Butterfly Conservation

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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

October 2015

Tuesday 13th October 2015
Two Red Admirals nectaring on Ivy at Snakes Lane near Hockey Centre, Trent Park (TQ 288 969) Tuesday 13th October 2015, also one Comma nectaring on Bramble blossom at Park Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Bit of a surprise in my Ware garden was that at 09:45 this morning in dull weather and reading only 9 degrees Centigrade on my car thermometer, I had a Humming-bird Hawk-moth flying around my flowering lavender - it keeps flowering! - Liz Goodyear

Monday 12th October 2015
Had a Comma and a fresh-looking Rad Admiral in the garden (Harpenden) today. - Robin Pearson

An afternoon ramble on Nomansland Common produced 17 Small Copper, including some very fresh-looking specimens and one with the left forewing rather more yellow than the usual coppery hue; and 1 extremely faded and almost scale-less Speckled Wood enjoying the autumn rays - David Hunt

Sunday 11th October 2015
A couple of butterflies on Sunday 11th October 2015 - 1 Comma nectaring on bramble at Park Farm, Enfield at 10:39 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 12:09 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Brent Reservoir, 1 Large White - Shailesh Patel

A few butterflies still around at Nicholls farm, Redbourn today. I saw a small white in the back garden and a Comma in a horse paddock. Peter Tallantire

News from Friday 9th Oct. A fresh-looking Speckled Wood seen on ivy foliage in our Pinner garden - Tony Porter

Friday 9th October 2015
I guess I was wrong, still 2 Small Heath at Trent Park (1 Sect 1 at 13:08 hrs, 1 Sect 6 at 13:37 hrs) this afternoon Friday 9th October 2015, also this afternoon between 13:00 - 14:00 hrs - 3 Comma (1 Sect 1 at 13:06 hrs, 1 nectaring on michaelmas daisies near Triangular Wood at 13:17 hrs, 1 nectaring on michaelmas daisies Sect 8 at 13:43 hrs); 2 Red Admiral (1 Sect 1 at 13:10 hrs, 1 nectaring on michaelmas daisies near Triangular Wood at 13:16 hrs); 3 Small Copper (2 near Sports Field 13:26 - 13:28 hrs, 1 Sect 6 at 13:36 hrs); Silver Y set aside field near Triangular Wood. - Robert Callf

Thursday 8th October 2015
Red Underwing moth last night in Stocking Pelham - Andy Brown

Two butterflies to report today Thursday 8th October 2015 - 1 Comma at Park Farm, Enfield at 10:32 hrs and 1 Peacock settled on grass at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:36 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

A mono-specific morning on Nomansland Common with 13 Small Copper sited, 4 on the north side nectaring on and around heather and the remainder on the south side where they were feasting on ragwort and yarrow flowers. 1 Grey Shoulder-knot moth sitting on bark of an oak tree - David Hunt

Sunday 4th October 2015
Folly Lane St Albans - disturbed a very fresh Red Admiral from my Blackberry hedge, where I suspect it had been feeding overnight. After a short flight it settled on flowering Ivy. 4 Small Whites and a faded Small Copper all feeding on Verbena Bonariensis. Comma was the only other species spotted at this site this morning - Malcolm Hull

Still one Small Heath Sect 8 'New Fields' Trent Park at 12:59 hrs - I guess this will probably be the last date here? 1 Comma Sect 8 12:59 hrs, 5 Small Copper at Trent Park (2 Sect 5 at 13:15 hrs, 2 near Sports Field at 13:20 hrs, 1 nectaring on michaelmas daisies near Triangular Wood at 13:30 hrs). - Robert Callf

Butterfly I have seen today (04 Oct 2015): 1 red admiral - Highover Way, Hitchin TL19693045 - David Inward

