Saturday, 22 June 2019

Still Waiting for the Summer Butterflies.

I was hopeful of seeing more summer butterflies at Bouldnor Forest yesterday,but as the weather has been so changeable throughout June I was to be disappointed.Still, a first of the year Ringlet was recorded together with many Meadow Brown.The same Dark Green Fritillary was noted in the  flowery glade of a few days ago and it cannot be but a matter of days until the other summer butterflies are on the wing.

Monday, 17 June 2019

First of the Summer Butterflies?

What I consider to be a summer butterfly was on show today in Bouldnor Forest,Yarmouth.Although this species is commonly found on our Island downland it is also a butterfly of flowery woodland rides and this is where this individual was seen nectaring on clover.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Friends Together.

Most 'blue' butterflies have an association with ants when in their caterpillar stage.The Common Blue is no exception although other blue's may have a much closer arrangement with certain types of ants.The larvae of  P. icarus are attended by the ants and sometimes taken into the anthill where they emit honeydew.This behaviour is called mutualistic as both species benefit from these actions.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Very Small and Very Fast.

This diminutive skipper was seen in the garden of our holiday accommodation on Meganisi.Its flight was fast and sometimes difficult to track.The butterfly is the Lulworth Skipper Thymelicus acteon the smallest of our 'golden skippers'. The English name of course refers to the only location in the UK where this species is found. 

Friday, 31 May 2019

The Foxy Emperor.

The title is of course the common name for the magnificent Two-tailed Pasha.I feel it is always a privilege to encounter this beautiful butterfly and to date I can still count on the fingers of one hand the number of times this has happened.
Last week in Greece another of those wonderful moments occurred when my wife shouted to me that she had a butterfly on her head.She had just walked out of the pool and had felt it land.The natural reaction was to waft it away and that she did,but it was determined to get its sustenance and returned to nectar on the skin and a wet swimsuit.We finally managed to get the butterfly to take an interest in the dampness by the side of the pool where it happily stayed until it had had its fill.The Pasha then flew away into the olive grove.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

A Spot of Luck.

The Greek Island of Meganisi is reached via the tourist port of Nydri on Lefkada.So a short ferry ride back to Nydri to spend a short time in and around the town is easy and provides an opportunity to see the local butterflies.
A common species here in Greece and in Europe is the Spotted Fritillary.This female was seen enjoying the clover which proved very lucky for me.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Now a Greek Garden Visitor.

The Geranium Bronze butterfly has spread from the western Mediterranean since it was introduced into Europe apparently via imported pelargonium plants from South Africa. When in Greece I now keep an eye out for this butterfly around any geranium plants there may be in the garden of our holiday accommodation.My last Greek encounter with the Geranium Bronze is described in an earlier post. Not surprisingly there were several pelargonium plants in the garden of our villa on Meganisi last week and it was not long before they were paid a visit by this butterfly.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Butterflies on Meganisi.

In fact, butterflies encountered within a short distance of our accommodation within a stones throw of the clifftop village of Spartachori.The Island of Meganisi is situated close to Lefkada in the Ionian Islands off the west coast of mainland Greece.The surrounding landscape is one of massive limestone boulders incorporated into small 'paddocks' where there are stone walls and olive trees.The very rural conditions are supplemented by goats,chickens, and the odd cow.Butterflies are numerous and can be observed flying through the rock strewn groves and along the narrow country lanes and tracks.
The village of Spartachori is perched on a cliff overlooking the bay of Spilia.It is a very traditional and pretty village with narrow streets and picturesque houses.It is also an excellent place to see butterflies.They are attracted to the colourful flowers that cascade from the walls and buildings.The Southern Comma pictured below was seen basking in the warm on a paved street.
Other butterflies recorded in and out of the village were Eastern Dappled White,Painted Lady,Southern White Admiral,Cleopatra,Southern Swallowtail,Clouded Yellow,Scarce Swallowtail,Two-tailed Pasha,Geranium Bronze,Lulworth Skipper,Brown Argus,Wall , and a Large Tortoiseshell observed outside our villa and settling just long enough to be identified before flying on up the lane.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Large Skipper on the Wing.

It was a very pleasant surprise today to see a Large Skipper feeding on vetch in a field near to Cowes on the Isle of Wight.This record is almost a month ahead of any of my previous sightings for this species in the last eight years.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Butterflies Back on the Landslip.

Despite the cool wind that has blown for a few days now the butterflies on our landslip have found those sheltered places where they can enjoy the sun and nectar on the abundance of spring flowers.Today the list of sightings at Compton Chine included at least ten Glanville Fritillaries with a mating pair,three male Common Blue, four Green Hairstreaks,a Dingy Skipper, a Small Copper,and two Small Heath.
Back at Afton Down Chalk pit which overlooks the chine there were several Small Blue.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Orange Tips and Garlic.

Today the sun struggled to shine but a walk along the wooded banks of Shalfleet Stream was rewarded with the display and heavy scent of wild garlic as the drifts of plants carpeted the woodland floor.In the damp ground near to the stream a good number of Orange Tip butterflies enjoyed the  cuckooflowers which are also known as Lady's-smock.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Holly Blue Takes Five.

The Holly Blue has visited my garden several times over the last few days.Today this male decided to have a break from its hectic travels by resting  in a sunny spot.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Dingy Skipper on Display.

A late morning visit to Whiteways today discovered a first Dingy Skipper of the season.Green Hairstreaks were again active and numerous.
The somewhat lack of a natural green background in the photo of the Dingy Skipper was unfortunately due to the illegal practice of Fly-tipping.Someone had scattered a quantity of smashed wooden pallets at the rear of the car park not only creating an eyesore but also a hazard to anyone walking through the grass as nails were protruding from many pieces of wood.