Sunday 27 May 2012

A Walk on Freshwater Cliffs

Last  Friday,the 25th was the second meeting in 2012 of the Isle of Wight Group of the Hants&IOW Butterfly Conservation Branch.For the second time too this year we were blessed with glorious weather for our meeting on the Freshwater Cliffs.The eroding cliff tops just to the south of Freshwater Bay are of sandstone and backed by chalk downland.
Attendance on the day was a record 25 with a contingent of our friends from Hampshire.We soon saw Small Blue,Common Blue,Small Heath and other downland species,in particular several Glanville Fritillary which  fly on the cliff top.The walk ended at the excellent butterfly site of Afton Down Chalkpit where we noticed a brand new sign erected by the owners of this beautiful section of Island coast,the National Trust.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

More Adonis Blue on Bonchurch Down

With the summer now well and truly arrived the Adonis Blue on Bonchurch Down are emerging in greater numbers.The male Adonis are to be seen flying on the Down in pursuit of females which have now appeared.They have a more brown colouring on the underside than the males and sport a brown upperside.
At Wheelers Bay the Glanvilles are also in profusion and now, at the Glanville sites along our south-west coast they will be seen on the clifftops. too.

Sunday 20 May 2012

Orange Tip,Garden Visitor

Although the Orange Tip butterfly has been on the wing since April,it is not until well into May that it can be seen in our garden here in the West Wight.The male is an unmistakable sight with its bright orange wing tips,but in contrast the female has no hint of orange as one can see from an earlier entry on this blog.The Orange Tip must surely be one of the most elegant and beautiful of the spring butterflies.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Bonchurch Down and Wheelers Bay

Sunny weather over the last two days has brought on a spurt of activity at Bonchurch Down and  Wheelers Bay.Todays count of Glanville Fritillaries at the Bay was eleven.I have not heard of any other Glanville sightings at any of the other Isle of Wight locations to date. With drifts of valerin at the Bay it has provided a colourful display to attract the fritillaries.
Meanwhile on Bonchurch Down there is another beautiful sight of the many Adonis Blue male butterflies.

Friday 11 May 2012

First Glanville Fritillary at Wheelers Bay

Today started cloudy but by early afternoon the sun had appeared and also the first Glanville of 2012.At Wheelers Bay on the Isle of Wight I was very happy to see a Glanville today.This is nearly three weeks later than is normal for the last few years.The weather has been poor recently and that ,together with the very low web count may account for the delay in its appearance.
I was very lucky too, to see a Clouded Yellow at the Bay.It could have been at very recent arrival as the butterfly was keen to feed and rest.This was the first Clouded Yellow that I have seen since my first sight here on April 15th.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Adonis Blues on Bonchurch Down

As mentioned in one of my recent entries Bonchurch Down at Ventnor is well known for its Adonis Blue butterflies.The butterfly should emerge in the next few days on the Down and another brood will be out in the late summer.Todays visit did not discover any Adonis but I was very pleased to see two Brown Argus butterflies.This is my first sighting of 2012.In addition I came across a Small Heath roosting on a seed head.The weather at the time was rather cloudy and consequently butterfly activity was limited.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

First Sighting of Common Blue

Although the Glanville Fritillary has not yet appeared at Wheelers Bay,there are many other butterfly species to be found there throughout the summer.Among them is the Common Blue,and yesterday I saw two males.This sighting could well be the first  in the UK this year.Also the Dingy Skipper is here and I counted at least four individuals

Wall Lizards too are still common at the Bay and the male is particularly striking with its green flanks.