Update Number 4
I don’t know about you, but I am finding it increasingly more difficult to understand and predict our weather patterns. The weekend of the 8th and 9th of April brought us almost summer-like conditions with warm sunshine and blue skies, albeit accompanied by keen cool breezes, yet a few days later temperatures had dropped by almost 10 degrees, reminding us that we have only just left winter behind us. Looking ahead, we can expect a few sunny days and maybe even a few frosty nights. How the county Lepidoptera cope with these fluctuations is beyond me………but cope they certainly do.
Saturday 8th April:
Orange Tip butterflies took advantage of this sunny spell and were reported by Adey Baker (Burbage), Alison Rhodes (Anstey), Eliot Taylor (4 @ Glenfield), David Scott (3 @ Great Glen) and Toby Carter (Leicester). More Holly Blues took to the wing as recorded by Adey Baker (4@ Burbage), Alison Rhodes (Anstey), Eliot Taylor (Glenfield) and Craig Howat (Oakham). Speckled Wood sightings are beginning to increase, and Adey Baker trumped everyone with over 20 specimens noted on his Burbage visit. Other sightings came in from Eliot Taylor (3@ Glenfield) and from David Scott (Great Glen).
This day also brought sightings of Peacock (Adey Baker, Alison Rhodes, Lyn Bull (Barnsdale Gardens), and David Scott (5)), Brimstone (Adey Baker, Alison Rhodes (2), Lyn Bull, Eliot Taylor and David Scott (6)) and Small Tortoiseshell (Adey Baker, Alison Rhodes and David Scott (5)). A solitary Comma was noted by Adey Baker at Burbage.
Sunday 9th April:
A glorious day that wouldn’t have been out of place in early summer, and a day that encouraged more of us out into the great outdoors. Orange Tips were noted by Vanessa Parkinson (Leicester), Claire Install (2@ Mountsorrel), Toby Carter (2@ Leicester), Lyn Bull (Kirby Muxloe) and Stephen Rawlinson (Aylestone Meadows). Brimstones continued to be seen as reported by Claire Install, Toby Carter (3), Lyn Bull and Paul Walsh (2@ Huncote). Holly Blue were seen by Claire Install, Lyn Bull (2), Mark Tricker (Wigston) and Stephen Rawlinson. Small Tortoiseshell sightings came in from Claire Install, Toby Carter (3) and Mark Tricker. Only a couple of Peacocks were reported on this day, by Claire Install and Toby Carter.
This day also brought more ‘firsts’ for the county. Stephen Rawlinson noted the full set of ‘whites’, including the first reported Large White (species number 12), along with 4 Green-veined White and a solitary Small White. Matthew Harpin reported the first Green Hairstreak (13) of the season, with 4 individuals being seen on Warren Hills.
Only one more report of Brimstone has come in since this weekend and this came from Adey Baker who spotted several at Croft Hill on the 10th. Speckled Wood were noted by Ben Devine on the 11th (Moira Furnace) and John Hopkins on the 13th (Burroughs Wood). AJ Cann recorded an Orange Tip on the 13th at Lucas’ Marsh.
Steve Lee visited a Narborough garden on the 14th and recorded Orange Tip, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Holly Blue.
Only a single Red Admiral sighting has been reported, and that came in this morning (16th) when Derek Spicer spotted a solitary specimen on his nursery in South Kilworth.
The latest ‘First Sightings’ list is as follows (and includes a slight amendment to last weeks list):
10. Small White – David Foulds – Brocks Hill C.P. – 3rd April
11. Speckled Wood – Various – Various – 5th April
12. Large White – Stephen Rawlinson – Aylestone Meadow – 9th April
13. Green Hairstreak – Matthew Harpin – Warren Hills – 9th April
Please continue to send in your sightings information via the usual channels (either directly by email or the Facebook page ‘Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland’), and I’ll keep you posted. Watch this space……