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

October 2014

Monday 20th October 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Just enough sun for butterflies and I saw double the number seen on my last walk.Both of them were Speckled Woods on the Marshalling Yards,the second one flopping (minus a hind-wing),rather than landing, on the grass alongside me. There has been a further assault on the Marshalling Yards by car,this time smashing down the substantial fence that blocked access to the main Cavalry Tunnel before setting fire to the car in the tunnel itself.Various parts had been deposited in the River Crane beforehand.This effectively opens the tunnel for more such invasions although natural light is inadequate for safe/pleasant walking. - Pete Gore

Sunday 19th October 2014
Stocking Pelham one active Red Admiral - Andy Brown HMWT

On a lovely sunny, but breezy late Sunday morning, during river sampling for the Citizen Crane monitoring project, I saw a single Speckled Wood fly up and flutter by and a pair of Common Darters engrossed in egg laying on the river margin of the Yeading Brook, Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, Middlesex. - Paul Busby

A few sightings for today Sunday 19th October 2014 - 1 Small Copper set-aside field N of Williams Wood (Trent Park tetrad - TQ2996); 1 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:25 hrs (Trent Park tetrad); 1 Peacock at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:27 hrs (Trent Park tetrad) and 1 Red Admiral at Allotments, Vicarage Farm (TQ3097) - Robert Callf/Robin White

Friday 17th October 2014
Jane and I went over to Symondshyde to look at the Clouded Yellows today. There were a minimum of 10 flying when the sun came out as well as 1 Red Admiral and a Vapourer Moth. - Andrew Wood

Although today wasn't as warm and sunny as I'd hoped, the prospect of Clouded Yellows tempted me to Symondshyde this afternoon. In 2.5 hours I saw around 10 individuals across the site, with a maximum of 6 in view at any one time. My only other sighting was a single Peacock sunbathing on the gorse. - Paul Why

A couple of sightings to report in Trent Park today Friday 17th October 2014 - 1 Peacock by lower lake at 13:27 hrs and 1 female Common Blue watched settled for several minutes at 'Old Golf Course' 13:32 - 13:35 hrs (my latest record of this species locally!). - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Thought we might have finished apart from occasional emerging from hibernation but today a solitary Speckled Wood was still lurking by the bridges over the stream and river,the only butterfly seen on a relatively sunny walk. The last seen previously were on Friday 10th October:2 each Speckled Wood and Common Blue (male) - Pete Gore

Thursday 16th October 2014
Four species of butterfly to report today Thursday 16th October 2014 at Trent Park: 1 Comma edge of Moat Wood at 10:37 hrs; 1 Red Admiral edge of Moat Wood at 10:40 hrs; 2 Small Copper nectaring on michaelmas daisies 'Old Golf Course' at 10:45 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood along bridle-path near Merryhills Brook at 11:30 hrs. - Robert Callf

Visited the Symondshyde Lane (Hammonds Lane on some maps) site at lunchtime today, still 9-10 Clouded Yellows flying in the warm sunshine, also Brimstone, Red Admiral and two reddish-brown medium-sized buttedflys I couldn't identify. - Robin Pearson

Just a Comma this afternoon at Norton Green, resting or basking on bramble - Peter Clarke

Two Death's Head Hawkmoth larvae eating jasmine leaves which are growing on a pergola structure outside our kitchen in a Hertfordshire garden - Anna Dockerty

Just to record that I observed a Clouded Yellow on Hampstead Heath going purposefully S over Parliament Hill (the only one that I observed at this site in 2014 despite many hours spent bird/butterfly watching there) on Saturday 11th October when I also observed Red Admirals doing the same. Frank Nugent

Tuesday 14th October 2014
1 x beautiful plume moth in bushey garden today - David Gower

The recent reports by Robin Pearson from the disused gravel pits bordered by Coopers Green Lane and Symondshyde Lane variously called Sutton's Farm or Coopers Green Lane gravel pits of several CLOUDED YELLOWS prompted a thorough search in the fine autumn sunshine on Saturday 11th. October 2014. The butterflies can be found just beyond the fence described by Robin on the 3rd. October in Symondshyde Lane. Clouded Yellows, both males and females were found nectaring on dandelions and daisy species in the absence of any flowering clover ranging from the gorse bushes near the fence all the way to the two pits and up to the edge of the escarpment on the right. I counted up to twenty carefully avoiding repeats and photographed different individuals into double figures. The site was later in the afternoon visited by Lee Evans who reported 32+. I think both estimates are on the conservative side and mark an irruption of the species at this location. The site has a few Common Blues also close to the fenceline.
One of Colin Holtby's photos can be viewed here
Chris Holtby (hopefully they survived the deluge yesterday)

