Butterfly Conservation

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Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch

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Latest Sightings for 2015

This page has been designed for mobile phone use and will be updated as regularly as possible. It will contain about thirty days of latest butterfly news. For all other links and information visit the main website at www.hertsmiddx-butterflies.org.uk

July 2015
Over the next few weeks, postings will be sporadic, apologies, however do keep checking our facebook page for additional news or post your own news there

Wednesday 29th July 2015
Today I recorded Purple Emperor in my home village of Abbots Langley. Had good views of a female as it searched through an apple orchard looking for egg laying sites. Time was 1230. In all my years in the village it's the first time I've recorded here. - Clive Burrows

A bright moment on an otherwise dull day at Broxbourne Woods. Walking down the main ride from the West car park I found a very raggedy female Purple Emperor hanging in the long grass. She allowed me to pick her up and posed for some photographs sitting on the back of my hand. With a little gentle stroking she opened her wings and let me place her on the wooden fence next to the ride. There she remained for a few minutes before fluttering up into the trees. Magic.! - Christopher Benton.

Butterflies I have seen today (29 July 2015): 1 small tortoiseshell, 4 gatekeeper, 6 large white - NCN12 cycleway through arable fields south of Graveley TL2227 - David Inward

Some sightings for Tuesday 28th July 2015 - 2 Peacock at Trent Park (1 edge of Moat Wood, 1 edge of Williams Wood), 1 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 16:15 hrs, male Oak Eggar edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 16:38 hrs, 1 Shaded Broad-bar at Vicarage Farm. Today Wednesday 29th July 2015 - 1 Essex Skipper in 'wildflower meadow area' at Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 at 10:44 hrs, 2 Holly Blue at Fox Lane, N13 (nr junction with Bourne Hill), 1 Holly Blue and 1 Comma at Grovelands Park, Southgate. - Robert Callf

Breezy overcast day, 20 minute lunchtime stroll around Butterfly World and saw 10 Small Blue, 4 Common Blue, 3 male and 1 female Brimstone, 6 Peacocks, a Large White, at least 10 Small Whites, 4 faded Gatekeepers, 5 Meadow Brown, 3 Small Skipper and a Red Admiral. Then an hours walk at Bricket Wood Common and saw at least 6 Green Veined and 4 Small Whites, 2 Large Whites, a Ringlet, 3 Meadow Brown, 3 Gatekeepers, a Comma, a Speckled Wood, 3 Peacocks and a Red Admiral - Paul Busby

Tuesday 28th July 2015
Big butterfly count for 15 minutes in breezy conditions in field opposite St Vincents Nursing Home, Northwood Hills, Middlesex and saw a male Common Blue, 2 fresh Peacocks, a Ringlet, 13 Gatekeepers and 7 Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Morning at Ruislip Woods, 4 Speckled Wood, 4 Gatekeeper, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Green-veined White and 2 Holly Blue and in the afternoon, Harrow Cemetery, 14 Gatekeeper, 4 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Meadow Brown and 2 Six-spot Burnet - Shailesh Patel

Butterflies I have seen today (28 July 2015): 1 comma, 1 peacock, 1 large white, 1 small white - Roebuck Wood, Stevenage TL2422 - David Inward

Despite the cool breezy conditions, and following information posted below by Andrew, three Small Blues were easily located in the meadow below HillBrow, Letchworth late this afternoon on the way home from work. Thanks for the opportunity to see this scarce little butterfly - Phil Rhodes

25/7/2015 Lots of Holly Blues in my Hemel garden during sunny spells
https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturecatcher58/19908532288/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturecatcher58/19908614940/in/dateposted-public/
Ashley Cox

Monday 27th July 2015
One Comma at Gentleman's Row, Enfield Town on Thursday 23rd July 2015 at 15:25 hrs. One Small Copper nectaring on thistle-head at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park this morning Monday 27th July 2015 at 10:48 hrs. Also today 2 Comma, 2 Holly Blue and 2 Gatekeeper in Town Park, Enfield this afternoon. - Robert Callf

Jane and I went up to the Hillbrow site in Letchworth today to see if the second brood Small Blues were flying despite the windy and cloudy conditions. We were not disappointed seeing nine individuals flying, roosting and taking salts from the path and dog poo. This is well above numbers of last year for this brood. Most of the Small Blues were in the shelter of the hedge separating the two fields. Large and Small Whites were common along with smaller numbers of Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Ringlet, Peacock, Common Blue and Brown Argus. Moths included Dusky Sallow, Yellow Shell, Silver Y, Nemophora metallica and numbers of Pseudargyrotoza conwagana swarming around privet. A visit to Norton Common added Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White to the day's list with virtually no sunshine in evidence. Some pictures on Facebook - Andrew Wood

I thought I should let you know of some Butterfly sightings that we have recently had at Maple Lodge Reserve (Members access only) 11th July 2015 Purple Hairstreak, seen and photographed by S and S Place. 18th July 2015 Silver-washed Fritillary. Seen and photographed by C.A.J. Hulls First for the reserve. 21st July 2015 White Letter Hairstreak. Seen and photographed by C.A.J. Hulls First for the reserve. There have been many recent improvements to the reserve and in one particularly spot there is now a warm sunny spot with plenty of nectaring flowers. Consequently this area attracts a great many butterflies. - Chris Bessant (photos will be posted on FB)

Sunday 26th July 2015
While I was looking out at the rain this morning (26th) I saw a Humming bird hawk moth buzzing around - apparently oblivious to the conditions in Stocking Pelham - Andy Brown

Saturday 25th July 2015
Following the heavy rain all day yesterday and knowing how that can decimate butterflies it was with some trepidation that I returned to Hampstead Heath to check on the Purple Emperors. While waiting to check the Master Territory all seemed well as every species I'd seen just a couple of days ago was out and about including a very confiding Purple Hairstreak. On my last visit the Emperor appeared first at 12:16 but not today. Previous visits saw them appear around 13:00 but not today. As time passed, the heart sank. 14:00 came and went with the sun and cloud. To my great relief at 14:10 the Emperor appeared followed by a second a minute or so later. Lots of chasing and a few clashes ensued after which only one was visible whenever the sun came out, sometimes mostly just perching. More chases and clashing occured just after 16:00 but both vanished from 16:40 when the sun was replaced by thick cloud. It's possible that one did cross the Spaniards Rd and alight in an oak directly in front of the sun on the Sandy Heath side at 17:30 but I'm not 100% sure as my view was obscured at that point and 2 Red Admirals were throwing me off the trail - Frank Nugent

Went back to Ruislip Woods today and sightings were = at St Vincents, Northwood Hills 1 x red admiral, 6 x speckled wood, 3 x purple hairstreak. At Park Wood 17 x gatekeeper, 2 x comma, 2 x small skipper, 4 x essex skipper, 1 x holly blue,2 x large white, 1 x small white, 3 x meadow brown. 1 x ringlet. Onto Poor's Field = 23 x meadow brown, 1 x silver y, 7 x gatekeeper, 1 x comma, 2 x ringlet, 1 x essex skipper, 1 x large white, 1 x small white. Lastly in Copse Wood = 1 x white admiral, 1 x peacock, 3 x comma, 5 x green veined white, 2 x small white, 3 x meadow brown, 7 x holly blue( 4 x females), 3 x ringlet, 4 x speckled wood, 3 x large white, 7 x gatekeeper, 1 x common white wave - David Gower

New Members' Day walk around the Butterfly World grounds produced a fantastic number of Small Blue in various locations. Also Common Blue, 1 Small Copper, Small and Essex Skippers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Peacocks, Comma, Small Tortoiseshells, a single Brimstone and Small and Large White. Also Six Spot Burnet moths, cinnabar caterpillars and Nemophora metallica long horned moths on the field scabious. A great day which everyone present enjoyed - Branch Committee

In Bencroft wood last Saturday saw my first white admiral why are they so poor this year? Today the highlight was in the field behind Bencroft wood on one ragwort flower ( much maligned plant) were a small copper , a small skipper, a gate keeper, a purple hairstreak and 2 six spot burnet motsh not a bad haul. A few common blues there as well as holly blues. Broxbourne wood still had 8 silver washed fritillaries but not as many as the 20 of last week - Steve Kiln

Thursday 23rd July 2015
A few butterfly sightings from Northaw on the 23rd between 12:30 and 2:30 PM. Purple hairstreaks seen around oaks in five or six different places. In the various clearings/glades small skipper common with some fresh Essex skippers, and a few tatty large skippers still left. Meadow Browns, ringlet, and gatekeepers all common in similar situations: a few speckled woods. Four or five sightings of silver-washed fritillaries, with a slightly tatty white admiral drinking from one of the few small muddy puddles found. A couple of peacocks, a comma, holly blue and small/green veined whites. One possible tantalising glimpse of a purple emperor - very high, fast flying, and dark and white but far too fleeting and unsure to count. Also lots of brown hawker dragonflies in open glades and hornets in at least three places. - Richard Wistow

Harrow Cemetery, 10 Gatekeeper, 4 Common Blue, 1 Ringlet, 1 Green-veined White and 4 Six-spot Burnet. Shailesh Patel

Broxbourne Woods. Fair numbers of Ringlets and Gatekeepers especially when the sun came out and a fair number of whites (mainly Small Whites, I think). Also about 10 or even 12 Silver Washed Fritillaries at the top end of the main ride, some looking rather worn. Also 1 Meadow Brown, 3 Small/ Essex Skippers but the highlight was a Purple Emperor by the pond - Roger Newbold

Made a further visit to Hampstead Heath today to check on the Purple Emperors. 17-22°C, intermittent sun and lots of cloud. HIM appeared at 12:16, earlier than on my previous visits. Tangled with a Purple Hairstreak at 12:35 and made regular flights. At 13:07 a second Emperor appeared and between then and 14:15 had 3 major chases and a couple of clashes, with a Red Admiral joining in at one point. A lull as the cloud loomed but a chase then at 15:00 & a clash at 15:34 before... the arrival of the third Emperor. All 3 in a chase at 15:38 after which one perched while the other two continued. After 15:50 I saw only one Emperor and that only briefly. I left at 17:30. I hope that these observations are helpful. I'm curious as to why I only see the third Emperor for a few minutes this visit and previous. - Frank Nugent

A few sightings to report for Thursday 23rd July 2015 - 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 edge of Moat Wood, 1 nectaring on buddleia by lower lake); 1 Six-spot Burnet at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 2 Peacock nectaring on buddleia by lower lake, Trent Park, 1 Red Admiral edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park, 1 Painted Lady nectaring on thistles at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:48 hrs, 2 Peacock nectaring on thistle at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:54 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Wednesday 22nd July 2015
Male Oak Eggar flew rapidly along edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 15:45 hrs. One Essex Skipper at Park Farm, Enfield at 16:23 hrs Wednesday 22nd July 2015. - Robert Callf

Jersey Tiger Kentish Town garden - Karen Han

Broadwater Gravel Pits, 1 Painted Lady - Chris Lamsdell

Butterflies I have seen today (22 July 2015): 3 small white, 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 meadow brown, many unidentified whites - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930 - David Inward

Tuesday 21st July 2015
Abney Park Cemetery: Purple Emperor butterfly (female), NE edge of cemetery, viewed from adjacent garden. Flew into the cemetery late morning - ADH & Tony Butler Picture on facebook

