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

News Archive for Aug 2019

31 Aug 2019

Painted Lady Larvae at Otterbourne. There were plenty of Painted Lady larvae at Otterbourne Reservoir today. These were feeding on Mallow plants and most looked to be at a fairly advanced stage. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Painted Lady larva
Photo © Paul Harfield
Mallow at Otterbourne Reservoir
Photo © Paul Harfield
Painted Lady larva
Photo © Paul Harfield

30 Aug 2019

Moth Trap. Last night I put out my moth trap and the following were seen in it or within the area of the trap, Square Spot Rustic, Large Yellow Underwing, Common Wainscot,Light Emerald, Maidens Blush, Black Arches, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Heart and Dart, Centre Barred Sallow, Oak Hook Tip,Clay, Common Rustic, Burnished Brass, Setacious Hebrew Character, Rosy Rustic, and Twin Spot Wainscot. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Lesser Swallow Prominent
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Centre Barred Sallow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Black Arches
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

29 Aug 2019

Chalton Down. After visiting Old Winchester Hill in the morning, I paid a visit to Chalton Down in the early afternoon. Here numbers are slowly decreasing as we approach September, with only a few Chalk Hill Blues recorded. There are still a number of Meadow Browns with fresh Small Heaths, while I was pleased to see a Brown Argus. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 1, Small White 17, Brown Argus 1, Chalk Hill Blue 3M, Common Blue 3M, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 17, Small Heath 7. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill. Visited Old Winchester Hill this morning to search for Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skippers. The temperature was 20 degrees. For a change I descended the car park slope and then walked to the hill fort through the woods and along the steps on the ridge before returning on the upper path. The numbers of Small Whites were impressive with over 100 recorded. Numbers of Chalk Hill Blues, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers in particular are now decreasing. I managed to record and photograph 17 Adonis Blues as well as a female, all found at the bottom of the car park slope and along the turf about halfway towards the woods. Here a Clouded Yellow was seen, my first for the year. My only disappointment was not being able to see any Silver-spotted Skippers. The areas around the hill fort where I have seen them being particularly windy. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 6, Small White 132, Clouded Yellow 1, Adonis Blue 17M 1F, Chalk Hill Blue 2M 1F, Common Blue 3M, Gatekeeper 2, Meadow Brown 39, Small Heath 22, Speckled Wood 1, Painted Lady 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Noar Hill NNR. Another visit to Noar Hill NNR and today with it being a lot cooler I thought the Brown Hairstreak Species would have been easier to find, however they were as elusive as ever. I don't believe the Brown Hairstreak in 2019 has been very common, although they can still fly well into September and beyond given the right weather. However 2019 has been one of those years, and I saw just the one female today, after a long walk around and seeing (15) other species. Other species of note were Small Heath Small Copper and the 'blue' form of the female Common Blue. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Brown Hairstreak
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Wasp Spider and prey
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Two hours from 11 a.m. in sunshine (20-22 degrees Celsius) with the high tide just on the turn with white bait a-leaping, made for an enjoyable walk. Eleven species remained on view although their condition was variable and with numbers reducing inexorably. That is if one excludes the Small White which is having a rather memorable season! So they head-off the score which was: Small White (38); Comma (3); Red Admiral (4); Painted Lady (5); Common Blue (6)(M); Small Copper (2); Brown Argus (2); Small Heath (1); Large White (2); Speckled Wood (3); Gatekeeper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Gatekeeper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

