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

News Archive for Jun 2018

20 Jun 2018

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Twelve varieties counted this afternoon between 1340-1600 under clouds for the first hour then bright sunlight circa 22 degrees C with gusting SW wind. The summer species are slowly becoming more evident. Marbled White (3); Comma (6); Large White (1); White-letter Hairstreak (2); Speckled Wood (7); Meadow Brown (34); Large Skipper (3); Small White (3); Red Admiral (3); Common Blue (M)(2); Small Skipper (5); Holly Blue (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma on dog faeces
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper showing distinctive brown club attenae
Photo © Francis Plowman
Very distant White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman

New Forest Silver Studded Blues. It was a pleasure to go looking for butterflies closer to home today after spending most of the last 3 weeks travelling. Botley Wood would have been my first choice but with jobs to do in Totton the New Forest beckoned (not a bad alternative!). I only had about 1.5 hours to spare so made a quick trip to Fritham Plain where I hoped to see SS Blues (not many reported in the NF to date this year) and if lucky - perhaps an early Silver Washed Fritillary. No luck with the latter (thick cloud all morning might have put them off?) but on a circular trip round Fritham Plain there were lots of Silver-studded Blues to be seen - a little put off by the wind but no problem without the sun. Most were males but I did find a couple of females too. Lovely morning on the heath - but I can hear Botley Wood calling very soon! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Silver-studded Blue - New Forest
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Silver-studded Blue - New Forest
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Silver-studded Blue - New Forest
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

19 Jun 2018

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I went earlier today to try and find the White-letter Hairstreak feeding on bramble or certainly lower down than yesterday. Clearly 0850-1000 wasn't early enough since the WLH was not even observed on this walk! A later circulation (1230-1400) was more successful for the WLH although it was again only seen high on the elm trees. Nevertheless, the aggregate of my two walks today realised the following butterflies: Meadow Brown (16); Comma (4); Small White (2); Holly Blue (2); White Admiral (2); Painted Lady (1); Marbled White (1); Ringlet (1); White-letter Hairstreak (3); Speckled Wood (1); Large Skipper (1). Not bad for a former car dump completely returned to nature with conservative local authority intervention! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman
Ringlet
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

Shades of Purple at Abbots Wood Inclosure. Visited Abbotts Wood Inclosure today amidst gloomy overcast weather with several breaks of warm sunshine. Two Purple Emperors were seen on top of a mature Oak in the main ride and were seen seeing off a intruding White Admiral. They were only glimpsed for a short while, and settled back down together. The gloomy weather didn't help at the Assembly Points today as I never saw any Emperors at any of the ones I normally visit. There were lots of White Admirals, Meadow Browns, my first Ringlet, Marbled White, and Green-Veined White and several Speckled Yellows.

I looked at several broad leafed Sallows that I knew had been used by female Emperors in the past and was pleased to find an old egg which had hatched and saw the feeding damage close-by.

So Hampshire starts, and lets hope its a good'un! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Ringlet
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Marbled White
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Searching amoungst broad leaf sallow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Jun 2018

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A later visit than usual (1530-1630) realised, again, six species: Speckled Wood (1); Meadow Brown (10); Comma (6); Holly Blue (2); Large White (1); White-letter Hairstreak (1) - the latter my first ever sighting and one that defied clear photography, sadly! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman

first sightings. First Ringlet (2) of the year today. First Marbled White and first confirmed Essex Skipper (4)yesterday. Also seen today 12 White Admiral,5 Marbled White,4 Essex Skipper,26 Meadow Brown,9 Small Skipper,18 Large Skipper,6 Common Blue. All seen on my butterfly reserve at North Baddesley. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

Chalton Down. Visited Chalton Down (SU736156) where the temperature was 21.5 degrees. Many Meadow Browns are in flight here as well as Marbled Whites also now emerging, who love the long grass found here now. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 1, Common Blue 2m, Marbled White 8, Meadow Brown 43, Small Heath 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill. Paid a return to Old Winchester Hill (SU6420) today in less windy conditions than my visit. Many fresh Meadow Browns in flight but could not locate any Adonis Blues. I was pleased to see my first Painted Lady this year. Totals: Common Blue 6M, Marbled White 2, Meadow Brown 47, Small Heath 8, Speckled Wood 4, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