A few sightings from the field trip to Trent Park with Andrew Wood for Tuesday 21st July 2015 - 2 Painted Lady (one nectaring on buddleia near Oakwood entrance at 09:30 hrs, another on thistles edge of Oak Wood), good numbers of Large Whites were seen, at least 10 Peacocks, 2 Small Copper (one 'New Fields' 09:45 hrs, and another edge of Oak Wood) - both newly emerged, 4 Six-spot Burnet, 2 Silver Y, 3 Holly Blue, 1 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' several Comma including two nectaring on buddleia near lower lake. Also some people saw a Red Admiral. A total of 16 species of butterflies. - Robert Callf and Shaliesh Patel and others

I went up to Tring Park this morning more in hope than expectation and when I got to the seat that says 'peaceful' at the top of the escarpment I turned left for a change rather than going right and came to the area which has been cleared and has a noticeboard that says 'restore the view'. I then noticed a large dark butterfly flying just off the ground (10.15) and I moved quickly towards it at which point it glided down the path just over my head and the blue colours where unmistakeably those of a Purple Emperor. I chased it down the glade and it almost came to ground at one point before flying off over the trees.It was rather a fleeting glimpse but a positive ID nevertheless and the first one I have seen here for 4 years. The numbers and variety of butterflies were very impressive up at Tring Park this morning with several Silver Washed Fritillaries gliding along the sides of the rides,a very worn Dark Green Fritillary, several Small Tortoishells, and good numbers of Commas, Red Admirals and Peacocks also starting to come out. Phil Woodward

A sunny morning at Bricket Wood Common, mostly along the gas wayleave, produced a tally of 16 species with good numbers of Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Large Skipper and Small Skipper. Also seen were about 10 White Admiral, now rather ragged; about 5-6 female and 10-15 male Silver-washed Fritillary; 1 very fresh Speckled Wood; 2 Peacock; 3 Comma; 1 freshly emerged female Brimstone; about 5 Holly Blue; and 2 Purple Hairstreak. A White Admiral seemed to be laying eggs on honeysuckle growing on the ground beneath bracken, this near to the fence bordering the heath area - David Hunt

I was at Waterford today and noticed a large butterfly circling around the dog bins at the southern end of the south heath. When it settled it was clearly a Purple Emperor - a woodland butterfly. I think it may have drifted over from Great Molewood which is nearby. I also called in at Balls Wood and saw 3 silver washed fritillaries and a white admiral - Andy Brown

In Bushey garden late afternoon 1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x holly blue, 1 x yellow shell. - David Gower

Butterflies I have seen today (21 July 2015): 1 holly blue, 1 gatekeeper - Purwell Meadows, Hitchin TL1994730063 1 gatekeeper, 3 large white - Burymead Recreation Ground, Stevenage Old Town TL2325 - David Inward

Monday 20th July 2015
A few sightings to report for Monday 20th July 2015 - 1 Six-spot Burnet settled on Res banking at Parkside Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) - new for the year and 1 Essex Skipper here also. 1 Antler Moth on thistle head at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park - new for the year -Robert Callf/Robin White.

Visited Telegraph Hill today. The main hollow is getting rather scrubbed up but did see 3 Chalkhill Blues and a dark Green Fritillary and quite a few Marbled Whites. Good numbers of Marbled Whites at Hoo Bit on the other side of the track but the highlight was a count of 54 Nemophora metallica long horned moths all on scabious flowers. Then onto Hexton Chalk Pit where the blustery conditions were concentrating the the Chalkhill Blues in the more sheltered areas. There are plenty there but I would estimate numbers are around a third of those of the last two years. Several Dark Green Fritillaries there too. A walk along the footpaths on the other side of the road between Lion Hill and Moor Hill showed only 13 Chalkhill Blues but more remarkably I found a pair of mating Silver-washed Fritillaries that flew off just As I got the camera ready. Large numbers of the common butterflies along this path and alongside Burwell Plantation. Some pictures on Facebook - Andrew Wood

Just did my butterfly count at Harrow Cemetery on 19 July and what did I see in 15 minutes, 1 Meadow Brown, 9 Gatekeeper, 2 Small Skipper and 1 Small Copper - Shailesh Patel

20 six-spot burnet moths and one Common Blue in 5 minutes at Suttons GP, Near Symonshyde Clouds of butterflies at Cromer Hyde Farm Lemsford - perhaps 2000 whites, mostly large and small on an unsprayed field of brassicas. Also hundreds of meadow Browns, small/Essex skippers, gatekeepers small tortoiseshell and ringlets, plus lesser numbers of Comma, Painted Lady, Peacock, Green veined and Marbled White. freshly emerged Painted Ladies and Peacocks on my allotment in St Albans, but Large and Small Whites dominant here also with small clouds of them twirling around the Innula, Verbena And Buddleia - Malcolm Hull

Sightings for 18th July:- 1 Silver-washed Fritillary, 4 Comma, a nice fresh Red Admiral, Peacock, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, and Green-veined, Small, Large Whites. During the afternoon at the main entrance gate to Great Ashby Park & my garden. 19th July:- White-letter Hairstreak, Peacock, Comma, Meadow Brown and Green-veined, Small, Large Whites. - Steve Lane

Butterflies I have seen today (19 July 2015): 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 holly blue - Walsworth Common, Hitchin, TL1930 1 gatekeeper - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19863029 - David Inward

Today I returned to Hampstead Heath for the first time since Saturday 11th July and thought I would submit this little report. I arrived at 11:30 which I knew to be a little early but useful in that I can record that there was no sign of the Emperors despite lots of other species on the wing. The weather was at least 22°c, very sunny but with quite a breeze swaying the tops of the trees. At 13:18 the show began! A bit surprising given that the sun had by now been replaced by cloud and for the next hour it became a bit of a battle between sun and cloud. An Emperor in flight around the usual trees was joined by a second and the most breathtaking clashes ensued for about 10 mins. Joy unconfined as at 13:30 a third Emperor joined the other 2 and all three flew together. After about 5 mins the the third Emperor was lost to sight and I never saw it again all day. But for the next hour constant sparring occured between the other two. Sometimes peace and harmony was restored but pass a few minutes and the clashing would commence again. After about 14:30 only one Emperor was visible, sometimes perching, sometimes making short flights around the trees. The Emperor had to contend with quite a breeze and could be seen being tossed hither and thither oftentimes. The temperature had by now risen a few degrees and as the afternoon wore on the short flights became less regular. At 17:45 I witnessed something completely different. An Emperor flew to a tree (this tree now in full sun for the first time now that it had moved to the west) I had not seen it alight on before, just next to the other trees and settled on a leafless part of a branch about a third of the way from the top. Sometimes it was moving ever so slightly, sometimes motionless and sometimes it walked along the branch. Just after 18:00 the Emperor leapt into the sky and flew as if euphoric for a few minutes around the tree before disappearing from view somewhere near but not at the top. I stayed for another half an hour but did not see any Emperors again today. - Frank Nugent

Whitewebbs Field Trip Report: As quite common cloud built up exactly at the alloted time. We were joined by six interested people and went to the gap in the wood, but nothing happened unfortunately. With Laurence Drummond, we then went on to Northaw Great Wood, where at 2 o'clock a very dominant male Purple Emperor took up residence in the usual gap. Numerous flights and some perching took place for all to see. It was obvious there were other Emperors nearby and suddenly two chased through only for the dominant Emperor to chase after them - making a chase of three! Purple Hairstreak were present at both Whitewebbs and Northaw and a Silver-washed Fritillary flew through the canopy where we watching. Around 3, the others left and Andrew and myself stopped at Fir and Pond Wood where two males could be seen in the canopy in 'the usual place.' We then went back to Whitewebbs where around 4 o'clock we had brief glimpses of one Emperor - Liz Goodyear

Saturday 18th July 2015
The BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT starts today. After downloading the ap I settled down in front of the buddleia bush in my garden in St Albans. First butterfly to arrive was a Painted Lady. Small Tortoiseshells appear to have been glued to the buddleia, Innula and thyme all week and I saw four of those in the 15 minute slot. But there are six more which have already gone into hibernation in my garden shed- should I count them too? Then a Holly Blue passed through and three Large Whites descended on the buddleia, followed in the fourteenth minute by a Red Admiral. Great fun, do give it a go and tell your friends, it's a great way to make more people aware of butterflies and moths - Malcolm Hull

White-letter Hairstreak at the Abbey View golf course site in King Harry Lane, St Albans. But only one sighting in 90 mins searching from 8am in good weather conditions. Bricket Wood Common - 25 Silver-washed Fritillaries, with males and females seen in roughly equal numbers, many nectaring along the gas pipe ride alongside 9 White Admirals. One female SWF seen flying low over violets and brushing them with her feet, but she flew high into the trees without laying an egg. Six sightings of Purple Emperor in the canopy gap in Mutchetts Wood during a 30 minute period at lunchtime. Storm damage during the winter has opened up the view and I saw the Emperor land on a high point in the oak canopy and perch for 5 minutes and then return several times to cruise round the crown of the same tree. Down on the ground, numbers of Gatekeepers and Peacocks were up, Marbled White, Ringlets and Large Skippers all down. I positively identified one Essex Skipper, though the vast majority today were Small Skippers - Malcolm Hull

A few sightings for Saturday 18th July 2015 - 2 Holly Blue at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield, 1 Red Admiral at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 14:05 hrs, 1 Large Skipper at Whitewebbs Wood, 1 Large Skipper at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield, 1 Peacock on thistle at Whitewebbs Wood at 15:05 hrs, 1 Silver Y at Hilly Field Park, Enfield, 2 Small Skipper together at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 15:30 hrs, 1 Comma at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 15:40 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Strayfield Road, Enfield at 15:47 hrs. Also two male Beautiful Demoiselle along Turkey Brook at Hilly Fields Park and a male Southern Hawker at Beggars Hollow, Clay Hill. - Robert Callf

Butterflies I have seen today (18 July 2015): 2 small tortoiseshell, 3 small white, many unidentified whites - Walsworth Common, Hitchin, TL1930 - David Inward

Ruislip Woods NNR, this was part of LHNS walk joint with Ruislip NHS which was led by Neil Anderson. 2 Purple Emperor, 2 White Admiral, 2 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Peacock, 2 Comma Butterfly and 1 Six-spot Burnet - Shailesh Patel

Friday 17th July 2015
A few notable finds at Bovingdon Brickworks. 14 Nemophora metallica (Brassy longhorn) on Field scabious (TL007025) (photos and details on my blog, here). 2 6-Spot Burnet (TL008026) and 1 worn Painted Lady (TL005026). - Lucy Flower

Silver-washed fritillary (male) in our garden on the western edge of Bishop's Stortford this afternoon around 4pm on buddleia. - Andrew Palmer

We visited Therfield Heath today in rather blustery but sunny conditions. There were many fewer Chalkhill Blues around than in the last two years. But we counted 60 on Church Hill and 108 on the Rifle Range with smaller numbers scattered around other spots. There were also 5 Dark Green Fritillaries, good numbers of Marled White, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper and smaller numbers of Large and Small Skippers, Small heath, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Large and Small White. Also present was one of the rare long horned moth Nemophora metallica and 2 Six Spot Burnet Moths (Burnets seem to be having a very poor year). Of the Chalkhills only 2 were females, so perhaps emergence is late. The one mating pair we found had a female either with deformed wings or possibly mated while still emerging. Pictures on Facebook and Twitter. A large area between the Golf Course and the path towards Therfield Road is surrounded by an electric fence and being grazed by sheep. Andrew Wood

