A change in the weather has really increased the butterfly activity in the area with Small Coppers now particularly obvious along the paths. Two Clouded Yellows on the Estate on the 24th and the 26th were the first for some time.
Wind, rain, cloud; that perfect trio for butterfly recording and it has been with us in various forms more or less since the last update. In between cloudy spells this morning though a slither of sunshine appeared over the Whitehouse and tempted a Wall onto the wing. I think that’s the first one in that area this year. Commas seem to have increased in number but the hoped for increase in Red Admirals has failed to materialise yet.
Cloudy cool conditions hasn’t made things easy recently for recording butterflies however we do seem to be currently in a little lull before autumn really starts. Gone are Marbled Whites and Gatekeepers and migration hasn’t really started up again yet. Give it another couple of weeks or so though and Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, and Clouded Yellows should start appearing again. Small Heaths seem to be one of the only numerous species on the wing at the moment, perhaps unaffected by the summer weather, whilst on sunny days there are clearly good numbers of ‘whites’ darting to and fro. Keep an eye out those Small Whites closely as Southern Small White is on the warpath on the Continent. It has spread rapidly northwards in the last few years and it seems it won’t be long before it is confirmed in Britain for the first time.