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

September 2015

Tuesday 1st September 2015
One Large White nectaring on buddleia at Dalrymple Close, N14 this afternoon Tuesday 1st September 2015 at 13:48 hrs. - Robert Callf

August 2015

Sunday 30th August 2015
Faded female Gatekeeper at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking Sunday 30th August 2015 at 10:02 hrs - quite possibly the last that I will see this year? Also The Vestal in long grass at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) - the first that I have seen this year! - Robert Callf

Overcast afternoon walk at Yeading Brook Meadows, Yeading, Middlesex but saw a Small Copper, a Brown Argus, a male Common Blue, 3 Speckled Woods, 5 Small Whites and 8 Meadow Brown. - Paul Busby

Folly lane St. Albans - painted lady, holly blue and six small whites were the only butterflies active on a gloomy bank holiday weekend afternoon - Malcolm Hull

Great Ashby garden, a hummingbird hawkmoth visiting approx. every hour from 5.30pm to last sighting at 7.20pm to same buddlea bush as the 23rd but with no butterfly competition this time due to the overcast weather . - Colin Alderman

Saturday 29th August 2015
Saturday 29th August 2015 - 2 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park and 1 Common Blue by Lower Lake, Trent Park. - Robert Callf

Butterfles I have seen today (29 Aug 2015): 8 speckled wood - Icknield Way by railway near Ickleford TL1830, 1 small white - Icknield Way west of Letchworth TL1932 - David Inward

Croxley Common Moor Despite very cloudy conditions this afternoon, we saw: Small Heath (1), Gatekeeper (1), and Small Tort (1). - Graham Elcombe.

Following on from yesterday's morning trip, an afternoon visit to Nomansland Common, in rather warm and humid, if overcast conditions, produced many more Whites (mostly Green-veined with a few Small and Large), a few Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood, 5 Small Heath, 10+ Common Blue, 5 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper, 3 Painted Lady (2 of which had been seen the previous day and were still nectaring in the same spot) and a rather nice Red Admiral basking on thistle down. My south Harpenden garden had few visitors, namely a Small White, Large White and a rather fresh Small Tortoiseshell. - David Hunt

Visited Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens at lunchtime and saw a Small Heath, 2 male Common Blues, at least 2 Large Whites and 6 Speckled Woods. Late afternoon saw a solitary Meadow Brown in the drizzle in the field next to Copse Wood, Ruislip, plenty of moths though. - Paul Busby

Stocking Pelham Saturday 29th - a few whites during the sunshine, then a Hummingbird Hawk Moth turned up when the rain started ! Andy Brown

Friday 28th August 2015
One Holly Blue settled on ivy at Bramley Road, N14 Fiday 28th August 2015 at 12:45 hrs. 3, 2 males, 1 female, Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 16:02 hrs and 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 17:09 hrs. - Robert Callf

...at last a good day to check out the butterflies! Nomansland Common produced a few rather tired Meadow Brown, several Speckled Wood, 3 Small Heath, a couple of Small White, 1 Peacock, 2 Painted Lady and 10+ Common Blue. A small group of Dark Bush-crickets were sunning themselves on a bramble bush. A quick ramble over to Well Wood, part of the Heartwood Forest complex, revealed 2 Large White, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Small Heath, 1 Brown Argus female and 3 Common Blue males. Dutch Elm Disease is evident on the regenerating elms located along the south-west margin of the wood. - David Hunt

Saw 3 Small Whites and a Speckled Wood by the River Pinn, Ickenham (TQ 0787) on a blustery afternoon then at Ickenham Marsh fields (TQ 0885) saw another Speckled Wood, a Small White, a Small Heath and 2 Holly Blues in hedgerow with flowering Ivy. - Paul Busby

Went to Bencroft woods about noon, you realise summer is over, very few meadow browns left to be replaced by speckled woods, to my delight there was a jersey tiger moth on the buddleia and commas sunning it on old blackberries. Not a single silver-washed fritillary left in Broxbourne woods but plenty of common blues near the west car park - Steve Kiln

Thursday 27th August 2015
One female Common Blue at Parkside Farm on Res banking; 2 Speckled Wood together at Parkside Farm, Enfield (TQ 296 982); 2, male and female, Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park and 1 Speckled Wood at Trent Park. - Robert Callf

Butterfles I have seen today (27 Aug 2015): 1 comma - Stevenage Road near Chantry Lane bus stop, near Little Wymondley TL22172710 1 speckled wood - track to horse field from Chantry Lane Wymondley Bury roundabout, near Todds Green TL21892693 - David Inward

This afternoon saw my first clouded yellow of the year on Waterford heath south - Steve Kiln

Tuesday 25th August 2015
First Painted Lady in my Ware garden this year - Liz Goodyear

One Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park this morning Tuesday 25th August 2015, also I noticed 3 Speckled Wood in Trent Park. - Robert Callf

Butterfly I have seen today (25 Aug 2015): 1 green-veined white - Meadway Playing Field, Symonds Green South, Stevenage TL22192475. However I missed seeing Jeremy Corbyn et al by about a kilometer! - David Inward

Monday 24th August 2015
News from Diane Andrews. Overnight 22nd August in her north London garden moth trap, 2 more Jersey Tigers with yellow hindwings. 12th August Rammey Marsh near Enfield Lock, 14 Holly Blue and in the last few days seen double figures of Speckled Wood at Alexandra Park, Tottenham Cemetary and near Cheshunt Station. Previous weeks lower numbers until now.

