Butterfly Conservation

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Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch

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Latest Sightings for 2014

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

August 2014
Apologies no updates until after the Bank Holiday!

Thursday 21st August 2014
A couple of Red Admirals to report today Thursday 21st August 2014 - 1 near Hadley Road at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:37 hrs and another near my home address in Southgate, N14 at 11:08 hrs. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 20th August 2014
In our Hatfield garden today, 2 Red Admirals round buddleia & ivy flowers, 1 Comma, resting on foliage, 1 Large White, 2 Small/GV White - John Moss

Some news for today Wednesday 20th August 2014 - 1 Peacock aat Parkside Farm, Enfield at 10:39 hrs; 3 Red Admiral (2 flew S at Park Farm, Enfield at 10:53 hrs, 1 edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park at 11:36 hrs) - Robert Callf

Tuesday 19th August 2014
This afternoon Tuesday 19th August 2014 at about 15.30 I had a Clouded Yellow fly through a small meadow where I work at Berkhamsted (HP4 3TP). The butterfly did not stop to nectar but flew through the meadow flying in an easterly direction. Also present in the meadow one each of Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Copper and Small Tortoiseshell and three Gatekeeper. - Ian Gamble

I saw two Speckled Woods and a Small White in my Eastcote garden, then a further two Speckled Woods by the Highgrove Wood square pond, Eastcote and finally a further five Speckled Woods and a Green-Veined White at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, Middlesex. - Paul Busby

Sunday 17th August 2014
Small Copper on flowers at Vanstone Park Garden Centre, nr Codicote this afternoon - Nigel Agar

A few sightings for today Sunday 17th August 2014 - 1 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:56 hrs and after a shower saw a female Gatekeeper and 4 Small White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Nomansland Common, St Albans - Common Blues (27), Brown Argus (1), Red Admiral (1), Small Copper (1), Small Heath (4), Meadow Brown (11), Gatekeeper (3), Large White (2), Small White (1), Barred Hook Tip moth (2) - Malcolm Hull

Saturday 16th August 2014
Some sightings from Stanwell Moor for Saturday 16th August: It was largely sunny today, though a bit breezy again. My opportunity today was around lunchtime, and only a local walk was possible, but as ever there was something different to see with subtle changes to the same circuit a few days ago. First up was a finding a Common Blue male nectaring less than ten feet from the front door, in amongst half a dozen or so Small and Green-veined Whites. Not much further on, I reached a wild buddleia, where a Red Admiral and a new pre-hibernation Comma were indulging themselves. When disturbed they both headed instead for the blackberries, which are beginning to ferment nicely. This in turn disturbed a couple of Speckled Woods and a Holly Blue. Seven species in five minutes - a good start indeed: it transpired that the new round of Commas were out everywhere - I counted about seven or eight in various spots, mostly on the abundant blackberries.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57656&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57654&mode=view
They were probably exceeded in numbers along the wooded and brambled riverside path by Speckled Woods with maybe a dozen spotted and here too were another four or five Holly Blues, with two seen nectaring together at one point.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57653&mode=view
Moving into the large field/meadow area between the river and the M25, I found it had been mown (as last year). As a consequence, the butterflies were all now around the edges, with Meadow Browns, a few Gatekeepers and Small Heaths, and a reasonable showing of Common Blues. These were more than 50% females, and most of these were dark examples, rather than blue ones. Returning home by largely the same route, I paused to see if a Holly Blue would settle, but I disturbed it and at the same time caused a Red Admiral to flutter up a little unsteadily from the brambles. It was beautifully new, scarcely a mark on the velvet black.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57647&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57648&mode=view
Dave Miller

A few sightings to report today Saturday 16th August 2014 - 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 09:36 hrs; 1 Painted Lady along track at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:25 hrs, also a female Gatekeeper along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm; 1 Holly Blue at Allotments at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:42 hrs. - Robert Callf Went to Ruislip Lido today. Around St Vincent's there were 15 x speckled wood. At Park Wood = 2 x speckled wood, 1 x small copper, 7 x meadow brown, 3 x common blue, 1 x brown argus. Briefly through Poors Field noticed 3 x meadow brown. - David Gower

Bricket Wood Common, St Albans - Common Blue (7), Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (1), Green-veined White (3), Small White (3), Speckled Wood (7), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Brimstone (1), Large White (1), Meadow Brown (1), Gatekeeper (1), Brown Argus (3), Small Copper (1) - Malcolm Hull

Friday 15th August 2014
On Friday 15th August a Hummingbird Hawkmoth visited one of the buddleias in my garden, the first record here. Brown Argus, uncommon in the area, seem to be having a good year with one on the Perivale Wood transect yesterday (following two earlier sightings there and a couple on the Horsenden West transect on 1st August). Oak Processionary Moth is continuing to come to my garden MV trap despite measures being taken in the area to eradicate them. Has also been good in the garden moth trap for Hoary Footman, Tree-lichen Beauty and Jersey Tiger this year. - Andy Culshaw

