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.

25 Mar 2019

Alver Valley Country Park, Gosport. A wander around Browndown (North) section of the AVCP between 1115-1230 with the temperature around 13 deg C under blue skies produced 4 species. Small Tortoiseshell (1); Brimstone (M) (5); Comma (1); Peacock (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone feeding
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock basking
Photo © Francis Plowman

24 Mar 2019

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket (SU7110), where in the sunshine the late morning temperature reached 14 degrees. I spent around 2 hours walking a circular route using the main perimeter tracks where over 30 Brimstones were flying but not landing. A few Commas and a single Peacock added some variety. Totals: Brimstone 31M 1F, Comma 4, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Brimstones Galore around Southwick!. Brimstone were very evident around Southwick today. I saw at least 30 males and a couple of Females. I also saw good numbers of Peacock and Comma as well as a couple of males each of Small White and Orange-tip. The later two species proving very difficult to pin down. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul HarfieldOne of many Brimstones seen today around Southwick
Photo © Paul Harfield
This first Orange Tip of the year led me a merry dance today. It settled just once in this most unphotogenic pose
Photo © Paul Harfield

23 Mar 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The local area doubled the butterfly count of Browndown with eight species obliging me today between 1300-1500. The temperature had reached 14 deg C but the NW breeze was cool. However, the butterflies preferred the shelter of sunny glades and here the warmth obviously awakened more. Red Admiral (4); Peacock (12); Comma (6); Small White (M)(1); Speckled Wood (1); Brimstone (M)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (3); Green-veined White (1). The latter was somewhat dilapidated. I enjoyed an exciting display of Peacocks when at least 5 were tumbling and chasing (probably) a female. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White, male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Tatty Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock ballet
Photo © Francis Plowman

7 Up! Monks Walk, Gosport. What a difference sunshine makes to the countryside! At last clear blue skies, a light cool breeze but with full sunshine between 1134-1325. The temperature at 13 degrees was the same as yesterday's under leaden skies but seven species were discovered today! Brimstone (M)(3) and (F)(1) - my first sighting of female Brimstone this Spring; Comma (5); Peacock (8); Small White (1); Red Admiral (1); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Speckled Wood (2). Things are definitely looking up here. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Fresh Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on Blackthorn blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A 'punctuation' of Comma butterflies! Three Comma were flying - often in close formation - during my wander around Monks Walk 1300-1400 today. With overcast, donkey-grey skies (as with most of the week) but without the fresh wind and perhaps with an occasional brightness of thin sunshine. This raised the temperature sufficiently to around 13 degrees C which in turn coaxed three species to appear; 1 Brimstone (M) - still on the wing; 1 Peacock and 3 Comma. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma no tails!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma one tail!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma with a pair of tails!
Photo © Francis Plowman

Milton Lock. My first butterflies for March which is normally a good month however last year we had the beast from the East, this year we’ve had severe Gales for the last week or so.

Milton Lock was adorned with Hawthorn trees out in blossom which was attracting many Honey Bees and one Peacock. Another Peacock was seen on the ground, sunning itself. Not much else except for a Small White feeding off of Daisies growing in grass. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Honey Bee
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Mar 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The past three days has seen only Brimstone, Peacock and Red Admiral during my lunchtime saunters. The strong and cool breezes coupled with overcast and some rain has kept numbers down. Until today, all butterflies were either on the wing or very fidgety. Today's fleeting appearance by Peacock (1) and Red Admiral (1) at least allowed one attempt at photography. Better luck later this week when the forecast appears more optimistic. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis Plowman

09 Mar 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. After the recent heavy rainfall and strong winds I was pleasantly surprised to record three species between 1145-1310 today. My first sightings for March. The temperature was 14 deg C with a strong and cool westerly wind sweeping through the grasses and hedgerows. Nevertheless, in more protected areas and hunkered well down among the nettles and undergrowth were two Red Admirals and one Comma. A further Comma was seen on the wing as was two male Brimstone butterflies. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Damaged Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral in nice condition
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma in the sunshine
Photo © Francis Plowman

27 Feb 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Probably the last day of warm and bright weather for a while so a two-hour bimble around the fields, woods, shoreline and hedgerows that make up this area. From 1140-1340 with the temperature around 16 deg C the butterflies waited until afternoon before showing up! Comma (6); Brimstone (M) 2; Peacock (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Proud Peacock!
Photo © Francis Plowman

26 Feb 2019

Painted Lady at Pennington. A very early Painted Lady seen today in the lane behind the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve close to Pennington.

