Tag Archives: Purple Hairstreak

Demons Of The Swamp Vol.3

Fans of The Cramps will get the title and if you don’t like The Cramps a. What is wrong with you? b. Why are we friends? Maybe we’re not.

Anyway, a blog post. First in a year? Does anyone still read blogs? If so read on.

Yesterday I went on my first twitch in absolutely ages. What did I twitch? A Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, some call it Western Swamphen, I still prefer Purple Gallinule. Will it ever be accepted onto the BOU British List? I doubt it but then Chinese Pond Heron made so maybe.

Anyway one arriving at RSPB Minsmere we were soon watching Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station. I mean the Swampmonster.


Sizewell B


Purple Swamphen


Purple Swamphen

After a while of watching the Swampdonkey walk round a pool a sort of purple haze descends on a man and it was time to head off to the visitor centre to buy some china tea cloths or something and a coffee and bacon butty.

Around the centre, as well as the stench of composting toilets, are lots of Buddleia bushes. These attracted a steady stream of insects and a steady stream of photographers.


Migrant Hawker


Migrant Hawker


Migrant Hawker


Peacock & Red Admiral

By now we needed to see more birds and better insects so yomped a whole 300m to look at the Stone Curlew, two adults and a chick. Can’t be too many places you can see Purple Gallinule and Stone Curlew in the same reserve.

Back towards the centre we dipped Pantaloon Bee but scored with the Beewolves and a bonus if somewhat shy Purple Hairstreak.






Purple Hairstreak

We finished our day watching a pair of Honey Buzzard put on a full flight display over Westwood Lodge at Walberswick. The three lifers in the day Brian Moore’s granddaughter Rosie certainly hit a purple patch!

All photos were either iPhonescoped (still or 4K video) or taken using the camera on the iPhone 6S. Stills from video were taken using the StillShot app.





Purple Emperors

Out to Fermyn Wood this morning in Northants for the Purple Emperors. Steve Houghton had described a good supporting cast yesterday so I was feeling confident. On arriving it was already bloody hot and the Emperors were flying about all over the place. Getting one settled though was another matter.

With plenty of other butterflies on offer I stopped at suitable locations and waited to see what would come down. Ringlet were all over the place but again very skittish. I did manage a couple of shots though.



The most visible butterflies had to be the numerous White Admiral, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many in one place.

White Admiral

White Admiral

White Admiral

A few other vanessids were coming down to the path and feasting on the dog shit conveniently left by the owners… the first time this year I’m not moaning.

Small Tortoiseshell

Red Admiral

There were also plenty of skippers about mostly hiding in the grass but this Large Skipper posed quite nicely allowing me to photograph from an unusual angle.

Large Skipper

I was very disappointed not to see any White-letter Hairstreak despite Steve getting good photos yesterday. The only Purple Hairstreak I saw was a scope view in someone’s scope.

The Purple Emperors though just would not play ball today and these are my best efforts.

Purple Emperor

Purple Emperor

Other notable insects around were Brown Hawker, Common Darter and a superb Hornet that just would not settle in the open… bugger!