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.

29 Sep 2020

Old Winchester Hill. Risking the vagaries of BBC weather forecasting we set off under thick clouds for Old Winchester Hill. On arrival (noon) it was still a cool 14.5C but faith divested the fleece and off down the car park slope we went. Not one butterfly on the descent! However, in the valley where flora is very evident we soon encountered butterflies. Then the promised sun opened out and eventually nine butterflies were recorded and the temperature was 18C at 2pm when we returned to the car. After yesterday's first 2020 sighting of Clouded Yellow on the Meon Haven foreshore two were flying around in the valley and both permitted close approach for photography. The walk ended by returning up the slope and following the top paths. Only one further Small Copper, Brimstone and the Red Admiral was seen here plus a long and very languid slowworm. Evidently the valley floor being somewhat more protected from the recent low temperatures and strong winds prolongs the butterfly season here. And thank goodness for this latecomer to the party! Totals: Large White (M)(1); Small Heath (6); Meadow Brown (7); Clouded Yellow (2); Small Copper (7); Common Blue (M)(1)(F)(1); Small White (2); Brimstone (M)(1); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow male on Scabiosa
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Heath (female at right)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown (female)
Photo © Francis Plowman

28 Sep 2020

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. From 1420-1545 the local walk surprised us with the amount of greenery and abundant flora. Although it was late in the day, only 16.5C with hardly a breeze and no sunshine, five species 'welcomed' us home. The condition of the butterflies was remarkably good after some poor weekend weather and falling night-time temperatures. Total: Common Blue (M)(5)(F)(2); Small Copper (2); Small White (10); Large White (3); Speckled Wood (4). A large butterfly (possibly a Red Admiral) did not wait for identification and three times we failed to identify a russet butterfly on the wing - definitely not a Small Copper or Comma - that may have been a Brown Hairstreak. Must try harder. Great to be back! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Meonshore Beach to Brownwich Cliffs, Titchfield Haven. After six weeks in Germany (41 species recorded) followed by a further two weeks quarantine, today was our first autumnal butterfly sortie. One butterfly had eluded us in Germany - Clouded Yellow. Normally common and found everywhere but this year, an exceptionally hot and dry summer, precious few fields of wild flowers, all the Clouded Yellows had gone, just kept on flying northwards. So to the foreshore at the Meon Haven from 1240-1345 today; just 15.5C, grey skies, cool stiff SW breeze - no chance! Within 10 metres from the start-line up shot a Clouded Yellow, up and away over the cliff top! But a Clouded Yellow it was; tick the box quick! Then to Brownwich and back along the cliff top path. Totals: Clouded Yellow (1); Common Blue (M)(1); Large White (1); Small White (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

first ever sighting North Baddesley. today on my reserve at North Baddesley I was very surprised (and shocked!) to see a Wall.this makes it 31 species seen here this year. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

Moth Trap. Last night was very chilly consequently the Moth trap had very little of note , except the Sallow Moth, male and female, Lunar Underwing, Large Yellow Underwing and Black Rustics. There were about 30 odd Hornets, which just about puts the mockers on any attempt to get any numbers, with these infiltrating the trap. Today I saw Comma, Common Blue, Small Coppers, numerous Speckled Woods, Clouded Yellow and Small White. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Lunar Underwing
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Variations on a theme Sallow moths.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Head of a Hornet
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

27 Sep 2020

Sunday surprise at Enham. A sunny but windy day did not seem particularly promising for butterflies, but Enham obliged with six species today, a pristine Red Admiral and worn Speckled Wood were supported by Large Whites and Small Whites and a Small Tortoiseshell, but the surprise was another visit to my garden from a female Brown Hairstreak, so check out those Brown Butterflies, you never know what's going to appear. [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Brown Hairstreak
Photo © Kevin Haggar
Brown Hairstreak soaking up the sun
Photo © Kevin Haggar

26 Sep 2020

In our Burridge garden. Sunny but a chilly breeze. In the afternoon: Large White(1), Red Admiral(1) and Small Copper (2). [Posted by Brian Heal]

