Tag Archives: Stoborough Heath

view of a Silver-studded Blue on a  blade of grass

Silver-studded Blue. Photo: Jane Stevenson

Jane found this Silver-studded Blue on Stoborough Heath on 17/06/18.

The Silver-studded Blue gets its name from the light blue reflective scales found on the underside of most adults and which are quite visible when light reflects off them. As with many other species of blue, the males are blue while the female is a less-conspicuous brown.

However, this butterfly is highly variable in appearance. Variation, extends to differences in the male upperside coloration, the width of the marginal border (wide in the New Forest, narrow in Devonshire) and the underside grey coloration (dull grey in the New Forest, silvery grey in east Suffolk.

view of Speckled Wood showing upper fore-wing and under hind-wing, resting on a seed head

Speckled Wood. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny photographed this Speckled Wood at Stoborough Heath on 27/10/17

It could easily have been missed as the seed head and butterfly are very similar colours, but what a pleasing photograph it makes.

Penny tells us that there were lots of them present on what was a lovely, warm, late October day. This was indeed a late sighting from a second brood, usually in flight from late June to early October.

View of a mating pair of Graylings in perfect disguise on gravel path

Grayling. Photo: Dom Greves

Dom photographed this mating pair of Graylings on Stoborough Heath during the first week of August 2017.

Dom, our super Techie who has helped in a big way to make sure this website looks as good as it does, has achieved a very detailed shot of these masters of disguise. He noted how perfectly still they sat on the gravel path, convinced of their ability to blend into their surroundings and go undetected by predators such as birds, dragonflies and even lizards.


Side view of a Gatekeeper on a leaf

Gatekeeper. Photo: Penny Hawes

This beautiful shot was taken by Penny on 07/07/2017 at Stoborough Heath, near Wareham.

It shows the underside markings of this species very well: not only the two white spots within the black eyespot on the forewing, but the white dots on the hindwing. Meadow Browns, very similar to Gatekeepers, have one white spot in the black eyespot and black spots on the hindwing – a useful way to tell them apart if they refuse to raise the forewing enough to see it.

Grayling. Photo: Brian Arnold

Grayling. Photo: Brian Arnold

A camouflaged Grayling, found on the paths and the undergrowth during Tony Long’s butterfly walk at Stoborough Heath on 22/07/2016. The butterflies can often be hard to spot as they blend in to their surroundings.

Tony Long’s butterfly walk – Stoborough Heath

Tony Long's butterfly walk. Photo: Brian Arnold

Tony Long’s butterfly walk. Photo: Brian Arnold

Silver-studded Blue. Photo: Brian Arnold

Silver-studded Blue (male). Photo: Brian Arnold

Photographs taken during Tony Long’s butterfly walk on Stoborough Heath where the target species for the day were Grayling and Silver-studded Blue. In total, the successful search resulted in at least 11 butterfly species, including: Silver-studded Blue, Grayling, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper, Small Heath, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Green-veined White and Marbled White.

Brian Arnold who took the photographs reports that of the 20 Silver-studded Blue’s seen, the majority were female and largely past their best, having been flying for a while. Only a couple of weeks before however, there had been a hundred or so which were mostly male.