Sunday, 11 July 2010

Making the best of a bad week

I should be up at my Sister's in Scotland, and targeting the Dragonflies as well as various Butterflies and Orchids. Plus I was hoping to get about fifteen bird species onto my year list (including Surf Scoter and King Eider). Unfortunately the stomach bug reappeared and I did not think it would be feasible making the long journey to her remote location.
However, there has been some improvement after the last couple of days, and as Colin had a great time with the Purple Emperors in Broxbourn Wood, I thought I'd go down this morning for a while. I called Colin and we met up there about 1030. No activity for a while, though there were huge numbers of Ringlets along the main ride. A group down near the seat had a brief glimpse so I went down to them. Not long afterwards, a male Emperor appeared flew around us and went off, but soon reappeared. It spent most of it's time resting on people (to their frustration) and enabled a very close approach.
It became apparent, that Colin's group back up the ride also had one. For a while it was a bit elusive, but eventually came down and settled. Unfortunately Colin was not able to get any images.....
 Eventually it was possible to coax it down to a pile of dung, and as Colin's time was limited I took him round to some areas he did not know.
The old heath  is looking rather poor at the moment, dominated by bracken. The Agrimony, what little there is presumably due to the very dry spring is not quite in flower. Also the Wood Sage looks to be past it's best. We carried on to the pond where a single White Admiral was seen.
We then turned off into the open meadow where I hoped to get eye level images of Purple Hairstreaks, but the few I saw stayed near the tree tops. Another White Admiral appeared, and I got distant images.
 There were also large numbers of Small/Essex Skippers though none stopped for a close look. Meadow Grasshoppers were everywhere too.
Birds were a bit scarce-it was a bit warm, and many of the adults would be in their post breeding moult. We did hear a singing Chiffchaff, and a Blackcap, and several Crossbills were flying around.

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