Butterfly Diary - field notes by Adrian Hoskins
note : earliest sightings of each brood are in bold type
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jly | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday 29th January
Despite the recent cold weather Red Admirals are still appearing in Sussex. There were records of 3 individuals seen on 27th - at Steyning, Burgh and Rowland Wood. Another was seen today at Hove.
Saturday 21st January
The first Brimstone of 2012 was reported today from Homefield Wood in Buckinghamshire.
Thursday 12th January
Red Admirals have been recorded on a daily basis in Hampshire, Dorset and Sussex this week. The best day was 11th January when 7 individuals were reported from various sites in Sussex. Almost all records have been of singletons.
Saturday 7th January
Here in Leicester the Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacocks, Commas and Brimstones are either deep in hibernation or, if they have any sense, have flown south to warmer climes. It was however delightful to discover today that winter entomology here does not need to be exclusively restricted to ladybird watching! Walking through Victoria Park this morning on the way back from shopping we were lucky to chance upon a Grey Shoulder Knot moth resting on a lichen-covered
tree trunk, and rushed back to the house to grab our cameras:
Grey Shoulder Knot Lithophane ornitopus, Leicester  Adrian Hoskins
Friday 6th January
Despite the gale force winds and lashing rain that swept across the UK yesterday, Red Admirals are continuing to be reported. One was seen today for example taking full advantage of the sunshine in a garden at South Chailey near Lewes. Even more exciting was a report of Red Admiral caterpillars found on nettles a few days ago at the Ouse valley in Sussex, proving that this butterfly is adapting very well to the milder UK winter climate, and can now be classed as a resident breeding species. Another unexpected record was of a Small Tortoiseshell at Burpham - a very early date for this species to be seen flying.
Monday 2nd January
There were several reports of Red Admirals from Hampshire today with singletons seen at Gosport and Portsmouth, and at Hawkshill Inclosure in the New Forest. Other interesting sightings included a Brimstone seen flying at Cholderton, and a Peacock at Knowlands Wood in Sussex.
Sunday 1st January
First butterfly of the year ! Despite cool and rainy conditions a Red Admiral was recorded flying in a garden in Eastbourne, Sussex today.

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