30 Days Wild – Day 3

I called in at a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust site on my way home from site survey to see whether the butterfly orchids were yet in flower. I found several spikes where the first flowers were opening, but they’ll be at their peak over the next couple of weeks so I’ll be back to see them in their full splendour!

It is an almost universal truth that a trip to a Nature Reserve is never in vain. Most sites have something which makes them particularly exciting, and provides the main reason for a visit – the orchids being the big draw in this case. Whether or not you find the thing you’re visiting for, you will invariably find so many other distractions along the way which make the trip worth while. These little common blue (Polyommatus icarus) butterflies provided just such a treat on this occasion. The overcast weather meant they were moving slowly and allowed me to get close enough to watch them feeding on the bird’s foot trefoil – a favourite food plant of the blues along with the grizzled and dingy skippers which were also on the site.

Common blue drinking deep from the nectar of a bird’s foot trefoil flower
Common blue butterfly showing off it’s coiled proboscis which extends to drink from the flower and curls up conveniently when not in use!
Common blue butterfly resting on a closed buttercup flower – these butterflies often rest on flowers and grasses with their wings folded or open when basking