Sunday, 21 June 2009

Meet the Browns

Let's have some butterflies for a change. We were gardening yesterday and these two Meadow Browns came and joined us, like robins. They're the first I've seen this year and they look newly-hatched with that soft, light fringe to their wings still intact. As Prof Edmund Ford discovered, when he studied the species intently in the Scillies, Meadow Browns are home lovers, and our pair didn't stray more than 15 yards from the patch of long grass, buttercups and vetch where they live. Having said that, one was caught at the Royal Sovereign light vessel, seven miles out to sea off Eastbourne.

They tend to fold their wings if they sense a large person approaching with a Canon Ixus, and I had despaired of getting a picture of one sunning itself with its wings wide open. But Lo! I was just heading back in with my spade and trowel for tea, when I saw this one. It was so well-behaved that I thought it might have gone to sleep. Eventually I tickled it with a plantain and off it went. We've had Speckled Woods out too and should be getting Ringlets soon.

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