Thursday, July 14, 2016

Eventful Alice

For the first time in a while the morning provided some decent weather - light winds no rain and intermittent sunshine so I headed to Alice Holt early.
My first walk up Straits yielded nothing, but as the morning wore on the crowds grew and the Emperors came out with five males oak edging and a couple having a battle over the ride.
As it was now quite busy I headed over to Abbotts Wood to see what was about - one chap was there and he said that a couple of females had been seen the day before but today he had only seen one male oak edging. With this information I thought I would check out some sallow where I had seen females in previous years and whilst peering up through  a large broad leaved sallow a movement caught my eye and I tracked a huge female as she found a MGSM leaf and laid an egg about fifteen feet up - unfortunately I had left my hook behind and couldn't spot the egg with my binoculars - but I will be back to check. Try as I might I couldn't track her further, and as always seems to happen, she just melted into the Sallows.
At about 12.30 I was watching a male oak edging when he perched on a prominent oak spray, after a few minutes a female casually glided into his path and he launched immediately. I watched transfixed as he flew in tight circles around her and she flew onto an oak spray. The male landed right behind her with quickly vibrating open wings and hers tightly closed. After a few seconds she led him over the top of the oak and unfortunately out of sight - hopefully to make next years crop.
I managed to fire off a few quick, and not very good, shots one of which is shown here and has been highly cropped. You can see the males vibrating wings with the female with closed wings - head on I think -  under the males left wing. In all I saw three females and a male at Abbots so Alice is performing quite well.
Best Wishes

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