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.

29 Sep 2021

Old Winchester Hill. Today a visit to Old Winchester Hill, where the temperature reached 19 degrees. Here I walked to the Hill Fort, where around the South West facing slope I recorded 15 male Adonis Blues as well as 4 Silver-spotted Skippers. A wonderful sight to see these striking Blues. A total of 11 species were recorded. Totals: Brimstone 2M 4F, Small White 5, Adonis Blue 15M, Chalk Hill Blue 6M 1F, Common Blue 4M, Gatekeeper 28, Meadow Brown 12, Small Heath 3, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Silver-spotted Skipper 4. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

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

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

19 Sep 2021

Meon Shore & Brownwich Cliff-Top Path. Between 1330 and 1445 I walked along the Meon Shore beach beneath the cliffs before returning by the cliff-top path. The temperature was around 20 degrees Celsius with an on-shore southerly breeze. Plenty of flora at the base of the cliff which the whites were using but no Clouded Yellow. An active Red Admiral male was on the beach presumably imbibing salts from the sea-weed. An immaculate Peacock sunning itself on the pathway almost fell victim to a cyclist who fortunately heeded my warning. Total: Small White (16); Small Copper (3); Red Admiral (10); Peacock (1); Comma (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock on the cliff-top pathway
Photo © Francis Plowman
Pristine Red Admiral male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

18 Sep 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. After yesterday's dreary afternoon at the MHD Winchester butterfly reserve I visited my local haunt this morning from 1030-1310. The temperature rose steadily to 24 degrees under full sun and a cloudless azure sky. Clearly this was sufficient encouragement for at least ten species to take advantage of the excellent weather. I venture to suggest that this may well be a bumper year for Red Admiral; 26 present today where they have many Buddleia bushes to choose from. At one time seven were on the corner Buddleia in the butterfly meadow. I wonder if there is a small diurnal moth with chestnut colouring which flies fast and high over trees and bushes? It never stops and blurry in-flight photographs were inconclusive. Brown Hairstreak? Today's confirmed sightings total: Small White (M)(12)(F)(2); Red Admiral (26); Small Copper (6); Comma (5); Common Blue (M)(1)(F)(1); Speckled Wood (M)(8); Small Heath (1); Large White (M)(1)(F)(1); Green-veined White (M)(1); Meadow Brown (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue female Var. Fb
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Elephant Hawk Moth Larva ..Lordswood. Elephant Hawk Moth larva found wondering across the living room floor!...must have come inside from back garden. [Posted by David Lobb]

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Elephant Hawk Moth Larva
Photo © David Lobb

17 Sep 2021

Magdalen Hill Down, Winchester. My last ramble over Magdalen Hill Down from 1345-1530 noted just six species. Red Admiral are well represented with Small White and Meadow Brown not so far behind. The weather was warmish at 20 degrees Celsius but the exposed hillside felt chilly under the southerly breeze. Total: Red Admiral (31); Comma (5); Meadow Brown (30); Small White (20); Small Heath (8); Speckled Wood (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Too late save this Small White!
Photo © Francis Plowman

16 Sep 2021

Chilling & Brownwich Coastal Area, Titchfield. Starting under misty skies and just 16 deg C seven species of butterfly were ultimately recorded between 1045-1315. On returning to the Chilling car park the temperature had risen to a very pleasant 21 degrees Celsius. Sadly no sighting of Clouded Yellow along the cliff tops or beach scrub at Brownwich. High numbers of Red Admiral and Comma with most seen feeding hungrily upon Blackberries. Total: Small White (25); Red Admiral (20); Comma (15); Speckled Wood (M)(7)(F)(1); Small Copper (2); Green-veined White (M)(1); Large White (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

Gilkicker Point, Gosport. 21.5 deg C and under warm sunshine a quick circulation of Gilkicker Point revealed The Solent in all its shining-sea-splendour and six species of butterfly. From 1410-1515 the count was: Small White (23); Holly Blue (2); Common Blue (M)(6); Small Copper (6); Large White (M)(1); Comma (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Small White mating pair (female at right)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. The final coastal check was at Haslar where between 1520-1550 the temperature was a warm 21 deg C and five species were noted. Total: Small Heath (2); Small White (3); Small Copper (1); Common Blue (M)(2)(F)1; Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue female Var Fb
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female (same butterfly)
Photo © Francis Plowman

