I paddled along the edge of the water for an hour or so, ate some sandwiches, walked and paddled a bit more, picked up shells and pebbles, and just as I was thinking it was time to head off home I noticed a poor butterfly stuck in the wet sand. I thought it was dead but still wanted to pick it out of the sand and when I did I saw it was still alive. It immediately started trying to clean itself on my hand and I brushed away the bigger lumps of sand. Once it had managed to separate it's stuck together antenae it started looking like a live butterfly again but what to do with it?
Well I was reluctant to let it go and watch it get blown back onto the beach again so I decided to take it back to the car. I was going to leave it on a bush on the promenade but it was still breezy and so I put it on the back seat of the car and drove away (yes, ridiculous I know!). When I got home half an hour later I carefully searched it out and found it asleep on a coat sleeve and feeling very pleased with myself I set it free out of the back door into the garden. I hope it didn't mind being taken 18 miles away from its home patch. But hopefully it will be safe here in the gardens and fields of my local patch! (By the way - its a Small Tortoiseshell)