Butterfly Conservation
Saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Hampshire and
Isle of Wight Branch
Celebrating our 40th Anniversary!
1982 - 2022

News Archive for Apr 2022

30 Apr 2022

Noar Hill. While taking a ramble around Noar Hill on a fine sunny morning, we noted Orange-tip, Duke of Burgundy(2), Dingy Skipper, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Brimstone butterflies.

Plus some St.Mark's flies. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Stockbridge Down. At least 50 Brimstones at Stockbridge Down this afternoon, also a minimum of 30 Grizzled Skippers and 20 Dingy Skippers. Most other species were seen only on two's and three's, including Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Holly Blue, Duke of Burgundy, Green-veined White, Small White, Orange-tip, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Small Heath. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]

Finding butterfly eggs in your garden. If you're wanting to have Brimstone, Orange-tip,and Green-veined White breeding in your garden, you need to have the right caterpillar foodplants. For Brimstone, it's Buckthorn (Rhamnus catharticus) or Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus), for Orange-tip it's plants such as Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis), or Honesty (Lunaria annua), and for Green-veined White it's Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) or various other wild crucifers. In our small garden we have two shrubs of Buckthorn in sunny locations, plus Garlic Mustard scattered around the edges. All three of the listed butterflies breed in our garden each year, so having seen and photographed a Green-veined White egg-laying earlier today on the underside of a Garlic Mustard leaf, I thought I'd also photograph eggs of Brimstone and Orange-tip. We have plenty of Brimstone eggs on our buckthorn, the first of which were observed on 17 April. They're always laid on the underside of Buckthorn leaves, soon after leaf-burst. The accompanying photo is of a fairly new egg, but it seems that the developing caterpillar might just be visible. The Orange-tip egg was found in its typical location at the very base of the Garlic Mustard seed-pod, on which the caterpillar will feed. The orange colour of this egg shows that it was laid a few days ago, as the eggs are pale greenish white when newly laid. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Green-veined White egg
Photo © Andy Barker
Brimstone egg
Photo © Andy Barker
Orange-tip egg
Photo © Andy Barker

Oxenbourne Down. I have spent the last 2 days at this site, looking at the Duke of Burgundy areas. I spent up to 7 hours over the two days wandering around new nooks and crannies on the down, and I've surprised myself with seeing the Duke in a new area. Over the two days I've counted up to (24) individuals a great count up to the end of April, with just two females at the time of counting. Cowslips are now coming through and the North part of the down is particularly splendid. Other species seen were Small Copper (9) Green Hairstreak (7) Dingy Skipper (70) Grizzled Skipper (6) Brimstone (75) Small White (9) Green-veined White (6) Orange-tip (8)Peacock (8) Small Heath (7) Speckled Wood (2) Holly Blue (3). There were very few moths on the wing Common Carpets, and Mint Moths were mainly seen. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Common Carpet Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Hairstreak on Wild Strawberry
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. Encouraged by the sighting on Portsdown's southerly slopes of Small Blue, I undertook a brief circulation of Fort Widley's outer walk specifically to visit a good Small Blue site. Even though the temperature had risen to 15 deg C, the more easterly breeze felt really cool (1415-1445) consequently only three species were seen. Total: Brimstone (1)(M); Small White (4); Holly Blue (4). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Portsdown Hill, (Top Path), Paulsgrove. Target species was Green Hairstreak on a walk along the top path (east to west) starting below the 3-way roundabout above QA hospital. From 1220-1400 some eight species were recorded under sunny and bright skies but with a fresh southerly breeze (circa 13.5 deg C). One Green Hairstreak was recorded, likely a male as it chased everything that flew past its leafy perch! The unexpected bonus was a sight of my first Small Blue for 2022 although the insect flew a nanosecond before the lens opened. Total: Holly Blue (10) (incl 1 F); Brimstone (M)(7)(F)(5); Small White (10); Orange-tip (2)(M); Small Blue (1); Large White (1)(M); Speckled Wood (1)(M); Green Hairstreak (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue (damaged wings) egg laying
Photo © Francis Plowman

29 Apr 2022

Breezy Butser. Although it was bright with periods of sunshine it was decidedly cool in the breeze and I regretted not wearing a jumper. However the butterflies were braving the elements with Grizzled skippers and Dingy skippers seen in good numbers along with a couple of Small Heath and battling Green Hairstreaks. Duke of Burgundy numbers are building nicely with a few fresh males now holding territory beating up any Hairstreak or Skipper that dares to wander into their ‘manor’. In all a pleasing spring visit. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Resting in a cool spell
Photo © Mark Tutton
Just waiting to attack
Photo © Mark Tutton

