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Friday, 9 July 2021
Lake District Day 5. Fritillaries on Arnside Knott
Wednesday dawned fine and sunny and so we headed off to Arnide and The Knott for a day of butterflies. Trousers tucked into socks and long shirt sleeves pulled down to try and avoid the degradation of the ticks we set off up the steep slopes. It wasn't long effort we found or first grayling performing their usual trick of landing on the gravel paths and then instantly flopping over to absorb the sun's heat and making themselves impossible to photograph. Eventually, though one landed on some wild thyme and began nectaring and possible to photograph with the forewing displayed. Having reached to viewing point perched high above the village and estuary we enjoyed fruit cake and fruit for lunch and then I wandered looking for fritillaries. These brightly orange coloured butterflies were soon found. As I was seeing both large and small insects I am assuming that some were small pearl bordered and the larger ones dark green. High Brown's and also found here but are much more unusual. In the event I manged photographs of dark green and high brown. They are incredibly difficult to ID unless the underwing can be seen and then there is a line of red spots with a silver centre on the high brown whereas the dark green has a much more green background to the underwing. Apparently high browns have had a very good year on The Knott. Leaving Heather to finish drawing and then to wander down into Arnside, I made my way up to the summit of The Knott searching small meadows on the way. There were a lot of skippers and ringlets on the wing and one common blue along with a lot more fritillaries. Frustratingly the fritillaries rarely settled and then only briefly making photography challenging. Eventually I returned to the car and then, thankfully, tick free drove down to Arnside to find Heather and an ice cream.