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Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch

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Latest Sightings for 2015

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

April 2015

Monday 20th April 2015
I paid a visit this afternoon to Hexton Chalk Pit for my usual quarry. It felt much warmer than the forecast 16C, though none of the shrubs there were yet in full leaf and some had no foliage at all. In a couple of hours I saw 1 Peacock, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Wavy-barred Sable (Pyrausta nigrata), 10+ Brimstone and ... 2 Green hairstreak: one on an Ivy bush just outside the reserve and one feeding on Blackthorn flowers - the first time that I have ever seen a GH feeding. The Blackthorn was popular with many other species and I was so engrossed that I didn't make it to Telegraph Hill, Hoo Bit or the Pegsdon Hills - Paul Why

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A beautiful day,excellent for butterflies.The highlights included my first Green Hairstreak of the year,amongst Broom in a spot where I saw several on the Marshalling Yards last year, and a new high for Holly Blue.Oddly, Orange-Tips were much fewer than last week but I did see another female on the opposite side of the M.Y. from the last two but again lingering amongst Cress.Here are the full details: Holly Blue: 24 Speckled Wood: 11 Large White: 2 Brimstone: 11 Peacock: 40 Tortoiseshell: 6 Orange-Tip: 4 Small White: 5 Green Hairstreak: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 1 . If I make the not unreasonable assumption that a Green-Veined White was likely to be amongst the 10 or so unidentified Whites seen then all 12 of the species seen so far this year were seen today - Pete Gore

One hour lunchtime stroll across nettle bordered rough fields near Dew Farm Sandpits Nature reserve in South Harefield (TQ 05 88), where last year I saw 30+ Small Tortoiseshells, this years count still an impressive 25 Small Tortoiseshells, 13 Peacocks, 6 Orange-Tip and a male Brimstone. Also saw 2 Holly Blue paired on tall conifer hedge at Dews Farm, South Harefield (TQ 056 878). Late afternoon, walked along Yeading Brook through Roxbourne Park, Eastcote (TQ 11 86) along wooded trail and then field edge and saw 6 Speckled Wood, 4 Holly Blue, 4 Comma, 2 Large White, 6 Orange Tip, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and at least 1 Peacock. - Paul Busby

Today on two walks around Norton Common I saw three Speckled Woods (together and first I've seen this year), three Holly Blues (flying separate sightings), two Peacocks, four Brimstones, two Small Tortoiseshells and an Orange Tip. - Jill Sawyer

A couple of hours spent in the environs of Nomansland Common/Bull Lane, Harpenden (TL170125) produced a good haul: about 6 Small White, around the same number of Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Large White, 3 male and 2 female Brimstone, 3 Peacock, 3 female and 2 male Orange Tip (females nectaring on garlic mustard; males patrolling and indulging in aerial arguments over territory, occasionally nectaring on dandelions and gorse), 1 Holly Blue and 1 male Common Blue, the latter flying very low and even around my feet at one point - David Hunt

One Speckled Wood and one Small Tortoiseshell at Rectory Farm, Enfield this morning Monday 20th April 2015. - Robert Callf

Saturday 18th April 2015
Saw my first green-veined white of the year, in the Pinetum at Bayfordbury - Ian Flack

Wheathampstead LNR - On a walk about Wheathampstead LNR I saw my first Large White and three Orange-tips. Holly Blues are appearing in the garden now as well - Trevor Chapman

I popped into the southern part of Bedfont Lakes Country Park this afternoon (18th) for the first time. I was rewarded with two Green Hairstreaks, one of which posed nicely for the camera. There were good numbers of Holly Blues and Speckled Woods as well, plus the ever-present Peacocks and Commas.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65551&mode=view
PS. Another report from Stanwell Moor later with more Holly Blues in it - they are having a good year so far round here.
Dave Miller

Back home after the Hairstreak excitement, another tour of the local environs at Stanwell Moor seemed in order. Once again, it was the Holly Blues that dominated. In a sheltered spot, holly and ivy grow close together, and male Blues were patrolling the latter, with occasional pauses there or on the brambles. However, there was also activity on the holly. I watched a Holly Blue flutter in and out of the spiny leaves and dense branches, stopping frequently on the stems at all angles - underneath, in sun, in shade - but concentrating on the tiny flower buds. This was a female, almost certainly laying. A couple of males took a brief interest, and she put them off with rapid wing fluttering and a hoisted abdomen - but she took no notice of me less than a foot away. Presumably I didn't identify as a predator, or she was too engrossed in her egg-laying activity. She paused from time to time to rest, which involved some opening of the wings. I saw good numbers of Holly Blues again over the whole of the walk, but it was noticeable that the males are starting to look a little worn now and decidedly grey in some cases. What else? Well, it was very breezy, so most activity was confined to sheltered parts. Peacocks and Commas continued to contest the paths and perching places on the brambles, and there were also three Small Tortoiseshells joining them today. Naturally enough, there was a Red Admiral, but not in the usual spot - a new arrival? There were a few Speckled Woods and Whites, but only a couple of Orange Tips. There really aren't many about so far.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65558&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65559&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65566&mode=view
Dave Miller



Saw a Common Blue last Monday on west bank of Startops Reservoir. It definitely wasn't a Holly blue - Dave Hutchinson

Some more sightings for yesterday Friday 17th April 2015 - 3 Green-veined White at Trent Park (1 Shaws Wood, pr copulating set-aside field nr Dew Pond); 2 Speckled Wood, Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 12:35 hrs; 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 Shaws Cottages, 1 nr Ride Wood); 2 male Orange Tip at Shaws Wood, Trent Park; 1 male Orange Tip nr Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase; 1 Speckled Wood at Vicarage Farm, Enfield. Today Saturday 18th April 2015 - 1 Speckled Wood at Whitewebbs Wood. - Robert Callf

