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

News Archive for Sep 2014

28 Sep 2014

Clouded Yellows at North Hayling.. At North Hayling I saw Clouded Yellow(4),Large White(3),Small White(7),Red Admiral(4) & Speckled Wood(5). [Posted by Anne McCue]

Butterfly's and an unexpected bee. Once again the garden Verbena in Whitehill produced Small Tortoiseshell (2), Comma, Red Admiral, Large White and Brimstone. Tortoiseshell are now noticeably smaller but the Brimstone was huge. So whilst enjoying the unseasonal weather I heard first what appeared to be a large beetle land on a large flower head, a sprint up the garden revealed a huge Violet Carpenter Bee! Couldn't quite believe my eyes but with views down to 20cm and plenty of experience of the species abroad there was no doubt. So sprinted (literally!) for camera, but as ever on return no sign. Spent the next two hours waiting to no avail! [Posted by Andy Stocker]

Painted Ladies at Stokes Bay,Gosport.. At Stokes Bay,Gosport,were Small White(11),Painted Lady(2),Comma & Speckled wood(3). [Posted by David Tinling]

Clouded Yellow at Sandhill(west),Gosport.. At Sandhill(west),Gosport, were Clouded Yellow(1 male),Small White,Common Blue(2 males),Speckled Wood(2),Small Heath,Migrant Hawker & Common Darter. [Posted by David Tinling]

Old Winchester Hill. On a ramble around Old Winchester Hill in warm sunshine with barely a breeze, under hazy blue skies full of migrating swallows and house martins, we noted the following butterflies: Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Brimstone, Small Copper, Comma, Small White, Speckled Wood - mostly single specimens. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Red Admirals and Small Copper on hailing Island. Went for a walk near the beach at the South West of Hayling Island - saw several Red Admirals and also several Small Copper flying near the Sinah Gun Battery site. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

27 Sep 2014

Last hurrah. Had a walk around Sandy point at Hayling Island this morning in very warm and sultry overcast conditions and was not really expecting any butterflies but I was pleasantly surprised to see Large White, Small White, Comma, Red Admiral and best of all three very fresh Clouded Yellows.

I also achieved the real purpose of my visit in seeing the Red Backed Shrike [my first ever] that is present in the reserve - all together very pleasing couple of hours. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Small White
Photo © Mark Tutton
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Mark Tutton

26 Sep 2014

Brown Hairstreak sighting. I was interested by the Brown Hairstreak sighting last week, as I know this part of Hampshire very well, and the area is supported by large areas of Blackthorn, especially the old railway line which runs right past Meonstoke. To the west of Meonstoke there is Corhampton Forest where in the 1950's there was a colony of Brown Hairstreak there from 1946-1955, (B Goater & De Worms)this is only a few miles as the Crow flies, is there still isolated undiscovered colonies still in this area? I have mentioned this site in my lecture on the 'Butterflies of the Meon Valley'. I did report in the early part of the 1990's one I thought I had seen on Old Winchester Hill, but I heard no more about it, this again is only a stones throw away to the East of Meonstoke. I also noted one at Liphook railway station in August 1992 and here to the station are areas of Blackthorn just outside of the town, so the Brown Hairstreak may well be in more tetrad squares in Hampshire than we realise. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

25 Sep 2014

Painted Lady in my Gosport garden. Painted Lady in my Gosport Garden in Privett Place on 24th & 25th Sept.Also on 25th were Large White(2 males & a female),Small White(3),Red Admiral(3),Peacock,Migrant Hawker & Common Darters. [Posted by Anne McCue]

Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Today I walked about 12 miles around Queen Elizabeth Country Park, very mild but ideal conditions to go this far. This site I tend to ignore on my travels around the county throughout the season, but today I saw the following butterflies, Speckled Wood (30-40) Red Admiral (15) Comma (6) Brimstone (1) Small White (1). I have also done this walk in the early spring, so now I shall hopefully retrace my steps in the mid-summer next year as a plan to include part of this walk as a field trip in 2016. Most of the walk was spent on West Harting Down, and at the top there were fabulous views of Hampshire, The Solent, and the Isle of Wight. Butterflies and other invertebrates should be plentiful in the mid-summer, and should be a classic chalk downland with woodland species thrown in. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Brown Hairstreak sighting. Brown Hairstreak femal seen/photographed in Meonstoke on Friday 12th Sept. Seen along Southdowns Way, East of Rectory Road, Meonstoke. The butterfly was both flitting about and working its way along the roadside hedge. On my next visit to the area, I will obtain an accurate grid reference. It is considered a significant sighting. [Posted by Geoff Jones]

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Photo © Geoff Jones

Painted Lady....at last!. Unlike the Hummingbird Hawkmoth which has been a regular visitor to our Chandlers Ford garden this year, the beautiful Painted Lady has been sadly absent....Until now!

