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

News Archive for Nov 2019

16 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. An hour's slither around soggy Monks Walk this morning (1140-1240, 8 degrees C, sunny with cool breeze) confirmed three Red Admiral butterflies still continuing to feed on ivy bushes. All three have distinctive damage which may be useful next Spring to identify winter survivors! Red Admiral (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral with symmetrical wing damage - birdstrike?
Photo © Francis Plowman
Basking on Ivy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Teal
Photo © Francis Plowman

13 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. At 10 degrees and less windy than yesterday my 80 minutes' wander from 1115 this morning made the most of the sunshine. Only Red Admiral seen today and all were interested in either sunning themselves or feeding on ivy floret. Two foxes noted, a pair of swans, numerous sea birds bobbing on the very high tide and one colourful Jay. Sadly the Small White did not put in an appearance. Total: Red Admiral (5). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Feeding detail
Photo © Francis Plowman
Foreshore at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

12 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. As I look out now on low grey clouds through rain-lashed windows (at 3 pm) I find it hard to imagine that earlier today I had been photographing butterflies. But I had. From 1120-1300 under clear blue skies and oblique sunshine (9-11 degrees Celsius) but strong and cool SW wind, I discovered four Red Admiral and, wait for it, one (surviving) Small White, male! In fact it was where I left it yesterday right on the edge of the harbour flitting around low stinging nettles and feeding off their flower. As with at least one Red Admiral it was in excellent and undamaged condition. To see butterflies in the vicinity of Brent Geese bobbing on the high tide is surreal. Total today then: Red Admiral (4); Small White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral feeds on ivy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral in great condition
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

11 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Having recently had our first frost and endured yet more rain since my last wander on the 5th November, I was hesitant about going out again. However, the skies were blue and the sunshine warming at 9.5 degrees so what the heck! From 1115-1230 I stood out more in hope than confidence. But the butterflies in this neck of Hampshire's woods don't know when to quit. Six Red Admiral (at least) were counted mostly still clustered around ivy bushes and nettles in sheltered areas away from the strong and cool SW wind. The biggest surprise was seeing Small White. It was first seen on the wing flying out to sea but obligingly responded to my (not so quiet) invitation to return and it did, initially settling well out on the tidal plants. Off I went. It soon tired of my intrusion and flew onto the shore. Here it found nettle flowers to its taste and flittered happily between them. This was no end of season rag-bag rather a really fresh male which along with the admirals made my day. To cap it all I came across a patient Little Egret sat in a tree! Red Admiral (6); Small White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White (male) on tidal plants
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral feeding high
Photo © Francis Plowman
Little Egret in a shoreline tree
Photo © Francis Plowman

05 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. How lovely still to see and be able to photograph butterflies on Bonfire Day! Although noticeably cooler at 12.5 degrees Celsius and with the breeze from the north, an hour's somewhat squidgy wander from 1 p.m. under milky sunshine realised sightings of just two species. With the sun's oblique rays providing warmth at just the top branches of the ivy bushes the butterflies commensurately were found today much higher up. Red Admiral (5); Comma (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral in good condition (one antenna lost)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Tatty Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

03 Nov 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. From midday, forty minutes in the warm sunshine (at 14 deg C) - before yet more rain intervened - was sufficient time to discover that three species had survived a week of autumnal weather and yesterday's virtual monsoon rain! No further sighting of Speckled Wood but still going were: Red Admiral (6); Comma (2) and Painted Lady (1). Two or three of the Red Admirals were in very good condition. The resident fox was also seen today and slowly returned to its lair after the obligatory photograph. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Painted Lady
Photo © Francis Plowman
Wounded Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

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