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Please include grid reference 6 digits preferred but 4 digits will do or post code for your sightings. Grid reference can be obtained here. Most, if not all, sightings listed here with sufficient detail given, will be added to the branch database but see note below. You can use the iRecord app to submit your records. Alternatively, you can enter your records using a spreadsheet which can be downloaded here for butterflies or moths.
More details can be found on the General Recording page for butterflies and Moth pages for moths. Photos are welcome and a selection will be posted on this webpage but please keep these to a reasonably small size.
Provide a link if your photo is on an external application like Flickr. Alternatively post your photo on Facebook. A Red Admiral flew through at 4. A Small Tortoiseshell feeding on a Viburnum. Four butterflies in autumn sunshine this afternoon: I think it must have been hibernating in the suitcase I fetched down from the loft. I'm off to Italy for the week, maybe the butterfly sensed that and was hoping to hitch a lift to a warmer place?
Malcolm Hull 19 Oct Harpenden Common: At Northfield Rd, Tring, there were no butterflies flying at all, despite the warm sunny afternoon. A single Comma was perching on ivy. At Nomansland Common I saw 16 Small Coppers including the blue spotted aberrant form caeruleo-punctata , which I've not often encountered at this site. As with my last visit the Coppers' behaviour was impacted by the weather, in this case a stiff wind about 15 mph.
A few were flying, but most were sheltering either within the Heather, or flat on bare ground. Those perched were much less conspicuously positioned than on the branch Butterfly walk on 30th Sept. Just one adopted the curious "sideways" position with wings parallel to the ground.
One was perched with a more normal "head down" position. No camera sadly - but it didn't settle anyway. I was standing on the bridge looking at the crayfish and it flew along the bank within feet of me, flitted around for a moment and then carried on along the bank heading South Martin Parr 10 Oct Hounslow.
Near the end of our very productive work party at around 2. Trent Park 'New Fields' This was a circular walk on public footpaths from the old Widford Station, to Wareside, up towards Noblands Green, across and back down to the River Ash at Widford.
Much of the walk was in TL We were successful in finding eggs on three occasions but what was most significant was that - on the first occasion, we found three eggs on the same growth joint which was unusual.
The second elm where we found an egg was on the end tip and on closer inspection there appeared to be three eggs sitting on each other but this was incorrect as there was another egg underneath them.
Finally, 5 eggs were found on the end tips of some twigs of the same elm but again two eggs on two different end tips and a further singleton on another end tip. On all the occasions we have found eggs, we have never had so many multiple eggs on the same day.
We can only assume that because of the hot weather, the females were 'too hot' to fly around and just kept laying eggs in the same place? I have seen several of them in the last few weeks and I discovered that the moth is reaching epidemic proportions in London, and spreading out into the Home Counties.
My 2 box trees have been decimated by the caterpillars. We set off around the Small Coppers favourite sites on the acid Heath. We soon found our first Small Copper tucked up on the short grass. It readily crawled onto my hand seeking warmth and we could all examine and photograph it, although its wings remained firmly closed. We next encountered a group of 3 Small Coppers all roosting on the stems of dead grass, about cms above ground level in a sheltered spot.
After that the next 8 Coppers were all roosting on heather. We noticed they were all conspicuously positioned on or near the top of the heather, so easy to spot. All had their wings firmly shut and were turned sideways with the maximum surface area pointing towards the sky. Next we found the feathers of a dead Woodcock, followed by another Small Copper roosting on gorse.
We passed through the wood to the eastern side of the Common. The first Copper was hiding low down in the grass, the next four roosting in prominent positions on gorse about cms above ground.
Finally we found one on the ground with its wings open, providing good photo opportunities. More were seen roosting on grass stems, gorse, bramble and knapweed, all prominently positioned and turned sideways. After a very brief glimpse of sun we found an upright Copper rubbing its wings together getting ready to fly.
Maybe this unusual sideways roosting is a way they can detect if the sun is about to come out and once it does they get ready to fly. Unfortunately we saw no more sun, but there were a couple more Coppers in flight before we got back to the car park.
Just as we finished Jackie drew attention to a Common Blue, roosting on a grass stalk in a more characteristic heads down position. In total I recorded 31 Small Coppers , 1 Common Blue and two cocoons vacated by 6-spot Burnet Moths - not bad for an afternoon of 14 degrees and only 30 secs of sun! A pleasantly sunny day with the following butterflies seen: However the other 12 stayed hibernating. This afternoon I visited a disused gravel pit on the east side of town. A shorter walk today with reduced numbers a consequence: Managed a complete walk today during a lull in activity on the Marshalling Yards with the following sightings resulting: Reduced numbers in today's sunshine in part because I omitted the central Marshalling Yards loop where clearance work is under way, and tidying away of nectar plants on the Pevensey loop has made it harder to find butterflies there.
Still, a dozen butterflies and 7 species though: After the wet weekend, sunshine this afternoon led to butterfly sightings resuming much as they'd left off: I have seen several individuals of this species outside its usual sites in recent weeks, supporting predictions of a strong third brood.
Why not join me on the afternoon of Sunday 30th for a stroll round its stronghold at Nomansland Common near St Albans to see if we can beat my record count of 70? Details on the walks and talks webpage Malcolm Hull 21 Sep Hounslow. Blustery conditions and some rain but surprisingly reasonable numbers of butterflies: On a breezy but frequently sunny afternoon walk the highlight was another sighting of Clouded Yellow, once again in the Heather field near the railway.
This individual also seemed reluctant to fly far and settled on the underside of a Willow? After a short stop and walk 50 or so yards further I had a further sighting of a Clouded Yellow, this time flying strongly over trees.
As it could well be the same individual I'm including only 1 in the following stats.: Surprisingly good numbers of butterflies on a warm, intermittently sunny,afternoon: Robert Callf 15 Sep St Albans - unmistakable signs of Box tree moth larvae damage on a small box plant in my garden.
The first record I'm aware of for St Albans, but unsurprising as it has been spreading rapidly in our branch area. A good time to remember that we have a Butterfly Conservation guidance note on this species, aimed at discouraging spraying. A sunny afternoon with the following sightings: Lots of bees, making use of the ample nectar sources and good number of Darter Dragonflies. A pleasant autumn afternoon, the highlight being a Small Tortoiseshell, unusual for us here so late: Butterflies by grid square: The best activity was seen close to ash trees between After a cloudy start this morning the sun finally shone towards the end of the Marshalling Yards loops and with the sun came the butterflies.
In the Pevensey loop a strange looking butterfly high up in an Ash tree, with the aid of binoculars, proved to be 2 Speckled Woods mating. Small Copper sightings reached double figures and made them the commonest butterflies of the day - I can't remember that happening here before.
