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

Sightings 2015

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May 2015
Apologies but updates will be sporadic for the next 10 days or so

Tuesday 26th May 2015
British Butterfly Garden at Butterfly World
With the help of a team of dedicated volunteers, Butterfly World has created a beautiful new British Butterfly Garden for 2015. Star of EastEnders & Strictly Come Dancing, Jake Wood will be officially opening the garden from 11am to 11.30am on TUESDAY 2nd JUNE.
All are welcome! Normal entry prices to Butterfly World apply.
Butterfly Conservation members just £5.

14.45 to 15.30; Hillbrow Greenway, Letchworth GC - My 5th visit to this site since mid May and at last my first Small Blues 3; Common Blue 2; Brimstone 2fm & 1m; Orange Tip 3m; Burnet Companion 3; holly Blue 1; - Roger Millard.

Stanwell Moor, another quick trip out locally towards the end of the afternoon today. I found a couple of Common Blues really close to home on a small area of flowery meadow (I suspect it will be "tidied" by mowing shortly).
There was also a Brown Argus, which I have never seen here before, the nearest colony I'm aware of being half a mile off.
Elsewhere along the walk there were Speckled Woods, Holly Blues, Peacocks, Small Heaths, Large Whites and a single Comma. However, while investigating a sheltered spot for roosting Blues, I found a very active Large Skipper, my first of this year.
Dave Miller

First Common Blue, Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion of the year in field south of Watery Grove today. Both moths were on silverweed flowers. Small Copper also on these flowers at the same spot last week (20th). 2 Brown Argus on Mill Hill near Chapelfoot just east of the B656. No Speckled Woods at all yet at Norton Green. - Peter Clarke

1 x small white and 1 x brown argus at Northwood HQ today - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Too much cloud for perfect butterfly conditions and the Marshalling Yards, which had acquired a burnt out 'white' van, also had a large amount of smoke from an untended grass fire I dealt with.The following butterflies still flew however: Speckled Wood: 7 Holly Blue: 2 Orange-Tip: 4 Peacock: 2 Common Blue: 2 Comma: 1 Large White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 1 - Pete Gore

Croxley Common Moor Seen this afternoon: Small Copper (2), Speckled Wood (2), Cinnabar Moth (2); plus Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells and Peacock - Graham Elcombe.

Butterfly I saw today (26/05/15): 1 Brimstone - Roundabout by Three Moorhens PH, Hitchin TL18642832 - David Inward

I've been getting behind a bit! Catching up now...
21st May: Bedfont Lakes CP. A longer visit today and better weather, and there were far more butterflies. Three or four each of Brimstones and Peacocks, a Small Heath, a Holly Blue, a female Orange Tip and half a dozen each of Brown Argus and Common Blue.
21st May: Stanwell Moor. A late and rather short trip out locally. I saw a couple of Holly Blues, including a male basking in the late sun, several Small Heaths, a male Orange Tip, a GV White, an amazingly fresh-looking Peacock and a very decrepit Small Tortoiseshell.
23rd May: Stanwell Moor. A longer trip out on my local patch before the sun disappeared completely. Two new Speckled Woods, three or four Holly Blues, including another obliging female, several Peacocks and assorted Whites, quite a few Small Heaths now, and spread more widely, and finally the first Brown Argus and Common Blues here this year. There were four or five of each, concentrated in the same quite small area.
24th May: Stanwell Moor. A repeat of yesterday, and with similar results. Brimstones and Orange Tips were additions today, and the Common Blues were more numerous and widespread.
Dave Miller

Monday 25th May 2015
Some sightings for Monday 25th May 2015 - 2 Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park, 1 Peacock by Lower Lake, Trent Park. 1 Silver-ground Carpet set-aside field near Dew Pond, Trent Park, also identified 2 Alabonia geofrella at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - along Leeging Beech Gutter near Williams Wood - an attractive species which is probably overlooked - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Butterflies I saw today (25/05/15): 2 speckled wood - footpath on east side of railway by Hitchin Station TL19562970 - David Inward

Visited Fishers Field late morning and came across 2 x peacock, 1 x speckled wood, 2 x small white, 1 x large white. Onto Water Lane, Watford and did get some sun enabling me to see 3 x brimstone (1 was female), 12 x orange tip(all male), 4 x peacock, 4 x small tortoiseshell, 6 x small white, 3 x green veined white, 1 x holly blue (female), 1 x painted lady which i don't recall recording in this area. Today photos here https://www.flickr.com/photos/bushey54/
David Gower

On the 22nd went to north pit at Waterford heath at least 10 brown argus amongst strawberry and low bramble also whites, a comma and a grizzled skipper and small copper. Today 25th at home in Bengeo while gardening discovered a recently emerged poplar hawk moth - Steve Kiln

Saturday 23rd May 2015
Just a few sightings today from Aldbury Nowers in very cloudy weather. At higher section 1 x small heath, 2 x common blue,1 x treble bar moth, 1 x scoparia pyralella, 1 x treble bar. In lower enclosures 1 x brown argus, 2 x burnet companion, 2 x common carpet, 1 x nettle tap.
David Gower

Friday 22nd May 2015
Some sightings today Friday 22nd May 2015 - 1 Painted Lady at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at Hog Hill at 11:10 hrs, 1 Blood-vein at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - our first of the year! 1 Red Admiral along Leeging Beech Gutter near Williams Wood at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:30 hrs, 2 Large White along Leeging Beech Gutter near Williams Wood at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:33 hrs, 1 Holly Blue at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 11:39 hrs, 1 Brown Argus at Parkside Farm, Enfield on Res banking (TQ2998) at 11:52 hrs - my first of the year! 2 Silver-ground Carpet E edge of Little Beechill Wood, Enfield Chase - my first of the year! - Rober Callf/Robin White

A rather poor day was brightened up by a Painted lady in a field near Ridge - Andrew Wood

Thursday 21st May 2015
In today's warm, sunny conditions, I counted at least 7 Brown Argus at Bovingdon Brickworks, likely more. Other butterflies & moths in the immediate area were: Orange-tip (2m, 1f), Large White (m & f), Small White, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell (3), Peacock (2), Dingy Skipper (3), Common Blue (2m), Burnet Companion moth (1), Silver-ground Carpet moth (2) - Lucy Flower

A rather battered and faded Painted Lady has spent most of this afternoon in my garden in Potten End - Paul Cross

Butterflies I saw today (21/05/15): 1 small white - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL19663012, 2 Brimstone, 4 orange tip - Great Wymondley TL2128 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yard/Crane A beautiful afternoon with continual sunshine encouraging good numbers of butterflies including the first Brown Argus of the year I've seen. A few uncounted Whites and with Common Blue numbers increasing slightly whilst Holly Blues remain common I now have a few unidentified Blues escaping me.Here are the identified sightings:Peacock: 16 Small White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 4 Orange-Tip: 2 Large White: 3 Speckled Wood: 3 Holly Blue: 6 Common Blue: 3 Small Copper: 1 Brown Argus: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 Brimstone: 2 - Pete Gore

I saw 4 Peacocks, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 male Brimstone, 1 Speckled Wood and at least 10 male Orange Tip and one female, at least 12 Green Veined White and at least 3 male Common Blues during a day working party at Bittern's Field, Brent River Valley Park, Hanwell, London Borough of Ealing (TQ 14 81), then late afternoon I saw 3 Speckled Wood including a clashing pair, I Peacock and a male Orange tip at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens and finally a Holly Blue still in my Eastcote garden - Paul Busby

Wednesday 20th May 2015
Quick 20 minute lunchtime stroll at Butterfly World on a breezy, cloudy, occasional sunny spells and saw a Small Blue and male Common Blue. Then late afternoon saw a further 2 male Common Blue and lots of juvenile Damselflies in the small field between Stockers/Bury Lakes and the Grand Union Canal (TQ 051 932) and finally a Green Veined White at the other end of Stockers Lake near the River Colne footbridge (TQ 043 932)- Paul Busby

I had a quick stroll along the path next to the railway at Bedfont Lakes Country Park after work today at around five. The sun was out after a mostly cloudy day, and the wind dropped a bit, but all I saw was a solitary female Common Blue. However, she was a little gem.
Dave Miller

Saw 3 Small Copper - 2 males, 1 female - settled on buttercups near Bowling Green at Grovelands Park, Southgate Wednesday 20th May 2015 between 15:40 - 15:50 hrs. - Robert Callf

Tuesday 19th May 2015
One Small Yellow Underwing at Whitewebbs Park this afternoon Tuesday 19th May 2015 on S edge of Whitewebbs Wood. One Holly Blue settled at St Andrew's Church, Enfield Town this morning Tuesday 19th May 2015 at 11:15 hrs. - Robert Callf

Just a Small White on buttercups and a Green-Veined White bankside on Cow Parsley at Riverside Walk, River Pinn, Ickenham (TQ 0787)- Paul Busby

Sunday 17th May 2015
Half-hour stroll around a meadow close to the River Pinn near Hillingdon House Farm Fields, Uxbridge (TQ 0684) and saw a Small Copper, male Common Blue, 2 Peacocks, 2 Speckled Woods, male Orange Tip and about half a dozen unidentified Small/Green Vein Whites - Paul Busby

WATERFORD HEATH, today, SOUTH PIT, along the escarpment, 2 Small heath, 2 Brown argus (thanks Tony Hulkin) 1 Grizzled skipper. NORTH PIT, 2-3 Grizzled skipper - Laurence Drummond

A visit to Harpenden Common produced 5 Orange Tip (3 female, 2 male); 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 male Brimstone, 1 Small Heath, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Red Admiral, the latter apparently ovipositing on nettles (I didn't fancy wading in to check...). The Red Admiral and the Small Heath were my first species records for the Common this year - David Hunt

Small Copper seen at HMWT Amwell Hollycross lake on 15 5 15 - Darren Bast

2 Painted Lady and Holly Blue at my allotment in North Finchley on Saturday 16 May - Tony Clancy

Saturday 16th May 2015
A visit today (16th) to Butterfly World in sunny but breezy conditions. A good variety of species seen, including several Small Blues in two distinct areas (between the "antennae" chalk banks, and also along the boundary fence with the Gardens of the Rose). Also seen was a Painted Lady, battling north against the wind, Brimstones (ten or so), Orange Tips (3 or 4), a Small Tortoiseshell, a Peacock, Common Blues (3 or 4), a Small Copper and a Brown Argus.
There were a few moths around, too, including several Burnet Companions, what looked like a Silver Y, and a couple of Cinnabars.
Dave Miller

A few sightings for today Saturday 16th May 2015 - 1 Silver Y, set-aside field N of Williams Wood, Trent Park - our first of the year! 1 Painted Lady at Park Farm, Enfield at 11:13 hrs, 2 Peacock (1 at Parkside Farm, 1 Park Farm), several sightings of Large White, several sightings of Orange Tip including a pair by lower lake, Trent Park at 12:17 hrs and 1 Red Admiral at Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 12:50 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

Various sightings: Monday 11th Rickneys 2 common blues, 2 brown argus and two grizzled skipper. On Waterford Heath south on Tuesday 12 - 3 grizzled skippers, 2 holly blue, 2 brimstone, orange tips and peacocks plus speckled yellow moth. Today in field by Bencroft wood small copper and small heath - Steve Kiln

Today I started off at Butterfly World and saw at least 2 Small Blues,Green Veined White, Orange Tip Male and Female,Brimstone. Then onto Waterford Heath and saw Grizzled Skipper, Small Copper, Common Blue, Peacock - Kevin Taylor

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A better day than yesterday with plenty of afternoon sun: Holly Blue: 8 Orange-Tip: 1 Peacock: 16 Speckled Wood: 3 Green Hairstreak: 1 Green-Veined White: 3 Brimstone: 4 Common Blue:1 Tortoiseshell:3 - Pete Gore

Friday 15th May 2015
I saw 3 peacocks, 4 small tortoiseshells and a red admiral at Thorley Wash today. We also had our first common blue on Wednesday 12th. - Jenny Sherwen

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A little sun in the afternoon brought a few butterflies out as follows: Small Copper: 3 Small White: 2 Peacock: 1 Green-Veined White: 4 Tortoiseshell: 1 Speckled Wood: 1 Large White: 1 - Pete Gore

Sarratt: In the fields beside the River Chess (MR 037 978) two Small Coppers - possibly three. (Also a lot of Mayflies emerging on the river.) - Graham Elcombe

Butterfly I saw today (15/05/15): 1 orange tip - Meadowbank north, Hitchin TL19603000 - David Inward

We saw at least 6 Peacocks, 4 Cinnabar Moths and a male Common Blue at Crane Meadows, London Wildlife Trust site near Heathrow Airport (TQ 0976), then another Peacock at Lake Farm Country Park, Hayes (TQ 0880) and finally just a Speckled Wood at Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, Middlesex - Paul Busby

Wednesday 13th May 2015
I visited the Bovingdon brick-works in perfect conditions for butterflies and was rewarded with sightings of 3 Orange tips, 2 Holly Blues (on the approach path), 2 Brimstones and most significantly, Dingy skippers in large numbers throughout the site (I counted at least 18). They were particularly attracted to the clumps of Bugle. The other surprise discovery was a single Green Hairstreak which I believe is the first recorded sighting at this location. - Brendan Sheridan