Spent day in Bushey garden only sighting so far 1 x holly blue - David Gower

I visited Cranford Park, Middlesex to go on a "Bluebell Walk" and at lunchtime was pleased to see at least 18 Holly Blues flying around the Ivy clad walls of the Stables, Secret Garden and old estate walls. I saw more Holly Blues in half hour than I saw all of last year! A fair number of Whites were also seen and managed to identify 2 Large Whites, 6 Green-Veined Whites, 4 male Orange Tips along-with 2 Speckled Woods, a Comma and at least 6 Peacocks. I then drove onto Bedfont Lakes Country Park, but alas no Green Hairstreaks seen, but in quite blustery conditions saw a male Brimsone, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 8 Peacocks and both a male and female Orange Tip. - Paul Busby

On a walk around Hatfield Forest (Essex) this afternoon, I saw 5 Peacocks, 1 Brimstone, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Orange Tips, 2 Small Whites and probably a Speckled Wood - Chris Gleeson

Butterflies I saw today (18/04/15): 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 unidentified small white - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL198303. 16 small tortoiseshell - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930 - David Inward

Friday 17th April 2015
Path alongside river Colne by Willows Farm / Tyttenhanger Park TL190046 between London Colney and Colney Heath: 8+ Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 1 White in flight (?Large) - Steve Evans and Ann Lee

One Holly Blue around Ivy at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this morning Friday 17th April 2015 at 10:28 hrs and another settled on Holly at South Lodge Cres., EN2 at 10:50 hrs. - Robert Callf

Good selection of butterflies today, I saw 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Small White, at least 3 Orange Tip, 2 Peacocks and 2 Small Tortoiseshells on a half-hour walk across Bridgewater Fields, along the Yeading Brook, Ruislip Gardens (TQ 1086) then later a Comma basking on the brickwork of the Chiltern Railway bridge across the River Pinn, Ickenham (TQ 073 871) during river sampling - Paul Busby

I've been out locally in Stanwell Moor late in the afternoon on both 16th and 17th.
16th April - One fresh, but rather crumpled Green-veined White, and one roosting Orange Tip.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65363&mode=view
17th April - Three resting Holly Blues, one of which did eventually stir. Also one Speckled Wood.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65467&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65468&mode=view
Dave Miller

Thursday 16th April 2015
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Cloudier conditions,wind and even some rain but still no butterfly shortage: Holly Blue: 2 Peacock: 22 Speckled Wood: 8 Orange-Tip: 2 Comma: 3 Green-Veined White: 1 Tortoiseshell: 2 Small White: 1 - Pete Gore

Saw two male Brimstones in Town Park, Enfield yesterday Wednesday 15th April 2015 at 13:38 hrs, also a Holly Blue here at 13:44 hrs - Robert Callf. A few sightings today included our first Speckled Wood of the year in Trent Park (1 Rough Lot at 11:45 hrs and 1 Shaws Wood at 12:38 hrs), also saw a male Orange Tip along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:59 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

I saw my first Holly Blue of the year on Norton Common at lunchtime. And a Brimstone and a Peacock on Baldock station (flying over the tracks). - Jill Sawyer

Another glorious sunny day so I cycled around Hertfordshire on the lookout. There were Peacocks, Brimstones and Small Tortoiseshells throughout, to numerous to list. In addition, the following were noted. 1 male Orange Tip in Sherrardspark Wood [Welwyn Garden City], 2 Speckled Woods fighting on the cycle path in Harpenden [TL141156], 2 male Orange Tip at the quarry entrance to Panshanger Park, Panshanger Lane. The old station site at Cole Green at 5.00pm was most productive. In 30 minutes I saw the following, 1 Holly Blue [possibly the same individual seen yesterday], 1 Speckled Wood, 1 male Orange Tip, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Comma - Christopher Benton

I saw a Holly Blue and male Orange Tip, whilst Riverfly sampling on the River Pinn, Dovecote Copse, Eastcote (TQ 108 888) then my first pair of Speckled Woods in my Eastcote Garden. - Paul Busby

In my South Mimms garden this morning I watched as a male Orange-Tip quickly pounced and locked onto an unsuspecting female as it flew in too close. - Terry Wood

Butterflies I saw today (16/04/15): 1 small tortoiseshell, 7 brimstone, 2 peacock, 1 unidentified small white Oughtonhead Common SE TL1629 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 brimstone, 1 peacock, 1 unidentified large white Oughtonhead Lane TL1729 - David Inward

Wednesday 15th April 2015
Between Aldbury Nowers and Pitstone hill - orange tip (male), holly blue, small white, plus heaps of peacocks, brimstones and orange tips. Unfortunately the green hairstreak was just over the border in Bucks. - Rikki Harrington

Another late afternoon walk around my local patch, on an unusually hot day for mid-April. Holly Blues have now emerged in good numbers - I saw ten individuals on the walk, and as far as I could see, they were all males. The main highlight of the walk was my first Large White of the year, nectaring on low-growing purple flowers.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65345&mode=view
The rest of the roster included: four Orange Tips, five or six Small/GVW (two were definitely GVW), five Peacocks, seven Commas, five Speckled Woods and a Red Admiral patrolling the path near the bridge over the Colne.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65348&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65342&mode=view
- Dave Miller

