Thursday, July 7, 2016
Fermyn Report July 7th
Elements of His Imperial Majesty's Fermyn Light Horse took to the woods today to ascertain if HE had actually got out of bed yet? Wednesday was a fine summer's day, and although the forecast was for a "mixed bag" today, we could not wait any longer to conduct patrols. An early start promised much, but the high cloud and fitful sunshine soon gave way to thicker cloud cover and a cool wind and unbelievably, showers by 08.30 hours. (There had been a grounding in Lady's wood confirmed with a photograph even at this early hour). It did not feel the reported 19-20 degrees in the exposed areas though, and it was 10.30 before another sighting was made in the same area. This individual did not land at this time, but at 12.30 it may have been the same Emperor that landed and taxied to the puddle of shrimp paste bait, where He stayed for around ten to fifteen minutes allowing pictures to confirm his excellent condition, with none of the "damp" patches so often seen on really freshly emerged specimens. I gauge this one to have probably hatched sometime the previous day (Wednesday). The buffeting of the wind finally got too much and he flew off into the sallows. The weather continued to deteriorate until the brief sunny intervals gave way to periods where it just became a little lighter, when we could cast a shadow. Just after 2 p.m. in Souther Wood, we found a couple of enthusiasts with another perfect male on the ground near a puddle. More people turned up and everybody managed decent pictures from this obliging insect, who stayed on the ground even though there was no warming sunlight. I do not suppose there was above 14 people patrolling the woods today, and this was the last Emperor we saw before returning to the car park around 3 p.m. My report ends with confirmation of three individual males, supplemented by sightings of possibly three or four more seen in other parts of the woods. Not much at all for seven and a half hours. There were hardly any other species in any numbers either this July day. Two Commas, Two White Admirals, both pristine; a couple of Silver-Washed Fritillarys were also reported as being seen. It would appear that we are in the early stages of emergence at Fermyn and that we need some settled weather - as promised for next week - before it can be judged if it is to be a poor season overall.