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Small Copper on Verbena
Photo © Brian Heal

25 Sep 2020

Clouded Yellow at Magdalen Hill Down. Despite the strong blustery winds, in sheltered areas at Magdalen Hill Down there were still a few butterflies on the wing. The highlight was a Clouded Yellow nectaring on Hoary Ragwort, but Small Copper, Common Blue and Meadow Brown were also present. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Clouded Yellow on Hoary Ragwort
Photo © Andy Barker

Giant Moth in Hilsea. A friend sent me a photo of a huge moth that he disturbed whilst moving some planters in his Hilsea garden - at first I thought it was a Privet Hawk-moth but if I am not mistaken it was indeed the huge Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Agrius convolvuli) which can have a 100mm wingspan! [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Convolvulus Hawk-moth
Photo © Mark Tutton

22 Sep 2020

Moth Trap. Another night of moth trapping as it was going to be the last of the good weather and the first day of Autumn. In the Moth trap was a magnificent Clifden Nonpareil, which was in superb condition. Also in the trap were Frosted Orange, Small Emerald, September Thorns, Large Yellow Underwings, Square Spot Rustic, Bufftips, Common Quakers, Black Rustic, Willow Beauty, Vestal,and Rosy Rustic. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Pattern on the Clifden Nonpareil
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
September Thorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Black Rustic
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Sep 2020

Old Winchester Hill. Today I paid a visit to Old Winchester Hill, which will probably be my last visit to the site this year. The temperature was 18 degrees but feeling autumnal now, with low numbers of butterflies see. A single female Chalk Hill Blue was was recorded with a pair of lingering Meadow Browns. A fresh Small Copper was seen to add some colour. Totals: Large White 3, Small White 3, Chalk Hill Blue 1F, Small Copper 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Heath 5, Speckled Wood 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Clouded Yellows at Brownwich. A total of seven Clouded Yellows were seen along the undercliff at Brownwich this afternoon. One female was of the helice form. All were highly mobile and heading in a westerly direction. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

Old Winchester Hill. Today it was very warm in part but very breezy on the main southern slope of OWH, but once I'd found some sheltered areas amongst the Juniper trees, it was really quite pleasant. Here after a hour or so I had chalked up to 10 species of butterflies. These included Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Silver-spotted Skipper, lots of Small Coppers, which are having a ball at the moment. In all my 40 years of recording I think this has to be the best season they've had for many years. It was quite a treat to see the Silver-spotted Skipper again, some ragged looking females. These must have emerged in September and shows that OWH is one of the best sites in the country for this species. Having emerged at the latter part of July, and are still on the wing is some going, there must have been literally hundreds on this slope at peak season. One male Adonis Blue was seen and the others being seen were very tidy looking females, another species which has struggled over the last few seasons, but seems to have got its feet under the table now because of the grazing here on the site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Small Copper for ever on the move..
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Silver-Spotted Sipper on field scabious
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

17 Sep 2020

clouded yellow at north baddesley. first clouded yellow of the year seen today at my reserve in north baddesley.this makes the number of species seen here this year 30.also seen 5 red admiral 1 peacock 19 small white 4 large white 2 green veined white 3 brimstone 1 speckled wood 2 comma 5 common blue 5 small copper 1 silver y moth [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

16 Sep 2020

Magdalen Hill Down. A rather warm afternoon tour of the original reserve yielded a number of Meadow Browns including some mating pairs, several Common Blues, around five Small Coppers, two or three fresh Brown Argus and a scattering of Small Whites. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

