Three butterflies photographed in the reserve this weekend: a female orange tip by Sarah Gould, a speckled wood sent in by Clive Knight and the header picture, a peacock by Mike.

We love to get your photographs of the reserve, please send them in to friendsofscp@outlook.com. If you are using a camera phone, make sure that the pictures are not automatically reduced in size when you share them; we need all the pixels we can get.

Most UK butterflies spend the winter as caterpillars or pupae but there are five species that overwinter in their adult form: brimstone, comma, peacock, small tortoiseshell and red admiral, all of them present in the reserve.

All these photographs were taken in the reserve.

Butterfly rescue

At this time of year, if you find a butterfly fluttering on the inside of your window, it will probably be either a peacock (Aglais io) or a small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae). It will have come in during the autumn looking for a cool, dark and sheltered place to overwinter and the gap behind the wardrobe in your bedroom must have seemed just right.

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Rambling in the reserve

by Ian Bushell

A funny start to the day with weather totally uncertain if it wanted to rain or be bright. While it had been raining in town, in the reserve the paths and grass were quite dry.

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A comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album), so-called for the small white comma-shaped mark on underside of its hind wing.

All images take in the reserve by Clive Knight

Marbled white

The distinctive marbled white (Melanargia galathea) is common and widespread in southern England. At this time of year it chooses unimproved meadow grassland, showing a preference for purple flowers such as wild marjoram, thistles, knapweeds and red clover. The caterpillars feed on grasses particularly red fescue.

All images taken in the reserve

[1] Mating marbled whites by Ian Bushell) [2] Marbled white male by Ian Bushell [3]Marbled white feeding on red clover by Cheryl Cronnie
Header Image by Cheryl Cronnie

Conservation Status
Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
European status: Not threatened

Chasing butterflies

I have had a few early mornings in the reserve in an effort to photograph butterflies before they get too active. It has often been quite breezy, which has made it challenging to get some good images. But one morning I was fortunate to find this common blue that I was able to get reasonably close to, and during the periods when the wind briefly dropped, I was able to fire off a few shots. 

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A small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) feeding on red clover, photographed in the reserve by Ian Bushell.
Conservation priority: low.
Distribution: common and widespread.
Population trend since 1970’s – down by 7%

Speckled wood

A beautiful photograph of a speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) against a backdrop of buttercups, taken in the reserve by Cheryl Cronnie.

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