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

News Archive for Jun 2018

30 Jun 2018

More From Abbotts Wood. More photographs

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

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Marbled White
Photo © Chris Rose
Meadow Brown
Photo © Chris Rose
Ringlet
Photo © Chris Rose

Abbotts Wood - At Last!. I have had many sightings of Purple Emperor over the last few years, but for many reasons such as weather, timing and work I have never been able to enjoy those grounded moments. So it was with this in mind that I visited Abbots Wood this Saturday. The timing was perfect, the weather fine, and with all the planets aligning the Emperor delivered. Superb views of two males on the ground and one flying around me before settling. In all I saw five, with three others in the tree tops. The supporting cast consisted of several Purple Hairstreaks, 2 White Admiral, several Silver-washed Fritillary 4 Marbled White and many Ringlet, Large Skipper and Meadow Browns.

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

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Purple Emperor
Photo © Chris Rose
Purple Emperor
Photo © Chris Rose
Purple Emperor
Photo © Chris Rose

Martin Down National Nature Reserve. From 1010-1230 with two keen granddaughters I walked the westernmost path southwards following Bokerley Ditch using Hants and Isle Wight's helpful 'Butterfly Walks' as guide. The temperature rose from low to high 20s yet a strong south-easterly breeze kept the walk fresh; indeed, the wind played havoc with the many butterflies that plied the grasslands. The aim was to see Adonis Blue and the Marsh Fritillary but neither was seen. In fact blues were spectacularly under-represented in our findings which were: Small White (8); Gatekeeper (2); Small Tortoiseshell (4); Comma (1); Ringlet (8); Small Skipper (13); Meadow Brown (40+); Marbled White (40+); Dark Green Fritillary (18); Small Heath (5); Large White (3); Brimstone (M)(1)(F)(1); Green-veined White (1); Common Blue (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Heath
Photo © Francis Plowman

New Forest Gone Blue!. A visit to the Beaulieu Rd area (both east & west of the station) from 0900-1300 was greeted with an unprecedented amount of Silver Studded Blues, the area was blue with them. Some pairs were even using the same flower! Species seen were Silver Studded Blue, 600+ (got overwhelmed in the end!), Small Heath 5, Large Skipper 15, Large White 6, Small Skipper 6, Clouded Yellow 1, Meadow Brown 6. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Silver Studded Blue (tended by ants)
Photo © Mark Pike
Silver Studded Blue Conveyor Belt!
Photo © Mark Pike
Silver Studded Blue
Photo © Mark Pike

Straits Inclosure and Goose Green Assembly Point. Another warm and sunny day with many butterflies on the wing in Straits Inclosure, this being my first visit here since 2016. There were plenty of White Admirals in very good condition, Silver-washed Fritillary, and for once good numbers of Purple Hairstreaks, which were coming down to Bramble level, although always out range, well for me anyway.

It was pleasing to see his imperial majesty show his face at 0945 with a male at the deer tower in the main ride, and it was good to see them sallow searching and oak edging now after a week. I counted in the space of 2 and half hours (15) males, Several came down briefly to imbibe on the ground, but again they were very flitty. I think this has a lot to do with the hot weather. An insects feet are probably not designed to stand on stony ground which has been cooked for hours!

At Goose Green Assembly Point again there is very little activity, although I did see some clashes and swift chasing in the main vista, I estimated there were at least (5) here, one in George's old vista, and two further down the cut down way-leaves on a splendid oak. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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White Admiral very common in the main ride
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Purple Emperor on patrol in Goose Green
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

29 Jun 2018

Blackbush Hanger, Southleigh Forest. Driving home on Friday morning after a quick trip to Chichester, I decided to call in Blackbush Hanger, Southleigh Forest, to check on any Purple Emperor activity. Arriving at 09:45, within a few minutes of walking I encountered a male sitting on the ground feeding on faeces. I managed several photos before he flew up to the Oak. The other butterflies flying I ignored due to this event, but did spot a Ringlet (no pun intended), which was my first this year. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

first ever! at North Baddesley. First ever Purple Hairstreak (3) seen here today on my own butterfly reserve in North Baddesley, made my week! Also hundreds of other butterflies now getting so numerous it is impossible to record, so theres a challenge for you to come and try! [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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first ever
Photo © Kevin Ross