We had a butterfly walk up at Aldbury today, lots of brown argus about and common blue, a few meadow brown, gatekeeper, small heath, small copper, small, green veined and large white and a brimstone. Single painted lady and small tortoiseshell and one worn chalkhill blue. There was also a hummingbird hawk moth present in the furthest northern enclosure. - Paul Thrush

Only recorded one butterfly today Friday 15th August 2014 a Green-veined White settled at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 13:40 hrs. - Robert Callf

Thursday 14th August 2014
Late report. Tuesday 12 August. Walked my Warren transect, not expecting much in view of the dull windy weather, although it was 19C. Fortunately the sun emerged as I arrived and it stayed hot and sunny until nearly the end. Highlight was 2 Clouded Yellow (twice last year's first ever sighting), 10 Common Blue (m+f), 1 Meadow Brown, 2 Gatekeeper, 1 brilliant Red Admiral, 1 tatty Small Tort, 1 Small Heath & the first Small White since spring. Site getting hard work now, with galloping scrub impeding part of my route (need to take secateurs again) and much of the remaining open grassland getting rank and uneven. But there were loads of bees, moths, grasshoppers & dragon/damselleflies, with Buzzards circling over - John Moss

I was in the meadow adjacent to Frogmore Meadow on Tuesday 12th.August when I saw; 5 Clouded Yellow,1 Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 1 Green Veined White, and a number of Common blue and Brown Argus - Peter Elton

A few sightings for today Thursday 14th August 2014 - 1 Common Blue at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 10:16 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 11:16 hrs; 1 Comma at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:30 hrs; 1 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:31 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12;32 hrs; 1 Peacock at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:32 hrs. - Robert Callf

Watford Rd, Chiswell Green - Clouded Yellow flying alongside the main road. Butterfly World - Around 30 Common Blues, 2 Brown Argus - Malcolm Hull

Wednesday 13th August 2014
Visited Mile End, London this afternoon and saw at least 3 Small Whites, a male Common Blue and a Speckled Wood in Mile End Park and then at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park saw a Red Admiral on Buddleia, at least 4 Small Whites, 1 Large White, a faded Gatekeeper, 2 Speckled Woods, at least 4 male and 3 female Common Blues. - Paul Busby

Tuesday 12th August 2014
Saw a Comma at Boxer's Lake, Enfield today Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 12:00 pm, also Gatekeeper here. - Robert Callf

Have just identified 3 moths seen in garden and Bushey home last Wednesday: = 1 x brindled green, 1 x current pug, 2 x anania perlucidalis. - David Gower

Monday 11th August 2014
A very worn Painted lady butterfly feeding on buddleia in my Little Hadham garden at present. This follows on from last night's mothing where I trapped both a silver y (worn) and a Jersey Tiger, form Lutescens. Maybe a result of yesterday's strong southerlies?
http://littlehadhambirding.blogspot.co.uk/
Jono Forgham

Hummingbird hawkmoth briefly visited my Thorley Park garden this afternoon to nectar on phlox. Of interest to me as it was the largest specimen of this insect I have ever seen- Len Crouch

Saw two Speckled Wood in Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 this morning Monday 11th August 2014 at 09:16 and 10:00 hrs. Some news for Sunday 10th August 2014 at Grovelands Park, Southgate - 3 Speckled Wood, 1 fresh female Common Blue, also Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown seen. - Robert Callf

Sunday 10th August: I walked part of my local patch near Stanwell Moor around 1500, very soon after the sun came out following the storms or earlier in the day. It was still very breezy, but the sun had got things moving and Small Whites were soon to appear. I then spotted several Speckled Woods and Red Admirals contesting the same bits of path. One Speckled Wood looked worn, probably rain-affected, with some of the spots looking almost green. Further along I saw a Comma flying low along the nettle regrowth at the edge of the path, stopping briefly every four or five seconds - egg-laying perhaps. It was a late example of the summer brood - the hibernating ones will no doubt be appearing soon. Considering the storms of the previous 36 hours, it was good to see plenty of Common Blues, fighting strongly against the wind and nectaring whenever they could get a grip on a thistle. There were a few Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Small Heaths, generally looking rather sorry for themselves, but I disturbed a Clouded Yellow from the path which didn't look too bad. It dived to the ground again where I managed to grab a quick photo - confirming that it was neither of the ones I'd seen last weekend. There must be quite a few around. As usual it had plonked itself in amongst a nest of grass stalks, making for a far from perfect picture.
Green-spotted Speckled Wood: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57177&mode=view
Common Blue: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57174&mode=view
Clouded Yellow: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=57176&mode=view
I visited Bedfont Lakes Country Park after work (1700 or so) on Thursday 7th August. Along the path by the railway line, I came across Common Blues throughout the length, in double figures overall - perhaps 30 or more. There were a handful of Brown Argus in amongst them, mostly at the southwestern end of the path, where I also found a solitary Small Copper. Whites of all three species appeared, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were frequent, plus five or six Small Heath, a Small Tortoiseshell, and a Red Admiral. I found a single Common Blue "puddling" on a patch of damp ground - gatherings of Blues doing this are not uncommon abroad, but it seems comparatively unusual here.
Brown Argus: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56857&mode=view
Small Copper: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56862&mode=view
Puddling Common Blue: http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56856&mode=view
Dave Miller

Saturday 9th August 2014
Recent news from Diane Andrews for the last 7 days. Jersey Tiger seen at Crews Hill. Ramney Marsh, Enfield, 2 Clouded Yellow and 1 at Cheshunt Marsh.