Something was definately missing by not seeing this lovely butterfly this year and it seems to be a rare sight everywhere, so I was over the moon when Dave said "Quick! There's a Painted Lady sat on the path out the front!!" So we both grabbed our cameras and managed to capture quite a few images. The 'Lady' was suning itself on the South facing path and feeding on my good old Buddleia.

This really has been a good year...now. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Painted Lady sunbathing..
Photo © Tracy Piper
....and having a snack
Photo © Tracy Piper

23 Sep 2014

Common Blues Portsmouth. Had a quick look at the Ravelin Park meadow in central Portsmouth yesterday, and saw 4 Common Blues (a battling group of 3 and a single)there. This is in my experience by no means a regular species in the urban parts of the city. This small meadow is always worth a look March - October; I have seen a good range of species there. [Posted by Martin Hampton]

22 Sep 2014

Clouded Yellows & Red Admirals on the Gosport coast.. On a walk along and near the Gosport coast from Haslar to Gilkicker,Alverstoke & Ann's Hill Cemetery I recorded 113 butterflies:Clouded Yellow(2),Large White(4),Small White(35),Small Copper(4),Common Blue(3),Holly Blue(1),Red Admiral(33),Comma(2) & Speckled Wood(29);also Common Darter 18. [Posted by David Tinling]

Lunchtime walk at the OS and an early evening walk in Hut Wood. At the new Ordnance Survey site(where i work) at Adanac Park, it's a great place for butterflies. Fields and waste land that used to be Adanac Farmhouse and a nursery. Also a large mound of earth excavated when they built the OS which is now covered in wild flowers. Unfotunately it will be built on sometime in the near future so must enjoy it while we can.

Just to the north of the OS, grid ref. SU372157 during a 40 minute walk, I saw 3 Red Admirals, 3 Speckled Woods, 1 Green-veined White and a Large White.

On hearing that there are sitings of partial 2nd broods of White Admiral, Dave and I decided to try and find some at Hut Wood after work. Grid ref. SU423186. There was a perfect spot with flowering Honeysuckle and an East - West sunny path. Sure enough we managed to see 2 White Admirals. Unfortunately they were so active and darting around, I didn't manage to get a photo. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

Butterflies at Buster Hill. Went to Butser Hill ( Rake Bottom ) today. Small Heath were very much in evidence, also Common Blue, Small Copper and Meadow Brown, including a pair mating. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

Clouded Yellows at Wheelers Bay,IOW.. Four Clouded Yellows along the revetment at Wheelers Bay,Bonchurch.

All seemed to be in pristine condition.so perhaps locally emerged. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter Hunt

21 Sep 2014

Walk at Keyhaven. A RSPB walk at Keyhaven yielded 9 species of butterfly including Wall(6) and Clouded Yellow(2). Other species seen were Comma, Red Admiral(2), Speckled Wood(8), Common Blue(4), Small White, Small Copper and a Green-veined White [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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On cowpat
Photo © Sue Lambert
Clouded yellow on the sea wall
Photo © Sue Lambert
Photo © Sue Lambert

Small Copper in my Garden. Another first for this year for us! First the Small Blue surprise earlier this year and now this! First time I remember seeing a Small Copper here in my garden in Chandler's Ford. It fluttered around us while my partner was building a new bird table and then it settled on the driveway! Fortunately, this time, I managd to grab my camera and get a shot before it flew down the driveway and stopped off on my Buddleia before disappearing!

Its been a good year here in the garden with plenty of Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks Commas, Red Admirals and Speckled Woods. I have also managed to finish my new Butterfly Garden with Lavenders, Salvias and different species of Buddleia.