Browndown (South) Gosport. Walking-in from the west ie Elmore I circulated the southern area of the MOD land at Browndown between 1040-1235 with temperatures in the high twenties. Nine butterfly species recorded: Small White (12); Large White (2); Marbled White (9); Meadow Brown (9); Essex Skipper (19); Small Heath (6); Gatekeeper (3); Purple Hairstreak (6); Small Copper (1). Still no sign of Grayling here yet. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White
Photo © Francis Plowman
Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. In breezy conditions from 0845-1000 I circulated the area north (ie behind) Fort Widley. Ten butterfly species were recorded the blues being conspicuously under-represented. I did see my first and likely last sighting this year of Small Blue. Totals: Marbled White (25); Meadow Brown (40+); Large Skipper (3); Large White (2); Small Blue (1); Ringlet (6); Common Blue (M)(1); Small White (4); Small Skipper (3); Essex Skipper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

WLH at Hilltop. After checking on the sheep at Hilltop (the field adjacent to Yew Hill) today, I watched a single White-letter Hairstreak flitting from one bramble flower to another under the trees - the first I have seen around the site since 1995.

Other species in approximate descending order of abundance: Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Small White, Small Skipper, Ringlet, Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath, Common Blue and Comma: plus Brimstone and Red Admiral on the main reserve. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

28 Jun 2018

Back in the Purple Groove at Abbotts Wood Inclosure. Back on the shores of old blighty after being away in Northern Italy,it was good to get back to the nitty gritty of the Purple Emperor season which is in full swing. I visited Abbotts Wood Inclosure just to get going again and after a cool, overcast start,the sun broke through at 10:30 and it wasn't long before his imperial majesty showed himself. I counted up to 21 individuals, and had at least (6) imbibing on the ground. But I had one male which kept alighting on Ferns at the ride-side edge, which was ideal for me as its difficult to get down to ground level at the moment. Several males were performing some odd behaviour whether this was the heat of the day or they were just enjoying life at the moment. One male particularly liked going deep into the woods, and then alighted on Hazel and sat there for many minutes. There didn't seem to be much Oak edging, although there was some good Sallow searching. At one of the Assembly points I espied a lovely female who was just yards from me where I was sat, but she sat in a Hazel bush well away from any male suitor that was passing.

Other good counts came from Silver-washed Fritillary, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, very few White Admirals, but looking up at the Oaks I did see several Purple Hairstreaks. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Purple Emperor alighting on a Fern
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Purple Emperor on Hazel
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
On the ground they were very skittish
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Whiteley Pastures. Successful at Monks Walk it was on to Whiteley in hope of being able to experience the Purple Emperors. We were there from 8:00am onwards with a mixture of strong sunshine and cloudy conditions. While we did not manage to views seen on the previous day, we did manage to see 2, maybe 3, males high in the oaks, and a single female that showed well low down. Plenty of White Admiral about with Silver-washed Fritillary, our first Ringlets of the year, Large and Small Skippers, a single Hummingbird Hawk Moth, and many Beautiful Demoiselles.

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

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Purple Emperor (F)
Photo © Chris Rose
Purple Emperor (F)
Photo © Chris Rose
White Admiral
Photo © Chris Rose

27 Jun 2018

Blackbush Hanger, Southleigh Forest. Returned back to Blackbush Hanger today, following my eventful Purple Emperor encounter, yesterday, but despite arriving at around midday no Purple Emperors were seen. Numbers of other butterflies were also low. Totals: Large White 1, Small White 4, Marbled White 1, Meadow Brown 7, Speckled Wood 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1, White Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Havant Thicket. Today at Havant Thicket (SU7110) the temperature reached 24 degrees. I walked my usual route around the outer tracking going full circle. Meadow Browns were flying everywhere, I counted up to 130 before giving up. Small numbers of Silver-washed Fritillarys, White Admirals and Marbled Whites were also about. Totals: Brimstone 3M, Small White 9, Marbled White 7, Meadow Brown 130+, Small Heath 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 14, White Admiral 5, Large Skipper 2, Small Skipper 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

