Butterfly Conservation

Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch

and pass on your news

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

July 2014
A fairly normal service should resume?

Monday 28th July 2014
Two photos taken by David Newland of the Purple Emperor that visited Malcolm Newland's garden in Hemel Hempstead (whilst Malcolm was away!) on the 15th July 2014. It should be noted that Malcolm's garden is a butterfly paradise for nectar and larval foodplants but it chose the watering can!

Saw two Speckled Wood together in Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 today Monday 28th July 2014 at 10:19 hrs. - Robert Callf

In Stocking Pelham today (28th); several gatekeepers, small tortoiseshells, Green-veined Whites, Large whites, peacocks, red admiral - Andy Brown HMWT

Sunday 27th July 2014
Sunday 27/7/14 in 2.5 hours. Took some friends, Dom, Jane & Billy Thomas from Sussex, around Bricket Wood Common to look for some specialities. Highlight was a female Purple Emperor which landed low down a couple of metres away on bracken and when it few it even alighted briefly on young Billy's arm! This was on the track which runs parallel to railway line approx.60 metres nw of the red & white pole. We also saw 7+ Silver-washed Fritillary & 5 Purple Hairsteak, but no sign of any White Admirals. Also noted on our walk were 10+ Small/Essex Skippers, 3 Large Skipper, 10 Brimsone, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Ringlet and numerous Green-veined White, Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown. Bob Harris

Spent 45 mins at Bricket Wood Common mid day and came across = 12 x gatekeeper, 4 x meadow brown, 1 x white admiral, 2 x brimstone, 1 x ringlet, 1 x large skipper, 4 x large white, many more whites unable to identify, 2 x silver washed fritillarys along main ride and 1 x purple hairstreak came down between them. Missed the purple emperor that landed on young boy earlier! On way back from St Albans on Abbey flyer stopped off again at Common early evening =1 x comma, 3 x ringlet, 4 x gatekeeper, 2 x silver washed fritillary. At Bricket Wood station = 2 x peacock, 3 x large white. - David Gower

RICKNEYS QUARRY,One Purple emperor still at the Bardon clumps territory, briefly @12.44, also, again, one each of Brown argus and Common blue - Laurence Drummond

Watched a Red Admiral nectaring on neighbours buddleia at Southgate, N14 on Sunday 27th July 2014 at 15:00 hrs and still present at 16:40 hrs. - Robert Callf

One fairly frail Purple Emperor seen at the Northaw Assembly area. Although we started watching at 2 o'clock it didn't make an appearance until 3.30. No activity at Whitewebbs or Fir and Pond - Liz Goodyear, Andrew Middleton and Laurence Drummond

Saturday 26th July 2014
Butterfly World, St Albans - Our first ever New Members' Day was well attended with 35 people joining us. A moth recording trap had been run the previous night at the site and day started with John Murray opening the trap and showing a fine array of moths. During the morning several committee members spoke on different aspects of the branches' work and how new members can become more involved. After lunch, I led a walk around the extensive grounds, following much of the transect route. Small Blues were out in good numbers with around 10 seen. Common Blues are just out and we saw around 40, plus a couple of Brown Argus. Liz Goodyear achieved the best sightings of the day, firstly a male Chalkhill Blue, nectaring on Marjoram, which posed obligingly for photos for several minutes. It appeared in good condition, so had probably emerged quite recently, an indication that the species may be breeding at the site. Two individuals (both male) were spotted here last year and the larval food-plant, Horseshoe Vetch, is thriving at this site. A possible second Chalkhill Blue could not be confirmed. 10 mins later Liz spotted a Clouded Yellow, nectaring on Birds-foot Trefoil. Small Copper, Marbled White, Small and Essex Skipper, Large, Small and Green-veined White, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper were also seen in the meadows, plus very many 6-spot Burnett moths. In the gardens Peacocks were numerous on the Buddleias, with Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admirals also seen. This site is maturing well and certainly living up to its early promise. A branch field trip is planned here on Sunday 10 August - see Walks & Talks section of this website for details - Malcolm Hull

On 24th July I photographed an insect that was particularly fond of Thistle (which is confirmed) as a worn Dark Green Fritillary - Pete Lowman

Visited the 'New Fields' at Trent Park this afternoon Saturday 26th July 2014 and recorded the following between 12:15 - 13:30 hrs - 5 Common Blue (3 together near Triangular Wood at 12:29 hrs, 1 Sect 8 at 12:39 hrs, 1 Sect 5 at 12:55 hrs); 5 Small Copper (1 at 12:31 hrs, 2 Sect 6 one at 12: 44 hrs and another at 12:51 hrs, 2 Sect 4 at 13:01 hrs); 1 Comma near Church Wood at 13:07 hrs; 1 Small Heath nectaring on ragwort near Triangular Wood at 13:12 hrs. - Robert Callf

A Clouded Yellow this morning at Pitshanger Park Butterfly Garden, Ealing. Also seen today at the same site: Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small White. John Eborall

Whilst out, I was reliably informed that a Clouded Yellow briefly stopped in my Ware garden on a Wonder of Peru flower head. Just like Malcolm Newland and his Purple Emperor I wasn't there! - Liz Goodyear

At Northwood hq in Sandy Lane on Friday 1 x common blue. At Carpenders Park station(TQ118934) resting in underpass 1 x poplar hawk moth. At our Bushey garden today(sat) 1 x large white, 2 x small white, 1 x gatekeeper, 1 x peacock. Went for a walk around Cassiobury Park also on sat and came across = 9 x large white, 9 x speckled wood, 21 x gatekeeper, 15 x meadow brown, 9 x small white, 4 x essex skipper, 1 x small skipper, 1 x large skipper, 5 x common blue, 3 x comma, 2 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x peacock, 1 x marbled white. - David Gower

The following seen in Cromer Hyde Farm Area today (TL2111) - while taking part in the Wider Country Butterfly Survey, Large white x 2, Small White x 30+, Painted lady x 1, Peacock x 8, Small Tortoiseshell x 3, Gatekeeper x 10+, Meadow Brown x 6+, Ringlet x 2, Comma x 2, Marbled White x 6+ - David Wheatcroft

Plashes Wood, a male Silver washed fritillary today, surprisingly, my first here, also one each of Brown argus and Common blue, plenty of the common browns and Peacocks. Laurence Drummond

Friday 25th July 2014
2 sightings of a Clouded Yellow this morning about 45 minutes apart at Pitshanger Park Butterfly Garden, Ealing. Possibly the same individual. On the first occasion, it settled and nectared on various plants, giving a good view. On the second occasion, after I had gone back with my camera, it flew around fast for about 30 seconds then flew off. Also seen today at the same site: Small Copper, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue. Over the past couple of years, Ealing Council have very successfully converted this former bowling green of about 40 metres square into a butterfly-friendly area. - John Eborall

Broadwater, Colne valley: Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady - singles - Chris Lamsdell

Saw a Large White at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this morning Friday 25th July 2014 at 10:39 hrs on thistles. Also saw three Peacock on buddleia at Lakeside, EN2 at 10:55 hrs. 1 Holly Blue settled by lower lake, Trent Park at 13:27 hrs, 1 female Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:38 hrs, 1 Marbled White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 15:06 hrs, 1 Peacock at Barracks, Vicarage Farm. Also Robin White saw a Marbled White at Vicarage Farm yesterday Thursday 24th July 2014. - Robert Callf

You may have heard about the sightings of the Yellow-legged (or Scarce) Tortoiseshell in the UK most especially near the east coast. Apparently there has been an invasion in the Netherlands and several has crossed over the North Sea. One specimen was seen at Barton near Cambridge on Wednesday so there could be some movement west therefore Hertfordshire might be next! Details can be found on the http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/index.php website. - Peter Clarke

Thursday 24th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A walk which began with a fading Painted Lady struggling to cross Richmond Council's Hounslow Heath Open Space shortly followed by a second one, much more vigorous, on the Heath itself held promise which was not fulfilled as far as the species was concerned but still good numbers of other butterflies: Painted Lady: 2 Gatekeeper: 71 Speckled Wood: 8 Large White: 1 Small Copper: 1 Small White: 2 Holly Blue: 1 Meadow Brown: 25 Small Skipper: 9 Comma: 2 Peacock: 7 Green-Veined White: 3 Common Blue: 31 - Pete Gore

