Purple Emperor filmed at Sheringham Park last wednesday. Scarce (Yelow-legged) Tortoiseshell seen in coastal dunes in the Netherlands recently and Southern Small White moving north on the continent. Interesting times
20/7 Foxley Wood. Several Silver Washed Fritillarys sighted near to the entrance. Also saw one White Admiral flying up into the trees. Numerous Large Skippers and Gatekeepers and Whites in the wild flower borders.
I'm reappearing just once on BF to post a picture of a delightful valesina Silver-washed Fritillary at Holt Country Park today: John was kind enough to show me the current 'hotspot' when I bumped into him yesterday.
Nice photos Dave! I went there a few weeks ago & was disappointed to find all the buddleia in the car park to be dead, dying, parched and brown. Clearly from your photos there are other stands of flowering buddleia in the park which the butterflies are favouring this year.
Purple emperors reported at two North Norfolk sites during the last week. How likely are these to be part of a relic population in the county? Despite the 2018 increase in sightings nationally of this much sought after species, is it highly likely that these individuals are indeed from a released source? I'm unable to trace any data suggesting an expansion of their range in Norfolk or neighbouring counties.
There's zero chance of a relic population - the last remaining site at Foxley was sprayed with pesticides from the air by the forestry commission in the 70's. I have reports from Sheringham and Beeston for the third year running (second for Beeston), with a "possible" suggested for Holt CP anecdotally but not formally submitted.
The suffolk population has expanded from its original site at Theberton (where it was introduced) and is now within 30km of the Norfolk border. I would expect its arrival in the Waveney valley sometime in the next few years. Cambs also reports moderate northwards expansion. The status of the Sheringham individuals is unproven - they might have decided to jump across the county, they might possibly be already breeding somewhere in the middle of the county undiscovered, or they might be from a cardboard box. If they are a natural population (and not sporadic releases) then they clearly aren't multiplying much - no one has seen more than one at any point this year. I'd have felt happier if they had turned up at the same time as PE everwhere else in the country rather than after the main flight elsewhere was over, but it's not definitive proof of a release.
I had a Holly Blue in Thorpe today, Small Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus and Speckled Wood were reported seen 21st, and Painted Lady and Red Admiral on 22nd - I'd expect Brimstone, Peacock, Comma and Small Tort are all possible as would just possibly be Small Heath and second Brood White Admiral. So until the temperature drops below freezing there's still time to get a sizable day list - and still a chance of a Camberwell drifting over .
I have a deep purple buddleia a couple of metres (6Ft after Brexito) from a yellow one here in the Midlands. When the purple Buddleia has butterflies, none appear to be attracted to the global yellow from my observations.