The butterfly season certainly took a while to get going this year. It was just into May when some of our early species appeared and it is a great time of year with the whole summer to look forward to. On the 4th of May I went to Castle Hill hoping for some butterflies but had to make do with a few Early Spider Orchids instead.
The following day I was sitting in the garden when I spotted a Holly Blue landing on some ivy at the bottom of the garden. When it hadn't taken off after a short while I decided to run upstairs and grab the camera. When I returned I was surprised to see it was still there and it was actually basking in the sun with its wings wide open. This is quite unusual with Holly Blues and became one of my pictures of the year. It only allowed one grab picture before it was up and away. The dark margins on the forewing show this to be a female.
A walk to Cradle Valley the following day brought a pair of mating Green Veined Whites.
Then on the 9th May I found my first Green Hairstreak of the year, one of my favourite species and certainly my favourite family of butterflies. Early season Green Hairstreaks have a lovely sheen to them which they soon lose. These butterflies had a dreadful year in 2012 but there were some signs of recovery this year although local numbers were still poor compared to pre 2012.