Butterfly Conservation

Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch

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Latest Sightings for 2016

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

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August 2016

Tuesday 30th August 2016
In our Hatfield garden today 3 bright Small Torts (around buddleia}, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 3+Small White, 1 GV White, 1 Large White, 1 bright Silver-washed Fritillary (seems unlikely, but our back gardens are like a long, broad stretch of open woodland with tall trees & shrubs, Green Lanes is a stretch of tall woodland & Great Braitch Lane round the corner is effectively ancient native woodland. Symonshyde Wood isn't far away & I've seen SWFs round Ellenbrook Meadows recently. So we have convinced ourselves!). John Moss.

1 x setaceous hebrew character moth in Bushey garden tonight - David Gower

Today 30 Aug, a S.T. was seen at TL163 288 Offley Bottom Farm, Carters Lane, Hitchin, flying near the lane and then across the stubble fields. Also at Pirton Village, a residential area Darefield Road, (off Priors Hill) a S.T. flew across the gardens there. - Val Fullforth

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A sunny afternoon walk producing what is, I think, a first for me in that I have sightings of Brown Argus some way ahead of all other species even allowing for unidentified Whites: Small Heath: 8 Speckled Wood: 8 Comma: 2 Brown Argus: 18 Meadow Brown: 8 Common Blue: 4 Small White: 1 Holly Blue: 2 Green-Veined White: 1 Large White: 1 - Pete Gore

Re BC asking for news of STs, I have had a week of 3 or 4 visiting my garden in Tring each day, all in good condition. There have been 1 or 2 red admirals daily over the same period. John Scafe

A rather dried-up and crispy Nomansland Common had few butterflies on show apart from 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Heath, 2 Small White, 3 Common Blue and 1 Small Copper (my first sighting of the year!). Quite a few crambids flitting amongst the dried grass stems, all that I caught up with being Agriphila geniculea - David Hunt

1 female Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 09:35 hrs - Robert Callf.

Monday 29th August 2016
Monday 29th August 2016 - 2 Small Heath together at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:06 hrs, 1 female Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:58 hrs, 1 female Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:09 hrs, 1 Antler at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 Silver Y field N of Williams Wood, Trent Park, 1 Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:26 hrs. - Robert Callf

Ellensbrook Fields, Hatfield - 2 Clouded Yellows, 3 Small Heath, 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Common Blue, 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Aldbury Nowers (North section) 1 Silver-washed Fritillary, 5 Common Blue, 11 Brown Argus, 3 Small Heath, 8 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 9 Speckled Wood. Northfield Rd, Tring - 4 Clouded Yellow, 31 Common Blue, 6 Small Heath, 43 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Painted Lady, 3 Brimstone, 1 Red Admiral, 60 Treble Bar moths. Back home in St Albans I noticed a Holly Blue laying on ivy and 3 more Small Tortoiseshells. All the Clouded Yellows seen today were in areas with good concentrations of Birds foot trefoil. So if you want to see a Clouded Yellow, head to a good Common Blue site. Great to see over 50 Small Tortoiseshells in a day and every single one feeding on buddleia. The number of ST's hibernating in my outhouse has also gone up during the last week from 17 to 24 - Malcolm Hull

Today at Cassiobury Park nature reserve 4 x speckled wood, 1 x green veined white, 2 x small white, 1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x red admiral, 2 x mother of pearl, 1 x snout moth - David Gower

Sunday 28th August 2016
Butterfly I have seen today 28/08/16: 1 Large White - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19853029 - David Inward

Moths attracted to our bathroom light from Bushey garden in last evening were 1 x heart and dart, 1 x small dusty wave, 2 x light brown apple, 2 x carcina quercana, 1 x twenty-plume - David Gower

Saturday 27th August 2016
I note that Butterfly Conservation are asking for garden sightings of S T's - One sat on the Hitchin garden garage wall for a while on 27th Aug which I managed to photograph - quite dark colouring and the "blue" edging not very apparent. Val Fullforth

Female Brown Argus in field margin along Leeging Beech Gutter near Water Garden, Trent Park on Sunday 28th August 2016 at 10:10 hrs - Robert Callf

New England Street Recreation Ground, St Albans - several hundred horse chestnut leaf miner moths flying round a horse chestnut tree at 8am this morning. Numbers are well down this year and the tree is still predominantly green and healthy, although there are many leaf mines on the lower branches. Later at Lords Cricket Ground, St Johns Wood NW8, Small White flew over the top of the Mound stand, across the pitch and along the edge of the wicket during England's victory over Pakistan - Malcolm Hull

Friday 26th August 2016
I am somewhat unbelieving myself but I have just seen a Silver-spotted Skipper in my garden (Tring)! Quite probably the only Herts record this year. Took some OK phone images but it had gone when I got back with SLR. - Nick Bowles (pictures and more information on Branch FB page)

Butterflies I have seen today 26/08/16: 1 Small White - TL253146, 1 Gatekeeper - TL253145 both by footpath by Tewin Water Farm, near WGC. - David Inward

Clouded yellow flying south along dried river Ver at Redbourn golf club 3.00pm - Derek Pratt

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Another sunny morning and early afternoon. Several Commas seen looked bright, fresh and colourful in contrast to most of the other fading species: Green-Veined White: 1 Small Heath: 7 Meadow Brown: 22 Comma: 5 Speckled Wood: 11 Large White: 2 Red Admiral: 2 Small White: 2 Brown Argus: 17 Small Copper: 2 Common Blue: 13 Holly Blue: 2 (plus 1 in my garden yesterday) Painted Lady: 1 - Pete Gore

1 Red Admiral by Lower Lake, Trent Park at 09:41 hrs and 1 Painted Lady settled on flowers at Vicarage Farm, Enfield (TQ 304 973) at 10:20 hrs - Robert Callf.

Thursday 25th August 2016
2 Holly Blue on Thursday 25th August 2016 - 1 Town Park, Enfield and 1 Horse Shoe Lane. 1 Jersey Tiger nectaring on white buddleia at Water Garden, Trent Park (TQ 292 975) at 10:30 hrs, 1 male Common Blue set-aside field N of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 10:44 hrs. - Robert Callf.

Clouded Yellow seen in same place south of Watery Grove as on 15 August, at 3:10 pm today - Peter Clarke

Wednesday 24th August 2016
1 Painted Lady probing late Bramble blossom at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park (TQ 288 978) at 09:31 hrs on Wednesday 24th August 2016, also 1 male Brown Argus (newly emerged) nectaring on ragwort with 1 Small Copper (faded and worn) on field near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 10:15 hrs, 1 Brown Argus at Vicarage Farm on field near Shaws Wood (TQ 297 970) at 10:24 hrs and 1 Silver Y here also. 2 Small Heath on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 at Trent Park (1 at 'Old Golf Course' and 1 field near Dew Pond) - Robert Callf.

Stocking Pelham - 10 small tortoiseshells + a couple of whites enjoying the buddleia in my garden - Andy Brown

Painted Lady and Red Admiral on white buddleia in my back garden this afternoon. I also have the blue and mauve varieties of buddleia in flower as well but the white one has larger florets which may account for the attraction. - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A hot very sunny morning walk saw increased numbers but continuing decline in species despite the reappearance of Small Heath at three locations. Two Meadow Browns seen mating. Speckled Wood: 11 Meadow Brown: 17 Small Heath: 4 Holly Blue: 5 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 4 Common Blue: 13 Brown Argus: 15 Small White: 7 Small Copper: 2 Green-veined White: 4 - Pete Gore

Visited my Warren transect this pm in blistering heat in this open site (32C, 100% sun, little wind). Whole site pretty dried up and little standing vegetation left by cattle. Nil return on first 2 legs of usual route, so diverted round flowering Heather patches & Dwarf Furze (beautiful). Recorded 5 Common Blue, 2 Small Heath, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 GV White, 1 Small White (both on flowering Ragwort, 1 Small/GV White, 1 probable Gatekeeper (elusive and tatty). Hope it's cooler next time! John Moss

Tuesday 23rd August 2016
A few sightings for Tuesday 23rd August 2016 - 1 Red Admiral by Lower Lake, Trent Park at 10:01 hrs, 2 Small Copper (1 nectaring on ragwort set-aside field near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 10:20 hrs, 1 at Vicarage Farm, Enfield near Merryhills Brook - Robert Callf.

