Hampshire Dukes

Got out really early today and didn't get home  until 7pm! Made the most of the weather.... First call was magdalen hill down and it was pretty quiet as I was early but saw good numbers of green hairstreaks  including six doing battle when two holly blues joined in - mayhem. Then went over to St Catherine's hill and was a bit disappointed  - no downland species at all but good counts of peacock brimstone and orange tip.
I then visited an adjacent site I had been told about to check it  for dukes. At first it did not  seem very appealing with waste height nettles which caused some grief but I persevered and eventually found good numbers including a mating pair - this was a new site for me so very pleasing.
This site is 'open access land' and there seems to be some scrub clearance but little grazing. The Dukes were spread along several hundred meters of the lower part of the hill so potentially great site with some careful management but I dont know who is responsible fir managing it?
I then ventured to Beacon hill in th Meon Valley again to search for Dukes but with only one tentative siting it was a bit disappointing but again very good numbers of GH.
Then across the valley to Old Winchester Hill very few butterflies around but managed to locate the small colony of Dukes spotting five in total including two females.
There was just time to finish in my favourite spot in Rake Bottom where again saw a few Dukes settling in for the evening - fantastic day seeing Dukes at three different sites  Mark


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