Beckley Woods Update

It’s been a while since my last post, but much has been going on in East Sussex and the Rother Woods Project has achieved a great deal with Steve Wheatley at the helm. Indeed, a walk in a local wood could well result in your bumping into him and possibly other butterfly enthusiasts!

Personally, I’ve been investing some time on recording methods using my recently acquired Blackberry Bold, whilst visiting a number of local woodlands.

With the aid of its inbuilt GPS and a newly customised version of GPSLogger (grateful thanks are due to Matthias at www.emacberry.com/gpslogger.html) I can record the exact locations of butterfly sightings and export them to a CSV format. Even more useful, is the ability to upload to Google Maps.

Today, in Beckley Woods I recorded a few Silver-washed Fritillary, including several in a ride widened by Butterfly Conservation volunteers, numerous Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Comma, Large and Small White, Peacock, Gatekeeper and a single White Admiral – the locations of all these can be seen on Google Maps.

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A Windy Day in Beckley Woods

The official launch of this important project took place on Saturday 24th May in Beckley Woods. A reasonable crowd of enthusiastic butterfly hunters arrived by around 10am on a very blowy morning.

Steve Wheatley (Project Officer), resplendant in khaki complete with pith helmet, gave a brief welcome and we all then wandered off for what was expected to be a fruitless search, given the poor weather.

Project Officer Steve Wheatley

However, one eagle-eyed observer suddenly noticed a Green Hairstreak fly up into the trees! There then followed twenty minutes of staring at a sea of green leaves, waving around in the gusty wind, trying to get a view of a small, green butterly edge on. No easy matter.

Once seen though, it’s surprising how easy it is to find it again. After it had become bored with our attentions, it flew up into the air, only to be joined by a companion! Cue more happy butterfly folk.