Butterfly Conservation

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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

September 2014

Monday 1st September 2014
A couple of interesting sightings - a brimstone and a humming bird hawkmoth together with the ever attendant small tortoiseshells in stocking pelham on Sunday 31st... Andy Brown HMWT

On both Sunday 24th and Sunday 31st August, at Aldbury Nowers I saw: At least half a dozen red admirals, lots of brown argus, at least two brimstone, one painted lady (on the 24th only), one small tortoiseshell, a peacock and several speckled wood. I also saw a yellow shell moth and was delighted to see a hummingbird hawkmoth. I was also lucky to get some photos:
Speckled wood
Painted lady
Meadow brown
Red admiral
Brown argus
Hummingbird hawkmoth
Sharon Monahan

August 2014

Sunday 31st August 2014
Sunday 31st August 2014: Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/River Crane A beautiful autumnal day on which I managed to get slightly sunburnt and saw over 50 butterflies from 11 species.For once the highlight concerned Whites. Close to the Cavalry Tunnel entrance I watched 4 Green-Veined Whites on the footpath,presumably extracting minerals although the path was dry and poo-free as far as I could detect.They kept their wings closed and were comfortable together but were intermittently pestered by 1 or other of 4 Small Whites to which they would respond by what looked like synchronised fluttering of their wings although they would only actually fly in apparent response to vibrations from a train on the line above or from me eventually passing them on the path.At least 2 of The Small Whites were also interested in whatever it was the path offered but were neither as persistent or as comfortable with other butterflies close to them.When I finally looked back at them from the tunnel the GVWs had resumed their preoccupation together on the path. Here are the full details: Small Heath: 1 Meadow Brown: 15 Small White: 10 Speckled Wood: 12 Comma: 3 Green-Veined White: 5 Red Admiral: 1 Peacock: 1 Brown Argus: 2 Common Blue: 4 Holly Blue: 2 Good to see the Holly Blues back to appreciate the Ivy flowers this year.In one or two spots along the River I could smell the perfume of the flowers in the air as I walked. Another Holly Blue was all I saw on Friday 29th August, this one in my own garden. On Thursday 28th August: Speckled Wood: 5 Small White: 5 Red Admiral: 1 Meadow Brown: 10 Small Heath: 1 Common Blue: 6 Clouded Yellow: 1 Holly Blue: 1. This was a walk with sudden appearances and disappearances. First a Kingfisher appeared at the Tunnel entrance flying from me into the culvert but somehow managing to disappear mid-culvert like one last year did (my observational weakness rather than mysterious bird behaviour I think) Later, towards the end of a solitary peaceful walk on the Marshalling Yards, I was startled by the roar of a motor-bike towards me at virtually the same moment as a Clouded Yellow emerged from 'nowhere' to cross the path in front of the bike.The butterfly just about made it safely despite a cloud of dust but became the second brightly coloured creature to disappear inexplicably as far as I was concerned.The not-so-brightly-coloured biker, however,failed to disappear despite my unexpressed fervent wishes. Thursday's Holly Blue was a faded specimen which kept its wings mostly closed - a pity since one brief flick revealed conspicuous substantial black corners to the fore-wings.I would have liked to see the full butterfly with her wings open. - Pete Gore

A few sightings for Sunday 31st August 2014 - 1 Comma settled on wooden fencing along Leeging Beech Gutter at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 08:30 hrs, 1 Small Heath edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 11:12 hrs, 1 Red Admiral flew SW at Vicarage Farm at 11:50 hrs. - Robert Callf

At Norton Green this afternoon, I saw a blue-spotted form of the Small Copper in addition to several whites, Speckled Woods, a Meadow Brown, 5 Commas, 2 Red Admirals and 2 Common Blues. Incidentally, a white-spotted form of the Red Admiral (white spot in red bands on fore-wings) was seen here on 28 August. Last Silver-washed Fritillary seen on 18 August; Purple Hairstreak on 23 August. - Peter Clarke

