Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Sightings 2014

Welcome to the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch sightings page for butterfly and moth news from around the area

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When sending in news from a site for the first time, a grid reference or post code would be appreciated. We endeavour to enter all records on the branch data base if sufficient location detail is given. Photos will only be posted in exceptional circumstances, please either use the branch facebook page or provide an online link - thank you

Can you help us to get older Records onto our Database? We have a card index of Herts and Middlesex butterfly records from 1987 to 1994 which we want to add to our database. We are looking for volunteers to help copy these into a spreadsheet. Please contact Andrew Wood (see committee page for email) if you would like to receive a scan of the cards for a species (including if you gave me your name at the Members' Day as I've misplaced the note of your names - sorry!) Each card has one or two columns of rather small writing on it and I reckon a column takes around 20 minutes to copy the details of the Recorder, Grid Square, Location, Date, Species, Number seen. Thanks - Andrew Wood

December 2014

Thursday 18th December 2014
A Brown Hairstreak egg hunt is being held on the 27th December at Walthamstow Marshes - full details on Cambs & Essex Branch website - Please let Rob Smith know if you want to come along.

A dead Red Admiral on the pavement in North Watford at the junction of St Albans Road and Bushey Mill Lane, in 1-km grid square TQ 10 98. - Colin Everett

Monday 15th December 2014
I was surprised to see a Red Admiral fluttering around some new bike sheds at the University of Hertfordshire (AL10 9AB) on Monday 15th.. It was much smaller than other Red Admirals I have seen this year! Unfortunately it flew off before I had time to get a picture. - Daniel Cooper

Sunday 7th December 2014
While searching for firewood in my St Albans shed, I spotted 13 Small Tortoiseshells & 6 Peacocks all successfully hibernating. I also recorded one dead specimen of each species. There appeared to have been quite a few changing their positions since I last had a good look at them in August. Some of the Small Tortoiseshells have been in hibernation since the second week of July. Malcolm Hull

Saturday 6th December 2014
I've taken up your challenge of a Dec sighting, though I can't be sure on the precise ID! A large dark butterfly flew across in front of me this morning across a paddock at Nicholls Farm. It was either a Peacock or Red Admiral (I strongly suspect the former, but can't be 100% sure). Either way, I was surprised to see it with the frost on the ground, despite the sunshine. Peter Tallentire

November 2014

Sunday 30th November 2014
Interestingly we saw two small tortoiseshell in Ware on Saturday 29th, 1 flying around the Tesco's in the sun The second was whilst in our Wareside orchard, I fancy this one may have been disturbed from a big patch of flowering ivy which had become dislodged from a tree. - Phil Macmurdie

It's not over yet! A walk around my local patch at Stanwell Moor today (Sunday 30th) had no less than three Commas and six Red Admirals to offer. The Commas were happy basking in the sunshine, but some of the Red Admirals had found a large flowering mahonia and were happily nectaring.
This the latest in the year I have seen a butterfly anywhere in the UK - Dave Miller

Saturday 29th November 2014
I was pleasantly surprised to look out of my window earlier today (Saturday) and see a Peacock butterfly flying around my front garden at Nicholls Farm, Redbourn - Peter Tallentire

Today (Nov 29th) a Peacock was sunning itself at West End Essendon - Rupert Pyrah

Saw a Peacock Saturday 29th November 2014 at 13:46 hrs flying around a horse box at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - my latest record for this species! - Robert Callf

Thursday 27th November 2014
Saw a Red Admiral this afternoon Thursday 27th November 2014 on the sunny edge of Monken Hadley Common near the Games Road entrance at 12:23 hrs - flying and settling in branches, whilst trying to relocate a Yellow-browed Warbler which I had seen a few minutes before. - Robert Callf

Tuesday 25th November 2014
1 x small tortoiseshell and 1 x beautiful plume moth in our Bushey bathroom - David Gower

Tuesday 18th November 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A few hours sunshine,no breeze and temperatures up to 14C made for good walking weather favourable to butterflies and I was duly rewarded with what was almost certainly a Red Admiral flying strongly across the open central part of the Marshalling Yards in front of me.I was unable to see it settle to get 100% certainty but given the time of year ,the colours briefly visible and local trends I'm happy enough with this identification to submit it here. - Pete Gore

Just one Red Admiral seen on Friday 14th November on a late-flowering ivy patch near me in Stanwell Moor. 14 degrees and sunny after torrential rain.
Dave Miller

Wednesday 12th November 2014
Forty Hall near the school, 2 White-letter Hairstreak eggs found on a small elm overhanging the river and bridge - Andrew Middleton and Liz Goodyear

Robin White reported having seen a Red Admiral along Leeging Beech Gutter near 'Three-bridges' at Trent Park on Monday 10th November 2014 at about 10:30 hrs. - Robert Callf

Monday 10th November 2014
I saw a Painted Lady butterfly today (Monday 10th) on the Hertfordshire Way between Reed and Royston (approx. TL367 387). It seemed to be in good condition: so much so that it flew away before I had time to photograph it! Late or what.... - Martin Johnson

While bird watching at Lemsford Springs I was surprised to see a Peacock (no, not the bird!) fly by - Robin Pearson

Eastcote garden, I saw a Red Admiral camouflaged on an apple tree branch this afternoon, only noticed it as it flashed its wings during a brief sunny spell. - Paul Busby

Sunday 9th November 2014
Still butterflies to report! A lovely sunny afternoon here in Stanwell Moor on Sunday 9th November, with temperatures of around 14 or so. A circuit of my local patch found Red Admirals on all three main stands of flowering ivy, varying from the very worn to the absolutely brand new. There was also a single Comma, and amazingly yet another Holly Blue. This was a male this time, found where I had only seen females a couple of weeks ago - there must be a few around altogether. Nine or ten butterflies of three species, including one you would not expect - not bad for mid-November.
Dave Miller

Panshanger Park this morning, 4 Red Admirals noted - Allan Burrows

We saw a red admiral in Gosmore this morning, the first butterfly I have seen for over a week. - Jenny Sherwen

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A very pleasant walk (apart from a few muddy patches) with sunshine throughout and no breeze at all which is unusual on this site at any time of year.Only one butterfly but since it is November who's complaining?! This was a Red Admiral in much the same spot on the Marshalling Yards that I saw the first one that started off my butterfly year back in February - Pete Gore

Friday 7th November 2014
I was surprised to see a Red Admiral this morning flying around in front of the Boots store in the Borehamwood shopping centre. I also had one fly up from the path in front of me at Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits yesterday morning - Terry Wood

Tuesday 4th November 2014
Robin White and myself saw a Red Admiral which settled along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield this afternoon Tuesday 4th November 2014 at 12:47 hrs. Robert Callf

A belated report from my local patch at Stanwell Moor from the glorious afternoon of 31st October when the temperature reached the dizzy heights of 23 degrees. Overall, I spotted at least a dozen Red Admirals, two Commas and two female Holly Blues in a fairly limited area. The second of the Blues was fresh, but had some wing crumpling.
Dave Miller

Saw 3 brimstones and a peacock near Preston, Herts on Friday 31st - Steve Kiln

Saturday 1st November 2014
2 Clouded Yellows in Panshanger Park, Hertford today - Allan Burrows

A Small, or possibly a Green-Veined White flew over my garden in Pinner this morning - Graham Elcombe

Encouraged by my sightings of Clouded Yellow last Monday I visited the Symondshyde Lane Site again today, 8+ individuals, including a mating pair and 2 separate females one of which was egg laying on what I believe was Birds-foot Trefoil or something very similar. Also a male Common Blue in good condition and a Painted Lady travelling fast across the site in a southerly direction. - Roger Millard

October 2014

Friday 31st October 2014
A Peacock flew across Merryhills Drive, EN2 this morning Friday 31st October 2014 at 11:54 hrs. - Robert Callf

Approx. 11.30 am. a Red Admiral flew across my Hitchin garden from No.7 to No.3 - it was obviously enjoying the lovely sunshine - Val Fullforth

In my Harpenden garden today, Red Admiral, male Brimstone, Speckled Wood and 2 Holly Blues. - Robin Pearson

While working in my Hatfield garden this afternoon I watched a smart Red Admiral nectaring for upto an hour on Viburnum flowers. There were a few nectaring bees around too, including female White-tailed & Carder, presumably preparing to hibernate. Brilliant weather - John Moss

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Another lovely sunny day, perfect in summer but a little strange for the last day in October. Butterflies (and a moth) frustrated me by staying on wing and only a Small Copper on the Marshalling Yards was readily identifiable.A large Nymphalid and a smaller one on the Heath were most likely Red Admiral and Comma but insufficiently co-operative to satisfy me. The moth on the Marshalling Yards did a very good butterfly impression fluttering around the path and was clearly one of the slender-bodied kind but it didn't land and I was left with just the impression of a Holly Blue-sized moth with pale hindwings and darker brown forewings.There seems to be a large number of possibilities. So on to November I suppose. It's starting to get hard to visualise winter but it will come, won't it? - Pete Gore

Tuesday 28th October 2014
An almost unbelievable day of brilliant warm sunshine: I went round my local patch today at Stanwell Moor, and saw nearly 20 butterflies of four species: a dozen (maybe more) Red Admirals, two/three Commas, two/three Holly Blues (2m and 1f) and a Brimstone (1m). (I also saw some Clouded Yellows down near Bournemouth yesterday, so it's been a good week so far!)
What an excellently long season! - Dave Miller

A Red Admiral at Fairlands Valley Park (South), Stevenage - Peter Clarke

Red Admiral in our Hitchin garden today - Nigel Agar

Some sightings for an unseasonally warm Tuesday 28th October 2014 - 1 Red Admiral basking on wall and nectaring on ivy, Chalk Lane, Cockfosters at 10:01 and 10:02 hrs. Monken Hadley Common - 2 Comma (one at 11:25 hrs and another at 11:46 hrs); 1 Speckled Wood very faded but not tatty at 11:33 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at 12:23 hrs and two together at 12:39 hrs. - Robert Callf

Still approx. 8 individual Clouded Yellows at Symondshyde Lane today, at least 3 males and up to 5 seen together at any one time. - Robin Pearson

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A very similar day to yesterday but with less pleasing results despite including the Crane loop in the hope of spotting any Holly Blues which I suspect breed there. In the end I had to settle for just one Red Admiral flying strongly above me on the Marshalling Yards.Should this be the last for 2014 I'll have ended precisely as I began back on February 16th. - Pete Gore