Along with the very welcome Small Copper today I've had 2 Speckled Woods, 2-3 Small Whites and a Red Admiral (my neighbour has a Strawberry Tree and the Red Admirals love it!) [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Small Copper
Photo © Tracy Piper
Speckled Wood
Photo © Tracy Piper

Straits inclosure. Had a look around Straits Inclosure this morning in beautiful warm conditions, plenty of Speckled Woods in evidence and a solitary Comma but no White Admirals unfortunately. Intriguingly I spotted what may have been a Purple Hairstreak but couldn't confirm. A supporting cast of a beautiful male Southern Hawker which was very inquisitive, a few common darters and Hornets going about their business of reducing the Cranefly population. [Posted by mark tutton]

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male Southern Hawker
Photo © mark tutton
Comma enjoying blackberries
Photo © mark tutton
Speckled Wood
Photo © mark tutton

19 Sep 2014

Brown Argus on Portsdown Hll. Saw a beautiful, pristine Brown Argus today on Portsdown Hill, but alas did not have my camera with me. Also spotted Common Blues, Peacock and Large Whites. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

2nd Brood White Admirals. It may be worth looking for 2nd brood White Admirals in our better localities (Pamber, Straits Inclosure, etc) over the next two or three weeks. 2nd brood adults are highly localised and short-lived, and seem to be stimulated by the early appearance of the main brood (as happened this year) followed by hot weather, though the cool, wet August may have set it back. Good to read that three have already been seen at Newtown on the IOW. [Posted by Matthew Oates]

Milton Allotments/Foreshore. Went for an afternoon stroll around my local patch, in very warm sunshine, quite balmy for September and the following were noted on the wing, Red Admiral (2) Peacock (1) Speckled Wood (4) Small White (12-15) Large White (2)and last but not least Holly Blue (1). [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Milton Allotment Foreshore
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Sep 2014

Old Winchester Hill. Roy Symonds reports visiting Old Winchester Hill where the temperature reached 20 degrees. No Adonis Blues were to be seen around the Hill Fort area, with only a few Common Blues left on the wing. Half a dozen Meadow Browns and Small Heaths were flying along with Large Whites, Small Whites, a Speckled Wood, and a Red Admiral.

So sad to hear the passing of Pete Gardner who both my father and I had met on a few occasions who was so passionate our butterflies.

Richard and Roy Symonds. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Peter Gardner. It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Peter Gardner last weekend. Peter was a long-time member of the branch and an active volunteer, acting as Field Trips Organiser until 2006. Our thoughts are with his wife, Pat, his family and friends. Peter's funeral will be held on Tuesday Sept 30th, at 2.30pm at the Oaks Crematorium, Havant. [Posted by Peter Eeles]

17 Sep 2014

Chalton Down. Roy Symonds reports visiting Chalton Down where the temperature reached 20.5 degrees, a few more degrees higher than at Noar Hill. Here on the chalk downland slopes a few Meadow Browns and Common Blues were flying along with Small Whites, a Small Heath, a Speckled Wood,a Comma and Red Admirals. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Noar Hill. Roy Symonds (my father) reports visiting Noar Hill once more to search for the Brown Hairstreak. In hazy sunshine only a handful of butterflies were flying. Species noted were: Large White, Small Heath, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Butterflies of Walters Copse Newtown IOW. 1 wall brown, 4 commas, 1 peacock,4 red admirals, 1 speckled wood, and several common and ruddy darters. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Gosport Wildgrounds Walk. During a sultry late summer afternoon a visit to Gosport's Wildgrounds Nature Reserve and SSSI was well rewarded in many ways. The site brochure inter alia carries the illustration of a White admiral but sadly said insect did not show-up. However, Speckled wood (22) were everywhere present. Two each Common blue (males) and Meadow brown (females) inhabited the butterfly meadow and just one Red admiral made a cameo appearance. We watched as two Speckled wood danced and climbed over each other but they didn't mate, well, not in front of my camera! (I hope in the two photographs illustrated below I have been able to differentiate between the sexes as these were the carousing couple; or fighting males! The first one was much lighter than the second butterfly. Perhaps someone would be kind enough to advise me?). On the walk back we photographed a very attractive fox which was sat on our path and later came upon a young deer which very soon put to flight. Lovely woodland area and well worth a visit. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Speckled wood female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow brown female
Photo © Francis Plowman

Your garden in September an afterthought. Just thinking this is the time of year when people feel like tidying up. So here is a warning not to throw next years butterflies away!

