Tuesday, 28 April 2020

An Aurelian's April

As forecast, the weather broke overnight, much rain has fallen, and the temperature has plummeted. But what an April it has been – so many days of unbroken sunshine and warmth, and, as a result, so many butterflies! Surprisingly I have seen more butterfly species this month than in any April I can remember, even beating last April's total. And this has been achieved during the Great Lockdown, all within a radius of a couple of miles from home. There's surely a lesson in this: that there's more on your doorstep than you might think, and that the more closely you look, the more you find. This month I have seen Grizzled Skippers and Green Hairstreaks on land where I would never have thought to look (and, in the case of the Green Hairstreak, in greater numbers than I've seen in any one place) and an early Painted Lady in a most unlikely location. I've also enjoyed the extraordinary abundance of Peacocks, not to mention Brimstones, Holly Blues and Orange Tips – and another sighting of an early Hummingbird Hawk moth. All in all, I have seen so far this year – drum roll, please – 18 butterfly species. Add two day-flying moths that tend to get counted as honorary butterflies (the aforementioned Hummingbird and several Cinnabar moths) and that's a grand total of twenty – what an April!

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