Saturday 30th August 2014
Bengeo: Small Heath today by River Beane near St Leonard's Church - Simon Knott

One Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield this morning Saturday 30th August 2014 at 09:55 hrs and a very faded female Meadow Brown at Uni-lawns, Trent Park at 10:44 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 29th August 2014
A few sightings to report - 1 Green-veined White at Carr's Basin, Town Park, Enfield on Thursday 28th August 2014 at 13:38 hrs. Friday 29th August 2014 - 1 female Meadow Brown at Oakwood Park, N14 at 08:28 hrs, 2 Speckled Wood at Boxer's Lake, Enfield at 10:58 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood at Lakeside, EN2 at 11:15 hrs. 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:30 hrs; 1 female Large White at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:51 hrs - Robert Callf

There was a Clouded Yellow in the rough grass at the north end of Tyttenhanger main pit yesterday afternoon. Green-veined White, Red Admiral and Large White in my Brookmans Park garden today. - Rupert Pyrah

Thursday 28th August 2014
Saw a Red Admiral nectaring on buddleia flowers in front garden of Chelmsford Road, N14 Wedneday 27th August 2014 at 16:32 hrs. - Robert Callf

A male Brimstone (on scarlet runner bean flowers - where was my camera?), a Peacock, half a dozen Speckled Woods and as many Small Whites at my Harpenden allotment this afternoon (28 August). - Alan Jackson

Wednesday 27th August 2014
Some sightings for today Wednesday 27th August 2014 - 1 female Meadow Brown at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:19 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:23 hrs; 1 male Meadow Brown along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:17 hrs and at least 4 Large White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Sunday 24th August 2014
Enthused by Andrew Wood's Moth Night yesterday (23rd) at Panshanger Park, we took advantage of what looks like the last fine afternoon for a while and walked round to see what's about. Not much - 2 Small Torts, both quite fresh, 1 very worn Meadow Brown and several Small/GV Whites in wood margins. Otherwise a few damsels and bees in sheltered areas round the lake, occasional "grass moths" and 5 House Martins stoking up for the long journey south. Very autumnal, but should be even better habitat by next spring - John Moss

Stocking Pelham, approx 7 small Tortoiseshells, 1 red admiral, 4 whites (GV?) 1 meadow brown and 1 Hummingbird Hawk Moth - Andy Brown HMWT

On Saturday 23rd August, I saw a Large White on Park Way Common, opposite Ruislip Manor station, Middlesex then a Small Tortoiseshell by Stockers Lock on the Grand Union canal, Rickmansworth, Herts. Then today, Sunday 24th August saw a Holly Blue flying along the route of the Notting Hill Carnival, Chepstow Road, London W2, following the procession for a short while! - Paul Busby

Folly Lane, St Albans - Several species have been emerging at this site during the week, with numbers increasing. These are Small White (26 today), Large White (8) Red Admiral (4) and Speckled Wood (3). Other species still on the wing are Small Tortoiseshell (2) and Meadow Brown (1) - Malcolm Hull

Saturday 23rd August 2014
1 Speckled Wood near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 10:14 hrs; 1 Small Copper along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:06 hrs. - Robert Callf

At Merryhill Fields, Bushey again today. Spotted 6 x small white, 9 x common blue(all males), 28 x meadow brown, 3 x small copper, 18 x speckled wood, 1 x comma, 1 x large white & 8 x yellow shell moths. - David Gower

Stocking Pelham a common blue and some meadow browns in the verge outside my house. On the 24th approx 7 small Tortoiseshells, 1 red admiral, 4 whites (GV?) 1 meadow brown and 1 Hummingbird Hawk Moth - Andy Brown HMWT

Bricket Wood Common - Speckled Woods (14), increasing in number - there were as many as all other butterflies combined. First Small Heath (1) of the year at this site, Purple Hairstreak (1) very active in Ash, Comma (1), Gatekeeper (1), Meadow Brown (2), Brimstone (2, male & female), Red Admiral (2), Large (1), Small(1) & Green-veined (2) Whites & Small Tortoiseshell(1) giving the day a very end-of-summer feel - Malcolm Hull

