Duking In A Gale

Today (9th May) I started off at Rewell Wood, where I hoped to confirm that the Pearl-bordered Fritillary has finally started to emerge, particularly as I'm running a guided walk here this coming Sunday (12th May). I was mightily relieved to spot a freshly emerged male quite quickly. I then received a phone call from Mark Colvin, who had found a male Duke of Burgundy in a nearby woodland on the Norfolk Estate. It wasn't keen on flying in the strong, cool breeze, so it kindly waited for 30 minutes while I drove there. In fact it was so docile that I picked it up for a good close look at my equal favourite butterfly (image by MC).

I then headed off to Heyshott Escarpment where the emergence is well underway. The wind was now very strong and increasing, conditions which the Duke of Burgundy hates. Despite this I managed to locate 4 very fresh males, all showing that lovely blue lustre which typifies a newly minted Duke. These were the only butterflies brave enough to be out on the slopes. Sadly we are due for more of the same weather over the next few days, and that's likely to keep their heads down.


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