An unusual shot of the underside of a Marsh Fritillary taken at Compton Down on 24/05/2019 . What an amazing face!
Following Mark Pike’s comment that Compton Down was awash with butterflies, I went up there yesterday morning (24.05). I got there early, so watched the Down come alive as it warmed up.
The Adonis Blues were too numerous to count, there must have been well over 100!
I saw at least 8 mating pairs, and saw males flying while mating, so the females (with wings closed) were towed around backwards behind them!
Mark reports that he had a few hours at Compton Down (North Dorset) and found it “awash with butterflies” including this Marsh Fritillary: a “nice dark coloured specimen”.
The Small Blues are just out. Mark spotted this one at Compton Down (North Dorset) on 07/05/2019. They have also been seen at Fontmell Down, not far from Compton Down, and 16 were counted on the Weymouth Relief Road cutting.
They are tiny butterflies, appearing a silver-grey colour in flight. They are quite rare, but became more widespread in Dorset between 2010 and 2014. Nationally, they have reduced in abundance.
Mark says: Thought you might like these couple of pics of a superbly fresh Marsh Fritillary taken today (10/05/17) on Compton Down. Had me running up and down the darned hillside for a few hours but eventually nailed the blighter!
Dave says: “Considering Holly Blues were quite scarce last summer its great to see them almost everywhere around North Dorset . This pair were seen at Compton Down [on 19/04/2017] along with several Green Hairstreak and plenty of Speckled Wood. However across the valley on Fontmell Down it appears worryingly lifeless within the boundaries of the fencing. Only a few Grizzled Skippers seen and hardly any nectar sources plus cattle grazing still going on ! Outside the boundaries plenty of cowslip, daisy and hawkweeds . Hope it rapidly improves “.
What a lovely combination of colours: a bright green moth on a bright pink flower. Or to be more precise, a Forester moth on a Pyramidal Orchid, June 11th, taken at Compton Down on 11 June. A rare moth, so Gordon did well to catch this shot.
Another one which got missed, but is well worth a look. Mating Dingy Skippers, taken by Gordon Cryer on 22 May on Compton Down.
An interesting pose, caught at Compton Down on 4 June. Dingy Skippers will take this position when they are settling down for the night, and you can see why, from the marvellous camouflage this gives the butterfly.
A gorgeous pair of Small Blue butterflies, taken at Compton Down chalk pit on 25/05/15.