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I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a day than to enjoy a lovely catch up with my friend Shar while wandering around a grasslands reserve looking for butterflies. Having a second pair of sharp eyes was also a bonus as the weather was quite dull, the butterflies few and mostly inactive. Still, we managed some good close sightings of Small pearl-bordered fritillaries (Boloria selene), a butterfly that thrives in the damp grassland habitat of Aberbargoed Grasslands NNR and, though one of the reserve’s largest fields was burnt recently, there are promising signs that both the violets required for this butterfly’s larvae and the thistles, bramble and bugle that provide food for the adults have survived the fire. Let’s hope both the plants and the butterflies bounce back from what could so easily have been a truly tragic event.

220616 small pearl-bordered fritillary