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

Important Message (14 May 2020)

The UK Government's latest message is that we must stay alert. This means that we must stay at home as much as possible, work from home if we can, limit contact with other people, keep our distance if we go out (2 metres apart where possible) and wash our hands regularly.

However we are now also permitted to exercise outdoors as often as we wish. Consequently, Butterfly Conservation and the UKBMS have decided that transect walking can start in 2020. More details can be found on the Transect News page.

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.

05 Jun 2020

Small Skipper, Tidgrove Warren Farm. Seen today at Tidgrove Warren Farm in north Hampshire was a male Small Skipper, much to my surprise. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

Horsea intelligence. I joined a survey, commissioned by Portsmouth CC, on Horsea Island today with Andy Jukes, Conops Entomology, who informed that White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary had already been seen in Northamptonshire. Alas, the strong wind and low temperature kept sightings on Horsea to just one pristine Comma, and a female Common Blue, though yet again there were plenty of Peacock larvae on the nettles. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My first wander around Monks Walk for June brought to the record eight species today. For two hours from 1150 under alternating dark clouds and clear blue skies with the temperature at 18 degrees the fields and glades were largely shielded from the strong westerly wind. Fresh Red Admiral was evident around nettle patches and my first sighting of Marbled White added to the pleasure of seeing a new Common Blue within the main enclosed meadow. Too early for White-letter Hairstreak but I did look! Totals: Small White (2); Meadow Brown (15); Small Heath (1); Speckled Wood (3); Common Blue (M)(1); Holly Blue (2); Red Admiral (4); Marbled White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown male
Photo © Francis Plowman

04 Jun 2020

Puss moth caterpillars. Feeding on leaves collected from Broadmarsh, Havant to poplar hawk moth caterpillars we have at home we found two puss moth caterpillars [Posted by John Goodspeed]

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puss moth caterpillar
Photo © John Goodspeed

01 Jun 2020

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. Our final walk from 1450-1600 was around the back of Fort Widley. It was now 25.5 degrees Celsius and very warm as the easterly breeze had slackened somewhat. Small Tortoiseshell was immediately prominent even before reaching the western gated entrance! Many lovely orchids were seen both Spotted and Pyramidical. Totals: Small Tortoiseshell (4); Common Blue (M)(5); Speckled Wood (2); Holly Blue (7); Meadow Brown (6); Small Blue (7); Small White (2); Marbled White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Marbled White (male)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. Onwards to the chalk hill of Portsdown produced somewhat more butterflies. From 1315-1445 with the temperature still 23 degrees and an easterly breeze we walked the top path (bordered by hedges) in a westerly direction before returning through the open downland. Most of the eight species counted today were recorded within this narrow pathway there being very little to see among the grasses and vetch of the hillside. Totals: Meadow Brown (18); Large Skipper (3); Marbled White (6); Common Blue (M)(6); Small Blue (1); Holly Blue (3); Speckled Wood (1); Brimstone (F)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadown Brown male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Whiteley Woods and Meadow, Fareham. From 1115-1235 with the temperature around 23 degrees C, we walked the fields and pathways of Whiteley Woods up to its merging with Botley Wood. We were unable to return through the pastures as the path was closed off - a large bulldozer having earlier been delivered! There has been a lot of habitat disturbance generally in the area with many trees felled and scrub removed for the installation of a new footpath (parallel to Whiteley shopping centre). So it came as no surprise that only four species were noted these being: Brimstone (F)(2); Large Skipper (1); Speckled Wood (2); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Demoiselle damselfly - ?
Photo © Francis Plowman

Butser Hill and Ramsdean Down. A look around some of the steepest hills in Hampshire today to see if the Duke of Burgundy made it into June and on Butser I saw four females and on Ramsdean Down I saw three one being male. There hasn't been many times since I started recording butterflies since 1984, I think this is the third time that Duke of Burgundies have been flying with Dark Green Fritillary. I saw (4) of these splendid butterflies looking very regal as they were pristine. Other highlights today were Small Copper, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skippers still on the wing, Brown Argus, many Large Skippers, Common Blue and Brown Argus, several battling Green Hairstreaks, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Yellow and Yellow Shell Moths, 5 Spot Burnet and Cinnabar Moths. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Duke of Burgundy at rest.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Speckled Yellow Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

31 May 2020

Lakeside Cosham - Marbled White and other news.. For anybody hoping to visit this site for butterfly watching, specifically the imminent White-Letter Hairstreak please note. This site is currently closed to visitors. I have spoken to security there today and confirmed that includes pedestrian walkers and butterfly watchers.

