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

News Archive for Apr 2017

29 Apr 2017

West Wood, Farley Mount. I saw just 2 butterflies today in less than favourable conditions at West Wood nr Winchester. Amazingly this was one each of my target species. I went specifically to see if I could find Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy after seeing both at this site last year. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul HarfieldPhoto © Paul HarfieldPhoto © Paul Harfield

Dukes in Force. As soon as the weather broke today I headed to Butser. At first butterflies were few and far between but as the sun started to emerge more frequently the activity increased. First spot were two Small Heaths - my first of the year then reasonable number of Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers. Eventually I found my first Duke of Burgundy and it seemed they emerged in reasonable numbers in one particular area counting at least a dozen, possibly more, including a good punch-up between four males. Three Common Blues were some of the earliest for me, along with a Brown Argus on the way back to the car, [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Dingy Skipper
Photo © Mark Tutton
His Grace
Photo © Mark Tutton
Common Blue
Photo © Mark Tutton

Field Trip in the afternoon. After we got back to the car-park the sun had finally come out and it was quite warm and here we managed to see our first Orange-tips and Brimstone. I decided to take everybody to another site close by which has Duke of Burgundy. We arrived after a 10 minute ride and walked through the lovely Beech Forest, where in the glades when the sun came out we saw several Speckled Woods.The species count was now getting interesting, as we turned into the scrubby copses we espied a Duke of Burgundy on some Bramble, and was quite active in the sunlight. We saw several more quite spread out over the scrubby and Cowslip covered downland. We ventured deeper into the undergrowth to a large area where there are very good counts of most species on a good day, however today we managed to pick up just (2) Grizzled Skippers, with the odd Brimstone, Orange-tips, Green-veined White, Peacock, Comma, and last but not least Holly Blue, so we had (11) species today which isn't too bad considering how in first started! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Green-Veined White
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Field Trip to Park Hill, East Meon. Gloomy skies met everybody in the car-park this morning and it was decidedly cool, so the best we could hope for is a bit of bird spotting. All the time we were on the site it never looked like getting any warmer or that the sun would come out, however there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon as we saw shards of sunlight hitting the slopes of Butser Hill in the distance. In the scrubby coombs we hedged our bets this is where we would find something at least....we saw several moths one a Lovely Green Carpet Moth, and another Carpet a possible Red-Twin Spotted Carpet decided to alight on me for some warmth. We also dug out two very cool looking Common Blues deep in the grasses. I couldn't help feeling that had it been a lovely morning we would have seen a good deal in amongst the scrubby area on the site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Red-twin Spotted Carpet?
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The Meon Valley from Park Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

27 Apr 2017

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The cold of the last two nights brought numbers down here even in the little patchy sunlight between 1150-1330 today. Eight species in all counted with the following noted: Green-veined White (2); Speckled Wood (5); Orange-tip (M)(1); Holly Blue (4); Red Admiral (1); Peacock (3); Large White (1); Comma (1). Two noisy fly-pasts by a Spitfire added interest to an otherwise quiet walk! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

24 Apr 2017

Oxenbourne Down. Visited one of my favourite sites, although over the past few seasons it has become quite a task getting around the site, and today wasn't any different. Of course the sun soon disappeared once I gained a footfall on the site, and the butterflies were non-existant for the first hour. However things did brighten up vaguely for a 20-minute period and once off the Duke area, which is overgrown to a degree, it will be interesting to see how many adults spring up on a good day. I managed to record just (5) species, Grizzled Skipper (2) Dingy Skipper (1) Green-veined White (2) Brimstone (1) Small White (2). [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Wild Strawberry
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Apr 2017

Butser Hill. The weather was a little uncertain today with bursts of hot sunshine in between rather cool and overcast moments. I wasn't sure what I might see at Butser Hill but after only a few minutes walk from the car park onto the chalk ridge a Grizzled Skipper flew across my path and landed on a Dandelion. Later on as I descended into Ramsdean Down my first sighting of a Small Heath this year was a very pleasant surprise. Once in the valley I saw another Grizzled Skipper and a Duke of Burgundy. It was certainly worth the very steep climb back to the car park. [Posted by Isobel Taylor]

Four Marks. This afternoon saw yet another Holly Blue in the garden, but the biggest surprise was a Painted Lady that flew through, unfortunately not stopping [Posted by Chris Rose]

