Today I held an impromptu (why is this word spelt im... when it's derived from the Latin in promptu?) picnic party at The Column in Savernake, attended by 20 or so friends and relations.
His & Her Imperial Majesties were of course guests of honour, and duly appeared. First, I saw a mature but good-looking female lay an egg in a sallow off the ride, then a worn but majestic female flew low and slow over all our heads, and away eastwards, almost without wing beat.
After a cloudy spell, and a lot of Pimms, most of the group sauntered off in search of males - for at this stage in the flight season you seldom see males around The Column itself. A tour of nearby territories along Three Oak Hill Drive produced a tally of eight males, including two pursuing a female. The males were faded and a bit frayed but were very active - two were beating the hell out of each other at the Dead Beech Glade.
Conclusion: there must be 10 days left in the flight season here, certainly a week.
Also, we really ought to have a competition to see who can record the last iris of the year.
And as for parties, we should have an annual Towards the End of the Season Party in Savernake.