I arrived at the car park at about 9.40 am , temperature was already 25 degrees! here is the info sign in car park.
taking the low path , and why not i thought ,since i hadn't a clue where to go anyhow. heading to the lower slopes near to the motorway , coming out into the sunshine into a meadow i could see butterflies everywhere! amazing to see, it was quite breezy as usual but on this steep hillside was going to be a real pain to photograph anything.
almost immediately i spotted my first ever Chalkhill Blue flying past amongst the long grass :) talking to a local i was told the Silver Spotted Skippers are numerous half way up the slope. so making my way up the steep slope it wasn't long before seeing my first ever, two new species in less than 10 minutes Yay!. here is my first one :)
here is the view , completely different to the usual places i visit , no mountains lol and apart from where i am, very flat!
eventually i managed to get close to a silver , they were very hyper active in the heat , this is going to be a long hot day i thought, especially having to chase butterflies up and down this slope! Arghh
The Chalkhill blues were all looking a little tatty unfortunately , this one isn't too bad , perched on what looks like a ground thistle, which are all over the slopes and are really spiky on the arms while lying down to shoot the butterflies! itchy, itchy lol
top wing shot , a little wing damage though!
For the next couple hours , i chased them all over this dam hillside , the heat was unbearable and the skippers just wouldn't stay still. the only time they did was when a male was following a female and the pair sat for fairly long periods. here are a few shots of a couple of "courting pairs" :D
Around mid day it was baking hot, too hot to chase all over the place so i sat down near a patch of flowers and waited ! managed to shoot firstly a rather nice Chalkhill blue , then a Silver :)
Then , i noticed a strange looking fly feeding . looked like a hover fly so managed a few ok ish shots. it has since been identified as Stratiomys potamida male (Banded General) - which is Nationally Scarce.
and a Harvestman spider , i always have trouble shooting these , legs are too long! but really like this image :)
Any way , back to the butterflies :) it is soooo hot climbing up and down this hill! to hot! a quick shot of a Brown Argus , a tiny butterfly . i have shot the Northern Brown Argus at Arnside Knott which is a separate species.
i got lucky , as usual and managed to shoot a silver spotted skipper on my finger , so tiny :)
and a few Chalkhill blue shots , female first , then a male.
Love these seed heads, no idea what they are though!
and a crab spider patiently waiting for a meal :D
while chasing a "courting couple" lol i managed to find this Silver Spotted Skipper appearing to be laying eggs , had to lie flat on ground to get this low level shot :)
then a Meadow Brown, it has been a very good year for this species almost everywhere in the country , while most other species have declined.
the steep slopes were covered in tiny Hairbells , sooooo pretty
Finally i managed a single skipper on a seed head :)
my final image is a female Chalkhill Blue, appears different in colour to all the others i have seen today.
the end of a rather uncomfortable days shooting , just tooooo hot for shooting butterflys , and for hill running lol. but to see two new species that i havnt seen before it was well worth it:) this will probably be one of the last butterfly trips of the year, only Brown Hairstreak left to shoot now.
its so sad the season is nearly over :(
all images shot with canon 5d2 and 100mm L macro