Sunday, 23 May 2010

Small Blue Butterflies, Sussex Downs

Taking a break from my pile of college assignments yesterday afternoon, I went for a walk on the West Sussex Downs not far from home in the hot sunshine, in search of some reported rare butterflies. Only a few minutes into my walk and I was lying flat on my stomach in the chalk, face to face with this miniature beautiful creature - A Small Blue butterfly (below).

As I watched I observed some interesting behaviour. One of the butterflies had settled at the edge of a shallow stream which runs across the path here, only an inch or so deep, and appeared to be collecting minerals from the wet rocks. It wandered about carefully, ensuring its wings didn't get wet by staying away from the deeper areas of water, touching the pebbles with its 'tongue' as it would a flower when searching for nectar. I have heard of other larger species of butterflies doing a similar thing with mud, animal droppings, and even human sweat, but hadn't had the chance to study this behaviour myself until now.

I also spotted this fascinating Crab Spider which seemed not to have noticed that it's once yellow Dandelion flower had now turned to seeds that were about to blow away!

Please remember - all photos published in good faith. Copyright © S-May 2010. Please do not copy or use any photos or words from this blog without permission.

Woods Mill, Sussex Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

Pictures taken at Woods Mill whilst listening to Nightingales