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.
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Wednesday 31st August
Red Admirals are flying in excellent numbers the moment, with at least 25 immaculate individuals seen by Emily and myself basking on paths or feeding at hemp agrimony flowers in Stansted Forest today. Green-veined Whites were also doing very well, with at least 30 flying along the woodland trails. Other species seen included 3 Large Whites, 5 Small Whites, 8 Speckled Woods, 6 Meadow Browns and 1 Painted Lady. We also found 3 Orange tip pupae on garlic mustard stems.
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta, Stansted Forest, West Sussex
Saturday 6th August
This afternoon I spent a couple of hours at Stockbridge Down in Hampshire. Although weather conditions were mostly dull, and temperatures barely reached 17C, I was fortunate to see a total of 18 species - 5 Essex Skippers, 1 male Silver-spotted Skipper, 2 Large Whites, 15 Small Whites, 12 Green-veined Whites, 5 faded Small Coppers, 2 Brown Argus, 10 Common Blues, somewhere in excess of 100 Chalkhill Blues, 2 fresh male Adonis Blues, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Dark Green Fritillary, 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 2 Speckled Woods, 40 Gatekeepers, 100+ Meadow Browns, and 6 Small Heaths. Highlight of the day however for me was finding an Orange tip chrysalis, attached to a stem of its larval foodplant garlic mustard.
Adonis Blue Lysandra bellargus, male, Stockbridge Down
Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma, male, Stockbridge Down
Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus, Stockbridge Down
Orange tip pupa Anthocharis cardamines, Stockbridge Down
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, female, Stockbridge Down
Peacock Inachis io
Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon, male, Stockbridge Down, Hampshire


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