2 Jul 2017

2 July 17 - Summer Doldrums

Since the late spring, the local Birding has been very quiet, apart from the excitement over the Elegant Tern. I've been cracking on with dull jobs around the house & garden, especially gardening. With the prospect of another day of gardening this weekend, I decided it was about time to head out to look for White Admirals locally. Soon after moving to Dorset, I started a ten miles from the house list. Not because it was another list to keep, but primarily as it would encourage me to spend more time Birding & looking at wildlife on my doorstep. White Admirals are one of few Butterflies that occurs locally that I've not managed to see. The easiest place to see them is on Brownsea, but usually summer apathy has meant I've not got around to going over to Brownsea at the right time of year.
Silver-washed Fritillary: A pity about the knackered forewing
Silver-washed Fritillary: Hopefully this will help maintain the next generation
A recent tweet indicated that a White Admiral had been recently seen on the nature trail at Littlesea. So with the prospect of them flying on the Studland patch, the gardening plans were shelved. Not knowing exactly where to look meant I was going to have to walk around & around hoping to bump into one. After 90 minutes of searching, I hadn't found any, although I had seen a number of Silver-washed Fritillaries, Commas, Ringlets, Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, Red Admirals & Large Skippers.
Comma: There were quite a few flying, but all looked a bit beyond their best. Whereas, the ones I've seen in my garden this weekend, look a lot fresher
Comma: Showing how it got its name
Then I bumped into three other locals who had seen a White Admiral earlier that afternoon, as well as, a more showy individual elsewhere on the nature trail about a week ago. I was invited to tag along with them to check out the site of the showy individual, but after 20 minutes of looking, it was a no show. Back to Plan B to return to the site of their earlier sighting this afternoon, while they headed off to check out another historical location. No sooner than I had arrived at their site, which I had briefly looked at earlier that afternoon, then one flew down & started nectaring. It didn't stay long, but was good to finally see one locally. I was joined by the others after about ten minutes. Over the next hour or so, we all had repeated sightings of at least three White Admirals coming down to nectar for a few minutes, before disappearing back into the trees.
White Admiral: Finally on the patch list
White Admiral: This one stayed around long enough to try with the SX60