Monday, 2 August 2010

Monday 2nd August 2010

Forty minutes at lunchtime to get some butterflying in - my target the Silver-washed Fritillary that had sped past me on Friday.  First port of call was the buddleias by Gallagher's Underpass on the NE edge of Oaken Wood, Barming - a blind Hedgehog made a sad sight (sorry no pun intended!) and a single Red Admiral and a couple of Peacocks didn't make me feel like it was going to be a lucky day. Good numbers of Migrant Hawkers were on the wing, with four individuals draped on one Chesnut tree.

I decided to take a different route from normal and took the 'north' track/road that, predictably,  leads along the northern edge of the wood.  I dipped into a clearing just SE of the woodcutter's yard and saw a butterfly drenched buddleia that was asking to be checked.  More Peacocks, a couple of Commas, Speckled Wood and a masses of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.  Then the Silver-washed Fritillary appeared, absolutely bombing it along the woodland edge, straight past the buddleia and then up and over the 40ft Chesnuts!   I watched him until he disappeared, but caught sight of a speck flitting around one of the oaks that I check every year for Purple Hairstreaks. 

Yep, that was what it was -a Purple Hairstreak, at last! How could I have missed them for so long?  As I got nearer I started to see more, including a couple nectaring at ground level.  A new, long-awaited addition to the patch.

Moving on, I checked where I'd seen the SW Frit on Friday, and he was still there!  Mobile as ever, only briefly touching down on a Buddleia to tussle with a nectaring Peacock and a very worn White Admiral.

Another White Admiral was seen near Gallagher's underpass on my way back to work, and a pair of Jays flushed a small group of Bullfinches from one of the coppiced hedges.

Kate - great to hear from you and thanks to Peter to confirming ID!  How's the weather in Washington State?!


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Adam.
Looks liie you picked a great day for Butterflies. Nice photo's

Warren Baker said...

Those PH's are great aren't they. Once you see one and get your eye in you wonder how you ever didn't see them beforehand :-)