28 Aug 2019

Old Winchester Hill - Walk 2. After lunch I set out on the hill footpath, generally south-easterly and south towards the hill fort before turning sharp right and descending down and along the valley side before joining the returning path to the car park. This took an hour whereupon 12 species were seen and many photographed. By far the best sighting of the whole day for me was to see Small Tortoiseshell again. This butterfly has been extremely hard to find this year both in Hampshire and Germany. Following-on from last year's slump in numbers I fear this year may well be worse. Happily, at least two fresh specimens were seen this afternoon. So the count was: Large White (5); Painted Lady (4); Small White (102); Meadow Brown (15); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Red Admiral (1); Small Copper (1); Speckled Wood (1); Brimstone (1)(M); Small Heath (2); Green-veined White (1); Common Blue (1)(M). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Old Winchester Hill - Walk 1. From 1000-noon I think I enjoyed the best of the still airs around 19 degrees with eventually warm sunshine as I slowly descended the car park slope to the bottom meadow gate and return. Butterflies galore and my count surely bears no resemblance to the actual numbers around me for two fascinating hours. Indeed, never has the climb back up the steep hill gone so easily such was the distractions! Thirteen butterflies were recorded as follows: Small White (26); Meadow Brown (119); Brimstone (1)(F); Silver-spotted Skipper (9); Chalk Hill Blue (18)(F); (7)(M); Small Heath (47); Common Blue (6)(M);(1)(F); Adonis Blue (11)(M); Large White (5); Clouded Yellow (2); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (1); Gatekeeper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Adonis Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Chalk Hill Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

27 Aug 2019

Gosport Sites x 3. Haslar Sea-Wall Car Park Scrub (1000-1030) 24 deg C. Small White (14); Meadow Brown (2); Common Blue (2)(M); Brown Argus (2). Lots of flower but few takers this morning!

Gilkicker Point (1035-1150) 24 deg C. Small White (23); Small Copper (1); Common Blue (3)(M); (1)(F); Meadow Brown (1); Holly Blue (1)(F).

Monks Walk (1205-1310) 26.5 deg C. Small White (18); Meadow Brown (4); Red Admiral (4); Large White (1); Brown Argus (3); Common Blue (4)(M); Small Copper (3); Comma (1); Speckled Wood (4); Green-veined White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Female Common Blue Gilkicker Point
Photo © Francis Plowman
Shabby Brown Argus Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

26 Aug 2019

Browndown (North) Gosport. The surprise this morning was the number of Grayling recorded. Having only seen one last week on the heather-strewn shingle at Browndown South, I was not expecting to see seven this morning! Between 1050-1235 we circulated around the woods, fields and heathland recording eleven species as we did so. Noted were: Speckled Wood (5); Small White (18); Small Copper (3); Clouded Yellow (1); Common Blue (2)(1M;1F); Meadow Brown (15); Brown Argus (1); Grayling (7); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (1); Green-veined White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Grayling in typical habitat
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grayling close-up
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman

Chilling Coastal Area, Titchfield. An hour from 1.30 pm took in the square from the car park out towards the cliffs at Brownwich, along the cliff top and then back through the field and woodland edge. The hope was to record Clouded Yellow but disappointingly the clifftop and base were devoid of flowers; the area is very sun-bleached and baked and accordingly sightings were low: Speckled Wood (2); Small White (55); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (1); Small Copper (1); Holly Blue (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Our last visit was an hour from 1450 when the temperature stood at a healthy 27.5 degrees under full sunshine - wonderful! Numbers recorded dwindled to nine: Small White (8); Red Admiral (3); Holly Blue (1); Painted Lady (2); Common Blue (3)(M); Small Copper (3); Speckled Wood (4); Brown Argus (1); Green-veined White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Ranvilles Lane and Newlands Farm, Stubbington/Fareham. Although looking for migrant birds was the main focus of my walk around my local patch there are still plenty of butterflies to see although some unexpected early fog delayed their emergence. It's been an excellent year for Brown Argus here with the enclosed set-aside field at Newlands Farm being particularly favoured and I've had a number of double-figure counts recently. Several were seen today. Painted Ladies were everywhere and I was also pleased to see a Clouded Yellow fly by. Back at home I was rather surprised to gain a garden tick in the form of a very worn female Silver-washed Fritillary which visited the buddleia. Butterflies seen:

Small Copper 2; Common Blue 4; Brown Argus 10; Holly Blue 2; Small White 20; Large White 12; Comma 1; Painted Lady 15; Red Admiral 2; Meadow Brown 4; Speckled Wood 2

Also 1 Common blue Damselfly; 3 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 20 Common Darter and 6 Migrant Hawker [Posted by Mark Rolfe]

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Brown Argus
Photo © Mark Rolfe
Holly Blue
Photo © Mark Rolfe
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Mark Rolfe

Moth trap Leigh Park. I had my moth trap on in my garden at Leigh Park last night and caught 19 species. They were Willow Beauty 1, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 6, White Point 3, Mother of Pearl 2, Vine's Rustic 20, Six-striped Rustic 13, Flame Shoulder 4, Square-spot Rustic 19,

Lesser Yellow Underwing 1, Large Yellow Underwing 3, Small Wainscot 2, Smoky Wainscot 2, Setaceous Hebrew Character 12, Bordered Beauty 1, L-album Wainscot 1, Light Emerald 1, Rosy Rustic 2, Gold Spot 1, Dog's Tooth 1, also Hornet 3 and one Wasp, [Posted by Barry Collins]

25 Aug 2019

Noar Hill Field Trip. On probably was the hottest day for a field trip today it was very warm long before we all started, but we proceeded to look for the elusive Brown Hairstreak, I do find this species is getting harder to find at this site now, and today was no exception. We found 14 species before we ran for shelter underneath some lovely Beech trees to have lunch. These included plenty of Brimstone's, Common Blues, Painted Lady, and Meadow Browns. But once we had lunch we managed to find three Brown Hairstreaks, the first was a Male, all three weren't stopping for any sustenance, not out in the open anyway. The last was a female right by the entrance of the site at the farm end, she was very jittery, but gave most of us a good views of her, and she then proceeded to fly outside of the reserve, which I think is where the majority of them are anyway. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Common Blues were quite common
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Several Small Copper were seen
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Field Margins like this are really important at sites like Noar Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Aug 2019

Noar Hill. Today I visited Noar Hill where the temperature was 23 degrees, to try and see the elusive Brown Hairstreak, a species which I had not seen this year. I spent three hours covering most of the tracks around the site, including wooded areas, but was not lucky despite looking closely at Hemp Agrimony blooms. There were good numbers of Brimstones, Small Whites and Common Blues, while I managed a close photo of a fresh Brown Argus. Totals: Brimstone 8M 5F, Large White 5, Small White 18, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 19M 3F, Gatekeeper 10, Meadow Brown 15, Small Heath 4, Speckled Wood 1, Painted Lady 3, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The count reached 13 today between 1145-1325 when the temperature hovered around 22 degrees and the sun bore down pleasantly. Two wild buddleia bushes were doing a roaring trade with Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Whites and Comma enjoying nectar there. I recorded: Speckled Wood (6); Green-veined White (4); Comma (3); Large White (1); Red Admiral (6); Holly Blue (1); Small White (22); Painted Lady (4); Small Copper (2); Common Blue (M)(4); Brimstone (M) (1); (F)(1); Meadow Brown (7); Brown Argus (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Shabby female Brimstone
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman

Old Winchester Hill Car-Park and Eastern Slope. On a perfect day walking around Old Winchester Hill is a challenge even for the young at heart, so I have to do this site in two parts the Southern slope Hill Fort and the Car-Park slope and Eastern Slope. Last week I gathered enough records to submit the Adonis Blue and Silver-Spotted Skipper were doing very nicely thank you. Today on the car-park slope I think the Silver-spotted Skipper is doing even better with a conservative count of (35) but the Adonis Blue less so with a count of (11), however I dont think all the Adonis Blues have emerged yet, so another look later in the week maybe beneficial. Other records of note were several Small Tortoiseshells, many many Common Blues and still good counts of Chalk Hill Blues several mating pairs as well. There was also a Small Skipper to be seen. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mr and Mrs Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The Eastern Slope of Old Winchester Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Moth trap Leigh Park. I had my moth trap on in my garden last night at Leigh Park and caught 22 species plus 3 Hornets. Species of note were Swallow Prominent, White Point, Rosy Rustic, Mocha, Copper Underwing, Red Underwing. [Posted by Barry Collins]

