Butterflies bring blue beauty to hill

An adonis blue butterfly on horseshoe vetch. Photograph by Andy Horton
An adonis blue butterfly on horseshoe vetch. Photograph by Andy Horton

THIS adonis blue butterfly is making the most of the horseshoe vetch on Mill Hill, Shoreham.

Although not as luxuriant as the best years, the expanse was flowering at its peak on the lower slopes when Andy Horton took this photographe on June 3.

“The yellow patches could be seen from a distance across the the other side of the wide valley,” he said. “In the intermittent sunshine under the fluffy cumulus clouds, butterflies fluttered amongst the yellow flowers, notably the male adonis blues in their first of two broods.”

Mill Hill Local Nature Reserve is nationally renowned for its blue butterflies and comes alive with the flutterings in the warmer months, with at least 24 different species to be seen during the year.

“This medium-sized butterfly is only found on the chalk hills in the south-east of England,” added Andy.

“I counted 79 in the 1.2 acre transect on Mill Hill in half an hour, all the bright blue males apart from three of the brown females.”