Butterfly Conservation

Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch

and pass on your news


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

If you do not see your news listed or have had an email bounce back - please resend using elizabethgoodyear@talk21.com

June 2016

Sunday 26th June 2016
After seeing White-letter-hairstreaks with you and Andrew at Cheshunt park I went to WATERFORD HEATH SOUTH, Marbled whites just starting here with 3 seen, also my first Small skipper of the year, RICKNEYS QUARRY, 2 Marbled white and what must have been a female Clouded yellow, very large and bright + 1 Small heath seen., I then went to BALLS WOOD, couldn't find any White admirals but Ringlets well out with 7 seen, also 2 Painted lady, on the way back across HERTFORD HEATH I stopped to assess a couple of potential Purple emperor spots and had a Purple hairstreak zoom through, high along the Oak canopy, very early and unexpected ! - Laurence Drummond

Horsenden Hill, 7 Meadow Brown, 1 Common Blue, 2 Comma, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Marbled White, 1 Painted Lady and 2 White-letter Hairstreak.This walk was lead by Dave Howdon - Shailesh Patel.

Some sightings for Sunday 26th June 2016 at Trent Park (10:50 - 11:40 hrs) - 1 Painted Lady nectaring on Bramble blossom 11:06 hrs, 19 Small Skipper at 'New Fields', 1 male Large Skipper Sect 8 'New Fields' at 11:10 hrs, 4 Burnet Companion, 1 Marbled White at 'New Fields' at 11:22 hrs, 4 Common Blue at 'New Fields', 15 Small Heath at 'New Fields' 1 Speckled Wood at 11:35 hrs. Sunday 26th June 2016 (11:45 - 12:45 hrs) at Monken Hadley Common (TQ 265 971) - 2 Speckled Wood, 30+ Ringlet, 1 Silver Y, 4 Small Skipper, 5 Large Skipper, 1 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, 2 Burnet Companion, 2 Marbled White together at 12:14 hrs - Robert Callf.

This morning 26th cloudy but over 30 meadow brown at Waterford Heath south together with, 2 small heath, 4 ringlets and a comma and my first marbled white I have seen - Steve Kiln

Several White-letter Hairstreak present at Cheshunt Park on the Sapporo Autumn Gold this morning - Laurence Drummond, Liz Goodyear, Andrew Middleton and Dan and Indy Danahar (filming a project for UKButterflies - watch this space!)

Saturday 25th June 2016
Harpenden Common: 17 Meadow Brown; 2 Ringlet; 2 Common Blue; 5 Burnet Companion; 1 Chimney Sweeper (quite worn compared to the one seen yesterday). Of some interest, my first sightings on the Common of Marbled White and Ringlet this year were both +2 days of last year's date - perhaps things are catching up after a slow start - David Hunt

White-letter Hairstreaks (at last) seen at Durants Park, Enfield today - Andrew Middleton

Some sightings for the afternoon of Saturday 25th June 2016 at Grovelands Park, Southgate - 2 Large Skipper, 8 Meadow Brown, 2 Ringlet and 2 Burnet Companion - all in the 'meadow area' near the Priory Hospital (TQ 302 941) - Robert Callf.

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Good numbers of butterflies around in short sunny spells but cloud and a lengthy light thunder-shower meant only the most determined were seen on the latter half.The river was back within its banks leaving a lot of muddy puddles with stranded fish on the paths. Small Heath: 3 Comma: 3 Red Admiral: 3 Tortoiseshell: 3 Speckled Wood: 1 Ringlet: 8 Large Skipper: 3 Small Skipper: 4 Meadow Brown: 4 Painted Lady: 1 Marbled White: 1 - Pete Gore

Thursday 23rd June 2016
p align="justify">Friday 24th June 2016
Harpenden Common: 7 Meadow Brown, 1 Marbled White (male), 1 Small heath, 1 Yellow Shell, 1 Chimney Sweeper, 6 Burnet Companion. Lure attempts for Six-banded Clearwing were negative - David Hunt

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. An enjoyable and memorable walk despite only intermittent sunshine as I waded along the Crane in flowing flood-water often above knee height.I disturbed a Red Admiral on some nettles,their tops currently only just above the water.It glided slowly over a greatly extended river to the opposite bank at the bottom of the golf course.Passing through the Pevensey section surrounded with innumerable multi-coloured Damsel Flies I startled a Field Vole which swam across my path,both of us out of our more usual element I suppose. Butterfly highlights included my first Marbled Whites of the year and I'm pleased by the frequency I'm seeing Tortoiseshells, fresh and immaculate.I got the feeling that in consistently sunnier conditions I'd have soon been heading into really high numbers of some species: Speckled Wood: 2 Comma: 3 Red Admiral: 2 Small Heath: 1 Tortoiseshell: 6 Meadow Brown: 5 Small Skipper: 4 Ringlet: 5 Common Blue: 3 Marbled White: 5 Painted Lady: 1 - Pete Gore

Butterfly I have seen today 24/06/16: 1 male brimstone - Coreys Mill Lane, Stevenage TL22992645 - David Inward

Some sightings for Friday 24th June 2016 at Trent Park between 13:25 - 14:50 hrs - 23 Small Heath at 'New Fields', 3 Ringlet, 1 Small Copper at 13:42 hrs, 18 Small Skipper (the majority were positively identified and no Essex Skipper were identified), 2 Common Blue (1 male, 1 female), 3 Large Skipper including male and female, 1 Cinnabar, 2 Silver Y, 2 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Sect 4 'New Fields' - my first of the year! 1 Marbled White at 14:35 hrs - my first of the year! Also a few larvae and pupae of Burnet Moths were seen, but were not identified to species - Robert Callf Just seen a batch of Peacock caterpillars on nettles at Allotments near ASDA Southgate on Thursday 23rd June 2016 - Robert Callf.

