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

News Archive for Apr 2021

29 Apr 2021

Oxenbourne Down/Wascoombe Bottom. Another very cool day, and the threat of rain clouds were never very far away, and so the butterfly count was quite minimal. Peacock(1) Duke of Burgundy (1) in Wascoombe Bottom, Brimstone (1) Small Copper (3) one was a female and she was laying eggs on Sorrel in Wascoombe bottom. Dingy Skipper (4) and last but not least one Grizzled Skipper. All in all the butterfly count in April has been really poor, and it's been the coldest April since 1970. Last year in 2020 was one of the hottest how things change! [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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On top of Oxenbourne Down looking into Wascoombe bottom
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Copper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. It was cool, cloudy and unhopeful today at my local patch (1045-1230) with temperature of 11 degrees Celsius and just glimpses of diffused sunlight. Few butterflies bothered to show up (who could blame them?) but the saving grace was the belated arrival this year of Green-veined White! Every cloud......

Totals: Small White (M)(3); Peacock (1); Large White (1); Comma (1); Green-veined White (F)(1); Speckled Wood (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green-veined White female
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock with evident wing damage
Photo © Francis Plowman
Peacock with aphid on board?
Photo © Francis Plowman

27 Apr 2021

Beacon Hill NNR (2.30pm-4pm). Seizing the first opportunity of the spring to traverse the lowest contours of all of this reserve's slopes in sheltered and sunny conditions, I found plenty of butterflies of 11 species, particularly on the east-facing slopes. As so often here, Dingy Skippers (14) outnumbered Grizzled Skippers (7), while Brimstones (24) were abundant and Green Hairstreaks (2) were obliging. The supporting cast included Holly Blue (2), Small Copper (2), Peacock (6), Orange-tip (6), Green-veined White (1), Small White (3) and Large White (2). [Posted by David Mills]

Dukes Mating At Noar Hill. My early afternoon destination was Noar Hill, where the Duke of Burgundy are really starting to get going, with 10 seen around the central chalkpits. They were mainly encountered singly and predominantly fresh males. When a male and female found themselves in the same chalkpit, they clearly knew what to do, and after a very short courtship, settled down to creating next year's offspring. A Dingy Skipper in the quarry by the Charity Farm exit, rounded off a productive visit. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Early Days in West Wood but Grizzlies Start to Emerge. A lunchtime walk in West Wood (Farley Mount) didn't produce too many surprises, with a few Orange-tips and Speckled Woods on the wing, in addition to several hibernators (Brimstone, Peacock). In the clearing, Grizzled Skipper are just starting to emerge with 2 seen. No sign of Dukes yet. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Alan Thornbury

Ramsdean Down, Butser Hill. From 1100-1245 a quick descent to the bottom of Ramsdean Down in ever warming air (11-15 deg C) and good sunshine was well worth the effort of the steep ascent to the car park. A very tough climb for sure. Hoping to see Grizzled Skipper we were not disappointed. No sighting of Duke of Burgundy today. Totals: Dingy Skipper (11); Grizzled Skipper (7); Peacock (2); Small White (M)(2); Green Hairstreak (1); Orange-tip (M)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Dingy Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman

Magdalen Hill Down. The highlight of a cloudy afternoon, when most butterflies seemed to disappear, was a Small Heath. Others that did appear were one Grizzled Skipper, one Green Hairstreak and two each of Brimstone and Peacock. [Posted by Dave Pearson]

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Small Heath at MHD
Photo © Dave Pearson

26 Apr 2021

Oxenbourne Down and Wascoombe Bottom. Still a very cool breeze keeping the temperatures down and in the morning at Oxenbourne Down I was wandering around for a good 90 minutes without seeing anything. But the sun did warm up a bit as the temperature went up a few degrees which made a difference. One Duke of Burgundy was seen and also down in the Coombe known as Wascoombe bottom there was no breeze at all and very warm indeed. Here there were Grizzled Skippers (12), Dingy Skippers (9), Orange-tips (7), Peacock (8) One Small Copper, and Speckled Wood, and several Brimstones. This is the best count so far in 2021. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Orange Tip and Dandeloin
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Bee Fly
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Grizzled skipper at MHD. 3 fresh Grizzled Skipper seen on Magdalen Hill Down, original reserve, this afternoon. [Posted by Mary Parker]

Cool Butser. The wind was decidedly cold in the car park at the top of Butser hill so I wasn’t very hopeful. However a couple of Green Hairstreak during the descent along the western boundary cheered me up. Good numbers of Grizzled Skippers we’re flying in the valley bottom along with a handful of Dingy Skipper. After an hour's searching I turned up my first Duke of Burgundy of the year which unusually turned out to be a Duchess.

