CLOUDED APOLLO, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Clouded Apollo

Butterflies, Moths and Dragonflies
Scarce Fritillaries and Clouded Apollo, Mid – Late June

In this splendid time of uprising Nordic summer, with nights as short as merely an hour of twilight, a good collection of unique Scandinavian Butterflies are on the menue. This is in fact the best time to see Poplar Admiral, Baltic Grayling, Scarce Fritillary, Friggas Fritillary and many more.
   We visit a handful of central Sweden´s richest butterfly-sites without any longer drives. A trip to the Baltic coast and the island Gräsö gives Glanville Fritillary and on the mainland not far away, we find Clouded Apollos.
   This time of the year is also the best for several of Scandinavia´s Dragonfly specialities, such as Yellow-spotted, Lilypad and Ruby Whiteface, Common Clubtail, Small Pincertail and the very rare and tiny Pygmy Damselfly or Sedgling (Nehalennia speciosa).

Day 1
Arrival at Västerås airport. We go directly to nearby island Nature reserve Ängsö, where we enjoy a picknick in a deciduous, semiopen landscape with meadows and wetlands and a parklike setting near an old castle.
   We explore a couple of different parts of this lovely island by foot, looking for Poplar Admirals and dragonflies like Yellow-spotted Whiteface (Leucorrhinia pectoralis) and Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus).
One of several charismatic dayflying Moths to be seen on the trip is locally common here; the small, but beautiful Purple-barred Yellow (Lythria rotaria).Pearly Heath, Lesser Marbled– and Heath Fritillaries are only some examples of the Butterflies at hand.
Night in the Black River Valley.

Day 2
Färna ekopark is probably the best of all nearby areas to see large and beautiful Poplar Admirals. We spend the morning part of the day here, and then move on to Butterfly reserve Munkhyttan, where a lot of conservation and management effort has been made to conserve healthy populations of Scarce–, Marsh– and False Heath Fritillaries.
   Northern Chequered Skipper, Common Swallowtail, Cranberry Blues are also abundant in the area. If the Wood Whites are still on their wings we try to identify Real´s Wood White among them.
   Common Goldenring, Beautiful Demoiselle and Downy Emerald (Corduelis aenea) are among the dragonflies to be seen here.
Night in the Black River Valley.

Day 3
Friggas Fritillary is the first target species of todays excursion going northwards.
   The site is a very nice little bog lake surrounded by pineforest and also a good site for species like Moorland Clouded Yellow, Bog–, and Cranberry Fritillary, Large Heath and Baltic Grayling, and dragonflies like Ruby Whiteface, (Leucorrhinia rubicunda) and Small Whiteface (Leucorrhinia dubia)
   We continue northwards to look for Scarce Heath and if time permits we spend search for elusive Northern Grizzled Skippers on the myres in the pineforest.
Night back in the Black River Valley.

For those interested we do a Moth-night one or two of these nights, selecting an interesting site where a good selection of Moths are likely to appear. Northern Oak Eggar, Pine–, Poplar– or Elephant Hawk Moth, White Prominent, Scarce Hook-tip and colourful and unique Scandinavian ”Peat-bog Carpet” (Arichanna melanaria) are just a couple of examples on what can be found. (Have a look at this list of species from previous Moth-nights in the area: link to pdf.)

Day 4
”The Butterfly road” near the Baltic coast is 2 hours drive away but definitely worthwhile visiting. Here we find a good selection of rare Butterfly species, like Large Grizzled Skipper, Black-veined White, Scarce Copper, up to 10 species of Blues including Mazarine, Idas and Amanda´s Blue, Silvery–, Geranium– and Mountain Argus. Among dayflying Moths Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth is one of the most charismatic ones.
   In the same area we visit the only known site for one of Europe´s rarest dragonflies, the Pygmy Damselfly or Sedgling (Nehalennia spceiosa). The site is also good for Common Clubtail (Gompus vulgatissimus) and Yellow-spotted Emeralds (Somatochlora flavomaculata) can be seen at the Butterfly road.
   Among the ”flying blue toothpics” – the Damselflies we should identify Scandinavian exclusivities like Dark Bluet (Coenagrion armatum) and Spearhead Bluet (Coenagrion hastulatum) among more common Blue Featherlegs (Platycnemis pennipes) and Common Bluetails (Ishnura elegans).
Night in small, picturesque coastal town Öregrund.

Day 5
Just across Öregrund lies the island Gräsö in the Baltic Sea and after a lovely hotel breakfast we just take the five-minute ferry out to the island, to enjoy Glanville Fritillaries  and Purple-edged Coppers. If we´re lucky Ladyslipper Orchids might still be in bloom.
   A coffe-break at a café by a lighthouse on the coast is well-earned after some hours of Butterflying.
   Back on the mainland we spend time with Clouded Apollos on one of their stronghold sites in the country.
Night in Roslagen.

Day 6
A couple of good Dragonfly species still remains to see and they are within reach around Stockholm. We focus on Lilypad Whiteface (Leucorrhinia caudalis) and might be additionally exposed to Blue/Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva), Small pincertail and Common Goldenrings (Cordulegaster boltonii).
Night back in the Black River Valley.

Day 7
The last day we dedicate to what´s on the doorstep, which is a lot of lovely nature in the Black River Valley, including open wetlands, floodplains and pine forests with bogs and many lakes. If there´s anything we would like to see again or if there are species left to see, we have the possibility to see Poplar Admiral, Purple-edged Copper, Marsh Fritillary and among Dragonflies Common Clubtail, Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) and Eurasian Baskettail (Ephiteca bimaculata) all fly nearby.

The journey is a collaboration between BirdSafarisweden and Karlmark Travel. (Karlmark Travels holds the travel warranty insurance that covers this trip)

POPLAR ADMIRAL, Photo: Bo Söderström
Photo: Bo Söderström
Poplar Admiral
MARSH FRITILLARY, Photo: Niclas Lignell
Photo: Niclas Lignell
Marsh Fritillary
SCARCE FRITILLARY, Photo: Hans Larsson
Photo: Hans Larsson
Scarce Fritillary
AMANDA'S BLUE, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Amanda's Blue
COMMON CLUBTAIL, Photo: David Andersson
Photo: David Andersson :
Common Clubtail
Photo: Glyn Sellors
Yellow-spotted Whiteface
SCARCE COPPER, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green :
Scarce Copper
FRIGGA*S FRITILLARY, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Frigga's Fritillary
DOWNY EMERALD, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green :
Downy Emerald
Photo: Daniel Green
Glanville Fritillary
SCARCE HEATH, Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green :
Scarce Heath
BLACK-VEINED WHITE, Photo: Bo Söderström
Photo: Bo Söderström
Black-veined White
Photo: Hans Larsson:
Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth
GERANIUM ARGUS, Photo: Bo Söderström
Photo: Bo Söderström
Geranium Argus
Photo: Daniel Green
Northern Chequered Skipper

Trip report 2015
Species list - pdf
What to bring - pdf