Leopard Moth. Photo: Dave Law

Oak Eggar. Photo: Dave Law

Dave went for a walk around Duncliffe Woods on 31/07/21 and though the weather was not the best for butterflies and moths ,he spotted two lovely moths. A Leopard moth and a female Oak Eggar.

The flight seasons are June -early August and July /August respectively.


View of a white butterfly with dark veins on the hindwings nectaring on a white flower.

Green-veined White. Photo: Dave Law

Dave has sent us this super photo with the following comments:

First walk of the year in the sunshine at Duncliffe Wood on 16/03/2020 and amazed to see a Green-veined White. My girlfriend Agnes saw it first so I can’t take all the credit if it’s a first for the year.

The dark veins on the yellow underside of the hindwings are actually a mottling of black scales that appear green against the yellow background. The first Green-veined White reported to the Dorset BC website last year was on 24/03/2019 so this is 8 days earlier.

View of two orange coloured butterflies on Buddleia

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent in this photo showing what is an increasingly rare sight of 2 Small Tortoiseshell together on the same plant. Photo taken on 18/08/2019 in his garden near Duncliffe Wood after he returned from holiday. He added that there seemed to have been a mini explosion with at least 15 different Tortoiseshells feeding on various buddleia’s around the garden as well as Peacocks, Painted Lady and Whites. Like stepping back in time to his childhood.

Light brown underside of a Comma, hutchinsoni, nectaring on Buddleia

Comma, hutchinsoni, Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent us this photo on 25/07/19 and says:

This female comma is the golden form hutchinsoni . It was swapping between feeding on buddleia and egg laying on elm and nettles in the hedgerow at Duncliffe Wood

This form is found throughout its range and represents individuals that go on to produce a second brood, which differ from those individuals that overwinter as follows:

  1. Overall appearance much paler.
  2. The underside is especially paler, being yellow-brown with darker markings nearer the body, and with a few green spots and other marks at the wing margins.

Duncliffe Wood

Duncliffe Hill. Photo: Keith Howland

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

Brown and pale orange butterfly

Large Skipper. Photo: Dave Law

Dave says:

Large Skipper found at the foot of Duncliffe Wood by our son Fred . Quite surprised to see as very gloomy weather but warm , and even more surprisingly it was a female , so there are probably a few males about already.


view of a Small Copper nectaring on Scabious flowers with wings open

Small Copper. Photo: Dave Law

Dave had Small Coppers in his garden near Shaftesbury on 5/09/18 and tells us that on his walk up through the fields to Duncliffe Woods the third generation of this species were present in good numbers.

2018 certainly appeared to be a good year for this tiny but impressive butterfly.