A pleasant if cool interlude. [Posted by Mark Tutton]

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Duchess
Photo © Mark Tutton

25 Apr 2021

Green Hairstreak at Noar Hill. Early afternoon on Sunday 25th April at Noar Hill produced a Green Hairstreak (shown to us by other enthusiasts), four Duke of Burgundy, two Peacocks, three Holly Blues two Dingy Skippers and at least six Orange-tips. Photos of green hairstreak, dingy skipper and Duke attached. [Posted by Ashley Ailes]

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Orange-tip, Noar Hill 25 Apr 2021
Photo © Ashley Ailes
Green Hairstreak Noar Hill 25 Apr 2021
Photo © Ashley Ailes
Duke of Burgundy Noar Hill 25 Apr 2021
Photo © Ashley Ailes

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. The cool NE-wind surely affected numbers today (1215-1415) with a temperature around 13-14 deg C. The rise of the whites is apparent whereas it looks like the end of the overwintering Peacock. Only two females were seen today and they were both egg-laying on young nettles. The wing colour of the females here is clearly more russet or orangey red than the deeper red shade noted on the male. Comma numbers were also lower than expected. Unusually still no sign of Green-veined White nor Orange-tip. Totals: Small White (14); Large White (M)(2)(F)(1); Speckled Wood (M)(4); Brimstone (M)(1); Comma (2); Peacock (F)(2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock female egg-laying
Photo © Francis Plowman
Dozy foxy
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male
Photo © Francis Plowman

Noar Hill. On a mid-morning ramble around the reserve under blue skies with bright sunshine and a brisk NE breeze, we saw a Dingy Skipper, Orange-tip (m&f), a solitary Duke of Burgundy (m) and a Holly Blue. (The cowslips are in flower plus some splendid early purple orchids). [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Butser Hill. Gale force winds and really cool temperatures kept any sign of the Duke of Burgundy down today,and for that matter most other species. The only species of note were well over (30) Grizzled Skippers so they have emerged in good numbers, and I had a Emperor Moth buzzing around me down in the coombe opposite Ramsdean Down, obviously he detected my Lure which is attached to my camera case, first time I've ever noted one on Downland before.Other species of note were a couple of Speckled Woods in the wooded area around the car-park and a couple of Dingy Skippers as well. I noted one Early Purple Orchid and many Hairy Violets the best I've ever seen on the downs. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Close up of Antennae of Male Emperor Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Close up of an Early Purple Orchid
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Desperate for some rain!
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

24 Apr 2021

Browndown South. There were up to four Small Copper showing on Browndown South despite the very brisk easterly window. In sheltered spots where the gorse has been cut back and dead wood was on the ground the Small Cooper could be found showing a lovely golden orange in the spring sunshine.

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

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Photo © Chris RosePhoto © Chris RosePhoto © Chris Rose

More from Noar Hill. More photos of the Dingy Skippers at Noar Hill and a Dark-edged Bee-Fly

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

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Photo © Chris RosePhoto © Chris RosePhoto © Chris Rose

Noar Hill Dukes. First real butterfly trip this year saw arrival at Noar Hill early afternoon. an Orange-tip were present around the entrance gate and several were seen around the reserve. Two Dingy Skippers were present in the chalk quarry at the entrance and the first three Duke of Burgundy were present in the first sheltered dip from the quarry. In total we found eight Duke of Burgundy and seven Dingy Skippers. Supporting cast came from several Holly Blues, Brimstone and Peacock. All of the Duke of Burgundy were quite docile, and approachable, maybe due to the conditions, the dip providing shelter from the wind, or maybe as they had just emerged [Posted by Chris Rose]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Chris Rose
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Chris Rose
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Chris Rose

Grizzly Butser. A windy but warm walk at Butser Hill and Ramsdean Down (No. 15 in ‘Hants and IOW butterfly walks’) brought us plenty of Grizzled Skippers (5), 1 Green Hairstreak, 3 Peacock, 1 Brimstone (F). [Posted by Adam Fulton]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Adam Fulton

