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

News Archive for Oct 2018

27 Oct 2018

Red Admiral. Despite the change in weather conditions this weekend, I was pleased to see a Red Admiral in my garden on Saturday lunch time. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul Harfield

26 Oct 2018

Eastney Beach keeps on trucking Part 2. Eastney Beach was a lot cooler today with a sharp northerly wind blowing, and hence the butterflies today were less active, which made counting Clouded Yellows a lot easier. Today there were four, and they all at some point hunkered down into the grasses trying to escape the cool air. But once the sun shone and the temperature went up again they were off. I also saw another Small Copper with blue spots which was different from the one on the previous day. She was in far better condition, and was at one point looking for some Sorrel on which to lay her eggs. Small Whites were still active along with Common Blue as well. The fat lady still hasn't sung. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
small copper female
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 Oct 2018

It ain't over till the fat lady sings.....Eastney Beach. Just a wander over to one of my favourite patches as the sun broke through this afternoon on the beach and as soon as I got to the small slope I saw at least (5) Clouded Yellows three were interacting with each other, and I think one must have been a female, they were quite active as they didn't settle for long.I was surprised to see further to the eastern side of the slope that there was a lovely female Small Copper very fresh looking with 'blue' spots. Also there was several Male Common Blues still in good condition as well, and several small whites added to the mix....so it isn't over just yet. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Clouded Yellow at least five on the beach today
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper blue spot female
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
male common blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

24 Oct 2018

Extraordinary Speckled Wood, Ports Down. Seen on Ports Down, top meadow, at midday: a pristine Speckled Wood, very dark brown with small cream spots. A 4th brood specimen? No other butterflies on the wing, alas. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

22 Oct 2018

Portsdown Hill (East). Today in sunshine, temperature 13 degrees I visited the East end of Portsdown Hill, where, following many recent reports of Clouded Yellows I also spotted a single individual in flight. My only other sightings were of a male Brimstone and a Speckled Wood.

ERRATA: My report from Portsdown Hill dated 27th October should read 27th September. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

21 Oct 2018

Clouded Yellows Nr Hill Head. The were at least 2 Clouded Yellows as well as Small Copper, Red Admiral and Several Small Whites flying in the small area of scrub between Seafield Park and the beach Nr. Hill Head on Sunday lunch time. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul HarfieldPhoto © Paul HarfieldPhoto © Paul Harfield

Bembridge downs (N.T.) I.o W.. A warm afternoon on the downs, with 3 Clouded Yellows, 1Speckled Wood,

1 Meadow Brown and 2 Red Admirals. [Posted by Mick Sivell]

Gosport. Between 1200-1310 (16.5 deg C) I walked from the Stokes Bay lifeboat station car park to Gilkicker Point and back using the paths, beach and fields. Four butterfly species were on the wing today: Red Admiral (3); Small White (5); Clouded Yellow (3); Small Copper (1).

At the Haslar Sea-Wall Car Park Scrub area (1315-1350) another four species were recorded: Red Admiral (1); Speckled Wood (1); Clouded Yellow (F)(1); Small White (1).

Finally, Monks Walk, Elson between 1400-1430 where the temperature had reached 17.5 deg C but the oblique rays of the sun introduced many shadows, I counted: Small Copper (1); Small White (2); Speckled Wood (5). Altogether a great weekend for butterflies and their observers alike! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow believed male, Gilkicker
Photo © Francis Plowman
Clouded Yellow, female, Haslar
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood, Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

20 Oct 2018

Southwick Butterflies. I did not find any Clouded Yellows at Southwick on Saturday, but I counted 8 Red Admirals and 7 Speckled Woods including egglaying females of both species. Also seen male and female Brimstone, Small White and Common Blue. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul HarfieldPhoto © Paul Harfield

Clouded Yellow at Weston. At least one, probably two Clouded Yellow seen close to Weston Shore, moving from dandelion to dandelion in the adjoining parkland. Single Brimstone and several Small White and Red Admiral also seen between Weston and the Royal Victoria Country park. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

