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Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch sightings page for butterfly
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From January 2017, the mobile phone sightings page has been removed - it was a time consuming exercise keeping it updated and data statistics showed that few visitors used it. Apologies to those people that did!
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Tuesday 21st March 2017
Had my first Middlesex sighting today, south of Little Britain Lake (TQ 04 80), a Red Admiral and a Small Tortoiseshell - Paul Busby
Sunday 19th March 2017
Butterflies I have seen today 19/03/2017: 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 comma, 1 brimstone - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930.
Saturday 18th March 2017
Butterflies I have seen today 18/03/2017: 3 small tortoiseshell (picture on irecord) - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930.
Friday 17th March 2017
St Albans - first Clothes Moth of the year - a male perched upside down on the ceiling of my sitting room. Identified and summarily dispatched at 16.10 this afternoon - Malcolm Hull
Wednesday 15th March 2017
In the westernmost reaches of Herts in my shirtsleeves in lovely sunshine. 3m from the Bucks border (near Hulcott) I saw 2 Small Tortoiseshell chasing each other. SP 8653 1646. Helen Hyre
At Ashwell Nature Reserve on the 15th 3 Brimstones and one Peacock butterfly - Andy Brown
3 Small tortoiseshells and a Brimstone in Verulamium Park late morning today - Andrew Steele
I spent ninety minutes on my local patch at Stanwell Moor this afternoon, and the warmth and sunshine had brought the butterflies out in force.
The (conservative) tally at the end was:
4 Small Tortoiseshells
2 Red Admirals
Ellenbrook Fields, (Old Hatfield Airfield) - 1 Brimstone near Home Covert; 1 Small Tortoiseshell in old BT field (although I saw several, there was only ever one at a time and it could be stalking me).
Butterflies I have seen today 15/03/2017: 4 Brimstone, 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 peacock (pictures of peacock on irecord) - Mardley Heath LNR TL2418.
At 1.10pm...Berkhamsted workshop carpark by the canal (HP4 1EH)...while I was sunbathing (yes, really) a Brimstone flew along canal followed
one minute later by a second. Both flying in Tring direction. -
1 Speckled Wood, 1 Comma and several visits from Brimstone to my Stevenage garden today. Photo links attached.
Speckled Wood - https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevelane56/32611562094/in/dateposted-public/
Comma - https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevelane56/33414122956/in/dateposted-public/
Harpenden Common/St John's Wood; at least three, maybe four male Brimstone and one very tatty Red Admiral - my first butterfly sightings for the year. My Harpenden garden moth trap, on the other hand, has produced in the last week: Clouded Drab, Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Hebrew Character, Pale Pinion, Early Grey, Pale Mottled Willow, March Moth, Emmelina monodactyla, Tortricodes alternella, Oak Nycteoline, Double-striped Pug, Acleris cristana and, best of all, a single Acleris literana, the latter, I believe, being somewhat scarce in Herts - David Hunt
Therfield Heath: 7 Brimstones (one female), 3+ Small Tortoiseshells, 2+ Comma, 2+ Peacock butterflies - Martin Johnson
St Albans - Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks are really getting going in the Spring sunshine -14 degrees here today. The Tortoiseshells are most numerous, I counted 9 on a short walk round my garden and local park at lunchtime, including one courting couple. I counted the Tortoiseshells hibernating in my shed and six had left since last Sunday, though 21 are still fast asleep. One had become trapped in cobwebs behind a fixed window and appeared dead. But once I'd carefully removed the cobweb it shot off, flying three times round the garden at high speed before sunbathing on the fence. Judging by the numbers of Tortoiseshells which hibernated through the winter, 2017 promises to be a very good year for this species. But don't expect numbers on the wing to increase rapidly. Tortoiseshells now vary their flight times enormously and based on recent years experience it's likely to be another two months before they have all left hibernation.
A very different story for Peacocks. Just two seen on the wing today and the only one hibernating in the shed vanished during the winter. My expectation is that this species will have a poor year locally.