any idea? North Baddesley. The following were seen today in half an hour on my own butterfly reserve at North Baddesley. Unidentified moth? as photo attached,if anyone is coming to see my reserve and knows what the photo is I would appreciate a name for it. Also 5 White Admiral (1 was 15 feet from my kitchen window!)11 Silver-washed Fritillary 7 Comma 4 Small Tortoiseshell 1 Speckled Wood 49 Large Skipper 140 mixed Small Skipper and Essex Skipper 55 Meadow Brown 65 Marbled White 85 Ringlet 18 Small White 4 Large White 16 Common Blue. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

Bentley Wood. Visited Bentley Wood this morning from 0800-1230 in unbroken hot sunshine but quite a strong breeze. Despite this most butterflies seemed slow to get going and it wasn't until 1050 that the first Purple Emperor was seen, after this it was a busy hour or so with quite a few groundings all along the main track ("The switchback"). Species totals were Purple Emperor 7, White Admiral 5, Silver Washed Fritillary 10, Comma 4, Meadow Brown 25, Ringlet 18, Large Skipper 21, Red Admiral 2, Purple Hairstreak 6, Small White 7, Large White 2 and a Scarlet Tiger Moth. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Purple Emperor
Photo © Mark Pike
Purple Emperor
Photo © Mark Pike
Scarlet Tiger
Photo © Mark Pike

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Between 1140-1325 in very hot weather (circa 26 degrees C) my walk recorded 11 species including my first sighting of the year of Gatekeeper. Marbled White overtook Meadow Brown in the main field which is very high and unruly grass this year. This probably explains why I have not yet seen Common Blue in this particular area. Species seen: Gatekeeper (4); Meadow Brown (22); Small White (7); Ringlet (3); Essex Skipper (14); Marbled White (26); Comma (2); Purple Hairstreak (2); Small Skipper (2); Speckled Wood (4); Large White (M)(1). All this and Germany knocked-out of the World Cup; too much! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Marbled White (Right) Female top
Photo © Francis Plowman
Shy Gatekeeper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White (Lef)
Photo © Francis Plowman

White Letter Hairstreaks in Cosham. Following yesterday's success I checked out some more elms and one spot came up trumps.

In the winter I had noticed some suckering elms on the perimeter of the playing fields that adjoin the western edge of the Queen Alexander Hospital in Cosham. On checking them at lunchtime sure enough I spotted three White-letter Haistreaks cavorting amongst the tops. You have to make a real effort to see them consequently I think this butterfly is severely under recorded. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

26 Jun 2018

Blackbush Hanger, Southleigh Forest. Paid a visit to Blackbush Hanger, Southleigh Forest (SU742087) to look for the Purple Emperor. First I almost walked into a juvenile fox which quickly ran off. Around the master oak tree, I spotted a male flying soon joined by another male which was chased off with one male returning back to the tree. The intruder appeared once more and both took the the skies once more, at one point just two or three feet from the top of my head as they dived low. This activity took place at 12:05pm. My counts were: Large White 1, Small White 3, Meadow Brown 11, Speckled Wood 2, Purple Emperor 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Nursling. Our first White-letter Hairstreaks!

I have a couple of weeks off work so after a trip to Hut Wood and Rownhams yesterday, we decided to go for a wander in Nursling today. We saw Silver-washed Fritillary, Large Skippers, Meadow Browns and a lovely Golden-ringed dragonfly.

On the way back to the car, we saw a couple of butterflies fluttering around the top of what looked like a Willow tree of some sort. They were chasing each other and always settling back in the top of the tree. They looked greyish on the underside and not very large. I got one very long distance shot but itís almost impossible to see what they were but they looked like Purple Hairstreaks. Iíve not seen these before so I will not swear to these, but they were behaving like Hairstreaks, but why were they hanging around a Willow and not Oak?

While this was going on we were standing under the shade of an Elm tree. We kept getting the odd glimpse of a small butterfly but it kept vanishing. Then David looked up and said thereís a White-letter Hairstreak! Well spotted! We spent the next hour just watching 2-3 females fluttering around this tree and landing on top then crawling underneath the leaves to lay eggs. Fascinating! I took nearly a hundred shots but had to use the flash most of the time because it was quite dark under the leaves.

