Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and the environment
Butterfly Conservation
40 years of saving butterflies, moths and our environment
   Cambridgeshire and Essex Branch



This page contains the sightings of all the butterflies and moths reported on the main Sightings page during 2009.

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

Click here to return to the current Sightings page.

First & Last 'Website' Sightings 2009

 Gatekeeper 1st July <-> 31st Aug 
 SW Fritillary 30th June <-> 30th July White Admiral 25th June <-> 14th July
 Chalkhill Blue 21st June <-> 12th Sept Ringlet 15th June <-> 6th Aug
 Purple Hairstreak 14th June <-> 5th Aug W-L Hairstreak 14th June <-> 27th July
 Small Skipper 13th June <->2nd Aug Marbled White 13th June <-> 30th July
 Essex Skipper 12th June <-> 18th Aug Black Hairstreak 11th June <-> 28th June
 Meadow Brown 30th May <-> 11th Sept Heath Fritillary 30th May <-> 11th Sept
 Clouded Yellow 28th May <-> 25th Oct Large Skipper 24th May <-> 28th July
 Common Blue 7th May <-> 18th Oct Small Heath 1st May <-> 27th Sept
 Wall Brown 29th April <-> 12th Oct Brown Argus 22nd April <-> 12th Oct
 Dingy Skipper 22nd April <-> 13th May Small Copper 19th April <-> 31st Oct
 Grizzled Skipper 19th April <-> 16th July Painted Lady 18th April <-> 8th Dec
 Green Hairstreak 18th April <-> 14th June Orange Tip 5th April <-> 23rd July
 Holly Blue 2nd April <-> 15th Nov Large White 29th March <-> 15th Oct
 GV White 18th March <-> 27th Sept Speckled Wood 15th March <-> 12th Oct
 Small White 14th March <-> 27th Oct Brimstone 21st Feb <-> 15th Nov
 Comma 21st Feb <-> 25th Oct Small T'shell 7th Feb <-> 2nd Nov
 Peacock 17th Jan <-> 11th Dec Red Admiral 11th Jan <-> 26th Nov
Note: Some of these sightings were made at private sites with no public access
December 2009

Friday 11th December
Leytonstone, Waltham Forest (Grid ref:TQ393895) A Peacock flying in bright sunshine outside my office window in Leytonstone high street. Stuart Pittman

Tuesday 8th December
South Woodham Ferrers, Essex (Grid ref:TQ805971) 1 Painted Lady flying east across our south facing front garden. Chris Rawlings

November 2009

Thursday 26th November
Gosfield (Grid ref:TL783295) A Red Admiral on pebble path in my garden at 10am, sunny and 10 degrees, but windy. Colin Davis

Saturday 21st November
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL946061) Lunchtime, 15C and some pleasant coastal sunshine brought out a Painted Lady flying around gardens behind the sea wall. Rob Smith

Sunday 15th November
Westcliff-on-Sea Holly Blues have been, as usual, common in Westcliff-on-Sea, during 2009, but this is the first year I have seen them flying so late. It seems highly likely that they are part of a third brood. Usually Red Admirals are the last butterflies on the wing, but this November, I have heard of several sightings of them. I have seen two myself, one in my garden (Cliff Avenue TQ873860) on 1st November and another (Boston Avenue TQ877858) on 15th November. Roger Payne (Keeper of Natural History, Southend Museum)
Felsted, Essex (Grid ref:TL676203) One Painted Lady during a much appreciated sunny, warm spell. Andy Goodey
Magdalen Laver (Grid ref:TL508081) In the morning, a female Brimstone and Peacock seen. Tim Green
Gosfield (Grid ref:TL783295) A Painted Lady half-heartedly nectaring on lavender in my garden at 11am on a still sunny morning. Colin Davis
Cambridge (Grid ref:TL4458) About mid-late morning I saw a Brimstone in my Cambridge city centre garden fluttering around some Ivy in some sunshine (between all the showers). James Smith

Saturday 14th November
Bustard Green (Grid ref:TL6428) A Peacock appeared to be drinking from wet ground. John Oakshatt

Thursday 12th November
Roydon (Grid ref:TL409099) A Red Admiral in our garden among the fallen apples. Faith Davis

Saturday 7th November
Reach, Cambs (Grid ref:TL566661) Red Admiral (very worn) sunning itself on a board. Dermot Cooper

Friday 6th November
Woodford Green (Grid ref:TQ405915) A Red Admiral - latest I've seen one. Robin Barfoot
Collier Row Clockhouse School, near Romford (Grid ref:TQ499914) A Painted Lady nectaring on a Runner Bean plant at my grandson's nursery school this morning. Ian Phillips

Wednesday 4th November
Great Chishill (Grid ref:TL425392) A bit of a cheat as a 'sighting' but an indoor Peacock fluttered at the window in bright sunshine. It was released outdoors (temperature 12C) in the hope that it might find a better place to hibernate rather than inside a warm house. It flew off strongly. Jack Harrison

Monday 2nd November
Gosfield (Grid ref:TL783295) The Humming Bird Hawk Moth is still about, as it has been most days since I last reported on Oct 25th. Saw it twice today, once with three Painted Ladies, including a mint one, all on lavender, as usual. Colin Davis
Orton Longueville, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL165965) A Painted Lady. Trevor Wilson
Bustard Green (Grid ref:TL6428) 1 Small Tortoiseshell. John Oakshatt
Tendring (Grid ref:TM142242) A Speckled Wood flying this pm near the church. Simon Cox

October 2009

Saturday 31st October
A single Small Copper briefly around ivy at Croydon, Cambridgeshire (Grid reference:TL306490) at approximately midday. Darren Oakley-Martin.

Thursday 29th October
The long awaited warm sunshine finally arrived in Essex today, along with 3 Red Admirals on ivy and 2 Painted Lady chasing each other at the Harlow Garden Centre (Grid reference:TL4806). Mark Bunch
Bustard Green (Grid ref:TL6428) 1 Small Tortoiseshell. John Oakshatt
Painted Lady in Orton Malborne area of Peterborough (Grid ref:TL1795) (probably one of the same as yesterday). Trevor Wilson.

Wednesday 28th October
Four Painted Ladies in the Orton Malborne area of Peterborough (Grid ref:TL1795). Trevor Wilson

Tuesday 27th October
Bustard Green (Grid ref:TL6428) 1 Painted Lady. John Oakshatt
Fairfield, Ingatestone (Grid ref:TQ652995) A single Small White near pond. Red Admirals are conspicuously absent on churchyard ivy compared with last Autumn. Rob Smith

Sunday 25th October
Needingworth Gravel Pits (Grid ref:TL3572) A Clouded Yellow. Martin Phillips.
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) At least 4 Red Admirals (3 pics attached) and one Painted Lady nectaring on the ivy. Nick Ballard
Gosfield (Grid ref:TL783295) Three Painted Ladies together in my garden at about midday feeding on lavender, plus one Comma sunning on ivy. All in sunny, but blustery conditions, then a single Humming Bird Hawk Moth feeding on lavender in my garden at 4.45 pm, eg in half-dark. Colin Davis

Friday 23rd October
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) A single Red Admiral, also seen yesterday. Nick Ballard
Bustard Green (Grid ref:TL6428) Painted Lady 2 & Small white 2. John Oakshatt
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) A male Brimstone, roosting high in birch or under bramble leaves, or flying in occasional very warm sunshine. Rob Smith

Thursday 22nd October
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TQ651986) On set-aside land - an unmarked Peacock. Also 3 types of Harlequin ladybird on the car roof. Rob Smith

Sunday 18th October
Gosfield (Grid ref:TL783295) Another sighting of a single (same individual as 16th?) Hummingbird Hawk Moth, again at 3pm-ish, on lavender. Colin Davis.
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL940056) In Lucerne fields near marsh, Clouded Yellow 2 (at least), Common Blue 2 (1m + 1f), then a Clouded Yellow patrolling lee side of sea wall. Rob Smith
Abberton Reservoir, Wigborough bay, (Grid ref:TL963184) one Painted Lady and one Red Admiral in v.good condition. Laurence Drummond
Fleam Dyke, Cambs (Grid ref:TL545545) in cloudy conditions with some sun but only 14C max: 2 Comma and 1 Small White. Nick Ballard
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) a single Red Admiral. Nick Ballard

Friday 16th October
Gosfield (Grid ref:TL783295) Another Hummingbird Hawk Moth in my garden at 3pm today, feeding on Lavender. Colin Davis

Thursday 15th October
River Roding, near Chipping Ongar (Grid ref:TL553012) In this morning's glorious sunshine, had a walk around some set-aside land beside the river Roding, to the south of Ongar, Essex. A very respectable total; 2 Clouded Yellow, 1 Large White, 1 Small White, 3 Small Copper, 2 Painted Lady (fresh) and a Comma. Quite acceptable for mid October! Mark Bunch
Kings Ripton (Grid ref:TL2671) Small White, Large white, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, and the best of them all a Clouded Yellow. Barry Dickerson
Abberton Reservoir (Grid ref:TL963184) Along the dam: 2 Peacock and one Small Tortoishell, all in v.good condition. Laurence Drummond
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TQ651986) On set-aside land near Ingatestone Hall a small, fresh Painted Lady and an equally-unmarked Peacock. Rob Smith

Wednesday 14th October
Holland Haven (Grid ref:TM22317), 1 Clouded Yellow. Simon Cox

Monday 12th October
Bustard Green (Grid ref:TL6428) Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 1, Small Copper 6+ & Small White 2. John Oakshatt
Gosfield (3 miles NE of Braintree) (Grid ref:TL783295) Saw two each Hummingbird Hawk-moths and Painted Ladies and one Small Tortoiseshell in my garden at about 1pm. Colin Davis
Canvey West End (Grid ref:TQ765835) A Clouded Yellow, 2 Wall and 6 Common Blue and then onto:
Wallasea Wetlands (Grid ref:TQ957947) 3 Clouded Yellow. Andrew Woodhouse
Ouse Washes (Grid ref:TL455804) In a yomp around various parts of Mepal and Witcham parishes, the birding was sparse, but butterflies seen included several Brown Argus, Small Coppers, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, Small Whites, a Wall and a Specled Wood. David Hopkins
The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM2624) From the beach huts up to the John Weston EWT reserve, 5 Clouded Yellows, good close views as they fought against the wind, all heading north except one settled on grass. Laurence Drummond
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Speckled Wood 1 & Comma 1. Rob Smith

Saturday 10th October
Woodwalton Fen (Grid ref:TL230850) A male Brimstone was a somewhat surprising sight as it flew amongst the oaks and phragmites on this sunny afternoon. Also here was a Speckled Wood and 2 Red Admirals. Matt Webb
Bustard Green (3 miles SW of Finchingfield, Essex) (Grid ref:TL6428) Painted Lady 1, Small White 2 & Small Copper 4. John Oakshatt
Friday Wood (Grid ref:TL986209) Richard Allen reports Comma and Small Coppers.
Frinton-on-Sea (Grid ref:TM235195) Paul Brayshaw reports a good selection of butterflies with Small and Large White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Ladies (probably approaching 50 in off during an hour and a half in the afternoon) and a Clouded Yellow.
Flag Creek, St Osyth (Grid ref:TM113168) 4 Clouded Yellows & 2 Painted Ladies this pm. Simon Cox
Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ565905) 12.30-1pm Comma 1, Small Copper 2, then 1.30-2.30pm at:
Rainham Marshes (Grid ref:TQ545789) F3+ NW, occasional sunny int. Only saw butterflies on seaward side of wall, some shelter here. Small Tortoiseshell 2 (surprisingly good condition ? possible 3rd brood/migrants?) Clouded Yellow 1, then at Wennington end (Grid ref:TQ5280) - Common Blue 2, Brown Argus 1, Small Copper 1, and Painted Lady 1. (Several photos attached). Rob Smith

Thursday 8th October

Near Kelvedon Hatch, Essex (Grid ref:TL5600) Organic clover field halfway between Ongar and Kelvedon Hatch - at least 5 Clouded Yellows feeding on clover and thistles, plus 2 Painted Ladies, 2 Small Whites and 1 Red Admiral. 3 Buzzards overhead. Then over to:
Canvey West End (Grid ref:TQ765835) old industrial area. 2 Common Blue-1 male, 4 Small White, 1 Painted Lady and 1 Wall. Plus a lizard. There were 7 Walls (2f, 5m) & a Clouded Yellow here on 1st October. Mark Bunch
Bustard Green (3 miles SW of Finchingfield, Essex) (Grid ref:TL6428) An excellent day today - Painted Lady 1, Peacock 1, Small white 4, Small Copper 8+ plus Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1 all feeding on Verbenian bonariensis. John Oakshatt
Tiptree Heath (Grid ref:TL884147) On a short walk round the heath in sunny conditions but with a cool breeze only two butterflies seen - one flying probably a Peacock and a Small Copper. (photo attached). Richard Bigg
Great Chishill (Grid ref:TL425392) At least three different Red Admirals in my garden today making splendid sight on Ivy against the blue sky. (photo attached). Jack Harrison
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TQ651986) Set-aside land near Hall, 2 fresh, fighting Painted Ladies, 2 Small White, 1 Peacock and 1 Red Admiral. (2 photos attached). Rob Smith

Monday 5th October

Peterhouse, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL448579) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the gardener's yard at lunchtime. Daniel Osborne

Sunday 4th October

A good day in SW Cambs - The Belts (approx TL339526) two Comma, and at TL351519 a Red Admiral feeding on fallen Crab Apples. At the end of the Gloucesters, TL350521, one Small White and two Clouded yellow over the organic clover ley. In Great Eversden Village (TL3653) one Red Admiral and one Painted Lady. In Barton, on the recreation ground TL408553 one Peacock (the first we've seen for ages) and at home, one Small Tortoiseshell in the house. Vince Lea & Louise Bacon
Fleam Dyke, Cambs (Grid ref:TL545545) Beautiful sunny day but with a cool NW breeze. 15+ Small White, at least 4 Red Admirals, 2 Painted Ladies and a female Brimstone. Nick Ballard

Thursday 1st October

Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) Lunchtime today - a couple of Red Admirals and a Speckled Wood. Nick Ballard
Bustard Green (3 miles SW of Finchingfield, Essex) (Grid ref:TL6428) on the Green: Small Tortoiseshell 2, Comma 1, Brown Argus 2, Small Copper 8+ & Small White 10+. John Oakshatt

September 2009

Tuesday 29th September

Near Jaywick, Clacton-on-Sea (Grid ref:TM117127) Along the sea wall between Lee-over-Sands and Seawick, 2 Clouded Yellows flying west, did not settle. Laurence Drummond

Sunday 27th September

Botanic Gardens, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL454572) Fresh-looking Brown Argus, on a blue labiate in the Systematic Beds; plus 2 Commas. Jan Haseler
Bustard Green (3 miles SW of Finchingfield, Essex) (Grid ref:TL6428) Speckled Wood 3, Painted Lady 1, Brown Argus 3, Comma 4, Small white 10+, Small Copper 10+ ( largest number recorded here in 20 years) . No Holly blue this year (first no show year since 1987) and no Autumn Brimstone. John Oakshatt
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref: TL940056) Another stunning day, hopeless for sailing- brilliant for butterflies, bringing out a lot more Small Whites than last week, about 20, Green-veined White 1, Peacock 1, Small Heath 1, Brown Argus 1 (poss 3rd brood), and most pleased at last to see Small Copper 3. Report of a Clouded Yellow today, so checked Lucerne field but none seen, but there were a few Common Blues there still, including 2 females. Painted Ladies reported near Marconi SC. (2 photos attached) Rob Smith

Saturday 26th September

Superb sunny day, and only a breath of wind. Started at Jermaines Wood/ Tylers Common, near Great Warley
(Grid ref:TQ571907)) 11.15-12.15 Speckled Wood 5, Comma 2, Red Admiral 1. Then 12.45-14.30 - final hunt for 2nd brood Heath Fritillaries at Thundersley (Grid ref:TQ811889) None found at Little Haven (Starvelarks Wood), Tile Wood or Pound Wood. Occasional Speckled Woods seen 5, and Small Copper 3 (to the meadow in between), and a white.
Sporadic, but much more variety still at Rainham Marshes (Grid ref:TQ545789) 15.15-17.00 Wall 2 (1 female and possibly a male ? wings closed, photos attached), Peacock 1, Common Blue 4 (all males still hanging on), Brown Argus? 1 (in flight), Small Copper 1 (photos attached), Small White 1, other whites 3, Red Admiral 1. Also, birdmen Vic & Phil report seeing 2 Clouded Yellow here today and good numbers of Small Tortoiseshells here throughout the Summer. (Several photos attached) Rob Smith

Friday 25th September

Bustard Green (3 miles SW of Finchingfield, Essex) (Grid ref:TL6428) Some recent records mainly feeding on Verbenian bonariensis in our garden: Clouded Yellow 1, Peacock 1, Comma 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Painted Lady 1, Common Blue 2, Brown Argus 3, Small Copper 8+, Small White 10+, Small Heath 1 & Speckled Wood 2. John Oakshatt
Canvey West End (Grid ref:TQ765835) 5 Clouded Yellow, 6 Wall Brown, 5 Brown Argus and a Common Blue. Andrew Woodhouse
Great Chishill Meadows (Grid ref:TL424394) Gorgeous warm sunny day that would have been a credit to June or July. So it seemed very odd that on my local walk around Great Chishill meadows, I saw only two butterflies, both Small/GV Whites. Jack Harrison
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) A Green-veined White, 2 Speckled Woods and a possible Small Copper in flight. Followed by 2 smaller whites and a Peacock in flight at Buttsbury, Essex (Grid ref:TQ660980) Here there were no Small Tortoiseshells in any previous nettle-haunts along the River Wid. Rob Smith
Gunners Park, Shoeburyness (Grid ref:TQ932845) During a twenty minute walk at 10.30 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Painted Lady and 1 Small White. Bruce Foxall

Thursday 24th September

Woodstone, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL181973) A Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood. Trevor Wilson

Very pleased to record single Clouded Yellow today on last transect walk of the year on Devil's Dyke (Grid ref:TL616616). Also single Small Heath, Common Blue, Brimstone and Small Tortoishell. Still quite a few Small White around in warm bright sunshine. Sharon Hearle.

Monday 21st September

Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) At lunchtime 4 Speckled Wood, 2 Painted Lady and a couple of Small White. Over the last week - several Comma and Red Admirals with a sprinkling of Painted Lady, plus a single Small Tortoiseshell and the usual Speckled Wood, Small Whites and odd Large White. Ivy proving the most reliable nectar source in the cemetery at the moment; still a few brambles for the Commas too...Nick Ballard.

Sunday 20th September

Peterborough, Woodfield Millennium Park (Grid ref:TF206010) Comma (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Large White (5), Small White (10). David Withrington.
Grafham Water (Grid ref:TL162683) One clouded yellow this morning. Mark Hawkes.
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref: TL940056) Felt very warm when hazy sunshine came through in patches. 17C, F2 NE. Small White 3, Green-veined White 1 (1st for weeks), other whites 3, Common Blue 1, a Peacock in flight (uncf). Rob Smith

1 Clouded Yellow today at St Osyth Stone (Grid Ref: TM083159), also there 2 Small & 1 Large White. Single Painted Ladies today at Jaywick (Grid Ref: TM145127) and yesterday along St Osyth Creek (Grid ref: TM106156) with a Small Heath at (TM112163) and yesterday at Holland Haven CP (TM217172). Simon Cox

Saturday 19th September

A single Clouded Yellow flew along the bank by the Old Bedford River, Earith (Grid ref:TL3975) this morning, just inside Huntingdonshire but headed towards Cambs. David Griffiths.
Little Haven EWT Reserve (Starvelarks Wood), near Thundersly (Grid ref:TQ811889) Knowing that 'the sun always shines in Southend', I couldn't resist my first visit here to hunt for the 2nd brood Heath Fritillaries, reported yesterday. Starting at 10am, being joined later by Jack Harrison, the adage eventually came true and by noon it was quite warm, with very little breeze. However, no fritillaries were seen - checked the main coppice area under the pylons and the newer-looking coppice to the north-west. Left at 12.40pm having seen perhaps 5 Small Whites, 2 Commas and 4 Speckled Woods. Always worth another shot, and thanks to Jack for telling me that most Peacocks were probably already in hibernation. postscript:I've had a look at the EBS photos and don't remember seeing too many flowering plants in the coppice area, so wonder if the fritillaries were nectaring elsewhere. We did look briefly out onto the meadow to the east, but perhaps we should have explored further. Rob Smith & Jack Harrison

Friday 18th September

Rainham Marshes (Grid ref:TQ545789) 12.40-14.10 walk both sides of sea wall. Started cloudy, East wind stiffened, as sun came through, offering little shelter either side of wall (17C max). Small White c.20 (IDed 7), Clouded Yellow 1, possibly 2 (same location an hour later), Small Heath 2, Brown Argus 1 (only saw underside, but looked fresh-possible 3rd brood). No sign of Wall Browns as reported here earlier in week. (photos attached) Rob Smith.
Jermaines Wood/ Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 3pm+: Small White 2, Comma 7, Speckled Wood 6. Rob Smith.

An interesting report from Essex, there appears to be second generation Heath Fritillary on the wing at Little Haven. Whilst this is a common occurence in continental Europe, it is very unusual in Britain. Images and information can be found at: Essex Birdwatching Society. They also report Wall Brown on 14th September at RSPB Rainham Marshes. Thanks to Steve Arlow for bringing this to our attention.

Sunday 13th September

Near Brightlingsea (Grid ref:TM063175) A Clouded Yellow along the seawall footpath between Brightlingsea and Alresford Creek. Brian Goodey

Saturday 12th September

Croydon Hill, Cambs (Grid ref:TL304491) A single male Clouded Yellow. Darren Oakley-Martin
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL940056) 3 Clouded Yellows seen in lucerne fields near salt marsh. I thought the recent harvest would have made them disperse inland, but there were sufficient remnant buds on the regrowth to maintain this small population. They were much more inclined to nectar (briefly!) than the 2 I saw here a month ago, including close to the margins sometimes used by dog-walkers (no public footpath). Elsewhere- on transect, numbers were well down, with Small Heaths almost finished and disappointingly, no Small Coppers as yet. (photo attached) Rob Smith
Toft Golf course (Grid ref:TL365561) On the best day of the year weatherwise, Comma 2, Painted Lady 1, Large White 3 & Small White 2. David Withrington
Fleam Dyke, Cambs (Grid ref:TL545545) On transect: Cloudless sky and light breeze, 20C - 7 species. 28 Small White, 4 Green Veined White, 1 aged Chalkhill Blue in section 8, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 5 Small Heath. Outside transect - lots more Whites, 3 Comma and another Painted Lady. Nick Ballard

Friday 11th September

Caldecote, Cambs (Grid ref:TL350574) I had a Meadow Brown on a field margin in Caldecote, near Hardwick Wood. Louise Bacon
Canvey West End (Grid ref:TQ765835) A Clouded Yellow and Wall Brown. Andrew Woodhouse
Lark Rise Farm, Barton (Grid ref:TL417552) On transect: Large White 1. Small White 10. Painted Lady 11. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Tony Roberts

Thursday 10th September

Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL378549) On transect:Large White 2. Small White 17 & Green-veined White 3 while at:
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) ON transect: Small White 1 & Speckled Wood 4. Tony Roberts
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TL651001) Small White 2, Small Copper 1, on waste ground by A12 foot tunnel (Little Hyde Lane). Rob Smith

Wednesday 9th September

Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime 20 mins. Cloudy, but less of a breeze than recently. Speckled Wood 4, Comma 2 and, at last something slightly unusual ? Small Copper 1. I?ve been hoping for something all summer as the heather and bare patches remind me of Winterton, Norfolk! - albeit in miniature. (A Wall Brown would simply be asking too much). Rob Smith

Tuesday 8th September

Murray Edwards College, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL440592) I saw a Small Copper in the college gardens today. This is the first one I have seen here for at least 10 years. Peter Kirkham
Buttsbury, Essex (Grid ref:TQ660980) River Wid near church/footbridge, very hot but quite breezy too ? just a Comma and 2 of the smaller whites. No Small Torts on nettles, unlike earlier in the season, but little nectar source anywhere. Also a few smaller whites near the ford. Rob Smith

Monday 7th September

Peterborough (Grid ref:TF192009) In my garden: Red Admiral 1, Painted Lady 1 (both on buddleia) & Large White 2. David Withrington

Sunday 6th September

Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL156971) 2 quite fresh Comma together with Peacock 1, Large White 5, Small White 8 & Speckled Wood 5. Plus 2 more Comma at TL138974. David Withrington
Great Chishill (Grid ref:TL425392) Wandered round the fields to the pleasant accompaniment of Live Traditional Jazz at a local party. As I was taking this picture, they were playing "Magnolia's Wedding Day". I will never again be able to see a Speckled Wood without thinking of Magnolia (whoever she was!). Plenty of "Magnolias", a couple of fresh autumn brood Commas, numerous whites and a geriatric Brown Argus. Jack Harrison
The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM266244) A Clouded Yellow seen by Glen Moore

Saturday 5th September

Shudy Camps (Grid ref:TL617448) Garden Sightings in the afternoon: Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Large white and Brimstone. Mark Hows
Lark Rise Farm, Barton (Grid ref:TL417552) On transect: Small White 3, Common Blue 1 & Painted Lady 7. Tony Roberts
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 11.00am a beautiful morning, F2-3 breeze & full sun, 15-19C. Fresh flush of Red Admirals on transect and elsewhere, most feeding with the Commas on blackberries. Also a first Small Copper on Tylers Common. No Peacocks again - presumably they return to the woods later in the autumn, but not seeing them in gardens either. GV White 1, Large White 5, Small Copper 1,Red Admiral 4, Comma 5, Speckled Wood 11, Meadow Brown 3. Rob Smith

Friday 4th September

Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) On transect: 27 Small Whites, 6 Green-veined Whites, 5 Large Whites, 4 SMALL COPPERS, 5 Brown Argus, 22 Common Blue, 3 Red Admiral, 5 Comma, 3 Painted Lady, 1 Meadow Brown, 3 Speckled Wood. Plus 2 Common Darter, 16 Ruddy Darter, 5 Migrant Hawkers, 2 Large red-eyed and 1 small red-eyed (wind made it very difficult both on lake and lagoon). Roy Widgery
Fowlmere (Grid ref:TL423449) One Red Admiral at the village hall this morning. Guy Manners

Thursday 3rd September

Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime extremely windy, but very warm in the sheltered, sunny spots. Speckled Wood 7, Green-veined White 2 (one fresh-looking, with creamy underside), other whites 2, Comma 2. Rob Smith

Wednesday 2nd September

Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL378549) On transect: Large White 1. Small White 20. Small Copper 1. Red Admiral 1. Painted Lady 1. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Speckled Wood 1. Small Heath 1.
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Small White 3. Red Admiral 1. Speckled Wood 5. Tony Roberts

August 2009

Monday 31st August

Comberton (Grid ref:TL389564) Max seen in garden in August: Brimstone 2. Large White 2. Small White 9. Green-veined White 1. Common Blue 2. Peacock 1. Painted Lady 3. Comma 1. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Red Admiral 1. Speckled Wood 2. Gatekeeper 2. Meadow Brown 2. Tony Roberts
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime walk along sea wall. Full sun, 22C, F3-4. Small White 29 (Ided 40%), Common Blue 9, Brown Argus 2, Painted Lady 2, Small Heath 14 (matches early summer peak). 1 large individual unusually offered a few slight glimpses of its upper wings (photo attached). Then to:
Rainham Marshes (Grid ref:TQ545789) 4.30-5.10pm ? from RSPB Centre along 400yds of lee side of sea wall. A few whites, Common Blue 2, Small Heath 2, Meadow Brown 1, Painted Lady ? at least 1 pair - observed some protracted PL courtship, which I hadn?t seen before. After some brief encircling, both settled on the ground. Some wing flapping followed, but then both soon settled with wings closed. The male approached from the side with occasional delicate strokes of his antennae to her side. Very slowly he moved around to the rear doing the same, possibly with some proboscis movement too. But after 15 minutes of this minuscule shifting, the female withdrew slightly, and time was also up at the Centre (photos attached). Rob Smith
Old Railway Line, Comberton Small White 17. Large White 2. Common Blue 5. Red Admiral 1. Painted Lady 2. Speckled Wood 5. Gatekeeper 1. Tony Roberts