I was very pleased to see at least six white admirals on the gas pipeline ride near Bricket Wood Common today (17th July). Thanks to all those who posted where to find these lovely butterflies. - Sharon Monahan

Cloudy morning at Eastcote House Gardens for London in Bloom judging, saw a Holly Blue at the entrance to Dovecote Copse, then over River Pinn footbridge to Long Meadow seeing double figures of Meadow Brown, Gatekeepers and Whites. After judging, went onto River Pinn sampling at Pinn Meadows, Ruislip and saw a Small Copper, Holly Blue, Comma, 5+ Small Skipper, 40+ Gatekeepers particularly attracted to a few specimens of Ragwort, 30+ Meadow Brown, 6+ Ringlet, 20+ Whites including 1 Large, 7+ Small Whites and 4+ Green Veined Whites - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A thoroughly enjoyable morning/early afternoon walk despite some cloud and strong breezes. Sightings included a first definite Purple Hairstreak on the Marshalling Yards a fresh male Common Blue and a memorable few minutes next to a small patch of Thistles on the Heath where I watched multiples of 10 species all nectaring in the morning sunshine: Gatekeeper: 110 Meadow Brown: 17 Comma: 13 Peacock: 8 Small White: 21 Green-Veined White: 3 Large White: 11 Large Skipper: 1 Ringlet: 5 Small Skipper: 21 Holly Blue: 6 Speckled Wood: 4 Painted Lady: 1 Brimstone: 1 Purple Hairstreak: 3 Red Admiral: 6 Common Blue: 1 - Pete Gore

I've been up to Reynolds Wood (Hitchwood area) five times so far this month and finally saw Purple Emperor yesterday; 8 single tree-top flight sightings between 12.50 and 13.30, so quite pleased. Earlier visits were rewarded by views of the 'more common' species - including Skipper, Purple Hairstreak and last Friday a beautiful male SWF. Watched it for over an hour as it flitted non-stop around the glade, challenging anything in its path - Donald Gregory

A somewhat windy, if intermittently sunny, morning stroll around Nomansland Common produced 16 species of butterfly: Large White; Small White; Green-veined White; Meadow Brown; Ringlet; Marbled White; Gatekeeper; Large Skipper; Small Skipper; 1 Holly Blue nectaring on bramble; several Small Tortoiseshell; 3 Red Admiral, 2 of which were very nice and the other tatty; 2 fresh Peacock; 1 rather worn White Admiral contentedly nectaring in a bramble patch; 1 male Purple Emperor, slightly scratched and with a couple of chunks missing from the wing margins, perched in a silver birch sapling (unfortunately not enough sun to persuade him to open his wings fully); and 2 Purple Hairstreak, one of which was definitely female (I suspect the other was as well), both perching relatively low on oak leaves. Pleasing to see the White Admiral, a species I have not previously been aware of on Nomansland, although they occur a couple of miles away in Symondshyde Great Wood. The Purple Emperor was a total surprise, although odd ones seem to turn up at unexpected locations - maybe an eviction from another wood? - David Hunt

Thursday 16th July 2015
Norton Green field trip report: Pretty good day: The weather forecast at the beginning of the day for our walk did not look too promising but as it turned out for ten of us we enjoyed at least 80% sunshine even if the wind at times was a little breezy. A few minutes after we set off at just after 10:30 we saw a Comma almost immediately basking on a bramble leaf. About two-thirds way down the track we viewed the blackthorn hedge on the western side and the tall oak trees behind for Purple Hairstreak and Purple Emperor. A Purple Hairstreak was seen near the top of a blackthorn hedge and it settled on one of its leaves, which most if not all of us spotted. We probably saw 2 or 3 Purple Hairstreaks flitting above the blackthorn and onto a nearby Poplar and Oak tree at this spot. As we entered the meadow between Watery Grove and Cannocks Wood more butterflies were about including many Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Whites of all kinds although only one Green-veined White. Marbled Whites, Small and Large Skippers and several fresh Gatekeepers were also on the wing, At least 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries with some Commas impressed us with their flight. In the field south of Watery Grove, we spotted a newly-emerged Small Copper and one of us saw a blue (probably Common Blue). Burleigh Meadow presented us with the usual common species as above plus a small colony of Essex Skipper. One of the highlights of the trip was finding the Dyer's Greenweed flower in good numbers at the SW end of the meadow. On our way back to the lay-by, near Pigeonswick Cottage a Speckled Wood was seen by the track. After everyone else left, Bob and I stayed behind for an hour and a half mostly to look for Purple Emperor on the SW edge of Watery Grove. I had laid down some salmon paste (my local Waitrose store didn't stock any of the shrimp variety) in the open area on the edge of the track but we didn't have any luck there either! Nevertheless, we saw at least couple more Purple Hairstreaks and a lovely Peacock on the brambles. Just before we reached the lay-by, we saw a Small Tortoiseshell on Creeping Thistle by the pond opposite Norton Green Farm. - Peter Clarke

In addition to the usual denizens of Harpenden Common (Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath, Marbled White, Large Skipper and Small Skipper) I saw my first Small Copper and Essex Skipper for the Common this year. Flying around an oak in the St John's Wood area of the Common was a solitary Purple Hairstreak, the first time I have seen one at the southern end of the Common - David Hunt

Today my wife and I made our annual visit to Northaw Great Wood, to check for the Purple Emperors. At 1:30 we watched 2 males chasing about high above in the regular place near the main entrance, and this year they seem to be favouiring the Ash rather than the Oaks. Regards Terry Wood ps I'd also like to report that one day last week we had 2 Ringlets in our South Mymms front garden, the first I've seen here. - Terry Wood

Great news - I was just doing my transect at Patmore Heath and I was looking up at the oaks as I had noticed the purple hairstreaks were out, when a purple emperor landed on the oak I was looking at. It was only there briefly before it flew strongly to another oak. I chased over there but lost it. However, no doubt - purple emperor. - Gavin Vicary

Plashies Wood - from about 4:00pm. Silver Washed Fritillary - 1 - not previously seen these here, one pristine male Ringlet - 40+ - realistically over a hundred Meadow Brown - 20 Gatekeeper - 2 Large White - 15 Green Veined White 20+ - sets mud puddling Small White - 3 Large Skipper - 5 Small Skipper - 3 Silver Y - 5 Comma - 8 Peacock - 3 Small Tortoiseshell - 10. Ware - Fanshaws - ground next to swimming pool Small Skipper - 18 Essex skipper - 5 Marbled White - 1 Large White - 4 Green Veined White - 3 Large Skipper - 2 Ringlet - 10+ Meadow Brown - 10+ Gatekeeper - 3. Wareside - ( - my garden + orchard) Small Tortoiseshell - 12 Peacock - 5 Comma - 2 Red Admiral - 2 Large White - 3 Small White - 2 Green Veined White - 3 Large Skipper - 2 Small Skipper - 5 Ringlet - lots 10+ Meadow Brown - 5 Gatekeeper - 3 - Phil Macmurdie

Some sightings recorded for today Thursday 16th July 2015 - 1 Essex Skipper at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 08:25 hrs, 2 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 09:28 and 09:53 hrs, 1 Essex Skipper at Park Farm, Enfield at 09:54 hrs, 2 Essex Skipper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:15 hrs, 1 Small Skipper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:15 hrs, Cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort in set-aside field near Williams Wood, Trent Park, 1 Comma edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 10:59 hrs, 1 Peacock at Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 11:03 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf/Robin White. P.S., Nice to have close up views of several Essex Skippers - which look fresh and newly emerged - Robert Callf

Fir and Pond Woods NR … a great butterfly session. My first gatekeepers this year on the Reserve, 6; meadow browns 15, marbled white 6, ringlet 13, large white 7, small white 1, gvw 1, small skipper 9, large skipper 2, common blue 1 and a purple hairstreak. - David Gompertz

A visit to Balls Wood revealed loads of butterflies, highlights were skippers, 2 White Admirals 4 marbled whites and a painted lady. Others included; ringlets, peacocks, meadow brown,gatekeepers, GV white and large whites - Andy Brown

Yesterday Wed 15th went to Broxbourne woods mid afternoon after rain good butterflies. Saw, many ringlets, gate keepers, 9 silver washed fritillaries , one purple emperor in glade, purple hair-streaks, commas, no white admirals but small and Essex skippers in open glade and a common blue and brown argus to my surprise. today at Rickneys purple and white letter hairstreaks, plenty of commas. At Waterford heath south - one silver washed fritillary and many commas - Steve Kiln

Butterflies I have seen today (16 July 2015): 2 gatekeeper, 2 ringlet, 1 small tortoiseshell - Stevenage Road, Ashbrook to Little Wymondley TL2027 David Inward

Wednesday 15th July 2015
Twenty minute lunchtime stroll at a cloudy Butterfly World and saw a Small Blue, faded Painted Lady, fresh Peacock, Large White, 2 Green Veined White, 10+ Gatekeepers, 5+ Meadow Brown, 2 Small Skippers and 3 Marbled Whites. Then an hour stroll with sunny spells along the Gas Pipeline ride and back over railway bridge at Bricket Wood Common and saw 3 White Admiral, 6 Silver Washed Fritillary, a Marbled White, a fresh Peacock, a Comma, 2 Holly Blue, 40+ Ringlet, 10+ Meadow Brown, 10+ Gatekeepers, 4+ Small Skippers and lots of (20+) Whites, including 7 Large White, a Small White and 6 Green Veined Whites. - Paul Busby

Went to Bardon Clumps today 13.40-14.40, in a brief sunny spell at 13.48 1 Purple emperor seen around the tallest Oaks, then nothing,quite a few Purple hairstreaks as well. Laurence Drummond

Bovingdon Brickworks: Butterflies: 14 Marbled White, 17 Ringlet, 1 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock (+ c8 Peacock caterpillars on nettle), 15 Meadow Brown, 6 Small Skipper (none candidates for Essex), 3 Large Skipper, 13 Gatekeeper, 1 Large White, 2 Small White, 3 Speckled Wood. Moths: 1 The Snout (Hypena proboscidalis), 4 Nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana) + 5/6 Spot Burnet sp. (in flight - couldn't tell which) - Lucy Flower

Baldock to Norton Bury road at TL236344; White-letter Hairstreak - many sightings over Elm on the NE side of the road from where it crosses the A1(M) for about 300m's. Hard to judge numbers, best estimate at least 10, at separate positions two groups of 3 spiralling together plus other sightings in different places - Roger Millard

Harrow Cemetery, 22 Gatekeepers, 1 Meadow Brown, 5 Small Skipper, 4 Green-veined White, 3 Holly Blue and 1 Speckled Wood. Shailesh Patel