Moth trap in our garden at Leigh Park. Had my moth trap on overnight in my garden at Leigh Park and caught the following species: Box Tree Moth 7, Large Yellow Underwing 15, Oak Hook-tip 2, Pale Mottled Willow 8, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 3, Lesser Yellow Underwing 10, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 4, Square-spot Rustic 148, Brindled Green 2, Snout 2, Angle Shades, L-album Wainscot 18, Black Rustic 3, Setaceous Hebrew Character 4, Small Wainscot 3, Silver Y 2, Light Emerald 2, Rosy Rustic, Lunar Underwing, Brimstone, Pink-barred Sallow, Flounced Rustic and 26 Hornets which devoured quite a few other moths in the trap unfortunately. [Posted by Barry Collins]

15 Sep 2020

Moth Trap. Another night of Moth trapping and this morning I saw one of the most amazing sights, a moth I've been after for many a year. In fact it wasn't in the moth trap but just beside it on some ferns, so it was quite camouflaged.This moth was the Merveille-du-Jour, and it is an absolute beauty.For those who have seen it then you know what I'm talking about. Luckily I managed to move it without it flying off and put on a Oak branch on the ground which had a lot of lichen on it, and it just melted into the background, absolutely wonderful. I know it has been a very strange year, in many ways, but it's more than made up for it in different Moths I've captured in my trap this year. Other Moths of note were many August Thorns which are beautiful, a Oak Beauty,Large Yellow Under-wings and Lesser Yellow Under-wings, Common Emerald, Birch Mocha, Oak Hook-tips, Green Carpet, Dark Bordered Beauty, Swallow Prominent, Heart and Dart, Common Wainscot, Frosted Orange, and in the meadow there were plenty of Small Coppers, several females, Clouded Yellow, Common Blue, Vapourer Moths flying in and around thickets of Blackthorn, and a very fresh Brown Argus bringing up the rear. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Merveille-du-Jor on Oak lichen, perfect camouflage
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
August Thorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Bordered Beauty
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

14 Sep 2020

Another Brown Hairstreak near Andover. Following yesterday's garden record and having a day off, I decided to check out some local hedgerows and found a second female Brown Hairstreak, this time by the A343 just south of the Enham Alamein village sign. These butterflies have obviously dispersed from somewhere, but where? I'll certainly be looking for eggs over the winter. [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Another Enham Hairstreak
Photo © Kevin Haggar

Noar Hill. Paid a visit to Noar Hill during the late morning where the temperature reached 24 degrees. A good search was made for any Brown Hairstreaks still on the wing but none were found. Despite the temperature numbers of butterflies have now begun to decrease, with a few battered Meadow Browns still lingering on. Totals were Brimstone 1 M, Large White 2, Small White 8, Common Blue 4M, Meadow Brown 4, Small Heath 7, Speckled Wood 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Work Party at Yew Hill. There is a work party at our Yew Hill reserve (at Oliver's Battery on the west side of Winchester) on Wednesday (16th). The task will be scrub and ragowrt control.

Arrive at 10am and stay as long as you like.

To join the work party contact Richard richardlemonjnr AT gmail DOT com [Posted by Butterfly Conservation]

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Photo by Tim Norriss (copyright)
Photo © Butterfly Conservation

13 Sep 2020

Brown Hairstreak near Andover. My Enham Alamein garden was graced by an unexpected visitor this afternoon, a female Brown Hairstreak made a short stop before disappearing to the north. Whilst Purple Hairstreaks are a regular sight in nearby oaks, I am unaware of any local sites for this species. [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

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Brown Hairstreak, Enham Alamein
Photo © Kevin Haggar

Farlington Marsh in the sun. Not a lot of butterflies around but an interesting selection with single Small Copper, Small Heath and Clouded Yellow as well as several Common Blues and Large Whites on the circular walk round the sea wall. [Posted by Paul Warren]