Saturday 11th October 2014
Stocking Pelham on Saturday 11th - one probable small copper + 1 small tortoiseshell Andy Brown HMWT

The season continues here in Stanwell Moor. Today 11th, a calm sunny interlude at around midday drew me out onto my local patch again. Five species seen altogether, including a profusion of Red Admirals. I counted over a dozen in two separate patches of ivy, a mixture of bright new specimens and a few more tattered individuals. There was a single Comma in with them, and not far away I saw a Small White and three Speckled Woods still patrolling the path. Further on in the meadow next to the M25, moving along from flower to yellow flower and then plummeting to lie low when the sun went in, there was a male Clouded Yellow. Not quite a brand new one, but likely to be the offspring of those I saw here back in early August and a very welcome sight. Holly Blues last weekend, a Clouded Yellow today - whatever next?
Dave Miller

Ponders End garden, 1 Peacock on Buddleia today - Andrew Middleton

One Small Copper on thistle head at Uni-lawns Trent Park Friday 10th October 2014 at 14:30 hrs - looking rather worn - Robert Callf

Friday 10th October 2014
A Comma at Norton Green Friday afternoon - Peter Clarke

3 very smart, new red admirals on the wing at Hadham Hall this morning at 11.00a.m. - Jonathan Forgham

Thursday 9th October 2014
One Red Admiral at Grovelands Park, Southgate on Wednesday 8th October 2014 at 14:08 hrs. One Red Admiral at Northaw Great Wood on Thursday 9th October 2014 at 10:51 hrs. - Robert Callf

Ware High Street, at 8.50am a Red Admiral flying in front of shop windows - Liz Goodyear

Wednesday 8th October 2014
Still at least 6 Clouded Yellows at the Symondshyde Lane site, grid ref TL 198 104. - Robin Pearson

Tuesday 7th October 2014
News from Sunday 5th October at Wareside. 1 speckled wood, sunning itself on the autumn leaves, 1 small copper, 1 brown argus - looking remarkably fresh. Whizzed about the front garden before departing into the orchard. 2 red admiral on the ivy flowers, 3 large whites, 1 small white, 1 comma. also 2 vapourer moths. All in and around the garden or field opposite. Also at Widford, 1 speckled wood, at the cricket ground. 1 small copper also at the cricket ground. 2 red admiral on the ivy flowers also 1 vapourer moth - Phil Macmurdie

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Sunshine but strong breezes today but still some butterflies around: Red Admiral: 1 Brimstone: 1 Speckled Wood: 2 Small Copper: 1 - Pete Gore

A few sightings for today Tuesday 7th October 2014 - 1 Red Admiral edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 11:15 hrs; 1 Comma edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 11:45 hrs; 2 Speckled Wood along bridle-path near Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 11:52 and 11:54 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White

A sunny but cool morning, only about 12-13 Deg C, but we managed to see a Red Admiral and 3 Speckled Woods during a break at our working party around the square pond at Highgrove Woods, Eastcote, Middlesex - Paul Busby

Sunday 5th October 2014
Very sunny today (5th), but very much chillier than recently (only around 8 degrees at nine this morning). At lunchtime I walked around my local patch again, remembering that sunshine is probably more important than warmth for butterflies. I was rewarded with five Red Admirals, four or five Speckled Woods, a couple of Small Whites, a Comma and some excellent views of another (or perhaps the same) male Holly Blue. It was alternately taking minerals from horse dung on the path and basking on foliage low down. I observed it for half an hour and it was still there when I left.
Dave Miller

Still 8-10 Clouded Yellows at the Symondshyde Lane site (near Sandridge) also a few Common Blues.
Robin Pearson

Rescued 1 x peacock tangled up in spiders web in Bushey garden today. At Merryhill Fields 1 x small copper seen in exactly same area as last year. - David Gower

Pleasantly surprised to find a Red Admiral nectaring on Rudbeckia & Ivy flowers in my Hatfield garden today. First for some time. We used to get them regularly into Oct., but this is the first for 2-3 years - John Moss

Saturday 4th October 2014
Saw a single Speckled Wood butterfly on a 5 mile hike along the Yeading Brook, Ickenham Marsh Fields, Middlesex on Saturday afternoon, just after the sun came out after heavy rain showers - Paul Busby

