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2022 Hampshire & IOW Nature Notes Blog 

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Off to the woods ye go.......

The first Purple Emperors were seen yesterday around midday in Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey , and Oxfordshire. So the season has kicked off, with the weather set fair again next week it looks as if there will be good numbers about as well. So get yourself off to your local woods and lets have a good season as we do really need one!

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Aish Tor Devon Sunday 19th - 24th June 2022

You could be forgiven for thinking that I’ve been buried in some deep Hampshire woodland looking for ‘his majesty’ but nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past week I’ve been in the rolling Devon Countryside looking for one of Britain’s rarest butterflies the High Brown Fritillary. What’s this got to do with Hampshire I hear you ask well nothing at the moment, but in the past it was one of Hampshire’s most common Fritillaries as in well coppiced woodland and open heathland it frequented the New Forest and other woods in the last century. I was lucky enough to see this species in Bentley Woods in the 1980’s in the Eastern Clearing, whether these were natural specimens or not is open to question, but I did see a mating pair, which gave me hope.

Back in Devon though it can be found at several spots. I visited a site known as Aish Tor and I am writing this because many people may be going on holiday down there in the next week or so and would wish to see it, if they can identify the bright orange flash as it flies past. I was advised by many observers there that the best time to see it is at 0730 or earlier on a warm morning, where they sit on top of the ferns to warm up. We did this and it payed off to a degree, but the answer was that they were up a lot earlier than that and were on the wing at 0730! However the site is littered with good areas of Bramble in flower where the butterfly will re-fuel and you can readily identify this beautiful insect. Every now and then there will be a passing Dark Green Fritillary but there are certain identification markings to distinguish the two species. I got the hang of it by the end of the fifth day, however looking at my photos today I realise it is quite tricky trying to identify these two species from the top, the best way is looking from the underneath.

There was also another rarity the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary just about hanging on there as its flight season was nearly at an end, but again another butterfly which has all but disappeared from Hampshire and it was a triumph to spot this miniature version of the Dark Green Fritillary or High Brown flying past.

All in all it was a great week now I’ve got to knuckle down and get my trousers on my head as its silly season….

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Friday 10th June 2022 Oxenbourne Down: Favorable weather today although quite windy on exposed slopes but generally good weather gave me a chance to look at Cowslip leaves and if there were any Duke of Burgundy caterpillars feeding up. Well I didn't see any however it may still be a few weeks too early. However I did see my first Dark Green Fritillaries flying around and they looked magnificent. There wasn't a lot of butterflies around with Small Heath and Common Blue being the most frequent. There were a lot of Pyramidal Orchids and Common Spotted Orchids in profusion on the the downland. This really is the time of the first summer butterfly and moth species emerging. White Letter Hairstreak are out as well as Silver-Studded Blue in Hampshire.

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Isle of Wight 5th 6th 7th June 2022 : My latest Pilgrimage to the Isle of Wight was plagued by bad weather the only suitable day was Monday 06th June and even then the species count was quite woeful. The Glanville Fritillary managed to put in an appearance but the numbers were well down compared to this time last year, but several were in good shape, with one or two very fresh males even. However at Afton Down the numbers of Glanville Fritillaries there were very hard to find, and the Adonis Blue were very scarce, with just one male and a very fresh female seen on site. The best counts came from Large Skippers, and Burnet Moths were quite common. Other species seen were Brown Argus, Common and Small Blues a few Dingy Skippers. The Bee Orchids looked a picture and all the other wildflowers were growing in profusion like Birdsfoot Trefoil, Horseshoe, and Kidney Vetch, and thrift.

My thanks go out to Nikki Kownacki for the use of her marvellous garden to take the photos of the Red Squirrel, Bullfinches, and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

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Friday 3rd June 2022 Butser Hill NNR : Probably my last venture out looking for my specie the Duke of Burgundy as its almost over especially on the chalk. I found none on Oxenbourne Down today and a quick trip to Butser Hill produced (13) ragged individuals the worse for wear were the females. It was nice to see them still flying into June but they have had to endure some pretty cool nights which kills all but the most robust of the species. Other species seen were Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Blue, I failed to find the Adonis Blue, however I shall not give up on it as the site certainly looks able to support a colony. Small Heaths were everywhere, and so to were Grizzled and Dingy Skipper, Large Skippers are building in numbers, Brimstone, and what looked like a couple of fresh male Orange Tips! I never espied the Dark Green Fritillary but they must be out soon here. I also saw just one Small Tortoiseshell despite the site a few weeks ago was covered in the caterpillars! 

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Wednesday 01 June 2022 Bentley Wood Field Trip : Reasonable weather today was really only one decent highlight on this field trip as I failed in finding both of my Target species today. There was very little in Eastern Clearing with very few butterflies and even less wildflowers. What butterflies and moths we did see were nothing special, there were two very rustic looking Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries, the best count came from Speckled Woods, which were in reasonable numbers as we walked around the site and along the tracks to get to another meadow, which again was another disappointment. Other species seen were Grizzled Skipper, Small Heath, Meadow Browns, and an Adonis Blue which was the only real butterfly highlight. This must have alighted from over from Dean Hill, and was in very good condition. Moths were 5 Spotted Burnets, Brown Silver Lines, lots of Burnet companions and Mother Shipton Moths. We looked in on a pond and saw lots of Dragonflies, and Damselflies, and the bird life was quite good with a Cuckoo singing in the distance a lot of the time on site. I would like to thank all who came on this field trip,hope to see you again soon

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I've been sent this photograph (top left) of a male Adonis Blue sighted on Butser Hill, not only is it a rare find to see them on Butser Hill but it would seem to have two black dots on its forewings. (Photo Copyright Nyree Fearnley) A site very close by would seem to have taken up the mantle for the Adonis Blue as I've noticed over the last two weeks or so there has been several Male Adonis Blues flying about and the other day I noticed a freshly emerged female Adonis Blue. This site has all the attributes for the Adonis Blue butterfly plenty of food plant and very short turf, if its naturally found its way there then hopefully it can establish a flourishing colony.

