The picture most people have of a butterfly is one perching daintily on a flower of a Buddleia or other sweet smelling plant, happily taking nectar. What you don't think of is one sitting on a pile of dog pooh, quite happily taking the salts from said excrement. It shatters the illusion somewhat, but many butterflies do it, the Purple Emperor, for example, is very fond of feeding on something extremely undesirable such as corpses of animals and also pooh of all sorts.
I visited Barnack Hills and Holes the other day and was greeted by clouds of Chalkhill Blues. There were hundreds of these lovely blue butterflies flying around in the sun and feeding on knapweeds and scaibiouses. Whilst revelling in this far too rare sight I trod in some dog pooh! Lovely, I thought, why can't dog owners clear up after their pets?! However, I was soon finding little blue butterflies coming down to feed on this 'delightful' deposit. Cleaning the foul smelling muck from my shoe, I proceeded to snap away.
I didn't see any females feeding this way, what does that say?! Shatters the picture somewhat, doesn't it?