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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.


27 Feb 2024

Purple Emperor Caterpillars. I went to check the five Purple Emperor caterpillars that I have been following this winter, only to find, that sadly, four of them have been predated, probably by Blue or Great Tits. The one survivor had moved about 500mm from an exposed position to the relative safety of a fork.

All that was left of the others was the silk pad they had laid down to hibernate on.

Makes you wonder how any survive at all? [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Lone Survivor
Photo © Mark Tutton
Silk pad remnants
Photo © Mark Tutton

21 Feb 2024

Sighting of Peacock butterfly this morning, Bishop's Waltham. Peacock butterfly landed on my pink hellebore about 11.00 am My garden is near Priory Park in Bishop’s Waltham [Posted by Lesley Millard]


18 Feb 2024

White-letter Hairstreak larva at Hursley. Encouraged by yesterday's success when searching for White-letter Hairstreak eggs at a site near Hursley, I returned to make the most of today's sunshine and better photographic conditions. Also, given that a few of the eggs seen yesterday had hatched, I thought I'd raise the degree of difficulty and search for one of the newly hatched first instar larvae. After half an hour of searching, I'm pleased to say I was rewarded with finding a tiny White-letter Hairstreak larva feeding on the top of a newly opened Wych Elm flower bud. For information, I found nine eggs today, five of which had hatched. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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White-letter Hairstreak egg (hatched)
Photo © Andy Barker
WLH (1st instar larva) on elm bud (top)
Photo © Andy Barker
WLH (1st instar larva) close-up
Photo © Andy Barker

17 Feb 2024

White-letter Hairstreak eggs at Hursley - update. Further to my observations of White-letter Hairstreak eggs near Hursley, on 28 January, I re-visited this morning with three other butterfly enthusiasts. I'm pleased to report that during a 30 minute search we were able to locate 15 eggs. At least three of these had recently hatched, as shown by the neat circular exit hole in the crown of the egg (see image below). Flower bud-burst had just started (see below), which is critical for young larvae. The larvae don't eat the egg-shell, but move to the nearby bud to burrow in and feed, before moving onto leaves at a later stage in their development. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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White-letter Hairstreak egg
Photo © Andy Barker
Freshly hatched WLH egg (upper left)
Photo © Andy Barker
Wych Elm bud-burst
Photo © Andy Barker

12 Feb 2024

Red Admiral butterfly nr. Totton/Ashurst. A single Red Admiral was spotted on my flowering Prunus Blireiiana at 14:30 12-2-24 at SO40 7ET It didn’t settle long enough to get a photo. [Posted by Clive Rutland]


01 Feb 2024

Red Admirals at Hillier Gardens. Today's lovely winter sunshine has clearly encouraged many butterflies to make the most of the mild conditions. During a visit to the Hillier Gardens, Braishfield, I was very pleased to see a group of six Red Admirals taking nectar from a single Edgworthia chrysantha plant in the 'Winter Garden', and a further two Red Admirals nectaring on Viburnum bodnantense. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Red Admiral (2) on Edgworthia
Photo © Andy Barker
Red Admiral (underside)
Photo © Andy Barker
Red Admiral on Viburnum
Photo © Andy Barker

28 Jan 2024

White-letter Hairstreak eggs at Hursley. As it was another bright sunny morning I decided to try my luck at finding White-letter Hairstreak at a site near Hursley that I regularly visit to see the butterfly in early July. I'm pleased to report that I found eight eggs in a 25 minute search, which is the best I've ever had when searching for WLH eggs. They're a bit harder to find than Brown Hairstreak eggs, as they're not bright white, and they're found on flowering elm branches, which are usually more than two metres above ground level. However, their 'flying saucer' shape is so distinctive you instantly know when you've spotted one. They're often on the hairy young outermost twigs, near buds, at bud scars, or close to the join with the previous year's growth. Of the eggs I found today, there were two pairs laid close together (see below), and the other four eggs were singletons. These eggs will have been laid in late June or early July last year, so they've been eggs for seven months already, and still have a month or more to go until caterpillars hatch in March. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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White-letter Hairstreak egg
Photo © Andy Barker
Pair of White-letter Hairstreak eggs
Photo © Andy Barker
White-letter Hairstreak eggs by same bud
Photo © Andy Barker

27 Jan 2024

Peacock Butterfly at Pennington. Whilst walking the coast path at Pennington I was VERY surprised to see a Peacock Butterfly battling the breeze over the reeds, not the most likely site for a January butterfly, I hope it survives the remainder of this "Winter". [Posted by Kevin Haggar]


