Butterfly Conservation
Saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Hampshire and
Isle of Wight Branch

News

Please note that any sightings mentioned in news items do not automatically go into our records database. Sightings should be submitted using one of the mechanisms listed on the Recording page.

19 Nov 2017

Red Admiral at Hardway, Gosport. While I was enjoying the AGM at Winchester, my wife saw a Red Admiral in our back garden at Hardway around 13:30! Had the window been opened the butterfly would have come in. It was very sunny and mild at the time of the sighting. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Butterfly ID course in 2018. Hampshire & Isle Wight Branch of Butterfly Conservation will be running a Butterfly Identification course (+ common day-flying moths) over 6 consecutive Wednesday evenings from 7 February to 14 March 2018. There are a maximum of 20 places available. For full details of the course and how to enrol see the "Training Days" section under the "Transects" tab. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Glanville Fritillary (underside)
Photo © Andy Barker

06 Nov 2017

Langstone. A return visit to Langstone today walking along the Mill and shoreline. A single Red Admiral was flying again in the High Street (SU718048) with another single Red Admiral at Wade Court Park (SU752051). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Just Red Admiral. Monks Walk, Elson. Monks Walk, Elson today between 1225-1310 (around 15C in the sunshine) a total of 9 Red Admiral's counted. After last night's hard frost this was a (pleasant) surprise. Many were very agitated flicking around through foliage and probably pretty uncomfortable. Others were simply sunning themselves while only one was seen feeding. Three Common Teal also noted approaching the harbour shore. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis Plowman

05 Nov 2017

High Street, Langstone. Today with the temperature dropping to single figures of just 9 degrees, I spotted a single Red Admiral flying along High Street, Langstone (SU718048). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

02 Nov 2017

Portsdown Hill (East). At the Eastern end of Portsdown Hill today (SU657063) I saw a single Red Admiral flying with the temperatures at 14 degrees. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

01 Nov 2017

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. This time an earlier start brought success! From 1045-1125 a brisk walk around the sheltered fields and woodland glades realised a count of: Red Admiral (13); Comma (5); Speckled Wood (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Butterfly bush still busy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Browndown South & Coastal Area. From 1140-1230 a sweep of the two areas revealed very few butterflies. Cool 15 deg C and milky sunlight but no breeze. Small White (3)(M); Red Admiral (6). No sighting of Clouded Yellow, sadly. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Yew Hill. Several Red Admirals were about this morning enjoying the last of the Ivy flowers. A fresh and mobile Painted Lady was also on the reserve. I checked that it was not an American! [Posted by Dave Pearson]

30 Oct 2017

Old Portsmouth. Today while waiting on the Round Tower at Old Portsmouth (SZ629993) for HMS Queen Elizabeth to leave the harbour, I saw a single Red Admiral fly past. The Temperature was 12 degrees. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Another sunny morning: Lee on the Solent. An earlier excursion today on South Browndown part of my local patch at Lee on the Solent. Our walk revealed Red Admiral at least 8 on ivy, 5 more airborne; Comma 1; Small White 3; Clouded Yellow male 2 (possibly 3) [Posted by Geoff Jones]

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Photo © Geoff Jones

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. By the time I got to my local patch from Browndown the sun was low and already casting cool and foreboding shadows over the fields and woods here between 1350-1410. Red Admiral (4) were the only butterflies to be seen but what a beauty posed for the camera. If that becomes the last view of the season from Monks Walk then I should be very content indeed. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Browndown (South) Gosport. With the weather forecast warning of icy blasts this week today's bright sunshine might be my 'last chance' for 2017. I particularly wanted to see if Clouded Yellow were still about and between 1150-1315 counted a total of five species still going - though not all 'strongly'. Red Admiral (4); Comma (1); Clouded Yellow (2) (one definitely a male); Speckled Wood (1); Small White (1)(M). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

28 Oct 2017

Monks Walk, Elson - Additional Pictures. These were also seen yesterday at Monks Walk, Elson. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Butterfly bush
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks (Red Admiral's) Walk - Gosport. If the season is coming to an end nobody's told the Red Admiral's at Monks Walk! Or perhaps they have since most were feeding avidly today. On one ivy-covered bush there were six Admirals and four Comma basking in the sunshine or just feeding. So, from 1150-1315 the count was: Red Admiral (21); Speckled Wood (6); Comma (7). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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On a wing.......
Photo © Francis Plowman
.... a wing and a prayer.......
Photo © Francis Plowman
.....just a prayer!
Photo © Francis Plowman

27 Oct 2017

Southern Shores in search of Clouded Yellow. Browndown (South). 1140-1240. Clouded Yellow (4); Red Admiral (2); Small White (M)(1)(F)(1). We saw four, possibly five Clouded Yellow with one definitely identified as male and all patrolling the main shingle pathway west to east. Only one butterfly appeared slightly shabby. Warm shingle seemed a favourite stopping place but never for very long!

