Butterfly Conservation

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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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May 2016

Thursday 26th May 2016
Bedfont Lakes north part, I managed an extended lunch hour out of work today and had a wander along the path by the railway. Common Blues were out at last, but I saw several Holly Blues as well confusingly nectaring on vetches and apparently looking to lay eggs on them. At the spot where I'd seen a Green Hairstreak on 14th, I found two more, including a female looking to lay on Birds-foot Trefoil. I would say that the area has been successfully colonised from the other side of the railway, and with luck may spread all along this path and perhaps into other parts of the park. Close to the Hairstreaks, I also found another surprise - the first Large Skipper of the season. Normally they would appear here in June, so a week or so early with everything else late. The tally for the walk: Common Blue - 5+ Holly Blue - 4 Orange Tip - 5+ GVW - 2 Brimstone - 2 Green Hairstreak - 2 Speckled Wood - 1 Large Skipper - 1
Dave Miller

Visited Northaw Great Wood (TL 280 042) and recorded the following - 7 Speckled Yellow including one settled in grass at 09:12 hrs and 2 Brown Silver-line, also 1 Speckled Wood at 11:55 hrs - Robert Callf.

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A beautiful morning when butterflies and moths seemed to go out of their way to confuse: A group of Gorse bushes I've been watching for weeks finally had its first visitor, moving from leaf-tips to leaf-tips. It was a Holly Blue. A little later a butterfly fluttering around Bird's Foot Trefoil turned out to be a Green Hairstreak. Mother Shipton moths aren't at all choosy as long as it's yellow: one on Hawkbit, two on Bird's Foot Trefoil and they seem to enjoy butterfly company, providing considerable distraction to their human observer. I spent much of the walk in a spirit of anticipation without ever quite knowing what it was I should anticipate. In the end perhaps it was the Small Heath which was a somewhat belated first of the year and thankfully behaved just like a Small Heath. Here are the details: Tortoiseshell: 1 Brimstone: 1 Green-Veined White: 6 Small White: 4 Comma: 1 Peacock: 4 Orange-Tip: 4 Speckled Wood: 2 Large White: 2 Holly Blue: 4 Small Copper: 1 Green Hairstreak: 5 Common Blue: 8 Small Heath: 1 and 3 Mother Shipton plus 1 Cinnabar moth. - Pete Gore

An afternoon ramble around Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead, produced 5 Brimstone (3 female, 2 male); 3 Green-veined White; 2 Small White; 7 Orange Tip (5 males, 2 females); 1 Peacock; 2 Common Blue (both males); and a single Small Heath. No Small Copper, despite their abundance last autumn and, somewhat surprisingly, no Speckled Wood yet. A host of undetermined micro moths were whizzing around the gorse bushes.
David Hunt

Wednesday 26 May. Upto 3 Holly Blue in my Hatfield garden most days. Only other species lately 2 Small/GV Whites, seen from window and vanished by the time I got to the door. My grandson says he's seen "lots" of Whites around Green Lanes School grounds. They certainly pass along the hedge opposite us - John Moss

Wednesday 25th May 2016
Just back from walking my dog, thought I would investigate the footpath behind the Rose Garden at Chiswell Green. I wasn't disappointed! I counted, without any difficulty, over 50 roosting Small Blues on the long grass which is growing by the fence, I went round the corner into the field and followed the fence where there were still more. Thanks to Clive Burrows for spotting them in the first place, it was very exciting to find so many in such a short space of time. No kidney or horseshoe vetch or birdsfoot trefoil to be seen on that side of the fence though - Mandy Floyd

Tuesday 24th May 2016
Some sightings for Tuesday 24th May 2016 - 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Park Farm, Enfield at 13:01 hrs, 1 Large White edge of Duncan's Wood at Park Farm, Enfield at 13:08 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at South Barvin Farm, Enfield at approx TQ 283 992, at 13:38 hrs, 2 Speckled Wood at Vault Hill Wood, Enfield Chase at approx TQ 283 991 at 13:45 hrs, 1 Peacock at Vault Hill Wood at 14:01 hrs, 1 Comma at Little Beechill Wood, Enfield at 14:10 hrs, 1 Large White at Little Beechill Wood at 14:11 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood at Park Farm, Enfield at 14:46 hrs, 1 Peacock at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 15:22 hrs, also identified Longhorn Beetle (Anaglyptus mysticus) along Salmon Brook at Park Farm - Robert Callf

Another holly blue in Bushey garden late afternoon. Still waiting to record a different species here! - David Gower

Rickneys, 15 Grizzled Skipper including in areas previously not recorded, 1 egg on Common Agrimony, also seen were Small Copper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Heath and a Peacock and Cinnabar and Burnet Companion moths. We also found a White-letter Hairstreak larvae about to pupate. Weather wasn't brilliant so numbers could have been even higher. Later at Frogmore in relatively improved conditions we saw 23 Grizzled Skippers including a female lurking low on hawthorn. Also recorded were Brown Argus and Common Blue including a mating pair of Common Blue. Also Cinnabar and Burnet Companion moths - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

Tring Park - Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, 2 Red Admirals - Malcolm Hull, Mandy Floyd, Nick Bowles, Martin Hicks, Sarah Meredith

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Sunshine for the first half only,with butterfly numbers reduced accordingly: Holly Blue: 4 Small White: 3 Large White: 1 Peacock: 1 Orange-Tip: 1 Speckled Wood: 1 Small Copper: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 Common Blue: 2 - Pete Gore

Monday 23rd May 2016
A few sightings for Monday 23rd May 2016 - 1 Small Copper Sect 1, Trent Park at 14:45 hrs, 2 Small Heath together Sect 8, Trent Park at 15:01 hrs, 1 Green-veined White edge of Church Wood, Trent Park at 15:30 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Park Farm, Enfield at 16:55 hrs - Robert Callf.

Nice to see the Small Blues at Chiswell Green (Butterfly World) site have spread outside along public footpath land and fields. Managed to count 21 individuals in half an hour today this afternoon. - Clive Burrows

Another few days-worth of sightings from my local patch at Stanwell Moor.
Thursday 19th May (late afternoon)
There was a bit of watery sunshine after I finished work, so it was worth a quick trip out. Holly Blue - 7 GVW - 6 Small Heath - 4 Orange Tip - 2 Red Admiral - 2 Peacock - 1
Saturday 21st May (lunchtime)
Very little sunshine, just some quite warm brightness. Holly Blue - 4 GVW - 4 Speckled Wood - 2 Orange Tip - 1 All the Holly Blues were female, and opened up quite readily under the overcast skies. One was quite fresh. One of the others was seen flying in the rain that started around three o'clock.
Sunday 22nd May (lunchtime) Much sunnier than Saturday. Small Heath - 10+ This species is emerging well across a wide area now. Holly Blue - 7 I spotted a blue butterfly flying way out in the open over the field/meadow area, fluttering between clumps of what I think is lucerne. I was expecting this to be the first Common Blue of the year, but it was in fact another Holly Blue, and it was apparently egg-laying on the lucerne.
Speckled Wood - 4
GVW - 5+ Large White - 3 Orange Tip - 5+ Peacock - 1 Red Admiral - 1 - Dave Miller

A better day on Harpenden Common with 1 female Brimstone, 5 Green-veined White, 1 male Orange Tip, 1 Peacock, 1 male Common Blue, 3 Holly Blue and 1 Small Yellow Underwing. My south Harpenden garden produced the usual Orange Tip (1 male) and Holly Blue (1 female, 1 male) - David Hunt

