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Showing posts from July, 2019

The Sussex Butterfly Safari

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For my 2020 butterfly safari, click here . Welcome to my summer butterfly project for 2019. I've spent two months visiting sites in East and West Sussex, often travelling via train and my electric bike, without which some sites would be out of reach. The Knepp Estate rewilding project is a good seven miles along narrow country lanes from the railway station, but I am there in just 25 minutes. Poor weather over weeks 2 - 3 in June killed many Purple Emperors at the chrysalis stage, while dry July weather meant few visited the ground. I spent 3 days waiting and waiting, when my time could have been spent on less elusive species. Should I try the Purple Emperor again, I will pitch my tent somewhere on a wet night and search for grounded Emperors feeding on the moist surface. The challenge is that summer rainfall in the UK now falls in torrential downpours, killing numbers of the prone, tree-top dwelling Emperors.   Both visitors and locals in the area surrounding the Knepp Esta