- field notes by Adrian Hoskins
sightings of each brood are highlighted in bold type
Despite the colder than usual winter, Red Admirals have been
recorded on virtually every sunny day so far this year. Almost all
sightings have been from Hampshire or Sussex, and usually from
sites within 5 miles of the coast. The lack of inland sightings
would seem to rule out any likelihood of these butterflies being
early migrants, because migrating butterflies tend to spread
inland within a few days of arriving in the UK.
There was a southward migration towards the end of last year,
with some individuals seen flying south across the English
Channel, but it seems that others elected to overwinter in the
relatively warm and sheltered woodlands along the south coast.
This happened in the warm winters of 2006-2008 when hundreds of
Red Admirals were flying in mid-winter in certain Sussex
woodlands. It is very surprising however that the butterflies have
so far survived the current harsh winter, and it remains to be
seen how they will cope with the heavy frosts predicted for
Another Brimstone was reported today,
feeding at ivy blossom at Cuckfield in Sussex, so it seems that
despite the recent very cold weather, there is still a chance of
an early spring !
The first Brimstone of the year ( a
male ) was reported today from the Meon valley.
Admiral was reported today from Eastbourne in East Sussex, and
also from Sussex came a report on the branch Butterfly
Conservation website of a Peacock at Cuckmere Haven. Further west,
in Hampshire another 2 Red Admirals were seen, at Fareham and
Friday 7th January
Hampshire branch of Butterfly Conservation reported on it's
website the first UK butterfly sighting of the year - a Peacock
seen flying in a garden in Cadnam.
policy - details of certain sites where visitor pressure
or trampling may pose a threat to butterflies or alienate
landowners are excluded from these pages.