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

News Archive for Jun 2014

30 Jun 2014

Bell's Copse. We had a walk around Bell's Copse this morning, the weather conditions were not ideal but a few sunny spells produced the following species.Purple Emperor 2, White Admiral 3, Small Skipper 10, Silver-washed Fritillary 4, Red Admiral 2, Ringlet 20, Meadow Brown 8. (Barry and Margaret Collins) [Posted by Barry Collins]

Havant Thicket. Today was not a good Purple Emperoring day with very little sunshine, very cool at times and , the chance of seeing one were virtually nil. I have identified many areas at this site now where this illusive 'beast' would frequent. The species seen today were as follows Large Skipper(7)Red Admiral (1) Meadow Brown(100+)Gatekeeper (2) Ringlet (100+) Marbled White (50+)White Admiral (2) Small White (1) Silver-Washed Fritillary (3) Small Heath (3) Small Skipper (16) Brimstone (1) 6 Spot Burnets (12). They seem to be still going ahead with the large reservoir, which is going to be built on huge swathes of meadows where a lot of these species probably breed, and large rides of Sallow will disappear and good areas of Oak as well. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Havant Thicket
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Gatekeeper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

29 Jun 2014

Straits Inclosure and Goose Green Alice Holt Forest. Roy Symonds today reported to me that he visited Straits Inclosure, Alice Holt Forest to look for the Purple Emperor. He saw two in flight, the first occurring in the open clearing to the right about halfway down the main track before the first deer tower; the second was after the first deer tower heading towards the second where the width of the track is narrower. Also on the wing were 26 Silver Washed Fritillary, 14 White Admiral and 3 Marbled White. Numbers of these two species seem to be a lot lower than in previous years, over 100 being the norm for the Silver Washed around four years ago. Other species noted were Small White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Comma, and Large Skipper.

After lunch a visit was made to Goose Green Inclosure where the usual observation area of the Purple Emperor's master tree among the bramble was now overgrown. Sightings were made behind the Sweet Chestnut tree in the company of Ashley Whitlock, where up to 4 male Purple Emperors were seen chasing each other in twos and sometimes threes. Several Meadow Browns and Ringlets were also noted. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Havant Thicket. Had a mid afternoon walk around the thicket and saw the following:

Purple Emperor - Last year I went on a walk with Butterfly Conservation, at the time, the Purple Emperor hadn't been seen at Havant Thicket, but today we got a photo of one!

Other species seen were: White Admiral, Ringlet, Large Skipper, Small White, Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Silver-washed Fritillary, Comma, Red Admiral, Brimstone [Posted by Hannah Hardman]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Purple Emperor
Photo © Hannah Hardman
Large Skipper
Photo © Hannah Hardman
Marbled White
Photo © Hannah Hardman

Purple Alice. Today I've had an excellent day in Alice Holt Forest with the count of Purple Emperors probably exceeding (20) plus. The main bulk of the sightings have been from Abbotts Wood Inclosure with the first male being seen along the main ride from the small car-park at 1035 heading north to south where the small triangle is. At 1040 One male landed on the gravel track right in front of me for a brief moment, feeding on mineral salts. At first all I saw was this large shadow on the ground as he circled above me and my vision was impaired by the sun in the southern sky. One male was seen Oak edging at 1055 going north and then back again. One male was seen in the ride from the main car-park, at 1140 heading south-east, and another oak edging at 1145 at the side of the felled area of the wood.At 1150 it was getting cooler and breezier in the canopy although there were still good sunny spells. (3) more males were seen oak edging and sallow searching as I headed back to my car. I then went to one of the Assembly points in Abbotts Wood and here at 1240 there were at least (3) males seen all chasing each other in a vista amongst a conifer plantation. On the opposite side of the road I observed another (2) giving chase at 1310, these two Assembly points are about a hundred yards from each other. I also saw one over the tops of a large oak at Batts Corner and another two giving chase at Buckshot Hole. I arrived at Goose Green after my other observations at 1400, and it was soon obvious that here there were as many as 4 or 5 males conducting flying operations, three would partake in flying ops and then two would take the reins. I stopped here for 30 odd minutes and the flying was relentless with plenty of chasing spiralling upwards , and then back down on their perches again. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Buckshot Hole
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male returning to perch after chase
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Abbotts Wood Inclosure
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

27 Jun 2014

Dark Green and silver-washed fritillaries. 3 dark green fritillaries at Shalcombe Down IOW yesterday and at least 4 silver-washed fritillaries at Walters Copse. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Silver-washed fritillary
Photo © Ian Pratt
Dark green fritillary
Photo © Ian Pratt
Dark green fritillary
Photo © Ian Pratt

26 Jun 2014

Hawk-moths galore. I had three Hawk-moth species in the actinic trap in my garden here in Anna Valley last night. [Posted by Tim Norriss]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Privet Hawk-moth
Photo © Tim Norriss
Elephant Hawk-moth
Photo © Tim Norriss
Small Elephant Hawk-moth
Photo © Tim Norriss

Dark Greens out in numbers on IOW.. Despite a brisk wind and cloud cover four Dark Green Fritillaries seen on West High Down today all feeding on Giant Thistles. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Highslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