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Friday 27th May 2022 Butser Hill NNR: Today I did impromptu field trip with a couple from Yorkshire, who had requested a site visit to see Duke of Burgundy and other species. I promptly said Butser Hill hoping the Duke of Burgundy was still in reasonable numbers and in some kind of condition they were recognisable.....I needn't have worried, after a wander around a northern slope and along the bottom from Grandaddy's Bottom to the corner where it goes very steep we/I counted upwards of (40+) and most of these were in very good condition, and several were very fresh. In fact the worse one espied was a female which had probably had a long run at laying eggs. Other species seen were Small Heaths, Brown Argus, Common Blues, Brimstone, Small White, lots of Green Hairstreak which again were in very good condition, Speckled Wood,Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Blue, Grizzled and Dingy Skipper. They went home very happy and I now have good info on butterflies in Yorkshire like Northern Brown Argus, Large Heath, and Scotch Argus.

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26th May 2022 Martin Down Field Trip : A gloomy day with 100% cloud cover most of the morning, which rather surprised me when I drove in to the car-park there were a fair few waiting for the field trip to start! The breeze was quite keen and I didnt hold out much hope of seeing much, but today I think it was quality not quantity. Around the first rifle butts there were Small Copper, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Adonis Blues, Common Blues, Brown Argus, a couple of Marsh Fritillaries, but in the gullies, there were a good number of Small Blues along with the odd Painted Lady and a few Small Heaths. Common Spotted Orchids were also seen as well as the Burnt Tip Orchid but these weren't very big. There was a constant chatter of Skylarks on the downland, and Yellowhammers, Whitethroats, Stonechats, Corn Bunting dotted around the field margins and the calling of a Cuckoo in the distance, unfortunately we didn't hear the Turtle Dove. The Common Carpet Moth was very common along with a few Burnet Companions, along with 5 spot Burnet Moths,Yellow Shell, Cinnabar Moth, Lattice Heath,and Treble Bar Moth. I'd like to thank all who came a braved the cool overcast weather.

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Tuesday 24th May Somewhere in the Meon Valley : Heavy showery rain really turned this day into a very sodden affair with very wet undergrowth and cool breeze it wasn't going to be a classic by any means. There weren't many invertebrates around and what I did see weren't in high numbers, there were Small Blue, Speckled Woods, Duke of Burgundy, Common Blue, Small Heath, Painted Lady, Dingy Skipper, and Green Veined White. For a change I didn't see the Brimstone, because of the temperatures I think. The female Dukes were hiding under leaves as the rain came down, and then it was fine blue sky again and the temperature shot up. Lovely female Broad-Bordered Chaser was seen hunting on the wing, and then she stopped for a photo. I almost fell over a Hare, as the grass is growing so tall now I just cannot see them, and I did see a Red Kite at close quarters with something in its talons, and this looked suspiciously like a 'Leveret',these birds are not just scavengers and have been known to take fish from ponds and lakes.

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Sunday 22nd May 2022 Stockbridge Down Field Trip : This was one of those field trips where you come back to the car-park and feel that everything has gone to plan...the weather was sublime,excellent attendance, and everybody seemed to be having a good time with the amount of species seen. I counted (19) species of butterfly and moths were very spartan it has to be said, but the 5 and 6 spot Burnet moths are building quite nicely and there were generous amounts of Burnet Companions flying about. This is the first time I have seen the Adonis Blue at this site, which was a treat, and the Small Blue seems to be in good numbers all over the down, and of course the Duke put in an appearance, with several freshly emerged specimens, there were excellent numbers of Green Hairstreak, but alas the Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, is sadly absent. It became rather hot by mid-afternoon, but a good time was had by all, and this will go down as one of the best I have the pleasure of leading, and I must thank all who came from near and afar, you know who you are.

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Saturday 21st May 2022 Westbury Park :  Westbury Park is relatively unknown site which I have visited for many years now and has now become rather unfit for many species of butterflies, none more so than the Duke of Burgundy. Despite this I still managed to chalk up a count of (7) which is average for most sites in Hampshire. I saw at least (5) individuals in a relatively new area, which is covered in Bramble and of course this rips their wings to shreds and are now looking distinctly tatty. Other butterflies were Painted Ladies which have become quite commonplace at sites I've been visiting, are we in for a bumper Painted Lady Year? Because the terrain is now very overgrown I rarely see very many Dingy or Grizzled Skippers and other species are left wanting as well. The site is full of dead Ash trees and I wonder if these were to be felled then the woodland would be more open for more specialised species. There is a lot of storm damaged trees as well, especially dead Elms and Oak trees.

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Thursday 19th May 2022 Magdalen Hill Down and New Forest : The morning of 19th May was spent at Magdalen Hill Down looking at the site, and looking at an area of scrub which may be earmarked for an introduction of the Duke of Burgundy. I was admiring the good numbers of Small Blues and the fantastic landscape all around, with being so close to the New Forest I decided to have a look at the Pearl-Bordered Fritillary as I had to cancel the field trip a few weeks ago, and we went to Pignal Inclosure, and most of the afternoon was counting very good numbers in the rides, with several newly emerged male and females. But the majority of the Pearls were very worn and were constantly feeding on Wood Spurge and Bugle plants. I counted (50) quite easily, and stopped counting at that point but the sum total was nearer a hundred by the time we got back to the Standing Hat car-park.

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Wednesday 18th May West Wood and Pitt Down Field Trips : Another very eventful day in good weather, although it looked a little dodgy to start with however we ploughed on and the sun shone for most of the time and the temperature was quite warm. At West Wood a few days on from my last visit and the Duke count was up to about (25) with males and females still emerging there. We saw a female flying into a Primrose plant and really testing the suitability of the leaves with her abdomen and feet. She hadn't been mated I dont think, however she was doing the round of several potential egg laying plants. Dingy and Grizzled Skippers in the coppiced woodland areas and Holly Blue flying in the main ride, where there is good flora with lots of Bugle in the gullies and was very sunny at mid-day, however we didn't see the Pearl-Bordered Fritillary which was a great shame. On Pitt Down we saw lots of Treble Bar and Common Carpet Moths in the afternoon with Common Blue and a Brown Argus alas we didn’t see Small Blue. We saw a Dark Green Fritillary caterpillar really pacing it across the ground but we couldn't see it clearly enough to record on camera.Exmoor ponies are keeping the sward down on Pitt Down and all in all it was an excellent field trip. Id like to thank all those who came.

