Monday, 20 July 2020

A Day of Lifers at Chambers Farm Wood

New Butterflies for me at Chambers Farm Wood.

I had been keen to get to Chambers Farm Wood for some time.  Because of the Lockdown and isolation I didn't get to see the marsh fritillaries earlier in the year and now I wanted to see and, hopefully, photograph the silver-washed fritillaries and purple hairstreaks that are on the wing at the moment.  So picking the first day of good weather available to me, I set off early as it was due to cloud over by lunch time.  Although sunny, it was decidedly chilly at only 14C, but this didn't seem to deter the butterflies.  As I walked down the main ride towards the junction of paths known as Five Ways, the verges  frothed with meadowsweet, its sweet scent heavy on the air.  It wasn't long before I saw my first silver-washed fritillary and after that they were plentiful; large bright orange shapes drifting majestically through the vegetation.  Some were becoming quite worn, though, as were the good numbers of white admirals still around.  In fact I saw one white admiral that seemed to have almost no wings left.  There were also a good few brown hawker dragonflies about but none perched up for photography, sadly.

I had almost given up on the elusive purple hairsteaks, despite walking around looking upwards trying to spot them in the oak canopies where they spend their time.  On my way back to the car I followed the white easy access trail and thought that I had seen a couple but they disappeared up into the trees.  I was nearly back when, fortunately, someone pointed one out at rest on a leaf.  The sun had gone in so it refused to open its wings but, nevertheless, the underwings were beautiful, and such a small insect as well.  My day had been made.

Species seen included:
  • Meadow Brown - many
  • Large Skipper x3
  • Speckled Wood x6
  • Ringlet - many
  • Large white 
  • Silver-Washed Fritillary x6
  • White Admiral x5
  • Peacock x21
  • Gatekeeper x3
  • Comma x3
  • Pruple Hairstreak x3
Also seen:
  • Common Darter dragonfly
  • Brown Hawker Dragonfly
To see large, please click on an image.
                                                                    Comma
                                                                Common Darter
                                                                    Gatekeeper
                                                                 Gatekeeper
                                                                     Gatekeeper
                                                                   Greater Burnet
                                                                    Small White
                                                                   Large Skipper
                                                                Meadow Brown
                                                                    Peacock
                                                                    Peacock
                                                                        Peacock
                                                                       Peacock
                                                                       Peacock
                                                                    Peacock
                                                                Purple Hairstreak
                                                                Purple Hairstreak
                                                               Purple Hairstreak
                                                                       Ringlet
                                                            Silver-Washed Fritillary
                                                            Silver-Washed Fritillary
                                                        Silver-Washed Fritillary
                                                        Silver-Washed Fritillary
                                                            Silver-Washed Fritillary
                                                            Silver-Washed Fritillary
                                                                   Speckled Wood
                                                                Speckled Wood
                                                                White Admiral

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