26 Jan 2024

Red Admirals in January, New Forest. It was supposedly midwinter but on a lovely sunny day it was mild in the New Forest and one south-facing ride had a minimum of 2 Red Admirals flying - together, some of time, I'm not sure whether they were courting or fighting. My first January Red Admirals [Posted by David Murdoch]


24 Jan 2024

Brown Hairstreak eggs at Basing Wood. Following the sighting of a female Brown Hairstreak on the Basing Wood butterfly transect last summer, five of us set out this morning to see if we could find any eggs. We started at the place where the female butterfly was seen, and sure enough, within a few minutes we'd spotted three eggs, including a pair (see below). Further exploration along adjacent rides produced a grand total of 26 Brown Hairstreak eggs in 90 minutes searching. This included five on one small stem, four of which were in the field of view of a photograph (see below). A couple we met asked if we'd seen anything interesting. We explained about Brown Hairstreak eggs and what they looked like, and with little effort, one of the couple said is this one, and sure enough, he'd found one! We also spotted a single Blue-bordered Carpet moth egg. To round off an excellent visit, as we walked back to the car park, we saw our first Brimstone of the year, enjoying some warm sunshine on a lovely mild winter's day. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brown Hairstreak eggs (2)
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak eggs (4)
Photo © Andy Barker
Blue-bordered Carpet moth egg
Photo © Andy Barker

15 Jan 2024

North Baddesley sightings.. Seen 15th Jan on my reserve at North Baddesley 1 Peacock, 1 Brimstone Male, 1 Red Admiral. [Posted by kevin ross]


10 Jan 2024

Surprise sighting in N Baddesley. Very surprised to see a butterfly flying yesterday at my reserve in North Baddesley in the sun at 2 degrees C with some laying snow! it was too fast to identify but either Peacock (I have 4 hibernating in an outbuilding) or a Red Admiral. [Posted by kevin ross]


06 Jan 2024

Brown Hairstreak on Stockbridge Down. Now that the rain has passed and we've got some lovely winter sunshine, I thought I'd take a quick look at Stockbridge Down to see if I could find any Brown Hairstreak eggs. I spent about 30 minutes searching suckering blackthorn scrub in several places, and managed to find a single Brown Hairstreak egg. If I'd had more time I'm sure I'd have found more.

With settled dry weather and a good amount of sunshine forecast for the coming week, it's an ideal time for Brown Hairstreak egg-searching, so if you live in or near any of the key areas for this species, I'd encourage you all to go out and have a look. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brown Hairstreak egg
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak egg (detail)
Photo © Andy Barker

04 Jan 2024

More Portsdown Hairstreaks. A new year, and very wet, dog walk, on Portsdown Hill turned up seventeen Brown Hairstreak eggs in a different area making a total of thirty nine in a couple of weeks. I think it is safe to say that this is a sizeable colony now. I also paid a visit to Brook Meadow in Emsworth to see if I could find any eggs there as a female was spotted last year. However it was a fruitless search as I could find very little Blackthorn present which made me wonder where she had wandered in from? [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Photo © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark Tutton

21 Dec 2023

Brown Hairstreak on Portsdown Hill. I had a cursory search of some Blackthorn hedges where I had seen Brown Hairstreak in the summer and turned up a pleasing 22 ova. In previous years I have only managed single figures so this is a significant increase and hopefully shows that this once uncommon Hampshire butterfly has gained a firm foothold in the area. There is certainly plenty of suitable habitat that seems to be sympathetically managed. I will go back and carry out a more detailed search. Lots of Blue-bordered Carpet eggs too - some out of focus top left in the pair photo. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Single egg in classic location
Photo © Mark Tutton
A pair
Photo © Mark Tutton

11 Dec 2023

Red Admiral at Hardway, Gosport. I was pleasantly surprised to see not one but three Red Admiral on a neighbour's Mahonia just after 2pm this afternoon. The sun was out and temperature a balmy 11.5 degrees Celsius so a sighting today was probable. By the time I had got hold of my camera the bush held but one butterfly and here he is! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Photo © Francis PlowmanPhoto © Francis Plowman

06 Dec 2023

Successful Brown Hairstreak egg searches. After a BC and HIWWT volunteer spotted a lone adult Brown Hairstreak whilst walking a transect in September, a small posse of volunteers and HIWWT staff organised by Ben Pickup, Asst Reserves Officer, undertook an egg search at St Clair's Meadow Nature Reserve, just south of Soberton. The Brown Hairstreak had not been recorded on the site before this year but a pair of eggs were found within seconds of starting the survey. Beginners luck or what! A promising clump of blackthorn scrub revealed around 25 eggs and all told around 40 eggs were recorded on the site. This further confirms the Soberton area as a local hotspot for the species.

