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

Important Message (8 May 2021)

The next date in the Government's road map to tackle the coronavirus is 17 May 2021. From this date, if confirmed, groups of up to 30 people can assemble outside. This means that Butterfly Walks are likely to go ahead from 17 May. Please consult the Events > Butterfly Walks tab for further details.

Butterfly Conservation and the UKBMS have decided that transect walking can take place in 2021. More details will be available shortly on the Transect News page.

News

Please note that any sightings mentioned in news items do not automatically go into our records database. Sightings should be submitted using one of the mechanisms listed on the Recording page.

29 Sep 2021

Old Winchester Hill. Today a visit to Old Winchester Hill, where the temperature reached 19 degrees. Here I walked to the Hill Fort, where around the South West facing slope I recorded 15 male Adonis Blues as well as 4 Silver-spotted Skippers. A wonderful sight to see these striking Blues. A total of 11 species were recorded. Totals: Brimstone 2M 4F, Small White 5, Adonis Blue 15M, Chalk Hill Blue 6M 1F, Common Blue 4M, Gatekeeper 28, Meadow Brown 12, Small Heath 3, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Silver-spotted Skipper 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

08 Sep 2021

Browndown South, Gosport. The flag poles minus red flags permitted a circulation of Browndown South notwithstanding that the small-arms range was in constant use throughout my walk (1100-1300)! With a fairly prominent breeze from the east the temperature was a comfortable 23.5 degrees Celsius. The heather has been really lovely this year but is now showing clear signs of desiccation. It looks as if the Grayling has run its course this year although Common Blue and Small Heath were easily found. Total: Small Heath (11); Small White (M)(12)(F)(7); Common Blue (M)(10); Meadow Brown (5); Holly Blue (M)(1); Brown Argus (2); Large White (M)(2)(F)(1); Small Copper (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue male feeding on Heather
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Heath
Photo © Francis Plowman

Moth Trap. More Moth trap news, last night was one of the warmest nights for many weeks unfortunately the moths are getting thin on the ground, although in 2020 I got Merveille-du-jour and Clifden nonpareil in September so I'm still plugging away. Today's tally was Maiden's Blush, Small Emeralds, Common Wainscot, Hebrew Characters, Copper Underwing, Yellow Underwing, September Thorn, Canary Shouldered Thorn, Large Yellow Underwing, Gold Spot, and Oak Hook Tip.

Also around the traps were Small Heaths, Green-veined Whites, Red Admirals, and Small Whites. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Gold Spot Moth... beautiful markings.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Canary Shouldered Thorn Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Hebrew Character Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

07 Sep 2021

Noar Hill. Visited Noar Hill today in pursuit of the increasingly elusive Brown Hairstreak. In the miniheat wave, the temperature reached summertime heights of 26 degrees. Many Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were enjoying their last days in the sun, but still no signs of the Brown Hairtsteak after 2 visits here recently. My totals were: Brimstone 2F, Small White 9, Common Blue 5M 2F, Gatekeeper 18, Meadow Brown 15, Small Heath 3, Speckled Wood 3, Red Admiral 1 and Silver-washed Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Our garden in Leigh Park. We had a very worn Silver-washed Fritillary nectaring on the buddleia in our garden at Leigh Park and occasionally being chased by a House Sparrow. There was also a superb looking Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar on our fuchsia. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

Brown Hairstreak at Great Fontley again. A female Brown Hairstreak seen again at Great Fontley in the Meon Valley at 1420 today, in exactly the same spot one was seen 18 days ago. In very good condition, it is unlikely to have been the same specimen. On this occasion, it was seen tumbling down the north side of a field maple, briefly resting before disappearing into the foliage of a small, relatively remote, blackthorn, hopefully to oviposit. The location is idyllic, a scallop in a hedgerow, climax vegetation ash and oak orientated SW - NE, leaving the north-west side bathed in the afternoon sunlight yet fully protected from the easterly breeze. Other species now thin on the ground, save whites and Holly Blues, though a Small Tortoiseshell has rejoined the Red Admirals on the garden buddlejas. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

