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

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.

20 Aug 2019

Beacon Hill (Warnford). A second visit to Beacon Hill NNR was rewarded with four Silver-spotted Skippers, suitably elusive in the brisk wind; they seemed to favour the southern slope where the grass was shorter. Also in attendance, was several fresh but slightly battered Painted Lady's, Large White and Small White, copious Meadow Brown, Common Blue, a few Chalk Hill Blue, and some Brown Argus. A couple of Hornet Robberflies were also seen together with evidence of breeding in the local cow pats! [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Common Blue on Marjoram
Photo © Dave Pearson
Painted Lady on Marjoram
Photo © Dave Pearson
Chalkhill Blue on Chalk Eyebright
Photo © Dave Pearson

Brownies on show at Shipton. Today's round trip of nearly 100 miles from the Isle of Wight was rewarded with several Brown Hairstreak sightings at Shipton Bellinger.Along the county boundary hedge a rather worn male on blackberry fruits plus two females, both egg laying a few inches from the ground and taking time to enjoy the sun. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Egg laying female
Photo © Peter Hunt
female
Photo © Peter Hunt
male
Photo © Peter Hunt

Old Winchester Hill Fort South slope. A typical August day today very sunny but breezy on occasions, but this didn't dampen most of the counts where I went today. I stayed on the slope opposite the Fort on the south side, and here for 3 hours I counted 17 species, these included Silver-Spotted Skipper (19) very difficult to ascertain how many, but they look as if they have done quite well this year. Good counts of Adonis Blues today with one patch of wildflowers having four males on it at the same time (28). A Small Blue was seen in the mix must be one of the last, Small Copper, and good numbers of Brown Argus. The Painted Lady was all around the Fort area and I counted at least (10) also included were some Small Tortoiseshell which have had an awful year, but I did see at least (4). There is still excellent counts of Chalk Hill Blues and Common Blues, and lots of Whites, but no Clouded Yellows yet. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Adonis Blue out in good numbers now
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper on Scabious
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

19 Aug 2019

Fort Cumberland. A look around a site that is probably not on most recorders radar, but it was a surprise to see several species today that I haven't seen here before. These were the Small Heath, and the Brown Argus. There were some tatty looking Small Coppers, and several Common Blues, and the Gatekeeper was on the wane. Plenty of Small White and Large Whites to be seen dotted all over the site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Fort Cumberland
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Aug 2019

Chalton Down. Today I visited Chalton Down where the temperature was 19 degrees, but with a strong breeze overall numbers appeared to be low. Noticeable was the decrease in the number of Meadow Browns and Chalk Hill Blues, along the wind may have prevented many from taking flight. The grass in some areas especially at the entrance to the site is particularly long, a long term issue of lack of grazing by the much reduced rabbit population here. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 3, Small White 9, Green-veined White 1, Chalk Hill Blue 22M, Common Blue 2M, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 3, Small Heath 8, Comma 1, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Shipton Bellinger's Brownies. Despite the spectacularly poor August weather, I'm delighted to report that Shipton Bellinger's Brown Hairstreaks are alive and well and egg laying. After a quick dash up the 303 under gloomy skies, the sun broke out for around 10 minutes, during which we had great sightings of both Wall Brown and Brown Hairstreaks. I still can't get my head around the fact that, these days, I have to travel 30 miles to a very specific location to see Wall Brown's that, as a teenager, commonly occurred in my garden. [Posted by Mark Vincent]

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Photo © Mark VincentPhoto © Mark Vincent

Oxenbourne Down. It wasn't a Field Trip day today as the rain cascaded down from early morning until about 10:00, and as I was out in the area I decided to stop off at Oxenbourne Down as the weather became quite bright and warm from mid-morning. The species out were many Chalk Hill Blues several mating pairs and several in very good condition, the Silver-spotted Skipper seems to have taken a hammering in the cool wet weather, as I only saw about a dozen. Small Heath , one Small Copper, many Small Whites, and the demise of the Gatekeeper, was all that was worth noting. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Pair of Chalkhill Blues mating
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

