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

Important Message (8 May 2021)

The next date in the Government's road map to tackle the coronavirus is 17 May 2021. From this date, if confirmed, groups of up to 30 people can assemble outside. This means that Butterfly Walks are likely to go ahead from 17 May. Please consult the Events > Butterfly Walks tab for further details.

Butterfly Conservation and the UKBMS have decided that transect walking can take place in 2021. More details will be available shortly 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.

17 Jan 2022

Double Striped Pug Moth. I had a double striped pug moth resting on my car today and it managed to stay there throughout a journey of several miles until we got back home where I photographed it. No early butterflies as yet, despite the warmish weather! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Double Striped Pug Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Double Striped Pug Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

early Red Admiral. A cold but sunny winter's day brought the first Red Admiral of the year to our Chandlers Ford garden. Although the temperature was only 10oC, it was a pleasant surprise to see a Red Admiral nectaring on the flowers of the beautifully fragrant Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' in a south-facing position in our front garden. Unfortunately the Red Admiral decided to move from the flowers before I had my camera, but I did manage to get a photo as it basked high up on the house wall. As well as the Red Admiral, there were also several Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) workers around the flowers of Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty'. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Red Admiral basking
Photo © Andy Barker
Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'
Photo © Andy Barker

05 Jan 2022

Painted Lady reported on the Isle of Wight. RSPB Assistant Warden Luke Gaskin reported and photographed a Painted Lady on ivy in Centurions Copse at Brading Marshes RSPB reserve on Wednesday (5/1/22).

This is believed to be the third January record for the Island for this species with previous reports on 6 January 2016 and 1 January 2013, both at Wheeler's Bsy. [Posted by Jim Baldwin]

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Photo © Jim Baldwin

30 Dec 2021

Harewood Common - Brown Hairstreak eggs. Despite grey drizzly weather, an afternoon visit to Harewood Common, east of Andover, proved successful. After a bit of searching, Linda and I found two Brown Hairstreak eggs on young blackthorn at this Test Valley Borough Council site. The eggs were located along the fence-line of a young tree and shrub belt marking the edge of the site (see image below). It just goes to show the value of new hedgerows and tree belts as suitable habitat for rare butterflies such as the Brown Hairstreak. This butterfly has extended its range in Hampshire quite a bit over the last 5 years, so it's well worth doing a winter egg-search if you have young suckering blackthorn growth near where you live. The pin-head sized white eggs are typically located at the junction of small stems of the youngest growth (see photos). [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Harewood Common - tree and shrub edge
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak - egg 1
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak - egg 2
Photo © Andy Barker

26 Dec 2021

Winter Moth. You're unlikely to see many butterflies at this time of year, apart perhaps, from a Red Admiral, nectaring on a sunny winter's day, but it's well worth keeping an eye out for moths. One of the commonest is the Winter Moth, and the one pictured below was attracted to light and settled on our patio door early on Boxing Day evening. With mild weather forecast over the coming days, have a look for any moths that may be attracted to your porch light or windows. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Winter Moth
Photo © Andy Barker

30 Nov 2021

Brown Hairstreak egg search at BSM. Following his recent success with finding Brown Hairstreak eggs at Butterfly Conservation's Bentley Station Meadow nature reserve, on the edge of Alice Holt Forest, Steve Luckett (Volunteer Reserve Officer) led a further egg-search and practical work party today. I was not able to attend the morning, but came at lunchtime to find the practical management task in full swing, after a successful egg-search at the start of the day. Steve said a total of around 30 Brown Hairstreak eggs had been found at the site. I had a brief search myself, and found a further four, including a pair side by side. I also came across a distinctive and very small pupal case of an unknown insect near the very tip of one of the blackthorn spikes. The exit hole is clear to see, and if anyone has any idea of the species it might relate to I'd be interested to know. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Suckering blackthorn and bramble
Photo © Andy Barker
Pair of Brown Hairstreak eggs
Photo © Andy Barker
Unknown pupal case
Photo © Andy Barker