Butterflies I saw today (15/04/15): 1 male brimstone, 1 peacock, 1 unidentified small white at St Faiths Close, Hitchin. 1 male brimstone - Walsworth Common, Hitchin. 3 small tortoiseshell, 2 unidentified large white, 1 unidentified small white, 1 male brimstone, 2 peacock - field paths off Purwell Estate, Hitchin TL2029 1 small tortoiseshell, 7 brimstone, 2 peacock, 1 unidentified small white - Wymondley Woods and surrounds, near Great Wymondley TL2129 - David Inward

Some sightings for today Wednesday 15th April 2015 - 1 Comma at Whitewebbs Wood at 09:48 hrs, 3 Peacock at Whitewebbs Wood at 10:08 hrs and 2 Peacock at Flash Lane at 10:14 hrs, 1 Large White at Flash Lane, Enfield at 10:20 hrs, 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Rectory Farm, Enfield. Tuesday evening 14th April 2015 - 3 Small Tortoiseshell at Parkside Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf

On my visit to Pear Wood,Stanmore TQ1709 9369 today I saw 3 Speckled Wood (first seen on Thursday 9th April) 1 Green veined White, 2 Brimstone, 1 Orange Tip and a number of Small Tortoiseshell, Comma's and Peacocks - Peter Elton

New records for me for 2015 were 1 Holly Blue and 1 male Orange Tip in a south Harpenden garden and Speckled Wood and Holly Blue, plus several Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Brimstones and a Green-veined White on Harpenden Common. The 4-5 Commas of last week seemed to have dispersed from the Common. - David Hunt

Today in various parts of Norton Common, Letchworth: 6 Peacocks, 11 Small Tortoiseshells, 5 Brimstones (including the first one this year that sat still long enough to photograph it), 4 Commas and a male Orange-tip (in flight, but I definitely got a flash of orange). - Jill Sawyer

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another lovely day for butterflies. This Year's first Large White seen on the main road near the end of my walk, brought the species total seen to 10 for the first time this year and 2 Holly Blues in my garden were the 99th and hundredth individual sightings identified. I was surprised when two white butterflies fluttering around a patch of a white-flowering Cress turned out to be the first 2 female Orange-Tips I've seen so far this year.I've no proof they were going to lay there but it certainly looked as if they might and as I normally associate them with Hedge Garlic or Lady's Smock this was a new possibility to me. Today's details: Holly Blue: 11 Orange-Tip: 14 Tortoiseshell: 9 Peacock: 53 Brimstone: 3 Speckled Wood: 4 Green-Veined White: 2 Small White: 2 Comma: 1 Large White: 1 I again saw 2 Orange (or Light Orange) Underwing moths. Both seemed to wish to land on the path as if seeking minerals like various butterflies do. Unlike them though they never settle properly and vibrate vertically or 'bounce' as if their legs were all fitted with tiny springs even when they do settle. - Pete Gore

On my walk around Tyttenhanger gravel pits this morning I saw my first 2 Orange Tips and 4 Green-veined Whites chasing each other across a field of Rape. Other butterfllies seen were 9 Peacocks, 11 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 female Brimstone - Terry Wood

Tuesday 14th April 2015
Just some casual observations around our neighbourhood. Nothing amazing just run of the mill! 13th April 2015: 1 no Brimstone, 2 no Peacock, 3 no Small Tortoiseshell - St Ippolyts churchyard. 1 no Brimstone, 4 no Peacock, 2 no Small Tortoiseshell- St Ippolyts sewage treatment works. 14th April 2015 1 no Brimstone - Little Wymondley Substation, 2 no Peacock 1 no Brimstone, 5 no Small Tortoiseshell- St Ippolyts churchyard 6 no Peacock - St Ippolyts sewage treatment works - Michael Hooper

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. With 8 sightings even before I reached the Heath in continual sunshine and temperature above 20 this was always going to be a good butterfly day and they didn't disappoint: Holly Blue: 10 Speckled Wood: 3 Brimstone: 7 Peacock: 52 Orange-Tip: 4 Comma: 2 Small White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 9 Green-Veined White: 1 (1st identified in 2015 for me). One highlight occurred immediately as I emerged from the tunnel and disturbed a White butterfly. As I contemplated chasing it up the steep embankment I spotted what seemed to be a small white moth.I was even more surprised when this gave chase to 'my' butterfly.Evidently thwarted in its intentions the 'moth' returned and settled, showing itself to be a male Orange-Tip slightly smaller at rest than a Holly Blue. It's unlikely he'd been chasing a female (probably a male Small White) but as he seems to compensate for what he lacks in size with a great deal of ambition I could only wish him the best of luck in his quest! One other thing that seems to me to becoming clear here is that I think we have a welcome recovery in Holly Blue this spring, as hoped. - Pete Gore

During a morning working party on the River Pinn, near Pynchester Moat, Ickenham, Middlesex, (TQ 072 867) we saw at least 3 Holly Blues, 4 Orange Tip, Comma, Brimstone, 2 Peacocks and 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Then further upstream, after lunch on a butterfly walk through Pinn Meadows, Ruislip (TQ 09 88) we saw at least 12 Small Tortoiseshells, 6 Peacocks and a Brimstone. Back home in my Eastcote Garden, I saw a further 2 Holly Blues. - Paul Busby

Great weather for butterflies today. Morning visit to Gobions Wood and Park. 8 small tortoiseshells, 6 peacocks, 3 brimstones and 1 comma. Afternoon walk around Heartwood Forest and Normansland Common. 28 peacocks, 8 brimstones, 10 small tortoiseshells, 2 commas and at least 4 unknown whites. Cycled back to Hertford along the Cole Green way and stopped at the old Cole Green station site. 1 Holly blue coming down to feed on the lesser celandine. - Christopher Benton

