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

News Archive for Apr 2015

30 Apr 2015

Sightings. Today I visited Portsdown Hill where on the Eastern end (SU657063)I saw 4 Brimstones and a Small White.

At Fort Widley (SU657066)only a single male Brimstone was seen.

Later on Stoke Farm, Hayling Island (SU721024)I saw a Red Admiral and a Small White. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Stephens Castle Down. Butterflies were a bit thin on the ground today at this site. However, I was pleased to record a single Duke of Burgundy, a pair of Dingy Skippers, 3 male and a single female Brimstone as well as single male Holly Blue and Small Tortoiseshell. Surprise of the day was my first Painted Lady of 2015. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Painted Lady
Photo © Paul Harfield
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Paul Harfield

Small Heath at Brownwich. An unexpected small heath this afternoon on Brownwich cliff top. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

Butser Hill. Another rewarding morning on Butser Hill. More cloud cover than of late but when the sun emerged so did the butterflies. Lots of dingy and grizzled skippers. Similarly green hairstreaks. Duke of Burgundy a little more difficult, I managed just 5 at the head of the valley, but worth the effort! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Duke of Burgundy Butser Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Duke of Burgundy Butser Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Green Hairstreak Butser Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Oxenbourne Down. On a very cool breezy day with sun all but disappeared by 11:30 I managed to see just (2) Duke of Burgundies amongst the Gorse and Scrub, and (2) Grizzled Skippers, a Small Tortoiseshell and one Brimstone for all my trouble. The Cowslip at this site is certainly higher than has been in recent years, I just hope the Duke count can match it. At the moment its looking very doubtful, the cool winds and cold nights are certainly making the counts very poor at the moment. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Oxenbourne Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

28 Apr 2015

Martin Down. We had everything in a late morning visit to the northern sector of Martin Down; very cool wind, some showers, sunny interludes, even hailstones..........and butterflies! Dingy Skipper (3) (my first recorded sightings - including a pair in flight); Grizzled Skipper (1); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Small White (2); Peacock (1); Orange Tip (M) (1). All in a 75 minutes' circuit of the woodland fringes and paths. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Dingy Skipper open wing
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Dingy skipper folded wing
Photo © Francis Plowman

Dukes and Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Stockbridge Down. On a morning visit to Stockbridge Down today I saw 8 species but missed Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skipper which had been seen earlier. 10 Orange-tip, 5 Brimstone, 3 Green-veined White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Peacock, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Duke of Burgundy and 2 Pearl-bordered Fritillary [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Sue Lambert
Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Sue Lambert
Orange-tip Male
Photo © Sue Lambert

Duke of Burgundy at Noar Hill. Flying lunchtime visit to Noar Hill where it was bright at times but cold and windy. One Duke of Burgundy spotted. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

Meon Valley Sites. Visited several Meon Valey sites today despite a cool wind behind hedgerows and scrub it was quite warm in places. Cowslips are now looking in fine fettle and the Duke numbers are increasing slowly, seeing (10) today. Dingy Skipper (4) Grizzled Skipper (1) Peacock (6) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Brimstone (3) Small Heath (1) Mother Shipton Moth (1) and I was serenaded by a Cuckoo for up to 30 minutes at mid-day. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Cowslips
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

27 Apr 2015

Holly Blue in my Gosport garden.. In my garden at Privett Place,Gosport was a Holly Blue. [Posted by Anne McCue]

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. After Havant Thicket I called in at Chalton Down (SU736156). There were low numbers due to the temperature only reaching 13 degrees. Brimstone (5M), Small White (2), Orange Tip (3M), Dingy Skipper (2) and Holly Blue (1). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Havant Thicket. Paid a visit to Havant Thicket where I saw my first Speckled Wood this year. Brimstones were plentiful feeding on Dandelions. Brimstone (27M 2F), Small White (8), Orange Tip (4M 2F), Speckled Wood (1) and Peacock (4). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Titchfield Canal Path. Along THE Titchfield Canal Path from 1145-1300 the following butterflies were patrolling or basking in places sheltered from the chilly wind:Orange-tip(4 males,Green-veined White(3),Small White(1),Brimstone(1 male),Holly Blue(!),Speckled Wood(1),Comma(2),PeacOck(3). [Posted by Anne McCue]

