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

News Archive for Aug 2020

31 Aug 2020

Yew Hill - new species. A brief visit to Yew Hill, in rather cloudy conditions, brought an unexpected surprise of a Silver-spotted Skipper. This is the first time I've seen this butterfly on the reserve in more than 30 years of visiting. I'm not aware of any other records, so this may be a first for the site. It was a rather worn individual, but not surprising for this late in the season. I'm presuming it is a stray dispersing from nearby St.Catherine's Hill, but who knows, perhaps in time we'll have a colonisation. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Silver-spotted Skipper (worn)
Photo © Andy Barker

Stockbridge Down - Silver-spotted Skipper. Two brief visits on consecutive days, neither with weather good for butterflies or observers. Quite a few tatty Chalk Hill Blues/ Adonis Blue females but remarkably few males - ~10 Chalk Hill Blues yesterday and no Adonis: I must have been in the wrong area. Still >100 Small Heaths and Meadow Browns but little else flying - no Hairstreaks but no sun either. The big surprise was a single battered Silver-spotted Skipper - I had assumed the recent deluges had washed them out. Can anyone tell me how to separate worn female Chalkhill / Adonis Blues in September? [Posted by David Murdoch]

30 Aug 2020

Old Winchester Hill. A brief visit this afternoon in far from favourable conditions still found good numbers of Small Heath and female Chalk Hill Blue sheltering amidst the mosaic of juniper at the lower end of the south slope below the fort. Also seen were Common Blue, Meadow Brown and, highlight of the day, two pristine Silver-spotted Skippers, obligingly 'freezing' when cloud obscured the sun. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Shipton Bellinger - still worth a visit. With the cold, wet and windy weather of recent days, it definitely feels like the season is drawing to a close, but for those still out looking, a trip to Shipton Bellinger can still bring rewards. Despite the cool NNW wind, today's sunshine provided plenty of warmth on the lee-side of the main hedgerows. The main butterflies present were Meadow Browns and Small Whites, but I was lucky enough to see a Wall (male) and a single Brown Hairstreak (female). There were three additional sightings of Brown Hairstreak (all female) from two other people that I spoke to. The other highlight of the visit was seeing a Stoat run across a track just in front of me. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Wall (male) on Hawkbit spp.
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Andy Barker

Geranium Bronze in Winchester. 21st species this year in our Badger Farm garden (and 31st since we moved in), but we didn't expect something quite as exotic as a Geranium Bronze! Evidently felt very much at home, as it has hung around for several hours, but ignored the small pot of geraniums in favour of the oregano.

Impossible to tell whether it sneaked into the country as egg or larva on imported plants, or whether it has migrated from Europe.

Is this the first record for Hampshire? [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Photo © Rupert & Sharron BroadwayPhoto © Rupert & Sharron BroadwayPhoto © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

Old Winchester Hill Car-Park and Eastern Slope. After a few nights where it has been particularly cold and there has been a fair amount of rain I was wondering how the counts of many species would pan out today. I went over the Eastern slope adjacent to the car park slope of which is part of the transect route on the down and here there were many Meadow Browns, a splattering of Silver-spotted Skippers including a courting pair, the best counts came from the Small Heaths. Once I got down to the bottom of the Eastern slope and walked along the main footpath I came across my first Adonis Blue a lovely female feeding on Scabious. In the shorter turf there seemed to be many male Adonis Blues displaying there iridescent Blue Hue of their upper wings. I then saw a male and female mating, and also several female Silver-spotted Skippers. The counts were going up all the time as when the sun shone it was very warm indeed. Up the short turf slope of the the car-slope, and here there were more Silver-spotted Skippers and the odd battered Chalk Hill Blue. In the end there were 11 species, including Brown Argus, Small Copper, and the odd Common Blue, but sadly there weren't any Clouded Yellows. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Mating Adonis Blues
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Courting Silver-Spotted Skippers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating Small Heaths
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