My consolation for not being able to get in was my first Marbled White of the year on the verge outside. No photos. [Posted by Paul Harfield]

30 May 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Two hours this afternoon from 1330 when the thermometer rose to 26 degrees Celsius and the breezes were light the walk revealed eight species. This doubled yesterday's audit taken at the same time! The first Meadow Brown just made it to the month of May here with two seen at different fields. Also, and something of a relief, the first Peacock caterpillars noted on nettles in the enclosed meadow. Numbers today: Small White (4); Holly Blue (6); Common Blue (M)(2); Meadow Brown (2); Brown Argus (1); Speckled Wood (7); Small Heath (1); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White mating (female at left)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock caterpillars
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman

29 May 2020

Silver-studded Blues at Broxhead Common. Three male Silver-studded Blue, one Small Copper, and one Green Hairstreak at Broxhead Common, Friday 29th May 2020. [Posted by Lee Hurrell]

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Silver-studded Blue, male, Broxhead Common, Hampshire, 29th May 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Silver-studded Blue, male, Broxhead Common, Hampshire, 29th May 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell

Browndown (South) Gosport. Just four sightings in a 90 minutes' circulation from 1020 along the main path from the Elmore gate and around the grassy fields and edges before a return through the heaths. The strong SE wind was very intrusive yet even in the shade there was very little trade. Much evidence of recent scrub clearance and part of the SSSI at the Elmore end is fenced-off. There is much clover and vetch and the hedgerows are abundant with bramble blossom but very few butterflies to see. However, we did see a deer run across the heath! First sighting of the year for Painted Lady was my reward and for my wife, six new Bee Orchids were beautiful. Totals: Small Heath (7); Holly Blue (3); Painted Lady (1); Common Blue (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Bee Orchid with visitor!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Heath
Photo © Francis Plowman

28 May 2020

Old Winchester Hill. Following lockdown, I made my first visit to Old Winchester Hill this year, where the temperature was 22 degrees. I walked down the car park slope then through the woods and along the top path to the hill fort avoiding the steep steps. On the car car slope, I counted 12 male Adonis Blue the most I have seen here for a long time. Totals: Brimstone 1M 2F, Adonis Blue 12M, Common Blue 21M, Small Heath 11, Small Tortoiseshell 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Orange Tip and Brimstone larvae. Here are the latest pictures of developing Orange-tip and Brimstone larvae in our Chandlers Ford garden. The Brimstone eggs laid on 26 April (see previous post) hatched within a week of being laid. The larvae were initially hard to spot, as they hide under the leaves, but if you search hard enough, feeding damage and frass give them away. They have now reached third instar and are easier to spot as they feed on the leaf upperside. In an attempt to conceal themselves they always rest aligned along the leaf mid-rib (see photo). The Orange-tip larvae on Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) seed-pods are of various sizes. The second image is a 3rd instar Orange-tip larva (c.11-12mm length) taken on 25 May, and the final image, taken today, is a full grown (c.30mm length) final (5th instar) larva. Linda spotted this one right outside our front door. It should be close to pupation, but recording that will be a challenge as they roam around and usually select a place some distance from the foodplant. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brimstone larva (3rd instar)
Photo © Andy Barker
Orange Tip (3rd instar)
Photo © Andy Barker
Orange Tip (5th instar)
Photo © Andy Barker

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Ninety minutes from 1100 at 22 deg C produced just seven sightings. The few recorded field butterflies are already in decline and the transition from Spring to Summer is clearly well underway. Totals: Comma (3); Small White (5); Speckled Wood (9); Red Admiral (1); Small Heath (1); Holly Blue (4); Common Blue (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