While walking around Pear Wood yesterday 27th, around midday I spotted a Clouded Yellow and a Speckled Wood at TQ17201-93552 - Peter Elton

Monday 27th October 2014
13.00 to 14.00 - Bright Sun and Windy. Clouded Yellow - Symondshyde Lane Site. At least 8 individuals, 5 males flying at the same time, a mating pair and a single female which I believe to be of the "White Form". The female spent most of its time flitting from one clump of vegetation to another only remaining for a few seconds before moving on, could have been egg laying, it was very difficult to keep up with it and impossible to see exactly what it was doing - Roger Millard

Following Saturday's sighting of a Red Admiral in our garden in Pinner, today it (or a close relative) appeared together with a Comma, both in excellent condition & both nectaring as before. At the same time a large light-coloured butterfly (Large White or Brimstone?) was seen flying high over the garden - Tony and Gill Porter

In Stocking Pelham today 2 peacocks and a small tortoiseshell - Andy Brown HMWT

A male Brimstone in Kitchling Lane, Norton Green - Peter Clarke

Whilst walking through the Golden Valley (Ashridge N.T estate SP995126) this afternoon in glorious sunshine, I counted seven Clouded Yellows on a grass slope near the golf course nectaring on Autumn Hawkbit. They were in pristine condition - probably a recent brood - Brendan Sheridan

A nymphalid flew past me in the 'meadow enclosure' in Grovelands Park, Southgate this afternoon Monday 27th October 2014 at 15:26 GMT and I was pleased that it settled in a oak so that I could identify it as a Small Tortoiseshell. - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A beautiful sunny day.In the summer this would have meant butterfly sightings well into three figures and a dozen or more species but it's the last week in October so:- Speckled Wood: 3 Comma: 1 Red Admiral: 1 and Holly Blue(?): 1. Unusually I saw nothing on the Marshalling Yards, all my sightings coming on the golf course section of the Heath except for the Holly Blue which flew across the river too quickly for me to get a definite identification.There's about a 5% chance of Common Blue and a similar chance of it being an unknown moth in this particular location. It was pleasing to see a Comma once again in position (as I like to think of it) on the Crane Bridge whilst on the shadier Mill Stream Bridge a Speckled Wood performed a similar role. - Pete Gore

Saturday 25th October 2014
Monken Hadley Common, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

Red Admiral and Comma on the ground and on buddleia at Amwell Quarry - Nigel Agar

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Despite weather that was rather disappointing compared to forecast I still managed a couple of butterflies (eventually) as I was exiting the Marshalling Yards.One was probably the same Small White I saw on Thursday,the other annoyingly I couldn't quite satisfy myself was a likely Peacock.The 1 definite sighting pleases me in one other respect - we've now kept our butterflies at least one day longer than 2013 when,as I recall,severe gales ended matters. - Pete Gore

1 x Large Yellow Underwing seen at Northwood HQ, Sandy Lane yesterday - David Gower

Friday 24th October 2014
A pristine Red Admiral nectaring on castor oil plant flowers in our Pinner garden (overcast, no wind & fairly mild) - Tony and Gill Porter

At c. 3:00pm today (24.10.14) I saw a Red Admiral in my garden (postcode NW3) - presumably in search of rotting fruit. None in my garden, unfortunately, so it didn't settle and flew off - Mark Barclay

Thursday 23rd October 2014
Still 5 or 6 Clouded Yellows at the Symondshyde lane site at noon today when the sun appeared.
Robin Pearson

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards After a walk in sunshine but with no butterflies I wasn't very hopeful for today but ended up pleasantly surprised in consistent morning sunshine: Speckled Wood: 2 Red Admiral: 1 Common Blue: 1 and Small White: 1 - Pete Gore

Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Whilst walking around my local patch at Maple Cross today, 22 October, I was amazed to see a clouded yellow butterfly fly past. It settled and then sunned itself in a sheltered patch next to Franklins Wood which is adjacent to an arable field that has been left fallow and is full of clover - Christina Bessant

4 Red Admiral in Trent Park this morning - 1 Sect 1 at 10:48 hrs, 2 together nectaring on michaelmas daisies edge of Triangular Wood at 10:55 hrs and another in Sect 5 at 11:19 hrs, also a nice view of a female Bullfinch in blackthorn Sect 8 and Common Darter near the Oakwood entrance. - Robert Callf

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

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 Burrows (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

Chadwell Springs Golf Course nr Ware : 2 Small Coppers - Simon Knott

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

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

Tuesday 9th September 2014
Weedy field, Batford - 1 PAINTED LADY - Darin Stanley

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards I somehow managed to find the cloudiest part of the day to walk which led to a list of sightings dominated by Speckled Wood: Speckled Wood: 11 Common Blue: 6 Small White: 2 Small Copper: 1 Meadow Brown: 3 Brown Argus: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 I spent a little time trying to persuade myself that a small, relatively brightly coloured (but faded) Meadow Brown was a Gatekeeper but as, in the end,I could only see 1 white pupil in each eye-spot I've listed it here as a Meadow Brown albeit an unusually small female. - Pete Gore

Some sightings to report today Tuesday 9th September 2014 - 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 at 'Old Golf Course' and 1 near Ride Wood); 1 Red Admiral flew S at Hog Hill, Vicarage Farm, Enfield 11:19 hrs. - Robert Callf

During a Yeading Brook working party this morning at Bridgewater Fields, South Ruislip, I saw a Red Admiral, 4 Speckled Woods and at least 1 Green-veined White. In the afternoon, on the meadow section of Bridgewater fields, Ruislip Gardens saw a further 5 Speckled Woods, 1 Large White and a Green-veined White - Paul Busby

Monday 8th September 2014
Two Peacock on Monday 8th September 2014 - 1 at Hog Hill, Vicarage Farm 15:30 hrs and 1 at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 16:13 hrs. 1 male Common Blue near lower lake, Trent Park at 17:30 hrs. - Robert Callf

A Small Heath found today on the public footpath in northern part of Norton Green - a long time to wait for its first appearance of the year here! Other butterflies spotted include 20+ Speckled Woods, 10+ Commas, 3 Common Blues, 2 Brimstones, several whites and a Small Copper. Latticed Heath and Blood-vein moths also found. Sadly, no Red Admirals although they have been in good numbers here in the last few weeks. Peter Clarke

Beautiful sunny day, saw lots of dragonflies and a few butterflies in my travels. Edge of Highgrove Wood, Eastcote, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Small White and 3 Speckled Woods. Then at Warrender Park one Small White and one Green-veined White. Later at Manor farm complex, Ruislip, 3 Speckled Woods plus a further 3 in St Martins Churchyard, Ruislip. Later at Eastcote House gardens, 1 Red admiral on Sedum and one Small White, then 2 Speckled Woods and 2 Green-veined Whites on Long Meadow and a further Speckled Wood and Green-veined White at Cheney Field, Eastcote - Paul Busby

Sunday 7th September 2014
Two Red Admirals to report for Sunday 7th September 2014 - 1 at Town Park, Enfield at 13:35 hrs and another at Chase Road, Southgate at 14:57 hrs. Saturday 6th September 2014 - 1 Large White at Town Park, Enfield at 14:25 hrs. - Robert Callf

Today in Bushey garden 1 x large white & 1 x comma. At merryhill fields not much around = 3 x speckled wood, 1 x large white, 1 x small copper, 1 x meadow brown, 1 x comma. David Gower

Did my Warren transect today in bright sunshine & no wind. No much - 3 Small copper (ist since spring), 5 lively Small Heath, 2 Small/GV White. Good news is that at long last scrub is being senstively cleared. Site has been carefully surveyed by a sharp-eyed botanist because several small Petty Whin & new patches of Dwarf Gorse have been taped off. Large areas of Heather & Dwarf Gorse were aglow in the sunshine. I look forward to installation of fencing followed by light grazing next year. Also in my garden today, 2 probable Red Admirals, 1 Comma, 2 Small/Gv White, 1 Large White on/over tall Buddleia. John Moss

Ware garden, at least 6 Red Admirals nectaring on different coloured buddleias, also 1 Comma and 1 Small White - Liz Goodyear

Saturday 6th September 2014
Another walk around the leafy bits of Stanwell Moor this afternoon showed that Speckled Woods are emerging in numbers at the moment - I saw at least a dozen. Other than that, there were a handful of Small Heaths, quite a few Small and Green-veined Whites, and a couple of Red Admirals. No sign of any Commas today.
Dave Miller

At Aldbury Nowers lower areas = 4 x speckled wood, 8 x common blue, 7 x meadow brown, 3 x small heath, 1 x comma, 1 x small copper, 1 x small tortoiseshell, 11 x brown argus, 1 x large white, 2 x small white, 2 x green veined white, 4 x brimstone (2 x male, 2 female), 1 x treble bar moth. In higher enclosure = 8 x speckled wood, 7 x meadow brown, 10 x brown argus, 1 x small heath, 4 x common blue, 2 x treble bar. - David Gower

Just a couple of sightings to report today Saturday 6th September 2014 - 1 Red Admiral at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 09:50 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Water Garden, Trent Park 11:19 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 5th September 2014
A few butterflies to report at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this afternoon Friday 5th September 2014 - 2 Small White nectaring on michaelmas daisies ; 2 Green-veined White; 4 Speckled Wood. - Robert Callf

Today we found 3 caterpillars of Elephant Hawk Moth in our garden here in Berkhamsted in a patch of Lesser Willowherb. They were actively eating during the afternoon. We have taken photos but hope to get better tomorrow. - Michael Anderson

Thursday 4th September 2014
Disturbed a Red Admiral from fallen plums at Parkside Farm, Enfield this morning Thursday 4th September 2014 at 08:50 hrs. - Robert Callf

Walked the 5 miles of the Willow Tree Wander footpath along the Yeading Brook from North Harrow to Ickenham this afternoon and saw the following on route: Streamside open space (TQ124884); 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White 2 Small White and another Kingfisher, Roxbourne Park (TQ123875) 3 Speckled Wood, 3 Small White, Queens Walk-Victoria Road section, South Ruislip (TQ110865) 5 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White 3 Small White, 1 Red Admiral, at Spider Park, Bridgwater Fields (TQ105860) 2 Speckled Wood, 4 Green-veined White 2 Small White. The sun went in during the Ickenham Marsh section but disturbed a Green Woodpecker feeding on grass - Paul Busby

