Recent sightings in Sussex
April is the kindest month
In Holland between 1890 and 2017 there was an 84 percent decline in butterfly abundance and 15 species disappeared completely, according to analysis by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics. Unfortunately, they only have accurate records since the 1990 so this figure is an estimate. In the UK we have been collecting data since the 1970’s and have a fairly good picture of the decline in both butterfly distribution and abundance since 1976, but before then we too must rely on estimates.
This week, dozens of people throughout Sussex will begin their weekly transect walks during which they will record the numbers of butterflies in our two counties for the year 2019. As they quietly go about their business, they will be leaving a permanent record which will be used by lepidopterists perhaps hundreds of years into the future, who won't have to estimate. Our transect walkers do important work and we thank them for their efforts.
Wednesday 24 April
Male Orange Tip resting on Weigela leaf today, before it started raining in Bexhill. (Maria Dixon)
In my Storrington garden, the past 2-3 days, I have seen Holly Blue laying eggs on the un-opened flower buds of Portuguese Laurel and Brimstone laying on Alder Buckthorn. If anyone is thinking of planting some laurel it's worth considering Portuguese Laurel (over Common Laurel) as Holly Blues do like this shrub. (Martin Kalaher)
The moth season is definitely underway. I had 7 species on our balcony last night, including a new one, the Iron Prominent (Notodonta dromedarius). The others were: Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa), Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata), Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata), Narrow-winged Grey (Eudonia angustea), Nut Tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli) and Waved Umber (Menophra abruptaria). (Colin Knight)