Monday, 19 July 2010

Watch Where You Step

The weekend started off well as I ran my moth trap over Friday night and was pleased to get a good number of different species when I checked the following morning. One nice find for the garden was a species called waved black which has a nationally scarce B status which means that it has been recorded from between 31-100 10Km squares in Great Britain since 1 Jan 1980. It has two main centres of distribution (Surrey and Worcestershire) with the moth increasing its range in recent decades into many southern counties including Kent.

Waved Black10_07_17_waved_black_001

Then on Sunday, having been avidly reading Greenies blog, I set off to try and see purple emperor at Dene Park near Tonbridge. It felt good to be going to a new location and also trying to see a new species of butterfly before especially one that I had wanted to see for many years. The first thing that struck me about the Forestry Commission site was the amount of dog mess littering the paths. Whilst potentially good for attracting the butterflies you certainly had to be very careful where you stepped and knelt when taking photos. I could start a rant here about irresponsible dog owners but I won’t as it has been done many times before. Leaving the muck aside, the site is superb for butterflies and without really trying I notched up 11 species and two species of Aeshna dragonflies in southern and brown hawkers. We managed to see 4 purple emperors including 2 males, with a fifth male being photographed on the ground by some other visiting folks.

Southern Hawker10_07_18_dene_park_039_southern_hawker

White Admiral

Purple Emperor10_07_18_dene_park_049_purple_emperor


Adam said...

Well done on the Purple Emperors John, certainly seems to have been a good year for them at Dene Park.


Greenie said...

John ,
Couldn't agree more with your comments re. dog fouling on the site , the worst being around the dog bin .
Well done on getting 'His Majesty' .
Good to see you came up with the same estimate of numbers as I did - 5/6 .
It's always someone else who gets the ground shots I find !