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

News Archive for Jun 2020

29 Jun 2020

Wootton Coppice. Very strong breeze but in a sheltered part of the wood we found 10 Silver-washed Fritillary 2 White Admirals, 8 Ringlet, 2 Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Peacock and a Speckled Wood. [Posted by Tony and Jill Blakeley]

Browndown South. Not a great day to look for butterflies but with Browndown South shut so often I took a chance this morning. Lots of cloud, cool temperatures and a Force 7 wind did nothing for any flying insects. In 2.5 hours there I only saw a total of 4 butterflies - 3 Purple Hairstreaks and a lone Small Copper. No sign of Grayling yet - poor weather and probably too early even for this advanced season. One of the Purple Hairstreaks 'performed' really well though and gave plenty of photo opportunities. On a less windy day the photos would have been relatively easy - today I managed to salvage less than 10% of those I took with the oak leaves swinging wildly in the wind! Just hope for better weather before the site closes again [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Purple Hairstreak - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Purple Hairstreak - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Small Copper - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Lockdown Larvae. One of the positives to have emerged in recent months is the opportunity to pay more attention to Nature closer to home. In my garden, one which in small part by design (for which read, well intentioned) and through most part by benign neglect, there is a variety of wildlife-friendly grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees. This past week or so, I’ve been keeping an eye on a vigorous ragwort plant supporting a healthy colony of Cinnabar Moth larvae. There are about 40 caterpillars on this one plant, although counting them is trickier than one would imagine. [Posted by Kevin Freeborn]

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If you look closely (click on the image) you can see the larvae munching their way through their ragwort world.
Photo © Kevin Freeborn
Cinnabar Moth larvae eating the unopened ragwort flower heads as well as the leaves.
Photo © Kevin Freeborn
Close scrutiny shows the larva dusted with ragwort pollen.
Photo © Kevin Freeborn

28 Jun 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Sixteen species defied the strong winds today during my walk (1250-1515) when the temperature was late teens Celsius. Skippers predominate although identification remains problematical. As the Small Skippers age so their brown antennae appear to darken somewhat almost to the black of the Essex Skipper antennae. I find that gaining an underside glimpse of the antennae is crucial for correct verification, but always challenging. Sadly one Small Skipper fell foul of a large white spider. New Common Blue emergence is on the way with two superb males seen as was a remarkably fresh Red Admiral which was very patient as I approached for a close-up. Total: Meadow Brown (48); Marbled White (52); Small White (11); Ringlet (18); Small Skipper (9); Essex Skipper (8); u/i Skipper (43); Gatekeeper (3); Red Admiral (6); Comma (24); Large White (3); Small Copper (1); Common Blue (M)(2); Holly Blue (2); Purple Hairstreak (1); Speckled Wood (3); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Gatekeeper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Creech Wood. It was good to read of so many good sightings of the Purple Emperor today as I went to a site I don't normally have a good count. But today was totally different, as Jackie my wife and I visited which should be one of the best sites in the county, as the sallow count in this wood is phenomenal. We went down the wayleaves, (Electricity Pylons) which is covered in sallow, and we looked at the north facing side away from the strong wind. In the space of an hour 11:30 to 12:30 we encountered 10 males. Several were searching the sallows for virgin females, and several were seen having a bit of a ding dong in the gaps in the trees, easily viewed. With counting twice I suspect we saw (4/5)individuals. Other counts were Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral, Small Skipper and Essex Skipper by the hundred, Marbled Whites, Ringlets, and Hutchinsoni Commas. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Sallow strewn Wayleaves in Creech Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Washed Fritillary on bramble
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Botley Wood/Whiteley Pastues. The conditions this morning weren't ideal for butterflies, with a fair bit of cloud and a bit of a breeze, but it was certainly an improvement on yesterday's wet and windy weather so I decided to give Botley Wood and Whiteley Pastures a go. The highlight was a Purple Emperor seen gliding around an oak by the main Whiteley track, just below the top of Ridge Copse. As I watched, it settled fairly low down and allowed some good views to be enjoyed before disappearing. There were also a few White Admirals (all at Botley Wood) and some Silver-washed Fritillary. Full list of sightings: 6 Large Skipper; 20 Small Skipper; 1 Holly Blue; 6 Silver-washed Fritillary; 1 Purple Emperor; 3 White Admiral; 18 Marbled White; 30 Meadow Brown; 12 Ringlet; 1 Speckled Wood. Also 1 Beautiful Demoiselle; 1 Azure Damselfly; 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly; 1 Ruddy Darter; 1 Common Darter. [Posted by Mark Rolfe]

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Purple Emperor
Photo © Mark Rolfe
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Mark Rolfe
White Admiral
Photo © Mark Rolfe

27 Jun 2020

Puss moth chrysalis. On 4th June I collected poplar leaves from Broadmarsh in Havant to feed hawk moth caterpillars we were feeding. At home we found I had also inadvertantly collected puss moth caterpillars - more mouths to feed.

