Perfect spot to watch lives of butterflies
At the top of my favourite wood, which I do not often visit as the terrain is very steep and I prefer the stream and leat habitat at the bottom, I found brown hairstreak butterflies.
The wood edge here, and the adjacent hedgerows, are full of blackthorn, as well as hawthorn and some hazel.
It was a perfect sunny September day as I leaned on my trusty stick, also a blackthorn, and watched as a few females laid eggs singly in the forks of blackthorn twigs. Orange, quite vivid on some, their flighting short-lived while the very few males are dark with touches of orange on the "tails" of the hindwings and were keeping high up. Here the species feeds on sap from tree wounds and honey dew. Both sexes have orange underwings with white streaks and a red margin. They will be on the wing into October so I'll be back with a camera and fingers crossed.
The caterpillars look like bright green woodlice and resemble oval sloe leaves. Eggs hatch in spring, the caterpillars feeding from April into June when they pupate. It is usually single brooded but there is evidence of a second brood in some southern areas.
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef Wellington
Must book to qualify 01209 860332 and present voucher on arrival
Mon- Thur 6-9pm
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Saturday, December 21 2013
Large whites and speckled woods were everywhere. Earlier I had seen a speckled wood walking about on an apple tossed away in the lane leading to the woods, feeding on the juice.
On the steep traipse down through the trees, I was lucky enough to see a sparrowhawk winging its way among the trees. They have always nested here and raised a few young, their flattish platform nests visible here and there, some almost see-through, in the tree branches above. A clatter of wood pigeon wings and two pass me chased by the female hawk. Tis tea time.