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

News Archive for Mar 2019

30 Mar 2019

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Today I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) on what must be the hottest day of the year so far with the temperature reaching 17.5C. Here on the slopes I recorded the following: Brimstone 1M 2F, Orange-tip 1M, Comma 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

29 Mar 2019

Alton to Four Marks. A trip up the climb from Alton to Four Marks via Woodside Farm and Weathermore Copse, then back via Chawton Park Wood.

Lower Woodside Farm:

Orange-tip (male)

Small Tortoiseshell 2

Weathermore Copse complex:

Brimstone: 15+ males and a couple of females - it seems to be a great spring for them.

Peacock 2

Orange Underwing moth - on the mud where forestry operations have been happening.

Upper Wield Church:

Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone.

Chawton Park Wood, Alton:

Orange-tip (male), Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

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Orange Tip, near Four Marks 29 March
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Orange Underwing, Four Marks 29 March
Photo © Steve Mansfield

2 first sightings in North Baddesley. 2 first sightings of the season here on my butterfly reserve at North Baddesley today. Orange-tip (1)and Small White (4). Also seen in half hour walk today Small Tortoiseshell (5)Comma (2) Brimstone (9) Peacock (17). Never seen so many Peacocks here. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

Testwood Lakes. Holly Blue and Orange-tips. My first Holly Blue of the spring this year ( Last year my first was on the 14th of April ) .

Also a thin scattering of male Orange-tips around the area , 2 Speckled Wood, 5 Comma ,9 male Brimstones, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, plus 7 Peacocks. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Now a total of nine species counted this year at Monks Walk. With the temperature at 16 degrees Celsius under clear blue skies I spent two patient hours from 1215 recording eight of the said nine species seen here so far. Brimstone (M)(2); Small White (2); Peacock (9); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Speckled Wood (4); Comma (4); Green-veined White (1) and my first Large White (1) of the year. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male formation feeding!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Small Copper and Orange-tip seen near Cheriton. While cutting my grass here at Lane End (up on the chalk downs near Cheriton) I have seen an amazing Small Copper; 3 x Orange-tip (m); 2 x Small White; 3 x Peacock; 1 x Small Tortoiseshell; and several Brimstone (7m, 3f). And there is Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing in the wood behind the garden. It is still March.

Techer Jones [Posted by Techer Jones]

Orange-tip at Axmansford. An Orange-tip was seen flying through the garden at Axmansford late morning, my earliest ever garden record of this species. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

28 Mar 2019

Havant Thicket. In warm sunshine, temperature of 14 degrees, I walked a circular path around Havant Thicket (SU7110).Recorded were Brimstone 12M, Comma 1, Peacock 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Browndown North. Perfect afternoon for a spring walk from home (no driving!). Managed two firsts for me this year - a single Comma and likewise a single Speckled Wood. Also a Brimstone and plenty of Peacocks - the most numerous by a large margin. The latter were not in the mood for a photo today so the peacock below is from a couple of days ago - but same location. Just nice to be out - and no wellies! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Comma - Browndown North
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Peacock - Browndown North
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Specklede Wood - Browndown North
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

27 Mar 2019

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Paid my first visit this year to Chalton Down (SU726156) where the temperature was 13 degrees. The first butterflies seen were a single male Brimstone and a fresh Speckled Wood. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Disappointed by the earlier visit to Portsdown Hill and ominous build-up of clouds, it was back home via a quick circulation of Monks Walk. Between 12:30-13:45 with the temperature around 14 deg C the few sunny intervals and cool breezes bothered not the butterflies here. Small White (2)(1M; 1F); Comma (7); Peacock (4); Brimstone (M)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Red Admiral (2); Speckled Wood (2). The photograph of the Small White shows that both second spot on each wing appear divided; I haven't seen that marking previously. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Speckled Wood pair
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral and Speckled Wood about to land!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. Nothing much happening around Fort Widley this morning from 11:35-12:35. The sun was out but a cool NW breeze interfered with opportunities on the northern circuit; recent scrub and brush removal cannot have helped and there is very little flower or blossom about. However, crossing the road and walking the chalk cliff path to the Cosham Road roundabout and back realised: Brimstone (M) (2); Small White (2); Peacock (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

26 Mar 2019

Bedhampton Brimstones. Today beside the hermitage Stream, New Road, Bedhampton (SU710068) a male and female Brimstone were in flight together. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

25 Mar 2019

Portsdown Hill. Today at the East end of Portsdown Hill (SU657063) I saw 2 male Brimstones, while at Fort Widley (SU657066) a Peacock and Red Admiral were flying. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The local area doubled the butterfly count of Browndown with eight species obliging me today between 1300-1500. The temperature had reached 14 deg C but the NW breeze was cool. However, the butterflies preferred the shelter of sunny glades and here the warmth obviously awakened more. Red Admiral (4); Peacock (12); Comma (6); Small White (M)(1); Speckled Wood (1); Brimstone (M)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (3); Green-veined White (1). The latter was somewhat dilapidated. I enjoyed an exciting display of Peacocks when at least 5 were tumbling and chasing (probably) a female. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White, male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Tatty Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock ballet
Photo © Francis Plowman