An afternoon stroll around my local patch at Stanwell Moor on Wednesday 13th in brilliant warm sunshine. Once again, Holly Blues were ubiquitous and numerous and I lost count after a dozen or so. Probably the next most frequent butterfly was the Green-veined White (not a single one observed closely enough to tell was a Small White). There were also a few Large Whites (all males), Brimstones (males too), and Orange Tips (both sexes represented). Two Speckled Woods were seen, and two elderly Commas in adjacent territories still battling it out.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=67296&mode=view In similar vein, there were no less than nine different Peacocks, three of which were staked out so close to each other that their scuffles were almost constant. These three were amazingly tattered, but still able to demonstrate astonishing aerobatics and graceful flight - despite them probably being into their tenth month of life.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=67307&mode=view Finally, the first of this year's Small Heaths were now flying, with three new individuals seen.
Dave Miller

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane A beautiful day, I was sorry to have to stop mid-afternoon when butterfly numbers were still increasing. The highlight was my first Small Heath of the year de pendably in the same small area of the Heath where I saw them in 2013 and 2014. By contrast after asserting I'd never seen a Green Hairst reak away from one patch of the Heath, inevitably today one appeared on the footpath near the exit to the golf course. Initially I wasn't to o happy with my identification but some 2 hours later on the return journey the butterfly (or another) was still there and this time allowed plenty of opportunity to confirm its identity. By then I'd also seen one -at last- near the main patch of Gorse on the Marshalling Yards.Even then it didn't stay near the Gorse but preferred to cross the path to some Broom where it 'posed' beautifully on a flower. Elsewhere 2 male Small Coppers had a colourful extended aerial battle which ended eventually when one landed on some May blossom presumably for refuelling. Whether he was the victor or the vanquished was impossible to tell - Pete Gore

1 x male orange tip at Northwood HQ, 1 x holly blue in Eastbury Road (TQ117953) near Bushey station and 1 x light brown apple moth in Bushey garden - David Gower

First cinnabar moth at Shire golf club Barnet.. - Kitt Jones

Frogmore, Grizzled Skipper counts similar to 'yours' yesterday - these in sunshine at lunchtime today - 16 total Also Peacock 2 Brimstone 2 GV White 3 Small Copper 3 Brown Argus 5 Moths - Treble-bar and P auratus. Previous visits were too early and nil counts. I'm pleased by the extent of the strawberry plants this year - Trevor Chapman

On my Transect today at Butterfly World my first sighting of a Small Blue. The butterflies I saw today at Butterfly World. 2 Small Blue, 3 Common Blue, 4 Brimstone, 6 Large White, 7 Orange Tip, 1 Small White, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Green Veined White. Also a Painted Lady (added later) - Mandy Floyd with Juliet Morton

A few sightings for today Wednesday 13th May 2015 - 1 male Common Blue at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:27 hrs, 1 Small Copper at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 13:24 hrs, 3 Mother Shipton at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park - my first of the year! 1 Cinnabar at Park Farm, Enfield, 1 female Orange Tip at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 14:25 hrs, 1 Painted Lady settled on track at Hog Hill, Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 15:03 hrs. Also saw a rather worn female Holly Blue settled at Enfield Road, EN2 near Jolly Farmers this afternoon at about 16:00 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterflies I saw today (13/05/15): 2 speckled wood, 3 orange tip - Almonds Lane Cemetery, Stevenage TL2425 - David Inward

A Painted Lady on the track between Wilbury Hills, Letchworth and Cadwell Farm, Ickleford - Jill Sawyer

Tuesday 12th May 2015
First opportunity to look for Grizzleds this year, late afternoon between 16:30 and 18:30 search at Frogmore, we counted 15 individuals mostly roosting, and mostly roosting on last year's dried seedheads of the mint (some photos on the FB page). Site not so waterlogged but now some of the back paths overgrown due to lack of visitors because of last year's high water levels. Also Brown Argus and Burnet Companion - Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton

One male Brimstone settled along Salmons Brook at Enfield Road EN2 yesterday Monday 11th May 2015 and today Tuesday 12th May 2015 counted 7 Holly Blue and 2 Speckled Wood at Grovelands Park, Southgate late morning/early afternoon. Found a large Oak Eggar larva low down on edge of Church Wood, Trent Park yesterday afternoon Monday 11th May 2015, also had a brief glimpse of what was probably a Painted Lady - which flew past quickly at Parkside Farm, Enfield yesterday afternoon at about 16:30 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterflies I saw today (12/05/15): 1 brimstone, 2 speckled wood, 1 comma - path along river Oughton (Westmill Farm section), Hitchin TL1730, 2 brimstone - path along river Oughton (Chalky section), Hitchin TL1630 - David Inward

1 x holly blue at Northwood HQ today - David Gower

Monday 11th May 2015
Butterfles I saw today (11/05/15): 1 brimstone - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19863031, 1 small tortoiseshell - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930, 3 orange tip - willow plantation, Ickleford TL1831, 2 peacock, 3 brimstone, 2 orange tip, 2 speckled wood, 2 small white - land between old Bedford railway line and Great Northern line, Ickleford TL1831, 4 orange tip, 1 speckled wood, 1 holly blue - Burymead Springs south, Hitchin TL1830 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Similar to yesterday but with more variety including 2 year firsts: Common Blue and Small Copper and several small moths with a definite Cinnabar following a likely brief glimpse a week ago and what I think may have been the first two Burnet Companions of the year. Here are the details: Tortoiseshell: 1 Peacock: 23 Orange-Tip:2 Brimstone: 1 Large White: 1 Holly Blue: 9 Green-Veined White: 1 Common Blue: 1 Speckled Wood: 3 Small Copper: 2 Small White: 1 Comma: 1 Green Hairstreak: 1 and Cinnabar moth: 1 - Pete Gore

Trent park today on transect I saw Large white, male Orange tip, Comma, 3 speckled woods, 1 poss 2 common blues, Holly blue and a Peacock - Simon Pegg

Today I saw a painted lady on Bricket Wood Common. It only settled for an instant before it disappeared, but it would be hard to mistake the pointy black wing tips, with white and they orange-yellow markings below - Chris Newman

Went in search of Small Copper and Small Heath today Monday 11th May 2015 at Trent Park and saw the following butterflies - 1 female Orange Tip, Sect 1 at 11:28 hrs, 1 Comma near Triangular Wood at 11:32 hrs, 3 Speckled Wood Sect 7 at 11:56 hrs, 1 Holly Blue Sect 7 at 11:57 hrs, 2 Small Heath Sect 6 at 12:01 hrs, 1 Green-veined White Sect 4 at 12:18 hrs, 1 Small Copper near Triangular Wood at 12:28 hrs, 1 male Orange Tip near Triangular Wood at 12:34 hrs, 2 Green-veined White near Triangular Wood at 12:34 hrs. - Robert Callf

Central London - green veined white and small white in Temple Gardens, Fleet Street EC4 at lunchtime - Malcolm Hull

Warm, over 20 Deg C, but overcast day. At Bridgewater Fields, Ruislip Gardens, I saw a Holly Blue, Small White, Speckled Wood and at least 3 m Orange Tip; then at Highgrove Woods, Eastcote around the square pond I saw a number of Large Red Damselfiies, some paired plus a Peacock, at least 3 Orange Tip, including a pair and 4 Speckled Woods; finally at Long Meadow, Eastcote I saw a Comma, Holly Blue, Peacock, Small White, at least 2 Green Vein Whites, 5 Orange Tips and 6 Speckled Woods including a pair - Paul Busby

Small Copper basking on public footpath between Little Almshoe and Lower Titmore Green (TL205260) at about 11 am. Later visited Hill End Chalk Pit NR near Hitch Wood where 5 Brimstone, 2 Large White, 3 Peacock and an Orange Tip were seen - Peter Clarke

Sunday 10th May 2015
Butterfles I saw today (10/05/15): 1 brimstone, 2 holly blue, 2 orange tip, 2 unidentified large white, 1 unidentified small white - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930, 2 orange tip, 1 unidentified large white - Purwell Meadows (west part), Hitchin TL1929, 4 orange tip, 3 brimstone - Purwell Meadows (east part), Hitchin TL2029, 2 orange tip, 2 brimstone - Purwell Park, Hitchin TL2029, 1 brimstone - road verge by Centre for the Arts, Willian Road, Hitchin TL19913009 - David Inward

Spent an hour at Aldbury Nowers this afternoon. 1 grizzled skipper, 1 dingy skipper, 1 brown argus, 1 small heath, 9 male brimstones, 3 female brimstones, 3 female orange tips, 5 male orange tips, 1 male large white
Photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/17499386172/
Miles Attenborough

Today, on a walk along the River Stort between Bishop's Stortford station and Spellbrook Lock: 1 Common Blue, 1 Brimstone, 10 + Orange Tips, Large Whites and Small Whites. At Rushy Mead nature reserve: 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood. - Chris Gleeson

Hackney Marsh north TQ3686 my first common blue (1 male) and silver y (1) - Paul Robinson

Quite a lot of activity today in my south Harpenden garden: 1 male Small White, 1 Large White (I think a male but a fly-by); 2-3 Holly Blue females basking and one laying an egg on a holly flower bud; at least 2 Holly Blue males, now rather tatty and relaxed enough for nectaring on Cotoneaster horizontalis and Mexican Orange blossoms; 1 male and several female Orange Tip, the latter feeding on Garlic Mustard and laying eggs. Interestingly, one of the female Orange Tip showed a good scattering of orange scales along the apical costal margin of each wing, these extending down a short distance along some of the subsidiary apical veins/ - David Hunt

The 20 of us on the walk this morning at Waterford Heath had 11 sightings of Grizzled Skippers which represented probably a minimum of 7 individuals. They were on both the South and North Heaths. The best spot was the Settling beds on the South Heath were 3 were clashing together. Also Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, Large White and Holly Blue. - Andrew Wood

Travelling into London, late afternoon, I saw male Brimstones along the tree line at both Northolt and Perivale Tube stations - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards (part)/Crane. Cloud and wind meant less than ideal conditions but didn't prevent reasonably good numbers of butterflies. There seemed to be more fast movement than recently meaning quite a few whites and several others avoided satisfactory identification. The highlights for me were two Green Hairstreaks. One on the Marshalling Yards on the footpath as if seeking minerals rather than nectar. A map of my sightings on this site would show individuals spread out at all points of the site. By contrast today's other Hairstreak was the first I've seen this year on the Heath in a more or less identical spot amongst the Gorse near the railway to last year's first Green Hairstreak - the area where all my Heath sightings have been made. Here are the full details: Peacock: 17 Large White: 4 Brimstone: 2 Green-Veined White: 3 Green Hairstreak: 2 Orange-Tip:1 Holly Blue: 6 Speckled Wood: 1 Small White: 3 Tortoiseshell: 2 - Pete Gore

Bricket wood common, St. Albans - 47 Brimstones on today's transecting walk, including several females laying on the taller Alder Buckthorns. Most sightings were of males patrolling, with a few nectaring on bugle and bluebells. Peacock, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Large and Green-veined Whites, Holly Blue and Speckled Woods all flying today - Malcolm Hull

Shrubhill Common, Hemel Hempstead I saw my first Dingy Skipper of the year on my transect walk - Roger Prue

Spent afternoon in our Bushey garden today and recorded 2 x holly blue, 1 x green veined white, 1 x large white, 1 x mint moth, 1 x light brown apple moth
- David Gower

Around midday today at Aldbury Nowers (Duchies Piece) I saw six Brimstones (5M,1F), one Peacock, three Orange Tips (2M.1F), two Dingy Skippers and one Small Heath (the first one I've seen there this year). - Paul Cross

Some sightings for Sunday 10th May 2015 - 1 Large White, E edge of Little Beechill Wood, Enfield Chase at 10:05 hrs, 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Holly Hill Farm, Enfield, 1 male Orange Tip at Holly Hill Farm, Enfield at 10:26 hrs, 3 Large White at Fir & Pond Woods near Potters Bar, also at this site were a female Orange Tip, 3 Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Small White and 1 Small Tortoiseshell. 1 male Brimstone at Chequers Mead Farm, Coopers Lane Road, Potters Bar. - Robert Callf

Saturday 9th May 2015
Tring Park HMBC field trip led by Martin Hicks - One male Orange Tip, One male Brimstone. The afternoon was overcast, but 5 people turned up for the walk. This is a chalk grassland site, thick with cowslips and with woodland of various ages and scrub along the chalk scarp slope - Malcolm Hull

A few butterflies in Grovelands Park, Southgate, N14 this afternoon Saturday 9th May 2015 - 4 Speckled Wood, 1 male Large White, 3 Holly Blue at 13:12 hrs. P.S., Had a brief look for Common Blues and Small Coppers without success - Robert Callf.

