Saturday, July 11, 2015

Knepp Takes Top Spot...

Today, Neil and I led a Purple Emperor safari at Knepp Wildlands. The group of 16 set off at 10.15 and finished at 4.30, having taken an hour off for a champagne, caviar and cake lunch.  

Every member of the group saw at least 100 Emperors.  Neil ended the day on 126, I finished on 120.

The all-time record day count is 134 by me in Fermyn Woods on July 15th 2013, in a 13 hour marathon.  The Duckworth-Lewis method tells us that had we put that amount of time in today at Knepp we would have seen 160-175.  

The highlight of the day was Herself, who posed for five minutes 8' up in a sallow bush for the entire group.  Here she is - 


This hangove ris going to be serious...

3 comments:

Dave Law said...

Move over Fermyn , Knepp is the place to go 😊

Bill Seager said...

Matthew, this is a tremendous success story. Maybe the lessons learned at Knepp can be transferred to an area where similar conditions prevail? I am thinking of Somerset or perhaps Heslop's old hunting grounds. It may be possible to get the loyal subjects of the Purple Empire to contribute cash to secure such suitable ground? What a legacy that would be...

Matthew Oates said...

The success stories of Fermyn Woods and Knepp Wildlands show that this utterly wonderful butterfly need not be rare at all. However, sallows are still regarded as weeds by most foresters, and on many nature reserves 'scrub' (including sallow scrub) is regarded as a negative that must be controlled.

All this butterfly needs is sallow thickets. Let's give it some...