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

News Archive for May 2018

31 May 2018

Painted Lady. Cromarty Rd, Pond Fields.Southampton. First Painted Lady of the spring/summer for me today. Flying strongly northwards ,even though the weather was drizzly at the time. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

30 May 2018

Mottistone Down. Afternoon walk along the downs revealed lots of blues, several Adonis Blue amongst the Common Blues, 1 Green Hairstreak, my first two Meadow Browns of the season and at least 8 Glanville Fritillary. [Posted by Daniel Moden]

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Photo © Daniel ModenPhoto © Daniel ModenPhoto © Daniel Moden

Martin Down Field Trip. Hi Everyone

I fancy giving Martin Down a go on Friday 1st June 2018 meet in the car-park at 10:15 for 10:30 start. Weather looks alright probably the best for the week.

Ashley Whitlock Field Trip Co-Ordinator [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Marsh Fritillary female
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Burnt Tip Orchid
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

29 May 2018

SSB on the wing on Bramshott Common !. On exactly the same date as last year, and despite the shocking weather, I was pleased to be able to find a few males. [Posted by Pauline Richards]

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Photo © Pauline RichardsPhoto © Pauline RichardsPhoto © Pauline Richards

28 May 2018

Hayling Cycle Trail. Today with the weather hot and sunny reaching 24 degrees, I walked the length of the Hayling Island Cycle Trail (SU7102) from North Hayling to West Town.

Totals: Large White 1, Small White 12, Holly Blue 8, Small Heath 2, Speckled Wood 8, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Pignall Enclosure. Decided to pop down to Standing Hat car park at Pignall, to see if there were any Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries still around. No sooner had we left the car park and we spotted some off the gravel path along a ride.

We got there at about 10am and spent a couple of very hot and humid hours watching the frits., which were very active at first, flying up and down the ride. It got hazy and a little cloudy and they settled down to some egg laying. She laid eggs on more than one type of plant. One did look like a violet but the other two didn't, but I'm better at recognising butterflies than I am plants! We saw about 10 in all, mostly female, mostly faded, although one was still quite fresh. There were also a couple of Brimstones and some Broad-Bodied Chaser dragonflies one of which posed beautifully for me. It was our first visit here and although we didnít get very far, we did see what we came to see. We never leave home now without our Butterfly Walks book! It always points us to where the butterflies are.

A word of warning thoughÖ.despite having very tight jeans, socks and trainers, I still ended up having to pull 6 ticks out when I got home! [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Female Pearl-Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Tracy Piper
Pearl-Bordered laying eggs
Photo © Tracy Piper
...more egg laying
Photo © Tracy Piper

Bentley Wood, Eastern Clearing Sees Marsh Frits Revival As Small Pearls Begin Emergence. A lunchtime visit to Bentley Wood's Eastern Clearing in unexpectedly cloudy, but warm conditions, confirmed that Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary have begun to emerge there. I only saw one (a female) basking contendedly on foliage.

Also seen in the clearing were several Marsh Fritillaries, all in good condition, including a female. This mini-revival would have been a suprise, had I not been made aware previously by other observers. Pearl-bordered Fritillary was encountered occasionally (6 seen) in fair to good condition as well as a fresh Grizzled Skipper.

A peek at the visitors book on the way out, indicated that the first Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary was recorded just yesterday (one seen), but there have been no records of Duke Of Burgundy noted in the book since early May. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Pignall Enclosure. .....some more photos.... [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Pearl-Bordered still in good condition
Photo © Tracy Piper
Slightly more faded Pearl-Bordered
Photo © Tracy Piper
Beautiful male Broad-Bodied Chaser
Photo © Tracy Piper

St Catherines Hill Blues. Good morning for blues at St Catherine Hill. A conservative estimate of 40 Common Blue on the wing plus 2 male Adonis Blue (in an area abounding with their food plant) and 4 Small Blue (in a separate area with a seeming dearth of theirs). 4 or 5 Brown Argus also seem plus 2 Dingy Skipper, a single Grizzled Skipper and a few Small Heath. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

Bentley Wood, East Clearing in the Hampshire part. A rewarding three Fritillary visit to Bentley Wood, Several each Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Marsh Fritillary, with 1 fresh looking Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary on the wing. [Posted by Michael Duffy]

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Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Michael Duffy
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Michael Duffy
Small Pearled Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Michael Duffy

27 May 2018

Glanville Fritillary at Afton Down, IoW. First time I've looked for the Glanville Fritillary and it turned out to be a beautiful weekend on the IOW. Observed my first 7 Glanville Fritillary in the car park and downs above at Afton Down. Then on a piece of land between Ventnor Park and Steephill Cove, just above the sea, I observed about 20-30 on a small area of this land. This would suggest numbers of well over 100-200 as the vegetation was similar across the whole area. Further sightings of 20-30 at Horseshoe Bay, Bonchurch, below the cliff and even flying around the fete on the green at Sunday lunchtime. Quite a first time experience. [Posted by Neil Saint]

West Butser Hill and Cancellation of Martin Down Field Trip. First and foremost I want to apologize to anybody who turned up at Martin Down today for the field trip and I wasn't there. I never took the decision lightly to cancel, as it was at 0700 this morning and a tempest was blowing outside my front gates and I though the four horses of the apocalypse were running down the road. As it turned out it was a great day very warm...If the Weather men can't get it right what are we to do? I decided not to waste the day and went up to Butser Hill and there I saw the final few days of some Duke of Burgundies. Having said that there were several just freshly emerged one female and several males battling for territories. Tallies were as follows Duke of Burgundy (22) Common Blue (20) Small Heath (35-40) Brimstone (23) Dingy Skipper (12) Burnet Companion(2) Small Copper (2) Green Hairstreak (8) several females were laying on Rockrose. Brown Argus (5) Grizzled Skipper (4) Speckled Wood (2) Red Admiral (1) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Dukes many or most look very worn now
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Green Hairstreak was seen laying on Rockrose
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Duke of Burgundy hiding from male suitors
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 May 2018

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket (SU7110) where the temperature was 18 degrees, the weather however was overcast, with the result that few butterflies were on the wing.

