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 2011.

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

Click here to return to the current Sightings page.

First & Last 'Website' Sightings 2011

 Purple Emperor 1st July <-> 24th July Chalkhill Blue 26th June <-> 15th Sep
 DG Fritillary 15th June <-> 24th July White Admiral 14th June <-> 15th July
 SW Fritillary 14th June <-> 21st Aug Ringlet 7th June <-> 30th July
 Essex Skipper 4th June <-> 1st Sep Marbled White 4th June <-> 5th Aug
 Purple Hairstreak 31st May <-> 2nd Sep Small Skipper 2nd June <-> 7th Aug
 W-L Hairstreak 31st May <-> 5th Aug Black Hairstreak 25th May <-> 19th June
 Meadow Brown 22nd May <-> 9th Oct Heath Fritillary 20th May <-> 11th Sep
 Gatekeeper 13th May <-> 2nd Sep Large Skipper 10th May <-> 2nd Aug
 Clouded Yellow 9th May <-> 3rd Oct Common Blue 27th Apr <-> 2nd Oct
 Brown Argus 25th Apr <-> 16th Oct Small Heath 24th Apr <-> 25th Sep
 Small Copper 24th Apr <-> 22nd Oct Dingy Skipper 23rd Apr <-> 30th Apr
 Wall Brown 21st Apr <-> 2nd Oct Painted Lady 16th Apr <-> 17th Oct
 Grizzled Skipper 10th Apr <-> 21st June Green H'streak 8th Apr <-> 29th May
 Speckled Wood 6th Apr <-> 15th Oct G-V White 2nd Apr <-> 30th Sep
 Small White 24th Mar <-> 29th Oct Orange Tip 24th Mar <-> 3rd June
 Holly Blue 23rd Mar <-> 20th Oct Large White 22nd Mar <-> 25th Sep
 Camberwell Beauty 19th March, 12th July Small T'shell 11th Mar <-> 1st Oct
 Comma 11th Mar <-> 21st Oct Peacock 24th Feb <-> 13th Nov
 Brimstone 18th Jan <-> 12th Nov Red Admiral 13th Jan <-> 22nd Dec
Note: Some of these sightings were made at private sites with no public access
December 2011

Thursday 22nd December
Chatteris (TL38Y) Saw 2 Red Admirals today in Chatteris. Latest date I can recall seeing any species. Philip Todd

Wednesday 14th December
Girton, Cambs (TL425625) Red Admiral seen today in our garden (trying to find somewhere to settle and looking a bit lost!) - cloudy, 4 degrees C, breezy. Stephen & Alison Webb

November 2011

Friday 25th November
Mill Road, Cambridge (TL460579) 1:15pm - About 12C and sunny but with a breeze: one Red Admiral, flying around the shops fronts on Mill Road. Nick Ballard

Sunday 20th November
Barton Road Cambridge (TL4357) Still one Red Admiral on the cosmos flowers. Jeff Riley

Saturday 19th November
South Woodham Ferrers (TQ805971) 10.45am, 1 Red Admiral flying west across our south facing front garden. Temp 19.c in sheltered full sun, 12.c in shade. Chris Rawlings

Friday 18th November
St. Osyth (TM142159) Red Admiral between Clacton & St Osyth. My companion that day, Fred Vennell, had seen one the previous day in Clacton (TM1615). Simon Cox

Sunday 13th November
Barton Road Cambridge (TL4357) One Red Admiral basking on dahlia leaves. Jeff Riley
Linton (TL5646) 2 Red Admirals. Alex Petter
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) 10:30am - At least 2 Red Admiral on ivy and one later basking on a path (photos attached). Nick Ballard
Hornchurch (TQ515840) At 1pm a red admiral in very good condition, taking in the warmth of the sunshine in our garden (photo attached). Janet Edmunds & Dave Jones
Peacock, Waresley-Gransden Wood (TL2655). Louise Bacon

Saturday 12th November
Brimstone, Hardwick Wood, (TL3557). Vince Lea, Louise Bacon
Red Admiral, Siver-Y moth, Foxton, (TL4148). Guy Manners

Sunday 6th November
Barton Road, Cambridge (TL4357) One Red Admiral feeding on rotting pears and cosmos flowers. Jeff Riley

Friday 4th November
Sturton Street, Cambridge (TL463582) Rain stopped, sun came out, 17°C. One Red Admiral flying. Keith Edkins

Thursday 3rd November
West Bergholt (TL9527) A Red Admiral flew over our son’s garden today. Simon & Pat Cox

Wednesday 2nd November
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) 2 Red Admirals seen early pm: 1, rather worn and faded, by the Visitor Centre and later a different individual near the Nursery. Colin Jupp

Tuesday 1st November
Barton Road, Cambridge (TL4357) One Red Admiral on Cosmos flowers. Jeff Riley
Harlow Garden Centre, Essex (TL4706) In the afternoon sunshine, 3 Red Admirals nectaring on ivy, plus another flying nearby. Mark Bunch

October 2011

Saturday 29th October
An afternoon ramble around several areas of the Langdon Hills on a mostly breezy and fairly cloudy day, but with some occasional hazy sunshine. No butterflies seen in Willow Park, but walking down the bridleway that runs the length of the western end of Northlands Wood (TQ692856) I noted a pristine Small White (photo attached) nectaring on a patch of flowering bramble blossom (in late October!). Nothing else seen due to lack of sun. Graham Bailey
Rainham (TQ515840) A Red Admiral sunning itself in our garden (photo attached). Janet Edmund & Dave Jones

Friday 28th October
Bury farm, Stapleford (TL477515) A Small White, with a Red Admiral. Possibly the latest Small White I've ever had? Louise Bacon

Sunday 23rd October
Great Warley (TQ582907) Sunny with a moderate SE breeze. At 2.30pm 2 Red Admirals nectaring on ivy flowers at the sheltered southern end of Dark Lane. Another Red Admiral flew SW over Warley Road late afternoon. The birding highlight was a Firecrest (a personal favourite) in nearby Warley Place EWT reserve. Colin Jupp
Sleaford Street, Cambridge (TL465583) 1 Red Admiral flying. Keith Edkins

Saturday 22nd October
Little Warley Common (TQ607905) 1pm (sunny, 13C F3SE) - Small Copper 2. One of which was ovipositing on Sheep's Sorrel. She concentrated on a small area of very short sward in a open area of the common. An ovum can just be made out on the upper side of the leaf in the second shot (2 photos attached). Rob Smith

Friday 21st October
John Weston EWT (TM2624) Red Admiral & Small White this morning. Simon & Pat Cox
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden at 3pm, sunny, 15 deg, breezy. Two Red Admirals and a Comma, all on Ivy blossom. Colin Davis

Thursday 20th October
Ingatestone (TQ650995) Cool, but the constant sunshine was enough to tempt out a Peacock which flew to the base of the churchyard wall to bask with its wings closed. It looked in good condition. Rob Smith
Fulbourn Fen (TL526557) Holly blue today at 12.30 on the south side of the hedge that runs along the south side of nature reserve. Also couple of Red Admirals seen. James Smith

Tuesday 18th October
Holland Haven CP (TM209169) Small Copper by the entrance while at:
St Osyth (TM144159 ) a Red Admiral in our garden. Simon Cox

Monday 17th October
Collier Row, Romford (TQ509921) Mid- morning - Painted Lady (surprisingly, my only one this year!) and a Red Admiral at allotment site. Ian Phillips
Colne Point (TM093135) Red Admiral along the beach. Simon Cox

Sunday 16th October
Stour Wood RSPB (TM225325) A Brown Argus on the sand/gravel sea wall amongst light vegetation, still fairly fresh and active. Rick Vonk
John Weston EWT (TM2624) Comma plus 4 Red Admirals at the top of the track leading down to the reserve from Walton Hall and 2 more seen by Glen Moore somewhere on The Naze headland. In the afternoon, a Small White at East Mersea (TM056147). Simon Cox
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) Sunday morning: 5 Red Admiral on one flowering ivy bush, plus at least another 2 elsewhere in the cemetery. Nick Ballard
Powershall, Witham (TL799152) Over the course of one hour, 5 Red Admirals (3 singles, then 2 together) all flying south over farm reservoir. David Gomer.
Wood Walton Farm (TL2181) Red Admiral 1 & Comma 1. Rosalyn Payne & Phil Bromley

