Friday, 28 April 2017

Dingy Skipper and Wall Brown Make an Appearance.

Continued dry weather and a slight rise in temperatures together with some sunshine has led to an increase in butterfly activity.Yesterday in the West Wight I had my first sight of a Dingy Skipper this year together with a pair of battling Wall Brown butterflies that circled above me and flew off.It was good to see several Small Coppers too.They have not enjoyed the last few years as their numbers have been reported as low and in decline.






Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Cold Wind Slows Down the Butterflies.

Temperatures have plummeted in the last day or so but at Whiteways the butterflies have kept active.The unique position of the site has allowed the butterflies to make the most of the warm sunshine and  the effect of the cold northerly wind is kept to a minimum.The Grizzled Skipper was prominent with at least two seen,along with four Small Blue and six Green Hairstreak.







Saturday, 22 April 2017

Small Blue Out in Numbers.

A visit to Whiteways this afternoon  rewarded me with at least four Small Blues frantically flying around between bouts of sunbathing on any blade of  grass.This is the earliest sighting for Small Blue here since 2012 when they emerged on the extremely silly early date of 30th March.







Friday, 21 April 2017

Finding a Place to Roost.

It has been a cloudy day and during a very brief brighter spell this afternoon a male Orange Tip floated into our garden on the lookout it seems, for a spot to roost.He finally landed on an emerging daisy,Anthemis punctata cupaniana at the edge of a flower border where he soon settled down for the rest of the day. 


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Small Copper Another First of the Season.

Butterfly sightings and activity have slowed down over the last week or so, probably due to the cool weather.However the sun is still shining and in sheltered spots in can feel pleasant.At Whiteways Quarry today a Small Copper made an appearance,my first sight of this species in 2017,along with that elusive Grizzled Skipper.In addition there are up to three Green Hairstreaks busily flying around defending their territories.
Meanwhile the Berberis in my garden is still attracting the butterflies with a Holly Blue feeding on some of the remaining blooms.






Monday, 17 April 2017

Busy Orange Tips.

The first Orange Tip,a male, flew around my garden today.Most years I do not see this species in my garden until May, so much earlier than expected.Activity of this species has been evident since the first week in April when at Ventnor I came across a female taking great interest in the Honesty plants.She was soon joined by a male who fluttered feverishly around her.Her response,in this instance,was a rejection of his advances in typical Orange Tip fashion.Females who have already mated and want to shoo away a male will  flatten their wings and raise their abdomen.This is followed by an opening of the genital valve to release anti-aphrodisiac hormones to discourage the male.



Sunday, 16 April 2017

Cooler Temperatures Slow Down the Spring Butterflies.

Although the weather has been dry and mainly sunny since the unseasonably warm temperatures of last weekend,a nagging cold wind has seemed to postpone the emergence of new spring butterflies here along the coast.This is so at Whiteways Quarry where no new species have been seen on the wing.However today the two Green Hairstreaks at the site were enjoying the Bluebells and the elusive Grizzled Skipper still puts in an occasional appearance.



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

First Small Heath.

The weather today had cooled due to a brisk wind and butterflies already recorded  at Whiteways Quarry were not to be seen.However a new species did make an appearance here,a single Small Heath,the first of 2017.This is the earliest date for a sighting of this species since I began recording in 2010.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

First Grizzled Skipper.

As anticipated the first Grizzled Skipper made an appearance at Whiteways Quarry today and the Green Hairstreaks seem to have doubled their number to two.With the mainly dry weather forecast to continue for the rest of the week we can look forward to six  further species emerging at this site.



Monday, 10 April 2017

First Green Hairstreak.

With the very warm temperatures of the last few days I would have expected the first  new spring butterflies to appear sooner at Whiteways Quarry(Afton Down Chalkpit).However it was not until today that a Green Hairstreak was seen and I expect that it will now be closely followed  by this unique sites other gems.





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