Alver Valley Woods, Gosport. The cool late-morning temperature reduced sightings despite the sunny glades and much floral evidence of Spring. Small White (4); Orange Tip (female) (1); Peacock (1); Holly Blue (1); Green-Veined White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Female Orange Tip on gorse
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Butser Hill. Wonderful morning on Butser Hill with plenty of skippers, green hairstreaks and a small number (4) of Duke of Burgundy [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Grizzled Skipper Butser Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Dingy Skipper Butser Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Duke of Burgundy Butser Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Office furniture required. Dear members, we are currently moving into a new office in Itchen Stoke, and I wondered if any of you had a 4 drawer filing cabinet that you no longer use? I would prefe to recycle if at all possible before I dip into BC funds. Thanks in advance, Jayne Chapman, Hampshire Reserves Officer. [Posted by Jayne Chapman]

25 Apr 2015

Portsdown Hill. Visited Portsdown Hill (East)following the path running parallel to Queen Alexandra Hospital (SU657063) where I saw a male Orange Tip, two male Brimstones and a Peacock. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Milton Lock NNR and Allotments. During periods of sunshine and showers I ventured out to my local patch Milton Lock NNR and I saw hundreds of Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillars possibly where I've witnessed several females laying eggs on the same patches of Nettles. Other butterflies seen were Speckled Wood (3) Holly Blue (1) and Small White (6) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell caterpillers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Milton Lock NNR Portsmouth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Apr 2015

Bentley Wood. I visited Bentley Wood on Saint George's Day optimistically hoping to see a Pearl-bordered Fritillary making its debut for the season. As the day time temperature increased, I was not surprised to see the familiar blur of orange as a freshly emerged adult skimmed over the vegetation. [Posted by Nick Freeman]

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Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Nick Freeman
Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Nick Freeman

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. After visiting Noar Hill, I paid a visit to Chalton Down to look for Skippers. I found 2 Grizzled Skippers and a single Dingy Skipper. Over the next few weeks numbers will increase tenfold. Also flying were Brimstone (2M)and Orange Tip male. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Noar Hill. Visited Noar Hill today (temperature 15 degrees), where around various pits I counted 13 Duke of Burgundy's, my first sightings this year. Several Orange Tip's were also flying and was please to see a Holly Blue and a Green Hairsteak. My totals were Brimstone (5M 4F), Orange Tip (8M 2F), Small White (3), Duke of Burgundy (13), Green Hairstreak (1), Holly Blue (1) and Peacock (7). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Winchester in the sunshine!. Winnall Moors Wildlife Reserve: Small White (4); Orange Tip (male)(4); Peacock (5); Green-veined White (9); Holly Blue (2); Brimstone (F) (3); Brimstone (M)(3); Comma (1); Speckled Wood (2); Small Tortoiseshell (1). Of interest was the close interest of a Small Tortoiseshell towards a Peacock! They were very content in the close proximity of each other for a very long time.

St Catherine's/St Cross river circular: Small White (8); Brimstone (M) (7); Brimstone (F)(1); Orange Tip (M)(13); Peacock (3); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined White & egg?
Photo © Francis Plowman
Just good friends?!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Orange Tip male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Matthew Oates Talk. Matthew Oates' book, "In Pursuit of Butterflies", will be published in June and a corresponding talk is being given on Sunday 7th June - details here. [Posted by Peter Eeles]

22 Apr 2015

Ramsdean Down. Visited Ramsdean Down today and despite the warmth of the sun the Duke was a little elusive however the other species seen were a bit more active Speckled Wood (1) Small Tortoiseshell (1)

Peacock (4) Duke of Burgundy (1) Brimstone (10) Green Hairstreak (7) Holly Blue (1) Dingy Skipper (4) Grizzled Skipper (21) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Beeches at Ramsdean Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

21 Apr 2015

Martin Down. Taking advantage of the dry settled weather, I spent a couple of days in Hampshire and Wiltshire. The following species were observed along the Bokerley Dyke on Martin Down on a sunny but slightly breezy afternoon: Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Grizzled Skipper (5), Dingy Skipper (4), Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Green Hairstreak (3) and Small Copper (1). [Posted by Nick Freeman]

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Small Copper
Photo © Nick Freeman
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Nick Freeman
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Nick Freeman

