- field notes by Adrian Hoskins
: earliest sightings of each brood are in bold type
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!
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.
Continuing examination of images from our Colombia tour has now
increased the number of species photographed and positively identified
to 398 species.
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 12°C, 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.
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
branch website of Butterfly Conservation carried a report of a female
Long-tailed Blue, seen today at Aldrington Canal, Southwick.
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
Cissbury Ring, Sussex ©