Tuesday 30 April 2013

Some First Time Sightings of the Year

The end of April has finished with some perfect spring weather.This week has continued sunny and mild and as a result new butterfly sightings are on the up.A visit to Walters Copse at Newtown started with no sightings until the afternoon when a male Orange Tip appeared, busily flitting around for flowering plants.Any flowers were then contested with a Green-veined White.
A wander around the copse also found a couple of Peacocks as well as my first sight of two Speckled Wood which were sparring for a sunny woodland spot.All the while the occassional male Brimstone would pass by hoping to come across the much paler looking female.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Courting Tortoiseshells.

With the report of two Painted Ladies at Wheelers Bay this week I went to the Bay in the hope of a sighting.The weather has now become springlike, but no doubt due to a very cold March butterflies are still not commonly seen.Walking along the bay I only came across one Peacock in the sunshine.Eventually returning, I was very pleased to see a Painted Lady in flight along the base of the cliff,spurred on by a very brisk breeze.Just a few steps farther and two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were courting in the brambles.
Not a lot to be seen today but with an improvement in the weather likely, things will no doubt get better.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Another Look At Our Large Tortoisehell

The male Large Tortoisehell at Walters Copse seems not to be going anywhere which is great news for butterfly watchers.An early visit to the copse yesterday and it appeared briefly in the usual spot.A couple of hours later just after midday it returned and stayed for some time sunning itself along with several Commas and a couple of Peacocks.
There has been a report of a second Large Toiseshell seen in the copse, and making my way back through the wood I saw 'another' one at the  location of the second Large Tortoiseshell sighting.A close view and the attached photograph confirmed,unfotunately,that this time it was our original male.

Sunday 21 April 2013

The Stunning Peacock

With all the excitement of a rare butterfly on the Island in the last few days I have  neglected to show what I consider to be most colourful butterfly on the wing at this time.
The Peacock is undoubtedly one of the most handsome of butterflies and I am glad to say not uncommon here. It can be seen in woodland,as shown in these photographs taken at Walters Copse, or in gardens as I was fortunate enough to witness in my own back garden this weekend.


Friday 19 April 2013

The Isle of Wight Large Tortoiseshell

Just when I feared that  the euphoria of  the 2012 sighting at Walters Copse,Newtown of the Large Tortoiseshell was a 'flash in the pan,'today proved me wrong as after several visits to the copse I came across what I had  hoped for.
The spring weather had today arrived for the first time since the middle of January when at Wheelers Bay  three Painted Ladies were seen.The prolonged sunny spells had brought out several Brimstone butterflies together with Commas and Peacocks and after some time wandering around I came across a Large Tortoiseshell enjoying a sunny spot.It certainly showed signs of a long winters hibernation but it still looked wonderful to me.I was able to get close views of this iconic butterfly and can say that I consider it to be a local overwintering specimen.Let us hope for more sightings in the next few days.

Saturday 6 April 2013

A Fistful of Commas

This time last year we were enjoying a period of rather dry weather with very mild temperatures.As a result butterfly emergences began earlier than usual.However this spring temperatures have remained low throughout March and it seems that everything is struggling to get started.Today I made another visit to Walters Copse at Newtown in the hope of catching a glimpse of  a rare butterfly,at least in the UK,the Large Tortoiseshell.In 2012 we were lucky enough to see this gem of a butterfly at the copse.
Although todays weather was sunny and warm I saw no sign of it but instead came upon six Comma butterflies that had come out of hibernation.It is not surprising to see these as they must be one of our commonest sights at this time

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Duelling Commas

After what proved to be the coldest March for over fifty years April has begun with plenty of sunshine for us on the Isle of Wight.However the east wind has persisted  preventing temperatures from getting up to anything like the seasonal average.Despite this,a walk through Walters Copse at Newtown today proved to be a pleasant outing with many sheltered woodland rides away from the cool breeze.It was not until mid-afternoon however that I came upon my first butterfly sighting since January.
Enjoying a warm spot in the wood were two commas,both sunning themselves and contesting the best postion. Hopefully the weather will now improve and kick start  butterfly activity