Friday, July 1, 2022

July Blows In...

Much sunnier this afternoon, but with the sun came the wind - Moderate to Fresh SW, again. That hindered Emperorial activity.

For a while, when the sun broke through, there were Emperors flying around the back of most dense-leaved oak leaves (leeward side). But they quietened right down when the wind gathered strength.  

At last I managed to walk the Knepp Purple Emperor transect (2km long, with a big recording box). I counted 22 males, but would have got 30+ had it not been so windy (the record is 66, in 2018!).

I didn't see any definite females but Neil saw a mated female reject a male in a classic 'tumbledown' and a distant trio I saw disappearing into an oak crown may have been a female with two suitors.

Here's a slightly battered male that came down to one of Neil's shrimp paste baits at 9.15 -

Quite a few males are now damaged. It's wind damage, as they roost in the oak crowns.

But there are still many more males to emerge, and the bulk of the females.

Elsewhere, the butterfly is now out in Notts and Wilts (including Bentley Wood).  



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