Tuesday 14th July 2015
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. After missing my walk for the first time in July yesterday but nevertheless managing to spot a Holly Blue in my own garden I didn't have high hopes for a cloudy afternoon today but was pleasantly surprised by relatively high numbers seen even if an awful lot were Gatekeepers: Gatekeeper: 81 Ringlet: 9 Purple Hairstreak: 1 Small Skipper: 7 Green-Veined White: 6 Small White: 12 Large White: 4 Meadow Brown: 14 Speckled Wood: 2 Peacock: 2 Comma: 1 Holly Blue: 5 Whites increasing. I watched a Red Kite circling slowly over the burnt section of the Marshalling Yards, somewhat adding to the already 'Gothic' feeling here -skeletal trees bearing nothing but cooked black apples being another example. - Pete Gore

I went up to the Hillbrow site today, it is awash with Kidney Vetch, including some good swathes on the area cleared last autumn. I was looking for larvae. Unfortunately it was very wet around midday in Letchworth which hampered my searching but I did find one full grown larvae being attended by an ant. I found two other seed heads with ants on but no more larva. I suspect I may have been a little early to find good numbers of full grown larvae - a project for others who visit in the next couple of weeks. I have a posted picture on the Facebook site. Also despite the poor weather there were many Marbled Whites, Small Whites and large Whites and smaller numbers of Gatekeeper, Ringlet and Meadow Brown, Small and Essex Skippers and one Red Admiral. Andrew Wood

Overcast, humid afternoon after a morning of drizzle. In Mad Bess Woods, Ruislip saw a single Purple Hairstreak fly up from a patch of bramble. However on adjacent field/meadow saw a Large White, couple of Small Skippers, 50+ Meadow Brown, 40+ Ringlet, 30+ Marbled Whites (mostly perched) and 12+ Gatekeepers ( margin of field). Afternoon, brief sunny spell in garden brought out a Holly Blue, Green Veined White and a Speckled Wood - Paul Busby

Butterflies and moth I have seen today (14 July 2015): 2 meadow brown, 1 cinnabar moth caterpiller (on common ragwort) - NCN12 cycleway beside Hitchin Road, Stevenage TL2226 - David Inward

Some sightings for Tuesday 14th July 2015 - 5 Gatekeeper at Oakwood Park (W of 10 km line), 1 Small White here also (W of 10 km line), 3 Ringlet (W of 10 km line) and 1 Speckled Wood (E of 10 km line). Also 1 Ringlet and 1 Gatekeeper at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this afternoon. Some sightings for Saturday 11th July 2015 - 1 Red Admiral at Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 14:25 hrs, 1 Peacock edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 14:30 hrs, 2 Small Tortoiseshell together nectaring on buddleia by lower lake, Trent Park 14:55 hrs, 1 Comma by lower lake, Trent Park at 14:56 hrs, 2+ Purple Hairstreak at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) at 15:30 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 15:37 hrs, 1 Peacock at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 16:14 hrs, 1 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 16:30 hrs and 1 Small Tortoiseshell here, 1 Holly Blue near Firing Range at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 16:40 hrs. - Robert Callf

Sunday 12th July 2015
News from 10th Silver-washed Fritillary in Sherrard's Park Wood, Welwyn Garden City this afternoon. Grid ref: TL 23000 13716 Drew Lyness

Butterflies I have seen today (12 July 2015): 4 small white, 1 large white, 1 small tortoiseshell plus many unidentified whites - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930 1 small tortoiseshell - Woolgrove Road, Hitchin TL19793023 - David Inward

First ever Marbled White in the garden today in Bengeo. - Simon Knott

No sunshine at all on today's branch field trip to Bricket Wood Common. 27 people joined the walk and as we made our way along the ride Ringlets started to appear, followed by Meadow Browns and a White Admiral. A large dark butterfly was seen by some in the tree canopy, but we didn't get a good enough view to be sure if it was a Purple Emperor. A nest of sawfly larvae attracted some interest. Asks we moved in to the clearing butterfly numbers started to increase with good numbers of marbled whites, Ringlets as well as Meadow Brown, Small and Essex Skipper, Small, Large and Greenveined Whites. After most of the party headed back a few of us searched further for Purple Emperor but with no luck. We did add Large Skipper, Peacock and Silver washed Fritillary to the days list. Rain started soon after 1pm and we headed home. We saw over a hundred butterflies in a morning with no sun and the temperature only16 degrees - Malcolm Hull

Brent Reservoir, Holly Blue, Small Skipper, Ringlet, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Common Blue - Shailesh Patel

Saturday 11th July 2015
I visited the Ruislip Woods complex on Saturday between 11 and 1.30, coinciding with it becoming overcast for much of the time. However I had several sightings of a Purple Emperor high up on the oaks at St Vincent's around 1130 and a female Silver-washed Fritillary looking for egg laying sites at the entrance to Mad Bess Woods off Ducks Hill. Otherwise low numbers of the expected species. Andrew Wood

Visited Bricket Wood Common on Saturday from 3.30 till 6.00. Saw 8 White admiral, two female Silver Washed Fritillary, 3 male silver washed fritillary, 1 red admiral, 1 comma, 1 beautifully fresh peacock, 3 Gatekeepers, 10 marbled whites, 5 large whites, 3 small whites, 6 meadow browns, 12 ringlets, 8 large skippers. The white admirals were now looking a bit tatty. A few pics at the following links:
Peacock; https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/19609054466/in/dateposted-public/
White Admiral: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/19628307282/in/dateposted-public/
Female Silver Washed Fritillary: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/19639533021/in/dateposted-public/
Miles Attenborough

I spent the whole afternoon at Hampstead Heath watching Purple Emperors. An incredible experience made more so because the Heath is my local birding (and butterfly) patch and ironic because on the day they were found on my patch I had gone to Bookham to see them there! Which once again just goes to show what's under our noses!Just for the record, yesterday it was 2 Emperors best observed from the path leading down to a private house from Spaniards Rd. I saw nothing before 1pm just as you say but after that 1 or 2 were visible regularly in superb weather (never had to wait long before an individual glided by) until I left at 6pm. Clashes between two Emperors were a joy to behold as well as clashes with a particularly aggressive Red Admiral, which also highlighted just how much larger was the Emperor even though on occasion HIM did seem to be in retreat! Interestingly, the spats with the Admiral didn't occur until late pm. The clashes between Emperors were dramatic and as well as spirals both males would venture far further when clashing than I ever observed an individual venturing when activity seemed confined to just a few trees. Perching was often on the ends of the trees nearest the small break between trees as I'm sure you witnessed too. Amusingly, at one point a leaf was doing a very good impression of an Emperor as it glided between the trees and the Emperor must have thought so too since it had a go at it! - Frank Nugent

Robin White reported to have seen a male Purple Emperor at Williams Wood, Trent Park this morning Saturday 11th July 2015 at about 10:45 hrs, also he saw an Oak Eggar here. - news via Robert Callf

Decided to go to THERFIELD HEATH today to see the Dark green fritillary's, parked at the NR at 09.40 and walked east and onto the golf course where there is a small sheltered coombe, I found 5, 4 males and 1 female, also around 30 Marbled whites,3 Gatekeepers and a single Small heath - Laurence Drummond

Back to Ruislip Woods this morning. At Copse Wood 5 x white admirals (mostly on hillingdon trail), 2 x red admirals (my first this year), 3 x gatekeeper, 1 x peacock, 1 x small white, 16 x ringlet, 6 x comma, 6 x speckled wood, 11 x meadow brown, 8 x large white,4 x green veined white. On entering hillingdon trail from Poors Field did meet up with 3 guys and a dog who had seen a purple emperor up in the cannopy at this spot around 10.30am so just missed out!. At Poors Field 41 x ringlet, 2 x large skippers, 26 x meadow brown, 3 x marbled white, 1 x comma, 1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x small white, 1 x large white, 1 x gatekeeper, 1 x white admiral which landed on honeysuckle(see facebook photo). At Northwood Hills, St Vincents area 2 x ringlet, 1 x large skipper, 6 x speckled wood, 4 x meadow brown,1 x large white, 1 x purple emperor appeared at 2.36p.m. which i spotted 4 or 5 times until 2.45( up in oak cannopy). 4 x purple hairstreaks seen again lower down. At Bushey station (TQ118953)1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x comma and once arrived home was greeted by 1 x ringlet, 1 x meadow brown in Bushey garden. - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A memorable early morning walk for both good and bad reasons. Intent on identifying Purple Hairstreaks I found this pleasantly easy albeit with the aid of binoculars.After two failed attempts to focus on small silvery butterflies flying high in Oaks on my path across the Heath I found a tree with several butterflies and was able to establish that they were indeed the Purple Hairstreaks that had eluded me previously.I counted 5 flying in this tree and my total includes the 2 earlier individuals but not subsequent sightings above trees alongside the Crane and one on the Marshalling Yards.I will try to get a better sense of these in future days.They are, of course, well known over many years on the Heath - their absence hitherto in my records probably says more about me than them. On entering the Marshalling Yards I noticed there'd been what I took to be another grass fire (but bad enough even so to account for the Chicory seen flowering earlier in the week.) As I walked around the undamaged left-hand side of my loop misgivings grew as I noted signs of water that could only have come from the fire-services.I made my way down the right-hand side parallel with the railway and the scale of the disaster became increasingly apparent.Far more than just grass burned and many spots were I've counted butterflies have vanished :Broom,Brambles,Honeysuckle small trees all gone.The origin of the fire appears to be a bike: a new burnt out wreck has appeared since yesterday. The site will recover,left to itself and there may even be surprise reappearances of plants lost over the years in the scrubbier areas now destroyed but inevitably butterfly numbers will be affected this year and next. Here are today's sightings: Holly Blue: 1 Meadow Brown: 18 Gatekeeper: 79 Small White: 9 Large White: 2 Purple Hairstreak: 7 Ringlet: 11 Comma: 7 Speckled Wood: 5 Peacock: 3 Small Skipper: 24 Large Skipper: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 and 1 Six-Spot Burnet moth - Pete Gore

St. Albans - I visited two more white letter hairstreak sites in suburban St. Albans this morning. At Temple view, Oyster fields, the elm was plentiful, but I saw just one WLH ,in an hour. Vapourer moth out in force at this site. At Batchwood Drive/Green lanes junction the taller elms have died and I saw no WLH, tho I did see red admiral and holly blue. I'm beginning to think WLH are having another poor year round here - Malcolm Hull

Friday 10th July 2015
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Another hot sunny walk from late morning to afternoon: Meadow Brown: 37 Small Skipper: 82 Small White: 13 Gatekeeper: 87 Large Skipper: 3 Comma: 9 Ringlet: 18 large white: 8 Holly Blue: 7 Green-Veined White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 1 Peacock:1 Speckled Wood: 3 Small Heath: 2 Red Admiral: 2 - Pete Gore

I probably did see a Purple Emperor at the site today at around 12:25 pm at the southern end of the common between Watery Grove and Cannocks Wood but only for a second before I lost track of it.