11 Sep 2020

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. Visited Chalton Down today where the temperature reached 18 degrees. Here there were a few Chalk Hill Blues still flying as well as several Whites. Totals: Large White 6, Small White 8, Chalk Hill Blue 4M 3F, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Milton Lock Nature Reserve. A look around my local Nature reserve again turning a full circle as this is the site I visited many times in the initial lock down period. It has to be said it's far more interesting now, although the Vanessids have disappeared, and the friendly Kestrel isn't hunting here anymore.Still there were just (5) species to see today, and the best viewing was of at least 5-6 Small Coppers in a small area of the reserve, two - a male and a female were having a right two and eight.They were chasing each other in a very tight formation, how they manage to mirror each other at such speed is some effort. They then came down and fed on a large patch of Coltsfoot. When there was a couple of Male Common Blues feeding in the area, one of them, then two of them would be up and away defending their territory. I'm not sure which is the feistiest of the butterflies, the Duke of Burgundy or Small Copper, I think the Small Copper by small margin. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

10 Sep 2020

Old Winchester Hill. Following a week in Cornwall to visit my son and his wife, I made my first butterfly walk at Old Winchester Hill. Here the temperature in the late morning was 17 degrees. Only a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were found and just a single male Chalk Hill Blue which was in almost fresh condition. Several Whites were flying, but the highlight was seeing a Clouded Yellow which was flying and stopping for long periods near the path leading to the gate at the West end of the Hill Fort. Totals: Large White 11, Small White 13, Clouded Yellow 1, Gatekeeper 3, Meadow Brown 2, Small Heath 7, Red Amiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Moth Trap in Southsea. Another night of putting the moth trap out in these rapidly cooling nights, and it showed in the results. Unfortunately several Hornets had got in and they started a massacre by all accounts, and beheaded the Dark Crimson Underwing, other moths of interest were the Chinese Character which looks like a bird dropping, very clever disguise, Oak Hooks Tips, Birch Mochas, Large Yellow Under-wings, and August Thorns. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Chinese Character
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
August Thorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dark Crimson Underwing (part)
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

White Admiral at Bramshill Plantation. I saw a White Admiral at Bramshill Plantation in NE Hampshire (SU 75 62). A record shot is attached. I am assuming that this is a second brood individual. Also present were Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood and Small White, as well as a profusion of dragonflies. [Posted by Peter Vaughan]

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White Admiral
Photo © Peter Vaughan

08 Sep 2020

Fort Cumberland. Today I went full circle with the start of the year, I went to this site which was walking distance from my house with the lock-down in full swing. Today I looked at the site again, with very parched grasses and very few wild flowers to speak of. However there was enough lepidoptera to keep me interested. There were a fair amount of 'fresh' Common Blues, and many ragged ones as well, so I suspect there has been a partial third brood, as this site pretty much 'bakes' all year round. A lovely Clouded Yellow gave me a wave as it hurtled past me at a great rate of knots. Small Heaths and several Small Coppers also made up the numbers, with Small Whites flying around like confetti. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Common Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

06 Sep 2020

Garden Moths. A couple of moths I've seen in the garden over the past few days. One was an Old Lady which I found on my garden gate, and he or she became rather attached to it as I found it there two days running. I've cut back my Mint over the last few months and today 6th September I found this rather nice Mint Moth Caterpillar at rest. I suspect the cob web over the top was weaved by the caterpillar for some kind of protection. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Mint Moth Caterpillar on Mint!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Old Lady on my garden gate
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Old Lady at rest
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

04 Sep 2020

Oxenbourne Down. One of the last visits for 2020 and the site had that sort of Autumnal feel about it, the leaves were starting to turn a rusty colour and some of the Bramble leaves were a blood red. I didn't expect a lot but I was in for a surprise as (9) Butterfly species made themselves known, including my target species the delightful Small Copper. I managed to see up to five including a egg-laying female on Sorrel. I watched her laying eggs on top of the Sorrel leaf, and managed to get a rather good close up of the patterned egg. One complete surprise was a lonesome female Silver-spotted Skipper in good condition as well. There were many female Chalk Hill Blues still laying their eggs, and some of the males were fresh as a daisy. Other species of note were Brown Argus, Common Blue,and Small Heath. The Meadow Brown are starting to peter out as well. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Copper laying eggs on Sorrel
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper Egg on Sorrel
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Fresh looking male Chalkhill Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

