National Park: Public Access rights
Recorder: Jordon Portano Byrne Distance: 2481m Altitude 217m Walk Time= 1.25 hr.
Hawnby Hill is a steep sided craggy narrow limestone ridge on the western fringe of the Tabular Hills. The base of the craggs on the west side is a favourite with The Duke of Burgundy with Primrose growing among the boulder strewn scree. This ia also a favourite with the Dark Green Fritillary. On the Heather clad northern slopes bilbery also grows and Green Hairstreak is commonly seen.
Sections 1-3 and 10+11 tend to be heather moorland while 4- 9 is at the base of the crag. The Duke of Burgundy is seen in S6-8, while the Wall and Small Copper are seen S9 - 10. Green Hairstreaks are seen in S2 and S11, Dark Green Fritillary in S6-9, Dingy Skipper in S6-8 Small Heath are best in S8-9 while Comma is seen in 6 , Marbled white are seen in S3 + S9
Overall a very good year with numbers up a quarter the biggest winners being the Browns . The Dukes were slightly up on last year if a bit down on the average they are about holding their own. The skippers had a good year including Dingy Skippers. Brown Argus as in many places the migratory form had an exceptional year and spread widely. Small Tortoiseshell was down on the boom of last year but still good against the average while Comma boomed almost universally this year.. not here. All the Browns had a good year and although Small Heath was well down on last years boom was still well up on the average and Wall hung on to the big increase seen last year.
2021 was a relatively good year again beating the next best 2019. Duke of Burgundy was a bit down on its 2019 peak but still up on teh average as were most other species apart from teh two cabbage whites which had a poor year at many locations. In contrast Speckled wood had a pretty disasterous year, we can only speculate that the drought of spring 2020 has had a lasting affect. Stand out species are wall with numbers more than doubled along with small heath having its best year for some time. Teh smal tortoisesheel boom continues as it does in most locations. It was one of te few sites to see comma improved as it was apretty disasterous season. Unfortunatly the demise of teh common blue reported last year continues down a qurter of its best in 2019 . Most of teh total increases were in Ringlets nearly doubling and teh site bucked other sites in having a annual increase across all species of near 30% over average
The early part of the season was dominated by the effects of the pandemics with the first walk when restrictions were lifted in mid-May. Adjustsments were needed for the early period: Dingy Skipper +8, Orange Tip +5, Green Hairstreak+14, Duke of Burgundy +65, Peacock +18, Speckled Wood, +3 Wall Brown+4 . This was a bit of a guess with the Greenhairstreak already finished and Duke of Burgundy just past its best on this early site.
Despite the adjustments it was not as good a year as in 2019 for our more common species with Common Blue having a particular disaster. The Browns and Whites had a poor year although Dingy Skipper was well up as in other locations and Wall and Small Heath suffered less so prefering the fine leaved grasses. The drought conditions would be the most likely culprit on these thin scree soils. However most noticeable is the improvement in Small Tortoiseshells also reported in Yorkshire