Tuesday 21st June 2016
Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. After yesterday's rain the river was again high but the floods had abated so that it was a question of avoiding mud and puddles rather than paddling.A reasonable amount of morning and early afternoon sunshine led to a few butterfly highlights: my first Ringlets of the year,the unlikely-seeming sight of Comma as the commonest species and a Large Skipper egg-depositing on grass blades in the grassier half of the Pevensey loop.Here are the full details: Comma: 5 Tortoiseshell: 3 Ringlet: 2 Meadow Brown: 1 Small Skipper: 4 Small Heath: 1 Large Skipper: 3 Speckled Wood: 2 Small White: 1 - Pete Gore

Morning working party on Yeading Brook (TQ 11 86) and group saw 3 Speckled Wood then half hour afternoon walk around the Ruislip Common field/scrub south of Copse Wood yesterday and saw 30+ Meadow Brown, 9+ Large Skipper, my first Small Skipper and 4+ Burnet Companion moths - Paul Busby

Harpenden Common: 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Common Blue, many Nettle-tap, many Burnet Companion, many Crambus lathoniellus, 1 Yellow Shell. My south Harpenden garden: 1 Green-veined White. Southdown allotments: 1 Currant Clearwing (TIP lure) - David Hunt

1 x brown house moth and another green pug in our Bushey bathroom in evening - David Gower

Did my Warren transect today in dull weather, 20C, light SW wind. Best score this year; 7 cows (5 Highland, 2 Longhorn), 23 butterflies - 1 Large Skipper, 2 Common Blue(bright males), 3 Marbled White, 12 Meadow Brown, 3 Small Heath, 2 Ringlet. Lots of Burnett Companions and largish white "grass moths". Despite warmth, few butterflies except Meadow Bs on the wing. Cattle very docile, resting in one corner, meaning yet another slight deviation from my usual route. Dogs now required to be on lead, which probably means there won't be any while cattle present. Apparently cattle will remain until it's clear whether they're controlling scrub re-growth. It's a big field so it'll be interesting to see what impact they have. It's also a big area for butterflies to spread out now, so the "hot spots" on the original transect route will probably vanish - John Moss

Monday 20th June 2016
A few of my sightings for Monday 20th June 2016 - 1 Ringlet at Bay Farm, Enfield at 14:15 hrs (TQ 301 985), 2 Large Skipper at Cuckold's Hill near Brooke Wood at 14:23 hrs (TQ 303 985), 1 Holly Blue at Flash Lane, Enfield at 15:13 hrs (TQ 319 989), 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Brayside Farm, Enfield at 16:07 hrs (TQ 320 989), 2 Holly Blue at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 16:13 hrs (TQ 318 987) - Robert Callf.

The lousy weather has meant rather limited scope for going out and not many butterflies seen. On all four trips around Stanwell Moor below, there was virtually no sunshine at all. However, my trip in much better conditions to Harmondsworth Moor today turned up my first Marbled White of 2016.
14th June Stanwell Moor
Common Blue - 5 Meadow Brown - 6
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89364&mode=viewSmall Heath - 1
One Common Blue was of the variety ab. flavescens, where the orange/red underside spots are lemon yellow instead.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89362&mode=view
15th June Stanwell Moor
Large Skipper - 4 (the first here this year)
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89418&mode=view
Common Blue - 2
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89413&mode=view
Small Heath - 3
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89415&mode=view
Meadow Brown - 3
18th June Stanwell Moor
Meadow Brown - 15+ Small Heath 5+ Common Blue - 5+ Large Skipper - 3 Small Tortoiseshell - 1 The Tortoiseshell was a rather dusky individual.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89577&mode=view
19th June Stanwell Moor
Common Blue - 3 Large Skipper - 5+ Small Heath - 15+ Meadow Brown - 15+ Small Tortoiseshell - 1 Small White - 2 A nest of Peacock caterpillars was also found, and there are plenty of Orange Tip caterpillars still to be seen on various cruciferous plants.
20th June Harmondsworth Moor
Brilliant sunshine late afternoon, so I paid my first visit to Harmondsworth Moor for a while. It was quite windy too, and the few butterflies I saw were blown around quite a lot. Meadow Brown - 5+ Large Skipper - 3
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89737&mode=view
Small Tortoiseshell - 1 This was a very golden-orange individual.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89742&mode=view
Marbled White - 1 My first of the year.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=89741&mode=view
Dave Miller

Sunday 19th June 2016
A Poplar Hawk Moth and a pristine Speckled Wood in my geenhouse on Sunday, 19th, the moth precariously perched on a very spiny cactus. Tony and Gill Porter

My sightings for today June 19th... New Mill, Tring - meadow north side canal opposite flour mill 8.30am Meadow Brown x2, Small Blue x1 Small Heath x2 Speckled Wood x1 Marbled White x1 + Barred Yellow Moth x3 + Burnet Companion Moth x2. Aldbury Nowers - south enclosure 10am Dark Green Fritillary x1 Marbled White x2 Meadow Brown x3 Small heath x2 Speckled Wood x2 - Chris Hilling

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey I managed to catch much of the morning sunshine and see a reasonable number of butterflies including 3 expected year firsts: Large Skipper: 2 (a bit later than usual), Speckled Wood: 1 Tortoiseshell: 3 Meadow Brown: 7(first of year). Common Blue: 6 Small Skipper: 7 (first of year). Holly Blue: 1 Painted Lady: 2 - Pete Gore

