10 August. Monte Baldo.
Return to Baldo, the plan today being to climb to the highest altitudes to look for a couple of localised species that occur up there. Before that, started at a scrap of waste land in the Adige Valley, altitude 145 metres. This random stop due to a couple of buddleia spotted roadside turned out to be a fortuitous pause - on the buddleia just Red Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary, but alongside I found yet more of the little exquisites ...four Geranium Bronzes, three Provinçal Short-tailed Blues and two Mallow Skippers. The latter were new for the trip, as were several Spotted Fritillaries alongside. Not a bad start to the day!
Then it was up the Valle dei Molini, plenty of Scotch Argus again, plus a Tree Grayling, a Short-tailed Blue and increased numbers of Dryads. Chalkhill Blues as I reached the top of the valley, then I took a chair lift up to the high ridge of Monte Baldo, a relatively easy walk from there to a peak at 2146 metres. Very few butterflies as I walked, occasional Chalkhill Blues and Small Tortoiseshell, that was about it, but at the peak somewhat better - a number of butterflies active on a steep bank of scree. Yes, this was what I had come up here for! And soon I found the butterfly I was looking for ...one Sooty Ringlet, unfortunately very mobile and far better at traversing the steep scree than me! Didn't get a photo of that one, but did better with its cohorts on the scree - photographed one of the several Silky Ringlets present and a couple of the Mountain Fritillaries. One Great Banded Grayling did a rapid fly-by too.
With my targets seen, and the next peaks along the Baldo ridge looking very far, I decided it was enough for high altitude. Temporarily lost Little One, searched high and low, eventually wandered back to the chair lift and found the guilty party there, they happy as pie! Thereafter, down the chair lift and back to the mid-altitudes. Added a Bluespot Hairstreak to the day tally, plus Silver-studded Blue.
And with that, now late afternoon, the trip was nearly over. Made a few random stops in nearby lowlands, seeing Spotted Fritillary and Short-tailed Blue, then hit the autostrada for the few hours back to Milan. Overnight in a hotel, early morning flight next day.
Last edited by Jos Stratford : Saturday 5th September 2020 at 17:54.