Sunday, July 24, 2011

End of the Purple Season

Date: 23 July 2011
Weather: Very Cloudy, Breezy with short interludes of sunshine
Temperature: 60f
Recorder: Ashley Whitlock
Location: Alice Holt Forest (1)
The sun was out when I arrived on site at 1230 but there was a lot of cloud about, and it could disappear at any time. It was probably too early to see anything, and I was right. There was nothing to be seen until 1305 as the weather had turned and was quite breezy and the cloud cover was almost 100%. A male did turn up at 1305 which was very lucky as I was going to go at 1300! He did the usual ‘s’ flight pattern and disappeared into the thick foliage of the Beech Tree. There was a Buzzard flying over the tops of this tree, and not sure whether it had seen this male, but he seemed to be hanging around. The male got off of his perch again and was patrolling quite merrily around his vista. He did this several times, whether he was hoping to find another male or was searching for any spot out of the eyeshot of the Buzzard! After all they do eat insects and a Purple Emperor would make quite a decent snack I suspect! I did not think there were any others around as there weren’t any chases, to be seen. It was very windy in the canopy but the sun had come out again at 1310.
The male was quite content to sit in the tree top facing the sun with its wings open, you can always tell a male when it’s quite battered and bruised as they have a sort of brownish tinge to their colouration. He didn’t move again as the weather closed in again so I moved on hoping to find some more.
Buckshot Hole
Arrived with a sort vague excuse for some sunshine at 1330, and stayed here for about 20 minutes but there wasn’t anything on station.
Goose Green Inclosure
Arrived at 1340 and the weather was really just black clouds and breezy, with some sultry sunshine for a few minutes, but there wasn’t anything here. I stayed for up to forty-five minutes, but all is lost now for this season. It’s really been bad, a small purple patch during the Wimbledon fortnight, but the rest well I’ll just put it down to experience….it can’t get any worse can it?

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