Shona’s continuing search for her second butterfly for 2020 was rewarded yesterday, 16/03/2020 when she saw butterflies at Badbury Rings for the first time this year. The Peacock (her first one of this species this year) was basking on a log, enjoying the sunshine as much as she was! The Brimstone she told us was having a cleaning session amongst the ivy and then flew into High Wood.
Cath and Rob were rather surprised I imagine when walking at Badbury Rings on 17/07/19 to see these Six-spot Burnet moths mating so quickly after emerging. No time to lose!
So often all you see are the transparent silvery cases left behind after the moth emerges sometime between late June-August. and then can be found nectaring on thistles and knapweeds.
Shona has sent us these two photos she took on 19/10/2019 of some of the Red Admirals she saw as she walked up the path to Badbury Rings. She tells us that she saw a total of 31 Red Admirals, mostly nectaring on Ivy but when it clouded over most of them disappeared. The first photo shows three of them nectaring on Ivy when the sun had just gone in and the second photo shows one sitting on an Old Man’s Beard plant – looks very Autumnal.
Almost all of the recent photos of Red Admirals sent in recently show them nectaring on Ivy reinforcing the importance of the plant for butterflies.
Lynda took full advantage of the sunshine at Badbury Rings on 08/09/2019 and found this pristine Common Blue, the only one she found apart from a very tatty female. She also saw 18 Small Heath including the one in this photo during her wander around the rings.
Cath and Rob visited Badbury Rings on 17/07/19 and witnessed these Six-spot Burnet moths mating after one emerged from the cocoon pictured.
You can often see the empty cocoons still attached to grasses, but this photo also shows the black pupal case. Burnet moths differ from other moths as they are the only species of moth with the same clubbed antennae as butterflies have, albeit more elongated.
When Martin visited Badbury Rings on 27/07/19 he went specifically to look for Clearwing moth and he found these two species.The six belted Clearwing is on the wing late June- mid Aug whilst the Yellow legged Clearwing is found late May – mid Aug.
Both are resident .Nationally scarce B species.
Martin reported he only found one Chalk-hill Blue whilst at Badbury Rings,.Hopefully more will be found though their numbers have drastically reduced at this site over the last few years.
Shona sent us this photo of mating Gatekeepers which she spotted at Badbury Rings on 17/07/19 as she says the photo shows well the difference between male and female . In her photo the female is the top butterfly.
This migrant moth which resembles a tiny humming bird, hence its name, was found at Badbury Rings on 11/07/19 by Shona. She tells us:
I had a great morning at Badbury Rings yesterday – I counted over 500 butterflies of 16 different species!
Then there was this moth – it stayed nectaring on this thistle for longer than I have ever seen a Humming-bird Hawk moth stay in one place, so I was able to take lots of photos. I think these two are interesting; in the first one it looks like a fish, and the second shows the amazing length of its proboscis and its swung back legs.
Two stunning butterflies, captured on camera by Mel at Badbury Rings on 9/07/19. Painted Ladies are being seen in great numbers this year, in the UK and even higher numbers in Europe. The Small Tortoiseshell seems to be having a better year but is still a butterfly in steep decline sadly.
Visiting Badbury Rings on 14/06/19 Shona found her first Dark Green Fritillary of the year. This one is a male, showing the distinct bright orange background with dark markings, whereas the females are much paler with light coloured lower wing markings.