Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Heath and the Hawker!

With the sun shining after work at 4.30pm, I cycled home and called into East Blean Woods which is conveniently on the way. I was hoping to find my first Heath Fritillary butterfly of the year, one of our rarest butterflies in the UK. On arrival I could see Chris Tedder in the car park scanning and I hoped that she may have found some for me to photograph. Unfortunately she had not but she did have some good news, she had seen a large Hawker flying around which she was pretty sure was a Norfolk Hawker. This was pleasing to know that it was still around but where has this individual come from and what is it doing in the woods? I decided to have a look for some butterflies and Chris said she would call if she saw anything. I had only just started searching when a small butterfly flew up in front of me and landed again showing its lovely colours, a stunning Heath Fritillary. I set about getting a couple of shots and managed a few when Chris called me over.

Heath Fritillary

 I was soon on my way and there flying around the car park over our heads was a NORFOLK HAWKER Dragonfly, a real rarity still in Kent. Its brown colour stood out well and those green eyes cannot be missed. For a few minutes it flew around and soon vanished not to be seen again. While we hoped it would reappear there was also a Hairy Dragonfly, 1 Broad bodied Chaser and a few Common Blue Damselflies. Also flying were 1 Speckled Wood and my first Large Skipper of the year. I shall hopefully return after work tomorrow and see if I can find the Norfolk Hawker and spend some time in the next few weeks trying to capture a few special shots of the Heath Fritillaries.

Broad bodied Chaser


  1. Wonderful shot Marc of the Heath Fritt. I was a bit early last Friday!! How far away is Blean to where you had the Norfolk Hawker last year?

  2. Probably a couple of miles away. I did have one a couple of years ago at Chislet, a mile or so away. Perhaps there is a nearer small colony. Seems weird seeing it in the woods though?

  3. On yer bike!....

    Two more brilliant images here of the Fritillary and the Chaser Marc.

  4. I ride to work every day Pete, 5 miles each way. Not bad when its not raining!!

  5. How big are those Heath frits ? Gatekeeper sized, or smaller? Nice shot of it whatever!

    1. They are pretty small, Gatekeeper size would be a good guess. Cracking little butterflies.