13 Aug 2019

wasp spider at north baddesley. seen today on my butterfly reserve in north baddesley a wasp spider.also seen in 30 minute walk last Essex Skipper? of the season,2 Small Tortoiseshell,1 Small Copper,1 Common Blue,1 Silver-washed Fritillary,5 Painted Lady,2 Red Admiral,6 Comma,8 Gatekeeper,15 Meadow Brown,1 Speckled Wood,1 Brimstone,2 Large White,12 Small White,1 Ringlet,1 silver y moth,2 mint moth. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin Ross

11 Aug 2019

Broughton Down Field Trip. With the heavens opening up as we set off today from Portsmouth, Broughton Down seemed a long long way to go, and the sky was just black with rain clouds until we got onto the M3 and approaching Winchester things were looking up. At Broughton I needn't have worried as the sky was blue and they hadn't had any rain, so the ground wouldn't be wet, and this helped with the butterfly counts I think as there were some good species counts to be had on all of the slopes. We counted good numbers of Silver-spotted Skipper, Adonis Blues were just emerging and the Chalk Hill Blue could be seen patrolling up and down the Iron Age Fort, and burial mound. Other good numbers were Dark Green Fritillary although they were well past their best, Painted Lady were feasting on the Hemp Agrimony, and so were Red Admirals and Peacocks. Brown Argus is always a treat and a few Small Heaths were seen, we saw 18 species today, along with 6 spotted Burnet Moths and Silver-'Y's. I d like to thank all those who came and made this a very enjoyable field trip. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Hampshire countryside from Broughton Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

08 Aug 2019

St. Catherine's Hill. A visit on Thursday in mainly overcast conditions with a few brighter spells and eventually managed to find Silver-spotted Skippers, 7 in all. They flushed from the sward at top speed and were very hard to follow. Also 150 plus Chalk Hill Blues, about 35% of which were female and a charm of about 75 goldfinches, which was a delight to see and hear. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

Brown Hairstreak And Wall Are Top Sightings At Shipton Bellinger. It is not often that one sees two of Hampshire’s scarcest butterflies at the same location, but Shipton Bellinger is able to do that at the moment. A late morning visit in mainly cloudy conditions delivered a surprising 4 Wall (all males). 3 were on the parallel track close to where it joins the main track from the village, the other making its way along the boundary hedge (and outdoing the Brown Hairstreak count here which was zero!). Thankfully two male Brown Hairstreaks were encountered at the top end of the parallel track, feeding on the few remaining bramble flowers. So whilst Brown Hairstreak so far this season seem to be scarce or even very scarce, it’s nice to see an old friend (the Wall) continuing to show signs of a revival in this area. Around midday, the sky had become completely overcast with a few spots of rain, curtailing my visit. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Brown Hairstreak (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Brown Hairstreak (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Wall (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Charlton Down. A heavy leaden sky but at least it was warm on a visit to this site today, where the Chalk Hill Blue was flying everywhere, interspersed with a few Common Blue and the odd Brown Argus. Also seen today was a very impressive female Dark Green Fritillary which was in remarkable condition. She seemed reluctant to fly and just wanted sanctuary in the long grasses and wild flowers, whether she had been egg-laying or was just waiting for the sun to warm her up a bit. The Brown Argus were on the wing amongst some Small Heath butterflies as well.The Marbled White and Ringlet are now over. In the distance I could hear the chirring of the Turtle Dove which was a very pleasant sound after hearing the clatter of trains going past taking commuters to their destination. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

06 Aug 2019

Gatcombe church yard I.of W.. Working here and saw 4 Painted Lady, 1 Wall Brown, 6 Meadow Browns, 1 Red Admiral,1 Large White ,1 Small White and a very tattered White Admiral. [Posted by Mick Sivell]

