Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and the environment
Butterfly Conservation
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ARCHIVE SIGHTINGS FOR 2010

 

This page contains the sightings of all the butterflies and moths reported on the main Sightings page during 2010.

Photos submitted during the year can be seen by clicking here.

Click here to return to the current Sightings page.

First & Last 'Website' Sightings 2010

 Grayling 14th Aug <-> 14th Aug Purple Emperor 9th July <-> 18th July
 DG Fritillary 2nd July <-> 25th July Chalkhill Blue 5th July <-> 2nd Oct
 Gatekeeper 5th July <-> 31st Aug SW Fritillary 28th Jun <-> 25th Aug
 White Admiral 24th Jun <-> 25th July W-L H'streak 24th Jun <-> 11th Aug
 Purple H'steak 23rd Jun <-> 11th Aug Ringlet 22nd Jun <-> 8th Aug
 Essex Skipper 21st Jun <-> 7th Aug Marbled White 21st Jun <-> 28th July
 Small Skipper 18th Jun <-> 11th Aug Meadow Brown 11th Jun <-> 9th Oct
 Black H'streak 9th Jun <-> 8th July Large Skipper 5th Jun <-> 3rd Aug
 Heath Fritillary 29th May <-> 10th July Clouded Yellow 22nd May <-> 11th Oct
 Wall Brown 21st May <-> 25th Sep Painted Lady 18th May <-> 11th Sep
 Common Blue 15th May <-> 2nd Oct Brown Argus 13th May <-> 30th Sep
 Dingy Skipper 29th Apr <-> 2nd Jun Small Heath 29th Apr <> 2nd Oct
 Grizzled Skipper 17th Apr <-> 11th June Holly Blue 15th Apr <-> 7th Oct
 Large White 13th Apr <-> 2nd Oct Green Hairstreak 13th Apr <-> 20th June
 Orange Tip 11th Apr <-> 20th Jun Speckled Wood 10th Apr <-> 17th Oct
 GV White 10th Apr <-> 10th Oct Small Copper 8th Apr <-> 25th Oct
 Small White 28th Mar <-> 18th Oct Red Admiral 4th Mar <-> 6th Nov
 Small T'shell 2nd Mar <-> 24th Oct Comma 2nd Mar <-> 14th Nov
 Peacock 6th Jan <-> 10th Nov Brimstone 27th Feb <-> 27th Oct
Note: Some of these sightings were made at private sites with no public access


* * * GRAYLING FOUND IN ESSEX * * *

November 2010

Sunday 14th November
Kirtling (TL688567) Saw a Comma today enjoying some early morning sunshine. Sharon Hearle

Wednesday 10th November
Toft (TL359562) A Peacock seen by Clive Sinclair in his garden.

Saturday 6th November
Weald CP, Brentwood (TQ5795) 1 Red Admiral flew past the main car park and another settled on the ground for 10 minutes at the top of The Belvedere (TQ571940), much appreciated by all of us attending Havering EWT group walk. Also 2 poorly seen flyby vanessids - a probable Peacock near the lake and possible Comma over Bluebell Pond. (CJ + above group). Colin Jupp
D'Engaynes Fen (TL514593) A single Red Admiral flying weakly in the sun at around midday. Seems as though the pupal case stuck on its back and, in flying, has damaged the fore-wings... (photo attached). Nick Ballard
Backwarden NT (TL780037) A Red Admiral seen by warden Barry Hough and Fergus Evans in the midday sunshine. Also a Grey Shoulder Knot moth in the bark folds near the base of a felled birch tree. Rob Smith
Hardwick (TL375597) A Red Admiral seen by Tony Roberts.

Thursday 4th November
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) When I returned through the cemetery at lunchtime, a single Red Admiral was basking on a white gravestone. This warm spell has also prompted some late flowering of a variety of plants such as clary, yarrow, hawksbit, alcanet, daises and cranesbills, as well as fresh flowers on the brambles; and some spring bulbs are also showing signs of growth. Looks set to change next week... Nick Ballard

Wednesday 3rd November
Barton (TL399549) One Red Admiral on ivy flowers. Vince Lea

October 2010

Friday 29th October
Orton Longueville (TL19T) A Red Admiral in gardens in the Orton Longueville area of Peterborough. Trevor Wilson

Wednesday 27th October
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Mild and sunny this lunchtime - Comma 1, Red Admiral 1 and Brimstone 1 (male) – a pleasing sight as Brimstones seemed in short supply here this summer. Rob Smith

Monday 25th October
Colne Point (TM108125) Several Red Admirals, 1 unexpected Peacock and 1 late Small Copper. Robert Seago
Heybridge (TL870069) 2 Red Admirals, Simon Cox

Sunday 24th October
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) A late Small Copper, still in good condition, nectaring on Devil's-bit Scabious near Larch Wood (TQ517921). Colin Jupp
Lodge Farm, Fulbourn (TL512534) A Small Tortoiseshell. Kathryn Dawson

Thursday 21st October
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 1 Comma near the Lily Pond on ivy and bramble. Colin Jupp
Wandlebury Country Park (TL497535) 2 Red Admirals Kathryn Dawson

Wednesday 20th October
Bretton, Peterborough (TF163006) At 12.40 p.m. a Red Admiral flying near oak trees in the Sainsbury's car park. David Withrington

Monday 18th October
Gosfield (TL783295) 11am, sunny and cool, light breeze. A single Small White meandered in my garden and a single Red Admiral passed through without stopping. Still plenty of dragonfly activity over my small pond. Colin Davis
Wat Tyler CP (TQ7386) 1 Small Copper flying around and trying to catch what little sun was getting through the cloud. Neil Phillips

Sunday 17th October
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) 2 Red Admirals flew S over the Wildflower Meadow (TQ523922) during the afternoon; also Speckled Wood in nearby Valley Marsh. Colin Jupp
Ramsden Heath (TQ704958) A Speckled Wood stuttered its way across the road as I headed for the Blackwater estuary where no continental Clouded Yellows were sighted, as seen elsewhere. All the usual lucerne fields were cut and unlikely to yield. Mum had a Small Tortoiseshell on her Brentwood garden flowers (TQ591934). Rob & Jill Smith

Monday 11th October
Wisbech: Leaherd's Field (TF475112) I was delighted and amazed to see a single Clouded Yellow 2 days running (today and yesterday) on the 2 acre wildflower meadow behind my house. It was feeding on scabious flowers during the afternoon on both occasions. Jenny Windsor
Hatfield Forest (TL5319) Glorious sunny day; 12 Commas in pristine condition feeding on blackberries and 2 Speckled Woods were seen. John & Anne Young
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ5479) I saw a Clouded Yellow - it was in flight over the strip of land between the riverbank pathway and the river and worked towards the river in a zigg-zagg sort of way. We quickly lost sight of it and it is impossible to say whether or not it made off across the water (which I think would be relevant at this time of year). Andy King

Sunday 10th October
A cycle ride in Central/East Peterborough - I had hoped to see more butterflies in the perfect sunshine. 1 Red Admiral along Fletton Avenue (TL198972); and 1 worn Small Copper by Fletton Parkway (TL198961). David Withrington
Linford, near Tilbury (TQ665799) 12pm sunny, but breezy. Red Admiral 5, Comma 3, Green-veined White 3, Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 2 (1 nectaring on ivy), Small White 3, Small Copper 3. Then onto:
Little Warley Common (TQ606906) Comma 2, Small Copper 7+. Breeze concentrated most butterflies in a sheltered corner so hung around and was lucky enough to see a mating pair of Small Coppers. After 3 bouts of dogfighting and settling close to each other, a pair settled again on open ground (medium height grass, with dead knapweed) only for another to immediately pass over them, but they were already in cop and not disturbed. About 3 minutes of contorted shuffling followed along a grass stem and the pair were then motionless together with wings slightly apart for the next 5 minutes, when I left (photo attached). Rob Smith

Saturday 9th October
The Hythe, Colchester (TM02G) 2 Clouded Yellow seen on the footpath to Wivenhoe. Brian Goodey
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 7 Red Admiral and 2 Comma nectaring on some sheltered Ivy late afternoon (hazy sunshine with an easterly breeze). Colin Jupp
Little Warley Common (TQ606906) Comma 2, Small Copper 1, then onto Thorndon CP (TQ618893) lovely south facing site overlooking Thames flood plain - Small Copper 2, Red Admiral 1+, Meadow Brown 1 - fresh-looking, slightly small female. Rob Smith

Friday 8th October
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden today at 1.30pm 18 deg, sunny, sheltered from breeze, again on Michaelmas Daisies (seem to be brilliant for insects at this time of year), a Small Tortoiseshell (poss first for my garden this year - pic attached), 3 Red Admirals (one very damaged - pic attached) and one Comma. Colin Davis

Thursday 7th October
Harold Hill (TQ548926) 4 Commas nectaring on Buddleia in my garden late am. Also 1 Speckled Wood and 1-2 Vapourer Moths seen (and 2 Red Admiral yesterday). Also at:
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) At 14.00 4 Small Coppers nectaring on Devil's-bit Scabious just SE of the Deer Park (TQ519920) also Speckled Wood and Red Admiral during brief visit. Colin Jupp
Additionally, Mark Bunch and Esther Hitchcock visited here and reported: Still several Small Coppers - some fresh,and several Commas, one of which fed from my hand - see picture! Plus two Small White and one Speckled Wood.
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) 2 fresh Holly Blue (late 2nd or partial 3rd brood?) as well as 5 or so Red Admirals and a Small White at lunchtime. Nick Ballard
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden at 2.30pm, 17deg, sunny and still, nectaring on Michaelmas Daisies, together with masses of other insects, two Red Admirals and two Commas. Pics attached. Colin Davis
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL380550) Comma 1. Tony Roberts
Main Street, Yaxley (TL1892) One Red Admiral. Trevor Wilson
Ingatestone (TQ654993) Along field margin: Comma 1, Small Copper 2, and on churchyard ivy (at TQ650995) Comma 1. All yesterday’s and today’s Commas were basking and have been particularly dainty (about 40-45mm), perhaps reflecting a lack of larval development or delayed hibernation in smaller specimens? Rob Smith
Stirtloe (TL210663) A 1hr walk from noon to 1pm with a light breeze & warm sunshine: 4 Red Admirals, 3 Small Whites, 1 Small Copper, 2 Commas & 1 Brimstone. Charles Nicol

Wednesday 6th October
Harlow Garden Centre (TL478069) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on Pansies at 5PM. Mark Bunch
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) At least 6 Red Admirals seen by Nick Ballard (photos attached).
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Some pleasant lunchtime sunshine after recent rains. Comma 2, Speckled Wood 1. Also Common Darter 1, Common Lizard 1 and a possible field mouse. Rob Smith

Sunday 3rd October
Cottenham (TL452683) Just seen a Red Admiral in the garden feeding on ivy. First sighting for a while! Ann Piper

Saturday 2nd October
Burwell Railway Cutting (TL575652) Arriving earlier than in the week, I came across at least 3 Comma and 3 Red Admirals on the ivy by the Reach Bridge, as well as good numbers of Small Copper, with 5+ Small White and 1 Large plus a few Small Heath ....and an elderly female Chalkhill Blue! (4 photos attached). Nick Ballard
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 4 Small Coppers all on Creeping Thistle, 4 Red Admiral (2 nectaring on Ivy), 2 Comma and 1 Speckled Wood. Odonata: 30 Common Darters including 11 tandem pairs ovipositing, 3 Migrant Hawkers, 1 male Southern Hawker and 1 male Common Blue Damselfly. All seen up to midday before the cloud arrived from SW. Colin Jupp
Hatfield Forest NT (TL5319) On a walk from Shell House to Forest Lodge, a Comma and a couple of Speckled Woods enjoying the morning sunshine. Vince Lea & Louise Bacon
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ535791) 12pm. missed the morning sunshine but still a mild 17C. Small White 1, Small Copper 3, Common Blue 1 (faded), Comma 1, Red Admiral 4 (all small and fresh, beautiful colouring). No Wall Browns. Then briefly visited Belhus Woods, Aveley, where a few SW Frits were seen this summer - noted quite a few violets in a small area of coppice. Rob Smith

September 2010

Thursday 30th September
Burwell Railway Cutting (TL575652) The last good day for a while, so took an afternoon trip to Burwell Railway Cutting. A mild sunny day, with cloud and hazy sun later. Plenty of fresh Small Copper (10+), with 5 Small White and 2 Large Whites, a couple of Brown Argus, with singles of Small Heath, Peacock and Red Admiral (several photos attached). Nick Ballard
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) Small Copper day! I find this delightful species is always leaving untill autumn-numbers often peak at this time of year, and it gives us something to look foreward to when most others have finished. 10 found at Bedfords Park in the morning,plus 2 Speckled Wood (1 fresh) and 4 Comma. Then onto:
Weald Country Park, Brentwood (TQ5794) where I saw 7 Small Coppers near the lake. Unfortunately, the sun had gone by 3PM before I had the chance to explore, nothing else seen. Several of the adults at both sites were the blue-spotted form. Mark Bunch
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Comma 8 & Speckled Wood 3. Rob Smith
Twyford Lock, Bishop's Stortford (TL494192) A single Red Admiral basking in sunshine on the towpath on the Essex side of the River Stort. Tony Moverley

Tuesday 28th September
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Lunchtime today: 2 Red Admirals, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Small White. Nick Ballard

Saturday 25th September
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 12pm transect, cool northwesterly, but still quite a few butterflies in the sunny sheltered spots - still seems a week behind last year. Comma 9, Speckled Wood 4, Meadow Brown 1. The later at:
Linford, near Tilbury (TQ665799) 3.30-4.30pm at old gravel workings - Wall 2 (m+f), Small White 3, Small Copper 2. Rob Smith

Thursday 23rd September
Colne Point (TM11B) This morning, we walked from St Osyth Beach to Colne Point & saw 2 Small Coppers, single Red Admiral & Small Tortoiseshell & 5+ Small Whites (all in TM11B). Simon & Pat Cox

Wednesday 22nd September
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL380550) Small White 2, Small Copper 3 & Speckled Wood 1. Then onto:
Old Railway Line, Comberton (TL385545) Small White 6, Comma 1, Small Copper 1 & Speckled Wood 1, Tony Roberts

Tuesday 21st September
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) Early to mid afternoon visit - 3 male Common Blues (all worn), 5 Small Copper, 1 Small Heath and 1 Small White plus 1m Emerald Damselfly, several Small Red-eyed Damsels, Migrant Hawkers, Common and Ruddy Darters. Also earlier in the day 2 Red Admiral, 3 Comma and 1 Large White were in my garden in Harold Hill (TQ548926) which is close to the park. Colin Jupp
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Comma 3, Speckled Wood 1, and a fresh Small Copper. Rob Smith

Monday 20th September
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect: Small White 3, Red Admiral 1 & Speckled Wood 4. Tony Roberts

Sunday 19th September
Hadleigh CP: Benfleet Downs (TQ781857) We saw a freshly emerged male Wall on the Benfleet Downs transect making ten actual sightings for the season up to date. David Chandler
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) Sea wall transect - strong breeze, but an obvious winding down here. Small Heath 1, Small White 2. Rob Smith

Saturday 18th September
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) At 5pm in a field near Fir Wood (TQ555930): 1 Meadow Brown, 3 Small Heath and 7 Small Copper, the latter all settled on flowers/seedheads of Creeping Thistle in the early evening sunshine; also in the park 2 Speckled Wood and a pair of Small Red-eyed Damsels ovipositing. Earlier in my garden in Harold Hill (TQ548926) 2 fresh Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Small White, single Green-veined and Large White all nectaring on the last remaining Buddleia flowers. Colin Jupp
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect, sunny, cool 11C start rising to 16C as W breeze dropped. Reassuring Comma numbers, particularly adjacent M25-widening works which, if you agree with them or not, are being carried out in this area very tidily. All the coppicing was done in the winter with patches of scrub left in the spring for the birds. Small White 3 (all good condition), Brown Argus 1 (tatty), Holly Blue 1, Comma 14, Speckled Wood 6, Meadow Brown 3. Rob Smith

Friday 17th September
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) This lunchtime in the sun with light winds: A fresh Comma, 2 Large Whites and a Speckled Wood. Earlier this week, the odd Small and GV White, Small Copper and a battered Red Admiral with at least 3 more Speckled Wood. Nick Ballard
Holt Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL403544) Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 6, Small Copper 6, Comma 2 & Small Heath 1. Then onto:
Telegraph Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL408545) Small White 3 & Comma 1. Then onto:
Tinkers Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL407548) Small White 1 & Speckled Wood 1. Then onto:
Old Railway Line, Comberton (TL385545) Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 2, Small Copper 2, Speckled Wood 1 & Small Heath 2. Then onto:
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect: Comma 1 & Speckled Wood 3. Tony Roberts

Thursday 16th September
Mill Green Common (TL638012) All activity in the NW corner with a minimum count of 10 Speckled Woods – best sighting this year with lots of dogfighting in a concentrated area. Also 2 Comma trying to keep a lower profile. Rob Smith

Wednesday 15th September
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden, 11am, sunny, 18 deg, breezy: mint Red Admiral and Comma, both on shrubby Clematis Heraclifolia (pics attached). Colin Davis
Holt Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL403544) Small White 3, Small Copper 2, Comma 2 & Small Heath 1. Then onto:
Telegraph Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL408545) Small White 1 & Common Blue 1. Tony Roberts

Monday 13th September
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect: Speckled Wood 1. The season seems to be over at Orwell. Tony Roberts

Sunday 12th September
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (TM2624) 10+ Small Whites, 2 Common Blues, single Small Heath, Red Admiral, Comma & Speckled Wood. Simon & Pat Cox
Peterborough: Welland Road/Paston Parkway (TF202021) A short cycle ride from my house to a sheltered embankment on the Welland Road/Paston Parkway produced a fresh male Small Copper - a good butterfly for the city limits. David Withrington
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden, at 11am (sunny, still, 20 deg) a mint Comma basking on Choisya, at 4pm a mint Red Admiral on Michaelmas Daisies. Meanwhile, at 12.40 in paddock behind my garden a mint Small Copper landed on newly cut grass. Colin Davis
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL380550) Small White 15, Small Copper 2, Speckled Wood 2 & Small Heath 6. Tony Roberts

Saturday 11th September
Howlands Marsh EWT (TM11D) At least 10 Small Heaths today seen whilst doing a bird count. Simon Cox
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) Noon transect. breezy, bright cloud at best, but a muggy 19C brought out a pleasing six species: Comma 3, Speckled Wood 4, Meadow Brown 3, Common Blue 1, Small Copper 1 & Small Heath 1. Then later:
Linford, near Tilbury (TQ669797) 3.30-5.15pm, sunshine & showers. Around footpath through old gravel workings - Small White 5, white spp. 9, Small Copper 1, Small Heath 1, Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 1, Red Admiral 1, Comma 2, Painted Lady 1; and at far end of landfill pit (TQ663797) Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 3 (2m+1f) & Small White 1. No Wall Browns seen at this site where I saw quite a few some weeks ago. Rob Smith

Tuesday 7th September
Gosfield (TL783295) 11am, sunny, 19 deg, still air. A Humming-bird Hawk Moth in my garden this morning. Colin Davis
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect: Brimstone 1, Brown Argus 1, Speckled Wood & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts

Wednesday 1st September
Fleam Dyke transect (TL548541) A wonderful day weather-wise today, but only 50 butteflies, many bedragled following the recent weather conditions. Seven Chalkhill Blues as well as a few Common. Fresh Brimstones but no Nymphalid species. Vince Lea

August 2010

Tuesday 31st August
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden. a mint Painted Lady paused briefly before continuing to fly north. Shortly after saw a mint Red Admiral on Buddlia. Neither stopped long enough for a photo. Colin Davis
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) Short walk this morning produced Holly Blue 8, Speckled Wood 2, Common Blue 3 (1M,2F), Small Heath 2, Red Admiral 5, Painted Lady 1, Large White 1, Small/Green veined Whites 7, Small Copper 1 & Gatekeeper 1. Ian Phillips
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect: Small White 4, Common Blue 8, WALL BROWN 1, Speckled Wood 3 & Small Heath 2. Then onto:
Old Railway Line, Comberton (TL385545) Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 2 & Speckled Wood 3. Tony Roberts

Monday 30th August
Hadleigh CP: Benfleet Downs (TQ781857) 3pm. Gatekeeper 15+, Meadow Brown 5, Holly Blue 7, Common Blue 15+, Brown Argus 1, Small Heath 5, White spp. 25+. Rob & Jill Smith
West Mersea (TM0013) Garden observation: 1 newly minted Painted Lady, 1 Comma and 1 Red Admiral all within a metre on 1 Budleia. Thank heavens for some sun! Graham Upton
Hatfield Forest (TL52F) In excess of 10 Speckled Woods flying in sunshine down some of the more sheltered rides this afternoon; together with 2 very fresh bright male Brimstones and 4 Meadow Brown. Numerous Migrant Hawkers on the wing. Tony Moverley
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) This morning - several Small White and 1 GV White, 3 Speckled Wood and only my second-ever sighting of a Small Copper in the cemetery - a male. Nick Ballard

Sunday 29th August
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple
(TL945060) Sea wall transect, sunny after downpour - found a few hardy souls sheltering from the strong breeze. Small Heath 2, Common Blue 4, Small White 1. Rob Smith

Saturday 28th August
Peterborough In my garden (TF1910106) Red Admiral (2) on buddleiah, in pristine condition, also engaged in aerial duels.
Woodfield Park, Welland (TF207012) Gatekeeper (2), Large White (2), Small White (15).
Parnwell (TF213013) on sheltered embankments of Parkway dual carriageway, Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown (3), Holly Blue (2), Brown Argus (2), Common Blue (3 males).
Broadway cemetery (TL994197) Meadow Brown (2), Holly Blue (1). It's amazing to me how many different species there are in these urban locations. David Withrington

Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 8:25-09:20 - a fresh Nor'westerly but with bright conditions. All the lagoons very full after recent rains. A few Insects flying in the butterfly meadow, but the lagoon banks are enduring their annual 'haircut'. 2 White spp., 10+ Common Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 2 Meadow Brown & 1 Small Heath. Plus 10+ Common Blue Damselflies. Mike Harris



Nick Ballard has sent in the following observations on an aberrant Chalkhill Blue on Fleam Dyke:
I was looking at my CHB shots from last weekend (Burwell Cutting and Fleam Dyke) and came across this first specimen from the Fleam Dyke....It is a Chalkhill Blue male - but almost devoid of black spots on the hind wings - I've never seen one so blank. By contrast, one from Burwell the next day...(2 photos attached)
Subsequently, Nick has kindly sent in another atypical Challkhill Blue from his recent photo collection; this time an aberrant female from Burwell Cuutting taken on the 24th August.



Friday 27th August
Mill Green Common (TL638012) A short sunburst in a gloomy sky brought out the following: Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 3, Green-veined White 3, Holly Blue 4, Speckled Wood 5. Rob Smith

Wednesday 25th August
Sheepcote and Ryes Hall area (TL83U) Walked this area while the sun was out this morning. Very encouraging to see so many Small Heaths on the wing (easily my best ever at this site): Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 11, Speckled Wood 2, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 30, Small Heath 22 (+ whites). Martin Peers
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) 11.00am, brightish mix of sunny and overcast, 17 deg. almost no wind. Follow up visit to see if any of the previously seen Silver-washed Fritillaries were about. Found a very worn male in Major's meadow (same one as before?), basking in weakish sun, mainly on bramble, giving good views (pics attached). It's wings were so ragged I thought it was a Comma at first! Also 5+Common Blues, M & F in the same area and at least 1 Brown Argus. 5+ fresh Speckled Woods in the walk through the rides to Major's Meadow (TL807267). Colin Davis

Tuesday 24th August
Glenside, Billericay (TQ689948) A single Painted Lady on buddleia. Laurence Drummond
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect. Sunny but very windy. Green-veined White 2, Common Blue 10, Speckled Wood 5, Meadow Brown 2 & Small Heath 5. Then onto:
Old Railway Line, Comberton (TL385545) Small White 10, Green-veined White 6, Common Blue 7, Brown Argus 1, Small Copper 1, Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 5, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 2 & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts

Sunday 22nd August
Bedford Purlieus (TL051992) We photographed this Silver-washed Fritillary a week ago near the entrance to the southern ride; it was nectaring on knapweed but in quite a faded and ragged condition and we reckoned it wouldn't live much longer. However, we returned to the same spot today and found it still there and able to fly, nectaring avidly on teasel! Just shows how individual butterflies can survive for quite a while in a very tatty condition. We also saw Comma, several Common Blues, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Small and Large Whites.
Over the last week, we've still had a couple of Holly Blues in our Orton Longueville (TL165965) garden, plus a Small Tortoiseshell today. Peter and Jan Farbridge
Great Chishill Meadows (TL425392) Common Blue (mostly worn) now only in dozens, about one per five metres (down from spectacular showing a couple of weeks ago). Brown Argus about a quarter that density. Small Heath good showing with one every 10 metres or so on this reliable site. A few fresh Speckled Woods in the wooded areas. One Brimstone. Usual common whites. Also a handful of elderly Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. In my garden nearby, two Small Tortoiseshells and one Holly Blue egg laying on ivy (photo attached). Jack Harrison
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL380550) Transect: Small White 45, Green-veined White 4, Common Blue 52, Brown Argus 11, Gatekeeper 3, Meadow Brown 16 & Small Heath 4. Tony Roberts
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 2.30pm transect along sea wall. Muggy 21C, some rain. Whites 42, 7 of which ‘Small’, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 3, Small Heath 5, Common Blue 28, Holly Blue 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Latticed Heath moth 1. Rob Smith

Saturday 21st August
Great Holland Pits EWT (TM2019) Single Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral, Brown Argus & Green-veined White, 2 Speckled Woods, 2+ Holly Blues, 2+ Large Whites, 6+ Common Blues, 6+ Gatekeepers, 12+ Meadow Browns & 15+ Small Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Abberton Reservoir EWT (TL963184) On the peninsular trail: 2 Small Tortoishell, 5 Brown Argus, 1 Common Blue and 1 Small Heath. Laurence Drummond
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect, 21C, F3SW overcast. Small White 2, Green-veined White 1, Brown Argus 1, Small Copper 1, Common Blue 5, Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 9, Meadow Brown 23, Small Heath 1.
With regard to the lack of Peacocks, Jack Harrison assured me last year that they hibernate very early. We usually see some again later in September as they fatten for the winter. My local observations have been that we had an excellent Spring emergence due to the continuous cold winter, but that numbers are in fact down this summer, possibly due to the dry conditions affecting the nettles (this could also affect Comma numbers). Rob Smith
Tiptree Heath (TL884147) On a Branch walk led by Richard Bigg: Common Blue 7, Meadow Brown 1, Small Copper 5, Small White 4, Small Heath 4, Gatekeeper 5 & Speckled Wood 7 (read more here).

