Visited Knepp yesterday (Sunday 18th June) with my better half Kate. We patrolled the site from about midday until 4.30pm in sweltering conditions. We wilted.
Even in these early days, we saw at least 32 emperors, including a trio of battling males and a couple of fighting twosomes. Caveat: I’m not knowledgeable enough to know whether we saw the same individuals repeatedly! (The info board in the Go-Down showed that we weren’t the first people to make a count of 32 yesterday...)
We witnessed the usual thuggish behaviour, watching an aggressive male stake his claim to a lofty oak perch and chase off anything that came by, including an outclassed red admiral that got a shoeing when it strayed too close.
We also met an inquisitive deer fawn that approached us to within two metres, our first white admiral of the year - and Neil Hulme, who kindly pointed out a purple hairstreak or two for us!
We were so exhausted from the heat when we got home that I told myself I won’t need to return to Knepp for a couple of weeks. One sleep later and I’m already wishing I was back there.
Good hunting all.