- field notes by
earliest sightings of
each brood are in bold type
Butterfly-watching tour calendar 2014
Please book early to avoid
Saturday 18th May
Most of the early spring butterflies
appear to be having a good season, with Grizzled Skipper, Duke of
Burgundy, Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Green Hairstreak all doing
particularly well. One obsever was fortunate enough to find 8 Green
Hairstreaks nectaring at a single small clump of bluebells at Afton
Down on the Isle of Wight.
A gorgeous warm sunny day. Pearl-bordered
Fritillaries are now flying in good numbers in Sussex, with over 40
seen at Rewell Wood and about 20 at Abbotts Wood. In Hampshire's New
Forest about 20 were seen at a site near Brockenhurst. Grizzled
Skippers, Dingy Skippers and Duke of Burgundy all continue to be
reported in excellent numbers at their sites in Hants and Sussex, and
there have been many reports of Orange tips from across the country.
The only new species reported this week was a Small Blue, seen
at Pitstone in Buckinghamshire.
Sunday 12th May
Dingy Skippers, Grizzled Skippers, Green
Hairstreaks and Duke of Burgundies are all now flying in good numbers
in Hampshire, Sussex and Berkshire. Pearl-bordered Fritillaries are
also now on the wing at most of their sites. Suprisingly a new colony
of the latter has appeared at a chalk grassland site in the Meon
valley in Hampshire, presumably having spread from an established but
previously unknown population in nearby woodland. Yesterday the first
Small Heath of 2013 was recorded at Ballard Down in Dorset, and
the first Wall Brown of the year was reported from Wheelers Bay
on the Isle of Wight.
Monday 6th May
Since returning from a very exciting trip
to India 2 weeks ago I've had little opportunity to look at British
butterflies, so it was nice to have fine sunny weather today, and
spend a relaxing afternoon at Evington meadows in Leicester. Spring
has arrived late here and Leicester is far from the best place in
Britain to see butterflies - nevertheless I saw half a dozen Orange
tips, a few Green-veined Whites, a Brimstone, a Large White, a Holly
Blue, a Comma, 4 Peacocks and 4 Small Tortoiseshells.
Elsewhere in the UK the first Dingy
Skippers of the year were seen yesterday at Mill Hill in Sussex
and at Butler's Hangings in Bucks, the first Small Copper of
the year was reported from Cholsey in Oxon, and an early Common
Blue was observed at Ivinghoe Beacon in Bucks. Duke of Burgundy
numbers are slowly building, with 3 or 4 reported from most of this
butterfly's sites, although as many as 9 were seen at Noar Hill in
Hants. Green Hairstreaks and Grizzled Skippers are also being reported
in low numbers from several sites in the southern counties of England.
Wednesday 1st May
The first Duke of Burgundy of 2013 was reported from Noar Hill
in Hampshire yesterday. Green Hairstreaks have now been reported from
several sites including Levin Down in Sussex, Sands Bank in Bucks,
Ballard Down in Dorset and Magdalen Hill Down in Hampshire. Grizzled
Skippers are also on the wing at Magdalen Hill Down, and at Mill Hill
in Sussex. Orange tip numbers are building slowly at most sites, with
the first females just beginning to emerge in Hampshire and Sussex.