Wildlife in my local patch

Hampshire UK

In search of the elusive Purple Emperor

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.

 

peacock2

Peacock butterfly

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.

white-admiral

White admiral

silv-wash-fritillary

Silver washed fritillary

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.

sml_tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

Author: Jackson

Jackson is a young person with an active interest in natural history. He has been asked to be a Local Patch Reporter, writing a regular nature blog about the wildlife in his area for BBC Wildlife Magazine.

2 Comments

  1. You did well to catch a glimpse of the Emperor Jackson – they are soooo elusive – but that is a great part of their allure!

    If you want to read more about recent sightings, good locations and the lifecycle of this fantastic butterfly have a look at the brilliant Purple Emperor blog at :

    http://apaturairis.blogspot.co.uk/

  2. Excellent photos Jackson! I need to get down to Alice Holt forest sometime, looks like an amazing forest.