Behind Hillbrow, Letchworth Garden City. Went up there about 4pm. 3 Small Blues, 4 Brimstones, 2 male Orange-tips, 5 assorted Whites in flight and a Small Yellow Underwing moth. - Jill Sawyer

At last on my third visit to Hillbrow at Letchworth this year I found Small Blues. Four in the upper field mostly around the grass near the hedge and two on the track below the hedge. The kidney vetch here is small and only a few plants are in bud, on the Baldock bypass the vetch is knee height and in full flower and there were no Small Blues at any point near the bypass or at Clothall Common. 17 Small Heath at Clothall Common at the base of the slope near the houses. Otherwise a few Brimstone, Holly Blue, Orange Tip and single Peacock, Common Blue, Large White in the Letchworth/Baldock area - Andrew Wood

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A pleasant sunny morning with good numbers and variety of butterflies. Slightly surprised to see a rather worn looking Comma still around: Speckled Wood: 6 Large White: 3 Small Copper: 1 Holly Blue: 6 Green Hairstreak: 2 Orange-Tip: 5 Green-Veined White: 2 Small White: 3 Common Blue: 3 Comma: 1 Brown Argus: 2 Peacock: 2 Brimstone: 2 - Pete Gore

A Red Admiral was out and about in St James's Park this morning at 08:45 - Frank Nugent

Sunday 22nd May 2016
Purwell Nine Springs nature reserve, Hitchin. 1 Holly Blue, 1 Comma, 1 Peacock, 1 Green-veined White 2 male Orange-tips - Jill Sawyer

A few sightings for Sunday 22nd May 2016 - 2 Small Copper and 1 Burnet Companion at Oakwood Park (all E of 10 km line which divides site) and 1 Holly Blue at Grovelands Park at 14:30 hrs - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Despite the frustration once again of spending the first two thirds of my walk in cloudy conditions and the return through suburban streets in full sun, this was an enjoyable walk overall with plenty of variety.The Green Hairstreaks on the Heath were easy to see and watch and included for the first time this year two in the same spot.What I presume were females crawled slowly,reluctant to fly,around fresh leaf tips of Gorse and Broom. Just before leaving the Heath for home I spent a little time on my knees admiring the intricate patterns on a Mother Shipton moth as it nectared on a Buttercup.It eventually flew strongly away and I made a mental note of how like a butterfly it seemed in flight. Here are my full details: Orange-Tip: 4 Large White: 4 Small Copper: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 Common Blue: 2 Holly Blue: 6 Brown Argus: 3 Small White: 5 Red Admiral: 2 Green Hairstreak: 4 Brimstone: 1 and 1 Mother Shipton moth - Pete Gore

At St Albans this afternoon and passed a male and female holly blue together on same leaf in St Peters Street(TL146 068). Later on 2 more holly blues in Russell Avenue garden. Nothing at all at Fishers Field this morning but at Water Lane, Watford, a cluster of small tortoiseshell caterpillars on nettles, 6 x holly blue, 1 x male brimstone, 9 x orange tip (5 females), 3 x small white, 1 x peacock, 2 x green veined white, 1 x burnet companion, 1 x painted lady(see Facebook photo) - David Gower

I had a very fresh looking Brown Argus today (22 May 2016) on the dam at Hilfield Reservoir. Note there is no public access (Herts and Middx Wildlife Trust members may arrange loan of a key via the Trust - details on their website). Tony Blake

I saw a Painted Lady on Hampstead Heath today and also 1 (caeruleopunctata form) Small Copper. Though primarily birding I did also note 3 (female) Brimstone, 3 (male) Orange-tip, 4 Holly Blue, 1 Large White, 2 Small White, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Frank Nugent

2+ Holly Blues, M + F very active in my Hatfield garden in afternoon sun - John Moss

Bovingdon Brickworks (TL0002), 11:30-12:30: a visit to check for Brown Argus and Common Blue (still no sign). A bonus incidental was a fairly fresh Small Copper (approx TL00800262) - Lucy Flower

A walk to Rickmansworth Canal Festival through Stockers Lake Nature Reserve and the return trip along Grand Union Canal towpath (TQ0493) and saw 2 male Orange Tip, 2 Green Veined White and a Small White - Paul Busby

Saturday 21st May 2016
Brimstone Moth seen in flight and settled on hawthorn by Lower Lake, Trent Park late morning Saturday 21st May 2016 - Robert Callf

News from Thursday 20th, dull, cloudy, breezy afternoon at Wood Farm, Stanmore Country Park TQ1793 but saw 4 female Orange Tip and a Common Purple and Gold moth. Later early evening, a male Orange Tip, another Common Purple and Gold moth and a common Carpet Moth at Hillbrow, Letchworth - Paul Busby

Friday 20th May 2016
Lucy Flower and I visited Aldbury Nowers today, North and South, primarily to look for the Small Blue, we didn't manage to see any or any evidence of Kidney Vetch, we did cover pretty much all of the site, but of course may have missed some if it's not in flower yet. However we did see several very fresh Brown Argus and one or two unusual moths. I have listed everything below in case you want to use it for the sightings page. Lucy has photos of all the moths if you need to check the ids. Some of her photos can be seen on her blog http://naturalworldnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/all-leps-are-brown.html
Butterflies: Here are our recorded sightings......... Aldbury Nowers North Dingy Skipper 7 Orange Tip 5 Small Heath 2 Brown Argus 5 Grizzled Skipper 1 Aldbury Nowers South Brimstone 9 GreenVeined White Orange Tip 6 Grizzled Skipper 2 Small Heath 1 Moths: Treble-bar (Aplocera plagiata), Mother Shipton (Callistege mi), Small Yellow Underwing (Panemeria tenebrata), Wavy-barred Sable (Pyrausta nigrata) and Common Purple & Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis) - Mandy Floyd and Lucy Flower

2 Holly Blue at Town Park, Enfield Thursday 19th May 2016 at 16:34 hrs. A few sightings for Friday 20th May 2016 - 1 male Orange Tip at Covert Way LNR at 12:11 hrs, 1 male Orange Tip and 1 female Large White at Monken Hadley Common. 1 Small Heath near Cockfosters entrance at Trent Park at 14:06 hrs and third instar larva of Oak Eggar here on path at TQ 284 965 - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Timed it wrong today really. After completing the first two Marshalling Yards loops I had a single Speckled Wood noted. Fortunately I persisted and the sun finally came out so that there was plenty to see on the later half and even a Brimstone in my own garden when I got back. Here's the final details: Speckled Wood: 5 Green-Veined White: 1 Orange-Tip: 3 Small White: 1 Holly Blue: 2 Peacock: 1 Green Hairstreak: 2 Large White: 2 Brimstone: 3 - Pete Gore

Thursday 19th May 2016
Bovingdon Brickworks (TL0002), 13:45-14:45: Dull, grey and overcast the whole visit, also blustery at times (far from ideal conditions). Mainly a trip to check for Brown Argus and Common Blue without any luck. Very little on the wing: 1 Red Admiral, 4 Orange-tip, 4 Green-veined White and 1 Large White. Next stop, the A41 Bourne End/Boxmoor turn off, 15:10-15:40: Still overcast and blustery but glad to see at least 12 Small Blues, including a mating pair, and 1 fresh Burnet Companion moth. The Small Blues were mainly perched, low down in the grasses/flowers (out of the wind, if possible), with their wings spread wide, trying to catch any available sunlight/warmth. The Kidney Vetch is just beginning to form flowers. - Lucy Flower