Butser hill. Spent an unseasonably warm afternoon at Butser and am pleased to report butterfly numbers are increasing 20+ Green Hairstreaks including four fighting one another 30+ Grizzled Skippers, a dozen very fresh Dingy Skippers and seven male Duke of Burgundy was a very pleasing tally. Also stumbled across a blackcap nest - thanks for the id Alan - complete with five eggs. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Duke 1
Photo © Mark Tutton
Duke 2
Photo © Mark Tutton
Green hairstreak and violet
Photo © Mark Tutton

Green Hairstreak at Noar Hill. On a visit to Noar Hill this morning the following species were seen: Green Hairstreaks 2 ,both flying together round juniper bushes. Duke of Burgundy 5, all seen singly scattered throughout the site.Peacock 5; Holly Blue 3; Speckled Wood 1; Comma 1; Brimstone 4 (2m, 2f); Small Tortoiseshell 1; Orange Tip 6 (m). [Posted by Hazel Pratt]

Frater Fields, Elson. Taking advantage of yesterday's warm sunshine a 2 hour circuit of the woods and fields at the end of Frater Lane, Gosport accounted for 10 species on the wing. Namely: Speckled Wood (3); Peacock (7); Small White (7); Brimstone (M)(4); Small Tortoiseshell (6); Holly Blue (M)(4); Orange Tip (M)(4); Comma (2); Red Admiral (1) and Green-veined White (2). With Little Egret, Swans, Common Woodpecker and Heron to boot it is an understated yet rewarding site. Sadly it proved a lean time for photography with most of the insects continually on the wing and annoyingly elusive. One co-operative although well camouflaged Speckled Wood saved my blushes! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Duke of Burgundy at Butser Hill. We visited Butser Hill this morning and into late afternoon in glorious sunshine. We were very pleased to locate the following species: Grizzled Skipper 13; Dingy Skipper 9; Orange Tip 3; GV White 1; Brimstone 26; Green Hairstreak 4; Duke of Burgundy 2; Peacock 11; Small Tortoiseshell 6. Brimstoes were still active at 5pm in warm sunshine. [Posted by Alan Wingrove, Tom Dunbar]

Marvellous Martin Down!. A visit to a sunny but slightly breezy Martin Down from 0930-1300 produced the following species: Orange Tip 2, Green Hairstreak 3, Grizzled Skipper 8, Dingy Skipper 2, Brimstone 14, Large White 1, Small Copper 1, Peacock 8, Small Tortoiseshell 4. The most surprising for me though after visiting & photographing butterflies here for over 10 years was the sight of a Wall. I have never seen one here before. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Wall
Photo © Mark Pike
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Mark Pike
Small Copper
Photo © Mark Pike

Duke now emerging in numbers. I visited several sites today and I'm pleased to say that the Duke is at last starting to emerge in small numbers. They will be out in good numbers just ready for the weather to change by the weekend! On Oxenbourne Down today I saw my first Grizzled Skipper, and Small Copper. Other butterflies seen were Brimstone (100) Small Tortoiseshell (4) Peacock (17) Grizzled Skipper (1) Dingy Skipper (1) Duke of Burgundy (3) Green Veined White (2) Orange Tip (1) Small Copper (1) Small White (1) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Apr 2015

Butterflies in Emsworth. Looked for Butterflies this evening in Brook Meadow, Emsworth. Peacocks still very much dominating what is around, at least a dozen spotted, also one Small Tortoiseshell, and lots of Speckled Wood's around now, at least 8 spotted. Saw several male Orange Tip and also Green Veined Whites. At least 4 Commas in one area of the Meadow. Also saw a Holly Blue, though it was too quick to get a photo. However, I did manage to get some photos of a Holly Blue which visited the Beer Garden of the Coal Exchange when I was there after visiting the meadow. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

Noar Hill and Meon Valley. Visited Noar Hill again today in very pleasant weather, but the Duke is very stubborn this year to show itself, it maybe the very cold nights which could be affecting any mass-emergence. One male was seen along with Speckled Wood (2) Orange Tip (4) Small Tortoiseshell (2) Peacock (7) Brimstone (4) Holly Blue (1) Red Admiral (1). I visited several other sites in the Meon Valley and the following where seen Brimstone (31) Small Tortoiseshell (7) Peacock (8) Green -veined White (1) Small White (1) Dingy Skipper (1) Orange Tip (1) Comma (1) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Bee Fly Noar Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