06 Sep 2021

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. Butterflies just into double figures on a survey of the hill top and fields below the chalk pits at Portsdown this afternoon. Summer returned spectacularly with a temperature of 28.5 degrees C with light airs from the south making for a pleasurable wander from 1410-1630. Meadow Brown is the predominant specie by far with the count of female stopped at 65! High hundreds still to be found and no less than three mating pairs were found and one coupled pair of Small White. Common Blue are well represented as well as a few Chalk Hill Blue with females egg-laying and declining further mating. Total: Small White (M)(22)(F)(3); Holly Blue (2); Meadow Brown (F)(65+)(M)(22); Speckled Wood (M)(2); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(5)(F)(4); Common Blue (M)(17)(F)(14); Brown Argus (1); Brimstone (M)(3); Red Admiral (3); Large White (M)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown mating in front of a spider's web!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Chalk Hill Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male
Photo © Francis Plowman

05 Sep 2021

Chilling & Brownwich Coastal Area, Titchfield. It was a real struggle to find butterflies on a walk from 1340-1510 today. The sun was out and temperature at 24 degrees Celsius but most of the ten butterflies eventually recorded were singletons. No sign of Clouded Yellow on the cliff tops at Brownwich neither any Painted Lady. The Small Copper and Common Blue were found at the very edge of the stony beach at Brownwich. Total: Small White (M)(17)(F)(3); Meadow Brown (1); Small Copper (1); Common Blue (M)(1); Large White (M)(1); Holly Blue (M)(1); Red Admiral (2); Peacock (1); Comma (2); Speckled Wood (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Brown Hairstreak in Froyle. Amazed to see a female brown hairstreak in our front garden on Friday morning 3rd September - a first for us and for Lower Froyle I believe. After a while it disappeared into our hedge which we had coppiced down last winter and has a lot of blackthorn regrowth - we’ll be egg searching this winter! In 2019 I saw a female BHS on transect in Bentley Station Meadow less than 10 minutes drive away. [Posted by Sue Clark]

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Brown Hairstreak Froyle
Photo © Sue Clark

Old Winchester Hill Field Trip. Today was a sad day as it was the last field trip of the 2021 season, but we went out with a bang and saw all but one of the target species today. The Silver-Spotted Skipper was everywhere, seeing them without even trying, and the Adonis Blue graced us with his and her presence in grand numbers, well over (50) were seen just down and around the main southern slope of the main track. I know the species will frequent the car-park slope in good numbers as well so in all its coming back which is a triumph. Other species in good numbers were the Small Tortoiseshell which were feeding avidly on the small scabious dotted around the top of the fort area, and Red Admiral and Brimstones were also having feeding frenzies, talk about making hay whilst the sun shines...never a truer word today. This season has lots of ups and downs weather wise, but I would like to thank everyone who has come on the field trips in 2021 and made them special, and my personal thanks to my little 'family' who has stuck with it through thick and thin. Hope to see you all in 2022. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Friends of Old Winchester Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating Adonis Blues...
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper very common today.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

04 Sep 2021

Old Winchester Hill. Some more photographs from Saturday afternoon on Old Winchester Hill [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Small White
Photo © Chris Rose
Meadow Brown
Photo © Chris Rose
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Chris Rose

Old Winchester Hill. Summer returned and Saturday afternoon on Old Winchester Hill delivered not just with the Silver-spotted Skippers but a cloud of stunning Adonis Blues. Other sightings include good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Small Heath, Small White and Large White, Brimstone, Common Blue and plenty of very tatty and worn Chalk Hill Blues. The only disappointment was no Clouded Yellows.

https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.com/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Adonis Blue
Photo © Chris Rose
Adonis Blue
Photo © Chris Rose
Sliver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose

Noar Hill. From 1000-1230 under largely grey skies and north-easterly airs with the temperature ranging from 15-19 deg. C, at least ten species were recorded. This included Brown Hairstreak (x 4); three were disputing territory high around an oak tree while another singleton was flying a circuit above a hedgerow before repeating the cycle. None stopped for the camera but tauntingly flew almost under our noses a couple of times! It was very exciting at this stage of the season to see Silver-washed Fritillary and particularly to rescue one male from entanglement in a large spider's web. My intervention was suitably rewarded with a lengthy pose for the camera! Total: Meadow Brown (F)(31)(M)(3); Red Admiral (6); Silver-washed Fritillary (M)(4)(F)(1); Brown Hairstreak (4); Speckled Wood (M)(1); Green-veined White (M)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Common Blue (M)(2)(F)(3); Gatekeeper (2); Small White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-washed Fritillary - the lucky one!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female - somewhat tired
Photo © Francis Plowman