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Cloudy conditions but still butterflies around: Orange-Tip: 2 Large White: 4 Speckled Wood: 1 Small White: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 Common Blue: 1 (first female) Holly Blue: 3 - Pete Gore

News from 17th May at Great Ashby Park, 6 Small Heath, 2 Holly Blue, 12 Orange-Tip, 3 Peacock, 1 Brimstone, 12 Burnet Companion and lots of Whites.
Steve Lane

Wednesday 18th May 2016
Small Blue seen this afternoon at Aldbury Nowers North. - Laura Baker

Catch up time from Dave Miller.........
1st May Stanwell Moor (afternoon)
Brimstone - lots GVW - 5 Small White - 2 Orange Tip - 6 Holly Blue - 1 Speckled Wood - 2 Peacock - 2 Red Admiral - 1
4th May Stanwell Moor (late afternoon)
Orange Tip - 3 Holly Blue - 4 Plus Orange Tip eggs
5th May Stanwell Moor (late afternoon)
Holly Blue - 16 GVW - 5 (inc. mating pair) Small White - 3 Peacock - 5 Speckled Wood - 3 Brimstone - 3 Orange Tip - 7 Comma - 1
8th May Stanwell Moor (late afternoon)
Holly Blue - 20+ GVW/Small White - 15+ Orange Tip - 10+ Red Admiral - 1 Large White - 1 A very warm evening, with the Whites and Blues very active and difficult to count.
9th May Stanwell Moor (morning/lunchtime)
GVW/Small White - 10+ (Mostly GVW) Orange Tip - 10+ Large White - 3 Speckled Wood - 5 Peacock - 6 Holly Blue - 20+ Today, I decided to concentrate on the Holly Blues. With very hazy (or no) sunshine, but still very warm, they didn't fly so energetically. The males, however, patrolled the hedgerows endlessly, accosting every female they came across - which happened quite often. The females tended to stay in an around the ivy and holly, and I watched several wandering about inside the foliage and laying eggs on holly flowers in quite deep shade. One particular piece of hedgerow containing both plants borders a lakeside field/meadow and was home to dozens of Holly Blues today. (It is also only two minutes walk from home.) The females seemed willing to sit open up a bit today, when they weren't in the depths of the bushes, but the males barely stopped.
11th May Stanwell Moor (early evening)
Holly Blue - 3 Small White - 1 GVW - 6 One Holly Blue was seen flying in light drizzle under overcast skies. It was warm, however.
12th May: Not a local sighting, but you may wish to see this remarkable Pearl-bordered Fritillary aberration seen at Bentley Wood today.
12th May Stanwell Moor (afternoon)
Holly Blue - 10+ Speckled Wood - 6 GVW/Small White - 10+ (Still mostly GVW) Large White - 3 Orange Tip - 10+ Red Admiral - 1 Small Heath - 3 The first Small Heath of the year here.
You have posted my report for both parts of BF CP already, but more detail below, and links to photos.
14th May Bedfont Lakes Country Park (North side) (morning) GVW - 5+ Small White - 5+ Orange Tip - 5+ Brimstone - 5+ Speckled Wood - 3 Holly Blue - 3 Peacock - 2 Painted Lady - 1 Green Hairstreak - 1
Bedfont Lakes CP (South Side) (lunchtime)
Orange Tip - 5+ Speckled Wood - 3 Holly Blue - 2 Green Hairstreak - 1
14th May Stanwell Moor (late afternoon)
Red Admiral - 4 Small Tortoiseshell - 1 GVW - 4 Small Heath - 1 One Red Admiral, one GVW and the Small Heath were all very fresh. The Tortoiseshell, however, was very tatty indeed.
15th May Bedfont Lakes CP (N)
Far fewer butterflies today. Of note was a brand new Burnet Companion moth.
Phew! There we are, up to date - Dave Miller

Tuesday 17th May 2016
Lunchtime break at Yeading Brook working party at Queens Walk bridge, South Ruislip and saw a male Orange Tip, 2 Holly Blues and a Small white - Paul Busby

News from 16th, Did my Warren transect after 10 day gap. Results disappointing - 2 Small White, 2 Peacock, a probable GV White and possible 3rd Peacock. No sign of Small Heath, Small Copper or Common Blue. Very few bees or other inverts except a couple of small moths in shelter of gorse and a St Mark's Fly. I'm concerned that removal of most scrub, bramble and mature gorse from the centre and margins has left little shelter for wildlife. Only the tall north side hedge provided shelter in the chilly NW wind although T was 16C. Buttercup, Pignut, Violet, Tormentil, Common Vetch, Oxeye Daisy, Strawberry and Cuckoo Flower all coming into flower without noticeably attracting inverts. Hopefully things will improve - John Moss

Started early at Rickneys 08:20 and just as the sun had started to warm the site up and the Grizzled Skipper were basking so quite hard to find, but walking the main pit for an hour we found 8 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper and 5 Small Heath. We then went to meet Paul, our track escort from Network Rail so we could survey a section of railway track for Grizzled Skipper. This year was the best ever with 27 records including several chases, two males chasing a female and a female egg laying on agrimony (egg located). We also recorded several Small Yellow Underwing moths, Cinnabar moths, a Burnet Companion, Orange Tip, Large White, Red Admiral, Brown Argus and Holly Blue. (Some photos will appear on the FB page). After lunch we then looked at Frogmore, by now it was a mixture of sun and cloud, so finding activity was hard but we saw 12 although in better conditions we should have seen more. Other species seen were Cinnabar moths, Brown Argus, Comma, Brimstone, Orange Tip and our first 2 Common Blues of the year - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

Some sightings for Monday 16th May 2016 - 1 Holly Blue at Parkside Farm along Salmons Brook at 16:39 hrs, 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm along Salmons Brook at 16:43 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 17:02 hrs, 1 Painted Lady settled at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 17:05 hrs, 2 Holly Blue at Enfield Road, EN2 near Jolly Farmers PH. Maiden's Blush near outside lights at ASDA Southgate. Sightings for Tuesday 17th May 2016 - 1 Holly Blue at The Ridgeway, Enfield near Slades Hill at 10:55 hrs, 3 Peacock at Fir and Pond Woods near Potters Bar, 1 Holly Blue at The Causeway, Potters Bar at 13:30 hrs - Robert Callf.

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Looking for morning sunshine I wasn't very successful but was left with one memorable sighting (a first of the year): As I was about return to the Heath I spotted a Red Admiral flying very rapidly round in circles as if tied to an invisible carousel.Then I noticed it was being attacked regularly from below by a much smaller butterfly.In the end the Red Admiral departed and I was left to admire the aggressor,an immaculate dark chocolate Brown Argus,possibly the smallest butterfly I can hope to see here but making up for its lack of size with lots of attitude. Full sightings: Speckled Wood: 3 Green-Veined White: 7 Small Copper: 1 Small White: 2 Red Admiral: 1 Brown Argus: 1 Holly Blue: 3 - Pete Gore

I managed to get early release from work yesterday so went on a butterfly hunt in Whippendell woods, Cassiobury. I must of seen 10+ male Orange-tip on the wing. I had even more sightings of white butterflies, but uncertain as to name the species. At least some of them would have been female Orange-tip and others Green-veined whites. Came across a Peacock basking in the sun and my first sighting of a Red-admiral this year which stayed put for a close up photo. - Peter Fewell

I visited Hexton Chalk Pit yesterday afternoon for about an hour and a half. Sunny and around 17C air temp. Excellent! Lots of Dingies everywhere and particularly the upper compartment. I should think I saw about 30. Also 3 each Green Hairstreaks and Burnet Companions. I thought the reserve was in excellent condition, scrub under control, just - David Newland