Mockbeggar. I helped a friend with his UKBMS transect at a private site at Mockbeggar on the western fringes of the New Forest today. Although numbers weren't as high as I would have hoped at this prolific site I did manage male and female Orange-tip, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Comma and Peacock, so a good range of early species. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Pair of orange tips
Photo © Mark Tutton
Small copper
Photo © Mark Tutton
Comma
Photo © Mark Tutton

Early Small Copper in our garden (Lane End, nr. Beauworth). Today at around 1600, a Small Copper landed in our wild garden and stayed for about 5 minutes before flying off into the oak wood behind the house. This is the earliest Small Copper here - and only the second I can recall in 30 years here. We had a second brood one in September 2014 We are at Lane End (SU557257) about 125m high on the chalk downs. The wild garden is full of cowslips. but the Small Copper preferred daisies. It was totally windless and a sunny interval. What a great garden tick, so early. [Posted by Techer Jones]

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Early Small Copper in the garden
Photo © Techer Jones

Buster Hill Circuit. The weather was a little uncertain today with bursts of hot sunshine in between rather cool and overcast moments. I wasn't sure what I might see at Buster Hill but after only a few minutes walk from the car park onto the chalk ridge a Grizzled Skipper flew across my pass and landed on a Dandelion. Later on as I descended into Ramsdean Down my fist sighting of a Small Heath this year was a very pleasant surprise. Once in the valley I saw another Grizzled Skipper and a Duke of Burgundy. It was certainly worth the very steep climb back to the car park. [Posted by Isobel Taylor]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Isobel Taylor
Surprise Small Heath
Photo © Isobel Taylor
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Isobel Taylor

Brown Argus. Whilst walking Magdalen Hill Down Original today I came across a single Brown Argus at the bottom of the slope towards the western end of the reserve. The butterfly perched for long enough for me to get an ID then flew off. Sadly not re-located [Posted by Bryn Jones]

22 Apr 2017

Around Four Marks. A good four-hour walk around my patch in Four Marks delivered at least 5 Holly Blues, I have been recording here for five years now and this day total exceeds the amount I have seen in those five years. As well there were plenty of Orange Tips about, mostly males searching out females. I counted 12 male Orange-tips and 3 females. In addition 5 Speckled Wood, 5 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Small White and 1 male Brimstone.

http://fourmarksbirding.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Orange Tip
Photo © Chris Rose
Holly Blue
Photo © Chris Rose
Orange Tips
Photo © Chris Rose

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. On a bright sunny Spring day, I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) in the early afternoon where the temperature was 14.5 degrees. Here observed my first sightings of both Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers this year. Most were flying on the West facing slope that was free of scrub. As usual here Dingy Skippers outnumbered Grizzled.

Totals: Brimstone 4M, Small White 4, Holly Blue 2, Dingy Skipper 5, Grizzled Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

21 Apr 2017

Noar Hill. Today I paid my first visit of the year to Noar Hill. Arriving before mid day, the weather was overcast but later the sun appeared with the temperature reaching 14 degrees. I searched all the usual spots looking for the Duke of Burgundy and was rewarded with seeing a total of 11. A mating pair was observed at close quarters, while in another pit I found a very freshly emerged Duke drying its wings.

Totals: Large White 1, Small White 2, Orange-tip 4M 1F, Duke of Burgundy 11 and Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

20 Apr 2017

Ten Species at Monks Walk, Gosport. A two hours walk through this site from 2 o'clock realised all the usual Spring 'suspects'. In addition a female Large White was also spotted high in the trees, my first sighting this year. Numbers were: Comma (5); Speckled Wood (7); Green-veined White (1); Peacock (2); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Small White (1); Holly Blue (2); Orange-tip (M)(1); Red Admiral (2); Large White (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Female Large White
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman

Heritage Way, Priddys Hard, Gosport. A small disused car park towards the end of Heritage Way (formerly part of Priddy's Hard) now surrounded by tall trees, hedging and shrubs, this morning around 11 o'clock was home to at least four Speckled Wood. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

19 Apr 2017

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Ninety minutes in the mid afternoon at Monks Walk saw eight butterfly species defying the cooler temperature and still very active. Speckled Wood (5); Comma (3); Holly Blue (3); Green-veined White (2); Peacock (2); Small White (1); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Orange-tip (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma left side
Photo © Francis Plowman
Same Comma right side
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman

Fort Brockhurst Station, Woods & Field Gosport. Where once stood the Fort Rowner Garrison Church - a veritable tin-tabernacle if ever there was - a small field enclosed by mature trees now provides dog-walking opportunities for locals. It is bordered to the east by the remains of the old Fort Brockhurst to Lee-on-the-Solent railway line platform substantial traces of which are still evident. From 1400 I spent 25 minutes exploring the glade and found Red Admiral (1); Speckled Wood (6); Holly Blue (1) and Small White (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood on disused platform
Photo © Francis Plowman

Browndown (South) Gosport. From 1230-1350 I wandered the military training area that is Browndown (South). The south-easterly breeze was very cool and apart from a brazen fox there was very little to see. Small White (1); Peacock (1) and Speckled Wood (1) were the only butterflies braving the low temperature. It was, however, very disappointing to see the cutting down to the ground of so many trees and bushes where I have previously photographed Purple Hairstreak. The small horse-shoe-shaped clump of low oaks remain but the area around which provided windbreak and roosting is completely gone. Whether this is another example of so-called habitat 'conservation' or military training necessity I have no idea. It may well adversely affect the aforementioned species but only time will tell. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White & plastic detrius
Photo © Francis Plowman

18 Apr 2017

IOW Glanvilles. Glanville Fritillary are doing really well at certain "chines" on the Isle of Wight - I've attached photos of final instar larvae, together with a disused larval web. [Posted by Pete Eeles]

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Photo © Pete EelesDisused larval web
Photo © Pete Eeles
Photo © Pete Eeles

Duke And Dingies Make Appearance At Rake Bottom. A mid-afternoon walk along a sunny Rake Bottom, below Butser Hill was very productive, despite the cool temperature. Most significantly, Dingy Skippers (5) are now on the wing there, accompanying the Grizzled Skippers (14) in the scrub along the valley floor. A Green Hairstreak made an appearance too, also amongst the scrub.

I had to wait until I had returned to the entrance gate to find the other species I was on the lookout for – a fresh male Duke of Burgundy was flitting from perch to perch as I emerged on to the open hillside just above the gate. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Dingy Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Duke Of Burgundy
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Martin Down.. After a very cool & breezy start at Martin Down with little around (visit times 10.15- 14.30) a much warmer afternoon followed & more activity butterfly wise. Species noted were Grizzled Skipper 2, Orange-tip 3, Brimstone 4, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Speckled Wood 3, Green Hairstreak 7, Peacock 1. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Mark Pike
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Mark Pike
Holly Blue
Photo © Mark Pike

Monks Walk & Frater Fields Gosport. Beautiful warm sunshine throughout a very slow and measured walk around the woods and field edges from 1145-1520 today. Nine butterfly species seen and some increasing numbers. A pair of Small Egret dipped for tiddlers in tidal rivulets as Swallows and House Martins flashed overhead flying north. The woodpecker was still drumming out his monotonous rhythm high in the trees. Numbers recorded: Orange-tip (M)4(F)1; Small White (2); Speckled Wood (13); Green-veined White (first seen here this year)(3); Red Admiral (3); Holly Blue (5); Comma (5); Peacock (6); Small Tortoiseshell (1). Compared to yesterday's walk at Noar Hill with its obvious conservation efforts on view - and with just five species recorded - I know what habitat I prefer! Nature seems to know best, at least at this unprepossessing site. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman
Pair of Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White
Photo © Francis Plowman

17 Apr 2017

Noar Hill. With indifferent weather forecast for the Bank Holiday, we decided not to venture too far, so when the sun came out in the afternoon we opted for a walk around Noar Hill. With the hollows and ridges sheltering from the fresh cool wind it turned out to be a good decision. As we walked into the reserve we found our only Duke of Burgundy, but were rewarded with some lovely views of Green Hairstreak, and Holly Blues. The count for the afternoon was 1 Duke of Burgundy, 5 Holly Blues, 4 Green Hairstreaks, 2 Orange-tips, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small White. More details here http://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Chris Rose
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Chris Rose
Holly Blue
Photo © Chris Rose

