Following recent Purple discoveries in East Sussex by Peter Farrant (2+ males at Warningore Wood) and Michael Blencowe (single males at Wadhurst and Middleton Plantation/Brocks Wood), I headed to the latter location with Michael this afternoon. In the breifest of weather breaks, and despite strong winds, we saw a pair of males in combat at 15.30 hrs, followed by a very large female in the wayleave at just past 16.00 hrs. We now know the source of the Emperors which have visited the back garden bird table of a B&B in the nearby village of Streat in recent years.
Elsewhere, despite tragically poor numbers in Sussex this season, single Emperors have been seen on several of the unusual sites found along the very crest of the South Downs, stretching from Heyshott in the West to Lewes in the East. Hopefully next year will see the start of a local recovery.