Friday 22nd August 2014
Light Emerald seen to settle on tennis court at Oakwood Park, N14 at 08:25 hrs; 2 Small Heath together at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:56 hrs; 1 female Brown Argus nectaring on yellow flowers at Parkside Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) on side of Res bank at 14:03 hrs - my first record of the year! 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:03 hrs; 1 Small White at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:03 hrs. - Robert Callf

Thursday 21st August 2014
A couple of Red Admirals to report today Thursday 21st August 2014 - 1 near Hadley Road at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:37 hrs and another near my home address in Southgate, N14 at 11:08 hrs. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 20th August 2014
In our Hatfield garden today, 2 Red Admirals round buddleia & ivy flowers, 1 Comma, resting on foliage, 1 Large White, 2 Small/GV White - John Moss

Some news for today Wednesday 20th August 2014 - 1 Peacock aat Parkside Farm, Enfield at 10:39 hrs; 3 Red Admiral (2 flew S at Park Farm, Enfield at 10:53 hrs, 1 edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park at 11:36 hrs) - Robert Callf

Tuesday 19th August 2014
This afternoon Tuesday 19th August 2014 at about 15.30 I had a Clouded Yellow fly through a small meadow where I work at Berkhamsted (HP4 3TP). The butterfly did not stop to nectar but flew through the meadow flying in an easterly direction. Also present in the meadow one each of Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Copper and Small Tortoiseshell and three Gatekeeper. - Ian Gamble

I saw two Speckled Woods and a Small White in my Eastcote garden, then a further two Speckled Woods by the Highgrove Wood square pond, Eastcote and finally a further five Speckled Woods and a Green-Veined White at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, Middlesex. - Paul Busby

Sunday 17th August 2014
Small Copper on flowers at Vanstone Park Garden Centre, nr Codicote this afternoon - Nigel Agar

A few sightings for today Sunday 17th August 2014 - 1 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:56 hrs and after a shower saw a female Gatekeeper and 4 Small White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Nomansland Common, St Albans - Common Blues (27), Brown Argus (1), Red Admiral (1), Small Copper (1), Small Heath (4), Meadow Brown (11), Gatekeeper (3), Large White (2), Small White (1), Barred Hook Tip moth (2) - Malcolm Hull

Saturday 16th August 2014
Some sightings from Stanwell Moor for Saturday 16th August: It was largely sunny today, though a bit breezy again. My opportunity today was around lunchtime, and only a local walk was possible, but as ever there was something different to see with subtle changes to the same circuit a few days ago. First up was a finding a Common Blue male nectaring less than ten feet from the front door, in amongst half a dozen or so Small and Green-veined Whites. Not much further on, I reached a wild buddleia, where a Red Admiral and a new pre-hibernation Comma were indulging themselves. When disturbed they both headed instead for the blackberries, which are beginning to ferment nicely. This in turn disturbed a couple of Speckled Woods and a Holly Blue. Seven species in five minutes - a good start indeed: it transpired that the new round of Commas were out everywhere - I counted about seven or eight in various spots, mostly on the abundant blackberries.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57656&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57654&mode=view
They were probably exceeded in numbers along the wooded and brambled riverside path by Speckled Woods with maybe a dozen spotted and here too were another four or five Holly Blues, with two seen nectaring together at one point.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57653&mode=view
Moving into the large field/meadow area between the river and the M25, I found it had been mown (as last year). As a consequence, the butterflies were all now around the edges, with Meadow Browns, a few Gatekeepers and Small Heaths, and a reasonable showing of Common Blues. These were more than 50% females, and most of these were dark examples, rather than blue ones. Returning home by largely the same route, I paused to see if a Holly Blue would settle, but I disturbed it and at the same time caused a Red Admiral to flutter up a little unsteadily from the brambles. It was beautifully new, scarcely a mark on the velvet black.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57647&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57648&mode=view
Dave Miller

