I bumped into Chris Dennis at Finemere Wood today when shortly after this male iris made an appearance. Chris had already seen three males all at the same time on the main track. Maybe the season is sparking to life.
We followed him for at least half an hour in which time he moved over a dozen times but never going far. He always returned to the path to continue taking up salts. Something very strange appeared to happen during this time. When he first arrived it was quite difficult to see the purple sheen, care had to be taken to get the correct angle to the sun for it to show at all. Even then the purple colour was quite subdued. However as time passed the purple colour appeared to become more and more intense. After half an hour the purple sheen was not only intense but could be seen from nearly any angle. During the sighting the sky filled in from broken clouds to overcast and rather grey. I also took a lot of photos during the sighting which when reviewed in sequence appear to confirm the colouring up phenomenon. I have no explanation for this apparent behaviour and wondered if anyone else had witnessed anything like it.