Tuesday, 23 September 2014

More Coppers than Blues.

My patch walk today at Epsom Common was fairly quiet bird wise. Two Grey Herons on the Great Pond; one hiding in the margins and one (above) slowly wandering out into the open water.

Also logged the usual Mallard and Moorhen. At least four juvenile Chiffchaff were seen flitting through the waterside willows gleaning insects plus Robin and Blue Tit in the woods. Out on the grassland I saw the usual corvids; Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie plus several Jays and disturbed a noisy Green Woodpecker while watching a Kestrel being harassed by two Crows. Three House Martins were also busily chasing insects high overhead.

Apart from a few Speckled Woods on the wing I located several Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). These very tiny but delightful flutters were initially very mobile but I eventually located one at rest in an area that had recently been frequented by the cattle that are drafted in every summer to help manage this habitat. Fortunately they have now departed but evidence of their prior activities is everywhere!

While photographing this individual (above) and trying to be careful where I knelt I noticed another brighter specimen close by with slightly different markings.

The very distinctive row of blue spots on the hindwing indicate that this is the fairly common variation known as caeruleopunctata.

The only other butterfly seen was a solitary Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) that was extremely evasive as it searched constantly for nectar over a wide area with very few sources still in flower.  FAB.


  1. the butterflies are gorgeous, but that opening heron shot is lovely!

  2. Pretty heron shot and I love all the butterflies. The last one is my favorite, I love the color blue!

  3. That Common Blue is not common in my book, Frank!...:)JP

  4. Your butterfly shots are second to none and I love the Heron shot as well

  5. How majestic the heron is......

    Good to see the small copper again..............I thought I saw one in the garden yesterday on the fleabane. It flew away before I could id it...........I am hopeful.

    No blues here................it has been a very disappointing year for butterflies in the garden.
    They have been around but not in any great numbers. Sad :(

  6. Wonderful pictures of butterflies :-). Good work, Frank!
    All the best!

  7. Lovely shot of the Heron Frank.
    People don't understand the danger and perils we photographers have to encounter in the pursuit of our quarry...lol!
    Those blue spots seem to add a even more beauty to what is already a stunning little butterfly...[;o)

  8. Nog steeds prachtige vlinders,Frank.

  9. Lovely photos of the butterflies!

  10. beautiful images Frank. Still love the common blue, wish I could see one.

  11. Such a nice variety of shots! :-))

  12. Great shots of the Small Copper Frank.
    I do wish you would share some of this speicies around.{:))

  13. Your butterflies are beautiful, and I always love seeing photos of Herons. Nice work, FAB!


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