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Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
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Sightings 2020

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

Archive   2019  2018  2017 (Jan-Jun)  2017 (Jul-Dec) 2001-2016

Please email Peter Clarke (peter.clarke4@ntlworld.com) to send in your news.

Please include grid reference (6 digits preferred but 4 digits will do) or post code for your sightings. Grid reference can be obtained here. Most, if not all, sightings listed here with sufficient detail given, will be added to the branch database but see note below.

You can use the iRecord app to submit your records. Alternatively, you can enter your records using a spreadsheet which can be downloaded here for butterflies or moths. More details can be found on the General Recording page for butterflies and Moth pages for moths.

NOTE: To avoid any duplication, if you are submitting records to the Branch Recorder (Andrew Wood) and also have any of them listed on the sightings page please let Andrew know.

Photos are welcome and a selection will be posted on this webpage but please keep these to a reasonably small size. Provide a link if your photo is on an external application like Flickr. Alternatively post your photo on Facebook.


Date Description Recorder
20 Feb St Albans Shed: Small Tortoiseshell - 30 hibernating and 1 dead. Evidence of cobwebs around a couple of others shows spider attacks have occurred. The number of hibernating Small Tortoiseshells has reduced by 5 since the peak in late September, though there is evidence of only one corpse. Interestingly there has been no change in numbers during the last three months, perhaps indicating that losses take place relatively early in the hibernation period. Maybe some individuals are more vulnerable, possibly due to the positions they choose in the shed. Peacock numbers are unchanged - still 13, same since the start of September. This is great news as I've found in previous years that Peacocks are more susceptible to predation Malcolm Hull
17 Feb Had a male Brimstone flitting round my Harpenden garden in the afternoon sunshine Robin Pearson
12 Feb Four Brown Hairstreak eggs at Ickenham on blackthorn that missed being flailed close to the Austin's Lane entrance. Later at a site in Hillingdon close to the A40 / River Pinn and railway line 6 eggs were found in what we believe to be a new 2km square (Photos: Andrew Middleton)

Brown Hairstreak egg Ickenham 12 Feb Brown Hairstreak Liz blackthorn Ickenham 12 Feb
Liz Goodyear
Andrew Middleton
6 Feb Peacock sunning itself seen at woodland edge in Bramfield Woods (TL290177). Seen by Petra Schmelzer (Ian Flack)
6 Feb St Albans - Brimstone reported in today's bright sunshine, from my neighbours garden (Malcolm Hull)
6 Feb St Albans - disturbed two plume moths while removing weeds from the butterfly bed on my allotment. Look how well camouflaged this one is! My first moving Lepidoptera of the year

White Plume St Albans 6 Feb
Malcolm Hull
4 Feb In previously un-surveyed fields at Ickenham 86 Brown Hairstreak eggs found in 7 hours - about 1 every 10 mins. (Photo: Andrew Middleton)

Brown Hairstreak eggs Ickenham 4 Feb
Liz Goodyear
Andrew Middleton
1 Feb A single male Brimstone battling against the wind at a sunny Church Hill, Therfield while volunteers cleared scrub around midday James Fowler


Date Description Recorder
29 Jan Red Admiral in Bengeo garden Simon Knott
28 Jan Previously un-surveyed fields at Ickenham produced an amazing total of 41 Brown Hairstreak eggs during an afternoon of searching (Photos: Andrew Middleton)

Brown Hairstreak egg Ickenham 28 Jan Brown Hairstreak blackthorn Ickenham 28 Jan Brown Hairstreak habitat Ickenham 28 Jan
Liz Goodyear
Andrew Middleton
26 Jan Male Spring Usher of 'melanic variety' at ASDA Southgate (Identified mostly on size and shape, also seen at this site before but not this variety. Confident that it was not a Dotted Border - which seems to be the only confusion species) Robert Callf
21 Jan Red Admiral enjoying the sunshine at the Warren, Bengeo, this afternoon Chris Benton
18 Jan Red Admiral in Bushey front garden this morning David Gower
17 Jan Amazed to see a Red Admiral flying around in Gordon Road on my walk to Bounds Green tube at 11.30 this morning, it felt far too cold to be seeing this Miles Attenborough
16 Jan Red Admiral, 1st butterfly of year, in Bengeo garden Simon Knott
15 Jan My neighbour reported a Red Admiral sighting in her Ware garden during a moment of sunshine (Liz Goodyear)
10 Jan I saw a beautiful Peacock whilst out walking in Stocking Pelham Andy Brown
10 Jan Just found a Large White in Watford in a rose bed! Some of the roses are still in flower! Ian Bennell
9 Jan Bruce Carson recorded Alexandra Palace's first butterfly of the year, a rather tatty Red Admiral. The butterfly was in the Blandford Hall area of the park (Photo: Bruce Carson)

Red Admiral Alexandra Park 9 Jan
(Gerry Rawcliffe)
9 Jan Small Tortoiseshell in field behind my house in Tring

Small Tortoiseshell Tring 9 Jan
Nick Bowles
8 Jan I never thought my first 2020 butterfly would be a male Holly Blue, but I spotted it beneath a big ivy hedge in Bengeo, it flew several times for short distances. There is a short video on the branch Facebook page

Holly Blue Bengeo 8 Jan
Andrew Wood
7 Jan Comma from my Stevenage moth trap Ben Sale
4 Jan My earliest ever sighting and it so lifts the heart. A Peacock fluttering past my window in Northchurch before landing on a house over the Road, I can be sure of the ID as I took a close look. It is likely it was disturbed by a neighbour taking stuff to the dump, but still, a free flying butterfly in the sunshine, lovely Sue Taylor
3 Jan I saw a Peacock at Long Deans NR, resting on a log in the sun. My first butterfly of the year! Jenny Sherwen

First sightings 2020
Peacock3 Jan
Comma7 Jan
Holly Blue8 Jan
Small Tortoiseshell9 Jan
Red Admiral9 Jan
Large White10 Jan
Brimstone1 Feb
For more details see Branch first and last sightings page

First sightings 2019
Peacock8 Jan
Red Admiral18 Jan
Comma28 Jan
Brimstone14 Feb
Small Tortoiseshell14 Feb
Painted Lady23-Feb
Small White25 Feb
Holly Blue27 Feb
Camberwell Beauty9 Mar
Large White21 Mar
Orange-tip24 Mar
Speckled Wood24 Mar
Green-veined White29 Mar
Small Heath15 Apr
Small Copper20 Apr
Green Hairstreak21 Apr
Grizzled Skipper21 Apr
Dingy Skipper21 Apr
Small Blue30 Apr
Brown Argus30 Apr
Common Blue1 May
Large Skipper20 May
Meadow Brown30 May
Purple Hairstreak1 Jun
Small Skipper3 Jun
White-letter Hairstreak8 Jun
Marbled White14 Jun
Ringlet16 Jun
Dark Green Fritillary16 Jun
Essex Skipper17 Jun
Purple Emperor22 Jun
White Admiral23 Jun
Gatekeeper24 Jun
Silver-washed Fritillary27 Jun
Chalkhill Blue2 Jul
Brown Hairstreak28 Jul
Clouded Yellow29 Jul
Queen of Spain Fritillary20 Aug
Adonis Blue20 Aug
For more details see Branch first and last sightings page
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