Today at Thorley Wash I saw 1 small white, 2 orange tips, 6 brimstones and lots of small tortoiseshells and peacocks - Jenny Sherwen

It was all happening at Bayfordbury this afternoon! Saw my first orange tips, speckled wood, large white and commas of the year, along with peacocks, brimstones and a small tortoiseshell. - Ian Flack

Butterflies I saw today: 2 small tortoiseshell, 3 peacock, 1 female orange tip, 8 male brimstone, 1 unidentified large white (probably female brimstone) at Oughtonhead Common, Hitchin TL1630. 1 female brimstone Swinburn Ave, Hitchin. 1 male brimstone, 1 unidentified small white at St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

In my garden in Church Lane, Pinner this afternoon: one Holly Blue, and one Small White - Graham Elcombe

A few sightings for today Tuesday 14th April 2015 - 1 Comma at Flash Lane Aqueduct at 09:34 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Flash Lane Aqueduct at 09:34 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Strayfield Road, Enfield at 10:48 hrs, 1 Comma at Rectory Farm, Enfield at 11:08 hrs. Also two Holly Blue together along New River at Carr's Basin, Town Park at 11:35 hrs - my first sighting of the year! Also one Peacock along New River at Town Park, Enfield this morning at 11:30 hrs. - Robert Callf

My first definite Green-veined White of the year fluttering around weeds and settling briefly in a south Harpenden garden. Several Peacocks, 4-5 Small Tortoiseshells, a Comma, a Small White and a male Brimstone, St John's Wood, Harpenden - David Hunt

Monday 13th April 2015
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Mostly cloud so much reduced numbers but variety quite good: Holly Blue: 3 Speckled Wood: 4 Peacock: 7 Red Admiral: 1 Small White: 1 (first confirmed this year) and two Orange/Light Orange Underwing moths. Both gave me quite a bit of time observing them flying low and the second kept landing on the path but wouldn't settle. After sending walk details yesterday I disturbed a Holly Blue whilst pruning Ivy in my garden. - Pete Gore

More sightings from Stanwell Moor. Friday 10th April: Warm and sunny. Still lots of Peacocks and Commas on my local patch, with a sprinkling of Whites and Brimstones and a couple of Orange Tips. Far more Small Tortoiseshells today, including one hassling a Peacock amorously. My first sightings today of a Speckled Wood and a Green-veined White.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65144&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65142&mode=view
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Sunday 12th April: Very windy, but brilliant sunshine. Reduced activity from the bigger butterflies, though a few Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells were both seen along my usual walk. There was also an Orange Tip, several whites and a few Brimstones, one of which I watched settle into a routine which included a regular stop in the same place. I waited and managed to get a photo during one of its breaks.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65207&mode=view
A couple of Speckled Woods were hiding from the wind along sheltered parts of the path, and a Red Admiral appeared in the same spot by the bridge. Finally, immediately outside my front door, I came upon not one but two Holly Blues. They were battling the wind (and each other) but one stopped long enough to be caught on camera.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65208&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65211&mode=view
Monday 13th April: A late stroll around the local circuit (nearly five o'clock) not long after the sun came out produced four or five whites including at least one of each (Small and GVW), and an Orange Tip. I counted just three Peacocks, and a Holly Blue in quite a different location to yesterday. More good weather in prospect - hopefully the Orange Tips will appear in numbers! - Dave Miller

Sunday 12th April 2015
Saw one Small Tortoiseshell at Rectory Farm, Enfield today Sunday 12th April 2015 at 10:52 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterflies I saw today (12/04/15): 4 small tortoiseshell, 1 peacock at Walsworth Common Hitchin TL1930. 1 peacock along path between Wilbury Way industrial area and railway, Hitchin TL1930. 1 small tortoiseshell, 4 brimstone, 1 peacock on edge between Wilbury Way industrial area and arable field, Hitchin TL1931 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A complete walk but sunshine and breeze gave way to cloud and wind by the time I passed through the Tunnel for the return journey. All the following therefore on the longer 'outgoing' stretch: Peacock: 29 Tortoiseshell: 5 Comma: 2 Holly Blue:4 and just 1 Small or Green-veined White - Pete Gore

Thornbera Road allotments B/Stortford. 14.30 hrs Sunday 12th April, 5 small tortoiseshells including a courting couple, 2 peacocks and zero Pieridae - Len Crouch

Visited Watercress Nature Reserve in St Albans briefly and found 2 x brimstone(male), 1 x orange tip (male). At nearby Sopwell Nunnery ( TL151064) 1 x brimstone(male), 2 x small tortoiseshell. - David Gower

Saturday 11th April 2015
Some sightings for Saturday 11th April 2015 - 1 Green-veined White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:26 hrs - our first of the year! 3 Peacock at Moat Wood, Trent Park at 12:45 hrs; 2 Comma at Trent Park ( 1 at Moat Wood and 1 at Rough Lot); 1 Small Tortoiseshell near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 13:38 hrs; 2 Small Tortoiseshell along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf/Robin White

I saw today (11/04/15) 1 small tortoiseshell butterfly at Westmill Lane, Hitchin - David Inward

On a walk along the River Stort today: at Rushy Mead nature reserve, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Commas; at Thorley Wash, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock. - Chris Gleeson

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Rain in the morning and significantly breezier, cooler conditions meant that butterfly numbers were much reduced with all the whites absent. I did however see my first Speckled Wood of the year. Details: Peacock: 9 Speckled Wood: 1 Comma: 1 Tortoiseshell: 1 - Pete Gore

Friday 10th April 2015
I saw my first Brimstone in my South Mimms garden, along with a Peacock that seemed set on chasing it away - Terry Wood

