A little help please, down in the field this evening spud and I disturbed some little black butterflies, they had distinctive white tips to their wings. I’ve never seen them before, or maybe I haven’t been looking. The photos are rubbish, but here goes, publish and be dammed.
As Spud the dog charged through the meadow grass (whilst carrying his pet watering can, see below)
about 15 or so butterflies would rise up into the air, unfortunately when they landed again, they went well down into the grass. The only way I could try to get decent images was by trying to look down, from directly above, they then immediately took flight again.
These images are the best of a bad bunch.
The nearest thing I could find in my books and on the net were Ringlet butterflies Aphantropus hyperantus but I’m not convinced I’ve got that right as the distribution looked as though it was further south than around here.
Thanks to a tip off from Suzanne (see comments below) I now believe this is a chimney sweeper moth rather than a butterfly
This unmistakeable but nationally scarce black moth with a white fringe has an unusual foodplant – pignut. This plant is widespread in Cumbria and has a brown edible tuber with a nutty taste. Don’t grub it out though as it is a declining species of grazed pasture and waysides. Both sexes fly in sunshine during June and early July.
And we do indeed have pignuts growing in the field.