Friday 31 May 2019

The Foxy Emperor.

The title is of course the common name for the magnificent Two-tailed Pasha.I feel it is always a privilege to encounter this beautiful butterfly and to date I can still count on the fingers of one hand the number of times this has happened.
Last week in Greece another of those wonderful moments occurred when my wife shouted to me that she had a butterfly on her head.She had just walked out of the pool and had felt it land.The natural reaction was to waft it away and that she did,but it was determined to get its sustenance and returned to nectar on the skin and a wet swimsuit.We finally managed to get the butterfly to take an interest in the dampness by the side of the pool where it happily stayed until it had had its fill.The Pasha then flew away into the olive grove.

Thursday 30 May 2019

A Spot of Luck.

The Greek Island of Meganisi is reached via the tourist port of Nydri on Lefkada.So a short ferry ride back to Nydri to spend a short time in and around the town is easy and provides an opportunity to see the local butterflies.
A common species here in Greece and in Europe is the Spotted Fritillary.This female was seen enjoying the clover which proved very lucky for me.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Now a Greek Garden Visitor.

The Geranium Bronze butterfly has spread from the western Mediterranean since it was introduced into Europe apparently via imported pelargonium plants from South Africa. When in Greece I now keep an eye out for this butterfly around any geranium plants there may be in the garden of our holiday accommodation.My last Greek encounter with the Geranium Bronze is described in an earlier post. Not surprisingly there were several pelargonium plants in the garden of our villa on Meganisi last week and it was not long before they were paid a visit by this butterfly.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Butterflies on Meganisi.

In fact, butterflies encountered within a short distance of our accommodation within a stones throw of the clifftop village of Spartachori.The Island of Meganisi is situated close to Lefkada in the Ionian Islands off the west coast of mainland Greece.The surrounding landscape is one of massive limestone boulders incorporated into small 'paddocks' where there are stone walls and olive trees.The very rural conditions are supplemented by goats,chickens, and the odd cow.Butterflies are numerous and can be observed flying through the rock strewn groves and along the narrow country lanes and tracks.
The village of Spartachori is perched on a cliff overlooking the bay of Spilia.It is a very traditional and pretty village with narrow streets and picturesque houses.It is also an excellent place to see butterflies.They are attracted to the colourful flowers that cascade from the walls and buildings.The Southern Comma pictured below was seen basking in the warm on a paved street.
Other butterflies recorded in and out of the village were Eastern Dappled White,Painted Lady,Southern White Admiral,Cleopatra,Southern Swallowtail,Clouded Yellow,Scarce Swallowtail,Two-tailed Pasha,Geranium Bronze,Lulworth Skipper,Brown Argus,Wall , and a Large Tortoiseshell observed outside our villa and settling just long enough to be identified before flying on up the lane.

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Large Skipper on the Wing.

It was a very pleasant surprise today to see a Large Skipper feeding on vetch in a field near to Cowes on the Isle of Wight.This record is almost a month ahead of any of my previous sightings for this species in the last eight years.

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Butterflies Back on the Landslip.

Despite the cool wind that has blown for a few days now the butterflies on our landslip have found those sheltered places where they can enjoy the sun and nectar on the abundance of spring flowers.Today the list of sightings at Compton Chine included at least ten Glanville Fritillaries with a mating pair,three male Common Blue, four Green Hairstreaks,a Dingy Skipper, a Small Copper,and two Small Heath.
Back at Afton Down Chalk pit which overlooks the chine there were several Small Blue.