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Butterfly Diary - field notes by Adrian Hoskins
note : earliest sightings of each brood are in bold type
2013
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March
Sunday 31st March
Despite cold conditions a Small Tortoiseshell was sighted yesterday in Oxfordshire, and another was seen today at Bracklesham in Sussex.
Tuesday 19th March
Cold weather continues to predominate, nevertheless a Small Tortoiseshell was reported today at Lewes brooks in Sussex, and there have been several reports of Orange Underwing moths in birch woodlands in the southern counties.
Wednesday 13th March
The spring-like conditions of 5th March were unfortunately extremely short-lived, with Britain since than experiencing a spell of bitterly cold weather. The last reported butterfly sightings were on 6th when Brimstone singletons were seen at Aylesbury in Bucks and at Petersfield in Hampshire.
Tuesday 5th March
Spring finally arrived today, with warm sunny conditions over most of Britain. The first butterfly of the month to be reported was a Small Tortoiseshell seen in a garden in Worcester. In woodland on the North Downs in Surrey several Commas and Brimstones were seen, and singletons of both of these species were recorded at several sites in Sussex, Berks, Oxon and Bucks. Sightings reported from Hampshire included singletons of Comma, Peacock and Red Admiral, all of which were seen at numerous sites. Additionally there were many Hampshire records of Brimstones - the highest count being 10, seen at Portsdown Hill, although it must be borne in mind that males of this species patrol regularly back and forth in search of females at this time of year, so this figure may have included repeat sightings. Only two Small Tortoiseshells were reported - from Spade Oak and Aylesbury in Bucks. The first Small White of the year was seen at Winchester in Hampshire.

Polygonia c-album male, Stansted Forest, Sussex Adrian Hoskins

 

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