Sunday 30th August

Milton Golf Course (Grid ref:TL479633) Large White 2, Small Heath 1, Peacock 1. And at
Horningsea village (TL493628) Speckled Wood 1 & Large White 2. David Withrington
Abberton Reservoir Still a few butterflies at Abberton Reservoir (Dam to Pumping Station TL985195) this am: single Small Copper, Painted Lady, Peacock, Speckled Wood & several Small Whites. Simon Cox

Saturday 29th August

Fordham Hall Estate (Woodland Trust reserve) (Grid ref:TL926277) A female Clouded Yellow seen by Joe & Linda Firmin
Fleam Dyke, Cambs (Grid ref:TL545545) On transect: Sunny with cloud; 19C, Wind 3-4 WSW, 14:30 - 16:00. 12 Species: 1 Large White, 35 Small White (maybe some GVW), 5 Green Veined White, 3 Common Blue, 4 Chalkhill Blue, 3 Painted Lady, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 2 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Meadow Brown and 1 Small Heath. Nick Ballard
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) Mid-morning transect walk, sunny conditions, 18C. A small batch of new, dark Commas, 2 Meadow Browns still in very good condition and a Small Heath on Tylers Common (1st on section, but not unusual for here). Totals: Large White 4, Small White 3, Green-veined White 3, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 1, Comma 6, Speckled Wood 7, Gatekeeper 6, Meadow Brown 8, Small Heath 1. Harlequin & black 2-spot ladybirds at Thatchers Arms, Warley Place. (3 photos attached) Rob Smith & Steen Johansen
Peterborough (Grid ref:TF192009) In my garden Red Admiral 1, Painted Lady 2 & Large White 1. David Withrington

Thursday 27th August

Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Small White 6. Common Blue 7. Brown Argus 1. Speckled Wood 7. Gatekeeper 2. Small Heath 3. Then onto Shepreth Riverside Walk Cambs. (Grid ref: TL385488) Small White 11. Green-veined White 1. Comma 1. Gatekeeper 1. On transect: Small White 6. Common Blue 7. Brown Argus 1. Speckled Wood 7. Gatekeeper 2. Small Heath 3. Tony Roberts
Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) On transect: Common Blue 28, Brown Argus 8, Large White 9, Small White 54, Green-v White 5, Speckled Wood 11, Meadow Brown 9, Gatekeeper 1, Painted lady 18, Red Admiral 2 & Comma 5. (Plus Brown Hawker 1, Sthn Hawker 2, Migrant hawker 4, Black-t Skimmer 2, Ruddy Darter 52, Common Darter 8, Common Blue Damsel 2, Blue-t Dams 1, Red-eyed Dams 4, Small Red-eyed Dams 1, Banded Dem. 1. Shaded Broad-bar 3, Vapourer 1.) Jim Smith
Great Chishill The 'butterfly of the day' at the moment has to be Speckled Wood. They were quite scarce in South Cambs when I moved here some 18 years ago but are now a common sight in my garden, especially at this time of year. Slight digression from butterflies. Brimstone moths are turning up regularly in my light trap. I think that in many ways they are more attractive than Brimstone butterflies. Jack Harrison

Wednesday 26th August

Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) Another visit for Insects (14:30-15:30). This time we tried the north-eastern area away from the lagoons. This is an uncut (previously) landscaped area, formed when the new A120 was constructed. The most pleasing find was abundant Small Heath, into double figures. 2 Large White, 8 Green-veined White, 23 Common Blue Butterfly (inclu 3 F's), 1 Peacock, 2 Painted Lady, 10 Meadow Brown, 1 Gatekeeper, 3 Speckled Wood& 11 Small Heath. Plus 25+ Common Blue Damselfly & 2 Ruddy Darter (M/F). Mike Harris

Tuesday 25th August

Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) An Insect visit in the (sometimes) warm afternoon sun from 16:20 to 17:10. Although did see Green woodpecker & Kingfisher! 1 Large White, 1 Green veined White, 8 Common Blue (all males) & 1 Small Heath. 17 Emerald Damsels (all males), 25 Common Blue Damsels (all males), 5 Blue-tailed Damsels (1T, 4 males), 1 Migrant Hawker & 5 Ruddy Darter (1T male, 4 males). Mike & Lisa Harris
Buttsbury, Essex (Grid ref:TQ660980) River Wid near church/footbridge - most fields cut and ploughed; limited wild flowers in margins, but pleased to report that the Small Tortoiseshell community remains stable here for the year at 2. Both tatty specimens, one extremely so. Occasional whites around in the breeze, identified one as a ?Small?, but generally very quiet. Rob Smith

Monday 24th August

Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime wander on what seemed like the first still day of the year; cloudy. Speckled Wood 7, Green-veined White 2, Gatekeeper 1. Rob Smith
P.S. Fished the Norfolk Broads at the weekend. Visited How Hill - the 2nd brood Swallowtails were early this year and finished a week ago. Saw quite a few Small Tortoiseshells and a pair of Red Admirals, but little else.

Sunday 23rd August

Did you miss hearing about the Heath Fritillary on Radio 4 this morning? Listen again here.

Saturday 22nd August

Harlow (Grid ref:TL478069) 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Harlow Garden Centre,near M11 motorway at junction 7. Harlow area in general, much lower numbers now,Peacocks already gone into hibernation. Low numbers of Small and Large cabbage whites,odd Red Admiral,Tortoiseshell and Comma.Painted Ladies still around,but worn and in lower numbers.Speckled wood in my shady garden. Mark Bunch
Fleam Dyke, Cambs (Grid ref:TL545545) 10:30am - 2:30pm. Bright and sunny 23C wind WSW, 2 Plenty of Small Whites, though Painted Ladies probably in similar numbers, including some battered and faded ones; we seem to have had a fresh influx. About 10 Chalkhills seen over A14 with a similar number of Common Blues and a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers hanging on. Nice fresh Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral also seen with a few Green Veined Whites and the odd Large White; also several Speckled Wood. But the biggest treat was at least 20 or so Brown Argus, including some very amorous males; the females didn't seem too interested tho'....(she's the one in front...) (4 photos attached) Nick Ballard

Friday 21st August

Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) Transect: Small White 9. Common Blue 1. Painted Lady 1. Speckled Wood 4. Gatekeeper 1. Meadow Brown 1. Tony Roberts

Wednesday 19th August

Pennyhole Fleet (RSPB Old Hall) (Grid ref:TL985120) Simon Cox has sent in a report of 7+ Small Heaths in a 200m stretch alongside Pennyhole Fleet during the evening. He adds that 'Two of my friends have seen Clouded Yellows recently: Gary Gardiner saw 1 at Holland Haven Country Park (TM220173 approx) on either 6th or 7th August and Richard Jacobs saw one in St Osyth near St Clere?s Hall (TM126148) approx first week August.'
Buttsbury, Essex (Grid ref:TQ660980) Checked River Wid near church/footbridge. Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 1, Holly Blue 1 (in flight around bushes) and several whites, IDed 1 as Green-veined. No Small Tortoiseshells here unlike earlier in year, but did see one nearby at the ford and another back at Ingatestone High Street. Rob Smith

Tuesday 18th August

Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) On transect: Essex Skipper 1, Large White 12, Small White 83, G-v White 3, Painted Lady 20, Comma 2, Peacock 1, Common Blue 87, Brown Argus 11, Gatekeeper 23, Meadow Brown 28, Speckled Wood 16. Moths: Shaded Broad-bar 3, 6-spot Burnet 1, Silver Y 7, Mother-of-pearl 1, Latticed Heath 2. Dragons: Brown Hawker 2, Migrant Hawker 1, Black-tailed Skimmer 2, Ruddy Darter 20, Common Darter 1, Common Blue Damsel >60, Red-eyed Damsel 6, Blue-tailed Damsel 1. Note: no Red Admiral or Small Tort. (again). Jim Smith & Roy Widgery
CRT fields around Barton Whilst doing bird surveys:
Tinkers TL407548 Large White 2. Small White 26. Speckled Wood 12. Gatekeeper 11. Meadow Brown 8.
Telegraph TL408545 Small White 15. Common Blue 12. Speckled Wood 2. Gatekeeper 2. Meadow Brown 8.
Holt TL403544 Small White 32. Brown Argus 2. Common Blue 11. Red Admiral 1. Painted Lady 2. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Speckled Wood 10. Gatekeeper 25. Meadow Brown 16.
Old Nags TL398545 Small White 10. Speckled Wood 4. Gatekeeper 2. Meadow Brown 2. Tony Roberts

Monday 17th August

Heydon Quarry (Grid ref:TL430412) Sun, 21 degrees. c.12 worn Common Blues, c.12 worn Brown Argus, 3 very fresh Small Torts, one aged Comma (hutchinsoni ? the summer brood), just 1 Painted Lady, 1 elderly Meadow Brown, 3 Brimstones, numerous whites all three common species. The marjoram is in full flower and proving a great nectar source. (pic attached, sadly the gorgeous scent cannot yet be e-mailed! One day......) Jack Harrison
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM2624) Predictably fewer butterflies at the JW Reserve & environs this morning but 1 Small Heath; also c.10 Large & c.15 Small Whites, c.15 Gatekeepers, 7 Speckled Woods, 6 Meadow Browns, 6 Common Blues, 2 Painted Ladies & 1 Peacock. This evening a Small Heath below St Osyth Priory (TM114168). Simon & Pat Cox
Wormingford, 5 miles NW of Colchester (Grid ref:TL919297) Near Hammond's Farm in an area of old grassland, I found 2 Small Heaths (new for me in this area) and a Brown Argus sunning itself on the track on the other side of the hedge. Martin Peers

Ricahrd Bigg has sent in the following: I noticed on 8th August Rob Smith recorded seeing an "exceptionally small Brown Argus". I have seen individuals of a number of species this year that were much smaller than normal. Common Blue and Gatekeeper are two that come to mind. Is it poor feeding at the caterpillar stage that brings this about ?? Has anyone else noticed extra small individuals of any species??
. . . and Rob Smith has replied:Speaking to Nick Ballard at the weekend, he has noticed similar small individuals that he thought were a second-brood phenomena. But I don?t know whether this might relate to Summer temperatures or available food.

Sunday 16th August

RSPB Old Hall Marshes, Tollesbury (Grid ref:TL974125) Clouded Yellow - 1 along coast path beyond Joyce's, Small Copper - many, Essex Skipper - 1 fairly certainly identified, Small Skipper/skipper sp. - 10 (plus a Grass Snake - a superb 30 inch individual swimming across dyke and sliding up bank). Clive Ireland
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime walk along sea wall, breezy but hot, clear sunshine. Large White 4, smaller whites 59 (1 was Green-veined, but all the others seemed to be Small White (good ID on several). With smaller peaks in mid-May & early July, this seems to be a large migrant/3rd Brood. Clouded Yellow 1, Brown Argus 4, Common Blue 22, Meadow Brown 5, Gatekeeper 1, Small Heath 3. Around 5pm, went back to edge of alfalfa field (next to marsh) where I had seen the Clouded Yellow and saw at least 2 there, probably males constantly marauding across the fields in search of mates. Impossible to photo. This field also yielded dozens of Blues, whites and a few Painted Ladies. Unsurprising, as the sea wall grass is very dry now with few wild flowers. Driving back through St Lawrence village, the alfalfa field, where I thought I saw a Clouded Yellow last week, was cut today. Rob Smith
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) 1 Large White, 4 Small White, 1 Peacock, 1 Painted Lady, 3 Common Blue (all M's), 6 Meadow Brown & 2 Small Heath. Plus 18 Common Blue Damselfly, 4 Blue tailed Damselfly & 2 Emerald Damselfly (MM). Mike Harris

Saturday 15th August

Devil's Dyke, July Course (Grid ref:TL616616) 10.30am ? 1.30pm Dave Matthews and Rob Smith travelled up from Essex under overcast skies, fearing the worst. But after meeting Nick Ballard leading the field trip they were pleasantly surprised to see good numbers of Chalkhill Blues. Some were braving the strong breeze on top of the Dyke, but better numbers were found in the dip and on the sheltered gallop; the Knapweed being the most rewarding. Most were past their best but there were a few excellent specimens of this beautiful butterfly, especially the powder-blue males. There were also two pairs attempting to mate in the winds. Although the sun eventually poked through in patches, we didn?t quite see the shimmering spectacle that we have read about, but it was well worth the trip near the end of their season. Also seen were two Brown Argus, a few whites, including Green-veined Whites in cop (photo attached) and a few Common Blues. Also a large unidentified Longhorn Beetle (subsequently identified by Louise Bacon as the Musk Beetle, Aromia moscahata). Then to:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 3:15pm transect walk in improved conditions ? sunny int, 22C, F3 SW. After a quiet start, saw Small Heaths in a new section (adjacent last week?s new find) and then a majestic Red Admiral on Tylers Common, the first on transect this year. No Peacocks, or Commas until the last section when I witnessed a good example of old-and-new (photos attached). Totals: GV White 3 (good ID), Large White 1, Red Admiral 1, Painted Lady 3, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 6, Gatekeeper 42, Meadow Brown 26, Small Heath 2. Rob Smith

Friday 14th August

Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) Transect: Large White 1, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 4, Painted Lady 2, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 3 & Small Heath 1. Val Perrin

Thursday 13th August

Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) 3 Speckled Wood, one Peacock, one Holly Blue, one tatty Meadow Brown and at least 6 Large White and a couple of Painted Ladies seen at lunchtime. Nick Ballard
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime ? fresh, warmed up during sunny intervals. Numbers and species halved from last week, except more Speckled Woods c.8, Meadow Brown c.8, Gatekeeper c.12, GV White 1, Small White 4. Seemed to be more colour and variety in the Hawkers today.
In response to Julia Napier (Cambs, abundance of Peacocks - 01 August), at most of the sites that I visit, there was an initial explosion, but now numbers are well down. Hopefully it is due to them dispersing to better food sites. Rob Smith

Wednesday 12th August

Orton Brimbles, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL149962) 3 female Common Blues feeding on the front garden lavender. Matthew Webb

Tuesday 11th August

Fen Drayton Lakes (RSPB) (Grid ref:TL342697) Quite a few butterflies around Fen Drayton lakes today including a Clouded Yellow a first for us for Cambs. David & Jonathan Heath
Mepal, Ouse Washes (Grid ref:TL443815) In good weather, one male, three female Walls, two of which were egg-laying (photo attached). To south of road (past the pub) on footpath at TL439811, approx 20 Common Blues in a stretch of 150 metres. No Walls seen here. Jack Harrison

Monday 10th August

Mepal, Ouse Washes (Grid ref:TL443815) North of village, east of rivers one male Wall Brown in poor weather. Jack Harrison

Sunday 9th August

Orton Brimbles, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL149962) 22 Painted Ladies (mostly on the back garden buddelia). Methhew Webb
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime walk along sea wall, best conditions of the Summer, 23C, non-stop sunshine and F2 breeze. Essex Skipper 2, smaller whites 42 (all seemed to be looking for mates, but spent a long time after walk trying to identify just 10 that occasionally settled and they were all Small Whites), Brown Argus 10, Common Blue 41, Painted Lady 3, Meadow Brown 23 and once again outnumbering Gatekeeper 5, Small Heath 3. I stopped off 2 miles away near St Lawrence village to try to ID any GV Whites, and saw what could have been a Clouded Yellow. Fluttering along roadside verge next to field of Alfalfa crop, but lost it in ditch. It was a lot more yellow than orange, but never having seen one before I?m not sure what I?m looking for. Rob Smith

Saturday 8th August

Rainham Marshes (Grid ref:TQ545789) 9.30-11.20am along both sides of sea wall from RSPB centre to Wennington mound. Brilliant sunshine and slight breeze. Peacock 5, Small Tort 1 (looked fresh), smaller whites 40+ (IDed 5 as Small), Painted Ladies 15, Gatekeepers 80+, Meadow Brown 40+, Common Blue 30+ males, counted 9 females, Small Heath 3, Essex Skipper 5 ? all in good nick, Holly Blue ? 1 female. Brown Argus 3, incl 1 exceptionally small specimen, ?? span (I got excited - thought it was my first Small Blue!) No Walls; and a birdman said he hadn?t heard of any Clouded Yellows here this year. Then onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 12.15-1330. 20C, no breeze but lost sunshine for latter 2/3rds. Meadow species numbers continue to plummet as well as Commas. Quite eerie in some spots, but some likely new broods ? Small Tortoiseshell 1, Brimstone 1 and Brown Argus 1 (1st on transect ? thought I may have seen one at same spot in Spring). Others: Essex Skipper 1, Large White 2, Small White 3, GV White 5, Common Blue 1, Painted Lady 10, Peacock 4, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 3, Gatekeeper 79, Meadow Brown 20, Small Heath 1 (1st in this area). Rob Smith

Thursday 6th August

Orton Longueville, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL165965) We've finally caught up with our garden's second brood Holly Blues, out in the sunshine this morning (2 photos attached). We're hoping the afternoon's heavy rain didn't wash them away - although it did flood our lounge for the second time in three weeks!! Peter and Jan Farbridge
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TL651001) At lunch, was followed by a Banded Demoiselle whilst walking down the High Street, which reminded me of seeing an equally estranged Ringlet bashing into the Butcher?s shop window some weeks ago. Then saw a Red Admiral by Fairfield pond ? a first here this year, also 2 Ruddy Darters, numerous whites, a few Gatekeepers and a Speckled Wood and Peacock. Then crossed the railway footbridge into the wheat field and saw what was probably a Holly Blue in flight, but then a Brown Argus on Ragwort by the allotments, which was unusual for here. Rob Smith

Wednesday 5th August

Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime circuit beneath bright cloud only, but very warm. Meadow Brown 20+ Gatekeeper 25+, Painted Lady 1, Peacock 2, Speckled Wood 5, Large White 1, GV White 2, other unidentified whites 10+, Comma 1, Purple Hairstreak- 1 possibly, in flight. Rob Smith
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) Transect: Small White 16. Green-veined White 1. Common Blue 8. Red Admiral 1. Painted Lady 2. Speckled Wood 4. Gatekeeper 12. Meadow Brown 2. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 4th August

Green Island gardens near Ardleigh (Grid ref:TM056273) Visited this site this pm. Pat saw a Brimstone while I was looking at damselflies, otherwise c.12 Large Whites, c.10 mixed Small/Green-veined (several of each), 15+ Gatekeepers, 5 Meadow Browns, 8 Speckled Woods, 3 Painted Ladies, 3 Common Blues, 2 Peacocks, 1 Comma & 1 Small Copper. Also saw the first Holly Blues for a while on 2nd (2 in TM1717) & another in our garden (TM144159) on 3rd. Simon & Pat Cox

Monday 3rd August

Orton Brimbles, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL149962) My garden produced the following today: 4 Painted Ladies, Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Peacocks, 1-2 Large Whites, 15 Small Whites,Green-veined White. They were feeding mostly on an extensive area of lavender (approx. 14 foot by 6 foot) and buddleia. Matthew Webb
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) Transect: Brimstone 1. Large White 1. Small White 17. Green-veined White 1. Common Blue 2. Painted Lady 3. Speckled Wood 1. Gatekeeper 8. Meadow Brown 5. Small Heath 1. Tony Roberts

Sunday 2nd August

Great Holland Pits (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TM202193) Spent a couple of hours here this morning. Butterflies plentiful with (figures approx) 50 whites (2 G-v id?d plus plenty of Large & Small), 70 Gatekeepers, 30 Meadow Browns, 12 Painted Ladies, 12 Common Blues, 6 Speckled Woods, 5 Commas, 3 Brown Argus, 2 Small Coppers, 1 Peacock, 1 definite Small Skipper & probably at least 2 Essex amongst c6 ?small? skippers. Also a Common Emerald, Southern Hawker, 2-3 Ruddy and c6 Common Darters plus c.15 Azures. Simon & Pat Cox
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime walk along sea wall, not much sunshine. 19C. F3. Essex Skipper 6, Small White 14, GV White 9, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 13 (12m + 1f), Painted Lady 2, Peacock 1, Meadow Brown 18, Gatekeeper 23, Small Heath 1. Rob Smith
Fossetts Farm (Grid ref:TQ890879) Lesser numbers of butterflies seen at the Fossetts Farm site today though there was an increase in Brown Argus with 12 noted along with 70+ Painted Ladies, a Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Holly Blues and 4 Common Blues. Steve Arlow

Roman Road near Gunner's Hall path (Grid ref:TL546507) I walked from Worsted Lodge to the Hildersham-Balsham Road, I recorded 470 butterflies: Painted Ladies 101, Peacocks 23, Meadow Browns 92, Gatekeepers 59, Small/Essex skippers 40, Common Blue 14, Brimstones 10, Large Whites 36, Small Whites 80 plus 2 Commas and one Clouded Yellow. But, no Small Heaths, no Brown Argus ? though they are easy to miss.
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Saturday 1st August

Roman Road transect, Cambs (Grid ref:TL523522) Despite warnings of cloud, it turned out to be a nearly perfect butterfly morning, very warm and slightly muggy in the shelter of hedges or long grass. The butterflies seemed to be doing a lot of nectaring as if to catch up on previous days. They were also not nearly so mobile as on a brightly sunny day. Small/Essex skipper 7 very battered and faded, Brimstone 20, Large white 65, Small white 66, Green-veined White 12 (I checked quite a few whites to see if I was missing green veined), Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 7, Holly Blue 1, Painted Lady 94 and I am sure I missed a lot, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 38, Speckled wood 4, Gatekeeper 75, Meadow Brown 27, Ringlet 1. Total 400 plus. Truly amazing. I was interested to notice that they all seemed to prefer to nectar on Common knapweed, Centaurea nigra. Has anyone any explanation for the abundance of Peacocks? Julia Napier
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 10.00-11.30am. sny int first half, 20C. Essex Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 2, Large White 1, Small White 4, Green-veined White 5, Purple Hairstreak 2, Common Blue 1, Painted Lady 10, Peacock 5, Comma 2, Speckled Wood 12, Gatekeeper 169, Meadow Brown 35. then onto:
Gallows Corner, Harold Wood/Romford (Square:TQ5390) Wider Countryside Survey: 2x1km walks. 1155-1240. No sunshine, but warm, 21C, lt rain at end. Large White 4, Small White 9, Green-veined White 3, Painted Lady 4, Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 7. Rob Smith

July 2009

Friday 31st July

Hinton Avenue, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL470563) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was doing a tour of my small garden, but I only cottoned on when it looked in the French window to check that I had seen it. Very obliging. Julia Napier
Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL380550) Transect: Small Skipper 7. Brimstone 1. Large White 9. Small White 126. Green-veined White 4. Brown Argus 3. Common Blue 40. Painted Lady 42. Peacock 3. Gatekeeper 24. Meadow Brown 30. Tony Roberts
Northminster House, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL193991) In our small patch of wildlflowers (marjoram, scabious, etc.) by front car park: Painted Lady (1), Gatekeeper (2), Meadow Brown (1), Small White (1). David Withrington

Thursday 30th July

Lark Rise Farm, Barton (Grid ref:TL417552) Transect: Large White 4. Small White 13. Common Blue 2. Painted Lady 1. Peacock 3. Speckled Wood 3. Gatekeeper 14. Meadow Brown 18. Tony Roberts
Latton Park, Harlow (Grid ref:TL471075) Found a sheltered thistle patch where 1 Large & 1 Essex Skipper,several Large, Small & Green-veined Whites,a Common Blue, 10-15 Painted Ladies, 2 Peacock,2 very fresh Comma, Speckled Woods and lots of Gatekeepers & Meadow Browns,some rather worn. But the highlight was 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries, my first ever in the area! Then on to:
Willow Park, Langdon (Grid ref:TQ687871) where, between the blustery showers, there were lots skippers, Small & Essex in equal numbers,plus 2 Large; quite a few mixed whites,5 Common Blues, several Painted Ladies, Peacocks and Commas, 1 Tortoiseshell, 4 Marbled Whites, 50+ Gatekeepers & Meadow Browns plus a few faded Ringlets near the hedges. Yellow fleabane flowers seemed popular. Also one Red Admiral in my Harlow garden. Mark Bunch

Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Good numbers of common species in strong sunshine after heavy downpour, most to perimeter of common. Small Coppers, Small Heaths & Common Blues sadly appear absent from here and it seems ideal, with a good variety of uncut, rough grasses and heather. Meadow Browns seemed to outnumber Gatekeepers today, both 50+, Painted Lady 2, Peacock 7, Speckled Wood 8 (most at car park), Large White 5, GV White 4, other whites 6, Brimstone 1 (male), Comma 1, Purple Hairstreak 2 (low down), Small Skipper 1. Rob Smith

Wednesday 29th July

Witcham (Grid ref:TL456816) A Clouded Yellow disturbed from vegetation along a drove c.half a mile NW of Witcham village. David Hopkins

Tuesday 28th July

Stour Woods, Wrabness, (Grid ref:TM198316) Brown Argus are out in the Bramble Fields (scrub/grassy/flower rich area to north of railway line, NE of Stour Wood). Clouded yellow there also. Silver-washed Fritillary confirmed from a few weeks ago. Rick Vonk
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM2624) 100+ whites (3 G-v id?d but lots of Large & Small), 80+ Gatekeepers, c40 Painted Ladies, c40 Meadow Browns, 14 Common Blues, 8 Speckled Woods, c8 S/E Skippers (at least 2 Essex), 7 Peacocks, single Large Skipper, Comma, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell & Small Copper. Also a few Ruddy Darters & 2-3 Migrant Hawkers. Simon Cox
Harlow (Grid ref:TL462081) Photograph of Silver-washed Fritillary in my garden for the first time. This picture shows it on a marigold but it spent much time amongst about 10-15 Painted Ladies on a buddleia. Although a little ragged on the wing tips it did take time to give me a smile! Gordon Henshall
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) All the usual suspects here the last few days - Painted Ladies in reasonable numbers; nice to see a couple of Red Admirals and also a few Holly Blue around. Also a few more Common Blue in the uncut long-grass in the north of the cemetery. Nick Ballard
Old Quarry at Heydon (Grid ref:TL432409) I had occasionally visited this site before ? and been disappointed - but today was a revelation. Circa 30 Brown Argus (pic) plus at least 6 Common Blue (pic) in addition to the usual common species all in good numbers. The site apparently has public access and even sports a picnic table! Where better to enjoy the heady scent of masses of wild marjoram? Limited parking just off road by access gate. (2 pics attached) Jack Harrison
Cambourne Country Park (Grid ref:TL314591) A Clouded Yellow seen by Vince Lea.

Monday 27th July

Harold Hill, NE Romford (Grid ref:TQ548926) In my garden in the afternoon, a worn female White-letter Hairstreak on Buddleia next to back garden fence 3pm onwards - a garden first. Took some pictures holding camera to scope but only record shots at best, none came out sharp. There are several WLH colonies in this tetrad (including Dagnam Park nearby) but this butterfly may still have wandered 200m or more to reach my garden. Also Male Common Blue nectaring on Hawkbit flowers on back lawn (another good record), 15+ Painted Lady and 12 Peacock on Buddleia again, + Purple Hairstreak on Ash tree behind garden pm. The WLH brings my garden butterfly total to a respectable 24 species, which includes Silver-washed Fritillary, Clouded Yellow and Small Copper in 2006 (attracted to Buddleia). Still no Ringlet, which I feel is overdue considering the spread and increase of the population in TQ59 since 2003 ( particularly within the M25 ). The last Wall Brown record was in 1990. What a shame the butterfly is so rare nowadays. Out of interest are there other county watchers with similarly impressive garden lists?! Colin Jupp
(Ed: We'd love to hear if anyone else has a list like Colin's. Please send replies to .)

