Monday, July 16, 2012

From Ashley Whitlock

At long last I have joined the Purple Emperor club for 2012! After spending most of the morning in beautiful sunshine in Abbotts Wood Inclosure, with good counts of Silver Washed Fritillary (26) and the White Admiral only (6) and (9) other species, the Emperor was not noted doing its usual Oak Edging and Sallow searching. In fact I met several recorders in the wood who hadn't seen it either. It was time to go to the usual Assembly points and I arrived at Alice Holt Forest (1) at 12:10, and there was patchy blue sky and very little wind, and was quite warm at times. It took about 5 minutes for what I thought was a male sneaking in over the top of an oak stand, and then another possibly flying towards the west a few minutes later. There was no activity and I thought the vista was getting rather enclosed, and will have to get some loppers to trim up the small oaks that hide the vista. It was at 12;22 when the male was seen flying in and around the vista, and three minutes later he was joined by his mate, and they gave chase, high speed jinx through the vista and then in and around their perches again. There was plenty of activity in the bright sunshine, lots of chasing, and then at 12:31 they were joined by another male!. This was the best activity Id seen at this site for several seasons, I thought they may have aborted this site, but nothing doing, they were still there. I stayed for an hour, the sun did disappear and the activity stopped, but returned again towards my alloted hour. I then went on to other Assembly sites, but they seemed to be deserted, until I got to Goose Green Inclosure, where it was reported that up to (6) males had been seen! And sure enough over the hour I was there there was certainly up to that amount, One was in George's vista and (2) chasing regularly at the Cherry tree High point, and then a bit further down there was another pair of males circling around a master Oak, being seen with another male at times. The weather was perfect for them when the sun was out, and they were even cahsing at times when the sun had gone in and the temperature was till warm enough. A perfect day!

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