Friday 20th August
Lark Rise Farm, Barton, Cambs (CRT Land) (TL415555) Small White 12, Common Blue 8, Red Admiral 1, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 4 & Small Heath 2. Tony Roberts
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Gatekeeper 17, Meadow Brown 15, Green-veined White 2, white spp 4, Holly Blue 2, Common Blue 2 (m+f), Small Copper 1, Speckled Wood 2. (and a Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi – not as rare as I thought last week!). Rob Smith

Thursday 19th August
Ouse Washes RSPB (TL471860) One Wall Brown on the embankment, Welches Dam hide, about 1pm. Also here a few Common Blue, Brown Argus, one Painted Lady, remnant Meadow Browns & 6 pristine Small Tortoiseshell. Vince Lea, Louise Bacon, Paul & Steph Hicking
Harold Hill, Romford (TQ548926) In my garden: 1 Painted Lady, 5 Red Admiral, 1 Green-veined, several Large and Small Whites nectaring on Buddleia. Haven't seen a Peacock for a week now; never known such low numbers of this species on my garden buddleias as this year. Colin Jupp
Tinkers Field, Barton, Cambs (CRT Land) (TL407548) Small White 6, Green-veined White 3, Brown Argus 6, Common Blue 44, Speckled Wood 2 & Meadow Brown 4. Then onto:
Telegraph Field, Barton, Cambs (CRT Land) (TL408545) Small White 4, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 35, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 2 & Small Heath 1. Then onto:
Holt Field, Barton, Cambs (CRT Land) (TL403544) Small White 11, Green-veined White 2, Common Blue 14, Gatekeeper 3 & Meadow Brown 4. Then onto:
Old Nags Field, Barton, Cambs (CRT Land) (TL398545) Small White 4 & Green-veined White 1. Tony Roberts

Wednesday 18th August
Sergeant's Orchard near Wormingford airfield (TL907307) Visited here this morning and saw the following: 3 Brown Argus, 40 Common Blues (90% males), 10 Gatekeepers, 18 Meadow Browns, 1 Small Heath + whites. Martin Peers

Tuesday 17th August
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect: Weather very poor. Small White 3 & Meadow Brown 3. Tony Roberts

Sunday 15th August
Harold Hill, Romford(TQ548926) 1 Painted Lady (garden first for the year), 2 worn Comma and 2 Red Admiral. A fresh female Meadow Brown on the Buddleia yesterday. Colin Jupp
Ashen Airfield (TL757423) Walked the northern perimeter road to Ashen airfield, where the northern roadside verge held the following butterflies: 15 Small/Green-veined Whites, 3 Brown Argus, 22 Common Blues (mainly males), Small Copper, 10 Gatekeepers, 3 Meadow Browns and 4 Small Heaths (not seen at this site by me before). Later to:
Bowdens, near Wormingford (TL9333) where I was looking mainly for dragonflies but saw the following: 2 Large Whites, 16 Small/Green-veined Whites, 6 male Holly Blues (mainly at 935330), Red Admiral, 2 Commas, 3 Gatekeepers & 2 Meadow Browns. Martin Peers
Vange Marsh RSPB (TQ7387) Holly Blue 10+, Gatekeeper 25+, Common Blue 3, Small White 4 & Small Copper 2. Tony Moverley

Saturday 14th August
Cudmore Grove CP
(TM065145) Dougal Urquhart who is Senior Ranger at Cudmore Grove CP, East Mersea found a GRAYLING nectaring on Buddleia. See the full report on his blog.
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 12pm transect, 16C, bright cloud, worsening. White spp 1, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 3 (1f, 2m) Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 44, Meadow Brown 26, Small Heath 3, Latticed Heath moth 1. Also in a marshy patch in a hay meadow (soon to be cut) at TQ578911 an unusual Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi (photo attached). Rob Smith

Wednesday 11th August
Stanford Marshes (TQ692810) Followed up a third-hand report of a Wall Brown in the area at least a month ago. At 6.10pm, tried this landfill area without success – white spp. 2, Gatekeeper 3 (incl mating pair), Meadow Brown 1. There’s some impressive work to the east of here with about 100 acres of new wetland created – appears as arable fields on aerial photo websites. Walked N & W around Angling Lakes to:
Stanford Warren (TQ688812) and found a pristine male Wall Brown patrolling the bottom of the earth bank by the reedbeds at 6.45pm, also a female Common Blue and a Gatekeeper. Rob Smith
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) Many Meadow Browns, Small Whites and two Small Coppers seen – first time visitor after previous report (9/8/10) in your sightings. Great habitat but disappointed not to see SW Frit. Ray Walker
Barnack Hills & Holes (TF0704) The grassland in this Natural England reserve is in superb condition. Chalkhill Blues (300+), by far the most I've seen here over the years; Common Blue (ca. 200); Brown Argus (ca. 75); Small Copper (2); Green-veined White (ca.55); Small White; Gatekeeper; Meadow Brown; Small Heath (3); Small Skipper. Then onto:
Bedford Purlieus (TL051992) SE corner - I had not seen the earlier postings, so I was thrilled to see one White-letter Hairstreak (my first for several years); Brown Argus; Common Blue; Green-veined White; Small White; Brimstone (1); Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown. David Withrington
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL380550) Essex Skipper 1, Small White 46, Green-veined White 4, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 6, Common Blue 103, Red Admiral 1, Painted Lady 1, Gatekeeper 17, Meadow Brown 27 & Small Heath 4. Tony Roberts
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Gatekeeper 37, Meadow Brown 9, Green-veined White 3, white spp 5, Holly Blue 3, Common Blue 1, Small Copper 1, Purple Hairstreak. Rob Smith

Tuesday 10th August
Orton Longueville area, Peterborough (TL165965) Plenty of Holly Blues now in and around our garden (pics attached). Yesterday (9th), there were at least 6 around together, nectaring on bramble in the hedge. (Just missed a picture of 3 together!). Peter and Jan Farbridge

Monday 9th August
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) A follow up visit to see if the SW Fritillary seen a few days ago (5th Aug) was still about. None in Major's Meadow, where it was then seen (tho' lots of Common Blues, M&F, plus a Small Copper, all on Lesser Knapweed). Across the other side of the reserve, on the Permissive Footpath close to the car park, a delightful fresh male SW Frit wafted past my knee, but failed to settle, so no photos. This was a different one to the previous one, as it had no nick in its rear wing. A few minutes later, at 5.40pm, sunny, breezy, 24deg, was a slightly damaged female SW Frit in the lane outside the car park nectaring on Lesser Knapweed in the verge (2 photos attached). So that is three different SWFs seen at this reserve. Interestingly, the male was floating about under large trees with varieties of wild violets at the foot. Fingers crossed that some egg laying may take place. Must keep a close watch on this reserve next year. Colin Davis
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) Transect: Small White 22, Common Blue 48, Brown Argus 2, Speckled Wood 3, Gatekeeper 8, Meadow Brown 9 & Small Heath 4. Then onto:
Shepreth Riverside, Cambs (TL385488) Small White 9, Gatekeeper 1 & Meadow Brown 2. Tony Roberts
St Osyth (TM144159) Have added Common Blue to this year’s garden list today (& Speckled Wood yesterday). Simon Cox
Great Chishill Meadows (TL425392) Absolutely amazing numbers of Common Blue and Brown Argus. In one stretch of 100 metres, I counted approx 100 Blues and about half that number of Brown Argus enjoying Knapweed and other nectar sources. Total numbers in these meadows is probably measured in thousands. South Cambridgeshire is not alone in the population explosion; I have seen (and heard of) similar numbers elsewhere. Females with extensive blue on the wings were numerous (photo attached). Jack Harrison
Hayley Wood BCNPWT (TL290532) At approx 11am, two Silver-washed Fritillaries seen on the Hayley Railway line, approx halfway down. Then later at approx 12:15, two (possibly three) Silver-washed Fritillaries seen on the main ride near first coppice plot. Greg Belcher - Reserves Officer BCNPWT (together with Jenny Mackay, David Price, Glenn Hadley, Steve Hartley)

Sunday 8th August
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL443822) 5.30pm Sunny intervals - along the west bank of the old Bedford river, we saw 7 Wall Browns, 10+ Meadow Browns, 20+ Gatekeepers, 10+ sp whites, 2 Green-veined Whites, 20 Common Blues, 4 Small Coppers & 1 Painted Lady (first this year). (Photos attached).Janet Edmunds & Dave Jones
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) We could only do the southern ride, as the barriers were closed on the main track. It appears that these are being shut at weekends to prevent raves being held, so I would anticipate it will continue throughout the summer. Down the southern ride, we found remnants of the large White-letter Hairstreak colony - 5 individuals, looking rather weary and worn but still nectaring on marjoram. Also saw 3 Holly Blues, 2 Commas, several Gatekeepers, male Common Blue, a few Ringlets and Meadow Browns. Peter and Jan Farbridge
Latton Common, Harlow (TL467079) Delighted to see a fabulous 6 Silver-washed Fritillary males on knapweed at the top of the common. Also Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, 1 each Large and Essex Skipper, very worn, 3 Small Coppers, 30+ Common Blue - never seen so many here, lots of Gatekeeper, several Meadow Brown, but past their peak, and the last Ringlet, barely recognisable from its scaleless wings. 1 Silver-Y moth. Mark Bunch
Brampton Wood (TL184698) In the afternoon, saw 20 species in 3 hours including 2 possible 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries on main ride feeding on Knapweed. Roger Orbell
Pam Russell also reports seeing a Silver-washed Fritillary here today (photo attached).
Fleam Dyke transect (TL548541) Essex Skipper 1, Brimstone 4, Large white 7, Small white 96, Green-veined White 13, Brown Argus 10, Common Blue 50, Chalkhill Blue 30, Painted Lady 2, Speckled wood 2, Gatekeeper 24, Meadow Brown 37 & Small Heath 4. Numbers of Chalkhill Blues have therefore kept at about the same level for 3 weeks. Today 22 were in section 7 with 4 each in sections 6 and 8. There were 5 females in the count. Common blues were impressively high in number, probably the highest count to date, although I haven't checked back. Then onto:
Roman Road transect (TL523522) Small/Essex Skipper 1, Brimstone 7, Large white 10, Small White 48, Green-veined White 16, Brown Argus, Common Blue 26, Holly Blue 2, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 5, Gatekeeper 16, Meadow Brown 28 & Small Heath 1. By far the most productive section was section 8 with 18 of the Common Blues, 18 of the Meadow Browns and all the Brimstones. Numbers of Peacocks seem very low this year with only 1 recorded today and relatively few in the garden compared with recent years. Roger Lemon

Saturday 7th August
Steeple Creek (TL931045) 9.45-10.15am - disturbed a lot of roosting butterflies from the wet grass along the sea wall - Essex Skipper 1, Green-veined White 2, white spp. 2, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 39, Gatekeeper 15, Meadow Brown 20. then onto:
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 11am transect along sea wall. Cloudy 20C. Small Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 1, Small White 14 + white spp 39, Gatekeeper 33, Meadow Brown 9, Small Copper 4, Small Heath 4, Common Blue 47 and for the first time this year, Brown Argus 3. Then:
Bowers Marshes RSPB (TQ759869) 2pm. 24C sunny & muggy along the bridleway. Wall Brown 3+ males - all had a preference for a more confined section of the track, with unbroken blackthorn hedging and reedy vegetation where it felt muggier than the open, drier sections. 2 were fighting like Speckled Woods and one tried to mate with a female Gatekeeper, then nectared on Hawkbit. Also Common Blue 4, Small Heath 1, Meadow Brown 5+, Gatekeeper 40+. Then:
West Tilbury (TQ655778) 3pm - disused gravel pit - Brown Argus 7, Small White 10+, Red Admiral 1, Small Heath 4 (incl mating pair), Holly Blue 2, Meadow Brown 15+, Gatekeeper 25+, Comma 2. (Photos attached). Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Large and Small Whites, plus the odd Gatekeeper and 2 Red Admirals and still several Holly Blue - mostly females around ivy - and a couple of battling male Common Blues (pics attached). Nick Ballard
Benfleet Downs (TQ785857) A worn female Silver-washed Fritillary on knapweed just above the main WLH bush. Andrew Woodhouse (Site Manager for Hadleigh CP)

Friday 6th August
Great Clacton (TM1717) Did my Wider Countryside survey & sightings included my first Brimstone in the Clacton area for several years; also 1 Painted Lady. Simon Cox
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden today, my first sighting this year of a Painted Lady. Also 2 Red Admirals, 2 Peacocks, 2 Commas, 2 male Common Blues, 1 Silver-Y, 1 Small/Essex Skipper and many Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, various Whites and, still, innumerable bumble bees on either Lavender or Buddleia. Overcast, 22 deg, windy. Colin Davis

Thursday 5th August
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) Silver-washed Fritiliary seen today by EWT officers at site-meeting. It was in Major's Meadow on bramble and sallow at 11am, sunny, 20deg. Flew just as the camera was aimed, so regret no picture! No previous sightings since at least 1992. Marks Hall, where there is now an established colony, is just a mile or two away so suggest it has flown in from there. Colin Davis.

Wednesday 4th August
Orton Goldhay area, Peterborough (TL155955) A Painted Lady seen by Trevor Wilson

Tuesday 3rd August
Brampton Wood (TL184698) At appox 3pm along the main ride near the site entrance, a single Silver-washed Fritillary. Greg Belcher - Reserves Officer BCNPWT (together with Matt Hamilton & Dan Richardson)
Whilst surveying for otters this morning on private land on the Sixteen Foot (TL4698), I came across one of those unexpected butterfly sites that can still turn up and surprise you. In one small area of partly mown and sheltered bank I counted at least 35 Common Blues, 3 Wall Browns, 1 Small Copper, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large and Small Whites and numerous Silver Y moths. Rob Partridge
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (TM2624) Our 1st Brown Argus for this site (after numerous visits in recent years); also 60+ Gatekeepers, 20+ Meadow Browns, 3 Essex Skippers, 1 Small Skipper & a few S/E, 3 Speckled Woods, 4 Peacocks, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 5 Common Blues, 1 Green-veined White & 20+ Small Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) A female Silver-washed Fritillary nectaring on Buddleia on the east side of the Visitor Centre (TQ52019225) between 09.30-09.50hrs. I took some record shots and the butterfly was also seen by Fay Chapman from the centre and local EWT members (who were there packing & sorting envelopes with the latest issue of magazine - so good timing!). I believe it is a park first although historically this species may have been present in the area in (or pre-) the 1950's. Also Peacock, Red Admiral, Large and Small White, Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood.
Harold Hill, Romford (TQ548926) Fairly quiet on my garden Buddleias so far this month: Up to 3 Comma, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Peacock, several Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Meadow Brown and 5 Gatekeepers (also a mating pair of the latter on 27th July). Colin Jupp
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL443822) Sightings were much the same as my report of the 30th July except that the Wall (15+) & Small Copper (20+) numbers have increased. I also came across a Painted Lady which had 2 probosci (pic attached). Phil Bromley
Bustard Green (TL6428) Transect on the green: This is the first year in recent times that the green has been managed by sheep grazing and the results are really impressive. Common Blue 118, Brown Argus 32 and Small Copper 12 are all far higher than ever before. Small/Essex skiipper 6, Holly Blue 1, Comma 1, Painted Lady 1 (first of the year ), Speckled wood 1, Gatekeeper 5, Meadow brown 73, L White 11, S White 51, GV White 8, Six spot Burnet moth 2, Silver-Y moth 97. John Oakshatt
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Warm and sunny, gentle breeze. Gatekeeper 45, Meadow Brown 14, Ringlet 2, Purple Hairstreak 2, Large White 1, Small White 1, Green-veined White 3, white spp. 20+, Large Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 1, Common Blue 4 (3m + 1f), Holly Blue 2 (m+f). Rob Smith
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) Transect: Essex Skipper 2, Brimstone 2, Large White 13, Small White 112, Green-veined White 15, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 18, Chalkhill Blue 34, Holly Blue 1, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Painted Lady 2, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 37, Meadow Brown 38, Ringlet 1. Chalkhills were mostly males (30 out of 34) so this is only half the population! Twenty four of them were on section 7 towards the junipers, with most of the others in adjacent sections but a male and female in section 3 i.e. the other side of the A11. Vince Lea.
Roman Road transect (TL523522) It was cloudy most of the time, and warmish, 19-20 degrees, but the wind was north west with quite an edge to it. Section One was the best as so often, particularly as the sun came out fully and the butterflies were suddenly active in the large areas of knapweed. Numbers were very low all the way and completely unremarkable except for 1 or 2 or 3 Chalkhill Blue males in Section One! I saw a CHB three times, but could not be sure that a single one had not whipped round behind me and popped up again! On the way back, I saw one roosting on the knapweed. It is interesting to compare their flight to the speedy Common Blue males. Julia Napier

Monday 2nd August
Barnack Hills & Holes (TF0704) About a dozen Chalkhill Blues, one Essex Skipper, Brown Argus, Gatekeeper, Small Copper, Common Blues and Meadow Browns (pics attached). Peter and Jan Farbridge
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL3655060) On Transect: Small White 9, Common Blue 7, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 12 & Small Heath 2. Tony Roberts
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden and paddock today, 4.30pm, overcast, 21 deg, light breeze: 3+ male Common Blues - never seen 3 at once in my garden before - (plus 1 female seen a couple of days ago), 3+ Peacocks (at last), 2 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Ringlet, 20+ Gatekeepers, 1 Silver Y moth (been around several days), plus many whites and Meadow Browns. The big attraction for the blues has been 13 lavenders in full flower, which has also attracted hundreds of bumble bees for the last week or two, and 6 buddleias. Colin Davis

Sunday 1st August
Tolleshunt Knights (TL9315) Transect (Warm but mostly overcast): 26 Meadow Brown, 16 Gatekeeper, 15 Small White, 4 green-veined White, 2 Common Blue, 1 Large White, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Red Admiral. Graham Upton
Devil's Dyke transect walk (TL616616) Brimstone 1, Large White 1, Small White 8, Green-veined White 1, Small Copper 1, Common Blue 20, Chalkhill Blue 1,019, Brown Argus 8, Meadow Brown 11, Gatekeeper 7, Small Heath 1. Chalkhill Blue numbers are slightly lower than last year but still an impressive number. Sharon Hearle
Lattersey, near Whittlesey (TL282966) Lots of Large/Small and Green-veined Whites, Meadow Brown and Peacock, a few Common Blue, Brown Argus, Speckled Wood, and Red Admiral, 1 Ringlet, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Comma and 1 Wall in adjacent brownfield site to the north of the reserve. Rosalyn Payne & Phil Bromley

July 2010

Saturday 31st July
Roman Road transect (TL523522) It was cloudy most of the time, and warmish, 19-20 degrees, but the wind was north west with quite an edge to it. Section One was the best as so often, particularly as the sun came out fully and the butterflies were suddenly active in the large areas of knapweed. Numbers were very low all the way and completely unremarkable except for 1 or 2 or 3 Chalkhill Blue males in Section One! I saw a CHB three times, but could not be sure that a single one had not whipped round behind me and popped up again! On the way back, I saw one roosting on the knapweed. It is interesting to compare their flight to the speedy Common Blue males. Julia Napier
Linford, near Tilbury (TQ667801) 4-5.15pm. Interesting if inhospitable public footpath from Buckingham Hill Road NW towards old gravel works. Deeply rutted first section was amass with Holly Blues, one exceptionally small female, then passing through the local off-road bike track & burned out cars there were Walls near the fenced off lake (TQ665799). Tally: Holly Blue 27, Wall Brown 8 (4m, 1f), Gatekeeper 30, Peacock 5, Comma 2, Red Admiral 2, Meadow Brown 2, Small White 5, white spp. 5, Painted Lady 1. 5.15-6.15pm - moving north from the other side of Hoford Road track to Mucking Heath and back (TQ666802) Wall Brown 1 (m) by landfill site, Holly Blue 4, Gatekeeper 19, Brown Argus 2, Comma 1, Ringlet 1, Meadow Brown 2, Red Admiral 2, Speckled Wood 2, Green-veined White 1, Small White 4, white spp. 10. (pics attached). Rob Smith
Jermaines Wood/ Tylers Common (TQ571907) 1pm transect, muggy 22C, some sunshine in latter sections. Essex Skipper 1, Large Skipper 1, Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 5 (4m, 1f), Red Admiral 1, Comma 2 (1 dark form), Speckled Wood 3, Gatekeeper 224 (1 worn male the size of a Small Heath – surprised me when it opened its wings, also 1 mating pair), Meadow Brown 67, Ringlet 1, Small Heath 1 and a 2nd brood Latticed Heath moth at Tylers Wood. Rob Smith.

Friday 30th July
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL443822) Walking along the narrow flat meadow area on the west bank of The Old Bedford River for about 1.5 miles NE of the A142 I saw my target species, Wall Brown 10+ (start of the 2nd brood), also seen were Large White, Small White, G-v White, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small / Essex Skipper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Peacock, Red Admiral & Small Tortoiseshell. A bonus was to find 6 newly emerged Painted Lady (my first for this year) (pics attached). Phil Bromley.
Mill Green Common (TL638012) very warm and sunny, gentle breeze. Gatekeeper 41, Meadow Brown 16, Purple Hairstreak 6, Large White 3, Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, white spp. 10+, Large Skipper 1, Small Skipper 1, Common Blue 1 (male on heather – none seen at this site in 2009), Brimstone 2 (male). Rob Smith.

Thursday 29th July
West Mersea, (TM0013) Lunchtime count in garden: 1 Painted Lady (first of year), 1 Red Admiral, 15 Small White, 1 Large White, 4 Meadow Brown & 8 Hedge Brown. Graham Upton
Hatfield Forest, Essex (TL531198) Just thought I'd report seeing the Silver-washed Fritillaries and also White-letter Hairstreaks today, identified via website from pictures taken on my phone; never seen either butterfly around here before and was quite excited, also saw as yet unidentified butterfly but I'm going back tomorrow to see if I can spot it again and get a photo to help identify it. The fritillaries were very obliging, even to the extent of climbing onboard my hand for a photo, I think it was quite drunk on nectar from the brambles. Tim Lawler

Wednesday 28th July
Barnack Hills & Holes (TF0704) Chalkhill Blue males, Common Blue, Small Copper, one Marbled White and Gatekeeper within a few yards of the NE entrance (pic attached). Peter and Jan Farbridge
Today's Fleam Dyke (TL548541) count was: Small/Essex Skipper 5, Brimstone 5, Large White 26, Small White 50, Green-veined White 15, Unidentified White 76, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 5, Chalkhill Blue 31, Red Admiral 3, Peacock 1, Gatekeeper 40, Meadow Brown 37, Ringlet 6. Mike Gittos.
Holland Haven CP (TM2117) this am: Gatekeeper 50+, M Brown 25+, whites c40 (1 Green-veined id’d, rest Small & Large), 3 Speckled Woods, 3 Red Admirals, 3 Essex Skippers, 2 Commas, 2 Peacocks, single Common Blue & Small Tortoiseshell. This pm at St Osyth (TM123167) Gatekeeper c25, M Brown 10+, Small & Large Whites c25, Comma 2, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 1, Large Skipper 1, S/E Skipper 2, Painted Lady 1. Simon Cox
Old Railway Line, Comberton (TL385545) Small Skipper 2. Small/Essex Skipper 3. Small White 28. Green-veined White 9. Common Blue 70. Comma 4. Gatekeeper 18. Meadow Brown 24. Ringlet 4. Then onto Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL373546) Small Skipper 1. Small White 18. Green-veined White 2. Brown Argus 12. Common Blue 150. Comma 1. Gatekeeper 12. Meadow Brown 17. Ringlet 4. Small Heath 11. Tony Roberts
Old Hall Marshes RSPB (TL960123) While walking the short walk this morning and early afternoon, I recorded the following species:- Small/Essex Skipper c 500 (10+ of both species were idenitified), Large Skipper 4, Large White 8, Small White 50+, Green-veined White 10+, Small Copper 24, Common Blue 14 (11 male, 3 female), Red Admiral 3, Painted Lady 2, Small Tort 1, Peacock 2, Comma 2, Gatekeeper c350, Meadow Brown c500 & Small Heath 12. Martin Peers
Barnack Hills & Holes (TF0704) During a brief visit, countless Chalkhill Blues (50+), several spilling over on the adjacent roadside verge. In addition, all the usual species. Essex Skipper positively identified. (pic attached). Jack harrison

Tuesday 27th July
Havering Country Park (TQ505925) Overcast but humid, good butterfly activity still. Between 13.15-15.45hrs, saw the following in the lower southern area of the CP: 7 Small Skipper, 3 Essex Skipper, 2 Large Skipper, 5+ Large White, 15+ Small White, 5+ Green-veined White, 4 Small Copper, 1 definite Brown Argus, c100 Common Blue (my largest count for some years), 1 Speckled Wood, c200 Gatekeeper, 45+ Meadow Brown, 3 Ringlet, 2 Small Heath. And on Buddleia near the rangers office, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 1 Peacock (where are they all?) and a Purple Hairstreak briefly nectaring. No surprise with the Common Blues since Birdsfoot Trefoil is abundant here. Many were nectaring on Knapweed, particularly the extensive areas at TQ501926. About 80 males and good numbers of females, some completely brown with no blue tinge. Also 2 Oak Eggar, 15 Silver Y and 2 Latticed Heath moths plus 11 Emerald Damselflies, 4 Migrant Hawkers and a male Emperor. Colin Jupp.