Whilst working at Eastcote House Garden in the morning saw a Red Admiral, Comma, 3+ Small White, a Holly Blue and a Small Skipper keep returning to muddy river bank. At lunchtime, visited Cheney Field, Eastcote but saw relatively few butterflies including a Green Veined White, Small White, 2 Ringlet, a Speckled Wood, a Small Skipper, 4 Meadow Brown and 2 Gatekeepers. Then in my Eastcote garden pleased to see my first Meadow Brown, a Small White and 3 Large Whites duelling around Giant Knapweed patch, also a Speckled Wood and 2 Holly Blue. Later at Bishops Wood, Batchworth, Herts saw 2 White Admirals, a Large Skipper, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Ringlet, 4 Meadow Brown and 3 Small Skippers. Onto the edge of the golf course and saw a large number of Gatekeepers (40+), 20+ Meadow Brown, 15+ Small/Essex Skipper, 6 Marbled White, 4 Ringlet, a Green Veined White and a Small Tortoiseshell. - Paul Busby

A short visit to Hexton CP this morning was rewarded by 50+ male Chalkhill Blue (only a couple of females were seen), several slightly tired-looking Dark Green Fritillary males and females, and the usual Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Ringlet, Marbled White, Small Skipper gang, Of interest was a Hummingbird Hawk moth. The track on the opposite side of the road produced a Gatekeeper and Large White. plus numerous Small Tortoiseshell feasting on marjoram and creeping thistle blossoms. - David Hunt

Harrow Cemetery, Holly Blue, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown and 1 Small Copper - Shailesh Patel

Verulam Park, St Albans - looking for White letter Hairstreaks this morning and I had to work hard to find any. Eventually found two males clashing above the clump of elm halfway up Bluehouse Hill. Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell and Large Whites all doing well here, but Skipper numbers seem very low. Also saw my first Herts Gatekeeper of the year Bricket Wood Common - Silver Washed Fritillaries are out in force, with 14 individuals recorded plus 7 White Admirals. Gatekeeper just out at this site and also saw my first new brood Peacocks and first butterflies of the year nectaring on buddleia (Large Whites). Purple Hairstreak numbers still seem very low with only 2 recorded and Purple Emperor is still proving elusive, despite watching its master tree clump for 1.5 hours. - Malcolm Hull

At Hawkins wood - near Therfield today (10th July) walking up from Chapel green there were several large whites and speckled woods together with a small skipper. At Hawkins wood there were about 15 speckled woods and by the bridleway there were 6 large whites and a large skipper - Andy Brown HMWT

On our way through Stanmore Country Park we had two sightings of Silver-washed Fritillary. Once going up and then coming back from Wood Farm. Was it the same one, dunno. Yesterday Margaret saw what she thinks was also a fritillary on Wood Farm - John Hollingdale

Thursday 9th July 2015
Balls Wood: purple emperor (around small pond at the west (far) end of the main ride), 3+ white admiral, 3 silver-washed fritillary, 10+ purple hairstreak (in oak along approach track to reserve entrance), 15+ comma, 10+ large white and literally hundreds of ringlets and large skippers along the rides, amongst 15 species seen. - Martin Johnson (Picture on the Facebook page)

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Sunshine throughout with inevitable consequences: Comma: 8 Meadow Brown: 39 Gatekeeper: 93 Small Skipper: 69 Speckled Wood: 2 Ringlet: 18 Holly Blue: 7 Small White: 9 Red Admiral: 2 Large White: 7 Green-Veined White: 1 Small Heath: 1 Large Skipper: 2 Painted Lady: 1 An afternoon walk with the Painted Lady appearing at the end in the early evening,unusually nectaring on Perennial Sweet Pea. - Pete Gore

At Northwood hq 1 x gatekeeper (my first this year), 1 x large white, 1 x meadow brown - David Gower

In my Thorley Park back garden this afternoon, two new male holly blues nectaring on geranium sp., a small tortoiseshell on Scabious, 2 gatekeepers reminding me that the grass needs cutting, and singles of large and small white passing through. Yesterday at Tottenham cemetery just a single speckled wood defying the blustery conditions - Len Crouch

Some sightings for Thursday 9th July 2015 - 1 Comma at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:31 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:50 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:13 hrs, 1 Comma nectaring on buddleia by lower lake, Trent Park at 11:47 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Water Garden, Trent Park at 11:58 hrs, 1 Comma edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:08 hrs, 1 Peacock edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 12:15 hrs, 2 Purple Hairstreak at Trent Park (1 Icehouse Wood, 1 Williams Wood), 1 Red Admiral at Allotments, Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 13:09 hrs - Robert Call/Robin White.

A return visit to Symondshyde Great Wood produced 14 species: Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Ringlet (many), Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Marbled White (one lost soul in the middle of a wood!), Gatekeeper, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Comma, Red Admiral, White Admiral (3 sightings but I think only 2 individuals) and Silver-washed Fritillary (about 20 sightings with at least 5 males and 3 females, one of the latter only just emerged and still down amongst the grass stems drying off its wings). Disappointing to see so few White Admiral - maybe a late emergence is due, but it is beginning to look like they had a poor winter/spring. Oh. And one hare, seemingly as lost as the Marbled White! - David Hunt

A great butterfly afternoon at Fir & Pond Woods NR especially on the meadow. The list is :- Speckled woods 3, Large white 5, Small white 4, GVW 1, Marbled whites 16, Ringlets at least 28, Meadow brown 9, Comma 1, Purple hairstreaks 2. No PEs! - David Gompertz

Latest news Thursday July 9, Harrow Cemetery, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, 3 Holly Blue and 1 Six spot Burnet - Shailesh Patel

This afternoon we went to the St. Vincent's site in Park Wood hoping to see Purple Emperors. We arrived at 2.45p.m. and immediately saw one fly through the usual gap. At least 3 individuals were seen and one or two perched up and could be viewed with binoculars. Also seen here was a Purple Hairstreak. On our return home via the Pylon ride was saw a White Admiral at the junction with Grubb ground. Sue and Steve Place

Bright afternoon sunshine at Horsenden Hill, Greenford, Middlesex and saw at least 6 White Letter Hairstreaks across 2 locations. Also saw a Holly Blue, Six Spot Burnet Moth, 9 Commas, only 6 Marbled White, 4 Ringlet, 4 Speckled Wood, 5 Large and at least 7 Small Whites, 25+ Meadow Brown, 20+ Gatekeepers, 5+ Large Skippers and 30+ Small/Essex Skippers. In my Eastcote garden saw a Holly Blue, Comma, Large White and a Speckled wood - Paul Busby

A walk around Balls Wood revealed, loads of ringlets, meadow browns, skippers large whites, red admiral, a few commas and 3 White Admirals flying very fast - Andy Brown HMWT

(05/07/15): I saw large numbers of butterflies: (actual numbers will be much larger) Approx 50 marbled white, approx 50 ringlet, approx 10 large white, approx 10 small skipper, approx 10 small tortoiseshell, approx 10 meadow brown, 1 comma, 1 green-veined white - small triangular meadow east of A1(M) and south of Knights Templar School playing field, probably part of Knights Templar School nature reserve, Baldock TL239331. News from the 5th July, 4 meadow brown, 2 marbled white, 3 large white, 1 riband wave moth Idaea aversata - field west of Highfield School playing field, Letchworth TL2031 4 marbled white, 2 ringlet - Rosehill Hospital, Cambridge Road, Letchworth TL20793091 - David Inward

We went to Balls Wood at lunchtime today. We had three sightings of a White Admiral (my husband saw one first). They were seen within ten minutes along a 100 metre-or-so path so I couldn't say whether they were different individuals or the same one. Also saw loads of Ringlets and Meadow Brown, 10+ Skippers, a couple of Small White and Large White, Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshells, one Red Admiral and only one Marbled White. - Jill Sawyer

Saw a White Admiral in Scotts Road Ware on 6/7/15 - Neil Campbell

Wednesday 8th July 2015
A few sightings for Grovelands Park, Southgate for Wednesday 8th July 2015 - 2 Comma, 2 Ringlet, 3 Small Skipper and male Gatekeeper. - Robert Callf

Purple Emperor seen on Tuesday at 16:45 on a garden path in King's Langley. I'm so thrilled, it's the first one I've seen in real life! I only saw it, because instead of going in the front door, I went round the back, and he was just sitting on the path, with the sun on him. I panicked to get my phone out to take a pic, and just as I got him perfectly framed, the sun went in, and he closed his wings! I say there for a few minutes, and decided to risk just touching the edge of his wings, and he very obligingly opened them for me - Kim Seager Picture on Branch Facebook and Twitter(it should be noted that Kim works with Amy Paterson who saw a female at her work place last year in Berkhamsted!)

A few sightings for Tuesday 7th July 2015 - 1 Comma edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 18:03 hrs, 1 Comma at Park Farm, Enfield at 18:25 hrs and at least 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Parkside Farm, Enfield and 2 Shaded Broad-bar on Res banking here (TQ 2998). - Robert Callf

Butterflies I have seen today (08 July 2015): 1 marbled white, 2 meadow brown - tumuli at junction London Road/Six Hills Way, Stevenage TL237237 - David Inward

At TL344400 on 7th July - large numbers of Marbled White and Meadow Brown, three Dark Green Fritillary and a single Chalkhill Blue. - Patricia Clegg

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards (part) I had to cut short this morning walk after completing the outer Marshalling Yards loop so butterfly sightings much reduced accordingly.A Peacock on the Heath was the first of the summer brood I've seen: Holly Blue: 1 Speckled Wood: 1 Gatekeeper: 20 Small Skipper: 4 Peacock: 1 Meadow Brown: 8 Ringlet: 9 Green-Veined White: 2 Painted Lady: 1 Small White: 1 Comma: 3 - Pete Gore

Late afternoon/early evening stroll around Copse Wood, Ruislip and adjacent field. In the field saw a Red Admiral, Small White, 2 Commas, 60+ Marbled White, increasing number of Ringlets (70+), Gatekeepers (12+), Small and Essex Skippers (50+) with decreasing number of Meadow Brown (20+) and Large Skippers (5+). By early evening, sun had come out and in Copse Wood saw at least 6 Purple Hairstreaks, 4 Ringlets, 2 Meadow Brown as well as 2 Red Admiral, 2 fresh Commas and a Speckled Wood. - Paul Busby

Tuesday 7th July 2015
Butterflies ! have seen today (07 July 2015): 1 meadow brown - Little Wymondley bypass verge (Titmore Green section) TL2126 6 ringlet - Little Wymondley bypass verge (Ashbrook section) TL2027 - David Inward

Some sighting for Tuesday 7 July at Harrow Cemetery, Large Skipper, Ringlet, Holly Blue, 1 Green-veined White, Gatekeeper and 1 Comma. Shailesh Patel

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. With a strong breeze and much cloud, conditions were far from ideal but the promised rain never appeared and butterflies were quite good in an afternoon walk: Holly Blue: 4 Small Skipper: 29 Meadow Brown: 19 Ringlet: 19 Gatekeeper: 31 Small White: 3 Speckled Wood: 2 Green-Veined White: 5 Comma: 11 Tortoiseshell: 1 Large Skipper: 1 Red Admiral: 1 - Pete Gore

Saw a Red Admiral and Small White by the Victoria Road bridge (TQ 107862) over the Yeading Brook after a morning working party. Then further upstream in Roxbourne Park (TQ 1186) saw a Holly Blue, Comma, Large White, Small Skipper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, 3 Speckled Wood and at least 8 Small Whites despite a cloudy, drizzly afternoon. - Paul Busby

Monday 6th July 2015
Butterflies I saw today (06/07/15): 1 comma, 2 ringlet - cycleway Stevenage Station to Stevenage Old Town TL2324 - David Inward