White Admirals In Portland Coppice. A lunchtime visit to Portland Coppice, west of Purbrook, produced 7 White Admirals. Most were flying high and intricately, but a couple did provide brief photo opportunities as they took a break from flying to bask or feed. As a bonus, a very fresh and active Silver-washed Fritillary was also spotted on my way out. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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White Admiral
Photo © Alan Thornbury
White Admiral
Photo © Alan Thornbury

17 Jun 2018

Invitation. Invitation to all butterfly enthusiasts. I have my own butterfly reserve (and nature reserve)at North Baddesley with 17 species seen here so far this year (26 last year)including good number of White Admiral at the moment. Also many moths, dragonflies, caterpillars, adders, grass snakes, slow worms, lizards etc etc. I would like to invite anybody that is interested to come and view. You are very welcome to view when you like as long as I know first. My telephone number 02380 733995. Hope to see you here soon. Kevin [Posted by Kevin Ross]

16 Jun 2018

White-letter Hairstreaks in Newport.. The established White-letter Hairstreak colony in the county town of Newport is thriving for the fourth successive year.First sightings at the site made on the 12th June. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Monks Walk Gosport. The forecast was not one that encouraged butterfly watching, but some time spent during the morning when there was some sun at Monks Walk produced at least 5 White-letter Hairstreak, 4 Meadow Brown, and singles of Common Blue, Speckled Wood and Comma. There was also a Cinnabar and Six Spot Burnet. The hairstreaks remained at the top of the Wych Elms and the only photos were very much records only, but they were most active when the sun did come out.

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

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White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Chris Rose
Common Blue
Photo © Chris Rose
Six Spot Burnet
Photo © Chris Rose

Alver Valley Country Park, Gosport. A wander through fields, woods, open moorland and paths of the area west of the River Alver was rather disappointing. From 1100-1300 under cloudy heavens, with a stiff breeze and the temperature around 18 degrees Celsius I observed just six species. I checked on the known areas of White Admiral but no evidence found today. Bramble blossom, honeysuckle and heather abound so butterflies can't be far behind! Those seen today: Speckled Wood (4); Meadow Brown (8); Large White (Male)(1); Marbled White (1); Common Blue (M)(3); Large Skipper (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman

14 Jun 2018

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My first summer's wander revealed a very different habitat at my local haunt; ferns and bramble have flourished and deny access to a number of favourite glades and corners. Nevertheless, between 1340-1500 eight species were noted: Meadow Brown (19); Large Skipper (1); Holly Blue (3); Brimstone (F)(1); Speckled Wood (3); Common Blue (M)(1); Red Admiral (2); Painted Lady (1). A patch of nettle was satisfyingly covered in young Peacock caterpillars. The resident fox also put in a welcome appearance! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock caterpillars on nettle
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman

First Purple Hairstreaks of the year out at Cromarty Rd Pond fields. As soon as a bit of sun came out around midday. I could see up to 5 White-letter Hairstreaks at one time, and also a couple of Purple Hairstreaks, these two being my first of the year at Lord's Hill ,Southampton. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

13 Jun 2018

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Today in warm (19.5 degrees), but windy conditions I visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits (SU6306) where several fresh Marbled Whites were flying but rarely stopping. A few Meadow Browns were also seen but very little else seemed to be flying. Totals: Common Blue 1M, Holly Blue 1, Small Blue 1, Marbled White 13, Meadow Brown 5. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Stockbridge Down, North. A brief meander through the lower levels of the northern down from 1200-1245 found the following: Speckled Wood (2); Large Skipper (1); Small Heath (7); Brimstone (M)(3)(F)(1); Holly Blue (2); Common Blue (M)(1)(F)(1); Meadow Brown (3); Green-veined White (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Female Common Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

12 Jun 2018

Portsdown Hill. Today I visited Portsdown Hill, where on the East side South facing slope (SU657063) I was pleased to record my first Marbled Whites, a total of four with the same number of newly emerged Meadow Browns.

At Fort Widley (SU657066) the following were recorded: Common Blue 1M, Holly Blue 1, Meadow Brown 1, Speckled Wood 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

White Admiral in North Baddesley. First White Admiral seen today on my own butterfly reserve in North Baddesley,sorry no photo as the wind blew it up into the trees. Also seen here today 17 Common Blue,19 Meadow Brown,42 Large Skipper and Small Skipper,1 Red Admiral egg laying,1 Painted Lady,1 adder and 32 slow worms. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