Long-tailed Blue in Isle of Wight garden. A female Long-tailed Blue was seen today in my back garden close to Colwell Bay.She alighted on a flower and it was identified by the black discal spots on the base of the hind wings.Underside not seen at rest.She landed close to an established Everlasting Pea. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

22 Aug 2019

Old Winchester Hill. Today I visited Old Winchester Hill where the temperature was 21 degrees with a strong wind. My target species were the Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper. There were large numbers of Small Whites flying everywhere giving an impressive final count. My walk took me to the hill fort and circling it, returning to the car park slope via the steps, then through the woods at the bottom of the hill. I saw a total of four Adonis Blues all flying around the bottom of the car park slope, while only two Silver-spotted Skippers were seen on the South facing slope of the hill fort, the windy conditions probably not ideal. A total of 14 different species were recorded including eleven Painted Ladys. Totals: Brimstone 12M 4F, Large White 11, Small White 85, Green-veined White 2, Adonis Blue 4M, Chalk Hill Blue 15M, Common Blue 12M 4F, Gatekeeper 13, Meadow Brown 21, Small Heath 7, Speckled Wood 1, Painted Lady 11, Red Admiral 1, Silver Spotted Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Shipton Bellinger Field Trip. Back on my feet again and another field trip with weather to say at best was just OK with very minimal sunshine at times and lots of cloud. However that didn't dampen our spirit's as we wandered around the army tank ranges at Shipton Bellinger. We saw the Brown Hairstreak at first in amongst the tallish trees especially the young Ash trees and Field Maples, counting in the end was a count a modest (10) which wasn't bad considering the weather. We encountered one lovely female flying in and around some Blackthorn and alighting on some Brambles to imbibe and feed, before wandering around some of the Blackthorn twigs laying eggs, which was a delight for all to see. Other species of note were Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Heath, Small Tortoiseshell, many Painted Lady. The Wall Brown proved elusive although I glimpsed it several times, but it wasn't hanging around in cooler weather in the afternoon.I'd like to thank all those who made the long journey to this Key site, and proved once again the Brown Hairstreak is a crowd pleaser. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Brown Hairstreak typical pose
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Feeding on Bramble berries, before laying eggs
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Waiting in turn for a picture
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Old Winchester Hill. A few more from today's trip to OWH [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Brimstone - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Silver Spotted Skipper - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Silver Spotted Skipper - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Old Winchester Hill. With the weather set fair at long last I travelled up the Meon Valley to one of my favourite 'end of season' sites - OWH. First stop was the bottom of the car park slope where Chalk Hill Blues were still abundant, although most were worn. As the path turns left at the bottom of the hill the Adonis Blues showed up - 10+ males and in excellent condition. I think I also found a female here - picture attached so please correct me if the id is wrong. There were 2 Silver-spotted Skippers here along the bottom path. I then made my way up the hill towards the fort (not sure my knees can do this steep climb for much longer!) and visited the south slope which was a first for me. Less Adonis Blue here (maybe 5 or 6) but not familiar with this part of the site I could have been looking in the wrong place. Many more Silver-spotted Skippers - but the stiff breeze and their rapid flight wasn't conducive to great photos!. On the way back to the car there were Painted Ladies at virtually every step, a couple of Common Blues and although I couldn't find a Clouded Yellow, a lone Brimstone was a surprise. With Ravens and Red Kites overhead (and swallows making their way south) its hard to think of a better location to round off a butterfly year. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Painted Lady - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Adonis Blue - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Adonis Blue Female? - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

21 Aug 2019

Female Brown Hairstreak At Noar Hill. Finding Brown Hairstreaks in Hampshire this season seems to be significantly more challenging than usual (and I’m confident others will agree!). My early afternoon visit to Noar Hill, initially focussing on the south side of the reserve had produced no sightings. However, I was soon asking myself, “Why are a group of people standing close to a bank of Hemp Agrimony with cameras poised?” as I made my way across the reserve.

