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.

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

16 Sep 2017

Eastney Beach, Portsmouth. Part Two Fresh Clouded Yellows. Further to my report from Eastney Beach on the 15th September I went back there again today, as it's just a ten minute walk, and it would seem there has a been a fresh emergence of Clouded Yellows at least (5) males flying up and down the area of grassy banks. Last year I noted a female laying eggs on large tracts of Clover on the beach, and this fresh emergence is obviously from the beach area, as the winds of late have been in the wrong direction for any migrants, anyway the butterflies were straight out of the box, some the freshest I've ever seen. Also I noted again four Small Coppers this time though there was an almost fresh female, there were two females and two males today. There were so many Common Blues and Whites they were impossible to count and they used the tall grasses to roost in when the sun disappeared, which was quite often. The Sorrel at this site is quite extensive, so the Small Copper should become a stable colony all being well. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Fresh..ish Female Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Clouded Yellow straight out of the box
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Common Blues were roosting in the grasses when the sun disappeared
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

15 Sep 2017

Blackberries & Butterflies - Monks Walk, Gosport. Ninety minutes spent this morning wandering Monks Walk and the surrounding fields and woodlands produced a satisfying count of some eight species. After the recent heavy rains and high winds this came as something of a pleasant surprise. The enclosed nature of this site obviously offers the insects good protection and plenty of food. The usual suspects were all over the blackberries and feeding well! Butterflies noted: Comma (7); Large White (2); Speckled Wood (3); Small White (1); Peacock (3); Red Admiral (2); Small Copper (2); Common Blue (5)(M); (1)(F). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Feeding Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on blackberries
Photo © Francis Plowman
Male & Female Common Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Eastney Beach, Portsmouth. A look around my local patch today which is about ten minutes walk from my house, it's so nice having such lovely butterflies so close. I was looking for the Small Copper as last year I saw a female laying eggs on a grassy bank of Sorrel. Today I was extremely lucky as I found three males and a female, none was in particular good order as they have just endured some of the roughest weather they could have thrown at them! The grassy bank is an Earthworks: a sea defence about ten feet tall, and has now been overgrown by legumes,Sea Holly, Sheep Fescue and other grasses, and obviously Sorrel and Birds-foot Trefoil. The Small Coppers were quite active but once they found some nectar sources they were quite tame. The female just sat on a grassy bank on bare earth which they normally do. I never saw whether she laid any eggs, I've a feeling she probably had been earlier ,and was now resting. There has also been a another generation of Common Blues as I saw at least (25+) or more and most of these were in very good condition,they can normally a have a partial third brood in October but this year has been so 'topsy-turvey'I don't know if they know whether they are coming or going.Also the Peacock is normally at this time well into hibernation, and the Peacocks now are a second generation, and are still quite happy to be flying about enjoying the late sunshine. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Copper small numbers on Eastney Beach
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Another generation of Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Another generation of Peacocks....
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

14 Sep 2017

Old Winchester Hill NNR. Probably my last venture to this site in 2017, when I look through my records for this time last year, when we had a mini heatwave, and the species count was obviously far better. The counts today really was a case of two halves, the species on the main Southern slope were just Meadow Brown, but on the car-park slope where there is some good cover from the hill side the slope produced far more species. Adonis Blue (2) Common Blue (1) Chalkhill Blue (4) Comma (2) Red Admiral (4) Small Heath (5) Large White (1) Small White (1) Meadow Brown (50+) Speckled Wood (1), looks like the Silver-spotted Skipper has succumbed to the poor September weather. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Chalk Hill Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Old Winchester Hill the Fort landscape
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

12 Sep 2017

Isle of Wight jaunt. A quick jaunt to the Island allowed me to visit a few "chines" in the south-west. I managed to find several dense silk webs that are the (cramped) overwintering home for Glanville Fritillary 5th instar larvae - should be quite a spectacle next spring when the larvae emerge. I also watched a Small Copper oviposit on a Sorrel plant that has definitely seen better days! [Posted by Pete Eeles]

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Photo © Pete EelesGlanville Fritillary larval web
Photo © Pete Eeles
Small Copper egg (bottom left)
Photo © Pete Eeles

