YEAR LIST, 2005
1 - Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) - 10th March - La Barboleuse
2 - Large tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros) - 15th March - near Martigny
3 - Peacock (Inachis io) - 15th March - near Martigny
4 - Queen of Spain fritillary (Issoria lathonia) - 15th March - near Martigny
5 - Comma (Polygonia c-album) - 23rd March - La Barboleuse.
6 - Small white (Artogeia rapae) - 29th March - Bex
7 - Green-veined white (Artogeia napi) - 2nd April - Rhône Valley
8 - Southern small white (Artogeia mannii) - 2nd April - Rhône Valley
9 - Grizzled skipper (Pyrgus malvae) - 2nd April - Rhône Valley
10 - Orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) - 2nd April - Rhône Valley
11 - Large white (Pieris brassicae) - 2nd April - Rhône Valley
12 - Wood white (Leptidea sinapis) - 26th April - Barboleuse
13 - Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) - 30th April - Gryon
14 - Wall (Lassiomata megera) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
15 - Chequered blue (Scolitantides orion) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
16 - Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
17 - Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
18 - Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
19 - Scarce swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
20 - Dingy skipper (Erynnis tages) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
21 - Spotted fritillary (Melitaea didyma) - 30th April - Rhône Valley
22 - Green hairstreak (Callphrys rubi) - 1st May - Chesières
23 - Small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) - 15th May - La Barboleuse
24 - Little blue (Cupido minimus) - 15th May - near Panex
25 - Pearl-bordered fritillary (Clossiana euphrosyne) - 15th May - near Panex
26 - Green-underside blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
27 - Adonis blue (Lysandra bellargus) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
28 - Turquoise blue (Plebicula dorylas) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
29 - Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina ) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
30 - Mountain dappled white (Euchloe simplonia) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
31 - Chapman's blue - Agrodiaetus thersites) - - 21st May - Rhône Valley
32 - Mazarine blue (Cyaniris semiargus) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
33 - Apollo (Parnassius apollo) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
34 - De Prunner's ringlet (Erebia triaria) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
35 - Provençal short-tailed blue (Everes alcetas) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
36 - Pale clouded yellow - (Colias hyale) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
37 - Safflower skipper (Pyrgus carthami) - 21st May - Rhône Valley
38 - Woodland ringlet (Erebia medusa) - 25th May - La Barboleuse
39 - Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta) - 25th May - La Barboleuse
40 - Sooty copper (Heodes tityrus) - 26th May - La Barboleuse
41 - Chequered skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon) - 26th May - La Barboleuse
42 - Geranium argus (Eumedonia eumedon) - 27th May - La Barboleuse
43 - Violet fritillary (Clossiana dia) - 27th May - near Panex
44 - Large wall (Lassiomata maera) - 27th May - near Panex
45 - Berger's pale clouded yellow (Colias alfacariensis) - 29th May - Rhône Valley
46 - Clouded apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) - 29th May - Rhône Valley
47 - Cardinal (Argynnis pandora) - 29th May - Rhône Valley
48 - Provençal short-tailed blue (Everes alcetas) - 29th May - Rhône Valley
49 - Iolas blue (Ionana iolas) - 29th May - Rhône Valley
50 - Red-underwing skipper (Spialia sertorius) - 30th May - La Barboleuse
51 - Meadow fritillary (Mellicta parthenoides) - 30th May - Gryon
52 - Common blue (Polyommatus icarus) - 30th May - Gryon
53 - Marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) - 30th May - Gryon
54 - Violet copper (Lycaena helle) - 2nd June - Villars-sur-Ollon
55 - Silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) - 5th June - La Barboleuse
56 - Osiris blue (Cupido osiris) - 5th June - La Barboleuse
57 - Large skipper (Ochlodes venatus) - 8th June - La Barboleuse
58 - Heath fritillary (Mellicta athalia) - 11th June - Gryon
59 - False heath fritillary (Melitaea diamina) - 11th June - Gryon
60 - Purple-edged copper (Paleochrysophanus hippothoe) - 11th June - La Barboleuse
