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

News Archive for Mar 2016

31 Mar 2016

Brimstone Sightings. Today after a cool start to the day at around midday, I walked from Hall Hill, Buriton to the visitors centre in Queen Elizabeth Country Park and back, where I recorded the following sightings:

Hall Hill, Buriton (SU730195) Brimstone 1M

Gravelhill Bottom (SU724188) Brimstone 2M

Queen Elizabeth Country Park Visitors Centre (SU718183) Brimstone 1M

Later I paid a visit to Chalton Down, Old Idsworth (SU736156)and saw a male Brimstone 1M. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Your 'Five a Day' at Frater Fields, Elson. Making the most of the noon sunshine for a circulation of Monks Wood and the adjacent field and shoreline edge it was gratifying to record at once all five butterflies previously recorded here during March. Numbers appear to be increasing no doubt a reflection on the warm sunshine and availability of food. Moreover, they seem to have become rather less fidgety; indeed, a couple of them seemed remarkably confident if not downright vain today! Totals recorded: Comma x 3; Brimstone (male) x 1 - at last the thing rested for the camera! Peacock x 4; Small Tortoiseshell x 1; Small White x 1 on the wing. Others unidentified tumbling around and disappearing. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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One elusive male Brimstone
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

Anson Grove/Portsdown Hill. I visited Portsdown Hill on what can only be described as almost perfect spring weather,however the butterflies still are being very reluctant to show themselves. On Portchester Common I found some White Sweet Violets which I've never seen before, these were in a freshly removed scrub area, obviously growing better now they have been more exposed to sunlight.The best part of the Portsdown Hill is in front of the chalk escarpment, I guess here its rather sheltered, and here I saw (7-8) Small Whites and (3) Brimstones. On the way back I saw a glimpse of a Peacock butterfly. Where I parked was in front of a local nature reserve called Anson Grove, which is sandwiched between the Portchester Housing Estates and the M275 Motorway. Despite being basically a small narrow strip of land with electricity pylons, running through it, it does harbour some good habitat. (3) Small Tortoiseshells were seen basking in the sunshine on the now growing Nettle patches, and several more Brimstones were seen patrolling up and down the line. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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White Sweet Violets
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Anson Grove
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell pair
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

30 Mar 2016

Portcreek, Hilsea. In the sunshine along the path at Portcreek, Hilsea (SU664043) I saw a single male Brimstone in flight. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Milton Allotments. Today was a far better day, good lengths of sunshine with less breeze, and the counts around my local site the Milton Allotments were Red Admiral (1) Small White (1) Small Tortoiseshell(3). Small Tortoiseshells seem to be less common this year, although numbers will probably pick up into April. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Red Admiral
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Gosport Wild Grounds, River Alver area. From 1115 - 1155 a brief ramble around the paths and bushes leading down to the River Alver produced sightings of Comma x 2 and Peacock x 1. Circa 13 degrees C in sunshine but with a cool breeze. The walk terminated prematurely as the Alver is in significant flood around Apple Dumpling Bridge although boot-cladded dog-walkers were managing to wade it! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

29 Mar 2016

Milton Lock. A look around the Hants and Isle of Wight site today in moderate sunshine with cool winds just brought just one butterfly a Peacock. The butterflies this year in the month March have been very poor.I got back to the house and feeding on one of my Osteospermum's was a rather ragged looking Comma, he alighted when he saw me and flew around and then settled back on a Dandelion. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 Mar 2016

Brimstone Sighting. Before my visit to Havant Thicket, in the morning I visited family in Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville (SU687087)where a male and a female Brimstone were flying in the garden. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Speckled Wood. My first of the year at Blashford Lakes HIWWT [Posted by Russ Tofts]

Havant Thicket. In Spring sunshine, I made my first visit of the year to Havant Thicket (SU7110). I walked most of the main tracks during a 2 hour walk, where the temperature was 14 degrees. The following were recorded: Brimstone 10M 1F, Comma 2, Peacock 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

