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My first visit to Slade Wood last week, though a wonderful wander, did not produce any sightings of the particular butterfly I was hoping for. So, when I read on Twitter that evening that they had been seen in a particular spot, and knowing that these butterflies can be territorial so would probably be faithful to that location, I just had to go back for another look. And I’m so very glad I did.

210723 white admiral (1)

By sheer coincidence, Frank, the person who had provided the site details, was there when I revisited Slade Wood last Friday. We had brief views of one butterfly but it wasn’t until I met Frank again along the main woodland ride that we had these exceptionally close views of another.

210723 white admiral (3)

The butterfly, the one true glider of the 59 British butterfly species, is a White admiral (Limenitis camilla) and, as it was patrolling a small territory and defending that territory from other, passing butterflies, it was probably a male. It was amazingly confiding, and I felt incredibly fortunate to be able to observe this gorgeous creature so closely.

210723 white admiral (2)