On 27th we have chrysalis. [Posted by John Goodspeed]

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Photo © John Goodspeed

26 Jun 2020

Purple Emperors - West Wood. This has to go down as one of the most exciting introductions to a butterfly transect! I met with two new butterfly transect walkers to show them around the West Wood (Winchester) butterfly transect, and the various butterflies they might expect to see. None of us expected that within the first 100-150 metres of Section 1 of the transect we'd encounter not one, not two, but three Purple Emperors!! The first, at 10.35am, flew around us then settled high on a hazel allowing some photos from distance, before disappearing up to the tree-tops. The second was disturbed from the ground shortly afterwards (10.40am), flew a couple of metres then settled on the path, probing away on extremely dry ground. The third (11.05am), seen further along the track, was flying low and investigating the ground surface before settling to probe the dry surface. Having had little success it then moved to try imbibing fluid from low vegetation in the shade. The left forewing of this individual was curiously only about two thirds the correct size (see second photo) but didn't seem to affect its flight. Other highlights of the visit were Silver-washed Fritillary (8), White Admiral (3) and Scarlet Tiger Moth (3). [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Purple Emperor on hazel
Photo © Andy Barker
Purple Emperor probing
Photo © Andy Barker
Purple Emperor (underside)
Photo © Andy Barker

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Today I spent 4 hours at Monks Walk from 1030 when the temperature was already 24.5C and the winds very slight. It was an amazing experience with 19 species being recorded and most photographed. A Cuckoo was heard somewhere in the woods. Had the White-letter Hairstreak, Peacock and Brown Argus (all recorded this week here) put in an appearance it would have been an amazing haul! Four mating pairs were found, Meadow Brown (2 pair), Marbled White and Green-veined White. First Gatekeeper of the year recorded too. A Small Tortoiseshell was nectaring on wild Buddleia that I had cut back hard in the Spring! To cap it all White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary put in an appearance. Totals: Marbled White (46); Small White (13); Meadow Brown (71); Ringlet (18); Comma (10); Small Skipper (18); Green-veined White (3); Large White (5); Red Admiral (5); Gatekeeper (3); Large Skipper (1); Essex Skipper (3); u/i Skipper (50); Purple Hairstreak (1); Small Copper (2); Speckled Wood (6); White Admiral (1); Silver-washed Fritillary (1); Holly Blue (3); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Marbled White mating pair
Photo © Francis Plowman
White Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green-veined White mating pair
Photo © Francis Plowman

Multiple Emperor Fly-Pasts In Abbotts Wood Crowned By Grounded Male. A one and a half hour exploration along the main track in Abbotts Wood this morning produced 4 encounters with male Purple Emperors, including fly-pasts, brief tree landings and ground skimming. Best of all, however, was one male down on the ground for about 15 minutes, flying around close to ground a few times before settling to take minerals and then repeating the stunt several times, occasionally flicking open his wings to reveal his emperor sheen. This male was at first glance in perfect condition but on closer inspection, was missing a small piece from his rear right wing. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Purple Emperor (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Purple Emperor (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Purple Emperor (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Pitt Down & West Wood. Surprised to pick up a White-letter Hairstreak today at ground level on the Pitt Down transect.

Couldn't resist popping into West Wood after and was almost immediately rewarded with a grounded male Purple Emperor, who resolutely refused to orient himself for a decent photograph. A couple of females a bit later on proved far more compliant. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

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White-letter Hairstreak at Pitt Down
Photo © Rupert Broadway
Purple Emperor (female) at West Wood
Photo © Rupert Broadway

25 Jun 2020

Chilling Coastal Area, Titchfield. It was 29.5C on arriving at the copse car park at 1130 for a 2.5 hours' circular perambulation of the woods, field edges, shore and cliff-top path by Brownwich. Hoping the recent warm southerly breezes had brought some Clouded Yellow over from France but, sadly, this was not confirmed. Sixteen species were sighted included my first Gatekeeper of the season; it wouldn't settle but a lucky mid-air shot confirmed the elusive butterfly! Total: Large White (8); White Admiral (6); Meadow Brown (120++); Small White (10); Marbled White (46); Peacock (2); Holly Blue (2); Ringlet (3); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Small Skipper (5); Essex Skipper (3); u/i Skipper (35); Large Skipper (3); Comma (4); Red Admiral (1); Speckled Wood (1); Gatekeeper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Marbled White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White mating (female left butterfly)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Distant White Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. Half-hour circulation of this small scrubby field from 3pm (26.5 deg C) provided a count of six species. Total: Essex Skipper (20); Marbled White (30); Meadow Brown (12); Holly Blue (F)(1); Small Skipper (10); Brown Argus (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

24 Jun 2020

Havant Thicket Purple Emperor. On what was the hottest day of the year, in the late morning I visited Havant Thicket where the temperature reached a scorching 28 degrees. Looking once more for the Purple Emperor, I saw a male circle and then land part of the way down the long main West side track. It remained feeding on moisture on the path for around 10 minutes allowing for some photographs to be taken. Silver-washed Fritillarys were still in single figures, while I also saw my first White Admiral of the season, with Meadow Browns flying everywhere. Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Small White 2, Marbled White 14, Meadow Brown 78, Ringlet 3, Purple Emperor 1, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 8, White Admiral 1, Large Skipper 11. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Homerhill & Pigeonhouse Coppices, Boarhunt. A mid-afternoon stroll along the 1km-long ride produced 3 White Admiral, 6 Silver-washed Fritillary (all male), 2 Red Admiral, and numerous Meadow Brown, Ringlet, and skippers feasting on the plethora of bramble blossom. The woods are no longer managed for pheasant shooting, which perhaps explains the poor showing of fritillaries. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Ranvilles Lane, Stubbington. An afternoon walk around my local fields produced 14 species of butterfly. I'd seen White-letter Hairstreak in the elms by the RSPCA last year for the first time so I was keen to see if I could see any today. I soon spotted three from the lane itself, adjacent to the Ark, including good views of a perched individual. A Purple Hairstreak was in the oaks by the wooden footbridge - a regular spot for them. Butterflies seen:

6 Essex Skipper, 1 Large Skipper, 3 White-letter Hairstreak, 1 Purple Hairstreak, 20 Large White, 50 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Peacock, 4 Comma, 12 Marbled White, 50 Meadow Brown, 6 Ringlet. Also 2 Golden-ringed Dragonfly, 4 Emperor Dragonfly, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser, 6 Black-tailed Skimmer, 12 Azure Damselfly, 6 Common Blue Damselfly and 5 Blue-tailed Damselfly. [Posted by Mark Rolfe]

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Marbled White
Photo © Mark Rolfe
White-letter Hairstreak (record shot)
Photo © Mark Rolfe
White-letter Hairstreak (record shot
Photo © Mark Rolfe

Browndown (North) Gosport. Access to Browndown's southern (military training area) being closed it was to the woods and heaths of the northern area that we visited between 1050-1250. The temperature rose steadily to reach 29 degrees Celsius and the breeze across the heath-land was warm but fairly strong. We went in search of Silver-studded Blue on the heath and White Admiral within the woodland glades. A single specimen of each was seen. More Small Copper were recorded today but the Skippers predominate. Totals: Marbled White (49); Meadow Brown (35); Essex Skipper (3); Small Skipper (2); u/i Skipper (61); Large Skipper (2); Ringlet (4); Small Copper (5); Purple Hairstreak (1); Comma (5); Peacock (1); Small White (4); Large White (4); Small Heath (1); Silver-studded Blue (M)(1); White Admiral (1); Green-veined White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Silver-studded Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
White Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Martin Down (Wooded Area). Not easy to say exactly which county a lot of these sightings were as I was literally right on the border with Dorset. However a three hour visit in the heat from 10.00 until 13.00 to the wooded part of the down only (across the main A354 Salisbury-Blandford road) produced Dark Green Fritillary 21, Silver-washed Fritillary 4, White Admiral 5, Small Skipper 34, Large Skipper 10, Meadow Brown 150+, Ringlet 54, Small Copper 1, Marbled White 200+, Small White 3, Large White 4, Small Heath 3, Brimstone 1, Red Admiral 2, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Scarlet Tiger 1, Cinnabar 4, Thistle Ermine 1. The most bizarre sighting was the Ringlet/Meadow Brown mating pair! [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Dark Green Fritillary (without much dark green!)
Photo © Mark Pike
Marbled White (male & female)
Photo © Mark Pike
Ringlet+Meadow Brown mating pair!
Photo © Mark Pike

23 Jun 2020

Chalton Down. After a visit to Old Winchester Hill, I called in Chalton Down on my way home where the temperature had increased to 24 degrees. As expected with the scrub clearance and shorter turf, numbers are well below usual at this site for the time of year. Totals: Brimstone 1F, Small White 1, Marbled White 6, Meadow Brown 10 and Large Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill. Today I visited Old Winchester Hill, where during the late morning the temperature reached 23 degrees. I walked to the hill fort, walking around the perimeter then returned via the steps and the car park slope. Plenty of Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites were recorded with the Common Blues all gone. Totals: Large White 2, Small White 3, Marbled White 34, Meadow Brown 45, Small Heath 6, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 1, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 1, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Large Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Yesterday's count of 14 species was topped today by 17; the aggregate of species for the two days, 19. This included first summer emergence of Peacock, my first sighting of Painted Lady at this site this year and a clearer sighting of White-letter Hairstreak. Getting-up at silly o'clock in order to see if WLH was equally an early riser, my walk started at the elms at 0945 with the temperature at 21.5C. For half an hour with my 300mm macro not a sign of the WLH. But the enclosed area was well alive with butterflies so I changed to the fixed 100mm macro. Then the inevitable happened; the WLH immediately dropped from the elms and landed at the back of the brambles to feed! So the shot is terrible but WLH are definitely back! The long and thorough walk ended at 1345 when the temperature was 25 degrees Celsius. Beautiful day. Totals: Small White (8); Marbled White (44); Meadow Brown (94); Comma (11); Ringlet (7); Small Skipper (15); White-letter Hairstreak (1); Peacock (1); Painted Lady (1); Brown Argus (1); Large White (3); Speckled Wood (3); Essex Skipper (3); Large Skipper (1); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Red Admiral (3); Holly Blue (1); u/i Skippers (53). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman
Painted Lady with damaged wing
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock, summer brood
Photo © Francis Plowman

Browndown North. A walk from home today for a pleasant change. With Browndown South closed (for the week by the look of it) that meant a trip to Browndown North taking in some of the Alver Valley on the way back. The highlight was undoubtedly 2 White Admirals in the oak copse. Unlike somewhere like Whiteley where I expect/hope to see them, I've always found this relatively small oak copse a bit hit and miss so seeing any is more of a bonus for me. The 2 today were just at the start of the copse, entering it from the Gosport Road end. Also seen were lots of Marbled Whites in the (parched!) fields, Small, Essex and Large Skippers, Speckled Woods and a brilliant orange Comma that is presumably second generation. My id skills with skippers are not great, but I've labelled the one below as an Essex Skipper because of the black markings on the antennae. Very happy to be corrected. All underwing photos today for a change - the Marbled Whites in particular are always striking. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Comma - Alver Valley
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Marbled White - Browndown North
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Essex Skipper - Browndown North
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

