Sunday, 10 July 2011

Another try for Purple Emperor

Sunday 10th July was a lovely morning, mild and with light winds. I went early to Hoades Wood, just west of Ashford to carry out a TTV. Highlight today was without doubt when i heard Crossbills calling , and looked up to see 4 birds fly over. Shortly after, I could hear them calling again, much closer. Then I had some real luck, as first a brick-red male Crossbill flew in and sat on top of a tree no more than 20 yards away, followed by a female, and what looked like a young bird. I could hear a 4th bird calling but couldn't see it. For a few minutes I enjoyed these fantastic views, wishing I had my camera with me.

After a drink and snacks I drove up to Dene Park to look for Purple Emperor, and on arriving in the car park at the woods I became aware of a gathering of butterfly enthusiasts, all with the same idea as me.

I walked up the short path to where Purple Emperor has been seen recently, and stood for 2 hours watching the oak tree. Alas i had no sightings, but did see a Silver-washed Fritillary, Comma, Red and White Admiral, Large Skipper, Large White, Purple Hairstreak and Meadow Browns, as well as a fantastic Brown Hawker.

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