Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Emperors and Hairstreaks

Well I don't have much for the blog. I have been out with Dave over the past couple of days. We have seen a lot but I haven't really got the quality of pictures that I would like to support our sightings. Monday was spent looking in various woods at the back of Southwater in an attempt to find a Purple Emperor butterfly. We found a couple of master trees and had a fleeting glimpse of what could have been a Purple Emperor at the top of one of those trees, but nothing more. I also managed to see more White Admirals in one day than I think I have seen in the whole of my life and I don't have a single good picture to show for it. The best of the record shots is shown below:-

White Admiral

Tuesday we spent sitting under the Preston Park Elm trees. We could see White-letter Hairstreaks high up in the tree when we arrived and as the morning wore on they gradually came lower. Then around eleven o'clock it all went quiet. I was lucky to be able to grab a couple of quick record shots of the butterflies up in the trees, as we saw nothing but a few distant flashes for the rest of the day. It was a nice relaxing day sitting in the sun but a bit disappointing having to come home without a decent picture.

White-letter Hairstreak - heavy crop to give me a record shot

The best of the rest were a shot of a Small Skipper

Small Skipper

A mating pair of Marbled Whites

Marbled Whites - bronze female and grey male

and a couple of Dragonfly shots.

The first a newly emerged immature. I am not entirely sure of its identity as the colours and markings are not fully developed but I think it is a Southern Hawker. I also took a picture of the exuvia it left lower down on the reed.

Immature Southern Hawker - I think

Unfortunately this dragonfly is not going far. Its right rear wing has failed to open and this will severely limit its flying ability.


The other Dragonfly was a male Emperor. This was spotted in the flower beds at Preston Park.

Male Emperor Dragonfly

So an interesting couple of days but we are going to have to put a lot more effort into the Purple Emperors and White-letter Hairstreaks if we are to get the pictures we are looking for.

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