Browndown Coastal Area. 1245-1250. Red Admiral (2)

Chilling woods, fields and cliff top. 1310-1415. Red Admiral (8); Clouded Yellow (4); Small White (1); Comma (1); Speckled Wood. Two Clouded Yellows seen at beach level with two above patrolling the cliff tops.

Haslar sea wall Car Park Scrub. 1445-1450. Red Admiral (1) [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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No 1 Clouded Yellow (Male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
No 2 Clouded Yellow
Photo © Francis Plowman
No 3 Clouded Yellow
Photo © Francis Plowman

Enjoying the sunshine! Hook with Warsash. Hook with Warsash

Small White; Small Copper; Red Admiral 3; Speckled Wood 2 Comma 2 plus several Common Darters. [Posted by Geoff Jones]

Butterflies last stand: Milton Lock, Portsmouth. As we head rapidly towards the end of another butterfly season, the last bastions are just holding on with overwintering butterflies eagerly feeding up until its time to the final curtain call, and we shall see them very little until the early warm days of early spring. A quick walk around my local patch 'yes I have several!' Milton Lock and surrounding area the fore shore looks interesting now they have finished the flood defences, with new bushes and shrubs planted, and many wild flowers to look at next year and hopefully see more invertebrates on the wing. Today it was about the Comma and Red Admiral and the Speckled Wood. (4) Commas were seen feeding up on Ivy flowers and several Red Admirals(6) had the same idea. There was a solitary Speckled Wood sunning itself at the enterance of Milton Lock Reserve. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Red Admiral feeding on Ivy flowers indelibly stamped 780!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma resting on grasses
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood at rest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 Oct 2017

Portsdown Hill. Today on Portsdown Hill the temperature was mild at 17.5 degrees, where at the Eastern end (SU657063) I saw a single Red Admiral followed by another singleton at Fort Widley (SU657066). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Walk from Shawford to Winchester. While walking from Shawford to Winchester along the river Itchen this morning between 9.45-12.00 I saw three Red Admirals, all looking fresh, in three separate locations. One was nectaring on ivy in the sunshine. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Today I did what the butterflies at Monks Walk did, made the most of some warm Autumnal sunshine! The fields are finally devoid of Common Blue and Small Copper but I was surprised at the overall numbers seen - and many photographed - between 1100-1300 today. Red Admiral (18); Comma (4); Small White (1); Speckled Wood (7); Brimstone (F)(1). The wear and tear on the Red Admirals is starting to show and some veritable wrecks were still on the wing. At one time 5 Speckled Wood were tumbling together in one sunny glade. I had to photograph the Brimstone in flight in order to identify it; the insect was flying high around the canopy of a tree smothered in ivy and just did not descend or settle. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Worn Red Admiral missing antenna knob
Photo © Francis Plowman

23 Oct 2017

Clifden Nonpareil in Alton. A Clifden Nonpareil found on the window of W.H. Smith in the centre of Alton. [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

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Clifden Nonpariel
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Clifden Nonpariel
Photo © Steve Mansfield

22 Oct 2017

Godsfield Copse. While strolling along the Three Castles path from Abbotstone Down to Upper Wield we counted six Red Admirals basking in warm sunshine. They were spaced out at 50 m intervals along the hedgebank of Godsfield Copse. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Speckled Wood still on the wing, Havant. One Speckled Wood still on the wing in our back garden this afternoon in Leigh Park, nectaring on (Helianthus). [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

14 Oct 2017

Stoke Common, Hayling Island. A walk around Stoke Common (SU716032) today in the sunshine, but despite the warm conditions I only observed 2 Red Admirals. As the season is almost at an end single figures will be the best we can expect now. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

13 Oct 2017

Seasonal sightings in Gosport. Yesterday 12th October, North Browndown MOD Gosport

Small White 1; Speckled Wood 7; Red Admiral 2

Today

South Browndown and Coastal Area, Lee on the Solent

Clouded Yellow 2 [Posted by Geoff Jones]

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A poor effort- that'll teach me to take the camera on walks!
Photo © Geoff Jones