A few sightings to report today Saturday 16th August 2014 - 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 09:36 hrs; 1 Painted Lady along track at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:25 hrs, also a female Gatekeeper along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm; 1 Holly Blue at Allotments at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:42 hrs. - Robert Callf Went to Ruislip Lido today. Around St Vincent's there were 15 x speckled wood. At Park Wood = 2 x speckled wood, 1 x small copper, 7 x meadow brown, 3 x common blue, 1 x brown argus. Briefly through Poors Field noticed 3 x meadow brown. - David Gower

Bricket Wood Common, St Albans - Common Blue (7), Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (1), Green-veined White (3), Small White (3), Speckled Wood (7), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Brimstone (1), Large White (1), Meadow Brown (1), Gatekeeper (1), Brown Argus (3), Small Copper (1) - Malcolm Hull

Friday 15th August 2014
On Friday 15th August a Hummingbird Hawkmoth visited one of the buddleias in my garden, the first record here. Brown Argus, uncommon in the area, seem to be having a good year with one on the Perivale Wood transect yesterday (following two earlier sightings there and a couple on the Horsenden West transect on 1st August). Oak Processionary Moth is continuing to come to my garden MV trap despite measures being taken in the area to eradicate them. Has also been good in the garden moth trap for Hoary Footman, Tree-lichen Beauty and Jersey Tiger this year. - Andy Culshaw

We had a butterfly walk up at Aldbury today, lots of brown argus about and common blue, a few meadow brown, gatekeeper, small heath, small copper, small, green veined and large white and a brimstone. Single painted lady and small tortoiseshell and one worn chalkhill blue. There was also a hummingbird hawk moth present in the furthest northern enclosure. - Paul Thrush

Only recorded one butterfly today Friday 15th August 2014 a Green-veined White settled at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 13:40 hrs. - Robert Callf

Thursday 14th August 2014
Late report. Tuesday 12 August. Walked my Warren transect, not expecting much in view of the dull windy weather, although it was 19C. Fortunately the sun emerged as I arrived and it stayed hot and sunny until nearly the end. Highlight was 2 Clouded Yellow (twice last year's first ever sighting), 10 Common Blue (m+f), 1 Meadow Brown, 2 Gatekeeper, 1 brilliant Red Admiral, 1 tatty Small Tort, 1 Small Heath & the first Small White since spring. Site getting hard work now, with galloping scrub impeding part of my route (need to take secateurs again) and much of the remaining open grassland getting rank and uneven. But there were loads of bees, moths, grasshoppers & dragon/damselleflies, with Buzzards circling over - John Moss

I was in the meadow adjacent to Frogmore Meadow on Tuesday 12th.August when I saw; 5 Clouded Yellow,1 Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 1 Green Veined White, and a number of Common blue and Brown Argus - Peter Elton

A few sightings for today Thursday 14th August 2014 - 1 Common Blue at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 10:16 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 11:16 hrs; 1 Comma at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:30 hrs; 1 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:31 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12;32 hrs; 1 Peacock at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:32 hrs. - Robert Callf

Watford Rd, Chiswell Green - Clouded Yellow flying alongside the main road. Butterfly World - Around 30 Common Blues, 2 Brown Argus - Malcolm Hull

Wednesday 13th August 2014
Visited Mile End, London this afternoon and saw at least 3 Small Whites, a male Common Blue and a Speckled Wood in Mile End Park and then at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park saw a Red Admiral on Buddleia, at least 4 Small Whites, 1 Large White, a faded Gatekeeper, 2 Speckled Woods, at least 4 male and 3 female Common Blues. - Paul Busby

Tuesday 12th August 2014
Saw a Comma at Boxer's Lake, Enfield today Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 12:00 pm, also Gatekeeper here. - Robert Callf

Have just identified 3 moths seen in garden and Bushey home last Wednesday: = 1 x brindled green, 1 x current pug, 2 x anania perlucidalis. - David Gower

