Monday, 16 December 2013

Mountain Ringlet and Large Heath.

With all my latest blogs being a bit birdy I thought it was time to add a few butterflies so it's back a bit in time. Nigel Kemp has enticed me away twice now to see some of the northern species that I had never seen before. The first trip was a 2 day visit to the Lake District in July 2011. The first stop was Langdale to see the Mountain Ringlet. Leaving Sussex at around 3am we hit the Lake District around 10am on a hot sunny day. After a very steep climb we started the butterfly hunt and it wasn't too long before a tiny dark butterfly flew past. Despite reading that the Mountain Ringlet is small it was still a surprise to see how small it really was. We soon came across several more and they were pretty active in the sunshine, they generally settled deep in the undergrowth so it wasn't easy to get decent pictures of them, however, after some time we both found a few individuals that allowed some photographs.

Male Mountain Ringlet.

Female Mountain Ringlet.

After descending back down the mountain we found that the camp site we were going to stay at was full. This actually turned out to be very lucky for us as it made us head for Meathop Moss then instead of waiting for the next day. This gave us then a full day at Arnside Knott on the 2nd day. The target at Meathop Moss was the Large Heath. Despite it being late afternoon when we arrived the butterflies were easy to find and they were VERY active, settling for seconds only. Eventually I spotted a very fresh female that was getting a bit of attention from some males. In trying to hide from them she was settling a bit longer which gave us the chance we were hoping for and we both managed a few pictures of her. We then headed off for a bite to eat before going back onto site where the butterflies were still active at 9-30 in the evening!!

Female Large Heath.


  1. it was pretty chilly as the night went on, we still manage to catch a few moths in the trap, not as many as we hoped for, but nonetheless enough to show the family that had turned up for this late night trapping session. A handful of these moths were apparently new to the site, too, which made waiting around outside in the cold instead of being in bed well worth it. not sure if this is true

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