26 Aug 2020

Oxenbourne Down. After a visit to Noar Hill, I visited Oxenbourne Down where the temperature was 20 degrees. Still many Chalk Hill Blues flying but no sign of any Silver-spotted Skippers. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Small White 5, Chalk Hill Blue 47M 8F, Common Blue 5M 6F, Gatekeeper 1, Small Heath 10. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Noar Hill. A visit to Noar Hill today where the temperature was 18 degrees. Totals: Large White 4, Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 6M 1F, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 7, Meadow Brown 14, Small Heath 11, Speckled Wood 5, Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Stockbridge Down - Brown Hairstreak. A late afternoon visit to Stockbridge Down turned up two species of note. The down itself looked great, with plenty of nectar sources and some warm sheltered pockets out of the wind producing a good number of butterfly species, but the two species of note were both seen in the lower car park! The first, a Brown Hairstreak female, was spotted almost as soon as I got out of the car. It was flying around a sycamore tree, then alighted on a bunch of sycamore keys high up. I managed a photo, but it was a fairly distant shot. The other species of note, a Painted Lady, settled briefly in the car park just as I was leaving. The camera was already packed away so I didn't get a photo. This is only the second Painted Lady I've seen all year, so was a real bonus for the end of the day. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Andy Barker

Beacon Hill NNR Exton. Another visit to Beacon Hill at Exton, after being buffeted by high gale force winds over the last few days, and boy has it suffered. Last week (40) odd Silver-spotted Skippers, and today I spent 2 hours on site and managed just (7). Other species have suffered as well I didn't see any Common Blue, or Chalkhill Blue, and a few Brown Argus were hanging on in there.The best counts came from Small Heaths, and Meadow Browns but even these were well down as well. One Painted Lady and Small Copper brightened up the day with many Silver-Y Moths and a evil looking Robber Fly posed quite nicely for me, with lunch in its jaws.

A word of warning to anybody planning to visit this site...I saw a rusty old Mortar Shell at the base of the southern Slope and I have reported it to Natural England. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Silver Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Robber fly and prize
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

22 Aug 2020

Blow out at Noar Hill. Cycled from Whitehill to Noar hill over two hills.Rather a blowy day with ocassional break throughs of sun.Spotted 1 Large White,several Meadow Browns and Small Heaths.Some blues but alas no Brown Hairstreaks. [Posted by jf smith]

20 Aug 2020

Noar Hill. Paid a visit to Noar Hill today where the temperature was 20 degrees, a lot cooler than my last visit during the heat wave. Once more I was keen to search for Brown Hairstreaks and after covering most of the site just before I was leaving I was alerted by another enthusiast to a female. She was ova positing on a small Sloe bush just before The Triangle. I managed a photograph which was partly obscured by a leaf before she took flight. Elsewhere there were still plenty of Small Whites, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Heaths and Common Blues. A few second generation Small Blues were also recorded. Totals: Large White 3, Small White 21, Brown Hairstreak 1f, Common Blue 17m 2f, Holly Blue 1, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 30, Small Heath 15, Speckled Wood 1 and Silver-washed Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Stockbridge Down - Brown Hairstreak. Popped up Stockbridge Down late morning to look for Silver-spotted Skippers, but despite covering a huge area of the down I didn't see even 1. Adonis Blues everywhere with only a few Chalkhills around, and many Meadow Browns sunning with wings open. Then the highlight down the back path, a female Brown Hairstreak, mainly on Blackthorn, popping into the undergrowth then back out to sun herself. [Posted by Iain McIntosh]

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Adonis Blue on Wild Marjoram
Photo © Iain McIntosh
Brown Hairstreak (f)
Photo © Iain McIntosh
Brown Hairstreak (f)
Photo © Iain McIntosh

Old Winchester Hill Fort South slope. A breezy but good butterfly day on the far south fort slope of Old Winchester Hill, and the updraft was quite strong at times, but did not stop good counts of Silver-spotted Skipper (45), Adonis Blues (25) all males, many Chalk Hill Blues several late mating pairs, Brown Argus females seen in superb condition several Small Heaths,also several Painted Lady one a female both in good condition, although the female was missing one of its antennae, but the crowning glory was three or four Clouded Yellows on the car-park slope, and here they were feasting on Hawkbit, totally ignoring the Small Scabious. Other delights were Kestrels hovering in the sky like paper Kites, and several Red Kites patrolling up and down the slopes, looking for any tasty morsels.

