Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday 19th. July 2013

Take another chance on Dene Wood or head for a wood in deepest Surrey where several specimens of the 'King of Butterflies' . the Purple Emperor had been sighted recently , was the decision that Keith and myself mulled over last night on the phone . We decided on the latter and headed South at 0600 in an attempt to avoid the traffic congestion at the M25/M26 junction . We were the first to arrive at the car park , and set off with energy to find our target . Four hours later , we had seen several PEs high in the tree tops or searching the many Willow trees for females , but failed to find  specimen on the ground . Several 'baits' from earlier in the week were still along the rides and some fellow enthusiasts added their 'special brew' to them in an attempt to lure a specimen down . A couple of times we passed people who informed us that they had one on the ground and got photos . We must have covered a fair distance during that time , but it was worth it when a male came down to the 'bait' in an area known as the triangle . That was the first of four males seen , two on the ground and two just above head height in trees . I haven't had time to go through all the shots taken , but am posting a few plucked out to give a visual account of a great hour .

Also found on the site was an unusual caterpillar , one I , nor anyone else I showed it to , knew it's
identity . A bit of digging when I got home produced the answer , Alder Moth . I read that when in it's early stage , the caterpillar looks like a bird dropping , but it seems like another 'Ugly Duckling' story to me . We also saw Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral , and on the way back home ,
stopped off at a small river , where Keith spotted a SWF fly down and land on floating vegetation . The river also held large numbers of Banded Demoiselles , mainly males , but a few females were
seen and they were soon clasped by the males . The river also held several fish with black dorsal and
tail fins , not sure of the species , but an angler might know . Before we left , a couple of locals came to photograph the Odonata . We got chatting and it turned out that one of them had spent all day yesterday , searching the wood we had visited , for PE and didn't get a single sighting . Lucky us or what .


roger.wood800 said...

I think I know the place you're talking about because I went there too!
Pity the poor photographer who had just changed lenses on his Canon, and was lining himself up for a perfect shot of a PE on the ground right in front of him. I patiently stood a distance away, ready to move in for my own shots once he'd got all of his own.
It never happened :(
Just as he was about to press the trigger, a Labrador came crashing through the undergrowth and scared it back into the treetops :(

Warren Baker said...

I take it the ''Purple'' is only seen when the light diffracts correctly greenie, as in the hairstreak ?

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Spot on .
Very difficult to get both wings showing purple at the same time .

ShySongbird said...

Very well done on finding and photographing His Imperial Majesty Greenie :-) Lovely to capture one on a leaf too! They really are very impressive creatures, no wonder they cause such a stir.

Well done too on all your recent finds and apologies for missing commenting on several of your recent posts. I have been reading and enjoying them all as much as always and you have certainly had some great encounters during the last week particularly the PH DGFs and SWF, great photos throughout the posts.