Monday 26th July
Ingatestone (TQ654993) Two new species seen by the railway/wheat-field margin: Small Copper 2 (possible courtship seen for first time, occasional touching and lots of flying around, then settling to co-habit on same Ragwort), and male Common Blue 1. Also seen: Brown Argus 1, Gatekeeper 8, Meadow Brown 2, Small White 5. Rob Smith
West Mersea, (TM0013) Lunchtime count in garden: 1 Small Copper (unusual), 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Peacock, 2 Gatekeper. Graham Upton
Shepreth Riverside, Cambs (TL385488) Small Skipper 3. Small White 37. Green-veined White 6. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Comma 2. Gatekeeper 11. Meadow Brown 12. Ringlet 1. Then onto Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (TL364504) Transect, Small White 32. Common Blue 8.Speckled Wood 3. Gatekeeper 23. Meadow Brown 31. Tony Roberts

Sunday 25th July
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 2.40pm transect along sea wall. Sny int, 25C F2SW. Small Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 7, Small/Essex 6, Large White 1, Small White 55, Green-veined White 15, Peacock 1, Gatekeeper 59, Meadow Brown 29, & fresh 2nd broods of Holly Blue 1, Small Copper 2, Small Heath 1 and Common Blue 9 (7m+2f). then onto:
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ534793) 5.45-6.30pm. Still warm but overcast, breeze picked up and numbers soon dwindled. Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 2, Gatekeeper 10, Meadow Brown 1, white spp. 10, Small Copper 1. No 2nd brood Walls seen. Rob Smith
Tinkers Field Barton, Cambs (CRT Land) (TL407548) Small Skipper 3. Essex Skipper 2. Small/Essex Skipper 1. Brimstone 1. Small White 80. Green-veined White 6. Common Blue 45. Gatekeeper 15. Meadow Brown 40. Ringlet 6. Tony Roberts.
Lodge Farm, Fulbourn (TL512534) Dark Green Fritillary, another first for here. Also first sighting (this year) of a Humming-bird Hawk-moth. Both feeding on buddleia and surrounded by good numbers of the usual suspects (Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Large White). Kathryn Dawson
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) Midday to 1515 produced the following (estimates in brackets): 6-7 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 16+ White-letter Hairstreak, 2 White Admirals - very worn individuals, Peacock (30), Red Admiral (15), Comma, Brown Argus (3), Common Blue, Holly Blue, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Large Skipper, Brimstone, Hummingbird Hawkmoth - 1 on farthest Buddleia on main ride. Stuart & Jill Elsom

Saturday 24th July
I went to the Devils Dyke/Burwell Railway Cutting (TL56S) and saw hundreds of Chalkhill Blues, spreading north up the trackbed to Burwell as their foodplant Horseshoe Vetch migrates into fresh areas. The foodplants were looking very dessicated; I also saw a number of Common Blue, Brown Argus by Reach Bridge, as well as Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large and Small Whites, the odd Brimstone and Small Copper, Small/Essex Skipper and Small Heath. (pics attached). Nick Ballard
Belfairs NR: Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ820875) A one-hour walk produced 1 White Admiral, Speckled Wood, Large and Small White, good numbers of Ringlet, Brimstone, Comma, many Gatekeepers and Purple Hairstreak. There have been good numbers of white admiral this year in this reserve. With regard to Hummingbird Hawkmoths, every year this moth can be seen at the 'Punchbowl' pub, at Church End, Paglesham, (near Rochford ) Essex. This year was no exception with up to 5 being seen on one day! This moth is usually seen in the mornings and evenings and keeps the customers captivated. Peter Ray-Smith.
West Mersea, (TM0013) 10:30 My first ever sighting of a White Admiral in the garden (on a buddleia). Also Meadow Brown and Hedge Brown (Gatekeeper), Green-veined White, Speckled Wood & Red Admiral. Graham Upton
Devil's Dyke Visited two sections this afternoon, with the following results:-
Middle section (TL616615): 2 Essex Skippers, 3 Large Whites, 35 Small Whites, 2 Green-veined Whites, m. Brimstone, 3 Brown Argus, 10 Common Blues, 1 m. Holly Blue, c.370 Chalkhill Blues, 14 Gatekeepers, 17 Meadow Browns, 2 Ringlets, 2 Small Heaths.
Southern section (TL625608): 5 Large Whites, 34 Small Whites, f. Brimstone, 2 Small Coppers, 1 Brown Argus, 9 Common Blues, 96 Chalkhill Blues, 2 Peacocks, 2 Speckled Woods, 14 Gatekeepers, 14 Meadow Browns, 2 Small Heaths. Martin Peers
Jermaines Wood/ Tylers Common (TQ571907) 12pm transect. 25C F3SW: Skippers and Ringlets almost gone, Gatekeepers at their peak – 3 mating pairs seen today. Small Skipper 4, Essex Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 6, Large Skipper 1, Large White 4, Small White 7, Green-veined White 3, white spp. 7, Purple Hairstreak 3, Red Admiral 2, Peacock 2, Comma 4, Speckled Wood 5, Gatekeeper 193, Meadow Brown 55, Ringlet 5. Then onto:
Gallows Corner, Harold Wood (TQ5390) Wider Countryside Survey: 2x1km walks. 2pm. 26C F3SW. White spp 9, Holly Blue 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Gatekeeper 11, Meadow Brown 1. Rob Smith
Barnack Hills & Holes (TF0704) Excellent numbers of Chalkhill Blues here today including a group of 16 feeding in a muddy area in the main car park at the north end of the reserve as well as Common Blues and a Brown Argus. Pictures attached. However only 2 Marbled whites seen. (pic attached). Philip Todd

Friday 23rd July
Beaumont Quay, (TM190240) half hour visit: 2 Red Admirals, 15+ Gatekeepers, 10+ M Browns, 2 Essex Skippers, c15 mixed Large & Small Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Kingston Old Railway Line (TL338558) Small Skipper 1. Essex Skipper 1. Large Skipper 1. Small/Essex Skipper 6. Small White 50, Common Blue 40. Speckled Wood 40. Gatekeeper 18. Meadow Brown 30. Ringlet 6. Tony Roberts
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL56S) Lots of Chalkhill Blue on the wing (at least 80) all very obliging in the late afternoon cloud, roosting or basking on flowerheads, most were in the cutting, but also in adjacent field margin and along the Dyke towards the B-road to Burwell. Also 3-4 Common Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper, a few Meadow Brown, 1 Ringlet and Gatekeepers. Vince Lea & Louise Bacon.

Thursday 22nd July
In my Great Chishill (TL425390) garden, first sighting summer brood Holly Blue (pics attached). Jack Harrison
Old Railway Line, Comberton (TL385545) Small Skipper 8. Essex Skipper 6. Small/Essex Skipper 8. Brimstone 2. Small White 200+ Green-veined White 20. Common Blue 20. Speckled Wood 5. Gatekeeper 30. Meadow Brown 70+ Ringlet 8. Tony Roberts

Wednesday 21st July
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (TM2624) 1 Common Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Red Admirals, 3 Speckled Woods, 3 Ringlets, 40+ M Browns, 30+ Gatekeepers, 15+ S/E Skippers (2 Essex id’d), 15+ mixed Large/Small Whites. Simon & Pat Cox

Tuesday 20th July
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden early afternoon: A male Common Blue nectaring quite high up on Buddleia and a female on the Lesser Hawkbit on the back lawn. Later, at 14.45hrs a Small Copper nectaring on the hawkbit which stayed for 5 minutes. All were fresh individuals. Currently enjoying a good spell in the garden, and with some species clearly wandering at present what might turn up next! Colin Jupp
Gosfield (TL783295) I was delighted to find a White-letter Hairstreak feeding on marjorum in my garden today at 4pm, overcast and warm (25deg) pic attached, the first in some years. We used to get one or two most years, as we have a small spinney opposite with some elm suckers in it. Colin Davis
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Small Skipper 3, Small/Essex Skipper 1, Large Skipper 1, Small White 56, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 8, Speckled Wood 6, Gatekeeper 28, Meadow Brown 33 & Ringlet 1. Then onto:
Shepreth: riverside (TL385488) Small Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 12, Brimstone 1, Large White 3, Small White 38, Green-veined White 6, Common Blue 3, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Comma 4, Gatekeeper 8, Meadow Brown 9 & Ringlet 6. Tony Roberts

Monday 19th July
Steeple (TL935045) 1 Holly Blue, 2 Peacocks, 2 Red Admirals, 100+ M Browns, 50+ Gatekeepers, 25+ S/E Skippers, 30+ whites (mixed Large & Small & at least 1 Green-veined). Simon & Pat Cox
Tinkers Field Barton, Cambs (CRT Land) (TL407548) Small Skipper 3. Essex Skipper 4. Small/Essex Skipper 12. Brimstone 15. Small White 120. Green-veined White 3. Brown Argus 1. Common Blue 25. Peacock 2. Gatekeeper 5. Meadow Brown 40. Ringlet 4. Almost all on Clover. Then onto Telegraph Field, Barton, Cambs. (CRT Land) (TL408545) Essex Skipper 2. Large White 1. Small White 50. Brown Argus 1. Common Blue 60. Red Admiral 1. Gatekeeper 4. Meadow Brown 80. Ringlet 2. Tony Roberts.
On Transect counts today, Fleam Dyke this morning where it was warm but with some cloud cover and Roman Road this afternoon in hot sunshine. There were encouraging numbers of Chalkhill Bues on Fleam Dyke, 7 in the transect, all males and all in sections 7 and 8. I spent some time there after the count, mainly to do some sward height measurements and male Chalkhill Blues seemed almost common along the top of the bank for about 100m SE of the ash tree. Unfortunately, there were no Marbled Whites on the Roman Road this week. Detailed counts as follows: Fleam Dyke (TL548541): Small/Essex Skipper 12, Brimstone 8, Large White 14, Small White 106, Green-veined White 14, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 1, Chalkhill Blue 7, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 2, Gatekeeper 37, Meadow Brown 26, Small Heath 1, Ringlet 18. Roman Road (TL523522): Small/Essex Skipper 24, Large Skipper 1, Brimstone 8, Large White 11, Small White 63, Green-veined White 18, Common Blue 9 (7 in section 8), Holly Blue 2, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 3, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 35, Meadow brown 27, Small Heath 1, Ringlet 19. Roger Lemon.
Cambridge Botanic Gardens (TL454571) 1 Silver-washed Fritillary. Tim Pankhurst, Pete Michna.
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) We ended up here again today - 3 days in a row ... my poor old legs! Today we were very pleased to find the aberrant White-letter Hairstreak in the southern ride (pic), which is possibly the one Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne photographed on 4th July (but it's still in pretty good nick for two weeks later!). Yesterday we took the attached pics of Brown Argus and mating White-letter Hairstreaks. There were even more about today, plus 3 Small Coppers in the northern ride (?Bedlams). No sign of the Dark Green Fritillary. In all the areas we visited today, there was a vast number of butterflies - several Brimstones and Peacocks, Commas, Gatekeepers, Common Blues, Brown Arguses, Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Green-veined Whites, White admirals (we saw 2), Silver-washed Fritillaries (guessimate up to a dozen). As a bonus, we had a male Holly Blue in our garden at Orton Longueville area, Peterborough (TL165965) yesterday early evening. Peter and Jan Farbridge
With regard to the aberrant WLH, Phil Bromley has added: The 'albovirgata' is not the same one as photographed by Rosalyn Payne & myself. I'm not surprised another one has turned up considering the size of this colony - the count of nectaring White-letter Hairstreaks today at 2pm was 100+.
Charles Nicol also visited here today and sent in the following sightings:
From 11am to 3pm: I lost count of the White Letter Hairstreaks...., Purple Hairstreaks 6, Silver-washed Fritillaries 9, White Admirals 5, Peacocks 3, Ringlets 20+, Common Blues 20, Meadow Browns 20+, Male Brimstones 3, Various Whites 15, Large & Small Skipper 20+ (photos attached). A wonderful day !! Charles Nicol
Harold Hill (TQ548926) Had the following butterfly totals in my garden today, checking the Buddleia and Lavender front and back intermittently from 09.30-13.30 hrs: 1m Small Skipper, 4+ Large White, 4+ Small and 1 GV White, several Purple Hairstreak, 5 Red Admiral (1 very worn), 4 Peacock, 5 Comma (both hutchinsoni and 'normal' form), 4 Gatekeeper and 3 Meadow Brown. On the 18th saw a Ringlet and a male Essex Skipper, which was nectaring on Lesser Hawkbit. The Purple Hairstreaks wander across the garden from oaks nearby in Hatter's Wood, and two days running I have seen one nectaring briefly for about 10 seconds on the Buddleia flowers, usually they just settle on the foliage. At 4pm I had a look for White-letter Hairstreak on the elms along the narrow strip of woodland beside Straight Road, Harold Hill (TQ530921) in 10 minutes up to 8 seen, mainly clashing males. I also noticed a female on flowers on a small roadside Lime. Moving on to:
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) Between 17.00-17.45, I saw at least 9 White-letters over Ash, Field Maple and Elm near the Damselfly Pond (TQ521918) and 3 more nectaring on bramble on the E side: 2 females and a rather sorry looking individual lacking tails and entire orange section of the hindwing. Also here - 5 Ringlet, 1 Holly Blue, 3 Comma, 2 Large Skipper, all three species of White and an Oak Eggar moth. Finally, had a look at the Wych Elm in the SW corner of the Park (TQ513917) and 4 WLH showed well from 18.00-18.45, also 2 Purple Hairstreak and 3 Holly Blue (over ivy). In the grassland were 3+ Small Skipper, 2 Essex Skipper, 2 Large Skipper, 12+ Meadow Brown, 10+ Gatekeeper and a fresh Brown Argus (only my second local record in 2010). Moths included Oak Eggar, Six-spot Burnet and c10 Shaded Broad-bar + a Roesel's Bush Cricket. Additionally, with 4 Speckled Wood in Nursery Wood (TQ521923), a Small Copper south of the Visitor Centre (TQ520921), and Peacock and Red Admiral elsewhere in park, I finished the day with a respectable 17 species. Colin Jupp
Wivenhoe Wood (TM035222) Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper - good numbers of fresh flyers, White-letter Hairstreak 1, Purple Hairstreak 9+, Small Copper 1, Ringlet - numerous, Large White - gazillions!, Small White, Holly Blue 1, Comma 4, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 4, Large Skipper, Small Skipper & Small Heath. Julian Bennett
Brampton Wood (TL184698) On transect: Brown Argus, 5 White Admiral, Purple Hairstreak and 2 fresh Peacock along with the usual suspects - Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Comma, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Large White, Green-veined White, Gatekeeper and Speckled Wood. Malcolm Anderson
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF076047) Visited around 5.30 - 7.00 pm. Sunny still so lots of activity. Brown Argus 2, Marbled White 17, Small White 1, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1, Ringlet 4, Meadow Brown 6, Chalkhill Blue 20+ (only 1 female), Gatekeeper 2. Rosalyn Payne

Sunday 18th July
Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL840260) A very successful Branch field trip produced the spectacle of 20 species for the day (numbers are estimates of minimum seen):
Silver-washed Fritillary 15, Purple Emperor 4, Ringlet 200+, Gatekeeper 50+, Meadow Brown 50+, Small Skipper 10, Essex Skipper 3, Large Skipper 5, Comma 20+, Purple Hairstreak 100+, White-letter Hairstreak 1, White Admiral 1, Large White 2, Small White 4, Green-veined White 3, Peacock 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Speckled Wood 2, Red Admiral 3 & Holly Blue 1.
Read the full report here.
Hatfield Forest, Essex
(TL531198) Visited here this afernoon in serach of Silver-washed Fritillaries; must have seen in excess of 25 individuals including two mating pairs and one female of the darker 'valezina' form. Clearly they're having a good year and appear to be spreading well in the immediate vicinity of Lodge Coppice although one or two were seen quite some distance away. (3 photos attached). Lots of Commas and Ringlets and several other commoner species too. An excellent afternoon. David Sampson
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) Cool and overcast with a strong SSW breeze blowing. Very little insect activity excepting Burnet Moths spp.: 3 Small White, 1 Green-veined White (very tatty), 6 White spp., 1M Common Blue, 12 Meadow Brown, 7 Gatekeeper & 3 Ringlet. Moths included 8 Six spot Burnet (inclu 2 joined prs), 1 Five Spot Burnet & 26 Burnet spp.. Also 2 Black-tailed Skimmer (M & ovipositing F), 5 Common Blue Damselfly (males) & 9 Emerald Damselfly (6M, 1F, 2T) & 1M Red eyed Damselfly. Mike Harris
Rochford (TQ8790) A number of butterflies in the garden today with 3 Gatekeepers, 2 fresh Holly Blues, 2+ Comma, 2+ Peacock, 1 Green-viened White, 3+ Small Whites, 4+ Large Whites and at least 40+ Painted Lady larva munching the stinging nettles; knew the weeds would be good for something. Steve Arlow
Elm Green Farm, Danbury (TL777054) White-letter and Purple Hairstreak seen and photographed by Chris Rawlings (photos attached).
Holt Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL403545) Small Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 8, Large White 2, Small White 56, Green-veined White 5, Small Copper 2, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 29, Red Admiral 1, Marbled White 1, Speckled Wood 2, Gatekeeper 23, Meadow Brown 59, Ringlet 15. Then onto:
Old Nags Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL398545) Small Skipper 3, Essex kipper 1, Small/Essex Skipper 9, Small White 63, Green-veined White 2, Brown Argus 3, Common Blue 3, Meadow Brown 46, Ringlet 2 & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts

Saturday 17th July
Lexden Gathering Grounds EWT (TL966253) A quick visit in the morning produced: Small Copper 3+, Purple Hairstreak 1, Gatekeeper 4 and singles of Meadow Brown & Large White. Julian Bennett
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) Made a trip to Bedford Purlieus today with my friend Bill Seager and what a day we had! We parked at the northern end of the wood in the parking space just off the A47 and walked into the open meadow area I believe is called ‘The Bedlams’. To our surprise we saw a Dark Green Fritillary flying across the meadow and managed, after a little bit of a run around, to get some good views and to obtain some really nice photos (3 attached). In the wood itself we saw: 4 Silver-Washed Fritillaries, 2 White Admirals, 5 Purple Hairstreaks, 4 Brown Argus and huge numbers of Commas, Ringlets, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Whites. We then met three other butterfly watchers who informed us of a ride at the southern end of the wood where they had seen White-Letter Hairstreak. We found this ride after lunch and were amazed at the number of Hairstreaks feeding on the thistles and marjoram despite the recent heavy rain shower. We counted 60 and again obtained fantastic views and photographs! Nigel Crowhurst
Peter and Jan Farbridge also made a visit and sent in the following:
We visited Bedford Purlieus, near Wansford, starting in the southernmost ride. Here we saw at least 15 White-letter hairstreaks, nectaring on marjoram and thistle, the greatest concentration near the wych elm(s) about halfway along the ride. Also a Common Blue egg-laying, several Commas and Gatekeepers. We also had two Silver-washed Fritillaries (pic attached) in this ride, plus two more along the main track. At the entrance to the southern ride was a White Admiral. Interestingly, we met another butterfly enthusiast who had just seen a Dark Green Fritillary in the meadow area on the northernmost ride closest to the A47. He realised it was rare for Cambs, and we encouraged him to submit his sighting to you. We went to the spot where he'd seen it but didn't have any luck!

Hatfield Forest, Essex (TL531198) Stunning views of 12 Silver-washed Fritillary. We did not have to walk far from the car either as they were in one of the rides near Lodge coppice. Also loads of others butterflies species there as well Comma, Ringlet, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper and Large White etc. Shaun Harvey
Maldon Wick EWT (TL841054) This morning, plenty of butterflies about - lots of Commas, 1 Red Admiral, great views of a rather worn White-letter Hairstreak feeding on bramble flowers, 2 Small Coppers, Small, Essex & Large Skippers, 1 Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and some Whites. Also male Broad-bodied Chaser, several Brown Hawkers and some Common Darters. John Buchanan
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) Lunchtime transect, F3+SWG, gusty. Sunny int. And this week’s slightly incongruous butterfly is….. a Zebra Longwing. Got excited at first as, at distance I thought it was another continental Swallowtail, as seen in Middlesex last week. However, an obvious release - I know it’s been windy, but…. It was on the edge of Jacksons Wood, 100 yards from the M25 – a faint possibility of a hatching from a crawling lorry but either way, I won’t be looking for a 2nd brood. Others: Small Skipper 9, unidentified skippers 13 (not really getting any Essex this year), Small White 3, Green-veined White 1, Purple Hairstreak 2, Holly Blue 1 (fresh), Red Admiral 1, Peacock 2, Comma 17, Speckled Wood 1 (fresh), Gatekeeper 122, Meadow Brown 56, Ringlet 17, White-letter Hairstreak 1+ (top of Jermaines Wood again). Then later at:
Stanford Warren (TQ686812) 4-5.30pm. Sunny + breezy. Starting by Mucking Church, approx. Holly Blue 1, Red Admiral 2, Peacocks 10, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Gatekeepers 15, Meadow Brown 10, Small/Essex Skippers 15, white spp. 5. Further along past the Angling Lakes, I saw a fresh Brown Argus (TQ693809), my first in Essex this year, amongst further Gatekeeper 20+, Meadow Brown 10+, Skippers 10+ and Whites spp 5+. Back at the Warren, Sandra Still, the warden, reports that Wall Brown sightings are still fairly common in the area, including one last week by her staff, not by the reed beds but probably further round nearer today’s Brown Argus. She has also had Ringlets this year and Speckled Woods. Rob Smith
Great Chishill (TL425393) Meadow Browns and Ringlets in good numbers but getting worn. Marbled Whites seem to be over for the year. Remarkably few Gatekeepers but plenty of Small and Green-veined Whites. These photos show differences between male and female GV Whites (spots on upper forewing). First Brown Argus of summer brood but inactive in dull weather. Photo shows diagnostic double spots (as colon) on underside hind wing. Jack Harrison

Friday 16th July
Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL840260) 18 Silver-washed Fritillaries from several sections of the woodland, 6 Purple Hairstreaks, 4 Small Skippers,2 Essex Skippers, 2 Large Skippers, 6 Commas, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Peacock, 20 Gatekeepers, 70 Meadow Browns, 40 Ringlets, 2 Speckled Woods and 3 spp whites. Then onto:
Friday Wood, Colchester (TL992206) 6 White Admirals, 8 Purple Hairstreaks, 2 Large Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper, 6 Commas, 5 Gatekeepers, 10 Meadow Browns, 8 Ringlets, 2 Speckled Woods and 3 spp whites (from a fairly limited section of the wood). Martin Peers
Fairfield, Ingatestone (TQ652995) Very strong breeze, but warming up again for the weekend. A few species sheltering around the pond: Gatekeeper 3, Ringlet 2, Holly Blue 1 (fresh), Peacock 2, white spp 3. Rob Smith

Thursday 15th July
Wheatley Wood, Rayleigh (TQ784912) A walk for about an hour around this developing Woodland Trust property. Late afternoon ramble with good spells of sunshine but still very breezy, although plenty of sheltered spots. At the entrance I noted my first male Oak Eggar moth of the year, but shortly after this the butterflies took centre stage and were generally in profusion. All three of the usual 'white' species were everywhere, as well as 200+ of Small and Essex Skippers, 100+ Meadow Brown, 100+ Ringlet, 20+ Comma, 3 Red Admiral, 3+ Speckled Wood, 10+ Large Skipper, Holly Blue, 3+ Purple Hairstreak (bit too windy for them!), 10+ Gatekeeper, 40+ Marbled White. Graham Bailey
Duckend Green, Rayne (TL722230) Had 7-8 White-letter Hairstreaks at the Shalford Road allotments in roadside elms. Also many Purple Hairstreaks in general area on most mature oaks. Andy Goodey

Wednesday 14th July
Toft (TL3557) Marbled White (2) at the start of the footpath leading from Toft to Hardwick Wood. Vince Lea
Harold Hill (TQ548926) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth nectaring on Buddleia in my garden at 10.00am, also Red Admiral and Comma. A male Large Skipper nectaring on Lavender. The first fresh summer Peacock in the garden was seen on 12th July. Colin Jupp

Monday 12th July
Hardwick Wood (TL3557) White-letter Hairstreak seen on transect by Vince Lea; this follows on from two WLH seen during a walk with Cambridge Natural History Society the previous Sunday (Vince Lea, Louise Bacon et al.)
Lower Farm, Brightlingsea (TM11D) I had permission to walk round the seawall at Lower Farm this evening after the rain stopped (no public access to this site). Saw c.80 Meadow Browns, c.10 Gatekeepers, 30+ S/E Skippers with at least 3 Essex & 1 Small confirmed, single Peacock & Ringlet & 2-3 Small Whites. Simon Cox
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Large White 1, Small White 44, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 1, Comma 2, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 6, Meadow Brown 20 & Ringlet 6. Tony Roberts

Sunday 11th July
Hatfield Forest, Essex (TL531198) I delayed my planned early trip to the forest due to cloud and drizzle, so did not arrive until 10.35. As I walked north from the south entrance, the sun just started to break through but no Silver-washed Fritillaries were seen until I entered Lodge Coppice where 5-6 were gliding around. I then decided to give the sun a chance to do its work and walk to the end of my usual area and do the count from there back to the car instead. I'm glad I did; total for this small area was 21 Silver-washed Fritillary!, 9 in the wide ride at the north of Lodge Coppice (of those sexed 2 female and 4 male), 10 in the smaller rides inside Lodge Coppice (of those sexed 3 female and 2 male). Now I was determined to get the total up to 20. 2 males found searching in a small ride in Emblems Coppice made up the numbers. I think you can say that Silver-washed Fritillaries are now established at the forest! Also seen many Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Comma, Purple Hairstreak and 1 Small Tortoishell. Laurence Drummond
Parndon Wood Crematorium, Harlow (TL442068) Mike Harris reports at least two Purple Hairstreaks came down from the Oak canopy.
Maldon (TL867058) Walked the South side of the Blackwater this evening, the saltmarsh impressive with the purple bloom of the sea lavender highlighted by the low sun. Insects included loads of Skippers (Essex & Small), Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Whites. Also 1 Red Admiral and, at long last, my first patch Marbled White. Moths included 3 5-Spot Burnets and a Shaded Broad-bar. John Buchanan
Benfleet Downs (TQ783857) On a 3 hour walk at 2pm, we saw 10 Comma's, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacocks, 2 Common Blues, 5 Holly Blues, 1 Red Admiral, 12 White-letter Hairstreak, 50+ all whites, 50+ Meadow Browns, 50+ Ringlets, 100+ mixed skippers (3 essex id), 50+ Marbled Whites & at last our first Gatekeeper of the year! Also 30+ mixed dragonflies including a male emperor (photos). Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 12pm transect. 26C F4SW. Small Skipper 28, Essex Skipper 10, Small/Essex 39, Small White 9, Green-veined White 5, white spp 24, Common Blue 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Gatekeeper 52, Meadow Brown 48, Small Heath 16. then later at:
Maldon Wick EWT (TL841054) 5pm-6pm Comma 10, Red Admiral 6, Large Skipper 3, say Ringlet 25+, Meadow Brown 15+, Gatekeeper 15+, Hairstreaks on elm 4, of which at least 2 were White-letter. Rob Smith
Gosfield (TL783295) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in my garden today on lavender at 3pm, 28deg and sunny. Nothing much else to report from my garden and paddock these last few weeks - a few Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Small/Essex Skippers, a few Whites various, just one or two Small Tortoiseshells and a solitary Gatekeeper, about a week ago. Colin Davis
Noak Bridge LNR (TQ698905) 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Large Skipper identified & many Essex/Small Skippers, 40 Ringlets, 28 Meadow Browns (Whites also present) and also at:
Shotgate Thickets EWT (TQ765939) 5 Gatekeepers, Ringlets 55+, 30+ Meadow Browns, 5 Large Skippers identified, many Essex/Small Skippers, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Comma, 1 Red Admiral (Whites present), and also at:
Tyelands, Billericay (TQ667937) In garden, a Purple Hairstreak colony in mature oak canopy (first noticed several years ago). Several seen flitting about for the first time this year. John Smart

