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.

23 Jun 2019

New Forest Silver Studded Blues. Visited the New Forest today - early and in thick cloud so not expecting to see much in the way of butterflies and/or dragonflies - but couldn't resist a photo of this lovely Silver-studded Blue - one of only three seen on Hampton Ridge. It's the first this year for me and I'm always surprised at how small they are compared to their Common cousins - but what a beautiful sight to brighten up a dull day! [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Silver Studded Blue - NF Hampton Ridge
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

22 Jun 2019

white admiral in north baddesley. Although I have been seeing White Admiral on my butterfly reserve in north baddesley for a few days it is the first photo opportunity of the year. Also seen on short walk 3 White Admiral,1 Red Admiral,1 Small White,3 Common Blue,7 Small Tortoiseshell,65 Large Skipper,32 mixed Small Skipper and confirmed Essex Skipper,100+ Meadow Brown,6 Speckled Wood,1 Marbled White. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

White-letter Hairstreak - Monks Walk, Gosport. Yesterday, no WLH at Monks Walk. Today, two were seen! Between 1320-1535 my usual beat was beaten in a very warm 21 degrees. Thirteen butterfly species were noted including the two WLH. They were seen, zipping around the high elms in the disused car park at the end of Frater Lane. I waited for over 15 minutes but they would tumble and then disappear each to its own tall tree. A later lower scan of the brambles in front me and there one of the butterflies was imbibing on the flowers occasionally being driven off by bees. At this site last year (4 July) I saw my first WLH at Monks Walk so clearly the habitat is sustaining this butterfly. Totals seen this afternoon: Small White (2); Meadow Brown (60); Marbled White (8); Comma (2); Small Skipper (3); Large Skipper (1); Common Blue (M)(2); Red Admiral (2); Speckled Wood (6); White-letter Hairstreak (2); Small Heath (1); Holly Blue (1); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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WLH
Photo © Francis Plowman
WLH
Photo © Francis Plowman
WLH
Photo © Francis Plowman

Butser Hill NNR Field Trip. Today's field trip wasn't very well attended; whether everybody's gone to Knepp I don't know but they still haven't been seen. However the target species today was the Dark-green Fritillary and it didn't disappoint, we saw in all about 15-20 hard to tell with such a strong flyer, zooming up and down the hill sides. One did pause briefly on some Thistles where I grabbed the chance to take a few pics of them being in excellent condition. But today they were very active. Also we never saw any Marbled Whites, which I thought was quite odd, plenty of Small Heaths, Common Blues, the odd Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper still on the wing, but they didn't look as if they were going to last much longer! I saw 11 species of butterfly and three moths species including a rather large Yellow Underwing. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Dark Green Fritillary on Thistle
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Large Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Hot work climbing up these hills!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

21 Jun 2019

Ringlets and Dark Green Fritillary at Yarmouth,IOW.. Ringlets in Bouldnor Forest,Yarmouth and a Dark Green Fritillary still nectaring on clover in a woodland ride. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Browndown (South) Gosport. Between 1100-1255 the red flag was down so our first walk of the day started from the Elmore gate (ie westerly end). Temperature was 18.5 degrees, somewhat overcast with occasional bursts of warm sunshine. Upon entering the gate a Red Admiral was on the wing and but for a shout from my wife I would have stepped upon the best sighting of the day! Beneath my feet on the shingle track was a mating pair of Clouded Yellow, my first such sighting of the year (including four weeks on the Continent). So that was a good start. Sadly it was too early for Grayling although the heather is beautiful and plentiful. Target species was the Purple Hairstreak and one, only one, was duly found and the female handily perched out of the breeze on a small oak! Some you win. Final tally: Red Admiral (3); Clouded Yellow (2); Peacock (1); Purple Hairstreak (F)(1); Meadow Brown (16); Small Heath (4); Common Blue (1); Large Skipper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Francis Plowman
Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Alver Valley Country Park (Browndown North), Gosport. After lunch we circulated the country park area (south over Apple Dumpling Bridge) and around Browndown North. Here the heather is flowering well although between 1330-1445 the SW wind interfered with sightings even though the temperature was at 19 degrees. No sign of White Admiral, in fact honeysuckle appears sparse this year and obviously too early for Grayling. Only five types recorded today: Meadow Brown (39); Speckled Wood (2); Red Admiral (5); Marbled White (5); Large Skipper (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. As usual, our last walk was Monks Walk from 1500-1600. Now the temperature had risen to a comfortable 21 degrees yet still with a noticeable SW breeze. Nine butterfly species were recorded including first sighting this summer of Small Skipper. Totals: Large White (3); Meadow Brown (18); Comma (5); Small White (5); Marbled White (2); Small Skipper (3); Holly Blue (1); Large Skipper (1); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Skipper (brown antenna clubs)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman

Alice Holt's Assembly Points. I've spent another three to four hours in Alice and again drew a blank which certainly says to me the Purple Emperor is still absent in Hampshire. As this is the site and the Assembly Points over the last decade where it has been seen first. To completely confirm this I spent at least one and half hours at the two main Assembly Points where the Purple Emperor normally frequents after 12:00. And today he was absent the only thing Purple was the odd Purple Hairstreak flitting between the Oak leaves.Perfect weather not very windy so if he was about he was certainly hiding from me! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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One of Abbott Wood's Assembly Points
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Alice Holt Forest (1) Assembly Point
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

20 Jun 2019

Abbotts Wood Inclosure. Today it was very cool and cloudy with small bouts of June weather when the sun shone the sun sent the temperature somewhere where it should be. However 'him' never turned up...so far there has been one brief sighting in Surrey at Bookham Common, which isn't a million miles away from where I was standing today. Only seeing in short spells of sunshine Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Red Admiral, and Large Skipper.

However with no Silver-Washed or White Admirals on the wing, I feel it's still a little early as these two species are normally on the wing a good week before the Emperor puts in an appearance.

However not being beaten I shall revisit the site again tomorrow as the weather is going to be good and warm. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Common Blue in one of the rides where they have been used for timber stacks.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
One of the Assembly Points in Alice....
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Meadow Brown hardly moving this morning.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Tortoiseshells at Axmansford. A lovely pair of fresh brood Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on red valerian in the garden at Axmansford at lunchtime today . [Posted by Andy Bolton]

18 Jun 2019

Chalk downs north edge of Wherwell. Countless Marbled Whites in flight and a few, newly emerged Ringlets. Late morning, warm but cloudy conditions. [Posted by John Samways]

17 Jun 2019

Dark Green Fritillary, Yarmouth, IoW. A pristine Dark Green Fritillary seen feeding on clover in a woodland ride at Yarmouth,Isle of Wight. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Havant Thicket. With unsettled weather forecast in the coming days, I paid a visit to Havant Thicket, where in the sunshine the temperature reached 20 degrees. Around this time last year I had recorded my first White Admiral here so was keeping a close eye out. Sadly no White Admirals, but plenty of fresh Meadow Browns mixed with Speckled Woods. A few Large Skippers were also seen and surprisingly the numbers of newly emerged female Brimstones exceeded that of the males. Totals: Brimstone 3M 10F, Small White 4, Holly Blue 1, Meadow Brown 37, Small Heath 1, Speckled Wood 12, Large Skipper 5. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. First walk of the day took us to the northern slope of Portsdown Hill, specifically the circulation around the sides and rear of Fort Widley. The temperature was 18 degrees C between 1130-1235 and the wind from the south was fresh and kept butterflies down in the grasses. Totals: Meadow Brown (34); Brimstone (F)(3); Common Blue (M)(4); Small Blue (F)(7); Large Skipper (1); Marbled White (9); Holly Blue (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. From 1255-1410 a warm and blustery walk along the paths and hillside (18 deg C) accounted for nine species including an early Dark Green Fritillary and a fresh Small Tortoiseshell. Altogether: Meadow Brown (22); Marbled White (18); Common Blue (M)(3); Small Blue (5); Brimstone (F)(2); Green Hairstreak (1); Large Skipper (1); Dark Green Fritillary (1); Small Tortoiseshell (1). No sign of any Chalkhill Blue, sadly. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The final of the three walks today was our 'local' butterfly haunt which between 1445-1600 produced nine sightings. By now the temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and the wind much less intrusive than earlier atop Portsdown Hill. The summer emergence of Comma has begun and Peacock larvae were also noted on nettles. The count today: Large White (1); Common Blue (M)(2); Marbled White (3); Meadow Brown (29); Comma (3); Holly Blue (5); Large Skipper (1); Speckled Wood (2); Small White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock larvae
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

