Thursday, 1 July 2010
A while ago as a Shropshire Wildlife member I received an information leaflet of 2010 events - this prompted me to write the following entry in my diary for June/ July ( Silver Studded Blue Butterfly - best time to see Prees Heath)
The reserve is on a large common that was a Second World War airfield. A major restoration project is reinstating heathland and grassland across most of the site.
The old airfield runway runs down the middle of the reserve and the control tower is still standing.
Butterfly Conservation bought the reserve in 2006 - supported by various societies including Shropshire Wildlife, more information can be found on the Butterfly Conservation web site.
Two things triggered our visit off today - a visit to the Shropshire County Show and a talk to a member on the Shropshire Wildlife Stand and the acquiring of another leaflet and my diary entry.
So in the middle of decorating we downed tools and made our way to Prees Heath Common to catch a glimpse (we hoped) of the Silver Studded Blue Butterfly.
The site is quite easy to find - full directions being on the web site. We arrived , parked up ,and away to go ,excitement mounted straight away because the reserve has markers displaying a large blue butterfly leading you in the right direction.
Lo and behold in amongst the bushes and wild flowers was our first silver studded blue butterfly. I was expecting something a little larger , after viewing the markers ! but they have equisite markings, the male is bright blue and the female is darker.
Apparently ( according to the leaflet) which can be downloaded from the site - they mate - lay their eggs on the low lying plants - the eggs hatch in the Spring and the caterpillars feed on the new growth.
The site is also home to many plants and wildlife - one of the plants is the Pyramid Orchid - seen today.
It was so peaceful just to stand and watch the clouds of blue butterfles flitting from one bush to another - I felt I wanted to share the experience with you. I shall certainly visit this site again