Some sightings for Friday 8th August 2014 - 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:34 hrs; 1 Comma at Park Farm, Enfield at 14:17 hrs; 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:24 hrs; 1 Green-veined White at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:24 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 15:19 hrs. Today 9th August 2014 - 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:13 hrs and 3 Speckled Wood along the New River Loop at Town Park, Enfield between 11:38 - 11:44 hrs. - Robert Callf

As soon as I got in my car leaving Norton Green a few minutes after midday I noticed a worn White-letter Hairstreak on the front windscreen and was with me all the way home - crossing 2 tetrads (TL22 22 and TL24 22) in the process! - Peter Clarke

Old rivers orchard/hospital site High wych,11 Common blue (7 male 4 female) 1 very fresh Small tortoiseshell, 3 Speckled wood,2 Gatekeeper,16 Meadow brown, nearly all on the fields with the short sward and lots of clover/knapweed,the long sward just producing 4 Meadow brown,poor numbers generally. Laurence Drummond

Thursday 7th August 2014
A Clouded Yellow was by the main pit at Tyttenhanger GP this morning - David Booth

On my walk around Tyttenhanger gravel pits today I counted 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue,1 Green Veined White, 1 Large White, 5 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Heath, 1 Meadow Brown and 2 Gatekeeper. - Terry Wood

Late report. Tuesday 5 August. Impressed to find a pristine Hornet Moth nectaring on Field Scabious in our Hatfield garden. It obligingly sat still while we examined it from above and "face on". It was the dead spit of the illustration on p.42 of my newly acquired "Wild Guide to Britain's Day-flying Moths". Noting its larval food plant we realised there's a huge Lombardy Poplar about 3 gardens away and a row of very old ones at the end of Green Lanes, probably dating from tthe Thirties. Today 7 August spotted a possible Red Underwing resting on a stone slab on our patio. Muted at rest, it flow off rapidly with a brilliant flash of red, disppearing over the fence & possibly into Ivy on a tree. Otherwise not much to report other than the 3 Whites, upto 4 Gatekeepers, a tatty Speckled Wood, occasional Holly Blues (m+f) & the odd fresh Red Admiral. Peacocks and Tortoiseshells seem to left for this year. Consequently we are grappling with moths - John Moss

Only one sighting to report today Thursday 7th August 2014 - 1 Comma at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 17:12 hrs. - Robert Callf

I put out cheap moth trap last night and was surprised to find seven Jersey Tigers and one Garden Tiger in the morning - Phil Rhodes

Wednesday 6th August 2014
Today I saw my first Holly Blue of this year in my South Mimms garden, also a couple of Small Whites - Terry Wood

Chalkhill Blues numerous but rain battered at Hexton CP 3 Aug also Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Comma. Speckled Wood near the gate - Nigel Agar

On Wed 6th August I saw a Purple Hairstreak flying around 3 fairly young Oak Trees at The GlaxoSmithKline site in Stevenage - Christina Bessant

A few sightings for today Wednesday 6th August 2014 - 1 male Common Blue at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:20 hrs; 3 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:06 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:06 hrs; 1 Clouded Yellow at Vicarage Farm, Enfield in uncutivated field E of Shaws Wood (TQ2996) - Robert Callf/Robin White

BATFORD - Weedy field by B653 - finally the long awaited CLOUDED YELLOW has graced the weedy field. 1 seen - Darin Stanley

Went to Norton Green early this afternoon and among the butterflies were 40+ Gatekeepers, 50+ whites (of all 3 species), 10+ Common Blues, 10+ Meadow Browns, 5+ Small/Essex Skippers (one of which was Small), 3 Speckled Woods, 3 Peacocks, 3 Small Tortoiseshells and most excitingly a Chalkhill Blue (in the field SE of Watery Grove). Perhaps a male wanderer from Hexton Chalk Pit? - Peter Clarke

Tuesday 5th August 2014
Saw one Small Tortoiseshell at Tyttenhanger GPs this morning Tuesday 5th August 2014 at 10:23 hrs. - Robert Callf

While working at Thorley Wash today we saw 2 clouded yellows and lots of small tortoiseshells. Jenny Sherwen

