Monday, 18 June 2012

April 2012

30 April 2012
A bright turquoise-blue sky showed in the north and east on a breezy unpromising day, but the sun and some of butterflies came out in the afternoon. I checked out the lower slopes of Mill Hill where my first of 14 Dingy Skippers flitted between the thousands of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosaflowers. The small day-flying pyralidmoth Pyrausta nigrata flitted occasionally between the Horseshoe Vetch. I also spotted by first Small Heath Butterfly of 2012. At the top of the Mill Hill around the Alexanders on the east side of the road just north of the hedge by the house, a male Orange-tip Butterfly fluttered around without pausing. At the top of Chanctonbury Drive, I noted a Speckled Wood and a Small White. A Large White fluttered in and out of a hedge next to Erringham Road.
Six species
Adur Skippers
I did my weekly transect at Mill Hill as it was a blue sky day. There were several Green Hairstreaks at the north end of the lower slopes, plus many Dingy Skippers and some Grizzled Skippers.

27 April 2012
A turquoise-blue sky appeared as the clouds blew away in the afternoon and the sun and butterflies came out on an unpromising day. On the outskirts of Shoreham I recorded four Orange-tips (the first one at Buckingham Cutting south, and the others over the Waterworks Road, including one female), at least six Speckled Woods, at least three Brimstone Butterflies, at least six Peacock Butterflies, two Small Whites, one Green-veined White (Pixie Path, north), my first Large White of the year(Waterworks Road) and my first Holly Blue of the year (top of Chanctonbury Drive)..
Eight species of butterfly (the most in a single day so far) were spotted without visiting the downs.
(I did not visit Mill Hill because my camera battery ran out, and I was not happy with the focusing and macro of my new Canon SX40 and now wished I had purchased another camera.)
Adur Butterflies: First Dates

23 April 2012
I left to do my weekly transect at Mill Hill as it was a sunny day (it started raining for all of the afternoon around midday). There was a wind at the start and I was surprised to find a Grizzled Skipper at the top of the hill. Beside the path near the bottom of the hill I found a black Adder. At the bottom there was another Grizzled Skipper, aGreen-veined White, a Peacock, a Small HeathSpeckled Wood and many Dingy Skippers, fighting and nectaring. Just below the car park I found a Small Copper, my first of the year. I tried my new camera, a Panasonic Lumix FZ45 with close-up lens, on the Dingy Skippers and am very satisfied with the results. I am getting depth of field, clarity of detail and colour vibrancy that I cannot achieve with my other cameras.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates
16 April 2012
On a Cumulus day too cool for butterflies, a visit to Mill Hill was only entertained because the forecast for later in the week was worse. Occasionally, a skipper (butterfly)rose from the lower slopes and fluttered rapidly to a new resting place. The only one positively identified was a fresh Grizzled Skipper at the southern end of the lower slopes.
10 April 2012
On a sunny day with a cold wind, Grizzled Skippers and Small Heath Butterflies were seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

6 April 2012
Dingy Skippers, a Small Heath and a Green Hairstreak Butterfly were all seen for the first time this year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, with Grizzled Skippers, aSpeckled Wood, a Green-veined White and a Peacock Butterfly.
Adur Butterflies: First Dates on an Excel Worksheet

3 April 2012
An unprecedented 26 Grizzled Skippers were seen on Mill Hill and only one of them was a female. A handful of Peacocks and single Comma and Small White were the only other butterflies seen.
Report by Neil Hulme on Sussex Butterfly Reports
Adur Skippers

2 April 2012
There was a chill breeze and no butterflies were seen in the afternoon, not on the Waterworks Road where the two Bee-flies visiting the patch of Ground Ivy were too energetic to photograph or even to identify to species species they would not settle. They were paler than normal, one was a pale orange when viewed from the side.
1 April 2012
I visited Mill Hill again to conduct a butterfly transect. These start on 1 April and are conducted weekly, preferably on a sunny day when the butterflies are out. I walk a set route and record the butterflies I see 2.5 metres each side of my track. Temperature, percentage sunshine and wind speed are also recorded. I will repeat this during the next 25 weeks. Unfortunately due to the cold wind I only recorded three butterflies - a Speckled Wood, a Peacock and a Grizzled Skipper.

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