Portsdown Hill. Went looking for any late Brown Hairstreaks, on the northern facing areas but the Sloes were facing either East or south but I feel they have probably finished now, but the area I was looking in was full of Blackthorn, and it was a job looking at all of the best areas whilst the best of the sun shone. I did see some Vapourer moths, which are sometimes misidentified as Brown Hairstreaks. Butterflies there were Holly Blues, Common Blues, Small Coppers, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and whites flying everywhere Large and Small. No Clouded Yellows were seen either. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Comma several were sen feeding on the multitude of Brambles seen today
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper on Ragwort
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
The area of which I was looking
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

14 Sep 2021

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. Seven species logged between 1505-1535. Nice and warm around 21 deg C and no breezes, sea or otherwise. No Clouded Yellow either and that was the purpose of my outing. Total: Small White (M)(4)(F)(1); Red Admiral (1); Brown Argus (1); Small Copper (2); Meadow Brown (1); Common Blue (M)(1); Small Heath (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Rather worn male Common Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Heath
Photo © Francis Plowman

Gilkicker Point, Gosport. I thought that I would never see one in 2021! A single Clouded Yellow (finally) turned-up flying at full tilt westwards stopping for no one! Not surprising given the numbers of large dragonflies that were patrolling aggressively in the scrub just inland from the rough promenade to the east of Fort Gilkicker. From 1540-1700 I covered the area around the fort; temperature around 21 deg C and very warm with hardly a breeze. Some ten species were noted with seventeen Small Copper. This has been a late season here for the Small Copper but they are evidently thriving still. Possibly trying to live-up to its name, the Red Admiral was last seen heading out to sea, direction Ryde! Total: Small White (11); Small Copper (17); Brown Argus (2); Common Blue (M)(3)(F)(1); Small Heath (1); Clouded Yellow (1); Large White 9M)(1); Meadow Brown (1); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper and Meadow Brown
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman

Eastney Beach. After a lengthy spell of rain overnight and in the morning the sun came out in the afternoon and I decided to go distinctly local, Eastney Beach which is a short walk from my house. The site can be as big or as small as you like depending on how far you actually walk, but there is a distinct bank with grasses and plants and I have seen Clouded Yellows many a time here. However there wasn't any today, but I did see a Small Heath for the first time there, although they frequent the Fort Cumberland area just around the corner. The Small Copper was in evidence as well with three males and two females being seen, and Common Blues as well, with large amounts of Small White and Large Whites, with a sprinkling of Red Admiral. Foxes were also close by sunning themselves although when they saw me they decided to scarper... [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Copper on Eastney Beach
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Common Blue and raindrops
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Whites were everywhere.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

13 Sep 2021

White-Letter Hairstreak In Hampshire. As in previous years I have been continuing my search for this butterfly in our area. Below is an additional list of sites where I can confirm the butterfly is present. As I have said before, I do not guarantee that the butterfly will be easy to see at close quarters in these locations, but I have marked the better sites with an asterisk. I did not publish a list last year but I have included 2020 discoveries here. I have given a grid reference and a brief description of each location. Hopefully this will enable somebody to see the butterfly closer to home. Good luck:

SU35604517 Andover - Beechurst Park. Siberian Elm close to pedestrian entrance in Salisbury Road (2020)

SU348466 Andover - Charlton Lakeside Park. Several Siberian Elms along cycle way at southern edge.

SU33951268 Ashurst Bridge - Fletchwood Lane. Small Wych Elm opp. entrance to Thornlands Farm (2020)

SU62955112 Basingstoke - Cranbourne College. Siberian Elm in college grounds (2020)

SU62825377 Basingstoke - Popley Way. In addition to the Siberian Elm on the corner of Abbey Road already reported. There are several further Elms along the road where the butterfly is present (2020)

SU55171699 Bishops Waltham - Botley Road. Roadside Elms close to village.

SU34141579 Calmore - Hillstreet. Wych Elm close to entrance to Testwood Lakes reserve.

