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.

02 Apr 2020

Spring has officially started in Winchester. Spring has officially started with my first Orange-tip of the year. Seen today on a lunchtime stroll alongside the River Itchen in Winchester. [Posted by Lee Hurrell]

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Orange-tip, male, Winchester, Hampshire, 2nd April 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell

Milton Lock Nature Reserve. Today was a far better day with very little wind and the specie count went up as a result. Constant mowing of the grass area on the Milton Allotment area has cut down a lot of the Nettles, but today there was several Small Tortoiseshells seen, two were battling it out and ascending into the heavens and then back down again on territory. The Small White was also seen in better numbers, and at the Milton Nature Reserve, The two resident Commas were still squabbling over territory. Iíve been over this site so often now my resident Kestrel says good morning to me before he embarks on his hunt. There are two but I suspect the female maybe sitting on eggs. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell better numbers today
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Peacock looking at Nettles to lay eggs
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Good Morning ...
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

26 Mar 2020

Holly Blue in Hedge End. Plenty of Brimstones and Peacocks about in Hedge End today. Star of the day a bright new Holly Blue. No photos Iím afraid. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

25 Mar 2020

Magdalen Hill Down. A quick tour of MHD as my daily exercise yielded one Comma, at least ten Peacock and a Small White. Other items of interest were a Willow Warbler, some Dark-edged Bee-flies and a Spotted Bee-fly. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Photo © Dave Pearson

First Holly Blue in our Chandlers Ford garden. After our mint Peacock and Brimstone yesterday, I spotted and managed to photograph our first Holly Blue. A very shiny bright male, which must have hatched today. We have a lot of ivy covered trees and half the bungalow! Also male Brimstone, Small White and a glimpse of what looked like a Comma passing through the front garden. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Freshly hatched male Holly Blue
Photo © Tracy Piper

24 Mar 2020

Peacock in our Chandlers Ford garden. The beautiful weather has brought out the butterflies and this near mint Peacock spent quite a while flying around our lower lawn. Not only was it sunning itself but it appeared to be drinking from the still damp mud beneath the grass. We also had a male Brimstone flying up and down the length of our garden. This is the first butterfly Iíve managed to photograph this year, hopefully the first of many. Back on the 21st we had a Red Admiral flying round near our pond. We have also found a White Tailed Bumblebee nest under partly collapsed tree trunk. Fascinating watching them busily flying out and coming back laden with pollen.

The Garlic Mustard and Cuckoo Flower that I planted last year is growing well so should attract any passing Orange-tips and Green-veined Whites. The nettle bed and wild flowers are also starting to show so hopefully during these difficult times the butterflies will come to us even if we canít go out and look for them. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Near mint Peacock
Photo © Tracy Piper
Drinking from the mud
Photo © Tracy Piper

Peacocks on Portsdown. There were at least 5 Peacock butterflies in Compartment 9 (below Ft Widley) this afternoon on Portsdown. Also a bee fly that did not hank around to be specifically identified. [Posted by John Goodspeed]

Holly Blue, Small White . Cromarty Rd pond Field. On a short walk along the eastern edge of the Cromarty Rd Pond field,Lordshill. I could see 7 Peacocks, 3 male Brimstones, 1 Holly Blue,1 Comma and 1 Small White on a Dandelion flower. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

23 Mar 2020

early sighting N Baddesley.. first Small Tortoiseshell of the year seen here on my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley today.also very early Speckled Wood (just over 3 weeks earlier than last year).seen during 30 minute walk 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Small Tortoiseshell 6 Comma 1 Brimstone 1 Red Admiral 8 Peacock . [Posted by Kevin ross]

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Photo © Kevin rosserror
Photo © Kevin ross

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Much cooler today generally from 1145-1330 with a temperature range of 8.5-11 deg C but the ESE wind was very keen. The Brimstone was conspicuous by its absence and no whites either today. However, the solitary Small Tortoiseshell returned as did a somewhat damaged and jumpy Red Admiral. (I'm not sure how long we will be free to roam the urban green spaces but will make the most of every opportunity that the better weather provides). Totals: Peacock: (5); Comma (10); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Camouflage Comma! See it?
Photo © Francis Plowman
Damaged Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