I was surprised today to have a second sighting of Clouded Yellow. Since it came in exactly the same place as yesterday's it's very likely the same individual. I watched it dipping towards Heather flowers and Birch scrub leaves most of what grows here reminiscent of other whites searching endlessly for Brassicas, In the end it settled for quite a while on bare ground, well camouflaged amongst the clay coloured stones and only moving again when I disturbed it by getting too close.
It was last seen heading over the burnt car so I will be interested to see if I find it again back in this seemingly inhospitable place.
It feels rather late in the season to see a 'first' but as I meandered amongst the surviving Heather near the railway and tried to ignore the burnt-out car that still sits in one corner I was joined by a Clouded Yellow, the first I've seen this year.
It didn't stay long but settled on a Heather flower for long enough to remove any doubts: I have only seen this butterfly once before at the RSPB reserve at Otmoor and wasn't aware they could be seen in our area.
Sunny throughout this afternoon and very similar to yesterday up to the point of return through the tunnel entrance when I saw in quick succession a Peacock, a young lady sitting in a cloud of smoke emanating from the pipe she was smoking and a very fresh looking Comma which flew strongly up river away from the scene which was set to recorded music.
I suppose it's just possible the butterflies were smoked out of hibernation in the culvert walls somewhere but the Peacock seemed to want to enter whilst the Comma couldn't get away fast enough. I encountered a total of 13 Small Heaths in widely varying locations, so the likelihood is that most if not all of them were separate individuals. One was seen nectaring on spear thistle, otherwise they were seen flying low over the ground sometimes in pairs and landing on short grass.
They shared their habitat with a male and female Common Blue , the former seen nectaring on spiny restharrow Shortwood Common has a strong population of this local plant. I also saw 2 Speckled Woods spiralling on the nearby footpath, which is shaded by high brambles, hop plants and young trees. The other was flying around a bramble bush, at least 2 metres off the ground. After morning sunshine I made a late morning start in mostly full sun. It didn't make a great deal of difference, I was still unable to record an identified butterfly until part-way round the Marshalling Yards.
Here's the final tally: Sunnier but with cloud on the return journey.
Look for them on other road verges, bridleways and footpaths in North Herts where there is abundant Field Bindweed in flower Sharon Hearle 18 Jul Today's Purple Hairstreak in an unexpected spot was on a Bramble leaf at the tunnel entrance, the wrong end for the nearest Oak. Half a dozen Small Skippers were still around but too restless and tatty to identify properly.
They have effectively finished here. The third hairstreak species of the year, the most likely but the last to appear and three more species than I could have reasonably expected! Smoke rising from the vicinity of the Heath and a fire engine rushing there as I was leaving around 2. Prior to that I visited Coppetts Wood from 4. Then on to Therfield Heath where the best concentration was on the track between the Trig point and Therfield Lane generally numbers seemed lower than in the past across the whole site from Church Hill to the Rifle Range.
Combined with my observations visit to Hexton two days ago I don't think is a classic year for this species Andrew Wood 16 Jul I have had three visits so far from White-letter Hairstreak this summer in my Ware garden - the last two times nectaring on Hemp Agrimony. Unfortunately I didn't expect to find one caught by a spider! Liz Goodyear 16 Jul Marshalls Heath: Hot on the heels of the Purple Emperor, 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries flew into the house this afternoon: I caught, released and photographed the latter after putting it on the Vibernum bush in the lawn.
I hope it recovers from its ordeal: I've put the hose on nearby so that a fine spray drifts over it now and again. I'm hoping it hasn't got dehydrated or overheated the temperature in the conservatory is 32 degrees with the doors open.
Again these are the first ever sightings at this site John Murray 16 Jul Commitments later in the day meant a rather rushed early morning walk, so reduced sightings are largely a result of of halving the time spent. However there was one striking result probably of the early start: Sadly there's also bad news: This has been playing host to significant numbers of my sightings from Green Hairstreaks in spring onwards and will be much missed.
I planted a patch of Birds-foot Trefoil in my garden 15 years ago. Today for the first time I found a Common Blue on it! A female, who stayed around for half an hour nectaring on the flowers, but no sign of egg laying.
I did see a Holly Blue egg laying in the shade around 7 this evening. Curiously it chose the flower buds of Wisteria to lay on - never heard of that plant being used before Malcolm Hull 15 Jul Aldbury Nowers - A couple of times I have met people at events and walks and mentioned that the Nowers is my local 'patch' so to speak. Well, in the three hours or so I spent there today, 22 species were present with over individuals seen including over each of Meadow Brown and Small White.
A single Small Heath in a spot where I haven't seen one recently looked very fresh. All but one of the Elms by the car park were dying and no Hairstreaks were seen. We did see both Common and Holly Blues. Next we saw Purple Hairstreak quite low down in an oak. Two local residents came to find out what we had spotted and we showed them a good photo taken through telescopic lens. Onto the Common and the main ride, which was quite shady. It's nearly 20 years since the ride was cut and the canopy is beginning to close over.
But as we entered sunny pockets butterflies started to be seen. Firstly whites, Ringlets and more Purple Hairstreaks. Several more sightings of Silver-washed Fritillaries all male , one of whom flew directly at my face before veering away at the last moment, fearlessly trying to persuade me to leave its territory. Onto the heathland and the range of species varied to include Brimstones all greedily feeding on thistles before entering hibernation.
Marbled Whites joined the fun, though in much lower numbers in recent years. In fact numbers of all grassland species were low, due to prolonged cattle grazing which lasted into June. We saw several small orange Skippers and all three we got a close look at all turned out to be Small Skipper rather than Essex. I saw one apparently egg laying on grass and we took some photos of tiny white specs for further examination.
Silver-washed Frillaries were much in evidence, with a dozen seen in total. Ten of us then visited Mutchetts Wood next door to look for Purple Emperor, but with no luck, despite studying the master-tree area for an hour. It may have finished treetop activity early this year.
We did not see any White Admirals, which were doing well a month ago and have probably also finished early due to the heat. Didn't see any flashes of purple so presume a female, though the behaviour would seem to be that of a male.
At any rate it's the first ever record of one at this site John Murray 14 Jul At Tring Park, I saw a Purple Emperor again this morning off the main woodland path gliding around and settling on an ash tree just below a sallow Philip Woodward 14 Jul A bumper day in my Bishop's Stortford garden with male Silver-washed Fritillary only 2nd garden record , White-letter Hairstreak 2nd and Small Copper also only 2nd record - all on buddleia or hebe - all at same time around Then at the meadow were Telegraph Hill continues to get even more scrubbed up and I was surprised to find even one Chalkhill Blue.
Nothing else of note there. At Hexton I recorded my lowest ever end to end count of Chalkhill Blue with only 26 in a 5 metre box from one end to another repeated twice with the same result , in good years this number has been an almost uncountable Good numbers of Six-spot burnet moths and Brimstones but little else of note. Given those low numbers it was perhaps surprising that I even found one Chalkhill Blue off the reserve over on Lion Hill.