25 Jun 2014

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Encouraged by the good recent numbers of Marbled Whites, my father, Roy Symonds visited Chalton Down (SU736156). Here he recorded 52 Marbled Whites. Other species seen were Meadow Brown (still increasing), Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Small Heath and Large Skipper. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Purple Emperor at Farley Mount. Purple Emperor at Farley Mount (Crab Wood) today [Posted by chris backwell]

Highslide JS
Photo © chris backwell

24 Jun 2014

Portsdown Hill (Fort Widley). Later in the day, my father Roy Symonds visited Portsdown Hill walking the path along the top of Queen Alexandra Hospital then walking behind Fort Widley. A total of 30 Marbled White were seen along with Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Hayling Billy Cycle Path (South). To continue his journey, my father, Roy Symonds today walked from North Hayling Holt car park to the Station Theatre in Station Road, West Town, Hayling Island, following the cycle trail. He returned to his car by bus, therefore double counting did not occur! An impressive total of 53 Marbled Whites were seen and a single Silver Washed Fritillary in a wooded section near the end. Other species seen were Small White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Large Skipper. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Duke Larvae. I've just spent the whole day with Dr Dan Hoare, on the slopes of Butser Hill and Ramsdean Down to find the Larvae of the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary Butterfly. Its been a most fulfilling and rewarding experience, and I recommend it to any body who wants to see the first part of the life-cycle of this fascinating butterfly. We first started off near to the car-Park at Butser Hill, and one of the first Cowslip leaves we looked at which have to have tell tale signs, of looking like they had been shot at by a shot gun. We found a good sized larvae at the base of of one of the leaves, which are really deep in the undergrowth, one to prevent predation and also to protect the leaves are protected from drying out too much. We looked at a lot of leaves with similar markings with out success, meaning the caterpillar may well have been away from the leaf, in the litter,or may well have been predated. Most of the site is quite early, where the females may well have layed their eggs at the end of April, early May. We did find leaves with eggs still attached, and Dan did find several more Larvae on other slopes on Ramsdean Down. I did find a very early in-star caterpillar feeding on a leaf, making a very small hole. We then went on to visit Stephen Castle Down near Bishops Waltham, and here we also found Cowslips being eaten by the caterpillars, which is good news that females seem to be happy with this site, with adequete food plants in the right situ. Other species of note seen on the sites were Dark Green Fritillary, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Marbled White, Small Heath of note. Id like to thank Dan for an excellent Day, and all his excellent work he puts in to help conserve this precious species. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Duke of Burgundy Larva feeding on Cowslip
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy feeding Damage on Cowslip
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy Larva
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Walters Copse Newtown. 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries (first of the year),5 White Admirals, 2 Small Skippers, 5 Ringlets, 2 Commas, 2 Speckled Woods, 7 Meadow Browns. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Alice holt. Spent a few hours at various inclosures around AH and butterfly numbers are building nicely. Quite a few Small Tortoishells, Red admirals, Commas and White Admiral numbers are peaking. Silver-washed Fritillary are now more numerous and I saw four females. Best of all was four Purple Emperors at various locations two of which spent some time on the ground but were very skittish and continually moved on when approached. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Marbled Whites on Portsdown Hill.. Sightings today of 56, and yesterday an amazing 65, during my 45 minute Transect walk on Portchester Common were great, particularly along the top section of the area. This compared with last year when I only recorded 29 Marbled Whites on the 9th July and only 1 in the previous week. [Posted by Chris Cobb]

23 Jun 2014

Hayling Billy Cycle Path (North). My father, Roy Symonds walked the northern end of the Hayling Billy cycle path from the car park at North Hayling Halt to the old railway bridge. Here he saw 5 Marbled Whites along with Small White, Meadow Brown and Small Tortoiseshell. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Doings in Alice. Alice Holt Forest and Straits Inclosure. Visited Straits Inclosure firstly today in perfect weather, plenty of White Admirals about and Silver-Washed Fritillaries, but alas the Purple Emperor was not about despite being in the main arena for well over an hour and up and down the main ride as well.I then visited Abbotts Wood Inclosure and the site was not adorned by very much at all with very few butterflies on the wing. However I did see up to 3/4 Emperors at the Assembly point at ALHF(1)at about 12:40, there were a few chases and patrols but nothing major. The site which is very difficult to see now with the flora and fauna now covering the main vista. I had to stand on a step ladder to see, now there's dedication for you!

There were no flights in or out by his majesty in the afternoon today at Goose Green Inclosure. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JS
White Admiral imbibing
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Goose Green Inclosure Assembly Point
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Havant Thicket SU715105. We had a walk around Havant Thicket via Bell's Copse this morning.Where we recorded the following species Silver-washed Fritillary 14,White Admiral 8,Red Admiral 1,Small Tortoiseshell 1,Marbled White 16,Ringlet 20,Common Blue 1 male,Brimstone 4,also good numbers of Meadow Browns and Large Skippers etc.(Barry and Margaret Collins) [Posted by Barry Collins]

22 Jun 2014

Noar Hill. On his third and final site visit on a hot and busy Sunday afternoon, my father, Roy Symonds visited Noar Hill. Here around 30 Marbled Whites were flying and 3 Silver Washed Fritillarys were also seen. Other species on the wing were Common Blue, Small Heath, Marbled White, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell and Large Skipper. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Broxhead Commmon. My father, Roy Symonds reports that he looked for Silver Studded Blues in Broxhead Common on the way home from Alice Holt Forest. He saw four males in an area close to the large pond. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Alice Holt Forest. My father, Roy Symonds reports that he visited Straits Inclosure, Alice Holt Forest today. A total of 11 Silver WAshed Fritillarys were seen and 8 White Admirals. No sign of the Purple Emperor. Other species seen were Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Red Admiral, a single Comma and Large Skipper.

