Tuesday, 26 February 2019
This isn't normal
It is worth reminding ourselves that today's date is February 26th. The temperature in west Wales (Porthmadog) has been recorded at 20.8C (that's 69.4F in old money) - a new UK February record high. Closer to home it has been 20.7C in Teddington.
In such warm temperatures and under clear blue skies and unbroken sunshine I have been wearing just a t-shirt and shorts. Comfortably.
Because the number of Brimstone butterflies flying through and hanging about in our Banstead garden had been high, I thought I'd take a slow walk around the neighbouring streets - a vaguely circular walk of 90 minutes with no repetition of the route. I just strolled and counted butterflies. The results, for today's date, are staggering.
FIVE species (I've seen two on the same date in February before, but never more).
They were: Brimstone (32), Comma (2), Small Tortoiseshell (2, one on winter flowering heather, above), Red Admiral (1) and Peacock (1).
Needless to say, this is all most irregular.
STOP PRESS: Kew Gardens today recorded 21.2C - 70F - which is now the highest February (and Winter) temperature ever recorded in the UK.