A couple of Red Admirals around the reserve and two or three Peacocks close to the south end of Iley Lane, Keyhaven. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Painted Lady
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Four species today! The numbers seemingly rise with the ambient temperature which from 1240-1400 was 16-17 deg C and very pleasant under clear skies and full sun but with a fresh SE breeze coming off the harbour. Comma (4); Peacock (3); Brimstone (M)(1); Red Admiral (1). It was good to see a Red Admiral on the wing again. Fewer male Brimstone butterflies than previously - probably no females to be found in what is a reasonably small area. I have yet to see a female Brimstone here this year. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

25 Feb 2019

Portsdown Hill. Today I visited the Eastern end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063) where along the main path above Queen Alexandra Hospital 5 male Brimstones were recorded.

At Fort Widley (SU657066) a single male Brimstone and a Red Admiral, while at Fort Southwick (SU680063) in passing, I observed 3 male Brimstones in flight. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Havant Thicket. We had a 3 hour walk around Havant Thicket this afternoon from 1230-1530 and recorded the following species, Brimstone 17M 3F,Peacock,Comma 1. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

3-Up! Monks Walk, Gosport. Maintaining my regular search of Monks Walk today between 1130-1300 it was a delight to record 3 species. Under clear blue skies with temperature rising from the initial 15 deg C to nearer 17 by 1 pm I recorded: Brimstone (males) 4; Peacock (2) and the first emergence of Comma (1). The latter butterfly was flitting around the grasses flying away but always returning quickly to the same place. My first Comma sighting for 2019 comes no less than 29 days earlier than my first sighting here in 2018. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman

East and West Meon. On possibly the warmest day in the winter so far I visited some areas near to East and West Meon mainly for other wildlife like the Red Kite for instance. However in the Hedgerows I saw at least a dozen Brimstones, and at East Meon Church in the Graveyard I saw a Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and a Peacock. on the roadside more Brimstones, other Commas and Peacock.I was happy as I photographed a Red Kite on the wing where there were at least 15-20 flying around on the thermals behind the church. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

24 Feb 2019

Havant Thicket. Today in the warm sunshine I walked the main outer perimeter track in Havant Thicket (SU7110) where the temperature was 14 degrees. Many male Brimstones were seen - 10 on the long straight path heading North known as The Avenue; 5 on the most Northerly path and 2 on the path which runs parallel with the B2149. Totals: Brimstone 17M, Comma 1 and Red Admiral 1.

Walking back where my car was parked in Castle Road, Rowlands Castle (SU722106) I recorded a further 2 male Brimstones flying along the hedgerow. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Butterflies in a Clanfield garden. In my Clanfield garden today were a Red Admiral, a Brimstone and a Comma. [Posted by Michael Berry]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Peacock and Brimstone (male) were active this morning on my walk from 1140-1300 under blue skies and warm sunshine circa 13.5 deg C. At least 4 possibly 5 Brimstone and 2 Peacock were recorded. The latter emerged today in a popular and reliable patch of dried bracken with nearby bushes of thick ivy. Both seemed in remarkably sound condition and it was a pleasure to record their emergence here 26 days earlier than my first sighting in 2017. There was no sign of the previously noted Red Admirals. Possibly their chasing Blue-Tits was ill-advised? [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone hiding in brambles
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock feeding on a daisy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock sunbathing!
Photo © Francis Plowman

23 Feb 2019

Winchester St Catherine's Hill & River Path. On a walk around the lower meadows and riverside path towards the Hockley viaduct, 4 Brimstone males were seen between 1140-1300 with the temperature around 15-16 deg C. None stopped for the camera! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Brimstone in Winchester. A male Brimstone seen at lunchtime today in our garden in Weeke, Winchester when temperature was around 12deg. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

Very lucky escape in North Baddesley!!. First lizard of the year seen on my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley today very close to a Brimstone. I have seen lizards try to catch butterflies so very lucky escape. Brimstone seen here 14 times today. First slow worm of the year seen here today also. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

21 Feb 2019

Peacock at Hayling Island. just seen a Peacock in my garden Hayling Island Feb 21 got camera out but too late to capture it. Saw bumble bees last week. [Posted by tony lock]

20 Feb 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I was able to find and photograph this morning probably the second of yesterday's two Red Admiral's. Compared to No 1 this one has suffered some serious wing damage but it was very alert and agile. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis Plowman

19 Feb 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Two Red Admiral butterflies seen tumbling and cavorting together around 1145 during sunny periods circa 10.5 deg C with the southerly breeze off The Solent being fresh. Eventually one butterfly landed on the grass in front of me before electing to chase after a Blue Tit! It then descended from its fun and games and settled on a nearby bush only to shoot-off a second time in pursuit of another Blue Tit. Quite alarming behaviour given the number of birds in the vicinity of the two Red Admirals. However, at last a chance to take a photograph. (Butterfly shown is only one of the two recorded this morning). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis Plowman

