Friday, 22 May 2015

Settled Orange-tips…at last!

Bovingdon Brickworks (BMT): One of my favourite butterflies, which eluded my lens last year, is the Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines). Of all the butterflies, it is the one which has, time and time again, made me look like a complete wally. It’s had me running this way and that, round in circles, back and forth, trying to anticipate where it'll land. More often than not, it wouldn’t land, only flutter off through impenetrable scrub. On the rare occasions it did land, it was in the middle of a large Bramble patch, out of range, for less than a second. This week, I got lucky! The weather/temperature was just right on Wednesday. Warm but not sunny and, as a result, the Orange-tips were settling for longer. I would dearly have loved to capture both male and female but had to conceded defeat when it came to the female...this time.

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), male, underwing, Bovingdon Brickworks, 20/05/2015

Two males were perched together briefly on a grass. I didn’t notice the little bugs crawling down the grass head until I got home and looked at the photo. They are, I think, an immature Mirid bug species, perhaps Leptopterna dolabrata, which feeds on grasses. Anyway, they add a little something to the image, I think.

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), males & Mirid bugs, Bovingdon Brickworks, 20/05/2015

At the Brickworks yesterday, it was great to see 7+ Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) butterflies. They are having to make do with Forget-me-not and Cowslips at the moment because their preferred nectar plants (Marjoram, Ragwort and White Clover) aren’t flowering yet.

Brown Argus on Forget-me-not, Bovingdon Brickworks, 21/05/2015

Brown Argus on Forget-me-not, Bovingdon Brickworks, 21/05/2015

A particularly brown Brown Argus on Cowslip, Bovingdon Brickworks, 20/05/2015


  1. Great to get some settled male Orange tips Lucy, I'm still failing! Good work as ever!

    1. Hi Martin, they are little blighters aren't they, lol.