And then there were five!. Between 1220 and 1340 a total of five butterflies noted in and around Monks Walk and Frater Fields at Elson. Mostly warm (about 14 degrees C) and sunny with plenty of breeze-sheltered patches of warm bracken interspersed with early and low nettles. The butterflies seemed very agitated and chased each other determinedly. Totals were: Small White x 1; Comma x 3; Peacock x 2; Brimstone (M) x 1 and still on the wing; Small Tortoiseshell x 3. The latter appeared in excellent condition as did one of the Peacocks. One nice frisbee and two golf balls found so just about made my day! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma, showing punctuation!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell under the flash
Photo © Francis Plowman
Practically perfect Peacock!
Photo © Francis Plowman

1 male brimstone. flying in the garden at Froxfield [Posted by pat gardner]

22 Mar 2016

Spring Sunshine in Gosport!. With a temperature around 15 deg C at noon around Monks Walk/Frater Fields at Elson, more butterflies have been tempted out to feed. Today in just 20 minutes and a couple of hundred metres were: Comma (x 2); Peacock x 2; Brimstone (male) - still on the wing (x 1); Small White (x 1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Smart Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small white feeding
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock rather shabby
Photo © Francis Plowman

Sad Peacock. While tidying the garden today, found a peacock in such a tatty condition, I could only just identify it. Still, the first butterfly in my garden this year - I put it on the winter heather patch to enjoy its last few hours in the sun. [Posted by Mike Wildish]

21 Mar 2016

Peacock in Chandlers Ford. Good to see the Peacocks are re-appearing in my Chandlers Ford garden. Saw one last weekend but didn't have my camera handy. Today's was basking in the intermittent sunshine on a path and near a woodpile. It seems to be in very good condition. I have an early cherry plumb tree in blossom so this is probably providing a good source of nectar for them. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Peacock
Photo © Tracy Piper
Waiting for the sun to re-appear
Photo © Tracy Piper

17 Mar 2016

Butterflies in Hollybank Wood. Went for a quick wander into Hollyband Wood, Emsworth today, saw a Peacock there and also another Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell around the estate on pavements. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

Search for Purple Hairstreak ova. I had an enjoyable Thursday (17th) morning in the company of Andy Bolton, looking for Purple Hairstreak eggs on the south-facing branches of oaks at his uncle's farm in Axmansford. After a slow start, we managed to notch up 11 eggs in total over the course of an hour or so, which have now been tagged and will be monitored through the season. We also found one that had been predated, with a gaping hole next to the micropyle. We also saw half a dozen Brimstone while there, and a Small Tortoiseshell sunning itself at Andy's house. I then popped over to Pamber Forest, where the White Admiral larvae have yet to move from their hibernacula. However, I did see a Comma out and about, bringing my current tally for the year to 3 species - all seen today! [Posted by Peter Eeles]

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Andy in action!
Photo © Peter Eeles
Predated egg
Photo © Peter Eeles
Brimstone male
Photo © Peter Eeles

Portchester Common and Portsdown Hill. Today I wandered over Portchester Common,but there is very little in the way of wildflowers yet with just some Violets and Dandelions appearing just now.There were (5) Brimstone's on the wing on the eastern side of this site in the same area I visited yesterday, with another Small White, flying around nearby to Anson Grove which is a local Nature reserve on the southern side of the M275 at Portchester. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Common Dog Violet
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The Chalk pit
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Spot the Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Wood, Elson, Gosport. Seen and photographed today at 1pm a Comma and Peacock. A total of two Comma's counted and all three insects were feeding high on pussy willow before descending to rest briefly on the grass. They were very fidgety and took to flight easily on my approach. Temperature was a warm 14 degrees C in a very sheltered location. First photographed butterflies of the year for me - Spring is here! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma at Monks Wood, Elson
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock basks at Monks Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Brimstones mating. A pair of Brimstone butterflies were flutter-dancing in bright sunshine in my front garden at lunchtime before retiring discretely into the laurel shrubbery to mate. I'd love to report this on Living Record but find the website fiddly and exasperating. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Butterflies in Hollybank Wood. Went for a quick wander into Hollyband Wood, Emsworth today, saw a Peacock there and also another Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell around the estate on pavements. [Posted by Francis Kinsella]