61 - Tufted marbled skipper (Carcharodus flocciferus) - 12th June - La Barboleuse
62 - Meadow brown (Maniola jurtina) - 18th June - near Bex
63 - Marbled fritillary (Brenthis daphne) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
64 - Black veined white (Aporia crataegi) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
65 - Ilex hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
66 - Small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
67 - Marbled white (Melanargia galathea) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
68 - Bath white (Pontia daplidice) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
69 - Northern wall brown (Lassiomata petropolitana) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
70 - Southern white admiral (Liminitis reducta) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
71 - Provençal fritillary (Mellicta deione) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
72 - Zephyr blue (Plebejus pylaon trappi) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
73 - Marbled skipper (Carcharodus lavatherae) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
74 - Escher's blue (Agrodiaetus escheri) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
75 - Alpine heath (Coenonympha gardetta) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
76 - Large grizzled skipper (Pyrgus alveus) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
77 - Mountain green-veined white (Artogeia bryoniae) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
78 - Sooty ringlet (Erebia pluto) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
79 - Dewy ringlet (Erebia pandrose) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
80 - Peak white (Pontia callidice) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
81 - Shepherd's fritillary (Boloria pales) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
82 - Grisons fritillary (Mellicta varia) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
83 - Small pearl-bordered fritillary (Clossiana selene) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
84 - Mountain clouded yellow (Colias phicomone) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
85 - Large blue (Maculinea arion) - 18th June - Rhône Valley
86 - Manto ringlet (Erebia manto) - 19th June - Bretaye
87 - Cinqfoil skipper (Pyrgus cirsii) - 19th June - Bretaye
88 - Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus - 20th June - Gryon
89 - Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola) - 21st June - La Barboleuse
90 - Lesser marbled fritillary (Brenthis ino) - 23rd June - La Barboleuse
91 - Clouded yellow (Colias crocea) - 23rd June - La Barboleuse
92 - Great sooty satyr (Satyrus ferula) - 26th June - Rhône Valley
93 - Blue-spot hairstreak (Satyrium spini) - 26th June - Rhône Valley
94 - Purple-shot copper (Heodes alciphron) - 26th June - Rhône Valley
95 - High-brown fritillary (Fabriciana adippe) - 26th June - Rhône Valley
96 - Dark green fritillary (Mesoacidalia aglaja) - 26th June - Rhône Valley
97 - Chalk-hill blue (Lysandra coridon) - 26th June - Rhône Valley
98 - Northern brown argus (Aricia artaxerxes) - 26th June - Rhône Valley
99 - Great banded grayling (Brintesia circe) - 26th June - Panex
100 - Woodland brown (Lopinga achine) - 26th June - Panex
101 - White admiral (Liminitis camilla) - 26th June - Panex
102 - Silver-washed fritillary (Argynnis paphia) - 26th June - Panex
103 - Baton blue (Pseudophilotes baton) - 27th June - Gryon
104 - Arran brown (Erebia ligea) - 29th June - La Barboleuse
105 - Mountain alcon blue (Maculinea rebeli) - 30th June - Vaud (location withheld)
106 - Eros blue (Polommatus eros) - 30th June - Vaud
107 - Titania's fritillary (Clossiana titania) - 30th June - Vaud
108 - Lesser mountain ringlet (Erebia melampus) - 30th June - Vaud
109 - Bright-eyed ringlet (Erebia oeme) - 2nd July - Taveyanne
110 - Water ringlet (Erebia pronoe) - 5th July - Anzeindaz
111 - Damon blue (Agrodiaetus damon) - 10th July - La Barboleuse
112 - Common brassy ringlet (Erebia cassioides) - 12th July - Bretaye
113 - Blind ringlet (Erebia pharte) - 12th July - Bretaye
114 - Large ringlet (Erebia euryale) - 12th July - Bretaye
115 - Meleager's blue (Meleageria daphnis) - 13th July - Rhône Valley
116 - Geranium bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) - 16th July - Barcelona
117 - Piedmont ringlet (Erebia meolans) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
118 - Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