News from Saturday 30th August provided warm hazy sunshine, enough to tempt me out for a walk around my local patch. There was no shortage of variety, with once again seven species seen in as many minutes: Red Admiral, Comma, all three Whites, Holly Blue and Speckled Wood. Over the couple of hours I was out, good numbers of all these were seen, plus a Peacock, two Common Blues and several Small Heaths. The Red Admirals and Commas were largely new, as were some of the Whites and Speckled Woods, but both species of Blue were getting rather worn. As well as fermenting blackberries, and a wild buddleia in bloom for the second time, the ivy is now coming into flower and attracting the Red Admirals in particular with its nectar. Despite fluttering around the ivy a great deal, the Holly Blues were more inclined to nectar on what bramble flowers remained. One extra point of interest was when a large and brightly coloured insect fluttered across the path - clearly not a recognisable species of butterfly. I tracked it down to where it had hidden and found it to be a Red Underwing moth: a large and very handsome species rarely seen flying during the day.
Dave Miller

Wednesday 3rd September 2014
Some sightings for today Wednesday 3rd September 2014 - 1 Comma edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park at 11:16 hrs; 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park 11:24 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park 11:30 hrs; 2 Green-veined White copulating at Vicarage Farm, Enfield 12:40 hrs; 1 Painted Lady at Hog Hill, Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:42 hrs. - Robert Callf

At Great Molewood, Bengeo, today 2 Comma and 2 Red admiral on ivy flowers in the Orchard,also 3 Speckled wood spiraling together - Laurence Drummond

On a walk around Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits today I saw 3 Small White, 1 Comma and 1 Small Heath. Also today in my South Mimms garden 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Small White - Terry Wood

Tuesday 2nd September 2014
Wareside: Whilst working from home - managed to find 10 red admirals basking on the late buddleia flowers in the garden, in addition to 1 comma, 4 speckled wood, 8 small white, 6 green veined white, 3 large white, 1 holly blue. Also have several of the late tortoiseshell brood over wintering tucked away in the wood beams of our bedroom, relevant do not disturb signs have been posted. Whilst in the moth trap - had regular Diamond backed moth's showing (4 Tuesday morning) so possible more migrants to come yet. - Phil Macmurdie

A later walk today Tuesday 2nd September 2014 produced a few sightings - 1 Red Admiral at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:31 hrs; 1 Peacock near Duncan's Wood at Park Farm, Enfield 12:00 hrs; 1 Comma at Park Farm, Enfield at 12:05 hrs; 1 female Gatekeeper edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park 12:15 hrs (usually not seen after late August); 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park 12:25 hrs; 1 Comma by Lower Lake, Trent Park 12:48 hrs. - Robert Callf

At lunchtime today (2 September) in warm sunshine I walked the path to the west of the easterly car park on Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead. Don't get excited: nothing here will make your heart beat any faster. Totals were 11 Common Blues, 3 Meadow Browns, 2 G-V Whites, 2 Small Heaths, 2 Small Whites, 2 Small Coppers, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 male Brimstone and 1 Large White. There were still plenty of knapweeds in flower but little nectaring going on. Flying low amongst the knapweed was a Hornet. Alan Jackson

Went for a 15 minute walk at lunchtime around the fields near Ickenham Marsh and saw 2 Small Heath and 1 Speckled Wood butterflies. Later in the afternoon at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, I saw a further 5 Speckled Woods, 3 Small White and 1 Large White as well as a Kingfisher flying low along the Yeading Brook and a juvenile Green Woodpecker on the grassy bankside. Then at Warrender Park and Highgrove Woods, Eastcote, I saw 2 Green-Veined Whites, at least 1 Small White and 2 more Speckled Woods - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards After a wet start to the month on Monday my first September butterfly was seen today,a Large White mysteriously attracted to the rear of a red London double-decker bus.After that start subsequent butterflies behaved rather more normally: Large White: 2 Meadow Brown: 7 Speckled Wood: 6 Comma: 2 Small Heath: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Small White: 7 Brown Argus: 7 Peacock: 1 Common Blue: 7 Green-Veined White: 2 Small Copper: 1 Only 1 male Common Blue whereas Brown Argus seems to be increasing. - Pete Gore

While mowing at Ashwell HMWT NR today(2nd Sept) there were 6 Brimstones, a couple of common blues and a brown argus - Andy Brown HMWT

Monday 1st September 2014
A couple of interesting sightings - a brimstone and a humming bird hawkmoth together with the ever attendant small tortoiseshells in stocking pelham on Sunday 31st... Andy Brown HMWT

On both Sunday 24th and Sunday 31st August, at Aldbury Nowers I saw: At least half a dozen red admirals, lots of brown argus, at least two brimstone, one painted lady (on the 24th only), one small tortoiseshell, a peacock and several speckled wood. I also saw a yellow shell moth and was delighted to see a hummingbird hawkmoth. I was also lucky to get some photos:
Speckled wood
Painted lady
Meadow brown
Red admiral
Brown argus
Hummingbird hawkmoth
Sharon Monahan

August 2014

Sunday 31st August 2014
Sunday 31st August 2014: Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/River Crane A beautiful autumnal day on which I managed to get slightly sunburnt and saw over 50 butterflies from 11 species.For once the highlight concerned Whites. Close to the Cavalry Tunnel entrance I watched 4 Green-Veined Whites on the footpath,presumably extracting minerals although the path was dry and poo-free as far as I could detect.They kept their wings closed and were comfortable together but were intermittently pestered by 1 or other of 4 Small Whites to which they would respond by what looked like synchronised fluttering of their wings although they would only actually fly in apparent response to vibrations from a train on the line above or from me eventually passing them on the path.At least 2 of The Small Whites were also interested in whatever it was the path offered but were neither as persistent or as comfortable with other butterflies close to them.When I finally looked back at them from the tunnel the GVWs had resumed their preoccupation together on the path. Here are the full details: Small Heath: 1 Meadow Brown: 15 Small White: 10 Speckled Wood: 12 Comma: 3 Green-Veined White: 5 Red Admiral: 1 Peacock: 1 Brown Argus: 2 Common Blue: 4 Holly Blue: 2 Good to see the Holly Blues back to appreciate the Ivy flowers this year.In one or two spots along the River I could smell the perfume of the flowers in the air as I walked. Another Holly Blue was all I saw on Friday 29th August, this one in my own garden. On Thursday 28th August: Speckled Wood: 5 Small White: 5 Red Admiral: 1 Meadow Brown: 10 Small Heath: 1 Common Blue: 6 Clouded Yellow: 1 Holly Blue: 1. This was a walk with sudden appearances and disappearances. First a Kingfisher appeared at the Tunnel entrance flying from me into the culvert but somehow managing to disappear mid-culvert like one last year did (my observational weakness rather than mysterious bird behaviour I think) Later, towards the end of a solitary peaceful walk on the Marshalling Yards, I was startled by the roar of a motor-bike towards me at virtually the same moment as a Clouded Yellow emerged from 'nowhere' to cross the path in front of the bike.The butterfly just about made it safely despite a cloud of dust but became the second brightly coloured creature to disappear inexplicably as far as I was concerned.The not-so-brightly-coloured biker, however,failed to disappear despite my unexpressed fervent wishes. Thursday's Holly Blue was a faded specimen which kept its wings mostly closed - a pity since one brief flick revealed conspicuous substantial black corners to the fore-wings.I would have liked to see the full butterfly with her wings open. - Pete Gore

A few sightings for Sunday 31st August 2014 - 1 Comma settled on wooden fencing along Leeging Beech Gutter at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 08:30 hrs, 1 Small Heath edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 11:12 hrs, 1 Red Admiral flew SW at Vicarage Farm at 11:50 hrs. - Robert Callf

At Norton Green this afternoon, I saw a blue-spotted form of the Small Copper in addition to several whites, Speckled Woods, a Meadow Brown, 5 Commas, 2 Red Admirals and 2 Common Blues. Incidentally, a white-spotted form of the Red Admiral (white spot in red bands on fore-wings) was seen here on 28 August. Last Silver-washed Fritillary seen on 18 August; Purple Hairstreak on 23 August. - Peter Clarke

Saturday 30th August 2014
Bengeo: Small Heath today by River Beane near St Leonard's Church - Simon Knott

One Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield this morning Saturday 30th August 2014 at 09:55 hrs and a very faded female Meadow Brown at Uni-lawns, Trent Park at 10:44 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 29th August 2014
A few sightings to report - 1 Green-veined White at Carr's Basin, Town Park, Enfield on Thursday 28th August 2014 at 13:38 hrs. Friday 29th August 2014 - 1 female Meadow Brown at Oakwood Park, N14 at 08:28 hrs, 2 Speckled Wood at Boxer's Lake, Enfield at 10:58 hrs, 1 Speckled Wood at Lakeside, EN2 at 11:15 hrs. 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:30 hrs; 1 female Large White at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:51 hrs - Robert Callf

There was a Clouded Yellow in the rough grass at the north end of Tyttenhanger main pit yesterday afternoon. Green-veined White, Red Admiral and Large White in my Brookmans Park garden today. - Rupert Pyrah

Thursday 28th August 2014
Saw a Red Admiral nectaring on buddleia flowers in front garden of Chelmsford Road, N14 Wedneday 27th August 2014 at 16:32 hrs. - Robert Callf

A male Brimstone (on scarlet runner bean flowers - where was my camera?), a Peacock, half a dozen Speckled Woods and as many Small Whites at my Harpenden allotment this afternoon (28 August). - Alan Jackson

Wednesday 27th August 2014
Some sightings for today Wednesday 27th August 2014 - 1 female Meadow Brown at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:19 hrs; 1 Small Heath at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 10:23 hrs; 1 male Meadow Brown along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:17 hrs and at least 4 Large White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Sunday 24th August 2014
Enthused by Andrew Wood's Moth Night yesterday (23rd) at Panshanger Park, we took advantage of what looks like the last fine afternoon for a while and walked round to see what's about. Not much - 2 Small Torts, both quite fresh, 1 very worn Meadow Brown and several Small/GV Whites in wood margins. Otherwise a few damsels and bees in sheltered areas round the lake, occasional "grass moths" and 5 House Martins stoking up for the long journey south. Very autumnal, but should be even better habitat by next spring - John Moss

Stocking Pelham, approx 7 small Tortoiseshells, 1 red admiral, 4 whites (GV?) 1 meadow brown and 1 Hummingbird Hawk Moth - Andy Brown HMWT

