Sightings 2023 - Herts & Middx Butterfly Conservation

Sightings 2023


Welcome to the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch sightings page for butterfly and moth news from around the area

NOTE - please read the latest Coronavirus update from the Government website.

Archive   2022  2021  2020  2019  2018  2017 (Jan-Jun)  2017 (Jul-Dec) 2001-2016

Submission of records

Please include grid reference (6 digits preferred but 4 digits will do) or post code for your sightings. If you have the what3words app you can supply me with the 3 words denoting the site. Grid reference can be obtained using the Gridreferencefinder or Streetmap. If you need any guidance let me know. Most, if not all, sightings listed here with sufficient detail given, will be added to the branch database but see note below. Some sightings if deemed 'trivial' may not be posted here but will still be included on the database.

Wherever possible please use the iRecord website or app to submit your butterfly (not moth) records to reduce the possibility of transcription errors - please read the General Recording page for details. If you are using a spreadsheet please enter your records in the correct format - see following example; this will ease the amount of work for the county recorder.

For moths however, the much preferred method is to submit your moth records on a spreadsheet, if you can, in the format shown here. More information can be found on the Moths - Introduction page.

NOTE: To avoid any duplication, if you are submitting records via a spreadsheet to the Branch Recorder (Andrew Wood) and also have emailed me for the sightings page please let Andrew or me know. Records entered on the iRecord and iNaturalist databases, for example, will be picked up and verified by Andrew.

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 , or

Please email Peter Clarke (peter.clarke4@ntlworld.com) to send in your news.

December

Date Description Recorder
23 Dec A single Red Admiral around Ivy at the junction of Cock lane and where the Bridleway goes north along the west side of Danemead wood. Laurence Drummond
18 Dec Revisted the Blackthorn hedge near to entrance of Gutteridge Wood to survey for Brown Hairstreak eggs, a good condition hedge, but no eggs found. On the other side of the Yeading Brook near to where an adult was sighted earlier this year, a couple of Brown Hairstreak eggs were found along an extensive Blackthorn hedge. Also attended a rewilding feasibility project for the area by London Wildlife Trust, a further online event for local residents and users is scheduled for 23rd Jan on LWT website Paul Busby
14 Dec Visited Newton Farm Ecology Park, Rayners Lane, a small woodland and meadow site with a pond to look for Brown Hairstreak eggs, as adults have been reported here in the last couple of years. None were found along the accessible parts of the Blackthorn hedge to the N of the reserve. Followed up with unsuccessful visits to the Newton Park West wetland (hardly any Blackthorn) and Roxbourne Rough blackthorn hedge Paul Busby

November

Date Description Recorder
23 Nov Trent Park - 1 Red Admiral near Oakwood entrance 1230 GMT Robert Callf
20 Nov Richmond Walk, Jersey Farm, St Albans - Brimstone flying in mums garden in the sunshine this morning Tricia Gibbons
15 Nov I saw a Holly Blue this lunchtime in Tesco Baldock rear car park

Roger Kynman
15 Nov Lower Edmonton: 1 Red Admiral just before midday Dobrina Dobreva
11 Nov 1 Red Admiral at Enfield Chase Station at 1400 GMT Robert Callf
9 Nov This week 14 Brown Hairstreak eggs were found and rescued from a small part of the reserve at Darlands Nature Reserve at Totteridge where management was due to be carried out. This was with the leaves still very much in situ and a site where previously only two eggs were found in January 2023 despite extensive searching Liz Goodyear
Ian Watts
9 Nov Batford Mill industrial estate, Batford - 1 Hummingbird Hawk-moth found by the entrance in work. I assume it was trying to hibernate

Darin Stanley
7 Nov Trent Park - 1 Red Admiral basking near Oakwood entrance at 1139 GMT Robert Callf
6 Nov St Albans - Hibernation watch - It's a couple of weeks since I last recorded the butterflies overwintering in my shed. Unexpectedly, the numbers of both Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell have increased by one since the last survey. Current totals are Small Tortoiseshell 6, Peacock 2 and Herald moth 1. Outside in the sunshine, I've just seen Red Admirals this month Malcolm Hull
6 Nov Trent Park - 1 Red Admiral basking in sheltered spot near Oakwood entrance at 1203 GMT & 1 Peacock basking near Triangular Wd at 1218 GMT Robert Callf
6 Nov Lower Edmonton - 1 Red Admiral early afternoon Dobrina Dobreva
6 Nov Red Admiral, Ley Green Martin Ketcher
5 Nov Lower Edmonton - 1 Holly Blue early afternoon Dobrina Dobreva
5 Nov In Bengeo garden: Red Admiral Simon Knott
3 Nov Two Red Admirals in Hertford, one on Hartham Common and one at Bengeo Cricket Ground Andrew Wood

October

Date Description Recorder
31 Oct Hounslow. Definitely the last sighting of the month today and perhaps of the year, a Speckled Wood at the edge of the heath's footpath parallel to the railway. I'd already planned a short walk and it shortened further, taking me past the Pevensey Road woodland loop but not through it as rainclouds gathered Peter Gore
30 Oct Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 - 1 Speckled Wood basking at Community Orchard [TQ304929] at 1500 GMT Robert Callf
30 Oct Surprised to see a man exercising a magnificent Harris Hawk at Old Redding, Harrow Weald viewpoint in the early morning sunshine and perhaps less surprising was a Red Admiral flying low over the hilltop car park in the direction of Harrow Paul Busby
28 Oct-
30 Oct
A tiny Small White alighted on one the last flowering spikes of a Buddleia in an Eastcote Garden, it then moved to a purple flower spike and roosted there for a couple days, perhaps waiting for the next sunny spell or its final resting place Paul Busby
27 Oct Guided walk with Hertfordshire Countryside Management Services at South Oxhey Playing Fields, which despite its name is an interesting site with small woodlands, mature Oaks, hedgerows and grassland, which they are consulting on to manage in more biodiverse fashion with some coppicing and grassland & hedgerow management . There are relatively few butterfly records for this site, so perhaps worth visit next season, there is free parking at Green Lane, South Oxhey, WD19 4LT Paul Busby
24 Oct We had a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth in our South Mymms garden in the afternoon Terry Wood
28 Oct Trent Park - 1 Speckled Wood [good condition] settled on bramble in sheltered spot near Oakwood entrance this afternoon at 1354 BST [TQ292961] Robert Callf
26 Oct Hounslow. Pleasant afternoon sunshine and two butterflies to surprise and please me further. A Speckled Wood was first, intent on basking in sun fairly high up an oak bush, a Small White was a better sighting a few minutes later, this time settling on an appropriate cruciferous plant close to where the species has been intermittently present all season. This individual was half-sized, winning this year's award for smallest Small White of the year. Both on the Marshalling Yards site with nothing spotted elsewhere Peter Gore
25 Oct Trent Park - 1 Red Admiral in flight [TQ289976] & 1 Peacock basking on a log, edge of Water Garden at 1349 BST [TQ292975] Robert Callf
24 Oct Enfield area "private access" this afternoon - Small White & Red Admiral Robert Callf
22 Oct A few sightings from Edmonton early afternoon - male Holly Blue settled on ivy, Red Admiral & Speckled Wood. Although when I got into the flat here, I observed 4 butterflies in flight, chasing, which were probably all Speckled Wood. At Town Park, Enfield [1205 to 1235 BST] - 2 Speckled Wood. 1 Red Admiral at Prince George Ave, N14, 1 Red Admiral at Silver Street, Enfield Town & 1 Red Admiral settled on buddleia at Genotin Road, Enfield Town Robert Callf
22 Oct Hounslow. A Red Admiral resting on bramble leaves within the Pevensey Road woodland area was today's only sighting in what would have been perfect conditions for butterflies at other times of the year Peter Gore
19 Oct Following a meeting with Transport for London to discuss the monitoring of Wildflower Road Verges, I walked from Southwark to Euston but stopped at Calthorpe Community Garden, off Grays Inn Road, about 10 minutes walk from Kings Cross. Worth a visit to this green oasis in such an urban area and was pleased to see a Hummingbird Hawk-moth and Red Admiral around some flowering Ivy on a garden wall Paul Busby
17 Oct Visited the walled garden at Eastcote House Gardens and saw a Red Admiral on Michaelmas Daises and another Red Admiral in the Park area. In the the nearby Long Meadow along the River Pinn I saw a Speckled Wood Paul Busby
17 Oct Hounslow. Yesterday's was my first walk since March without seeing a butterfly, the weather failed to live up to meagre expectations. Today rather better but the forecast ahead suggests this could be the last day for butterflies this year. If so Speckled Wood currently holds last butterfly status in what would have been the shortest season I can remember, starting late and finishing early. Short but intense: Red Admiral: 2, Speckled Wood: 2, Common Blue: 2, Comma: 1 Peter Gore
15 Oct 6 Red Admiral and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth in my garden in South Harrow Michael Robinson
14 Oct Poor year for Common Blue locally but found one (3rd brood) in Fairlands Valley Park at 1315 hours and a chilly 12°C

Common Blue Fairlands Valley Park 14 Oct
Peter Clarke
14 Oct Hounslow. As if a ten degree drop in temperature wasn't enough to convey a chillier world to me, on today's walk I promptly found myself blocked from access to several of the streets I normally pass through by a police cordon. Fortunately a detour produced a Red Admiral at the opposite end of a road from that usually passed and though I had a long wait before I encountered another butterfly this first sighting was just enough to encourage me to keep going and see the following distractions from an unsettling world: Red Admiral: 3, Speckled Wood: 2, Small White: 2, Brown Argus: 1, Common Blue: 1 Peter Gore
10 Oct Hounslow. A little rushed and shorter on what seems likely to be the last of this run of sunny days with temperatures in the mid-twenties. Sightings were good despite none at all on the ivy flowers now. Included are two Holly Blues seen on my way through the streets home which suggests a third brood in this location but elsewhere they've managed to stay around most of the time so overall "brood" seems a little complicated: Speckled Wood: 17, Small Copper: 5, Brown Argus: 2, Small White: 4, Common Blue: 4, Red Admiral: 3, Comma: 1, Holly Blue: 2 Peter Gore
10 Oct Holly Blue on Wendover Arm of Grand Union Canal opposite Heygates Mill (SP 924131). 6 Red Admirals and 5 Small Whites on walk along Wendover Arm and Aylesbury Arm

Holly Blue Heygates 10 Oct
Rikki Harrington
9 Oct Hounslow. Another similar day to others recently and the trends noted yesterday continue and deepen: Speckled Wood: 17, Small Copper: 7, Common Blue: 7, Brown Argus: 6, Small White: 1, Red Admiral: 1 Peter Gore
9 Oct St Albans - The Ivy hedge in my front garden has a northerly aspect and tends to flower later than others. The first Red Admiral found it last week and today there were two feeding alongside a Comma and dozens of other insects
Nomansland Common - I wondered what effect the warm weather was having on the numbers of Small Coppers - I counted 7 on my visit this afternoon, including two nectaring on Ragwort. This shows a marked decline over the last two weeks, pretty typical of this time of year. However, a big difference from this time most years was the range of species present. This included Brimstone (2), Large White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small White (3) and Brown Argus (1). The latter was very fresh and as I've not seen many for a month, I suspect it is a third brood individual

Small Coppers Nomansland Common 9 Oct
Malcolm Hull
8 Oct Hounslow. Weather and walk very similar to yesterday but there was one notable difference: the Red Admirals that have been nectaring on the ivy within the Pevensey Road woodland area all seem to have departed en masse as other migrant creatures do, leaving only a solitary Comma on the ivy with a host of bees. Other Red Admirals were seen elsewhere flying but even the Speckled Woods couldn't quite make up for the departed so overall sightings decline again today: Speckled Wood: 21, Common Blue: 10, Brown Argus: 4, Small White: 3, Comma : 1, Red Admiral: 3, Small Copper: 2 Peter Gore
6 Oct Visiting our son who lives in St Albans, I was sat outside the Mad Squirrel pub, and listening to the 3 o'clock cathedral chime. Noted 4 Holly Blues flying around an adjoining yew tree in the cathedral grounds. Red Admirals everywhere, especially where there was ivy. Back in Chester now. Envy your chalkland species. Hope to see a Purple Emperor next summer David Small
7 Oct Long-tailed Blue seen in Ickenham garden Stephen Dungey
7 Oct Hounslow. Not as consistently sunny as yesterday but still a good day with plenty to see: Speckled Wood: 18, Painted Lady: 1, Brown Argus: 3, Small White: 3, Common Blue: 7, Small Copper: 3, Red Admiral: 8, Comma: 1, Green-veined White: 1, Holly Blue: 1 Peter Gore
6 Oct Hounslow. More sun, more walking and more butterflies including the first Holly Blue for a few weeks, flying high and strongly above a tall holly and ivy-covered hawthorn bushes: Speckled Wood: 25, Small Copper: 5, Red Admiral: 9, Brown Argus: 3, Small White: 2, Common Blue: 6, Holly Blue: 1, Comma: 2 Peter Gore
5 Oct Hounslow. A similar day to Tuesday but I took my time and saw more butterflies. All eight species from Tuesday plus a Peacock brought the day's and the month's total to nine. Noticeably few whites around today, I think I only missed one : Red Admiral: 15, Painted Lady : 1, Speckled Wood: 8, Common Blue: 4, Brown Argus: 2, Peacock: 1, Comma: 2, Small Copper: 1, Small White: 1 Peter Gore
3 Oct Folly Lane St Albans - 2 Peacocks, 5 Red Admirals, 4 Large Whites and 7 Small Whites Malcolm Hull
3 Oct Hounslow. A rapid, short afternoon walk in only occasional sunshine proved nevertheless rewarding in butterflies seen with the highlight the first Painted Lady I've managed to confirm here for several months: Speckled Wood: 10, Brown Argus: 1, Common Blue: 6, Painted Lady: 1, Red Admiral: 4, Comma: 1, Small White: 1, Small Copper: 1 Peter Gore
1 Oct One Hummingbird hawk-moth nectaring on Michaelmas Daisies on Coldharbour Allotments, Harpenden, this morning Alan Jackson

September

Date Description Recorder
30 Sep Hounslow. No sun this morning. By the time I passed through the Cavalry Tunnel I'd seen no butterflies either but matters improved with the sun in the afternoon and included seven Red Admirals on a single ivy-covered bush in the woodland area. Speckled Wood: 8, Brown Argus: 4, Common Blue: 6, Small Copper: 4, Red Admiral: 13, Comma: 1, Green-veined White: 1, Small White: 1 Peter Gore
29 Sep Hounslow. A sunny walk from late morning to early afternoon produced a sharp rise in sightings mostly of two species: Speckled Wood across the whole site and Red Admiral now coming to ivy flowers particularly in the Pevensey Road woodland near the river. Several strong-flying butterflies high above me couldn't be identified, showing just as dull but light which most suggested Painted Ladies on the move to me: Speckled Wood: 25, Common Blue: 6, Brown Argus: 4, Red Admiral: 9, Comma: 1, Green-veined White: 1, Small Copper: 4 Peter Gore
29 Sep Wheathampstead, allotments east of Necton Road (TL181139): 9 Red Admirals on flowers of a single holly bush. Also a single Painted Lady, and nearby one Comma and three Small Whites Andrew Neild
26 Sep Snapped this Painted Lady at Hollycross Rd Ware yesterday and thanks to SK's recent sighting, I chased down this Clouded Yellow today at Waterford Heath South

Nathan Ellis
26 Sep Small Heath on my walk today round Symondshyde Wood near Hatfield 2 male Common Blues were locked in a ferocious dog fight. Small Copper peacefully nectaring on Ragwort. Just one Meadow Brown and 13 Small Whites made up the numbers

Small Heath Symondshyde Wood 26 Sep
Malcolm Hull
25 Sep Nomansland Common - Swift return to visit to determine how many more Small Coppers were around in todays much better weather. In short, not much difference in total numbers - 24 today compared to 20 yesterday. And all still in much the same locations around the site. A majority nectaring and sunbathing, but 8 were on Sheep Sorrel. In fact the main difference was in the number of other species around. Purple Hairstreak was unexpected, plus Comma (2), Meadow Brown (1), Small White (2), Silver Y (1) and a Peacock. Was it 2nd generation or just emerged from hibernation on a hot day? There's been much discussion of this on X (previously Twitter) in the last few days, link below for anyone interested from Chris van Swaay's post Malcolm Hull
25 Sep Hounslow. A rushed short walk in continuous sunshine with the following seen: Red Admiral: 2, Speckled Wood: 11, Common Blue: 2, Brown Argus: 1, Comma: 1. Peter Gore
25 Sep Thought I would do my last transect of the year at Waterford Heath South. I was a bit hampered as i had crutches and covered most of it.
To my great surprise I had:- 2 Clouded Yellows (my first of the year), 3 Meadow Browns, Comma, Peacock, Large White, Small White and Green-veined White
Steve Kiln
24 Sep Hounslow. I managed to fit a shortened walk in when there was enough afternoon sun to entice butterfles into activity. With relatively few flowers remaining I enjoyed seeing a male Small Copper and Common Blue side by side on the same small Tansy flower head I'd seen a similar combination two days ago: Speckled Wood: 11, Brown Argus: 2, Common Blue: 4, Small Copper: 1, Red Admiral: 1. Peter Gore
24 Sep Branch Event
Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead- 20 Small Coppers on todays branch butterfly walk. 8 people joined the walk, despite the grey weather and the forecast of showers. Their faith was rewarded! There were a few glimpses of sun and Small Coppers were prominent, though not particularly active in the areas of Sheep Sorrel, the larval foodplant favoured on this site. Although most were just perched on vegetation there was evidence of nectaring on heather, yarrow and ragwort. We saw two interacting in an attempted courtship, but it was not successful. Other species seen were Meadow Brown (2) and Silver Y (1), plus dense concentrations of so called solitary bees. A good way to end a season which turned out better than many had expected

Small Copper Nomansland Common 24 Sep
Malcolm Hull
23 Sep Wildlife Walk with Esme from the Wildlife Trust led by Rick Vickers into Whppendell Woods. Not an official butterfly walk be we did get to see 3 Speckled Wood, 4 Comma and 8 Red Admiral. After the weeks rain the ivy has come into flower where the majority of the Red Admiral were sighted. 2 more Speckled Wood were sighted after the walk had ended. Rick and myself went into Cassiobury Park to plant out some birds-foot trefoil before going on to Croxley Moor.
Croxley Moor (TQ 081948) It took a while to see a single butterfly but 2 Whites were seen and surprising single Meadow Brown. With some persistence we did eventually get a count of 5 Small Copper

Peter Fewell
23 Sep Hounslow. Although the weather was sunnier the butterflies seen were similar to yesterday, mostly seen in the later morning with whites a little more numerous: Speckled Wood: 11, Small White: 7, Green-veined White: 1, Common Blue: 9, Brown Argus: 1, Red Admiral: 1, Small Copper: 3. Peter Gore
22 Sep Millhoppers Reserve, Tring - Red Admiral (3), Large White (2) and Speckled Wood (1) Malcolm Hull
Chris Hilling
Sharon Hearle
Peter Melitus
22 Sep Tring Park - met up with Woodland Trust and others to discuss habitat management improvements to the SSSI Butterflies on the wing were Red Admiral (3), Small Heath (1), Speckled Wood (2) and Meadow Brown (5) Malcolm Hull
Sharon Hearle
22 Sep Hounslow. A pleasantly sunny autumn morning, then drizzly rain arrived early in the afternoon. Butterflies still around in reasonable numbers: Speckled Wood: 14, Small Copper: 3, Small White: 2, Green-veined White: 2, Common Blue: 7, Brown Argus: 3 Peter Gore
16 Sep Hounslow. A full walk today, Speckled Wood easily the commonest butterfly flying and doing so in all areas: Speckled Wood: 18, Green-veined White: 4, Meadow Brown: 3, Small Heath: 5, Small Copper: 4, Common Blue: 5, Brown Argus: 5, Small White: 1, Red Admiral: 4, Comma: 1 Peter Gore
15 Sep Hounslow. Another shorter walk, including exploring some of the more obscured corners on my patch without making any exciting discoveries. The highlight came quite late on the golf course loop, this time on the outward stretch between the river and the mill stream. An orange butterfly flew up and my initial reaction was 'Small Copper' but I thought I saw it settle high on a bush forming part of the edge of the former course and promptly changed my guess. I optimistically trudged through the fescue and was dully rewarded when I focussed my binoculars on a female Brown Hairstreak. She'd landed on a Hawthorn and was simply resting, wings closed, in the temporary absence of the sun. She was beautiful enough just in this view but eventually when the sun emerged again I was rewarded by a slow opening of her wings and a sun-bathing session from her. Ultimately she flew on over the trees which line the banks of the mill stream here towards the other section of the golf course where I've seen Brown Hairstreaks before, with the heath beyond that. A good day! Numbers are low but 11 species flying surprised me in the circumstances. Speckled Wood: 12, Small Copper: 2, Small White: 1, Comma: 2, Red Admiral: 3, Green-veined White: 2, Brown Argus: 2, Peacock: 1, Brown Hairstreak: 1, Meadow Brown: 1, Common Blue: 1 Peter Gore
14 Sep The Warren, Colney Heath - Small Copper (5), Painted Lady (1), Red Admiral (1), Small Heath (12), Meadow Brown (19) and Small White (3) Malcolm Hull
14 Sep At lunchtime in Embankment Gardens central London I saw many Small Whites busy nectaring mainly on the Verbena. I also spotted a couple of Green-veined Whites

Green-veined White Embankment 14 Sep
Dee Cullen
14 Sep Hounslow. Another shortened walk, mostly in full sun, from late morning to mid-afternoon. Not really comparable to the last one: Speckled Wood: 20, Small Copper: 1, Small White: 4, Green-veined White: 1, Red Admiral: 4, Comma: 3, Large White: 1, Common Blue: 1 Peter Gore
14 Sep Took another wander around Hollycross Rd, Ware (///token.logs.invest) to the scrubby Lucerne crop in the search for an elusive Clouded Yellow for my picture collection. With the warm mid morning sun feeling low and summer firmly in her eventide there is still an abundance of flowering plants and the area is never short on butterflies species. The Orbweavers can confirm this by making a very comfortable living with their silken doom. Several Red Admiral seen rocketing over the sea of purple Lucerne flowers and many dozens more to be found refuelling amongst the bustling Ivy flowers on the way there. Remaining species seen today were one lonely Peacock and Small Copper, the occasional Brown Argus, many Small White and the Common Blue are still beyond counting and happy to pose although their blue brilliance now somewhat diminished. My search for a local Clouded Yellow continues

Nathan Ellis
10 Sep Branch Event
Details from Fishers Field Branch event stall.
We arrived in rather sticky humid weather at Fishers Field but we managed to get the gazebo erected eventually. We were welcomed by a very lovely bunch of enthusiastic people and it was a great pleasure for us to run the stall. Although butterfly sightings were poor on the day, I only saw 3 unidentified Whites. Rick went out on the first scout and did manage to photograph a Speckled Wood. We had some good chats with some of the local enthusiasts and found out that, Small Copper has been recently photographed there also Common Blue and a Painted Lady earlier in the day! (I've only seen one this year and not local, Rick did see one in his garden last week though). We also had the pleasure of identifying a few photos of the Jersey Tiger moth, there's definitely a few out there that have not made there way to Liz Goodyear's garden!
Being enthusiasts ourselves and a site close to us we are looking forward to see just how many species are present next season. We hope to fire up some enthusiasm to record the species sighted there throughout next season. We would expect somewhere between 16 and 20 species should be present in a typical butterfly year. If we were asked to do a stall there again absolutely yes!

Peter Fewell
11 Sep Hounslow. A shorter walk today so numbers seen not comparable with last week's: Speckled Wood: 12, Red Admiral: 1, Comma: 2, Green-veined White: 1, Small Copper: 3, Brown Argus: 1, Small White: 2, Small Heath: 2, Common Blue: 4 Peter Gore
11 Sep Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead - Good numbers of Small Copper (15) and Small Heath (8) this morning along with Meadow Brown (27), Small White (5), Common Blue (1), Red Admiral (2) and Large White (1).
Still good numbers of wildflowers at this site, which explains why Meadow Brown numbers are holding up much better than other local sites. Both Heather and Sheep’s Sorrel are in good condition this year, so numbers of Small Copper are likely to build over the next few weeks. Why not JOIN ME for an end of season Small Copper extravaganza on Sunday 24th September. This is a very special acid grass/heathland site where the Branch has been providing advice on habitat management for several years.

Malcolm Hull
10 Sep Jersey Lane, St Albans - visited this ancient green lane along with members of its Friends group. They are looking to improve the lane for wildlife and seeking advice from BC. Red Admiral (15) were concentrated on the flowering Ivy. Speckled Wood (9) are doing well on this shaded site. Small White (5), Large White (3) and Green-veined White (1) were also present. There are numerous elm suckers along the lane, so good potential for White-letter Hairstreak

Malcolm Hull
10 Sep Hounslow. Weather-wise neither as pleasant as yesterday nor as humid as Friday. I enjoyed completing a full walk with butterflies actually a little more numerous than yesterday. My highlights came close together in time on my return journey. First on the Marshalling Yards above the Cavalry Tunnel a female Clouded Yellow, the first I've seen in this specific area this year and one that was watchable for a change with this species. Just a little later, straight after I'd passed through the tunnel I returned to my current favourite Buddleja where I'd seen three Red Admirals on the outward journey today. In their place two Commas, both very dark specimens that seemed to have pleasingly elaborate undamaged ragged wings. Meadow Brown: 6, Speckled Wood: 11, Green-veined White: 7, Small Copper: 6, Red Admiral: 7, Brown Argus: 6, Small Heath: 5, Common Blue: 2, Small White: 4, Clouded Yellow: 1, Comma: 2 Peter Gore
9 Sep Visited Ickenham Fields mid-morning on the hottest day of the year. Butterflies were few and far between but pleased to see three Small Copper, one Small Heath and a Brown Argus. The highlight was seeing a slightly faded Brown Hairstreak, still with tails, flitting about a medium size Ash in the Railway Depot corner. It settled on an Ash leaf and crawled under it, I guess to escape the heat. Good to see that the landowner had left an uncut margin around the hedge boundary with many suckering saplings, inspected a few but no eggs found but everything still in full leaf. In Stafford Road Copse, I only saw seven Speckled Woods and two Small Whites Paul Busby
9 Sep Therfield Heath (Church Hill) - Adonis Blues are still active on Church Hill and look to be in good shape. The image is of a female, ab. semicoronus, which was photographed on the Old Rifle Range on 28 August. Lots of Meadow Browns are still on the wing, although one individual met a sad end whilst flying away from me, ending up in the web of one of the many (20+) Wasp Spiders that are currently abundant on Church Hill (and right across the heath). Sightings: Adonis Blue (6+, including 2 males), Chalkhill Blue (one very tatty female), Common Blue (1 male), Brown Argus (3), Meadow Brown (20+), Small Heath (10+), Red Admiral (2) Large White (10+) and several Small/Green-veined whites. Holly Blue and Speckled Wood were seen nearby in Fox Covert

Adonis Blue ab Therfield Heath 28 Aug
Martin Johnson
9 Sep Hounslow. Despite too high temperatures this was a much pleasanter, walk than yesterday's especially in the morning. The sun stayed out and the humidity lessened so this human was generally content. Butterflies, however, probably saw it differently. Numbers seen dropped sharply with only Speckled Wood doing well: something that suited me fine since I was generally pausing in shade every time I recorded one. Elsewhere it's too dry now, flowers are disappearing fast, so little nectar available and whilst we're a long way from last year's problems rain would be very welcome. One cheerful speculation: three orange butterflies (or perhaps moths), seen at different points flying quickly along the trees, seemed to me most likely Brown Hairstreak again. They're not included in the day's stats. but enough to make me feel that the species is becoming commoner and will spread in and from our reasonably favourable area. This is what was positively identified today: Speckled Wood: 23 Green-veined White: 4, Red Admiral: 1, Small White: 2, Small Copper: 3, Brown Argus: 8, Small Heath: 6, Common Blue: 2, Meadow Brown: 3, Holly Blue: 1, Comma: 1 Peter Gore
8 Sep Hounslow. An early morning start again could have made for a really pleasant walk. The first Green-veined White seen was a particularly fresh looking specimen, a model for the species and it was shortly followed by a similar female Small Copper. Earlier in the week there had been fresh-looking Small Whites, a particularly yellowy Speckled Wood and a sighting of what I initially took to be a butterfly seized by another insect which when they settled on a Yarrow flower proved me sort-of correct by being two mating Brown Argus butterflies, the third or fourth occasion I've witnessed this in 2023. Joined in the usual fashion and with their wings tight closed, despite the slightly larger female, the two triangles looked like a single strange spotty butterfly unless you looked for where the central body should be of such a creature. These were my early thoughts but as the morning progressed no sun cut through the clouds, the temperature rose to 30c + and the humidity became unbearable. So although there are plenty of signs of fresh butterflies, 'fresh' was just about the last thing I felt as I turned to make the long trek back to home. Speckled Wood: 17, Meadow Brown: 8, Small White: 9, Green-veined White: 3, Small Copper: 7, Brown Argus: 4, Small Heath: 6, Common Blue: 5, Large White: 1, Red Admiral: 4, Comma: 3, Holly Blue: 1 Peter Gore
7 Sep Batford. Finally, they have finally arrived. 1 Jersey Tiger on conifers in back garden in Batford at 12.30. They are here!!

