Friday, July 12, 2013

Slow Progress with Alice

By 2pm I'd become despondent that the 2013 emergence in Alice Holt Forest was going to be poor, for none had been seen.  But then they suddenly kicked off.  Males usually reach the territories around 12.30 but today they arrived late, around 2pm; doubtless because the day took a while to warm up and brighten (thin cloud dispersed from 10am).   

All told I saw 10 males at four of the most favoured high point territories, and know that other folk saw a few more.  My tally included two trios battling for supremacy.  10 is a reasonable but not startling tally for Day 3 of the flight season there (in good years the butterfly explodes in numbers almost from Day 1).

I heard of one pristine male being seen down on the main ride of Straits Inclosure ca 1.30.  Here I need to issue a complaint:  I had to remove rotting bananas from the main ride there.  Now, the Straits is where shrimp paste was introduced to the UK by Yasataka Marata - in effect, it's the UK Type Locality for shrimp paste as a bait for iris.  As one who has known the Straits for 40 years I for one am not prepared to have the sanctity of the place bespoiled by banana baits.  Gentlemen, please, no bananas here.

White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary are emerging in pleasing numbers in Straits this year.  It's too early for any aberrations, but hopefully there'll be some.  In hot weather they are feeding with closed wings, like this girl - 


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