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2022 Butterflies, Insects, Moths Report

by Jennie White

As ever, thanks to all who have supplied me with records.

An early Small White 16 February 2022. Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral were seen in Leyburn in early March. Brimstone were spotted at the end of March in Leyburn and Thornton Rust, Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshell up Gunnerside Gill. May saw Orange Tips, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue in Leyburn, Wensley and Harmby. A Dingy Skipper was spotted on our walk at Waitby Greenriggs

Early June, and our local paramedic recorded Brimstone moth, a male White Ermine and Common Wave at Bainbridge Ambulance Station. Our Y.N.H.S walk along Redmire Scar in mid-June had a sighting of four Northern Brown Argus and six Small Heath among others. The last sighting of N.B.A in that area was 2004 so a good result.

Humming Bird Hawk moths were sighted in Thornton Rust and Wensley and a tatty Dark Green Fritillary in Bardale.  N.B.A was also seen at Ballowfield at the end of August feeding on Devil's-bit Scabious. 

An exciting addition to the records was a sighting of four Purple Hairstreaks in Wanless Park. Not an easy species to see as they fly in the canopy. They were seen in classic conditions, high up in an oak tree on a warm, sunny August evening. Small Coppers were out in Wensley and Foxglove Covert in early September and October. 


As the weather continued warm and sunny into October up to nine Red Admirals and a Comma were seen feeding on ivy in Wensley. Latest sightings were of Red Admiral in late November in Wensley and Leyburn. And finally, a December Moth at the end of November at Bainbridge Ambulance Station. 

Glebe Field Butterfly Transect for Y.W.T. and Butterfly Conservation 2022

We record weekly from 1st April until the end of September. This year was most memorable for the intense heat and consequent drought. This restricted plant growth and nectar supply which impacted feeding for both caterpillars and adult butterflies. In turn this led to a reduced second brood and encouraged early hibernation. 


I love the rhythm of the season, in early April we find one or two Small Tortoiseshells, then a few Orange Tips and Peacocks. By early May, whites are appearing and 25 butterflies, various are counted.  Meadow Browns and Ringlets appear in mid-June with one or two then by mid-July we are counting over 140 Meadow Browns and 46 Ringlets, brain going dizzy! with a peak count of all species of 187.

By mid-August we are back to one or two Meadow Browns and Ringlet and counts of 25 overall. 


Small Skippers had a reasonable year as did Common Blue. Speckled Wood were flying from May through to end of September. Once the hay is cut in late August, virtually no butterflies are recorded in the Glebe Field but the transect by the river provides us with enough to keep us interested. The highlight for me was finding a Wall, the only one recorded. Overall figures were slightly up but still dismal. 

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