Tag Archives: Portland

view of a Common Blue resting on a dead flower head

Common Blue. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny found this lovely male Common Blue at Portland on 6/09/18.

It looks in such a pristine condition, so it is hard to believe we are already into Autumn. The Blues seem to have had a very good year and after the prolonged dry spell, the rains have revived the caterpillar foodplants . Hopefully this will ode well for the 2019 butterfly season.

Large Tortoiseshell, Portland

view of a Large Tortoiseshell resting on Valerian  showing upper wings

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Alan Carpenter

Alan saw this Large Tortoiseshell at Portland on 1/07/18

In Victorian times the Large Tortoiseshell was considered widespread and common in woodland in southern England. However, this beautiful insect has since suffered a severe decline and there have been less than 150 records since 1951. This butterfly, whose numbers were always known to fluctuate, is generally considered to be extinct in the British Isles, with any sightings considered to be migrants from the continent or accidental or deliberate releases of captive-bred stock.

View of a Male and female Marbled White both nectaring on clover

Marbled Whites. Photo: Gordon Cryer

Gordon photographed these Marbled Whites ,  Male (L) and female (R),  at Portland on 21/07/18.

Despite its name, the Marbled White is more closely related to the subfamily known as the “browns” that the “whites”. This butterfly is unmistakable, its black and white markings distinguishing it from all other species found in the British Isles.

Adults emerge throughout the latter part of June, reaching a peak in early July. There is one generation each year.

view of Red Admirals sunning themselves on Ivy

Red Admirals. Photo: Roger Gall

Roger Gall photographed these Red Admirals on Portland on 18/09/17 and will now be a reminder of late Summer days during  the dull days of Winter. Roger tells us:

Lots of Red Admirals on Portland during the last two days. Counted 22 on 18th September but at least 40 on 19th .This photo shows some of the 22 that were sunning themselves on the same ivy bush.

Red Admirals hibernate during the Winter months but will emerge and  brighten our day if we get a warm spell during Winter.

view of a Chalkhill Blue nectaring on Birdsfoot trefoil , showing all markings on top wings

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny photographed this beautiful male Chalkhill Blue at Kingbarrow Quarry, on Portland on 25/07/17.

The caterpillar foodplant  of this species is Horse-shoe Vetch, and the adult butterfly can be seen on the wing from late June to early October. It prefers dry flowery places with short grass, usually on limestone, but always alkaline soils.