Harrow Cemetery, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large Skipper, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Silver Y moth. - Shailesh Patel

On a visit to Bricket Wood Common this morning I saw the following species;- White Admiral, Silver-Washed Fritillary, Marbled White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Comma, Large White,Speckled Wood, Large, Small and Essex Skipper - Terry Wood

Some sightings for Monday 6th July 2015 - 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield, 2 Purple Hairstreak settled on oak at Parkside Farm, Enfield near Res (TQ2998) - our first of the year! 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Park Farm, Enfield, 2 Comma at Park Farm, Enfield at 09:29 hrs, 1 Clouded Silver at Park Farm, Enfield, 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 09:34 hrs, Silver Y at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 Comma along bridle-path near Shaws Wood, Trent Park, 1 Shaded Broad-bar along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield, 1 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:43 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

We went up to Hexton Chalk Pit this morning and saw 2 Chalkhill Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 50+ Marbled White (they were everywhere!) and 20+ Meadow Brown and 3 Speckled Wood by the road entrance. - Jill Sawyer

Female Brimstone in Ware garden this morning (I have an Buckthorn in my garden!) - Liz Goodyear

I'm well behind with reports at the moment, but I promise to catch up even if they are just brief lists... However, today (6th) was notable in that there were three sightings of new broods on my local patch: Holly Blue, Peacock and Brown Argus.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=72143&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=72127&mode=view
Also a very pale Comma.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=72138&mode=view
Dave Miller

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A very pleasant morning walk,butterflies noticeably increasing in numbers and variety as the day warmed up: Meadow Brown: 24 Ringlet: 38 Gatekeeper: 45 Green-Veined White: 2 Large Skipper: 2 Marbled White: 1 Speckled Wood: 6 Small Skipper: 52 Comma: 4 Large White: 6 Small White: 3 Brimstone: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Holly Blue: 1. The Red Admiral only showed itself as it tried to get away from a very aggressive male Ringlet which was odd to watch to say the least. The Ringlet eventually gave up and reverted to normal Ringlet behaviour whilst the Red Admiral settled back in the grass where it had evidently been roosting before the unwelcome attention. - Pete Gore

A breezy yet relatively sunny day on Harpenden Common produced a good haul of butterflies with many Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Tortoiseshell; 10+ Small Skipper (no Essex as yet); 1 Common Blue male; 1 Comma; 1 Red Admiral; 2 Large White; 2 Small White, several Small Heath; 2 Large Skipper and a female Purple Hairstreak streaking about in the usual locality amongst a bramble bank. Also seen were almost mature Cinnabar moth larvae, although I don't recall seeing any adults this year (6-spot Burnets are also decidedly scarcer than usual) - David Hunt

Sunday 5th July 2015
Woodland assembly area close to A10, north of Ware, at least one Purple Emperor was present this afternoon - Liz Goodyear and Laurence Drummond

We took my mother in wheelchair to Butterfly World today all really impressed with designer gardens and meadows. Once sun came out recorded 47 x small tortoiseshell, 14 x ringlet, 5 x marbled white, 5 x large white, 18 x meadow brown, 7 x small skipper, 6 x small white, 1 x large skipper, 2 humming bird hawk moths, 2 x 5 spot narrow bordered burnets. 1 x comma, 1 x small tortoiseshell in Bushey garden late afternoon - David Gower

This morning's field trip attracted 8 hardy souls to a rather damp Balls Wood and Hertford Heath, although it did stop raining fairly early on. Not surprisingly no big woodland species but numerous Ringlets, a few Meadow Browns, several Small Skipper (positive ids aided by their reluctance to fly in the gloom), Large Skipper and a gatekeeper. Also a larval nest of Hawthorn Moth and a female Drinker moth (Moths on Twitter). Also Blue Damselfly, Blue tailed damselfly and Common darter. Common Cow wheat is now prolific on the heath following the last two year's clearances. Andrew Wood

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. An afternoon walk starting in sun but ending in cloud and a few spots of rain so no butterflies on the return journey. Previously however: Meadow Brown: 16 Small Skipper: 51 Ringlet: 26 Small White: 3 Holly Blue: 3 Comma: 5 gatekeeper: 16 Large White: 3 Speckled Wood: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 Red Admiral: 4 - Pete Gore

Visited an old meadow immediately south of where the Hertfordshire Way footpath meets the Stort Navigation .(TL491189). A 30 minute stroll round the perimeter revealed 4 large skippers, 5 large whites, 5 small whites, 2 green veined whites, 11 small tortoiseshells mostly nectaring on bramble blossom, 4 commas, 72 meadow browns including mating pairs, and 28 ringlets. A few of the ragwort were burdened with cinnabar larva, 19 nearly full grown on one plant and 10 sharing with 3 soldier beetles on another, although only 4 cinnabar moths seen. Len Crouch

I visited Symonshyde this afternoon. Good to see several SWF, White Admirals & the only species to add to David Hunts list was a Small Skipper. - Malcolm Hull

Saturday 4th July 2015
I enjoyed spending an hour in Broxbourne Woods on Saturday afternoon. The temperature was about 28 degrees and sunny but quite blustery. I wonder if this had something to do with the butterflies being unwilling to settle? The highlight though was seeing at least 8 Silver Washed Fritillaries (mainly on the main ride from the West car park across the almost dried up brook at the bottom.) They were hard to count though as they were flying up and down in the usual fashion. Other sightings included 20+ Ringlet and Meadow Brown, about 10 Large Skipper, several Small or Essex Skipper, several Large Whites and singles of Comma, Green Veined White and Speckled Wood. - Roger Newbold

Went to Ruislip Woods on sat afternoon and around St Vincents area were 21 x meadow brown, 19 x ringlet, 1 x small skipper, 1 x speckled wood, 2 x large white, 4 x purple hairstreak(my first this year), 3 of them at purple emperor hot spot. Onto Park Wood= 28 x meadow brown, 17 x ringlet, 3 x large white, 3 x comma, 1 x speckled wood, 4 x small skipper. At copse wood 2 x speckled wood and in Poors Field =10 x meadow brown, 16 x ringlet, 1 x speckled wood, 1 x large skipper, 1 x comma, 1 x small skipper. In Bushey garden 1 x meadow brown, 1 x silver y - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane After thunderstorms in the night it was pleasant to have damp ground under my feet and standing water back on the Heath and the Marshalling Yards for the first time in weeks.Most of my walk was in the morning: Chicory flowers open when I arrived at the Marshalling Yards but closed by the time I started the return stretch. Butterflies: Meadow Brown: 30 Small Skipper: 53 Comma: 11 Ringlet: 32 Speckled Wood: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 Red Admiral: 3 Large White: 2 Gatekeeper: 15 Tortoiseshell: 1 Marbled White: 1 Small White: 1 Large Skipper: 2 A large grass fire on Pevensey Open Space,a smaller one on the Marshalling Yards, presumably before the rain last night. - Pete Gore

In 2012 we had a report of a Purple Emperor being seen at Kenwood, adjacent to Hampstead Heath. Today was the first time we had had an opportunity to visit Hampstead Heath in optimum conditions. The highest point is along the Spaniards Road next to the radio mast. We sat down in our chairs at 12:15 and started watching the canopy above the road, each of us looking in different directions. 1000s of cars drove past made worse by road works creating, a continuous traffic jam beside us. Also many joggers, cyclists and walkers!! By 13:45 having only seen dragonflies, a Purple Hairstreak or two, a possible White-letter Hairstreak and Vapourer moths we walked up the road, and onto the heath, watching more oaks and slowly making our way back to the highest point but from within the wood. At 14:35 Andrew sat down to watch a gap and almost immediately saw a chase of two Purple Emperors. Further sightings were made and then moving towards the track that leads to a private house, we saw more flights of at least two individuals. This is 7.5k from the centre of London and probably one of our most significant finds made harder by the location. There is a video on the Branch Facebook page but you really have to look very hard and replay it several times to see the Emperor which eventually perches on the left side. - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

Went to BALLS WOOD this morning and saw 4 White admirals, but only in the favoured area, not spread around so looks like they are just starting here. BROXBOURNE WOODS west main ride full of Silver washed fritillary's about 14 all told but dashing around all over the place and hard to count, at one time I had six in one vista,also there singles of Small skipper, Comma, Painted lady and Small tortoiseshell. Laurence Drummond

10 Small Tortoiseshell in my Ware garden at 10:30 - Liz Goodyear

I arrived on Six Hills Common at just after 10am and within 5 seconds of viewing the elm tops I saw a White-letter Hairstreak in the 'gap' the spot I saw one on 25 June. I continued looking for another minute or two and 2 or 3 more specimens were flying around. Over the last few years I have never seen one in the afternoon or evening. I walked towards Norton Green and Knebworth Woods. Near Pigeonswick Cottage at around 1pm, a couple of male Silver-washed Fritillaries were patrolling an area of bramble and one of them even chased off a Large White! No sign of the purple species or the White Admiral but the site is renowned for fairly late emergences! However, a number of female summer-brooded Green-veined Whites appeared to be probing plants close to the ground presumably to find where to lay eggs, Garlic Mustard, one of its foodplants, is prominent on both sides of the track (Chadwell Road). Seems a bit early! - Peter Clarke

Friday 3rd July 2015
Friday 3rd July. Visited my Warren transect in near-perfect weather, 23C, light breeze. Found 100s of Marbled Whites mixed in with Meadow Browns & Ringlets. too many to count accurately. Transect record is Marble White 118, Meadow Brown 73, Small Skipper 37, Ringlet 23, Small Heath 5, Small Tort. 1, Small White 1, Large White 1. Skippers could well include Essex, but all too lively to view closely. It looks as though last autumn's scrub clearance combined with mild, dry winter and recent hot weather has benefitted butterflies and other inverts. I look forward to the next visit - John Moss

After reading DM report of a Purple Emperor in Copse Wood yesterday I decided to pay a visit to the wood this morning. I walked along the Hillingdon Trail to where it bears left(TQ085896). There to my amazement i spotted a large butterfly land on the ground no more than 12ft away. Yes it was a Purple Emperor. It then decided to fly straight at me displaying its purple sheen glowing in the sunshine. Also there was a pristine Comma. I continued up the main N/S ride where fortunately I bumped into Dick Middleton (for the fist time) and reported my sighting. He requested that I submit my sighting to you. He himself had been checking for White Admirals, but not seen any up to then. On my return journey I turned east down the main east/west ride. where after approx. 150meters, I could not believe my luck there on the ground was 2 very fresh White Admirals! - Ian Grant

Some sightings from yesterday evenings survey Wareside - disused railway track 1 - small skipper 8 - small tortoiseshell 2 - red admiral 1 - comma 7 - meadow brown 1 - ringlet But no hairstreaks - Phil Macmurdie

Highlights of a roundabout walk from Hatfield to Welwyn Garden City. A Purple Hairstreak on the road alongside Symondshyde Great Wood (see Branch Facebook page), 8 Silver-washed Fritillaries and 1 white Admiral along the Power way leave in the wood and a Gatekeeper in the Picnic area. Another gatekeeper and 2 White -letter Hairstreaks near the Crooked Chimney pub at Cromer Hyde. The hairstreaks flying around a low hedge almost on the road junction. - Andrew Wood

