Update Number 2
I’m sure that you’ll agree, it goes without saying that this winter has been one of the most unpredictable for a long time, and has to be one of the wettest in living memory. How have our butterflies fared during this wet winter? Quite simply, most of the overwintering species have stayed tucked away in their winter quarters. On the odd occasion that the sun has shone, it has either been too cold or too windy to tempt them out of hibernation. As for our Spring and Summer butterflies, I wait with nervous anticipation of the weeks ahead to find out how they have coped. Have the ova, larvae and pupae survived the winter rains and associated boggy conditions, or have they been consigned to a watery grave? Only time will tell.
The past few weeks have not, I hasten to add, drawn a blank. The first reported sighting of the year came in on the 9th of January when Graham Bowers spotted a Peacock on the wing in Ibstock Community Orchard. A week later on the 16th Graham’s wife saw a Brimstone in the garden in Moira. My first sighting was of a solitary, somewhat bedraggled Peacock in the car park of Palmer’s Garden Centre in Ullesthorpe on the 25th of January. This little chap was almost overlooked as initially Win and I thought it was a leaf blowing in the breeze. The first two species reported in 2015 were the Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell, both seen on the 9th of February. Neither of these two overwintering butterflies have been reported so far this year, but the odd opportunist may put in appearance if we get a warm, sunny winter day, so I would ask you to keep your eyes peeled.
East Midlands Butterfly Conservation have been developing the Website over the winter months and several changes will be filtered through over the coming weeks and months, so please keep checking. One facility that is now up and running is the County Blog pages. It is planned that the email Updates for Leicestershire and Rutland, and also Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will be posted directly to here. This will save on time spent sending emails out to groups of individuals, as once the Update is posted, recipients will receive an automatic notification email allowing instant access to the Blog. I would like to ask each one of you to visit the EMBC website’s Blog page and ‘Subscribe to Blog via Email’. All you need to do is fill in your email address and you’ll be ready to receive future posts for Leicestershire and Rutland, as well as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire if you wish, by email alert. I will eventually, once everyone has subscribed, stop sending out the email Updates directly, and thus eliminate the risk of your email address being shared.
Please use the following link to go the Blog page and enter your email address where requested, www.eastmidlands-butterflies.org.uk/blog/ , and once you have done so could I please ask you to let me know that you have so that I can update my records accordingly (I don’t want you to miss out on what’s happening in the county).
Please continue to send in details of your butterfly and moth sightings, and they will appear in future Updates.