View of a golden brown and orange butterfly

Essex Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

View of a perching golden brown and orange butterfly

Small Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

Two photos taken on 28/06/2020 at Motcombe Meadows which Mark tells us is a great place to see both Small & Essex Skippers flying together (although he says that Small are far more common there).  He sent these two images for comparison as he thought they clearly show the all important antennae identification differences.

View of a golden brown butterfly resting on a plant stem

Essex Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

Brown butterfly with some white spots and white fringe to the wings resting on a green plant

Ringlet ab. arete. Photo: Mark Pike

Two photos sent in by Mark with the following comments:

Despite the stiff breeze and overcast conditions there were plenty of butterflies to be seen in Motcombe Meadows this afternoon 20/6/20 – these two were both very fresh, an Essex Skipper and a Ringlet ab. arete, a ringless Ringlet!

Golden orange butterfly nectaring on a white Ox-eye daisy

Small Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

This photo from Mark taken at Motcombe Meadows on 09/06/2020 shows a Small Skipper having a go at nectaring from a large Ox-Eye Daisy. In common with many species this year, the first sighting of a Small Skipper reported to Dorset BC was earlier this year – on 27/05/2020 compared to 01/06/2019 last year.

Golden orange butterfly resting on a grass seed head

Small Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

Golden orange butterfly resting on a plant stem

Small Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

Two photos of Small Skippers taken and sent to us today, 07/06/2020 by Mark with the following comments:

 A quick early walk in Motcombe Meadows this morning produced the earliest Small Skipper since records began in the meadows back in 2012, and a full 21 days earlier than the previous earliest (28/06/2019). It is a strange old year for sure!

View of a white butterfly resting on a green plant

Green-veined White. Photo: Mark Pike

View of a white butterfly with black wing tips perching on a green plant

Orange Tip. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark has sent us these two photos taken on his first visit to Motcombe Meadows yesterday morning, 24/04/2020 with the following comment:

Nothing mind-blowing seen but these super fresh Green-veined White and female Orange Tip do provide an interesting comparison. 

two Ringlets, omne with closed wings and one open winged. clearly showing the upper and under wing markings

Ringlets. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark sent us this photo which he took in Motcombe Meadows on 3/07/19 because as he says, it is a useful photo to show the upper and under- wing markings of the Ringlet butterfly.

This species can be seen on the wing from about the third week of June until early August.

orange ERssex Skipper showing diagnostic black ink tipped antennae

Essex Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

Essex Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

Essex Skipper and Fly. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark sent us these beautiful photos of Essex Skipper which he managed to locate in Motcombe Meadows on 3/07/19.

This species can be difficult to identify in the field unless you can see it settled and get a good look at the antennae. As you see, they look they have been dipped in ink.

If you look closely at the third photo you can see Mark has captured a tiny fly that alighted on the tip of one antennae.