Gentlemen, we are in purpuratum. Today, Sat 26th June, at 2.45pm, Ken Willmott saw a fresh male at the main 'Master Tree' territory at Bookham Common (NT). However, Neil Hulme and I failed to see any in Southwater Woods in West Sussex, itself an 'early' site for iris. I have yet to hear whether people were loooking in Alice Holt Forest today, another 'early' site.
It is still very early days, as larvae were pupating rather on the late side this year. I don't expect any mass emergence for a couple of days at least, but then this Season should take off Big Time.
Great to see 2 'black admirals' today (close to or actual nigrina) in Sussex. Ken saw one yesterday.
Matthew (on behalf of Ken).