Whilst river and pond surveying, had a couple of surprise sightings, a close-up view of a Clouded Yellow patrolling fast along flowering plants next to River Pinn near Ruislip Golf Course, Ickenham then half mile away a male Brimstone at back of gardens at Hoylake Cresent (TQ 07 87), also saw 5 Speckled Wood and 5+ Small White here, also one unlucky Small white snatched out of air by a Hawker Dragonfly. Earlier in the day visited Willow Tree Open Space, Yeading (TQ 12 81) and saw a faded Gatekeeper, a Green-Veined White, 5+ Small Whites and 4 Speckled Woods - Paul Busby

Butterfly I have seen today 23/08/16: 1 Small White - Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage TL25322467 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Continuous sunshine! Pleased to see quite good numbers of Brown Argus. The first brood had easy access to a lot of assorted Geraniaceae where last year's fires had removed Brambles and grasses. Around that time though there was substantial fly-tipping in places and I found a large pile of toddler-sized plastic trikes, bikes and cars particularly objectionable. A few weeks ago all of these were removed along with a little topsoil (such as it is). Today four or five Brown Argus chased around the resulting 'bare' patch and I wasn't at all surprised to see the familiar sprouting leaves of Storks-bill and Geraniums in which they were clearly interested if somewhat competitively. Here's the full list,(Gatekeepers more or less finished as usual -not a good year here for them): Speckled Wood: 8 Large White: 5 Meadow Brown: 18 Common Blue: 10 Brown Argus: 11 Green-Veined White: 3 Small Copper: 1 Comma: 3 Holly Blue: 2 Gatekeeper: 2 Painted Lady: 2 Small White: 1 - Pete Gore

Monday 22nd August 2016
Warm, humid and cloudy in Eastcote today but saw a Green Veined White and a Small White at Long Meadow, a further 3 Small Whites in the Walled Garden at Eastcote House Gardens. Onto Highgrove Wood and saw another Green Veined White and 4 Speckled Woods - Paul Busby

Coldharbour Lane, Harpenden: pristine male Clouded Yellow on my allotment at 0910 - flew off south. First sighting there in ten years! Alan Jackson

A few sightings for Monday 22nd August 2016 - 1 female Common Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield near Res at 11:18 hrs, 1 Painted Lady settled on track at Park Farm, Enfield near Duncan's Wood (TQ 288 985) at 11:56 hrs, 2 Silver Y (1 at Park Farm, 1 at Vicarage Farm), 2 Small Copper (1 nectaring on ragwort set-aside field near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 12:52 hrs, 1 male at Vicarage Farm, Enfield near Merryhills Brook at 13:03 hrs). 1 Painted Lady nectaring on buddleia at Oakwood Station on Monday 22nd August 2016 at 15:10 hrs. - Robert Callf.

Sunday 21st August 2016
one very worn male silver-washed fritillary in woods near Hexton (approx. TL105 295) - a new species for this area?? - Martin Johnson

Whilst waiting for the library to open this morning on Sunday 21st August 2016 noticed a Jersey Tiger fly up and settle on orange banner over 61 Church Street, Enfield Town (TQ 325 965) at 11:20 hrs, it was still present when the library opened at 12:00 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterflies I have seen today 21/08/16: 1 Small Tortoiseshell - Woolgrove Road, Hitchin TL194304; 1 Green-Veined White - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19723024; 1 Speckled Wood - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19493037. - David Inward

Watching wildlife is great medicine...after enduring crazy pain for two weeks with subsequent Sciatica diagnosis I finally managed to get out to Aldbury Nowers this afternoon for short walk. Usual friends there to greet me including Common Blue, Small White, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood, but also a new friend. Late to my party this year was my first Small Copper and just as I reached for my camera a Brown Argus decided to gatecrash and a wild aerial 'fight' of two rounds developed ending in a draw with the two settled just inches apart...fun to watch. Who needs Paracetamol? - Chris Hilling

Went to meet a friend in Royston and we went onto Therfield Heath for my first visit there (TL347 401). Weather was a mix of wind, sun and cloud but recorded 22 x chalkhill blue(4 females), 6 x meadow brown, 2 x gatekeeper, 37 x small heath, 7 x brown argus, 2 x small white, 1 x common blue, 1 x small tortoiseshell, 3 x yellow shell - David Gower

Saturday 20th August 2016
A few sightings for Saturday 20th August 2016 - 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield near Ferny Hill at 12:47 hrs, 1 female Gatekeeper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:05 hrs, 1 female Meadow Brown set-aside field near Dew Pond, Trent Park, 1 male Common Blue at Vicarage Farm near Merryhills Brook at 13:45 hrs - Robert Callf

Very windy morning and occasional drizzle at Yeading Brook Meadows but saw a Speckled wood and 6 Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Friday 19th August 2016
Butterfly I have seen today 19/08/16: ! Small White - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19863030. - David Inward

1 male Common Blue still present at Parkside Farm, Enfield near Res on Friday 19th August 2016. 1 Holly Blue at Town Park, Enfield on Thursday 18th August 2016 at 13:14 hrs - Robert Callf.

Thursday 18th August 2016
1 Painted Lady on Wednesday 17th August 2016 at 18:57 hrs settled on track at Vicarage Farm, Enfield (TQ 304 972). A few sightings for Thursday 18th August 2016 - 3 Small White at Park Farm, Enfield at 09:45 hrs, 4 Small White edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park including a pair copulating at 10:37 hrs, 2 Small Copper male and female at Vicarage Farm, Enfield near Merryhills Brook (TQ 297 968) at 10:48 hrs. - Robert Callf

Moth I have seen today 18/08/16: 1 Magpie moth Abraxas grossulariata - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19843030. - David Inward

At Northwood HQ, Sandy Lane 2 x small tortoiseshell. Bushey garden 2 x large white, 1 x small white, 5 x light brown apple moths, 1 x pyrausta purpuralis - David Gower

On my Warren transect, 8 Gatekeeper, 2 Small White, 1 Small Tort, 11 Meadow Brown, 11 Common Blue (incl 3 females), 1 Small Heath, 1 GV White. Pleased to see Blues building up at last. Hot (26C) bright sun, little wind. Still hoping to see Purple Hairstreak, perhaps mid-afternoon not best time. Many large Oaks where I've seen them over the years unaffected by new management regime. In my Hatfield garden today 2+ Holly Blue, 2 Small/GV White, 1 Small Tort. So few butterflies other than Whites this year I haven't reported them. However Holly Blues seem to be doing well. On most days for a few weeks there have been upto 3, probably more, on flowers, vegetation or sniffing around Ivy buds. Probably the best for some years - John Moss.

Wednesday 17th August 2016
Ellenbrook Fields 17.08.16 Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 10, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Common Blue 1, Green-veined White 4+, Large White 2, Speckled Wood 2 - David Wheatcroft

10 Clouded Yellow King George Reservoir - Tony Clancy (please note access to the Reservoir is restricted to key holders)

King George Reservoir, several small Tortoiseshell and a Clouded Yellow later just over the border in Essex at Gunpowder Park, at least 30 Holly Blue and 6 Clouded Yellow including a chase of two (both probably using the Goats' Rue for breeding) also several Common Blue and 3 Brown Argus and 2 Small Heath - Andrew Middleton

King George Reservoir, several small Tortoiseshell and a Clouded Yellow later just over the border in Essex at Gunpowder Park, at least 30 Holly Blue and 6 Clouded Yellow including a chase of two (both probably using the Goats' Rue for breeding) also several Common Blue and 3 Brown Argus and 2 Small Heath - Andrew Middleton

Butterflies and moths I have seen today 17/08/16: 2 Speckled Wood, 4 Holly Blue, 1 Small White, 2 Large White, 1 Green-Veined White - Nicky Line (old railway now path) west Harpenden TL1214 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Walked from mid-morning till afternoon, mostly in sun. Two Small Heaths seen on the Heath in a much-loved spot - the third brood there this year. I've listed three Painted Ladies although once again these were seen flying separately and strongly but well-spaced in both time and space. A fourth on the Buddlejas near the railway again didn't quite meet the time/space definition so isn't included. Any number from 1 to 4 is possible. On the Pevensey loop I had a brief sighting of a Holly Blue about half the normal size although it didn't settle for long enough for me to get a proper look. A second sighting of Jersey Tiger despite it seeming more faded in colour than Monday's was so close to the previous one that it seems very likely to be the same. Once again it retreated to deep shade,this time at the base of a tree where its stripes still meant it was conspicuous. Here is the full list: Small Heath: 2 Meadow Brown: 25 Speckled Wood: 8 Small White: 6 Small Copper: 3 Painted Lady: 3 Comma: 1 Gatekeeper: 5 Brown Argus: 8 Common Blue: 12 Green-Veined White: 2 Holly Blue: 2 and one Jersey Tiger moth. About once a year on my excursions I manage to fall heavily.Why,I ask myself, do I always land in nettles or brambles or, as on this occasion, both? I'd managed to trip over a 2 feet high ant-hill so had a few minutes contemplating thousands of angry ants as they explored my legs, one on each side of their home. I was very glad to see the ants were the yellow variety rather than red ones and equally pleased to discover than a single stem of Rose-Bay was strong enough to help me haul myself out of my contorted bramble-attached position. All this was part of a forlorn attempt to check out a possible Brown Hairstreak site for which the only evidence of the butterfly is my own feeling that it's so difficult to reach that it should be there just to justify my determined efforts. As usual there was no sign whatsoever but the Sloe crop is looking good - Pete Gore

Bookham Common, Surrey- brilliant weather for today's butterfly walk at the invitation of the Surrey branch of Butterfly Conservation - 24 people joined the walk and most were lucky enough to get a view of the single Brown Hairstreak seen. Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady, Common Blue, Silver washed Fritillary and Small Copper all put in an appearance. This is a great butterfly site, located conveniently close to junction 10 of the M25 and maintained by the National Trust. Well worth stopping by if you are in the area - Malcolm Hull

Tuesday 16th August 2016
A few sightings for Tuesday 16th August 2016 - 1 male Common Blue at Parkside Farm near Res at 08:40 hrs, 3 female Gatekeeper at Trent Park - Robert Callf.