Monday 11th August 2014
A very worn Painted lady butterfly feeding on buddleia in my Little Hadham garden at present. This follows on from last night's mothing where I trapped both a silver y (worn) and a Jersey Tiger, form Lutescens. Maybe a result of yesterday's strong southerlies?
http://littlehadhambirding.blogspot.co.uk/
Jono Forgham

Hummingbird hawkmoth briefly visited my Thorley Park garden this afternoon to nectar on phlox. Of interest to me as it was the largest specimen of this insect I have ever seen- Len Crouch

Saw two Speckled Wood in Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 this morning Monday 11th August 2014 at 09:16 and 10:00 hrs. Some news for Sunday 10th August 2014 at Grovelands Park, Southgate - 3 Speckled Wood, 1 fresh female Common Blue, also Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown seen. - Robert Callf

Sunday 10th August: I walked part of my local patch near Stanwell Moor around 1500, very soon after the sun came out following the storms or earlier in the day. It was still very breezy, but the sun had got things moving and Small Whites were soon to appear. I then spotted several Speckled Woods and Red Admirals contesting the same bits of path. One Speckled Wood looked worn, probably rain-affected, with some of the spots looking almost green. Further along I saw a Comma flying low along the nettle regrowth at the edge of the path, stopping briefly every four or five seconds - egg-laying perhaps. It was a late example of the summer brood - the hibernating ones will no doubt be appearing soon. Considering the storms of the previous 36 hours, it was good to see plenty of Common Blues, fighting strongly against the wind and nectaring whenever they could get a grip on a thistle. There were a few Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Small Heaths, generally looking rather sorry for themselves, but I disturbed a Clouded Yellow from the path which didn't look too bad. It dived to the ground again where I managed to grab a quick photo - confirming that it was neither of the ones I'd seen last weekend. There must be quite a few around. As usual it had plonked itself in amongst a nest of grass stalks, making for a far from perfect picture.
Green-spotted Speckled Wood: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57177&mode=view
Common Blue: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57174&mode=view
Clouded Yellow: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57176&mode=view
I visited Bedfont Lakes Country Park after work (1700 or so) on Thursday 7th August. Along the path by the railway line, I came across Common Blues throughout the length, in double figures overall - perhaps 30 or more. There were a handful of Brown Argus in amongst them, mostly at the southwestern end of the path, where I also found a solitary Small Copper. Whites of all three species appeared, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were frequent, plus five or six Small Heath, a Small Tortoiseshell, and a Red Admiral. I found a single Common Blue "puddling" on a patch of damp ground - gatherings of Blues doing this are not uncommon abroad, but it seems comparatively unusual here.
Brown Argus: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56857&mode=view
Small Copper: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56862&mode=view
Puddling Common Blue: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56856&mode=view
Dave Miller

Saturday 9th August 2014
Recent news from Diane Andrews for the last 7 days. Jersey Tiger seen at Crews Hill. Ramney Marsh, Enfield, 2 Clouded Yellow and 1 at Cheshunt Marsh.

Some sightings for Friday 8th August 2014 - 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:34 hrs; 1 Comma at Park Farm, Enfield at 14:17 hrs; 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:24 hrs; 1 Green-veined White at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:24 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 15:19 hrs. Today 9th August 2014 - 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:13 hrs and 3 Speckled Wood along the New River Loop at Town Park, Enfield between 11:38 - 11:44 hrs. - Robert Callf

As soon as I got in my car leaving Norton Green a few minutes after midday I noticed a worn White-letter Hairstreak on the front windscreen and was with me all the way home - crossing 2 tetrads (TL22 22 and TL24 22) in the process! - Peter Clarke

Old rivers orchard/hospital site High wych,11 Common blue (7 male 4 female) 1 very fresh Small tortoiseshell, 3 Speckled wood,2 Gatekeeper,16 Meadow brown, nearly all on the fields with the short sward and lots of clover/knapweed,the long sward just producing 4 Meadow brown,poor numbers generally. Laurence Drummond

