Something different from the bird life around us at the moment, These Marsh Fritillary butterflies are active about now having hibernated over winter , the Larval stage ( caterpillar and Pupae ) lasts for over 6 months.
Back off holidays and back out with the camera, But what to do ?
Back a few weeks ago i had been at the Aberbargoed grasslands , and i quote from the Caerphilly countryside website “Aberbargoed Grasslands is a National Nature Reserve Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and it is also protected as a site of European importance for the large population of Marsh Fritillary butterflies and its Purple Moor grass and rush pasture ” – so now you know !
Near the main Education Centre , there’s a small pond and lately it’s been home to a lot of Dragonflies and Damsels, this i thought would be a good starting point, i found that after two trips there , the best day was the overcast one with patches of sun , the first day was hot and the damn things couldn’t keep still ! – a bit less sun calmed them down some what.
These are a few images of the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly taken a few weeks back when the sun was trying to come out.They were taken at Aberbargoed grasslands only a couple of hundred meters away from the town center .
This is an extract taken from UK Butterflies – ” Colonies of this butterfly are known to fluctuate wildly in numbers. It may be present in some numbers one year, for the population to crash the following year before recovering as unexpectedly. This species does not do well in adverse weather conditions and also suffers greatly from larval parasitism by an Apanteles species of wasp. Unfortunately, this charming butterfly is one of our most threatened species and has suffered severe declines in recent decades.” http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk
With conditions as they are this year it will be interesting to see how they do.