119 - Silver-spotted skipper (Hesperia comma) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
120 - Purple hairstreak (Quercusia quercus) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
121 - Pearly heath (Coenonympha arcania) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
122 - Amanda's blue (Agrodiaetus amandus) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
123 - Map butterfly (Araschnia levana) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
124 - Brown argus (Aricia agestis) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
125 - Purple emperor (Apatura iris) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
126 - Camberwell beauty (Nymphalis antiopa) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
127 - Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
128 - Scarce copper (Palaeochrysophanus hippothoe) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
129 - Sloe hairstreak (Satyrium acaciae) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
130 - Long-tailed blue (Lampides boeticus) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
131 - Mallow skipper (Carcharodus alceae) - 17th July - Val d'Aran
132 - Small copper (Lycaena phlaeas) - 18th July - Val d'Aran
133 - Knapweed fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
134 - Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
135 - Niobe fritillary (Fabriciana niobe) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
136 - Glandon blue (Agriades glandon) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
137 - Provence orange tip (Anthocharis euphenoides) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
138 - Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
139 - Spanish brassy ringlet (Erebia hispania) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
140 - Silvery argus (Pseudaricia nicias) - 19th July - Val d'Aran
141 - Small mountain ringlet (Erebia epiphron) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
142 - Lefebvre's ringlet (Erebia lefebvrei) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
143 - Gavarnie ringlet (Erebia gorgone) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
144 - False dewy ringlet (Erebia sthennyo) - 20th July - Val d'Aran
145 - Woodland grayling (Hipparchia fagi) - 21st July - Val d'Aran
146 - White-letter hairstreak (Satyrium w-album) - 21st July - Val d'Aran
147 - Lulworth skipper (Thymelicus acteon) - 21st July - Val d'Aran
148 - Olive skipper (Pyrgus serratulae)*** [subject to confirmation of my photographs!] - 22nd July - Val d'Aran
149 - Oberthür's grizzled skipper (Pyrgus armoricanus)*** [subject to confirmation of my photographs!] - 23nd July - Val d'Aran
150 - Lesser purple emperor (Apatura ilia) - 24th July - Val d'Aran
151 - Scotch argus (Erebia aethiops) - 1st August - La Barboleuse
152 - Grayling (Hipparchia semele) - 12th August - Suffolk East Coast, UK
(I decided today - 22nd May - to copy Tim Cowles and put links to some photographs of individuals mentioned in this log).
Saw no butterflies in January this year.
Saw no butterflies in February this year.
10th: A single small tortoiseshell flying at La Barboleuse. There has been a sudden change in the weather from devastatingly cold to quite mild, though there is thick snow everywhere still.
14th: Single small tortoiseshell at La Barboleuse.
15th: Very warm weather. I cycled to Martigny. Saw a large tortoiseshell on the way, flying parallel to me along the road, then another 3 near Martigny. 3 Queen of Spain fritillaries, 1 peacock and many small tortoiseshells.
16th-21st: Very warm weather. I have not left the mountain during this period and have only seen small tortoiseshells, though in increasing quantities and ubiquitously.
22nd: Cooler, cloudy, even rainy at times. Small tortoiseshells in morning only, before clouds set in.
23rd: Despite predicted rain, a glorious day. Small tortoiseshells flying, as well as my first comma of the year, at La Barboleuse.
24th: Sun in morning, cloud later and rain by evening. A large tortoiseshell flew over my garden and house in late morning. Otherwise, plenty of small tortoiseshells before the day clouded over.
27th: Easter Sunday. The only day since 14th March when butterflies did not fly.
29th: Single small white at Bex.
2nd: Trip to Martigny. Small white, green-veined white and southern small white now common. A single large white. Several male orange tips. One grizzled skipper and lots of Queens of Spain. Small tortoiseshell common, naturally enough. A single large tortoiseshell. First swallow of the year.
