Wednesday 30 April 2014

Return of the Special One.

Thick fog this morning gave way to a sunny afternoon and despite a cooling breeze it was pleasant at Wheelers Bay.
With a confirmed sighting of the first Glanville Fritillary of the year yesterday at the Bay I was hopeful of a first sighting myself of this unique butterfly.With the assistance it must be said, of two companions I finally managed to see one of the two Glanvilles present today In spite of numerous ariel battles with one of the two resident Peacock butterflies, the new arrival  landed several times and we were able to have close views.


On Bonchurch Down

Owned and managed by the National Trust,Bonchurch Down rises steeply over Bonchurch village and the town of Ventnor.This south facing hillside is home to a good population of the Adonis Blue butterfly as well as several other species.Yesterday on a very warm and sunny afternoon I made my first visit of the season to the Down and was rewarded with a sighting of four Small Copper,a Brown Argus,a Small Heath,a Green Hairstreak,also a Wall Brown together with a Dingy Skipper and three male Orange Tip.
Then a short trip down to Wheelers Bay in Bonchurch in the hope of seeing a Glanville Fritillary.I was not lucky enough to see one but I have it on good authority that a Glanville was spotted today at the Bay.

Monday 28 April 2014

More First Sightings

Today was a day of  heavy thundery showers but by the mid afternoon the sun began to shine through the broken cloud.A trip to Whiteways Quarry just a mile or two away and a treat to see a pair of mating Small Blues.The Green Hairstreaks were again out in good numbers and also a Grizzled Skipper plus a first Dingy Skipper of the year.
 Also a first sighting of a male Wall Brown sunning itself on any bare patch of ground it could find on the chalk.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Small Blue Early Again

The Small Blue is again emerging early on the Island.After yesterdays complete washout with rain falling all day,today was brighter and in one of the sunny spells at midday I dropped in at Whiteways Quarry in the hope of seeing a Dingy Skipper.
No luck on the skipper yet but I was overjoyed to see my first Small Blue sunning itself in the grass.

Friday 18 April 2014

Spring in Full Swing

Now that the first Large Red Damselfly has emerged from my garden pond it seems that summer is on the way.
Orange Tips,Holly Blues,and whites are now a regular visitors to the garden as well as a variety of bumblebees and other insects.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Another New Arrival

With the sunny warm weather still with us today another spring time species made an appearance at Whiteways Quarry.The first Grizzled Skipper was seen flitting around in the sun together with the several Green Hairstreaks already there.It should not be long before a Dingy Skipper is out and should the temperature rise over 20C the first Small Blue.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

More Spring Butterflies

A further visit to Whiteways Quarry this morning recorded four Green Hairstreaks.No other species seen at the moment.Then on to Walters Copse,Newtown,and a first sighting of a Green-veined White.Also several Speckled Wood,Peacock,Comma,and three Orange Tip,one of which was a female.


Sunday 13 April 2014

Green in the Sun.

Today began with a wonderful sunny morning and an early visit to the Whiteways Quarry. where I came across a Green Hairstreak yesterday.This time the lone Green was happy to sun itself on the flowering plants at the base of the chalk down.

Saturday 12 April 2014

And a First Green Hairstreak.

Not too far from me is a site renowned for several species of spring butterfly and today under partly cloudy skies I saw a first Green Hairstreak. It was not too active as no doubt it had very recently emerged and preferred to stay down in the grass due to the weather conditions.

Thursday 10 April 2014

A First Orange Tip.

In the last several days Holly Blue,Speckled Wood ,and the Small White have visited my garden.However a sure sign of spring happened today when a first Orange Tip appeared.A male busily flew around the garden looking for something it may fancy but apart from the bluebells there did not seem to be any flowers that took its interest.Definitely something for me to take note of for next year.


Friday 4 April 2014

A Special Resident.

In the UK the Glanville Fritillary is only resident on the Isle of  Wight.Therefore that makes it a very special butterfly to us here on the Island.Normally at this time the Glanville larvae are approaching full size after spending the winter months secure in a web deep in the long grass on the cliff top or the cliff slopes.The coastal cliffs along our south western shore are ideal habitat and the webs are on or very near to its foodplant, Ribwort Plantain
Now is the time for the larvae to disperse and find a safe place to pupate.The chrysalis stage lasts for about three weeks and the adult is on the wing during May and June.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

First Speckled Wood.

Today started very foggy and it was not until after noon that the sun managed to shine through.When it did however it turned into a warm sunny day with no breeze.
In Walters Copse I came across my first Speckled Wood of the year.Three in fact, together with the usual good number of Comma,Peacock,and Brimstone.The main quarry was not to be seen and one wonders if the Large Tortoiseshell will not make an appearance in the copse this year.