One Red Admiral also seen today, but the Commas and Brimstones from last week were not seen at all - Malcolm Hull
Today I've seen 3 large Brimstones in Fryent Country Park north west London - Joan Hope
Brimstone and first Peacock of the year in the Harpenden garden today - Robin Pearson
Bovingdon Brickworks (15/03/2016, 2:30pm): 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Comma
A 2-hour walk in Fairlands Valley Park this afternoon yielded 44 butterflies (22 Comma, 9 Small Tortoiseshell, 8 Brimstone, 4 Peacock and 1 Red Admiral). Quite a few Commas have paired up already so will there be a larger proportion of hutchinsoni specimens than usual come June? Very pleased to find the Red Admiral which I disturbed and was possibly feeding on blackthorn blossom. Only 4 Peacocks?
Today at Hexton or just south 12 brimstone and 4 comma. In Broxbourne Woods 6 commas, and 1 peacock, small tortoiseshell and brimstone - Steve Kiln
We saw 2 brimstone and 1 small tortoiseshell at Lemsford Springs today
A few sightings for this afternoon Wednesday 15th March 2017 - 1 male Brimstone settled edge of Triangular Wood, Trent Park 14:02 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell settled near Cockfosters entrance, Trent Park 14:24 hrs, 3 Comma edge of Church Wood, Trent Park - Robert Callf.
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey.
Continuous sunshine on today's walk and rather too many unidentified butterflies although all likely to be from the three darker species
seen: Brimstone: 5 (includes first 2 females) Comma: 6 Tortoiseshell: 1
Peacock: 3 Willow, Celandines, Cowslips and, I think, at least one
Elm, all flowering well - Pete Gore
Tuesday 14th March 2017
1 Red Admiral by lower lake and upper lake, Trent Park 12:53 hrs onwards - Robert Callf
Butterflies I have seen today 14/03/2017: 3 Brimstone - SE corner, Great Hayes Wood, Putteridgebury TL114247.
Today, 14th March in very hazy sun, a Small Tortoiseshell in Ware Cemetery and 3 near Lower Bourne Gardens, Ware. 1 Orange Underwing moth in Ware Park. - Andrew Wood
Monday 13th March 2017
I saw 2 Small Tortoiseshells at Tyttenhanger gravel pits Monday morning - Terry Wood
My first butterflies of the year(latest ever) in Hertford today, a male Brimstone in Byde street, a Peacock in Wellington Street and a Small Tortoiseshell in Molewood Road.
On a warm day with plenty of hazy sunshine, I saw three Commas and a male Brimstone on a walk around my local patch at Stanwell Moor on 11th March. One Comma obliged with a photo.
3 Brimstones, 1 Comma and 1 Small Tortoiseshell near Reed and 1 Comma. 9 Small Tortoiseshells (including several pairs, see our Facebook page), a Comma and a Brimstone around the Rifle Range area of Therfield Heath. - Andrew Wood
Comma butterfly in my Northwood garden - Carole Holton
Butterfly I have seen today: 1 Brimstone butterfly, seen three times so may be more than 1 - St Faiths Close, Hitchin -
Sightings from Michael Hooper:
13th March Stevenage Road, St Ippolyts. Sightings from Mary Hooper:
Garden in St Ippolyts.
Brimstone 1 -
1 Comma and 1 Small Tortoiseshell, Brent Reservoir - Shailesh Patel
Kings Meads : 2 Small Tortoiseshell
Hartham : 2 Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma on sallow
Bengeo: Comma - Simon Knott
Some sightings for Monday 13th March 2017 - 1 Double-striped Pug at bus-shelter at Chase Road, N14 near Charter Way - my first of the year. 8 Comma at Whitewebbs Park between 12:48 - 13:45 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Whitewebbs Park at 12:54 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Whitewebbs Farm (TL 320 004) at 14:03 hrs, 1 Comma near Archery Wood at Forty Hall CP (TQ 333 992) at 14:45 hrs - Robert Callf
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey.