SU65580515 Cosham - A397 Northern Road. New Horizon Elms near railway bridge (east side)*

SU65941207 Denmead - Kidmore Lane car park. Elms between car park and green near new housing.

SU54500593 Fareham - A27 Titchfield Gyratory. Elms at eastern end of traffic island near traffic lights.

SU59580166 Gosport - Military Road. Roadside Elms adjacent to allotments opposite Brune Park School.*

SZ590990 Gosport - Gomer Lane. Elms near entrance to Stanley Park and Bayhouse school.

SU64700049 Portsmouth - Arundel Street Park. Several New Horizon Elms in park.

SU65430346 Portsmouth - Doyle Avenue. Wych Elm near junction with London Road.

SU66250229 Portsmouth - Burrfields Road. Large Siberian Elm adjacent to allotments and railway line (2020)

SU40041413 Southampton - Stratton Road. Siberian Elms just inside old entrance to Wordsworth School.

SU51380954 Swanwick - The ElmTree. Elm in pub car park.

SU35871279 Totton - A35. Elms near bridge over Bartley Water (north side) adjacent to Rumbridge Street car park.*

SU45692809 Winchester - A3090 Badger Farm Road. Elms between road and golf course.* [Posted by Paul Harfield]

12 Sep 2021

Warm dry sunny in Eastney. Beautiful buttery yellow Clouded Yellow, flying fast along tank traps at Eastney.

About 1pm. Also on the 6th September at Hayling ferry. [Posted by Stella Cox]

late Silver-studded Blue in the New Forest. A visit to Shatterford Bottom in the New Forest, primarily to see the Heath Bumblebee (Bombus jonellus), also proved interesting from a butterfly perspective. You don't get many butterflies on the heaths this late in the season, indeed we only saw four in total, but to my amazement, one of these was a male Silver-studded Blue (see photo). This is a very late record, especially when you consider the latest Hampshire record in 2020 was 20 August, and the latest in 2019 was 31 August. The other butterflies seen were two Red Admirals and a lone Small Heath. A full grown Fox moth caterpillar was also encountered, which added further interest. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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late Silver-studded Blue (male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Small Heath
Photo © Andy Barker
Fox moth caterpillar
Photo © Andy Barker

Brown Hairstreak photographed at Great Fontley. Smoking gun at last, at 1330 today one immaculate female Brown Hairstreak photographed ovipositing in scallop of young blackthorn ensconced in bramble along The Orchard hedgerow at Great Fontley. Also rans included inebriated Comma on fermented blackberry, and Holly Blue passing through. The total number of species seen 2021 now stands at 28. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

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Brown Hairstreak underside
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Female Brown Hairstreak
Photo © Andrew Brookes
Same female BH doing the business
Photo © Andrew Brookes

Old Winchester Hill. A last visit to Old Winchester Hill to see how the Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper were doing on the car-park slope. The news is the Adonis Blue were everywhere probably the best count I've ever had from this area of the downland, well into the (70+) The Silver-spotted Skipper not so good they have practically finished with just (4) being seen. The good news is that the Clouded Yellow was seen in three different areas, whether this one being seen in three different areas or three separate ones. I think it was two on the wing here on the car-park slope, as two were seen in the same area yesterday 11th September. Other species seen there were still Chalk Hill Blue on the wing with Common Blue and the odd Brown Argus. The best count of any species were the Meadow Brown, Small White and Small Heath, these were all in their hundreds, the whites small and large, probably coming over from the continent, and the Meadow Brown another brood on the wing, and the Small Heath always does well at this site. Four Buzzards were seen quartering the sky over the fort area on the thermals, and the call of the Ravens were heard every now and then just to break the silence. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Adonis Blue some still in excellent condition
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Cloud formations over the Fort at OWH
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

