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

News Archive for Mar 2018

26 Mar 2018

Stoke Common, Hayling Island. After seeing a dozen male Brimstones at Havant Thicket, I returned to my local area, Hayling Island where I walked from Langstone Bridge along the Hayling Cycle track and past Stoke Common, onto the main Havant Road. Here at Stoke Common (SU716033) I saw 3 male Brimstones in flight along the edge of woods and paths.

On reaching the main Havant Road on the corner of Victoria Road (SU718029) a single Peacock flew past me, another first for the year. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Brimstones Galore at Havant Thicket. After such a cold start to the year I finally saw my first butterflies of 2018, on this my third visit of the year to Havant Thicket (SU7110). Here all along the main straight track male Brimstones were in flight between trees and over the track. A total of 12 were seen, all males. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Northington Brimstones. While biking around the parish this morning I counted 3 Brimstone butterflies fluttering along the hedgerows in bright sunshine. My first sightings of the year. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

23 Mar 2018

Anson Grove /Portchester Common. Today was more like spring in every way with good amounts of warm sunshine, and the butterfly count was quite good as well. The Brimstoneís started off slow, but after a couple of hours their count was into double figures about (18) seen on Portchester Common and Anson Grove. Other species were very limited with the Peacock, Red Admiral, and a fleeting glimpse of a Small Tortoiseshell seen. Itís a shame the weather falls apart again tomorrow. We need a week or so of good warm sunshine so all the flora and fauna can play catch-up as this has been one of the coldest Marchís Iíve known for many years. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone Head on!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grazing ponies on the down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Brimstone & Comma @ Monks Walk, Gosport. Five butterfly species recorded today between 1145-1400 at Monks Walk. At last full sunshine, hardly a breeze and temperature around 14 degrees C tempted-out some of Spring's reluctant butterflies. Four male Brimstone were active, quartering the woodland edges and putting-up other species in their fruitless hunt for a female. At last one sought sanctuary on the ground for a few seconds! The count was: Brimstone (M)(4); Small Tortoiseshell 1; Red Admiral (1); Peacock 4; and Comma (2). Linnets, Jays, Woodpeckers, Grey Squirrels et al added to the enjoyment. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone male takes a breather
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma, one of two seen
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock in its pomp
Photo © Francis Plowman

Small Tortoiseshell at Monks Walk, Gosport. Between 1245-1400 a circulation of the area in milky sunshine, fairly cool SW breeze and temperature at 11.5 deg C revealed 2 Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies. The latter are my first sighting of the year and appeared almost two weeks later than 2017. However, they inhabit the same area of dry and flattened nettles/bracken with new season's growth underway. Things are looking up! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Tortoiseshell No 1
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell habitat
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell No 2
Photo © Francis Plowman

Milton Allotments. March has so far been pretty dire, and butterfly observations very few and far between. Despite a cool breeze the sun today had some strength in it and the temperature was somewhat what it should be for this time of the year. By the Milton Allotments this afternoon, I observed one Female Red Admiral and she was laying eggs on the short Nettles. One Small Tortoiseshell was seen feeding on a unidentified plant on somebodyís Allotment, looking very faded. The Peacock was in good condition and was flitting between clumps of grass, on the shoreline when the breeze increased. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Milton Allotments and foreshore
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Red Admiral
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

21 Mar 2018

Monks Wood, Elson, Gosport. I was intrigued to learn how the Peacocks seen and reported on 16 March had fared following the recent snow and cold temperatures. Between 1320-1420 I walked the area in sunshine but cool SW breeze around 11 deg C. At least one of the pair reported on 16 March was very much alive as was one Red Admiral. In the more protected woodland-enclosed meadow a further three Peacocks (in varying condition) were absorbing the warmth of the sunshine and testifying to the hardy nature of this beautiful insect. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock in good condition
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock with damaged wings
Photo © Francis Plowman

Lower Test Nature Reserve. Comma and Peacock. First Comma I've seen this year , plus a Peacock at Lower Test Nature Reserve. Butterflies are understandably a bit hesitant to get going so far this year. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

18 Mar 2018

25-year transect trends. The latest 25-year transect trends (1993-2017) are now available for all Hampshire and Isle of Wight butterfly species. To view these trends, click on the Transect tab of this website, then select the 25-year trends sub-tab. An example graph for Small Tortoiseshell is shown below. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Small Tortoiseshell (1993-2017)
Photo © Andy Barker

16 Mar 2018

First sightings, North Baddesley. First sighting of the year for Brimstone 15th March and Peacock 16th March both on my own butterfly reserve at North Baddesley. [Posted by kevin ross]

Peacocks at Monks Walk, Elson, Gosport. First butterflies recorded here since the Red Admirals on 30 January. Today at 1245 in warm sunshine but with cool easterly breeze (circa 10 deg C) I saw two tumbling butterflies. Then an opportunity to photograph a Peacock came along and it wasn't until later when looking at the pictures that I realised that I had managed to record both! Nature here is a long way behind 2017; many of the paths/tracks, fields and woodland are waterlogged with very few trees in bud and Spring flowers sparse. The forecast weekend 'beast from the east' (the weather one!) is likely to slow things down further I fear. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock No 1
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock habitat
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock No 2
Photo © Francis Plowman

13 Mar 2018

Glanvilles on the Island. I made the most of today's sunshine by visiting various chines on the Isle of Wight looking for Glanville Fritillary larval webs since the larvae are now out of hibernation. I'm pleased to say that I found well over 50 webs (when I stopped counting) which equates to approximately 5000 larvae! I hope this bodes well for a good year on the island. Most larvae are still in their hibernating 5th instar, but some are now in the penultimate 6th instar. I also bumped into Andy Butler (Butterfly Recorder to the Isle of Wight) and Patrick Wood (BC staff) who were surveying the larval webs and had a good natter! [Posted by Pete Eeles]

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5th instar larvae
Photo © Pete Eeles
5th instar larvae with a 6th instar - easily distinguished based on the size of the head
Photo © Pete Eeles
6th instar larva (mostly!) having built a new dense web
Photo © Pete Eeles

first small tortoiseshell. first small tortoiseshell on my butterfly reserve at north baddesley today and many bumble bees.first slow worm 10th march and first baby rabbit 11th march. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

Brimstone at Oaklands School. Lord's Hill. Southampton.. Taken me this long to get my first Brimstone of the year. Nice to see a male Brimstone on the site of the now demolished Oaklands School at Lord's Hill Southampton. A nice glimpse of spring. But another cold snap is forecasted . [Posted by Jason Claxton]


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