16 Jun 2019

white admiral in north baddesley. first white admiral of the year seen on my butterfly reserve in north baddesley today,sorry no photo as wind carried it but i do have a witness!.also seen in 30 minute walk; 2 very fresh Small Tortoiseshell,4 Common Blue (including the one in photo with aberrations),3 Speckled Wood,5 Meadow Brown,18 Large Skipper,1 Small Skipper,1 6 spot burnet. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

Purple Hairstreaks Take Wing On Browndown South. An early evening visit to Browndown (South) at around 6pm, in mainly cloudy and breezy conditions produced 8-10 Purple Hairstreaks. In these early days of their flight period, most were staying well above head height in the medium sized oaks, with none seen in the low level scrub oak. I suspect most if not all were males, including one which settled just low enough to photograph. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Purple Hairstreak (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

14 Jun 2019

mystery butterfly in North Baddesley. mystery small very nicely marked butterfly found today in my yard next to my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley. unfortunately it was dead.ANY IDEAS PLEASE?? also seen in 30 minute walk; first Small Skipper of the year,Large Skipper 24,Meadow Brown 7,Speckled Wood 1,Brimstone 1,burnet companion 3,mother shipton 1.cinnabar moth 4. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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mystery butterfly.
Photo © Kevin Ross

First ringlets at Great Fontley. An unsuccessful hunt for white-letter hairstreaks at Great Fontley concluded with the discovery of Ringlets amid the throng of Meadow Browns. Also seen were two Marbled Whites, Small Heath, Common Blue, Red Admiral (nectaring on dogwood), and a remarkably well-preserved female Brimstone. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. After a few weeks absence and following a week of poor weather I was pleasantly surprised to record 11 butterfly types in two hours from 1330. The temperature ranged from 16 degrees at the start and was a welcome 19.5 Celsius at 1530. Meadow Brown (15); Common Blue (M)(2); Peacock (1); Small White (M)(2)(F)(1); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (3); Large White (2); Speckled Wood (1); Marbled White (1); Holly Blue (2); Large Skipper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

12 Jun 2019

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Today I visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits (SU6306) where the temperature was 16 degrees. Despite the low number of species, I did record many fresh Marbled Whites, my first sightings this year. Totals: Common Blue 2M, Small Blue 6, Marbled White 28. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

11 Jun 2019

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Visited Chalton Down today where I saw my first of many Meadow Browns of the year. A dozen were flying along the slope with Small Heaths and Common Blues. Totals: Brimstone 1M 1F, Small White 1, Common Blue 5M, Meadow Brown 12, Small Heath 7, Speckled Wood 1, Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Urban Hairstreaks in central Portsmouth. Watched at least three White-letter Hairsteaks take advantage of the sun and enter into frequent battles at the top of this gorgeous elm in central Portsmouth. Pretty incongruous really, watching a delightful elusive little butterfly carry on its business from the roof of a concrete car park alongside a continuous stream of traffic! [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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They are up there!
Photo © Mark Tutton

09 Jun 2019

White-Letter Hairstreak on the wing at IBM Lakeside. The sun had disappeared behind cloud by the time I arrived, but eventually it did re-appear this afternoon and with it at least one White-letter Hairstreak. I also saw my first Marbled Whites of the year, Common Blue, Large Skipper and several Meadow Browns. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

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Distant shot of White-Letter Hairstreak today
Photo © Paul Harfield
First Marbled White of the year
Photo © Paul Harfield
Female Common Blue
Photo © Paul Harfield

06 Jun 2019

Portsdown Hill and Fort Widley. Today I visited the East end of Portsdown Hill and Fort Widley walking the main paths. Despite the conditions I did not record much activity. Along the track opposite Fort Widley three male Common Blues were flying and a single Large White.

At Fort Widley, a female Brimstone, along with a Green Hairstreak and Speckled Wood. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Portsdown Hill Field Trip. Cloudy and very windy on top of the Hill today, and it was best to find some sheltered spots, and when the sun was out it was very warm. Considering the conditions we did rather well with Small Blues in many parts of the Fort Widley area.Common Blue was also present, Holly Blues were also seen many were seen in pairs possibly males and females. One brand new Comma, and several Marbled Whites.Other species seen Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Brimstone one female was laying eggs, and several Burnet Companion Moths.

