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Much to my surprise, a Small tortoiseshell was the very first butterfly I saw this year, back on 27 February, and there have been 11 more that have blessed me with their presence so far. The February date was earlier than usual for me – I don’t normally see Small tortoiseshells until mid to late March. These particular butterflies have not fared well in Britain in recent decades so I’m hoping the good numbers I’ve seen so far augur well for the rest of the year, and for their population numbers in general.

220409 small tortoiseshell