A recent update or two from Stanwell Moor: 20th July: The second brood of Common Blues and Brown Argus has emerged in the open field area between the M25 and the River Colne just north of the A3113. The former were evident in good numbers. Also seen were Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, a couple of Commas, a Red Admiral egg-laying, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Essex Skippers and a Holly Blue.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55207&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55209&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55212&mode=view
21st July: A similar walk today in the same area, with the unusual sight of a Holly Blue female repeatedly settling on a twisting piece of hop. Even more unusually it opened its wings.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55317&mode=view
There were more fresh Common Blues as well.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=55319&mode=view
2nd August: A longer walk around my local area today. The day started with a few Speckled Woods and a bright male Holly Blue. The Peacocks and Commas of a fortnight ago have almost all disappeared now, but Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells turned up regularly in a variety of spots and habitat types. There were now even better numbers of Common Blues, and again in several spots, though mainly in the field area as before.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56506&mode=view
One individual had the deficient spotting not infrequently seen on Chalkhills and Adonis, but not something I've previously seen on a Common Blue.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56505&mode=view
There were one or two Brown Argus and Small Heath in amongst them, plus plentiful Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, both species now looking rather tired. However the high point was encountering Clouded Yellows, flying really fast along the path at low level both into and against the wind. How many was difficult to say, but there were multiple encounters, and at least two individuals were seen at the same time.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56513&mode=view
3rd August: a repeat of Saturday, to the extent of meeting the same Clouded Yellow!
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=56520&mode=view
However, one addition to the list of species for the weekend was a Painted Lady high and active on a wild Buddleia - no photo sadly. This brings this year's species tally for this area to 24, one short of all those I have seen here since 2009. The missing one is the Small Copper - as I waited until October to see this in 2012, there is hope yet!
Dave Miller

Monday 4th August 2014
A very dry Waterford heath south plenty of common blues and meadow brown, also two clouded yellows and a small heath - Steve Kiln

A few sightings today Monday 4th August 2014 - 1 Small Copper at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 10:00 hrs; 1 Comma edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 10:52 hrs; 3 Six-spot Burnet at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park; 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:06 hrs; 1 Peacock by lower lake Trent Park at 11:23 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Just seen my first Jersey Tiger in Town Park, Enfield this afternoon Monday 4th August 2014 at 15:39 hrs - seen in flight first but then settled in hedge - not too surprising as Diane Andrews reported two sightings to me recently from Wood Green and Crews Hill. Also a Holly Blue in Town Park. - Robert Callf

Sunday 3rd August 2014
Today at Colney Heath we saw several Gatekeepers, a Clouded yellow and a Jersey tiger moth. Jenny Sherwen

Bricket Wood - Brown Argus (5), spotted on the common today, my first records at the site for 3 years. Common Blue (4) seen for the first time this year, plus the first of a new brood of Small Copper (1). Meadow Browns & Gatekeepers are still around in reasonable numbers, but all other species are now in low numbers or absent. Butterflies spotted were Purple Hairstreak (3) Silver-washed Fritillary (3), Ringlet (2), Peacock (3), Brimstone (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Red Admiral (1), Small Skipper (2), Essex Skipper (2), Green-veined White (4) Small White (1), Large White (3) & Speckled Wood (4).Most of the butterflies seen were nectaring with Fleabane, Ragwort, Buddleia & Ling being the main flowers visited. Back in St Albans, my totals of hibernating butterflies in my outhouse are now Small Tortoiseshell 7 (well down on last year) & Peacock 5 (the highest number in 15 years) - Malcolm Hull

Apart from 2 x small white & 3 x large whites 1 x humming bird hawk moths seen on flocks in Bushey garden this evening. - David Gower

Saturday 2nd August 2014
Evening walk with Robin White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield Saturday 2nd August 2014 produced two Painted Lady at Hog Hill and a Vestal in uncultivated field. - Robert Callf

Spent just under 2 hours at Bricket Wood Common sat morning and found= 14 x gatekeeper, 8 x meadow brown, 2 x essex skipper, 1 x peacock, 6 x common blue (1 female), 1 x green veined white, 1 x large skipper, 1 x ringlet. At Bushey garden = 1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x gatekeeper, 1 x large white and 1 x common rustic moth came into bathroom at night. - David Gower

Here are a few sightings for today Saturday 2nd August 2014 - 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 by lower lake, 1 nectaring on burdock edge of Rough Lot); 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on burdock edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park; 3, 2 males and 1 female, Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park. Also found an Antler Moth on thistle at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:01 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 1st August 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. Weather breezier and cloudier but still warm. Gatekeeper numbers now clearly declining. I was pondering this thought as I approached some Ragwort where I'd seen some yesterday. Ragwort has done well this year and butterflies and Burnet moths have appreciated the nectar whilst countless Cinnabar caterpillars devour the leaves lower down. Today on this plant there was still a Burnet moth and 2 Gatekeepers on the flower-heads but on closer inspection both the butterfies were dead, heads and body parts missing with only a small amount of gossamer thread possibly holding the wings together, in surprisingly lifelike fashion, to suggest what might have happened. Here are the live butterflies seen: Meadow Brown: 38 Gatekeeper: 34 Speckled Wood: 6 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 1 Common Blue: 51 Peacock: 1 A few Whites around,distant and small - Pete Gore

