Tuesday, 1 July 2014

1st July, 2014 Knepp Estate

I thought we would try for the Purple Emperors at the Knepp Estate,but left somewhat disappointed. After picking up a useful site map showing the footpaths and sites, we then started out on what seemed like a 2.5 mile walk passing along old Oak hedgerows bordered by fields and areas of willow sallows. Good numbers of Meadow Browns many appearing very pale with the ones I see at Beachy. Also a number of Ringlets, Small Tortoiseshells, and Small Skippers etc. I see to spend my time scanning the top of the Oak trees looking for an Emperor although I did see what was probably a Purple Hairstreak, but it disappeared into the top of an Oak before I could be certain.

As we approached the main area for Purple Emperors, we saw 4 White Admirals, my first Gate Keeper for the year, 8 Marbled Whites and a flyby Silver-Washed Fritilliary, and almost every Oak tree looked like it could be a master Oak for the Emperor. I will be quite happy if I never have to look at another Oak tree for an Emperor.

We did have some nice views of several Beautiful Demoiselles including some fine males but virtually no other dragons other than the usual blue type damselflies.

Plenty of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs singing and 2 Turtle Doves, 1 purring away nicely, but other wise just Woodpeckers and a few Buzzards.

It was now time to walk the 2.5 miles return in the afternoon sun, I don't think I will be dashing back some how.


Male Beautiful Demoiselles


Female type Beautiful Demoiselle

Well marked Gate Keeper


Small Skipper

Small Tortoiseshell