Oxenbourne Down. A slight lapse in the awful weather we are having in September brought out some Small Coppers at Oxenbourne Down today,about four males were seen close to the footpath, one male was feeding on Eyebright and Hawkbit. This site normally has a reasonable good count of this species although over the last couple of seasons it has struggled like it has at a lot of sites now. Other species seen were Chalkhill Blue (5) Common Blue (2) Comma (2) Meadow Brown (12) Small Heath (2), and a Silver-'Y' Moth. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Copper (male) on Bramble
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma seen in good numbers in this Autumn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper on Eyebright
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

07 Sep 2017

Monks Walk & Frater Fields, Gosport. At last fit enough to walk my local butterfly haunt, the first opportunity since April 2017. Finding seven species under breezy clouds gave me inordinate pleasure. With my faithful 'scribe' at my side, we counted: Comma (2); Peacock (3); Speckled Wood (3); Red Admiral (3); Common Blue (M)(5); Small Copper (2); Small White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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

Painted Lady - Gosport Garden. A pleasant surprise under grey and blustery skies today was to see a Painted Lady feeding in our garden. It stayed for 20 minutes before zipping away, probably south. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis Plowman

06 Sep 2017

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Today in the late morning, I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) where the temperature was 16 degrees. Many Whites were flying and some worn Meadow Browns. The Chalk Hill Blues appeared to have almost finished although two females were recorded, but with a heavy dew on the down, this may have prevented any further from flying. Totals: Large White 11, Small White 5, Green-veined White 1, Chalk Hill Blue 2F, Meadow Brown 12, Small Heath 1, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

05 Sep 2017

Wet Whites in my Gosport Garden. I was surprised to see any butterflies under the grey skies and dampness after heavy rain. Two rather wet and weary whites sought rest on our flowers and were unfazed by my approach. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White (female)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White
Photo © Francis Plowman

04 Sep 2017

Gosport garden. Beautiful Red Admiral. A pair of stunning Red Admiral took advantage of the gloomy skies to feed on the Budleia. Fair brightened-up the afternoon they did! (Granddaughter Kitt had her first go with a digital SLR camera and should be proud of her effort). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanKitt's first picture with digital SLR!
Photo © Francis Plowman

02 Sep 2017

Clouded Yellows at Keyhaven. A walk around Pennington and Keyhaven in search of Wall Brown failed miserably, but we did manage to find a single Small Copper and Painted Lady, several Common Blues, plenty of Red Admirals and at least 6 Clouded Yellows, it was difficult to count as they were so very mobile. Finally managed to pin them down in the short grass are to the west of Keyhaven Lagoon, although did manage a poor flight photo. One was very close to being dinner for a juvenile Stonechat.

https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Small Copper
Photo © Chris Rose
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Chris Rose
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Chris Rose

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket (SU7110), a site I had walked since early July. The weather was sunny until cloud appeared as I had almost completed my walk, temperature 19 degrees. Common autumnal species were seen along with several worn Meadow Browns.

Totals: Brimstone 1F, Large White 3, Small White 1, Meadow Brown 16, Speckled Wood 9, Comma 1, Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill NNR Field Trip. More Pictures from the Field Trip [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Class of 2017 Many thanks!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue in good numbers on the downland
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Pair of Mating 6 Spot Burnet Moths
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Old Winchester Hill NNR Field Trip. As another Field Trip season draws to a close, the last lived up to most expectations, the only disappointment was that the elusive Clouded Yellow never turned up. However there were good counts of Adonis Blue including many females in perfect condition. The Silver-spotted Skipper was also in evidence, many females, and we found a rather nice patch on the fortifications which is very short turf where we found a few 'buzzing' about where everybody had good views of them. On the Northern slopes of the fortification the Small Tortoiseshell was seen in excellent numbers, and an 'odd' Small Skipper was espied, and I saw early in the morning a very late pair of mating 6-Spotted Burnet Moths. Everybody enjoyed the excellent views of the Meon Valley as we walked around observing, Spotted Flycatchers, Buzzards, Kestrels, and Green Woodpeckers. I'd like to thank everybody who has supported me and the Conservation group with their attendance this year, and here's to a good 2018! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Early wakeup call for this Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Beacon Hill NNR across from Old Winchester Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