02 Sep 2020

Silver-spotted Skipper at Yew Hill. Interesting to see Andy Barker's record of a Silver-spotted Skipper at Yew Hill on 31st August. The Yew Hill Lookers' Blog, which until recently recorded observations from checking the sheep on the adjacent Hilltop, records that 2 were seen and photographed in the field on 5th August 2019 (not by me). That doesn't prove breeding, of course, but perhaps increases its likelihood. With the departure of the sheep, I suspect the field has had less scrutiny of late. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

01 Sep 2020

Wall Brown at Barton. Wall Brown this morning at Barton on Sea at about SZ229931 [Posted by Steve Keen]

31 Aug 2020

Yew Hill - new species. A brief visit to Yew Hill, in rather cloudy conditions, brought an unexpected surprise of a Silver-spotted Skipper. This is the first time I've seen this butterfly on the reserve in more than 30 years of visiting. I'm not aware of any other records, so this may be a first for the site. It was a rather worn individual, but not surprising for this late in the season. I'm presuming it is a stray dispersing from nearby St.Catherine's Hill, but who knows, perhaps in time we'll have a colonisation. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Silver-spotted Skipper (worn)
Photo © Andy Barker

Stockbridge Down - Silver-spotted Skipper. Two brief visits on consecutive days, neither with weather good for butterflies or observers. Quite a few tatty Chalk Hill Blues/ Adonis Blue females but remarkably few males - ~10 Chalk Hill Blues yesterday and no Adonis: I must have been in the wrong area. Still >100 Small Heaths and Meadow Browns but little else flying - no Hairstreaks but no sun either. The big surprise was a single battered Silver-spotted Skipper - I had assumed the recent deluges had washed them out. Can anyone tell me how to separate worn female Chalkhill / Adonis Blues in September? [Posted by David Murdoch]

30 Aug 2020

Old Winchester Hill. A brief visit this afternoon in far from favourable conditions still found good numbers of Small Heath and female Chalk Hill Blue sheltering amidst the mosaic of juniper at the lower end of the south slope below the fort. Also seen were Common Blue, Meadow Brown and, highlight of the day, two pristine Silver-spotted Skippers, obligingly 'freezing' when cloud obscured the sun. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

Shipton Bellinger - still worth a visit. With the cold, wet and windy weather of recent days, it definitely feels like the season is drawing to a close, but for those still out looking, a trip to Shipton Bellinger can still bring rewards. Despite the cool NNW wind, today's sunshine provided plenty of warmth on the lee-side of the main hedgerows. The main butterflies present were Meadow Browns and Small Whites, but I was lucky enough to see a Wall (male) and a single Brown Hairstreak (female). There were three additional sightings of Brown Hairstreak (all female) from two other people that I spoke to. The other highlight of the visit was seeing a Stoat run across a track just in front of me. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Wall (male) on Hawkbit spp.
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Andy Barker

Geranium Bronze in Winchester. 21st species this year in our Badger Farm garden (and 31st since we moved in), but we didn't expect something quite as exotic as a Geranium Bronze! Evidently felt very much at home, as it has hung around for several hours, but ignored the small pot of geraniums in favour of the oregano.

Impossible to tell whether it sneaked into the country as egg or larva on imported plants, or whether it has migrated from Europe.

Is this the first record for Hampshire? [Posted by Rupert & Sharron Broadway]

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Photo © Rupert & Sharron BroadwayPhoto © Rupert & Sharron BroadwayPhoto © Rupert & Sharron Broadway