Saturday 15th October
Thundersley (TQ802876) A Painted Lady in the garden. Don Down
Warmington area (Cambs/Northants border) (TL0892) Lots of Red Admirals and a single Small Copper and Vapourer on the wing today. Brian Stone
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) A total of 16 Red Admirals seen during the afternoon including 9 flying SW on passage and 7 on or near flowering ivy in sun traps in the Lily Pond and Round Pond area. Also 1 Speckled Wood and a White sp (probably Small), plus 9 Common Darters, 1 Migrant Hawker and a Grass Snake. On returning home to my front garden at Harold Hill (TQ548926) another Red Admiral was nectaring on the Buddleia (small late flush of flowers). Colin Jupp
Fairlop Waters CP (TQ460905) 6+ Red Admirals flew SSW early afternoon, 2 Small White and 2 Speckled Wood. Also at least 12 Common Darters and 1 Migrant Hawker. Alan Bell
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) Saturday morning: 2 Red Admiral - on a later bike-ride east of Cambridge, another 6 or 7 seen flying south...Nick Ballard

Friday 14th October
Holland Haven CP (TM2117) Speckled Wood this am. Simon Cox
Peterborough (TL1793) At last some sunshine! Orton Brick Pit produced Red Admiral (2), Peacock (1), Small White (5). David Withrington
Red Admiral, Newton-Foxton (TL4248) footpath (by Newton Hall) about 16:35, flying around hedge at about 2 m. Guy Manners
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 2 Red Admiral and 2 Speckled Wood. Colin Jupp

Thursday 13th October
John Weston EWT (TM264246) Speckled Wood. Simon Cox

Wednesday 12th October
Buckden (TL193671) I saw a Hummingbird Hawkmoth flying around gardens at 11:45 this morning. Charles Nicol.
Colne Point (TM1013) Red Admiral this morning along the access road. Simon Cox

Tuesday 11th October
Still several Red Admirals about: today singles at Old Hall Marshes RSPB (TL9512) & Abberton Reservoir (TL9618) & yesterday 2 at Holland Haven CP (TM2117) & 1 in our garden (TM144159). Simon Cox

Sunday 9th October
Afternoon ramble around Langdon Hills Country Park (TQ6985) close to One Tree Hill in mostly warm hazy sun, but with strong westerly breeze. Near the foot of Summerhouse Field (TQ697858) noted two meadow browns, speckled wood and a red admiral and also a silver Y moth. A scrutiny of the neighbouring Northlands Wood (TQ692856) revealed three more speckled woods and another red admiral. A little further to the east and a walk through part of Johnson field (TQ701863) proved to be an ideal location for a Small Copper, here fairly sheltered by some dense woodland (4 photos attached). Graham Bailey
Terling (TL765148) 1 Speckled Wood trying to shelter from wind! David Gomer

Saturday 8th October
Foxton (TL4148) Red Admiral mid afternoon today in the drizzle! Presumed disturbed from roosting somewhere in neighbour's garden or sheds.

Friday 7th October
Westcliff-on-Sea (TQ874871) Holly blue yesterday flying around ivy blossom along part of the Prittlewell Brook during a brief sunny interlude. Seen at about 13.30 and no other butterflies noted unfortunately. Graham Bailey

Wednesday 5th October
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Windy, with brief moments of sunshine: Small Copper 2 (1 fresh, 1 faded - arguably been at same spot for 3 weeks now) and Red Admiral 1. Rob Smith

Monday 3rd October
Cambourne (TL312590) Clouded Yellow, one by Redgrave Water. Sian Wiliams

Sunday 2nd October
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) In the hot weather early to mid afternoon, I had a good look in Hatter's Wood for Speckled Woods - a total of 15 counted (3 photos attached). Plus elsewhere in the park (a light SW breeze): 1 Painted Lady, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Small Copper and 2 more Speckled Wood. A Brown Hawker was an additional dragonfly species for the month. Later a brief look near Brentwood: Junction 28 M25 (TQ568922) only one butterfly seen, a Small White. Also a Green Sandpiper on a small scrape excavated during the widening work here. Colin Jupp
John Weston EWT (TM2624) 1 Small Copper, 1 Comma, 2 Red Admirals, 4 Speckled Woods (& a white sp). Simon & Pat Cox
Hadleigh CP: Benfleet Downs (TQ783857) Wall Brown 1, Small Copper 2, Meadow Brown 5, Comma 1 and Red Admiral 5. Andrew Woodhouse
Kings Dyke Nature Reserve (TL250974) After seeing Trevor Sawyer's report of a Common Blue yesterday we returned to King's Dyke and this time went to the nature reserve rather than the adjacent quarry. We headed for a Common Blue 'hot spot' where we saw 5 (3 male & 2 female) including a mating pair. Also seen were Small Copper 7, Brown Argus 2, Small White 3, Peacock 1 & Red Admiral 1 (2 photos attached). Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne
Gosfield (TL783295) 4pm sunny 27deg. A Small Copper in my paddock behind my garden (pic attached - its a touch noisy - hope its acceptable). This is one of relatively few butterflies seen in or adjacent to my garden this year, despite having a large south-facing ivy sprawling over a 6ft fence and covered with blossom for weeks, together with several Buddlehas and a miscellany of other butterfly-friendly plants. Colin Davis

Saturday 1st October
Potton Island: The Middleway (TQ963900) In the channels between the remote islands SW of Foulness – Essex Coast. Between noon & 4pm, High Tide. 28C. Bright sun. 4 Red Admirals in total flying strongly across the narrow tidal creeks whilst we wended by our way, by small boat, between the islands. A lone Red-necked Grebe was the birdy highlight. John Smart
Hadleigh CP: Benfleet Downs (TQ800858) Wall 4, Small Copper 2, Brown Argus 1, Meadow Brown 5 and Red Admiral 4. Andrew Woodhouse
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) Pm visit. 4 Red Admirals (3 were flying low SW) and 2 Speckled Wood. Odonata on the Perch Pond: 2 late male Small Red-eyed Damsels, 10 Common Darters, 1m Southern Hawker and 1m Migrant Hawker. Also 3 Grass Snakes here - 1 swimming and 2 basking together in the remarkable heat for early October. Colin Jupp
West Face Quarry, Kings Dyke (TL2498) While walking the high perimeter of the West Face Quarry between TL241980 & TL246981 we saw a good number of 3rd brood butterflies - Wall Brown 2, Small Copper 5 & Brown Argus 2. We also saw Peacock 3, Red Admiral 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Painted Lady 1 & Small White 2. Not bad for October. Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne
Over: Mitigation Site 1 (TL385688) Due to the crazy temperatures (29C+) this afternoon, I went for a walk at the Over Mitigation Site to see if there were any butterflies around. A quick loop along the bottom of the slope next to the Guided Busroute and back along the top yielded a "fly-by" peacock, a single Small Copper and a female Common Blue. The vegetation was as desiccated as I expected and the butterflies were really having to search around to find any nectar. Trevor Sawyer

September 2011

Friday 30th September
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 9.30-10.30am, sunny 18C, light breeze. Wall Brown – a slightly tatty male nectaring by the small elm stand near the sluice. Also a fresh Green-veined White, a Small White, Red Admiral, a pair of fighting Speckled Woods and 3 or 4 Vapourer moths. Rob Smith
Canvey Island Spent several hours on Canvey Island looking in various places for any Wall Browns in the hot sun.There were very few butterflies to be seen anywhere but I did eventually find what I was looking for. Along the sea wall at (TQ772823) one Wall Brown settled on the concrete for a positive ID and two more butterflies which could only have been Wall Browns were indulging in a mating dance twisting and turning arround each other above the wall. The settled on flew before I could bring the camera to bear. Apart from the odd White and a Peacock that was all I saw. Richard Bigg