Earls Hall Farm area (Grid ref:TM143166) We walked from the B1027 (E of St Osyth) through Earls Hall Farm (TM143166) to Hartley Woods?then it rained! Saw c30 whites (Large, Small & at least 2 G-v), c15 Gatekeepers, c10 Meadow Browns, 7 Painted Ladies (+4 in my garden nearby), 2 Purple Hairstreaks (in Hartley Woods), 2 Peacocks, & single Red Admiral, Comma & S/E Skipper. Simon & Pat Cox
Roman Road Worsted Lodge (Grid ref:TL522522) Still no Chalkhill Blues but three female Common Blues (pic). Plus of course all the usual. This Painted Lady (pic) settled on the path just before a rain shower (and my goodness, did I get wet!) and instantly vanished ?Grayling style?. Jack Harrison

Sunday 26th July

Langdon (Essex WT Reserve) (Grid ref:TQ661876) We Were trying to see a Purple Hairstreak but no luck - it was very windy. We did see 25+ Peacocks, 25+ Painted Ladies 30+ Large Whites, 50+ Gatekeepers,40+ Meadow Browns, 3 Ringlets, 3 Skippers, 2 Common Blues, 2 Commas, 1 Speckled Wood & 1 Brown Argus, so not a bad day all in all. (Several photos attached). Janet Edmunds & Dave Jones
Fen Causeway, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL445577) We found a dead male Purple Hairstreak (retained) on Fen Causeway (TL445577), which surprised us. Martin Brett
Burwell Railway Cutting (Grid ref:TL581649) Spent Sunday morning in the cutting; most numerous butterfly on the Dyke was probably the Painted Lady, with one every few yards along the top. In the Cutting, hundreds of Chalkhills and lots of other species - 13 in total. Lots of mating CHB pairs, though some did not make it that far...(Several photos attached). Nick Ballard
Woodston Ponds, Peterborough (BCNP WT Reserve) (Grid ref:TL175979) Trevor Wilson reports Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Small White.
Hatfield Forest, Essex We took the dog for a walk in Hatfield Forest, from the small car park at the southern end to the lake and back. We were delighted to see a female Silver-washed Fritillary in the Collin's Coppice area at TL537195. There was also a Purple Hairstreak flying round the oak close to the southern car park at 530187 - not far from where I saw two in August 2007. Altogether (without looking specifically for butterflies) I saw 15 species, with 120 Painted Ladies and 3 Common Blues the other picks. Martin Peers
Fossetts Farm (Grid ref:TQ890879) Visited a new site close to home today which was full of butterflies. The site is Fossetts Farm (TQ890879). I'm glad I visited because of all the butterflies present but saddened as this is the site will proably be under a new football stadium in the next year or so.

  1. Painted Lady 36 though probably more were present. Most were pristine but some were so battered I was amazed they could even fly.
  2. Peacock 21 with most around the established Buddliea at the southern end near Waitrose
  3. Clouded Yellow, only my second of the year
  4. Common Blue 13 with most looking fresh
  5. Brown Argus 8 this is a very good count for the size of the area
  6. Gatekeeper, many hundreds
  7. Meadow Brown 50+
  8. Large Whites, 100+
  9. Small Whites 70+
  10. Essex Skipper 2 confirmed but several other 'small' skippers seen but not identified
  11. Red Admiral 1
  12. Comma 2
  13. Small Copper 2
  14. Speckled Wood 4
  15. Small Tortoiseshell 1
Well worth a visit. (photo attached). Steve Arlow

Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL541200) 09:35-12:00: A morning trying to find further colonies of Purple Hairstreaks in the Forest. I started at the Main carpark, turned left onto the Boardwalk and then northwards around Gravel pit marsh, past London Bridge (where I met Graeme) and then southwards to the Cafe and the large Oak, where we joined up with Peter. Despite the attraction of huge numbers of Butterflys on the wing (esp Painted Lady's), I doggedly stuck to going from Oak to Oak! I found the first PH on the wing at the first Oak at the start of the boardwalk. They were overspilling from the Oak onto the adjacent trees up to the first Pine. There were a minimum of TEN in this section. No more until I met up with Graeme and we found a flighty singleton on a mature Oak just south of the old Tawny roost site. Onto the Cafe Oak where, with much patience, Peter, Graeme and I got some good views, despite blowy conditions, of probably another four individuals. Mike Harris
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) 08:15-09:30: 2 Large White, 2 Small White, 2 G V White, 1 White (sp.), 1 Peacock, 16 Painted Lady, 1F Common Blue, 3 Meadow Brown & 1 Ringlet. Mike Harris

Saturday 25th July

Harold Hill, NE Romford (Grid ref:TQ548926) In my garden pm: Totals of : 22 Peacock, 15 Painted Lady, 5 comma, 4 Red Admiral, 5 + Large White, 2 Green-veined white, 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Gatekeeper and a female Large Skipper. All were nectaring on Buddleia (front and back) + single Purple Hairstreak flitted over early evening. Colin Jupp
Harold Hill (Grid ref:TQ538929) On a buddleia or well named butterfly busy, there was at least 20 Peacocks, 25 Painted Ladies, 2 Commas & 10 Large Whites. Janet Edmunds
Witcham (Grid ref:TL461799) Good to see lots of butterflies around Witcham today. Dozens of Peacocks and Painted Ladies on buddleias, a rash of Argus, Common Blues and Small Coppers, (and a Wall) along the Wardy Hill Drove (TL467809), and several Walls along the cut drain Mepal (TL437810) end. Several Commas about and a few Red Admirals. The only negative news is I have noticed a few webs of Tortoishells messed up by the heavy rain. David Hopkins
Barnack Hills & Holes (Grid ref: TF073048) Spent Saturday morning visiting this delightful reserve, a good example of a well-managed flower-rich, limestone grassland on old quarry workings and rubble. Hundreds of Chalkhill Blue - in reasonable proportions to the rest of the butterfly population - all across the site. 15 species in total - a few Small Copper and ageing Marbled Whites with lots of Peacock, Whites, Essex Skippers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Brown & a few Painted Ladies, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath and a Small Tortoiseshell. (2 photos attached). Nick Ballard

Peter & Jan Farbridge have sent in the following:
We're attaching some pics of Silver-washed Fritillaries seen at Bedford Purlieus (TL040996) on 23rd and 25th July, from the main north-south track on the western side. There are still at least three viewable from this track. As I'm a bit incapacitated, I don't manage to walk far along the east-west rides, so there could well be others. We also found one White-letter Hairstreak about halfway down the southernmost east-west ride on 23rd July 09, nectaring on ragwort, thistle and St John's wort (pic attached). On 25th July, we returned to the same spot and found three w-l hairstreaks nectaring on ragwort. All looked slightly worn. At this same spot, on 25th, we had a pristine Brown Argus, nectaring on bramble. Today and yesterday, we've been very pleased to see a Holly Blue in our garden at Orton Longueville, Peterborough - they've been like hens' teeth this year! We're still hoping to get a photo.

Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) morning walk, good conditions. Small Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 5, Large White 7, Small White 6, GV White 7, Purple Hairstreak 4, Common Blue 1, Painted Lady 2, Peacock 14, Comma 6, Speckled Wood 13, Gatekeeper 191, Meadow Brown 37, Ringlet 1. Also a pair of Buzzards over Tylers Shaw ? only seen these in the winter here previously. Then drove to sailing club to catch up on transect walk:
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime walk along sea wall, good conditions. Small Skipper 2, Essex Skipper 17, Small/Essex 23, Large White 2, Small White 11, GV White 25, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 7, Painted Lady 4, Peacock 2, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 26, Gatekeeper 55. Then came back via:
Rainham Marshes (Grid ref: TQ545789) search for Walls either side of sea wall. 4.10-5pm Stiffening breeze, and became overcast but still warm. Eventually saw a Wall right on closing time as sun came through again, about 100yds from Centre, on lower footpath (lee side) near first buddleia bush. Others: Peacock 15+, Small Tort 1, Whites 20+, Gatekeepers 50+, Meadow Brown 20+, Common Blue 1, Comma 1. Painted Lady c.10. (Several photos attached). Rob Smith

Martin Peers has recorded c.700 butterflies of 18 species in four sites, with 4 Purple Hairstreaks (Loshes Meadows), 2 Small Coppers, 19 Common Blues, 104 Painted Ladies and 3 Small Heaths (above Henny Street) the pick:
Walked from Bures to Henny Street via Lamarsh & Loshes Meadows (Grid ref:TL8836) this morning. I stopped in four places to record in detail, as follows:-
1) Edgars Farm Lamarsh TL896354: 6 Large Whites, 2 Small Whites, 10 Green-veined Whites, Red Admiral, 12 Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacocks, 2 Commas, 2 Speckled Woods, 2 Gatekeepers, 7 Meadow Browns.
2) Above Lamarsh Hall TL885360: 6 Small Skippers, 2 Essex Skippers, 27 Large Whites, 10 Small Whites, 4 Green-veined Whites, 10 Common Blues, 3 Red Admirals, 74 Painted Ladies, 19 Small Tortoiseshells (several newly emerged), 15 Peacocks, 4 Commas, 4 Speckled Woods, 65 Gatekeepers, 33 Meadow Browns, 3 Ringlets, 9 Six-spot Burnets, 2 Silver-Ys.
3) Loshes Meadows TL873371: 2 Small Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper, 6 Large Whites, 22 Small Whites, 12 Green-veined Whites, 4 Purple Hairstreaks, 1 Common Ble, 10 Painted Ladies, 16 Peacocks, 1 Comma, 6 Speckled Woods, 24 Gatekeepers, 35 Meadow Browns, 5 Ringlets.
4) Sheepcote (Ryes Hall - Henny Street): 8 Small Skippers, 2 Essex Skippers, 16 Large Whites, 40 Small Whites, 8 Green-veined Whites, 2 Small Coppers, 8 Common Blues, 8 Painted Ladies, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 17 Peacocks, 1 Comma, 2 Speckled Woods, 38 Gatekeepers, 45 Meadow Browns, 3 Small Heaths, 7 Ringlets. Martin Peers

Chishill area (Grid ref:TL425391) Local walk starting 100 metres from home in south Cambs produced uncountable Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, all three whites, Small skippers (couldn't find any Essex which do occur nearby but seem to be much more localised) and of course scores of Painted Ladies, Peacocks. One very elderly Ringlet, one Large Skipper. The best species were seven Common Blues, two Brown Argus and one Holly Blue (photo). Back in the garden, one moderately sized buddleia had at least 13 Peacocks but I'm sure I missed some. 2009 is continuing to be superb season for almost all species and certainly a close match for that great year 1976 if not even better. Jack Harrison.
40 Painted Lady out on the wing at Fleam Dyke (Grid ref:TL548541) this lunchtime, along with 2 Chalkhill Blue, 2 Common Blue, 2 Brown argus and lots of other stuff on transect. Vince Lea.
Canewdon (Grid ref:TQ922941) Jeff Delve reports excellent numbers of commoner butterflies plus a Small Copper and a Clouded Yellow.
Fairlop Waters (Grid ref:TQ454905) 1 Comma, 3 Meadow Brown, 3 Essex/Small skippers, large numbers of Gatekeeper & Small White, 2 Six-spot Burnet. Kathleen Black
Fobbing (Grid ref:TQ7383) 1 Clouded Yellow (TQ732838) and 4 Wall (between TQ732838 and TQ726837) Jan Hein van Steenis.
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) 07:35-08:50: A steady westerly blowing throughout. The Sun brought a few early flying insects on the wing in the Butterfly meadow. 7 Large White, 1 White (sp.), 31 Painted Ladies, 6 Meadow Brown, 4 Gatekeeper & 5 Six Spot Burnet. Mike Harris
Sawbridgeworth Scrape (Grid ref:TL487139) 10:50-12:30: the field south of the footpath (the Chaff dump field) was alive with butterflies. With the crowning highlight a CLOUDED YELLOW coming through heading south at 12:00. It only alighted once, so I could not get to sex it, before it ploughed on southwards. The following are minimum counts:- 14 Large White, 1 Small White, 26 White (spp.), 1 CLOUDED YELLOW, 3 Peacock, 20+ Painted Lady, 4 Meadow Brown, 24 Gatekeeper & 2 Small/Essex Skipper. The Painted Lady's may have also been passing south, but it was impossible to gauge, due to their habit of circling back behind you every so often. Mike Harris
Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL541200) 16:00-17:45: Parked up at the South Gate and walked up Old Ladies Drive and took the main ride through Collins Coppice to the Decoy Pond and the Cafe. My main target was to scan all the old Oaks for Purple Hairstreaks. Well I didn't have any success on the way up, except at the Oak just north of the Cafe where there were three males on territory in the usual spot. One was fairly co-operative and even dropped onto the adjacent Maple and gave superb open wing views, rare for this species. However on the return leg I found another group of Oaks with three different indivduals seen. If you look at the map of Collins Coppice, at the centre there is a point where seven different rides meet. Go 50M back up the ride towards the decoy pond (Nor'easterly) and you will see the small group of mature Oaks in question, on the Eastern side of the ride, that's the spot.
17 species in all: 31 Large White, 8 Small White, 2 G V White, 6 Purple Hairstreak, 1M Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 9 Peacock, 37 Painted Lady, 4 Comma, 1F Silver-washed Fritillary (exceptionally tame, even sat on my finger for a couple of seconds), 9 Ringlet, 18 Meadow Brown, 5 Gatekeeper, 5 Speckled Wood, 2 Small Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 17 Small/Essex Skipper (spp.), 7 Large Skipper, Also 1 Brown Hawker and 1 Silver-Y. Mike Harris

Friday 24th July

Orton Waterville, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL157962) 2 Speckled Woods, 2 Gatekeepers, 2 Meadow Browns, Common Blue, several Peacocks, several Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshell, Severl Large, Small and Green Veined Whites. Trevor Wilson
Sunnymead Farm (near Wivenhoe) (Grid ref:TM055220) Lots of Painted Ladies, Peacocks, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Speckled Woods and 1 Small Copper. Moira Jackson

Thursday 23rd July

Lodge Farm, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL512534) White-letter Hairstreak. Although there are elm trees, this is the first time I've seen this species here. John Dawson
Canvey Wick (Grid ref:TQ761835) 50 Painted Ladys, 2 Clouded Yellows, 20 Gatekeepers, 2 Wall Browns, 6 Peacocks, 2 Red Admirals & lots of Marble Whites. Dave Blackwell
Nick Ballard has sent in the following report for Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582): A steady build-up of fresh Painted Ladies this week; lots more Whites, tho' not too many GV, with a few Holly Blue, Peacock, Red Admiral and the odd summer-form hutchinsoni Comma. Lots of Gatekeepers and still good numbers of Meadow Brown. Still a few Speckled Woods around as well. Also found a couple of Common Blue - one particularly nice female...(2 photos attached)
Devil's Dyke (Grid ref:TL612619) I counted 1,165 Chalkhill Blues but only a single Common Blue, I did see 5 Common Blue on the set aside field corner togther with a further 42 Chalkhill Blue. Sharon Hearle
Burwell section Devils Dyke and railway cutting between TL581648 and TL575652. Uncountable Chalkhill Blues old railway cutting. It was possible at times to see as many as 20 within a 15 metre radius of where standing. Up to five at a time 'mud puddling'. Mostly males with total of only four females seen. On the top of the Dyke, 10 seen (one female) in the 15 minutes it took to amble from car park and again one very close to car park itself. Also huge numbers Painted Ladies, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Whites various. Lesser numbers of Peacocks, Tortoiseshells, Small/Essex Skippers. The 'goodies' were two different male Common Blue and two different Brown Argus in the cutting. Also seen one male and one female Brimstone. Pictures of Brown Argus and of the habitat. Jack Harrison

At Prestons Lake (TL855318), I saw 4 Small Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper, 20 Green-veined Whites, c200 Small Whites,44 Large Whites, 1 Hairstreak, possibly White-letter, 2 Small Coppers, 14 Common Blues, 3 Brown Argus, 48 Painted Ladies, 34 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 13 Commas, 12 Speckled Woods, 30 Gatekeepers, 32 Meadow Browns and 5 Ringlets while
At Pebmarsh (TL853327), there were 2 Small Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper,38 Green-veined Whites, c100 Small Whites,24 Large Whites, 1 White-letter Hairstreak (845329), 1 Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 36 Painted Ladies, 24 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 7 Commas, 24 Speckled Woods, 56 Gatekeepers, 30 Meadow Browns and 12 Ringlets.
In all c.800 butterflies of 18 different species - an incredible morning, overall!! Martin Peers
RSPB Old Hall Marshes, Tollesbury (Grid ref:TL974125) Lots of common butterflies this am on the 'Short Circuit': rough estimates 120 Gatekeepers, 80 Meadow Browns, 50+ Small/Essex Skippers ( quite a few Essex confirmed), 40+ whites (2 Green-veined id'd, plenty of Small & some Large), 20+ Common Blues, 12 Painted Ladies, 6 Peacocks, 4 Small Coppers, 2 Commas & 1 Speckled Wood. In our garden (TM144159) near St Osyth, for the last week up to 4 Peacocks, 4 Painted Ladies, 3 Commas, several M Browns, Gatekeepers, L & S Whites & a Red Admiral most days plus single Small Copper on 16th & Speckled Wood today. Simon & Pat Cox
Gosfield, Essex (Grid ref:TL783295) In my butterfly-friendly garden and half-acre paddock behind: 25+Painted Ladies, 10+ Peacocks, 4 Gatekeepers, 3 Meadow Browns, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Silver Y moths. Colin Davis
Lark Rise Farm, Barton (Grid ref:TL417552) Small Skipper 3, Large White 1, Small White 55, Orange Tip 1, Common Blue 1, Painted Lady 2, Peacock 4, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 37 & Meadow Brown 29. Tony Roberts

Wednesday 22nd July

Granta Park, Great Abington A single Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Mike Gittos
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Small Skipper 2. Essex Skipper 1. Large White 1. Small White 27. Green-veined White 3. Common Blue 5. Comma 1. Gatekeeper 15. Meadow Brown 17. Tony Roberts

Monday 20th July

Roman Road to northwest of Worsted Lodge (Grid ref:TL523521) I had found Horseshoe Vetch, the foodplant of Chalkhill Blue, here in the spring so made a search for the butterfly. It has occasionally been reported in the past. Sadly, no CH Blues found and only one Common (photo). Also: numerous Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, newly emerged Painted Ladies (photo), Small & Large Whites and fewer numbers of Green-veined Whites, Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, Small/Essex Skipper (at least one positive i/d of Essex). 2 photos attached. Jack Harrison

Sunday 19th July

Elm Green Farm, Danbury, Essex
(Grid ref:TL777054) 14.00hrs - 14.30hrs. In meadow: Small/Essex Skiper 23, Hedge Brown 20, Meadow Brown 9, Ringlet 5, Small White 5, Large White 4, Small Copper 1, Comma 1 & Peacock 1. Chris Rawlings
Burwell section Devils Dyke and railway cutting (Grid ref:TL581649) Windy morning visit on the way to Norfolk produced many many Chalkhill Blues, most starting to look worse for wear. A nice mating pair were found along the old railway line. Also many Gatekeepers, Large and Small Whites and Meadow Browns, to many to count in the wind. Steve Arlow

Saturday 18th July

Old Railway Track, Comberton (Grid ref:TL378546) Essex Skipper 1. Small White 36. Green-veined White 6.Large White 1. Common Blue 6. Small Copper 1. Peacock 6. Painted Lady 2. Comma 14. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Gatekeeper 3. Meadow Brown 47. Ringlet 7. Tony Roberts
Part of Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL373545) Small Skipper 1. Small White 31. Green-veined White 2.Large White 4. Common Blue 4. Peacock 3. Painted Lady 3. Comma 9 Small Tortoiseshell 1. Speckled Wood 5. Gatekeeper 16. Meadow Brown 28. Ringlet 1. Tony Roberts
Gallows Corner, Harold Wood/Romford (Square:TQ5390) Wider Countryside Survey: 2x1km walks. 1115-1210. Better than I thought. Sunny int & most places sheltered from strong breeze. Most productive section was the small wooded area to the north end of Gidea Park by A12. Essex Skipper 1, Large White 5, Small White 6, Green-veined White 4, Purple Hairstreak 2, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 6, Meadow Brown 1. Rob Smith
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) afternoon walk. Small Skipper 7, Essex Skipper 1, Small/Essex Skipper 5, Large White 7, Small White 4, GV White 8, Purple Hairstreak 1, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 14, Comma 19, Speckled Wood 10, Gatekeeper 93, Meadow Brown 45, Ringlet 9. (Several photos attached). Rob Smith

Thursday 16th July

Ingrebourne CP (Grid ref:TQ524831) 100+ Gatekeepers, 100+ Peacocks some in great condition other very tatty, Large Whites 10+, 3 Painted Ladies, 3 Small Skippers, 2 Commas and a single Red Admiral. (Several photos attached). Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (Grid ref:TL212813) I spent a couple of hours here after receiving a message that a Grizzled Skipper was still flying, I found it after about an hour, it was in surprisingly good condition. I saw good numbers of Large, Small & Essex Skipper, Small & GV White, Marble White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet & Gatekeeper. Also present were Small Copper (1), Common Blue (2 male), Brown Argus (6+), Peacock (1) & Comma (1). I also saw at least a dozen very young and 3 adult Common Lizards, I am attaching a photo of a (locally famous) 2 tailed adult which can regularly be seen sunning itself on an ant hill to the left of the gate (several photos attached). Phil Bromley
Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ569905) 6.30-7.30pm look along the elm-lined borders, some sunshine. I don?t seem to be choosing the best times to observe White-letter Hairstreaks, and so it proved again. Did see at least 7 Hairstreaks on the elm, but all were purple. Also Comma 4, Large White 1, Gatekeeper 7, Speckled Wood 4, Ringlet 1. Rob Smith
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) Small Skipper 2. Small/Essex Skipper 5. Large White 2. Small White 18. Green-veined White 2. Painted Lady 1. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Peacock 2. Gatekeeper 26, Meadow Brown 37 & Ringlet 2. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 14th July

Decided to go to Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL531198) today to see how the Silver-washed Fritillary's are doing. @ 09.20 parked at the south entrance & did my usual walk up the eastern edge of emblems coppice and on to the northern tip of Beggars Hall coppice, good news! 15 individuals were seen in the main open rides 8 males, 2 females, 3 un-sexed, and one pair in 'cop' (2 photos attached); also seen were 15+ Comma, 15+ Gatekeeper, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 5 pristine Painted Lady (some have survived the attempted extermination of all the thistles) many Small & Large Skipper, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, probably 100+ Large White and one blue sp. Laurence Drummond
Was out before the storm! Beamont Quay to Landermere (Grid ref:TM190240): single Red Admiral, Painted Lady & Peacock, c25 whites (mostly Green-veined with a few Large id?d), c20 Small/Essex Skippers (all seen well were Essex), 20+ Meadow Browns & 25+ Gatekeepers; Then Weeleyhall Wood (Grid ref:TM157207): 1 White Admiral (worn), 3 Purple Hairstreaks, 2 Peacocks, 3 Speckled Woods, c6 Green-veined, 1 Small & 3 Large Whites, c15 Meadow Browns, c10 Gatekeepers, 2 Ringlets (only a small section of the wood visited because dark clouds suddenly threatened!) - 3 photos attached. Simon Cox
Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL541200) We spent the afternoon Butterflying on the Eastern side of the Forest. Main carpark to the boardwalk and clockwise around the lake. We did not get any SWF's but did get a 18 species haul, including our first Purple Hairstreak's of the year. 70+ Large White, 30+ Small White, 40+ Green-veined White, 5 Purple Hairstreak (one on the Oak at the beginning of the boardwalk, four on the very large oak next to the Cafe, including two at low level and down to 3'), 1 Small Copper, 3 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 5 Small Tortoishell, 25 Comma, 100+ Ringlet, 40+ Meadow Brown, 15 Gatekeeper, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Heath, 3 Large Skipper, 2 Small Skipper & 1 Essex Skipper. Mike & Anita Harris

Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL380550) Whilst doing bird survey the folowing were seen: Small/Essex Skipper 8. Small Skipper 5. Essex Skipper 1. Large White 6. Small White 200+ Green-veined White 20. Common Blue 6. Painted Lady 4, Small Tortoiseshell 3. Peacock 3. Speckled Wood 4. Gatekeeper 70+ Meadow Brown 100+ Ringlet 30+. Tony Roberts

Chris Rawlings has sent in an interesting photo sequence of a Brimstone larva, pupa and adult, commenting that he was 'just lucky enough to observe adult shortly after emerging from photographed pupae.'

Monday 13th July

Two hours in Burwell section Devils Dyke and railway cutting between TL581649 and TL575652. Countless Chalkhill Blues in and around the old railway track ? as abundant as I have ever seen them there. Some getting a bit worn but also new emergences (saw one crawling up from grass). Most were normal size (eg compare Common Blue) but a few were enormous, perhaps approaching size of male Gatekeeper. A few CH Blues along the top of Dyke including the only female seen. One male even on track from car park! (picture of that one attached).
Also seen: Numerous Gatekeepers, two dozen Meadow Browns, three Ringlets, numerous Large and Small Whites, a dozen Small/Essex Skippers, 3 x Tortoiseshell, 3 x (fresh) Peacocks, 1 fresh Brimstone, 2 x Common Blue, 1 x Holly Blue, 1 x Small Copper. No Marbled Whites, disappointing and a little surprising in view of recent expansion in other areas. Jack Harrison
Cymbeline Meadows, Colchester (Grid ref:TL981263) 7 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 4 Large White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Holly Blue & 1 Meadow Brown. Michael Pannell
Castor Hanglands NNR, Cambs (Grid ref:TF122016) I saw 8 White Admiral in the southern half of the woods. Phil Bromley
Barton, Cambs. Telegraph Field (Grid ref: TL408545 ) Small Skipper 26. Essex Skipper 2. Small/Essex Skipper 10. Small White 40+ Green-veined White 6. Painted Lady 2. Meadow Brown 100+
Holt Field (Grid ref: TL403544) Small Skipper 26. Essex Skipper 4. Small/Essex Skipper 22. Brimstone 1. Large White 3. Small White 100+ Green-veined White 10. Common Blue 6. Painted Lady 1. Small Tortoiseshell 2. Comma 1. Speckled Wood 4. Gatekeeper 20. Meadow Brown 100+Ringlet 100+ Marbled White 4.
Old Nags Field (Grid ref: TL398545 ) Small White 25. Green-veined White 4. Painted Lady 1. Meadow Brown 6. Ringlet 4.
Tinkers Field (Grid ref: TL407548) Small Skipper 15. Essex Skipper 4. Small/Essex Skipper 10. Large White 1. Small White 40+ Green-veined White 6. Peacock 2. Speckled Wood 3. Gatekeeper 6. Meadow Brown 100+ Ringlet 27. Tony Roberts
Cymbeline Meadows, Colchester (Grid ref: TL981263), 7 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 4 Large White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Meadow Brown. Michael Pannell
Holland Haven CP (Grid ref: TM2117) 6 Small/Essex Skippers (one of each id?d), 1 Large Skipper, 30+ whites( mostly Small & Green-veined with a few Large), 2 Commas, 1 Speckled Wood, 17 Meadow Browns & 15 Gatekeepers. Also Painted Lady & Peacock in the garden (TM144159). Simon & Pat Cox

Sunday 12th July

Benfleet Downs (Grid ref:TQ785857) Mid afternoon visit produced 7 White-letter Hairstreaks, some in very good condition, 19 Comma, 7 Peacock, 5+ Large SKippers, 100+ Essex/Small Skippers, 7 Gatekeepers, many Ringlets, Meadow Brown and Large Whites and 14 Marbled Whites (photo attached). Steve Arlow
Footpaths around Bran End (Grid ref: TL62 tetrad M ) 1 Large Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 20+ whites (Large, Small & at least 5 Green-veined), 6 Commas, 3 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 50+ browns (mostly Meadow with a few Ringlets). Simon & Pat Cox.
I recorded 397 Chalkhill Blues on the Devil's Dyke (Grid ref:TL612619) transect today plus 30 in the Entry Level Stewardship field corner adjacent to the Dyke. Sharon Hearle
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime walk along sea wall. 21C, F4+5, sny int. Small Skipper 5, Essex Skipper 11, Small/Essex 26, Small White 23, GV White 12, Common Blue 2, Peacock 4, Meadow Brown 54, Gatekeeper 88, Small Heath 4. Rob Smith
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) late afternoon, 21C, F3, sny int. Small Skipper 34, Essex Skipper 3, Small/Essex Skipper 40, Large Skipper 2, Large White 1, Small White 7, GV White 4, Purple Hairstreak 1, Painted Lady 1 (fresh), Peacock 7, Comma 23, Speckled Wood 3, Gatekeeper 63, Meadow Brown 77, Ringlet 11.Rob Smith
Mid afternoon at Benfleet Downs (Grid ref:TQ785858) produced 7 White-letter Hairstreaks, some in very good condition, 19 Comma, 7 Peacock, 5+ Large SKippers, 100+ Essex/Small Skippers, 7 Gatekeepers, many Ringlets, Meadow Brown and Large Whites and 14 Marbled Whites. Steve Arlow.
Friary Fields, Maldon, Essex. (Grid ref:TL851069) On Buddleia: Painted Lady 2, Peacock 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Comma 1 and Large White 1. Wycke Meadow Nature Reserve, Maldon, Essex. (Grid ref:TL841053 ) , Hedge Brown 10, Ringlet 7, Meadow Brown 6, Small/Essex Skipper 5, Essex Skipper 4, Large White 4, Small White 3, Green Veined White 2, Common Blue 2, Comma 1 and Small Skipper 1. Chris Rawlings.

