Yesterday I had a review day at school so Mum and I visited Straits Enclosure near Alice Holt forest in Hampshire, a known stronghold of the Purple Emperor butterfly. It was a warm, sunny day with a bit of a breeze making it fairly good butterfly spotting weather. The Purple Emperor butterfly is regarded as one of the most highly prized species for butterfly spotters as it is so difficult to see. It spends most of its time in the canopy of the forest, preferring tall oak trees. So we think we only managed to get a glimpse of one gliding high across the clearing in to a group of oak trees. However we did manage to see lots of other butterflies.
This Peacock butterfly is one of many of the butterflies we saw at the enclosure others included White Admiral and lots of Silver Washed Fritillaries enjoying the bramble flowers.
We saw two male silver washed fritillaries fighting over a female, they seemed to fly loops around the female as if they were showing off their acrobatic skills. Maybe we’ll have better luck next time with the Purple Emperor.