An orange and brown butterfly with black markings resting on a green and reddish coloured leaf

Small Copper. Photo: Shona Refoy

A blackish brown butterfly with reddish orange and white markings nectaring on a pinkish pruple flower

Red Admiral. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona sent in these two photos taken at Broadcroft Quarry on 16/09/2020 teling us:

I think that this male Small Copper basking in the morning sun looks as though he really is made of copper!  Also I think that this is an interesting view of a Red Admiral, which spent a long time nectaring on Buddleia.

View of a resting blue butterfly with orange, black and white markings

Common Blue (female). Photo: Donald Simcock

View of a resting blue butterfly with black and white markings and white fringe to the wings

Chalkhill Blue (male). Photo: Donald Simcock

Two photos taken on 06/08/2020 by Donald and sent to us with the following comments:

Having joined Butterfly Conservation recently after becoming interested in butterflies during lockdown I was keen to sort out the differences between the Blues and on Thursday I got that chance during a Butterfly Conservation work party at Broadcroft Quarry on the Isle of Portland. Besides lots of Chalkhill Blues there was one Common Blue, Gatekeepers and Grizzled Skippers.

I had my first chance to study the Common Blue and Chalkhill together, the former being a bright blue and the latter a chalky blue.

I must say that it is a wonderful experience to walk around with a few experts who can tell me more about a species of butterfly than the books can.

Orange butterfly with black and yellow markings resting on a lilac coloured Buddleia flower

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Shona Refoy

Orange and brown butterfly with black and yellow markings resting on a lilac coloured Buddleia flower

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Shona Refoy

Following the recent sightings of a Large Tortoiseshell in Broadcroft Quarry, Shona went there yesterday 06/07/2020 and has sent us these photos with the following comments:

After four hours of searching, I found this butterfly nectaring in the middle of a Buddleia – it was too windy for the butterfly to use the upper flowers, so it made taking photos a bit tricky! It is almost certainly the same butterfly as the one photographed by Mark Pike the day before, as it was nectaring on the same Buddleia. A piece of the left hindwing has been lost between Mark’s photos and mine.

A resting orange butterfly with black and yellow markings

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Richard Belding.

Orange butterfly with black and yellow markings nectaring on a pink flower.

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Richard Belding

Broadcroft Quarry is certainly attracting the butterfly hunters searching for the Large Tortoiseshell.  Richard went there yesterday, 07/07/2020 and has sent us these two photos saying that if it is the the same individual that Mark Pike photographed 2 days ago it has got a lot tattier.

Two silvery blue butterflies with black spots on the wings, both resting on a seed head

Small Blues. Photo: Rob Morrison

Two silvery blue butterflies with black spots on their wings and one dark brownish blue butterfly, all resting on a seed head

Small Blues. Photo: Rob Morrison

Rob travelled to Portland yesterday, 06/07/2020 and has sent us this report of his visit together with these two photos:

I enjoyed my first visit to Broadcroft Quarry and was impressed by the abundance of butterflies on a breezy, yet sunny day.  There was an abundance of Small Blues in very localised spots. This pair was continually harassed by what I presume were other males and were continually pirouetting around this plantain The harassing individuals were scattered by the fluttering of wings – again, presumably the male.

Orange butterfly with black and yellow markings resting on a lilac flower

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Mark Pike

Brown butterfly with some blue markings nectaring on a lilac flower

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark went to Broadcroft Quarry on Portland today, 05/07/2020 in search of the much talked about Large Tortoiseshell and was rewarded with this super example of one – the first he had ever seen.  Mark added that he wondered if it was the one seen here last Friday?

A resting orange butterfly with black and yellow markings

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Malcolm Halfacre

A resting orange butterfly with black and yellow markings

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Josh Evans

Another Red (or should that be Orange) Letter Day in the search for Large Tortoiseshlls on Portland.  These two photos taken by Malcolm and Josh were sent to Nigel Spring who forwarded them for display on the Dorset BC Photo Gallery with the following comments:

This Large Tortoiseshell was discovered by Malcolm Halfacre during a workparty to clear clematis and bramble regrowth from the scrapes on Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve on 03/07/2020. Luckily he was able to round up the rest of the group and lead them to where the beautiful insect was nectaring on buddleia and occasionally posing on the rocks to be photographed.

Broadcroft Quarry

A view of broadcroft quarry showing limestone rocks and grass sward
Broadcroft quarry scrape. Photo: J. Davis

Guide to this top Dorset butterfly site, including: location, description, species of interest and photo gallery.