Saturday 10th July
Belfairs NR: Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ820875) On a 2 hour walk we saw 10 White Admirals, 8 Heath Fritillary, 3 Comma's, 50+ Ringlets, 50+ Meadow Browns, 1 id Essex Skipper, 20+ Small/Essex skippers, 50+ Large skippers, 50+ mixed whites, 2 Brimstones 1m + 1f, 2 Peacocks & 1 Speckled Wood (photos). Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Maldon Wick EWT (TL841054) A late afternoon visit for White-letter Hairstreak proved fruitful with at least 2 seen sunning themselves towards the top of some Elm. Also seen Small Skipper 1, Large Skipper 11, Large and Small Whites, Purple Hairsteak 4, Holly Blue 4, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 1, Comma 8, Gatekeeper 3 (my first of the year), Meadow Browns and 27 Ringlet. Russell Neave
Wicken Fen: Breed fen Drove (TL561708) A White-letter Hairstreak. Vince Lea and Louise Bacon
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 07:30-08:30 - A bit early for insects but a few counted as I was leaving; 1 Large White, 4 Small White, 1 Small Copper, 23 Meadow Brown, 32 Ringlet & 1 Small/Essex Skipper. Then onto:
Sawbridgeworth Scrape (TL487139) 08:45-11:45 - 3 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Small Tortoishell, 3 Meadow Brown, 10 Gatekeeper & 3 Small/Essex Skipper. Mike Harris
Latton Park, Harlow (TL471075) A female Silver-washed Fritillary, among the abundant Large and Small skippers, Ringlets, Meadow Browns and territorial hutchinsoni Commas near the trees at the top of the common. A few Large and Small Whites, 1 Green-veined White, several male Gatekeepers and one Essex Skipper. In the evening, plenty of Purple Hairstreaks around the tree tops. Also a couple of Red Admirals. Mark Bunch
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF076047) Dozens of Marbled White, and eventually we located a Chalkhill Blue that gave us an incredible close up view. Don Gardener
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) At least 5 Silver-washed fritillaries here today. Most along the public footpath through the centre of the wood with 2 sightings north of that ride. 2/3 White admirals also. Philip Todd
Don Gardener also visited here and was fortunate to get stunning close up views of White-letter Hairstreak feeding at ground level (at least 3), as well as good views of 2 Purple Hairstreak and a minimum of 11 Silver-washed Fritillaries (minimum of 8 on the main E/W ride and 3 on the next one).
Hutton CP (TQ634958) 6-7pm. White-letter Hairstreak 4+, at a distance. Most sightings on the few elm suckers around the small car park – handy for the armchair fan, and there’s a good chippy nearby! Others: Comma 5, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, white spp 4, Meadow Browns 15+, Ringlets 5+, Gatekeeper 5+, skippers 15+. Rob Smith
Riddles Wood, St. Osyth (TM130180) We obtained permission to visit this am; (there is no public access to this site which is guarded by dogs). We counted 19 White Admirals, 2 Red Admirals, 3 Commas, 1 Large Skipper, c60 Meadow Browns & 15+ whites, mostly Green-veined but 1 Large noted. Simon & Pat Cox
Brampton Wood (TL184698) Purple Hairstreak on clover on main ride, and White Admirals flying along the rides. Nigel Agar
Gallows Corner, Harold Wood (TQ5390) Wider Countryside Survey: 2x1km walks. 10.25-11.10. 26C F3SW. Small Skipper 1, Small/Essex Skipper 2, Large White 1, Small White 8, Purple Hairstreak 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 1. Hairstreaks in the small wooded area of Gidea Park Sports Ground (as last year) but no skippers here, these were seen in a scrubby parking lot. Numbers down on last year, possibly through heat, but also some roadside and industrial verges have been tidied up. Then onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 12.10-13.40 transect. 28C F3SW: Small Skipper 19, Essex Skipper 1, Small/Essex Skipper 66, Large White 2, Small White 5, Green-veined White 2?, Purple Hairstreak 2, Red Admiral 2, Peacock 2, Comma 5, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 36, Meadow Brown 110, Ringlet 42, White-letter Hairstreak 1+ (top of Jermaines Wood, in the heat of the day – a definite colony here after last year’s singleton). Rob Smith
Great Chishill (TL425390) A Silver-washed Fritillary (2 photos). Jack Harrison

Friday 9th July
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) A Purple Emperor (IN CAMBS) on southern ride while watching White-letter Hairstreak on thistles. Plus White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary. Roger Orbell
Paul Fisher later reports: Just like to confirm the P. Emperor sighting at Bedford Purlieus on the 9th. The guy who was there before me had taken pictures of what he thought was a White Admiral with purple bits, I asked to have a look. saying it sounded like a P.E. Within 2 mins of confirming it as a P.E., one landed right in front of us on the track. Sightings for the day included around 7 Silver-washed Frits, 5+ White Admirals, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Small Heaths, 1 Common Blue as well as the White-letter Hairstreaks, Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Skippers and Whites all along the same East/West ride (Most Southerly).
Editor: It turns out that the photographer was Joe Lynn who has kindly submitted a couple of photos.

Warboys Wood (TL296820) From 11am to noon: Saw 2 Red Admirals, various Whites, 20+ Meadow Browns, 10+ Ringlets, one Hawkmoth ( ? Hummingbird ) and 1 Purple Hairstreak. Charles Nicol
Little Hyde Lane, Ingatestone (TL651001) Too hot for the 50+ skippers to open up on this patch of wasteland by the A12, but of the dozen or so identified, at least half were Essex. Gatekeeper 5, Ringlet 1 & Small White 3. Rob Smith
Thorrington (TM01Z) Spent just over an hour this morning in TM01Z (Thorrington area) & saw 11 Meadow Browns, 3 Gatekeepers, 4 Commas, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Small Copper, 1 Peacock, 2 Red Admirals, 1 White Admiral (at TM086189), 3 Small/Essex Skippers, 2 Green-veined Whites, 3 Large & 10+ Small Whites. Also Brown & Southern Hawker, Black-tailed Skimmer & a few Azure Damselflies. This afternoon visited:
Belhus Woods CP (TQ5682) 110 Meadow Browns, 40 Ringlets in discrete pockets, 2 Red Admirals, 3 Comma, 4 Large Skipper identified, innumerable Essex/Small Skippers (& Whites present). Also the lakes good for odonata. John Smart
Colne Point (TM107127) near the Reserve entrance, c.10 Green-veined & c.5 Small Whites & c.15 S/E Skippers of which 3 Essex & 1 Small identified & 2 Gatekeepers in TM01W. Simon Cox
Lordship Stud, near Newmarket (TL605602) 2 unidentified hairstreaks observed spiralling around the tops of elm regrowths, along the London Road about 75 yards past Lordship Stud entrance (left hand side of road towards Newmarket). Observed between 3.15-3.35pm, presumably White-letter Hairstreaks?
6 Purple Hairstreaks in oaks at Hare Park (TL586593) on the evening of the 7th July. On the 8th July, 3 more Purple Hairstreaks seen in oaks in a different area of Hare Park 7.30-7.55pm. on private land. Kevin Wilson
Sawtry: St. Andrews Graveyard (TL176839) 4pm. I spent half an hour at the old graveyard, sunny but windy, 5 White-letter Haistreak, flying very high, binoculars were needed for a positive ID. Rosalyn Payne

Thursday 8th July
Devil's Dyke (TL616616), 1 Dark Green Fritillary seen during vegetation monitoring session. Iain Webb, Sian Williams.
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF076047) In the evening small numbers of Marbled White butterflies and little else (photos) while in Newborough (TF206060) 3 Hummingbird Hawkmoths together - no photos unfortunately! Philip Todd
Wivenhoe (TM036222) Garden butterfly tick this evening, a White Admiral. Never seen one before in Wivenhoe wood, must be a good year! Plus lots of Purple Hairstreaks. Richard Allen
Alresford Creek (TM064195) Glyn Evans reports Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks here mid-afternoon.
Brampton Wood (TL184698) 2-4 pm: Still at least 4 Black Hairstreak on site 2 showing well. Also White Letter and Purple around the wood. At least 15 White Admiral seen plus fresh Comma , Small Skipper and Whites mainly Large and a few Gatekeeper. No sign of any Frits after last week's report (photos - including a Ringlet not seen one like this before ). Roger Orbell
Tylers Common, Great Warley (TQ568906) After an unsuccessful 2009, ! finally spotted 5 or 6 White-letter Hairstreak at this known colony this evening (on Elm at range, I think!). Also Purple Hairstreak 4, Large Skipper 7, Small Skipper 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 3, Ringlet 3. In nearby Jermaines Wood (TQ571909) Purple Hairstreak 1 & Comma 4. Rob Smith
Hatfield Forest, Essex (TL531198) Started at the south gate at 15.40, no Silver-washed Fritillary seen until I entered the smaller rides in Lodge Coppice. As usual at this time of day, all males were franticly searching for females and giving the local commas a hard time; 7 males in total (my best afternoon count by far). I was just wondering if the females had emerged yet when I found one keeping a low profile, so 8 in total (photo). Laurence Drummond
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL56S) On top of dyke, 4 Chalkhill Blues. In the Burwell Cutting 50 metres either side of the dyke, approx 100 Chalkhill Blues. All CH Blues were male so clearly early in season with peak yet to come (photo). Countless fresh Small Whites with undersides very yellow this summer brood. Only two Gatekeepers (my first of season – very late this year). One fresh female Brimstone. Numerous Small Skippers but of those checked, no Essex. Meadow Browns lower numbers than usual but Ringlets abounded by the hedges just in from the road (photo). Jack Harrison
Fairfield, Ingatestone (TQ652995) A small, pristine Painted Lady seen across the railway, possibly home grown. Also Small White 4, Meadow Brown 3, Small Skipper 4, and by the pond Small Tortoiseshell 1, Ringlet 2. Rob Smith

Wednesday 7th July
Devil's Dyke: Newmarket end (TL616616) Sharon Hearle reports that she counted 222 Chalkhill blues on the Devil's Dyke transect; no sign of any Marbled White on this walk but plenty of Ringlet.
Allington Hill, Six Mile Bottom (TL580584) One Hummingbird Hawkmoth nectering on knapweed at 6.35pm on the public footpath. Kevin Wilson
Maldon (TL860055) Two Hummingbird Hawkmoths feeding on Red Valerian at the front of my house at 5.15pm. Russell Neave
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Meadow Brown and Ringlets fairly level pegging at 50+, Large Skipper 10, Small Skipper 2 and 40+ unidentified, Large White 1, Small White 3, and Brimstone 1 (disturbed a vibrant-looking male). Rob Smith

Tuesday 6th July
Belhus CP (TQ565825) A Silver-washed Fritillary seen by Rob Goodrick; and a number were sighted during the following week, in the Running Water Wood coppice area, visitor centre shelter, Romford Lodge garden and Kitchen. Tony Bovis (Senior Ranger)
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) Great excitement on the otherwise Ringlet-based transect today, with a Dark Green Fritillary on section 8, which is the area on the NE bottom of the dyke south of the A11, in the area around the Juniper bushes. Also my first Gatekeeper of the year and a Broad-bordered White moth at rest on knapweed. Other butterflies: Ringlet 92, Small & Essex Skippers, Regular Whites, Painted Lady 1, Small Tort 4, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 1 (plus 1 on way back) & Meadow Brown 24. Was hoping the excitement would come from the first Fleam Chalkhill Blues but will hapilly forgo that pleasure! Vince Lea
Roman Road (TL523522) I did the Roman Road transect today, starting at 11.0 ish. It was warm, but not very sunny to start with so the butterflies were not moving very fast. I was astonished to see quite so many ringlets, 56 noted plus many more. I saw 7 Large Skippers, many more than usual on the Roman Road, I thought. The bonus was two Marbled Whites, male and female. The male Marbled White was on the section just south of Copley Hill. He was rushing around hopefully, and courted a female brimstone enthusiastically for some minutes! The female was at the very end of section 8, down in the grass, possibly laying eggs. Her wings were quite damaged, so maybe she was recovering from a bird attack, but she investigated grasses and climbed up stems for several minutes. I took her on my finger to see what the problem was, but she flew off quite smoothly along the flowery bank. Perhaps some more will arrive on this warm wind.
On a lower level of excitement, the explosion of Ringlets would explain why I have, for the first time in 20 years, been seeing the odd one in my small flowery suburban garden in Hinton Avenue, Cambridge (TL470563), and I have just seen a Brown Argus nectaring on bloody cranesbill and a pink hybrid cranesbill. I have never seen a Brown Argus in my garden, and it is not on Dr Vickery’s list of garden butterflies. Julia Napier
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) We photographed this White-letter Hairstreak at around 5.30pm, one of two we saw in the southern ride. As you see, since Phil Bromley's photos, they now have marjoram on the menu! Peter and Jan Farbridge
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden a Hummingbird Hawkmoth nectaring on Lavender at 12.20hrs, also Small Tortoiseshell and Comma. Then at 14.25 a blackish butterfly with pale fringe, in bobbing flight over the long grass on back lawn - my first Ringlet (at last!) It didn't settle but good views for 2 minutes and my all-time garden list now stands at 25 species. (This includes Wall Brown over 20 years ago). Ringlets are now locally common in TQ59, having spread to many new sites inside the M25 since 2003/04 but particularly from 2007 onwards. Colin Jupp
Hare Park, Six Mile Bottom (TL586593) 4 Purple Hairstreaks observed yesterday evening between 6pm - 8:45pm. Very active, males spiralling frequently in oaks on private land. Kevin Wilson
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Small Skipper 2, Essex Skipper 5, Small/Essex Skipper 5, Large Skipper 4, Small White 40, Green-veined White 2, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 38, Ringlet 18 & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts

Monday 5th July
Devil's Dyke: Newmarket end (TL616616) Quite warm, breezy, sporadic sunshine. Chalkhill Blue 40 (top of dyke), so there must have been good sightings at the weekend. Another 7 on lee side (mainly on training gallop, 1 behaving like a Holly Blue, nectaring on privet) (photo attached). Marbled White 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Small Heath 3. Approx. other numbers – Ringlet 25, Meadow Brown 15, whites spp. 10. then onto:
M11, Duxford (TL470458) Walked along field edge NW towards A505 interchange to see whether the chalky road & culvert cuttings might reveal anything unusual in the field – they didn’t, but did see - Gatekeeper 10, Small Heath 4, Small Tortoiseshell 3, and about 10-15 Meadow Browns and Ringlets, 5 whites. Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Lunchtime today: 3 Large White, 1 Green Veined, 1 Small; 1 Comma, 1 Holly Blue, 2 Meadow Browns and 1 Speckled Wood. Nick Ballard
Weeleyhall Wood EWT (TM156207) Early pm visit today produced at least 7, possibly 9, White Admirals, 1 Red Admiral, 6 Commas, 2 Large Skippers, c20 Meadow Browns, 1 Ringlet, 4 Speckled Woods & c8 whites (mixed Large & Small). Simon Cox
Godmanchester Eastside Common, Hemingford Abbots (TL268715) At lunchtime, there were 100+ Meadow Browns on the mown meadow & on the brambles; one of them looked rather like a Gatekeeper!! (pic). Also 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Large Whites, 1 Small White, 1 Green Veined White (pic), 5 Commas, 10+ Small Skippers. Then onto:
Belton's Hill, Spaldwick (TL126739) At 3:30 pm, I found 2 genuine Gatekeepers (pics). Also 7 pristine Small Tortoiseshells and 10+ Ringlets. Charles Nicol

Sunday 4th July
Stour Wood RSPB (TM1931) At least 20 White Admirals seen, and only half the wood covered during a guided walk. Also, 2 (but possibly 3 or even more) Silver-washed Fritillaries seen on the 'short trial'. Rick Vonk. and Rick adds: A possible Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth in the woodland rides near the car park, saw it for a split second and couldn't re-find or catch it. If anyone does see one there please
Elton (TL086941) Numerous White-letter Hairstreaks seen around the Elms on Duck Street by Brian Stone
Hatfield Forest, Essex (TL531198) Spent this morning around Emblems & Lodge coppices and then the main ride between Rounds and Beggars Hall coppices - masses of butterflies; Ringlets & Browns too many to count, Small Copper 1, Comma >5, Red admiral 1, Large White >5, Small White 3, Large skipper too many to count, Small Tortoiseshell 4, but the stars were over 20 Silver-washed Fritillaries. They move so quickly that I cannot be sure I wasn't counting the same one twice. Seen mostly along the rides. Graeme Smith
Hardwick Wood (TL3557) White-letter (2) and Purple (1) Hairstreaks. Vince Lea
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden: 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 2(m&f)Small Skipper and 1 Small White. Also over past two days - 2(m&f) Large Skipper, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Green-veined and 1 Large White (most visiting briefly, the Buddleia flowers are just coming out.). Also:
Maylands Golf Course /A12, Harold Park (TQ563921) At 16.40hrs I had a look at a small Wych elm on the N side of the A12 and within minutes 2 White-letter Hairstreak males were 'sparring'. Then I noticed another WLH stationary (but partly hidden) on the upper side of a leaf about 6m high, which further views revealed was in fact a pair mating. Subsequently, one of the other males settled on a leaf very close to, and directly opposite the pair for at least 5 minutes. I had to leave at 17.20, but decided to return later in the evening (20.15hrs). To my surprise the (presumed same) mating pair were still present but had moved more openly to a different leaf so I took some rather poor record shots (didn't have my 'scope to put the camera to). I stayed till 21.30hrs by which time they had crawled along the underside of the foliage, still together. This is the seventh occasion since 1999 I have observed a mating pair of WLH but never previously late in the evening. Colin Jupp
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) In the northern meadow area, Large and Small/Essex Skipper (possibly both), 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Also Meadow Browns and Ringlet (pic). Nick Ballard
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) A late afternoon visit to count insects. This meant as soon as I arrived the sky clouded over and the sou'westerly upped the ante! And of course as soon as I left, the sun reappeared. Due to the wind the Dragonfly and Butterfly counts were restricted to the wader and small lagoons more sheltered area's: 2 Large White, 1 Small White, 4 Small Tortoishell, 12 Meadow Brown, 30 Ringlet, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Small Heath, 2 Large Skipper, 10 Small/Essex Skipper; Moths 1 Silver-Y, 1 Narrow-bordered 5-Spot Burnet, 6 Burnet spp., 2 Thorn spp.. Dragons - 62 Common Blue Damselfly (includes 4 joined prs), 2 Red Eyed Damselfly, 2 Small Red Eyed Damselfly, 9 Blue Tailed Damselfly, 36 Emerald Damselfly (only 8 pruinosed males), 2 Emperor Dragonfly, 39 Black tailed Skimmer (includes 2 joined prs, the rest were all males) & 1 Four Spotted Chaser. Mike Harris
Belfairs NR: Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ820875) Had 12 White Admirals in Belfairs Woods today along with 25+ Heath Fritillaries, many Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Large Skippers plus 1 Essex SKipper, 2 Holly Blues, 1 Brimstone and 1 Red Admiral. A single White Admiral was seen in Little Haven EWT: Pound Wood (TQ821888) early morning by John Wright, possibly indicating a spread from Belfairs as not been recorded here previously (photos attached). Steve Arlow
Raveley Wood BCNPWT (TL245818) Brian Laney reports: Had one fresh White-letter Hairstreak fly up from one of the clearings at TL245818. Also in the same clearing was a Comma abberation of which Pete Tebitt a friend of mine ID'd it as obscura by the photo I had.
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) 12.30 - 15.00. We only visited the most southerly E~W ride in the wood, primarily to see the White-letter Hairstreaks. The colony here is surprisingly large with a constant stream of butterflies coming down to nectar on thistle & bramble, there were often 4 or more in view. We were fortunate enough to spot the rare aberrant form albovirgata on Saturday (photo attached). We also saw Silver-washed Fritillary 8+, White Admiral 3, Red Admiral 1, Comma 4, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Ringlet 25+, Meadow Brown 10+, Large Skipper 15+, Small Skipper 5+, Green-veined White 5+ (photos attached). Phil Bromley and Rosalyn Payne
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL378549) On transect: Small Skipper 8, Essex Skipper 9, Small/Essex Skipper 16, Small White 21, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 1, Comma 2, Meadow Brown 68, Ringlet 17 & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts

Saturday 3rd July
Lark Rise Farm, Barton (TL415555) On transect: Small Skipper 6, Essex Skipper 8, Small/Essex Skipper 14, Large Skipper 3, Small White 41, Common Blue 1, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Meadow Brown 71 & Ringlet 62. Tony Roberts
Tendring (TM12M) 2 hr circuit produced 25 Meadow Browns, 6 Ringlets, 7 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood, 4 Large Skippers, 2 Large & 3 Small Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Hornchurch CP (TQ535848) 8 White-letter Hairstreaks on Elms (park at the main car park walk left on the path by the new play area and walk to the river down the slope turn left still on the path go through the stile and there two benches on the left about 30 meters, go in the grass to view the Elm trees on your left. It is about 2 mins from parking your car. (Photos on blog.) Shaun Harvey
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 07:35-08:35: 1 Large White, 2 Small White, 3 Small Tortoishell, 5 Ringlet, 14 Meadow Brown, 2 Small Heath 6 Small/Essex Skipper spp.. Moths included 3 Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet & 1 Thorn sp.. Dragons: 20 Common Blue Damselfly, 4 Emerald Damselfly & 1M Black Tailed Skimmer. Mike Harris

Friday 2nd July
Broadway Cemetery, Peterborough (TL195995) I was able to closely observe a Dark-green Fritillary on a patch of Field Scabious flowers. It seems to be well off track in a heat wave. The Millennium atlas indicates a big gap but perhaps it has been spreading back into former territory to the west of Peterborough. Alan Stubbs
South Weald, Weald Park Way (TQ575932) Visited the site with Roy and Marion Wyatt between 13.45-14.45hrs. We had a total of 14 male White-letter Hairstreaks clashing over the elms and 2 females and 1 male nectaring on bramble and creeping thistle by the A12 bridge (photographed by RW,MW). Also Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Comma, Ringlet and Meadow Brown. Then onto:
Warley CP (TQ584921) During a two hour visit with RW and MW, 50+ Small Skipper, 2 definite Essex Skipper, 16 Large Skipper (13m,3f), 1 Small White, 1 Holly Blue, 2 Comma, 40+ Meadow Brown and 63 Ringlet. Also 2 Silver Y, 1 Burnet Companion and several Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet moths. Then:
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) In the early evening: fairly constant White-letter Hairstreak activity over the elms and some good perched views as well (at least 8 seen), with 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 2 Small White and single (male) Essex, Small and Large Skippers elsewhere on site. Colin Jupp
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 3pm transect. Very hot. F4SW. Small Skipper 21, Essex Skipper 1, Small/Essex 15, Small White 8, Common Blue 4 (3 tatty females, 1 fresh male), Small Tortoiseshell 2, Meadow Brown 45, Small Heath 24 (having an excellent season). The shore was quite calm, being on the lee side of the strong breeze, and one Small White was bobbing along taking salts from the seaweed floating along the water’s edge. Rob Smith
Buttsbury, Essex (TQ663986) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the churchyard this afternoon. Simon Wood
Benfleet Downs (TQ783857) 2pm to 5pm to look for White-letter Hairstreaks. I counted 21 today (photos attached) along with 2 Purple Hairstreaks. The mid to late afternoon is definately the best time to visit to look go look for these. Access down the ride from the entrance gate at the end of St. Marys Road. Also here 40+ Marbled Whites, 4 Red Admirals, 3 Large Whites, 2 Small Whites, 4 Holly Blue, 10+ Large Skippers, 40 Small Sippers, 15+ Essex Skippers, 12+ Ringlets, 10+ Meadow Browns, 11 Comma and numerous Cinnabars. Steve Arlow
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (TM2624) Good variety this am: 15+ Meadow Browns, 3 Ringlets, 2 Small Heaths, 15+ S/E Skippers (of which several confirmed Small), 2 Large Skippers, 1 Holly & 5 Common Blues, 1 Small Copper, 2+ Large & 1+ Small Whites and 3 Speckled Woods. Simon & Pat Cox
Brampton Wood (TL184698) 3 - 4 pm: 3 Black Hairstreak walking about on clover on Main Ride by the brick shed just past the large oaks - two in pristine condition and one was a bit worn; plus 4 BH at site 2 also coming down low. White Admiral 8 on Main Ride plus lots of Large and Small skipper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown plus 4 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 5 Large White and 2 Small White (photos attached). Roger Orbell
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.30am-11.50am transect. 22C F4SW. Glad I got in this transect walk before a trip to Norfolk. I did some scrub clearing in the winter to make the track through Jermaines Wood passable again. Just feeling rewarded with a Purple Hairstreak, Ringlet and a Blue-banded Demoiseselle, but then in the top corner (TQ57129097) was a male Silver-washed Fritillary! Yes, there are some violets nearby, but I’m sure he was just in transit, sheltering from the strong south-westerlies. It flew quite manically for half an hour, but eventually started to settle (photo attached). Can’t think where it came from, or where it was heading. A fritillary on my soppy little transect! Others: Small Skipper 22, Small/Essex 88 (no Essex seen), Large Skipper 9, Large White 1, White spp. 2, Purple Hairstreak 1, Red Admiral 1, Comma 6, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 66, Ringlet 38. Rob Smith

Thursday 1st July
Hadleigh Castle CP (TQ7986) About a dozen White-letter Harstreak, some low on brambles. Countless Large, Small and Essex skippers, Marbled Whites, Ringlets and Meadow Browns, plus several Comma hutchinsoni, Holly Blue, and one each of Large White, Purple Hairstreak and Heath Fritillary. Butterflies are everywhere on this site at the moment! In the evening, went onto:
Belfairs NR: Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ820875) Still plenty Heath Fritillaries, many in good condition,plus Small and Large Skippers, a Comma and a Red Admiral. White Admiral seen three times,but could have been the same individual. Mark Bunch
Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593) 10.40-13.10hrs: Although breezy this directed the White-letter Hairstreak activity over certain sheltered trees; 3 on Wych elm near the moat (TQ550927), 13 at the S.end of Fir Wood and 14 nearby on Maylands Golf Course (TQ558929), with regular clashing of males at all the sites. Also 12 Ringlet, 2 Small Heath, 2 Holly Blue, 1m Common Blue, 1 Small White plus lots of Meadow Browns and Skippers (but I mainly concentrated on WLH today). Colin Jupp
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) 6pm: Heath Fritillary 2, Meadow Brown 5, Ringlet 13, Skipper (small?) 2. Rob Smith
Fairfield, Ingatestone (TQ652995) A large Small White by the pond, a Large Skipper and two Small Tortoiseshells over the railway bridge and a Speckled Wood and a Red Admiral in the bottom corner. Rob Smith
Great Chishill Meadows (TL425392) Huge numbers of Ringlets in my local meadows in South Cambridgeshire. Meadow Browns, while not scarce, are well down on usual numbers. The colony of Marbled Whites that became established in 2007 is now spreading from the core area into adjacent meadows and even into the old orchard. Good numbers seen, as many as four at once. Probably outnumbering the Meadow Browns but that is difficult to be sure about; after all Marbled Whites are far more noticeable. Marbled Whites are now within about 250 metres of my home. How long before a garden tick? (To replace the long-lost Wall Browns that were here some 18 years ago). Jack Harrison