Titchfield Haven foreshore & Brownwich Cliffs. Yesterday afternoon I walked the clifftops from Brownwich to the Meon Shore Chalets and back to Chilling. The base of the cliffs looked interesting so today I reversed course. Setting out at 1310 from the Meon Shore Chalets (17C) I walked the beach along the cliff base towards the Brownwich shore where a small brook divides the beach on its course to the sea. Nearing this juncture where the cliffs smooth down towards the shingle a small patch of south facing ground proved a warm and flowery butterfly reserve. No less than 7 butterfly species were recorded in this small area as follows: Small Copper (3); Small White (6); Red Admiral (1); Clouded Yellow (5); Common Blue 1(M); 1(F); Brown Argus (1); Wall (1); Small Copper (3). On returning to the chalets at 1430 another Small Copper and a Peacock were noted. The Wall was involved in a tussle with Small Whites and was last seen chasing them along the clifftop! The female Clouded Yellow (photographed (poorly) in flight) was in obvious difficulties as it crashed into and out of the undergrowth, extremely agitated. I think she was egg-laying and it may be that one egg was stuck as something is protruding from her abdomen. This was my first walk along the base of the cliffs and although hard work with the shingle may next summer prove a useful site to re-investigate. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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A late Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Female Clouded Yellow in flight
Photo © Francis Plowman

Browndown Coastal Area, Elmore. Once again the red flag flying at Browndown South's western gate enforced a change of direction. The adjacent Browndown Coastal Area was circulated between 1215-1250 with the temperature at 15C and in full sunshine. Four butterfly species were recorded: Red Admiral (2); Small White (6); Clouded Yellow (1); Small Copper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

19 Oct 2018

Chilling Woods, Clifftops, paths & Haven Beach. Between 1340-1530 we walked the path through Chilling Woods towards the sea, climbing the cliffs and ending up at the beach bungalows towards Titchfield Haven. The temperature was 17C with hardly a breath of wind and the target was Clouded Yellow. These lovely butterflies were in evidence including, almost on the beach, a mating pair. The fields are replete with brassicae and this undoubtedly contributed towards the high number of Small Whites recorded. We finished the day resting on a bench at the Monks Hill promenade where another Clouded Yellow came up the beach and settled on the stones seaward of the promenade. Species seen today: Small White (22); Speckled Wood (1); Small Copper (1); Clouded Yellow (6); Red Admiral (1) [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Copper on the clifftops
Photo © Francis Plowman
Clouded Yellow haven beach area
Photo © Francis Plowman
Clouded Yellow on the beach at Monks Hill
Photo © Francis Plowman

Oxenbourne Down. Despite excellent weather today Oxenbourne Down was devoid of any invertebrates, except one lonesome female Small Copper. She was well past her best but nice to see she was clinging on. There is a lot of sallow growing on top of the down, and if its left it would hopefully be a good area for a female Purple Emperor to have a look at from over the other side of the A3. There is a lot of woodland species here so an addition here would be a boon. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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A Sad looking female Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Just waiting for the suns rays
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Good Sallow growth on top of the down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Oct 2018

Monks Hill, Promenade Scrub & Seafield Park. The sighting of Clouded Yellow back at Gilkicker encouraged me to check-out the flower bedecked field beside the Monks Hill promenade, Hill Head. From 1320-1410 this site provided great interest and rewarded the sacrifice of deferring lunch! The temperature was now a balmy 17 degrees C and the raised ground to the north protected the field from the cool breeze. So it was that five species were recorded: Large White (1); Small White (2); Clouded Yellow (3); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (1). All these butterflies were seen in and around the field beside the promenade. Seafield Park itself was devoid of butterflies. The resident fox was still to be seen. The circuit and landing at Lee on the Solent by a Spitfire trainer was simply icing on the cake. (With a 'free' car park, WC and nearby cafe, this site is recommended). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Francis Plowman
Clouded Yellow female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Painted Lady
Photo © Francis Plowman