Sunday 23rd August 2015
Butterflies I have seen today (23 Aug 2015): 1 small white - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930 1 small white, 1 large white - Meadowbank/Common Rise/Cooks Way north, Hitchin TL1930 1 small white, 1 cinnabar moth caterpillar on ragwort - Meadowbank/Common Rise/Cooks Way south, Hitchin TL1929 - David Inward

One Painted Lady settled on track at Hog Hill, Vicarage Farm, Enfield Saturday 22nd August 2015 at 17:00 hrs. Sunday 23rd August 2015 - 3 Gatekeeper (2 at Parkside Farm 1 at Park Farm); 1 female Common Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 08:45 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 09:23 hrs. - Robert Callf

Saturday 22nd August 2015
Some sightings for Trent Park on Saturday 22nd August 2015 between 12:50 - 13:45 hrs - 4 Common Blue; 14 Small Heath; 1 Small Copper; 1 Red Admiral and few Meadow Brown. - Robert Callf

Butterflies I have seen today (22 Aug 2015): 2 large white, 1 speckled wood, 3 holly blue - Hampson Park, Pin Green, Stevenage TL2425 - David Inward

Bourne End slip road/A41 - 4 Small Blues, 5 Common Blues, 10 Six spot Burnet moths, 2 Brown Argus. Northfield Rd, Tring, Herts - 54 Common Blues, 4 Chalk-hill Blues, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Clouded Yellows, 1 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Small Heath, 3 Brimstones, 6 Treble Bar moths. The Clouded Yellows were both very fresh looking. The alternative larval food plant, Common Birds foot trefoil is abundant at this site and it is possible that the butterfly has bred there. Both of the CYs I saw were busy nectaring on Wild Basil alongside the Brimstones, unusual to see the two yellow species flying together. I ventured on to Pitstone Pit (Bucks) and saw 4 more Small Blues within 100 yards of the Herts border. Back into Herts at Aldbury Nowers HMWT reserve I saw 1 Dark Green Fritillary, 3 Peacocks, 3 Chalk-hill Blues, 21 Brown Argus, 41 Common Blues, 17 Brimstone and 2 Small Heath. A female Brown Argus was egg laying on miniature rock rose plants growing on top of an anthill - Malcolm Hull

The glorious weather brought out many butterflies at Norton Green Common today including 2 or 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 2 or 3 Purple Hairstreaks, Peacock, Comma, Holly Blue, Speckled Woods, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, whites (mostly Large) and faded Small Skippers (more difficult to distinguish from Essex now). Painted Lady seen here yesterday afternoon. In the field south of Watery Grove, Small Coppers and Common Blues were still flying as well. After discovering the Gatekeeper aberration on 11 August I have been looking hard at Gatekeepers at other places for this variation but none found until today at the same spot! A different specimen though as it has only one black spot below the eyespots but only on the left hand side. Even more unusual. - Peter Clarke

Therfield Heath (old rifle range): clouded yellow (flew through heading NW), 50+ common blues (fresh plumage), 30+ chalkhill blues (very tatty), brown argus, small skipper. Martin Johnson

Hummingbird hawkmoth for 3 mins only on small buddlea bush also pristine red admiral that stayed all day, Great Ashby ( Stevenage ) at 12.25pm - Colin Alderman

Friday 21st August 2015
Saw a Speckled Wood in Pymmes Park, Edmonton this afternoon Friday 21st August 2015. - Robert Callf

This afternoon (21/8/2015) was bright and sunny so I did a butterfly count at Bovingdon Brickworks: 5 x Red Admiral, 7 x Peacock, 9 x Large White, 7 x Small White, 2 x Small Tortoiseshell, 2 x Comma, 3 x Painted Lady, 10 x Meadow Brown, 9 x Gatekeeper, 1 x Holly Blue, 12 x Common Blue, 5 x Speckled Wood and 1 x Small Copper. There has also been an obvious passage of wandering Painted Ladies this week: 17/8/2015: 1 x Painted Lady; 19/8/2015: 1 x Painted Lady; 20/8/2015: A dull, dark day but notable were 2 x Painted Lady, 1 x Hummingbird Hawk-moth (already reported to HNHS). Photographs of the Hummingbird Hawk-moth and the Painted Ladies can be found at http://www.naturalworldnotes.blogspot.co.uk/ - Lucy Flower

At Stocking Pelham this afternoon (Friday 21st) ; large whites, comma, 2 peacocks, red admiral, gatekeeper, Brimstone, 2 painted ladies and a hummingbird hawk moth mostly on my buddleia - Andy Brown

Thursday 20th August 2015
One Painted Lady Wednesday 19th August 2015 nectaring on buddleia along side of tube line at Oakwood Station (TQ 293 959) at 14:02 hrs. One female Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park Thursday 20th August 2015 at 10:00 hrs. - Robert Callf

On Therfield Heath today Thursday 20th - on Church Hill (next to Fox Covert NR) quite a few Chalkhill blues, male and female flying despite the wind, plus a couple of meadow browns. Andy Brown

Wednesday 19th August 2015
A few butterfly sightings for Wednesday 19th August 2015 - 3 Common Blue (1 at Parkside Farm on Res banking, 2 at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park), 2 Purple Hairstreak settled on ground in Trent Park - both rather worn (1 edge of Moat Wood, 1 edge of Icehouse Wood). Otherwise a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, Small White. - Robert Callf

