|Male High Brown Fritillary: I suspected High Brown on this initial view but needed to see the underside to be sure...|
|...which shows the diagnostic row of rust red spots with silver centres on the hind-wing.|
|Dark Green Fritillary: note the similarities in the upper-wing pattern to High Brown...|
|...but also the differences in the under-wing.|
The High Brown, as it is now, has been through a veritable rainbow of names over the years - initially know as the Greater Silver-spotted, then the Dark Green, then the Violet Silver-spotted (a reference to the foodplant). Common across much of England until the 1950s, its decline was one of the more sudden and dramatic of all the British species, and it is now the subject of intensive conservation efforts in its remaining strongholds.
|Male Silver-washed Fritillary|
|The stunning underwing pattern of Silver-washed Fritillary|
|This one was outside the toilets at the Hunter's Inn. Not a great place to hang about with a camera.|
|The long black lines on the forewing show this is a male.|
The Dark Green Fritillary can be found in a wider range of habitats, particularly coastal areas, and while it too has declined, this has been nothing like as steep as that faced by the High Brown. I've struggled to get good undwerwing photos of either species, so when the one above sat with an almost closed wing in full sunlight on a thistle that was a bonus.
|Fritillaries were note the only butterflies at Heddon's Mouth - this a Large Skipper|
|A smart Ringlet resting on a fern.|
|Dark Green Fritillary.|
|Heddon's Mouth and the Bristol Channel beyond|