Three Speckled Wood in the same area at Lakeside, EN2 this morning Friday 1st August 2014 at 11:12 hrs. 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 near Equestrian Centre, 1 at Water Grdn); 1 Peacock edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park; 1 Green-veined White at Water Garden, Trent Park; 2 male Common Blue (1 at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 at Park Farm, Enfield); 1 Purple Hairstreak edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park; 2 male Brimstone (1 edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park nectaring on burdock at 13:34 hrs, 1 edge of Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase nectaring on thistles at 13:50 hrs). Also yesterday Robin White reported a Clouded Yellow at Vicarage Farm, Enfield in field just E of Shaws Wood (TQ2996) and The Vestal in the same field. - Robert Callf

First Brown Argus of the year at Norton Green this morning in the field SE of Watery Grove. - Peter Clarke

I had a walk at South Mimms Wash Lane Common this afternoon, bemoaning the lack of butterflies, when a bright Clouded Yellow flew quickly past me (a Hertfordshire first this year for me). Other butterflies seen were 1 Comma, 1 Peacock, 2 Gatekeeper, 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Large White and 4 Small White - Terry Wood

July 2014

Thursday 31st July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Similar conditions to yesterday so the butterflies likewise, but one worth mentioning was my first Tortoiseshell for quite some time.This was a fresh-looking specimen drawn,like its predecessor some weeks ago and sundry Peacocks since, to the two burn-out cars that still adorn the central Marshalling Yards area.I assume that the attraction here is that they're large raised vantage points in an otherwise flat tree-less area rather than any unlikely mineral benefits available on or near them.Here are my details: Gatekeeper: 44 Meadow Brown: 38 Speckled Wood: 2 Comma: 1 Green-Veined White: 4 Common Blue: 44 Tortoiseshell: 1 Small Skipper: 2 Holly Blue: 1 - Pete Gore

Midday today (31 July) at Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead, walking west from the CP: 1 male Clouded Yellow (flew east and not seen again), 27 Common Blues, 19 Meadow Browns, 5 Small Skippers, 5 Gatekeepers and singles of Large White, GV White and Peacock. Expected to find more species: warm, intermittent sunshine, light breeze. Vegetation parched, but a profusion of knapweed flowers with encouraging numbers of honey bees nectaring on them. - Alan Jackson

Wednesday 30th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane The walk along the second section of the Crane has now been cleared to make it acceptable to the sane as well as me.Today's walk along this stretch was distantly accompanied by bagpipes playing an adaptation of part of the second movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony (the 'Hovis' ad. to some). Presumably part of a memorial service at the nearby crematorium.A solitary Gatekeeper was all I saw here.These are the rest: Gatekeeper: 62 Meadow Brown: 36 Common Blue: 52 Speckled Wood: 4 Green-Veined White: 1 Small White: 3 Large White: 1 Small Skipper: 1

Midday today (31 July) at Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead, walking west from the CP: 1 male Clouded Yellow (flew east and not seen again), 27 Common Blues, 19 Meadow Browns, 5 Small Skippers, 5 Gatekeepers and singles of Large White, GV White and Peacock. Expected to find more species: warm, intermittent sunshine, light breeze. Vegetation parched, but a profusion of knapweed flowers with encouraging numbers of honey bees nectaring on them. - Alan Jackson

Wednesday 30th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane The walk along the second section of the Crane has now been cleared to make it acceptable to the sane as well as me.Today's walk along this stretch was distantly accompanied by bagpipes playing an adaptation of part of the second movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony (the 'Hovis' ad. to some). Presumably part of a memorial service at the nearby crematorium.A solitary Gatekeeper was all I saw here.These are the rest: Gatekeeper: 62 Meadow Brown: 36 Common Blue: 52 Speckled Wood: 4 Green-Veined White: 1 Small White: 3 Large White: 1 Small Skipper: 1

Some additions to the Butterfly World list on Saturday were a couple of Painted Ladies seen during the morning and a probable female Brimstone. There were more Small Blue present than listed!
Some photos taken by Malcolm Bowey on the day can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/malcolm_bowey/sets/72157645616390078/

Yesterday Tuesday 29th July 2014 saw a Red Admiral at Chase Road, N14 at 15:23 hrs. Today Wednesday 30th July 2014 seen the following - 2 Comma at Flash Lane Aqueduct at 11:35 hrs, 1 Peacock at Flash Lane Aqueduct at 11:35 hrs, 1 Small Copper at Whitewebbs Park at 11:40 hrs, 1 Peacock at Whitewebbs Park at 11:40 hrs, 1 Comma at Whiteweebs Park at 11:41 hrs. - Robert Callf

We took a walk at Amwell today and saw our first Hertfordshire Painted Lady of this year. We also saw several Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Whites, together with singles of Comma and Common Blue. - Terry Wood

Way back in the mists of time (some years ago) somebody asked us to inspect a sloping field overlooking the Colne Valley at Harefield. It lies between 'The Old Orchard' and 'The Coy Carp'; local pubs. and Jack's Lane circumnavigates it on three sides. I had a look today at the lower slopes. The field is very neglected with tussocky grass and sapling trees. There was no sign of any Blues and food sources were in very short supply. - John Hollingdale

On Patmore Heath - a possible clouded yellow at the north end of the reserve - Andy Brown HMWT

