The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham is my current read. It is a book that informs, entertains and makes you think about why we take such an interest in the natural world around us. I’m a sucker for any well-written natural history literature and this is definitely one that comes into that category.
It's got me all wistful for butterflies again. I can normally expect to see one by the end of February, usually an individual flushed out of hibernation by a spot of shed tidying or a shaft of warming sunlight. In most years the honour will go to a Red Admiral, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Peacock or a Brimstone. On one mild mid-February day several years ago, I recorded both Small Tortoiseshell and a Brimstone – a double flutterby start to the year!
The book has also made me realise that there are species, within easy travelling distance, that I should go and see before its too late. I haven’t seen Duke of Burgundy, nor Glanville Fritillary, Lulworth Skipper or Heath Fritillary. I really ought to get myself into gear and put that right this coming summer.
Get the book and you wont be disappointed. A word of warning though – you may find yourself adding a few trips to your list this summer.