Saturday 3rd October 2015
Still one Small Heath in Sect 8 at 13:30 hrs Saturday 3rd October 2015 (a new latest date for Trent Park!), also in Trent Park - 3 Comma (all nectaring on michaelmas daisies - 1 Sect 8 at 13:29 hrs, 1 Sect 3 at 13:57 hrs, 1 near Triangular Wood at 14:06 hrs); 1 Small Copper nectaring on ragwort near Sports Field at 14:00 hrs. Yesterday Friday 2nd October 2015 - 1 Comma nectaring on michaelmas daisies edge of Water Garden, Trent Park at 14:50 hrs. - Robert Callf

A fresh Comma seen flying across Pinn Meadows, Ruislip after a pond working party then 2 Speckled Woods in my Eastcote garden after an absence of a few weeks - Paul Busby

Nomansland Common - 29 Small Coppers, meadow brown, speckled wood and large white - Malcolm Hull

Friday 2nd October 2015
Some sightings for Friday 2nd October 2015 at Trent Park from 11:50 - 13:00 hrs - 2 Speckled Wood (1 near Oakwood entrance 11:59 hrs, 1 near Triangular Wood 12:39 hrs); 2 Small Heath Sect 8 'New Fields' 12:03 - 12:08 hrs; 4 Small Copper (1 Sect 5 12:22 hrs, 2 near Sports Field 12:29 - 12:30 hrs, 1 near Triangular Wood 12:39 hrs); 1 male Brimstone settled near Oakwood Lodge, Snakes Lane at 13:00 hrs. - Robert Callf

Small Tortoiseshells in St Leonards Road, Bengeo (video on Branch Facebook page) and Ware Cemetery, Commas at Chadwell Bank and Wulfrath Road, Ware, Brimstone at Chadwell Bank, Green-veined White at Broadmeads, Ware and Small Whites at Broadmeads, Cromwell Road Allotments, Hertford and Ware Park Quarry. - Andrew Wood

Nomansland Common north side: 1 Meadow Brown; 1 Small Heath; 1 Speckled Wood; 8 Small Copper (mostly females briefly nectaring on a heather patch and then flying off for tens of metres, presumably to oviposit in the patches of sheep's sorrel growing in the bunny lawn. A good few hornets about but only one nest located. Nomansland Common south side: 1 Small Copper female nectaring on hawkweed. Heartswood Forest: 0 butterflies seen - David Hunt

Thursday 1st October 2015
One female Large White at Lakeside, EN2 Thursday 1st October 2015 at 15:25 hrs. - Robert Callf

Small Whites at Kimpton churchyard and outside Hatfield Galleria. A Speckled Wood also at the Galleria - Andrew Wood

Some sightings for Thursday 1st October 2015 - 2 Comma nectaring on michaelmas daisies edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park 11:58 hrs; 2 Small Heath - 1 Sect 8 at 13:03 hrs and 1 near Sports Field at 13:32 hrs - equals my latest ever date and of course I will be trying again tomorrow to extend this; 4+ Small Copper - 2 Sect 5 at 13:18 hrs, 2 near Sports Field, Trent Park; 1 male Meadow Brown near Sports Field, Trent Park 13:25 hrs - my latest ever date for this species! 1 Speckled Wood near Triangular Wood, Trent Park at 13:38 hrs. - Robert Callf

One hour stroll around Frogmore Gravel Pit early this afternoon yielded 2 Small Coppers including one ab. caeruleopunctata ('blue badges'), a solitary Small Heath, Small White and Comma. - Peter Clarke

Good variety of butterflies at Harmondsworth Moor, still with plants in flower, this sunny but blustery afternoon. I saw a Brown Argus, a Comma, at least one Small Tortoiseshell, a Small Copper and 3 Small Whites - Paul Busby

An afternoon visit to a sunny Harpenden Common yielded just 1 Speckled Wood. Nectar sources such as hawkweed and clover flowers regenerating after the annual cut, and a strongly fermenting fall of apples in the old orchard adjacent to the St Johns Wood section, had no takers - David Hunt