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A walk in almost continuous sunshine with a similar pattern of butterflies to Wednesday: Small White: 2 Holly Blue: 2 Meadow Brown: 28 Comma: 8 Ringlet: 38 Small Skipper: 88 Gatekeeper: 11 Red Admiral: 1 Speckled Wood: 4 Large Skipper: 2 Marbled White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 1 Large White: 1 Small Heath: 1 - Pete Gore

Went to Waterford heath south this morning a lot of butterflies. over 100 ringlets, and 65 marbled white a record there, and plenty of meadow browns and skippers, commas and small tortoiseshells starting to show - Steve Kiln

A few sightings for this morning Friday 3rd July 2015 - 2 Large Skipper, 5 female Meadow Brown together nectaring on knapweed at 09:15 hrs at Oakwood Park, N14. Also 1 Ringlet at Boxer's Lake, Enfield at 10:55 hrs. - Robert Callf

This friday lunchtime we had a red admiral, ringlet and meadow brown within a few mins of each other in Kings Langley. It pays to have a wild garden. :) - Elizabeth Debenham

Aldbury Nowers, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, 10+ Marbled White, 1 Small Copper, 1 Common Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Heath and 1 Dark Green Fritillary. - Shailesh Patel

Did the butterfly transect at Thorley Wash N.R. just after mid-day and noted 2 small/essex skippers, 7 large skippers, 5 large whites, 7 small whites, 1 green veined white, 1 fresh small copper. 1 painted lady, 1 red admiral. 16 small tortoiseshells, 1 comma and 40 meadow browns. Proceeded to Pig Lane to check if any ringlets were flying in this part of the Stort Valley and walked northward through the set aside field immediately east of Twyford Bury Farm. After going only a short distance I was pleasantly surprised to see a marbled white, small heath and early gatekeeper all within a dozen yards of each other. I have visited this location (TL494194) every July for several years and have never seen a marbled white here before and also cannot recall seeing any small heath here in the last five years - Len Crouch

Bricket Wood Common, St Albans - Three new species emerged since last weekend - Silver-washed Fritillaries (4 seen, all males), Purple Hairstreak and new brood Brimstones. Numbers of Ringlets and Large Whites both increasing. Spent an hour at lunchtime in in Mutchetts Wood looking for Purple Emperor in its usual treetop haunts. Ideal weather conditions, but no luck today - I expect it to appear any day now - Malcolm Hull

A 4 hour stint in Symondshyde Great Wood produced 3 White Admiral, mostly imbibing from muddy ground or soil on the track rather than nectaring; 18 sightings of male Silver-washed Fritillary, although quite how this translates into individuals is another matter - I saw 2 males together on bramble on one occasion, but otherwise they were very active and sunning themselves in trees about 5-6 metres from the ground; Speckled Wood (many); Meadow Brown; Ringlet; Small White; Large White; Large Skipper; and a solitary Comma. Timber operations have been in progress of late, the usually clear and floriferous area near the gate being mostly under piles of conifer logs awaiting collection - David Hunt

The following seen at ELLENBROOK FIELDS (FORMER HATFIELD AERODROME) today: Comma x 2 Marbled White x 45+ Meadow Brown x 38+ Small Skipper x 20+ Ringlet x 50+ Red Admiral x 4+ Speckled Wood x 2 Large Skipper x 4+ Small Tortoiseshell x 10+ + Cinnabar Moth x 6 Gatekeeper x 5+ - David Wheatcroft

I was lucky enough to be invited to the US Ambassadors Independence Celebrations yesterday (02/07/15) at his residence at Winfield House, Regents Park. The gardens and grounds are impressive but I was taken with the fact that an area at the rear of the lawns is managed for wildlife and incorporates a wildflower meadow and thistle patch. Needless to say that I started looking around for butterflies and saw the following in the general area of TQ275828: Meadow Brown- 7, Large Skipper- 2, Large White- 1, Red Admiral-1, Small Tortoiseshell- 1. Comma-1, Speckled Wood-1, - Bill Stone, Suffolk Butterfly Recorder,

Thursday 2nd July 2015
Had a pleasant surprise this afternoon in Copse Wood, Ruislip (TQ082901) when a large butterfly coming along the track towards me turned out to be a male Purple Emperor, it even had the decency to land almost at my feet. - Dick Middleton

Two Hornet Moths in Black Poplars on path from Sacombe Road to Rickneys Quarry - the first tree I looked at - no more on the other 40 or so! Many Marbled Whites in the field on the landfill between Woodhall Park and Stapleford. (see twitter) A White Admiral and 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries in Bramfield Park Wood, 4 White Admirals in Bramfield Wood and one in Brickground Wood (see Facebook) - Andrew Wood

Harrow Cemetery, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown and at Harrow Recreation Ground, 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Shailesh Patel

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another morning walk in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid forecast rain which then didn't fall in the afternoon.Still plenty of butterflies though: Ringlet: 66 Meadow Brown: 34 Small Skipper: 59 Small White: 2 Gatekeeper: 6 Green-Veined White: 1 Painted Lady: 1 Marble White: 2 Small Heath: 1 - Pete Gore

Some sightings for today Thursday 2nd July 2015 - at least 7 Marbled White 'New Fields' Trent Park between 15:09 - 16:20 hrs, 1 male Common Blue Sect 8 'New Fields' Trent Park at 15:24 hrs, many Small/Essex Skipper (no Essex positively identified) including 12 Small settled on wet mud Sect 8, 'New Fields' Trent Park at 15:27 hrs, 1 Large White Sect 6 'New Fields' Trent Park, 10+ Small Heath at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 1 Small Tortoiseshell Sect 5 'New Fields' Trent Park at 15:40 hrs, 1 Large Skipper Sect 5 'New Fields' Trent Park, 1 Gatekeeper Sect 5 'New Fields' Trent Park at 15:44 hrs, 2 Comma together Sect 4 'New Fields' Trent Park, 2 Large Skipper Sect 4 'New Fields' - Robert Callf. P.S., Spent 15 mins watching edge of Church Wood for White-letters, but no success - Robert Callf

Wednesday 1st July 2015
Start off with some sightings from yesterday 1st July - Widford - cricket ground 5 purple hairstreak, trooping across the ground at 7:30pm 2 red admiral 2 small tottoiseshell 1 large white 3 small white 2 meadow brown 2 ringlet. And one very large dark butterfly with white flashes, which if I was at Broxbourne woods would have been happy to conclude on as an A. Iris, but given the location and not getting a clear enough view will defer to large dark butterfly with white flashes. Moth trap was bulging this morning - lots in pots awaiting ID. Notables include:- Another cream bordered green pea, leopard moth, small yellow wave, small blood vein (new for garden, or bathroom to be precise), + approx. 80 other species - Phil Macmurdie For those that attended the field trip at Marshalls Heath on Sunday 28th June - the moth list is available here

1 July, Harrow Cemetery, Meadow Brown, 3 Ringlet, 1 Marbled White, 1 Male Gatekeeper, 2 Small Skipper and 1 Burnet Companion. Shailesh Patel

Butterfly and moth I saw today (01/07/15): 1 meadow brown butterfly - garden, St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL1986130303, 1 silver-ground carpet moth Xanthorhoe montanata ssp montanata - door porch, St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL1985330307 - David Inward

Early stroll about 9am around Springwater Lake, Colne Valley Regional Park and saw my first Gatekeeper, 2 Red Admirals, 3 Comma, 6 Small and 1 Large White, 3 Large and 3 Small Skippers, 3 Speckled Woods, 5 Ringlet, 10+ Meadow Brown and Six-Spot Burnet Moth. Then mid-morning at Mad Bess Woods saw my first White Admiral along the bridleway path, 1 Large and 1 Small White, 4 Large and 1 Small Skipper, Speckled Wood, 40+ Meadow Brown and 3 Marbled White. In the meadow next to Ducks Hill Road, the majority of the butterflies had migrated to the field edges in really hot weather and included 20+ Marbled White, 60+ Meadow Brown and at least 4 Ringlet. After lunch walking to shops I saw 2 Holly Blue, a Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Large and 1 Small White and a Large Skipper along the Tube line edge of Park Way Common, Ruislip Manor (TQ 1087). - Paul Busby

Went back to Water Lane, Watford this evening at 6.30 and came across 63 x marbled white, 3 x ringlet, 2 x meadow brown, 2 x small white, 6 x essex skipper, 28 x small skipper(a few of these possibly essex). - David Gower

June 2015

Tuesday 30th June 2015
I saw a few brief glimpses of a Purple Emperor over a 20 minute period at 2.20pm observing the Oak Canopy at St Vincents, Haste Hill, Northwood Hills. Earlier in the field opposite St Vincents Nursing Home saw 8 Marbled White, 5 Small Skippers, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White and at least 40+ Meadow Brown, 2 Ringlet and 5 Six-Spot Burnet Moth. Brief visit to Highgrove Wood and pond and saw a Large White, Red Admiral, Ringlet and 3 Meadow Brown. In the morning had visited Pinn Meadows, Ruislip (TQ0988) to visit the newly created ponds and drainage ditches and saw at least 100+ Meadow Brown, 7 Ringlet, 7 Large Skipper, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Comma along river vegetation, a Small White, Speckled Wood, 6 spot Burnet moth, Burnet Companion and a Red Admiral. Finally around 8pm, on way to river sampling at River Pinn, Ickenham near railway bridge (TQ0787) on a still sunny and warm evening saw another Red Admiral, Large Skipper and at least 20 Meadow Brown starting to roost in trees - Paul Busby

A few butterflies to report today Tuesday 30th June 2015 - 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 13:09 hrs, 1 Ringlet at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 13:10 hrs, 1 Comma at Whitewebbs Wood at 14:41 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Wildwoods Lake, Enfield at 15:04 hrs, 1 Holly Blue at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 15:25 hrs, 4 Small Tortoiseshell at Rectory Farm, Enfield. P.S., Waited until 14:30 hrs, but no sign of Purple Emperor - Robert Callf.

