Monday, July 23, 2012


I have spent a number of memorable days in Fermyn Wood but today must rank highly among them. In warm sunshine, I arrived at 8.30 a.m. and set off hotfoot to Souther Wood. At 9.18 a.m. I was greeted by a rather worn male on the ground. In the next half hour or so a total of eight were seen grounded in the western ride, one a multiple sighting of the three below feeding on faeces with another one nearby.

I ventured into a grassy ride and a fine female flew at low level before alighting on a hazel bush to feed on honeydew.

Shortly after this I met up with Matthew who at 10.00 had photographed a superb female lugenda (tbc - photo to be posted in due course) on the ground. It had flown into the top of a sallow where it remained with wings closed for forty minutes before flying off out of sight.

A further detour down the western ride into Lady Wood produced a further half dozen males on the ground with some "oak-edging". As I returned, I met a small group of the BB Society who had come on a field visit. I accompanied them back down into Souther Wood where we met a couple of photographers who had found a male on the ground. Casting shadows over it to try to get it to open its wings revealed that it was a superb male iolata, not bad for a first view for some of the party!

The wood was surprisingly alive with visitors for a weekday. Iris entertained a number by perching on legs, hands, camera bags etc. You really have to take your hat off to HIM!

On my return, I received welcome records from elsewhere in Northants - four seen in Geddington Chase and a further four in Salcey Forest where iris returned last year for the first time in half a century.

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