Spring has Sprung……….or has it?

Update Number 4

Depending upon your personal preference, either we have just entered into spring today, with it being the vernal equinox, or we are nearly three weeks into the season if you prefer to go by the meteorological office definition. Personally, I do not side with either, as I simply prefer to go outside the back door without my winter woollies. If I have to dash back indoors and put them back on, then it’s not quite spring. If I can stay out all day without catching a chill, then spring has sprung. Seriously, if it feels too chilly for us, then it’s probably too chilly for our local Lepidoptera. This may account for a lack of reported sightings of most of our overwintering butterflies. The one exception to this is the apparently hardier Small Tortoiseshell. The first reported sighting received so far was of a singleton seen by Derek Spicer at South Kilworth, on the 11th of February. My first Small Tortoiseshell was seen in my Earl Shilton garden nectaring on purple crocus on the 24th of February.

Small Tortoiseshells have also been seen at Melton Country Park by Paul Ruddoch on the 7th, 11th, 14th and 17th of March. Geof Adams spotted one in Sutton in the Elms on the 11th of March, and another in Broughton Astley on the following day. Matthew Harpin noted his first of the season on the Bridleway in Ashby on the 14th of March, whilst Malcolm Hupman saw his at Rutland Water this afternoon whilst chasing Brown Hares.
A solitary Peacock sighting was reported by Graham Bowers in the Comedy Wood (love the name….) area of Hick’s Lodge on the 13th of March, and the only sighting of a Brimstone came in today when an individual was spotted by Rhys Dandy in Ibstock.
The forecast for the coming week is somewhat mixed as the high pressure that has been with us over the few days looks like being dislodged later in the week to make way for wet and windy weather coming in on an Atlantic low……and all in time for the Easter weekend. The 1st of April sees the start of the 2016 Butterfly Transect season, so let’s hope the weather settles down again after the Easter holiday.
If anyone would like to be part of a rota to walk a butterfly transect, then please get in touch and I’ll discuss the available options with you. It is a rewarding and enjoyable exercise, as well as making an invaluable contribution to EMBC’s butterfly (and moth) records.
It is planned that the email Updates for Leicestershire and Rutland, and also Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will be posted directly to the Blog page of the East Midlands Butterfly Conservation website. 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, click Subscribe 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 plan to stop sending out the email Updates directly after the next update (number 5), so to keep up-to-date on what is happening in the county then please subscribe as soon as you can.
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.
Please continue to send in your sightings information, and feel free to share your photos on our Facebook page (Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland). I still have not received news of sightings of either the Comma or Red Admiral, so please keep your eyes peeled for these and also be prepared for potential early appearances of any of the Whites, the Orange Tip, the Holly Blue and even the Green Hairstreak (more to come on the GH in the next update).
Happy butterflying.
Posted in Leicestershire and Rutland Butterfly Line.