There was a concentration of Chalkhill Blues on the south side of Church Hill, but they were well distributed across the unmown areas on the site. A cut field adjoining the Heath with no flowers or any green vegetation contained hundreds of Large and Small Whites all flying very close to the ground - why? Below me on what I think were dock leaves a Purple Hairstreak fluttered.
The spring that flows beneath the bridge dried some time ago but it's still odd to find this butterfly there. On the other hand Purple Hairstreaks have been much easier to see lower in the trees all summer - life at the top must be hard this year- and I suspect I miss many of them flying fast and anonymous amongst the usual suspects. Large count of Silver-washed Fritillaries in pylon glade and area this afternoon.
Counted 24 with occasional group of four chasing up and down. Another sighting of Jersey Tiger on the Heath, this time staying on my side of the ditch so I was able to see the familiar stripes of the moth resting on an Oak. We're still troubled by new grass fires but amidst the ever changing environment it was good to see 4 Small Coppers at different locations. Mating behaviour and searching for egg-laying sites both observed. An elderly couple of White-letter Hairstreaks. Dozens of browns and whites, but only a single Large Skipper.
Bricket Wood Common with Chris Newman - Purple Emperor - 3 sightings in 90 mins spent searching the oak canopy at the Mutchetts Wood high point - probably the same individual in each case cruised round top of a tall oak. I went in close - it was only about 8ft up - and tried to take a photo.
Haven't studied them yet and not too optimistic but there was no doubt, it was that close - and it eventually flew up into the Oak beyond Don Gregory 13 Jul Unfortunately I didn't have my camera or phone with me but as I was going to lunch today about Stopped and observed a bright flutter, coming to rest in a bush between two buildings on the County Hall site.
When I got closer I could see it was a Jersey Tiger. Maybe the hot weather has attracted them away from the south-west. Is it a migrant? Sadly no White Admirals or Purple Emperors! I declined to test my deteriorating long-jumping skills, suspecting the result would be painful so only got a brief look. A second even briefer sighting came on the way home when another likely one disappeared into the Holly hedge on St. Stephen's Road, also a no-go area for me.
Butterflies were numerous and varied but not quite so garishly coloured: We set off down the track and very little was happening until we reached the open area at about We scoured the brambly bush on the right and suddenly we were overwhelmed with the number of Purple Hairstreaks dancing around and many sitting motionless on the leaves.
While we were marveling with this experience Chris Benton had a look around in the 'meadow' on his own and found 4 or 5 White-letter Hairstreaks feeding on thistles. An opportunity missed for most of us because when we ventured into the meadow they were gone or maybe just missed but we found plenty of golden skippers, whites, Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Gatekeepers with the occasional Silver-washed Fritillary, Peacock and Comma.
Entering the field beyond the meadow looked less promising as most of the grass was cut about two weeks ago but we still found two Small Coppers and a Common Blue. A female Silver-washed Fritillary was also spotted near this point foraging close to the ground. One of the highlights was finding a Gatekeeper ab. In the open area, as we were about to say our goodbyes at At this time another Purple Emperor a female was seen high up on the oak towards Pigeonswick.
Four of us stayed around for another hour and we saw 2 or 3 more Purple Emperors in the open area including a female possibly laying her eggs on a sallow close to the bye-laws sign at about Quite a few dragonflies about too like the Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and Ruddy Darters spotted by Bob in a shrubby part just beyond the common.
Stephens Road and a Holly Blue further down the Road. There seemed quite a lot of butterflies of different species flying immediately I arrived on the Heath and after watching at least 5 Purple Hairstreaks low on an Oak I turned my attention to a Buddleja where I'd seen several more species. Trying to confirm a Red Admiral I found myself looking instead at an orange butterfly and, thankfully before noting "Comma", I had time to spot distinctly non-ragged wings and identify my first ever Silver-washed Fritillary.
A male it's probably sadly out of place here no violets but welcome nevertheless and perhaps indicative of a species doing well elsewhere. It flew along the Buddlejas nectaring a little but eventually out of site back where I'd come from. By the time I spotted a Painted Lady towards the end of my walk 21 species had been seen,a total achieved without the assistance of Small Heath, an ever present since 17 May I think several other species have come and gone and started another brood in this time.
A female adder sun-bathing alongside the path in the Pevensey loop was a disconcerting first of another kind in that location. Both are in characteristic over-wintering positions, i.
I checked the shed thoroughly last Sunday when there were none present, so they have gone in during the last two days. This seems early but is about the same time that hibernation started for last 3 years. On Sunday evening I observed a Small Tortoiseshell in my bedroom, flying very slowly round the room close to the walls and ceiling clearly searching for a hibernation spot.
On that occasion I caught it and released it through the window so that it could find a more suitable position which is not heated during the winter. I'd be really interested to hear from anyone else who encounters Small Tortoiseshells hibernating Malcolm Hull 10 Jul At 6.
Almost couldn't believe it but I know they travel. Mostly whites and Meadow Brown: At Boxer's Lake, Enfield I carried on to Walk Wood which was much better today 3.
Then on to Reynolds Wood and again one appeared 3. With lots of mature oaks in the surrounding woodland there must be many more Purple Hairstreak colonies in this area. None of these sites showed any evidence for Purple Emperor, Silver-washed Fritillary or White Admiral although public access to the interiors of the woods is very limited. Marbled Whites were seen in low density in many of the surrounding fields. Over the last two weeks I've located a further four sites for White-letter Hairstreak in the town itself, two in Green Walk Plantation and two in Stile Plantation, including rather embarrassingly one at the end of my road!
I've observed some of these sites in previous years, without success, but the butterflies seem to have been energised by this year's heatwave and have possibly spread from nearby Elms? I'm sure that there are more White-letter Hairstreak sites in and around Royston waiting to be discovered.
Therfield Heath Old Rifle Range and environs: I was seated on the logs near the Byelaws sign and something big and dark flew past. I went out into the clearing and waited and within 5 minutes the Purple Emperor flew off the sallow and into the large Oak canopy, just before the birch where a male Purple Emperor was seen 2 years ago on the field trip.
I spent another hour looking but without success. There are quite a few Silver-washed Fritillaries about Don Gregory 8 Jul Several fires across the site had some effect on numbers recorded, notably Peacocks - the Buddleja bushes I counted them on yesterday no longer exist - but numbers generally still high: I watched for 30 minutes but could only see one. The first one appeared at at It took a long time for me to find as it hardly moved with wings closed and in mostly shade.