Buoyed by this success, the posse moved south to Hookheath Meadow near Southwick. This is a restricted access HIWWT site where neither adults nor eggs had been recorded for two successive years. A quick search found 14 eggs but also no eggs in several areas of suitable-looking blackthorn. Photos to follow. [Posted by Clive Wood]


Purple Emperor larvae in West Wood. After my initial success at Whitely Pastures I have been looking for Purple Emperor larvae in other woods where I see adults most years but without much success. Today I thought I would try West Wood near Winchester. I concentrated my search on a couple of sheltered north facing paths where I had previously seen females inspecting the sallows. Very quickly I spotted two dangly leaves that were firmly attached to their twig with silk, and though very dead, both appeared to have had the distinctive feeding pattern of Emperor larvae. Carefully I pulled the branch down and diligently searched the whole spray, checking the buds, forks, growth scars and remaining leaves. After going boss eyed for about ten minutes I finally tracked the caterpillar to a nice fork about a meter away where it had settled to spend the winter. During the course of fours hours or so I managed to track down two more, both by searching for ‘dangle leaves’ another one in a fork and the other aligned alongside a bud, both fantastically camouflaged. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Photo © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark Tutton

30 Nov 2023

25-year transect trend graphs. I have incorporated all the latest (2023) transect data for Hampshire and Isle of Wight sites to create a full set of 25-year transect trend graphs for all butterfly species. I've shown one example below, for Brimstone. You'll notice that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight average trend shows a strong correlation with the England national index, and that 2023 was a good year for this species. You'll also notice how well Brimstone is doing on Butterfly Conservation's Magdalen Hill Down (MHD) nature reserve. To see the full document with similar graphs for other species go to the "Transects" tab of the BC Hampshire & Isle of Wight website, then click on the "25 Year trends" sub-tab. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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25-year transect trend - Brimstone
Photo © Andy Barker

24 Nov 2023

Purple Emperor larva - Whiteley Pastures. After many hours searching I finally found a Purple Emperor larva using the ‘dangly leaf’ method.

Before hibernating the larva secures its seat leaf with silk threads preventing the leaf from falling. This causes it to flutter and twirl in the breeze and indicates that a larva might be nearby. The larva is only about 5mm long but was aligned by a bud some 500mm away and waiting for spring - perhaps now I have broken my duck I might be able to find some more [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Dreaming of spring
Photo © Mark Tutton

23 Nov 2023

Brimstone between Longparish and Hurstbourne Priors. Very surprised to see a male Brimstone flying along the roadside between Longparish and Hurstbourne Priors at 1pm today. No photos as I was driving, By far the latest I've ever seen one flying in Hampshire! [Posted by Kevin Haggar]


Brown Hairstreak ova in Stubbs Copse. While looking, unsuccessfully, for Purple Emperor larvae in Stubbs Copse on the Hants/Sussex border, I checked a nice south facing Blackthorn hedge for Brown Hairstreak ova and sure enough turned up half a dozen pretty quickly. A new site, I think, and further evidence that either this elusive species is becoming more widespread in Hampshire or that its presence has gone undetected? [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Photo © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark Tutton

21 Nov 2023

Jersey Tiger near Andover. Thought I’d share this picture of what I believe to be a Jersey Tiger moth. Picture was taken beginning of September in one of my gardens that I maintain near Andover. [Posted by Chris Kitching]

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Photo © Chris Kitching

16 Nov 2023

Landscape Project Planning. A wonderful afternoon at Magdalen Hill Down discussing landscape projects with Andy Barker and the BC team that comprised Fiona Scully, Dan Hoare and our new South East Area Conservation Manager, Steven Lofting. Lots of discussion of how we can turn around the fortunes of the Duke of Burgundy, in particular, while working with various partners in the branch area. [Posted by Pete Eeles]

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Dan, Andy, Steven and Fiona
Photo © Pete Eeles
Fiona and friend!
Photo © Pete Eeles

15 Nov 2023

First of the season. First Brown Hairstreak ovum of the season photographed today at Great Fontley; a grand total of three females were seen in September. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Brown Hairstreak ovum
Photo © Andrew Brookes

Holly Blues in Woolston. I popped down to Woolston this morning via Freemantle Common and Peartree Green LNR.