Totals: Brimstone 2M 2F, Small White 1, Holly Blue 1, Speckled Wood 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

23 May 2018

Chalton Down. Today I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) where the weather was sunny but with a strong breeze keeping the temperature down to 16.5 degrees, which perhaps resulted in the low numbers recorded today.

Totals: Large White 2, Orange-tip 2M, Common Blue 5M, Small Heath 8, Dingy Skipper 1, Grizzled Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Martin Down (cont). More pics. . . . [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Mark Pike
Marsh Fritillary (aberration)
Photo © Mark Pike
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Mark Pike

Martin Down. After a pretty cool and windy start a further visit today from 0945-1400 produced a good amount of butterflies in unbroken sunshine, Small Blue 150+ (they were everywhere including the one pictured with red in the wing dots), Common Blue 10, Adonis Blue 7, Brown Argus 7, Grizzled Skipper 22, Dingy Skipper 18, Small Heath 24, Brimstone 6, Green Hairstreak 6, Marsh Fritillary 22 (including one aberration, see photo), Small Copper 3, Burnet Companion Moth 10, Cinnabar Moth 4. More pics to follow. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Small Blue (red in wing dots)
Photo © Mark Pike
Brimstones
Photo © Mark Pike
Adonis Blue
Photo © Mark Pike

22 May 2018

Large Skipper at Compton Bay, IoW. Sorry to report late but Large Skipper seen at the Compton Bay car park, Isle of Wight. I should also say that in the car park alone there were also - Brown Argus, Wall, Glanville Fritillary, Dingy Skipper, Small Blue, Adonis Blue, Green Hairsteak, Whites...pretty good car park hey! [Posted by Mark Jones]

Portsdown Hill (East). Today when the temperature was 22.5 degrees, I walked the Eastern end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063) including the downland slope, where several Brimstones and male Common Blues were seen. Totals: Brimstone 7M 6F, Small White 4, Orange-tip 1M, Common Blue 8M, Small Blue 1, Small Heath 1.

Opposite around Fort Widley (SU657066), a few more Brimstones were seen along with Holly Blues on the Ivy bushes. Totals: Brimstone 4M 2F, Small White 1, Common Blue 3m, Holly Blue 3, Speckled Wood 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Glanville's Galore - Compton Bay. Wonderful to see so many Glanville Fritillary butterflies at Compton Bay. Many emerging early that morning. By the afternoon the cliff side - and right into the car park - had GFs everywhere. More butterflies than I've ever seen. [Posted by Mark Jones]

Oxenbourne Down/Wascoombe Bottom. A good look around one of my favourite sites and the butterflies and Moths were out in good numbers. I was very pleased to see the Duke of Burgundy at last on the slope that goes down to the A(3) Motorway, it seems to have taken its time, only thirty odd years since I've been visiting this site! It certainly more spread out now. I saw three male Duke of Burgundies doing battle in a very sheltered spot in Wascoombe Bottom. One male was a very dark colour which seems to be a trait at this site, being quite isolated. The counts were as follows:Duke of Burgundy (11) Common Blue (7) Burnet Companion (3) Grizzled Skipper (9) Dingy Skipper (10) Speckled Yellow (15) Small Copper (2) Brimstone (30) Small Heath (1) Speckled Wood (1) Holly Blue (2) Red Admiral (4) Peacock (1) Green-veined White (1) Orange-tip (1) Cinnabar Moth (3) and Common Carpet Moths [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Dukes are now looking very Bramble damaged
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The A3 Motorway slope of Oxenbourne Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Cryptocephalus Hypochaeridis on Hawkbit
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

21 May 2018

Stoke Commmon, Hayling Island. I did not venture far from home today, vsiting Stoke Common, Hayling Island (SU716033) where the temperature was 22 degrees. Several Whites and a male Orange-tip were seen along with a single Peacock. Totals: Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Orange-tip 1M, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Eastney Beach. Went down to Eastney Beach today to see if the Small Copper had at last emerged but it hasn't. I did notice though on some Tufted Vetch, which isn't in bloom yet a female Holly Blue laying her eggs. She was tapping the leaves with her forefeet, and then using her antennae to feel the leaves. I watched her lay about twenty eggs before the sun got the better of me. Fascinating watching, this very catholic of Butterflies, I've now seen laying on dozens of different flowers. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Holly Blue female
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Holly Blue female bending her abdomen onto the underside of the leaf
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Sorrel very common on the beach area.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 May 2018

Yew Hill. The following butterflies were seen by me at Yew Hill in 1 and half hours 20-5-18.1 Small Blue,20 Grizzled Skipper,28 Dingy Skipper,20 Common Blue,5 very fresh Brown Argus,75 plus Small Heath,5 Brimstone,2 Small White and 2 Orange-tips. [Posted by kevin ross]

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Photo © kevin rossPhoto © kevin ross

Silchester. A walk around the walls of Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum) provided a few of the usual suspects - Large White and Green-veined White, Orange-tip, and Speckled Wood.

However notable was a Brown Argus at the South Gate - record shot attached. [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

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Green Veined White, Silchester
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Brown Argus, Silchester
Photo © Steve Mansfield

Bentley Wood Pearls. A morning visit to Bentley Wood in just about perfect conditions for butterflies from 0945-1345 produced the following species, Pearl-bordered Fritillary 18, Speckled Wood 1, Dingy Skipper 1, Large White 4, Brimstone 1, and countless Speckled Yellow moths!