17 Feb 2019

Gosport - 2 Up!. Red Admiral on the house window at 0900 in early morning sunshine then at Monks Walk at 1115 circa 14 deg C a male Brimstone on the wing. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Brimstone at Bentley Station Meadow. No photo, I'm afraid, but there was a really bright male Brimstone flitting about in the sunshine today at Bentley Station Meadow. [Posted by Steve Easter]

15 Feb 2019

My First 2019 Sightings on Portsdown Hill and in Havant Thicket. Today with so much sunshine I visited Portsdown Hill (East)(SU657063), where in the early afternoon flying along the main path overlooking Queen Alexandra Hospital, was a single male Brimstone, my first sighting of 2019.

Later in the afternoon, I walked the outer main track of Havant Thicket (SU713112), where I recorded a single Red Admiral which landed on the path for me to obtain a photo. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

First sightings for the year in the Itchen Valley. I also saw my first Brimstone in Winchester this morning and a fresh Comma on Itchen Stoke Down this afternoon. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

Brimstone in Winchester. Saw my first Brimstone of the year in our garden in Winchester at lunchtime today when it was 10degC. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

Buddleja bounty in Cosham. One male Brimstone, and 2 Red Admirals seen in Theo Roberts' Cosham, Portsmouth, garden this morning, the Admirals (and many bees) freely imbibing from the pale mauve honey-scented flowers of Buddleja officinalis, a rare and only semi-hardy species from western China. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Brimstone in Holybourne. A single Brimstone seen on south facing bushes in fields from Church Lane [Posted by Chris Rose]

14 Feb 2019

Male brimstone in Portsdown. One flew through Portsdown gardens in the sun this morning. [Posted by John Goodspeed]

first sightings in North Baddesley. At long last first butterfly of the year (male Brimstone) on my butterfly reserve at North Baddesley. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

Brimstone at North Baddesley. Driving along Castle Lane, North Baddesley had my first butterfly - a male Brimstone flying strongly along the verge. [Posted by Sue Lambert]

Brimstone activity in Axmansford. A male Brimstone seen flying through the Axmansford garden at lunchtime today, then another later on crossing the Baughurst road. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

13 Feb 2019

Monks Wood, Elson, Gosport. At long last my first sighting on my 'home' patch for 2019. Around 1130 at about 11 C in sunshine I disturbed a Red Admiral which flew off. It can only get better but a start nonetheless. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

10 Feb 2019

Transect 25-year trends. The latest 25-year transect trend graphs, including 2018 data for Hampshire and Isle of Wight butterflies, are now available. To see these just click on the "Transect" tab of this web site, then the "25 year trends" sub-tab. Also available is a tabulated 2018 summary comparing 2018 transect performance with 2017. This can be found by clicking on the "Annual Trend Tables" sub-tab. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Andy Barker

09 Feb 2019

First butterfly of the year for me today in East Meon. Male Brimstone in a sheltered spot at East Meon today. Took me by surprise. First butterfly I've spotted while out wearing thick gloves and fleece lined trousers!! [Posted by John Bogle]

03 Feb 2019

Success, north of Portsdown Hill. After yesterday’s failure I turned my attention to a site on the north of Portsdown Hill where I had spotted some decent Blackthorn whilst walking the dog - I spent an hour searching and eventually located a single egg on some suckering shoots.

I will return to search some more likely areas in the vicinity [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Portsdown Hill. After Angus’ fruitful search for Brown Hairstreak eggs at Southwick I thought I would take the challenge and have a look on Portsdown Hill where a female was seen last year. I spent 90mins searching the area above the hospital where there are some excellent stands of Blackthorn - but no joy this time. The area has just had some necessary scrub cutting but looks good if they are there. I have also earmarked some other areas in the vicinity which I will check before the buds burst. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

02 Feb 2019

Another Brown Hairstreak egg site - Creech Woods. Following up the sighting of a female Brown Hairstreak (reported by Caroline Bainbridge on these pages) in a garden in Denmead on 3 September 2018, I had a look around Creech Woods on Saturday morning (2.2.19) to see if I could find any eggs. I followed the lane and then footpath that runs roughly along the south western boundary of the woods. The hedges have been typically heavily flailed, but I found 6 Brown Hairstreak eggs (2 pairs and 2 singles) in a short stretch of hedgerow at the start of the footpath at the far southwestern corner of the wood, where there is some suckering blackthorn that has been spared the most severe cutting. I also found a single egg further south, where some suckering growth had been slightly protected from the flail by the ditch (SU635108). These egg finds, and the adult sighting from last year, suggest that there may be a Brown Hairstreak colony centred on Creech Woods - worth a look for adults next summer. The population could be hugely boosted by some more sympathetic hedgerow management. [Posted by Angus McCullough]

