Predictably we didn’t see the Purple Emperor, but we did see lots more. We saw White Admiral, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Comma, Small Skipper, Speckled Wood, various whites, and a Purple Hairstreak came down to pose for some photos. We also had a heavily pregnant Common Lizard and a normal one, and a Hornet. All in all quite a collection. The butterflies were generally a bit washed out and moth-eaten, but smashing to see all the same. We didn’t have time to be disappointed by the no-show..
We bumped into a couple of other Stortford birders, and Andrew Middleton and Liz Goodyear from the Butterfly Conservation Soc turned up with their magic bucket from which they dispensed the Butterfly version of crack cocaine over various logs (see Hornet photo). It was a pleasure to spend time with a couple of dedicated experts discussing the finer points of Butterfly behaviour, distribution and conservation.
Some pics: Canon 30D, 28-80 mm lens (I think) and a clumsy user still having problems getting all the settings right.