A lot of the Fritillaries were to be found near to where recent clearing work has been done just outside of the eastern clearing and many females were egg laying in this area on fresh shoots low to the ground. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Mark Pike
Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Mark Pike
Pearl Bordered Fritillary-Egg Laying
Photo © Mark Pike

19 May 2018

More Photos from Martin Down. I forgot the Small Heath!

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

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Chris Rose
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose
Small Heath
Photo © Chris Rose

Martin Down. Avoiding the Royal Wedding a walk around Martin Down was a far more rewarding time. Good numbers of Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers, Green Hairstreak, Common Blues and newly emerged Small Blues. Brimstones were everywhere, and there was also a very bedraggled Peacock. In the car park two or three Orange-tips. Two moths, Cinnabar and Burnet Companion were also present, but the highlight was the number of Marsh Fritillaries. The majority were in the Ditch around the area it meets Bowling Green Lane. No definite count but at least in excess of twelve.

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

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Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Chris Rose
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Chris Rose
Small Blue
Photo © Chris Rose

Sidney Wood (Surrey) Field Trip. Another batch of photos of the Wood White. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Four Wood Whites (Males)
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Hairstreak and Bluebells
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating Red Dmselflies
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Sidney Wood (Surrey) Field Trip. I've just had one of the most interesting Field Trips in all my experiences over the past thirty odd years, a visit over the border to see the dainty Wood White Butterfly. I'd like to include it on the web-site to show everybody what we are missing in Hampshire. We have our gems I know but this dainty little butterfly is so close to the edge of extinction. It was a joy to see, we parked at Sidney Wood where we had a quick look around this fab Oak wood, superb for the 'Emperor' I'll be bound in a couple of months!We all then went on to Oaken Wood in several cars because of parking. And as we parked up these butterflies were patrolling up and down one of the rides. We didn't have to go far, in fact we watched them as we ate lunch but it was hard not to take photos of these very 'tame' insects. They were utilizing a muddy ditch and one settled down imbibing on mineral salts I assume. Then after a few minutes he was joined by another male. After about an hour in this spot in a very sunny position we had then three, then four, then we nearly had five all imbibing on a muddy stick! It was a male 'lec', no females were seen. Other butterflies seen were good Green Hairstreak, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, plenty of Brimstone's, Green-veined White, Orange-tips, Speckled Wood. We had Broad Bordered Chasers,Large Red Damsel-Fly's mating, a Nightingale was singing its heart out in the distance.

I'd like to thank the Surrey branch for making the Hamphire branch very welcome. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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One Wood White (Male)
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Two Wood Whites (Male)
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Three Wood Whites (Male)
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 May 2018

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Revisited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits (SU6306) where the temperature was 15 degrees to get some more photographs of the Small Blue.

Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Small White 4, Common Blue 9M, Small Blue 20. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Chalton Down. Visited Chalton Down (SU736156) today, the weather being a lot cooler at 13 degrees, but still nine different species on the wing.

Totals: Brimstone 1M 4F, Large White 1, Small White 4, Orange-tip 1M, Common Blue 1, Green Hairstreak 2, Small Heath 4, Dingy Skipper 12, Grizzled Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Martin Down - more pics. More pics from Martin Down today [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Small Blue - Martin Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Green Hairstreak - Martin Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Small Heath - Martin Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Martin Down. Just about the most perfect day on Martin Down today - only butterfly missing was an Adonis Blue that I couldn't find (I'm hopeless at the first generation - have much more luck with the second) - otherwise butterflies in abundance! The only species I counted was Marsh Fritillary (12) the others were just too numerous. The list includes Small Blues, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Small Heaths, Green Hairstreaks, Orange Tips, Brimstone, Common Blue, and Brown Argus. Add in Turtle Doves 'purring' and Ravens 'honking' overhead and it made for an unforgettable day. Difficult to pick out a favourite but probably 'stars' of the show were the Marsh Fritillary - obviously newly emerged and pristine. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Dingy Skipper - Martin Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Marsh Fritillary - Martin Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Grizzled Skipper - Martin Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Spring butterflies at Yew Hill. 12 species seen at Yew Hill in lovely sunshine this morning, after checking the sheep on Hilltop, comprising Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Orange-tip, Green Hairstreak, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Peacock and Small Heath. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

Old Winchester Hill NNR. Compared with Stockbridge Down yesterday this site today was like a Butterfly Desert. I must admit I was looking at a North facing slope which gets very little sunshine unless its a good weather like it has been over last few weeks. I was looking for the Duke of Burgundy and it was very disappointing, with just (3) to show for my efforts. I must confess I do look at this site later on in the season so I shall go back in the last week of May or beginning of June. Only seven species were recorded which was very poor, the counts were as follows; Duke of Burgundy (3) Grizzled Skipper (6) Common Blue (2) Dingy Skipper (3) Small Heath (2), Green Hairstreak (1) and several Mint Moths and a Common Carpet Moth. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Duke of Burgundy now looking slightly frayed
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

17 May 2018

Pearl-bordered Fritillary in New Forest. A very nice day strolling around some enclosures not often visited produced 164 Pearl-bordered Fritillary including 3 mating pairs. Found the p.b.f. in Frame Wood again along with a narrow bordered bee hawk moth. [Posted by Mark swann]

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. After seeing my first Small Blue of the season earlier in the day, I visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits (SU6306) where the temperature had increased to 18.5 degrees. Here I recorded a total of 15 Small Blues, noticing that they did not stray very far in flight.

Totals: Brimstone 4M 1F, Small White 9, Orange-tip 3M 2F, Common Blue 6M, Small Blue 15, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Portsdown Hill. Today I visited the Eastern end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063) where the temperature was 16 degrees. Walking the main path along the ridge parrallel to the road I recorded six different species including my first Small Blue this season. Totals: Brimstone 4M 4F, Small White 9, Orange-tip 1F, Common Blue 6m, Holly Blue 2, Small Blue 1.