04 Aug 2019

Broughton Down. I visited the site for about a couple of hours during the afternoon and was pleased to find lots of butterfly activity in the sunshine. This included at least 20 Silver-spotted Skipper, around 10 Dark Green Fritillary and at least 3 Painted Lady. Also, fairly good numbers of Chalk Hill Blue, Brown Argus and Common Blue. However, the best sighting was of a fresh male Adonis Blue - seen in the southern part of the 'spur' of land at the far western end of the reserve. In the past I've usually only seen Silver-spotted Skipper on the slope just to the east of the 'Plum Pudding' barrow, but today it was relatively easy to also find them in other suitable areas (especially in the western part). As I didn't have time to visit the whole site, the actual number present could have been about 30 to 40. [Posted by Philip Hack]

Magdalen Hill Down. A full day at this site which was full of flowers. Good to see some large examples of Knapweed (?) Broomrape in the north extension. Among the usual suspects were Small Blue, Small Copper, Brown Argus, plenty of Chalk Hill Blues, and two Clouded Yellows.

Birds included a single Spotted Flycatcher.

Two Common Lizard were on a stile.

The highlight though was Hornet Robberfly with a total of 4 seen. A spectacular insect - about an inch long - associated with cow pats. According to Buglife there are about 40 sites left in the country. It was not clear whether the pair on the fence post where mating or was one dining on the other ! [Posted by Steve Mansfield]

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Hornet Robberfly - Magdalen Hill Down
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Hornet Robberfly pair (or dinner ?) - Magdalen Hill Down
Photo © Steve Mansfield
Common Lizard - Magdalen Hill Down
Photo © Steve Mansfield

Painted Lady invasion underway, Longstock Park. An estimated count of around 100 Painted Lady butterflies at the Longstock Park buddleja collection late this afternoon, although the dimming sun found most of them basking on the black peat mulch. No other butterflies evident, just a solitary Hummingbird Hawk moth. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Beacon Hill NNR, Warnford. I was very pleased to find a Silver-spotted Skipper at Beacon Hill today in overcast conditions. This species used to be common here but has declined in recent years. I also saw at least ten Painted Lady's and a few Kite-tailed Robberflies. The reserve is carpeted with wild flowers at the moment. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Photo © Dave Pearson

02 Aug 2019

Shipton Bellinger. A visit here from 12.00-14.00 didn't produce any Brown Hairstreaks but was told by someone on site that a couple had been seen earlier in the day. However I was more surprised by the sight of two Wall Browns (one fresh and one slightly worn) on the gravel track leading up from the car park in the village, just before it splits into two, unfortunately neither of them hung around for any pics. I am not that familiar with this site but would say that is quite an unusual place to find such species? Also seen were Holly Blue 12, Common Blue 5, Brimstone 4, Large White 4, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 3, Gatekeeper 10, Meadow Brown 12, Speckled Wood 8 and a Yellow Spot Tortrix moth. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Holly Blue
Photo © Mark Pike
Peacock
Photo © Mark Pike
Yellow Spot Tortrix
Photo © Mark Pike

Broughton Down. A first ever visit to this location for me with the target being Silver Spotted Skippers. From 10.00-12.00 I saw the following, Silver-spotted Skipper 12, Common Blue 2, Gatekeeper, 8, Dark Green Fritillary 4 (very worn), Meadow Brown 6, Ringlet 4 and taking salts etc from the car windscreeen upon my return was a huge Dark Horse Fly! Apart from the Skippers it was pretty sparse, although I did not venture across the whole area. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Silver Spotted Skipper
Photo © Mark Pike
Silver Spotted Skipper
Photo © Mark Pike
Dark Horse Fly On Windscreen
Photo © Mark Pike

Ladies day on Portsdown. A short walk on the south facing slopes below Fort Widley produced at least five Painted Lady this evening. Perhaps the much forecasted invasion is finally reaching Hampshire. [Posted by Peter Gammage]

