Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Bricket Wood Butterflies (29th July)

My first outing in Herts since coming back from Sheppey.  Colin Everett, my brother Ephraim and I all met up for a walk round the local woodland for a casual get together with the focus for the day being on butterflies.  The predominantly warm and sunny weather made the day rather productive as we located no fewer than 12 Silver-washed Fritillaries, mostly along the open ride, south of the railway track, by far the largest number I have seen at the site!  Even better was seeing a pair mating, providing an excellent photographic opportunity as well as being a rarely seen event!  3+ White Admirals were also on the wing but rarely settled close to us so no great pics.  Other butterflies on the wing included 3 Commas, 3 Large Skippers, 2 Marbled Whites, 1 Brimstone, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Red Admiral and several other commoner species such as Ringlets, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.  Other flying insects included 2 Southern Hawkers, 1 Brown Hawker followed by 1 Large Red Damselfly, a few Banded Demoiselle and 6-spotted Burnets at Mutchetts Wood.

A very worn male Silver-washed Fritillary


White Admiral

male Silver-washed Fritillary

mating pair of silver-washed Fritillary


Bell Heather (a very scare flowering plant in Hertfordshire)

Common Darter

Red Admiral

female Southern Hawker


Southern Hawker

A few birds were also of note as Colin pointed out the begging call of a juvenile Sparrowhawk to us and the difference in call of juvenile Wrens to that of the adult, a very useful skill to have when proving breeding for bird atlas work.

Many thanks for another great walk Colin and welcome back to Herts!

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