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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Kicking Off and Kicking Out
It doesn't take long for all that pent-up aggression to spill out, having
been imprisoned in a pupa for nearly three weeks. I arrived at Knepp at 3.30pm.
I saw my first adult iris of the year at 3.35pm. By 3.40pm it had
attacked a Black-headed Gull, a Purple Hairstreak and a second Emperor.
I only had 20 minutes on site before the weather collapsed and I covered only 250m of the Knepp Castle
Estate Wildland. However, I still managed to see five individual males, the third
of which was also harassing hairstreaks. A different Purple Emperor seen
on average every four minutes, while travelling over
an average distance of 50m, and observed attacking innocent
biodiversity at an average rate of one victim per 6 minutes 40 seconds,
suggests a strong start to the season here. Numbers should be very good by the
time of the first Knepp Purple Emperor Safari at the weekend www.kneppsafaris.co.uk