Update Number 9
Spring has finally settled into a ‘normal’ pattern and we’ve enjoyed some lovely sunshine, although there has been a keen breeze to accompany it. As I write this Update, we are forecast a few days of wind and rain (I don’t mind a drop of rain as the garden is very dry at present) and then a settled spell of warm spring sunshine. Hopefully this will lead to the emergence of some of our late spring and early summer butterflies such as the Wall Brown, Small Heath and Common Blue (no reports of any of these have come through, yet).
There have been very few reports of day-flying moths so far, but AJ Cann noted both Latticed Heath and Common Heath at Holwell NR on the 7th of May. The Star Performer of early May has been the Dingy Skipper. Sarah Proud counted 12 at Bloody Oaks Quarry on the 12th of May, along with a solitary Grizzled Skipper. Matthew Harpin spotted 3 Dingy Skipper at New Lount LNR on the 15th and Ben Devine saw 2 at Sarah’s Wood on the same day (this could be a first for this site, and hopefully this can be repeated on our butterfly transect here). On the following day (16th) I recorded 3 (possibly the same individuals as Matthew) Dingy Skipper at New Lount LNR. I have been monitoring New Lount for the last 3 years as a potential site for this diminutive brown butterfly as there is plenty of Bird’s Foot Trefoil and Wild Strawberry present. A singleton was spotted last spring and, with 3 noted this spring there is every chance that it could become a permanent resident here.
Our 15th reported species of the year came in from Matthew Harpin, also at New Lount LNR when he spotted a Small Copper, along with a Red Admiral, Orange Tip and Small White on the 14th of May. On the same day he also saw 3 Speckled Wood at Bardon Hill. Martin Grimes reported a Red Admiral at Lyndon NR at Rutland Water on the 15th.
The Green Hairstreak is coming under closer scrutiny in the county this year, and further to records listed in Update number 8, Carol Arrowsmith reports 2 individuals seen at Asfordby Hill on the 9th of May, along with 3 Orange Tip and 2 Peacock.
Pauline Goodsell recorded 3 Holly Blue, 3 Orange Tip and a Green-veined White in her Stoke Golding garden on the 9th, and on the same day Laura Hackett spotted 2 Holly Blue in her Whetsone garden, 2 Orange Tip in Southey Road Park, and then a further 2 Orange Tip and 2 Holly Blue in Victory Park, Cosby.
Please continue to send in your sightings information and any other Lepidoptera news you may have for inclusion in the next update either via this email address or our Facebook page, Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland. Enjoy your butterflies.