Monday, 31 January 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
Monday, 24 January 2011
Thursday, 20 January 2011
I too have been lucky enough to witness such spectacles:
9 August 1978, Beddington SF, Surrey
Thousands of Small and Essex Skippers emerged en masse across the heavily vegetated sludge lagoon banks, creating a golden orange haze at waist height.
24 July 1992, Middleton, West Sussex
As I drove alongside a large field (crop unknown) I was staggered to realise that the white mist hanging over it was in fact tens of thousands of 'white' butterflies. I reckoned that they were all Large and Small Whites and it was simply staggering.
28 July 1997, Bude, Cornwall
A walk along the cliff top heading north revealed thousands of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. I have made this same walk many years since but have yet to see such numbers here again.
28 August 1997, Cavenham Heath, Suffolk
1500 Small Tortoiseshell were shoe-horned into an area of gorse and heather no larger than a football pitch.
6 August 2006, Braunton Burrowes, Devon
A simply stunning day. There were butterflies everywhere, great clouds of mixed species being flushed as I wandered the southern section of this area of vegetated sand dunes. The standout count was of a minimum of 4,500 Common Blues, but four figure counts of several other species made the experience unforgettable.
Monday, 17 January 2011
The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham is my current read. It is a book that informs, entertains and makes you think about why we take such an interest in the natural world around us. I’m a sucker for any well-written natural history literature and this is definitely one that comes into that category.
It's got me all wistful for butterflies again. I can normally expect to see one by the end of February, usually an individual flushed out of hibernation by a spot of shed tidying or a shaft of warming sunlight. In most years the honour will go to a Red Admiral, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Peacock or a Brimstone. On one mild mid-February day several years ago, I recorded both Small Tortoiseshell and a Brimstone – a double flutterby start to the year!
The book has also made me realise that there are species, within easy travelling distance, that I should go and see before its too late. I haven’t seen Duke of Burgundy, nor Glanville Fritillary, Lulworth Skipper or Heath Fritillary. I really ought to get myself into gear and put that right this coming summer.
Get the book and you wont be disappointed. A word of warning though – you may find yourself adding a few trips to your list this summer.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Monday, 10 January 2011
Sunday, 9 January 2011
Saturday, 8 January 2011
Friday, 7 January 2011
Thursday, 6 January 2011
Other insects: 39
Mosses, lichens, liverworts: 6
Grasshoppers and Crickets: 1
Plenty of room for additions. Just a question of putting in the time to get up to 3000...