Exploring around the Winchester area
Hampshire apparently has the highest number of Butterfly species in England; 46 out of 59.
Last year I managed 26 but doubt if I will achieve that many or improve this year, in fact I left deeper searching too late for many.
The Claylands Reserve here in Bishop’s Waltham has a good sloping south facing field and guaranteed to have Marbled Whites every summer.
Regrettably this year someone decided to cut the meadow grass at the height of Summer which led to a rapid decrease in species and numbers.
Marble White – Bishop’s Waltham
I made a couple of journeys to known sites for Butterflies; Magdalene Hill Down and St. Catherines Hill, both on the borders of Winchester.
As I said, I left it late for some of the rarer species such as the Grizzled Skipper and more.
Magdalene Hill (100 acres and managed by The Butterfly Conservation Organization) certainly has more diversity and compared to St. Catherine’s hill is much less busy. Bearing in mind it was a hot summer’s day, I saw no more than a dozen people.
Here’s a few photos plus some Moths…
Small Copper – Brown Argus – Ringlet
Painted Lady – Chalkhill Blue – Cinnabar Moth
Scarlet Tiger Moth (regret wings closed
Many birders are very keen Moth Spotters and with 2,500 species in the United Kingdom I wonder who’s got closest to all of them !
I think searching for them all would definitely see me out !