Saturday, 20 July 2013

Purple Emperor Butterfly

The recent heatwave has been ideal for Butterfly spotting and I was hopeful of spotting the Purple Emperor which has eluded me for the last few years. It isn't the rarest of our native butterflies but certainly the most sought after and maybe hardest to find. I set off to Fermyn Woods near Corby part of the ancient Rockingham Forest one of the few locations they colonise. I was lucky to get a couple of initial sightings as it was early evening when they are known to abandon the treetops in search of food. Another good time is early morning and after that forget it pretty much. Unfortunately they seemed happy to stay high up and not wanting to settle near the ground. It is not uncommon for them to land on a bare arm as they search for salts! They love all sorts of horse manure , dog muck anything with salts in really. I did manage to get some good views as one landed on the path and then another in a bush. They are quite easy to follow although they move quickly.In fact they reminded me of bats in flight. There was some irony that after a couple of hours searching the woods returning to the car there was one perched on the bonnet! I think there must have been some bird dropping remains that it was enjoying.

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