Still 1 Ringlet and ! Silver washed Fritillary on my Balls Wood Transect today, also a few Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods and Green-veined White and Peacock. Also an Elephant Hawk-moth larvae on Hairy Willowherb. (See Larva and Silver-washed Fritillary on our Facebook page). At Ware Park Holly and Common Blues and a Small Heath as well as all the Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood. - Andrew Wood

Butterflies I have seen today (19 Aug 2015): 1 common blue, 1 large white, 1 small white - Coreys Mill Lane east, Stevenage TL231264, 2 large white, 1 small white, 1 holly blue - footpath from North Road to St Nicholas (west end), Stevenage TL2326, 5 small white - footpath from North Road to St Nicholas (east end), Stevenage TL2426, 1 speckled wood - St Nicholas Church yard south, Stevenage TL241261. - David Inward

Went to pick blackberries this morning at Water Lane, Watford and came across = 1 x comma, 2 x holly blue, 1 x meadow brown, 2 x mother of pearl moths. At Bushey garden 3 x small white. - David Gower

Monday 17th August 2015
Tower hamlets cemetry park, Mile End - 9 holly blues, 5 common blues, silver washed fritillary, comma, large skipper plus whites and Browns. No sign of any kidney vetch - Malcolm hull

Three Holly Blues at Carr's Basin, Town Park, Enfield Monday afternoon 17th August 2015, including a female nectaring on Burdock. - Robert Callf

Last night 1 x riband wave moth found in bathroom. 1 x large white & 1 x holly blue in Bushey garden today. At Merryhill Fields once most of sun had gone =6 x meadow brown, 7 x gatekeeper, 2 x large white, 2 x small white, 2 x yellow shell. - David Gower

On my walk around Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits today as well as many Large and Small Whites I saw 3 Small Heath, 1 Common Blue, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Essex Skipper, 2 Gatekeeper and 4 Meadow Brown. - Terry Wood

There was an adult male Brimstone on our buddleia today and yesterday (TL157086) in Sandridge Road, St Albans. Not something I can recall seeing in our garden in August before. - David Utting

Sunday 16th August 2015
A few sightings for Sunday 16th August 2015 - 1 Small Copper along Salmons Brook near Stables at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:15 hrs, also a female Common Blue here. Two male Common Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield and one female at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park. One Comma at Park Farm, Enfield at 12:00 hrs. - Robert Callf

After the recent annual cut of Harpenden Common, the knapweed and other flowering plants are now largely confined to some uncut marginal areas. On a warm day, albeit with frequent cloud cover, butterflies were relatively few, the exceptions being 20+ of each of Common Blue and Green-veined White. A few faded Meadow Brown and about equal numbers of Gatekeeper were also seen plus 1 Small Heath, 1 Small Copper and 1 Speckled Wood. Skippers were notable by their absence and, I think, another bad year for Essex Skipper - David Hunt

Heartwood Forest, Sandridge - visited the Kidney Vetch field and searched for an hour before the sun went in. No luck with Small Blue, but good numbers of Common Blue (132), Small Heath (43), Small Copper (6) Holly Blue (8) and Brown Argus (3). also a few Browns, Whites, Essex Skipper and Silver Y. Cloudier after lunch at Sutton GP near Symonshyde, but good numbers of Brown Argus (11), Common Blue (17) plus Small Heath, Silver Y and 6 spot Burnet. - Malcolm Hull

Saturday 15th August 2015
At Waterford heath south, highlights - three recently emerged brimstones, a silver washed fritillary, holly blues 8 outnumbering Common blues 5. Good year for holly blues. and a small heath and a painted lady. Steve Kiln

Completed my August Wider Countryside Survey at High Cross today, highlights were 10 Holly Blue, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Heath and a Humming-bird Hawk-moth - Liz Goodyear

Three Common Blues, 2 males, 1 female, at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park this morning Saturday 15th August 2015 at 10:15 hrs. Had another walk over Trent Park this afternoon Saturday 15th August 2015 and recorded the following between 12:30 - 13:30 hrs - 4 male Common Blue (3 Sect 1, 1 Sect 6); 11 Small Heath including one opening and closing wings whilst settled (quite unusual to see this) - my first double figure count of the year at this site! 3 Small Copper incl. one with row of blue dots on hindwing - var. caeruleopuncta? 1 Comma Sect 4 edge of Church Wood at 13:04 hrs; 2 Purple Hairstreak settled on Oak, Snakes Lane, 13:30 hrs. Robert Callf

Several Holly Blues in our Redbourn garden this morning. One fed on a white Heather in our rockery. One Painted Lady passed through - Ernie Leahy

Butterflies I have seen today (15 Aug 2015): 1 large white, 1 small white - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19863030 1 small white, 2 common blue (1 male, 1 female), 1 gatekeeper - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL 1930 - David Inward

Jersey Tiger in Sawbridgeworth - Richard Hogg

Bricket Wood Common - Today's butterflies looked quite elderly, resembled an over sixties outing. Three Silver washed Fritillaries just one Purple Hairstreak and a dozen Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, plus a Red Admiral, with so much wing missing it took some time to get a positive ID. Today's star species 22 Holly Blues, best total at this site in 20+ years of weekly recording. Also some fresh Small Coppers, Common Blues and Speckled Woods. 7 Brimstones and 2 Peacocks were all feeding greedily before their hibernation. Numbers of Large and Small Whites were well down, though Green-veined Whites put in a strong showing. Malcolm Hull