It stayed there for at least 20 mins with wings closed and I wondered if it might have been a female laying eggs? The second appeared after about 15 mins and moved from the Oak onto the Sallow and rested with open wings before slowly moving around, eventually disturbing the first Purple Emperor when the two circled each other about a foot apart, drifting lazily above and across the path over the trees above me where I lost them Don Gregory 6 Jul At least 10 Silver-washed Fritillary and Six-spot Burnet at Aldbury Nowers NR.
Late afternoon, on boardwalk heading out of Gutteridge Wood, another low level Purple Hairstreak , this time on bracken fern. Also here, 1 Spotted Magpie Anania coronata at Each talk oak tree in the evening sun had about 10 Purple Hairstreaks. It's the first time I've visited these woods in the summer - quite a find! Chris Ridley 4 Jul Harpenden Common, late afternoon, hot and humid, not much flying: I counted up to 25 W-L Hairstreaks inc. We fully understand that this is probably an introduction unless anyone else knows otherwise but it was still an exciting moment.
Several other people also saw it until it disappeared. Also there have been lots of Purple Hairstreaks coming to the floor and 2 White-letter Hairstreaks as well. The butterflies were enjoying the newly watered greens and I have never seen so many Small Whites and Green-veined Whites in huge groups enjoying the wet grass around the greens and a small amount of mud in what is left of a pond, also seen Large Whites 10 , Marbled Whites , Small Tortoiseshell 10 , Large Skipper 2 , Brimstone 1 , Meadow Browns 50 , Small Heath 1 , Comma 5 , Speckled Wood 5 , Ringlet 7 and my first sighting of a Purple Hairstreak on the green of hole 12!
Mandy Floyd 3 Jul Hounslow Heath: WLH were also avidly feeding on the bramble with two seen together on a single flower stem - certainly seems to be the Year of the WLH. Moths, most of which were found drowned and floating on the surface of a muddy puddle: All these species have been reported from this isolated and possibly under-watched site in NE Herts. There was no sign of White Admiral not previously reported from this site.
A few dragonflies were seen, including Brown Hawker. Therfield Heath east of the Therfield Road: Managed 3 Purple Hairstreaks. This was the same behaviour as one I had 2 years ago, doing exactly the same thing. Clearly the butterfly is using the hedge line as a through route but from where and where was it going? Guess I will never know. Nomansland Common, western end TL No sign of the PE seen on 28 June at this point. One of the PE was perched in the large oak by the pond at the corner of Well Wood TL , the other was flying just above the track at TL, presumably searching for something unpleasant to feast upon.
In that it was unsuccessful and after 45 seconds or so flew off down the path I had just arrived on from Nomansland. This PE was a male, although it did not land, so no photo unfortunately.
The White-letter Hairstreak came back for the second day. Broxbourne Woods - west side: Wareside - SG12 7RA: Thereafter just the one visible on and off until I left at about It was a very hot day and saw 2 Purple Hairstreaks , one at about head height on a small Oak and the second one unusually at pond level coming to rest on reed.
However, I found an unusual form of the White Admiral ab. A male Silver-washed Fritillary was seen patrolling the brambles on the eastern side of the meadow. All 26 of our species flew on at least one day in June. We won't manage that in July see you next year G. Off to a good start with 18, including some fresh Peacocks: Whilst waiting by the Fir Wood entrance gate at At least one Emperor was patrolling the canopy although not too conspicuously so at about 1.
This top edge was a new area for Emperors although the gap we were watching wasn't probably the exact assembly area. Almost immediately on arrival just after 2, a male patrolled the usual area. Later two were chasing but around 2. However, two then returned and we were treated to some amazing aerial displays. Just as we were leaving we had a chase of two with a third individual not noticing!!
At top of path bearing left a male Purple Emperor already had three admirers. Another sighting nearby maybe same one. At 11 and again at 12 another seen flying around oaks in middle of enclosure. First time I've managed to photo one in UK so a great experience although someone from Canterbury had some lovely shots of the male!
Cycling along the Bower Heath Lane by the heath, had sighting of a Purple Emperor flying along the road losing it over the heath at about Clearly a mid morning attendance is required Despite regular wanderings around the surrounding woodland on the last two attendances, I have been unable to locate their assembly point. I've never seen the Purple Emperor here before. This was seen along the edge of Hyde Lane, a wooded track between areas of scrub.
It borders an area which until 18 months ago was a wood of hybrid poplars. These are now felled and the area is now scrub with a lot of vetch Alan Winn June Date Description Recorder 30 Jun I saw a small butterfly land on the grass in my Ickenham garden but lost sight of it until it was disturbed by a Meadow Brown. I had a great view of it as it settled on the ground in the dappled sunlight of the wood at the top of the escarpment for several minutes before gliding away over the treetops.
This is the earliest I have seen a Purple Emperor at Tring Park since first seeing them here in Highlight was a male Purple Emperor flying up in Bramfield Wood from low down to the top of a young oak and then about 20 minutes later seeing it fly up the ride towards me, circle round and disappear showing its purple wings very clearly. Today was the first day I have seen several Purple Hairstreaks low down rather than high up flying around trees.
On the first occasion the Emperor circled slowly over the pond before flying off rapidly. It stayed for a minute before flying off and the Purple colouring was very evident. I also spent an hour looking at likely treetop assembly locations in Well Wood and Langley Wood with no results Malcolm Hull 30 Jun Trent Park - 5 Purple Hairstreak ; 3 White-letter Hairstreak - 1 female caught by spider on thistle head otherwise in pristine condition afforded good views of upperside and underside, 2 males edge of Church Wood; 5 Gatekeeper ; 2 Comma ; male Silver-washed Fritillary settled on bramble edge of Church Wood TQ at Ringlets lots , Comma several - less prevalent than fritillaries , Silver-washed Fritillaries , Purple Hairstreaks These could be seen flying in the oak trees.
The Purple Hairstreak in photo was found hardly moving on path. I saw a Purple Emperor circling in trees on about five occasions. One seen on path - looked a bit worse for wear. Unusual to see a butterfly doing this so early in the season.
I'm predicting a bumper year for butterflies on buddleia Malcolm Hull 29 Jun Another sunny morning so off to tempt the tabanids at Bricket Wood Common: Best seen from the pavement I found, towards the south of the group of trees Phil Barron 28 Jun A Silver-washed Fritillary seen in my Hemel Hempstead garden Chris Tipper 28 Jun In the Berkhamsted and Northchurch area I set myself a project this year and having mapped the locations of some elm locally this winter and having been shown White-letter Hairstreak so I knew what to look for I set off and stood and stared at trees.
I got the odd funny look, but the reward was finding the elusive butterfly and even managing to get some fuzzy photos to confirm I had the right species. I was so excited to see the first ones spiralling up into the sky before coming down to lurk on Ash or Elm.
But now 10 confirmed locations later and in the region of 50 butterflies seen, I'm beginning to expect to see them.
