Sunday, July 11, 2010

High Altitude Emperors

From a report on the Butterfly Conservation Sussex Branch Field Trip - Heyshott to Graffham Down, 10th July:

'But the stars of the show were of course the high-altitude Purple Emperors of Graffham Down. The first sighting was of a large female, which soon disappeared as she was clearly on a furtive egg-laying run. The male assembly point here is 728' amsl, and we watched a total of 4, constantly doing battle across their territory. Several times we watched a pair of males indulging in a dogfight worthy of 'The Blue Max', tailing each other to heights in excess of 100' above the very crest of the Down, silhouetted against a crystal clear, azure sky. For me this is the very pinnacle of butterfly-watching - pure butterflying ambrosia!'

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