With the present season now firmly on the wane, it's time to start looking forward to 2017...
The good news is that although numbers this year were about half 2015 levels at most localities, the females have been nicely active and the prospects for 2017 are looking good.
This time last year we were bemoaning the lack of female activity and a paucity of eggs. That was primarily because the butterfly was out of sync with the crucial stage in the sallow foliage cycle. As long ago as last August I was forecasting a poor emergence in 2016.
This year, because of a late, slow spring, the laying females have been nicely in sync with the vegetation cycle (what I call the mid-green soft mat phase). Never mind the science of all this, I'll eventually explain it all in a book; just trust me, it's massive.
Those of us who search for eggs and larvae should be pleasantly surprised, though this wont be a huge egg lay year (unlike 2009 and 2013, when the egg lays were stupendous).
Here's Herself depositing an egg two weeks ago at Knepp Wildlands -
Please note, this blog functions all year round, not just during the adult season...