The weather wasn’t ideal for my visit to Aberbargoed grasslands today, with little sun and a fresh breeze, but I thought I’d give it a try as the rest of the week is looking little better – in fact, it’s looking downright miserable, with rain forecast most days. To see butterflies, you really need sunshine and warmth.
Moaning aside, as you can tell from my photos, I did manage to find some Marsh fritillaries – I counted at least 25, some of which were already looking a little worn from their flying about, bumping into plants, and their interactions with others of their kind.
What I was really hoping to find were Small pearl-bordered fritillaries, as they’ve been seen at this site in the past week and they would have been a new sighting for me for the year. And I did see some – two, perhaps three – but they were either distant or flying rapidly past. They did, however, look much more orange in flight than the Marsh frits and their flight pattern was different. Luckily, I managed to grab one photo, with both a Small pearl-bordered fritillary and a Marsh fritillary on the same flower. It’s a heavy crop but I still like it.