Monday 16th May 2016
At Waterford heath south this afternoon highlights - 4 grizzled skippers in settling beds two mating, three brimstones- two mating, also small heath in open area and brown argus on bank - Steve Kiln

Along the riverside path between Wheathampstead and Water End: 1 Small Heath (at TL197142); 1 Small White; 1 Brimstone; and multiple Holly Blue, Orange-tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined White and Peacock. - Aaron Clements-Partridge

Photographed a Painted Lady on my transect walk this morning in Bishop's Stortford Southern Country Park. I disturbed it and it dived into the undergrowth. Picture will be posted on Facebook - Bob Clift

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A mostly sunny morning walk notable for my first Common Blue (male) of the year, helping to push the day's species into double figures even without much help from the hibernators: Holly Blue: 15 Speckled Wood: 6 Small White: 4 Orange-Tip: 6 Large White: 2 Green Hairstreak: 2 Common Blue: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 1 Small Copper: 1 - Pete Gore

A few of my sightings for Monday 16th May 2016 from 12:00 - 13:35 hrs at Trent Park - 1 male Orange Tip near Oakwood entrance at 12:04 hrs, 3 Speckled Wood (2 together near Oakwood entrance at 12:04 hrs, 1 near Cockfosters entrance at 12:38 hrs), 2 Mother Shipton at 'New Fields' at approx TQ 285 968 - my first sightings of the year and perhaps a few days later than usual? 4 Holly Blue, 1 Small Heath at 'New Fields' 13:08 hrs, 2 Small Copper (1 at 13:17 hrs off transect, 1 at 13:28 hrs in Sect 1) - Robert Callf.

Sunday 15th May 2016
Some sightings for Oakwood Park on Sunday 15th May 2016 - 3 Holly Blue including a female, W of 10 km line which bisects the site, 1 male Large White E of 10 km line which bisects the site, 1 male Common Blue at 14:31 hrs E of 10 km line which bisects the site, 1 Small Copper at 14:34 hrs E of 10 km line which bisects the site, 5 Speckled Wood W of 10 km line which bisects the site. Identified Pyrausta aurata on edge of Conservation Pond at 15:15 hrs - my first record of this species! Also 1 female Holly Blue at Chelmsford Road, N14 at 15:34 hrs Sunday 15th May 2016. - Robert Callf.

In my back garden today, Bounds Green North London. 1 comma, 1 specked wood, 2 female orange tips, 1 male orange tip, 1 green veined white, 15 holly blues. Photos:
Comma: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/26424149513/in/dateposted-public/
Holly Blue: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/27027253555/in/dateposted-public/
Speckled Wood: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/26424050143/in/dateposted-public/
On a walk through Tunnel Gardens green space and back today (Grid Reference TQ292914) : 9 speckled woods, 1 peacock, 8 holly blues, 1 green veined white five male orange tips, 2 female orange tips, 1 male brimstone, 3 unidentified white butterflies and four different shield bugs on one seed head. - Miles Attenborough

A male Brimstone flying along tube line near Perivale Wood (TQ 158 835) and at least 1 Small White on grass area of Marble Arch roundabout (TQ 278 809) - Paul Busby

This morning at Fishers Field 1 x peacock and 4 x holly blue. At Water Lane, Watford spotted 3 x orange tip(2 males), 2 x peacock, 2 x holly blue, 1 x brimstone(male), 1 x small white, 2 x green veined white. In Bushey garden 1 x holly blue and at Bushey station 1 x brimstone(male). - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Sunnier and warmer than yesterday with predictable consequences: Holly Blue: 7 Speckled Wood: 10 Orange-Tip: 10 Green Hairstreak: 2 Peacock: 1 Brimstone: 3 Green-Veined White: 4 - Pete Gore

3 Small White, 2 Orange Tip, 1 Speckled Wood and 2 Peacock, Brent Reservoir - Shailesh Patel

Wendover Canal (disused branch, behind Wilstone Reservoir and in Herts): 2 x Green Hairstreak, 1 x Red Admiral, 1 x Brimstone, 1 x Speckled Wood, 5 x Orange-tip and 10+ Small Whites - Sharon Monahan

At Rickneys two grizzled skippers and my first brown argus and small heath of the year. Also green veined small whites, holly blue and orange tip - Steve Kiln

Saturday 14th May 2016
Bovingdon Brickworks walk, the day dawned cold and as we drove over it was showing only 8d C on the car temperature gauge!!! Not good but the sun was trying and unfortunately as a result the Dingy Skipper had moved on from roosting so we weren't able to find any hugging to knapweed seed heads. We were joined by several Box Moor Trust volunteers and a good time was had by all. Everyone contributing their own knowledge and experience to everyone's mutual benefit. The following were seen: Dingy Skipper 7, Orange Tip 4, Small Heath 1, Speckled Wood 2, Brimstone 1, G V White 7, Large White 1, Peacock 2, Latticed Heath 1, Burnet Companion 1 - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

I did a dress rehearsal today at Bedfont Lakes to see what we might see tomorrow. It was cool, a bit breezy, but mostly sunny throughout. Unfortunately, there were no Common Blues, Brown Argus, Small Copper or Small Heath. However... Walking along the path by the railway, as I passed a big bank of brambles, I spotted a Green Hairstreak. This is the first I've seen north of the railway - it was immediately next to where the southern part of the park also borders the railway line and I imagine it had wandered across. I took one truly awful blurred shot of it, but have the record. Further on, whilst in a futile attempt to take a photo of a male Orange Tip, I was aware of a much larger salmon-pinky orange butterfly nearby. This was a really dark Painted Lady, the first of the year, and a bit of a surprise. Others seen in the park were all the Whites, Brimstones, Orange Tips, Holly Blues, Speckled Woods and Peacocks. I also found a minuscule Orange Tip caterpillar which I should be able to relocate tomorrow with a bit of luck. I also visited the southern part of the park. I headed for the spot where I'd seen the Green Hairstreak last year, but drew a blank. However, I went on further to the other side of the railway from where I'd been earlier, and bingo - there was a Green Hairstreak, and this time I managed a photo. So - all I need to do is repeat all this tomorrow! - Dave Miller (photos on facebook)

At least two male Orange Tips this afternoon Saturday 14th May 2016 at Monken Hadley Common - one possibly two near Jack's Lake TQ270 969 and the other near railway line at TQ 261 970 - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey A sharp temperature drop and intermittent sunshine but still reasonable numbers of butterflies,including a Green Hairstreak on the Heath at last, very near to the spot I first saw one 2 years ago: Green-Veined White: 6 Small White: 3 Orange-Tip: 1 Holly Blue: 12 Speckled Wood: 2 Peacock: 1 Green Hairstreak: 1 Large White: 1 - Pete Gore

Friday 13th May 2016
Today at Danemead I saw 3 orange tip (2m and 1f), a latticed heath and a very faded orange underwing moth Jenny Sherwen

Holly Blue and Orange Tip, Harrow Cemetery - Shailesh Patel

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Breezier than yesterday but a good day for sightings nevertheless, including a Green Hairstreak in last year's fire-affected area, spending quite some time moving around the now much lower growth and apparently interested in unopened bramble flowers. What feels like an annual colourful sighting of a Small Copper on a Buttercup was also welcome and my first Cinnabar moth of the year, this one seen at ground level as I was stepping through the Gorse bushes on the Heath: Holly Blue: 6 Green-Veined White: 4 Orange-Tip: 4 Speckled Wood: 6 Green Hairstreak: 1 Peacock: 5 Brimstone: 1 Comma: 1 Large White: 4 Small White: 1 Tortoiseshell: 1 Small Copper: 1 and one Cinnabar Moth - Pete Gore