Orange Tips still around with males seen today at Balls Wood and near Rickneys quarry - Andrew Wood

Two Meadow Browns seen at Phasels Wood campsite (TL 05 04). - Paul Busby

Brent Reservoir, 1 Comma, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Large Skipper and 1 The Cinnabar Moth - Shailesh Patel

A41 Boxmoor/Bourne End exit, 10:50: I was counting and photographing the Bee Orchids at this location (37 spikes) when my first Marbled White of the year came to join me. - Lucy Flower

I've recently entered the 21st century and got a smartphone. I'm now using the iRecord Butterflies app that I've downloaded from Butterfly Conservation and I've submitted two records of butterflies seen today (19th) - 3 Meadow Brown, 1 Common Blue and 1 Burnet Companion at Roxeth Recreation Ground, South Harrow (TQ145859) - 1 Red Admiral and 1 Small Skipper at Churchfields open space, Harrow-on-the-Hill (TQ150875). I also sent a record of a Red Admiral in my garden in South Harrow on 5 June 2016. - Michael Robinson

Saturday 18th June 2016
Cranford County Park, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Yellow Underwing, 1 Silver Y and 1 Light Emerald - Shailesh Patel

In overcast conditions at around 6pm, while strolling around Shackledell Grassland, I disturbed a Marbled White - totally unexpected. Peter Clarke

Friday 17th June 2016
Some sightings for Friday 17th June 2016 - 1 Snout and 1 Nettle-tap on nettles near Allotments at Vicarage Farm, Enfield (TQ 309 969), 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - my first of the summer brood, 1 Ringlet at Parkside Farm/Res on banking (TQ 2998) at 14:30 hrs - my first of the year! Burnet Companion at Parkside Farm/ Res on banking, 3 Meadow Brown at Park Farm, Enfield including my first female of the year, 1 Brown Silver-line edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park (TQ 288 976), 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 15:31 hrs - Robert Callf

Harpenden Common: 1 Common Blue (male), 1 Small Heath, 5 Speckled Wood (4 males, 1 female), 1 Meadow Brown (male), 5 Burnet Companion and 1 Yellow Shell. Good to see the Speckled Wood, my first of the year, as they seem to have had poor success on the Common since their last really good year in 2014. David Hunt

Half hour walk along flower rich Yeading Brook Meadow nature reserve, Yeading, Middlesex along former pipeline works and saw at least 110+ Burnet Companion Moths mostly around Birds Foot Trefoil, but just 7 Meadow Browns. Closer to Yeading Brook saw a Banded Demioselle and about dozen Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars on a stinging nettle - Paul Busby

Thursday 16th June 2016
More heavy rain showers in Ruislip but afterwards in search of some early Marbled Whites or woodland butterflies, I visited Mad Bess Woods and the fields adjoining SE of wood. (TQ 08 89). No Marbled Whites seen as yet, but saw 38+ Meadow Browns, 6+ Large Skippers, 14+ Burnet Companion moths, 2 Yellow Shell and 3 fresh Small Tortoiseshells and a bright Red Admiral. In the woods just a solitary Carpet Moth but scented honeysuckle and elderflower in bloom - Paul Busby

Burnet Companion and Meadow Brown in long grass near tennis courts at Grovelands Park, Southgate this afternoon Thursday 16th June 2016 at 16:35 hrs - Robert Callf

Wednesday 15th June 2016
My first Meadow Brown of the year, seen at Fairlands Valley Park yesterday afternoon, had 4 black spots on the underside hindwings - probably less than 5% of the population will have 4 or more of these spots. - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. I tried to time my walk for maximum sunshine and whilst I avoided any rain I wasn't terribly successful at spotting butterflies.A Small Heath was the only one on the Heath,a Red Admiral,a Tortoiseshell and a Mother Shipton moth were seen on the Marshalling Yards and a second Tortoiseshell on the Pevensey loop. Both the Small Tortoiseshells were flying strongly and looked fresh when they landed briefly so I suspect they're part of the second brood rather than remnants of the first. - Pete Gore

1 x heart and dart and 1 x small magpie in Bushey garden today - David Gower

A few sightings for Wednesday 15th June 2016 - 1 male Common Blue at Vicarage Farm (TQ 300 972), 1 male Common Blue at Parkside Farm on Res banking at 14:55 hrs, 1 male Large Skipper near Duncan's Wood at Park Farm, Enfield, at 15:28 hrs (TQ 290 988), 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 15:43 hrs, 1 Mother Shipton at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, also several Meadow Browns seen at Vicarage Farm - Robert Callf

Butterfly I have seen today 15/06/16: 1 male brimstone - St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

Tuesday 14th June 2016
After a heavy rain shower I visited Stanmore Country Park (Wood Farm extension) - TQ 17 93, in preparation for the Grand Opening Event on June 25th with lots of free wildlife events and tours. Fantastic views all across London and pleased to see an abundance of wild flowers, lots of Ox Eye Daisy, Comfrey and Birds Foot Trefoil flowering and during a brief sunny spell saw loads of bees, dragonflies and other insects including at least 16 Common Blue (mostly male), at least 9 Meadow Browns and 3 Large Skippers. An abundance of Burnet Companion Moths with more then 35 seen and 2 Silver Y. - Paul Busby

I saw a single meadow brown today at Amwell in between the showers! - Jenny Sherwen

A few sightings for Grovelands Park this afternoon Tuesday 14th June 2016 - 1 Yellow Shell, 1 male Meadow Brown and 1 female Common Blue near tennis courts (TQ 307 946) - Robert Callf

