30 Days Wild: Day 25: Purple Hairstreak
Although I have just returned home drenched to the skin, I have just had one of the loveliest woodland walks I have had for quite some time. We started off walking down one of the rides with rainclouds hot on our heels. As the first specks of rain fell, we took cover off the main track down a deer trail. There sheltered from the rain, we had a picnic; we listened to the rain pattering on the leaves and the alarm call of a blackbird spooked by a buzzard which landed above our heads. At this point I had given up hope of any photos because of the grey clouds, breeze and rain. However, as we made our way through the woods, the bad weather cleared up and we found white admirals, silver-washed fritillaries and, the highlight of my day, Dave spotted a small butterfly down close to the path - it was a purple hairstreak (the closest I've ever been to one)!
In high spirits, we decided to explore further and after stomping down stinging nettles, ducking under brambles and walking through dense leaf-litter - we ended up at a dead-end! However after retracing our steps and exploring further, we found a great corner with plenty of purple emperor flying in the canopy and landing on the path. Once again we set off and found ourselves walking down unfamiliar trails until we decided to head back to the car. And that is when the heavy drizzle began!