Tag Archives: Cerne Abbas

Marsh Fritillary eggs at Cerne Abbas

Large number of orange eggs underneath a leaf.

Eggs of the Marsh Fritillary. Photo: Dave Law

Dave says this was one of quite a few egg batches found on various Dorset sites, which is hopefully good news for future generations of the butterfly. The eggs will hatch into caterpillars, which hibernate over the winter, to then form chrysalises and emerge as the adult butterfly in May the following year.

Dave took the picture at Cerne Abbas on 12/06/2017

Duke of Burgundy under close surveillance

Very small butterfly being loomed over by a large camera lens

Duke of Burgundy. Photo: Malcolm Wemyss

Malcolm helped out at our butterfly identification day and found himself in competition for taking this photo, which give a great idea of how small the butterfly is. He reports the butterfly was exceptionally docile and remained for a long time, to the benefit of all the students.

ID Day a sell-out

A number of people seated, some being helped by people leaning over their shoulders
People at the identification day. Photo: Georgie Laing

We hold an annual training course in butterfly identification, which particularly looks at the can-be-hard-to-tell apart families, like the whites or the blues. This year’s took place on 27 May in Cerne Abbas and was, as usual, a sell-out, with 23 people attending.

The day, run by volunteers of the Dorset Branch of Butterfly Conservation, looks not just at identification, but also how to survey and record butterflies.

In the morning, attendees learnt the techniques of butterfly identification. In the afternoon, when the sun fortunately came out, they went out to practice their new knowledge in the butterfly-rich location of the Cerne Giant. There was great excitement when, as well as adult butterflies of various species, a Marsh Fritillary chysalis was spotted.

Our thanks to James Gould (who said he enjoyed the day, especially the cakes!) for the following photos.

Marsh Fritillary butterfly with open wings

Marsh Fritillary. Photo: James Gould.

Chunky crysalis, cream with yellow and black markings, held by silk onto a leaf

Marsh Fritillary chrysalis. Photo: James Gould.


Duke of Burgundy Cerne

Pair of butterflies, side view, clinging to a seed head on a stalk

Duke of Burgundy mating pair. Photo: James Gould

I went on the Dorset butterfly walk this Sunday 15th May at Giant Hill, Cerne Abbas and these photos were two of the highlights. A mating pair of Duke of Burgundy and a Grizzled and Dingy Skipper posing together.

Two small brown butterflies in among grass

Grizzled (on left) and Dingy Skippers. Photo James Gould