A few more images from Monday afternoon . After seeing great shots of Purple Emperor , on the ground , on Adam's / East Malling , Ditton & Barming blog , I contacted him for details , which he kindly passed on to me . So after visiting White Hill , and hoping that the weather would improve , I made my way to Dene Park , near Tonbridge , very close to Warren's Pittswood patch . I actually passed the end of Ashes Lane , mentioned so often on his blog , whilst looking for the car park . Anyway , eventually I found it , and following Adam's directions , was soon standing close to a large Oak tree , not far off one of the paths . The hoped for sunshine did show in short spells , and it was during one of these spells that movement was seen at the top of the Oak . With binoculars , Purple Emperor was confirmed , and the first was joined by a second . The flight was so quick , appearing and disappearing in seconds . With the 100mm. lens on , for shots on the ground , I did manage a few record shots , bad ones , but enough to confirm the species . As can be seen , one had wing damage , probably due to fighting , or hopefully mating .
Over the next couple of hours I had many sightings of probably three specimens , some down near the ground , but none stationary , hence no better shots . At 1430 , a male appeared from nowhere , circled me within a metre for 20/30 seconds , then disappeared as quickly as he came . I was turning with him , and had great views of the purple irridescence when the light caught his topwings , but I couldn't even focus on him , never mind take a shot . Weather permitting , I hope to return Thursday/Friday , with banana skins , for a long morning visit .
Also around were lots of White Admirals ,A very flighty , fresh Red Admiral , that wouldn't let me get within 5 metres ,A very fresh Peacock , that would not open it's wings ,And amongst the Bramble , a Light Emerald moth , I believe .
By 1530 , the PE sightings were non existent , but the area seemed to come alive with various species of flies , including this little one , no bigger than a house fly , with fantastic eyes .
It would not stop landing on the camera and my hands , so removing the camera from the tripod , I managed a few shots of it perched on the tripod head . I kept swatting it away from my hands , just as well , as when I identified it later at home , it was one of the Horse Flies-Chrysops relictus , and would probably have given a good bite .
Soon after , light rain started falling , which was my cue to leave , but on the gate post back at the car park , a very fresh Comma was hope for just one more sunny interval .
1 day ago