Butterfly Conservation

Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch

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Latest Sightings for 2014

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

February 2015
Updates will be sporadic over the next few weeks so please be patient alternatively post on the Facebook page

January 2015

Monday 26th January 2015
A male Brimstone butterfly in Park Wood 15th January, flying around in coppice area - Dr Colin Bowlt

Deep joy yesterday: whilst tidying up the garden I came across two Orange-tip pupae (a few photos on the facebook page). Last year I had observed half a dozen OT larvae grow up to full size on a single Garlic mustard plant that had self-seeded in my garden and I searched diligently around the area for the pupae but without success, until yesterday. Tidying up around the base of a shrub (Spiraea japonica) over a meter away from the site of the Garlic mustard, what looked like a green leaf emerging caught my eye enough to give it a second look. It only took a couple of seconds for me to realise that I had found the OT pupa I had been looking for. A more intense search of the shrub only revealed one more pupa, about 20cm away. Both pupae were of the green variety, rather than the more common brown. I just hope that they don't fall prey to the robins and wrens that are nesting in a nearby hedge; it would be great to have the opportunity to photograph the next stage of their development. - Bob Clift

Sunday 11th January 2015
A Red Admiral flying in the sun around noon today on The Warren, Hartham Common, Hertford - Andrew Wood

Friday 9th January 2015
Red admiral on Friday 9th 10.40 AM. Fir & Pond Woods NR at the lower edge of Pond Wood by the meadow. Great views - David Gompertz

Wednesday 7th January 2015
Reporting from Middle Temple Garden EC4Y 7AT. One Peacock butterfly seen today 7th January 2015 picture attached (see Facebook page). It was indeed a grey day and a light wind which picked up as the day went on. The temperature here in central London was about 9 degrees. Interestingly the silvery material in shot is scrap of tin foil so one assumes the butterfly had worked out that its beneficial reflective properties. But Tom (photographer) would agree that it may be disturbance out of hibernation- a useful reminder not to overdo the tidying. - Kate Jenrick Head Gardener Middle Temple

December 2014

Tuesday 30th December 2014
I have read up and I gather it is not at all uncommon, but for me it was a first - a Red Admiral flying up to me as I used our outside gas barbecue at 19:55 on 22nd December 2014. It settled near the garden lighting on a fig tree branch near some ivy and I took a photo on my iPhone. It was a still but quite cold evening in our sheltered south facing South Hampstead garden - Dr Asheesh K Das

Saturday 27th December 2014
Todays Brown Hairstreak egghunt on Walthamstow Marshes was organised to try and confirm the presence of the species at this site. The location is right on the border of Middx and Essex, the adult sighting reported last August being about 500 meters into Essex. 6 of us searched for just under two hours in ideal conditions. Both the quality and quantity of the foodplant (Blackthorn) was excellent. Surprisingly some of the Blackthorn was already in flower, but not enough to hinder our task. Unfortunately no butterfly eggs were found, though we did locate a couple of moth eggs. The site is an SSSI which lies in the Lea Valley close to the southern end of Epping Forest. There have been a few intermitent records of Brown Hairstreak from the Forest in recent times. The Forest was a renowned location for Brown Hairstreak in Victorian times, although it is widely believed to have died out in the area at the end of the nineteenth century - Malcolm Hull

Thursday 25th December 2014
I was a bit surprised to see a Red Admiral butterfly at Bentley Priory, Stanmore on the 25th December - Phil (photo on the facebook page)

A Peacock fluttering outside a window in Hatfield on 23rd December. - Allan Burrows

Sunday 21st December 2014
A Brown Hairstreak egg hunt is being held on the 27th December at Walthamstow Marshes - full details on Cambs & Essex Branch website - Please let Rob Smith know if you want to come along.

A Small Tortoiseshell, very beautiful, came into our home in Bishops Stortford today. The kids opened the window, and an hour or two later, the butterfly was cavorting around the ceiling lamp. And it didn't want to leave - I did finally convince it to leave my finger and go outside! - Shoshana Hantman


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