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Tuesday 17th May 2022 : Somewhere in the Meon Valley: Today was one of those days when you are out in the countryside and there is a period when things couldn't get much better. I saw at least three male Adonis Blues at this site (which I'm not prepared to mention) I have never seen the Adonis Blue at this site in all the forty odd years I've been visiting it! I also saw Roe Deer with fawns and I wouldn't want them disturbed, I just got away with it with a long lens. I saw 15 species today which is a very good tally. The Duke of Burgundy is now showing signs of ageing with many looking a bit worse for wear. I also saw some plucky Painted Ladies, obviously coming over the channel from North Africa looking a bit worn and threadbare. There were good views of Small Heath and Common Blue now out in good numbers, Green Hairstreak are still encamped in the Gorse and Hawthorn rich areas, along with Dingy and Grizzled Skippers seen along the footpaths.

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Saturday 14th May West Wood and Stockbridge Down : An unofficial field trip today to West wood and then onto Stockbridge Down, where the weather turned out to be more like summer, than spring. Again looking for the Duke of Burgundy it sort of turned out to be a bit of a triumph at both sites. At West Wood where the area surveyed is of new Oak plantation interspersed with lush growth of Primroses. I have been coming to this site now for about 10 years and today was the best count I've ever had in a woodland outside of Porton Down. We counted (20) individuals several females were seen as well but alas no Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries, which I suggest have probably gone from this site. We decided to make a trip over to Stockbridge Down which is the closest site to West Wood with Dukes, and here again it was a triumph, with a count of (10) at the area at Walbury Hill. I usually only normally 2 or 3 at this site, so I probably just caught them at their peak. Again no Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries so they may well have disappeared from here as well.

Everything is so dry so a storm and drenching tonight would be most welcome....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crazy thing is just as I left Stockbridge down somebody had spotted a rather large butterfly flying in and around the western part of the car-park and it turns out to be a Large Tortoiseshell I curse my luck sometimes.......

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 Friday May 13th Butser Hill NNR :Today really turned out to be Friday the thirteenth, the weather on the whole was horrid, with a strong wind very leaden sky and only occasionally did the sun appear and make everything look more like May should be. I was at the bottom of the main slope of Butser for about One and half hours and had notched up just (4) Duke of Burgundies. Today was going to be a good count (so I thought!) as I had reckoned that they were at their peak, but I really had to wait to the wind had dropped, and the sun did appear for about 30-45 minutes, and boom the Duke count shot up and at the end of my rather restricted session I had clocked just (30) individuals. Most will say this is an extremely good tally, but I know for sure the number should exceed three times that on a good day. Ramsdean Down is a bridge too far now, especially behind Grandfathers Bottom, so the counts are a slightly more restricted. Other species seen were Common Blue, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Small Heath, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Silver 'Y' Moth, Speckled Yellow, Six Spotted Burnet Moth, Common Carpet and I dont know how many Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars were seen feeding on the many Nettles at the base of the site, if they all hatched out there would be some spectacular numbers, but we all know that will never happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday 12th May Old Winchester Hill. This site is vast if you do not know where specific species are then it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Luckily the Duke turns up year after year in the same places, albeit with less Cowslips to guide you, let's not beat around the bush here, the fact is the Herdwick sheep have eaten about 99% of the cowslips on the site, and I found about a handful walking around. Today I started very early on site at 0900 as the sun was just starting to warm parts of the down up, and the Duke when found was flying around. However an hour later about 10:30 it had completely clouded over and at times when the sun disappeared it was quite cool. Ten species of butterfly were noted today Duke of Burgundy (7) with just one female, emerged in the last 24 hours, Small HeathSmall Copper,a female was seen laying eggs on Sorrell. Many Common Blues, and Dingy Skippers, and only two Grizzled Skippers in the more scrubbier parts. A Common Carpet was seen but not much else moth wise. Several Muntjac deer were seen very close and Roe Deer in the Dead Ash Woods. Several Red Kite and Buzzards were also seen. I did not visit the Adonis Blue slopes as that's for another day.  

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Sunday 8th May 2022 Beacon Hill Exton and Stephen's Castle Down: Today in very warm and sunny conditions I conducted two field trips and these conditions were very tiring. At Beacon Hill its a bit of a trek to the northern slope to see the Duke of Burgundy we had to maneuver around several cows which conduct grazing for English Nature.We did manage to see one male, but I suspect the Duke of Burgundy is just emerging here. We saw plenty of Dingy Skippers and a few Grizzled Skippers along with the usual fare. The Orange Tip was very common especially along the footpath at the top. Around the area facing south we saw the Common Blue, and Small Blue which is the first time of seeing this species here in 40 years of visiting this site, good numbers of Brown Argus as well. A quartering Red Kite, flew past us so close we could almost touch it. We then had lunch and then went on to Stephen Castle Down, we went in two cars as there is no parking there. We saw up to 5 Duke of Burgundies, all males and a couple of Green Hairstreaks having a battle over Hawthorn with a third joining in. All in all a good day and I would thank all who came which made this a very enjoyable field trip.

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Duke of Burgundy aberrations in Hampshire 2022

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male ab.Semibrunnea Osthelder

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Male ab.furva

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Saturday 7th May 2022 Oxenbourne Down : Not a very good day with 75-80% cloud cover with short glimpses of warm sunshine, but despite this my quarry was still around. (8) Duke of Burgundies were observed including a male abb: Furva which is a creamy white colour on top of its wings instead of the orange colour. He was battling with another male for territory, very fiesty little individual. There were also good numbers of Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers, one Small Copper, Small Heaths, Brimstones, Green Hairstreak and several moths one of these was the very red Cinnabar Moth.

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6th May 2022 Meon Valley : Visited several sites in the Meon Valley today one successful the other unsuccessful looking for the Duke of Burgundy. At one site I managed to see 24 individuals, including two females and the Ab.semibrunnea, which I haven't seen in a long while. Also seen were Grizzled Skippers, Dingy Skippers, Green Hairstreak, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Peacock, many Brimstones, Green Veined Whites, but no Orange Tips, Common Carpet Moths, Green Carpet Moth, Yellow Shell Moth, Burnet Companion moth.

Every site visited now has tall dead Ash trees which I've no doubt will be felled in good time, which will actually open up the canopy in some woods letting the flora become more vibrant and some seeds which have laid dormant for years may well get the chance to germinate.

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Milton Lock Foreshore 5th May 2022 : I was originally going to a Duke of Burgundy site but the weather couldn't make its mind up whether to be sunny or cloudy so I opted to look around my local patch and really glad I did. There were a few butterflies to be seen Holly Blue, Green-Veined Whites, Small Whites, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, but the stars today were the Reed Warblers, which were chattering away in the reeds occasionally popping their heads up just long enough to get a few shots,and many thanks go to a lovely lady called Sam for pointing me in the right direction. Other highlights were Little Grebes, on the lakes and Curlews and Oystercatchers on the shoreline. The swan's Cygnets haven't hatched out yet.

