Saturday, August 11, 2012

Strange Doings In Sussex

Despite having suffered low Emperor numbers in Sussex this year we do seem to have made up for it in terms of strange and silly behaviour. Single sightings they may be ... but take a look at these three postings to the BC Sussex websites on 9th August, courtesy of Tom Forward, Jonathan Ruff and Barry Collins.

Another report came in today (9th) from Tom Forward who writes "I have never seen a Purple Emperor before, nor have I actively tried to seek one out - though have been meaning to do so for ages. Anyway, gathered outside the toilet block next to the main car park in Tilgate Park at 10am this morning, with a group of 20 excited children for a day of bushcraft, when a slightly tatty looking PE landed on the wall of the toilet block to bask and apparently pick up some salts from the mortar in the brick work. We all got a good look at it for a few minutes (why do I never have the camera with me when I need it!!!), before it did a couple of Red Arrow-esque fly-bys low over the kids heads and then made it's way off over the car park!" Will Tom s tatty Emperor be the last Sussex Emperor of 2012? (Michael Blencowe)
I noticed this large butterfly (above) in the garden today. I think it is a female Purple Emperor, but I have never seen one before, hopefully you can confirm indeed it is.... It nectared on the buddleia for several minutes ....... (Jonathan Ruff)

I decided to check a spot where I had seen a Purple Emperor some years ago on a minor road between Aldsworth Pond and Brickkiln Ponds SU760090. I had only just got out of the car when a male Purple Emperor landed on a fence post only feet away from where I was standing it remained there for a couple of minutes, giving me some fantastic views. Unfortunately I had no camera with me (Murphy's Law). It then flew onto some sallow for a while before alighting again and landed on my head briefly and then landed on yet another fence post. (Barry Collins)

1 comment:

Matthew Oates said...

I come across a record of a female Purple Emperor visiting Buddleia flowers about every 5-6 years, usually an old girl like this, and always in hot weather.

I've only twice seen iris apparently taking nectar myself, both times males feeding from sweet chestnut flowers in hot weather (once in heat after rain).