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Ninety minutes from 1 pm realised sightings of 11 species today. The temperature was 15.5 deg C, mostly sunshine and light breeze. Total: Orange-tip (M)(2); Small White (5); Green-veined White (M)(3)(F)(2); Peacock (7); Holly Blue (5); Large White (M)(2); Brimstone (M)(1); Red Admiral (F)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Comma (1); Speckled Wood (5). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral female egg-laying on nettles
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma and a male Speckled Wood share a leaf
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on unfurling fern
Photo © Francis Plowman

27 Apr 2022

Gosport Wild Grounds Nature Reserve - Howe Road. Access to this mostly wooded reserve has been completely revamped and is now collocated with the 17th century village tourist attraction. A brand new garden centre is also here and open (built on the scrubby brown-field site that did so well with Essex Skipper and Small Skipper). It was well worth a wander just to see the profusion of bluebells, primrose and bushes of glorious rhododendron. Sadly the weather wasn't conducive to spotting butterflies and only three species were recorded. From 1200-1315 under cloudy skies and 13 deg C the total: Speckled Wood (3); Small White (1); Green-veined White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

26 Apr 2022

Wall Brown at Freshwater,IOW.. A visit to Whiteways NT carpark at Freshwater this morning before 10am was rewarded with a first Wall Brown of the year together with up to 10 Green Hairstreak,at least 3 Small Blue,2 Dingy Skipper,and a Small Copper. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

25 Apr 2022

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Somewhat cooler today on a walk from 1110-1330 with intermittent sunshine, fresh breeze and temperature around 15 degrees Celsius. Nine species noted today including a return of Comma but no sighting of Small Tortoiseshell. Garlic Mustard is in profusion and this attracted both male and female Orange-tip simultaneously and I was hoping for mating. Not a bit but both happily posed for the camera! However, Small White show no such inhibition and another mating pair was photographed. Numbers of Holly Blue have increased and one male competed with various other insects for a snack on dog faeces! (One of my 'pet' theories for the range of butterflies in this small and urban-edged scrubland is the numbers of irresponsible dog-walkers and the resultant mess which, however, seems to attract butterflies including Peacock, Comma and Holly Blue. Every cloud.......).Total: Peacock (6); Holly Blue (8); Red Admiral (3); Green-veined White (5)(F)(1); Small White (15); Comma (5); Orange-tip (3)(M2)(F1); Brimstone (1)(M); Speckled Wood (9). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue male and 'friends' on dog faeces
Photo © Francis Plowman
Orange-tip male on Garlic Mustard
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Butser Hill NNR. The sun may have been shining today, but there was a very keen wind which was keeping temperatures down. Duke of Burgundy numbers (4) are somewhat suppressed because of this, however there were good numbers of Dingy Skipper(35+) Grizzled Skipper (12) Small Heath (6) Peacock (2) Orange-tip (2) Small White (1) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Green Hairstreak (9) Brimstone (6) a few mint moths were noted but nothing much else of note. It's going to be awhile before numbers of Duke of Burgundy emerge, especially if this wind keeps temperatures down as most the Duke sites are north facing in Hampshire. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

24 Apr 2022

Matley Heath Field Trip New Forest. A good day to be starting the 2022 field trip programme, looking for the Emperor Moth today in the New Forest and we had two lures to hoodwink the males into thinking there was a female around. It took about 30 odd minutes for us all to get a look at a male came in and investigated, the lures. One male settled on somebody's jeans for quite some time, and I had one stuck on my camera bag, as my lure had been inside the bag for a few days. We saw in all about 5 or 6 males, in several different areas on Matley Heath, although the keen wind probably kept the number down. In the afternoon we tried it out again and sure enough in another part of the Heath we had at least two come and investigate the lures. Butterfly wise it wasn't a great list, but we saw Brimstones, Green-veined White, Small White, Peacocks, and several Holly Blues. At lunch time we witnessed 3 male Brimstones flying with a female altogether, circulating her and all flying backwards for a time and this was quite a spectacular sight. In the afternoon we went for a birdwatching walk and witnessed Redstarts nesting heard the Cuckoo several times, Mistle Thrushes flying, Jays, Stonechats, also Scalloped Hook Tip Moth, and Common Heath Moth were also seen. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Head of a Emperor Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Emperor Moth male
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Matley Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Apr 2022

