Wednesday 27 July 2016

An Unexpected Treat.

After several visits to the Greek Islands and encountering the butterflies that are in the vicinity of our holiday homes,I have learnt to be aware that a 'blue' may not be just another Common Blue or a 'skipper'.just another Large or Small Skipper. This proved so following a trip to Lefkada at the end of May this year.In  a nearby olive grove dispersed with wild flowers and long scrubby grasses there were many skippers busily buzzing about.If the opportunity presents itself, it is a good idea to take some photos just in case I have stumbled upon something more interesting than 'just another skipper'.
That is where I left it until thankfully a fellow butterfly enthusiast advised me that my skippers were Thymelicus acteon or the Lulworth Skipper as it is commonly called in the UK.This species is not widespread in Britain,in fact it only occurs along the south facing grassy cliffs of Dorset.In continental Euorpe however it is found  throughout and tends to be more common in the south including the Balkans.

Friday 22 July 2016

Small Blue Join the Summer Blues.

With very recent reports of a second generation  of Small Blues on the mainland,I was very pleased to see several  at Whiteways Quarry today. They  were in the company of increasing numbers of Chalk-hill Blues,Common Blues,and Brown Argus.All were very active in the warm sunshine.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Back In Town.

The White-letter Hairstreak colony discovered last year on a disease resistant elm in Newport is still going strong. The first individual was spotted about two weeks ago and today several females were seen on the lower branches.This particular elm was planted around the time of the millennium and last season was the first time that any hairstreaks were recorded on the tree.

Sunday 17 July 2016

Summertime Blues.

This typical British 'on-off' summer  is perhaps on again, with my first sighting of a Chalk-hill Blue on West High Down today.In fact three males were spotted,two beside the track leading up to the Down and one actually on it.Of course this species can be very numerous here and I am sure that over the next few weeks hundreds,if not thousands,of this striking butterfly will be flying on our downland.

Thursday 14 July 2016

A Repeat Performance.

While in my local copse today I encountered this Meadow Brown aberration.Funnily enough it was in the exact same location as another similar aberration of the same species from last year.An offspring perhaps.
The 2015 aberration can be viewed here.

Thursday 7 July 2016

New Summer Sightings.

Three first of the year sightings were made yesterday.On West High Down the Dark Green Fritillaries are on the wing and flying at great speed,not taking time it seems to stop and settle.Two other  sightings were that of a male Small Skipper on the Down and  a fresh Gatekeeper in Walters Copse.Other butterflies now becoming numerous are Marbled White and Meadow Brown.

Friday 1 July 2016

Sunshine At Last.

Two target species today were the White Admiral and the Marbled White.The former had already been seen in Bouldnor Forest a few days ago although I was yet to find my first Marbled White of the year.At last the sun was out today following a period of wet and windy weather.However, the wind has not abated and perhaps it had an effect on the butterflies as both species were flighty.Despite seeing several White Admirals none took the opportunity to feed on the abundant bamble flowers in the forest.The two Marbled Whites I encountered were just as jittery and I was lucky to catch any at rest.
Happily the Silver-washed Fritillaries were more accommodating and I managed to get good views of these handsome woodland butterflies.This included my first female of this summer seen basking in a sunny glade