Another burst of sightings from me up to June so far:
Stanwell Moor 28th May. Around the middle of the day with intermittent sunshine. Small Heath 15+ Orange Tip 5+ including a male taking minerals from a damp path GVW 5+ Holly Blue 3 Red Admiral 1 Common Blue 1 - a nice blue female
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88127&mode=view
Stanwell Moor 2nd June. Poor weather. No butterflies, but a couple of Orange Tip caterpillars
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88502&mode=view
Stanwell Moor 3rd June. A bit of brightness late afternoon. GVW 2
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88571&mode=view
Small Heath 1 A nest of Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars
Stanwell Moor 5th June. Warm and sunny, but not much flying. Small Heath 10+ Orange Tip 2 Large White 2 Common Blue 2 Red Admiral 1 Common Blues now starting to emerge.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88687&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88688&mode=view
Stanwell Moor 7th June. Thundery and warm, with a bit of sunshine. Holly Blue 2 Speckled Wood 1 Small Heath 10+ with new ones still emerging
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88872&mode=view
Common Blue 5+ Brown Argus 1 - the first of the year here
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88849&mode=view
Painted Lady 1 - also the first one here this year
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88861&mode=view
Red Admiral 2. Both the Red Admirals I saw readily came down to settle on my hand. One was slightly aberrant, with yellow-orange patches in the forewing bands and an overall orange-red colour.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88870&mode=view
Bedfont Lakes CP (North) 9th June. Sunny and warm. Not much flying, however: variety perhaps but not numbers. Common Blue 4 Holly Blue 3
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88998&mode=view
Large Skipper 2 Speckled Wood 1 Red Admiral 1 Whites (not identified) 3 Brimstone 2 Brown Argus 1 (the first here this year)
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88994&mode=view
Meadow Brown (the first I've seen anywhere this year) 1
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB//download/file.php?id=88995&mode=view
Dave Miller

Despite intermittent drizzle, I had an hours walk around the Ruislip Common field/scrub south of Copse Wood yesterday and saw my first 9 Meadow Brown, 3 Large Skipper, 3 Mother Shipton and a Cinnabar moths of the year, as well as a Small Heath butterfly and amongst the grassland moths saw another 5 Burnet Companion moths. Perhaps Summer is on its way? Paul Busby

1 female Holly Blue at Dalrymple Close, N14 (TQ 297 950) on Sunday 11th June 2016 at 13:45 hrs. 1 male Meadow Brown and 2 Burnet Companion at Grovelands Park near tennis courts (TQ 307 946) on Monday 13th June 2016 at 14:55 - 14:56 hrs - Robert Callf.

Sunday 12th June 2016
Moth I have seen today 12/06/16: 1 cinnabar moth (
Tyria jacobaeae) - Ransoms Recreation Ground, Hitchin TL19062990. - David Inward

I saw but a single butterfly on Hampstead Heath today during an afternoon stroll. Happily it was my first Meadow Brown of the year - Frank Nugent

Saturday 11th June 2016
Butterflies I have seen today 11/06/16: 1 Speckled Wood - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19673012, plus many small blues, some brimstones and others on HMBC walk at land behind Hillbrow, Letchworth, led by Andrew Wood, no doubt recorded elsewhere. - David Inward

Brief visit to Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens after river sampling and saw numerous moths including a Silver Y and 2 Burnet Companion, a Broad Bodied Chaser dragonfly as well as a Holly Blue and a Small White butterfly. Nice to see a female Mallard with a dozen ducklings swimming along flooded path - Paul Busby

Friday 10th June 2016
Harrow Cemetry, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Meadow Brown - Shailesh Patel

Some sightings for Friday 10th June 2016 - 1 Yellow Shell at Oakwood Park E of 10 km line which divides the site, 2 Large Skipper at Trent Park (1 Sect 1 at 12:12 hrs, 1 near Triangular Wood at 12:22 hrs), 1 Small Copper at 'New Fields' Trent Park at 12:18 hrs, 6 Small Heath at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 4 male Meadow Brown at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 1 Holly Blue near Cockfosters entrance, Trent Park at 12:38 hrs, 5 Speckled Wood at Monken Hadley Common scattered along length of site, 1 Holly Blue at Monken Hadley Common at 13:56 hrs, 1 Yellow-barred Longhorn (Nemophora degeerella) at Monken Hadley Common (TQ 269 970) and 1 Green-veined White at Monken Hadley Common (TQ 272 969) at 14:59 hrs - Robert Callf.

Butterflies and diurnal moths seen on Harpenden Common on a hot and steamy afternoon: 3 Common Blue, 3 Small Heath, 1 Small/Essex Skipper, 2 nests of Small Tortoiseshell larvae,10+ Burnet Companion, 10+ Nettle-tap, 10+ Crambus lathoniellus plus 2 White Ermine moths sitting quietly on a post - David Hunt

A41 Bourne End/Boxmoor turn-off, 11:10-11:50: I spent some time along the eastbound embankment this morning. 27 Small Blues and I've spotted numerous eggs on Kidney Vetch over the past 2 weeks (with some already seemingly hatched). Lovely too to see 2 Bee Orchids and Pyramidal and Common Spotted Orchids in this area. On the westbound exit (up near the A4251 roundabout) there were another 7 Small Blues, 3 Burnet Companion and a Yellow Shell moth. Also, a wonderful spread of Quaking-grass amongst the Ox-eye Daisies. A few photos here: http://naturalworldnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/small-blue-eggs-pretty-things-in-ugly.html - Lucy Flower