19 Apr 2015

Scarce Tortoiseshell. I was surprised to see no listing of the Scarce Tortoiseshell for Hampshire. During one of my regular visits ( back in April) to Whiteley Pastures, or to be precise the Lee Ground Coppice end, a Scarce Tortoiseshell literally landed in front of me. [Posted by Phillip Lowe]

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Scarce Tortoiseshell
Photo © Phillip Lowe

Alver Valley Gosport. A somewhat overcast late morning two-hour range around the Alver Valley revealed seven species on the wing including my first sighting of one Holly Blue. The others: Brimstone (female) 1; Speckled Wood 8; Peacock 6; Orange Tip (male) 1; Small White 1; Green-veined white - the latter a very fresh first brood male. Wild flowers in glorious abundance; primrose, celandine, blue/white bells, some cowslips and much crab apple and blackthorn blossom. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined white, male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock feeding on dandelion
Photo © Francis Plowman

18 Apr 2015

Noar Hill. Despite the cool breeze in sheltered spots at Noar Hill it was quite warm in the sunshine. We managed to find 3 Duke of Burgundy, 4 Holly Blues, 1 Orange Tip, 1 Red Admiral, and at least three Green Hairstreak on the Juniper at the entrance gate. Full details here http://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Holly Blue, Noar Hill
Photo © Chris Rose
Duke of Burgundy, Noar Hill
Photo © Chris Rose
Green Hairstreak, Noar Hill
Photo © Chris Rose

North & South Hants Butterflies. Thanks to the recent tip-off I was able to make my first sighting of the diminutive Duke of Burgundy. Just one seen in a two-hour wander at blustery Noar Hill. Otherwise the following noticed: 3 Comma; 1 Red Admiral; 6 Orange Tip (incl male and one female); 5 Peacock; 2 Small White; 1 male Brimstone; 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Nearer the south coast later in the day, at the Frater woods and fields, 4 Comma; 4 Orange Tip; 2 Peacock; 8 Small White; 1 Speckled Wood; 1 Green-veined White, the latter rather shy and buried in rather deep grass; the first this year for me! So all in all a very good day. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Orange Tip female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male
Photo © Francis Plowman

April 2015 Newsletter. The April 2015 Newsletter can now be downloaded from the members' area. The field trips listed in the newsletter (for both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight) are also available on the Field Trips page (accessed from the Events menu). [Posted by Peter Eeles]

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April 2015 Newsletter
Photo © Peter Eeles

Green Hairstreak at Stockbridge Down. Having been inspired by sightings of Holly Blue and Orange Tip in my Enham Alamein garden, I took a trip to Stockbridge Down where I saw a further 9 species, ranging from a very tired looking Red Admiral, through 20+ Orange Tips, a Speckled Wood and 2 Green Veined Whites, though to the highlight of the day, an immaculate Green Hairstreak. [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Green Hairstreak at Stockbridge Down
Photo © Kevin Haggar

Firsts. Took the dog to Butser and the butterflies were a bit scarce to start with as it was very breezy - however in some of the more sheltered areas I found my first Green Hairstreaks of the year, a Painted Lady and a single Dingy Skipper.

Good numbers of peacocks, Brimstone, small tortoisehell and a single Orange Tip provided the supporting cast. On the bird front saw my first Swallows and heard my first Cuckoo. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Mark Tutton

Oxenbourne Down. On a cool breezy day with very sunny periods the count on this most favoured site of mine was disappointingly low again. The following were seen Green-Veined White(1) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Peacock (10) Brimstone (4). Good amounts of Cowslips are appearing now where the Gorse was scrubbed out in 2013, and hopefully this should benefit the Duke of Burgundy species, none today I hasten to add, this is normally a late site, probably out by the end of the month. There was also good areas of Wild Strawberry now out in bloom and this site is normally a good site for the Grizzled Skipper again no luck today. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Wild Strawberry
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green-Veined White
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Oxenbourne Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

17 Apr 2015

Grizzled Skippers In Rake Bottom. A mid-afternoon walk along Rake Bottom in the Butser Hill complex was rewarded by a total of 8 Grizzled Skippers, including a courting pair. Most were on the left side of the valley as it turns east, however two were seen on the path along the valley floor. A few Peacocks were also making the most of the hazy sun, despite a cool breeze. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Grizzled Skippers - Courting Pair
Photo © Alan Thornbury

