My server's been down hence lack of posts... Various brief reports:-
Helped BBC Countryfile film a short piece on Northants naturalist-artist-author 'BB' and his work with the Purple Emperor on Thurs 10th. I first discovered the Purple Emperor in BB's wonderfuly childhood adventure story Brendon Chase, which was published 70 years ago. Not sure when the piece will be transmitted, but look out for it in 2-4 weeks time.
On Fri 11th iris was still coming down to the rides in reasonable numbers, including this remarkably fresh specimen -
Conducted my annual peak season count of males in territories along Three Oak Hills Drive in Savernake Forest on Saturday 12th. I totalled 12 males, which is above average and far better than I had expected. BUT I think I over-recorded as conditions were perfect, the butterfly was at peak season and the males were nicely active. I'm not sure how valid this sort of data is anyway. Anyway, it suggests that numbers there aren't anything like as bad as I'd feared.
Back at Knepp today, Sun 13th, with Neil. The season is on the wane here but we managed to see 30 apparent individuals, including five females. The males were nicely active on the more sheltered oaks until 7pm: we even saw four males in a vista (two pairs of chasing males) at 6.40.
I've really struggled to see Herself this year. Like the Ent wives, the females seem to have gone missing. Has anyone else struggled similarly or is it just me?! What have I done wrong?!