Mark has sent us these two photos taken yesterday, 09/08/2020 at Higher Hyde Heath which provide an excellent comparison between these two species – a Grayling and a Wall Brown. Both seem to be making use of the abundant heather flowers. Great to be able to compare these two side by side.
Two more photos sent in by Donald with details of his afternoon on Portland:
After the B.C. work party at Broadcroft quarry on Thursday, 06/08/2020, in the late afternoon a few of us went to the Western coast path near the Bowers quarry to look for Chalkhill Blues, there were hundreds flying around. We were told about their amazing life cycle with the ant protecting the egg and caterpillars.
We also saw one Grayling on bare stone trying hard to minimise its shadow. I also saw one lonely Marbled white looking a bit tatty and not flying much.
It’s so lovely to share the butterfly experience with others and learn from them.
A photo taken 31/07/2020 sent in by Lyn with the following very relevant message:
I attach a photo of a Grayling seen near where we live in Winfrith. I’ve left it uncropped to show how good the camouflage is, but the real point of sending in the photo is to urge people to go not just to known butterfly hot spots, but to look around near where they live. We have decided to record in the nine kilometre squares around our house this year, and have already found two lovely little areas. The first is only just across the A352 from where we live and is just a track between fields, but it turned up 15 species; the other is where we saw the Grayling and is an area belonging to the Weld Estate which they have made “Open access” not far from the Countryman pub; it looks like they are turning an area into heath, so we’ll have to keep an eye on its progress over the next few years.
Editor’s Note: I would very much like to reinforce Lyn’s message – there are butterflies to be found in many relatively unexplored parts of Dorset for which BC has few records and you never know what interesting butterflies and potential sites you may find. The butterfly hot spots of places like Alner’s Gorse, Portland, Higher Hyde Heath and Durlston etc are incredible sites to visit particularly when looking for a specific species or just a quick butterfly fix but if you are just a bit more adventurous and prepared to go off piste who knows what you may find. Wherever you go stay safe and follow the countryside code.
Two photos from Shona sent to us with these comments:
Higher Hyde Heath this morning, 26/07/2020 was well worth the visit. I saw four Wall Browns, all male, and two of them posed for photos (unlike the ones I had previously met at Ulwell and Ballard Down). I was about to leave the Heath when something odd flew past me, which turned out to be this mating pair of Graylings – yes, there really are two butterflies in the photo; it took me a while to find them!
A lovely image of a Grayling from Caroline – taken at Holt Heath on 17/07/2020. The Grayling is one of those butterflies that almost invariably settles with the wings closed.
Harold sent us this photo telling us:
In an hour in my Sandford garden this morning, 12/07/2020 I saw 9 species including 5 Peacocks, my first Gatekeeper and this Grayling on an Allium. This takes me up to 20 species for the year one short of my record.
Shona sent in this photo telling us:
While on Portland yesterday, 06/07/2020 I visited Tout Quarry, and saw this male Grayling nectaring on Buddleia. The Graylings were very active when the sun was shining, apparently vanishing when it clouded over, and becoming active again as soon as the sun reappeared.
Two more photos from John sent in with the following comments:
A quick afternoon outing down to Morden Bog this afternoon, 05/07/2020 searching for Graylings resulted in these beauties and a worthwhile trip. The heath was very windy and I had to search in amongst the tree line to find where they were hiding.
Lynda sent us this photo of a Grayling she spotted at RSPB Arne on 15/06/2020 adding that it was constantly vibrating its wings so it may have been freshly emerged. This is a butterfly with great camouflage which almost always settles with its wings closed so this is a great photo to have. Lynda also commented that she thought it was a bit early and it is – last year the first recorded sighting of one sent to Dorset BC was on 27/06/2019.
Lyn describes this as a lovely memory from August, finding the first Grayling on the transect she had seen for a long time. Taken at Tadnoll DWT Reserve on 21/08/2019.
What amazing camouflage!