Butterfly I saw today (30/06/15): 1 small tortoiseshell - Walsworth Common TL19673017 - David Inward

Today at Fir & Pond Woods we counted 27 marbled whites, 5 speckled wood, 8 meadow brown, 9 small skipper, 2 large skippers on the meadow. I have tweeted and also put some photos up on the BC facebook page. We have a Magical Meadows walk planned next Wednesday (10-midday) please feel free to publicise this. People can book on via our website - http://www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2015/07/08/magical-meadows?instance=0 - Jenny Sherwen

At least 4 White-letter Hairstreaks at Cheshunt Park near the clubhouse and a Hornet Moth on a Black poplar on the course itself (see Facebook/Twitter). Hundreds of Meadow Browns in the meadows - Andrew Wood

1 X small tortoiseshell, 1 x ringlet, 1 x yellow shell in Bushey garden today. Last night 3 x small dusty wave moths in bathroom. 1 x marbled white at Northwood hq. - David Gower

A rather fresh, late Orange Tip yesterday in Bricket Wood / Garston area. - Clive Burrows

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Gatekeepers have emerged to add to the overwhelmingly dominant orange and brown colours here: Tortoiseshell: 1 Small White: 2 Comma: 7 Meadow Brown: 30 Ringlet: 25 Small Skipper: 98 Gatekeeper: 4 Large White: 4 Marbled White: 4 Common Blue: 1 Speckled Wood: 4 Small Heath: 1 Large Skipper: 1 - Pete Gore

Purple Emperor flew across the Whitewebbs Assembly area at 13:23, also 1 Purple Hairstreak seen. We had been watching from 12:30. Forty Hall by bridge, 1 White-letter Hairstreak and more Beautiful Demoiselles seen (in the shade), Banded Demoiselle now present as well - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton Purple Emperor flew across the Whitewebbs Assembly area at 13:23, also 1 Purple Hairstreak seen. We had been watching from 12:30. Forty Hall by bridge, 1 White-letter Hairstreak and more Beautiful Demoiselles seen (in the shade), Banded Demoiselle now present as well - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

Monday 29th June 2015
Finally nailed my first White Admiral for the year this pm in Mad Bess Wood, Ruislip, along the track known as the Hillingdon Trail. A supporting cast of 10+ Meadow Brown; 6 Speckled Wood; 2 each of Large White, Comma and Red Admiral and a Small Skipper. - Dick Middleton

Many Small tortoiseshell, around Sawbridgeworth and High wych today, probably a hundred seen all told, nice to see them back - Laurence Drummond

Butterfly I saw today (29/06/15): 1 small white - cycle way at roundabout Six Hills Way/Lytton Way, Stevenage TL237238 - David Inward

I went for a stroll around Long Meadow, Eastcote and saw my first ever 3 Marbled Whtes in this location, as well as 65 + Meadow Brown, 3 Ringlet, 2 Small white, 1 small Tortoiseshell, a Speckled Wood, 2 Red Admirals, 4 Large Skippers, a Small Skipper and 2 Commas. Great to see damselflies and a Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly buzzing about and perching on the plants in the newly created backwater to the River Pinn - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Very large numbers of butterflies for us in late morning/early afternoon sunshine with Skippers and Browns particularly under counted.Slightly surprised to see a male Brimstone on the return journey across the Heath - seems early or very late but as it was flying vigorously over the trees I couldn't otherwise tell what condition it was in: Ringlet: 40 Meadow Brown: 41 Small White: 6 Comma: 7 (at least) Green-Veined White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 1 Large Skipper: 8 Speckled Wood: 3 Marbled White: 2 Small Skipper: 76 Large White: 2 Red Admiral: 2 Small Heath: 3 Brimstone: 1 and 1 Burnet Companion moth - Pete Gore

4 Silver-washed Fritillaries at Broxbourne Wood this afternoon. No sign of any other big woodland species. Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Marbled White abundant in the glebe fields at Little Berkhamsted, also my first Narrow-boarded 5 spot Burnet moths of the year in the fields above Bayford Wood. - Andrew Wood

Hillbrow Letchworth GC - 09.00 to 10.30:- Small Blue - 3 only; Marbled White - 100+; Small Skipper - 15+; Large Skipper - 5+; Meadow Brown - 20+; Ringlet - 20+; Common Blue - 3 well worn; Small Tortoishell - 1 - Roger Millard

Here is today's latest news. Harrow Cemetery, 29 June, 2 Large Skipper, 5 Meadow Brown, 1 Brown Argus and 2 Small Skipper. - Shailesh Patel

A few sightings for Saturday 27th June 2015 - 2 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield and 7 Small Tortoiseshell here also. 1 Marbled White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 14:02 hrs. - Robert Callf. Today Monday 29th June 2015 - 1 Comma along Leeging Beech Gutter near Williams Wood at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:38 hrs, 1 male Gatekeeper at Parkside Farm, Enfield - our first of the year! 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Parkside Farm, Enfield, 2 Small Tortoiseshell together at Park Farm, Enfield at 10:34 hrs, 2 Common Blue, male and female, at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:52 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:57 hrs, 1 Comma by lower lake, Trent Park at 11:03 hrs, 1 Red Admiral by lower lake, Trent Park at 11:08 hrs, 1 Painted Lady set-aside field near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 11:22 hrs, 1 Essex Skipper identified at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - after checking a number of Small Skippers, 1 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:09 hrs, 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf/Robin White.

A sunny morning at Hexton CP produced an abundance of Marbled White, a good showing of Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Heath and Small Tortoiseshell, 2 pairs and a number of male Dark Green Fritillary, the males almost continuously searching the grass, presumably for females, 2 rather battered Common Blue, 1 Chalkhill Blue male, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Dingy Skipper and a Burnet Companion. Orchids were represented by Common Spotted, Twayblade (now mostly well past), Fragrant, Pyramidal and Bee. Good to see the site doing so well - David Hunt

Couple of sighting reports for you Saturday - 27th June Widford - cricket ground, 2 x hummingbird hawk moth 3 x ringlet 2 x large white 5 x meadow brown 7 x small tortoiseshell 1 x painted lady Wareside, 2 x ringlet 1 x meadow brown. + 1 red tipped clearing, which I have never seen before around here. Also lots of very young cinnabar caterpillars on the ragwort in the orchard. We also have several brimstone pupae which we reared from eggs off the buckthorn bushes that we have, and are now finding another group of young larvae again. - Phil Macmurdie

Sunday 28th June 2015
King George Reservoir, late afternoon 11 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Painted Lady - Andrew Middleton

Spent 90 mins at Stanmore Country Park late afternoon. Sightings were 114 x meadow brown, 29 x ringlet, 4 x marbled white, 1 x small skipper, 3 x small tortoiseshell, 36 x burnet companion, 2 x cinnabar, 7 x yellow shell, 2 x narrow bordered 5 spot burnet, 1 x straw dot. - David Gower

Saturday 27 June. Best day yet on my Warren transect, despite cloudy, blustery weather, with 33 Marbled White, 29 Meadow Brown, 12 Ringlet, 9 Small Heath, 3 Small Torts., 1 Common Blue, 1 Peacock, 1 Large Skipper & 1 Cinnabar Moth. Lots of little white moths, grasshoppers, bees & Common Blue Damselles - John Moss

Well the weather was the worst imaginable for a butterfly field trip: cloudy and rainy throughout, but nonetheless 16 people turned up. I had run the moth trap overnight and so had Trevor Chapman in Wheathampstead, so we had 50 species of moths to examine, including Small Elephant Hawk, Burnished Brass, Brown Silver-line, Buff-tip and Blastodacna hellerella. We then walked around the Heath, and to my amazement saw both target species. There were plenty of Marbled White, plus Ringlet, Small Sklipper, Small Tortoiseshell and Meadow Brown all flying around in the rain, plus Yellow Shell moth, Bishops Mitre Shieldbug, immature Sloe Bug, Hornet, and some day-flying micro-moths yet to be identified. Amazing what is around under such conditions - John Murray (Pictures on Facebook)

Moth I saw on 24/06/15: 1 lesser yellow underwing Noctua comes in stair well St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL1985730307 - David Inward

Saturday 27th June 2015
Spent the morning at Bricket Wood Common and briefly came across 2 x white admirals (the first appearing from brambles and ferns in open area the second high up heading towards open area above wooden bridges/concrete path), 26 x ringlet (also first sightings), 8 x speckled wood, 31 x meadow brown, 62 x marbled white, 4 x small skipper, 11 x large skipper, 8 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x small heath, 1 x small white, 2 x large white, 1 x painted lady, 1 x brimstone(f), 1 x burnet companion, 1 x brown silver-line. At Merryhill Fields in afternoon 272 x meadow brown, 1 x small white, 3 x speckled wood, 40 x marbled white, 1 x comma, 22 x large skipper, 9 x small skipper, 29 x ringlet, 1 x holly blue, 3 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x straw dot, 1x scoparia pyralella, 14 x yellow shell, 2 x shaded broad bar, 1 x burnet companion, 2 x narrow bordered 5 spot burnet. - David Gower

I saw 3 white admirals today (27 June 2015) along the 'Gas Ride', Bricket Wood Common - Chris Newman

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A late afternoon/early evening walk for me in very warm humid conditions: lots of butterflies. Highlight for me was a small 'cloud' of at least 10 Small Skippers rising together hectically over a small triangle of grassland which contained a good many more. I've come to the conclusion though that Skipper physical activity is inversely connected to my own mental activity... By way of contrast a single very fresh looking Green-Veined White was the first for a little while: Meadow Brown: 23 Large Skipper: 10 Comma: 1 Large White: 1 Ringlet: 13 Red Admiral: 2 Small Skipper: 60 Speckled Wood: 1 Small White: 2 Small Heath: 1 Tortoiseshell: 4 Green-Veined White: 1

A visit today at Hexton Chalk Pits and saw many Marbled Whites they were every where, good numbers of Dark Green Fritillary and Ringlet plus 1x of Brimstone, Small Heath, Meadow Brown - Kevin Taylor

This walk was led by John Hollingdale on Saturday 27 June at Stanmore Country Park, TQ 172927 in which I was with group. What we saw: - 10+ Ringlet, 7 Speckled Wood, 2 Large Skipper, 11+ Meadow Brown, 3 Marbled White and 1 Cinnabar - Shailesh Patel

A warm and sunny day produced a pleasing abundance of butterflies on Harpenden Common with 30+ Marbled White (including a number of females), many Meadow Brown, 30+ Ringlet, 20+ Small Heath, 10+ Small Tortoiseshell, 3 rather tatty Common Blue males, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Large White, 1 possible Holly Blue flying fast and high, 1 Brown Argus male battling with a Ringlet and 2 Six-spot Burnet bumbling along. A Marbled White female, with two males in attendance, spiralled up to a height of about 10 metres before diving down very rapidly into the grass, leaving the males still circling one another. - David Hunt

Saw the following at Oakwood Park, N14 yesterday afternoon Friday 26th June 2015 - 3 Large Skipper - 2 males, 1 female near Conservation Pond at TQ 298 951 and 1 female Marbled White nectaring on knapweed and 2 male Small Skippers at TQ 304 952, also several Meadow Browns. - Robert Callf

Friday 26th June 2015
Paid a brief visit to Horsenden Hill yesterday early evening, 25th June. Highlight was at least 1 White-letter Hairstreak over elms close to the road, viewed from Batts Field. Suspect that in good conditions earlier in the day there will be several in this area or along the footpath/cycle path. Also 8+ Marbled Whites, 3 Large Skippers, 7 Common Blues, 30+ Burnet Companions and about 10 Meadow Browns in the evening sunshine. - Andy Culshaw

An Unusual Common Blue variation missing orange spots on the underside was spotted by Hilary Bailey in Weston between Baldock and Stevenage. They were seen on 15th and 23rd June See Facebook page for pictures. - news via Andrew Wood

Diane Andrews visited Forty Hall meadows on 25th and found only 7 Chimney Sweepers. 140+ Meadow Brown, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Small/Essex Skipper, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 fresh Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Ringlet, 1 Marbled White. Along path to A10 1 Large Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper plus other possible Essex/Small, 2 Marbled White, 3 Meadow Brown, 4 ringlet. 1 nest of Peacocks seen at Ally Pally on 19th June. Still no Painted Ladies.

In Bushey garden 1 x small magpie, 3 x light brown apple, 2 x apotomis sauciana, 1 x double-striped pug. - David Gower


For all other links and information visit the main website at www.hertsmiddx-butterflies.org.uk