Friday 18 October 2013

More Long-tailed Blues on the Isle of Wight.

Following the sighting at Wheelers Bay on Tuesday last,another Long-tailed Blue was seen yesterday at the very same location.This individual was a pristine male and as its larval food plant is very close by and in  abundance it must be probable that these recent sightings are of locally emerged butterflies.
The following photographs of yesterdays male Long-tailed Blue are courtesy of Andy Butler.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Long-tailed Blue at Wheelers Bay.

It was a beautiful day at Wheelers Bay,Bonchurch,and I was treated to the sight of this male Long-tailed Blue feeding on the red valerian.Although the species has been spotted on the Isle of Wight in past years it is not a common sight by any means.Hopefully it may be a sign that the Long-tailed Blue could become a breeding species here as it has this year on the mainland.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Still Clouded Yellows To See.

There are still Clouded Yellow butterflies to see at Wheelers Bay,Bonchurch as the sunny and mild weather has persisted.Among these butterflies are also several helice,which are females and sport much paler upper side wings than the normal rich yellow.In fact the underside too can be almost white but in the case of the helice pictured below these undersides are more inclined towards the usual colour.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Fewer Late Summer Butterflies

Despite the continued sunny weather the feel of autumn is now about and the count of butterflies has fallen.A walk along the hedgerows at Newtown today and a visit to the adjacent Walters Copse was rather disappointing with just Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood in enough numbers to count along with eight Commas on a large expanse of bramble bush feeding on blackberries.However I did see two Small Copper,one of which was the form caeruleopunctata.Quite a common form but nevertheless attractive to see with its silvery-blue spots.
In the Copse just two Comma,a Common Blue,and a Red Admiral, all on fleabane.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Back on Bonchurch Down.

By the time I set foot on Bonchurch Down today the sunny weather of the morning had given way to cloud.However there were still plenty of Adonis Blue to see along the path as they nectared on the downland flowers.Normally in these cloudy conditions many Adonis will have taken to the shelter of the long grass at the base of the Down.
Wall Brown are now also in evidence as I disturbed several that were trying to get some warmth by basking on the path.This particular male pictured below has just flown down from a nearby buddleia bush.There are numerous buddleia plants on the slopes of the Down which are visited by an array of butterflies,including Adonis, Small Tortoiseshell ,and an attractive moth,the Hummingbird Hawk Moth.It is pictured below not too far away at Wheelers Bay feeding on red valerian.
The Meadow Brown can still be seen fluttering over the Down also stopping at flowers to feed.Unfortunately for this individual it chose a  flower that hid a spider.


Thursday 5 September 2013

Clouded Yellows at Wheelers Bay.

The sun continues to shine and the Clouded Yellows are becoming common here at Wheelers Bay and at other locations.Along the base of the cliff at the Bay you may be fortunate enough to see the females flitting from plant to plant laying their eggs and males racing around nectaring on the red valerin which is still flowering profusely.

Second Generation Adonis on Bonchurch Down.

Now on Bonchurch Down at Ventnor the Adonis Blue can be counted in hundreds as the second generation of 2013 is on the wing.With the hot summer continuing for at least the next day or two it is well worth a trip to see the bright blue males all over the Down.Even the brown females are splendid in their dusting of blue scales.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Drifts of Fleabane.

Maybe due to the prolonged summer weather we have enjoyed over the last two months,the drifts of fleabane are extensive in our local hedgerows and woods.This has continued to attract the summer butterflies in good numbers.
Yesterday at Walters Copse,Newtown  it seemed most of the high summer butterflies were on show and sightings of the Clouded Yellow have certainly increased.The Large and Small White continues to be prolific and in the copse I was treated to a male Chalk-hill Blue that had no doubt wandered from the Downs.

Saturday 24 August 2013

A Small Diversion

Although I have never taken an interest in moths there are sometimes occasions when a sighting will change that.Today in my garden I saw on the Hemp-agrimony, three Jersey Tiger moths enjoying its nectar.It is something on the Island to see this moth and three at one time is a treat.The underwing is normally red in colour but there are yellow underwings and rarely black.I was lucky enough to see the normal red and a yellow form.

Sunday 11 August 2013

More Summer Sweetness for Butterflies

The warm summer weather continues and now that the fleabane is in flower there are plenty of butterflies enjoying it's nectar.Around Walters Copse on the Island I came across numerous pristine Peacock on the plant as well as Brimstone,Painted Lady,Small Copper,Common Blue,Brown Argus,Whites,Silver-washed Fritillary, Meadow Brown,,and a Clouded Yellow.

Friday 9 August 2013

More Painted Ladies at Wheelers Bay

With  buddleia bushes now in full bloom at Wheelers Bay,it is attracting many butterflies to feed on the nectar rich flowers.Today on a sunny but breezy afternoon several Painted Ladies could be seen  on the bushes as well as a selection of Red Admirals,Small Tortoiseshells,Commas,and White butterflies.Maybe a Monarch will show up soon,swept in by a south-westerly wind.

Monday 5 August 2013

Summer Sweetness for Butterflies.

In the copse and hedgerows the fleabane is now in flower.It is a great favourite with many butterflies as they flock to drink its nectar

Wednesday 24 July 2013

The Bleak Down Graylings.

Today's visit to Bleak Down close to the village of Godshill  was to see the Grayling. This butterfly is a good example of 'cryptic camouflage', as when at rest on the ground the underside blends perfectly with the background.The Grayling lives in rather compact colonies and a walk across a section of the Down will throw up these fast flying butterflies.The female is larger than the male and more brightly marked.Taking a close look in the heather or grass one can find the female carefully laying one egg at a time on a blade of grass or on a heather flower stalk.