It’s been a long, wet winter here in Western Australia. One of the wettest on record.
That’s not a bad thing. The dams are full, the rivers are running beautifully, and the wildflowers are superb. And the butterfly season seems to have kicked off earlier than usual.
This week, (August 24) The Aurelian travelled to Coalseam National Park, a spectacular landscape in the mid-West of the state, some four hours drive from Perth. It’s well-known for the wonderful displays of colour at this time of year.
But the butterflies have jumped the gun.
Spring doesn’t officially start until September 1st, but the two-spotted line-blues were abundant everywhere, and already quite worn.
A group of Satin Azures were squabbling around the mistletoe infested wattles.
They generally stay out of reach at the top of the tree, but these wattles were fairly low. One cheeky male even posed settled on a twig at eye level, within a metre. And no, the Aurelian didn’t have his proper camera with him, just the smartphone.
And a very welcome small grass yellow was meandering around the yellow pompoms. Welcome, because in spite of the book telling us that it’s common, it is anything but around Perth. Only the second specimen The Aurelian has ever seen in the state.
The Small Bronze Azure, Ogyris otanes, can usually be relied upon at a favourite location near Leman on the way home, but the Crepe Myrtle bush on which it is usually found wasn’t in flower yet, so no luck there. Just thousands of line-blues again.
It hadn’t been planned as a butterfly trip, but nonetheless, good to see the season up and running.