Butterfly I have seen today 16/08/16: 1, possibly 2, Holly Blue - hedge by church hall, Churchfields, Hertford TL32861247 - David Inward

Monday 15th August 2016
At around 11:55 am this morning a Clouded Yellow turned up in the field south of Watery Grove - what a nice surprise. Far fewer butterflies than last week at Norton Green with only 3 Purple Hairstreaks - perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places around the upper parts of the oaks bearing in mind a fair breeze blowing from the east. Brown Argus, Small Copper, Common Blue and even a Ringlet were still present with Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and whites in good numbers. - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey Contrasting highlights in sustained afternoon sunshine - the first Small Heath I've seen for a few weeks joining increasing numbers of other small butterflies in the grasslands and a first ever Jersey Tiger moth.This actually behaved rather like a nocturnal moth; I probably disturbed it myself on one of the overgrown shady paths where I expect to see Speckled Woods but actually saw a flash of brilliant colours that for a second or two had me rapidly throwing up all manner of mental images of unlikely butterflies, before it settled deeper in the trees on Silver Birch leaves and its true identity became obvious.I watched for a little while,resisting the temptation to disturb it simply to see the hidden colours.It seemed perfectly happy at rest so I left it there in peace. Here are the full sightings: Meadow Brown:22 Speckled Wood: 20 Green-Veined White: 3 Gatekeeper: 12 Brown Argus: 8 Common Blue: 9 Small Heath: 1 Holly Blue: 1 Small White: 5 Comma: 2 Large White: 3 Red Admiral: 1 and 1 Jersey Tiger moth. - Pete Gore

Some sightings for Monday 15th August 2016 - 1 male Common Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield near Res (TQ 2998) at 09:08 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 09:26 hrs, 1 female Brown Argus at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 09:49 hrs, 1 male Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 09:49 hrs, 1 Antler Moth nectaring on thistle at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 09:51 hrs, 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 09:52 hrs, 2, male and female, Meadow Brown copulating edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 10:26 hrs, 3 Small White near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 10:30 hrs, 2 female Gatekeeper near Dew Pond, Trent Park - Robert Callf.

Sunday 14th August 2016
2 female Gatekeeper, 3 Meadow Brown at Trent Park on Sunday 14th August 2016 between 11:45 - 12:10 hrs. 1 female Gatekeeper at Monken Hadley Common at 12:41 hrs (TQ 266 973), 1 Green-veined White, 2 Speckled Wood here also and 1 Purple Hairstreak (tatty and worn) near Beech Hill Lake (TQ 270 970) at 12:55 hrs, 1 Holly Blue at Chalk Lane, EN4 (TQ 279 964) at 13:29 hrs - Robert Callf.

Butterflies and moths I have seen today 14/08/16: 7 Cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort, 4 Small White, 1 Common Blue on lavender, 1 Painted Lady on lavender - Cambridge Road verge between Rosehill Hospital and ex-Centre for the Arts, Hitchin TL2030 - David Inward

Enjoyed a successful afternoon at Aldbury Nowers today. Started off in lowest enclosure (S1) and findings were 2 x cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort, 19 x meadow brown, 2 x small white, 3 x small Heath, 9 x gatekeeper, 1 x ringlet, 7 x brown Argus, 6 x common blue(1 female), 1 x green veined white, 2 x brimstone(male), 1 x small copper, 2 x chalkhill blue(males), 2 x small/Essex skippers, 1 x silver y, 1 x yellow shell, 1 x common carpet. At enclosure S2 , 1 x brimstone(female), 3 x small Heath, 1 x small white, 2 x meadow brown, 4 x common blue(males), 1 x silver y, 1 x common carpet. Onto S3 enclosure noting 13 x meadow brown, 9 x gatekeeper, 9 x common blue(males), 1 x green veined white, 2 x small copper, 2 x chalkhill blue(males), 8 x brown Argus, 1 x common carpet. Next was top enclosure seeing 20 x common blue(6 female), 47 x meadow brown, 25 x gatekeeper, 10 x brown Argos, 7 x chalkhill blue(3 female), 9 x small white, 4 x green veined white, 4 x large white, 8 x brimstone(4 females), 1 x small Heath, 1 x silver washed fritillary on wild thyme, 2 x speckled wood, on buddleia were 5 x peacock, 2 x red admiral, 2 x large skipper, 1 x dark green fritillary. Surprised no tortoiseshells but pleased to see a few coppers - David Gower

Saturday 13th August 2016
Near Wheathampstead, in a field of mixed scrub / meadow at TL194143: 10 Common Blues, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper, 2 Small Skipper, 10 Meadow Brown, 4 Gatekeeper and 4 'cabbage' whites that never settled for a more specific ID. - Aaron Clements-Partridge

6 Brown Argus 4 males, 2 females in field margin along Leeging Beech Gutter between Water Garden and 'Three-bridges' Trent Park 10:50 - 11:01 hrs - Robert Callf

Butterflies and moths I have seen today 13/08/16: 1 Large White, 7 Cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort, 1 Green-Veined White, 1 Speckled Wood, at least 3 Meadow Brown, at least 3 Gatekeeper - wildflower meadows at Rosehill Hospital, Letchworth TL208308 - David Inward

Back to Merryhill Fields Bushey hoping it would brighten up which it did eventually. Recorded 37 x meadow brown, 1x holly blue( female), 1 x small skipper, 2 x gatekeeper, 10 x speckled wood, 4 x green veined white, 1 x yellow shell. In Bushey garden only 2 x large white, 1 x small white to report. David Gower

Friday 12th August 2016
1 Red Admiral nectaring on buddleia at Dalrymple Close, N14 on Friday 12th August 2016 at 15:15 hrs - Robert Callf

Friday 12th August. Did my Warren transect accompanied by 2 young grandsons, who wanted to meet the cattle and see butterflies. Not much about but pleased to see several bright and very active Common Blues, all male. Totals 6 Gatekeeper, 3 Small Heath, 8 Meadow Brown, 1 GV White, 9 Common Blue, 2 Small White. Temp 27C, 100% sun, quite windy. John Moss

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey/Crane Park/Little Park. A lengthy walk beginning early in the morning and finishing in late afternoon, all more or less in sun. Again the extra areas walked added relatively few butterflies (30), over half of them Speckled Wood. Here Is the full list: Meadow Brown: 32 Green-Veined White: 6 Speckled Wood: 42 Peacock: 2 Gatekeeper: 18 Purple Hairstreak: 3 Holly Blue: 9 Brown Argus: 8 Small White: 2 Red Admiral: 2 Common Blue: 9 Comma: 3 Large White: 4 - Pete Gore

I decided to try to see one more Purple emperor this year, as I couldn't get out until after 1pm I went to Northaw, it being the best chance of a "late" sighting also it's nice and shady inside the wood, set up in the territory at 13.27, chair (no flask!), at 14.05 I saw what at first appeared to be a leaf drifting down through the gap,but it then started to rapidly flap and landed in a n Ash spray, was it an Emperor? shape seemed right but colour was a bright bronze glow which didn't look right, another 20 mins another slow, weak flight across the gap, surely an Emperor, at 14.28 it made a flight and perched in full view I could now see it was an Emperor although not tatty he was very faded and see-through which gave him the strange colouring when the sun shone through his wings, high summer is over. - Laurence Drummond

The following at Ellenbrook Fields 12-08-16 - Common Blue x 1, Gatekeeper x 10+, Green-veined White x 1, Large White x 2, Meadow Brown x 3,Small White x 4 - David Wheatcroft

Butterflies and moth I have seen today 12/08/16: 1 Large White - Grove Road, Hitchin TL19093040; 1 Large White - Bancroft Recreation Ground, Hitchin TL18722975; 1 Cinnabar moth caterpillar on ragwort, 1 Holly Blue, 3 Large White, 1 Green-Veined White - Panshanger Park, near Hertford (Thieves Lane section) TL3012 - David Inward