22 Mar 2020

Havant Thicket. On another sunny Spring day I visited Havant Thicket where the temperature was 10 degrees. A cold wind kept numbers low with 3 male Brimstones and a single Red Admiral recorded. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Five varieties also recorded today although missing from yesterday's sightings were Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. Instead, my first records for Orange-tip (male) - seen on the wing - and Small White (male). So that's a reassuring total of seven for this area so far this year. So, with a cooler breeze than 21st March, a walk from noon until 1.30 pm realised: Brimstone (M)(3); Comma (10); Orange-tip (M)(1); Peacock (8); Small White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Woodmancott Down. At least 5 Brimstone butterflies fluttering along the woodland edge in bright sunshine. 2 Peacock butterflies basking on the grassy verge. A single Comma butterfly on a patch of sunlit primroses. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

21 Mar 2020

Peacock on hyacinth in Chandlers Ford. Although largely confined to home, there are still opportunities to see butterflies. Despite a chilly wind, recent days have given good sunshine, and yesterday we had both Peacock and Brimstone in our sheltered back garden. I was particularly interested to see the Peacock spending quite a bit of time nectaring at one of our white hyacinths. I didn't realise it was so popular, but having observed Brimstones on bluebell in previous years it shouldn't really have been a surprise. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Peacock on Hyacinth
Photo © Andy Barker

Peacocks aplenty, Great Fontley. Peacocks (6) and solitary Brimstone at Great Fontley, despite the strong, cool, breeze. 'Bowles Mauve' wallflower planted only days ago appealed to one. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Peacock on Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'
Photo © Andrew Brookes

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. At 12 degrees in full sunshine this morning (1130-1300) the butterflies were well represented in sheltered corners well away from the cool and strong north-easterly. Four species five days ago and today five with the late appearance of a solitary Red Admiral. Things are certainly looking up with the prospect of more sunshine to come this weekend; we all need something to cheer about at this worrying time. Totals: Peacock (7); Comma (12); Brimstone (M)(3); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Red Admiral (1).

KEEP SAFE EVERYONE! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock warming on an old bottle ejected from a badger sett!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral on Blackthorn blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma enjoying Blackthorn too!
Photo © Francis Plowman

16 Mar 2020

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket in the bright Spring sunshine, the temperature reached 11.5 degrees. Walking several of the larger tracks I recorded a total of 20 male Brimstones and 3 Red Admirals. A great start to the season. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Brimstones at Wootton Coppice. Two Brimstones at Wootton Coppice today in fine sunshine. [Posted by tony blakeley]

first sightings in N Baddesley. Seen today during half hour walk on my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley = 1 Comma,6 Peacock,1 adder,4 lizards,1 slow worm. [Posted by Kevin ross]

Brimstones at Acres Down. Two Brimstones today in midday sunshine at Acres Down, New Forest, and another reported to be nearby. [Posted by Ashley Ailes]

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Brimstone at Acres Down, 16/3/20
Photo © Ashley Ailes

What a little sunlight can do.. Great Fontley. 3 male Brimstone playing chase at Great Fontley by 1100 today; several Peacocks and a Comma also seen in the sunshine. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Finally, nature's Spring alarm clock has gone off and been heard! Between 1145-1310 with the temperature range 13-15 degrees Celsius with full sunshine and light airs, four species answered the call. I have to go back to 19 Oct 19 to find a count of four species here at Monks Walk. Of note this morning was my first sighting of Comma and Small Tortoiseshell the latter surprisingly 8 days earlier than 2019! What a difference a warm sunny morning makes. Brimstone (M)(4); Comma (8); Peacock (5); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman

13 Mar 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. One male Brimstone and one Peacock on the wing only today. The Brimstone eventually settled, sadly beyond lens range! Some sunshine at noon but the wind still too strong and harsh generally. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Brimstones at Fishlake Meadows. I saw two male Brimstones along the canal path at Fishlake Meadows today - moving too fast for photos. [Posted by Sue Lambert]