Thursday 29th September
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 2 Red Admirals nectaring on ivy flowers and 2 Speckled Wood. Colin Jupp
Werrington (TF10R) I was thrilled to see 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths nectaring at lunchtime yesterday in garden in Werrington, Peterborough. Guy Pearce
Hainault Lodge NR (TQ475919) Speckled Wood 4 & Red Admiral 1. Rob Smith

Wednesday 28th September
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma and 2 Speckled Wood during a brief visit; also 5 Small Red-eyed Damselflies and a Southern Hawker. Colin Jupp
John Weston EWT (TM2624) 2 Speckled Woods, 2 Red Admirals & single Small Copper, Comma & Small White. Simon & Pat Cox
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Very warm this lunchtime: Small Copper 1 and Brimstone 1 (male). Rob Smith

Tuesday 27th September
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) A Small Copper of the blue-spotted form nectaring on Creeping Thistle at the eastern side of the Wildflower Meadow (TQ523921). Colin Jupp
Bells Hill, Vange (TQ708868) Male Wall Brown basking in the sunshine at the top of the meadow. Also six or so Red Admirals on ivy flowers, and occasional Small Whites. Rod Cole
Colne Point EWT (TM102124) I was delighted to see a Wall Brown, my first in Essex for 4 years. Picture included. Also for the record, Red Admiral, Small White and Small Copper. Bob Seago

Monday 26th September
Ilford (TQ442901) A Hummingbird Hawk in the garden today and previous 2 days, nectaring on Red Valerian, Sedum and Verbena bonariensis. Kathleen Black

Sunday 25th September
Devil's Dyke Transect (TL6161) Last transect walk of the year with 5 Small Heath, 1 Small White, 1 Small Copper, 1 Brown Argus and 1 Red Admiral. In Kirtling (TL6856) on one patch of ivy there were 4 Comma and 8 Red Admiral plus a Vapourer moth flying around. Sharon Hearle
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) What a lovely morning - Speckled Wood 3, Comma 1, Red Admiral 1, Small White 1 and a healthy-looking Large White flew past on the way back. Rob Smith

Saturday 24th September
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 1 Meadow Brown (& 7 Migrant Hawker). Mike Harris
Westfield, Comberton (TL377551) On transect today, the most surprising butterfly on the wing was a somewhat tatty Meadow Brown. Also saw a much fresher one on Sept 14th in Barton. Louise Bacon
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 10.40am, sunny 17C, light breeze. Wall Brown – a fresh female by the sluice, nectaring/basking. Also 2 Comma and then a Red Admiral by Mucking Church. The EWT warden has seen many Red Admirals on the churchyard ivy recently and quite a few Peacocks. Then onto:
Linford Pits (TQ664799) hazy cloud – 2 male Wall Brown on the earthern banks along Horford Road FP, 1 was very worn. Also Speckled Wood 1, Small Copper 1, whites 5 (including 1 Small White). Then onto:
Broom Hill, West Tilbury (TQ654778) breezier here: just a Small White and a Silver Y moth. Then onto:
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 2.40pm final transect along sea wall. 17C, thick cloud. Small Heath 1 and Speckled Wood 1 – amongst the gorse, the first here for 2 years. Rob Smith
Huntingdon High Street (TL240718) At 0945 this morning, I was delighted to see a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in Huntingdon High Street... it was enjoying a hanging basket outside Phones 4 U. Charles Nicol

Friday 23rd September
Leverington (TF4411) Gerard Fletcher (Norfolk BC member) reports that his brother-in-law Neil McLean saw firstly 13 then a further 18 (i.e. a total of 31) Red Admirals on bushes on his allotment, plus a single Comma.
Harlow Garden Centre, Essex (TL4706) 2 Comma, 1 Large and 1 Small White, a Red Admiral,a Speckled Wood and, to my surprise, a Painted Lady, feeding on Verbena bonariensis. Plus a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the brilliant sunshine. Mark Bunch

Thursday 22nd September
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Small Copper 1, Speckled Wood 1, and a Silver-Y moth. Rob Smith

Wednesday 21st September
Terling (TL765148) Sunny but very breezy. Woodland edge - 2 Comma & 4 Green-veined White. David Gomer

Monday 19th September
Terling (TL765148) Woodland edge and grass strip - 4 Green veined White, 2 Speckled Wood & 1 Red Admiral. David Gomer
Mill Green Common (TL637013) This lunchtime: Meadow Brown 1, Speckled Wood 1+. Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) This morning I counted at least 31 Red Admiral (photo attached), plus 2 Small and 2 Large White, 4 Comma, 5 Speckled Wood and 1 Small Copper. Nick Ballard

Sunday 18th September
West Bergholt (TL9627) Joe Firmin reports that his wife Linda counted no fewer than 25 Red Admirals on ivy bloom inside the village boundary as well as 2 Commas and a Painted Lady.
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 2.30pm transect, still, 16C, occ. sun. Small White 4, Small Heath 6. Also on the way back a Painted Lady flying maniacally as they seem to in cooler autumn conditions. Rob Smith

Saturday 17th September
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect, 16C, sny int & a few rain spots: Small White 1, Comma 1 & Speckled Wood 2. Rob Smith

Thursday 15th September
Devil's Dyke: Burwell Cutting (TL5765) A quick lunchtime-trip to see what was about. Very dry and lacking in fresh nectar sources. A transect-style 300m walk revealed 5 Small Heath, 3 female Chalkhill Blue, 2 Small Copper, 2 Small White, 2 Large White. Earlier in:
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) 9:00am. At least 20 Red Admirals, mostly basking and feeding on the ivy, plus a couple of Small White (photos attached). Nick Ballard
Danbury Common (TL783043) Warm sun and calm conditions but not many butterflies about. After my transect at Thrift yielded only 5 Speckled Wood I stopped off here but only saw Small Copper (2) (2 photos attached), Small Heath (2) and Meadow Brown (1). Richard Bigg

Wednesday 14th September
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ5479) At least 22 Red Admirals: 8 nectaring on ivy at the Cordite store scrub area, 12 nectaring on Sedum in the car park + 2 presumably on passage (low SW). Also 1 Painted Lady, 3 Comma, 1 Peacock, 4 Speckled Wood and 15+ (mainly female) Small White. Colin Jupp, Richard Turnbull, David Edmunds
Ingatestone (TQ654993) A rare Holly Blue this lunchtime! Then a Red Admiral, the first I have seen on ivy this autumn – hopefully this will become a spectacle for us all over the next few weeks. Rob Smith
Ferry Meadows CP (TL1497) 1 Red Admiral and 2 Speckled Wood. Don Gardener

Tuesday 13th September
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) In an hour today - Over 15 Red Admirals around flowering ivy bushes - at least 5 on one bush - nectaring and warming-up after the showers; 5+ Speckled Wood, 3 Small White and 1 Large White and a couple of Comma (several photos attached). Nick Ballard
Alresford Creek (TM060199) This am: 1 Painted Lady, 3 Red Admirals & 3 Speckled Woods. Simon Cox
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Occ. sun. Comma 3, Small Copper 1 and a male Meadow Brown, at first surprising, but it was a bit worn. Rob Smith

Sunday 11th September
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 10.30am transect, 18C, F4+SW. Small White 19 (mainly females), Green-veined White 3, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Small Heath 9. Then onto:
Curry Farm, Bradwell (TL9905) 12.30pm, sunny intervals at this private site. Small White 4, Large White 3, Brimstone 1, Red Admiral 5, Comma 5, Common Blue 6, Small Copper 6, Meadow Brown 6, Small Heath 6. Then onto:
Little Haven EWT: Starvelarks Wood (TQ811891) 2.30pm F4 breeze. Walked down the path between the coppiced areas and was immediately confronted by a Heath Fritillary – what looked to be a fresh female. Fortunately I managed a photo before I lost her and then didn’t see any more in the usual haunts. Although it has been a relatively cool summer, the early spring emergence has probably afforded this very partial second brood and the cow-wheat is not desiccated as it can be after a hot, dry summer. Also present was a Small White and a fair amount of heather in the coppiced area under the pylons. I then checked Tile Wood (some cow wheat still flowering), Hadleigh Great Wood (3.30pm) and Pound Wood (4.30pm). The temperature held at about 19C but so did the strong breeze and no butterflies were seen of any species. Rob Smith

