Tag Archives: Compton Down

A blue butterfly with some black markings and a white fringe to the wings resting on a green leaf

Adonis Blue. Photo: Paul Swann

View of a blue and brown butterfly with some orange and black markings and a white fringe to the wings

Adonis Blue. Photo: Paul Swann

When he was at Compton Down on 03/06/2021 looking for and finding the Glanville Fritillary, Paul also saw plenty of “Blues” there and when he sent in these two photos for the Gallery he mentioned that he still finds female Blues tricky to identify.

In view of this comment I referred the photos he sent us to our verifiers and they have both confirmed that these photos are female Adonis Blues.

View of a resting orange butterfly with black and creamy white markings

Glanville Fritillary. Photo: Sue East

View of a resting orange butterfly with black markings and white fringe to the wings

Glanville Fritillary. Photo: John East

The Granville Fritillary is a butterfly we have been hoping to see for many years and the opportunity to try and see one close to home in Dorset was just too great to resist so this morning, 08/06/2021 we headed to Compton Down full of hope but not with high expectations.  We spoke to some National Trust staff in the parking area who seemed unaware of the recent sightings of Glanvilles but one of them recalled the 2010 release of them there.

We headed off down the track from the car park and soon found a Speckled Wood and were thrilled to see so many wonderful wild flowers including orchids in the old quarry area.  On the way down the track we saw good numbers of Common Blues and Brimstones and then further down we spotted what we had come for – a Glanville Fritillary flying low along the track.  It very obligingly waited for us to catch up with it to take some photos and then continued down the track before settling again and giving us time to catch up with it and take more photos. This happened several times but eventually it gave up the game and flew off leaving us with great memories of really beautiful butterfly.

View of an orange butterfly with black markings and white fringe to the wings nectaring on a yellow flower

Glanville Fritillary. Photo: Paul Swann

View of a creamy white butterfly with browny orange and black markings resting on a green plant stem

Glanville Fritillary. Photo: Paul Swann

Following the recent news item on our website about Glanville Fritillaries, Paul went in search of them and was well rewarded as these photos and his comments below show:

Whatever their origin and despite the dearth of sunshine delighted to see my first UK Glanvilles at Compton Down on 03/06/2021.  It was quite cool but they were pretty active and easy to find with several seen on the steep grassy banks beside the bridleway and on the path – approx. 8 of them seen.

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.

Two butterflies, one with closed wings and one with open, vividly blue, wings, in mating position

Adonis Blue. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona says:

Following Mark Pike’s comment that Compton Down was awash with butterflies, I went up there yesterday morning (24.05). I got there early, so watched the Down come alive as it warmed up.

The Adonis Blues were too numerous to count, there must have been well over 100!

I saw at least 8 mating pairs, and saw males flying while mating, so the females (with wings closed) were towed around backwards behind them!

Very small butterlfy with pale blue underwings with black spots on a daisy flower

Small Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

The Small Blues are just out. Mark spotted this one at Compton Down (North Dorset) on 07/05/2019. They have also been seen at Fontmell Down, not far from Compton Down, and 16 were counted on the Weymouth Relief Road cutting.

They are tiny butterflies, appearing a silver-grey colour in flight. They are quite rare, but became more widespread in Dorset between 2010 and 2014. Nationally, they have reduced in abundance.