June 2010

Wednesday 30th June
Colne Point (TM01W)) 2 Small Heaths & a Red Admiral, the latter flying across the river towards Mersea, also a few ‘whites’. Simon & Pat Cox
Monks Wood (TL203799) Called in here late afternoon (5-6pm): Lucky to catch up with a late Black Hairstreak, also White-letter and Purple out. A very fresh Comma and White Admiral, Ringlets, Speckled Woods, G-v White and Large Skippers. Also dandy Brown Hawkers. Then called in at:
Wennington (TL218795) at the railway bridge, a flotilla of perfect Marbled Whites in the field margin, and a Small Heath. David Hopkins
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) This afternoon in Bedford Purlieus (main ride - noticeboard entrance) we saw 4 White Admirals, 1 Silver-washed Fritillary and 2 Commas over the area of bracken (300-400yds in on the left). We then moved to the south-west ride, where we saw 2 Commas (at entrance gate), and 1 White-letter Hairstreak nectaring on pathway and 1 Essex skipper (halfway along the ride). Peter & Jan Farbridge
David Withrington also reports a male Silver-washed Fritillary flying in a clearing in the SE corner (TL052991) plus many Ringlets.
Wat Tyler CP (TQ7386) Marble White 5, Ringlet 15 Localized in batches, Comma 4, Small Heath 1, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Red Admiral 3, 'Whites' c.25, several Essex / Small Skippers & Meadow Brown 27. John Smart
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Small Skipper 7, Essex Skipper 3, Small/Essex Skipper 6, Small White 8, Green-veined White 1, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 26& Ringlet 16. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 29th June
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL378549) On transect: Small Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper2, Small White 4, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Meadow Brown 40 & Ringlet 4. Tony Roberts
Gog Magog Golf Course (TL4954) Peter Lawrence reports that he has been playing golf at the Gog Magog golf course south of Cambridge for 40 years, but never seen Marbled Whites before but just now there are a lot of them. Also that a friend has sighted Green Hairstreaks in fair numbers earlier this year by the beech woods south of Cambridge near the golf course.
Hatfield Forest, Essex (TL531198) We saw 2 Silver - washed Fritillaries by Lodge Coppice today whilst walking a transect. John & Anne Young

Monday 28th June
Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593) Late morning to early afternoon; 2nd visit late afternoon: 100+ Meadow Browns including some females and a mating pair; 100+ Small Skippers, some very active and tricky to id, many checked at random across the whole site were all this species (no Essex); 58 Large Skippers (don't think I have ever seen so many, particularly on bramble along the woodland edges and around the ponds), 1 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Common Blue, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 6 Comma, 3 Speckled Wood, 5 Ringlet, 5 Small Heath and 2 White spp. (in 4 hours). Colin Jupp
Madingley Park & Ride, Cambridge (TL423593) Between 1900 and 1930 hours: Met Jack Harrison and we scoured the tree tops for signs of Hairstreaks....No luck with any White Letter, but c.6 Purple Hairstreak flying around the tops of the oaks on the Madingley side of the entrance; occasionally a couple spiralling down halfway. A few Meadow Brown down nr the lake along with the odd Large Skipper. A nice hutchinsoni Comma took a fancy to Jack and alighted on his shirt several times. Nick Ballard & Jack Harrison
Shenfield (TQ601949) 7pm: Large meadow adjacent Hall Wood, Ringlet 6, Meadow Brown 8, Large Skipper 8, and along raised wooden path nearer Sawyers Hall Lane (TQ599945) a fresh Comma & Large Skipper 3. Rob Smith
Hannakins Farm, Billericay (TQ666964) Ringlet 5, Large Skipper 1 & Essex Skipper 2. Then:
Queens Park CP, Billericay (TQ671965) Large Meadow transect revealed some 30 Meadow Browns and 8 Skippers (probably Little). John Smart
Radwinter End (TL63E) 2 hour circuit: 9 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Red Admiral, 7 Large Skippers, 4 Small/Essex Skippers (1 definite Small ? all Small), 22 Meadow Browns, 4 Ringlets, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Large & 3 Small Whites. Then onto:
Hempstead area (TL63J) 1 Painted Lady, 7 Small Tortoiseshells, 18 Meadow Browns, 3 Large Skippers, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White, 1 Small/Green-veined White & 1 Silver Y. Simon & Pat Cox
Devil's Dyke: Newmarket end (TL612620) 6pm: 2 Marbled Whites 400 yards from the car park at the July Racecourse (photos attached). Kevin Wilson
Leigh-on-Sea (TQ829860) This morning on the wild banks adjacent to gardens at Marine Parade, circa 10 Marbled White. Bruce Foxall
Beggars Hall Lake, Great Hallinbury (TL527199) 3 Large Skipper, Small Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 1, Small/Essex Skipper 6, Ringlet 3 and Small Tortoiseshell 1. Then onto:
Hatfield Forest, Essex (TL531198) Between 2:45pm and 3:45pm, searching the wide rides separating Beggarshall Coppice, Round Coppice and Lodge Coppice on the western side of the Forest: 1 Silver-washed Fritillary. This is 2 days earlier than the previous two years. Plus Large White 1, Meadow Brown 8, Large Skipper 5+, Small Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 10+, Small Tortoiseshell 1 and Speckled Wood 1 and 3 Comma (which at distance can initially be mistaken for SWFs particularly if they are careering down the rides at high speed). Tony Moverley
Monks Wood (TL203799) I spent this morning in Monks Wood with Nick Greatorex-Davies carrying out the BMS transect, during a 2 hour period we saw, on & off transect, White Admiral 1, Black Hairstreak 4, Purple Hairstreak 2, Comma 2, Marbled White 6, Ringlet 75+, Meadow Brown 20+, Speckled Wood 10+, Large Skipper 25+, Small Skipper 15+, Green-veined White 5 & Small White 1. Then onto:
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve) (TL212813) White-letter Hairstreak 7, on elms either side of the lane adjacent to the reserve. Phil Bromley

Sunday 27th June
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) Between 17.15-17.35hrs watching the elms near the bowling green, up to 7 White-letter Hairstreaks including regular clashing of males and perched views as well (with bins). My first here but I was fairly optimistic considering the amount of elm at this site, including some that appear to be DED resistant. When I returned 18.55-19.40hrs, 5 Purple Hairstreaks over the oaks in NE corner. Also 2 Holly Blue, 4 Comma, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Speckled Wood and singles of Large, Small and Green-veined White plus immature Common Darter perched high up in tree. Colin Jupp
Wendens Ambo (TL43Y) 2 hr circuit: 10 Small Tortoiseshells, 6 Speckled Woods, 10 Meadow Browns,1 Small/Essex Skipper, 4 Small Whites. Then onto:
Littlebury Green (TL43Z) 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Speckled Woods, 18 Meadow Browns, 15 Ringlets, 3 Small Heaths, 3 Small & 2 Large Whites, 6 Small/Essex Skippers (probably mostly Small). 1 Silver Y. Then onto:
Armigers Pits (TL601287) 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Ringlets, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Small/Essex Skipper. Simon & Pat Cox
Belfairs Woods NR (TQ819876) 1 White Admiral, 100+ Heath Fritillary, 2 Brimstone, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Ringlet, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Large White, numerous Large and Small Skippers and in
Rochford (TQ8790) 2 Privet Hawk Moths and 1 Elephant Hawk Moth in my garden. Steve Arlow
Brampton Wood (TL184698) In search of White Letter/Purple Hairstreaks and White Admirals. Saw one hairstreak which flew high onto an elm tree, but it turned out to be a Black Hairstreak - also found a couple more in another part of the wood. They are just about finished now I think. Plenty of Large Skippers, a few Small Skippers, Ringlets, Meadow Browns, 2 fresh Commas and one Large White... and finally three very fresh White Admirals on the main ride (photo attached). Trevor Sawyer

Saturday 26th June
Harold Wood, Paines Brook (TQ550913) I arrived at 18.30hrs to look at the elm by the brook near the A12, from W side; 2 White-letter Hairstreaks were still flying in the sunshine but after 5 minutes became much less active, settling for longer on foliage, so good views with binoculars. At 18.50 I lost sight of one but the 2nd individual remained perched on same leaf and was still there when I last checked before leaving at 19.20hrs. Also several of the oaks viewed had Purple Hairstreaks flying, mainly after 7pm - at least eight in total. Then:
Harold Hill (TQ549923) I looked at this small oak wood on the way home and 4 Purple Hairstreaks were seen between 19.40-19.55hrs. I think the above illustrates the 'changing of the shift' with the two hairstreaks. Colin Jupp
Vange Marsh RSPB (TQ7286) Late morning to early afternoon, I noted 16 Small and 1 Large Skippers, 2 Large Whites, 10 Small Heath and a Common Blue. Then:
Benfleet Downs (TQ783857) From mid afternoon had a good selection of butterflies though numbers of certain species well down on last year; 2-4 White-letter Hairstreaks on the favoured bramble, 12 Holly Blue, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Marbled White, 2 Comma, 2 Ringlet, 8+ Large Skippers, 5+ Small Skippers, 4 Meadow Brown, 1 Small Heath and 1 Large White. These were all along the ride that runs from the gate at the end of St. Mary's Road down the meadow by the railway line. Also 3 Privet Hawk Moths in my garden. (Photos attached) Steve Arlow
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.30am transect. Hot. Small Skipper 32 + 71 unidentified, Large Skipper 9, Speckled Wood 3, Meadow Brown 61 (some females), Ringlet 3, Small Heath 1 and, interrupting the distinctly brown theme to the morning - Common Blue 3 (all male), Holly Blue 1. then onto:
Crowsheath Community Woodland, Hanningfield (TQ720970) 1pm. Midday sun probably suppressing numbers: Small Skipper c.15, Large Skipper c.10, Ringlet 2, Meadow Brown c.5, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Holly Blue 1, Common Blue 1 (f), Small Copper 1 (very worn). Then onto:
Sweyne Park, Rayleigh (TQ800920) 2pm. Marbled White 11 (male, all but one wings closed on Knapweed by pond track), Common Blue 2 (m), Speckled Wood 2, Brimstone 1 (faded male, but otherwise in reasonable shape), Skippers c.20, Meadow Brown c.6. Rob Smith
Great Chishill Meadows (TL425392) 0830 to 0930 hours before it became too hot. Marbled Whites first sightings this year 3 males, Small Skipper first sightings this year 3 males, Large Skipper 1, Common Blue 1 (very elderly), Brown Argus 1 (very elderly), numerous Ringlets but surprisingly few Meadow Browns (perhaps only 20 in one hour). Small Heaths also approx 20 in the hour. Speckled Woods in the shady areas. (Photos attached) Jack Harrison

Friday 25th June
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) Three White-letter Hairstreaks near the Damselfly Pond (TQ521918) with 2 males on territory on ash close to the elms. Also 2 Ringlet (my 1st this year), 2 Comma, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue. Near the lake (TQ518918) 10 Small Skippers, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock (unusual date). I returned in the evening to look for Purple Hairstreaks; from 19.45-20.00hrs 7-8 were flying on the W side of the Deer Park (TQ518921) but many of the oaks watched had no activity. Also good numbers of dragons & damsels today (12 species) inc the first Small Red-eyeds Damsels of the year on the lake. Then:
Romford Golf Course (TQ525904) At last a single White-letter Hairstreak (4th visit this week) - good views between 18.00-18.20 + 1 Comma. Colin Jupp
Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) On elm at the SW corner of the wood were White-letter Hairstreak 4+, no sign of Silver-washed Fritillary or White Admiral just yet. Phil Bromley

Thursday 24th June
South Weald, Weald Park Way (TQ575932) 10.45-11.30hrs. First stop to look for White-letter Hairstreaks with Sid Petts proved very successful; at least 8 on the elms next to the A12 bridge and another 7+ nearby along Weald Park Way. Lots of constant clashing male activity, often 2-3 together at several different spots at same time, plus some excellent telescope views of settled males. Considering the numbers involved they had probably emerged here at least a day or 2 earlier (in fact this is the site of my earliest record: 8/6/07). Also Holly Blue seen. Then:
Weald Country Park, Brentwood (TQ5794) Two White-letter Hairstreaks seen on the last standing elm along North Avenue (TQ567949) including 'scope views. Sad to see the extent of DED at this site over the years compared to when I first saw WLH's here in the late 1990's. Then:
Harold Wood, A12 / Paines Brook (TQ550914) 16.30-17.00hrs. Up to 6 W-L Hairstreaks seen; 4 clashing males over elms along the central reservation(!) and up to 2 males on south side of the A12 near the brook (inc good views perched). First recorded here 2008. Also a Large Skipper. Colin Jupp

Belfairs Woods NR (TQ819876) Went searching for White Admirals are Belfairs Woods Nature Reserve this afternoon as the weather was very good early on however by the time I arrived at 4.20pm it was overcast and muggy thus not a sniff of any admirals. However there was an impressive count of Heath Fritillaries with a total of 333 from three core areas.
175 were along the main ride that run parallel to the bridle track in the reserve side, access from Poors Lane. 51 were in a clearing on the right along the next parallel running track; at the end of the main path above it bears right by the bench and there is a path on ther right after about 20yards and the small clearing was up here about 20 yards on the right. 107 were in Dodds Grove.
The overcast but muggy conditions meant that they were easy to get close to for photography with several comminial roosts holding 30 or more. The only other butterflies seen were 10+ Large Skippers and a single Speckled Wood. Steve Arlow

Brampton Wood (TL184698) Whilst doing Doormouse survey today saw: Speckled Wood, Large Skipper, Large White, Meadow Brown, Black Hairstreak, Ringlet and our first White Admiral. Roger Orbell
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) 10 minute search up to 6pm revealed Heath Fritillary 3 (2 in flight and 1 stationary female) & Ringlet 1. Rob Smith
Mill Green Common (TL638012) A lot of skipper activity on the brambles – Large Skipper 27, Small Skipper 9, Meadow Brown 17, Holly Blue 1, Large White 1 (fresh). Rob Smith

Wednesday 23rd June
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) No sightings of Purple Hairstreak in the park yesterday evening between 18.45-20.00. Seen today; along edge of Spring Wood & adjacent grassland (TQ518924): 34 Meadow Brown (all males), 25 Small Skipper, 15 Large Skipper (13m, 2f), 1 Speckled Wood & 1 female Common Blue. Lake area (TQ518918): A fresh Small Tortoisehell, 6 Common Blue (4m,2f), 1 Holly Blue, 1 Large Skipper, 5 Small Skipper, 12+ Meadow Brown & a White sp. Damselfly Pond (TQ522918) No sign of any White-letter Hairstreaks late am; 1 Comma, 1 Holly Blue & a longhorn beetle - Agapanthea villosoviridescens. Then onto:
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) At 19.05hrs I saw a male Purple Hairstreak over a sheltered oak tree in the NE corner, flitting + settling on foliage in evening sunshine; it clashed briefly with another at 19.10. Good views with bins and my first of the year. Later I had a look at Romford Golf Course (TQ524903) where at least 2 more were flying between 20.00-20.15hrs, despite cooler breeze, but no more flight activity up to 20.30. Colin Jupp
Hockley Woods (TQ837916) Took the Boundary Walk towards the eastern side of the wood. Off the walk and on some of the more open areas towards the recently coppiced site we spotted 70+ Heath Fritillaries, 3 Holly Blues and a Large Skipper. Peter Clarke and Bob Clift

Tuesday 22nd June
Spaldwick (TL128724) Went for a 6 mile circular walk starting & ending at Spaldwick. Very hot...almost unbroken sunshine. 100+ skippers...mainly Small, 20+ Meadow Browns, 3 Large Whites & 1 Ringlet (2 photos attached). Charles Nicol
Kingston Old Railway Line (TL338558) Essex Skipper 1, Common Blue 9, Brown Argus 1, Speckled Wood 13, Meadow Brown 7 & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts
Great Chishill Meadows (TL425392) Scores of fresh Small Heaths on this reliable site. But the flight times/broods confuse me. I first saw Small Heaths in mid May. By early June numbers had decreased and most individuals were worn. Now there has been a new mass emergence. Clearly this is too soon for them to be offspring of the May butterflies, so what is going on here? Also dozens of Large Skippers and Meadow Browns and a single Ringlet, first of the year. Also an elderly Common Blue. Speckled Woods in the shady areas. No Marbled Whites or Small Skippers yet but they will emerge any day now. Jack Harrison
Monks Wood (TL203799) On the BMS transect this morning the first Ringlet 1 and Marbled White 1 of the year for this site. Also seen, on & off transect, were Black Hairstreak 19, Speckled Wood 22, Large Skipper 14, Meadow Brown 15 and a Comma. Then onto:
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve) (TL212813) Here, as well, this afternoon were Ringlet 2 & Marbled White 1, plus Large Skipper 4, Small Heath 3, Common Blue 1, Brimstone 2 & Large White 1. Phil Bromley
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) 12.30-45pm. Very warm and sunny, light breeze. 2 slow sweeps around the clearing: Heath Fritillary 2 (nectaring on blackberry blossom for first time), Ringlet 1, Large Skipper 2, Red Admiral 1 (exhibiting fritillary-like behaviour – checking low scrub, for mates?). Had just missed George Fletcher, the warden, who I understand had seen ‘a few’ fritillaries. Rob Smith
Orton Wistow area, Peterborough (TL144967) A Red Admiral seen by Trevor Wilson.

Monday 21st June
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Large White, 2 Holly Blue and 2 Speckled Wood. Then:
Romford Golf Course (TQ525904) Checked the elms for White-letter Hairstreak between 17.00-18.00 and returned at 7pm to scan the oaks for Purple Hairstreak - no luck with either species but hopefully any day now. Did see 2 fresh hutchinsoni Comma and just north of the GC near the A12, 2 Large Skippers and 3 Cinnabar + c25 Common Spotted Orchids (now smothered by encroaching thick bramble). Colin Jupp
Benfleet Downs (TQ783857) A single Marbled White, a Small Skipper, 3 Large Skippers and 4 Meadow Brown. No sign of White-letter Hairstreak, but very little bramble in flower at the moment. Andrew Woodhouse
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Small White 1, Common Blue 1, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 6& Small Heath 1; then onto:
Telegraph Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL408545) Large Skipper 1, Brimstone 1, Common Blue 15 & Meadow Brown 18; then onto:
Holt Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL403545) Essex Skipper 2, Small Skipper 2, Brimstone 1, Common Blue 7, Small Tortoiseshell 2 & Meadow Brown 21. Tony Roberts

Sunday 20th June
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 3pm transect, 15C F3+N wind, so activity on lee side of sea wall only. Small Skipper 1, Large Skipper 2, White spp 1, Small Copper 1, Common Blue 2 (m+f), Small Tortoiseshell 1 (fresh), Small Heath 17. (no repeat of last year’s single Green Hairstreak, so maybe a very low-density population here similar to the one at Mersea Island across the estuary). Latticed Heath moth 1. Then onto:
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) Arrived at 5.45pm to find George Fletcher, the warden, having spotted at least six Heath Fritillary individuals, including a mating pair, and a fresh Small Tortoiseshell. When I left at 6.30pm there were still 2 female and 1 male fritillaries still active (2 photos attached). Rob Smith
Monks Wood (TL203799) This afternoon we went to all (known to us) Black Hairstreak locations in the wood, at five locations we saw between 4 & 6 individuals and at a further nine spots we saw them in ones & twos, giving a total in excess of 35. Also seen were Large Skipper 10+, Speckled Wood 30+, Meadow Brown 6, Red Admiral 2 and a late male Orange-tip. Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne

Saturday 19th June
Steve Arlow made visits to three of the main Essex colonies of Heath Fritillaries today to see what the state of the population is:
Started at Little Haven EWT: Pound Wood (TQ821888) where counted 156 with most being in the main clearing around the pylons. There was also a Meadow Brown. Then walked through to Little Haven EWT but found two Heath Fritts in Little Have EWT: Tile Wood (TQ815891) which is the first time I have seen them in this wood.
The main clearing at pylons at Little Haven EWT: Starvelarks Wood (TQ811889) had 66 and 2 Large Skippers. The majority of the Heaths were in the clear on the east side of the path whilst less than 5 were on the west side of the path, contrast to the 300+ there last year.
Finally went to Belfairs NR: Dodds Grove (TQ817880) where 98 were counted between the site areas as well as 7 Large Skippers and 3 Speckled Woods. Despite the wind and intermitent downpoors butterflies were overall scarce. Steve Arlow

Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 1pm transect – F4 NW - some decent sunny spells (13-15C) between blustery showers (10C): Small Skipper 3 (male), Large Skipper 3, Common Blue 2, Holly Blue 1,Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 4 (male), Red Admiral 2 (spiralling within the shelter of Jacksons Wood) but the highlight was a fresh Small Tortoiseshell on Tylers Wood meadow, a rarity here in 2009. Moths: Mother Shipton 3, Burnett Companion 8. Rob Smith

Brampton Wood (TL184698) 10 Black Hairstreaks seen by Shaun Harvey - (Photos on blog.)

Friday 18th June
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) The cool NE breeze of recent days had eased but much more cloud cover today. My first Small Skipper of the year in grassland south of the Visitor Centre (TQ521921) with 4 Meadow Browns and 2 Yellow Shell moths. Also, 30+ male longhorn moths Nemophora degeerella which were active ('dancing') in several places along the bridleway down to the Damselfly Pond (TQ522918). Elsewhere in the park: Speckled Wood, Common Blue, 2 Large Skippers and Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnets including mating pairs. Colin Jupp

Thursday 17th June
Brampton Wood (TL184698) Roger Orbell recorded over 100 Black Hairstreaks during his weekly survey of several sites within the wood.

Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) 2pm – warmer breeze than yesterday, but more cloud. Heath Fritillaries 5, possibly 6. Also in the clearing Large Skipper 1, Speckled Wood 1. A further 2 Speckled Wood ‘fighting’ near the entrance. Rob Smith

Wednesday 16th June
Abbots Hall EWT (TL963140) 1 Painted Lady and then:
East Donyland (TM007217) 3 Small Heaths & 4 Common Blues. Simon & Pat Cox
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden early afternoon; a brief Red Admiral, 1 Green-veined White and up to 4 Holly Blues, including a male chasing and courting a female which settled on foliage of apple tree.
Then between 14.30-16.15hrs in nearby Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593): 7 Meadow Brown, 13 Large Skipper, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Heath, 1 Common Blue, 2 Holly Blue, 1 male Orange Tip and several unidentified 'whites' inc a probable fem Brimstone. My latest 'first of year' Meadow Browns since 2001 (30th May last year) and my latest ever male Orange Tip sighting.
From 7pm, a short half hour visit to Harold Court Woods, Thames Chase (TQ561913): An immaculate Small Tortoiseshell (presumably 1st generation), 2 Meadow Brown, 4 roosting Common Blue also 1 Cinnabar and several rather worn Burnet Companion and Mother Shipton moths. Colin Jupp
Orton Goldhay area, Peterborough (TL155955) A Holly Blue at the Orton Centre. Trevor Wilson
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) 2pm. Sunny but with cooling NE breeze. My first sweep located just 1 Heath Fritillary, but then sharp-eyed Ken Ulrich’s arrival seemed to spark more in short flights – 10 Heath Fritillaries were seen, fairly evenly distributed around the clearing. The cool breeze seemed to be keeping them down generally, so it is possible that more individuals were settled and unseen. Earlier this week, George Fletcher, the warden, had located 3. Also today were Large Skipper 2, and Large White 2. Rob Smith

Tuesday 15th June
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Large Skipper 1, Small White 2, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 1 and Painted Lady 1. Tony Roberts

Monday 14th June
St. Osyth (TM144159) First Red Admiral of the year in our garden. Simon & Pat Cox

Sunday 13th June
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 2pm transect, 17C but little sunshine. Most butterflies disturbed from roost. White spp 2, Common Blue 2, Holly Blue 1, Painted Lady 1, Small Heath 4. (no Brown Argus yet this year). Then onto:
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) frustrating weather again today. Long wait for showers and cloud to pass, eventually had some sunshine at 5.10pm. Found 2 Heath Fritillaries basking, male and female, about 50 yards apart, arguably the same individuals as yesterday? Also a Large Skipper. Rob Smith
Hockley Woods (TQ837916) A 11.00 - 1.00 visit produced 31 Heath Fritillaries, 1 Large White and 2 Holly Blues (3 photos attached). Steve Arlow
Barton (TL4054) One Meadow Brown. Vince Lea.

Saturday 12th June
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 6 Small Heath, 9 Common Blue (7M, 2F) & 2 Burnet Companion. Mike Harris
Devonshire Road, Chafford Gorges (TQ602789) 11.30am - wasteland at bottom of chalk cliffs: Holly Blue 5, white spp 1, Speckled Wood 1, Green Hairstreak 1 (behind fenced enclosure). Footpath on top of cliffs: Common Blue 1, Speckled Wood 2, Holly Blue 3. then onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) Transect – weather turning iffy. Large Skipper 3, white spp 1, Common Blue 2, Holly Blue 1, Painted Lady 1 (heading north), Speckled Wood 4, Meadow Brown 3, Small Heath 2. Moths: Mother Shipton 2, Burnett Companion 17, Cinnabar 1. then onto:
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) arrived 3.30pm to find George Fletcher, the warden, waiting for some sunshine. He had a report of a Heath Fritillary sighting on Wednesday, right of halfway near the BC coppiced area. (also a Small Copper around the left of the clearing – his first in the 6 years he’s been there). It was only 16C and a long time before the sun came through, however at 4.30pm I saw a female Heath Fritillary in the same area; the sun went in but it remained basking ‘Dingy-style’ on a Bullrush floret. At 5.10pm another sunburst brought out a male who chased the female but they didn’t achieve copulation. Hopefully she has already mated - this is no time to be fussy, girl! Some more encouragement came from a couple from Hampshire who had earlier seen dozens of Fritillaries roosting at Little Have EWT: Pound Wood but also a few caterpillars; so hopefully Thrift has a similar protracted emergence. I left at 5.30pm with both Frits still basking a few yards apart, the cloud cover getting thicker again. Rob Smith.

