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The Butterflies and other insects of the U.K.

By Dave Hatton

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2013 HIGHLIGHTS and SUMMARY

 

 

 

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Another strange year as far as the weather was concerned. The season started with a late snowfall in the back half of March. This cold snap was followed by a very long, cool, dry spring. July, and early August were very hot, and the next couple of months were mainly cool, windy wet weather. The amount of moths and butterflies that I recorded in my garden during the spring, and autumn were the the poorest numbers since I came to live here. July, and August were a complete contrast, breaking all the previous years records for my garden  Although I have not seen a lot of new species for the garden this year, I have had some unusual moths, the Lime Hawk Moth for instance.

   
 

Varied Coronet, Farsley, Pudsey, July 2013.

     

Lime Hawk Moth, Farsley, Pudsey, July 2013.

 
 

Although there were more butterflies around this year, they still appear to be suffering from the very wet, season of 2012. The Comma was absent in my garden this spring, though the Large, Small and Green-veined White butterflies seem to have done quite well overall. I live on a large housing estate, well away from any heath or moorland. So I was mildly surprised to find several True Lover's Knot in my trap during July. Some other interesting species turned up at home in my garden including, Varied Coronet, Herald, Small Angle Shades, Phoenix, Common Emerald, Bordered White, Eudemis profundana, Anania coronata, Argyresthia goedartella and Six-striped Rustic.

   

This year for a change of scenery, we went to the Norfolk Broads for a week. At Buxton Heath we saw our first Eulia ministrana tortrix moth. Also new for us were the Wasp and Garden Chafer beetles, and the caterpillar of the Common Footman, found basking on gorse. At Catfield, and Hickling Broad we saw our first Black-tailed Skimmer's. On visiting Howe Hill we saw our first Hairy Dragonfly, and one Swallowtail. At Hickling Broad we had over forty sightings of our native Swallowtail butterflies  Also on this broad we saw Yellow-tail caterpillars and our first Norfolk Hawker. On the coast at Great Yarmouth we saw many Common Blue, and Small Copper butterflies .

 
     

Wasp Beetle, Buxton Heath, Norfolkshire, June 2013

     
   

Later in early September we re-visited some of our favourite sites in Lincolnshire. By this time the weather had started to deteriorate, and we had a lot of wind and rain. In fact it was that bad one day we went into the Tropical House, at the Seal Sanctuary in Skegness. Here we saw many tropical butterfly species including the Atlas Moth, and the Common Postman butterfly. Various day trips yielded some interesting sightings, such as the two hundred plus Marbled White, and a large number of Dark Green Fritillary's at Brockadale in Yorkshire. We also saw several Chimney Sweeper at this site. Danes Dyke produced numerous Vapourer Moths, and a hundred plus Nettle Tap, one Sunday in early October.

   
 

True Lover's Knot, Farsley, Pudsey, July 2013

     

Yellow-tail Moth, Hickling Broad, Norfolkshire, July 2013

 
             
 

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