Friday 8th May 2015
I saw 2 Holly Blues again in my Eastcote garden this cloudy morning, this time they were settling on a bed of forget-me-not blue flowers - Paul Busby

A couple of moth sightings today Friday 8th May 2015 - Cinnabar at Parkside Farm near The Pump House (TQ3098) and Common Carpet at Park Farm, Enfield (TQ2998) - both new for the year. - Robert Callf

I saw 3 orange tips at Hunsdon Meads this morning, 2 males and 1 female - Jenny Sherwen

I have been visiting Waterford Heath NR on a regular basis and have seen Grizzled Skippers in the clearing by the silt beds [South pit]. 1 on Sunday 3rd May, 4 on Monday 4th May, 2 on Thursday 7th May. I have not seen them anywhere else at Waterford Heath or accross Sacombe Road at the former quarry site despite the vast amounts of Wild Strawberry growing on the slopes there. - Christopher Benton

Thursday 7th May 2015
Lots of Holly Blues and Horse Chestnut leaf Miner moths plus Orange Tip, Peacock and Speckled Wood at Kensal Green cemetery today. Also my first Silver Y of the year and a Small copper. Andrew Wood

Despite a blustery day with only sunny spells, I saw 2 Peacocks, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood and at least 16 Orange Tip (mostly male), 6 Green Veined white and 3 Holly blues during a half day working party on the River Brent at Bittern's Field, Hanwell, London Borough of Ealing (TQ 14 81). - Paul Busby

Some sightings for Thursday 7th May 2015 - 1 female Orange Tip at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 10:47 hrs - the first female that I have identified this year, 1 Small Yellow Underwing settled on dandelion head at Bay Farm, Enfield (TQ 30021 98483) at 12:28 hrs - my first of the year! Also saw male Orange Tip, Holly Blue and Speckled Wood at Hilly Fields Park, Enfield this afternoon. - Robert Callf

Tuesday 5th May 2015
Dingy Skippers at Hexton CP on 1/5/15 - Nigel Agar

Monday 4th May 2015
The following seen on 4th May 2015, ELLENBROOK FIELDS (FORMER HATFIELD AERODROME, 1 x Peacock, 1 x Speckled Wood, 1 x Painted Lady - David Wheatcroft

A few sightings for Monday 4th May 2015 - 1 male Orange Tip at Little Beechill Wood at 10:47 hrs and 1 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell here also, 6 Small Tortoiseshell at Plumridge Farm, Enfield between 11:42 - 11:55 hrs, 1 Red Admiral edge of Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 12:38 hrs, 1 Holly Blue along Salmons Brook at Enfield Road, 13:30 hrs and 1 Holly Blue at Chase Road, N14 at 14:23 hrs. - Robert Callf

On Monday in Stocking Pelham 2 Brimstones, orange tip, peacock, green veined white, small tortoiseshell and a holly blue - Andy Brown

Pristine Holly Blue, m, and GV White in my Hatfield garden, first this year. On my Warren transect only 2 Peacock, 1 GV White (2 more off-site), despite bright sunshine and T 18C. Virtually no wildlife over grassland apart from 1 Rabbit and Buzzard and Kestrel over. The site may take time to recover from last autumn's scrub removal and mowing - John Moss

7 species at Waterford heath south including all three whites. 4 grizzled skippers incl 3 in settling beds area one in open field - Steve Kiln

Walked along the fields near and around Ickenham Marsh and Yeading Brook and saw 8 Peacock, a male Brimstone and at least 2 Small Tortoiseshells and 5 male Orange Tip. In my Eastcote Garden, I unusually saw a female Orange Tip butterfly, not seen this before in the garden - Paul Busby

Walked the New River from Bullsmoor to Rye House today, many Holly Blues and Orange Tips. Highlight was a Small Heath http://ow.ly/MusFX and Latticed Heath moth on the edge of Cheshunt at virtually the same spot. - Andrew Wood

A ramble around St John's Wood and Harpenden Common revealed 2 male Orange Tip, 1 female Orange tip, 1 female Speckled Wood, I Holly Blue, 2 Peacock, 1 Comma, and 3 Green-veined White - 2 male, 1 female. One of the GVW was flying around a Green-winged Orchid, although it did not land. The Ophioglossum colony On Harpenden Common now has about 30 plants visible, all within a very small area. Of note, no Brimstone seen today - even the regular resident of St John's Wood was absent Garlic mustard plants in my Harpenden garden now sport a number of Orange Tip eggs and although females are frequent visitors to the flowers, few seem to lay eggs at the moment. - David Hunt

Went back to Fishers Field today and found 1 x brimstone (m), 1 x speckled wood. At Ashlyn Close, Bushey (TQ122 961) 1 x holly blue. Back at Water Lane, Watford 5 x peacock, 26 x orange tip (15 male), 3 x brimstone (2 male), 5 x green veined white, 8 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x speckled wood, 2 x large white, 2 x holly blue, 1 x small white.
Onto Merryhill Fields, Bushey 2 x small white, 2 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x large white, 8 x brimstone(all male), 6 x peacock, 3 x orange tip(m), 1 x speckled wood. - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. An earlier walk to catch the sun and an improvement on yesterday although still plenty of cloud: Small White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 2 Orange-Tip: 4 Peacock: 20 Green-Veined White: 4 Speckled Wood: 10 Holly Blue: 12 Large White: 3 Brimstone: 3 Comma:1 At Least a dozen unidentified whites. - Pete Gore

Butterfles I saw today (04/05/15): 1 small white, 1 orange tip - scrub and road verge, Cambridge Road, east of Meadowbank, Hitchin TL197299 1 orange tip, 1 holly blue - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930 3 orange tip, 1 small white, 1 small tortoiseshell, 2 speckled wood, Purwell Meadows (east part), Hitchin TL2029 - David Inward

Sunday 3rd May 2015
At Water Lane, Watford this afternoon recorded 3 x small white, 5 x green veined white, 24 x orange tip (7 were females), 2 x brimstone (1 x f, 1 x m), 11 x small tortoiseshell, 1 x peacock, 4 x holly blue. At Fishers Field just 1 x green veined white & 1 x peacock as became cloudy again. Lastly at Finch Lane, Bushey 1 x brimstone(m), 3 x orange tip (1 f), 3 x speckled wood, 2 x peacock. - David Gower

After the rain had 3 Holly Blues and 1 male Orange Tip butterfly in my garden - Andrew Steele

After a morning of rain, we had a warm 19 Deg C sunny spell this afternoon, before clouding over again and becoming breezy. In my Eastcote garden I saw a Holly Blue, a Speckled Wood and a Large White butterfly. Then along the River Pinn in Eastcote at Cheney Field, I saw 3 Holly Blue, at least 5 Green Veined Whites, 3 male Orange Tips, 2 Speckled woods, a Peacock and my first Large Red Damselfly of the year, whilst along Long Meadow, I saw at least 8 Green Vein Whites (including 2 pairs), 3 Orange Tips, a Large White, 3 Peacocks and 3 Speckled Woods. Found a small number of green caterpillars with a cream line in the Elm field boundary - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. After a few days away it was good to get an opportunity for a walk but despite getting most of the afternoon sun there was far too much cloud and wind to make the day good for butterflies: Holly Blue: 2 Tortoiseshell: 3 Small White: 2 Peacock: 8 Brimstone: 1 Green-Veined White: 1 Speckled Wood: 2 - Pete Gore

Saturday 2nd May 2015
Two butterflies at Fir & Pond Woods nr Potters Bar this afternoon Saturday 2nd May 2015 - 1 Speckled Wood at 12:25 hrs and 1 male Orange Tip at 12:32 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterfly (only one) I saw today (02/05/15): 1 small white - St Faiths Churchyard, Hitchin - David Inward

Friday 1st May 2015
Went for a quick stroll along the River Pinn at Long Meadow, Eastcote and the majority of the butterflies seen were Whites, about a dozen or so, of which I managed to identify 1 Small White, 1 Green Veined White, 1 female Orange Tip and 3 male Orange Tip, Also saw 2 Speckled Woods - Paul Busby

April 2015

Thursday 30th April 2015
Butterflies I saw today (30/04/15): 1 orange tip - Gipsy Lane north, Hitchin TL2029 2 orange tip - Purwell Ninesprings nature reserve, Hitchin TL2029 - David Inward

I saw at least 18 White butterflies walking along the Yeading Brook Meadows, London Wildlife trust site in Hayes, Middlesex, London Wildlife trust site (TQ 1082), I managed to identify at least 6 female Orange Tip around Garlic Mustard and 4 males in this vicinity, not sure about the rest. Also saw 5 Peacocks, 4 Small Tortoiseshells and 5 Speckled Woods. - Paul Busby

Recorded the following species of butterfly at Chase Green, Enfield Town this afternoon Thursday 30th April 2015 - Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Peacock and Speckled Wood. Saw one male Orange Tip in Town Park, Enfield this morning Thursday 30th April 2015 at 11:11 hrs. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 29th April 2015
Stanwell Moor. After a truly awful morning of cold and rain, sunshine finally appeared and I had an hour on my local patch from five till six. I saw six butterflies only, but as has happened before, all six were different species. The rollcall was: Holly Blue, Comma, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood, Large White and Red Admiral. The GVW was taking salts from the damp path, and the Red Admiral was a relatively fresh individual nectaring avidly on low-growing flowers, and I would guess it to be a recent immigrant from the continent rather than a local over-wintered example. - Dave Miller

1 x brimstone at Northwood HQ yesterday - David Gower

Tuesday 28th April 2015
In Hawkins Wood (near Therfield village) today (28th) two orange tips + one Brimstone Andy Brown

During a training course visit to the ponds at Highgrove Woods, Eastcote, Middlesex, a Peacock, a Speckled Wood, a Comma and at least 2 Orange Tips were seen, also a bedraggled Ruby Tiger Moth was rescued from the pond surface - Paul Busby

Monday 27th April 2015
I saw 2 freshly emerged Small Coppers at Croxley Common Moor (TQ083949) today, 27th April 2015. Photo on the Facebook page. - Chris Bessant

Saturday 25th April: A tour of my local patch in and close to Stanwell Moor and the river Colne. Holly Blues still going strong, with over a dozen seen along the route.
Aside from a few Speckled Woods and a Comma, all of the other butterflies were Whites of various types, predominantly Green-veined ones now.
Both Large and Small were also spotted, and five or six Orange Tips, including one female.
Today (27th), on a much cooler late afternoon, one Holly Blue, three GVW and a Peacock were all that made an appearance - Dave Miller

Butterflies I saw today (27/04/15): 4 orange tip, 3 speckled wood - path next to River Oughton, Bedford Road end, Hitchin TL1730 1 speckled wood - Burford Way, Hitchin TL17453072 - David Inward

Saturday 25th April 2015
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Cloudy conditions but there were butterflies around: Green-Veined White:2 Peacock: 2 Speckled Wood: 8 Holly Blue: 6 Orange-Tip: 4 Large White: 1 Small White: 2 - Pete Gore

I have been making regular visits to Tunnel Gardens a Green Space above the Main Line Railway Tunnels behind my house. This connects between Cline Road and Durnford Road in Bounds Green. Grid Reference TQ294913 - Nearest Post Code N11 2AJ. This Council managed green space had become completely overgrown by brambles but local people are now beginning to take action and make new clearings which will hopefully be beneficial for the butterflies. Over the last week I have walked through each day and seen a female brimstone, Speckled Woods, a Coma, Holly Blues, One Green Veined White one Female Orange Tip and a peacock. Today during a one hour visit I saw 8 speckled woods, 2 holly blue, one peacock and one unidentified white butterfly. Todays photos at following links:
Miles Attenborough

Thursday 23rd April 2015 - 2 Holly Blue at Gentleman's Row, Enfield Town at 15:48 hrs and 1 at Southbury Road, Enfield Town at 16:20 hrs. - Robert Callf

Friday 24th April 2015
Saw my first grizzled skipper on Waterford Heath south, but not on main bank but down in bottom bit near settling beds where they took down trees 3 years ago - Steve Kiln

Thursday 23rd April 2015
Butterflies I saw today (23/04/15): 2 small tortoiseshell - Westmill Lane south part, Hitchin TL1730. 1 orange tip - Mill Lane south part near Hitchin SE TL1730. 3 orange tip - Mill Lane middle part near Hitchin TL169309. 3 orange tip, 1 Brimstone, 1 small tortoiseshell - Mill Lane NW part near Hitchin TL1631. 1 orange tip, 1 Brimstone, 1 small tortoiseshell - path from Mill Lane to Hambridge Way, near Ickleford TL1631. 1 Brimstone - Hambridge Way, near Ickleford TL1631. 4 small tortoiseshell - Hambridge Way east part, near Ickleford TL1731. 1 small tortoiseshell - Bedford Road, near Ickleford TL1731. 1 Speckled wood, 4 small tortoiseshell - Icknield Way east of Bedford Road, Ickleford TL 1731. Butterflies I saw Wednesday 22nd: 1 orange tip - path next to railway off Wymondley Road, Hitchin TL202287. 2 peacock, 1 small tortoiseshell - cow grazed field with moat at Great Wymomdley TL2128. Butterflies I saw Tuesday 21st: 1 peacock, 6 speckled wood - paths to west of Hadley Green west part, Barnet TQ2497 - David Inward

Turned out to be a sunny afternoon after all. At lunchtime, I saw a Speckled wood at St Martins Churchyard, Ruislip (TQ 09 87) and 2 Small Tortoiseshells at the Motte & Bailey site at Manor Farm Complex, Ruislip (TQ 08 87) then later in the afternoon went for a hours walk on Poor's Field, Ruislip Common (TQ 08 89) and saw 2 Commas, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue and at least 15 Peacocks, 6 Orange Tip, 1 Green-Veined White and 1 Small Tortoiseshell - Paul Busby

On my regular ramble this afternoon in St John's Wood, Harpenden, I saw what I presume to be the resident Brimstone male, 1 Orange Tip male, 1 Holly Blue in a hurry to be somewhere else, 1 Large White female basking, 1 Small White male basking and nectaring on wild cherry blossom, a pair of mating Speckled Wood, and a comma supping juices from a fresh dog turd. Harpenden Common was a disappointment: 2 rather tatty Small Tortoiseshells and a male Orange Tip, although a group of nice ferns made up for the lack of butterflies. - David Hunt