11 Sep 2021

Brown Hairstreak still flying at Shipton Bellinger. In 2020, the final Hampshire Brown Hairstreak was seen on 13 September, but from what I saw at Shipton Bellinger today, the present season looks set to continue into the second half of the month. I saw 4 Brown Hairstreaks on transect, and Linda saw a fifth off-transect, all were along the hedge marking the Hants-Wilts border, and all were females. We arrived at 11.30am, just as the sun started to break through, and in no time at all I saw a female basking (Photo 1), then a second female landed low down and started to walk along a blackthorn sprig looking for suitable egg-laying sites (Photo 2). Another female was seen higher up, imbibing the juices of over-ripe berries of Wayfaring Tree (Photo 3). [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Brown Hairstreak (female)
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak (egg-laying)
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak (on berries)
Photo © Andy Barker

10 Sep 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Intermittent sunshine and a temperature around 20 degrees C accompanied me on a wander around the Walk from 1330-1550. In the same woodland-edged area where earlier this Summer I had photographed Purple Hairstreak and White-letter Hairstreak I was delighted to see a Brown Hairstreak in typical high and gyratory flight around the tree-tops and disappearing over thick blackberry bushes; no chance of settling but the second BH now recorded at this location although this was the first for 2021. Other than that pleasure, ten species in all were recorded. Total: Brown Hairstreak (1); Small White (M)(19)(F)(6); Comma (13); Red Admiral (9); Large White (M)(7); Holly Blue (2); Small Copper (2); Meadow Brown (1); Speckled Wood (M)(5)(F)(1); Green-veined White (f)(2)(M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma on a blackberry
Photo © Francis Plowman
Female Green-veined White
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Copper
Photo © Francis Plowman

Silver-Y nectaring in Chandlers Ford. When going out to our compost bin, just after sunset, at around 8.00-8.15pm, I happened to notice several moths flying round the flowers of Red Valerian (white form). I thought they were probably Silver-Ys, so I got a torch to check, and indeed, that is what they were. Not a rare moth, but a migrant species that seems to have been present in good numbers this summer. It's well worth checking good nectar plants in the evening, as there are often interesting moths to be seen. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Silver-Y nectaring after sunset
Photo © Andy Barker
Silver-Y in flight
Photo © Andy Barker

08 Sep 2021

Browndown South, Gosport. The flag poles minus red flags permitted a circulation of Browndown South notwithstanding that the small-arms range was in constant use throughout my walk (1100-1300)! With a fairly prominent breeze from the east the temperature was a comfortable 23.5 degrees Celsius. The heather has been really lovely this year but is now showing clear signs of desiccation. It looks as if the Grayling has run its course this year although Common Blue and Small Heath were easily found. Total: Small Heath (11); Small White (M)(12)(F)(7); Common Blue (M)(10); Meadow Brown (5); Holly Blue (M)(1); Brown Argus (2); Large White (M)(2)(F)(1); Small Copper (3). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue male feeding on Heather
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Heath
Photo © Francis Plowman

Moth Trap. More Moth trap news, last night was one of the warmest nights for many weeks unfortunately the moths are getting thin on the ground, although in 2020 I got Merveille-du-jour and Clifden nonpareil in September so I'm still plugging away. Today's tally was Maiden's Blush, Small Emeralds, Common Wainscot, Hebrew Characters, Copper Underwing, Yellow Underwing, September Thorn, Canary Shouldered Thorn, Large Yellow Underwing, Gold Spot, and Oak Hook Tip.

Also around the traps were Small Heaths, Green-veined Whites, Red Admirals, and Small Whites. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Gold Spot Moth... beautiful markings.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Canary Shouldered Thorn Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Hebrew Character Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

07 Sep 2021

Noar Hill. Visited Noar Hill today in pursuit of the increasingly elusive Brown Hairstreak. In the miniheat wave, the temperature reached summertime heights of 26 degrees. Many Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were enjoying their last days in the sun, but still no signs of the Brown Hairtsteak after 2 visits here recently. My totals were: Brimstone 2F, Small White 9, Common Blue 5M 2F, Gatekeeper 18, Meadow Brown 15, Small Heath 3, Speckled Wood 3, Red Admiral 1 and Silver-washed Fritillary 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Our garden in Leigh Park. We had a very worn Silver-washed Fritillary nectaring on the buddleia in our garden at Leigh Park and occasionally being chased by a House Sparrow. There was also a superb looking Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar on our fuchsia. [Posted by Barry and Margaret Collins]