4 x burnet companions at Water Lane, Watford late afternoon - David Gower

Thursday 9th June 2016
Delighted to see a Painted Lady again in St James's Park at lunchtime. Also seen were 1 Holly Blue, 1 Large White and 1 Small White. Also saw a Holly Blue outside Westminster Abbey on the way to the Park - Frank Nugent

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. A beautiful sunny afternoon walk although a slightly disconcerting one. I crossed most of the Heath without seeing any butterflies or anything else of note and it was only when I reached the river that I discovered we (or somewhere up-river) had evidently had a considerable amount of rain so that I was now required to paddle down a flooding river to continue. The butterflies too were not quite as expected (or hoped) - no sign of any of the mid-summer ones here yet and instead I saw my first Comma and Green-veined White for a few weeks in the not too flooded Pevensey section. A Six Spot Burnet moth was the first of its kind this year. Here are the full details: Speckled Wood: 2 Red Admiral: 1 Common Blue: 7 Painted Lady: 3 Brown Argus: 1 Comma: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 Small Copper: 1 plus 2 Mother Shipton moths and 1 Six Spot Burnet. The three Painted Ladies were seen widely separately in time and location; even so I considered not counting the second until I saw the third, on the grounds that either there's three or one persistently following me,the former being somewhat more likely. - Pete Gore

Some sightings for Thursday 9th June 2016 between 12:25 - 13:25 hrs at Trent Park - 3 Yellow-barred Longhorn (Nemophora degeerella) near Oakwood entrance, Trent Park, 1 Large Skipper Sect 1 'New Fields', 12 Small Heath at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 4 Chimney Sweeper at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 3 male Meadow Brown at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 1 Cinnabar Sect 6 'New Fields', 3 male Common Blue at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 1 Silver Y at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 2 Burnet Companion at 'New Fields' Trent Park, 1 Holly Blue at 'New Fields', Trent Park at 13:14 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood near Oakwood entrance, Trent Park at 13:21 hrs. A few more sightings for Thursday 9th June 2016 - 1 Red Admiral along bridle path near Equestrian Centre at Trent Park at 15:10 hrs, 4 male Meadow Brown at Vicarage Farm, Enfield, 1 male Large Skipper at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking at 16:00 hrs (TQ 297 983), 1 male Common Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking at 16:04 hrs, 1 Silver-ground Carpet at Parkside Farm, Enfield on N banking of Res - Robert Callf

Wednesday 8th June 2016
Female Green Hairstreak sighted at Oughtonhead on Monday. She was laying eggs - Dieter Iwan

Joy unconfined as I watched a Painted Lady in St James's Park at lunchtime today, this the only Butterfly there visible - Frank Nugent

Saw a Holly Blue and a Green Veined White at Cowley Lock on the Grand Union Canal (TQ 05 82) before the torrential downpour - Paul Busby

Harpenden Common on a muggy but cloudy day: 2 Small Heath, 1 Common Blue male, 3 Burnet Companion, and many small micros around the gorse, all of those examined being Cydia ulicetama - David Hunt

Tuesday 7th June 2016
Visited fields behind Hillbrow, Letchworth Garden City Sunday 5 June pm. 20+ Small Blue plus Common Blue, Brimstone, Holly Blue and Burnet Companion. - Dave Cording

Fir and Pond Woods NR... seen Tuesday morning on the meadow one lonely Painted Lady. - David Gompertz

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Cloudy and very humid,butterflies were harder to spot: Common Blue: 7 Peacock: 1 Small White: 3 Speckled Wood: 4 Large White: 1 Orange-Tip: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Holly Blue:2 plus 1 each Burnet Companion and Cinnabar moth. - Pete Gore

Whilst paddling up the River Pinn clearing invasive plants from the riverbank at Pinn Meadows, Ruislip (TQ 09 88) we saw at least 3 Green Veined Whites including one egg laying on Garlic Mustard by the river edge - Paul Busby

The following seen Ellenbrook Fields (Former Hatfield Aerodrome): 4 x Small Heath 1 x Peacock 1 x Large White 4+ x Orange Tip 2 x Common Blue 1 x Cinnabar - David Wheatcroft

A 2 hour search at Rickneys for Grizzled Skipper produced 8 sightings, including egg laying females. A newly laid egg was found on Wild Strawberry and another egg found on Common Agrimony. The White-letter Hairstreak has finally pupated. Also recorded were Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Peacock, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Heath, Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion and Cinnabar moths. At Frogmore with thunder rumbling in the distance, only 6 Grizzled recorded. Also seen were Common Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Orange Tip (male), Peacock, Burnet Companion and Cinnabar moths - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

Monday 6th June 2016
Did my Warren transect today. 2 Small Heath, 2 Comon Blue, all very fresh, 1 Peacock and 1 Small/GV White. This may not seem much, but it’s a vast improvement on last week's zero and previous weeks' random passing Peacocks, Whites and Orange Tips. Have had more in my garden. John Moss

Painted lady on the Icknield way crossing of the Baldock Bypass. Comma, Speckled wood, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Holly Blue (egg laying on Dogwood), Green-veined White and Brimstone at Gibbet Hill, Weston Hills. 11 Small Heath, 4 common Blue and 19 Grass Rivulet moths at Clothall Common. 27 Small Blues both roosting and in flight in the Hillbrow fields at Letchworth. - Andrew Wood

In field behind Bencroft wood I saw two small heath, two meadow brown and a small skipper both my first for the year. Also there were 2 burnet companion moths - Steve Kiln