I apologise to anybody who parked in the Jim Callahan Car-Park and couldn't find the Fort Widley one, and missed the field trip because of my mistake. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Single Red Poppy very apt at the moment on top of Portsdown Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

03 Jun 2019

Skippers delight Nordic Walkers in Havant Thicket. The Nordic walkers were entertained today at Havant Thicket by numerous Small Heath, several Speckled Wood, a Small Skipper and a Grizzled Skipper. [Posted by Michael Berry]

02 Jun 2019

Bentley Wood, Eastern Clearing Field Trip. More Photos from the field trip.... [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Four Dotted Footman Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary feeding on Ragged Robin
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Bentley Wood Eastern Clearing Field Trip. This was one of the best attended Field Trips I have had the pleasure to lead, and I was hoping the target species were going to respond. We went into the first large meadow which was cleared a few years ago and here the Argent and Sable Moth appeared a male at first, which was very flighty, but then we managed to see a female of this species and she was defiantly more photographic, and she even gave us a good look at her as she laid a few eggs on the many young Silver Birch trees dotted around. The Small-pearl Bordered Fritillary appeared in another of the meadows, but they were very hard to find.I never once saw two together, and the count of this species was about (7). The site is very dry, I remember years ago having to walk around this site in wellington boots it was so boggy. One of the SPBF was a female and she was at rest for a good while, maybe she had been laying eggs. We saw 10 species of Butterflies, but the counts weren't great, among these were (3) Duke of Burgundy, and one was really tatty but the other two were quite respectable in appearance. Other butterflies seen were Small Copper, Grizzled Skipper, Small Heath, Common Blue, Pearl-bordered Fritillary (8) Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown. The moth counts were quite impressive, these being: Argent and Sable (3/4) Brown Silver Line, Narrow Bordered 5 Spot Burnet Moth Burnet Companion, Broad Bordered Bee Hawk Moth, Silver-Ground Carpet, Straw Dot, Speckled Yellow, Wood Carpet, Four Spotted Footman.

Thank you everybody who attended, making this a quite memorable field trip. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Argent and Sable Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Small Pearl -Bordered Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Small Blues at Pitt Down. Encouraged by a single small blue on the Pitt Down transect today, we decided to explore the area to the west of the site that used to host a strong colony, before the food plant was grazed out by highland cattle some years ago.

Very pleased to report that the kidney vetch is flowering in profusion; and the Small Blues are back in numbers. We saw 15-20 in a stroll around a small part of the site; rounded off by the first Meadow Brown of summer. Hopefully HCC will be a bit more circumspect with their grazing in future. [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Small Blues at Pitt Down
Photo © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

01 Jun 2019

4 firsts of the year North Baddesley. 4 firsts of the year seen on my butterfly reserve in North Baddesley today= Large Skipper,Painted Lady,mother shipton and first big caterpillar group (Peacock).also Red Admiral 1.very late Small Tortoiseshell 1.Comma 2.Common Blue 2.Brimstone 8.Small White 2.Small Copper 1.mother shipton 5.burnet companion 14.brimstone moth 1.very pregnant adder 1.grass snake 3.lizard 2.slow worm 44.dragonflies 3.the very large area of meadow thistle is almost in full bloom.REMINDER if anyone would like to visit my reserve please email spark.ky@hotmail.co.uk or phone 02380 733995. all welcome if you have been here before or not.thanks,kevin [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin RossPhoto © Kevin Ross

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Today I visited Chalton Down in hot sunshine with the temperature reaching 19.5 degrees. Numbers of Common Blues are starting to increase slowly, however the site is getting overgrown with long grasses. Totals: Brimstone 2M 2F, Large White 1, Common Blue 12M, Small Heath 6, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Brook Down. More Pictures from the Isle of Wight [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Mating pair of Glanville Fritillaries
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating Dingy Skippers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The scene from Compton Chine with Thrift in the foreground.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Compton Chine and Brook Down Isle of Wight. Today was my annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Wight and I couldn't have picked a better day with a few friends for company and great scenery. Compton Chine is probably one of the best butterfly sites in the UK and today the Glanville Fritillary was standing proud. How many there were I do not know but I had counted well past 100 within the first hour on site. I have never seen so many mating pairs, which hopefully bodes well for 2020. I've been coming to the Isle of Wight since the early 1980's for this species and I think today was the best...The site was alive with butterflies and a few moths.There were Meadow Browns, Common Blue, Small Blue, Small Heath, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, and of course the Glanville Fritillary.

