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YEAR LIST, 2001


Click HERE for last year's list.
This year's list is now more or less complete for the checklist (I think I have lost a day's records somewhere from the Val d'Aran, so I have added what I can remember seeing) but I fear will not be completed with the commentary - at least so far as the months of July and August are concerned... Entries with an asterisk are out of correct chronological order. 

CHECKLIST FOR THE YEAR 2001 :
1 Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) 16th February - Chesières
2 Small White (Artogeia rapae) 1st April - Barboleusaz
3 Canary Islands Large White (Pieris cheiranthi) 5th April - La Palma (the island)
4 Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) 5th April - La Palma
5 Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) 5th April - La Palma
6 Canary Speckled Wood (Pararge xiphioides) 5th April - La Palma
7 Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) 5th April - La Palma
8 Canary Blue (Cyclyreus webbianus) 5th April - La Palma
9 Bath White (Pontia daplidice) 5th April - La Palma
10 Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) 5th April - La Palma
11 Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) 5th April - La Palma
12 Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus) 5th April - La Palma
13 Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) 8th April - La Palma
14 Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon) 8th April - La Palma
15 African Grass Blue (Zizeeria knysna) 9th April - La Palma
16 Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) 9th April - La Palma
17 Indian Red Admiral (Vanessa indica) 9th April - La Palma
18 Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) 10th April - La Palma
19 Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines) 9th May - Panex
20 Violet Fritillary (Clossiana dia) 9th May - Panex
21 Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) 9th May
22 Pale Clouded Yellow (Colias hyale) 26th May - Barboleusaz
23 Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (Clossiana selene) 26th May - Barboleusaz
24 Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) 26th May - Barboleusaz
25 Little Blue (Cupido minimus) 26th May - Barboleusaz
26 Large White (Pieris brassicae) 26th May - Barboleusaz
27 Green-Veined White (Artogeia napi) 26th May - Barboleusaz
28 Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) 27th May - Barboleusaz
29 Woodland Ringlet (Erebia medusa) 27th May - Barboleusaz
30 Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (Clossiana euphrosyne) 28th May - Panex
31 Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) 28th May - Huémoz
32 Large Wall Brown (Lassiomata maera) 29th May - Solalex
33 Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae) 31st May - Barboleusaz
34 Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) June - Barboleusaz
35 Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) - June Barboleusaz (in fact, appeared earlier)
36 Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) 24th June - Barboleusaz
37 Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) 24th June Barboleusaz
38 Large Skipper (Ochlodes venatus) 24th June - Chesières
39 Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae) 24th June - Chesières
40 Dark Green Fritillary (Mesoacidalia aglaja) 26th June Barboleusaz
41 Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) 26th June - Barboleusaz
42 Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus)
43 False Heath Fritillary (Mellitaea diamina) 2nd July - Barboleusaz
44 Alpine Heath (Coenonympha gardetta) 4th July - Col de la Croix
45 Black-veined White (Aporia crategi) 4th July - Col de la Croix
46 Titania's Fritillary (Clossiana titania) 4th July - near Taveyanne
47 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Clossiana selene) 4th July - near Taveyanne
48 Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) 4th July - near Taveyanne
49 Chequered Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon) 4th July - Near Taveyanne
50 Northern Wall Brown (Lassiomata petroplitana) 4th July - near Taveyanne
51 Eros Blue (Polyommatus eros) 5th July - Pont de Nant
52 Turquoise Blue (Plebicula dorylas) 5th July - Pont de Nant
53 Northern Brown Argus (Aricia artaxerxes) 5th July - Pont de Nant
54 Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri) 5th July - Pont de Nant
55 Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes baton) 5th July - Pont de Nant
56 Chapman's Blue (Agrodiaetus thersites) 5th July - Pont de Nant
57 Idas Blue (Lycaeides idas) 5th July - Pont de Nant
58 Mountain Green-veined White (Artogeia bryoniae) 5th July - Pont de Nant
59* Woodland Brown (Lopinga achine) 24th June Panex
60* Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) 24th June Barboleusaz
61* Chalkhill Blue (Lysandra corridon)
(* these are out of numerical sequence because I forgot to note them when I saw them)
