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

News Archive for Mar 2021

31 Mar 2021

Test Valley Way : Horsebridge. On a 11K walk in cloudy but warm conditions spotted dozens of Peacocks, one Small White, several Brimstones, one Red Admiral, one Small Tortoiseshell and two Commas. [Posted by Alison]

30 Mar 2021

Havant Thicket. During this spell of warm weather, I paid a visit to Havant Thicket where the temperature reached 19 degrees. I walked my usual route following the main circular path. Many Brimstones were flying as well as my first sightings this year of Small Whites, Commas and Peacocks. My totals were: Brimstone 19M 2F, Small White 2, Comma 2, Peacock 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The anticipated arrival of Speckled Wood saw today's species' record climb to six. It was a relief also to see Small Tortoiseshell numbers rise. From 1410-1530 under full sun (17-18.5 deg C) butterflies were everywhere making for a really enjoyable circulation. Totals: Comma (15); Small Tortoiseshell (5); Peacock (11); Brimstone (M)(2); Small White (M)(7); Speckled Wood (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma (2 small blue dots on hind wings)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male - freshly emerged
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The anticipated arrival of Speckled Wood saw today's species' record climb to six. It was a relief also to see Small Tortoiseshell numbers rise. From 1410-1530 under full sun (17-18.5 deg C) butterflies were everywhere making for a really enjoyable circulation. Totals: Comma (15); Small Tortoiseshell (5); Peacock (11); Brimstone (M)(2); Small White (M)(7); Speckled Wood (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma (2 small blue dots on hind wings)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male - freshly emerged
Photo © Francis Plowman

29 Mar 2021

Hayling Billy Cycle Trail. In the afternoon today the temperature reached 13 degrees, where I walked a section of the Hayling Billy Cycle trail starting at Saltmarsh Lane, Hayling Island. Here I saw a total of 5 male Brimstones and 1 female Brimstone. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Portsdown Hill (East). In the late morning I walked the East end of Portsdown Hill, where along the path above Queen Alexandra hospital two male Brimstones were flying. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Fort Widley; Portsdown Hill; Monks Walk, Gosport. Not much happening at Fort Widley this morning between 1100-1130 when only one male Brimstone put in an appearance.

Then a very long walk along the top of Portsdown Hill slopes to above the chalk cliffs and back realised just three species between 1135-1235. Brimstone (M)(3); Peacock (1); Small White (1). The southerly breeze reduced the warmth of the constant sunshine making it a very cool and blustery hillside.

However, the sheltered parts of Monks Walk from 1445-1535 meant the warmth of the sunshine brought out at least 42 butterflies in five species: Comma (9); Peacock (20); Small White (M)(8); Brimstone (M) (4); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Practically Perfect Portsdown Peacok
Photo © Francis Plowman
Fresh Small White male at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

Milton Foreshore. A beautiful day by Milton foreshore today, with plenty to see and hear. On the butterfly front there were several Peacocks seen at Milton Lock along with Comma keeping territory. On the Foreshore the Peacock was flying in good number,along with Brimstone, Small Whites, and the odd Small Tortoiseshell. It won't be long before Holly Blue and Speckled Woods will be out if this weather keeps up with the Orange-tip heralding spring. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Comma
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Mar 2021

Portsdown Hill (west). Almost a summer's day as another trek up Portsdown hill finds good amounts of butterflies, although still only four species. These were Peacock (12) Brimstone (8) Small White (2) and Comma (1). Peacocks were feeding mainly on Pussy Willow buds, and the Brimstones were patrolling up and down the rides on the down. Plenty of Birds of Prey to be seen as well with my first Red Kites being observed, along with other Kestrels and Buzzards. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Peacock plentiful today
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Other insects busy getting nectar
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dog-Violet Dark Green Fritillary caterpillar food.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