A Silver-washed Fritillary feeding on bramble along a bridleway just inside Herts on the border with Bucks near Moneybury Hill at Ashridge (N of the monument), grid ref SP 9695 1376 (tetrad SP91 R). Nearby a Holly Blue near Aldbury at SP 965 129 (same tetrad). – Colin Everett

A few sightings for Trent Park 'New Fields' from 11:20 - 12:20 hrs on Friday 12th August 2016 - 1 Small Copper, 2 male Common Blue, 1 Small Heath. Male Gypsy Moth at bus shelter at Enfield Chase Station (TQ 321 966) yesterday Thursday 11th August 2016 - been seeing a few brown moths in flight during the daytime recently which I suspect are this species. 1 Jersey Tiger at Lonsdale Drive, EN2 (TQ 303 960) this morning Friday 12th August 2016 at 09:51 hrs - in a front garden. 1 male Common Blue at Oakwood Park, N14 on Friday 12th August 2016 at 08:07 hrs. - Robert Callf

Thursday 11th August 2016
Visited Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park to see Long tailed Blue. It's currently in captivity but due to be released this morning (Thursday). Hard to tell its sex, but the meadow in the park where it was captured contains everlasting sweet pea, one of the larval foodplants as well as a variety of nectar sources. It was captured while feeding on scabious. The character of this area of the park is very similar to Gillespie Park where this species was last recorded breeding successfully in the 1990s. If it has bred successfully the offspring will be seen in Sept/Oct, which coincides with the rush of sightings in Sussex last year - Malcolm Hull

I saw a white-letter hairstreak near Royston on Sunday. It was in a line of what I think is wych elm at about TL34663880. Andrew Taylor

A Painted Lady and a Red Admiral feeding (separately) on a garden buddleia on the Northchurch side of Berkhamsted, grid ref SP 978 091 (tetrad SP90 U). A butterfly which flew SW past me at speed near Kings Langley two days ago may also have been a Painted Lady. It will be worth looking out for a possible emigration of these butterflies over the next several days, especially during the warm weather forecast for the weekend and early next week. Pay particular attention to open areas and hillsides, and watch for rapid flights to the SW. - Colin Everett

1 x clay triple-lines moth in Bushey garden today - David Gower

1 Red Admiral edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park on Thursday 11th August 2016 at 10:46 hrs - Robert Callf.

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Despite cloudy spells this afternoon plenty of butterflies around and although nothing terribly exciting I enjoyed the sight of a male and a female Brimstone more or less ignoring one another as they nectared close together on Buddleja. Here are today's sightings: Holly Blue: 4 Speckled Wood: 21 Small White: 2 Comma: 2 Peacock: 1 Gatekeeper: 27 Green-Veined White: 8 Small Copper: 2 Meadow Brown: 22 Brown Argus: 4 Common Blue: 5 Large White: 1 Red Admiral: 4 Brimstone: 2 Moths, by the way,seem to be conspicuous only in their absence. - Pete Gore

Seen today at 11:08 at Perivale Wood (Pond Field) (TQ158836) - 1 Jersey Tiger moth - John Eborall

Wednesday 10th August 2016
Terry Lyle caught a Long-tailed Blue this morning at Lockhart Field and is keeping it to view until 5pm today and between 9-11am tomorrow at the Soanes centre near the entrance news via Bob Watts
http://www.towerhabitats.org/wild-things-wild-places/latest-wildlife-reports.htm

A few sightings for Wednesday 10th August 2016 - 1 Purple Hairstreak settled on Bramble near Lower Lake, Trent Park at 09:42 hrs, 6 Brown Argus in field margin along Leeging Beech Gutter between Water Garden and 'Three-bridges' at Trent Park between 09:55 - 10:05 hrs, also here 1 Small Copper and 2 male Common Blue. 1 Large Skipper (rather worn) along bridle path near Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 10:19 hrs - Robert Callf.

White-letter Hairstreak recorded at Panshanger Park by William Bishop whilst looking for galls on elm. First site record since 1997

Butterfly I have seen today 10/08/16: 1 Speckled Wood - Angerland Common, Hatfield TL218062 - David Inward

A few sightings for Wednesday 10th August 2016 - 1 Purple Hairstreak settled on Bramble near Lower Lake, Trent Park at 09:42 hrs, 6 Brown Argus in field margin along Leeging Beech Gutter between Water Garden and 'Three-bridges' at Trent Park between 09:55 - 10:05 hrs, also here 1 Small Copper and 2 male Common Blue. 1 Large Skipper (rather worn) along bridle path near Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 10:19 hrs - Robert Callf.

I saw a Jersey Tiger moth this morning at Willowmead NR, Hertford - Barrie Stockwell

Tuesday 9th August 2016
3 Holly Blue at Gentleman's Row, Enfield Town at 13:21 hrs on Tuesday 9th August 2016 - Robert Callf.

We had a midday walk at Fir and Pond Wood near Potters Bar on Monday and saw 2 Purple Hairstreaks ( my first of year), 2 Gatekeepers and many Green Veined Whites and Meadow Browns. Unfortunately we could not see any Purple Emperors - Terry Wood

The attached pics (see FB page) are of a Silver-washed Fritillary valezina along Old Copse Drive, Ashridge, just on the Herts side of the Herts/Bucks border. I first saw it last Wednesday (3rd) but didn't have my camera. I went every day until Sunday and it always put in an appearance, even in dull conditions, especially in the morning up to around 11am, usually for quite a short time. I am 99.9% certain it was the same individual every time. By Sunday it was fading and had some minor damage. There were up to 9 "normal" SWFs at once on the Buddleia which has an unusual woodland location. There were 12 other species on it over that period. - Richard Harrington

I was joined by Carol Walter at Norton Green at 0945 hours to check on the butterflies at the site. We encountered at least 18 species: 3+ Small Skipper (very worn), 2 Large Skipper, 2 Brimstone, about 10 Large White, 40+ Small White, 30+ Purple Hairstreak of which around 20 were flitting around half way down a large oak on the southern tip of Watery Grove, 8 Small Copper (all very fresh), 2 Brown Argus, 10+ Common Blue, 1 Holly Blue, 1 female Silver-washed Fritillary on buddleia outside Pigeonswick Cottage, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 2 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 40+ Gatekeeper, 50+ Meadow Brown and 1 Ringlet. We spent a few minutes looking for the Purple Emperor, including its eggs and larvae on a sallow but no such luck. Peter Clarke

1 x riband wave and 1 x mint moth in Bushey garden today - David Gower

My first survey of Willow Tree Open Space and Pond Nature Reserve, Yeading, Middlesex; a lovely area of mown paths through rough grassland and small areas of woodland and a pond area adjacent to Grand Union Canal and Willow Tree Marina (TQ1281). Around the pond nature reserve saw 2 Holly Blue, 3+ Gatekeepers, 1 Meadow Brown, 2 Speckled Wood, 5+ Green-Veined White and 2+ Small White, whilst in the Open Space area saw a Small Copper, a Speckled Wood, equal numbers of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns (at least 7 of each), 6+ Small White and 2+ Green-Veined Whites. Later on did managed to see just a couple of Common Blues, one on each transect at Cranford and Lake Farm, London Borough of Hillingdon - Paul Busby

A sunny morning stroll on Nomansland Common resulted in the following: Meadow Brown (many and by far the most numerous butterfly); 2 Speckled Wood; 2 Gatekeeper; 8 Green-veined White; 1 Large White; 3 Common Blue (all males); 1 Brown Argus; 2 Comma; 1 Painted lady (very fresh) and about a dozen Purple Hairstreak cavorting around the oaks. Also, plenty of Silver Y moths. Resisting the distant call of a cold beer, I then went on to Heartwood Forest to see if there were any White-letter Hairstreak around the regenerating elm along the southeast boundary of Well Wood. No luck. Other butterflies seen included many Gatekeeper, a couple of Meadow Brown (the reverse of the situation on Nomansland); 2 Comma, 5 Green-veined White; 1 Large White; 2 Speckled Wood (in Pudler's Wood); 1 very tatty Ringlet; and 3 Holly Blue. Approaching the small pond at the southern tip of Well Wood I became aware of a substantial shadow flapping and gliding its way across the path. Looking up, I saw the owner - a Purple Emperor! It settled in the nearby Hornbeam tree, about 5m up, and sunned itself for a while before leaving and drifting about the adjacent oaks. I lost sight of it for a while but it then reappeared with, to my surprise, another Purple Emperor. They swooped languidly around each other a couple of times and then settled at separate locations in the foliage at the top of the tallest of the three adjacent oaks by the pond. After a couple more minutes, and not being equipped, like all good PE enthusiasts with folding chair, flask and bobble hat, I left for that cold beer I mentioned earlier. One happy bunny! David Hunt

