Tag Archives: Alners gorse

A resting greyish brown butterfly with orange, black and white markings

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

A resting brown and purplish blue butterfly

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

We don’t often receive photos of Purple Hairstreaks so I felt that despite their condition these two photos taken at Alner’s Gorse on 10/07/2020 and sent to us by Mark with the following comment are worthy of inclusion in the Gallery:

Although this Purple Hairstreak was actually quite fresh it has certainly been in the wars at some point, perhaps it wanted to be a Comma?!

View of a greenish yellow butterfly nectaring on a yellow flower

Brimstone. Photo: Shona Refoy

This is another one of Shona’s photos from last year that she recently sent in telling us:

This female Brimstone amused me at Alner’s Gorse on 30/072020. She was initially nectaring on the lower flower, then decided that the upper flower was more appealing. But she didn’t bother moving, just reached up with her proboscis. Not exactly a case of the grass being greener, maybe the flower being yellower?

View of two orange butterflies with black markings on a pinkish white bramble flower

Silver-washed Fritillaries. Photo: Mark Pike

These are two butterflies you definitely won’t see in this extremely cold February weather but nevertheless just the sight of them in a photograph helps lift the gloom.

These two magnificent male Silver-washed Fritillaries sharing the same bramble flower were photographed at Alner’s Gorse by Mark on 02/07/2020.

A brownish butterfly with cream markings nectaring on bramble flowers

Silver-washed Fritillary f.valezina. Photo: Gary Holderness

Gary has just sent in this photo telling us:

I’ve enjoyed seeing people’s photos from earlier in the year when the weather wasn’t so cold and wet. Here’s one of mine I took on 29/07/2020 at Alner’s Gorse. The first time I had seen a Silver-washed Fritillary f.valenzina which topped off a great day out butterfly watching. 

View of two butterflies, one blue and one greenish yellow on a purplish pink flower

Common Blue and Brimstone. Photo: Paul Swann

View of two butterflies, one blue and one greenish yellow resting on a purplish pink flower

Common Blue and Brimstone. Photo: Paul Swann

2020 has given us plenty of time to look back at our old photos and these these two sent in by Paul with the following comments are I feel worthy additions to the Gallery despite being taken five years ago:

During a period of boredom I trawled back through some photos on my old Panasonic compact and found these unusual shots taken at Alner’s Gorse on 06/09/2015!!  A short sighted Common Blue came and settled on a female Brimstone, behaviour I don’t recall seeing before or since (between different species).

From all my shots in the summer of 2015, it must have been a great one for Brown Hairstreaks. 

View of 3 orange butterflies with black markings on a white bramble flower

Silver-washed Fritillaries. Photo: John Woodruff

John sent in this remarkable photo of Silver-washed Fritillaries back in June and I decided to delay adding it to the Gallery until a sutable winter’s day.  The ending of the second lockdown today, however one feels about this, seems to me to be a suitable time and it will hopefully help to brighten your day when you see it.  The photo was taken at Alner’s Gorse in the summer on 22/06/2020 and shows not just one but a cluster of three round some bramble flowers

Helice Clouded Yellow at Alners Gorse

Clouded Yellow. Photo: James Phillips

Although 2020 cannot really be described as a Clouded Yellow year (not like those amazing influxes we have witnessed in some previous years), we have had so many reports of Clouded Yellows sent into the Dorset branch website recently that reported sightings of the species were more numerous in mid October than for any other species. The total sightings for October put it second highest, only behind the Red Admiral. It is still not clear whether these are butterflies that developed in the UK this year or whether they are fresh migrants from the continent.

Just occasionally the white form of the female Clouded Yellow appears (known as the ‘helice’ variety). Martin Warren did a late walk on our Alners Gorse reserve on October 1st and managed to record a helice female there: not a common record for the site. James Phillips recorded a mating pair in Church Ope Cove on Portland on 16 October: the standard male and the very pale helice, and was able to take a stunning photo (above) of the moment.