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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.


25 May 2024

Marsh Fritillaries at Martin Down. My second visit within a fortnight to Martin Down today finally yielded the desired result, with a good showing of Marsh Fritillaries to be seen in sunny and warm conditions. The population at this location is now well-established, but remains very localised within this large reserve, and these butterflies are easily overlooked. But good numbers were finally located in a sheltered field which originally formed part of a rifle range, suggesting that the Marsh Fritillary is having a better than average year here. Also seen today were Dingy Skipper (5), Green Hairstreak (18+), Common Blue (10), Small Blue (12), and Small heath (30+). A rewarding excursion, and made all the more enjoyable, as is so often the case, by friendly and instructive conversations with fellow enthusiasts along the way! [Posted by Michael Jameson]

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Marsh Fritillary at Martin Down
Photo © Michael Jameson
Marsh Fritillary at Martin Down
Photo © Michael Jameson
Dingy Skipper at Martin Down
Photo © Michael Jameson

Butser Hill. The hottest day of the year, I suspect, with the temperature rising in the afternoon to 25°c. The number of species of butterflies and moths was quite impressive, and for once the Duke of Burgundy didn’t disappoint! On the western side of Butser there was one male and one female seen, the female skulking in amongst the foliage, usual behaviour for the female of the species. On the northern slope there were up to a dozen or more seen and on the valley floor a rare abb:Lecodes, in good condition, was seen holding territory. This wasn’t a pale tatty male: it was a fresh male with pale spots on top of the wings. Up to 42 individuals were seen today which is easily the highest this season for this species.

Other species of note were Green Hairstreak, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Common Blue, Small Blue, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper and Large Skipper.

Moths seen were Ruby Tiger Moths, 5 spot Burnet Moths, Burnet Companions, Silver’y’s, Cinnabar Moths, and Common Carpets. I thought I may see an Emperor Moth, but I think they may well be on the way out. There were a lot of Skylarks, Yellowhammers, Green Woodpeckers, Red Kites, Buzzards, but no Cuckoo. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Duke of Burgundy abb:Lecodes
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Ruby Tiger Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Hairstreak feeding on Cotoneaster
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Standing Hat - New Forest. Managed to catch up with the Pearl Bordered Fritillaries at last - weather ruined my earlier attempts but today was perfect. Well into double figures and in virtually all of the rides. Also very fortunate to find a Raft Spider after much searching at this site - in fact there were two very close together in Frohawk Ride. Perfect morning to be out - but at some cost with the traffic on a BH weekend! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Pearl Bordered Fritillary - Standing Hat
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Raft Spider - Frohawk Ride
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

20 May 2024

Portsdown Hill (East) and Fort Widley. Today after visiting Paulsgrove Chalk Pits, I walked around Fort Widley then along the trackway below the fort on the opposite side of the road. The footpath around Fort Widley was a disappointment with nothing to be seen on the wing, until I saw an exotic looking butterfly on a buttercup. It was the size of a Nymphalid, had a black underside with black, yellow and some green colouration around the upper wings. Before I had chance to get a photograph, it flew off but did circle close for a short time without settling. It was seen by a gate leading to the path heading to the car park at the western end of the fort. Having described this sighting to my son, he suggested it may have been a day flying moth or some kind or an exotic butterfly purposely released. Will be interesting if anyone else records it.

Meanwhile of the more native species I did record my first male Common Blue of the season. My totals were: Brimstone 3m, Small White 3, Orange-tip 1M, Common Blue 1M and Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Today I visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits where the temperature reached 20 degrees. Walking most of the site very little was on the wing although I was pleased to see my first Small Blues of the season, the species I had come to target. Totals: Small White 4 and Small Blue 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Fort Purbrook. Another warm sunny afternoon encouraged me to spend an hour at the sheltered glade at Fort Purbrook, where I saw a minimum of 7 Common Blues (including 2 females), 1 Holly Blue and a couple of Brimstones. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]


Martin Down Field Trip. There was a certain amount of doom and gloom as we all stood in the car park with no sun and warm coats and hats at the short trail. Not a good way to start a field trip but we did and hoped for a miracle! I was confidently told that the sun would appear at around about 11:00, and sure enough it did, and then the site exploded with species and one of the targets was met. Plenty of Marsh Fritillary were seen battling for territories and good amounts of other species like Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Heath, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Common Blue, Brimstone, and Red Admiral.

