A pale yellow and white butterfly with some black markings nectaring on a lilac blue coloured flower

Clouded Yellow f. helice. Photo: Chris Becker

Chris has sent us this recent photo taken at Luscombe Valley Nature Reserve showing a female Clouded Yellow form helice.  Some 10% of female Clouded Yellows are of this pale variety with their colour ranging from a soft lemon yellow to white.  Their distinctive underwing pattern is similar in both the normal and helice forms.  So far this year Dorset Butterfly Conservation has received 114 reports of sightings of Clouded Yellows (including of the form helice).

Clouded Yellow f. helice, Luscombe Valley Naure Reserve
Posted on: 23 September, 2020

An orange and brown butterfly resting on a green leaf

Gatekeeper. Photo: Shona Refoy

An orange and brown butterfly resting on a green leaf

Gatekeeper. Photo: Shona Refoy

Two photos sent in by Shona telling us:

I was surprised to see this fairly fresh female Gatekeeper at Ulwell earlier today, 21/09/2020. She was flying around with a Speckled Wood, and I assumed her to be another Speckled Wood until she landed! I managed to snatch a few photos before having to get out of the way of some people coming up the path which she was beside. 

On my previous visit to Ulwell and Ballard Down on 01/09/2020 I saw no Gatekeepers at all.

Gatekeeper, Ulwell
Posted on: 22 September, 2020


Large grey patterned moth with sky blue and black underwings

Clifdon Nonpareil. Photo: Derek Fowler

Derek was very surprised to find this gem of a moth on the white sheet next to his Charminster garden moth trap on 9/09/20.

The Clifdon Nonpareil is a immigrant moth much prized by moth-ers and Derek tells us ,he never expected to see this species.

It is usually seen in September though flies between August and October.

A  moth with a definite WOW factor.

Clifdon Nonpareil, Charminster, Dorchester
Posted on: 21 September, 2020

View of a resting chocolate brown butterfly with cream markings

Speckled Wood. Photo: Mark Pike

A reddish orange and black butterfly with white markings resting on on a green leaf

Red Admiral. Photo: Mark Pike

Two photos sent in by Mark of nice fresh late season specimens he saw at Motcombe Meadows yesterday morning, 20/9/20 telling us that these could possibly be his last butterfly photos for 2020.

Speckled Wood and Red Admiral, Motcombe Meadows
Posted on: 21 September, 2020

An orange butterfly with black spots nectaring on a yellow flower

Comma. Photo: George McCabe

Another photo from George sent in telling us:

I went to Island Nursery Garden Centre, Upwey, Weymout today, 20/09/2020 mainly to look for plants but could not resist looking out for butterflies. l was not expecting to spot a Comma on a Rudbeckia – it just shows you’ve got to keep your eyes open for the unexpected. It made my day.

Comma, Upwey
Posted on: 21 September, 2020

Orange and brown butterfly with black markings nectaring on a pink Sedum flower

Small Copper. Photo: Brian Arnold

An orange and brown butterfly with black markings nectaring on a pink Sedum flower

Small Copper. Photo: Brian Arnold

Two photos from Brian sent telling us:

The Sedums in our garden at Harman’s Cross are proving to be a magnet for Small Coppers. Two fresh looking examples on the Sedums today (Saturday 19/09/2020), which seem to have become their flower of choice now that the Fleabane has stopped flowering. The only other butterflies in our garden today were Small White and Speckled Wood.

Small Copper, Harman’s Cross
Posted on: 20 September, 2020

Two perching orange and brown butterflies with black markings

Small Copper. Photo: Ann Barlow

A brown and orange butterfly resting on the ground

Small Heath. Photo: Ann Barlow

Here are a couple of photos from Ann which she sent in with the following comments:

I have seen more Small Coppers this year than ever before, so I hope it’s a really good year for them – this first photo was taken on my visit to the Orchid Field in Corfe Mullen yesterday, 17/09/2020. The Small Heath which I saw on Lesley’s Heath Field, Corfe Mullen this morning, 18/09/2020 was my first sighting of this species this year.  

Small Copper and Small Heath, Corfe Mullen
Posted on: 19 September, 2020

A yellow butterfly with brown markings nectaring on a yellow flower

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona has sent us this photo with the following comments:

I was very interested to see George McCabe’s photos of the lovely Clouded Yellow helice form which he saw at Lorton Meadows on 15/09/2020.  I went to Lorton Meadows yesterday 16/092020 on my way back from Portland, and saw a Clouded Yellow, which I presumed to be the same one. 

However, the one I saw was male, and on a hot afternoon was flying rapidly from one flower to the next, with me in (very) hot pursuit, until I lost him among all the yellow flowers in the field! I did manage to snatch a couple of photos, including this action one – he briefly fluttered his wings while nectaring, to show his plain black wing margins.

Clouded Yellow, Lorton Meadows
Posted on: 19 September, 2020

A greenish white butterfly with greyish black markings nectaring on the white flowers of an Old Man's Beard plant

Small White. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny sent us this rather lovely image of a Small White. (more…)

Small White, Perryfields
Posted on: 19 September, 2020

View of a resting yellow buterfly with some black, white and brownish markings

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent in this photo telling us:

At least two separate male Clouded Yellows flying in Motcombe Meadow today 16/09/2020, both immaculate plus a good showing of fresh 3rd brood Small Copper, at least a dozen flying.  I’m guessing, due to the good condition of the CY’s they are offspring from the migrants that arrived in July.  All seen in the area left of the car park and before the pond.

Clouded Yellow, Motcombe Meadow
Posted on: 17 September, 2020

More photos: Gallery archive