Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Devon Butterflies July 2017 - Silver Studded Blues & Fritillaries etc

Wednesday 12th July and a visit to the pebbled heaths of Devon in the hope of seeing the Silver Studded Blue. We have never been to this collection of heaths before which sit above the Exmouth and Sidmouth area. A cloudy start but eventually the sun broke through across the beautiful heathland. 
We started our search at Bicton Common which looked stunning with its bonnie purple Heather starting to come out. Our path took us to the top of a ridge where we spotted some flighty Dark Green Fritillaries and Large Skippers
We also got a great views of a Redpoll several Sand Martins, Hobby, Stonechats, Green Woodpecker, Dartford Warblers and heard a Yellowhammer.
It wasn't until the early afternoon with a stronger bit of sun that we got our first sighting of a S S Blue, a female and wow, I didn't realise it's such a small butterfly. We found a few more females and a couple of males in the Heath and grasses. Just so pleased to have seen a S S Blue another lifer in a beautiful location.  We will return to to this lovely location a little earlier next year to catch the Silver Studded Blue at its finest! 
Friday14th July and a visit to Ashclyst Forest near Exeter to hopefully find a few Silver Washed Fritillaries. Once again a cloudy start but the sun soon broke free to light and warm up the woodland glades. We followed the purple trail ( as recommend by Phil @fled1000) which was brimming with Fritillaries from start to finish. It is hard to describe just how many of these beautiful woodland 'gliders' there were, it seemed there were hundreds! Along the trail we found a buddlea bush and not only Fritillaries were present but many Peacock, Red Admirals and a few rather worn White Admirals. Also seen on the trail were Ringlet, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Green veined White, Comma & Speckled Wood.
After leaving the forest we just had to return to Bicton Common to get one last look at a Silver Studded Blue and yes we found a few despite the very strong breeze.

   Silver Studded Blue 


   S S Blue a little worn and faded

                   Female S S Blue

                   Male S S Blue


                  Silver Washed Fritillary- Ashclyst Forest

                   Typical pose of Silver Washed

                   White Admiral


   3 Fritillaries on the Buddlea! 

                   S W Fritillary, Peacock and a Red Admiral

    Hi Ho Silver!




                 What a beauty! 


   Large Skipper

             Silver Studded Blue - female




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