Back to Ruislip woods today and recorded 8 x speckled wood, 2 x holly blue, 5 x green veined white in Copse wood. At Poor's Field 3 x meadow brown, 7 x gatekeeper, 1 x small white, 1 x speckled wood, 1 x yellow shell, 1 x mother of pearl, 1 x straw dot. Next to Haste Hill station 1 x holly blue (caught by a dragonfly), 2 x large white, 4 x green veined white, 1 x speckled wood, 3 x gatekeeper, 3 x common blue, 1 x painted lady, 5 x small white, 3 x small copper, 1 x essex/small skipper, 4 x meadow brown, 1 x brown argus, 1 x peacock ,1 x silver y. - David Gower

Thursday 13th August 2015
Jersey Tiger moth inside Hanger Lane tube station - news via Paul Richens

Verulamium park, St. Albans - white letter hairstreak nectaring on creeping thistle at 10.15 this morning - Malcolm Hull

Wednesday 12th August 2015
Harrow Cemetery, 9 Common Blue, 6 Gatekeeper, 4 Brown Argus, 1 Small White, 1 Small Copper, 1 Holly Blue and 2 six-spot Burnet. Shailesh Patel

Half-hour lunchtime stroll around overcast Butterfly World and saw a fresh Painted Lady and a Peacock, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Essex Skippers, a Brown Argus, 3 faded Gatekeepers, 4 Large Whites, 15+ Small Whites, 20+ male and 6+ female Common Blues and at least 21 Small Blues. Then late afternoon a brief visit to Pinn Fields Ruislip, Middlesex and saw 6+ Small Whites and 2 Gatekeepers. - Paul Busby

Butterflies I have seen today (12 Aug 2015): 1 holly blue - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL1987230303 1 large white, 2 green-veined white, 1 small white, 1 common blue - Graveley NE, near Stevenage TL2328 - David Inward

Tuesday 11th August 2015
At Fishers Field nature reserve, bushey =2 x green veined white, 2 x large white, 2 x speckled wood. In Bushey garden = 1 x holly blue, 2 x large white, 1 x green veined white. Lastly at Merryhill Fields without any sun = 1 x Small Copper, 1 x small white, 6 x meadow brown, 5 x gatekeeper, 1 x green veined white, 1 x holly blue ( extremely tiny about half the size of most ), 30 x yellow shell, 1 x magpie moth, 1 x anania coronata. Photos on facebook. - David Gower

Late news from 27th July 2015, a Purple Emperor in an Enfield Southgate garden, then 3rd August a Jersey Tiger moth - Angela Parker (pictures on facebook page)

I found a Jersey Tiger moth on a hibiscus bush in my Enfield garden - Maureen Prior

A few sightings for Tuesday 11th August 2015 - 1 Small Copper at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking; 1 Brown Argus at Bay Farm, Enfield; 4 Common Blue 3 males, 1 female, at Bay Farm, Enfield; 1 Small Copper at Bay Farm, Enfield; 1 Painted Lady nectaring on thistles at Bay Farm, Enfield (TQ 2946 9870) at 11:38 hrs; 1 Purple Hairstreak at Rectory Farm, Enfield; 1 Jersey Tiger seen in flight and settled at Strayfield Road, EN2 (TQ 3155 9895) - my first of the year! 1 Comma at Flash Lane Aqueduct at 12:56 hrs; 1 Ringlet - quite fresh, edge of Whitewebbs Wood at 13:00 hrs; 2 Holly Blue S edge of Whitewebbs Wood at 13:00 hrs. - Robert Callf

Two Jersey Tigers in my Ware garden trap this morning - Liz Goodyear

Harrow Cemetery, 2 Small Copper, 1 Meadow Brown, 6 Gatekeeper, 4 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Wood and 2 Brown Argus. Shailesh Patel

A number of Gatekeepers seen today by Watery Grove included one of aberration excessa, two extra spots on forewings below the eye-spots - Peter Clarke

Monday 10th August 2015
A Purple Emperor report seen coming down to horse dung on the 21st July at Bloodhounds Wood, near Bishops Stortford, TL465223 by a horse rider who "knows what they are looking at" - news via Laurence Drummond

I went to Hexton Chalk Pit today and was pleased to see high numbers of Chalk Hill Blue (must of been 200+) still on the wing although most of them were quite tatty now. Other species seen; Brimstone x12, Gatekeeper x9, Meadow Brown x8, Small White x4, Common Blue x3, Large White x2, Green-Veined White x2, Small Skipper x1, Brown Argus x1 and Peacock x1. Daniel Cooper

Some sightings for Trent Park Sunday 9th August 2015 - 6 Common Blue; 9 Small Heath between 13:22 - 14:00 hrs; 2 Small Copper ( 'fresh' female, Sect 6 13:31 hrs, male, 13:55 hrs); 4 Six-spot Burnet; 1 Holly Blue Sect 4. Also saw a Hummingbird Hawkmoth briefly outside 184 Chase Road, N14 at 14:44 hrs yesterday 9th August 2015 (very near where I saw one in June!). One Painted Lady at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park this morning Monday 10th August 2015 at 09:04 hrs.- Robert Callf

Sunday 9th August 2015
Reports of the Emperors demise have been greatly exaggerated! I'm beside myself with joy; here's my news: I'm overjoyed to report after no sighting whatsoever yesterday that the Purple Emperor put on a right regal show today on Hampstead Heath. Photos I took today show much wear and tear but you'd never have known it from his behaviour. He seemed extraordinarily active, first appearing at 13:11 and chasing everything in sight: Woodpigeons seemed to really aggrevate him, a Parakeet was escorted off the premises and Purple Hairstreaks and Red Admiral summarily dispensed with. Don't know what was eating him but he spent the day variously seeing off intruders and perching obligingly. HIM remained visible until 17:20 when I watched him leap from his perch and appeared to glide through one of the assembly trees to be seen no more. - Frank Nugent