Darin Stanley
7 Sep Symondshyde Wood area near Hatfield - Nice and cool in the woods this afternoon. Butterflies enjoying the sun included Common Blue (27), Small Heath (36), Brown Argus (17), Small Copper (2), Meadow Brown (19) and Small White (81). Butterflies not enjoying the sun - a single Speckled Wood skulking deep in the shade. Unusually good totals for September Malcolm Hull
7 Sep Hounslow. Another sunny day with the highlight coming, perhaps inevitably, as I reluctantly walked the near butterfly-less golf course loop. I was peering at an apple-tree for fruit when a female Brown Hairstreak carried out her own inspection bouncing quickly from one exposed bit of new growth to another and like me failing to find what she wanted. I soon lost sight of her: she needs to continue her journey and cross the course to the other side where she'll find plenty of Blackthorn. I suspect she'll think that too shady and fly over it to the sunnier side which is much less accessible to me. Where I saw her is only a short distance across the course from the site with the London Loop path running through it. The rest of the day's sightings were essentially more of the same from previous days, slowly reducing still: Small White: 8, Small Copper: 7, Speckled Wood: 12, Red Admiral: 3, Large White: 3, Green-veined White: 2, Brown Argus: 12, Common Blue: 5, Meadow Brown: 7, Small Heath: 5, Holly Blue: 4, Comma: 1, Brown Hairstreak: 1 Peter Gore
6 Sep St Albans - fresh looking Comma and Peacock on my garden Buddleia. Not seen either species here for around three weeks. I suspect the Comma is a new late summer brood - good news as this brood was almost non existent last year. The Peacock is more likely to have been in hibernation for the last few weeks and popping out for a late summer snack. I've witnessed this behaviour more than once in a minority of individuals hibernating in my shed.
A return to the shade of Batchwood produced similar totals of most species to yesterday. I added 3 Brown Argus - although one was worn, the other two very fresh. This species is known to produce a partial third brood in southern England in warm years. The second brood was spectacularly successful in our area this year, well worth looking out for in the coming weeks. Speckled Wood numbers had melted away to nothing. The only other additional species was a sad looking elderly Purple Hairstreak

Malcolm Hull
6 Sep A Ware garden first for me! I was sitting in the garden when I saw a small butterfly land on the still flowering Hemp Agrimony (where I had dead headed it) - it was a Small Heath. My previous garden record was my husband's sighting when I was out! Liz Goodyear
6 Sep Hounslow. Recently I've tried to start a little earlier each day in an attempt to avoid afternoon heat. Yesterday I thought this back fired a bit as, on the Marshalling Yards in particular, the earlier section seemed poor. Today inexplicably the opposite pattern in the morning with good numbers of butterflies again but after midday the temperature climbed and the heat and humidity became oppressive. On a smaller section of the Marshalling Yards walked at this time I recorded no butterflies at all - yesterday 17 from ten species. As I passed the aspens here even their leaves were nearly all still. It therefore became a simple decision to avoid the golf course loop - one Small White yesterday afternoon - creating a shorter walk back home. I lingered a little while at the notional Brown Hairstreak site peering up hopefully at ash and oak but their leaves were as unmoved by breeze and butterflies as the aspens before. A morning stop at yesterday's Buddleia enabled me to spot 4 Red Admirals there. Still none at all on the ivy though: Meadow Brown: 7, Speckled Wood: 12, Red Admiral: 9, Small White: 7, Green-veined White: 1, Holly Blue: 5, Brown Argus: 12, Small Heath: 5, Common Blue: 8, Comma: 2, Small Copper: 8. The steadily declining Meadow Browns reduced one further when one I disturbed flew straight into a web where it was quickly despatched and wrapped by a large spider of a type I think of as uglified Garden Spider Peter Gore
5 Sep Batchwood, St Albans - Red Admirals (8) were making the most of the Ivy, which is bursting into flower and buzzing with crowds of bees, hoverflies, hornets, wasps and flies. Holly Blue (2) was also on ivy, one searching for egg laying sites. Small White (12) seems to be the only butterfly truly enjoying the heatwave. Speckled Wood (3) definitely don’t like the heat and were hiding in the shadiest parts of the wood. My only other record today was a solitary Jersey Tiger - still a relatively rare sighting locally in day time Malcolm Hull
5 Sep Hounslow. No real highlights - a couple of reptiles don't count - but two statistical freaks derived from small numbers occurred. An improbable surge in Gatekeeper numbers included several so damaged it was difficult to see how they could still be flying whilst a "500% increase" in Red Admiral sightings included one on a Buddleia bush I've been ignoring, one sunbathing on the pavement en route and the very last sighting of the day and probably the most pleasing, a Red Admiral on new Verbena bonariensis planted in narrow strips alongside recently completed buildings in Simpson Road (the back entrance to the heath). Despite non-stop flowering all summer in full sun whenever there was any, this was the first visitor I've seen to these new plants. Red Admiral: 5, Speckled Wood: 16, Peacock: 3, Green-veined White: 6, Small White: 6, Meadow Brown: 8, Brown Argus: 11, Small Heath: 4, Small Copper: 6, Common Blue: 4, Gatekeeper: 8, Comma: 2, Holly Blue: 2, Large White: 2 Peter Gore
4 Sep St Albans - butterfly numbers well down from last week, despite the hot sunny weather. My lunchtime walk through Verulamium Park was dominated by Small White (16), many of which were concentrated in the damp grasslands alongside the river. Speckled Wood (4) were all in the shade, one was egg laying on couch grass in a shady position. Red Admiral (3), Large White (1) and Gypsy moth were the only other records. Maybe the hot weather will encourage some late emergences over the next week or so Malcolm Hull
4 Sep Hounslow. Another good sunny day and as expected numbers and species seen are similar - but different enough to leave plenty for me to think about. First, two Clouded Yellows seen well apart and clearly. That small number is one more of this normally rare migrant than I saw of the much commoner one, Red Admiral. The slight increase in the numbers of the latter seen late last month was neither developed nor sustained and only bees and the occasional Holly Blue are appreciating the first of the flowering ivy at the moment. Small Heath reached double figures at last and encouragingly they're spread out across at least four areas that I recognise as their normal territory. They're still missing in some though and surprisingly it tends to be the shallow grassland places at path margins where I would normally expect them to be most numerous. Then we have two more Brown Hairstreak sightings and very satisfying they were too although it was more a matter of location rather than watchability. The first was a female on the Marshalling Yards, fluttering through the Cherry Plums as I gluttonised yet again. I shouldn't really be getting such rewards for my sins but perhaps it means I must suffer in winter by looking for pin-head sized eggs on this very large site. I didn't get to see today's butterfly actually laying any though. The second Brown Hairstreak came much later and was where I saw my very first one last year, on Willow alongside the London Loop footpath through the former golf course. This site is a little problematic for an unusual reason: on good sunny days like this there's a steady flow of human and canine users and too little space for me to dive into whilst looking for more butterfly activity. With more warm sunny weather expected that should be ideal for Brown Hairstreak I'll try to work out a way of watching for long enough to get some understanding of why, for two years running, a female Brown Hairstreak is in such an unlikely spot. Finally, here's the actual sightings: Speckled Wood: 15, Meadow Brown: 17, Green-veined White: 4, Brown Argus: 14, Small Copper: 4, Common Blue: 6, Clouded Yellow: 2, Small Heath: 12, Small White: 3, Brown Hairstreak: 2, Large White: 1, Red Admiral: 1, Holly Blue: 3, Brimstone: 1, Gatekeeper: 1, Comma: 2 Peter Gore
3 Sep Hounslow. With continuous sun and temperatures in the mid 20s Holly Blue became the 14th species recorded today at about noon and I began to speculate whether it might be possible somehow to reach 20 for the day. Predictably 'somehow' proved difficult to define specifically and I had to settle for just two of the more obvious unseen species, Comma and Brimstone, to reach 16. One unidentified likely Hairstreak was the only other plausible addition. It was good to see Clouded Yellow back in the usual Marshalling Yards area and indeed there was a second slightly less certain sighting at the opposite end of the loop very reminiscent of the summer experience but omitted from these figures: Speckled Wood: 13, Small Copper: 6, Large White: 1, Brown Argus: 17, Small White: 6, Common Blue: 7, Clouded Yellow: 1, Meadow Brown: 20, Gatekeeper: 2, Peacock: 1, Green-veined White: 4, Small Heath: 6, Red Admiral: 1, Holly Blue: 2, Comma: 1, Brimstone: 1 Peter Gore
3 Sep I arrived noon at Stafford Road Open Space TQ091858 in bright sunshine. My 2 hour search through the blackthorn thicket then down to Ickenham Marsh LWT Reserve yielded the following. 4 low level Brown Hairstreak 1 of which was egg laying which I found impossible to photograph on my phone, 2 Small Copper, 1 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Red Admiral, 1 fresh Comma, 15 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue. Slightly disappointing numbers for such a lovely day but watching the hairstreaks made it all worthwhile

Nick Furtek
2 Sep We took a trip to Therfield Heath. After arriving at the car park at TL336401 we first stated noting a few white butterflies. On our trek eastwards we started noting Small Heath and checking out around the ancient barrows we started to see female blues and the first male Adonis. As we ventured further east we encountered a Small Copper. But it was Between TL349401 and TL349399 that we saw the most Adonis Blue and Chalkhill Blue. We did clock about 20 unidentified female blues, but will try and put a reasonable estimate on count with species seen.
Small Heath 45+, Meadow Brown 40+, Brown Argus 7+, Small/Essex Skipper 1, Small Copper 2, Common Blue only 1 identified. Chalkhill Blue 5 males +1 female identified. Holly Blue 3+, Adonis Blue 25+ and a good number of White Butterflies. Also we noted the Wasp Spider has colonised this area

Peter Fewell
Rick Vickers

August

Date Description Recorder
30 Aug Hounslow. A pleasant walk especially at its morning start and towards the end but some gloomy spells in the middle probably kept numbers of butterflies seen down. No Gatekeepers recorded! Treble-bar moths seem still very numerous but I made no attempt to count them. This is what I did record: Comma: 2, Speckled Wood: 13, Small White: 1, Meadow Brown: 35, Brown Argus: 11, Small Heath: 7, Common Blue: 8, Green-veined White: 3, Red Admiral: 4, Holly Blue: 4 Peter Gore
30 Aug Darlands Nature Reserve, Totteridge - Brown Hairstreak - a female which flew into Blackthorn. I didn’t actually see her egg laying, but the habitat looks very suitable and I think a high chance they are breeding on this site. It’s old farmland with the old fields scrubbing up, masses of Blackthorn.
Thanks to Nicholas Barnett for recommending the site and Paul Busby for sharing info on another recent Brown Hairstreak record nearby

Brown Hairstreak Totteridge 30 Aug
Malcolm Hull
29 Aug In Bengeo garden: Brown Argus

Brown Argus Bengeo 29 Aug
Simon Knott
28 Aug Folly Lane, St Albans - Wow! 2 Small Heath nectaring on Ragwort. My first record of this species from my allotment, which I've been tending for 30 years. Also flying at this site today Red Admiral (11), Small White (14), Large White (8), Speckled Wood (4), Gatekeeper (3), Gypsy Moth (2), Purple Mint Moth (2), Holly Blue (1), and Green-veined White (1)

Malcolm Hull
25 Aug Hounslow. A drop in temperature and overall numbers of butterflies seen but still warm and the relative lack of sun probably influenced various species' movements compared to earlier in the week: Small White: 3, Meadow Brown 86, Speckled Wood: 20, Gatekeeper: 7, Brown Argus: 12, Small Copper: 4, Small Heath: 9, Common Blue: 16, Red Admiral: 2, Holly Blue: 9, Comma: 1, Green-veined White: 3 and one Jersey Tiger Peter Gore
25 Aug This morning, a Jersey Tiger was in my Stevenage garden, bathing in the sun on the lounger Rheya Keable
24 Aug Despite some dull humid weather butterflies were very active in my Ware garden with an increase in Red Admirals from 2 to 4. Also present were 2 Comma, a female Brimstone, 1 Peacock, 1 Gatekeeper, 2 Large White, 2 Small White, 1 Green-veined White and 3 elderly but feisty Holly Blues that have spent the last week spending a lot of time nectaring on the remains of the Hemp Agrimony and Goldenrod! Plus the occasional Jersey Tiger! Liz Goodyear
24 Aug Batford - End of Turners Close just in field north of Batford (TL142158) - 1 Jersey Tiger moth flying down the hedge Darin Stanley
23 Aug In Bengeo garden: Silver-washed Fritillary male & Hornets continue to take Red Admirals, counted remains of 5

Simon Knott
23 Aug Hounslow. Yet another beautiful sunny day. Sightings down overall but 15 species seen including another tatty male Brown Hairstreak on the Pevensey woodland loop. Have they got a master tree in there? I wonder. There's certainly plenty of tall Ash. There was also a welcome slight increase in Small Heath numbers spread out across the walk : Meadow Brown: 55, Speckled Wood: 25, Holly Blue: 21, Gatekeeper: 8, Peacock: 1, Brown Argus: 41, Small Copper: 2, Common Blue: 12, Small Heath: 8, Comma: 1, Red Admiral: 5, Small White: 1, Brown Hairstreak: 1, Green-veined White: 2, Large White: 1 and two Jersey Tigers Peter Gore
23 Aug Second brood Adonis Blue male seen on Church Hill (Therfield Heath Western End). Also Brown Argus and Small Heath. For people wanting to see Adonis Blue, numbers are better at the eastern (town) end of the Heath this year. Glad I took the branch walk to that end

Adonis Blue Therfield Heath 23 Aug
Nick Keep
23 Aug Exploring new areas on the eastern side of Therfield Heath took me over an hour to find an Adonis Blue (TL349399) just before noon and all other specimens in about 20 minutes spotted by the footpath leading towards the Heath Cafe. Several Chalkhill Blues had already seen and Small Heath also very much in evidence. Species totals: Small White 7; Gatekeeper 10; Meadow Brown 14; Chalkhill Blue 34; Small Heath 30; Brown Argus 8; Large White 2; Adonis Blue 17; Common Blue 2

Peter Clarke
23 Aug Went across to the clover rich fields above Hollycross Road in Ware this morning and managed to see a Clouded Yellow. Very little else flying considering the habitat. Although everyone needs to note that Holly Blues are pretending to be Common Blues at the moment flying out into the middle of the field and then nectaring! Liz Goodyear
22 Aug Hounslow. Another beautiful day. At the point where I turn on the lengthy Marshalling Yards loop I've for some time found myself accompanied by what feels a little like an entourage. Huge numbers of grasshoppers, assorted moths but especially Treble-bar, other insects and of course butterflies, especially Brown Argus, our smallest local species getting a little lost in the throng and Common Blue amongst others. Occasionally one of these apparent enthusiasts becomes a passenger, a Red Admiral was very patient as I walked, a Brown Argus a little less so. Today's passenger was a grasshopper which felt it needed no assistance with mobility and hopped virtually immediately I moved. Towards the far end of the walk down by the railway there has regularly been a contrasting scene. Butterflies and bees in large numbers but all ignoring me wholly. Gatekeepers are almost finished now and today I thought we'd finally lost the Holly Blues as well until I battled through the very last gorse and broom barrier and saw 5 of them, interacting a little with one another but mostly nectaring on Heather. A Small Copper with them was no surprise but though perhaps I've simply forgotten I can't remember Holly Blues making any use of Heather before as has occurred this year elsewhere on the heath too. These two images: the swarms of insects on the Marshalling Yards and the colourful display on the Heather will, I think, be lasting memories of summer 2023. Today's sightings: Speckled Wood: 32, Green-veined White: 5, Meadow Brown: 70, Holly Blue: 20, Comma: 3, Red Admiral: 4, Small White: 2, Common Blue: 14, Small Copper: 5, Gatekeeper: 11, Small Heath: 4, Brown Argus: 33 Peter Gore
21 Aug Oxhey Park, Whites 2, Speckled Wood 3. From Watford Heath along Foot Path 5, Whites 3, Then along Foot Path 7 to Prestwick Road, Speckled Wood 9+, Whites 1, across Prestwick Road to the old Pitch and Putt Course (nicely wilded and not a Golf Course) Whites 4+, Meadow Brown 6+, Speckled Wood 2, Small Copper 2, Small Heath 17+, Common Blue 1, Gatekeeper 1, Brown Argus 2.
Back over Prestwick Road along the Rural 8 to the Station, Holly Blue 1, Whites 3, Speckled Wood 1.
Carpenders Park Cemetery Woodland Walk to Oxhet Lane, Speckled Wood 5+, Green-veined White 1, (it settled!).
And finally to Merry Hill, Holly Blue 1, Speckled Wood 8+, Meadow Brown 15+, Gatekeeper 2, Whites 7+, Common Blue 2
Rick Vickers
20 Aug Time to check out Fisher Field and park, as were supposed to hold a stall there in a few weeks, lets look at its potential. First impression, the grass had been cut, but it is hay seasoon. Speckled Wood 4, Whites 5+, Holly Blue 1, Gatekeeper 1. And then to make the journey a round, back along the Colne at the bottom of Radlet Road Playing Fields White 1, unfortunately the wind joined me for that bit Rick Vickers
19 Aug Whippendell Woods. After finishing the work party we set off to see what butterflies were on the wing. Speckled Wood 12 including 3 on the reserve work, Gatekeeper 1 over the golf course, Green-veined White 6, Large White 1 with several other whites seen. Silver-washed Fritillary 5 looking tatty. Meadow Brown 1, Red Admiral 2, Purple Hairstreak 3, A probable Peacock sighting but it was the Holly Blue that made the afternoon. 2 seen on the reserve during the work party and a scattering of individuals until we reached TQ 070978. the ragwort that is flowering along this stretch of path by Candlers Cross was alive with 20+ individuals with a total of around 30 for the day. A Jersey Tiger in Rick's Watford garden in the evening

Rick Vickers
Peter Fewell
16 Aug Cassiobury Park, right hand path hedges and edges from Rickmandsworth Road, then out into the grasslands, I saw 11+ whites, 12+ Speckled Wood, 3 Holly Blues, 1 Gatekeeper and 1 Comma which wasn't a bad start as the weather changed from the lovely that it was in the morning.
Then over the bridge and Into Whippendell Woods, Whites 22+, Silver-washed Fritillary 1, Speckled Wood 4, Holly Blue 4 and then as I'd just about given up as it clouded over and I headed down the other side of the hill towards Harrocks Wood, covering the ragwort along a short patch of the path were about 25 Holly Blues! - highlight of the day, there is a 'common' butterfly - and there is an abundance! This was the latter
Rick Vickers
21 Aug Hounslow. A beautiful sunny day, a real pleasure to be out and walking. No dramatic butterfly changes but two Peacocks were a nice surprise, perhaps understandable with temperatures in mid 20s. A slight increase in Red Admirals with three enjoying a Buddleja bush suggests they may be on the move again: Meadow Brown: 78, Speckled Wood: 33, Green-veined White: 4, Gatekeeper: 18, Red Admiral: 8, Holly Blue: 16, Brown Argus: 25, Peacock: 2, Common Blue: 14, Small Copper: 5, Small White: 5, Comma: 1, Small Heath: 1 and one Jersey Tiger plus lots of Treble-bar moths Peter Gore
21 Aug Private meadow, east of St Albans - Revisited the site where Dingy Skippers were spotted earlier this year, hoping to see second brood individuals. No success with that, though the sheer profusion of moths, grasshoppers and other insects caused an usual degree of difficulty with identification.
Butterflies identified included Common Blue (70), Meadow Brown (106), Brown Argus (63), Small Heath (52), Large White (16), Small White (39), Green-veined White (8), Gatekeeper (4), Small Skipper (2), Small Copper (2), Red Admiral (1), Brimstone (1) and Gypsy moth (1). Nearby in Symondshyde Great Wood I saw 8 Speckled Wood. Butterfly numbers seem to be holding up well for this time of year
Malcolm Hull
20 Aug Hounslow. Another good sunny day with butterfly sightings actually increasing as Gatekeepers slip away. I've been ignoring Treble-bar moths over the last week or two largely on the grounds of too-many-to-count. Today I had a go and arrived at a total of 41 very quickly in a single small area on the marshalling yards where I saw smaller numbers regularly earlier in the year. True numbers will be much higher and I have no feel for whether they're currently increasing or not. This marshalling yards area is however the only part of my walk where they're as numerous as this, likely because St.John's-wort has been conspicuously successful there too. Butterflies: Speckled Wood: 31, Holly Blue: 20, Meadow Brown: 83, Small White: 4, Red Admiral: 6, Brown Argus: 36, Common Blue: 19, Gatekeeper: 10, Small Copper: 2, Small Heath: 2, Comma: 1, Green-veined White: 1 and forty-one + Treble-bar moths. Peter Gore
20 Aug Westminster Lodge, St Albans - Red Admiral flying west south west at full speed about 1 metre off the ground. This could be the first sign of a return migration Malcolm Hull
19 Aug Hounslow. I like blackberries. If anyone ever spotted me at this time of year and especially on the heath near the start of my walk I could understand it if the sight appalled them; blackberry after blackberry being stuffed in my mouth as if I'd had no breakfast and become seriously undernourished, neither of which is actually the case. A persistant watcher might have spotted an unexpectedly abrupt stop in this process as I reached for , say, my 87th blackberry of the morning. It's very unlikely anyone did see but I'll explain it anyway because it quickly became a treasured memory for this year. What caused me to pause was not the specks of mold I later noticed on the blackberrry through close focus binoculars but rather what had momentarily seemed like a dead leaf next to it: a living Brown Hairstreak, scruffy and devoid of most colour but with enough of white lines, orange bits and indeed a residual bit of hairstreak to make its identity certain. It didn't do much and I eventually moved on leaving it probing my proposed food source for itself but not before it had turned obligingly 360 degrees displaying a slightly better side. Wings stayed close and I resisted the temptation to disturb it. It's the 28th species seen this year and given the unusual persistance of Clouded Yellow earlier it's possible that all of them bred here. Only casual wandering species have been seen additionally in earlier years so a unique full 'set' in that regard. One later sighting gave me particular pleasure, a very fresh looking Small Heath on the meadows where in past years I've often counted dozens but I think none at all until today, this year. A minor thing, the only difference between today's Brown Hairstreak and the rejected one on one of the Pevensey Road loops on Thursday was that the markings and condition of today's specimen were clearer. I must have missed such dull specimens many times in the past I suspect. Today's full list: Speckled Wood: 27, Red Admiral: 4, Brown Hairstreak: 1, Green-veined White: 4, Meadow Brown: 76, Gatekeeper: 16, Holly Blue: 16, Brown Argus: 18, Common Blue: 9, Small White: 6, Small Copper: 3, Large White: 3, Comma: 1, Small Heath: 2, Brimstone: 1 and two Jersey Tigers. Peter Gore
19 Aug Branch Event
27 people, aged from 1 to 90, gathered for the second branch walk on Therfield Heath. The leader decided with such a large group and with a recent branch sighting report of Adonis Blue on the Rifle Range to stick to the Eastern Heath rather than go to Church Hill. As expected, it turned into an "identify your Blues" walk. We were soon rewarded with a steady stream of Chalkhill Blues of both sexes. Further up the side of the Rifle Range, male Adonis Blues gleamed out. Common Blue of both sexes (mostly quite elderly) were added to the mix particularly at the bottom of the bowl. A few Brown Argus, again past their peak, were spotted and a couple of Holly Blues were found towards the end to complete the identification points. Apart from these, we had Small Heath, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown regularly. At least one of Large White, Small White and Green-veined White were clearly identified amongst the occasional Pieris, and a few people saw a very late Essex Skipper right at the end. Photos: Paddy Grove

Nick Keep
19 Aug Clothall Common, Baldock - After attending Nick Keep's excellent walk at Therfield Heath, we stopped at this site on Baldock Bypass on the way back. Chalkhill Blues were sheltering away from the stiff breeze, but we still counted 71, roughly even numbers of males and females. Brown Argus (7), Common Blue (8), Holly Blue (1), Small Copper (1), Meadow Brown (20), Red Admiral (1), Small Heath (10), Gatekeeper (5), Large White (3), 6-spot Burnet (2), Jersey Tiger (1), Gypsy moth (1), Small White (3), Green-veined White (4). Kidney Vetch is well distributed across the site, but it was not until we were turning to leave that we spotted two clashing Small Blues adding the Adonis Blues we saw at Therfield, that’s 6 separate species of blue in Herts in one day - a novel achievement for us both

Malcolm Hull
Nick Barnett
19 Aug A windy day but a good day for Small Heath. I saw 34 of them on all my 5 transects. Of note 10 Small Heath on Rickneys Quarry where there were also 31 Brown Argus and an amazing 31 Treble-bar moths and 10 Common Blue. It is sheltered from the wind. Exceptional numbers of Brown Argus and Small Heath this year Steve Kiln
17 Aug I spent 4 happy hours at the Stafford Road Open Space this afternoon so my overall haul included a minimum of Brown Hairstreak (15); Large White (12); Speckled Wood (8), Holly Blue (6), Gatekeeper (6), Brown Argus (3), Green-veined White (2), Small Copper (1), Small White (1) and Small Heath (1 - in a nearby field)

Tony Kavanagh
17 Aug Therfield Heath (TL 348 402). Good numbers of 2nd generation Adonis Blues are now on the wing on the Old Rifle Range. Sightings: Essex Skipper (1), Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Small Heath (lots), Meadow Brown (lots), Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Copper (1), Holly Blue, Brown Argus (declining, but still plenty about - this species has had a phenomenal year), Common Blue, Adonis Blue (12+ males), Chalkhill Blue (still lots about: tatty males and smart females, as usual in mid-August)

Martin Johnson
17 Aug Hounslow. Another sunny day but numbers recorded continue to reduce steadily. The highlight was to have been a very tatty faded male Brown Hairstreak seen in the Pevensey Road woodland area but I've become less happy with this identification the further removed I've got from it so am reduced to this abject statement instead. Whatever the truth it joins a growing number of candidates for both sexes seen in the last few weeks and has at least convinced me there are Brown Hairstreaks around across the area. I can only hope one or more will oblige by remaining in reasonable condition and settling somewhere I can see it comfortably on my walk soon. Here are my 'regulars' and 'dependables' seen: Speckled Wood: 38, Holly Blue: 20, Gatekeeper: 21, Meadow Brown: 68, Red Admiral: 3, Common Blue: 13, Brown Argus: 16, Small White: 6, Large White: 3, Small Copper: 2, Small Heath: 1 Peter Gore
17 Aug We arrived at the Stafford Road Open Space at 10:45 am mostly looking for the Brown Hairstreak, There was more cloud than sunshine but we managed to find several Brown Hairstreaks feeding on the bramble blossom and the blackberries. The hotspot was in the area around TQ 08846 86221 (what3words: voting.master.select). We left at 1:45 pm and overall noted 18 Brown Hairstreak (more males than females - about 3 to 1), 6 Small White, 4 Brown Argus, 2 Holly Blue, 15 Speckled Wood, 8 Gatekeeper, 1 Small Copper and 1 Red Admiral. A most satisfying day.