1 x holly blue at Northwood HQ today - David Gower

Some sightings for yesterday Wednesday 22nd April 2015 at Grovelands Park, Southgate, N14 - 4 Speckled Wood, including two together, 1 Peacock and 1 Comma. Today Thursday 23rd April 2015 - 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Holly Blue at Town Park, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Wednesday 22nd at Hexton Chalk Pit, 10.30 to 12.00 - Green Hairstreak - 2; Dingy Skipper - 3; Holly Blue - 1, all in the upper(south) section. - Roger Millard

Wednesday 22nd April 2015
I had a Painted Lady settle by my feet yesterday, but by the time I raised my camera to my eye it was off! I was just outside of my transect in Bishop's Stortford by a row of flowering hawthorns facing an arable field (possibly wheat). - Bob Clift

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Cloudy and breezy so a steep decline in the butterflies seen: Holly Blue: 2 Peacock: 15 Tortoiseshell: 4 Brimstone:1 Speckled Wood: 7 Green-Veined White: 1 - Pete Gore

I saw my first speckled wood of the year at Amwell this morning. I also saw 2 male and 1 female orange tip - Jenny Sherwen

Tuesday 21st April 2015
Glad to say saw my first grizzled skipper this afternoon at Rickneys quarry. Also my first speckled wood in Broxbourne woods. Plenty of orange tips, peacocks, green veined whites and, brimstones in Broxbourne woods and Waterford Heath - Steve Kiln

At Northwood hq 1 x small tortoiseshell and 1 x holly blue. In Woodwaye near Bushey station 1 x holly blue(GRID TQ112949). 1 x holly blue in Bushey garden. At Fishers Field early evening 1 x comma and 1 x peacock. Lastly at Water Lane, Watford 13 x small tortoiseshell - David Gower

I did the transect today at Aldbury Nowers, highlights were 2 green hairstreak (with another off transect) and 2 grizzled skipper (with another 2 in the furthest northern enclosure, again off transect). There were god number of brimstone about including 5 together, orange tip, small white, small tortoiseshell, peacock and comma. - Paul Thrush

Just got back from Hexton Chalk Pit where I had hoped to see a Green Hairstreak. I failed in this but I did see a Dingy Skipper (photo on Facebook and Twitter). The Chalk pit was in full sun and about 18 degrees but I was underwhelmed by the scarcity of Butterflies to be seen. - Juliet Morton

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another beautiful day with one surprise for me, like yesterday relating to Green Hairstreak.I first saw 2 more on the opposite side of the Marshalling Yards from yesterday's in a very sunny spot much favoured by many butterfly species.These two had a short very rapid skirmish before disappearing out of sight. No sign of yesterday's Green Hairstreak and annoyingly someone had allowed a small fire to burn grass around the Broom where I saw it. After leaving the Marshalling Yards I proceeded to the first leg of my Crane loop where,more or less in the centre, I was amazed to see what I first took to be two more Green Hairstreaks again flying rapidly around together.Admittedly this was another very sunny spot but very much in old woodland.The shrub they were fighting over was Hawthorn with some Ivy within it against a much larger tree not yet in leaf (Ash I think) not at all a place I would ever expect to find this butterfly.I stayed watching for quite some time and was entertained by a seemingly endless procession of butterflies from 8 or 9 species including a third Green Hairstreak disputing the territory with the other two. Here are the full details of today's sightings: Holly Blue: 29 Small White: 2 Large White: 3 Orange-Tip: 14 Peacock: 43 Green-Veined White: 3 Brimstone:4 Speckled Wood: 10 Green Hairstreak: 5 Tortoiseshell: 6 Red Admiral: 1 A lot more whites went unidentified -over 30- including 3 or 4 larger ones which perhaps are likely Large Whites rather than,say, female Brimstone. - Pete Gore

Two year firsts in my South Mimms garden today - a Holly Blue and a Green Veined White, as well as the regular Orange Tip and Peacock - Terry Wood

Lovely sunny day, but the streams are very low and soil very dry, we could do with some rain, anyway the butterflies seem to like it. Along the Celadine Route following the River Pinn through Eastcote/Pinner (TQ 11 89) I saw a Holly Blue at Pinner Memorial Park, then across to Cheney field I saw 2 Commas, a Green-veined White, Large White, at least 6 Orange Tip and another 3 Holly Blues, whilst at Long Meadow a further 5 Holly Blues, 3 Speckled wood, 2 Peacocks and 6 Orange tip. After lunch I visited Bridgewater Fields along the Yeading Brook (TQ 10 85) and saw a Green-veined White, 4 Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock, 2 Holly Blues, 3 Orange Tip and upstream (TQ 10 86) I saw a Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacocks, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Holly Blue, Small White and at least 3 Orange Tip. Finally at home I saw my first 2 Green-veined Whites and another Holly Blue in my Eastcote garden - Paul Busby

A few more sightings for today Tuesday 21st April 2015 - 3 Holly Blue, top of Snakes Lane near Oakwood entrance, Trent Park at 13:45 hrs; 1 male Orange Tip, Sect 4, Trent Park at 14:13 hrs and 1 male Brimstone near Oakwood entrance, Trent Park at 14:43 hrs. - Robert Callf

Robin White and myself saw a male Brimstone along bridle-path near Merryhills Brook at Trent Park this morning Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 11:38 hrs. - Robert Callf

Saw one Comma along New River in Town Park, Enfield yesterday afternoon Monday 20th April 2015 at 13:18 hrs. - Robert Callf

Monday 20th April 2015
I paid a visit this afternoon to Hexton Chalk Pit for my usual quarry. It felt much warmer than the forecast 16C, though none of the shrubs there were yet in full leaf and some had no foliage at all. In a couple of hours I saw 1 Peacock, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Wavy-barred Sable (Pyrausta nigrata), 10+ Brimstone and ... 2 Green hairstreak: one on an Ivy bush just outside the reserve and one feeding on Blackthorn flowers - the first time that I have ever seen a GH feeding. The Blackthorn was popular with many other species and I was so engrossed that I didn't make it to Telegraph Hill, Hoo Bit or the Pegsdon Hills - Paul Why

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A beautiful day,excellent for butterflies.The highlights included my first Green Hairstreak of the year,amongst Broom in a spot where I saw several on the Marshalling Yards last year, and a new high for Holly Blue.Oddly, Orange-Tips were much fewer than last week but I did see another female on the opposite side of the M.Y. from the last two but again lingering amongst Cress.Here are the full details: Holly Blue: 24 Speckled Wood: 11 Large White: 2 Brimstone: 11 Peacock: 40 Tortoiseshell: 6 Orange-Tip: 4 Small White: 5 Green Hairstreak: 1 Red Admiral: 1 Comma: 1 . If I make the not unreasonable assumption that a Green-Veined White was likely to be amongst the 10 or so unidentified Whites seen then all 12 of the species seen so far this year were seen today - Pete Gore

One hour lunchtime stroll across nettle bordered rough fields near Dew Farm Sandpits Nature reserve in South Harefield (TQ 05 88), where last year I saw 30+ Small Tortoiseshells, this years count still an impressive 25 Small Tortoiseshells, 13 Peacocks, 6 Orange-Tip and a male Brimstone. Also saw 2 Holly Blue paired on tall conifer hedge at Dews Farm, South Harefield (TQ 056 878). Late afternoon, walked along Yeading Brook through Roxbourne Park, Eastcote (TQ 11 86) along wooded trail and then field edge and saw 6 Speckled Wood, 4 Holly Blue, 4 Comma, 2 Large White, 6 Orange Tip, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and at least 1 Peacock. - Paul Busby

Today on two walks around Norton Common I saw three Speckled Woods (together and first I've seen this year), three Holly Blues (flying separate sightings), two Peacocks, four Brimstones, two Small Tortoiseshells and an Orange Tip. - Jill Sawyer

A couple of hours spent in the environs of Nomansland Common/Bull Lane, Harpenden (TL170125) produced a good haul: about 6 Small White, around the same number of Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Large White, 3 male and 2 female Brimstone, 3 Peacock, 3 female and 2 male Orange Tip (females nectaring on garlic mustard; males patrolling and indulging in aerial arguments over territory, occasionally nectaring on dandelions and gorse), 1 Holly Blue and 1 male Common Blue, the latter flying very low and even around my feet at one point - David Hunt

One Speckled Wood and one Small Tortoiseshell at Rectory Farm, Enfield this morning Monday 20th April 2015. - Robert Callf

Saturday 18th April 2015
Saw my first green-veined white of the year, in the Pinetum at Bayfordbury - Ian Flack

Wheathampstead LNR - On a walk about Wheathampstead LNR I saw my first Large White and three Orange-tips. Holly Blues are appearing in the garden now as well - Trevor Chapman

I popped into the southern part of Bedfont Lakes Country Park this afternoon (18th) for the first time. I was rewarded with two Green Hairstreaks, one of which posed nicely for the camera. There were good numbers of Holly Blues and Speckled Woods as well, plus the ever-present Peacocks and Commas.
PS. Another report from Stanwell Moor later with more Holly Blues in it - they are having a good year so far round here.
Dave Miller

Back home after the Hairstreak excitement, another tour of the local environs at Stanwell Moor seemed in order. Once again, it was the Holly Blues that dominated. In a sheltered spot, holly and ivy grow close together, and male Blues were patrolling the latter, with occasional pauses there or on the brambles. However, there was also activity on the holly. I watched a Holly Blue flutter in and out of the spiny leaves and dense branches, stopping frequently on the stems at all angles - underneath, in sun, in shade - but concentrating on the tiny flower buds. This was a female, almost certainly laying. A couple of males took a brief interest, and she put them off with rapid wing fluttering and a hoisted abdomen - but she took no notice of me less than a foot away. Presumably I didn't identify as a predator, or she was too engrossed in her egg-laying activity. She paused from time to time to rest, which involved some opening of the wings. I saw good numbers of Holly Blues again over the whole of the walk, but it was noticeable that the males are starting to look a little worn now and decidedly grey in some cases. What else? Well, it was very breezy, so most activity was confined to sheltered parts. Peacocks and Commas continued to contest the paths and perching places on the brambles, and there were also three Small Tortoiseshells joining them today. Naturally enough, there was a Red Admiral, but not in the usual spot - a new arrival? There were a few Speckled Woods and Whites, but only a couple of Orange Tips. There really aren't many about so far.
Dave Miller

Saw a Common Blue last Monday on west bank of Startops Reservoir. It definitely wasn't a Holly blue - Dave Hutchinson

Some more sightings for yesterday Friday 17th April 2015 - 3 Green-veined White at Trent Park (1 Shaws Wood, pr copulating set-aside field nr Dew Pond); 2 Speckled Wood, Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 12:35 hrs; 2 Comma at Trent Park (1 Shaws Cottages, 1 nr Ride Wood); 2 male Orange Tip at Shaws Wood, Trent Park; 1 male Orange Tip nr Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase; 1 Speckled Wood at Vicarage Farm, Enfield. Today Saturday 18th April 2015 - 1 Speckled Wood at Whitewebbs Wood. - Robert Callf

Spent day in Bushey garden only sighting so far 1 x holly blue - David Gower

I visited Cranford Park, Middlesex to go on a "Bluebell Walk" and at lunchtime was pleased to see at least 18 Holly Blues flying around the Ivy clad walls of the Stables, Secret Garden and old estate walls. I saw more Holly Blues in half hour than I saw all of last year! A fair number of Whites were also seen and managed to identify 2 Large Whites, 6 Green-Veined Whites, 4 male Orange Tips along-with 2 Speckled Woods, a Comma and at least 6 Peacocks. I then drove onto Bedfont Lakes Country Park, but alas no Green Hairstreaks seen, but in quite blustery conditions saw a male Brimsone, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 8 Peacocks and both a male and female Orange Tip. - Paul Busby

On a walk around Hatfield Forest (Essex) this afternoon, I saw 5 Peacocks, 1 Brimstone, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Orange Tips, 2 Small Whites and probably a Speckled Wood - Chris Gleeson

Butterflies I saw today (18/04/15): 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 unidentified small white - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL198303. 16 small tortoiseshell - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930 - David Inward

Friday 17th April 2015
Path alongside river Colne by Willows Farm / Tyttenhanger Park TL190046 between London Colney and Colney Heath: 8+ Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 1 White in flight (?Large) - Steve Evans and Ann Lee

One Holly Blue around Ivy at Boxer's Lake, Enfield this morning Friday 17th April 2015 at 10:28 hrs and another settled on Holly at South Lodge Cres., EN2 at 10:50 hrs. - Robert Callf

Good selection of butterflies today, I saw 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Small White, at least 3 Orange Tip, 2 Peacocks and 2 Small Tortoiseshells on a half-hour walk across Bridgewater Fields, along the Yeading Brook, Ruislip Gardens (TQ 1086) then later a Comma basking on the brickwork of the Chiltern Railway bridge across the River Pinn, Ickenham (TQ 073 871) during river sampling - Paul Busby

I've been out locally in Stanwell Moor late in the afternoon on both 16th and 17th.
16th April - One fresh, but rather crumpled Green-veined White, and one roosting Orange Tip.
17th April - Three resting Holly Blues, one of which did eventually stir. Also one Speckled Wood.
Dave Miller

Thursday 16th April 2015
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Cloudier conditions,wind and even some rain but still no butterfly shortage: Holly Blue: 2 Peacock: 22 Speckled Wood: 8 Orange-Tip: 2 Comma: 3 Green-Veined White: 1 Tortoiseshell: 2 Small White: 1 - Pete Gore