Had 1 Small Cooper late Saturday afternoon after the rain at Tyttenhanger Gravel Pit - Andrew Steele

Stanwell Moor, 4th October: Between nine and ten this morning, before the clouds rolled in and the rain poured down, I saw four Red Admirals and two Speckled Woods making the most of the last drop of summer sun.
Dave Miller

Friday 3rd October 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards More sun so a few more butterfly sightings: Speckled Wood: 7 Common Blue: 1 Small Copper: 1 Small White:1 A misguided attempt at scrap metal recycling has led to the removal of the largest of the three burnt out vehicles from the centre of the site but only as far as the main entry path back to the tunnel.A trail of debris including doors and the engine can be seen. Probably fortunate they didn't reach the tunnel or the river but with the path blocked there can be no more joyriding car thieves entering this way.Walkers and bikers,like mice and water,will always find a way of getting to places they 'need' to go however... - Pete Gore

A visit to Trent Park this afternoon Friday 3rd October 2014 produced the following sightings - 1 female Clouded Yellow near Triangular Wood at 12:49 hrs; 1 Peacock in Sect 8 'New Fields' at 12:52 hrs; 1 Red Admiral in Sect 8 'New Fields' at 12:52 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood in Sect 5 'New Fields' at 13:05 hrs; 3 Small Copper (1 in Sect 4 'New Fields' at 13:13 hrs, 2 near Sports Field at 13:15 and 13:18 hrs); 1 Speckled Wood near Sports Field at 13:16 hrs. The days when there was a regular grass cutting and baling regime seem a long time ago. - Robert Callf

A visit to Trent Park this afternoon Friday 3rd October 2014 produced the following sightings - 1 female Clouded Yellow near Triangular Wood at 12:49 hrs; 1 Peacock in Sect 8 'New Fields' at 12:52 hrs; 1 Red Admiral in Sect 8 'New Fields' at 12:52 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood in Sect 5 'New Fields' at 13:05 hrs; 3 Small Copper (1 in Sect 4 'New Fields' at 13:13 hrs, 2 near Sports Field at 13:15 and 13:18 hrs); 1 Speckled Wood near Sports Field at 13:16 hrs. The days when there was a regular grass cutting and baling regime seem a long time ago. - Robert Callf

Glorious warm sunshine on what may well be the last day of summer: I made a circuit of my local patch at Stanwell Moor this afternoon. Altogether, I must have seen six Red Admirals, six Speckled Woods, two Large Whites, two Small Heaths, two Holly Blues, a Small White and a Green-veined White. One Holly Blue was nectaring on a thistle and even opened up a little, showing that it was brand new.
Dave Miller

A Holly Blue seen over Kitchling Lane at Norton Green at around 2pm today. PS Most of the cuttings in the meadow at the common have now been removed! - Peter Clarke

A few butterflies in the Autumn sun, I saw a male Common Blue in the Walled Garden of Eastcote House Gardens, Middlesex and 3 Speckled Woods in the nearby Dovecote Copse near the River Pinn. Then in the overgrown wildflower meadow in Warrender Park, Eastcote, I saw another solitary ragged male Common Blue and at the entrance to the adjacent Highgrove Wood, I saw another Speckled Wood. - Paul Busby

At Sutton's Farm GPs (near Sandridge) today I had at least 12 sightings of CLOUDED YELLOW, males and females, with up to four on view together at one time. Note: This area is bounded by Woodcock Hill, Coopers Green Lane and Symondshyde Lane and is officially private but people use it to exercise theirs dogs. There is a small pull-in 100yds up Symsdondshyde Lane where the fence has been broken down, most the Clouded Yellows were just a few yards in from there. - Robin Pearson

A faded Painted lady in Cutforth Road, Sawbridgeworth on the 2nd October - Laurence Drummond

