Monday, June 27, 2022

Sun 26th & Mon 27th

A depression is firmly stuck over Ireland, generating fresh SW winds. It can't move away, we've got to wait for it to fill...

This is really annoying as Purple Emperors hate wind... And this wind will hold the emergence up.

Sun June 26th was a day for working north-facing and some east-facing edges only. The Emperors had gathered there. I managed to see 42 at Knepp by working these more sheltered edges, but Neil did better and saw 73 (in a longer day). All males, only two females have been seen so far this season at Knepp.

Please note that the males will use all types of trees, if they're in the right situation, including conifers. At Knepp on Sunday, a clump of 8 pine trees along a north-facing edge was being used by at least six males, despite the presence of nearby oaks - 

Males were still coming down to feed on the tracks, despite the wind.

I went home on Sunday evening, not least because I wanted to check the five pupae I have staked out near Cirencester today, and the forecast was poor. The five are still firmly abed, probably being held up by cold nights. Here's 'Jacob', today, we've been following him for months - 

Very few people ventured out today, due to the wind and cloud. I'm heading back to Knepp tomorrow, though the wind will again be problematic.

It looks as though Purple Emperors are now on the wing throughout the Empire, with the possible exceptions of the counties of Wiltshire and Notts (from the 'known' counties). 

With the exception of Knepp, the butterfly is as yet still only out in low but promising numbers. It is still early days, though the peak season period will begin this weekend, if not before. Skip the wedding, or whatever it is this weekend: Go Emperoring...

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