I just saw a Holly Blue in my Hertford garden, my first of the year! I also saw 4 peacocks, 3 small tortoiseshells and 2 brimstones at Amwell this morning - Jenny Sherwen

Woodland footpaths between North Mymms and South Mimms to west of A1(M): Comma x 1, Peacock x 4 - Steve Evans and Ann Lee

I saw today (10/04/15) 2 Peacock butterflies at St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another lengthy walk today covering all the same ground as the four previous this week. This one affected by intermittent cloud. Unidentified Whites are increasing but not much and my continuing failure to get a definite identification has at least lessened to the extent that I am certain we have one or other of Small White and Green-Veined White around and most likely both. Here are the rest: Peacock: 57 Brimstone: 9 (All male) Holly Blue: 3 Comma:2 Orange-Tip: 2 Tortoiseshell: 2 - Pete Gore

I had a Large White in my St Albans Garden this afternoon - Mandy Floyd

Harpenden Common: 2 male Brimstones; 3 Peacocks, about 6 Small Tortoiseshells and 4 Commas. The Commas are the first I have seen this year, one female appearing to be laying eggs on new nettle shoots. Another female showed a distinct lack of interest in the attentions of a hopeful male, closing her wings until he gave up and flew off - I presume she had already mated at some point. - David Hunt

Some sightings for Friday 10th April 2015 at Grovelands Park, Southgate: at least 5 Peacock including two together and 2 Comma. - Robert Callf

Watched a Holly Blue sunbathing on the litchen-covered roof of my neighbours flat at 10am this morning in Bengeo - Christopher Benton

Thursday 9th April 2015
Some sightings for today Thursday 9th April 2015 - 2 Peacock together near Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase at 11:59 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 12:27 hrs, 3 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, 1 Small White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:53 hrs, 1 male Brimstone nectaring on dandelions at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:57 hrs, 3 Peacock at Vicarage Farm. Also two butterflies at Town Park, Enfield - 1 Small Tortoiseshell at 13:58 hrs and 1 Peacock at 14:03 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterflies seen today 09/04/15: Alban Way, near Smallford - 1 Peacock, TL200073, 1 Brimstone TL196071. 1 Peacock butterfly at St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another beautiful sunny day with my first definite sightings of Orange-Tips this year and an increase in Holly Blue. 3 out of 4 seen were on paths,including one very fresh and lively-looking male which was still on my path where I'd left it whilst I went round the Crane/Pevensey loop.(The fourth was checking the top of a hedgerow in typical Holly Blue fashion). Two small orange sightings on the Marshalling Yards, including one which flew up into the Birches, so no doubt Underwings although there are Aspens around too and I can never manage to view this moth long enough to get a real description. Here is my summary: Brimstone: 8 Holly Blue:4 Tortoiseshell: 9 Peacock: 48 Comma: 6 Orange-Tip: 2 A few unidentified whites but the only one I got close to turned out to be a female Brimstone.On the Marshalling Yards I saw no-one all the time I was there so was surprised to find a fire burning in a hole dug last year by bikers whilst constructing one of their 'jumps.' On inspection the fire consisted mostly of two new-looking bikes/mopeds,the last bits of their tyres emitting black smoke into the otherwise clear sky. Sometimes human behaviour can be far more difficult to comprehend than butterflies'! - Pete Gore

Only 1 x Brimstone seen in Bushey garden this afternoon - David Gower

Wednesday 8th April 2015
The following description fits an Orange Underwing/Light Orange Underwing precisely!!! Since both silver birch and aspen are found on Bricket Wood Common, the exact species can't be confirmed but do look out for this moth - it is not a Small Copper!
On 6 April, walking across Bricket Wood Common, shortly after 2:00 pm, I noticed a puzzling lepidopteran! The insect was flitting around in the low area on the bridleway side of the bank, about 1-2 feet above the ground, for a minute or two without settling to give me a clear view before it moved away, and I lost sight of it. This behaviour seemed more like a butterfly than most moths, which usually seem to make short, purposeful flights. On the wing it looked brown with a hint of orange, much as a small tortoiseshell would, but it was very small for a butterfly, like a small copper. It seemed too early in the year for a small copper (which would probably have looked brighter orange) or a hairstreak. On my walk I also saw a comma, a brimstone, a white that was small and a dozen or so each of small tortoiseshells and peacocks; no surprise amongst them! - Chris Newman

Butterflies seen today 08/04/15: 1 Peacock, 2 small tortoiseshell - Knebworth cemetery and adjacent path - David Inward

Walked from home to patchetts green this afternoon (including a pint at" the three compasses")! At Finch Lane, Bushey 1 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x peacock. Just pass jewish cemetary (TQ137970) 1 x small tortoiseshell, 2 peacock and in field next to stables over A41(TQ137972) near to Patchetts Green 6 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x peacock and 1 x comma. - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. I missed the morning sunshine and experienced a much cloudier walk still with plenty of butterflies although nothing new and no unidentified whites: Peacock: 40 Brimstone: 3 Tortoiseshell: 4 Comma: 3 - Pete Gore

There were loads of Small Tortoiseshells on Norton Common this afternoon. In a little scrubby area on the east side I watched at least 10 zooming around and defending their territory from a couple of Peacocks and a Comma. I also saw a further 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Commas and 5 more Peacocks. Only one Brimstone spotted today though. - Jill Sawyer

A male Brimstone and Peacock butterfly spotted this morning in my Rustling End garden - Julie Wise

Lots of butterflies yesterday [Tuesday 7th April]. Waterford Heath NR. 8 peacocks, 2 small tortoiseshells, 2 brimstones. Balls Wood NR. 14 peacocks. Hertford heath NR. 4 peacocks. KingsMeads NR. 8 peacocks. 3 Brimstones flying together at Cromer [Hertfordshire] on Monday 6th April - Christopher Benton.