On the way I saw a couple of Speckled Wood and 7 Red Admirals. But the big surprise was spotted a couple of Holly Blues on Woodley Road, Woolston. One was definitely female, the other I think was male but only saw it briefly in flight and close winged. [Posted by Nic Burns]

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Holly Blue female
Photo © Nic Burns
Holly Blue (possibly male)
Photo © Nic Burns

12 Nov 2023

Thankyou. Just a brief note to say many thanks to Andrew for identifying the blue flowering perennial in our garden that attracts so many insects. It is still going strong! Unlike the Hampshire bird sightings Web site there no option to reply to anyone who inputs directly, hence this quick message which I hope is OK to post [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]


11 Nov 2023

Red Admirals at Hillier Gardens. With all the wet weather we've had recently, we decided to make the most of today's winter sunshine, and went for a lunchtime walk at Hillier Gardens, Braishfield. It was only 10oC, but in sheltered areas in full sun we counted nine Red Admirals. There are still some flowers on the spiky Colletia paradoxa in the Winter Garden, and these always prove a popular nectar source. We saw four Red Admirals on this plant, and when they weren't taking nectar they sat and basked on the flowerheads of an adjacent ornamental grass. Another plant popular with bees and butterflies at this time of year is Mahonia, although we only found one Red Admiral on this today. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Red Admiral on Colletia paradoxa
Photo © Andy Barker
Red Admiral basking
Photo © Andy Barker
Red Admiral on Mahonia sp.
Photo © Andy Barker

10 Nov 2023

Hummingbird nectar source. The plant the Hummingbird Hawkmoth was nectaring on at Lee on Solent (7 Nov.) is Salvia patens, 'Mexican Sage', probably the variety 'Blue Angel', a half-hardy perennial. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]


08 Nov 2023

New Forest Butterfly Transect Group 2023 Season Highlights. 2023 was a record year in terms of overall numbers recorded. 68948 exceeded the 67567 recorded in 2019, although the density was higher in 2019 as less transects were walked. This represents a 40% increase over 2022. Much of the increase is down to a very warm dry June which resulted in large numbers of summer browns. It also meant that less common summer species such as White Admiral had a spectacular year. We also recorded our first Purple Emperors since 2002. Record numbers of Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper made up nearly 50% of the total and both Small/Essex and Large Skippers had record years. Brimstone, Peacock did well in spite of a cool spring. and Brown Argus and Small Copper also thrived after a poor 2022 and Red Admiral were the most common butterfly from September onwards. On the down side Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue and Grayling had poor years partly due to a cool wet late summer. Most surprising was that Ringlet were 36% down on average and we barely recorded 50% of the 2022 total.

If you would like to help us record butterflies in and around the New Forest please see our page under Area Groups. [Posted by Bob taylor]


07 Nov 2023

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Just five Red Admiral this afternoon (1310-1450, 14 degrees Celsius, windy and cloudy). Two were found basking when the sunshine broke through and three still happily sucking their way through the apples! [Posted by FRANCIS PLOWMAN]

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Red Admiral male
Photo © FRANCIS PLOWMAN
Got some way to go yet with this apple!
Photo © FRANCIS PLOWMAN

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Lee on Solent. I got my wish - a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in November in our Lee on Solent garden. Also a Red Admiral to keep it company. Not the best photos but I couldn't get focus quickly enough nor stop all movement with my at hand (cheap!) camera. Whatever the blue flowering shrub is - it certainly attracts insects and bees in particular now that the verbena seem to have gone. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Hummingbird Hawkmoth - Lee on Solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Hummingbird Hawkmoth - Lee on Solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

06 Nov 2023

AGM/Members' Day Part 2. Mike Wall, county moth recorder, provided some incredible insights into our changing moth fauna. Mike was followed by Max Anderson, BC's South West Landscape Officer, who gave two presentations on the importance of night-time pollinators, and the use of UV light to search out immature stages of the Lycaenidae (Coppers, Hairstreaks and Blues). Many great questions and interactions made for a top-notch members' day! And my thanks to all who helped with the organisation of the event and, of course, to all of our members who are helping the branch go from strength to strength. [Posted by Pete Eeles]

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Mike Wall
Photo © Pete Eeles
Max Anderson
Photo © Pete Eeles

