New Lincolnshire colony confirmed

Sunshine was streaming through my bedroom window as I woke this morning, so I decided it was definitely a good day for a trip out to the Lincolnshire Limewoods for a spot of egging. Our most exciting find last winter was the discovery of BH eggs at College Wood - a new site from which we had no former records. I was keen to see if the apparent colonisation last year was indeed establishing here. With a fair bit of foliage still on the blackthorns, I was delighted to find 68 eggs in a couple of hours along the SE wood edge, where last year we found a total of 52 eggs over the whole winter on this section. The butterfly has clearly had a succesful breeding season at this new colony, despite the poor summer. Good signs that our Lincolnshire streaks continue to go from strength to strength!


Really excellent news, Pete! And the egg searching season has only just begun :) Do you know how many seperate BH colonies Lincolnshire has?

Gillian - we did a major survey back in 1998, at which point BH was down to just two surviving colonies in the Lincs Limewoods, one of these being the well known Chambers Wood site. All other historical sites and nearby woods turned up negative results. The Chambers colony has increased greatly since 2005 - we have evidence of dispersal away from here and at least 3 additional woods have been colonised in recent years. We currently seem to have 5 separate colonies, but there may be a degree of interdependence between some of them, and the colony at Chambers is possibly a metapopulation with several focal points within one large complex. Much still to be learned!

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