Eddie had told me to head for the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque and to walk along the track beyond it around the salt lake. This was certainly good advice, as while I was parking the car I noticed a small blue butterfly flying at the edge of the track. I jumped out of the car and was delighted to discover that it was a Small Desert Blue.
The Small Desert Blue, Chilades galba, is small butterfly with a wing span of 17 - 22mm. I noticed that the males are a lot smaller than the females. It only occurs on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean. The books say that it is only found where its foodplant, Prosopis farcta, grows. This is a short thorny shrub, which it turned out was growing along both sides of the track. I believe that it can be quite invasive and it has very deep roots. It was certainly having no problem growing in the hostile environment around the salt lake.
I needn't have been so hasty to look at the first butterfly I saw as it turned out that there were thousands of them on the plants along the edge of the track. Sometimes it was impossible to take a picture without another Small Desert Blue trying to get into the shot!
I have never experienced butterflies in such numbers, they were almost flying up in clouds as I walked along the track.