Another great day out with Knepp Safaris today, following an initial delay for rain. Matthew Oates and I led another enthusiastic group around the Southern Block of the Knepp Castle Estate Wildland, some of whom had never seen a Purple Emperor before. They have now!
Females are yet to emerge and we are still in the male build phase, so it’s difficult to predict just how large the numbers are going to get. The tally for today’s tour was 72 Purple Emperors, with a further 5 seen during an evening sortie to watch the Purple Hairstreaks swarming. These are counts of individuals (not sightings), only logged when multiple Emperors are all visible, or their positions accounted for, while at each location.
We later heard that Mark Tutton from Portsmouth had photographed a male Emperor on the ground (congratulations!), proving that they do occasionally come down here. It’s time to get the bait out!