Sunday 10 July 2022


 So, a heatwave comes, and suddenly sparseness gives way to abundance. At least for the swifts, which had been worryingly quiet and/or absent so often in May and June, and are back in numbers, screaming and chasing each other full pelt across the suburban skies. And for the butterflies, whose numbers had been so low in spring and early summer, and which are now abundant again – not the same butterflies, but the grassland species that have benefitted from the earlier wet weather making the grass grow lush. I sometimes wonder if, despite my generally sceptical views on 'climate change' etc, I have nevertheless absorbed a touch of catastrophic thinking, leading me to overreact to temporary sparseness, even though I know that abundance will likely follow – especially once we get some proper summer weather.
   Yesterday, visiting a favourite local patch of clay grassland, I found it alive with Ringlets, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites and Skippers (Small and, for those who like nice distinctions, Essex). There were also, as I had hoped, Purple Hairstreaks to be spotted in the oak trees. Today I was briefly on chalk downland and found almost as much abundance, with the added bonus of beautiful Dark Green Fritillaries (they're having a very good year) and my first Chalkhill Blue of the season. There will be more. 

No comments:

Post a Comment