Hello and welcome to the seventh Butterfly Alert of 2018. Apologies for the delay in sending this and my thanks to all who reported their Wall sightings - turns out they were just late in emerging.
A lot to catch up with this time: As well as Wall we now have Large Skipper, Clouded Yellow, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Silver-studded Blue and White Admiral reported. Next up will be Small Skipper, followed by Essex Skipper, Gatekeeper and the Hairstreaks. Red Admirals reappeared along with Silver Y, so presumably migrants, and I've finally found some late instar Peacock caterpillars so they didn't all freeze to death. No Small Tort cats yet - is anyone seeing these?
Swallowtails are showing well when the weather co-operates, and Green Hairstreaks seem to have had a very good year.
The eastern region is currently having a spate of unusual sightings - mostly exotic foreign species including Common Mormon, Zebra Longwing, Black Swallowtail and Clipper, but also a number of sightings of Swallowtail from Cambridge, Tilbury and Ipswich. Presumably these were european, and probably released but the possibilty of wind-blown immigrants can't be ruled out.
Here in Norfolk I've had two reports of weird butterflies which might have been exotics but couldn't be nailed down to species. There is also a report of Yellow-legged Tort from Hampshire and the park in Ipswich where Brown Hairstreak and Marbled White were introduced by persons unknown a few years ago has turned up a Dingy Skipper this year.
Currently reported this year from Norfolk are
Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Large Skipper, Swallowtail, Brimstone, Large, Small and Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Silver-studded Blue, Green Hairstreak, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Copper, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath
In other news
Dragonflies reported flying in Norfolk
Large Red, Red-eyed, Common and Scarce Emerald, Common Blue, Blue-tailed, Azure and Variable damselflies, Banded Demoiselle, Hairy dragonfly, Emperor, Four-Spotted, Scarce and Broad-bodied Chasers, Black-tailed Skimmer, Brown and Norfolk Hawker and Common Darter.
Norfolk Hawkers have been reported from London, Herts and East Kent - these seem likely to be continental in origin and represent a major movement of this species into England. (Time to change the name perhaps?) Meanwhile Southern Migrant Hawkers are reportedly abundant in Essex. First Red veined darters on the south coast and Black Darter and Southern Hawker emerging in southern counties
As usual all reports gratefully received.(and many thanks to those who've let me know what they're seeing)