Author Archives: Lyn Pullen

Butterfly weddings

Two exotic butterflies on bright yellow flowers
Two Monarch butterflies.

No, butterflies don’t marry, but did you know some humans release butterflies at weddings (and funerals) as part of the ceremony?

Butterfly releases like this give Butterfly Conservation, as a wildlife charity, cause for concern. Continue reading

Five caterpillars on nasturtium leaves

Large White Caterpillars. Photo: Lyn Pullen

Cuckoo sitting on a branch with a green caterpillar dangling from its beak

Cuckoo and Large White Caterpillar. Photo: Lyn Pullen

Lyn tells us:

I counted the Large White caterpillars on my nasturtiums the other day, and found 72! This morning, however, a (presumably young) Cuckoo arrived and spent some time in the garden. He managed to get some food in the form of the caterpillars.

Taken in garden in Winfrith Newburgh on 14/09/2017. This was very late for a young cuckoo to still be in the UK. According to research by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology), at least half leave as early as June to begin the trip back to Africa. We do hope he makes it!

Brown Hairstreak with open wings, showing bright orange markings

Brown Hairstreak. Photo: Gerry Traves

Gerry and Lyn are members of the Ringwood Natural History Society: the group were shown round  our Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve by our Reserves Manager, Nigel Spring, on 27/07/2017. They write that they enjoyed the morning very much, and sent us the full list of butterfly and other species they recorded on the visit, which you can see here.

Alners comes up trumps again

A group of people looking up into the trees, with some pointing
Guided walk at Alners Gorse. Photo: Martin Warren.

We have four Butterfly Reserves in Dorset, all of which have their attractions, but Alners gathers the most attention at this time of year because of its Hairstreaks. A guided walk there on 5 August, led by Martin Warren,drew 30 people, and was described as “superb” despite showers.

Continue reading

Wood White side view, sitting on a leaf

Wood White. Photo: Mark PIke

Wood White clinging to a small yellow flower

Wood White. Photo: Mark Pike

The Wood White is only just clinging on in Dorset, but Mark has sent us photos to prove it is still around. He says:

I visited a sunny but very windy Lyme Regis Undercliff today (31/7/17) to have a scout round for 2nd brood Wood White’s and after a lot of scrambling around managed to find six nice fresh specimens literally on the border with Devon. Had it not been for the wind there may have been more but they were keeping very much out of the way!

If you go looking for this butterfly, please take great care: the area is not very stable and landslips have made the going difficult in places.