Peter Clarke
Bob Clift
17 Aug Oak Hill Park, East Barnet - Speckled Wood (5), Meadow Brown (5), Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Large White (3), Small White (7), Brown Argus, Jersey Tiger Malcolm Hull
16 Aug Hounslow. With more sunshine I expected better numbers but that never looked likely as I walked so I had to be satisfied with two species not seen yesterday, Comma and Green-veined White, the latter were fresh-looking individuals, today's Small White likewise. Still a few more whites around than I'm able to identify but really numbers of them overall are continuing to be low as they have been all year. The Holly Blues included a dozen mingling with the Gatekeepers amongst the heather and broom. Fewer than yesterday but two of them added to the oddity by mating on a Gorse Bush where they were very reminiscent of Green Hairstreak apart from the obvious. One or two of them are half-sized; with their wings closed they could perhaps pass for Small Blue but food plants are missing and there's no prospect of the species in our acidic area: Speckled Wood: 28, Meadow Brown: 92, Gatekeeper: 50, Brown Argus: 36, Holly Blue: 14, Common Blue: 20, Small Heath: 1, Red Admiral: 1, Comma: 1, Green-veined White: 3, Small White: 1 and four Jersey Tigers Peter Gore
15 Aug Hounslow. A dozen butterfly species with continuing good numbers for Brown Argus and slightly surprising ones too for Holly Blue which now seems to be turning up in one or two places where I wouldn't normally expect to see them. A Small Heath was a very welcome sight on the heath where it's been seen in much larger numbers in the past: Speckled Wood: 30, Holly Blue: 32, Common Blue: 25, Meadow Brown: 102, Gatekeeper: 43, Small Copper: 3, Brown Argus: 40, Brimstone: 1, Small White: 2, Small Heath: 1, Large White: 2, Red Admiral: 2 and eight Jersey Tigers Peter Gore
13 Aug Branch Event
Despite the somewhat gloomy forecast and under grey skies 13 adults, 3 juniors and 1 impeccably behaved dog assembled for this H&M field trip to Stafford Road Open Space at Ruislip Gardens. The group set off at 10:30 along the Yeading brook path and soon encountered a very welcomed Speckled Wood followed by a Jersey Tiger and for the next 20 minutes or so the count very slowly increased as we passed through the Open Space. Then contrary to the forecast the sun appeared and remained out for much of the day and we soon came apon our first Brown Hairstreak (BHK) and over the next 2 hours as the group walked the paths the BHK count increased to at least 16 which were all nectaring on thistle heads enabling everyone to get long views from every angle in different locations. The group then braved the wind and moved into the large field which was showing signs of new growth of Bird's-foot Trefoil, Knapweed, Clover after its recent annual cut (June?) and we were soon greeted by five Small Heath to bring the butterfly species count to 14. Around 1pm the walk ended at the Bedford Road site entrance where we were treated to the last 3 BHK busy nectaring on thistle providing the perfect end to the field trip. Wanting more, and maybe me being persuasive, a few continued on and in no time whilst on the service road past the allotments 2 more BHK were seen dancing along the hedge row top. Could this be the first drive by BHK location? 2 'extra late' arrivals bolstered the group to partly retrace our footsteps but this time in the sun with more BHK showing in locations not seen at earlier plus in new locations and after 2 hours we bid our farewells leaving just the 2 late arrivals and myself to continue on towards Ickenham where amongst many other delights we came across a 3-wing female in the grass which eagerly climbed on our ragwort offering to take nectar. Despite a few short flights her chances of survival looked slender. At 5:30 we finally called it a day. Phew! What a nice bunch of people.....and a dog.
Numbers seen. In brackets are to 1pm (no known double counts). Brown Hairstreak 27 (16) all low level, Purple Hairstreak 2 (1), Meadow Brown 14 (5), Brown Argus 25 (4), Small Copper 2 (1), Small Heath 8 (5), Speckled Wood 35 (25), Gatekeeper 20 (12), Red Admiral 2 (1), Green-veined White 15 (6), Small White 10 (2), Large White 8 (1), Holly Blue 6 (3), Common Blue 20 (7), Jersey Tiger 8 (7), Shaded broad-bar (1) 1.

Nick Furtek
13 Aug On a morning walk near South Mimms (TL213015) I saw my first Brown Argus of the year, as well as Small Heath, Comma, Gatekeeper(2) and Small White(2) Terry Wood
12 Aug Took a mid morning walk down the fields from the house to the Rivers orchard and fields Sawbridgeworth (TL475146), not really a butterfly walk but of note my first Small Copper here for 10 years and a very late Marbled White, 2nd gen Brown Argus, Common Blue, Holly Blue and Small Heath doing well Laurence Drummond
12 Aug I took a look around Stafford Road Open Space to see if the terrain was going to be good for the walk tomorrow. It's not boggy as I was expecting and the rides are passable. The weather conditions this afternoon were not ideal being mostly overcast and breezy. However I did get to see some butterflies including 2 Brown Hairstreak. The first was feeding on a thistle and I only got one photo before it took off over the blackthorn. I thought that sighting was going to be it for the day but right on the nose of 4pm in cloudy conditions I managed to get a few photos before it headed off into the trees. Other butterflies seen Speckled Wood 7, Comma 1, Green-veined White 1, Large White 1, + 4 other whites seen. Holly Blue 1, Meadow Brown 4, Gatekeeper 5, Brown Argus 1. grid refs approximate TQ 091855 and TQ 091857

Peter Fewell
4 Aug Walk over Therfield Heath (east side) produced good numbers of Chalkhill Blues both males and females

Paula Moore
11 Aug Hounslow. Not quite as nice a day as yesterday which perhaps explains the drop in numbers seen but I think we're now at the stage where Gatekeeper has begun its usual rapid decline so no more very high totals for me. Individually though Brown Argus impressed and offset the failure to spot Small Heath again to some extent. Not a butterfly but a colourful sighting entirely new to me was spotted in the woodland on the Richmond side of the Crane. A great many holes in leaves of what I probably wrongly thought was a Lime caught my attention but my hopes of an interesting caterpillar were quickly dashed by what I saw: numerous quite beautiful dark metallic blue beetles very like Alder Leaf beetle images found online but presumably not that particular spring species. These days I welcome just about any insect and the tree itself seemed happy enough. Back however to butterflies: Small White: 3, Meadow Brown: 99, Speckled Wood: 40, Red Admiral: 5, Holly Blue: 24, Gatekeeper: 68, Green-veined White: 5, Common Blue: 25, Brown Argus: 41, Small Copper: 2, Comma: 2, Painted Lady: 1, Purple Hairstreak: 2 and three live Jersey Tigers plus one roadside casualty Peter Gore
11 Aug Checked out some local Small Blue sites to see how the second brood is faring this year. At Harpenden Lane, Redbourn, I saw 2 Small Blue, 9 Brimstone, 10 Brown Argus and 2 Common Blue. At Upper Bourne End Lane, Bourne End Mills I saw 1 Small Blue, 3 Common Blue, 4 Brown Argus, 2 Brimstone and 1 Small Copper. At A41 Bourne End junction, N/W bound side I saw 3 Small Blue, 3 Brown Argus, 1 Common Blue, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Small Copper. Also 28 Six-spot Burnet moth, my best total for this species this year. Finally at A41 Bourne End junction S/E bound side I saw 7 Small Blue, 4 Six-spot Burnet and 1 each of Common Blue, Brown Argus, Holly Blue and Small Copper.
Many of the Small Blues were tatty, suggesting that their season may soon be nearing its end

Malcolm Hull
10 Aug Ruislip Gardens and Stafford Open Space: I met up with Hiro Takenouchi to search for Brown Hairstreak, arriving just before 11. Initially things did not look good, with no sightings, but perhaps we were just a little early, and a half hour spell of cloud did not help! Around midday we arrived along with the sunshine and heat at the same sites we found to be so productive a couple of years ago (TQ 09206 85771, TQ 09140 85701), and were immediately rewarded with sightings of a beautifully fresh female, and a couple of slightly worn males. By 2 pm we had seen at least 15 males, all slightly worn but mostly intact, and 5 females, some of this number away from the sites mentioned above and scattered throughout Ruislip Gardens, and a male and female barely a few paces from the entrance to Ruislip Gardens (TQ095856). During the day we bumped into Nick Furtek who was busily and commendably lopping away at vegetation to open up paths and the habitat, and we all revelled in the wonderful sight of multiple individuals and species of blue all cavorting across the sunlit flowers and grass (we didn't count numbers): Holly Blue, Small Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, and Brown Hairstreak - happy days!

Andrew Neild
10 Aug At Heartwood Forest I spotted 2 Small Blues in the meadow north of Ham Wood - the first time I’ve found this species in that location. At a meadow near Symonshyde Wood I counted 84 Common Blues, 62 Brown Argus, 8 Small Heath and 1 Small Copper. And for the first ever time I saw Jersey Tiger in my garden in St Albans Malcolm Hull
10 Aug Hounslow. A lovely sunny morning made the dull afternoon seem rather disappointing by contrast. I'm fairly sure I saw Brown Hairstreak flying on the heath just not quite well enough to list here where a trio of Small Heath sightings felt like they deserved star billing today and a good tally for Speckled Wood must have been a 2023 high for that species. Peacock was an absentee : Red Admiral: 5, Speckled Wood: 49, Green-veined White: 9, Purple Hairstreak: 3, Meadow Brown: 116, Gatekeeper: 101, Holly Blue: 17, Large White: 2, Brown Argus: 24, Common Blue: 32, Small White: 5, Small Copper: 2, Small Heath: 3, Brimstone: 1, Comma: 2 and five Jersey Tigers Peter Gore
6 Aug We saw a Jersey Tiger in our Hitchin garden. The photo was taken while it was at rest on the patio doors in sunshine

Jersey Tiger Hitchin 6 Aug
Chris Sheeves
9 Aug I have just photographed a female Brown Hairstreak in Sunbury-on-Thames at the junction of Saxonbury Avenue and Rope Walk. It was on Bramble and then Ivy. I saw one last year in Derby Gardens on a pear on 23rd August. It looks as if they are breeding locally, possibly in Hawke Park where there is plenty of sloe

Brown Hairstreak Sunbury 9 Aug
Phil Cribb
9 Aug Harpenden. TL135162. Cycle path just north of Harpenden leading toward treatment works building. 1 Jersey Tiger
Batford - 1 Hummingbird Hawk-moth on buddleia in the back garden. 3rd time this year!
Darin Stanley
9 Aug The wildflower meadow at Bedmond Lane, St Albans was the main target area on todays lunchtime walk. The meadow has been long abandoned by agriculture and is dominated by scrub, with areas of wildflowers maintained by rabbit grazing. Gatekeeper (55) was the most common species, concentrating around the patches of knapweed and marjoram. Brown Argus (22) was also showing strongly. Holly Blue (7), Large White (6), Green -veined White (12) were all showing strongly. Numbers of other species such as Common Blue (4), Meadow Brown (1), Essex Skipper (1), Brimstone (3), Peacock (4), Small White (3), Red Admiral (1) and Speckled Wood (4) are static or decreasing. Moths included Shaded Broad-bar (1), Silver Y (3), Gypsy moth (1, my first of the year) and Dewick’s Plusia (my first ever record). On the way home through Verulamium Woods, I added Comma and Large Skipper. The latter a surprise as I have seen very few this year and it appeared to be in very fresh condition

Dewick's Plusia St Albans 9 Aug
Malcolm Hull
7 Aug St Albans - A record number of sightings on my Wilder St Albans low mow plot on Bluehouse Hill this morning. This is the third year since cutting was reduced and the butterflies are responding well. In 15 mins I counted Brown Argus (3), Gatekeeper (3), Large White (2), Small White (2), Green-veined White (2), Holly Blue (1) and Meadow Brown (1)
In Verulamium Park, in the meadow alongside Bluehouse Hill, Brown Argus (93) were most numerous, with Meadow Brown (7), Gatekeeper (5), Common Blue (4), Large White (2), Small Copper (2), Small White (1), Essex Skipper (1) and Silver Y moth (1) making up the numbers. Elsewhere in the park, I added Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Peacock to the days list. Later in my garden also Brimstone, Painted Lady and Purple Mint Moth

Malcolm Hull
6 Aug Merry Hill Bushey (TQ 132942). We partly went to this site for its potential for Brown Hairstreak but so far none found, it was about 3pm when we arrived after the weather picked up a bit. On arrival we first sighted a Red Admiral and a probable glimpse of another later. Once we got going we must have sighted over 30 Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper 20+, Small Copper 2, Peacock 1, a good run of Brown Argus with 15+ noted, Holly Blue 2, Brimstone 1, Purple Hairstreak 2 with one feeding on ripe blackberry, Comma 2, Green-veined White 1 with other Whites seen, Common Blue 1

Rick Vickers
Peter Fewell
6 Aug On a walk along the public footpaths across Harrow School Fields this morning I saw 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper, 1 Holly Blue, 6 Gatekeeper, 9 Meadow Brown and 1 Large White Michael Robinson
3 Aug Our garden butterfly numbers are good this year compared with the last few years. I saw 5 Red Admiral; 2 Peacock; 1 Comma; 2 Small White; 1 Painted Lady, 2 Holly Blue, and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth both in the front and back of our Hemel Hempstead garden in just a short space of time. Almost like old times!
Sunshine and showers seem to suit them better than hot and dry
Chris Ridley
3 Aug Hounslow. I found myself walking along the riverside path accompanied by an overflowing river itself - a rather different picture from approximately a year ago when I was able to cross the dried up mill stream without wetting my shoes. Climate change indeed! I defied the flooding Crane and made it around the Marshalling Yards without difficulty but allowed the mud and water on both sides of the river to deter me from the woodland stretches after which I headed homewards. So half a walk maybe but still with good numbers of butterflies recorded and I felt there would be more with any sustained sunshine. Purple Hairstreaks were flying low and I may have missed an opportunity to record more of them and perhaps other Hairstreaks: Green-veined White: 6, Gatekeeper: 107, Speckled Wood: 14, Meadow Brown: 89, Purple Hairstreak: 5, Holly Blue: 6, Red Admiral: 4, Small White: 4, Common Blue: 8, Brown Argus: 3, Marbled White: 1, Peacock: 3 and two Jersey Tigers Peter Gore
1 Aug On my Alexandra Park transect I saw two Jersey Tiger moths my first of the year, and a Brown Argus after a long gap, as haven’t seen them for a couple of years. Also a Purple Hairstreak down low on Oak. A Red Admiral landed on me again, I’ve seen so many this year!

Dee Cullen

July

Date Description Recorder
29 Jul A Purple Hairstreak at Park Wood (TL 128 054) Chris Hocking
30 Jul Branch Event - Millhoppers Reserve
We had a very successful butterfly walk with 7 people joining the walk. Altogether we saw 19 species of butterfly with 18 species flying in Millhoppers reserve. Everyone seemed very appreciative of the reserve and one participant offered to help with the work parties from time to time.
On the reserve: 4 Speckled Wood; 15 Meadow Brown; 25 Gatekeeper; 1 Red Admiral; 2 Peacock; 1 Brimstone; 2 Marbled White; 7 Small White; 1 Green-veined White; 1 Ringlet, 1 Holly Blue; 1 Large Skipper; 2 Essex Skipper; 3 Small Skipper; 2 Common Blue; 5 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper
Walking to the reserve from Wilstone: 6 Comma; 7 Red Admiral; 15 Gatekeeper; 1 Large White; 5 Small White; 1 Holly Blue; 5 Meadow Brown
We were lucky with the weather - it was quite mild with a little sunshine and only began to rain just as we'd finished the walk at around 1.30pm
Chris Ridley
30 Jul My short brief impromptu high noon visit to Stafford Road TQ092857 in worsening overcast and windy weather yielded 3 Brown Hairstreak (my target species) and 2 rather worn Purple Hairstreak all settling at low level after brief flights. 1 Ringlet, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock and an abundance of Gatekeeper, quite a few Meadow Brown and whites in the clearings. Too windy to venture out in the larger fields in search of the other more colourful meadow species hence the low tally. At least the rain held off! Nick Furtek
29 Jul Whippendell Woods and a brief look into Cassiobury Park with Rick Vickers.
We did spot a Red Admiral when we arrived in the car park. We checked to see if our plug plants were still alive, confirmed we proceeded into Whippendell Woods via the Lime Avenue. Sadly we did not see any Purple Emperor nor White Admiral today and suspect we will have to wait until next season now.
Other butterflies seen in Whippendell Woods, Silver-washed Fritillary 12, Gatekeeper 15+, Comma 3, Green-veined White 4+, Large White and Small White. Brimstone 1, Peacock 3, Speckled Wood 1, Holly Blue 4+, Small Skipper 4, Ringlet 1 confirmed and Meadow Brown still present but in reduced numbers now. Surprise of the day would be the single Brown Argus sighting and a fresh specimen at TQ 075978. The location is also known as Strawberry Fields. It is the first time we have recorded one in Whippendell Woods!
Late afternoon we had a quick look into Cassiobury Park. We did see a Red Admiral, a Comma, a few Whites and Meadow Brown. We did get to see a single fresh looking Common Blue at TQ 096970.

Peter Fewell
29 Jul Brown Argus (23) was butterfly of the day during my walk in Verulamium Park. Meadow Brown (18), Green-veined White (3), Red Admiral (2), Peacock (2), Small Skipper (2), Essex Skipper (2) and Gatekeeper (1) also put in an appearance. Silver-washed Fritillary close by in St Michael's Churchyard was another highlight

Brown Argus Verulamium Park 29 Jul
Malcolm Hull
28 Jul St Albans - 10 Peacocks feasting in the garden this afternoon and later one in the shed, exploring for a good hibernation spot. Large White (2), Comma (1) and Painted Lady (1) all favoured the Buddleia. Peacocks and Red Admiral (4) also fed on Marjoram, Innula and Hemp Agrimony. Brimstone (1) fed only on the Everlasting Sweet Pea and Holly Blue (1) just on Hemp Agrimony. Small Whites were looking for egg laying sites and nectared on Lavender. 3 Small Tortoiseshells still in hibernation in the shed where the Old Lady moth also spent the day

Malcolm Hull
28 Jul Took a late afternoon walk through Heartwood Forest towards the colourful meadow bordering Hillend Farm (TL167 113) in the hope of sighting a few blues. At first, with overcast skies, there was precious little activity, but later when things brightened up a bit, so the butterflies began to appear and before long I was entertained by Small Blue (6), all six at one point simultaneously dancing and clashing with each other, Meadow Brown (11), Small/Essex Skipper (6), Common Blue (2), Large White (2), Peacock (2), Gatekeeper (2), Brown Argus (1) and Small Heath (1). Earlier, in my St Albans garden, Red Admiral (2), Peacock (2) and Large White (2)

Tony Kavanagh
27 Jul Malcolm Hull and I went to the Chalk Bank in Greenwood Park this afternoon (TL 137052) to do some maintenance and were rewarded with our first sighting of a Small Blue butterfly on the kidney vetch, there was another sighting nearby a bit later and we think this was another butterfly, we were VERY pleased!! Also in the enclosure were 1 Brown Argus, 1 Comma, 2 Gatekeeper, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Large White, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Six-Spot Burnet, 1 Small Copper, 1 Small Skipper, plus the 2 Small Blue. Very pleasing

Small Blue Greenwood Park 27 Jul
Mandy Floyd
26 Jul I visited Hexton Chalk Pit this morning to try to judge this year's population size for the Chalkhill Blue. Using the same system as previous years the index was 96 compared to 202 last year and 152 in 2021. For reference, it has been as low as 26 in 2018 and as high as 423 in 2013. So not a great year, though there are plenty to see and most of them in good condition.
Also present were 49 Gatekeeper, 5 Meadow Brown, 2 Small White, 2 Peacock and singles of Comma, Marbled White, Brimstone, Green-veined White and Dark Green Fritillary and a Six-Spot Burnet Moth

Andrew Wood
26 Jul Had a Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on the buddleia in my garden in South Harrow this morning

Hummingbird Hawk-moth Harrow 26 Jul
Michael Robinson
25 Jul Hounslow. A pleasant sunny day with occasional gloomy spells but no rain. Butterflies began with the unusual sighting of a Common Blue attracted to flowers on a strip of lawn left uncut on Richmond's Heath park. Subsequently a total of 20 species again despite several just clinging on well past their peak: Common Blue: 4, Red Admiral: 22, Speckled Wood: 12, Meadow Brown: 141, Gatekeeper: 208, Peacock: 28, Holly Blue: 7, Small White: 15, Green-veined White: 7, Brimstone: 2, Comma: 3, Marbled White: 3, Clouded Yellow: 2, Essex Skipper: 2, Brown Argus: 19, Small Skipper: 2, Painted Lady: 1, Large White: 1, Small Copper: 2, Purple Hairstreak: 6 Peter Gore
23 Jul During a short visit to Nomansland Common just after 4 pm, my wife spotted at least 2 (perhaps 3) Small Blues at the far western end of the meadow (TL163123). Also in the same area there were at least 5 very fresh Brown Argus. Elsewhere on the Common at TL167124 we also saw 2 fresh Small Coppers feasting on heather flowers, and noted generally that Large White numbers were up, while Marbled Whites were nearly finished (2 worn specimens seen)

Andrew Neild
23 Jul Hounslow. A sunnier day with no rain after I started mid-morning so a full walk and back to good numbers of sightings. A noticeable decline in Peacocks may be a result of significant numbers moving into hibernation, Marbled White and the Skippers are about to finish: Gatekeeper: 166, Holly Blue: 4, Meadow Brown: 116, Red Admiral: 10, Speckled Wood: 12, Large White: 4, Green-veined White: 8, Comma: 9, Small White: 3, Brown Argus: 11, Common Blue: 12, Peacock: 19, Clouded Yellow: 1, Small Skipper: 5, Small Copper: 7, Marbled White: 2, Essex Skipper: 2, Purple Hairstreak: 3 and two Jersey Tigers Peter Gore
23 Jul Sightings at Aldbury Nowers. Photos courtesy of Vanessa Wright. Silver-washed Fritillary 3, Red Admiral 8, Large Skipper 2, Small Skipper 3, Marbled White 3, Large White 6, Gatekeeper 20, Small White 10, Peacock 3, Comma 4, Brimstone 5, Green-veined White 1, Meadow Brown 1, Brown Argus 1, Chalkhill Blue 10, Common Blue 1

Simon Mavin
23 Jul Between the rain this morning at Potters Crouch Plantations (TL103052) 3 White Admirals (at grid Ref), 7 Green-veined Whites, 4 Gatekeepers, 3 Meadow Brown, 2 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Comma Andrew Steele
22 Jul Branch Event
Heartwood Forest, Sandridge - 17 people joined todays Branch walk held in conjunction with the Woodland Trust. Despite unpromising weather, we were successful in having brief glimpses of our target species, Purple Emperor, as well as Small Blue. The walk was postponed due to a weather warning last week and todays weather seemed equally unpromising with no sunshine during the walk. There was light rain at the start, getting heavier towards the end. Setting off from the car park, the first meadow was full of flowers, but with no sign of butterflies. Entering the second meadow, Ziggy, the youngest member of the group spotted movement in the grass and quickly identified a Small Blue. Fortunately it settled, allowing us the opportunity of excellent views and photographs. Second brood Small Blue records on this site are relatively rare, so this was a real find. Blood-vein moth was the next species identified as it posed obligingly, low down in the grass. Next we found a sedentary skipper, easily identified as Small Skipper. In fact all 5 skippers we saw during the trip were sufficiently inactive and all turned out to be Small Skipper. Next we saw a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. Ziggy spotted one of the latter was an aberration, which I've identified as antilacticolor. Reaching a more sheltered spot, we added Ringlet, Red Admiral, Small White, Small Copper and Marbled White to the days list.
Reaching the Purple Emperor territory at Puddlers Wood, we followed the track alongside the wood heading towards the pond. This area has proved a fruitful source of groundings and Emperors feeding on sap runs in previous years, but the cool grey conditions meant we only had one butterfly sighting along the track. It was a large dark butterfly moving fast through the trees, but not possible to claim a firm ID. Cinnabar caterpillars were plentiful on the Ragwort. Entering Valley Field, we saw a few more common grassland species and added 6-spot Burnet and Speckled Wood to the days list.
Arriving back at the PE territory at 12:45 the rain became heavier and we decided to call it a day as further sightings were unlikely. Ziggy then spotted a dark butterfly on a tall ash. Over the next two minutes we got several good views, sufficient to positively identify a male Purple Emperor. We then quickly retreated to the car park to avoid being completely soaked. So overall a successful trip, showing that while there are less butterflies to be seen on overcast days, they are usually more placid and easier to identify and photograph. Thanks to everyone who came and let's hope for better weather next year!


Malcolm Hull
Andrew Steele
22 Jul Just before the rain set in I saw this Jersey Tiger on a sign in the Chalkhill Estate, Wembley

Jersey Tiger Wembley 22 Jul
Michael Robinson
22 Jul Hounslow. A shorter walk this morning avoiding any rain until the journey through the streets to home. Statistics therefore not directly comparable to earlier in the week but they do include sightings from all four squares as usually covered with the overwhelimng majority on the Marshalling Yards: Speckled Wood: 3, Gatekeeper: 57, Meadow Brown: 38, Green-veined White: 1, Small White: 1, Peacock: 5, Large White: 1, Common Blue: 2, Red Admiral: 1, Painted Lady: 1, Marbled White: 3, Essex Skipper: 1, Purple Hairstreak: 1 and one Jersey Tiger. Peter Gore
20 Jul Hillbrow, Letchworth – 2nd brood Small Blue x11, the site is looking good plenty of flowering Kidney Vetch

Roger Millard
21 Jul Hounslow. Weather much duller today although never quite managing to rain, butterfly numbers substantially down and Red Admirals amongst others with a significant number of worn or damaged individuals: Meadow Brown: 124, Red Admiral: 11, Purple Hairstreak: 4, Peacock: 47, Gatekeeper: 152, Green-veined White: 6, Comma: 6, Speckled Wood: 19, Small White: 11, Brown Argus: 8, Large White: 2, Marbled White: 9, Common Blue: 9, Small Skipper: 6, Essex Skipper: 2, Holly Blue: 3, Small Copper: 3, Painted Lady: 1. Three moth species made this something of a moth day: a Hummingbird Hawk-moth on the Pevensey Road meadow, my first Jersey Tiger, minus half of both its left side wings so unable to fly, but in much better condition, a fresh looking Six-Spot Burnet - once common, the first I've been able to see properly for years (both these on the Marshalling Yards), then finally another Jersey Tiger flying strongly on one of the streets home Peter Gore
21 Jul On a buddleia next to J14 of the M25, I spotted a male Silver-Washed Fritillary, the first I have ever seen round here.
A Small Copper ab. radiata seen at Stanwell Moor on 12th July

Dave Miller
21 Jul I carried out a Big Butterfly Count on my St Albans allotment at lunchtime. Saw my first 2 Painted Ladies of the summer. Peacock(17) are now outnumbering Red Admiral(2). Gatekeeper(19) was the most common species, followed by Small White(9), Large White(5), Comma(2) and 1 each of Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Green-veined White. Small Copper, Holly Blue and Small Tortoiseshell also put in an appearance, but only after I’d submitted my Count! There’s no limit to the number of Big Butterfly Counts which can be submitted, it’s really helpful to submit as many as you can Malcolm Hull
20 Jul Hounslow. Another day with a lot of butterflies. The two currently commonest browns are likely seriously undercounted but it seems also worth mentioning that I usually say the same about the two smaller whites but don't need to this year, not because I've got miraculously better at identifying them but because the relatively small numbers flying throughout this year mean the proportion I miss is not the sort of numbers missed in the past. Also a sad acknowledgement of three consistently missing species that have in the past had reasonable numbers to add to any large count like this one: Small Tortoiseshell, Large Skipper and Small Heath. Here's what we did have today: Holly Blue: 9, Red Admiral: 16, Meadow Brown: 204, Peacock: 42, Purple Hairstreak: 6, Small White: 26, Gatekeeper: 250, Speckled Wood: 25, Large White: 3, Brown Argus: 22, Small Skipper: 13, Green-veined White: 10, Comma: 9, Marbled White: 15, Common Blue: 11, Essex Skipper: 2, Brimstone: 2, Small Copper: 3, Clouded Yellow: 2, White-letter Hairstreak: 1, Painted Lady: 1 Peter Gore
20 Jul Visited a new site for me this morning, Bat Willow Hurst country park Bishops Stortford (TL495232), 09.15-10.00, 1 Small Skipper, 8 Brown Argus, 6 Red Admiral, 5 Peacock, 1 Comma, 10 Gatekeeper, 5 Meadow Brown.
This afternoon a walk from the house mainly to check Purple Emperor territories , single males found at Sayes Coppice High Wych (TL450142) and Queens Wood Hunsdon (TL433146), also on the Hunsdon Aerodrome site at the south end of Maplecroft Wood (TL440146), on Burdock and thistle, 2 Small Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 2 Brimstone, c 50 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, c 40 Peacock, 4 Comma, c 30 Gatekeeper, c 20 Meadow Brown, I had quite a moment as they were flushing and flying all around me!, at the southern end of Battles Wood (TL436145), 15 Brown Argus and 1 Marbled White, no Silver Washed Fritillarys here this year though
Laurence Drummond
20 Jul Coppetts Wood LNR, Colney Hatch - A new site for me, butterflies in good numbers in the areas of emerging scrub and enjoying the Buddleias! 3 White-letter Hairstreaks, 3 Purple Hairstreaks, 32 Red Admirals, 6 Commas, 4 Holly Blues, 6 Peacocks, 21 Large Whites, 5 Speckled Woods, 6 Meadow Browns, 19 Gatekeepers, 17 Small Whites and 17 Green-veined Whites Malcolm Hull
19 Jul I had a walk around Clothall Common, Baldock, this afternoon and was delighted to come across several 2nd Brood Small Blues. I hadn’t visited the site during the earlier flight season and so this was the first time I had seem them there. Kidney Vetch is widespread so the site could hold a good population. Several other more common species also present