Noar Hill. Between 1320-1525 we undulated the chalk hills of this site under a coolish northerly breeze and occasional warm, sunny bursts. Around 14 degrees C at best. The sought after species (Duke of Burgundy Fritillary) duly obliged - indeed, very passive in the overcast conditions. Quite a few enthusiasts circling the site and at one time we were queuing up to photograph a completely shameless mating pair of Holly Blue with a half-frozen Brimstone nearby! Numbers thus: Duke of Burgundy Fritillary (7); Holly Blue (4); Orange-tip (5)(1F)(4M); Red Admiral (2); Brimstone (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Duke of Burgundy Fritillary
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

16 Apr 2017

Next Gen Dukes. Duke and Duchess (Duke of Burgundy) around Noar Hill at quite a number of sites - cold but when the sun came out there was movement. 2 pairings seen. In one hollow 4 males and 1 female (in a pairing) seen. Still plenty of Holly Blue, Orange-tip and a Green Hairstreak seen in the scrub near the main path. [Posted by Mark Jones]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Jones
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Jones
next gen Dukes
Photo © Mark Jones

Butser. The cooler weather of late has slowed the butterfly season down a bit as I was expecting to find Dingy Skipper today but could locate none. However Grizzled skippers are doing OK as I counted at least seventeen - a nice fresh Green Hairstreak posed for its photo as well as a pair of Grizzled Skippers gorging themselves on not so nice fox poo!

Three Peacocks a Small Tortoiseshell two Red Admirals and a Speckled Wood were also spotted but not a single Brimstone? [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Yuk
Photo © Mark Tutton
Much Nicer
Photo © Mark Tutton
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Mark Tutton

Orange Tip mating pair. Orange tip butterfly mating pair in the garden today. [Posted by Peter Vaughan]

14 Apr 2017

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. An hour long circulation of the fields and woods in and around Monks Walk this afternoon realised a count of 7 species. Lots of hedgerows and sun-dappled glades provide breeze-breaks that clearly encourage butterflies. Comma (6); Peacock (5); Holly Blue (1); Speckled Wood (10); Red Admiral (5); Small White (6); Orange-tip (M)(2) both on the wing. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

North Wallington, Fareham. A cool blustery day, cloudy with few sunny periods and temperature hovering around 14 degrees Celsius did not augur well for our first exploration of the fields north and south of the M27 at North Wallington. The usual suspects - but in low numbers - were sighted and, returning disappointed to the car, we happened upon an early and rather diminutive Small Copper (13:45). Rapidly cheered up! It seemed a very new insect and was clinging-on to the pathway in a very stiff breeze. So the tally here was: Comma (1); Speckled Wood (2); Peacock (1); Orange-tip (M)(2); Small White (1); and the Small Copper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma at North Wallington
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper at North Wallington
Photo © Francis Plowman

April newsletter. Just received the April newsletter ... Wow! very impressed by the presentation, layout and artwork. Congratulations. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

13 Apr 2017

Colin Baker. Really sorry to hear Pete's news about Colin. I spent many happy hours in his genial company, especially at Alice Holt and I will miss his welcoming smile as he walked up the track to ask "anything about". I particularly remember a time when we were trying to locate a stunning ocellata abberation of the Silver Washed fritillary which led us a merry dance and made Colin particularly late picking his wife up from the supermarket!

The Purple Emperor season will not be the same this year.. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Marsh Fritillary pupa. Continuing with my regular progress reports for the Marsh Fritillary captive breeding programme we currently have underway (licensed) as part of a partnership project between Butterfly Conservation and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, I am pleased to report that the first pupae have now formed. The attached photo was taken today, and given that the pupal stage lasts around 16-21 days, adult butterflies will probably emerge in the first week of May, or even the last few days of April. Checking through the Hants & IoW Branch Annual Reports of the last 17 years, the first emergence for Marsh Fritillary averages out at around 13 May, but some years produce a late April first emergence. It certainly seems to be an early season, but we'll have to wait and see. I'll keep you informed as soon as there are further developments. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Marsh Fritillary pupa
Photo © Andy Barker

11 Apr 2017

Havant Thicket. Today with temperatures reaching 14 degrees, I visited Havant Thicket (SU7110) walking the outermost tracks. I saw a total of 5 species, with lower than usual numbers of Brimstones, but with many Orange-tips. Totals: Brimstone 5M, Small White 3, Orange-tip 9M, Speckled Wood 3 and Peacock 9.