Any thoughts that a rare migrant species had stopped off at Noar Hill for nourishment, were soon dismissed, when the real reason became apparent. A female Brown Hairstreak, in very good condition, was feeding contentedly, and had been there for a considerable time. Indeed it was the only one seen by one observer during several hours at the site. After sampling a number of flower heads, each taking a few minutes, it disappeared behind the bank. On this occasion, I knew that a huge slice of good fortune was with me today! [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Brown Hairstreak (Female)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Brown Hairstreak (Female)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Brown Hairstreak (Female)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The more sheltered fields and edges of Monks Walk between 1430-1610 (21 degrees celsius in the sunshine) produced ten species. It was pleasing to see hitherto swamped fields full of summer flowers with a good accompaniment of butterflies and other insects. And on top of the sport, the blackberry count was about 5lbs plus feral Bramley 'cookers' and many sweet pears! Butterfly count was: Small White (20); Speckled Wood (2); Painted Lady (6); Red Admiral (4); Holly Blue (3); Meadow Brown (3); Comma (3); Large White (5); Common Blue (3)(M); Small Copper (1). Good to be home - for a while at least! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Browndown (South) Gosport. Under an overcast sky and fairly breezy easterly airs I circulated Browndown South (1205-1415) primarily in search of Grayling. Having been out of the country for some weeks I was hoping not to have been too late. After 40 minutes with just Small White and Meadow Brown for company I thought I'd blown it! But at last, behind the rifle range amidst the stones and heather one Grayling duly obliged me but sadly that was the only one. So the total count of eleven species was: Small White (30); Painted Lady (5); Meadow Brown (12); Grayling (1); Small Copper (2); Common Blue (5)(M); Small Heath (2); Brown Argus (2); Gatekeeper (1); Holly Blue (1); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Grayling
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Painted Lady
Photo © Francis Plowman

Clouded Yellow at Portchester. A manic Clouded Yellow seen at Castle Shore Park, Portchester, this afternoon, presumably female as it alighted briefly on numerous plants. Several Painted Lady at the same site, fellow travellers perhaps. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

20 Aug 2019

Beacon Hill (Warnford). A second visit to Beacon Hill NNR was rewarded with four Silver-spotted Skippers, suitably elusive in the brisk wind; they seemed to favour the southern slope where the grass was shorter. Also in attendance, was several fresh but slightly battered Painted Lady's, Large White and Small White, copious Meadow Brown, Common Blue, a few Chalk Hill Blue, and some Brown Argus. A couple of Hornet Robberflies were also seen together with evidence of breeding in the local cow pats! [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Common Blue on Marjoram
Photo © Dave Pearson
Painted Lady on Marjoram
Photo © Dave Pearson
Chalkhill Blue on Chalk Eyebright
Photo © Dave Pearson

Brownies on show at Shipton. Today's round trip of nearly 100 miles from the Isle of Wight was rewarded with several Brown Hairstreak sightings at Shipton Bellinger.Along the county boundary hedge a rather worn male on blackberry fruits plus two females, both egg laying a few inches from the ground and taking time to enjoy the sun. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Egg laying female
Photo © Peter Hunt
female
Photo © Peter Hunt
male
Photo © Peter Hunt

Old Winchester Hill Fort South slope. A typical August day today very sunny but breezy on occasions, but this didn't dampen most of the counts where I went today. I stayed on the slope opposite the Fort on the south side, and here for 3 hours I counted 17 species, these included Silver-Spotted Skipper (19) very difficult to ascertain how many, but they look as if they have done quite well this year. Good counts of Adonis Blues today with one patch of wildflowers having four males on it at the same time (28). A Small Blue was seen in the mix must be one of the last, Small Copper, and good numbers of Brown Argus. The Painted Lady was all around the Fort area and I counted at least (10) also included were some Small Tortoiseshell which have had an awful year, but I did see at least (4). There is still excellent counts of Chalk Hill Blues and Common Blues, and lots of Whites, but no Clouded Yellows yet. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Adonis Blue out in good numbers now
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper on Scabious
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

