I was hoping to see several different butterfly species during our days in Kent but the weather was mostly against us – we had, at various times, gale-force winds, squally rain showers, and batterings of hail, and it was generally quite cool. I was quite hopeful, though, when we arrived at Cliffe Pools on our last day, as the sun came out to play and the paths were mostly enclosed by sheltering trees and low scrub. It was by sheer chance, though, that I managed to spot my first ever Green hairstreaks – two butterflies were swirling around each other, disputing territory, and I immediately realised they were something different.
Luckily, I kept an eye on them, as their camouflage is so good that they’re incredibly difficult to spot once they’ve landed on a bush.
Plus, they often do this thing where they angle their wings to one side, presumably to make themselves look even more like a leaf.
I also saw my first Wall brown butterfly for the year at Cliffe Pools – this was the species I’d seen reports of and was particularly looking for there.
At the RSPB nature reserve at Dungeness I also saw my first Small copper for 2019.
And during the rest of our trip we also saw Peacock, Brimstone, Holly blue, and some of the White species – not a lot really but, though I didn’t get the quantity I expected, we certainly saw quality butterflies.