Spring Flush. April 2018. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Small Tortoiseshell




With rising temperatures, so the butterfly season truly begins, the first half of the month, producing numerous Small Tortoiseshells and Brimstones, plus Camberwell Beauty and a number of Peacocks and Commas.







7-8 April. Stump Stores.


Small Tortoiseshell



Back after a splendid week of butterflies in Greece, I returned to Lithuania just in time was a major upswing in the temperature - cold and snowy when I departed, 20 C and sun on return. And with the rise in temperature, a dramatic flush of early season butterflies, even to the extent of seeing a half dozen Small Tortoiseshells at the airport!




It was however the next day that the more impressive numbers were to be seen. Visiting meadows not far from the capital, things were immediately looking good - four species in time at all, Brimstones fluttering along, plenty of Small Tortoiseshells along woodland edge, a dozen Peacocks and a couple of Commas. Within a couple of hours, my tally of butterflies had already reached about 140 individuals, a very good number for so early in the season.


Butterfly stumps


The real piece de la resistance however was to come as I exited the site - spying an area of recently cut birches, I noticed that the stumps were actively oozing sap. And around the sap, butterflies. Exploring more widely, the stumps proved totally amazing - a source of rich nectar at a time when flowers are few and far between, every single stump had gatherings of butterflies, amounting to a massive 195 individuals in total! Small Tortoiseshells in the main, but also Peacocks and Commas, it was very much a candy store for butterflies.

Total counts for the day:

  • Brimstone - 44
  • Small Tortoiseshell - 242
  • Peacock - 25
  • Comma - 12



14-15 April. Flight of the Beauties.

Continuing good weather, sun and 18C on the 14th. First Swallows of the year at Labanoras, plus booming Bitterns and displaying Marsh Harriers too. As the day warmed, Brimstones, Commas and Small Tortoiseshells on the wing, then Peacocks too.


  Camberwell Beauty



Butterfly of the day however, patrolling a sunny fringe to woodland, a classic beauty - Camberwell Beauty, glorious and fresh. Failed to find either of the larger tortoiseshells - should be flying any day.






Even better the next day, a pleasant 20 C bringing a nice run of early species - on a trip to the Druskininkai area, a grand total of nine species recorded, including no less than ten Camberwell Beauties, plus four new for the year - two Orange Tips, one Green-veined Whites, a couple of Holly Blues and a Green Hairstreak (all two weeks in advance of dates last year).



  • 1. Brimstone.
  • 2. Small Tortoiseshell.
  • 3. Comma.
  • 4. Peacock.
  • 5. Camberwell Beauty.
  • 6. Orange Tip.
  • 7. Green-veined White.
  • 8. Green Haristreak.
  • 9. Holly Blue.


15-18 April. New Bird on the Block.

And then started a few relatively cool days - 14 C or a little above, mostly overcast or windy.

On the butterfly front, just a few Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells, plus Brimstones here and there, but pretty good days for birds - migrants such as Pied Flycatchers and Willow Warblers arriving, plus a bit of a purple patch on my land at Labanoras: not only a pair of Garganey (non-annual visitor) and eight Wigeon (fourth record and highest ever count), but even better three Black-tailed Godwits! First record for my land, round they flew a few times becore landing on a flood pool, joining the ducks and two pairs of Whooper Swans.

The addition of Black-tailed Godwit brings the total number of bird species recorded on my land to 174, a nice total!



Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 April 2018 )
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