2 male Orange Tip and 5 Speckled Wood at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this morning Friday 13th May 2016 - Robert Callf

Thursday 12th May 2016
Loads of butterflies on the wing in Balls Wood: Holly blues, Peacock, Brimstone, large white, green veined white (poss), orange tips and speckled wood - Andy Brown HMWT

Some sightings for 12th May at Aldbury Nowers: 5+ Dingy Skipper, 2 Brimstone, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Heath, 1 Orange-tip, 1 Green-veined White, plus 1 Burnet Companion moth - Sharon Monahan

Late news........Apologies for the tardiness (been away on holiday) but I went to Hexton chalk pit on the 3rd May and saw 4 Dingy Skipper and 1 Brimstone. - Dan Cooper (picture on Facebook page)

I'm a bit behind with sightings at the moment, but will catch up soon! One sighting of note: Three Small Heaths seen today (12th May) at Stanwell Moor - my first of the year. Dave Miller (don't forget the walk being lead by Dave at Bedfont Lakes this Sunday 15th)

First Red Admiral and confirmed sightings of Large White on Cranford Country Park transect today. Then a Holly Blue at Eastcote tube station - Paul Busby

Good news from my Transect at Butterfly World today, 8 Small Blues, the first ones I have seen this year, 6 Brimstones, 2 Orange Tips, 1 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Cycling home I was joined by 2 Holly Blues and 2 Large Whites and an Orange Tip and 2 Brimstones, so at last the weather is improving for butterfly sightings! - Mandy Floyd (Mandy has permission to continue walking the transect to monitor the butterflies)

Bovingdon Brickworks (TL0002), 11:00-12:00: Butterfly numbers are still low around the site, unfortunately. Seen today: 4m Orange-tip, 1m Green-veined White, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Peacock, 3 Dingy Skippers (TL005026) (different specimens, I think, from the 1 I reported on 6/5/2016), 1 Holly Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 4 unknown White species (too distant or fast to identify & still getting my eye back in after the winter!). Still no Common Blue (yet) nor Brown Argus. The latter is the one I am most keen to see after a poor year last year (only c7 specimens in the first brood) and their food plants being accidentally covered during the crucial second brood stage. Bourne End/Boxmoor A41 turn-off, 14:20-15:20: I have been checking this location every weather-appropriate day since the start of May. Today, I was very pleased to find the first emergence of 3 Small Blue butterflies, nectaring on Common Mouse-ear, Grass Vetchling, Red and White Clover, Cowslips and Buttercups. Also 1 Holly Blue and 1 fresh Mother Shipton (Euclidia mi) moth - Lucy Flower

At Telegraph Hill today 3 Green Hairstreaks, 1 Dingy Skipper, 1 Brown Argus and 2 Burnet Companion moths as well as Brimstones and Orange Tips. The site is getting scrubbed up but there is still some Rock rose and Horseshoe vetch where the rabbits are grazing the grass. At Hoo Bit on the other side of Icknield Way 2 Dingy Skipper and 1 Mother Shipton moth. Then on to Hexton Chalk Pit where in a 10 minute walk not going back on myself I counted 23 Dingy Skippers, including a mating pair being hassled by another male. Also 3 Small Purple Barred Moths and 1 Common Heath moth (rare or under recorded in Hertfordshire, despite its name). Also on site Brimstone, Orange Tip and Holly Blue but though I was there for 45 minutes in all no Green Hairstreak . Some photos and video will be on facebook later. - Andrew Wood

A few sightings for Thursday 12th May 2016 in Trent Park - 1 male Orange Tip near Triangular Wood at 11:51 hrs, 1 Green-veined White Sect 8 at 12:03 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood Sect 8 12:03 hrs, 1 Green-veined White Sect 8 at 12:08 hrs, 1 Small Copper Sect 6 12:15 hrs - my first of the year! 2 male Orange Tip Sect 5 'New Fields' 12:20 and 12:22 hrs, 1 Peacock Sect 4 at 12:24 hrs, 1 female Large White Sect 4 at 12:26 hrs, 1 Peacock near Sports Field at 12:37 hrs, 1 Small Heath at 'New Fields' off transect at 12:46 hrs - my first of the year! 3, 1 male, 2 female, Orange Tip along Snakes Lane 13:29 - 13:30 hrs, 1 Holly Bue at Snakes Lane at 13:30 hrs, Adela reaumurella (1 edge of Church Wood, at least 8 around oak, Snakes Lane) - Robert Callf. - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Mostly sunshine again after recent rain. The river was high, wide and fast-flowing. It had clearly flooded across the footpaths and through the Cavalry Tunnel, washing away the fresh wood-chips from the Pevensey path. One noticeable change in butterfly behaviour was that Holly Blues were often to be seen on the bare footpaths, presumably seeking minerals. Whites were a little more settled but mainly Green-Veined including a pair seen mating, the female apparently nectaring on a Hawthorn flower until she flew off, male still attached. Here are the details: Holly Blue: 17 Peacock: 4 Brimstone: 4 Orange-Tip: 3 Green-Veined White: 8 Speckled Wood: 5 Large White: 1 Small White: 1 Tortoiseshell: 1 and one likely Mother Shipton moth - Pete Gore

5 Holly Blue, 2 (M) Orange Tip, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Copper. Harrow Cemetery - Shailesh Patel

Butterflies I have seen today 12/05/16: 1 holly blue - junction of Bedford Road and Grammar School Walk, Hitchin TL18312928, 1 peacock - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19713013. - David Inward

Wednesday 11th May 2016
Dull weather Grizzled Skipper roost counts north of Hertford today. Started at Rickneys and found 4 roosting, all on the Sacombe Road banks. Then onto Waterford Heath north and again only 4 (1 in flight) in the area near to the railway line on the remaining seed heads. At Waterford Heath south, there were 2 on Sacombe Road bank and a further 3 in the filter beds. At Frogmore, the weather started to brighten up and we suspect many had come off their overnight roosting seed heads and subsequently hard to find when it clouded over again. In total we found 4 all but 1 were seen flying. Also recorded here were a Brown Argus, 2 Small Copper, 1 Orange Tip, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Peacock, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Mother Shipton moth - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

Some sightings for you: Sunday 8th May Therfield heath - car layby at entrance to jubilee wood 2 x red admiral Therfield heath - Church Hill, 1 small heath 4 brimstone. Green End, 5 orange tip 2 large white 1 green veined white. Wareside, 8 orange tip 2 comma 2 small tortoiseshell 1 red admiral 3 green veined white 2 small white 5 brimstone. Finally we now have eggs on the buckthorn bushes in the front garden, although not many. (dingy skipper + green hairstreak out at Devils dyke Cambs) - Phil & Oliver MacMurdie

Monday 9th May 2016
A few more sightings for Monday 9th May 2016 at Chase Green, Enfield Town (TQ 322 969) - 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Holly Blue - Robert Callf.