Went to RICKNEYS QUARRY today,and saw 1 Clouded yellow, 6 Purple hairstreak, 1 Brown argus, 18 Common blue, 4 Holly blue, 2 Red admiral, 1 Painted lady, 7 Peacock, 3 Comma, 13 Gatekeeper, 14 Meadow brown , 2 Small heath, and 6 Ringlet. At WATERFORD HEATH NORTH PIT, 2 Brimstone (males), 1 Small copper, 5 Brown argus, 3 Holly blue, 2 Peacock, 3 Gatekeeper,4 Meadow brown and 1 Ringlet. The north pit is suffering from scrub invasion again,mainly at the southern end. - Laurence Drummond

News from Diane Andrews. She has only seen three Painted Ladies this year in total. However 5 Jersey Tigers so far. 7th August in her garden trap with red hindwing. Last night 2 with the yellow hindwing.

Brent Reservoir, 1 Common Blue, 1 Meadow Brown, 3 Speckled Wood, 4 Gatekeeper and 1 Holly Blue. Shailesh Patel

Saturday 8th August 2015
News from Diane Andrews. Ringlet in her north London garden on the 18th July. Silver-washed Fritillary on 2nd August in TQ2797 east of Hadleigh Wood near pond. Toadflax Brocade and Jersey Tiger in her garden trap and on 7th August a Jersey Tiger at Turkey Street Station

Although I don't live that close to a wood, my front garden (Maple Cross) is partly shady due to mature Hazel, Plum and Whitebeam trees. I also possess lots of violets. Yesterday lunchtime 7th August 2015, I saw a very tatty female Silver Washed Fritillary briefly visit and land in it, just long enough to get a positive identification, along with a Speckled Wood Butterfly. - Chris Bessant

A day of mixed fortunes on Hampstead Heath today. I watched for Purple Emperor all afternoon today in mostly decent weather but saw not the briefest glimpse of HIM. However...as I approached the assembly area I saw a male Silver Washed Fritillary basking in the sunshine at 10:30. This follows a sighting of a basking female not far from today's location last Sunday, 2nd Aug at 12:30. I'm not aware of any other records of SWF on the Heath though there have been odd sightings by others at nearby Highgate Wood over the years. The SWF is my 25th species for the Heath. - Frank Nugent

I arrived 2pm Northaw today, and at 3pm a rather worn and weary emperor turned up and did a good number of patrols until we left at 4.15pm. - Andrew Middleton

A couple of less common species at the Brickworks this morning... Bovingdon Brickworks (Box Moor Trust): 1 x Silver-washed Fritillary (male, decent condition except for small nick in right forewing) TL00720256; 2 x Painted Ladies (one with missing/stunted growth of right antenna). Otherwise, there's a good second generation of Common Blues at the site. Other species seen: Peacocks, Brimstones, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Woods, Red Admirals, Small and Large Skippers and Six-spot Burnet moths. A41 Bourne End/Hemel Hempstead slip roads: 3 second generation Small Blues; 10+ Common Blues; 30+ Six-spot Burnets. - Lucy Flower

Friday 7th August 2015
Butterfly World, 8 Common Blue, 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Comma and 1 Small White. Shailesh Patel

1 x large white, 1 x mother of pearl moth in Bushey garden early evening. At Fishers field 1 x holly blue, 1 x speckled wood, 1 x mother of pearl. At water lane, watford 22 x mother of pearl all on nettles. - David Gower

Thursday 6th August 2015
St. Albans - seven purple and gold pyrausta moths on my kitchen ceiling this evening. An unusual sighting indoors and not one I have recorded before. Searching round for an explanation, I identified a bunch of marjoram I cut last weekend as part of my dried herbs project, as a likely source. Luckily the moths were all easily persuaded to vacate the kitchen in favour of the garden - Malcolm Hull

Some sightings for Thursday 6th August 2015 - 10+ Common Blue including two females, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper in a productive corner of a field of long grass and thistles at Bay Farm, Enfield (TQ 290 989); 1 Small Copper at Parkside Farm, Enfield near Res banking; 4 Holly Blue (1 at Strayfield Road, EN2, 1 at Flash Lane, EN2, 1 at Hilly Fields Park, 1 at Gordon Hill Station); 2 male Common Blue at Whitewebbs Park, 1 Peacock nectaring on thistles at Whitewebbs Park at 13:50 hrs, 1 Small Copper nectaring on ragwort at Whitewebbs Park; 2 Green-veined White (1 at Flash Lane Aqueduct, 1 at Hilly Fields Park). - Robert Callf

Harrow Cemetery, 12 Common Blue, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small White and 7 Gatekeeper. Shailesh Patel

Butterflies I have seen today (06 Aug 2015): 6+ small white, 10+ large white, 6+ gatekeeper, 1 common blue, 1 meadow brown, 1 6-spot burnet-moth, 1 small blue - field SW of Highfield School, Letchworth and north of Hitchin Garden Centre TL2031. This field is about half a kilometer south of the Hillbrow Small Blue field. No Kidney Vetch seen. David Inward

Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral. Both butterflies had seen better days, but we were delighted to see these two together at Danemead, Broxbourne Woods late Sunday afternoon - 2/8/15. - Phil and Carrin Rhodes.

