August 2017. High Summer. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Brown Argus



Past the peak for many species, but still quite a lot on the wing, several Purple Hairstreaks included, plus a selection of added extras, perhaps the most notable being a Marbled White 70 km north of the core area. Also seen, a few Turquoise Blues at one locality, good numbers of Chalkhill Blues in the south, a few Brown Argus and increasing numbers of Pale Clouded Yellows.





1-7 August.


Large Wall Brown



As Lithuania finally experienced something akin to proper summer weather, I spent a few days trying to find the localised Arran Brown - probably too late in the season and probably not at good localities, needless to say I didn't find any! I did however find four Large Wall Browns, individuals right at the end of their flight season.





Biggest surprise though was a completely out-of-habitat Purple Hairstreak sunning on vegetation in a clearing in an otherwise pine-dominated landscape. My 104th species of the year in Lithuania, equalling my highest ever annual total in the country! I then found another two the following day in the far more usual habitat of oak forest, typically as ever flitting high in the canopy and not exactly photogenic. One two White-letter Hairstreak at this latter locality too.


Purple Hairstreak

Spot the butterfly!


Also optimistically spent a day scouting an area for Mallow Skipper - a species only recently recorded in Lithuania.


Wall Brown


Walked a considerable section of river valley in the suitable areas and certainly found some splendid habitat - predictably no Mallow Skipper, but amongst the good selection, I did add eight Swallowtails, seven Wall Browns and  a number of Brown Argus, with Queen of Spain Fritillary and Weaver's Fritillary also seen, and of quite some note, a single Marbled White - this being my most northerly individual to date, a distance of about 70 km from the main colonisation zone.



Elsewhere, amongst quite a few species now declining in number, a number of species also on the increase, Pale Clouded Yellows and Short-tailed Blues included. Also a good scatter of Large Grizzled Skippers and another bunch of Brown Argus in the Neris Valley.



104. Purple Hairstreak



12 August. One Day Heatwave.


Hottest day of the year, 35 C, but a massive reduction in overall butterfly numbers.


Meleagers Blue


Started off at a favoured site in the southern border zone - two weeks earlier, 510 Marbled Whites at this site, 46 Meleager's Blues and many hundreds of Map Butterflies, Ringlets, Peacocks, Scarce Coppers et al. Today, a mere 14 Marbled Whites, single male and single female Meleager's Blues and a meagre four Map Butterflies, one Ringlet and dozen or so Peacocks and Scarce Coppers.



Brimstones and Small Whites remained in their hundreds, but reductions too in virtually all other species, fewer browns, fewer fritillaries, just one Swallowtail, just one Camberwell Beauty and on it went. Fast forwarding towards the end of the season.


Chalkhill Blue


Fortunately, a few species were going the other way - in a good year for them, Chalkhill Blues had increased to at least 70 at this locality, so too an increase in Common Blues (about 60 present), Small Heaths (about 25) and Small Tortoiseshells (about 35). Other species of note, a couple of Queen of Spain Fritillaries, one Reverdin's Blue and two Silver-spotted Skippers. One Large Grizzled Skipper too.


Large Grizzled Skipper


Pretty much the same picture at my next locality, Marbled Whites down from 65 to a lone single and drops of 95-99% in many other species, Peacocks, assorted fritillaries and Essex Skippers included. Again though, a slight rise in Chalkhill Blues and a notable rise in Common Blues. As at the earlier site, also a single Reverdin's Blue, a single Swallowtail and a single Camberwell Beauty.

Far too hot to be lamenting the lack of butterflies as I wandering around withered flowers and thistleheads now shedding masses of airborne seeds, I departed and headed home. Stopped aside a lack midway, two Pallas's Fritillaries a nice surprise (only my fourth this year, all the others in mid-July), plus several Red Admirals and three Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.

Recorded 36 species this day, 14 lower than two weeks earlier at the same sites.




Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 August 2017 )
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