Also Six-spot Burnet moth x 1. This confirmed several probable sightings in the last few days Graham Elcombe 28 Jun A trek to Nomansland Common on a rather hot and sunny afternoon to see if I could spot a Purple Emperor I first saw one there in There was an excellent selection of butterflies to enjoy: Met Andrew Wood by chance and we saw a Purple Emperor at One Purple Emperor or White Admiral it was one or the other!
Monken Hadleigh Wood by common, 2 male Purple Emperor. Whitewebbs after 5pm, 2 Red Admirals chasing in territory, Comma.
Judging from the relatively low numbers at least compared to , I think the SWF emergence has not long started at this site, a wood that maybe a little 'late' when compared to others in the area David Hunt 27 Jun Went to Amwell NR to look for Norfolk Hawkers, which we saw approx 5, anyway on the way back, a large butterfly flew across the canal just up from the Bittern watchpoint and then glided around us and looked like it might land but a dog walker came along.
It was a Purple Emperor , pretty sure it was a male. It was at 5pm and was very hot and sunny but path is in dappled shade at that time. Saw 1 Purple Emperor about It landed low on a tree, couldn't get near it but looked like a female, stayed a minute and then flew high. The 2nd PE was on the top path about Purple Emperor Saw one flying down through trees. Major works commenced here, usual walk today but terrain affected: On a hot and sunny morning the DGF were extremely active, all the ones I saw being males purposefully searching for freshly emerged females in the sward.
Very nice to see them, although only one paused and posed for a brief refuel on Greater Knapweed. Good show of orchids too: The best part of the trip was photographing a Large Skipper only to see a crab spider creeping out of the corner of the frame to pounce on it.
The spider grabbed it but the butterfly got away! Visited Brickett Wood common between 4. Quick visit to Tunnel Gardens in Bounds Green from 6. A late afternoon walk produced an abundance of Ringlet , Meadow Brown and Marbled White but the highlight was being able to tempt a Large Skipper to perch on my fingertip where he remained for about 20 seconds allowing a rare up close view Chris Hilling 24 Jun A 9.
Added the sighting to the BC Migrant Watch site, easy to do and a nice interactive map to search records, relatively few Herts and Middx sightings on there though Paul Busby 24 Jun I spent an hour and a half at Six Hills Way, Stevenage this morning, at least a dozen White-letter Hairstreaks at all height levels in the trees, even at ground level, also one Purple Hairstreak and Large White Colin Alderman 24 Jun Hounslow: Two firsts today - a not entirely surprising Gatekeeper and, after no less than three consecutive small Skippers had flaunted their glossy black antenna tips at me I thought I'd better stop pretending every Small Skipper is a Small Skipper.
Here are the full details: The day began with a sighting on my bathroom window of a Box Moth. Cross Lane Harpenden TL Cinnabar larvae on ragwort; Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet starting to emerge 2 flying, 1 drying wings. A morning's birding also produced a good butterfly list: One White Admiral was nectaring on bramble, one taking salts from mud and two searching through high rise side vegetation Malcolm Hull 22 Jun At 9: It's the numbers that are the highlight today so here they are: Pigottshill Lane, Harpenden TL Batford Nature Reserve TL Batford field TL and thereabouts: Dark Lane, Harpenden TL The spur road has many elms along it and after waiting for the cloud to clear at The next stop was Harmondsworth Moor TQ where some scrappy elm had been seen near the road, and another area was also found - some was now dying and despite looking in good sunshine nothing was seen.
So we then continued to the Stanwell Moor Road in TQ where there was some tall elm in a layby and one was quickly seen flying around the top of the canopy.
Then onto TQ close to Staines Moor, here again the elm wasn't that good and we again drew a blank. Parking in Staines as close as possible to the A TQ we were able to observe two individuals flying around elm on the bypass through binoculars!
In Feltham TQ we had found some high roadside elm and we revisited this only to see that around the horse paddocks there was more elm and three were seen here. At this point it became cloudier and the traffic heavier and we started to wonder whether we would get to all our targets. The last one we knew about were the huge elms beside the M4 in Harlington TQ and it didn't take long for us to see at least 5 individuals high up in the canopy of these magnificent elms.
The last target was the western edge of Cranford Park and eventually one was seen perched on an elm leaf in TQ This completed 6 x 2km squares today in a 10k which had not knowingly had any records ever in the Middlesex section part shared with other counties. At least 20 Ringlets and about 10 Marbled Whites. From Heartwood on 4 June, about 8 Small Blue on west side. Got photo of mating pair. This year's sightings were in a different part of the wood too.
Best of all were at least 7 White-letter Hairstreaks in the SW corner of the field at TL, 4 of which mainly favouring a very small oak, close to the first large area of bramble in said corner. Small Heath seem to be having an exceptionally good year and I have never seen so many on the Common. Of note, one of the Small Heath lacked the eye-spot on the underside of the forewing, possibly referable to ab.
I disturbed a lot of Meadow Browns and Speckled Woods when walking along the main ride but I did not count them.
We initially disturbed it feeding on bramble in the clearing. It flew off into the wood and the sun went in but we waited for the next sunny interval and it duly returned, again feeding on bramble. Amongst a lot of butterflies, two highlights: The White-letter Hairstreak on the Heath is the first I've seen on this group of Elms and hence in this tetrad. One seen again several hours later on the return stretch. The 2 Small Tortoiseshells looking very fresh are likely the first of the new brood, seen close to the nettle-beds where I saw pairs several times in spring although these 2 were separate sightings.
The pair were still in view and clashing 15 minutes later - such stamina! A sunny start but afternoon cloud probably limited butterfly activity later: We found around 8 roosting Small Blues and a couple of roosting Common Blues. A few Meadow Browns were also disturbed. I eventually managed to get my optics on them and, to my surprise, found that they were both Small Heath. I think they were feeding on honey dew as Speckled Wood were also engaging in similar behaviour.
Coleman Green Lane TL My south Harpenden garden: Unfortunately it has now moved on Terry Wood 10 Jun Hounslow: Another good sunny day with sightings including ever-increasing numbers of Small Heaths, 2 fresh-looking Commas, a good sighting of my first Small Skipper of the year at the top of a grass stalk above me and a slightly less satisfying White Letter Hairstreak flying briefly at the top of the Elms.
Here are the details: A sunny start followed by cloudier humid conditions: Cloud and a little rain this afternoon but still the following seen: There is quite an extensive patch of Elm at the back of the park and spent another 30 minutes, in the hope of seeing a White-letter Hairstreak, but alas none yet. Sunshine throughout the afternoon and an increase in sightings: Cloud followed by sun today, to an extent reversing yesterday's experience: Also 12 Orange Conch Commophila aeneana - 6 W of 10 km line including a pair copulating at Mid afternoon sunshine soon gave way cloud and really gloomy conditions on the return journey but a very fresh-looking Meadow Brown, first of the year here was reward enough and the variety seen good in the conditions: Further afield, saw tens of Painted Ladies on Jersey last week, heading north?