16 Apr 2015

Orange tip in Gosport. A walk this morning through Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve under subdued sunshine realised a count of just seven Peacock butterflies. A more interesting census took place late afternoon in the Frater field and copse area by the Elson foreshore. Three Orange Tip; 8 Peacock; 9 Small White; 3 Small Tortoiseshell; 3 Comma and one male Brimstone noted between 1600 and 1740. The warm late afternoon sunshine bathed the more sluggish insects in glorious light. Not so the impatient Orange Tip that seemed constantly on the move. But great to see six varieties in a rather nondescript patch of scrub, once a Gosport dump and car breakers yard! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis Plowman

Noar Hill NNR. Visited Noar Hill again today and I had some success with my beast. Not easy to find, and if it hadn't been pointed out to me I may never have seen it, although it was flying many times in the hour I was there. They seem smaller this year, maybe its my eyes.....anyhow to see one was a joy, along with Red Admiral (1) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Peacock (5) Brimstone (1) Orange Tip (3). The Cuckoo was heard, and I thought I heard a Nightingale. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Noar Hill NNR
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

15 Apr 2015

Grizzlies Building. Spent a very warm afternoon at Butser which turned up 20+ Grizzled skippers as well as plenty of peacocks and a few small tortoiseshells. A nice surprise was a pair of Ring Ouzels doing their best to avoid my camera -they succeeded! As well as what I think is a single plant of Oxlip - very pretty plant looking like a cross between Primrose and Cowslip. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Mark Tutton
Oxlip?
Photo © Mark Tutton

Marwell Zoo. I went to Marwell Zoo with the Grandchildren as you do on the hottest day of the year,Im not a great fan of Zoos but Marwell is quite unique, and I still had one eye on the butterflies, set in beautiful Wooded (Oak) parkland, I was quite impressed by the amount of Primroses growing on the grassy banks and in the wooded areas. With newly planted Hazel stands everywhere and some Elm plantations as well. The butterflies seen were as follows:Small Tortoiseshell (2) Peacock (12) Brimstone (15) Small White (4) Orange Tip (2) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

Drinker Larvae emergence. During transect on Portchester Common today I spotted a newly emerged from hibernation Drinker Moth Larvae. Typical Down land species. The larvae in October having grown to 1" long about 3rd instar goes into Hibernation and emerges again in April - this one was nearly 2" long. Chris Cobb [Posted by Chris Cobb]

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Drinker Larvae Apr 15 2015
Photo © Chris Cobb

14 Apr 2015

Duke at Noar Hill. Today we went again to Noar looking for Duke of Burgundy butterflies. We finally saw our first, briefy, at about 1pm. We then bumped into Hazel Pratt who informed us that she had seen two Dukes in a different area of the site. We went with her to that area and soon saw a duke in flight, which then settled briefy allowing a photo. Later on we found another Duke which appeared to be an abberant individual! When we uploaded the photos onto our computer later we realised that the two butterflies we had photographed were in fact females! In total we saw four Dukes and all were females based on the behavior we witnessed. Have the females emerged before the males, or have we all just missed the males? [Posted by mike skittrall]

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Duke of Burgundy female
Photo © mike skittrall
Duke of Burgundy female, (ab gracilens)
Photo © mike skittrall
Duke of Burgundy female, (ab gracilens)
Photo © mike skittrall

Havant Thicket SU715105. We had a cycle ride around the tracks in Havant Thicket this afternoon and recorded.

Brimstone 29,Peacock 33,and 2 male Orange-tips.(Barry and Margaret Collins) [Posted by Barry Collins]

Duke of Burgundy at Noar Hill. Today I made my first visit of the year to Noar Hill where I was delighted to see not one but two Duke of Burgundy butterflies close to each other in the same pit ( The one following on after the triangle. From my previous experience the one in which they are found latest.)