The moths were not to be outdone, plenty of Silver Y moth, 5 Spot Burnet Moth, Cinnabar moth, Yellow Shell, Lackey Moth caterpillars, Burnet Companion, Common Heath and to top it off at least three Emperor Moths which attacked my camera, bag which still had my Emperor Moth Lure attached!

Lots of lovely wildflowers with orchids out in bloom and good birds as well with the Cuckoo singing in the distance, lots of Skylarks, with other hedgerow birds like Yellowhammers, Stonechats, Whitethroats, and Corn Buntings to name a few. It was a great field trip and sorry to the those that went to Sillens Lane but no doubt your list was just as good. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Cinnabar Moth jutch hatched out
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

19 May 2024

Stockbridge Down. A sunny and warm couple of hours at Stockbridge Down this afternoon, with a maximum of 21°C. Butterflies were generally in low numbers - about 30 Small Heath, 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Duke of Burgundy, 7 Green Hairstreak, 3 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue, 1 Holly Blue, 30 Brimstone, 1 Orange-tip, 20 Grizzled Skipper and 25 Dingy Skipper. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]


Pearl-bordered Fritillary aberration. A visit to Pignal Inclosure in lovely warm sunshine produced a reasonable number of Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, including an aberration with a white hind-wing, and a patch of white on the right forewing, and a tiny patch of white on the left hind-wing margin. This is the first time I've seen an aberration like this for Pearl-bordered Fritillary. As always, the favourite PBF nectar source was Bugle, but Common Cat's-ear and Wood Spurge were also used.

The total butterfly tally for the visit was Pearl-bordered Fritillary (15), Peacock (1), Speckled Wood (1), Brimstone (1) and Painted Lady (1). The tally for moths was Brown Silver-line (2), Burnet Companion (1) and Mother Shipton (1). [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Pearl-bordered Fritillary (aberration)
Photo © Andy Barker
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (nectaring)
Photo © Andy Barker
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (underside)
Photo © Andy Barker

Glanvilles at Freshwater.. A lovely warm,sunny,and breezy day along the cliff top close to Freshwater Bay and on the landslip small numbers of Glanville Fritillary. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

18 May 2024

North Baddesley sightings. Seen on the 18th May first sightings of the season of Large Skipper and Marsh Fritillary. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin Ross

Green hairstreaks near Great Deane Wood. I encountered one presumed egg-laying female Green hairstreak butterfly on 15/05/2024 on a triangle of 'set-aside' farmland, situated between White lane track/footpath (between Ashwarren hamlet and Malshanger) and Great Deane wood.

I then encountered 3 Green hairstreaks on 17/05/2024, these are in the pics below.

The site is ideal for them; sunny, sheltered, smothered in wild strawberry runners, common rockrose, wood spurge, veronica sp. etc with hawthorn and dogwood hedges.

It is also contains numerous anthills, although I have only noticed black ants so far, not the red Myrmica sabuleti, which has a suspected association with the pupae of this butterfly species.

Also; is photo 1 a 'punctata' form of the Green hairstreak as it has white dashes on both fore and hind underwings? [Posted by Andrea Lee]

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Green hairstreak
Photo © Andrea Lee
Green hairstreak
Photo © Andrea Lee
Green hairstreak
Photo © Andrea Lee

17 May 2024

Chalton Down. Today I visited Chalton Down, Old Idsworth where the temperature was 18 degrees. Here I saw a total of seven different species including my first Small Heaths of the season. The downland appears to have been grazed as the turf was short as it had been until around 5 years ago, hopefully benefitting the Chalk Hill Blues and Small Blues found here. Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Small White 2, Orange-tip 3M, Small Heath 3, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1 and Grizzled Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


15 May 2024

Field Trip to New Forest Pignal and Pig Bush Inclosure. New Forest Wednesday 15th May 2024 sunny part cloudy breezy

