Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wednesday 25th. June 2014

On Monday morning , I popped over to Martin's for some advice on the Emperor Moth larvae that I am caring for . Whilst there , I got the opportunity to photograph a female Spurge Hawk Moth that he
has reared . Today a male hatched , and there could well be a lot more in the future . I was also able
to photograph an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar , green rather than the brown later instars that I
have seen in the past . I couldn't leave without a few more shots of the exotic Zebra .
A trip up to Burnt Gorse at High Elms failed to relocate the White Admiral , or find another , and Silver-washed Fritillary sightings were the same as last visit . Good to see a fresh female Small
Tortoiseshell , they are certainly making a good comeback . A female Red Admiral , one of several

seen recently , was hassled by the locals on a large Bramble bush . A brief visit to the bush was also made by a Humming-bird Hawk Moth , but that was seen off almost immediately by the locals too .
This morning , I made a recce visit to Dene Park near Tonbridge , prior to a visit with Keith . A chilly wind was blowing across the site and it took some time to warm up . Butterflies were few , even Meadow Brown and Ringlet were hard to find . Whilst waiting a bit of in flight practice with
Volucella pellucens , one of the larger hoverflies . A few White Admiral started to appear , but none
were willing to be photographed , indeed during the visit , just one made it into the viewfinder . But all was forgotten , when walking the triangle of paths for the umpteenth time , I spotted a shadow and slight movement in the sun on the back path . As I approached I could see it was a Purple Emperor , a

male , taking minerals from the path . He stayed closed winged , hardly moving for 2/3 minutes . I could hear voices approaching , and I think he did too , as a couple of times , he flicked his wings
open and shut , before finally taking off at speed . That was the only sighting , but made the visit very worthwhile . This afternoon , I had a look around Hutchinsons Bank , and pleased to see that the sheep had been taken off site . Lots of Marbled Whites around , but the Small Blues seem to have almost gone over now . Martin tells me that he had another / the same , Humming-bird Hawk Moth egg laying whilst he was doing the transect today . On the way off site , a look at the Peacock
caterpillars , found that they have spun a tent on the next leaf down in which they are crowded . Well , it is almost Glastonbury .


Warren Baker said...

Your volucella pellucans shots get better every year greenie, must be all that practice while you wait for those flutters!

Phil said...

Nice read Greenie.
Hope the moth caring continues successfully.
Well done with the Purple Emperor at Dene Park. Last time I was there I was "assaulted" by three different dogs. All my own fault as usual, 'you're carrying a camera'. 'You're using binoculars'. You're wearing the wrong colour shirt'. Etc, etc. Consequently I swore I wouldn't go back there so I've never seen one. Maybe I should risk it again!

roger.wood800 said...

Hey, great to see the purple Emperor season is underway: I did go to Gt Bookham Common yesterday (Thursday) but got there a bit late to have any expectation of seeing any. I will be back.
If it wasn't for the fact we were about 5 miles apart, I could've sworn your Small Tortoiseshell was the same one as mine!
(Which is an indirect way of saying, OMFG, what the hell have they done [let happen] to the supposed reserve at Salt Box Hill!?)