AGM/Members' Day Part 1. We had a well-attended AGM and Members' Day yesterday, which provided an opportunity to reflect on the incredible achievements of the branch over the last 12 months, with an 11% increase in membership! My thanks to all of the excellent speakers. Kate Barrett provided compelling rationale to volunteer for BC and highlighted the current vacancies we're looking to fill. This was followed by a presentation by Mike Slater, Chair of the Warwickshire branch, who shared many insights that are documented in his ground-breaking book, Butterfly Conservation - the Warwickshire Approach. [Posted by Pete Eeles]

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Kate Barrett, Rupert Broadway and Andy Barker
Photo © Pete Eeles
Mike Slater
Photo © Pete Eeles

03 Nov 2023

Do not go gentle... In the brief midday sunshine, Red Admiral (1), Speckled Wood (2), and a female Brimstone at Great Fontley. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]


01 Nov 2023

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Three species still found on a short walk (1235-1350) in blustery conditions and with mostly sunny periods (14.5 deg C). Red Admiral predominates and most were discovered feeding on a feral apple tree full of decomposing fruit with at least six butterflies making the most of the energy. A lonely Small White stopped for a second or two. One of each sex of Speckled Wood also recorded with the male in good condition and busy chasing falling leaves! The female very worn out. On the shoreline a pair of Swans, Little Egret and returning Brent Geese. Total: Red Admiral (10); Speckled Wood (M)(1)(F)(1); Small White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Female Red Admiral on wild apple
Photo © Francis Plowman
Male Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Female Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

31 Oct 2023

Miller’s Pond LNR. Clear blues skies for this morning walk from Bitterne down to Miller's Pond LNR in Southampton. Lots of butterflies have survived the last few days weather, hopefully there will still be some around after Storm Ciaran has passed through!

Red Admiral (19), Small White (2) and Speckled Wood (2). Also seen: a Common Darter and in one small area at Miller's Pond 30+ Ladybirds! [Posted by Nic Burns]

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Red Admirals
Photo © Nic Burns
Small White
Photo © Nic Burns
Red Admiral
Photo © Nic Burns

30 Oct 2023

Magdalen Hill Down. Another excellent turnout today in the regular series of Monday work parties designed to keep the reserve in top condition for the butterflies and other wildlife that call it home.

Some of the participants were fortunate to see a fly-by from a Small Tortoiseshell - particularly as they have been in somewhat short supply this year. Other wildlife interest was provided by larvae of the Oak Eggar moth and an unidentified Sawfly, a Common Toad, a female Stonechat, a Kestrel and a pair of Red Kite overhead. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]


27 Oct 2023

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Lee on Solent. Despite the frequent rain we've had recently one, possibly two hummingbird hawkmoths visited our Lee on Solent garden this week - today and previously on Wednesday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed one at least might make it to November which will be first for me. It still feels warm enough if the rain will just hold off! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]


26 Oct 2023

Havant Thicket. A beautiful sunny and warm morning at Havant Thicket, although very soggy underfoot along the grassy tracks. A 2 hour stroll around the woodland produced 18 Red Admirals, several of which were basking on oak trunks, while others were seen in flight or feeding at ivy flowers. Also a nice surprise to see a fresh-looking male Brimstone. Luckily I just made it back to the car in time to avoid a heavy downpour at 1pm. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]


24 Oct 2023

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. At 11 o'clock in full sun I descended the hill from the top car park towards the chalk pit field edge. Only Red Admiral seen on the descent. Rain stopped play for around 15 minutes and afterwards only one Brimstone (male) on the wing seen around the chalk pit. Things slowly improved as the sunshine raised the temperature to around 15 deg C with sightings of Speckled Wood and Red Admiral many of the latter feeding on fallen apples. My first photograph was of what I thought was a late Common Blue. I was on the top grassy (low sward) path back to the car park (opposite a large green generator(?) behind the MoD fence) when a blue took off in front of me. It was very agitated and I had to move rapidly to keep it in sight. It eventually tried to hide behind a piece of chalk and a distant, grainy photograph confirmed the butterfly as Long-tailed Blue, a male. Given that one was seen at the chalk pit two days ago and this one recorded very high on the more exposed northern edge are there yet more about? Nice to find five species in late October. Walk ended at 13:10. Total: Red Admiral (10); Brimstone (M)(1); Speckled Wood (F)(1); Meadow Brown (F)(2); Long-tailed Blue (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Long-tailed Blue (male) somewhat shy!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown (female)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral basks in the sunshine
Photo © Francis Plowman

