Saturday, 17 July 2010

Prees Heath - Silver studded Blues

Look on any distribution map and you will see just how rare and 'local', the Silver-studded Blue butterfly has become. Prees Heath is now the only colony remaining in the Midlands and the only known location now for ssp masseyi of this species (Plebius argus). A complex habitat relationship with ants is essential for survival and the site is now managed by SWT in the hope of continued survival. They have been on the wing for a while now and some were looking a little worn / tatty but a few presentable specimens were posing nicely on the heather or gorse....

Males are a deep iridescent blue with a broad black border against the white fringe to the upperwings.....








Underwing detail.....






Females are brown, again glowing with iridescence in the sunlight. Orange spots at the wing edges.....








The underwing detail, with the silver studs (light blue actually) showing nicely!








Back to birds then, another Hobby was seen over the heath. The final destination was a barley field off the A41 between Whitchurch and Tern Hill. Friends ringing on Whixall Moss had alerted us to a Quail calling earlier in the week, plus a possible Blue-headed Wagtail.....

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