I would also, along with my son Richard and his wife Becky (in Cornwall), echo the words of Peter Eeles in our sadness at hearing the loss of our dear friend Colin Baker, with whom we shared many enjoyable sunny days watching in particular Duke of Burgundy at Noar Hill and Purple Emperors at Straits Inclosure, Alice Holt. Colin's favourite butterfly was the Brimstone, so it is poignant that so many are in flight at this sad time. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Today I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) where a few sightings were observed, Small White 2, Orange-tip 1M. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Noar Hill Dukes.. A visit to a rather cool but sunny Noar Hill from 1030-1415 produced 4 Duke of Burgundy, 10 Orange-tip, 5 Holly Blue, 1 Small White, 6 Peacock, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Duke Of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Pike
Duke Of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Pike
Duke Of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Pike

Colin Baker. It is with much sadness that I have to report the passing of long-time member Colin Baker, who many members will remember with fondness - one of the nicest people I have ever met, and always enthusiastic. I have vivid memories of spending a good amount of time with Colin at Pamber Forest when his interest in Lepidoptera was being rekindled after a long absence. He eventually went on to create a wonderful website at http://www.lepi-photos.com. Colin's funeral will be held on May 2nd at 1:30pm, at Aldershot Crematorium. [Posted by Peter Eeles]

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Photo © Peter Eeles

Pamber Forest. It's been a while since I checked up on the White Admiral larvae I'm monitoring at Pamber Forest, but am so glad I did! We have quite a spectrum of progress, ranging from 2 that are still in their hibernacula (3rd instar), 3 out of their hibernacula and now feeding (3rd instar) and a very early 4th instar larva! I also found quite a few Orange-tip and Brimstone eggs - the Spring has been amazing! [Posted by Peter Eeles]

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3rd instar larva still in hibernaculum
Photo © Peter Eeles
3rd instar larva - out and feeding
Photo © Peter Eeles
4th instar larva
Photo © Peter Eeles

10 Apr 2017

Milton Allotments shoreline. A warm pleasant afternoon I decided to look around my local patch, and I've lived here in this area now for 6 years, and today were the best counts of butterflies in this area for the early spring season. Good numbers of Small White, with Speckled Wood as well, this species is really doing well this year. Peacocks were battling with each other and spiralling up into the sky like wise with the Small Tortoiseshell's. Speckled Woods were chasing off Small Whites from their territories, it was Butterfly junction!Counts were as follows: Small White (15)Peacock (7) Small Tortoiseshell (4) Speckled Wood (10) Green-Veined White (3) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Peacock guarding his territory
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The Speckled Wood and the Apple Blossom
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Milton Allotments shoreline
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

09 Apr 2017

Visit to parkhurst forest I.O.W.. 22 peacocks,15 brimstones,1 orangetip, 1 comma, 2 speckled woods on a very warm day with butterflies along every ride. [Posted by Mick sivell]

Dukes On The Wing At Noar Hill. A short visit to Noar Hill this afternoon, under cloudless skies and in warm sunshine, produced 4 male Duke of Burgundy, all in the central area chalk pits. Other species seen included Orange-tip, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Comma. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Duke Of Burgundy
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Duke Of Burgundy
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Noar Hill NNR. On the hottest day of the year a look around Noar Hill, which was a joy, I have been butterflying now for 33 years and I don't think I have seen so many Orange-tips and Holly Blues at such an early stage in the spring. The Holly Blue was flying in two's and three's in some sections of the site. The Duke was very hard to spot with the surface of the ground being very bright with the sunshine, and to spot one was a triumph. The counts were as follows: Peacock (3) Comma (1) Duke of Burgundy (2) Brimstone (6) Small White (1) Green-Veined White (1) Orange-tip (16) Holly Blue (14). I'm really hoping the Duke has a good season, and starting off so early, herald's good counts normally throughout its flight season, and if the summer is good hope for a second brood in August. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Holly Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Noar Hill NNR
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

08 Apr 2017

First Dukes. We spent a glorious morning at Noarhill with friends Mike & Angela Catchpole from Lincolnshire.

