Butterfly Diary - field notes by Adrian Hoskins
earliest sightings of each brood are highlighted in bold type
Sightings policy - details of certain sites where visitor pressure or trampling may pose a threat to butterflies or alienate landowners are excluded from these pages.
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Sunday 24th January


A Red Admiral was seen on 22nd by a conservation work party at Bevendean Down in Sussex, and today the first Peacock of the year was seen, at Lewes. Amazingly a fresh Small White was seen in Gosport, Hampshire on 21st, although the very early date of this record suggests that it probably emerged in a nearby glasshouse rather than in the wild. Appropriately an Early moth was caught at Aylesbury on 20th. More surprisingly a Spring Usher was recorded the previous night at Finemere Wood, where an impressive total of 273 moths of 9 species were trapped.


Sunday 17th January


The snow cover which had blanketed Britain for the past 2 weeks has now thawed, at least here in southern England. The long awaited return of sunshine today brought a pleasant surprise to at least one observer who was lucky to spot a male Brimstone at Alresford this morning. The first moths of the year are also starting to appear, with December moth, Winter moth, Mottled Umber, Satellite, Pale Brindled Beauty and Chestnut, all recorded last night at various sites in Hants, Dorset, Sussex and Surrey.


Friday 1st January


I hope you have all had an enjoyable Xmas, and like myself are looking forward to the appearance of the first post-hibernation butterflies, which should start to show themselves this month, assuming we get some sunny and reasonably warm days !
During the Xmas break I finished writing the species articles to accompany all the photos taken on the learnaboutbutterflies tour of Malaysia last May - I apologise for the delay - it's taken a while as the UK butterfly season and the website redesign have kept me fully occupied until recently. The articles can all be accessed from the Butterflies of Malaysia gallery, or from the Species Index.
Please note that learnaboutbutterflies has now launched a World Butterfly Identification Service, so if you have any photographs of unidentified species from your holidays, please forward them. There is a small fee payable for the service, which goes towards the running costs of the website.
Compton Down, West Sussex, 18th December 2009


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