12 Oct 2017

Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville. Today with the temperature at 16 degrees I saw a Red Admiral in Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville (SU687087). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

High Level Admirals in Portsmouth. Whilst at a meeting five storeys up in an office block in central Portsmouth there was a steady stream of Red Admirals gliding up the outside of the building and over the roof in their efforts to head south.There was one every ten or fifteen minutes and in all I counted about eight, not that I was distracted at all! [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Resurgence Day @ Monks Walk, Gosport. Between 1215-1330 today there was a pleasing resurgence in butterflies around my local beat. Six species were counted today (3 at the last count on 6 Oct) with Red Admiral at the top of the census. Red Admiral (17); Peacock (1); Small White (4); Comma (3); Common Blue (M)(1); Speckled Wood (4). The plucky and worn male Common Blue seems to be the last survivor of his colony and was noted there (also alone) on 6 Oct. A good mix of Red Admirals but most in fresh, quite glorious condition. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Elegant Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Basking Common Blue (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Eastney Beach Part VII. Another day of sunny periods and again venturing out to my local patch Eastney Beach, I wasn't holding out much hope of seeing much as there was a cool breeze blowing over the beach today. However as I got to the 'bank' there was a female Small Copper feeding on Hawkbit, and she was patrolling up and down the area where I've seen other females laying eggs. She descended into some tall vegetation, and sought out some very small pieces of Sorrel leaves, the leaves no bigger than your average tiny fingernail, she was 'tasting' the leaves with her front feet, 'tap' 'tap' she went and then bent her abdomen round under the leaf. In the past I've seen them laying eggs actually on top of the leaves, but these have tended to be a lot larger in size. She went over several patches of Sorrel and then alighted on more Hawkbit and fed up. I saw two females in this area, and then I wandered over to another patch, opposite the Marine Barracks, and here I saw a rather worn male which had obviously been feeding on a plant as its face was covered in pollen. I then saw a female Small Copper feeding on a Pot Marigold which grow wild here on the beach. Also noted were (5) Clouded Yellows, which were coming in off the beach, and then the Red Admirals which I saw two of seemed to be heading in the opposite direction! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Copper on Pot Marigold
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Small Copper with pollen all over its face and forelegs
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

06 Oct 2017

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I left it a bit late today to wander Monks Walk and the surrounding fields. The ground was still rather wet after the last rains. Only three species seen this afternoon between 1430-1530. Common Blue (male) (1); Small Copper (2); Red Admiral (5). One fox and a bright Kingfisher also noted. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male - very worn
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral feeding
Photo © Francis Plowman

Posbrook + Chilling. Lots of butterfly activity in lovely Autumn sunshine on a circular walk from the beach at Titchfield Haven, along the cliff tops, inland to Posbrook and back again to the beach. There were good numbers of whites and Speckled Woods throughout. Also a single Comma. Stars of the show though were undoubtedly the Red Admirals. I stopped counting after 20 - so probably twice that number in 1.5 hours walking. Most were on ivy and in one group of 5/6 was a single Painted Lady. Plenty of Migrant Hawkers still on the wing as well as good numbers of Common Darters. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Red Admiral - Posbrook
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Painted Lady - Posbrook
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Speck;ed Wood - Chilling
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Eastney Beach Part VI. Despite the sunny weather today I didn't hold out much hope of seeing much as it has been very cold at night almost down to frost temperatures, and with it being quite windy and cool even in the sunshine, I was pleasantly surprised to see what I did see. On the grassy bank where most of the Sorrels are, I found three female Small Coppers in different stages of age, one was relatively fresh, and a fresh male. One of the females was again laying her eggs on Sheeps Sorrel which I've just noted in a small corner of the bank, she seemed to like this area as it was very bare and was obviously quite warm as she liked resting on the bare earth. One was avidly feeding on Hawkbit, and another seemed to like the bare stones, again very warm in the sunshine. I also visited the area of flat ground opposite the Royal Marine Barracks, and here, after a lot of searching, found one female Small Copper which was content to to sit and rest for the best part of the time I was there as it was very cool here with very little shelter. The grassy bank at night must be a lot warmer hence the greater number of the Small Copper. I also saw two Clouded Yellows and several tatty Common Blues, and many Small Whites and Large Whites, and the odd Red Admiral. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Copper feeding on Autumn Hawkbit
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Leaves of Sheeps Sorrel
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

05 Oct 2017

Stoke Common, Hayling Island. A walk beside Stoke Common on Hayling Island (SU716032) in the sunshine today where the temperature was 15.5 degrees. Very little was flying despite the weather, with just a pair of Speckled Woods and a single Red Admiral recorded. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