On Saturday 23rd August, I saw a Large White on Park Way Common, opposite Ruislip Manor station, Middlesex then a Small Tortoiseshell by Stockers Lock on the Grand Union canal, Rickmansworth, Herts. Then today, Sunday 24th August saw a Holly Blue flying along the route of the Notting Hill Carnival, Chepstow Road, London W2, following the procession for a short while! - Paul Busby

Folly Lane, St Albans - Several species have been emerging at this site during the week, with numbers increasing. These are Small White (26 today), Large White (8) Red Admiral (4) and Speckled Wood (3). Other species still on the wing are Small Tortoiseshell (2) and Meadow Brown (1) - Malcolm Hull

Saturday 23rd August 2014
1 Speckled Wood near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 10:14 hrs; 1 Small Copper along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:06 hrs. - Robert Callf

At Merryhill Fields, Bushey again today. Spotted 6 x small white, 9 x common blue(all males), 28 x meadow brown, 3 x small copper, 18 x speckled wood, 1 x comma, 1 x large white & 8 x yellow shell moths. - David Gower

Stocking Pelham a common blue and some meadow browns in the verge outside my house. On the 24th approx 7 small Tortoiseshells, 1 red admiral, 4 whites (GV?) 1 meadow brown and 1 Hummingbird Hawk Moth - Andy Brown HMWT

Bricket Wood Common - Speckled Woods (14), increasing in number - there were as many as all other butterflies combined. First Small Heath (1) of the year at this site, Purple Hairstreak (1) very active in Ash, Comma (1), Gatekeeper (1), Meadow Brown (2), Brimstone (2, male & female), Red Admiral (2), Large (1), Small(1) & Green-veined (2) Whites & Small Tortoiseshell(1) giving the day a very end-of-summer feel - Malcolm Hull

Friday 22nd August 2014
Light Emerald seen to settle on tennis court at Oakwood Park, N14 at 08:25 hrs; 2 Small Heath together at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:56 hrs; 1 female Brown Argus nectaring on yellow flowers at Parkside Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) on side of Res bank at 14:03 hrs - my first record of the year! 1 Peacock at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:03 hrs; 1 Small White at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:03 hrs. - Robert Callf

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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
There were more fresh Common Blues as well.
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.
One individual had the deficient spotting not infrequently seen on Chalkhills and Adonis, but not something I've previously seen on a Common Blue.
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.
3rd August: a repeat of Saturday, to the extent of meeting the same Clouded Yellow!
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 Friday August 1st, 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

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!

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 by the lower lake in Trent Park 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

Wednesday 23rd July 2014
Diane Andrews rang to report a Marbled White at Tatum Park, Enfield (next to the A10) on 14th July. On the 23rd July at Monken Hadley Common, a Chalkhill Blue, Marbled Whites, 3 Antler Moths, 5 Peacock, 1 Comma and 14 Small Coppers in total in TQ2946.

In Bushey garden 3 x peacock, 1 x large white, 1 x riband moth - David Gower

I enjoyed a very agreeable afternoon watching one and then two Purple Emperors at the Northaw Assembly area. I arrived just after 2 as the cloud dispersed and good sunshine commenced and almost immediately an emperor made a flight across the gap. He was a bit bored at first so he chased some bees and then a crow and some more bees...........but about 2.45 he was joined by another emperor (almost the same time last week kicked off) and their tussles continued for about 30 minutes when one finally disappeared for good, never to return. Which one it was is hard to say although I suspect it was the first one I saw that went. Both appeared to be in good condition so no obvious identification points although the second one might have been just a tad bigger? I left at 4 with one still flying in the gap in the sunshine having also chased a pigeon and a Purple Hairstreak - Liz Goodyear

Received a phone call from Robin White yesterday afternoon Tuesday 22nd July 2014 stating that he had seen a Purple Emperor in Trent Park at about 11am on the edge of Williams Wood not far from the Dew Pond - this is a high point in the park and the pond is surrounded by mature sallows. He believed that it was a female and it flew over his head at a height of about three metres. Robin was quite excited by this sighting as it is the first Purple Emperor that he has seen. Also yesterday Tuesday 22nd July 2014 I saw three Gatekeeper, 2 males and 1 female and 1 Holly Blue in Town Park, Enfield at 13:15 hrs. Whilst waiting for a train at Crews Hill Station today Wednesday 23rd July 2014 counted the following between 12:10 and 12:25 hrs - at least 7 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Red Admiral nectaring on buddleia near the platform, also noticed a Brimstone Moth just as the train was pulling in - Robert Callf

Peacocks galore. Yesterday at Broxbourne woods ride 90 peacocks on hemp agrimony and thistles, with seven silver washed fritillaries. At Waterford heath south today 95 peacocks on teasels but last week they were on the buddleias. Also a fresh painted lady, a clutch of common blues and a brimstone on the heath - Steve Kiln

Tuesday 22nd July 2014
I did the transect today, good numbers of meadow browns and gatekeepers, they seem to be having an excellent year. Lots of silver washed fritillary around and a few faded dark greens. Saw my first chalkhill blues as well - 3+ together with fresh brown argus, common blue and small copper. Lots of peacock, a few comma, red admiral and small tortoiseshell, large white, green veined white, small white, brimstone, small, large and essex skippers and one ringlet along the Ridgeway. I think I may have seen a holly blue as well but couldn't be sure as it flew away quite high into the surrounding woodland. - Paul Thrush

During a 20 minute visit to Highgrove Wood, Eastcote at lunchtime, I saw a Comma, a Small White and 8 Speckled Woods. Later in the afternoon, at nearby Warrender Park, Eastcote, I saw a Peacock, a Common Blue, a Gatekeeper, 4 Small Skippers and at least 4 Small Whites within 15 minutes - Paul Busby

Today Tuesday 22nd July 2014 - 8 Comma nectaring on burdock at Flash Lane Aqueduct, Whitewebbs Park at 10:35 hrs; 3 Peacock nectaring on burdock at Flash Lane Aqueduct, Whitewebbs Park at 10:35 hrs, also another 2 nectaring on thistles at Whitewebbs Park; 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on thistles at Whitewebbs Park at 10:47 hrs; 1 Small Copper nectaring on thistles at Whitewebbs Park at 10:50 hrs; 1 Peacock at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield at 11:04 hrs - Robert Callf.

Just to let you know that I found a wing of a purple emperor in Stubbins Wood in Tring. The woodland is behind West Leith in Tring near Tring Park and is managed by Dacorum Borough Council. I had a look around but couldn't find any adult flying just one worn wing on the main path - Jez Perkins

Monday 21st July 2014
I was walking above the main gravel pit at Tyttenhanger today, when a small dark grey butterfly flew out of the long grass so quickly by me that I was unable to trace it. Do you think that it could have been a Small Blue here at Tyttenhanger? Other butterflies were 2 Large Skipper, 3 Essex Skipper, 2 Small Skipper, 2 Marbled White, 1 Small Heath, 1 Red Admiral, 9 Peacock, 6 Green Veined White, 4 Small White, 8 Meadow Brown, and Gatekeepers too numerous to count - Terry Wood

Sunday 20th July 2014
19 people turned up at Heartwood to enjoy a pleasant walk with 16 species seen highlights were 3 small coopers, brown argus, red admiral, all 3 skippers, common blues, speckled wood, small tortoiseshell, peacocks, marbled whites, large white, GV white, small white and big numbers of meadow brown and ringlets - Andrew Steele

Morning walk on Sunday 20th July 2014, in Broxbourne Woods following main spine walk on through Cowheath Wood into Brambles Wood and then down into Danemead Wood. Silver-washed fritillary common (TL 324071, TL 326073, TL 328074, and in various places in Danemead approx TL 344078). As someone who started looking for butterflies locally in 1977 (and now lives in South Wales) it is rather amazing to see silver washed Frits in Herts. In the last 70's there were none. Great to see three white admiral feeding on bramble flowers in Danemead (two were rather dull, not not ragged, but the third looked very fresh and new). No purple emperors, but just the thought that they now live in the oak/hornbeam woods of SE Herts and even Enfield's Whitewebbs Wood is frankly amazing. Also lots of peacocks, good numbers of ringlet, m.browns, a few gatekeepers, and ones and twos of red admirals, small tortoiseshells, commas (including one which was pursued amorously by a male silver washed frit), speckled woods (which again - at least as far as I was concerned- were not found locally in 1977, although conversely and rather sadly we seem to have lost the once ever present wall) and some green veined whites. Richard and Sue Wistow

Visited the old Rivers orchard/nursery site today 09.15-10.30 in a limited walk(to many loose dogs), 46 Small/Essex skipper(enjoying the new long sward)(only one I could get close enough to was def Essex) 4 Green veined white,1 Common blue(male)(not enjoying the new long sward)2 Peacock,26 Gatekeeper,8 Ringlet and 50+Meadow brown. Went to Rickneys PM, 1 Purple emperor still on territory at Bardon clumps, also 1 Brown argus and 3 Marbled white - Laurence Drummond

A longish walk north of Baldock today, plenty of butterflies but two highlights. 2 Painted Ladies on a field margin south of Newnham and 2 male Chalkhill Blues in a large very flowery area just east of Baldock between the bypass and the Royston Road. I guess wanderers from Therfield Heath. I was actually surprised at the low number of butterflies in this area which is full of knapweed, scabious and marjoram. Andrew Wood

Thorley Wash noon today, too warm and humid to count butterflies in general but in about 12 minutes along the path between enclosures and old river River Stort counted 30 peacocks nectaring on teasel (Actual number on the nature reserve I would estimate at a minimum of 200), 12 green veined white flying over nettle/ willow scrub, 2 small tortoiseshells and singles of large white, meadow brown, comma, red admiral, common blue, and large skipper. Lucky to disturb from the side of path within the reserve a fresh and pretty little lattice heath moth. Crossing the neglected meadow outside the nature reserve to return to the main road saw many small/essex skippers flying fast and a few meadow browns and gatekeepers.. Len Crouch

Saturday 19th July 2014
This week in Kings Langley garden, Large White, a few Peacocks, several Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, and yesterday a Small Skipper. On the window a huge moth gave me enough time to identify it with a photo from outside. It was a fresh Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing moth! We visited Aldbury Nowers on Friday in early evening to the lower field along the hedge; nectaring on brambles were Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, and a Silver Washed Frittilary.Plenty of Meadow Brown, Marbled White and Small Skipper varieties in the grasses. Skippers love the colour of my purple floral skirt as they sit on it to rest. My husband saw a Small Copper.No Brown Argus or Blues in that lower field this visit. Earlier in the week at Ivinghoe Beacon just before sunset we saw some roosting Blues, probably Chalkhill and some Marbled Whites.. Happy hunting - Elizabeth Debenham

