Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Eye of newt, and toe of frog …

Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus)

After the excitement of two boeticus at Brighton Racecourse on the 27th, a freshly emerged male was recorded at Shoreham Port, Southwick, by Neil Hulme, on Wednesday, 28th October. It was witnessed by a small group of enthusiasts.

Despite a reasonably bright start, Thursday, 29th was generally overcast and wet by midday, though the temperature remained a respectable 15°C. Friday, 30th followed in the same vein with a very wet and windy start - conditions briefly improving later in the day. A hardy few ventured out. Overnight temperatures still remained high at around 10°C. A prominent southerly breeze keeping conditions very mild.

By Saturday, 31st October the weather had improved and most of the regular Sussex based enthusiasts were searching known sites. With my ‘eye of newt, and toe of frog ...’ good luck potion mixed (my mother-in-law has some super recipes) I was ready for action. Brighton Racecourse was the obvious destination and it wasn’t long before Neil Hulme discovered a nicely marked female (pictured above) in the sheltered area to the west of the allotments. As the weather forecast was looking good for the entirety of the Halloween weekend, apart from some early morning fog, which soon dispersed from the coast, I headed back on Sunday, 1st November feeling confident of a November boeticus sighting. It wasn’t long after my arrival that I found a freshly emerged male resting on bramble in the lee of the allotments. This is the first county record for the month of November. Hopefully there will be more. Historically, it has been recorded as late as 20th November, with a record from Kingswear, south Devon in 1961.

The Long-tailed Blue is by no means an easy butterfly to find in Britain - even in Sussex!

But it’s getting easier …

Find the pea find the Pea Blue …

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