The Meon Valley looked wonderful all around the site today, and there were many people out and about enjoying the countryside. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Clouded Yellow on Hawkbit
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Silver-Spotted Skipper on Hawkbit.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Aug 2020

Wall Butterfly - Lee on Solent. A Wall butterfly in our Lee on Solent garden this morning! No idea where it can have originated from. Too quick for a photo but am confident of id. In good condition and although I'm certainly no expert - am reasonably sure it was a female. Reported in case it or any others turn up. Last seen heading west. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

Beacon Hill NNR Exton. I thought I'd chance a game called dodging the showers, after a long period of excessive heat. This weather is more to my liking and Beacon Hill was awash with many wildflowers, but it was pretty windy. On the horizon were the heavy black clouds, I could see Old Winchester Hill get a drenching and thought how fortunate I was being here! My quarry was the Silver-spotted Skipper (35-40+) which over the last decade or more has had a pretty tough time here. But I have to say the grassland is more to their liking, after good bouts of grazing by Park cattle and Herwick Sheep. I was pleasantly surprised to see three Silver-spotted Skippers within a few feet of stepping onto the site. I mostly saw good looking males, as this is known as a late site. Its definitely late for the Chalk Hill Blue I only saw one!, but I did see several Adonis Blues whether there from OWH or have established a colony here is questionable, Id like to think the latter, was true. The Silver-spotted Skipper has definitely re-established itself here, it's not in enormous numbers of yesteryear...but it doesn't take long to find them. Other good numbers were Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, a few Common Blue, and one Small Copper. I managed to get to the car-park as the heavens opened up after about an hour and half on site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Shaded Broad Bar Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Old Winchester Hill and the thunder clouds....
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

14 Aug 2020

Garden 'Tigers' in Lee on Solent. Its been a poor week for sleeping - but a great one for seeing (and catching) some exotic moths in our (Lee on Solent) garden! It all started with 5 Jersey Tigers earlier in the week. Since then we've had at least one every day and this morning 3 Garden Tigers too. The highlight was a Humming Bird Hawkmoth yesterday - it was around for a good 5 minutes flitting from flower to flower but I couldn't manage a picture. A great way to introduce my young grandson to the joy of moths and moth traps. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Garden Tiger - Lee on solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Garden Tiger - Lee on Solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Jersey Tiger - Lee on Solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Adonis Blue at Yew Hill. A vivid flash of turquoise lit up the gloom at Yew Hill this morning; as it flew short distances and perched with wings closed, I closely checked the chequered edges to verify that it was a male Adonis Blue, only the third I've seen in 30 years of visiting the site and the first since 2011.

Other species on the wing in small numbers in the less than ideal conditions were Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Common Blue and Chalk Hill Blue; plus a Hummingbird Hawk-moth and a juvenile Green Woodpecker. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

13 Aug 2020

Off Course Chalk Hill Blue in Southsea. Whilst walking the dog along Southsea seafront we stopped for a coffee and I spotted a largish blue around a rose bed. Turned out to be a Chalk Hill which I presume has wandered over from the IOW where they are particularly numerous this year? [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Not my usual nectar source
Photo © Mark Tutton

new sighting north baddesley. today first sighting here of small heath.i know there are a lot on other sites but first sighting ever here and i think it is a female so you never know! this is species number 29 seen here this year. [Posted by Kevin ross]

