, you’ll not have any trouble finding them (weather permitting) don’t leave it too late in the month as they soon fade in colour.


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