Saturday, July 1, 2017

Fantastic Morning at Savernake

Had been planning a visit to Savernake all week so despite not the best of weather forecasts I got up and made the short journey to Marlborough. The sun was just breaking through the cloud as I arrived at about 9.30 and made my way into the clearing by the column, as I walked to the far side there was instant success as Himself was sat on the base enjoying the mineral salts. After my first 30 or so photos I finally looked up to see two more Emporers further up the column. One flew down and alighted itself on the ground near the entrance to the clearing so I moved over and followed it out across the road and down the track opposite where it kindly posed on some dung before flying off over the pond. Back to the column and there was still three (not sure if there was a fourth or the one I had been following did a U turn back). Over the course of the next few hours I was joined by a few other enthusiasts and we were treated to two more ground excursions, one around the base of the column just outside the railings and another on some rotten dung. Through the cloudier patches they flew up to the tops of the trees to sit it out but as soon as the sun returned they became more active and came back to the column. It was interesting to note that they did not seem bothered by each other and I did not see any aggressive behaviour (unlike on my visit to Knepp!) - guessing this was because there was no sign of any females yet. All in all a fantastic morning with the most activity I have seen in that area in a number of years and most definitely the best views of them grounded. One kindly decided to check out my hand just as I was leaving and posed on my finger for a few minutes - which just about makes it one of my best butterflying days ever!

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