An excellent field trip to the New Forest where the sightings of fresh Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were a joy to see and watch as they battled for territories and made hay whilst the sun shone in their forest world. There were over thirty seen mainly males and were feeding on very few wildflowers in the rides. In fact, there were very few butterflies seen; these were just a few Speckled Woods, one Orange-tip a few Brimstones, and Silver ’y’ moths and Common Carpet and lots of Brown Silver Line moths in the rides. Other flora and fauna seen were Newts in the large puddles created in the rides by the work being done by the Forestry re-surfacing some of the rides, also several Dragonflies, lots of Frog Tadpoles, which were probably being eaten by the large and menacing looking Raft Spider. In the afternoon on the heathland at Pig Bush the emperor Moth was seen flying frantically around my lure on my camera bag, along with male and female Common Heath Moths and Small Purple Barred Moth. Birds heard and seen were Stonechats, Cuckoo, Skylarks, and Redstarts. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Finding a nectar source was very hard!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Common Heath Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Pearls aplenty at Parkhill. Fine, warm weather and light winds today attended my second visit to the woods surrounding Brockenhurst in the hope of finding more Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries, and this time, I was not disappointed! During several hours spent exploring the Parkhill Inclosure, south of the main railway line, I saw approaching forty individuals, all of which were in very fresh condition. On this occasion, close-up photography was possible, yielding some pleasing results, a selection of which can be seen below. We were last here on Saturday 11th May, and saw very few PBFs, and those we did see were flighty and did not settle. Not so today, when the majority were seemingly unaware of the camera, allowing a close approach to be made, whilst one individual obligingly settled on my shirt, and seemed reluctant to leave, only taking wing some 10 minutes later! It was good to see reassuringly good numbers of this increasingly declining species today. [Posted by Michael Jameson]

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Pearl-Bordered Fritillary at Parkhill
Photo © Michael Jameson
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary at Parkhill
Photo © Michael Jameson
Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries at Parkhill
Photo © Michael Jameson

Green Hairstreaks at Parkhill Inclosure. A successful further visit to Brockenhurst today in search of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary also found the Green Hairstreak in abundance in the rides. Interestingly, although the males were all of normal appearance, every female observed was of the Caecus form, in which the distinctive white streaks usually visible on the underwings are entirely absent. These photos below show both forms. [Posted by Michael Jameson]

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Brown Hairstreak (M) Parkhill Inclosure
Photo © Michael Jameson
Brown Hairstreak (F) form Caecus
Photo © Michael Jameson
Brown Hairstreak (F) form Caecus
Photo © Michael Jameson

Martin Down. A morning of sunshine and cloud and quite a stiff wind meant it was pretty hard going but the following were eventually seen between 10.15 and 13.00. Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 1, Green Hairstreak 4, Small Blue 6, Grizzled Skipper 8, Dingy Skipper 6, Brimstone 10, Small Copper 1, Small Heath 6, Silver Y moths 15. The Burnt Tip Orchids were showing particularly well. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Mark Pike
Small Blue
Photo © Mark Pike
Small Heath Pair
Photo © Mark Pike

Painted Lady at Freshwater Bay.. A Painted Lady seen this morning at 10am in the Afton Down National Trust carpark before flying on.. [Posted by Peter Hunt]


Painted Lady at Freshwater Bay.. A Painted Lady seen this morning at 10am in the Afton Down National Trust carpark before flying on.. [Posted by Peter Hunt]


14 May 2024

Painted Lady in my Freshwater garden.. A Painted Lady appeared in my Freshwater garden this afternoon and nectared on a Cosmos flower and Camassia flowers before flying on over the hedge. [Posted by Peter Hunt]


12 May 2024

Small Blue out near Wonston!. Private site near Wonston this afternoon - I was having a pretty dull visit (~10 Brimstones, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Pieris spp., 1 Red Admiral), until, right at the end, I picked up a flash of blue, expecting a Holly Blue - but no, it wasnt, it was a pristine Small Blue: I think my earliest ever in Hampshire (there is a colony on Portland that routinely appears ~25 April) [Posted by David Murdoch]


Field Trip West Wood and Pitt Down. West Wood Field Trip meeting today was rather warm walking around both West Wood and Pitt Down however we saw the Woodland Duke of Burgundy (20) and many other species Grizzled Skipper, Small Heath, Holly Blue, Brimstones, Orange-tips, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Comma, Green Hairstreaks, Green Veined Whites, and Small White. Moths were very sparse with Common Carpets, lots of Silver Y moths and a Barred Umber Moth [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Duke of Burgundy in West Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Duke of Burgundy testing a Primrose leaf
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Four Duke eggs laid on Ground Ivy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

