Tuesday 27 June 2017

Summer Butterflies Enjoy the Bumper Bramble Bounty.

There were a prolific number of butterflies at Walters Copse today.The most impressive were the Silver-washed Fritillaries and the White Admirals.These and many other species were busily feeding on the bramble flowers that seem to be abundant in the copse this year.Although male and female Silver-washed were on show I was not lucky enough to see the female Valezina. In the south of England it is estimated that up to 15% of the females are of this beautiful form.

Monday 26 June 2017

Dark Green Fritillaries On Speed.

With the season generally over two weeks early this year I made a first visit to West High Down in the hope of seeing a Chalk-hill Blue.I have not yet recorded this blue earlier than in the month of July and I was optimistic of a June sighting.Alas no Chalk-hill Blue today and with an unsettled and rainy forecast for the rest of the week I think that it will be July again for this last remaining blue of the season. 
Nevertheless another butterfly of our downland is on the wing now,the Dark Green Fritillary. These large fritillaries spent most of their time flying at high speed across our downs,only briefly stopping it seems, for a quick top up on the Giant Thistle flowers that are scattered about.In fact at the moment there seems to be very few Giant Thistle flowers in bloom so getting any sort of view of this butterfly is limited.

Friday 23 June 2017

All Change.

After a prolonged spell of hot  and sunny weather, yesterday began fresher,windy,and cloudy.These conditions lasted all day so the prospect of seeing any butterflies in my local wood seemed to be limited.Thankfully the temperature was  up at around 20C so activity was moderate despite the lack of sunshine.Marbled White numbers have increased dramatically since last week as too Meadow Brown and Ringlet.I was very pleased to see several White Admiral and also a first sight this season of Small Skipper.


Tuesday 20 June 2017

Early Return for White-letter Hairstreaks.

This year the season seems to be at least two weeks early and many of the summer species are on the wing sooner than expected. The White-letter Hairstreak is no exception as normally they would not be seen until July.
At Newport the colony of White-letter Hairstreaks were counted in almost double figures and it is pleasing to know that this is the third year in succession that they have been recorded here.The photo below shows the disease resistant elm ( the smaller tree on the right) where these butterflies have made their home.Unlike many sites where it is normal to gaze up at the Hairstreaks from ground level the adjoining foot bridge gives an excellent vantage point.

Saturday 17 June 2017

Butterflies Out in the Hot & Sunny Weather

A walk in Bouldnor Forest near Yarmouth yesterday produced four first sightings of the year The hot and sunny weather continues and the butterflies certainly responded with plenty of butterflies on show.Apart from several species already seen this season, new sightings were White Admiral,Marbled White,Large Skipper,and Ringlet.
Other sightings included Silver-washed Fritillary,numerous Meadow Brown and Common Blue,and a Grizzled Skipper.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

First Silver-washed Fritillary.

A wander along the wooded rides of Firestone Copse,at Wootton today resulted in my first high summer butterfly.A male Silver-washed Fritillary glided past me and landed at a nearby mud-hole where he proceeded to take the waters.Unfortunately there was no sign as yet, of that other majestic woodland butterfly the White Admiral.