Last Saturday we moved to an other valley with the hope to find a lot of alpine butterfly species. Unfortunately this valley is extremely suffering from the drought and although at day hundreds of butterflies are flying, I miss a lot of species.
The erebia's, grizzled skippers, scarce coppers and chalkhill blues are doing it very well. Thanx to a lot of erebia species I hit the 100 species!
During my visits to this valley in 2020 and 2021 I found the Silvery Argus....for me a special species and fortunately I found them regularly early in the morning. Although we have since almost four weeks blue skies, high temperatures without clouds and a lot of wind in the morning, I was happy to catch one male Silvery Argus with open wings just at the moment a very small cloud causes soft light:
For the first time cloudy weather is forecasted for tomorrow so I'm curious what I will find on the last day. A nice 'dessert' would be welcome!
Unfortunately, our third week in the Aosta - Gran Paradiso region went by too fast; tomorrow we will move to another place/valley. It was a week of high temperatures and very active butterflies. Fortunately we had some rain two days ago and slowly the meadows are transforming from brown into green again.
From a Social Media friend, which I met last week in this region, I received a spot in this valley of the Meleager's Blue. I visited this spot a few times with the hope to find a roosting female but I 'only' found males:
Because of the high temperatures they were active and creating some shadow over them was too much asked; only one male was a bit cooperative and I was able to catch him with open wings:
But, this valley was good for a complete new butterfly species which I had never seen/photograph before. At first, I even did not recognize that this was NOT the common apollo....I tried to make a landscape photo with an apollo on a flower. Only after I came closer I noticed the two red spots on the fore wing and realized that this was NOT the common but the Small Apollo:
Until now I counted 94 different butterfly species.....with one valley left I hope to 'hit' the 100 species!
In one of the Aosta valleys lives a very rare little brown butterfly of the blue family (Lycaenidae): the Piedmont Anomalous Blue (polyommatus humedasae).
This little butterfly is endemic to Italy/Aosta. Like in 2020 and 2021 I payed a visit to the hotspot of this species. First, I was shocked how dry and and brown this spot was; I found some butterflies but not the species and amounts of the two former years. Secondly I noticed that a lot of Piedmont Anomalous Blues were numbered and searching for this species felt like a kind of bingo game!
During our first visit at day we found number 10, 70, 87 and two not numbered species on the main path. On our second visit we found number 6, 33, 38, 51 and 99 and again some not numbered species; all around/at the main path. Interesting was that number 38 was roosting far away from the other butterflies.
We had plans to return a third time this morning to get a full bingo card with hundred numbers but it was too warm during the last two nights that they will fly away immediately.
But, the most remarkable thing is that I found this rare species on an other spot!
Out of the blue there was sitting a beautiful Piedmont Anomalous Blue in front of me, what a nice bingo price:
I also saw a second one so I guess that there is a very small population on this spot.
In the meantime we have left the Mont Blanc view accommodation and moved in into an other beautiful place/valley at 1750 meters with 29 degrees in the shadow!
Again I'm in the Aosta - Gran Paradiso region at the moment as this region is perfect for a butterfly and nature lover like me. Comparing to other years it is very dry and instead of pink bog and sainfoin the meadows and borders are brown. Near rivers and creeks fortunately it's not too bad.
Unlike other years I have booked four different accommodations in three different valleys. Our first accommodation was a small farm at the end of the valley from which we could walk to different butterfly spots.
On the last day of our stay at the first accommodation/valley I could photograph the very rare Cranberry Blue in a kind of moor area. After five days Aosta - Gran Paradiso I counted more than 60 different butterfly species in one valley!
Yesterday I arrived at the second accommodation, a well-known place as I have been here twice before with Gerard & Frank. With a delicious cup of coffee and a fantastic Mont Blanc view I'm writing this first Aosta blog....watching the butterflies crossing the terrace.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.