Ashwell springs NR today Thursday - lots of butterflies; 10+ Brimstones, 2 peacocks, 2 common blues, several large whites, 1 small tortoiseshell Andy Brown

Wednesday 5th August 2015
A few sightings for Wednesday 5th August 2015 - 1 Ringlet (worn) at Vicarage Farm, Enfield, 1 male Common Blue and 1 Small Copper at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking (TQ 2998), 1 Peacock near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 12:56 hrs. - Robert Callf

Today at Thorley Wash I saw 2 common blue, 5 peacock, 1 red admiral and 1 clouded yellow. I tweeted a photo of the c yellow at the branch Twitter - Jenny Sherwen

Tuesday 4th August 2015
Nomansland Common produced the usual complement of whites and browns, but of particular interest, 2 Purple Hairstreak flying around the top of an oak tree, 4 Brimstone (3 females, 1 male) nectaring on various wild flowers (curiously the male showed little interest in the nearby females), and a new emergence of at least 10 Common Blue males. A Hornet Mimic Fly was seen on a wild privet bush, a frequent haunt for this hoverfly species. - David Hunt

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane An early start in bright sunshine which soon gave way to heavy cloud and even a little rain so butterfly numbers not too bad given the weather: Gatekeeper: 34 Meadow Brown: 15 Purple Hairstreak: 1 Small White: 9 Comma: 2 Speckled Wood: 5 Holly Blue: 3 Common Blue: 7 Red Admiral: 1 Peacock: 1 large White: 3 Brimstone: 1 - Pete Gore

Well after a number of years trying to find White letter hairstreaks, I find them when I'm not really looking or expecting them whilst out looking for purple hairstreaks. Am assuming the male chalkhill blue is a wanderer from therfield, it was my son Oliver (aged 5!!!) who spotted it first as I thought it was a holly blue, until we caught it in a moth pot that was still in my camera bag whilst nectaring. He was adamant that it was a chalkhill blue, and was right, because "it was bigger and a pale colour". I take my hat off.... Sunday 2nd August Marshland wood (Widford) (TL426153) At 10:30am Purple hairstreak - 4 Large Skipper - 1 Essex Skipper - 1 Small Skipper - 1 + various browns etc. Pegs lane and farmland (Widford) TL412164 Really good site - loads of trefoils, thistles agrimony etc. Brown Argus - 13 Common blue - 12 Essex Skipper - 3 Small Skipper - 6 Chalkhill Blue - 1 (male) Small copper - 2 White Letter Hairstreak - 1 nectaring on hemp Agrimony Holly blue - 2 Brimstone - 1 + various other regulars. Woods - Nr Mardocks Farm - TL391143 Small Skipper - 3 Peacock - 14 Common Blue - 2 Essex Skipper - 5 White Letter Hairstreak - 8 - most nectaring on thistles Purple Hairstreak - 5 Comma - 2 + various others Several of the WLH's looked reasonably fresh as they still had their tails, although were easily disturbed when trying to photograph. Wareside - Village Hall White Letter Hairstreak - 2 - both nectaring on Hemp Agrimony (photo's available). Monday 3rd August 2015 Therfield Heath - Church Hill (Just the important ones) Chalkhill Blue - 50+, including several mating pairs. Dark Green Fritillary - 1. Tuesday 4th August Broxbourne Woods - West Silver Washed Fritillary - 10 + - including egg laying on sallow trunks, next to the main ride. Common blue - 1 Purple Hairstreak - 5 - Phil Macmurdie

Butterflies I have seen today (04 Aug 2015): 4 large white, 1 speckled wood, 1 small white, 1 peacock, 1 comma - St Albans Drive area including open space between Martins Way and Weston Road, St Nicholas, Stevenage TL2426. 5 gatekeeper, 2 large white, 1 unidentified blue, at least 3 5-spot burnet (many others which I was unable to count the spots, but probably 5) (no more small blues) - St Nicholas Churchyard, Stevenage TL2426 David Inward

One Holly Blue nectaring on michaelmas daisies at Lakenheath, N14 at TQ 296 952 on Sunday 2nd August 2015 at 18:30 hrs. Sightings for Tuesday 4th August 2015 in Oakwood Park, N14 between 12:40 - 13:30 hrs - 1 Holly Blue (W of 10 km line); 4 Common Blue, 3 males, 1 female (1 W of 10 km line, 3 E of 10 km line); 5 Small Copper (1 W of 10 km line, 4 E of 10 km line); also 1 Six-spot Burnet on knapweed (E of 10 km line). Two Holly Blues along Pennyfather Lane, EN2, Enfield Town yesterday afternoon Monday 3rd August 2015 at 16:20 hrs. Seems to be good numbers around at present - not recording all the ones I see. - Robert Callf

Monday 3rd August 2015
Butterflies I have seen today (03 Aug 2015): 1 peacock, 1 small white, 4 large white, 1 unidentified blue, 1 meadow brown - area around the Martins Way/Grace Way junction, St Nicholas, Stevenage TL2426. David Inward