Quite a few sightings of Peacock today Wednesday 8th April 2015 included four together around Blackthorn blossom near the Dew Pond, Trent Park at 12:24 hrs, also two Small Tortoiseshell here. Saw a female Large White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 13:14 hrs today - my first of the year! Yesterday afternoon Tuesday 7th April 2015 after 16:00 hrs - 5 Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield and 1 Peacock at Park Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Tuesday 7th April 2015
A very fresh Peacock at Waterford north pit on Monday, in the gloom. Two male Brimstones at High Wych today - Laurence Drummond

News from Diane Andrews. On a visit to Tottenham Cemetary today she saw 1 Holly Blue, 3 Speckled Woods, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock and unknown identified white butterfly.

Hampstead Heath, still no Orange Underwings. Howwever, we did see two Holly Blues-one in our garden and one on the Parkland walk and Brimstone, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on Hampstead Heath. Speckled Wood on the Parkland Walk - Helen Bantock

Just thought I would mention the remarkable number of butterflies I have seen in the last 2 days flying around the area near my garden where I live in Tring(HP23). There have been at least 5/6 Small Tortoishells(in great condition) flying around in the warm sunshine settling on flowers as well as 2/3 Peacocks and several Brimstones. Interestingly I did not see as many butterflies when I went out for a walk earlier today around the wider countryside of Aldbury Nowers and I would say there were more than I saw here this time last year when we had a similar situation with some good weather in April. I live right next to a busy road so it obviously does not put them off. - Phil Woodward

1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock - St Faiths Close, Hitchin. 1 Brimstone - opposite entrance to Station Approach, Hitchin, TL19302974, 1 Peacock - south edge of Knebworth recreation ground TL253203. David Inward

Today I have had 3 Brimstones, 3 Small Tortoiseshells and a Peacock in my SG6 garden. On a walk across Norton Common, Letchworth, I saw a further 6 Brimstones and 2 Peacocks. - Jill Sawyer

In Balls Wood today (7th) 8 peacocks, 4 Brimstones and a comma. On Hertford Heath (Roundings) 2 Peacocks and 1 Brimstone - Andy Brown HMWT

Today I walked along the path by the railway in Bedfont Lakes Country Park. There were dozens of Peacocks along the length of the path, along with a few Commas, Brimstones and the odd Small White. There was lots of aerial dogfighting, plus a bit of courtship behaviour amongst the Peacocks.
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I also managed to fit in another walk later on around my local patch at Stanwell Moor. Today I was rewarded by my first Orange Tip of the year, a rather sluggish male which pottered along the path and then basked in the late afternoon sunshine.
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Dave Miller

Broxbourne woods full of peacocks, brimstones, commas and an occasional small tortoiseshell and my first orange tip. Also chiff chaffs everywhere - Steve Kiln

Repeated yesterdays walk and spotted 1 x small tortoiseshell & 1 x peacock in Bushey garden. At Water Lane 8 x small tortoiseshell, 4 x brimstone including 1 female, 6 x peacock. Lastly at Fishers Field 1 x brimstone ,2 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x peacock. A lovely day - David Gower

St John's Wood, Harpenden: 1 Small White, 1 male Brimstone, 2 Peacocks and several Small Tortoiseshells flying with the Peacocks or basking on the ground; Harpenden Common: 3 male Brimstones flying together, one stopping to feed on a dandelion flower for a brief period, 3 Peacocks and at least 6 Small Tortoiseshells cavorting in groups of 2 or 3 or basking; garden in south Harpenden: 1 male Brimstone regularly patrolling (seen on 5 occasions) and a Peacock. A good day! - David Hunt

Holly Blue in Bengeo this afternoon - Simon Knott

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. More sunshine and lots more butterflies including my first Holly Blue of the year and 4 or 5 of the inevitable Unidentified White category.Summary of those identified: Tortoiseshell: 4 Peacock: 51 Brimstone: 6 Comma: 2 Holly Blue: 1 - Pete Gore

It was beautifully warm this afternoon in Kings Langley with a peacock butterfly settling briefly on the lawn and a male holly blue in a holly bush; also various bees, a beefly and my first wasp of the season - Elizabeth Debenham

Monday 6th April 2015
Here are my butterfly sightings for Monday the 6th April in Stotfold (TL223368), just north of Letchworth. Brimstone x17, Small Tortoiseshell x18, Peacock x9 and Small White x1 - Daniel Cooper

First day of transect yesterday in Trent park. Despite being a bit windy, the sun was out and saw Brimstones, tortoishell, small white, red admiral, comma and peacocks. A good start! - Simon Pegg

Some sightings for Monday 6th April. Wareside: 1 Orange Tip - first for year fresh as a daisy 8 Brimstone - all males, 1 peacock, 3 small tortoiseshell. Hertford - Kings Mead: 1 small white, 6 brimstone, 6 small tortoiseshell, 3 peacock. Things finally on the move - Phil Macmurdie

>Had a brimstone, peacock and small tortoiseshell in my WGC garden this afternoon. Also saw brimstones at a few places within Hatfield Park. Ian Flack

A bumper day for butterflies. At 10.30 a Brimstone flying north up Green Lanes. At 11.15, I liberated 1 Peacock & 1 Small Tort fluttering against my garage window. Another Brimstone crossed my garden later. My first visit to my Warren transect produced 11 Peacock & 2 Comma. A promising start to the season on a site quite exposed now following last summer's scrub clearance. Today's butterflies were mostly round sheltered margins. John Moss

Many Twitter reports today including a first report of Orange Tip at Panshanger Park seen by Jenny Sherwen and Dave Howdon getting a photo of a Light Orange Underwing moth at Horsenden Hill. Too many news items to list individually.

