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Any thoughts as to what's happened in Sussex this year? Usually a pretty reliable performer.
Hampshire being the next county along from Sussex has had a reasonable affair with his majesty,in 2012 with several new sites being established as good Emperor areas. Several of these are only a stones throw from the border, Havant Thicket and Southleigh Woods, in fact half of this wood is in Sussex itself!I would say Hampshire has had a reasonable year, and quite good in Alice Holt Forest, where the sightings in Straits Inclosure were on a par with pre-Sallow destruction years like 2009, where I saw (12) in one shift. This year up to (8) have been seen, and the Inclosures havent been too bad either.Cannot explain why Sussex has suffered so much.
Only low numbers in each of those sites Ashley. I've checked both myself (and drawn a blank), but I know Peter G saw up to three at Havant Thicket (which should be good from what I've seen) and there have been possibly as many as three different males on the high point at Southleigh. The Sussex side of the complex (Brickkiln Ponds) is where we've had a disappointing max of one male, on a previously busy territory. The sort of weather pattern that terrorised the Emperors back in 2010 is not necessarily going to have covered the entire width of West and East Sussex (or further afield) in equal measure.
Comment from NeilHi Derek, Sussex Emperors have yet to recover from the massive losses suffered over three days of truly gale-force winds and unrelenting stair-rods in mid July 2010, just as the females were really getting down to business. Prior to the event we were seeing up to 20+ different males per day on a single site. After the event it was almost impossible to find the Emperor in Sussex and those few seen were battered fragments with large bits of wing missing. The weather in 2011 did nothing to aid a recovery, but females have had a pretty good weather window this season - so high hopes for a comeback next year. BWs, Neil
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