19 Aug 2019

Fort Cumberland. A look around a site that is probably not on most recorders radar, but it was a surprise to see several species today that I haven't seen here before. These were the Small Heath, and the Brown Argus. There were some tatty looking Small Coppers, and several Common Blues, and the Gatekeeper was on the wane. Plenty of Small White and Large Whites to be seen dotted all over the site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Fort Cumberland
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Aug 2019

Chalton Down. Today I visited Chalton Down where the temperature was 19 degrees, but with a strong breeze overall numbers appeared to be low. Noticeable was the decrease in the number of Meadow Browns and Chalk Hill Blues, along the wind may have prevented many from taking flight. The grass in some areas especially at the entrance to the site is particularly long, a long term issue of lack of grazing by the much reduced rabbit population here. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 3, Small White 9, Green-veined White 1, Chalk Hill Blue 22M, Common Blue 2M, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 3, Small Heath 8, Comma 1, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Shipton Bellinger's Brownies. Despite the spectacularly poor August weather, I'm delighted to report that Shipton Bellinger's Brown Hairstreaks are alive and well and egg laying. After a quick dash up the 303 under gloomy skies, the sun broke out for around 10 minutes, during which we had great sightings of both Wall Brown and Brown Hairstreaks. I still can't get my head around the fact that, these days, I have to travel 30 miles to a very specific location to see Wall Brown's that, as a teenager, commonly occurred in my garden. [Posted by Mark Vincent]

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Photo © Mark VincentPhoto © Mark Vincent

Oxenbourne Down. It wasn't a Field Trip day today as the rain cascaded down from early morning until about 10:00, and as I was out in the area I decided to stop off at Oxenbourne Down as the weather became quite bright and warm from mid-morning. The species out were many Chalk Hill Blues several mating pairs and several in very good condition, the Silver-spotted Skipper seems to have taken a hammering in the cool wet weather, as I only saw about a dozen. Small Heath , one Small Copper, many Small Whites, and the demise of the Gatekeeper, was all that was worth noting. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Pair of Chalkhill Blues mating
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

13 Aug 2019

wasp spider at north baddesley. seen today on my butterfly reserve in north baddesley a wasp spider.also seen in 30 minute walk last Essex Skipper? of the season,2 Small Tortoiseshell,1 Small Copper,1 Common Blue,1 Silver-washed Fritillary,5 Painted Lady,2 Red Admiral,6 Comma,8 Gatekeeper,15 Meadow Brown,1 Speckled Wood,1 Brimstone,2 Large White,12 Small White,1 Ringlet,1 silver y moth,2 mint moth. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin Ross

11 Aug 2019

Broughton Down Field Trip. With the heavens opening up as we set off today from Portsmouth, Broughton Down seemed a long long way to go, and the sky was just black with rain clouds until we got onto the M3 and approaching Winchester things were looking up. At Broughton I needn't have worried as the sky was blue and they hadn't had any rain, so the ground wouldn't be wet, and this helped with the butterfly counts I think as there were some good species counts to be had on all of the slopes. We counted good numbers of Silver-spotted Skipper, Adonis Blues were just emerging and the Chalk Hill Blue could be seen patrolling up and down the Iron Age Fort, and burial mound. Other good numbers were Dark Green Fritillary although they were well past their best, Painted Lady were feasting on the Hemp Agrimony, and so were Red Admirals and Peacocks. Brown Argus is always a treat and a few Small Heaths were seen, we saw 18 species today, along with 6 spotted Burnet Moths and Silver-'Y's. I d like to thank all those who came and made this a very enjoyable field trip. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Hampshire countryside from Broughton Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