Friday 11th June
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) A Red Admiral and 2 Speckled Wood. Colin Jupp.
A walk from River Lane Brampton towards Offord At (TL216691) I saw a Meadow Brown (pic), a Silver Y moth and two Large Skippers. Also various dragonflies. Charles Nicol
Hutton CP (TQ634958) 6.10-6.40pm. After an overcast day, some evening sunshine produced Small Copper 3 (all worn), Small White 1, Large Skipper 2, Common Blue 1. Burnet Companion moths 5. Rob Smith
Brampton Wood (TL184698) Black Hairstreaks on the wing this afternoon at the 3 sites I had time to visit plus Large Skipper, Common Blue and Speckled Wood plus lots of dragonflies and a grass snake. Then onto:
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve) (TL212813) Grizzled Skipper 5, Small Heath 4, Small Copper 3, Common Blue 1 & Large White 1. Roger Orbell
Foxton (TL414480) A Painted Lady on my neighbour's lilac. Just a few hours later, a Hummingbird Hawk Moth came and nectared on the same pink Sedums around 7 pm (and for quite some time). Guy Manners

Wednesday 9th June
Barling / Little Wakering area (TQ98J) 2 hrs circuit: c15 blues (several Holly in churchyard area but some round the seawall probably Common), single O Tip, Small Heath, 2 Small Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593) Sunny spells, increasing cloud cover mid-afternon: Large Skipper, 3 Small Heath, 7m & 1f Common Blue, male Orange Tip, Small White & Speckled Wood. Then on the east side of Maylands Golf Course (TQ559928) Small Heath, Large Skipper & Common Blue with another Large Skipper & 3m Common Blue at TQ562925. Also Silver Y, Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion moths at both sites, the first 2 species just into double-figures in Dagnam Park. In the early evening 2 male Common Blues near Paines Brook, Harold Hill (TQ550914) + 2m Banded Demoiselles. Colin Jupp
Monks Wood NNR (TL203799) During the brief sunny spells around lunchtime today I saw 3 Black Hairstreak (photo), also seen were numerous Speckled Wood, Brimstone 1, Small White 1, Large Skipper 1 and a pristine Red Admiral. Phil Bromley

Martin Peers walked several areas to the north and west of Wormingford this morning. The two most productive were:
Bowdens conservation walk (TL936336) 1 Brown Argus, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Silver-Ys and whites (inc Orange-tip). Dragons seen included 8 White-legged damsels, 3 Hairy Dragonflies and 10 Scarce Chasers and at Lodge Hills (TL928324): 1 Painted Lady and 2 Small Heaths.
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) 6.15-7.15pm. Just a Red Admiral basking on a log pile. No Heath Fritillaries. Not the best time to visit the site, but it was a warm, sunny evening and always the chance of disturbing something. Rob Smith

Tuesday 8th June
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Lunchtime: A Small White and another male Common Blue. Nick Ballard
St. Osyth (TM144159) Painted Lady in our garden at lunchtime. Simon Cox
Ingatestone (TQ651985) Very warm after heavy rain, but strong winds. One each of Large Skipper, Orange Tip (male), Comma, Large White and Holly Blue. Rob Smith

Monday 7th June
Phil MacMurdie, conducting the Green Hairstreak project, has sent in the following report: [Click to Read]

Harold Wood: Pages Farm (TQ554901) Mid-pm visit; quite warm, brief sunny intervals. In the NW corner of this Thames Chase / Forestry Commission site, near the River Ingrebourne: 4 fresh male Large Skippers along a short stretch of hedgerow - my first of the year, 7 Small Heath, 7m & 1f Common Blue (but again, no Brown Argus, no luck so far at some sites that were reliable just a few years ago). On the north side of the hedge, on the former Pitch & Putt golf-course: 2 Small Heath, another pristine Large Skipper, 6m Common Blue, 1 Small White and a faded Speckled Wood - the area now managed by London Borough of Havering as a 'Summer Meadow'. Also, in one and half hours - 15 Burnet Companion, 11 Silver Y, 10 Mother Shipton, 1 Silver-ground Carpet plus 33 (18m,15f) Banded Demoiselles in riverside vegetation and tall grass nearby. Colin Jupp
Great Chishill Meadows (TL425392) Huge numbers of Common Blue, at times as many as five within a couple of metres where I was standing. Note: Common Blues are reported as being abundant over most of England at present. Small Heaths were only slightly less numerous with up three being seen sparring, not just amongst themselves but also trying to chase off Common Blues. This locality is always reliable for Small Heaths and today they were as numerous as I have seen them anywhere (photos attached). Jack Harrison
Brightlingsea (TM103173) 2 Small Heaths this morning during a brief visit (Note: No Public Access to this area). Simon Cox
Hartham Street (TL137706) At 3pm cloudy & humid: 2 Speckled Woods, 2 fresh Large Skippers (photo), 1 male Orange-tip & 1 Silver Y moth. Charles Nicol
Maldon (TL860065) 3+ Painted Ladies along the Seawall south of Maldon this evening. Russell Neave

Sunday 6th June
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 12pm sea wall transect, muggy 22C, sporadic hazy sunshine, little breeze. Large White 2, Small White 1, white spp 4, Orange Tip 2 (both female), Common Blue 7 (all male), Holly Blue 1, Painted Lady 1 (nectared momentarily, then headed south), Peacock 1, Small Heath 13. later onto:
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) 5pm. Half-hour search between showers, muggy, some sunshine. No Heath Fritillaries. Had a good look amongst cow wheat and scrub but no stages seen. Cow wheat emerging in BC coppiced area. Large White 2. Rob Smith
Gosfield (TL783295) Two Silver Ys in my paddock today at 4pm. Cloudy, humid and 23Deg. Colin Davis

Saturday 5th June
Little Haven EWT: Pound Wood (TQ821888) Southend for my "Kiss-me-Quick" hat, stick of rock and annual pilgrimage into Essex to see Heath Fritillary. Arrived early on a perfect, hazy morning. A few dozens of Heath Fritillary later in the day, around the electricity pylons and spreading into areas throughout the wood that have been recently coppiced - a dozen or so seen in one small compartment. In a few years, these areas, which initially support large areas of cow-wheat, the larval food-plant, become grown-over. These still provide some areas of cow-wheat and cover and nectar-sources for the butterflies, so a succession of coppicing is vital to their continued survival. Seeing the environment develop and change and how quickly the butterflies respond to sensitive management makes one realise why so many woodland species have suffered and require special treatment of their habitats that changing farming practice no longer delivers.....Also, 4 Holly Blue (one ovipositing on, I think, black medic?. which was unusual), about 5 male Common Blue, a few Small Whites and 2 Orange Tip, a Large Skipper and Speckled Wood (photos attached). Nick Ballard
Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593) Between 12.15-14.45hrs - 3 Small Heath, Small Copper, 7 Common Blue, 4 Holly Blue, 4 Speckled Wood, male Orange Tip, Large White, 8 Burnet Companion and Silver Y. Colin Jupp
Hardwick Wood (TL3557) On the bridlepath adjacent to Hardwick wood today, two very fresh Large Skipper. Also, a couple of whites and two Peacock in the wood itself. Louise Bacon & Vince Lea
Old Hall Marshes RSPB (TL960123) 08.15 to 09.00 Irongate to Salcot church: Common Blue 9, Small Heath 7 & Small Copper 2. Laurence Drummond
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.45am transect, warm & sunny, slight breeze. Large White 1, White spp 1, Holly Blue 1, Common Blue 1, Speckled Wood 3, Small Heath 1. Moths Mother Shipton 10, Silver Y 1, Burnet Companion 20. then onto:
Crowsheath Community Woodland, Hanningfield (TQ720970) Large White 1, Green-veined White 1. Good flowery meadow strips between oak/maple plantations, Marbled Whites ‘advertised’ at this EWT/E&S Water joint venture. Then onto:
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) Met Richard Bigg on his transect. Holly Blue 1, a ‘larger’ white, but no Heath Fritillaries. As Steve Arlow was still finding larvae at Hockley last week, no need for alarm as yet, and still waiting for Browns & Skippers elsewhere. Good patches of Cow Wheat in places and coppicing has been extended to east of main glade in addition to BC work party undertakings. Also a Speckled Wood by entrance.
P.S. checked a warm, sunny Rainham Marshes last night (6.30pm) for Walls but 1st Brood probably over now. Rob Smith

Friday 4th June
Southend-on-Sea (TQ845873) Southend Hospital, Carlingford Drive: 1 male Holly Blue. Alison Davis
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (TM2624) This morning, 5 Orange Tips, 4 Small Heaths, 1 Common Blue, 2 Peacocks, 1 Small Tortoiseshell & a single Speckled Wood (& a ‘white’). Simon & Pat Cox
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL443822) In perfect weather. Not a Wall Brown to be seen (although exactly where Phil saw them last week). Maybe now too late for first brood. Plenty of Common Blues, a few Brown Argus (photo) and Small Coppers plus that 2010 "rarity" a single Large White. Jack harrison
Langdon EWT (TQ663879) I made a thorough search of the area where the February Work Party grafted at Dunton. Unfortunately, after some careful searching, no sign of Grizzled Skipper. Whilst there, I had 2 Small Copper, several Speckled Woods, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Green-veined White, much abraded, quite a few "Blues" flitting about but none settled to positively identify (some vibrant blue and others washed out blue), White sp present. John Smart
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Small White 2, Common Blue 3, Speckled Wood 4 & Small Heath 1. This site is still very poor this year. Tony Roberts

Thursday 3rd June
Steve Arlow has sent in the following observations:
Numbers of Heath Fritillaries are way way down on last year at the Essex sites; I counted only 23 at Little Haven EWT (TQ811889) today (counted 341 there on 6th June last year) with most along the sides of the path that disects the clearings around the pylons, there were none at all in the main clearing which had the bulk of the fritillaries last year.
Belfairs Woods NR could only muster 6, 2 along the main ride in Belfairs NR (TQ819876) and 4 in Belfairs NR: Dodds Grove (TQ817880). Again last year hundreds were already out and about; perhaps given a week or so numbers will pick up. Also here was a Brimstone.
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 16:10-17:00: 1 Large White, 3 Orange Tip (all males), 2 White spp., 23 Common Blue (18M, 5F), 4 Small Heath. Moths included 16 Burnet Companion, 3 Mother Shipton and 1 Silver Y. Plus 3 Common Blue Damselfly (2M, 1T). Mike Harris
Leigh-on-Sea (TQ848889) Sunnybank Close: 2 Holly Blues seen by Alison Davis.
Stirtloe (TL210663) Spent 2 hours here 11am to 1pm...unbroken sunshine, very light wind but relatively few butterflies. Only 1 Peacock, no Small Tortoiseshells, 3 fresh Red Admirals, 1 male Brimstone, several male Orange-tips, 2 Speckled Woods, 10+ Common Blues, 1 Small Copper, 3 Mother Shiptons (pic) & many blue damselflies, 3 large dragonflies. Charles Nicol
Little Bentley Hall (TM12H) 2 hours in TM12H this am produced 15+ whites (mostly Small but at least 1 Green-veined & 1 Large), 4 Orange Tips, 3 Peacocks, & 1 very abraded Small Tortoiseshell. On the way there, an Orange Tip near Weeley at c.TM137225 & on return 2 Holly Blues in our St. Osyth garden (TM144159). Simon & Pat Cox
Ingatestone Hall (TQ652988) A Small Copper at top of ‘car park’ field. Rob Smith
Hockley Woods (TQ837916) Heath Fritillaries: just 2 seen basking at 10am during a 5-minute peek. A Holly Blue seen on the mud track leading up to the woods, as well as an Orange Tip. Rob Smith

Wednesday 2nd June
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) Late am to mid pm visit: 3 Small Heath south of the Visitor Centre (TQ520921) and 2 in the Wildflower Meadow (TQ523921). A Red Admiral flew N over the Lake and another seen at rest near the Damselfly Pond (TQ522918). At least 10 Common Blues today + 3 Holly Blue, 2 Large White, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Latticed Heath, 1 Silver Y and 10 species of Odonata. Near the park, in a field on the south side of Lower Bedfords Road (TQ522917), 14m & 2f Common Blues, 2 Small Copper, 15 Burnet Companion, 12 Mother Shipton, 2 Silver Y and 9 Yellow Belle (also, this last moth at least 20 here on 25th May, a species I don't recall seeing in the area before). Colin Jupp
Hockley Woods (TQ837916) Heath Fritillaries: Usual clearing at TQ837916. Obviously early in flight season - individuals were pristine. Numbers uncertain but no more than 8 seen. Next week should be better. (Photo attached) Jack Harrison
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Small White 4, Green-veined White 1, Orange Tip 1, Common Blue 1, Speckled Wood 3 & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts
Ingatestone: Seymours Field (TL652000) Small White 1, Peacock 1. then onto:
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Small White 1. Mother Shipton 3, Broad-bodied Chasers 3+. Rob Smith

May 2010

Sunday 30th May
Hamford Water, Kirby-Le-Soken Walking the footpaths along Hamford Water this morning, I saw the following: TM223240: 1 Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Small Heath
TM233225: 1 Green-veined White, a pair of Orange Tips and 1 Common Blue
TM224227: Single Green-veined White, Small White and Red Admiral. Martin Peers
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL443822) Walking along the narrow flat meadow area on the west bank of The Old Bedford River for about a mile NE of the pumping station we saw Wall Brown 10, Small Copper 20+, Common Blue 20+, Brown Argus 3, Small Heath 1, Green-veined White 2, Small White 6 & Orange-tip 2. Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne

Saturday 29th May
Hockley Woods (TQ831914) Four Heath Fritillaries were out at Hockley Woods this morning, the first of the year, along with caterpillars (photos attached). Steve Arlow
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ534793) Fantastic Wall news from Mepal yesterday, but the weather beat me today. Just saw a Small Heath eeking something out of the clouds at 10am before the rains came.

Rob Smith

Friday 28th May
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL443822) went to this location on the advice of Jack Harrison. Walking NE from the A142 along the west bank of The Hundred Foot Wash I saw Wall Brown 8, Small Copper 6, numerous Common Blue & Brown Argus plus Small Heath 2, Green-veined White 2 & Orange-tip 1. I started to see the Wall Brown about half a mile from the A142, after the old pumping station, they were between the ridge of the bank and the river. Jack did not come along as he thought access would require a bit of fence climbing - I am pleased to inform him that a new kissing gate has been installed. (Photos attached) Phil Bromley
Jack Harrison adds: Phil Bromley joined me at Mepal in a search for Wall Browns. Phil saw it first and I confirmed. It was in the meadow between the old and new bridges (access via a track past the pub). It was the only Wall seen in some two hours of searching. Also in the area 3 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue, 2 Small Heath, 5 or 6 Small Coppers plus the usual whites (including one Large). Jack Harrison
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 2-3pm Large White 2, Orange Tip 1m, Holly Blue 1, Small Copper 2, Common Blue 2, Comma 1, Peacock 3, Speckled Wood 2. Moths (just the easy ones) Mother Shipton 14, Cinnabar 1, Silver Y 1, Burnet Companion 3. Wide scale scrub clearance between Jermaines Wood & M25 for widening showed up the Small Coppers & a Common Blue (no Blues seen in this section last year) so short term effects positive! Let’s see if the Ringlets, etc survive the bulldozers. Then onto:
Childerditch Common (TQ610905) 4pm – Holly Blue 1, Orange Tip 1m, Green-veined White 1, & Red Admiral 2 (fresh migrants, fighting on path near road). Also a Small Copper by village hall (TQ605904). Rob Smith

Wednesday 26th May
Ingatestone: Little Hyde Lane (TL651001) Sunny but breezy. Large White 2, Green-veined White 1. And 3 Silver-Y moths on waste ground at bottom end. Rob Smith
Holt Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL403545) Small White 3, Green-veined White 3, Orange Tip 1, Brown Argus , Common Blue 19, Small Tortoiseshell 1 & Peacock 1. Then onto:
Telegraph Field, Barton (CRT Land) (TL408545) Orange Tip 2 & Common Blue 71. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 25th May
Middleton area (TL83U) Lime Wood and area near Sheepcote: 4 Small Heaths (2 + 2), 1 Orange Tip and 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Also seen were 6 Cinnabars, 5 teneral Scarce Chasers and 1 female Hairy Dragonfly. Martin Peers

Monday 24th May
Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593) 1 Small Heath, 5 Common Blue, 1 Large White and 2 Silver Y moths. Colin Jupp
Orton Goldhay area, Peterborough (TL155955) A Small Copper at the Orton center. Trevor Wilson

Sunday 23rd May
Thanks to Phil for sending in this comprehensive report of his survey along the Devil's Dyke:
A really strong showing of Dingy Skipper and Brown Argus. The Dingy Skippers at the first two sections were clearly the most abundant butterfly. Whilst some of the Brown Argus were at times so small I thought at one stage we had Small Blue - but alas not.
1st section up from entrance to Well Gap (TL614618): Green-veined White 3, Brown Argus 11, Common Blue 9, Orange-tip 10, Dingy Skipper 14, Small Heath 7, Holly Blue 2. We also caught and marked 5 new Green Hairstreaks here + 3 recaptures.
2nd section between Well Gap and 2nd gap with hawthorn copse (TL605626): Brown Argus 3, Common Blue 2, Orange-tip 3, Dingy Skipper 25 (note we only counted those seen on the way there - not when we returned as well) and this total included a group of 4 on 1 horseshoe vetch plant, Small Heath 12, Holly Blue 1, Brimstone 7, Large White 5, Small White 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 1. We caught and marked 15 new Green Hairstreaks here + some recaptures from previous visits. No Green Hairstreaks seen any further along the dyke towards A11.
B1102 to railway cutting (TL577650): Brimstone 10, Orange-tip 11, Large white 2, Common Blue 1, Small White 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Green Hairstreak 2 new ones not previously caught.
Reach railway cutting (TL577653) Orange Tip 11, Large white 2, Common Blue 8, Small White 1, Brimstone 16, Small Heath 7, Brown Argus 7, Holly Blue 3, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 1, Comma 1 & Green Hairstreak 7.
Section between Reach railway cutting and Reach (TL571656) 5 more Green Hairstreaks on the ivy covered hawthorns before the gated section; plus loads more Orange-tips & Brimstones. A very successful day. Phil MacMurdie

Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ689873) Between 5.00-6.30pm: At least 5 seperate Grizzled Skippers, including 1 ab. tarras, plus Orange-tips, 2 Red Admiral together, 1 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Wood and a Small Heath. Several unidentified whites. Great pleasure to see the skippers at their last Essex site. Mark Bunch
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) A mid-pm - evening visit; 12 species recorded:
EWT car park (TQ519923) - Red Admiral, which chased off high a probable second individual at 7pm, 2 Large White, 2 Holly Blue, Speckled Wood & f Orange Tip.
Lake area (TQ518918) - Small Copper, 2 Common Blue, 3 Holly Blue, 2 Comma, m & f Orange Tip, Speckled Wood, Peacock & Small White.
Area south of Visitor Centre (TQ521921) - Small Heath, 2 Small Copper, 2 Common Blue, 2 Speckled Wood, Holly Blue, Large White, GV White, Orange Tip, plus another Small Heath in the meadow at TQ523921. Finally, near:
Lower Bedfords Road (TQ523919) - 4 Peacock, Comma, 2m Orange Tip & Latticed Heath.
Both Burnet Companion & Mother Shipton were widespread in the park. Colin Jupp
Sawbridgeworth Scrape (TL487139) 5 White spp, 3 Orange Tip & 1 Speckled Wood. Mike Harris

Saturday 22nd May
Brentwood: M25 Embankment (TQ573913) On the east side of the embankment: 4 Peacock, 2 Holly Blue, m Common Blue, m & f Orange Tip but no sign of any Green Hairstreak despite another (hopeful) search; all the gorse lower down is being removed due to the road widening. Moths included Cinnabar, 30 Burnet Companion, 10 Mother Shipton, 5 Latticed Heath, 2 female Muslin & 15+ Green Longhorn (over Field Maple). Also found five patches of Zigzag Clover, but the work being carried out will have a big impact on the 100's of Pyramidal Orchids on this embankment - spikes easily viewed with bins and 'scope when in flower. Later in the afternoon, 2 Holly Blues along Nags Head Lane (TQ574926); then along the verge at Junction 28 M25 (TQ568922) - 2 Brown Argus ( my first this year ), Small Copper, Common Blue, Holly Blue, 3f & 1m Orange Tip, Small White & Speckled Wood. Also Latticed Heath, f Muslin + more B.Companion & M.Shiptons moths ( 15.30-16.10hrs ). Then a 5pm visit to:
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905)- 5 Holly Blue, 4 Speckled Wood, 3m Orange Tip & Green-veined White. Finally at: Pages Farm (TQ561902) (a Thames Chase - Forestry Commission Site) my first Small Heath of the year, with a male Common Blue, roosting in long grass at 7 pm. Colin Jupp
Great Burstead, near Billericay (TQ694919) A Clouded Yellow seen skimming over the grass at Barleylands Farm Archery Field. Gary Mead
Devil's Dyke: Newmarket end (TL612620) In the morning: 2 unmarked Green Hairstreak at TL612620. Earlier 10+ Dingy Skipper, several male Common Blue, masses of fresh Brown Argus and the odd Orange-tip, Small White and Peacock. (Photos attached) Nick Ballard
Backwarden, Danbury (TL780039) Tried some of the lesser-known/low density Green Hairstreak locations today, to no avail. 10am start after morning fog yielded just one Small Heath and several Speckled Yellow moths, then onto:
Maldon Wick EWT (TL841054) Orange Tip 2, Green-veined White 2, Holly Blue 3, Speckled Wood 2, numerous Latticed Heath moths over lucerne fields to east side. then onto:
Maldon Causeway (TL846076) Brimstone 1(m), Orange Tip 4 (3m, 1f) Green-veined White 1, Holly Blue 2, then onto:
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 12.15pm transect, very warm sunshine, slight breeze. Small White 2, Green-veined White 8, Orange Tip 6 (3m, 3f – at least, in very good condition), Small Copper 2, Common Blue 4, Holly Blue 5 (all on emerging Broom buds, 3 weeks later than 2009 but increased numbers), Peacock 1, Small Heath 10. then finally onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 3pm Large White 2, Small White 1, Orange Tip 2 (1m, 1f), Holly Blue 1, Comma 2, Speckled Wood 2. (Photos attached) Rob Smith

Danbury Common NT (TL783041) In an hour walking round the NT Site - Brimstone 19, Orange Tip 1 and Peacock 1. The brimstones were everywhere some nectaring on the bluebells. Photos attached of a mating session. At one time there were 5 males and 3 females all very excited. Very few other butterflies but a number of Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion moths. Richard Bigg
Langdon Hills CP: One Tree Hill (TQ68Y) On our walk at One Tree Hill near Langdon Hills, we saw 2 Large Whites, 1 Small White, 2 Green-veined Whites, also 20+ whites with no ID, 3 Speckled Woods, 26 Holly Blues, 1 male Brimstone, 6 Orange-tips, 6 Small Coppers, 3 Small Heaths, 5 Green Hairstreaks, 7 Grizzled Skippers, 1 Peacock, 20+ Cinnabars. There was also an assortment of browny orange moths, 20+ damselflies & 2 dragonflies (several photos attached). Janet Edmunds & Dave Jones
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (TL212813) Between 14-30 and 15-30 today: Orange Tip 8, Grizzled Skipper 19 (including several mating pairs), Green-veined White 7, Brimstone 9 (6 male, 3 female), Large White 3, Peacock 2, Small Heath 1, Small Copper 2 & Common Blue 4. Roger Orbell
Lark Rise Farm, Barton (TL415555) On transect: Brimstone 1, Small White 13, Green-veined White 8, Orange Tip 6, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 1, Peacock 3, Speckled Wood 1 & Small Heath 4. Then onto:
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL378549) On transect: Brimstone 4, Small White 9, Green-veined White 1, Orange Tip 5, Brown Argus 7 & Small Tortoiseshell 2. Alice Ward-Francis and Tony Roberts
Twyford Lock, Bishop's Stortford (TL494192) 2 Small Copper in the paddock on the Essex side of the River Stort, just west of the lock (and recorded my first Banded Demoiselles of the year along the stretch to Spellbrook). Tony Moverley

Friday 21st May
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ542788) Arrived at 6.20pm, warm hazy sunshine with a cool but decreasing East breeze along sea wall. Saw a Peacock basking at the west end on large rocks, a Small Tortoiseshell in flight and then a male Wall Brown on the seaward face of the concrete cap to the sheet piled section. Basking with the sun glancing along the wall, it repeatedly shifted position 20 yards to and fro for 20 minutes until I scared it off for the final time just before 7pm. There’s plenty of new basking areas here with winter footpath construction, but this concrete wall had obviously soaked the sun all day (photos attached). Rob Smith
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Small White 4, Green-veined White 3, Orange Tip 2, Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 2 & Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts
Langdon Hills CP: One Tree Hill (TQ68Y) At least 9 Grizzled Skippers seen at the site today; several Green Hairstreaks presented themselves along with Common Blues, Holly Blue, Orange Tip and Small Heath. John Smart and Dave McGough
Spellbrook (TL490178) A very short walk to look for Spotted Flycatchers this afternoon (succesful) from Spellbrook lock, north to the footbridge: 4 Peacock, 3 Comma and 7 Orange-tip including a male courting a female. Laurene Drummond

Thursday 20th May
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) 3 Holly Blues seen mid-pm ( 2 together NW corner, 1 NE corner ); plus Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, Small White, Green-veined White and 2 unidentified whites. Later, on
Risebridge Golf Course, Romford (TQ5292) in the SW corner of the GC 6 pm onwards, my first Common Blue of the year (male), plus 2 Peacock (1 worn), 1 Large White, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 m Orange Tip. Also, 12+ Burnet Companion, 10+ Mother Shipton and Latticed Heath, most were flying over a bank of taller grass with Common Vetch and other legumes, in the warm evening sunshine. Colin Jupp
Radwinter End (TL63E) During bird surveys today, 2 hrs in the TL63E tetrad produced 20 Orange Tips, 5 Green-veined Whites, 1 Small White & 4 Speckled Woods. Then 1 hour in Hempstead (TL63J) produced 10 Orange Tips, 4 Green-veined Whites & 2 Commas. Simon & Pat Cox

Wednesday 19th May
Devil's Dyke: Newmarket end (TL618614) Six of us met up in the early evening to conduct a roosting Dingy Skipper survey as part of a research project being undertaken by Hilary Conlan, a student at Anglia Ruskin University. We spread out in a line traversing the slope and walked slowly along the length of the sections under review. In all, we found 24 Dingy Skippers, most roosting on either last year's dried Knapweed flower heads or at the top of 30cm high grass stems (photos attached) and some in flight, mostly toward the top of the slope. We also found 3 Dingy Skipper eggs on the leaves of Horseshoe Vetch. Other butterflies included 2 Common Blue and 1 Brown Argus; moths included a pair of White Ermine, 3 Mother Shipton and 5+ Common Heath. Tony Moverley
Ingatestone (TQ652995) A sprinkling of the usual species seen around Fairfield this lunchtime - Peacock 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Speckled Wood 1, ‘smaller’ white 1, Brimstone 1(m), Holly Blue 3, Orange Tip 3(m). Rob Smith
Thorrington (TM01Z) 2 Small Heaths, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Large White, 1 Small White and in our garden at St. Osyth (TM144159) a single Holly Blue & Large White. Simon & Pat Cox
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL378549) Brimstone 6. Small White 10. Green-veined White 6. Orange Tip 17 & Small Tortoiseshell 2. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 18th May
Devil's Dyke: Newmarket end (TL618614) Between 10:00 and 15:00 hours, we spotted 13 species including 5+ Dingy Skippers, 5+ Brimstones, 10+ Orange Tips, 2 Large Whites, 2+ Small Heaths, 3+ Peacocks, a Small Copper, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Green-Veined White, a Small White, a Common Blue, a very fresh Painted Lady (which looked like it had just hatched out) and the highlight of the day 5+ Green Hairstreaks. The first Green Hairstreak we saw at about 10:30am was perched on a Hawthorn bush on the left of the path where there is a 'crossroads' about half way down between the Stud carpark and the dual carriageway (TL610622). Another one was seen on a Hawthorn close to the bridge crossing that dual carriageway. On our return we stopped at the site of the first GH to search for some more. We were rewarded with at least 3 more including a pair spiralling up several metres. In all, a very satisfying day. Peter Clarke and Bob Clift

Many thanks to John Smart who has kindly sent in this report regarding the Langdon EWT reserve near Basildon:
Langdon EWT (TQ663879) As today was the first real warm and sunny day (without blustery winds), I visited Dunton Essex where the Work Party undertook some management on 7th February this year (see report here). I must add that since we were there the area of scrub has been further reduced. The corridors and "micro-enclaves" that we created are no longer there. It has all been taken back further down the hill. Bramble is regenerating where the scrub has been removed. I was on site for some two hours from mid-day onwards in bright sun but very few butterflies were on the wing. Sadly no Grizzled Skipper as yet. There were several male and female Orange Tips about and a rather wing-worn Peacock. Two other brownish / darkish and distant butterflies escaped being properly identified. I am to visit again in a weeks time to see if the Grizzled Skipper are about. Fingers crossed.