At Goose Green Inclosure only a single Meadow Brown and two Large Skippers were seen. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Aytesbury Copse/Knowle Village. An evening visit to this location, just catching the last of the afternoon sun at around 6.30pm unexpectedly gave me my first White Admirals and Small Skipper of the year as well as Large Skippers, Red Admirals, Meadow Browns and around 10 Small Tortoiseshells mostly exhibiting courtship behaviour. several well developed Peacock larvae also spotted. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

Highslide JS
Photo © Paul Harfield

Alice holt. Spotted my first two Purple Emperors of the year at alice holt this afternoon after much searching. They were seen high over goose green at 16:41 this afternoon. Still only single figures for Silver-washed Fritillaries at straits inclosure but good numbers of White Admiral on the brambles in dull but very warm weather during the middle of the afternoon. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Highslide JS
White Admiral on Bramble
Photo © Mark Tutton

21 Jun 2014

White-letter Hairstreaks in Gosport(late news). 13 White-letter Hairstreaks were seen flying above elms at a site in Gosport on 21st June by Ian Calderwood,Richard Dickson,Anne McCue & David Tinling.Good binocular views were had as the butterflies rested between flights and photographs were taken by Ian Calderwood.3 Ringlets were also seen and Anne McCue found a very old Grizzled Skipper.Richard Dickson found only one black case containing a live feeding larva of the rare micromoth Coleophora vibicella(BF0538)on Dyer's Greenweed,Genista tinctoria. [Posted by David Tinling]

Havant Thicket Return Visit. My father, Roy Symonds reports to me that he revisited Havant Thicket today where the temperature was 22 degrees. He walked one of the main long paths and a few side paths. A total of 4 Silver Washed Fritillarys, 4 White Admirals and 9 Marbled Whites were seen Other species were Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell and Large Skipper. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Abbotstone Down. An afternoon ramble in bright sunshine logged the following butterflies at Abbotstone Down reserve: Brimstone, Red Admiral, Ringlets galore,Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Green Hairstreak(1), Brown Argus(2), Marbled White. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Sightings at Ventnor to Bonchurch.. My sightings while walking from Ventnor along the revetment were: Painted Lady 1, Marbled White 3, Small White 2, Common Blue 7, Glanville Fritillary 2, Small Blue 2, Brown Argus 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Heath 1. [Posted by martin imrie]

Sallow Clearwing. A quick trip out into the Test Valley produced a Sallow Clearwing to a tip pheromone lure. I only saw one as there was only one sunny spell. We also saw about ten Five-spot Burnet f. decreta [Posted by Tim Norriss]

Highslide JS
Five-spot Burnet
Photo © Tim Norriss

Yateley Common. On Yateley Common today saw a White Admiral - must be more than 20 years since I last saw one here. Also a Silver-studded Blue, a Speckled Wood, and a couple of Skippers, probably Large but too active to get a close look. [Posted by Robert Guest]

Deep Purple. Two male Purple Emperors were flying around a Highpoint in Abbotts Wood Inclosure today (12:00)and were seen chasing each other for up to 30 minutes on and off whilst they split their separate ways and both landed on oak sprigs in the canopy, facing north-west. The weather was ideal as in the canopy there was very little breeze to interfere with proceedings. The Raf seemed to be doing their damdest to dislodge them though with their new Chinook Helicopters, as they flew so low, I though one of them would have tried to attack these as an intruder, but they just sat still. Other species seen were Meadow Brown (40) Silver-washed Fritillary (4) Speckled Wood (7) Large Skipper (17) Marbled White (2) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Ringlet (10) Red Admiral (1) White Admiral (11) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Silver-Washed Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Abbotts Wood Inclosure
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Large Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Jun 2014

Havant Thicket. My father, Roy Symonds reports that he visited Havant Thicket today where he saw the following species, Brimston, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Marbled White (just one) and Large Skipper. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Small Skipper at Newtown today. One male Small Skipper seen at Walters Copse,Newtown,IOW. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Odiham Common. Driving for the first time in over two months, I considered it best to keep local which meant a trip to Odiham Common. I was surprised how advanced the season was with good counts of Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Marbled White, one of which was a newly emerged female. Moths were also numerous with plenty of Grass moths as usual, a couple of Foresters hanging on following a far better season than last year, just about double digits of Narrow-bordered five-spot Burnet and Burnet Companions approaching the end of their season. Counts are approximately Marbled White 15, Meadow Brown 30,Ringlets 20, Common Blue male 2, Small Tortoiseshell 5, Narrow-bordered five-spot Burnet 12, Burnet Companion 12, & Forester 2 [Posted by Colin Baker]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Colin Baker
Marbled White
Photo © Colin Baker
Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet
Photo © Colin Baker

19 Jun 2014

Staunton Park. My father Roy Symonds reports following a brief walk in Staunton Park on a very hot morning seeing two White Admirals. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

White admirals at Newtown. 10 White Admirals at Walters Copse. No Silver-washed Fritillaries yet. Many Meadow Browns and Large Skippers.