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Ten species recorded in a walk from 1030-1245 today with warming temperature (15.5-17.5 C) mostly bright and sunny but a strong NW breeze that butterflies easily found protection from. My first sighting of a female Speckled Wood this season; she should find no shortage of suitors! Also my first female Orange-tip came to book which should please the lone and seemingly desperate male that whizzes along the rides. On 5th April this site produced 20 Comma; today not one. Totals: Small White (10)(M9)(F1); Orange-tip (2)(M1)(F1); Speckled Wood (21) (M20)(F1); Holly Blue (6); Green-veined White (3)(2)(F1); Peacock (3); Small Tortoiseshell (3); Red Admiral (2); Large White (1)(M); Brimstone (1)(M). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Orange-tip female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green-veined White female
Photo © Francis Plowman

20 Apr 2022

Broxhead Common. Another Mothing day, and this time I visited the MOD Army ranges at Broxhead Common and here I was looking for the magnificent Emperor Moth, to try out my new lure ready for the New Forest on Sunday. It took sometime to get going but after about an hour or so there were up to (5) Emperor Moths flying very fast and with a mission around the lure. Moving around the site and re-locating the lure and the total was probably about (10) in total all males of course. One male stayed on the heather and was very photogenic and they all seemed to be in excellent condition, although the Gorse will unfortunately rip their wings, and they will soon look quite bedraggled. Other species on the wing were Green Hairstreak, Peacock, Small White, Brimstone, and many Orange Tips on the roadside verges going up to the site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Emperor Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Broxhead Common
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

19 Apr 2022

Moth Trap. It's not everybody's cup of tea, and it takes a good morning of patience but mothing is progressing into my bloodstream and I've been hooked now for several years, after buying a sort of expensive moth trap about 10 years ago. I'm fortunate enough to put it out into a wood where I can reap the full benefit of what moths may be passing and last night was no exception. With (13) species on my list with Nut Tree Tussock, Bridled Beauties, Oak Beauties, Hebrew Characters, Lunar Marbled Browns, Frosted Greens, Scalloped Hook Tips, Engrailed, Great Prominents, Pebbled Prominents, and Common Quaker. A good haul for such cold nights. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Brindled Beauty
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Oak Beauty
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Great Prominent
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Small Blue at Freshwater.,IOW.. A rather tatty Small Blue at Whiteways this afternoon together with 3 Green Hairstreak and 2 Grizzled Skipper.The Small Blue sighting is the earliest I have recorded at this site since the 30th March 2012 record. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

18 Apr 2022

Magdalen Hill Down highlights. A short visit to Magdalen Hill Down was rewarded with sightings of various butterfly species. This included plenty of Brimstones, with some courting pairs, and several females busy egg-laying on the buckthorn, which is plentiful on the site. The lower slopes produced good numbers a Grizzled Skipper (7) and Holly Blue (6), plus a few Green Hairstreaks (4). Singletons of Orange-tip and Small Tortoiseshell added further interest. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Grizzled Skipper on Dandelion
Photo © Andy Barker
Green Hairstreak silhouette
Photo © Andy Barker
Holly Blue (female) basking
Photo © Andy Barker

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A double-count at last! Some of the early and agitated males are now settling down allowing easier identification. Speckled Wood numbers are vying for ascendancy over Small White while Comma and Small Tortoiseshell numbers decline somewhat as are Red Admiral. Green-veined White was also missing today. All the Speckled Wood seen were males. Two hours from 12:45 with the sun out and a pleasant 17 degrees Celsius I recorded a total: Small White (19); Peacock (11); Comma (4); Holly Blue (4); Speckled Wood (M)(19); Orange-tip (M)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (3); Brimstone (M)(2); Red Admiral (1); Large White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Orange-tip male feeding on Bluebell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Distant Holly Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Male Large White
Photo © Francis Plowman

17 Apr 2022

Green Hairstreaks, Orange-tips and Dukes: Portsdown Hill, Noar Hill. An early afternoon walk along the shrub-bordered paths of Portsdown Hill produced plenty of Orange-tips (at least 10 males seen). Whilst none were in the mood to settle for even a moment, the diminutive Green Hairstreaks in the same area at least spent a little time perched, when not engaged in aerial duels. Four were seen on one patch of bushes, probably having emerged recently from the same batch of eggs.

