View of a greenish yellow butterfly nectaring on a mauve flower.

Brimstone. Photo: Ann Barlow

Ann has sent us this photo taken in her Corfe Mullen Garden telling us that although she has seen a number of Brimstones about in recent days, not one of them was prepared to land and be photographed.  The photographic quest was finally completed when one visited an Erysimum Bowles’ Mauve to feed this morning, 07/04/2020.  A lovely combination of colours.

Brimstone, Corfe Mullen
Posted on: 8 April, 2020


View of an orange butterfly with black markings resting near some green leaves.

Comma. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona has sent us this photo, taken on 06/04/2020 of the first Comma of the year she has seen.  She saw it just opposite Corfe Hills School in Broadstone, shortly after she saw her first Orange Tip for this year which only settled briefly on a pile of cut vegetation, before flying off so no photo of that possible.

Comma, Broadstone
Posted on: 8 April, 2020


View of a resting greenish white butterfly with its Chrysalis.

Large White and Chrysalis. Photo: Derek Fowler

Derek has sent us this photo taken in Charminster on 06/04/2020 with the following comments:

We’ve been aware of 2 Large White chrysalises’ in our sun lounge since last Autumn.  One changed colour yesterday and hatched early afternoon today – missed the actual break-out, of course – the price of having a nap after lunch!  I’ll try harder with the remaining one!

Large White and Chrysalis, Charminster
Posted on: 8 April, 2020


View of a resting orange butterfly with black and yellow markings on the wings

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Jaquelene Bainbridge

Jacquelene sent us this photo of a butterfly she spotted at about 6:00pm on Monday 06/04/2020 on a south east facing wall of her house in Bournemouth saying that it looks like a rather tatty Large Tortoiseshell?

From my guide books it seemed that she was right but with a sighting of this significance I decided to check with our Dorset Group Butterfly Recorder, Bill Shreeves who responded as follows:

Yes, definitely a Large Tortoiseshell. It has the 4 dark spots on the upper forewing as opposed to the usual 3 of the Small Tortoiseshell & it is the tawny orange colour & not the much more red of the Small Tortoiseshell. It is rather unusual in having much ‘whiter’ marks along the upper edges of the forewing than most Large Tortoiseshells but still doesn’t have the brilliant white spot at the tips of the forewing which Small Tortoiseshells always have. Interestingly the Large Tortoiseshell which has just been recorded at Hambury Tout in Purbeck has the same unusually white marks. However, this last one was in quite good condition & is unlikely to have made the flight to Bournemouth since the 5th April when it was recorded. 

We understand that another Large Tortoiseshell has also been reported in East Sussex which also has the unusually white marks on the forewings. It looks as if something unusual is happening but best to wait until we have more evidence before deciding whether these have hibernated or migrated or been released.

PS  MY APOLOGIES FOR SENDING THIS POSTING A FEW MINUTES AGO WITH THE HEADING OF LARGE WHITE – A SENIOR MOMENT DURING MY SOCIAL ISOLATION

Large Tortoiseshell, Bournemouth
Posted on: 8 April, 2020


View of a resting orange butterfly with some black and yellow markings on the wings.

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Jacquelene Bainbridge

Jacquelene sent us this photo of a butterfly she spotted at about 6:00pm on Monday 06/04/2020 on a south east facing wall of her house in Bournemouth saying that it looks like a rather tatty Large Tortoiseshell?

From my guide books it seemed that she was right but with a sighting of this significance I decided to check with our Dorset Group Butterfly Recorder, Bill Shreeves who responded as follows:

Yes, definitely a Large Tortoiseshell. It has the 4 dark spots on the upper forewing as opposed to the usual 3 of the Small Tortoiseshell & it is the tawny orange colour & not the much more red of the Small Tortoiseshell. It is rather unusual in having much ‘whiter’ marks along the upper edges of the forewing than most Large Tortoiseshells but still doesn’t have the brilliant white spot at the tips of the forewing which Small Tortoiseshells always have. Interestingly the Large Tortoiseshell which has just been recorded at Hambury Tout in Purbeck has the same unusually white marks. However, this last one was in quite good condition & is unlikely to have made the flight to Bournemouth since the 5th April when it was recorded. 

We understand that another Large Tortoiseshell has also been reported in East Sussex which also has the unusually white marks on the forewings. It looks as if something unusual is happening but best to wait until we have more evidence before deciding whether these have hibernated or migrated or been released.

Large Tortoiseshell, Bournemouth
Posted on: 8 April, 2020


View of a white butterfly with green markings and orange tips to the wings nectaring on a blue flower.

Orange Tip. Photo: Mel Bray

Mel like many of us is continuing to keep a close eye on the butterflies in the garden and has sent us this photo of a beautiful Orange Tip taken yesterday morning, 06/04/2020.  Also seen were two Holly Blues that were reluctant to settle and be photographed.

Orange Tip, Winton
Posted on: 7 April, 2020


View of a greenish yellow butterfly resting on a timber shed.

Brimstone. Photo: Shona Refoy

View of a greenish yellow butterfly nectaring on a yellow Primrose.

Brimstone. Photo: Shona Refoy          

Shona has sent us these photos of Brimstones with the following comments:

I’ve decided that while I’m spending so much time in my Broadstone garden, a suitable project is to try to get photos of all the species I see here. Last week the Peacocks were very obliging, but the Brimstones were all on a mission!  However yesterday, 05/04/2020 my luck changed, and this male spent some time sitting in the sunshine on my shed, before flying round me several times and disappearing next door. An hour or two later, this female flew around the garden, then nectared on some Primroses. Seeing the photos together makes the colour difference between the male and female quite plain to see.

Brimstone, Broadstone
Posted on: 7 April, 2020


View of a greenish white butterfly on a conservatory roof.

Small White. Photo: Ann Barlow

Ann had her first white butterfly sighting this year seeing this Small White butterfly in her garden yesterday 06/04/2020.  She told us that it looked newly-emerged, and was flying with very little strength until it landed on her conservatory.

Small White, Corfe Mullen
Posted on: 7 April, 2020


View of a resting red butterfly with blue, brown, black and white markings.

Peacock. Photo: Harold Gillen

On his one hour of exercise time on Sandford Heath yesterday, 05/04/2020 Harold saw 6 Peacock butterflies – he also told us that he has seen early numbers of them there before adding that it is a great place for sunbathing and sparring butterflies but there are no nectar plants or nettles for them.

Peacock, Sandford Heath
Posted on: 6 April, 2020


View of a red butterfly with blue, brown, black and white markings resting on the ground

Peacock: Photo: Ann Barlow

Peacock’s are being seen in many parts of Dorset at the moment and Ann sent us this photo of one she saw in the Dorset Wildlife Trust field (aka Orchid Field),  Waterloo Lane, Corfe Mullen yesterday, 04/04/2020.  She added that it was a lovely afternoon and she also saw a number of Peacocks and Brimstones on her walk which she will report to Dorset BC Sightings but only this one stopped to pose.

Peacock, Corfe Mullen
Posted on: 5 April, 2020


More photos: Gallery archive