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.
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.
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.