Sunday, July 29, 2012

Unusual Emperor In An Unusual Place

Today, while performing a butterfly survey on the Knepp Castle Estate, I saw a male Purple Emperor lacking most of His white. I can't put a name to the ab., having only seen it in flight, firstly at 12.30pm, then again at 12.41pm. Sir Charlie Burrell's ground-breaking rewilding scheme has given rise to a very large area of habitat which is becoming increasingly suitable for iris, with former arable fields developing into sallow scrub. This Emperor was following an old field margin lined with mature oaks, but in the very high winds it nearly put down in the field at one point. I last saw it flying across a large expanse of open farmland. It won't be long before the Emperor is recorded via the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey :)

1 comment:

Derek Longhurst said...

Hi Neil,

Good to hear iris is out and about on Knepp Estate. Were you aware that the rogue Theberton colony in Suffolk was established using stock from West Grinstead - see entry for Friday 4th July in "One Purple Summer"?

BTW - is Theberton still producing iris?