An Elusive Beauty

After work last night Dave and I did a silly thing and went to Titchwell RSPB reserve to twitch a bloody butterfly… Dave didn’t even need it so that makes him madder than I!

On arriving there was a bloke in the picnic area and I thought he was just going to put us on to the butterfly… oh no… not at all. A few people came and went for differing lengths of time including James McCallum, the wildlife artist. He talked us through it’s movements the previous day… more searching and all for nothing.

We had had a few brief glimpses of a large ‘nymph’ but nothing conclusive. By about 19.45 the sun was getting lower and a small patch of trees were getting some sun. I stood on a picnic table to get a better view of this patch which is where any butterfly activity was centred. We had a nice Red Admiral in view basking and I soon became aware of two more butterflies in the sunny spot flying… boom! All of a sudden one did a swooping glide around followed by a bit of fluttering flight and another glide… unmistakable. A Camberwell Beauty! Get – fucking – in! You had to have bins up to see it but eventually I had about 10 flight views Dave and the first bloke less. It would do solo long loops and occasionally fight with a Red Admiral in a rapid spiral.

Still not close views, my only other was in Canada where I saw on from a train as we were stuck for about 2 hours waiting to enter Jasper station. I must also say this in one butterfly where I prefer the alternative name… Mourning Cloak.

The day was spoiled by only very average fish and chips in Hunstanton.


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