Friday, 10 July 2015

Purple Emperors

Yesterday (Thursday) saw me visiting the Fermyn/Souther/Lady Wood complex near Corby, an annual pilgrimage to view a stunning local speciality, the Purple Emperor butterfly.
The weather was mostly sunny, if a little cool early on and an early tree top sighting promised better views to come. 
Plenty of other butterflies were on the wing including Comma, Large Skipper, Green-veined White Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and a couple of high speed, completely unidentifiable Hairstreak's zooming about the Oak canopy.
Two other butterflies I associate with this woodland complex, White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary, were also airborne, although the former was unusually difficult and elusive.
Back to the Purple Emperors. After the initial tree top sighting in Fermyn Wood a second was down on the track just before the open section by the footpath to Lyveden. it was extracting minerals from the track and was in no hurry to move on, even when a car came up the track, the driver having to wait until it was finished.
Into the Souther/Lady wood section and a superb Silver-washed Fritillary was feeding on brambles. A couple of others had been seen in flight, but this one was considerably more obliging, much to the delight of a gentleman trying to see all the UK butterflies this year. 
Multiple sightings of Purple Emperor's were enjoyed throughout this area and on the return walk.

                            Neil H
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