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I’ve been melting in this week’s heatwave but it’s been a wonderful week for butterflies: on Monday, a long-lost Small heath, on Wednesday my first Painted Lady of the year, and yesterday two Essex skippers.

200626 essex skipper (1)

I went early to Grangemoor Park to avoid the worst of the heat but it was already roasting, and the skippers, Large and Small, were scooting around the grasses and wildflowers so rapidly that I couldn’t get many photos. Then, along one path, two skippers flew up, one disappeared but the other found a perch and stayed there, most patiently, while I quietly edged my way around in front of it to check what I suspected from the rear view. And, bingo, black-tipped antennae – an Essex skipper.

200626 essex skipper (2)

A second path, an almost perfect repeat performance, a second Essex skipper. I do find these gorgeous little skippers will remain on a perch when they find one to their liking, which is extremely convenient for getting photos to confirm their identities.