The butterfly season shifts so fast that for the weekender it is important to have one of those days available to see the next specie, which has been impossible this year.
It is difficult to imagine how this will reflect on butterfly populations next year but already on good authority I have been told one of our rarest butterflies is likely to be even rarer next year.
Here in Hampshire there must be concerns for the Brown Hairstreak, which has, I think, had a maximum sighting of 5 at Shipton Bellinger and only one at Noar Hill.
Last year I saw 3rd brood Wall on the 1st October but would imagine this is highly unlikely this year.
Where are all the normally sighted aberrations this year? Have I missed something?
The Large Tortoisheshell still makes its early appearance on the Isle of Wight so its looks like it is now established.
Clearly what weather we get here does also affect out neighbours across the channel and to this end the migrating butterflies.
Red Admirals appear not to be affected this year but one of my favourites the Clouded Yellow has only appeared twice for me in three years now.
One could go on in a negative vein but I’m a great believer that Mother Nature always seems to find a way of fighting back with the help of the many conservationist who work tirelessly on supporting our wildlife.
Furthermore its reasonable to assume that the weather has also affected the predators at least as much as the butterflies and moths so maybe there will be less Sturmia bella flies about next year resulting in an uplift of Small Tortoiseshell numbers.
My reflections for this year are one of sadness for not seeing the likes of the Large Blue at Collard Down and the Black Hairstreak in Oxfordshire but also of my wonderful trip to Arnside, one that I nearly cancelled due to the forecast of such bad weather up north when it was tantalisingly hot here in the south.
My highlight butterfly wise must be the first air shot of a Scotch Argus.
I am familiar of many of our butterflies by flight alone and here was this chocolate brown “Ringlet” sort of butterfly that teased me by vanishing into a tree whereupon I had to wait a further four days to see my first grounded individual which just blew my mind with its beauty. I added another two “new” butterflies that trip so how could I possibly have had a bad season.
I will take Matthew’s advice and buy that Tea tree oil, such was the numbers of ticks I endured this season.
By natural progression the need for the many moth species for this website was going to make me place more emphasis on recording moths and I never realised what excitement I was going to have checking round my house and at the local garage was going to give me.
Every day since I started the anticipation of seeing a new species every day has given me so much excitement that I am serious considering a moth trap for next year, the only problem deciding which type to buy.
I have seen two rare moths for Hampshire so this has added to my overall excitement this year,one of poor weather but still an exciting year.
Sadly as the weather has been changing most of the recent moths are in a poor condition as the blog will show but a new moth is a new moth and another tick for this website.
I will continue the blog for a long as moths or butterflies can be found but can now look forward to writing up the species pages as well as giving the poor computer hard drive a bit of light relief by filtering out the photo “seconds” and deleting as necessary.
Below are some of the moths found these past few days.
One of the beautiful moths that turns up in the garden most years and whose larvae are usually found taking out the Clematis buds in January is the Angle Shades moth.
The green,pink and jagged termen make this a welcome visitor.
One of the faded moths I believe this to be Eudonia mercurella a member of the Crambidae family, a common species in most of Britain
Another moth aptly named the White Point which has been corrected by the ever knowledgeable Tim Norriss from my original incorrectly named moth,thanks Tim.
The next couple of moths I embarrassingly went to Tim Norriss for advice only to find they not only were next to each other in the book but on the "Bradley & Fletcher number system were 647 & 648.
The moth is the common Brown House Moth
The second of these micros is the very aptly named White-shouldered House-moth another common species.
Now how didn't I see that?
This moth is the Flounced Rustic another moth that visually says from the black crown shape that it might be a Coronet, but you would be wrong as Flounced Rustic it is.
A pretty moth this is the Common Marbled Carpet.
This moth was seen today and I believe it to be the Lesser Yellow Underwing distinguished from its cousin the Large Yellow Underwing by the discal spot on the hindwing,the latter being without one.
Finally ( I hear all of you with moth traps saying "Is that all") is the plume moth that has the common name of Beautiful Plume Moth,sort of says it all doesn't it?