‘White Holes’ is a Dorset term for kilometer squares where no butterfly has been reported in the current five-year cycle of recording. We are now in year three of the 2015-19 cycle, so we are starting to get a feel for where more recording effort is needed. Continue reading
Our Records Officer, Bill Shreeves, has done a magnificent job taking both a long-term and short-term view of our records from 1970 to 2014, showing how the various species have fared in Dorset. Each species has a distribution map of sightings between 2010 and 2014, followed by information showing population trends.
This is still a work in progress. We will be adding Dorset flight-time charts soon, and Bill is working on further ways of illustrating trends, and hopefully we may be able to crunch the numbers to achieve some abundance data, too.
Ken Dolbear tells us that the Small Blue is now on the wing at Bottom Combe, on Portland. Continue reading
Brian tells us: “I was out walking with the Swanage Walking Group this morning and on the north side of Godlingston Heath (just off of the ferry road north of Studland) I found this Green Hairstreak. It sat patiently sunning itself in the grass for about 5 minutes.”
Dave says: “Considering Holly Blues were quite scarce last summer its great to see them almost everywhere around North Dorset . This pair were seen at Compton Down [on 19/04/2017] along with several Green Hairstreak and plenty of Speckled Wood. However across the valley on Fontmell Down it appears worryingly lifeless within the boundaries of the fencing. Only a few Grizzled Skippers seen and hardly any nectar sources plus cattle grazing still going on ! Outside the boundaries plenty of cowslip, daisy and hawkweeds . Hope it rapidly improves “.
Dave took both these shots at Melbury Down on 07/04/2017. He reports that there were two Green Hairstreaks, both holding a territory. The Green Hairstreak is the only green butterfly in Britain, so you cannot mistake it, but it’s not around for very long.
This was taken on 08/04/2017 close to the Avon Causeway. Mel says it was having a snack after a territorial battle with an Orange Tip.
Mel tells us he stook up to his knees in nettles for twenty minutes before the butterfly settled more or less where he thought it would – that’s dedication for you! Taken by the River Stour at Throop.
This lovely shot of a Brimstone was taken by Elaine at (Thomas) Hardy’s Cottage in Bockhampton. The flower is a lungwort – so named because at one time the marks on the leaves were thought to resemble lungs, and therefore the plant would be a cure for lung problems; please don’t try following this very dubious advice!
The two shots from Mel were both taken in his Bournemouth garden on 01/04/2017 and were first sightings of the year for him. The Holly Blue can be identified as a male, as the female has a wide black border on the upperwings.