Saturday 10th September
Bradwell-on-Sea: St Peter’s & Athona thicket (TM031081) Red Admirals 7, Small Copper 1, Unidentified Blue 1, Whites 35, involving all three of the commoner species. Also Latticed Heath Moth 2. John Smart

Friday 9th September
Eaton Socon, St. Neots (TL169583) A Comma seen by Natasha Barlow (pic attached). Natasha also reports a Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata) resting on some washing in a back garden (TL1859) on the 5th Sept and a Gatekeeper seen at Paxton Pits (TL197639) on the 23rd July (pic attached).
Peterborough (TF192010) In my garden - Large White, Small White, Red Admiral (2) & Comma (1). While at
Woodfield Park (TF207010) Comma (fresh). & at:
Fletton Lake (TL195966) Green-veined White (1), Large White, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell (1). And also:
Wyman’s Bridge, Old Fletton (TL192963) Small White, Red Admiral (7) mainly on buddleiah, Small Copper (1). David Withrington
Fleam Dyke (TL537555) 1 fresh-looking female Clouded Yellow seen nectaring on Black Knapweed at the north end of the Fleam Dyke. Steve Hartley
Gosfield (TL783295) 11.30am, overcast, still, 21 deg, in my garden, a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Colin Davis
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 2.30pm transect, cloudy & F3 breeze didn't make matters conducive for butterflies but it was a muggy 20C: Small White 1, Green-veined White 3, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 1 & Small Copper 1. Rob Smith

Wednesday 7th September
Holland Haven CP (TM2117) Brief visit this morning: single Speckled Wood, Large & Green-veined Whites, several ‘small whites’ & 2 Red Admirals. Simon Cox

Saturday 3rd September
Wicken Fen (TL5670) 1F Brimstone, 2 Small White, c.20 White spp., 2 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell & 10 Speckled Wood. Plus 1M Red eyed Damsel, 4 Emerald Damsel, 15 Migrant Hawker, 30 Brown Hawker, 50+ Ruddy Darter & 10 Common Darter. Mike & Anita Harris
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden: 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 3 Green-veined White, 4 Small White, 1 Large White and 1 Volucella zonaria, most were nectaring on Buddleia. Colin Jupp
Rochford (TQ870912) Lunchtime: we saw Hummingbird Hawk-moth on our abelia bush. It stayed for some 10 minutes! John Spencer
Broads Green (TL685117) In just over an hours walk in very strong wind 17 Small Heath, 5 Small White, 1 Small Copper, 5 male Common Blue and 1 Meadow Brown. Richard Bigg
Sergeant's Orchard EWT (TL908307) Green-veined White 1, Small White 3, Painted Lady 1, Meadow Brown 1, Speckled Wood 2. Then:
Wormingford airfield (TL919298) Green-veined White 1, Small White 4, Small Copper 1, Red Admiral 1, Small Heath 12. Then:
River Stour, Bowdens (TL9333) Green-veined White 1, Small White 20+, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 2; 7 species of dragonflies included my first Willow Emerald damselfly for this site. Then:
Lodge Hills (TL930323) Small White 10, Meadow Brown 1 & Small Heath 2. Martin Peers

Friday 2nd September
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) Whites included at least 6 Small, 2 Green-veined and 7+ unidentified (no definite Large White); also 4 Small Copper, 1m Common Blue (worn), 2 Red Admiral, 6 Speckled Wood, 12 Meadow Brown, 2 Small Heath and a late Gatekeeper (worn female). I found 7 Wasp Spiders in the Wildflower Meadow including 1 with an egg sac, low numbers compared to previous years, plus Roesel's Bush-cricket and Long-winged Conehead. Odonata numbers also poor despite the good weather, a few Migrant Hawkers and Ruddy Darters, but Common Darters are very scarce locally at present. (And certainly when compared with 5-10 years ago, ie during fieldwork for the Essex Dragonfly Atlas, all the common species have been noticeably lacking in numbers in the area this year). Colin Jupp
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) 1.15-2.45pm, 25deg, sunny. Our usual walk from side to side of the reserve found the following: 15 x Speckled Wood (pic attached); 13 x Sm/GW White; 3 x Comma; 1 x Large White; 1 x Meadow Brown; 1x Painted Lady (mint condition - 3 pics attached). No Commom Blues seen despite large areas of Birds-Foot Trefoil in bloom. Colin Davis
Terling (TL765148) Field edges, grass strips and hedges. 3 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 3 Small Heath, 2 Meadow Brown, 10+ Green veined white, 5+ Small White, 4 Speckled Wood. David Gomer
Benfleet Downs transect (TQ788858) Around 11.30am, I made the first Painted Lady sighting on the Benfleet Downs transect this year. It was a singleton male on transect section two and was still quite flushed pink so I presume a recent hatchling. I saw a few Red Admirals too so conditions may also be suitable for a few late season immigrants from the continent perhaps? David Chandler
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect, warm hazy sunshine, wind fairly still: Small White 2, Green-veined White 3, Purple Hairstreak 1 (very long season here, starting on 4th June), Common Blue 1 (fresh male), Comma 3, Speckled Wood 3, Gatekeeper 2, Meadow Brown 11 & Small Heath 2. Rob Smith

Thursday 1st September
Fordham Hall Estate WT (TL9227) Joe Firmin has seen a Painted Lady today, and also reports that a male Clouded Yellow was seen here on the 15th August.
John Weston EWT (TM2624) 4 Speckled Woods, 2 Small Heaths, 2 Gatekeepers, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue, c.15 whites (Small & Green-veined id’d). Simon & Pat Cox
Barton Road, Cambridge (TL4357) Garden: 2 Tortoiseshells, 2 Red Admirals, 2 Commas, 5 Small Whites, 1 Large White, 1 Hummingbird Hawk Moth....all on Buddleia. 2 Holly Blues also seen. Jeffrey Riley
Danbury EWT: Hitchcock's Meadows (TL787048) After walking the Thrift Transect where I saw only a few Speckled Woods and the odd White I went to these flower rich meadows. With light wind and warm sun I recorded Common Blue (m) 3, (f) 1, Small Copper 4, Meadow Brown 3, Brown Argus 1, a Green Veined White and another Small/Green Veined White. Richard Bigg
Fleam Dyke (TL553536) First visit to this locality. 11 Chalkhill Blue, 30+ Small white, 3 Small Heath, 1 male Brimstone, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 very, very worn Small/Essex Skipper, 14 Red Admiral, 1 Comma. The last two species all on one large growth of ivy, all seen within 3/4 mile south of A11. David and Tom Gomer
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Sunny, fresh breeze. Speckled Wood 4, Meadow Brown 1, Brimstone 1f and Green-veined White 1. Rob Smith
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 11:00-11:45. A fresh SSE wind blowing, but warm sunny periods tempted a few Insects onto the wing: 3 Green-veined White, 10 White spp., 2 Red Admiral, 1F Common Blue, 1 Speckled Wood, 14 Meadow Brown & 9 Small Heath. Also 1 Six spot Burnet. Mike Harris

August 2011

Tuesday 30th August
Yaxley (TL1992) Several Red Admirals and a Humming Bird Hawk Moth. Trevor Wilson

Monday 29th August
Little Warley Common (TQ607905) 10am, cool but sunny, Small Heath 1, Brown Argus 2 (ageing), Meadow Brown 2, then onto:
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 11am transect, 14C, F4NW, sunny int. Small White 18, Green-veined White 13, Gatekeeper 1, Small Heath 12, Common Blue 1f, and a fresh Small Copper (photo attached). Then onto:
Danbury EWT: Hitchcock's Meadows (TL787048) 2.30pm. By now there was too much cloud cover but just warm enough to catch some roosting Small Whites (photo attached) 4, Meadow Brown 3, Gatekeeper 1. Rob Smith

