Author Archives: John East

View of an orange butterfly with black markings resting on a purple coloured plum

Comma ab. unknown. Photo: Jennifer Long

View of a brown butterfly resting on purple coloured plums

Comma ab.unknown. Photo: Jennifer Long

These are just two of the photos Jennifer sent to us of a very unusual Comma she saw in her back garden near Lodmoor Hill, Weymouth on 11/09/2021 – it is unusual in that it has rather fewer spots than are normally found on a Comma.

Editor’s Note:  as I was unable to find a name for this specific aberration, I sent copies of these photos to Mark Pike, who has a considerable knowledge of butterfly aberrations, for his advice and he replied saying:

That is an excellent ab, in fact it looks like an unnamed one. The closest I can find is sagitta-album which it could be a variation of, but best to put it down as “unknown”.  Wish I had found it myself!

My thanks to Mark for his guidance on this one.

An orange butterfly with black markings resting on a purple Buddleia flower

Comma. Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent in this photo telling us:

With the buddleia now going over in my Shaftesbury garden, it is mainly Whites feeding on the remaining blooms.  However, this fresh Comma put in an appearance today, 11/09/2021 grabbing as much nectar it could before going into hibernation.

A pale brownish coloured snake with black markings

Sub-adult Adder. Photo: Warren Port

A greenish and brown lizard with black markings

Common Lizard. Photo: Warren Port

These two images are not ones you would expect to find in our Photo Gallery but they are part of the often unseen and hidden natural world of our BC Reserve at Alners Gorse.

Both photos were taken on 05/09/2021 by Warren Port, one of the regular herpetologists involved at Alners Gorse who told us that this sub-adult Adder was a new one for them here.

It’s great to know a little bit more of the diversity of this fantastic butterfly reserve.

A greenish white butterfly with blackish markings nectaring on a magenta coloured flower

Green-veined White. Photo: Ann Barlow

Ann sent in this photo of a Green-veined White she saw at The Walled Garden, Moreton yesterday, 08/09/2021 – rather nice to have this one for the Gallery as it is not a species we receive many photos of.

 View of a perching brownish butterfly with orange, black and white markings

Brown Argus. Photo: Brian Arnold

A brown and orange butterfly with black markings resting amongst some green vegetation

Small Copper. Photo: Brian Arnold

Two photos from Brian taken in his Harman’s Cross garden sent in to us with the following comments:

Butterfly numbers are now quite low in our garden at Harman’s Cross. I am getting occasional sightings of Common Blue, Brown Argus and Small Copper, plus the usual suspects for this time of year – Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Small White and Red Admiral. This Small Copper appeared on 06/09/2021 looking very fresh, but I could not find it in the garden today (8th September). The Brown Argus appeared on 07/09/2021, only to be absent today.  The highlight of the day today however was a male Common Darter dragonfly – not much use for the butterfly website of course, but a joy to see.

A coppery orange and brown butterfly with black markings resting on some vegetation

Small Copper. Photo: Gary Holderness

View of a perching brown and orange butterfly with black markings

Small Copper. Photo: Gary Holderness

Two photos of a male Small Copper taken today, 08/09/2021 and sent in by Gary telling us:

This Small Copper has set up his territory in my modest Ferndown front garden. For the last 4 days he’s been out there like clockwork, constantly chasing off the Small and Large Whites, the only other butterflies that I’m regularly seeing in the garden now we’re well into September.  I hope he gets lucky and finds the mate he deserves before the weather breaks.

A greenish yellow butterfly with some brown markings plus a fly resting in the butterfly's wing

Brimstone butterfly with fly. Photo: Donald Simcock

Donald was in contemplative mode yesterday, 06/09/2021 as he enjoyed the wonderful weather we are having at the moment and he sent in this photo with the following comments:

Yesterday was an easy day in our Bournemouth garden reading and watching. I was struck by how many times a fly or bee would bump off one of the 5 whites whilst they were feeding. I wonder if this is when nectar sources are becoming more scarce and competition for them increases.

I also noticed this male Brimstone with a fly on its wing. The fly came and went a number of times as the Brimstone steadfastly didn’t move for about 15 minutes. Isn’t nature wonderful and I see new behaviour nearly every time I just sit and watch.

Editor’s Note:  Donald’s experience really illustrates how pleasurable the simple joys of nature can be when we just take time out to look at what is going on around us.

A rather worn and faded blue butterfly with faded black and white markings resting on some green vegetation

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Sonia Hudson

A brown butterfly with cream coloured markings resting amongst some blackberries

Speckled Wood. Photo: Sonia Hudson

These are just two of the photos Sonia sent in for the Gallery – both were taken on Portland on the South West Coast Path yesterday, 05/09/2021. The Chalkhill Blue is a little bit tatty and the colours are fading but it is good to know that they can still be found there.

A brown butterfly with some paler and black markings resting amongst some green vegetation

Grayling. Photo: Ann Barlow

A brown butterfly with some pale markings nectaring on a pink flower

Grayling. Photo: Ann Barlow

Ann sent in these two photos of Grayling she took on Upton Heath in the lovely weather yesterday afternoon, 05/09/2021.  She also told us that there were quite a few different butterfly species on Upton Heath at the time and that these are the first photos she has actually managed to take of a Grayling.