Small Blue Clothall Common 19 Jul
Ian Small
18 Jul Bengeo garden: Purple Hairstreak, 2nd ground record of this common canopy species

Purple Hairstreak Bengeo 18 Jul
Simon Knott
18 Jul Hounslow. Another pleasant day and yet more butterflies. A trivial highlight for me was finally establishing beyond all doubt that there were two or more Clouded Yellows flying here today. I've still not managed to see two together but one I had a close look at had two pieces missing from a hindwing, the next I got a similar look at had all wings intact. I could believe we have more than the 4 which has been my maximum recorded to date but not less than two. Purple Hairstreaks were more visibly active both in the morning and much later and a couple of White-letter Hairstreaks helped persuade me I wasn't completely wasting my time staring up at empty elms. I wish they were as obvious and numerous as Peacocks are though: Green-veined White: 9, Purple Hairstreak: 14, Meadow Brown: 181, Gatekeeper: 188, Small White: 23, Comma: 13, Small Skipper: 14, Red Admiral: 24, Peacock: 57, Speckled Wood: 11, Ringlet: 2, Holly Blue: 8, Common Blue: 7, Brown Argus: 20, Small Copper: 7, Clouded Yellow: 2, Essex Skipper: 3, Marbled White: 7, Large White: 2, Brimstone (f): 1, White-letter Hairstreak: 2, Painted Lady: 1 Peter Gore
18 Jul I did a local walk today around Ware, revisiting some of the paths that I walked regularly during lockdown. Starting by Ware Cemetery , I walk down Wengeo Lane and then through an area of grassland and buddleia by the GSK building – the number of Red Admirals was something I have never witnessed before!! I counted over 35 in just a small section with 5 along Wengeo Lane. Also of note were 3 Peacock, 1 Common Blue and a Small Skipper. Walking across the Meads towards Hertford again I saw many Red Admiral but also Comma and a Small Tortoiseshell but despite a large supply of thistle no Painted Lady, my target species in TL3413. Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Gatekeeper and a Marbled White were also recorded. On the south side of the railway there were more Ringlet and a Holly Blue. Returning to Ware I then walked beside the river Lea to just before the Amwell NR. One particular buddleia bush had over 20 Red Admirals and a single Painted Lady finally!! I also saw a Brimstone. Leaving the river I walked towards Hollycross Road with more Red Admirals on the buddleia – up to 18 and again a Painted Lady! Finally I walked across the ‘fallow’ fields beside Hollycross Road and added Speckled Wood, more Common Blue, White-letter Hairstreak, Small Heath, Small Copper, at least 11 Brown Argus and another Painted Lady! Small White, Green-veined White and Large White were seen on several occasions during the day. I then walked home – walking over 8½ miles which was a bit further than planned! In total I saw 21 species, I missed out on Essex Skipper and Purple Hairstreak (because I forgot to look when I had the opportunity to see them), and didn’t see Large Skipper and there were no Clouded Yellow yet beside Hollycross Road. When I got home, I counted 11 Red Admiral divided between the Hemp Agrimony and Buddleias, 3 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Gatekeeper and another Painted Lady!!! My note books says I saw at least 140 Red Admirals today in just under 5 hours including my garden count! Liz Goodyear
15 Jul During the reserve work with Friends of Cassiobury Park and the wildlife trust: Brimstone 2, Ringlet 3, Green-Veined White + 3 other whites.
Rousebarn Lane Car park. We didn't have to get out of the car before seeing 1 Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 1 White Admiral (on Ricks finger when we got out of the car), 1 Large White. After a soaking in a thunderstorm in Newlands Spring wood we returned to see 2 whites and 2 Red Admiral. Dell Wood produced 1 Large White, 1 Green-Veined White, 2 Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood. To try and find some shelter from the wind we ventured down into Whippendell Woods it was a good day for Comma with 24+ seen, a further 6 Red Admiral, 7+ Meadow Brown, 10+ Ringlet, 4 Gatekeeper, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Large White, 1 Large Skipper, 3 White Admiral and 8 Silver-washed Fritillary were seen

Peter Fewell
17 Jul Bengeo garden: Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Copper, Small/Essex Skipper, Peacock, Small White, Green-veined White, Large White, Gatekeeper 5, Meadow Brown 5, Ringlet 2, Speckled Wood 3, Comma 4, Red Admiral 6, Holly Blue 4, Box-tree Moth & Mother of Pearl 3

Simon Knott
17 Jul Had a sighting of a female Purple Emperor (TL170104) as it flew across Jersey Lane into the Rose and Crown Pub Garden. Later on at Heartwood another female was seen at TL159116 late afternoon also of note 40 Red Admirals were counted on my Transect Andrew Steele
17 Jul A lunchtime walk down the fields from the house to the Rivers orchard and fields site, generally a good year for grassland butterflies here, 26 skippers. 1 Large Skipper, 5 Essex Skipper and 9 Small Skipper identified, 7 Brimstone (5 male 2 female), 2 Holly Blue, 5 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 13 Peacock, c.60 Marbled White, c.100 Gatekeeper, c.100 Meadow Brown, 5 Ringlet, Small Heath seem to be over after a cracking June Laurence Drummond
17 Jul Hounslow. After an early start when dampness from overnight rain seemed to discourage most butterflies from flying the day got steadily warmer and sunnier leading to very high numbers once again. After a messy spring start Peacocks have apparently succeeded in producing a large new brood. Gatekeepers have become even more numerous with the return of a more or less annual phenomenon with us where very large numbers fly in the narrow strip of land next to the railway, Green Hairstreak territory in spring, but evidently loved by Gatekeepers for their own reasons too: Speckled Wood: 10, Gatekeeper: 184, Meadow Brown: 194, Red Admiral: 24, Small White: 20, Green-veined White: 12, Marbled White: 15, Peacock: 50, Comma: 13, Common Blue: 3, Brown Argus: 7, Small Skipper: 12, Essex Skipper: 4, Clouded Yellow: 2, Small Copper: 9, Holly Blue: 11, Ringlet: 1, Painted Lady: 1, Large White: 1, Purple Hairstreak: 3 Peter Gore
17 Jul Symondshyde Great Wood, Hatfield - I spent the afternoon in and around the wood - the weather was blustery with sunny spells and most butterflies were found in sunny pockets out of the wind. Silver-washed Fritillary was the target species. This species continues to do well here and I saw 34 in total - the highest number I’ve ever seen at a site in Herts. However Red Admiral was the butterfly of the day with 91 individuals recorded - a record number for me at any site, suggesting a recent migration. Comma was also more common than usual with 38 recorded. For the second day running I saw a sap run on oak with Red Admirals and Commas feeding from it. And close by 8 Green-veined Whites feeding on horse dung - another unusual spectacle in this area.
Other species recorded included new generations of Common Blue, Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacocks. Also Purple Hairstreak, Marbled White, Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large White, Small White and Green-veined White plus Silver Y moth.

Green-veined Whites Symondshyde Great Wood 17 Jul
Malcolm Hull
17 Jul Branch Event
Hampstead Heath in collaboration with Heath Hands. 23 people attending half of whom were children. It was cloudy and windy with sunny spells. Starting at the Big City Butterflies patch, this was in shade, we went up the hill into a meadow area which was dominated by thistle. We saw good numbers of Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small White, Small Skipper and Essex Skipper. We also saw a Peacock in the middle of the thistly area so couldn't get very close. A couple of sparring Red Admirals flew over and we got a distant view of a Burnet Moth.
Hoping for a Comma we walked further up the hill towards a large bank of brambles flanked by Oak. With the sun out we saw Purple Hairstreaks moving very fast up high. Helen managed to spot one low down on some young Turkey Oak. A few Large Whites appeared too. No Commas, Ringlets or Speckled Wood were seen despite a good search.
Back at the City Butterflies patch now in sun, we saw Small Whites. Some Cinnabar Moth caterpillars were also seen on Ragwort

Dee Cullen
Helen Bantock
16 Jul Playing field near Toulmin Drive, St Albans (TL 139 094). Red Admiral 11, Gatekeeper 20, Common Blue 1, Comma 6, Meadow Brown 12, Green-veined White 3, Ringlet 3, Large White 2, Small Skipper 1, Brown Argus 1 Simon Mavin
16 Jul Hounslow. After two days of poor weather it was good to get out again and see how the butterflies have fared. The answer seemed to be, quite well, considering unfavourable cloudy spells today and the inevitable decline of the early summer species : Meadow Brown: 138, Peacock: 30, Green-veined White: 5, Speckled Wood: 12, Gatekeeper: 109, Comma: 14, Red Admiral: 24, Small White: 15, Holly Blue: 3, Small Skipper: 18, Essex Skipper: 2, Marbled White: 24, Brown Argus: 6, Clouded Yellow: 3, Common Blue: 6, Small Coppper: 4, Large White: 2, Painted Lady: 1 Peter Gore
16 Jul Branch Event
Bricket Wood Common - Another grey morning when 14 of us set off from the Parish Centre. Butterflies were few and far between with Ringlets and a Speckled Wood the first seen. When we found a bramble bush in the sun a shout of White Admiral went up and we had excellent views and photo opportunities. A Silver-washed Fritillary flew through and a Gatekeeper and Green-veined White seen on the same bush. The ride is quite shaded these days, but still produced a decent crop of butterflies. Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Holly Blue, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Large White and Purple Hairstreak were all seen along with Silver Y moth. Entering the clearing, we added Brimstone and Marbled White to the days list. Accurate counting is never easy when leading a walk, but we estimated 12 Silver-washed Fritillaries (of which 2 were females) and 8 White Admirals
After the walk finished a few of us stayed on to look for Purple Emperors in Mutchetts Wood. The new canopy gap provides much improved visibility. The clouds and stiff breeze were against us, but three times in an hour a single male Purple Emperor glided across the gap. Close by we found a sap run on a vintage oak with no less than 7 Red Admirals and a Comma feeding from it. Heading back along the ride, the butterflies were far more active than before with greater numbers seen. Peacocks, Brimstones and Large Skippers were all more evident, with far fewer White Admirals seen

Malcolm Hull
Chris Newman
16 Jul On a walk around Sarratt and the Chess Valley there were plenty on the wing and a great variety which was good to see. On one patch of thistle in particular by the river in Mounts Wood it was a riot of butterflies including 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 3 Commas, 5 Red Admirals, 4 Large Whites, 1 Brimstone.
Elsewhere on the walk there were 2 Small Coppers, 1 Peacock, 12 Red Admirals, 8 Gatekeepers, 1 Green-veined White, dozens of Meadow Browns

Dee Cullen
13 Jul Bengeo garden: Silver-washed Fritillary, Small White, Green-veined White, Large White, Gatekeeper 2, Meadow Brown 5+, Ringlet 5+, Speckled Wood 2, Comma 4, Red Admiral, Holly Blue & Mother of Pearl.
Silver-washed Fritillary female made repeated visits over three hours feeding on marjoram, bramble & buddleia

Simon Knott
13 Jul I had my first Jersey Tiger Moth of the year in my South Mymms garden today, as well as a Red Admiral, Small White and a female Brimstone Terry Wood
13 Jul Branch Event
Ruislip Woods - Overcast weather didn’t deter an enthusiastic group of butterfly hunters on todays trip round Ruislip Lido. Starting in Poors meadow we saw Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper, Small White and several fresh Small Coppers.
Along woodland edge we added Peacock, Large White, Ringlet, Silver Y moth and Comma. Purple Hairstreaks were numerous, both in the canopy and low down, where several females posed obligingly for photos. Several male Silver-washed Fritillaries patrolled their territories and a White Admiral flew slowly through, stopping to nectar on bramble and providing good views. Red Admiral and Green-veined White added to the days list. An unusual black and yellow caterpillar was identified as Alder Moth, an uncommon species in Middx. By 1pm we were at St Vincent’s home on the edge of Park Wood ready to see Purple Emperors. Unfortunately the weather was against us and none were seen in 1.5 hours split between searching the canopy gap and wood edge. During that time we saw several more Purple Hairstreak and added Holly Blue and Speckled Wood to the days list. On the way back we noted considerable numbers of cow wheat plants along the rides

Malcolm Hull
13 Jul Hounslow. In the morning a dull cold start and somewhat later a similar finish, with added rain, led to fewer sightings overall: Gatekeeper: 143, Green-veined White: 7, Comma: 15, Meadow Brown: 186, Small White: 20, Red Admiral: 20, Marbled White: 30, Small Skipper: 15, Peacock: 32, Brown Argus: 7, Small Copper: 3, Essex Skipper: 6, Common Blue: 1, Speckled Wood: 14, Holly Blue: 6, Large White: 1, Purple Hairstreak: 1, Ringlet: 1, Painted Lady: 2, Brimstone: 1 Peter Gore
13 Jul Branch Event
8 people (including Liz Goodyear for extra support) joined us for our annual Norton Green field trip. Minutes after we set off at 10:40 am it started spitting with rain and steadily got heavier at times until midday when the sun eventually burst through for several minutes. In periods of brightness we saw quite a few butterflies (15 species). Small Skipper 20+, Essex Skipper 5+, Large Skipper 3+, Small White 5+, Green-veined White 2+, Large White 2+, Purple Hairstreak 5+, Silver-washed Fritillary 2+, Red Admiral 10+, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 2+, Marbled White 20+, Meadow Brown 30+, Gatekeeper 5+, Ringlet 5+. Moths include Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Riband Wave, Silver Y and Chrysoteuchia culmella. We also saw up to 3 Hornets feeding on the sap of an oak tree.
After the group left, Bob and I stayed around for another hour or so in the hope of finding more species. Bob spotted a Brimstone on buddleia but alas no Purple Emperor or White Admiral today

Peter Clarke
Bob Clift
12 Jul Heartwood Forest: north-east Pudler's Wood. I returned again to search for Purple Emperor along the north-eastern ride at Pudler's Wood, preferring this sheltered leeward site to the Dog Pond area at Well Wood which was being buffeted by the blustery wind. I arrived on site at 9.15, and in the frequent sunny spells observed an individual in the oak and adjacent tall linden where we'd see specimens the day before (TL 16095 11645). At 9.30 a specimen descended to almost head height and then proceeded to meander in and out above low vegetation, clearly intending to land. It crossed the main ride to the south-east and settled about 4 metres high in the cherry tree at (TL 16118 11610), allowing a reasonable shot to be taken (attached). The brushlike forelegs visible in the photo confirm the sex to be male, and wing markings (plus damage) indicate it is a different male (#3) to those seen previously. Between this time and 11 am various sightings were made of at least 2 males, and what we believe to be a female. The males were in the tall linden, and were seen perching and patrolling, meandering around the canopy and sub-canopy, mostly singly, but occasionally were seen together, at which point they inevitably clashed. I was joined towards the end of my session by David Crawford, who I met a few weeks ago at Hexton Chalk Pit, and a little later by Andrew Steele, who has been monitoring butterflies at Heartwood since it was first created. Andrew reported seeing an individual fly earlier over the dog pond, at a time when David and I were watching the two males, so we can safely say there were at least three individuals present this day. We also felt that another specimen was present at Pudler's Wood (in addition to the two males, which were not visible concurrently). It arrived at 10.45, flew at half the height of the two males, and behaved differently, weaving in and out of the vegetation, before eventually landing (photo attached with wings half open). Andrew and I suspected this specimen was a female due to its behaviour, paler upper brown coloration, and less colourful underside, but we cannot be sure. In any case, this presumed female is different from all the other individuals of both sexes we have photographed. David kindly emailed me later to tell me what happened after I left, reporting that he took a ventral photo of one of the two presumed males (attached: wings closed ventral shot on linden leaves). A careful comparison of wing markings indicate the photo shows an individual not previously photographed, which by virtue of its behaviour was probably a male. And so the current tally for this year is (at least) 1 female, 4 males, and 1 sex unknown (but probably a female). David also reported that he saw a grounded individual about 100 m north-west down the path at (TL 16050 11682), and another (briefly) in the very large oak next to the dog pond at (TL 15751 11339). On another matter, I noticed a lot more Purple Hairstreaks compared to even a week ago. I saw at least 20, undoubtedly there were many more hidden from view. On the 7th I saw just three, and that day I spent much more time searching, and walked at least three times further!

Andrew Neild
12 Jul Hounslow. Fearing the forecast thunderstorms I set out early intending to walk until the rain came but since that proved to be not all, a full walk in conditions enjoyed both by this human and the butterflies. A very high number recorded with Gatekeeper now surging and Peacock making an increasing contribution. Twenty species again today and another three offering faintly possible candidates not good enough to justify a record: Small White: 35, Speckled Wood: 12, Red Admiral: 26, Comma: 13, Meadow Brown: 194, Gatekeeper: 144, Purple Hairstreak: 4, Peacock: 35, Small Skipper: 29, Marbled White: 47, Ringlet: 3, Green-veined White: 7, Brown Argus: 8, Essex Skipper: 4, Common Blue: 1, Clouded Yellow: 2, Small Copper: 9, Large White: 2, Painted Lady: 2, Holly Blue: 3 Peter Gore
12 Jul NW of scrubby field by KW School next to B653, Batford - 1 fleeting glimpse on a Purple Emperor before disappearing Darin Stanley
11 Jul A single male Purple Emperor holding territory in the breeze mid afternoon, around large Ash trees at Birchanger wood Bishops Stortford (TL 504221) Laurence Drummond
11 Jul Branch Event
13 people assembled for the branch walk on the Eastern end of Therfield Heath; a mix of Herts/Middx and Cambs/Essex BC members and locals from Friends of Therfield Heath. The overnight rain had cleared and the cooler conditions meant that many butterflies were quite lethargic, so most people saw most of the low abundance species when they settled. The target Chalkhill Blues are (hopefully) still well below peak numbers for this year and were not seen until well into the walk. Eventually around a dozen males were seen. Overall 20 species of butterfly and several Silver Y moths were seen and a calling quail heard. In order of estimated decreasing abundance: Abundant (several tens) Small/Essex Skippers (more Essex, but both identified), Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown. Several (8-20) Ringlet, Chalkhill Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Heath, Green-veined White. A few (2-5): Small White, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Brown Argus (fresh). Singles: Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Adonis Blue (very tatty but bright male), Common Blue (more intact male), Large White, Large Skipper. Photos courtesy of Paddy Grove

Nick Keep
10 Jul Heartwood Forest: 1 male Purple Emperor grounded and flying into an adjacent oak tree at TL160117 (seen on two separate occasions by me and also apparently the same one as photographed by Andrew Neild on the same day - see his report); another male grounded and flying into an adjacent oak tree at TL162121. Both seen around mid-morning to early afternoon period and on the leeward side of the respective woodland

Purple Emperor Heartwood Forest 10 Jul
David Hunt
10 Jul Wheathampstead, allotments immediately east of Necton Road.
Those of you who have been following my reports about long searches for Purple Emperor may revel in the delicious irony that while sitting with a cup of coffee in my allotment outside my garden gate, calmly contemplating life and enjoying the extensive views across the river Lea valley on a gloriously sunny morning, a Purple Emperor flew lazily into view, almost anointed my forehead, circled me a couple of times, and then continued meandering along the garden hedges southbound. To say I was excited barely describes the thrill of the occasion! The time was 09.40. The river Lea, with many sallow trees, lies barely 330 metres north-east of our garden. I shall now re-visit the rides along the large woods to the north of the river - I went there last week to search for PE and felt it was good habitat for the species. This sighting suggests that evaluation may be correct - let's see!
Andrew Neild
10 Jul Heartwood Forest: Pudler's Wood, to the north-east of the dog pond at Well Wood.
After the excitement of spotting a Purple Emperor outside my Wheathampstead house (see previous report), I hurried off to Heartwood Forest, where by chance I met up again with several friends from previous days, and made some that were new. The area around the dog pond was blustery (the wind was blowing from the south-west), and nobody had seen any sign of PE in that area (I'd also carefully checked the north-eastern and north-western edges of Langley Wood on the way). However, David Hunt told me that he had been buzzed by a male a little earlier (at very approximately 10 am) on the ride along the north-eastern edge of Pudler's Wood at the junction with a wide path (TL 16008 11717) which heads towards Nomansland Common. Bearing in mind this report, and Matthew Oates' adage that Purple Emperors hate wind, and to always search the leeward side, I headed off to check out David's site which was indeed along the most protected side of the woods. As I approached to within 50 metres of David's site at 10:45, I was delighted to see a grounded individual, beautifully fresh and relatively cooperative (see photos). I followed it for 5 minutes, eventually losing it some 100 yards along a wide path to Nomansland Common at TL 16181 11704. Despite viewing it from various angles, I didn't see any purple, and assumed it was a female (the dorsal brown, usually dark, was unusually light for a male). However, after checking the photos at home, I could see hints of purple, the hindwing white band was relatively narrow, and examination of the atrophied "brushfoot" foreleg clearly indicated it was a male (females have bare legs with clear articulations). The absence of purple was presumably due to the dull conditions, because my views included angles at which purple would normally be visible in bright sun. Anyhow, lesson learned, I was utterly convinced it was a female! My bad! After checking the wing pattern, this male is definitely different from the male I reported on the 7th. So we certainly now have at least 2 males and one females at this site. In fact we can add another individual which approached and circled myself, Andrew Steel, and keen enthusiasts Peter and Angela, a little later. We had a great view of this specimen in flight at and above head height, noting that it was pale and had a lot of white, prompting conclusions that it was probably a female. Whatever sex this was, it was a different colour and tonality from the previous individuals. This individual (we presume it was the same one) was seen again several times high up in the trees a few metres north-west of the eastern edge of Pudler's wood (TL 16103 11636). The period of time for these final sightings was over a half hour period around midday.

Andrew Neild
11 Jul I was happy to see a Large Skipper on Saturday 8 July on my East Highgate Cemetery transect, as they’ve been absent up to now this year and last year. Also I saw two lovely fresh Commas on my Ally Pally transect yesterday

Dee Cullen
10 Jul Hounslow. Some sun but mostly cloudy and breezy. A male and female Brimstone nectaring together on a the same cluster of Sweet Pea flowers was a distinctive sight and another very welcome phenomenon was around a dozen Ragwort plants across the area with Cinnabar moth caterpillars. I saw barely any moths earlier in the year and caterpillars have been hard to find for some years now. This both seems to show an apparent improvement as well as indicating that even as conspicuous a moth as a Cinnabar can be flying without being spotted by me. Butterflies recorded today generally continue established trends : Speckled Wood: 11, Meadow Brown: 155, Red Admiral: 27, Small White: 26, Gatekeeper: 65, Essex Skipper: 5, Peacock: 12, Comma: 9, Purple Hairstreak: 1, Marbled White: 61, Small Skipper: 25, Brown Argus: 6, Common Blue: 3, Clouded Yellow: 2, Small Copper: 4, Brimstone: 2, Ringlet: 1, Holly Blue: 2, Green-veined White: 2, Painted Lady: 2 Peter Gore
5 Jul White-letter Hairstreak was in Heartwood by the path which runs along south side of Pismire Springs @ 11:22am

White-letter Hairstreak Heartwood 5 Jul
Peter Ewer
10 Jul I visited my local butterfly heaven at Bishops Wood, near Mount Vernon Hospital, Rickmansworth, between 12noon and 13:30hrs. The weather was cloudy, breezy, with bright, sunny intervals and a temperature of 22degC. I parked at the car park off White Hill (TQ 070916) and took the left hand bridleway. After ~250m I took the path to the left that cuts across to the bridleway that comes out on Woodcock Hill (TQ 065918) (which I call the Butterfly Ride because there are always so many butterflies along it). I returned by the same route. Within yards of the car park I saw my first White Admiral. I counted a total of 5 individuals along my route. I believe the count to be correct as each one was in a separated area (sunny spot close to brambles isolated by shade) and when I retraced my route, I had the same count on the way back. Along my route I also counted 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 2 Commas, 11+ Gatekeepers, 14+ Meadow Browns, 6 Large Whites, 6+ Red Admirals, 2 Holly Blues, 5 Green-veined Whites, 2+ Small Whites, 12+ Small Skippers (no Essex Skippers seen), 5+ Ringlets, 1 definite Purple Hairstreak, although there may have been another 2 which were on one of the paths, but flew quickly up into the tops of the oaks as I approached, so I did not get chance to identify them (people I know who visited the site on the 7th July saw lots of them), 1 Large Skipper. I may even have seen a Purple Emperor, as a large dark butterfly flew up from the path up into the tops of the oaks, but again I lost it, before I got chance to identify it

Christina Bessant
10 Jul At Rickneys and Waterford Heath saw over 15 species. Highlight was about 40 Brown Argus 10 at Rickneys the rest at Waterford Heath and a brand new Brimstone Steve Kiln
9 Jul After a chancer concreted over a local green space in Hillside Gardens (TQ292915 - Bounds Green London) hoping no one would notice, we contacted the land owner Network Rail, who very kindly removed the concrete and have licenced the site to the local community. We have established the Friends of Hillside Green Space https://fohgs.uk to manage it. Having planted a community Orchard and seeded it with wildflowers in the spring, I was pleased to see today, the first butterfly arrivals, one Meadow Brown, one Marbled White and a Small/Essex Skipper (too fast to identify). Also three Cinnabar moth caterpillars feeding on Ragwort.
I also walked through and spent some time photographing butterflies in Tunnel Gardens (TQ293914 to TQ296911) where I saw 2 Speckled Wood, 6 Small/Essex Skippers (including 2 confirmed female Small Skippers, 1 confirmed male Small Skipper, I confirmed female Essex Skipper), 2 Marbled Whites, 2 female Large Skippers, 1 female and 2 male Gatekeepers, three Red Admirals, three Comma (one resting confirmed as a female), 1 Ringlet, 3 Meadow Browns, 1 Holly Blue, and 3 Small Whites. Sadly no Common Blues despite lots of Birds-foot Trefoil in flower

Miles Attenborough
9 Jul Branch Event
We set out with an attendance of 9 including 2 young people. Starting the walk along the Lime Avenue the sun was shining and the Purple Emperor made an appearance with 3 sighted high up in the lime trees. At the top of the Lime Avenue we took the left path to take in the Fritillary freeway for the rides reputation for seeing Silver-washed Fritillary. Our first sighting was as soon as we joined the path and looked promising, however numbers for some reason seem to well down on where they are usually at and we got a count of 4. Cloudy conditions from 3pm didn't help and unfortunately sightings were a bit down because of that. We did get to see 5 White Admiral in all but I was the only person to see a couple of those brief sightings. The group did get to see at least 2 of those sightings. We didn't get to see one at there usual legendary spot at Camilla Oak, the bramble flowers have gone over at this spot but also cloudy conditions didn't help. Other butterflies seen on the walk, 1 Brimstone along the Lime Avenue, Red Admiral seen along the Lime Avenue and Whippendell Woods with a good number of Meadow Brown and Ringlet. A good few whites were also spotted in both locations. We had a collective count of 2 Holly Blue, 2 Gatekeeper I put down but others may have seen more. A Speckled Wood was seen but not by me. Small Skipper was seen in the Strawberry Fields area with at least 5 seen. We didn't actually get a confirmed sighting of a Large Skipper but I'm reasonably certain I did glimpse one, Comma also present but sightings a bit down from Friday.
After the walk finished the weather started to get brighter although the wind also picked up. Rick and myself looked to see if we could spot Purple Hairstreak. We did spot a few eventually and went to look at what was going on in Cassiobury Park. If only you could be in two places at once! I hadn't seen a Marbled White this year until today, but the park was also teeming with Small Skipper and Essex Skipper well over a hundred going on there right now with a flush of Small Copper thrown into the mix of Meadow Brown and probably a few Ringlets and Gatekeeper was a fantastic end to our big butterfly weekend in Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Woods

