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Butterfly Diary - field notes by Adrian Hoskins
note : earliest sightings of each brood are in bold type
2014
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May

Friday 2nd May

A fresh female Holly Blue appeared in my garden at Havant this morning. Half an hour later I saw a male at Hilsea station, and on arrival at Brockenhurst I saw a third specimen. I spent the rest of the day exploring various inclosures in the New Forest, adding a Green Hairstreak, 4 Peacocks, 2 Grizzled Skippers, 3 Green-veined Whites, an Orange-tip and a dozen or so Brimstones. My target species however was the Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Despite an hour long search, there were none to be seen at their usual haunt, which is now becoming overgrown, but one of the forest keepers kindly gave me a lift to a small site which the butterflies colonised the previous year.

Shortly after arriving we saw 3 or 4 males patrolling in search of potential mates. Occasionally one would settle to nectar at bugle or violet flowers, but for most of the day they were too active to be approached for photography. However, I decided to stay there for the rest of the afternoon, and eventually, at about 4pm, they began to slow down, periodically basking and allowing me to take plenty of photographs. In total I saw about 15 individuals - all freshly emerged males.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary Clossiana euphrosyne, New Forest, Hampshire Adrian Hoskins

Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni, New Forest, Hampshire Adrian Hoskins

April

Thursday 24th April

Although the weather has been less than ideal lately, there was enough sunshine to get a handful of Pearl-bordered Fritillaries flying at Rewell Wood in Sussex today.

Friday 18th April

I spent this afternoon at Magdalen Hill Down near Winchester, where Grizzled Skippers and Small Tortoiseshells were the commonest species, with between 15-20 of each seen. Other species seen included 6 Green Hairstreaks, 3 Holly Blues, 1 Dingy Skipper, 3 Green-veined Whites, 5 Orange-tips, 7 Brimstones and 7 Peacocks.

Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi, Magdalen Hill Down, Hampshire Adrian Hoskins

Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae, Magdalen Hill Down, Hampshire Adrian Hoskins

Thursday 10th April

Two freshly emerged Dingy Skippers and an immaculate male Grizzled Skipper were reported today from Mill Hill, near Brighton in Sussex. Further east at Cradle Hill a fresh Green Hairstreak was seen, and two more were reported from nearby High and Over.

Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines, Stansted Forest, Sussex Adrian Hoskins

 

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