In Bushey garden this morning= 1 x large white, 1 x green veined white, 2 x holly blue, 1 x peacock. This afternoon spent 3 hours at Bricket wood common and noted= 12 x green veined white, 7 x ringlet, 3 x peacock, 24 x gatekeeper, 31 x meadow brown, 3 x small white, 1 x white admiral(damaged hindwing),6 x silver washed fritillary(my first this year),13 x holly blue, 3 x large white, 1 x marblrd white, 1 x small copper(on heather),6 x speckled wood, 3 x essex/small skippers(unable to i.d), 33 x whites (unable to i.d), 1 x yellow shell, 2 x 6 spot burnet, 2 x silver y, 2 x common blue(f), 5 x brimstone(4f). No sign of emperors or hairstreaks unfortunately. - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Walked mid morning to mid afternoon mostly in cloud: humid, warm and breezy (typical Hounslow): Speckled Wood: 6 Green-Veined White: 2 Holly Blue: 3 Small White: 9 Gatekeeper: 27 Large White: 8 Common Blue: 4 Meadow Brown: 15 Brown Argus: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 2 Painted Lady: 1 Peacock: 1 - Pete Gore

Robin White saw a Jersey Tiger at Enfield Road, EN2 Monday 3rd August 2015 at 09:10 hrs. news via Robert Callf

News for Sunday 2nd August 2015 - 3 Large White nectaring on buddleia near Oakwood entrance, Trent Park, also other sightings in Trent Park included the following: 2 Red Admiral; 5 Peacock; 25 Six-spot Burnet (not including those too faded to identify with certainty); 3 Comma; 1 Small Heath; 3 Common Blue - 2 males, 1 female; 4 Small Copper; 2 Holly Blue; 1 female White-letter Hairstreak, flew from thistles and settled on Bramble, edge of Church Wood at 13:08 hrs - thought that I had missed out on this species this year, so pleasantly surprised. Also we did not see it in Trent Park last year. Robin White reported a Brown Argus along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield (TQ 298 967) Sunday 2nd August 2015 which was still present Monday 3rd August 2015. Sightings for Monday 3rd August 2015 include the following - 2 male Common Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) and 1 Peacock and 1 Comma at Parkside Farm, 1 Holly Blue at Park Farm, Enfield, 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 Painted Lady nectaring on thistles at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:45 hrs, 1 Peacock nectaring on thistles at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:45 hrs, 2 Holly Blue at Trent Park, 1 Holly Blue along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, 1 Peacock nectaring on buddleia at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf/Robin White.

We had a Jersey Tiger in our Enfield garden yesterday 2/8/15 - Phil Rhodes

News from 2nd: On Harpenden Common there were many Small White, good numbers of Green-veined White, 3 Large White (the large assemblage present 2 days ago seems to have dispersed), 2 Brimstone females, many Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper, 4 tatty Ringlet, 5 fresh Speckled Wood, 7 male Common Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 2 Small Skipper and 1 Painted Lady, a slightly faded male, I think. A BBC for my south Harpenden garden produced 2 Large White, 5 Small White, 3 Green-veined White, 2 Gatekeeper, 3 Holly Blue and 1 Peacock - David Hunt

Sunday 2nd August 2015
Sunday in Stocking pelham - did my great big butterfly count: 8 Large Whites, 1 meadow brown, 1 gatekeeper, 5 small tortoiseshell, 4 red admirals and 9 Peacocks - Andy Brown

Lots of butterflies in my South Mimms garden today, with a first ever Gatekeeper, as well as Speckled Wood, Holly Blue, Comma, Peacock, Large and Small Whites - Terry Wood

Nomansland Common Wheathampstead - Purple Emperor, Small Copper 4, Purple Hairstreak 3, Brimstone 1, Common Blue 9, Small and Essex Skippers 18, Peacock, Silver Y plus many Browns and whites Folly Lane, St Albans - First ever Purple Hairstreak on my allotment after 20 years recording! This one nectaring on Hemp Agrimony. Dozens of Butterflies, with Gatekeepers, Large and Small Whites particularly prominent Malcolm Hull

Butterflies I have seen today (02 Aug 2015): 3 unidentified blue (probably common blue - definitely not small blue!), 1 gatekeeper - St Michaels Road, Hitchin TL1929 1 speckled wood, 2 large white, 3 small white, 1 unidentified blue - by pond on Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL197300 - David Inward

Danemead, Broxbourne Woods-1 White Admiral feeding on bramble flowers, with at least two Silver-washed Fritillary-late this afternoon. We also had several Comma, Peacock. Phil and Carrin Rhodes.

Hillbrow LGC - 16.30 to 17.45: Small Blue 15+; Brown Argus 3; Common Blue 10+. Roger Millard

Once again Iris overcame me and so I returned to Hampstead Heath. The Purple Emperor appeared shortly before 13:00 and flew excitedly over the Assembly area a few times. There were three further solo flights until at 14:42 I'm delighted to report a second Emperor arrived whereupon a spectacular chase and clash ensued. A terrific spiralling clash took place about 10 mins later after which both disappeared over the top of an oak. Only one Emperor returned and flew on and off until 15:54 after which I saw nothing more - Frank Nugent

As soon as walked out into our bushey garden this morning found a lot of sightings in short space of time majority on various buddleia = 1 x gatekeeper, 6 x large white, 3 x small white, 4 x peacock, 3 x holly blue. Onto fishers field nature reserve and a lot of activity on scabious etc =12 x gatekeeper, 1 x peacock, 2 x holly blue, 4 x large white, 1 x speckled wood, 2 x red admiral, 1 x green veined white, 1 x common blue, 2 x essex/small skippers too fast to i.d. Spent a little over an hour at water lane, watford = 2 x red admiral, 12 x gatekeeper, 6 x peacock, 10 x green veined white, 3 x holly blue, 2 x brimstone(1m/1f), 2 x small white, 4 x large white, 3 x brown argos, 2 x 6 spot burnet, 2 x essex skipper, 1 x small copper. At least 30 more whites and 8 skippers unable to i.d. Lastly at friends garden in walthamstow,e17 = 1 x comma, 4 x large white, 1 x gatekeeper, 6 x holly blue, 1 x yellow shell. I have never seen so many holly blues in previous years in fact only 3 last year & over 40 so far! - David Gower