Opposite at Fort Widley (SU657066) were Small White 3, Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Pearls Flying In New Copse. A visit this morning to New Copse Inclosure in the New Forest produced 10 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. All of those I was able to get close to were males. They were flying in the track verges close to the eastern entrance and were very active in the strong sunshine, stopping only briefly to feed or bask. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Stockbridge Down. A trip to Stockbridge Down today yielded 13 species 5 new for me this year. Brimstone were abundant, Comma, Peacock, 3 Dingy Skipper, 6 Grizzled Skipper, one Small Heath, Green-veined White, Small White, 3 Duke of Burgundy. 2 Pearl-boarded Fritillary, Holly Blue, 2 Small Copper and one flyby by a Common Blue. [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Sue Lambert
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Sue Lambert
Small Heath - hiding
Photo © Sue Lambert

Stockbridge Down Field Trip. A good day was had by all today with (23) species seen these obviously include moths. I arrived at the car-park today at 08:30 and was greeted by a Pearl-Bordered Fritillary perched waiting to heat up in the early morning. There was also several Small Coppers buzzing around checking each others territories out. When we all set off it wasn't long before the species count went up and in the new coppiced area next to the road there were good amounts of Dingy and Grizzled Skipper and in the hedgerows there were Brimstone's Orange Tips, Holly Blues, and Green Hairstreaks. We aimed to head towards the Fort where we saw several more species adding to the count and the Duke was on parade as we had our lunch there enjoying the view.The counts I think were very impressive, Brimstone (100+) Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (8) Small Copper (22) some of the best counts I've had for years,Grizzled Skipper (40+) Dingy Skipper (22+) Green-Veined White (3) Small White (3) Holly Blue (6) Orange Tip (7) Green Hairstreak (10) Small Heath (3) Mother Shipton (1) Common Blue (2) Common Carpet (2) Speckled Wood (2) Duke of Burgundy (10) Green Carpet (1) Red Admiral (2) Peacock (2) Mint Moths (5) Brown Argus (1) Silver 'Y' Moth. A thoroughly enjoyable day, little wind, and good turn out made this a delight. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Pearl-Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Coppers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating Grizzled Skippers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Martin Down.. Another visit from 0945-1415 in a stiff, cool breeze produced the following species in the sheltered spots. Grizzled Skipper 26, Dingy Skipper 17, Holly Blue 2, Green Hairstreak 4, Orange Tip 4, Brimstone 8, Green Veined White 2, Peacock 2, Marsh Fritillary 2, Brown Argus 3, Common Blue 1, Small Copper 3, Small Blue 2 and a superb Elephant Hawk Moth. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Brown Argus
Photo © Mark Pike
Elephant Hawk Moth
Photo © Mark Pike
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Mark Pike

15 May 2018

Chalton Down. After visiting Oxenbourne Down, I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) on my way home South where the temperature reached 22 degrees. Here I recorded ten different species, with numbers similar to that here yesterday. I did manage to see unbelievably my first Red Admiral of the year. Totals: Brimstone 3M 2F, Small White 3, Orange-tip 2M, Common Blue 1M, Green Hairstreak 1, Small Heath 3, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1, Dingy Skipper 15, Grizzled Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Oxenbourne Down. Today I visited Oxenbourne Down (SU7118) where the temperature was 20 degrees. A total of seven different species were recorded inculding a few Duke of Burgundy, Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers.

Totals: Brimstone 4M 3F, Large White 2, Small White 3, Holly Blue 1, Duke of Burgundy 3, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

More Pics from Magdalen Down. More Pictures from Magdalen Down [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Common Blue - Magdalen Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Small Blue - Magdalen Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Brown Argus - MAgdalen Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Bentley Wood & Magdalen Down. I don't often visit two sites in a single outing these days - but when I do this is one of my favourite combinations. As well as it being a big circle from my home location and back (saving many miles on separate trips) I get to see a huge variety of butterflies (and birds). First to Bentley Wood where in stark contrast to last week the Pearl Bordered Fritillaries were out in the Eastern Clearing and enjoying the sun! I counted somewhere between 10-12 in a brief 1 hour stay and all in pristine condition. There were a lot at the top end of the clearing (above the notice board) where I haven't been before. Then on to Magdalen Down which was, in a word, superb! Apart from a couple of recorders I seemed to have the place to myself. The Brown Argus are out in force (far too many to count) along with numerous Common Blues, Brimstone and 5 Small Blues. Four of these were in the usual chalk pit but I had an added bonus of one on the lower slope of the original reserve. All in all, a wonderful day. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Pearl Bordered Fritillary - Bentley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Brown Argus - Magdalen Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Pearl Bordered Fritillary - Bentley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Meon Valley. Despite the weather being warm, the wind still has that cutting edge and unless you find a secluded area away from the breeze then the butterfly counts plummet to almost zero.To day the Small Heath and Small Blue were on the wing with good counts of the Duke of Burgundy. Counts today were as follows: Speckled Wood (1) Small Heath (15) Red Admiral (2) Duke of Burgundy (60) Brimstone (18) Green-veined White (1) Orange Tip (6) Green Hairstreak (1) Small Blue (3) Dingy Skipper (16) Grizzled Skipper (1) Common Carpet Moth (3) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

14 May 2018

Dingy Day at Chalton Down. Today I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) where the temperature was 19 degrees. Here the number of Dingy Skippers had increased since I saw just one a week ago here, with a total of 14 recorded along with 2 Grizzled Skippers. I was pleased to record three personal first sightings for the year- Common Blue, Green Hairstreak and Small Heath. A good total of 11 different species were seen.