Thursday 7th August 2014
A Clouded Yellow was by the main pit at Tyttenhanger GP this morning - David Booth

On my walk around Tyttenhanger gravel pits today I counted 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue,1 Green Veined White, 1 Large White, 5 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Heath, 1 Meadow Brown and 2 Gatekeeper. - Terry Wood

Late report. Tuesday 5 August. Impressed to find a pristine Hornet Moth nectaring on Field Scabious in our Hatfield garden. It obligingly sat still while we examined it from above and "face on". It was the dead spit of the illustration on p.42 of my newly acquired "Wild Guide to Britain's Day-flying Moths". Noting its larval food plant we realised there's a huge Lombardy Poplar about 3 gardens away and a row of very old ones at the end of Green Lanes, probably dating from tthe Thirties. Today 7 August spotted a possible Red Underwing resting on a stone slab on our patio. Muted at rest, it flow off rapidly with a brilliant flash of red, disppearing over the fence & possibly into Ivy on a tree. Otherwise not much to report other than the 3 Whites, upto 4 Gatekeepers, a tatty Speckled Wood, occasional Holly Blues (m+f) & the odd fresh Red Admiral. Peacocks and Tortoiseshells seem to left for this year. Consequently we are grappling with moths - John Moss

Only one sighting to report today Thursday 7th August 2014 - 1 Comma at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 17:12 hrs. - Robert Callf

I put out cheap moth trap last night and was surprised to find seven Jersey Tigers and one Garden Tiger in the morning - Phil Rhodes

Wednesday 6th August 2014
Today I saw my first Holly Blue of this year in my South Mimms garden, also a couple of Small Whites - Terry Wood

Chalkhill Blues numerous but rain battered at Hexton CP 3 Aug also Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Comma. Speckled Wood near the gate - Nigel Agar

On Wed 6th August I saw a Purple Hairstreak flying around 3 fairly young Oak Trees at The GlaxoSmithKline site in Stevenage - Christina Bessant

A few sightings for today Wednesday 6th August 2014 - 1 male Common Blue at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:20 hrs; 3 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:06 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:06 hrs; 1 Clouded Yellow at Vicarage Farm, Enfield in uncutivated field E of Shaws Wood (TQ2996) - Robert Callf/Robin White

BATFORD - Weedy field by B653 - finally the long awaited CLOUDED YELLOW has graced the weedy field. 1 seen - Darin Stanley

Went to Norton Green early this afternoon and among the butterflies were 40+ Gatekeepers, 50+ whites (of all 3 species), 10+ Common Blues, 10+ Meadow Browns, 5+ Small/Essex Skippers (one of which was Small), 3 Speckled Woods, 3 Peacocks, 3 Small Tortoiseshells and most excitingly a Chalkhill Blue (in the field SE of Watery Grove). Perhaps a male wanderer from Hexton Chalk Pit? - Peter Clarke

Tuesday 5th August 2014
Saw one Small Tortoiseshell at Tyttenhanger GPs this morning Tuesday 5th August 2014 at 10:23 hrs. - Robert Callf

While working at Thorley Wash today we saw 2 clouded yellows and lots of small tortoiseshells. Jenny Sherwen

