Thursday 25th April 2013

First butterflies that do not hibernate as adults

Yesterday I saw the first butterfly of the year that does not pass the winter as an adult: Holly Blue, Celastrina argiolus. Following the long cold spell we have been enduring throughout the month of March and the first half of April, the temperature has suddenly risen dramatically, and butterflies are making up for lost time. The Holly Blue of yesterday was rapidly followed by another today, fluttering around and settling photogenically with its wings open. I tried to photograph it using my mobile phone, but whenever it perched, a pedestrian, a cyclist or a dog-walker would come along and disturb it.

Later I also observed a Small White, Pieris rapae, flying around and settling in a front garden close to the university in Nijmegen. It is unusual to see Small White before Green-veined White, but this individual left me in no doubt as to its identity.

Butterfly list as of 25th April: 6 species

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