Home arrow 2017 Diary, Butterflies arrow June 2017. Time of the Specials.
June 2017. Time of the Specials. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Moving into high season, June is a superb month in Lithuania, some of the country's most special butterflies appearing on the wing. Already in the first days of the month, species seen included Clouded Apollo, Marsh Fritillary, Glanville Fritillary, Green-underside Blue and Baltic Grayling.

 

 

New Butterflies. 1-3 June.

Quite some time I have been searching for two particular species in Lithuania, both being rather scarce and localised. Needless to say, to find both within a couple of days of each other was very pleasing!

Both in the country's Red Data Book, the species in question were Marsh Fritillary and Green-underside Blue, the first a rare occupant of scattered wetlands, the second a species mostly restricted to grassland edges in south Lithuania. I had seen neither in the country, though I had seen Marsh Fritillary in Latvia in 2016.

 

Marsh Fritlliary.

A small marsh in eastern Lithuania, barely a few hundred metres across, this little wetland is a place I have visited several times this season. Not only special for Violet Coppers, two seen on this visit, but also for a number of other interesting butterflies all due to fly in the coming days. Today's highlight was Marsh Fritillaries, at least 15 active, mostly in a damp area of transition habitat. Splendid butterflies indeed!

The same general area should also support Bog Fritillary and both Large and Scarce Heaths ...failed to find any however, probably still some days too early. Other butterflies present though did include an early Red Admiral, a Northern Chequered Skipper, several Speckled Woods and, in meadows nearby, Short-tailed Blue, a late Holly Blue and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

 

Green-underside Blue.

A chilly 10 C early on, the bright sun doing little to warm the day. Checked several areas in the Marcinkonys area from 9.00 am, but even an hour later than this the temperature had only risen a couple of degrees, quite a breeze not helping either! Predictably relatively few butterflies in the conditons, but sheltered patches did harbour a healthy number of Brown Arguses (at least 15), plus a couple of Grizzled Skippers. A few Common Blues on the wing, plus one Little Blue, but certainly no Green-underside Blues.

Checked another possible site a little later, failed again, the main rewards here being Swallowtail and Queen of Spain Fritillary. Next stop Cepkaliai – idea was to look for Bog Fritillary, another zero show, perhaps still a few days early. Did find a couple of Baltic Graylings though, plus four Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and one Chequered Skipper.

Deciding I was not going to find Green-underside Blue, I gave up on the pine forests and associated meadow and headed to a favoured area right in the far south of the country. Turned out to be a good move, there were stacks of butterflies, starting with a Glanville Fritillary active in flower meadows, always a very good species to find. However, what I was not ready for was what I found next - wandering along a sunny track, forest to one side, meadow to the other, quite a number of blues were flitting around. Some clearly Common Blues, but then some 'different' ones caught my eye ...and as soon as one landed, my eyes were feasting on no less than a Green-underside Blue! And then there were more! And more! The entire forest edge was full of them, dozens and dozens attending flowers - in a mere 750 metre stretch, I estimated a minumum of 65 present, almost all males.

Quite stunning, I had been hoping to perhaps find two or three if I was lucky, but now I had whole flocks of them! So, rounding the day off at another site, adding Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries amongst others, I returned home most content, 26 species seen, a few real crackers amongst them.

 

BALTIC YEAR LIST

  • 44. Marsh Fritillary
  • 45. Glanville Fritillary
  • 46. Green-underside Blue

 


Last Updated ( Monday, 05 June 2017 )
 
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