Monday, July 26, 2010


Our thanks to Andrew Swann for rescuing a female from his swimming pool outside Penn Wood, in the Chilterns north of High Wycombe. Herself recovered and flew off back to Penn Wood.

I have made quite an effort to watch females these last two weeks, and have witnessed only two egg-laying runs and the odd bit of skulking in the bushes (as above). Moreover, Brother Dennis and I, who both unashamedly practice the Dark Art of looking for eggs, have as yet struggled to find any. I am beginning to feel that the females may well have been clobbered by the St Swithin's Day gale, and that this year's egg lay is poor (whereas last year's was miraculous, despite poor weather during the egg-laying season).

Yesterday, in an around Savernake, I managed only one female - flying low and fast through a male territory. But I counted 12 males in the territories along Three Oak Hill Drive, including a pulse of four together. Six of the nine territories visited there were occupied, albeit by ageing males. One came down to feed on The Column, and thence to the ride and to my left foot. The butterfly should make it into August in that district.

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