They were fairly placid and I was able to get a photograph before I rushed off to tell other enthusiasts of my find. On our return the butterflies were much more active but Cathy Skitterall did manage to obtain a very clear photograph. Apparently she and Mike had sighted one in flight in the previous pit at about the same time.So apparently three Dukes were enjoying the sunshine at Noar Hill today. [Posted by Hazel Pratt]

Noar Hill NNR. I spent over two searching around Noar Hill, today in perfect conditions, and have to announce the Duke is till being very shy,but this weather should bring them out I suspect they will be out by the weekend, if not before. I walked around the set-aside fields next door as well, and the following were observed on the wing:Peacock (16) Brimstone (9) Small Tortoiseshell (5) Comma (1) I saw my first Orange Tip on my way out just past Selborne Hanger! There were plenty of Skylarks in the farmers field which is nice to see and particularly hear. Still no Cuckoo as yet...I drove back home through the Ashford Hangers and the Hampshire countryside looks a picture. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Ashford Hanger NNR
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Noar Hill Chalkpits
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Beech tree escarpment Noar Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

13 Apr 2015

Newport Road,Gosport. In a Private garden in Newport Road Gosport were LARGE WHITE(1 MALE) SMALL WHITE (4),SPECKLED WOOD (1),Peacock(1) [Posted by Anne McCue]

Small White,Peacock & Comma at Sandhill,Gosport.. Small White(1 male)& Peacock(6) at Sandhill(south-west),Gosport. [Posted by David Tinling]

Speckled Wood(3) at Brownown North,Gosport. Small White(1 male),Peacock(6),Comma(2) & Speckled Wood(3) at Browndown North,Gosport. [Posted by David Tinling]

Walters Copse in warm sunshine. Brimstones, peacock, speckled wood, and comma seen today at Walters Copse Newtown IOW. [Posted by Ian Pratt]

Small Copper at Hook Links. I was surprised to find a Small Copper at Hook Links, Warsash this afternoon at 4pm. Actively flying and feeding on gorse along side the Nature reserve between the meander pools and scrape. Also 2 Peacocks. [Posted by Lyndon Hatfield]

Portchester Common SSSI/Portsdown Hill. Visited Portsdown Hill again today in the hope of an Orange Tip, but they seem quite elusive at the moment. Walked around my old transect route, but next time probably next week I shall look at the old chalk pit in the hope that there may be a Wall brown as there were several seen here last season. The following were noted in a hour in the warm afternoon sunshine:Peacock (45)very common now the warm sunshine is upon us,Brimstone (25) plenty of females on the wing now, Speckled Wood (5) Small White (6) Small Tortoiseshell (10)one female was noted laying her eggs on very short Nettles in very open areas, hence the reason why they get so predated, and last but not least Comma (6) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Portchester Common SSSI
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

12 Apr 2015

Milton Lock Foreshore/Allotments. In a stiff cool breeze keeping the temperatures down, I saw on my 'local' patch today the following butterflies, Peacock(7) Small Tortoiseshell (4) Speckled Wood (1) Comma (1) Small White (6). The weather in the week ahead looks good so I think the Duke could well emerge, as I think every specie looking at last years records are about 1-2 weeks behind. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Milton Lock Foreshore
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Milton Foreshore Allotments
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

11 Apr 2015

Return Visit To Portsdown Hill. A return visit to the lower slopes of Portsdown Hill (SU642064), this time during late afternoon, proved to be a good strategy for Orange Tips. Those still active in the cooling conditions were starting to check out possible places to roost, in between flights and sunbathing. 3 male Orange Tips seen along with Peacock (6), Comma (3) and Speckled Wood (1). [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Orange Tip
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Orange Tip
Photo © Alan Thornbury

10 Apr 2015

Lower Green, Hawkley. Driving back from Noar Hill at Lower Green, Hawkley near the the pond was a male Brimstone and a Small White. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Noar Hill. Paid my first visit this year to Noar Hill(SU745318)in bright sunshine and with a temperature of 17 degrees hoping to glimpse a Duke of Burgundy. Despite checking most places, none were to be seen. My count was Brimstone (6 males), Peacock (7), Comma (1) and Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

South Hants Nature Areas. A walk through the Wildgrounds Nature Reserve and Alver Valley Country Park during Wednesday afternoon (8th April) realised the following sightings: Peacock(8); Brimstone (male)(3); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Comma (2); Small White (1); Speckled Wood (1).