Burwell (TL56U) Had a walk from Burwell to Wicken Fen via Factory Road and Burwell load: 50 plus Orange-tips, several Small Tortoishells, Peacocks, Green-veined Whites, Brimstones. Our first sightings of Orange-tips was on the middle of April, much earlier than normal for us, usually around the 7th May. (photos attached) John & Elaine Hayton
Lexden (TL964245) 3 Holly Blues & 1 Small White; at Abberton Reservoir EWT Centre (TL963178) single Green-veined White & Speckled Wood and on the Colchester by-pass (TM007258) 1 Orange Tip. Simon & Pat Cox

Monday 17th May
Langdon Hills CP: One Tree Hill (TQ68Y) We went to Langdon Hills, parking at the Visitor centre, Lower Dunton Road, at 1.30pm until 4.30pm. On our walk we saw 9 Peacocks, 8 commas, 10 Orange Tips, 5 mixed White, 1 Large White, 1 Small White & a male Brimstone. Also seen was a grass snake. Janet Edmunds & David Jones
In Field No.1, a Grizzled Skipper (2 photos attached). Dave McGough - forwarded on by John Smart)
Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593) 12.45 - 15.15hrs; A lengthy spell of fairly decent sunshine after one brief heavy downpour - 1 male Brimstone, 3 Holly Blue, 6m & 2f Orange Tip, 1m Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Speckled Wood, Peacock & Comma + teneral Azure & Blue-tailed Damsels. Also in this tetrad on the east side of Maylands Golf Course (TQ559928), a Small Copper. Then later in the afternoon, near Junction 28 of the M25, Brentwood (TQ568923): 5m & 1f Orange Tip, male Brimstone, 3 Small White; also 2 Mother Shipton and 2 Burnet Companion moths, but no sign of any Common Blues or Brown Argus yet in the area where they were seen in 2009. Colin Jupp
St. Osyth Priory (TM117165) In the area around the Priory, 2 Green Hairstreaks, 6 Green-veined, 4 Orange-tips, 1 Peacock, 1 Large White and 1 Comma (PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NO PUBLIC ACCESS HERE). Simon & Pat Cox
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL378549) Brimstone 2. Small White 10. Green-veined White 2. Tony Roberts

Sunday 16th May
Elton, Cambs (TL085945) Along the River Nene between Berry Leas and the Island: Small Copper, Common Blue, Orange-tip, Green-veined White and Small Tortoiseshell. Brian Stone
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) Sea wall – protracted afternoon transect due to patchy sunshine – Green-veined White 5, Orange Tip 3, Small Copper 2, Small Heath 2. then onto:
Mill End, Bradwell-on-Sea (TL994057) Had a guess at this spot to try to find Green Hairstreaks as reported in Corke’s book (tetrad TL9905), but none seen here by gravel workings. Trefoil, clovers and Cowslips make for an attractive landscape between lake and hedgerow. Orange Tip 2, Holly Blue 1 and Latticed Heath moths 2. Rob Smith

Saturday 15th May
Over Railway Cutting (TL384687) Good weather heralded the Branch Buttefly Walk around the disused railway (now transformed into part of the Guided Busway) and several nearby mitigation sites just south of Over. We were delighted to find 18 Grizzled Skipper in total, all along the sides of the Guided Busway, but none found unfortunately in the adjoining mitigation site to the north of the Busway. Other butterflies seen included 2 Common Blue, Holly Blue, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, 3+ Brimstone, 5+ Orange-tip (plus an OT egg found by sharp-eyed observer on Garlic Mustard). Moths included Burnet Companion and Mother Shipton. We were also lucky enough to see several specimens of the rare (national Red Data Book listed) solitary bee Osmia bicolor (common names include Snail Bee and Two Coloured Mason Bee); one busy collecting short bits of dried grass with which to build a 'tent' over its nest and one actually visiting its nest inside an unoccupied snail shell. Tony Moverley
PS Permission was granted for our visit today; At present THERE IS NO PUBLIC ACCESS TO THIS SITE.

Devil's Dyke: Burwell Railway Cutting (TL56S) We gave up recording the other species eventually, but good showing for Brimstone 15, Orange-tip 7, Small White 4, Green-veined White 3, Large White 1, Holly Blue 6, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 2, Comma 1 & Green Hairstreak 14 - we managed to catch and mark 12 - none of which had previously been marked. Next to the gate section before Reach (TL569659) - we saw 2 Green Hairstreaks, but the weather was closing in again. So onto:
Devil's Dyke: mid section between A11 and Musley Hill (TL5964) Brimstone 9 and Orange-tip 5 and then at:
Devil's Dyke: Newmarket end (TL618614) 4 Dingy Skippers but no Green Hairstreaks - having real problems finding them at this end - but have had no decent weather. Phil macMurdie

Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 9.50-10.50am transect. 12-14C, F2W. Green-veined White 5, Orange Tip 3, Comma 2, Speckled Wood 2 and possible migrant Red Admiral – saw it fairly head on in flight but it looked quite black and shiny. Also a possible Brown Argus in flight near section 5 which is being extensively cleared of scrub for M25-widening. First Orange Tip eggs seen - on all dozen Garlic Mustard/Cuckooflower inspected. Rob Smith
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (TM2624) 3 Orange Tips, single Peacock & 1 Speckled Wood. Simon & Pat Cox

Friday 14th May
Harold Park, Romford (TQ555915) 1 Holly Blue and 1 Large White. Colin Jupp
Barling (TQ98J) During a 2 hour bird survey in the Barling area this morning, we saw 12+ Orange Tips, 4 Small Whites, a single Green-veined White, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell & Holly Blue. Simon & Pat Cox
Great Chishill (TL425392) In the meadows/orchards, a Holly Blue and first Small Heath of year (photo). Doubtless there were more Small Heaths on this reliable site but I had insufficient time to search. Jack Harrison
Ingatestone (TQ650993) In a relatively gargantuan 5-minute slot in the clouds, spotted Holly Blue 1(m), Orange Tip 2(m) and Green-veined White 2 adjacent footpath. Rob Smith

Thursday 13th May
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) At 2pm warmer (some long overdue sunny spells): 3m & 2f Orange Tip, 2 Green-veined White, 3 Speckled Wood. Then betwen 15.45-16.00hrs, more sunny intervals, near Paine's Brook, Harold Wood (TQ551913): 2 Holly Blue, 3 Green-veined White, 2m Orange Tip and 2 Speckled Wood. Colin Jupp
Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ689870) For a couple of hours 3-5 pm. Several Orange-tips, 1 Green-veined White but, worryingly, no Grizzled Skipper, in quite good weather, at its last Essex site. Numbers have been dangerously low in recent years and I can only hope, because of the cold weather, they will still emerge, very late. Mark Bunch
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (TL212813) 2 Grizzled Skippers (photo). Jack Harrison
Devil's Dyke (TL618614) Lunchtime despite the cloud and cold wind: Green Hairstreak 2, Dingy Skipper 3, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Holly Blue, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined White, Brimstone, and lots of Orange-tips (photos attached). Roger Orbell

Wednesday 12th May
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) Consistent cold northerlies all week have delayed my transect to the last possible moment, with ever-better forecasts coming and going through the period. Today was just about acceptable and I had a few butterflies where there was some shelter. Almost all were on section 3 with 1 Small, 3 Green-veined Whites, 3 Orange-tip, Green Hairstreak and Peacock. Elsewhere I amassed a single Holly Blue in section 5.
Off-transect there were several Brimstones as well as more orange tips and the like, & a couple more Green Hairstreaks around section 3 on the way back (past the 'official end time'). I also saw a web of the rather rare Small Eggar larvae, just below the A11 footbridge on the Fulbourn side. Next week looking much improved (promises, promises!). Vince Lea

Tuesday 11th May
Devil's Dyke (TL618614) Colder still than yesterday, and windy. Dingy Skipper 5. Very little else. Phil MacMurdie

Monday 10th May
Devil's Dyke (TL618614) Racecourse end, next to national stud. Despite the cold, wind and generally rubbish conditions, managed to see something: Dingy Skipper 7, Orange-tip 3, Small White 4, Peacock 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, The cold doesn’t appear to put of the day flying moths though. Walked from the racecourse along the dyke to Reach, in the feint hope of finding some Green Hairstreaks, but it was simply too cold and not enough sun. The cowslips are stunning, especially at the Musley hill section. The sheer volume of cowslips I havent seen anywhere before. Phil MacMurdie

Sunday 9th May
Botanic Garden, Cambridge (TL454572) 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Small White and 2 Orange Tip (photos attached). Jonathan Stephens
Warboys (TL308800) 1.05pm - 1.20pm: Along Ivy hedge border at the cricket field, I saw 2 Male Orange Tip, 2 Holly Blue and first Small Copper, believe a male? Colin Munns

Thursday 6th May
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) 13.20-16.20hrs: bright sunshine at last but still a cool light to moderate NE breeze. 11 species today including my first Small Copper of the year on the east side of the Deer Park (TQ519921), nectaring on daisies.
Elsewhere - EWT car park area (TQ519923): Red Admiral, 2 Large White, 3 Speckled Wood, Green-veined White & m Orange Tip. From the Visitor Centre down to the bridleway (TQ521922): Large White, GV White, 2 Small White, 3m Orange Tip & Speckled Wood. Near lake, SE corner (TQ518918): 2 Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacock, Speckled Wood & m Orange Tip. Damselfly Pond (TQ522918): 2 Comma, m O.Tip & Speckled Wood. Nursery Wood, S side (TQ523923): 3 Peacock, Comma, m O.Tip & GV White. Also, a large moth flew low across the Wildflower Meadow at 3.50pm (possibly Emperor). Colin Jupp

Starting at West Wood,Thaxted (TL624332), nice early purple orchids,plus several green-veined whites, 7 orange tips (6M,1F), 1 speckled wood,a comma and a peacock. Then on to Weeleyhall Wood (TM156212), 2 peacock, 2 speckled wood and a comma. Lastly, High Woods Country Park, Colchester (TL998271). 1 orange tip and 2 green-veined whites. The bluebells at the last 2 sites were absolutely spectacular-get out & enjoy if you can! (several photo attached) Mark Bunch.

This afternoon, visited Barnack Hills and Holes (TF076047) and then Ketton Quarry (SK977053 - not far away and only just outside the county boundary). Weather sunny but still cool (up to 15C, although warmer in the sheltered hollows). As Phil and Rosalyn had told me, there were plenty of Green Hairstreaks active in the hawthorn bushes along the w. path at Barnack. I saw about 30 in 2 hours. Some had moved onto flowering cherry blossom. I didn't get to Ketton Quarry until after 5pm, but saw about 10 Grizzled Skippers there before leaving about 6:45. They were at the beginning of the Geology Trail. Probably they are elsewhere in the quarry area too. But I didn't see any Dingy Skippers and would be very interested if anyone has and their whereabouts. A couple of pictures included. David Newland.

Ingatestone (TQ654993) A few species seen along the hedgerow by the allotments: Peacock 2 (1 nectaring on Comfrey), Comma 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1+, Speckled Wood 1, Green-veined White 2+, Brimstone 1(m). Rob Smith

Monday 3rd May
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Guided Butterfly Walk: Many thanks to the three hardy souls whom I met in the Cemetery this lunchtime. Despite the wind and rain, we did find a Speckled Wood in a sheltered corner and a Green Veined White or two also made an appearance during a brief sunny spell. My request for the Holly Blue to show themselves was not met; I would recommend returning in the next week or so when the weather is fine, to see a good show. I took these - a female and male - on Saturday.
If you missed this walk, look out for more later in the year (next is 27th July) or just drop in. You stand a good chance of seeing more than one of the 17 species found in the Cemetery - not bad for a city-centre site. Look out next for Common Blue and Brown Argus in the North meadow end in May. Nick Ballard

Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (TL212813) Cold wind but bright in the sun trap of the reserve, where we bagged both a Small Copper and a couple of Grizzled Skippers. Tim and Jenny Hardingham

Saturday 1st May
Ingrebourne valley (TQ535848) 4 Green Hairstreaks, 150 meters past the black bridge on the left in hawthorn/gorse just off the path as you walk towards the top paddock (2 photos attached). Shaun Harvey
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ535792) 10am – long wait for any sunshine. Eventually saw Green-veined White 5, Small White 2, Peacock 2. then onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 12.30pm transect - mild, but sunshine too sporadic. Green-veined White 3 (basking with wings half-open), Orange Tip 3 (m) & Speckled Wood 1. Also a young mole foraging on Tylers Common after a downpour, which didn’t seem to mind being stroked – bit of a concern in kestrel country. Rob Smith
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ546925) Had a walk around Hatter's Wood close to home for half an hour mid-pm (during some longer sunny spells): 4m Orange Tips, 6 Green-veined White, 2 Large White, 2 Small White and 7 Speckled Wood - males active in small clearings where some of the whites were nectaring on (a good display of) bluebells. 2 Holly Blues were in my garden (TQ548926) on 27th and 29th April. Colin Jupp
Devil's Dyke (TL618614) Wild Flower Society Field Meeting: We saw >20 Brimstones, <5 Dingy Skippers, >5 Green Hairstreaks "spinning" and feeding on flowers of Sycamore, <5 Orange Tips and a Small Tortoiseshell and a Small Heath. Colin Jacobs

April 2010

Thursday 29th April
Devil's Dyke (TL618614) Managed to fit in a transect walk today before the weather changes. Recorded 7 Dingy Skipper plus one Small Heath also Speckled Wood, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Green Hairstreak (1 only), Green-veined White, Orange Tip and Brimstone. I also saw over a dozen Common Heath moths and a couple of Burnet Companions. Sharon Hearle

Wednesday 28th April
Wicken Fen NT (TL553708) 45 minutes of butterfly transect produced 35 individuals / 8 species including Holly Blue, Orange Tip, Speckled Wood and Comma. Brimstone the commonest species. Also first Odonata - Hairy Dragonfly & some sort of Damselfly. Vince Lea
Dagnam Park, Harold Hill (TQ5593) A brief visit at midday, warm but with light cloud cover and few butterflies seen - Speckled Wood, Peacock and Small White, but I did see 4 Large Red Damselflies (tenerals), my first of the year; then
Weald Brook, near Brentwood (TQ564923) 12.50-13.40hrs; hazy sunshine. On the north side of the A12 and near Grove Farm: a male Brimstone, 6m Orange Tips, 3+ GV White, 2+ Small White, Peacock and Comma. Also Purple Toothwort growing on the bank around roots of Alder and Willow at TQ566923. Nearby, along the grass verge at junction 28 M25 (TQ568922) m Orange Tip, GV White and Small White. Then onto:
Wigley Bush Lane, South Weald (TQ574929) Seen between 14.05-14.25hrs on the steep grass bank near the A12 : Orange Tips - a mating pair, a courting pair + 1 male; also 2 GV White, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Comma. Colin Jupp
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Numbers of Holly Blue building-up - 7+ at lunchtime, when the sun came out, with similar numbers of Speckled Wood. A couple of Orange Tip plus 2 GV White and a couple of Large White and a Small White. Nick Ballard

Tuesday 27th April
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (TL212813) 3 pm. With the help of Mr Bromley saw 4+ Grizzled Skippers. Also 2 Peacocks, 1 Comma, 1 male Brimstone (fighting with a Peacock) and several Orange-tips (photos attached). Charles Nicol
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) 6 Peacock, 2 Comma, 8 Orange Tip M, 1 Large White, 3 Green-veined White (+ 3 unidentified Whites), 1 Holly Blue (photos attached). Also 2 grass snakes and my first Large Red damselfly this year. Ian Phillips
Ulting Gravel Pits (TL8008) My first Red Admiral of the year - a worn looking individual - a good candidate to have overwintered - or from further south? Simon Wood
Southminster (TQ9599) A Holly Blue in my garden. Terry Pankhurst
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Difficult to count male Brimstones due to constant circuiting looking for females. Peacock c.6, Brimstone c.5 (male), Speckled Wood 1, a ‘smaller’ white 1. Then onto waste ground at
Ingatestone (TL651001) Large White 1. Rob Smith

Monday 26th April
Littlebury Green (TL4838) 5 Orange Tips & a Peacock and at:
Rockells Farm (TL469364) Single Orange-tip & 1 Green-veined White. Simon & Pat Cox
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (TL212813) The Grizzled Skipper (2 seen) has started to emerge at this site today. Other species seen were Peacock 3, Comma 2, Orange-tip 3, Brimstone 2, Small White 2 & Speckled Wood 1. Phil Bromley

Sunday 25th April
Phil MacMurdie, conducting the Green Hairstreak project, has sent in the following report for the weekend: [Click to Read More]

Moverons Farm, Brightlingsea (TM063195) 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Simon & Pat Cox
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 12pm transect along sea wall, no breeze, 15C but lost sunshine a third of way along – Peacock 5, Orange Tip 1 & Green-veined White 1. Rob Smith
Stebbing (TL62R) A pleasant sunny afternoon for the Bird Atlas count south of Stebbing village: 1 Brimstone, 1 Large White, 2 Small Whites, 7 Green-veined Whites, 5 Small Tortoiseshells & 4 Peacocks. Martin Peers
Tort Hill, Sawtry (TL173840) During a brief sunny spell in the afternoon we saw Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 1, Orange-tip 2 & Small White 2. The highlight of the afternoon was to find 3 Emperor Moths, including a mating pair (photos attached). Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne

Saturday 24th April
Tylers Common (TQ565905) 13.00-14.30hrs: female Brimstone, 4 m Orange Tips, 14 Peacock (most still looking pretty good), 2 Comma, 4 Speckled Wood, Large White and 2 Sml/G-v White. Two large day moths were seen flying rapidly over the common, difficult to follow with bins (unfortunately not id'd); also 2 adders + reeling Grasshopper Warbler. Nearer to the M25 (east of the common), m Brimstone, 4 Peacock, Comma and 3 Whites (probably small). Around 3.30pm three Speckled Wood and Comma near Tylers Shaw (TQ575913) and at Great Warley (TQ587914): a smart Red Admiral, Comma, 2 Peacock and 2 Speckled Wood were seen on Headley Common (TQ583910), near the pond late pm. Colin Jupp
Belfairs NR (TQ817878) A walk for an hour or so in the latter part of the afternoon in warm sunshine at this woodlland site. Butterflies seen included 16 Peacocks, 3 Commas, 3 male brimstones and one female, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined whites and 2 unidentified whites. Certainly looking forward to seeing the Heath fritillaries and White admirals in June! (photos attached) Graham Bailey
Hutton CP (TQ633959) 11.00-11.30am - my first visit to this Local Nature Reserve established 1997 on ex. farmland. Orange Tip 4, Speckled Wood 1, Comma 2. Nice mix of hedgerow, scrub, brook and meadow. I didn’t notice any Cuckooflower or Garlic Mustard for possible photos, but it was great for Orange Tips near small car park. Then to:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 12.20-13.15 transect: 15C, F2SW, sunny. Woodland rides very dry. Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, Orange Tip 3, Peacock 26, Comma 2, Speckled Wood 7. then to:
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ545789) 14.45-16.00 along sea wall, both sides: approx numbers Peacock 15, Small Tortoiseshell 2, smaller whites 5+ of which 2 were Small. At 16.00 by car park/approach road hedgerow - numerous Peacock 20+, Comma 3, a few smaller whites, of which 2 were Green-veined. Rob Smith
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) The temperature was a couple of degrees warmer than my walk along the Roman Road yesterday with the following results: Brimstone 19, Green-veined white 7, Unidentified whites 2 (probably Green-veined), Orange tip 2, Green Hairstreak 1, Holly blue 3, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 4, Comma 1 & Speckled wood 2. The Green Hairstreak and two of the Holly blues were on scrub in Section 3 just before the gate onto Mutlow Hill. Roger Lemon
Burwell Railway Cutting (TL575652) Following Charles Nicol's tip off, I re-visited the Burwell Cutting. Much better than last weekend where I saw just a handful of Green Hairstreaks. This time perhaps a dozen (maybe some repeat sightings). None seen were marked as per Phil's project. Also my first Small Copper of year (photos attached). Jack Harrison
Hillhouse Wood WT (TL946282) This afternoon: 1 Large White, 3 Green-veined White, 4 Orange Tip (all males), 1 very tatty Comma, and 1 Speckled Wood. Philip Smith

Friday 23rd April
Roman Road (TL523522) Temperature 16C, sunny: Brimstone 26, Green-veined white 4, Orange tip 4, Holly Blue 1 & Peacock 7. Roger Lemon
Cottenham (TL452683) My first Holly Blue in the garden along with male Orange-tips. Ann Piper
Harold Court, near Harold Wood (TQ561913) A Thames Chase/Forestry Commission site with young plantations about 8 years old. Between 13.20-14.00hrs, along the boundary with the Sewage Works and Fishery: 2 Brimstone (m+fm), 8 Peacock(3 on blackthorn), 2 Comma, Green-veined and Small White. Then from 14.30 up to late afternoon:
Paine's Brook, Harold Wood (TQ551913) male Orange Tip, 2 Small White, 2 Comma,1 Peacock and 4 Speckled Wood (inc. 2 on the Harold Hill side of A12) and at:
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) 2 m Orange Tips, 2 G-v White (1 just emerged), 4 Speckled Wood and 2 Comma. A few unidentified whites were seen along the A12 between the sites. Colin Jupp
Ingatestone (TQ654993) Slightly less chill in the air so walked around Fairfield & pond, but still only saw 5 Peacock & 1 Comma along the allotment hedgerows; also a lizard on the railway footbridge. Rob Smith
Gosfield (TL783295) Two Orange tips, a male and female in our garden separately today. We have cuckoo flowers (aka Lady's Smock), on which they lay eggs, in flower in our front garden and there are many more in a ditch between Gosfield and Beazley End. Colin Davis
Devil's Dyke (TL618614) Two walks - north and south of the July racecourse parking area, starting around 11:30 finishing around 3 p.m., yielded the following:
Brimstone 14-18+ - some (2+) small, bright males, Green-veined White 1-2, Orange Tip 3-4++ males, White sp/p. 8, Green Hairstreak 2- 4 (late risers, first in flight only (N), other(s) at ground level; this/these GH(s) on the southern leg behaving remarkably like Common Heath, except when landed!), Small Tortoiseshell 5+, Peacock 4-5+ & Speckled Wood 1. Common Heath 7++ and also 1 Common (Viviparous) Lizard. Guy Manners
Orton Wistow area, Peterborough (TL144967) A male Orange Tip and a male Brimstone. Trevor Wilson

Thursday 22nd April
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ548926) In my garden today: male Orange Tip - three sightings (all different individuals?), male Large White nectaring on the plum tree (but the blossom is past its best now), 1 Green-veined + several unidentified Whites and 2 Peacock. Definite Small Whites were seen yesterday near Carter's Brook (TQ542928) and 2 along Daventry Road (TQ531920). Colin Jupp
Tendring area (TM12M) During 2 hour bird survey, 2 S/G-v Whites, 8 Peacocks, 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Simon & Pat Cox
Westfield Farm, Comberton (TL376545) Brimstone 1, Small White 2, Large White 2, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 2 & Comma 1. Tony Roberts

Wednesday 21st April
Earls Hall Farm, St. Osyth (TM143166) 3 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells & 1 Comma. Simon & Pat Cox
Graham Bailey looked around Hockley Woods for a while early pm, but generally mostly cloudy and quite cool. Visited two other sites with a little more sun and a few butterflies as follows:
Marylands Wood LNR, Hockley (TQ838933) Some sunshine between the clouds, tempting a few butterflies to take to the wing. Those seen included 2 Peacocks, 1 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 male Orange tip and 2 Small Whites.
Doggetts LNR, Rochford (TQ878914) Getting rather cool by the time I arrived here just before 1600 hours, but a walk around allowed me to see 8 Peacocks, 2 Commas and 3 Small Tortoiseshells (photos attached).

Gosfield (TL783295) A Speckled Wood (my first this year) in paddock behind my garden at 10am, 11 deg C. Also a rather tatty Peacock and a smarter Small Tortoiseshell have been nectaring on my heather blossom most days. Colin Davis
Great Chishill (TL425390) My first Holly Blue of 2010. Most conveniently it was in my garden - it did not settle so no pictures. Jack Harrison

Tuesday 20th April
Little Bentley Hall area (TM12H) During a 2 hour bird survey: 1 Green-veined White, 3 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Simon & Pat Cox
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ548926) Three species were 'garden firsts for the year' this afternoon - male Orange Tip, Large and Green-veined White; also Comma and Holly Blue. Colin Jupp
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) On trandsect (week 3): Only 1 Brimstone, 3 Green-veined White & 3 Peacocks seen and although today's weather conditions were in the criteria for transect walking, the wind will have suppressed numbers considerably. Then onto:
Fulbourn Fen BCNPWT (TL530561) A sheltered sunny area had lots of the above plus Orange Tips, Small Tortoiseshells, a Small White & a Comma. The dense Ivy at the start of Fleam Dyke (TL536557) had a Holly Blue. Vince Lea
Ingatestone (TQ654993) Peacock 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1 – just a gut reaction over the past fortnight, but the harsh winter seems to have benefitted these two hibernators compared with last year, Commas less so? Rob Smith

Monday 19th April
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ548926) My first Holly Blue of the year in my garden at 2pm (a female) nectaring on Plum tree blossom briefly. Also Speckled Wood seen. Peacock and Comma were nectaring on the plum on 13th and 17th April. Colin Jupp

Sunday 18th April
Phil MacMurdie (undertaking Green Hairstreak project) reports the following:
Devil's Dyke South of the B1102 to the Burwell railway cutting (TL56S) : Brimstone 9, Small White 1, Speckled Wood 2 (next to the road), Small Tortoishell 3 (by car park), Peacock 2, Orange Tip (Male) 1.
Burwell Railway cutting (TL575652) (approx 2 hours) Brimstone 20, Peacock 7, Comma 1, Small Tortoishell 1, Small White 3, Green Hairstreak (our target) 6 with 1 further up the railway and 5 at the intersection to the dyke. Some great sightings, 2 males clashing and spiraling up into the air.
Devil's Dyke North section from Burwell railway cutting to Reach (TL5765k) : 1 Green Hairstreak (captured and marked earlier), 10 Small Tortioshell (all around the extensive nettle patches), 4 Peacock, 1 Holly Blue, Speckled Wood 1, Small White 1, Brimstone total 19 (we decided to keep a count of the M/F difference from here - 9 f, 10 M; so not much difference).
Reach (TL566661) Green Veined White 1 nectaring on blackthorn, 4 Brimstone, 2 Peacock & 1 Speckled Wood.