Today I spent just over an hour recording in Broxbourne Woods West and about twenty minutes recording in Bencroft Wood; I then made some additional observations at Broxbourne Woods East CP. In Broxbourne Woods West I recorded 8 Silver-Washed Fritillaries (fewer than last year), 1 White Admiral, 3 Commas, 44 Peacocks, 13 Meadow Browns, 27 Gatekeepers, 2 Ringlets, 6 Small/G-V Whites and 1 Common Blue. The large areas of hemp agrimony (and thistles) on the south-east side of the main ride at, and to the north-east of, the stream are good news for butterflies; but the bracken that is encroaching onto the newly-cleared area by the stream to the east of the main ride is not. Being a Wood Warden, and having a keen interest in how the changed management practices will impact upon the butterfly population, I will pass on these, and other observations (see below), to the CMS. In the prevailing hot, dry weather much of the vegetation was parched and much of the newly-cleared area to the north-west of the main ride is almost barren. Yet there were parts of the main ride that had remained quite moist! This illustrates the enormous diversity of habitats that can potentially be developed at this NNR. The heather patch to the north of the newly-cleared area is doing well, thanks to careful management; but the area where orchids grow to the east of the heather has become overgrown by bracken, as has the area to the south that was cleared to connect the heather area to the main area of clearance. Broom is establishing near the heather. Whilst orchids, broom and heather may have few implications for butterflies (moths, perhaps, in the case of the heather and broom), it was encouraging to see hemp agrimony and bird's-foot trefoil already establishing in parts of the newly-cleared area. The newly-cleared area has had a testing year: sodden throughout winter and spring and desiccated in the summer. It will be exciting to see what plant species eventually establish there and what the implications will be for butterflies. At Bencroft I observed a presumed fast-flying female Purple Emperor at around 20 feet. A Silver-Washed Fritillary was also present, as were 5 Red Admirals (absent from Broxbourne West, no idea why). Also seen were 16 Peacocks, 7 Gatekeepers, 4 G-V Whites and 5 Meadow Browns. At Broxbourne East CP I saw another White Admiral, a SWF, a Comma and several G-V Whites. I much appreciated the comments, all of which I can endorse with enthusiasm, of Richard and Sue Wistow from South Wales (20 July). In this context I might mention the species I could have seen today but didn't: Marbled White (seen there last year), Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Purple Hairstreak, Small Tortoiseshell or any of the Skippers. Two species I used to see at Broxbourne Woods in the 1950s and not mentioned by the Wistows (who didn't start looking until 1977) were Pearl-Bordered and even Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries (OK, just the one); numbers of common dog-violets are on the increase following the changed management practices at Broxbourne Woods, so who knows? - Alan Jackson

1 x treble brown spot moth came into Bushey house tonight, 1 x large white in garden - David Gower

Encouraged by recent visits to Northaw Great Wood for the Purple Emperor I decided to visit Norton Green this afternoon to search for it. Visited the common at about 2pm and stood watching the oak tops for about an hour with the sun out about half the time. It was almost devoid of activity with just the odd fly and bee. At just after 3pm the sun went behind a big cloud and I decided to walk around the common and take a new viewing position near the byways sign focusing on a sallow and the tall oak tree behind it. After a good 20 minutes the sun finally reappeared and in a very short time the place was a hive of activity with dragonflies, a Purple Hairstreak (which I hadn't seen since the field trip) and a Purple Emperor sped past in front of me towards the track (3:35pm). In the morning walk at Norton Green (north section) I saw loads of Large Whites (50+) and many Peacocks enjoying the teasel. Yesterday a Holly Blue was seen here (first of the year) - Peter Clarke

Some sightings for today Thursday 24th July 2014 at Grovelands Park, Southgate, N14 - 2 Small Copper (one in meadow enclosure at 12:06 hrs and another near tennis courts at 12:25 hrs); 8 Common Blue (two in meadow enclosure at 12:06 hrs, four near tennis courts between 12:27 - 12:32 hrs, 2 near Bowling Green at 12:36 hrs); 10 Six-spot Burnet (3 in meadow enclosure, seven near tennis courts); 2 Speckled Wood near Bowling Green at 12:34 hrs; 2 Peacock nectaring on white buddleia near Priory Hospital at 13:04 hrs. - Robert Callf

I was verry excited to find a white-letter hairstreak in a meadow called Swan's nest in Weston this week - Hilary Bailey

A Clouded Yellow over a pea field near Dane End (the one at Little Munden) this afternoon - Andrew Wood

Wednesday 23rd July 2014
Diane Andrews rang to report a Marbled White at Tatum Park, Enfield (next to the A10) on 14th July. On the 23rd July at Monken Hadley Common, a Chalkhill Blue, Marbled Whites, 3 Antler Moths, 5 Peacock, 1 Comma and 14 Small Coppers in total in TQ2946.

In Bushey garden 3 x peacock, 1 x large white, 1 x riband moth - David Gower

I enjoyed a very agreeable afternoon watching one and then two Purple Emperors at the Northaw Assembly area. I arrived just after 2 as the cloud dispersed and good sunshine commenced and almost immediately an emperor made a flight across the gap. He was a bit bored at first so he chased some bees and then a crow and some more bees...........but about 2.45 he was joined by another emperor (almost the same time last week kicked off) and their tussles continued for about 30 minutes when one finally disappeared for good, never to return. Which one it was is hard to say although I suspect it was the first one I saw that went. Both appeared to be in good condition so no obvious identification points although the second one might have been just a tad bigger? I left at 4 with one still flying in the gap in the sunshine having also chased a pigeon and a Purple Hairstreak - Liz Goodyear

Received a phone call from Robin White yesterday afternoon Tuesday 22nd July 2014 stating that he had seen a Purple Emperor in Trent Park at about 11am on the edge of Williams Wood not far from the Dew Pond - this is a high point in the park and the pond is surrounded by mature sallows. He believed that it was a female and it flew over his head at a height of about three metres. Robin was quite excited by this sighting as it is the first Purple Emperor that he has seen. Also yesterday Tuesday 22nd July 2014 I saw three Gatekeeper, 2 males and 1 female and 1 Holly Blue in Town Park, Enfield at 13:15 hrs. Whilst waiting for a train at Crews Hill Station today Wednesday 23rd July 2014 counted the following between 12:10 and 12:25 hrs - at least 7 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Red Admiral nectaring on buddleia near the platform, also noticed a Brimstone Moth just as the train was pulling in - Robert Callf

Peacocks galore. Yesterday at Broxbourne woods ride 90 peacocks on hemp agrimony and thistles, with seven silver washed fritillaries. At Waterford heath south today 95 peacocks on teasels but last week they were on the buddleias. Also a fresh painted lady, a clutch of common blues and a brimstone on the heath - Steve Kiln

Tuesday 22nd July 2014
I did the transect today, good numbers of meadow browns and gatekeepers, they seem to be having an excellent year. Lots of silver washed fritillary around and a few faded dark greens. Saw my first chalkhill blues as well - 3+ together with fresh brown argus, common blue and small copper. Lots of peacock, a few comma, red admiral and small tortoiseshell, large white, green veined white, small white, brimstone, small, large and essex skippers and one ringlet along the Ridgeway. I think I may have seen a holly blue as well but couldn't be sure as it flew away quite high into the surrounding woodland. - Paul Thrush

During a 20 minute visit to Highgrove Wood, Eastcote at lunchtime, I saw a Comma, a Small White and 8 Speckled Woods. Later in the afternoon, at nearby Warrender Park, Eastcote, I saw a Peacock, a Common Blue, a Gatekeeper, 4 Small Skippers and at least 4 Small Whites within 15 minutes - Paul Busby

Today Tuesday 22nd July 2014 - 8 Comma nectaring on burdock at Flash Lane Aqueduct, Whitewebbs Park at 10:35 hrs; 3 Peacock nectaring on burdock at Flash Lane Aqueduct, Whitewebbs Park at 10:35 hrs, also another 2 nectaring on thistles at Whitewebbs Park; 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on thistles at Whitewebbs Park at 10:47 hrs; 1 Small Copper nectaring on thistles at Whitewebbs Park at 10:50 hrs; 1 Peacock at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 11:04 hrs - Robert Callf.