Brown Hairstreak at Great Fontley again. A female Brown Hairstreak seen again at Great Fontley in the Meon Valley at 1420 today, in exactly the same spot one was seen 18 days ago. In very good condition, it is unlikely to have been the same specimen. On this occasion, it was seen tumbling down the north side of a field maple, briefly resting before disappearing into the foliage of a small, relatively remote, blackthorn, hopefully to oviposit. The location is idyllic, a scallop in a hedgerow, climax vegetation ash and oak orientated SW - NE, leaving the north-west side bathed in the afternoon sunlight yet fully protected from the easterly breeze. Other species now thin on the ground, save whites and Holly Blues, though a Small Tortoiseshell has rejoined the Red Admirals on the garden buddlejas. [Posted by Andrew Brookes]

06 Sep 2021

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. Butterflies just into double figures on a survey of the hill top and fields below the chalk pits at Portsdown this afternoon. Summer returned spectacularly with a temperature of 28.5 degrees C with light airs from the south making for a pleasurable wander from 1410-1630. Meadow Brown is the predominant specie by far with the count of female stopped at 65! High hundreds still to be found and no less than three mating pairs were found and one coupled pair of Small White. Common Blue are well represented as well as a few Chalk Hill Blue with females egg-laying and declining further mating. Total: Small White (M)(22)(F)(3); Holly Blue (2); Meadow Brown (F)(65+)(M)(22); Speckled Wood (M)(2); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(5)(F)(4); Common Blue (M)(17)(F)(14); Brown Argus (1); Brimstone (M)(3); Red Admiral (3); Large White (M)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Meadow Brown mating in front of a spider's web!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Chalk Hill Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone male
Photo © Francis Plowman

05 Sep 2021

Chilling & Brownwich Coastal Area, Titchfield. It was a real struggle to find butterflies on a walk from 1340-1510 today. The sun was out and temperature at 24 degrees Celsius but most of the ten butterflies eventually recorded were singletons. No sign of Clouded Yellow on the cliff tops at Brownwich neither any Painted Lady. The Small Copper and Common Blue were found at the very edge of the stony beach at Brownwich. Total: Small White (M)(17)(F)(3); Meadow Brown (1); Small Copper (1); Common Blue (M)(1); Large White (M)(1); Holly Blue (M)(1); Red Admiral (2); Peacock (1); Comma (2); Speckled Wood (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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

Brown Hairstreak in Froyle. Amazed to see a female brown hairstreak in our front garden on Friday morning 3rd September - a first for us and for Lower Froyle I believe. After a while it disappeared into our hedge which we had coppiced down last winter and has a lot of blackthorn regrowth - we’ll be egg searching this winter! In 2019 I saw a female BHS on transect in Bentley Station Meadow less than 10 minutes drive away. [Posted by Sue Clark]

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Brown Hairstreak Froyle
Photo © Sue Clark

Old Winchester Hill Field Trip. Today was a sad day as it was the last field trip of the 2021 season, but we went out with a bang and saw all but one of the target species today. The Silver-Spotted Skipper was everywhere, seeing them without even trying, and the Adonis Blue graced us with his and her presence in grand numbers, well over (50) were seen just down and around the main southern slope of the main track. I know the species will frequent the car-park slope in good numbers as well so in all its coming back which is a triumph. Other species in good numbers were the Small Tortoiseshell which were feeding avidly on the small scabious dotted around the top of the fort area, and Red Admiral and Brimstones were also having feeding frenzies, talk about making hay whilst the sun shines...never a truer word today. This season has lots of ups and downs weather wise, but I would like to thank everyone who has come on the field trips in 2021 and made them special, and my personal thanks to my little 'family' who has stuck with it through thick and thin. Hope to see you all in 2022. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Friends of Old Winchester Hill
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Mating Adonis Blues...
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper very common today.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

04 Sep 2021

Old Winchester Hill. Some more photographs from Saturday afternoon on Old Winchester Hill [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Small White
Photo © Chris Rose
Meadow Brown
Photo © Chris Rose
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Chris Rose

Old Winchester Hill. Summer returned and Saturday afternoon on Old Winchester Hill delivered not just with the Silver-spotted Skippers but a cloud of stunning Adonis Blues. Other sightings include good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Small Heath, Small White and Large White, Brimstone, Common Blue and plenty of very tatty and worn Chalk Hill Blues. The only disappointment was no Clouded Yellows.