Totals: Brimstone 4M 4F, Large White 1, Small White 4, Orange-tip 2M, Common Blue 1M, Green Hairstreak 3, Small Heath 1, Speckled Wood 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Dingy Skipper 14, Grizzled Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Westbury Park. Another visit to this site to see if there were any more sightings of the Duke as this site is very large and a small colony can easily be overlooked. Today with almost perfect weather, the wind did get up at about 11:30, however by that time the Duke had been seen in several locations and a grand total of (8) were seen, not the total from 2017, but I guess I was just really lucky last year. It was good to see them in locations were I've seen them before, although a lot of the site now is really overgrown, hence the Grizzled and Dingy Skipper have all but disappeared. Other butterflies on the wing were Green Hairstreak (3) Common Carpet (2) Speckled Wood (5) Green-Veined White (3) Brimstone (7) Holly Blue (2) Small White (3) Comma (2) Grizzled Skipper (1) Red Admiral (1) and last but not least Orange Tip (2) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Duke of Burgundy at rest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Westbury Park
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Stockbridge Down. A brief visit to Stockbridge Down today resulted in the first Pearl Bordered Fritillary but sadly no sign of the Duke. Other species on show Small Copper 10, Grizzled Skipper 3, Dingy Skipper 2, Holly Blue 3, Green Veined White 2, Orange Tip 8, Large White 3 and 50+ Brimstone. [Posted by Chris Backwell]

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Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Chris Backwell

13 May 2018

Chalton Down. We spent an hour at one of our old haunts early this afternoon at Chalton Down and recorded the following species. Brimstone 12, Dingy Skipper 4, Green Hairstreak 2, Small White 4, Orange-tip 1M. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

11 May 2018

Havant Thicket. Today I walked the main outer perimeter path around Havant Thicket (SU7110) where Whites reigned supreme. Mny Brimstones and Small Whites were seen with the odd Green Veined, Large White and Orange-tip. Totals: Brimstone 11M 2F, Large White 1, Small White 11, Green Veined White 2, Orange-tip 1F. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Pearl-bordered Fritillary - New Forest. P.b.f started to emerge today in the New Forest. [Posted by Mark swann]

Oxenbourne Down. Visited again today but the wind was a devil and played havoc with the counts I suspect. Anything vaguely flying was holding on for grim death as the so called 'breeze' crossed over this downland with vigour. Despite this the counts I suppose were average for this type of day, Grizzled Skipper (4) this species had definitely declined in recent years, especially up on the down opposite where the conifers were felled many years ago as it's just too overgrown here now. Small Copper (1) still haven't found any Sorrel on the site ...yet. Duke of Burgundy (4) one of the males seen was well away from the main colony on the area where it was clear felled about ten years ago, and there are now some good clumps of Cowslips, so they could well be re-colonising other areas, as the main area is certainly very limited, due to lack of good habitat. Small White (1) Peacock (1) Speckled Wood (2) Brimstone (5) Common Carpet (2) and Holly Blue (1) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Duke of Burgundy seems to be spreading
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper on Hawkbit
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Bee-Fly on Ground Ivy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

10 May 2018

Butser Hill Field Trip. In the car park before we started it was very cool and very breezy, and I was very apprehensive about what we would see. I needn't have worried as soon as we were all in the 'dip' and away from the wind the Duke of Burgundies and Green Hairstreaks and Grizzled Skippers soon appeared. It was a good day as we visited Butser Hill upper and lower and around to Grandfathers Bottom. The counts were quite impressive although a lot of species have yet to appear. Duke of Burgundy (52) Red Admiral (1) Green Hairstreak (5) Grizzled Skipper (26) Dingy Skipper (3) Brimstone (10) Cinnabar Moth (5) Speckled Yellow (1) Ermine Moth (1) Orange-tip (1) Green-veined White (2) Speckled Wood (1) We saw the Cuckoo and heard it throughout the morning, circulating the downland. It would seem it was being followed by a Kestrel at the top of the 'dip' where I always see the males and females courting. Other species seen were Red Kites, Buzzards, Whitethroats, and heard all sorts of other bird life. Thank you for coming all those who attended. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Bee Fly and Cowslip
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Bentley Wood. Let me get the bad news out of the way first - I couldn't find a Pearl Bordered Fritillary at Bentley Wood today. This time last year I found 30+ - today nothing. The cold spring must have put emergence back further than I thought. The Eastern Clearing looks a picture but I could only find Speckled Wood and Large Whites today. Lots of Speckled Yellow moths around - enough to raise the pulse a little if one whizzed by - but otherwise very little on the wing. The PBF must surely appear any day now? I did try further into the wood going as far as Barnridge Copse where I saw a lot of PBF last year - but sadly the same result. By way of consolation I did find my first damselfly of the year and also my first dragonfly so have included a picture of each to brighten up an otherwise slightly disappointing trip [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Large Red Damsel Fly - Bentley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Speckled Wood - Bentley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Broad Bodied Chaser (Imm) - Bentley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

09 May 2018

Stoke Common. Today I took a walk along the old Hayling railway line at Stoke Common (SU716033) where I saw Small White 3 and Orange-tip 2M. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Wheelers Bay.. I've just returned from a short visit to the IOW hoping to see Glanville Fritillaries in their natural home, having only seen them at Wrecclesham in the past.

On May 9th a quick walk along the promenade I found very quickly some Glanville larva.

On May 10th I was walking just above Bonchurch when my first butterfly of the trip flew past, A Wall Brown, quite ironic really as I am the Wall Brown species champion for Sussex. Later, on Bonchurch Down, 6 more Wall Brown seen including a female. These were along the lower path where there were also several Brown Argus, Common Blue, Dingy Skipper and Small Heath.

Having decided there was no chance of finding an adult Glanville, especially as the weather was not helping with a cool sea breeze, I consoled myself to be happy with the larva.

