Sunday, 24 July 2011

Aston Rowant - Butterfly blitz

A day spent chasing Butterflies out of County seemed a good idea and with four target species 'new' to the lens, even more of a reason to drive down the M40 with butterfly guru and chauffer, Rob Stokes..... a very familiar cutting through limestone meadows deep in the heart of Red Kite country - Aston Rowant nature reserve. The target species were Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White and Silver-spotted Skipper.

The only blot on the idyllic meadow landscape was the very same motorway we had just arrived from......

Unbelieveably, within 30 minutes, we had 'seen' all five targets, the next challenge was to get some decent images?

A second brood of Brimstone was on the wing and this one was caught literally on the wing!

Chalkhill Blue were really nice, fresh specimens and I must admit having waxed lyrical about other blues - the males were really beautiful the upperwing blending from blue dusted base through silver, to contrasting black edge - absolutely stunning!

The underwing shot.....

Top portrait of the session?

One or two Brown Argus were seen and the males despite being brown (whilst a true 'Blue', they come in a really vivid shade. This was the only shot of these very flighty individuals!

Dark Green Fritillary was a key target, nver likely to be easy but we managed one, possibly two individuals. Strong fliers, it was a question of taking your moment quickly - before they were gone.....

Marbled White shared the trait of being flighty but at least there were several present and reasonably fresh given the fact these were well into their flight season!

A key target was Silver spotted Skipper, not the most showy of butterflies but this is at one of their most northerly localities and a relatively short drive to see them. Despite usually feeding on stemless Thistles, I had to contend with the taller and very windblown variety. I might have to have another go at this species - one day.....

Next stop was Whitecross Green Wood and 'hopes' of Brown Hairstreak' which were destined to be dashed