An orenge butterfly with black markings resting on the ground

Wall. Photo: Mike Lewis

An orange buttrerfly with black markings nectaring on a yellow flower

Small Copper. Photo: Mike Lewis

Two photos sent to us by Mike taken at Maiden Castle on 12/05/2021.

Wall and Small Copper, Maiden Castle
Posted on: 13 May, 2021


A greenish yellow butterfly nectaring on a yellow flower

Brimstone. Photo: Rex Bale

Rex sent in this photo of a Brimstone he saw yesterday, 12/05/2021 telling us:

There were lots of Brimstones and Whites just east of High Wood yesterday feasting on the dandelions in full flower. This one had picked up a tiny passenger.

Brimstone, High Wood
Posted on: 13 May, 2021


A perching white butterfly with green markings and a hint of orange

Orange Tip (Male). Photo: Rob Morrison

A perching white butterfly with green markings

Orange Tip (Female). Photo: Rob Morrison

These two photos are from White Squares in North East Dorset and were sent to us by Rob who commented as follows:

The window of opportunity to record Orange Tips is limited by time and weather. Any chance to get a photograph of these butterflies is a chance to store away the memory of these flamboyant yet well camouflaged creatures.

The male was photographed on 05/05/2021 at Boveridge in an area that I had not previously walked and the female was photographed on 11/05/2021 at Minchington, again in an area I have not previously walked.  At each time, the weather was just about to turn from sun to rain. 

Editor’s Note:  These photos show the undersides of the wings of both the male and female Orange Tip with just a hint of the orange tip of the male showing through. Rob also sent us a photo showing the uppersides of a male Orange Tip which I will add to the Gallery at a later date.

Orange Tips, Boveridge and Minchington
Posted on: 13 May, 2021


An orange butterfly with yellow, brown, black and white markings resting on a blue flower

Marsh Fritillary. Photo: Mark Pike

An orange butterfly with yellow, black and white markings perching on a green leaf

Marsh Fritillary. Photo: Mark Pike

Two photos of Marsh Fritillaries taken by Mark at Lydlinch Common this morning, 12/05/2021 before the weather changed.

Marsh Fritillary, Lydlinch Common
Posted on: 12 May, 2021


An orange butterfly with black, brown and white marking resting on the ground

Painted Lady. Photo: Rob Morrison

A red butterfly with brown, black, blue and creamy white markings resting on the ground

Peacock. Photo: Rob Morrison

Two photos from Rob sent in with the following comments:

Whilst walking in the Chettle and Minchington area on 11/05/2021, I was surprised to find a very active Painted Lady, what looked to be a fresh Peacock as well as Large and Small Whites, Orange Tips, Green-veined White and Brimstone.  I am now looking forward to later in the year to make a fuller assessment of what is a promising area with wild flower rich margins, small copses, and good hedgerows.  Although this area is intensively farmed, there does seem to be a sympathetic attitude towards preserving some nature which is most encouraging.

The Painted Lady in the photo was very active, very fast and powerful.  Although drab in appearance, it is still a remarkable insect to have made the recent journey north in what must have been very trying conditions.

Painted Lady and Peacock, Chettle & Minchington
Posted on: 12 May, 2021


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

Wall. Photo: Paul Godier

Paul sent us this photo of the first Wall he has seen this year also mentioning that it was one of several he saw at Durlston on 11/05/2021 and that there were also a good number of Small Heath’s there too.

Wall, Durlston
Posted on: 12 May, 2021


View of a green butterfly resting on a blue flower

Green Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

A pale silvery blue butterfly with some black spots nectaring on a blue flower

Holly Blue. Photo: Shona Refoy

Two photos from Shona sent to us with some very interesting observations:

I was in High Wood near Badbury Rings this afternoon, 11/05/2021 – when the sun came out so did the Green Hairstreaks and Holly Blues!  The Green Hairstreak is much easier to see when not sitting on a green leaf! (He’s not nectaring, just resting).

The Holly Blue is a male and is sneakily feeding from the top of the Bluebell (just like the female I saw last year – see article in most recent newsletter No 95)  The photo has been cropped so you can see that his proboscis is inserted between the petals at the top of the flower.

Also, since writing the newsletter article, I have read in my Jeremy Thomas book that Holly Blues ‘prefer to drink honeydew rather than nectar’. I would presume that the proboscis is not long enough to nectar on a bluebell from the open end of the flower; also that the honeydew has been washed from the leaves by recent rain, so they don’t have much choice!

Green Hairstreak and Holly Blue, High Wood
Posted on: 12 May, 2021


A dark brown butterfly with white markings resting on a green leaf

Grizzled Skipper. Photo: Mark Pike

A blue butterfly with some black markings resting on a green leaf

Holly Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

A couple of images taken by Mark at Compton Down this morning, 11/05/2021 sent in telling us:

A Grizzled Skipper in an unusual pose, most often the wings are held open, but this one was so cold and windswept it decided to stay shut!  This lovely fresh Holly Blue was also sheltering from the wind.

Grizzled Skipper and Holly Blue, Compton Down
Posted on: 11 May, 2021


An orange butterfly with black and white markings resting on the ground

Painted Lady. Photo: Brian Arnold

Two brownish butterflies with some paler markings resting in green vegetation

Dingy Skipper. Photo: Brian Arnold

Two photos from Brian taken 11/05/2021 sent in with the following comments:

We walked the upper coast path from Durlston to Dancing Ledge today and saw 2 Dingy Skippers whirling around each other for several minutes. Eventually they settled for a rest and for their picture to be taken.

I have heard that there is currently an influx of Painted Lady butterflies and we saw 2 today on the cliff top above Dancing Ledge.

Painted Lady and Dingy Skipper, Durlston to Dancing Ledge upper coast path
Posted on: 11 May, 2021


View of a resting mainly orange butterfly with yellow, black and white markings

Marsh Fritillary. Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent in this photo taken today, 11/05/2021 of a male Marsh Fritillary at a sunny but windy Lydlinch Common. He also mentioned that in the space of a week with a bit of rain and sun the Bugle flowers have exploded over all areas of the site and that Nightingales were present throughout his time there.

Marsh Fritillary, Lydlinch Common
Posted on: 11 May, 2021


More photos: Gallery archive