22 Jun 2020

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket where the temperature reached 19 degrees. Hoping to search for any early sightings of the Purple Emperor, I did not see any, but was rewarded with a Purple Hairstreak resting on a low branch of an Oak and my first sighting this season of a Ringlet. Silver-washed Fritillarys were in single figures, unusual for this time of year. Totals: Large White 1, Small White 1, Purple Hairstreak 1, Marbled White 2, Meadow Brown 35, Ringlet 2, Speckled Wood 1, Comma 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 6, and Large Skipper 17. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Sightings in Crab Wood, Farley Mount. In a short walk through Crab Wood this afternoon we saw around half a dozen White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillary. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

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White Admiral somewhat worse for wear
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh
Female Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Fourteen species including first sighting of White-letter Hairstreak and Purple Hairstreak! Just over 3.5 hours from 1125 this morning with warm sunshine but strong southerly breeze so the very largest and most exposed field (belonging still to the MOD) was avoided. (This field is prodigious for Meadow Brown and Skippers). Two White-letter Hairstreak were noted around mid-afternoon buzzing over and around the same elms as last year; I waited but neither descended. Better luck earlier or later in the day I guess. The largest oak tree in the area also had Purple Hairstreak high in its branches. The photograph albeit at a distance was a total fluke. Totals today: Marbled White (29); Meadow Brown (43); Small White (11); Comma (17); Ringlet (8); Holly Blue (7); Red Admiral (6); Small Skipper (7); Speckled Wood (2); Large White (4); Essex Skipper (2); Green-veined White (F)(1); White-letter Hairstreak (2); Purple Hairstreak (2); u/i Skipper (21). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Distant Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper pair
Photo © Francis Plowman

White-letter Hairstreak at Newport,IoW.. At least one White-letter Hairstreak seen flying among the lower branches of the DR Elm at Towngate,Newport this afternoon. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Whiteley Pastures/Botley Wood. Another lovely morning in Whiteley. More cloud than anticipated but plenty of sunshine too. Numbers of woodland species seem to be increasing - I managed just into double figures of White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillary in a 2.5 hour walk. Also plenty of Large Skippers (still not seen a Small Skipper here), Speckled Woods and Marbled Whites. Some dragonflies about too - BT Skimmer and Emperor on the main track. No sign of a PE but it surely can't be long now. I think there were others about looking so fingers crossed they had some luck. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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

21 Jun 2020

West Wood. A number of Silver-washed Fritillary were out in West Wood (near Winchester) around mid-day last Sunday. I also found one Purple Emperor which stayed on the ground long enough for a picture before flying off towards Crab Wood. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Silver-washed Fritillary on Creeping Thistle
Photo © Dave Pearson
Purple Emperor on rotting vegetation
Photo © Dave Pearson

Better and better. A strong breeze kept butterflies conveniently low and concentrated. Small Tortoiseshells were abundant patrolling the resurgent nettles bordering the river Wallington at Boarhunt, while Comma, Meadow Brown, and Large Skipper enjoyed the bramble blossom in the lee of Gravel Hole Copse. Earlier at Great Fontley, a Purple Hairstreak was seen on the lowest branch of one of the many oaks. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Hampshire's Purple!. It's been a long time stuck in first gear but today I have the pleasure of saying Hampshire is now in 5th gear and the colour is Purple! In Abbotts Wood Inclosure today I saw at least 6 Purple Emperor males. Several of these were just meandering in and around the tops of the Oaks sprigs, hoping to bump into another of their kind, of which happened several times later on, when they started playing catch me if you can. I think they have all come out today or probably last night, which must have been a rude wake up call as it rained quite heavily in the night. Also today it was very windy so the Assembly Points normally used were not occupied as there were some pretty strong gusts going through the vistas today. There was one male grounded but he didn't stay long and was very jittery.

Other species of note were Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Ringlets, Marbled Whites, and Purple Hairstreak. I never saw any Skippers, which is quite unusual at this site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Good areas of Sallow now in the rides.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Ride in Abbotts Wood Inclosure
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver Washed Fritillary posing
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Jun 2020

Lone White-letter Meets Oxeye in SE Hants. I made a brief early afternoon visit to a roadside White-letter Hairstreak site just down the road (the A27 that is) from their currently inaccessible local HQ at North Harbour. I was rewarded with the appearance of a single male, initially feeding deep in the bramble thicket below the elms, but thankfully making a short foray to sample the nearby Oxeye daisies, before flying off over the roadside fence. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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White-letter Hairstreak (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
White-letter Hairstreak (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Test Valley Tortoiseshells. An amazing sight of a riverside meadow of comfrey and thistle filled with Small Tortoiseshell butterflies today, off of the Clarendon Way just east of Houghton. Impossible to count, but we've never seen so many in one place; they were crowding every thistle head, joined by a few Red Admiral and Small White. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Photo © Rupert & Sharron BroadwayPhoto © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

19 Jun 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The overcast skies and strong wind provided opportunities to see butterflies on a slow wander around just three relatively weather-protected sites. From 1340-1610 with a temperature around 19 degrees Celsius some 9 butterflies were seen including my first Small Copper and Ringlet at Monks Walk this year and (at last) my first female Marbled White; as far as mates are concerned she will be spoiled for choice! Sadly one fresh male Marbled White was struggling with clearly deformed wings and a nearby colourful dragonfly was likely to find an easy meal. Large Peacock larvae were noted wandering away from the nettles so hopefully Peacock on the wing next month. So numbers down but great opportunities to have a close look at many of them. Totals: Meadow Brown (18); Marbled White (20); Small Skipper (5); Ringlet (2); Comma (7); Small White (1); Essex Skipper (4); Small Copper (1); Large White (1). Plus one unidentified Skipper. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Ringlet
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White female
Photo © Francis Plowman