5th: Two large tortoiseshells sunning on the ground and resting on trees at Gryon. Single small white a little later. Plenty of small tortoiseshells. On the whole, however, still very few species up here on the mountain apart from small tortoiseshells.
7th: Rain has set in for the first time in a long while. 8th-25th: Snow and bad weather returned. For some days it was as thick on the ground as during the winter. No butterflies.
26th: Wood white at La Barboleuse, during a rare moment when the sun returned.
29th: Really warm sun for the first time in weeks. Small tortoiseshells around Gryon. Two wood whites and a single large tortoiseshell, all these last at Barboleuse.
30th: Very hot day, so nipped down to the Rhône Valley by train in the afternoon. First speckled wood of the year seen from the tram to Bex. Small tortoiseshells present but not common; large tortoiseshell (one); wall brown (a few); small white, green-veined white and southern small white; large white; two swallowtails; two scarce swallowtails; about ten chequered blues; holly blues; glanville fritillary (many); spotted fritillary (one); dingy skipper (one); orange tips; wood whites.
1st: Hot sun. An afternoon trip to Chesiès, Panex and the region below Panex produced very little. The season really hasn't got underway up here at altitude. Green hairstreaks were the only new species for the year. Other than them I saw some dingy skippers, orange tips, whites including plenty of wood whites, small tortoiseshells and that was about it.
2nd: Hot sun again, as yesterday. A working day, but I saw a few grizzled skippers buzzing about my front garden as I went off in the afternoon after the dog walk.
11th: Bad weather for over a week. Today briefly warmer, with small tortoiseshells and orange tips flying. A single small white.
13th: Wood white at 7.30am on Gryon ski piste, waiting for the day to begin.
15th: Some sun in morning and a reasonable amount in afternoon, though clouds always present. Whites, including wood white, orange tips, small tortoiseshell. A single comma in Barboleuse and a single small heath, my first of the year in my garden. Still no yellows this year! A single little blue was hanging around freshly flowered kidney vetch near Panex and about 4 pearl-bordered fritillaries were competing for sunspots (on bramble leaves) and flowers (bugle) in woods nearby. Also a single Queen of Spain there. Still no Dukes of Burgundy, surprisingly.
16th-20th: Mostly poor weather and few butterflies to comment on. When the sun was out little flew in the Barboleuse region. Most notable was a single large tortoiseshell, though I forget which day. Orange tips common and swallowtails probably commoner than usual here.
21st: Trip along the Rhône Valley. Sunny in morning, clouding over at lunch then brighter and quite warm in afternoon, tending to cloudy/rainy later. General butterfly density low, but still a very good day. Green-underside blue common and adonis blue also. A single surprise turquoise blue - it seems they must have a first brood here. Plenty of Dukes of Burgundy in several sites. Glanville fritillaries also common. Holly blues and orange tips reasonably common. A few green hairstreaks, a few scarce swallowtails, a single mountain dappled white despite plenty of foodplant, a few mazarine blues and little blues, single apollo, dingy skippers and small heath in lowish numbers (small heath more). A single de Prunner's ringlet - last year there were plenty of these around on 15th May. Provençal short-tailed blue (just one), a single pale clouded yellow (and no clouded yellows...), one or two safflower skippers and a large tortoiseshell. Single Chapman's blue. Also assorted whites, including at least green-veined, small and wood.
24th: Warm and sunny (!). Butterflies started getting up and about, though I was at work most of the day. First woodland ringlet of the year flew through the garden. Several grizzled skippers in the Barboleuse/Gryon region. Also whites, a dingy skipper and orange tips.
25th: Another hot and sunny day. During school sports day found a blue whose identity is not yet confirmed. Red admiral in evening. Not much chance to hunt butterflies but it was obvious they were beginning to come out.
26th: Still very warm. Again, working so could not hunt, but saw my first sooty coppers of the year (they were flying last weekend in the valley but I didn't get a year-tick view of any). A female was flying in Gryon and a male in my garden. Little blue becoming commoner. First chequered skipper of the year in my garden in the evening. Swallowtail dropping eggs on ski piste at lunch time and another in my garden later.
