Over the weekend of 21st and 22nd July I visited Straits Inclosure and Goose Green, Alice Holt over two contrasting days. I struggled to see any at Straits on 21st with just a flyover male, others had been luckier before I arrived and seen 2 by the wooden tower. The afternoon though was much better at Goose Green with a veritable air display going on. Comings and goings around the favoured Sweet Chestnut with a ‘King of the castle’ dominant male, the action was non stop from 14.00 – 14.30 when I left. Up to 5 or 6 were seen including one male with very little in the way of forewings, but it did not stop him getting involved in a riveting aerial ‘dog fight’. In the end a rather cocky male remained circling and landing on the uppermost leaves having seen all the others off.
Sunnier Sunday was much better at Straits with up to 8 being estimated by myself and fellow Iris enthusiasts. 2 males near the wooden tower, with a male showing on and off up to mid-day on the structure imbibing. My main highlight however was a shy egg laying female a little further on, deep in a sallow, trying not to be seen while another female flew off nearby high through the oaks. This was around 12.30 when male activity seemed to have ceased here. At Goose Green I saw 2 males displaying, but I was told 6 had been seen earlier.