Not having seen wall brown butterflies for several years and inspired by the report of a friend who had seen 11, I set off on a warm, but blustery afternoon for a walk around Covenham Reservoir. Wind was not to be my main worry as the showery forecast appeared to be coming true as looming in the north west were battalions of storm clouds. Fortunately the main squadrons passed by just to the north shedding their cargo of rain as they went. As well as being the harbinger of squalls and showers the north westerly winds provided amazingly clear and and sharp atmospheric conditions, the world seemingly freshly painted. Views from high up on the reservoir walls were expansive; out to the coast and inland to the Lincolnshire Wolds with familiar Stock Furlong Wood prominent on the western skyline. The rich orange and green-grey lichens were an absolute picture while, on the steep reservoir banks, drifts of rich, buttery birdsfoot trefoil were busy with feeding bees. Gulls were hanging in the strong wind and gangs of swifts flew, screeching overhead. I recorded 19 bird species, but my main aim of the afternoon was to look for butterflies. I was delighted to find 4 wall browns but they were challenging to photograph to say the least. I also found 11 common blue butterflies, easier to photograph and just as pleasing as I had not seen so many for a few years. I had begun to think of them as uncommon blues. One each of large white, small white and male orange tip put in appearances whilst 3 painted lady's graced my afternoon. I managed the complete circuit without a drop of rain.
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