The temperatures during my Week 16 and 17 transect walks varied between 24 and 28 deg.C definitely the hottest and most humid so far this season with the total number of sightings dropping slightly in the higher temperature last week.
Gatekeepers continued to be the highest recorded species over the last two weeks.
Sightings of all the three Skipper species recorded on the transect has shown a downward trend for the last three years. The reasons could be weather related at the larval stage; the timing when the grass rides are mown plus the ever increasing spread of bracken outcompeting the grasses.
Although the number of Meadow Brown and Ringlet logged during weeks 16 and 17 have fallen they continue to be the top two annual recorded species for this transect.
Perhaps not unexpectedly for this oak woodland site the one species that has done exceptionally well this year is the Purple Hairstreak. On the 21 July I recorded 26 and last week I logged 43 with many other sightings away from the transect.
Just one Marbled White seen again in Section 4 last week.
Two other species that has definitely caught my eye this season are the diminutive Brown Argus with nine individuals recorded last week plus six Common Blue.
|Common Blue - Female (left) Male (right)|
Over the last 17 weeks I have now recorded 1024 separate sightings of 21 species. This total to date far exceeds any of the previous three years annual counts BUT this does not infer that some of these flutters are doing well just that the recent lengthy period of warmer conditions has brought them out of hiding and made it easier to find and count them.