Butterfly Diary - field notes by Adrian Hoskins
note : earliest sightings of each brood are in bold type
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Tuesday 29th October

A breezy but sunny day brought in numerous butterfly sightings from across southern England. Most sightings were of singletons, and included a Brimstone at Winchester, a Painted Lady at Sway, and a Small Copper at Petworth. Clouded Yellows and Red Admirals were reported as singletons from all over Hampshire and Sussex. At Holtspur Bottom near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire 3 Peacocks were seen basking on nettles. One observer walking along the coast at Gosport saw a total of 28 butterflies - 3 Speckled Woods, 2 Commas, 3 Clouded Yellows, 1 Common Blue and an impressive 19 Red Admirals!

Sunday 27th October

A friend at Broadmayne in Dorset reported seeing 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Painted Lady and 2 Small Coppers this morning. In Hampshire there were Commas reported from Abbotts Ann and East Worldham, a Brimstone was recorded at Gollard Copse, and 2 Speckled Woods were seen at Gosport.

Wednesday 23rd October

Continuing examination of images from our Colombia tour has now increased the number of species photographed and positively identified to 398 species. I'm organising another trip to Colombia for February 2015 - next time we will be visiting the Amazon, the eastern Andes and the Choco, and we expect an even higher species count!

Thursday 17th October

There have been no Long-tailed Blue sightings in Sussex since 12th October but a nice fresh-looking male was seen and photographed by 2 observers at Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight today. There is abundant narrow-leaved everlasting pea nearby, so it seems likely that the butterfly bred locally.

Friday 11th October

On Wednesday 2 freshly emerged Speckled Woods made an appearance in my garden at Havant, and despite a change of weather to cold windy conditions, and a maximimum temperature of 12C, they were both flying in the garden again this morning.

Sunday 6th October

Warm sunny conditions today resulted in a host of sightings in Hampshire, where Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, Red Admiral, Peacocks, Commas, Brimstones, Small Whites and Small Coppers were all seen in small numbers at Oxenbourne Down. Additionally there was a report of 6 Clouded Yellows at Barton on Sea, and 2 Painted Ladies were seen at West Meon. Butterfly enthusiasts in Sussex also had an excellent day, with Clouded Yellows at Treyford, East Blatchington and Thorney Island. Even better, there were records of Long-tailed Blues from several sites along the coast between Shoreham and Eastbourne, including a report of at least 7 different males at Seaford.

Saturday 5th October

I can now reveal that our recent tour of Colombia has produced a couple of interesting surprises from among the 8,000 images that I have checked so far. Two members of the group photographed species that are new to science: a Fosterinaria ( Satyrinae ) and a Detritivora ( Riodinidae ). Neither can be scientifically described as no specimens were captured, but it's fantastic to be at the cutting edge of entomology! A quick count has revealed that our tour group photographed 363 species - a number that is certain to rise further as more photographs are examined.

Here in Britain butterfly sightings are becoming scarcer as the cool damp days of autumn approach, but in Hampshire today 2 fresh Speckled Woods, 1 Comma, 1 Peacock and 4 Small Whites made an appearance in my Havant garden. There was also a report yesterday of 2 late Meadow Browns and 2 Speckled Woods seen at Devil's Dyke in Sussex.

Wednesday 2nd October

The Sussex branch website of Butterfly Conservation carried a report of a female Long-tailed Blue, seen today at Aldrington Canal, Southwick.

Tuesday 1st October

I've spent the last couple of weeks identifying the 277 species of butterfly that I photographed on my recent trip to Colombia. Most were relatively easy to identify but there were a few that are not illustrated in literature and required a lot of detective work. Among these was the pretty Satyrine Splendeuptychia ackeryi which was first described to science by Blanca Huertas in 2009. During the next couple of weeks I'll be sorting through the photographs taken by other participants on the tour, and I expect the eventual total to reach somewhere between 300-350 species. When completed, a trip report and species list will be published on the website.

Drinker moth larva Euthrix potatoria, Cissbury Ring, Sussex  Adrian Hoskins

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