Saturday 11th July

Footpaths around Little Easton (Grid ref: TL62 Tetrad B) 1 Large Skipper, 25+ whites (Large & Small id'd), 5 Commas, 1 Peacock, 2 Speckled Woods, 80+ M Browns, 20+ Ringlets, 3 Gatekeepers. Simon & Pat Cox.
This morning at Paglesham Lagoon, Essex (Grid ref: TQ924918) there were 12+ Essex Skippers, 5 Small Skippers and 12 or more Gatekeepers along a short stretch of embankment. Also around the area were singles of Peacock and Painted Lady whilst the nearby Pea Field held an impressive 146 'whites', mostly Large Whites with small numbers of Small and Green-veined. Belfairs Wood (Grid ref:TQ819876) in the afternoon in less than ideal conditions yielded 3 White Admirals, a Comma, many Small and Essex Skippers, Meadow Browns and Ringlets and two Purple Hairstreaks though the highlight was a pristine Brown Argus. Steve Arlow
While doing my bird atlas work in TL64D and TL64I Horseheath, Cambs, (Grid ref:TL6248 ) I saw the following, over 100 large whites, 80 meadow browns, 50-60 ringlet, 10 small tortoiseshell, 33 gatekeeper, at least 20 green veined white, 1 brimstone, 1 speckled wood, 1 peacock and a very worn painted lady, 1 large skipper and 3 essex/small skippers (could not get close enough to differentiate. Also at Shudy Camps (Grid ref: TL619444) 1 speckled wood and drinker moth. (2 photos attached). Mark Hows
East Tilbury Marshes (Grid ref: TQ692767-TQ655753) Walked along banks of Thames from Coalhouse Fort to Tilbury Fort. 2 fresh-looking Painted Ladies and 3-4 Peacocks. Also various whites, Skippers, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, all in fair numbers. Looked across to the few grassier areas to check for Marbled Whites, but none seen. Rob Smith

Friday 10th July

Hadleigh Castle CP (Grid ref:TQ785856) A aberrant yellow form of the Green-veined White seen in a mating pair - the contrast in colour (as yellow as a male Brimstone) was stark. David Chandler
Connaught Water in Chingford (Epping Forest) (Grid ref:TQ406952 ) Over 50 Purple Hairstreak reported by Peter Warne.
Excellent views of White-letter Hairstreak this morning along the old road next to the Hampton McDonalds roundabout (Grid ref: TL184949) on the A15. This is the first time I've found the species at this location. Brian Stone
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime wander: approx. numbers of identified species: Large White 3, GV White 1, (other whites 4), Large Skipper 7, Small Skipper 4, Essex Skipper 1, (Small/Essex 15+), Meadow Brown 30+, Ringlet 20+, Gatekeeper 20+, Purple Hairstreak 3-4. Rob Smith
Shepreth Riverside Walk Cambs. (Grid ref: TL385488) Small/Essex Skipper 100+. Small Skipper 22. Essex Skipper 12. Small White 100+. Green-veined White 20+. Large White 17. Brimstone 2. Common Blue 1. Peacock 3. Painted Lady 1. Small Tortoiseshell 50+ Comma 12. Meadow Brown 50+ Ringlet 100+. Tony Roberts
About once a year I manage to make a pilgrimage to Wicken Fen (Grid ref: TL5670). This year I managed to find 15 species in a day [the weather was at least 50% overcast] -the list was:- small skipper; essex skipper; large skipper; gatekeeper; meadow brown; ringlet; comma,painted lady; peacock; small tortoiseshell; large white; small white; green-veined white; brimstone ; red admiral. Because of the rather poor weather conditions I didn't immediately keep a count but in the afternoon it got brighter with approx 50% sunshine-I found myself walking for miles across the "vision land" surrounded by a constantly changing cloud of butterflies-this included well over 100 small tortoiseshells and similar numbers of essex skippers-the number of meadow browns must have been in excess of 500 during a walk of 7 miles from Wicken to Reach and back - peacocks were in the 20-30 range. It was an uplifting experience and I challenge anyone to find as many small tortoiseshells in Southern England today-cambridgeshire is a great place for butterflies!! Richard Hughes.
Belfairs Wood (Grid ref:TQ819876) today: 12 White Admirals, 10 Small Skipper, 3 Large Skipper, 10 Large White, 2 Peacock, 4 Comma, 40 Meadow Brown, 8 Ringlet and 4 Purple Hairstreaks. Steve Arlow (on behalf of Tony Mead and Paul Griggs)
About fifteen Chalkhill Blue, Burwell cutting (Grid ref:TL575652) and one on the Devils Dyke adjacent, all males, including one only half the normal size. Vince Lea, Patrick Ridsdill-Smith.

Thursday 9th July

Abberton Res (Grid ref:TL963184) (between the Dam & Pumping Station - permit required) Peacock, 6+ Large, several Green-veined and 1+ Small Whites, several Large Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper, plenty of M Browns 3-4 Gatekeepers and c10 Ringlets. Simon & Pat Cox

Wednesday 8th July

Rochford, Essex (Grid ref:TQ875905) have just seen my first Humming-bird Hawk-moth in my Mum's garden. When on holiday in Greece and Spain we see large numbers of these day flying moths, but this is the first for three years in Essex. Anybody else seen them? Grant Maton
A short walk in St Osyth (Grid ref:TM123167) produced 2-3 Purple Hairstreaks, 2 Large & 1 Small Skipper, 3 Painted Ladies, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, several Large & Small/GV Whites, and 10-15 each of M Brown & Ringlet. Simon & Pat Cox
We saw 4 silver-washed fritillaries this afternoon at Bedford Purlieus (Grid ref:TL040996), all along the main north-south track on the western end of the site. We attach 2 shots of one of them. Also saw our first 3 gatekeepers for this year, plus at least 6 commas, peacock, small and large skippers, green-veined whites, numerous meadow browns and ringlets, a couple of small tortoiseshells, speckled wood. Then they switched the sun off! (2 photos attached) Peter and Jan Farbridge.
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref: TL365506) Small/Essex Skipper 7. Small Skipper 13. Essex Skipper 1. Small White 11. Speckled Wood 4. Gatekeeper 7. Meadow Brown 30. Ringlet 6. Tony Roberts.

Monday 6th July

Kelvedon Hatch (Grid ref:TQ575988) A Hummingbird Hawk reported to me yesterday lunchtime. It was nectaring on garden flowers. Kathleen Black

Sunday 5th July

A few White-letter Hairstreak around the elms on the Nassington Road out of Elton (Grid ref: TL086943). This is the first time I've found the species at this location. Brian Stone
Friday Wood (Grid ref:TL986209) Joined the throngs of dog walkers at lunch time , not hopeful of seeing much, but was delighted to see at least 5 White Admirals flitting around the sunny clearings. Richard Allen
Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL531198) We did a circuit of Hatfield Forest searching for SWF's. We were successful from the moment we got out of the car! We parked at the South Gate and as we reached the entrance a male SWF flew out beside us and off down the road towards Wall Wood! Essex tick! We proceeded up Old Ladies Drive, past the Forest Lodge and onto Boxwood Drive. Here, on a row of Brambles, just before the Silver Birches, there were THREE male SWF's together, giving incredible close up views. We carried on and turned right onto Thurley's Straight. There are some Brambles growing out of a ditch along this ride and there were a further TWO male SWF's feeding together here. We went onto the Cafe for a well deserved drink and then back through Collins Coppice to the car.
There were many hundreds of Butterflies on the wing today, something we've not witnessed in HF before. 25+ Large White, 1 Small White, 2 G V White, 4 Comma, 6 SILVER WASHED FRITILLARIES (all males), 100+ Ringlet (gave up counting), 100+ Meadow Brown (ditto), 1 Small Skipper, 8 Small/Essex Skipper & 15 Large Skipper. Sadly we did not connect with three 'expected' species, Purple Hairstreak, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper. But it was still our best Butterfly day in HF yet. Many thanks to those who put out their sightings of SWF's to put us on the trail! Mike & Anita Harris
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Afternoon transect walk along sea wall. 21C, F4 at times, occ sny int. 6 fresh Peacocks, all very shy, and what I thought could be a newly-emerged Painted Lady. It was small, about the size of a small tort, but very vivid colouring and again, very wary (photo attached). Others: Small Skipper 6, Essex Skipper 2, Small/Essex 27, Large Skipper 2, Small White 27, GV White 4, Common Blue 2, Meadow Brown 82, Gatekeeper 65, Small Heath 7. Then checked -
Bradwell Power Station (Grid ref:TM003090) Nature trail & behind RH sea wall at 5pm for 40mins. Checked to see if there might be Marbled Whites on this part of coast, but didn't see any. Saw 3 warn Painted Ladies and the smallest Red Admiral I have ever seen (small tort size) with lower red border missing. Also a couple of Ringlets and Commas, (haven't seen these at Ramsey Marsh), GV Whites, etc and the other usual meadow species. There were quite a few elms by the car park, but didn't see any Hairstreaks, although it was very gust. (4 photos attached). Rob Smith
Little Baddow, Essex (Grid ref:TL780073) Purple Hairstreak plus more surprisingly a very fresh Marbled White that briefly visited flowers (cultivated scabious I think) before heading off north. Simon Wood

Saturday 4th July

Hinton Avenue, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL470563) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth on valerian. Julia Napier
Friday Wood (Grid ref:TL986209) 18 species of Butterfly seen highlights were 20+ White-letter Hairstreaks in 2 different areas, Purple Hairstreak seen in most areas with oaks and White Admiral 15+ quite widely spread this year. (Grasshoppers included Roesel's Bush Cricket fully grown, Mottled Grasshopper 10+ and Dragons Ruddy Darters all tenera, Emperor 1 male). Adrian Kettle
An hour in Stour Woods, Wrabness, (Grid ref:TM190312) produced 8+ White Admirals, 6+ Commas, 1 Red Admiral, lots of Ringlets & Meadow Browns, several each of Large & Small Whites. Simon & Pat Cox.
Bedford Purlieus (Grid ref:TL040996) We saw a good number (10+) of Silver-washed Fritillaries here between 10am & 1pm. They can be found in the small clearings along the E~W rides and along the road at the western end of the wood (In the kilometre square TL0399). We also saw White Admiral (20+) & Purple Hairstreak (1). (2 photos attached). Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne
Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL538196) After a successful trip across the border to Broxbourne Woods to locate some Purple Emperor and White Admirals with Laurence Drummond and fellow spotters, I trekked across to Hatfield Forest. After more than an hour wandering along the rides and feeling lost, I eventually saw at least 1 male Silver-washed Fritillary and 1 female at the start of the ride to Collins Coppice, also Small Tortoiseshells, Large Whites and other meadow species. Then back to my transect walk at
Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ569905) desperately hoping to locate White-letter Hairstreaks. The morning sunshine had disappeared and there were none around the Common. However, the sun finally came out on the last section and I eventually found one, my first, on the few elms at the top end of Jermaines Wood (grid ref: TQ572910). Not the most spectacular butterfly today, but the most pleasing. Perhaps I can now persuade the Essex Rangers to clear this woodland path that is now practicably impassable. Others on walk - Small Skipper 31, Essex 4, Small/Essex 56, Large Skipper 14, Large White 4, Small White 7, GV White 1 (first for weeks), Purple Hairstreak 2, Painted Lady 1, Small Tort 1, Comma 9, Speckled Wood 2, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 110, Ringlet 9. (Several photos attached). Rob Smith
Belfairs Wood (Grid ref:TQ819876) 12 noon. Today I went with my wife to see if we could spot any White Admirals which I have not seen in the wood since 1952/3. We actually saw 3 or 4 patrolling along the path which runs alongside the meadow clearing which was initially created for the Heath Fritillary on the side opposite Dodds Grove. We also saw several Brimstones and many Skippers and Meadow Browns. Great Joy !!! Ken Ulrich
Brampton Wood (Grid ref:TL181702) Sightings today in Brampton Woods included 1 White Admiral ( a first for us beginners), 2 Speckled Woods, numerous Ringlets, 6 or 7 Commas, and about 10 Skippers. Tim & Jenny Hardingham
South Woodham Ferrers, Essex (Grid ref:TQ793977) 10.30am. At the Tropical Wings World of Wildlife, 1 Small Tortoiseshell flying across play area. Other species seen within the grounds during the morning, Meadow Brown, Comma, Small and Large Whites. Chris Rawlings
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) 8am - 9am. Hot and calm. 8 Large White, 1 Green veined White, 3 White (spp.), 2 Small Tortoishell, 30 Meadow Brown, 23 Ringlet, 8 Small/Essex Skipper. Dargons: 1M Black tailed Skimmer, 4 Common Blue Damselfly, 1M 'red eyed' D/F (sp.) & 7 Emerald Damselfly (small lagoon reedbed) and then onto Sawbridgeworth Scrape (Grid ref:TL487139) 9:15am - 9:45am. 15 Large White, 1 Green Veined White, 6 White (sp.), 6 SmallTortoishell, 1 Painted Lady, 29 Meadow Brown, 3 Gatekeeper, 7 Ringlet & 12 Small/Essex Skipper (plus 1M Common Blue Damselfly). Mike Harris

Maldon Wick, Essex (Grid ref:TL841053) Simon Wood reports a White-letter Hairstreak

Friday 3rd July

RSPB Vange Marshes (Grid ref:TQ731871) 14 Marbled White (mostly at the western end of the reserve) noted by Nik Allen who also comments that an RSPB person had told him that Marbled Whites were also present in good numbers at Bowers Marsh (TQ759869) and that EWT's reserve at Fobbing Marsh is also a good area for them (see sighting below).
Fobbing Marsh (TQ716845) Ken Labank reports: Many Marbled Whites, 15 was the most we were able to count at any one time, throughout the morning I would guess the numbers would be getting into three figures.

Thursday 2nd July

Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL530191) 3 male Silver-washed fritillary in the northern part of Emblems coppice today @ 14.30. . . and adds
I was rather surprised not to see anymore further on in the areas where some were seen on 30th June but it's early days for them; I didn't see females for a good week after the first males last year. Laurence Drummond
Wivenhoe (Grid ref:TM044221) A White-letter Hairstreak in my garden - a first. Glyn Evans

Wednesday 1st July

Central Peterborough (Grid ref:TL193991) In our 'wildflower garden' at the front of the Northminster House, Green-veined White 1, Meadow Brown 1 and Gatekeeper 1. David Withrington
Rainham Marshes (Grid ref: TQ545789) The insect tally posted by Howard Vaughan: 4 Comma, 15 Small White, 12 Green Veined White, 5 Large White, 13 Small Tortoiseshell, 21 Ringlet, 40 Essex Skipper, 20 Small Skipper, 4 Large Skipper, 3 Red Admiral, 50 Meadow Brown & 8 Gatekeeper (plus Brown Hawker, 2 Emperor, 4 Four Spot Chasers, 2 Broad Bodies Chasers, 13 Black-tailed Skimmers, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, 3 Common Darter, 150+ Ruddy Darter).
Brampton Wood (Grid ref:TL181702) Between 5 - 7pm; Purple and White-letter seen but not coming down. Lots of skippers, 16 White Admiral seen all round wood including 1 at site 2 and 1 on the ground in car park. Hope the one on my old trainers survived. (3 photos attached). Roger Orbell
Orwell Clunch Pit, Cambs (Grid ref:TL365506) Small/Essex Skipper 22. Small Skipper 14. Essex Skipper 8. Small White 15. Common Blue 3. Speckled Wood 3. Meadow Brown 86. Small Heath 4. Ringlet 8. Tony Roberts.
Shepreth Riverside Walk, Cambs (Grid ref:TL385488) Small/Essex Skipper 15, Small Skipper 6, Essex Skipper 1, Small White 10. Large White 12,Marbled White 1, Comma 2, Small Tortoiseshell 16, Meadow Brown 42 & Ringlet 28. Tony Roberts
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TL651001) Newly-emerged, but very shy female Gatekeeper on waste ground by A12 foot tunnel. Also numerous 'small' Skippers, the few I managed to see all looked like Essex Skippers. Also a Ringlet, Large Skipper and a Meadow Brown. On other side of A12, saw 2 Large Whites and a very worn Comma that looked like an over-wintered specimen. (should have some photos later). Rob Smith.
Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ569905) 6.20pm-7.50pm, I tried again to locate White-letter Hairstreaks but instead saw 8 Purple H/S on the elm, just to confuse the novice Hairstreaker. This included 2 pairs in close proximity and another which came down to give me my first close-up. Perhaps it's that the elms are higher than the young oaks on this section. (2 photos attached). There were a couple of browner possible W/L Hairstreaks, but I lost them in flight. Then various Skippers rose higher in the elms to complete the deception. Also a few Ringlets, Meadow Browns and several fresh Commas. Rob Smith.
West Clacton (Grid ref:TM155142) 4+ White-letter Hairstreaks plus Comma, Large Skipper & several whites, 1 Gatekeeper & several Meadow Browns. Simon & Pat Cox.

June 2009

* * * HEATH FRITILLARY AT HOCKLEY WOODS * * * Click here to read the information which Steve Arlow has kindly sent in for those looking for Heath Fritillaries in Hockley Woods.

Tuesday 30th June

Central Peterborough (Grid ref:TL193991) At Northminster House, Speckled Wood (1) at rear windows while in my Peterborough garden (TF193010) I saw my first Red Admiral (fresh) of the year and a fresh Comma; also Small Tortoiseshells, Large and Small Whites which have been around for a while. David Withrington
Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) On transect & much better count as expected: Large Skipper 5, Small Skipper 360, Essex Skipper 3, Large White 15, Small White 45, G-veined White 2, Painted Lady 1, Comma 4, Small Tort. 1, Red Admiral 1, Common Blue 7, Holly Blue 1, Brown Argus 1, Meadow Brown 316, Ringlet 569 (an amazing hatch), Speckled Wood1 & Gatekeeper 1. Moths: Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet 42, 6-spot Burnet 20, Cinnabar 3, Common White Wave 1 & Silver Y 2. Dragons: Emperor Drag. 7, Southern Hawker 2, 4-spot Chasers 4, Broad-bodied Chasers 1, Black-tailed Skimmers 9, Ruddy Darter 2, Common Blue Damsels >70, Red-eyed Damsels 2, Blue-tailed Damsels 2 & Banded Dem. 1. Jim Smith & Roy Widgery
Little Easton area (Grid ref:TL608241) On a group walk today of 2.5 miles to/from Stag PH at Little Easton, Essex, we saw 50+ Small Tortoiseshells, almost all in overgrown and uncultivated farmland between Fleck Bridge (TL610245) and Batailles (TL610248), feeding on thistles. Curiously, at other parts of the walk there were also many thistles but no Small Tortoiseshells. Also saw 50+ Large Skippers, 50+ Meadow Browns, 20+Ringlets, a few Small or Essex Skippers - we were in a group so could not stop and inspect! Colin Davis
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) This week saw more new-brood species emerging - Green Veined, Large and Small Whites in greater numbers now, together with 3 Holly Blue and 2 Red Admirals today. Meadow Brown spreading through the Cemetery. No Ringlets. (2 photos attached). Nick Ballard
Belfairs Wood (Grid ref:TQ819876) Evening visit to Belfairs Woods yeilded 10 White Admirals, which included one of the all dark abberant varieties, a Brimstone, 50+ Heath Fritillaries and 2 Purple Hairstreaks. Steve Arlow
Hatfield Forest, Essex (Grid ref:TL531198) Between 10:30am and 1:00pm, at least 2, possibly 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries in the wide rides separating Beggarshall Coppice, Round Coppice and Lodge Coppice on the western side of the Forest. This is the same date I first saw them here last year.
In addition, Ringlet 100+, Meadow Brown 50+, Essex and Small Skipper (both species identified as being present by not counted separately!) 50+, Large Skipper 50+, Red Admiral 2, Comma 2 & Large White 3. Tony Moverley
P.S. Peter Herring has also posted sighting and photo of a SWF in the same area on the Stort Valley Wild forum.
Cambourne (Grid Ref:TL309590) On transect today, we had our first two Essex Skippers of the year. Louise Bacon, Sian & Samanta

Monday 29th June

At Braintree (Grid ref:TL766244 and nearby) we saw 1 Large Skipper, 1 Small & 3 Small/Essex Skippers, single Red Admiral & Comma, 2 Large Whites & several Small/GV Whites, 30+ Meadow Browns & several Ringlets (also Emperor, Brown Hawker, 60+ Banded Demoiselles, 1 Red-eyed & several Azure Damsels). Simon & Pat Cox.
Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ569905) 7.30pm visit to try and locate White Letter Hairstreak. Saw one candidate fly up from brambles high into elm, but no positive ID. Later turned my attention to oaks ? no Purple H/S but at 8.30pm found several Ringlets roosting in the lower branches. Rob Smith

Sunday 28th June

Somersham, Cambs (Grid ref:TL364779) Apologies if it is "old hat" now, but the second sighting of a Painted Lady in our garden in Somersham occurred this afternoon. It visited initially our large Hebe bush and then moved up to the traditional Budleia. It was a slightly pale "washed-out" example. They are usually a familiar sight in our garden over the years, but perhaps slightly later than usual this year. The first sighting was a couple of weeks ago, but it did not settle long enough for a photo and we did not record the date! So far the usual Brimstone, Orange-Tip, Holly Blue & Small Tortoiseshell have all made appearances and the Red Admiral and Peacock will no doubt shortly appear in abundance. No Bee Hawk Moth as yet. Hope this helps add to the data. Bernard Martin
Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL199803) At least 7 different White Admirals with 3 in the air together plus, lots of Ringlets and G V Whites and good numbers of Speckled Woods Meadow Browns Large Wtite,Large & Small Skipper, Marbled White plus Small Tortoiseshells Comma Peacock a couple of Purple Hairstreak and 1 Black Hairstreak. And at:
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (Grid ref:TL212813) Marbled white 62, Grizzled Skipper 3, Brown Argus 2, Small Heath 4, W-L Hairstreak 5, plus good numbers of grassland species. (2 photos attached). Roger Orbell
John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM2624) This morning: 3+ Large & 2+ Small Whites, 15+ Meadow Browns, 7+ Ringlets, 4 Small Skippers, 3 Painted Ladies, 1 Speckled Wood, (also 1 Yellow Shell & several Azure & Blue-tailed Damselflies. (3 photos attached). Simon & Pat Cox
Belfairs Wood (Grid ref:TQ819876) Seven White Admirals were seen this afternoon by John Wright. Steve Arlow
Ramsey Marsh, Essex (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime transect walk along sea wall in warm conditions: Small Skipper 25, Large Skipper 1, Small White 20, Common Blue 5, Meadow Brown 28, Small Heath 14 (a lot more than usual). Rob Smith
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) A foggy damp morning (8:17-09:35am) but very warm: 1 Large White, 2 Small Tortoishell, 2 Meadow Brown, 75 Ringlet (10 in reedbeds and 65 on the 200m walk back to the car through the Butterfly meadow) & 1 Large Skipper. Moths: 1 Cinnebar & 3 Shaded Broadbar. Dragons: 100+ Emerald Damselfly (mainly Tenerals, only 5 ad M's seen), 30 Common Blue Damselfly & 15 Blue tailed Damselfly. Mike Harris
Benfleet Downs (Grid ref:TQ785857) Approx six different WL Hairstreaks (wear/damage enabled distinguishing individuals) around bramble at TQ785857 1245 to 1345 hours. Very co-operative for the camera (photo of newly emerged female). Marbled Whites by the score plus all the other suspects. I had trouble locating parking spot but eventually found good spot at extreme eastern end of St.Mary?s Road just beyond end of tarmac (TQ784858). (Photo attached). Jack Harrison

Saturday 27th June

St. Osyth (Grid ref:TM144159) Hummingbird Hawk-moth in our garden. (Also a spider which has been identified as Synema globosum and is apparently only the 3rd British record previous ones being in Norwich 2003 & Tonbridge Wells 2004. Simon & Pat Cox
Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL199803) In the company of Charles Nicol, Monks Wood was interesting. The colony of Marbled Whites is thriving (TL199803). Picture of a female that fed on same thistle for over ten minutes (presumably newly emerged and very hungry). A very observant birder found a newly emerged Purple Hairstreak in the grass. Jack Harrison . . . while Charles Nicol adds:
We saw 8 marbled whites & 1 purple hairstreak ( spotted by ornithologist Mark Evans ). Full cloud cover, high humidity. (2 photos attached).
London Road Harlow (Grid ref:TL473102 to TL472109) 7 White-letter Hairstreaks
Magdalen Laver: (Grid ref:TL508090) 3 White-letter Hairstreaks, 1 Small Tortoiseshell (at TL517084), 1 Brimstone male (TL522082)
Moreton: (Grid ref:TL549071) 2 Painted Ladies. Jan Hein van Steenis
Belfairs Great Wood (Grid ref:TQ817880) 3 or 4 White Admiral. This was the first time I had ever seen this species and, once again, grateful thanks to Steve Arlow for his directions. Bruce Foxall
Jermaines Wood/ Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) A difficult day in the field! Small Skipper 30, Essex Skipper 4 (I think), Small/Essex Skipper 62, Large Skipper 11, Large White 2, Small White 2, Common Blue 1 (tatty, but 1st on transect), Painted Lady 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Comma 8, Speckled Wood 5, Meadow Brown 183, Ringlet 28 (1st this year), Small Heath 2. (Several photos attached). Rob Smith
Stratford St Mary/Broomhouse & Docura's Farms (Grid ref:TM027344) This morning along the River Stour: Butterflies included 2 Large Skippers, 3 spp whites, 3 Painted Ladies, 2 Commas, 35 Small Tortoiseshells, 22 Meadow Browns & 14 Ringlets, while dragons included 18 Red-eyed & 4 White-legged damsels, 6 Scarce Chasers and 4 Black-tailed Skimmers. Martin Peers
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) Early morning visit: 5 Ringlet (all pristine) & 1 Meadow Brown while at Sawbridgeworth Scrape (Grid ref:TL487139) 1 Small Tortoishell, 1 Meadow Brown & 1 Ringlet. Mike Harris

Friday 26th June

Great Chishill Meadows (Grid ref:TL424394) Marbled White numbers continue to build with sometimes four or five in sight at once. Males only so far. Hard to guess numbers, but now a very reasonable colony with approx 50 seen (some might have been repeats) in 45 minutes. But real devils to photograph. I found the most successful method was to hang around the fuelling station - patch of thistles - and wait for them to come to me. (Photo attached). Jack Harrison
Belfairs Wood (Grid ref:TQ819876) 3 White Admirals were seen in the large open ride in Belfairs Woods in the evening by Neil Chambers. Steve Arlow

Thursday 25th June

Lodge Farm, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL512534) 5 Small Tortoiseshells plus Brimstone, Large Skipper (4), Meadow Brown (17), Painted Lady, Ringlet, Small White, Speckled Wood (2). Kathryn & John Dawson
Maldon Wick, Essex (Grid ref:TL841053) pretty sure I saw my first Purple Hairstreaks tonight (7.50-8.10pm) ? about 5 flitting around tops of Oaks, including a circling pair. Also a Red Admiral ? first in Essex this Spring. Rob Smith
Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL199803) I saw my first White Admirals of the year today, the first of many in this wood I hope. Purple Hairstreaks are emerging in greater numbers now and can occasionally be found in the grasses at the edge of the rides. Black Hairstreaks are still about in fairly good numbers, I have attached a photo of one ovipositing, taken on Saturday 20th. Marbled Whites seem to be well established in the small field at TL199803. Other species seen were Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Large Skipper, Small Skipper and G V White. (3 photos attached). Phil Bromley
Dodds Grove (N area of Great Wood), Benfleet (Grid ref:TQ817880) An evening stroll around the western end of Belfairs Woods around the vicinity of Dodds Grove yeilded 4, perhaps more, White Admirals, 60+ Heath Fritillaries, most looking well past their best, many Meadow Browns, several Ringlets, Large and Small Skippers and a Holly Blue. The White Admirals were favouring the large patch of brambles and large nearby tree at the southern end of the main open ride on the eastern side of the bridletrack that divides Belfairs Woods and Dodd's Grove. Best to park at the end of Poors Lane on the Hadleigh side and walk a couple of hundred yards to the gate on the right. The main ride and bramble patch are on the left after about 20yards. (3 photos attached). Steve Arlow
Brampton Wood (Grid ref:TL181702) Two sightings of White Admiral at Brampton Wood this afternoon at TL181702 and TL180704. Malcolm Anderson
Sweyne Park, Rayleigh (Grid ref:TQ800920) Dozens of Marbled Whites spotted by ponds today; also Ringlet & Large Skippers, by Robert Fuller. Rob Smith

Wednesday 24th June

Stour Wood (Grid ref:TM190310) at 3.30-4pm. On our annual visit, we saw 4 White Admirals flying and only occasionally settling fleetingly, alongside main footpath and a few hundred yards from the car park. This is where we see them almost every year. Colin Davis
Rainham Marshes (Grid ref: TQ545789) I walked round this RSPB reserve - the sun was in and out and there was a cool breeze, not great for butterflies. The list: Male Common Blue 1, Female Common Blue 4, Meadow Brown 30+, Ringlet 1 (my first for year), Small Tortoiseshell 1 (my first since 2007), Small Copper 1 and a few distant whites. Lots of Ruddy Darters, though. Brian Price
Devil's Dyke (Grid ref:TL612619) 7:00pm - Apart from the usual Ringlets, Meadow Brown, Large Skippers, Small Heath and odd Large and GV White, a fresh Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. Also came across this Goat Moth Cossus cossus. Nick Ballard
Great Chishill Meadows (Grid ref:TL424394) Marbled White numbers building well in this new colony. Approx 12 (males only) seen in 45 minutes but only small part of habitat visited. One clearly in "dispersal mode" - not stopping. It came across the meadow and continued flying over 8 metre high trees and away out of sight towards the east. (Photo attached). Jack Harrison
Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) On transect: Large Skipper 12, Small Skipper 118, Small White 10, Large White 3, Peacock 1, Small Tort. 1, Painted lady 1, Comma 1, Common blue 9, Brown Argus 1, Meadow Brown 193, Ringlet 54 & Speckled Wood 5. Moths: Narrow-bordered 5-spot burnet 86, Burnet Companion 24, Latticed Heath 2, Cinnabar 8, Snout 1, Yellow Shell 2, Blood-vein 1 & Barred Straw 1. Dragons: Emperor Drag. 8, Bl-t Skimmer 6, 4-spot Chaser 4, Broad-b Chaser 1, Red-eyed Damsel 1, Blue-t Damsel 3, Common Blue Damsel >80, Azure Damsel 1, Banded Dem. 2, Ruddy Darter 1. Also hundreds of 7-spot Ladybirds in large concentrations over the meadows but no Harlequins! Jim Smith & Roy Widgery

Tony Roberts has sent in the folowing sightings today:
Orwell Clunch Pit Transect (Grid ref:TL365506) Small Skipper 8, Common Blue 2, Painted Lady 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Speckled Wood 3, Meadow Brown 54& Ringlet 4 and then onto
Shepreth (Grid ref:TL385488) riverside walk; Small/Essex Skipper 6, Small Skipper 5, Essex Skipper 1, Small Tortoiseshell 12, Comma 2, Meadow Brown 3 & Ringlet 3.
Holt Field, Barton (Grid ref:TL403544) Small Skipper 2, Essex Skipper 9, Green-veined White 3, Common Blue 3, Painted Lady 1, Meadow Brown 74 & Ringlet 5 while at Telegraph Field (Grid ref:TL408545) Small Skipper 2, Essex Skipper 4, Common Blue 7, Small Tortoiseshell 1 & Meadow Brown 42. At Tinkers Field (Grid ref:TL407548) Essex Skipper 4, Green-veined White 2, Common Blue 2, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 30 & Speckled Wood 4.

