- field notes by Adrian Hoskins
sightings of each brood are highlighted in bold type
policy - details of certain sites where visitor pressure
or trampling may pose a threat to butterflies or alienate
landowners are excluded from these pages.
Sunday 24th February
Comma found hibernating in Stansted Forest has now flown from it's
winter roost, but the recent frosts seem to have been enough to
prevent any other butterflies from taking flight since my last
sightings on 9th February. The woods however are now showing good
displays of hazel catkins, a few celandines, lots of primroses,
and the first blackthorn blossom, so the next warm sunny day
should see butterflies in profusion.
Saturday 9th February
early frost quickly gave way to sunshine, blue skies, and
temperatures that made today feel more like April than February.
My local woodland was full of bird song, and the first celandines
and daffodils were putting in an appearance. I saw 4 species of
butterfly. First to appear was a male Brimstone. I spent several
minutes watching as it systematically searched amongst the bramble
bushes for a female, pausing momentarily to bask here and there on
dead bracken or dry grasses.
to put in an appearance was a Peacock, seen basking on an oak
trunk. This was followed shortly afterwards by the first of 3 Red
Admirals, all seen basking amongst dead grasses along the edge of
a sunny track. Finally I went to have a look at the spot where I
found a Comma hibernating on 26th January, and found it still deep
Saturday 2nd February
sunny day, but with a chilly wind blowing, there was little hope
of seeing any butterflies on the wing during my weekend dog-walk
at Stansted Forest. The Comma which I discovered hibernating under
a branch there last weekend was still fast asleep. Why do Commas
roost upside down ?