Clouded up at Knepp around lunchtime. Thereafter, activity was intermittent and highly localised. A brisk N wind didn't help, though it dropped late on as the cloud thickened. Attempted the Knepp PE transect but had to give it up, will try again tomorrow.
I saw 40 Emperors (all male), the last of which I nearly ran over on my ebike at 6.30pm, down feeding in very dull conditions. Two other fresh males seen down on the rides at Knepp today, which is a lot for here (they're primarily oak sap feeders here). Around 1pm Neil had a tumbledown (mated female rejecting male advances by spiralling down) land between his feet! Again, some appalling intra-male behaviour and scenes of drunkeness and brawling, especially around sap bleed oaks.
Elsewhere, first Emperors of the year seen in Hatfield Forest today (Essex was also hit by the severe drought that wilted sallows in the SE last August).
One male seen in Sherwood Forest, Notts; 6-8 males seen in Foxley Wood, Norfolk. Incredibly, Chiddingfold Forest on the Sussex / Surrey border only kicked off yesterday.
This butterfly is now at peak at most sites. Make the most of the coming weekend... Enjoy...