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Nature Notes  December 2009
By Pat and Charles

The heavy rains soaked the ground resulting in a good crop of fungi on the Common including, in Jubilee copse, the red caps of Fly Agaric. Strangely, this is described as occurring around birch and pine trees. There are no pines on the Common and now only a few birches. Soil disturbance during the planting of Jubilee copse may have created suitable conditions for this toadstool regardless of what trees are nearby.

 

The Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - website:

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Phytomyza ilicis mine on Holly

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Nov 2009

To conclude the saga of the Painted Lady butterflies, the following appeared on the Butterfly Conservation website dated 13th November: “This summer was a bumper migration year with, at the peak, up to a billion Painted Ladies in Britain.  Butterfly Conservation has been monitoring Painted Lady movements since the start

Painted Lady Butterfly

There has been a huge response, not only from the UK but from across Europe. An amazing 12,000 sightings have been submitted so far, with reports still coming in.  Last month brought some particularly exciting reports. From the Channel coasts of Cornwall, Devon, Sussex and Kent sightings were reported of Painted Ladies heading straight out to sea towards continental Europe. Now reports have been received of butterflies arriving back in the Mediterranean and North Africa.”  The butterflies seen heading south were the offspring of those that came north in the spring. The amazing story of annual migration of the Monarch butterfly in North America has been much studied and shown on television but it seems that the migration of no other European butterfly has been observed in such detail as that of the Painted Lady this year. It is good that at least a few of the horde rested for a while on our local Common.

of northward migration at the beginning of the year, with members of the public being able to report sightings online.

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