Our first butterfly records, 5th April - Brimstone, Stevenage Road, St Ippolyts. 6th April - 2 x Small Tortoiseshell in our garden in St Ippolyts and 1 x Small tortoiseshell St Ippolyts Sewerage Treatment Plant - Mary and Michael Hooper

On detour to shops via Fishers Field, bushey spotted 1 x small tortoiseshell and at Water Lane, Watford counted 5 x small tortoiseshell, 3 x male brimstone, 1 x peacock. At home in Bushey garden 1 x peacock and late afternoon at Merryhill Fields 13 x peacock & 4 x small tortoiseshell. On way home 1 x peacock in Beechcroft Road, Bushey (TQ121958) - David Gower

Walking home from work this afternoon (6th) near Bedfont Lakes Country Park, I spotted a Peacock, a Brimstone and a Small White. Just to the south of the cargo area at Heathrow, I saw further Brimstones and Small Whites, plus a likely Comma. Arriving home in Stanwell Moor, I then set out for the first proper circuit of my local patch this year in decent weather. Over a leisurely hour and a half, Commas, Peacocks and Brimstones predominated, all very active and tussling with each other, though the Brimstones really weren't interested unless they found a Small White. There were a few of these, and like the Brimstones, they were completely unapproachable. I found a single Red Admiral, in exactly the same spot as the one I saw on 22nd March, but the photos show a different individual. Finally, on the approach to home there is a wide grassy area where dandelions and daisies are now emerging. Most years, this is where I see my first local Small Tortoiseshell, and today was no different, with one individual nectaring on a dandelion.
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- Dave Miller

Tristan and I walked over to Hampstead Heath and had 2 Brimstones and a Peacock there and a Small White on the Parkland Walk. No Orange Underwings though.Tristan found a lot of small beetles-several different ones - in a muddy pool by the last remnant of wet heath that is fenced off - Helen Bantock

2x small whites and 2x peacocks @ TQ102750, 1x Holly blue @ TQ125749, - Paul Taylor

Tweeted my sightings earlier but thought I ought to send you an email too. I saw my first orange tip this afternoon in Lady Hughes Wood, Panshanger. I also saw 2 brimstone, 4 peacocks & 6 small tortoiseshells in my garden (Hertford). - O Jenny Sherwen

2 brimstones, one peacock and a small tortoiseshell in Stocking Pelham today (6th) - Andy Brown

On waste ground opposite Croxley Common Moor (on the other side of the Canal); ten or more Peacocks, seven Brimstones (all males), four Small Tortoiseshells and three Commas. All these insects seemed to be in near-perfect condition. Graham Elcombe.

Bricket wood common - fantastic sunny morning to kick off the Transect year. 4 male Brimstones,1 comma and 8 Peacocks. One Peacock was nectaring on goat willow along with a host of bee species, showing what a valuable nectar source this plant can be. One pair of peacocks were courting, preparing to start a new butterfly year - Malcolm Hull

A few reports to make - 1 Peacock at Camlet Moat, Trent Park at 11:40 hrs on Sunday 5th April 2015. Today Monday 6th April 2015 - 1 male Brimstone at Whitewebbs Wood at 09:31 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Whitwebbs Wood at 10:33 hrs and 2 Peacock and 2 Comma here also. - Robert Callf

What a start to the transect season! For my Stevenage transect today I counted 30 Peacocks (a record for an overwintering adult) and 13 Small Tortoiseshells (also the most I've seen of this species in early spring). Anything to do with the fact that today is the first really fine, mild day weather-wise this year to encourage the butterflies to be more active? On the other hand, only 2 Commas and they weren't flying - strange! - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. What a difference a few extra degrees heat and continuous sunshine makes! Here are today's sightings: Brimstone:9 (2 females my first of the year),Peacock:25 includes my first of the year, Tortoiseshell: 3 Comma:1. A fleeting glimpse of what may well have been an Orange-Tip but it managed to disappear disconcertingly quickly before I had time to confirm. - Pete Gore

PM .... Fir & Pond Woods NR HMWT....4 brimstone and 8 peacocks seen at different sites around the Reserve. - David Gompertz

Today (6/4/15) in Ruislip Woods (mainly edge of Poors Field,the LNR + Copse Wood) I counted: 8 male Brimstone, 1 Small White Reservoir Rd, 8 Peacock, 3 Comma (all in the LNR), 4 Small Tortoiseshell - Neil Anderson

Colney Heath garden - 1 Brimstone and 1 Peacock in our back garden. Both species seen twice so possibly more than 1 of each. Don't recall ever seeing a Brimstone in our garden before. Steve Evans and Ann Lee

Butterflies seen today (06/04/2015): 6 Brimstone, 2 Peacock - Burymead Springs, Hitchin TL187310, 1 Brimstone - Cadwell Lane industrial area north, Hitchin TL189308, 1 Brimstone - Cadwell Lane playing field north, Hitchin TL189307, 1 Brimstone, 2 small tortoiseshell - Cadwell Lane playing field south, Hitchin TL190306, 1 Brimstone, 1 comma, 1 Peacock, 10 small tortoiseshell - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930, 1 Brimstone - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19863031 - David Inward