11 May 2024

First Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries of 2024 at Parkhill. Another warm and sunny day seemed ideal for possible sightings of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary at a favoured New Forest site, the Parkhill Inclosure, near Brockenhurst. Five individuals were seen during one hour walking up and down the ride, but these were all exceptionally agile, and their flighty behaviour made photography virtually impossible, since none would oblige by settling for more than an instant before flying off once again. So these three photos are the best I could achieve under the circumstances, serving for little more than documentary evidence that PBF emergence has begun in the New Forest. Good multiple sightings here in the past two years extend the hope that PBF numbers will build nicely throughout the remainder of May, and this late start can perhaps be attributed to the cold and unsettled weather we experienced during April, not that the forecast for the coming week or so seems much better! [Posted by Michael Jameson]

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Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (1)
Photo © Michael Jameson
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (2)
Photo © Michael Jameson
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (3)
Photo © Michael Jameson

Small Blues at Freshwater.. At least four Small Blues at Freshwater today at the rear of the National Trust Afton Down Carpark.Also a bright but elusive male Common Blue. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Small Blues at Freshwater.. At least four Small Blues at Freshwater today at the rear of the National Trust Afton Down Carpark.Also a bright but elusive male Common Blue. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

10 May 2024

Portsdown Hill (East). After visiting Chalton Down I walked the paths at the East end of Portsdown Hill below Fort Widley. A few Brimstones and fresh male and female Orange-tips were seen. Totals: Brimstone 2M, Small White 1 and Orange-tip 2M 2F. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Chalton Down. Today with the temperature reaching 20.5 degrees I visited Chalton Down near Old Idsworth (SU736156). Here very few butterflies were on the wing although I did record my first Dingy Skipper of the season. Totals: Brimstone 2M 2F, Small White 2 and Dingy Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Orange Tips (M & F) - Church Crookham. I never tire of seeing Orange-tip butterflies, one of the traditional harbingers of an English spring, and happily they seem to be having a very good year here in North Hampshire, following a slightly delayed local emergence. Normally on the wing from early April, the earliest local sightings here were some three to four weeks later, presumably due to the very low temperatures and high winds throughout the month, even though the regular food-plants, especially Garlic Mustard ("Jack-in-the Hedge") are exceptionally abundant here this year. Males are busy patrolling territory and seeking mates and as such very flightly and difficult to photograph well, though females seem to spend more time at flowers and permit closer approach with the camera. These three very fresh examples were amongst many seen on the wing this afternoon. I have not so far discovered any eggs this year, but would expect to do so during the next week or two. [Posted by Michael Jameson]

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Orange Tip (F)
Photo © Michael Jameson
Orange Tip (F)
Photo © Michael Jameson
Orange Tip (M)
Photo © Michael Jameson

Pearls on the wing around Brockenhurst. I saw 4 or 5 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries in woods around Brockenhurst today. They were very active in the warm sunshine. I could find very little bugle for them to nectar on. [Posted by Mike Gibbons]

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Pearl-bordered Fritillary basking.
Photo © Mike Gibbons

09 May 2024

Noar Hill. Today I visited Noar Hill in the morning arriving around 10am and walking the site for 2.75 hours taking care not to walk the same sections twice. The temperature was 19 degrees, while looking for Duke of Burgundys of which I recorded 5 and a sighting of my first Grizzled Skipper this year. Totals: Brimstone 1F, Small White 5, Orange-tip 4M, Duke of Burgundy 5, Speckled Wood 1, Grizzled Skipper 1 [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Dukes at West Wood. on a hot sunny walk in West Wood in a well known plantation managed to see two male Duke of Burgundy spending time perching on low growing plants taking to the air in spiralling dog-fights

not far away on a more ancient site one more seen. There has been a lot tree clearance work with a lot of new habitat. [Posted by Chris Piatkiewicz]


08 May 2024

Portsdown Hill (East). Today I walked the pathway at the East end of Portsdown Hill below Fort Widley where the temperature was 15.5 degrees. Totals: Brimstone 3M 1F, Small White 4, Green-veined White 1 and Speckled Wood 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Noar Hill. My first visit to Noar Hill for quite a few years. I don't think it has ever disappointed. Worth a trip just for the cowslips and purple orchids which are out in abundance. Not so the butterflies - I wasn't disappointed with the quality - but perhaps just a little surprised with how sparse they seemed. The day was about perfect weather wise - perhaps I was just too early (all before 1100)? No problem finding the target species - Duke of Burgundy. A total just under double figures and nearly all males. They seemed to prefer the top area of the hill where it flattens out. Also a few (3-4) Dingy Skippers, Holly Blues (2) and quite a lot of Brimstone on the hill and the approach path. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Dingy Skipper - Noar Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Duke of Burgundy - Noar Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

