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Friday, July 6, 2012
Sussex Turns Purple
At 15.39 hrs Matthew saw the first Sussex Emperor of 2012 over the Marlpost car park assembly area, having patiently waited for many hours of torrential rain to pass (unforeseen by the Met Office). Having returned home to get some work done I was back there ASAP, just as the first act of violence was committed upon a Red Admiral at 16.16 hrs. While Matthew checked out other assembly areas (all unoccupied) the trouble escalated. A pair of sparring Red Admirals was joined by a third, then a fourth, as they slowly spiralled upwards to full canopy height, before forming a train over the Emperor's perch. The reaction was swift and predictable. With so many freshly emerged Red Admirals around at the moment they may well be beneficial in agitating otherwise inactive Emperors, particularly where master tree occupancy is at the low levels predicted for Sussex this season. Activity continued until c.17.00 hrs.