During a walk along the river Stort this afternoon I saw: Near Bishops's Stortford station: 5 small Tortoiseshells, 3 peacocks. Rushy Mead nature reserve: 1 small tortoiseshell. Thorley Wash nature reserve: 4 peacocks, 1 comma - Chris Gleeson

Peacock butterfly in Hitchin garden - Martin Banthorpe

First confirmed sighting this year of a pristine Peacock this morning in Eastcote garden, an unidentified "Vanessid"-type butterfly having been fleetingly glanced through the window on March 26th - Gill and Tony Porter

Sunday 5th April 2015
1 Small tortoiseshell butterfly seen today 05/04/15 Burymead Springs, near Hitchin - David Inward

I was pleased to see a Small Tortoiseshell whilst on a walk around Royston Heath. 3.35pm - Kevin Wilson

My first sighting this year was a small tortoiseshell which landed on a blue hyacinth in our Bushey garden today. Went on a walk to Water Lane and Fishers Field but no sun or sightings. - David Gower

Friday 3rd April 2015
I was surprised to see a probable Comma zoom round in my Hatfield garden today & disappear before I could focus on it. Time 14.40, T. c12C, cloudy, no breeze. This is only the 2nd this year. Hoping for warmer weather to start my transect walks - John Moss

Thursday 2nd April 2015
I saw a peacock yesterday at Amwell viewpoint. Today I saw 1 peacock and 1 small tortoiseshell at Hunsdon Meads - Jenny Sherwen

Some sightings for Grovelands Park, Southgate today (Thursday 2nd April 2015) - 1 Red Admiral at 13:24 and 14:46 hrs, 1 male Brimstone at 14:42 hrs and 2 Comma together at 14:48 - 14:51 hrs. - Robert Callf

I saw today (02 Apr 2015) 2 Brimstone butterflies, one at Harkness Court, Hitchin and at least 1 at St Faiths Close, Hitchin. Both are flats and gardens. It could have been the same butterfly. - David Inward

March 20th afternoon - Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock settled and feeding and Brimstone in flight. My garden Letchworth Garden City. Brimstone in flight on Norton Common, Letchworth Garden City. April 2nd Norton Common - 2 Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell in flight and a Comma feeding - Jill Sawyer

Brimstone, 02/04/2015, Pirton Road Hitchin Herts, TL172289, Andy Banthorpe

A couple of butterfly records from Harpenden: Thursday 2nd April 2015: 1 male Brimstone patrolling the edges and rides of St John's Wood, Harpenden; 1 female Brimstone investigating bushes along a hedgerow and sunning herself on a low bank, Harpenden Common plus 1 Peacock at same location. 1 Peacock in a south Harpenden garden. - David Hunt

Bengeo this afternnon : Peacock, Comma and male Brimstone - Simon Knott

Red Admiral, comMa and brimstone in Enfield today! - Simon Pegg

Saw brimstone in Graveley and 2 peacocks, 2 commas and one small tortoiseshell at Waterford heath south and 2 chiffchaffs - Steve Kiln

Wednesday 1st April 2015
One Comma settled on field at Vicarage Farm, Enfield (TQ3097) at 13:27 hrs this afternoon Wednesday 1st April 2015. - Robert Callf

Hertford Heath 1st April - on the Goldington site, one Brimstone in the large ride near Haileybury - Andy Brown

Peacock reported at Amwell Reserve by Amwell Birding on Twitter

March 2015

Tuesday 31st March 2015
On Tuesday 31st March, I saw my first comma settled on a fallen camellia bloom in Kings Langley about 12.30pm in sunshine. Elizabeth Debenham

I saw a comma butterfly at Ivel Springs, Baldock - David Inward

Friday 27th March 2015
I saw two quite active Comma butterflies at Cheney Fields, Eastcote, Middlesex - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Pevensey 2 male Brimstones on the Marshalling Yards. A mix of cloud and sunshine.Cowslips blooming on Pevensey and a party of Mallards seem to have discovered the joys of echo by quacking loudly in the Crane's culvert under the Marshalling Yards. Still a slow start for butterflies though. - Pete Gore

I saw 1 Small Tortoiseshell at lunchtime today at Mymms Wash behind the South Mimms Services - Terry Wood

Monday 23rd March 2015
Two butterflies in Trent Park today Monday 23rd March 2015 - 1 Comma on south edge of Rough Lot at 11:43 hrs and 1 Red Admiral in set-aside field near Dew Pond at 12:22 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White

I took a walk around Tyttenhanger gravel pits this morning and saw my first Comma of the year in the Garden Wood area. As I returned along the river Colne, ahead of me a butterfly flew across my path and then away across the river; I think it was probably a Small Tortoiseshell. - Terry Wood

Sunday 22nd March 2015
Today (22nd) was my first stroll around my local patch at Stanwell Moor this year in decent weather. I was rewarded with my first two sightings: an unexpected Small White, and a thoroughly expected Red Admiral. No Peacocks, Commas, Small Tortoiseshells or Brimstones yet, though.
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I should also report I saw a Peacock at Bedfont Lakes Country Park on 12th - Dave Miller

Friday 20th March 2015
One Small Tortoiseshell along Salmons Brook at Parkside Farm, Enfield Friday 20th March 2015 at 14:59 hrs. - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane/Pevensey. A bright sunny afternoon followed a cloudy morning concealing the eclipse and I finished slightly frustrated with three times as many unidentified sightings as identified - the one butterfly I did have time to recognise was a Comma on the path which connects the Crane/Pevensey section of my walk to the Marshalling Yards.This is a favoured area for both Comma and Small Tortoiseshell with extensive nettle-beds on both sides. - Pete Gore


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