Thursday 2nd October 2014
A few sightings for today Thursday 2nd October 2014 - 3 Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield; 1 male Common Blue settled on thistle set-aside field N of Williams Wood, Trent Park, 10:55 hrs - in fresh condition; 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 12:34 hrs; 1 male Clouded Yellow at Park Farm, Enfield, 12:36 hrs - in the same area as yesterday. - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. First walk in October and off to a good start in bright sunshine: Common Blue: 4 Speckled Wood: 9 Small Copper:3 Small White:1 Red Admiral: 2 One Other possible Red Admiral/Peacock and 2-3 small Whites also seen. Tuesday 30th September 2014 - Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. Highlight on this day was a Hop Dog,a delightful name for a beautiful creature which grows up to become the rather less impressive Pale Tussock Moth.Evolution has equipped the Hop Dog with camouflage (green), unpalatability (covered in green hair),'weaponry' (a 'horn' and four tufts) and mimicry (when the caterpillar moves it displays a wasp-like black band between each tuft.I gather they tend to survive well. I've seen wild hops somewhere on my local travels but I'd imagine on the Marshalling yards it had fed on Birch.I spotted it briefly looking conspicuous on the footpath in front of me,probably ready to pupate. Butterflies: Speckled Wood: 8 Common Blue: 5 Small Copper: 2. Sunday 28th September - Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards(part)/Crane. Speckled Wood: 11 Small White:2 Small Copper:1 Common Blue:3 Brown Argus: 1( old,tatty,faded with no hint of blue but didn't see underwings.) - Pete Gore

Wednesday 1st October 2014
Hobby Horse Wood (next to Balls Wood) today 3 Speckled Wood - Andy Brown HMWT

Visited Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park this afternoon, warm and sunny intervals. Pleased to see at least 5 Common Blue, 3 Speckled Woods and 2 Small Whites on the first day of October. Also surprised to see the first "Spring" crocuses of the year - Paul Busby

A very brief look around my local patch in Stanwell Moor on the morning of Sunday 28th: One new third brood Holly Blue, a Peacock, a Small White, three Red Admirals and six or seven Speckled Woods.
Dave Miller

Some sightings to report for today Wednesday 1st October 2014 - 1 Red Admiral near Hadley Road at Vicarage Farm, Enfield 11:00 hrs; 1 Clouded Yellow at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) at 11:30 - 11:34 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood along Jubilee Path at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:56 hrs; 1 Large White at Ferny Hill Farm, Enfield at 12:10 hrs and 1 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park 12:43 hrs. - Robert Callf

September 2014

Tuesday 30th September 2014
Tuesday 30th September. Did my final transect of The Warren for the season. Only one butterfly recorded (Large White, 1st this year) with a few moths & lots of Common Darter dragonflies. Most thorn & common furze scrub now cut and removed. Hedge margins cut back on 3 sides. All ranker grass & nettle areas mown, with arisings stacked in 2 huge heaps. Looks very barren, with hardly any wildlife & no sign of rabbits for once. Still some flora in flower, especially Dwarf Furze, Heather & Tormentil. The drastic treatment was essential & should lead to healthy regeneration next year. If the planned light summer grazing is introduced, open grassland should be sustained. Next year will reveal how the invertebrate population is affected - John Moss

Seen a Red Admiral flying along Bramley Parade, Oakwood, N14 this afternoon Tuesday 30th September 2014 at 14:35 hrs. - Robert Callf

Short stroll around Highgrove Woods, Eastcote, Middlesex on a sunny warm afternoon and I saw 3 Speckled Wood and a Large White. A Southern Hawker dragonfly was patrolling the pond and a pair of Common darted egg laying - Paul Busby

Sunday 28th September 2014
Nomansland Common, nr Sandridge - Ten of us assembled for the final Herts field trip of the summer season. The weather was warm & sunny and we were greeted with the exciting news that Jackie (who had arrived early for a picnic) had just spotted a Clouded Yellow. Entering the Common we immediately saw a Small Copper nectaring on Ragwort. Close examination through binoculars revealed there were actually four Small Coppers on the same plant. The site looked in great condition with widespread rabbit grazing allowing sheeps sorrell (the larval foodplant) to flourish. Nectar was less abundant than previous years with most of the Ragwort pulled up & much of the site having recently received its annual mow. Nectaring and sunbathing were the two main activities of the Small Coppers, with Heather (Ling) being the most popular nectar source. We also saw a couple of attempted courtships, though neither were successful & a couple of females sitting on sorrell, though no egg laying was observed. In total we saw 45 Small Coppers in 90 minutes, some appearing very fresh and other a bit faded. The only other butterflies seen at the site today were Peacock (1), Speckled Wood (1) & either a Small or Green-veined White plus a Blood-vein moth - Malcolm Hull