Brown Hairstreak egg hunt in Botley Wood. Today in stodgy gloomy weather I and a few Brown Hairstreak patrons looked for eggs on Blackthorn just south of Botley Wood where the females had been seen in and amongst Blackthorn thickets in September this year. We managed to find (13) eggs well distributed around several fields where some of the Blackthorn is in need of some trimming. However there were several areas where the Blackthorn was growing in good positions and was at the right height for females to lay their eggs. Several eggs were seen quite high up so it is worth looking above head height when doing these egg hunts. The theory maybe is that Brown Hairstreak females must wander good distances to find suitable spots to lay their eggs. We never found a good concentration of eggs so the females here must have just been passing through, and observation of the females was probably just a matter of chance, in good weather. However observations in these spots could prove otherwise over a period of seasons. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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One of the eggs seen today
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
One in a typical position in the fork of Blackthorn
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

25 Nov 2021

Red Admirals at Hillier Gardens. Despite the chilly north wind, a few sheltered spots were pleasantly warm in today's winter sunshine at Hillier Gardens, Romsey. In the 'Winter Garden' we came across three Red Admirals nectaring on Colletia. This is a South American genus of spiky autumn and winter-flowering shrubs in the Rhamnaceae family, so related to buckthorns. At this time of year, when there are few nectar sources on offer, these prove highly attractive for any butterflies or other insects that are about. Today we found two Red Admirals and a bumblebee (Bombus terrestris, queen) taking nectar from Colletia paradoxa, and another Red Admiral on Colletia hystrix 'Rosea'. The former originates from Brazil and Uruguay, whilst the latter is from Chile. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Red Admiral on Colletia paradoxa
Photo © Andy Barker
Red Admiral on Colletia hystrix 'rosea'
Photo © Andy Barker

23 Nov 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Some 10 days later than my last 2020 sighting at Monks Walk (or anywhere for that matter), two Red Admiral were still found basking in the sunshine. An 80 minutes' circulation from 11 o'clock this morning (temperature range 8.5 - 9.5 deg C) found many areas now hidden from the very low and oblique sunlight. However, nearer the shore and the ivy-clad trees and bushes these two hardy butterflies were still holding-on. Grey Squirrels, Buzzard and scores of wading birds added to the interest as the season ends. Total: Red Admiral (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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In an oak tree Red Admiral with broken antennae tip (right)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Second Red Admiral basks on low nettles
Photo © Francis Plowman

Speckled Wood in Warblington. A pristine Speckled Wood seen in Warblington Cemetery. My latest ever. [Posted by Alan Wingrove]

17 Nov 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Having ventured out in yesterday morning's fleeting sunshine and returned without seeing any butterflies I concluded that the season had finally ended. The extended period of warm sunshine today during my walk (1120-1300, 12 deg C) proved the lie to my assumption of 16th November. Three species were encouraged to put in appearances. All the Red Admiral butterflies were very agitated and dispersed quickly on close approach. Conversely the two Comma seen were basking in the sunshine and one was near to the field edge and tolerated my intrusion. The last butterfly seen, admittedly on the wing, was a Holly Blue! That I did not expect. It was a very fresh specimen, lit up dramatically by the midday sunshine and it flew for 4-5 seconds around the ivy-clad trees by the sea shore, a sheltered habitat where earlier this month Red Admiral and Speckled Wood were recorded. I waited for its reappearance sadly in vain but a bright blue butterfly on a mid-November day was uplifting. Total: Red Admiral (4); Comma (2); Holly Blue (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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A bashful Red Admiral with wing damage
Photo © Francis Plowman
Close Comma No 1
Photo © Francis Plowman
Distant Comma No 2
Photo © Francis Plowman

12 Nov 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Just before noon the skies cleared to cloudless azure after a terrific downpour earlier so a swift if soggy circulation (1150-1250) was in order. The sunshine and 16 degrees Celsius temperature coaxed two Red Admiral (photographed) and one Speckled Wood (on the wing) to put in fleeting appearances! Both photographed insects were in pretty fine fettle for the time of the year and certainly brightened my day. However, the grey clouds quickly accumulated and the fun ended. Total: Red Admiral (M)(2); Speckled Wood (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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No 1 Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
No 2 Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