27 May 2020

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Today I visited Paulsgrove Chalk Pits where the temperature reached 22.5 degrees. I located a few Small Blues, but again numbers were low. Totals: Brimstone 1M 3F, Small White 2, Orange-tip 1M, Common Blue 1M, Holly Blue 1, Small Blue 4, Speckled Wood 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Orange-tip larvae. Total of 5 Orange-tip larvae on a large honesty Bush in my Lordshill garden. Also found a small looper ..possibly a pug larva?..also noted a female Brimstone fluttering around the alder buckthorne bushes. [Posted by David lobb]

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Orange tip larva
Photo © David lobb
Orange tip larva
Photo © David lobb
Pug larva?
Photo © David lobb

Magdalen Hill Down, Winchester. With some fields out of bounds we traversed the paths, borders and fields along the main ridge line today between 1150-1340. A beautiful sunny day with light breezes and temperature around 24 degrees C. We recorded our first sighting of Meadow Brown but they were all very fresh and very lively! Totals: Brimstone (M)(3); Female (6); Small Heath (15); Meadow Brown (5); Small Blue (M) 2 (F) 1 (Unidentified) (13); Large Skipper (5); Common Blue (M)(16)(F)(3); Peacock (1); Green Hairstreak (1); Dingy Skipper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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

Faded, jaded, but still rockin-n-rollin. This morning I visited a well-known woodland clearing on the Hants-Wilts border. Apologies for the poor quality images but I was particularly struck by how some well-worn specimens were still capable of flight. Among the rather faded and battered individuals I encountered Duke of Burgundy (x1), Marsh Fritillary (x2) and Pearl-bordered Fritillary (x16), while in stunning condition, possibly just emerged, I spotted Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (x3), Grizzled Skipper (x2) and Large Skipper (x3). Small Heath, Brimstone, Holly Blue, Small White and Speckled Wood were also flying. [Posted by Kevin Freeborn]

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Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Kevin Freeborn
Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Kevin Freeborn
Mint-condition Small Pearl (male)
Photo © Kevin Freeborn

26 May 2020

Noar Hill. Today I visited Noar Hill where the temperature reached 21.5 degrees. I had only visited the site once this year, so was expecting to see the Duke of Burgundy. I was not disappointed with just the single sighting, with all numbers particularly low. A few Small Blues were also seen. Totals: Brimstone 1F, Small White 6, Common Blue 2M, Small Blue 5, Small Heath 16, Duke of Burgundy 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

sightings North Baddesley. seen today on my reserve at N Baddesley.very fresh Small Tortoisehell,first Meadow Brown of the year,7 Large Skipper 2 Brimstone 1 Comma 2 Small White 1 Green-veined White 5 burnet companion 1 brown silver line 9 mother shipton 1 6 spot burnet 5 cinnabar 2 adder 1 grass snake 17 slow worm 1 lizard.now that the lockdown has been lifted a bit you are very welcome to come and have a look round. my email is spark.ky@hotmail.co.uk or phone number 02380 733995.all welcome. [Posted by Kevin ross]

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Photo © Kevin rossPhoto © Kevin rossPhoto © Kevin ross

Tortoiseshells on the wing in Great Fontley. As predicted a fortnight ago, Small Tortoiseshells have taken to the air before the end of May. Two pristine specimens seen nectaring on Phuopsis stylosa and Red Valerian in the front garden at Great Fontley. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Small Tortoiseshell on Phuopsis stylosa
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Small Tortoiseshell on Red Valerian
Photo © Andrew Brookes

Alver Valley Country Park (West of River), Gosport. For three hours from 1030 we covered a huge area of the Alver Valley with its very mixed habitat. The temperature rose from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius and only a light SW breeze refreshed the area. However, despite the coverage only seven species were seen including our first sighting of the year for Large Skipper. No sign of an early Meadow Brown and very little heather is out on the southern heath with its dry and narrow paths devoid of Small Copper usually seen there. Flower is abundant but on the main fields the clover is already drying to a crisp. Totals noted: Brimstone (M)(4)(F)(1); Common Blue (M)(8)(F)(1); Brown Argus (1); Holly Blue (4); Peacock (1); Small Heath (6); Large Skipper (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Male Common Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Heath - so patient!
Photo © Francis Plowman

