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
Sunday 27th October
Despite the cold wind there were several butterfly sightings reported from southern England today. Most reports were of singletons, but an observer in Hampshire managed to record an impressive total of 3 Commas, 6 Speckled Woods and 29 Red Admirals, all seen in and around Gosport.
Thursday 25th October
Cold, dull and windy weather across Britain this week has kept butterfly sightings minimal - the only reports I've heard have been from Sussex where a Small White and a Speckled Wood were seen at  Newhaven and Edburton respectively yesterday, and a Red Admiral was seen at Southwick today.
Wednesday 17th October
Cooler weather is now reducing the number of butterfly sightings although Red Admirals, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Commas are still being seen in single figures at many sites in the southern counties. There have also been a few records of Speckled Woods e.g. from Fareham in Hampshire. Large Whites ( adults and larvae ) were reported from Buckingham. The most surprising record of the day came from Gosport in Hampshire where 3 freshly emerged Holly Blues were seen.
Sunday 14th October
Another warm and sunny day brought several interesting reports. Red Admirals continue to be seen in excellent numbers e.g. in Sussex 14 were seen at Birling Gap and 26 at Thorney Island. The best count was of 51, seen fuelling up in preparation for the winter on ivy at Crowlink Hamlet. Peacocks, Commas, Speckled Woods and Small Whites were all reported in low numbers from sites in Sussex and Hampshire. There was also a report of a Painted Lady, a Brown Argus and 2 Meadow Browns at Horseshoe Plantation in Sussex. Clouded Yellows were seen at 2 sites - Southbourne Undercliff and Paulsgrove, both in Hampshire. Additionally there were several reports of pristine Small Coppers at coastal sites - e.g. 3 at Lymington in Hampshire, and 11 at Thorney Island in Sussex.
Sunday 7th October
A glorious warm sunny weekend led to numerous butterfly sightings on the south coast of England. On a walk between Kithurst Hill and Barpham Hill e.g. a couple of members of the Sussex branch of Butterfly Conservation counted 10 Small Whites, 18 Red Admirals, 12 Commas and a Peacock. At Shoreham another observer saw 15 Red Admirals, a Comma, a Brimstone, 3 pristine Small Coppers and 7 Large Whites. There have been no reports yet of 3rd brood Wall Browns although these are a distinct possibility in the next few days.
Thursday 4th October
In Hampshire today 14 Red Admirals were seen nectaring on michaelmas daisies at Froxfield. Other records included a Holly Blue and 2 Small Whites at Portsmouth. In Sussex a Brown Hairstreak was seen at Pulborough Brooks, and there was a report of 5 Commas, 38 Red Admirals and 25 Small Whites counted during a coastal walk between Kithurst Hill and the Burgh.
Monday 1st October
Commas continued to appear in high numbers today - one observer recorded an amazing 53 adults at Rushbeds Wood in Bucks, and also saw 3 Red Admirals, 2 Speckled Woods and a Brimstone.
Comma Polygonia c-album Steyning, West Sussex  Adrian Hoskins

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