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey/Crane Park. Out early again and a lot of sunshine although back to cloud by the time I was returning. I added an extra loop by crossing Hanworth Road and walking Crane Park out on the Southern/Hounslow side of the river to Great Chertsey Road then back on the Northern/Richmond side with a circle around the island in the middle.This added a dozen butterflies,all predictable - I'll probably need to stray from the main paths if I want more. Earlier the highlight had been three Purple Hairstreaks on the path in front of me with a fourth flying in the Oaks at the same time.Still hard to spot when I knew they were there almost at my feet.It was nice to see the grassier areas looking a bit more alive with Common Blue, Brown Argus and Small Coppers. Here are the details: Meadow Brown: 36 Speckled Wood: 25 Purple Hairstreak: 6 Peacock: 1 Gatekeeper: 32 Small White: 6 Green-Veined White: 10 Common Blue: 9 Small Copper: 2 Brown Argus: 7 Holly Blue: 3 Comma: 2 Red Admiral: 1 Brimstone: 1 - Pete Gore

Ellenbrook Fields, Gatekeeper 13+, Meadow Brown 8, Common Blue 3, Green-veined White 6, Large White 4, Small White 3 - David Wheatcroft

Bovingdon Brickworks, 09/08/2016, 11:30-12:30: 8 Common Blue; 1 Brown Argus (a wandering female, perhaps looking for a place to lay); 2 Painted Lady; 8 Peacock; 7 Red Admiral; 1 Comma; 1 Large Skipper; 5 Small Skipper; 2 Holly Blue; 4 Six-spot Burnet; 6 Speckled Wood; 15+ Gatekeeper; 15+ Meadow Brown; I didn't keep a tally of the Whites but seen all around the site. On 04/08/2016, lepidoptera of particular note were more than 12 fresh Peacock & at least 10 Red Admiral all around the same area of Buddleja; a worn but well marked Pyrausta purpuralis, another Brown Argus and what was most likely a Silver-washed Fritillary (big orange job, zooming through!). Most encouraged about the Brown Argus sightings - hopefully wanders will continue to colonise the site. - Lucy Flower

Butterflies I have seen today 09/08/16: 1 Green-veined White, 3 Common Blue, 4 Meadow Brown, 2 Gatekeeper, 1 Large White - Harpenden Common, Harpenden TL1313, 1 Large White - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19863030 - David Inward

News from Saturday 6th: Visited Cassiobury Park nature reserve, Watford today. Recorded 6 x meadow brown, 6 x gatekeeper, 12 x green veined white, 2 x red admiral, 2 x peacock, 6 x large white, 4 x speckled wood, 3 x comma, 4 x small white, 2 x holly blue, 1 x Essex skipper. Onto Whippendell wood ( TQ073 977) seeing 3 x speckled wood, 4 x small white, 3 x red admiral, 1 x green veined white, 3 x holly blue, 1 x comma, 1 x brimstone, 1 x silver washed fritillary, 3 x gatekeeper, 1 x meadow brown, 4 x large white, 1 x brown Argus. Lastly in Bushey garden 1 x red admiral, 1 x large white, 1 x mint moth, 1 x light brown Apple moth - David Gower

1 Jersey Tiger at Rectory Farm, Enfield (TQ 311 988) this morning Tuesday 9th August 2016 at 08:34 hrs - seen in flight and settled along hedgerow. Also today - 1 Purple Hairstreak at Whitewebbs Wood at 09:16 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Guy Lodge Farm, Enfield at 09:28 hrs - Robert Callf

Monday 8th August 2016
I walked my second Wider Countryside Survey today at High Cross. As I was about to get in my car at home in Ware, a small brown butterfly flew through the front garden and stopped briefly for me to see it was a Brown Argus, my first garden record for 10 years. At High Cross, the number of butterflies seen was dreadful, in part due to dreadful barren field margins, however in section 10, the farmer changes, the margins are full of weeds and flowers, and 4 Common Blue and a single Small Copper were seen. However, the highlight was as I had just crossed the bridge over the A10, where there is a wall of sallow by the embankment, a female Purple Emperor was seen! I stopped and watched for some time but it didn't reappear and needless to say the survey took a lot longer to complete. As a result it became cloudier and by the time I got to Northaw it was almost 100% cloudy and despite watching the assembly area for about 40 minutes, I gave up and came home - Liz Goodyear

My transect walk (hazy sun, but breezy) on Harpenden Common produced a disappointingly meagre haul: 2 Gatekeeper, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Common Blue (male). Nice to see the Speckled Wood as the species has been few and far between on the Common this year

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Out early this morning grabbing as much sun as possible in a walk completed before midday.Cloud and breeze still led to reduced numbers: Meadow Brown: 21 Gatekeeper: 22 Speckled Wood: 12 Red Admiral: 3 Common Blue: 1 Small Copper: 2 Green-Veined White: 5 Large White: 1 Painted Lady: 1 Small White: 4 Peacock: 2 The two Small Coppers, seen separately,were a welcome sight as numbers have been so low all year. The first was on a Plantain flower-head then moved to the top of a grass stalk;the second spent a little time on the scrawniest sorrel leaves around.Tempting to label them male and female accordingly but in truth I didn't spend sufficient time examining either to confirm this. - Pete Gore

After river sampling in the Pinn in Ickenham towards Ruislip Golf Course (TQ 0787) saw a Red Admiral, a Speckled Wood, a Meadow Brown, a Small White, 4 Gatekeepers and 2 Green-Veined Whites. Then over to a blustery Ickenham Marsh Fields and down to the Yeading Brook (TQ 0885) and saw a Small Copper (at last!) , 3 Small Skippers, a Red Admiral, 5+ Speckled and at least 3 small Whites, 1 Green-Veined White and a Large White, also quite faded Gatekeepers (7+) and Meadow Browns (15+). - Paul Busby

A female Silver-washed Fritillary feeding on Hebe in the garden of the well-known 'picture house' along School Lane at Bricket Wood, grid ref TL 1277 0043 (tetrad TL10 F) - v worn but v welcome, especially after six months in Scotland. Elsewhere nearby were Red Admirals (one each) by the River Lodge at Munden TL 1394 0045 (TL10 F) and in Berrygrove Wood near Aldenham TQ 1290 9858 (TQ19 J), and a female Small White ovipositing on unidentified non-flowering young crucifers at Aldenham Golf Course TQ 1318 9908 (also TQ19 J). - Colin Everett

Monday 8th August 2016 - 3 Common Blue, 2 males, 1 female at Trent Park, 5 Brown Argus 4 males, 1 female in field margin along Leeging Beech Gutter between Water Garden and 'Three-bridges', Trent Park 09:17 - 09:30 hrs and 3 Purple Hairstreak together around Ash edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 09:35 hrs - Robert Callf.

Sunday 7th August 2016
Butterfly I have seen today 07/08/16: 1 Green-veined White - path by railway, Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19273042. David Inward

Two small Skippers at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens - Paul Busby

I visited a private site east of St Albans this afternoon and recorded 19 Common Blues, all but one of them males. We have received very few records for this species in 2016 and its second brood should be reaching peak numbers over the next week. So well worth visiting it's favourite sites and keeping an eye out generally. - Malcolm Hull

While reading the excellent book 'Rainbow Dust' by Peter Marren, for the second time, in the garden I was distracted by a large dark butterfly hovering overhead. For a split second I was thinking about Liz's amazing sighting yesterday but as it turned out it was a Peacock - my first of the year in the garden. Now 12 species in all (and the list doesn't include Red Admiral, Painted Lady or Comma) - not bad for a town garden! Peter Clarke

Time spent at Foxholes recently have been fruitless but Friday, on the way back from Foxholes at 1.45, I stopped to look up at the treetops close to Hitch Wood. Immediately I saw 2 silhouettes circling and then flying eastward and upward before losing them. This happened about 5 times before 2.00 with other single sightings in between. One appeared slightly larger than the other but as you know it is a long distance view so colour and shape is not possible but behaviour is consistent with previous sightings - Donald Gregory

My wife discovered a beautiful Red Underwing in our South Mimms garden this morning. Also seen here today several Small Whites and a Holly Blue - Terry Wood

Visited Broxbourne Woods this afternoon in hope of seeing P Emperor (no such luck) but plenty of SW Fritillaries, 3 Peacock, several Gatekeeper, 5 Meadow Brown and various Whites. Most of these were on a sunlit stretch of flowering Hemp Agrimony to left of main ride. Some Frits very tatty, others very fresh. John Moss

2 Holly Blue at Town Park, Enfield on Sunday 7th August 2016. 5 Brown Argus (my first of the year), 2 male Common Blue, 1 female Small Copper ab caeruleopuntata in field margin along Leeging Beech Gutter between Water Garden and 'Three-bridges' at Trent Park (TQ 298 977) and 1 male Common Blue at Vicarage Farm, Enfield near Merryhills Brook (TQ 297 968) - Robert Callf.