A great Transect today at Butterfly World. Small Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 3, Brimstone 9, Large White 19, Small White 25, Small Copper 2, Small Blue 52, Brown Argus 5, Common Blue 48, Holly Blue 2, Red Admiral 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 26, Comma 2, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 15. The second brood of Small Blues can be seen in many areas now. - Mandy Floyd

The rearraanged Heartwood Forest walk produced 15 species with highlight a egg laying Purple Hairstreak with Holy Blues, Common Blues, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Essex Skippers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Peacocks, Commas,1 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Brimstones and Green-veined, Small and Large White. Also Six Spot Burnet moths, 2 Silver Y Moths, Garden Tiger and cinnabar caterpillars - Andy Steele

Friday 31st July a silver washed fritillary was seen at Grub Ground Ruislip Woods Ref TQ097887 - Sue and Steve Place

Saturday 1st August 2015
Saturday August 1, I was with Malcolm Hull doing the butterflies transect at Bricket Wood Common. I saw 2 Holly Blue, 9 Gatekeeper, 16 Meadow Brown, 1 Essex Skipper, 1 Peacock, 1 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 3 Ringlet, 1 Small Skipper and 2 Large White. Malcolm's count could be different from mine. Shailesh Patel and Malcolm Hull

At Northwood hq , sandy lane 2 x gatekeeper, 1 x large white. Walked around Oxhey woods in afternoon when sun had mostly gone. Northern woodland spotted 1 x large white, 2 x green veined white, 5 x holly blue. Nothing in central woodland and just 1 x peacock, 1 x meadow brown in southern woodland - David Gower

Hampstead Heath, after a very brief glimpse of the Purple Emperor at 12:30, from 12:38 there could be no mistaking it. No clashes and no chases as only one Emperor was visible at any given time. Flights around the Assembly area were as follows: 4 flights between 12:38 and 13:00. 3 flights 13:00-14:20 but the largest number of flights were made 15:00-16:11when HIM made no fewer than 10 flights. After that I saw nothing. So HIM made it into August and showed no sign of slowing down today. - Frank Nugent with Helen Bantock

Some sightings for Town Park, Enfield Saturday 1st August 2015 - 1 Painted Lady nectaring on flowers 12:41 - 13:00 hrs at least, 2 Comma nectaring on flowers, Gatekeeper, 2 Holly Blues, Large White, Small White and Speckled Wood - Robert Callf.

Butterflies I have seen today (01 Aug 2015): 1 small blue - male, stayed on a bit of grass whilst I could get a good view. Underwing silvery with very small black dots, upperwing blackish with very faint blue at base. Whitish fringe of wing. No orange anywhere. length of wing approx 1cm. Smaller than holly blue seen later. No kidney vetch seen, but birdsfoot trefoil present. Seen in SE corner of St Nicholas churchyard, near Stevenage TL24112615. 1 gatekeeper, 8 large white, 2 small white, 3 speckled wood, 1 holly blue, 1 green-veined white - St Nicholas Churchyard/Weston Road Cemetery, Stevenage TL2426. 1 green-veined white - St Albans Drive, St Nicholas, Stevenage TL244264. - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. After three consecutive Saturday morning walks that tended towards the apocalyptic (2 major fires followed by flooding) it was something of a relief to enjoy a perfectly normal August walk today: Gatekeeper: 59 Peacock: 7 Meadow Brown: 12 Purple Hairstreak: 1 Green-Veined White: 5 Small White: 11 Red Admiral: 2 Speckled Wood: 5 Large White: 7 Common Blue: 5 Brown Argus: 1 Brimstone: 2 Ringlet: 1 Comma: 1 Holly Blue: 6 Small Skipper:1 The Hairstreak was a very faded,ragged specimen that spent quite a bit of time moving from one ripe blackberry to another.On the Marshalling Yards one female Common Blue was seen in one of the most blackened burnt areas moving steadily from one tiny green speck of green to another, shoots that seemed to be Birds Foot Trefoil. - Pete Gore

July 2015

Friday 31st July 2015
One Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on thistles at Vicarage Farm, Enfield on Thursday 30th July 2015 at 08:40 hrs. One Holly Blue at South Lodge Cres., Enfield Friday 31st July 2015 at 12:18 hrs. Also a number of Gatekeeper around Boxer's Lake, Enfield this afternoon Friday 31st July 2015 - they are probably at the height of their season at present - Robert Callf

I have been keeping an eye on the Small Blue colony along the verge of the A41 at Bourne End/Hemel Hempstead. In previous weeks, I've found numerous larvae with their heads buried in Kidney Vetch and today there were 3 fresh Small Blue but terflies. Also 1 Common Blue, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Six-Spot Burnet and 2 Pyrausta moth species (either aurata or purpuralis but couldn't get a decent look, unfortunately). Over on the opposite A41 slip road, I was very surprised to find at least 32 Six-Spot Burnets (incl. numerous mating pairs) all on Field Scabious, and 1 Common Blue - Lucy Flower

First Painted Lady of the year feeding on Knapweed at Norton Green Common today - Peter Clarke


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