Friday 25 March 2011

First London butterflies

Today's excitement - my first London butterflies of the year! A Peacock basking on a warm stone finial in Holland Park, from which prized spot it saw off a presumptuous Small White. This seems early for a Small White (one of the three species carelessly conflated by some into the mythical Cabbage White), but apparently the first was spotted a couple of weeks ago in Berkshire.


  1. Are the butterflies a little late this year? Out here in darkest Wiltshire I saw my first peacocks and brimstones last weekend, a pair (well, two) of small tortoiseshells and a comma during the week. The first sand martins only appeared 10 days or so ago as well and I would have expected them earlier in the month.
    No whites yet though - cabbage or otherwise. I guess you know Graves' poem to them. Always brings a smile - as do the creatures themselves.



  2. I wondered the same thing Pete - but checking Nige's nature log for last year, he noted his first Brimstone on March 21st - perhaps even those delicate creatures have some sort of internal 'clock'. Nige?

  3. Thanks Pete - no I didn't know that Graves poem (Flying Crooked) - very good, very true... I've yet to see a tortoiseshell or comma, or even a red admiral - in fact I seem to be having a thin time of it, but I suspect it's largely because my outdoor time's been so limited, and the sunshine unreliable.
    Mahlerman - it's a mysterious business, but I guess for early butterflies, being so dependent on sun, simple weather is probably the main factor. The first red admiral of the year, by the way, was spotted on January 1st!