WILDLIFE lovers are all aflutter after the return of a butterfly, which became extinct locally 30 years ago.

One of Scotland’s rarest breeds — the small blue — has now made Dundonald Links golf course its home once again.

The winged beauty was re-introduced to the area by nature experts at the Scottish Wildlife Trust in 2013 after it died out.

Reserve manager at the charity Gill Smart said: “We are very proud to have brought the small blue back to Ayrshire.

“Last summer we did not spot any small blue butterflies and were concerned that, despite picking an ideal location, the translocation had not been successful. However, it seems the small blues did breed last year and had simply eluded us.” About 30 butterflies were collected from the Moray coast and relocated 225 miles to the Ayrshire coast on the Gailes Marsh Wildlife Reserve.

Ecologists made sure there was plenty of the butterfly’s favoured plant — kidney vetch — around for it to munch on.

And now thanks to their efforts it looks like the small blue plans to stay.