Friday, 12 June 2015

Heath Fritillary at last!

 Our second trip to Hockley Woods Essex was successful. Above is the habitat that has been managed to maintain a breeding population of Heath Fritillaries.

 We saw a total of 8 along the rides in the warm sunshine.

 They were attracted to Blackberry flowers, but there is also plenty of Cow Wheat, which is the caterpillars food plant

 They have a low fluttering flight with short glides. They were quite difficult to find perched up.

 There were also plenty of Holly Blues on the wing. I think this one might be egg laying, but on a Dock?

 Referred to as the Woodman's friend as it would be found in recently coppiced areas. It disappears when areas are shaded out. As a result of being tied to human activity, British Heath Frits. lost their migration instincts and became very sedentary. This results in the extinction of colonies if management does not continue. I can only congratulate the volunteers at Hockley who have worked to maintain the habitat necessary for this rare species.

 In the afternoon we chilled out on the beach at Southend -on -Sea. We were surrounded by more Med. Gulls than Black Headed!

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