Saturday, July 29, 2006

Even more Painted Ladys

This morning I visited Old Winchester Hill again. Weather conditions different to yesterday when it was still and hot. This morning it was cool and breezy from the west. Small butterflies were less in evidence but Painted Ladys were all over the upper slopes mostly sheltering out of the breeze.
In all I counted 115.

Other butterflies included:

Red Admiral - 26
Dark Green Fritillary - 4
Chalk-hill Blue - 1000s
Peacock - 6
Small Copper - 5
Large White - 11
Common Blue - 2

Also 2 Raven flew over the area.

Some photographs from today

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Common Blue

Small Copper

Small Copper

Bordered Straw

Last night I was watching the mass of migrant Silver Y moths feeding in my garden. Then one particular moth caught my eye. I was quite pale, reminded me of my recent sighting of Dusky Sallow. It turned out to be a Bordered Straw which is another immigrant to the UK. A first for me.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Clouded Yellows

Today Mike and I visited Old Winchester Hill in the hope to find early Silver-spotted Skippers. We didn't find any but we did see at least 6 Clouded Yellows. Other butterflies noted were:

Red Admiral - 36
Painted Lady - 52
Marbled White - 20
Chalk-hill Blue - Masses, may be 2-3000
Dark Green Fritillary - 5
Peacock - 18
Large White - 15
Brimstone - 3
Small Copper - 1
Comma - 1

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A lunchtime walk around Farley Mount

I took a lunchtime walk around Farley Mount today (26/07) as the weather was slightly cooler with increasing cloud cover. Many butterflies around including:

Painted Lady - 80 (looks like another PL year)
Brimstone - 50
Clouded Yellow - 3
Peacock - 9
Red Admiral - 3
Dark Green Fritillary - 7
Comma - 1
Large White - 5
Lots of Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Small Whites

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

At last, a rare migrant butterfly in Hampshire

With a big phew I managed to catch up with a rare migrant butterfly in Hampshire.

Just coming up to 3 o'clock in the afternoon on 25th July the pager went off saying there was a Long-tailed Blue in Hampshire and not too many miles away from work.

I quickly packed up and surfed the net to try and get site details but there wasn't much. So off I went to Bishop's Waltham, some 20 minutes drive away and fortunately the road for the nature reserve was just as I got into the village. I didn't know this as I left.

So on to the nature reserve and followed someone else who had twitched this butterfly. After an hour or so the butterfly was located but I only had a bad view in flight. Another 20 minutes and we found it again settled on a stem of grass. Excellent view but what a grotty specimen.

Here is a picture courtesy of Mike Duffy

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Kitt's Wood visit

Today (22nd July) was very humid but initially sunny before thunder clouds came over head. Kitt's Wood was buzzing with butterflies.

Butterflies included:

Painted Lady - 9
Peacock - 52
Large White - 24
Red Admiral - 28
Brimstone - 34
Silver-washed Fritillary - 95 including 5 f. Valesina
Speckled Wood - 4
White Admiral - 3
Comma - 2
Holly Blue - 1

Some Photographs from today

Dusky Sallow

Meadow Brown

A visit to Old Winchester Hill

Today (21st July) Mike and myself visited Old Winchester Hill from 09:00. Weather was hot and sunny though dew was still on the grass. Wind today was very light.

Butterfly sightings included:

Red Admiral - 39
Comma - 4
Painted Lady - 27
Peacock - 7
Chalk-hill Blue - c300
Clouded Yellow - 1
Dark Green Fritillary - 12
Small Tortoiseshell - 4
Large White - 7

Hummingbird Hawkmoth - 1

Some photographs from today:

Peacock

Peacock

Gatekeeper

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A visit to Martin Down

This morning I visited Martin Down, north section and Kitts wood. Good number of butterflies out especially in Kitts wood.

Sightings included:

Small Copper - 2
Dark Green Fritillary - 95
Small Blue - 9
Small Heath - 9
Small Tortoiseshell - 6
Peacock - 3
Comma - 3
Painted Lady - 8
Red Admiral - 17
Silver-washed Fritillary - 96 including 3 f. valesina (see photo below)
Brimstone - 23
White Admiral - 11
Clouded Yellow - 1

Day flying moths included

Scarlet Tiger - 14
Silver Y - many

Photographs of some of todays butterflies:

Silver-washed Fritillary f. valesina

White Admiral

Back end of a Scarlet Tiger moth

Small Blue

1 of 2 Corn Buntings seen in the area.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A very tame Fox

Today (15th July) I visited Old Winchester Hill with Mike. Both Mike and I like to visit this site early when the sun is out, as it was today, to catch the basking butterflies. Today was no exception. Plenty of Red Admirals, Painted Ladies and Commas were on the bramble bushes. It was quite breezy so there weren't many butterflies out on the hill at this time. Having got back to the car park by 9 Mike went off and I decided to stay another hour or so to take some photo's. On the way round Mike had mentioned that Dave, a voluntary warden, had been feeding a tame Fox. At the time I thought nothing of it but When I returned to the car park after my walk round there was a Fox playing around at the end of the car park. They are usually quite wary animals but this one paid no attention to me as I packed my car. In fact it walked up to me and stopped within 5 feet for a few seconds before casually walking off.

Here are some photographs of it:

This was only about 5 feet away



The Fox slowly wondered off but was not bothered by my presence.

Here is a list of the butterflies we saw:

Red Admiral - 67
Comma - 15
Painted Lady - 13
Marbled White - 75
Small Skipper - 35
Meadow Brown - 60
Small Tortoiseshell - 3
Dark Green Fritillary - only 3
Speckled Wood - 1
Ringlet - 15
Small Heath - 6
Gatekeeper - 25
Chalk-hill Blue - only 5
Large Skipper - 1
Essex Skipper - 2
Small White - 3
Green-veined White - 2
Large White - 1

Some butterfly photographs from today:

Gatekeeper

Green-veined White

Marbled White

Painted Lady

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

In search of Purple Hairstreaks

This evening (14th July) I visited the Lea Ground Coppice part of Whiteley Pastures to look for Purple Hairstreaks. Although it was quite breezy I did manage to have 10 sightings, all at the tops of the Oak trees. On the bramble bushes White Admirals were feeding actively as were Silver-washed Fritillaries.

Bratley Plain pools

Today (14th July) I visited the pools between Milkham and Slufters Inclosures looking for the reported Red-veined Darters. Unfortunately there was no sign of them. However a good number of dragonflies were over the pools:

Four-spotted Chaser - 2
Broad-bodied Chaser - 2
Emperor Dragonfly - at least 6
Emerald Damselfly - 6
Common Blue Damselfly - at least 20
Keeled Skimmer - 4
Black-tailed Skimmer - 2
Common Darter - 5
Black Darter - 3
Golden Ringed Dragonfly - 1

I also had an excellent view of a Honey Buzzard nearby which was in view for some 15 minutes.