On Thursday 25th September, after a Conservation working party on Long Meadow and River Pinn, Eastcote, Middlesex, I saw a Red Admiral on flowering ivy at the entrance of Dovecote Copse, Eastcote House Gardens and a tiny Common Blue in the Walled Garden. Back home, I saw a Speckled Wood and 2 Large White caterpillars. Then today, walking through St Martins Churchyard, Ruislip, I saw 2 Large Whites and a Speckled Wood. - Paul Busby

On Sunday 28th in Stocking Pelham, - GV White, Large White and humming-bird Hawk moth nectaring - Andy Brown HMWT

Indentified a Green-veined White along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield this morning Sunday 28th September 2014 at 10:30 hrs, also a Speckled Wood here - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Saturday 27th September 2014
In a couple of very sunny hours out in the garden in Tring, today, I saw 8 butterflies. They were a Brimstone, a Large and a Small White, A Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma and Speckled Wood. I never saw two of anything and all the whites were male so probably the same ones going round and round the gardens; and the Brimstone seen 3 times were/was a female; so probably the same one. Couldn't sex the others but only ever one at a time and probably the same ones. Eight butterflies and eight species. - Nick Bowles

On Saturday 27th in Stocking Pelham - a couple of whites, a small copper and a possible small tortoiseshell - Andy Brown HMWT

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Yet another cloudy, humid day with just enough changes in butterflies to suggest I'm not merely repeating the same individuals.Today's highlights included a Comma nectaring on Aster,a Small Heath in the Marshalling Yards and a Clouded Yellow as I was heading for the tunnel homewards.This obliged by flying strongly in the usual fashion but then settling to nectar on a dandelion giving me time to look closely at the underwings.I momentarily thought the day's sightings were getting progressively more abnormal when a diminutive brown and white butterfly flew past me on the Heath but when it settled this turned out to be a Speckled Wood about half the size of the smallest I've seen before. Here are the details:Comma:1 Speckled Wood: 15 Common Blue: 2 Small Heath: 1 Clouded Yellow: 1 - Pete Gore

Went to Trent Park 'New Fields' specifically looking for late Small Heath today Saturday 27th September 2014 and managed to find one (a rather worn individual) in Sect 6 at 14:27 hrs - only four days earlier than my latest ever date! Also two Small Copper near the Sports Field 14:07 - 14:08 hrs and one Red Admiral near Oakwood entrance at 14:38 hrs. Friday 26th September 2014 - 2 Speckled Wood near Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 13:30 hrs; 1 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 14:17 hrs; 1 Large White edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 14:30 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Hog Hill, Vicarage Farm at 15:51 hrs and 2 Small Copper at Vicarage Farm at 15:51 and 16:09 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 26th September 2014
Nomansland Common, nr Sandridge - 16 Small Coppers plus Small Heath, Common Blue & Speckled Wood. JOIN ME for a stroll round the site this Sunday, 28th Sept - our last field trip of the flight season, starting from the car park at 2pm. For full details select Walks & Talks from the menu on the left - Malcolm Hull

One Speckled Wood in Oakwood Park this morning Friday 26th September 2014 at 08:30 hrs. - Robert Callf

Firstly, on my last report for Bedfont Lakes, I incorrectly said that this was on 25th September - it was in fact 24th... Today (26th), I visited my local patch (Stanwell Moor) at around 4pm. The sun had been out for about an hour and it was nudging 21 degrees. The tally for the walk was 17 Speckled Woods, 4 Red Admirals, 2 Small Heaths, 2 Peacocks, one Green-veined White and one Large White. This is the highest count of Speckled Woods I have made here in one circuit since I started walking around this route in 2007. I assume the Peacocks had been disturbed from hibernation by the warm weather as I haven't seen one for some time.
Dave Miller

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Similar to Thursday although walked a little later: Speckled Wood: 14 Common Blue:4 (all female unless 1 was a very faded male) Small Copper: 1 - Pete Gore

Thursday 25th September 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Although I missed what little sun there was there are still plenty of butterflies and I was able to have a complete walk around the Marshalling Yards as the Railtrack maintenance people who were using (their) site as a parking ground for numerous vehicles on Sunday had all left.It was noticeable that they'd left little trace of their presence unlike some recent bikers who'd staged 2-3 of their bike burning rituals as well as generating above average amounts of other rubbish. Here are the butterflies:Speckled Wood:19 Small White 2 Small Copper:3 Common Blue:1 (male,fresh?) And on Sunday: Small Heath: 1 Speckled Wood: 16 Green-Veined White: 2 Meadow Brown: 1 Small Copper: 2 I haven't checked my figures but Speckled Wood must be close to a new high.Pairs of these brown and white butterflies flying together in the semi-shade make it seem the most autumnal of butterflies and yet it also has a likely claim on the longest season this year unless Red Admiral stages a late bid in November/December. - Pete Gore

Whilst walking up the 'vista' in Trent Park between Rough Lot and Moat Wood this afternoon Thursday 25th September 2014 a Red Admiral flew past S at 15:29 hrs. Wednesday 24th September 2014 - one Speckled Wood at Carr's Basin, Town Park, Enfield at 15:47 hrs. - Robert Callf.