Saturday 6th August 2016
1 Green-veined White and 10 Speckled Wood at Town Park, Enfield on Saturday 6th August 2016 between 10:50 - 11:05 hrs - Robert Callf.

Butterflies I have seen today 06/08/16: 1 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Holly Blue, 1 Large White, 1 Comma, 2 Meadow Brown - Rothampsted Park (east part), Harpenden TL1313. - David Inward

News from Thursday 3rd August. Did my Warren transect. Temp 21C, breezy, intermittent sunshine. 7 Meadow Brown, 2 Small Heath, 2 Small White, 4 Gatekeeper,1 Common Blue. Very disappointed at this poor result at peak time. Marbled Whites no doubtfinished, but no sign of Small Skipper, which like others should be at peak. Site now well-grazed & trampled by cattle. Can only think lack of taller vegetation has driven butterflies off. Still loads of grasshoppers & fair numbers of bees etc on remaining large stands of Common Knapweed, but not one butterfly. I doubt whether things will improve this season. Will have to go elsewhere to keep my eye in! John Moss

Having returned from a week's sailing, the family were sitting having lunch on our Ware patio, when I saw this very large butterfly float across the top of the garden at 13:20, loud scream!! It was a Purple Emperor, and about 5 minutes it returned circled the patio and flew off towards the front garden! About an hour later I happened to look out of the bedroom window and saw it was still flying around the front garden, another loud scream and I flew out the house with husband in pursuit with camera (photo taken by him on FB). It then flew onto the pebble dash house front of our neighbours where the photo was taken - Liz Goodyear

Third time I've been to Broxbourne Woods in a row and seen a purple emperor. Last two times it was a female on the right of ride past stream often getting sap from a small oak tree. Plenty of gatekeepers and silver-washed fritillaries as well as an occasional small and large skipper. Yesterday at north pt at Waterford Heath at least 10 brown argus. On south pit plenty of common blue a few brown argus and many holly blues. I am sure holly blue lay their eggs on goats rhue - it has just been cut but holly blue are in areas it is. Plenty of common blues and brown argus at Rickneys - Steve Kiln

Apart from visiting red admirals, large whites and peacocks on buddleia in my garden recently I have only seen one speckled wood in recent weeks and Holly blue yesterday and this morning in my garden. Also yesterday evening opposite B&Q in Hemel there was a huge caterpillar, probably an Elephant Hawk moth. I enclose a link. Type in @photoharvester on Facebook and you will find the image, or on https://www.flickr.com/photos/7392841@N04/28185015313/in/dateposted-public/ - Elizabeth Debenham

Visited Warrender Park mid morning, Eastcote (TQ1087) on way to Odonata surveying for London Wildlife Trust and saw a male Common Blue on the remnants of last years wild flower meadow then a worn Gatekeeper on the old paddling pool community flower bed maintained by local 6th Eastcote Cub pack. In the park saw at least 6 Small Whites as well. Late afternoon visit to Bridgewater fields, South Ruislip (TQ1085) and saw 2 Brown Argus, 4 male Common blue, a Comma, 3 Speckled Wood, 10+ Gatekeeper, 2+ Large White, 6+ Small White, 4+ Green Veined White and a Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Another sunny morning with plenty and varied butterflies: Gatekeeper: 21 Meadow Brown: 36 Red Admiral: 4 Speckled Wood: 13 Purple Hairstreak: 1 Small White: 6 Comma: 6 Green-Veined White: 5 Small Skipper: 1 Common Blue: 4 Brown Argus: 5 Small Copper: 1 Brimstone: 1 Holly Blue: 3 Painted Lady: 1 Peacock: 2 Large White: 2 Although it's never truly possible to be certain, one or two individual butterflies are starting to become familiar, including unusually a Painted Lady with whom I've had a daily meeting in the same spot on the Marshalling Yards for four days in succession. She likes Buddleja, not in itself unusual at all. - Pete Gore

Sharpenhoe Clappers - I joined Dave Chandlers Butterfly walk just over the border in Bedfordshire, run jointly for the Beds and Herts & Middx BC branches. It's a brilliant site, managed by the National Trust, with advice from Natural England. Chalkhill Blues were the most numerous species, I counted 500, though Dave had a count of 800 on his transect last week. Brimstones were also out in force and were jossling with the Chalkhills for the best nectaring sites on the Marjoram. Other butterflies were in much lower numbers with Common Blue, Dark green Fritillary, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Comma, Brown Argus and Small Heath all spotted. On my way home I stopped at a couple of Herts sites. The abandoned nature reserve at Telegraph Hill, near Lilley produced masses of whites - Large Greenveined Small and Brimstone all numerous. Only one Dark green Fritillary, but I was pleased that Chalkhill Blue is still hanging on here with 21 recorded. Despite this the site is deteriorating and it is a source of concern that one of the very few Chalkhill Blue sites in our two counties could be lost. Much better news at Hexton Chalkpit near Hexton where my Chalkhill Blue count was 250. Also 20 Brimstones, all feeding intently and a single Dark green Fritillary. Several Silver Y and Shaded Broad Bar moths were also seen here. Now just finishing a brilliant day in my garden in St Albans with a record for the Big Butterfly Count -Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Large White all on my Buddleia, with Holly Blue on the Hemp Agrimony and Small White fluttering round the cabbage - Malcolm Hull

Early morning walk produced the following sightings on Saturday 6th August 2016 - 1 Purple Hairstreak at Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 08:46 hrs and 1 Holly Blue along bridle path near Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 08:58 hrs. 3 Small White and 1 Gatekeeper at Town Park, Enfield on Friday 5th August 2016 at 13:40 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 5th August 2016
We had high hopes of a butterfly bonanza when we visited Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead this afternoon (5 August 2016) as it was warm and sunny and there was a vast area of flowering knapweed and several fairly large patches of flowering of Solidago. Sightings were as follows: 1 Painted Lady (resting on charred wood from an illicit BBQ), 2 Brimstones (m and f), 2 Common Blues, 2 Small Heaths, 3 Commas, 3 Holly Blues, 5+ Peacocks, 10+ Gatekeepers, 20+ Meadow Browns, 20+ Large Whites - and good numbers of Cinnabar moth caterpillars on the ragwort. Could have been a lot better but, as they say, mustn't grumble...Alan Jackson

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yard/Pevensey. A sunny morning with little breeze and lots of butterflies, most notably half a dozen Brown Argus at various spots on the Marshalling Yards seeming rather lost amidst the grasses and plants such as Yarrow which have grown so well this year,swamping the lower growing Storks-Bill, Bird's Foot Trefoil and Sheep's Sorrel. Here's the full list of sightings: Speckled Wood: 21 Meadow Brown: 35 Green-Veined White: 12 Purple Hairstreak: 3 Gatekeeper: 23 Holly Blue: 6 Small White: 5 Red Admiral: 5 Brown Argus: 6 Common Blue: 2 Comma: 3 Peacock: 2 Painted Lady: 1 Large White: 1 Small Copper: 1 - Pete Gore

A couple of Holly Blues by roadside trees in Feltham (TQ1076) by railway bridge. - Paul Busby

A few sightings for Friday 5th August 2016 - 1 Speckled Wood at Park Farm, Enfield at 09:55 hrs, 1 Painted Lady nectaring on burdock edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park at 10:30 hrs - pristine condition, 4 Peacock at Trent Park - nectaring on thistles at 'Old Golf Course' and on Burdock edge of Moat Wood, 1 Antler Moth nectaring on ragwort at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 female Large White nectaring on thistles at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 2 Green-veined White (1 at Park Farm, 1 at Trent Park). 1 Comma nectaring on buddleia at Water Garden, Trent Park at 11:04 hrs, 1 Purple Hairstreak at Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 11:10 hrs - Robert Callf.

