Rather too much cloud around today, with iris only intermittently active. But it was a day of quality rather than quantity.
Pleased to be able to report three sightings of Emperors feeding on the ground at Knepp Wildlands (2 males & a female). It looks as though the butterfly is visiting hard core recently put down to fill ruts in a bare earth track. One sighting was on a cow pat - sightings on cow pats are very rare these days, but the Knepp longhorn cattle are organic and largely self-medicating. Also a male visiting a small bleed in an oak.
Just before 1pm, at a major oak territory, a group of us watched a female rise up into the territory, instantly attract a male and lead him straight away to a spray in the crown of a 10m tall oak. They joined instantly, and remained there in cop, mainly with closed wings, for exactly 3 hours 59 minutes, despite being regularly pestered by passing males trying to muscle in. Beat that folks, if you dare... This is the second longest pairing I've timed (out of 12 instances). Here's proof of evidence -
News from Fermyn
Thanks to Mark Joy for emailing me to say he visited on Wednesday and struggled to see 2 males, and met many people who'd seen none. Looks like it hasn't got going in Fermyn yet, but it should start to get going there over the weekend. Further news welcome.