On the 9th April, walking the footpath from Titchfield to the Meon Shore - as well as a fine pair of bi-planes in formation - I noted the following: Peacock (12); Small Tortoiseshell (12); Red Admiral (2); Small White (1) and Comma (1). The Peacock's were feeding upon Blackthorn blossom and with a clear blue sky behind made for pleasing photography. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma on Blackthorn
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood late afternoon
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock splendour!
Photo © Francis Plowman

Grizzled Skipper On Magdalen Hill Down. A visit to Magdalen Hill Down (SU503291) this afternoon produced my first Grizzled Skipper of the season. It was disturbed on the path along the foot of the down but darted off without waiting for a photo. Despite extensive searching in the hazy sunshine, no others were seen. Overall, butterfly numbers were slightly disappointing with no Brimstone nor Orange Tip recorded - perhaps the slightly chilly breeze did not help. The most conspicuous species was Peacock (15) followed by Small Tortoiseshell (5). [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

Park Hill Meon Valley. Visited a site in the Meon Valley which is overlooked and has a lot potential habitat for several species including the Duke of Burgundy, although the site has not got swathes of Cowslip anywhere. Its very scrubby behind the East Meon Church, and the following butterflies where observed, Peacock (10) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Brimstone (4) Small White (1) and Speckled Wood (1). (5) Buzzards where seen quartering the sky above Park Hill itself, and the up-draft must quite strong here, as the terrian is quite 'bowl' shaped. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Park Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Cowslip
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Primrose
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

09 Apr 2015

Havant Thicket. Spent two hours walking tracks in Havant Thicket (SU7110)and was rewarded with many Brimstone and Peacock sightings. Another Orange Tip, a female this time was seen. Totals were Brimstone (17M 1F), Small White (1), Orange Tip (1F), Small Tortoiseshell (2)and Peacock (12) [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Staunton Country Park. Walked several tracks within Staunton Country Park, Leigh Park (SU7209)in bright sunshine, temperature was 15 degrees. Please to see my first Orange Tip this year which flew past me several times. Also seen were Brimstone(14 all male)and Peacock(4). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Orange Tip out. I saw my first Orange Tip of the season today and surprisingly it was a female, the first time I can recall that I've seen female before male for this species. Location was Smithley's Copse, Axmansford just after 5pm; probably just emerged today and nectaring on Lady's Smock. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

Orange Tip On Portsdown. A short lunchtime walk on the lower slopes of Portsdown Hill (SU642064) produced my first Orange Tip of the season - a male. Also seen in the sunny conditions were Brimstone (6), Peacock (4), Comma (1) and Small White (1). [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

Hummingbird. A brief stroll through Victoria Park at luchtime in glorious sunshine turned up a busy Hummingbird Hawk Moth nectaring on the Grape Hyacinths. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

08 Apr 2015

Warnford. Brimstone(48),Small Tortoiseshell(8),Peacock(6),Red Admiral(1). [Posted by Anne McCue]

Waterlooville. In my sister's garden in Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville (SU687087) I saw a Comma and a Brimstone. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill. Paid my first visit this year to Old Winchester Hill where the temperature was 15 degrees. Seen were 8 Brimstone (all male) and 3 Peacock. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Northington Down. Hummingbird Hawkmoth - zooming around my garden in bright sunshine. [Posted by R.Bryant]

07 Apr 2015

Holly Blue in Winchester. Fresh Holly Blue seen by my wife, Sharron, in our garden at Badger Farm, Winchester on Tuesday 7th April; and again on Wednesday 8th. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

Chalton Down. Visited Chalton Down (SU736156)after a long walk just over the border in West Sussex in Stansted Forest. Only a single male Brimstone was seen. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Winchester Wander. The old railway path alongside the Itchen Navigation in search of Orange Tip drew a blank, sadly. Four Peacock counted - one photographed on dog poo; I guess it had been a long winter for that one! Twelve Brimstone (male) and only 1 female noted and that nearer to the verdant fields of St Cross. Seven Small Tortoiseshell counted including a pair involved in a chaotic mating ritual that eventually convoluted further away from the camera; and why not? Finally two Comma's noticed and both accepted a close approach. Last year it was 9th April for my first Orange Tip at this venue so I guess a few more warm days may well wake them up. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma warms up!
Photo © Francis Plowman

Holly Blue. Holly Blue on Holly hedge in our Hook garden late in the afternoon, our first this year. [Posted by Kelvin Richards]

