Thursday, March 16, 2023

Wild Isles: Wild (and dangerous) Butterfly

 Confirmation that His Gloriousity The Purple Emperor features strongly in the Woodlands programme of BBC1's Wild Isles series. The action shots were all filmed at Knepp, mainly from a cherry picker.

Here's a one-minute clip:  

(if it doesn't open, copy it out on your browser and enjoy...)

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Wild Isles

A heads up to say that His Gloriousness should be making a spectacular appearance in the second episode of BBC1's new blockbuster of British wildlife, on Sun March 19th, the Woodlands episode.

Footage was filmed at Knepp.  

Look out for the swallow-chasing sequence... ... ... That's my butterfly...

(assuming it made the cut, and I'll dispatch an entire battalion of Sussex Emperors to smash up Broadcasting House if it didn't...).    

Friday, March 3, 2023

Good News!

Rejoice and be of good cheer! Purple Emperor caterpillars are surviving the winter unusually well.

Incredibly, all of the eight I've been diligently following in Cirencester Park Woods, Glos, have survived the meteorological winter. I've never got into March unscathed before...

Also, Ben Greenaway still has 12 of the 20 he's been following in Southwater Woods, up the road from Knepp in W Sussex. That's good by his standard.

I haven't checked the few I've got in Savernake Forest for a while, but will soon.  

So, it looks as though predation rates are unusually low this winter, though winter is far from over yet...

This could make up a bit for the poor egg lay caused by last July's extreme heat, and the loss of many eggs and young larvae in the heatwaves...

Here's the head of Boris The Third, photographed in CPW by Andrew Fusek-Peters on Wednesday. I hadn't realised how warty they are -

And here's a couple more, by Andrew (by his kind permission): Lettuce Liz and Jacob The Second -