Friday, May 25, 2007

To the castle I go

The only main land site for Glanville Fritillary in the UK has always been undercliff at Hordle. The Isle of Wight has quite a few sites. Over the past few years the Hordle site has become badly eroded and somewhat dangerous to walk down.

Glanville numbers in recent years have been poor but last year I heard of a new(?) site not too many miles fron Hordle. My friend Mike Duffy was shown a photo of one taken at Hurst Castle last year.

So yesterday (24th May 2007) Mike went to the Castle and had a fantastic 30-40 sightings. This is brilliant news and hopefully all will be well with survival of this species in Hampshire.

Today (25th) I walked to the Castle and found 15-20 there.

Glanville Fritillary

Glanville Fritillary

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Friday 4th May 2007 - A trip to Martin Down

Today I visited Martin Down spending the best part of 3 hours after lunch walking around the north section. The sun only appeared around noon but a cool northerly wind persisted all the time I was there. The main reason for going there today was to see the Marsh Fritilleries that have hatched in relatively large numbers. I saw my first this year there the previous Sunday but was told 9 were seen the day before. Then a friend of mine reported 47 on the following Monday.

After parking in the north section car park I walked to the Bockerley Ditch and started walking along it. Even though the wind was strong and cool it wasn't long before I saw my first Marsh Fritillary of the day. They were dotted all along the ditch, areas that were more sheltered there were higher concentrations. So along the ditch I counted some 50. The highest concentration was along the track from the crossroads to the mound, past the area where the Stone Curlews breed. Here some I counted over 30 well spaced individuals. In all over 90 were counted.

There were plenty of butterflies out, 16 species is good for this time of the year:

Small Copper - 6
March Fritillary - c90
Grizzled Skipper - 33
Dingy Skipper - 34
Green Hairstreak - 6
Common Blue - 13
Brown Argus - 7
Adonis Blue - 2
Brimstone - 7
Small Heath - 7
Peacock - 2
Small Blue - 6
Holly Blue - 4
Green-veined White - 3
Speckled Wood - 5
Red Admiral - 1

Some photos:

Adonis Blue

Green Hairstreak

Holly Blue

Small Blue

Small Heath