Had the Friday off, and as everything got done fairly early, I decided to visit Broxbourne Woods. Called my sister as they live nearby and had hoped to visit with me now that they are back in the area.
Arrived just after 1000 to be told I had just missed a Purple Emperor in the car park. A flyover Southern Hawker and White Admiral was some recompense. I located a few Purple Hairstreaks in the oaks above the cars and got everyone on them, before going down the ride.
Met up with someone I vaguely knew and we chatted about recent dragonflies orchids and butterflies and then we searched the now open stream for a reported Silver Washed Fritillary. A few Commas, a Red Admiral, lots of Meadow Browns and Ringlets were seen. Sarah and Ed arrived and we joined the small group which had gathered on the path- a Purple Hairstreak was on the ground and showing exceptionally well, primarily because it was expiring.
We eventually left and reached the top of the path when a shout went up-rushed round the corner to find the guy I knew pointing at A Purple Emperor on the path. It soon flew over to a large area of wood ash from the clearings and treated us to superb views. We managed to get everyone up and see it. Eventually it flew up into the trees and basked for a bit before flying off.
The pond held a few hawkers and Emperors, as well as many Large Red and Common Blue Damselflies. The grassy heath;and area was quite nice as we found several White Admirals, Purple Hairstreaks and another Purple Emperor.
Returning to the cars we had a very close encounter with another White Admiral.