Sunday 28th August
Linton (TL559469) In garden 1 Peacock, 8 Small White, 7 freshly emerged Red Admirals drinking juices from rotten plums and drying their wings in a tree, and 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths, one nectaring on honeysuckle and one on lavendar. Alex Petter
Heybridge Pits (TL865070) Apart from a Painted Lady yesterday and single Gatekeeper and Red Admiral today, all I managed was a few Small White and the odd Large White. Simon Wood
Thorndon CP (TQ69A) 10am - A short walk across the top of Childerditch Common to the heathland restoration area saw quite a few species warming up in the morning sun: Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 4, Gatekeeper 3 and Small Heath 2. Rob Smith
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 15:40- 16:25. A strong WNW wind blowing with sunny periods between showers. 5 White spp., 1 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Speckled Wood, 9 Meadow Brown & 6 Small Heath. Also 1 Brown Hawker and 1M Darter sp. Mike Harris

Saturday 27th August
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) Noon transect, 17C, F3SW, largely sunny: Small White 3, Green-veined White 1, Large White 3, Common Blue 1f, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1, Gatekeeper 6, Meadow Brown 9, Speckled Wood 4, Small Heath 3 and 2 Common Carpet moths. Rob Smith

Wednesday 24th August
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) In an hour at lunchtime: 15+ Small White, 5+ Large and GVW, 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Red Admiral, 2 (aged) Holly Blue, 1 fresh Comma & 1 Gatekeeper. Nick Ballard

Sunday 21st August
Mistley (TM1131) Joe Firmin has received a phone call to report that an observer had a male Silver-washed Fritillary in his garden in Mistley, this morning sipping backwards and forwards and nectaring on garden flowers.
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 14 Small Heath, 18 Meadow Brown, 9 Gatekeeper, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Copper, 1 Red Admiral and c.25 Whites (at least 15 were definitely Small). Then onto:
Duck Wood LNR (TQ555924) (both areas also known as The Manor LNR). Minimum 17 Speckled Wood - each small glade had at least 1 up to 4, the males often sparring; also 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Large White and 2 unidentified whites. Colin Jupp
Bradwell Waterside - St Lawrence Bay (TL970060) 2.5 mile walk from Bradwell Waterside to St Lawrence Bay. Bright sun, 22C with a slight easterly breeze. 419 butterflies of 11 species total of which 360 were “Whites”: Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 1, Essex Skipper 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Meadow Brown 5, Gatekeeper 6, Small Heath 12, all pristine & some 30 “blues” in the corner of a field of Lucerne. The two Common Blues located on the coastal walk itself were both highly abraded. All three of the commoner “whites” were well represented in the mix and the few Green-veined Whites that I did see settled were highly fresh. The total number of “whites” about the Dengie that afternoon must have been significant. Also seen was an adult Osprey attempting to acrobatically fish at High Tide adjacent the saltmarsh. A loose flock of 9 Greenshank strutted about what mud was left. John Smart
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) Noon transect, perfect conditions without being too hot. 99 mixed whites, about half and half Small and Green-veined. Common Blue 7, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 4 (all fresh, double previous best), Gatekeeper 5, Meadow Brown 1, Small Heath 14 and a Yellow Belle moth. Rob Smith
Woodwalton: Riddy Lane & Riddy Wood boundary (TL2181) Between 4pm and 5pm - Large White 2, Green-veined White 6, Small White 30+, Small Heath 10+, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 10, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Speckled Wood 1, Common Blue 8, Brown Argus 12 & Painted Lady 1 (our first this season). Rosalyn Payne and Phil Bromley

Saturday 20th August
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.30am transect. Large White 1, Small White 4, Green-veined White 3, Common Blue 1, Comma 2 (fresh), Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 19, Meadow Brown 32, Small Heath 3. Then onto:
Beam Valley CP, Dagenham (TQ503836) 1.30-3pm - Teamed up with ranger Ruth Clarricoates and local volunteers and enthusiasts Marilyn, Danny, Frank, Ken, Kevin & Jack for a butterfly walk at this gravel/part landfill site containing good wild flowers, a large swale from the joining Wantz and Beam rivers and remnants of the aborted Romford Canal. Sadly the weather was turning just as we saw our first butterfly, a Common Blue. But full marks to everyone for sticking it out in the heavy rain as we managed to disturbed 15+ female Meadow Browns and finally a fresh Small Heath. Also seen were 2 Treble Bar and a Yellow Belle moth. A must return for next spring. Rob Smith
Fletton Lake, Peterborough (TL196966) Cycle ride, with most butterflies seen on the west side of the lake: Large White 2, Small White 30, Green-veined White 3, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 9, Gatekeeper 20, Brown Argus 5 & Common Blue 9. David Withrington

Friday 19th August
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White and 2 Migrant Hawkers. Colin Jupp
Linton (TL559469) In garden: Large White 1, Small White 8, Green-veined White 1, Comma 1, Red Admiral 2 and Common Blue 1. Alex Petter
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Sunny intervals. Highlight was a fresh Comma sapping on blackberry, also 2 Purple Hairstreak still on the wing. Gatekeeper (14) unusually outnumbering Meadow Brown (2) late in their season. Also Small White 2 and Speckled Wood 1. No butterflies on the heather. Rob Smith

Wednesday 17th August
Dogsthorpe, Peterborough (TF202019) A short cycle ride produced Large White (1), Small White (10), Green-veined White (1), Common Blue (2 males), Brown Argus (1), Gatekeeper (30). David Withrington

Monday 15th August
Star Lane Brick Pits, Great Wakering (TQ936873) Wall 1, Small Tortoiseshell 6, Brown Argus 3, Common Blue 2 and Gatekeeper 12. While at:
Canvey Wick (TQ760835) Wall 5, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Brown Argus 6, Common Blue 2, Peacock 1 and Gatekeeper 25. Andrew Woodhouse
Great Henny (TL83U) Walked through Great Henny - Ryes Hall area (TL 8638 and 8738) this morning. Good amounts of non arable habitat, with permanent grassland, small coppices & scrub, two pools (good numbers of dragonflies), a small nature reserve and very generous flowery headlands round the three arable fields still. Saw the following butterflies, with excellent numbers of Small Heaths: Small White 20+, Green-veined White 4, Small Copper 1 male, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 1 male, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 2, Gatekeeper 20, Meadow Brown 54 & Small Heath 36. Martin Peers

Sunday 14th August
Mill Meadows LNR, Billericay (TQ680940) Half hour's walk round this nature reserve revealed very few butterflies. Bramble flower is over and most wild flowers now gone so very little nectar available. Saw one very tatty Purple Hairstreak, two or three Gatekeepers and a few UID Whites only. Richard Bigg
Benfleet Downs (TQ78X) Benfleet Station to Two Tree Island - 5.5 mile walk there & back; 12 noon to 3.15pm; 60% sun; Wind SW strength 2; 22C. 92 butterflies of 8 species: Small Heath 1, Essex Skipper 2, Meadow Brown 3, Common Blue 11 (of which 4f), Gatekeeper 20, Whites 55 (of which 6 Green-veined & fresh) 9 Large & 4 Small. No odonatas noted. Whinchat 1, 46 Avocets, large flock of Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Little Egrets. John Smart
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 2.30pm transect, 22C F2-3SW. Plenty of fresh Green-veined Whites and Small Heath along the sea wall, including mating pairs of both species (photos attached). The female Small Heath (on the right in the photo) may have a permanent wing deformity or has been mated soon after emergence. Essex Skipper 1, Small White 8, Green-veined White 14, white spp. 60, Common Blue 6 (1f), Brown Argus 3, Gatekeeper 5, Meadow Brown 1, Small Heath 14. Yellow Belle moths 2. Rob Smith
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) Small Tortoiseshell 2, Small Heath 3, Green-veined White 1, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 5, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 2. Plus Treble-bar 1, Migrant Hawker 1 and Adonis ladybird 1 (the main reason for my recent visits!). Tony Moverley
Wormingford airfield (TL930305) very smart Painted Lady - only my second of the year! Then:
Wormingford: roadside bridlepath (TL937316) Small White 20+, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 2 males, Holly Blue 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1 newly emerged, Comma 1, Small Heath 1. Then:
Sergeant's Orchard EWT (TL908307) Small White 10, Green-veined White 2, Common Blue 2 males, Meadow Brown 8, Gatekeeper 20, Small Heath 6, Speckled Wood 2. Martin Peers
Canvey Island: Hole Haven Creek seawall (TQ771826) 2 Wall Brown seen today (and 1 yesterday 200m East from the Lobster Smack Pub - photos attached). Cleve Bull

