field notes by Adrian Hoskins
sightings of each brood are in bold type
recent cold weather Red Admirals are still appearing in Sussex.
There were records of 3 individuals seen on 27th - at Steyning,
Burgh and Rowland Wood. Another was seen today at Hove.
Brimstone of 2012 was reported today from Homefield Wood in
Red Admirals have
been recorded on a daily basis in Hampshire, Dorset and Sussex
this week. The best day was 11th January when 7 individuals were
reported from various sites in Sussex. Almost all records have
been of singletons.
Here in Leicester
the Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacocks, Commas and
Brimstones are either deep in hibernation or, if they have any
sense, have flown south to warmer climes. It was however
delightful to discover today that winter entomology here does not
need to be exclusively restricted to ladybird watching! Walking
through Victoria Park this morning on the way back from shopping
we were lucky to chance upon a Grey Shoulder Knot moth
resting on a lichen-covered
tree trunk, and
rushed back to the house to grab our cameras:
Knot Lithophane ornitopus, Leicester ©
Despite the gale
force winds and lashing rain that swept across the UK yesterday,
Red Admirals are continuing to be reported. One was seen today for
example taking full advantage of the sunshine in a garden at South
Chailey near Lewes. Even more exciting was a report of Red Admiral
caterpillars found on nettles a few days ago at the Ouse valley in
Sussex, proving that this butterfly is adapting very well to the
milder UK winter climate, and can now be classed as a resident
breeding species. Another unexpected record was of a Small
Tortoiseshell at Burpham - a very early date for this species
to be seen flying.
several reports of Red Admirals from Hampshire today with
singletons seen at Gosport and Portsmouth, and at Hawkshill
Inclosure in the New Forest. Other interesting sightings included
a Brimstone seen flying at Cholderton, and a Peacock
at Knowlands Wood in Sussex.
Sunday 1st January
of the year
! Despite cool and rainy conditions a Red Admiral was
recorded flying in a garden in Eastbourne, Sussex today.