Itís always a great day when we find a new species weíve not photographed before, and today was a very good day. Altogether we saw 4 Silver-washed fritillary. 10 + Meadow Browns, 4-6 Large Skippers, 2 Gatekeepers, 2 unidentified butterflies that may have been Purple Hairstreaks. Large Whites, a couple of Small Whites and 3 White-letter Hairstreaks.

Rownhams Plantation was showing good numbers of White Admirals and Silver-washed fritillary with Ringlets, Large Skippers and Small Skippers, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Red Admiral and Comma too.

Hut Wood had small numbers of White Admirals, a couple of Silver-washed Fritillary, Ringlets, Small Skippers, Large Skippers, Gatekeeper and a Red Admiral. No Marbled Whites seen and Skipper numbers are down on last year. I will try again later to see if numbers pick up. [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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White-letter Hairstreak egg laying
Photo © Tracy Piper
White-letter Hairstreak having a quick rest
Photo © Tracy Piper
back to laying eggs
Photo © Tracy Piper

Longstock census. An impromptu call at Longstock Park nursery this afternoon found 4 immaculate Small Tortoiseshells on the lavender flanking the path dividing the buddleja collection from the walled garden. Significantly, none of the buddleja were in flower.

An earlier walk along the Test found a dozen assorted whites and a Large Skipper squabbling over something unidentifiable amid about a square foot of disturbed soil. [Posted by A H Brookes]

Nursling. ..... some more photos [Posted by Tracy Piper]

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...more egg laying
Photo © Tracy Piper
Golden-ringed dragonfly
Photo © Tracy Piper
Large Skipper
Photo © Tracy Piper

Portsmouth Hairstreak Colony. After Paul Harfield's great find of White-letter Hairstreak eggs on an elm in central Portsmouth I thought I would check it out in the flight season. Sure enough in half an hour I spotted at least half a dozen battling it out in the treetops. A very incongruous scenario as the rush hour traffic queued under the tree! I have half a dozen other elms to check but a great start [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Hairstreak habitat
Photo © Mark Tutton

West Wood. an early morning trip to West Wood in search of a Purple Emperor but none seen. However I did spot a pristine Dark Green Fritillary which I had not seen before at this site. [Posted by Chris Backwell]

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Photo © Chris Backwell

25 Jun 2018

Abbotts Wood Inclosure, Alice Holt Forest. After a visit to Straits Inclosure I visited Abbotts Wood Inclosure, where the temperature reached a scorching 26.5 degrees. I was looking for the Purple Emperor but the high temperture caused the numbers of most species to be low, most of those seen were resting. Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Large White 1, Small White 5, Marbled White 3, Meadow Brown 25, Speckled Wood 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 4.

I paid a visit also to Goose Green Inclosure where only a handful of Meadow Browns were seen. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Straits Inclosure, Alice Holt Forest. Today in the heat wave temperature of 25 degrees, I visited Straits Inclosure, Alice Holt Forest. Here Meadow Browns were flying everywhere making identification of any Ringlets impossible. Numbers of other species were very low, perhaps due to the higher temperatures making the butterflies less mobile. I observed a single Purple Emperor as it glided above my head in the dip in the track near to the Forestry Commision generator hut. There were almost equal numbers of Siver-washed Frtillary and White Admirals, including a dead specimen of the latter, beside the path minus its head! Totals: Small White 6, Meadow Brown 120+, Speckled Wood 1, Comma 2, Purple Emperor 1, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 12, White Admiral 11, Large Skipper 2, Small Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Browndown (North) Gosport. After a quick strawberry-pick down at Titchfield we sauntered over to Browndown (North) specifically to see whether any more Silver-studded Blues could be seen. On the hottest day of the year so far (27 degrees C), between 1345-1545 we sweltered around the woods, tracks, fields and moorland that with the River Alver's banks and reed-beds comprise Browndown (North). We would not be disappointed. Immediately on entering the woods to the north (Howe Road/Grange Farm gate) we noted four butterflies zipping high around the elms and adjacent oaks. Whether these were Purple Hairstreaks or White-letter Hairstreaks or two of each we cannot be sure. However, on reaching the moor area we quickly found a microscopic female Silver-studded Blue crouching down initially with only its lower hind wing on view. It later moved and allowed more photography. So with last week's male there must be some hope here! Then, amazingly, said male duly appeared and in close proximity to the female so hope ran even higher. Just two butterflies hardly makes a colony but perhaps more are to come this summer? Lovely surprise to see the pair. Other butterflies recorded today in addition to the ?hairstreaks: Meadow Brown (40+); Speckled Wood (8); White Admiral (2); Essex Skipper (15); Small Skipper (5); Marbled White (9); Small Heath (1); Silver-studded Blue (2); Small Copper (1); Small White (3); Silver-washed Fritillary (1); Ringlet (5). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-studded Blue (female)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Silver-studded Blue (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Male showing more wing
Photo © Francis Plowman

