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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Saturday 25th June
The first Purple Emperor of the year was reported yesterday from Bentley Wood in Wiltshire, and there were further sightings today at Alice Holt forest in Hampshire, Southwater Woods in Sussex and Botany Bay in Surrey.
Purple Emperor, Apatura iris
Emily and myself spent today at Harpenden, where despite generally cloudy conditions we managed to record a few butterflies in Aldwickbury Meadow. These included 15 Meadow Browns, 2 Speckled Woods, 1 Small Heath, 20 Ringlets, 10 pristine Marbled Whites, 1 Holly Blue, 20 Large Skippers, 8 Small Skippers, 3 fresh Commas, 2 Red Admirals and 2 freshly emerged Painted Ladies, one of which was still drying its wings.
Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui
Marbled White, Melanargia galathea, male
Thursday 23rd June
In the late afternoon after I finished work Emily and myself briefly visited Stansted Forest, where we saw 4 Speckled Woods, 6 Ringlets, 8 Meadow Browns, 20 Large Skippers, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Comma, and 2 White Admirals. Earlier in the day in the forest Emily recorded a few Silver-washed Fritillaries, and our first summer brood Small Tortoiseshell.
Saturday 11th June
Silver-washed Fritillary numbers are now beginning to build, with 10 reported today from Whiteley Pastures in Hampshire. White Admirals are also being reported in two's and three's from most southern woodlands. No reports of Purple Emperor yet though ! There have been reports of good numbers of Dark Green Fritillary from its haunts in Hampshire and Sussex, and Silver-studded Blue populations are building strongly on the New Forest heaths. One of the most interesting records came from an artificially landscaped chalk grassland site at Hollingbury in Sussex, where over 800 Small Blues were estimated to be on the wing.
Saturday 4th June
Emily and myself have just returned from the learnaboutbutterflies tour of central Peru, so please excuse the absence of recent UK sightings reports. A Peru trip report is being prepared, and lots of new photos will be added to the Amazon and Andes sections soon.
UK sightings reports will resume next week, but in the meantime I can report that Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, White Admiral, Glanville Fritillary, Heath Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Swallowtail, Chequered Skipper, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Black Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, Silver-studded Blue and Large Blue have all been reported from various parts of the UK in our absence.



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