Tuesday 29th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Still good numbers and variety of butterflies around although today was the first for a while without any kind of Skipper.The River Crane was high, fast and murky again after Monday's rain. Here are the sightings: Speckled Wood: 4 Meadow Brown: 39 Common Blue: 47 Gatekeeper: 46 Small White: 2 Large White: 1 Comma: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Painted Lady: 1 Peacock: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 Whites slightly under-counted - they're really not as numerous as I would have expected. - Pete Gore I did the transect today, lots of different species about. Quite a few silver-washed fritillary and one dark green fritillary, meadow brown, gatekeeper, small, essex and large skipper, small, large and green veined white, plenty of brimstones, single small copper, comma and small heath, a few red admirals and double figure peacocks. There were also lots of brown argus, common blue and a few chalkhill blue. Highlights though were a dingy skipper and a small blue (the dingy was in the south in the usual area adjacent to the large field and the small blue was in the furthest northern enclosure). - Paul Thrush

I am a recorder from Northumberland, visiting my daughter near Handworth Park. On the island of the Crane by the Shot Tower on Saturday, I was very surprised and impressed to have good views (binoculars) of a female Silver-washed Fritillary. There were also 3 Commas, 1 Painted Lady, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Peacock, 6 Holly Blues, 4 Gatekeepers and 2 Ringlets. - John Richards

At Heartwood today Clouded yellow seen on hill by scout hut and also Painted Lady, Brown Argus and lots of Common Blues seen - Andrew Steele

We had a walk at Aldbury Nowers this morning and were lucky enough to find a Dark Green Fritillary, as well as 2 Silver-washed Fritillary, several Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White, Large Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and mixed Whites, plus singles of Brimstone, Small Copper, Peacock and Brown Argus - Terry Wood

Today Tuesday 29th July 2014 saw the following - 1 Purple Hairstreak at Vicarage Farm, Enfield; 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on thistle at Park Farm, Enfield; 2 Small Copper at Trent Park (one at 'Old Golf Course' and one at Water Garden); 1 Comma at Water Garden, Trent Park; 1 Red Admiral at Water Garden, Trent Park; 2 Purple Hairstreak settled on Ash at Williams Wood, Trent Park; 1 Comma at Barracks, Vicarage Farm - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Monday 28th July 2014
Two photos taken by David Newland of the Purple Emperor that visited Malcolm Newland's garden in Hemel Hempstead (whilst Malcolm was away!) on the 15th July 2014. It should be noted that Malcolm's garden is a butterfly paradise for nectar and larval foodplants but it chose the watering can!
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=680567492025911&set=o.313540722064920&type=1&theater
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=680568202025840&set=o.313540722064920&type=1&theater

Saw two Speckled Wood together in Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 today Monday 28th July 2014 at 10:19 hrs. - Robert Callf

In Stocking Pelham today (28th); several gatekeepers, small tortoiseshells, Green-veined Whites, Large whites, peacocks, red admiral - Andy Brown HMWT

Sunday 27th July 2014
Sunday 27/7/14 in 2.5 hours. Took some friends, Dom, Jane & Billy Thomas from Sussex, around Bricket Wood Common to look for some specialities. Highlight was a female Purple Emperor which landed low down a couple of metres away on bracken and when it few it even alighted briefly on young Billy's arm! This was on the track which runs parallel to railway line approx.60 metres nw of the red & white pole. We also saw 7+ Silver-washed Fritillary & 5 Purple Hairsteak, but no sign of any White Admirals. Also noted on our walk were 10+ Small/Essex Skippers, 3 Large Skipper, 10 Brimsone, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Ringlet and numerous Green-veined White, Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown. Bob Harris

Spent 45 mins at Bricket Wood Common mid day and came across = 12 x gatekeeper, 4 x meadow brown, 1 x white admiral, 2 x brimstone, 1 x ringlet, 1 x large skipper, 4 x large white, many more whites unable to identify, 2 x silver washed fritillarys along main ride and 1 x purple hairstreak came down between them. Missed the purple emperor that landed on young boy earlier! On way back from St Albans on Abbey flyer stopped off again at Common early evening =1 x comma, 3 x ringlet, 4 x gatekeeper, 2 x silver washed fritillary. At Bricket Wood station = 2 x peacock, 3 x large white. - David Gower

RICKNEYS QUARRY,One Purple emperor still at the Bardon clumps territory, briefly @12.44, also, again, one each of Brown argus and Common blue - Laurence Drummond

Watched a Red Admiral nectaring on neighbours buddleia at Southgate, N14 on Sunday 27th July 2014 at 15:00 hrs and still present at 16:40 hrs. - Robert Callf

One fairly frail Purple Emperor seen at the Northaw Assembly area. Although we started watching at 2 o'clock it didn't make an appearance until 3.30. No activity at Whitewebbs or Fir and Pond - Liz Goodyear, Andrew Middleton and Laurence Drummond