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Photo © Kevin ross

12 Aug 2020

Old Winchester Hill. With my eldest grandson visiting this week I was keen to show him some butterflies and could think of no better than the Chalk Hill Blues at OWH. The weather was hardly ideal (perhaps for a butterfly, but too hot for a human!) so we set off reasonably early and arrived before 0900. Even then the temperature was 24 C and climbing rapidly. The Chalk Hill Blues did not disappoint though with literally thousands 'shimmering' above the close cropped car park slope and on the other side of the fort too. We also managed a couple of Adonis Blues at the bottom of the slope (just before the wood) and then another 5 over on the south slope. I probably saw more Silver Spotted Skippers today at this site (both slopes) than I have for the last 5-6 years - they seemed to be everywhere. Also of note were 5 Clouded Yellows - most at the bottom of the car park slope. Not a great day for photographs with the butterflies hyper active in the heat and wings often closed but a Clouded Yellow did oblige which was unusual (for me!). All in all - a wonderful day - I hope I've sparked an interest in one keen youngster. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Silver Spotted Skipper - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Clouded Yellow - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Adonis Blue - OWH
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

10 Aug 2020

Noar Hill. I returned to Noar Hill to search again for the Brown Hairstreak and once more drew a blank. The temperature was a scorching 27 degrees which encouraged a total of 15 different species. Highlight was seeing a Clouded Yellow, Small Blues and a Dark Green Fritillary. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 6, Small White 16, Clouded Yellow 1, Common Blue 31M 4F, Small Blue 2, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 22, Meadow Brown 35, Small Heath 17, Speckled Wood 2, Dark Green Fritillary 1, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

wasp spiders North Baddesley. in just a quick look round among the butterflies etc on my reserve at North Baddesley i found 11 wasp spiders and a plume of some sort. very fresh Small Tortoiseshell also seen. [Posted by Kevin ross]

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Photo © Kevin rossPhoto © Kevin ross

Moth trap in our garden at Leigh Park. I had the moth trap on in our garden overnight on 9-10th Aug, and caught 47 species. Some of the highlights were Tree Lichen Beauty 2, Marbled Green, Marbled Beauty, Straw Underwing 3, Rosy Minor, Maiden's Blush 2, Lime-speck Pug 2, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Gold Spot, Antler 2, Flounced Rustic, Six-striped Rustic, Rosy Rustic. There were also 7 Hornets in the trap devouring some of the moths unfortunately and one Harlequin Ladybird. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

Silver Spots And Summer Adonis Take Wing On Old Winchester Hill. A mid-morning visit to the south field of Old Winchester Hill, in strong sunshine and soaring temperatures, confirmed that Silver-spotted Skipper and summer brood Adonis Blue are on the wing there. I suspect that the former are just starting to emerge, with 3 seen, all towards the eastern side of the field, where the turf is a little shorter. The Adonis Blues however, weren’t so fussy, and were spread along the lower slopes, with around 8 males seen, all looking fresh. The south field is carpeted in wild flowers, with many butterflies taking advantage, including literally scores of Chalk Hill Blues, many still in very good condition. The only species which wasn’t partaking in the abundant nectar was a Clouded Yellow, seen on multiple occasions during my visit, yet never seemingly stopping once! [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Adonis Blue
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Adonis Blue
Photo © Alan Thornbury

