Despite the nagging northerly wind taking the edge off the gathering warmth, things continued to improve slowly, with a Wall Brown and 6 Common Blues on the Estate on the 2nd. Although the transect walk on the 6th produced only 37 butterflies (28 of which were Small Heaths), it is clear that while this year has been bad, last year was almost equally so and numbers recorded thus far are catching up. Nevertheless, to reach week 10 of the season without reaching a cumulative total of a hundred butterflies is almost indescribably awful. Week 11 was similar, with a total of 38 butterflies including 26 Small Heaths and 11 Common Blues and the slow improvement continued the following week, with 49 butterflies includng 37 Small Heaths, 9 Common Blues and singles of Wall, Small Tortoiseshell and Small White. Several Red Admirals were also evident on Worth, possibly indicating some immigration, particularly as Silver-y moths were numerous on the butterfly transect.
Having made a northward journey in the most inhospitable of conditions, a Clouded Yellow was seen on the 18th and after the season's first Large Skipper on the 19th, nearly 3 weeks later than it has been first recorded here in the past, a Painted Lady was seen on Worth on the 21st. On the 23rd, given the appalling weather across Iberia and France this spring the sight of 12 Painted Ladies, mostly nectaring on asters along the shore, and Clouded Yellows in the Oasis and at Backsand came as a considerable and welcome surprise, while a Large Skipper was found on a pyramidal orchid along the shore. At least 11 Large Skippers were on the wing on the 25th when the transect walk produced 76 butterflies. Although nearly 80% were either Small Heaths or Common Blues variety was better, with a few freshly emerged Small Tortoiseshells and 3 Painted Ladies of note. Interestingly, the cumulative total for the season rose to 249, compared to 178 at the same time last year; a reminder of how bad June 2012 really was.
As warmer conditions began to improve things towards the end of the month a Small Skipper was found on the Estate on the 27th, with a male Orange Tip along the blackthorn hedge on Worth that was the latest to have been recorded here by 7 days, equating to an Alpine flight period!
Almost the end of June (29th) and one of our Wildlife Explorers spotted the first Marbled White for the year. Well done Andrew good observation skills! Additional Marbled Whites were recorded in the White House and the Middle Field on the 30th, with the first Meadow Browns - at least a fortnight later than usual. A dozen large Skippers and a few small Skippers were also recorded.