Marsh Fritillaries in Lincolnshire

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Stunning marsh fritillary

 

The second part of my 2017 quest to see new butterflies took me north.  The species I wanted to see was marsh fritillary.  This butterfly has a rapidly declining population with colonies in the south and west of the country.  However there is a re-introduced colony at Chambers Farm Wood near Wragby Lincolnshire.

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Beautiful underwing

 

 

So on the 23rd of May I headed across the Fens and then up to Lincoln.  Weather conditions were warm and mostly sunny, perfect conditions.

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Male marsh fritillary

 

I met another enthusiast in the car park and we walked to the area in the woods where the frits can be found.  This is little scrubb’s meadow.  Boggy underfoot with a profusion of plants and especially devil’s-bit scabious, the food plant of the caterpillars.

 

It was obvious we were onto something special as everywhere you looked fritillaries could be seen, possibly well over a hundred.  The males darting here and there chasing likely mates, females heavy with eggs hardly able to fly and by mid-day the activity quietened down.  Several mating couples were then observed.

 

This is a day that will stick in the memory for a long time, such beautiful butterflies, let’s hope the populations grow again now conservation work is being carried out.

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Making new marsh fritillaries

 

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