Old Winchester Hill. A most colourful if not at times spectacular wander through the fields and tracks around the chalk hill from 1315-1530. A full clockwise circulation of the area encompassing the hill fort, descending the valley and traversing the copse before returning up the car park hill! The temperature ranged from 19-21 deg C with light breezes from the north-east and mostly warm, sunny intervals. Fourteen species took advantage of the conditions and made for a really enjoyable day. Just three Silver-spotted Skipper were seen but Adonis Blue virtually lit-up the place with the males' alternating cobalt shades flashing like neon. Magical! Total: Small White (M)(19)(F)(3); Meadow Brown (F)(50+)(M)(24); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(31)(F)(10); Small Heath (29); Large White (M)(1); Common Blue (M)(24)(F)(1); Adonis Blue (M)(40)(F)(5); Small Tortoiseshell (7); Silver-spotted Skipper (3); Brimstone (M)(7)(F)(4); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (1); Speckled Wood (M)(1); Brown Argus (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Chalk Hill Blue male and female Meadow Brown on Wild marjoram
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Meonstoke - Brown Hairstreaks back at last.. During the past two days, as so often in September, female Brown Hairstreaks have put in appearances in our Meonstoke garden. Unlike in Chawton, where females have again been so obliging this past week, engrossed in egg-laying in the hedgerows adjacent to our offices, here they are to be seen impatiently racing to and fro, seemingly in search of nectar sources, as that is all we offer them in our Blackthorn-free garden (where they are attracted to hibiscus, Canadian Goldenrod, buddleja, Field Scabious and Hemp Agrimony). Other species in the garden today were Brimstone (2), Large White (1), Small White (3), Green-veined White (1), Holly Blue (4), Common Blue (5), Small Copper (1), Red Admiral (8), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Peacock (2), Comma (1), Speckled Wood (3), Meadow Brown (16) and Small Heath (1). [Posted by David Mills]

Stockbridge Down blues. Despite the rather cloudy conditions, with occasional hazy sunshine, we decided a visit to Stockbridge Down might be worth the trip. We didn't come across any late Silver-spotted Skippers or Brown Hairstreaks, but we were nevertheless rewarded with 14 different butterfly species. Most numerous were Meadow Brown (68), Chalk Hill Blue (12) and Red Admiral (10), but others included Common Blue (7), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Adonis Blue (1 male), Painted Lady (1), Small Copper (1), Brown Argus (1) and Holly Blue (1). As you can see from the photos, Marjoram was a popular nectar source for the blues, whilst the Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells and Painted Lady were all on the car park Buddleia. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Adonis Blue (male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Chalk Hill Blue (worn male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Common Blue (female - blue form)
Photo © Andy Barker

03 Sep 2021

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. Thirty minutes (from 5pm today, 23 deg C and warm) is all it took to wander around this wild-flower-strewn scrubby field. Four species still on the wing but not all approachable even at the end of the afternoon. With its wings open I would have recorded the female Common Blue as a Brown Argus; however, with wings folded the extra forewing spot closer to the body secured identification. Total: Small White (M)(2)(F)(1); Common Blue (F)(1)(M)(6); Small Heath (2); Meadow Brown (4)(at least 2 female). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My first trek of September found a dozen species enjoying the dewy sunshine from 1100-1350 with a temperature range of 20-22C and warm. Small White is in the ascendancy as the field butterflies diminish rapidly. The purple buddleia bush was favoured top-up corner for Red Admiral, Comma and both Large and Small White. Sadly two of the latter had fallen foul of a rather large spider guarding his prey in a very wide web. Beside the sea shore a fleeting glimpse of a Painted Lady was unexpected. It's been a while since I was able to photograph a Peacock here but one allowed a close approach. Total: Small White (M)(37)(F)(7); Red Admiral (7); Comma (5); Large White (M)(3); Holly Blue (4); Meadow Brown (F)(4); Common Blue (M)(1); Brown Argus (1); Small Heath (1); Peacock (1); Speckled Wood (7) (at least 3 male); Painted Lady (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma breakfast on blackberries
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on Fleabane (I think!)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White female on Hemp agrimony
Photo © Francis Plowman

Moth trap. Another moth trap at a time when the air is very cool and so the moths are not that keen to fly that much. However I did manage 16 or more species these being: Coxcomb Prominent, Brimstone Moth, August Thorn, September Thorn, Hebrew Character, Large Yellow Underwing, Black Arches, Light Emeralds, Swallow Prominent, Green Carpet, Bloodvein, Common Wainscots, Frosted Orange, Peach Blossom, Mocha, and Peacocks.

