View of a greenish yellow butterfly with some brown markings resting on cream and green coloured leaves

Brimstone. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona sent in this photo of a Brimstone she spotted in her Broadstone garden telling us:

I enjoyed reading about George’s Red Admiral encounter, but was also a bit envious as I hadn’t seen a butterfly since 10th November and then this morning, 28/11/2020 while I was up the stepladder cleaning the gutters, I was astonished to see a female Brimstone fly past me. 
By the time I caught up with her she was resting on the Euonymus, and stayed there for a little while, slightly beating her wings rapidly – she looked as though she was shivering – presumably to warm up?  She then flew around and in the nearby Camellia, only settling very briefly, before flying out of my sight.  A lovely encounter on what should have been my son’s wedding day – delayed due to Covid (like so many other things).

Brimstone, Broadstone
Posted on: 29 November, 2020


View of a reddish orange and brown butterfly with black and white markings resting on a green nettle leaf

Red Admiral. Photo: George McCabe

George sent in this photo of a strong flying Red Admiral in fairly good condition that he saw yesterday, 24/11/2020 and as it might be the last one for this year he felt he would like to share the  moment.  This is what he told us:

As it was a beautiful day weather-wise, l decided to do a circuit walk going through Bincombe and then Lower Bincombe, not on the lookout for butterflies as l thought there would be none. 

The trouble with this route is farm tractors and trailers are so wide they take up all the road and as one was approaching l had to climb on to the grass embankment alongside the hedge for safety. 

To my surprise something took flight beside me and as l tried to follow the movement with my eyes, l lost it in a field of brassicas. However, a little lesson I’ve learned is that sometimes if you wait long enough the butterflies will come back to the same spot; two minutes later a Red Admiral flew back over the hedge landing on fresh nettles and as l started to take some pictures standing in the road the farm tractor came back. 

Imagine the scene if you can – there’s me in the middle of the road trying to take a picture of what might be the last butterfly of the year, and the farmer who stopped his tractor laughing his head off at my antics. Just as well they know me.

Red Admiral, Bincombe
Posted on: 25 November, 2020


A yellow butterfly with some brown markings nectaring on a yellow flower

Brimstone. Photo: Mel Bray

This photo taken by Mel in his Winton garden on 04/04/2020 well illustrates the vibrancy of the spring colours and is an example of the wonderful butterflies we have been fortunate to see over the past few months and of what we have to look forward to next year.

Brimstone, Winton
Posted on: 23 November, 2020


View of two butterflies on red berries - one pale and blue with black, white and brown markings and the other brown with black, white and orange markings

Chalkhill Blues. Photo: Mark Pike

This very colourful photo sent in by Mark with the following comment was taken at High Angle Battery on Portland in the summer on 30/07/2020:

It is a few months until Christmas but this pair of Chalk Hill Blues might make an ideal card?! Just add snow!

Chalkhill Blues, Portland
Posted on: 23 November, 2020


Furry Brown Caterillar with  orange stripes  round body

Fox Moth Caterpillar. Photo: Ian Morrell

Ian found this Fox Moth caterpillar when walking back to his car after a walk in Wareham Forest on 25/10/20. As it was in the path curled around pine needles he thoughtfully moved it to safety from other walkers. Our wildlife sometimes needs a helping hand.

This species will overwinter fully fed and make its cocoon in spring without further feeding.

Fox Moth Caterpillar. Wareham Forest
Posted on: 14 November, 2020


A yellow butterfly with some brownish markings resting on a green leaf

Brimstone. Photo: Paul Godier

Paul sent us this photo he took at Upton Country Park yesterday, 10/11/2020 of a Brimstone in very good condition for this time of the year – there have only been 4 recorded sightings of Brimstones sent in to Dorset BC in the last 10 days.

Brimstone, Upton Country Park
Posted on: 11 November, 2020


A yellow butterfly with some black markings nectaring on a pink flower

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Andy Martin

A yellow butterfly with some black markings nectaring on a pink flower

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Andy Martin

Andy has been enjoying the Clouded Yellows this year and sent in these two photos telling us:

The Clouded Yellow are having great autumn along the Dorset coast – I had 3 at Southbourne yesterday, 05/11/2020 and 3 at Ulwell today, 06/11/2020 in cool conditions. My best ever count for November. Here are two photos of a male hanging on to flower in gusty wind at Ulwell showing glimpses of the upper side.

Clouded Yellow, Ulwell
Posted on: 7 November, 2020


A brown butterfly with cream markings resting on green leaves

Speckled Wood. Photo: Shona Refoy

A reddish orange, black and brown butterfly with white markings nectaring on Ivy flowers

Red Admiral. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona made the most of the recent sunshine and sent in these two photos telling us:

On 04/11/2020 I went to Ulwell and Ballard Down, in the hope of seeing a butterfly or two before the onset of winter and much to my delight, I saw four species!

I saw this male Speckled Wood and two Red Admirals (this one could be female, judging by her abdomen) soon after arriving at Ulwell, when my car thermometer had just reached 7 degrees C, although the sun made it feel warmer.  On Ballard Down I saw at least two more Red Admirals, and a camera shy Peacock. 

Back at Ulwell I was treated to a Clouded Yellow flypast – what a great day!

Speckled Wood and Red Admiral, Ulwell
Posted on: 6 November, 2020


A reddish orange, black and brown butterfly with white markings resting on green nettle leaves

Red Admiral. Photo: George McCabe

A reddish orange, black and brown butterfly with white markings nectaring on Ivy flowers

Red Admiral. Photo: George McCabe

George was very pleased that he ventured out into the November sunshine yesterday, 05/11/2020 and has sent in these two photos telling us:

Went for a short walk up to Littlemoor water tower and Meadow hedges, Weymouth – tried my luck as it was warm and sunny.  To my surprise l spotted 14 Red Admirals, some were in plain sight sunning themselves on nettles (top photo) and others were trying to hide under flowering Ivy leaves (bottom photo) while trying to catch some rays of sunshine; fortunately my eye was in and l spotted it playing peek- a- boo!

Red Admirals, Weymouth
Posted on: 6 November, 2020


A resting red butterfly with blue, black and creamy white markings

Peacock. Photo: Lynda Lambert

Lynda sent in this photo telling us:

I watched this Peacock flying very strongly up and over a hedgerow at Badbury Rings today, 04/11/2020 and was amazed to see just how damaged it was when it settled on the hedge.  It was lovely and warm there this afternoon but I didn’t see any other butterflies. I did see a male Brimstone at Holton Lee on Monday, but sadly couldn’t get a clear pic.  I’ve seen them in Jan/Feb but never in November before.

Peacock, Badbury Rings
Posted on: 5 November, 2020


More photos: Gallery archive