|I'd been looking out for Crosswort so it was amazing to|
see the first Duke of Burgundy resting on a patch of it!
We went for a walk around there, for a while, with no luck, but then we realised that we were looking in the wrong place! A helpful volunteer from the park luckily happened to be parked next to us and told us exactly where to try looking. So, now feeling a bit more hopeful, we set off up a little hill to the spot we were told about. It was late in the season and late in the day so the helpful volunteer said we'd be lucky to spot the butterfly. Well, thankfully we were lucky and we managed to find the beautiful Duke of Burgundy Butterfly! It was a lovely butterfly to see and well worth the trip.
But why is it so special? Well here are a few facts:
- It's quite a small butterfly with a wingspan of about 3cm.
|Resting on a fern after having chased off another male|
- It is one of the rarest butterflies in the UK and also one of the most rapidly declining UK species suffering substantial declines over the last 3 decades.
- Since the 1970's this butterfly`s population has decreased by 52%. It is a high conservation priority species.
- There are still a few places to see them. Where I saw them (in certain areas in the moors), is the most northerly place you'll see them. You can see them in a few spots in the south of the lake district but the main places to see them in Bedfordshire, Kent, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
- They typically live in woodland areas, and because of woodlands being cut back, there are now only 20 sites where they live.
- As a sun loving butterfly it likes warm sheltered places especially clearings in ancient woodlands but it also likes limestone or chalk scrubby grassland.
|This slightly ragged one was chased off|
- They used to be called the 'Mr Vernon's Small Fritillary', and this is quite apt as they do look quite like a fritillary.
- They are small with mainly brown wings with many orange spots on the edges of their wings.
- The adults will only live for about five days!
- Males will sit in sunny spots guarding a territory chasing off other males - they fly really fast for something so small and light. Females tend to hide away looking for places to lay eggs.
- She'll be looking for primroses and cowslips which are the main foodplants of the caterpillars.
|And then went off to these flowers.|
- I read that they're not frequent visitors to flowers so I was maybe lucky to get this last shot.
Just a little last note to say sorry I've not been able to blog very often, I've been busy with school work and a few projects, one of which I'll be writing about soon.
Hope you enjoyed,