An orange and brown butterfly with black markings resting on a some vegetation

Small Copper. Photo: Shona Refoy

A blue butterfly with orange, black and white markings nectaring on a yellow flower

Adonis Blue (female). Photo: Shona Refoy

Two photos from Shona sent in telling us:

The sun finally made an appearance today, 03/09/2021 so I went back to Fontmell Down.  I find this male Small Copper interesting – not only is he quite dark, but he also has longer tails than is usual!  The Adonis Blues were the most abundant butterfly there – I counted 144, including this beautiful female but I only saw 1 Silver-spotted Skipper, well down from the 14+ I had seen 10 days earlier.

View of a blue butterfly with black and white markings

Adonis Blue. Photo: Ann Barlow

Two brown and blue butterflies withblack and white markings on a pinklish purple flower

Adonis Blues. Photo: Ann Barlow

Two photos sent in by Ann telling us:

I had my first visit to Fontmell Down on 28/08/2021 in the hope of seeing my first Adonis Blue, and I was not disappointed – I must have seen well over one hundred – all seemed to be pristine males. I saw many gathering in 2s and 3s on cow pats, and one ‘food source’ seemed to be especially attractive, and had at least 12 of these butterflies coming and going. 

A brown and orange butterfly amongst green vegetation

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Brian Arnold

A view of an olive brown butterfly with white markings resting near the ground

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Brian Arnold

When Brian sent in these photos, he may also unwittingly have given us a possible remedy for curing the ills of long distance car travel:

Near the end of a long journey back to Dorset from Manchester on 23/08/2021 we passed by Fontmell Down, so I decided to take a quick look for Silver-spotted Skippers. The weather was unfortunately very overcast and dull with a bit of a wind, but being from the north west, the area at Fontemell Down where the Skippers are was quite sheltered.

I assumed I would be the only one there, but 6 other enthusiasts were also on the hillside looking for the Skippers.  In total I saw just 3, and only one of them obliged for photos, but being so dull and in poor light, photos were not easy.

A brown butterfly with white markings nectaring on a lilac coloured flower

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Shona Refoy

A brown butterfly with orange and white markings resting by some rocks

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Shona Refoy

These two photos were sent in by Shona telling us:

Just as I was leaving Fontmell Down on 10/08/2021, I returned to the area where I had seen the male Silver-spotted Skipper earlier, wondering if I would see him again. I didn’t – instead I found this female, nectaring on a variety of flowers and sitting on some stones!

View of a brown and orange butterfly with white markings amongst some green vegetation

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Paul Wilkins

View of an orange and brown butterfly resting in some vegetation

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Paul Wilkins

This is the second posting today of Silver-spotted Skippers seen at Fontmell Down on 10/08/2021.  These photos were sent in by Paul who commented that he thought they looked very fresh despite the recent poor weather adding that they are always a treat to find.

A brown and orange butterfly on a green leaf

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Sharon Towning

A brown and orange butterfly with white markings amongst some green vegetation

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Sharon Towning

This is the third and last posting of the photos of Silver-spotted Skippers sent to us that were taken at Fontmell Down on 10/08/2021 – these ones were taken by Sharon who told us they were her first sighting of them there.

An orange and brown butterfly with black markings on a lilac coloured flower

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Shona Refoy

A pale brown butterfly with white markings on a purple flower

Silver-spotted Skipper. Photo: Shona Refoy

Prepare yourselves for a visual feast of Silver-spotted Skippers – three different people have all sent us photos they took at Fontmell Down on 10/08/2021 and the ones in this first posting of them are from Shona who told us:

I was at Fontmell Down earlier today looking for Silver-spotted Skippers. The first two I found flew over the fence and up the hill, where there were more flowers, so I followed them and came across this lovely male, nectaring on Scabious and Self-heal.

A yellow butterfly with some black and white markings on a purple flower

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona sent in this photo telling us:

This isn’t the first Clouded Yellow that I’ve seen this year, but she is the first that I’ve managed to catch up with.

I saw her on Fontmell Down earlier today, 02/08/2021 – the sun appeared around midday and so did she. She flew and flew, only settling briefly before setting off again. Eventually she needed to refuel on this Dwarf Thistle, so I managed to take some photos before she flew again!

View of two blue and pale brown butterflies with orange, black and white markings on the brown seedhead of a plant

Adonis Blue. Photo: Shona Refoy

A pale brown and orange butterfly with black and white markings resting on a green thistle

Painted Lady. Photo: Shona Refoy

Two photos from Shona sent in telling us:

I spent a few glorious hours on Fontmell Down earlier today, 05/06/2021 – the Adonis Blues were out in force, including this mating pair.

I saw my second Painted Lady of the year, but had difficulty taking photos – she was flitting about rapidly and only settling very briefly. This is one of the better shots, showing her ovipositing on a Thistle.