Lovely golden-ringed dragonfly at Shalcombe Down later. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
White admiral
Photo © Ian Pratt
Golden -ringed dragonfly close-up
Photo © Ian Pratt
Golden-ringed dragonfly
Photo © Ian Pratt

Still Glanvilles to see.. There are still some fresh Glanvilles to see particularly along the Islands SW coast. Although this one was seen at Wheelers Bay and the company of worn individuals.Also Painted Ladies continue to arrive at the Bay. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Urban Hawk. Spotted a lovely fresh lime hawk moth on the way into work this morning on the column to an office building where it seemed a bit incongruous so I transferred it into the nearby park. Later in the afternoon I visited Alice Holt where good numbers of White Admiral are now out. Plenty of Large Skippers, Meadow Browns and Ringlets and only three Silver-washed Fritillary but it did include one female. Highlight was my first Purple Hairstreak. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Highslide JS
Lime Hawk on column.
Photo © Mark Tutton

Butterflies of West Wight. I've just come back after a sizzling three-day jaunt on the Western side of the Isle of Wight visiting all the haunts I used to visit in my younger days when I used to travel by train, bike, and lots of walking. The good news is nothing much has changed, except the Island is getting smaller year after year as the landslips are getting more frequent with the awful winter weather. The butterflies I used to see in these places are just as I remember them except now I cannot visit these sites now in the 'peak' season as my DUKING tends to get in the way. Butterflies seen on the following Downs of Afton, Compton, Brook, and Tennyson were as follows: Small White (1) Green Hairstreak (1) Small Heath(61) Common Blue (20) Adonis Blue (4) Small Blue (3) Clouded Yellow (3) Dingy Skipper (28) Large Skipper(9) Grizzled Skipper (1) Brown Argus (3) Dark Green Fritillary (1) Glanville Fritillary (4) Small Tortoiseshell(5)Painted Lady (1) Comma (1) Red Admiral (3) Marbled White (4) Meadow Brown (80) Six Spotted Burnet Moths, One unknown Moth caterpiller(see photo) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Tennyson Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heaths mating
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Unknown Caterpillar on Orchid
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Havant Thicket SU715105. A cycle ride around Havant Thicket this morning and stopping at various locations on the way produced a good variate of butterflies.The highlights were White Admiral (7) Silver-washed Fritillary (5) Ringlet (8) Marbled White (2). [Posted by Barry Collins]

Small Skippers at Abbots Wood. Several Small Skippers seen today at Abbots Wood. [Posted by Pauline Richards]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Pauline RichardsPhoto © Pauline RichardsPhoto © Pauline Richards

18 Jun 2014

Peacock explosion. Happy Valley, Harewood forest at 6pm today - White Admiral x1, Holy Blue x1, Large Skipper x6, Speckled Wood x2 and I lost count somewhere at around 300 peacock butterfly caterpillars [Posted by Graeme Davis]

Highslide JS
Photo © Graeme Davis

Dark Green Fritillary,IOW sighting.. A bright and pristine Dark Green Fritillary observed feeding on Giant Thistle on West High Down,IOW this afternoon. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Hassock Copse, Northington. Numerous Ringlets along roadside verge between Hassock Copse and Hassock Farm, Northington, in bright sunshine. [Posted by RCS Bryant]

17 Jun 2014

White Admirals out at Walters Copse,IOW.. Four White Admirals counted at Walters Copse,Newtown,IOW. at midday.Also 1 worn Painted Lady,15 Meadow Browns,1 Comma,and 5 Speckled Wood. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Highslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Marbled White at Old Winchester Hill. My father, Roy Symonds reported to me that he saw his first Marbled White of 2014 at Old Winchester Hill today. In addition he remarked that he saw 17 Small Tortoiseshells as well as Brimstone, Small White, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Common Blue and Large Skipper. No sign of any Dark Green Fritillarys or any remaining Adonis Blue but there was a strong breeze around the hill fort area. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

First marbled whites. 2 marbled whites at Brading Down with 8 meadow browns. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Leigh Park Gardens SU718092. We had a walk around Leigh Park Gardens and the surrounding woodland etc between 1200-1400.White Admiral(3)Red Admiral(1)Small Tortoiseshell(2)Speckled Wood(8)Large Skipper(16)

Meadow Brown(60).Also one Emperor Dragonfly,male Black-tailed Skimmer,4 Red-eyed and several Azure Damselflies.(Barry and Margaret Collins) [Posted by Barry Collins]

16 Jun 2014

White Admiral at Straits. Positive sighting of 2 White Admirals at Straits this morning. I flushed one from the ground quite close to the entrance and once up in the trees it was seen sparring with another male. I watched for some time (until quite dense cloud cover) but no photo opportunity. [Posted by Pauline Richards]

14 Jun 2014

Straits Inclosure. Spent the afternoon at Straits dodging the showers which yielded a few butterflies in between the rain. Amongst others I saw my first Ringlet and Silver-washed Fritillary along with a few Large Skippers, Meadow Browns and one Red Admiral and a possible White Admiral but not confirmed. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Highslide JS
Ringlet in the Rain
Photo © Mark Tutton