Sunshine throughout a morning walk, the highlights were two 2 "old" species rather than new ones. I spent a ridiculous amount of time following what I was sure was a Green-veined White and was duly rewarded, when it settled, as perhaps I should be in these circumstances, by the sight of a rather faded female Orange-tip dragging her species into June.
My pleasure at this fairly mundane experience was all the more exaggerated because moments earlier I'd been watching a Green Hairstreak. This individual I at first saw as a female Common Blue, then some unknown species and only finally as what it was.
Virtually all the colouring had gone from its wings with only a thin band of green visible nearest its body. The remains of the "hairstreaks" were just about apparent if you looked close enough but it was the characteristic closed wings and movement from Broom-tips to Broom-tips that left no doubt. On nettles around 8 Mother of Pearl caterpillars.
More sunshine today and more butterflies including the first Large Skippers of the year: Morning sunshine was soon lost but conditions remained favourable enough for reasonable numbers of butterflies: Numerous moths, those counted were Mother Shipton: Later at the Butterfly World Perimeter fence we say 5 Small Blues , including two feeding on horse dung.
Recent rain meant that water levels had risen so getting around the site was even more difficult in places. We then decided to look for Grizzled Skipper eggs, and to our amazement we found 41 scattered across the site, some in areas we have previously never seen Grizzled Skipper. All bar 3 were on Agrimony with 3 eggs found on the top of the leaves, and 3 were found on Wild Strawberry.
We don't doubt that eggs are laid on Strawberry and Cinquefoil as observed at other sites but Agrimony is by far the easiest to search. Of these 41 eggs, 7 had hatched - we found two minute caterpillars on two leaves where they were beginning to form tents and one where the caterpillar was already in a tent. At the beginning most other butterflies and moths were roosting but gradually by about 3. Cloudy conditions with butterfly sightings limited to the Marshalling Yards: Moths at Grovelands Park: I saw two male Common Blues and found 1 female who settled down to roost giving me some nice pictures.
I also saw around five Holly Blues nectaring on a plant which from its leaves looked like it was from the pea family. A rare excursion for me down the path towards Staines Moor. Before reaching Staines Moor proper, the path gives access to some open wild grassland, and here I found several Brown Argus and Common Blues , a Red Admiral and two Small Coppers , one of which was a nice female Dave Miller 27 May We had a work party on Halsey Field and saw 11 species of butterfly and 3 species of day flying moths altogether.
No sign of a Green Hairstreak today though! Chris Ridley 27 May Visited Coppetts Wood and the neighbouring green link today first thing between 8. I returned from At Water Lane, Watford: Horribly humid, but plenty of sunshine led to reasonable numbers of butterflies and good variety: They were substantially outnumbered by Mother Shipton moths but only 3 of these were recorded the rest being too active to be formally identified Peter Gore 24 May 2 Green-veined White at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield TQ this afternoon.
It's good to see the Brown Argus and Common Blues starting to increase Dave Miller 23 May Today, we held an intensive survey of both north and south pits at Waterford Heath to try and understand how the Grizzled Skipper 'ticks' at these two sites. We started at the north pit just after 8.
Starting at the cliff face under the Sacombe Road we quickly found several roosting Grizzled Skippers but numbers started to decrease as we walked towards the north end of the pit and around to the railway line.
Some brightness allowed some Grizzled Skippers to probably come off their roosts. Checking the sex of the individuals found, the majority on the north pit were male! We also found 1 egg on Common Agrimony. We then went to the South Pit where most butterflies were now flying in the afternoon sun.
A thorough search of key areas found 27 Grizzled Skipper including 1 female roosting at the end of the survey near the entrance! We also followed several female Grizzled Skippers including 1 that laid eggs on both Agrimony and Creeping Cinquefoil.
Mostly sunny and breezy, today's sightings included a female Common Blue for the first time this year: I've never seen so many Dingy Skippers , must have been at least I then made my first ever visit to Hillbrow, Letchworth.
Mainly sunny and very breezy Steve Lane 22 May Hounslow: A mix of cloud and sunshine but reasonable numbers of butterflies and Common Blue leading the way without the assistance of any females. Speckled Wood from the footpath leading up to the moor from Hithermoor Road , at least 4 Holly Blues also before the moor , 2 Small Coppers and 2 Small Heath on the moor itself. I saw one other blue butterfly in flight, I didn't see it settle but I suspect it was an early Common Blue Jeremy Soane 21 May A late afternoon visit to a particular area of my local patch at Stanwell Moor revealed that two more species had emerged - Common Blue and Brown Argus.
Out in morning sunshine but back in afternoon cloud and humidity. Butterflies generally similar to yesterday with my first Burnet Companion of the year on the Marshalling Yards together with a Mother Shipton. For once the sun was shining but despite this, butterflies were quite elusive! We were able to get good views of several Dingy Skippers and 20 were recorded either on the field or in the 'pits'. Day-flying moths did make a small appearance with 4 Burnet Companion , a Mother Shipton and Cinnabar.
Another sunny day with the first Blue Damselflies I've seen this year and again a good mix of butterflies with rather more unidentified Whites than those identified: The Chalk Pit was alive with Dingy Skippers - over 35 recorded on the actual Reserve and a further 8 seen on the field edge by the wood. Over the road, one more was seen on the track. Sunny throughout but numbers quite low although variety good, including my first Common Blue of the year male.
Notable was the first Small Copper of the year disputing ownership of a patch of buttercups with one of a dozen Small Heaths seen overall. There were also no fewer than three Small Tortoiseshells, all looking very battered now. There were also a handful of Orange-tips. I had hoped to see Common Blues, but all the blue butterflies flying around the vetch flowers in the grass were in fact Holly Blues.
I counted six, all females and all looking to lay eggs Dave Miller 18 May I have just seen a pristine Green Hairstreak alight on a Cotoneaster hedge next to my car for a few seconds which I fortuitously happened to be loading , before flying off to the north.
Gone before I could get my phone out to take a picture. Also afterwards a mile away the other side of M1 motorway recorded another Small Blue Clive Burrows 18 May My garden in Bounds Green North London had many visits from Holly Blues this afternoon, 5 in the garden at one time 3 floating round the holly tree one nectaring on my Cotoneaster and one taking salts from the damp earth. Mostly sunny with a new high for Green Hairstreak still only 8 though!