Saturday 13th August
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) 1 very tatty Silver-washed Fritillary still on marsh thistle in NE corner - so tatty that it is missing half of the left wing. Also 2 Gatekeeper & 1 Holly Blue. Stuart & Jill Elsom
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect, sny int after rain. Small White 4, Speckled Wood 6, Gatekeeper 54, Meadow Brown 26, Common Blue 3 (2m, 1f), Small Heath 1. Then onto:
Gallows Corner, Harold Wood (TQ5390) 1pm Wider Countryside Survey: Gatekeeper 2, Small White 5. Very sparse, nothing at Gidea Park Sports Ground. Then onto:
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 3.30pm last check until Sept/Oct for Wall Browns – none seen. There was a very colourful Small Tortoiseshell with tatty edges, a Peacock and a fresh female Essex Skipper. But elsewhere, just Gatekeepers and occasional whites. Rob Smith
St Osyth (TM144159) A day in the garden was rewarded with our first ever Small Heath, also 2 Red Admirals, 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Green-v White & c6 Small Whites, and our 3rd ever Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Simon & Pat Cox

Wednesday 10th August
Walthamstow Filter Beds (TQ3588) Sunny but quite windy at times, not ideal conditions, however the following maxima were noted: Gatekeeper 29, Common Blue 17, Meadow Brown 9, Large White 7, Small White 1, Red Admiral 2. Also 1 Yellow Shell & 1 Cinnabar Moth. Dan Barrett
John Weston EWT (TM2624) This morning: 2 Small Heaths, 15-20 Gatekeepers, 5 Meadow Browns, 6 Speckled Woods, 3 S/E Skippers, 3 Common Blues, 1 Red Admiral, c15 mixed Small & G-v Whites. Simon Cox

Tuesday 9th August
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 6.15-7pm Wall Brown survey: none seen. I know the nights are drawing in, but it was a sunny 19+C so the 2nd brood may be over here as I haven't seen a male for 2 weeks. Others seen were Gatekeeper 6, whites 4, Comma 1 and Peacock 2. The Peacocks were very tatty (photo attached) and I have seen them here at the same spot for about 3 weeks, seemingly with no thought of hibernating early. Then onto:
Broom Hill, West Tilbury (TQ654778) 7.15pm - a late check for Wall Browns - none seen. But there were 2 Meadow Browns basking and 3 or 4 whites still flying. Rob Smith
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) A quick troll round the Cemetery this morning revealed a couple of Speckled Wood, 3 Red Admiral, several Gatekeeper and Small White, a Meadow Brown and at least 5 male Common Blue and a Small Copper. The encouraging thing is that Common Blue and Small Copper are now seen in the rest of the Cemetery, rather than being restricted to the northern end; the Council and the Friends deserve credit for this. Not mowing through the drought has allowed both nectar and larval food plants to mature; if this management is continued, Mill Road Cemetery could become a fabulous example of flower-rich neutral/calcareous grassland, in which butterflies, moths and other characteristic insects would flourish. Nick Ballard
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) Common Blue 5, Brown Argus 2, Meadow Brown 10+, Small Heath 6, Gatekeeper 4, Comma 1, Small White 3, Green-veined White 1 (& 6-spot Burnet moth 3). Tony Moverley
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Warm when the sun shone. Small White 1, Red Admiral 2, Meadow Brown 20, Gatekeeper 30, Speckled Wood 4 & a Small Heath – the first I have seen here in 3 years of looking (photo attached). Hopefully the reward of a bit of winter scrub clearing with Graham Smith. No Common Blues yet this year. The few last year may have been attracted to the heather from neighbouring land. Also good views of a lizard hunting amongst the heather that is at its best now. Rob Smith

Sunday 7th August
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) 15C and a strong SW breeze - 12 people joined leader Vince Lea for the Branch field trip along the Dyke looking for Chalkhill Blues and other butterflies: Chalkhill Blue 500+, Small Heath 15+, Brown Argus 10+, Meadow Brown 10+, Gatekeeper 15+, Common Blue 5+, Red Admiral 3, Essex Skipper 2, Brimstone 1, Small White 3, Green-veined White 1, Large White 2. Moths included 6-spot Burnet moth 20+, Shaded Broad-bar 10+, Common Carpet 1, Yellow Shell 1 and Antler Moth 1.
After lunch, half of the group took the opportunity to explore the 'Golf course' section SE of the car park and again we saw many Chalkhill Blues (50+) but not matching the spectacular numbers seen before lunch on the July Course. We added Peacock 2 and Speckled Wood 1 to the list to make 14 butterfly species seen on the day (and 2 Mother of Pearl here boosted the moth list to 6). Tony Moverley

Reach Wood WT (TL5665) After the field trip, I visited this Woodland Trust plantation (1994) and surrounding seeded chalk grassland, on an old clunch pit. I spotted a few violets, but none of the vetches that we like to get excited about! Meadow Brown 14, Gatekeeper 16, Small Heath 13, Small White 22, Green-veined White 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Common Blue 17, Red Admiral 1 (ground-hugging in the windy conditions), Small Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 1. Then onto:
Devil's Dyke: Burwell Cutting (TL5765) From 4-5pm there were still 30+ Chalkhill Blues battling the windy conditions in the cutting, 4/5ths males, and also a male and female about 100yds towards Reach on top of the Dyke. On the walk back to Reach on the lee side, there were Small White 5, Meadow Brown 2, Gatekeeper 3 and Common Blue 1. Rob Smith

Roman Road transect (TL520525) It was windy, coolish and not completely sunny this morning but saw the following: Small/Essex Skipper 4, Large White 1, Small White 19, Green-veined White 10, Chalkhill Blue 1, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 25, Meadow Brown 5, Small Heath 1 & Undidentified White 3. Mike Gittos
Following on from Mike Gittos' sighting of a Chalkhill Blue on the Roman Road in the morning, the afternoon warmed up quite a bit and Peter Grubb and his wife reported seeing the following:
2-3 definite Meadow Browns and several probables, 2-3 definite male Gatekeepers and several probables, roughly the same number of females, 2 definite Small Heaths, 1 probable Red Admiral racing by, at least 5-6 sightings of definite male Chalk-hill Blues and quite possibly all different individuals, 2 definite female CHB, one Brown Argus or female Common Blue (fleeting sighting), good no Large Whites (esp at farm end), some probable Green-veined and or Small Whites (no Brimstone), just one Small or Essex Skipper and no Large Skipper (disappointing re Skippers!)..

Saturday 6th August
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect, 17C cloudy, with occasional hazy sunshine: Small Skipper 1, Small White 3, Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 1m, Small Copper 1, Holly Blue 1 (at last), Red Admiral 2, Peacock 1, Gatekeeper 101, Meadow Brown 22, Speckled Wood 8, Small Heath 1. The female Meadow Brown can sometimes display the beginnings of a second white spot to the occelli (eye-spot) on both sides of the forewing. This small, slightly deformed female had a very pronounced second white spot on the underside so was difficult to distinguish from a Gatekeeper until it opened its wings (apologies for poor photo). Rob Smith

Friday 5th August
Fleam Dyke Transect (TL548541) Roger Lemon, one of the transect walkers on the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke, reports:
I did the Fleam Dyke transect count today and was amazed at the number of Chalkhill Blues. When I added them up from four sections there were exactly 100, split as follows: Section 3: 3; Section 6: 22; Section 7: 68; Section 8: 7. The highest numbers were in the first part of Section 7, but I recorded some right along the top of the Dyke from the beginning of Section 6 to nearly the end of section 7. It was also good to record three in section 3 on the other side of the A11. With virtually no wind, they were mostly on the top of the bank, with relatively few at the bottom in section 8. Other species were as follows: Small/Essex skipper 7, Brimstone 2, Small white 35, Green-veined white 8, Brown argus 7, Common blue 4, Gatekeeper 28, Meadow brown 9 & Small heath 2, As a bonus 1 saw a lovely fully-grown Grass Snake at the Fulbourn end of the Dyke on my way back.

