Butterflies: July 2020
Clouded Yellows were seen at the Point and near the Haven whilst another Wall was seen, this time nectaring on Buddleia outside the Warden’s window!
The weather unfortunately too wet and windy last week to do the BMS Transect so it was good to get this weeks completed today. There were 245 butterflies, over half of which were Gatekeepers. Of note were two Walls and one Clouded Yellow. There was also another Clouded Yellow seen on Worth marshes.
Two more Ringlets were in the Gullies whilst on Worth marshes there were 12 species on show, including a Wall along the Delf and our first Clouded Yellow of the year.
Small Tortoiseshell and Painted Lady were around the Observatory today. Both have been thin on the ground recently.
The first Wall of the year was seen in the Whitehouse.
The BMS Transect was inhibited a little by the cloud cover which came over, but thankfully it was still warm and calm enough to continue. There were 39 Small/Essex Skippers, four Large Whites, five Small Whites, two Green-veined Whites, two Small Coppers, one Brown Argus, 11 Common Blues, six Red Admirals, four Peacocks, a Comma, eight Marbled Whites, 108 Gatekeepers, 29 Meadow Browns, and five Small Heaths.
News in of a SMALL BLUE in Stonelees today. A very surprising sighting considering the scarcity of Kidney Vetch in the area (though there is a patch nearby on the Hoverport). It becomes the 37th species of butterfly to be recorded in the SBBOT area.
This weeks BMS Transect consisted of 62 Small/Essex Skippers, six Large Whites, 36 Small Whites, five Small Coppers, 16 Common Blues, one Red Admiral, three Peacocks, two Speckled Woods, 11 Marbled Whites, 63 Gatekeepers, 28 Meadow Browns, two Small Heaths, and two Ringlets. Another four Ringlets were seen elsewhere on the Estate.
A long ol’ walk to the Point in the hot sun produced nine Peacocks, 20 Small Whites, three Large Whites, four Marbled Whites, 47 Gatekeepers, 14 Small/Essex Skippers, 11 Meadow Browns, five Red Admirals, one Brown Argus, one Common Blue, and one Small Copper.
The ringing team stumbled across arguably the biggest butterfly news of the year with this LARGE TORTOISESHELL by the Haven Heligoland. Despite being resident here up to the late 1940’s there have only been five records since, with the last in 2006. However, this year has seen a clear arrival along the south and east coasts and i knew it wouldn’t be long before we had a record.
New Downs this afternoon produced 33 Gatekeepers, nine Meadow Browns, two Marbled Whites, ten Peacocks, 11 Small Whites, two Red Admirals, 11 Small/Essex Skippers, two Small Heaths, one Small Copper and one Common Blue before it completely clouded over.
Vanessids seems to be on the way up. At least 16 Red Admirals and 13 Peacocks were seen on a windy stroll around the back of the asparagus fields.
The BMS Transect and a few additional counts from elsewhere on the Estate produced 62 Small/Essex Skippers, nine Large Whites, 118 Small Whites, nine Small Coppers, three Brown Argus, five Common Blues, eight Red Admirals, one Small Tortoiseshell, ten Peacocks, one Speckled Wood, 21 Marbled Whites, 14 Gatekeepers, 35 Meadow Browns, and eight Small Heaths.
Two Ringlets were in The Elms and singles were in the Whitehouse and Waldershare Gully.
Another Ringlet today and another good count of Small Coppers, with at least 33 recorded. Holly Blues, Common Blues, and Brown Argus are just starting to re-emerge again and Gatekeepers beginning to flourish.
There was a lot of butterfly activity on the Estate this morning. Of particular note were 11 Large Skippers, 31 Red Admirals, seven Peacocks, seven Commas, 25 Small Whites, 24 Small Coppers, two Ringlets, and a Painted Lady.