05 Nov 2021

Milton Lock Allotments and Foreshore. A warm day and a look around my local patch to see if there were any butterflies still flying and I was pleasantly surprised to see at least 5-6 Small Whites which looked like new hatchings. These were sunning themselves on a Buddleia facing south. Also there was a Painted Lady which was still in good condition, still on these shores, maybe he or she was taking a chance and going to hibernate here, which some have done in the past. Also flying in across the creek after watching the Brent Geese and a fishing White Egret I saw a Small Tortoiseshell on the wing. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small White sunning itself
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Painted Lady
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. An hour long wander from 1245 saw - even at that time of the day - lengthening shadows and only two species were observed. The temperature hovered around 10 deg C and with no wind meant that in the sunshine the trees and bushes provided sufficient warmth for Red Admiral and Speckled Wood. Both species were seen on ivy floret by the shore line. It still enthuses me to record butterflies on Bonfire Night! Total: Red Admiral (F)(2)(M)(1); Speckled Wood (M)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Female Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Male Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

02 Nov 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Monitoring the season's finale at Monks Walk this afternoon saw the fourth species added to my November's record; Speckled Wood initially competed with Red Admiral for numbers but was soon overtaken by the latter. From 1210-1400 in full sunshine, nil wind but a cool temperature of just 12 degrees Celsius the ground was extremely wet and some fields even under water. Fallen fruit was the food preference for one Red Admiral but my approach disturbed its messing. Total: Speckled Wood (F)(1)(M)(2); Red Admiral (7). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Speckled Wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood female with left wing adhesion and damage
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral male with bi-lateral bird attack damage
Photo © Francis Plowman

01 Nov 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A brief circulation of the main areas was made even shorter by a near-biblical rain deluge that sent us scurrying for cover under the trees! From 1310-1405 with the temperature at 14.5C two species were noted in the sunshine and after the rain had stopped a Peacock flew around me numerous times without landing. Clearly the area provides thick undergrowth, small woodlands with many places well protected from the prevailing wind. Ivy-clad trees abound and the field of fern is slowly flattening down and probably provides good winter roosting particularly for Peacock. Total: Comma (1); Red Admiral (6); Peacock (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Basking Comma in the southern area
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma with comma!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

Chilling & Brownwich Coastal Area, Titchfield. From 1130-1245 just one Red Admiral (a female) was recorded on a walk in a fresh SW wind but with plenty of sunshine, temperature around 14 degrees Celsius. Another walker said that he had seen Comma and Red Admiral but just the latter for me today here. Total: Red Admiral (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral female on the farm track
Photo © Francis Plowman

30 Oct 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The most welcome warm sunshine this morning encouraged more butterflies to come out and enjoy it. For two hours from 1115 the SW breeze was fresh but it was constant sunshine with the temperature around 14-15 degrees Celsius. Most of the butterflies were simply basking in the sun. Not a bad end to my October record. Total: Red Admiral (M)(6)(F)(1); Speckled Wood (F)(1)(M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Female Speckled Wood in the butterfly meadow
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral in the butterfly meadow
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral in the shore-line grasses
Photo © Francis Plowman

29 Oct 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Just Red Admiral found this afternoon between 1400-1515 when the temperature hovered around 15 deg C with a very strong wind, showers, dark clouds interspersed with some warm sunshine! Continuing the nautical theme, it was a surprise to see TS Royalist just off-shore - clearly too rough in The Solent today. Total: Red Admiral (M)(2)(F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral male (some minor wing damage)
Photo © Francis Plowman
TS Royalist off Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral female
Photo © Francis Plowman

28 Oct 2021

Wood White near Alton. In conversation with Prof. Clive Brasier of Forest Research today, he mentioned seeing two Wood Whites in his garden on the fringe of Ackender Wood, Alton, last August. Relics of an ancient population, or introduction? [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