Saturday 26th July 2014
Butterfly World, St Albans - Our first ever New Members' Day was well attended with 35 people joining us. A moth recording trap had been run the previous night at the site and day started with John Murray opening the trap and showing a fine array of moths. During the morning several committee members spoke on different aspects of the branches' work and how new members can become more involved. After lunch, I led a walk around the extensive grounds, following much of the transect route. Small Blues were out in good numbers with around 10 seen. Common Blues are just out and we saw around 40, plus a couple of Brown Argus. Liz Goodyear achieved the best sightings of the day, firstly a male Chalkhill Blue, nectaring on Marjoram, which posed obligingly for photos for several minutes. It appeared in good condition, so had probably emerged quite recently, an indication that the species may be breeding at the site. Two individuals (both male) were spotted here last year and the larval food-plant, Horseshoe Vetch, is thriving at this site. A possible second Chalkhill Blue could not be confirmed. 10 mins later Liz spotted a Clouded Yellow, nectaring on Birds-foot Trefoil. Small Copper, Marbled White, Small and Essex Skipper, Large, Small and Green-veined White, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper were also seen in the meadows, plus very many 6-spot Burnett moths. In the gardens Peacocks were numerous on the Buddleias, with Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admirals also seen. This site is maturing well and certainly living up to its early promise. A branch field trip is planned here on Sunday 10 August - see Walks & Talks section of this website for details - Malcolm Hull

On 24th July I photographed an insect that was particularly fond of Thistle (which is confirmed) as a worn Dark Green Fritillary - Pete Lowman

Visited the 'New Fields' at Trent Park this afternoon Saturday 26th July 2014 and recorded the following between 12:15 - 13:30 hrs - 5 Common Blue (3 together near Triangular Wood at 12:29 hrs, 1 Sect 8 at 12:39 hrs, 1 Sect 5 at 12:55 hrs); 5 Small Copper (1 at 12:31 hrs, 2 Sect 6 one at 12: 44 hrs and another at 12:51 hrs, 2 Sect 4 at 13:01 hrs); 1 Comma near Church Wood at 13:07 hrs; 1 Small Heath nectaring on ragwort near Triangular Wood at 13:12 hrs. - Robert Callf

A Clouded Yellow this morning at Pitshanger Park Butterfly Garden, Ealing. Also seen today at the same site: Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small White. John Eborall

Whilst out, I was reliably informed that a Clouded Yellow briefly stopped in my Ware garden on a Wonder of Peru flower head. Just like Malcolm Newland and his Purple Emperor I wasn't there! - Liz Goodyear

At Northwood hq in Sandy Lane on Friday 1 x common blue. At Carpenders Park station(TQ118934) resting in underpass 1 x poplar hawk moth. At our Bushey garden today(sat) 1 x large white, 2 x small white, 1 x gatekeeper, 1 x peacock. Went for a walk around Cassiobury Park also on sat and came across = 9 x large white, 9 x speckled wood, 21 x gatekeeper, 15 x meadow brown, 9 x small white, 4 x essex skipper, 1 x small skipper, 1 x large skipper, 5 x common blue, 3 x comma, 2 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x peacock, 1 x marbled white. - David Gower

The following seen in Cromer Hyde Farm Area today (TL2111) - while taking part in the Wider Country Butterfly Survey, Large white x 2, Small White x 30+, Painted lady x 1, Peacock x 8, Small Tortoiseshell x 3, Gatekeeper x 10+, Meadow Brown x 6+, Ringlet x 2, Comma x 2, Marbled White x 6+ - David Wheatcroft

Plashes Wood, a male Silver washed fritillary today, surprisingly, my first here, also one each of Brown argus and Common blue, plenty of the common browns and Peacocks. Laurence Drummond

Friday 25th July 2014
2 sightings of a Clouded Yellow this morning about 45 minutes apart at Pitshanger Park Butterfly Garden, Ealing. Possibly the same individual. On the first occasion, it settled and nectared on various plants, giving a good view. On the second occasion, after I had gone back with my camera, it flew around fast for about 30 seconds then flew off. Also seen today at the same site: Small Copper, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue. Over the past couple of years, Ealing Council have very successfully converted this former bowling green of about 40 metres square into a butterfly-friendly area. - John Eborall

Broadwater, Colne valley: Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady - singles - Chris Lamsdell

Saw a Large White at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this morning Friday 25th July 2014 at 10:39 hrs on thistles. Also saw three Peacock on buddleia at Lakeside, EN2 at 10:55 hrs. 1 Holly Blue settled by lower lake, Trent Park at 13:27 hrs, 1 female Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:38 hrs, 1 Marbled White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 15:06 hrs, 1 Peacock at Barracks, Vicarage Farm. Also Robin White saw a Marbled White at Vicarage Farm yesterday Thursday 24th July 2014. - Robert Callf

You may have heard about the sightings of the Yellow-legged (or Scarce) Tortoiseshell in the UK most especially near the east coast. Apparently there has been an invasion in the Netherlands and several has crossed over the North Sea. One specimen was seen at Barton near Cambridge on Wednesday so there could be some movement west therefore Hertfordshire might be next! Details can be found on the http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/index.php website. - Peter Clarke

