Duke of Burgundy are one of the rarer species of butterfly that grace the chalk grassland in our area. Indeed, they are of sufficient interest that a group of volunteers have been diligently counting their number since they first started to emerge a few weeks ago.
Now they are coming to the end of their season, it is time to search the cowslip leaves upon which their caterpillars feed, in the hope of finding evidence of the next generation. Volunteers and staff learnt to identify the particular type of holes made by the Duke of Burgundy larvae. Tiny eggs laid by the female butterflies were also identified, along with the larvae themselves.
As an absolute beginner, I found this type of surveying a fascinating, challenging and a delight. Particularly as we spent the morning amongst some of the most beautiful countryside on the estate, surrounded by wild flowers and being serenaded by glorious bird song.
Posted on behalf of Roz. Picture taken by Rikki.