2017 Butterfly Report

Butterfly Report 2017 

by Jenny White

Including some from Jean Helm and Sheila Simms

he year started well with Jean Helm seeing a Peacock at Tupgill on March 25th, and myself one at Wensley next day (was it the same one?).
In April I spotted a Brimstone at Harlow Carr and another was seen at Harmby Bank, as well as Orange Tips and a Humming-bird Hawk-moth: in Leyburn and Wensley 5 Tortoiseshells, 5 Peacocks, 1 Red Admiral.
May: 1 Brimstone near Downholme Church and 1 in Leyburn, 1 Peacock, 6 Speckled Woods, 3 Orange Tips and 4 Large Whites.
June: 1 Humming-bird Hawk-moth, 20 Red Admirals in Wensley, a Cinnabar moth in Harmby, and a Woodland Brown at Hornby Castle. On 9th a Painted Lady was seen near the King's Head (!) in Leyburn, and on 20th a Meadow Brown in Jean's back garden.
July: my White-letter Hairstreak returned twice, magic (but I still haven't got a photo!), 72 Ringlets, 123 Meadow Browns, 3 Tortoise, 14 Red Admirals, 1 Comma, 7 Large Whites, 6 Small Whites, 21 Small Skippers, 7 Small Heaths, 1 Cinnabar Moth, and 6 Burnett Moths. Deborah noted lots of Meadow Browns, Ringlet, Skipper, Tortoise, Red Admiral, Comma and Whites by the Cover Bridge, south bank. In July and August Sheila was unable to get about as usual, so spent more time in her garden (where Buddleia flowers) giving a harvest of observations: Red Admiral 71, Large White 6, Small White 5, Tortoiseshell 2, Painted Lady 1, Meadow Brown 2, Green-veined White 1, Carpet Moth 1. August: 25 Red Admirals, 13 Peacocks, 3 Large Whites, 6 Small Whites, 2 Commas, 2 Tortoiseshells, 2 Meadow Browns.
September: 18 Red Admirals, 2 Peacocks, 4 Small Whites, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Tortoiseshell.
Oct: 10 Red Admirals, 1 Tortoiseshell.
We are slightly better than last year: Red Admirals have done well, the 2nd most recorded species in our area after Ringlets, good evidence that they are over- wintering now. The large numbers of Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Heaths, were boosted by my recording for the YWT in the Glebe Field, the dramatic drop in numbers being due to the hay being cut in August. Jean notes that we only had 1 Painted Lady.
I was in the Alpujarras in Southern Spain in May and was lucky to see Scarce Swallowtail, Swallowtail, Cleopatra's Brimstone, Brimstone, an orange form of our Speckled Wood that had me baffled, and a beautiful Lang's Short-tailed Blue. It all felt very exotic.

Our 2018 Butterfly report is published in our 2019 Bulleten, distributed to our members