A walk in the Park

by Ian Bushell

I took my permitted exercise at the park over lunchtime. There were just eight cars when I arrived at noon and only fifteen when I left an hour later.  People were well spaced all around the park; everybody seems to be taking the new regulations seriously.

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Small heath

While rummaging through our species lists looking for ammunition to throw in the direction of Planning Application 20/00379/OUT, we found a 2018 record of a small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) hidden in the Lepidoptera section. The small heath is the park’s third UK BAP Priority Species of butterfly.

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Migrants

Of the 21 species of butterfly identified in the park this summer, two do not overwinter here: the painted lady (Vanessa cardui) and the red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

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Overwintering

Almost all of the 21 species of butterfly that have been seen in the park this summer, will overwinter here. Butterflies can hibernate in all four of the stages of their development.

Britain has fifty eight species of butterfly, and nine of these species spend the winter as an egg, thirty two spend it as a caterpillar, eleven as a pupa, and six as an adult.

Here are some examples:

Skippers

Skippers are a family of Hesperiidae in the order of Lepidoptera; because they are diurnal, we generally called them butterflies but many authorities class them as a group intermediate between butterflies and moths. They are called skippers because of their rapid and darting flight.

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And the underwings of a common blue that DKG found this morning in Lambrok Meadow.

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