Tuesday 23rd June

Buttsbury, Essex (Grid ref:TQ660980) Went back to banks of River Wid where I had seen a pair of Small Tortoiseshells in early Spring. Pleased to see at least 1 in exact same location, plus 3 further fresh ones at ford a few hundred yards away. Also several Meadow Browns, a few Large Skippers, two fresh Small Whites and several Banded Demoiselles. Rob Smith
N of Moverons Farm (Grid ref:TM0619) there were several Whites (2 Large at least), 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Large & 8 Small Skippers, 15+ Meadow Browns &1 Small Heath (also lots of Common Blue Damsels & several Black-tailed Skimmers plus an Emperor at TM073183) Simon Cox
Along London Road Harlow (Grid ref:TL473102 to TL472109) this evening (17:15-17:45) one White-letter Hairstreak, one Large White and one Small Tortoiseshell. The elms look very bad this year...Jan Hein van Steenis
Bedfords Park, Romford (Grid ref:TQ5192) 6-8 white letter hairstreak males clashing over ash & elm near damselfly pond. Also first Ringlet of year for this site. Also, on 17th June, a Blackneck moth in Valley Marsh, a scarce record here. Ian Phillips & CRJ
This evening there were 6 White-letter Hairstreaks at Benfleet Downs (Grid ref:TQ785858), five of which were on the favoured and traditional bramble bush. Also seen were 4 Marbled Whites, 2 Painted Ladies, many Meadow Browns, 5 Holly Blues, 6 Large Skippers, 5 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, 5 Small Skippers and a male Common Blue. (Photo attached). Steve Arlow

Monday 22nd June

We visited Chafford Gorges (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TQ599793) in west Thurrock today and counted over 200 Narrow-Bordered Five-Spot Burnets on thistles! In fact I ran out of time and I'm sure this was only a small % that were there. Grant Maton

Sunday 21st June

Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL199803) There were lots of Ringlets/Meadow Browns/Speckled Woods. No sign of the Black Hairstreaks. 3 Marbled Whites in one of the clearings (photo attached). Unidentified Moth. One large orange butterfly... possibly a Silver Washed Fritillary ...more likely a large Comma !! Charles Nicol
Great Chishill (Grid ref: TL424394 ), Single Marbled White. This is an early date so more anticipated later. Marbled Whites first appeared at this site in 2007 so now seen for third year. Colony clearly becoming established in this excellent habitat. In addition, countless Ringlets, rather fewer Meadow Browns, two Small Skippers, one Small Heath. Also a "fun" moth, (a White Plume Moth) photo attached. Jack Harrison.
Today at Devil's Dyke (Grid ref:TL616616). Quite a few fresh-looking Ringlets, Large Skippers and 2 Marbled Whites, as well as Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Small Tortoiseshells, a couple of unidentified whites, one solitary Common Blue and a worn Painted Lady. Moths included 5-Spotted and 6-Spotted Burnets, Common Heaths, one Burnet Companion and a Yellow-Tail. Trevor Sawyer.
Recorded a single Chalkhill Blue and Marbled White on Devil's Dyke (Grid ref:TL616616) today and 2 White-letter Hairstreak on elm plus lots of Ringlet and Meadow Brown. Sharon Hearle

Saturday 20th June

Jermaines Wood/ Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) Afternoon transect walk without a smidgeon of proper sunshine (17C), but wind was fairly still and still got some results. Nearly every step disturbed roosting Meadow Browns in one field section at Tylers Shaw. Small Skipper 8, Large Skipper 5, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 110. (Several photos attached). Rob Smith

Friday 19th June

Two White-letter Hairstreaks were found at Benfleet Downs (Grid ref:TQ785858) this evening between 4.30 and 6pm, I'm sure more would have been out and about earlier in the day. Also here were one Ringlet, 10+ Meadow Brown, 5+ Marbled Whites, 2 LArge Skippers, 3 Small Skippers, 2 male Common Blues and a Narrow-bordered Five Spotted Burnet. (2 photos attached). Steve Arlow
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582). Lunchtime today - Several Meadow Brown, and a single Speckled Wood, Large Skipper, Large White with a Small Tortoiseshell on the brambles(rather old and tatty). (Also discovered another Orange Tip caterpillar). NIck Ballard.

Thursday 18th June

Great Chishill (Grid ref: TL424394 ), First Ringlets of season (always a little later here due to altitude of 140 metres). Males only so far, 6 seen (but doubtless many more), Meadow Browns 10, Small Heaths 3, Small Skipper 2. Jack Harrison.
Hockley Wood (Grid ref:TQ8392), I went in via Woodlands Road & turned left on the first main track. After c150 metres, I saw c30 HFs in a 100m stretch; also 3 Painted Ladies, 2 Large Skippers, 2 Speckled Woods & a Blue. (Several photos attached). Simon Cox.

Jim Smith has posted the following message to the 'EssexBirders' Yahoo! group:
There has been a positive sighting of a Camberwell Beauty butterfly at Hanningfield Res. This was as long ago as 13th June but the news has only just been confirmed.
It was seen in the vicinity of the R.A.W.L. hide (the sunny stretch to the south, I believe). Worth a look if you're in the area. Conceivably, it could still be around.

Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) This morning before work - a half a dozen or so Meadow Brown sunning (males and females) in the meadow area and a Large Skipper. (2 photos attached). Nick Ballard
Great Chishill meadows (Grid ref:TL425394) First Ringlets of season (always a little later here due to altitude of 140 metres). Males only so far,- 6 seen (but doubtless many more), Meadow Browns 10, Small Heaths 3 & Small Skipper 2. (Photo attached). Jack Harrison
Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL375545) Transect: Small White 1, Painted Lady 2, Small Tortoiseshell 10, Speckled Wood 2 & Meadow Brown 6. Tony Roberts

Wednesday 17th June

Hadleigh Castle CP (Grid ref:TQ785856) A morning visit produced 25+ Marbled White, several Ringlet and the first White-letter Hairstreak. Andrew Woodhouse
Orwell Clunch Pit Transect (Grid ref: TL365506) Common Blue 1, Painted Lady 2, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Speckled Wood 2, Meadow Brown 19 & Small Heath 1 while on a riverside walk at
Shepreth (Grid ref: TL385488) Small Skipper 3, Small White 4, Painted Lady 3 & Small Tortoiseshell 5. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 16th June

Wheatley Wood, Rayleigh (Grid ref: TQ784912) A late afternoon walk around this Woodland Trust site gave me sightings of the following butterflies: Large Skipper 57+, Meadow Brown 12, Small Skipper 3-4, Brimstone 2 males and 1 female, Speckled Wood 5, Ringlet 2, Green-veined White 1, Holly Blue 1, Painted Lady 1. In addition I noted 13 Commas, inc. at least 3 worn and tatty insects which surely must be post-hibernation individuals. A couple of Peacock larval webs were discovered as well. Also dozens of Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet moths, several Burnet Companions and a possible male Fox moth. (Several photos attached). Graham Bailey
Benfleet Downs (Grid ref:TQ785858) Late afternoon visit produced one Marbled White and still no White-letter Hairstreaks, should be any day now. Also 6 Comma, 1 Small White, 8 Large Skipper, 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Speckled Wood, a tatty male Common Blue and a Holly Blue. Steve Arlow
Straight Road, Harold Hill (Grid ref:TQ531916) 3 White-letter Hairstreaks over elm while at
Butts Hill Pond, Canewdon (Grid ref:TQ899947) My first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year this evening feeding on Valerian. Jeff Delve
Bedfords Park (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TQ520922) 3 male WLH on ash & 2 on elm near damselfly pond early pm. and at
Bedfords Park / Lower Bedfords Rd (TQ517916)5 Purple Hairstreaks in evening sun at last, 7.55-8.10pm, with some nice views of males on foliage. Colin Jupp (via Andrew Middleton)
Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL195798) In company with several other people, approx 15 to 20 Black Hairstreaks, along ride at TL202800 usually too high to photograph, Nearby at Wood Walton village (Grid ref:TL214809), one late male Orange Tip. Jack Harrison
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) At least 4 Meadow Brown (first seen on Sunday) and my first recording of a Large Skipper in the Cemetery - (a mating pair). Nick Ballard
Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) On transect: Small Skipper 6, Large Skipper 20, Large White 1, Green-v White 1, Peacock 2, Painted Lady 10, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 27, Meadow brown 93 & Speckled Wood 2.
Moths: Cinnabar 9, Narrow-bordered 5-pot Burnet 126, Burnet Companion 81, Latticed heath 4, Yellow Shell 7, Silver-Y 1, Silver Ground Carpet 1, Blood Vein 2 & Buff plume 2.
Dargonflies: Brown hawker 1, Emperor 3, 4-spot Chaser 5, Black-t Skimmer 3, Ruddy Darter 1, Red-eyed Damsel 5, Azure Damsel >300, Common Blue Damsel >75, Blue-tailed Damsel 11. Jim Smith

Monday 15th June

At West Bergholt (TL952270) and nearby, 12+ Small Tortoiseshells (not seen this many for years ? also 2 more later at Wivenhoe (TM055255), also 2 Large & 2 Small Whites, 2 Painted Ladies, 5 Speckled Woods & a Cinnabar. At least 70 Banded Demoiselles, 5-6 Scarce Chasers, a Large Red Damselfly and a couple of Blues, probably Common Blue Damselflies, along the river towards Cooks Mill. Simon & Pat Cox
Cambourne Grid Ref:TL309590) On transect this morning, we had our first Ringlet of the year. Several Meadow Browns were on the wing, Large Skippers, Speckled Woods, Common Blue and a single Painted Lady and Large white also present. Louise Bacon, Samanta Mapfumo & Sian Williams
Sunnymead Farm (near Wivenhoe) (Grid ref:TM055220) Short walk this morning produced: Small white, Meadow Brown and Painted Lady. Moira Jackson

Sunday 14th June

Pound Wood (Grid ref:TQ821887) Brief visit here saw large numbers (c. 200+) of heath fritts buzzing around in the sun making photos possible only when it clouded over. (4 photos attached). Hazel Orbell
Bedfords Park (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TQ520922) 4 Purple Hairstreaks over oaks on the west side of deer park this evening; 2 White-Letter Hairstreak on ash near the damselfy pond; also Small Skipper, Comma and an estimated 1,150 Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet moths in field SW corner of park. Colin Jupp (via Andrew Middleton)
Langford Cutting/Beeleigh Lock, Essex (Grid ref:TL839084) 5 Large Skippers, 20+ Meadow Brown, 2 newly emerged Commas, 1 Red Amiral, 2 Painted Ladies and 6 Speckled Wood seen in this area. Also large number of Peacock caterpillars on nettles beside canal. Val Blamire
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (Grid ref:TL212813) I popped in here on my way to Monks Wood to see if any Marbled Whites had emerged. No Marbled Whites yet but a surprising number of butterflies, including a Green Hairstreak! (I've no idea where that has appeared from). Grizzled Skippers are still here in good numbers (6+), some of them looking very good. Also seen were Brown Argus, Common Blue, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and a Brimstone. (Several photos attached). Phil Bromley
Hockley Woods (Grid ref:TQ831914) With grateful thanks to Steve Arlow and on a short walk in Hockley Woods this afternoon I saw well over a hundred Heath Fritiliaries, two Speckled Wood, one each of Meadow Brown, Small Skipper and Red Admiral. (2 photos attached). Bruce Foxall
Ramsey Marsh, Essex (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime walk along sea wall, 22 deg, sunny, F2-3 NW. Small Skipper 2, Large Skipper 3, Small White 2, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 1 (warn, but 1st on transect), Common Blue 7, Painted Lady 2, Meadow Brown 18, Small Heath 3. (3 photos attached). Then headed down to
Rainham marshes (Grid ref: TQ545789), for 4pm search for a late Spring Wall, but no luck on either side of sea wall. Large Skipper 1, Small White 3, Common Blue 2 (M+F), Painted Lady 2, Meadow Brown 5. Cinnabar 10+ & 5 Spot Burnets 20+. (Photos submitted which will be added later). Rob Smith

Saturday 13th June

Little Haven EWT Reserve (Starvelarks Wood), near Thundersly (Grid ref:TQ811889)
I visited Starvelarks Wood on Saturday, it was a long journey from our home in Staffordshire, but it was worth it. I was amazed to see so many butterflies in such a small area, they were beautiful and very special to me because this was the last of the resident British butterflies I needed to see. I have photographed the Heath Fritillaries and I thought you may like to see my pictures, I have photographed about 50 of the butterflies I have seen and now plan to revisit the ones I still need to photograph and get better pictures of others.
I would like to thank every one who reported their sightings of Heath Fritillary to your website because it meant my parents were prepared to make the long journey for me. I took one picture of a very dark Heath Fritillary and wondered if this was one that had just emerged? (4 photos attached).
Best wishes Elliott Staley (age 11 years)

P.S. Elliot - Steve Arlow has commented that: The dark looking Heath Fritillary that Elliot Staley photographed at Little Haven EWT appears to be an aberant individual.
and add further (18th June)
Having noted many hundreds of Heath Fritillaries over the past few years at the south Essex sites I have yet to see such an individual though given the large numbers it would be quite easy to over look one so well done to Elliot and in getting a picture. I find it very encouraging that someone so young has such an interest in Butterflies, and perhaps wider wildlife as well, and that finding this rarity fosters more enjoyment.

And Nick Ballard has done some research and sent in this:
I looked up the aberrant Heath Fritillary on the Cockayne database and it looks like Melitaea athalia ab. cymathoe (Bertolini, 1829) - male upperside; What do others think?
and adds further (18th June): I did some searching on the re-introduction of the Heath Fritillary in Essex....On the Healthy Life Essex Web-site:
"Thrift wood..., formerly known as Hall Wood. The most important woodland butterfly is the heath fritillary which was introduced by the Trust in 1984..."
I found this reference on the Web from a Southend Council paper:
"On the 10th June 1997, in a joint project with English Nature, Essex Wildlife Trust and this authority, 17 male and 20 female butterflies were released into four locations in Belfairs Nature Reserve."
Since the Essex colonies are relatively recent re-introductions, I am not sure that too many records of aberrant forms have been made. It is likely that the genetic characteristics of the population from which they were taken will predominate; I am not sure where the stock for re-introduction was taken from but I note two examples (In Cockayne the female ab. cymothoe and both on UK Butterflies) were from East Blean in Kent - the other in Cockayne is from Devon I believe. The aberration is therefore probably present in most populations, though East Blean may have had more recorded - or have a greater prevelence within that population?. I am certainly no geneticist, and can not answer that question! But if anyone knows where the genetic stock for all these re-interoductions took place, it would be interesting to know. If anyone else has more thoughts or answers.... Anyway, I hope this may be of interest and that Elliot is further encouraged by his discoveries.

Brampton Wood (Grid ref:TL184698) Found my way to one Black Hairstreak site before I met Roger Orbell who showed me a couple of other areas where they come down from the bushes to drink honeydew. All told, a good number of sightings with double-figures of individuals seen over the 3 sites. Lots of Speckled Wood - saw one depositing eggs in the grass and got a picture of the egg - with a few Large Skippers, the odd GV White, a battered and worn Comma and a couple of Meadow Brown and a Painted Lady. (3 photos attached). Nick Ballard
Hadleigh Castle CP (Grid ref:TQ785856) Between 4 and 5pm, a single Essex Skipper and Marbled White along the sea wall. Andrew Woodhouse
Hadleigh Castle CP (Grid ref:TQ785856) On the Benfleet Downs section: A brief walk around this excellent site on a very warm afternoon gave sightings of the first emerging Marbled Whites, with two seen. Also noted were Common Blue 10+, Speckled Wood 10+, Large Skipper 2, Small Skipper 20+, Meadow Brown 15, Comma 1 (summer brood), Holly Blue 2, Green-veined White 1. We searched for White-letter Hairstreaks, but just a little too early. (3 photos attached). Graham Bailey
Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL195798) The Black Hairstreaks are out in greater numbers today, I counted 19 in total at 5 locations in the wood (2 photos attached). Phil Bromley
Sutton/Little Wakering area (Grid ref:TQ9188) 15+Whites (only Small id?d), 12+ Meadow Browns, 2 Small Heaths, 6 Speckled Woods, single Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Large Skipper, & Holly Blue (very worn), 3 Cinnabars (also 10+ Black-tailed Skimmers, 1 Emperor, 20+ Common Blue, 3 Blue-tailed & 1 Red-eyed Damsel, also what was surely a Brown Hawker though very brief view). Simon & Pat Cox
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) Transect walk with 2 long overcast interludes, F3 SW breeze 19deg. Small Skipper 3, Large Skipper 6, Small Copper 1, Painted Lady 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1 (fresh - 1st here in 1 year+), Peacock 1 (warn), Comma 1 (fresh), Speckled Wood 3, Meadow Brown 74, Small Heath 2. Rob Smith
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) 1 Painted Lady, 1 Common Blue & 1 Small Heath. Mike Harris

Friday 12th June

Little Haven EWT Reserve (Starvelarks Wood), near Thundersly (Grid ref:TQ811889) A very pleasant hour and half this evening in perfectly warm and sunny conditions revealed an absolute glutton of Heath Fritillaries. I attempted to make a detailed count but gave up at around 300 as there were just so many. I estimate that there were at least 70 in the clearing east of the path, 30 along the path itself and approximately 400+ in the larger clearing on the west side of the path. Just watching from the main path it was possible to see at least 100 or more at a time. By contrast I only had 1 each of Meadow Brown and Large Skipper in the clearing. This has got to be the best of the Essex colonies right now and well worth the visit. Steve Arlow

Brampton Wood (Grid ref:TL184698) Black Hairstreaks out in good numbers this afternoon. Up to 7 in view at the same time at site 2 plus pair mating for over 30 mins also nectaring on stinging nettles leaves. Seen at 7 locations in wood; First seen at site 2 on Wed 10th which is same date as in 2008 and 2007. (4 photos attached). Roger Orbell
Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL195798) Black Hairstreaks are flying here as well, I saw at least 4, also a very late male Orange-tip (3 photos attached). Phil Bromley
Fairfield, Ingatestone (Grid ref:TQ652995) Around pond and across railway footbridge ? up to 5 fresh Small Tortoiseshells (very mobile so possibly only 2 or 3) and 1 Painted Lady. Rob Smith
Near Wivenhoe (Grid ref:TM0522) 2 Small Whites, single Large Skipper & Red Admiral, c.10 Cinnabars (also 1 Emperor, 3 Black-tailed Skimmers & 6+ Common Blue Damsels) while in our garden at near St Osyth (Grid ref:TM144159) 4 Painted Ladies & 1 Meadow Brown (also 3 Large Red & 3 Azure Damsels). Simon & Pat Cox
Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL375545) On Transect: Essex Skipper 1, Brimstone 3, Small White 4, Green-veined White 3, Painted Lady 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Meadow Brown 2 & Small Heath 2. Tony Roberts

Thursday 11th June

John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM266245) 2 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Red Admiral, 4 Speckled Woods, 3 Small Heaths, 1 Common Blue & 2 Painted Ladies (also 3 Hairy Dragonflies, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser, 8 Azure & 1 Blue-tailed Damsels). Simon & Pat Cox
Brampton Wood (Grid ref:TL184698) At lunchtime today when the sun came out I saw 5 Black Hairstreak, they were generally staying well out of camera range but I did managed to photograph one from about 20', good enough for a positive identification but little else. Phil Bromley
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime wander: Large Skipper 12, Meadow Brown 8, Painted Lady 2, Speckled Wood 2. Most butterflies to perimeter brambles. (2 photos attached). Rob Smith
Lark Rise Farm, Barton (Grid ref:TL417552) Small White 1, Green-veined White 2, Common Blue 1, Painted Lady 20, Small Tortoiseshell 2& Meadow Brown 19. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 9th June

Waterbeach (Grid ref:TL4965) At 11.15 this morning, I spotted a Hummingbird Hawkmoth hovering over our valerian in the garden - first spot this year. Roger Osborne

Monday 8th June

Thrift Wood (Grid ref:TL792018) Three Heath Fritillaries on transect this afternoon and a few Speckled Woods. Weather conditions were not ideal and butterflies not flying unless disturbed. Photo of a male and female (I think). Richard Bigg
Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) Large White 3, Small White 2, Speckled Wood 2, Meadow Brown 3, Common Blue 20, Holly Blue 1, Large Skipper 3. Moths: Yellow Shell 3, Silver-Y 4, Silver Ground Carpet 1, Latticed Heath 18, Burnet Companion 45, 6-spot Burnet 1, Mother Shipton 4, Cinnabar 4. Emperor Dragonfly 3, 4-spot Chaser 3, Broad-bodied Chaser 1, Banded Dem. 3, Red-eyed Damsel 1 (new species for area), Blue-tailed Dams 3, Azure Dams 16. Also six Bee Orchids found. Jim Smith & Roy Widgery

Sunday 7th June

Pound Wood (Grid ref:TQ821887) As soon as the sun came out in the afternoon, dozens of Heath Fritillaries through the wood in the cleared areas. (3 photos attached)). Nick Ballard
Hockley Woods (Grid ref:TQ831914) On a walk in Hockley Wood between 4pm-6pm; the weather was not great but the sun did show & we did see 2 Heath Fritillaries but that was all! Not sure where all these hundreds are? (4 photos attached). Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) Morning transect walk in damp conditions initially, but sun came through well. Large Skipper 8, Meadow Brown 7, Speckled Wood 4, Small Heath 1 (at Tylers Shaw ? first on transect, don?t think I saw any in this area last year). Rob Smith
Ramsey Marsh, Essex (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime transect walk along sea wall in drying conditions ? Lucerne pods popping all around. Small White 1, Common Blue 11, Painted Lady 1, Meadow Brown 6, Small Heath 3, and pleased to see a fresh Small Tortoiseshell, but biggest surprise was a Green Hairstreak - on Trefoil by marsh sluice gate ? haven?t been looking out for these especially, as this section contains the only hedgerow on transect. Still hoping to see a Wall on this part of coast, and some species are late here, i.e. no Skippers seen today. (Photos attached). Rob Smith
Benfleet Downs (Grid ref:TQ785858) Had a look on the off chance of an early White-letter Hairstreak but no luck. Did have 15 Common Blues, 4 Brown Argus, 6 Meadow Brown, 4 Speckled Wood, 1+ Holly Blue, 2 Large Skipper and one each of Large and Small Whites. (2 photos attached). Steve Arlow
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) Made an attempt to get an Insect count between the showers (16:20-17:35). Very little diversity species wise, with no Dragonflys or large Butterflies flying. 1 White (sp.), 15 Common Blue (12M, 3F) & 1 Small Heath. Plus 1 Silver Y, 46 Burnet Companion & 1 Cinnebar. 19 Common Blue Damselfly (12M, 7F). Mike Harris
Thrift Wood (Grid ref: TL792018) At least 6 Heath Frits, which was what I was hoping for but other than that 3 or 4 of Meadow Brown was it. Russ Neave
High Woods CP, Colchester (Grid ref: TL997271) One Small Tort and a few Large Skipper and Common Blue. Still a few Painted Ladies about. Brian Goodey
Holt Field, Barton. (Grid ref:TL403544) Green-veined White 6. Small White 4. Common Blue 4. Small Tortoiseshell 8. Painted Lady 1. Meadow Brown 1 and at Telegraph Field (Grid ref:TL408545) Small Wood 1. Common Blue 8. Painted Lady 4. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Speckled Wood 2. Tony Roberts

Saturday 6th June

Starvelarks Wood, near Thundersly (Grid ref:TQ810890) A late morning visit to Little Haven EWT reserve near Thundersly produced a staggering 344 Heath Fritillaries in the clearing in the middle of Starvelarks Wood where the power lines disect. Also around Little Haven were 21 Meadow Browns, 7 Large Skippers and a Speckled Wood. The clearings and flowering meadows here look very good and would probably have produced more had the sun been out.
Nearby Pound Wood (Grid ref:TQ819887) hosted 322 Heath Fritillaries in two areas, 259 in the clearing at the north east corner and a further 63 in the clearing around one of the pylons where the power lines cut through the wood. Also here were a single Common Blue and 2 Speckled Woods. Steve Arlow

