One particular ride has colonies of both of these aerobatic creatures, so I went straight there and within minutes I saw my first White Admiral of the year. This delightful butterfly has, in my opinion, the most graceful flight of all the English species. Occasional flaps of the wings are followed by long, straight glides. At this time of year it is quite difficult to photograph as the males don't rest for long. The picture here is one I took on a visit another year.
We are very lucky to have this species on our doorstep; it is resident in many (if not all) of the Oak woodlands in Sussex, but much more scarce elsewhere in the country.
|Silver-washed Fritillary (male)|
On this visit I saw four individuals, which these days is quite a treat. It is particularly striking when you look back to reports from the end of the 19th Century when they were abundant, no more so than in the New Forest where "as soon as the Sun appeared, their numbers resembled a shower of falling autumn leaves" as they descended from the trees.
Sadly, the summer monsoons have returned but if the the weather warms up again, you have a good chance of seeing either of these gorgeous butterflies on a trip to Beckley Woods.