St Albans - 8 Small Tortoiseshells have gone into hibernation in my out-house during the last week, though there are still two on the flowers in the garden this afternoon. I also noticed Peacocks searching for suitable hibernating spots this week, with one spending the night in my kitchen on Thursday - wisely it has decided not to come back. So if you want to get hibernating butterflies in your shed its a good time to clear away the cobwebs and leave the door/window open to attract them in - Malcolm Hull

BROXBOURNE COMMON, 1 Purple emperor on territory in the gap at the western end,18.23 (night shift!). PERRY GREEN, 1 very worn and washed out Painted lady near the church, 19.34 - Laurence Drummond

Friday 18th July 2014
For 17 July field trip: Seven of us in all turned up for the field trip to Norton Green although I arrived earlier at 0930 to put some crab paste (no shrimp paste at Asda!) on some low-lying leaves around the open area in the hope of attracting the Purple Emperor. No luck there or anywhere else this morning but we had a satisfying day with the warmth, light winds and intermittent sunshine. The highlights were some fresh looking Silver-washed Fritillaries (male and female) on the common and Purple Hairstreaks on the south eastern edge of Watery Grove. A fellow butterfly enthusiast, Lee, carried out an experiment (which he also attempted yesterday) by spraying some diluted honey solution on some of the lower leaves of the tall and nearest oak tree to the opening to the big open field, to tempt the Purple Hairstreaks down because of the apparent absence of honeydew on the tree leaves. Within minutes of meeting Lee at about 1130am, we were treated with a beautiful male Purple Hairstreak opening its wings on an oak leaf just above eye-level. Overall, between 1030 and 1300, we saw 19 species: 30+ Gatekeepers, 30+ Ringlets, 5+ Large Whites, 5+ Small Whites, 2 Green-veined Whites, 30+ Meadow Browns, 10+ Marbled Whites, 5+ Small Skippers, 2+ Essex Skippers, 50+ Small/Essex Skippers, 1 Large Skipper, 2 Common Blues, 1 Small Copper (very fresh), 5+ Silver-washed Fritillaries, 5+ Purple Hairstreaks, 3+ Peacocks, 2 Red Admirals, 5 Commas, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and a Brimstone. - Peter Clarke and Bob Clift

16th July - an Essex Skipper on lavender in my front garden in Letchworth Garden City - Jill Sawyer

Therfield Heath, Royston - Chalkhill Blues are close to their peak right now and put on a good show for my visit today with over 1,400 recorded. This is a large site and CHBs were seen in most areas at low concentrations. Church Hill and the Rifle Range/ Upper Rifle Range being the hot spots. I saw over 1,000 CHBs within an hour at the latter site. Mostly males were seen with females accounting for only 10 - 15 per cent of individuals recorded. Wild Thyme is the most favoured nectar source, with one extensive patch attracting over 100 CHBs. I also saw 20 male CHBs clustered together feeding on excrement. Dark Green Fritillaries still out with 8 recorded, some looking rather tatty. The only other blue recorded was a single Brown Argus. The small dark butterfly on one of the extensive patches of Kidney Vetch turned out to be a very small female CHB - Malcolm Hull

Thursday 17th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Extreme heat and humidity had an enervating effect on me so just the shorter walk today. Some of the butterflies starting to look a little tired too: Speckled Wood: 9 Gatekeeper: 86 Meadow Brown: 44 Ringlet: 4 Small Skipper: 57 Peacock: 17 Common Blue: 7 Small White: 2 - Pete Gore

Despite nationally talk that the season is winding down....went to the Northaw Assembly area arriving just after 2.20, and everything seemed very quiet and I thought perhaps 'they' are right. However at 2.40, I was just looking up through my binoculars at a butterfly perched high up thinking it was a Purple Hairstreak and realising it was a Comma when through my binoculars I saw a Purple Emperor fly over. Followed about ten minutes later by a second individual. Numerous clashes and flights continued until I left just after 3 - Liz Goodyear

A few more sightings for today Thursday 17th July 2014 - 1 Comma nectaring on buddleia near Oakwood entrance, Trent Park at 11:00 hrs; 8 Peacock at Trent Park (3 nectaring on buddleia near Oakwood entrance at 11:07 hrs, 2 nectaring on thistles Sect 8, 'New Fields' at 11:20 hrs, 3 nectaring on buddleia Sect 6 'New Fields' at 11:29 hrs); 1 Small Copper near Triangular Wood, Trent Park at 11:15 hrs; 1 Red Admiral Sect 8 'New Fields' Trent Park at 11:19 hrs, also saw c10 Six-spot Burnet at 'New Fields' Trent Park - did not identify any Narrow-bordered Five-spots. - Robert Callf

My garden backs onto woodland (the Nickey Line), and today about 14.30 pm I had a purple hairstreak settled on flowering lobelia - a first for my garden - Roger Thornhill

Whilst surveying at Thorley Wash today we saw a brown argus and a marbled white - a new record for the reserve. There were also lots of small tortoiseshells and peacocks. - Jenny Sherwen

Bourne End - 2 White-letter hairstreaks; Aldbury Nowers Brown Argus (8), Silver-washed Fritillaries (13), Dark Green Fritillaries (6), Common Blue (1) and Brimstones (8). Good numbers of Skippers, with a majority of those checked being Essex - Malcolm Hull

Saw 1 Marbled White at Parkside Farm (TQ2998) on Res banking yesterday afternoon Wednesday 16th July 2014 at 17:11 hrs. Today Thursday 17th July 2014 early morning walk produced 1 Common Blue in flight at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 07:49 hrs. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 16th July 2014
At Verulamium Park on the 14th had 1 Marbled White, 20+ Meadow Browns, 15+ Gatekeepers, 10+ Peacocks, 6 Commas and 10 + Large Whites and 3 Small Whites - Andrew Steele

My first Holly Blue of the year at Six Hills (Common) at 0915 hours feeding on ragwort - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Small White: 3 Speckled Wood: 9 Meadow Brown: 56 Comma: 3 Gatekeeper: 104 Common Blue: 5 Red Admiral: 3 Peacock: 19 Small Skipper: 60 Ringlet: 5 Small Heath: 1 Green-Veined White: 2 - Pete Gore

Hundreds of Chalkhill Blues at Hexton chalk pit today with males outnumbering females about 50 to 1, the other highlight being a single Dark-green Fritillary - Robin Pearson

St Albans - Highlights from today included: Peacocks & Gatekeepers everywhere; seeing Small Blue at Butterfly World (with Louise Hawkins) - 5 second generation individuals, including one female egg laying on a new Kidney Vetch flowerhead. just coming into bloom - we searched and found the egg and also a second egg on another similar flowerhead nearby; at Nomansland Common, 3 Common Blues, Small Copper & Small Heath; at Symonshyde/Titnol's Wood a Purple Hairstreak (rare sight this year) plus a Peacock on-top of an Oak in the master tree grove, impersonating a Purple Emperor (sadly no sign of the Emperor itself at this site) - Malcolm Hull

Lots of Gatekeepers across London at moment. After working in South London, I visited Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Mile End, London early afternoon and saw 36+ Gatekeepers, 16+ Small/Essex Skippers, 14+ Small White, 1 Large White, 2 Common Blue, only 2 Meadow Brown, a Comma, 5 Speckled wood and a male Brimstone butterfly. Then at the other end of the Central Line at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, Middlesex, I saw a further 24+ Gatekeepers including one pair, 2 Small Skippers, plus a further 16+Small/Essex Skippers, 3 Speckled Woods, 7+ Small Whites, a Green-veined White and then 3 Commas along the banks of the nearby Yeading brook - Paul Busby

Tuesday 15th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A unique sighting of a butterfly inside the Cavalry Tunnel (where it was disturbed by a cyclist, I think) was probably a Peacock. I wonder if they hibernate in the (relatively) closed part of it which seems to be entered only by graffiti artists of varied skills. Here are the other details: Meadow Brown: 55 Gatekeeper: 110 Small Skipper: 54 Peacock: 13 Speckled Wood: 12 Ringlet: 6 Comma: 2 Common Blue: 7 (2m,5f -unusual) Red Admiral: 3 Small White: 1 Marbled White: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 - Pete Gore

A few selected sightings for today Tuesday 15th July 2014 - 1 Marbled White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:55 hrs; 1 Peacock near Stables at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 10:23 hrs; 4 Peacock edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park on and around thistles at 11:58 hrs; 2 Comma edge of Moat Wood, Trent Park on thistles at 11:58 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell on thistles Uni-lawns, Trent Park at 12:13 hrs; 1 Peacock on thistles Uni-lawns, Trent Park at 12:13 hrs; 3 Small Copper at Trent Park - 1st of the summer-brood (1 Uni-lawns at 12:22 hrs, 1 near Dew Ond at 12:35 hrs, 1 set-aside field near Williams Wood at 12:41 hrs); 1 Small Tortoiseshell edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:25 hrs; 2 Peacock edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:28 hrs; 1 Comma edge of Icehouse Wood, Trent Park at 12:29 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Open fields near Wallington, beetle bank at TL286335. Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Large and Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Small White Nigel Agar

Whilst working at Thorley Wash today we saw 1 painted lady, 2 small coppers, 1 male brimstone and lots of fresh peacock butterflies! Jenny Sherwen

During a working party lunchtime break on the River Pinn, Ickenham TQ072871 near proposed HS2 Rail Link, we saw 2 Small Tortoiseshells, a Peacock, a Comma, a Gatekeeper, a Small skipper and a Ringlet. Back home in my Eastcote Garden, 2 Speckled Woods, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper and a Comma visited - Paul Busby

Monday 14th July 2014
We visited Hertford this week-end staying at the camp site near Balls park on Saturday 12th in the camp site we had great views of (we managed to count 6 at one time) White-letter Hairstreaks in a lime tree. On the Sunday 13th we visited Broxbourne Wood Purple Emperor and Purple Hairstreak in the car park, more Emperor's and Hairstreak's plus White Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary on the walk not sure of post code or map ref but will try to get them if required. A great week-end I hope others will get to see them and enjoy as much as we did. Adrian Buckel