12 Mar 2020

Havant Thicket, My First Butterfly Sighting 2020. Today in the sunshine I visited Havant Thicket (SU716103) where I walked the main perimeter path. The temperature was a mild 13 degrees, where at 13:30 I spotted a male Brimstone in flight which then landed. I managed to cross a small ditch to get a photo of this my first sighting of the year. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

11 Mar 2020

First spring Comma for me at Cromarty Rd pond field. Saw my first spring Comma, flitting around and eventually stopping to sun on a bare Blackthorn branch. Also a male Brimstone. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

First Brimstone in Fareham. At last some sunshine and a bright yellow Brimstone spotted from the car by Fareham college. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

09 Mar 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. 1145-1240 I 'wellied' around the quagmire that once was Monks Walk to find one Brimstone (male) on the wing and one Peacock that was trying to warm-up but quickly folded wings on my approach. Temperature around 10 celsius with a cool westerly breeze and clouds. Brimstone (1)(M); Peacock (1). If only the sun would stay out! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock sheltering in low ivy
Photo © Francis Plowman

07 Mar 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The 'missing' Brimstone photograph from yesterday. [I have belatedly discovered that using just the central photo box on the Submit News page for a solitary butterfly will not occasion upload! Placing a single photo in the first box will work and the software then centralises the view. Dull or what?!] [Webmaster's comment: The online instructions have now been changed to make the procedure for uploading photos much clearer]. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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1st Brimstone at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

06 Mar 2020

Glanvilles on the landslip.. Sunshine and light winds brought out the Glanville Fritillary larvae today on the slopes of our Isle of Wight cliffs.Each one no more than one centimtre long, they moved around on top of their webs and close by. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. One Peacock recorded on the wing this afternoon at 9.5 degrees in sunshine with light winds. Three for the year here! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

03 Mar 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A trifle warmer at 11 degrees at noon but the wind still cool so just an hour's canter around the woods and mostly waterlogged fields and pathways. I soon put up the only butterfly seen - a fresh male Brimstone. It flew in ever widening circles but eventually settled allowing an approach. So butterfly No 2 of the UK/Hampshire year. Noted during my wander: a Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker; countless grey squirrels; one fox; a pair of deer (never seen a pair together here before); bunches of celandine and periwinkle - all we need now is butterflies! (Had some photographs but the website still refuses to upload them). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

01 Mar 2020

Another IOW garden Peacock Butterfly. What looked like a Peacock butterfly seen in my garden today at Freshwater.Sunny weather but a cold wind. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

08 Feb 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. With the temperature at 11 degrees Celsius, an hour's walk discovered one Red Admiral in really good condition basking in the sunshine within a sheltered glade at 12:30. The SW wind was very cool and nothing doing in exposed places. So at least two Red Admiral have over-wintered successfully at Monks Walk. (Photo provided but not uploaded). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Isle of Wight Peacock Butterfly Sighting. A Peacock butterfly seen in my garden at Freshwater.Flying around actively in the sunshine braving a cold brisk wind. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

05 Feb 2020

Red Admiral in Winchester. A Red Admiral seen flying in gardens on the sunny side of Vernham Road, Weeke around 1pm when the temperature was about 9degC. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

01 Feb 2020

Red Admiral at Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. First sighting of a Red Admiral at Monks Walk some 13 days earlier than 2019. At 1145 this morning with the temperature at 11 degrees Celsius but in a very very cool wind. (Photo provided but will not upload). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

29 Jan 2020

Active Admiral at Axmansford.. A Red Admiral seen on snowdrops in the garden, in late morning sunshine. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

21 Jan 2020

Brimstone at Compton Down. A female Brimstone was flying around the back of the gardens where Oliver's Battery meets Compton Down at lunchtime today. Temperature no more than 5 degrees. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

19 Jan 2020

Peacock at Titchfield Haven. While walking along a frosty Titchfield Canal Path in glorious sunshine but with the air temperature around 6 degrees I was surprised to be passed by a Peacock butterfly! [Posted by Chris Rose]

11 Jan 2020

The first butterfly this year in Overton Parish.. Belated news from Southington, a Small Tortoiseshell seen sun-bathing on roadside Privet on 10th (per Alison Hutchins). [Posted by Peter E. Hutchins]

07 Jan 2020

The first local sighting this year?. Good afternoon and a Happy New Year to you all.

