Phenomenal day in Fermyn Woods with Neil Hulme & Andy Wyldes, but hardly anyone else. This is the peak weekend of the 2017 Fermyn Emperor season and the woods were almost devoid of butterfly people. Perhaps some people don't realize that the Emperor is out, or maybe they haven't been able to bring their booked July pilgrimage forward? I fear there will be a lot of disappointed visitors there in mid-July, which is galling as the butterfly is out in very good numbers this year.
Despite a lot of cloud, which rendered it too dull for Emperor activity at times, the butterfly put on a memorable show. I saw two pairings, high up in oak tops, and two other courtship flights. Here's one pair, the other was tucked well into the spray and impossible to photograph -
As usual, a third male tried to muscle in -
Curiously, the males were scarcely coming down to the ride surfaces today, whereas yesterday they were dropping down at every opportunity. Instead, today they were frenetically searching the low tree tops. I suspect this was because there was a big hatch of females today, and that we were witnessing the Fermyn festival of wedding and bedding.
We were greeted by a male down at the main entrance, crawling under a car. Here's Neil dealing with this recalcitrant butterfly -
Of course, the police were called and weren't impressed by his explanation. Mr Hulme is still helping them with their inquiries down in Corby nick.
I'm off to Knepp tomorrow... ... ...