Wicken Fen (Grid ref:TL560693) One Small Tortoiseshell was present. Also about 10 Painted Ladies in TL5669. Jan Hein van Steenis
Burwell Railway Cutting & Devil's Dyke (Grid ref:TL577650) Cool 16C and overcast, breezy - wind N, 2-3. A few Large Skippers in the Cutting and a faded male Common Blue. On the Dyke, a single Common Blue and a couple of Painted Ladies. 3 photos attached. Nick Ballard
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) Walked parts of transect this morning, checking Elm after last week's Middlesex W/L Hairstreak sighting. But sun never came through properly. Then went 'off-piste' and saw a small Painted Lady trying to sunbathe and 4 fresh Speckled Woods elsewhere on Common.
P.S. Take care on slippery stiles, because I forgot to! Rob Smith
Steeple, Essex (Grid ref:TL934029) Is it me or are there very few butterflies around at the mo ? All I saw in 2 hrs in Steeple were G.V.White 1, Large Skipper 1, Meadow Browns (my first of the year) 6-7, Common Blue 4+, Small Heath 1, Speckled Wood. At least 3 Mother Shipton were nice to see. Russ Neave

Thursday 4th June

Dodds Grove (N area of Great Wood), Benfleet (Grid ref:TQ817880) Visited in the morning; Amazing site counted 175 Heath Fritillary great to see such a lot. Dave Blackwell
Telegraph Field, Barton. (Grid ref:TL408545) Large White 1. Small White 1. Green-veined White 1. Common Blue 20. Painted Lady 2. Small Tortoiseshell 1. Holt Field, Barton. (Grid ref:TL403544), Common Blue 2. Small Tortoiseshell 10. Meadow Brown 2. Speckled Wood 1. Tinkers Field, Barton. (Grid ref:TL407548), Green-veined White 1. Painted Lady 1. Speckled Wood 3. Tony Roberts.
3 hours out at Blackmore End (Grid ref: TL7431), this am produced single Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady & Black-tailed Skimmer at TL732310 approx, then 2 Speckled Woods & 1 Large White at TL745310 (one Orange Tip at the latter site on 30/04/09). Simon & Pat Cox
Hockley Wood (Grid ref:TQ8392) Turned up trumps with the Heath Fritillaries. Follow the blue trail from the car park just east of the pub at TQ833923 to approx TQ836916 where the wildlife people have produced a splendid clearing. Weather a bit "iffy" but plenty of Heath Frits about whenever the sun came out - up to five at once. Thrift Wood had earlier drawn a blank. Jack Harrison
At Thrift Wood (Grid ref: TL792018), yesterday I saw two pristine-condition Heath Fritillaries. (There was a possible third, but it was equally likely it was one of the original two, after I'd turned away from them). I did meet the gentleman who runs the transect there and I don't believe he had seen them and he had left by then. Andy King(Herts-Middx branch).
This afternoon I visited Stirtloe (Grid ref: TL202664) & found recently emerged Meadow Browns (3). Also a fresh group of Small Tortoiseshells around the nettles (6). Plenty of Common Blues (10 +), 2 faded Painted Ladies, 1 Large Skipper. Photos attached. Charles Nicol

Tuesday 2nd June

Yesterday at 2pm I returned to Cockway Lane near Stow Longa (Grid ref: TL105722) & saw this Small Copper. It was unusually small but very vigorous... fighting with the Large Skipper which i saw the previous day. Charles Nicol
A large count of 151 Heath Fritillaries this evening, between 4.30pm and 6pm, at Hockley Woods (Grid ref: TQ834924). Simply amazing standing in the clearing surrounded by 50 or more fritters at a time all either feeding, mating or basking, superb. Photos attached. Steve Arlow
Orwell Clunch Pit Transect (Grid ref:TL365506) Green-veined White 3. Common Blue 2. Speckled Wood 2. Small Heath 5. Tony Roberts

Monday 1st June

At 3pm I saw this Large Skipper near Stow Longa (Grid ref: TL105722). At 7pm I saw the Painted Lady on the Wild Rose at Belton's Hill (Grid ref: TL127738). Photos attached. Charles Nicol
I visited Hockley Woods (Grid ref: TQ831914), this evening from 4.30pm and found 50+ Heath Fritillaries on the wing in the southern clearings. The late afternoon/early evening was perfect with many settling down and some mating occuring. Photos attached. Steve Arlow.
Babraham Rowley Lane (Grid ref: TL506502), produced quite a surprise today. As well as the whites and the inevitable Painted Ladies, some lingering, some fast in a NW direction, was a Brown Argus feeding on Hogweed. The habitat would seem to be most unusual being arable on one side of the lane, woodland on the other. Two photos attached. Jack Harrison.
Ingatestone (Grid ref: TL651001), Numerous 5-spot Burnet moths hatching on waste ground by A12 foot tunnel (Little Hyde Lane). Many unhatched cocoons on grass. Also a Meadow Brown on other side of A12 (Seymours Field). Two photos attached. Rob Smith.

May 2009

Sunday 31st May

Great Chishill (Grid ref: TL424394), Meadows and light woodland (orchards). Brimstones 3 to 4 : Speckled Wood 5 to 6 : Whites various including female Orange Tip : Peacock 1 : Large Skipper 1 : Brown Argus 3 : Small Heath 1. Painted Lady just 1 in garden and numerous Burnet Companion moths in the grassland. In one stretch of 100 metres, perhaps 20 individuals. The flight and colour strangely reminded me of a Comma but much smaller of course. They were a real challenge to photograph as very flighty and rarely landed in convenient position.
Picture of Burnet Companion upper and lower wings. Also Speckled Wood in typical dappled sun. It was a hot day and they always seemed to land end-on to the sun with wings closed, presumably to minimise overheating. Jack Harrison

Ramsey Marsh, Essex (Grid ref:TL938058) Lunchtime transect walk along sea wall, steady F4-5 NE 21C, full sunshine. Large White 1, Small White 7, Common Blue 10, Small Heath 4, Painted Lady 3 (2 nectaring, 1 migrating over sea wall and across Blackwater estuary on a 'beam reach' (for the fellow sailors) across the wind - impressive). Faint hopes of a Clouded Yellow didn't materialise, however, stopped off at Thrift Wood, near Bicknacre (Grid ref:TL792018), on way home and saw my first ever Heath Fritillaries with a Nightingale singing just behind me, which kind of made up for it! I spoke to a local gentleman who said his favourite butterfly was the Painted Lady, even though it should be the Heath Fritillary. For me, the delicate beauty of all our meadow butterflies takes some beating. I saw no more than 4 at any one time, 2 mated which gave the best photo opportunity. Also at Thriftwood were Large White 2, Painted Lady 2, GV White 1 and Speckled Wood 1. Photos attached. Rob Smith
Wickford, Essex (Grid ref: TQ745935), I saw my first Meadow Brown. It was in the greenhouse, which gave me an excellent opportunity to take it's photo, it was a male. Pauline Brooks
Hockley Woods (Grid ref: TQ832917), - 31st May An all too brief visit to Hockley Woods to check on the heath fritillaries showed them to be out in force, with a total of at least 95 insects counted in a variety of different coppice plots, many of them nectaring on bramble flowers and generally being very active and not at all camera-friendly in the very warm sunshine! Other butterflies noted were two each of painted lady, speckled wood and holly blue. (2 photos attached). Graham Bailey
We went to rainham marshes (Grid ref: TQ545789), at 4pm, we saw at least 100 damselflies, a four spot chaser, 3 painted ladies, 20+ holy blues, 3 small white & a brown argus. Then half a mile away we saw a dragonfly? holy blues, painted ladies. small whites & more damseflies. Also on the way home we stopped at the barges near Rainham Marshes where we saw 5 common blues, 3 painted ladies, 2 small whites & an orange tip. Photos attached. Janet Edmunds & Dave Jones

Saturday 30th May

Thrift Wood (Grid ref: TL792018),. The first Heath Fritillary appeared on transect today (little blighter didn't want it's photo taken though !!). The rest of the count - Large White (2) Speckled Wood (10) Red Admiral (1) and one unidentified white. Richard Bigg.
In Essex today I had a female Holly Blue in the Garden in Rochford whilst nearby Doggetts Pits (Grid ref: TQ880919), produced 4 Green-veined Whites, a Large White, 4 Holly Blues, male Orange-tip, 3 Speckled Woods and only one Paiinted Lady. Paglesham Lagoon (Grid ref: TQ924914), produced my first Brown Argus of the year as well as 4 Common Blues, a Peacock and 5 Painted Ladies. Matt Bruty reports 10 Painted Ladies fron the Star Lanes Pits, Great Wakering (Grid ref: TQ937872), this morning. Steve Arlow.
Wheatley Wood, Rayleigh (Grid ref: TQ784912), A mid-afternoon walk around this Woodland Trust property allowed sighting of the following butterflies: speckled wood 7, holly blue 4, large skipper 8, common blue 4, brimstone (males) 2, small copper 1, brown argus 1, comma 2, large white 1, green-veined white 3, unidentified whites 6-7. Despite the brilliant sunshine - albeit with a gusty easterly wind - I failed to see any painted ladies today, so have they now mostly traversed this part of the world and continuing to head north? Moths noted included several each of burnet companion and Mother Shipton, Silver-Y, and 2-3 male fox moths dashing around in their usual frenetic fashion. (Several photos submitted.) Graham Bailey.
Fulbourn Meadows (Grid ref:TL530561) This afternoon, we saw: Brimstones (5 male, 1 female); Orange tips (male, 6); Peacock (2); Common Blues (7); Large Skipper (1); Small or Green-veined Whites (20+); Painted Ladies, 40+ (most still flying fast). Trevor Sawyer.
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) Most of transect walk sheltered from breeze. V Good conditions. Large White 2, Small White 2, Green-veined White 1, Holly Blue 3 (1st on transect), Painted Lady 6 (most nectaring), Comma 1, Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 9 (majority small, fresh-looking.
Meadow Brown 1 (male) at Tylers Shaw (TQ578911) very mobile over buttercups, only managed quick shots.
At nearby Bridge Wood (TQ573908) Comma 2 (both small, either old and groggy or new and groggy!).Photos attached. Rob Smith
Roman Road, Cambs (Grid ref:TL523522) Main interest on my walk today along the Roman Road was to find several good sized (2 x 1 metres) patches of Horseshoe Vetch. I have walked this road before but never previously seen Horseshoe Vetch. It is of course the larval foodplant of the Chalkhill Blue which has to the best of my knowledge, been reported only sporadically from the Roman Road. However, reasonably nearby are colonies of CH Blue at Fleam Dyke and Devils Dyke so I would have every hopes of finding the butterfly there in the appropriate season. Picture shows Horseshoe Vetch and a possible confusion species, Bird's Foot Trefoil (foodplant of Common Blue). Jack Harrison
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) 7:25 to 8:05am - a bit early in the day for Insects (no early migrating Painted Ladies!) but the following disturbed from roost on the Central causeway: 3 Common Blue (MMF), 1 Small Heath, 6 Burnet Companion & 1M Common Blue Damselfly. Mike Harris

Friday 29th May

Wallasea Island (Grid ref:TQ977947) Clouded Yellow - finally found one on Wallasea amongst the throng of Painted Ladies - a female with almost white uppersides but classic underwing - sadly the only shot I got of the upperwing is very blurred as it flew off, it never opened it's wings on the bird's foot trefoil it was frequenting. I'm assuming this is the helice form of Clouded Yellow rather than Pale Clouded - any help from the attached photos would be appreciated. Hundreds of Painted Ladies - but numbers less than Monday or even Wednesday evening. Common Blue, Small Heath also well represented. Jeff Delve
[Ed - photos confirm observer's ID as the helice form of Clouded Yellow rather than Pale Clouded Yellow; and Jim Smith comments that on Pale Clouded Yellow (Colias hyale), the black on the forewing is more confined to the tip and does not reach the trailing edge.].

Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) Today's transect count produced: Large White 5, Small White 9, Orange tip 1, Painted Lady 12 (only!), Peacock 2, Common blue 19, Holly Blue 3, Brown Argus 1, Green Hairstreak 2,Speckled Wood 5. Moths: Burnet Companion 41, Latticed Heath 24, Silver Ground Carpet 2, Cinnabar 2, Silver Y 4. Plus Azure Damsel 15 & 4-spot Chaser 3. Jim Smith
Great Chishill (Grid ref:TL427393) Trapped this stunning Elephant Hawkmoth last night in my garden. Jack Harrison

Thursday 28th May

Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) Stephen Patmore records 217 Painted Ladies passing N in 40 minutes.
Boreham, Essex (Grid ref: TL756099) Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the garden this afternoon feeding on Honeysuckle. Another nectaring on Red Valerian near the Church on Sunday 24th May. Graham Ekins
Portholme, near Huntingdon (Grid ref:TL233713) At 4pm, there were 20+ Painted Ladies mainly sitting around on or near the footpaths. 8 of the Silver-Ys as pictured, in the long grass. A single Angle Shades on nettles (photo submitted). The Painted Lady photos were later on (about 7pm) at Stirtloe (TL196664). The Stirtloe PLs were very active at that advanced hour. (4 photos attached). Charles Nicol
Sawston, Cambs (Grid ref:TL485495) I had a large number of Painted Ladies through my garden in Sawston last Sunday and have had more today, which I have had a go at counting. In a 6 minute period around 4:15pm, I counted at least 30. This would equate to around 300/hour, and at times they appeared to be even more frequent than this. All have been flying steadily north without stopping, although I guess they must pause to feed at some point. Phil Jackson
Stanground, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL207964) Four+ Painted Ladies. Trevor Wilson
St. Osyth (Grid ref:TM136193) A 20 min walk near St Osyth this morning produced 35 Painted Ladies, 2 Large Whites & a Small White; earlier 2 GV Whites nearby (TM130180 approx). On returning home to our garden (TM144159) 12+ Painted Ladies moving through in 1/2 hr plus 2 Holly Blues, 2 Large Whites & a Speckled Wood. Simon & Pat Cox
Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL375545) Brimstone 4, Small White 6, Green-veined White 4, Clouded Yellow 5, Orange Tip 4, Common Blue 6, Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 4 & Painted Lady 35+. The Painted Ladies were flying through fast and were still going when I left after 45 minutes. Tony Roberts
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Lunchtime - Large White 2, Small White 1, Speckled Wood 3, Peacock 1, Latticed Heath 2, Silver-Y 1, then at far end, stumbled upon the only fully-flowering bramble bush on Common and counted about 20 Painted Ladies ? incredible sight. Some brief sunshine, but cloudy conditions didn?t seem to stop them at all. Interesting report from Tony Brereton ? about 3 or 4 of the PLs were smaller specimens and these were all faded, so assume these were 1st generation/Atlas Mountain origin. A few other PLs flying elsewhere. (5 photos attached). Rob Smith

Louise Bacon reorts that migrants are on the move again. Between 8 and 9am today had well over a hundred Painted Ladies, a couple of dozen Large White and one Silver-Y moth moving through farmland in SW Cambridgeshire.
One very large field which is nearly pure thistle was proving a great attraction to some of the ladies, with nectar and ovipositing options being utilised - others were just passing straight through. Have now seen one or two passing through the garden (Barton) as well. Weather conditions look right for this migration to continue through the weekend.

Tuesday 26th May

Tom Brereton has provided an interesting summary of the PAINTED LADY MIGRATION:

[Place cursor here to reveal summary]

Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Small White 1, Common Blue 1, Painted Lady 2 & Speckled Wood 1. Tony Roberts

Monday 25th May

Mill Meadows Nature Reserve, Billericay (Grid ref:TQ679941) Significant numbers of Painted Ladies passing through - all flying purposefully northwards and only a few of them pausing to feed. I was probably seeing one or two a minute for the hour or more that I was there and I could only see a portion of the meadows at any one time. The only other sightings of note were a Small Copper and a Comma. Paul Hudson
Fordham Hall Estate (WT reserve) (Grid ref:TL926277) Hundreds of Painted Ladies on the wild flower meadows of this Woodland Trust reserve and there were many silver-Y moths present at the same time. Joe & Linda Firmin
The Roman Road (SE of Cambridge) (Grid ref:TL528519) Painted Ladies were flying past one after the other from the southeast. I wasn't doing a transect count but if I had been, they would have probably numbered 100+. There were some in the garden (Shudy Camps) today feeding on the Ceanothus. Roger Lemon
Dengie Peninsular Circular walk from St. Peter's Chapel following the coastline past Bradwell Power Station and cutting across from Bradwell Waterside to East Hall Farm (grid ref. at centre TM0108); 13 species seen: Brown Argus, Common Blue, Cream Spot Tiger, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Large White, Mother Shipton, Orange-tip, Painted Lady (stopped counting at 40), Peacock, Silver-Y, Small Heath & Yellow Belle. Kathryn & John Dawson
Little Totham, Essex (Grid ref: TL889117) 49 Painted Ladies counted flying west to east in 1.5 hours from beer garden of Swan PH. Paul Parmenter
Seventy Acres Lake, Fisher's Green (Grid ref: TL374029) We took the opportunity of the warm sunny afternoon, to walk around Seventy acres lake, parked at Hooks Marsh car park and did a clockwise circle. Butterflies included Four White species (including a late-ish male Orange Tip) Speckled Woods, Common and Holly Blues and migrating Painted Ladies. We counted 46 flying North in an hour, but 24 of these went past in ten minutes, as we had an icecream at the end of our walk! Colossal numbers of this species must have passed during the day. We saw loads fly over the road on the way home and even found two in our garden in Sawbridgeworth on our return! Steve Butler texted me from France at 15:12 this afternoon reporting the following regarding Painted Ladies:-
"I am sitting at the Port of Calais awaiting Ferry and there are wave after wave of thousands of them fluttering over"
We obviously have more to come! What an extraordinary movement this is turning into! Mike & Anita Harris

Redbridge (Grid ref: TQ445902) The Painted Lady migration has reached Redbridge: 3 on Valerian in my garden this afternoon and many reported flying in Claybury Park (Grid ref: TQ435912) along with Mother Shipton. Kathleen Black
Wallasea Wetlands (Grid ref: TQ955947) >100 Painted Lady (counted in small clover patch at eastern end - overall many hundreds on the island), 30 Common Blue, Small Heath, 3 Cream-spot Tiger moths and a few Silver Y's. Jeff Delve

Visited Rochester and Chatham, Kent today and, when the weather eventually warmed, saw scores of Painted Ladies pouring through the city centre heading NW. No Clouded Yellows seen. Rob Smith

Sunday 24th May

From the car park at Westley Heights, we walked down to the meadows of Willow Park in beautiful sunshine, which stayed with us all day. We explored five meadows in total, firstly looking around Flax Field where it soon became apparent that a major influx of Painted Ladies was occurring as many were seen dashing past northwards with great urgency, some stopping for refreshment on clovers and trefoils. We must easily have noted 30-40 Painted Ladies, so perhaps we are in for another spectacular year similar to 1996! Also noted around the reserve were Grizzled Skipper 17, Speckled Wood 5+, Common Blue 25+, Small Heath 12+, Green Hairstreak 10+ (mostly on the Bird's foot trefoils), Small Copper 5, Holly Blue 3, Peacock 1, Brimstone (1 each male and female), Small White 1 and several unidentified whites.
Moths noted as follows: Burnet Companion 80+, Latticed Heath 10+, Mother Shipton 10+, Small Yellow Underwing 10+, Cinnabar 8+, Silver-Y 3, Straw Dot 2, Commophila aeneana (micro moth) 2+. Moth larvae ID'd included Narrow-bordered 5-spot burnet (and numerous cocoons) and Lackey moth. Graham Bailey

* * * MIGRATION NEWS * * *

Joe Firmin reports:
There were scores of Painted Ladies passing north at Copt Hall, Little Wigborough, and also present were many Silver-Y moths. Nigel Rayner of West Bergholt reported to me that he had counted 330 Painted Ladies between 8.30am and 12 noon moving swiftly northwards with a peak of 200 between 11am and 12 noon. Ian Rose (EMG) reported Painted Ladies passing through his large garden at School Lane, Mistley, at one a minute between 9am and 1pm moving swiftly in a northerly direction. Also on May 24, Peter Pearson of Colchester Natural History Society and his wife were at Colchester North Station seeing off visitors when they estimated "hundreds" of Painted Ladies were passing through the area within the space of a few minutes together with "yellow butterflies" which were obviously Clouded Yellows.

Boreham, Essex (Grid ref: TL756099) We saw our greatest ever movement of Painted Ladies through the garden today since we came here in 1987. The first at 09.35 and the last at 18.10. No doubt many of you also recorded this migration. The Painted Ladies were all travelling rapidly NW at about 6m height. They seemed to come through in waves every few minutes with one group of 5 and another of 6. We have estimated that at least 170 flew though the garden during the day. (Ed - Graham gives a table summarised as follows: Painted Ladies 55, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Large White 11, Small White 3, Green-veined White 2, Common Blue 1 & Holly Blue 1)
The Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshells were pristine as were the few P. Ladies that allowed a good view. I guess all were migrants. The whites were just randomly moving around rather than showing signs of migration. Graham Ekins

Ickleton, Cambs (Grid ref: TL495438) The Painted Lady migration was in full flood here today. There was a steady stream through our garden, all flying fast and mostly hedge-hopping about 1 m above the ground. I timed them across the garden and made their speed about 20 mph (32 km/h). The stream began about 11 am and lasted until 4 pm at a rate of 1 or 2 every minute, so about 400 must have passed through the garden. Their route was parallel to the M11 motorway. Ickleton is about 5 miles NE of Great Chishill, but I haven't seen any sign of the Clouded Yellow migration here (yet). David Newland

Harlow (Grid ref: TL455095) I have witnessed a mass migration through Harlow today(sunday)-Painted Ladies! At 10 oclock they were comming through at about 5 per hour,by 3pm this had increased to around 10 per minute-all flying north. Many thousands must have passed through Essex on this day. I was chatting to a couple of people in Sussex last week,they had already seen the same thing. And word has come through to me from Nederland, apparently they have been amassing near the Dutch coast for a couple of weeks now. Given any sort of reasonable weather,i can say,with confidence,this will be a fantastic year for this species.Fingers crossed! Mark Bunch.

Ouse Valley, near Huntingdon Throughout the day i saw hundreds of Painted Ladies heading North through the Ouse Valley around Huntingdon. By 6pm some had landed & were available for pictures. This was taken at Stirtloe (TL203663); the Common Blues were settling down to roost (2 photos posted). No signs yet of Clouded Yellows. Charles Nicol

Julia Napier sends in the following:
Upwood Meadows and Wood Walton Fen We got lost looking for the Fen and found Upwood Meadows first. Lovely. Green winged orchids nearly over. Occasional Painted Ladies passing, but at Wood Walton Fen, by the Great Raveley Drain, there were Painted Ladies passing steadily in ones and twos, flying fast and low over a newly sown field. A couple of photographers/naturalists parked near us had phoned friends in Rutland and been told that the migration was visible there. Otherwise very few butterflies around. Lots of shiny brown Scarce Chaser females in the fen, and Hairy Hawkers male and female in a drain just near the sluice gate entrance.

Great Chishill (Grid ref: TL424393) Painted Lady visible migration observed this afternoon. Near home (Great Chishill, South Cambridge) a continual stream of following a hedge in a WNW (for the serious navigators, heading approx 300?). Singles but sometimes three were passing in a few seconds. A rough count gave 20 in ten minutes, all flying very fast (perhaps 20 km/hr) in exactly the same direction. One or two seen away from the hedge all flying strongly in the same direction.
Nearby in the meadows, an amazingly early (for these parts) Large Skipper. Also my first Brown Argus here since 2006. Jack Harrison

Trevor Sawyer comments:
I'm sure you will have been inundated with reports of the Painted Lady influx across the region today. I saw my first one of the season in my garden this morning, but this afternoon, we drove from Cambridge to Ely and the big push was obviously ON... There seemed to be ones and twos every few yards along the main road between Milton and Ely. Lost count pretty quickly - there were so many - but all were heading West in a very determined fashion. On returning home, there were quite a few other sightings in my garden.

Paglesham Lagoon, Essex (Grid ref:TQ924914) This evening there were 8 Painted Ladies on wildflowers on the sheltered side of the hedge at the south west corner along with 2 Common Blues, 2 Peacocks, 8+ 'whites' and 2 Small Heaths. 3 photos attached. Steve Arlow

Rob Smith spent a good part of today around South Essex and has kindly sent in the following sightings:
Thrift Wood, near Bicknacre (Grid ref:TL789018) 11.30am - brief look ? Speckled Wood 2, Green-veined White 1, Orange Tip 1. Pair of Nightingales singing to left footpath. On way back, stood in clearing at end of footpath by adjacent pub and saw several Painted Ladies speeding through at about 2 per minute.
Ramsey Marsh, Essex (Grid ref:TL938058) Transect walk along sea wall, F2 SE 18C, full sunshine. Large White 1, Small White 13, Green-veined White 3, Common Blue 5, Holly Blue 1, Small Heath 3, Painted Lady 8 ? all were flying fast, straight over sea wall and across Blackwater estuary. Disturbed what I thought was a Scarlet Tiger moth in bushes by marsh, much more colourful than PLs. No Clouded Yellows on Lucerne.
Willow Park, Langdon (Grid ref:TQ687871) 3pm - thanks to Graham Bailey and Paul for spotting my first Grizzled Skipper. Also saw first stationary Painted Lady, Green Hairstreak 1, several Common Blues and a Small Heath.
Rainham RSPB Reserve (Grid ref:TQ545789) search for Walls both sides of sea wall on pebble stones and larger rocks further along, 3.40-4.40pm F3 E breeze along wall. No Walls found. Most activity on lee side: Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 20+, Peacock 1, GV White 1, Small White 3, Painted Lady 3 (1 stopped for a few seconds, after crossing Thames, before heading North) Cinnabar 10. Unidentified golden dragonflies 2. No Clouded Yellows coming through unlike north of here, (unless I wasn?t looking high enough). Lucerne is prolific on marshes. Several photos attached.