62 Bright-Eyed Ringlet (Erebia oeme) 8th July - Bretaye
63 Dusky Large Blue (Maculinea nausithous) 9th July - location withheld
64 Maculinea sp. - either telejus or rebeli, subject to studying video and photographs.
65 Violet Copper (Lycaena helle) 9th July - same location as above
66 Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) 9th July - as above
67 Arran Brown (Erebia ligea) 9th July - as above
68 Purple-edged Copper (Palaeochrysophanus hippothoe) 9th July - as above
69 Lesser Mountain Ringlet (Erebia melampus) 10th July - Les Chaux
70 Marsh Fritillary (Eurodryas aurinia) 10th July - Les Chaux
71 Damon Blue (Agrodiaetus damon) 10th July - near Taveyanne
72 Glandon Blue (Agriades glandon) 12th July - Anzeindaz
73 Blind Ringlet (Erebia pharte) 12th July - Anzeindaz
74 Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros) 21st July - Arros, Val d'Aran
75 Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia quercus) 22nd July - Val d'Aran
76 Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania) ---------- " ----------
77 Scarce Copper (Heodes virgaureae) ---------- " ----------
78 Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) ---------- " ----------
79 Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides festhalmii) ---------- " ----------
80 Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) ---------- " ----------
81 Short-tailed Blue (Everes argides) ---------- " ----------
82 Comma (Polygonia c-album) ---------- " ----------
83 Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma) ---------- " ----------
84 Small Skipper (Thymelicus flavus) ---------- " ----------
85* Peacock (Inachis io) ---------- " ---------- (but forgot to note before)
86* Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) ---------- " ---------- -----"-----
87 Great Banded Grayling (Brintesia circe) ---------- " ----------
88 Great Sooty Satyr (Satyrus ferula) ---------- " ----------
89 Large Blue (Maculinea arion) ---------- " ----------
90 Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus lavatherae) ---------- " ----------
91 Large Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus alveae) ---------- " ----------
92 Piedmont Ringlet (Erebia meolans) ---------- " ----------
93 Provençal Fritillary (Mellicta deione) ---------- " ----------
94 Manto Ringlet (Erebia manto constans) ---------- " ----------
95 Common Brassy Ringlet (Erebia cassioides) ---------- " ----------
96 Apollo (Parnassius apollo) ---------- " ----------
97 Niobe Fritillary (Fabriciana niobe) ---------- " ----------
98 Purple-shot Copper (Heodes alciphron gordius) ---------- " ----------
99 Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) ---------- " ----------
100* Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) Barcelona, 21st July
101 * Mountain Clouded Yellow (Colias phicomone) Anzenidaz, 12th July
102 Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Syntarucus pirithous) Val d'Aran - 22nd July
103 Purple Emperor (Apatura iris) Val d'Aran - 23rd July
104 Ilex Hairstreak (Nordmannia ilicis) ---------- " ----------
105 Amanda's Blue (Agrdiaetus amanda) ---------- " ----------
106 Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis antiopa) ---------- " ----------
107 White Admiral (Liminitis camilla) ---------- " ----------
108 Map Butterfly (Araschnia levana) ---------- " ----------
109 Moroccan Orange Tip (Anthocharis belia) 24th July - Val d'Aran
110 Small Mountain Ringlet (Erebia epiphron) 25th July - Val d'Aran
111 Gavarnie Ringlet (Erebia gorgone) ---------- " ----------
112 Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma) ---------- " ----------
113 De Prunner's Ringlet (Erebia triaria) ---------- " ----------
114 Silvery Argus (Pseudaricia nicias) 26th July - Val d'Aran
115 Lesser Purple Emperor (Apatura ilia) ---------- " ----------
116 Grayling (Hipparchia semele) Suffolk - July
117 Water Ringlet (Erebia pronoe) Switzerland - August 
118 Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops) ---------- " ----------
119 Dryad (Minois dryas) ---------- " ----------


February
16th : Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) on the wing. The first I have heard about was last Sunday, but I didn't see one then. This was fortunate, as 16th Feb was my birthday.
18th : More small tortoiseshells flying. The weather is very warm and sunny.
24th : The cold weather and snow has returned, so little chance of butterflies for a while longer. 26th : The temperature in Villars this morning, as I walked to school, was -10°C...
March
6th : Small tortoiseshell seen at lunchtime, flying around school.
11th : Two small tortoiseshells flew across while I was skiing the Engadine Ski Marathon near St. Moritz.
15th : Very warm and sunny day. Small tortoiseshells flying quite regularly through my garden.
24th : Very warm day. Several small tortoiseshells flying through garden around lunchtime.
28th : A chilly breeze, but plenty of sun and several small tortoiseshells flying around in the sheltered parts of Arveyes. Still no other species seen yet.

April
1st : Small white flying in Barboleusaz. In England it is unusual to see small white (which spends the winter as a pupa) before the other hibernating species - peacock, comma and brimstone. But in Switzerland it is more normal. There is always the risk of further snow - this is common until May - and the other hibernators are more circumspect here. When the commas fly, it usually means spring is really here.