08 Aug 2019

St. Catherine's Hill. A visit on Thursday in mainly overcast conditions with a few brighter spells and eventually managed to find Silver-spotted Skippers, 7 in all. They flushed from the sward at top speed and were very hard to follow. Also 150 plus Chalk Hill Blues, about 35% of which were female and a charm of about 75 goldfinches, which was a delight to see and hear. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

Brown Hairstreak And Wall Are Top Sightings At Shipton Bellinger. It is not often that one sees two of Hampshire’s scarcest butterflies at the same location, but Shipton Bellinger is able to do that at the moment. A late morning visit in mainly cloudy conditions delivered a surprising 4 Wall (all males). 3 were on the parallel track close to where it joins the main track from the village, the other making its way along the boundary hedge (and outdoing the Brown Hairstreak count here which was zero!). Thankfully two male Brown Hairstreaks were encountered at the top end of the parallel track, feeding on the few remaining bramble flowers. So whilst Brown Hairstreak so far this season seem to be scarce or even very scarce, it’s nice to see an old friend (the Wall) continuing to show signs of a revival in this area. Around midday, the sky had become completely overcast with a few spots of rain, curtailing my visit. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Brown Hairstreak (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Brown Hairstreak (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Wall (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Charlton Down. A heavy leaden sky but at least it was warm on a visit to this site today, where the Chalk Hill Blue was flying everywhere, interspersed with a few Common Blue and the odd Brown Argus. Also seen today was a very impressive female Dark Green Fritillary which was in remarkable condition. She seemed reluctant to fly and just wanted sanctuary in the long grasses and wild flowers, whether she had been egg-laying or was just waiting for the sun to warm her up a bit. The Brown Argus were on the wing amongst some Small Heath butterflies as well.The Marbled White and Ringlet are now over. In the distance I could hear the chirring of the Turtle Dove which was a very pleasant sound after hearing the clatter of trains going past taking commuters to their destination. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

06 Aug 2019

Gatcombe church yard I.of W.. Working here and saw 4 Painted Lady, 1 Wall Brown, 6 Meadow Browns, 1 Red Admiral,1 Large White ,1 Small White and a very tattered White Admiral. [Posted by Mick Sivell]

04 Aug 2019

Broughton Down. I visited the site for about a couple of hours during the afternoon and was pleased to find lots of butterfly activity in the sunshine. This included at least 20 Silver-spotted Skipper, around 10 Dark Green Fritillary and at least 3 Painted Lady. Also, fairly good numbers of Chalk Hill Blue, Brown Argus and Common Blue. However, the best sighting was of a fresh male Adonis Blue - seen in the southern part of the 'spur' of land at the far western end of the reserve. In the past I've usually only seen Silver-spotted Skipper on the slope just to the east of the 'Plum Pudding' barrow, but today it was relatively easy to also find them in other suitable areas (especially in the western part). As I didn't have time to visit the whole site, the actual number present could have been about 30 to 40. [Posted by Philip Hack]

Magdalen Hill Down. A full day at this site which was full of flowers. Good to see some large examples of Knapweed (?) Broomrape in the north extension. Among the usual suspects were Small Blue, Small Copper, Brown Argus, plenty of Chalk Hill Blues, and two Clouded Yellows.

Birds included a single Spotted Flycatcher.

Two Common Lizard were on a stile.

