A wander around the grounds of Lawnswood Cemetery on a sunny afternoon gave us a view of the first Red Admiral of the year. I was pleased with this one because I've previously seen them much later in the season. This one (one of two) proved to be pretty bold and a bit of a show off, and I'm happy to have captured the detail on the underwing.
Bringing new meaning to 'a butterfly on the wing'.
On our return to the same sunny spot the Red Admiral was still there, the sun had moved round by this point so it was sunning itself with open wings on a bed of crisp, golden oak leaves.
A metre or so from the Red Admiral we watched a Holly Blue (two in two days!) flit around the upper branches of a sun drenched holly tree, too restless and too far out of reach for a pic. Within closer viewing distance, we spotted 6 Peacock (Inachis io), along the route, this one showing a little damage to its hindwing.
We must have seen over 30 Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) butterflies throughout our wander, bathing in pools of light, and then spiralling high up into the canopies whenever a second butterfly invaded its patch.
Jays are a frequent sight, and today was no exception (10), other feathered inhabitants included Wren (5), Robin (4), Mistle Thrush (2), Wood Pigeon (12) Blackbird (6) Chaffinch (4) Great Spotted Woodpecker (1) Great Tit (10) Blue Tit (8) Long Tail Tit (2) Chiff Chaff (2) Magpie (7) Treecreeper (1) Crow (5).
Ending with a splash of colour, the pink blossom of Sargents Cherry (Prunus sargentii) enhanced by the backlit leaves of a Copper Beech in the background.