Noar Hill. The world and his wife (including mine!) it seemed were found seeking audience with the Duke of Burgundy today and few would have been disappointed. From 1145-1400 with the temperature ranging between 15-17 degrees Celsius we circulated the site finding four Dukes on the way in and a total of 9 on the way out. So that was another 'first' sighting of the year as was Holly Blue and Dingy Skipper. Totals: Peacock (8); Holly Blue (M)(3); Orange-tip (M)(6); Brimstone (M)(6)(F)(3); Duke of Burgundy (M)(9); Small White (M)(4); Dingy Skipper (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Holly Blue male on dog faeces
Photo © Francis Plowman
Duke of Burgundy male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Francis Plowman

23 Apr 2021

Havant Thicket. Today I paid a visit to Havant Thicket where the temperature reached a balmy 15 degrees. Here there were Brimstones galore, with both sexes in flight. Several fresh male Orange-tips were also active. Totals: Brimstone 34M 15F, Orange-tip 14M, Large White 1, Small White 3 and Peacock 2. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

22 Apr 2021

Hayling Billy Cycle Trail. Today I returned to a local walk on Hayling Island, from Saltmarsh Lane to the Station Theatre. The temperature was 13 degrees and I saw four different species. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 1, Small White 4 and Peacock 1. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Martin Down.. Visited today between 1000 and 1300 and at first I was starting to wonder if I had April mixed up with February as it was such a cold wind. Anyway it took over an hour to even see a butterfly but eventually it warmed up a tad and the following were seen, Peacock 8, Large White 1, Small Copper 4, Grizzled Skipper 6, Brimstone 2. Not the best few hours I have ever had here! Also two Wheatear. [Posted by Mark Pike]

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Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Mark Pike
Small Copper
Photo © Mark Pike
Wheatear
Photo © Mark Pike

Oxenbourne Down. A warm day once it had got above the hillsides and Coombes of Oxenbourne Down. Here the site has had some serious scrub bashing, large swathes of the downland have been totally cut of any scrub. In a year or two it will be interesting to see how the Silver-Spotted Skipper fares here as it should encourage the growth of all sorts of flora and fauna. The site is sadly lacking in Cowslip here though, but on the lower slopes in private gardens and now the seeds have seeded themselves there are good areas of Primrose. Butterflies seen on the wing today were Speckled Wood (1) Brimstone (10) Orange Tip (1) Grizzled Skipper(2) Peacock (1) and last but not least Large White (1). This site is normally a few days behind some sites in the Butser Complex so it wasn't surprising I never saw any Duke of Burgundies. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Primrose at the base of the main slope
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Oxlip
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Serious scrub bashing area.
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Green Hairstreak Numbers Building On Portsdown. A lunchtime walk along the shrub-bordered pathways at the foot of Portsdown Hill produced 6 Green Hairstreaks, mostly in very good condition, but some showing signs of wear. They were mainly perched amongst the shrubbery, making occasional short flights, but sometimes flitting around close to the ground. Plenty of male Orange-tips seen too (10), however they were flying almost continuously in the unbroken sunshine. [Posted by Alan Thornbury]

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Alan Thornbury
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Alan Thornbury

20 Apr 2021

Hayling Billy Cycle Trail. Today the temperature was 14 degrees as I made a local walk from Saltmarsh Lane, Hayling Island to the site of the Station Theatre. Few butterflies were in flight with only a Small White and a pair of male Orange-tips recorded. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Duke of Burgundy at Noar Hill. A number of reports of 1 or 2 Dukes at Noar Hill. Cowslips on the way but not mature. Thanks to all the work on the site. Looks great. [Posted by Mark Jones]

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Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Mark Jones

Noar Hill NNR. My first outing to Noar Hill today in perfect weather conditions, and the butterflies didn't disappoint. The Duke of Burgundy was located about mid-day, when it was probably the warmest, and after about three hours on site, and on a second pass of the area where I saw it. The male was flying and having a go at several bee-flies that came too close but most of the time it was settled enjoying the warm sunshine giving me good views of its exquisite patterning on the underneath of its wings. Other butterflies seen today were, Brimstone(10) Peacock (5) Holly Blue (3) Orange Tip (5) and of course the Duke. There is a lot of management going on in the pits at the moment, lots of scrub is being cleared, by Hants and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Duke of Burgundy enjoying the warm sunshine
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Brimstone
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

19 Apr 2021

Gosport - Four Sites. Haslar Sea Wall Car Park Scrubland. 1100-1120 12 deg C, sunny, little breeze. Hoped to see Small Copper. Nothing. Very little flora either.