Whiteley Woods, Fareham. Thanks to the various sighting reports posted on hantsiow-butterflies.org.uk I was able to see my first UK-sighting of Purple Emperor. It was very distant but enjoyable nonetheless. From 0930-1145 we recorded seeing 13 species: Ringlet (11); Meadow Brown (40+); White Admiral (6); Large Skipper (5); Small White (5); Silver-washed Fritillary (17); Red Admiral (2); Common Blue (F)(1); Small Skipper (5); Purple Emperor (1); Brimstone (F)(1); Speckled Wood (1); Comma (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Distant Purple Emperor
Photo © Francis Plowman
White Admiral on bramble blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman
Female Common Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Delayed emergence at Boarhunt Woods. The Beast from the East would appear to have retarded emergence. A 40-minute mid-afternoon stroll through Boarhunt Woods saw a pleasing increase in numbers of White Admiral (8) and Silver-washed Fritillary (14) all in pristine condition. Also seen was a fresh Comma, my first of the summer brood, and an unremarkable tally of Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper and whites. [Posted by A H Brookes]

Botley Wood. I arrived at Whiteley Pastures early this morning. No sign of a butterfly until about 0930 when things certainly livened up. By this time I had walked the main track and was up on the ridge - heading for Botley Wood. Last year I saw a Purple Emperor in a glade deep in the wood so was heading there - and sure enough there was a Purple Emperor to greet me! I think my enthusiasm got the better of me last year and I may have spooked the butterfly in my eagerness to get a picture. This year I learned my lesson and just stood perfectly still at the head of the glade and watched the butterfly circle around for perhaps 5-10 minutes. It never went above head height and was often very close to the ground. It came and inspected me a few times even settling on me once (the orange I had in the pocket is irresistible!). It settled a few times during the time I watched it - apart from on me it was on the long grass in the glade which I've never seen before (there is only a very narrow path in this glade). I eventually tried a few photos but inevitably the grass got in the way. That said, no disappointment - it was an amazing 10 minutes. Apart from this encounter there were lots of White Admirals throughout the wood (some already looking the worse for wear) and also Silver-washed Fritillary. I think there are more White Admirals than in previous years and less Fritillaries - but it's a subjective view with no numbers etc to back up a 'hunch'. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Purple Emperor - Botley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Purple Emperor - Botley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
White Admiral - Botley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

24 Jun 2018

Purple weekend. Farley Mount and Amfield. On Sat 23rd visited Farley Mount country park and in West Wood saw 3 Purple Emperors. 2 were grounded and one oak edging. On Sun 24th a loop in Ampfield Woods also yielded 3 Purple Emperors. 1 landed at our feet, the other 2 were flying along a ride. [Posted by Mark swann]

Old Lady resting on our car. After watching the football match (well done England) we did some gardening etc and Margaret found an Old Lady (moth) resting on our car, she is now resting in the fridge and will be released tonight or sooner as long as we don't get a visit from the police. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

