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Upton Towans Nature Reserve – Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Thursday evening 28th June 2012

At least it isn’t raining. Dull and windy, and not warm. Dull is not bad for photographing butterflies but the wind is a problem and it would be nice for it to be warmer, after all we are practically in July. We are at a nature reserve in Upton Towans between Hayle and Godrevy on the Cornish Coast. The nature reserve is on the site of a former dynamite works and consists mainly of sand dunes. We are here to photograph the silver studded blue butterfly. By the time we get here they are all bedded down for the night.

silver studded blue – male

silver studded blue on wild privet

We didn’t arrive till 7.30pm and the light quickly deterioated. It is very frustrating trying to take photos of butterflies when it is windy. There was a gorgeous display of nodding thistles and wonderful shows of viper’s bugloss (not to be confused with the rare purple viper’s bugloss – see my post on 21st June)

nodding thistle

viper’s bugloss

A couple of us came back Saturday afternoon and managed to get a few shots of the butterflies with their wings open, but if anything it was even windier than Thursday evening and the sunny conditions were not conducive to capturing the marvelous colours. So here are a few more photos. The butterflies are small with a wingspan of just over an inch.

silver studded blues showing wings open and closes

silver studded blue on wild privet (wings open)

silver studded blue – female

silver studded blues flirting

pyramidal orchid

The butterflies confine themselves to a small area and are situated not too far from the car park. The area has lots of lovely wild flowers including the popular orchids. We walk on the dynamite trail on what was once tramlines towards the sea where the reserve obviously becomes much sandier and we have to take cover as we see the storm approaching us from out at sea.

storm approaching over the dunes at Upton Towans


2 responses

  1. Beautiful images, particularly the butterfly shots; Superb colours!

    July 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

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