After this great build up for the walk 4 people turned up. 8 members signed up, but they had obviously studied the weather forecast! Right on cue it rained heavily after 11:30am, which was a real shame, because on Thursday I had 16 species & logged 151 butterflies, including both Hairstreaks, Purple & White-letter. Butterflies making up for lost time, after a very slow start in the spring. Always enjoyable & I asked Brian Clews to record all that was seen. Even in those conditions, 11 species were logged. Lots of Essex Skipper sitting motionless on leaves, giving one ample time to get close, see the dark tips of the antenna, to separate from the Small Skipper, with golden tips.
A flash of rusty brown announced the presence of a Silver-washed fritillary, as it disappeared into the canopy.
The iconic White Admiral are famous in this woodland, but over the last few years numbers have declined. The habitat is perfect, the more tangled growth the better. Lack of Honeysuckle foodplant? Hopefully numbers are up in the canopy licking aphid honey dew, with no need to be nectaring on brambles.
I live in hope of seeing more Hairstreak this season or even a sighting of the illusive Purple Emperor!!
Well worth walks throughout the season, because this woodland is so rich in wildlife & the unexpected can appear. A gem in the National Trust’s Crown.