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Sunday 1st May Butser Hill : It took a few brave souls to walk around the lower slopes of Butser Hill today, being overcast and wet, hoping we would come across something that resembled a butterfly, but alas it wasn't to be. We found a couple of 6-spot Burnet moth caterpillars, and a mass of Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars feeding on Nettle. If the cats all hatch out then the slopes of Butser will have a good show of this now much rarer butterfly, but we all know that predation and parasites will have their fill and very few will manage to turn into butterflies. Plenty of Skylarks were braving the elements, and other birds were heard in the hedgerows, like Blackcap and Dunnocks and Robins, the odd Red Kite and Buzzards were quartering the sky above us. Thank You all who came lets hope the weather gets better for the next one!

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30th April Oxenbourne Down and Wascoombe Bottom : I have spent the last 2 days at this site, looking at the Duke of Burgundy areas. I spent up to 7 hours over the two days wandering around new nooks and crannies on the down, and I've surprised myself with seeing the Duke in a new area. Over the two days I've counted up to (24) individuals a great count up to the end of April, with just two females at the time of counting. Cowslips are now coming through and the North part of the down is particular splendid. Other species seen were Small Copper (9) Green Hairstreak (7) Dingy Skipper (70) Grizzled Skipper (6) Brimstone (75) Small White (9) Green-Veined White (6) Orange Tip (8) Peacock (8) Small Heath (7) Speckled Wood (2) Holly Blue (3). There were very few moths on the wing Common Carpets, and Mint Moths were mainly seen.

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Friday 29th April 2022 Oxenbourne Down and Wascoombe Bottom:  The wind is still a little brisk on higher ground and still a bit cool but the numbers of different species is building, including the Duke of Burgundy which I saw in double figures today (10) which is unprecedented for this site in April. Good numbers of Dingy Skipper and my first Small Coppers were getting very fiesty. There were several mating pairs of the bloody nosed beetle on the first part of the downs, and the slow-worms are in good numbers underneath the corrugated iron sheets dotted around the site. In all not a bad haul with eleven species of butterfly and one moth a common carpet.

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Tuesday 26th April 2022 Finchdean : Went today a site close to Rowlands Castle and area of outstanding natural beauty just inside the boundaries of the South Downs National Park. Here there are plans underway to re-wild several areas which is farmland which has gone fallow. Here there were good areas of wildflowers in natural hedgerows, and good areas of Lady's Smock and other Crucifers and over a period of a few hours up to twenty Orange Tips were seen including several females, and several eggs were located on Crucifers. In the field's they were alive with Brimstones, Small Whites, and Green-Veined Whites. Peacocks were patrolling up and down in the wood, and the hedgerows with the odd Speckled Wood and Holly Blues.

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Monday 25th April 2022 Butser Hill NNR :The sun may have been shining today, but there was a very keen wind which was keeping temperatures down. Duke of Burgundy numbers (4) are somewhat suppressed because of this, however there were good numbers of Dingy Skipper (35+) Grizzled Skipper (12) Small Heath (6) Peacock (2) Orange Tip (2) Small White (1) Small Tortoiseshell (1) Green Hairstreak (9) Brimstone (6) a few mint moths were noted but nothing much else of note. It's going to be awhile before numbers of Duke of Burgundy emerge, especially if this wind keeps temperatures down as most of the Duke sites are north facing in Hampshire.

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Sunday 25th April Matley Heath New Forest : A good day to be starting the 2022 field trip programme, looking for the Emperor Moth today in the New Forest and we had two lures to hoodwink the males into thinking there was a female around. It took about 30 odd minutes for us all to get a look at a male came in and investigated, the lures. One male settled on somebody's jeans for quite some time, and I had one stuck on my camera bag, as my lure had been inside the bag for a few days. We saw in all about 5 or 6 males, in several different areas on Matley Heath, although the keen wind probably kept the number down. In the afternoon we tried it out again and sure enough in another part of the Heath we had at least two come and investigate the lures. Butterfly wise it wasn't a great list, but we saw Brimstones, Green-Veined White, Small White, Peacocks, and several Holly Blues. At lunch time we witnessed 3 male Brimstones flying with a female altogether, circulating her and all flying backwards for a time and this was quite a spectacular sight. In the afternoon we went for a birdwatching walk and witnessed Redstarts nesting heard the Cuckoo several times, Mistle Thrushes flying, Jays, Stonechats, also Scalloped Hook Tip Moth, and Common Heath Moth were also seen.

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East Meon 21st April 2022 : Visited several sites but no Duke of Burgundies were espied, and really not a lot else despite the weather being really warm. Plenty of Orange Tips, several Green-Veined Whites, Brimstones, Speckled Wood, and Peacock, with a lonesome Grizzled Skipper, to account for my troubles. However the Bluebells look splendid on one hand but on the other hand the amount of dead Ash trees is astounding. Many of the woods in the Meon Valley would disapper if the chainsaws got busy

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Broxhead Common 20th April 2022: Another Mothing day, and this time I visited the MOD Army ranges at Broxhead Common and here I was looking for the magnificent Emperor Moth, to try out my new lure ready for the New Forest on Sunday. It took sometime to get going but after about an hour or so there were up to (5) Emperor Moths flying very fast and with a mission around the lure. Moving around the site and re-locating the lure and the total was probably about (10) in total all males of course. One male stayed on the heather and was very photogenic and they all seemed to be in excellent condition, although the Gorse will unfortunately rip their wings, and they will soon look quite bedraggled. Other species on the wing were Green Hairstreak, Peacock, Small White, Brimstone, and many Orange Tips on the roadside verges going up to the site.

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Moth Trap 19th April 2020 : It's not everybody's cup of tea, and it takes a good morning of patience but moth trapping is progressing into my bloodstream and I've been hooked now for several years, after buying a inexpensive moth trap about 10 years ago. I'm fortunate enough to put it out into a wood where I can reap the full benefit of what moths may be passing and last night was no exception. With (13) species on my list with Nut Tree Tussock, Bridled Beauties, Oak Beauties, Hebrew Characters, Lunar Marbled Browns, Frosted Greens, Scalloped Hook Tips, Engrailed, Great Prominents, Pebbled Prominents, and Common Quaker. A good haul for such cold nights. On the Island the Dingy Skipper, Small Copper and Green Hairstreak are emerging in numbers, as well as on the mainland, at Butser there has been good counts of Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak.