Oxenbourne Down. After such a poor Purple Emperor season it was nice to get on the Chalkdown Hill Horse again, and see what was flying about and on my favourite site, I found (15) or more lovely Silver-spotted Skippers, hundreds of Chalk Hill Blues several males and females I saw were just emerging, many mating pairs, several fresh Small Coppers, One female Dark Green Fritillary, and a Female Silver-washed Fritillary, the Gatekeepers are just finishing with some fresh Meadow Browns on the wing. It looks as if the Small and Large and Essex Skipper and Marbled White have all but finished here. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Copper several of these were basking on large stones
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Fresh Female just emerged and already being mated.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

01 Aug 2019

Oxenbourne Down. Today I visited Oxexbourne down in mid morning where the temperature reached 21.5 degrees. My target species was of course the Silver-spotted Skipper of which I recorded a total of 4. The main species found were Chalk Hill Blues, with over a hundred in flight. A few Common Blues were flying, while a single Small Blue was found, while a Dark Green Fritillary briefly alighted on a thistle before taking a strong, fast flight out of sight. Totals: Brimstone 1M 3F, Large White 3, Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Chalk Hill Blue >100M 3F, Common Blue 2M, Small Blue 1, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 10, Ringlet 1, Small Heath 1, Dark Green Fritillary 1, Small Skipper 1, Silver-spotted Skipper 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Dark Crimson Underwing at Leigh Park. I had my moth trap on overnight in my garden at Leigh Park. The best of the catch was a Dark Crimson Underwing a new species for the garden. Other records of note were Garden Tiger 6, White Point 2, Elephant Hawkmoth 2, Dusk Sallow 1 etc. [Posted by Barry Collins]

31 Jul 2019

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits this morning where there was a strong breeze blowing, the temperature was 19.5 degrees. Because of the wind I only walked a small area of the site. Totals: Large White 1, Small White 2, Chalk Hill Blue 3m, Common Blue 4m, Gatekeeper 1, Marbled White 5, Meadow Brown 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

White Admiral video. I thought that visitors might be interested in a short video (created today, from a visit to Pamber Forest) that might help those looking for White Admiral larvae. Amazing critters! You can view the video here. [Posted by Pete Eeles]

Kitchen List. During the recent nice weather we have been able to have the folding doors open at the back of our house - this has resulted in a number of butterfly visitors to our kitchen! The list so far consists Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small White, Large White, Red Admiral and best of all a Hummingbird Hawk Moth which zoomed in, visited some cut flowers on the counter and zoomed out again not stopping for a photo. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Kitchen visitor
Photo © Mark Tutton
Photo © Mark Tutton

29 Jul 2019

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Today I visited Chalton Down, where the temperature was much cooler at 20.5 degrees than the mid twenties when I visited last week with my son. Numbers of Chalkhill Blues had increased by around 20, while maybe due to the cooler breeze numbers of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were much lower, with no Marbled Whites or Small Skippers recorded at all. Totals: Brimstone 3M 2F, Large White 3, Small White 9, Chalkhill Blue 101, Gatekeeper 27, Meadow Brown 17, Ringlet 2, Small Heath 5, Comma 2, Large Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Butterflies Galore in Havant Thicket.. Today's Nordic Walk turned into a stand and stare, as the walkers gazed in awe at the profusion of butterflies, particularly Gatekeeper. On one clump of Hemp Agrimony, there were ten species: Large White, Brimstone, Silver-washed Fritillary, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, White Admiral, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper. [Posted by Michael Berry]