29 Jan 2019

New Brown Hairstreak egg site, nr Southwick. Having found good numbers of Brown Hairstreak eggs to the north and south of Soberton this winter (including on Ashley Whitlock's team egg hunt on 20.1.19 reported below), today I explored a few kms to the south of Soberton, just north of Southwick. An adult female had been reported as having been seen here in 2010. Last year the hedgerow had been heavily flailed and I found nothing. This winter it had been flailed again, but a bit less savagely along one stretch in which I found a total of 15 eggs in about 15 metres of suckering blackthorn along the main hedge, not searching very thoroughly. [Photos with phone, so apologies for poor quality] Given the sightings of adults last summer in this area (Denmead and Portsdown Hill), I am sure that further egg searches would be fruitful in suitable blackthorn in SE Hants - and maybe further afield? [Posted by Angus McCullough]

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A lucky pair of eggs that dodged the flail (sorry - blurry snap, rotated 90 degrees)
Photo © Angus McCullough
Egg - typical site on sucker
Photo © Angus McCullough

20 Jan 2019

Brown Hairstreak Egg hunt in Soberton. Today was a great success with 10 of us searching for the elusive egg of the Brown Hairstreak. We managed to find upwards of about thirty odd eggs adding to the total of about a hundred which had already been counted in a local area. There are certain areas where the female Brown Hairstreak favours, typically south facing Blackthorn hedges with young shoots. We discovered it on a new site on a nature reserve in the Meon Valley right by the River Meon close to the old railway line. This was probably the first time they have ever been recorded here.I'd like to thank our host Angus and all that came and enjoyed a day in the winter sunshine. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Brown Hairstreak egg on Blackthorn twig
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Searching Blackthorn thickets
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Part of the Meon Valley and the River Meon
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Red Admiral basking at Netley Abbey. A sunny but cold winter's day produced our first butterfly of the year; a Red Admiral at Netley Abbey, near Southampton. It was only 5oC in the shade, but there was no wind and it was pleasantly warm in the sunshine. I noticed a butterfly making brief flight, before settling high up on the stonework of the ruined Abbey wall. I managed a couple of photos with my compact camera at full zoom. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Red Admiral basking
Photo © Andy Barker

14 Jan 2019

Red Admiral at Hardway, Gosport (2). Our resident Red Admiral re-appeared today at 11 am when it was found checking-out our winter pansies in a hanging basket. In full sunshine around 10 deg C sadly it didn't wait for the camera - but this time I did actually see it and the game's afoot! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Red Admiral joins Nordic Walk, QE Country Park. The sun brought out a Red Admiral this morning at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. [Posted by Michael Berry]

11 Jan 2019

Red Admiral at Hardway, Gosport. The first sighting of a 2019 butterfly goes to my wife! At 1440 this afternoon as she was gardening a Red Admiral flew along the conservatory windows and over the wall! The weather was around 7 deg C with dewy sunshine and no breeze. This is 19 days earlier than first sighting last year! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

05 Jan 2019

Red Admiral activity in Axmansford. Likewise to Kevin, a Red Admiral flying during a sunny spell in the garden at Axmansford on New Year's day. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

01 Jan 2019

First butterfly sighting of 2019: Chilworth to Valley Park. A Red Admiral seen on a very mild and sunny New Year's Day, on a woodland path between Chilworth and Valley Park. Happy New Year! [Posted by Kevin FREEBORN]

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Sunbathing Red Admiral
Photo © Kevin FREEBORN

News by Month

Mar 2019, Feb 2019, Jan 2019, Dec 2018, Nov 2018, Oct 2018, Sep 2018, Aug 2018, Jul 2018, Jun 2018, May 2018, Apr 2018, Mar 2018, Feb 2018, Jan 2018, Dec 2017, Nov 2017, Oct 2017, Sep 2017, Aug 2017, Jul 2017, Jun 2017, May 2017, Apr 2017, Mar 2017, Feb 2017, Jan 2017, Dec 2016, Nov 2016, Oct 2016, Sep 2016, Aug 2016, Jul 2016, Jun 2016, May 2016, Apr 2016, Mar 2016, Feb 2016, Jan 2016, Dec 2015, Nov 2015, Oct 2015, Sep 2015, Aug 2015, Jul 2015, Jun 2015, May 2015, Apr 2015, Mar 2015, Feb 2015, Jan 2015, Dec 2014, Nov 2014, Oct 2014, Sep 2014, Aug 2014, Jul 2014, Jun 2014, May 2014, Apr 2014

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