Peter Fewell
9 Jul Scrubby field by B653, Batford - 1 fly through Purple Emperor at the NW corner of field. Went through the gap onto the pathway, circled a tree and disappeared Darin Stanley
8 Jul Branch Event - Wildfest
The event went ahead although thunderstorms predicted. To our surprise on arrival we found that a gazebo was already set up for us! A big thank you to Vicky and Isabel from Watford Council for that. We had a little trouble keeping the branch banner in place to start with as the tape wasn't holding. Plan b with the string worked though and the banner remained in place for the day. We did get some rain and unfortunately had to abandon the 1pm walk. Rick did get to do his first solo walk which got going at 10.45am. As there were young children present Rick decided not to walk up to where was originally planned and didn't go out to far from the hub. Butterflies seen Large White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and a few Marbled Whites. A Comma was sighted on the bird walk. I added a Gatekeeper and Essex Skipper from the car park area. The event was reasonably well attended considering the weather forecast with the notebooks doing well with young children. We gave out free leaflets, Gardening for butterflies and moths seemed to be a popular one.
Once packed down we went to look for Purple Emperor and ended up going as far as Camilla oak with Josh Kalms from the Wildlife Trust. We got to the Lime Avenue about 5pm Where 4 Purple Emperor were sighted and although getting a little late a single Silver-washed Fritillary was seen along with 4 White Admiral. Other butterflies seen 4 Speckled Wood, Comma, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large Skipper, whites and a few unidentified Hairstreak Butterflies.
Overall a good day out for butterflies

Peter Fewell
7 Jul On warm up visit for the big butterfly weekend in Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Woods. The weather does not to great for tomorrow's Wildfest event or our Sunday walk either! But this is a flavour of what is actually out and trending here. I met up once more with Rick and Jarek to explore the Lime avenue for Purple Emperor. 3 seen today credit to Jarek, but there was a family of fledged kestrels along there with a Purple Emperor seen chasing one! All seen between TQ 07975 and TQ 083977. We also went in search of White Admiral 11 seen. With this photo of one on Camila Oak at TQ 075978 White Admiral spotted from TQ 080979. Rick and myself had a look down the Fritillary Feeway but the sun wasn't on our side by that time but would of likely added to the count if we were there earlier. We got a count of 7 Silver-washed Fritillary I was expecting higher than that we shall keep an eye out in the next week if possible. Other butterflies seen Red Admiral having a good run at the moment 3 seen in Whippendell Woods and 8+ along the Lime Avenue. The first Gatekeeper of the year seen. 1 Holly Blue, Comma 10+, Large Skipper 6+, Small Skipper 2+ Ringlets and Meadow Brown in good numbers. There were a good number of white butterflies seen with Large White and Small White identified. 4 Purple Hairstreak identified at TQ 088973 probably the green of tee 16 of the golf course.
I didn't get to do much of the park but both Small Skipper and Essex Skipper present and 4 Small Copper were sighted by Rick, I only saw the one in the photo at TQ096970

Peter Fewell
7 Jul On a morning walk through the meadows of the Fir and Pond Wood Reserve (TL278004) I saw my first Gatekeeper(20) and Ringlet(8) of the year, as well as Marbled White(7), Meadow Brown(15), Red Admiral(2), Small Skipper(3), Large White(2) and Comma(1) Terry Wood
7 Jul Hounslow. Sunny throughout my walk. An early theme was butterflies on paths. The first was a Purple Hairstreak on the heath. I watched for some time and presume it must have been mineral gathering. It was a worn specimen with little of the silvery underside of its wings left and damaged edges but the stripes still visible. Next came a group of whites more easily understood: conventional mud-puddling. As usual Green-veined Whites seemed to be the most numerous and I was once again struck by how I can see more on an occasion like this than over the whole day, perhaps even allowing for unidentified ones. Holly Blues were also indulging themselves in similar fashion both in this area alongside the river and elsewhere. This is clearly the new brood for Holly Blue - very little gap between the last of the old ones and first of the new. Finally came the Red Admirals again, also on the riverside path. Having groups of this species together like this, with no ivy or rotting fruit involved, is pleasantly disconcerting and reminiscent of Painted Lady invasions. Later, two Brown Argus were spotted having a brief courtship followed by much longer mating, once again I find myself surprised by how much larger the female seems than the male in this situation. As I was leaving the heath to head for home a Purple Hairstreak landed in front of me. Despite ready accessibility I still chose to observe this one through binoculars as I wished not to be nasally challenged by the contents of the waste bin it had landed on. It was a very nice Purple Hairstreak. One final observation for today. I'm enjoying having Clouded Yellow as a dependable daily presence. Not enjoyable at all is the difficulty of spotting Small Tortoiseshell and near impossibility of Large Skipper, Small Heath and Ringlet. In the last case the butterfly seems to have crashed from a best-ever year in 2022 to a worst-ever in 2023. Gatekeeper: 39, Small White: 33, Small Skipper: 23, Meadow Brown: 189, Essex Skipper: 8, Red Admiral: 22, Comma: 17, Speckled Wood: 7, Purple Hairstreak: 6, Green-veined White: 10, Holly Blue: 10, Marbled White: 58, Brown Argus: 6, Clouded Yellow: 2, Small Copper: 4, Common Blue: 1, Brimstone: 5, Large White: 3, Peacock: 1 Peter Gore
7 Jul I set off this morning for Heartwood Forest with high hopes to get my first 2023 sightings of Purple Emperor. Three long visits during this current week had failed to reveal any trace of the butterfly, despite visiting all its known haunts, and carefully surveying known master trees. Today, however, seemed promising - there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the heavy rain the previous day meant there was a decent amount of humidity in the air and plenty of damp ground. Upon arrival at the dog pond on the edge of Well Wood (TL 15738 11322), it became clear that other local enthusiasts had the same idea - we grouped up and had a lot of fun swapping notes, searching different areas, and reporting back.
At around 11am I spotted a male Purple Emperor flying fast about 5 metres over the ride along the south side of Pudler's Wood (TL 15988 11607), and after returning to the dog pond we heard reports that two individuals (sex not determined) had been seen puddling only ten minutes before around the gate posts there. A half hour later, accompanied by Richard Lewis (a Woodland Trust volunteer) and his wife Linda, we were thrilled to spot a male at the same gate posts, but although we were treated to reasonable views, this individual did not hang around for long, and so we didn't get any decent photos. He lazily fluttered and circled his way to the fence posts at the entrance to the wood, and then disappeared inside, never to return. Disappointment all around! I chose to search one of my favourite rides along the north side of Langley Wood, fruitlessly, and upon return turned rather green with envy when Richard showed me a video, and photos (attached) of a fresh female that spent at least ten minutes grounded along the south side of Well Wood (TL 15700 11330), offering great views. That was at about 12.30. Just after 1pm, I spotted a female lazily gliding and meandering towards us at head height, and although she nearly grounded several times, she eventually climbed high into the oak above the dog pond and we saw her no more.
So all in all it was a fun start to my Purple Emperor season, and it was great to make new friends, and meet up with old. Both specimens we photographed were very fresh, and given the absence of any sightings on previous visits (despite thorough searching), I do wonder if the season has started very late here in Heartwood. I'll be returning to look again over the next few days, although the weather next week does not look promising!

Andrew Neild
7 Jul 2 Purple Emperor at Totteridge Green Tony Clancy
7 Jul Scrubby field by the B653, Batford - 1 Hummingbird Hawk-moth in hedgerow/tree line along public footpath just outside the scrubby field Darin Stanley
7 Jul Had a Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on the buddleia in my garden in South Harrow this morning. Also had a Small Skipper, a Gatekeeper, 2 Meadow Brown, 3 Red Admiral, a Comma, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Large White, and a Small White in the garden Michael Robinson
6 Jul Hounslow. A mix of sun and cloud with increasing numbers of Commas and Red Admirals, the latter spread out mostly in ones and twos across the whole area but with a group of three together on a dry gritty footpath, unusual for this species. In evening sunshine the Purple Hairstreaks were flying amongst the oaks on the Hounslow side of the belt of trees which separates the heath from Richmond's park and in reality likely far more than shown here. Gatekeeper: 28, Comma: 19, Speckled Wood: 3, Meadow Brown: 200, Green-veined White: 6, Holly Blue: 11, Small Skipper: 49, Marbled White: 80, Small White: 23, Red Admiral: 20, Small Copper: 4, Brimstone: 1, Clouded Yellow: 1, Essex Skipper: 6, Peacock: 2, Small Tortoiseshell: 1, Purple Hairstreak: 8 Peter Gore
6 Jul Walk this afternoon round Balls Wood. Good numbers of Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper. Smaller numbers of Large White, Red Admiral, Comma and Small Skipper. A couple of Gatekeepers and a single White Admiral

White Admiral Balls Wood 6 Jul
Paula Moore
6 Jul More East Herts Purple Emperors today, 2 males clashing high in the air and chasing at Great Hyde Hall Sawbridgeworth (TL 496153), viewed from the footpath on the Essex side Laurence Drummond
6 Jul I took a 5½ mile walk around the local footpaths from Ware towards Cold Christmas and back home along the Fanhams Tributary today – an area I got to know very well during lockdown! I was hoping to encounter either Purple Emperor or Silver-washed Fritillary as they are still missing in these 2km squares (for me anyway) but failed! However, in total I still saw 20 butterfly species! Two particular fields were awash with Small White and some were even mud puddling along the track at one point. Both Marbled White and Meadow Brown were so numerous in an area known as Ashridge Common I stopped counting them but they were also seen in other sections of the walk. Although only 2 Large Skippers were seen, I was surprised how many Small/Essex Skippers I encountered – of those I could check I recorded 2 Essex Skipper and 12 Small Skipper but it depended on how cloudy it was for them to slow down. There were also a lot of Red Admirals with 10 being seen, also 2 newly emerged Painted Lady (my first of the year), 11 Comma and 4 Small Tortoiseshell. I was also surprised to suddenly encounter 4 Brimstones in close proximity and there seemed to be low numbers of Ringlet (5) and Gatekeeper (2). The walk passes a lot of elm, but it wasn't until I was nearly home that encountered any White-letter Hairstreak – over 11 were flying high up around the elm, with many clashes and aerial displays. Also seen were Large White, Green-veined White, 1 Purple Hairstreak, 3 Small Heath, a single tatty Speckled Wood and a Holly Blue Liz Goodyear
6 Jul Therfield Heath (east of the Sporting Club): Chalkhill Blues are now emerging. I saw males in different areas this morning. The full list of species seen during a 90-minute visit is as follows: Essex Skipper, Small Skipper (lots), Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Marbled White (lots), Dark Green Fritillary (lots), Red Admiral, Comma, Chalkhill Blue (4 males). No other first generation blues were seen, although a few Brown Argus and Common Blues are still present in the wild flower meadow close to my house

Martin Johnson
6 Jul I spent a productive hour at Danemead HMWT with my smartphone camera targeting the large butterflies in the bright sunshine. White Admiral 2, Red Admiral 9, Brimstone 1, Comma 10+, Painted Lady 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 8 (including a Valezina variant pictured but couldn't get any closer). Also saw Purple Hairstreak 6 feeding in the trees. Plenty to going on after the rain and cloud

Nathan Ellis
5 Jul 2 Purple Emperors in East Herts between the showers this afternoon, 1 very active male at the Hertford Heath territory, and a single male at the Thorley Lane east territory Bishops Stortford Laurence Drummond
3 Jul Bishops Wood. Made my annual visit to this site and despite the windy conditions, during the occasional sunny spells, saw 6 White Admirals, Silver-Washed Fritillary, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, numerous Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Comma, Essex Skippers and Small Skippers as well Cinnabar caterpillars on Ragwort. A likely Purple Emperor was seen in the Oak canopy in a brief sunny spell.
Elsewhere, fresh Commas have been seen at numerous locations; 3 Painted Ladies seen at Old Redding, Eastcote and Bishops Wood and number of Purple Hairstreaks at Gutteridge Wood and unusually two in the grass, one at Old Redding, the other at Hampstead Garden Suburb
Paul Busby
2 Jul Branch Event - Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill, Brent
Again, the windy conditions did not deter a group of about 25 people from the Friends Group including a well-organised group of new transect walkers joining this Branch butterfly walk. Good to see an abundance of Small Skippers and Essex Skippers, as well as Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Small White. In the walled garden, a couple of Rose Chafer beetles were seen and Comma and Small Whites appeared. We visited the butterfly scrapes organised by Big City Butterflies, planted with native wild flowers and pleased to observe, these were butterfly hotspots
Paul Busby
1 Jul Branch Event - Kensal Green Cemetery
Despite the earlier rain shower and blustery day, about 20 people joined Steve Bolton and myself on the Big City Butterfly walk in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. A good number of Meadow Brown were seen along the green paths through the gravestones along with Comma, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Yellow Shell moth, Small White and Speckled Wood. The highlights were seeing that Marbled White was established in this part of London and a lovely pristine Jersey Tiger moth followed by refreshments kindly provided by the Friend Group. After the walk, inspected the numerous along the cemetery wall for WLH nut alas probably too blustery to spot if they were there
Paul Busby
30 Jun -
4 Jul
Branch Event - TfL Wildflower Verge Monitoring
TfL have extended their no-mow plots across London highways to 20 sites, which Butterfly Conservation are monthly monitoring. I visited three sites along the A40 in Hillingdon and another along the North Circular at Gunnersbury. The results were variable but two of the sites were good for Skippers and Meadow Browns
Paul Busby
4 Jul I got out before the rain, and there were surprisingly many on the wing considering the overcast conditions. Of note in section 3 on my transect (Alexandra Park N10) was a relatively large number (17) of Small Skippers and Essex Skippers - I looked at as many as I could to ID. they were all along the edge of the corner of the cricket pitch on the grasses and Bird's Foot Trefoil. This is a new phenomenon in this patch and I was delighted! No Ringlets or Gatekeepers which was surprising

Dee Cullen
3 Jul Hounslow. I allowed a small amount of rain after 2.00 P.M to send me straight home so few butterflies recorded on the return journey. Before then I'd covered more of the area than yesterday and despite breezy and cloudy conditions numbers seen were good: Holly Blue: 1, Meadow Brown: 113, Red Admiral: 10, Green-veined White: 3, Comma: 11, Essex Skipper: 5, Small Skipper: 28, Marbled White: 48, Speckled Wood: 4, Gatekeeper: 6, Small Copper: 2, Small White: 13, Brown Argus: 2, Clouded Yellow: 1, Purple Hairstreak: 1, Large White: 1 Peter Gore
3 Jul Despite cool and windy conditions some butterflies were active during breaks in the cloud this morning. First at Six Hills Common at 0940 hours was a low-flying White-letter Hairstreak which obligingly settled for a few minutes for photos. Later walked onto Norton Green and the Knebworth Woods complex hoping for glimpses of a Purple Emperor but not to be. However, beyond Pigeonswick Cottage I saw a Hummingbird Hawk-moth buzzing close to the ground on the path alongside Newton Wood before it settled on a bramble leaf

Peter Clarke
2 Jul Rick Vickers and myself met up with Jarek Budarkieicz to look for Purple Emperor White Admiral and Silver-Washed Fritillary. Jarek arrived on time but we were delayed due to traffic and car parking! I wasn't that hopeful of seeing a Purple Emperor due to the breezy conditions and although sunny breaks it remained stubbornly cloudy. This continued throughout the visit. However Jarek had found one along the Lime Avenue of which we witnessed at TQ078979. There were also 9 Red Admiral along the Lime Avenue, Ringlets and Meadow Brown and probably a couple of Purple Hairstreak sighted.
Whippendell Woods. White Admiral were playing hard to get with the cloud cover but in the brief sunny spells we saw 5 between us one of which was spotted by Rick along the Fritillary Freeway and a further 2 at TQ 080978. Two others were spotted at TQ078979 and TQ075979. 5+ Silver-Washed Fritillary, Comma 10+, Small White 2, Large White 2+ other unidentified whites, Large Skipper 4+ and 5+ Purple Hairstreak by the 17th tee of the golf course at TQ088973

Peter Fewell
2 Jul Northaw Great Wood. 6 Purple Hairstreak. Lots of Ringlets and Meadow Browns

Sam Fuller
2 Jul In Bengeo garden: Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed Fritillary Bengeo 2 Jul
Simon Knott
2 Jul Branch Event
Gillespie Park – Islington – 9 people joined our branch & Big City Butterflies Event, run with the help of Islington Ecology Centre. Conditions were a little windy and overcast, but we managed to see a good number of butterflies. Meadow Browns were the most common in the upper meadow, with good numbers of Ringlets in the more shaded areas. Small Skipper, Essex Skipper and Large Skippers were all identified, a task made easier by the shortage of sunshine. Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Small Whites were also spotted, along with a 6-spot Burnet Moth and some Cinnabar moth caterpillars. We stopped to look at the tops of the maturing oak trees, now nearly 40 years old, to look for Purple Hairstreak. Unfortunately, no luck with this on the walk, though I has spotted two in the same location earlier in the morning. And finally, as I was leaving after the walk, a bonus moth – a Hummingbird Hawk-moth, what a beauty
Malcolm Hull
2 Jul St Albans – Folly Lane Allotments – After lunch, another allotment Bioblitz, this time on my home patch, with 10 people attending. Again, rather cloudy, but we saw Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Small White, Large White, Meadow Brown (lots), Comma, Essex Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell and Ringlet plus Cinnabar moth caterpillars Malcolm Hull
2 Jul Another walk around Balls Wood HMWT on a cloudy and gusty day with short sunny spells, still plenty about to see. Great start as found another photographable Purple Emperor on the track going there, Purple Hairstreak 4 (all found close to the ground), Red Admiral 3, Comma 8, at least one Essex Skipper, many Small Skippers in the search for an Essex. With all the other usuals it came to 15 species

Nathan Ellis
2 Jul Hounslow. Although all four map squares were visited this was a much shorter walk and reduced attention was given to Skippers, but still rewarding overall. With four more widely separated sightings of Clouded Yellow, one of them seeming to some extent distictive, I now conclude that we have a number of the species with us after all and perhaps just as surprising is that they seem to be staying. Here's today's inevitably reduced total numbers: Gatekeeper: 6, Holly Blue: 1, Meadow Brown: 69, Comma: 8, Marbled White: 72, Red Admiral : 4, Speckled Wood: 4, Small White: 10, Purple Hairstreak: 2, Green-veined White: 2, Painted Lady: 1, Large White: 1, Ringlet: 4, Clouded Yellow: 4, Small Copper: 1, Small Skipper: 20, Small Tortoiseshell: 1, Essex Skipper: 1, Brimstone: 1, Peacock: 1 Peter Gore
1 Jul Hounslow. A good start to July with 19 species seen. Notable differences with the last walk are more small Skippers recorded since they were a lot less active in cloudy conditions so easier to sort the two species. Both species are in reality much more numerous there. So too is Purple Hairstreak. I amused myself mostly at just two large oak trees by trying to keep the highest number possible in view simultaneously. I couldn't manage better than 7 but there must be much larger numbers up there judging from the relative ease of seeing this number in evening sunshine. Just one Peacock by contrast but likely the start of the summer brood emerging. Gatekeeper numbers are low and it seems possible Ringlet numbers are not going to increase much : they have to be searched for unlike last year. Whites increasing noticeably but seem to be dominated by Small Whites at the moment: their numbers must be large if more or less every unidentified white was a Small White. Just possible there was more than one Clouded Yellow but for the moment I'm concluding I saw one four times rather than 2,3 or 4 : Small White: 23, Holly Blue: 3, Small Skipper: 62, Meadow Brown: 212, Essex Skipper: 8, Comma: 19, Speckled Wood: 5, Gatekeeper: 10, Marbled White: 82, Red Admiral: 8, Ringlet: 4, Large White: 2, Common Blue: 3, Small Copper: 1, Clouded Yellow: 1, Painted Lady: 1, Green-veined White: 1, Peacock: 1, Purple Hairstreak: 14 Peter Gore
1 Jul Bioblitz at Sandridge Rd allotments, St Albans - 8 people joined this afternoons butterfly hunt, part of a series of events at this site, aiming to identify as many different animal plant species present. Butterflies recorded included Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Comma, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Large White, Small White and Small Skipper. Cinnabar moth also recorded Malcolm Hull
1 Jul Saw a Purple Hairstreak in my Northaw paddock with Marbled White, Commas, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Ringlets and Meadow Browns

Purple Hairstreak Northaw 1 Jul
Sam Fuller

June

Date Description Recorder
29 Jun I managed to get out this afternoon to investigate Whippendell Woods as the forecast I saw earlier in the week was wrong. It was mostly cloudy to start with with a few brief sunny intervals. However knowing that it is the time of year to start relaxing your neck muscles to look up for Purple Emperor. I got lucky briefly to start with along the Lime Avenue at TQ 087976, I didn't hang around and continued the Journey into Whippendell Woods. But on return back saw this one again at the same place. 1 bad photo of which I'm not posting.
I went of course to check on the White Admiral situation in the Woods. It wasn't easy to start with because of cloud cover, but with patience 12 seen and possibly another. The White Admiral photo is from the “Camilla Oak” area which should be about TQ 075978. I did get a few photos of a White Admiral on that very tree but not quite as good as the one posted 2 seen in that spot today. The upper path at approx TQ 076979 produced another 4 of that count . At the crossing of paths where you often see White Admiral first as they emerge at TQ080978, 3 at this location eventually! Those not mentioned all within that zone. Silver-washed Fritillary have emerged and I managed to photo a female along the fritillary freeway at TQ080979. All other 5 S/Washed Fritillary seen in the White Admiral zone.
Other butterflies noted Comma 15+, Brimstone 1 freshly emerged!, Meadow Brown and Ringlets at least 20+, Large Skipper 10+, Speckled Wood 2, Large White 2, Small White 1

Peter Fewell
29 Jun Afternoon visit to Norton Green and the Knebworth Woods complex yielded my first Silver-washed Fritillary (3), Gatekeeper and Purple Hairstreak of the year. Other species: Small White 8, Marbled White 15, Meadow Brown 28, Ringlet 9, Large Skipper 17, Small Skipper 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1

Peter Clarke
29 Jun I walked later than normal in our local woods (Park Wood, St Albans), but I was extremely pleased to spot 7 different varieties of butterflies, including a male Purple Emperor which made my walk perfect!! The varieties were, Comma 2, Gatekeeper 5, Marbled White 1, Meadow Brown 16, Purple Emperor 1, Ringlet 2, Small Skipper 2

Mandy Floyd
29 Jun After two failed attempts this afternoon at finding a Purple Emperor, I decided to visit the canopy gap in Northaw Great Wood and after a few minutes waiting for the cloud to pass through, a male was seen flying around the gap followed soon after by a second male when they both clashed. This gap was found over twenty years ago and is almost always guaranteed to produce a sighting during the season using the same spray of oak leaves to perch on as they have in previous years Liz Goodyear
27 Jun Hounslow. Not much sun but more butterflies and Skippers were a little less active so that I could identify more. An early sighting was my first Purple Hairstreak of the year which left me wanting more and better, two wishes that were not granted today. Towards the end of the walk I was slightly surprised to see my first two Gatekeepers of the year, firstly one on the old golf course, later one on the heath. The species is actually one day earlier than last year, the opposite of the other grass feeders. A new brood of Green-veined Whites flying and another Clouded Yellow on the marshalling yards where I also spotted a very fresh-looking female Brimstone nectaring. With her wings closed she was the greenest Brimstone I can remember seeing. All these extras meant that I reached 20 species on a single walk for the first time this year even though four other species seen on very recent walks were missing today: Meadow Brown: 251, Holly Blue: 3, Marbled White: 140, Comma: 4, Purple Hairstreak: 1, Small White: 19, Green-veined White: 4, Small Skipper: 38, Ringlet: 6, Speckled Wood: 3, Essex Skipper: 5, Large White: 2, Clouded Yellow: 1, Common Blue: 3, Small Copper: 1, Small Heath: 4, Red Admiral: 5, Brimstone: 1, Small Tortoiseshell: 1, Gatekeeper: 2 Peter Gore
27 Jun Branch Event
Nine members of the public joined Phil, Dick and I for an enjoyable walk around Chorleywood Common. Before commencing the walk, Phil welcomed the attendees, and gave some background information about the common. We then started the walk roughly following the route of the Chorleywood Common transect. Obviously the main focus of the event was to spot butterflies and certain moths, but interest in the local flora also took up much of the discussion. Butterflies spotted included the Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Speckled Wood, Small White, Comma, Small Skipper, Small Heath and Purple Hairstreak. We also spotted a good amount of Peacock caterpillars in the stinging nettles. Unfortunately it was rather cloudy which could be why the Silver Washed Fritillaries and Common Blues weren’t seen.
Moths seen included the Six-Spot Burnet and the very welcome Forester moth, of which we saw three examples. We spotted Cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort and the unwelcome Oak Processionary caterpillars on three oak trees. These have been reported to the parish council rangers.
Overall a very positive walk with some good feedback at the end of it. A few of us had refreshments in the new Café which is part of the newly built cricket pavilion

Chris Hankinson
27 Jun Took a walk around Balls Wood HMWT, weather was sun and cloud taking turns which made for a excellent basking weather. Ringlet 2, Red Admiral 4, Gatekeeper 2 and plenty of Meadow Browns and Large Skippers.
Highlight was undoubtedly this absolute gem of a Purple Hairstreak that I found in the wooded connection between the rides. He kindly agreed to pose for some photos which doesn't happen everyday....so I took about 250!