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

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Adonis Blue
Photo © Chris Rose
Adonis Blue
Photo © Chris Rose
Sliver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Chris Rose

Noar Hill. From 1000-1230 under largely grey skies and north-easterly airs with the temperature ranging from 15-19 deg. C, at least ten species were recorded. This included Brown Hairstreak (x 4); three were disputing territory high around an oak tree while another singleton was flying a circuit above a hedgerow before repeating the cycle. None stopped for the camera but tauntingly flew almost under our noses a couple of times! It was very exciting at this stage of the season to see Silver-washed Fritillary and particularly to rescue one male from entanglement in a large spider's web. My intervention was suitably rewarded with a lengthy pose for the camera! Total: Meadow Brown (F)(31)(M)(3); Red Admiral (6); Silver-washed Fritillary (M)(4)(F)(1); Brown Hairstreak (4); Speckled Wood (M)(1); Green-veined White (M)(1); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Common Blue (M)(2)(F)(3); Gatekeeper (2); Small White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-washed Fritillary - the lucky one!
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue female - somewhat tired
Photo © Francis Plowman

Old Winchester Hill. A most colourful if not at times spectacular wander through the fields and tracks around the chalk hill from 1315-1530. A full clockwise circulation of the area encompassing the hill fort, descending the valley and traversing the copse before returning up the car park hill! The temperature ranged from 19-21 deg C with light breezes from the north-east and mostly warm, sunny intervals. Fourteen species took advantage of the conditions and made for a really enjoyable day. Just three Silver-spotted Skipper were seen but Adonis Blue virtually lit-up the place with the males' alternating cobalt shades flashing like neon. Magical! Total: Small White (M)(19)(F)(3); Meadow Brown (F)(50+)(M)(24); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(31)(F)(10); Small Heath (29); Large White (M)(1); Common Blue (M)(24)(F)(1); Adonis Blue (M)(40)(F)(5); Small Tortoiseshell (7); Silver-spotted Skipper (3); Brimstone (M)(7)(F)(4); Painted Lady (1); Red Admiral (1); Speckled Wood (M)(1); Brown Argus (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Silver-spotted Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Chalk Hill Blue male and female Meadow Brown on Wild marjoram
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis Blue
Photo © Francis Plowman

Meonstoke - Brown Hairstreaks back at last.. During the past two days, as so often in September, female Brown Hairstreaks have put in appearances in our Meonstoke garden. Unlike in Chawton, where females have again been so obliging this past week, engrossed in egg-laying in the hedgerows adjacent to our offices, here they are to be seen impatiently racing to and fro, seemingly in search of nectar sources, as that is all we offer them in our Blackthorn-free garden (where they are attracted to hibiscus, Canadian Goldenrod, buddleja, Field Scabious and Hemp Agrimony). Other species in the garden today were Brimstone (2), Large White (1), Small White (3), Green-veined White (1), Holly Blue (4), Common Blue (5), Small Copper (1), Red Admiral (8), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Peacock (2), Comma (1), Speckled Wood (3), Meadow Brown (16) and Small Heath (1). [Posted by David Mills]

Stockbridge Down blues. Despite the rather cloudy conditions, with occasional hazy sunshine, we decided a visit to Stockbridge Down might be worth the trip. We didn't come across any late Silver-spotted Skippers or Brown Hairstreaks, but we were nevertheless rewarded with 14 different butterfly species. Most numerous were Meadow Brown (68), Chalk Hill Blue (12) and Red Admiral (10), but others included Common Blue (7), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Adonis Blue (1 male), Painted Lady (1), Small Copper (1), Brown Argus (1) and Holly Blue (1). As you can see from the photos, Marjoram was a popular nectar source for the blues, whilst the Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells and Painted Lady were all on the car park Buddleia. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Adonis Blue (male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Chalk Hill Blue (worn male)
Photo © Andy Barker
Common Blue (female - blue form)
Photo © Andy Barker