Old Winchester Hill Car-Park and Eastern Slope. After a few nights where it has been particularly cold and there has been a fair amount of rain I was wondering how the counts of many species would pan out today. I went over the Eastern slope adjacent to the car park slope of which is part of the transect route on the down and here there were many Meadow Browns, a splattering of Silver-spotted Skippers including a courting pair, the best counts came from the Small Heaths. Once I got down to the bottom of the Eastern slope and walked along the main footpath I came across my first Adonis Blue a lovely female feeding on Scabious. In the shorter turf there seemed to be many male Adonis Blues displaying there iridescent Blue Hue of their upper wings. I then saw a male and female mating, and also several female Silver-spotted Skippers. The counts were going up all the time as when the sun shone it was very warm indeed. Up the short turf slope of the the car-slope, and here there were more Silver-spotted Skippers and the odd battered Chalk Hill Blue. In the end there were 11 species, including Brown Argus, Small Copper, and the odd Common Blue, but sadly there weren't any Clouded Yellows. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Mating Adonis Blues
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Courting Silver-Spotted Skippers
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating Small Heaths
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

26 Aug 2020

Oxenbourne Down. After a visit to Noar Hill, I visited Oxenbourne Down where the temperature was 20 degrees. Still many Chalk Hill Blues flying but no sign of any Silver-spotted Skippers. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Small White 5, Chalk Hill Blue 47M 8F, Common Blue 5M 6F, Gatekeeper 1, Small Heath 10. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Noar Hill. A visit to Noar Hill today where the temperature was 18 degrees. Totals: Large White 4, Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 6M 1F, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 7, Meadow Brown 14, Small Heath 11, Speckled Wood 5, Red Admiral 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Stockbridge Down - Brown Hairstreak. A late afternoon visit to Stockbridge Down turned up two species of note. The down itself looked great, with plenty of nectar sources and some warm sheltered pockets out of the wind producing a good number of butterfly species, but the two species of note were both seen in the lower car park! The first, a Brown Hairstreak female, was spotted almost as soon as I got out of the car. It was flying around a sycamore tree, then alighted on a bunch of sycamore keys high up. I managed a photo, but it was a fairly distant shot. The other species of note, a Painted Lady, settled briefly in the car park just as I was leaving. The camera was already packed away so I didn't get a photo. This is only the second Painted Lady I've seen all year, so was a real bonus for the end of the day. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Andy Barker

Beacon Hill NNR Exton. Another visit to Beacon Hill at Exton, after being buffeted by high gale force winds over the last few days, and boy has it suffered. Last week (40) odd Silver-spotted Skippers, and today I spent 2 hours on site and managed just (7). Other species have suffered as well I didn't see any Common Blue, or Chalkhill Blue, and a few Brown Argus were hanging on in there.The best counts came from Small Heaths, and Meadow Browns but even these were well down as well. One Painted Lady and Small Copper brightened up the day with many Silver-Y Moths and a evil looking Robber Fly posed quite nicely for me, with lunch in its jaws.

A word of warning to anybody planning to visit this site...I saw a rusty old Mortar Shell at the base of the southern Slope and I have reported it to Natural England. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Silver Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Robber fly and prize
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

22 Aug 2020

Blow out at Noar Hill. Cycled from Whitehill to Noar hill over two hills.Rather a blowy day with ocassional break throughs of sun.Spotted 1 Large White,several Meadow Browns and Small Heaths.Some blues but alas no Brown Hairstreaks. [Posted by jf smith]

20 Aug 2020

Noar Hill. Paid a visit to Noar Hill today where the temperature was 20 degrees, a lot cooler than my last visit during the heat wave. Once more I was keen to search for Brown Hairstreaks and after covering most of the site just before I was leaving I was alerted by another enthusiast to a female. She was ova positing on a small Sloe bush just before The Triangle. I managed a photograph which was partly obscured by a leaf before she took flight. Elsewhere there were still plenty of Small Whites, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Heaths and Common Blues. A few second generation Small Blues were also recorded. Totals: Large White 3, Small White 21, Brown Hairstreak 1f, Common Blue 17m 2f, Holly Blue 1, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 30, Small Heath 15, Speckled Wood 1 and Silver-washed Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Stockbridge Down - Brown Hairstreak. Popped up Stockbridge Down late morning to look for Silver-spotted Skippers, but despite covering a huge area of the down I didn't see even 1. Adonis Blues everywhere with only a few Chalkhills around, and many Meadow Browns sunning with wings open. Then the highlight down the back path, a female Brown Hairstreak, mainly on Blackthorn, popping into the undergrowth then back out to sun herself. [Posted by Iain McIntosh]

