At the end of a brief patch walk at Epsom Common Stew Pond this morning (10.15 a.m.) I spotted a large butterfly sunning itself on a sign post upright and had my closest ever views of a male Purple Emperor (Apatura iris).
A half hour later I was able to share this experience with various other members of the Surrey and SW London Branch of Butterfly Conservation as we watched one individual (below) extracting nutrients and totally oblivious to the large circle of onlookers.
Later on in the day I had three more sightings of this sometimes elusive species including two males flying above an Oak on my Ashtead Common North butterfly transect ... definitely a purple day.
A roundup of this week's sightings will be posted tomorrow on 'Friday Flutters'. FAB.