Saturday 10 July 2021

A Dinky Small Skipper

 The wildflowers growing in the wild campus fields are proving to be so attractive to pollinators this summer. There's thistles, knapweed, still some birds foot trefoil, and above all ragwort which is a plant deadly to horses, but vital to virtually anything with wings.

Rosebay willow herb is now in flower too in its usual clusters along the bank of earth along the roadside. Honey bees are loving it.

When you walk besides, or even through, the long grasses that the wildflowers live among, it's currently impossible not to flush out lots of meadow brown, ringlet and tiny orange skipper butterflies. I've been barely able to get a decent photograph of a skipper this year, they are just so skittish and flitty, but I found a specimen willing to play ball for the camera.

Its wing markings were barely visible, which ruled it out from being a large skipper, but was it a small or essex skipper? Well, a close up examination of its antennae revealed the tips to be brown which means it's a small skipper. 

Essex skippers have black antennae tips. 

I'm getting my lunchtime walks in at work, which are absolutely vital, and at weekends when not playing cricket I'm able to get longer ones in - two hours today on a warm and humid day. 

Currently the outside world is both beautiful, and scary at the same time. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 10.07.21


  1. Great shots! I was amazed to see the tiny stripes on the antennae of the first one! Such great detail in the photos. Well done!

  2. Lovely photos, specially the small skipper, a species which is just finding its way into Scotland these days. I've seen more small skippers in the past couple of weeks than I'd ever seen in my life before. Lovely little insect.