Thursday, July 18, 2013

bonanza in bucks/oxon

This year could equal the record numbers seen in 2009/2011 in Upper Thames. In Little Wood, which is, as its name implies, a very small wood, 19 were seen, and in a private wood about 7 miles away, 30+ were seen [only 2 females]. I have reports, so far, from yesterday of a total of 65 in 4 different woods.
Still no obvious territorial behaviour: the males were all in frantic female searching mode, flying rapidly around and through the Sallows and surrounding trees. On arrival, parking at least 200m from the edge of the wood, a male buzzed us, and then flew flew off even further away from the wood.  Only three were seen grounded, taking minerals. This photo shows a male grounded just outside the wood, completely in the shade: many people, seeing iris for the first time, comment that it should really be called 'the Blue Emperor', and I think this photo bears that out.

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