The number of Purple Emperors at Southwater Woods is building nicely. On the 25th June Matthew Oates and I spent the day there, eventually seeing a total of 8 males. Things were looking a little slow, until an apparently solitary male was suddenly joined by a second, then third Emperor, resulting in a 'free-for-all' around the Dogbarking Master Trees.
Today (27th June) I saw 10 individual males, with two coming down to the main W-E Ride. I got some reasonable photographs of the underside, but the open-wing 'purple shot' evaded me, as it was checking out the quality of my moleskin trousers. Fellow Butterfly Conservation committee member Andrew Burns managed to photograph it on my calf.
The woods are throwing up unprecendented numbers of aberrant forms this season. I recorded my fifth different obliterae White Admiral and an even more extreme ocellata Silver-washed Fritillary than the one that I've seen over previous days.