Monday, 22 July 2013

All hail the Emperor

Yesterday (Sunday) saw a not too early (5:30am) start for a trip down to Hampshire for a days butterflying - Bentley Woods and Stockbridge Down the intended venues.
The biggest shock of the day was before we arrived at Bentley Woods when I managed to see a Little Owl from the back seat of the car! - OK, it took a reverse and stop for me to see it, but I did see it, sat atop a headstone in a country church graveyard.
Arriving at Bentley Woods to cloud filled sky's and a bit of a breeze we hung around the car park scanning the tree tops. The first butterfly to show was a Red Admiral, followed by a Silver-washed Fritilary. Then, suddenly, gliding round the tree tops, the Emperor. We watched at least 3 flying round the car park, but unfortunately none decided to come down to ground. However excellent views were had of one male resting about halfway up one of the trees.
As the cloud burnt off, we wandered round some of the rides picking up 17 species of butterfly with impressive numbers of Silver-washed Frit's and Brimstone's.
Next up was Stockbridge Down for chalkland species. Pulling into the East car park, a Buddleia was covered with butterflies including at least 3 Dark Green Frit's. The first Chalkhill Blue was soon flying around the car.  A wander round the lower scrub covered slopes provided no further new species.

In total 20 species logged - surprisingly no Small Tortoiseshell or Green-veined White.

Full list was
Small Skipper
Large Skipper
Large White
Small White
Purple Hairstreak
White-letter Hairsteak
Chalkhill Blue
White Admiral
Red Admiral
Purple Emperor
Dark Green Fritilary
Silver-washed Fritilary
Speckled Wood
Marbled White
Meadow Brown

1 comment:

  1. Good day out, Martin Bell two butterfly ticks and I'm still in shock how he managed to see an Owl out of a car, wonders never cease.