At Noar Hill, finding the newly emerged Dukes was proving more challenging, but eventually (and with the help of other observers) 4 male Duke of Burgundy were eventually located, as singletons in different chalkpits in the central area of the reserve, Suprrisingly, few other butterflies were on the wing, other than a handful of hibernators. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Oxenbourne Down. Another glorious day with a bit of a breeze which may have kept some of the species showing themselves more, however the first Grizzled Skippers were out (3) seen, also seen were Orange-tip (2) Green-veined White (2) Peacock (8) Comma (3) Brimstone (20+) Small White (2) there has been a fair bit of scrub bashing done on top of the down, however the area of Gorse has been left untouched. In Wascoombe Bottom there is a lot of sallow showing itself now, hopefully this could attract a wandering female Purple Emperor, this would certainly enhance the flora and flora of the site as they are certainly over the road in Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Beware of the Ticks, they are rife this year. I mainly put it down to the amount of deer in the area now as I saw at least 8 Roe Deer hinds. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Sallow in Wascoombe Bottom
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

16 Apr 2022

Noar Hill. We joined several other searchers for Duke of Burgundy today (1100-1310) and would have been disappointed had not after lunch we returned for one more look! Thanks to fellow enthusiast Mark, a male was found posing patiently in the first pit on the left after entering the main gate. Good to meet Ashley as well also on the hunt. Seven species recorded today. Total: Orange-tip (M)(1); Peacock (5); Brimstone (F)(1);(M)(2); Holly Blue (1); Small White (1); Small Tortoiseshell (F)(1); Duke of Burgundy (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Open in the shade
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell egg-laying
Photo © Francis Plowman

First Duke is a Duchess on Butser Hill. A friend was visiting from the Midlands so I offered to show him around Butser Hill and the butterflies didn’t disappoint! Good numbers of Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak put on a show including a battle of six Hairstreaks and two landing on a ladies green hat! After a bit of searching we tracked down three Dingy Skippers and eventually two Duke of Burgundy the first a female- a very pleasant morning indeed. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Duchess
Photo © Mark Tutton
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Mark Tutton

Easter eggs. Ova of Brimstone and Brown Hairstreak photographed this afternoon at Great Fontley. The Brimstone ova are on the sparse emergent leaves of Common Buckthorn, while Alder Buckthorns remain bare. Strangely, only male Brimstones have been seen on the wing... [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Brimstone ovum on Common Buckthorn emergent leaf.
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Brimstone ovum on Common Buckthorn emergent leaf 2
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Brown Hairstreak ovum on blackthorn
Photo © Andrew Brookes

Noar Hill NNR. My first visit to this site in 2022, and what a day excellent weather, and 10 species of butterflies. (2) Duke of Burgundy seen both males both probably emerged today or yesterday, all the cowslips look in good condition, and the site has had a lot of management, with some chalky scraps carved into the some of the pits, I assume this is to encourage Cowslip growth. Other butterflies seen on the wing were Small Tortoiseshell a female was seen laying eggs. Peacock (8) Comma (3) also a female was seen laying on Nettle in the hedgerows at the entrance. Brimstone (4) Large White was seen at home, Small White (5), Green-veined White, male Orange-tip, and (5) Holly Blues. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
One of the chalk-pits at Noar Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Searching for the Duke.......
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

15 Apr 2022

First Duke at Noar Hill a Duchess. Apologies for my slow update. As with Mark at Butser the Noar Hill first was a female. [Posted by Mark Jones]

Singles only at Great Fontley. Seven butterflies, seven species at Great Fontley: Brimstone (male), Orange-tip (male),

Large White (female, ovip. on Honesty), Speckled Wood (male), Small Tortoiseshell (?, nectaring on blackthorn), Peacock (?, on dandelion), Holly Blue (male). Monitored Brown Hairstreak ovum still intacta. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Every day is different here! Only seven species recorded on a longer and warmer walk (1230-1500, 17-20 deg C). The first mating pair of (my) season (Small White) as numbers of Pieris rapae increase. Total: Brimstone (M)(2)(F)(1); Small White (15); Orange-tip (M)(1); Comma (10); Peacock (7); Speckled Wood (M)(11); Small Tortoiseshell (5). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone male x 2
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White (female at left)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male x 2 in-flight/fight!
Photo © Francis Plowman