4th : Flew to La Palma, arriving at airport late afternoon and at Los Llanos de Aridane at about 7.00pm. One butterfly flying across road in Santa Cruz, which I guessed was Canary Speckled Wood, but couldn't possibly tell, and plenty of whites seen from the bus. Walk at Los Llanos provided nothing except a few small whites.
5th : Brown Argus ssp crameri - in La Caldera, near Los Llanos, as well as fairly commonly along walk from Los Canarios to Charco (south western part of island). Small Copper very common in south western part. This was also the only species found higher up towards the volcanic ridge, which I walked first. Several colonies of Canary Blue along Canarios-Charco walk. This was mid-afternoon and the butterflies would not settle. Photographing them near impossible, as they fluttered around incessantly. But quite easy to identify them, looking not unlike purple hairstreaks in general appearance and with the underside markings visible at close range even in flight. Also some Long-tailed Blue at same sites, and separately, identifiable by faster flight and the fact they did occasionally settle. Canary Islands Large White occasional - not really common, but easy to spot. Also very hard to photograph, as constantly moving. The markings of the forewing are easily visible in flight. Saw two Canary Speckled Woods on this walk, both only in flight. The forests above this track are pine, which is not the Canary Speckled Wood's real habitat - it prefers laurel. Also several Bath Whites, including a mating pair, which I was able to photograph well. At one point on the track, two Queen of Spain Fritillaries sunning and gliding along the hot, sandy track. These are allegedly only migrants in the Canaries, although they looked very much at home here. Other species on 5th : Painted Lady (several); Small White (plentiful); Clouded Yellow (several).
6th : Went to Santa Cruz, on eastern side of island, to explore from there. But easterly winds created cloud and mist - even rain - so found nothing. On return to west found that it was still sunny there. But evening walk, as on 4th, produced absolutely nothing.
7th : Returned to Los Canarios and walked to Charco, whence back to Los Llanos. Mist combing over ridge from east, by same winds as yesterday, and little to see. Mostly, same species as on 5th, without Queen of Spain and with more Brown Arguses.
8th : Walked from Los Llanos, through El Paso, up to El Pino de la Virgen, whence up to ridge of Caldera and down to eastern side to Santa Cruz. On western side saw very little, though filmed Canary Islands Large White at El Pino de la Virgen. On eastern side, beautiful laurel forests reaching down, with a sunny track. More and more Canary Speckled Woods as I descended towards human habitation. Some Canary Blues, although not as frequent as on the western side. More Canary Islands Large Whites, including some males, which have the same underside marks on the forewing as the female, making them equally easy to identify (not that there is any need to identify them, as there are no other Large Whites on the island). Plenty of Small Whites, as well as Small Coppers, Brown Argus (this was the first species I saw over the ridge) and, lower down increasingly, Meadow Browns. Two Lulworth Skippers, the only skipper on the island, one of which I managed to film, but not photograph. Painted Lady.
9th : Leaving the hotel for the bus station in Los Llanos, saw single male African Grass Blue on grass verge! Did photograph and film it, but badly, as passers-by were wondering what on earth I was doing crouched down on the pavement by an obscure, dirty-looking, very small insect. Bus to Los Canarios, then down to eastern coastal regions to look for Plain Tigers. Found what appeared to be a small colony of them, with up to three at one time flying around and very, very occasionally settling on, purple flowers near farmland, above a deep coastal gully. These are beautiful, elegant, exotic and pathologically restless creatures. Also found two African Grass Blues in same region but could not photograph them. On return to Los Canarios, a single Indian Red Admiral flew past, at close range. This was to be the only Indian Red Admiral of the holiday.
10th : Walk from Los Canarios to Santa Cruz, mostly along main roads and tracks, to find out what habitats there were on the east. Many of the by now usual species flying, including also a couple of Plain Tigers. Filmed, but couldn't get close enough to photograph, a male Cleopatra, ssp. palmae, which looks quite different in flight from the more typical Cleopatras of southern Europe. The orange on the forewings is more watery, diffuse and less demarcated. Saw Canary Blues in several places and quite a few Canary Speckled Woods, especally as I approached Santa Cruz.
11th : Last day on the island. Went back to Plain Tiger habitat and found that even more flew closer to the coast, but always in a vertical line from the original ones I found. In fact, found three really good places for watching them, all in the same vertical line, where it crossed the traversing coastal path. Up to 6 Plain Tigers at once. Because this is actually quite a barren, windy, coastal area, saw very little else.
13th-18th : UK. The obscene tragedy of a country's shameful mishandling of its sick and dying has left the countryside largely a no-go area. However, the weather prevented this being a great obstacle to butterfly watching while I was in England. No butterflies!
