Tag Archives: Small Copper

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.