Gilkicker Point, Gosport. With the red warning flag flying at Browndown it was back to Gilkicker to try my luck around the building site that largely this area has become. While the project to convert the old fort to millionaire's houses has foundered, work was still ongoing to secure the area. One can still circulate around the fort's high-fence perimeter but much of the scrub in the area has been disturbed significantly. Nevertheless, butterflies were obviously not. Red Admiral (4); Clouded Yellow (1); Common Blue (Female)(1); Small White (1) made up the interest between 1210-1300 with the temperature still at 15 deg C and a noticeably cool northerly breeze. Things looking up then. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. With the temperature now at 15 degrees Celsius I circulated through the scrub which is still in flower to find just one hardy Common Blue (male). Not going very well this is it? [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. From 1040-1130 I picked-up from where, four weeks ago, I had left off to find just one species. Perhaps the early dews and damps played a part (only 14.5 deg C at best) but for four Speckled Wood it would have been a washout. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Eastney Beach. The butterfly season is probably at the end now as today in perfect conditions I saw only (3) species, after a couple of days when the weather has been less than ideal. Itís a shame that the Small Copper seems to have finished, although itís good to see the Clouded Yellow still on the wing, along with Red Admiral and Small White. I also had a Red Admiral feeding on my miniature Buddlias in the garden which have suddenly burst into flower. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Red Admiral on Buddleia
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

13 Oct 2018

Leigh Park moth trap in my garden. I had my moth trap on in my garden overnight in my garden at Leigh Park and caught 33 species. Two of these were new species for the garden a Tree Box Moth which has become a pest in the London area and a immigrant called Palpita vitrealis. Other species of note were Green-brindled Crescent 2, Blair's Shoulder-knot 2, Black Rustic 3, White Point 2, Barred Sallow 2, L-album Wainscot 2, Heart and Dart 2 my latest record for this species, Brindled Green, Brown-spot Pinion, Lunar Underwing 4, Yellow-line Quaker 7, Red-line Quaker 2. [Posted by Barry Collins]

09 Oct 2018

Portsdown Hill and Eastney Beach. Decided today to do two sites to the most of the warmth still in the sunshine and see how many species are still on the wing. Between Portsdown Hill and Eastney Beach I encountered (7) species, the species on the downland totally different to the species on the beach other than the whites.The totals were Speckled Wood (4) Red Admiral (2) Clouded Yellow (5) Small White (24), Large White (1) Small Copper (2) and Common Blue (2), also Silver-'y'moth and Vapourer Moth. This is probably the final week for many of these species. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Red Admiral
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

07 Oct 2018

Barton Meadows Nature Reserve. I have visited this site nr. Winchester for the last 2 Sundays hoping to see offspring of the Clouded Yellows I saw there earlier in the year. Last week (30/9) I arrived just as the sun disappeared! No Clouded Yellow were seen, but I did see a single Painted Lady, Red Admiral and several very fresh looking (3rd Brood) male Common Blue.

Today the conditions were much better. I was pleased to see at least 3 Clouded Yellow, 2 Peacock, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Small White, several Common Blue including some fresh females and a single Brown Argus. All this action was concentrated, conveniently near the carved wooden bench at the top of the reserve (SU484318) [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul HarfieldPhoto © Paul HarfieldPhoto © Paul Harfield

05 Oct 2018

Eastney Beach keeps on trucking. Eastney Beach today was glorious very warm and there were still seven species on the wing, with (4) Painted Lady, (3) Clouded Yellows, two were engaged in a dog-fight, but were all males; last week I saw a lovely female but she seems to have disappeared. Small Coppers were still on the wing with one male still in good condition, but the females were still laying eggs on the re-emerging Sorrel after the fire during the summer, (5) were seen on the wing. Small Whites and Common Blues were still on the wing as well. Also a Hummingbird Hawk Moth was flitting from flower head to flower head, and several Silver-'Y' Moths were buzzing about as well. I never saw the Wall Brown which was flying up and down the bank last week but alas not today. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Painted Lady
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

03 Oct 2018

Portsdown Hill. Today I returned to the East end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063) as the temperature reached 19 degrees. A few Whites along with a single Common Blue and Speckled Wood were seen. Totals: Large White 2, Small White 1, Common Blue 1, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

01 Oct 2018

Portsdown Hill. Today on the East end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063) the temperature barely reached 14 degrees with only a single Large White and Speckled Wood in flight. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


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