I've just received a mailing reporting the first local, Borough of Basingstoke, butterfly sighting this year - a Peacock in a Meadow Road front garden late this morning (per Doug. Kelson). [Posted by Peter E. Hutchins]

First of 2020 on Portsdown Hill. On a ridiculously mild morning I came across this lovely Red Admiral appreciating the warm sunshine by basking on a telegraph pole on Portsdown hill. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Mark Tutton

09 Dec 2019

Leigh Park my garden. One Red Admiral flying around my front garden early afternoon enjoying the sunshine. [Posted by Barry Collins]

08 Dec 2019

Winnall Moors reserve. Red Admiral and a Peacock butterfly - flying up from grass into ivy-clad tree in bright sunshine, mid-morning. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

16 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. An hour's slither around soggy Monks Walk this morning (1140-1240, 8 degrees C, sunny with cool breeze) confirmed three Red Admiral butterflies still continuing to feed on ivy bushes. All three have distinctive damage which may be useful next Spring to identify winter survivors! Red Admiral (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral with symmetrical wing damage - birdstrike?
Photo © Francis Plowman
Basking on Ivy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Teal
Photo © Francis Plowman

13 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. At 10 degrees and less windy than yesterday my 80 minutes' wander from 1115 this morning made the most of the sunshine. Only Red Admiral seen today and all were interested in either sunning themselves or feeding on ivy floret. Two foxes noted, a pair of swans, numerous sea birds bobbing on the very high tide and one colourful Jay. Sadly the Small White did not put in an appearance. Total: Red Admiral (5). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Feeding detail
Photo © Francis Plowman
Foreshore at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

12 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. As I look out now on low grey clouds through rain-lashed windows (at 3 pm) I find it hard to imagine that earlier today I had been photographing butterflies. But I had. From 1120-1300 under clear blue skies and oblique sunshine (9-11 degrees Celsius) but strong and cool SW wind, I discovered four Red Admiral and, wait for it, one (surviving) Small White, male! In fact it was where I left it yesterday right on the edge of the harbour flitting around low stinging nettles and feeding off their flower. As with at least one Red Admiral it was in excellent and undamaged condition. To see butterflies in the vicinity of Brent Geese bobbing on the high tide is surreal. Total today then: Red Admiral (4); Small White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral feeds on ivy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral in great condition
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

11 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Having recently had our first frost and endured yet more rain since my last wander on the 5th November, I was hesitant about going out again. However, the skies were blue and the sunshine warming at 9.5 degrees so what the heck! From 1115-1230 I stood out more in hope than confidence. But the butterflies in this neck of Hampshire's woods don't know when to quit. Six Red Admiral (at least) were counted mostly still clustered around ivy bushes and nettles in sheltered areas away from the strong and cool SW wind. The biggest surprise was seeing Small White. It was first seen on the wing flying out to sea but obligingly responded to my (not so quiet) invitation to return and it did, initially settling well out on the tidal plants. Off I went. It soon tired of my intrusion and flew onto the shore. Here it found nettle flowers to its taste and flittered happily between them. This was no end of season rag-bag rather a really fresh male which along with the admirals made my day. To cap it all I came across a patient Little Egret sat in a tree! Red Admiral (6); Small White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White (male) on tidal plants
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral feeding high
Photo © Francis Plowman
Little Egret in a shoreline tree
Photo © Francis Plowman

05 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. How lovely still to see and be able to photograph butterflies on Bonfire Day! Although noticeably cooler at 12.5 degrees Celsius and with the breeze from the north, an hour's somewhat squidgy wander from 1 p.m. under milky sunshine realised sightings of just two species. With the sun's oblique rays providing warmth at just the top branches of the ivy bushes the butterflies commensurately were found today much higher up. Red Admiral (5); Comma (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral in good condition (one antenna lost)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Tatty Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

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Apr 2020, Mar 2020, Feb 2020, Jan 2020, Dec 2019, Nov 2019, Oct 2019, Sep 2019, Aug 2019, Jul 2019, Jun 2019, May 2019, Apr 2019, 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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