I have now seen Purple Emperors in the wild (incl pupae) for 25 consecutive days. As the old song goes, 'I can see clearly now my brain has gone...' I'm attempting 30 Days Purple... someone has to...
Today was bloody hard work at Knepp, though the Large Tortoiseshell showed nicely at times around mid-morning and I got knocked off my bike by another one circa 1pm. She's feeding on branches deep inside an oak tree -
She attracts gangs of admirers -
Emperors were heavily heat suppressed, apart from the odd fresh male hyperactive on territory. Many are feeding on oak sap runs / bleeds -
They are also spending significant amounts of time shading -
In this heatwave, they will soon give up sallow searching (if they haven't already) and will be active for a couple of hours around lunchtime before conking out in the heat of the afternoon - before becoming very active for an hour or two in the evening, from 6.15pm. Advise: work the evening flight, it's magical.
I've popped home for 2-3 days to see my cat, help Mrs O with something tomorrow night, and do battle with the Gloucestershire Emperors...