04 Oct 2017

Sunny spells at Carisbrook, IoW. Seen nectaring on the ivy around the garden walls. 15 Red Admirals,5 Peacocks,and two

Painted Lady. [Posted by Mick Sivell]

03 Oct 2017

Portsdown Hill. At the moment in Sussex there are good sightings of the Wall Brown at Mill Hill and I thought on a good weather day today I would visit one of my old haunts where I used to see the Wall Brown in reasonable numbers just under Fort Widley on Portsdown Hill. There is always that chance they could still be here in very small numbers, but they haven't been reported here for many seasons, and today unfortunately wasn't going to be any different. However the butterflies in the sunshine were still in evidence with numbers of Common Blue, and on the huge areas of Michaelmas daises, the Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and Painted Lady we're avidly feeding away. I also saw a Clouded Yellow but unfortunately it was a bit skittish. I also saw two probably fresh Holly Blues chasing each other over the walls of Ivy which grow along in tall banks by the side of the main road. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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The Michaelmas daises are a great source of nectar before hibernation
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma feeding on Michaelmas Daises
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Red Admiral also tucks in
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

28 Sep 2017

Portcreek, Hilsea. Today I walked along the lakeside at Portcreek, Hilsea (SU6604) where the temperature was a warm 19 degrees. On an Ivy bush I counted 9 Red Admirals feeding on the honeydew produced by the buds. The odd Large White, Brimstone and Comma was seen, the latter only a fleeting glimpse as it was flying fast. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 2, Comma 1, Red Admiral 9. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Clouded Yellow on the Downs. After visiting Portcreek, Hilsea, I paid a visit to Chalton Down (SU736156) where the temperature was 18 degrees. Following from Ashley Whitlock's sightings of Clouded Yellows on the beach at Eastney, I spotted one feeding at the top of the slope and almost stepped on it in the process. Before I could get a photo it quickly took to the wing but was still flying in the area. A few Large Whites and a Small Tortoiseshell was seen as well as a single Meadow Brown. Totals: Large White 2, Clouded Yellow 1, Meadow Brown 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Eastney Beach Part V. Probably the last visit in September. I visited again to see what had survived the deluge over the last 24 hours. Surprising quite a lot, I saw today at least 3 fresh Clouded Yellows, (3) Small Coppers although today wasn't a good day for them, too windy and the sun was very intermittent. However the female was still around and still laying on or near Sorrel leaves. She looks quite battered now and I wasn't expecting her to still be around, but just goes to show how resilient butterflies can be in the face of the weather and what it throws at them! Common Blue was still in evidence and a fresh Green-veined White was seen as well. It would seem this blog on the web seems to causing quite a stir, as I met a second person on this beach in a week who said 'Are you Ashley?' and one thing everybody seems to be after is the Clouded Yellow. I was pleased to show this guy all the way from Stoke a Clouded Yellow which he photographed after a good chase. He seemed quite happy, such is the power of the internet! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Fresh Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Nice male camouflaged amoungst the pebbles on the beach
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female still laying her eggs
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

26 Sep 2017

Gosport - Monks Walk. Six species counted today between 1325-1500 at Monks Walk and the surrounding fields and woodland edges. The warm, sultry if not really humid conditions saw many very fresh butterflies on the wing. Numbers counted: Common Blue (M)(5); (F)(1); Brown Argus (3); Small Copper (3); Red Admiral (10); Speckled Wood (3); Comma (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female variety
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Eastney Beach Part 1V Fresh Small Coppers. Another look around the site which seems to have a hold over me at the moment, and every visit brings more triumphs. Today despite a milky sun; nil wind and being very warm I espied another (6) Small Coppers. Four were freshly emerged three being males, two females were in a very worn condition, and I saw another very fresh female as well. One of warn females was laying eggs on Sorrel on the grassy bank. It would seem they do this in the afternoons, when the conditions are perfect like today. She was seen trawling her abdomen over the bare earth until she came to some Sorrel and then bent her abdomen round under the leaf. Sometimes she just rested up, and enjoyed the sunshine. There would seem to have been two females on the grassy bank. I walked up to the area where I've seen another colony and here there were at least two fresh males, both had different markings on their wings, which is how I could tell they were different specimens. One was the 'blue' spot aberration, these were just feeding on the wildflowers still out and resting on the bare stones of the beach, which were obviously very warm. Very hard to keep track of when they fly! Two immaculate Clouded Yellows were also seen and a lovely fresh Painted Lady. The Common Blues now are on the wane, and so are the Whites. Just call me Small Copper man! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Fresh Painted Lady
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Fresh Male Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Another fresh Male not so heavily marked but with blue spots...
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

24 Sep 2017

Alice Holt Lodge Inclosure. Plenty of Speckled Wood still on the wing - 40+ but not counted. 3 Red Admiral. Half a dozen Hornets.

