Saturday 2 July 2011

Saturday 2nd July 2011 - an unexpected surprise.

I've decided to wind down the chasing around after 2 weeks of driving all over the place as I'm back to work on Monday after a great 2 weeks off. So with this in mind I went to a local wood, namely Salcey Forest in Northants just for a mornings walk. I was very surprised therefore when a Purple Emperor Butterfly came down from an Oak tree and settled on the ground infront of me. This a bit of a shock in 2 respects - firstly I had no idea they were here, and secondly I have been driving passed this wood to embark upon the 30 odd mile trip to Fermyn to see them there and all this time they were right on the doorstep! Never mind I wandered along the path to the tree canopy walk see another Purple Emperor and a White Admiral on the way. from the canopy tower a Spotted Flycather could be seen zipping backwards and forwards catching flies and a multitude of Tits were working their way through the trees with Goldcrests and a Treecreeper in tow. The real surprise for the day though came a bit further down the path. There's a section where the tree's are slightly set back from the path and the verges are lined with tall purple flowers. it looked like ideal White Letter Hairstreak habitat with Ash Trees and Brambles all around, and it was while looking for these I noticed a small insect visiting the flowers heads and I'll have to admit I nearly jumped out of my skin. A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was right infront of me! I'd spent ages last year trying to catch up with these totally in vain and after all that searching here was one right there. I'm pleased to say it hung around long enough for me to chase it about and get some some decent shots.

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