Old Winchester Hill NNR. Visited this site today to check on the progress of the spring Adonis Blue, I'm happy to report that the spring Adonis Blue is alive and well. Today I saw (11) all males many in really good condition. Other species seen today were the Marbled White (1), Small Heath (30), Brown Argus (2) Meadow Brown (50+), Painted Lady (1), Common Blue (23), Large Skipper(4), Speckled Wood (1), Scarlet Tiger Moth (1) [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Marbled White
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

11 Jun 2018

Chalton Down. Today after visiting Old Winchester Hill, I called at Chalton Down (SU736156) on the way home where the temperature had increased to 22 degrees, but still with a strong wind. Numbers of Meadow Browns here are now increasing. I observed a newly emerged male drying its wings. Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Common Blue 5M, Meadow Brown 20, Small Heath 4, Dingy Skipper 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill. Today I visited Old Winchester Hill (SU6420) where the weather was hazy sunshine and quite windy, temperature 18 degrees. Due to the windy conditions, numbers of butterflies were low. I noticed grass growth around the hill fort was high compared to other years. I was pleased to see and photograph my first Small Skipper this year, this particular site will soon see hundreds of them. Totals: Large White 1, Common Blue 4M 1F, Meadow Brown 10, Small Heath 4, Large Skipper 1, Small Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Havant Thicket. Today's Nordic Walk at Havant Thicket was delightfully interrupted by a White Admiral. [Posted by Mike Berry]

Deerleap. Today went on a short trip to Deerleap to see the Silver-studded Blues. Although there was little heather in flower I saw 15, including one female on the heathland and 15 males over the fence in Deerleap enclosure feeding on the bell heather which was in flower there. Also seen a Meadow Brown and 5 Speckled Woods [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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Silver-studded Blues on the bell heather
Photo © Sue Lambert
Female Silver-studded Blue
Photo © Sue Lambert
Male Silver-studded Blue
Photo © Sue Lambert

Stockbridge Down Hampshire. My first Dark Green Fritillary for 2018, settled briefly on a Thistle, while I was on the Down, also seen Large Skipper and Small Skipper. [Posted by Mike Duffy]

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Photo © Mike DuffyPhoto © Mike DuffyPhoto © Mike Duffy

10 Jun 2018

Small BlueÖin Chandlers Ford!!. Not unusual to see a Small Blue this time of year, on chalk down land, but what is one doing in my Chandlers Ford garden?! Grid ref. SU43471 19946. Strangely, this is not the first time Iíve seen one in the garden. About 2-3 years ago I caught a brief glimpse of what I thought was a Small Blue. It was in the same place in the garden as todayís:- talk about dťjŗ vu! Unfortunately I didnít get a chance to get the camera last time so had to go with memory only.

This time it was much more obliging and while David kept an eye on it I ran to get my camera! Dave saw it flutter down and land on my large patch of Birdís-Foot Trefoil. It fed from the flowers for a bit then flew up and landed on my nettle bed where it sun bathed briefly then flew back to the Birdís-Foot Trefoil. It disappeared after that but I didnít see where it went. I hope it didnít get caught by the sparrows that overrun the garden!

I donít know where it came from or why I saw one a couple of years ago. I donít think I have any Kidney Vetch in the garden so itís very odd to see one in the garden as they donít seem to roam far. It has certainly made my day to see it, and glad that it likes our wildlife garden! [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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Small Blue on Bird's-Foot Trefoil
Photo © Tracy Piper
Small Blue female on my nettle patch
Photo © Tracy Piper
Feeding again
Photo © Tracy Piper

Compton Chine and Brook Down Field Trip Isle of Wight. Today was my annual pilgrimage over to the Isle of Wight, but today I took a few friends and what turned out to be a great impromptu field trip. The weather as we arrived at Compton Chine was warm but overcast, and there were lots of butterflies on the wing but the Glanvilles were hard to find. But as the hour crept on the day got warmer and the sun shone and the Glanville Fritillary was flying around in very good numbers. In fact I stopped counting once I reached (50) there were easily twice as many as that.Some were in very poor condition, but there were others that were in excellent condition. Other species on the wing were Small Heath (25) Brown Argus (5) Common Blue (50-70) Large Skipper (10) Meadow Brown (20) Painted Lady (3) Red Admiral (1) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Brimstone (1) Small White (1) White Ermine Moth (1) Six Spot Burnet Moths Silver-'Y' Moths and White Ghost Moth. It was a terrific place to be today, I thought it would have been overun by Glanville fans but we had the place to ourselves, and views and the beach were something to treasure.