An early walk on May 11th the breeze was actually a little warmer and I was pleased to see 3 Common Blues fighting along Wheelers Bay. Suddenly I spotted another butterfly joining in and I was amazed to see it was a fresh Glanville Fritillary. This butterfly performed nicely for the next hour landing mainly on the ground. However it did also land on some higher foliage.

On leaving the site another darker butterfly was seen. This one actually had a small tear in the right wing.

Later in the day I called over to Shepherds Chine where a small number of larva were seen along with a Green Hairstreak. I did disturb another butterfly that was warming up on the path and I did suspect this was also a Glanville, but I could not confirm. I couldn't find any larva at Compton Chine. [Posted by Bob Eade]

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Glanville Fritillary larva feeding. Wheelers Bay.
Photo © Bob Eade
Male Glanville Fritillary. Wheelers Bay.
Photo © Bob Eade
Male Glanville Fritillary. Wheelers Bay.
Photo © Bob Eade

Green Carpet, near Upham. Photographed near Upham on Bank Holiday Monday [Posted by Kevin Freeborn]

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Green Carpet
Photo © Kevin Freeborn

08 May 2018

Portsdown Hill (East). Today with the temperature reaching 21 degrees, I visited the Eastern end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063) where I recorded the following: Brimstone 3M 2F, Large White 1, Small White 1, Holly Blue 2.

Next over the road to Fort Widley (SU657066) where the following were seen: Brimstone 1M 1F, Small White 1, Holly Blue 1, Speckled Wood 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Yew Hill. We paid a visit to Yew Hill today, hoping to see Grizzled or Dingy Skippers. We got there just before 9am and it was hazy but warm. The sun was intermittent at first but the cloud soon disappeared. We wandered around the reserve for an hour and a half and saw only Orange-tips, Brimstones and 2 Peacocks one which was very tattered and one which was very large! Biggest Peacock Iíve seen.

We were about to give up and started to head back through the highest path in the reserve when Dave disturbed a small butterfly. It landed again but took off before I could get a look at it! Dave wandered on but I hung around hoping to see it again and finally it reappeared. After following it a bit more it let me get close enough to photograph it. It was a Grizzled Skipper! First one seen this year for us. Enthusiasm renewed, we made another circuit of the reserve and managed to find another 2 Grizzled Skippers and then we spotted a Dingy Skipper! Despite looking around some more it was the only one we saw but it was very obliging and posed for a photo or 2.

We then called it a day at 11 as it was getting very warm. Well worth the trip to find the first Dingy Skipper, hopefully more will follow.

All together we saw 15 + Orange-tips, 5 male Brimstones 10-12 female Brimstones laying eggs everywhere, 3 Holly Blues, 2 Peacocks, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined Whites/Small Whites, a Large White, 3 Grizzled Skippers and a Dingy Skipper. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Grizzled Skipper underside
Photo © Tracy Piper
Dingy Skipper feeding
Photo © Tracy Piper
Dingy Skipper underside
Photo © Tracy Piper

Westbury Park. Visited one of the lesser known Duke sites although it is very hard to find at this site some years, and a very slow site. Today it looked as if it was just starting, as a single individual was seen. Other species on the wing were Grizzled Skipper (1) Green-veined White (3) Small White (1) Speckled Wood (4) Orange-tip (6) Brimstone (5) Holly Blue (1)and Green Hairstreak (1). [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Orange Tip Egg
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Westbury Park
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

07 May 2018

Chalton Down. Today I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) in the middle of this recent heat wave, where the temperature reached 25 degrees. Several Brimstones were on the wing and I was pleased to record my first Dingy Skipper of the year just inside the entrance.

Totals: Brimstone 4M 2F, Small White 3, Orange-tip 1F, Holly Blue 1, Dingy Skipper 1.

Later in my sister's garden in Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville; Small White 2, Holly Blue 1 and Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Female Brimstone Egg Laying. Today noted a female Brimstone at around 10.30am in my Lordswood garden resting on camelia bush and managed to get a photograph or two. I was just having lunch outside with the excellent bank holiday weather and the Brimstone found my Alder Buckthorne bushes and began egg laying. Also noted several Speckled Wood's in the garden during the early part of the day. [Posted by David Lobb]

Noar Hill - Our first visit. Today, David and I paid our first visit to Noar Hill. We have wanted to come here for a while to see the Duke of Burgundy for the first time, and we were not disappointed! We got here just after 9.00am and it was already getting warm. After reading reports and taking hints I headed for the first hollow I could find and came up with a female. We wandered around a few dips and hollows and found the males were staking out these prime sites. Each dip had at least one male in it and sometimes two although there was some sparing when they got too close together. Not many females yet. It was interesting to see that the males have 4 legs to the females 6. That did help to identify the girls from the boys!

We spent nearly 3 hours here and got lots of photos of this lovely little butterfly. They were smaller than I imagined and are quite hard to spot at first but once we got our eye in, it got easier to find them. So thatís another one off our hit list. I never get tired of photographing any butterfly but nothing beats the thrill of seeing one for the first time.