24 Oct 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. With watery and intermittent sunshine I found three species in an hour's walk from 1330. The temperature was 15.5 deg C in the sunshine but very soon the grey clouds swept in and that brought an end to an otherwise enjoyable wander. Red Admiral is still to be found ranging in condition from tatty to immaculate but most today were open-winged, hunkering down out of the breeze and waiting for the sun to come out. Total: Red Admiral (5); Speckled Wood (1)(M); Small White (M)(1)(F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Immaculate Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Seafield Park & Monks Hill Promenade, Hill Head. From 1220-1310 a walk through the park and out along the promenade and lower field to Monks Hill and back found just one Small White male! The temperature at 14 deg C and a pretty strong (and cool, if not bracing) southerly breeze off the sea wasn't really helpful. Even within the more protected park there was not found even a Red Admiral notwithstanding the abundance of ivy bushes. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

22 Oct 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Ninety minutes from 1225 today was long enough to record three species. When the cloud eventually swallowed the sun the butterflies were gone. At the start of the walk the temperature was around 14 degrees Celsius with a noticeable westerly breeze; in the sheltered glades in sunshine it would have been warmer still. And that is where most of the butterflies were found. Three foxes, and a pair of swans on the creek at full tide added to the interest. Total: Red Admiral (7 incl at least 1 female); Speckled Wood (M)(2)(F)(1); Peacock (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Speckled Wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral female with wing damage
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock hunkering down
Photo © Francis Plowman

21 Oct 2021

Garden sightings in Axmansford. Today in the garden at Axmansford:

Red Admiral 9, Comma 4, Peacock 1

A very productive afternoon with 14 butterflies seen, either on rotting apples or basking. Quite surprising considering the forecast arctic air. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

19 Oct 2021

Lennox Point kicked into the long grass. Portsmouth planners' scheme to build 3500 homes on reclaimed mudflats and Tipner firing range has been rejected by the city council. The development would have meant the destruction of the wading bird feeding grounds, despite their triple protection (Ramsar, SPA and SSSI), while building on the ranges would have wiped out its Small Heath colony. Also earmarked for destruction were the woodlands on east Horsea including the elm plantation funded by Branch, and discovered this summer by the council's ecoconsultants to be hosting the White-letter Hairstreak. Full marks to HWT and RSPB for organizing such an effective opposition, inc. raising a petition signed by 24,000. https://lennoxpoint.com/ [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

16 Oct 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The curtain falls inexorably on the butterfly season but today's 18 degrees and warm sunshine produced one surprise at Monks Wood. A later start than yesterday (1330-1500) and being much brighter and warmer, brought out four species including a pristine male Common Blue! It wasn't noted yesterday but today it shared a large field with just one Red Admiral. Fortunately the largely dry field still has one or two Ragwort and the blue was feeding on it. So over two days six species recorded and with warmer weather next week, who knows, the curtain may roll back a touch? We can always hope. Total: Common Blue (M)(1); Red Admiral (5)(incl 1 female); Small White (M)(4); Speckled Wood (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue newly emerged
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue on Ragwort
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral missing right antennae tip
Photo © Francis Plowman

15 Oct 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A two hours' wander from 11 o'clock this morning under light clouds circa 16C revealed just three hardy species. Total: Red Admiral (6); Peacock (1); Comma (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma in the butterfly meadow
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman

14 Oct 2021

Hayling Cycle Trail. Today I walked a section of the Hayling Cycle Trail close to Saltmarsh Lane. Here the temperature reached 16 degrees. Numbers of butterflies are now in single numbers with just 3 Red Admirals and a Speckled Wood recorded. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

painted lady in North Baddesley. very surprised to see a fresh looking Painted Lady on my reserve in north baddesley today.i have had them here all season but not seen one for about 4 weeks.also at least 3 Clouded Yellow,2 Common Blue,2 Red Admiral,1 Small White, 1 Small Copper. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