Just to let you know that I found a wing of a purple emperor in Stubbins Wood in Tring. The woodland is behind West Leith in Tring near Tring Park and is managed by Dacorum Borough Council. I had a look around but couldn't find any adult flying just one worn wing on the main path - Jez Perkins

Monday 21st July 2014
I was walking above the main gravel pit at Tyttenhanger today, when a small dark grey butterfly flew out of the long grass so quickly by me that I was unable to trace it. Do you think that it could have been a Small Blue here at Tyttenhanger? Other butterflies were 2 Large Skipper, 3 Essex Skipper, 2 Small Skipper, 2 Marbled White, 1 Small Heath, 1 Red Admiral, 9 Peacock, 6 Green Veined White, 4 Small White, 8 Meadow Brown, and Gatekeepers too numerous to count - Terry Wood

Sunday 20th July 2014
19 people turned up at Heartwood to enjoy a pleasant walk with 16 species seen highlights were 3 small coopers, brown argus, red admiral, all 3 skippers, common blues, speckled wood, small tortoiseshell, peacocks, marbled whites, large white, GV white, small white and big numbers of meadow brown and ringlets - Andrew Steele

Morning walk on Sunday 20th July 2014, in Broxbourne Woods following main spine walk on through Cowheath Wood into Brambles Wood and then down into Danemead Wood. Silver-washed fritillary common (TL 324071, TL 326073, TL 328074, and in various places in Danemead approx TL 344078). As someone who started looking for butterflies locally in 1977 (and now lives in South Wales) it is rather amazing to see silver washed Frits in Herts. In the last 70's there were none. Great to see three white admiral feeding on bramble flowers in Danemead (two were rather dull, not not ragged, but the third looked very fresh and new). No purple emperors, but just the thought that they now live in the oak/hornbeam woods of SE Herts and even Enfield's Whitewebbs Wood is frankly amazing. Also lots of peacocks, good numbers of ringlet, m.browns, a few gatekeepers, and ones and twos of red admirals, small tortoiseshells, commas (including one which was pursued amorously by a male silver washed frit), speckled woods (which again - at least as far as I was concerned- were not found locally in 1977, although conversely and rather sadly we seem to have lost the once ever present wall) and some green veined whites. Richard and Sue Wistow

Visited the old Rivers orchard/nursery site today 09.15-10.30 in a limited walk(to many loose dogs), 46 Small/Essex skipper(enjoying the new long sward)(only one I could get close enough to was def Essex) 4 Green veined white,1 Common blue(male)(not enjoying the new long sward)2 Peacock,26 Gatekeeper,8 Ringlet and 50+Meadow brown. Went to Rickneys PM, 1 Purple emperor still on territory at Bardon clumps, also 1 Brown argus and 3 Marbled white - Laurence Drummond

A longish walk north of Baldock today, plenty of butterflies but two highlights. 2 Painted Ladies on a field margin south of Newnham and 2 male Chalkhill Blues in a large very flowery area just east of Baldock between the bypass and the Royston Road. I guess wanderers from Therfield Heath. I was actually surprised at the low number of butterflies in this area which is full of knapweed, scabious and marjoram. Andrew Wood

Thorley Wash noon today, too warm and humid to count butterflies in general but in about 12 minutes along the path between enclosures and old river River Stort counted 30 peacocks nectaring on teasel (Actual number on the nature reserve I would estimate at a minimum of 200), 12 green veined white flying over nettle/ willow scrub, 2 small tortoiseshells and singles of large white, meadow brown, comma, red admiral, common blue, and large skipper. Lucky to disturb from the side of path within the reserve a fresh and pretty little lattice heath moth. Crossing the neglected meadow outside the nature reserve to return to the main road saw many small/essex skippers flying fast and a few meadow browns and gatekeepers.. Len Crouch

Saturday 19th July 2014
This week in Kings Langley garden, Large White, a few Peacocks, several Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, and yesterday a Small Skipper. On the window a huge moth gave me enough time to identify it with a photo from outside. It was a fresh Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing moth! We visited Aldbury Nowers on Friday in early evening to the lower field along the hedge; nectaring on brambles were Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, and a Silver Washed Frittilary.Plenty of Meadow Brown, Marbled White and Small Skipper varieties in the grasses. Skippers love the colour of my purple floral skirt as they sit on it to rest. My husband saw a Small Copper.No Brown Argus or Blues in that lower field this visit. Earlier in the week at Ivinghoe Beacon just before sunset we saw some roosting Blues, probably Chalkhill and some Marbled Whites.. Happy hunting - Elizabeth Debenham

St Albans - 8 Small Tortoiseshells have gone into hibernation in my out-house during the last week, though there are still two on the flowers in the garden this afternoon. I also noticed Peacocks searching for suitable hibernating spots this week, with one spending the night in my kitchen on Thursday - wisely it has decided not to come back. So if you want to get hibernating butterflies in your shed its a good time to clear away the cobwebs and leave the door/window open to attract them in - Malcolm Hull

BROXBOURNE COMMON, 1 Purple emperor on territory in the gap at the western end,18.23 (night shift!). PERRY GREEN, 1 very worn and washed out Painted lady near the church, 19.34 - Laurence Drummond

Friday 18th July 2014
For 17 July field trip: Seven of us in all turned up for the field trip to Norton Green although I arrived earlier at 0930 to put some crab paste (no shrimp paste at Asda!) on some low-lying leaves around the open area in the hope of attracting the Purple Emperor. No luck there or anywhere else this morning but we had a satisfying day with the warmth, light winds and intermittent sunshine. The highlights were some fresh looking Silver-washed Fritillaries (male and female) on the common and Purple Hairstreaks on the south eastern edge of Watery Grove. A fellow butterfly enthusiast, Lee, carried out an experiment (which he also attempted yesterday) by spraying some diluted honey solution on some of the lower leaves of the tall and nearest oak tree to the opening to the big open field, to tempt the Purple Hairstreaks down because of the apparent absence of honeydew on the tree leaves. Within minutes of meeting Lee at about 1130am, we were treated with a beautiful male Purple Hairstreak opening its wings on an oak leaf just above eye-level. Overall, between 1030 and 1300, we saw 19 species: 30+ Gatekeepers, 30+ Ringlets, 5+ Large Whites, 5+ Small Whites, 2 Green-veined Whites, 30+ Meadow Browns, 10+ Marbled Whites, 5+ Small Skippers, 2+ Essex Skippers, 50+ Small/Essex Skippers, 1 Large Skipper, 2 Common Blues, 1 Small Copper (very fresh), 5+ Silver-washed Fritillaries, 5+ Purple Hairstreaks, 3+ Peacocks, 2 Red Admirals, 5 Commas, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and a Brimstone. - Peter Clarke and Bob Clift

16th July - an Essex Skipper on lavender in my front garden in Letchworth Garden City - Jill Sawyer

Therfield Heath, Royston - Chalkhill Blues are close to their peak right now and put on a good show for my visit today with over 1,400 recorded. This is a large site and CHBs were seen in most areas at low concentrations. Church Hill and the Rifle Range/ Upper Rifle Range being the hot spots. I saw over 1,000 CHBs within an hour at the latter site. Mostly males were seen with females accounting for only 10 - 15 per cent of individuals recorded. Wild Thyme is the most favoured nectar source, with one extensive patch attracting over 100 CHBs. I also saw 20 male CHBs clustered together feeding on excrement. Dark Green Fritillaries still out with 8 recorded, some looking rather tatty. The only other blue recorded was a single Brown Argus. The small dark butterfly on one of the extensive patches of Kidney Vetch turned out to be a very small female CHB - Malcolm Hull

Thursday 17th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Extreme heat and humidity had an enervating effect on me so just the shorter walk today. Some of the butterflies starting to look a little tired too: Speckled Wood: 9 Gatekeeper: 86 Meadow Brown: 44 Ringlet: 4 Small Skipper: 57 Peacock: 17 Common Blue: 7 Small White: 2 - Pete Gore

Despite nationally talk that the season is winding down....went to the Northaw Assembly area arriving just after 2.20, and everything seemed very quiet and I thought perhaps 'they' are right. However at 2.40, I was just looking up through my binoculars at a butterfly perched high up thinking it was a Purple Hairstreak and realising it was a Comma when through my binoculars I saw a Purple Emperor fly over. Followed about ten minutes later by a second individual. Numerous clashes and flights continued until I left just after 3 - Liz Goodyear

A few more sightings for today Thursday 17th July 2014 - 1 Comma nectaring on buddleia near Oakwood entrance, Trent Park at 11:00 hrs; 8 Peacock at Trent Park (3 nectaring on buddleia near Oakwood entrance at 11:07 hrs, 2 nectaring on thistles Sect 8, 'New Fields' at 11:20 hrs, 3 nectaring on buddleia Sect 6 'New Fields' at 11:29 hrs); 1 Small Copper near Triangular Wood, Trent Park at 11:15 hrs; 1 Red Admiral Sect 8 'New Fields' Trent Park at 11:19 hrs, also saw c10 Six-spot Burnet at 'New Fields' Trent Park - did not identify any Narrow-bordered Five-spots. - Robert Callf