Old Winchester Hill NNR. Although it was perfect weather for sitting on a beach maybe , walking around a downland it soon became clear it was rather too warm, and most of the butterflies and other invertebrates were frantically flying about. On the main Southern slope below the ancient hill fort there were plenty of Adonis Blues, many males and a few females. The turf here is in excellent condition for these species now, and there was a conservative count of (30), which I could see from the footpath, but I suspect there were two or three times as many and all in very good condition. Small Heaths and Common Blue were in good number also and the odd one or two Small Blue were seen, although I never see any Kidney Vetch on the slopes. Other species of note were Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper, Brimstones were laying their eggs on Alder Buckthorn. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Adonis Blue in a rare short stop
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Close up of his face and antennae
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Blue feeding on Bird's Foot Trefoil
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 May 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Really warm and sunny from 1130-1350 today (22.5 deg C). Number of species seen down on recent visits but totals today: Small Heath (6); Brown Argus (1); Common Blue (M)(2); Small White (6); Speckled Wood (10); Holly Blue (7); Comma (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small Heath
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood mating pair
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman

Moths in the garden. Such a warm today and just a couple of moths seen braving the heat in my back garden,several Mint Moths flying around my large patch of Mint, strangely enough. Also a Cinnabar Moth graced me with its presence, I'd never had one of these in the garden before. Also a couple of Holly Blues were also seen. [Posted by A Whitlock]

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Cinnabar Moth on a conifer tree
Photo © A Whitlock
Mint Moth on Mint!
Photo © A Whitlock

24 May 2020

New Forest, Ashurst. On Ashurst heath Silver-studded Blues on the wing [Posted by Mark swann]

Northington Down. Painted Lady - basking in warm sunshine on farm track at 7:30pm. My first sighting of a Painted Lady this season [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Larval highlights, Great Fontley. Peacock larvae have been found in unprecedented numbers in a meadow at Great Fontley, 16 webs, more than one for every nettle clump, a conservative total of over 1000, most now be third instar. The magic one-hectare meadow is narrow, NW-SE orientation, and well protected from prevailing winds by dense blackthorn and sallow hedging >5m high.

Beyond the meadow, Orange-tip larvae are commonly found on Honesty and Garlic Mustard, with occasional Red Admiral larvae among the more solitary nettles. On the wing, Small Heath are presently the most numerous, perhaps their best year yet, seconded by Common Blues, with the occasional Grizzled Skipper and Brown Argus. A most remarkable spring. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Orange-tip larvae on Honesty
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Peacock larvae
Photo © Andrew Brookes
And more Peacock larvae
Photo © Andrew Brookes

West Butser and Lower Butser Slope. A bit of a breezy day, but once the sun shone and I got down towards the bottom of Butser the wind tended to ease down, and once this happened, small pockets of butterflies were counted in really good numbers. The Duke of Burgundy is now showing signs of wear and tear. Several Females were observed feeding on Bramble and Dogs-Mercury, and there was one or two in very good condition, (14) were seen in all and one female was observed laying eggs on the slope behind the Beech tree Copse. Star of the show were the Small Heath they were everywhere and the Brown Argus was seen in good numbers as well as the Common Blue. Green Hairstreak put in an appearance but these are now looking very worn. 10 species were seen with many Burnet Moths and Cinnabar Moths Speckled Yellow, Common Carpet, and the Yellow Shell. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus in good numbers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Fresh Burnet Moth at rest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

23 May 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I never expected nine species to turn-up during my tour of this site from 1210-1400 with the temperature at around 19 degrees C and with an incredibly strong SW wind swirling around the woods and glades. Just 4 miles to the north Fareham was having a rain storm but Gosport stayed in the sunshine. That encouraged the butterflies even though numbers were slightly down. Totals: Peacock (1); Common Blue (M)(2); Small Heath (1); Small White (4); Holly Blue (6); Brown Argus (1); Speckled Wood (5); Large White (1); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue shares a swing with a friend!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Damaged Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

22 May 2020

Oxenbourne Down. With a good spell of warm weather continuing, I visited Oxenbourne Down where the temperature reached 22 degrees. Here I was pleased to record my first Green Hairstreak and Small Copper of the year and managed to get a good photo of the only Grizzled Skipper recorded. Totals: Brimstone 1M 3F, Small White 3, Common Blue 1M, Green Hairstreak 1, Small Copper 1, Small Heath 6, Dingy Skipper 4, Grizzled Skipper 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