Chilling & Brownwich Coastal Area, Titchfield. Six species were recorded today on a pleasant wander from 1130-1340, 16-17 degrees Celsius under cloudy skies with sunny interludes but a strong on-shore southerly breeze nearer to the Brownwich shore. The target species was the Clouded Yellow and finally, at last, our first sighting here this year, a fast-flying male along the cliff face; it made many appearances landing briefly half-way up the cliffs and my 100mm macro proving useless with just a poor distant shot for my efforts to scramble up the shingly cliffs! However, over a mile from the shore whilst returning to the car park, a Clouded Yellow overtook us before crossing into the adjacent field; so at least two Colias croceus into the field book. Total: Large White (M)(1); Small White (6); Red Admiral (4); Small Copper (2); Clouded Yellow (2); Comma (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper on the Brownwich shore
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White
Photo © Francis Plowman

11 Oct 2021

Bedhampton Park. Today I walked Bedhampton Park (SU703062) where the temperature was 15 degrees. On a path near to the railway line, I recorded Red Admiral 2 and a Speckled Wood. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. Two hours from 2 o'clock (16 deg C) with sunshine and light breeze we completed a circuit that included the Paulsgrove field at the base of the chalk-pit before re-climbing the eastern hill area back to the car park at Fort Widley. However, most of the activity was on the upper hill including one Clouded Yellow easily seen on the wing flying erratically towards the eastern area. Numbers of Red Admiral remain strong as does their condition generally; a very strange hind-wing marking of one butterfly shows distinctly as '98'! I've heard of a Clouded Yellow having an '8' on its hind-wings but this is my first '98'! Total: Brimstone (M)(1)(F)(1); Small White (9); Red Admiral (16) (incl 1 female); Small Copper (4); Clouded Yellow (1); Meadow Brown (F)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral No. 98!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Meadow Brown female somewhat tatty
Photo © Francis Plowman

09 Oct 2021

unexpected butterfly day in North Baddesley. Amazed by sightings today on my reserve at North Baddesley as follows.at least 5 Clouded Yellow,4 Small Copper,2 Common Blue,2 Brimstone,3 Small White,4 Large White,4 Red Admiral,1 Meadow Brown,1 Peacock. also 7 adders including a new born,3 lizards, numerous slow worms, several dragonflies. not bad for October! [Posted by Kevin Ross]

A further photograph - Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. The blurry in-flight shot of the female Clouded Yellow seen this afternoon showing the two large orange discs on its upper hind wings. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Clouded Yellow female showing her true colours!
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. Crossing the main road from Fort Widley at 1230 we walked westwards along the hill, crossing the Cosham road and then continuing west along the top path. Negotiating a stile we entered the main field and followed paths west and then took a lower path to walk back to Fort Widley. The hill is still very rich in flora with Michaelmas daisies and dandelion-type plants prominent. The temperature was around 18 degrees and butterflies were soon seen. Amazing to see both Common Blue male and female in very good condition, Brimstone of both sexes on the wing and the highlight, of course, was the hoped-for appearance of Clouded Yellow! One female flittered around us sufficient to get some aerial shots which showed two very large orange discs on the upper hind wings; a brighter more orangery Clouded Yellow than I can ever remember seeing. Eventually it settled on a dandelion and a better photograph was obtained. We completed our walk by 1430. Noting eight species on 9th October was a very pleasant surprise. Total: Red Admiral (9); Brimstone (F)(3)(M)(2); Small White (3); Comma (1); Common Blue (M)(1)(F)(1); Meadow Brown (F)(4); Clouded Yellow (F)(1); Peacock (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue female feeding on Michaelmas daisy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Pristine male Common Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Clouded Yellow female
Photo © Francis Plowman

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. Given the glorious sunshine we walked through Fort Widley from 1150-1230 today with a temperature of 17 degrees Celsius, calm airs and very pleasant indeed. Three species recorded. The fields are resplendent with huge bunches of tall Michaelmas daisies which the butterflies we saw were all using. Total: Red Admiral (14); Small White (1); Peacock (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral by the gate
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on Michaelmas daisy
Photo © Francis Plowman

