On Saturday 28th May, Volunteer Coordinator and butterfly enthusiast Sarah Proud took a group of Rutland Water Nature Reserve volunteers to Ketton Quarry for the first session in a ‘Butterflies for Beginners’ course for volunteers.
After a dubious forecast, the group had wonderful weather and managed sightings of 11 different butterfly species, as well as several specimens of the day flying moth, the Burnet Companion.
Included in the butterflies was a stunning and fresh Brown Argus, which had an unusual variant that is often seen at Ketton Quarry. This male butterfly, no bigger than a 2p coin, had white smudges on its forewings, similar to those seen on the Northern Brown Argus which is found in the highlands of Scotland!
In addition to this the group enjoyed views of Common Blue, Green Hairstreak, Brimstone, Large White, Orange-Tip, Small Heath, Holly Blue, Peacock and the rarely spotted Dingy and Grizzled Skippers! The walk was finished with and examination of the holes left by the larvae of Hornet Moths in some local poplar trees, an emergence that should start again this June.
The next walk for volunteers is in June, when there should be even more species of butterfly on the wing. Hopefully we have fired up a passion for lepidoptera that will continue for a few more people!