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Oxenbourne Down 17th April 2022: Another glorious day with a bit of a breeze which may have kept some of the species showing themselves more, however the first Grizzled Skippers were out (3) seen, also seen were Orange Tip (2) Green-Veined White (2) Peacock (8) Comma (3) Brimstone (20+) Small White (2) there has been a fair bit of scrub bashing done on top of the down, however the area of Gorse has been left untouched. In Wascoombe Bottom there is a lot of sallow showing itself now, hopefully this could attract a wandering female Purple Emperor, this would certainly enhance the flora and flora of the site as they are certainly over the road in Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Beware of Ticks, they are rife this year. I mainly put it down to the amount of deer in the area now as I saw at least 8 Roe Deer hinds, there were a couple of Slow worms at rest underneath some shelters but unfortunately no Adders. In other circles there was some good sightings of Spoonbills flying over Titchfield Haven the other day and at Oxenbourne Down today there were good sightings of Skylarks and male and female Buzzards quartering the sky.

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Noar Hill 16th April 2022 : My first visit to this site in 2022, and what a day excellent weather, and 10 species of butterflies. (2) Duke of Burgundies seen both males both probably emerged today or yesterday, all the cowslips look in good condition, and the site has had a lot of management, with some chalky scraps carved into the some of the pits, I assume this is to encourage Cowslip growth. Other butterflies seen on the wing were Small Tortoiseshell a female was seen laying eggs. Peacock (8) Comma (3) also a female was seen laying on Nettle in the hedgerows at the entrance.Brimstone (4) Large White was seen at home, Small White (5), Green-Veined White, male Orange Tip, and (5) Holly Blues.

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13 April 2022 Portchester Common and Anson Grove A look around a old favoured site in the past where I used to see 'heaps' of Wall Brown!, however today it was perfect sunny weather at times, with Holly Blue (2), Small Tortoiseshell(1) Peacock (15) Brimstone(6) Small White (7) Red Admiral (1)and Comma (1). No Orange Tip despite being in favoured areas where I've seen them before nectaring and laying eggs. Portchester Common is not what it once was, and Anson Grove is a local site owned by Fareham Borough Council, with lots of flowers and grasses, and trees, right next to a housing estate.

Mark Tutton today saw the Grizzled Skipper at Butser Hill, and the Green Hairstreak has been seen in Sussex.

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10 April 2022 Portsdown Hill: Another day of cool winds and a walk around the western end Fort Widley, and there was very little of note butterfly wise, just one Peacock managing to stay out of the cool wind. However there was lots of bird-song, with BlackCaps, Hedge Sparrows, and Robins giving it a good sing-a-long. With the constant chatter of Skylarks above, which is where I noted two Peregrine Falcons on the wing, whether it was a pair or not I'm not sure, however one was observed flying down catching prey, and Red Kites, Buzzards, and Kestrels were also on the hunt. I had a look at the Falklands memorial woodland which has a tree planted for every one who died in the conflict, and as you can see from the photo after 40 years the trees are quite established.On the way down from the car-park by the hospital, I managed to see at least 5-6 Brimstones on the wing, these were well out of the wind, and facing south meant it was obviously a lot warmer there.

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09 April 2022 East Meon and Milton Allotments : Another disappointing day, despite good sunny weather to start with, at East Meon on high ground it was particularly cool, and consequently very little in the way of Butterflies seen. In the sheltered wildflower banks there were great swathes of Cuckoo flowers and Sweet and Dog Violets along with other wildflowers, all looking very splendid, however I only saw several Peacocks and a Small White for my efforts. However counting up to half a dozen Hares was a triumph and some young rabbits. At Milton Allotments when I got home there were certainly much more on the wing, with up to (5) Small Tortoiseshells several doing battle with a Comma joining the fray. Several Peacocks were also seen along with at least a dozen or more Small Whites. Another sign of spring the Cuckoo was heard in the New Forest yesterday, let's hope it does better than it did in 2021!

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Spring is in the air as every passing day it hopefully gets warmer and more species of butterflies and moths become noted on the wing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. In the past few days more Holly Blues have been noted, and the Orange Tip is also becoming more frequent on the wing. Clouded Yellows 'home grown ones' have been noted on the Island. In the air there have been good views of the White-tailed Sea Eagle over Titchfield Haven a thank you to Steve Simnett for letting me use his magnificent shot of one as it flew over his head, and Dartford Warblers are becoming more common on the heathlands of the New Forest and other areas. Brown Hairstreak caterpillars are now starting to emerge and starting to feed up on Blackthorn leaves. Green-Veined Whites have also been noted on the Island and in Gosport.

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 03 April 2022 Milton Lock NNR : Despite very warm weather today at my local patch I only saw my first two Speckled Woods and two Small whites for my trouble. At home I came across a Cabbage Moth caterpillar, and a Pupae in a flower pot of the same species. News from the Isle of Wight Andy Butler has seen a Elephant Hawk Moth. Over Titchfield Haven there was a great sighting of a magnificent White Tailed Sea Eagle.

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April 2nd 2022 The Moors : This is a new site for me I've always had a quick look /glance driving past on the way to Bishops Waltham, a little wet oasis in the middle of a large housing estate. Yesterday I managed to get a look at the site, and I quite impressed with the wet areas, and the wooded areas. However there was very little wildlife seen as it was quite cool in a keen wind.

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Large Tortoiseshell seen on the Isle of Wight

 

Large tortoiseshell taken by Mike Hurst on the 21st March 2022 at Parkhurst Forest on the Isle of Wight, one of many seen(?) some were squabbling with the peacock butterflies... to the north of the forest along a footpath were half a dozen Commas. Back into the forest and we saw just one bright yellow Brimstone...