Charlton Down and Oxenbourne Down. A Misty morning to start and the temperature was reluctant to rise much above 15-16 C and I visited two chalk downlands, the first being Charlton Down which had been mown and there were very few wild flowers to be seen consequently there were very little in the way of lepidoptera to see, only counting two Meadow Browns. I thought visiting Oxenbourne Down would be more profitable but they do say better in quality than quantity, and so it turned out. I wandered around for a good 45 minutes before I saw what I thought in the distance was a large white, and it turned out to be a female Clouded Yellow which gave me the run around for a few minutes but did settle for a photo or two, so I was really in the right place at the right time! I haven't seen many female Clouded Yellows over the years so this was a triumph! The only other butterflies seen were 6-8 Red Admirals on Ivy. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Red Admiral on Ivy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

07 Oct 2021

Hummingbird Hawk-moth. On a grey but warm day, our visit to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, was rewarded with the sight of a Hummingbird Hawk-moth, busily nectaring on Clerodendron sp. The conditions weren't great for photography, but I did get a few images that might be of interest. Notice the long proboscis of this moth, probing deep into the tubular flowers of the Cleredendron to access the nectar. I'm sure many of you will have watched Hummingbird Hawk-moths systematically working their way over a Buddleia flower, or Red Valerian, probing each individual floret for nectar. Late in the season, Clerodendron is favoured by many butterflies and moths, but on this occasion it was just this one individual that brightened our day. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Hummingbird Hawk-moth (top)
Photo © Andy Barker
Hummingbird Hawk--moth (side view)
Photo © Andy Barker
Hummingbird Hawk-moth (proboscis)
Photo © Andy Barker

06 Oct 2021

Buddleja surprise at Great Fontley. The Buddleja davidii cultivar 'Border Beauty', recognized as one of the three most attractive to butterflies at the Longstock Park national collection in July, is flowering strongly a second time at Great Fontley. In this morning's sunshine, it hosted 6 Peacocks, more than were seen in summer and all undamaged, strongly suggesting second brood. Also present were Red Admirals, a female Brimstone, a female Small White, and a Small Copper, an unusual buddleja visitor.

'Border Beauty' was raised by a Dutch nursery, and is more easily distinguished by its blood red stems than its deep lilac flowers. A rarity in the UK, but well worth pursuing, neatly flowering in succession to 'Autumn Beauty' aka 'Beijing Blue' (which actually flowers in late summer). [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Peacock duet
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Red Admiral
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Small Copper
Photo © Andrew Brookes

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. Three butterflies, three species was the sum total found within and around the scrub at Haslar today (1410-1435). The temperature was an encouraging 18 deg C and the sunshine warm but the flora is now well on the wane and the ground very wet. Once again, a nil return for the sought after Clouded Yellow. Total: Comma (1); Small Copper (1); Small White (1)(M). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Gilkicker Point, Gosport. Only two species around this afternoon from 1330-1405 when the temperature stood at 17 deg C with a fresh westerly breeze and azure skies. No further sign of the elusive Clouded Yellow. Total: Small White (3); Red Admiral (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral feeding on ivy floret
Photo © Francis Plowman

03 Oct 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. As the season rapidly draws to an end it's dash out when the sun shines! Ninety minutes was enough from 1230 to record just four species. Yesterday's incessant rain and storm force winds has taken its inevitable toll on nature but 16 degrees Celsius and a little sunshine brought out some hardy insects this afternoon. Five Red Admiral occupied one ivy bush and were feeding avidly. Total: Comma (2); Speckled Wood (M)(2); Red Admiral (6); Small White (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma feeding on blackberry
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral sucking on an ivy floret
Photo © Francis Plowman
Two out of five Red Admiral on the ivy
Photo © Francis Plowman

01 Oct 2021

clouded yellow at north baddesley. if anyone is trying to see Clouded Yellow before it is too late you are very welcome to come and see them on my reserve at north baddesle. for weeks there has been 3 resident here but today at least 5 were here. also 5 Small Copper,2 Common Blue,1 Large White,1 Peacock,2 Red Admiral. my email is spark.ky@hotmail.co.uk or 02380733995. [Posted by Kevin Ross]

