Tuesday, 21 April 2015


The sunny weather is still here and a visit to Wheelers Bay was a must today.The brisk breeze of the morning abated in the afternoon warmth and I was pleased to come upon two Common Blue butterflies.The first  a very bright blue male that I had already heard was on the wing at the Bay.The second a beautiful blue variety female with orange margins, rather than the normal brown colour of most females. The undersides of both sexes are similar but the female underside is slightly browner than the male.
As usual the Clouded Yellows were evident by their swift flight along the base of the cliff and I was lucky to be treated to the sight of a female helice form briefly flitting from dandelion to dandelion, before it flew on.

There are numerous references to Wheelers Bay on my blog with photographs of this coastal stretch between the town of Ventnor and the village of Bonchurch.
It is perhaps the best spot on the Island for butterflies as many species can be seen here throughout the season.With the Bays south facing position continental species do fly in over the Channel given favourable conditions.
The piece de resistance of this site however is the presence of the Glanville Fritillary that was encouraged to colonize here in the early 1990s because of a suitable habitat in which to breed.Although numbers at the Bay have fallen over the years due to some habitat loss it is the first place to see newly emerged Glanvilles in the UK.