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Phenology of 1941

Nature volume 149, pages 497498 (02 May 1942) | Download Citation



REPEATING its admirable promptness of last year the Royal Meteorological Society has issued its fifty-first annual phenological report, for the year 1941, under the editorship of Major H. C. Gunther, although it is somewhat abridged from its pre-war size. It is interesting because of the late spring and the amends of a belated summer, with a remarkably green autumn countryside and an unusually late defoliation of trees, although autumn colours were not much in evidence. The migrant birds arrived punctually in the south but late in the north ; there were average numbers of the immigrant painted lady and red admiral butterflies and of the silver Y moth, while clouded yellow butterflies were reported from many parts of the country, including the north. Observations on the magpie moth and the meadow brown butterfly in relation to the rise in temperature for the June-July warm spell which followed the cold late spring illustrated how quickly certain insects may respond to the influence of a favourable spell following adverse conditions. Observations on the dog-rose furnished clear-cut evidence of the preponderating importance of the weather of the moment as compared with any latent tendencies due to a previous season, for in 1941 the flowering dates for the south-east were not less than 16 days later than those for l940, when the south-east dates were slightly earlier than the dates for the north-west. But in 1941 the north-west dates of this flower were slightly earlier than the south-east dates. Despite the War, reports were sent in from 277 phonological observers in the scheme-only twelve less than the previous year.

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