Saturday, July 21, 2012

Alice Holt

The forecast looked good this morning so was out early but it seemed more like autumn, there was a definate chill in the air. When I arrived at AH I needed a jacket and body warmer. A walk through Abbots wood and back revealed more or less nothing - even the ringlets and meadow browns were still warming up. I shortly bumped into Pauline who had seen some activity the previous day and we chatted as we scanned the oaks and sallows for signs of life. After nearly three fruitless hours we decided to make our way back to the cars. Just as we were leaving the wood I caught sight of what I thought was a white admiral glide into a hazel and perch. Pauline wanted a photograph of the underside of a white admiral and as it had perched i located it in my bins and lo and behold it was a male emperor cleaning its proboscis. I managed to approach it through head high bracken and nettles [ouch!] to grab the shot attached when it flew off. Fortunately its next perch was my foot where it stayed for ten minutes or so - much to everyones amusement. We then spent 45mins in its company as it landed on the track several times then up to a low perches to clean and bask. In all we saw five individuals in AH - two in Straits, only two in Goose Green Old Car park which I was surprised at as the weather was perfect, just the one in Abbots wood. No females for us today.

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