The highlight though was Hornet Robberfly with a total of 4 seen. A spectacular insect - about an inch long - associated with cow pats. According to Buglife there are about 40 sites left in the country. It was not clear whether the pair on the fence post where mating or was one dining on the other ! [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

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Hornet Robberfly - Magdalen Hill Down
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Hornet Robberfly pair (or dinner ?) - Magdalen Hill Down
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Common Lizard - Magdalen Hill Down
Photo © Steve Mansfield

Painted Lady invasion underway, Longstock Park. An estimated count of around 100 Painted Lady butterflies at the Longstock Park buddleja collection late this afternoon, although the dimming sun found most of them basking on the black peat mulch. No other butterflies evident, just a solitary Hummingbird Hawk moth. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Beacon Hill NNR, Warnford. I was very pleased to find a Silver-spotted Skipper at Beacon Hill today in overcast conditions. This species used to be common here but has declined in recent years. I also saw at least ten Painted Lady's and a few Kite-tailed Robberflies. The reserve is carpeted with wild flowers at the moment. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Photo © Dave Pearson

02 Aug 2019

Shipton Bellinger. A visit here from 12.00-14.00 didn't produce any Brown Hairstreaks but was told by someone on site that a couple had been seen earlier in the day. However I was more surprised by the sight of two Wall Browns (one fresh and one slightly worn) on the gravel track leading up from the car park in the village, just before it splits into two, unfortunately neither of them hung around for any pics. I am not that familiar with this site but would say that is quite an unusual place to find such species? Also seen were Holly Blue 12, Common Blue 5, Brimstone 4, Large White 4, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 3, Gatekeeper 10, Meadow Brown 12, Speckled Wood 8 and a Yellow Spot Tortrix moth. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Holly Blue
Photo © Mark Pike
Peacock
Photo © Mark Pike
Yellow Spot Tortrix
Photo © Mark Pike

Broughton Down. A first ever visit to this location for me with the target being Silver Spotted Skippers. From 10.00-12.00 I saw the following, Silver-spotted Skipper 12, Common Blue 2, Gatekeeper, 8, Dark Green Fritillary 4 (very worn), Meadow Brown 6, Ringlet 4 and taking salts etc from the car windscreeen upon my return was a huge Dark Horse Fly! Apart from the Skippers it was pretty sparse, although I did not venture across the whole area. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Silver Spotted Skipper
Photo © Mark Pike
Silver Spotted Skipper
Photo © Mark Pike
Dark Horse Fly On Windscreen
Photo © Mark Pike

Ladies day on Portsdown. A short walk on the south facing slopes below Fort Widley produced at least five Painted Lady this evening. Perhaps the much forecasted invasion is finally reaching Hampshire. [Posted by Peter Gammage]

Oxenbourne Down. After such a poor Purple Emperor season it was nice to get on the Chalkdown Hill Horse again, and see what was flying about and on my favourite site, I found (15) or more lovely Silver-spotted Skippers, hundreds of Chalk Hill Blues several males and females I saw were just emerging, many mating pairs, several fresh Small Coppers, One female Dark Green Fritillary, and a Female Silver-washed Fritillary, the Gatekeepers are just finishing with some fresh Meadow Browns on the wing. It looks as if the Small and Large and Essex Skipper and Marbled White have all but finished here. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Copper several of these were basking on large stones
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Fresh Female just emerged and already being mated.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

01 Aug 2019

Oxenbourne Down. Today I visited Oxexbourne down in mid morning where the temperature reached 21.5 degrees. My target species was of course the Silver-spotted Skipper of which I recorded a total of 4. The main species found were Chalk Hill Blues, with over a hundred in flight. A few Common Blues were flying, while a single Small Blue was found, while a Dark Green Fritillary briefly alighted on a thistle before taking a strong, fast flight out of sight. Totals: Brimstone 1M 3F, Large White 3, Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Chalk Hill Blue >100M 3F, Common Blue 2M, Small Blue 1, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 10, Ringlet 1, Small Heath 1, Dark Green Fritillary 1, Small Skipper 1, Silver-spotted Skipper 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Dark Crimson Underwing at Leigh Park. I had my moth trap on overnight in my garden at Leigh Park. The best of the catch was a Dark Crimson Underwing a new species for the garden. Other records of note were Garden Tiger 6, White Point 2, Elephant Hawkmoth 2, Dusk Sallow 1 etc. [Posted by Barry Collins]


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