Sunshine throughout, so very good for butterflies if a little lacking in
variety: Comma: 11 Tortoiseshell: 2 and one presumed Orange Underwing moth.
- Pete Gore
Withey Beds LNR, Moor Lane, Rickmansworth
1 Red Admiral,
2 Small Tortoiseshell, chasing and.
1 male Brimstone. TQ078938,
1 Peacock and
1 Comma -
Anna Marett and Joan Thompson
Fir and Pond Woods NR...Monday 13th...PM.. Peacocks, 4; Commas, 3; Brimstone 1 - David Gompertz
Ruislip Woods (Park Wood:) Three Commas this afternoon (each in different areas); and also one Peacock -
Spring must be here. In my Hatfield garden today, 1 bright Brimstone, 1 tatty Comma, 2 feisty Small Tortoiseshell, 1 possible Peacock, all first this year - John Moss
Waterford Heath south, brimstone and peacock on the bank, 2 commas and 1 small tortoiseshell near settling beds, in Great Molewood 5 brimstone and 2 commas - Steve Kiln
A male Brimstone was flitting round my (Harpenden) garden this morning -
A few days late letting you know but there was a single Brimstone Butterfly opposite my house in the hedge around Dell Field St Ippolyts last Wednesday 8th March.
Isn't it great, spring bulbs pushing through, frogs leaping about in our ponds, great tits calling constantly, blue tits sparing and our first butterflies.
Saturday 11th March 2017
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey.
Warmer but with much less sunshine than Thursday so only: Brimstone: 2
Comma: 2 - Pete Gore
One Male Brimstone butterfly seen on Sat 11 March at Queensbury Park, Harrow - Shailesh Patel
Two more butterflies today Saturday 11th March 2017 - 1 Comma basking in clearing in Moat Wood, Trent Park (TQ 286 980) at 12:38 - 12:41 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on Sallow at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ 292 983) at 13:15 hrs - Robert Callf.
Thursday 9th March 2017
First brimstone butterfly of the year for me seen flying along hedgerow in Little Hadham 2pm in 14C temp. TL432219.
A lunchtime walk in Letchworth today produced 15+ Brimstone, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and this Comma - Simon Crockford (picture on FB page)
First Comma and male Brimstone today in Bengeo - Simon Knott
First butterfly of the year for me - a male Brimstone seen this morning in my Pinner garden. Another (or possibly the same one on a return visit?) seen this afternoon which followed an identical route around the garden as this morning's one - Tony Porter
Two Commas in my Harpenden garden this morning, will send any more news later. Now a male Brimstone..
My first butterflies of the year: 3 Comma and 3 Brimstone (all males) in Fairlands Valley Park just before midday, and a Peacock and Comma at Norton Green in the afternoon. In between, a male Brimstone in my back garden at around 1230 pm.
Thursday 9th March 2017
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey.
After a good many walks in apparently favourable sunny weather without any butterflies it was particularly pleasing to get off to a good start today with 5 species firsts although even then I'd reached the Marshalling Yards before I was greeted by my first of the year at the Tunnel entrance, a male Brimstone.
Here is the summary: Brimstone: 3 Comma: 2 Small White: 1 Peacock: 1
Tortoiseshell: 1. There were also 3 smaller brightly orange sightings, the first doing a believable imitation of a Small Copper, rising from the short grass in front of me and flying strongly over an Oak tree. The next two were much less convincing in that role however, circling around the top of a group of Silver Birches: Orange Underwing moths all three, I presume although I got no close up view of any of them.
- Pete Gore
Today's warm sun brought a Brimstone to my Harpenden garden this morning - it was quickly followed by four more. First garden butterflies of the year -
We saw 1 small tortoiseshell and 4+ commas while working at Danemead today
My first butterfly sighting of the year today - 1 Red Admiral at Shaws Wood, Trent Park (TQ296971) at 12:53 - 12:55 hrs - Robert Callf.