Altogether we saw, 4 females Duke of Burgundys and about 12 -15 males, 2 Commas, 1 male Brimstone, 3 females, A Large White, 2 male Orange-tips, 1 Green Hairstreak, 1 female Holly Blue and a couple of unidentified small white butterflies. The female deer that went galloping past just a few feet away was an added bonus! [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Duke of Burgundy female
Photo © Tracy Piper
D of B female underside
Photo © Tracy Piper
D of B male
Photo © Tracy Piper

Noar Hill - Our first visit..... Some more photos... I always take too many! [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Duke of Burgundy male
Photo © Tracy Piper
Backlit male
Photo © Tracy Piper
Male nicely perched on a cowslip
Photo © Tracy Piper

Martin Down.. A lengthy visit (1000-1430) in 25 degree heat produced Peacock 4, Speckled Wood 4, Grizzled Skipper 2, Small Copper 1, Orange-tip 4, Brimstone 14, Green-veined White 12, Small White 5, Green Hairstreak 8, Holly Blue 1. Quite a poor count, especially the lack of Skippers and amount of time spent there! [Posted by Mark Pike]

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(newly emerged?) Green Hairstreak
Photo © Mark Pike
Holly Blue
Photo © Mark Pike
Small Copper
Photo © Mark Pike

06 May 2018

Magdalen Hill. In temperatures and sunshine unheard of on a May Day Bank Holiday I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon. Most numerous were Brimstones, they seemed to be everywhere. I managed to find three Grizzled Skippers at the bottom of the old field. Of interest was a male Orange-tip, that was without any orange tip on the upper wing other than a feint orange line. There was though an orange tip on the underside. More pictures here https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose
Brimstones
Photo © Chris Rose
Orange Tip
Photo © Chris Rose

Noar Hill. I spent the morning at Noar Hill. Good numbers of Duke of Burgundy, including two mating pairs. My only Green Hairstreaks were fly pasts, but there were at least five Holly Blues around the tall holly bushes. Just before I left there was one Dingy Skipper showing

https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.co.uk/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Duke of Burgundy & Cowslip
Photo © Chris Rose
Mating Pair of Dukes
Photo © Chris Rose
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose

Noar Hill. Today I paid my first visit of the year to Noar Hill (SU7431). Here the temperature reached 24 degrees, which encouraged much Duke of Burgundy activity, including two mating pairs. A number of Orange-tips were seen along with Small Whites, but overall numbers are still much lower than usual for the time of year.

Totals: Brimstone 3M 5F, Large White 1, Small White 7, Orange-tip 7M 5F, Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 1, Duke of Burgundy 11. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Spring butterflies at Stockbridge Down. Lots of butterflies at Stockbridge Down today in ideal spring weather, particularly in the eastern half of the site. Many Brimstones, with Large White, Small White, Green-veined White and Orange-tip: a couple of fresh male Duke of Burgundy, backed up by 6 Grizzled Skipper, a single Green Hairstreak, 3 Small Copper, 2 Peacock and singles of Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood to a backdrop of singing Blackcap, Garden Warbler and Whitethroat. Comparatively little flying in the western half where there are a number of horses grazing and the turf is very short. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway
Small Copper
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

Stockbridge Down and Marshes. On a trip to Stockbridge Down today the Dukes were conspicuous by their absence. Brimstones were all over down, I stopped counting at 30, also seen 1 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Comma, 2 Peacock, 5 Orange-tips, 3 Small Whites and 1 Large White. A cinnamon bug was seen on a dandelion.

At the Marshes 1 Small Copper was seen. [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Sue Lambert
Small Copper
Photo © Sue Lambert
Cinnamon Bug - Corizus hyoscyami subs nigridorsum
Photo © Sue Lambert

Oxenbourne Down Field Trip. Many thanks for all those who came on the field trip and managed not to wilt in the glorious sunshine today, it would seem the butterflies had a siesta from about 1.00pm, but up till then we had been very lucky to see the following on the wing: Speckled Wood (3) Peacock (4) Comma (1) Duke of Burgundy (2) Brimstone (45) Small White (2) Green-veined White (2) Orange-tip (8) Green Hairstreak (6) Small Copper (1) Holly Blue (2) and last but not least Grizzled Skipper (1). The Green Hairstreaks were very active amoungst the Dogwood Thickets, and alighting just out of reach but near enough for a few photos from afar. The Dukes were in a scrubby area where I see them every year, but they are quite slow at emerging at this site. Lovely Orange-tips on patrol up and down the rides in Wascoombe bottom, but the top dog today was the Brimstone. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

05 May 2018

Record Orange-tips at North Baddesley. While working on my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley today I broke all my previous Orange-tip records. I saw 85 plus male Orange-tips,35 females,18 Green-veined Whites (including one egg laying on cuckoo flower leaves),75 plus unidentified Small White types,29 Peacocks,17 male Brimstones and 14 females,14 Commas and 2 Holly Blues. Also a record amount of cuckoo flower here. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin Ross

Butser Hill. The Duke of Burgundy started its emergence at Butser Hill today - about 10 days later than I would normally expect. Half a dozen males were present in the lekking area and some were obviously very fresh and wobbly on their wings!

A dozen Grizzled Skippers were also spotted with Orange-tips and two Green Hairstreaks. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Duke on station
Photo © Mark Tutton

04 May 2018

Thank you.... ...to the experts who were so helpful in assisting with great views and photo opportunities of the Dukes today [Posted by Trevor Carpenter]

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Photo © Trevor CarpenterPhoto © Trevor CarpenterPhoto © Trevor Carpenter

West Butser Hill. Despite a 3 hour search on West Butser Hill today the Duke of Burgundy was not recorded. In fact there was very little of note, other than (1) Grizzled Skipper (3) Speckled Woods,(10)Brimstone and at 1120 I heard my first Cuckoo of the year. I also saw a 6-spotted Burnet moth caterpillar, and a special treat of being circled by two wonderful Red Kites. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Six-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Gosport. My final perambulation of Monks Walk this Spring from 1100-1330 was undertaken in warm sunshine with light, briny-flavoured on shore breezes; absolutely perfect conditions. Nine butterfly species recorded today: Orange-tip (M)(1); Large White (M)(2); Peacock (2); Speckled Wood (5); Holly Blue (M)(2); Comma (7); Small White (2); Green-veined White (3); Brimstone (M)(1) - on the wing. Yesterday's Common Shelducks were still paddling inshore while beyond them a Tern dived for its lunch into the incoming tide. A deer was suddenly disturbed and put to panicked flight - but who jumped the most?!! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma heading for the bottle!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Dandelion-juice snack for Orange-tip
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

03 May 2018

Portsdown Hill. After visiting Havant Thicket I walked Portsdown Hill, where at Fort Widley (SU657066) I saw the following, Brimstone 2M, Small White 1, Orange-tip 2M, Peacock 1.