Brook Down- In the afternoon in real warm sunshine we looked 'briefly' at Brook Down as time was pressing, here we had Hares opposite the camp site and a baby Badger, which ran over my foot! Peregrine Falcons were wheeling about the sky. On the ground the Adonis Blue looked very tatty (20) only seen as we only did a very small bit of the down. Small Heath (30) Common Blue (22) Dingy Skipper (20) Grizzled Skipper (1) Painted Lady (20) Small Tortoiseshell (3) Glanville Fritillary (15) Small Blue (10) Meadow Brown (15) Speckled Wood (1) Large Skipper (20). All in all it was a fabulous day rather tiring but well worth the effort. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Glanville Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Last of the Summer Wine!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

09 Jun 2018

White Letter Hairstreak on the wing at Lakeside. I checked on 3 known White Letter Hairstreak sites today. Nothing showing at the other 2 sites, but at The IBM/Lakeside complex I counted at least 4, one day earlier than last year. These were not evident from the road, only from within the site. Just a couple of distant record shots taken. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul Harfield

08 Jun 2018

Silver-studded Blues at Ashurst Heath. A late afternoon visit on the 7th only produced 4 male Silver-studded Blues so early days. This morning they were emerging in good numbers and on a South facing Heather bank. I must have watched a good 50+ dry their wings and get pampered by their black ant companions. Final total 80+ males and 5 females. [Posted by Mark swsnn]

First Small Skipper at North Baddesley. First Small Skippers (6) of the year seen today on my own butterfly reserve in North Baddesley.Also 3 Speckled Wood,7 Meadow Brown, 45 Large Skipper,2 Brimstone,7 Common Blue. Thousands of caterpillars. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

06 Jun 2018

Treloar Meadow, Alton. My first two Meadow Browns of the year, and first Large Skipper of the year at 7pm on a fine evening.

White Helleborine and Common Spotted Orchid also in the mix at this lovely chalk downland site likely to be trashed by development. [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

Havant Thicket. Today I walked Havant Thicket (SU7110) where the temperature was 21.5 degrees, following several days spent on butterfly walks with my son who returned home yesterday. A good number of Brimstones were seen, but surprisingly low numbers for everything else. Totals: Brimstone 18M 6F, Large White 1, Small White 5, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 1, Meadow Brown 2, Speckled Wood 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Marsh Fritillary project update. My last update on the project to reintroduce the Marsh Fritillary to its former stronghold in north-east Hampshire was on 26 April, when the first of the larval releases took place. It's been a busy time since then, and on behalf of Butterfly Conservation and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, who jointly run the project, I am pleased to report that the first adult butterflies were seen at the release site on 21 May. Butterflies also began emerging in retained captive stock on the same date. Since then, numbers have built up, and I attach two images of interest. The first is a recent early morning shot, showing a group of Marsh Fritillaries basking in captivity. The second image is of a courting pair at one of the release locations on 31 May. It's very satisfying to have reached this important stage of the project, and once again we thank all who have contributed and made the idea become a reality. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Marsh Fritillaries basking
Photo © Andy Barker
Marsh Fritillaries courting
Photo © Andy Barker

Havant Thicket. We spent a very enjoyable 3 hours walking around Havant Thicket today from 1100-1400 and recorded the following species. Speckled Wood 27, Brimstone 6M 14F, Holly Blue 1, Large Skipper 2, Common Blue 5, Meadow Brown 8, Small Heath 6, Small White 2, Red Admiral 2, Large Red Damselfly 30, Azure Damselfly 8, Broad-bodied Chaser 1M, Beautiful Demoiselle 2M 2F, Speckled Yellow 2, Silver Y 1, Brown Silver-line 1. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

Magdalen Hill Down. 7 people attended the Wednesday Wander at MHD this morning. It was hot with a cooling breeze but the butterflies were not keen to settle for more than a few seconds. We saw 27 Common Blues, 5 Brown Argus, 3 Brimstone, 3 Red Admiral, 9 Meadow Brown, 2 Large Skipper, 9 Small Blues, 2 Large Skippers, one Small Heath and a Small White. Also seen were silver-Y moth, burbet companion, straw-dot moth, many grass micro moths and garden chafer everywhere. [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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Large Skipper
Photo © Sue Lambert
Small Blue
Photo © Sue Lambert
Brown Argus
Photo © Sue Lambert