My garden backs onto woodland (the Nickey Line), and today about 14.30 pm I had a purple hairstreak settled on flowering lobelia - a first for my garden - Roger Thornhill

Whilst surveying at Thorley Wash today we saw a brown argus and a marbled white - a new record for the reserve. There were also lots of small tortoiseshells and peacocks. - Jenny Sherwen

Bourne End - 2 White-letter hairstreaks; Aldbury Nowers Brown Argus (8), Silver-washed Fritillaries (13), Dark Green Fritillaries (6), Common Blue (1) and Brimstones (8). Good numbers of Skippers, with a majority of those checked being Essex - Malcolm Hull

Saw 1 Marbled White at Parkside Farm (TQ2998) on Res banking yesterday afternoon Wednesday 16th July 2014 at 17:11 hrs. Today Thursday 17th July 2014 early morning walk produced 1 Common Blue in flight at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 07:49 hrs. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 16th July 2014
At Verulamium Park on the 14th had 1 Marbled White, 20+ Meadow Browns, 15+ Gatekeepers, 10+ Peacocks, 6 Commas and 10 + Large Whites and 3 Small Whites - Andrew Steele

My first Holly Blue of the year at Six Hills (Common) at 0915 hours feeding on ragwort - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Small White: 3 Speckled Wood: 9 Meadow Brown: 56 Comma: 3 Gatekeeper: 104 Common Blue: 5 Red Admiral: 3 Peacock: 19 Small Skipper: 60 Ringlet: 5 Small Heath: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 - Pete Gore

Hundreds of Chalkhill Blues at Hexton chalk pit today with males outnumbering females about 50 to 1, the other highlight being a single Dark-green Fritillary - Robin Pearson

St Albans - Highlights from today included: Peacocks & Gatekeepers everywhere; seeing Small Blue at Butterfly World (with Louise Hawkins) - 5 second generation individuals, including one female egg laying on a new Kidney Vetch flowerhead. just coming into bloom - we searched and found the egg and also a second egg on another similar flowerhead nearby; at Nomansland Common, 3 Common Blues, Small Copper & Small Heath; at Symonshyde/Titnol's Wood a Purple Hairstreak (rare sight this year) plus a Peacock on-top of an Oak in the master tree grove, impersonating a Purple Emperor (sadly no sign of the Emperor itself at this site) - Malcolm Hull

Lots of Gatekeepers across London at moment. After working in South London, I visited Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Mile End, London early afternoon and saw 36+ Gatekeepers, 16+ Small/Essex Skippers, 14+ Small White, 1 Large White, 2 Common Blue, only 2 Meadow Brown, a Comma, 5 Speckled wood and a male Brimstone butterfly. Then at the other end of the Central Line at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, Middlesex, I saw a further 24+ Gatekeepers including one pair, 2 Small Skippers, plus a further 16+Small/Essex Skippers, 3 Speckled Woods, 7+ Small Whites, a Green-veined White and then 3 Commas along the banks of the nearby Yeading brook - Paul Busby

Tuesday 15th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A unique sighting of a butterfly inside the Cavalry Tunnel (where it was disturbed by a cyclist, I think) was probably a Peacock. I wonder if they hibernate in the (relatively) closed part of it which seems to be entered only by graffiti artists of varied skills. Here are the other details: Meadow Brown: 55 Gatekeeper: 110 Small Skipper: 54 Peacock: 13 Speckled Wood: 12 Ringlet: 6 Comma: 2 Common Blue: 7 (2m,5f -unusual) Red Admiral: 3 Small White: 1 Marbled White: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 - Pete Gore

A few selected sightings for today Tuesday 15th July 2014 - 1 Marbled White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:55 hrs; 1 Peacock near Stables at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 10:23 hrs; 4 Peacock edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park on and around thistles at 11:58 hrs; 2 Comma edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park on thistles at 11:58 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell on thistles Uni-lawns, Trent Park at 12:13 hrs; 1 Peacock on thistles Uni-lawns, Trent Park at 12:13 hrs; 3 Small Copper at Trent Park - 1st of the summer-brood (1 Uni-lawns at 12:22 hrs, 1 near Dew Ond at 12:35 hrs, 1 set-aside field near Williams Wood at 12:41 hrs); 1 Small Tortoiseshell edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:25 hrs; 2 Peacock edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:28 hrs; 1 Comma edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:29 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Open fields near Wallington, beetle bank at TL286335. Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Large and Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Small White Nigel Agar

Whilst working at Thorley Wash today we saw 1 painted lady, 2 small coppers, 1 male brimstone and lots of fresh peacock butterflies! Jenny Sherwen

During a working party lunchtime break on the River Pinn, Ickenham TQ072871 near proposed HS2 Rail Link, we saw 2 Small Tortoiseshells, a Peacock, a Comma, a Gatekeeper, a Small skipper and a Ringlet. Back home in my Eastcote Garden, 2 Speckled Woods, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper and a Comma visited - Paul Busby

Monday 14th July 2014
We visited Hertford this week-end staying at the camp site near Balls park on Saturday 12th in the camp site we had great views of (we managed to count 6 at one time) White-letter Hairstreaks in a lime tree. On the Sunday 13th we visited Broxbourne Wood Purple Emperor and Purple Hairstreak in the car park, more Emperor's and Hairstreak's plus White Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary on the walk not sure of post code or map ref but will try to get them if required. A great week-end I hope others will get to see them and enjoy as much as we did. Adrian Buckel

The other day when I was walking through my local park (Cassiobury Park in Watford, Hertfordshire) I was surprised to see a male purple emperor butterfly. I accidentally disturbed it when I started to walk across a bridge (it had been sunning itself on the handrail) and I stopped to watch it for quite a while. After a little while it was joined by a female purple emperor and they flew together for a while before the female flew off. The male kept landing in various places (including my leg) and then flying off to be joined by the female again. It is the first time I've ever seen a purple emperor butterfly but it was so easy to identify - - Vicky Jarman

Hemel Hempstead garden. Something a bit special to report today. I was away today but my son David who is keeping an eye on the garden for me photographed a female Purple Emperor which alighted on a watering can at 13.42 p.m. My garden backs on to a very small area of woodland so this totally unexpected visitor must be a wanderer from I know not where. As I have planted numerous shrubs and plants specifically to attract butterflies I am a bit miffed that this lifetime best chose to pose on such a mundane object! (and when Malcolm was not at home!!) - Malcolm Newland

Saturday 12th July - Broxbourne woods. Excellent sightings of 6 White Admiral, including the unusual sight of one drinking the fluids from a dead horsefly (no one mourned the loss of that one) under a leaf. Lots (20+) silver washed Fritilary, 6 marbled whites, 2 common blue, + many Ringlets, meadow browns, gatekeepers. 5 purple hairstreak, but no purple emperor. Not seen any at Broxbourne this year. Did a walk from Stansted Abbots to Widford yesterday Monday 14th July Stansted Abbots on the fields at the top of the village 30+ small tortoiseshell, enjoying the thistles 20+ peacock, 5 red admiral 5 comma 16 essex skippers 2 small skippers 3 large skipper 3 common blue 2 brown argus. + many ringlet, meadow brown, gatekeeper. More to follow in due course - Phil Macmurdie

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Good butterfly conditions again with noticeably more whites around especially across the Heath.(Under-counted as usual) I didn't walk on Sunday but did get a Holly Blue visiting my garden so not completely butterfly-less! Monday's Sightings: Speckled Wood: 14 Gatekeeper: 133 Small White: 6 Holly Blue: 2 Tortoiseshell: 2 Peacock: 12 Small Skipper: 68 Meadow Brown: 39 Red Admiral: 6 Common Blue: 6 Comma: 7 Green-Veined White: 3 Ringlet: 3 Small Heath: 1 - Pete Gore

A few butterflies and moths to report - Saturday 12th July 2014 - 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 15:36 hrs and 1 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 17:20 hrs, also two male Oak Eggar (1 at Park Farm, Enfield at 16:40 hrs, 1 at Lakeside, EN2 at 18:15 hrs) and 4 Six-spot Burnet at Parkside Farm on Res banking. Today Monday 14th July 2014 - 1 Small Tortoiseshell on neighbours buddleia at N14 and 1 Comma on buddleia at Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 at 09:43 hrs, also here (but not on buddleia) 1 Large White at 10:06 hrs and 1 Speckled Wood at 10:38 hrs. - Robert Callf Poles Lane, Thundridge, The following seen this morning feeding on Buddleia in garden. Comma x 1, Peacock x 5, Red Admiral, x 6, Large White x 3, Small Tortoiseshell x 3 - Julie Wise

