Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Graylings Back on Down.

I hoped that the Graylings were out  on Bleak Down by now and made the walk to their usual site on the Down.The area is one of the few remaining stretches of heathland on the Island and with the heather now in flower it makes a colourful sight.
After some time of searching I at last found a Grayling.Obviously I was somewhat early to see the colony, so hopefully in another week numbers will have substantially increased






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Friday, 11 July 2014

Summertime.

A very warm and sunny morning at Walters Copse today and it was not long before I came across a pristine Painted Lady butterfly.Not too far down the path and a Dark Green Fritillary was also feeding on the giant thistles.This fritillary can be found in our woodland as well as on our chalk Downland.
Now good to see reasonable numbers of Marbled White,Meadow Brown,and Ringlet in the copse.Not many Silver-washed Fritillaries though and no sign of any Valezina as yet.The normal  females however are in evidence seeking out egg laying sites at the base of oak trees.





Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chalk-hill Blues Now On Show.

Several Chalk-hill Blues on West High Down today blown along on a very stiff wind.Hopefully in a few days numbers will steadily increase and reach last years staggering totals.
More Dark Green Fritillaries now on the wing. all nectaring on the abundant flowering plants on our Downs.





Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Thymelicus sylvestris or Thymelicus lineola.

Today at Wheelers Bay both Essex and Small Skippers were to be seen sharing the same habitat at the foot of the cliffs.
These two species are very similar and apparently there are several minor differences which will enable the observer to tell one from the other.I prefer to take a close look at the antennae,as the Essex has a distinctive black tip on both whereas the Small Skipper has dull brown-orange tips.
This difference can be seen (I hope) in the following photos taken today of the butterflies at the Bay.The first three examples are of an Essex and the last two a Small Skipper

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Friday, 4 July 2014

Still Waiting.

A hike up to West High Down this morning in the hope of seeing my first Chalk-hill Blue of the year.
I was to be disappointed as despite a good search it did not seem that any had emerged,at least on this part of the down.
I did see a new species for this season though,a male Gatekeeper sheltering low down in the gorse away from the stiff breeze.Many more Marbled Whites now and one or two of the Dark Green Fritillaries are starting to look somewhat faded.




Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Still Around.

A surprise sighting yesterday at Shippards Chine on the Islands' south west coast was a late Glanville Fritillary. The first sighting was back on 29th April and normally one would not expect to see it in July.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Dark Greens.

Quite a common butterfly on Isle of Wight downland is the Dark Green Fritillary.It is also found in our woodlands too.
One of the areas I like to visit in order to see this handsome butterfly is West High Down situated between the Needles and Tennyson Down.Perhaps its favourite nectar flower is the Giant Thistle and one can almost be guaranteed a sighting of the butterfly amidst a drift of these plants I was not disappointed today as despite a stiff wind and mainly cloudy conditions I managed to see four,all feeding at one time or another on the thistle.




  
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