Apologies for lack of postings - IT problems with home server.
The Emperor season is gradually winding itself down, though people who haven't seen the butterfly yet this year will still be able to do so next weekend at many localities (but note that males have largely stopped coming down to the rides). At 'late' sites, such as Savernake, individuals will linger on for another two weeks, though activity levels will steadily decline.
The overall picture is of a patchy season. Numbers have been quite good at some localities, though the butterfly has been distinctly scarce in Sussex and at some individual localities, including Savernake Forest.
This pattern has been complicated by the fact that activity levels have been very good on some days but distinctly poor on others, which means that some people have had hugely successful expeditions whilst others struggled to see the insect - in similar weather conditions. Obviously, the weather has largely been Vile, bar eight stupendous days which coincided with peak season.
Above all, it's been a season of quality rather than quantity, not least because at least nine good aberrations have been seen - in three different counties. Interestingly, all bar one of these individuals have been photographed.
Please note that this blog functions all year round, not just during the flight season. So feel free to post pictures and observations after the busy summer season, and note that several regular contributors also follow the butterfly through its immature stages, in the wild and/or in captivity. Some of us are big on the caterpillars. This blog never sleeps...