Ouse Washes RSPB (TL471860) On bank between Welches Dam and Stevens Hide. Sunny Intervals. 40+ Gatekeeper, 25+ Whites (mostly Small), 6 Meadow Brown, 4 Wall, 6 Peacock, 10 Common Blue, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral. (Many thanks to David Hopkins and others for the previous postings re Wall in this area). Ian Shaw
Hatfield Forest (TL52F) 1 Purple Hairstreak, 1 White-letter Hairstreak, 5 Silver-washed Fritillary (1 female) were worn, Peacocks back on the scene & 3 Small Copper. Graeme Smith
Canvey Wick (TQ765833) A walk along the seawall and a visit to the Buglife site and then into the adjacent Country Park. Wildflowers in profusion everywhere. Some bare & stoney habitat looked suitable for Grayling but none encountered. 13.25pm to 16.00pm. 90% sun. 25C. 11 species numbering 101 butterflies total: Wall 1 (on the gravel path by seawall and then it flew over the seawall!) Marbled White 4; Small Heath 2; Comma 1; Essex Skipper 2; Whites 25 of which Small White 2; Large White 3; Meadow Brown 19; Gatekeeper 44; Common Blue 1 Male & 1 Female, both far apart & Small Tortoiseshell 1. At least 6 Common Whitethroats, parties of Goldfinch & a gathering of Starlings. Several Common & Ruddy Darters also encountered. John Smart
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 6.10-50pm Wall Brown survey: just a single female roosting on the sluice wall. Others seen were Green-veined White 1, Small White 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 1, Essex Skipper 1, Gatekeeper 20+ and a mating pair of Meadow Brown on wild carrot that looked set in for the night. Rob Smith

Wednesday 3rd August
Ouse Washes, Witcham (TL4381) I saw 5 Walls along the Ouse Washes banks at Witcham. A cattle grazed south facing bank with abundant weedy vegetation - flowers - ragwort, teasels, thistles, bindweed, yarrow, prickly sowthistle, docks and bare ground patches. Sharon Hearle
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF0704) We saw up to a dozen Chalkhill Blues, at least 3 Small Heaths, one Small Copper, one Red Admiral, several Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and four Common Blues (inc a female), plus one Essex Skipper (pic attached). Peter and Jan Farbridge
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Very hot and only a couple of whites flying with any purpose. Others disturbed were: Gatekeeper 35, Meadow Brown 11, Purple Hairstreak 3 & Speckled Wood 2. Rob Smith

Tuesday 2nd August
Walthamstow Filter Beds (TQ3588) A Large Skipper seen by Dan Barrett.
Langdon EWT: Willow Park transect (TQ68Y) A series of 15 wild flower meadows bordered by woods and hedgerows. A check was made to search for a second brood of Grizzled Skippers (but none were evident). 17 species totalling 395 butterflies. Nearly 100% sun throughout / 11am to 15pm / 30C / Wind Speed 1 from the SE: Brimstone 2; Brown Argus 24; Small Heath 34; Marbled White 4; Small Copper 3; Comma 3; Peacock 3; Small Tortoiseshell 1; Red Admiral 2; Common Blue 36 (including one “Blue” female) S/E Skipper 10; Essex Skipper 1; Small Skipper 1; Large White 9; Small White 6; Speckled Wood 6; Gatekeeper 169 & Meadow Brown 81. No Green-veined Whites or Holly Blues were identified. 8 Brown Hawkers, several Ruddy Darters and 4 Red-eyed Damselflies were also encountered. John Smart
Harold Hill (TQ548926) A male Silver-washed Fritillary in my garden 13.15-13.20 then briefly again an hour later. A different individual to 20th July, similarly it nectared rather briefly, preferring the higher Buddleia flowers and once on the wing was wide ranging and reluctant to settle. Also over the past 2 days a male Brimstone, up to 5 Red Admiral, 2 Peacock and 2 Comma, plus the hoverfly Volucella zonaria. Colin Jupp

Monday 1st August
Harold Wood Park (TQ554902) 13.15-15.00; very hot. In the Summer Meadow and near the River Ingrebourne: 20 Small Heath including a mating pair, 90+ Gatekeepers (incl mating pair), 30+ Meadow Brown, 4 Speckled Wood, 1 Essex Skipper, 4 unidentified skippers, 8m Common Blue, 2 Large White, 4 Green-veined White and 6+ Small/GV White. Also 2 Oak Eggar moths flew rapidly through. Then a 15 minute visit to adjacent
Thames Chase, Pages Farm (TQ553900): 1m Brown Argus, 3m Common Blue, 15 Gatekeeper and 1 Speckled Wood in NW corner of site, plus a Brown Hawker and 2 Migrant Hawkers. Colin Jupp
Benfleet Downs transect (TQ788858) Around 12.30pm - the second Wall sighting on the Benfleet Downs transect this year (see 2nd May). It was a singleton male on transect section three (near the flight of steps) and was slightly shabby - indicating he had been around a few days. David Chandler
Wardy Hill Drove (TL467809) Two or three males Walls today. Yesterday, several (10+) along the banks at Ouse Washes RSPB (TL471860) - Manea side, essentially from Welches Dam hide to Stevens Hide, especially around the steps to the hides in the evenings. They are all along the bank, and at peak emergence there must be many dozens on the wing along this extensive site. David Hopkins

July 2011

Sunday 31st July
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF0704) In the afternoon, we saw up to 10 Chalkhill Blues (pic attached) in about 100m of path in the NE corner of the reserve. Also one Small Copper, one Peacock, one Brown Argus, two Common Blues, two Gatekeepers plus several Meadow Browns and Large Whites. Also in our garden at Orton Longueville (TL165965) we are having regular sightings of Holly Blues, Peacock and Gatekeeper. Peter and Jan Farbridge
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) 12noon-1pm, 23deg and sunny. A single male Silver-washed Fritillary patrolling a patch of brambles on the path leading away from the signboards near to the car park. The pic (attached) suggests it is the same specimen seen on 24th July at same location as has same two nicks in LH hindwing and missing edge on RH forewing. I bumped in to an acquaintance who had recently seen several SWFs together here, but all sightings this year have been of males. Masses of Dog Violet, even a few still in bloom, so desperately need a female or two to show up, mate and lay eggs. Also seen was a Brown Argus (pic attached). Colin Davis
Burham-on-Crouch to Holliwell Point A 4.5 mile walk along the seawall (mid-point TQ990955) commenced at 11.30am. Bright sun all day. An unsuccessful search for Grayling! but a total of 243 butterflies of 10 species: Brown Argus 3, Small Heath 4, Red Admiral 8 (singletons all moving quickly west with the breeze) Small Tortoiseshell 1, Whites 98 near & distant (which included both Large & Small) Gatekeepers 55 (1 pair mating) Meadow Brown 22, E/S Skippers 51 total but those I did check all turned out to be Essex, including one small clump of vetch that had 15 Essex Skippers zipping about. Also, 1 unidentified Blue. Black-tailed Godwits, Marsh Harrier, Corn Buntings, Yellow Wagtails, Linnets, Little Egret & Kestrel all added to the scene. John Smart
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 2pm transect, 24C F2-3S. Thousands of Ladybirds, including many on shoreline seaweed which was probably what attracted a Green Woodpecker onto the beach! Essex Skipper 7, unidentified skippers 4, Small White (mainly) 40 (incl 2 mating pairs), Green-veined White 1, Small Copper 1, Common Blue 7 (1f), Brown Argus 1, Peacock 1, Gatekeeper 26, Meadow Brown 6, Small Heath 4 (once out in the spring, they seem ever-present here, 3 years running). Then onto:
Barling Marsh (TQ9490) 4.30-6pm circular walk from Barling church, around sea wall. Coarse grasses were initially dominant but the west-facing lee side at TQ945907 was productive; first Small Heaths appeared then a female Wall Brown nectaring on Michaelmas Daisy. It was possibly the same one that flew past me a few hundred yards further on. Others: Essex Skipper 28, Small Skipper 7, S/E skipper 50, Gatekeeper 37, Meadow Brown 24, Small Heath 9, Common Blue 2, Brown Argus 2, Small White 11, Red Admiral 5 (photos attached). Rob Smith
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) Middle section, TL618613 - 601629, this morning: Small Skipper 1, Brimstone 2m,1f, Large White 4, Small White c20, Green-veined White 2+, Brown Argus 19, Common Blue 2m, Chalkhill Blue c.930 (90% males), Peacock 3, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 14, Meadow Brown 48, Small Heath 20. Then:
Devil's Dyke: Southern section (TL66F) TL610612 - 632603, afternoon: Small Skipper 1, Brimstone 2m, Large White 3, Small White c40, Green-veined White 3+, Brown Argus 5, Chalkhill Blue c.130, Peacock 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 9, Meadow Brown 8, Small Heath 8. Martin Peers

