We are pleased to announce that at 2.55pm today our esteemed friend and colleague Mr Ken Willmott saw the first iris of the year, a male at the renowned Hill House Farm territory at Bookham Common (NT), Surrey. None was seen there yesterday (though Ken saw a nice camilla ab obliterae there yesterday and today).
This almost certainly does not herald a mass emergence, for Bookham is an 'early' site for iris. As suggested on this blog a while back, it is likely that some larvae in the warm south east pupated at the end of the hot spell at the end of May. Yesterday's mini heat wave obviously brought one or two adults out.
There should be a few males out at other 'early' sites in the south east on Sunday but I suspect no mass emergence will commence for a week, unless the weather radically improves.
Above all, iris is unlikely to appear in numbers anywhere in the UK this season, so let's make it a year of quality rather than quantity. Enjoy!
You can keep up to speed with Purple affairs this season by following me on Twitter on @NTMatthewOates