A walk at Bedfont Lakes Country Park late in the day on 24th:(corrected date from 25th) three Common Blues and one Meadow Brown. One of the Blues was looking very nearly new.
- Dave Miller

Wednesday 24th September 2014
Went for a 40 minute walk on Harmondsworth Moor this afternoon in intermittent sunshine and I although I saw hundreds of crane flies, the occasional dragon fly, I only saw 3 butterflies; 1 very worn and ragged Brown Argus, a Large White and a Green-Veined White - Paul Busby

Some sightings to report for today Wednesday 24th September 2014 - 1 Red Admiral at Parkside Farm, Enfield 11:00 hrs; 3 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park between 11:34 - 11:37 hrs; 1 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Patk at 11:41 hrs; 4 Speckled Wood at Trent Park. - Robert Callf

My Harpenden garden is still providing sightings of Red Admiral, Comma, Peacock and Small White during the warmer spells - Robin Pearson

On Hertford Heath (Roundings) NR today(24th) a comma, several speckled woods and a silvery specimen high in the oaks which could have been a late purple hairstreak? - Andy Brown HMWT

Tuesday 23rd September 2014
At Patmore Heath : 2 speckled woods, 2 meadow brown + a small Copper - Andy Brown HMWT

Monday 22nd September 2014
While playing golf Sturday evening at Abbey View golf course at Verulamium Golf course in heavy overcast humid conditions a Large Tortoiseshell took flight from some trees a flew rapidly around for a couple of minutes before disappearing over some buildings. There are some good numbers of Elms where it was and around course. - Clive Burrow (In view of the weather conditions, and in the same situation as the sighting on the 8th September where there have been no other known reports in the UK we are of the same belief that this is probably a released butterfly. Clive agreed "In the current climate of releases this can certainly not be ruled out")

Saw a Speckled Wood at Vicarage Farm, Enfield Sunday 21st September 2014 at 16:32 hrs. This morning Monday 22nd September 2014 recorded a Small White and a Green-veined White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Lovely sunny afternoon in Ruislip, Middlesex and at Pinn Meadows (TQ 091 880), I saw 2 Common Blue on Michaelmas Daises on the River Pinn bank, a slightly faded Small Copper around thistle and a Speckled Wood by the scrape with bulrush recently cut. Then around the Old Orchard, Manor Farm Complex, Ruislip, TQ 090 878, I saw a Red Admiral fly across and high up into the trees and a further Speckled Wood and finally in St Martins Churchyard, TQ 092 875, I saw a further 3 Speckled Woods in the graveyard and a Large White fly across to the park - Paul Busby

Sunday 21st September 2014
This morning (21st) a Clouded Yellow near spoil heap on Hatfield Aerodrome, and a Speckled Wood and a Small White in my Brookmans Park garden. - Rupert Pyrah

One Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park Thursday 18th September 2014 at 15:28 hrs. Two Comma together near Water Garden, Trent Park Friday 19th September 2014 at 14:19 hrs, also male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 14:37 hrs and two Small Copper (1 at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 14:49 hrs and 1 at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 16:33 hrs). - Robert Callf

Two more brief updates from my neck of the woods. 18th September Stanwell Moor: 12 Speckled Woods, 4 Red Admirals, 3 Small Heaths, 2 Meadow Browns, 2 Small Whites and one Holly Blue. One of the Meadow Browns was egg-laying.
19th September Bedfont Lakes Country Park: 8 Common Blues (6m; 2f), 2 Small Heaths, 2 Brown Argus, one Small White, one Large White, and one Small Copper.
Dave Miller

Friday 19th September 2014
On a walk around Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits this afternoon I noted 1 Red Admiral, 2 Green-veined White and 1 Small White - Terry Wood

One Speckled Wood at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this morning Friday 19th September 2014 at 11:10 hrs. - Robert Callf

