In a recent post I wrote about a visit to a local nature reserve called Monks Wood. I’d managed to find and photograph a Black Hairstreak butterfly which is an elusive butterfly that can only be found in a couple of locations in the UK. I decided that I would return to Monks Wood to look for White Admiral butterflies – a species I hadn’t photographed before. I’d seen White Admirals during my last visit but they seem to stay quite high in the trees, no good for photography. There were loads of Silver-washed Fritillary butterflies which are large striking butterflies with bright orange and black markings.
A stunning Silver-washed Fritillary
I found a small clearing in the wood where there were puddles of water. I saw a White Admiral having a drink so I thought this would be a good place to linger to see if there were any more butterflies around.
A White Admiral showing the underwing markings
Within a few minutes five of six White Admirals started to fly around, eventually some of them settled on low bushes which allowed me to get quite a few shots of this butterfly.
So, why is my post titled Two Emporers and an Admiral? Well, the Admiral refers to the White Admiral. The two Emporers are a butterfly and a dragonfly I saw the next day at the Woodwalton Fen nature reserve.
Purple Emporer butterflies were spotted around Rothchilds bungalow so I thought I’d take a look. On the way I spotted a big dragonfly which I originally thought was a Hairy dragonfly but I got the identification wrong and found out later it was an Emporer dragonfly – Britains largest dragonfly.
The impressive Emporer dragonfly
Emporer dragonfly – closeup
I was in luck, there was a Purple Emperor butterfly flying around the bungalow, it landed on the balcony and remained there for at least 10 minutes which gave me a great opportunity to get some closeup shots.
Purple Emperor butterfly with a glimpse of the upper wing colour
A Purple Emperor showing the underwing markings
Up close to a Purple Emperor
After about 10 minutes the butterfly flew off and disappeared in the treetops.