Along the ridge opposite at Portsdown Hill East (SU657063) the following were recorded, Brimstone 4M 1F, Small White 4, Orange-tip 1M, Holly Blue 1, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Havant Thicket. Today with sunshine and the temperature reaching 15 degrees, I walked the main circular track around Havant Thicket (SU7110), where a good number of Brimstones, mostly males were seen. A few Whites and a pair of male Orange-tips were also recorded along with my first Holly Blue this year.

Totals: Brimstone 21M 6F, Large White 2, Small White 1, Orange-tip 2M, Holly Blue 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Orange-tip Mating @ Monks Walk, Gosport. Nine butterfly species seen during a couple of hours from 1300-1500 under sunny skies with temperature, cooled by the breeze, around 16 deg C. A couple of days ago I speculated that the sole male Orange-tip noted these past few days was rather lonely; no longer! I was able to watch and photograph the male flying past a female, returning sharply to her and after a very brief "wriggle" - shall I say - they were nicely coupled for over 30 minutes. So that was very special indeed. Other than that the totals seen today were: Large White (M)(5); Peacock (4); Speckled Wood (4); Small White (6); Orange-tip (M)(2)(F)(1); Comma (3); Green-veined White (4); Holly Blue (M)(3); Small Tortoiseshell (1). No sign today of the Red Admiral or Small Copper. A pair of Common Shelduck ambled ashore for a sit down on the warm sea-weed. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis PlowmanTop butterfly is the male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Noar Hill. The weather forecast seemed to indicate early morning sun today but a risk of clouding over by lunch time so I set off for the drive up the Meon Vally nice and early. Too early as it turned out with absolutely nothing on the wing for the first hour until around 1030 when a very welcome Orange-tip made a welcome fly past. That, and considerable help from other enthusiasts I met, was the trigger for better things with eventually 5 Duke of Burgundy showing really well, 2 more Orange-tips, a Peacock and at the bottom of the hill on the way out 2 very elusive Green Hairstreaks. The last Orange-tip settled long enough for a photo (consolation for the very tatty one in a previous post) but stars of the show were undoubtedly the Duke of Burgundy. It really does feel like the season has started when they show and if our swifts turn up to their nest boxes this weekend then summer will be at last on the way! With thanks again to those I met. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Duke of Burgundy - Noar Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Duke of Burgundy - Noar Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Orange Tip - Noar Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Mating Dukes At Noar Hill. Duke of Burgundy numbers are now building at Noar Hill as the weather improves. A mid-morning visit produced 6 Dukes, including a mating pair, all in the central area chalk pits and gullies. Following mating (which lasted about half an hour), the male opened his wings flat for a few seconds before flitting off. Despite the decent showing of Dukes, species count overall was a little disappointing, with only 4 Orange-tips, one Peacock and several 'whites' to report, in addition to the Dukes. The site itself is looking in very good condition, with abundant cowslips and plenty of orchids. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Duke of Burgundy (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Duke of Burgundy (Mating pair)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Duke of Burgundy (Mated pair)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

02 May 2018

Wednesday wander at MHD. Despite the wet weather in the morning there were 7 people at MHD for the walk at 2.30pm. We saw 10 Brimstones, three 3 Orange-tips, a Green-veined White and a Small White as well as a scarlet tiger moth caterpiller on the rough comfrey. Also seen were hoverflies, a bombus terrestris and bombus lucorum queen bumble bees, 2 micro moths and a bronze coloured beetle which flew off at the sight of a camera.

The butterflies would not settle so no photos possible. The cowslips are very colourful and everywhere. [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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Cowslips
Photo © Sue Lambert
Bombus terrestris
Photo © Sue Lambert

01 May 2018

Chalton Down. At Chalton Down (SU736156) today I recorded 5 different species, although 3 species just represented by just a single individual. The temperature was 12 degrees despite the sunshine due to a cold wind.

Totals: Brimstone 4M, Orange-tip 1M 1F, Green-veined White 1, Small White 1, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Red Admiral returns to Monks Walk, Gosport. From 0950-1300 I undertook two gentle perambulations of the area; circa 14 degrees C, sunny periods but cool and blustery wind. Ten species accounted today - after five days of very poor weather conditions that was a nice surprise: as was the sighting (just about) of a very fresh Red Admiral, hopefully first of summer's brood. The Small Copper did not reappear. Two mating pairs of Green-veined White noted but sadly the male Orange-tip appears very lonely. Totals seen today: Small White (6); Large White (3); Green-veined White (10); Peacock (3); Speckled Wood (8); Holly Blue (3)(M); Comma (4); Red Admiral (1); Orange-tip (1)(M); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green-veined White, male at left
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral, just!
Photo © Francis Plowman

Noar Hill NNR. Despite the weather being almost perfect for butterflies today only three species were recorded in the time I was on site. The Duke of Burgundy at last seems to be making its presence felt. However only three were noted two by myself and another in another part of the site by another recorder. The Cowslips are now at their best, in fact it's the best I think I've ever seen them. A lot of scrub bashing has taken place, and some of the 'pits' are more open. Other species seen today were Brimstone and Orange-tip. I also recorded some Brown Hairsteak eggs which had hatched looking like poached eggs on a branch of a Blackthorn twig. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Early Purple Orchid
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Hairstreak Eggs
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy (male)
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

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