Another vile day here in the Purple Empire...
Spare a thought for people trying to visit Fermyn Woods. Last week produced a modest afternoon on the Wed, a reasonable day on the Thurs but after a cool night (which always leads to inactivity and a poor emergence), but otherwise a load of grot. Sunday was reasonable, but clouded over at lunchtime until late. Mon had some sunny intervals + much Stygian gloom. Then more grot since. In effect, the butterfly hasn't been given the chance to get going there yet. This weekend, which is supposed to be nice, should see the first decent emergence of the year there - don't miss out on Big Bang Day at Fermyn!
Elsewhere, some good news from Alice Holt. 'BB' (alias Mark) saw 9 exploring males in Abbots Wood Inclosure, which is a fine tally for there, and there have been reasonable sightings in Straits Inclosure (relative to the fact that the main breeding ground there was largely obliterated in Feb 2010). The primary territories are producing reasonable tallies, though it seems that several of the secondary territories are unoccupied. All the evidence suggests that this is a late rather than a disastrous year here.
One of the problems is that Purple People have become skilled at spotting the very first males of the year - what Heslop called 'pioneer males' - which can appear several days ahead of the first proper emergence, especially in a poor summer. Thus 'BB' and I saw 2 in Alice Holt on the 5th, a good week ahead of the true start, and my male in Fermyn Wood on Mon 9th was a real early bird.