07 May 2024

Hayling Island Cycle Path. With the temperature reaching 20 degrees, I walked the Hayling Island Cycle Trail from Furniss Way, West Town to a path near Saltmarsh Lane. A total of 6 species were recorded, Brimstone 1M 1F, Small White 10, Green-veined White 1, Orange-tip 1M, Peacock 1 and Speckled Wood 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. May's belated record-keeping start for my local patch realised a first double-count of the year. Until today, my first and only sighting here of Small Tortoiseshell was 1st April so with just a single butterfly today, this specie is just about clinging-on to the area. Comma was conspicuous by its absence but Peacock well represented including an egg-laying female. Two hours mostly in welcome warm sunshine (20 deg C) from 1130 I covered most of the area but the ground still remains boggy and impassable in a number of areas. Total: Small Tortoiseshell (1); Holly Blue (2); Small White (14); Orange-tip (M)(4)(F)(1); Brimstone (M)(1); Speckled Wood (M)(9)(F)(1); Large White (4); Green-veined White (2); Peacock (5); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White (female at left)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Orange-tip female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman

06 May 2024

2023 Annual Butterfly Report. I'm pleased to announce that the 2023 Butterfly Report is now available online here. There is also a link to the report on the reports page. Many thanks to Bob Annell, Kevin Freeborn, Rupert Broadway, Lee Hurrell and Andy Barker for helping get this 'over the line'! The August newsletter will contain relevant species summaries and this effort will be led by Kevin. [Posted by Pete Eeles]


05 May 2024

Butser Hill NNR Field Trip. Weather Cloudy Misty then rain warm in sunny periods.

First Field trip of the season and it wasn’t going to be a good one, as the ever threat of rain was always on the horizon. It did warm up when the sun did shine but these periods were very few, and the species count consequently was very low. Four butterfly species and several moth species were identified. The butterfly species were Duke of Burgundy (4) Dingy Skipper (1) Grizzled Skipper (4) and Green Hairstreak (1). Moths were Silver ‘Y’ moth, Common Carpets, and unidentified moth at this time.

There has been a lot of scrub bashing and there has been a herd of cows bulldozing there way through a lot of the scrub which has opened some of the areas and should help many species especially the Duke of Burgundy

The dukes were very hard to find and when we did see one, they didn’t fly away as it was too gloomy and cold. Everything else was just a bonus and I suppose we were lucky in seeing what we did see. Highlight was hearing the Cuckoo and seeing it fly as well. I managed to get back to the carpark when the heavens opened. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Photo © Ashley WhitlockPhoto © Ashley Whitlock

04 May 2024

Green -Veined White. Spotted egg laying on Garlic Mustard in my Lordswood garden [Posted by David Lobb]


Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Lee on Solent. A hummingbird hawkmoth in our Lee on Solent garden this morning. Watched for 3-4 minutes nectaring on the wallflowers. Our 2nd this year suggesting they may have over wintered in the milder climate? Whether resident now or not they are a joy to watch [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]


30 Apr 2024

Havant Thicket. Visited Havant Thicket this morning where the temperature reached 15 degrees. Here many Brimstones were in flight along with several fresh male Orange-tips. Totals: Brimstone 15M 13F and Orange-tip 9M. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Butser in the sun. At long last some wall to wall sunshine tempted me out, albeit in a strong cooling breeze. I had already paid two or three visits to Butser for no return, and in ‘normal’ years I would already have expected to see Dukes and the spring skippers by now. It took a while but I eventually tracked down a couple of male Duke of Burgundy in their usual lekking area managing a reasonable total of seven in the next hour. Grizzled Skippers were in short supply and first the couple I saw were whisked away on the breeze but I eventually manage to spot one resting long enough for a quick snap. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Mark Tutton
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Tutton