A recent update or two from Stanwell Moor: 20th July: The second brood of Common Blues and Brown Argus has emerged in the open field area between the M25 and the River Colne just north of the A3113. The former were evident in good numbers. Also seen were Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, a couple of Commas, a Red Admiral egg-laying, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Essex Skippers and a Holly Blue.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55207&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55209&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55212&mode=view
21st July: A similar walk today in the same area, with the unusual sight of a Holly Blue female repeatedly settling on a twisting piece of hop. Even more unusually it opened its wings.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55317&mode=view
There were more fresh Common Blues as well.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55319&mode=view
2nd August: A longer walk around my local area today. The day started with a few Speckled Woods and a bright male Holly Blue. The Peacocks and Commas of a fortnight ago have almost all disappeared now, but Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells turned up regularly in a variety of spots and habitat types. There were now even better numbers of Common Blues, and again in several spots, though mainly in the field area as before.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56506&mode=view
One individual had the deficient spotting not infrequently seen on Chalkhills and Adonis, but not something I've previously seen on a Common Blue.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56505&mode=view
There were one or two Brown Argus and Small Heath in amongst them, plus plentiful Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, both species now looking rather tired. However the high point was encountering Clouded Yellows, flying really fast along the path at low level both into and against the wind. How many was difficult to say, but there were multiple encounters, and at least two individuals were seen at the same time.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56513&mode=view
3rd August: a repeat of Saturday, to the extent of meeting the same Clouded Yellow!
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56520&mode=view
However, one addition to the list of species for the weekend was a Painted Lady high and active on a wild Buddleia - no photo sadly. This brings this year's species tally for this area to 24, one short of all those I have seen here since 2009. The missing one is the Small Copper - as I waited until October to see this in 2012, there is hope yet!
Dave Miller

Monday 4th August 2014
A very dry Waterford heath south plenty of common blues and meadow brown, also two clouded yellows and a small heath - Steve Kiln

A few sightings today Monday 4th August 2014 - 1 Small Copper at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 10:00 hrs; 1 Comma edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 10:52 hrs; 3 Six-spot Burnet at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park; 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:06 hrs; 1 Peacock by lower lake Trent Park at 11:23 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Just seen my first Jersey Tiger in Town Park, Enfield this afternoon Monday 4th August 2014 at 15:39 hrs - seen in flight first but then settled in hedge - not too surprising as Diane Andrews reported two sightings to me recently from Wood Green and Crews Hill. Also a Holly Blue in Town Park. - Robert Callf

Sunday 3rd August 2014
Today at Colney Heath we saw several Gatekeepers, a Clouded yellow and a Jersey tiger moth. Jenny Sherwen

Bricket Wood - Brown Argus (5), spotted on the common today, my first records at the site for 3 years. Common Blue (4) seen for the first time this year, plus the first of a new brood of Small Copper (1). Meadow Browns & Gatekeepers are still around in reasonable numbers, but all other species are now in low numbers or absent. Butterflies spotted were Purple Hairstreak (3) Silver-washed Fritillary (3), Ringlet (2), Peacock (3), Brimstone (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Red Admiral (1), Small Skipper (2), Essex Skipper (2), Green-veined White (4) Small White (1), Large White (3) & Speckled Wood (4).Most of the butterflies seen were nectaring with Fleabane, Ragwort, Buddleia & Ling being the main flowers visited. Back in St Albans, my totals of hibernating butterflies in my outhouse are now Small Tortoiseshell 7 (well down on last year) & Peacock 5 (the highest number in 15 years) - Malcolm Hull

Apart from 2 x small white & 3 x large whites 1 x humming bird hawk moths seen on flocks in Bushey garden this evening. - David Gower

Saturday 2nd August 2014
Evening walk with Robin White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield Saturday 2nd August 2014 produced two Painted Lady at Hog Hill and a Vestal in uncultivated field. - Robert Callf

Spent just under 2 hours at Bricket Wood Common sat morning and found= 14 x gatekeeper, 8 x meadow brown, 2 x essex skipper, 1 x peacock, 6 x common blue (1 female), 1 x green veined white, 1 x large skipper, 1 x ringlet. At Bushey garden = 1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x gatekeeper, 1 x large white and 1 x common rustic moth came into bathroom at night. - David Gower