03 Sep 2021

Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrub - Gosport. Thirty minutes (from 5pm today, 23 deg C and warm) is all it took to wander around this wild-flower-strewn scrubby field. Four species still on the wing but not all approachable even at the end of the afternoon. With its wings open I would have recorded the female Common Blue as a Brown Argus; however, with wings folded the extra forewing spot closer to the body secured identification. Total: Small White (M)(2)(F)(1); Common Blue (F)(1)(M)(6); Small Heath (2); Meadow Brown (4)(at least 2 female). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My first trek of September found a dozen species enjoying the dewy sunshine from 1100-1350 with a temperature range of 20-22C and warm. Small White is in the ascendancy as the field butterflies diminish rapidly. The purple buddleia bush was favoured top-up corner for Red Admiral, Comma and both Large and Small White. Sadly two of the latter had fallen foul of a rather large spider guarding his prey in a very wide web. Beside the sea shore a fleeting glimpse of a Painted Lady was unexpected. It's been a while since I was able to photograph a Peacock here but one allowed a close approach. Total: Small White (M)(37)(F)(7); Red Admiral (7); Comma (5); Large White (M)(3); Holly Blue (4); Meadow Brown (F)(4); Common Blue (M)(1); Brown Argus (1); Small Heath (1); Peacock (1); Speckled Wood (7) (at least 3 male); Painted Lady (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Comma breakfast on blackberries
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock on Fleabane (I think!)
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White female on Hemp agrimony
Photo © Francis Plowman

Moth trap. Another moth trap at a time when the air is very cool and so the moths are not that keen to fly that much. However I did manage 16 or more species these being: Coxcomb Prominent, Brimstone Moth, August Thorn, September Thorn, Hebrew Character, Large Yellow Underwing, Black Arches, Light Emeralds, Swallow Prominent, Green Carpet, Bloodvein, Common Wainscots, Frosted Orange, Peach Blossom, Mocha, and Peacocks.

The day before in the garden I espied a Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Elephant Hawk Moth Cat
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
August Thorn Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Coxcomb Prominent moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Butser Hill. I don’t very often visit Butser at this time of the year, but having seen a single Adonis Blue in the Spring of 2019 I thought I would have a look along with the off chance that Silver Spotted Skipper may have colonised, as the habitat looks eminently suitable. Well no skippers, but success with Adonis Blue in the shape of a single pristine male. All being well they have established a tentative foothold here. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Butser Adonis
Photo © Mark Tutton

Citrus Swallowtail on Hayling Island. Unexpected visitor to the driveway this morning in Northney, Hayling Island, a Citrus Swallowtail, no idea where it has escaped from. Irecord doesn't have it listed to record it as normal. [Posted by Ian Mears]

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Photo © Ian Mears

02 Sep 2021

Browndown (North) and Alver Valley Country Park. My first record for meteorological Autumn numbered fourteen species on a walk from 1250-1530 today. The temperature was 19 degrees Celsius under leaden clouds with occasional glimpses of the sun but with a fairly intrusive North-Easterly breeze. At least three Grayling populated the heathland although there are probably more as those that I saw were incredibly timid and looking to lie low. Other than that, Speckled Wood continue to show well this year with good numbers of the larger female seen. Total: Small White (M)(14)(F)(3); Large White (M)(1); Brown Argus (2); Speckled Wood (F)(9)(M)(8); Red Admiral (5); Meadow Brown (14); Comma (2); Common Blue (M)(2); Small Copper (2); Small Heath (1); Grayling (3); Holly Blue (F)(1); Gatekeeper (1); Green-veined White (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grayling
Photo © Francis Plowman
Common Blue male with missing spots!
Photo © Francis Plowman