27th: Hot. My garden is coming alive, with mazarine blues, geranium arguses, chequered and grizzled skippers and plenty of small heaths. Another woodland ringlet today, and also my first violet fritillary and large wall, both near Panex. Pearl-bordered fritillaries frequent in this woodland ride.
29th: Very hot. Went hunting for iolas blue in the Rhône Valley, as I did many times last year without success, but this time found them at last. I saw three during a one and a half hour vigil at what I considered to be a likely site, thick with the foodplant, bladder senna. Also had a surprise visit from a cardinal - my first ever - and had two more year ticks, Berger's pale clouded yellow and clouded apollo, just the one of each (though I saw other pale clouded yellows that could well have been Berger's). A single safflower skipper en route, a single Provençal short-tailed blue and several swallowtails and scarce swallowtails, but I was concentrating so hard on finding iolas that I didn't note every insect I saw!
30th May: Red-underwing skipper first thing in morning. Yet another hot day and Gryon was buzzing with insects. Saw my first meadow fritillaries (lots), common blues (lots) and marsh fritillary (just one) of the year, as well as plenty of walls, speckled woods, Chapman's blues, woodland ringlets, orange tips, wood whites, skippers... the meadows were humming. Had my first local (i.e., altitude) Dukes of Burgundy for the year - the others have all been down in the valley. Sooty coppers in garden.
1st: Warm and sunny. Plenty of sooty coppers around. Red-underwing skippers around. A woodland ringlet stopped flying and egg-laying a moment so I could photograph her.Adonis blues still common, as are Chapman's blues and common blues, wood whites and orange tips over the meadows - so still very springy in the air.
2nd: Warm all day. First violet coppers of the year, though some were worn suggesting they have been on the wing a while. Lots of dingy skippers. A Chapman's blue let me photograph it. Plenty of red-underwing skippers and grizzled skippers.
3rd: Sunny and warm but turning stormy in the evening - very stormy right over my house... During the day noted that I have understated green hairstreaks this year. I have seen them almost every day but never got any good pictures and somehow forgotten to mention them in the write ups. So here is a bad picture taken today on my front drive.
5th: I went iolas blue hunting in the valley and although I found one male I had less luck photographing it than last weekend - my foot slipped on the shaley surface just as I was about to take the picture and it flew away. Generally low butterfly density, perhaps because a wind was getting up or perhaps because there had been a vicious storm on Friday night. But saw chequered blue, apollo, cardinal (possibly the same individual as last week), a rather tatty green-underside blue, plenty of green hairstreaks in various places and a few other assorted species. On my way home I stopped at one of my favourite silver-studded blue sites and was able to photograph males and females. I also found a very strange blue butterfly I would like comment on. Pictures of it can be found here. Plenty of geranium arguses at La Barboleuse and also several chequered skippers. Red underwing skipper getting commoner.
7th: Saw and photographed the mystery blue again (the same individual).
8th: First large skipper of the year.
11th: I was suffering from a strep throat today so stayed at home rather than go on a long butterfly trip. This turned out to be a good idea, as I found male Osiris blue at the same site as the mystery blue of a few days ago, confirming what I had hoped, that the mystery blue was indeed Osiris. Also saw plenty of large wall browns and some heath fritillaries - my first of the year. False heath fritillary too. Had lots of butterflies in garden, including the first purple-edged coppers of the year, plenty of mazarine blues, a few silver-studded blues, common blues, little blues, Geranium arguses, orange tips, large skippers, some unidentifiable fritillaries cruising through and various other things.
12th: First tufted marbled skippers of the year in my garden.
