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WEATHER: overcast with rain showers, some sunny spells. Max Temp 17C

During the Covid Years of 2020/21 Guy and myself went searching for the Glanville Fritillary. In June and July 2021 we made two epic journeys and one fairly easy journey, we failed to see the butterfly all three times. If you remember the blogs I was cursing Guy for marching me up hill and down dale, almost killing me in the process and all for nothing, we were either in the wrong place or the right place at the wrong time. We even dragged Dawn with us to the Isles of Wight and missed them there!

the track on Compton Down showing the grassy bank on the right (note the cloudy conditions) 

Since then Guy has found where they are in Dorset and today, despite the wind and rain he promised me that they would be on show. Guy picked me up at 9am and we drove to Compton Down near Shaftsbury in Dorset, very near to the small aerodrome on the steep sided downs. He marched me downhill for about 1/2 mile, it started to rain, just great!! It was windy too, not great conditions for butterfly watching?

Heath Spotted Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

However, it was a quick shower and within minutes patches of blue sky appeared. We noted several Orchids on the way down, Heath Spotted and Pyramidal Orchids and one other I couldn't identify. When we got to the designated area, a steep south-facing grassy bank full of wild flowers the sun came out and so did the GLANVILLE FRITILLARY. Guy found one within two minutes and then another, it was UK lifer for me and the last Fritillary for my UK list. 

 The Glanville Fritillary - seen at last after years of searching!!

I re-instated Guy's accolade of Buttertfly Whisperer and he responded with a loud noise coming from his rear-end as he bent over to take another picture!! I not sure whether the butterfly he was photographing died of gaseous poisoning or natural causes, I suspect the former.

The Butterfly Whisperer at work - I don't how he gets so close to them!

you can see the subject that Guy is photographing - a Glanville Fritillary - I think this is the one he gassed to death!!

Other butterflies on the wing were: Brimstone, Green-veined White, Small Blue, Brown Argus, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Meadow Brown and Small Heath.

Speckled Wood

Dingy Skipper

Green Veined White

We then walked back up the hill and turned onto a small track that led us to a style and into another meadow, we were looking for Adonis Blue and Marsh Fritillary. Guy and a friend of his, Sharon walked a lower path and I took the high road. The clouds got darker and the wind picked up, I wasn't sure that we would see another butterfly today. I saw Tree Pipit, Common Whitethroat, Stonechat, Red Kite, Common Buzzard and Raven during my walk but not a single butterfly. 

Common Whitethroat just about visible

Tree Pipit

female Stonechat


Guy and Sharon found two Marsh Fritillaries and not a lot else. At that point we finished our search and walked back up to the car park. Along the way the sun came back out and we watched Yellowhammers, Red Kites and Ravens, we also heard Skylarks somewhere over the downs. After eating our meagre lunch supplies we drove back to my house.