March Highlights

Picture of the Month

This months best photo goes to Chris Cox taken on the Rail Trail at Keyingham VC61

The 2020 UKBMs results were published this month with Small Tortoiseshell being the stand out winner with some sites showing 300% increase in numbers. large and Small Whites, Brimstone, Holly Blue, Marbled White and Meadow Brown did well but even with this third good butterfly year in a row more species did badly than well. More on Yorkshire results HERE

It's been a long wait for the butterfly season to really start in Yorkshire taking till mid March for some sunny weather. This was followed by a 'Spanish plume' of warm air on 20-21st and then Saharan winds from North Africa on the 29th brought us our best spell with temperatures in the 20's and nearly 70 sighting records coming in during the last 3 days of the month. Its great to have 135 records in March into the new sightings system and over 200 so far this year from 33 recorders; see HERE. Thank you. The picture of the month goes to Chris Cox; see opposite. There have been very good numbers of our hibernators and some fantastic Brimstone counts from Bishop Wood and Brockadale plus a battered Painted Lady in Scarborough and a Hummingbird Hawk moth also seen. The first Holy Blue and Orange Tip have been seen and we can expect Speckled Woods, Wall, Small Heath and Green Hairstreaks any day. Nationally 2021 sees both the Large Tortoiseshell and the Clouded Yellow successfully overwinter on the Dorset coast, yet again indicating that they really want to become UK residents.

March saw the launch of our interactive Butterfly Atlas for Yorkshire which has won some international admiration as a first of its kind. Its a great tool to explore our countryside. It would be great if we can add our moth records as the next big challenge. Watch the demo video HERE and explore HERE

We also launched our online events and You tube channel to mark our progression to a new medium HERE. It has already allowed so much more interaction with our membership and brought people together throughout the county which was never practical before. We have used the opportunity to reinvigorate our formal recording which lags well behind our tremendous casual recording effort with training on UKBMS and species identification. There will be a number of transect restarting and some new ones this year including two of our best sites at Brockadale and Fordon Banks but we still need more interested volunteers with lots of spare time to repair the damage of the pandemic and staff losses from our charities.