Probably the last pair of randy butterflies I'll spot this year ;)
Not the usual angle from which I get to see
(and take photos) of butterflies!
The whitest of the many tiger butterflies I spotted
on my most recent visit to Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve
When I passed by Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve towards the end of my hike yesterday, I was clad in long trousers and was wearing a sweatshirt over my t-shirt, and a windcheater over my sweatshirt. In contrast, when I visited the conservation area earlier in the week, I was comfortable with just a t-shirt and shorts on as it was several degrees warmer that day -- around 27 degrees Celsius, in fact, despite it already being December!
Figuring that it'd be the last warm day of the year, I headed over to the declared Special Site of Scientific Interest to catch what I figured would be my last chance to do some butterfly spotting (as, from what I've observed, these winged critters aren't all that active in cold weather). And while, as it turned out, I did spot a few butterflies on yesterday's hike, it wasn't anywhere near the variety as well as numbers I encountered in the few hours I was at Fung Yuen just a few days previously!
All told, I'd conservatively estimate that I spotted over 20 different kinds of butterfly species during my visit, including the rare white dragontail that is among Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve's "stars"; much more than had been the case when I visited the facility in the summer of 2014. Another highlight for me was my managing to add to my already fairly sizeable -- and ever amusing, for the likes of me -- crittters "doing what comes naturally" photo collection, and so late in the year too!
On a more serious note: A chatty staff member at the center told me that when building was going for the nearby Mont Vert apartment complex that's infamous for having flats barely bigger than the cells at Stanley Prison, the area's butterfly numbers had noticeably gone down. Happily though, the butterfly population looks have since rebounded; something I found somewhat surprising since they (and the other interesting critters that live in the area) now have to share Fung Yuen with what looks like a few thousand more human residents.
Hopefully, the existence of Mont Vert will actually help Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve in the long term. Something I noticed on my most recent visits to the area is that public transportation has become much improved; with the green mini-bus service now being more frequent. If this helps bring more appreciative visitors to the butterfly reserve, this could be a good thing in terms of doing such as getting people to appreciate this precious facility and how amazing it is that Hong Kong, so commonly mistakenly perceived as being one giant concrete jungle where wildlife couldn't possible thrive, is home to more than 240 species of often really pretty butterflies!