Particularly at risk are Orange-tips who will be pupating on vegetation that the caterpillars fed on or stuff just a stroll away. No easy answer to this. Checking vegetation for pupa is rather laborious. Perhaps it is best to plan ahead and grow the larval food plants n locations where tidying will not be necessary.

Also at risk are the pupa of Holly Blue. Although Jeremy Thomas indicates that to his knowledge no-one has found a pupa in the wild one was found by Phil Budd and Patrick Fleet at Magdalen Hill Down some years back. It was deep in ivy stems on a trunk. If this is how they generally pass the winter clearance of ivy off trees or walls etc could put them at risk.

It is always worth giving thought to how the species in your garden are spending the winter and avoiding damaging operations. [Posted by Lynn Fomison]

16 Sep 2014

Speckled Wood at Ann's Hill Cemetery,Gosport. At Ann's Hill Cemetery(east),Gosport,at 1105-1305,I recorded Large White(2 males),Small White(2 males),Red Admiral(2),Comma(1),Speckled Wood(24) & Migrant Hawker(1). [Posted by David Tinling]

Wall brown at Brading. One seen at Brading Down on Tuesday evening. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Wall Browns at Walters Copse.. Today up to four Wall in Walters Copse,IOW,all hurriedly feeding on Common Fleabane. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter Hunt

Clouded Yellow @ Sandy Point. There were at least two clouded yellows on Sandy point NR and visible from the beach at 14:30 today. [Posted by John Goodspeed]

New Forest Grayling. Found a couple of well worn grayling on the heath just outside Burley today - one of which obligingly opened its wings for a rare photo opportunity (rare for me at least!). [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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New Forset Grayling
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Oxenbourne Down. After such a good summer and warm autumnal weather itís a great shame to see places such as Oxenbourne Down now closing down for the winter. There were still up to a dozen species still on the wing though, and these were Chalkhill Blue (5), Meadow Brown up to (30) Small Heath(15) Common Blue (18) Brown Argus (1) Brimstone (21) Small Copper (3) Speckled Wood (5) Several whites, Large, Small and Green-Veined. A Peacock on the wing after several weeks of not noting these probably awoke after being in slumber by the warmth of the weather at the moment and Red Admiral (3) also a Silver 'Y' Moth. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver 'Y' Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

15 Sep 2014

Budleia feast at Fordingbridge. Yesterday in a private garden in Fordingbridge butterflies noted feasting on budleia. Peacock (1), Red admiral (4), Small white (2) and Large white (1) stayed around the bush all afternoon. The Large white was the most timid and clung only to the top blooms while the Peacock and Red admirals gorged uncaringly, happily sharing at one time. Earlier a Comma had circled the bush but clearly wasn't hungry and flew off. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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A slightly shabby Peacock poses
Photo © Francis Plowman
A large white (male?)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock & Red admiral sharing budleia
Photo © Francis Plowman

White Admirals at Walters Copse.. Three White Admirals flying around in the sunshine at Walters Copse,Newtown,IOW, this afternoon. All looking 'new'. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter Hunt

14 Sep 2014

Painted Lady of Longstock. The Longstock buddleja collection all but bereft of butterflies, a Painted Lady made a pleasant surprise. Just two Red Admirals and a Small White completed the afternoon's tally. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

13 Sep 2014

Noar Hill. Roy Symonds reports visiting Noar Hill to search for the Brown Hairstreak. Sadly the weather was not favourable, despite some sunshine. Species recorded were; Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Heath and Common Blue. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

taken in last few days. End of summer butterflies [Posted by Mike gregory]

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Speckled wood
Photo © Mike gregory
Female common blue
Photo © Mike gregory
Femae common darter
Photo © Mike gregory

Work Party Cancelled. Please note that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the work party planned for Yew Hill on Tuesday 16th September has been cancelled. [Posted by Jayne Chapman]

