Chalkhill Blue: (female) So when I got asked to assist in some invertebrate surveys in Norfolk I made plans to visit the famous Devils Dyke right opposite Newmarket Racecourse.
This archaeological treasure is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as it is a haven for wildflowers, butterflies and a range of grassland insects come spring and summer.
(female underwing) The area sits between two very different ecosystems, one a rich peaty fenland and the other a chalk escarpment. The chalk and clay earth make a unique habitat for wildlife, including flowers, birds and butterflies, including the Chalkhill Blue.
(male underwing) Almost as soon as I arrived on the ridge I was confronted by dozens of blues of which almost all were Chalkhill Blues fluttering about the wildflowers.
Common Blue: (male) Another blue butterfly which was fluttering about on the ridge was the Common Blue.
(common blue male underwing) Although these butterflies are similar to the Chalkhill Blue you can see the darker blue of the common in flight, which catches your eye.
Chalkhill Blue: As I left the site and the sun came out and temperatures went up, even more blues were on the wing and I saw plenty of Chalkhill Blues mating on the tops of the flowers and grasses that carpet this ancient and excellent little place to visit.