Hook Heath butterflies


Being new to the post, I have spent a little bit of time wandering around the reserves getting to know my way around. One of the areas I have been most impressed with is Hook Heath Meadows. This collection of wet meadows, near the top of Portsdown Hill, provided one of the best butterfly related outings of the year for me.


You couldn’t move for Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers but most impressive was the sightings of two of my most favorite species – Silver washed Fritillaries (7!) and a lonely White Admiral.

I have a particular fondness for White Admirals and their lonely wanderings throughout our woodlands. Not a common butterfly, this is accentuated by their very low population densities, often only appearing in very small numbers in woodland. The most I have ever seen in one outing is five. It makes you wonder just how they manage to reproduce and maintain their populations.


A rubbish pic of a White Admiral

The Silver Washed Frittilary  is one of our most impressive butterflies, and unmistakable due to their size. Hook Heath was alive with them one sunny day the other week, an excellent sign of the health of the site and a good indication of how well the mix of woodland edge habitat is working on site.



3 thoughts on “Hook Heath butterflies

  1. Hookheath is a good spot for butterflies, but unfortunately access is denied at this time due to a bull being introduced to Hookheath. I photograph butterflies in and around Purbrook, so i was dissapointed when i went to Hookheath a week ago only to find a notice “no public access”.this is a good site for Common Blue,s , and i also photographed a confirmed male Brown
    Argos there in 2014 . Butterflies have been very poor this year in Purbrook
    , so was a bit annoyed not being able to go into Hookheath. Mike Smith

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