St Albans - Comma in my garden at 9.30 am, my first butterfly of the year. Male Brimstone mid morning, hurtling down the road. Red Admiral and Comma sunbathing in my garden at lunchtime. And a 10 minute stroll round the local park produced 3 more Commas and 2 Small Tortoiseshells. What a great start to the butterfly season, I hope the rest of the year goes as well - Malcolm Hull
One Small Tortoiseshell near Newgate Street and one Peacock near Brickendon today - Andrew Wood
Tuesday 7th March 2017
I saw a Small Tortoiseshell on Hertford Heath today enjoying the sunshine - Andy Brown
Saturday 4th March 2017
Just had my first butterfly of the year at Cranford Park. Red Admiral. Temp approx 10.
1 Red Admiral at Bickerdikes Garden Centre, Norton Road, Letchworth SG6 1AG outside cafe at 11.45 -
Sunday 26th February 2017
Butterfly and moth I have seen today 26/02/2017,: 1 Peacock butterfly - Ransoms Recreation Ground, Hitchin TL19103007 and 1 unidentified adult moth - St Faiths Close, Hitchin.
Friday 24th February 2017
I saw 1 brimstone at Aldbury Nowers today - Jenny Sherwen
Two Brimstone out aback of Oakfield Avenue, Hitchin day before yesterday - Nigel Agar
1 Red Admiral on The Warren at Hartham Common Hertford as early as 9am, my first Herts butterfly of the year - Andrew Wood
Late news: On 2nd January and 7th February 2017 I saw one red admiral in our garden Feltham. The weather on 2 January was sunny with a cold wind and on 7th February was mild with sun and cloud.
- Linda Chester
Tuesday 21st February 2017
Male Brimstone on the wing Hemel Hempstead this morning - David Hutchinson
Monday 20th February 2017
I thought you might be interested in the following observation from this morning, Monday 20th February:
4 male Brimstone butterflies plus one probable female at the Purwell Ninesprings reserve in Hitchin
10.20 - 2 Brimstone seen on trees behind Roy Chapman garage, Tring High Street
Brimstone spotted in Chiswell Green Garden at midday today - Nigel Floyd
3 Male Brimstone seen in Letchworth Town Centre approx 11.00 - 11.30.
One at Mrs Howard Memorial Hall Norton Way South SG6 1NX; another in grounds of Free Church directly opposite and the third outside Council Offices in Gernon Rd SG6 3JF
Butterflies I have seen today 20/02/2017, my first of the year, on warm spring-like morning: 1 male Brimstone and 1 unidentified blackish butterfly - St Faiths Close, Hitchin
On my travels this morning, I saw 2 brimstones and 1 red admiral in Lemsford village then 1 brimstone near Blackmore End and another 1 in Kimpton!
A mild day or two to tempt me out of hibernation and set the moth trap up in my Harpenden garden. Quite a good start to the year last night (19th Feb) with a March Moth, Pale Brindled Beauty and 2 Acleris cristana. Spring is sprung! - David Hunt
1100 First Brimstone seen flying strongly Berkhamsted Common /Frithsden Beeches - Mike Spittles
Brimstone and Small Tortoishell in the Hitchin garden this morning -
Male Brimstone in the Harpenden garden just now (11:49).
And now a Red Admiral (12:03), my first two butterflies of the year! - Robin Pearson
1 Brimstone here in Berkhamsted this morning - Michael Anderson
Friday 17th February 2017
Stanwell Moor: The weather was fine and sunny - probably warmer than yesterday in fact. I was lucky enough to have a day off work and decided to look around my local patch to see if an old adage was right: one fine day to wake them up and a second fine day to make them fly.
It certainly seemed to be true and my season was quickly off to a cracking start with a nice Red Admiral basking on the brambles. Shortly afterwards I spotted a Comma low down on some ivy - unusual for me to see a Comma before any Peacocks. Further on again, two more butterflies: another Red Admiral on some metal piping, and behind it a female Brimstone fluttering around. The latter came to ground a little way off, just within the range of the zoom.
