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

News Archive for May 2021

03 May 2021

Portsdown Hill. Hopeful optimism or sheer folly took me to Portsdown Hill yesterday morning (1120-1230) where the wind from the southwest was horrendous. Cloudy and cool I followed the sheltered top footpath and was amazed/encouraged to find three species sharing my level of optimism and/or stupidity! Totals: Orange-tip (M)(1); Speckled Wood (1); Green Hairstreak (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Orange-tip male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman

02 May 2021

Pearl Bordered Fritillaries at Bentley Wood. Early afternoon at the Eastern Enclosures in alternate cloud and sunshine. Three Pearl-bordered Fritillary at least in the lower part of the bracken area by the seat, and at least one more nearer the car park end, but they were disappearing during the cloudy patches and a little slow to come out in the sunshine. Other visitors saw one or two more in the other fields. Also 1 Grizzled Skipper, and a few Orange-tips and Brimstones and a Speckled Wood. [Posted by Ashley Ailes]

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Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Ailes
Pearl Bordered Fritillary underwing
Photo © Ashley Ailes
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Ailes

Butser Hill NNR. Another day of good periods of warm sunshine interspersed with cloud cover when the temperature dropped by several degrees. Butser Hill was quite busy but once down in the scrubby coombes the butterflies were out in moderate numbers. It's still very cold at night I think this is hampering emerging butterflies especially Duke of Burgundies. Butterfly count was as follows: Grizzled Skipper (18) Dingy Skipper (16) Duke of Burgundy (9) including a mating pair Small Copper (2) Orange-tip (1) Small Heath (3) Brimstone (2) Peacock (2). I heard and saw the cuckoo several times which is better than in 2020 as I never heard it last year. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Kama Sutra Duke of Burgundies
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Grizzled Skipper on Ground Ivy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Brownwich + Posbrook. Just 7 Centigrade when I started a circular walk around Brownwich cliffs and Posbrook fields at 0900 this morning. Looking more for migrant birds than butterflies. After 2 hours and true to recent form - I hadn't seen a single butterfly then just after 1100 I spotted a Small White and in approaching it managed to spook a Small Copper, which then promptly found a mate! Thereafter in the space of 10-15 minutes I saw 4 Orange-tips, a Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood. Even with these, butterflies this year seem very sparse - the cold is presumably affecting them as I seem to see nothing until at least late morning. Hope it warms up soon. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Speckled Wood - Posbrook
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Orange Tip - Titchfield Canal Path
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Small Copper - Posbrook
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

01 May 2021

Isle of Wight Sightings.. Very pleasant weather when the sun was out at the foot of Afton Down and on the Landslip in the West Wight today. Several Green Hairstreak to be seen together with four Small Blue, a male Common Blue, and three Wall Brown on the landslip slopes. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Browndown (South) Gosport. An early start to try and beat the inevitable dark clouds, I quickly circulated Browndown (South) accessing the site from the Elmore gate (1030-1200). Temperature at best around 11 deg C with diffuse sunlight and with cool airs off the sea. Target butterfly was the recently sighted Small Copper which soon appeared along the edges of the main (eastwards) track. The local model aircraft club were 'flying today' so a large area of field edge was unavailable. However, Bee Orchids are once again growing up in one patch although not yet in flower. Totals: Small Copper (3); Large White (F)(1); Small White (M)(1). Pretty poor fare for 1st May! Heavy rain and hail curtailed further searches elsewhere. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Copper atop gorse
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper posing on a stone
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large White female
Photo © Francis Plowman

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