Sketty Road, Enfield - Jersey Tiger flying around in daylight this morning (5/8/16). - Phil Rhodes

Butterflies I have seen today 05/08/16: at least 3 Meadow Brown, at least 3 Gatekeeper, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood - south part of field off Southern Way, Letchworth TL210339, 1 Brimstone - Southern Way, Letchworth TL21243379, 1 Small White, 1 Large White - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL198303 - David Inward

This morning 1 x vapourer moth on window in Bushey garden. At Northwood HQ 1 x small copper on flowers in large flower basket( my first this year). At Merryhill this evening 1 x purple hairstreak, 5 x meadow brown, 9 x gatekeeper, 5 x yellow shell, 3 x shaded broad bar - David Gower

Thursday 4th August 2016
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Another afternoon walk with little sun until late; Speckled Wood weather perhaps: Speckled Wood: 21 Gatekeeper: 15 Green-Veined White: 12 Red Admiral: 3 Meadow Brown: 17 Peacock: 3 Common Blue: 4 Small Copper: 2 Small White: 1 Painted Lady: 2 Comma: 4 Holly Blue: 2 Brimstone: 1 Whites under-counted as usual, I doubt the proportion of Green-Veined to Small here is a true reflection overall but it has seemed to me for most of the year that Small Whites have been somewhat fewer than in past years - Pete Gore

Back from a family holiday in Cyprus, where it was great to see Swallowtails flying around the countryside. Today visited Wood Farm, Stanmore Country Park (TQ1793) and on a blustery, cloudy afternoon saw at Wood Farm section; finally a male Common Blue, a Red Admiral, at least 10 Gatekeeper, at least 14 Meadow Brown and at least 3 Small White. Then onto Pear Wood and in the Orchard area completed a 15 minute Big Butterfly Count (3 species, 8 butterflies) and then onto Grims Dyke path through a clearing in the wood and was surprised to see a Painted Lady and another 2 Gatekeeper and 3 Meadow Brown. Onto Ten Acre Field full of thistles, stinging nettles, bramble, Goats Rue and Dock and saw another 2 Red Admiral, a Comma, a Small White, a couple of Gatekeepers and a Green Veined White. Returning by the fishing lake and field/copse south of Pear Wood to see another Red Admiral, at least 4 Gatekeepers and another 5+ Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Butterflies I have seen today 04/08/16: 1 Meadow Brown - Southern Way, Letchworth TL21143412, 1 Ringlet, 4 Gatekeeper - field off Southern Way, Letchworth TL21043405 - David Inward

A few sightings for Thursday 4th August 2016 - 2 Green-veined White mud-puddling along Leeging Beech Gutter at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:15 hrs, 1 Six-spot Burnet at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park - looking worn, 1 Peacock at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:26 hrs, 1 Red Admiral along bridle path near Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 12:58 hrs - Robert Callf.

The following seen at Ellenbrook Fields 01-08-16: Gatekeeper x 10+ Meadow Brown x 7+ Ringlet x 8+ Large Skipper x 1 - David Wheatcroft

Wednesday 3rd August 2016
Today 3rd August 2016 Broxbourne Wood. Down 'lane' from west car park. 3 Female Purple Emperors feeding on tree sap (?) in oak tree about 10 m up. Needed binoculars to see. Seen from about 12.30 to 2.30 pm. Usually just 1 on sap at a time. Kept getting driven away by hornet-like wasps also attracted to sap. When driven off PE would sometimes go into canopy and sit on a leaf. Alas, no males seen. Weather about 21oC, sporadic sunshine and windy. More activity when sunny. Never came to ground level. What fun! - Vaughn Reade

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. An afternoon with this year's typical mix of cloud and sun together with a stronger breeze than recently. Plenty of butterflies: Red Admiral: 6 Meadow Brown: 30 Ringlet: 2 Speckled Wood: 17 Small Copper: 1 Common Blue: 4 Green-Veined white: 6 Large White: 1 Comma: 5 Small White: 3 Painted Lady: 2 Gatekeeper: 19 Holly Blue: 4 Peacock: 3 - Pete Gore

On 24th July 2016 I released a large butterfly from the fruit cage in my garden at Blackmore End. It flew to a nearby crab apple tree where I had time to take a few photographs before it flew away. I later identified it as a female Purple Emperor and this was confirmed by a member of staff at the HMWT - Kate Aylett

Butterflies I have seen today 03/08/16: 1 Large White, 1 Small White - Brick Kiln Lane east end, Hitchin TL186277, 1 Green-veined White - Black Horse Lane, Hitchin TL189279 - David Inward

Therfield Heath - 9 people joined Sharon Hearle and Alan Beale for today's Big Butterfly Count walk at Therfield Heath. Chalkhill Blues were the star turn with good numbers of males and females seen - I recorded 80, significantly less than previous years. Also 4 Dark Green Fritillaries, 4 Brown Argus, 8 Small Heath, 2 Common Blues, 3 Brimstones, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Large Whites, 1 Marbled Whites, 1 Silver Y, 1 6-spot Burnett plus numerous Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Small Whites plus a few Small/ Essex Skippers. After lunch I added Small Copper and Painted Lady to my personal list for the site - Malcolm Hull

A few sightings for Wednesday 3rd August 2016 - 1 Mother of Pearl Moth at Park Farm, Enfield, 2 Red Admiral at Trent Park (1 Water Garden, 1 near Williams Wood), 1 Comma edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 11:06 hrs, 9 Speckled Wood at Trent Park including 5 together spiralling at Shaws Wood - Robert Callf.

Tuesday 2nd August 2016
1 x small dusty wave seen at Northwood HQ, Sandy Lane today - David Gower

Today Chestnut Road EN36SY and Friday 29th outside Bullsmoor care home in Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield Jersey tiger moths - Brian Dawton

Monday 1st August 2016
A41 Bourne End/Boxmoor (eastbound exit), 01/08/2016, 11:45-12:05: Overcast, breezy and cool but plenty to see. At least 7 second generation Small Blues; 1 Shaded Broad-bar (first spotted 26/7/2016); 1 Pyrausta aurata; 1 Six-spot Burnet; 2 Small Skipper; 2 Large White; 1 Meadow Brown; 1 Gatekeeper. On the westbound exit there was an additional mating pair of Six-spot Burnet. - Lucy Flower

Butterfly I have seen today 01/08/16: 1 Large White - King George V playing field, Stevenage TL239247 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A cloudy afternoon with a few spots of rain, so far from ideal butterfly weather: Gatekeeper: 16 Meadow Brown: 8 Speckled Wood: 4 Purple Hairstreak: 1 Green-Veined White: 3 Common Blue: 1 Small Skipper: 1 Comma: 1 Ringlet: 1 - Pete Gore

Two Red Admirals on Monday 1st August 2016 - 1 at Park Farm, Enfield at 10:53 hrs, 1 at Rectory Farm, Enfield at 11:37 hrs, 1 Comma at Rectory Farm, Enfield at 11:49 hrs. 1 Peacock nectaring on buddleia at Oakwood Station on Friday 29th July 2016 at 15:35 hrs. - Robert Callf.

July 2016

Sunday 31st July 2016
I spent a couple of hours taking pictures at Coppett wood today, on my circular walk from the Colney Hatch lane entrance to the sports pitches and back again I spotted: 1 small copper, 3 red admirals, 1 peacock, 1 comma, 1 holly blue (mud puddling in a dried up pond), 5 large white, 4 green veined white, 6 small white, 13 speckled wood, 16 meadow brown, 14 gatekeepers, 2 large skipper, 2 Essex or Small Skippers. The highlight was the small copper which I have seen there before (see pic)
Small Copper: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/28639287886/in/dateposted-public/
Miles Attenborough

A small group attended the Heartwood walk where we saw 16 species with Meadow Brown and Gatekeepers in the hundreds with Common Blue(4) and Brimstones (2) seen feeding on the flowers while in the brambles Red Admiral (2), Comma(2), Holly Blue, Ringlet (3) and Peacock(3) where seen resting. in the long grass all threee species of whites where seen though only a single Small White along with Small and Essex skippers in good numbers allowing good views for ID and a brief view of a Purple Hairstreak was had and a Speckled was seen in Wells Wood. Andrew Steele

Visited Broxbourne wood again today. I was planning to leave around 2.15 and looking at a colourful bird in sallow tree when "Steve" called out that a purple emperor was overhead and i was lucky to have a glimpse. Other sightings were 16 x silver washed fritillary, 1 x purple hairstreak, 6 x speckled wood, 35 x gatekeeper, 36 x meadow brown, 10 x ringlet, 9 x green veined white, 8 x small skipper, 3 x red admiral, 4 x small white, 4 x peacock, 2 x large skipper, 2 x large white, 1 x comma, 1 x silver y, 1 x brown china-mark which was seen near a pond and difficult to photo. At Bencroft wood were 2 x gatekeeper, 2 x red admiral, 2 x green veined white, 1 x meadow brown, 1 x peacock, 1 x speckled wood. At Brickendon green 3 x gatekeeper, 1 x meadow brown while at Bayford station 1 x gatekeeper, 1 x large skipper. - David Gower

Hitchin Lavender Farm, Ickleford - 2 Painted Ladies, 2 Peacocks and 1 Small White - not the butterfly bonanza I had hoped for, but it was a cloudy afternoon. An interesting site to visit - Malcolm Hull

Seen today at Therfield Heath TL337395. 2 x Dark Green Fritillary (1m 1f) 1 x Red Admiral 15+ Meadow Brown 3 Gatekeeper 20+ Chalkhill Blue - Patricia Clegg

Possible new colony of White-letter Hairstreak found today. Please see my blog below
http://winowendyswildlifeworld.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1
Wendy Marks

News for Saturday 30th July 2016 - 2 Red Admiral nectaring on buddleia at Dalrymple Close, N14 at 14:20 hrs. 1 Holly Blue, 5 Gatekeeper, 1 Small Copper, 1 male Common Blue and 1 Small Skipper at Oakwood Park, N14 on Saturday 30th July 2016 between 15:00 - 15:30 hrs. 1 Gold Triangle and 1 Small Magpie at ASDA Southgate on Saturday 30th July 2016. Some news for Sunday 31st July 2016 - 1 Comma and 1 Purple Hairstreak edge of Church Wood, Trent Park and 1 Holly Blue and 1 Antler Moth nectaring on ragwort edge of Triangular Wood, Trent Park - Robert Callf.