Brook Down

In the afternoon the temperature had gone up somewhat.. and at the entrance of the down a lovely female Wall Brown greeted us as it fed on some dandelions. I never managed to get a photo as they were in a great hurry ...every butterfly was on overdrive. The down was alive with Small Blue never seen so many the what I call the two bomb pits they were every where, with good amounts of Adonis Blue, Dingy Skipper and I've never seen so many Glanvilles Fritillaries here either well over (50) and some, they look perfectly at home there. Brown Argus, mating Large Skippers, and the sound of many Skylarks filled the atmosphere here...truly magical, I wish I could bottle it! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Glanville Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating pair of Large Skippers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Summer arrives at Great Fontley. Meadow Brown (3), a pristine Comma, and several second-brood Speckled Woods heralded the arrival of summer at Great Fontley. Making up the numbers were Small Heath (3), Small Copper (1), and Brimstone (2) inc. a female ovipositing. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

31 May 2019

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Today I visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits where the temperature was 17.5 degrees. Only a handful of butterflies were on the wing, but I did record my first Large Skipper this year. Totals: Large White 1, Small Blue 7, Large Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

30 May 2019

Coulters Dean Field Trip. A total triumph today as the weather behaved itself, and after a route march up to the site from the car-park, we were greeted with lots of wild flowers mainly Cowslips and Orchids. Coulters Dean is a wildflower haven sandwiched between a Beech Woodland and Arable Farm Land. Coulters Dean produced some good counts of many species of note were Green Hairstreak, Common Blue, Dingy Skipper, Cinnabar, Six-spot Burnet, Burnet Companion, and Mother Shipton Moths. The site is bordered by some arable farmland and over the past thirty odd years since I've been visiting the site the 'set aside' has been growing in stature, and here we found a very odd specimen, a Marsh Fritillary, where this male had come from was anybody's guess, we also saw Brown Argus, and Small Blue, and many Dingy Skippers and Common Blues here plus the Mother Shipton Moth.There are carpets of Cowslips now, but I'm afraid the Duke of Burgundy has long gone, being so Isolated to re-establish itself here it would have to find its way from Butser Hill, although not far as the crow flies but there are an awful lot of Beech trees to negotiate. Also there is very little scrub of note, so I dont think it would re-colonise here naturally. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Common Blue lived up its name
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating pair of Six-Spot Burnet Moths
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Surprise of the day was a Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

28 May 2019

Deacon Hill. Popped in to see another of the less visited Duke of Burgundy sites today at Deacon Hill just south of Winchester.. After battling through chest high nettles and sustaining quite a few stings I eventually located four Dukes two males and two females - the site has become very scrubby but good efforts are being made to complete some rotational clearance. On the way home I called in to see one of Hampshire’s rarest orchids the Man Orchid in the Meon Valley - a lovely specimen . [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Man Orchid
Photo © Mark Tutton
Duchess
Photo © Mark Tutton
Scrub Clearance
Photo © Mark Tutton

27 May 2019

Broughton Down. Duke of Burgundy. Surprised to see a Duke of Burgundy , on Broughton Down, maybe a stray from somewhere.

Also many Adonis Blues and Brown Argus ,a scattering of Common Blues. 10 Dingy Skipper, just one Grizzled Skipper though. Also 8 Green Hairstreaks. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

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Broughton Down. Duke of burgundy
Photo © Jason Claxton

26 May 2019

White Letter Day at Great Fontley. After 18 years and 102 elms, the Great Fontley elm trials site has at last been colonized by the White-letter Hairstreak. After noting typical WLH leaf damage on several cultivars and a White Elm, Paul Harfield spotted a larva on the solitary Japanese Elm, U. davidiana var. japonica. A native of Hokkaido, this elm's phenology is considerably retarded, which probably accounts for the larva's delayed maturity. A later visit to the Ports Down trials site found a predated pupa on a Provencal field elm, confirming the WLH's arrival there too. A little butterfly, but evidently with extraordinary powers of dispersion. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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White-letter Hairstreak larva on Japanese Elm, Great Fontley. Photo: Paul Harfield
Photo © Andrew Brookes

