Tuesday, 10 April 2012

This Term's Butterflies

In the Spring term starting next week we will also spend time identifying any butterflies we encounter. Compared with birds there are only a relatively small number of species we may see, and there are very few confusion species. The most likely one to cause confusion is the Brown Argus which can look remarkably like some female Common Blues, however the former is so rare we probably won't see one. The first hibernating butterflies have already been seen: Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and the special butterfly at this time of year, the Brimstone, and amazingly the first Holly Blues have been spotted already, but Orange Tips should be emerging, and later they should be succeeded by some of the summer species such as Gatekeeper, Small & Large Skippers, Meadow Brown, and Ringlet. We will be going to some special locations to see the localised Marbled White, which only occurs in large numbers at selected sites. It will be interesting to see how relatively recent colonists such as: the Gatekeeper, Comma and Speckled Wood fare after another harsh winter. Hopefully, the warmer spring weather will bring out many butterflies for the classes to enjoy. In the past I've tended to find people don't know much about butterflies before they start the classes, but as they discover more about them & as they see extra species as the summer progresses, then they become more proficient at identifying each butterfly they see - seems to be a lot easier than what some people call the little brown jobs - warblers!

Common Blue [male]
Marbled White
Small Copper
Wall Brown
Small Tortoiseshell


tony powell said...

Some excellent captures there but it will be a wee while until some of those are seen flying. Mind you, I wish spring would stay for a good part of the year with just a smidgeon of winter and summer in between.

Kind Regards

Tony Powell

Michael Flowers said...

I'm hoping the late butterflies will be out before the classes end in 12 weeks time.

For me Spring could last for 6 months with just 2 weeks of winter & the rest of the year split between Summer & Autumn