Milton Allotments. A quick look around the Milton Foreshore and the edge of the Milton Allotments and the Small Tortoiseshells are presenting their mating rituals, and I saw at least three pairs doing this, with the male sitting just behind the female, and then she flies off and he quickly follows in pursuit, and coming down to rest behind her again. I saw also Speckled Wood (1) Peacock (1) and Small White (4). I noted that its a lot cooler here than inland at Havant Thicket, but still it did not hinder the Small Tortoiseshells amorous advances. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell mating ritual
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Havant Thicket. Went to visit one of my favourite sites today and to see how the Sallow stands were doing after the winter, and I noticed that many had been cut back from the roadside verges. How the Purple Emperor will do in this wood this year only time will tell, I don't suppose they will be as successful as 2014. I saw the following butterflies Peacock (30) there was at least one every 100 yards, along the four main rides in the wood today. Brimstone (15) Small White (1) Red Admiral (1) Small Tortoiseshell (1) and last but not least Comma (5) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Comma
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Havant Thicket
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Sallow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Small Tortoiseshell at 05:15. Small Tortoiseshell basking & flying in very early morning sunshine at 05:15 by the Haslar Sea-Wall at Gosport. [Posted by David Tinling]

06 Apr 2015

Browndown North,Gosport. Peacock(70,Brimstone(4 males),Speckled Wood(1). [Posted by Anne McCue]

Browndown North(south-west). Brimstone(2 males),Peacock(13),,Speckled Wood9!0. [Posted by Anne McCue]

Carter's Copse,Gosport. Brimstone(4 males),Peacock(5),Comma(1),Small Tortoiseshell(1) [Posted by Anne McCue]

Cosham sightings. 2 Brimstones and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth seen in Cosham garden. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Painted Lady at Gosport. PAINTED lADY photographed by Tim Collingwood by the Old Railway Line(south)at Alverstoke,Gosport. [Posted by David Tinling]

Brimstones - Mating Pair. I saw this pair meet, circle and settle in undergrowth in my father's garden in Rownhams this afternoon. They stayed put for at least an hour, very helpful for anyone trying to take a photo! [Posted by Hazel Taylor]

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Brimstones - Mating Pair
Photo © Hazel Taylor

Six Species Counted at Alver Valley. With Peacock butterflies in abundance an afternoon's bimble over Apple Dumpling Bridge into the Alver Valley Country Park was rewarding. As well as this colourful and welcome butterfly another five species were counted: Small tortoiseshell; Brimstone both males and females very visible; Speckled wood x 1; Small white x 1; Comma x 1. A great surprise to see so many in one place after such a cool weekend. Some tatty Peacocks about but also some truly very intact specimens noted. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock enjoying the Gorse
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone = hungry male
Photo © Francis Plowman
A single Comma resting
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown Hill/Portchester Common. Visited the transect site again in the mid-morning today and Portsdown Hill looked lovely in the warm sunshine and the following were observed:Brimstone (45) Peacock (13) Small Tortoiseshell (5) Small White (1) Comma (1). The Ponies are still munching away at the coarse grasses and Gorse, and the wild flowers are starting to show in all there glory, the Common Dog-Violet is quite abundant in places, and the Gorse is in full flower. I only observed one female Brimstone in amongst the rapid flying males about the site today. I'm hoping the Orange Tip will soon be out, and maybe the Duke of Burgundy by the end of the week if this weather continues........ [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Common Dog Violet
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Gorse
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

1 Peacock and 1 Brimstone. Peacock and Brimstone seen in the garden to-day [Posted by Pat Gardner]

Noar hill. Brimstones flying in bright sunshine, also peacock butterflies. Cowslips not yet out. [Posted by R Bryant]

Two firsts. Walked the dog along the north side of Buster and saw numerous Brimstone including my first female and three very active male Orange Tips. Also spotted good numbers of peacock and a few small tortoiseshell. Notable plants included Oxlip and Sweet Violet - a gorgeous morning to be in the countryside.

Mark [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Butterflies At Hollybank Woods. Lots of butterflies on the wing in Hollybank Woods, Emsworth today. At least 2 dozen Brimstone sightings, 3 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Comma. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

05 Apr 2015

Newport Road,Gosport. In a Private garden in Newport Road, Gosport were Brimstone(2 males). [Posted by Anne McCue]

Brimstone Sightings. Saw a single male Brimstone in Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville (SU687087). Later a further 4 male Brimstones in Frank's Coppice near Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville (SU687088). [Posted by Roy Symonds]


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