If your out and about where there are a fair few Wych Elms in an area where this species has been reported then now is the time to look for this species they normally mate in early April, and the female will lay good batches of eggs on the terminal twigs of the Wych Elm sometimes along tall hedges and or suckering scrub. Usually 3m or 10 feet up or sometimes in the crown of a tree, where binoculars are a must. Sallows and Willows are sometimes used, and occasionally Poplars, Aspen Birches, Wild Cherry and Pear.  (Ashley Whitlock)
 

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A row of healthy Wych Elms  

25th March 2022 Park Hill : A visit to one of the most picturesque areas in the Meon Valley Park Hill, probably a site very few people visit. Its always been a site that I have always thought the Duke of Burgundy may well inhabit one day. Today in bright sunshine along one of the country lanes where several large Beech trees had been felled during the storm I suspect, and consequently the sunshine was now falling on the hedges and flowery side of the lane and here there were several Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks, all feeding on Hawkbit and Ivy flowers.On the downland there was an area where the new growth of Nettles was just coming through and I saw at least (4) Small Tortoiseshells, all very downbeated and faded, these looked like females looking for a spot to lay eggs. One Comma was also espied looking for a suitable site to lay as well. In the church graveyard there were more Brimstones, Peacocks and Small Whites. A good count today of all of the hibernators. Along with Red Kites many Buzzards spiralling upwards on the thermals, a hunting Sparrowhawk and the constant barking of crows in the many rookeries around the site.

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24th March 2022 Fort Cumberland : A quick visit to see what invertebrates could be seen , there was very little in the warm sunshine. The odd Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White and Peacock. The Stonechats were busy looking for nest sites, but I didn't see a Dartford Warbler.

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Clouded Yellow reported by Andy Butler along the revetment at Wheeler's Bay with a single on 21st and two on 22nd. They are almost certainly locally bred rather than immigrant arrivals. Also look out for Orange Tips males have been seen in Gloucestershire and West Sussex its only a matter of time before they will be seen in Hampshire.

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Wednesday 23rd March 2022 Milton Lock Nature Reserve, and Winchester Cathedral: Another visit to my local reserve which is now becoming a magnet for some good butterfly counts. Today there were several Commas on the wing one of these was in combat with a Peacock on his territory. I counted at least (5) Peacocks flying around enjoying the sunshine and a Red Admiral and a Small White were also seen. Away from Portsmouth it's all happening at Winchester Cathedral as Winnie and William settle down to breed. The first egg Winnie layed was eaten by her as it would seem it cracked. Winnie has subsequently layed another two eggs, and here's hoping these will be more successful.

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17th March 2022 Milton Southsea : Yesterday in my garden in Southsea there was a flurry of butterflies including Brimstone, Small Whites, Peacock, Red Admiral, and Comma. This is the best count I've ever had in the garden in March. Lets hope its a good omen for 2022, boy do we need it!

Tuesday 15th March 2022 Portsdown Hill and Milton Lock reserve : It was promised to be a warmish day but the sun decided to hide behind a veil of cloud which hindered sightings, however I did see on Portsdown Hill up to (4) Brimstones and a Peacock butterfly, which was imbibing on some Gorse. Had it been sunnier I feel I could have seen another two or three species. The Kestrels were hunting and the Buzzards were soaring on the thermals rising up from the chalk-pit. The Flora on Portsdown Hill at the moment is dominated by good clumps of Common-Dog and Hairy Violets which helps the Dark Green Fritillary breed here. There wasn't much at Milton Lock reserve again lack of strong sunshine, but there were a lot of female Bumble bees flying around and were also resting on warm bundles of grass which had been cut.

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Saturday March 12th 2022 Milton Allotments: Again another day of fine sunny weather rather spoilt by the cold wind which persists everytime the sun comes out for any great length of time. I did however see my first butterfly on the wing a Small Tortoiseshell, which was happy sunbathing in the cool sunshine. I did see another butterfly fly down inside the Allotments but I could not ID it, however I would guess another Small Tortoiseshell or Peacock. The Foxes seem to love basking in the sunshine but they are quite hard to see, keeping out of the way of dog-walkers. In the estuary the tide was out and the Brent Geese were busy feeding up, I suspect they will be going home very soon. On facebook the page known as 'Keep Milton Green' somebody has reported seeing a Muntjac deer walking down her road...? There has been sporadic reports of these little timid deer being seen in the Fort Cumberland reserve, however I've never seen one, with so many dogs being walked there I suspect people have mis-Identified them. I would love to be proved wrong, but these deer like the cover of woodland, and there is very little cover in the heart of Portsmouth like this. 

David Stephenson has reported a nice group of Adders on Browndown ranges on Gosport including a Blackadder, no jokes about Rowan Atkinson !(shown in the photo) 

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Photographs of the Black Adder by

David Stevenson 

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Wednesday 9th March 2022 Winchester : Fabulous day spent at Winchester today the reason I went was to photograph the Peregrine Falcons Winnie and William who have mated and are hoping for patter of tiny talons on Winchester Cathedral. I saw Winnie sat on the Cathedral but she wasn't doing much, I think she was waiting for her mate to return and feed her. There was an audience at one point as I joined another photographer who was a seasoned Peregrine photographer, amongst other birds as well. We certainly drew a crowd as most people passing by didnt have a clue about there most famous birds, as we told them what was going on, about the cameras, how the birds feed, how long Winnies been present at the site, and how many chicks she has reared. I also saw some very tame Redwings, which are preparing to migrate back to Scandinavia. A very unusual setting for them in the Cathedral grounds, but they were hunting worms, which they found on several occasions.  

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Seen in Fleetlands Gosport a lovely Oak Beauty Moth taken by Andy Knight on the 4th March 2022, mainly a woodland Moth flying between February and May, so if you have a few Oak trees dotted about these are well looking out for, and they do come to Moth traps. Other butterflies and moths being seen are Red Admirals, Comma, Peacocks, Early Thorn Moth, Common Quaker, March Moth, Dotted Borders around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.. I also noted in my garden Queen Wasps nectaring, which I dont see that often, but they are quite intimidating to look at almost the size of a Hornet. It is still very deceptively cold so the grand opening of the butterfly season I suggest is on hold at the moment.

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Sunday 27th February 2022 Portsdown Hill A very bright day but Portsdown Hill was decidedly deceptive, with a very cool northerly wind blowing, which put paid to any butterflies I feel, even the birds were in short supply with just Kestrels on the hunt, and Buzzards being mobbed by crows with the normal birds in the hedgerows. It was all was very disappointing, with no real shelter to speak of. When I got home at Milton in the evening sunshine I saw a Fox sunning itself.  All in all February has been a very cold and windy month.

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Milton Lock Nature reserve Saturday 26th February. Another warmish day with cool winds keeping much of what I was looking for suppressed. Certainly no butterflies about, but the insects were busy getting nectar, and flowers and trees and shrubs were all coming out in bloom, which is a great sight to see, knowing spring is just around the corner.....................