The day before in the garden I espied a Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Elephant Hawk Moth Cat
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
August Thorn Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Coxcomb Prominent moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Butser Hill. I don’t very often visit Butser at this time of the year, but having seen a single Adonis Blue in the Spring of 2019 I thought I would have a look along with the off chance that Silver Spotted Skipper may have colonised, as the habitat looks eminently suitable. Well no skippers, but success with Adonis Blue in the shape of a single pristine male. All being well they have established a tentative foothold here. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Butser Adonis
Photo © Mark Tutton

Citrus Swallowtail on Hayling Island. Unexpected visitor to the driveway this morning in Northney, Hayling Island, a Citrus Swallowtail, no idea where it has escaped from. Irecord doesn't have it listed to record it as normal. [Posted by Ian Mears]

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Photo © Ian Mears

02 Sep 2021

Browndown (North) and Alver Valley Country Park. My first record for meteorological Autumn numbered fourteen species on a walk from 1250-1530 today. The temperature was 19 degrees Celsius under leaden clouds with occasional glimpses of the sun but with a fairly intrusive North-Easterly breeze. At least three Grayling populated the heathland although there are probably more as those that I saw were incredibly timid and looking to lie low. Other than that, Speckled Wood continue to show well this year with good numbers of the larger female seen. Total: Small White (M)(14)(F)(3); Large White (M)(1); Brown Argus (2); Speckled Wood (F)(9)(M)(8); Red Admiral (5); Meadow Brown (14); Comma (2); Common Blue (M)(2); Small Copper (2); Small Heath (1); Grayling (3); Holly Blue (F)(1); Gatekeeper (1); Green-veined White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grayling
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male with missing spots!
Photo © Francis Plowman

01 Sep 2021

Old Winchester Hill. Today I paid a return visit to Old Winchester Hill where the temperature was the same as my last visit, 19 degrees. Here I walked to the bottom of the car park slope where most of the male Adonis Blues were flying, along with Silver-spotted Skippers. My total count of 23 Adonis Blues was the best I have ever had before at this site, after several years of seeing only a few. Totals: Large White 1, Small White 8, Adonis Blue 23M, Chalk Hill Blue 3M 4F, Common Blue 8M, Gatekeeper 25, Meadow Brown 14, Small Heath 23, Silver-spotted Skipper 6. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Beacon Hill NNR Field Trip. The penultimate Field trip today was cool and cloudy most of the time but battling through the grasses on the flowery downland we all managed to see very few Silver-spotted Skippers, along with Brown Argus, a few Common Blues, Chalk Hill Blues, Small Heaths, fresh looking Meadow Browns and Red Admirals along the footpath of the downland. We just managed 12 species of butterfly and a few moth species like Silver-Y Moths, Mint Moths and Common Carpets, with flocks of Goldfinches flying in and around the trees and bushes, with Red Kites and Buzzards overhead, and Swallows fattening up on anything that was flying, which wouldn't have been much as it was very cool. Rather disappointing with the weather as with more sunshine and a few degrees higher in temperature would have made all the difference. However we saw one of the three target species, and I would like to thank all who came. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Class of 2021
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

31 Aug 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My last tour of the area for August this afternoon (1330-1600) realised eleven species. All 'usual suspects' for this time of the year but given the gloomy skies, northerly breeze and temperature around 17.5 deg C I was very satisfied. Two mating pairs of Small White were seen; the buddleia bush in the butterfly meadow at one time had six species resting or feeding which was very pleasing. Clearly the season is drawing to its conclusion and the poor weather seems to be hastening the end. Total: Small White (M)(18)(F)(12); Speckled Wood (M)(5)(F)(1); Holly Blue (M)(4)(F)(1); Small Copper (1); Common Blue (M)(3); Meadow Brown (M)(2)(F)(1); Brown Argus (2); Red Admiral (5); Comma (4); Green-veined White (M)(3); Gatekeeper (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman

29 Aug 2021

Noar Hill NNR. This like last year there hasn't been many reports of the Brown Hairstreak at Noar Hill, and by the way things are with the weather it is hardly surprising. Today started off very sunny and warm and I thought I was in for a chance. However by 11:00 it had completely closed in and the temperature had dropped several degrees. I am lucky in knowing most of the areas where the Brown Hairstreak tends to spend its time, although it can really turn up anywhere. I saw one fly across the road as I was parking up, and then again atop of an Oak tree, but it wasn't very active as it was very cloudy. There wasn't any chance of seeing them down as the weather was just too cold. Other species seen were several Red Admirals and there has been a good turn out of new Small Tortoiseshells, all feeding on the acres of Hemp Agrimony. Small Copper and Common Blue really made up the bulk of the interesting species. Its good to know the Brown Hairstreak seems to making inroads along Portsdown Hill, it will be in my garden soon! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell on Hemp Agrimony
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone and two flies feeding on Hemp Agrimony
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Caterpillar of a Pug Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

28 Aug 2021

Stockbridge Down. Sixteen butterfly species accounted for today in a walk from 1015-1310 initially under very lumpy grey skies, strong breeze from the NE (14.5 deg C) through to pleasant sunny intervals and 20 deg C around midday. This site currently 'belongs' to Meadow Brown closely followed by Chalk Hill Blue. No sign of Silver-spotted Skipper but some really nice and fresh Adonis Blue were noted in the lower fields adjacent to the main road. Brown Hairstreak x2 was seen flying fast down the 'avenue' before rising to the tree-tops before repeating the same flight path. Frustratingly neither settled. Total: Meadow Brown (50+); Speckled Wood (M)(2)(F)(1); Small Heath (4); Small White (M)(6)(F)(5); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(50+)(F)(40); Painted Lady (2); Common Blue (M)(9)(F)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Brown Hairstreak (2); Brimstone (M)(4)(F)(2); Small Copper (2); Peacock (1); Red Admiral (1); Gatekeeper (1); Brown Argus (3); Adonis Blue (M)(12)(F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue female Var Fb
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

27 Aug 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Three more butterflies from my time at Monks Walk today. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma inverted in an apple tree
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Just when I thought the season was on the way out today's walk proved the lie. Fourteen species recorded in a walk from 1015-1330 accompanied mostly by sunshine around 19 degrees Celsius. A slight breeze coming across Portsmouth Harbour from the north-east was hardly felt in the enclosed fields and woody glades. This place never ceases to provide a surprise and I nearly missed it! Walking out of one field through a narrow path surrounded by brambles a somewhat obscured and faded Meadow Brown caught my eye on some blackberries but in all honesty it wasn't worth stopping for a photograph. Fortunately the 'Meadow Brown' was buzzed by a hoverfly and a sudden flash of its wing was enough: my first ever Grayling at Monks Walk was happily if not hungrily gorging on blackberries! It took no notice of me and for over 10 minutes hardly moved until once again another insect caused it to flash open its wings and the resulting photographs revealed a female. (Thus my first opportunity to photograph Grayling with open wings). The field is adjacent to the DM Gosport eastern-most boundary fence so whether there is a colony of Grayling 'next door' I cannot be sure. Certainly there are no dry, heather-strewn stony places at Monks Walk just as there is no chalk - but try telling that to the Chalk Hill Blues that appeared here - admittedly in single numbers - these past two years. The other pleasant surprise was once again to see Small Skipper and Speckled Wood numbers continue to grow. I have to go back three weeks to find a better day for butterflies here. Total: Small White (M)(36)(F)(5); Holly Blue (1); Red Admiral (6); Speckled Wood (F)(8)(M)(15); Green-veined White (M)(2); Gatekeeper (5); Comma (4); Brown Argus (5); Meadow Brown (7); Common Blue (M)(7); Grayling (F)(1); Small Skipper (1); Small Copper (2); Small Heath (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Grayling female
Photo © Francis Plowman
With her wings flashing open
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grayling Feeding detail
Photo © Francis Plowman

26 Aug 2021

Brown Hairstreak on Portsdown Hill. Second attempt to upload photo [Posted by Peter Gammage]

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Brown hairstreak at Portsdown hill
Photo © Peter Gammage

Brown Hairstreak on Portsdown Hill. I have been speculatively searching for Brown Hairstreak on Portsdown Hill for several years and on Saturday I had the good fortune to blunder into a female on the north side of the hill. Today I returned to see if she was still present. I had to wait about half an hour when at close quarters a female was disturbed by a second individual. Being a pristine female it is clearly different to that seen on Saturday, which had a chunk taken out of the hindering.

