Sunday, May 31, 2009

30th May,2009.

An absolutely beautiful day but with the wind lessening what, otherwise,would have been a scorcher!!!

Young birds now begining to appear locally ( Blackbird, Stonechat, Curlew, and others too based on parental behaviour! ).The requested survey by Butterfly Conservation for Painted Lady butterflies within the period 1100hours to 1300hours produced nothing at my vantage point, but doubtless we will be seeing some soon. Information now emerging about this phenomenon presents a fascinating story!!

A Spanish research worker reported phenomenal breeding in the Atlas mountains, Morocco following winter rain with, for example, 150,000 pupae being estimated in a single field. Mass dispersal across the Mediterranean began as early as February from this population,and breeding commenced in southern Europe. Further waves occurred into Spain, France and Italy with arrivals into Germany, northern France and the Netherlands last week. Stable isotope work on these showed them to have originated from the Atlas Mountain popuulation.

On 21st May the first real arrival took place at Portland Bill with 100+ being recorded.Then a huge immigration into Britain took place on the 24/25th may with millions estimated to have arrived and to be moving NW. Many of these would be from the broods produced in southern Europe, but faded individuals originated from the Atlas mountain population.The arrival further north is now anticipated, particularly with favourable weather being in place, although specimens have already been noted in the Outer Hebrides!! Of even greater fascination is to learn this is part of a global phenomenon with a similar major movement of the species a couple of weeks ago from Mexico into California.

Apparently numbers of Large White, Red Admiral and Clouded Yellow butterflies and Silver Y moths have been reported in the UK too , so worthwhile keeping an eye open.

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