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I think I picked the hottest day of the year so far to head to the top of the Aberbargoed coal spoil tip to look for Graylings but it was worth every drop of perspiration to spend time with these gorgeous butterflies.

220708 grayling (1)

I hadn’t realised before yesterday how territorial Graylings are. They are so well disguised that it’s almost impossible to see them so, as I wandered carefully across the slope of coal spoil, they would fly up almost from under my feet. Then they would land, I’d try to get close for a photo, and they would immediately flit up and around, buzzing me, even landing on me (my shoes twice, see the image below), as if saying ‘this is my place, you’re not welcome’. It wasn’t just the intrusive human they were bombarding – they were defending their territories against each other too. Fascinating to watch.

220708 grayling (2)