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Monday, June 25, 2007

"The Large Blue"

The one photo I really wanted to get right and here is the result:
A Large Blue butterfly which was extinct in the UK in 1979 and recently reintroduced in selected sites.

By clicking on the photo it should be possible to see it full size and by scrolling to cover the picture to find the butterfly on a flower head.

At least the Thyme plant the caterpillars feed on can be seen a little more clearly!

The highly successful Green Down butterfly conservation project is a wonderful example of human activity being integrated with a wildlife nature reserve.
For the Large Blue the effect of creating a gallop for training race horses must have been worse than building the Newbury Bypass!

So the guided visit to the reserve last Saturday where I was able to watch a Large Blue laying eggs on Thyme so close I could have reached out and touched it was an exceptional experience. I had to remind myself that this was not a butterfly farm and I was standing in the middle of acres of open downland.

Our guides on the visit of the 20 or so members of our party told us a little about the almost unbelievable story of the butterflies life cycle and the conservation project.

More information can be seen at the Butterfly Conservation web site.