I thought that High Elms would be more sheltered , and as I have got Kent Butterfly Conservation coming up next Sunday for a Field Trip , I thought I should make sure that all was well with the Silver Washed Fritillaries . It was more sheltered there , especially over by Burnt Gorse , and I started seeing SWFs straight away , nearly all males . By the time I got to the Orchid Bank , I started to see females . I checked the Orchid Bank for any White Letter Hairstreaks , but still nothing , but the Hemp Agrimony is just starting to flower , and as that is their favourite tipple , they should be showing very soon . On one of the main rides , I started finding female SWFs , egg laying . This is the only species that lays it's eggs on trees and other suitable objects above ground . I found one today , laying it's eggs on a gate post . That might sound strange , but the important thing is what is around the tree or other suitable object , Violets . She will only lay her eggs where Violets are plentiful , and after hatching , the caterpillar crawls down the tree/object , and it's food is there in front of it . At one point , I had three females laying on three different trees in front of me , and several times I had to dissuade females from laying their eggs on me , thinking I was a suitable object . Watching them , they seem to be able to lay 5/6 eggs at a time in different places , then they have to flutter down to the woodland floor , to recuperate before doing the same again , and of course evading the attention of passing males .
It was whilst watching these females , that a 'flappy glide' caught my attention . I left the ladies and followed the 'flappy glide' . Eventually it settled , and my first impression proved right , a White Admiral . I thought at first it was going to move on again straight away , as it decided to settle on Bramble flowers , already occupied by a Meadow Brown , but after a bit of argybargy , they both settled . The Meadow Brown moved on shortly after , leaving just me and this exquisite specimen . I did sight another later on , but that was a flyby , without a chance of a shot . I headed down to the lower glade , where I had the second mating pair of SWFs , but the sun was starting to go off that one and it was quiet . Whilst walking around , I had two nice fresh Red Admirals , but they were not in the mood for posing . Back on the main rides , there were good numbers of Comma , and although the sexes cannot be separated just looking , from the body language of this one , when four times a male tried to get her interested and she refused , it had to be a female . At every sunny spot along these rides , there seemed to be a male SWF ,
perched up high , waiting for a passing female , or , just for a scrap with any passing species . I must have seen 4/5 courting pairs , with the female flying straight and the male corkscrewing around her , and a couple of those involved 1/2 extra males . I headed back to the car , via the edge of the Golf Course , which has good stands of Creeping Thistle , in the warm late afternoon sun . It was there that I found two freshly emerged Peacocks , one disappeared immediately , but with a bit of stalking , I managed a shot of the other .
Two days working up on the Greensand Ridge , chances of wildlife ?