Portsdown Hill Fort Widley. I went today to see if I could find a Wall Brown Butterfly as I managed to see one there in 2018 season. Good numbers are being seen in Sussex and on the Isle of Wight, but they seem to be very absent at this site,and for that matter in Hampshire. I looked in all the areas where I used to find them in the 1980's and 1990's but to no avail. Butterflies on the wing seen were Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and many Gatekeepers. The Skippers now seem to be absent.The many Buddleia plants dotted around the downland had good amounts of Red Admirals, and Peacocks. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Chalkhill Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Wood
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Oxenbourne Down. After cutting the grass etc in our garden this morning. We decided to have a look around Oxenbourne Down in the early afternoon from 1200-1350. Records of note included Silver-spotted Skipper 10, Dark Green Fritillary 7, Chalk Hill Blue 60, Brimstone 20. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

Silver-Spotted Skipper Takes Wing At Oxenbourne. A late morning visit to Oxenbourne Down was remarkable for the large number of Chalk Hill Blues (scores of them, mostly males) and Gatekeepers (again scores of them). However, the highlight was probably finding a single Silver-spotted Skipper, basking initially in the short grass on the path, before feeding on the nearby abundant wild flowers. Whilst the environment obviously suits some of the hedgerow and longer grass species, I suspect the Silver-spotted Skipper may be struggling for suitable habitat here, with hawthorn and other course shrubs seriously invading its territory. Other species seen included Dark Green Fritillary, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Peacock and Brimstone. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Silver-spotted Skippers at Broughton Down. During a brief visit to Broughton Down this morning from 10.00 to 11.00 there were Silver-spotted Skippers darting around and several Dark Green Fritillary mixing it with the Meadow Browns. Disappointingly few blues were around although a local did say there were plenty yesterday. Species seen Silver-spotted Skipper (7) Dark Green Fritillary (10) Chalk Hill Blue (5) Brown Argus (2) Meadow Brown (30) Ringlet (4) Small Heath (3) Brimstone (12) Large White (2) [Posted by christopher backwell]

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Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © christopher backwell
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © christopher backwell

27 Jul 2019

unexpected sighting at North Baddesley. seen today on my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley.very worn valezina form of Silver-washed Fritillary. first and only one i have seen anywhere this year. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

26 Jul 2019

Moth Trap. Put the moth trap out onthe warmest evening ever recorded I think and this is some of the list of moths recorded in the trap:Black arches

Broad-bordered yellow underwing

Common white wave

Convolvulus hawk-moth

Drinker

Elephant hawk-moth

Garden tiger

Large yellow underwing

Magpie

Muslin moth

Peppered moth

Pine hawk-moth

Privet hawk-moth

Ruby tiger

Dot Moth

Flame shoulder

Dark or Grey dagger

Garden tiger

Scalloped hooked tip

Rosy Footman

Heart and dart

White Point

Varied coronet [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Drinker Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Popular Hawk Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Pine Hawk Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 Jul 2019

sightings in North Baddesley. unusual sighting on my butterfly reserve at north baddesley.there is a good number of White Admiral here but first time i have seen one on buddleia.seen here on 30 minute walk White Admiral 2,Silver-washed Fritillary 5,Peacock 14,Comma 5,Small Tortoiseshell 2,Red Admiral 4,mixed Small Skippers 45,Marbled White 9,Meadow Brown 56,Ringlet 49,Gatekeeper 46,Small White 6, Large White 5,Green-veined White 1,Brimstone 16,Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

Peacocks at Whiteshute Ridge. A glut of peacocks in the heat at Whiteshute Ridge yesterday, flying around madly - they were everywhere. A contrast to last summer when they were in very short supply. Also of note, a single male Chalk Hill Blue. They don't breed here, so maybe a refugee from St Catherines Hill, just across the valley.