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Adonis Blue on Wild Marjoram
Photo © Iain McIntosh
Brown Hairstreak (f)
Photo © Iain McIntosh
Brown Hairstreak (f)
Photo © Iain McIntosh

Old Winchester Hill Fort South slope. A breezy but good butterfly day on the far south fort slope of Old Winchester Hill, and the updraft was quite strong at times, but did not stop good counts of Silver-spotted Skipper (45), Adonis Blues (25) all males, many Chalk Hill Blues several late mating pairs, Brown Argus females seen in superb condition several Small Heaths,also several Painted Lady one a female both in good condition, although the female was missing one of its antennae, but the crowning glory was three or four Clouded Yellows on the car-park slope, and here they were feasting on Hawkbit, totally ignoring the Small Scabious. Other delights were Kestrels hovering in the sky like paper Kites, and several Red Kites patrolling up and down the slopes, looking for any tasty morsels.

The Meon Valley looked wonderful all around the site today, and there were many people out and about enjoying the countryside. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Clouded Yellow on Hawkbit
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Adonis Blue
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Silver-Spotted Skipper on Hawkbit.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

18 Aug 2020

Wall Butterfly - Lee on Solent. A Wall butterfly in our Lee on Solent garden this morning! No idea where it can have originated from. Too quick for a photo but am confident of id. In good condition and although I'm certainly no expert - am reasonably sure it was a female. Reported in case it or any others turn up. Last seen heading west. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

Beacon Hill NNR Exton. I thought I'd chance a game called dodging the showers, after a long period of excessive heat. This weather is more to my liking and Beacon Hill was awash with many wildflowers, but it was pretty windy. On the horizon were the heavy black clouds, I could see Old Winchester Hill get a drenching and thought how fortunate I was being here! My quarry was the Silver-spotted Skipper (35-40+) which over the last decade or more has had a pretty tough time here. But I have to say the grassland is more to their liking, after good bouts of grazing by Park cattle and Herwick Sheep. I was pleasantly surprised to see three Silver-spotted Skippers within a few feet of stepping onto the site. I mostly saw good looking males, as this is known as a late site. Its definitely late for the Chalk Hill Blue I only saw one!, but I did see several Adonis Blues whether there from OWH or have established a colony here is questionable, Id like to think the latter, was true. The Silver-spotted Skipper has definitely re-established itself here, it's not in enormous numbers of yesteryear...but it doesn't take long to find them. Other good numbers were Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, a few Common Blue, and one Small Copper. I managed to get to the car-park as the heavens opened up after about an hour and half on site. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Shaded Broad Bar Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Old Winchester Hill and the thunder clouds....
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

14 Aug 2020

Garden 'Tigers' in Lee on Solent. Its been a poor week for sleeping - but a great one for seeing (and catching) some exotic moths in our (Lee on Solent) garden! It all started with 5 Jersey Tigers earlier in the week. Since then we've had at least one every day and this morning 3 Garden Tigers too. The highlight was a Humming Bird Hawkmoth yesterday - it was around for a good 5 minutes flitting from flower to flower but I couldn't manage a picture. A great way to introduce my young grandson to the joy of moths and moth traps. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Garden Tiger - Lee on solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Garden Tiger - Lee on Solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Jersey Tiger - Lee on Solent
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

Adonis Blue at Yew Hill. A vivid flash of turquoise lit up the gloom at Yew Hill this morning; as it flew short distances and perched with wings closed, I closely checked the chequered edges to verify that it was a male Adonis Blue, only the third I've seen in 30 years of visiting the site and the first since 2011.

Other species on the wing in small numbers in the less than ideal conditions were Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Common Blue and Chalk Hill Blue; plus a Hummingbird Hawk-moth and a juvenile Green Woodpecker. [Posted by Rupert Broadway]

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