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Photo © Kevin Ross

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Six species surviving here in low numbers on the first day of October. The weather permitted just an hour's wander from 1330 before (yet more) rain. In the brief window of sunshine the temperature stood at 17.5 deg C with a strong SW breeze. The buddleia in the butterfly meadow has just about gone with only one tatty Red Admiral holding-on there despite the aggressive manoeuvres of numerous dragonflies and darters. Total: Small White (M)(6)(F)(1); Large White (M)(1); Red Admiral (1); Speckled Wood (M)(4)(F)(1); Small Copper (2); Comma (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Female Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman

25 Sep 2021

Clouded Yellow - Warblington. Saturday was a dull and drizzly day around Langstone Harbour. Walking around Warblington looking for the Glossy Ibis I didn't expect to come across this in one of the fields, but it was very welcome, my first Clouded Yellow of the year.

https://awayfromfourmarks.blogspot.com/ [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Clouded Yellow
Photo © Chris Rose
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Chris Rose
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Chris Rose

24 Sep 2021

Eastney Beach and Fort Cumberland. In perfect weather conditions today on my local patch I saw at least three Clouded Yellows patrolling parts of the shingle beach at Eastney. Two Clouded Yellows were interacting together whether they had been paired up or were trying too I'm not sure but I lost them on the wide expanse. Several Small Coppers were seen at both areas today at Eastney and Fort Cumberland. One female was laying her eggs, and I had two pairs interacting. Several Common Blues were seen on the beach, and Small Heaths at Fort Cumberland with lots of whites. But numbers of Butterflies are dwindling. A lovely treble bar moth was seen in amongst the grasses. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Female Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Treble Bar Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

22 Sep 2021

Afton Down, Isle of Wight. From 1320-1425 we zig-zagged our way up, across and down the hillside accompanied by eleven species of butterfly. The weather and views both to the south and around our feet were quite stunning. This must be a very attractive butterfly venue at the height of summer. I shall return! Totals: Small White (21); Clouded Yellow (6); Meadow Brown (F)(7)(M)(1); Chalk Hill Blue (F)(17)(M)(1); Red Admiral (6); Large White (M)(6); Common Blue (M)(2); Adonis Blue (M)(1); Brown Argus (3); Small Heath (2); Peacock (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Adonis Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Clouded Yellow
Photo © Francis Plowman
Clouded Yellow with wing damage
Photo © Francis Plowman

Compton Bay Cliffs - Isle of Wight. While taking a picnic lunch on the cliffs above Compton Bay from 1220-1310 in glorious sunshine we counted: Clouded Yellow (2); Small White (5); Red Admiral (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

21 Sep 2021

Hayling Cycle Trail. Today with the temperature reaching 20 degrees I walked a section of the Hayling Cycle Trail near West Town, Hayling Island. Here I recorded Small White 11, Speckled Wood 1 and Red Admiral 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Mottistone Estate Isle of Wight. Clouded Yellow has been elusive on the mainland this year and so with reports of good numbers on the Isle of Wight we took a very early ferry and by 09:10 had arrived at the Mottistone Estate car park. The temperature by then had reached 13 degrees C. Having never been to Mottistone before, the information board was a good starting place. We had not seen one butterfly as we drove around the island so you can imagine the surprise on finding a Wall tucked into the lee of the notice board! Back to the car for the camera and my first sighting of this species for many-a-year in the UK was recorded. Unwatched, it eventually flew away and settled in the sunshine behind our car and allowed further photography. So a great start to a walk from 0920-1120 under sunny skies (21 degrees Celsius eventually). And one Clouded Yellow was seen on the wing! Total: Wall (1); Speckled Wood (M)(10(F)(2); Small Heath (6); Small White (1); Meadow Brown (5); Clouded Yellow (1); Red Admiral (1); Chalk Hill Blue (F)(1); Brown Argus (1); Common Blue (M)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Wall sheltering bottom left
Photo © Francis Plowman
Wall roosting at 09:10 a.m.
Photo © Francis Plowman
Wall (female) warming-up
Photo © Francis Plowman

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