The highlights were 2 Duke of Burgundys, 2+ Green Hairstreaks, 10+ Orange-tips, 6 Brimstones and 12+ Holly Blues. [Posted by Steve Davis]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Steve Davis
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Steve Davis

Grizzled Skippers. Apologies. This is the map location photo. Grizzled Skippers seen where blue stars are highlighted. Mark [Posted by Mark Jones]

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Photo © Mark Jones

07 Apr 2017

Hawley Meadow (Hants/Surrey Border). from 11:00 until 13:00, lazy stroll along the River Blackwater and adjacent water meadows (Hampshire side) , as the temperature warmed up and under a cloudless sky, encountered the following, Orange-tip (10+); Peacock (10+) Brimstone (10+); Small White (4); Green-veined White (1); Speckled Wood (4); Comma (3); Holly Blue (6); unidentified whites (4) [Posted by Paul Bamford]

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Orange-tip
Photo © Paul Bamford
Orange-tip
Photo © Paul Bamford

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Honest, I am not addicted to this site! My car is having a paint job so I'm walking. And walk I did this afternoon between 1245-1510 around the woods, hedgerows and fields at the end of Frater Lane, Elson. I finally managed to photograph the noisy Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker that was so far wedged into a tree drumming away merrily that he failed to hear my approach! Bluebells, wild violets and primroses abound - as were the butterflies! Speckled Wood (8); Brimstone (M)(1); Comma (3); Holly Blue (3); Small White (4); Peacock (6); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Red Admiral (1). Virtually all the butterflies seen were in very good condition and numbers of Speckled Wood are increasing. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

Four Marks. A short look around the village, and then an afternoon in the garden produces 6 male Brimstones, 3 Small Whites, 1 male Orange-tip, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock and in the garden 1 Holly Blue. Lots of Bee Flies about as well. http://fourmarksbirding.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Brimstone & Small White
Photo © Chris Rose
Peacock
Photo © Chris Rose
Holly Blue
Photo © Chris Rose

Havant Thicket. Visited one of the main woods in my local area today with buckets of sunshine the species were out in force, plenty of Brimstone and Orange-tip and Peacock's on the wing. The following counts were:Red Admiral (1) Peacock (13) Speckled Wood (2) Brimstone (20) Orange-tip (10) Small White (1). The Sallow is now coming out in bud, looking for any Emperor Larvae is a huge task, made even harder by the fact the birds like Chiffchaff, Great and Blue Tits were darting in and out of the bushes, probably finding any Larvae and feeding them to their young. I'm ever hopeful the Purple Emperor does better this year though, as last year it was a complete disaster. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Common Dog-Violet
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Sallow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

06 Apr 2017

First White. Returning home today I observed my first Small White in Rest A Wyle Avenue, Hayling Island (SU723004). [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Portsdown Hill. Today I walked along the ridge of the Eastern end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063), here while the temperature was 14 degrees I observed Brimstone 8M, Peacock 2.

Next walking around the back of Fort Widley (SU657066) I saw my first Speckled Wood. Totals: Brimstone 6M, Orange-tip 1M, Speckled Wood 2, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. From 1234-1530 a lazy circulation of my local haunt in warm afternoon sunshine rewarded as follows: Peacock (8); Small White (3); Comma (4); Speckled Wood (4); Holly Blue (3); Brimstone (M)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

05 Apr 2017

First grizzled skipper. Paid a visit to a blustery Butser Hill and there were few butterflies around despite the sunshine but I did see my first three Grizzled Skippers [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Grizzled skipper
Photo © Mark Tutton

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. After a good number of sightings at Havant Thicket, I paid my first visit this year to Chalton Down (SU736156) where the temperature was 13 degrees. A few butterflies were seen on the sheltered parts of the upper slopes. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Orange-tip 2M, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Havant Thicket. With another fine Spring day (temp 13 degrees), I revisited Havant Thicket (SU7110) where I walked a complete circuit of the site following the main perimeter tracks, the walk lasting nearly 2 hours. I saw a total of 5 different species, including my first sightings this year of Holly Blue and Small White. Good numbers of Orange Tip are now emerging with a dozen seen.Totals: Brimstone 16M, Small White 2, Orange-tip 10M 2F, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 7. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

First Grizzled Skipper. Paid a brief visit to Buster in the late afternoon sun and scoured the sheltered warm south facing slopes to see if I could locate some early Grizzled Skippers. It was pretty breezy and butterflies were few and far between - just a couple of Brimstones and Peacocks initially but I did eventually find three skippers but they were difficult to track in the breeze which continually blew them up the slope when they were in flight. Managed a couple of brief snaps though. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Grizzled Skippers
Photo © Mark Tutton