18th: Day out along Rhône Valley. Saw meadow brown (first of year) from train down to Bex. First stop in Rhône Valley: Marbled fritillary (common throughout day); marbled white (reasonably common); ilex hairstreak (quite common, but obviously newly on wing); small skipper (few); large skipper; apollo; bath white (female, laying, then a few more during day); northern wall (just one or two); southern white admiral (frequent at this site); Provençal fritillary (several at this site - at last confirmed, using new criteria for this subspecies recently learned - see page for species); De Prunner's ringlet (one); Zephyr blue (several to many at this site, though away from foodplant); marbled skipper (one); adonis blue (a few); Queen of Spain (a few during day); Escher's blue (one); red-underwing skipper (one); safflower skipper (a few). Second and third sites (higher): Alpine heath (saw plenty of what we assumed at the time were darwiniana, i.e., Darwin's heath, because the first ones we examined looked like this. However, at least some were definitely Alpine heath, such as the one in this photograph, and I suspect they all were); mountain green-veined white (several); Geranium argus (several); dewy ringlet (several); shepherd's fritillary (a few at higher altitudes);; Grisons fritillary (at least two); sooty ringlet (common at one restricted site); peak white (common at two sites); small pearl-bordered fritillary (a few); mountain clouded yellow (present at one site, common at the other).
19th: Local walk, starting at Bretaye. Little at altitude but several dewy ringlets, a single manto ringlet (new for the year), a clouded apollo, cinqfoil skippers (new for the year) and possibly a single common brassy ringlet. Marsh fritillary subspecies debilis at altitude. Plenty of marsh fritillaries in rest of walk. Found three separated colonies of violet copper during walk. Couldn't get good pictures but most of the females looked something like this and most of the males more like this! Little blue abundant, common blue, mazarine blue, silver-studded blue abundant at certain places, small tortoiseshells abundant throughout.
20th: On my way home from school stopped at osiris site and found two females. Heath fritillary in garden and silver-studded blues abundant on ski piste in evening.
21st-25th: Hot weather with storms, including storms on 2th in evening when looking for woodland browns... The grass-feeders began emerging in force around Barboleuse - ringlet, meadow brown, marbled white - and spring turned definitively to summer. Geranium arguses tatty and on the wane. A few woodland ringlets around but not much. Clouded yellow and Essex skipper in La Barboleuse, lesser marbled fritillaries in my garden.
26th: Trip down to Rhône Valley with Tim Cowles. Looked for Meleager's blue but concluded it was too early. Instead saw blue-spot hairstreak (one), many great sooty satyrs, several spotted fritillaries, a purple-shot copper and a northern wall brown at that site. Further along found at least one male iolas blue at my iolas blue site. I didn't get a picture but Tim did and I will link to it when he has put it up. Almost all the bladder senna flowers were over but the butterfly homed in on the few that weren't and fed on them. Rest of day: safflower skipper (a few), Escher's blue (several, at water in heat of afternoon), Chapman's blue (as Escher's), adonis blue, chalkill blue (first of season), high-brown fritillary, dark-green fritillary, marbled fritillary (many) heath fritillary, violet fritillary, little blue and other species. Back in the mountains found woodland brown flying in its usual site, along with white admiral, large tortoiseshell, silver-washed fritillary and Queen of Spain. The woodland browns were not numerous and kept well out of the sun, preferring to rest in the trees sometimes well above head level.
27th: A single baton blue in a garden in Gryon, not looking particularly worn so I don't know if it is a hangover from a first brood, a second brooder or part of some continuous emergence.
29th: Despite generally cloudy and sometimes stormy weather my first Arran brown of the year put in an appearance at Gryon. 30th: Big discovery at a local site: mountain alcon blue. I found a fairly large and active colony and was able to get pictures of males, and females, including this female ovipositing. Also Titania's fritillary, eros blue, purple-edged coppers of the wholly dark female variety (unfortunately I only managed to photograph the underside, but here she is), lesser mountain ringlets, and many other species already noted for the year, including common, mazarine and adonis blues, several orange skippers and dingy skipper, a handful of safflower skippers, whites, orange tips (still).
2nd: Walk around the Col de la Croix/Taveyanne region. Somewhat overcast most of the time, but still plenty of Titania's fritillaries, black-veined whites, alpine heaths, false heath fritillary, first bright-eyed ringlets of the year, marsh fritillaries and a few other species.