Butser in the sun. At long last some wall to wall sunshine tempted me out, albeit in a strong cooling breeze. I had already paid two or three visits to Buster for no return, and in ‘normal’ years I would already have expected to see Dukes and the spring skippers by now. It took a while but I eventually tracked down a couple of male Duke of Burgundy in their usual lekking area managing a reasonable total of seven in the next hour. Grizzled Skippers were in short supply and first the couple I saw were whisked away on the breeze but I eventually manage to spot one resting long enough for a quick snap. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Mark Tutton
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Tutton

More Green Hairstreaks at Freshwater.. Back at the National Trust carpark at Afton Down,Freshwater for the first time since the 18th of April and at least six Green Hairstreak butterflies flying feverishly around. However they are the only species as yet recorded at this site this season so far. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Browndown South. Another visit to Browndown South taking advantage of the sun being out during a day when it was open. My first Green Hairstreak of the year seen - at least 4. Also more Small Coppers and my first Small Heath. The latter would have made a lovely trio of early (small) butterfy photos but I blinked and lost it before getting the camera out. I've filled in the blank space with another adder photo - the last I promise but this one is worth a second look - there are 4 heads in the picture if you look closely. This was 3 males and a large (brown) female). Lots of 'jousting' between the males but never quite an 'adder dance'. Eleven seen in total today - this is a wonderful place to see them but also great for butterflies too! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Green Hairstreak - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Adders - 3M+1F - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Small Copper - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

29 Apr 2024

More Dukes at Noar Hill today:. At last! - a day of more spring-like conditions, with temperatures peaking at around 16C, but often suppressed by blustery winds, but given the rest of April's weather this year, this was all the inducement I needed to take an afternoon jaunt to Noar Hill, near Selborne. Recent annual pilgrimages around this time have often proved fruitful, with this important Duke of Burgundy site rarely a disappointment, and in company of several other observers, around 6 specimens were noted, all of which were males, and all in absolutely pristine condition, with one almost certainly freshly emerged. Numbers are still building here, and the next week or so should see females in the mix too, but despite sometimes marginal conditions due to chilly high winds, this afternoon's foray was certainly rewarding. [Posted by Michael Jameson]

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Duke of Burgundy (M) at Noar Hill
Photo © Michael Jameson
Duke of Burgundy (M) freshly emerged
Photo © Michael Jameson
Duke of Burgundy - an exceptionally curious male!
Photo © Michael Jameson

Hayling Cycle Path. Today with the temperature reaching 14 degrees, I walked the Hayling cycle path from Furniss Way, West Town, Hayling Island as far as a track leading to Saltmarsh Lane. Here I recorded my first confirmed Green-veined White of the year, while a Peacock was seen feeding on Early Oil Seed Rape. The following were recorded: Small White 8, Green-veined White 1, Holly Blue 1 and Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


24 Apr 2024

Noar Hill. Noar Hill Saturday 20th April 2024

Arrived at Noar Hill today with the intention to seeing the Duke of Burgundy, it was rather cool to start with and a very keen wind picked up, as I started to wander around the site with myself for company. After an hour there were a few people around all looking for the same thing, and it was 11:20 with the temperature at a lofty 11c when two males appeared in one of the flint pits. They weren’t very active, in pristine condition and certainly weren’t fighting each other for territories. Other butterflies seen were several Orange-tips, Peacocks, Holly Blues, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Comma, Brimstones, and Small White. There are some lovely early Purple Orchids and the Cowslips all looked splendid. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Looking for the Duke
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
male Duke on territory
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Males on territory
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 Apr 2024

Small Copper - Browndown South. Managed my first Small Copper of the year whilst out doing a reptile survey at Browndown (South) this morning. Conservative count was 4 - they were very lively in the intermittent sun then impossible to find when cloudy. Also saw Peacock and Large White - but little else - still very much on the cool side. Reptile survey for anyone interested was productive with 6 adders seen including two mating pairs. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Small Copper - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Adder Pair - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Small Copper - Browndown South
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

21 Apr 2024

Havant Thicket. Today I visited Havant Thicket where the temperature reached 12.5 degrees in sunshine. Here I saw a good number of Brimstones, Small Whites and a few fresh male Orange-tips. Totals: Brimstone 14M 2F, Small White 8, Orange-tip 3M, Speckled Wood 1 and Peacock 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]


Fort Widley. A single Green Hairstreak seen at Fort Widley and two Small Coppers seen at Sinah Common

One landed on a stone ball [Posted by James Clark]

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Green hairstreak
Photo © James Clark

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