01 Sep 2017

Beacon Hill NNR. Today I visited a site that has gone off many a radar, as it used to have good counts of Silver-spotted Skipper but over the last few years the species here has waxed and waned, and it's at a very low ebb. Today was no different, I've drawn a blank here now for two seasons on the trot, last year I went in the middle of August, as this site is never predictable, not like its fellow 'sister' OWH, so this year I went today, as they are still well out on Old Winchester Hill. The good news is that any wandering female that happens upon this site now should be very interested in the good areas of well shorn grasses, the only thing thats lacking is rabbit scrapes, where the female Silver-spotted Skipper normally lays its eggs on Sheeps Fescue. There were very little other species here today either, the best counts came from Small Tortoiseshell (12) and Small Heath (15). [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Comma feeding on Blackberry
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The end of a Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
One of the south facing slopes, where cattle have been busy.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Old Winchester Hill: Late Photos from 24th August. Just received photos for editing from my father, Roy Symonds following his visit to Old Winchester Hill on 24th August featuring the ABC of butterflies - Adonis Blue, Brimstone and Clouded Yellow. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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Adonis Blue male
Photo © Richard Symonds
Brimstone male
Photo © Richard Symonds
Clouded Yellow male
Photo © Richard Symonds

Chalton Down: Late Photos from 17th August. Just received photos for editing from my father, Roy Symonds following his visit to Chalton Down on 17th August featuring a male Clouded Yellow. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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Clouded Yellow male
Photo © Richard Symonds
Clouded Yellow male
Photo © Richard Symonds

Old Winchester Hill: Late Photos from 13th August. Just received photos for editing from my father, Roy Symonds following his visit to Old Winchester Hill on 13th August featuring a female Clouded Yellow. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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Clouded Yellow female
Photo © Richard Symonds

Noar Hill: Late Photos from 11th August. Just received photos for editing from my father, Roy Symonds following his visit to Noar Hill on 11th August featuring a female Brown Hairstreak. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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Brown Hairstreak female
Photo © Richard Symonds
Brown Hairstreak female
Photo © Richard Symonds

31 Aug 2017

Red Admiral on Gosport Garden Parade. A single Red Admiral in all its glory simply gorged itself today on the Eggs and Ham plant alternating with the nearby dwarf Budlea. Wonderful tonic. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis PlowmanHaving a break on the washing line!
Photo © Francis Plowman

29 Aug 2017

Old Winchester Hill NNR. In very warm weather today, the car-park slope was alive with butterflies, mainly Meadow Browns, with good counts of Chalk Hill Blue still with the odd male still looking in reasonable condition. But today belonged to the Adonis Blue, where the males were very active feeding on Eye-bright, and Birds Foot Tre-foil. I counted upwards of (40) with several females also in the mix. The short turf nibbled away by the Herdwick sheep has done a splendid job, not just for the Adonis Blue but the Silver-Spotted Skipper seems to be enjoying their season, with many being see again today (25), with the other slope (main south facing slope) last week makes a good total of nearly (40). Other species of note was one Clouded Yellow, Small Heath (30) Brown Argus (4) Small Blue (1) and many of the other species. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Adonis Blue on Eggs and Bacon!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper didn't rest for long!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Meadow Brown very good numbers out on the downland
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Gosport Garden Visitors. How pleasant to relax in our garden and enjoy the few butterflies that are showing interest in our flowers! The first Green-veined White seen in our small garden gives me some modest cause to celebrate. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined White female (28th Aug)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral on Echinacea (28th Aug)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma on Lantana Camara (26th Aug)
Photo © Francis Plowman

28 Aug 2017

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. After visiting Old Winchester Hill, I paid a HBlue numbers have dwindled down almost to single figures here now, with those seen looking very faded and worn along with the Meadow Browns. Only 6 different species were recorded.

Totals: Large White 1, Small White 4, Chalk Hill Blue 10M, Common Blue 9M, Meadow Brown 15, Small Heath 6. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill. Today I visited Old Winchester Hill completing a circular walk covering the main paths. The temperature was 23.5 degrees. Large Whites, Meadow Browns and Common Blues were flying in double figure numbers. Strangely I only counted just a single male Chalk Hill Blue. I recorded two Silver-spotted Skippers but numbers of Adonis Blue were better with 10 males found below the car park slope, along with a single Clouded Yellow. A single female Adonis Blue seen on the far side of the hill fort. A total of 14 different species were seen.

Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Large White 11, Small White 6, Clouded Yellow 1, Adonis Blue 10M 1F, Chalk Hill Blue 1M, Common Blue 12M, Small Copper 3, Meadow Brown 62, Small Heath 3, Speckled Wood 1, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Silver-spotted Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Longstock buddleja census. With most of the buddlejas enjoying their second wind, a brief mid-afternoon census revealed the following: Red Admiral (9), Small Tortoiseshell (4), Brimstone (1), Meadow Brown (2). A Comma was seen on the Verbena bonariensis, but the highlight was an immaculate Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on the dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' in the walled garden. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Dahlia delight
Photo © Andrew Brookes

This Year In Our Chandlers Ford Garden SU434199. Well, itís been a good year in the butterfly garden. Speckled Woods have increased in number, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns are still here and a new species appeared in July when we found a couple of Ringlets in the garden! Holly Blues have had another good year and we have had a few Commas and Red Admirals. Small Tortoiseshells are present but in small numbers and I havenít seen a Peacock in the garden since late spring. Large Whites and Small Whites are in good numbers at the moment and a Green-veined White turned up today on the Buddleia. Also today, after lamenting the lack of Small Coppers in my OWH report, we had one turn up on the Rudbeckia! It was a beautiful fresh example and the first one Iíve seen in the garden for 3 years! Yesterday the first Painted Lady in the garden turned up. A lovely fresh female with deep orange colouring. This was closely followed by a Hummingbird hawk moth. We have had a few sightings of these already this year.

It was fun to watch two Speckled Woods spinning round and round each other and then one pinned the other to the ground which I managed to grab a quick shot of.

The newly planted nettle bed is growing nicely now and the wild flower bed has done well this year. It was good to see a female Speckled Wood laying eggs in the long grass today and I notice we have quite a bit of Sorrel in the garden that may account for the Small Copper. Hopefully when the new nettle bed is established next year, we may see more Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, Peacocks and Red Admirals using it. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Speckled Woods in a wrestling match
Photo © Tracy Piper
Painted Lady female
Photo © Tracy Piper
Humming-bird Hawk-moth
Photo © Tracy Piper

This Year In Our Chandlers Ford Garden SU434199 cont.... Some more photos...... [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Green-veined White
Photo © Tracy Piper
Red Admiral female
Photo © Tracy Piper
Small Copper....at last!
Photo © Tracy Piper

Old Winchester Hill. We had a fantastic time at Old Winchester Hill today and spent 5 hours (1000-1500) there walking right around the reserve. Species recorded there included Adonis Blue 20,Chalk Hill Blue 24,Silver-spotted Skipper 28,Clouded Yellow 1,Painted Lady 1,Brown Argus 1, Brimstone 8,Red Admiral 2,Peacock 3,Small Tortoiseshell 3,Speckled Wood 5,Comma 2,Small Copper 2. Plus good numbers of Meadow Brown and Common Blue, other species seen but not counted were Small Heath, Large White and Small White. Birds of note included a Red Kite, a Raven and c150 House Martins. (Barry and Margaret Collins) [Posted by Barry Collins]

27 Aug 2017

Noar Hill. Today I visited Noar Hill where the temperature reached 22 degrees. Although I searched high and low, no Brown Hairstreaks were sighted today. Meadow Browns and Common Blues with Small Heaths were the most abundant species flying. A total of 10 different species were recorded.

Totals: Brimstone 1M 5F, Large White 5, Small White 5, Common Blue 11M 5F, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 22, Small Heath 10, Speckled Wood 7, Red Admiral 2, Small Tortoiseshell 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

26 Aug 2017

Old Winchester Hill More Photographs. More photos from the afternoon on Old Winchester Hill

https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Small Heat
Photo © Chris Rose
Chalk Hill Blues
Photo © Chris Rose
Adonis Blue
Photo © Chris Rose

Old Winchester Hill. Spent the afternoon at Old Winchester Hill, conditions were perfect and there were plenty of butterflies about on the south slope of the hill forts. Difficult to count but very good numbers of Silver-spotted Skipper, Adonis Blue and Chalkhill Blue, the three target species! The skippers were actively engaged in mating, and egg laying.