White-letter Hairstreak at Yew Hill. Fairly distant, but definite, sighting of a White-letter Hairstreak this afternoon, having spotted a small butterfly landing on top of one of the elms in the lane behind Yew Hill reserve. Once I'd taken my binoculars off, no chance of finding it again with the branches swaying merrily in the stiff breeze! [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

First Ringlet at Great Fontley. This morning's few minutes of sunshine enough to encourage our first Ringlet to take to the air at Great Fontley. Few other species abroad; a Red Admiral ovipositing, a gliding Comma, plus the now-ubiquitous Meadow Brown and Marbled White. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Ringlet at Great Fontley
Photo © Andrew Brookes

17 Jun 2020

Whiteley Woods and Meadow, Fareham. Responding to recent reports of Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral present at Whiteley/Botley Wood from 1135-1335 we went to see! Not only did we tick-off our year's first sightings of said butterflies but we also saw our first Ringlet of the season. Two brown butterflies were tumbling and crashed into the grass. There we saw the Ringlet being bothered by a male Meadow Brown! The large butterflies were incredibly fidgety during our walk and the White Admiral was only seen on the wing. Totals: Large Skipper (32); Meadow Brown (20); White Admiral (5); Ringlet (1); Small White (1); Marbled White (2); Silver-washed Fritillary (6); Comma (3); Red Admiral (1); Speckled Wood (1); Holly Blue (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Francis Plowman
Ringlet & Meadow Brown (just about!)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Skew Road (lay-by) Portsdown Hill. Three species seen between 1410-1420. Temperature a very warm 23.5 deg Celsius. The butterflies were enjoying the Knapweed but no sight of Dark Green Fritillary here. Totals: Marbled White (3); Meadow Brown (9); Small White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis Plowman

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. A quick circulation of the wild flower bedecked fields surrounding Fort Widley between 1440-1520 uncovered eight species. It was a nice surprise to find two Small Blue at the edge of the main field adjoining the road; in fact they were the only blue butterfly recorded here today. The weather at 22 degrees was very warm and pleasant and the breeze not bothering to the insects. Totals: Meadow Brown (42); Marbled White (28); Comma (2); Small Skipper (4); Large Skipper (1); Small Blue (2); Small White (1); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Marbled White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman

St Hubert's Church Meadow, Rowlands Castle. Went looking at sites in and around the Hants Sussex Border, mainly around Rowlands Castle. Ended up at St Hurbert's Church Meadow, where there is a large area given over to a natural meadow, full of Ox-eye daises and such like.Plenty of Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites, plus the odd Small Heath and Common Blues, and a fast passing Dark Green Fritillary, which was a treat. Although Charlton Down isn't a million miles away. Plenty of Possible Purple Emperor Assembly points dotted around Stansted Forest, which would need investigating in the future. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Marbled White just emerged.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Burnet Companion
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Whiteley/Botley Wood. An unexpected chance to visit Whiteley/Botley Wood this morning. Weather not brilliant with lots of cloud - but nice spells of intermittent sunshine too. Probably started a little too early in my eagerness to get out again! Just 5 White Admirals on this occasion - the one in the picture appeared from nowhere and very nearly landed on my foot - just for a fleeting moment as I caught sight of it out of the corner of my eye I thought it might be you know who - but no matter, I can never be disappointed with a White Admiral, my favourite butterfly. Unlike the others this one positively wanted its photo taken and posed nicely in the long grass at the side of the track. Others seen today were Marbled White, Meadow Browns, Large Skippers and Speckled Wood. No sign of any Small or Essex Skippers at this site yet and no Silver-washed Fritillary today. The highlight today wasn't a butterfly - but a nightjar calling in the copse on the right of the main track at 1100. I couldn't have been 3-4 meters away from it but simply couldn't see it! Wonderful morning out. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Meadow Brown - Botley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
White Admiral - Whiteley Pastures
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Marbled White - Botley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

16 Jun 2020

Micheldever Wood. This woodland isn't visited as often as some other sites in Hampshire, but it's certainly worth a trip. During our visit we saw a good range of butterfly species, including White Admiral (3) and Silver-washed Fritillary (4), but were particularly lucky to spot a Purple Hairstreak at rest on the surface of the main ride as we walked back to the car park. The other highlight was the incredible number of Peacock larvae. We saw at least six large aggregations of almost full grown larvae (now dispersing), at widely separate locations. There must have been at least 600 larvae in total, probably more, so we're hopeful for a mass emergence in late July. We've also seen the same at other sites, and I know others have too, so let's hope for a great Peacock year across the county! [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Andy Barker
Peacock larval group
Photo © Andy Barker
Peacock larva
Photo © Andy Barker

My First Silver-washed Fritillary of the year at Crab Wood. I had my first sightings of Silver-washed Fritillary for the year at Crab Wood, late afternoon 16th June. [Posted by Lee Hurrell]

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Silver-washed Fritillary, male, Crab Wood, Winchester, Hampshire, 16th June 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Silver-washed Fritillary, male, Crab Wood, Winchester, Hampshire, 16th June 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Silver-washed Fritillary, male, Crab Wood, Winchester, Hampshire, 16th June 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell

Moth Trap. Just a few photos from my Moth trap yesterday. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Head of a male Great Oak Beauty
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Swallow Prominant
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Head of a Buff Tip Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

New Forest - Fritham Plain. Nothing from me for 12 weeks and now twice in two days! Not a butterfly walk today - more of an 'expanding our horizons' adventure with a walk round my favourite NF patch at Fritham, across to Hampton Ridge and back again. I couldn't resist a few photos of the Silver-studded Blues though - they are everywhere. We must have passed literally hundreds in a circular walk of about 2.5 hours. Some look well worn so must have been out for a while. Only other species of note was Small Heath. I couldn't find any Silver-washed Fritillary in areas that usually have them in abundance - so perhaps a little early for this part of Hampshire (where the temperature was noticeably 3-4 degrees cooler than here on the coast). [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Silver Studded Blue - New Forest
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Silver Studded Blue - New Forest
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Small Heath - New Forest
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

15 Jun 2020

Moth sighting at Martin Down. 2 Chimney Sweepers at Martin's Down. [Posted by Barry moore]

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Photo © Barry moore

Meonshore Beach to Brownwich Cliffs, Titchfield Haven. Having seen my first Clouded Yellow of 2019 along the coast I ventured to try my luck for 2020. From 1145-1225 I 'walked' (more likely staggered) along the beach at the base of the cliffs. It was hard and ultimately unrewarded effort. Male nudists necessitated my deftly increasing minimum social distancing whilst diverting my gaze seaward! One Small White at the start of the trudge and just three more species at the end. The hind wings of the one Marbled White evidenced rather less black than others I have seen this year. But no Clouded Yellow! Totals: Small White (F)(1); Red Admiral (1); Marbled White (1); Meadow Brown (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman

Brownwich Cliffs to Meonshore, Titchfield Haven. From 1225-1330 I returned to the Meonshore car park via the cliff-top path. 20 degrees Celsius and stunning views across The Solent. Only 6 butterfly species seen and at last a fleeting (distant) appearance of Small Copper. Totals: Meadow Brown (62); Large Skipper (2); Marbled White (4); Small White (5); Small Skipper (1); Small Copper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown mating pair female right
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Yesterday I recorded 13 species at Monks Walk and during today's count eleven were seen. The walk from 1400-1630 at 21 degrees was rewarding since my first Large Skipper of the season posed for the camera making it a Summer-Skipper full-house! No female Marbled White yet noted. Totals: Meadow Brown (108); Small White (5); Marbled White (M)(9); Comma (11); Essex Skipper (4); Common Blue (M)(2); Holly Blue (3); Brown Argus (1); Large Skipper (1); Small Skipper (2); u/i Skipper (7); Speckled Wood (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Essex Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Pamber Forest doings!. Great to catch up with some woodland favourites at Pamber Forest in Hants today - including the Large Skipper, whose specific name of 'sylvanus' is a reference to the Roman god of woods and fields. Good times :) What an amazing butterflying year this continues to be! [Posted by Pete Eeles]

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White Admiral
Photo © Pete Eeles
Silver-washed Fritillary (male)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Large Skipper (female)
Photo © Pete Eeles

Whiteley Pastures/Botley Wood. It's been 12 weeks to the day since my wife and I started 'shielding' and I made my first 'butterfly trip' of the year today to Whiteley. The logic being that the season seems to be about 2-3 weeks ahead so the woodland species could be starting, its relatively close to home and lastly, it's a quiet place normally where social distancing is easy. For anyone not familiar with the term 'FOGO'* I can assure you after 12 weeks confined to the house and back garden, it is real.

The butterflies were just wonderful and played their part. I managed 6 White Admirals, lots of Large Skippers, Meadow Browns, a couple of Marbled Whites in the grassy parts of Botley Wood and even 2 Silver-washed Fritillary. The latter were moving at pace so no pictures, but the rest obliged. I'm obviously rusty as the right hand picture below was definitely Meadow Browns when I saw them in the field - but preparing the picture to download here I noticed two spots on the wing of one which I'd normally associate with a Gatekeeper - so now I'm not 100% certain. No matter - it was just wonderful to be out again and making a contribution.

*FOGO - fear of going out! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Large Skipper - Whiteley
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
White Admiral - Whiteley
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Meadow Brown - Botley Wood
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

13 Jun 2020

Pig Bush, New Forest. We set out early to find Silver-studded Blue in The New Forest having not yet seen any at our local site at Browndown (North), Gosport. From 1000-1130 under pretty gloomy skies and strong SE wind we didn't take long to find our target! The heather is pretty sparse behind the copse but where it was found so were the Blues! Totals: Silver-studded Blue (M)(33)(F)(6); Small Heath (3); Meadow Brown (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-studded Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Silver-studded Blue mating
Photo © Francis Plowman
Silver-studded Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Dibden Bottom, New Forest. At 1145 we arrived at Dibden Bottom having never before visited this expansive heathland. It took us just 35 minutes to encounter (at the very least) 147 Silver-studded Blue. They were everywhere! Two rather unusual encounters; a male laying on its side look quite dead with ants all over it and looking for lunch, perhaps? Anyway, I nudged the butterfly which woke with a start and flew off! Has the Silver-studded Blue some symbiotic arrangement with ants? Then we came across what looked like a female Small Blue but was, in fact, a female Silver-studded Blue as it eventually showed its underside. Is this a common colour variant? No other butterfly was seen here. Total: Silver-studded Blue (M)(138) (F)(9) [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-studded Blue with ants
Photo © Francis Plowman
Typical sights at Dibden Bottom
Photo © Francis Plowman
Silver-studded Blue female colour variety?
Photo © Francis Plowman

