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

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

April 2015

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.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=66063&mode=view
Aside from a few Speckled Woods and a Comma, all of the other butterflies were Whites of various types, predominantly Green-veined ones now.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=66061&mode=view
Both Large and Small were also spotted, and five or six Orange Tips, including one female.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=66067&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=66069&mode=view
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:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/17079478170/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/17079265438/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64663114@N03/17079263998/
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.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65551&mode=view
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.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65558&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65559&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65566&mode=view
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.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65363&mode=view
17th April - Three resting Holly Blues, one of which did eventually stir. Also one Speckled Wood.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65467&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65468&mode=view
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.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65345&mode=view
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.
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65348&mode=view
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/download/file.php?id=65342&mode=view
- 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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- 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.
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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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