Tag Archives: Small Heath

Three Small Heaths mating!

Three Small Heaths on a twig

Small Heaths. Photo: Richard Collier

This amazing photo appears to show three Small Heath butterflies in a menage a trois! We think it is two males and one female. Seen by Richard Collier on a walk from Corfe Castle to Swanage. June 2017.

Let us know if you have ever seen anything like this before – we’d be interested: email photos@dorsetbutterflies.com

Small Heath on Ballard Down

Small Heath sitting on a plantain head with its wings closed

Small Heath. Photo: Richard Belding

Do send us your sightings of Small Heath – they are in decline in the UK, and are categorises as High Priority for conservaiton by Butterfly Conservation.

This shot of this small but lovely butterfly was taken at Ballard Down, outside Swanage, around 24/05/2017.

Cerne Downs Walk

This event took place on Sunday 26 May and was attended by twenty-five people keen to see the chalk downland species of late spring. The first really warm weather of the butterfly season meant they were suitably rewarded during a three hour trek along the hills to the north of Cerne Abbas. Dingy Skippers and Small Heaths were there in good numbers plus an occasional Grizzled Skipper. Photographers in the party had the benefit of a fresh Green Hairstreak settling on the turf for a period of time (see picture), which was a new species for some walkers. Another welcome species appearing just once was the Small Copper. Progress along the eastern slopes produced a number of Marsh Fritillaries, indicating a widespread increase in their caterpillar foodplant: devil’s-bit scabious, in that area.

Green Hairstreak

Green Hairstreak. Photo: Colin Burningham.

Once the lowest northwest slopes were reached, the appearance of the regular colony of Duke of Burgundies on the wing was a highlight of the day (see photo). As with last year, this rare and endangered butterfly flew in records numbers, on this occasion about fifteen in total. A return to the starting point found more Marsh Fritillaries to enjoy along the sunny western slopes

Duke of Burgundy butterfly

Duke of Burgundy. Photo: Colin Varndell

Once the lowest northwest slopes were reached, the appearance of the regular colony of Duke of Burgundies on the wing was a highlight of the day (see photo). As with last year, this rare and endangered butterfly flew in records numbers, on this occasion about fifteen in total. A return to the starting point found more Marsh Fritillaries to enjoy along the sunny western slopes.