Supporting cast came from many Small Heaths, Small Tortoishells and a single Painted Lady.

https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose
Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose
Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose

Noar Hill NNR Field Trip. More photographs from the field trip [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female posing in full sunshine after a brief egg-lay
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
One of the eggs I found today from the female I found on Thursday
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Spider and Beetle battle it out...the spider won!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Noar Hill NNR Field Trip. Today was a glorious day in more ways than the weather, excellent counts of field trippers coming to hopefully see their quarry the Brown Hairstreak, they were not to be disappointed!Walking along the footpath from Charity Farm entrance we had a glimpse of a female in a maple tree, where she manoeuvred herself to feel the sunshine. I also saw another flitting through the tree tops close by, it looked as if we were in for a treat.We went down to the triangle where there are normally a few females flying about a large Ash tree at the bottom of the area. I saw one flying but there were no others coming down to nectar. We came around to another smaller area, where there were the Rufus Grasshoppers, and here we found a female Brown Hairstreak in excellent condition, extremely tame. I've met some tame butterflies in my butterflying career, but this female took the biscuit. She had the paparazzi around her whilst she posed rather nicely for us, and then she started egg-laying in a small thicket of Blackthorn not much higher than knee high. There were 28 of us and we all had good views of her as she manoeuvred herself around the area, not flying off at all, she was totally at ease with us all. In all we saw upwards of (8) females which is an excellent total. Other species of interest were Brown Argus, Small Heath, and a family of Spotted Flycatchers were flying around a dead Ash tree, along with Red Kite. Id like to thank everybody who came who made this field trip probably the best for the season...so far! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Just a great poser.......
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Totally tame with so many admirers!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Looking for a good spot to lay an egg on a Blackthorn twig
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 Aug 2017

Old Winchester Hill. Day off work so decided to visit OWH to see if I could find the Clouded Yellows that were reported from the bottom of the car park slope. This is one butterfly I have not yet managed to photograph so I was hoping to change that.

On the way to the slope we saw 2 Speckled Woods and I got a lovely underside shot. Wandering down the slope we could see the numbers of Chalk Hill Blue were still good. Although tatty now in most cases the hill was shimmering with them and abundant Meadow Browns. As we neared the bottom of the slope the numbers got better and better. There were a few Small Heaths, Common Blues and right down the bottom, good numbers of Adonis Blues. We also found a couple of Spotted Skippers on the way down and a couple more at the bottom. A solitary Small Copper appeared but Dave only managed a quick blurred shot before it disappeared again. This is one butterfly I am worried about. This is the only one weíve seen this year, where have they all gone? Plenty of Brimstones were also here and some worn Gatekeepers. In the small field at the very bottom we found 3 Clouded Yellows flying around and watched to see which flowers they stopped at. I then staked out a Ragwort and waited for them to come to me. This finally paid off and I managed to get a couple of acceptable shots. Another one off the list! The male Adonis Blues were more obliging and I got a couple of lovely shots.

On the way back up another Silver Spotted Skipper this time a female, posed for a nice pic. It was a lovely hot day and a very productive 2 and a half hours, from 12.15 Ė 2.45. The hill was alive with butterflies and the best Iíve seen it for a while. So all in all we saw, on the car park slope, (numbers only where we had an accurate count)2 Speckled Woods, 6 Spotted Skippers, 3 Clouded Yellows, 2 Peacocks, 3 Tortoiseshells, 5 Small Heaths, countless Meadow Browns, Chalkhill Blues, good number of Adonis Blues, a few Common Blues, several Brimstones, Large Whites, Small Whites, Gatekeepers and a Small Copper. Also a quick glimpse of a possible fritillary seen by Dave. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Speckled Wood
Photo © Tracy Piper
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Tracy Piper
Stunning Adonis Blue
Photo © Tracy Piper

