Saturday, 21 July 2012

White Admiral at Stour Wood Essex

Having checked the weather I decided to travel to Stour Wood this morning in search of White Admiral. Having never been to this site before It was nice to find it easily along Wrabness Road.
I pulled into the car park for 7am and followed the trails around the wood.
At 7am the butterflies were not flying but a pleasant walk through the woods revealed The Stour Estuary with lot's of Curlew seen feeding from the watch point.
The Stour Estuary

A Heron showed here too along with a couple of Oyster catchers and good numbers of gulls.
A short walk back across the bridge and I'm in the RSPB's reserve at Copperas Woods.

Copperas Wood

I started the walk back to the car park and by now there was much more activity from the butterflies. Ringlets were plentiful (but starting to show their age) along with a few Meadow Brown and several skippers. A gatekeeper posed and I found a Purple Hairstreak warming itself.
As I made my way back to the main clearing I spotted a White Admiral and was lucky when it settled close by giving me a nice photo opportunity.

White Admiral Stour Woods
Shortly after a couple of Silver Washed Fritillary were spotted and again settled for another photo opportunity. These really are large vibrant butterflies which are flying with a purpose as the defend their small patch of the forest.

Silver Washed Fritillary
Before leaving we also caught site of Small and Large White along with Red Admiral.

Heading back down the A12 we make a short detour to Canvey Island and West Canvey Marsh for another attempt at getting a few Marbled White pictures and we're not disappointed as the venue is alive with them still.
Skippers are also every where we look and good numbers of Meadow Brown, Ringlet and a few Gatekeeper and Whites are about. A single Small Heath showed too to bring the butterfly count to more than ten species for the morning.

A nice morning watching these guys go about their business.

New birds are thin on the ground so it's nice to have something else to get me up and out and the colours/patterns are really something when you get this close.
Home for lunchtime and the little matter of laying some flooring with my son in his kitchen.

Meadow Brown

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