Recent butterflies on the ivy flowers, mainly red admiral and comma + the odd white As a foot note - we saw second brood orange tip this year and found some late caterpillars on some regenerating hedge mustard. The last caterpillar pupated last weekend along with the large whites. We had approx. 2 dozen eating the hedge mustard leaves, which then dispersed up the walls etc. We kept 5, four successfully pupated, one was parasitized, much to the consternation of my 5 year old. Interestingly, of the others we found on walls etc, 4 out of 5 were also parasitized. So our strike rate was good. - Phil Macmurdie

September 2015

Wednesday 30th September 2015
Visited Oakwood Park, N14 this afternoon Wednesday 30th September 2015 hoping to find third brood Small Copper, but despite having found them here in the summer none were present, just one Speckled Wood. - Robert Callf

Lunchtime walk at a sunny but blustery Butterfly World and saw 3 Small Whites, 2 Commas and a Peacock - Paul Busby

Tuesday 29th September 2015
Harrow Cemetery, 1 Small Copper - Shailesh Patel

Sightings for Tuesday 29th September 2015 at Trent Park: 3 Comma nectaring on michaelmas daisies near Triangular Wood 13:15 - 13:20 hrs, 4 Small Copper 'New Fields' 13:28 - 13:59 hrs, 5 Small Heath 'New Fields' - 2 near Sports Field 13:27 - 13:30 hrs, 1 Sect 6 at 13:53 hrs, 2 Sect 8 at 14:00 hrs - quite a surprising number for so late in the season, but perhaps not given the weather conditions? - Robert Callf

Sunny afternoon walk across Ickenham Marsh Fields and saw 2 Small Coppers, 6 Speckled Woods including a trio spiralling up into the air for some minutes and 2 Small or Green-Veined Whites - Paul Busby

Heartwood (11:30am - 12:15pm) 2 Small white & 1 Common Blue. Nomansland north side (12:15pm - 13:15pm) 5 Small copper (In fringes), 1 Meadow brown, 1 Comma & 1 Small white. Nomansland South side (13:15pm - 14:00pm) No small coppers found - Peter Ewer

Monday 28th September 2015
Some sightings for Monday 28th September 2015 - 1 Comma edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 10:59 hrs; 2 Speckled Wood at Flash Lane, Enfield 14:03 and 14:15 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood at Hilly Fields Park at 14:45 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood at Gordon Hill Station at 15:08 hrs; 1 Large White at Windmill Hill, Enfield Town. Two Red-green Carpet near outside lights at ASDA Southgate Sunday 27th September 2015. - Robert Callf

I checked the south side of Nomansland Common this afternoon as it has now had its annual cut. Not much about as, except at the periphery, most of the nectar sources have been removed. The north side of the road was more productive with 2 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Meadow Brown, 2 Speckled Wood and about 15 Small Copper, mostly females going about their business laying eggs on the sheep's sorrel and with a couple of rather tattered males still jousting, but only half-heartedly, perhaps because of the stiff breeze. My Harpenden garden attracted a Red Admiral to the buddleia. - David Hunt

Sunday 27th September 2015
One Speckled Wood at Park Farm Saturday 26th September 2015. 2 Comma Sunday 27th September 2015 - 1 along Leeging Beech Gutter near Stables at Vicarage Farm 11:19 hrs, 1 along Leeging Beech Gutter N of Williams Wood (TQ2997) at 12:26 hrs. - Robert Callf

Nomansland Common, near Sandridge - 20 people joined our last branch field trip of the year to look for Small Coppers. The weather was overcast but with sunny spells. We searched around the areas where heather and sheep sorrel (the larval food plant at this site) are plentiful. In total 25 Small Coppers were recorded, many posing obligingly for photos. Others were sun bathing or nectaring, mainly on heather, but ragwort and yarrow were also being used. We saw three spectacular aerial combats between rival males, one of which ended with both individuals disappearing over the top of the oak canopy. All individuals seen were very fresh and I would expect numbers to continue to build in the coming week, weather permitting. Other species recorded were Small Heath, Common Blue, Meadow Brown (3), Speckled Wood (3) and (a probable) Green-veined White. Elsewhere in St Albans area I saw Red Admirals nectaring on Ivy, Comma and Speckled Wood feeding on Blackberries and Large White - Malcolm Hull