The other day when I was walking through my local park (Cassiobury Park in Watford, Hertfordshire) I was surprised to see a male purple emperor butterfly. I accidentally disturbed it when I started to walk across a bridge (it had been sunning itself on the handrail) and I stopped to watch it for quite a while. After a little while it was joined by a female purple emperor and they flew together for a while before the female flew off. The male kept landing in various places (including my leg) and then flying off to be joined by the female again. It is the first time I've ever seen a purple emperor butterfly but it was so easy to identify - - Vicky Jarman

Hemel Hempstead garden. Something a bit special to report today. I was away today but my son David who is keeping an eye on the garden for me photographed a female Purple Emperor which alighted on a watering can at 13.42 p.m. My garden backs on to a very small area of woodland so this totally unexpected visitor must be a wanderer from I know not where. As I have planted numerous shrubs and plants specifically to attract butterflies I am a bit miffed that this lifetime best chose to pose on such a mundane object! (and when Malcolm was not at home!!) - Malcolm Newland

Saturday 12th July - Broxbourne woods. Excellent sightings of 6 White Admiral, including the unusual sight of one drinking the fluids from a dead horsefly (no one mourned the loss of that one) under a leaf. Lots (20+) silver washed Fritilary, 6 marbled whites, 2 common blue, + many Ringlets, meadow browns, gatekeepers. 5 purple hairstreak, but no purple emperor. Not seen any at Broxbourne this year. Did a walk from Stansted Abbots to Widford yesterday Monday 14th July Stansted Abbots on the fields at the top of the village 30+ small tortoiseshell, enjoying the thistles 20+ peacock, 5 red admiral 5 comma 16 essex skippers 2 small skippers 3 large skipper 3 common blue 2 brown argus. + many ringlet, meadow brown, gatekeeper. More to follow in due course - Phil Macmurdie

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Good butterfly conditions again with noticeably more whites around especially across the Heath.(Under-counted as usual) I didn't walk on Sunday but did get a Holly Blue visiting my garden so not completely butterfly-less! Monday's Sightings: Speckled Wood: 14 Gatekeeper: 133 Small White: 6 Holly Blue: 2 Tortoiseshell: 2 Peacock: 12 Small Skipper: 68 Meadow Brown: 39 Red Admiral: 6 Common Blue: 6 Comma: 7 Green-Veined White: 3 Ringlet: 3 Small Heath: 1 - Pete Gore

A few butterflies and moths to report - Saturday 12th July 2014 - 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 15:36 hrs and 1 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 17:20 hrs, also two male Oak Eggar (1 at Park Farm, Enfield at 16:40 hrs, 1 at Lakeside, EN2 at 18:15 hrs) and 4 Six-spot Burnet at Parkside Farm on Res banking. Today Monday 14th July 2014 - 1 Small Tortoiseshell on neighbours buddleia at N14 and 1 Comma on buddleia at Broomfield Park, Palmers Green, N13 at 09:43 hrs, also here (but not on buddleia) 1 Large White at 10:06 hrs and 1 Speckled Wood at 10:38 hrs. - Robert Callf Poles Lane, Thundridge, The following seen this morning feeding on Buddleia in garden. Comma x 1, Peacock x 5, Red Admiral, x 6, Large White x 3, Small Tortoiseshell x 3 - Julie Wise

Lunchtime visit to Copse Wood, Ruislip and saw 4 Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 3 Gatekeeper and a Ringlet. Then onto Poors Field, Ruislip Common seeing 3 Comma, a Peacock, 12+ Gatekeepers, 2 Speckled Wood, 3 Meadow Brown, a Ringlet and 18+ Small/Essex Skippers. On the return trip, crossed road to Mad Bess Woods and saw a Purple Hairstreak, Peacock, 2 Ringlets, 4 Gatekeepers, Green-veined White and 2 Meadow Brown and finally onto the field on Ducks Hill next to wood, where there were 8 Marbled Whites, 6 Small Skippers, a Ringlet and 35+ Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Went back to Merryhill Fields, Bushey just after 6 pm. Noted sightings = 62 x meadow brown, 24 x marbled white, 1 x small white, 26 x gatekeeper, 35 x marbled white, 14 x small skipper, 1 x essex skipper, 2 x peacock, 2 x ringlet. Moths were 67 x yellow shell, 13 x shaded broad bar, 13 x crambus periella. - David Gower

Waterford heath south a picture with all the goats rhue and ragwort out. plenty of ringlets, gatekeepers, peacocks, small whites and small tortoiseshells. Yet to see a clouded yellow but saw a silver washed fritillary in settling beds area- Steve Kiln

Went to Rickneys today to follow up Liz's Purple emperor sightings yesterday, started looking around Bardon clumps at 11.30,watching the sallow,s and wood edge but no emperors were seen,at 12.50 I started watching canopy gaps along the eastern edge of the wood but by 13.15 had seen nothing,I then looked at a gap a bit further in and immediately saw a Purple emperor fly across the side of a big Oak(13.17) it made two more flights up to 13.30,leisurely around the gap,both times perching high up on the largest Oak, I stayed until 14.00 but no further activity was seen. Also here earlier were 6 Gatekeepers, 4 Small skipper, 3 Marbled white, 3 Comma, 5 Peacock, 2 Red admiral, 1 Brimstone (male) 1 Common blue(male)and 1 Brown argus - Laurence Drummond

Sunday 13th July 2014
A late report from Heartwood of a Small Blue on the 21st of June - Andrew Steele

Return visit to Therfield Heath near Royston (TL337399) on 12th July at 14.15 for about 45 minutes. Warm (25-26 degrees) and light winds. Large numbers of Chalkhill Blue (200+). There was a swarm of 50-60 individuals a few metres in from the road, opposite the car park. They tended to all fly and land at the same time. Three sightings of Dark Green Fritillary - at least two different individuals. Good numbers of Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Six Spot Burnet Moth - Patricia Clegg

We saw 3 Purple Emperors sparring above the tree tops at the Ruislip Woods St Vincent site between about 1pm and 3.30pm on Saturday 12 July. One repeatedly returned to the same vantage point on a sprig that was standing above the general mass of leaves on the favoured oak tree giving good sustained views. - Sue and Steve Place

7th July Pix Brook Meadow (off Cowslip Hill, Letchworth Garden City) one Small Copper - the first I've seen this year. 10th July Wilbury Hills Picnic Area, Stotfold Road, Letchworth GC. Still plenty of Meadow Brown, Ringlets, Marbled Whites, Large and Small Skippers (at least 5+ of these). The first Gatekeeper I've seen this year. There were also loads of Cinnabar Moth caterpillars. - Jill Sawyer

During a narrow-boat trip and towpath hike with 18 children, we saw 4 Comma, 1 Small White, 2 Red Admirals, a Peacock and 3 Speckled Woods between Coppermill Lock, Harefield and Tescos, Rickmansworth and back again - Paul Busby
Today in Stocking Pelham ; numerous small tortoiseshells, some whites, a large skipper, meadow browns and a painted lady- Andy Brown HMWT

1 x small tortoiseshell and 1 x holly blue seen briefly in Bushey garden this afternoon - David Gower

Bricket Wood Common, St Albans - Branch Field Trip. Despite the poor forecast 17 people assembled for todays trip. Not many butterflies seen in the first hour, but after that we saw Red Admiral, White Admiral (around 12 in total) & multiple Ringlets, Peacocks, Meadow Browns & a few Gatekeepers, Specled Woods, Green-veined Whites and Large Skippers. Once the sun came out Silver-washed Fritillaries appeared with several males & females seen. A few Purple Hairstreaks were flitting around the tops of the trees, when a large butterfly flew across the ride and landed in an oak 20 ft off the ground. After much peering through binoculars we agreed it was either a White Admiral or a Purple Emperor, but after 15 mins it raised its wings & then took off - clearly an Emperor, as it flew across the rideside scallop it was intercepted by both a male Silver-washed Fritillary and a probable second Purple Emperor. Continuing into the clearing we added Small & Essex Skippers, Marbled White, Comma, Large White and Brimstone, as well as finding a White Admiral feeding on dog poo. After lunch a few of us headed for Mutchetts Wood, where a few brief glimpses of Purple Emperor were seen high in the oak canopy. While I was finishing my lunch Chris Newman had a clear view of two males clashing. Later at Folly Lane, St Albans, Small Whites and Small Tortoiseshells both out in force plus a Ruby Tiger & Cinnabar Moth. Tho other sightings this weekend worth mentioning, both from my transect walk on Bricket Wood Common yesterday. The first was a female Dark Green Fritillary, nectaring in the main clearing. An unusual record, l've not recorded one here before and the last record from this site appears to have been in the late 1940's. Close-by I saw a fresh looking female Brimstone egg laying on an unfurling Alder Buckthorn leaf, perhaps a sign that this species is having a partial second generation? - Malcolm Hull

A Chocolate Pansy butterfly seen by Geoff Owen at Ruislip Woods - please note this isn't the first unusual sighting there this year

Whilst walking along the public footpath between Rickneys Quarry and Bardon Clumps this afternoon, a Purple Emperor flew over!!! Later one see flying around an adjacent oak. I had gone there to look for emperors but hadn't expected it to be that easy. Earlier at High Cross a new emerged Brown Argus - Liz Goodyear

Saturday 12th July 2014
In a quick walk in Symondshyde Great Wood had 6+ Silver-washed Fritillarys with 1 egg laying, 2 Commas, 20+ Ringlets, 15+ large Whites, 10+ meadow Browns, 15+ Gatekeepers, 2 Peacock 3 Marbled Whites and 3 Large Skippers. At Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits 1 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Woods 5 Commas, 10+ Small Tortoiseshell, 15+ Peacocks 20+ Large Skipper 10 + Small Skippers, 15 + Marbled Whites, 10 + Green-veined Whites, 15+ Large Whites 30+ Gatekeepers 50 + Meadow Browns, 30 + Ringlets - Andrew Steele

At Fishers Field, Bushey in morning = 1 x speckled wood, 7 x meadow brown, 11 x marbled white, 31 x essex skipper, 26 x small skipper(lost 1 sunglass reading lens while carried away with id's) 1 x large skipper, 14 x gatekeeper, 2 x large white, 2 x small tortoiseshell, 3 x comma, 3 x large white, 1 x silver y, 5 x 6 spot burnet. In afternoon at friend's garden in Walthamstow = 18 x small white, 4 x large white, 2 x comma, 1 x holly blue. A lot of sightings compared with bushey garden despite plenty of butterfly friendly plants, could it be that so many gardens around here are concrete? - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane As soon as I saw a Gatekeeper appreciating the morning sun in my garden I guessed this would be a day to see a lot of butterflies.I was not disappointed other than by being unable to get out earlier. Here are the details: Gatekeeper: 118 Green-Veined White: 2 Meadow Brown: 61 Small Skipper: 115 Small Copper: 1 Red Admiral: 5 Ringlet: 3 Peacock: 11 Holly Blue: 2 Comma: 2 Common Blue: 3 Speckled Wood: 12 Large White: 1 Marbled White: 1 Brimstone: 1 Tortoiseshell: 2 Painted Lady: 1 Small White: 1 Whites commoner than my numbers show.Other high numbers no doubt significantly under-counted. - Pete Gore

