2021 Field Trip Highlights
Abbotts Wood Inclosure Field Trip July 2021
Another season of field trips, several of which had to be cancelled due to the inclement weather we have encountered in 2021.
We started in the New Forest in April looking for the Emperor Moth, this was during the period when only 6 people could meet outside due to Covid. We were successful in attracting one fresh male with my ‘lure’. In early May the Duke of Burgundy's were beginning to emerge in reasonable numbers on the slopes of Butser Hill and later in the month the rearranged Bentley Wood and Martin Down trips turned out to be rescheduled luckily for the better weather.
At Bentley Wood Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries were past their best and we didn’t see the Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary as to was too early, but the Martin Down trip on the last day of May was a triumph, seeing the Duke of Burgundy at this site for the first time and also plenty of Marsh Fritillaries and Adonis Blues plus other flora and fauna.
In mid-June Dark Green Fritillaries adorned Abbotstone Down which also appears to be one of the best sites for the Green Hairstreak. However due to the wet weather several summer walks were rearranged but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the Purple Emperor was late to emerge in 2021!
In July we had two Purple Emperor field trips to Alice Holt Forest and West Wood in the space of three days and saw an extraordinary (24) Purple Emperors, and also another male of this impressive species was seen at West Harting Down the following week. In addition the beautiful Silver-washed Fritillary Valezina was seen in Crab Wood on the West Wood field trip.
August was no better weather wise but we managed to get in one of the best Field Trips at Shipton Bellinger where all the target species were seen. The Brown Hairstreak was noted about a dozen times despite the weather being cloudy with short periods of sunshine, and the elusive Wall Brown was encountered at least three times, along with good counts of Magpie Moths.
The New Forest at Beaulieu Heath produced the Grayling and in September the Adonis Blue and the lovely Silver-Spotted Skipper were seen in reasonable numbers at old Winchester Hill and Beacon Hill.
I would like to thank all those who joined me in 2021 and hope to see you all in 2022.
Field Trip Co-ordinator
Field Trips of Yesteryear
Meanwhile let's have a look at some fields trips from yesteryear....There have been so many highlights over the years and for those who have been on my field trips I hope this brings back some memories. For any of you reading this and thinking of dipping your toes into the Hampshire Butterfly field trips in the future, then I hope these notes and pictures will encourage you to come along. Join me and my other fellow field trippers for a day out looking at Hampshire's glorious flora and fauna. On most occasions we find our' target' species, but even if we dont we have a good go, and I must say we tend to learn a lot from other people's knowledge.
These are just a snapshot of many field trips I organise every year. There are invariably up to 20 walks starting at the end of April with at least 3 or 4 every month and these will go on until the first week of September. I try and start them about 10:30 am, so everybody who is coming can get to the site in ample time. As the Purple Emperor is such a fickle butterfly and very weather dependant, it can be flying very early in the rides, so some of the field trips will start at 09:30 am in June and July.
Field trips are for everyone, however rough terrain over fields and in woods could regrettably make access impossible for some people with mobility issues...although having said that there are exceptions and photographs in this section under (May 2016 Martin Down) show a mobility scooter moving over the chalk downland with some ease and the owner saw everything he wanted to see!
Two Field Trips in 2020 under Government Covid restrictions were to Shipton Bellinger to see the Brown Hairstreak and Wall Brown on the 9th August and the 20th August at Old Winchester Hill to see the Clouded Yellow and Silver Spotted Skipper
Female Brown Hairstreak
Male Brown Hairstreak
Male Adonis Blue
May 2019 New Forest : target species : Pearl-Bordered Fritillary and Raft Spider
Class of 2019
Female Broad-bodied Chaser
Ranmore Inclosure New Forest
May 2018 Botany Bay Surrey Target Species :Wood White and Nightingale
One Wood White
Two Wood Whites
Mating pair of Common Darters
Three Wood Whites
Four Wood Whites
Speckled Yellow Moth
August 2017 Beacon Hill NNR (Exton) target species: Silver-spotted Skipper
Class of 2017
Female Chalkhill Blue
Comma on Bramble
Old Winchester Hill from Beacon Hill
May 2016 Martin Down target species: Marsh Fritillary, and Adonis Blue.
Mating Small Blues
Female Marsh Fritillary
Female Holly Blue
Class of 2016
Male Marsh Fritillary
Female Adonis Blue
Burnt Tip Orchids
Male Brown Argus
July 2015 West Harting Down target species Purple Emperor, Hummingbird-Hawk Moth
West Harting Down
Mating Silver-Washed Fritillaries
A rather battered male Purple Emperor
Always time to eat!
Hummingbird Hawk Moth
May 2014 Hyden Wood target species: Orange Tip and Bluebell woods.
Admiring the view
Robin on her nest
Part of the south downs way
Bluebells in all their glory in the wood
Male Orange Tip
June 2013 Setley Common target species:
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Silver-Studded Blue
Male Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Mating Silver-Studded Blues
Male Clouded Buff Moth