Comma this morning at West End Essendon - Rupert Pyrah

Saturday 26th September 2015
A Comma and a Red Admiral in my Harpenden garden today - Robin Pearson

Butterfly I have seen today (26 Sept 2015): 1 speckled wood - verge between Kimbolton Crescent north and railway, Stevenage TL249216 - David Inward

In Stocking Pelham today a red admiral and a Brimstone - Andy Brown

Two Small Whites seen in playing field near Eastcote tube station - Paul Busby

Friday 25th September 2015
Some more sightings for Friday 25th September 2015 - 1 Red Admiral and 1 male Meadow Brown (fresher than the one a few days ago) nectaring on michaelmas daisies set-aside field near Triangular Wood, Trent Park at 14:13 hrs. Speckled Wood and Small White at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) at 15:37 hrs. One Large Ranunculus at ASDA Southgate near outside lights. - Robert Callf

2 Speckled Wood at Oakwood Park, N14 this morning Friday 25th September 2015 at 09:05 hrs. 1 Speckled Wood at Boxer's Lake, Enfield at 11:18 hrs. - Robert Callf

The Nomansland Common Small Copper emergence continues apace with 20+ seen this morning showing some nice spot variations and a couple of ab. caeruleopunctata. Other butterflies seen included 3 Meadow Brown; 1 Small Heath; 1 Speckled Wood, 4 Small White; 1 Brown Argus, 3 Common Blue males, 3 Comma (although 2 were more Heartwood Forest than Nomansland) plus 1 Antler moth. The Meadow Brown were still in nice condition, which is rather more than could be said for the rather tatty Common Blue males, and the Commas were wonderful. As I left the common, a tractor and topper were preparing to enter, presumably for the annual cut. - David Hunt

A Hummingbird Hawk-moth inside the 'Age Concern' charity shop in North Watford at grid ref TQ 1095 9811 this afternoon, flying between the overhead lights and the shop windows (and occasionally investigating some of the more flowery clothes as potential nectar sources). Elsewhere, anyone searching for a late Clouded Yellow over the next month or so could consider visiting Pouchen End Lane west of Hemel Hempstead, where there is a field dominated by Red Clover just east of the lane (at grid ref TL 028 073); the field is private but can be viewed with binoculars from the lane. - Colin Everett

News from Sunday 20th September 2015, a Red Admiral feeding on ivy at Bullbeggars Lane east of Berkhamsted TL 006 071, another in flight along the canal nearby at Bankmill Bridge TL 008 071, and a Red Admiral and a Comma both on ivy by the canal at Little Heath Lane TL 016 067. - Colin Everett

Thursday 24th September 2015
Another trip to Nomansland Common to admire the emergence of the Small Copper third brood . Despite the windy day, the sunny intervals brought the butterflies out: 4 Small White; 1 Green-veined White; 1 Comma; 2 Small Heath; 10+ Small Copper, including 3 ab. caeruleopunctata; and 1 Antler moth - David Hunt

A few sightings for Thursday 24th September 2015 - 1 Red Admiral at Allotments, Vicarage Farm at 10:55 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood at Brooke Wood, Enfield (TQ 302 986) at 12:55 hrs, 1 Red Admiral at Strayfield Road, Enfield at 13:31 hrs. - Robert Callf

Saw a fresh Comma at Eastcote House walled garden this morning and 2 Speckled Woods, one at nearby Dovecote Copse, the other across the River Pinn bridge in Long Meadow. - Paul Busby

Butterflies I have seen today (24 Sept 2015): 1 small white - Arlesey Road, Ickleford TL183311, 1 red admiral - allotments off Arlesey Road, Ickleford TL18263111. - David Inward

