For a young 15 year old lad, today a dream came true. As the saying goes – Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, especially over the Chilterns on Sunday 11th August 2013. Elliott (ELS) has been photographing butterflies since he was six years old and by the age of eleven, he had seen all the regular British species. One of his ambitions since then has been to photograph all of the regular British Butterflies and to-day he finally did it. The one butterfly that had been eluding him for over two years was the Clouded Yellow. A difficult species to see in Britain, let alone photograph. Fortunately, we stumbled across one or two at the National Nature Reserve of Aston Rowant in Oxfordshire and Elliott's dream became a reality.
The weather on arrival was grey & overcast with some breeze, not really what we wanted, but things soon changed for the better. During the day we saw 26 species of butterfly, a truely Red Letter day and only the second time we have ever achieved this total in a day. We visited just two sites and at Aston Rowant we had 19 species. It was simply stunning to see so many butterflies skimming over the flower rich meadows of this Chiltern Reserve. The recent hot weather seems to have turned the tables for our butterflies and so let us hope that their numbers begin to improve and species return to healthy populations once more.
Well done Elliott, keep up the interest in your photography and in Butterflies, there is lots more to see and photograph and many more years ahead to enjoy this wonderful hobby.. Also thanks to mum and dad for a great day out…
A Silver Lining over the Chilterns – Tony Davison©
The chalk rich meadows of Aston Rowant hold a rich population of some rare and localised species of British Butterfly. August is really the last butterfly month and Silver-spotted Skipper and Chalkhill Blue are at their best at this time of the year. With a few unexpected Clouded Yellow zapping about and showing off their distinctive mustard yellow and black wing pattern, it was a special day.
Above four images – Silver-spotted Skipper – Tony Davison©
Above three images – Chalkhill Blue – male – Tony Davison©
Above two images – Chalkhill Blue – female – Tony Davison©
Above two images – Clouded Yellow – Aston Rowant – Tony Davison©
Small Copper – Aston Rowant – Tony Davison©
Small Heath – Aston Rowant – Tony Davison©
We finished our day at another Oxfordshire Butterfly reserve that is a special place for the rare Brown Hairstreak. Here we saw a further seven species including Brown Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral.
Brown Hairstreak – female – Often the first view one gets of this species as it basks in the sun, high up in the tree canopy. – Tony Davison©
Brown Hairstreak – male – With patience and a little luck, one can get rewards – Tony Davison©
Southern Hawker – Tony Davison© – Many hundreds of dragons flying about this afternoon.