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

News Archive for Sep 2020

28 Sep 2020

Moth Trap. Last night was very chilly consequently the Moth trap had very little of note , except the Sallow Moth, male and female, Lunar Underwing, Large Yellow Underwing and Black Rustics. There were about 30 odd Hornets, which just about puts the mockers on any attempt to get any numbers, with these infiltrating the trap. Today I saw Comma, Common Blue, Small Coppers, numerous Speckled Woods, Clouded Yellow and Small White. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Lunar Underwing
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Variations on a theme Sallow moths.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Head of a Hornet
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

27 Sep 2020

Sunday surprise at Enham. A sunny but windy day did not seem particularly promising for butterflies, but Enham obliged with six species today, a pristine Red Admiral and worn Speckled Wood were supported by Large Whites and Small Whites and a Small Tortoiseshell, but the surprise was another visit to my garden from a female Brown Hairstreak, so check out those Brown Butterflies, you never know what's going to appear. [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Brown Hairstreak
Photo © Kevin Haggar
Brown Hairstreak soaking up the sun
Photo © Kevin Haggar

26 Sep 2020

In our Burridge garden. Sunny but a chilly breeze. In the afternoon: Large White(1), Red Admiral(1) and Small Copper (2). [Posted by Brian Heal]

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Small Copper on Verbena
Photo © Brian Heal

25 Sep 2020

Clouded Yellow at Magdalen Hill Down. Despite the strong blustery winds, in sheltered areas at Magdalen Hill Down there were still a few butterflies on the wing. The highlight was a Clouded Yellow nectaring on Hoary Ragwort, but Small Copper, Common Blue and Meadow Brown were also present. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Clouded Yellow on Hoary Ragwort
Photo © Andy Barker

Giant Moth in Hilsea. A friend sent me a photo of a huge moth that he disturbed whilst moving some planters in his Hilsea garden - at first I thought it was a Privet Hawk-moth but if I am not mistaken it was indeed the huge Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Agrius convolvuli) which can have a 100mm wingspan! [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Convolvulus Hawk-moth
Photo © Mark Tutton

22 Sep 2020

Moth Trap. Another night of moth trapping as it was going to be the last of the good weather and the first day of Autumn. In the Moth trap was a magnificent Clifden Nonpareil, which was in superb condition. Also in the trap were Frosted Orange, Small Emerald, September Thorns, Large Yellow Underwings, Square Spot Rustic, Bufftips, Common Quakers, Black Rustic, Willow Beauty, Vestal,and Rosy Rustic. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Pattern on the Clifden Nonpareil
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
September Thorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Black Rustic
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Sep 2020

Old Winchester Hill. Today I paid a visit to Old Winchester Hill, which will probably be my last visit to the site this year. The temperature was 18 degrees but feeling autumnal now, with low numbers of butterflies see. A single female Chalk Hill Blue was was recorded with a pair of lingering Meadow Browns. A fresh Small Copper was seen to add some colour. Totals: Large White 3, Small White 3, Chalk Hill Blue 1F, Small Copper 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Heath 5, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Clouded Yellows at Brownwich. A total of seven Clouded Yellows were seen along the undercliff at Brownwich this afternoon. One female was of the helice form. All were highly mobile and heading in a westerly direction. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

Old Winchester Hill. Today it was very warm in part but very breezy on the main southern slope of OWH, but once I'd found some sheltered areas amongst the Juniper trees, it was really quite pleasant. Here after a hour or so I had chalked up to 10 species of butterflies. These included Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Silver-spotted Skipper, lots of Small Coppers, which are having a ball at the moment. In all my 40 years of recording I think this has to be the best season they've had for many years. It was quite a treat to see the Silver-spotted Skipper again, some ragged looking females. These must have emerged in September and shows that OWH is one of the best sites in the country for this species. Having emerged at the latter part of July, and are still on the wing is some going, there must have been literally hundreds on this slope at peak season. One male Adonis Blue was seen and the others being seen were very tidy looking females, another species which has struggled over the last few seasons, but seems to have got its feet under the table now because of the grazing here on the site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Small Copper for ever on the move..
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Silver-Spotted Sipper on field scabious
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

17 Sep 2020

clouded yellow at north baddesley. first clouded yellow of the year seen today at my reserve in north baddesley.this makes the number of species seen here this year 30.also seen 5 red admiral 1 peacock 19 small white 4 large white 2 green veined white 3 brimstone 1 speckled wood 2 comma 5 common blue 5 small copper 1 silver y moth [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