Waterford Heath, 3 Grizzled Skippers (2 North side & 1 South), 4 Peacocks, 2 Small White, 2 Holly Blue, 3 Green-veined White and several Orange-tips. photo links for Grizzled Skippers
Steve Lane

1 Brimstone, 1 Orange Tip and 3 Holly Blue, Harrow Cemetery - Shailesh Patel

A few sightings for Monday 9th May 2016 - 1 Speckled Wood Icehouse Wood at 0904 hrs, 1 male Large White set-aside field near Dew Pond, Trent Park 0910 hrs, 1 male Orange Tip at South Lodge Farm, Enfield at 0924 hrs - Robert Callf

Butterflies I have seen today 09/05/16: 1 speckled wood - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19713023, 1 male orange tip - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19703012, 1, possibly 2, holly blue, 4 male orange tip - Harpenden Common TL1313 - David Inward

Sunday 8th May 2016
Some sightings of Sunday 8th May 2016 - 1 Speckled Wood, 1 male Brimstone and 1 male Orange Tip at Oakwood Park, N14 (TQ 299 951) all west of 10 km line. 1 male Orange Tip and 1 Speckled Wood at Boxer's Lake, Enfield. 1 male Large White and 1 male Orange Tip at Lakeside, EN2 at 13:10 hrs - Robert Callf

Walked along Tunnel Gardens green space in Bounds Green Haringey, between 5.30 and 6.00 this evening saw 8 Speckled wood, 2 male orange tip, 1 brimstone and 5 holly blues including one mud puddling in some damp earth. Some speckled wood pics at:
Miles Attenborough

Visited Aldbury Nowers and recorded 8 x orange tip (7 males), 3 x brimstone(males), 1 x peacock, 1 x green hairstreak, 2 x grizzled skipper in lower sections. At higher sections were 1 x speckled wood,7 x orange tip (4 males), 4 x brimstone(males), 3 x green hairstreak, 2 x red admiral, 2 x small white, 5 x grizzled skipper, 1 x holly blue, 10 x dingy skipper. Found another holly blue in Bushey garden also - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/ Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. On another beautiful morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see my first Red Admiral of the year in a usual spot amongst the nettles near the river. Here are the full details: Holly Blue: 12 Brimstone: 6 Green-Veined White: 3 Peacock: 6 Orange-Tip: 7 Comma: 1 Speckled Wood: 6 Tortoiseshell: 1 Small White: 2 Green Hairstreak: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Small Copper: 1 When a small butterfly landed on the path in front of me,wings closed, I expected to see a Green Hairstreak but as there wasn't even a hint of green I ended up scrabbling closer along the gritty path looking at a rather dull brown butterfly.I eventually concluded this was a male Small Copper camouflaging itself by concealing its fore-wings and this seemed to be confirmed by a brief flash of brighter colours when it finally flew up. Meanwhile on the River Crane Mrs. Mandarin Duck was having a hard time keeping all 11 newly hatched offspring together, in part due to constant flapping around of her mate. - Pete Gore

Butterflies I have seen today 08/05/16: 1 small tortoiseshell - north corner, Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19253037, 1 male orange tip - path by railway, Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19273042, 1 male orange tip - Cadwell Playing Field NW, Hitchin TL189307, 1 male orange tip - Cadwell Lane north, Hitchin TL188308, 1 male orange tip - by scrap yard fence Burymead Springs, Hitchin TL18733095, at least 6 male orange tips, 1, possibly 2, speckled wood - Burymead Springs, Hitchin TL186309, 2 orange tip - railway embankment off Cadwell Lane, Hitchin TL18843094, 1 holly blue - on ivy, path by River Hiz, off Grove Road, Hitchin TL19043040. - David Inward

While covering a transect today had my first small copper of the year at Nomansland Common - Andrew Steele

Stopped briefly at Aldbury Nowers yesterday morning 7th saw 3 grizzled skippers and a green hairstreak and at least 10 brimstones. Today 8th saw grizzled skippers at Waterford heath south and Rickneys and saw 2 small copper at Rickneys too where there is a huge bank of wild strawberry - Steve Kiln

Saturday 7th May 2016
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey Mostly a morning walk with plenty of sun so not surprisingly the best to date in 2016 for both species and numbers. The highlight was my first Green Hairstreak of the year. Like last year this surprised me by appearing in the Pevensey/Crane section,resting for a moment on a Cow Parsley flower and then a Hawthorn leaf before flying strongly into the wooded area along the river.More likely Green Hairstreak areas still seem to be without them: Holly Blue: 9 Comma: 4 Peacock: 8 Orange-Tip: 11 Small Copper: 3 Green-Veined White: 3 Brimstone: 5 Green Hairstreak: 1 Speckled Wood: 3 Small White:1 Large White: 1 Tortoiseshell: 1 Also had my first 2016 sighting of a Damsel-Fly,a dark one flying near the culvert entrance. First of very many no doubt. - Pete Gore

Tring Park butterfly and wildflower walk lead by Martin Hicks. 1 Orange tip, 1 Peacock and 2 Brimstone - Shailesh Patel

Butterflies I have seen today 07/05/16: 1 male orange tip - road verge by Purwell Meadows, Cambridge Road, Hitchin TL19822999, 1 peacock - Priory Park, Hitchin TL184285, 1 male orange tip - Priory Park, Hitchin TL183286. - David Inward

At St James church cemetary, Bushey 1 x large white, 2 x holly blue. In Bushey garden 2 x holly blue. Later on at Water Lane, Watford were 4 x orange tip males, 3 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x holly blue, 1 Green-veined White. Lastly at Fishers Field were 3 x orange tip males - David Gower

The following seen near Waterend area (Near Wheathampstead) - TL2014; 4 X Peacock 1 x Small Tortoiseshell 1 x Holly Blue 2 x Brimstone (Males) 4+ x Orange Tip - David Wheatcroft

Spent two hours in Grovelands Park, Southgate this afternoon Saturday 7th May 2016 from 1135 - 1335 hrs and noted the following - 4 Speckled Wood including two together, 2 Holly Blue and 1 male Orange Tip - Robert Callf.

Folly lane St. Albans - Brimstone laying eggs on One of the Alder Buckthorns on my allotment this morning. The first time I've seen egg laying at this site, 12 years after I planted the trees. Shortly afterwards she was accosted by two males and flew very slowly backwards, wings beating frantically for nearly 10 minutes. Orange Tips out in force with 6 patrolling males, 3 Holly Blues, Large and Green veined Whites, Speckled Wood and Peacock - Malcolm Hull

Friday 6th May 2016
Bovingdon Brickworks (TL0002) this morning: first Dingy Skipper of the year (just the one at TL00530260), Speckled Wood (1), Orange-tip (2m, 1f), Peacock (3), Small White (1). Other butterflies already seen at the site this year: Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma. - Lucy Flowers

First grizzled skipper at Waterford Heath south in settling beds, plenty of orange tips ,brimstones, peacocks, green veined whites, small whites and a couple of small tortoiseshells. whitethroat chiff chaff and blackcaps singing - Steve Kiln

Spent the early afternoon of Friday 6th May 2016 around Enfield Town and recorded the following: 1 female Holly Blue settled on holly hedgerow at Library Green at 12:40 hrs, at least 3 Holly Blue in Town Park including two probing wet mud at Carr's Basin, 1 female Orange Tip at Town Park at 13:06 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood nectaring on tree flowers (possibly Sycamore) at 13:21 hrs, 1 Holly Blue at Gentleman's Row at 13:33 hrs. Also saw and heard a Garden Warbler in Town Park - Robert Callf

In my south Harpenden garden: 2 Small White, 2 Holly Blue, 1 Orange Tip (male) and 1 Brimstone (male). On Harpenden Common (Herts BC transect): 2 Holly Blue, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Brimstone (one male, one female) and 1 Peacock. David Hunt