Although numbers were not as high as earlier in the week, variety was good and included 2 year firsts: Initially all this produced was one Grizzled Skipper roosting on Forget-me-not at the bottom of the 'key bank'. We then walked across the bottom of the pit and saw nothing but returning via the edge of Bardon Clumps we found two more Grizzled Skippers roosting on St John's Wort. Returning up the 'bank' it appeared we had missed a further SIX all also roosting on Forget-me-not at the bottom.
We then drove to our meeting point with Network Rail for our annual escorted trackside visit north of Hertford - earlier I had been rung, "did I want to go ahead as it wasn't sunny? Having signed all our safety forms, we set off in hard hats, and high viz gear just before 10 am and the conditions were still cool, cloudy and very windy and quickly we had found 13 roosting Grizzled Skippers all on St John's Wort seed heads but then the sun tried to come out, not much but enough to disturb the Grizzled Skippers from their slumber and the next one seen was in flight.
Further down the track, one further Grizzled Skipper was found half basking and then roosting on Forget-me-not this in an area we rarely find them and on the other side of the track one more Grizzled Skipper was found roosting on St John's Wort. It was disappointing as the count was less than last year but the problem was that the sun had also tried to shine and we feel that a few Grizzled Skipper had come off roost. We didn't walk the area north of this key area towards the cutting, as the habitat has deteriorated and for safety reasons we aren't allowed to walk too close to the trackside.
We then went to Welwyn North Station and looked very thoroughly at the area between the two tunnels but no butterflies were recorded. We would like to thank Network Rail for their continued support in allowing us to survey these key areas.
Finally we went to Frogmore and despite searching for two hours our final count was 4 roosting Grizzled Skipper all on Forget-me-not! An early morning walk in cloudy, breezy conditions.
A beautiful sunny morning and early afternoon walk with good numbers of Green Hairstreaks spread out across the site and a Painted Lady the highlights.
Harpenden Common had relatively few butterflies: Monken Hadley Common Back to continuous sunshine and good numbers of butterflies, the highlight being my first Small Copper of the year. We had a pleasant walk in slowly improving weather but butterflies were limited to the three smaller whites with Green-veined White dominating and Speckled Wood. The highlight was not a butterfly but something I think new to me - if I had to guess I'd say female Broad-bodied Chaser. It looked a bit like a Hornet but I didn't get a very good view and could well be far off in this guess.
With Paul we completed the Hairstreak walk 3 actual species and a fantasy Brown and he then departed whilst I went back to my normal walk. Much of this, including the Marshalling Yards and Pevensey was similar to the earlier walk but by the time I had returned through the tunnel it was much warmer and sunny. Whilst identifying a Small White I spotted my first Green Hairstreak of the day perched on a Bramble leaf next to the river. This inspired me to return home via the exact same stretch Paul and I had walked earlier and almost immediately two Green Hairstreaks fluttered amongst the Broom.
I lost sight of one but the other perched on the tip of a shoot probably laying but I'm never very sure I can sort leaf buds from eggs and don't like to poke around for fear of damaging an egg. There was one further sighting in the vicinity of these two which I haven't added to the count but much further along the path a third Green Hairstreak was seen, again on Broom. Here are the full stats omitting the initial walk with Paul: Difficult access as pit fully flooded Trevor Chapman 11 May Hounslow: Mostly cloudy and I omitted the railway section of the heath whilst wandering elsewhere without seeing any butterflies.
Here's what I did see on the rest of my walk: Saw 2 amongst the Goat's Rue. Not quite as sunny and warm but still a good mix of butterflies with one Green Hairstreak in an odd place perched 10 feet up an Oak tree. Speckled Wood ; 2 Orange-tip: Speckled Wood ; 1 Orange-tip: Also of note were 1 Cinnabar moth. We then walked to Waterford Heath north north entrance arriving at We walked the west side of Waterford Heath north towards the railway slopes and on this side recorded 12 Grizzled Skipper , and a Silver Y moth.
We then crossed the road and entered Waterford Heath south at This was much slower and nothing was seen in the old filter beds but across the main pit and Sacombe Road slope we counted 10 Grizzled Skipper and our first Latticed Heath. Returning to the North Pit at Throughout the day we saw several Large White and wondered if there had been a migrant movement of Large White and Silver Y? The east side of the north pit was also slow until we found a mating pair and then under the conifers near the north entrance 4 more were seen in the brambles.
The total for the North Pit was 17! We had also seen on both pits incidents of chases and clashes but no egg laying females. We then decided we would visit Frogmore arriving at The count here was a poor 3! Also recorded was a Latticed Heath. A dozen butterfly species and two moths today, the latter a second Cinnabar on the Marshalling Yards and a Mother Shipton likely the same individual I failed to identify on Monday, still flying energetically around the small patch of grassland next to the river just before the tunnel.
Here are the butterflies: The morning began with a Speckled Wood in my garden doing its best to copy the usual Holly Blue resident by moving from Holly flowers to Ivy leaves but fooling no-one. Pymmes Park, Edmonton Much earlier start today and a Green Hairstreak amongst the Broom on the heath for a change. I found 1 Grizzled Skipper near where I saw it the other day near railway line but I went to far end, one towards the top and two more in middle section.
There is plenty of short stuff with plenty of strawberry plants and sheltered too. It felt as though it was a little too hot for both humans and butterflies with numbers of the latter noticeably lower: In Town Park, Enfield Sunshine throughout this afternoon and two highlights: This contrary individual was spotted in a nettle patch but clearly focused on the Brambles behind so now it looks as though between now and the field trip on the 13th I need to check out every Bramble patch on the Heath as well as the usual Gorse and Broom.
Suspect I might be busy next week. On the south heath no Grizzled Skipper but as well as Orange-tips and whites several Peacocks and a Comma. Sunny on the outward stretch but mostly cloudy returning. Two quite high totals could reasonably be much higher: Stephens Road is undoubtedly lower than true numbers flying there today and at the start of the Heath walk numbers of Green-veined Whites were very high.
I haven't included any I couldn't get close enough to for a definite identification but Small White and female Orange-tip are quite low. Nearly every white butterfly I look at is a Green-veined White.
I then moved to the south side of the railway, which is less manicured, more wooded and also less visited. At the gate, I was greeted by a Holly Blue sucking up minerals from the damp path, and then just inside the park entrance proper, I disturbed a female Green Hairstreak from the lush trefoil plants in the grass.
Unfortunately the butterfly was soon lost in amongst the foliage. I walked to the railway and back, during which I saw at least 10 Holly Blues and a similar number of Green-veined Whites , plus Brimstones and Orange Tips. However, on the return leg, I spotted another Green Hairstreak.
It was settled on a dogwood bush, and no amount of disturbance from me waving a camera could keep it away! In my south Harpenden garden: A very pleasant walk from mid-morning, mostly in sunshine,began with a Holly Blue in my back garden followed by a second one, a female, which flew from Privet to Rose bush as soon as I opened my front door. A few butterflies in Oakwood Park this afternoon I found nine species in total, with Holly Blues once again predominating including several females and good numbers of GVW and Orange Tips.