Nathan Ellis
26 Jun Walked over Therfield Heath east side (old rifle range). Around 10 Dark Green Fritillaries and a single rather battered Adonis Blue

Paula Moore
26 Jun 6 White Admiral and 1 Silver-washed Fritillary seen at Potterscrouch Plantations (TL 10318 05168)

Chris Hocking
26 Jun I did a tetrad bash visit to the 2km square TL3228 (no records from 2020-2022) southeast of Cottered, much of which is arable farmland. However, I was able to find Orange-tip and Peacock larvae and adult Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Large White, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Large Skipper and a low down Purple Hairstreak. 14 species in all

Purple Hairstreak near Cottered 26 Jun
Andrew Wood
25 Jun In Bengeo garden: Silver-washed Fritillary Simon Knott
25 Jun Hounslow. Another sunny day; overall numbers recorded down on Friday's totals and species too. Other than under recording of restless Small Skippers I think this is just a gentle decline across the board of longer established species. Whites are slowly growing in numbers; I'm not going to make any claims on behalf of the single Green-veined White seen! The best sighting came when I reached my fourth elm site of the day and I saw my first White-letter Hairstreak here; I think the first recorded in this square. I discovered the elm by chance in the autumn of last year when daily scavenging a pear or two and an apple to eat on the way home and suddenly one day recognising the familiar sight of dead elm suckers amongst the fruit trees. Currently my thoughts are two: the best way to find elm in our area might be to find dead or dying trees in summer, bearing in mind these will likely all be suckers from long vanished trees and secondly that every site I find here will have a White-letter Hairstreak colony of some unknown size. Much more searching and confirmed colonies is needed of course. Holly Blue: 5, Marbled White: 118, Comma: 17, Small Skipper: 9, Meadow Brown: 200, Red Admiral: 4, Brown Argus: 2, Essex Skipper: 2, Small White: 8, Common Blue: 5, Large White: 8, Green-veined White: 1, Ringlet: 3, Speckled Wood: 9, White-letter Hairstreak: 1 Peter Gore
25 Jun Bramfield Woods. Meadow Brown=30+, Ringlet=2, Speckled Wood=2, Red Admiral=2, Comma=3, Silver-washed Fritillary=1. Very active individual flying about a small bramble patch but would not settle on the flowers and kept retreating to an overhanging tree. Purple Hairstreak=2, Purple Emperor=1. Flew up from the ground as I walked along. Couldn't see any obvious purple in the sunshine so I assume she was a female. Large White=2, Small White=1, Green-veined White=1, Large Skipper=5+

Silver-washed Fritillary Bramfield Woods 25 Jun
Chris Benton
25 Jun we visited the St Vincent’s nursing home area of Park Wood, part of the Ruislip Woods (TQ095897) to see if the Purple Emperors were out. At 12 noon one became active in its usual spot and gave a few brief glimpses. Also seen in Park Wood was a White Admiral Sue & Steve Place
25 Jun 2 hour tour of Ruislip Woods and meadows. Copse Wood:- 6 White Admiral, 2 Purple Hairstreak both at low level, 2 Silver-washed Fritillary with another seen in Park Wood along the 'Lido fencing' path at Bury Street end. On the various meadows:- 1 Red Admiral, 16 Marbled Whites, 10 Ringlet, a few Large White, plenty of Meadow Brown and a good number of Small Skippers (maybe some Essex) Nick Furtek
25 Jun Took a short walk this morning from Ridge church to a grassy meadow (TL208004) and saw around 25 Marbled White (they were absent here last Sunday) also 20 Meadow Brown, 2 Large White, 3 Small Skipper and I was surprised to then see a Silver-washed Fritillary fly swiftly by along the field edge Terry Wood
24 Jun We first took a look into Newlands Spring and Dell Wood before entering Whippendell Woods on the opposite side of Rousebarn Lane. The weather was muggy and overcast with few sunny spells.
Few butterflies were seen at Newlands Spring Speckled Wood 2, Meadow Brown 2. Also few sightings in Dell Wood Speckled Wood 3, Meadow Brown 2, Large White 1.
Whippendell Woods Speckled Wood 2, Comma 1, Red Admiral 5, Meadow Brown 20+, Ringlet 5+, Large Skipper 3, White Admiral 6

Peter Fewell
24 Jun Field next to Southfield Wood, Hertingfordbury. (TL305110). Meadow Brown=50+, Marbled White=10+, Comma=1, Red Admiral=1, Small Heath=5+, Brown Argus=1, Holly Blue=3

Chris Benton
24 Jun Branch Event (with Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Friends of Holland Park)
We opened a moth trap full of micros but also some interesting macros, the standouts being the White Satin and Clancy's Rustic, both color forms of the Box-tree Moth were present. All the box hedges in the formal gardens have been left in place in a leafless form. On the butterfly front, we saw Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Comma and a pristine Painted Lady. Less welcome was a nest, low down on an oak of Oak Processionary Moth.
Andrew Wood
24 Jun In the afternoon and being in west London Jane and I strayed into Pete Gore's territory at Hounslow Heath and Feltham Marshalling Yards. It was my first visit for at least 10 years and the Marshalling Yards are now different as they have been largely seeded with a nice flower and grass mix and I didn't find any burnt-out cars, though the spooky tunnel is still there. But we did find a Clouded Yellow, my first of the year, Painted Lady, and lots of Meadow Brown , Small Skipper, Marbled White, and a few Large White, Small White, Small Heath and Common Blue (one active despite hardly any wings left), Brown Argus, Comma and Six-spot Burnet Moths. 1 each of Holly Blue and Large Skipper. There was another Oak Processionary nest on the heath

Andrew Wood
24 Jun A brief visit 09.15- 09.50 to Therfield Heath this morning, just from the Therfield Road between holes 5 and 6, Marbled Whites well out now c100 all around, also 3 ffy Dark Green Fritillary and 3 ffy Ringlet Laurence Drummond
24 Jun I went for a picnic at Danemead HMWT with my young daughter / butterfly apprentice hoping to find a White Admiral or Silver-washed Fritillary, no such luck. All the usuals seen which includes Comma 3, Red Admiral 1, Ringlet 3, Large Skipper 10+, Small Skipper 2, Small White 1, Marbled White 4 and more Meadow Browns than you can shake a stick at.
On the way home along the dirt track she found a brand new Purple Emperor. Great find for sure but bittersweet in the end because it didn't fly away as we approached, clearly alive but not doing too well possibly damaged during emerging. Offered fluids and left him alone

Nathan Ellis
24 Jun In Bencroft wood a few Meadow Browns but my first Silver-washed Fritillary of the year. Plenty of Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Small Heaths, Large Skippers in the field behind and one or two Small Skippers Steve Kiln
23 Jun Weedy/ scrubby field by the B653, Batford - 2 White-letter Hairstreaks at top of tree in south western corner of field. Even though sunny the two were much less active Darin Stanley
23 Jun I finally got out to Whippendell Woods this lovely afternoon to see if there was an emergence of White Admirals happening. It was an uplifting afternoon with 4 seen and probably another. Other butterflies seen, Large Skipper 5+, Holly Blue 1, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 2, Meadow Brown 20+ unidentified Whites 3, Red Admiral 1

Peter Fewell
23 Jun Hounslow. A very good day. I started early having noted that White-letter Hairstreak had been seen in the region and remembering Malcolm Hull's tip to go early in the morning to give myself a chance of seeing this butterfly. I was promptly rewarded when after a brief wait under the first group of Elm suckers I reached on Richmond Council's Hounslow Heath Park I saw the familiar-until-last year sight of two flying out from the tree top. This was repeated twice more as I watched and although it never got better than that, this is good enough for me at this point. Whilst looking at the Elm I noticed that all the topmost leaves had signs of caterpillar damage and found that the rest of the trees in the park had similar damage and later, checking elms in three other places on my walk, so did most of them. I now need to return and check again to see if the type of damage corresponds with what could be expected from this butterfly, or better, to see the butterflies themselves. After this early success I had two further ones, my first a somewhat overdue Large White and then, on the marshalling yards, I pursued a very dark butterfly for a few yards whilst knowing full well what to expect but still got surprised when he promptly found what he wanted, a female, and mated, a courtship lasting a-number-less-than-five, seconds. So both sexes of Ringlet at once. I spent a little time watching them before moving off and discovering that this individual did well to get on with things quickly as the next butterfly I saw was another searching nearby just as he had been. After that I wasn't able to satisfy myself with any of several likely Purple Hairstreaks I saw but I'm certain the species is out here now and I expect to add it to the year's list very shortly. In the meantime here's today's many sightings with thanks again to Malcolm! White-letter Hairstreak: 2, Comma: 23, Marbled White: 115, Meadow Brown: 217, Speckled Wood: 9, Small Skipper: 24, Essex Skipper: 5, Small Copper: 1, Large White: 3, Red Admiral: 4, Large Skipper: 2, Small White: 6, Ringlet: 5, Common Blue: 9, Small Heath: 3, Holly Blue: 3, Brown Argus: 2, Small Tortoiseshell: 1 Peter Gore
23 Jun An early evening walk down the fields from home to the Rivers orchard and fields site (TL473145). 15 Small Skipper (only 5 id but all Small), 3 Large Skipper, 2 Speckled Wood, 16 Small Heath (great year for them), 27 Marbled White, 2 White-letter Hairstreak, 3 Holly Blue, 5 Common Blue (inc egg laying female), c100 Meadow Brown Laurence Drummond
23 Jun Six Hills Common, Stevenage. At least 5 White-letter Hairstreaks flitting over the elm tree canopy gaps 1005 - 1010 hrs in bright, rather than sunny, weather Peter Clarke
23 Jun 50+ Meadow Browns, they were everywhere, 1 x Comma and 1 x Marbled White Sam Fuller
22 Jun Hounslow. Essentially more of the same, quite a lot more, and an increased number of species including a Painted Lady briefly sunbathing amongst grasses (unusually). An earlier start today so probably around half seen in the morning sun: Holly Blue: 1, Speckled Wood: 8, Small Tortoiseshell: 1, Meadow Brown: 225, Marbled White: 96, Comma: 6, Large Skipper: 1, Essex Skipper: 3, Small Skipper: 19 (+ approximately 50 other small ones), Brown Argus: 1, Small White: 2, Common Blue: 1, Small Heath: 2, Red Admiral: 2, Painted Lady: 1 Peter Gore
22 Jun Weedy/ scrubby field by the B653, Batford - At least 3 White-letter Hairstreaks at top or Elm around large bramble bush in South Western corner of field Darin Stanley
22 Jun At Bishops Wood Country Park, near Rickmansworth, 1 White Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Marbled White, 15 Meadow Brown, 3 Speckled Wood and 1 Purple Hairstreak

Purple Hairstreak Bishops Wood Country Park 22 Jun
Carole Holton
21 Jun Hounslow. A mostly sunny day with a number of highlights. The large numbers of Meadow Browns and Marbled White, both spread well across the whole of the area are likely under recorded as are Small Skippers' numbers even more so but for a different reason: a early sighting was the first Essex Skipper I've seen this year, needless to say helpfully mingling with large numbers of Small Skippers so it's back to binoculars and antenna inspections. Slightly more enthusiasm for growing numbers of Commas and a solitary Small Tortoiseshell, all clearly the new brood and there was even a solitary Peacock caterpillar crossing the path to make sure all three of the darker hibernators are represented. Unusually two of the Red Admirals were seen together in a minor aerial skirmish. This is the full list: Holly Blue: 2, Speckled Wood: 6, Red Admiral: 5, Comma: 13, Marbled White: 73, Small Skipper: 26, Meadow Brown: 130, Small White: 4, Essex Skipper: 1, Small Heath: 2 Peter Gore
21 Jun Balls Wood HMWT. Comma=3, Ringlet=1, Meadow Brown=30+, Large Skipper=40+, Holly Blue=2, White Admiral=1

Chris Benton
21 Jun My first 2 White Admirals of the year at Balls Wood Hertford Heath this evening Laurence Drummond
21 Jun Six White Admirals both male and female and four Marbled Whites at Bricket Wood

White Admiral Bricket Wood 21 Jun
Clive Burrows
19 Jun I went for a quick walk to Danemead Wildlife reserve to walk off my lunch in very humid mixture of sun and cloud. Many Meadow Browns seen as expected (perhaps more than usual) Speckled Woods 10+, Large Skippers 6, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1 and Ringlet 1 (TL344083). Also a Silver Y moth


Nathan Ellis
19 Jun Went for a stroll along field margins of Walkern Road near Aston this evening (TL282235). Butterfly numbers seemed low perhaps partly due to wind but pleased to see 2 - 3 Dark Green Fritillary. c20 Marbled Whites

Dark Green Fritillary near Aston 19 Jun
Tom Speller
18 Jun Branch Event
Rick and myself did manage to put a small test patch of plug plants in on the western bank of the car park facing the river. We didn't expect a great turn out for the event as the weather predictions indicated storms and also it was Fathers Day! It was just as well as trying to dig a hole was not easy and indeed we bent our tools trying but we managed to get them in eventually the rain did hold off but was cloudy clammy and close so no butterflies to report other than a couple of Meadow Brown. We shall keep tabs on the young plants through the summer and hopefully organise another planting out during September for butterflies in Cassiobury Park when the weather is likely to be more suitable. The next butterfly event is to take place on July 8th at the Wildfest in Cassiobury Park. The White Admiral should be out on the wing in Whippendell Woods by then, I have a feeling that the first to emerge will appear by the weekend.
On Friday 16th June for Whippendell Woods and quick scan of Cassiobury Park. Whippendell Woods: Speckled Wood 3, Large White 1, Meadow Brown 8+, Large Skipper 2, Holly Blue 1, Cassiobury Park: Speckled Wood 2, Meadow Brown 12, Silver Y moth 1

Peter Fewell
18 Jun Verulamium Park St Albans - Meadow Brown is the first summer butterfly out in force. I counted 52 on my walk this morning in muggy overcast conditions. Not much else flying - 4 Small Heath, 2 Silver Y moths and 1 Speckled Wood Malcolm Hull
18 Jun On my walk this morning through fields around Ridge I saw my first 2 Marbled White of the year (TL206010) as well as 75 Meadow Brown, 3 Small Heath, 2 Small Skipper, 1 Small White and 1 Speckled Wood Terry Wood
17 Jun I was surprised to see a Small Blue on Therfield Heath. On the Western side of the heath near the 13th


Paddy Grove
17 Jun Went to Therfield heath mid morning, walked from the Therfield Road east to Lankester Hill, weather dull, humid with the odd rain spatter, Marbled Whites just starting 6 seen, 4 Adonis Blue, 8 Common Blue, 4 Brown Argus, 1 fresh bright Small Tortoiseshell , this really is the best site for Small Heath, I'm sure they were as common as Meadow Brown with 40+ seen of each, no Dark Green Fritillary for me Laurence Drummond
17 Jun Hounslow. Despite a change in the weather from sunny to overcast and humid, little change in butterflies recorded: Speckled Wood: 9, Red Admiral: 2, Meadow Brown: 91, Comma: 3, Small White: 2, Small Skipper: 21, Common Blue: 3, Marbled White: 7, Small Heath: 3, Brown Argus: 3, Holly Blue: 1 and one each Burnet Companion and Mother Shipton moths. Flag Iris leaves being eaten by Sawfly caterpillars near the river Peter Gore
17 Jun On my transect at Alexandra Park I saw my first Marbled White and a couple of Small Skippers. No whites at all again, they are having a very poor year Dee Cullen
16 Jun Hounslow. Another sunny day and a further large increase in sightings with one correction needed: whilst yesterday's faded Comma could have been an old one, two more Commas today in widely separated places and other glimpses of likely ones are enough to confirm that this year's new brood is now on the wing. Perhaps yesterday's Comma emerged just before the thunderstorm and had been through a lot! Speckled Wood: 10, Comma: 2, Marbled White: 9. Common Blue: 8, Brown Argus: 2, Small Copper: 1, Small Heath: 5, Small Skipper: 20, Small White: 5, Meadow Brown: 77, Red Admiral: 2 plus one Cinnabar and two Mother Shipton moths Peter Gore
16 Jun I have been watching wildflower meadow near Stony Hills (TL 322168). Did so two weeks ago had my first Meadow Brown there and Small Heath and Mother Shipton moths. Today 50 plus Meadow Brown, 9 Small Heath, one Common Blue and 2 Burnet Companion moths. Bit disappointing considering all the flowers Steve Kiln
15 Jun Hounslow. Increasing numbers of summer butterflies now including our first Marbled Whites. Two Commas were a surprise, the closest observed being a faded specimen likely to have had a lengthy life in butterfly terms. A Green Hairstreak having made it to mid-June looked even more worn with very little green and no hairstreaks left. Small Heath: 4, Red Admiral: 2, Speckled Wood: 13, Green Hairstreak: 1, Marbled White: 3, Brown Argus: 7, Meadow Brown: 42, Common Blue: 5, Small Skipper: 4, Large Skipper: 1, Comma: 2, Small White: 3, Holly Blue: 2 and two Cinnabar moths, a year first for them, too Peter Gore
14 Jun A Dark Green Fritillary on Therfield Heath (Lankaster Hill TL351402). Plenty of Adonis Blue, Small Heath and Meadow Brown, a few Common Blue and a Brown Argus on the Eastern Heath Nick Keep
13 Jun Hounslow. After yesterday's heavy thunderstorm today's walk felt like a rather demanding obstacle course with paths concealed by flattened fescue and nettles, tree branches suddenly several feet lower and pools of water to be by-passed or leapt, all whilst coping with high humidity and similar temperatures in full sun. Nevertheless it was a rewarding, if tiring, experience and two new species were added to the year's total, over 20 now. Both were Skippers. I tried quite hard to convince myself the first one, perched at the top of a Viper's Bugloss flower stalk was a Large Skipper but failed utterly: a minute or two focusing on antennas confirmed it as a Small Skipper. I then had about 15 minutes of rather arduous walking, ruefully wondering if I was going miss Large Skipper altogether this year again before a second Skipper was seen. More peering at antennas revealed the hoped-for hooks at the end that meant a Large Skipper. Two little butterflies that made this a good day along with the following: Speckled Wood: 7, Small Heath: 5, Meadow Brown: 21, Brown Argus: 3, Common Blue: 4, Small White: 1, Small Skipper: 1, Large Skipper: 1, Holly Blue: 3, Brimstone: 1, Red Admiral: 1 Peter Gore
13 Jun Last chance to see first brood Small Blues. It's a few years since I'd visited the site at Watery Lane, Flamstead. A difficult site to survey as there's no public access, so requiring all recording through binoculars. I saw 2 Small Blues, 1 Common Blue, 2 Small Whites and 2 Meadow Browns. One of the Small Blues was egg laying. Pleased to say there is masses of Kidney Vetch along this 400 meter road embankment and the site looks in good condition. At London Rd north of Harpenden I saw 2 Small Blues, 10 Meadow Browns, 3 Small Heath and 5 Burnet Companions. This is another road embankment carpeted in Kidney Vetch and in very good condition. Although just into Beds it's noteworthy as just 609 meters from the Herts border and the first Small Blue record I'm aware of from this site. Finally on the way home at Harpenden Lane, Redbourn, I saw 2 Small Blues and 2 Brimstone

Small Blue near Harpenden 13 Jun
Malcolm Hull
13 Jun In Bishops Wood Country Park near Rickmansworth I saw 1 Large Skipper, 3 Meadow Brown, 2 Red Admiral and 1 Speckled Wood Carole Holton
13 Jun Made a lunchtime visit to very hot and sunny Hexton Chalk Pit to see the orchids without especially high expectations of butterflies, but was rewarded with a good mixture of species, if no great numbers: a good handful of Small Heaths, a trio of Brimstones, a Dingy Skipper hanging in there, one Common Blue, and my first Large Skipper and Marbled White of the year (alas the photo opportunity was interrupted by a marauding Brimstone). Also spotted (presumably) the now-famous Small Blue!

Small Blue Hexton 13 Jun
Annie Sutcliffe
11 Jun Meadow Browns emerging at Rickneys and Waterford Heath South. Maybe saw 2 Ringlets at Waterford heath, much darker than Meadow Browns but did not settle, came out on 10th June last year. Holly Blues, Common Blues and Small Heath on both sites. Single Grizzled Skipper and Brimstone on settling beds area on the heath. Single Painted Lady at home in Bengeo Steve Kiln
10 Jun Took a walk lunchtime, down the fields from High Wych to the old Rivers orchard and fields, (TL473145), Full sun, HOT. 1 Large Skipper (my ffy), 2 Brimstone (both faded males), 12 Common Blue, 8 Holly Blue, 5 Meadow Brown (ffy), 13 Small Heath Laurence Drummond
10 Jun Visited the site of the Small Blue colony at the A41 Bourne End - Boxmoor entry / exit - mid morning, warm and sunny. On the Southbound exit bank (South facing) 13 Small Blue. On the Northbound exit bank (South facing) 4 Small Blue and on the Northbound entry bank (North facing) there were 2 Small Blue (very little Kidney Vetch here) Brendan Sheridan
9 Jun A targeted survey for the recently emerged Four-spotted moth in the Barley area in NE Herts found one individual

Four-spotted Moth near Barley 9 Jun
Liz Goodyear
Andrew Wood
9 Jun Hounslow. A little earlier start this morning but another sunny day continuing existing trends: Speckled Wood: 11, Holly Blue: 7, Common Blue: 18, Meadow Brown: 2, Brown Argus: 6, Small White: 3, Small Copper: 1, Small Heath: 3, Red Admiral: 2 Peter Gore
9 Jun In the field behind Bencroft Wood. this morning. I had 6 Meadow Browns, my first Large Skipper, a Small Copper, 9 Small Heath and 4 Mother Shiptons Steve Kiln
7 Jun Eugene Dillon-Hooper imaged a Green Hairstreak at Vicarage Farm, Enfield near Merryhill’s Way [public right of way]. This is the first known sighting in the Trent Park area to my knowledge Robert Callf
8 Jun I spent this afternoon tetrad bashing TL1428 north of Great Offley, a 2km square for which we have had no records in the first 3 years of the current 2020-2024 survey. In an 8 mile walk on every right of way and road in the area, I managed to record my first Large Skipper of the year plus Large White and Small White, Orange-tip, Brimstone, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell, plus a Silver Y moth. Outside the square, I also recorded Brown Argus and Burnet Companion

Large Skipper Great Offley 8 Jun
Andrew Wood
8 Jun Visited Therfield Heath at 10:45 hours. We first went to Church Hill and saw very few butterflies in the coolish breeze but at about 13:00 hours when it warmed up more butterflies were on the wing towards the eastern end (TL332396) including some Adonis Blues and several Brown Argus and Small Heath. After a break for a coffee we went to the eastern end of the heath (TL349405) and more butterflies were evident with more Adonis Blues including a mating pair spotted by Bob, and again several Brown Argus and Small Heath. Only 3 Common Blues counted, all at the very beginning of the walk. Counts: Small Heath 30, Adonis Blue 13, Common Blue 3, Brown Argus 15, Meadow Brown 5, Large White 1, Brimstone 2


Peter Clarke
Bob Clift
8 Jun Hounslow. Another sunny walk but with a further decline in sightings as the spring butterflies fade away. On the other hand I saw my first Meadow Browns of the year..... Speckled Wood: 10, Holly Blue: 20, Green-veined White: 1, Meadow Brown: 2, Brown Argus: 4, Common Blue: 17, Small Copper: 1, Small Heath: 5, Brimstone: 3, Green Hairstreak: 2, Small White: 1 Peter Gore
8 Jun Sandridge - Back to Heartwood Forest in bright sun, with a stiff chilly breeze. Butterflies are in their June lull, with most of those in flight seen in sheltered positions along the woodland edge. Small Blue were in two separate locations, the Airfield fence and beside the entrance road. 9 seen in total. Good to see that Kidney Vetch is now firmly established in at least four separate meadows across the site. Other butterflies - 38 Small Heath, 25 Common Blue, 15 Brimstone, 1 Painted Lady, 3 Brown Argus and 3 Small Copper. Moths included Grass Rivulet, Cinnabar, Burnet Companion and Shaded Broadbar

Small Blue Heartwood Forest 8 Jun
Malcolm Hull
7 Jun Hounslow. A sunny afternoon during which I recorded the following: Speckled Wood: 17, Red Admiral: 2, Peacock: 1, Holly Blue: 20, Brown Argus: 8, Common Blue: 19, Small Copper: 2, Small Heath: 3, Small White: 1, Green Hairstreak: 1 Peter Gore
4 Jun Therfield Heath (Church Hill): I saw my first Meadow Browns of the year here. Whilst there has been an excellent showing of Brown Argus this spring (although numbers are dropping now), numbers of both Adonis Blue and Common Blue appear to be well down on previous springs. However, there are good numbers of Adonis Blue on the wing in shorter grass at the eastern end of The Heath (the 'Old Rifle Range'). Sightings: Orange-tip (1), Large White (1), Brimstone (1), Small Heath (5), Meadow Brown (2), Peacock (1), Brown Argus (12), Common Blue (6), Adonis Blue (2)

Meadow Brown Therfield Heath 4 Jun
Martin Johnson
4 Jun I started earlier so the following are sightings from late morning and through the afternoon all in full sunshine: Small White : 5, Peacock: 1, Speckled Wood: 17, Orange-tip: 2, Holly Blue: 20, Brown Argus: 16, Small Heath: 6, Small Copper: 3, Common Blue: 25, Brimstone: 3 and one Burnet Companion, two Treble Bar moths. A couple of female Common Blues seen as well as another female Brimstone this time nectaring on Knapweed Peter Gore
4 Jun We spent a couple of hours this morning at Aldbury Nowers. Most species were present in very low numbers, but I did get to see my first Meadow Brown of the year (one very skittish individual). Small Heath was common, several dozen seen, while Common Blue also lived up to its name, but even more were present. Also seen: Speckled Wood 2, Brown Argus 5, Large White 2, Small White 4, Brimstone 4, Orange-tip 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Red Admiral 1, Grizzled Skipper 2 Andrew Neild
3 Jun A Brimstone Moth at Rickneys. At Waterford Heath a flood of Holly Blues 13 or more. Plus a Grizzled Skipper in settling beds area. Steve Kiln
3 Jun I saw Speckled Woods, Holly Blues, Brimstones, Small Coppers and Common Blues on my transect at Ally Pally. No Whites at all and so far this year haven't seen many. I was pleased to see this Burnet Companion in the top meadow

Burnet Companion Alexandra Park 3 Jun
Dee Cullen
2 Jun Hounslow. Another suuny afternoon and an increase in butterfly numbers. I was pleased to see an Orange-tip flying close to where I saw Cuckoo Flower in bloom here for the first time. It's possible this has been established where it is for years and unseen by me until scrub clearing and thorough tidying made it accessible (Brazil Mill Woods area); equally it could have been long dormant seed but whatever the circumstances it's a welcome alternative to Hedge Garlic the more often seen Orange-tip foodplant here. Today's male might be the last for this year, another indifferent year for the species. By contrast I had the unusual experience of seeing a settled Brimstone. She was conspicuous on the path, nectaring meticulously on Dissected Geranium a flimsy annual that ensured she was easy to spot. Much later as I was leaving the heath two mating Green-veined Whites were spotted on the ground. As I focused on them the female flew up into a tree pursued by the male who duly mated. I always suspect these easily spotted Green-veined White matings are repeats for the female but of course have no way of knowing that. This is today's list of sightings: Common Blue: 29, Speckled Wood: 19, Holly Blue: 26, Green Hairstreak: 2, Orange-tip: 1, Brown Argus: 10, Small Heath: 3, Small White: 5, Small Copper: 6, Brimstone: 1, Peacock: 2, Green-veined White: 2. Also seen, two Mother Shipton moths, one Treble Bar moth Peter Gore
2 Jun Painted Lady, first of the year, on Knebworth transect at Burleigh Farm Peter Clarke
1 Jun Small Blue at Halsey Field Chris Ridley
1 Jun Hounslow. We had to wait for any sun until after midday but it stayed for the whole of the walk during which ten species received at least one recorded sighting in the new month: Holly Blue: 18, Speckled Wood: 14, Small White: 7, Red Admiral: 1, Brown Argus: 13, Small Copper: 6, Green-Hairstreak: 1, Common Blue: 24, Peacock: 5, Green-veined White: 1 plus two Mother Shipton moths Peter Gore

May

Date Description Recorder
30 May Hounslow. A frustrating afternoon walk during which we failed to get anything like as much sun as forecast and a bit too much breeze. Despite my grumpiness sightings were actually good in the circumstances with Common Blue now the commonest species seen. I hope the males are finding more female Common Blues than I am: Small White: 2, Peacock: 7, Speckled Wood: 10, Holly Blue: 11, Common Blue: 23, Brown Argus: 6, Green Hairstreak: 2, Small Copper: 1, Small Heath: 2, Orange-tip: 1. Still too many multi-coloured Damselflies to count especially in warm spots near the river. Also the first Dragonfly seen hunting on the marshalling yards Peter Gore
29 May Heartwood Forest. Very few again today, Sunny intervals but windy. My first Comma and Small Heath of the year but only singles. Half a dozen Speckled Wood and then a few Brimstone and Orange-tips Sam Fuller
28 May In my Ware garden, I observed 3 Holly Blue simultaneously, also seen were 1 Large White, 1 male Orange-tip, a male and female Brimstone, 1 Green-veined White and a pristine Small Tortoiseshell and my first Pyrausta aurata for the year pottering about the mint plants! Liz Goodyear
28 May Another walk round the Old Butterfly World boundary (TL12410433). A very warm and sunny morning. I recorded 6 Brimstone, 7 Holly Blue, 7 Orange-tip, 3 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 11 Small Blue, 1 Small Copper, 4 Small Heath, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, altogether a very rewarding walk! Mandy Floyd
28 May It was a lovely morning. We went first over to Chiswell Green near the community centre and had a wonder up the path there to see if we could see any butterflies. We did see 3 Holly Blues but looking over the meadow area we never saw a single butterfly and decided to go and look at Heartwood Forest Sandridge. Although there were a few sunny intervals the wind had picked up a bit and although plenty of wild flowers few butterflies were seen. The best number for Small Heath so far this season at a count of 6. Other than that 1 Brimstone confirmed. 1 other distant white seen. We did see plenty of wildflowers there, so on the right day sightings are likely to be better. We also came across a moth web with caterpillars. I have no idea of which species. If these caterpillars are familiar to someone then please let me know


Peter Fewell
28 May At last, after much searching, two Grizzled Skipper at Waterford Heath North pit this afternoon, and one on another private site. Also around Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Small Copper, Brimstone, Orange-tip and Holly Blue plus a group of Mullein moth larvae making short work of a once tall Mullein


Andrew Wood
27 May HCC footpath 28. Chiswell Green Lane. [TL124043]. Holly Blue=15+, Common Blue=2, Small Blue=6, Small Heath=2, Orange-tip=5, Small Copper=2, Peacock=3, Small Tortoiseshell=1. Brimstone=4


Chris Benton
27 May Hounslow. Not for the first time after my confident assertion about a butterfly species it's promptly demonstrated I'm wrong. On this occasion it's Green Hairstreak which today was back up to 9 sightings divided between the two current locations so the peak may still be yet to come. Numbers overall are actually slightly down today despite very favourable sunny weather. Two unusual sightings, widely separate, were half-sized Small Whites, about the size of a Holly Blue. Both had very faint markings so presumably males. I can't recall ever seeing similar in this very common species although both Orange-tip and Speckled Wood seem to occur fairly frequently in miniature versions. This is today's full list: Holly Blue: 30, Green-veined White: 1, Green Hairstreak: 9, Small White: 5, Speckled Wood: 14, Brimstone: 5, Red Admiral: 2, Painted Lady: 1, Small Copper: 3, Brown Argus: 4, Common Blue: 14, Orange-tip: 1, Peacock: 6, Small Heath: 1 plus two each, Mother Shipton and Treble Bar moths. I'll likely take the next two days off for necessary repairs to my ego, returning on Tuesday Peter Gore
27 May Decided to visit Hexton Chalk Pit as it was lovely and sunny and spent a good 2½ hours wandering around. As I walked in I almost immediately encountered a Burnet Companion which didn't bode well but I needn't have worried. It wasn't long before I saw my first Dingy Skipper – in fact there weren't many moments when there wasn't one in my sight. Many were females searching for egg laying opportunities but I also found a mating pair. Some were a bit faded but others were very fresh. I stopped counting when I reached 22 but there could have been many more but I didn't want to duplicate my counting. Common Blue were out in good numbers and again I stopped at 27, with 9 Small Heath but only 1 Brown Argus. Stopping for a moment on one of the seats was a lucky break when I saw my first Green Hairstreak of the year with a second by the other seat and then another one mid-way between the two areas! A female Brimstone was getting very fed up with an amorous lonely male Brimstone! The only moth of note was one Pyrausta nigrata. At another site I visited on my way home I was surprised to see a Small Copper nectaring on hawthorn blossom! Liz Goodyear
27 May Branch Event
Heartwood Forest, Sandridge - 26 people joined todays butterfly walk at this Woodland Trust site near St Albans. Despite the sun, butterflies were few and far between. Small Heath was the most spotted species, with individuals and courting couples seen in the wildflower meadows. Brimstones also put in a good showing with females significantly more numerous than males. Moths included Blood-veined, Mint moth sp, Silver Y as well as numerous Crambus moth sps. In Valley Field we located one of the Kidney Vetch clumps and spotted Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Peacock and a mating pair of Common Blues which obligingly posed for photos. On the way back male Orange-tips were added to the days list.
Frustrated by the lack of success in finding Small Blue, a group of 6 stayed on to visit the site adjoining the Airfield fence. Here we added Spindle Ermine moth larvae, their nests easily spotted on the small trees. The Kidney Vetch along the fenceline was taller and just coming into bloom, as this area is not rabbit grazed. Finally we located a Small Blue and then a second egg laying in between the florets of a flower head still in bud. In total we had 6 sightings, at least 4 separate individuals. Mother Shipton and Small White were added to the days list.
Apologies to all who didn't see the Blue, we will know where to look first next year!


