FRIDAY 19 JULY
A fourth day running with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius - with wall-to-wall sunshine but an increasing NE breeze
Following up on a visit by Dave Cleal earlier in the week, I spent several hours in HODGEMOOR WOODS this morning, transecting butterflies south of the main car park in Botterells Lane at SU 968 939. I was amazed at the selection on offer, including an incredible 30 WHITE ADMIRALS - the largest number I have ever seen at one site in Bucks, 2 or 3 male PURPLE EMPERORS, 4 PURPLE HAIRSTREAKS, 2 Commas, 25 Speckled Woods, 73 Ringlet and 14 Large Whites.
Not too many birds on offer but Red Kite, 7 Nuthatch (in two noisy family parties), Common Treecreeper, 2 Wren, 1 Song Thrush, 3 singing Goldcrest, 1 juvenile Common Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, Robin, 2 Coal Tits, several family parties of both Blue and Great Tit and a MARSH TIT
The wood is situated east of the Beaconsfield to Amersham Road (A 355) and is massive - very easy to get totally lost in and covered in a myriad of footpaths; lots of biting Horseflies too - most butterfly activity was concentrated in SE hectares
A further two male PURPLE EMPERORS were then seen in the wooded complex surrounding OLD AMERSHAM CREMATORIUM at SU 945 966