Saw two male Brimstones in Town Park, Enfield yesterday Wednesday 15th April 2015 at 13:38 hrs, also a Holly Blue here at 13:44 hrs - Robert Callf. A few sightings today included our first Speckled Wood of the year in Trent Park (1 Rough Lot at 11:45 hrs and 1 Shaws Wood at 12:38 hrs), also saw a male Orange Tip along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:59 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

I saw my first Holly Blue of the year on Norton Common at lunchtime. And a Brimstone and a Peacock on Baldock station (flying over the tracks). - Jill Sawyer

Another glorious sunny day so I cycled around Hertfordshire on the lookout. There were Peacocks, Brimstones and Small Tortoiseshells throughout, to numerous to list. In addition, the following were noted. 1 male Orange Tip in Sherrardspark Wood [Welwyn Garden City], 2 Speckled Woods fighting on the cycle path in Harpenden [TL141156], 2 male Orange Tip at the quarry entrance to Panshanger Park, Panshanger Lane. The old station site at Cole Green at 5.00pm was most productive. In 30 minutes I saw the following, 1 Holly Blue [possibly the same individual seen yesterday], 1 Speckled Wood, 1 male Orange Tip, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Comma - Christopher Benton

I saw a Holly Blue and male Orange Tip, whilst Riverfly sampling on the River Pinn, Dovecote Copse, Eastcote (TQ 108 888) then my first pair of Speckled Woods in my Eastcote Garden. - Paul Busby

In my South Mimms garden this morning I watched as a male Orange-Tip quickly pounced and locked onto an unsuspecting female as it flew in too close. - Terry Wood

Butterflies I saw today (16/04/15): 1 small tortoiseshell, 7 brimstone, 2 peacock, 1 unidentified small white Oughtonhead Common SE TL1629 1 small tortoiseshell, 1 brimstone, 1 peacock, 1 unidentified large white Oughtonhead Lane TL1729 - David Inward

Wednesday 15th April 2015
Between Aldbury Nowers and Pitstone hill - orange tip (male), holly blue, small white, plus heaps of peacocks, brimstones and orange tips. Unfortunately the green hairstreak was just over the border in Bucks. - Rikki Harrington

Another late afternoon walk around my local patch, on an unusually hot day for mid-April. Holly Blues have now emerged in good numbers - I saw ten individuals on the walk, and as far as I could see, they were all males. The main highlight of the walk was my first Large White of the year, nectaring on low-growing purple flowers.
The rest of the roster included: four Orange Tips, five or six Small/GVW (two were definitely GVW), five Peacocks, seven Commas, five Speckled Woods and a Red Admiral patrolling the path near the bridge over the Colne.
- Dave Miller

Butterflies I saw today (15/04/15): 1 male brimstone, 1 peacock, 1 unidentified small white at St Faiths Close, Hitchin. 1 male brimstone - Walsworth Common, Hitchin. 3 small tortoiseshell, 2 unidentified large white, 1 unidentified small white, 1 male brimstone, 2 peacock - field paths off Purwell Estate, Hitchin TL2029 1 small tortoiseshell, 7 brimstone, 2 peacock, 1 unidentified small white - Wymondley Woods and surrounds, near Great Wymondley TL2129 - David Inward

Some sightings for today Wednesday 15th April 2015 - 1 Comma at Whitewebbs Wood at 09:48 hrs, 3 Peacock at Whitewebbs Wood at 10:08 hrs and 2 Peacock at Flash Lane at 10:14 hrs, 1 Large White at Flash Lane, Enfield at 10:20 hrs, 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Rectory Farm, Enfield. Tuesday evening 14th April 2015 - 3 Small Tortoiseshell at Parkside Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf

On my visit to Pear Wood,Stanmore TQ1709 9369 today I saw 3 Speckled Wood (first seen on Thursday 9th April) 1 Green veined White, 2 Brimstone, 1 Orange Tip and a number of Small Tortoiseshell, Comma's and Peacocks - Peter Elton

New records for me for 2015 were 1 Holly Blue and 1 male Orange Tip in a south Harpenden garden and Speckled Wood and Holly Blue, plus several Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Brimstones and a Green-veined White on Harpenden Common. The 4-5 Commas of last week seemed to have dispersed from the Common. - David Hunt

Today in various parts of Norton Common, Letchworth: 6 Peacocks, 11 Small Tortoiseshells, 5 Brimstones (including the first one this year that sat still long enough to photograph it), 4 Commas and a male Orange-tip (in flight, but I definitely got a flash of orange). - Jill Sawyer

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another lovely day for butterflies. This Year's first Large White seen on the main road near the end of my walk, brought the species total seen to 10 for the first time this year and 2 Holly Blues in my garden were the 99th and hundredth individual sightings identified. I was surprised when two white butterflies fluttering around a patch of a white-flowering Cress turned out to be the first 2 female Orange-Tips I've seen so far this year.I've no proof they were going to lay there but it certainly looked as if they might and as I normally associate them with Hedge Garlic or Lady's Smock this was a new possibility to me. Today's details: Holly Blue: 11 Orange-Tip: 14 Tortoiseshell: 9 Peacock: 53 Brimstone: 3 Speckled Wood: 4 Green-Veined White: 2 Small White: 2 Comma: 1 Large White: 1 I again saw 2 Orange (or Light Orange) Underwing moths. Both seemed to wish to land on the path as if seeking minerals like various butterflies do. Unlike them though they never settle properly and vibrate vertically or 'bounce' as if their legs were all fitted with tiny springs even when they do settle. - Pete Gore

On my walk around Tyttenhanger gravel pits this morning I saw my first 2 Orange Tips and 4 Green-veined Whites chasing each other across a field of Rape. Other butterfllies seen were 9 Peacocks, 11 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 female Brimstone - Terry Wood

Tuesday 14th April 2015
Just some casual observations around our neighbourhood. Nothing amazing just run of the mill! 13th April 2015: 1 no Brimstone, 2 no Peacock, 3 no Small Tortoiseshell - St Ippolyts churchyard. 1 no Brimstone, 4 no Peacock, 2 no Small Tortoiseshell- St Ippolyts sewage treatment works. 14th April 2015 1 no Brimstone - Little Wymondley Substation, 2 no Peacock 1 no Brimstone, 5 no Small Tortoiseshell- St Ippolyts churchyard 6 no Peacock - St Ippolyts sewage treatment works - Michael Hooper

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. With 8 sightings even before I reached the Heath in continual sunshine and temperature above 20 this was always going to be a good butterfly day and they didn't disappoint: Holly Blue: 10 Speckled Wood: 3 Brimstone: 7 Peacock: 52 Orange-Tip: 4 Comma: 2 Small White: 2 Tortoiseshell: 9 Green-Veined White: 1 (1st identified in 2015 for me). One highlight occurred immediately as I emerged from the tunnel and disturbed a White butterfly. As I contemplated chasing it up the steep embankment I spotted what seemed to be a small white moth.I was even more surprised when this gave chase to 'my' butterfly.Evidently thwarted in its intentions the 'moth' returned and settled, showing itself to be a male Orange-Tip slightly smaller at rest than a Holly Blue. It's unlikely he'd been chasing a female (probably a male Small White) but as he seems to compensate for what he lacks in size with a great deal of ambition I could only wish him the best of luck in his quest! One other thing that seems to me to becoming clear here is that I think we have a welcome recovery in Holly Blue this spring, as hoped. - Pete Gore

During a morning working party on the River Pinn, near Pynchester Moat, Ickenham, Middlesex, (TQ 072 867) we saw at least 3 Holly Blues, 4 Orange Tip, Comma, Brimstone, 2 Peacocks and 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Then further upstream, after lunch on a butterfly walk through Pinn Meadows, Ruislip (TQ 09 88) we saw at least 12 Small Tortoiseshells, 6 Peacocks and a Brimstone. Back home in my Eastcote Garden, I saw a further 2 Holly Blues. - Paul Busby

Great weather for butterflies today. Morning visit to Gobions Wood and Park. 8 small tortoiseshells, 6 peacocks, 3 brimstones and 1 comma. Afternoon walk around Heartwood Forest and Normansland Common. 28 peacocks, 8 brimstones, 10 small tortoiseshells, 2 commas and at least 4 unknown whites. Cycled back to Hertford along the Cole Green way and stopped at the old Cole Green station site. 1 Holly blue coming down to feed on the lesser celandine. - Christopher Benton

Today at Thorley Wash I saw 1 small white, 2 orange tips, 6 brimstones and lots of small tortoiseshells and peacocks - Jenny Sherwen

It was all happening at Bayfordbury this afternoon! Saw my first orange tips, speckled wood, large white and commas of the year, along with peacocks, brimstones and a small tortoiseshell. - Ian Flack

Butterflies I saw today: 2 small tortoiseshell, 3 peacock, 1 female orange tip, 8 male brimstone, 1 unidentified large white (probably female brimstone) at Oughtonhead Common, Hitchin TL1630. 1 female brimstone Swinburn Ave, Hitchin. 1 male brimstone, 1 unidentified small white at St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

In my garden in Church Lane, Pinner this afternoon: one Holly Blue, and one Small White - Graham Elcombe

A few sightings for today Tuesday 14th April 2015 - 1 Comma at Flash Lane Aqueduct at 09:34 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Flash Lane Aqueduct at 09:34 hrs, 1 Green-veined White at Strayfield Road, Enfield at 10:48 hrs, 1 Comma at Rectory Farm, Enfield at 11:08 hrs. Also two Holly Blue together along New River at Carr's Basin, Town Park at 11:35 hrs - my first sighting of the year! Also one Peacock along New River at Town Park, Enfield this morning at 11:30 hrs. - Robert Callf

My first definite Green-veined White of the year fluttering around weeds and settling briefly in a south Harpenden garden. Several Peacocks, 4-5 Small Tortoiseshells, a Comma, a Small White and a male Brimstone, St John's Wood, Harpenden - David Hunt

Monday 13th April 2015
Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Mostly cloud so much reduced numbers but variety quite good: Holly Blue: 3 Speckled Wood: 4 Peacock: 7 Red Admiral: 1 Small White: 1 (first confirmed this year) and two Orange/Light Orange Underwing moths. Both gave me quite a bit of time observing them flying low and the second kept landing on the path but wouldn't settle. After sending walk details yesterday I disturbed a Holly Blue whilst pruning Ivy in my garden. - Pete Gore

More sightings from Stanwell Moor. Friday 10th April: Warm and sunny. Still lots of Peacocks and Commas on my local patch, with a sprinkling of Whites and Brimstones and a couple of Orange Tips. Far more Small Tortoiseshells today, including one hassling a Peacock amorously. My first sightings today of a Speckled Wood and a Green-veined White.
Sunday 12th April: Very windy, but brilliant sunshine. Reduced activity from the bigger butterflies, though a few Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells were both seen along my usual walk. There was also an Orange Tip, several whites and a few Brimstones, one of which I watched settle into a routine which included a regular stop in the same place. I waited and managed to get a photo during one of its breaks.
A couple of Speckled Woods were hiding from the wind along sheltered parts of the path, and a Red Admiral appeared in the same spot by the bridge. Finally, immediately outside my front door, I came upon not one but two Holly Blues. They were battling the wind (and each other) but one stopped long enough to be caught on camera.
Monday 13th April: A late stroll around the local circuit (nearly five o'clock) not long after the sun came out produced four or five whites including at least one of each (Small and GVW), and an Orange Tip. I counted just three Peacocks, and a Holly Blue in quite a different location to yesterday. More good weather in prospect - hopefully the Orange Tips will appear in numbers! - Dave Miller

Sunday 12th April 2015
Saw one Small Tortoiseshell at Rectory Farm, Enfield today Sunday 12th April 2015 at 10:52 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterflies I saw today (12/04/15): 4 small tortoiseshell, 1 peacock at Walsworth Common Hitchin TL1930. 1 peacock along path between Wilbury Way industrial area and railway, Hitchin TL1930. 1 small tortoiseshell, 4 brimstone, 1 peacock on edge between Wilbury Way industrial area and arable field, Hitchin TL1931 - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. A complete walk but sunshine and breeze gave way to cloud and wind by the time I passed through the Tunnel for the return journey. All the following therefore on the longer 'outgoing' stretch: Peacock: 29 Tortoiseshell: 5 Comma: 2 Holly Blue:4 and just 1 Small or Green-veined White - Pete Gore

Thornbera Road allotments B/Stortford. 14.30 hrs Sunday 12th April, 5 small tortoiseshells including a courting couple, 2 peacocks and zero Pieridae - Len Crouch

Visited Watercress Nature Reserve in St Albans briefly and found 2 x brimstone(male), 1 x orange tip (male). At nearby Sopwell Nunnery ( TL151064) 1 x brimstone(male), 2 x small tortoiseshell. - David Gower

Saturday 11th April 2015
Some sightings for Saturday 11th April 2015 - 1 Green-veined White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 11:26 hrs - our first of the year! 3 Peacock at Moat Wood, Trent Park at 12:45 hrs; 2 Comma at Trent Park ( 1 at Moat Wood and 1 at Rough Lot); 1 Small Tortoiseshell near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 13:38 hrs; 2 Small Tortoiseshell along Merryhills Brook at Vicarage Farm, Enfield - Robert Callf/Robin White

I saw today (11/04/15) 1 small tortoiseshell butterfly at Westmill Lane, Hitchin - David Inward