Silver-studded Blue at Silchester Common. I paid a brief visit to Silchester Common to see how the Silver-studded Blue were doing, and managed to notch up 4 females and 15 males. Surprisingly, I also found an ovipositing Brimstone, which I thought was rather late in the season. I'm always amazed at the ability of butterflies to find their quarry - whether this is a male Silver-studded Blue finding a female that is hunkered down in the heather, or a Brimstone finding the smallest of Buckthorns! [Posted by Peter Eeles]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Silver-studded Blue (male)
Photo © Peter Eeles
Silver-studded Blue (female)
Photo © Peter Eeles
Brimstone ovipositing
Photo © Peter Eeles

Field Trip. A good day in the New Forest today with excellent weather, and the following species being seen were as follows: Silver-Studded Blue (12) Large Skipper (13) Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (11) including one which must have been stuck or had a spot of bother hatching out as the photo shows with a small part of its hind wing bent over in the post-discal area. Other species seen were Meadow Brown (3) Common Blue (1) Speckled Wood (1) Small Tortoiseshell (1) a lovely Clouded Buff (2) and Lattice Heaths, plenty of dragonflies and other flora and Fauna. I would like to thank everybody who came and joined me on the walk and to the pub after a good walk. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Silver-Studded Blue New Forest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small-Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Clouded Buff New Forest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

13 Jun 2014

Dark Green Fritillary at Chalton Down. My father, Roy Symonds reported to me following his visit to Chalton Down (SU736156)that he saw a single fresh Dark Green Fritillary flying around the higher scrubby area. This species has been seen in ones or twos here at this time of the year for the past couple of years. The Dingy Skippers seemed to have finished here now. Other species seen were Brimstone, Small White, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Pignal Inclosure. Very disappointing again with only dragonflies for company in perfect conditions. Good views of broad -bodied chasers and one small tortoiseshell. No fritillaries to be seen. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

First Look at a Ringlet on the IOW. My first sighting this year of a Ringlet in Bouldnor Forest,Yarmouth. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Highslide JS
Photo © Peter Hunt

Havant Thicket. A two hour cycle ride around Havant Thicket (SU715105) today produced Silver-washed Fritillary (2),

Red Admiral(5),Brimstone(5),Small Heath(1),Speckled Wood(3),Large White(2),Green-veined White(2),Small White(1), Meadow Brown (30) and Large Skipper (20). [Posted by Barry Collins]

Atropos Offer for BC Members!. Atropos publishes a unique quarterly journal for butterfly, moth and dragonfly enthusiasts and works closely with Butterfly Conservation.

They have a special gift offer exclusively for Butterfly Conservation members and supporters, designed for enthusiasts who have developed more than a casual interest. Anyone taking a new annual subscription to the Atropos journal costing £34.00 will receive a FREE copy of Foodplant List for the Caterpillars of Britain's Butterflies and Larger Moths by Tim Crafer, a unique book which comprehensively lists species and associated foodplants. This book retails at £21.95, making the subscription very good value.

Contact Jo on 07800 548832 or gp@uwclub.net to take advantage of this great deal that is available until 31st July 2014. [Posted by Peter Eeles]

Hummingbird Hawk-moths. There are two Hummingbird Hawk-moths nectaring on the red valerian outside my back door this morning in Anna Valley, Andover. [Posted by Tim Norriss]

12 Jun 2014

WLH at Cosham. Numbers of WLH are now building at Cosham but still no females and very difficult to get decent shots of the males in the tree tops. [Posted by Pauline Richards]

Highslide JS
WLH male Cosham
Photo © Pauline Richards

Bentley Wood. Very disappointing with only one Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary seen, with a Green Tiger beetle, a Meadow Brown and about 6 Large Skippers. Perfect conditions with full sun and no wind. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Swallowtail. A Swallowtail was seen today at Four Marks near Alton by Robin Ewbank. [Posted by Tim Norriss]

Species Fading on the Island. With the advent of new species being seen on the mainland like Dark Green Fritillary and Marbled White I went over to the Island on my annual pilgrimage to Bonchurch Down and Wheelers Bay. I was met by very good numbers of Adonis Blues in different states but on the whole most of the males were in pretty good order. Several females were seen egg-laying on the good areas of Horseshoe Vetch. Although on Bonchurch Down a few areas are now getting a little over grown, I havent seen the Goats for several seasons,but there is still enough areas of 'mown' grasses to support a large colony on the down. In Wheelers Bay the Glanville Fritillary was just about hanging on, most looked tired and tatty, but still doing battle with intruders who strayed into their territory. Species seen were Common Blue (32)Small Heath (16) Brown Argus (21) Dingy Skipper (10) Red Admiral (3) Small Copper (2) Meadow Brown (38) Small Tortoiseshell (6) Large Skipper (8) Adonis Blue (52) Speckled Wood (6).At Wheelers Bay Glanville Fritillary (14) Common Blue (10) Adonis Blue (1) Small Blue (2) Speckled Wood (2) Small Tortoiseshell (2)Dingy Skipper (2) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley Whitlock

Dark Green Fritillary. First sighting at Stockbridge Down 12 June 2014 [Posted by chris backwell]

Highslide JS
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © chris backwell

Your garden in June. Some people are bemoaning a lack of butterflies in their garden but on these recent sunny days I have been seeing 7-10 species in my garden most days. I think these butterflies are being helped by the amount of natural habitat I have and by a range of nectar sources. Today I had Hummingbird Hawkmoth on Red Campion and I often see Brimstones on these plants too. There are not many other wild flowers in bloom. The spring ones like Primrose and Bugle have finished and the summer ones not started. Luckily this gap is filled by garden flowers. In full bloom at the moment are Sweet Williams - sow a packet of seed now to get plants for next year - Valerian Centranthus Rubra, Sweet Rocket Hesperis matronalis and Causican Crosswort Phuopsis Stylosa. Small Tortoiseshells seem particularly keen on the Buddleia Globosa, a nice orange early flowering buddleia.