Did my usual lunchtime Butterfly walk at this time of year in St James's Park today and saw only 1 male Brimstone and a glimpse of a White. Those aside, despite glorious weather and all those flowers and floriferous shrubberies, I found absolutely nothing else. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Never remotely numerous in this Park, this was truly terrible. Never have I noticed it more, never the absence so achingly felt - Frank Nugent

Managed to photo a Speckled Yellow moth at Northaw Wood today, photo of FB page, also Brown Silver-line moths present. No butterflies seen though - Liz Goodyear

A few sightings for Monday 6th June 2016 - 1 Holly Blue at Flash Lane, Enfield at 12:38 hrs, 1 female Holly Blue at Flash Lane Aqueduct, Enfield at 13:14 hrs, 1 Holly Blue at Whitewebbs Wood near North Lodge at 13:38 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood at Whitewebbs Wood at 13:35 hrs, 1 female Large White, 2 Small White, 1 Red Admiral and 1 male Common Blue at Whitewebbs Farm, Enfield (TL 329 001), 2 Speckled Wood near Archery Wood, Forty Hall Park (TQ 334 996), 1 male Orange Tip near Archery Wood - Robert Callf.

Harrow Cemetery, 1 Common Blue, 2 Speckled Wood and 1 Burnet Companion - Shailesh Patel

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Continuing sunny weather, slightly fewer butterflies and a glimpse of my first dragonfly of the year,species not identifiable. Butterflies as follows: Holly Blue: 5 Small Heath: 1 Large White: 1 Speckled Wood: 7 Orange-Tip: 2 Common Blue: 10 Brown Argus: 2 Small White: 2 Brimstone: 1 Peacock: 2 and a very worn Tortoiseshell. Two Cinnabar moths,one Burnet Companion - Pete Gore

Spent an hour at Merry hill fields, Bushey after work. 3 x male brimstone, 1 x speckled wood, 1 x small Heath, 1 x large skipper which was my first this year. Also 1 x speckled wood at Oxhey woods southern woodland today- David Gower

Sunday 5th June 2016
A Large Skipper at Wollensbrook Fields, Hoddesdon, also a Small heath. One Painted lady at Broadmeads, Ware. - Andrew Wood

Ickleford, orange tips still on wing nice and fresh, 1st small heath of year there at any rate, + 4 brimstones NO common blues at all this year at this site - Stuart Pittman

Elated to see a Painted Lady today 5th June on Mardley Heath which spent a long time on daisies (Bellis perennis) in the grass verge - Caroline Phillips

Had a female Small Blue this afternoon at Heartwood on transect (section 6), Two good views but too warm to photograph. Also good numbers of Small Heath plus a few Speckled wood and singles of Common Blue and Orange Tip with good number numbers of Mother Shipton and Burnet Campion - Andrew Steele

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey, Good to have the sunny weather back after a dreary week. A wide assortment of butterfly species duly took advantage: Painted Lady: 2 Small White: 7 Speckled Wood: 5 Large White: 1 Peacock: 2 Brown Argus: 4 Common Blue: 8 Small Copper: 1 Orange-Tip: 3 Tortoiseshell: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Brimstone: 1 Small Heath: 1 Holly Blue: 2 plus 1 each Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion moths - Pete Gore

A very fresh looking Painted Lady in my garden in Hogpits Bottom, Flaunden this morning - Jill Saunders

Checked out lower sections at Aldbury Nowers before walking onto Picton. Sun was still behind clouds but did see 2 x orange tip males, 3 x green veined white, 4 x yellow shell. Along Northfield Road opposite Marshcroft Lane(SP945 134) 1 x red admiral, 1 x speckled wood. Later on just past Park Hill Farm(SP943133) in Marshcroft Lane were 1 x painted lady, 3 x large white, 1 x orange tip, 3 x brimstone(1 female). Along canal heading towards Tring(SP945 130) noted 1 x female brimstone and 1 x specked wood. In field next to Tring station (SP952 123) were 1 x painted lady and 1 x common carpet - David Gower

Painted Lady at North Mymms Park (TL22240362) and Hertfordshire Way (TL28010545). Small Tortoiseshell on Hertfordshire Way (TL27410538 and TL28720554). Male Brimstone, 2 Holly Blue and 1 Large White in Brookmans Park (TL24400400) - Rupert Pyrah

I observed these Butterflies and Moths while birding on Hampstead Heath today : 1 Mother Shipton, 4 Painted Lady, 1 Small Copper, 7 male and 2 female Brimstone, 6 Holly Blue, 1 Silver Y, 2 Burnet Companion, 2 Peacock, 2 Large and 4 Small White, 1 Common Blue, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 male Orange-tip - Frank Nugent

In my Hatfield garden today, 2 bright Painted Ladies + 1 Holly Blue - John Moss

Some butterfly sightings from a lovely summer's day (at last!) at Aldbury Nowers: Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper (very tatty), Small Blue (very tatty), Orange-tip, Brimstone, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Common Blue. Moths - Cinnabar and Mother Shipton - Sharon Monahan

Some fine weather at last! During a late afternoon/early evening walk in Six Hills Common I spotted a Brown Argus, 3 Common Blue and a Large White. Across London Road outside the Asda superstore, I was thrilled to see a Painted Lady feeding on ?firethorn flowers. - Peter Clarke

Had an 1.5 hour walk around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and met some of Friends Group clearing woody glades there. We saw a Sparrowhawk attack a crow in one of the glades and I saw my first Painted Lady of the Summer. Also at least 3 male and a 1 female Brimstones at Tower Hamlets. Also saw at least 3 male Common Blue, 5 Holly Blue including one egg laying female on Lucerne, a Large White, a Small White, 2 Green Veined Whites, 2 male Orange Tip and a Speckled Wood. Also saw 2 Burnet Companion, a Silver Y and a Small Purple and Gold moth. On way home, at about 5pm walked from Ruislip gardens station across Bridgewater Fields and saw a worn Peacock, a Holly Blue, a Speckled Wood and a Small White - Paul Busby