09 Aug 2020

Old Winchester Hill. Today I visited Old Winchester Hill, where in the middle of this heat wave, the temperature reached 28 degrees. I walked most of the site completing a circular walk during 3 and a half hours. Totals: Brimstone 2M, Small White 9, Chalk Hill Blue 74M 4F, Common Blue 11M, Gatekeeper 27, Meadow Brown 53, Small Heath 7, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Shipton Bellinger. Today is what I can only describe as the perfect Butterfly day, warm very little wind and plenty of Butterflies. There were 21 species on the wing today including (27) Brown Hairstreak. The majority of these were Male Brown Hairstreak which were espied as I walking down one of the tracks looking up at the large Sycamore and Field Maple trees. There were up to two dozen or so males all playing chase, this was at about 1040 in the morning and went on well after mid-day. Many of the trees the action was almost constant and reminded me of the Purple Emperor the way they behaved. Several males were chasing and then flying up into the air in a spiral, and then coming back to land on their respective perches. A lovely female fresh out the box sat on a Bramble leaf just out of reach but still made for a good photograph as she posed quite nicely. In the main arena close to the Wiltshire border it was rather disappointing, several males were seen on Bramble and one posed briefly on thistle, but it was hard work in the ever increasing heat. All in all the best of the action came from the rides, and other species seen was a Wall Brown which never stopped, Adonis Blue which was a treat must have been a wanderer from over the border, Brown Argus, Holly Blues which were quite common, So many whites flying around like confetti. A Silver-Washed Fritillary came flying through, along with many Small Heaths, Peacocks, Red Admiral, Comma, one Small Tortoiseshell. There was also a very fresh Hummingbird Hawk Moth which was a delight to see, and the Gatekeeper was noticeably absent in numbers, which given they get mistaken sometimes for Brown Hairstreak was a good thing really. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Lovely female Brown Hairstreak posing quite nicely
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The difference in colour with this male on thistle
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
One of the rides were all the action takes place
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Jersey Tigers in Lee on Solent. Have had to take an enforced break from travelling the last couple of weeks so no butterflies to report but with my grandson visiting this weekend I put the moth trap out last night in the hope of catching something colourful to stimulate his interest. This morning there were 5 Jersey Tigers in the trap! 3 sitting on top of the Perspex and 2 inside the trap. All safely released and watched in wonder by my grandson who saw the lovely orange wings close up. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Jersey Tiger - Lee on Solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

08 Aug 2020

Unusual garden visitor in Winchester. A male Chalk Hill Blue just after breakfast marked the 20th species to visit our Winchester garden this year. Others seen in the garden during the day were Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Peacock, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Chalk Hill Blue, Badger Farm, Winchester
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

07 Aug 2020

Moth Trap. With such balmy conditions at night it was good to get some interesting moths again in the light trap. The best of the moths were as follows; Oak Egger, Vapourer Moth, Black Arches, Drinker Moth, Popular Hawk-moths, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Swallow Prominent, Iron Prominent, Pale Prominent, Ruby Tiger Moths, Rosy Footman, Large Yellow Underwing, Bright Line Brown Eye, Common Quaker, Gold Spot, Pebble Hook Tip, Blood Vein, Clouded Border, Peppered Moths,and Engrailed. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Oak Egger Moth Female
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Popular Hawkmoth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Gold Spot Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Moth trap in our garden at Leigh Park. We had the moth trap on in our garden overnight 6-7th Aug, at Leigh Park. Some of the goodies were a Blair's Mocha a new species for the garden, Elephant Hawk, Jersey Tiger, Garden Tiger 3, Straw Underwing, White Point, Blood-vein and a Silver Y. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

Brown Hairstreak at Stockbridge Down. Having run into Andy & Linda Barker this morning at Stockbridge Down, I was alerted to the potential presence of Brown Hairstreak and spotted one at ground level just inside the lower car park gate as I was leaving. Unfortunately it was disturbed by in-comers before I could get more than a poor record shot. Lots of other butterflies on site including a few Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

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Brown Hairstreak
Photo © Rupert Broadway
Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Rupert Broadway

06 Aug 2020

Chalton Down. Returning to Chalton Down today, the temperature was 25 degrees as we began a heat wave. Numbers of Chalk Hill Blues here have increased further and hopefully in a few years, numbers will reach that used to be found here in the hundreds. A highlight was the sight of a Clouded Yellow probably encouraged from mainland Europe by the warm weather. Totals: Brimstone 1M 2F, Large White 1, Small White 7, Clouded Yellow 1, Chalk Hill Blue 82M 3F, Common Blue 9M, Gatekeeper 10, Meadow Brown 11, Small Heath 2, Comma 2, Dark Green Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Female Brown Hairstreak In Egg-laying Mode At Shipton Bellinger. With temperatures forecast to go through the roof tomorrow, I opted for an afternoon visit to Shipton Bellinger today, despite an initial lack of sun. Having seen a couple of male Brown Hairstreaks there last week, I was of course hoping for a female today. Just before leaving the site, with little to show, I was watching the umpteenth small orangey-brown butterfly of the afternoon flitting above the shrubs in the county boundary hedge. This time however, the ID was confirmed on landing as a female Brown Hairstreak (most of the others had been Gatekeepers!).

