Buxton Heath (23rd June 2012)


Got one




it's a female



Mandy Gluth from Butterfly Conservation had given a talk to a Aylsham Wildlife Society meeting explaining about the introduction and ongoing preservation of the Silver Studded Blue butterflies in Norfolk, and having heard all about this fascinating project we really had to go and see for ourselves. So on June 23rd we met up with Alan and Chris Dawson – transect officers for the BC in Norfolk - at Buxton Heath to begin our search. Alan and Chris are passionate about the heath and these little butterflies, but were very worried we wouldn’t see any because so far it has been a very bad year. Whereas in previous years we might have seen numerous flying about, this year they had only seen 4!

Covered up to avoid ticks, and with instructions to ignore the ponies, we set off across this specially managed heath and on the very first transect the cry went up – we’ve found one! Nestled in amongst the heather was a newly emerged male who obliged us by remaining put to be photographed. Most were amazed at how small this butterfly was. We were tutored in the difference between this and the common blue – it’s all about the under wing – and so we confidently set off in search of more. The heath management team has a constant battle against encroaching birch and bracken and signs were there of recent management, but also the resulting perfect habitat for these little butterflies. Further on two more males flew up and landed again for our delight and then as we passed over a stile into the wooded edge area Chris, walking through the heather, came out with a female conveniently perched on his trousers! The silver studs on her under wing were plain to see.

The weather was kind to us after all the recent rain, and we had a wonderful morning. We learnt all about the heath, and not only the silver studded blues, but all the other plants, animals, and insects. Finally we were rewarded by splendid views of a cuckoo that perched on a post out in the open about 30 metres away from the parking lot. What a cracking end to the morning!

Thank you so much to Alan and Chris Dawson for all their expertise and enthusiasm.

Back to Reports page