Bovingdon Brickworks (TL0002), 13:20-14:00: a short visit and by no means a thorough count (concentrating on Common Blue and Brown Argus). 2 Common Blues - just beginning to emerge, nearly 2 weeks later than the previous 2 years. No Brown Argus and I think it's almost certain that the colony has died out for the moment. In the previous 2 years, it was sustained by the annual plants Dove's-foot and Cut-leaved Crane's-bill and from what I gather these types of colonies can be short-lived (ref: http://www.amentsoc.org/publications/bulletin/articles/british-butterflies-larval-foodplant.html). Perhaps wanderers will recolonise in the future. Other sightings from the visit: 5 Burnet Companion moths, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Orange-tip, 1 Dingy Skipper, 4 Whites (sp. unidentified) + countless Diamond-back moths disturbed as I walked through the longer grasses. - Lucy Flower

Harrow Cemetery, 1 Common Blue and 1 Burnet Companion - Shailesh Patel

Saw a single fairly fresh-looking Painted Lady in our Pinner garden basking in warm sunshine - the first recorded here since before 2013. Tony and Gill Porter

At Waterford Heath north today 3 painted ladies, a grizzled and 3 brown argus, on south heath 8 holly blues, a brown argus, brimstone and 6 burnet companion at rickneys 3 painted ladies a holly blue and a red admiral - Steve Kiln

Saturday 4th June 2016
Some more sightings for Saturday 4th June 2016 - 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 15:10 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Park Farm, Enfield at 15:23 hrs, 1 Nettle-tap at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ 288 984), 2 Painted Lady at Park Farm, Enfield 16:01 - 16:03 hrs were settled on bare patches of earth amongst bean crop, circa 50 Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars were a pleasing find on nettles at Park Farm, 2 male Common Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking 16:15 - 16:16 hrs (TQ 297 982), 1 Green-veined White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield near Hadley Road at 16:40 hrs, 1 Mother Shipton at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf.

Went out late afternoon and nothing seen at Fishers Field. At Water Lane, Watford nearly gave up but noted 4 x green veined white, 1 x small white, 1 x small brown apple moth and 1 x mother shipton (don't recall seeing here before)- David Gower

Visited Trent Park 'New Fields' from 11:35 - 13:10 hrs Saturday 4th June 2016 and recorded the following - 4 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue, 2 male Common Blue, 1 Large White, 7 Small Heath between 12:21 - 12:39 hrs and 3 Mother Shipton. Checked the field where the Chimney Sweeper occurs without success - perhaps they will be out in the next few days - Robert Callf

Friday 3rd June 2016
A couple of sightings for Grovelands Park, Southgate for Friday 3rd June 2016: 1 Holly Blue at 14:48 hrs, 1 male Common Blue perched on buttercup near tennis courts (TQ 307 946) in pristine condition, somehow looked brighter than usual in the dull conditions at 14:53 hrs - Robert Callf

Another cold and windy day on Harpenden Common. No butterflies (there's a surprise) but still a good few Diamond-back moths, 10+ Nettle- tap, 3 Cauchas rufimitriella and 1 Crambus lathoniellus. Micros, micros, micros - not a butterfly to spot - David Hunt

Walked the Roughdown transecting this afternoon. Weather not very promising but rewarded with one Green Hairstreak and one Large Skipper. - Brendan Sheridan

Thursday 2nd June 2016
Cold and very windy best describes Harpenden Common this afternoon. However, my usual ramble included a male Orange Tip, well hunkered down and hanging on grimly, half a dozen or so Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars ensconced in neatly rolled nettle leaves (some rolls containing 2 larvae), literally scores of Diamond-back moths sheltering in the nettle beds, 3 Nettle Tap Moths and a male Nemophora degeerella. All of these records were made in the old sand/gravel extraction area - somewhat more sheltered than the Harpenden tundra. - David Hunt

Wednesday 1st June 2016
Having found 6 Grizzled Skipper roosting on Waterford Heath north last evening in the shelter 'of the cliff' returned today and found 7 and sadly again the one that didn't make it! Most were on Perforate St Johns Wort or similar, 1 on Forget-me-not flower head, and 1 on Bramble seeds. Prior to that searched Rickneys in all the sheltered areas and found just 1 as well as a Common Blue and a Brown Argus. I also refound the pupating White-letter Hairstreak larvae from last week. I also got absolutely drenched! I took countless photos (now on the Facebook page) but the only Grizzled to come out was that of one found on a bramble simply because the bramble stem was more sturdy and not being whipped around in the wind. These butterflies have been roosting without any chance of activity for over 48 hours. This is seriously bad news and they are open to similar attacks from spiders as per the picture and other predators! Also many Diamondback moths, a tiny migrant species that is being reported in large numbers, there must have a migration of millions? Liz Goodyear

May 2016

Tuesday 31st May 2016
News from Laura Baker of the HMWT, to say that an observer took a photograph of a Small Blue egg on Kidney Vetch in the top compartment at Aldbury Nowers on the 27th May. "I found only seven Kidney Vetch flower-heads open, but six of them each has a single Small Blue egg"

Late afternoon walk today around Waterford Heath with a neighbour in damp, drizzly, windy conditions found 8 Grizzled Skipper roosting, mostly under 'the cliff' on the north pit plus 1 further individual, eaten by a spider. 1 Common Blue found. Nothing found on the south pit but that might have been because we were distracted by the profusion of very active Roman Snails - Liz Goodyear

