Sunday, 11 July 2010

Sunday 11th July 2010

After a months absence, due largely to strawberries coming into season, I'm glad to be back blogging.  A resume of what I've seen over the last month will appear later.

A hot sultry Sunday, wife at works and kids in tow, saw me heading off early to Lullingstone to capture the Dark Green Fritillary explosion that's occured in the last 2 weeks.  I wasn't to be disappointed with 50+ on the wing in less than ideal conditions (wind and rain, unbelievable!). 

Dark Green Fritillary

Moving onto Greenie in the wild's patch at nearby High Elms turned up 10+ Silver-washed Fritillaries, bathed in the dappled sunlight.  A couple of females were seen ovipositing on a yew tree.  What fantastic creatures, gliding effortlessly on big 'tiger' wings (my 6-year old's description!). 

Silver-washed Fritillary (male)

After a refreshing pint, and coke and crisps for the kids at the The Plough, Ivy Hatch it seemed foolish not to try for the Purple Emperor that we'd see at nearby Dene Park, nr Tonbridge on Tuesday afternoon.  By this time the temperature had risen to 28.C, and the short walk to the master Oak was accompanied by another Silver-washed Fritillary, a Purple Hairstreak and10+ White Admirals

Silver-washed Fritillary (female)

Finally, at the top of the hill, a male Purple Emperor glided across the bracken and chased by 3-year old.  He was completely oblivious to rarity that was on the wing alongside him! 

Purple Emperor (male)

Luckily he stopped and the butterfly dropped onto the path just ahead of him.  We spent the next 20 minutes watching and photographing it as it gave tantalising glimpses of the purple sheen on its forewings. 

Purple Emperor, note the bright yellow proboscis.

Eventually the batteries ran out on the camera so we just enjoyed it as it followed us back towards the car park.  Sure it was the perspiration that helped!

Purple Emperor, looking suprisingly like a White Admiral at a distance

1 comment:

Greenie said...

Adam ,
Glad the SWF played ball for you .
I've got Kent BC up in 2 weeks .
See you got to Lullingstone ? as well .
Nice PE shots .