Malcolm Hull
26 May Hounslow. A beautiful sunny day and butterflies identified above 100 for the first time this year. Sadly just a single Green Hairstreak suggests that the total seen on Saturday 20th was likely the peak for us here this year but numbers of Brown Argus now seem to be increasing, as does Speckled Wood : Holly Blue: 38, Small White: 6, Peacock: 14, Green-veined White: 2, Orange-tip: 4, Speckled Wood: 15, Red Admiral: 2, Comma: 1, Brown Argus: 9, Small Heath: 5, Common Blue: 10, Small Copper: 4, Green Hairstreak: 1, Brimstone: 1 Peter Gore
26 May We were very privileged to be allowed by Network Rail to conduct the annual ESCORTED trackside survey north of Hertford. This was our second visit this year, with the first last week when just 1 Grizzled Skipper was seen. Today was much better with 8 Grizzled Skipper seen in total. We also recorded Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Small Heath, Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion and Small Yellow Underwing. 1 Grizzled Skipper was TINY. This area is an important Grizzled Skipper site and we would like to thank Network Rail especially Alan and Steve who made sure we were kept safe as well as becoming very good at finding butterflies! Liz Goodyear
Sharon Hearle
26 May Butterfly World perimeter, Chiswell Green - 7 Small Blue, Shrubs Hill Common, Hemel Hempstead- 6 Dingy Skippers, 1 Common Blue, Bovingdon Brickpits - 7 Dingy Skippers (1 in photo), 1 Painted Lady, 9 Holly Blues, 4 Common Blues, 1 Brimstone. Aldbury Nowers (north section) 5 Small Blues, 5 Dingy Skippers, 22 Brimstones, 6 Orange-tips, 15 Common Blues, 3 Holly Blues, 2 Treble Bar, 8 Brown Argus, 1 Red Admiral. At Bourne End junction, A41 (NW bound side) 9 Small Blues, 6 Burnet Companion

Dingy Skipper Bovingdon 26 May
Malcolm Hull
25 May On a relatively brief visit to Croxley Moor with a few sunny moments but mostly overcast Rick and myself came across 3 Small Copper, 2 Small Heath, 4 Common Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 2 Brimstone plus a Small Yellow Underwing 1 seen


Peter Fewell
25 May Hounslow. No highlights today really! The weather failed to live up to forecast and the butterflies were relatively subdued accordingly: Holly Blue: 16, Green-veined White: 2, Orange-tip: 4, Speckled Wood: 6, Peacock: 10, Brown Argus: 3, Common Blue: 6, Green Hairstreak: 5, Small White: 4, Small Copper: 2, Brimstone: 2, Comma: 2, Small Heath: 2 and two each, Mother Shipton and Treble Bar moths. Peter Gore
25 May Harpenden Lane, Redbourn - at least 6 Small Blues on this roadside embankment. Rather cloudy this afternoon, so they all posed nicely for photographs. A few other species on the walk there along the Ver Valley - Brimstone, Red Admiral, Orange-tip, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Peacock, Small White, Green-veined White, Silver Y and Mint Moth (Pyrausta Aurata)


Malcolm Hull
24 May Small Blue seen on the Gorhambury Estate (TL125088)

Small Blue Gorhambury 24 May
John Pritchard
21 May Branch Event - species list
Hounslow
Butterflies: Small White, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Brown Argus, Green Hairstreak
Moths: Muslin, Treble Bar, Small Yellow Underwing. (Photos © Malcolm Hull)


Peter Gore
24 May Spent just under 5½ hours searching for Grizzled Skippers in the Waterford Heath area. The disappointing total was just three! However, I was almost overwhelmed with the numbers of Brown Argus – all pretending to be a Grizzled so every Brown Argus had to be checked, and they were all really fired up in the heat, flying everywhere, clashing and flying over their food plants which mingled with the wild strawberry and other Grizzled food plants. It was very hard!
Final totals were 3 Grizzled Skipper, 105 Brown Argus, 39 Small Heath, 3 Holly Blue, 3 Brimstone, 3 Peacock, 7 Small Copper, 1 Red Admiral, 16 Common Blue (numbers increased when the Bird’s Foot Trefoil did), 1 Large White, and 1 Orange-tip. Moths included 1 Cinnabar, 3 Treble-bar, 1 Burnet Companion, 1 Silver Y, 1 Mother Shipton
Liz Goodyear
24 May Malcolm Hull and I visited a private site in central Herts today and were surprised to discover a small colony of Dingy Skippers (4 seen), also present were many Common Blue (all male), 1 Small Copper, 3 Small Heath, 5 Brown Argus, 3 Mother Shipton and 8 Burnet Companion moths.
It goes to show that may always be something new to discover in our countryside

Dingy Skipper 24 May
Andrew Wood
23 May Hounslow. It was perhaps inevitable that when I rounded the corner to walk the path alongside the railway I immediately saw a Green Hairstreak perching on a overhanging grass blade. Emulating one of the Sunday walkers I attempted to persuade it to walk onto my hand (they're pleasingly tame) but didn't quite manage that, though it settled again quite close by. Much later on the way back I sat on the bee bank at the other end of this path and in the time it took me to eat an apple and drink two cups of water I was able to spot two Small Coppers in what looked like mating preliminaries fly off together followed by another (or one of the previous two) moving slowly through a Sorrel patch whilst behind it a Green Hairstreak flitted from one Broom bush to another, possibly egg-laying about half a dozen times. In addition my first Common Blue on the heath flew past, aggressively chasing a Holly Blue. The difference between Sunday and today was having sun in the right place, twice.
Today's butterflies similar to Friday's overall with two notable increases for Small Copper to double figures, a rare occurence here, and Common Blue which I'm expecting to do well here for this brood. Here are the figures: Holly Blue: 32, Small White: 4, Green-veined White: 3, Orange-tip: 5, Green Hairstreak: 5, Speckled Wood: 7, Common Blue: 9, Small Heath: 2, Brown Argus: 1, Small Copper: 10, Peacock: 9, Brimstone: 3 and two Mother Shipton moths
Peter Gore
22 May At Rickneys 10 or more Brown Argus and first Common Blues of the year there, 4 of them. At Waterford Heath south, Common Blues, Brown Argus but no Grizzled Skipper Steve Kiln
22 May Therfield Heath (Church Hill, south side). Adonis Blues are flying today. Judging from their slightly less than pristine condition, they may have been on the wing for a day or two already. Sightings: Adonis Blue (4 males), Brown Argus (20+, individuals still emerging), Common Blue (5+ males), Brimstone (2), Peacock (1), Small Heath (4). Also a Silver Y moth

Adonis Blue Therfield Heath 22 May
Martin Johnson
21 May Went to Broxbourne woods in Bencroft Wood saw 12 Speckled Yellow moths and 2 Green-veined White while in field behind 3 Small Heath. Speckled Yellow also in Broxbourne west ride with Orange-tips.
At Rickneys the Brown Argus explosion saw 15 in a small transect, plus Small Heath, Small Copper and 1 Grizzled Skipper
Steve Kiln
20 May I paid a brief visit to Hexton Chalk Pit (TL106299) and recorded 4 Dingy Skipper, 1 Green Hairstreak, 2 Brimstone, 1 Small Heath, 1 Holly Blue David Booth
21 May I spent half an hour in the warm sunshine walking along the old Butterfly World boundary (TL12465 04175) it was a rewarding visit. 6 Brimstones, 1 Comma, 5 Green-veined White, 8 Holly Blue, 3 Orange-tip, 6 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 5 Small Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell Mandy Floyd
21 May Mid morning at Waterford Heath, walked north along the South pit (escarpment only) 1 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Small Copper, 2 Common Blue (m), 2 Brown Argus and 1 Holly Blue, crossed the road into the North pit, in the area down the slope to the east 2 Grizzled Skipper, 5 Brown Argus, 2 Holly Blue and 1 Small Heath.
Both pits are starting to suffer, in places from scrub encroachment now
Laurence Drummond
21 May Branch Event
Hounslow. A brief report today with just four butterflies to record but first, thanks to everyone who attended the walk, to Malcolm for the effort put in on the walk itself and to Liz for advertising it. It was, I think, the best attended walk here and the first after many years when some of us finally saw a Green Hairstreak, albeit on an extended trip after the heath to the Marshalling Yards. The weather was less than perfect as usual but given the circumstances a reasonable number and variety of butterflies and moths were seen.
For the second year running I managed to see a Green Hairstreak just minutes before the walk started and this time it was on the heath together with a Brown Argus, my first there this year. Here I also met another butterfly enthusiast who was familiar with my contributions to the website: always good to know people not only read this stuff but also make use of the information therein for their own pleasure.
These two butterflies down by the railway and two Holly Blues encountered on the streets on the way to the heath are my four butterflies for today. I believe Malcolm will cover others seen on the walk.
Peter Gore
20 May Butterfly count Halsey Field Hemel Hempstead. Although not the first butterfly seen I shall start with the Brown Argus as it is a first of the year in county! Although only one positively identified as in the photo I did spot another maybe 1+. Brimstone probably 10+ a fair estimate, Peacock 1, Orange-tip 1+ as there were a few unidentified whites about. Comma 1, Holly Blue 5+, Silver-y moth 2, + a couple of sightings of the Mint Moth


Peter Fewell
20 May Hounslow. A remarkable day which saw two more species flying and I think my highest total ever for Green Hairstreak (12). Brown Argus was the first newcomer with a typically aggressive male seeing off something else so thoroughly that I haven't a clue what it was. Two Small Heaths looking particularly golden in flight were subsequently seen also on the Marshalling Yards. Most of the Green Hairstreaks were there too but some were seen where we'll be walking tomorrow and this included a likely female on a small gorse bush. She spent some time on the growth tips and I like to think this involved squeezing her eggs down between the leaves as she's supposed to do. This is the full list of sightings: Holly Blue: 29, Brimstone: 12, Green-veined White: 3, Comma: 2, Green Hairstreak: 12, Peacock: 11, Speckled Wood: 3, Small Copper: 7, Brown Argus: 1, Orange-tip: 8, Common Blue: 1, Small Heath: 2, Small White: 1, Red Admiral: 2 and two Mother Shipton moths Peter Gore
20 May Incombe Hole. Blessed with lovely weather. 12 people came. Saw 15 butterflies species and 5 moth species. The highlights were Duke of Burgundy 10, Marsh Fritillary 1 (release from a few years ago), Green Hairstreak 1, right at the end, Dingy Skipper 15, Common Blue 20, Brown Argus 15, Brimstone 25, Grizzled Skipper 3. A really good day


Steve Kiln
20 May A41 Bourne End Mills junction opposite Upper Bourne End Lane - Small Blue and Small Yellow Underwing

Small Yellow Underwing Bourne End 20 May
Malcolm Hull
19 May Pretty drab weather at Rickneys but I had 2 Small Copper, 1 Small Heath, 3 Brown Argus and 2 Grizzled Skippers my first there this year all in a small area near the tree bank Steve Kiln
18 May 3 Small Blues lunchtime, 2 males and a female on the side of the old Butterly World site

Small Blue Chiswell Green 18 May
Clive Burrows
18 May Therfield Heath (Church Hill: approx. TL332397): Brown Argus numbers on the south side of Church Hill are quite good this spring and the first Common Blues are now on the wing, but I couldn't find any Adonis Blues when I visited. I expect/hope that they'll appear in the next few days. Here are my sightings: Orange-tip (2 males), Large White (1), Brimstone (3), Speckled Wood (1 in Fox Covert), Small Heath (1), Red Admiral (1 in Fox Covert), Peacock (2), Holly Blue (2 in Fox Covert), Brown Argus (35+ including mating pairs), Common Blue (2 males)


Martin Johnson
18 May Hounslow. A good day with plenty of sunshine and another species on the wing, Common Blue. Three males were seen on the marshalling yards in an area where Holly Blue is commoner. As far as I can see the Holly Blues are attracted to Hare's Foot Clover and as it's not flowering yet I suspect it must be honeydew they seek. Just one Green Hairstreak away from the marshalling yards and unusually this was close to The Rings on the Pevensey Road meadow for no very obvious reason. This is the full list of sightings: Holly Blue: 28, Peacock: 14, Orange-tip: 5, Small White: 4, Speckled Wood: 5, Brimstone: 8, Green Hairstreak: 5, Small Copper: 7, Common Blue: 3, Green-veined White: 2 Peter Gore
18 May Tyttenhanger Lakes near Colney Heath - Two first sightings of the year for me - Small Heath and Painted Lady

Small Heath Tyttenhanger 18 May
Malcolm Hull
17 May Hounslow. A shorter walk today restricted to the heath and getting there and back, weather mostly cloudy. In the circumstances the butterflies were better than I'd expected: Holly Blue: 4, Green-veined White: 2, Peacock: 4, Brimstone: 3, Small Copper: 1 Peter Gore
16 May In my Chiswell Green garden this morning sunning itself. A Holly Blue male, which resisted all attempts to have its photo taken with wings open

Holly Blue Chiswell Green 16 May
Gary Mason
16 May I visited the chalk trinity of Telegraph Hill, Hoo Bit and Hexton Chalk Pit on a circular walk from Lilley. On the way, I noted a Painted Lady and a Small Tortoiseshell. At Telegraph Hill there were 4 Dingy Skipper, at Hoo Bit 2 Green Hairstreak and 2 Dingy Skipper. At Hexton Chalk Bit there were 10 Dingy Skipper, 2 Green Hairstreak, 1 Pyrausta nigrata moth and my first Common Blue of 2023. Brimstone and Peacock were frequent throughout together with a few Orange-tip, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Green-veined White


Andrew Wood
13 May After meeting Nick for a spot of pruning at Stafford Road Open Space Ruislip and also to take a look for Brown Hairstreak eggs that were marked during winter. Well the weather didn't improve and become sunny as predicted. It remained overcast and we didn't see a single butterfly on the wing. We did see a Brimstone Moth and an unidentified Pug Moth. In some ways this turned out to be ideal without the distraction of butterflies on the wing.
Hatched Brown Hairstreak Egg count 4 out of the 5 marked eggs we looked at. One we couldn't find we presume predated on. The last egg we examined that had also hatched we appear to have got lucky with finding a first instar caterpillar! Not a great photo but just enough to fit the right description of a first instar caterpillar. Although in the photo it appears green it looked more ochre in colour when first spotted.


Peter Fewell
16 May Hounslow. No doubt about the highlight. I'd been enjoying increasing numbers of butterflies of ten different species and on reaching the marshalling yards was trying to turn Holly Blues, Small Coppers and Green Hairstreaks into species expected but not yet seen here (with no success whatever) when I was briefly disconcerted by the sudden appearance of a rather larger butterfly that momentarily didn't seem to belong there at all. Fortunately it settled and I was able to stand for a little while admiring an early Clouded Yellow, certainly the earliest I've ever seen. I wanted to get closer to look at its eyes and unfortunately perhaps it was this movement that persuaded it to fly up and away in typical fashion for its species. Although I'd been doing very well with numbers up to this point (not quite half way) I then lost the sun and just one Peacock was seen for the rest of the walk. A female Orange-tip in my garden had got me off to a good start. Here's the full list: Holly Blue: 27, Orange-tip: 4, Brimstone: 4, Small White: 2, Green-veined White: 3, Peacock: 12, Red Admiral: 1, Speckled Wood: 1, Green Hairstreak: 4, Small Copper: 8, Clouded Yellow: 1, one Silver Y and one Mother Shipton moth Peter Gore
16 May Waterford Heath, South pit. Large White=1, Painted Lady=1, Orange-tip (male)=1, Brown Argus=1, Grizzled Skipper=4. Waterford Heath, North pit. Holly Blue=1, Grizzled Skipper=3. Rickney's quarry. Small Copper=2, Peacock=3, Red Admiral=1, Small Heath=1, Brown Argus=1


Chris Benton
16 May Incombe Hole just outside Herts. Walked it today in preparation for Saturday. a great area. Saw about 12 Duke of Burgundy, 8 or so Grizzled Skippers, 15 Brimstone, 10+ Dingy Skippers, Small Blue, 10 Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Heath 5, Burnet Companion, Mother Shipton. Plenty of warblers.


Steve Kiln
16 May Despite the sunnier weather Grizzled Skipper numbers on Waterford Heath north are still low. One and half hours searching found four. Three under the cliff with 2 clashing and a fourth one parallel to the pond. Also seen were 2 Brown Argus fighting, a Small Copper, Orange-tips, Brimstones, Holly Blue, Peacock, Red Admiral, with Pyrausta aurata & Treble-bar moths also seen. Nearby a Small Heath was seen Liz Goodyear
14 May Telegraph Hill, Hoo Bit clearing [TL117290]. Brimstone=6, Dingy Skipper=6, Green Hairstreak=4, Burnet Companion moth=1. Telegraph Hill, chalk gulley next to the Icknield Way [TL118289]. Brimstone=5+, Peacock=1, Orange-tip (male)=2, Dingy Skipper=3, Brown Argus=1, Green Hairstreak=1


Chris Benton
14 May I popped in to Hexton Chalk Pit this afternoon around 2pm, hoping to finally spot a Green Hairstreak or two. Despite good numbers of Dingy Skipper (15+), and many Brimstones and Holly Blues, it was all looking a littler hopeless for the target species until around 3.30 when a solitary Green Hairstreak took flight, settled for a short time (out of reach for a decent photo), and then was lost against a chaotic background of tangled vegetation (this was at the narrow southern end of the reserve). But there is at least one individual flying there this year! Other sightings included several Peacocks, a number of Whites (which of the two smaller species they were I cannot be sure, as they didn't settle). There was no sign of the two Small Heaths I spotted last weekend. For those readers with botanical interests, in the meadow beside the reserve entrance I found dozens of Common Twayblade orchids beginning to bloom; I'd always been told they were there but never made the effort to see them. Happy days!


Andrew Neild
14 May Branch Event
Bovingdon Brickpits - The sun was shining and 11 of us assembled at this Boxmoor Trust site in the west of Herts in search of Dingy Skippers. Butterfly numbers were low to start with, but rose through the morning as the temperature rose. Orange-tips (both male and female) were the best represented species with at least 11 seen We also recorded 2 Peacocks, 4 Holly Blues, 3 Brimstones, 1 Large White and 2 Speckled Woods. Sadly we had no success with the target species. The cold spring seems to have delayed its emergence this year. Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton shows us how to look for roosting Dingy Skippers on knapweed seedheads. We did find spiders lurking on these plants waiting to catch and eat the skippers, but like us they had no luck today
Malcolm Hull
14 May Branch Event
Shrubhill Common, Hemel Hempstead - in the afternoon, Roger Prue guided us round this brilliant grassland site in the suburbs of Hemel. Previously horse grazed, the site is now maintained by mowing. Species recorded included 2 Red Admirals, at least 4 Orange-tips, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Brimstones, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Peacock, 1 Comma and 2 Speckled Woods. Moths included a male Emperor, which Roger caught with his hands and displayed in a pot so we all had a good view. Also a Silver Y moth, 2 Small Yellow Underwings and a Lime Spec Pug. Again we had no luck finding the target species, Dingy Skipper, but the site appears to be in good condition and I'm sure they will be flying soon
Malcolm Hull
14 May Hounslow. After yesterday's dismal performance I felt we were owed something better and duly received it with only a sustained period of cloud in late afternoon stopping it short of perfection. Butterflies duly responded with Holly Blue by far the commonest, helped somewhat by a significant number in suburban streets as ever. All six Green Hairstreaks were seen on the Marshalling Yards where I appreciated one involved in a colourful skirmish with a Small Copper. Elsewhere I'd been admiring the large and varied orangey-brown patches of Sheep's Sorrel - I always feel I should see Small Coppers amongst their food plants here but in fact I never do and they seem to prefer to frequent the margins of such fields where there are larger flowers to nectar upon and they can show off their colours. Today's star was a Small Copper at the centre of an Ox-eye daisy flower. This is the complete list of sightings: Holly Blue: 37, Peacock: 14, Green-veined White: 5, Small White: 4, Orange-tip: 5, Speckled Wood: 3, Green Hairstreak: 6, Small Copper: 7, Brimstone: 9, Small Tortoiseshell: 1, Comma: 1 and three Silver Y moths Peter Gore
13 May Hounslow. Little resemblance between the weather forecast and what we've actually had today: no sun and a chilly breeze. Just two butterflies seen not appreciating the weather either, a male Orange-tip on the heath on the outward journey, followed a good while later by a male Small Copper amongst the heather on the return journey
Peter Gore
11 May An hour and half search at Waterford Heath north of seed heads for roosting Grizzled Skippers this afternoon produced, one individual close to Kevin Standbridge's sightings last week. Also a further Grizzled Skipper was found basking on a grass stem. Weather conditions weren't perfect for roost searching as it was warm and the sun kept trying to come out

Grizzled Skipper Waterford Heath 11 May
Liz Goodyear
11 May Went on a walk through Therfield Heath. Saw 7 Brimstone, many Peacocks, 1 Small Heath, 3 Brown Argus, several Silver Y and Latticed Heath moths
Steve Kiln
10 May Waterford Marsh [flooded]. Holly Blue=1, Comma=1. Waterford Heath HMWT (silt bed clearing). Small Copper=1, Peacock=1. Waterford Heath HMWT (south pit).Peacock=1, Brimstone=1. Waterford Heath HMWT (north pit). Silver-y =1, Pyrausta purpuralis=3. Sacombe Road woods. Speckled Wood=2, Scorched Carpet=1. Rickneys quarry. Small Copper=3, Peacock=1, Silver-y =1


Chris Benton
10 May Verulamium Park, St Albans - My first Red Admiral of the year on the nettlebeds, very fresh and looking newly emerged, quickly joined by a second. Numbers of Peacocks (5) and Small Tortoiseshells (2) are lower than last week. Also 3 Orange-tips and 1 Holly Blue. Later in my garden a female Brimstone laying on Buckthorn. She initially had a preference for a small clump of leaves 30 cm above the ground (see photo) - I counted 12 eggs there. She laid on a couple of other very low leaf clumps, the switched tack and started laying on new growth near the top of the tree, at least 3 meters above ground!


Malcolm Hull
10 May Hounslow. A mostly morning walk in sunshine but ultimately shortened a little by rain showers. Memorably pleasant though and included a first Painted Lady of the year viewed from the top of The Rings (former short-lived sewage works long an outdoor graphic arts centre - Pevensey Road). It was only briefly on the wall below me which was perhaps just as well considering my location but I saw enough of its flight to the wall and away from it, all in bright sun, to be certain what I was looking at. Good numbers and variety in prevailing weather circumstances: Holly Blue: 14, Green-veined White: 4, Speckled Wood: 5, Orange-tip: 4, Brimstone: 2, Peacock: 6, Small Copper: 3, Green Hairstreak: 1, Painted Lady: 1
Peter Gore
10 May A good number of butterflies around this morning in the sun at Nicholls Fm, Redbourn, including my first Painted Lady of the year, along with a Comma, several Red Admirals and Orange-tips, a Brimstone and Holly Blue
Peter Tallantire
9 May A Red Admiral in my South Mymms front garden nectaring on my Bowles Mauve Wallflower
Terry Wood
9 May St Albans - great to see at least 2 Holly Blues in the garden during the brief sunny periods in between showers. They showed great interest in the holly tree, which is completely smothered with flower buds this year. Also enjoyed nectaring on forget me nots. Otherwise just a couple of Peacocks and a Green-veined White

Holly Blue St Albans 9 May
Malcolm Hull
7 May Branch Event
It has been a slow start to the season to say the least. Although I have seen a few butterflies about the weather has not been that kind to me at the weekends. Miraculously we picked the best day for a spring butterfly walk, but we picked probably the worst day imaginable for a good turn out with the Kings Coronation street party events!
As it turned out the weather forecast I checked turned out correct. Sun was available during that part of the afternoon during the walk and I hadn't over judged the bluebells either with wafts of bluebell sent here and there. As for the butterflies it was the best days sightings I've had of the year so far. We did have a lovely person from Edgeware join us along with Alex who I have worked with during numerous voluntary work parties over the past few years. Well otherwise it was just me and Rick!
Well with the weather suitable for butterflies to be airborne for once they didn't stay still for long and there were a number of white butterflies that were spotted but not properly identified. We suspect a mixture of Green-Veined White, Female Orange-Tip and probably Small White although we did not get a confirmation on a Small White.
We did however manage to identify a number of spring butterflies and it was better than expected. With Peacock, Orange-tip, Holly Blue and a Brimstone just before we set off into Whippendell Woods. We were greeted by the presence of a Speckled Wood close to the canal and my first Red Admiral of the year spotted at the start of Lime Avenue, only one seen. We did not see a Comma or a Small Tortoiseshell on the walk itself but after the walk finished I did discover that there was a Comma on Ricks hat all along! Also 1 sighting of Small Tortoiseshell.
Anyway a fair estimate of the butterflies seen on the walk including the Green-Veined White in the photo feeding on coralroot.
Peacock 7+ in Whippendell Woods with more seen in the park, Male Orange-Tip 10 + in Whippendell Woods and with the park sightings getting on for 20, Large White 1, Green-veined White 2 identified. Holly Blue 4 in Whippendell Woods several other sightings in the park. Silver-y moth 1 in Whippendell Woods and 2 in the park. A further 2 sightings of Speckled Wood seen in the park


Peter Fewell
7 May Waterford Heath HMWT. Silt bed clearing. Red Admiral=1, Peacock=1, Green-veined White=1, Orange-tip [male]=1, Small Copper=1. South pit. Peacock=1, Painted Lady=1. North pit. Peacock=2, Orange-tip [male]=1, Silver-y moth=1. On the slopes by the wooden bench, near the car park entrance, there were 10+ Pyrausta purpuralis. Very dark individuals.
Great Mole Wood. Speckled Wood=2


Chris Benton
7 May Hounslow. The sun was slow to appear but once it did it stayed and the number of butterflies flying grew through the second half of the afternoon. Holly Blues are still noticeably increasing and in addition to those on the paths seeking minerals they are now amongst meadow plants where the imminent emergence of Common Blue is anticipated. No uncertainties so far. Two Green Hairstreaks on the Marshalling Yards also favoured ground-hugging plants. Here I'd imagine Bird's Foot Trefoil is what they are seeking and they'll find a great deal of it. Small Tortoiseshell was sadly absent yet again and Orange-tip only just made the count at the very last moment as I was preparing to leave the heath. Here's today's list: Holly Blue: 20, Green Hairstreak: 4, Peacock: 17, Small White: 4, Small Copper: 2, Brimstone: 5, Speckled Wood: 3, Comma: 1, Red Admiral: 1, Green-veined White: 1, Orange-tip: 1 and one brightly coloured moth which I think was probably a Ruby Tiger
Peter Gore
7 May At Hexton Chalk Pit with Ian Carle, saw many Brimstone, a few Peacock, but saw my first Small Heath x2, and about 10 Dingy Skippers. Also 30+ Holly Blue (surely some repeat sightings?), two solitary whites (Small?), one Speckled Wood, but sadly no sign of my target species, Green Hairstreak