Hopefully this will prove to be a viable colony. [Posted by Peter Gammage]

Shipton Bellinger Re- visit. After last week's runaway success with Brown Hairstreaks I decided to pay another visit

from 1045-1500 as the weather was nice for a change (apart from the strong wind) and although it was a bit of a slow start I finally found my quarry. Species seen where Brown Hairstreak 7, Holly Blue 22, Common Blue 15, Adonis Blue 2, Brown Argus 2, Brimstone 16, Meadow Brown 15, Gatekeeper 2, Peacock 4, Wall Brown 2, Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 21, Large White 5. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Mark Pike
Common Blue (female)
Photo © Mark Pike
See Thru Holly Blue!
Photo © Mark Pike

Beacon Hill, Exton. Southern slopes were full to bursting with wildflowers and butterflies. Meadow Brown in hundreds. 10s of Brimstone, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue. Several Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Silver-spotted Skipper. 1 Adonis Blue, Gatekeeper and Painted Lady. [Posted by Adam Fulton]

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Silver-spotted
Photo © Adam Fulton
Adonis
Photo © Adam Fulton

Shipton Bellinger. The annual pilgrimage to Shipton Bellinger, so nearly thwarted by the pile-up on the A303, proved very rewarding despite a slow start. Brown Hairstreak the obvious quarry, none were seen high or low along the southern drove track, but the moribund ash at the western end (SU2188545684) held them aplenty, never a moment when at least two weren't on the wing, though never nearer than 3 metres alas. Returning by the same route, a female BH alighted a blackthorn branch near The Sallow at eye level, but was gone in seconds. Holly Blues and Speckled Woods were everywhere, along with a few Meadow Browns and Brimstones, but the late surprise was the sheer number of Small Tortoiseshells nectaring on the village hall buddleja. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Holly Blue underside study
Photo © Andrew Brookes

25 Aug 2021

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. Just six butterfly species noted in a walk from 3-4pm this afternoon. The temperature (23 deg C), the light breeze from the NE and abundance of flora provided excellent conditions but sadly few takers. Total: Small White (21); Meadow Brown (28); Holly Blue (13); Common Blue (M)(27)(F)(3); Brown Argus (2); Red Admiral (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman

24 Aug 2021

Noar Hill. Today I visited Noar Hill in search of the Brown Hairstreak. After walking most of the tracks and scrubby areas, I still did not see a single individual. A total of 9 species were recorded including a lingering Silver-washed Fritillary. Totals: Brimstone 1M 2F, Small White 1, Common Blue 6M, Gatekeeper 15, Meadow Brown 11, Speckled Wood 1, Peacock 3, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Magdalen Hill Down - transect on the Original land. Although the 2021 butterfly season is past its peak, there's still plenty to see on Butterfly Conservation's Magdalen Hill Down reserve, near Winchester. Highlights from today's butterfly transect included 185 Meadow Brown, 151 Chalk Hill Blue, 38 Common Blue, 10 Adonis Blue, 29 Brown Argus, 5 Small Tortoiseshell and an unexpected Large Skipper. Initially my hopes were raised that it might be a Silver-spotted Skipper, but seeing it at rest it was clearly a male Large Skipper. As it was so fresh, I presume it's a very late emergence, or could it be a second brood individual? The double-figure count for Adonis Blue is the best I've ever had at MHD, which is great news, given that the species only colonised the site a few years ago. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Adonis Blue (male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Chalk Hill Blue (male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Large Skipper (male)
Photo © Andy Barker

Old Winchester Hill NNR. Had a quick look around the far south western slopes of Old Winchester today in what can be only described as winter and summer in a space of two hours. No sun and it was windy and cold, and everything shut down except for the new broods of Meadow Brown and a few Gatekeepers, and when the sun came out whooooosh....every butterfly was clambering for nectar and territories most bizarre, and there were thousands of butterflies flying in the short summery periods. Mostly Chalk Hill Blues some of which are still in very good condition. I only saw (4) Adonis Blues these haven't really emerged yet, (a late site) but the Silver-spotted Skipper I only looked in a small area, and saw at least (40). Multiply that with how big the site is and you get some indication of how well this little whizzer is doing here. I just love the little butterfly feisty and with lots of character, both sexes were fighting with each other and with other males for territories and driving away Small Coppers which is a feat in itself as they are feisty as well. Next week's Field trip should be good as the Silver-spotted Skipper should be at its peak then and the Adonis Blue should be out in good number. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Silver Spotted Skipper at rest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Silver Spotted Skipper on take off!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Aug 2021