Lunchtime visit to Copse Wood, Ruislip and saw 4 Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 3 Gatekeeper and a Ringlet. Then onto Poors Field, Ruislip Common seeing 3 Comma, a Peacock, 12+ Gatekeepers, 2 Speckled Wood, 3 Meadow Brown, a Ringlet and 18+ Small/Essex Skippers. On the return trip, crossed road to Mad Bess Woods and saw a Purple Hairstreak, Peacock, 2 Ringlets, 4 Gatekeepers, Green-veined White and 2 Meadow Brown and finally onto the field on Ducks Hill next to wood, where there were 8 Marbled Whites, 6 Small Skippers, a Ringlet and 35+ Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Went back to Merryhill Fields, Bushey just after 6 pm. Noted sightings = 62 x meadow brown, 24 x marbled white, 1 x small white, 26 x gatekeeper, 35 x marbled white, 14 x small skipper, 1 x essex skipper, 2 x peacock, 2 x ringlet. Moths were 67 x yellow shell, 13 x shaded broad bar, 13 x crambus periella. - David Gower

Waterford heath south a picture with all the goats rhue and ragwort out. plenty of ringlets, gatekeepers, peacocks, small whites and small tortoiseshells. Yet to see a clouded yellow but saw a silver washed fritillary in settling beds area- Steve Kiln

Went to Rickneys today to follow up Liz's Purple emperor sightings yesterday, started looking around Bardon clumps at 11.30,watching the sallow,s and wood edge but no emperors were seen,at 12.50 I started watching canopy gaps along the eastern edge of the wood but by 13.15 had seen nothing,I then looked at a gap a bit further in and immediately saw a Purple emperor fly across the side of a big Oak(13.17) it made two more flights up to 13.30,leisurely around the gap,both times perching high up on the largest Oak, I stayed until 14.00 but no further activity was seen. Also here earlier were 6 Gatekeepers, 4 Small skipper, 3 Marbled white, 3 Comma, 5 Peacock, 2 Red admiral, 1 Brimstone (male) 1 Common blue(male)and 1 Brown argus - Laurence Drummond

Sunday 13th July 2014
A late report from Heartwood of a Small Blue on the 21st of June - Andrew Steele

Return visit to Therfield Heath near Royston (TL337399) on 12th July at 14.15 for about 45 minutes. Warm (25-26 degrees) and light winds. Large numbers of Chalkhill Blue (200+). There was a swarm of 50-60 individuals a few metres in from the road, opposite the car park. They tended to all fly and land at the same time. Three sightings of Dark Green Fritillary - at least two different individuals. Good numbers of Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Six Spot Burnet Moth - Patricia Clegg

We saw 3 Purple Emperors sparring above the tree tops at the Ruislip Woods St Vincent site between about 1pm and 3.30pm on Saturday 12 July. One repeatedly returned to the same vantage point on a sprig that was standing above the general mass of leaves on the favoured oak tree giving good sustained views. - Sue and Steve Place

7th July Pix Brook Meadow (off Cowslip Hill, Letchworth Garden City) one Small Copper - the first I've seen this year. 10th July Wilbury Hills Picnic Area, Stotfold Road, Letchworth GC. Still plenty of Meadow Brown, Ringlets, Marbled Whites, Large and Small Skippers (at least 5+ of these). The first Gatekeeper I've seen this year. There were also loads of Cinnabar Moth caterpillars. - Jill Sawyer

During a narrow-boat trip and towpath hike with 18 children, we saw 4 Comma, 1 Small White, 2 Red Admirals, a Peacock and 3 Speckled Woods between Coppermill Lock, Harefield and Tescos, Rickmansworth and back again - Paul Busby
Today in Stocking Pelham ; numerous small tortoiseshells, some whites, a large skipper, meadow browns and a painted lady- Andy Brown HMWT

1 x small tortoiseshell and 1 x holly blue seen briefly in Bushey garden this afternoon - David Gower

Bricket Wood Common, St Albans - Branch Field Trip. Despite the poor forecast 17 people assembled for todays trip. Not many butterflies seen in the first hour, but after that we saw Red Admiral, White Admiral (around 12 in total) & multiple Ringlets, Peacocks, Meadow Browns & a few Gatekeepers, Specled Woods, Green-veined Whites and Large Skippers. Once the sun came out Silver-washed Fritillaries appeared with several males & females seen. A few Purple Hairstreaks were flitting around the tops of the trees, when a large butterfly flew across the ride and landed in an oak 20 ft off the ground. After much peering through binoculars we agreed it was either a White Admiral or a Purple Emperor, but after 15 mins it raised its wings & then took off - clearly an Emperor, as it flew across the rideside scallop it was intercepted by both a male Silver-washed Fritillary and a probable second Purple Emperor. Continuing into the clearing we added Small & Essex Skippers, Marbled White, Comma, Large White and Brimstone, as well as finding a White Admiral feeding on dog poo. After lunch a few of us headed for Mutchetts Wood, where a few brief glimpses of Purple Emperor were seen high in the oak canopy. While I was finishing my lunch Chris Newman had a clear view of two males clashing. Later at Folly Lane, St Albans, Small Whites and Small Tortoiseshells both out in force plus a Ruby Tiger & Cinnabar Moth. Tho other sightings this weekend worth mentioning, both from my transect walk on Bricket Wood Common yesterday. The first was a female Dark Green Fritillary, nectaring in the main clearing. An unusual record, l've not recorded one here before and the last record from this site appears to have been in the late 1940's. Close-by I saw a fresh looking female Brimstone egg laying on an unfurling Alder Buckthorn leaf, perhaps a sign that this species is having a partial second generation? - Malcolm Hull

A Chocolate Pansy butterfly seen by Geoff Owen at Ruislip Woods - please note this isn't the first unusual sighting there this year

Whilst walking along the public footpath between Rickneys Quarry and Bardon Clumps this afternoon, a Purple Emperor flew over!!! Later one see flying around an adjacent oak. I had gone there to look for emperors but hadn't expected it to be that easy. Earlier at High Cross a new emerged Brown Argus - Liz Goodyear

Saturday 12th July 2014
In a quick walk in Symondshyde Great Wood had 6+ Silver-washed Fritillarys with 1 egg laying, 2 Commas, 20+ Ringlets, 15+ large Whites, 10+ meadow Browns, 15+ Gatekeepers, 2 Peacock 3 Marbled Whites and 3 Large Skippers. At Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits 1 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Woods 5 Commas, 10+ Small Tortoiseshell, 15+ Peacocks 20+ Large Skipper 10 + Small Skippers, 15 + Marbled Whites, 10 + Green-veined Whites, 15+ Large Whites 30+ Gatekeepers 50 + Meadow Browns, 30 + Ringlets - Andrew Steele

At Fishers Field, Bushey in morning = 1 x speckled wood, 7 x meadow brown, 11 x marbled white, 31 x essex skipper, 26 x small skipper(lost 1 sunglass reading lens while carried away with id's) 1 x large skipper, 14 x gatekeeper, 2 x large white, 2 x small tortoiseshell, 3 x comma, 3 x large white, 1 x silver y, 5 x 6 spot burnet. In afternoon at friend's garden in Walthamstow = 18 x small white, 4 x large white, 2 x comma, 1 x holly blue. A lot of sightings compared with bushey garden despite plenty of butterfly friendly plants, could it be that so many gardens around here are concrete? - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane As soon as I saw a Gatekeeper appreciating the morning sun in my garden I guessed this would be a day to see a lot of butterflies.I was not disappointed other than by being unable to get out earlier. Here are the details: Gatekeeper: 118 Green-Veined White: 2 Meadow Brown: 61 Small Skipper: 115 Small Copper: 1 Red Admiral: 5 Ringlet: 3 Peacock: 11 Holly Blue: 2 Comma: 2 Common Blue: 3 Speckled Wood: 12 Large White: 1 Marbled White: 1 Brimstone: 1 Tortoiseshell: 2 Painted Lady: 1 Small White: 1 Whites commoner than my numbers show.Other high numbers no doubt significantly under-counted. - Pete Gore

This morning at about 11.30 a Purple Emperor visited my garden in Bishop's Stortford. It settled on the ground close to the chicken run and stayed for several minutes. This was long enough for my wife to find her tablet and take some photos. It then settled on her jumper before flying off. - Bob Stroud