20 Commas in a 300m stretch of Blackberries at Heartwood Forest today a great sight - Andy Steele

Wednesday 23rd September 2015
A few butterflies this morning Wednesday 23rd September 2015 - 2 Speckled Wood at Trent Park (1 edge of Icehouse Wood, 1 near Dew Pond); 1 Small White near Dew Pond, Trent Park and 1 Green-veined White set-aside field near Dew Pond, Trent Park. Between 12:40 - 14:00 hrs in Trent Park: 6 Comma (4 nectaring on michaelmas daisies near Triangular Wood 13:00 - 13:05 hrs, 2 near Sports Field); 3 Small Heath (including one fresh); 2 Meadow Brown male displaying to female near Sports Field (quite surprised to see two together given the rather late date?); 2 Small Copper near Sports Field 13:15 - 13:17 hrs - - Robert Callf

Nothing noteworthy relating to butterflies today at Norton Green but Tony and I spotted a Hummingbird Hawk moth feeding on honeysuckle down the track about 100 metres south of Norton Green Farm. Also a Raspberry Clearwing was seen near the same spot some weeks ago - Peter Clarke

Sunday 20th September 2015
1 Humming-bird hawk moth nectaring on buddleia in my south Harpenden garden (notified to MigrantWatch) - David Hunt

One Red Admiral edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park on Sunday 20th September 2015 at 11:10 hrs. - Robert Callf

Folly lane St. Albans - small copper ab. Radiata nectaring on sedum this morning. The orange band on the edge of the upper side hindwing is replaced by a band of alternative brown and orange Quite striking and not something I've noticed before. Other butterflies on the wing included another small copper, two very fresh commas, speckled wood, several faded small whites and three very fresh looking large white, possibly the start of a third brood. Malcolm Hull

Saturday 19th September 2015
One Small Heath at Vicarage Farm, Enfield Saturday 19th September 2015 at 12:33 hrs. Both looking fairly fresh, so perhaps they will last until late September/early October. Also a 'worn' female Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park Saturday 19th September 2015 at 14:37 hrs. - Robert Callf

A return trip to Nomansland Common to see if I could get a better photograph of the brown Argus aberration snelleni was not successful from that point of view but, on an almost perfect day, a good variety of butterflies were about their business, including 6 Small White; 1 male Brimstone; 3 Meadow Brown; 5 Small Heath; 7 Small Copper (including one female aberration caeruleopunctata - the one with the blue spots on the hind wing); 10+ Common Blue; 2 Brown Argus and 5 Antler moths. The Small Copper seemed to be a fresh emergence, the ab. caeruleopunctata female mating very rapidly with a normal male. Of note was a Common Lizard youngster from this years brood. The few ragwort plants proved very popular with the Small Coppers and Antler moths, a reminder that this oft-loathed plant has an important place as a nectar source for many insects.
David Hunt

Brief visit to Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens and saw 2 Small Whites and a Comma - Paul Busby

Friday 18th September 2015
A few Small Whites this afternoon Friday 18th September 2015 - 1 at Parkside Farm and 2 at Vicarage Farm. One Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park Friday 18th September 2015 at 14:26 hrs. - Robert Callf

During the sunny intervals, Nomansland Common put on a reasonable show this afternoon with 10+ Small White; 3 Meadow Brown; 1 Small Heath, 6 Common Blue; 2 Brown Argus (one of which had pronounced areas of whitish scales around each of the black discal spots); 1 Comma and 3 Antler moths - David Hunt

Thursday 17th September 2015
Although a pleasantly sunny afternoon, Harpenden Common produced only one Small White, I think freshly emerged but at any rate in A1 condition, and a lonesome Speckled Wood. - David Hunt

Harrow Cemetery, 1 Common Blue - Shailesh Patel

Wednesday 16th September 2015
Millhoppers Pasture, Willstone near Tring - Despite the dire weather forecast, the sun was shining at the start of today's habitat management task at the branches own butterfly reserve. Large White and Speckled Wood both put in an appearance, together with 8 volunteers, mostly from the Chilterns Society. The rain held off until one and by then we'd made great progress cutting back the Blackthorn and other vegetation along the hedgeline. Many thanks to all those volunteers who came and dates for future tasks will be published soon. Malcolm Hull

