Bird's Eye View of Bute

Dark Green Fritillary

(1) Dark Green Frit
(1) Dark Green Frit
(2) Dark Green Frit
(2) Dark Green Frit
(3) D.G.Frit
(3) D.G.Frit
(4) D.G. Frit
(4) D.G. Frit
(5) D.G.Frit
(5) D.G.Frit
(6) D.G.Frit with Small Tort
(6) D.G.Frit with Small Tort
(7) D.G.Frit with Small Tort
(7) D.G.Frit with Small Tort

 

 


The Dark Green Fritillary Butterfly
This year (2012) has been a very good year for me for catching and photographing wildlife, mainly Butterflies and Moths, and purchasing a large net for doing so has increased the amount that I do catch compared to previous years.

 

In the colder weather, butterflies are very lethargic and can be picked up very easily, and if you hold them in cupped hands for a couple of minutes they will open their wings and stay put on your hand for a while enjoying the heat from your hands, then fly off. In the warmer and sunnier weather it is a different kettle of fish, as they are full of energy and can fly like the clappers making catching them very difficult. This is where that net came in to its own, but chasing a butterfly or daytime flying moth over rough ground, or ground with very long grass and hidden obstacles has its drawbacks, and more than once I end up flat on the ground, which is not much fun if you have a couple of cameras round your neck plus a heavy backpack. Another problem is that if they are flying across from you they are easy to follow, but if flying away and are level with your eyes they become practically invisible, and just disappear.
It is not really a big problem as there could be many of that species about, and it will be just a matter of time that you will come across another.
The one that you see was filmed by me near Kingarth Golf Course, and at first I did not have a clue as to what it was. I knew that it was a Fritillary, but which one, as from the top view that are all very alike, and you have to get a view of their under wing to correctly identify them. Well, I did not have my net with me on that day as there had been a few showers earlier on, and a wet net is no good at all as it affects the markings of what you are catching making identification well-nigh impossible. So I got images of it on Creeping Thistle enjoying a meal of nectar along with Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies. It was then I realised that I had something very different in front of me, but I could only see the top wings, then it flew on to the long grass beside me and allowed me to get really close and use my close –up camera (macro) and got some lovely images, but I still had to get to the under wings, so I caught it with my right hand. Transferred it to my left and got a perfect Image of it’s under wings, then released it unharmed , thus making identification easy once I got home and consulted my book, and also sent the images to Glyn the moth man who in turn sends them to The mainland Butterfly man, so all in all a perfect catch.

I think that there must be something in that nectar on the Creeping Thistle, that makes them easy to catch

sometimes, something like 40 % proof?
It was not a first for Bute, only for me and I have had more that you will see and read about soon.

Norrie Mulholland.
First Published in the Buteman 03-08-2012


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