In Bouldnor Forest today two first of the season butterflies were recorded. I enjoyed a brief glimpse of a White Admiral as it rested on the upper branches of a small tree before disappearing into the woodland. This was followed by sight of a Gatekeeper. Other species included a courting pair of Common Blue and mating Meadow Brown butterflies. The latter species is now building in numbers since my first sighting on the 12th June.
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
Today's visit to the landslip at Compton Chine was again greeted with a very brisk wind on the clifftop. Several Glanville Fritillaries were encountered straight away and descending onto the landslip I discovered more individuals. These were mainly seen when disturbed from the long grass as they tend to shelter there when the wind blows strongly.
Monday, 17 May 2021
Back in 2019 we enjoyed a Painted Lady invasion here on the Isle of Wight and all over the UK. Last year not one to be seen except on the very rare occasion. Anyway 2021 has started on a positive note with sight of this species in my garden today. We are very near to the coast and by the way it was busily nectaring on Lilac and Wallflower 'Bowles Mauve' this individual probably has just arrived on these shores.
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
I was greeted by a brisk wind on the clifftop close to Compton Chine today. Almost immediately the unmistakeable colour tones of a fast moving butterfly confirmed that the Glanville Fritillary is now back on the slopes. It disappeared at once blown away in the breeze. Descending onto the landslip it took some time to locate another individual, but find a sheltered spot preferably with a good quantity of flowering thrift and others were seen. This included a butterfly which I hope was a new emergent rather than an unfortunate.
Friday, 7 May 2021
Despite the sun today, temperatures were disappointing with a persistent cold wind that has prevailed for over a month. However some butterflies were to be seen in my local forest with several Brimstone and the occasional Orange Tip. Other butterflies on the wing were a Green-veined White, a Red Admiral, one Speckled Wood, and a few Large White.
Saturday, 1 May 2021
The month of April was very dry with cold winds from the north and east and temperatures well below average for the time of year. However things are due to change as May begins with rain and wind in the forecast after the weekend. Hopefully warmer weather will soon be on the way. Today continued the April theme and when the sun shone it was very pleasant as I returned to the landslip. Descending the steps onto the landslip I at once saw a male Wall Brown on the cliff slope and that was quickly followed by two more. Unfortunately the sun then disappeared behind shower clouds and the only other species seen were a Dingy Skipper, Small Copper, and a Peacock.
Returning to the foot of Afton Down, it was pleasing to record the first Small Blue of the year with four individuals. Green Hairstreak were again present along with a very pristine male Common Blue.
Friday, 23 April 2021
A walk along a very breezy clifftop today allowed me to access a section of the landslip close to Compton Bay. The coastline all along the south west of the Isle of Wight suffers from coastal slump as the cliffs periodically slide towards the sea. In fact evidence of recent slippages are for all to see along the path taken today.
It seems that only Small Copper butterflies were on show in this area of landslip this afternoon as I recorded at least six individuals. They were particularly fond of the odd clump of thrift, as just a few early flowers were to be seen dotted around. All too soon the cliffs will be covered in their bright pink blooms which are a favourite of the Glanville Fritillary which is due to make an imminent appearance.
Sunday, 18 April 2021
Now that we are enjoying a period of settled sunny weather following the cold of early April, spring is now catching up with the new emerging butterfly species. Green Hairstreak numbers have today increased to three at the site I have visited during the last few days and now at least two Grizzled Skippers are present.
Thursday, 15 April 2021
There was no increase in butterfly numbers when I returned to the site visited yesterday. Just one Green Hairstreak and a Small Copper. Green Hairstreak should become more numerous during the next week and we can look forward to other spring species appearing at this location.
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
The warm weather of early April gave way to a very cold north to north-east wind resulting in low temperatures for the last week or so and consequently hardly any butterfly activity. However with some sunshine and lighter winds today I was pleased to see two spring emergent species in the West Wight. A first Green Hairstreak of the season and likewise a Small Copper. Both enjoying the warm sunshine in the sheltered spot they had chosen.
Thursday, 1 April 2021
Although not as warm as the last few days, it was nevertheless a lovely early spring day and the butterflies responded to the sunshine at Bouldnor. I was disappointed not to see any new emergent butterflies but the hibernators were on show with numerous sightings of Peacock, five Comma, three Red Admiral, and two male Brimstone. One of the latter spent some time flitting from flower to flower enjoying the many primrose plants along the track.
Monday, 29 March 2021
The sun was shining today and a morning walk on the landslip near to Compton was rewarded with warm sunshine and light winds. Here on our south-western coast the cliff tops are now displaying early spring flowering plants and in addition, the beautiful song of the male Skylark that filled the air..
My hope of a first butterfly of the season was premature, but the larvae webs of the Glanville Fritillary did not disappoint as several were found. In a few weeks the adult butterfly will grace these cliff slopes and add to the glorious colour that is to be seen on this coast. The caterpillars seen today varied in size, depending on their location. Those where the webs were more sheltered tendered to be less developed than individuals in more open and sunny spots.
I was pleased to record my first butterfly of the year on my return home ,as the always dependable Peacock was seen in my garden.