Bell's Copse and Havant Thicket. We left home at 0845 and walked to Bell's Copse, arriving there at 0900 where we spent awhile looking for our target species the Purple Emperor. We found 2 males high up in an oak tree which performed well before disappearing over the canopy. We then walked along the main track on the southern side of Havant Thicket and had good views of a female resting on the path etc which then flew east along the track and vanished into some sallow. Species recorded during the 4 hour walk were Silver-washed Fritillary 26, White Admiral 22, Purple Emperor 3, Comma 2, Brimstone 3, Common Blue 1, Small Heath 4, Large White 1, Small White 4, Purple Hairstreak 2, Red Admiral 2, Speckled Wood 5, Ringlet 25, Marbled White 22, Large Skipper 14, Meadow Brown 30 and a male Beautiful Demoiselle. We arrived home at 1255 just in time to see the England and Panama game, which made it a fantastic day all round. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

23 Jun 2018

More from Whiteley. More pictures from Whitely.

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

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Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Photo © Chris Rose
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Chris Rose
Ringlet
Photo © Chris Rose

More Pictures from Monks Walk. https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.com/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Marbled White
Photo © Chris Rose
Marbled White
Photo © Chris Rose
Small Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose

Monks Walk, Gosport. Determined to catch the White-letter Hairstreaks low down on the bramble, we arrived at Monks Walk around 6:45am, and after seeing our first Marbled White of the year we were successful with a single found sitting on a leaf low down at 6:55am. It stayed in the same position before flying off at 7:30am. As well as the hairstreak there were up to 5 Marbled Whites and 4 Small Skippers, and of course the Meadow Browns

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

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White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Chris Rose
White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Chris Rose
White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Chris Rose

Oxenborne Down. My third site visit of the day was to Oxenbourne Down (SU7118) where a few downland grass species were flying and a few worn Common Blues. Totals: Common Blue 2M, Marbled White 4, Meadow Brown 7, Small Heath 15. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Chalton Down. After seeing my first Purple Emperor of the year in Southleigh Forest, I paid a visit to Chalton Down (SU736156), where the temperature was 22 degrees. Good numbers of Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns were seen in the longer grass. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Common Blue 2M 1F, Marbled White 31, Meadow Brown 64, Small Heath 6, Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Blackbush Hanger, Southleigh Forest. Today I visited Blackbush Hanger (SU742087) within Southleigh Forest, where shortly after arriving at around midday, I watched a male Purple Emperor patrolling the path. It stopped and alighted on some fox faeces at 12:15 where I was able to get some photos before it flew into the Oak master tree. This was my first encounter with the Purple Emperor this year. Totals: Small White 1, Meadow Brown 10, Speckled Wood 2, Purple Emperor 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Stockbridge Down. A late morning visit, had me see all 3 White Butterflies, a faded Brown Argus,a very faded Small Blue and 2 + Silver-washed Fritillary. [Posted by Michael Duffy]

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Silver-washed fritillary
Photo © Michael Duffy
Green Veined White
Photo © Michael Duffy
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Michael Duffy

Dark Green Fritillary in new site, Wonston. I visited a site near Wonston today that had a strong population of Small Blues, now decreasing as the Kidney Vetch gets crowded out by coarser grasses. However a fresh male Dark Green Fritillary was charging around, the first for this site. After a chase he settled on this Scabious and gave good views. I guess he has flown over from Stockbridge Down, ~6 miles away? We very much hope he doesn't remain a bachelor. Partial counts of ~30 Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns, >10 Ringlets, quite a few Skippers, >10 Common Blues and a very fresh Small Tortoiseshell - also a first of the year for me! [Posted by David Murdoch]

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Photo © David Murdoch

My Gosport Garden. It's been a busy butterfly week for me so it was just relax in the sun today. However, our very modest garden butterfly habitat ie stinging nettles, cabbages, nasturtium, lavenders etc etc is doing its stuff. Some 20+ Peacock caterpillars are rapidly devouring the nettles; both Large White and Small White females have clearly been active and one of the latter was on the wing today as well. Later a Meadow Brown came into the conservatory, got caught in the corner where it got itself entangled in a spider's web being rescued just in time by yours truly. The grateful creature then posed for the camera before removing it to the garden. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White chrysalis on cabbage
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock caterpillar on nettle
Photo © Francis Plowman
Reflections on Meadow Brown!
Photo © Francis Plowman

sightings at North Baddesley. the following were seen in 2 half hour walks on my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley today.5 Silver-washed Fritillary,9 White Admiral,1 Red Admiral,3 Comma,3 Small Tortoiseshell,72 Ringlet,88 Meadow Brown,55 Marbled White,58 Large Skipper,29 Small Skipper,6 Essex Skipper,11 Common Blue. REMINDER;you are all very welcome to come and view. I can be contacted on 02380 733995 or spark.ky@hotmail.co.uk.kevin [Posted by kevin ross]

