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



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