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If it is possible to have a favourite butterfly (are they not all gorgeous in their own way?), then my new favourite butterfly is the Marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia). I spotted my first just nine days ago, at Martin Down National Nature Reserve in Hampshire, and then saw nine more last Tuesday at the Aberbargoed Grasslands Nature Reserve here in south Wales. And today I returned to Aberbargoed and spent three wonderful hours wandering the grasslands, feasting my eyes on these magnificent creatures. Pure bliss!

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