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High pressure over the southern part of England now is bringing out a flurry of sightings of butterflies. Yesterday I saw my first one, a Peacock caught up in a spiders web in the windows of the Church of the Resurrection at Drayton, fortunately it was rescued and put outside and seemed very grateful. Other sightings are very early Speckled Woods in Hampshire.

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Butterflies are waking up from hibernation......Several reports around Hampshire have had sightings of several Red Admirals, Peacocks, and Commas with a sprinkling of Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell. Look out for these in calmer conditions obviously on a warm day , in a sheltered position. Also White-Letter Hairstreak eggs have been found on Wych Elms , but I'm waiting for the first report of the Large Tortoiseshell, which was seen around this time last year...here's hoping!

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Saturday 19th February 2022 Portsmouth  A look at some of the areas which were most affected by the storm on friday and to a lesser degree on Saturday as well, obviously being a seaside town the main area of contention was the waves coming ashore, and along the main sea front the areas of large parkland in and around Old Portsmouth were well flooded, and here the sea birds like Black headed and Herring Gulls took advantage of the calmer conditions, looking though rather odd all sat together in the middle of a muddy field. There were great concentrations of Starlings digging up grubs and worms which had come to the surface where it was awash with sea water. I feel that Portsmouth may well have a murmuration of Brighton size in the near future judging by the amount of Starlings there were! In the parks and gardens the trees seemed to have escaped any major damage, and I didn't see any trees fallen, although I suspect there were a few. The Robins near to the Rose gardens were in good singing voice and it was good to know they were OK along with all the birds on the Canoe lake especially the Swans, which have swollen in their ranks over the past few years. Away from Portsmouth looking at the camera footage of our 'Winnie' the Peregrine on Winchester Cathedral she seems have got through the storms OK as it must be quite scary up on those buttresses in those strong winds. The camera footage shows her in good condition, and she has mated with a male so we are expecting the sound of tiny feet in the near future!

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2022 Early News on the Purple Emperor by Matthew Oates

 

2022 could be an annus mirabilis for the Purple Emperor, though much needs to go right and an awful lot mustn't go wrong...

Last year saw a surprisingly good egg lay and a goodly number of larvae entered hibernation. That's a big plus.

To date, winter losses have been low at some monitored sites (only 25% have been predated to date in my local woods, and 33% at another monitored site east of Swindon), though Ben Greenaway has recorded 60% losses so far (mid-Feb) in West Sussex and I've recorded similar losses in the Great Tit haven that is Savernake Forest, my main study site. The mid-February to early March period sees the highest mortality during hibernation.

Another period of high loss seems to be the pupal period, though we are only just starting to study this in the wild. It seems that the longer this butterfly spends in the pupal stage the fewer Emperors we see on the wing.  

This year we have The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in early June, when many larvae should be pupating. Please note that the track record of the Great British Weather during Royal Jubilees is nothing short of appalling - c/f the heavy cold rains of June 2012 and 1977.  Even Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1887 was ruined by the weather - an extreme heatwave ended in an apocalyptic heatwave which caused considerable crop damage...

Watch this space. Whatever will be will be, but it will be interesting...

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Milton Lock and Foreshore 12th February 2022  A walk where the tide was out so far it was just a green carpet of seaweed and algae, with many seagulls and Brent Geese and the odd Oystercatcher feeding in the distance. In a tree close to the allotment were Greenfinches and the odd Goldfinch to be seen. I haven't seen Greenfinches now for many years. On the reserve on the wooden posts was a Kestrel, just content in sitting there, looking at the grass which had been cut, by the volunteers who look after the site, and  he never saw me looking at him or was it a she? Somebody had walked past it just a few minutes before I got there and had no idea it was there , just shows you some people have no idea what is going on around them....?

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Friday Meon Valley Meonstoke 11 February 2022  A Visit to one of favourite places yesterday with many wild flowers now starting to open and many trees are in bud. Birds were starting to gather nest material and Buzzards were doing there courtship displays in the skies above. Herons and Egrets were fishing in the River Meon and the local's were laughing in a truly magical place where time is asleep.

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Photos of Winnie by Sheila Anne Williams

For the sixth year running, Winnie the Peregrine has returned to the high ledge of Winchester Cathedral.

The resident falcon, who had at least 25 chicks at the breeding site with her late mate Chester, has been spotted over the past week on the Cathedral Peregrine-Cam, with further sightings of her flying around the cathedral.

Winnie, who hatched another three Peregrine chicks in 2021, will now sit in wait of a new potential mate after Chester died in May last year.

Providing an update on Winnie's return, one of the Virgers at Winchester Cathedral, Ian James, said: “There is a little bit of an update on the Peregrines, we have now seen the female around the cathedral, and it has actually been seen up on the ledge within the last week.

“At the same time, we are now up and running with our Peregrine page on the website and the cameras are live. So, if you look on that from time to time throughout the day, there’s a very good chance you’ll see the female at the nest site.”

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Photo: Nikki Kinowski

Isle of Wight sea eagles: Police investigate after two found dead

 The birds, which have a wingspan of up to 2.5m (8ft), had not been recorded in England since 1780

Two young sea eagles, from a group reintroduced on the Isle of Wight, have been found dead.

Police said one white-tailed eagle was found in Dorset in late January along with a second in the south of England.

Post-mortem and toxicological examinations are being carried out on both birds to find out how they died.

The force has appealed to anyone with information about the deaths to come forward.

 

The birds are all fitted with GPS tracking devices, allowing their flight paths to be monitored. Three other eagles from the group on the island are known to be in Dorset.

The birds are part of an ongoing conservation project, run by Forestry England and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation.

 

One of the young sea eagles was found dead in Dorset in late January, police said

The project started in 2019 and sees at least six birds released annually on the Isle of Wight.

Data from the trackers has shown they explore widely, making flights of more than 100 miles (160km).

In England, they have flown as far as Norfolk and North Yorkshire, some have made journeys as far as France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

Many of them return to the island after their travels.

The Isle of Wight was chosen to reintroduce the coastal loving white-tailed eagles, also known as sea eagles, as it offers an ideal habitat with plenty of fish in its surrounding waters.

They are the UK's largest bird of prey, with a wingspan of up to 8ft (2.5m) and feed mainly on fish and water birds.

Wednesday 02 February 2022 Milton Lock foreshore Another walk along my local foreshore in glorious sunshine, to see the first signs of an 'early' spring with Crocuses out and Bumble Bees making hay whilst the sun shines. There were good flocks of Brent Geese who will be going home next month...doesn't seem like five minutes since they arrived! There was plenty of chattering the hedgerows with Starlings, Sparrows, Goldfinches all in good numbers. Still no butterflies have been seen, my local patch Milton Lock Nature Reserve has all been cut as the Covid problem stopped any sort of management there.