Later a couple of Essex Skippers in my Badger Farm garden - species no. 19 for the year. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

Swallowtail near Petersfield. A swallowtail (Papilio machaon) was seen today on farmland near Petersfield. Details to follow. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

24 Jul 2019

Huge brood of Peacocks. Peacocks having a marvellous summer here - ~75 on our 2 buddleias on 24 July, with good numbers of Commas, Red Admirals and even the occasional elderly Small Tortoiseshell. Ringlets, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns have been in very good numbers, though the Ringlets are almost over round here. Generally higher numbers of butterflies than I can remember for years, with 18 species in the garden on 24 July! [Posted by David Murdoch]

23 Jul 2019

HaylingJersey tiger. A striking Jersey tiger moth was a highlight of a Hayling Island Wildlife Trust evening walk on 23rd, It was resting on a hedge in Church Lane [Posted by John Goodspeed]

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Photo by Anita Hewes
Photo © John Goodspeed

The Last week of the Emperor in Alice Holt. This week is probably the end of the Purple Emperor, after a very long and bizarre season. I went to Alice Holt Forest and visited some of the Assembly Points today from 1200 through to 1400, and I saw at least (8) males in three different Assembly points through the forest. Most of the Males espied were in very worn condition and they were not at all active, in this punishing heat they will just sit on the edge of a territory sprig of Beech, Oak or Norwegian Spruce or whatever tree they decide is going to be their territory tree, and sit it out. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male sitting in a Western Red Cedar tree
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Assembly Point in Alice Holt Forest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Portsdown Hill. I was in Emsworth this morning (looking at Cattle Egrets that have bred in Hampshire for the first time) so made a detour to Portsdown Hill on the way home - just to check how Chalk Hill Blues were faring (I haven't seen any reports yet in our county). They are doing very well! They were flying from the minute I stepped on to the down and in good numbers. Not a day for photos - the heat and strong breeze meant they settled only briefly and then with wings tightly shut most of the time - but lovely to see. The only other butterflies of note (in a very brief visit) were two fresh Brimstone and similarly two Marbled Whites. The carpet of wild flowers on the hill was worth the detour alone - they look amazing (but might not last long in this hot humid weather?) [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Chalkhill Blue - Portsdown Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Chalkhill Blue - Portsdown Hill
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

22 Jul 2019

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. After visiting the three sites within Alice Holt Forest, my father and I arrived at Chalton Down in the late afternoon, where in unbroken sunshine the temperature reached 24.5°C. The grass on the main slope was medium height which has decreased the population size of the Chalkhill Blues found here. Butterflies were very active with Chalk Hill Blues (including a mating pair), Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns the main species recorded. Around a dozen late Marbled Whites were still flying, while a female Dark Green Fritillary was seen ovapositing, with another two individuals also in flight. One male did make a brief feeding stop. Two Commas confronted each other in mid air before one returned to its resting place on the leaf of a tree on the lower slope. A total of fifteen different species were recorded. Totals: Brimstone 3M 3F, Large White 6, Small White 6, Chalk Hill Blue 87M 5F, Common Blue 2M, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 94, Marbled White 10, Meadow Brown 54, Ringlet 1, Comma 2, Dark Green Fritillary 3, Peacock 3, Large Skipper 1, Small Skipper 17. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Richard Symonds
Chalkhill Blue female
Photo © Richard Symonds
Marbled White
Photo © Richard Symonds

Abbotts Wood Inclosure, Alice Holt Forest. Our last site visited in Alice Holt Forest was Abbotts Wood Inclosure. The temperature was 22.5°C but again the sun was hazy and nearly overcast at some periods. Here Browns and Skippers were flying among the grassy edges to the track, with a few Silver Washed Fritillarys and White Admirals recorded. Several Purple Hairstreaks were flying around the Oaks including a male which landed at a low height to enable a photo to be taken. Not until after editing the photo did I discover another two Purple Hairstreaks at rest in close proximity. Half way down the main track at 13:24 a male Purple Emperor flew around the top of an Oak and then flew further into the wood. At 13:39 another male was seen flying briefly around the Master Oak tree at the crosspaths, while at 13:50 my father saw a male fly around his legs, at which point it looked as if it was going to alight on his shoe before flying back into a Sallow bush. One further male was seen around an Oak at 14:09. Totals were: Large White 2, Small White 2, Green Veined White 1, Purple Hairstreak 15, Gatekeeper 11, Meadow Brown 23, Ringlet 18, Peacock 1, Purple Emperor 4, Red Admiral 1, Silver Washed Fritillary 5M 2F, White Admiral 3, Large Skipper 6, Small Skipper 1. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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Male Purple Hairstreak.
Photo © Richard Symonds
Pair of Purple Hairstreaks.
Photo © Richard Symonds
Site of my father's close encounter with the Purple Emperor.
Photo © Richard Symonds

