Thursday 7 June 2012

Butterflies and Bluebells: Ryton Woods

In 2011 and 2010 I visited Ryton Woods in Warwickshire in mid to late May and on both occasions I was impressed with the variety of insect life that I was able to photograph. In mid May this year I again visited Ryton Woods but was disappointed to find that the woods and butterfly meadow had the look, and feel, of mid March rather than mid May. The grass in the meadow had yet to grow and the butterflies' foodplants, such as Bird's Foot Trefoil, had yet to flower. Not surprisingly there were very few insects around. In total I saw only 4 butterflies - a single Green Hairstreak, a single Grizzled Skipper, a Small Copper disappearing into the distance and an Orange Tip, again at some distance.

However, the cool conditions did at least mean that I was able to improve my existing images of Green Hairstreaks and any shots of the Grizzled Skipper were a bonus as this was a species that I had not previously photographed. Also, the bluebells were in full bloom and were an impressive spectacle.

The Green Hairstreak appeared to be very territorial and was sticking close to an area of brambles and a patch of bluebells. I returned to this area several times during my visit and on each occasion the butterfly was perched on the brambles or actually on the bluebells.


The Grizzled Skipper was quite approachable until the sun came out, at which point it would invariably take to the air. Luckily the sunny spells were few and far between and so I was able to get reasonably close to it.

and finally, a couple of shots of the bluebells;

All in all, not quite the productive trip that I had hoped for but I did come away with one or two images that I was quite pleased with.


  1. Lovely shots Matt, especially the first Green Hairstreak and the third Grizzled Skipper.

  2. thanks very much for your comments Pip and Oscar.

  3. A very good set of images, Matt. Agree with Oscar re the third Grizzled Skipper.