Portsdown Hill/Portchester Common/Anson Grove. Despite the warmth of the sun in exposed places on Portsdown Hill today there was a distinct chill in the air. I was on site for almost an hour before I saw my first Brimstone, they have never been early risers, but the chill factor kept their numbers down today. It was more of a Speckled Wood and Orange Tip day. There were some of the best early spring counts today of the Speckled Wood, especially along the top of the hill right next to the main road where there is a small passage of vegetation, which is ideal habitat for them. Good counts of male Orange Tips today as well, patrolling up and down the hedgerows.The counts today were as follows:Speckled Wood (13) Peacock (14) Small White (5) Orange Tip (6) one of these being female. Brimstone (20) Comma (2). I was surprised not to see a Small Tortoiseshell at Anson Grove, all round quite a good count of early spring species. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock imbibing on the floor getting minerals
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Conservation work in progress on the Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

02 Apr 2017

Walk at Keyhaven. A walk in warm sunshine at Keyhaven produced 3 Red Admirals, 7 Peacocks, I Brimstone and a Speckled Wood. [Posted by tony blakeley]

Orange Tip in the Sunshine at Stockbridge Down. I long circuit of Stockbridge down today between 10:00 and 13:00 saw fewer butterflies than I would have liked given the excellent conditions. We saw a Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, several Comma, 6 Peacocks and 8 Brimstone. We were looking for an Orange Tip, a butterfly that I had not seen before and were not disappointed as we walked parallel to the road. There were at least 5 different individuals, all male that were quite mobile so the pictures are not great. [Posted by Gerwyn Clegg]

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Photo © Gerwyn CleggPhoto © Gerwyn Clegg

Spring Arrives Early On Portsdown. A late afternoon walk along sheltered footpaths on the lower slopes of Portsdown Hill confirmed that spring seems to have arrived early. A count of 6 male Orange Tips is the most I have ever recorded this early in the season. One briefly settled whilst the sun dipped behind cloud for a few photos. Peacocks were out in force, basking on the paths (~20) with Brimstone (9), Comma (4), Speckled Wood (2), and sightings of other ‘whites’ (3) completing the list. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Orange Tip
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Brimstone
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Speckled Wood
Photo © Alan Thornbury

9-Up! Monks Walk. If a Golden Eagle had turned-up this afternoon it wouldn't have surprised me! We had deer, fox, geese, wood pecker, feral cat and nine species of butterfly.....Between noon and 2pm in full warm sunshine at 16 degrees it got rather busy: Peacock (6); Brimstone (M)(1); Comma (5); Small White (1); Speckled Wood (3); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Red Admiral (1); Holly Blue (3); Orange Tip (1) on the wing. Just after noon a small glade previously a good bet for sport was empty; an hour later, three Holly Blues were present including a mating pair and one circling hoping for his chance. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue - sex in the stingers!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman

Fort Widley. Walked around one of my old Haunts today Fort Widley, looking at the area to see how much its changed, other than the grazing and the scrub clearance not much really. An area which was good for the Wall Brown Butterfly many years ago. I suspect it's still here in very small numbers, as one was reported from here last season, so it's still worth looking out for. Butterflies on the wing today were as follows: Brimstone (18) Orange Tip (2) both males, happily feeding on the many Dandelion flowers in the hedgerows. Speckled Wood (2) Small White (2) Comma (1) Holly Blue (1), there are many Holly tree/Bushes on the down and the Horses ignore them consequently where the scrub has been cleared and the horses have nibbled the vegetation the Holly bushes stand out on the down like sentinels. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Orange Tip
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Fort Widley with the Holly Bushes
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Cowslip near the footpaths around the Fort
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

01 Apr 2017

Gosport Walks. Alver Valley East of the River. A half-hour mid-afternoon circuit along the bank of the Alver and around the field edges in blustery conditions saw: Peacock (7); Comma (3); Small Tortoiseshell (3).

Monks Walk from 1520-1615 saw: Peacock (3); Comma (6); Speckled Wood (1); Small White (M)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Tortoiseshell at the Alver Valley
Photo © Francis Plowman
Alver Valley Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

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