Sunday 29th May 2016
During a blustery, if intermittently sunny afternoon walk on Harpenden Common I saw just 3 Orange tip males, 1 Common Blue male, a group of about 10 Small Tortoiseshell larvae (with a couple of tachinids loitering close by...) and 1 female Adela reaumurella nectaring on garlic mustard. - David Hunt

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. I must have been walking for at least an hour before there was any sun or butterflies but once the former got through the clouds the butterflies emerged and included a very small female Holly Blue (about half normal size) and a Small Heath in the Pevensey loop which is unusual if not actually a first: Speckled Wood: 1 Orange-Tip: 2 Common Blue: 8 Brown Argus: 2 Holly Blue: 1 Comma: 1 Brimstone: 2 Small Heath: 1 Small White: 5 Peacock: 3 Large White: 3 Green Hairstreak: 1 and one Mother Shipton moth - Pete Gore

Late half hour walk from St Marys Church, Harefield across to scrubby grassland overlooking Colne Valley and saw a male Orange Tip and a Holly Blue (TQ 05 89) along the overgrown path then at least 3 Green Veined White nectaring on an abundance of Hoary Cress (TQ 04 89) - Paul Busby

Spent under an hour at Water Lane today and counted 2 x orange tip males, 2 x green veined white, 1 x brown Argus, 1 x common blue, 1 x burnet companion - David Gower

Saturday 28th May 2016
Chiswell Green - 227 Small Blues, 1 very fresh Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Common Blues, 1 Holly Blue. The Small Blues were all located just outside the Butterfly World fenceline and right next to the public footpath Just waking up from their roost in long grass and sunning themselves as I arrived making them very easy to spot. I've never seen such a concentration of them close up. Some very fresh and chocolate colour, others looking silvery blue. Saw about 200 in 200yards spread very evenly along the trial beds and about 1 every 10 yards along the field path which follows the southern border of Butterfly World. On the way back they were flying around in groups of up to 10 - spectacular - Malcolm Hull

1 x large white at Finch Lane, Bushey today - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. Cloudier conditions today but I was pleased to see a second Painted Lady,this time at rest on a Bramble leaf. The Brown Argus sighting may well be the same individual I first saw and have seen several days since in the same small patch of grass and flowers next to the path.He rests conspicuously on a Ribwort Plantain flower,taking regular flights around his small patch,making the occasional visit to pink Geranium flowers below, then back to his original perch. Here are the full details: Orange-Tip: 4 Common Blue: 5 Peacock; 1 Small White: 2 Speckled Wood: 4 Painted Lady: 1 Holly Blue: 3 Large White: 2 Brown Argus: 1 - Pete Gore

Butterfly sightings for Woodcock Hill, Sandridge (tl1710) for the 28 of May, 3 Small Heath, 1 Red admiral, 3 Peacocks, 2 Larges White, 1 Orange Tip and one Holly Blue Andrew Steele

Some sightings for Saturday 28th May 2016 at Fir & Pond Woods (TL 275 006) - 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue, 1 male Orange Tip and 2 Peacock and what looked like a Latticed Heath seen only in flight. At Oakmere Park, Potters Bar (TL 262 013) - 1 Red Admiral and 1 Holly Blue - Robert Callf.

I visited Bovingdon Brickworks yesterday (27-5-16). Saw 4 Dingy Skippers but very little else despite fine conditions late morning. On Tuesday I visited the A41 Bourne End exit site . I saw around a dozen Small Blues from the top of the embankment (south bound exit) and there is Kidney Vetch in abundance with some well established clumps. The Kidney Vetch plugs planted at Roughdown are now small plants. Approx 70% have survived and look like becoming established. None are in flower at the moment. - Brendan Sheridan

Friday 27th May 2016
A few sightings for Friday 27th May 2016 - 1 Speckled Wood at Chalk Lane, Cockfosters at 11:45 hrs, 2 Holly Blue at Monken Hadley Common (1 far W end of site and 1 near Beech Hill Lake), 1 Peacock at Monken Hadley Common at 13:45 hrs (TQ 267 970) - Robert Callf

Butterflies I have seen today 27/05/16: 2 holly blue - St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

At Hertford Heath Goldington reserve near Mount Pleasant I saw my first Red Admiral of the year plus some orange tips and whites (GV?) Andy Brown HMWT

Hounslow Heath/River Crane/Marshalling Yards/Pevensey. An all afternoon/all sunny walk. No species was numerous, even allowing for unidentified whites, but with 14 species seen the total of sightings was still a respectable 40 identified, including my first 2016 Painted Lady, flying rapidly on its way, as they do: Large White: 1 Green-Veined White: 3 Brimstone: 2 Small Heath: 2 Common Blue: 8 Tortoiseshell: 1 Speckled Wood: 3 Peacock: 4 Orange-Tip: 6 Small White: 3 Painted Lady: 1 Green Hairstreak: 3 Brown Argus: 1 Holly Blue: 2 and one each Burnet Companion and Mother Shipton moths - Pete Gore

The following at Panshanger Park 27-06-16 - Small Heath x 1 Peacock x 1 - David Wheatcroft

Finally managed a trip to WATERFORD NORTH PIT today, walked all the way round until finally finding 2 GRIZZLED SKIPPER,a male and female in a courtship chase,something I have not seen before, also around the site 1 Small copper, 4 Brown argus, 3 Common blue(2 male and 1 female) and 3 Holly blue (all males). - Laurence Drummond


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