The Purple Emperor is still going strong at Knepp, although hot and sunny mornings can be very slow now. Today followed this pattern, but by the time I'd bumped into John Woodward, of Steyning Downland Scheme http://www.steyningdownland.org fame, things were livening up. We got some fantastic views of His Imperial Majesty through John's telescope.
I later met a couple I know through Steyning U3A, just in time to share a point-blank view of an empress dropping to the ground in an attempt to shake off an over-enthusiastic male; later repeated by another female in exactly the same spot. At one point I saw three females laying eggs in a sheltered sallow grove, and by the time they'd stopped flying I'd seen a total of 47 individuals.
The highpoint for me today was watching a pair of males doing almost non-stop battle over the pond beside the barn on the green lane. I was mesmerised for an hour, during which they were in combat flight for about 45 minutes. And I won't forget the White Admiral which I spent an hour photographing as it repeatedly perched within a metre of where I stood. I'll be back again as soon as possible, to drink in more of Knepp's magic.