Painted Ladies in Winchester (almost). This afternoon, under relatively cool (19degC) and very cloudy conditions and while walking the Percy Hobbs Mound transect I saw 8 Painted Ladys. They were sitting on the path with wings open presumably trying to warm up. A couple of Small Tortoiseshells were behaving similarly. [Posted by Bob Whitmarsh]

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Painted Lady trying to keep warm
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh
Very fresh Small Tortoiseshell on path
Photo © Bob Whitmarsh

22 Aug 2021

Seafield Park & Monks Hill Promenade, Hill Head. The fates conspired against me when I visited Seafield Park and the Monks Hill area of Hill Head this afternoon. First surprise was that Fareham council have installed car parking meters at the previously free car park at Monks Hill. Secondly, the scrubby field adjacent to the promenade had recently been cut with no flora to see and unsurprisingly the usually well populated field was devoid of butterflies. The final and rather malodorous surprise was finding a sizeable yet decapitated dogfish in the field 250 metres from the sea! On a brighter note, the recreation ground car park on the northern edge of Seafield Park remains free of charges. Eleven species recorded today the majority within the confines of the park. Protected from the SW breeze the temperature rose to 23 degrees Celsius for my wander from 1430-1545. Total: Meadow Brown (23); Small White (26); Speckled Wood (M)(6)(F)(1); Red Admiral (2); Large White (1); Brown Argus (1); Common Blue (M)(3); Small Copper (1); Gatekeeper (8); Brimstone (M)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Gatekeeper female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White - female uppermost
Photo © Francis Plowman

Gosport Shore Sites. 1. Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub. 1220-1300. 22 deg C. Breezy and sunny. Total: Small White (8); Small Heath (2); Common Blue (M)(9)(F)(1); Meadow Brown (8); Brown Argus (1); Holly Blue (M)(1).

2. Gilkicker Point. 1305-1350. 22 deg C. SW breeze. Sunny periods. Total: Small White (18); Common Blue (M)(7); Brown Argus (1); Gatekeeper (3); Meadow Brown (1); Small Heath (1); Large White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Heath - Haslar
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brown Argus - Haslar
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male - Gilkicker
Photo © Francis Plowman

Small Heath on the wing again, Great Fontley. Two Small Heath on the wing at Great Fontley, enjoying the prolific fleabane along with several pristine Brown Argus, the site's first Small Coppers (2) of the year, and a fresh second-brood Small Tortoiseshell tempted away from the garden buddlejas. Peacocks seem to have opted for hibernation, but Red Admirals and Brimstone still common. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Small Heath taking a break
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Disobliging Small Copper
Photo © Andrew Brookes

Shipton Bellinger - transect. The Shipton Bellinger (west) butterfly transect was established in 2012 to monitor Brown Hairstreak numbers. During today's transect walk I was pleased to see seven Brown Hairstreaks (4 male, 3 female), of which five were down low and gave good views. Two of the females were seen walking down young blackthorn stems looking for egg-laying sites, and one of the males was imbibing the juices of ripe Wayfaring tree berries. Other highlights included 6 Wall (all male), plus an incredible 37 Holly Blues, which is probably the most of this species I've ever seen in a single visit to a site. Plenty of other butterflies around, including 95 Brimstones, all busily taking nectar from Wild Basil. Presumably they're building up reserves ready for their winter hibernation. Also saw a Hummingbird Hawk-moth on the Wild Basil, which was an added bonus at the end of an excellent day. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Andy Barker
Wall (male) holding territory
Photo © Andy Barker
Holly Blue (two females) on bramble
Photo © Andy Barker