On a walk along the River Stort today: at Rushy Mead nature reserve, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Commas; at Thorley Wash, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock. - Chris Gleeson

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Rain in the morning and significantly breezier, cooler conditions meant that butterfly numbers were much reduced with all the whites absent. I did however see my first Speckled Wood of the year. Details: Peacock: 9 Speckled Wood: 1 Comma: 1 Tortoiseshell: 1 - Pete Gore

Friday 10th April 2015
I saw my first Brimstone in my South Mimms garden, along with a Peacock that seemed set on chasing it away - Terry Wood

I just saw a Holly Blue in my Hertford garden, my first of the year! I also saw 4 peacocks, 3 small tortoiseshells and 2 brimstones at Amwell this morning - Jenny Sherwen

Woodland footpaths between North Mymms and South Mimms to west of A1(M): Comma x 1, Peacock x 4 - Steve Evans and Ann Lee

I saw today (10/04/15) 2 Peacock butterflies at St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another lengthy walk today covering all the same ground as the four previous this week. This one affected by intermittent cloud. Unidentified Whites are increasing but not much and my continuing failure to get a definite identification has at least lessened to the extent that I am certain we have one or other of Small White and Green-Veined White around and most likely both. Here are the rest: Peacock: 57 Brimstone: 9 (All male) Holly Blue: 3 Comma:2 Orange-Tip: 2 Tortoiseshell: 2 - Pete Gore

I had a Large White in my St Albans Garden this afternoon - Mandy Floyd

Harpenden Common: 2 male Brimstones; 3 Peacocks, about 6 Small Tortoiseshells and 4 Commas. The Commas are the first I have seen this year, one female appearing to be laying eggs on new nettle shoots. Another female showed a distinct lack of interest in the attentions of a hopeful male, closing her wings until he gave up and flew off - I presume she had already mated at some point. - David Hunt

Some sightings for Friday 10th April 2015 at Grovelands Park, Southgate: at least 5 Peacock including two together and 2 Comma. - Robert Callf

Watched a Holly Blue sunbathing on the litchen-covered roof of my neighbours flat at 10am this morning in Bengeo - Christopher Benton

Thursday 9th April 2015
Some sightings for today Thursday 9th April 2015 - 2 Peacock together near Duncan's Wood, Enfield Chase at 11:59 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Parkside Farm, Enfield at 12:27 hrs, 3 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, 1 Small White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:53 hrs, 1 male Brimstone nectaring on dandelions at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 12:57 hrs, 3 Peacock at Vicarage Farm. Also two butterflies at Town Park, Enfield - 1 Small Tortoiseshell at 13:58 hrs and 1 Peacock at 14:03 hrs. - Robert Callf

Butterflies seen today 09/04/15: Alban Way, near Smallford - 1 Peacock, TL200073, 1 Brimstone TL196071. 1 Peacock butterfly at St Faiths Close, Hitchin - David Inward

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. Another beautiful sunny day with my first definite sightings of Orange-Tips this year and an increase in Holly Blue. 3 out of 4 seen were on paths,including one very fresh and lively-looking male which was still on my path where I'd left it whilst I went round the Crane/Pevensey loop.(The fourth was checking the top of a hedgerow in typical Holly Blue fashion). Two small orange sightings on the Marshalling Yards, including one which flew up into the Birches, so no doubt Underwings although there are Aspens around too and I can never manage to view this moth long enough to get a real description. Here is my summary: Brimstone: 8 Holly Blue:4 Tortoiseshell: 9 Peacock: 48 Comma: 6 Orange-Tip: 2 A few unidentified whites but the only one I got close to turned out to be a female Brimstone.On the Marshalling Yards I saw no-one all the time I was there so was surprised to find a fire burning in a hole dug last year by bikers whilst constructing one of their 'jumps.' On inspection the fire consisted mostly of two new-looking bikes/mopeds,the last bits of their tyres emitting black smoke into the otherwise clear sky. Sometimes human behaviour can be far more difficult to comprehend than butterflies'! - Pete Gore

Only 1 x Brimstone seen in Bushey garden this afternoon - David Gower

Wednesday 8th April 2015
The following description fits an Orange Underwing/Light Orange Underwing precisely!!! Since both silver birch and aspen are found on Bricket Wood Common, the exact species can't be confirmed but do look out for this moth - it is not a Small Copper!
On 6 April, walking across Bricket Wood Common, shortly after 2:00 pm, I noticed a puzzling lepidopteran! The insect was flitting around in the low area on the bridleway side of the bank, about 1-2 feet above the ground, for a minute or two without settling to give me a clear view before it moved away, and I lost sight of it. This behaviour seemed more like a butterfly than most moths, which usually seem to make short, purposeful flights. On the wing it looked brown with a hint of orange, much as a small tortoiseshell would, but it was very small for a butterfly, like a small copper. It seemed too early in the year for a small copper (which would probably have looked brighter orange) or a hairstreak. On my walk I also saw a comma, a brimstone, a white that was small and a dozen or so each of small tortoiseshells and peacocks; no surprise amongst them! - Chris Newman

Butterflies seen today 08/04/15: 1 Peacock, 2 small tortoiseshell - Knebworth cemetery and adjacent path - David Inward

Walked from home to patchetts green this afternoon (including a pint at" the three compasses")! At Finch Lane, Bushey 1 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x peacock. Just pass jewish cemetary (TQ137970) 1 x small tortoiseshell, 2 peacock and in field next to stables over A41(TQ137972) near to Patchetts Green 6 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x peacock and 1 x comma. - David Gower

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. I missed the morning sunshine and experienced a much cloudier walk still with plenty of butterflies although nothing new and no unidentified whites: Peacock: 40 Brimstone: 3 Tortoiseshell: 4 Comma: 3 - Pete Gore

There were loads of Small Tortoiseshells on Norton Common this afternoon. In a little scrubby area on the east side I watched at least 10 zooming around and defending their territory from a couple of Peacocks and a Comma. I also saw a further 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Commas and 5 more Peacocks. Only one Brimstone spotted today though. - Jill Sawyer

A male Brimstone and Peacock butterfly spotted this morning in my Rustling End garden - Julie Wise

Lots of butterflies yesterday [Tuesday 7th April]. Waterford Heath NR. 8 peacocks, 2 small tortoiseshells, 2 brimstones. Balls Wood NR. 14 peacocks. Hertford heath NR. 4 peacocks. KingsMeads NR. 8 peacocks. 3 Brimstones flying together at Cromer [Hertfordshire] on Monday 6th April - Christopher Benton.

Quite a few sightings of Peacock today Wednesday 8th April 2015 included four together around Blackthorn blossom near the Dew Pond, Trent Park at 12:24 hrs, also two Small Tortoiseshell here. Saw a female Large White at Vicarage Farm, Enfield at 13:14 hrs today - my first of the year! Yesterday afternoon Tuesday 7th April 2015 after 16:00 hrs - 5 Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshell at Vicarage Farm, Enfield and 1 Peacock at Park Farm, Enfield. - Robert Callf

Tuesday 7th April 2015
A very fresh Peacock at Waterford north pit on Monday, in the gloom. Two male Brimstones at High Wych today - Laurence Drummond

News from Diane Andrews. On a visit to Tottenham Cemetary today she saw 1 Holly Blue, 3 Speckled Woods, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock and unknown identified white butterfly.

Hampstead Heath, still no Orange Underwings. Howwever, we did see two Holly Blues-one in our garden and one on the Parkland walk and Brimstone, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on Hampstead Heath. Speckled Wood on the Parkland Walk - Helen Bantock

Just thought I would mention the remarkable number of butterflies I have seen in the last 2 days flying around the area near my garden where I live in Tring(HP23). There have been at least 5/6 Small Tortoishells(in great condition) flying around in the warm sunshine settling on flowers as well as 2/3 Peacocks and several Brimstones. Interestingly I did not see as many butterflies when I went out for a walk earlier today around the wider countryside of Aldbury Nowers and I would say there were more than I saw here this time last year when we had a similar situation with some good weather in April. I live right next to a busy road so it obviously does not put them off. - Phil Woodward

1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock - St Faiths Close, Hitchin. 1 Brimstone - opposite entrance to Station Approach, Hitchin, TL19302974, 1 Peacock - south edge of Knebworth recreation ground TL253203. David Inward

Today I have had 3 Brimstones, 3 Small Tortoiseshells and a Peacock in my SG6 garden. On a walk across Norton Common, Letchworth, I saw a further 6 Brimstones and 2 Peacocks. - Jill Sawyer

In Balls Wood today (7th) 8 peacocks, 4 Brimstones and a comma. On Hertford Heath (Roundings) 2 Peacocks and 1 Brimstone - Andy Brown HMWT

Today I walked along the path by the railway in Bedfont Lakes Country Park. There were dozens of Peacocks along the length of the path, along with a few Commas, Brimstones and the odd Small White. There was lots of aerial dogfighting, plus a bit of courtship behaviour amongst the Peacocks.
I also managed to fit in another walk later on around my local patch at Stanwell Moor. Today I was rewarded by my first Orange Tip of the year, a rather sluggish male which pottered along the path and then basked in the late afternoon sunshine.
Dave Miller

Broxbourne woods full of peacocks, brimstones, commas and an occasional small tortoiseshell and my first orange tip. Also chiff chaffs everywhere - Steve Kiln

Repeated yesterdays walk and spotted 1 x small tortoiseshell & 1 x peacock in Bushey garden. At Water Lane 8 x small tortoiseshell, 4 x brimstone including 1 female, 6 x peacock. Lastly at Fishers Field 1 x brimstone ,2 x small tortoiseshell, 2 x peacock. A lovely day - David Gower

St John's Wood, Harpenden: 1 Small White, 1 male Brimstone, 2 Peacocks and several Small Tortoiseshells flying with the Peacocks or basking on the ground; Harpenden Common: 3 male Brimstones flying together, one stopping to feed on a dandelion flower for a brief period, 3 Peacocks and at least 6 Small Tortoiseshells cavorting in groups of 2 or 3 or basking; garden in south Harpenden: 1 male Brimstone regularly patrolling (seen on 5 occasions) and a Peacock. A good day! - David Hunt

Holly Blue in Bengeo this afternoon - Simon Knott

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. More sunshine and lots more butterflies including my first Holly Blue of the year and 4 or 5 of the inevitable Unidentified White category.Summary of those identified: Tortoiseshell: 4 Peacock: 51 Brimstone: 6 Comma: 2 Holly Blue: 1 - Pete Gore

It was beautifully warm this afternoon in Kings Langley with a peacock butterfly settling briefly on the lawn and a male holly blue in a holly bush; also various bees, a beefly and my first wasp of the season - Elizabeth Debenham

Monday 6th April 2015
Here are my butterfly sightings for Monday the 6th April in Stotfold (TL223368), just north of Letchworth. Brimstone x17, Small Tortoiseshell x18, Peacock x9 and Small White x1 - Daniel Cooper

First day of transect yesterday in Trent park. Despite being a bit windy, the sun was out and saw Brimstones, tortoishell, small white, red admiral, comma and peacocks. A good start! - Simon Pegg

Some sightings for Monday 6th April. Wareside: 1 Orange Tip - first for year fresh as a daisy 8 Brimstone - all males, 1 peacock, 3 small tortoiseshell. Hertford - Kings Mead: 1 small white, 6 brimstone, 6 small tortoiseshell, 3 peacock. Things finally on the move - Phil Macmurdie

Had a brimstone, peacock and small tortoiseshell in my WGC garden this afternoon. Also saw brimstones at a few places within Hatfield Park. Ian Flack

A bumper day for butterflies. At 10.30 a Brimstone flying north up Green Lanes. At 11.15, I liberated 1 Peacock & 1 Small Tort fluttering against my garage window. Another Brimstone crossed my garden later. My first visit to my Warren transect produced 11 Peacock & 2 Comma. A promising start to the season on a site quite exposed now following last summer's scrub clearance. Today's butterflies were mostly round sheltered margins. John Moss

Many Twitter reports today including a first report of Orange Tip at Panshanger Park seen by Jenny Sherwen and Dave Howdon getting a photo of a Light Orange Underwing moth at Horsenden Hill. Too many news items to list individually.