23 May 2019

Old Winchester Hill. Today I paid my first visit this year to Old Winchester Hill. The weather was sunny but despite the temperature of 20 degrees there was also a strong breeze which probably kept numbers low. I walked along the main ridge and around the hill fort, returning down the stepped path back to the ridge, so did not walk through the wooded area or the car park slope. Totals: Brimstone 13M 3F, Large White 1, Common Blue 2M, Small Heath 5 and Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

More Dukes, in Harewood. 4 found at two sites in Harewood Forest; I was surprised how fresh the males were. Not much else, but a couple of Dingy Skippers, and, best of all, a Large Pearl-bordered Fritillary motored past at 70mph. I don't know how often this species is seen in Harewood - they certainly used to be there - but Harewood (the biggest block of woodland in Hants outside the New Forest, much of it ancient woodland) is lamentably under-watched. However, if you do visit, please, please stick to the footpaths, some owners are interested in butterflies but do not tolerate trespassers! [Posted by David Murdoch]

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Duchess??
Photo © David Murdoch
Duke
Photo © David Murdoch

Dukes on Stockbridge Down. 2 rather battered Duke of Burgundy at Stockbridge Down [Posted by David Murdoch]

Oxenbourne Down. My last trip up to Oxenbourne Down for the Duke of Burgundy and today they were looking a little bit faded, I only counted (8) as the terrain they live in is not ideal to find them. The best counts today were Common Blue and the Speckled Yellow Moth, of which is the best numbers I've ever seen of this bright coloured Moth I think, they were literally everywhere. Despite the warmth of the weather I only managed (9) species today, but as always it's always a joy to walk around this very secluded site, and listen to the Skylarks and the Buzzards being harassed by Rooks along the valley floor. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Speckled Yellow Moth very common today
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dukes are fading fast on the downland....
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

22 May 2019

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Today I visited Chalton Down (SU736156) where the temperature reached 18 degrees. A total of six different species were seen, with a few more Common Blues now appearing. Totals: Brimstone 4M 4F, Small White 1, Common Blue 6M, Green Hairstreak 1, Small Heath 1, Dingy Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Pitt Down. Made my first ever visit to Pitt Down this morning. I didn't have time to do West Wood justice so will save that for later in the season now that I've found it! A perfect day though for wandering a chalk down. Nothing spectacular - couldn't find any Dukes nor Small Blues for that matter but the Down is carpeted in wild flowers and there are butterflies to see at virtually every step. Countless Dingy Skippers (some a little faded), Grizzled Skippers (most surprisingly fresh) and Common Blues at their very best. Small Heaths were probably the most numerous variety. Mixed in were Green Hairstreaks in the shrubby areas and Brimstone nearer the top of the hill. Looking forward to a repeat visit later in the year. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Small Heath - Pitt Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Common Blue - Pitt Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Grizzled Skipper - Pitt Down
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

More photos of the Martin Down Field Trip. More photos of the Martin Down Field Trip [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Mating pair of Grizzled Skippers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Blue were everywhere..
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Martin Down
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Martin Down Field Trip. A beautiful day greeted me at 0630 as I drew into the car park at Martin Down with the sound of Turtle Doves and the resident Cuckoo Cuck..oooing in the distance, I was really looking forward to the Field Trip. I had seen up to 7 species by 0700 so things were looking good. By the time we had got back to the car-park at 1400 we had seen twenty species of butterflies and moths.The star of the show naturally was the Marsh Fritillary which commanded the stage along Bockerley Dyke along with the little 'Spitfire' Small Blue.We saw in total (74) Marsh Fritillary which is a conservative estimate...and well over (100) Small Blues. Other gems were (38) Adonis Blues with several mating pairs, along with Brown Argus, Grizzled Skipper, and a Large Skipper. On the Moth front we had Burnet Companion, Yellow Shell, Cinnabar Moths, several Footman,and Mother Shipton. It was one of those field trips where everything went just right, the weather the company and the butterflies and moths.... [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Cinnabar Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating pair of Adonis Blues
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

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