21 May 2020

Alver Valley Country Park (AVCP), Gosport. Being much nearer The Solent with its cooler prevailing breezes, the AVCP seems still to be in early Spring compared to the protected north of the peninsular. Bluebells were still in evidence this afternoon between 1330-1450 with the thermometer recording 23 degrees of heat. South of Howe Road there is much evidence of habitat disruption in the area with a swathe of mature trees and scrub completely flattened - presumably another development on the way! All the car parks on the approach to The Grange have been either filled-in or blocked with earth berm. These factors probably combined to produce - for the size of area covered - a very disappointing sighting of just eight species with numbers of each very low. Totals: Speckled Wood (4); Common Blue (M)(3); Small Heath (2); Peacock (1); Small White (2); Holly Blue (1); Brown Argus (1); Small Copper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock - tatty but tame!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Microscopic Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. I drove 100 miles yesterday for Martin Down's return of 10 butterflies. Four hundred metres or so from home this morning at Monks Walk and I recorded nine! Between 1025-1210 the temperature rose from 23 to 25.5 deg C and very pleasant at that. So far missing here this Spring is Small Copper; it's usual field area was inundated for weeks during the winter although the Common Blue has managed to emerge in the same habitat. Totals: Orange-tip (M)(1); Small White (11); Common Blue (M)(3)(F)(2); Small Heath (2); Brown Argus (1); Holly Blue (7); Peacock (1); Speckled Wood (6); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Meadow Brown at Magdalen Hill Down. No photo, but a Meadow Brown seen at Magdalen Hill Down this lunchtime. [Posted by Lee Hurrell]

Pheromone Sucess. Having stumbled upon a six belted Clearwing last year I thought I would get some pheromone lures this year to see what else I could turn up. First try in the garden today with the ‘myo’ lure turned up a Red Belted Clearwing within ten minutes. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Red Belted Clearwing
Photo © Mark Tutton
Red Belted Clearwing
Photo © Mark Tutton

First garden Painted Lady,Cromarty Rd,Lordshill. Saw my first Painted Lady of the year on Phlox subulata in my garden. [Posted by Jason Claxton]

20 May 2020

Martin Down National Nature Reserve South. From 1145-1420 in warm sunshine yet intrusive SW breeze the southern section was circulated. Many nature lovers were evident one couple overheard describing it as Piccadilly Circus! There was always enough space to maintain safe social distancing and the walk was a delight. The target was Marsh Fritillary a butterfly I had not encountered previously. We quickly found the species as we traversed the path parallel to Bockerley Ditch all the way to the five-way track junction. Totals: Adonis Blue (23); Brimstone (M)(25)(F)(13); Dingy Skipper (5); Common Blue (M)(53); Green Hairstreak (1); Grizzled Skipper (6); Holly Blue (1); Marsh Fritillary (13); Small Blue (16); Small Heath (88); Small White (8). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Francis Plowman
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Martin Down North. The second smaller section of the NNR was circulated between 1445-1545 when the temperature was 24 deg Celsius but shadows lengthening. It was a joy to be accompanied by the call of the cuckoo which seems to return to the woods here each year. Totals: Brimstone (M)(7)(F)(2); Small Heath (19); Common Blue (M)(10)(F)(1); Adonis Blue (4); Marsh Fritillary (4); Brown Argus (2); Small Blue (1); Dingy Skipper (2); Speckled Wood (3); Large White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

19 May 2020

Noar Hill. Today I paid my first visit of the year to Noar Hill where the temperature reached 20 degrees. Spending a few hours walking around each pit around the site I was disappointed not to find any Duke of Burgundy's, but a sighting of a Small Blue and some Dingy Skipper's made up for it. Totals: Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Orange-tip 1M, Common Blue 8M, Small Blue 1, Small Heath 5, Dingy Skipper 9. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Marsh Fritillary butterflies at the north Hampshire reintroduction site.. I visited the Marsh Fritillary butterfly reintroduction site in the north of Hampshire late yesterday afternoon. I saw several of the butterflies, they spent most of the time low amongst the grass in the damp meadow, occasionally rising up to fly, including a three-butterfly aerial interaction. And then what appeared to be two engaged in courtship behaviour. I observed the latter from a distance, it was too precious an event to risk disturbing by photography. [Posted by Peter Vaughan]

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Photo © Peter Vaughan

Mating Adonis At Old Winchester Hill. A midday exploration of the south field at Old Winchester Hill (just below the fort) produced about 12 Adonis Blues, including two females. This count also included a mating pair, the female having been found by ‘her suitor’ soon after emergence and even before her wings were fully expanded!