Mistley (Grid ref:TM115315) A male Orange-tip still flying round my garden; plus a couple or three Painted Ladies and a Common Blue. Rick Vonk
Tort Hill, Sawtry (Grid ref:TL173840) We spent an hour here in the early afternoon. We saw assorted Whites 13, Green-Veined White 1, Painted Lady 28 not stopping, travelling north, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Small Copper 1, Holly Blue 3, Orange-Tip (M) 1, Peacock 1. Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne

Saturday 23rd May
Wicken Fen (Grid ref: TL5570) 6 species seen: Brimstone, Large White, Nettle Tap, Orange-tip, Peacock, Small China-mark; plus Broad-bodied Chaser & Hairy Dragonflies and Common Blue, Large Red & Red-eyed Damselflies. Kathryn & John Dawson
Stirtloe (Grid ref: TL203663) At 2pm, I saw 2 Painted Ladies. Also a tatty Small Tortoiseshell & interesting green moth (Ed: a Green Carpet). (2 photos attached) Charles Nicol
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) Fairly quiet on transect walk this morning in very good conditions. Only mild surprise was a late Comma. Others: Large White 2, Small White 3, Green-veined White 1, Orange-tip 3 (male), Peacock 2, Speckled Wood 3. Horses grazing on part of Tylers Common, the only scrubland on the walk, has decreased chances of early meadow species on transect. No sightings at Bridge Wood (Grid ref:TQ573908) clearing. (2 photos attached). Rob Smith

Friday 22nd May
Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) Today's transect count produced: Large White 3, Small White 1, G-v White 1, Orange-tip 4, Peacock 5, Small Tort. 1, Common Blue 3, Brown Argus 1, Green hairstreak 2, (one new site) Small Copper 1, Speckled Wood 2. Moths: Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion 2, Latticed Heath 3. Small numbers but a reasonable selection. Jim Smith
Lodge Farm, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL512534) Solitary Painted Lady (finally!). Kathryn Dawson

Thursday 21st May
Thanks to Graham Bailey for sending in this comprehensive report:
Attended a meeting at the Langdon Essex Wildlife Trust Reserve and the nearby Country Park today (21st May) re. best habitat and grassland management for the grizzled skipper, which should also benefit a number of other butterflies.
Willow Park (Grid ref:TQ687872) A number of meadows visited in Willow Park, inc. Great and Little Lodge, Homefield, Roughpiece, Knightsfield and Flaxfield. Butterflies seen inc. Grizzled Skipper 6+, Green Hairstreak 4, Common Blue 10+, Small Heath 6+, Speckled Wood 2, Painted Lady 1, Small White 2+, Large White 1. Day-flying moths seen inc. Burnet Companion 20+, Cinnabar 1, Mother Shipton 3+, Latticed Heath 3, Yellow Belle 1, Small Yellow Underwing 4+.
Also visited Plotlands part of the Langdon Reserve (Grid ref:TQ661876) and noted a single Grizzled Skipper, Small Copper 3, Common Blue 5+, Small White 2+, Orange-tip 1 male, Speckled Wood 2.
From mid-afternoon we went to the Langdon Hills CP (Grid ref:TQ697860) near One Tree Hill and recorded Grizzled Skipper 3, Small Copper 2, Peacock 1, Common Blue 15+, Small Heath 5+, Green-veined White 1, unidentified whites 3+. Several day-flying moths similar to those noted at Willow Park, but also a couple of the localised and very pretty micro moth Commophila aeneana. (Several photos attached)

John Weston EWT Reserve, The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM266245) 5 Painted Ladies, several Common Blues, Small Heaths etc & a Silver Y. Plus several Hairy Dragonflies (first we have seen there), B-b Chaser & Azure Damsels. Simon & Pat Cox

Kathryn Dawson reports a Peacock, 3 Orange Tips (all male) and a Large White on the Roman Road, Fulbourn, midway between the Babraham Road and Wandlebury public footpaths (Grid ref:TL508534), followed by another (slightly smarter) Peacock on the Wandlebury footpath (field side) - (Grid ref:TL504535). 3 Speckled Woods 'in the woods' at Wandlebury Country Park (Grid ref:TL497535)
Great Dunmow Railway Cutting (Grid ref:TL614215) A quick visit this afternoon in breezy sunshine - Speckled Wood 2, Brimstone 3, Common Blue 3, Peacock 1 & Orange-tip plus singles of Mother Shipton & Burnet Companion. Tony Moverley
Buttsbury, Essex (Grid ref:TQ660980) Edge of fields of rape by River Wid - Peacock 3, Small White 30+, Orange-tip 3 (male), Holly Blue 1 (male). Dozens of damselflies, mainly blue banded demoiselle. (2 photos attached) Rob Smith

Wednesday 20th May
Wallasea Island (Grid ref:TQ982938) At least 40 Painted Lady butterflies on Wallasea this afternoon all along the central road and on eastern sea wall, favouring the rape crop. Plus good numbers of Small Heath, Common Blue and Peacock. Have had smaller numbers of PLs here for at least a week and earliest was on 25th April. Jeff Delve
Grays Chalk Quarry (Grid ref:TQ609789) During a 2 hour afternoon stroll; 8 Brimstone including 2 mating pairs; 3 Holly Blue; 2 Common Blue; many Speckled Wood & Green-veined Whites, 2 Peacock, 1 Painted Lady, Burnet Companion, Silver Y. Also many Man Orchids, Common Spotted Orchids, Common Twayblades and one Birds nest orchid spike. Ian Phillips
Rayleigh Mount (Grid ref:TQ805909) A Painted Lady was on flowers in the sunshine just south of Rayleigh Mount today from 4pm to 4:30pm. Looks like it might be a good year for them. Paul Baker
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Hoping to see some Small Heaths/Coppers on this small patch of Essex heathland, but just saw one each of Peacock, Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White & Green-veined White in patchy sunshine. Also several Mother Shipton moths, some lizard movement and the sound of a cuckoo. Rob Smith
Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect, just 1 Common Blue recorded. Val Perrin

Tuesday 19th May
Sunnymead Farm (near Wivenhoe) (Grid ref:TM055220) Moira Jackson reports a faded looking Painted Lady.
Fingringhoe Wick (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TM048193) This morning I saw 1 Green Hairstreak, 3 Speckled Woods, 1 Peacock and 3 Large White. Then in the afternoon at the The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM264244) I saw 3 Painted Ladies, 8 Common Blues, 4 Small Coppers, 2 Small Heath, 2 Brown Argus, 15 Large Whites, 5 Speckled Wood, 3 Peacocks and one Orange tipped butterfly; also quite a few dragonflys and day flying moths around. Andrew Steele

Monday 18th May
Maldon (Grid ref:TL869069) My first Painted Lady of the year this afternoon on the seawall near the Dump Pool. Russ Neave

Saturday 16th May
Fleam Dyke (Grid ref:TL549542) Took a chance for a transect walk in the morning - windy but dry and partial sun. Moderate to strong breeze, SW; 15-16C; 11:45-1:10pm. Nine butterflies in all. 1 Large White, 4 Small White, 1 Orange Tip (m), 1 Holly Blue, 1 Speckled Wood; and at the end of a barren section over the A14, I disturbed a Painted Lady sheltering in the lee of the Dyke which made it worthwhile - my first of the season. Outside transect 2 Brimstone, 1 Large and 2 Small White and a Brown Argus in the A14 lay-by! (2 photos attached) Nick Ballard

Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 3 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Small White & 4 Speckled Wood in fair sunshine but strong winds. Then at nearby Bridge Wood (Grid ref:TQ573908) 1 Peacock & 1 Green-veined White. Robert Smith.

Friday 15th May
Great Totham, Essex (Grid ref:TL873115) 1 Painted Lady and 1 Common Blue (female) on path next to Rape field. Paul Parmenter.

Thursday 14th May
The Naze, Essex (Grid ref:TM264244) Richard Allen reports 5+ Painted Ladies on a quick tour this morning - scattered around and looked like they had just arrived.

Wednesday 13th May
Devil's Dyke, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL616616) On the transect transect today in marginal weather but recorded 13 Dingy Skipper and 15 Brown Argus , 5 Small Heath plus several Burnet Companion and other day flying moths. I noticed some Dingy Skipper eggs in one hollow mown by the branch earlier in the year in section two. Sharon Hearle

Tuesday 12th May
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (Grid ref:TL212813) At 2pm, I saw 5 Grizzled Skippers. For the first time I found some in the area to the left of the gate. The reserve was sheltered from the wind which was very strong yesterday. Charles Nicol

Monday 11th May
Hanningfield Reservoir (Grid ref:TQ736995) ON the transect today: Large White 16, Small White 10, Green-veined White 5, Orange-tip 10, Brimstone 1, Peacock 8, Small Tort. 1, Speckled Wood 3, Common Blue 1 (earliest on counts so far), Holly Blue 1, Brown Argus 1, Green hairstreak 3. Day-flying or flushed moths: Common Carpet 1, Cinnabar 1, Muslin Moth (female 1). Not a bad count on a sunny but cool and windy (E) day. Jim Smith
Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) A Brown Argus on a brief visit after work. (Photo attached) Graeme Smith
Grange Farm, Witcham (Grid ref:TL461799) Another Wall Brown today, this time settling briefly in front of me and my dad in a paddock before flying into the garden and beyond, next stop Bedfordshire in a wind like today! David Hopkins

Sunday 10th May
Bretons outdoor centre, Rainham (Grid ref:TQ516848) About 12 noon: Holly Blues 4, Speckled Woods 4, Peacocks 8, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Whites 10+. Also at Ingrebourne CP (Grid ref:TQ524831) at 2pm, Brown Argus 2, Holly Blue 5, Common Blue 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Whites 10+, Small Heath 5, Peacocks 6, Orange-tips 6 & Speckled Wood 5. We also came across a selection of moths & damselflies. (Several photos attached) Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Old Hall Marshes (Grid ref:TL9712) 2 Common Blue butterflies and a lot of Small Heaths along the path by the Crescent. Also 1 male Hairy Dragonfly. Tim Mendham

Our thanks to Rob Smith for sending reports of his 2 transect walks and a trip to the Devil's Ditch (or Dyke):

Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Transect walk along sea wall, 1300, 15C, F2 E. Sun eventually came through well. Peacock 1, Green Veined White 11 outnumber by Small White 15, for first time. Orange Tip 5 (male), Holly Blue 2, and first Small Copper 1 and Small Heath 2 (all 3 near salt lagoon). (Two photos attached)
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 15:40 transect walk. 16C, F2 E. Orange Tip 1 (male), GV White 1, Large White 1, Small White 2, Peacock 5, Comma 2, Speckled Wood 8, and Small Copper 1 ? first I have seen on this walk since starting April last year.
Devil's Ditch, Newmarket, July course (Grid ref:TL616616) Morning stop off to see my first Dingy Skipper - about 6 seen, looking a bit worn; plus a Brown Argus and 2 Green Hairstreak. Possible Common Blue seen by Rob Fuller. (Photo attached)

Saturday 9th May
Devil's Ditch, Burwell to Reach end (Grid ref:TL577650) Trip north to see my first Green Hairstreak and Brown Argus - beautiful, although the mating Brimstones seemed to steal the show. Brimstone 20, Large White 1, Small White 1+, GV White? 15+, Orange Tip 12, Green Hairstreak 5+, Brown Argus 6, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Peacock 4. Possible Common Blue seen by Moira Rybicki. Commas seen on Barston Drove, Reach (Grid ref:TL565661). Moths: Mother Shipton on east side of Dyke & Cinnabars in field to west of Ditch, both nearer Reach end. Then fresh Green Carpet in Ditch just south of Swaffham Road. (Several photos attached) Rob Smith
Devil's Dyke, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL616616) At 1pm onwards, we saw 10+ Brimstones, 20+ Small Whites, 1 Large White, male Orange-tip, 10+ Green-veined White 5, Common Blue 4, Small Heath 4, Brown Argus 2, Green Hairstreak 3 (our first ever), Dingy Skipper 10+ & a selection of moths. (Several photos attached) Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Broad's Green (4 miles NW of Chelmsford) (Grid ref:TL686118) A short walk round old gravel workings: Peacock (5), Orange-tip (1), Common Blue (2), unidentified whites (2). Both the Common Blues, one male one female, were much smaller than normal. Richard Bigg

Thursday 7th May
Devil's Dyke, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL616616) Along the transect today: Dingy Skipper 30, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 1, Small Heath 2, Green Hairstreak 2 and several Brimstone, Peacock, Orange Tip and Green-veined White. Also recorded a couple of Dingy Skipper on the golf course section of Devil's Dyke. Not the best weather but didn't seem to deter Dingy Skipper from flying. Sharon Hearle

Wednesday 6th May
St. Osyth Priory, near Clacton-on-Sea (Grid ref:TM114162) In the grounds of the Priory, 2 Green Hairstreaks plus Speckled Wood, Peacock, Orange Tip, Green-veined & Large White. Simon & Pat Cox
Danbury Common (Grid ref:TL780039) Richard Bigg has sent in a couple of photos of a group of Lackey moth caterpillars newly emerged. They were on Blackthorn.
Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Just one Speckled Wood - poor weather but only free time I had. Tony Roberts
Hardwick Wood (Grid ref:TL375595) After transect today, had a very fresh-looking Red Admiral, a Comma and plenty of the species seen on transect - Whites, Brimstone, Orange-tip & Speckled Wood. Louise Bacon

Tuesday 5th May
Wardy Hill Drove, Witcham (Grid ref:TL467809) One Wall Brown seen this lunchtime. David Hopkins

Monday 4th May
Fleet Head, Great Wakering (Grid ref:TQ948894) This morning there were two male Orange-tips and my first Wall of the year. Steve Arlow

Sunday 3rd May
Single Small Coppers seen at Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL199792) and at Kingston Old Railway Line (Grid ref:TL338558). Vince Lea

Saturday 2nd May
Nick Ballard has sent in the following sightings and photos:
East Barnwell LNR (Grid ref:TL480583) Dropped in and saw a few Brimstone and a couple of Orange Tips. The female had just rejected an amorous male! (photos attached).
Devil's Dyke, Burwell (Grid ref:TL577650) Along the Dyke, lots of Brimstone and GVW and few Orange Tip. Down in the cutting - my first Brown Argus of the year, with a lot of Brimstones (females ovipositing), GVW and a couple of Small Heath, plus the odd Small Tortoiseshell (photos attached).
Devil's Dyke, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL576651) Arrived early in the morning, which was sunny and warm (for a change!) - 20+ Dingy Skippers along the bottom of the Dyke, and many Green-veined White, Green Hairstreak with a few Orange Tip and Brimstone. Also saw 3 Peacock (1 very battered!) and a couple of Small Tortoiseshell. At the end also saw a couple of Small Heath & Holly Blue. Plus lots of Common Heath and a few Burnet Companion moths (photos attached).

Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL378549) On transect: Brimstone 1, Small White 2, Green-veined White 7, Orange-tip 6, Small Tortoiseshell 1 & Peacock 1 while on the transect at:
Lark Rise Farm, Barton (Grid ref:TL417552) Brimstone 2, Small White 6, Green-veined White 15, Orange Tip 4, Small Copper 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 1 & Speckled Wood 2. Tony Roberts
Middlewick Rifle Range, Colchester (Grid ref:TM009227) First Small Coppers at Middlewick Ranges plus 30 - 40 tiger beetles. Plenty of Green Hairstreak at nearby Friday Wood (Grid ref:TL986209). Brian Goodey
Copt Hall, Little Wigborough (Grid ref:TL984143) Saw my first Painted Lady this year (or last). David Allen
Roman Road, near Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL509533) Walking along the Roman Road, Fulbourn from the Babraham Road public footpath (grid ref. TL509533) to the golf course (grid ref. TL503538): Orange-Tip (18 male & 1 identified female), Green-Veined White (2), Brimstone (5 male 5 female), unidentified whites (6), Speckled Wood (4), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Holly Blue (4), Green Hairstreak (2) by the golf course and in the same field maple tree as our sighting two years ago, Purple Bar. Kathryn Dawson
Devil's Dyke, Reach end (Grid ref:TL581646) Walking along the Devil's Dyke at Reach from TL581646 to TL575652: Orange-Tip (5 male), Green-Veined White, Brimstone (8 male 1 female), unidentified whites (4), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Holly Blue, Green Hairstreak (11), Green Carpet (3), Common Heath (5). John & Kathryn Dawson, Chris Martin

Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (Grid ref:TL212813) Brimstone 4, Peacock 2, Orange Tip 7, Large White 2, G V white 7, Grizzled Skipper 9 (3 photos attached). Roger Orbell
Maldon Wick (Grid ref:TL841053) 9am-9.30 hunt for Green Hairstreaks ? none found. Lower down, Speckled Wood 3, Orange Tip 3 (2m + 1f - 2 photos), Small White 4. Then on to:
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) Transect walk along sea wall, 11.30am, 18C, F1 W, superb conditions. Peacock 5, Green Veined White 26 and Orange Tip 9 (8m + 1f) Small White 2, Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 1, (difficult ID on smaller Whites, few settled). Then home to:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 2pm transect walk. 16C, F1-2 W. Orange Tip 1 (male), GV White 6, Large White 1, Peacock 7, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 9. Rob Smith
Sawbridgeworth Scrape (Grid ref:TL487139) Early morning sightings: 1 Small White, 2 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoishell & 1 Speckled Wood reported by Mike Harris; and a later visit to:
Sawbridgeworth Marsh (EWT & HWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TL492158) 5 Orange Tip (2M,3F), 1 Small White, 2 White (spp.), 1 Peacock & 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Mike Harris

Friday 1st May
Mundon Furze (4 miles SE of Maldon) (Grid ref:TL869024) My first Red Admiral of the year sunning itself in a glade; also 1+ Brimstone and Speckled Wood. Russ Neave
Devil's Dyke, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL616616) Recorded 33 Dingy Skipper along the Devil's Dyke transect today in fine warm weather. Sharon Hearle
RSPB Old Hall Marshes, Tollesbury (Grid ref:TL974125) Small Copper 3, Small Heath 1 & Large White 1. Roy Ledgerton
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Peacock 2, Speckled Wood 3, Orange Tip 1, GV White 1, Large White 1, several other unidentified Whites, Brimstone 2 (1 male, 1 female). Rob Smith
Mundon Furze, 3miles SE of Maldon (Grid ref:TL869024) My first Red Admiral of the year sunning itself in a glade in Mundon Furze; also 1+ Brimstone and Speckled Wood. Russ Neave

April 2009

Wednesday 29th April
King's Dyke area, east of Peterborough (Grid ref:TL248982) A Wall Brown on the Green Wheel between King's Dyke and the High Wash east of Peterborough. 'A really jumpy fella that refused to sit for a photo.' Brian Stone

Wheatley Wood (WT Reserve), near Rayleigh (Grid ref:TQ784912) A walk in the early afternoon in mostly fine and sunny weather, but clouded over for the last fifteen minutes. Butterflies noted inc. Speckled wood 30+, Orange tip males 8+ and 1 female, Peacock 18+, Holly blue 3, Comma 1, Brimstone 5+ males, Small and Green-veined whites 25+ (mostly the latter identified), Large white 6. Whilst in my garden on Sunday 26th I heard a Nightingale singing from dense cover in the wood - have heard them in the wood before, but never so close to the house! (4 photos attached) Graham Bailey
Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Small White 7, Orange Tip 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 1 & Speckled Wood 2. Wonderful weather but butterflies very dissapointing. Tony Roberts

Sunday 26th April
Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL378549) On Transect: Brimstone 5, Small white 25, Green-veined White 7, Orange Tip 2, Small Tortoiseshell 5 & Peacock 2 while on the transect at
Lark rise Farm, Barton (Grid ref:TL417552) Brimstone 1, Small White 16, Green-veined White 6, Orange Tip 5, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 2 & Speckled Wood 2. Tony Roberts
Ingrebourne valley (Grid ref:TQ535848) A Painted Lady seen on track running parallel to Squadrons Approach. Shaun Harvey
Devil's Dyke, Reach end (Grid ref:TL575652) Green Hairstreak 9, Orange-tip 9+, Brimstone 5 including mating pair, Holly Blue 2, Peacock 1, Green-veined Whites 3, Large White 2 & Speckled Wood 1. Steve Arlow
Woodwalton Marsh (BCNPWT reserve 6m N of Huntingdon) (Grid ref:TL212813) Between 1500 - 1600; Brimstone 7, Large White 4, Peacock 4, Comma 2, Orange Tip 5, G V White 2, Grizzled Skipper 1 & Small White 2. Also Turtle Dove and Nightingale. (2 photos attached) Roger Orbell
Barnack Hills & Holes (Grid ref: TF075045) Green Hairstreaks were out in large numbers here today (50+). We also saw Small Copper 3, Holly Blue1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 3, Orange-tip 2, Brimestone 2, Small / GV White 8 & Speckled Wood 3. (4 photos attached) Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne
Canewdon (3 miles N of Rochford) (Grid ref:TQ897946) In the garden today - Holly Blue, Orange Tip, GV White, Large White, Speckled Wood, Peacock. Jeff Delve

Saturday 25th April
Wallasea Island (Grid ref:TQ982938) Jeff Delve reports a Painted Lady near the eastern sea wall.
Brampton Wood (Grid ref:TL184698) Orange Tip 4, Small White 5, Green-veined White 6, Peacock 11, Large White 4, Speckled Wood 14, Comma 3 & Brimstone 2. Plus Cuckoo and Garden Warbler calling. Roger Orbell
RSPB Ouse Washes (Grid ref:TL477868) Two Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Peacock and 1 Green-veined White. Plus (teneral) Large Red damsefly (first 'dragon'of the year for me). Tony Moverley
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 12.00pm transect walk, sunny intervals. 13C, F2-4 wind. Large White 1, Small White 4, GV White 5, Orange Tip (m + f) 2, Peacock 3, Comma 1 and Speckled Wood 10. Rob Smith

Friday 24th April
Mill Green Common, Essex (Grid ref:TL638012) Peacock 2, Speckled Wood 2; and in flight- Holly Blue 1, Orange Tip 2, Small or GV White 2, Brimstone 3 (2 males pursuing 1 female - photo attached). Rob Smith
Wardy Hill Drove, Witcham (Grid ref:TL467809) A Painted Lady seen by David Hopkins
Devil's Dyke, Reach end (Grid ref:TL575652) Six Green Hairstreaks on bank where steps descend into the cutting, ie on the southeast side of railway cutting. There are now looking past their best with much sign of wear. What a short season? No Wall Brown possibility today but again Holly Blue at same location by gate onto the dyke from the main road. Also seen, the inevitable whites, one Peacock, one Tortoiseshell. Picture of Green hairstreak with many scales now missing. Jack Harrison

Thursday 23rd April
Fairfield, Ingatestone (Grid ref:TQ652995) Lunchtime by pond and railway footbridge; Speckled Wood 3, Large White 1, several smaller whites - seemed to be green-veined, Orange Tip 7, including 1 lone female, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 3. Most of these were in flight, only managed some photos of Orange Tips, strangely (2 photos attached). Rob Smith
Devil's Dyke, Burwell (Grid ref:TL577650) POSSIBLE WALL BROWN on Devils Dyke midway between Burwell car park and railway cutting 1100 hrs. Seen at about 30 metres range, semi-silhouette. The size, general colour and ?jizz? ? slightly floppy flight - were spot on for a Wall. So if not a Wall, then no idea what it might have been. This is exactly the spot where I last saw one about three or four years ago. Also numerous Common Heath moths and one Holly Blue near road in the scrub. No Green Hairstreaks but I was not in the favoured locality so little surprise at missing them. Jack Harrison

Wednesday 22nd April
Graham Bailey reports on 3 separate visits:
Doggetts Wildlife Area, Rochford (Grid ref:TQ878914) A mid-morning walk gave sightings of Speckled wood (8), Comma (1), Peacock (3), Orange tip (3 males), Sm tortoiseshell (3), Large white (2) and Green-veined whites (20+) (4 photos attached).
Magnolia Nature Reserve, Hawkwell (Grid ref:TQ862923) Partly the site of an old brickworks, now a local nature reserve. Butterflies inc. Speckled Wood (18), Peacock (4), Orange tip (5-6 males), Comma (2), Holly blue (1), Large white (2), Green-veined whites (25+), Small White (2 +ive id's). (4 photos attached).
Hockley Woods (Grid ref:TQ8392) Search for Heath fritillary larvae found 30+ at a coppice plot about two years old (6 photos attached). No obvious coppicing or other management performed this past winter to benefit the Heath fritillary, and main areas now becoming quite overgrown. Butterflies noted were Peacock (18), Orange tip (3 males), Speckled wood (2), Comma (3), Large white (2), Small and GV whites (10+).

Devil's Dyke, Reach end (Grid ref:TL574653) Green Hairstreaks were the commonest butterfly, ones and twos on many bushes and, as Charles Nicol said on 20.4.09, a crowd of them on and around the bush near gate to the cutting. I counted at least 20 during about an hour's looking (although many were probably repeat sightings). It was a better way of spending the afternoon than listening to the budget!
Thanks to Vince Lea for identifying hedge bedstraw in my photo of 20.4.09. This photo was one of a set of 3 taken at 6 frames/sec, and all three are now attached as well as a blown up picture of the "egg". The apparently perfectly spherical shape of the "egg" makes me think it is unlikely to be a fluid drop, but what do others think? David Newland
Ed - certainly this new photographic evidence points strongly to egg laying activity

Devil's Dyke, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL616616) Walked the transect today and met Trevor Sawyer who was photographing a very early Brown Argus. I did'n't see any others. Recorded 12 Green Hairstreak on the transect and 2 Dingy Skipper at the bottom of the Dyke in section 3. Plenty of other butterflies and day flying moths including Common Heath and Burnet Companion. Recorded a further Dingy Skipper at the bottom of section one on the return walk with Trevor Sawyer and Dick Grizell. Sharon Hearle

. . . and thanks to Trevor Sawyer for sending in this post script to Sharon's report:

Spent quite some time on Devil's Dyke today, looking for Dingy Skipper. Initially, Green Hairstreaks were found resting on the Hawthorn bushes. Later, some females were found egg-laying on the ground and just after lunch, I was pleasantly surprised to find a very fresh Brown Argus. Thanks to Sharon's eagle eyes, I also finally got a shot of a Dingy Skipper which appeared just before we left. Photos attached of a Green Hairstreak, 2 of the Brown Argus (one side view on Carmine Thistle and the other from above on grass stem) and the one Dingy I got before tripping over and frightening it off! D'oh!(4 photos attached).
NB: Lots of day-flying Common Heath moths to confuse with the Dingy Skippers for the unwary. Trevor Sawyer

Abberton Reservoir (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TL963185) Painted Lady 2 - good sign that things are arriving from Europe; together with Small Tortoiseshell 5+, Paecock 5+, Orange-tip 2 & Small White 1. Adrian Kettle
Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Small White 8. Orange Tip 2. Small Tortoiseshell 2. Speckled Wood 3. Tony Roberts

Tuesday 21st April
Bedfords Park, Rochford (Grid ref:TQ520922) First Small Copper of the year for this site, on cardamine (photo attached). Ian Phillips
Doggetts Wildlife Area, Rochford (Grid ref:TQ878914) Butterflies recorded this evening; Speckled Wood 5, Peacock 3, Holly Blue 1, Small White 1, Orange-tip 1, Green-veined White 3, Small Tortoiseshell 2. Steve Arlow
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TL651001) Lunchtime - several male Orange-tips at end of Little Hyde Lane, coming off A12 verges, some briefly settling on Garlic Mustard (photo attached). Rob Smith
Woodston area, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL181975) A speckled Wood by the disused railway by Belsize Avenue, Woodston, Peterborough, 11.45 am. Trevor Wilson

21st April - Vince Lea has sent in the following comments in response to David Newland's request for help on the Green Hairstreak photo taken on 20th April at Devil's Dyke:
I think the plant is hedge bedstraw (not a recognised foodplant) and I think the 'egg' is actually whatever it is that butterflies excrete (Ed- think this is called meconium). Eggs are placed more specifically on the plant with the abdomen curved into position before the egg is released.

