On the fly

After a slow start this spring is looking very promising for our local Butterflies.

Mid April and we’ve already seen Orange Tips, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, Peacocks, Brimstone’s and Speckled Woods.  With the wall to wall sunshine photographing them has proved slightly more challenging. Ideally a bit of cloud cover would be useful as the butterflies will then rest up and spread their wings to catch the heat of sun.

There’s also the challenge of the coronavirus restrictions. I’m a little unsure that carrying around a DSLR plus 300mm lens can count as the 1 hr exercise we’re all allowed. Just glad after many years of watching nature I’ve become an expert at social distancing.

The superb, cryptic camouflage found on the underwing of the male Orange Tip.

A more typical view as this one prepares to bask in the warmth of the spring sunshine.

Wild Cherry – one of the highlights of the local woodlands. This one was planted several years ago on the edge of the local Orchard in memory of a faithful old friend.

Orange Tip on Cuckoo flower/Lady’s Smock.

With Lady’s Smock being relatively common across the Mersey Valley this appears to be the 1st choice in food plants. The female Orange Tip lays her eggs directly into the flower with the young caterpillars emerging inside the safety of the seedpod to enjoy a meal of nutritious seeds.

A Peacock Butterfly nectaring on apple blossom. The tattered and torn hind wings suggest its overwintered before emerging to lay eggs on the local Nettles.

Another male Orange Tip – and why not ……….. 🙂


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