Male and female Orangetips
Our son turned 18 today [18 days not years] and we managed to get out for a family walk around Courtyard Farm near Ringstead, this is an organic farm with a progressive access policy and a great place for a walk. I hoped that as well as enjoying some time together as a family outside of the house, we would also see some butterflies drawn out by the spring sunshine.
Although quite windy we were able to plot a route that took us along a lane and round a patch of woodland known as Wharton's Belt. As we walked up the lane and got out of the wind we started to see butterflies, with Green Veined White's feeding on flowers on the edge of the lane, lots of Holly Blue's had emerged and were feeding on the white blossom of Hawthorns. A tatty Peacock appeared, presumably an overwintering insect. Splendid new buttercup yellow Brimstone's flew past and Speckled Woods sunbathed. One of my favourite butterflies the Orangetip was on the wing, this pretty little insect only flies for a month or so each spring and is always worth seeing, it is though on of the more active of our native butterflies and I wasn't able to get a particularly brilliant shot of one today.
The highlight though was a single Green Hairstreak that stopped very briefly on a Hawthorn, I have seen this well camouflaged butterfly here before, but not in last years terrible wet and cold summer so it was good to see that they are still present.
Less expected than the butterflies here was a calling Tawny Owl in the middle of the afternoon and a couple of 'boxing' Brown Hares.