Our first butterfly records, 5th April - Brimstone, Stevenage Road, St Ippolyts. 6th April - 2 x Small Tortoiseshell in our garden in St Ippolyts and 1 x Small tortoiseshell St Ippolyts Sewerage Treatment Plant - Mary and Michael Hooper

On detour to shops via Fishers Field, bushey spotted 1 x small tortoiseshell and at Water Lane, Watford counted 5 x small tortoiseshell, 3 x male brimstone, 1 x peacock. At home in Bushey garden 1 x peacock and late afternoon at Merryhill Fields 13 x peacock & 4 x small tortoiseshell. On way home 1 x peacock in Beechcroft Road, Bushey (TQ121958) - David Gower

Walking home from work this afternoon (6th) near Bedfont Lakes Country Park, I spotted a Peacock, a Brimstone and a Small White. Just to the south of the cargo area at Heathrow, I saw further Brimstones and Small Whites, plus a likely Comma. Arriving home in Stanwell Moor, I then set out for the first proper circuit of my local patch this year in decent weather. Over a leisurely hour and a half, Commas, Peacocks and Brimstones predominated, all very active and tussling with each other, though the Brimstones really weren't interested unless they found a Small White. There were a few of these, and like the Brimstones, they were completely unapproachable. I found a single Red Admiral, in exactly the same spot as the one I saw on 22nd March, but the photos show a different individual. Finally, on the approach to home there is a wide grassy area where dandelions and daisies are now emerging. Most years, this is where I see my first local Small Tortoiseshell, and today was no different, with one individual nectaring on a dandelion.
- Dave Miller

Tristan and I walked over to Hampstead Heath and had 2 Brimstones and a Peacock there and a Small White on the Parkland Walk. No Orange Underwings though.Tristan found a lot of small beetles-several different ones -in a muddy pool by the last remnant of wet heath that is fenced off - Helen Bantock

2x small whites and 2x peacocks @ TQ102750, 1x Holly blue @ TQ125749, - Paul Taylor

Tweeted my sightings earlier but thought I ought to send you an email too. I saw my first orange tip this afternoon in Lady Hughes Wood, Panshanger. I also saw 2 brimstone, 4 peacocks & 6 small tortoiseshells in my garden (Hertford). - Jenny Sherwen

2 brimstones, one peacock and a small tortoiseshell in Stocking Pelham today (6th) - Andy Brown

On waste ground opposite Croxley Common Moor (on the other side of the Canal); ten or more Peacocks, seven Brimstones (all males), four Small Tortoiseshells and three Commas. All these insects seemed to be in near-perfect condition. Graham Elcombe.

Bricket wood common - fantastic sunny morning to kick off the Transect year. 4 male Brimstones,1 comma and 8 Peacocks. One Peacock was nectaring on goat willow along with a host of bee species, showing what a valuable nectar source this plant can be. One pair of peacocks were courting, preparing to start a new butterfly year - Malcolm Hull

A few reports to make - 1 Peacock at Camlet Moat, Trent Park at 11:40 hrs on Sunday 5th April 2015. Today Monday 6th April 2015 - 1 male Brimstone at Whitewebbs Wood at 09:31 hrs, 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Whitwebbs Wood at 10:33 hrs and 2 Peacock and 2 Comma here also. - Robert Callf

What a start to the transect season! For my Stevenage transect today I counted 30 Peacocks (a record for an overwintering adult) and 13 Small Tortoiseshells (also the most I've seen of this species in early spring). Anything to do with the fact that today is the first really fine, mild day weather-wise this year to encourage the butterflies to be more active? On the other hand, only 2 Commas and they weren't flying - strange! - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane. What a difference a few extra degrees heat and continuous sunshine makes! Here are today's sightings: Brimstone:9 (2 females my first of the year),Peacock:25 includes my first of the year, Tortoiseshell: 3 Comma:1. A fleeting glimpse of what may well have been an Orange-Tip but it managed to disappear disconcertingly quickly before I had time to confirm. - Pete Gore

PM .... Fir & Pond Woods NR HMWT....4 brimstone and 8 peacocks seen at different sites around the Reserve. - David Gompertz

Today (6/4/15) in Ruislip Woods (mainly edge of Poors Field,the LNR + Copse Wood) I counted: 8 male Brimstone, 1 Small White Reservoir Rd, 8 Peacock, 3 Comma (all in the LNR), 4 Small Tortoiseshell - Neil Anderson

Colney Heath garden - 1 Brimstone and 1 Peacock in our back garden. Both species seen twice so possibly more than 1 of each. Don't recall ever seeing a Brimstone in our garden before. Steve Evans and Ann Lee

Butterflies seen today (06/04/2015): 6 Brimstone, 2 Peacock - Burymead Springs, Hitchin TL187310, 1 Brimstone - Cadwell Lane industrial area north, Hitchin TL189308, 1 Brimstone - Cadwell Lane playing field north, Hitchin TL189307, 1 Brimstone, 2 small tortoiseshell - Cadwell Lane playing field south, Hitchin TL190306, 1 Brimstone, 1 comma, 1 Peacock, 10 small tortoiseshell - Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1930, 1 Brimstone - St Faiths Close, Hitchin TL19863031 - David Inward

During a walk along the river Stort this afternoon I saw: Near Bishops's Stortford station: 5 small Tortoiseshells, 3 peacocks. Rushy Mead nature reserve: 1 small tortoiseshell. Thorley Wash nature reserve: 4 peacocks, 1 comma - Chris Gleeson

Peacock butterfly in Hitchin garden - Martin Banthorpe

First confirmed sighting this year of a pristine Peacock this morning in Eastcote garden, an unidentified "Vanessid"-type butterfly having been fleetingly glanced through the window on March 26th - Gill and Tony Porter

Sunday 5th April 2015
1 Small tortoiseshell butterfly seen today 05/04/15 Burymead Springs, near Hitchin - David Inward

I was pleased to see a Small Tortoiseshell whilst on a walk around Royston Heath. 3.35pm - Kevin Wilson

My first sighting this year was a small tortoiseshell which landed on a blue hyacinth in our Bushey garden today. Went on a walk to Water Lane and Fishers Field but no sun or sightings. - David Gower

Friday 3rd April 2015
I was surprised to see a probable Comma zoom round in my Hatfield garden today & disappear before I could focus on it. Time 14.40, T. c12C, cloudy, no breeze. This is only the 2nd this year. Hoping for warmer weather to start my transect walks - John Moss

Thursday 2nd April 2015
I saw a peacock yesterday at Amwell viewpoint. Today I saw 1 peacock and 1 small tortoiseshell at Hunsdon Meads - Jenny Sherwen

Some sightings for Grovelands Park, Southgate today (Thursday 2nd April 2015) - 1 Red Admiral at 13:24 and 14:46 hrs, 1 male Brimstone at 14:42 hrs and 2 Comma together at 14:48 - 14:51 hrs. - Robert Callf

I saw today (02 Apr 2015) 2 Brimstone butterflies, one at Harkness Court, Hitchin and at least 1 at St Faiths Close, Hitchin. Both are flats and gardens. It could have been the same butterfly. - David Inward

March 20th afternoon - Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock settled and feeding and Brimstone in flight. My garden Letchworth Garden City. Brimstone in flight on Norton Common, Letchworth Garden City. April 2nd Norton Common - 2 Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell in flight and a Comma feeding - Jill Sawyer

Brimstone, 02/04/2015, Pirton Road Hitchin Herts, TL172289, Andy Banthorpe

A couple of butterfly records from Harpenden: Thursday 2nd April 2015: 1 male Brimstone patrolling the edges and rides of St John's Wood, Harpenden; 1 female Brimstone investigating bushes along a hedgerow and sunning herself on a low bank, Harpenden Common plus 1 Peacock at same location. 1 Peacock in a south Harpenden garden. - David Hunt

Bengeo this afternnon : Peacock, Comma and male Brimstone - Simon Knott

Red Admiral, comMa and brimstone in Enfield today! - Simon Pegg

Saw brimstone in Graveley and 2 peacocks, 2 commas and one small tortoiseshell at Waterford heath south and 2 chiffchaffs - Steve Kiln

Wednesday 1st April 2015
One Comma settled on field at Vicarage Farm, Enfield (TQ3097) at 13:27 hrs this afternoon Wednesday 1st April 2015. - Robert Callf

Hertford Heath 1st April - on the Goldington site, one Brimstone in the large ride near Haileybury - Andy Brown

Peacock reported at Amwell Reserve by Amwell Birding on Twitter

March 2015

Tuesday 31st March 2015 March 2015
On Tuesday 31st March, I saw my first comma settled on a fallen camellia bloom in Kings Langley about 12.30pm in sunshine. Elizabeth Debenham

I saw a comma butterfly at Ivel Springs, Baldock - David Inward

Friday 27th March 2015 March 2015
I saw two quite active Comma butterflies at Cheney Fields, Eastcote, Middlesex - Paul Busby

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane Pevensey 2 male Brimstones on the Marshalling Yards. A mix of cloud and sunshine.Cowslips blooming on Pevensey and a party of Mallards seem to have discovered the joys of echo by quacking loudly in the Crane's culvert under the Marshalling Yards. Still a slow start for butterflies though. - Pete Gore

I saw 1 Small Tortoiseshell at lunchtime today at Mymms Wash behind the South Mimms Services - Terry Wood

Monday 23rd March 2015
Two butterflies in Trent Park today Monday 23rd March 2015 - 1 Comma on south edge of Rough Lot at 11:43 hrs and 1 Red Admiral in set-aside field near Dew Pond at 12:22 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White

I took a walk around Tyttenhanger gravel pits this morning and saw my first Comma of the year in the Garden Wood area. As I returned along the river Colne, ahead of me a butterfly flew across my path and then away across the river; I think it was probably a Small Tortoiseshell. - Terry Wood

Sunday 22nd March 2015
Today (22nd) was my first stroll around my local patch at Stanwell Moor this year in decent weather. I was rewarded with my first two sightings: an unexpected Small White, and a thoroughly expected Red Admiral. No Peacocks, Commas, Small Tortoiseshells or Brimstones yet, though.
I should also report I saw a Peacock at Bedfont Lakes Country Park on 12th - Dave Miller

Friday 20th March 2015
One Small Tortoiseshell along Salmons Brook at Parkside Farm, Enfield Friday 20th March 2015 at 14:59 hrs. - Robert Callf

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane/Pevensey. A bright sunny afternoon followed a cloudy morning concealing the eclipse and I finished slightly frustrated with three times as many unidentified sightings as identified - the one butterfly I did have time to recognise was a Comma on the path which connects the Crane/Pevensey section of my walk to the Marshalling Yards.This is a favoured area for both Comma and Small Tortoiseshell with extensive nettle-beds on both sides. - Pete Gore

Wednesday 18th March 2015
A red admiral was settled inside a camelia bloom in my garden in Kings Langley on March 18th on a sunny lunchtime - Elizabeth Debenham

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards /Crane/Pevensey. Just two butterflies on today's walk,mostly in sunshine: a Comma on the Marshalling Yards and on the return journey across the Heath where the Gorse is in full bloom amongst the Heather my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year. The Willows are now in bloom and attracting sundry insects but not yet butterflies. - Pete Gore

Sunday 15th March 2015
My first butterfly of the year. Barley, near Royston on the 10 March 2015. Brimstone - Christopher Benton

Friday 13th March 2015
Saw a Small Tortoiseshell settled on the path near the lake in Grovelands Park, Southgate, N14 this afternoon Friday 13th March 2015 at 12:22 hrs. - Robert Callf

Thursday 12th March 2015
On 'Celandine Walk', by River Pinn between Pinner and Eastcote, (MR 113 892): Three Small Tortoiseshells, and one Comma, all in very good condition. - Graham Elcombe

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards/Crane/Pevensey A lengthy walk today, all of it in sunshine. My first Brimstone of the year near a much-favoured spot on the Marshalling Yards followed by a second,also male, on the River Crane section of the Crane/Pevensey loop I walk. This section has seen fairly substantial clearance of scrub and the installation of a small footbridge across the Pevensey drainage channel where it flows into the Crane.If sustained this will make it easier to walk and perhaps a little bit more open for butterflies. One other sighting on the Marshalling Yards is my first unidentified of the year -most likely a Comma. - Pete Gore

Peacock left its hibernation quarters in the space above my dustbin cupboard earlier today. This afternoon, I saw a Comma basking on a piece of rock by the brook at Shackledell Grassland only a metre or two away from my Peacock sighting last week. Most of the grassland was mechanically cut down to ground level in the winter so it will be interesting to see what will turn up later in the year. A Small Tortoiseshell (with most of one of its hindwings missing) was basking on the grass in Fairlands Valley Park just south of Six Hills Way. Still waiting for my first Brimstone! - Peter Clarke

A few sightings for today Thursday 12th March 2015 - 1 Peacock edge of Shaws Wood, Trent Park at 13:36 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell near Shaws Cottages, Trent Park at 13:37 hrs; 1 Small Tortoiseshell near Dew Pond, Trent Park at 13:44 hrs and probably a different one edge of Williams Wood at 13:46 hrs; 1 Comma nectaring on emerging Giant Hogweed along Leeging Beech Gutter near 'Three-bridges' Trent Park at 13:58 hrs - my first of the year - Robert Callf

Wednesday 11th March 2015
Three butterflies to report today Wednesday 11th March 2015 - 2 Small Tortoiseshell near Shaws Cottages, Trent Park (south facing side) at 10:35 hrs and 1 Red Admiral at 'Old Golf Course' Trent Park at 11:10 hrs - Robert Callf/Robin White.

2 small tortoisehells at Marsworth Reservoir this morning and one at Aldbury Nowers later on this morning. - Paul Thrush

2 small tortoishells seen today (11/03/2015) at grassy area at entrance to Lanterns Lane wood, Gresley Way, Stevenage - David Inward

Tuesday 10th March 2015
News from Diane Andrews, 3 Small Tortoiseshell at Brunswick Park, East Barnet.