Alver Valley Country Park, Gosport. A wander around Browndown (North) section of the AVCP between 1115-1230 with the temperature around 13 deg C under blue skies produced 4 species. Small Tortoiseshell (1); Brimstone (M) (5); Comma (1); Peacock (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone feeding
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock basking
Photo © Francis Plowman

24 Mar 2019

Camberwell Beauty at Hawkshill Inclosure. Camberwell Beauty was spotted and photographed about 200 meters away from the car park at Hawkshill Inclosure, New Forest at approx 1pm on a beautiful sunny Sunday in March. Could not quite believe what I was seeing, as i never expected to see it. [Posted by James Arthur]

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Camberwell Beauty
Photo © James Arthur
Camberwell Beauty
Photo © James Arthur

Camberwell Beauty at Hawkhill Inclosure. I spotted a Camberwell Beauty gliding high in the sunshine, which came down to land right before me at Hawkhill inclosure, just 200 meters away from the car park.

I realise the chances of seeing such a rare butterfly are very remote, and it was most unexpected. Photos attached. I have higher quality shots if you require. [Posted by James Arthur]

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket (SU7110), where in the sunshine the late morning temperature reached 14 degrees. I spent around 2 hours walking a circular route using the main perimeter tracks where over 30 Brimstones were flying but not landing. A few Commas and a single Peacock added some variety. Totals: Brimstone 31M 1F, Comma 4, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Brimstones Galore around Southwick!. Brimstone were very evident around Southwick today. I saw at least 30 males and a couple of Females. I also saw good numbers of Peacock and Comma as well as a couple of males each of Small White and Orange-tip. The later two species proving very difficult to pin down. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Photo © Paul HarfieldOne of many Brimstones seen today around Southwick
Photo © Paul Harfield
This first Orange Tip of the year led me a merry dance today. It settled just once in this most unphotogenic pose
Photo © Paul Harfield

7 Up! Monks Walk, Gosport. What a difference sunshine makes to the countryside! At last clear blue skies, a light cool breeze but with full sunshine between 1134-1325. The temperature at 13 degrees was the same as yesterday's under leaden skies but seven species were discovered today! Brimstone (M)(3) and (F)(1) - my first sighting of female Brimstone this Spring; Comma (5); Peacock (8); Small White (1); Red Admiral (1); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Speckled Wood (2). Things are definitely looking up here. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Fresh Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on Blackthorn blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman

23 Mar 2019

Milton Foreshore and Fort Widley. Another bout of Vanessids along the foreshore and Allotments at Milton. Today I saw at least (3) Commas several feeding on the Hawthorn flowers, (4) Peacocks one now looking rather tatty after blazing a trial for territory. (3) Small Whites, and several (Small?)Tortoiseshells, up at Fort Widley where there were some Brimstones along with Peacocks. I never noted any Speckled Woods or Holly Blues ..yet. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Comma on Hawthorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Tatty looking Peacock now after territory battles.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Borage and Honey Bee
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Milton Foreshore and Nature Reserve.. Another balmy day and the Butterflies were out in force, totals today along the Milton Allotment foreshore and the local Nature Reserve were as follows. Small Tortoiseshell (7) Peacock (4) Comma (2) Brimstone (2) Small White (8) Red Admiral (1).

Two Peacocks were having a constant battle for territories on the nature reserve, and several Small Tortoiseshells were eyeing each other up as a pair. None of the Vanessids looked as if they had been through a Winter hibernating, they all looked in fantastic condition. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock seen battling for territories.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell on drastic plastic!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma enjoying the sunny weather.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A 'punctuation' of Comma butterflies! Three Comma were flying - often in close formation - during my wander around Monks Walk 1300-1400 today. With overcast, donkey-grey skies (as with most of the week) but without the fresh wind and perhaps with an occasional brightness of thin sunshine. This raised the temperature sufficiently to around 13 degrees C which in turn coaxed three species to appear; 1 Brimstone (M) - still on the wing; 1 Peacock and 3 Comma. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma no tails!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma one tail!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma with a pair of tails!
Photo © Francis Plowman

Milton Lock. My first butterflies for March which is normally a good month however last year we had the beast from the East, this year weve had severe Gales for the last week or so.

Milton Lock was adorned with Hawthorn trees out in blossom which was attracting many Honey Bees and one Peacock. Another Peacock was seen on the ground, sunning itself. Not much else except for a Small White feeding off of Daisies growing in grass. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Honey Bee
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Mar 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The past three days has seen only Brimstone, Peacock and Red Admiral during my lunchtime saunters. The strong and cool breezes coupled with overcast and some rain has kept numbers down. Until today, all butterflies were either on the wing or very fidgety. Today's fleeting appearance by Peacock (1) and Red Admiral (1) at least allowed one attempt at photography. Better luck later this week when the forecast appears more optimistic. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis Plowman

09 Mar 2019

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. After the recent heavy rainfall and strong winds I was pleasantly surprised to record three species between 1145-1310 today. My first sightings for March. The temperature was 14 deg C with a strong and cool westerly wind sweeping through the grasses and hedgerows. Nevertheless, in more protected areas and hunkered well down among the nettles and undergrowth were two Red Admirals and one Comma. A further Comma was seen on the wing as was two male Brimstone butterflies. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Damaged Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral in nice condition
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma in the sunshine
Photo © Francis Plowman

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