Purple Emperor Reigns Again at Goose Green. Our second site to visit in Alice Holt Forest was Goose Green Inclosure, where the sun shone at 22.5 °C. Following some tree clearance work a few years ago, my last sighting of the Purple Emperor here was in 2016. Previously this now neglected location was a good vantage point to observe the butterfly's aerial displays. Shortly after arriving in the vista, a wing torn male was seen flying around the side of an Oak and around the back of the Sweet Chestnut Master Tree at 12:35. He put in two further brief appearances at 12:52 and 12:54 before we left the site at 13:10. The remains of possibly a male Meadow Brown was discovered in a spiders web. Other species seen were, Large White 3, Holly Blue 1, Purple Hairstreak 1, Gatekeeper 5, Meadow Brown 7, Ringlet 2, Speckled Wood 4, Purple Emperor 1, Silver Washed Fritillary 1M. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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A battered male Purple Emperor in flight.
Photo © Richard Symonds
Purple Emperor flight area.
Photo © Richard Symonds
Remains of a Meadow Brown.
Photo © Richard Symonds

Straits Inclosure, Alice Holt Forest. My father, Roy Symonds and I visited Alice Holt Forest today, stopping at Straits Inclosure first. The temperature was 20.5°C with high humidity and overcast skies which later gave way to periods of sunshine. At first most Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Small Skippers were settled on grasses enabling photography easy. A single Essex Skipper was identified. As the sun appeared a few Silver Washed Fritillarys and White Admirals emerged, but generally the numbers overall were poor with the Purple Emperor and Purple Hairstreak not being recorded. Totals were: Large White 3, Small White 6, Gatekeeper 52, Meadow Brown 5, Ringlet 53, Red Admiral 1, Silver Washed Fritillary 2M 1F, White Admiral 2, Large Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 1, Small Skipper 23. [Posted by Richard Symonds]

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Male Silver Washed Fritillary
Photo © Richard Symonds
White Admiral
Photo © Richard Symonds
Female Essex Skipper
Photo © Richard Symonds

West Harting Down. With some excellent reports coming from Queen Elizabeth Country Park for the Purple Emperor I thought today I would try one site close-by which I have had a lot of success in the past however the weather didn't behave itself, with a blanket of cloud and very windy at the heights. West Harting Down borders Sussex over most of its length, and there is good sallow content and I have seen several Female Purple Emperors and a grounded male in very tatty condition, over the last few seasons. Today I was fighting a losing battle, but there were some very good butterfly counts, with many Silver-washed Fritillary, several White Admirals, many Ringlets, Hedge Browns, and Large and Small Skippers, and one or two Essex Skippers. I saw several Painted Lady caterpillars on one Thistle, however I never noticed any others on any other Thistles and there were many Thistles along the rides. An excellent walk I should put this in the next book if it ever becomes a reality...... [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Painted Lady female
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Painted Lady Caterpillar on Thistle
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Silver-Washed Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Jul 2019

Visiting royalty..... Dever valley. She sped over the garden and nectared on the neighbour's buddleia for at least five minutes [Posted by David Murdoch]

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Photo © David MurdochPhoto © David Murdoch

Yew Hill guided walk. Weather cleared up in time for this afternoon's guided walk at Yew Hill. Participants relatively few, but butterflies in abundance, with 19 species recorded altogether.