12 Sep 2014

Old Winchester Hill Visit. Roy Symonds reports visiting Old Winchester Hill where numbers appeared to be low due to brief appearances of sunshine. Highlight was the recording of a single Silver Spotted Skipper which was the recorder's first sighting this year. Numbers of Meadow Browns and Small Heaths were in double figures, while other species recorded were Small White, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Small Copper and Common Blue. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Warm afternoon at Chilling. With the temperature nudging 20C and the sun shining warmly we quartered the hedgerows and cliff tops at Chilling (near Titchfield Haven) this afternoon. Better than expected results ensued: Speckled Wood (6); Comma (2); Small White (20+) - we stopped counting when we got to the field of sprouts! Later a Clouded Yellow went off at full pelt after we had inadvertently disturbed it. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma 'chilling' at Chilling?
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Photo competition Great Prize. There is a great opportunity to win a Greenwings holiday for two to Greece AND raise money for Butterfly Conservation as each entry means Belvoir give a donation of £1 to BC. Submit a photo on the theme of wild with wings by 31st October . Full details at http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/win-things/photo-competition/

PS Belvoir Cordials are delicious - my favourite is Ginger with carbonated water. PPS Having been on two Greenwings holidays can say they are great too [Posted by Lynn Fomison]

09 Sep 2014

Garden larvae. Whilst doing some gardening in the bright afternoon sunshine I uncovered what I think is a couple of Bright-line Brown-eye larvae(green form) just below the soil when removing dead Buzzie Lizzie's.Later in the afternoon I also found a Dot Moth larva beneath Scabious. [Posted by Colin Baker]

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Bright-line Brown-eye larva
Photo © Colin Baker
Dot Moth larva
Photo © Colin Baker

Noar Hill (part 5). I keep reading on the Sussex website still good sightings of the Brown hairstreak and they still look in tip top condition, so I decided in the afternoon today to make a visit. The site is almost butterfly less, not registering much on my butterfly meter. Although small gaps in the hazel and Blackthorn thickets there are good areas where some Red Admirals are gathering, and are feeding avidly on the small stands of Hemp Agrimony which is still in flower, walking around there are a few Small Heaths, the odd Common Blue, Brimstone and Green-Veined White. In one of these thicket 'gaps' I espied a butterfly flying around a small Beech tree, and yes it was the elusive Brown hairstreak, what a marvellous extensive season they are having in Hampshire. Also near to the main entrance there are Park Cattle browsing some of the chalk pits. This will be good for the cowslip, but Iím not sure for the small stands of Blackthorn dotted about, where some females I suspect may well have laid their eggs. But as we know now the Brown Hairstreak is certainly not restricted to Noar Hill, as many eggs have been found along the hedgerows right up to Selbourne Hill. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Brown hairstreak
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Typical Brown Hairstreak habitat Noar Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Park Cattle Noar Hill Sept 2014
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Pig Bush, New Forest 8 Sep 14. Heading west this time for pastures new and an hour or two circulating around Pig Bush (Beaulieu Road Station to Beaulieu road). Red Admiral (4); Small Heath (11); Common Blue (1) (male); Meadow Brown (1); Grayling (3). So the latter now photographed at Gosport (Browndown) and New Forest this year. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Grayling 1
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grayling 2
Photo © Francis Plowman
Hungry Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

08 Sep 2014

Speckled Wood. Sighted this specimen today (8/9/14) at GU51 4SX in Fleet. It appeared considerably smaller to previous sightings (I was unable to measure it) but thought it might be of interest. [Posted by Brian Bloomfield]

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Photo © Brian Bloomfield

Old Winchester Hill Fort Slope. Being a perfect Butterfly day I thought I would give Old Winchester Hill one last try and see If I could boost the Silver-Spotted Skipper Count. I walked over to the Hill Fort slope which is vast, and started at the bottom and worked my way up taking about two hours in all. The good news is that the Adonis Blue seems to have had a good second generation, on these slopes I counted upwards of (20) all males I hasten to add, and all in all with the car-park slope and the Coombe Slopes I suggest the overall count in September has been no less than (50+). The Herdwick Sheep are still on the car-park slope and today I noticed they were munching their way through the grasses on the northern slopes as well. I was also counting Rabbit burrows and scrapes, and these are in very short supply. I only found one rabbit warren and the scrapes are very low in number. However I managed to count a Bakers Dozen of the Silver-Spotted Skipper today, which is a triumph! Most now are very tatty and are very docile, and are easily approachable. Other excellent counts were Meadow Brown (100+), Common Blue (50+) Chalkhill Blue (25) Small Heath (75). I also saw a Angled Shades Moth which had its head buried in a Oxford Ragwort flower head, obviously trying to get away from the very bright light which was quite intense on the southern slope today. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Angle Shades Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Car-Park Slope from the Hill Fort on Old Winchester Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