Gilkicker Point. 1130-1155 12 deg C, sunny, cooler near the sea. No Small Copper; no anything!

Alver Valley Country Park (West of River Alver). 1200-1300 12.5 deg C, warm sunshine, hardly a breeze. Totals: Brimstone (M)(2)(F)(1); Small White (M)(1); Large White (F)(1); Peacock (3). Sadly, the large field formerly the old caravan site is now being developed. A large steel perimeter fence encloses the whole area, now devoid of its mature trees and scrub so bang goes a great site for Small Skipper and Essex Skipper!

Monks Walk. 1310-1500 13 deg C, warm sunshine. Totals: Peacock 7; Small White (M)(4)(F)(2); Comma (3); Large White (2); Brimstone (M)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Speckled Wood (2). I watched a pair of Peacocks in flight, spiralling higher and higher until they disappeared over trees. Later I came across a pair in the adjacent butterfly meadow clearly in courtship. They flittered and spread wings before once again ascending into the sky. I think the larger butterfly may be the female; the one nearer the camera was clearly smaller and obviously different wing colours. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone male resting at the Alver Valley
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman
Pairing Peacocks (?) at Monks Walk
Photo © Francis Plowman

Titchfield Canal Path. An Orange Tip at long last along the Titchfield Canal Path - in fact having waited so long to see one this year this was a pair. No picture unfortunately - they settled nicely but the canal was between me and them! Also my first Green Veined White of the year. I think I just need a Holly Blue now and I'll feel as if I've caught up. Not much else about despite glorious sunshine - Large Whites, Peacocks and a Comma was all I could muster. [Posted by Mark Wagstaff]

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Green Veined White - Titchfield
Photo © Mark Wagstaff
Green Veined White - Titchfield
Photo © Mark Wagstaff

18 Apr 2021

Chalton Down, Old Idsworth. After a few visits recently to Havant Thicket, I paid a visit to Chalton Down. The temperature was 13 degrees and in a sheltered spot I recorded three male Brimstones patrolling. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Timber Rifle Range. 11-12. 1 Peacock and 2 Small White. [Posted by Adam Fulton]

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Peacock
Photo © Adam Fulton

New Forest. A visit to the New Forest in almost perfect conditions. The morning the wind was a little cool, but by the time mid-day came around it was quite warm. Lack of rain makes the New Forest look very barren and 'grey' in colour and certainly not very welcoming. However I had my trusty Emperor Moth Pheromone slung on to the side of my camera case. It took awhile before anything to happen, but after about an hour a very fast moving object started taking an interest in my camera bag, and once I had put it down it Identified itself and it was a perfect Emperor Moth, and settled down on some very dried up Heather at first, and then disembarked and flew onto my camera bag, where it stayed and settled down, and was very tame. Other butterflies seen were good numbers of Brimstones, and Peacocks were seen also. Back at the car-park another Emperor Moth was seen flying like fury in and around the cars, it must have sensed my pheromone and was hunting it, but sadly it lost contact and disappeared. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Male Emperor moth on my pheromone bag
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Male Emperor Moth underneath its wings
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
New Forest at Matley Heath
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Isle of Wight Spring Species.. Three Green Hairstreak seen today at the foot of Afton Down together with two Grizzled Skipper and a Small Copper. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill. A half-hour wander around Fort Widley from 1445-1515 was virtually fruitless; just one Small Tortoiseshell and a single female Large White. The meadows have really been cutback hard; a few small patches of violets are appearing as are rather more cowslips. [Posted by Francis Plowman]

Portsdown Hill, Paulsgrove. From 1235-1445 the hill-top and lower pathways were explored. Seven species were recorded including my first sighting of Green Hairstreak and (at last) Orange-tip! With the temperature around 13 degrees and with changeable/cool wind direction, numbers were relatively low for mid-April. Totals: Speckled Wood (3); Peacock (11); Brimstone (M)(4); Green Hairstreak (1); Orange-tip (M)(1); Small White (13); Large White (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Green Hairstreak
Photo © Francis Plowman