The overall tally was: A Holly Blue in my garden this morning got the month off to an early start, with the following seen in a mix of cloud, sunshine, breeziness and rain: An afternoon walk, weather similar to yesterday but a little colder: April showers today, leading to an odd-looking distribution of sightings and several species conspicuous by their absence.
No doubt at all though that Speckled Woods are currently increasing. At the start of the walk the only butterfly seen was a Speckled Wood on the stretch of heath alongside the golf-course then: Cloudier this afternoon, Speckled Woods happy enough, Holly Blue not so much: After overnight rain, the paths were damp first thing, and the Holly Blues were down taking minerals in several spots.
Their numbers continue to increase, and they were everywhere: One individual became quite tame and happily sucked sweat from my finger. I saw the first Large Whites of the year: Overnight rain meant a high river and a few more puddles but sunshine all morning led to a further increase in numbers although less variety. Holly Blues lead the way: Good morning sunshine today and good butterflies with two firsts: As I was heading for the tunnel on the way back a Painted Lady surprised me although on reflection it occurred to me I've been seeing Large Whites and probably understating their numbers slightly and Red Admirals over these last few days so perhaps we have a few migrants here or passing through.
Not quite so hot today. Among today's Orange Tips were the first females I've seen. Holly Blue numbers continue to rise - the heat doesn't seem to bother them at all Dave Miller 20 Apr 3 firsts of the year: A hot and sunny day and many butterflies were sheltering from the heat. I saw my first Speckled Wood of the year and also the first Red Admiral. The latter was a very worn individual that has made it through from Dave Miller 19 Apr Here is a list of the butterflies seen while I was recording habitat for the Waterways Breeding Bird Survey this afternoon along the River Ver between Redbournbury Mill and the Gorehambury Estate: Hotter still today with butterfly numbers increasing: All were seen in Herts but only Brimstones, Peacocks, Small Torts and Commas in Bucks, probably because of timings start and end of the walk.
Now I am cream crackered, but it was worth it Rikki Harrington 18 Apr On a glorious warm and sunny day at Stanwell Moor, I went out and about early before the butterflies became too energetic and I became the opposite!
Brimstones were the most numerous species again, with well over a dozen seen overall. Today was also a big day for Holly Blues, and I came across around ten in various spots, including several sucking up minerals from damp patches on the path. I also saw several Commas laying eggs on the the young nettle plants. A rough tally of species: Jenny Sherwen 18 Apr Hounslow: Warmer and sunnier, inevitably with lots of butterflies including 4 year firsts: Red Admiral 1st since February: The highlight involved the Green-veined Whites.
I first saw a male Orange-Tip which promptly got into an aerial duel with a white butterfly. This soon ended with the white flying on in front of me quickly joined by another white, both dropping out of sight. As I drew next to them - five yards at most - they rose again, now a mating pair of Green-Veined Whites, the female towing the male in the usual fashion to plants at eye-level.
Elizabeth Debenham 17 Apr Sunshine arrived in the middle of the day, and so did the butterflies. A walk around my usual route at Stanwell Moor showed that the Orange Tips in particular are well underway. Overall, I saw seven, plus seven Brimstones , five Peacocks , five Commas , a Small Tortoiseshell and several Whites, including my first Green-veined White of the year. There was at least one other, plus three Small Whites as well.
Right at the end of the walk I spotted another new species for the year - a Holly Blue flying around a large Holly tree Dave Miller 17 Apr Warmer but blustery day but saw a Red Admiral amongst the usual butterflies on the Gutteridge Wood transect Paul Busby 17 Apr First clearly identified butterflies of in my Pinner garden this morning: Cloudy conditions today with few butterflies and I had to wait until the Pevensey loop before I felt myself rewarded with my first Speckled Wood of the year, a very fresh looking individual.
A Comma was the only other butterfly identified. With future Hairstreaks in mind I'm looking for both Elm and Blackthorn. Not so good for the former but far more of the latter than I'd remembered even effectively on my walk as well as elsewhere on the heath and golf course. I foresee quite a lot of peering at twigs in the autumn and winter! A walk around my local patch at Stanwell Moor in glorious warm sunshine was blessed with good numbers of butterflies.
The highlights were the three Orange Tips, the first of the year. Totals for a couple of hours gentle ambling: More sunshine at last and although I failed to get close enough to several whites, given glimpses of black wing-tips it's likely that at least one of the two smaller whites three with female Orange-Tip is now flying here. Here are the butterflies I could identify: The Small Tortoiseshells were two more pairs, the second pair in amongst fresh low nettles. Brimstones and 1 Peacock in Broxbourne Woods.
Later at Rickneys it had warmed up now 18 degrees , Brimstone two Peacocks and two Small Tortoiseshells. Another pleasant sunny day with more butterflies,the highlights being my first Small Tortoiseshells of the year with two together flying low above nettles in a part of the Pevensey loop freshly planted as a small mixed orchard; and on the Marshalling Yards a Brimstone and a Comma nectaring on the same Willow branch.
Beware, this site is very muddy right now. St Albans - Today's inspection of my shed revealed that 5 out of the 21 Small Tortoiseshells who made it through the winter have now departed, leaving 16 still in hibernation Malcolm Hull 5 Apr 1 Brimstone in my garden in Welwyn Garden City Jennie Reed 5 Apr 1 Comma in my garden in Abbots Langley at The Tortoiseshells were starting to indulge in courtship behaviour, with three pairs seen in characteristic poses Dave Miller 5 Apr The following at various sites on the north side of Watford: I think this might be the latest I have caught up with all the hibernating species on one day.
There were two more sightings of unidentifiable dark butterflies probably Red Admirals,one on the Marshalling Yards,one on the Pevensey Loop; this representing a doubling of that category to date. The earlier one last week I thought more likely a Peacock. An hour or so of walking produced four Peacocks , a Brimstone and a Comma to add to the total.
Finally, on the way back, I found a freshly emerged male Small White nectaring on a pussy willow - see photo on right.
Eight butterflies of five species - not bad considering the season is only just underway Dave Miller 26 Mar Broxbourne Woods NR today, we saw 2 Comma , 2 Small Tortoiseshell and eventually 1 single male Brimstone.
I was very surprised as it didn't seem anywhere near warm enough to my skin. My first transect of the year, looking for butterflies hibernating in my shed. I recorded a total of 19 Small Tortoiseshells , all fast asleep. The numbers were down by three compared to my last visit in October. I doubt that any have yet flown so the fall in numbers is most likely due to predation by spiders. Another possible cause is the butterflies changing position - they tend to shuffle around over time, gravitating towards the darker recesses.
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