I also have Orange-tip caterpillars on Garlic Mustard and Honesty - as with Sweet William sow seeds now for plants and flowers next year. There are several Brimstone caterpillars on Purging Buckthorn. As yet I have not found any Comma caterpillars on the Golden Hop. [Posted by Lynn Fomison]

Silver-washed Fritillary emerged. Silver-washed Fritillary seen at lunchtime at the Straits. [Posted by Pauline Richards]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Male SWF
Photo © Pauline Richards
Male SWF
Photo © Pauline Richards
Male SWF
Photo © Pauline Richards

11 Jun 2014

Glanville Fritillaries still showing in good numbers. Despite it being towards the end of their season, I saw good numbers of Glanville Fritillary (at least 30 but I didn't do a proper count) just east of Compton Bay (Grange Farm) on the 11th June. These included some seemingly freshly emerged individuals and a few mating pairs (one pair I watched where still doing their thing 22 minutes after I first found them together!). [Posted by Leigh Prevost]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Freshly emerged?
Photo © Leigh Prevost
Beautiful underwing
Photo © Leigh Prevost
Mating pair
Photo © Leigh Prevost

Butser Hill. Following my last report Tim Norriss asked if any of the burnets that I had seen were five spot and to my embarrassment I had not looked closely enough as there were so many! So i returned today to rectify that matter and sure enough about one in ten had the confluent spots and others had spots 3&4 joined which identified them as Five Spot Burnets - thanks for the tip Tim. Also saw my first Marbled White and a Wood Tiger along with a few other butterflies that identified that the june gap is closing including Meadow Brown, Large Skipper and Dark Green Fritillary, [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
five spot burnet
Photo © Mark Tutton
wood tiger
Photo © Mark Tutton
marbled white
Photo © Mark Tutton

Roadside verges - cutting. It is grass cutting time. If your favourite roadside verge has been destroyed you can do something about it.

The national charity Plantlife have a campaign against excessive

cutting by councils see http://www.plantlife.org.uk/roadvergecampaign.

Before and after photographs can be submitted. Help to save our wild flowers and the butterflies and moths that depend on them. If you care about wild things and wild places please get involved otherwise the "Tidy Brigade" will triumph. [Posted by Lynn Fomison]

10 Jun 2014

IBM Lake WLH. Three White Letter Hairstreaks were in the tops of elms along the north edge of the IBM Lake site in Cosham this lunchtime. West side of entrance roundabout [Posted by Tim Doran]

Dark Green Fritillary at Stockbridge Down. I managed to spend a small amount of time at both Magdalen Hill Down and Stockbridge Down today, and both sites seemed to be suffering from the well-known "June gap" that sits between those species that emerge in the spring and those that emerge in the summer and where there seems to be a paucity of butterflies. An early start at MHD resulted in good numbers of Brimstone with several females still ovipositing and males on the lookout for virgin females - this species living up to its reputation as one of our longest-lived butterflies. A few Common Blue and Small Heath were also flying, together with a few Small Blue. Small numbers of Brown Argus were also still on the wing, although the first brood is largely over now. A quick look at their larval foodplant, Common Rock-rose, failed to reveal any eggs on the underside of the leaves where they're typically laid, but I did find one on the upper surface of a leaf! At Stockbridge Down, a few Small Heath were also flying, and I was pleased to see good numbers of Small Blue in the area next to the road, as well as quite a few Large Skipper (all male). But the highlight, and definitely a "gap filler", was seeing my first (male) Dark Green Fritillary of the year, which must have emerged this morning judging by its pristine condition. [Posted by Peter Eeles]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Common Rock-rose
Photo © Peter Eeles
Brown Argus ovum
Photo © Peter Eeles
Dark Green Fritillary (male)
Photo © Peter Eeles

Goodbye for another year. Another visit up to Old Winchester Hill to see if any more Adonis Blues had emerged and the good news is that I saw six today all males, and they seem to be hanging on to the south-western slope where most of the Horseshoe Vetch is situated. The problem with this site it is so high that it gets buffeted by just the slightest wind, which makes it very hard to do a decent count of most species because they dive deep into cover out of the wind. I was surprised to see probably the last Duke of the season, as Neil Hulme says on the Sussex web-site, its very sad to see the state they get into when they are just finishing, and the length of time it takes for the spring to come around again, and see this marvellous little butterfly on the wing. I haven't compiled my notes yet on the specie but looking at the overall counts the species has had a very good season despite May being not a favourable month, lasting precisely 2 months! Other species seen were Small Tortoiseshell (11) Green Hairstreak (2) Painted Lady (1) Red Admiral (2) Dingy Skipper (3) Common Blue (23) Meadow Brown (3) Speckled Wood (6) Brimstone (8) Green -Veined White(2) Small White(1)Small Heath(4)Large Skipper (7) Small Copper(1) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley Whitlock