22 Mar 2021

Havant Thicket. Today in the sunshine I walked a circular route around Havant Thicket (SU7110) where the temperature reached 13 degrees. A total of 16 male Brimstones were seen with a single Small White. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Five species recorded today (22 butterflies, at least). 2 hours from 1145 in full sunshine (circa 12-15 deg C). At last the area's first Small White sighting and a glimpse of one Small Tortoiseshell. Total: Brimstone(M)(3); Small White (M)(1); Peacock (9); Comma (8); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Tortoiseshell, just about!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock feeding on daisy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male with torn hind wing
Photo © Francis Plowman

21 Mar 2021

North End, Portsmouth. A Peacock, Comma and a Brimstone were all pleased to see the sun in my garden at lunch time [Posted by Adam Fulton]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Intermittent sunshine this afternoon kept numbers down and only three species seen (1210-1350) circa 13.5 deg C. One Comma with unusual coloration on its hind wing nearest to its abdomen. Also surprised to see a Snake's head fritillary growing in the woods! Total: Brimstone (M)(2); Comma (4); Peacock (6). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma with pale colour strips
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma (same as previous example)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on wild cherry blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman

Embley Wood SU5441. 3 Brimstone butterflies(m) flying along the woodland rides in early spring sunshine. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

19 Mar 2021

Havant Thicket. In the late morning sunshine I walked a circular path following the main track around Havant Thicket. Here where the temperature reached 10 degrees I saw 2 male Brimstones and a Peacock which landed and was taking moisture from a wet area of soil. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Milton Lock and Foreshore. A warmish day with a slight cool wind blowing in off of the sea, where the NNR reserve at Milton Lock there was a Brimstone flying in and around the bramble. Also passing through was a Small White and also sunning itself on some concrete was a lovely Comma. On the foreshore there were plenty of Hawthorn bushes well out in blossom where there was a disappointing total of just one Small Tortoiseshell feasting on nectar in a very sunny position.I've noticed so far there has been a distinct lack of Peacocks, whether they didn't like the cooler winter, or I've just been unlucky, but this is the species I normally see the most of in the March and April months. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small White
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. From 1115-1330 with a warm temperature range 12-15 deg Celsius, I recorded three species for a total of 16 butterflies. Twenty-four days after sighting my first male Brimstone at this site, today saw one female emerge. She should have no trouble finding a mate for at least three males were seen. Comma numbers are on the increase but, sadly, no further sign of Red Admiral. Small Tortoiseshell also conspicuous by its absence too. Total: Brimstone (M)(3); (F)(1); Comma (8); Peacock (4). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone female (first sighting)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Beautiful Peacock in the mud
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male on Red dead-nettle
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown. Despite the cool breeze spring was in the air on Portsdown Hill this lunchtime. At least two dozen male Brimstone were tirelessly looking for females, a handful of Peacocks were in sheltered hedgelines and my first Small White of the year put in an appearance. The Brown Hairstreak egg that I have been watching has not hatched yet and I managed to locate another making a total of four individuals. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Brimstones along Titchfield canal. One brimstone seen on the lower stretch of the Titchfield canal walk (and another brown butterfy ?)this morning. and another Brimstone in our garden in Lee on Solent ( pic on the pulmonaria). [Posted by Sue Wells]

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Photo © Sue Wells

12 Mar 2021

Small White from a Gosport Garden. On a day when I would not wish to venture out at all a Small White has just emerged (1255) from a neighbour's garden. With my wife we watched from an upstairs window as it settled on a driveway before flying out of sight behind housing. A brief search was unavailing the strong wind probably blowing the insect far away. So no photograph sadly but my first Small White sighting of the year for sure. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

09 Mar 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The temperature having reached double figures today there was hope for better luck on my walk from 1115-1250 today. The sun was full-on with a light but cool southerly breeze (10-13 deg C). The three species seen were all in warm and sheltered areas of the site. Totals: Brimstone (M)(2); Peacock (1); Comma (1). The latter was photographed - showing its distinctive left wing damage - earlier on 28 Feb and 1 March so it has clearly found somewhere secure to survive the recent night frosts. Two foxes also seen lounging lazily in the sunshine. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma with left wing damage
Photo © Francis Plowman

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