Thursday 18th September 2014
Whilst working in the Walled Garden of Eastcote House Gardens this sunny morning, I saw a number of species attracted to Sedum including a fresh Small Copper, 3 m Common Blue, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Comma and a Small White. Then a 20 minute walk at lunchtime around Long Meadow, Eastcote, Middlesex, I saw 16 very active Speckled Woods and a Red Admiral buzz by. Early afternoon, I saw a further 2 Red Admirals nectaring on flowering Ivy that seemed to content to perch for photos, plus a Speckled Wood and a Small White in the Old Orchard area. Finally, early afternoon, in search of White Admiral, I visited areas of Mad Bess Woods I had seen White Admiral earlier this year, but only saw a single Speckled Wood. - Paul Busby

In warm and muggy conditions at Norton Green earlier today I saw 12 species (not bad for second half of September): 2 Commas, 5 Speckled Woods, 3 Green-veined Whites, 2 Small Whites, 2 Large Whites, 2 Common Blues and singletons of Small Tortoiseshell, Brown Argus, Red Admiral, very fresh Small Heath, Brimstone and Peacock. - Peter Clarke

Decided to venture over to the side of Trent Park between the Oakwood entrance and the Cockfosters entrance this afternoon Thursday 18th September 2014 and recorded the following between 12:00 and 13:20 hrs - 3 Red Admiral together nectaring on michaelmas daisies in set-aside field near Triangular Wood at 12:15 hrs; 1 Small Heath in set-aside field at 12:18 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on michaelmas daisies in set-aside field near Triangular Wood at 12:20 hrs; 2 Comma together in set-aside field near the edge of Triangular Wood at 12:23 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood near Triangular Wood at 12:30 hrs; 1 male Common Blue in Sect 5 'New Fields' at 12:46 hrs; 1 Small Copper Sect 6 'New Fields' at 12:54 hrs; 1 Small Heath Sect 6 'New Fields' at 12:56 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood Sect 7 'New Fields' at 13:00 hrs; 1 female Common Blue Sect 8 'New Fields' at 13:05 hrs; 2 Small Heath Sect 8 'New Fields' at 13:06 hrs; 1 Red Admiral near Triangular Wood at 13:13 hrs; 1 Speckled Wood near Triangular Wood at 13:13 hrs. - Robert Callf

Tuesday 16th September 2014
A few butterflies to report Tuesday 16th September 2014 - 1 Comma edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 11:15 hrs; 1 Small Copper at Uni-lawns, Trent Park at 11:36 hrs; 1 Red Admiral along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:29 hrs. A half hour walk in Town Park, Enfield this afternoon Tuesday 16th September 2014 produced the following sightings - 1 Red Admiral at 15:16 hrs; 1 Green-veined White nectaring on michaelmas daisies at 15:28 hrs and 1 Speckled Wood at 15:38 hrs. - Robert Callf

Lovely sunny day clearing up the pond at Highgrove Woods, Eastcote and saw at least 6 Speckled woods and a Large White, as well as 1 Southern Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies, this morning. Then in the afternoon, at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip gardens saw a further 5 Speckled Woods and a Small White in an half hour walk around the wet meadow near the Yeading Brook - Paul Busby

At Northwood hq, Sandy Lane 1 x small tortoiseshell & 1 large yellow underwing on ivy in Bushey garden - David Gower

Very warm today (16th), and I was able to pop out from work into Bedfont Lakes Country Park at lunchtime. Initially, all I saw was a Small Heath, a Meadow Brown, a Speckled Wood and some Large and Green-veined Whites. However, the sun came out at the time I reached the western end of the path parallel with the railway, and the unmown areas of grass and flowers immediately came to life. I saw at least half a dozen fresh Common Blues, probably a third brood as the second brood were looking tired when I was last here four weeks ago. The males were chasing each other vigorously about in twos and threes, completely overlooking the presence of a couple of females. Caught up in the tussles was an elderly male Brown Argus, resolutely defending his patch. Finally, around the fringes of the conflict I spotted a fairly new Small Copper, and then on the way back to the office, a Peacock flew strongly past me in the opposite direction.
Dave Miller

Monday 15th September 2014
Look out for Second brood White Admiral?

