Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Hornet Clearwing, Purple Emperor and lots more!

Another amazing day, this time in Suffolk with Brian and Norman. Before we headed south, however, I guided Brian through the back roads to the row of ancient Poplars where I'd found the holes yesterday: after just a couple of minutes, I found a female Hornet Clearwing drying her wings ten feet up on a patch of ivy! Hard to photograph, but a fantastic creature and one I've wanted to see for years!

Brian and Norman were keen to see the Purple Heron, so - after some car park banter with old friends Red and Mike - we walked round to Bittern Hide. After just a short wait (standing room only today!) we saw not only the Heron, but also three Bitterns, including a confiding juvenile. Nice to bump into old acquaintance Chris E, who'd ridden down on his bike!

South Hide held a large breeding group of Mediterranean Gulls (a real success story: it's not that long ago I saw my first in Folkestone!) but little else, while the public shore platform gave us distant views of a trio of Green Sandpipers. The Sandy Wall added Essex Skipper, Small Copper, Six-banded Clearwing and various parasitic wasps: Jewelled Wasp, Bee Wolf and 'Weevil Wolf', but the only Pantaloon Bee we saw was peeping from her burrow!

A move round to some nearby woodland provided views - and somewhat shady photos - of a female Purple Emperor, as well as Southern Hawker (eating a Ringlet!) and lots of Purple Hairstreaks. A terrific day out!

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