Possibly the most anticlimactic name of any butterfly has to belong to the Common blue. Going up against the likes of the Holly blue, or the Adonis blue, the Common blue has long drawn the short straw, but this is also one of the things that makes it so special. For starters, it is not as common as you might think, and its name only serves to hide its beauty.
The Common blue suffered a 55% decline in its population between 2015 and 2016, and while butterfly populations often fluctuate year to year they are unfortunately following the broader nationwide decline of most UK butterflies.
I have been fascinated with the Common blue from the moment I saw my first brightly coloured male. No way could this be native to the UK, and never in a million years could it ever find a home on the banks of the River Irwell.
Common blue habitat on the River Irwell in Salford.
Their sapphire wings (the male; the females tend to be more brown in colouration) sing with emotion, and when they take flight they cause an interspatial rupture in the air, momentarily disappearing to visit another dimension, until the sunlight catches their underwings and returns them to Earth.
I have spent hours chasing the blues on my local riverbank, and I thought it would be nice to share some of the images I have been able to take so far.