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

News Archive for Feb 2021

28 Feb 2021

Hummingbird hawkmoth in Cosham. A Hummingbird Hawkmoth seen yesterday in Theo Roberts' garden, nectaring on Buddleja officinalis. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Red Admiral at Monks Walk, Gosport. Finally, my first Red Admiral sighting of 2021. This brings to four those species seen this year which is one more than February 2020. A little cooler on my walk from 1200-1400 today with an easterly breeze off the harbour but three days of sunshine and temperatures around 12 degrees finally convinced one Red Admiral that Spring had arrived! No Brimstone seen. Total: Red Admiral (1); Comma (4); Peacock (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral shy but in good condition
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock and shadow
Photo © Francis Plowman

Large Tortoiseshell (part 2) in Cosham. Saturday another warm day in Cosham and would you believe it the Large Tortoiseshell was back for another sunbathing session. This time Graham had his camera ready with a lens which highlights the beauty of this rare butterfly. It was in his next door neighbours garden so it had not travelled far. As you can see from the photographs it's in superb condition and I have highlighted the wing patterns for ID purposes.

Full story on www.purple-emperor.co.uk

Photo credit Graham Roberts [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Large Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Large Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Large Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

27 Feb 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I have to go back to 16 Oct 20 to record three or more species here. Today (1145-1350)in full sun circa 14 degrees Celsius three early year species seen including my first Comma of the season. Totals: Comma (3); Brimstone (M)(2); Peacock (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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1st Comma of the year
Photo © Francis Plowman
2nd Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock in silhouette
Photo © Francis Plowman

Peacock @ Horsea Lane Allotments, Portsmouth. A Peacock enjoying the daffs and a couple of Brimstone seen too. [Posted by Adam Fulton]

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Peacock
Photo © Adam Fulton

Large Tortoiseshell in Cosham. I have been sent three pictures of a Large Tortoiseshell which was seen in a garden in East Cosham this was about three o'clock in the afternoon, and it was seen on a window sill first sunning itself for a few minutes, and then it flew up and rested again for a few minutes. Luckily Graham Roberts had his mobile phone where he took some pictures of it. It then flew away possibly going north. The house is quite close to Portsdown Hill, and another was possibly seen again in the garden in 2020. Does this lend itself to a migrant, it was in very good condition, or there may well be a small colony here in Portsmouth/Cosham, as there is a lot of Wych Elms dotted about. I'd be interested in people's opinions. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Large Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Photos Graham Roberts
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

26 Feb 2021

Northington Down. Brimstone butterfly - on the wing in bright sunshine, 1130am. My first sighting of the year. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Butterflies in the upper Itchen Valley. On a walk today from Cheriton to Ovington and Hampage Wood via Tichborne we saw 14 butterflies of 4 species between 11.30 and 14.00 in the 'heat of the day', probably no more than 13degC. Most were seen along field and hedge boundaries. We saw one each of Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Peacock with the rest being Brimstones. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

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A Comma in a hedgerow
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh
A Brimstone resting briefly
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh

Brimstone in Portsmouth. My first butterfly of the year was Brimstone in my garden in North End Portsmouth at 1230. Unfortunately I couldn’t hang up from the meeting I was in quick enough to get a photo. [Posted by Adam Fulton]

First butterfly sightings of the year. Warm enough in the sun today in Winchester, to sit outside in the garden for the first time this year. A pleasure in itself but with the added bonus of two visitors. My first butterflies of the year. A Brimstone settled on our honeysuckle followed a short time later by this Peacock sunning itself on the wooden garden border. I hardly moved from my chair to get both pictures! [Posted by Billy]

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Brimstone
Photo © Billy
Peacock
Photo © Billy

Milton Lock NNR. My first outing in February due to my Heart attack and so I went just around the corner to visit the Milton Lock NNR. Despite the warmth of the sunshine the only butterfly seen today was a Small Tortoiseshell, which was patrolling up and down the site, obviously looking for for a female and was guarding his territory. Buds are starting to come on the trees, and shrubs, and my Kestrel was again sitting on a fence next to the Allotments, looking for a tasty morsel. There was plenty of birdlife in the mudflats as the tide was ebbing but the invertebrates were rather disappointing. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Kestrel
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Two hours from 11:00 in warm sunshine and only one Brimstone male seen. No sign of the two Peacock recorded three days ago; possibly caught out in last night's hard ground frost? Neither has Red Admiral put in an appearance which is unusual for this site at this time of the year. Lots of wild flowers and the willow blossom is developing nicely. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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1st Brimstone at Monks Walk 2021
Photo © Francis Plowman

An early Peacock- Burridge. Good sunshine and little wind in our garden in Burridge. This Peacock, which flew in strongly and sunned itself on the drive is my first butterfly of the year. [Posted by Ashley Ailes]

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Photo © Ashley Ailes

First of the Year. Preoccupied with looking for Little Owls in a line of oaks near Beam Cottage at Warsash (and failing as I inevitably do there) I very nearly missed my first Brimstone settled right at my feet! A very striking bright yellow in the spring like sunshine. There's nothing like the first real sighting to brighten and lift a day. Having stumbled on this one I then spotted two more moving at speed in the hedgerows. Great start to the year - hopefully it will continue like this (for everyone) [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Brimstone - Warsash (Beam Cottage)
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

23 Feb 2021

Brimstones in the Itchen Valley. While cycling through Itchen Abbas this morning around 12.30 I spotted two Brimstones flying along roadside garden hedges in the short-lived sunshine. These were my first butterflies of 2021. Temperature was 12-13degC. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. At last! Three weeks later than 2020 my first butterfly sightings for 2021. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a temperature at 12 deg C but a very strong and cool S/SE wind. From 1115-1245 I exercised through the very soggy fields and paths to discover at 1136 a Peacock sunning itself on dry bracken. This was in the area of the badger setts soon to disappear under tall nettles and new bracken. At 1204 and some 150 metres towards the shore another Peacock was sunning itself on the muddy track. I thought it might had been the first butterfly but the markings/damage reveal it to be a second. No sign of Brimstone nor Red Admiral, yet! [Posted by FRANCIS PLOWMAN]

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Peacock No 1
Photo © FRANCIS PLOWMAN
Probable Peacock hibernation habitat
Photo © FRANCIS PLOWMAN
Peacock No 2
Photo © FRANCIS PLOWMAN

01 Feb 2021

Brown Hairstreak eggs in Cosham. Having found a single egg last year I explored the amenity field alongside the Churchillian pub where there is lots of nice south facing suckering blackthorn. In about an hour's searching I found two Brown Hairstreak eggs and lots of Blue Bordered Carpet eggs. Now to find an adult BH. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Photo © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark Tutton

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