Unusual again to see a female before a male, especially so early in the year. I carried on to the area I have dubbed Comma Corner, and appropriately at the apex of the eponymous spot sat another Comma. It didn't stay long as it soon set off after another of the species and I lost track of them both. Six butterflies: three species. The season doesn't start better than this!
A Red Admiral flying through a garden in Northchurch near Berkhamsted, grid ref SP 978 091 (tetrad SP90 U) at 15:44 hours - Colin Everett
1 Brimstone seen flying strongly this morning at Alpine Meadow (SP 989103) near Berkhamsted -
Thursday 16th February 2017
Enfield Island Village: Red Admiral at 11:12 basking in brief bit of sunshine on house front just off Martini Drive -
Tuesday 14th February 2017
Red Admiral today in Panshanger Park by Panshanger Oak -
Monday 13th February 2017
Two butterflies in Tring today. One unknown species of Nymphalid flew across the road near Tesco and the second was settled in my garden (the other side of Tring) and that was very definitely a Small Tortoiseshell - Nick Bowles
I failed to catch it on camera, but a Red Admiral fluttered against a sunny window in Kings Langley around noon on Monday -
Wednesday 8th February 2017
1 male Pale Brindled Beauty at ASDA Southgate on Tuesday 7th February 2017 - the first for this site and me - Robert Callf
Tuesday 7th February 2017
Red Admiral seen flying in my Freezywater, Enfield garden - Brian Dawton.
Sunday 5th February 2017
St Albans - checked out the Small Tortoiseshells hibernating in my shed. Total number visible is now 26 compared to 31 at the end of November. Quite a bit of movement over the last 2 months, with most of those relocating just a short distance to darker positions. The one exception is now outside the shed in the porch, where it is quite light, but never in direct sun. No signs of any dead butterflies and it may be the 5 which I can no longer see have just moved to darker spots where I can't record them - Malcolm Hull
Tuesday 24th January 2017
I spotted a Red Admiral basking in the sunshine in the centre of Balls Wood on 24th Jan. Probably disturbed by the works going on near the rides - Andy Brown HMWT
Spotted a Red Admiral in the garden today, in Tring. Just as the Small Tortoiseshell had two weeks back it settled on the windowsill; and then flew to a flowering viburnum - Nick Bowles (Picture on FB Page)
Saturday 21st January 2017
Anna Hull reports a Red Admiral from Grosvenor Square W1. Another example of this species seeking refuge from cold weather in the London heat island.- Malcolm Hull
Sunday 15th January 2017
An unusual sighting today 15 January 2017 was a Red Admiral flying at terminal 3 London Heathrow Airport at 1415 hrs in the rain. I am unsure if it came from an aircraft or was disturbed from its roost -
Monday 9th January 2017
St Albans - surprised to find a Small Tortoiseshell fast asleep and clinging to the outside of my back door this morning. For some reason it must have decided to abandon its more secure hibernation position in the nearby shed - Malcolm Hull
Thursday 5th January 2017
Watching lunchtime news (05.01.17) and a Small Tortoiseshell flew across in front of window, looped about and settled on the window sill for ten minutes then flew off on its (chilly) way. Frost hasn't lifted here all day, in areas in shade in Tring - Nick Bowles
Thursday 22nd December 2016
Saw a red admiral in bencroft wood on 22nd December - Steve Kiln
Monday 19th December 2016
One red admiral spotted today Dec 19th on the upper section of the Amwell Loop just downstream of tumbling bay weir NGR TL 36419 14162 -
Wednesday 14th December 2016
One Red Admiral seen at Westway Shopping, Greenford - Shailesh Patel
A male Brimstone stood out like a beacon on some dead vegetation in the sunshine on the northern edge of Burleigh Meadow at around 1:30 pm. As I was about to take a photo it flew off but returned to the same area within a few minutes. Probably my first ever record of a butterfly on the wing in December.
I saw a Red Admiral today in my neighbour's garden here at Miswell lane, Tring.
