Saturday, July 8, 2017
I visited Cranborne Woods in Dorset last weekend looking for His Imperial Majesty, but as the heat was a bit overpowering, I struggled. I did manage to see what I'm sure were 2 battling males but the sighting was very brief, one second zooming overhead, the next gone. I re-visited the wood again today, but again I failed to turn up anything all morning along with other observers. I was making my way back when I noticed a very large butterfly drifting over an oak, it flew past me over a gap between the oaks. It was vast, graceful and very elegant, a fresh looking Empress. Seen very well underneath as she effortlessly powered off over the trees. I had not had a bad day seeing 2 valezina Silver-washed Fritillaries in the woods, but this really made the trip worthwhile.