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WEATHER; cloudy, misty and cool to start, broken sunshine later. 

It has been almost a year since I went out birding or butterflying with my mate Guy, the butterfly whisperer! After 20 minutes with him in the car I understood why!! Ha! Only joking.

the Butterfly Whisperer getting ready to 'whisper'

He picked me up from home at 8am and we set off for Bentley Woods near Salisbury, Wiltshire in search of the Pearl Bordered Fritillary, we had made the same trip 3 years ago and we were successful then. It was dull and misty when we arrived but we were both optimistic. In fact, after a short walk from the car park we found our first specimen after just five minutes of looking.

back out together after nearly a year! 

When it is cool and dull these butterflies are not usually very active, the one we found was quite lathargic and remained stationary whilst we photographed it, the whisperer had worked his magic once again. Over the next couple of hours we saw three or four more individuals and a lot of day-flying moths. 

Pearl Bordered Fritillary

We got distracted and found ourselves watching Tree Pipits for a while, whilst Common Buzzards and Red Kites drifted overhead. A Common Cuckoo called in the distance and later came to visit us. We heard Song Thrushes, Balckcaps and Chiffchaffs singing and Great Tits and Blue Tits dashed about in the bushes.

Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit singing - we watched it perform its parachuting song-flight several times

Common Cuckoo

At midday we walked back to the car park to eat our lunch and then returned for another butterfly session. The weather improved, it got brighter, warmer and we had bouts of bright sunshine. this encouraged all manner of wildlife to emerge. We saw several other species of butterflies: Orange Tip, Brimstone, Large White, Red Admiral, Grizzled Skipper and a few Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonflies dashed about.

Broad-bodied Chaser

Speckled Yellow Moth - very common today

Argent and Sable Moth - a nationally scarce species, we were lucky to see this.

Orange Tip - picture taken by Guy

Grizzled Skipper - also taken by Guy

you can see the 'pearl-border' on the underside of the hindwing in this picture of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary

At 2pm we left the wood and headed for home, which took us 2 hours, it was Friday afternoon and the roads were very busy. It had been a lovely, relaxing, few hours, it was great to be out with my buddy again (even though he still has his 'wind' problem!!). 

Bluebell above and White-bell below