Very pleasant sun and warmth at the time - Nick Bowles
Red Admiral still present today in the sun at the car park, Panshanger Park - Simon Knott
Taken today in Letchworth GC. Can't remember ever seeing a Brimstone in December before? News via Branch FB page including photograph - Simon Crockford
Brent Reservoir: male Brimstone, Red Admiral - Roy Beddard and Steve Leeke (news via London Birders)
Friday 9th December 2016
Great news is that thanks to Surrey branch member Stephen Reisbach, we have a positive record of Brown Hairstreak in Middlesex. A small number of eggs of this nationally rare, and unrecorded for almost 20 years in our area, species have been located in the Middlesex part of Richmond borough. There have been records of it spreading northwards through South West London and it looks as if one brave female has crossed the Thames to the north side. If you are in Richmond, the southern part of Hounslow or Spelthorne please take a look at local Blackthorns (sloes) and see if you can find the bright white pin head sized eggs laid near twig or thorn junctions. Any records please let us know. There is a moth the Blue Bordered carpet that lays white oval eggs on Blackthorn and is a confusion species but if in any doubt please let us know
The local council ecologist is aware of this finding and we are assured that maintenance will not be done that could damage the blackthorn and the eggs. See our Facebook page for photos - Andrew Wood
No butterflies I'm afraid, but 2 December Moth males, a Light Brown Apple Moth and a Red-green Carpet in my trap last night -
Red Admiral in St James' Park today at 14:15 - Frank Nugent
Thursday 1st December 2016
I saw a red admiral on Patmore Heath - Jenny Sherwen
Red Admiral in sun today at Panshanger Park next to car park.
Sunday 27th November 2016
St Albans - Small White caterpillar pupating in my kitchen. It arrived on Black Kale from my nearby allotment. At that stage it was hiding underneath the Kale leaf, resting lengthways along the midrib, which appeared to have been eating. It was quite still after several frosty days and had attached itself firmly to the leaf with silk Once indoors it soon revived and has actively chewed its way through the Kale during the week, growing several mm longer. At present the head and top end have turned into a pupa, whereas the other end is still like a caterpillar, which wriggled when I touched it. Once pupation has finished I will put it outside undercover so it will be dormant until the Spring - Malcolm Hull
Friday 25th November 2016
Saw a red admiral and a peacock flying within 5 minutes of each other in a sunny corner at Bayfordbury - Ian Flack
1 Red Admiral in fields off Widbury Hill, Ware this morning - Andrew Wood
Tuesday 22nd November 2016
1 Red-green Carpet at ASDA Southgate on Tuesday 22nd November 2016 - Robert Callf.
Thursday 17th November 2016
1 Feathered Thorn at ASDA Southgate on Thursday 17th November 2016 - Robert Callf.
Wednesday 16th November 2016
I saw a Red Admiral 16/11/2016 by Carpenders Park station on S Oxhey side -
Sunday 13th November 2016
Saw a large butterfly, probably a Red Admiral, although not confirmed, flying around the canopy of a Sweet Chestnut in Rough Lot, Trent Park at 13:36 hrs on Sunday 13th November 2016.
- Robert Callf.
A single Red Admiral today (13.11), at midday in Tring's central (St. Peter and St. Paul) churchyard - Nick Bowles
Stanwell, Staines-upon-Thames, Middlesex, Red Admiral on a window - Patricia Hearsum
Friday 11th November 2016
Marylebone Lane W1 - Surprised to see a Red Admiral fly past my third floor office window at lunchtime today. Bright sunny conditions and it flew off to the north -
Wednesday 2nd November 2016
A brimstone passed by in the Pinetum at Bayfordbury on Wednesday 2 November.
I saw a Red Admiral at Ellenbrook Fields on the 2nd November - Dan Cooper
1 Red Admiral in flight and settled near Dew Pond, Trent Park (TQ 293 972) this morning at 10:20 hrs - Robert Callf
Whilst I stood in the sun outside my back door about 12.30, soaking up vitamin D, a Red Admiral almost flew into me & disappeared over my head. A very pleasant surprise for November - John Moss
Tuesday 1st November 2016
One Red Admiral flying on Tuesday the 1st November near the St Albans hospital.