Wednesday 27 December 2023

Highlights of 2023.

Two highlights stand out during the 2023 season. One of them is the return of the Long-tailed Blue to my garden.I have had several visits of this species in the past attracted by the Everlasting Pea plants that grow in the borders.These visits have been during the latter part of August,but this year a female turned up on the 27th June.She stayed for a while and egg laided on various  flower buds.Although I was not fortunate enough to witness the any offspring ,I am confident that homegrown Long-tailed Blues ensued.

The other is a holiday in the Greek Islands,the first visit I have made since the pandemic.We spent a very pleasant fortnight on the island of Rhodes,close to the coast at Kiotari. A few weeks later this area was ravaged by wildfires and the brown and greens of the countryside were turned black.The result of the fires at the spot of our accomodation can be seen in the photo below taken from drone footage.I am glad to say that the villa where we stayed looks as though it survived the fires.

Among the butterflies encountered around the village of Kiotari were The Aegean Meadow Brown,the Pygmy Skipper,together with the Small and Lulworth Skipper. A great delight was the visit a Two-tailed Pasha on several occasions to nectar from a can of Mythos lager.

Saturday 12 August 2023

A Day Moth & a Night Moth.

I am not into moths but today this Garden Tiger Moth was seen resting at the base of my garage wall. It is such a handsome creature that it deserves a post on this blog. It is of course a night flying moth unlike the other photo which shows a Jersey Tiger Moth feeding on Hemp-agrimony. This species of Day flying moth is quite common here in July and August.

Friday 21 July 2023

Garden Painted Ladies.

The first Painted Lady to appear in my garden was two weeks ago, which coincided with the first flowers on the Buddleia bush.It is always a favourite with the butterflies and  especially Painted Ladies. Today a total of three were enjoying the blooms along with several Red Admiral,and Peacock.

Saturday 1 July 2023

Long-tailed Blue Leaves it's Calling Card.

As a result of the visit by the Long-tailed Blue to our Everlasting pea plants on the 27th June,I today examined a small bunch of flower buds and was pleased to discover several eggs. One of them can be seen below and hopefully in  a week or so it will hatch. Detailed information into the life cycle of the Long-tailed Blue can be accessed on the following link from the excellent UK Butterflies website .

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Early Return for the Long-tailed Blue.

I have never seen the Long-tailed Blue in the UK earlier than late August,so it was a surprise to have this female in my garden this morning. She took some time investigating the Everlasting pea plants which have a prolific number of flower buds, and now and again would egg lay on the new buds.


Monday 26 June 2023

Summer Butterflies Put on an Impressive Show.

Today was a cooler day than of late and more in the way of cloud which limited the activity of our summer butterflies. A lunchtime visit to Bouldnor Forest  was rewarded with a selection of  butterflies and in particular White Admiral . When the sun came out several were observed nectaring on the bamble flowers and they were joined by the odd Silver-washed Fritillary. Among the new  summer species on show in the forest rides were Ringlet,Small Skipper,and Gatekeeper.

Friday 16 June 2023

White Admiral & Marbled White on the Wing.

Another very warm and sunny day and in Bouldnor Forest  at Yarmouth I  came across a first White Admiral of the year. Four sightings were made in all with one individual briefly seen nectaring on bramble flowers in the shade and later the other sightings in the sunshine. In addition  three Marbled White were recorded,all feeding on the bountiful  supply of  bramble flowers.

Wednesday 7 June 2023

Summer Butterflies Beginning to Appear.

The recent settled warm and sunny weather has spurred on the emergence of our summer butterflies. A very common but nevertheless welcome sight are the first Meadow Brown's.On the 4th June at Bouldnor there were a flurry of them with at least twenty plus recorded and today at the same location I came across at least two Large Skipper. Rather belatedly for me was also a first sight this season of the Dingy Skipper


Wednesday 24 May 2023

Glanvilles on the Landslip.

Back on the Isle of Wight  the Glanville Fritillaries are now gracing the slopes of the Sea Cliff Landslip at Freshwater and all along the south west coast of the Island.  Not many to be seen today and I wonder if emergence has been delayed due to earlier weather conditions. The habitat photos below show typical Glanville terrian on the Landslip.



Monday 22 May 2023

What is that Skipper?

A butterfly encountered on numerous occasions during my wanders along the tracks around our holiday base were skippers. All attracted to the roadside flowering plants and the garden flowers. There are records of three species of skipper on Rhodes,however the one I was hoping to see was the Laventine Skipper Thymelicus hyrax, which is restricted  to a few eastern Aegean Islands, although there are a couple of regions in mainland Greece where they can be found.The other two species on Rhodes are the Lulworth Skipper Thymelicus acteon and  T. sylvestris the Small Skipper.

All are difficult to identify,at least for me, so I thought it wise to consult an expert  on my return home. The result was not what I had hoped for and the Levantine Skipper was not among the photographs I had taken. Still,I had managed to photograph the remaining two species and they can be seen below,duly captioned. 

Lulworth Skipper

Small Skipper

Lulworth Skipper

Lulworth Skipper

Lulworth or Small Skipper

The Aegean Meadow Brown.

The Aegean Meadow Brown Maniola telmessia, is found on the island of Rhodes and as similar species are not present  it is safe to say that identification is certain. I was pleased to see quite a few of these this month (May) although I noted that there were a notable lack of female sightings. Perhaps the females were under cover before egg laying.


Sunday 21 May 2023

A Two-tailed Pasha Drops In Again...and Again.

Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to encounter the impressive Two-tailed Pasha butterfly. Not only in the field but on several occasions around our holiday pool. In Rhodes this month this magnificent butterfly appeared  poolside and helped itself to my Mythos beer. Spending some time on the can it eventually flew off. However this was not the only time we were fortunate enough to see it as  it returned at least three times in the next few days to sound out my wife's beaker of dry white wine and explore what other goodies it could find on my wife's skin and on the table. What a treat