Field trip - Butser Hill. Despite a low turn-out, a good morning was had by all with seventeen species recorded, the most noteworthy being a Painted Lady, plentiful Dark Green Fritillary, good numbers of Small Heath, Small Skipper and Marbled White, and a single rather washed-out Green Hairstreak. A number of Cowslips had typical Duke of Burgundy larval feeding damage but no actual larvae could be found. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Dave Pearson
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Dave Pearson
Marbled White (with egg?)
Photo © Dave Pearson

Purple Hairstreak at Browndown South. My last effort of a long and hot day was to check on Grayling and Purple Hairstreak at Browndown South. The red flag of the MOD range was absent during my circulation of the area from 1420-1630 in a temperature around 21 degrees and a pleasant south-westerly breeze. The Grayling notwithstanding the abundance of purple heather (well worth seeing) was not seen. However, after crossing the sea of shingle (really hard going) to get to that circle of low oaks (bushes really) that form a loose circle of vegetation towards The Solent shore line, some eight Purple Hairstreaks were seen. No ladder or gantry needed in Gosport to get a close-up of these butterflies. For when they are feeding they were careless of the camera's intrusion. Well worth a visit but next week the ranges may be in use; Range Control at Bordon is 01420 4834051 and they will happily inform callers of the availability of the area to the public. Finally, if anyone finds a 58mm Canon lens hood - it's mine! The only setback of a great butterfly day in Gosport. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis Plowman

22 Jun 2018

Silver-studded Blue at Browndown North. On Transect at Browndown North today I had the same experience as Francis Plowman in that I saw a Blue in the centre of the Heathland site, and with a surprised double take realised due to size, markings and flight pattern that this was a Silver-studded Blue - a first for me, Chris Cobb. [Posted by Chris Cobb]

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. From 1335-1405 the following butterflies were seen in the scrubland betwixt the former immigration centre and golf course: Small Heath (1); Marbled White (3); Meadow Brown (21); Common Blue (M)(1); Large White (1); Essex Skipper (4); Small Skipper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue - just about!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Essex Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Female Purple Emperor at Lord's Wood ,Southampton. Saw one female Purple Emperor grounded and drinking from a puddle margin. 6 White Admirals, but no Silver-washed Fritillary today. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

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Photo © Jason Claxton

Southleigh Forest. A lunchtime visit slightly hampered by lingering clumps of cloud. A single male Purple Emperor appeared over the assembly oak at 12:45 (a typical arrival time here), settled briefly in the top of a sallow before heading north. One more brief sighting at 13:20. Also one Silver-washed Fritillary. [Posted by Pete Gammage]

Brief Encounter With The Emperor In Whiteley Pastures. Purple Emperors are on the wing in Whiteley Pastures. A late morning walk along the main track produced a brief encounter soon after passing the bridge. A male was flying low to the ground ahead of me before landing briefly on the gravel track, then taking off to settle on low vegetation. A few seconds late the encounter was over as he soared into the trees. Obviously a very restless individual! Other observers had seen PE activity high in the oaks and also a grounded Emperor closer to the entrance gate.