Andrew Neild
7 May My 1st Painted Lady seen in Stocking Wood (TL459213)
Jono Forgham
4 May Besides the River Colne, near Tyttenhanger Park - 24 Peacocks, 1 Comma, 4 Green-veined Whites, 15 Orange-tips, plus dozens of newly emerged Large Red Damselflies.
Smallford Pit - My first Large White of the year, Holly Blue, 2 Peacocks and 3 Orange-tips
Malcolm Hull
4 May Hounslow. I started earlier today to ensure I caught the morning sunshine and was duly rewarded with very good numbers of butterflies in the morning and early afternoon. A fresh female Small Copper on the heath and good numbers of Green Hairstreaks were the highlights with one in particular of seeming to suggest better ahead on the marshalling yards. This was likely a female which moved from one small broom plant to another, spending a little time on each. I couldn't confirm any egg laying but it seemed very likely to be what I was either witnessing in fact or intent. These particular plants are no more than 3 years old having been planted or sown as seeds (I assume) on behalf of Network Rail after they'd finished their work on re-utilising the other half of the site. Left undisturbed a fairly sizeable patch of broom should develop and it would seem to offer a good chance for Green Hairstreak to establish a colony here.
Not long after I recorded that clouds obscured the sun, so much of the rest of my walk (about two thirds) seemed rather dull and butterfly-free until much later on in the afternoon when the sun broke through again. Here are the mostly morning butterflies: Holly Blue: 15, Comma: 3, Speckled Wood: 6, Peacock: 11, Green Hairstreak: 5, Orange-tip: 4, Small Copper: 1, Brimstone: 3, Green-veined White: 5, Small White: 3.
Peter Gore
4 May Saw 2 Small Coppers on Rickneys quarry plus a Holly Blue. At Waterford Heath south the usual suspects plus two Lattice Heath moths
Steve Kiln
3 May Saturday 29th April. Big City Butterfly Event - Joined the Project Officers and volunteer Becki for an enjoyable City Nature Challenge in Regents Park, making butterfly masks and a butterfly walk. Throughout the day in the sunshine, I saw a Comma, Speckled Wood, Orange-tip male, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, two Holly Blues and four Brimstones (two male and two female). On the way home saw a Red Admiral in Ruislip Manor.
Sunday 30th April. Visited the new grassland and tree area at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip and despite the cool weather saw a Peacock, Small White, two Small Tortoiseshells, two Speckled Woods and two Holly Blues. In the afternoon, went to Gutteridge Wodd meadows where a substantial amount of Blackthorn was burnt in last year's fire, the Meadow area looks to be recovering but only saw a Peacock and male Brimstone with a further male Brimstone and Large White on Crab Apple blossom on the boardwalk into the wood.
Monday 1st May. Visited Kensworth Quarry SSSI restored chalk quarry (part of old Herts VC), plenty of cowslips and scrub, should be an ideal Duke of Burgundy, Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper site, but in the cool weather only saw a Peacock and a Small White
Paul Busby
3 May Hounslow. A beautiful day, sunny throughout. I almost stepped on my first Small Copper of the year, basking in sun on the path in front of me. Not surprisingly it didn't stay around for long after that but with its wings open one glimpse is enough to identify this butterfly. I had another similar sighting but more abnormal later when I saw what turned out to be the only Green Hairstreak of the day. This was on the old golf course at ground level apparently exploring some small geranium leaves. It was a very fresh-looking and appropriately green individual and although I can't think why it should be where it was it afforded me the best view of one of its kind so far this year. This is the full list of sightings: Holly Blue: 14, Speckled Wood: 1, Small White: 4, Green-veined White: 4, Brimstone: 13, Peacock: 20, Orange-tip: 14, Small Copper: 1, Comma: 3, Green Hairstreak: 1. Both Brimstone and Orange-tip numbers were boosted by several females seen
Peter Gore
3 May This morning at Myddelton House Gardens, Enfield (TQ342991) my first Orange-tip of the year. Then this afternoon in my South Mymms garden Orange-tip, Holly Blue, Small White and Peacock
Terry Wood
3 May 3.45pm north pit Waterford Heath. Sunny, breezy what3words (latest.accent.misty). 4 Grizzled Skippers seen right of picnic table just before Sandy Hill to road. Also 2 Commas, Peacock and Green-veined White
Kevin Standbridge
2 May Hounslow. A lot of waiting around at home for the dark clouds to disappear and even then more than two hours of walking before we finally saw the sun and a butterfly. Not much to show for it but at least May in under way: Speckled Wood: 2, Orange-tip: 1
Peter Gore
2 May Wasn't looking for butterflies but happily saw my first Small Copper of the year, in Hounslow Heath

Small Copper Hounslow Heath 2 May
Sally Ewen
1 May Decided to go up to Waterford Heath this morning as the forecast was supposed to be fairly cloudy and there might be a chance of finding a roosting Grizzled Skipper! Needless to say on arrival the sun started to try and come out and throughout my 1½ hours of searching it was a mixture of sun and heavy cloud - the worst possible combination. The result was that I didn't find any nor see any other butterflies apart from a Peacock near the north end of the north pit!
Liz Goodyear

April

Date Description Recorder
30 Apr At Rickneys Quarry near Hertford this afternoon. Orange-tip, Green veined White, 3 Peacocks and my first Small Copper. At Waterford Heath south. 8 Peacocks and an Orange-tip
Steve Kiln
30 Apr On Saturday (29th), my Ware garden was visited by a male Brimstone, 3 Orange-tip (two males chasing and a female), Green-veined White and Holly Blue. A male Orange-tip stopped to nectar on a bluebell as the sun weakened and I thought was going to roost there, however this morning I found at some point it had moved just a few inches to a more sheltered flower head of Garlic Mustard. Here it stayed until the sun came round the house when it flew off. Only 1 male Orange-tip today, but a female Brimstone, Holly Blue and Small White were visitors

Orange-tip Ware 30 Apr
Liz Goodyear
30 Apr Hounslow. An earlier start, hazy sunshine and humidity throughout. Numbers seen slightly down with fewer whites flying but Holly Blue steadily increasing: Holly Blue: 16, Speckled Wood: 5, Peacock: 27, Green Hairstreak: 1, Brimstone: 4, Comma: 1, Orange-tip: 2, Small White: 1
Peter Gore
29 Apr Hounslow. A thoroughly enjoyable walk mostly in sun with two minor targets reached for the first time this year, species seen reaching double figures and sightings substantially past 50. The highlight though was a second Green Hairstreak, this time on the marshalling yards. The chief area of Broom and Gorse there was burnt to the ground (at least for now) last summer so it's good to see a Hairstreak around to help ensure the species survives here for another year : Holly Blue: 11, Brimstone: 9, Orange-tip: 9, Peacock: 24, Small White: 3, Speckled Wood: 2, Green Hairstreak: 1, Comma: 4, Green-veined White: 1, Small Tortoiseshell: 1 and at least a dozen unidentified whites very active across the whole area
Peter Gore
28 Apr Hounslow. Slightly odd-looking statistics with only six butterflies recorded, all from separate species and with two new firsts of the year here: Holly Blue: 1, Orange-tip: 1, Green Hairstreak: 1, Green-veined White: 1, Speckled Wood: 1, Red Admiral: 1. The Green Hairstreak was first spotted in flight but finally seen apparently nectaring on gorse. Not a good view as I was perched on top of the bank above the ditch and anxious to avoid previous experiences of rapid descent into the ditch clutching at gorse on the way down. That much was achieved but sacrificed a better view of the butterfly. Later the Red Admiral was also a first for me. Quite warm with some sun but after yesterday's rain very muddy underfoot
Peter Gore
27 Apr The Strand London WC2 0LX. 1 Brimstone and one Orange-tip
Phil MacMurdie
25 Apr Hounslow. Less than ideal butterfly weather but no rain and a little sunshine so some recorded: Peacock: 4, Small White: 1, Speckled Wood: 1, Green-veined White: 1 plus a few more unidentified whites very likely shared between the two species identified. Two Holly Blues in my garden on Saturday 22nd
Peter Gore
25 Apr Bricket Wood Common - Just one Peacock this morning on a site visit with Chris Newman and the site managers. We had frost last night and only 10 degrees, but I still managed to see 2 female Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Peacocks and a Holly Blue in Verulamium Park

Small Tortoiseshell Verulamium Park 25 Apr
Malcolm Hull
22 Apr St Albans - Cooler and overcast during my walk through Gorhambury and Batchwood. Saw my first Speckled Wood, 4 Peacocks and 1 Green-veined White, which posed obligingly for a photo

Green-veined White St Albans 22 Apr
Malcolm Hull
20 Apr An unexpected sighting whilst walking into Harpenden town centre mid-morning was 5 Holly Blues at the junction of Bowers Way and Sun Lane. This is no distance at all from the High Street and the multi-awarded Lydekker Park. In fifty years I've not seen them so close to the heart of the built-up area
Alan Jackson
20 Apr Verulamium Park/Westmister Lodge, St Albans – A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was the highlight of todays lunchtime walk. Numbers of Small Tortoiseshells (9) are building and there is now just 1 still hibernating in my shed. Peacocks (20) are still doing well. Orange-tips (3, all male) are increasing. Comma (3), Brimstone (2) and Holly Blue (1) were also spotted. All the butterflies seen were concentrated along southern facing hedgerows, (mostly on nettle patches) sheltering from the chilly stiff northern breeze
Malcolm Hull
20 Apr Hounslow. A better day than yesterday with more sun but plans to spend a leisurely half hour amongst the Broom and Gorse on the heath on the return journey had to be abandoned as the skies darkened and chance of further butterfly sightings ended. Before then though the following: Holly Blue: 5, Small Tortoiseshell: 1, Peacock: 18, Brimstone: 4, Orange-tip: 2, Speckled Wood: 2, Comma: 4, Green-veined White: 2, Small White: 3
Peter Gore
20 Apr A 16 mile walk in the area between Hertford, Essendon and Welwyn Garden City. The totals over 6 hours were 28 Peacock, 5 Speckled Wood, 2 Holly Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 6 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 4 Brimstone, 5 Orange-tip, 4 Comma


Andrew Wood
20 Apr Whilst working in my Ware garden, butterfly visitors included a Peacock, Small White, Holly Blue, male Orange-tip and both male and female Brimstone
Liz Goodyear
20 Apr Whilst walking the dog, at the ground of Watford Rugby Club I was delighted to see Peacocks (2] Small Tortoiseshell (2] and my first Orange-tip of the year. It made my day
John Liberty
20 Apr Five species in my Harpenden garden despite the cold NNE wind – Peacock, Brimstone, Small White, Orange-tip, Holly Blue
Robin Pearson
19 Apr We visited Hexton Chalk Pit in the hope of seeing a Green Hairstreak – apart from a brief but unconfirmed flick of something small we didn't see any there or at Telegraph Hill. At Telegraph Hill when the sun came out there was a Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and male Brimstone. At the entrance to the Icknield Way we saw a Comma and Peacock. Returning to Hexton when the sun shone, all we saw was a female Brimstone and a Holly Blue. Of note in the morning were three Bee flies roosting on the Knapweed heads in a sheltered corner
Liz Goodyear
Andrew Middleton
19 Apr Hounslow. A fair bit of cloud and a lot of moderate breeze meant less than ideal conditions for butterflies but numbers seen were still quite reasonable and included my first Green-veined Whites of the year: Small White: 2, Peacock: 16. Green-veined White: 2, Speckled Wood: 3, Brimstone: 2, Comma: 2, Holly Blue: 2, Orange-tip: 1
Peter Gore
17 Apr St Albans - visited the nettlebeds alongside the Ver at Westminster Lodge - 21 Peacocks, my first Green-veined White of the year, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Comma. At Folly Lane, my first Orange-tip of the year, 11 Peacocks, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Brimstones, 1 Holly Blue. At New England St Small Tortoiseshell laying on nettles, the first time I've seen a new egg laid in 2023


Malcolm Hull
17 Apr Hounslow. Despite several spells of cloud in mid-afternoon, sunshine earlier and later led to good numbers of butterflies being seen: Holly Blue: 2, Peacock: 17, Brimstone: 11, Comma: 8, Speckled Wood: 2, Orange-tip: 2, Small White: 4, Small Tortoiseshell: 1
Peter Gore
16 Apr Hounslow. The highlight of today's walk occurred at the unlikely site of a disintegrating double mattress on the Marshalling Yards. This attracted 4 Peacocks, a Comma and my first Orange-tip of the year. Last Sunday I saw my first Holly Blue of the year in the garden. There was a similar sighting on the 13th and again yesterday. Today's full list: Peacock: 16, Comma: 1, Orange-tip: 1, Speckled Wood: 1
Peter Gore
16 Apr Batchwood, St Albans – Warm but overcast for my walk to the local woods, where the bluebells are just getting close to their peak. Saw my first Holly Blue of the year on Verulam Rd, also one Small White.
And on Batchwood Drive, one Peacock nectaring on Dandelion
Malcolm Hull
15 Apr St Albans shed - 2 Small Tortoiseshells still in hibernation. 10 months now since the first one went in. This is shaping up to be a world record for the longest ever hibernation!
Malcolm Hull
13 Apr Very happy to report my first Orange-tips of the year x 4 on a yomp from Ware to Amwell to Stanstead Abbots to RSPB Rye Meads. Also 1 x Peacock and 1 x Brimstone (m)
Nicholas Barnett
11 Apr My walk near home this morning went through a little copse in Hitchin (Standhill Road, TL186285) sheltered from the wind & a female Orange-tip allowed me to take a nice photo

Orange-tip Hitchin 11 Apr
Phil Barron
11 Apr I went out on my local patch at Stanwell Moor before it clouded over and managed a single Speckled Wood before heading for home. On the last bit the walk, I spotted a pinky-orange blur circling around that resolved itself into a Painted Lady. This is probably my earliest sighting of the species anywhere


Dave Miller
9 Apr Alongside the River Lea, north-east of Hatfield House, a very warm day tempted a Peacock, a Brimstone male and female, and a male Green-veined White looking as if freshly emerged
Roger Gibbons
9 Apr Painted Lady at Chorleywood Common
Chris Hankinson
9 Apr At The Alban Way betw Sadler Rd and Cottonmill Ln (TL149061) - 1 Nymphalid sp. c1150hrs, prob Peacock. In St Albans - 1 Brimstone at Cottonmill 1229 hrs (TL150059). At Nunnery Allotments (TL151063), 1 Speckled Wood 1232hrs (my first of the yr). At Old Farm (TL247312), 1 Brimstone 1312hrs. At Highfield Farm, North Rd (TL333416), 1 Brimstone, and 2 unidentified Whites nrby
Toby Mylett
8 Apr Hounslow. Yesterday after sending my sightings in I put the milk bottles out to be greeted at the front door by a Small White apparently wishing to come in and record itself. With the sun full on the front garden it was easily persuaded its future lay elsewhere but it made a good start to this year's garden butterflies which was echoed today just as I was leaving when, with a glance outside the back door, I saw my first Speckled Wood of the year. This looked very fresh and yellowy but I was just slipping into self-congratulatory mode that perhaps this was a home-grown beneficiary of my "lawn" policy when it took flight, rising high over the houses, as it could have been doing all morning already. After that good start I admit to slight disappointment on the results of the walk: Speckled Wood: 1, Small White: 10, Comma: 1, Peacock: 17, Brimstone: 9, Small Tortoiseshell: 1. Lengthy spells of cloud cover from 3.00 P.M.
Peter Gore
7 Apr St Albans Shed - At lunchtime, I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell which had descended from its hibernation roosting spot and was perched by the window opening ready to fly out of the shed.
When it took off, it fell straight to the floor and began rapidly vibrating its wings walking slowly towards the open door. Twice it tried to climb up small objects, but fell over backwards, landing on the upperside of its wings, legs in the air. It then performed a neat somersault to land on its feet and resumed rapid wing vibrations. I left the butterfly for 30 minutes, but when I returned it had made no further progress. It seemed too weak and cold, so I decided to offer a helping hand. Placing my warm hand next to the butterfly, it crawled onto me and pressed its wings very closely against my palm. I could see the hairs close to its body puffed up to try and trap heat. I then walked into the garden which was in full sun. After 5 mins the butterfly took off, flew to a height of about 20 feet and circled round the garden three times before flying off. Most of the Small Tortoiseshells are still hibernating – they've been in the shed for 9 months, so it's not surprising they are a bit low on resources. I'm hoping the rest will be able to emerge without needing my assistance!
Malcolm Hull
7 Apr Hounslow. Another pleasant spring day but with extended periods of cloud butterfly sightings reduced: Peacock: 12, Brimstone: 5, Small White: 2 Comma: 1
Peter Gore
7 Apr In Knebworth in a sunny garden (TL25152063) an Orange-tip whizzed past me
Lucy Claxton
7 Apr A productive morning at The Warren on Hartham Common, Hertford with sightings of several Small White, Peacock and Brimstone plus a Holly Blue and a male Orange-tip. There was also a Comma feeding on a rotting ash bud


Andrew Wood
7 Apr I saw a Holly Blue at 11.30 at the junction of the Grand Union Canal and Marshcroft Lane, Tring (SP939129)
Rikki Harrington
7 Apr On a walk around Ruislip Woods I saw 2 male Brimstone in Copsewood and 1 male Orange-tip on Poors Field
Carole Holton
7 Apr I've just seen a Painted Lady this afternoon in my garden near Tring

Painted Lady near Tring 7 Apr
Peter Bygate
7 Apr Just saw my first Speckled Wood in the West Highgate Cemetery transect!

Speckled Wood West Highgate Cemetery 7 Apr
Dee Cullen
6 Apr At Sopwell Mill Farm (TL152060) - 1 Small Tortoiseshell resting on nettle and briefly sunning itself 1637hrs
Toby Mylett
4 Apr In St Albans, 1 Peacock in the City Centre ward (TL151071) 1421hrs (my first Butterfly in Herts this yr), 1 Brimstone at Sandridge (TL1710) 1512hrs. At New Greens (TL145091), 1 Brimstone 1445-1455hrs. At Heartwood Forest (TL1611), 2 Brimstone
Toby Mylett
4 Apr Hounslow. There could be no clearer example of what a difference continuous sunshine at this time of year makes to butterflies than today's sightings: Brimstone: 10, Peacock: 18, Comma: 8, Small White: 3, Small Tortoiseshell: 1. All firsts other than Peacock. Whites significantly more common than indicated although many were small if not Small so that I'd be quite willing to believe other white species are flying here too besides Brimstone and Small White. This year's Small Tortoisehell was seen in the same small piece of land behind the Pevensey Road bench as last year's, a detail I found curiously satisfying as if it was the same individual there especially for me. Butterflies were seen across the whole area I walk
Peter Gore
4 Apr Folly Lane Allotments St Albans - we had a frost overnight and ice on the pond this morning. So interesting to compare todays butterfly numbers with yesterday. Peacock numbers (8) were well up. I saw two courting couples and a female looking for egg laying sites in the nettlebeds. Small Tortoiseshells (1) were down, suggesting they did not fare so well in the sub zero temperatures. Brimstone (2), same number as yesterday, but no Small Whites - another species which does not like frost.
Earlier I was at South Herts Golf Course in Totteridge on a site advice visit and saw 2 Brimstones, including my first female this year
Malcolm Hull
4 Apr At Wilstone Reservoir a.m. Red Admiral, Comma, Brimstone
Jill Saunders
3 Apr Hummingbird Hawk-moth in Southgate garden
Eugene Dillon-Hooper
3 Apr Saw my first garden (Harpenden) butterfly of the year today, a male Brimstone
Robin Pearson
3 Apr Folly Lane Allotments - Small White (1), Brimstone (2), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Peacock (2)


Malcolm Hull
3 Apr Royston garden. Clear view of Small White upperside ruled out female Brimstone.
Butterflies finally picking up in my garden; Small White, Comma, and male Brimstone today. Only Brimstones previously
Nick Keep
2 Apr St Albans Shed - 5 Small Tortoiseshells still in hibernation. That's all but one of the STs which overwintered successfully. All 6 of the Peacocks have now flown, the last 2 left this week
Malcolm Hull
2 Apr Hounslow. It's felt like a very long wait but we finally have a butterfly here, or to be precise, two. Both were Peacocks with the first typically nectaring on a dandelion flower. The walk began as yet another dull, cold trudge, often through mud but finally the sun came out and stayed from mid-afternoon onwards. Both Peacocks were seen on one of my Pevensey Road loops, the first not far from Richmond's bridge across the Crane
Peter Gore
2 Apr Millhoppers Reserve – at the work party I saw my first butterfly of the year (at last) which was a Red Admiral disturbed from the footpath. Also very nice to see some bumblebees, bee-flies and some hoverflies
Chris Hilling

March

Date Description Recorder
27 Mar 1 Peacock at the Warren, Bengeo, Hertford, this afternoon

Peacock Bengeo 27 Mar
Chris Benton
27 Mar St Albans - My first Comma of the year on the nettlebeds at New England St Rec this afternoon

Comma St Albans 27 Mar
Malcolm Hull
24 Mar St Albans - Hibernation watch - Another Peacock and the Herald moth have left hibernation this week. So most of the Peacocks have now flown, but nearly all Small Tortoiseshells still hibernating. Later this morning, my first Brimstone of this year (a male) in flight at Sandridge
Malcolm Hull
24 Mar Two Small Tortoiseshells in the willow plantation at Burymead between Hitchin and Ickleford

Small Tortoiseshell Burymead 24 Mar
Judy Howlett
22 Mar No fewer than ten Brimstone butterflies flew through our sunny Harpenden garden - our first Brimstones of the year
Alan Jackson
22 Mar On a failed attempt to see Orange/Light Orange Underwing at Balls Wood, we did when the sun shone see a minimum of 3 male Brimstone
Liz Goodyear
Andrew Middleton
22 Mar I spotted my first butterfly of year, a Brimstone. Seen from the 134 bus as I was going to Highgate tube from Muswell Hill
Dee Cullen
21 Mar Stevenage Old Town gave me my first lep of the year, a Brimstone at 12.30pm.
Stefan Hunt
21 Mar Saw my first butterfly today. Two in fact both Brimstones. In Great Molewood and nearby Waterford Heath South pit
Steve Kiln
21 Mar I finally saw a butterfly today, my first for 2023 with a male Brimstone flying through my neighbour's garden in Ware just after 12 noon
Liz Goodyear
21 Mar My first butterflies of the year in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage at 1:30pm - 3 male Brimstone and a Comma
Peter Clarke
18 Mar 1pm. Brimstone (my FOY) seen in Torriano Estate Gardens, Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, London (TQ296850)
Nicholas Barnett
17 Mar St Albans Shed - 5 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Peacocks and 1 Herald moth still in hibernation. The weather this week has not been great, but half the Peacocks have left their winter home during that time. No change in the Small Tortoiseshell population this week
Malcolm Hull
16 Mar I saw my first male Brimstone of the year noon in South Mymms by the entrance to Redwell Wood in Blackhorse Lane (TL217021)
Terry Wood
9 Mar St Albans - snow on the ground and a temperature of just 2 degrees at 9 am this morning. So quite a surprise to find a Small Tortoiseshell emerging from hibernation and sitting on my back door step. It opened and closed its wings, but didn't seem inclined to fly off. After a few moments of reflection, we both reached the conclusion it wasn't the right day to leave hibernation. So the butterfly co-operated while I picked it up and returned it to hibernation in the shed

Small Tortoiseshell St Albans 9 Mar
Malcolm Hull

February

Date Description Recorder
19 Feb I spotted a Red Admiral on one of my walks around Stanwell Moor. Despite sunny and reasonably warm conditions I couldn't track down anything else

Red Admiral Stanwell Moor 19 Feb
Dave Miller
19 Feb Wareside. My first sighting of the year: 1 male Brimstone, flying round the garden in the sun.
Phil MacMurdie
19 Feb A temperature of 13°C this afternoon was enough to attract the first butterfly of the year to our Harpenden garden: a Peacock
Alan Jackson
19 Feb 1 Brimstone and 1 Peacock in Ware Park and 1 Comma and 1 Small Tortoiseshell in suburban Ware
Andrew Wood
15 Feb My first butterfly sightings of the year: 2 Brimstone and 2 Red Admiral flying in the sunshine in the Pinetum at Bayfordbury.
Ian Flack
13 Feb Glorious sunshine today in my part of the world, and with light winds and respectable temperatures for mid-February I was hopeful of seeing something on my local patch near Heathrow.
I initially managed to find another Peacock, basking on the ground now that the surface has started to dry out a bit and warm up. Then close to home on the way back, I disturbed a Small Tortoiseshell from the grass. Luckily it quickly relocated to a better spot not far away


Dave Miller
13 Feb My first butterfly of the season at 13.20. Red Admiral about 50m along Duncombe Terrace from Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge – SP970413
Rikki Harrington
10 Feb St Albans Hibernation-watch - checked my shed to see if there has been any movement by the overwintering butterflies. The current totals are 6 Small Tortoiseshells, 6 Peacock and 1 Herald moth. No change from 3 months ago. I wonder how long it will be until the first one flies this year?
Malcolm Hull
6 Feb Verulamium Park, St Albans - My first butterfly of the year - a Peacock. Or rather about three quarters of a Peacock as one hind wing was missing!

Peacock St Albans 6 Feb
Malcolm Hull
5 Feb Noon: Red Admiral (my first butterfly of the year) seen at Alexandra Park, Harringay, N. London (TQ300903). Came bombing over a bush whilst l was looking (unsuccessfully) for a Firecrest
Nicholas Barnett
5 Feb I had another walk around my Stanwell Moor patch today and despite it being quite a bit cooler than Friday, I managed to find a Red Admiral basking on a bit of ivy that the species favours in the autumn. Maybe it had overwintered amidst the tangle of vegetation

Red Admiral Stanwell Moor 5 Feb
Dave Miller
3 Feb My first adult butterfly sighting(s) of 2023.
A Peacock on my local patch near Stanwell Moor basking on the brambles.
Three more Peacocks seen along the path from Stanwell Moor village down to Staines Moor

Peacock Stanwell Moor 3 Feb
Dave Miller
2 Feb I found this recently deceased Speckled Wood by Brentford Station (TQ175778) at lunchtime

Speckled Wood Brentford 2 Feb
Michael Robinson

January

Date Description Recorder
20 Jan After nearly 5 hours searching at Darlands Nature Reserve, Totteridge we found just two Brown Hairstreak eggs – but double the previous count of one on the 15 December 2020. We had been back several times since but this was the first time we had found any more eggs. Noteworthy was also how few Blue-bordered Carpet eggs we could find until just before the first Brown Hairstreak egg where a female moth had been busy laying at least 15 eggs including several doubles, a triple and six eggs lined up underneath each other – something we had never seen before!
Liz Goodyear
Andrew Middleton
13 Jan I thought I'd share my first butterfly of the year - spotted this Peacock today near Ickleford (TL194321). I think the sun and the wind flushed it out

Peacock Ickleford 13 Jan
Lucy Claxton


First sightings
Peacock13 Jan
Speckled Wood2 Feb
Red Admiral5 Feb
Small Tortoiseshell13 Feb
Brimstone15 Feb
Comma19 Feb
Small White3 Apr
Orange-tip7 Apr
Painted Lady7 Apr
Holly Blue7 Apr
Green-veined White9 Apr
Green Hairstreak28 Apr
Small Copper30 Apr
Large White30 Apr
Grizzled Skipper3 May
Dingy Skipper7 May
Small Heath7 May
Brown Argus11 May
Clouded Yellow16 May
Common Blue16 May
Small Blue18 May
Adonis Blue22 May
Meadow Brown4 Jun
Large Skipper8 Jun
Marbled White13 Jun
Small Skipper13 Jun
Dark Green Fritillary14 Jun
Ringlet19 Jun
White Admiral21 Jun
Essex Skipper21 Jun
Purple Hairstreak22 Jun
White-letter Hairstreak22 Jun
Silver-washed Fritillary24 Jun
Purple Emperor24 Jun
Gatekeeper27 Jun
Chalkhill Blue6 Jul
Brown Hairstreak30 Jul
Long-tailed Blue7 Oct
Branch first and last sightings page





 

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