04 Jun 2018

Scores Of Glanvilles Seen On Clifftop Walk. I made the clifftop walk from Freshwater Bay to Shippards Chine to explore the Glanville Fritillary colonies on the west of the IoW, at one point making the descent into Compton Bay. During the walk scores of Glanvilles were seen, the main colonies being immediately south of Compton Chine (20-30 seen) and just to the north of Shippards Chine, including a mating pair. Although most specimens are now in slightly faded condition, there were a few fresh ones, suggesting the Glanville season has now peaked. Glanvilles were also encountered sporadically during most sections of the walk. Also seen were many Common Blues, as well as small numbers of Brown Argus, Small Blue, Large Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Meadow Brown and one Green Hairstreak. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Glanville Fritillary (male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Glanville Fritillary (female)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Glanville Fritillary (mating pair)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Chalton Down. On my final day in Hampshire before returning home to Cornwall, my father and I visited my old favourite haunt at Chalton Down (SU736156). Here the weather was cloudy with sunny spells and humid with a temperature of 20 degrees.The one species I was targeting was the Grizzled Skipper. On the down many Common Blues were seen along with Small Heaths. I was pleased to see my first Meadow Browns this year - two males, while on the lower slopes a single Small Blue and a fresh Brown Argus were flying, the latter chasing off any stray male Common Blues. The few Dingy Skippers we saw were faded except for one still looking in reasonable condition. Finally as we were thinking of leaving the sun appeared very warm as a faded Grizzled Skipper appeared followed soon after by another in exceptionally fresh condition, allowing several photos to be taken. Hoping to return next month to pay homage to His Imperial Majesty - Apatura iris.

Totals: Brimstone 2M, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 22M 5F, Holly Blue 2, Small Blue 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Heath 11, Speckled Wood 2, Peacock 1, Dingy Skipper 4, Grizzled Skipper 2, Large Skipper 1. Moths: Burnet Companion 6, Cinnabar 4, Six Spot Burnet 10. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

03 Jun 2018

Upper Farringdon Solar Farm. Just to the east of Farringdon is a fairly new solar farm (SU7236) which is currently a mass of Ox-eye daisies. Presumably a wild flower mix. At least one Sainfoin present - which will be great for insects if they get going properly. Butterflies along the fence included Common Blue (7 male), Orange-tip (2 male), Speckled Wood (4), Large White (1), Brimstone (1), and notably Brown Argus (7) - confirmed by photo. Silver-Y seem to be having a good year with 6 here, and also 2 Bloodvein moths. White butterflies seem to be significantly reduced since the previous weekend - the effect of the heavy storms during the week ? [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

Noar Hill. Today while visiting my father from my home in Cornwall, we paid a visit to my old haunts at Noar Hill (SU7431) where I was hoping to see the Duke of Burgundy and Dingy Skipper. The temperature reached 24.5 degrees during the late morning and early afternoon, where we made a thorough search through almost all of the site, taking 3.5 hours in total. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of mostly newly emerged Small Blues flying, a total of 28 recorded, much exceeding personal previous counts here. An area of exposed chalk which had been populated by Kidney and Horseshoe Vetch within the last 4 years or so looked to provide an ideal breeding habitat. In one view I saw a total of 5 Small Blues in flight in this area. Elsewhere the Small Blues appeared nearly everywhere there was short turf - a comment I remarked to Tony, the weekly transect recorder for the site who I also met during our visit. A dozen Dingy Skippers mostly slightly worn were seen, while in the far Southern perimeter of the site I was very happy to record and photograph a single male Duke of Burgundy who was bold enough to chase any encroaching male Common Blue or Small Heath. In addition I counted 3 Hornets.

Totals: Brimstone 2M, Large White 3, Small White 1, Orange-tip 1M, Common Blue 67M 9F, Holly Blue 1, Small Blue 28, Small Heath 24, Speckled Wood 10, Red Admiral 1, Dingy Skipper 12, Large Skipper 1. Moths of note: Burnet Companion 4, Cinnabar 3, Small Magpie 1. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

Bentley Wood Field Trip. A glorious day today with several good species on the wing...but sadly not in such good numbers I've encountered before at this site. The Highlight of the trip was a very tame Argent and Sable Moth which was very photogenic however I think he or she was trying to get out of the very warm sun today. In Eastern Clearing there were very few Fritillaries flying,Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (6) these were very hard to find, some were in reasonable condition others seem to be very tatty. No females were encountered. The Pearl Bordered Fritillary (3) were just as worn but were now well on their way out, although it only seems like a few weeks they have been on the wing, obviously the good weather has got them so active they have burnt themselves out. We visited another meadow close by and saw up to (8) Marsh Fritillary, one mating pair and Grizzled Skipper, Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Silver-lines Moth, Speckled Yellow, Common Blue, Brown Argus thrown in the mix, and good Tiger Beetles along the path from the main car-park.

