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News Archive for Jun 2024

12 Jun 2024

Havant Thicket. On a mostly overcast afternoon at Havant Thicket, with very little breeze, and temperature between 15-16ºC, I saw 8 male Meadow Browns, 2 pristine male Marbled Whites, 1 Small Heath, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Grizzled Skipper, plus 3 larvae and 2 pupae of Red Admiral. There were also still a few Brimstone larvae, but the majority have all now pupated. Other insects seen included several beautiful hornets, a cluster of Birch Sawfly larvae (Nematus septentrionalis), a few Brown Silver-line moths and good numbers of Red-legged and Pied Shieldbugs. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]

09 Jun 2024

White-Letter Hairstreak at Lakeside. White-letter Hairstreak are now out at Lakeside in Cosham. 4 seen today from Western Road along the edge of the site. They were very active in brief spells of sunshine at around 10.45. I also checked 4 other locations close by where the butterfly was not seen today. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

07 Jun 2024

Havant Thicket. The arrival of the "June Gap" means that most of the spring butterflies have disappeared, while the summer butterflies have barely started. At Havant Thicket this afternoon I counted myself lucky to see a handful of butterflies - 1 female Common Blue, 1 faded Grizzled Skipper, a Small Heath and a couple of male Meadow Browns were all I could manage. Still plenty of Brimstone larvae though, also a few Orange-tip larvae and several Mullein moth larvae. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]

Isle of Wight Mini field trip. Isle of Wight mini field trip 6th June 2024

Perfect weather conditions today to be visiting one of the best butterflying sites Compton Chine and Mottiistone Down with Afton Down thrown in for good measure. The Glanville Fritillaries were very active having fights with Large Skippers who were the ‘new kids on the block’ as it were, and they were trying to oust the Fritillaries from their territories. Most of the male Glanville’s were faded but there were a few still in good order and we found several females as well which were newly hatched out.

Other species that were common were the Small Heath, and Common Blues. The Adonis Blue like on the mainland seems to be a bit slow emerging this year, but the ones we did see were pristine. Small Copper and the odd Green Hairstreak amongst the ever growing total of Meadow Browns were the other species along with very tatty Dingy Skippers the odd Grizzled Skipper. Brown Arguses on Afton Down were pristine as their foodplant Rockrose looked splendid on the downland, along with Horseshoe Vetch and Kidney Vetch. Beautiful Orchids like the Bee Orchid were seen, and Pyramidal Orchids were common to see growing everywhere.

Stonechats kept us company on Compton Chine along with multitudes of Skylarks on Mottistone and Afton Downs, and Buzzards hung in the air on the updrafts from the cliff face on the way round from Afton Down to Mottistone, looking rather menacing and just looked odd for such a large bird. A great day out and I thank everyone for their company today. [Posted by ashley Whitlock]

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Glanville Fritillary on territory
Photo © ashley Whitlock
Mating pair of Glanville Fritillaries
Photo © ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus on Afton Down
Photo © ashley Whitlock

05 Jun 2024

Old Winchester Hill and Havant Thicket. Plenty of sunshine today, but a cool breeze kept sightings minimal. In the morning I visited some of the more sheltered areas of Old Winchester Hill, at the bottom of the south slope and in the valley below the car park. Despite a 2 hour search, all I saw were a single Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Woods and 4 Small Heaths.

On the way home I spent another hour at Havant Thicket, but the only adult butterflies seen were a couple of Speckled Woods. There were lots of Brimstone larvae though - I easily found at least 20 of them, all in 3rd or 4th instars. One buckthorn sprig had 8 larvae on it, all within 3 or 4 inches of each other. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]

02 Jun 2024

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. After a visit to Oxenbourne Down I visited Chalton Down where the temperature had increased slightly to 22 degrees. Here I recorded the following: Brimstone 1M 1F, Orange-tip 1M, Small Heath 3 and Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Oxenbourne Down. Today I visited Oxenbourne Down where the temperature reached 21 degrees. I was targeting the Spring brood of the Adonis Blue and was not disappointed in recording 4 in a relatively small area. Totals: Brimstone 2M 1F, Adonis Blue 4M, Green Hairstreak 1, Small Heath 2, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Glanville Fritillaries - Compton Bay IOW. Today I made the not inconsiderable journey by train, ferry, and foot across the south-western Isle of Wight, heading for the chalk cliffs and grassy headlands surrounding Compton Bay, on my annual pilgrimage in search of the Glanville Fritillary. I would normally have timed this visit one or two weeks earlier, but the arrival of a decent weather window (at last!) seemed to bode well, and and I wasn't disappointed. Good numbers were seen, and for the first time ever, I saw several Glanvilles up on top of the huge chalk ridge above the Military Road, which is part of the Freshwater Golf Club course. Conditions were breezy but bright and sunny, affording several good photographic opportunities. [Posted by Michael Jameson]

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Glanville Fritillary at Freshwater Golf Course
Photo © Michael Jameson
Glanville Fritillary - Compton Bay
Photo © Michael Jameson
Glanville Fritillary - Compton Bay
Photo © Michael Jameson

Martin Down. I saw about a dozen Marsh Fritillary on a 2 hour stroll at Martin Down today. Almost all were getting shiny and worn due to the recent windy weather. Most were males, but I did find an ovipositing female with a batch of about 100 eggs. Other species included 20+ Small Heaths, 3 Brown Argus, 2 fresh male Adonis Blues, 8 Common Blues, 1 Small Blue, 1 Small Copper, 6 Dingy Skippers and 2 Grizzled Skippers. Females of Brimstone were also seen ovipositing on buckthorn leaves, and I found several larvae of various instars, and a single pupa. Among the moths, there were plenty of Cinnabars, Silver Y and lots of 5-spot Burnets (several with confluent spots) including many mating pairs. Also a batch of 2nd instar Emperor moth larvae. [Posted by Adrian Hoskins]