The recent blast of hot weather appears to have been great for butterflies. In addition to the swarms of small blue butterflies we have across the reserve, we have just seen several marsh fritillaries in a couple of fields bordering Porton Down.
This is a new reserve record and one of our hit list of iconic chalk grassland butterflies in the management plan that we are trying to create new habitat for at Winterbourne Downs. Amazing to see them amongst the flowers with small heaths, 5-spot burnet moths, burnet companions, small and common blues and grizzled skippers in fields that were once a monoculture of food crops just a few years ago. Let's hope some will lay eggs on the scabiouses here and set up a new colony on the reserve.
We are also getting a few records of migrant Painted Lady butterflies and hummingbird hawkmoths, and would love to hear what else is around this summer.