Thursday, 10 July 2014

White Admiral

Well it wasn't when I photographed it - I was sure I had nailed a Purple Emperor at Houghton Forest, by the time I got home it had turned into a picture of a very large White Admiral on the ground. On reflection it didn't behave much like an Emperor, as it scarpered quite quickly as I attempted a frame filling shot, and it refused to give me a closed wing shot which would have been instantly recognizable. After the huge embarrassing mistake there is an upside - I now have a decent record of the WA, something that has been at the top of my want list for a week or two.

Liz asked me to drop her in town this morning so I took the opportunity throw the gear in the car and pay a short visit to Houghton. I took along some Belachan in paste form which I freely distributed around the entrance gate. I now know why most enthusiasts use it in liquid form, as, after a professional dog walker with seven dogs in tow had passed by, the whole lot had been scoffed. Belachan is an evil smelling substance, I hope each dog that stole my expensive bait spends the evening licking its owner.

Nice to meet Colin Knight who was also hunting the Purple Emperor. Take a peek at his superb blog postcards from sussex


Silver-washed Fritillaries, Red Admirals, Commas, Peacocks and even Meadow Browns were partial to the salty-fishy concoction.

On Tuesday's visit to Houghton, Martin spotted an aberrant form of the Gatekeeper, this among six active specimens in a single bush! Perhaps he should be renamed "The Great Morphologist"

Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus britanniae ab. excessa

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