New Forest Beaulieu Heath Field Trip. Another day of mixed weather, of cloud, wind, a bit of rain, and blazing hot sunshine, just what the summer should be really! Anyway we achieved seeing our target species again by some margin seeing in access of (40+) Grayling. Many were very faded but one or two were very fresh looking bright bold colourations when they landed with their forewings up they looked splendid and then when the flicked it down they melted into the landscape with their superb camouflage. We saw up to (13) butterfly species today and several moths one which I was having difficulty identifying. With the Bell and Ling Heather looking splendid and seeing the last remaining Silver-studded Blues two males and two females. Today it was a pleasure to be out in just a wonderful landscape. Thank You for all who came. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Trousered by a Grayling
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
One of the fresher looking females
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Unknown Moth on Heather
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Aug 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Twelve species recorded today on a slow circulation of the area (1015-1300) under cloudy skies (circa 19 deg C), light breezes and occasional soft drizzle. Numbers are steadily reducing although Speckled Wood bucked that trend with an amazing count of 19 of which nine were female. Some nice fresh butterflies among the ragged. Total: Small White (M)(10)(F)(6); Red Admiral (5); Speckled Wood (M)(10)(F)(9); Comma (5); Brown Argus (3); Small Copper (2); Gatekeeper (5); Meadow Brown (8); Holly Blue (4); Common Blue (M)(5); Small Heath (1); Green-veined White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Speckled Wood female, very newly emerged
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White (female lower butterfly)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male in pristine condition
Photo © Francis Plowman

Brown Hairstreak goes south, Great Fontley. Pristine female Brown Hairstreak seen resting on bramble at Great Fontley by Mrs J Mallett. No camera to hand alas, but the butterfly was observed at leisure from a distance of less than a metre. A notable first for this site, just 1 km north of Fareham's urban sprawl. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

18 Aug 2021

Soberton Down and St Claires Meadow. I never really expected anybody to turn up at the car-park in Soberton today, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many on such a dull day. We made the best of it and on Soberton Down we saw up to (18) species of butterfly and a good moth count with some interesting caterpillars and many other invertebrates, including good numbers of Crickets, and Grasshoppers, Robber Fly, many bees feeding on the Hemp Agrimony all over the down. However the weather wasn't going to entice any female Brown Hairstreak to show themselves, and we didn't see any eggs on the Blackthorn, I dont think the Brown Hairstreak is having a good year in 2021 although there is still time if the weather improves. At St Claires Meadow on the River Meon we saw many more Crickets and Grasshoppers, and other invertebrates, and a few other butterflies we had not noted on Soberton Down. Thank You all for coming and as I said to you all today Sunday's field trip is looking dodgy so I've cancelled it as there is a large area of wet weather coming our way for Sunday. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Blood Vein Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Dagger Moth caterpillar
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

16 Aug 2021

Oxenbourne Down. Today I visited Oxenbourne Down where the temperature reached 19.5 degrees. Here still many Chalk Hill Blues were flying, with several females noted too. A good search revealed 2 Silver-spotted Skippers - my first sighting of this species this year. Totals: Brimstone 2M 1F, Chalk Hill Blue 150M 16F, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 11, Meadow Brown 18, Red Admiral 1, Silver-spotted Skipper 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Shipton Bellinger. As a reinforcement of yesterday's report from here I visited from 1000 to 1400 today and although it was almost 100% cloud, there were just a couple of breaks for a few minutes at a time which was all that was needed to get the Hairstreaks moving, with one female in particular egg laying and pleasing the crowd. It was on the short grass with wings open for a good few minutes at one point. Species seen were Brown Hairstreak 8, Holly Blue 10, Common Blue 5, Brown Argus 2, Large White 6, Green-veined White 1, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 2, Brimstone 1, Gatekeeper 4. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Brown Hairstreak (male)
Photo © Mark Pike
Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Mark Pike
Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Mark Pike

Martin Down National Nature Reserve South. From 1255-1450 the southern aspect of the NNR was covered following Bokerley Ditch to the end of the trail and then back up the central pathway. Wind from the NW, temperature 18 degrees Celsius with patchy sunlight through a cloudy sky. Meadow Brown won the count hands-down; there are still thousands on the wing. Chalk Hill Blue follow a close second; counts of both were soon ended! A few sparkling fresh Adonis Blue were seen but none displaying open wings. Seventeen species recorded but numbers generally low overall. Total: Red Admiral (1); Meadow Brown (50+); Common Blue (M)(18)(F)(5); Small Skipper (2); Adonis Blue (M)(4); Small Tortoiseshell (6); Dark Green Fritillary (3); Brown Argus (5); Small White (3); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(65+)(F)(12); Small Copper (2); Green-veined White (M)(1); Peacock (1); Large White (M)(1); Brimstone (M)(1)(F)(1); Painted Lady (1); Gatekeeper(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Adonis Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Francis Plowman
Chalk Hill Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

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