Location: Kings Wood, Challock
Date: 13th July 2023
Blog Written By: Gini (Walk Leader)
Our walk began in the carpark... on a cloudy but warm July day. It's Wimbledon afterall, so we ventured off, whilst prepared for a rainshower.
The plan was to follow a tree based theme, and walk leader Gini introduced tree based author Peter Wohlleben book- The History of Trees, as we considered the differences between natural ancient forests and Forestry England Managed woodlands.
However nature dictated the theme for today.. of butterflies, moths, caterpillars and butterfly eggs too. Which was so apt, being that the Big Butterfly Count starts tomorrow (officially).
We started off finding eggs on wound wort, then the bright stripey Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on Ragwort.
There was an abundance of Red Admirals.. which occasionally landed on the warm track or one of our participants colourful sleeve to bask in the dappled sunlight.
Then we realised that the meadowflowers along the route were hosting literally hundreds of busy butterflies. Far too many for us to count.. so we tried to capture photos of the less camera shy ones.
And amongst this photoshoot, other insects popped into view, such as crickets and grasshoppers, dragonfly, ladybirds and various flying beetles. Those of us who could ambulate peered in on the world of Wood Ants, watching their busy lives at their huge ant nests along route. We observed 2 who were trying to navigate back to the nest with a juicy caterpillar.
The butterflies we saw included many Meadow Brown, Skippers, Red Admirals, Large White, Marbled White, and some Small Heath and Gatekeeper. Aswell as probably many more (including small daytime moths which were too fast and fluttery to correctly identify.
We scooted along tracks through the wooded areas and then out into the clearing for a group photo.
We had a fabulous scoot and the moment we reached the carpark, the heavens began to open, so after loading up our chairs and scooter back onto vehicles, we headed off to Perry Court Farm in a downpour for lunch and refreshments.
📸 Image credit: Gini
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