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Photo © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis KinsellaPhoto © Francis Kinsella

15 Mar 2016

Brimstone on the wing. Travelling to the QA hospital in my car a male Brimstone crossed Portsdown Hill road in front of me. My first British butterfly sighting of the year. It was exactly seven days later than my sighting of Brimstone in 2015. Delighted to see our friends on the way back again! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Brimstone.. I saw a Brimstone in flight in Vernham Road, Weeke, Winchester. [Posted by Maya Whitmarsh]

Comma in Portsmouth. Jackie Whitlock saw a Comma. It was seen in Ravlin Car-Park in Portsmouth, part of the University complex, today. It was perched on some shrubs just opposite the Portsmouth Museum. [Posted by Jackie Whitlock]

Brimstone. After searching around Brownwich with no luck a bright fresh brimstone appeared in the garden this afternoon in Lee on Solent [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

Portsdown Hill. Today was the first trip out to find that elusive butterfly, they seem to be somewhat shy at the moment, and I went up to Portsdown Hill and walked part of the old transect route I used to do. It was certainly warm enough for butterflies, there were plenty of bumble bees on the wing. I came across the grazing horses I've met several times before and they had been busy, and they were blocking my route, so I went down in front of the huge cliff face of chalk, an area where I hadn't been now for several years. Im glad I did as I saw my first Brimstone on the wing, and a few minutes after a Small White flew past me.The Portsdown Hill Conservation Volunteers were out and they were cutting Dogwood, a never ending job. I walked over part of the Portchester Common and here I saw another Brimstone on the wing. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Cliff face Portsdown Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Cutting Dogwood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Brimstones. Brimstone at Monks Walk and Strawberry Field [Posted by Chris Lycett]

Brimstone. A strong flying male brimstone in the garden at Rownhams at 12:30 [Posted by Sue Lambert]

13 Mar 2016

Small Tortoiseshell in Four Marks. One seen flying along Brislands Lane late afternoon. [Posted by Chris Rose]

Small Tortoiseshells at Magdalen Hill Down. Two seen flying and basking in the sunshine on the slopes. Photo shows a nice fresh specimen. [Posted by Andrew Hutchison]

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Photo © Andrew Hutchison

12 Mar 2016

Red Admiral at Acres Down. One Red Admiral seen flying rapidly past on Acres Down in the New Forest during the afternoon sunshine [Posted by Chris Rose]

Brimstone butterfly. A Brimstone butterfly(m) was flying in bright sunshine at the bottom of College St, by Wolvesley Palace, Winchester. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

11 Mar 2016

Tortoiseshell at Beacon Hill. A large orange-brown butterfly was flying strongly around the southern slope of Beacon Hill, Warnford this afternoon. I chased it for a while but it would not settle. It did not have the jizz of a Comma so I presume it was a Tortoiseshell sp., hopefully just a Small Tortoiseshell! [Posted by Dave Pearson]

04 Mar 2016

250 years of butterfly recording in Hampshire. 8th March 2016 marks the 250th anniversary of the first Hampshire butterfly record, and not surprisingly it was the well-known and highly regarded early naturalist, Gilbert White, who made this record of a Brimstone, at Selborne, near Alton. A small display to mark the 250th anniversary of butterfly recording in Hampshire, is on show throughout March at the Gilbert White House Museum, Selborne, subject to normal opening times and admission charges (for further detail click on Events > Other Events). [Posted by Andy Barker]


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