22 Oct 2023

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Fifteen degrees Celsius and a bit of sun so from 1350-1515 I covered most of Monks Walk but found just three species. The season slowly draws to a close. Total: Small White (2); Red Admiral (6); Speckled Wood (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral on ivy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown Hill. One male Long-tailed Blue, Speckled Wood 2, Red Admiral 10+, Meadow Brown 3, Peacock 1 and a Clouded Yellow on the wing at Paulsgrove Chalk Pit. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]


17 Oct 2023

Meon Shore & Brownwich Cliff Top Path towards Solent Breezes. From 1055-1315 I walked along the Meon Shore cliff-top path, down to the beach at Brownwich and then following the cliff path west towards Solent Breezes caravan park returning via the track to Brownwich Pond then back to the cliffs. At first the wind was from the north but soon veered east, and strong at that. Temperature rose from 13 deg C to 16.5C but felt cooler in the wind. Nevertheless, four species recorded. Total: Red Admiral (25); Painted Lady (1); Small White (F)(1)(M)(1); Speckled Wood (M)(4)(F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral on ivy floret
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Seafield Park, Nr Hill Head. Just two species recorded in a brief circulation of the scrubby-park area; the easterly breeze far too stiff for a promenade-field visit. I was hoping to see Clouded Yellow but no joy today. Temperature 16.5 deg C but scourging easterly wind. Total: Speckled Wood (F)(1); Red Admiral (5). [Posted by Francis Plowman]


Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A final day's wander for an hour from 1410 but only in those areas touched by the setting sun. The area mostly sheltered from the stiff easterly breeze (16.5 deg C). Total: Small White (M)(1); Speckled Wood (M)(4)(F)(1); Red Admiral (13); Large White (M)(2); Peacock (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Distant Peacock on ivy floret
Photo © Francis Plowman

16 Oct 2023

Eastney Beach, and Garden. It’s getting hard now to get a count on one hand of butterfly species, and the warmth the sun has turned distinctly Autumnal now, with a cool fresh wind blowing from the North and West, lowering the temperatures to about 10-11c at the time of writing. Getting out along Eastney Beach there wasn’t much at all with Whites and Red Admirals and the odd Common Blue and Small Copper both being in pristine condition. Along Milton foreshore there were Speckled Woods and Red Admirals and the in the garden Whites and Red Admirals feeding on Buddleia, and my Purple Hebe at the moment. Today being very cold and overcast Monday 16th October I espied what I think to be a moth called ‘Platyptilla gonodectyla’ which I hadn’t seen before, at rest on my Geraniums. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Common Blue just emerged
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small White on my Hebe
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Platyptilla gonodectyla Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

15 Oct 2023

Red Admirals at Hillier Gardens. Those of you who regularly watch the Branch website latest news will know that I often go to Hillier Gardens on sunny days in October and November to see which butterflies are taking nectar from Colletia. The two plants that always prove irresistible, and are both located in the "Winter Garden", are Colletia hystrix 'Rosea' and Colletia paradoxa. Both of these very spiky South American plants feature in the Hillier Gardens "plants of current interest", so if you go to the Hillier Gardens website you can see exactly where they are located, and find out more about them. If they weren't so spiky I'd consider having one in our garden. The Colletia hystrix has more or less finished flowering, but true to form, a visit today had at least five Red Admirals feasting on Colletia paradoxa, which is in full bloom. A visit yesterday also produced five Red Admirals, plus a Peacock. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Red Admiral on Colletia paradoxa
Photo © Andy Barker
Red Admiral upperside
Photo © Andy Barker
Peacock basking
Photo © Andy Barker

12 Oct 2023

Branch AGM and Members' Day - Sunday 5th November 2023. Details of the 2023 Branch AGM and Members' Day can be found here and we look forward to seeing you. [Posted by Pete Eeles]


09 Oct 2023

Blues Festival on Portsdown Hill. After many fruitless searches I finally tracked down Long-tailed Blues on Portsdown Hill.

Seven or eight were frequently spotted in two small fairly sheltered areas of south facing slope that they were using as their lek. Three males and a female were extremely fresh and it ultimately resulted in a pairing, probably a first for Hampshire.? These butterflies were certainly home grown and I have identified a large area of BLEP on the embankment of the M27, which is only half a mile away, that I think could be a significant breeding ground.

With the weather set fair for a couple of days I think we should see more [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Photo © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark Tutton

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