Spent two hours checking the main male territories along Three Oak Hill Drive in Savernake this afternoon. Managed to see four males, chasing pairs in two territories (and learnt of a 5th seen by The Column).
One of these territories is used only late in the flight season, I know not why. The other, the Dead Beech Glade, is the most favoured territory. There was one, seemingly lone male on territory there throughout my visit, perched on top of a giant (90' tall) beech tree -
However, a minute after I took this photo a second male came in, and the duo flew off into the ether, spitting teeth and expletives. That's the Purple Emperor for you, Britain's premier butterfly.
This might well be my last encounter with the Emperor this year, as I'm heading up north tomorrow for the week. Hopefully, there will be one or two left in Savernake next weekend, but the season may well end soon in this ongoing heat.
Who will record the last Emperor of 2014?