Steeple Bumpstead area All seen during Bird Atlas walk in TL64Q and TL64R: 1 Green-veined White, 20+ Peacock, 35+ Small Tortoiseshell, 10+ Small White, 1 Orange-tip, & 2 Brimstone. Mark Hows
Weald Brook, near Brentwood (TQ564923) On the north side of the A12, Small Tortoiseshell, 6 Peacock, 4 Comma and 2 Small White early pm. An early female Orange Tip, 2 Peacock and Small White along the grass verge at Junction 28 M25 (TQ568923).Then onto:
Warley Place EWT (TQ583907) 1 Red Admiral seen at 15.40hrs (my first this year);also 4 Peacock, 1 Comma, 1 White (small or G-v) but no sign of any Holly Blues late pm with patchy light cloud cover and breeze picked up. Colin Jupp
Wheatley Wood WT, Rayleigh (TQ784912) Early afternoon walk in warm sunshine, with a slight breeze picking up by the end of the ramble. Just walking along the entrance track into the wood and a male brimstone passed by me, my first for the year. In total noted 2-3 male Brimstones and two females, one ovipositing on planted buckthorns. Other butterflies observed included 33 Peacocks, 8 Commas, male Orange tip, 2 Speckled Wood, Large White, Small Tortoiseshell and 2 unidentified whites (photos attached). Graham Bailey
Devil's Dyke (TL595634) Lunchtime: Lots of Brimstone, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell, displaying, as well as the odd Green Veined White (photos attached). Nick Ballard
Botanic Garden, Cambridge (TL454572) 3 Peacock, 3 Brimstone, 2 Comma, 1 Green-Veined White and 1 Holly Blue (photos attached). Jonathan Stephens
Brampton Wood (TL184698) Good numbers of Peacock plus Brimstone, Comma, Large White and 2 Orange Tip; then:
Godmanchester (TL249701) Peacock, Large White and Holly Blue and finally:
Lady's Wood BCNPWT Reserve (TL243826) Peacock, Comma, Small White, 2 Speckled Wood and 15+ Small T'shell on path from Upwood Meadows NNR at (TL251825). Roger Orbell
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL940056) 11.30 transect along sea wall, 13C, F1E – Peacock 1, Small White 1, Green-veined White 1. A few more of the smaller whites seen on way back as it had warmed slightly. Rob Smith
Colne Point area (TM1012) 12 Peacocks, mostly flying along the beach. Simon Cox
Burwell Railway Cutting (TL575652) Primary target being Green Hairstreak. Six to eight seen over a two hour period. No pictures of the butterflies possible. Jack Harrison

Saturday 17th April
Roman Road (TL523522) On transect: 13 Brimstone, 9 Peacock, 4 Small Tortoiseshell & 1 Green-Veined White. Mike Gittos
Noak Hill, Romford (TQ545936) male Orange Tip, Speckled Wood and 2 Peacock at The Priory. A Small White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacock near Manor Farm (TQ541933); another Small Tort and Peacock beside Carter's Brook(TQ539933);11.30 to 13.00hrs. Then on to:
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) mid-pm;a Speckled Wood at the Round Pond (TQ519926); another along the bridleway (TQ521918), + m Orange Tip near Lower Bedfords Rd. Also 2 unidentified Whites, 2 Small Torts, 8 Commas and numerous Peacocks - all seen in perfect weather conditions. Colin Jupp
Weeleyhall Wood (TM156212) Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock & Comma. Simon Cox
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Mike Harris
Burwell Railway Cutting (TL575652) 11:45am. Beautiful day; cycled to Burwell cutting - saw my first Orange Tip in Swaffham Prior on the way. Plenty of Brimstone, Peacock, a few Small Torts, a female Small White and a very light Comma. Highlight was the colony of Green Hairstreak by the Dyke; several vying for top male, in between posing and nectaring (photos attached). Nick Ballard

Several butterflies out in the Wormingford area in the bright sunshine today:
Wood Hall area (TL935311) 3 Peacocks and 4 Small Tortoiseshells
Colletts Farm Wood (TL938318) male Brimstone and 1 Small Tortoiseshell
Wormingford airfield (TL9130) & The Lodge (TL923322): 2 Small Tortoisehells at each location. Martin Peers

Great Warley - Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) On transect 13C, F1E, sunny – Green-veined White 1, Large White 1, Small White 1, Orange Tip 2 (one nectaring on Ground Ivy & basking), Peacock 20, Comma 4, Speckled Wood 1. Then, close to Headley Common (TQ587914) on way home saw a Red Admiral (presumably over-wintered). 6 ‘firsts-of-year’ today – very fortunate. Rob Smith

Friday 16th April
Ingatestone (TQ654993) Peacock 1, Comma 2 – one nectaring on Blackthorn. Rob Smith

Thursday 15th April
Harrow Drive, Hornchurch (TQ530875) Male Orange-tip seen by Bill Amos in his garden (reported by Colin Jupp).
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) Pleased to see my first male Orange Tips of the spring - 1 at Foxes Hill (TQ514918) at 13.45hrs and 1 near Larch Wood (TQ516921) at 14.20. Also seen in the park this pm (one and half hours during the best of the sunshine): 1 Small or GV White and totals of 25+ Peacock, 10 Comma and 3 Small Tortoiseshell (including SW Corner Field and Lake area). Colin Jupp
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Lunchtime - In a sunny period, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and the first Holly Blue of the year for the Cemetery. (Last year was 2nd April, I think). Nick Ballard
A quick tour around Ingatestone revealed: Mill Green Common (TL638012) Sunny, with gentle cool breeze. Peacock 4, Brimstone 1 (male), then onto waste ground at Ingatestone (TL651001) Small Tortoiseshell 1, then onto:
River Wid, Buttsbury (TQ660980) Peacock 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2 (roosting on same patch of nettles by river bank as previous years’ sightings) and another Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock at the ford a few hundred yards south. Only a modest haul of Small Torts but good for here and pleasing to see them in 3 locations. Rob Smith

Wednesday 14th April
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Brief trip at lunchtime - Cloudy and little flying - but did spot a male Large White, my first of the season, passing through. Nick Ballard

Tuesday 13th April
St Osyth (TM144159) Small Tortoiseshell in garden. Simon Cox
Risebridge Golf Course, Romford (TQ518908) 15.00-16.00hrs: A female Green-veined White on the south side of the embankment near A12, and totals of 11 Peacock(1 pair;9 territorial males) and 4 Comma along Bob's Lane footpath and other sheltered areas in the SW corner of the GC. Nearby at 16.15hrs along Heath Drive (TQ522904) a definite Large White. (Both species of white my first sightings this year). Colin Jupp
Cottenham area (TL435695) A number of Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks were basking and flying on a footpath between Cottenham and Willingham this afternoon. Ann Piper
Devil's Dyke, July Course (TL616616) 1 Green Hairstreak, several Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock. Also lots of Common Heath moths to trick the unwary butterfly hunter. Then onto:
Fleam Dyke, Cambs (TL5454) Brimstone, Tortoiseshell & Peacock. Vince Lea, Roger Lemon, John Dawson, Julia Napier & Sharon Hearle

Sunday 11th April
West Mersea (TM0012) 20 Small Tortoiseshells in a small area at West Mersea yesterday. Reminded me of when I was young! We also saw a brimstone briefly in the garden (TM012268), an uncommon sight in Colchester. Brian Goodey
Thorndon CP (TQ608915) A walk mostly around the northern part of the Country Park in sunshine but with a cool easterly breeze. Total of ten Peacocks seen, a single Comma and also a male Orange Tip in the more sheltered area at Childerditch Common (photo attached). Graham Bailey
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ523922) 4 Small Tortoiseshells in the Wildflower Meadow this afternoon including 3 near Nursery Wood, sheltered from the cool NE breeze ( with Friends of Bedfords Park sunday work party). Colin Jupp
Cockett Wick, St. Osyth (TM136139) Single Peacock, Comma & Small Tortoiseshell. Have also belatedly identified a Small Magpie moth in our garden yesterday (TM144159). I understand it is early for this species. Simon & Pat Cox
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL951062-TL937059) Sunny but very cold (12C max) with F5 NE breeze along sea wall. Too chicken to sail today, but did find 3 Peacocks amongst the gorse. Saw a couple of smaller whites (unidentified) on road verges on way here (A13/130). Then onto:
Maldon Wick (TL841053) 3pm – cold and nothing seen on top of embankment but came back along west-facing lee side, and counted 17 Peacocks and 12 Commas. Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Sunday morning: Breezy and cooler than yesterday, but did not stop the first Speckled Wood of the year in here, along with Comma, Peacock and a couple of Small Tortoiseshell. Nick Ballard

Saturday 10th April
Cottenham (TL452683) 1 Green-veined white, 3 Peacocks and 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Ann Piper
Harold Wood, Romford (TQ551913) Paine's Brook area 12.30-13.45hrs: 2 Small White, 8 or 9 Commas, 5 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell. ( + a pair of Grey Wagtails). On the Harold Hill (N) side of the A12 two more Small Torts, 3 Peacock, 2 Comma and another 'White'. Then half an hour later during a brief visit to Gidea Park Sports Ground (TQ532905) I saw my first, pristine, Speckled Wood of the year. Colin Jupp
Wheatley Wood WT, Rayleigh (TQ784912) Mid afternoon ramble around this Woodland Trust property. Only two species noted, but both in good numbers, namely 43 peacocks and 18 commas. Have yet to see a brimstone this year, but might have more luck at Thorndon Park Country Park tomorrow! (photos attached) Graham Bailey
St Osyth (TM144159) Green-veined White & Comma in our garden today as well as 2+ Peacocks & Small White still. Simon & Pat Cox
Fleam Dyke (TL545545) On Transect: 14C - light NNE winds, 100% sun. Beautiful day - not many butterflies actually IN the transect, but lots around in the Dyke or in patches of flowers just off the transect route.
Count: Brimstone 5, Peacock 2, Green Veined White 1 and Small Tortoiseshell 1. First, just-emerged, Green Veined White (male) of the year. One patch near Bedford Gap had several Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and male and female Brimstones all actively feeding, fighting and flirting at the same time. (Also saw a hare in the bottom of the Dyke, a common lizard basking on the top, with Blackcaps prominent in the Dyke hedges at the Fulbourn end, along with more Bee-flies....). (photos attached) Nick Ballard
Girton, Cambs (TL425625) 1 Peacock, 1 Brimstone - approx 1100, bright sunshine, warm, meadow/wood area near our house. Stephen & Alison Webb
Ingrebourne CP, Essex (TQ5283) We went for an hour's walk at 3.30pm. and saw 50+ Peacocks, 10 Commas & 2 Small Tortoiseshell (photos attached). Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Heydon, South Cambs A "small" white (GV or Small) in flight plus the usual hibernators. Unsure which "white" as only seen in flight. Main significance is that at 140 metres above sea level emergences are typically a few days later than other lower parts of the county. Jack Harrison
Footpaths between Foxton & Newton Mostly sunny early afternoon yielded the following: Brimstone 7-9 m & 3-5 f, Small White 1 m, Small Tortoiseshell 9-10, Peacock 14-21, Small Tort/Peacock 4, No diurnal moths showing (despite checking Silver Birches). Guy Manners
Tylers Shaw, near Great Warley (TQ576910) a.m. transect 13+C, F2N, 100% sun - began with 3 Swallows. 2 Peacocks, then inside M25; then onto:
Jermaines/Tylers Wood & Common (TQ573910-TQ568906) - 12 Peacocks, 2 male Brimstones and 3 Commas. Garlic Mustard barely out of the ground but did see some flowering Moschatel at top end of Jermaines Wood. Rob Smith

Friday 9th April
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ541929) Just after midday 6 Comma and 5 Peacock along a 300m stretch of Carter's Brook and later at Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) 10 Peacock, 4 Comma and 1 Small Tortoiseshell in the SW Corner Field and Foxes Hill (TQ514917). Total count today 38 Peacock and 9 Comma (up to 3pm); this included some areas of the park that were also visited on 6th April. Colin Jupp

Prittlewell Brook, Westcliff-on-Sea (TQ865870) On my lunch break from work, noted 2 peacocks, 2 commas, small tortoiseshell and a green-veined white positively identified as it nectared on a dandelion flower. Graham Bailey
Mill Green Common (TL638012) Warmer, but less sunshine than yesterday. c.12 Peacocks, 1 male Brimstone and 3 Commas, including a particularly dainty one perhaps only 45mm across, nicely marked (photo attached). Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Lunchtime today - Comma, 2 Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Nick Ballard
Wicken Fen NT (TL553708) First transect at the new, in-development, Wicken Fen butterfly walk had 18 butterflies in half an hour, mainly Peacock with a few Small torts and 2 Brimstones. Also small dark longhorn moths high around sallow flowers - I think these are Adela reaumurella. Vince Lea & Louise Bacon

Thursday 8th April
Danbury Common NT (TL7804) I took these photo's in the Danbury Common area on Thursday 8 April in glorious sunshine, where there were several brimstone,including the egg-laying female pictured, plus lots peacock,a few comma,and this lovely basking female adder! Spring starts here! Mark Bunch
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Lunchtime: 2 Comma, 1 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell and first Bee-fly - Dark-edged Bee-fly Bombylius major (photos attached). Nick Ballard
Backwarden EWT, Danbury (TL779039) Peacock, Comma, Brimstone and Small Copper this afternoon (plus 4 Adders and Common and Slender Groundhopper). John Dobson
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) 14.30-15.15hrs, 1 Small White, 6 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Comma(including courting pair). All were seen along the good section of habitat on the north side, near the tall conifer shelter belt/ A12. Also today, Beauly Way, Romford (TQ516907) Sid and Dorothy Petts saw 1 female Brimstone, 1 Small White, 3 Peacock and 2 Comma in their garden this pm. Colin Jupp
Orwell Clunch Pit (TL364504) On transect: Brimstone 2. Comma 1. Small Tortoiseshell 1 and at
Orwell (TL359589) Brimstone 1, and at
Comberton (TL387566) 2 Brimstone, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Small White and at the nearby Old Railway Line (TL378545) Brimstone 2, Comma 1 and Peacock 5. Tony Roberts
Cottenham (TL452683) 2 male Brimstones and 1 White (probably a female Brimstone - but not close enough to be sure. Also a Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell. Ann Piper
Daws Hall (TL8836) A Peacock and a Brimstone; 2 more Peacocks north of West Bergholt (TL9430) along the road to Wormingford and two more Peacock in my St Osyth garden (TM144159). Simon & Pat Cox
Bedfords Park, Romford (TQ522918) 6 Peacock, 2 Comma and a male Brimstone (photos attached). Ian Phillips
Mill Green Common, Essex (TL638012) Tremendous activity with 15+ Peacocks defending territories and c.7 male Brimstones searching for mates. Also 2 sedentary Commas.
At a cooler River Wid, Buttsbury, Essex (TQ660980) just two fighting Peacocks. No Small Torts from last year’s occasional sightings. Rob Smith

Wednesday 7th April
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (TM2624) A Peacock seen by Simon and pat Cox.

Tuesday 6th April
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ5292) Warm,sometimes hazy sunshine; mod - fresh southerly breeze. Birding was quiet today apart from good numbers of singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, so between 12.30-15.00hrs I concentrated on butterflies, searching sheltered spots along the hedgerows, woodland edges, ponds, the blackthorn scrub and nettle patches in the south of the park,round to the lake area and Lower Bedfords road.
Totals (basking and territorial males):
Wildflower Meadow (TQ523920) 5 Peacock, 2 Comma
Spring Wood (TQ517925) 5 Peacock, 2 Comma
Round Pond (TQ519926) 1 Peacock, 1 Comma
Damselfly Pond (TQ522918) 2 Peacock, 1 Comma
Lower Bedfords Road Wood (TQ519917) 4 Peacock, 2 Comma
Lake area (TQ518918 ) 6 Peacock, 2 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell
(but surprisingly no Brimstone). Colin Jupp

A Peacock at Lexden (TL9624) and a Small White in my St Osyth garden at (TM144159). Simon & Pat Cox
Botanic Garden, Cambridge (TL454572) 3x Comma, 3x Peacock and 3x Brimstone (photos attached). Jonathan Stephens
Foxton (TL414480) 1-2 male Brimstones and at Melbourn (TL378450) 1 male Brimstone. Guy Manners
Comberton (TL387566) A Brimstone seen by Tony Roberts
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Lunchtime today - 2 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone and Peacock, all in 10 mins in the Cemetery. Why was I at work?! Nick Ballard
Orton Goldhay area, Peterborough (TL155955) A Peacock sunning itself around 10.00. Trevor Wilson
Compass Gardens, South Woodham Ferrers (TQ817973) 1 Peacock flying north through gardens. Chris Rawlings
Princes Street, Maldon (TL852067) Spotted my first butterfly of 2010, a Peacock outside the council offices in Maldon. Lauren Harris
Fairfield, Ingatestone (TQ652995) 6 Peacocks seen by Rob Smith.

Thursday 1st April
Comberton (TL387566) A Small White reported by Tony Roberts
Eaton Socon, St. Neots (TL166593) A Comma seen by Andrew Tongue.

March 2010

Tuesday 30th March
Holland Haven CP (TM219173) Simon Cox reports a Peacock here this afternoon.

Sunday 28th March
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ522918) 1 Orange Underwing near the birches to the NE of the Damselfly pond and 2 Comma on the east side of the pond (same spot as 23rd), 15:15-15:40 BST. Colin Jupp
Gosfield Pits Nature Reserve (TL787294) A Peacock on the track on south side of the reserve. Cool, intermittant sun, breezy. Colin Davis
Lammas Way, St.Ives (TL308718) This afternoon approx 2.10pm saw a male Small White in a private garden (Mum and Dad's) sunning on a shrub in their back garden. Credit to my dad Ray for spotting it first as it was well hidden. Colin Munns
St Osyth Lodge Farm (TM138150) 2 Peacocks on the wing this morning. Simon & Pat Cox

Saturday 27th March
Billericay (TQ668938) A single Brimstone seen by John Smart.
South Woodham Ferrers (TQ805980) 1 Brimstone flying east across Village Hall playing field. Chris Rawlings
Sunnymead Farm (near Wivenhoe) (TM055220) First Small Tortoiseshell of the year. Moira Jackson

Friday 26th March
Wyevale Garden Centre, Chelmsford (TL732083) 1 Peacock nectaring on Pieris japonica. Chris Rawlings

Wednesday 24th March
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ523923) Orange Underwing moth East end of Nursery Wood mid-pm - flying low, but fairly brief views (seen with bins). There are previous records for the park on 30/3/04 and 31/3/09. Colin Jupp
Orton Longueville area, Peterborough (TL165965) A Comma and a male Brimstone and in the Orton Wistow area, Peterborough (TL144967) a female Brimstone. Trevor Wilson

Tuesday 23rd March
Bedfords Park LNR, North Romford (TQ522918) 2 Comma near the Damselfly Pond. Colin Jupp
Great Chishill Meadows (TL425395) All four hibernators, Peacock, Small Tort, Comma and Brimstone. There is one small hollow that I look forward to visiting each spring. There is ALWAYS a Comma there. It flies up to chase every passing Brimstone then returns to bask in the warmth, not necessarily to the exact same perch but it often does. Photos 2010 and 2009 captioned “Grandson and Grandfather” (well, they could well be related) taken at exactly the same spot. Jack Harrison
I went to the river at Offord (TL216666) before lunch today & saw 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Comma and 2 male Brimstones. There are now Celandines and Dandelions for nectar. (photos attached). Charles Nicol

Monday 22nd March
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) One Peacock and one Comma near the conifer hedge beside the A12 early pm. Colin Jupp
Gosfield (TL783295) A Small Tortoiseshell in my garden at 10.20am, 10 deg C and breezy. Colin Davis

Sunday 21st March
Comberton (TL387566) 2 Comma seen by Tony Roberts.
Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits, Cambridge (TL485559) Early Morning: 1 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell and then onto Fleam Dyke to Bedford Gap (TL545545) Morning: Several male Brimstone and then lunchtime at Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) 3 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock and 2 male Brimstone :) Spring has sprung! (photos attached) Nick Ballard
Wicken Fen NT (TL553708) A good range of spring butterflies - c.4 each of Small Tortoiseshell and Brimstone plus 2 Peacock and 1 Comma. Also, about 5 Orange Underwing moths seen on the wing among mature birch trees this afternoon around the area known as Spinney Bank, about 900m WNW of the visitor centre. One or two coming to lower altitudes, not seen to land, but good views of the hindwings in flight. Vince Lea and Louise Bacon
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ549914) My first Small Tortoiseshell of the year - one basking on nettle bank near Paines Brook(14.00hrs), then a second individual in Central Park (TQ542923) at 14.25hrs. Colin Jupp
Botanic Garden, Cambridge (TL454572) 5 Comma, 5 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Brimstone. Jonathan Stephens
Fowlmere, Cambs (TL424459) At north end of village, 1 male Brimstone and then nearby at TL425461 2 Small Tortoiseshell (tried to commit suicide by flying at car!). Guy Manners
Gosfield (TL783295) A male Brimstone in my garden this morning at 11am. 14 deg C, sunny and still. Colin Davis
Brookes Reserve EWT, near Stisted (TL812268) Two Peacocks and a Comma at 12 noon sunny, warm and still. Colin Davis
Great Chishill (TL427394) Temperature 12degsC in bright sunshine. About six Brimstones, all very mobile males. One territorial Peacock in typical spring habitat on ground sunny side of an east-west hedge (photo). Jack Harrison

Friday 19th March
Stanground area, Peterborough (TL207964) A male Brimstone flying in sunshine. Trevor Wilson
Kirtling (TL688567) A Brimstone seen by Sharon Hearle.

Thursday 18th March
Comberton (TL387566) A Brimstone seen by Tony Roberts.
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) One Comma at lunchtime. Nick Ballard
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ548926) Up to 2 Peacock and 2 Comma in my garden between 12.20- 12.35hrs. Colin Jupp
Hinton Avenue, Cambridge (TL469563) Just after mid-day I saw a male Brimstone crossing my small garden. Temperature 17 C. Spring is here. Official. Julia Napier

Wednesday 17th March
South Woodham Ferrers (TQ805971) 1 Brimstone flying east across our south facing back garden. Chris Rawlings
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ543922) A Comma basking near Paines Brook and nearby a Peacock basking at the W end of Long Wood (TQ544922); 11.45-11.55hrs, hazy sunshine. Both butterflies were settled on grass amongst low scrub (bramble/blackthorn). Colin Jupp (hoping possibly for Small Tort or Red Admiral if weather holds).

Tuesday 16th March
Doddinghurst (TQ589982) A Peacock seen by Michael Davies.
Central Park, Harold Hill (TQ545923) A Peacock basking on leaf litter (in low bramble) in warm sunshine at middday. Colin Jupp
Wethersfield, Essex (TL711313) Single Peacock basking on lawn in garden. Dave Matthews
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) One male Brimstone and a fly-by vanessid - most likely a Peacock. Nick Ballard
Cambourne (TL318597) Finally off the mark here with a Small Tortoiseshell at 12.30 then a Brimstone about 1pm, in the Wildlife Trust office garden. Louise Bacon

Monday 15th March
Billericay (TQ668938) A Brimstone flying across my garden. Fingers crossed for another good year for these insects. John Smart
South Woodham Ferrers (TQ805971) 1 Peacock basking on paving stone in our back garden. Chris Rawlings
Chelmsford (TL698074) This morning a Brimstone and a Comma in our garden (which backs on to the eastern border of Admirals Park). Jean Curtis
Church Lane, Girton (TL423622) 2 male Brimstone this morning. Roger Orbell
Maldon, Essex (TL850073) A Peacock seen by Thomas Harris.
Stanground area, Peterborough (TL207964) Trevor Wilson reports a Small Tortoiseshell here at 11:30am.
Gosfield (TL783295) A male Brimstone in my garden this morning at 11.15am. 13 deg C, sunny and gentle breeze. Colin Davis
Harold Hill, near Romford (TQ548926) Male Brimstone in my garden for 3 minutes at midday,in bright sunshine, then flew along the edge of Hatters Wood (adjacent). Garden quite sheltered from WNW breeze today. Colin Jupp
Stirtloe (TL210663) Charles Nicol reports 3 or 4 male Brimstones here in the morning (two photos).
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Hooray! My first butterfly of 2010 - a Comma, quite a light-coloured one too. (Last year, first Comma was sighted on 21st February, to show how far behind we are this year). Nick Ballard

Sunday 7th March
Holme Fen NNR (TL28E) A Small Tortoiseshell seen this afternoon at about 2:30pm. It was flying on the south side of a block of the woodland in full sun and sheltered from the wind. Kevan Wolstencroft

Thursday 4th March
Hanningfield Reservoir (Essex & Water area- access strictly by permit) (TQ718987) Two Peacocks seen here by David Jobbins
Dry Drayton, Cambs (TL381624) A Red Admiral flying around outside house - settled on upstairs windowsill for c.40 min. First butterfly sighting of 2010 for me. Val Perrin

Tuesday 2nd March
West Bergholt (TL950282) A Comma basking in sunshine by the farm track leading from the old church to Hillhouse Wood. It was of the 'normal' form and in a nice clean condition. Philip Smith
Green Lane, Brampton (TL207708) A Small Tortoiseshell seen feeding on ivy in garden by Hazel Orbell.

Monday 1st March
Peterborough (TL155985) Don Gardener reports a Peacock lunchtime today in the sun, close to the “Thomas Cook” roundabout in Peterborough (ie the junction of the A47 and A1260).

February 2010

Saturday 27th February
Ely (TL532801) A male Brimstone seen in his garden by Stuart Sharp.

Friday 5th February
Danbury Country Park (TL768049) 1 Peacock in meadow seen by Park Ranger Andrea Gabriel. Chris Rawlings

January 2010

Wednesday 6th January
Hatfield Peverel, Essex (TL795115) Jim Rowe reports a Peacock butterfly fluttering around in his kitchen.


 
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