17 Apr 2021

Havant Thicket. Visited Havant Thicket today where the temperature was 13 degrees. Brimstones were flying in good numbers with many fresh Orange-tips adding to the colour. Also recorded my first Holly Blue this year. Totals: Brimstone 33M 4F, Small White 2, Orange-tip 11M, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 3. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. A circulation from 1100-1340 brought six species to book namely: Small White (5); Brimstone (M)(3)(F)(1); Large White (M)(1); Comma (9); Speckled Wood (3); Peacock (4). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Large White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Francis Plowman
Brimstone female on Dandelion
Photo © Francis Plowman

Ports Down Chalk Pit. Loop around the pit 1500-1630. 1 Brimstone, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 11 Peacock, 11 s/l White and a wiff of barbecues in the air! [Posted by Adam Fulton]

Abbotstone Down. During a warm afternoon ramble in bright sunshine, we saw a meandering Brimstone, an Orange-tip visiting garlic mustard, a Speckled Wood in its sunny corner spot and many Peacock pairs sun-bathing and flutter-dancing. [Posted by Robert Bryant]

Milton Lock NNR. A sunny day but still a chilly wind keeping numbers down. At Milton Lock and along the foreshore and Allotments there were Small Whites (12) One Green-veined White, three Peacocks, and one Comma and one Small Tortoiseshell. Holly Blue and Speckled Wood still not showing here at the moment. Wild flowers are very stunted due to the droughted conditions. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Comma Camouflage
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell and plastic
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Green Veined White on Dandelion
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

16 Apr 2021

Busy hummingbird hawkmoth. A hummingbird hawkmoth was busy around a small clump of gorse at midday Friday. made my day. [Posted by John Goodspeed]

14 Apr 2021

Havant Thicket. Visited Havant Thicket today where the temperature was a cool 11 degrees. Two male Brimstones and two male Orange-tips were recorded. [Posted by Roy Symonds]

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Gosport's share of global warming this morning was a paltry 12 degrees C in the fleeting sunshine before dark clouds descended and rain fell. But, from 1100-1230'ish six butterfly species were seen although in very low numbers. What with an overnight frost and indifferent daytime temperatures I was happy to see anything! No sign of Orange-tip yet and hope Green-veined White is not far away either. Totals: Large White (1); Comma (2); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Brimstone (M)(1); Small White (M)(1); Peacock (2). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Brimstone male on Dandelion
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male
Photo © Francis Plowman
Comma
Photo © Francis Plowman

Two New Spring Species seen on Isle of Wight. On the Isle of Wight today a Green Hairstreak and a Small Copper. Both enjoying the sunshine in the same sheltered spot. [Posted by Peter Hunt]

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Photo © Peter HuntPhoto © Peter Hunt

13 Apr 2021

Portsdown Hill NNR. Looked promising at first with bright sunshine, but the threat of cloudy and wet weather was on the horizon, and I could see in the distance Gosport getting a soaking at times during the morning. However on Portsdown Hill there were modest numbers of butterflies, however now we are into the middle of April I would normally expect something a lot better but it hasn't been a normal year so far, with cool winds blowing from the the North. The Brimstone was the most common butterfly seen with numbers seen (10) then came the Peacock with a count of (8), then the Small White (6) two female Orange-tips were seen at the base of the large chalk pit area, these were seen settling on Dandelions, but were quite jittery. A Painted Lady was seen on the slopes of the downland with a Comma as well. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Painted Lady
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Female Orange Tip
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Peacock
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

Grey Shoulder Moth (query) at Burridge. Resting on patio windows last week. I am not confident with moth identification, but think it is probably a grey shoulder knot [Posted by Ashley Ailes]

11 Apr 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Against the odds, four species braved the cool temperature (9-10 deg C) between noon and 1.30 pm but only five butterflies were recorded. Slender faith was rewarded, however, in the first sighting here of Red Admiral since 1st March; in great condition too so possibly a late emergence? At least the cool conditions kept butterflies relatively still for photography although the female Speckled Wood was actually shivering! Totals: Speckled Wood (F)(1); Red Admiral (1); Peacock (2); Small Tortoiseshell (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Red Admiral in fine fettle
Photo © Francis Plowman
Same Red Admiral feeding on blackthorn blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell also in great condition
Photo © Francis Plowman