16 Sep 2020

Magdalen Hill Down. A rather warm afternoon tour of the original reserve yielded a number of Meadow Browns including some mating pairs, several Common Blues, around five Small Coppers, two or three fresh Brown Argus and a scattering of Small Whites. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

Moth trap in our garden at Leigh Park. Had my moth trap on overnight in my garden at Leigh Park and caught the following species: Box Tree Moth 7, Large Yellow Underwing 15, Oak Hook-tip 2, Pale Mottled Willow 8, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 3, Lesser Yellow Underwing 10, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 4, Square-spot Rustic 148, Brindled Green 2, Snout 2, Angle Shades, L-album Wainscot 18, Black Rustic 3, Setaceous Hebrew Character 4, Small Wainscot 3, Silver Y 2, Light Emerald 2, Rosy Rustic, Lunar Underwing, Brimstone, Pink-barred Sallow, Flounced Rustic and 26 Hornets which devoured quite a few other moths in the trap unfortunately. [Posted by Barry Collins]

15 Sep 2020

Moth Trap. Another night of Moth trapping and this morning I saw one of the most amazing sights, a moth I've been after for many a year. In fact it wasn't in the moth trap but just beside it on some ferns, so it was quite camouflaged.This moth was the Merveille-du-Jour, and it is an absolute beauty.For those who have seen it then you know what I'm talking about. Luckily I managed to move it without it flying off and put on a Oak branch on the ground which had a lot of lichen on it, and it just melted into the background, absolutely wonderful. I know it has been a very strange year, in many ways, but it's more than made up for it in different Moths I've captured in my trap this year. Other Moths of note were many August Thorns which are beautiful, a Oak Beauty,Large Yellow Under-wings and Lesser Yellow Under-wings, Common Emerald, Birch Mocha, Oak Hook-tips, Green Carpet, Dark Bordered Beauty, Swallow Prominent, Heart and Dart, Common Wainscot, Frosted Orange, and in the meadow there were plenty of Small Coppers, several females, Clouded Yellow, Common Blue, Vapourer Moths flying in and around thickets of Blackthorn, and a very fresh Brown Argus bringing up the rear. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Merveille-du-Jor on Oak lichen, perfect camouflage
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
August Thorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Bordered Beauty
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

14 Sep 2020

Another Brown Hairstreak near Andover. Following yesterday's garden record and having a day off, I decided to check out some local hedgerows and found a second female Brown Hairstreak, this time by the A343 just south of the Enham Alamein village sign. These butterflies have obviously dispersed from somewhere, but where? I'll certainly be looking for eggs over the winter. [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Another Enham Hairstreak
Photo © Kevin Haggar

Noar Hill. Paid a visit to Noar Hill during the late morning where the temperature reached 24 degrees. A good search was made for any Brown Hairstreaks still on the wing but none were found. Despite the temperature numbers of butterflies have now begun to decrease, with a few battered Meadow Browns still lingering on. Totals were Brimstone 1 M, Large White 2, Small White 8, Common Blue 4M, Meadow Brown 4, Small Heath 7, Speckled Wood 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Work Party at Yew Hill. There is a work party at our Yew Hill reserve (at Oliver's Battery on the west side of Winchester) on Wednesday (16th). The task will be scrub and ragowrt control.

Arrive at 10am and stay as long as you like.

To join the work party contact Richard richardlemonjnr AT gmail DOT com [Posted by Butterfly Conservation]

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Photo by Tim Norriss (copyright)
Photo © Butterfly Conservation

13 Sep 2020

Brown Hairstreak near Andover. My Enham Alamein garden was graced by an unexpected visitor this afternoon, a female Brown Hairstreak made a short stop before disappearing to the north. Whilst Purple Hairstreaks are a regular sight in nearby oaks, I am unaware of any local sites for this species. [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Brown Hairstreak, Enham Alamein
Photo © Kevin Haggar

Farlington Marsh in the sun. Not a lot of butterflies around but an interesting selection with single Small Copper, Small Heath and Clouded Yellow as well as several Common Blues and Large Whites on the circular walk round the sea wall. [Posted by Paul Warren]