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Andy Butler has reported a Holly Blue at Wheeler's Bay  on the Isle of Wight just after lunchtime. This is the second January sighting of this species for the island with Andy also reporting one from the same location on 17th January 2011. Meanwhile here are some Holly Blues from the summer of 2021 that I took in my garden.

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Monday 31st January 2022 Langstone Harbour  A bitterly cold day out and about especially by the seashore, where I always seem to be at the moment looking at all the shore birds that gather and feed in and around Portsmouth and close-by at Langstone Harbour just off of Hayling Island. Today the weather was overcast and windy most of the time but the sun did shine albeit briefly in spells, I spied a large group of Black-tailed Godwits, must have been 50-100 of them all flying together, and these landed not far from me, feeding in and amongst the Brent Geese who seem to be everywhere I go. Other birds seen were Redshank the odd Curlew, Knots, Lapwings, Rock Pipets, Shelduck, Cormorants, and Gulls. Also observed and photographed was a Rook finding a Cockle on the seashore, and flying up in the air with it and then dropped it from a modest height and then it flew down to feed on the content. (this was observed on last weeks Winterwatch programme)

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Farlington Marshes Thursday 20th January 2022. Another chance to see the Bearded Tits in action, but the cold weather, kept their heads down I think, I did see one but it was just the one and too far away for any pictures. There were good views of Avocets, Pintails, Teal, Redshank, Curlew, Brent Geese, Stonechat, White Egrets, and foxes were hunting on the grassy areas. Plenty of birdwatchers about all looking for the same thing!

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Tuesday 18th January 2022 Milton Foreshore. Up at the crack of dawn yesterday to see the final fling of the 'Wolf Moon' in all its glory. It was well worth the effort as the wildlife were up before the sunrise, with Foxes hiding in the shadows, and beating at hasty retreat when I got too close to them. The Brent Geese at this time in the morning are very vocal, and also the Curlews and Oystercatchers are making lots of noise as well. I saw several Kestrels sitting in the trees just awaiting the sunrise and to start hunting. All the vegetation was white from a hard frost, and Ice had formed in any puddles on the footpaths. However the two main lakes were free from Ice and the birds were very active for this time of the morning.

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Monday 17th January 2022 Milton Shoreline A walk along the Milton Shoreline and there were several species of waders and Geese feeding and taking in the sunshine to be seen. There were Redshank and several of these were standing on one leg, and seemed to be hopping along when they moved, although in flight I could easily see 'both of their legs'. In the trees there were several lovely Long-Tailed Tits, all chattering amongst themselves which really gives them away.

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Monday 17th January 2022 Home I had a Double striped-pug moth resting on my car today and it managed to stay there throughout a journey of several miles until we got back home where I photographed it. Usually seen in April-May and August but another mild winter has brought it out early. No early butterflies as yet, despite the warmish weather!

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Friday 14 January 2022 Portsdown Hill Perfect weather for walking around one of your favourite wildlife sites, Portsdown Hill was glorious today, and the wildlife didn't disappoint, although it was mainly birds, I did look for butterflies especially the Brimstone which I though may well have woken up in this weather, however it wasn't to be. Birds seen on the Hill were Red Kite, Buzzards, Stonechat, Kestrels on the hunt, Long Tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Blackbirds, SkyLarks, and Rooks just to name a few. There was plenty of berries to be seen, but very little in the way of wildflowers..yet. The Gorse was in bloom and Honey Bees were necturing. 

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Its all kicking off in Hampshire at the moment with many observers putting up sightings on the Hampshire Birding pages and the Isle of Wight. Here the Primroses are starting to bloom and with this warm sunny spell this will bring about many spring flowers, far too early. Mind you the frosts at night are very cold. But this hasn't stopped the first butterflies, Peacocks and Red Admirals being seen over the last few days. Yesterday I saw many Roe Deer in a wood close to Finchdean and some glimpses of Hares in the fields dotted about.

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Photo of Primrose and Peacock butterfly by Kay Shaw Isle of Wight

Sunday 9th January 2022 Milton Foreshore Another rare day away from the driving rain, again just local, with hundreds of other people out and about dog-walking, and bird watching as well. Good views of the Langstone Estuary with the tide out, with hundreds of Brent Geese, and Knots feeding also Oystercatchers, Curlews, and Redshanks. Also seen were Kestrels, hovering and dont forget the more commoner species are actively getting ready to nest now, Blackbirds, and Robins were singing with plenty of Sparrows in the Brambles. I didn't see any butterflies, although I expect they were about as it was very mild indeed. On the Lakes there were Mute Swans, Mallards, Coot and Moorhen, with Black -Headed Gulls frantically trying to get some of my bird feed. I noticed that catkins were starting to flower, and many bulbs were germinating, Daffodils and most of the trees were budding up. Everything is far too advanced. 

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Painted Lady reported on the Isle of Wight. RSPB Assistant Warden Luke Gaskin reported and photographed a Painted Lady on ivy in Centurions Copse at Brading Marshes RSPB reserve on Wednesday (5/1/22).

 

This is believed to be the third January record for the Island for this species with previous reports on 6 January 2016 and 1 January 2013, both at Wheeler's Bay. [Posted by Jim Baldwin] There has also been several Red Admirals reported as well dotted about the county. To think 25 - 30 odd years ago these reports would have raised a lot of eyebrows but because of Global warming now these butterflies seem to have adapted to our 'warmer' winters. 

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Wednesday 5th January 2022 Southsea Castle. Happy New Year to all my readers, let's hope 2022 is better than 2021, and here's hoping to to report on lots of wildlife  in and around Hampshire. If you have seen the new field trips programme for 2022 then you will have seen its quite a full on programme with at least 4 walks in every month from May until the end of August. If you haven't had the pleasure, then have a go and visit me and some of my lovely friends on a walk I guarantee you won't be disappointed.  Today another nice day and my first venture out in 2022 and I visited Southsea Castle where on the shore-line are several Purple Sandpipers to be seen wading onlong the concrete fortifications, trying to avoid being drowned when the sea engulfed them every so often. Also there was a couple of Rock Pipits, which look very similar to a Thrush, but these were not as easy to see especially looking into the sun.

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Into the heart of Devon