07 Sep 2014

Late summer butterflies. Good day for butterflies on the Isle of Wight today at Walters Copse and Afton chalkpit- the following were seen: Clouded Yellow, Large White, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Comma, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Southern hawker. Not bad for mid September. See photos at http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7914 [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Second Brood Peacock. After scouring my local patch in Hedge End over the last couple of weeks, today I found a second brood Peacock Larval group. Also found some Large White larvae on Garlic Mustard. Small Copper, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper also on the wing. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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2nd Brood Peacock larvae
Photo © Paul Harfield
Small Copper
Photo © Paul Harfield
Female Gatekeeper
Photo © Paul Harfield

Sunning Adonis. Seeing the forecast was for some sunshine today I set off early of Old Winchester Hill but the gloom never lifted. Despite the gloom it was very warm and humid as I made my way down the car park slope looking for Autumn Ladies Tresses which are the last orchid species to flower. There were reasonable numbers adjacent the path and I counted forty odd spikes including the lovely double one pictured. On reaching the bottom of the slope I scanned the vegetation quickly spotting a couple of blue jewels with their wings wide open in an effort to soak up the weak rays of sunshine. They were in various states of emergence but one was really quite fresh - in all I spotted seven - i do hope they manage to gain a secure foothold here as they are a very welcome addition to the local end of season species. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Autumn Ladies Tresses
Photo © Mark Tutton
Adonis Blue
Photo © Mark Tutton
Adonis Blue
Photo © Mark Tutton

06 Sep 2014

Beautiful Plume Moth in my Gosport garden.. Beautiful Plume Moth,Amblyptilia acanthadactyla,BF1497,basking in morning sunshine(1100) in my garden at Haslar(north-west),Gosport. [Posted by David Tinling]

Brown Hairstreaks. Two Brown Hairstreaks out and about egg laying (mid morning) at noar hill. [Posted by nick lawrence]

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Photo © nick lawrence

Seafield Park and Widley Walk Butterflies. Despite the sultry conditions very few butterflies were seen this morning at Seafield Park, Hill Head or in the afternoon at Fort Widley. At the former site only Small White (6), Red Admiral (1) and male Common Blue (1) were counted. The ubiquitous Meadow Brown, Small Copper, host of Common Blues of both sexes from 10 days ago were nowhere to be seen. Onward to Fort Widley and again the meadow butterflies were completely absent despite the abundance of wild flowers. Only Small White (many), Red Admiral (1), Holly Blue (1) and a fine Speckled Wood were counted in an hour's walk. The temperature was around 21 degrees Centigrade and windless. Was it just the absence of the sunshine or is this truly end of season? I hope not. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White at Seafield Park
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood on the Fort Widley Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

Beacon Hill NNR Field Trip. Today was the final field trip of 2014, and the weather for once behaved its self and we had a couple of hours of warm hazy sunshine. Last week I reported that there had been an area where it had been mown, and was cordoned off, but today the electric fence was gone so we had a quick look around this area. There were a few Brown Argus Many Brimstones and Small Heaths, but alas our target specie was yet to be espied. After an hour we had made progress around most of the southern and Eastern slope of Beacon Hill when we were wandering back when Ann and I shouted 'Silver-Spotted Skipper' It was a lovely moment to see this stunning insect on its favourite turf. It was looking around several rabbit scrapes, and quickly buzzing from here to there. We were satisfied having seen our target specie, just the one, but it didn't matter, I was satisfied they were still here. We had counted (15) species, and seen Peregrine Falcons and Buzzards and Kestrels as well. In the afternoon my wife and I with Ann visited OWH, and we counted up to (20) odd Adonis Blues all in varying forms of condition, on the car-park slope and a bit further round near to the Coombe. We also bagged another Silver-Spotted Skipper, which was nice to see. All in all it was a good field trip and I thank everybody for coming...hereís to 2015. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Silver-Spotted SKipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Class of 2014
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

05 Sep 2014

Small Ranunculus at Elvetham Heath. I was fascinated by Tim Norrisís story of getting lost at the new members day, getting out of his car and finding larvae of the Red Data Book species the Small Ranunculus. Last night I put out the moth trap at an address local to Elvetham Heath in Fleet for only the 5th time and attracted the final article so to speak, which only proves you can be just as lucky as another man is skilful. Call me lucky!!! [Posted by Colin Baker]

