Sunday, July 21, 2013

Forest of Bere

I have been visiting Havant Thicket in Emperor season regularly over the last four years for scant return. The habitat looks great with copious sallow and Peter Gammage has made handfuls of sightings in the last two years. Having been on the guided walk with Neil and Ashley last weekend,but blanking on the Emperor front, I thought I would give it my full attention today.
 My previous efforts had concentrated on areas of previous sightings but also areas that 'looked good' - this time I loaded the bike determined to survey as much of the wood as possible. Starting at 9.30 I decided to take a path on the south side which is almost continuous sallow.  About 2/3 along the path to my surprise I bumped into a fellow purple enthusiast - Keith - who I had met at Alice Holt last year. As we chatted about his two sightings yesterday a male glided through the sallows making us both call out 'there's one!'

I spent about four hours continually hunting long the rides encountering five males including one persuing a female over the top of an oak and out of view unfortunately. Interestingly virtually all of the encounters were away from the places I had searched previously. I have identified two or three areas that are likely territories but no joy in these so far.
I also explored an adjoining wood - Bells Copse - adjacent the A3 which so looks very promising - I will be back.

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