A 2-hour stint (1030 am - 1230 pm) at Norton Green today yielded 15 species: 5+ Large Whites, 100+ Ringlets, 3 Commas, 10+ Gatekeepers, 10+ Meadow Browns, 5+ Large Skippers, Red Admiral, 10+ Small Whites, 5+ Purple Hairstreaks, 2 Marbled Whites, 10+ Small/Essex Skippers, 2 Small Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 5+ Speckled Woods and 1 male Silver-washed Fritillary (no females seen here yet). Peter Clarke

Friday 11th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Rain in the morning and cloud thereafter meant that I wasn't too surprised when I crossed the Heath without seeing a single butterfly and only 1 unidentified Brown and 1 unidentified White before reaching the Cavalry Tunnel.Thereafter as the afternoon advanced sightings steadily improved with the highlight being a very fresh looking male Common Blue.The wind strengthened later which meant that I ended up with a rather peculiar set of sightings entirely limited to the Marshalling Yards: Gatekeeper: 56 Meadow Brown: 38 Small Skipper: 24 Common Blue: 1 Speckled Wood: 1 Peacock: 1 Ringlet: 1 A few Whites around were uncooperative in aiding identification. - Pete Gore

Following the drizzle and cloudy, blustery day, I went for a 20 minute stroll to Cheyne Field, Eastcote and I saw an Emperor Dragonfly, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Gatekeeper and just 3 Ringlet and 4 Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Thursday 10th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A complete walk in cloudy conditions,taking longer now because there are so many butterflies to record.The yellow-flowered alien, Reflexed Stonecrop (Sedum rupestre) is having a particularly good year on the Marshalling Yards and each patch of this attracts multiple numbers of several species. Sightings: Meadow Brown: 50 Small Skipper: 54 Ringlet: 5 Gatekeeper: 105 Speckled Wood: 8 Comma: 6 Red Admiral: 3 Large White: 1 Holly Blue: 1 Tortoiseshell: 3 Peacock: 3 - Pete Gore

Half-hour stroll around Long Meadow, Eastcote at lunchtime after working party on a cloudy, blustery day and I saw a Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood and 16+ Meadow Brown then onto Park Woods, Eastcote, Middlesex walking from Fore Street entrance to Haste Hill and back again and I saw a Peacock, Red Admiral, Purple Hairstreak, 2+ Large Skipper, 2+ Small/Essex Skipper, Green-Veined White, 4 Speckled Wood, 50+ Ringlets and 30 + Meadow Brown, although no Purple Emperor activity - Paul Busby

Wednesday 9th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Despite cloud and wind and a lot of overnight rain there continues to be very large numbers of butterflies around although with rapidly declining numbers of Ringlets: Tortoiseshell: 3 Ringlet: 2 Meadow Brown: 50 Comma: 4 Gatekeeper: 66 Small White: 2 Small Skipper: 55 Red Admiral: 1 Speckled Wood: 6 Peacock: 3 Holly Blue: 1 Small Heath: 1 - Pete Gore

During our lunch break (1300-1320) on conservation work today we spotted a Purple Emperor making several flights, chasing Purple Hairstreaks and also resting at the top of an oak tree at the Mount Pleasant End of the Goldingtons Wood section of Hertford Heath (TL354114). There are three tall trees just behind the HMWT reserve sign, easily scanned from the small area of gravel parking just past the small area of grassland on which the sign stands. The favoured tree was the left hand one looking from the parking space. A white Admiral also in the wood further down towards Haileybury. On Tuesday 8th, a White-letter Hairstreak on a thistle flower by GSK's car park at Ware - Andrew Wood

I had a walk this afternoon behind the Services at Mymms Wash. I saw 4 Marbled White (first I've ever seen here), 1 Peacock, 7 Small White, 1 Large White, 8 Small Tortoiseshell, 9 Comma, 4 Ringlet, 1 Gatekeeper, 2 Meadow Brown, 4 Small Skipper. - Terry Wood

Last week, I saw the first Gatekeepers and a pristine Peacock at Norton Green on 3 July but am still waiting for the elusive Purple Emperor. - Peter Clarke

A few sightings to report today Wednesday 9th July 2014 - 2 Small Skipper together on thistles, Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:20 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Barracks, Vicarage Farm at 09:36 hrs; 1 Comma settled on wooden fencing near Williams Wood, Trent Park at 10:23 hrs; 2, male and female, Gatekeeper copulating at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking at 10:48 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:29 hrs; 1 Peacock near Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase ar 11:36 hrs; 3 Red Admiral at Trent Park (2 buddleia near Lower Lake, 12:05 hrs, 1 near Dew Pond at 12:31 hrs); 2 Purple Hairstreak settled on Ash, edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 12:35 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Last week I saw a few small tortoiseshells and meadow browns in Barnes Lane, Kings Langley. This weekend my husband saw a red admiral and tortoiseshell and meadow brown in Kings Langley garden on Buddleia. Yesterday 8th July,I saw a ringlet and two small tortoiseshells in the garden. Today I saw a peacock and gatekeeper in KL. At Bunkers Lane in the evening there were at least a dozen scattered roosting marbled whites, but not a spectacular number like previous years, one meadow brown and two small skippers. The knapweed and other flowers at Longdeans are very dried up this year except the marjoram which is attracting marbled whites and smells wonderful in full bloom. Cinnabar caterpillars were clustered on a single ragwort. Elizabeth Debenham

Tuesday 8th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. Luckier with my walk, avoiding thunder showers completely. Inevitably this meant more butterflies although I would appreciate a bit more variety: Meadow Brown: 39 Small Skipper: 40 Ringlet: 13 Gatekeeper: 62 Speckled Wood: 3 Tortoiseshell: 1 Peacock: 2 Small Heath: 1 Comma: 1 Small White: 2 - Pete Gore

Tuesday 8th July 2014
Purple Emperors active in Broxbourne Woods on 30 June. White Admiral in Hertford Heath on the right spur after the T junction. On bramble/raspberry patch - Nigel Agar

I saw a Red Admiral, a Meadow Brown and a Small White at the edge of Highgrove Wood, Eastcote, Middlesex, whilst on a morning working party. Then walking home through the adjacent wild flower area of Warrender Park, I saw my first Common Blue for a few weeks and 5 Small White, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 4 Meadow Brown, 2 Ringlet and an Essex Skipper - Paul Busby

Monday 7th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A walk that began in favourable sunny conditions on the Heath but was interrupted by a heavy rain shower at the Crane bridge.I was eventually able to dry off on the Marshalling Yards and had time to note how quickly the butterflies, especially Skippers, react to sun before deciding correctly that more rain was on the way and I'd seen enough for one day: Green-Veined White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 1 Comma: 2 Small Skipper: 45 Meadow Brown: 15 Ringlet: 3 Gatekeeper: 16 Small Heath: 1 Speckled Wood: 3 Large White: 1 Holly Blue: 2 - Pete Gore

A few selected sightings for today Monday 7th July 2014 - 1 Comma at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:22 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:25 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:21 hrs; 1 Peacock along Jubilee Path at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:52 hrs - a freshly emerged one - Robert Callf/Robin White.

I thought it time to register I'm still plodding round my Warren transect by reporting on this afternoon's visit. Unfortunately the sky clouded over as I set out, accompanied a light shower, so I was off to a slow start. It soon brightened up & I recorded 58 Meadow Brown, 65 Marbled White, 14 Ringlet, 14 Gatekeeper, 31 Small Skipper, 5 Small Heath, 4 Small White, 11 Large Skipper, 1 Purple Hairstreak. Meadow Browns could be under-stated - resting Marbled Whites obligingly sit at the tops of grasses so are more conspicuous. They only arrived about 5 years ago & numbers are still building. Ringlets are also relatively recent arrivals. Small Skippers wouldn't sit long enough for me to check for the Essex strain, but they are usually present. Sadly the site is scrubbing over rapidly. Last year's grand 5 yr plan to remove scrub & introduce light summer grazing was presumably scuppered by opposition. There was little management until June when unfortunately a margin upto 30m wide on 2 sides was mown, causing me to modify my route to cover the tall margins to which all life had retreated. The mowing could explain why Blues are well down on earlier this year (none again this week) & Small Heath numbers are low. Despite all this the (painful) highlight was standing shoulder high in a huge Nettle/Thistle bed watching at eye level Marbled Whites, Meadow Brown & others nectaring avidly in brilliant sunshine, while Dragonflies patrolled overhead. And there are loads of small Moths & baby Grasshoppers. - John Moss

