Zino's Petrel off Madeira - June 2018

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Butterflies in Bulgaria: Fritillaries - July 2018

The first of few Butterfly posts to my recent trip in Bulgaria with my Dad, and this post displays my favourite family, the Fritillaries. In total, 13 species were seen, and due to high altitude weather towards the end of the trip, a visit to the highest part of the Rila Mountains had to be abandoned meaning Cynthia's Fritillary would have to wait for another time.

Mostly all the species below were photographed in isolated, but sheltered meadows in the foothills of the northern part of the Pirin Mountains NP. Most were also very obliging, even in the hottest part of the day, though thankfully a majority were found going to roost allowing more time for photography. 

Interestingly, further visits to the meadows, sometimes a day later, produced a different range of species, or greater or fewer numbers, presuming that the Fritillaries are ranging over a wider area along the foothill range, very much unlike species encountered in the UK that tend to settle in one spot, although this is no doubt down to the lack of habitat, something that isn't an issue in Bulgaria.

Cardinal - 
only one identified, this one being
very loyal to a patch of thistle.
High Brown Fritillary - 
a common Fritillary, most often
along roadside thistles.
Niobe Fritillary - 
only two confidently identified as these
medium-sized Fritillaries rarely stop flying.

Marbled Fritillary
Marbled Fritillary - 
only one seen and briefly.
Queen of Spain Fritillary
Queen of Spain Fritillary - 
the commonest Fritillary.
Pearl Bordered Fritillary - 
only one seen, presumably down
to time of year.
Nickerl's Fritillary
Nickerl's Fritillary -
a local but common Fritillary.
Spotted Fritillary
Spotted Fritillary - 
frequently encountered.
Lesser Spotted Fritillary
Lesser Spotted Fritillary - 
only one of three seen throughout.
Weaver's Fritillary -
only a single seen during
the trip in a large isolated meadow.