Butterfly Diary - field notes by Adrian Hoskins
note : earliest sightings of each brood are in bold type
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jly | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
I apologise for the lack of reports published in August - I was in Peru for the first 2 weeks and have had little opportunity to catch up with UK sightings since my return.
Friday 31st August
The UK butterfly season may be drawing to a close, but reports from the southern counties indicate that several of the late summer species are still flying in good numbers, particularly Chalkhill Blues, Gatekeepers and Red Admirals. Other species including Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Brimstone, Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper can still be found in fresh condition although in relatively low numbers. This weekend will probably be the last opportunity we have this year to see Brown Hairstreaks - singletons were reported from Hampshire and Sussex on 27th/28th but will not be flying for much longer. By far the most interesting records this week have been of Jersey Tiger moths, reported from several sites across southern England after many years of absence.
Friday 17th August
Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Meadow Browns and Common Blues are all being reported in good numbers from around the UK at the moment. In the southern counties Chalkhill Blues, Adonis Blues and Small Coppers are currently all abundant at their strongholds. The 2nd brood of Wall Browns is now on the wing; and Silver-spotted Skippers and Brown Hairstreaks are both enjoying a late but fairly successful season.
Thursday 16th August
We have just returned from a fantastic trip to Peru where we witnessed a mass migration and saw a total of well over 300 species, at least one of which is probably new to science. A full trip report and a selection of the photographs taken will be published as soon as time permits. Meanwhile back here in the UK I can report that the first Brown Hairstreaks of the year were seen at Henfield in Sussex and at Shipton Bellinger in Hampshire on 5th August. The 2nd generation of Adonis Blues has also begun to emerge, with 4 fresh males seen at Mill Hill in Sussex on 9th August. Chalkhill Blues have emerged in almost unprecedented numbers, with "tens of thousands" at Arreton Down on the Isle of Wight on 9th August, an an estimated minimum of 150,000 adults on the wing at Friston Gallops in Sussex on 3rd August.

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