Monday 14th September 2015
Ware garden, Speckled Wood - Liz Goodyear

During a brief sunny spell this afternoon went for a walk in Trent Park between 12:50 - 13:40 hrs which produced the following sightings for Monday 14th September 2015 - 1 male Large White near Triangular Wood at 12:58 hrs, 1 Comma nectaring on michaelmas daisies near Triangular Wood at 13:03 hrs, 4 Small Heath between 13:11 - 13:31 hrs. - Robert Callf

Ponders End garden, Hummingbird Hawkmoth - Andrew Middleton

Harrow Cemetery, 1 Small Copper and 1 Light Emerald moth - Shailesh Patel

Sunday 13th September 2015
Folly lane St. Albans - small copper, comma, specked wood, large and small whites on my allotment this morning - Malcolm Hull

At Stocking Pelham today couple of Red Admirals some whites and a Brimstone - Andy Brown

Saturday 12th September 2015
A few sightings for Saturday 12th September 2015 - 1 Comma nectaring on blackberries near Water Garden, Trent Park at 14:18 hrs; 2 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 14:37 hrs. - Robert Callf

I was having a walk down in the Chilterns on Saturday and on route we stumbled upon the reserve of Aldbury Nowers. What a fantastic little site! We found 4 Brimstone, a single Red Admiral, 2 Common Blue, 6 Brown Argus and 2 Chalkhill Blue (male and female). Unfortunately we had a lot of ground to cover on our yomp so I couldn't stay for long. - David James.

Friday 11th September 2015
Some sightings for Friday 11th September 2015 - One Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 14:34 hrs. 4 Speckled Wood and 1 female Green-veined White at Boxer's Lake, Enfield. One Small White at Merryhills Drive, EN2 at 11:47 hrs. - Robert Callf.

Yesterday I went to the crop-field (maize) south of Watery Grove and spotted a Clouded Yellow flitting between ragwort and other yellow flower-heads before it headed-off at speed south westward - Don Gregory

Two male Brimstones and a late(ish) Meadow Brown, all feeding on a flourishing colony of Devil's-bit Scabious at Bricket Wood Common TL 131 007; also a Painted Lady along Noke Lane near the entrance to Butterfly World TL 128 036. - Colin Everett

Thursday 10th September 2015
Saw a Small White, a Speckled Wood and a Comma by the River Pinn, Ickenham (TQ 0787) whilst river sampling on a sunny afternoon, then at Ickenham Marsh fields (TQ 0885) saw another 4 Speckled Woods, 3 Small Heaths and at least 5 Small Whites and a Large White. - Paul Busby

Found a Hummingbird Hawkmoth this morning Thursday 10th September 2015 at Rectory Farm, Enfield (TQ 311 988) seen in flight it soon settled on a hedgerow - my first views of one settled (right antenna was open and left retracted) at 10:15 hrs. Also one Red Admiral settled on Ivy at Flash Lane, EN2 at 10:37 hrs. Wednesday 9th September 2015 - 1 Red Admiral basking on wall at Oakwood Station at 16:17 hrs. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 9th September 2015
Saw two Red Admirals nectaring on buddleia from platform of Oakwood Station (TQ 293 959) on Tuesday 8th September 2015 at 16:30 hrs. Two Small Whites at Vicarage Farm, Enfield on Wednesday 9th September 2015. - Robert Callf

Half-hour stroll around Butterfly World in a brief sunny spell at lunchtime and was rewarded by seeing 2 Painted Ladies, 2 Red Admirals, 2 Commas, 1 Brown Argus, a female Brimstone, a Small Tortoiseshell on various Buddleia and also at least 5 Small Whites and 6 Common Blues (3 male and 3 female). - Paul Busby

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