Arrival at Straits by 9.15 seemed a sensible option but the blanket cloud cover sowed a few doubts in my mind. Halfway along the ride the first Emperor appeared, a male circling an oak. The cloud cover was stubborn but did not deter Iris activity as we were soon watching up to 5 in the same area hurtling over the oaks. Eventually by the wooden tower up to 10 were estimated. This activity came in sudden bursts; action, a long lull, then more action. As the temperature rose activity became more frenetic, even with the cloud. One male came very close to grounding twice but pulled up at the final moment. A total of 30 were estimated altogether. Females were sallow searching from around 12.30 when the sun was more intense. Then all activity seemed to stop after 13.00.
Moving on to Abbotts Wood, 3 or 4 females were seen up to around 15.00 when we decided to have another go at Straits. Our final session yielded a male with a damaged wing and another female cruising from sallow to oaks.
It does seem behaviour is on the change now more females are present. The cloudy weather may have been a factor early on, but although a good show was put on, it seemed more unlikely as the day progressed that we would see a male down.