She was well and truly in ovipositing mode, crawling young blackthorn stems with abdomen lowered, then flitting up to take an open-winged rest on the leaves of mature blackthorn or other shrubs, before returning to the job in hand. This behaviour continued for several minutes before she flew out over the meadow and was lost from view. Unable to check the blackthorn stems she had visited in real time, I returned to the last blackthorn bush she had crawled before flying off, but could not locate any eggs. [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

04 Aug 2020

Noar Hill. Today I visited Noar Hill, where the temperature was 20 degrees, to search for the Brown Hairstreak. Despite looking in all areas where I had seen it before I saw none. A total of 12 different species were recorded, totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 12, Small White 19, Common Blue 21M 3F, Small Blue 2, Gatekeeper 27, Meadow Brown 27, Speckled Wood 5, Small Heath 6, Comma 1, Red Admiral 5, Silver-washed Fritillary 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Wall at Shipton Bellinger. Despite rather overcast conditions at Shipton Bellinger for much of our visit, it was nevertheless warm and gave us hope of finding some hairstreaks. There wasn't as much butterfly activity as when I visited last Thursday in hot sunshine, but there was still plenty to see. Our perseverance was rewarded with excellent views of two male Brown Hairstreaks, both nectaring on bramble low down. One of these stayed on the same flowers for at least 35 minutes (12:35-13:10). The other was equally well behaved and even opened his wings to bask in weak sunshine. An added bonus was seeing two Wall butterflies (both males). One of these was missing part of its left hind-wing (see photo), but the other was in pristine conditions. Both gave good views as they basked on the ground between bouts of chasing off other butterflies that came near their patch. A final observation of interest was a Speckled Wood imbibing the juices of an over-ripe Wayfaring Tree berry. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brown Hairstreak (male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Wall (male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Speckled Wood
Photo © Andy Barker

03 Aug 2020

Oxenbourne Down. After a visit to Old Winchester Hill, in the afternoon I called at Oxenbourne Down where once more the slopes were alive with Chalk Hill Blues. Among the other species of note was a Brown Argus and a Silver-washed Fritillary. Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Large White 2, Small White 4, Brown Argus 1, Chalk Hill Blue 300+, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 15, Meadow Brown 7, Small Heath 8, Silver-washed Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Old Winchester Hill. Visited Old Winchester Hill where the temperature was 20 degrees. Plenty of Chalkhill Blues around, with the highlight seeing a Clouded Yellow. Totals: Large White 1, Small White 11, Clouded Yellow 1,Chalk Hill Blue 61M 2F, Common Blue 3M, Holly Blue 2, Gatekeeper 17, Meadow Brown 10, Small Heath 1, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Small Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Clouded Yellow at Stockbridge Down. This afternoon around 4.15 we spotted a Clouded Yellow flying low and fast while we were walking down the path along the NE side of Stockbridge Down. It was quickly out of sight and there was no chance of a photo but the colour was unmistakable.

There were also hundreds of Chalk Hill Blues plus many other butterflies. Our other target species was Silver-spotted Skipper of which we saw one for just long enough for a photo. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

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Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh

rare sighting (this year) North Baddesley. seen today on my reserve at North Baddesley amongst many butterflies including 9 Comma a Painted Lady.this would have been not worthy of note last year but it is only the second one I have seen here this year and not seen any on any other reserves. [Posted by Kevin ross]

