Thursday, 5 September 2019

Large Tortoiseshell - Nymphalis polychloros

Tout Quarry, Portland, Dorset on February 27th 2019

Large Tortoiseshell in Tout Quarry, Portland in February 2019 | Martyn Hayes

In February 2019 several Large Tortoiseshell butterflies were reported along the south coast of the UK, two of which were lingering in Tout Quarry on Portland!

They were both seen late in the day on February 26th so plans were made to visit the site the following day.

Arriving on site late morning the day was bright and sunny if a little windy so 'pinning' them down would be a tad tricky. However after about an hour or so one was located in a sunny ravine where I managed to get very brief, unsatisfactory views of one pitched before it darted off!

Another painful wait until a second individual (determined from the first by obvious wing damage) was located in another sheltered ravine nearby where it was out in the open and in full sun.

Once located it was well watched both pitched and on the wing and showing what appeared to be territorial aggression towards other species, especially Peacock.

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