I took a walk at Bricket Wood Common today and saw 6 Siver Washed Fritillary, 4 White Admiral, 15 Marbled White, 1 Peacock, 25 Ringlet, 8 Skipper (mainly Small), 6 Meadow Brown, and 7 Whites. News from Friday 4th July : I took a walk at Fir & Pond Woods primarily for dragonflies at the ponds, but counted 12 Marbled Whites (in the meadow area), 14 Ringlets, 6 Meadow Brown, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, and 4 Small White. On my way out of the woods I stopped off in the cornfield and was soon able to watch 2 Purple Emperors chasing above the 'bonsai tree' tops of the oak trees opposite - Terry Wood

Sunday 6th July 2014
In Balls Wood briefly today (6th) - a few ringlets, meadow browns and skippers then finally rewarded by a white admiral despite the dull weather - Andy Brown HMWT

Saw a Red Admiral on my neighbours buddleia, N14 this afternoon Sunday 6th July 2014 at 13:20 hrs. - Robert Callf

Bricket Wood, St Albans - 4 sightings of Purple Emperor today - 13.06 - male flying slowly along the top of the oak canopy alongside the railway through Mutchetts Wood. 13.37 - male flew across the canopy gap in the wood & back again 8 mins later. 14.20 - female on Sallow around head high in the main ride on the Common. Perched a couple of times allowing close views and continued exploring Sallows, though no signs of egg laying observed. This is the first time I've had a positive ID of a female at this site. Two other new species for this year flying today - Gatekeeper and Purple Hairstreak, both in low numbers. Silver-washed Fritillary (9) & White Admiral (10) both out in force & still looking fresh. Join me for the annual walk across the site next Sunday, details on the "Walks & Talks" section of the website - Malcolm Hull

Today (6th July), I saw about 30 Small Skipper, 20 Meadow Brown, 3 Small White, 1 Large White and a Ringlet in the wildlife area of Roxeth Recreation Ground (HA2 8LE). This is the first time I've seen a Ringlet in South Harrow. - Michael Robinson

Visited Horsenden Hill today and found = 1 x white letter hairstreak, 2 x ringlet, 12 x large skipper, 16 x marbled white, 8 x small white, 18 x gatekeeper(first this year), 19 x small skipper, 5 x essex skipper, 5 x large white, 6 x comma, 1 x small tortoiseshell, 107 x meadow brown. At least 50 more skippers not identified. Moths seen were 3 x celypha rivulana, 5 x cinnabar, 3 x yellow shell, 1 x narrow bordered 5 spot burnet, 1 x 6 spot burnet, 1 x small magpie. - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A similar walk to Saturday but a little later with some sun and no rain, all of which meant more butterflies.An unusual sighting: the forewings and head of a Ringlet on one of the paths. Here are the details: Meadow Brown: 22 Ringlet 7.5 Small Skipper:19 Comma: 7 Speckled Wood: 6 Gatekeeper: 18 Red Admiral: 1 Small White: 6 Tortoiseshell: 3 In my last report I seem to have assigned the road I walk down every day to the wrong saint.Should be Stephen the Martyr not John the miscellaneous. - Pete Gore

Saturday 5th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. A shorter walk in cloud and light rain.I made no attempt to look for roosting butterflies and stayed out of the meadows but a good number of species and individuals visible: Peacock: 1 Meadow Brown: 12 Comma: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Speckled Wood: 2 Gatekeeper: 2 Ringlet: 3 Green-Veined White: 1 Slugs were very visible on the paths but no caterpillars until I got to St.Johns Road on the way home where I saw a Lime Hawk Moth caterpillar in the centre of the pavement just as I did last year.This year's was pale lilac as against pink last time,but in any event resembling a disturbingly animated discarded sweet.I moved it to what I hoped was a safer spot to find somewhere to pupate but the pollarded Limes and no doubt the moths have been in their misplaced location in suburban London for c100 years so are likely to continue to provide annual disconcerting moments to local people without my intervention - Pete Gore

First Gatekeeper of the year for me today at Tyttenhangar gravel pits - Robin Pearson

Whitewebbs Assembly area visit - the weather let us down although there was sufficient sun just after 1 o'clock but no Purple Emperors made an appearance this year. A few Purple Hairstreak made flights though. The highlight though being a large coiled grass snake in the clearing where we wanted to stand and watch from! Liz Goodyear, Andrew Middleton and Laurence Drummond

Friday 4th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A walk in sunshine but with a constant breeze during which I saw the first two Peacocks for a few weeks and a Holly Blue after a much longer interval. Here are the details: Ringlet: 16 Peacock: 2 Small Heath: 2 Meadow Brown: 38 Small Skipper: 55 Comma: 5 Gatekeeper: 6 Speckled Wood: 3 Holly Blue: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Tortoiseshell: 3 Small White: 3 - Pete Gore

Visited Ruislip Lido starting off at St Vincents, Northwood Hills and noted = 2 x speckled wood, 11 x meadow brown, 1 x large skipper, 29 x ringlet, 2 x large white, 2 x red admiral, 1 x small tortoiseshell. Around Haste Hill (GRID TQ090898) =7 x meadow brown, 25 x ringlet, 1 x marbled white, 1 x comma, 1 x large skipper. Poors field =1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x comma, 47 x ringlet, 1 x red admiral, 1 x large white, 1 x marbled white. Finally at home in Bushey garden 1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x small white. - David Gower

I visited Therfield Heath near Royston between 13.30 and 15.00 today. Very warm but windy. Good numbers of Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper. I counted five Chalkhill Blues and a single Dark Green Fritillary. - Patricia Clegg

A few highlights. On the 3rd July 8 White Admirals and 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries on a walk through Symondshyde Wood. 4th July a Painted lady at High Cross. A video of the woodland species can be seen on the Facebook page at:
Andrew Wood

Sightings today Hatfield Aerodrome (Ellenbrook Fields): Marbled White x 18+ Ringlet X 20+ Small Heath x 1 Meadow Brown x 15+ large Shipper x 1 Gatekeeper x 6+ - David Wheatcroft

Had a disappointing morning at Bricket Wood common yesterday. It was warm enough and the sun was out but the breeze and the fading bramble flowers meant hardly any butterflies were landing so photography was well nigh impossible. Despite that, I had nine sightings of male and female Silver-washed Fritillaries, one very small and pale White Admiral, a few Skippers, Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells and Marbled Whites plus dozens of Ringlets and Meadow Browns. Robin Pearson

Thursday 3rd July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Walk as Wednesday,a pleasant breeze in my face on the Heath giving way to high temperatures and enervating humidity. Butterflies seen: Small White: 5 Meadow Brown: 40 Comma: 4 Small Skipper: 40 Ringlet: 13 Small Heath: 5 Green-Veined White: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Gatekeeper: 3 Speckled Wood: 1 Brimstone: 1 Tortoiseshell: 1 Large White: 1 A second burnt-out car has joined the first on the Marshalling Yards, environmental damage becoming both deeper and wider.No further assaults on the River Crane as far as I can see although the riverbank will remain the access point for future cars to get to their demise. - Pete Gore

Yesterday Wednesday 2nd July 2014 some sightings for Grovelands Park, Southgate: 1 Brimstone Moth settled; 10+ Small Skipper, incl 5 together; 2 Large Skipper, male and female; 3 Ringlet; several Meadow Brown; 3 Speckled Wood; 1 Red Admiral at 17:01 hrs. Today Thursday 3rd July 2014 - 1 Marbled White nectaring on knapweed 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:47 hrs; 1 Purple Hairstreak around Ash, edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 13:10 hrs. Also two different Comma at the entrance to Parkside Farm PYO this morning Thursday 3rd July 2014 - Robert Callf

Just wanted to submit a record of a single white admiral butterfly in the grounds of County Hall in Hertford. It was just below the bottom car park flying around oak trees on the bank - Rachel Keen

Wednesday 2nd July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A complete walk mostly in sun and only slightly spoiled by the discovery that some time after I left a peaceful deserted site at 5.00PM Monday someone removed a large section of the Cavalry Tunnel gate and dumped it in the river (where else?) in order to take a car through to be burned in the centre of the MY.Apart from some flattening of vegetation there seems relatively little further damage so the butterflies will likely have got off lightly but I noticed that instead of Monday's perfumes of Melilot and Bedstraw the air seemed full of dust and perhaps other pollution. Here are the butterfly details:Red Admiral: 6 Ringlet: 24 Small Skipper:76 Meadow Brown: 35 Large White: 2 Comma: 3 Small White: 12 Gatekeeper: 4 Speckled Wood: 2 Tortoiseshell: 4 Small Heath: 1 Large Skipper: 1 - Pete Gore

