Beating the end-of-summer blues

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 6 October 2013 20:39

I went to Seaford Head on a whim with Rachael today looking for Long-tailed Blues. We didn't see any, but we did see lots of butterflies for the time of year being Clouded Yellow, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Small Heath, Small White, Common Blue and Speckled Wood. Nice to see but not really that surprising considering the Indian summer. So as the last of the warm weather faded, I resigned myself to dipping out on Long-tailed Blue in the best year I have ever known for this species. How many more years would go by before I'd get this chance again? Despondent and hungry, we headed off for Sunday dinner...

...what happened next happened so quickly I could barely believe my eyes. Upon leaving Seaford I spotted a couple of men at the top of a south facing road verge with cameras. I recognised one of them by the back of their head as Neil Hulme and instantly realised he must be looking at a Long-tailed Blue! So I pulled in, grabbed my bag and ran up the slope straight up to my first ever Long-tailed Blue!!! Before I knew it, TWO males were flying around my head fighting. What an incredible experience!

Several hours later after our roast, I realised I had left my camera on the bank so we headed back. Neil and co. were still there and Neil told me that he had seen seven males in total making this not only the site with the most in Sussex, but probably the site with the most LTB's in the UK!
I didn't bother trying to get a photo with my Coolpix as Neil offered to send me one of his shots, which was great, thanks Neil. I did manage to get a photo of the back of Neil's head though, which leads me seamlessly on to my parting comment. Always learn to identify naturalists by the back of their heads, you never know when you'll need to!

3 Response to "Beating the end-of-summer blues"

Gibster Says:

Neil told me he's growing dreadlocks over the winter period. Can you imagine...a naturalist with dreads!!!! ;) Well done on the Long-awited Blues.

Jo Wadsworth Says:

Hi Graeme,

I'm the web editor at The Argus. An embargoed story about Long Tailed Blues being spotted in Sussex has just come over from Press Association, and I'm putting it on the site tomorrow. I will be linking to this blog and quoting you - and you may also be quoted in the print edition tomorrow too.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Hi Jo, I look forward to reading about the blues in the Argus. They have been turning up all over the place but sightings will tail off when the cold weather sets in.

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