In 2019, when I began keeping records of all my sightings and focused seriously on searching for and recording butterflies, I saw my first local Dingy skipper on 30 April and my last on 10 June. This year, I spotted my first on 6 May and what I thought was the last on 26 May, a relatively short season.
Then, remarkably, on 24 July, I saw a pristine, obviously newly emerged Dingy skipper, and I’ve seen two more this week, one on 4 August and another the following day. These are second brood butterflies, the product of the breeding of the butterflies seen in May.
In his brilliant book Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies, Peter Eeles write that ‘Good summers may … result in a partial second brood in southern England that emerges in late July and August (a second brood is the norm in Southern Europe), and this may become a more frequent and widespread phenomenon in Britain and Ireland with a changing climate’. It seems, here in south Wales, that phenomenon is already happening.