Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Purple Rain (Reign)

I treated myself to 2 days at Fermyn Woods on 27th and 28th June. Having checked the weather I was confident of some sun on Monday, however I arrived in overcast skies and was subjected to getting two soakings throughout the day. A slight gap in the clouds did show a couple of Purple Emperors chasing in the top of the trees but it soon clouded over and more showers and I was going to give up for the day. Good job I didn't. After around 15.00 the cloud cleared away and the Emperors came down, I had 9 groundings and saw around 13 altogether, the last being at 17. 38 on the ground at the entrance to Fermyn on my way out. I had a supporting cast of female Goshawk seen twice and great views of a calling Cuckoo.

Tuesday was completely different with an enticing Fermyn promising to deliver the goods. I was surprised at how few people were there, I suspect I was the only person standing in the rain the previous day waiting for action but today there were 3 or 4 others looking so it was still quiet observer wise. I was divebombed by my forst male on the way in, so things looked good. A hunting Hobby showed well before I entered Lady Wood, where things kicked off! Straight away a grounded male which was a portent of things to come. As the day progressed I saw around 12 at least down and around 20 in the small area I stayed around. One observer I met had 4 males down together, amazing what a bit of bait will do. He had arrived earlier and had seen 3 down together on arrival. I eventually got soundly 'trousered' and managed a photo. Photographic opportunities were pretty phenomenal with so many coming down and the sun going in and out. Purple Emperors were well and truly making the most of the better weather, but I did not see any females. As Neil would say 'Fill your boots' which I well and truly did.

Male down and showing well

Interesting male with pronounced 'eye spots' on forewings


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