11 Sep 2020

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Visited Chalton Down today where the temperature reached 18 degrees. Here there were a few Chalk Hill Blues still flying as well as several Whites. Totals: Large White 6, Small White 8, Chalk Hill Blue 4M 3F, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Milton Lock Nature Reserve. A look around my local Nature reserve again turning a full circle as this is the site I visited many times in the initial lock down period. It has to be said it's far more interesting now, although the Vanessids have disappeared, and the friendly Kestrel isn't hunting here anymore.Still there were just (5) species to see today, and the best viewing was of at least 5-6 Small Coppers in a small area of the reserve, two - a male and a female were having a right two and eight.They were chasing each other in a very tight formation, how they manage to mirror each other at such speed is some effort. They then came down and fed on a large patch of Coltsfoot. When there was a couple of Male Common Blues feeding in the area, one of them, then two of them would be up and away defending their territory. I'm not sure which is the feistiest of the butterflies, the Duke of Burgundy or Small Copper, I think the Small Copper by small margin. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

10 Sep 2020

Old Winchester Hill. Following a week in Cornwall to visit my son and his wife, I made my first butterfly walk at Old Winchester Hill. Here the temperature in the late morning was 17 degrees. Only a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were found and just a single male Chalk Hill Blue which was in almost fresh condition. Several Whites were flying, but the highlight was seeing a Clouded Yellow which was flying and stopping for long periods near the path leading to the gate at the West end of the Hill Fort. Totals: Large White 11, Small White 13, Clouded Yellow 1, Gatekeeper 3, Meadow Brown 2, Small Heath 7, Red Amiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Moth Trap in Southsea. Another night of putting the moth trap out in these rapidly cooling nights, and it showed in the results. Unfortunately several Hornets had got in and they started a massacre by all accounts, and beheaded the Dark Crimson Underwing, other moths of interest were the Chinese Character which looks like a bird dropping, very clever disguise, Oak Hooks Tips, Birch Mochas, Large Yellow Under-wings, and August Thorns. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Chinese Character
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
August Thorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Crimson Underwing (part)
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

White Admiral at Bramshill Plantation. I saw a White Admiral at Bramshill Plantation in NE Hampshire (SU 75 62). A record shot is attached. I am assuming that this is a second brood individual. Also present were Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood and Small White, as well as a profusion of dragonflies. [Posted by Peter Vaughan]

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White Admiral
Photo © Peter Vaughan

08 Sep 2020

Fort Cumberland. Today I went full circle with the start of the year, I went to this site which was walking distance from my house with the lock-down in full swing. Today I looked at the site again, with very parched grasses and very few wild flowers to speak of. However there was enough lepidoptera to keep me interested. There were a fair amount of 'fresh' Common Blues, and many ragged ones as well, so I suspect there has been a partial third brood, as this site pretty much 'bakes' all year round. A lovely Clouded Yellow gave me a wave as it hurtled past me at a great rate of knots. Small Heaths and several Small Coppers also made up the numbers, with Small Whites flying around like confetti. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

06 Sep 2020

Garden Moths. A couple of moths I've seen in the garden over the past few days. One was an Old Lady which I found on my garden gate, and he or she became rather attached to it as I found it there two days running. I've cut back my Mint over the last few months and today 6th September I found this rather nice Mint Moth Caterpillar at rest. I suspect the cob web over the top was weaved by the caterpillar for some kind of protection. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Mint Moth Caterpillar on Mint!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Old Lady on my garden gate
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Old Lady at rest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

04 Sep 2020

Oxenbourne Down. One of the last visits for 2020 and the site had that sort of Autumnal feel about it, the leaves were starting to turn a rusty colour and some of the Bramble leaves were a blood red. I didn't expect a lot but I was in for a surprise as (9) Butterfly species made themselves known, including my target species the delightful Small Copper. I managed to see up to five including a egg-laying female on Sorrel. I watched her laying eggs on top of the Sorrel leaf, and managed to get a rather good close up of the patterned egg. One complete surprise was a lonesome female Silver-spotted Skipper in good condition as well. There were many female Chalk Hill Blues still laying their eggs, and some of the males were fresh as a daisy. Other species of note were Brown Argus, Common Blue,and Small Heath. The Meadow Brown are starting to peter out as well. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Copper laying eggs on Sorrel
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper Egg on Sorrel
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Fresh looking male Chalkhill Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

02 Sep 2020

Silver-spotted Skipper at Yew Hill. Interesting to see Andy Barker's record of a Silver-spotted Skipper at Yew Hill on 31st August. The Yew Hill Lookers' Blog, which until recently recorded observations from checking the sheep on the adjacent Hilltop, records that 2 were seen and photographed in the field on 5th August 2019 (not by me). That doesn't prove breeding, of course, but perhaps increases its likelihood. With the departure of the sheep, I suspect the field has had less scrutiny of late. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

01 Sep 2020

Wall Brown at Barton. Wall Brown this morning at Barton on Sea at about SZ229931 [Posted by Steve Keen]


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