A very blue female Common Blue seen at Norton Green today - Peter Clarke

News from Saturday: Still plenty of Speckled Woods around today on my local patch at Stanwell Moor, including another rather dark individual with obscured spotting.
I also saw three or four Red Admirals, a couple of Large Whites and a single fresh-looking male Holly Blue. Had the sun been out, I think I'd have seen more, but the butterflies were all surprisingly active under the warm overcast. I had visited Runnymede earlier in the day, just across the Thames in Surrey, and had a possible sighting of a Brown Hairstreak along the blackthorn hedge that runs between the river and the Thames Path. I hope to search for eggs during the winter - this area is really very close to Middlesex, and a positive result would be very encouraging in respect of this butterfly spreading north into the county. - Dave Miller

Sunday 14th September 2014
A few sightings for Sunday 14th September 2014 - 1 Speckled Wood at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:02 hrs; 1 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:26 hrs; 1 Comma at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:30 hrs; 1 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:33 hrs; 1 Large White edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 12:06 hrs; 1 Large White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf

Did my Warren transect today. Most scrub has been cut & removed from the site. 95% of the area has been mown & arisings removed & stacked in a corner. No visible wildlife except a Red Kite circling low over & a few Tits & Robins in the hedges. Even the Rabbits are lying low! Looks pretty devastated, but should come back well next year. I just hope there isn't too much loss of eggs/larvae/pupae (especially of my precious Marble Whites, which bred in the rankest corner). It's a pity the mowing wasn't left a bit longer, but I guess the contractor wanted to crack on while the weather is favourable & the ground firm, since the work was delayed a year by last winter's wet weather. Am probably signing off until next year - John Moss. PS. I realised today that some of the marker poles protect big anthills. Shows how meticulous the site survey was & bodes well for future management.

Saturday 13th September 2014
Saturday 13th September 2014 - 1 Peacock at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:03 hrs; 4 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park 11:45 - 11:48 hrs; 1 Comma nectaring on blackberries at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:50 hrs; 1 Green-veined White near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 12:35 hrs; at least 6 Green-veined White at Vicarage Farm including five together along Merryhills Brook including a pair copulating - Robert Callf.

Friday 12th September 2014
Friday 12th September 2014 - 3 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park 13:26 - 13:33 hrs; 1 female Common Blue near firing range at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 15:53 hrs. - Robert Callf

Four Speckled Wood around ivy at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this morning Friday 12th September 2014 - Robert Callf

News forwarded by Nick Bowles from Peter Edwards. Monday 8 Sept, around 14 15 pm, at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip, Middx. I was lying in the shade (22c and strong sun, light breeze) when I spotted a large dark butterfly zipping around the small conifers edging the pond for ornamental carp, with waterfall, nr the centre of the Crem. Seen against the bright blue sky it appeared very dark and I initially thought it was an unusually large peacock. But due to its size and odd flight I thought better of it so I stood up to get a better look. It flew briefly inside one of the small conifers (Cupressus type, c. 5m tall), then zipped out after c 2mins and did a circuit, it was then I could see its yellowish brown ground colour, but such a brief glipse, I needed more. Luckily it settled briefly at c 1m up on the conifer and for a good second and I saw it in all its glory, unmistakably a Large Tortoiseshell! (it should be noted that there have been several unusual butterflies recorded in the Ruislip area and 'our' opinion is that it is most likely a release/escape)

Thursday 11th September 2014
Saw a Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield this afternoon Thursday 11th September 2014 at 15:18 hrs. - Robert Callf

Thursday 11th September 2014
Saw a Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield this afternoon Thursday 11th September 2014 at 15:18 hrs. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 10th September 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Despite starting 2 hours earlier in bright sunshine I ended up with a walk very similar to yesterday's - indeed I'm sure many of the butterflies seen are not merely the same species but also the same individuals: Large White: 1 Speckled Wood: 9 Meadow Brown: 3 Small White: 3 Common Blue: 4 Brown Argus: 2 Green-Veined White: 2 Small Copper: 2 Two other sightings seem worth a mention: Directly after turning off the central path on the Heath I found myself following a Muntjac along the centre of the grassy path.This was my most extended view of the deer this year but there have been a good many sightings (and 'soundings') on both the Marshalling Yards and the Heath.They are undoubtedly breeding and increasing. Later,still on the Heath, a lizard dashed across the grass,the fourth or fifth I've seen this year compared to none last although of course they're a well-known long-term inhabitant of the area. - Pete Gore A few sightings to report today Wednesday 10th September 2014 - 1 Comma at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park 10:33 hrs, 2 Small Heath at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:19 and 12:23 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White

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