So, what on earth could this lens be looking at? You guessed the location correctly… out in the open. Out in the fields. Actually, to be more exact it was out along the edges of a peat harvesting area somewhere in the Bog of Alan.
Some of the land has been left to recover as best it can. This has resulted in grasses and various clovers establishing a foothold again. I even spotted bog cotton off in the distance. Let’s hope other bog plants like leathers and heaths will return sooner than later. OK, back to the story. What on earth are these sages mulling about? Out along the verges of the peat bog? Are they on an orienteering expedition or are the out on a big boy’s bonding stroll?
No, it’s rather less sinister or challenging that. All this activity took place last Saturday when I attended a field walk hosted by the good folk of Bird Watch Ireland’s Kildare branch and Butterfly Conservation Ireland. The quest was planned for sightings of a very particular butterfly. The Small Skipper.
This butterfly first made an appearance in this Irish location five or six years ago. A few of the knowledgeable folk on the walk suggested that even though the exact explanation as to how they arrived is not known it is none-the-less suspected that eggs or larvae were imported in horse feed.
Apparently, Small and Essex Skippers were seen when the discovery of the new colony was made but seemingly the Essex cousins didn’t like Kildare much and moved down to the seaside in Wexford where they are now resident. OK, that’s my version of events. We encountered a number of the small lads and lasses and by all accounts the population is doing well.
Before I leave you… this was a first sighting for yours truly… another Irish specie crossed off the list. If I keep at knocking them off at this rate I’ll account for all the Irish butterfly residents within a few summers… I hope!