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Butterflies in the Italian Alps, August 2020.

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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 20:28   #26
Adey Baker
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I was totally impressed by Trentino, pretty sure I'll be making some trips next year earlier in the season 👍
I'd like to try a bit earlier as well to see what's about. We are only on 'general purpose' holidays, not geared to wildlife at all, yet we always manage to find plenty of stuff that we just don't get back here!

Covid has grounded us this year (and the company we usually travel with went bust) but we'll sort something out, but in the meantime it's been great to share your experiences and photos vicariously!
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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 17:44   #27
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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.
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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 17:47   #28
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Lower altitudes
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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 17:52   #29
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Silky Ringlets at 2146 metres
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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 20:50   #30
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Good stuff Jos, with all that walking at altitude it seems as though your recovery is progressing well.
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Old Sunday 6th September 2020, 08:38   #31
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Good stuff indeed. Any interesting birds?
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Old Sunday 6th September 2020, 17:29   #32
Jos Stratford
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Good stuff Jos, with all that walking at altitude it seems as though your recovery is progressing well.
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Good stuff indeed. Any interesting birds?
Thanks both 👍

As for birds, not a lot. I find birding and butterflying a bit mutually exclusive - on butterfly trips, I tend to be staring at the ground a metre or two in front most of the time. Vultures and eagles could be doing loop the loop above me for all I know, I still would not notice :)
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