09 Jun 2014

Clouded yellow. Clouded Yellow by the lighthouse at Hurst Castle. [Posted by Rob Hume]

Marbled White out on Portsdown Hill. On a perfect afternoon walk around the transect route of Portsdown Hill which revealed this year’s first Marbled White there. Other butterflies seen were as follows Small Tortoiseshell (1) Brimstone (14) Large White (2) Common Blue (8) Speckled Wood (2) Meadow Brown (5) Holly Blue (1) Red Admiral (3) Large Skipper (3) Small Blue (7) Orange-tip (1) Mother Shipton Moth (2). The Small Blue count was quite disappointing, although I did note there were far more areas of Kidney Vetch in areas where I hadn't noted it before. I think the Marbled White heralds the start of the Summer Butterfly season, on chalk downland. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley Whitlock

08 Jun 2014

Noar Hill and Chalton Down. Travelled up from my home in Cornwall to visit my father and being a former regular contributor to these pages, we went to Noar Hill on 8th June to see if any Duke of Burgundy's were still flying. Sadly all had gone but did see two Dingy Skippers, one of which was badly worn. Just as we arrived saw a large orange butterfly fly over the hedgerow alongside the second entrance gate to the reserve and met Mark Tutton who informed us that he saw it close up and had identified it as a Dark Green Fritillary. Other species seen were Common Blue, Green Hairstreak, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Large Skipper and a single Meadow Brown.

Next we visited Broxhead Common but it seemed to early to for Silver Studded Blue there.

Finally we visited Chalton Down where the turf on the higher slopes has got quite long and there seemed to be a notable absence of rabbits, possibly caused naturally by myxomatosis or by culling. I was very surprised and pleased to see a single male Small Blue, the last sighting of this species at this site I had seen was in 2000. It may have benefited from the longer turf. Other species seen were Brimstone, Whites, Common Blue, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Large Skipper (all of which were male). [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Dingy Skipper very worn at Noar Hill
Photo © Richard Symonds
Small Blue male at Chalton Down
Photo © Richard Symonds
Large Skipper male at Chalton Down
Photo © Richard Symonds

Painted Lady. On a road verge in Augusta Park, Andover, saw lots of Small Tortoiseshells, and then one looked odd. Oh wait, it's a Painted Lady! [Posted by Graeme Davis]

Highslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Graeme DavisPhoto © Graeme Davis

Noar Hill. Having seen the weather forecast I set out early and headed for Straits Inclosure to see if there were any woodland species about but apart from a single Meadow Brown and a handful of Speckled Woods it was quiet so I headed over to Noar Hill. On venturing up the southern track I was greeted by a single Small Tortoiseshell and good numbers of Common Blues but little else. In the pits there were a few Dingy Skippers holding on, half a dozen Green Hairstreak and reasonable numbers of Small Heath. Best of all was a very fresh Dark Green Fritillary which stopped long enough for a positive ID but zoomed off when I tried to photograph it! Also found a green variety of Fly Orchid var. ochroleucra [Posted by Mark Tutton]

07 Jun 2014

Butser Hill. Had a pleasant walk around buster this afternoon after the storms. Species seen included dozens of Common Blues, good numbers of male and female Brimstone and hundred of Burnet moths. A few Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skippers and solitary Duke of Burgundy, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown Red Admiral, Brown Argus, Small Tortoiseshell and Grizzled Skipper.

Good numbers of day flying moths including Mother Shipton and Speckled Yellow with the highlight being a freshly emerged Small Elephant Hawk. It was also interesting to see approximately a hundred Mediterranean Gulls hawking for insects over the top of the hill. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Highslide JSHighslide JS
Small Elephant Hawk
Photo © Mark Tutton
Small Elephant Hawk
Photo © Mark Tutton

Ghost Moths are lekking. Lynn and I went to visit Henry Edmunds on the Cholderton Estate in NW Hants yesterday and went out at dusk to see Ghost Moths "lekking". We saw about a hundred in a grass field though the overall total in the 24 acre field must have been many hundreds or even thousands. It was a fantastic sight and I would encourage all to go out and find and see this spectacle for themselves. Ghost Moth is a common moth and occurs in long grassy places. We arrived at 9.50pm on a clear evening and they were already flying. The flight was much diminished by 10.05pm. We did see a couple of females but all the rest were the white males. They are unusual in that it is the females that select their mate by flying up and grabbing them in flight but unfortunately we didn't witness this last night. See HantsMoths for more information on this species. So, turn the telly off tonight and choose a grassy place to go and visit. Take a torch and a camera and binoculars if you have them, and enjoy the wildlife. If its cloudy you'll need to get there earlier. [Posted by Tim Norriss]

Highslide JS
Ghost Moth photo © Mike Wall
Photo © Tim Norriss

06 Jun 2014

Havant Thicket SU715105. A two hour cycle ride around various tracks in Havant Thicket produced the following species.Brimstone(28),Speckled Wood(3),Holly Blue(1),Common Blue(2),Meadow Brown(1),

Small White(1) and 5 Large Red Damselflies. [Posted by Barry Collins]

