From Jan Wilczur
I’ve avidly followed the excellent Purple Empire blog for the last few summers to help satisfy my desire for views of His Eminence in deep purple. I’m only a birder, not a Lepidopterist, and have found the information gleaned from the blog, web-site and in the field from enthusiasts very helpful.
I have made forays to Bookham Common, Botany Bay and Ashtead Common. The latter being quite close to where I live in south-west London. I inadvertently saw my first Emperor fly over me at Norbury Park, just after finishing a bird survey and before my first attempt to find them at Bookham Common.
I feel it is now time, as I am in a position to do so, to provide some information rather than just receive it.
After a successful visit to Botany Bay on Tuesday I decided, yesterday, to visit an area of Ashtead Common where I found Purple Emperors for myself a couple of years ago. I don’t know if it is the traditional area for them. There were none there. On my way back to the car park I flushed a male from a track and foolishly flushed it again when it came back down a few minutes later. This was the first time I’d seen one on the ground at the Common. It flew to the top of an oak and seemed to regard me with disdain. It teased me with one more low pass and left altogether. This all happened within sight of the Wembley arch. I wonder how many Emperors can claim to have that view.