An early afternoon 30 minute stroll along a few paths on the western side of Rye Meads nature reserve revealed 8+ male orange tips, 5+ brimstones, 3 small tortoiseshells, 2 peacocks and 2 small white butterflies. ( All sightings between the River Lea and the Toll House Stream.)- Len Crouch

Thursday 5th May 2016
2 brimstones, 1 male orange-tip, at least 2 small whites. St James's Park from 1.20-1.40pm - Jo Lawrence

Strong emergence of Holly Blues at Chells Park, Stevenage with at least 5 seen in 2 or 3 minutes at about 11 am. They were probably all males with one or two on the ground - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Another beautiful day and much better for butterflies.Today's included my first Small Copper of the year,colourful on a Marshalling Yards Dandelion: Holly Blue: 11 Small White: 6 Peacock: 5 Comma: 2 Orange-Tip: 7 Small Copper: 1 Brimstone: 1 Speckled Wood: 1 Tortoiseshell: 2 Green-Veined White: 2 - Pete Gore

Harrow Cemetery, 1 Peacock, 1 Orange Tip and 1 Pterophoridae moth species - Shailesh Patel

Seen my first female Orange Tip this afternoon Thursday 5th May 2016 at 14:29 hrs settled on E edge of Shaws Wood, Trent Park. Did not note much else this afternoon apart from a Speckled Wood at Park Farm, Enfield at 15:26 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterfles I have seen on 03/05/16: 2 brimstone - junction of B158 and track to Kennel Hill Farm, near Essendon TL28650978 David Inward

Wednesday 4th May 2016
Another Holly Blue seen on Wednesday 4th May 2016 at Bramley Parade, N14 at 17:11 hrs. Red-green Carpet at ASDA Southgate, N14 on Wednesday 4th May 2016 near outside lights. - Robert Callf.

In own SG4 Hitchin garden - 1 Orange Tip, 2 Holly Blues - Val Fullforth

Brendan Sheridan and I took part in a Box Moor Trust training day yesterday, which involved a visit to Roughdown Common (Hemel Hempstead). Brendan spotted a couple of Green Hairstreaks in the chalk dell but we didn't have the opportunity to observe thoroughly. I returned this morning (04/05/2016 &@; 11:00-12:25) and found at least 3 Green Hairstreaks in the chalk dell (TL04640569), 1 Small Copper, 1 Orange-tip (m), 2 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Brimstone & 2 Holly Blue. The Small Copper and Green Hairstreaks were my first of the year. As I left, Brendan was arriving, so he may well have additional sightings. No sign yet of Small Blues at the A41 site but conditions were such that emergence may be a little late this spring. - Lucy Flower

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Mostly sunny,higher temperature and little wind but butterflies rather disappointing especially as a quarter of them were actually seen in streets and gardens en route: Holly Blue: 5 Comma: 2 Peacock:7 Orange-Tip: 3 Brimstone: 2 Green-Veined White: 1 Tortoiseshell:1. About a dozen Whites being very uncooperative, refusing to be identified. - Pete Gore

Lovely warm sunny albeit breezy day on the Lake Farm and Cranford Park transects seeing over 20 butterflies at each site. Prior to that, some early morning butterflies, a Peacock and 2 Speckled Woods in a clearing in Pear Wood, Stanmore (TQ 17 93) whilst surveying with London Wildlife Trust. At lunchtime, I saw 2 roadside Holly Blues, one at Botwell Lane, Hayes (TQ 09 80) and at Harlington Road, Hillingdon (TQ 0782). Then onto River Pinn at Philpots Farm (TQ 062 819) and whilst river sampling saw a Peacock basking on a gravel bank and a Green Veined White and Speckled Wood flew by. Finally before completing a Butterfly transect for the Friends of Eastcote House, seeing a further 10 butterflies, I saw a male Orange Tip at Dovecote Copse, Eastcote (TQ 107 888) - Paul Busby

Six sightings in my Harpenden garden on Wednesday: Male Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Small White, Holly Blue, Male Orange Tip. - Robin Pearson

1 male Orange Tip, 1 male Brimstone and 1 Holly Blue in St James's Park today - Frank Nugent

On a walk today at Tyttenhanger gravel pits I saw 3 Orange-tip, 2 Peacock, 1 Comma and my first Speckled Wood. Also today and yesterday 2 Orange-tip in my South Mimms garden - Terry Wood

Noted three holly blues today, all males, one in my Thorley Park garden, one at the bottom of the road and a third at Thornbera Road allotments. This last was a large insect for its type which repeatedly returned to an area of spread cow dung. Also at the allotments singles of small white and brimstone plus two small tortoiseshells which was a disappointment because in late March before April's poor weather 5 or 6 ST's could be seen here - Len Crouch

Butterfly I have seen today 04/05/16: 1 peacock - outside Superdrug (not a prime butterfly habitat!), Bancroft, Hitchin TL18452925. - David Inward

Today at Thorley Wash we saw - 6 orange tip, 8 brimstone, 3, small tortoiseshell, 5 small white and 5 peacock. - Jenny Sherwen

I couldn't believe my luck when I got home after some butterfly hunting around north and west of Stevenage today. In my back garden I was examining the buckthorn I planted the previous winter. I saw one Brimstone egg almost immediately then on further inspection I spotted at least a dozen more on the one plant with some leaves having 2 or 3 eggs laid on them. I understand that usually eggs are laid singly so was it just one Brimstone female laying the eggs I wonder? - Peter Clarke (pictures will be on facebook in the next 24hours)

City of London - My first Large White of the year, flew across Bank junction at lunchtime and landed on No1 Poultry. You can't get a more urban location than that - Malcolm Hull

Saturday 30th April- Wareside. Orange Tip - 6 Small White - 2 Peacock - 1 Small Tortoiseshell - 1 Green Veined White - 1 Brimstone - 6. Sunday - 1st May Wareside Orange Tip - 2 Small White - 1 Brimstone - 2. TODAY - May 4th - London EC2 - Bunhill Row cemetary Small White - 2 Green Veined White - 1 Peacock - 1. Rye House Railway Station Holly Blue - 1. My moth trap has been empty for nearly 2 weeks - largest count being 1 early grey and 1 hebrew character. Shocking, but hopeful for the weekend - Phil Macmurdie

Some sightings (a fairly good variety of species but low numbers given the weather conditions) for Wednesday 4th May 2016 - 1 freshly emerged Speckled Wood at Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:51. 1 Peacock at Vicarage Farm at 10:46 hrs, 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 11:02 hrs, 1 Peacock at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:14 hrs, 1 male Orange Tip at Ferny Hill, Enfield (TQ 288 982) at 12:02 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Ferny Hill, Enfield at 12:02 hrs, 1 male Orange Tip edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 12:10 hrs, 2 Green-veined White, pr copulating edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 12:10 hrs, 1 male Brimstone at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:19 hrs, 1 female Large White at Nature Trail, Trent Park at 12:38 hrs, 2 male Orange Tip edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 13:02 hrs, 1 male Orange Tip along bridle path near Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 13:11 hrs, 1 Comma along bridle path near Merryhills Brook at Trent Park at 13:14 hrs, 1 Holly Blue at South Lodge Farm, Enfield (TQ 298 964) at 13:21 hrs. A few more sightings for Wednesday 4th May 2016 at Trent Park - 2 male Orange Tip (1 'New Fields' at 14:53 hrs, 1 Sect 7 at 15:04 hrs), 2 Speckled Wood Sect 7 at 15:05 hrs, 1 male Large White Sect 5 at 15:13 hrs, 1 male Brimstone at Sports Field near Hockey Centre at 15:26 hrs - Robert Callf.