Monday 20th April
Thanks to David Newland for sending in the following with photo of an egg laying Green Hairstreak:
Devil's Dyke, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL616616) I have been to Devil's Dyke twice this year, on 15 April and today. On 15th, I bumped into Sharon Hearle and today into Jack Harrison from Gt Chishill. It was fine on both visits, although initially cool this morning (13C). I had no definite sightings of Green Hairstreaks on 15 April although one possible. This morning I was looking along the bank of the eastern section from 11:45 to about 1pm and this time saw several from about 12:30 onwards when the temperature had risen towards 19C. On looking at my photos, I hadn't realised until now that one was egg-laying (see photo attached). Can anyone help in identifying the foodplant please? I'm sure I should know but didn't look carefully enough at the time. Thanks! David Newland

. . . and thanks also to Jack Harrison for this follow-up:
To add to David's report above, in total eleven species seen: Brimstone, Small White, GV White, Large White, Orange-tip, Peacock, Comma, Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue & Green Hairstreak.
Small White, GV White, Brimstone, Orange Tip were in double figures. The others no more than five or six individuals at most. Jack Harrison

Devil's Dyke, Reach end (Grid ref:TL574653) I walked along the Devil's Dyke this morning from Reach to the B1102. There were at least 6 Green Hairstreaks on a bush just before the Burwell Cutting. In the cutting itself there were no hairstreaks visible but plenty of day-flying moths. (2 photos attached) Charles Nicol

Woodston area, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL181975) An Orange-tip. Trevor Wilson
Friday Wood (Grid ref:TL986209) A couple of hours this morning: 3 Brimstones, 7 Green-veined Whites, 1 Large White, 1 Orange-tip, 2 Commas, 2 Peacocks and 5 Speckled Woods. Martin Peers
Ingrebourne CP (Grid ref:TQ524831) On the road side, near Ingrebourne CP A1306 at mid-day, 10+ Green-veined White, 4 Peacocks, 6 Speckled Wood, 6 Orange-tips, a few Small Whites, & 1 Holly Blue (6 photos attached). Jan Edmunds

Sunday 19th April
Ingrebourne CP (Grid ref:TQ524831) On the road side near Ingrebourne CP at mid-day, we saw a few each of Green-veined Whites, Small Whites, Speckled Woods, Orange-tips & a Red Admiral.
Then at Thorndon Park (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TQ605914) we saw a few Peacocks, Commas, Orange-tips, Small Whites, Speckled Wood & a Large White (2 photos attached). Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Roman Road, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL508534) Roughly midway between the Babraham Road and Wandlebury public footpaths; Brimstone (2), Green-veined White (5/6), Orange Tip (male), Peacock (2), Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Speckled Wood (3). Kathryn Dawson
Willow Park, Langdon Hills (Grid ref:TQ688872) 2 hour walk in afternoon; 40+ Peacock; 10 Comma; 2 Large White; 5 Green-veined white; 2 Small White; 6 Speckled Wood & 4 Orange Tip (2M;2F). (several photos attached). Ian Phillips
Tort Hill, Sawtry (Grid ref:TL173840) Sunny / Breezy, 14 degrees, 3pm-4pm. 47 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White and 1 Green-veined White. Rosalyn Payne & Phil Bromley
Ramsey Marsh, Essex (Grid ref:TL938058) Transect walk along sea wall, 11.30, 14C, F4 NE breeze. Peacock 2, Green-veined White 5 and Orange Tip 2 (photos attached). and then to
Bradwell Power Station (Grid ref:TM003090) Nature trail & sea wall; Peacock 4, Small Tortoiseshell 3 & numerous GV White. Rob Smith
Valentine's Park, Ilford (Grid ref:TQ436877) At about 1 pm, 3 Speckled Woods and 2 (at least) Small White. Kathleen Black

Saturday 18th April
RSPB Rainham Marshes (Grid ref:TQ545789) 11.30 walk along sea wall, both sides. Sunny int, F3 north-east breeze. Large White 2, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Green-veined White 40 (good ID on most of these), Small White 1, Peacock 28. Small Torts & Large Whites nectaring on Dandelion near RSPB building. Numerous GV Whites at Wennington mound end and along front of sea wall. Cuckooflower looks abundant, but none flowering yet. Rob Smith
Jermaines Wood, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 1.30pm walk ? good sunshine. Brimstone 1 (male), Peacock 7, Comma 1, GV White 4 and Speckled Wood 11. Rob Smith
Several tetrads E of Royston We are pleased to report 11 species of butterfly on the wing today in several tetrads in TL44, including one Painted Lady south of Foxton in TL4147 (photo attached). Yali Xue & Chris Tyler-Smith
Fleam Dyke (Grid ref:TL544545) On the Fulbourn to A14 section: My first Green Hairstreak of the year on the Dyke. Earlier in the morning mostly Green Veined White and Brimstone, a single Large White with a Peacock every 80 yards or so. As it warmed-up, a few male Orange Tips with 3 Holly Blue and a similar number of Speckled wood in the bottom of the Dyke. The Green Hairstreak were in 2 distinct places - where the Dyke crosses the railway and just beyond the yew tree (on the same bush as last year, Charles). On the way back - lots more GV Whites, Peacock and Brimstone - and a Small Tortoiseshell, with at least 6 more on the track back into Fulbourn. (several photos attached). Nick Ballard
Cherry Orchard CP, Roach Valley, near Rochford (Grid ref:TQ843898) At least 5 Orange Tips dancing in the sunshine this morning , and a mating pair as well. One of the defining sights of spring for me! Plenty of Speckled Woods around, a few Large and Small Whites and a dozen of so Peacocks but no other vanessids. Another year with no Small Tortoiseshells? Jeff Delve.
Maldon Promenade Park (Grid ref:TL861063) We saw our first Orange-tip in Delph ditch, Maldon Prom park this afternoon. Russ Neave & John Buchanan
Rushy Mead (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TL497197) Between 1440-1510; 1M Brimstone, 1M Orange Tip, 1 Peacock & 1 Speckled Wood and then onto nearby Sawbridgeworth Marsh (EWT Reserve) (Grid ref:TL493158) 1F Brimstone, 3 Small White, 5 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoishell, 1 Comma & 1 Speckled Wood. Also Large and Green-veined White seen in Sawbrigeworth, making nine species of Butterfly on the wing today. Mike Harris
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) Late afternoon: Several Peacock nectaring on Laurel, plus the odd Brimstone, Speckled Wood & Green Veined White with one Large White. (3 photos attached). Nick Ballard

Wednesday 15th April
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 1.40pm transect walk in good/hazy sunshine. 16C, F4 wind in parts. 2 Brimstone (pair), 2 Orange-tip (male), 17 Peacock, 8 Comma and 16 Speckled Wood. Surprisingly no other whites this time, but a few GV Whites seen elsewhere. My interest was sparked by the fleeting Orange-tip at the end of its season last Summer, so very pleased to get first photos of a static one at last, on way home. I can relax now (also fluky photo of a female Brimstone in flight, and a Peacock - photos attached) Rob Smith
Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) On transect: Brimstone 4, Small White 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 2 & Speckled Wood 3. Tony Roberts
River Stort (near Bishop's Stortford) (Grid ref:TL497194) My first Holly Blue of the season, together with 3+ Peacocks and 2 Orange-tips seen along a mile stretch of the (Herts!) river bank. Tony Moverley
Elmdon, northwest Essex (Grid ref:TL473396) Orange-tip, male. Not the first branch report of the year I know, but a personal first for 2009 and indeed, in over 60 years butterflying, my earliest ever! Jack Harrison
Black Notley (Grid ref:TL771204) 2 male Orange-tips, 2 Small White and 1 Green Veined White. seen in our garden today. Val & Carl Blamire
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) Lunchtime today: 19C with quite strong E breeze and hazy sun: A Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Small Whites. Nick Ballard
Woodston area of Peterborough (Grid ref:TL186579) Two Large Whtes reported by Trevor Wilson

Tuesday 14th April
In various fields south of Barton (Grid ref:TL4054), 4 Small White, 2 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Speckled Wood. Tony Roberts

Monday 13th April
Fleam, Dyke, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL537555) 2 Small Tortoiseshells & 1 Peacock while at
Eversden Wood (Grid ref:TL345531) 10 Peacocks & 1 Comma. Kathryn Dawson
Westfield Farm, Comberton (Grid ref:TL380550) 1 Comma reported by Tony Roberts
Tort Hill, Sawtry (Grid ref:TL173840) Sunny, 14 degrees, 1pm-2pm. 39 Small Tortoishell, 3 Peacock, 2 Small White, 4 Brimstone, 2 Large White and 1 Green-veined White. (photos attached) Rosalyn Payne & Phil Bromley
Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) 2 Green Veined White and a Small White as some patchy sun came through the mist after 5pm. (2 photos attached) Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) In the afternoon, when the sun finally came out, several Peacock, a couple of Small Tortoiseshell and a number of Whites - at least 5 Small White with a couple each of Large (m & f) and Green Veined White and my first Speckled Wood of the year. (All it needs is some SUN, please!). (4 photos attached) Nick Ballard

Great Chishill (Grid ref:TL427393) Jack Harrison writes in with the following:
First sightings in and around this highest place in our two counties (140 metres+ above sea level) are usually later than on lower ground. Finally, 13th April, Green-veined White and Speckled Wood (one male of each). Peacocks remain in excellent numbers with a sighting every 70-100 metres.

Tednambury Marsh, near Bishop's Stortford (Grid ref:TL491171) A Green-veined White flying in the drizzle; reported by Mike Harris; while at Stansted Airport Lagoons (Grid ref:TL550216) 2 Peacocks nectaring on Blackthorn blossom late afternoon.

Saturday 11th April
Doggetts Wildlife Area, Rochford (Grid ref:TQ878914) During a period of a little hazy sunshine in the early afternoon, noted Peacock (6), Comma (3), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Speckled Wood and Small White (one of each). Abundant stinging nettles here, so should be good for the Vanessids later in the season. Graham Bailey
Sunnymead Farm (near Wivenhoe) (Grid ref:TM055220) First male Orange-tip today. Moira Jackson

Friday 10th April
Thanks to Keith Heaven (of Kent Branch of Butterfly Conservation) for sending in this interesting report:
It is difficult to know how to record the occurrence of butterflies across 4 separate counties. But, on Good Friday while driving in tiresome, heavy Easter traffic, I was able to brighten the journey by counting the number of Brimstones along the hedgerows along the A11. From just south of the Essex border, driving North, I counted 48 Brimstones all the way past Newmarket, through Thetford Forest to the edge of Norwich. All but one were males. In prime habitat( continuous hedgerows,even when the hedges just seemed to consist of planted hawthorn and little else) they were seen at very regular intervals of around 40 to 50 yards. They occurred at lower densities when passing through woodland, and, of course, they were almost absent when there were open fields with no hedgerows at all. It was a great introduction to the butterfly year. I only hope the weather stays kind enough to produce similar figures in other species. Keith Heaven

Shudy Camps (Grid ref:TL615450) A Brimstone reported by Mark Hows.
Fleam Dyke (Grid ref:TL549542) Took the chance this morning: Partial sun/overcast, 14C, wind S 1-2. 24 butterflies: 6 Brimstone (2f), 4 GV White, 3 Small Tortoiseshell and 11 Peacock. Outside Transect: Several more Brimstone (one female ovipositing) and Peacocks and a female Orange-tip. (3 photos attached) Nick Ballard
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common, near Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) 10am transect walk in brief sunshine. 1 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 8 Peacock, 3 Comma and 4 Speckled Wood (2 pairs in same place).
Then in clearing between Bridge Wood & M25 (TQ573908) ? 8 Peacock, 2 Comma and 1 Green-veined White in 100-yards (11.30, faint sunshine). Photo attached Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) This morning at 10am in the sun: 1 Peacock, 2 Green Veined White and 2 Brimstone (1f). (2 photos attached) Nick Ballard

Wednesday 8th April
Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) On Transect: Peacock 1. Tony Roberts
Ingatestone (Grid ref:TL651001) 1 male Orange-tip ? flew very close, then very distant in an instant, by A12 foot tunnel. Rob Smith

Tuesday 7th April
Great Totham, Essex (Grid ref:TL855115) An early Holly Blue reported by Glyn Evans (on the EssexBirders Yahoo! forum)
Buttsbury, Essex (Grid ref:TQ660980) 1 Comma, 1 Peacock and pleased to see a pair of Small Tortoiseshells on banks of River Wid; first of year. (Photo attached) Rob Smith
Byron's Pool LNR (Grid ref:TL438549) Small Tortoiseshell, rather worn, feeding on Blackthorn blossom. (Photo attached) Keith Edkins

Sunday 5th April
Wheatley Wood (WT Reserve), near Rayleigh (Grid ref:TQ784912) A walk for about an hour and a half from 15.00 around this Woodland Trust property, the sun becoming very hazy towards the end. Noted plenty of Peacocks (47), many nectaring on the abundant blackthorn blossom (see photo). Also Commas (16), Small Tortoiseshell (1) and my first Green-veined White of the year, a positive ID obtained when it rested for a few brief moments.
The localised Sloe Carpet moth is now on the wing, and I have recorded them in my garden close to the wood since the 30th March. The larvae feed on the sloe bushes that abound at this site. (Photos) Graham Bailey
Backwarden NR, Essex (Grid ref:TL780037) 2 Peacocks in trees (1 photo attached - will be added asap - Ed) while at Ramsey Marsh (Grid ref:TL938058) 2 Peacocks, a Small White and a Green Veined White. (2 photos attached). Rob Smith
Woodwalton Marsh (Grid ref:TL213810) I saw a male Orange-tip in the lane adjacent to the reserve. It flew briskly down the lane without stopping for a photo. Charles Nicol

Saturday 4th April
Sweyne Park, Rayleigh (Grid ref:TQ801921) A short walk this afternoon around the 'wild' park of Sweyne Park allowed sightings of Peacock (11), Comma (3), Speckled Wood (2), Small White (1) and male Brimstone (1). Managed to get a few photos. Graham Bailey
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) First transect walk: 3:10pm - 3:40pm Temp 15C, Wind 1-2, Sun 75%. 2 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and a Holly Blue (m) Outside transect: 3 more Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Brimstone(m). (Photos supplied). Nick Ballard
Hatfield Heath (Grid ref:TL524150) In a brief stop, 2 Brimstone (male) and 1 Green-veined White. Mike Harris
Ingrebourne CP (Grid ref:TQ524831) We went for an 1 1/2 hours walk at 1.30pm. Nice and sunny. We saw 11 Small White, 2 Large White, 6 Peacocks, 3 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Green-veined White (pair mating ) (photos attached). When we got home ( Rainham), we had a Red Admiral in the back garden. Jan Edmunds & Dave Jones
Great Chishill (Grid ref:TL425396) Over period of 45 minutes; Peacock 10+, Small Tortoiseshell 2 males 1 female, Comma 2, Brimstone 2 males 1 female, Red Admiral NOT CONFIRMED but two possible sightings in flight. Picture taken on a very popular Cherry Plum. Jack Harrison

Thursday 2nd April
Fleam Dyke (Grid ref:TL549542) This afternoon the temperature was similar to yesterday but the sunshine was unbroken. Results were as follows: Peacock 4, Brimstone 4, Small tortoiseshell 2, Comma 1 & Small white 1. Not too bad for the first week, particularly on Fleam Dyke, where after extensive mowing and further scrub clearance, the landscape is rather barren. Lovely violets though. Roger Lemon
Huntingdon Road, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL432602) My first Speckled Wood butterfly of the year today - very early! Richard Thomas
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) On my way from lunch, as the sun came out, at least 4 Peacock 2 Small Tortoiseshells, an unidentified White (Small most likely) and my first Green Veined White and Holly Blue of the season. (Typically no camera!) Nick Ballard
Fordham, 5km N of Newmarket (Grid ref:TL625705) A Brimstone reported by Mark Hows

Wednesday 1st April
The Roman Road (SE of Cambridge) (Grid ref:TL528519) Lovely weather for the start of the season. I did the Roman Road count today. After a sunny morning, there was quite a bit of cloud when I did the count in the early afternoon but the temperature stayed up at around 15C. I recorded 14 butterflies of 4 species as follows:

Reported by Roger Lemon

Orwell Clunch Pit (Grid ref:TL365506) First transect walk of the year - Brimstone 6 & Small Tortoiseshell 1. Tony Roberts
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex (Grid ref:TQ861871) During a short walk along the Prittlewell Brook watercourse, I noted 6 Commas, 2 Peacocks, 2 Small Whites and a Small Tortoiseshell, the last mentioned being my first for the year. Graham Bailey
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) Several Peacock, 3 Brimstone, at least 6 Small Tortoiseshell (one looked like ovipositing on young nettles), 2 Peacock and an unidentified White (probably Small). (Photos attached - noticeable colour difference in the 2 Comma specimens). Nick Ballard
Jermaines Wood, Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ571907) First Small White of Spring at bottom edge of woods, on a plastic bag! (photo attached). Others on transect walk: 9 Comma, 13 Peacock. Then saw Brimstone and 3 more Small Whites on way home! I?m new to this, but there seems to be something strange happening nationwide with all the whites this year, considering cold Winter. Rob Smith

March 2009

Tuesday 31st March
Great Chishill (Grid ref:TL425390) Small White at 142 metres above sea level, bright weather but cloudy. 13 degs C. One male. This is my first ever sighting of a Small White in March in over 60 years butterflying. This species adds to the four common hibernators already seen this March. Jack Harrison

Monday 30th March
Fairfield, Ingatestone (Grid ref:TQ652995) Lunchtime ? 1 Brimstone flying along hedge near pond. Rob Smith

Sunday 29th March
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) A Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and a Large White, my first of the year (2 photos attached) while at D'Engaynes Fen (Grid ref:TL515593) this afternoon, 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Also a pair of March Harriers over Wilbraham Fen. Nick Ballard

Sunday 22nd March
Tesco, Cherry Hinton (Grid ref:TL496565) A Brimstone reported by Mark Hows
Botanic Gardens, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL455571) 4 Comma, 4 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Brimstone (3 photos attached). Jonathan Stephens
Langdon Lake & Meadows, near Basildon (Grid ref:TQ660878) While on a Branch conservation work party, 1 Peacock, 1 Brimstone (female), 1 Small White and an Early Thorn were seen at various times during the day. Tony Moverley and other volunteers

Saturday 21st March
Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ574910) On a walk from Jacksons Wood, through Jermains Wood to Tylers Common, 8 Commas and 3 Peacocks. No other species this spring. I'm getting to know where each individual hangs out! (2 photos attached). Rob Smith
Telegraph Field, Barton (Grid ref:TL408545) A Brimstone seen here by Tony Roberts who also reports one in nearby Tinkers Field; while in Holt Field (TL403544), he saw 1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock, 1 Small tortoiseshell & 1 Comma.
Cockway Lane, Spaldwick (Grid ref:TL122726) In the afternoon, 5 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Peacocks & 5 Commas. Some of the Small Tortoiseshells were on catkins, as was one of the Peacocks (3 photos attached). Charles Nicol
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) 3 Commas, glowing orange in the afternoon sun, plus 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock and the first Red Admiral I've seen there this year (4 photos attached). Nick Ballard

Friday 20th March
Comberton Alltments (Grid ref:TL385565) Around 1:15pm, a Comma basking in the sun on the allotment. Louise Bacon

Thursday 19th March
Roman Road, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL507535) A rather tatty Small Tortoiseshell on the Roman Road just along from the Babraham Road public footpath. Kathryn Dawson

Wednesday 18th March
Huntingdon Road, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL432602) Green-veined White together with Comma, Small Tort, Peacock, Brimstone. Richard Thomas
Foxton, Cambs (Grid ref:TL414480) A male Brimstone - Guy Manners
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) Beautiful sunny calm day. A quick circuit at lunctime revealed 3 Commas and 2 Peacocks, setting up territories and battling for air-space, and my first Small White of the year. Nick Ballard
Ingrebourne CP (Grid ref:TQ524831) 4 Comma's, 3 Peacocks & 3 Small Tortoiseshell - was very hot in the sun. Also saw a Red Admiral in Tesco's rainham car park (photos attached). Janet Edmunds

Monday 16th March
Tony Roberts sends us the following:
Comberton (Grid ref:TL388563) 1 Peacock in the garden.
Barton, Holt Field (Grid ref:TL403544) 1 Small White.
Barton, Telegraph Field (Grid ref:TL408545) 1 Brimstone.
Barton, Tinkers Field (Grid ref:TL407548) 2 Brimstone & 1 Peacock.

Melbourn, Cambs (Grid ref:TL385443) A Brimstone seen by Guy Manners
Orton Wistow, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL150971) A Red Admiral a Brimstone and two Small Tortoiseshells. Trevor Wilson
Thundersley Glen, near Benfleet (Grid ref:TQ787875) Seen today at 1pm in near perfect early Spring conditions : Seven Peacock (5 male 2 female) Five Comma (1 Hutchinsoni type surprisingly) and two Brimstone (both male). David Chandler (Chairman BC Herts & Middx branch)
This afternoon at Stirtloe (Grid ref: TL196666), I saw a Brimstone, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, a Peacock & a Comma. At Belton's Hill (Grid ref: TL126739) I saw a Peacock, 2 Commas & 2 Small Tortoiseshells. At Spaldwick Long Lane (Grid ref: TL128724) I saw 3 Commas - one landed on me (photos attached). Charles Nicol
Shut Heath Wood (EWT Reserve) Great Totham (Grid ref:TL853133) 2 Peacocks & 2 Brimstones. Bruce Brown
Wheatley Wood (WT Reserve), near Rayleigh (Grid ref:TQ784912) A walk in the early afternoon gave a count of 25 Peacocks, 17 Commas, 3-4 male Brimstones and a Small White. Graham Bailey
Clayhythe (Grid ref:TL496636) 4 Commas basking then flying together, 2 male Brimstones, 2 Peacocks and 1 Small tortoiseshell in the grounds of a plant nursery. Kathleen Rosewarne and Ian Barton
Tort Hill & adjacent fields, Sawtry (Grid ref:TL173840) Sunny & 14C. 8 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Comma, 1 Peacock & 1 Brimstone. It looks likely that a good number of the Small Tortoiseshells seen at the end of last summer have made it through the winter. Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne
Roman Road, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL504535) 3 Brimstones, 2 Commas, 1 Peacock on the footpath (field side) from the Roman Road, Fulbourn towards Wandlebury. Kathryn Dawson
Nick Ballard reports the usual suspects of Comma, Peacock, Brimstone - and a couple of fresh Small Tortoiseshells (photo attached) at Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) over lunchtime.

Sunday 15th March
Melbourn, Cambs (Grid ref:TL384445) 2 male Brimstone reported by Guy Manners
Rochford, Essex (Grid ref:TQ875905) First Red Admiral of the year locally flew over my front garden this morning. Steve Arlow

Forest Road, Barkingside (Grid ref:TQ452907) About noon, a Red Admiral flying among tree blossom. Kathleen Black
Chelmsford (Grid ref:TL701090) 1 Peacock & 4 Small Tortoiseshell in garden. Bruce Brown
Monks Wood (Grid ref:TL195798) 2 Comma, a pair of Brimstone and 4 male Brimstone mainly on the North/South rides. Rosalyn Payne, Phil Bromley

Graham Bailey has kindly send in the following report:
Rayleigh, Essex. During a twenty or so minute walk to the local shop and back late morning, I noted a male Brimstone, a 'white' species (probably Small White), and also a Speckled Wood, all in front gardens of private houses - the Speckled Wood is particularly early as I've never seen them before the very end of March.
Sweyne Park, Rayleigh (Grid ref:TQ801921) From about 2.30 pm, noted 8 Peacocks and a Comma in about a thirty minute walk around the site.

Jack Harrison reports:
Finally broken my duck for the year. Location the Roman Road south of Cambridge (by the golf course) (Grid ref:TL494544). Some twenty Brimstones seen in a hour, doubtless many repeat sightings. Also two Commas totally disinterested in one another. Weather sunshine with temperature circa 13?C.
I saw this Brimstone flying (photo attached) and then land on Ivy. It then rested for 30 minutes. (I didn't of course watch it solidly for all that time but continued my walk and it was still there on my return). I am embarrassed to say that I'm not sure what sex it is. I certainly saw plenty of definite males during my hour long walk but this one seemed much whiter in flight, so maybe a female. Photo colours are of little help. The prolonged rest was perhaps more characteristic of a female as during the time it was resting, plenty of obvious males were still active, so it wasn't a case of lower temperature making it inactive for long period.
Then it suddenly dropped some 20 centimetres on to the stem and began quivering its forewings. Note in this second picture how the forewings are far more exposed than in the resting shot. After a couple of minutes quivering (warming up I presume) off it flew.
Jacks later adds:
Roman Road (near Gogs golf course) (Grid ref:TL494544) A Comma - (photo attached - Wide angle shot to show typical type of location where Commas bask in the spring).

Dimmock's Cote, Cambs (Grid ref:TL536720) 1 male Brimstone seen by Kathleen Rosewarne and Ian Barton
Great Warley (Grid ref:TQ574910) In the field adjacent Jacksons Wood - a Peacock fought off Comma and then another Peacock. Then 2 further Commas and 2 Peacocks seen in and around nearby Jermains Wood. Notable variation in size, both species (photos attached). Rob Smith
Coleridge Road, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL469575) One Brimstone flying, 11am on a warm sunny morning; & at Gwydir Street (TL462583)a Peacock (photo attached) and a Brimstone. Keith Edkins
South Woodham Ferrers (Grid ref:TQ805971) 1 Comma & 1 Brimstone in our garden. Also 2 Peacock at Bushy Hill (TQ813986) - Sunny & 13C. Chris Rawlings
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) This morning and afternoon - at least 4 Commas, 2 Peacocks, 3 Brimstone (1 f) and 1 Small Tortoiseshell (photos attached). Nick Ballard

Tony Roberts reports 2 Brimstone in his garden at Comberton (TL388563) and a Small White the previous day.

Saturday 14th March
Chelmsford (Grid ref:TL701090) 1 Small White in garden. Brice Brown
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) One more Comma this morning. Nick Ballard

Friday 13th March
Dullingham Station, near Newmarket (Grid ref:TL617585) One male Brimstone along the down platform at midday. Simon Rasch

Thursday 12th March
Stanground, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL207964) A Brimstone reported by Trevor Wilson

Wednesday 11th March
Wheatley Wood (WT Reserve), near Rayleigh (Grid ref:TQ784912) Found one Comma basking in a sheltered corner. A bit too breezy around the rest of the site to see anything else. Graham Bailey
Mill Road cemetery, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL460582) My first sighting of the year for the Cemetery - 1 Comma sunning on ivy at lunchtime. (For comparison, the first butterfly last year, also a Comma, was on 27th March). Nick Ballard

Friday 6th March
Orton Wistow area, Peterborough (Grid ref:TL150971) A Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock - my first sightings of the year. Trevor Wilson
Guy Manners reports a probable Small Tortoiseshell at Foxton, Cambs (Grid ref:TL414480)

Monday 2nd March
Bovingdon, Essex (Grid ref:TL749263) Small Tortoiseshell at 1.30 this afternoon. My first butterfly of the year. Vince Lea
Ovington, Essex (Grid ref:TL765425) A Peacock reported by Martin Peers.
Foxton, Cambs (Grid ref:TL420482) Rather surprised to have a Small Tortoiseshell land in front of me briefly today, then flit over the hedge, as the cloud covered the sun. Guy Manners
Stirtloe (Grid ref:TL206665) A Peacock & a Brimstone butterfly at midday (photos attached). Charles Nicol

February 2009

Friday 27th February
Stretham, Cambs (Grid ref:TL515745) Small Tortoiseshell sunning itself on our purpose built chalk bank in morning. Ian Barton
Barkingside, Ilford (Grid ref:TQ445902) First butterfly of the year, a Red Admiral searching for nectar plants. Kathleen Black
Lodge Farm, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL512534) Our first Small Tortoiseshell - a bit tatty out of hibernation, but on the wing in the spring sunshine; plus two Brimstones. Kathryn Dawson
Barton (Grid ref:TL408553) A Brimstone on the recreation ground at 11.45 today. Louise Bacon

Saturday 21st February
Hockley Woods (Grid ref:TQ8392) My first butterflies of the year in a brief visit to Hockley Woods just to check out if any coppicing had been done to provide new habitat for the Heath Fritillaries. Firstly noted a male Brimstone very active in the sunshine not far from the car park, but unable to get a photo. About ten minutes later I found a Comma basking along a sunny ride, and managed to obtain several photos. Hope this bodes well! Already had a March moth and a Shoulder Stripe to my garden actinic moth trap these past few nights, the latter especially very early. Graham Bailey
Chingford (Grid ref:TQ369929) Red Admiral flying around in the midday sun. Looked like the heat brought in out of hibernation. Bit tatty but flying OK. Keith Winch
Stirtloe (Grid ref:TL197667) 6 Peacock butterflies between 11 am & 1 pm today. They were enjoying the sunshine in spots sheltered from the wind. I am not sure if they had been hibernating or were recently hatched (2 photos attached). Charles Nicol

Wednesday 18th February
Lodge Farm, Fulbourn (Grid ref:TL512534) Red Admiral on the wing. The Small Tortoiseshells are still hibernating in the out-houses, but we're watching them closely. Kathryn & John Dawson

Thursday 12th February
Engine Farm, near Prickwillow, Cambs (Grid ref:TL615822) One Small Tortoiseshell fluttered up from long grass. Ian Barton

Saturday 7th February
Hemingford Grey, Cambs (Grid ref:TL292706) At 1345, a Small Tortoiseshell flying over my garden in the sun, although 6cms snow lying on the ground. Lynne Farrell

Thursday 5th February
Thanks to Catherine Millington for this interesting sighting:
Stukeley Meadows, Huntingdon (Grid ref:TL229726) At 5pm on 5th Feb 2009, whilst clearing snow from our driveway, a Peacock butterfly landed in front of me looking rather worse for wear. After a day spent in our kitchen by a sunny window (in our empty tadpole tank with a bit of ripe fruit for food) it was back to normal and was released in our garden today (7th).

January 2009

Tuesday 27th January
Botanical Gardens, Cambridge (Grid ref:TL453569) I saw a Red Admiral alongside the watercourse bordering the botanical gardens at the Junction of Brooklands Avenue and Trumpington Road. Quite early in the year but it was quite warm in the sun. Martin Horlock

Monday 26th January
Great Totham south, Essex (Grid ref:TL855115) A rather tatty Peacock butterfly seen outside the house by my wife. Bob Graves
Stanway Green, near Colchester (Grid ref:TL965234) Amazing today in the sunshine on the back window of the bungalow a pristine Red Admiral butterfly. Andrew Thompson

Saturday 17th January
Good Easter, Essex (Grid ref:TL6212) Had a Peacock flying near Good Easter yesterday. Poor thing. Brian Goodey
Heybridge GP, Essex (Grid ref:TL8608) 1 Peacock seen flying on the south side of the gravel pits. Terry Pankhurst

Sunday 11th January
Great Warley, Essex (Grid ref:TQ574910) Red Admiral sighted near to M25 footbridge, flying across field into Jackson's Wood at 1.30pm, just as sun had become hazy. Rob Smith

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