Butterfly Conservation
Saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Branch
Celebrating our 40th Anniversary!
1982 - 2022
Click Here to Join!

News Archive for Jan 2024

28 Jan 2024

White-letter Hairstreak eggs at Hursley. As it was another bright sunny morning I decided to try my luck at finding White-letter Hairstreak at a site near Hursley that I regularly visit to see the butterfly in early July. I'm pleased to report that I found eight eggs in a 25 minute search, which is the best I've ever had when searching for WLH eggs. They're a bit harder to find than Brown Hairstreak eggs, as they're not bright white, and they're found on flowering elm branches, which are usually more than two metres above ground level. However, their 'flying saucer' shape is so distinctive you instantly know when you've spotted one. They're often on the hairy young outermost twigs, near buds, at bud scars, or close to the join with the previous year's growth. Of the eggs I found today, there were two pairs laid close together (see below), and the other four eggs were singletons. These eggs will have been laid in late June or early July last year, so they've been eggs for seven months already, and still have a month or more to go until caterpillars hatch in March. [Posted by Andy Barker]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
White-letter Hairstreak egg
Photo © Andy Barker
Pair of White-letter Hairstreak eggs
Photo © Andy Barker
White-letter Hairstreak eggs by same bud
Photo © Andy Barker

27 Jan 2024

Peacock Butterfly at Pennington. Whilst walking the coast path at Pennington I was VERY surprised to see a Peacock Butterfly battling the breeze over the reeds, not the most likely site for a January butterfly, I hope it survives the remainder of this "Winter". [Posted by Kevin Haggar]

26 Jan 2024

Red Admirals in January, New Forest. It was supposedly midwinter but on a lovely sunny day it was mild in the New Forest and one south-facing ride had a minimum of 2 Red Admirals flying - together, some of time, I'm not sure whether they were courting or fighting. My first January Red Admirals [Posted by David Murdoch]

24 Jan 2024

Brown Hairstreak eggs at Basing Wood. Following the sighting of a female Brown Hairstreak on the Basing Wood butterfly transect last summer, five of us set out this morning to see if we could find any eggs. We started at the place where the female butterfly was seen, and sure enough, within a few minutes we'd spotted three eggs, including a pair (see below). Further exploration along adjacent rides produced a grand total of 26 Brown Hairstreak eggs in 90 minutes searching. This included five on one small stem, four of which were in the field of view of a photograph (see below). A couple we met asked if we'd seen anything interesting. We explained about Brown Hairstreak eggs and what they looked like, and with little effort, one of the couple said is this one, and sure enough, he'd found one! We also spotted a single Blue-bordered Carpet moth egg. To round off an excellent visit, as we walked back to the car park, we saw our first Brimstone of the year, enjoying some warm sunshine on a lovely mild winter's day. [Posted by Andy Barker]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Brown Hairstreak eggs (2)
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak eggs (4)
Photo © Andy Barker
Blue-bordered Carpet moth egg
Photo © Andy Barker

15 Jan 2024

North Baddesley sightings.. Seen 15th Jan on my reserve at North Baddesley 1 Peacock, 1 Brimstone Male, 1 Red Admiral. [Posted by kevin ross]

10 Jan 2024

Surprise sighting in N Baddesley. Very surprised to see a butterfly flying yesterday at my reserve in North Baddesley in the sun at 2 degrees C with some laying snow! it was too fast to identify but either Peacock (I have 4 hibernating in an outbuilding) or a Red Admiral. [Posted by kevin ross]

06 Jan 2024

Brown Hairstreak on Stockbridge Down. Now that the rain has passed and we've got some lovely winter sunshine, I thought I'd take a quick look at Stockbridge Down to see if I could find any Brown Hairstreak eggs. I spent about 30 minutes searching suckering blackthorn scrub in several places, and managed to find a single Brown Hairstreak egg. If I'd had more time I'm sure I'd have found more.

With settled dry weather and a good amount of sunshine forecast for the coming week, it's an ideal time for Brown Hairstreak egg-searching, so if you live in or near any of the key areas for this species, I'd encourage you all to go out and have a look. [Posted by Andy Barker]

Highslide JSHighslide JS
Brown Hairstreak egg
Photo © Andy Barker
Brown Hairstreak egg (detail)
Photo © Andy Barker

04 Jan 2024

More Portsdown Hairstreaks. A new year, and very wet, dog walk, on Portsdown Hill turned up seventeen Brown Hairstreak eggs in a different area making a total of thirty nine in a couple of weeks. I think it is safe to say that this is a sizeable colony now. I also paid a visit to Brook Meadow in Emsworth to see if I could find any eggs there as a female was spotted last year. However it was a fruitless search as I could find very little Blackthorn present which made me wonder where she had wandered in from? [Posted by Mark Tutton]

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS
Photo © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark TuttonPhoto © Mark Tutton