With a single Long tailed Blue seen earlier in the year at Shuart and the news that they have bred at Kingsdown, I met up with Julian Perry where we hatched a plan to have a look ourselves to see if any had bred at Shuart, near Reculver. It was a long shot but we hoped that maybe the single seen this year there may have not been the only one. We arrived along the embankment having seen 1 Small Heath and a few Speckled Wood and began walking west along the embankment checking the everlasting pea plants as we walked. There is still quite a bit of this in flower along the embankment so we hoped one such group would host a butterfly. As we walked we saw 1 tatty female Common Blue and we met up with Derek Smith who joined in the search. We checked each group of flower in turn when a small butterfly was seen flying past us and eventually come to rest near the pea plant. Surely not, but as I raised my binoculars there was a pristine male Long tailed Blue. We all got onto it and took a few shots through the foliage before it flew off and vanished. We carried on west until I picked out the butterfly again but this time it flew down to the pea plant only to be chased back up again by another Long tailed Blue. We saw it again a few times but unlike Kingsdown yesterday, photos were much harder to obtain but nevertheless I had seen a Long tailed Blue on the patch, magic. With the time moving on we said our good byes to Derek and Julian and I returned back along the embankment when as we nearly got to the crossing we had another fly past us, 3 Long tailed Blue at Reculver, great stuff and nice to know they successfully bred in the area. There were also a few Whites seen as well as 2 Red Admiral and 2 Comma. Its nice when a plan works out and I wonder how many others are out there in amongst the pea plants in Kent!
Male Long tailed Blue