Friday, 10 July 2015

Butterfly heaven - 10th July 2015

Spent what can only be described as an incredible day in the Midlands with John, Mark and Jim looking for butterflies. 
We started at Fermyn with the main target of the day being Purple Emperor. We were not disappointed with seeing up to 15 on site, as well as 5-10 White Admiral, 5 Silver-washed Fritiallary, 2 Purple Hairstreak and a White-letter Hairstreak. My first visit to the site and boy did it leave an impression! I'll leave the photos to do the talking.
 Purple Emperor underwing - May well be the best underwing in British lepidoptera!
 Teasing us with that sheen

 White-letter Hairstreak came down to feed/drink which was unexpected
 This one didn't quite work which is a shame as I love the depth of field

 Could've been the perfect underwing shot on foliage, but someone tried to selfie :P
 Green-veined White looking wonderful
 Couldn't help myself....
 Silver-washed Fritillary were really difficult to photograph as they'd almost never land. This is my best attempt
 I spent ages with this female Meadow Brown. Stunning butterfly and one I am always disappointed that more people don't appreciate it.
 They're just SO good!
 After missing two perched, I was over the moon to get three White Admirals on the path when we were leaving the site.
 The money shot! Never got a chance to get an upperwing shot last time I saw them

Next we moved onto Glapthorn Cow Pastures to look in vain for Black Hairstreak - arguably the most difficult butterfly to see in the UK and at a time where they've almost all gone over. Mark and I followed the verbal directions from John and we went completely the wrong way and found completely the wrong area. Anyway, we didn't know this at the time, so we stood next to some brambles and started looking. After two minutes a Hairstreak flew in and landed on a nettle. We fired off some shots straight away as it was a Black/White-letter type hairstreak. Looking at photos, it was quite dull and not exactly striking as I've seen in photos so much, so was wondering if maybe it was a White-letter. We had a quick google as we were both quite rusty on the main differences. There were black spots on the orange streak on the hind wing and quite a lot of orange on the forewing. It was a Black Hairstreak! Fantastic stuff! What a rush to find such an elusive butterfly when we arrived with almost no hope!

 After we'd got our fill, we heading off to a Meadow and saw potentially up to 150 Marbled Whites...stunning butterflies and a species us northerners just don't get to see!


A really amazing day with every single target being seen almost instantly, which I find just remarkable!

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