Today I took Kitty to Bentley Wood in desperation for Pearl Bordered Fritillary. We arrived just before lunch and it was not looking promising. For an hour we mooched around the Eastern Clearing but it was cold. Occasionally the sun would attempt to burn away the cloud and it would start to feel warmer, a few bees would come out, but then the sun would disappear and the wind would whip in to remind how cold it actually was. Despite several pairs of eyes, including those of Rob S and Jenks no Pearls were found...
As we ate lunch back in the car park the sun appeared again, there was some blue sky and we decided to give it another go...
Back at the clearing we suddenly found a lep, one of those long horn moths, then another an unknown moth
I’d just remarked that I actually cast a shadow and it seemed noticeably warmer when a cry of “WURZEL” rang out across the site. We hurried across the cleared area, sticking to the rabbit paths to avoid the boggy areas, to find Rob S staring at the ground and the little ginger jewel that we’d come to see. It looked very fresh, without a mark on it. 1-0 to Rob S.
After getting a few shots it fluttered a short way before landing on a Bluebell. At first it was content to show us its’ backside, then it’s wings wide open before finally closing up shop so we could get that classic Pearl Bordered shot, pearls on display and the large single white “window”.
As always seems the way once you’ve found one, others seem to follow and this was no different, but on the other side of the path it was my second ever Duke of Burgundy! For an age it sat there wings open wide, sunning itself. It gave me a chance to try out the Butterflies App that Pete and Guy were involved in. In the end we settled for female.
As this was my second ever I stayed for a while and eventually it closed it’s wings revealing the 3 pairs of legs, confirming that it was a female.
After having my fill of the Duchess I took to strolling some more and found my very own Pearl, the equalizer 1-1. There was some red liquid on the surrounding stems which suggested that this was only just emerged. Closer inspection showed that its’ wings weren’t properly dry yet and were still slightly crumpled.
This told the story, we were witnessing an emergence event. And there just over the way was my second self found Pearl, 2-1 to Wurzel...
But Rob then drew...2-2, looks like it could go to penalties...
Rob S was in again, but this individual had previously been something’s lunch, so we called it a draw in the end. Heading back the sun warming all the time I glanced what I thought was another Pearl out of the corner of my eye, but it was just a similar coloured leaf – I really have got to stop reading “Dazzled and Deceived” I’m seeing mimicry everywhere.
Once back in the car park I’d just started to write in the sightings book and was leaving directions for Jenks when he arrived back from Martin Down. I hope he found them. Tomorrow will bring family duties so little chance of butterflies but today will keep me going for at least a fortnight!
Have a goodun