IOW Sighting. Meadow Brown seen feeding on Bramble flowers in Bouldnor Forest,Yarmouth. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Adonis Blue doing well at Martin Down. Martin Down was being buffeted by strong winds and this kept a lot of the species counts considerably low. I also noted that the area known as Bockerly Ditch is very overgrown in places and being choked by many wild plants. Ten years ago I could walk along this ridge which divides Hampshire from Dorset and count well over a hundred Small Blues, it's certainly not the case now. However on the plus side in certain sheltered spots like the rifle range and short cropped areas there were reasonable amounts of Adonis Blue, (15) being a conservative number, as there were probably more but the weather was playing a big part.The Cuckoo was on song the first time I've ever heard it in June, and other species of butterfly were Small Tortoiseshell (3) Grizzled Skipper (2) Common Blue (21) Dingy Skipper (2) Small Heath (3) Small Blue (21) Brimstone (15) Large Skipper (3) Brown Argus (3), Mother Shipton Moths. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley Whitlock

Glanville Fritillaries. 7 Glanville Fritillary seen at Bonchurch with about 12 Common Blues. 3 Large Skippers at Afton Down carpark plus one Cream Spot Tiger at the Needles. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Large skipper
Photo © Ian Pratt
Cream spot tiger
Photo © Ian Pratt
Glanville fritillary
Photo © Ian Pratt

Silver-studded Blues Emerging In East Hants. Two Silver-studded Blues were seen during my visit to Broxhead Common this afternoon. Both were fresh males seen in the same heathery area on the west side of the common. Emergence is clearly just beginning, since an exploration of other areas produced no further sightings. East Hampshire’s dry heaths provide one of the earliest opportunities to see this species. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Silver-studded Blue
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Silver-studded Blue
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Silver-studded Blue
Photo © Alan Thornbury

05 Jun 2014

Adonis Blue out on Old Winchester Hill. It was good today to see the Adonis Blue flying on Old Winchester Hill, this is the first time I've seen them there in the spring since 18 May 2007. Three males being recorded on the first car-park slope which faces south. Despite sunny periods the weather was quite cool for butterflies, although there were many species to be seen, there was not a lot of individual butterflies, many keeping their heads down due to the strong wind, which tends to blow up here on this very high ridge. Counts were as follows Red Admiral(1) Dingy Skipper (7) Adonis Blue (3) Grizzled Skipper (1) Common Blue (15) Large White (1) Holly Blue (1) Brimstone (6) Small Heath (3) Green-veined White (3) Speckled Wood (2) Peacock (2) Large Skipper (2) Brown Argus (1) Mother Shipton moths and Treble Bar's [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley Whitlock

Clouded Yellow at Noar Hill. Found this Clouded Yellow (male i think?) this evening at Noar Hill. [Posted by nick lawrence]

Highslide JS
clouded yellow
Photo © nick lawrence

04 Jun 2014

Moths at Rooksbury Mill LNR. A quick walk round my local nature reserve today produced seven moth species at the lights of the underpass including this Light Emerald. On Monday there had been seventeen moths of 12 species including a Poplar Hawk-moth but there was no sign of that today. [Posted by Tim Norriss]

Highslide JS
Light Emerald
Photo © Tim Norriss

Blues. Found two Common Blues on the road verge behind Charlton Lakes golf course this afternoon about 5pm and a Yellow Shell. Just before the storm came and and drenched everything. [Posted by Graeme Davis]

Highslide JS
Photo © Graeme Davis

03 Jun 2014

Silver Studded Blue now out!. Silver-studded Blue emerged at Bramshott Common today. [Posted by Pauline Richards]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
SSB Male
Photo © Pauline Richards
SSB Female
Photo © Pauline Richards
SSB Mating pair
Photo © Pauline Richards

Large Skipper seen on IOW. A Large Skipper seen on the public footpath between Roud and Southford,IOW. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Highslide JS
Photo © Peter Hunt

01 Jun 2014

Five-spot Burnets are flying. We saw quite few Five-spot Burnet on two sites at Cholderton on Sunday. Many, but not all, have confluent spots like this and it is one of the distinguishing factors between this and Narrow-bordered 5-spot along with its slightly earlier flight period. Here in NW Hants only the former is flying at the moment. It is much scarcer than Narrow-bordered and confirmed records like this are all too scarce due to confusion between the two species. We watched the male with separate spots fly in to mate with a newly-emerged female with confluent spots. There is a flight-time overlap so the Narrow-bordered start emerging when the 5-spot are looking rather worn. Now is the time therefore to survey for Five-spot Burnet on chalk downland but you may need to look at several in a population to find one with the confluent spots like this to be sure. [Posted by Tim Norriss]

Highslide JS
Five-spot Burnets
Photo © Tim Norriss

Pearl-Bordered Fritillary Fading fast at Eastern Clearing. Visited the border between Hampshire and Wiltshire today and the Pearl-bordered Fritillary is now fading with the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary very much in evidence although the numbers at the moment are not as high as previous years. Many of the females have not emerged yet. It is very boggy in places where we have had all the wet weather, which rather suits the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary more. The area adjacent to the Easten Clearing is now becoming a more suitable meadow, for both species, so numbers here should be higher hopefully in years to come. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Copyright © Butterfly Conservation Hampshire and Isle of Wight Branch
Privacy and Copyright Statement
Butterfly Conservation: Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP, Tel: 01929 400 209
Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)
Administrator Login