8 Feb 2015

8 Feb 15 - An Admiral Visits The Patch

With the Studland/Ballard patch being a coastal site & right next to the entrance to Poole Harbour, then there are a lot of ships & boats which pass through the patch ranging from commercial ferries & merchant ships, down to Sunseeker luxury boats, fishing boats down to canoes & often irresponsible jet-skis. I guess it's possible that occasionally there has been the occasional off duty Admiral on one of the ferries or Sunseekers.
Condor Ferry: Passing the Studland Chain Ferry. Maybe there has been an Admiral as a passenger on board over the years (6 Oct 14)
But this Post isn't about senior naval officers, but about a Red Admiral. Last month, I managed to photograph a hibernating Peacock Butterfly that had emerged on a mild, sunny January day for a quick fly around & feed at Greenlands Farm, at the Southern end of the patch. A close relative is the Red Admiral, which is another species which over-winters as an adult. Like the Peacock, there is a chance one might fly past on a sunny day, before returning to a sheltered location to hibernate again. Today was a still day and despite being a cold start, there was a bit of warmth in the sun by late morning. This sun encouraged a Red Admiral to fly past & fortunately, stop for a feed. The highlight of an otherwise quiet visit to the patch (assuming you agree a mere 18 Black-necked Grebes as a quiet visit, given I had probably missed about 50% of them in the choppy coastal waters).
Red Admiral: There are few flowers out locally at the moment, but there is a reasonable amount of flowering Gorse
I can see a new challenge coming on to try & photograph at least one species of Butterfly on the Studland/Ballard patch in every month this year. Clearly, the first two months are covered with the Peacock & this Red Admiral. There are usually late Butterflies around in October & November, so that leaves just two potentially tricky months of March & December. Challenge set.


  1. Steve, Brimstone in March should be quite plausible, weather permitting. Good luck with December though!

  2. Hi Bomber,
    yep not too worried about March as long as we get a decent weekend towards the end of the month. A bonus early Swallow, Wheatear or Black Redstart is also on the cards as well. But December will be the tough month.