Here are a few sightings for today Saturday 2nd August 2014 - 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 by lower lake, 1 nectaring on burdock edge of Rough Lot); 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on burdock edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park; 3, 2 males and 1 female, Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park. Also found an Antler Moth on thistle at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:01 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 1st August 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. Weather breezier and cloudier but still warm. Gatekeeper numbers now clearly declining. I was pondering this thought as I approached some Ragwort where I'd seen some yesterday. Ragwort has done well this year and butterflies and Burnet moths have appreciated the nectar whilst countless Cinnabar caterpillars devour the leaves lower down. Today on this plant there was still a Burnet moth and 2 Gatekeepers on the flower-heads but on closer inspection both the butterfies were dead, heads and body parts missing with only a small amount of gossamer thread possibly holding the wings together, in surprisingly lifelike fashion, to suggest what might have happened. Here are the live butterflies seen: Meadow Brown: 38 Gatekeeper: 34 Speckled Wood: 6 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 1 Common Blue: 51 Peacock: 1 A few Whites around,distant and small - Pete Gore

Three Speckled Wood in the same area at Lakeside, EN2 this morning Friday 1st August 2014 at 11:12 hrs. 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 near Equestrian Centre, 1 at Water Grdn); 1 Peacock edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park; 1 Green-veined White at Water Garden, Trent Park; 2 male Common Blue (1 at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 at Park Farm, Enfield); 1 Purple Hairstreak edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park; 2 male Brimstone (1 edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park nectaring on burdock at 13:34 hrs, 1 edge of Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase nectaring on thistles at 13:50 hrs). Also yesterday Robin White reported a Clouded Yellow at Vicarage Farm, Enfield in field just E of Shaws Wood (TQ2996) and The Vestal in the same field. - Robert Callf

First Brown Argus of the year at Norton Green this morning in the field SE of Watery Grove. - Peter Clarke

I had a walk at South Mimms Wash Lane Common this afternoon, bemoaning the lack of butterflies, when a bright Clouded Yellow flew quickly past me (a Hertfordshire first this year for me). Other butterflies seen were 1 Comma, 1 Peacock, 2 Gatekeeper, 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Large White and 4 Small White - Terry Wood

July 2014

Thursday 31st July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Similar conditions to yesterday so the butterflies likewise, but one worth mentioning was my first Tortoiseshell for quite some time.This was a fresh-looking specimen drawn,like its predecessor some weeks ago and sundry Peacocks since, to the two burn-out cars that still adorn the central Marshalling Yards area.I assume that the attraction here is that they're large raised vantage points in an otherwise flat tree-less area rather than any unlikely mineral benefits available on or near them.Here are my details: Gatekeeper: 44 Meadow Brown: 38 Speckled Wood: 2 Comma: 1 Green-Veined White: 4 Common Blue: 44 Tortoiseshell: 1 Small Skipper: 2 Holly Blue: 1 - Pete Gore

Midday today (31 July) at Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead, walking west from the CP: 1 male Clouded Yellow (flew east and not seen again), 27 Common Blues, 19 Meadow Browns, 5 Small Skippers, 5 Gatekeepers and singles of Large White, GV White and Peacock. Expected to find more species: warm, intermittent sunshine, light breeze. Vegetation parched, but a profusion of knapweed flowers with encouraging numbers of honey bees nectaring on them. - Alan Jackson

Wednesday 30th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane The walk along the second section of the Crane has now been cleared to make it acceptable to the sane as well as me.Today's walk along this stretch was distantly accompanied by bagpipes playing an adaptation of part of the second movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony (the 'Hovis' ad. to some). Presumably part of a memorial service at the nearby crematorium.A solitary Gatekeeper was all I saw here.These are the rest: Gatekeeper: 62 Meadow Brown: 36 Common Blue: 52 Speckled Wood: 4 Green-Veined White: 1 Small White: 3 Large White: 1 Small Skipper: 1

Midday today (31 July) at Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead, walking west from the CP: 1 male Clouded Yellow (flew east and not seen again), 27 Common Blues, 19 Meadow Browns, 5 Small Skippers, 5 Gatekeepers and singles of Large White, GV White and Peacock. Expected to find more species: warm, intermittent sunshine, light breeze. Vegetation parched, but a profusion of knapweed flowers with encouraging numbers of honey bees nectaring on them. - Alan Jackson


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