Old Winchester Hill....cont.. ...some more photos [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Sliver Spotted Skipper male
Photo © Tracy Piper
Silver Spotted Skipper female
Photo © Tracy Piper
Meadow Brown laying eggs
Photo © Tracy Piper

24 Aug 2017

Old Winchester Hill - Blue, Yellow and Silver. Today I paid a return visit to Old Winchester Hill (SU6420) in much sunnier conditions, following my disappointment in not finding any Adonis Blue a few days earlier. The temperature was 21 degrees. Numbers of butterflies were much higher with a total of 13 different species recorded. I continued my usual walk to the hill fort and round, down the steps to the bottom of the woods then along the bottom of the car park slope before ascending the slope. Around the hill fort several Chalk Hill Blues were seen, with Meadow Browns in good numbers. On emerging from the woods, walking the path towards the bottom of the car park slope, I saw a few Clouded Yellows. One of which landed on the chalk path directly in front of me allowing a photograph. Along here I saw my only Silver Spotted Skipper. A little further from my close encounter with the Clouded Yellow, I saw the Adonis Blues. A total of 9 males were seen, with one or two landing on or near the path for photo opportunities. A very good day for me, having now seen all the usual species which I expected to see during the course of the year. Although I still have not seen a White-letter Hairstreak despite my searches around Lakeside, Cosham earlier in the summer.

Totals: Brimstone 6M, Large White 2, Small White 3, Clouded Yellow 3, Adonis Blue 9M, Chalk Hill Blue 22M 1F, Common Blue 15M, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 70, Small Heath 9, Speckled Wood 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Silver-spotted Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Noar Hill NNR. Another very over cast day and the temperature wasn't particularly good for observing my quarry the Brown Hairstreak. I was there up to three hours without a sniff, and happened to sit down on an ant hill eating my lunch in an area renowned for females laying their eggs. I had just espied a butterfly on a bush about Gatekeeper size but I hadn't seen any Gatekeepers today, so I investigated and sure enough it was a lovely female Brown Hairstreak, which flew right by where I was sitting. The weather was improving somewhat and she was warming herself up, and started opening her wings. She remained quite motionless other than opening her wings and then closing them again when the sun went in. She had obviously got enough warmth to fly off after about 10 minutes to start to egg-lay on waist and knee high Blackthorn. She was only egg-laying when the sun came out, and then when it went in again which was quite often, being so overcast, she just rested up. She then flew off after she had layed a few eggs to look for other areas which were suitable. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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No sun out just perched
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Sun shone for a bit then went in but wings came open
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Sun out for a prolonged period, when she flew off to egg-lay
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Aug 2017

Sinah and Stoke Commons, Hayling Island. Today I visited two of my local sites where I live on Hayling Island. First to Sinah Common (SZ6999) where the only butterflies seen were Whites. A total of 12 Large Whites and 9 Small Whites were recorded.

Further North at Stoke Common (SU716032) again Whites were the main species flying with 4 Large Whites and 5 Small Whites recorded along with a second generation Holly Blue. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

22 Aug 2017

Old Winchester Hill. Today in cloudy conditions I visited Old Winchester Hill (SU6420). The temperature was 19 degrees, but with sunny spells conditions were not ideal to spot Adonis Blues. After completing a full circuit of the hill fort and along the bottom of the car park slope I could find no Adonis Blues or Silver-spotted Skippers. Many Meadow Browns and Chalk Hill Blues were flying with other common species.

Totals: Brimstone 1F, Large White 3, Small White 2, Chalk Hill Blue 24M 2F, Common Blue 2M 1F, Gatekeeper 3, Meadow Brown 65, Small Heath 2, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill Delivers Again. We dropped in to Old Winchester Hill on the way back from a rather disappointing couple of transects at Magdalen Hill Down, where the sun failed to come out. We were well rewarded for our efforts on the steep slopes. A couple of immaculate Adonis Blue and a few Silver-spotted Skipper were dancing among the Autumn Gentian and Autumn Lady's-tresses. There were also some remaining Chalk Hill Blue in excellent shape, both in appearance and sexual vigour. Two or three Clouded Yellow were tearing around the valley like kids on BMX bikes, whilst two Small Tortoiseshell stretched out in the last of the evening sun. [Posted by Michael Berry]

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