Not the usual type of butterfly photo sent to the Gallery but a great example of how many butterflies and other insects end their lives. Harold was very fortunate to witness this scene showing a Gatekeeper that had just been caught by a dragonfly and his quick response enabled him to capture the moment in this photo which was taken on Sandford Heath yesterday aftenoon, 28/07/2020.
Harold sent us this photo telling us:
In an hour in my Sandford garden this morning, 12/07/2020 I saw 9 species including 5 Peacocks, my first Gatekeeper and this Grayling on an Allium. This takes me up to 20 species for the year one short of my record.
Marion lives in Preston and is very used to seeing Lulworth Skippers nectaring on Valerian in her garden but since 2016 she has noticed a large number of them regularly settling on the white painted back wall of her house and wonders why there? Continue reading
Harold sent us this photo taken earlier today, 25/06/2020 with the following comment:
Went to Studland Beach, had a swim and then took a walk around by the education centre. Saw my first White Admiral (photo attached) and first Silver-washed Fritillary of the season.
Harold was well rewarded on his visit to Studland view point yesterday, 30/05/2020 where he saw two Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and he has sent us this photo of one of them. This species is easily confused with the very similar Pearl-bordered Fritillary and although there are some differences in the markings on the upperside of the wings, the most reliable field mark is the pattern of the hindwing underside which can be seen illustrated in a good butterfly guide book.
Harold sent us this photo he took yesterday, 18/05/2020 with the following comments:
Out of lockdown I took my first trip of the season to Bindon Hill, West Lulworth, where I usually help the Rangers with the Butterfly Walks. I saw 11 species including Adonis Blue and the attached Lulworth Skipper.
Editor’s Note: The date of the first sighting of a Lulworth Skipper notified to us this year was 07/05/2020 but this is the first photo of one sent to us this year.
This photo of a Holly Blue on Mexican Orange Blossom in his Sandford garden taken on 15/04/2020 was sent to us by Harold Gillen who also told us that this is the eighth species he has seen in his garden this year.
A blue butterfly seen in April is almost certain to be a Holly Blue but confusion is possible later in the year when the Common Blues are on the wing. A good view of the underside will however confirm the identification as the Holly Blue has a distinctive pale underwing spotted lightly with black and silver, but with no trace of orange. In addition the upperwings of the female have distinctive black margins.
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.
Harold’s neighbour called him to her garden in Sandford on 7/09/19 to see what she had found on her fuschia plant. Continue reading
Harold took this photo of Clouded Yellows mating on 22/08/2019 on the hills to the west of Osmington whilst on a walk organised by the Dorset Branch of Butterfly Conservation. Harold tells us that in total they saw 17 species and that it was a lovely walk with good weather and great company.