I've just put my car through the car wash, to remove the last vestiges of shrimp paste solution. That means the Emperor season is ending, though there should be another week left in it at 'late-flying' sites like Savernake.
On Mon and Tues this week I worked the evening flight at Knepp Wildlands, W Sussex. There the season is definitely winding down, but a handful of males were nicely active until about 7.15, beating the living daylights out of assorted aerial biodiversity up in the oaks. Purple Hairstreak was incredibly scarce, whereas it often abounds throughout that whole landscape. Maybe they'd all been shot down by irate male iris?
However, on driving back from the pub at 9.30pm, on Tues 22nd, when it was darkening due to dense cloud, who should I catch in my headlights but Herself - flying along the hedge before disappearing into a sallow bush! The minx! I've long suspected that the females are active on warm evenings, or even nights...
Then, on Thurs 24th, Amy from Knepp saw one, sex uncertain, feeding on a low sap run on an oak there at 8.30pm!