Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Upper Thames 18th till 27th July

The first posting covered the first 10 days of the season [8th till 17th July], when 43 sightings were made in 8 woods. This next ten days probably represents the peak period this year: 129 sightings were made in 20 different woods. Calculated as sightings per wood, this second period was only about 15% more productive than the first 10 days. I see no evidence from the website [apart from Herts/Essex/Beds]that people are following a similar strategy: namely, if we want to know how well iris is distributed in a region, we need lots of people scouring as many woods as possible. This can be frustrating, of course, but we also have the satisfaction, each season, of adding to the number of woods where iris has been seen. We have 20 to 30 enthusiasts each season engaged in this mission. How many of the other BC regional sections have species champions? People know me and send me their sightings; I can also encourage as many people as possible to take part in the regional search for iris. I highly commend this approach to you all. I'm sorry if this sounds a bit polemic, but I feel strongly about it!


irisscientist said...

Dennis. I have not as yet posted my sighting of a lone female at 1:30pm in Fermyn last Saturday (28th July). I was only able to stay for an hour as my 3 year old was much more interested in the play area at Fermyn, rather than seeing the areas of the woods that I wanted to reach! The youth of today hey!

Matthew Oates said...

We are Purple, we are Polemic - and proud of it.

Neil Hulme said...

Hi Dennis,

Just to put your mind at rest, here's a posting made to the BC Sussex website (unprompted)by Michael Blencowe only yesterday.

"It's great to see that we are getting reports of Purple Emperors from new sites across Sussex. This elusive butterfly is one of the species that will be hard to accurately map in our Sussex Butterfly Atlas survey so I'd certainly encourage people to try and look up over the next week or so when they are out and about. Unfortunately the 2012 weather conditions are not ideal for Emperor spotting but it's still worth giving it a try if you get the chance. We currently have records for Purple Emperor in 53 2km squares across the county. Peter Farrant's records from Warningore have been added to our database and our map now shows that there is a high chance of finding Purple Emperor just 22 minutes drive away from Brighton Pier! My record last year near Ashcombe Bottom was just 2 miles from the Brighton and Hove border - start planting those sallows in the Butterfly Haven, Dr Danahar! Purple Emperors have been recorded at sites around Plumpton, Westmeston and Streat over the past five years. I believe that woodlands in this whole area will currently hold Purple Emperors if the habitat is suitable. For this reason I am placing the following woodlands on full Purple Alert for the next seven days: Great Home Wood (TQ3718), Markstakes Common (TQ4017), Spithurst Wood (TQ4317), Knowlands Wood (TQ4017) If you live near these woods or able to visit them please grab your binoculars and give it a go. To be honest, looking over historic data, this Purple Alert applies to any woodland in Sussex north of a line from East Brighton to Rye. So, Abbots Wood, Titnore Wood, Woods Mill, Sheffield Park, Five Hundred Acre Wood, Darwell Wood this includes you too. The truth is out there - keep watching the skies. (Michael Blencowe)"