Marchwood Enclosure, New Forest. Crossing the road from the small car park at Dibden Bottom we circulated the enclosure, up the hill through the remains of the heath and then down through the woods. It only took 40 minutes from 1pm when the temperature was 20 degrees mostly in sunshine but with a very strong SE breeze. We immediately encountered Silver-studded Blue again including two mating pairs and later saw a male Brimstone on the wing through the rides. Totals: Silver-studded Blue (M)(24)(F)(8); Brimstone (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-studded Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. It had been a long day but only four species had been recorded in the previous three sites visited. So we walked our local patch and saw nine species in 90 minutes from 3 o'clock when the temperature stood at 21 degrees Celsius. Summer brood Holly Blue female and Green-veined White (female) were noted as was two very fresh Comma. Even Small Skipper posed for the camera today so all in all, well worth the effort. Totals: Small White M)(3)(F)(1); Meadow Brown (64); Comma (6); Marbled White (7); Holly Blue (F)(1); Small Skipper (3); Red Admiral (1); Green-veined White (F)(1); Large White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green-veined White female
Photo © Francis Plowman

first sightings in North Baddesley. today on my reserve at north baddesley i saw first White Admiral of the year and first Marbled White and Essex Skipper.also many other butterflies and a new sighting for me of scarce silver line moth. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin Ross

Summer Butterflies at Yarmouth, IoW. Two male Silver-washed Fritillary today at Bouldnor Forest on the Isle of Wight,together with at least two White Admirals and a lone Marbled White. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

11 Jun 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Writing in mid-afternoon I look out upon black skies and torrential rain to an accompaniment of thunder and feel very fortunate that my brief walk was earlier! Then - 1110-1250 (17 deg C) - the sun shone intermittently but allowed eight species to be seen. Sadly the two grass Skippers noted remained elusive and were unidentified but clearly they have arrived in the tall grasses of the main and enclosed meadow. Totals: Comma (4); Meadow Brown (30); Marbled White (2); Small Skipper/Essex Skipper: (2); Small White (e); Speckled Wood (2); Common Blue (M)(1); Red Admiral (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Marbled White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown male
Photo © Francis Plowman

09 Jun 2020

Garden Marbled White in Winchester. Very early to find a Marbled White in our Winchester garden today - we had quite a few last year, so faintly possible they might have bred. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Marbled White on Knapweed - ultimate butterfly cliché photograph
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

Drak Green Fritillaries at Stockbridge Down. In an hour at Stockbridge Down yesterday afternoon we saw 9 species including many Dark Green Fritillary flying rapidly and erratically up and down the hedge by the road. Also saw very many Small Heath and Meadow Brown and my first Marbled White of the year. Other species were Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Large Skipper and Small White. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

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Adonis Blue
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh
Pair of Dark Green Fritillaries
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh

08 Jun 2020

Portsdown Hill (East). I walked the East end of Portsdown Hill along a path in front of Fort Widley where I recorded the following, Small White 1, Marbled White 2 and Meadow Brown 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Today I visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits where the temperature reached 16 degrees. Very few butterflies on the wing except for Marbled Whites, my first sightings this year. Totals: Marbled White 25 and Meadow Brown 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Small Skipper out at Magdalen Hill Down. I had my first Small Skipper of the year at Magdalen on 8th June. [Posted by Lee Hurrell]

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Small Skipper, male, Magdalen Hill Down, Winchester, Hampshire, 8th June 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell

07 Jun 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A short wander around Monks Walk this afternoon (1420-1530) at 21 degrees Celsius accounted for eight species. No emergence of any Skipper here yet, although four very fresh Summer brood Comma lit up the hedgerows. When a blue butterfly settled on some seaweed or shore-line plant I was intrigued to find a male Holly Blue. Within the previous 15 minutes this spot would have been under the now receding tide so the insect was clearly enjoying a taste of very fresh brine! Totals: Small White (1); Meadow Brown (15); Comma (4); Holly Blue (5); Large White (1); Small Heath (1); Common Blue (M)(1); Speckled Wood (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Browndown (North) Gosport. With the temperature at 19 degrees we circulated Browndown North (west of the River Alver) and across the heathland from 1230-1410. Once again numbers were low, not even a Marbled White in the fields. However, in the area of the former caravan park behind Howe Road both Essex Skipper and Small Skipper have emerged. So that was a good start to the day. We watched a very fresh female Small Tortoiseshell lay eggs on nettles beside the main path to Apple Dumpling Bridge and she was untroubled by our presence. No sign of Silver-studded Blue nor White Admiral although Honeysuckle was abundant. Totals: Essex Skipper (3); Meadow Brown (11); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Speckled Wood (1); Brimstone (M)(1); Small Heath (2); Small Skipper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Essex Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell egg-laying
Photo © Francis Plowman

White Admiral at Beaulieu. Having earlier caught a glimpse of what may have been a White Admiral in the woods between Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard, we then came across one on the path that flew up to a nearby oak tree.

Also plenty of mint condition male Silver-studded Blues on the heath to the north-west of Beaulieu Road station. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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(Distant) White Admiral
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

sightings north baddesley. first sighting of the year of Small Skipper on my reserve at north baddesley.also first time in 34 years i lifted one of my panels and found an adder,a grass snake and a slow worm all under the same panel.also many butterflies and daytime flying moths. [Posted by Kevin]

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Photo © KevinPhoto © Kevin

White-Letter Hairstreak on the wing in Cosham. Today I was able to find White-letter Hairstreak on the wing at 2 locations in near Portsmouth.