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Small Ranunculus
Photo © Colin Baker
Small Ranunculus
Photo © Colin Baker

04 Sep 2014

Gosport. On a walk along & near the Gosport coast from Gosport Wildgrounds to Home Heath,Carter's Copse,Browndown North,Alver Meadow,Kingfisher Path & Stokes Bay,0950-1600,I recorded 68 butterflies:Red Admiral(2),Small White(26),Green-veined White(1 fresh male),Small Copper(1 very fresh male),Speckled Wood 29,Grayling(1) & Meadow Brown(8);also Silver Y Moth(1),Migrant Hawker(2) & Common Darter(18). [Posted by David Tinling]

Old Winchester Hill. My last visit to this site in 2014, and when the sun was out it was a pleasure to be here with still good amounts of Butterflies on the wing. None more so than the Adonis Blue, on the car-park down I counted (23) three of these being female, which is the highest count of females I've seen on this site. Other counts were Small Heath (47) Chalkhill Blue (25) Silver-Spotted Skipper (2) the lowest counts of this specie in 30 odd years counting these species, other counts were Common Blue (26) Brown Argus (8) Clouded Yellow (1) many Meadow Browns, and some fresh looking Gatekeepers. The sheep are still munching their way through some long coarse grasses, and hoping this will reverse the Adonis Blue trend, with some decent weather during their breeding season over the next few weeks, hopefully they can become well established, although they will never get up to their counts of the 1982-1984 season when 5000 were counted. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The future of the Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Brown Hairstreak at Broughton Down. A surprise find today was a male Brown Hairsteak at Broughton Down. It was in very poor condition, much faded with rear portions of its wings missing and could hardly fly. It was found at the crossroads of the tracks where some people park cars. There are some tall Ash trees there and plenty of Blackthorn so there could be a small colony nearby. Also seen on the reserve, in cool and cloudy conditions, were five Adonis Blue including one female, a Small Blue, several Brown Argus, Common Blue including one very blue female, Meadow Brown and Small White but sadly no Silver-spotted Skipper. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Photo © Dave PearsonPhoto © Dave PearsonPhoto © Dave Pearson

03 Sep 2014

Clouded Yellows on the Gosport coast.. On a walk along & near the Gosport coast from Haslar to Gilkicker & the Sandhill(west),1050-1645,I recorded 114 butterflies:Clouded Yellow(4),Large White(2),Small White(57),Green-veined White(2 females),Small Copper(1,very old),Common Blue(25),Holly Blue(2,very fresh male & female),Red Admiral(1),Peacock(2),Comma(2),Speckled Wood(1),Meadow Brown(4) & Small Heath(11);also Yellow Shell(1) & Common Darter(5). [Posted by David Tinling]

Gosport Goings-on. Red admiral in the garden on 3rd September and the day previously Holly blue. These are the first butterflies photographed this year finally taking the plunge on my Lantana camara! This was 'imported' in a cola bottle from a Zakynthos garden centre last year; cuttings made and the garden is now a riot of 'ham and eggs'! We also bought from Germany the Lantana that is rather more orange in colour but even the bees avoid it! The Echinacea did really well again and is popular with Red admiral and Small tortoiseshell; also the Whites - but that wasn't a happy ending. Small copper popped-up on 2nd September at Browndown where one Grayling was noted on the wing. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red admiral on Lantana camara
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly blue finds that it does taste good!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small copper ranging at Browndown
Photo © Francis Plowman

Martin Down - day of butterflies!. My journey in search of Little blue took us (ie my patient wife alias The Scribe!) to Martin Down. In three hours there we counted 12 different species on the wing. Only Small heath and Meadow brown pipped Adonis blue (16 counted) but sadly no Little blue. However, incredibly diminutive Common blue (both male and female) were spotted. Very prominent too were Brimstone of both sexes. The parasite Trombidium breei had attached itself to at least one Common blue and I have noted this nuisance now on butterflies at Noar Hill as well as Old Winchester Hill. This area is currently kaleidoscopic with wild flowers and the insects are still feeding and flying. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Tiny Common blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Rather shy female Adonis blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Butterflies at Noar Hill. Went to Noar Hill again today, alas no Brown Hairstreaks spotted this time but Common Blue still flying, and many Brimstones both male and female in the furthest chalk pit. Also Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and lots of Speckled Wood spotted as well as one rather ragged looking Silver Washed Fritillary. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

Your garden in September. Your garden in September

I started to write this on 2nd September and was painfully aware that meteorologically September the 1st heralded the start of Autumn. Thankfully the butterflies still thought it was summer. A ten minute walk around the garden revealed almost 20 Red Admirals and that was just the ones I could see - not the drunks hiding under the plum trees. In no small measure the presence of large numbers of red Admirals and Speckled Woods was due to a quantity of over-ripe plums on two trees.