01 Sep 2021

Old Winchester Hill. Today I paid a return visit to Old Winchester Hill where the temperature was the same as my last visit, 19 degrees. Here I walked to the bottom of the car park slope where most of the male Adonis Blues were flying, along with Silver-spotted Skippers. My total count of 23 Adonis Blues was the best I have ever had before at this site, after several years of seeing only a few. Totals: Large White 1, Small White 8, Adonis Blue 23M, Chalk Hill Blue 3M 4F, Common Blue 8M, Gatekeeper 25, Meadow Brown 14, Small Heath 23, Silver-spotted Skipper 6. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Beacon Hill NNR Field Trip. The penultimate Field trip today was cool and cloudy most of the time but battling through the grasses on the flowery downland we all managed to see very few Silver-spotted Skippers, along with Brown Argus, a few Common Blues, Chalk Hill Blues, Small Heaths, fresh looking Meadow Browns and Red Admirals along the footpath of the downland. We just managed 12 species of butterfly and a few moth species like Silver-Y Moths, Mint Moths and Common Carpets, with flocks of Goldfinches flying in and around the trees and bushes, with Red Kites and Buzzards overhead, and Swallows fattening up on anything that was flying, which wouldn't have been much as it was very cool. Rather disappointing with the weather as with more sunshine and a few degrees higher in temperature would have made all the difference. However we saw one of the three target species, and I would like to thank all who came. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Class of 2021
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brown Argus
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Silver-Spotted Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

31 Aug 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. My last tour of the area for August this afternoon (1330-1600) realised eleven species. All 'usual suspects' for this time of the year but given the gloomy skies, northerly breeze and temperature around 17.5 deg C I was very satisfied. Two mating pairs of Small White were seen; the buddleia bush in the butterfly meadow at one time had six species resting or feeding which was very pleasing. Clearly the season is drawing to its conclusion and the poor weather seems to be hastening the end. Total: Small White (M)(18)(F)(12); Speckled Wood (M)(5)(F)(1); Holly Blue (M)(4)(F)(1); Small Copper (1); Common Blue (M)(3); Meadow Brown (M)(2)(F)(1); Brown Argus (2); Red Admiral (5); Comma (4); Green-veined White (M)(3); Gatekeeper (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brown Argus
Photo © Francis Plowman
Red Admiral
Photo © Francis Plowman
Holly Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman

29 Aug 2021

Noar Hill NNR. This like last year there hasn't been many reports of the Brown Hairstreak at Noar Hill, and by the way things are with the weather it is hardly surprising. Today started off very sunny and warm and I thought I was in for a chance. However by 11:00 it had completely closed in and the temperature had dropped several degrees. I am lucky in knowing most of the areas where the Brown Hairstreak tends to spend its time, although it can really turn up anywhere. I saw one fly across the road as I was parking up, and then again atop of an Oak tree, but it wasn't very active as it was very cloudy. There wasn't any chance of seeing them down as the weather was just too cold. Other species seen were several Red Admirals and there has been a good turn out of new Small Tortoiseshells, all feeding on the acres of Hemp Agrimony. Small Copper and Common Blue really made up the bulk of the interesting species. Its good to know the Brown Hairstreak seems to making inroads along Portsdown Hill, it will be in my garden soon! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Small Tortoiseshell on Hemp Agrimony
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Brimstone and two flies feeding on Hemp Agrimony
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Caterpillar of a Pug Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

28 Aug 2021

Stockbridge Down. Sixteen butterfly species accounted for today in a walk from 1015-1310 initially under very lumpy grey skies, strong breeze from the NE (14.5 deg C) through to pleasant sunny intervals and 20 deg C around midday. This site currently 'belongs' to Meadow Brown closely followed by Chalk Hill Blue. No sign of Silver-spotted Skipper but some really nice and fresh Adonis Blue were noted in the lower fields adjacent to the main road. Brown Hairstreak x2 was seen flying fast down the 'avenue' before rising to the tree-tops before repeating the same flight path. Frustratingly neither settled. Total: Meadow Brown (50+); Speckled Wood (M)(2)(F)(1); Small Heath (4); Small White (M)(6)(F)(5); Chalk Hill Blue (M)(50+)(F)(40); Painted Lady (2); Common Blue (M)(9)(F)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Brown Hairstreak (2); Brimstone (M)(4)(F)(2); Small Copper (2); Peacock (1); Red Admiral (1); Gatekeeper (1); Brown Argus (3); Adonis Blue (M)(12)(F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Common Blue female Var Fb
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis Blue female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Adonis Blue male
Photo © Francis Plowman

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