Other numerous species were Common Blue and Small Heath, with variety enhanced by singletons of Small Blue, Dingy Skipper and Green Hairstreak. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Adonis Blue (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Adonis Blue (Mating pair)
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Small Blue (Male)
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Martin Down. More Photos from today [Posted by Whitlock]

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Wood Tiger Moth
Photo © Whitlock
Small Blue on my shoe
Photo © Whitlock
Resting Privet Hawk Moth
Photo © Whitlock

Martin Down. Today if this had been a field trip to this wonderful site it would have a magnificent triumph, with species of butterflies and moths in good numbers. First on my list was the sighting of a Narrow Bordered Bee Hawk Moth which was flying very close to the ground, and I was fortunate enough to be right there when it came to rest.There was 18 Moth and Butterfly species on my list some of the best counts I've ever had coming to this site over the past three decades. There were plenty of Marsh Fritillary flying up and down the Bockerley Ditch and around the Rifle Butts. Adonis Blue put in a good appearance as well as Small Blue which I gave up counting after a hundred. Brown Argus, and Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper came along as well. Wood Tiger Moths were also seen and the Yellow Shell Moth. Hundreds of Small Heaths were everywhere and courting Brimstones flying backwards dancing in the breeze. On our way back a lovely Privet Hawkmoth had parked up on a grassy stem and made for a perfect picture, it looked like he had just emerged, as it was in perfect condition. This is probably one of the best sites if not the best site for all flora and fauna in Hampshire, and it never disappoints. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Narrow Bordered Bee Hawk moth at rest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Marsh Fritillary
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Baker's Drove Field/Cromarty Road Areas. A trip to my local field yielded my first Large Skipper and 3 Common Blues plus a couple of Green-veined Whites. The brambles are just starting to come into bloom. [Posted by Sue Lambert]

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Large Skipper
Photo © Sue Lambert
Female Common Blue
Photo © Sue Lambert
Male Common Blue
Photo © Sue Lambert

18 May 2020

Portsdown Hill (East). After visiting Paulsgrove Chalk Pits, I paid a visit to the East end of Portsdown Hill where I walked the slopes and tracks in front of Fort Widley. My totals were: Brimstone 1M 1F, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 4M, Holly Blue 1, Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Paulsgrove Chalk Pits. Paid a visit today to Paulsgrove Chalk Pits where the temperature reached 16 degrees. Few butterflies were on the wing, but I did record my first Small Blues this year. Totals: Brimstone 1F, Small White 3, Common Blue 6M, Small Blue 5. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Second brood Holly Blue at MHD?. On one of my regular trips to Magdalen Hill Down, I found what I thought to be a second brood Holly Blue; a fresh male. It could be a late first brood but what with the warm weather, it could be! [Posted by Lee Hurrell]

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Holly Blue, male, Magdalen Hill Down, Winchester, Hampshire, 18th May 2020
Photo © Lee Hurrell

Forester Moths at Odiham Common. Numerous Forester Moths Adscita statices were out in the afternoon sunshine at Odiham Common on 18th May. I also saw a Common Blue butterfly there. [Posted by Peter Vaughan]

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Photo © Peter VaughanPhoto © Peter Vaughan

Martin Down.. A superb day with a light breeze. I visited from 0930-1330 and as reported yesterday the whole place was in fine form! Species noted and approx numbers were Small Copper 4, Green Hairstreak 7, Adonis Blue 25, Common Blue 10, Small Blue 115 (possibly more), Marsh Fritillary 18, Dingy Skipper 28, Grizzled Skipper 33, Brown Argus 1, Brimstone 4, Orange-tip 1 and a nice fresh Common Heath moth. Most of the Small Blues were in or around the perimeter ditch. The female of the pair of Adonis Blues didn't even get a chance to get her wings working before the male nabbed her! [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Adonis Blue Pair
Photo © Mark Pike
Common Heath
Photo © Mark Pike
Small Blue
Photo © Mark Pike

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