Spent 1.00 till 2.00 at Fir & Pond today (Wed 2nd) 3 sightings of Purple Emperor between 1.35 and 1.55… usual place… around left "Bonsai tree". Usual caveats apply…. The butterflies were high up and didn't show for long. This might have been the same individual 3 times… there were no upward sorties or clashes. - David Gompertz

Tuesday 1st July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A late, cloudy, afternoon walk during which I saw the following: Ringlet: 23 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 3 Small Heath: 1 Meadow Brown: 20 Small White: 6 Small Skipper: 45 Marbled White: 1 Gatekeeper: 3 Large White: 1 Large Skipper: 2 Tortoiseshell: 2 Speckled Wood: 3 Common Blue: 1 The Common Blue was a notably spotty female, presumably still one of the spring generation hanging on rather than the next brood emerging - at any rate we haven't thus far been entirely without Common Blue for long since their first emergence.More chance encounters with Peacock caterpillars which occur all over the walk as the butterflies did.They seem much more common this year than last when the butterfly itself was subsequently numerous... - Pete Gore

Tuesday 1st July 2014
Saw 2 Commas and a Small White whilst working on the River Pinn, Old Eastcote, Middlesex (TQ101884), then a short drive to Haste Hill where I saw a Small Tortoiseshell, 2+ Large Skipper and about equal numbers (20+ each) of Ringlet and Meadow Brown. Waited for a brief sunny spell and was rewarded with good views of a Purple Emperor perched high in Oak canopy before patrolling around canopy between 13.30-13.45. - Paul Busby

Rusling End: Spotted a Silver Washed Fritillary in the garden this lunchtime and 4 Marbled Whites in the meadow plus 2 Small Tortoisehell, 20 Meadow Browns, 1 Skipper, 6 Ringlets also in the meadow. No Purple Emperors yet though. - Julie Wise

09.00 to 10.00 - NE side of the Baldock to Norton road - White-letter Hairstreak (6+). 10.30 to 12.00 - SW outskirts of Letchworth Garden City - Marbled White (100+), Brimstone (1), Small Blue (1), Common Blue (1), Gatekeeper (1), Ringlet (20+), Meadow Brown (20+), Small Skipper (30+), Large Skipper (5+). - Roger Millard

On my walk around Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits today I saw 6 Marbled White, 5 Small Heath, 2 Gatekeeper (first of season), 3 Large Skipper, 2 Comma, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 10 Ringlet, 15 meadow Brown, 3 Small White, 2 Green Veined White and a Cinnabar moth - Terry Wood

A few selected sightings for today Tuesday 1st July 2014 - 1 Comma at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:39 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:49 hrs; 5 male Gatekeeper (1 at Vicarage Farm, 2 at Parkside Farm, 2 at Trent Park); 1 Red Admiral at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 11:10 hrs; 1 Comma at Parkside Farm/Res at 11:21 hrs; 1 Comma at Water Garden, Trent Park at 13:03 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

June 2014

Monday 30th June 2014
I have just done my butterfly transect at Panshanger Park for this week and as well as getting the most butterflies since I started it, I also got a Purple Emperor! It was feeding on sheep poo in the grazing fields which is usually the least interesting part of the transect! I was very lucky to get within a foot of it as it fed for a good 5-10mins so was able to get a lot of photos - Jennifer Gilbert

On my walk at Mymms Wash behind South Mimms Services today I saw 2 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 6 Small Tortoiseshell, 7 Ringlet, 4 Meadow Brown and 2 Small White - Terry Wood

One Marbled white at Broadfield Hall Throcking today - Laurence Drummond

In Balls Wood today on a short walk I saw : 15 skippers,3 whites, 130 ringlets, 7 meadow browns, 4 small tortoiseshell, 3 commas and 3 white admiral. In Stocking Pelham I saw 9 small tortoiseshell and several meadow browns - Andy Brown

(Today) near St Leonard's Church, Bengeo - Marbled White (Yesterday 29th June) Kings Meads - 40 Ringlet on Mill Mead alone - Simon Knott

First Purple Hairstreak of the year in the Norton Green area on top of one of the oaks on the SW edge of Watery Grove at 1350 hours - Peter Clarke

Bridgewater fields, Ruislip Gardens saw my first 2 Gatekeepers of the year, 4 Small white, 1 Essex Skipper, 2 Small Skipper, 12+ Small/Essex skipper, 15+ Ringlet and 10+ Meadow Brown. Later at Gutteridge wood, Hillingdon, 1 Comma, 1 Small White, 2 Speckled wood, 10+ Small skipper, 8 Meadow Brown and 15+ Ringlet whilst on Gutteridge Meadow 2 Gatekeepers, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 20+ Ringlet, 15+ Meadow Brown and 25+ Small Skippers - Paul Busby

Sunday 29th June 2014
Noted a few butterflies, 3 Small Tortoiseshells and a Meadow Brown visiting the archaeology dig at Eastcote House Gardens, Middlesex, this morning - Paul Busby

Since moving to South Essex it was great to be back at Hexton chalk pits and was not disapponted. Chalkhill Blues very much on the wing here now 10-15, Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled Whites, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath - Kevin Taylor

St Albans - 3 or 4 White Letter Hairstreaks on the elms at King Harry Lane around 9am this morning. Later at Bricket Wood Common, an unusual sighting of a Blotched Emerald Moth. White Admiral (7), Silver-washed Fritillary (8) Marbled White (35) and Ringlet (134) were all showing in good numbers. Small Skipper, Essex Shipper, Red Admiral & new brood Comma were all recorded for the first time this week. No sign yet of Purple Hairstreak, Gatekeeper or Purple Emperor, though I expect these will all be out well before the date of the branch field trip on Sunday 13 July. Malcolm Hull

At Bayford checked out field around corner from station in Brickendon Lane (TL317081) & FOUND 8 x meadow brown, 61 x ringlet, 3 x large skipper, 7 x marbled white, 10 x small skipper, 2 x shaded broad bar. Further along Brickendon Lane ( TL324080 ) 2 x comma, 2 x meadow brown, 1 x ringlet. At Broxbourne Woods the sun was only out for 40 mins but did see 1 x large white, 7 x speckled wood, 19 x meadow brown, 1 x small white, 1 x comma, 4 x large skipper, 2 x silver washed fritillary, 2 x red admiral, 70 x ringlet, 1 x cinnabar moth. - David Gower

White Admiral, Silver washed Fritillaries and a Purple Emperor at Northaw Great Wood this morning. I've posted a video of the Emperor on the facebook page taking nourishment from my wife's trousers - Andrew Wood

A few more sightings for Friday 27th June 2014 - 2 Red Admiral (1 near Oakwood entrance at 14:25 hrs, another Sect 7 at 14:41 hrs, Trent Park); 2+ Marbled White, Trent Park (1+ in Sect 4, another in Sect 6); 1 Purple Hairstreak, edge of Church Wood, Trent Park at 14:55 hrs; 2 Small Heath at Trent Park (1 in Sect 1 at 15:14 hrs, 1 in Sect 4 at 14:59 hrs); also several Burnet moths in flight (still not managed to id any yet - not settling!). - Robert Callf

Saturday 28th June 2014
Stanwell Moor, Saturday 28th June: The less said about the weather here the better... Nevertheless, I had a coffee in the local café at lunchtime, and as this is a few hundred metres from the Essex Skipper colony next to the southwest corner of the airport, I carried on to have a peep. Under grey skies with the odd spot of rain, and thunder rumbling in the distance, I found half a dozen of the little chaps perched on the vegetation. They were actually fairly active, despite the lack of sun. This is a very small area, but nevertheless the quest for skippers turned up a Meadow Brown and two Gatekeepers as well.
Dave Miller

Checked out Merryhill Fields, Bushey again this morning and got caught in the rain! Recorded 1 x red admiral, 2 x small tortoiseshell, 39 x marbled white, 3 x large skipper, 3 x small skipper, 185 x meadow brown, 67 x ringlet. Moths were 41 x yellow shell & 10 x shaded broad bar. - David Gower

I saw only 3 Meadow Brown on a mid-morning cloudy walk in Bishops Wood, Batchworth, Hertfordshire and then during a brief 15 minute sunny spell saw 16 Marbled White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Large Skipper, 20+ Ringlet and 25+ Meadow Brown on the rough grassland between the London Loop footpath and the golf course just beyond the wood (TQ068926) - Paul Busby

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