Thursday, 28 July 2022

Butterflies Out in Force.

Today in Bouldnor Forest the butterflies were numerous in the bright but sometimes cloudy weather. Now that the Yellow Fleabane is in flower it is a magnet for summer butterflies. Among the species enjoying  the flowers were three Painted Lady, all in prime condition and  therefore perhaps local emergents. In addition  Silver-washed Fritillary now seem to be more evident although some showing signs of wear and tear. At least four males were recorded either nectaring on Thistle or Hemp-agrimony. In the more open forest areas I came across a couple of Wall Brown.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Summer Butterflies Now on the Wing.

 A morning visit to Bouldnor Forest was rewarded with the sighting of three summer butterflies. We are enjoying a few days of warm sunny weather and the butterflies obviously responded. I quickly came across a White Admiral as it energetically fluttered in and out of the small trees and bushes at the side of the track. In all at least four individuals were recorded. It was also a thrill to see a first Silver-washed Fritillary of the year .The male was seen thrree times as he speedily flew along the ride. The visit was concluded with a single Marbled White.


Tuesday, 31 May 2022

First Skipper Sighting of the Season.

It was a very sunny and bright start to the day but by the time I dropped into Whiteways NT carpark at  0945 this morning the dark clouds had gathered and rain was on the way. Not surprisingly the butterflies had gone to ground. However one was seen roosting on a leaf and it was my first skipper of the year. It is of course, a male Large Skipper  and a worthy sighting as most first records are in June.



Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Same Date and Same Place.

Perhaps the warmest day of the year so far and a Painted Lady was seen in my garden nectaring on our Wallflower 'Bowles Mauve'.Seems to be the first influx of this species this year with numerous sightings in the south of England in the last few days. The sighting in my garden was the same as 2021 when one was encountered on the same plant  on the same day.


Saturday, 14 May 2022

Butterflies on Mottistone Down

During a lunchtime walk along the slopes of Mottistone Down the most numerous butterfly was the Glanville Fritillary and a close second, the Common Blue. However the latter was the only 'Blue' to be seen today. Other butterfly species encountered were Wall Brown,Dingy Skipper,Small Heath,and Orange Tip. 

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Glanvilles Grace the Landslip.

I saw my first Glanville Fritillary of the year last Sunday the 8th May when I disturbed it in a sheltered sunny spot on the Landslip. Unfortunately that sighting was all too brief as it flew on over a low gorse bush and despite my best efforts I was unable to relocate it. Then followed a spell of unsettled weather with rain,wind,and cloud, until today when the sun once again appeared. Almost immediately as I set foot on the slopes, Glanvilles were to be seen and at least ten were encountered in the small area of  Landslip I explored. Returning to Whiteway's NT carpark where I started my walk I came across several individuals along the cliff top and two in the carpark itself.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Another Visit to the Landslip.

A sunny day was a change from yesterday's overcast conditions and a walk along the clifftop and the Landslip was  very pleasant. Parking at Whiteway's NT,a quick look at the habitat at the back of the carpark discovered a pristine male Common Blue and two Wall Brown. The  Common Blue is a first of the year record. In addition the Brown Argus was still prominent, competing with the other resident species.

Descending the many wooden steps to the Landslip fewer species were seen than yesterday.Another male Common Blue was recorded along with a Wall Brown,Small Copper,Green Hairstreak,and Dingy Skipper.


Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Back to the Landslip.

The area of Landslip close to Compton Chine and just a stone's throw from Freahwater Bay, provided my first visit of the season to this unique habitat in the hope of seeing an early Glanville Fritillary.Unfortunately. just a few day's too early it seems as the only species recorded were Green Hairstreak,several Dingy and Grizzled Skipper,a Wall Brown,a Small Copper,and a first sighting this year of a Small Heath. Weather conditions were mild with little wind although mainly cloudy but bright and thrift is now startting to flower on the cliffs.

Returning to Whiteways NT carpark situated  overlooking Compton Chine and where I started my visit today,I came across a pristine Brown Argus.Another first of the season sighting.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

More First of the Season Sightings.

Today's early morning visit was rewarded with three first of the year sightings at Whiteways NT carpark near to Freshwater Bay. Vying with the now dozen or so Green Hairstreak was a Small Copper and sighted now again were two Dingy Skipper. The third first record  was a handsome looking Wall Brown which settled briefly before being shooed away by a bevy of smaller butterflies. In addition to these were at least three Small Blue,one individual showing a rather bent forewing.


Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Small Blue on the Wing at Freshwater.

The sighting of a Small Blue today at Whiteways is the earliest record here since the outstanding sighting of two males on the 30th March 2012. As seen in the photograph below, today's individual is rather tatty which  seems to indicate that it has been around for a while. Also on show were three  Green Hairstreak and two Grizzled Skipper.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

First Green Hairstreak & Grizzled Skipper at Freshwater.

A well known site for first of the season sightings is Whiteways Quarry,now a National Trust carpark at the foot of Afton Down close to Freshwater Bay. As explained many times in this blog the grassy area at the back of the carpark has a interesting number of species especially in the spring.

 Today's visit produced a first Green Hairstreak of the year. It was seen on the flowering Spanish Bluebells,just like the individual in the photograph below. Unfortunately I only sighted it on two brief occasions and it failed to return again ,probably due to the cloudy conditions. Also present were possibly two Grizzled Skippers. Another first for this season 

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Spring Butterflies Thin on the Ground.

Following a short cold snap,today's sunshine and mild temperature encouraged me to pay a second visit of the year to Bouldnor Forest. Immediately on entering the forest I was passed by a very fast flying male Brimstone but just a few yards farther on I came across this Speckled Wood butterfly. This is a first sighting of the season of this species for me and it obligingly settled on the side of the track for a few seconds. The only other butterfly encountered was a Comma, and it was not until I was returning that a rather tatty Red Admiral appeared on the track.This was followed by a second Speckled Wood fluttering around and landing in a sunny spot.


Thursday, 24 March 2022

More Spring Butterflies.

It is always a treat to see a Small Tortoiseshell at this time of the year and yesterday  this individual appeared in my garden to enjoy the morning spring sunshine.

A first of the season lunchtime visit to Bouldnor Forest,Yarmouth yielded numerous Brimstone sightings.All were males and they hurriedly flew from primrose to primrose in their search for nectar. Other species on show were the ever reliable Comma  and Peacock.