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Photo © Kevin ross

Oxenbourne Down. A quick visit to Oxenbourne Down today produced the following sightings, Chalk Hill Blues (1000's) there were so many I was almost treading on them. Mating pairs everywhere,and females just hatching out being mated. Silver-spotted Skipper (Little Whizzers) (7) Dark Green Fritillary (1) Dingy Skipper 2nd Gen (1) Small Heaths, Many Gatekeepers, Clouded Yellow (1) Meadow Brown (30+) Whites, Brown Argus (2) Common Blue (10) Brimstone (6). I looked at the Cowslip and its been well eaten in parts but couldn't find any caterpillars of the Duke of Burgundy today. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Mating Chalkhill Blues absolutely thousands on the downland today....
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Second Generation Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

02 Aug 2020

Magdalen Hill Down 2 August 2020. The highlights among the usual suspects comprised

The scarce long-horn moth Nemaphora Metallica along the main path west from the cemetery.

A Golden Ringed Dragonfly hung-up on Yellow Rattle in the scrub area near the cemetery.

A Clouded Yellow near the tumuli. [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

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Nemaphora Metallica. Magdalen Hill Down 2 August 2020
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Golden Ringed Dragonfly. Magdalen Hill Down
Photo © Steve Mansfield

01 Aug 2020

Sockbridge Down Blues (and Skippers). A morning visit to Stockbridge Down revealed a carpet of Chalk Hill Blues, with a scattering of Common Blues and Adonis Blues (at least 10 male Adonis seen), Silver-spotted Skipper were also showing well, with another double figure count (15+). Although I didn't see the Clouded Yellow reported by a fellow enthusiast, the Blues and Skippers were more than ample compensation [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Adonis Blue (with photobombing Chalk Hill)
Photo © Kevin Haggar
Silver Spotted Skipper
Photo © Kevin Haggar

Broughton Down. I visited today between 1130-1430. Although the weather was very overcast there were occasional sunny intervals which I hoped would tempt a few Silver-spotted Skippers into action, and sure enough I soon disturbed one from the grass. Having said this not much else was on the wing. Species seen were Silver-spotted Skipper 5, Common Blue 6, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 3, Small Heath 1, Large White 4, Dark-green Fritillary 2 (very tatty!). Moths, Treble Bar 5, Pyrausta nigrata 3, Oak Eggar 1, Six Spot Burnet 4. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Photo © Mark PikePhoto © Mark PikePhoto © Mark Pike

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My final perambulation of the summer season at Monks Walk provided the anticipated excitement. Fourteen butterfly species were tabulated during my walk from 1035-1300 in warm and sunny conditions with a light SW breeze. Chalk Hill Blue made another appearance, this time a male. Following my report of a female on 24th July, a fellow enthusiast commented that Chalk Hill Blue had been recorded previously within the Defence Munitions (DM) site. Since today's sighting was in the large grassy field adjoining DM Gosport, perhaps it ties in nicely with its former history? Today's male was feeding (it appears) on Water Mint on the edge of a usually water-filled ditch and bramble hedgerow. Sadly I managed just one hasty shot before it flew up and over the hedge. It would be nice to think that a small colony has established itself opposite Portsdown Hill; certainly there's plenty of vetch in the fields where both were seen this year. A great note to sign-off on for me! Total: Gatekeeper (42); Speckled Wood (19 at least 2 females); Red Admiral (3); Meadow Brown (25); Comma (2); Small White (10); Common Blue (M)(11)(F)(4); Holly Blue (4); Brown Argus (2); Large White (5); Small Copper (2); Green-veined White (3); Brimstone (M)(1); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Chalk Hill Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female Var Fb
Photo © Francis Plowman

Moth Trap. These are some of the moths caught in my light trap on the evening of 30/31st July.

Red Underwing, Drinker, Mother of Pearl, Elephant Hawk Moth, Buff Tip, Pale Prominant, Brown Tail, Black Arches, Common Footman, Heart and Dart, Large Yellow Underwing, Green Arches, Bright Line Brown Eye, Hedge Rustic, Leopard Moth, Peach Blossom, Treble Bar, Pugs, August Thorn, Scalloped Oak, Brimstone Moth, Peppard Moth, and Engrailed. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Red Underwing
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Elephant Hawk Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Head of a Male Dark Arches
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

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