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EXCURSION NOTES 2023  (including many photos) - Scroll down

For a complete list of species seen and identified by me this year, click on:Year List 2023
For previous Excursion Notes (with photos) click on year:2022
For previous Year Lists click on year:    
 Excursion Notes 2023
1st:  A very mild start to the year in Trentino, north Italy, with night-time and day-time temperatures above the average.
7th: And ..... consequently ..... an earlier start than last year with regard to butterfly sightings; today I went out in the sunshine around lunchtime for my first real walk on the hill above the village where I live. At a particularly sunny spot (photo)(photo), a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) flew past me and disappeared over a nearby building. I went to look and I found it sunning itself on the side of a stone water container (photo) (photo). Looking around for some early flowers, rotting fruit or damp earth and not seeing any, I asked myself where its food supply was. A look on the other side of the building, explained why the butterfly was at this particular location - a tree full of juicy persimmons, some of them already ripe and split open (photo). Here is another shot of the butterfly resting on the vineyard terrace walls (photo), just a metre or two from the tree.
8th: Moderate snowfalls on the mountains down to around 1,500m.
10th: A couple of days later, as you can see on this photo, the mild daytime weather has melted a lot of the snow on the mountain at the back of my village and the snowline is now not much below the highest peak (2,054m). However, down at 320m asl, in the warm sunshine, I saw my second Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) of the year in this spot (photo) No photo because the butterfly zoomed past me and flew off into the distance. Instead, here is a picture of a tree along the road (photo), interesting because of the Pine Processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) caterpillar nests on it,. This particular tree, although small, had three of the white silken tents on its branches, inside of which the caterpillars continue to eat and develop until early spring. Here are photos of them (photo)(photo)(photo) Many of the pine trees in the area have these nests on them.


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