This morning at about 11.30 a Purple Emperor visited my garden in Bishop's Stortford. It settled on the ground close to the chicken run and stayed for several minutes. This was long enough for my wife to find her tablet and take some photos. It then settled on her jumper before flying off. - Bob Stroud

A 2-hour stint (1030 am - 1230 pm) at Norton Green today yielded 15 species: 5+ Large Whites, 100+ Ringlets, 3 Commas, 10+ Gatekeepers, 10+ Meadow Browns, 5+ Large Skippers, Red Admiral, 10+ Small Whites, 5+ Purple Hairstreaks, 2 Marbled Whites, 10+ Small/Essex Skippers, 2 Small Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 5+ Speckled Woods and 1 male Silver-washed Fritillary (no females seen here yet). Peter Clarke

Friday 11th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Rain in the morning and cloud thereafter meant that I wasn't too surprised when I crossed the Heath without seeing a single butterfly and only 1 unidentified Brown and 1 unidentified White before reaching the Cavalry Tunnel.Thereafter as the afternoon advanced sightings steadily improved with the highlight being a very fresh looking male Common Blue.The wind strengthened later which meant that I ended up with a rather peculiar set of sightings entirely limited to the Marshalling Yards: Gatekeeper: 56 Meadow Brown: 38 Small Skipper: 24 Common Blue: 1 Speckled Wood: 1 Peacock: 1 Ringlet: 1 A few Whites around were uncooperative in aiding identification. - Pete Gore

Following the drizzle and cloudy, blustery day, I went for a 20 minute stroll to Cheyne Field, Eastcote and I saw an Emperor Dragonfly, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Gatekeeper and just 3 Ringlet and 4 Meadow Brown - Paul Busby

Thursday 10th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A complete walk in cloudy conditions,taking longer now because there are so many butterflies to record.The yellow-flowered alien, Reflexed Stonecrop (Sedum rupestre) is having a particularly good year on the Marshalling Yards and each patch of this attracts multiple numbers of several species. Sightings: Meadow Brown: 50 Small Skipper: 54 Ringlet: 5 Gatekeeper: 105 Speckled Wood: 8 Comma: 6 Red Admiral: 3 Large White: 1 Holly Blue: 1 Tortoiseshell: 3 Peacock: 3 - Pete Gore

Half-hour stroll around Long Meadow, Eastcote at lunchtime after working party on a cloudy, blustery day and I saw a Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood and 16+ Meadow Brown then onto Park Woods, Eastcote, Middlesex walking from Fore Street entrance to Haste Hill and back again and I saw a Peacock, Red Admiral, Purple Hairstreak, 2+ Large Skipper, 2+ Small/Essex Skipper, Green-Veined White, 4 Speckled Wood, 50+ Ringlets and 30 + Meadow Brown, although no Purple Emperor activity - Paul Busby

Wednesday 9th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Despite cloud and wind and a lot of overnight rain there continues to be very large numbers of butterflies around although with rapidly declining numbers of Ringlets: Tortoiseshell: 3 Ringlet: 2 Meadow Brown: 50 Comma: 4 Gatekeeper: 66 Small White: 2 Small Skipper: 55 Red Admiral: 1 Speckled Wood: 6 Peacock: 3 Holly Blue: 1 Small Heath: 1 - Pete Gore

During our lunch break (1300-1320) on conservation work today we spotted a Purple Emperor making several flights, chasing Purple Hairstreaks and also resting at the top of an oak tree at the Mount Pleasant End of the Goldingtons Wood section of Hertford Heath (TL354114). There are three tall trees just behind the HMWT reserve sign, easily scanned from the small area of gravel parking just past the small area of grassland on which the sign stands. The favoured tree was the left hand one looking from the parking space. A white Admiral also in the wood further down towards Haileybury. On Tuesday 8th, a White-letter Hairstreak on a thistle flower by GSK's car park at Ware - Andrew Wood

I had a walk this afternoon behind the Services at Mymms Wash. I saw 4 Marbled White (first I've ever seen here), 1 Peacock, 7 Small White, 1 Large White, 8 Small Tortoiseshell, 9 Comma, 4 Ringlet, 1 Gatekeeper, 2 Meadow Brown, 4 Small Skipper. - Terry Wood

Last week, I saw the first Gatekeepers and a pristine Peacock at Norton Green on 3 July but am still waiting for the elusive Purple Emperor. - Peter Clarke

A few sightings to report today Wednesday 9th July 2014 - 2 Small Skipper together on thistles, Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 09:20 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Barracks, Vicarage Farm at 09:36 hrs; 1 Comma settled on wooden fencing near Williams Wood, Trent Park at 10:23 hrs; 2, male and female, Gatekeeper copulating at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking at 10:48 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:29 hrs; 1 Peacock near Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase ar 11:36 hrs; 3 Red Admiral at Trent Park (2 buddleia near Lower Lake, 12:05 hrs, 1 near Dew Pond at 12:31 hrs); 2 Purple Hairstreak settled on Ash, edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 12:35 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Last week I saw a few small tortoiseshells and meadow browns in Barnes Lane, Kings Langley. This weekend my husband saw a red admiral and tortoiseshell and meadow brown in Kings Langley garden on Buddleia. Yesterday 8th July,I saw a ringlet and two small tortoiseshells in the garden. Today I saw a peacock and gatekeeper in KL. At Bunkers Lane in the evening there were at least a dozen scattered roosting marbled whites, but not a spectacular number like previous years, one meadow brown and two small skippers. The knapweed and other flowers at Longdeans are very dried up this year except the marjoram which is attracting marbled whites and smells wonderful in full bloom. Cinnabar caterpillars were clustered on a single ragwort. Elizabeth Debenham

Tuesday 8th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. Luckier with my walk, avoiding thunder showers completely. Inevitably this meant more butterflies although I would appreciate a bit more variety: Meadow Brown: 39 Small Skipper: 40 Ringlet: 13 Gatekeeper: 62 Speckled Wood: 3 Tortoiseshell: 1 Peacock: 2 Small Heath: 1 Comma: 1 Small White: 2 - Pete Gore

Purple Emperors active in Broxbourne Woods on 30 June. White Admiral in Hertford Heath on the right spur after the T junction. On bramble/raspberry patch - Nigel Agar

I saw a Red Admiral, a Meadow Brown and a Small White at the edge of Highgrove Wood, Eastcote, Middlesex, whilst on a morning working party. Then walking home through the adjacent wild flower area of Warrender Park, I saw my first Common Blue for a few weeks and 5 Small White, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 4 Meadow Brown, 2 Ringlet and an Essex Skipper - Paul Busby

Monday 7th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A walk that began in favourable sunny conditions on the Heath but was interrupted by a heavy rain shower at the Crane bridge.I was eventually able to dry off on the Marshalling Yards and had time to note how quickly the butterflies, especially Skippers, react to sun before deciding correctly that more rain was on the way and I'd seen enough for one day: Green-Veined White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 1 Comma: 2 Small Skipper: 45 Meadow Brown: 15 Ringlet: 3 Gatekeeper: 16 Small Heath: 1 Speckled Wood: 3 Large White: 1 Holly Blue: 2 - Pete Gore

A few selected sightings for today Monday 7th July 2014 - 1 Comma at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:22 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:25 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:21 hrs; 1 Peacock along Jubilee Path at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:52 hrs - a freshly emerged one - Robert Callf/Robin White.

I thought it time to register I'm still plodding round my Warren transect by reporting on this afternoon's visit. Unfortunately the sky clouded over as I set out, accompanied a light shower, so I was off to a slow start. It soon brightened up & I recorded 58 Meadow Brown, 65 Marbled White, 14 Ringlet, 14 Gatekeeper, 31 Small Skipper, 5 Small Heath, 4 Small White, 11 Large Skipper, 1 Purple Hairstreak. Meadow Browns could be under-stated - resting Marbled Whites obligingly sit at the tops of grasses so are more conspicuous. They only arrived about 5 years ago & numbers are still building. Ringlets are also relatively recent arrivals. Small Skippers wouldn't sit long enough for me to check for the Essex strain, but they are usually present. Sadly the site is scrubbing over rapidly. Last year's grand 5 yr plan to remove scrub & introduce light summer grazing was presumably scuppered by opposition. There was little management until June when unfortunately a margin upto 30m wide on 2 sides was mown, causing me to modify my route to cover the tall margins to which all life had retreated. The mowing could explain why Blues are well down on earlier this year (none again this week) & Small Heath numbers are low. Despite all this the (painful) highlight was standing shoulder high in a huge Nettle/Thistle bed watching at eye level Marbled Whites, Meadow Brown & others nectaring avidly in brilliant sunshine, while Dragonflies patrolled overhead. And there are loads of small Moths & baby Grasshoppers. - John Moss

I took a walk at Bricket Wood Common today and saw 6 Siver Washed Fritillary, 4 White Admiral, 15 Marbled White, 1 Peacock, 25 Ringlet, 8 Skipper (mainly Small), 6 Meadow Brown, and 7 Whites. News from Friday 4th July : I took a walk at Fir & Pond Woods primarily for dragonflies at the ponds, but counted 12 Marbled Whites (in the meadow area), 14 Ringlets, 6 Meadow Brown, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, and 4 Small White. On my way out of the woods I stopped off in the cornfield and was soon able to watch 2 Purple Emperors chasing above the 'bonsai tree' tops of the oak trees opposite - Terry Wood

Sunday 6th July 2014
In Balls Wood briefly today (6th) - a few ringlets, meadow browns and skippers then finally rewarded by a white admiral despite the dull weather - Andy Brown HMWT

Saw a Red Admiral on my neighbours buddleia, N14 this afternoon Sunday 6th July 2014 at 13:20 hrs. - Robert Callf

