I have a new favourite field, only discovered in recent months while I’ve been exploring new, less crowded, local footpaths for my exercise walks, and it’s exciting discovering, as the season progresses, what is living in this field. As I emerged from woodland into the field yesterday, a little burst of orange flashed across in front of my feet, and I knew immediately this was my first Large skipper of the year.
Despite their bright colouring, I find skippers are very good at disappearing in plain sight, so I took a couple of steps back, got my camera ready and waited. Less than 60 seconds had passed before the skipper bounced up from the long grass where it had been resting and flitted down on to the path again.
A second male then entered the territory of the first and they spiralled up into the air briefly, before separating and returning to their own patches, spat over.
I lingered a while to watch both butterflies, flying, perching, feeding, before I continued my walk. And to my delight, I found yet another male further along the track, so I assume ‘my’ field is home to a small but healthy colony of Large skippers. I’m already looking forward to seeing them again when next I walk that way.