So the question is are there any trees and shrubs in your garden providing ripe fruit for butterflies? This is a very useful source of food just at a time when lowers are not so prolific.

How useful is it to have a butterfly table? It would be interesting if a few people tried this and reported back. Put some very ripe, virtually rotten fruit somewhere you can watch it from windows or outside seats and report back. I will try this too but I suspect that it will be hard to tempt butterflies away from trees laden with gooey plums and damsons.

I saw various wildflowers recently that looked great growing together and would be useful in providing nectar in September. The picture shows Hemp Agrimony, Fleabane and Wild Angelica. Add Devil's bit Scabious and Purple Loosestrife to the mix for a very colourful and nectar rich clump [Posted by Lynn Fomison]

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Red Admiral on rotten plums
Photo © Lynn Fomison
Hemp Agrimony etc
Photo © Lynn Fomison

Old Winchester Hill. Today was my son in laws birthday and he asked me what I was doing and I said I would like to visit OWH,and he said he would love to come along with the grandchildren with a picnic. What a perfect afternoon....butterflies beer and family, cannot ask for any more!I wasn't really taking a lot of notice of what I was seeing but I did notice Adonis Blue at least three males, Silver-Spotted Skipper at least three as well, numerous Brimstones, and Meadow Browns, Small Heath, and a Clouded Yellow. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grandson Butterfly spotting
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Garden Delights. Over the past few days I've sat out in the garden and been delighted with the amount of butterflies on the Buddleia bush. Up to (10) Red Admirals today and yesterday and several Large Whites along with countless Small Whites as well. The Red Admirals have been feeding ferociously, and have stayed all day. The highlight though has been several Hummingbird Hawk Moths, boy are they a devil to photograph, especially when they stay on the top of the bush which in itself is about 12 feet tall, and I took the photo stood on a chair! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Head of a Red Admiral on Buddleia
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Red Admiral
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Hummingbird Hawk Moth feeding
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Threat to meadows BBC News item. Today BBC News at One carried the disturbing news that a bid to safeguard endangered wildflower meadows has backfired, according to an unpublished report by the watchdog Natural England.

Some 98% of English meadows have been lost to intensive farming, but the rate of loss nearly doubled after the EU said it wanted to protect grasslands.

The report says many farmers responded by digging up their meadows before tighter rules could be introduced.

The government said it never had faith in the EU scheme.

It maintained that grasslands in the UK were adequately protected anyway.

But the news has angered wildlife groups who are meeting on Wednesday to discuss progress since their State of Nature report 18 months ago revealed 60% of native species are in decline and one in 10 are heading for extinction in the UK.

Read the full report at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29037804

But please reflect happily on the fact that in being a member of Butterfly Conservation you are supporting an organisation totally dedicated to acquiring, creating and maintaining fantastic flowery meadows. [Posted by Lynn Fomison]

OWH Adonis Blues. At least 8 Adonis blues at the bottom of the car park slope in early morning sun today. Also 8 fresh looking brimstone. A couple of chalkhill blues hanging on (looking very worn) and good numbers of common blues, peacocks and red admirals. Also one large fritillary seen on the path back from the fort high in the trees - just a fraction too brief to be 100% sure of exact type. A wonderful day to be on the downs. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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OWH Adonis Blue
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

02 Sep 2014

Gosport. On a walk along the Old Railway Line,Alverstoke,to Ann's Hill Cemetery(east),Gosport,1530-1730,I recorded 38 butterflies:Large White(4 males),Small White(22,but only 1 female),Holly Blue(7 males),Red Admiral(1),Speckled Wood(2)& Meadow Brown(2);also Migrant Hawker(2) & Common Darter(1). [Posted by David Tinling]

New Forest Grayling. Searching for dragonflies at Rushbush Pond and pleasantly surprised to find 4 grayling (probably more) on the dry soil underneath previously burnt heather [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]


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