Saturday, August 1, 2015

From Ashley Whitlock

Today I took a field trip up to West Harting Down on the Hampshire and Sussex border, and at 1230 we had male Purple Emperor down.

 The best encounter we had was at 12:30 about quarter of a mile from the summit of West Harting Down when we had a landed Purple Emperor, he was a bit skittish at first and we were not sure whether he was a male or female because the Purple on his wings being a bit faded. He landed back on the ride after flying into the bracken and hazel at the side of the ride, and started imbibing. Its fairly unusual at this time of the season I thought and being 1st August, but here he was content as we watched him gorging on the ground for minerals. There must be a few more females to be mated with after I had seen one on Thursday last week. He kept taking off up the ride for a few yards and started again. And then back up the ride again he did this at least six times. He was with us for up to 12:50, when he finally took off near to the wheres that Assembly Point?  

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