Butterflies I have seen today 31/07/16: 1 Green-Veined White - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19583028, 1 Green-Veined White - Triangle Community Garden, Hitchin TL19023021, 1 Meadow Brown - Ransomes Recreation Ground, Hitchin TL19053002 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A morning walk with a reasonable amount of sunshine. Red Admirals are still appearing frequently, I had a small increase in Common Blue sightings and a first ever (I think) of Purple Hairstreak in the Oaks alongside the River Crane. I spent a little time looking at the trees on the Heath where I saw a possible White Letter Hairstreak earlier in July and at least established in my own mind that several are Wych Elm suckers. Unfortunately there are clear signs of Dutch Elm disease too so I'm not really sure I'm any closer to the butterfly. More exploring next year I think. Here are today's sightings: Red Admiral: 7 Small Skipper: 2 Meadow Brown: 29 Speckled Wood: 13 Gatekeeper: 29 Purple Hairstreak: 3 Comma: 6 Holly Blue: 2 Large White: 1 Green-Veined White: 6 Common Blue: 3 Small White: 4 Peacock: 1- Pete Gore

Saturday 30th 2016
We were at Panshangar Park on Saturday 30th July for the Festival of Wildlife and were lucky enough to see a Purple Emperor near Broadwater Lake. - Paul Thrush

St Albans - at last, butterflies starting to take an interest in buddleia. Those in my and my neighbours garden had Painted Lady, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, at least 6 Large Whites and Small White at lunchtime today. Also at lunchtime the count of Small Tortoiseshells already in hibernation had risen to 15. Bricket Wood Common - 9 Silver washed Fritillaries, my best total of the year so far for this site. Included a couple of females, one of which was searching for violets on the ground near scrub, but 10 meters from the nearest large tree. I disturbed a couple of Brimstones who appeared to be attempting mating and then engaged in a courtship dance - more evidence to suggest they are attempting a second brood at this site - Malcolm Hull

Went to Ruislip woods today. Around oaks and along outer path at St Vincent's spotted 2 x purple hairstreak, 10 x speckled wood, 1 x large white, 2 x gatekeeper, 1 x peacock, 2 x green veined white, 1 x yellow shell , 3 x mother of pearl. In Park wood 1 x red admiral, 7 x gatekeeper, 1 x speckled wood, 2 x ringlet, 4 x small skipper, 8 x meadow brown, 1 x peacock, 1 x shaded broad bar, 1 x straw dot. Found 2 x gatekeeper, 7 x meadow brown, 1 x speckled wood, 1 x green veined white at Poor's Field. Lastly in Copse wood 2 x holly blue, 2 x white admiral, 7 x speckled wood, 15 x green veined white, 1 x peacock. - David Gower

I saw several small heath, several dark green frittilaries, one brimstone, multiple chalk hill blues, argus brown , lots of meadow browns, 1 solitary marbled white, and lots of whites. And most unusually a hummingbird hawk moth. - Laurie Browne

Clouded Yellow at Ellenbrook TL20540866. Also Marbled White nearby - Rupert Pyrah

Butterfly and moth I have seen today 30/07/16: 1 Leopard Moth Zeuzera pyrina - St Faiths Close TL19843030, 1 Comma - by path north of Osprey Lake, Panshanger Park TL298125 - David Inward

Friday 29th 2016
I had a Jersey Tiger Moth in my garden resting on my bungalow today. I live in Sawbridgeworth, Herts. - Tina Carter

1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield on Friday 29th July 2016 during a shower at 11:49 hrs. 1 female Green-veined White along bridle path near Merryhills Brook at Trent Park at 13:05 hrs - Robert Callf.

Butterflies I have seen today 29/07/16: 1 Small White - Kershaws Hill, Hitchin TL189288, 1 Comma, 1 Gatekeeper - St Andrews Place, Hitchin TL187289 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. I delayed until late afternoon but still encountered very dark skies and a rain-shower so butterfly sightings quite good in context: Gatekeeper: 24 Meadow Brown: 23 Speckled Wood: 5 Peacock: 1 Ringlet: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 Small White: 5 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 1 - Pete Gore

Seen in Bushey garden today 1 x red admiral, 1 x light brown apple moth, 1 x endotricha flammealis moth - David Gower

Thursday 28th 2016
Lots of chalkhill blues, a few marbled white, common blue, meadow brown, small skippers and several gatekeepers at Hexton Chalk Pit yesterday, despite the showers. Fingers crossed for good weather for our butterfly walk this afternoon! A belated record, we saw a couple of purple hairstreaks on the oaks to the west of King's Lake at Panshanger Park last Friday - Jenny Sherwen

At Northwood HQ, Sandy Lane 1 x red admiral, 1 x small tortoiseshell. In Bushey garden 1 x red admiral, 1 x gatekeeper - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Another sunny morning with large numbers flying: Meadow Brown: 36 Purple Hairstreak: 4 Gatekeeper: 52 Speckled Wood: 12 Green-Veined White: 11 Comma: 3 Red Admiral: 6 Small White: 14 Ringlet: 4 peacock: 5 Small Skipper: 4 Common Blue: 1 Large White: 2 - Pete Gore

We were really pleased with our sightings from Bricket Wood Common this morning, mainly along the gas pipeline clearing. The weather was warm, with sunny spells. The butterflies were just warming up and very cooperative for identification! We saw Silver Washed Fritillary 6, White Admiral 5, Meadow Brown 1, Comma 1, Small White 4, Large White 1, Green Veined White 2, (lots of whites but not able to ID all of them), Ringlet 3, Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 2, Gatekeeper 1, Small Heath 2 - Mandy Floyd

27.07.16 - weedy field, Batford - 8 PURPLE HAIRSTREAKS flitting between both oak trees located beyond the weedy field aligning the public footpath, best seen after 18.00. 08.07.16 - Weedy field, Batford - Late News due to ID issues - 1 Oak Eggar caterpillar crossing main public footpath by B653 next to weedy field - Darin Stanley

Wednesday 27th 2016
3 x red admirals on buddleia in Bushey garden this evening - David Gower

Some sightings for Wednesday 27th July 2016 - 1 Six-spot Burnet (fresh) at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 male Essex Skipper at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ 2898), 2 Purple Hairstreak at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ 2998), 1 Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm on edge of Williams Wood at 13:42 hrs, 1 male Brimstone at Allotments, Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 14:10 hrs - Robert Callf.

Walked through Tunnel Gardens in Bounds Green tonight at around 6.00pm, 7 gatekeepers, 4 specked wood, 2 large whites. - Miles Attenborough

Hexton Chalk Pit on Sunday 24th...hundreds of Chalk Hill Blues, 20 plus fresh Brown Argus, 10-15 DG Frits, gatekeeper, plenty of Large Whites and superb wild flowers. Robin and Sandra Smith

Tuesday 26th 2016
On my Warren transect, despite warm (21C), still but cloudy weather, worst July showing ever - 21 Meadow Brown, 7 Gatekeeper, 3 Small/Gv White, 4 Small Skipper, 1 Large White , 1 Small White, 2 Marbled White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue 1. Surely this isn't just the result of the cold/wet May. John Moss.

Some sightings for Grovelands Park, Southgate this afternoon Tuesday 26th July 2016 - 8 Speckled Wood, 4 Gatekeeper, 2 Essex Skipper, 1 Small Skipper and 1 female Meadow Brown - Robert Callf.

Butterfly I have seen today 26/07/16: 1 Large White - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19823030 - David Inward

During a late morning walk from Cassiobury Park (Watford) to Whippendell Wood sighted near a wide, sunny woodland path intersection in the wood, 1 White Admiral, 3 red admirals (congregated all together on the grass)1 comma and 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries. Location TQ07856 97932. - Brendan Sheridan

My first second-brood Brown Argus of the year in the field near Bareleigh, Aston at 11:20 am. - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Here's my latest from this morning,including,at last,the first male Common Blue of the month: Meadow Brown: 31 Speckled Wood: 13 Purple Hairstreak: 2 Gatekeeper: 36 Comma: 4 Small White: 13 Red Admiral: 3 Ringlet: 2 Common Blue: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 Holly Blue: 3 Painted Lady: 1 Peacock: 1 Small Skipper: 1 - Pete Gore


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