Highlights included patches of oregano smothered with peacocks and gatekeepers, encouraging numbers of chalk hill blues following a few lean years; and a showy dark green fritillary posing on a leaf, spotted by a sharp-eyed Pat.

A memorable afternoon's butterfly watching accompanied by the song of skylark and yellowhammer. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

north baddesley. seen today during 30 minute walk on my butterfly reserve at north baddesley.dark green fritillary 1, silver washed fritillary 7,white admiral 3,purple hairstreak 1,comma 7,small tortoiseshell 2 ,brimstone 2 ,peacock 12,red admiral 2,large skipper 2,mixed small skipper and essex skipper 80 plus,marbled white 19 ,meadow brown 65 ,ringlet 22 ,gatekeeper 46, small white 4 ,large white 2 .IF ANYBODY WOULD LIKE TO DO THERE BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT HERE YOU ARE VERY WELCOME TO.MY CONTACT DETAILS spark.ky@hotmail.co.uk or phone 02380 733995. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

White-Letter Hairstreak Sites In Hampshire. Last year I published a list of sites in Hampshire where I had confirmed the White-Letter Hairstreak as being present. Hopefully that enabled a few people to be able to see the butterfly in their area. The following is a list of additional locations discovered since that list was compiled. As I said last year, this is purely to confirm the butterfly is present and does not guarantee that it will be easy to find butterflies low down. I have given a grid reference and a very brief description of the location. Hopefully this will enable a few more people to find this elusive butterfly. good luck:

SU48782951 Joyce Garden, Winchester. Single Siberian Elm in the corner of the garden.

SU48902989 Wales Street, Winchester. Single roadside Wych Elm nr Nickel Close.

SU48633158 B3047 Worthy Road, Headborne Worthy. Roadside Wych Elms nr Barton Meadows.

SU43622957 (approx.) Crab Wood nr Winchester. Wych Elm to north of main track.

SU64182137 Old Winchester Hill. Elms at extreme NW corner at the bottom of carpark slope

SU70774153 B3349 New Odiham Road, Shalden. Single Wych Elm at field margin nr. layby.

SU79325111 Crondall Road, Crookham Village. Single roadside Wych Elm nr pylon.

SU64361852 Sheardley Lane nr Sheepbarn Copse. Several roadside Wych Elms.

SU37614646 Walworth Road, Andover. Several Siberian Elms on verge near Pilgrims Way.

SU38174596 Columbus Way, Andover. Several Siberian Elms behind the new 'Starbucks'

Great Fontley Farm (private land) nr Fareham

SU86324979 St Josephs School, Aldershot. Single Siberian Elm in school grounds.

SU61085239 Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. 7 roadside Siberian Elms (photo) nr Castle Hill School.

SU62825377 Popley Way, Basingstoke. Single Siberian Elm on corner of Abbey Road.

SU60295208 Roman Way, Basingstoke. The larger of 2 pairs of roadside Siberian Elms.

SU60694938 Woodbury Road, Basingstoke. Single Siberian Elm near Kempshott roundabout.

In addition to the above I found early stages at the following locations, but was unable to follow these up with sightings of adult butterflies, maybe next year:

SU41612929 Pitt Down (west). Single Wych Elm. 2 pre-pupation larvae found 18.5.2019

SU45734773 B3400 Andover Road, Whitchurch. Larvae found on roadside Wych Elm 7.5.2019

SU60860728 Portsdown Hill. Various Elms around Reservoir adjacent to Fort Nelson. a single predated pupa found on Field Elm 25.5.2019 [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Distant shot of White-Letter Hairstreak at Old Winchester Hill 28.6.2019
Photo © Paul Harfield
Group of Siberian Elms in Winklebury Way Basingstoke
Photo © Paul Harfield
White-Letter Hairstreak at Shalden 13.7.2019
Photo © Paul Harfield

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