My walks in Casehill Woods delivered yet another delightful surprise on Monday, this stunning male Silver-washed fritillary.
I have, in fact, been looking for these butterflies in the Dinas Powys woodlands in recent weeks as this is the closest area to where I live that Silver-washed fritillaries were last seen on a regular basis. Though they were once recorded quite frequently in Cwm George woodland, none have been reported there since 2003. It seems to my untrained eye that the trees in Cwm George have grown too tall so the area no longer provides the sunlit rides and glades, the flourishing banks of nectar-rich brambles, thistles and other wildflowers, and the quantities of its larval food plant Common dog-violet that the Silver-washed fritillary needs to thrive.
Fortunately, this particular butterfly has discovered the younger Millennium woodland area of Casehill Woods, which caters exactly to his needs. Now, let’s hope this male can attract a female so that together they can build a new local population. Fingers crossed!