Thursday 24th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A walk which began with a fading Painted Lady struggling to cross Richmond Council's Hounslow Heath Open Space shortly followed by a second one, much more vigorous, on the Heath itself held promise which was not fulfilled as far as the species was concerned but still good numbers of other butterflies: Painted Lady: 2 Gatekeeper: 71 Speckled Wood: 8 Large White: 1 Small Copper: 1 Small White: 2 Holly Blue: 1 Meadow Brown: 25 Small Skipper: 9 Comma: 2 Peacock: 7 Green-Veined White: 3 Common Blue: 31 - Pete Gore

Today I spent just over an hour recording in Broxbourne Woods West and about twenty minutes recording in Bencroft Wood; I then made some additional observations at Broxbourne Woods East CP. In Broxbourne Woods West I recorded 8 Silver-Washed Fritillaries (fewer than last year), 1 White Admiral, 3 Commas, 44 Peacocks, 13 Meadow Browns, 27 Gatekeepers, 2 Ringlets, 6 Small/G-V Whites and 1 Common Blue. The large areas of hemp agrimony (and thistles) on the south-east side of the main ride at, and to the north-east of, the stream are good news for butterflies; but the bracken that is encroaching onto the newly-cleared area by the stream to the east of the main ride is not. Being a Wood Warden, and having a keen interest in how the changed management practices will impact upon the butterfly population, I will pass on these, and other observations (see below), to the CMS. In the prevailing hot, dry weather much of the vegetation was parched and much of the newly-cleared area to the north-west of the main ride is almost barren. Yet there were parts of the main ride that had remained quite moist! This illustrates the enormous diversity of habitats that can potentially be developed at this NNR. The heather patch to the north of the newly-cleared area is doing well, thanks to careful management; but the area where orchids grow to the east of the heather has become overgrown by bracken, as has the area to the south that was cleared to connect the heather area to the main area of clearance. Broom is establishing near the heather. Whilst orchids, broom and heather may have few implications for butterflies (moths, perhaps, in the case of the heather and broom), it was encouraging to see hemp agrimony and bird's-foot trefoil already establishing in parts of the newly-cleared area. The newly-cleared area has had a testing year: sodden throughout winter and spring and desiccated in the summer. It will be exciting to see what plant species eventually establish there and what the implications will be for butterflies. At Bencroft I observed a presumed fast-flying female Purple Emperor at around 20 feet. A Silver-Washed Fritillary was also present, as were 5 Red Admirals (absent from Broxbourne West, no idea why). Also seen were 16 Peacocks, 7 Gatekeepers, 4 G-V Whites and 5 Meadow Browns. At Broxbourne East CP I saw another White Admiral, a SWF, a Comma and several G-V Whites. I much appreciated the comments, all of which I can endorse with enthusiasm, of Richard and Sue Wistow from South Wales (20 July). In this context I might mention the species I could have seen today but didn't: Marbled White (seen there last year), Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Purple Hairstreak, Small Tortoiseshell or any of the Skippers. Two species I used to see at Broxbourne Woods in the 1950s and not mentioned by the Wistows (who didn't start looking until 1977) were Pearl-Bordered and even Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries (OK, just the one); numbers of common dog-violets are on the increase following the changed management practices at Broxbourne Woods, so who knows? - Alan Jackson

1 x treble brown spot moth came into Bushey house tonight, 1 x large white in garden - David Gower

Encouraged by recent visits to Northaw Great Wood for the Purple Emperor I decided to visit Norton Green this afternoon to search for it. Visited the common at about 2pm and stood watching the oak tops for about an hour with the sun out about half the time. It was almost devoid of activity with just the odd fly and bee. At just after 3pm the sun went behind a big cloud and I decided to walk around the common and take a new viewing position near the byways sign focusing on a sallow and the tall oak tree behind it. After a good 20 minutes the sun finally reappeared and in a very short time the place was a hive of activity with dragonflies, a Purple Hairstreak (which I hadn't seen since the field trip) and a Purple Emperor sped past in front of me towards the track (3:35pm). In the morning walk at Norton Green (north section) I saw loads of Large Whites (50+) and many Peacocks enjoying the teasel. Yesterday a Holly Blue was seen here (first of the year) - Peter Clarke

Some sightings for today Thursday 24th July 2014 at Grovelands Park, Southgate, N14 - 2 Small Copper (one in meadow enclosure at 12:06 hrs and another near tennis courts at 12:25 hrs); 8 Common Blue (two in meadow enclosure at 12:06 hrs, four near tennis courts between 12:27 - 12:32 hrs, 2 near Bowling Green at 12:36 hrs); 10 Six-spot Burnet (3 in meadow enclosure, seven near tennis courts); 2 Speckled Wood near Bowling Green at 12:34 hrs; 2 Peacock nectaring on white buddleia near Priory Hospital at 13:04 hrs. - Robert Callf

I was verry excited to find a white-letter hairstreak in a meadow called Swan's nest in Weston this week - Hilary Bailey

A Clouded Yellow over a pea field near Dane End (the one at Little Munden) this afternoon - Andrew Wood


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