I'd like to thank everybody for coming today and made this a very enjoyable field trip. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Argent and Sable Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Bentley Wood Class of 2018
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

02 Jun 2018

Bishops Sutton area. I have been making a conscious effort this year to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of butterflies. This is all thanks to the quality of the butterfly report which highlights areas where little recording has happened. This a credit to those who do the work to create the report. I have focused especially to the north and west of Alton - squares SU63, SU64 etc, all on bicycle. A string of fine May weekends has helped filled in a number of Orange-tip gaps. This area is primarily agricultural chalk with few "hot-spots".

My focus on 2 June was in the Ropley/Bishops Sutton area to which these records pertain. It seems to be a good year for Burnet Companion moths - I have found them at various places including 3 along a track to the north of Bishops Sutton (SU6132).

Along Scrubbs Lane to the south, a "set-aside" type corner of a field was interesting (SU6030), with singles of Common Blue and Brown Argus implying it is worth revisiting now that things are getting going properly. Two Silver-Y's were settled, while a single Painted Lady pushed through north without stopping.

A male Orange-tip was at Alresford Station. [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

01 Jun 2018

Martin Down Field Trip. I had serious doubts this morning about Martin Down as I woke up I could hear fog horns in the distance, and I couldn't see the end of the road. Driving up through the New Forest was quite surreal, with trees all hanging in the mist. When I arrived at the site it was raining and I very rarely wear wellington boots but today looked as if I was going to be in them all day. I was quite surprised when a few 'non-fair weather sailors' turned up. We set off and hopes were high, but the mist and the cloud hung like a gloomy curtain all over the down. We did kick up a few Adonis Blues up at the rifle butts, and then a few other species started to appear, as the weather started to warm up. By mid-day it was pleasantly warm and the butterflies were flying about thick and fast. However we never saw any Marsh Fritillaries until we had decided to turn around and re-trace our steps. The weather now with the sun peeping through just brought them out in droves. We spent about 15 minutes looking at a male and female trying out (unsuccessfully) several positions of the 'Karma Sutra' but the female Marsh Fritillary was just leading the male on a merry dance, they were boxing each other, so she was interested, but we never saw them mate. In all we saw Adonis Blue (100+) Painted Lady (1) Small Heath (50+) Yellow Shell moth (3) Common Heath and Lattice Heath Moths Common Blue (50+) Meadow Brown (1) Cinnabar Moth (7) Silver-'y' (8) Brown Argus (10) Burnet Companion (7) Small Blue (30) Large Skipper (3) Large White (3) Dingy Skipper (5) Marsh Fritillary (37) Brimstone (20) Grizzled Skipper (7).

Id like to thank all who attended which made this one of the most enjoyable field trips to Martin Down to date. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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A pair of Marsh Fritillaries female on the left
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Portsdown Wander. I took the dog for a walk along Portsdown in cool and cloudy conditions not expecting to see much but had a couple of nice surprises. In the unmowed field adjacent Farlington Avenue I disturbed a very fresh Painted Lady which posed very nicely in the dull sun and then uncovered a Common Broomrape in the grass along with a good number of Burnet Companion. Walking across the unmowed ďislandĒ opposite the George pub I encountered a surprise Small Blue. Although I couldn't find any others there is a good amount of Kidney Vetch here and I suspect there maybe a small colony which I will check for in better weather. Credit to the Council for leaving this unmowed as it has great flora including three species of orchid which I found today. Further on I encountered a handful of Common Blues attempting to soak up the sun along with some bee orchids and quite a stand of Knapweed Broomrape. The photos are not so clever as I only had my phone with me! [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Painted Lady
Photo © Mark Tutton
Small Blue
Photo © Mark Tutton
Female Common Blue
Photo © Mark Tutton

First Large Skipper, North Baddesley. First Large Skippers of the year seen today on my own butterfly reserve in North Baddesley. Also 5 Painted Lady,3 Common Blue,1 Comma,1 Speckled Wood,thousands of caterpillars,many moths including 29 cinnabar,mother shipton,speckled yellow,green carpet,silver y,burnet companion,47 slow worms,1 lizard. I have very large area of meadow thistle in full bloom attracting a lot of interest. [Posted by kevin ross]

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Photo © kevin ross

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