News from 1st May: Bricket Wood Common - 2 Orange Underwing sp seen in flight, both took off from muddy ground close to areas of birch trees. 13 Brimstones, mostly female including one seen egg laying. Several of the females were flying low exploring young saplings 1-2 feet tall looking for very young Alder Buckthorn plants to lay on. However the three eggs I saw being laid were all on a mature Alder Buckthorn. All were deposited at the base of one of the leaf buds which had just started to burst open. The sites chosen were all 9-12 feet above ground on new growth probably one year old. I also saw a female land twice on different species of saplings, touch them with her abdomen and then quickly fly off realising they were unsuitable. Also on the Common today, 4 Peacocks, 2 Orange Tips, 1 Green-veined White. Earlier on my allotment in St Albans I saw a Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. I checked the hibernating butterflies in my outhouse at lunchtime and 5 of the original 17 are still fast asleep. They started hibernation in early July last year, so some of these individuals could have been there for almost 10 months. - Malcolm Hull

Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Orange Tip observed flying across River Pinn towards Long Meadow, Eastcote whilst river sampling at lunchtime, then a Peacock further along river at Cheney Field, Eastcote - Paul Busby

Sightings for Tuesday 3rd May 2016 - 1 Peacock settled at South Lodge Farm, Enfield at 11:35 hrs, 2 male Orange Tip at Vicarage Farm, Enfield (1 along S edge of Williams Wood at 11:59 hrs, 1 field near Enfield Road, EN2 at 13:06 hrs), also a few unidentified Whites - Robert Callf

The following at Ellenbrook Fields (Former Hatfield Aerodrome) 3-5-16: Orange Tip x 7+, Peacock x 3+, Green-veined White x 1 - David Wheatcroft?

Monday 2nd May 2016
Saw my first Grizzled skipper of the year in Rickneys quarry on the wild strawberry on Sunday 1st May. Also saw orange tip and peacocks. brimstones, peacocks, orange tips and small white on Waterford heath south. Steve Kiln

Two (probably three) Holly Blues this afternoon, in my garden in Church Lane, Pinner. - Graham Elcombe

1 Holly Blue at Town Park, Enfield on Sunday 1st May 2016 at 14:18 hrs. 1 Green-veined White at Little Beechill Wood, Enfield Chase (TQ 288 993) on Monday 2nd May 2016 at 12:39 hrs and 1 Peacock here at 12:45 hrs. 1 Peacock at Park Farm on Monday 2nd May 2016 at 13:01 hrs and 1 Peacock at Vicarage Farm at 14:00 hrs, 1 Large White at Enfield Road, EN2 at 14:15 hrs on Monday 2nd May 2016 - Robert Callf.

1 x male holly blue in Bushey garden. Nothing seen at Water Lane as sun had vanished by then. 1 x small tortoiseshell at Fishers Field - David Gower

Sunday 1st May 2016
Pinner, Middlesex One Speckled Wood this morning, in my garden in Church Lane. Also (belated report) first Orange Tip here, on 20th April; and two more (both males) on 27th April. Graham Elcombe

Late morning walk across Yeading Brook Meadows Nature Reserve, Yeading and no butterflies were seen, but on the way home stuck in traffic jam on the Hayes by-pass dual carriageway (TQ 11 82) saw at least 7 White butterflies, 3 of which were confirmed sightings of Orange Tips. Then a late afternoon walk around the newly opened Wood Farm Country Park, Stanmore (TQ 17 93) and saw a Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell. Fantastic views of London and the distant North Downs from here. - Paul Busby

In my Hatfield garden today 1 Holly Blue (m. brand new), 2 tatty Small Tortoiseshell. These are first since 1st April. Hope today is a better omen. John Moss

Some sightings for Sunday 1st May 2016 - 2 Peacock at Park Farm, Enfield at 10:09 and 10:38 hrs, 1 Peacock along Leeging Beech Gutter at Vicarage Farm at 11:34 hrs, 1 female Large White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:07 hrs - Robert Callf

A sunny and reasonably warm day for a change produced 2 Holly Blue and 1 male Brimstone in my south Harpenden garden and 5 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 male Brimstone and 1 Holly Blue on Harpenden Common/St Johns Wood. David Hunt

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey Much better today with continuous sunshine and higher temperatures: Holly Blue: 6 Green-Veined White: 2 Comma: 4 Brimstone: 10 Orange-Tip: 4 Speckled Wood: 3 Large White: 1 Peacock: 6 Tortoiseshell: 1 Plenty of unidentified Whites,including more than usual in front gardens so I'm sure the 'missing' Small White was present amongst them. Surprising absence of humans in the earlier part of my walk which perhaps explains how I was lucky enough to be accompanied by a Muntjac on the opposite side of a small field on the Heath and then preceded by a Little Egret and a Kingfisher along the river. - Pete Gore

Harrow Cemetery, 2 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue and 1 male Orange Tip. Shailesh Patel

April 2016

Saturday 30th April 2016
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey A complete walk but several showers so just one Orange Tip as I was leaving the Heath to pass through the golf course. May must be better mustn't it?! - Pete Gore

Walked round Coppetts Wood Local Nature Reserve in London Borough of Barnet this afternoon and saw 4 peacock butterflies, 3 white butterflies in flight and one large white and one small white landed. One of the peacocks had faded colour patches in the centre of its wings. Link to photo attached:
Miles Attenborough

Twenty minute walk at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens.(TQ 103 858) and saw a Peacock and a Small White - Paul Busby

Brent Reservoir, 1 male Orange Tip and 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Shailesh Patel

Visited Water Lane, Watford for 30 mins this morning and came across 4 x small tortoiseshell and 2 x male orange tips - David Gower

Butterfly I have seen today 30/04/16: 1 small tortoiseshell - Burymead Recreation Ground, Stevenage TL233257. - David Inward

In my Harpenden garden today, one Peacock, one White (assume Small) one Holly Blue. - Robin Pearson

Some sightings for Saturday 30th April 2016 - 1 Speckled Wood at Grovebury Court, N14 (TQ 296 950) in sub-urban garden at 10:49 hrs, 1 male Orange Tip at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:25 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:27 hrs, 1 Small White at Vicarage Farm at 12:13 hrs, 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 12:26 hrs, 1 Peacock at Park Farm, Enfield at 13:17 hrs. Another couple of Whites seen - probably Small, but not positively identified - Robert Callf

April 30th around noon a male and female holly blue rested for about an hour in the camellia in my garden, Kings Langley. Also of interest a female tawny mining bee settled on the windowsill. Elizabeth Debenham

April 2016

Thursday 28th April 2016
Male Orange Tip at South Lodge Farm, Enfield (TQ 297 965) on Thursday 28th April 2016 at 12:36 hrs - Robert Callf

Whilst working for the London Wildlife Trust in a Stanmore Wood (TQ 17 93) I saw a Green Veined White in a clearing - Paul Busby

Wednesday 28th April 2016
One Small Tortoiseshell at Park Farm, Enfield this afternoon Wednesday 27th April 2016 at 12:11 hrs - Robert Callf

My first garden Specked Wood during a sunny but still chilly spell in my Eastcote Garden so I have a record for the new "Garden Butterfly Survey" at last - Paul Busby

Sunday 24th April 2016
Male Orange Tip at Hatfield Aerodrome TL201087 today - Rupert Pyrah

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