Here's a run-down of our main targets this year (essentially, it's what we missed last year!) -
Ben Lawers in Scotland, home to our top target species - Mountain Ringlet scotica!!!
January to March - seek out and photograph the eggs of Brown, Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks. Keep an eye out for hibernating species in buildings/sheds or when active on warm days.
March and April - the season starts properly! Photographing adults can begin in earnest.
5-12 April - Our birding/butterflying/boozing trip to Southern and Central Spain with Danny & Lucy!
21-24 May - off to Ireland for Real's Wood White plus the endemic subspecies of Orange-tip, Brimstone, Dingy Skipper, Green-veined White, Small Copper, Common Blue and Wood White.
27 May - day trip to the Isle of Wight for Glanville Fritillaries.
Mid June - Norfolk for Swallowtails (poor views only in 2010 and no decent pics either) and the 'Norfolk Orca'.
Late June - Cumbria then Scotland for Mountain Ringlets mnemon and scotica plus Small Heath rhoumensis. Seth also needs to catch up with Large Heath polydama on this trip. (Sam saw two in 2010)
1-4 July - Sam must see a White-letter Hairstreak! It's also Purple Emperor baiting season.
5-7 July - 2nd trip to Ireland for the endemic Graylings clarensis and hibernica plus Meadow Brown iernes.
9-11 July - Isles of Scilly for Meadow Brown cassiteridum.
Mid August - Southern Scotland for Scotch Argus caledonia.
Mid September - NE Scotland for Speckled Wood oblita.
October - we live in hope of that twitchable Monarch!
By early April it became apparent that the butterfly season was running at least 2 weeks earlier than usual, due to the incredibly sustained burst of very warm (to bloody hot!) weather we had recently experienced. Hence our planned dates may well be thrown into turmoil! We shall have to roll with it, and adjust accordingly...
The trip into Norfolk for Swallowtails was brought forward somewhat - we dropped into Strumpshaw Fen on 12th May and succeeded in finding 6 or 7 Swallowtails, although they teased and tantalised and didn't really offer particularly good photo opportunities. We may well return in June!
Our trip to the Isle of Wight has been booked and paid for since March. Hopefully there will still be plenty of smart Glanville Fritillaries to look at!