Wednesday 18 May 2016

Pearly Kings and Queens.

 The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is no longer found on the Isle of Wight.Perhaps the nearest site to see these lovely butterflies is the New Forest in Hampshire which is a short ferry ride across the Solent.
Yesterday we made the trip despite mainly cloudy and breezy conditions.However the sun  did appear at intervals which encouraged the butterflies into some activity.Here in the Forest these Fritillaries seem to thrive due to sympathectic woodland management which unfortunately is completely lacking in their former Island site of Parkhusrt Forest.

New Forest Pearl-bordered Fritillary Habitat.


Friday 13 May 2016

Orange Tips at Walters Copse.

It was a sultry afternoon at Walters Copse yesterday.Fortunately the thunderstorms had not yet  rumbled by and I was treated to some hazy sunshine.Earlier in nearby fields I had heard my first  cuckoo of the year and also a nightingale from the hedgerows.
In the copse there were plenty of Orange Tips to see and several females fluttered around the Lady's Smock or cuckooflower as it commonly known.Named of course for the plants flowering time which coincides with the arrival of the first cuckoo.This is a primary larval plant of the Orange Tip so it is a usual sight to see the females laying their single egg on it.For both the male and female it is a favourite nectaring flower.

Sunday 8 May 2016

More New Butterflies.

Yet another very warm day and good to see my first Brown Argus of the year.Unfortunately it proved elusive but soon they will be abundant.Also at the same location was the rather underrated Dingy Skipper.I do not find them as dull as some think and fresh specimens can have subtle colours.There was also a Small Heath which was very active in the sunshine and breezy conditions.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

All Now in Top Gear.

That prolonged spell of cold and windy weather has seemingly passed and we are now enjoying very warm sunshine and light breezes.Needless to say that has produced great activity in the butterfly world.
A visit to Bonchurch this morning was rewarded with my first sighting of our Glanville Fritillaries,just two were spotted but numbers are expected to increase quickly in the sunshine over the next few days.Judging by the high count of caterpillars and webs earlier in the year it could well be a bumper year. Another new species for the season was the Common Blue,seen at the same location.This was followed by a walk on Bonchurch Down and after some searching we succeeded in seeing four Common Blue,a Small Copper,one Small Heath,and two Dingy Skippers.The latter two species were also first sightings of 2016.
The Holly Blue pictured below had just emerged and when the wings have developed,she would expect  to take to the air. 


Sunday 1 May 2016

Spring Gets Going.

Today the first adult Glanville Fritillary was seen here on the Isle of Wight at Wheelers Bay.Seemingly an early date for the first emergence as the weather has not been kind
I had confined myself to yet another visit to Whiteways in the hope of seeing the Dingy Skipper.Alas no luck,but a count of 3 Green Hairstreak including a mating pair,a Small Copper plus two male Small Blue having a aerial duel was an encouraging total.