We were watching two common lizards on a log when we found an Elephant Hawk Moth larva crawling down the middle of the path. [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

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Elephant Hawk Moth larva. Alice Holt
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Common Lizard. Alice Holt
Photo © Steve Mansfield

Eastney Beach Part 111. Another week or so has passed by since my last report on the Clouded Yellow and Small Copper and Common Blues. A lifetime for most butterflies, and today the Common Blues had diminished to a much smaller number on the southern banks, but I saw some more opposite the former Royal Marine Barracks, and today this is where I found another colony of Small Copper. A lovely female was seen amoungst the vegetation, which is spreading, all over the Eastern part of Eastney Beach. Here I espied another Clouded Yellow a tatty male, which probably came over on the southern winds which we are experiencing at the moment.Seven Species were seen today which isn't bad for a beach at the end of September! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Copper still evident on the grassy banks
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Newly emerged female seen further up the beach
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Tatty Clouded Yellow still gave me the run around!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Sep 2017

Portsdown Hill. Today I visited Portsdown Hill, East end (SU657063) where despite the temperature reaching 18.5 degrees, very few butterflies were on the wing. Two male Brimstones with a single Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell were seen.

At Ford Widley (SU657066) only a pair of Speckled Woods were seen. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk - Gosport. Nine butterfly species were seen making the most of the autumnal sunshine and abundant food as I circulated Monks Walk and the surrounding fields and woods. Having completely missed the summer, I have to go back to 20 April to record a similar number of species at this location! It was a pleasure to see my first Brown Argus of the year and to see a male Brimstone on the wing tussling and tumbling with an annoying white! Those seen between 1125-1300 today were: Small Copper (2); Common Blue (M)(6); Brown Argus (2); Comma (4); Speckled Wood (5); Small White (2); Red Admiral (2); Brimstone (M) (1); Large White (1). One common lizard and a shy fox also seen on my walk. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

22 Sep 2017

Chalton Down. This morning I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) where the temperature was 15.5 degrees. No Common Blues were seen, with just a Brimstone, Whites and a single Speckled Wood seen. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 4, Small White 3, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Havant Thicket. After Chalton Down in the morning, I visited Havant Thicket (SU7110) in the afternoon where the temperature had increased to 17 degrees. I completed a full circuit following the perimeter track, with a reasonable number of sightings for the time of year, including half a dozen Meadow Browns towards the Northern end of the woods. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 2, Small White 1, Meadow Brown 6, Speckled Wood 5, Comma 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Solent-Shore Sites. A late morning visit to three shoreline sites provided the following census. After yesterday's rain and low temperature this was more than I expected to see!

Monks Hill, Hill Head. Small White (6); Large White (1); Common Blue (M)(1).

Seafield Park, Hill Head. Small White (1); Red Admiral (3); Speckled Wood (1); Large White (2).

Browndown Coastal Area, Elmore (Gosport). Small White (2); Red Admiral (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White - Monks Hill
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood - Seafield Park
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral - Seafield Park
Photo © Francis Plowman

19 Sep 2017

Gilkicker - Gosport. An intended brief circulation of Fort Gilkicker turned into something more protracted and challenging as developers have enclosed the fort with fencing and have extended it 200 metres or so eastwards. This has effectively closed-off previously productive areas for finding butterflies and looks ominous; a 3 years' closure according to the notice. The seaward habitat is now completely hidden and may disappear altogether. However, the approach road produced the following sightings: Small White (3); Common Blue (M)(1); Red Admiral (9) - the latter all feeding on an ivy-covered bush. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. With the news of Clouded Yellow still lingering around our shorelines, I took a short walk around the scrubby field betwixt the old Immigration Removal Centre and golf course. In previous years I had sighted Clouded Yellow here and I was not to be disappointed this afternoon. A female was very active feeding on dandelion and similar yellow flowers and led me a merry chase in order to get a photograph. The Common Blues are still going - some stronger than others. Butterflies counted: Small White (3); Large White (1); Common Blue (5)(M); (1)(F); Clouded Yellow (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow (Female)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue (male) fresh
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue - down but not out!
Photo © Francis Plowman

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