Tuesday 3 October 2017

Butterfly Yearlist

It's finished! In fact it was finished on August 29th with the rather unexpected bonus of Queen of Spain Fritillary, which was my first ever butterfly twitch. (Well off patch one because there was a minor one for the Large Tortoiseshell in Bun's Garden back in 2008). When we had the first sighting of a Silver-spotted Skipper of the year at Aston Rowant on July 7th we were probably on schedule to get one of the fastest full list of British species ever. This was never going to be an option though as when we saw the Silver-spotted Skipper we were on our way northwards for two weeks botanising in Scotland and so an early Brown Hairstreak was out of the question. In Scotland it was nice to see some 'proper' Northern Brown Argus with their brilliant white wing spots and several of the Scottish form of Large Heath. We tried for Scotch Argus at Arnside Knott on the way back south but were too early. On my last update I was starting to panic about missing Purple Emperor as I hadn't been able to go to Fermyn Wood last time the weather was favourable.Fortunately there was a small break in the poor weather and this time I was able to go. I saw my first one flying around the treetops at Whitecross Green Wood on a nice warm Saturday evening just after we'd first visited the fabulous Bernwood Meadows where I got five year ticks. We spent many hours in a mostly cloudy Fermyn Woods the next day seeing quite a few Purple Emperors in the trees but not on the ground. Fortunately just as we'd decided to leave one did the decent thing and landed on my foot and then the path. After getting back from Scotland Brown Hairstreak was easy enough to see at Alners Gorse with a trip back up to Cumbria in August to see what I thought would be the final butterfly Scotch Argus.

So 59 species seen (and photographed) in total. Highlights were seeing four 'lifers' obviously but also visiting some great new locations. Best of all? Well, possibly the very rare and beautiful Queen of Spain but just pipped at the post I think by Chequered Skipper one I've always wanted to see! Anyway here's the final part of the list and lots of photos. All butterflies on this list and some photos of butterflies in previous lists but not photographed at the time.

45.  Gatekeeper                             30th June        Portland, Dorset

46.  Silver-washed Fritillary         30th June        Bernwood Meadows, Bucks

47.  Purple Hairstreak                   30th June        Bernwood Meadows, Bucks

48.  Essex SKipper                        30th June        Bernwood Meadows, Bucks

49.  White-letter Hairstreak          30th June        Bernwood Meadows, Bucks

50.  White Admiral                       30th June        Bernwood Meadows, Bucks

51.  Purple Emperor                      30th June       Whitecross Green Woods, Oxon

52.  Dark Green Fritillary              2nd July        Aish Tor, Devon

53.  High Brown Fritillary             2nd July        Aish Tor Devon

54.  Grayling                                  5th July         Portland, Dorset

55.  Chalkhill Blue                         5th July         Portland, Dorset

56.  Silver-spotted Skipper            7th July         Aston Rowant, Oxon

57.  Brown Hairstreak                   1st August     Alners Gorse, Dorset

58.  Scotch Argus                          12th August   Arnside Knott, Cumbria

59.  Queen of Spain Fritillary*     29th August    Peacehaven, Sussex

Adonis Blue



Common Blue

 Dark Green Fritillary

High Brown Fritillary

I didn't get any decent shots of these two species as they were always way too active in hot sunny conditions which weren't ideal for photography as you can see!


Meadow Brown 


Marbled White

Large White


Chalkhill Blue

Essex Skipper 


Brown Hairstreak

White-letter Hairstreak 

Purple Hairstreak 

Silver-spotted Skipper
 This female Silver-spotted Skipper was the first one seen this year, on July 7th, a very early date.
(More accurately it was equal first with one seen the same day in Sussex)

This one was later in the year in Hampshire

White Admiral

Silver-washed Fritillary 
 I think there are four here. A mating pair and a couple of hopefuls

And here's a lovely Valezina 

Purple Emperor

 A typical view with a couple of mystery leaf hoppers?


 I'd like to say I had him to myself but this was Fermyn Wood.
 I've seen bigger gatherings than this around an Emperor though.

Large Heath (form scotica)

A more typical view! 

Northern Brown Argus

Not the best photo, crap in fact, but this one had superb white spots.

Scotch Argus

 Some were doing their best impressions of a Purple Emperor.
A good effort I think.

On a farm near Peacehaven Sussex ...

Admirers prostrate themselves before the Queen of Spain 

And who could blame them!


Ian Andrews said...

More incredible pics. Your posts are less frequent but it just means I look forward to them all the more. Incredible shot of the three marbled whites in flight.

Tim Wright said...

Gripping Stuff Karen! Your photographs make me feel really ashamed of my own butterfly posts too. Good job. I like the way you set yourself a task and see it through to the end.

Brian Hicks said...

Lovely images Karen and a very good year. Brian. blhphotoblog.wordpress.com

Brian Hicks said...

Great images Karen super detail, what lens do you use? Brian blhphotoblog.wordpress.com