Small Copper Butterflies on Downing Point
As I said in an earlier post, the hot dry summer produces some winners and some losers in the natural world, and one of the winners this year has been a small butterfly, the Small Copper, that in years past used to be a common sight everywhere.
It was in December 2015 that P7 children from Donibristle Primary cleared an area of gorse from the rocky headland that leads to Downing Point.
One of the plants that benefited was Sheep’s Sorrel and while it did suffer from the lack of rain this year, it continued to survive and stay green.
This plant is one of the food-plants for the caterpillars of the Small Copper butterfly and it was a delight, two days ago, to see a couple of these diminutive jewels flying around the Wild Thyme up near the gun emplacements, suggesting that we have a small but thriving colony of these butterflies in the area under our care. They may now have a more secure future thanks to the P7's work.
They have two generations per year so keep an eye out for them in early June, and again, as now, in late August early September. The one in the photo is feeding on flowers of Ragwort.