Bricket Wood, St Albans - 4 sightings of Purple Emperor today - 13.06 - male flying slowly along the top of the oak canopy alongside the railway through Mutchetts Wood. 13.37 - male flew across the canopy gap in the wood & back again 8 mins later. 14.20 - female on Sallow around head high in the main ride on the Common. Perched a couple of times allowing close views and continued exploring Sallows, though no signs of egg laying observed. This is the first time I've had a positive ID of a female at this site. Two other new species for this year flying today - Gatekeeper and Purple Hairstreak, both in low numbers. Silver-washed Fritillary (9) & White Admiral (10) both out in force & still looking fresh. Join me for the annual walk across the site next Sunday, details on the "Walks & Talks" section of the website - Malcolm Hull

Today (6th July), I saw about 30 Small Skipper, 20 Meadow Brown, 3 Small White, 1 Large White and a Ringlet in the wildlife area of Roxeth Recreation Ground (HA2 8LE). This is the first time I've seen a Ringlet in South Harrow. - Michael Robinson

Visited Horsenden Hill today and found = 1 x white letter hairstreak, 2 x ringlet, 12 x large skipper, 16 x marbled white, 8 x small white, 18 x gatekeeper(first this year), 19 x small skipper, 5 x essex skipper, 5 x large white, 6 x comma, 1 x small tortoiseshell, 107 x meadow brown. At least 50 more skippers not identified. Moths seen were 3 x celypha rivulana, 5 x cinnabar, 3 x yellow shell, 1 x narrow bordered 5 spot burnet, 1 x 6 spot burnet, 1 x small magpie. - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A similar walk to Saturday but a little later with some sun and no rain, all of which meant more butterflies.An unusual sighting: the forewings and head of a Ringlet on one of the paths. Here are the details: Meadow Brown: 22 Ringlet 7.5 Small Skipper:19 Comma: 7 Speckled Wood: 6 Gatekeeper: 18 Red Admiral: 1 Small White: 6 Tortoiseshell: 3 In my last report I seem to have assigned the road I walk down every day to the wrong saint.Should be Stephen the Martyr not John the miscellaneous. - Pete Gore

Saturday 5th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards. A shorter walk in cloud and light rain.I made no attempt to look for roosting butterflies and stayed out of the meadows but a good number of species and individuals visible: Peacock: 1 Meadow Brown: 12 Comma: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Speckled Wood: 2 Gatekeeper: 2 Ringlet: 3 Green-Veined White: 1 Slugs were very visible on the paths but no caterpillars until I got to St.Johns Road on the way home where I saw a Lime Hawk Moth caterpillar in the centre of the pavement just as I did last year.This year's was pale lilac as against pink last time,but in any event resembling a disturbingly animated discarded sweet.I moved it to what I hoped was a safer spot to find somewhere to pupate but the pollarded Limes and no doubt the moths have been in their misplaced location in suburban London for c100 years so are likely to continue to provide annual disconcerting moments to local people without my intervention - Pete Gore

First Gatekeeper of the year for me today at Tyttenhangar gravel pits - Robin Pearson

Whitewebbs Assembly area visit - the weather let us down although there was sufficient sun just after 1 o'clock but no Purple Emperors made an appearance this year. A few Purple Hairstreak made flights though. The highlight though being a large coiled grass snake in the clearing where we wanted to stand and watch from! Liz Goodyear, Andrew Middleton and Laurence Drummond

Friday 4th July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A walk in sunshine but with a constant breeze during which I saw the first two Peacocks for a few weeks and a Holly Blue after a much longer interval. Here are the details: Ringlet: 16 Peacock: 2 Small Heath: 2 Meadow Brown: 38 Small Skipper: 55 Comma: 5 Gatekeeper: 6 Speckled Wood: 3 Holly Blue: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Tortoiseshell: 3 Small White: 3 - Pete Gore

Visited Ruislip Lido starting off at St Vincents, Northwood Hills and noted = 2 x speckled wood, 11 x meadow brown, 1 x large skipper, 29 x ringlet, 2 x large white, 2 x red admiral, 1 x small tortoiseshell. Around Haste Hill (GRID TQ090898) =7 x meadow brown, 25 x ringlet, 1 x marbled white, 1 x comma, 1 x large skipper. Poors field =1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x comma, 47 x ringlet, 1 x red admiral, 1 x large white, 1 x marbled white. Finally at home in Bushey garden 1 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x small white. - David Gower

I visited Therfield Heath near Royston between 13.30 and 15.00 today. Very warm but windy. Good numbers of Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper. I counted five Chalkhill Blues and a single Dark Green Fritillary. - Patricia Clegg

A few highlights. On the 3rd July 8 White Admirals and 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries on a walk through Symondshyde Wood. 4th July a Painted lady at High Cross. A video of the woodland species can be seen on the Facebook page at:
Andrew Wood

Sightings today Hatfield Aerodrome (Ellenbrook Fields): Marbled White x 18+ Ringlet X 20+ Small Heath x 1 Meadow Brown x 15+ large Shipper x 1 Gatekeeper x 6+ - David Wheatcroft

Had a disappointing morning at Bricket Wood common yesterday. It was warm enough and the sun was out but the breeze and the fading bramble flowers meant hardly any butterflies were landing so photography was well nigh impossible. Despite that, I had nine sightings of male and female Silver-washed Fritillaries, one very small and pale White Admiral, a few Skippers, Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells and Marbled Whites plus dozens of Ringlets and Meadow Browns. Robin Pearson

Thursday 3rd July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Walk as Wednesday,a pleasant breeze in my face on the Heath giving way to high temperatures and enervating humidity. Butterflies seen: Small White: 5 Meadow Brown: 40 Comma: 4 Small Skipper: 40 Ringlet: 13 Small Heath: 5 Green-Veined White: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Gatekeeper: 3 Speckled Wood: 1 Brimstone: 1 Tortoiseshell: 1 Large White: 1 A second burnt-out car has joined the first on the Marshalling Yards, environmental damage becoming both deeper and wider.No further assaults on the River Crane as far as I can see although the riverbank will remain the access point for future cars to get to their demise. - Pete Gore

Yesterday Wednesday 2nd July 2014 some sightings for Grovelands Park, Southgate: 1 Brimstone Moth settled; 10+ Small Skipper, incl 5 together; 2 Large Skipper, male and female; 3 Ringlet; several Meadow Brown; 3 Speckled Wood; 1 Red Admiral at 17:01 hrs. Today Thursday 3rd July 2014 - 1 Marbled White nectaring on knapweed 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 12:47 hrs; 1 Purple Hairstreak around Ash, edge of Williams Wood, Trent Park at 13:10 hrs. Also two different Comma at the entrance to Parkside Farm PYO this morning Thursday 3rd July 2014 - Robert Callf

Just wanted to submit a record of a single white admiral butterfly in the grounds of County Hall in Hertford. It was just below the bottom car park flying around oak trees on the bank - Rachel Keen

Wednesday 2nd July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A complete walk mostly in sun and only slightly spoiled by the discovery that some time after I left a peaceful deserted site at 5.00PM Monday someone removed a large section of the Cavalry Tunnel gate and dumped it in the river (where else?) in order to take a car through to be burned in the centre of the MY.Apart from some flattening of vegetation there seems relatively little further damage so the butterflies will likely have got off lightly but I noticed that instead of Monday's perfumes of Melilot and Bedstraw the air seemed full of dust and perhaps other pollution. Here are the butterfly details:Red Admiral: 6 Ringlet: 24 Small Skipper:76 Meadow Brown: 35 Large White: 2 Comma: 3 Small White: 12 Gatekeeper: 4 Speckled Wood: 2 Tortoiseshell: 4 Small Heath: 1 Large Skipper: 1 - Pete Gore

Spent 1.00 till 2.00 at Fir & Pond today (Wed 2nd) 3 sightings of Purple Emperor between 1.35 and 1.55.. usual place... around left "Bonsai tree". Usual caveats apply... The butterflies were high up and didn't show for long. This might have been the same individual 3 times... there were no upward sorties or clashes. - David Gompertz

Tuesday 1st July 2014
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards A late, cloudy, afternoon walk during which I saw the following: Ringlet: 23 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 3 Small Heath: 1 Meadow Brown: 20 Small White: 6 Small Skipper: 45 Marbled White: 1 Gatekeeper: 3 Large White: 1 Large Skipper: 2 Tortoiseshell: 2 Speckled Wood: 3 Common Blue: 1 The Common Blue was a notably spotty female, presumably still one of the spring generation hanging on rather than the next brood emerging - at any rate we haven't thus far been entirely without Common Blue for long since their first emergence.More chance encounters with Peacock caterpillars which occur all over the walk as the butterflies did.They seem much more common this year than last when the butterfly itself was subsequently numerous... - Pete Gore

Saw 2 Commas and a Small White whilst working on the River Pinn, Old Eastcote, Middlesex (TQ101884), then a short drive to Haste Hill where I saw a Small Tortoiseshell, 2+ Large Skipper and about equal numbers (20+ each) of Ringlet and Meadow Brown. Waited for a brief sunny spell and was rewarded with good views of a Purple Emperor perched high in Oak canopy before patrolling around canopy between 13.30-13.45. - Paul Busby

Rusling End: Spotted a Silver Washed Fritillary in the garden this lunchtime and 4 Marbled Whites in the meadow plus 2 Small Tortoisehell, 20 Meadow Browns, 1 Skipper, 6 Ringlets also in the meadow. No Purple Emperors yet though. - Julie Wise

09.00 to 10.00 - NE side of the Baldock to Norton road - White-letter Hairstreak (6+). 10.30 to 12.00 - SW outskirts of Letchworth Garden City - Marbled White (100+), Brimstone (1), Small Blue (1), Common Blue (1), Gatekeeper (1), Ringlet (20+), Meadow Brown (20+), Small Skipper (30+), Large Skipper (5+). - Roger Millard

On my walk around Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits today I saw 6 Marbled White, 5 Small Heath, 2 Gatekeeper (first of season), 3 Large Skipper, 2 Comma, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 10 Ringlet, 15 meadow Brown, 3 Small White, 2 Green Veined White and a Cinnabar moth - Terry Wood

A few selected sightings for today Tuesday 1st July 2014 - 1 Comma at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:39 hrs; 1 Red Admiral at Sidhil's Field, Vicarage Farm at 09:49 hrs; 5 male Gatekeeper (1 at Vicarage Farm, 2 at Parkside Farm, 2 at Trent Park); 1 Red Admiral at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 11:10 hrs; 1 Comma at Parkside Farm/Res at 11:21 hrs; 1 Comma at Water Garden, Trent Park at 13:03 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.
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