Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Oversley Purple Emperors 3rd July 2011

The next part of the day at oversley wood near alcester continued with the rest of the party returning back the way we had already come as no emperors had been seen!
I decided to continue around the wood following the main path heading towards the pond to hopefully see a few dragonflies.  
After just 50 metres around the next bend, there on the path in front of me was a Purple Emperor !   i could not believe it,  i managed just 2 shots before it took flight!

A few minutes later another one appeared and started feeding right in front of me!    by this time 4 members of the party must have seen me photographing something and came to look, they all managed to shoot this amazing elusive butterfly for over 5 mins before he flew off!

love the yellow proboscis !
Seeing the emperor , my 7 th new species on the day!   amazing!  

I then continued around the woods and eventually came across Gill and a few others from the group, they had also seen  emperors grounded on the other side of the wood!  i think most of the party actually saw them which is exceptional considering the nature of this species, people spend years looking to get a single sighting of one!   the weather changed 2 days later and i dont think any more where seen after that day!  a very short season for them this year as they are easilly damaged by strong winds while resting high up in the tree tops!

This has to be one of the highlights of my year, i never really expected to see one as they are very elusive, spending most of the time high up in the tree tops, only coming down "grounding" to feed / take in salts ,

 Later in the afternoon Gill  promised to show me the "congregation area"  where the emperors fly and fight high up in the tree tops above the pines in the centre of the wood! 


  1. Great post, I could feel your excitement at spotting and photographing this elusive beauty.

  2. Nice to see your blog Phil, I'll be keeping a close eye on it.

    I'm envious of these Purple Emperor shots!