3rd: Hot and sunny. Walk down from Les Chaux. Many large fritillaries around - probably dark green. Also false heath fritillary, proving quite amenable, mazarine blues and some silver-studded blues with very narrow borders to the forewing, like idas, but with broad borders on the hindwing.
5th: Walk to Anzeindaz. Unfortunately, it was an overcast, sometimes lightly raining, day, but in a brief spell of sunshine found large blue, some very amenable osiris blues (male and female) and water ringlet.
6th - 9th: Largely bad weather, ranging from gently spitting to foul. But did find Provençal short-tailed blue near Lac Léman on 9th in a brief lull between clouds.
10th: Weather beginning to improve. Damon blues suddenly common at La Barboleuse (though Tim Cowles found a single one nearby when he came nearly two weeks ago).
12th: Walk to a local peak. Weather not brilliant and it appeared the altitude butterflies were still only waking up. But found shepherd's fritillary, common brassy ringlet, blind ringlet, large ringlet, lots of alpine heaths, marsh fritillaries, silver-studded blues, manto ringlets and a lot of Pyrgus skippers that I have yet to identify with any certainty.
13th: Quick trip down to the Rhône Valley in the afternoon. Windy and frequently overcast. Lots of great sooty satyrs flying, including this female with extensive markings on the upperside (with a chalkhill blue); chalkhill blues now common, just a few adonis blues hanging on with them; best of all (and the purpose of the trip), a female Meleager's blue, investigating shoots of crown vetch. She was very fresh and didn't seem to be gravid so I suspect she is an early one and the main flush has yet to appear. Saw no males.
15th-25th: Val d'Aran. A fantastic butterfly and camping holiday during which the sun hid behind clouds for just half of one day. An incomplete list of what I saw, mentioning the species in no particular order as I read my notes or just suddenly think of them, is below. Pictures will be posted incrementally as I get them all sorted - I took 573 pictures during my trip!
Geranium bronze (several seen both times I passed through Barcelona en route); Silver-washed fritillary (common); ringlet (common); meadow brown (common); Piedmont ringlet (very common, and at altitude, right up to 2300m, by far the commonest Erebia species); marbled fritillary (common at lower altitudes); white admiral (common up to about 1500m); marbled white (Hyper-abundant absolutely everywhere); gatekeeper (common at lower altitudes); black-veined white (common); great-banded grayling (common, but relatively local); silver-spotted skipper (a few around, but clearly the beginning of the season for this butterfly); red admiral (several); great-sooty satyr (very common); purple hairstreak (very common, especially around ash, where they collected in great groups, often miles from any oak); pearly heath (common); dark green fritillary (very common); large skipper (common at lower altitudes); small skipper (very common - generally much larger and brighter than the Essex skippers with which they frequently mixed); Essex skipper (very common); Lulworth skipper (surprisingly scarce - I only saw two during the whole time); high brown fritillary (common throughout, including at least one brilliant cleodoxa male, mating with a normal female); Niobe fritillary (common but more local than high brown - mostly eris); Amanda's blue (very common in many places); map (increasingly common throughout the week, suggesting the second brood was in the process of emerging); brown argus (reasonably common but outnumbered by northern brown argus); Apollo (very good numbers everywhere at reasonable altitude); purple emperor (good numbers and seen every day); lesser purple emperor (I saw none until my last day, when I suddenly found three in close proximity to each other. They were all sitting in ash or hazel trees and apparently defending territories from their perches. One reason I found this species harder to get this year is because of disruption to some of the tracks where I normally find them easily. This disruption appears partly to be tidying up after excessive storms and snow but also more sinister, including some that is clearly a kind of diffuse mining for construction materials); holly blue (a few, here and there); comma (common); marbled skipper (locally common); tufted marbled skipper (surprisingly frequent and widespread); mallow skipper (common); Camberwell beauty (two, including this one sheltering from the wind at about 2300m); orange tip (one); Provence orange tip (several, including two females); false heath fritillary (common); large tortoiseshell (one or two only); large grizzled skipper (centralhispaniae - quite common in several places); heath fritillary (common); southern small white (very locally common); brimstone (frequent); Cleopatra (one male - my first ever for the Val, at altitude); purple-shot copper (common and seen every day quite frequently); purple-edged copper (frequent, but less so than purple-shot); Escher's blue (common); mazarine blue (frequent); scarce copper (very common throughout); spotted fritillary (very common everywhere, in great variety of marking, colour density and size); sloe hairstreak (numerous at just one site); long-tailed blue (quite common, especially around pea flowers on the sides of roads, males and females); swallowtail (common); scarce swallowtail (common - more frequent than usual); ilex hairstreak (many fewer than usual - just the occasional one instead of hundreds); blue spot hairstreak (frequent); white-letter hairstreak (common at two sites); green-veined white (common); violet fritillary (a very few); wood white (common); little blue (a few, but not really common anywhere, surprisingly); chalk-hill blue (hyperabundant - by far the commonest blue); wall (common); large wall (commoner); Queen of Spain fritillary (many individuals); clouded apollo (just one, very tatty, my first ever for the Val, flying at altitude); speckled wood (common, but rather local); knapweed fritillary (common but local); manto ringlet, 'constans' (common in a few localised places); painted lady (just one - my only one of the year so far, incredibly...); marbled and lesser marbled fritillaries (both common); mountain clouded yellow (frequent at altitude); Eros blue (very common locally at altitude); glandon blue (common very locally); silvery argus (just one alive and one killed by a car - with the distinct and tragic possibility that they were the same individual ten minutes apart); Bath white (a few); Spanish brassy ringlet (locally common); turquoise blue (common but less so than usual); silver-studded blue (common); northern brown argus (common); bright-eyed ringlet (frequent); small mountain ringlet (common at altitude - above the tree line); Lefebvre's ringlet (very locally common - the site consists of about 500m2 of scree); false dewy ringlet (my first confirmed sightings, having seen just one, and only probably, briefly last year. I searched the precise site where I saw it last year without success, then tried another suitable patch of rocky outcrop nearby and saw a total of two); clouded yellow (common); Berger's clouded yellow (common - I didn't see any confirmed pale clouded yellows, but I didn't really look either); de Prunner's ringlet (just one, rather tatty); woodland graylings (common in an extended area of woodland in one part of the Val, generally sitting rather hazardously in the middle of roads); sooty copper (fairly frequent); small copper (occasional/frequent); small white and large white (both common); large blue (quite a few individuals); olive skipper (I think I have now seen several or even many of this species. I took photographs and am seeking confirmation); Oberthür's grizzled skipper (as for olive skipper); meadow fritillary (quite common, especially high up); geranium argus (common but very local); Provençal short-tailed blue (frequent, always individuals).
26th-31st: Back in Switzerland. The scythed grass is beginning to grow back, perhaps ready for some second broods if it stays warm enough. Damon blue very present in La Barboleuse.
August 1st: Scotch argus in garden. There were probably some around for the last few days but I didn't register. Arran brown still common. Silver-spotted skipper in Gryon.
2nd: Long-tailed blue in garden - my first garden tick for this species. Then on return from dog walk saw a probably female purple emperor in Gryon. It was flying at about head height, cruising around on absolutely flat wings, and I had a good view of it. No purple showed at any angle and it gave the slightly broader impression of a female. But it is impossible to say. Couldn't get any pictures but a friend got one of me and Asha.
3rd-4th: Generally poor weather, with just a few butterflies flying.
5th: Warm and sunny. Meadow browns, silver-spotted skippers, lesser marbled fritillary and other large fritillaries, all looking a little worn. Whites around in some numbers.
6th-10th: Little butterfly watching, because of weather and time.
11th: Flew to UK.
12th: Mostly overcast in East Suffolk but warm enough for a swim in the North Sea and to see plenty of Satyrids in the woods. Speckled woods, meadow browns and gatekeepers common, and graylings (first of year for me) very common, particularly in areas of bell heather. A single blue - probably holly blue - and a small copper too.