13 Apr 2022

Speckled Woods on Hayling Island. Today I walked through St Marys Church, Hayling Island where I saw 3 freshly emerged Speckled Woods sunning themselves. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Hayling Cycle Trail. Today I walked a section of the Hayling cycle trail near Saltmarsh Lane, where the temperature was 14 degrees. Here I recorded Brimstone 2M, Small White 2 and Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Portchester Common and Anson Grove. A look around an old favoured site in the past where I used to see 'heaps' of Wall Brown!, however today it was perfect sunny weather at times, with Holly Blue (2), Small Tortoiseshell(1) Peacock (15) Brimstone(6) Small White (7) Red Admiral (1)and Comma (1). No Orange Tip despite being in favoured areas where I've seen them before nectaring and laying eggs. Portchester Common is not what it once was, and Anson Grove is a local site owned by Fareham Borough Council, with lots of flowers and grasses, and trees, right next to a housing estate. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Green Hairstreak seen at Freshwater,Isle of Wight.. Whiteways Quarry overlooking Freshwater Bay produced yet again, my first sighting of the Green Hairstreak of the year.It briefly visited the flowering Spanish Bluebells on two occasions but cloudy skies prevented any further sightings.Also present were perhaps two Grizzled Skipper. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I was hoping for a double-count today but the skies clouded over around noon and it all went quiet! Nevertheless, between 1100-1300 (16 deg C) nine species were recorded with first year sightings for me here of Large White and Holly Blue (both seen on the wing but close enough to identify the blue as a female!). Total: Small White (M)(7); Comma (8); Holly Blue (F)(1); Large White (M)(1); Green-veined White (F)(1); Brimstone (2)(M1)(F1); Speckled Wood (8); Peacock (5); Small Tortoiseshell (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock
Photo © Francis Plowman

11 Apr 2022

Blustery Butser. Today I made a tentative visit to Butser in bright sunshine, however as the air temperature was only about 12c with a strong breeze I was not overly hopeful about seeing any butterfly activity. On pulling into the car park at the top I was pleasantly surprised to see two male Brimstone flying so things were looking up. Soon a male Orange Tip came into view, and after making the steep trek down the hill, and after a bit of searching in the warmer sheltered areas, I located half a dozen fresh Grizzled Skipper along with a Comma, a couple of Peacock and a few more Brimstone. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Orange Tip
Photo © Mark Tutton
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Mark Tutton

09 Apr 2022

East Meon and Milton Allotments. Another disappointing day, despite good sunny weather to start with, at East Meon on high ground it was particularly cool, and consequently very little in the way of Butterflies seen. In the sheltered wildflower banks there were great swathes of Cuckoo flowers and Sweet and Dog Violets along with other wildflowers, all looking very splendid, however I only saw several Peacocks and a Small White for my efforts. However counting up to half a dozen Hares was a triumph and some young rabbits.At Milton Allotments when I got home there were certainly much more on the wing, with up to (5) Small Tortoiseshells several doing battle with a Comma joining the fray. Several Peacocks were also seen along with at least a dozen or more Small Whites. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
In and around East Meon
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Milton Allotments with tide out.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Six species faced the cool breeze and lower temperature today (1200-1345; 12 deg C). Warm in the sunshine but later cloudy and quickly unproductive. Total: Comma (5); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Peacock (4); Red Admiral (4); Speckled Wood (M)(6); Small White (M)(4). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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New male Speckled Wood on wild garlic
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male on nettle
Photo © Francis Plowman

08 Apr 2022

First Orange-tip seen at The Vyne, Basingstoke. Despite the strong winds, a male Orange-tip was moving from flower to flower in the comparative shelter of the woods at The Vyne this morning. Unsurprisingly, the only butterfly seen during the day. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

05 Apr 2022

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I have to go back to 20 Sep 21 to find the last count of nine butterflies here. With last year's first appearances in parentheses, Green-veined White (29 Apr 21) and Orange-tip (11 May 21) were two season firsts for this area today clearly indicating an advancing emergence. Comma was everywhere present with a minimum of 20 counted. Speckled Wood numbers were all males with area contests easily seen. The walk from 1230-1500 was undertaken mostly in sunshine with a high of 15.5 deg C and a noticeable SW breeze: Total: Comma (20); Speckled Wood (M)(6); Small White (M)(2)(F)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (7); Peacock (6); Orange-tip (M)(1); Brimstone (M)(3); Red Admiral (1); Green-veined White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma, one of 20 noted
Photo © Francis Plowman

02 Apr 2022

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. At 9.5 deg C and with a cold breeze blowing I was pessimistic for any sightings today on a circulation between 1215-1415. However, five species were observed although overall in much lower numbers, Small Tortoiseshell excepted; both fresh and rather more faded examples were seen on both sides of Heritage Way. I watched a female Peacock sit patiently as it laid eggs on a young nettle. Returning after an hour I was able to photograph a huge pile of at least 189 eggs! Total: Speckled Wood (M)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (7); Peacock (2); Small White (1); Comma (4). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Tortoiseshell & Comma on Blackthorn blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock eggs on nettle
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman

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