My sightings also included 3 White Admirals and 5 Silver-washed Fritillary (not to mention a very low flying national grid helicopter - talk about disturbing the peace!) [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Purple Emperor
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Alan Thornbury
New Airborne Species For Whiteley Pastures?
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Woodland disappointments, Newtown. First visit to Huntbourn Wood, Newtown, in 3 years produced just one White Admiral, no s-w fritillaries, and no purple emperors residing atop the master oaks. Appalling, even Meadow Brown and Ringlet numbers were low. All the more puzzling because the habitat appeared unchanged. Things improved marginally at Boarhunt woods, where the few sunlit bramble clumps along the narrow ride attracted 2 pristine male Silver-washed Fritillary, and 3 White Admirals. [Posted by A H Brookes]

Whiteley Pastures. I could only manage an hour in Whiteley Pastures this morning but it proved to be a very enjoyable one. Three new species for me this year - a single Marbled White, lots of White Admirals and probably just into double figures of Silver-washed Fritillary. The latter (two) were very active so not a great day for photography - but stunning to watch White Admirals weaving in and out of the oaks with the occasional Fritillary whizzing by! I didn't see a Purple Emperor but met another couple who had seen 2-3 with one grounded on the main track, perhaps 80-90 metres from the main opening (about half way up the track that has been protected with a covering of hardcore from the large timber lorries using it). Add in some amazing dragonfly activity and it was probably one of my better short trips this year [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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White Admiral - Whiteley
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Silver Washed Fritillary - Whiteley
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Marbled White - Whiteley
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Micheldever Woods. Silver-washed Fritillary on bramble flowers. White Admiral(4) along Main Avenue. Purple Emperor(4) along Main Avenue in bright sunshine, mid-morning. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Purple Hairstreak at Monks Walk, Gosport. At least two Purple Hairstreak seen at Monks Walk early today (0700-0900). One remained high and appears to have a parasite on its fore wing. Another fresh butterfly landed beside me in the grass. The count for the walk: Meadow Brown (8); Comma (2); Purple Hairstreak (2); White Admiral (1); Essex Skipper (1). [Previously and erroneously reported by me as White-letter Hairstreak and I am most grateful to receive correction. Thank you]." [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Fresh Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman
Older of the two seen today with parasite
Photo © Francis Plowman
Fresh Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman

21 Jun 2018

Straits enclosure. My first Purple Emperor of the year. Mid-morning along main track midway between entrance and first tower. Also at least 10 White Admirals and several Ringlets during a 2 hour walk. [Posted by Keith Turner]

Silver-studded Blue - Browndown, Gosport. The red flag denied access to Browndown South today so my plan to check on Purple Hairstreak and Grayling was undone. Thus it was around Browndown (North), west side of the River Alver, that I spent three hours from 1230: very warm and sunny with the temperature held to around 21 deg C by a fresh south-westerly breeze. Fifteen species were counted the surprise being the sighting of a male Silver-studded Blue. The creature was hanging-on to wind-blown grass within the moor section now resplendent in much purple heather. At the time I assumed it to be a fresh Common Blue but upon checking on my return home I was delighted to have misidentified it! (No more trips to Pig Bush in order to see this one then!) The full sightings were: Small Tortoiseshell: (1); White Admiral (6); Speckled Wood (9); Meadow Brown (40+); Small White (1); Small Skipper (14); Comma (2); Large White (1); Common Blue(M)(1); Small Heath (2); Essex Skipper (5); Marbled White (4); Large Skipper (2); White-letter Hairstreak (2); Silver-studded Blue (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-studded Blue (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Essex Skipper with distinctive black antenna clubs
Photo © Francis Plowman
White Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket (SU7110) where the temperature was 20 degrees. I walked only the main outer track, taking nearly 2 hours. I was pleased to record my first sightings this year of White Admirals, all in flight except for one which brieftly landed on Bramble blossom. Elsewhere there were Meadow Browns galore and a few newly emerged Brimstones. Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Large White 1, Small White 1, Marbled White 2, Meadow Brown 91, Small Heath 1, Speckled Wood 5, White Admiral 4, Large Skipper 5. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Rownhams Wood for White Admiral. Saw 3 White Admiral at Rownhams Wood plus many Meadow Browns, 2 Comma,2 Marbled Whitez, 6 Large Skippers and 3 Speckled Wood. Also an Emperor and 2 Golden-ringed dragonflies and many Beautiful Demoiselles [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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White Admiral
Photo © Sue Lambert
Marbled White
Photo © Sue Lambert
Fresh Comma
Photo © Sue Lambert

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); Purple 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). [amended entry 24/6/18] [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 Purple 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 Purple 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 Purple Hairstreak 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); Purple 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); Purple 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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