The recent blogs re iris 'reinventing itself' in areas well away from woodland are fascinating. So, all that is needed is a vast amount of sallow somewhere, with a small copse of nice tall trees not far away, for HIM to be content?
Matthew's report re sightings on the Downs prompts me to report that every year we see a few in the Chilterns, spread across the whole area from Tring in the north to the south-west of High Wycombe in the south. It is a difficult area to investigate, and I've yet to find a territory along any of the high ridges. Any tips as to how and where to search would be very welcome.
I hope you can see the map attached. It shows where we've found HIM in 15 woods along the so-called 'Bernwood Forest remnants' axis: about 18 miles. Some of these woods are very small [ca. 0.25 sq. km and less], but close enough to each other to allow this powerful insect to fly between the woods.
The only one of these woods we cannot enter is owned by a swarthy Italian. One of our members met him in the company of his gamekeeper: a huge man with ginger hair, sporting a gun; they made it clear that we cannot go in!