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 19th October
Sightings reported today from Gosport in Hampshire included a Small White, several Red Admirals, a Speckled Wood, a Common Blue and a 3rd brood Holly Blue. Nearby at Thorney Island in West Sussex, 4 Small Coppers were reported.
Saturday 15th October
Another warm sunny day led to several reported sightings of Red Admirals, Commas and Speckled Woods in Hampshire, Dorset and Oxfordshire. At various sites along the Sussex coast there were also a few records of Small Copper, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Clouded Yellow, Brimstone and Large White. Here in Leicester the butterfly flight season is almost over, but on a walk in a city park Emily and myself found ourselves being investigated by an inquisitive Red Admiral which flew down from the top of a tree and circled around our heads several times before eventually settling to bask on leaf litter, and later on a park bench.
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Tuesday 11th October
Red Admirals continue to gather along the south coast, with 6 seen feeding at fermenting plums at Friston in Sussex.
Sunday 9th October
A very late Peacock was reported today at Park Corner Heath in Sussex.
Peacock Inachis io
Sunday 2nd October
Sightings reported today from Hampshire include 7 Small Heaths at Stockbridge Down; 3 Meadow Browns and 5 Small Coppers at Oxenbourne Down, 1 Brimstone at Froxfield, a 2nd brood Duke of Burgundy at Old Winchester Hill, and no less than 11 Clouded Yellows at Southbourne Undercliff.
Saturday 1st October
The "Indian summer" has encouraged the emergence of a 3rd brood of Wall Browns at Keyhaven in Hampshire, where Colin Baker observed 4 males today. Other species seen included 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Speckled Wood, 13 Red Admirals, 5 Small Coppers, 2 female Common Blues and 1 Small White. In West Sussex 4 Clouded Yellows were reported seen on Thorney Island. Numbers of Red Admirals have been building up in Stansted Forest and other overwintering grounds along the coast, having migrated south during recent weeks. Here in Leicester the butterfly sightings have been less exciting, with just a few Small Whites in the city centre, and a Red Admiral seen fluttering around the upper branches of a cherry tree in Victoria Park, where it was disturbed from it's overnight roosting site by the antics of one of the city's pigeons.


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