At the IBM/Lakeside site at Cosham I was able to make a conservative count of 3 individuals. At another site close by I was able to count a maximum of 3. A day earlier than I have previously seen them though I suspect at Lakeside they have been out for a few days already.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get any photos at either site. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

Oxenbourne Down. With the Purple Emperor on the starting blocks, I ventured out to one of my favourite sites and had a look at some Cowslips where I had seen a couple female Duke of Burgundy about three weeks ago laying eggs. Today I wasn't disappointed, I found the tell tale signs on the Cowslips leaves, which looks like a double barrel shot gun has been fired at the leaves, and peeling back the leaves right down to the base on an innocuous leaf I found two caterpillars on the same leaf, plus I found the discarded head of the 1st instar as well. They were in their 2nd instar so quite well formed. If the weather stays warm and sunny I suspect we could have partial second generation in late July/August? Also today there were many lovely Dark Green Fritillary, flying on the the down, also seen were Small Heath, Grizzled Skipper, and one Brown Argus. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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2nd Instar Duke of Burgundy caterpillars with head of discarded head of 1st instar
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Cowslip leaves with feeding damage
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

05 Jun 2020

Small Skipper, Tidgrove Warren Farm. Seen today at Tidgrove Warren Farm in north Hampshire was a male Small Skipper, much to my surprise. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

Horsea intelligence. I joined a survey, commissioned by Portsmouth CC, on Horsea Island today with Andy Jukes, Conops Entomology, who informed that White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary had already been seen in Northamptonshire. Alas, the strong wind and low temperature kept sightings on Horsea to just one pristine Comma, and a female Common Blue, though yet again there were plenty of Peacock larvae on the nettles. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My first wander around Monks Walk for June brought to the record eight species today. For two hours from 1150 under alternating dark clouds and clear blue skies with the temperature at 18 degrees the fields and glades were largely shielded from the strong westerly wind. Fresh Red Admiral was evident around nettle patches and my first sighting of Marbled White added to the pleasure of seeing a new Common Blue within the main enclosed meadow. Too early for White-letter Hairstreak but I did look! Totals: Small White (2); Meadow Brown (15); Small Heath (1); Speckled Wood (3); Common Blue (M)(1); Holly Blue (2); Red Admiral (4); Marbled White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown male
Photo © Francis Plowman

04 Jun 2020

Puss moth caterpillars. Feeding on leaves collected from Broadmarsh, Havant to poplar hawk moth caterpillars we have at home we found two puss moth caterpillars [Posted by John Goodspeed]

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puss moth caterpillar
Photo © John Goodspeed

02 Jun 2020

Chalton Down. Today I paid a visit in the early afternoon to Chalton Down. Due to the clearance of a lot of scrub and grazing of the downland turf, numbers here have fallen sharply. I was pleased however to record my first Hampshire Meadow Browns. Totals Large White 1, Common Blue 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Heath 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

01 Jun 2020

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. Our final walk from 1450-1600 was around the back of Fort Widley. It was now 25.5 degrees Celsius and very warm as the easterly breeze had slackened somewhat. Small Tortoiseshell was immediately prominent even before reaching the western gated entrance! Many lovely orchids were seen both Spotted and Pyramidical. Totals: Small Tortoiseshell (4); Common Blue (M)(5); Speckled Wood (2); Holly Blue (7); Meadow Brown (6); Small Blue (7); Small White (2); Marbled White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. Onwards to the chalk hill of Portsdown produced somewhat more butterflies. From 1315-1445 with the temperature still 23 degrees and an easterly breeze we walked the top path (bordered by hedges) in a westerly direction before returning through the open downland. Most of the eight species counted today were recorded within this narrow pathway there being very little to see among the grasses and vetch of the hillside. Totals: Meadow Brown (18); Large Skipper (3); Marbled White (6); Common Blue (M)(6); Small Blue (1); Holly Blue (3); Speckled Wood (1); Brimstone (F)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadown Brown male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Whiteley Woods and Meadow, Fareham. From 1115-1235 with the temperature around 23 degrees C, we walked the fields and pathways of Whiteley Woods up to its merging with Botley Wood. We were unable to return through the pastures as the path was closed off - a large bulldozer having earlier been delivered! There has been a lot of habitat disturbance generally in the area with many trees felled and scrub removed for the installation of a new footpath (parallel to Whiteley shopping centre). So it came as no surprise that only four species were noted these being: Brimstone (F)(2); Large Skipper (1); Speckled Wood (2); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Demoiselle damselfly - ?
Photo © Francis Plowman

Butser Hill and Ramsdean Down. A look around some of the steepest hills in Hampshire today to see if the Duke of Burgundy made it into June and on Butser I saw four females and on Ramsdean Down I saw three one being male. There hasn't been many times since I started recording butterflies since 1984, I think this is the third time that Duke of Burgundies have been flying with Dark Green Fritillary. I saw (4) of these splendid butterflies looking very regal as they were pristine. Other highlights today were Small Copper, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skippers still on the wing, Brown Argus, many Large Skippers, Common Blue and Brown Argus, several battling Green Hairstreaks, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Yellow and Yellow Shell Moths, 5 Spot Burnet and Cinnabar Moths. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Duke of Burgundy at rest.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Yellow Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

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