Small Tortoishell at Old Hale Way allotment site and Brimstone Hitchin garden, both 10 March 2015 - Nigel Agar

Saw my first Speckled Wood of the year And first ever for March at Western corner of Startops Reservoir Tring at about Ipm today. Another was half way along the North East side of Wilstone Reservoir about an hour later. It was sunny with a temperature of about 13 degrees C. - Graham Beevor

Sunny afternoon and blue skies and I saw a Red Admiral basking and circling around a new clearing of Highgrove Wood, Eastcote (TQ14882) and then briefly a Small Tortoiseshell by the paddling pool flower bed in Warrender Park, Eastcote, Middlesex (TQ104878). - Paul Busby

2 small tortoiseshell butterflies seen today, Walsworth Common, Hitchin TL1971130219. sunny warm dry. - David Inward

Rather surprisingly, given the weather, just 2 Small tortoiseshell chasing along the gardens in Kingsway Ware. Laurence Drummond

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards Despite many hours spent walking in sunny weather,including even on Saturday 7th March when the temperature reached 15 or so, butterflies have eluded me until today with a Red Admiral on the Marshalling Yards and, on the return journey across the Heath via the railway path,a brief glimpse of my first Comma of the year.I'm surprised to be still waiting for Brimstone and Peacock. - Pete Gore

We had our first Brimstone of the year at Thorley Wash today! It was a pale female - Jenny Sherwen

Tuesday afternoon, Fir & Pond Woods NR...a comma sunning itself by the path at the top of the meadow. - David Gompertz

In Stocking Pelham today a Red Admiral enjoying the sunshine - Andy Brown HMWT

Saw a Peacock at Vicarage Farm, Enfield this morning Tuesday 10th March 2015 at 11:52 hrs. - Robert Callf

I took a lunchtime walk today in Wash Lane Common (behind South Mimms Services) and watched my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year fly past me - Terry Wood

My garden in Hitchin produced on 7th March at 10.45 am a pristine Yellow Brimstone - really deep yellow. Early on 10th 9.50 am although only 6 deg. Small Tortoiseshell flew from sunny house wall to front garden and up the road ! Val Fullforth

Monday 9th March 2015
Only a male Brimstone so far in the garden (Hemel Hempstead) - Malcolm Newland

Finally the sun is (was) out.... Saturday 7th March 1 brimstone - tescos in Ware, 2 brimstones - Wareside - one male one female. Also had a mint moth (Pyrausta aurata) in the kitchen - Which makes up for the lack outside.. - Phil Macmurdie

Sunday 8th March 2015
In Stocking Pelham today one Peacock and one small tortoiseshell - Andy Brown HMWT

I saw a peacock butterfly in my garden in Hertford yesterday and a comma in Colney Heath today - Jenny Sherwen

Saturday 7th March 2015
There is more news on the Facebook page under 'It is a Brimstone day'

Male brimstones at several locations and a single peacock in Sherrardspark Wood - Ian Flack

Sawbridgeworth - one Brimstone and one small Tortoiseshell - my first Butterflies of the season! - Andy Brown HMWT

News from Diane Andrews......First butterfly of the year in her north London garden, a male Brimstone. In the afternoon, a Comma at Alexandra Palace

A few sightings to report today Saturday 7th March 2015 - 1 Peacock S edge of Rough Lot, Trent Park at 12:18 hrs; 2 Small Tortoiseshell together nectaring on emerging Giant Hogweed along Leeging Beech Gutter near 'Three-bridges' Trent Park at 12:58 hrs; also a probable Peacock seen in flight at Vicarage Farm - Robert Callf/Robin White.

I saw my first butterflies of the year. 1 Brimstone at the entrance to The Priory, Bridge Street, Hitchin TL18392883 over a patch of coltsfoot by a pond. 1 Brimstone and an unidentified blackish butterfly on the road verge Cambridge Road, Hitchin, east of Meadowbank TL19612991, over a patch of lesser celandine and daisies. It was sunny and warm but windy, so there may have been quite a few around. - David Inward

I went on a nature walk "First Signs of Spring" at Cranford Country Park, Middlesex lovely warm Spring day and we were rewarded with the following sightings: 2 male Brimstones along an ivy covered perimeter wall backing onto the M4 (TQ-099782), then a Comma along a hedgerow (TQ099774) and finally another male Brimstone flying across the bankside of the River Crane (TQ102778). - Paul Busby

My first butterfly of the year: a male Brimstone in my Harpenden garden. It's already been followed by three more. A total of five male Brimstones in our part of Harpenden today, plus my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year. For good measure, another male Brimstone at the allotment at Coldharbour (also in Harpenden). - Alan Jackson

Sighting of female brimstone along Batchwood Drive St Albans today - Andy Steele

I just thought I would let you know that today (Sat 8th) I saw a male brimstone at Northolt Station (TQ132 845) in some scrub alongside the railway track - David Coollng

A Peacock in Belmont Road, Hemel Hempstead on Friday 6th March and a Red Admiral along the New River in Hornsey on March 7th - Andrew Wood

And they are off! 16 degrees in St Albans at lunchtime and today's sightings did not disappoint. 5 Small Tortoiseshells and 1 Brimstone in St Albans, 2 Brimstones in Chiswell Green, 4 Brimstones and 4 Comma at Bricket Wood Common. Wet conditions on the Common limited management works this winter, but the pond has been cleared and brambles/scrub removed from parts of the clearing. Sallows, Alder Buckthorn and Gorse has been retained in areas that have been cut - Malcolm Hull

Saw 2 Brimstone today in private woods at Southern Green, Rushden - John Dingemans

Beautiful fresh Brimstone circling my Hatfield garden today. First this year - John Moss

They are out again. Three peacocks and a brimstone at Waterford heath and back in our garden in Bengeo 3 tortoiseshells, a peacock and a brimstone - Steve Kiln

First sighting today (7th Mar) of male Brimstone in garden in Hitchin - Martin Banthorpe

First garden (Harpenden) butterfly of the year for me this morning - a male Brimstone. - Robin Pearson

Friday 6th March 2015
At Stanmore Country Park today, 6th.March I saw two Brimstone Butterflies along the ride by marker post No19 - Peter Elton

Peacock at Shackledell Grassland by the brook earlier today at around 2 pm. By the way, the Red Admiral I saw by Watery Grove was on 18th Feb - Peter Clarke

A Small Tortoishell in my garden (on crocus) midday today, 6th March. Location: Ruislip, postal code HA4. - Philip Toms

Thursday 5th March 2015
A Small Tortoiseshell in my front garden (on crocuses) in Letchworth Garden City. This is my first sighting this year and spotted as I was reading the new Butterfly Conservation Magazine! - Jill Sawyer

Wedneday 4th March 2015
Robin White saw a Red Admiral settled along Leeging Beech Gutter near Water Garden, Trent Park Tuesday 3rd March 2015 late morning news via Robert Callf

Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Had my first butterfly sighting of the year today Tuesday 3rd March 2015 - 1 Peacock flew past me near Shaws Cottages, Trent Park at 13:30 hrs - Robert Callf

Monday 2nd March 2015
A large Red admiral, in good condition, gliding around gardens in Ware park road Hertford, along the unmade part where the Rib meets the Lee - Laurence Drummond

February 2015

Friday 27th February 2015
I saw 2 Small Tortoiseshells 100m apart in Tring at about 13.00. One was taking moisture from some mud for about 30 minutes. I can't recall seeing nymphalids do that, from mud? - Nick Bowles

This morning I visited Myddleton House in Enfield to see the famous display of Snowdrops. I was thrilled to see my first Butterfly of the year - a Red Admiral sunning itself on one of the Snowdrop flowers!- Terry Wood

Wednesday 25 February. Saw my first butterfly of the year: a brimstone in the Pinetum at Bayfordbury - Ian Flack

Wednesday 25th February 2015
My first Butterfly of the year, a Red Admiral out of hibernation. Basking in the sun on the grass at Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living, 17th February at 2.30.till 3.46pm. - Jacqueline George

Wednesday 18th February 2015
I saw a Red Admiral in Barnard Park, Islington on a flowering Hebe. It was a gloriously sunny day. - Jo Murray

Nice red admiral in horse pastures at Gosmore /nursing home environs - Stuart Pittman

Red Admiral on SW edge of Watery Grove at about 1330 hours (corrected date 07/03/15) - Peter Clarke

Hounslow Heath/Marshalling Yards After several butterfly-less walks in reasonably good conditions (8th,9th and 15th) today was perhaps 1 degree warmer and brought out my first butterfly of the year, a Red Admiral sunbathing on the riverside path just after I emerged from the Cavalry Tunnel on my return journey. It stayed for some time,eventually flying high and strongly up-river past me. Another sighting, much smaller, flew butterfly-like across my path as I approached the heather alongside the railway. Given the time of year I assume this was most likely a moth but despite searching and waiting a little while I was unable to see it again or get sufficient information to try to identify it. - Pete Gore

Tuesday 17th February 2015
1 Peacock Butterfly on farm track at Southern Green, near Buntingford. Just to follow that I had a Small Tortoiseshell in my garden at Southern Green. - John Dingemans

I saw my first butterfly of the year today. A Peacock in Tring cemetery - Nick Bowles

Tuesday 10th February 2015
16.15 today, a Small Tortoiseshell, hunkered down along the side of a step between floor 7 and 8 at Tower heights Hoddesdon, maybe woken by yesterdays warmth and now trying to get back into hibernation! Laurence Drummond

Monday 9th February 2015
Peacocks, we had two in our Ashwell garden today Surprised to see them so early - Richard Holdsworth

I saw a small tortoiseshell flying, and subsequently settling, on Bricket Wood Common - Chris Newman

Sunday 8th February 2015
Went to Norton Green this afternoon searching for Red Admirals and Purple Emperor larvae (on 2 sallows around Watery Grove). I did not find either but I was very pleased to see a Small Tortoiseshell basking in the sun on the south-facing bank in the northern section by the travellers' site. Although the air temperature was generally about 7 degrees the bank afforded some shelter from the north-westerly winds. Peter Clarke

First butterfly for me this year, a Peacock today (8th Feb) in Gunnels Wood Road Stevenage-near junction with Six Hills Way - Phil Bishop

Monday 2nd February 2015
Red Admiral flying in sun at lunchtime in the grounds of Bio Products Laboratory, Elstree - Anna Hull

January 2015

Monday 26th January 2015
A male Brimstone butterfly in Park Wood 15th January, flying around in coppice area - Dr Colin Bowlt

Deep joy yesterday: whilst tidying up the garden I came across two Orange-tip pupae (a few photos on the facebook page). Last year I had observed half a dozen OT larvae grow up to full size on a single Garlic mustard plant that had self-seeded in my garden and I searched diligently around the area for the pupae but without success, until yesterday. Tidying up around the base of a shrub (Spiraea japonica) over a meter away from the site of the Garlic mustard, what looked like a green leaf emerging caught my eye enough to give it a second look. It only took a couple of seconds for me to realise that I had found the OT pupa I had been looking for. A more intense search of the shrub only revealed one more pupa, about 20cm away. Both pupae were of the green variety, rather than the more common brown. I just hope that they don't fall prey to the robins and wrens that are nesting in a nearby hedge; it would be great to have the opportunity to photograph the next stage of their development. - Bob Clift

Sunday 11th January 2015
A Red Admiral flying in the sun around noon today on The Warren, Hartham Common, Hertford - Andrew Wood

Friday 9th January 2015
Red admiral on Friday 9th 10.40 AM. Fir & Pond Woods NR at the lower edge of Pond Wood by the meadow. Great views - David Gompertz

Wednesday 7th January 2015
Reporting from Middle Temple Garden EC4Y 7AT. One Peacock butterfly seen today 7th January 2015 picture attached (see Facebook page). It was indeed a grey day and a light wind which picked up as the day went on. The temperature here in central London was about 9 degrees. Interestingly the silvery material in shot is scrap of tin foil so one assumes the butterfly had worked out that its beneficial reflective properties. But Tom (photographer) would agree that it may be disturbance out of hibernation- a useful reminder not to overdo the tidying. - Kate Jenrick Head Gardener Middle Temple

December 2014

Tuesday 30th December 2014
I have read up and I gather it is not at all uncommon, but for me it was a first - a Red Admiral flying up to me as I used our outside gas barbecue at 19:55 on 22nd December 2014. It settled near the garden lighting on a fig tree branch near some ivy and I took a photo on my iPhone. It was a still but quite cold evening in our sheltered south facing South Hampstead garden - Dr Asheesh K Das

Saturday 27th December 2014
Todays Brown Hairstreak egghunt on Walthamstow Marshes was organised to try and confirm the presence of the species at this site. The location is right on the border of Middx and Essex, the adult sighting reported last August being about 500 meters into Essex. 6 of us searched for just under two hours in ideal conditions. Both the quality and quantity of the foodplant (Blackthorn) was excellent. Surprisingly some of the Blackthorn was already in flower, but not enough to hinder our task. Unfortunately no butterfly eggs were found, though we did locate a couple of moth eggs. The site is an SSSI which lies in the Lea Valley close to the southern end of Epping Forest. There have been a few intermitent records of Brown Hairstreak from the Forest in recent times. The Forest was a renowned location for Brown Hairstreak in Victorian times, although it is widely believed to have died out in the area at the end of the nineteenth century - Malcolm Hull

Thursday 25th December 2014
I was a bit surprised to see a Red Admiral butterfly at Bentley Priory, Stanmore on the 25th December - Phil (photo on the facebook page)

A Peacock fluttering outside a window in Hatfield on 23rd December. - Allan Burrows

Sunday 21st 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 Small Tortoiseshell, very beautiful, came into our home in Bishops Stortford today. The kids opened the window, and an hour or two later, the butterfly was cavorting around the ceiling lamp. And it didn't want to leave - I did finally convince it to leave my finger and go outside! - Shoshana Hantman

Friday 19th December 2014
Friday 19th in front garden Bengeo - one red admiral - Steve Kiln

Saw a Red Admiral in the sunshine at Bow, East London - Roger Osborne (news via C & E Branch)

Thursday 18th December 2014
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
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