19th-27th : Switzerland. Snow fell in greater quantities than at any time during the last winter and no butterflies flew.
28th-30th : At last a little sunshine has returned and the snow has receded. Small tortoiseshells have been flying on each of these three days. Probably, there have been other species as well, but I have not had time to get out and see.
May 1st-8th : Villars. Constant mist for over a week and therefore no butterflies.
9th : sunny and warm, though clouding over during afternoon. Trip to Panex produced several Orange Tips, including a female, one Small White and one Violet Fritillary. There was a possible Duke of Burgundy that flew past me at speed on a woodland ride but these were not present at their usual haunts and I could not be certain about it.
12th : Sunny and warm again, after rainy weather. Orange Tips still about and my first Wood White of the year flying across a lawn at Aiglon College. No time to go out, but not very much flying yet.
26th : First day when I could have a little look at what was going on in my garden and around - and not much, depsite the sunny weather. Saw Pale Clouded Yellow, Orange Tip, Wood White, a single Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, several Green Haristreaks and a Little Blue. Also Large White and Green-Veined White, which I had not officially ticked this year. A Painted Lady flew past at one point.
27th : Same Species as yesterday, but including also Red Admiral and a single Woodland Ringlet. I took a cycle ride to Les Plans sur Bex but got nothing extra. The fields usually full of Chapman's Blues and fritillaries were quite without butterflies.
28th : Cycled to Panex, and then down to the Rhone and a long ride to Fully, just round the bend of the Rhone. Strangely, saw very little. My first Queen of Spain in Switzerland and my first Pearl-Bordered Fritillary of the year were both near Panex. No Meadow Fritillaries or, more worryingly, Duke of Burgundies. I wonder what has happened to the first brood of Grizzled and Dingy Skippers, which would normally have been flying in April and May, but which have either passed me by or not flown because of the awful weather. 29th : Cycled to Solalex, then walked up to Anzeindaz. Lots of snow towards Anzeindaz, apparently melting at a rate of some 30-40cm per day, but still thick. Saw marmots playing in the snow at Anzeindaz. Many green hairstreaks and a large wall brown on the way but little else apart from a few Small Tortoiseshells.
31st : Very suny and a little time to sit in Garden. Plenty of Green Hairstreaks around and also a Grizzled Skipper - a large female. Some Common Blues.
June
The month has begun with quite a lot of work preparing students for exams. But green hairstreaks have been much in evidence around school and in the garden.
20th : It is sunny today for the first time in ages, after weeks of rain, cloud, mist and hard work. Although I have had no time to go out butterfly hunting, I have noticed Large Wall Browns become commoner and Dingy Skippers are around. Also Grizzled Skippers, though both scarcely. Saw a Pale Clouded Yellow briefly today. Small Heaths have become common.
24th June : had afternoon at home, though much to do. Ringlets were about, including one which kept settling on me. Meadow Browns also on the wing. This means that summer is really here. Also had trip to Chesières, where saw Large Skipper and Mallow Skipper. No Duke of Burgundies left - this means I have missed their entire season, as there is no second brood here.
25th June : trip to Chesières again, to film and photograph the mallow skippers, as I still have difficulty with the bright Alpine variety of this and Tufted Marbled Skipper. But none there! The meadow where they fly seemed to have been trampled - probably by wild boar.
26th June : Dark Green Fritillary and Silver-studded Blue on a working day - both at Barboleusaz. Today and yesterday were blisteringly hot. Pale Clouded Yellows now common, both males and females.
July
2nd : Female Mazarine Blue (I saw a male just the other day, but forgot to record it). Also Silver-studded Blues in Barboleusaz and plenty of browns about - Large Wall, Ringlet, Meadow Brown. Went for a cycle ride up to Les Chaux but saw very little. Just one new species - a single False Heath Fritillary flying at the lower end of the journey.
4th : Trip to Taveyanne, via the Col de la Croix. Storms brewing, but plenty of butterflies around. Alpine Heath, Chequered Skipper, both new for year. Woodland Ringlet of high mountain (very dark) variety. Titania's Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Northern Wall Brown, Black-veined White, plenty of False Heath Fritillary.
5th : Trip to Pont de Nant. Amazing numbers of blues, including Mazarine Blue, Geranium Argus, Northern Brown Argus, Little Blue, Idas Blue, Eros Blue, Chapman's Blue, Turquoise Blue and Escher's Blue. Mountain Green-veined White flying, as well as Orange Tips. Lots of False Heath Fritillary. Probable Boloria fritillary (napaea or pales) but none stopped. An even hotter day than yesterday. One Mazarine Blue had no markings on the underside (see picture HERE)