09 Apr 2021

7UP! Monks Walk, Gosport. Three more species than yesterday were recorded today (1225-1400) and probably encouraged out under sunny skies and no cold wind (temperature range 11-13 deg Celsius). Of interest today was a remarkably colourless Peacock, a recently emerged Speckled Wood (female) and my first sighting this year of a mating pair (Small White). Totals: Comma (6); Brimstone (M)(2); Small White (M)(4)(F)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (1); Large White (1); Peacock (5); Speckled Wood (F)(1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock - fading glory?
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White - mating pair
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood (female)
Photo © Francis Plowman

Milton Lock and foreshore. A warmish day where the wind had abated but the butterfly count was very poor. In fact so far this year I think everything is still waiting for that big explosion of species. Numbers of what are out seem to be very poor as well. One Small Tortoiseshell was seen a female which was egg-laying on some nettle. Other butterflies seen was just the Small White, a pair mating and one singleton. At home I had a fresh Angle Shades Moth sitting on my windowsill of the porch in the bright sunshine. [Posted by Ashley Whitlock]

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Angle Shades Moth
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small White's mating
Photo © Ashley Whitlock
Small Tortoiseshell laying on nettle
Photo © Ashley Whitlock

08 Apr 2021

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Two hours this afternoon when the sun finally emerged from high cloud, I found butterfly numbers and species much reduced. The temperature at 12 degrees Celsius felt much cooler in the swirling breeze and only four species for a total of 11 butterflies were recorded today. But, Bluebells are out, a glorious purple Snakes-head fritillary nodded gracefully in the breeze and a young fox studied me closely in the butterfly meadow. Totals: Peacock (5); Small White (M)(2); Small Tortoiseshell (3); Speckled Wood (1). [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock basking out of the wind
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small White male roosting on buddleia
Photo © Francis Plowman
Small Tortoiseshell on low nettles
Photo © Francis Plowman

04 Apr 2021

Hummingbird already. During a mid afternoon gardening teabreak to my great surprise saw a Hummingbird Hawkmoth fly in and spend a minute or so nectaring on aubretia flowers. My earliest ever in the garden; also around was a Comma butterfly. [Posted by Andy Bolton]

03 Apr 2021

Orange-tip female. Emerged today from lordswood one of four raised from eggs on honesty plant last year [Posted by David Lobb]

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Photo © David LobbPhoto © David Lobb

02 Apr 2021

Orange-tip & Holly Blue at Magdalen. Along with 32 Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshell, I saw a male Holly Blue and a male and female Orange-tip at Magdalen Hill Down on Friday, 2nd April. [Posted by Lee Hurrell]

Lee (Nursling). Pristine Painted Lady seen near River Test this afternoon. Also, male and female Orange-tips and a few Peacocks. [Posted by Nigel Jones]

Farley Mount (Blackthorn). As there was a rather cool NE wind, we didn't expect to see many butterflies this morning as we walked in lovely spring sunshine near Farley Mount, just west of Winchester. The primary purpose of our walk was to spot Brown Hare, of which we saw seven, but with blackthorn in full flower at this time of year it's a good opportunity to make note of areas to search next winter for possible Brown Hairstreak eggs. You'll see from the first photo that we found some lovely areas of blackthorn alongside the footpath. On the sheltered southern side of the hedge it was lovely and warm and the blackthorn flowers were attracting a lot of insects including five Peacock butterflies. As well as nectaring on blackthorn, we also saw one on dandelion. [Posted by Andy Barker]

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Blackthorn (near Farley Mount)
Photo © Andy Barker
Peacock on blackthorn
Photo © Andy Barker

Monks Walk, Frater Fields & Woods, Gosport. Doubtless the cool northerly breeze and my later start reduced numbers today (1400-1540) but still six species were seen including first Large White of the year. Totals: Comma (9); Peacock (9); Large White (F)(1); Small White (2); Small Tortoiseshell (2); Speckled Wood (M)(1).

Correction: The photograph of Small White posted on 29 March 2021 was surely a female and not as submitted, male! [Posted by Francis Plowman]

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Peacock - posing or posting?
Photo © Francis Plowman
Large White female on Blackthorn blossom
Photo © Francis Plowman
Speckled Wood male, very tame!
Photo © Francis Plowman

01 Apr 2021

First Orange-tip sighting in North Baddesley. First male Orange-tip of the year seen here today on my reserve at North Baddesley. Sorry no photo as the wind took it away. [Posted by Kevin Ross]


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