I was planning a visit to see the Purple Emperor today, that was until high winds were forecast. With this I decided to stay local and to head for Friston Forest in the hope of finding the magnificent Scarlet Tiger Moth. I have seen these several times over the last few years but they are still a rare sight in Sussex with a few colonies between Brighton and Eastbourne.
With the wind blowing and only intermittent sun it took a while to see my first butterfly. Then several were seen as it warmed up. Marbled Whites, Meadow Brown and Ringlet in numbers as well as an Essex Skipper. Shortly after I saw my first Gatekeeper of the year, followed by several more as it appeared an emergence of these was under way.
Male Meadow Brown.
Female Meadow Brown.
Not long after this I spotted the first of 2 Scarlet Tiger Moths. The first I saw in flight, I was hoping it would land nearby but it vanished in deep foliage. I then spotted another on Hemp Agrimony just by the path and I managed several shots of it as it flew just short distances. I hoped it would open its wings fully and show off the scarlet of its hind-wings, but it only showed glimpses of it, except of course, when it flew.
Scarlet Tiger on Hemp Agrimony.
A hint of scarlet!!
The under-side of Scarlet Tiger.