Butterfly Diary - field notes by Adrian Hoskins
my earliest sightings of each brood are highlighted in bold type
Sightings policy - details of certain sites where visitor pressure or trampling may pose a threat to butterflies or alienate landowners are excluded from these pages.
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jly | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

Sunday 24th February

The 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

An 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.
Next 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 in slumber.

Saturday 2nd February

A 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 ?



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