Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Heath Fritillaries at East Blean Wood

Yesterday I visited East Blean Wood near Canterbury to see the Heath Fritillary which emerged a week ago. As I parked I could see a photographer at work next to the fence. The clearing next to the car park was teeming with more fritillaries than I have seen in one place before. I observed six tumbling in an aerial group, mating pairs and half a dozen nectaring on the same head of bramble flowers. I was told that last year cow wheat, the larval food plant, was abundant in a nearby clearing. Then the HFs were flying in clouds but that this year cow wheat was absent from the clearing and so were the Heath Fritillaries.






mating pair


damselfly

Common Cow-wheat Melampyrum pratense, larval food plant of the Heath Fritillary





mating pair
Lacewing
ants harvesting black fly
ant nest

poppy in car park
The Heath Fritillaries were nectaring on the ox-eye daisies in the car park






ant nest

clearing by the car park
where most of the Heath Fritillaries were found

mound in the car park covered by ox-eye daisies

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