Saturday, 21 July 2012

White Admiral, Stour Estuary

Being quiet on the bird front today we decide to head towards the Stour Estuary in search of butterflies, and in particular the White Admiral.
I arrive at around 7am and take the footpath into the woods. It's looking good weather wise, But it's early and the temperature needs to warm up.
White Admiral
On the walk down to the estuary the temperature increases and I start to see butterflies on the wing. There's plenty of Ringlets and Gatekeepers on view. It's now hot enough for shirt sleeves and on the walk back there's a Purple Hairstreak warming up at the edge of the grass path.
Marbled White
Reaching a crossroads in the path Brian spots our target. The White Admiral is flying around at the top of a tree. I'm happy to get my first views of this butterfly, But it gets better when it starts to descend to lower levels and then lands on some nearby ferns.
I manage to grab a couple of quick shots before it's off and flying around the tree tops again. It's joined by a Red Admiral and lots more Ringlets.
Further along the track we spot a couple of Silver-washed Fritillary. The walk back to the car also produces Small and Large Whites

Next stop is West Canvey Marsh, Where the target here is the Marbled White. These prove to be far easier to see than the White Admiral. In fact they seem to be everywhere along the circular route.
Ringlets are abundant here as well, and there are several species of skippers present.
This was the site of one of our failed trips for Hoopoe last year, Where we missed the bird by minutes.
Today's trip proved far more fruitful and far less stressful.

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