Saturday 30th July
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 9am Wall Brown survey: 2 seen. A male on the creek embankment in the shelter of an isolated elm stand, and a female between the angling lakes. Then onto:
Broom Hill, West Tilbury (TQ654778) 10.45am – 2 male Wall Browns at this under-reported ‘known site’. 1 was patrolling an earthen bank and flipping over the top back over a flower-rich field margin to complete each circuit. Also Meadow Brown 8, Gatekeeper 4, Brown Argus 5. Then onto:
Chafford Gorge EWT (TQ598794) Gatekeeper 14, Meadow Brown 12, Speckled Wood 3, Ringlet 2, Brimstone 1m, Common Blue 4m, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 1, Small White 2, then onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 2pm transect: Small Skipper 2, S/E skipper 2, Small White 6, Green-veined White 1, Large White 2, Brimstone 2 (2 males basking next to each other in Jermaines Wood), Common Blue 1m, Brown Argus 1, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 3, Comma 3, Gatekeeper 114, Meadow Brown 50, Speckled Wood 5. Rob Smith

Pentlow Street (TL826464) While walking near Pentlow Street this afternoon, I found an uncultivated field with the following butterflies: Small Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 1, Large White 1, Small White 12+, Green-veined White 2, Brown Argus 4, Red Admiral 2, Gatekeeper 9, Speckled Wood 4, Meadow Brown 14, Ringlet 3 & Small Heath 1 female. Martin Peers
Danbury Ridge Woods (TL790065) Spent an hour and a quarter walking through various parts of the woods in the vain hope that I might see a White Admiral - no such luck. The tally was Speckled Wood (2), Ringlet (3), Meadow Brown (15), Gatekeeper (26), Green Veined White (2), Red Admiral (1) and Purple Hairstreak (1). Then back to :-
Galleywood Common (TL703025) In half an hour saw Large White (2), Gatekeeper (4), Meadow Brown (2), Holly Blue (1), Purple Hairstreak (5), and Speckled Wood (1). Richard Bigg

Thursday 28th July
Latton Woods, Harlow (TL4607) At least 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries seen on bramble along the rides today, mostly worn males. I remember them being here in the 1950s. Phil Telford
Harold Hill (TQ548926) A male Brimstone in my garden early pm, also 2 Purple Hairstreak. Colin Jupp
Bedlar's Green (TL523203) Saw large female Oak Egger moth by The Sir John Houblon pub (ex Hop Poles) today at 12.15. Laurence Drummond
Hardwick Wood Transect (TL3557) Plenty of Meadow Browns, Green-veined Whites, etc pus a Red Admiral, two Commas and a Silver-washed Fritillary. On a hunch, we decided to visit:
Eversden Wood (TL344531) The grazing pressure appears much reduced - the most ride vegetation we have seen there ever, with bramble and plenty of flowers, and guess what - two Silver Washed males patrolling their little piece of ride. Additional cast here 5 Red Admiral, 4 Peacock, 1 Comma, plus Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, a few Speckled Wood, a couple of Ringlet hanging on and three species of whites. Please note that away from public footpaths this wood is private. Louise Bacon and Vince Lea
Walthamstow Filter Beds (TQ3588) Red Admiral 2+, Gatekeeper 7, Common Blue 4 (including an atypical female - all blue with orange spots), Large White 2, Small White 1, GV White 1. Dan Barrett
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Pleasant sunshine after a cloudy morning – Essex Skipper 1, Red Admiral 3, Small White 2, Green-veined White 1, Meadow Brown 26 (incl. mating pair), Ringlet 1, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 32 (incl. mating pair), Purple Hairstreak 4. Rob Smith

Wednesday 27th July
Little Wood BCNPWT (TF216028) 6 Purple Hairstreaks in the evening. Philip Todd
Harlow (TL4509) 5 Gatekeeper (2 males, 3 females), 8 Speckled Wood (3 males, 5 females) and 1 Large Skipper (several photos attached). Andy Mortlock
West Canvey Marsh RSPB (TQ765840) Cloudy, but some sun. Sightings relevant on the walk to the Sea Wall. By the Sea Wall is a 400 yard stretch of wild flowers that was highly productive for insects. Mindful of an earlier record of Marbled Whites from the Reserve we had 2! Brown Argus 3, Common Blue 3 [2M + 1F], Gatekeeper 21, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 23, Whites were numerous but not counted overall, amongst which, many Large Whites were identified. Of the 45 Small/Essex Skippers checked, 12 were definitely Essex. John Smart

Monday 25th July
Upshire (TL418015) Later on in afternoon, walked down this small, sheltered, ride between fields: Speckled wood 16, Red Admiral 3, Large white 2, Small White 2, Green-veined White 4, Gatekeeper 17, Meadow Brown 9, Holly Blue 1, Comma 1, Purple hairstreak 2. Ingrid Foxton

Sunday 24th July
Roger Lemon, one of the transect walkers on the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke, reports:
Fleam Dyke Transect (TL548541) Small/Essex skipper 7, Brimstone 9, Large white 1, Small white 38, Green-veined white 28, Chalkhill blue 21, Red Admiral 1, Gatekeeper 29,Meadow Brown 15 & Dark Green Fritillary 2. The Chalkhill Blues, which were all males, were in either the first part of section 7 or in section 8 immediately below it. There were so many in a small space and, as they were very mobile, it was quite difficult to count them accurately, but I think I got somewhere near. I recorded 2 Dark green fritillaries, one in section 6 and one in section 8, both battered females, so might have been the same individual, but can't be sure. In section 8, I noticed that someone had been pulling ragwort as there was quite a pile of dying plants. As there is no livestock, I just don't see the point of this. We usually see a few Cinnabars in the spring and this could have a serious impact on their numbers. Also ragwort in flower is quite an attractive plant. I noticed that in the Mutlow Hill section there were some Cinnabar larvae on the few surviving ragwort plants, which are, in fact, about the only flowers there at the moment.
Roman Road (TL520525) Small/Essex skipper 4, Brimstone 1, Large White 1, Small White 14, Green-veined white 18, Brown Argus 3, Holly Blue 5, Red Admiral 2, Speckled Wood 2, Gatekeeper 30, Meadow Brown 5, Ringlet 1. One very noticeable feature of the above counts is the very low number of Meadow Browns.

Mountnessing, Billericay (TQ657963) A 'purple' patch of varied wild flowers by the meandering River Wid: Brown Argus 1, Small Copper 1, Peacock 4, Comma 1, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown 35, Ringlet 8, Red Admiral 5, Gatekeeper 30, Large White 14, Small White 3, of the 15 Small/Essex Skippers located, most were Essex, unidentified Blue 1. John Smart
Warley, Woodman Road (TQ596925) 3 Speckled Wood in Hampden Wood and nearby in the cemetery: 2 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Meadow Brown plus several Whites including Large and Green-veined. Then onto:
Barrack Wood (TQ597918) On the W side: 3 Purple Hairstreak, 5 Green-veined White, 1 Small White, 2 Large White, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock, 5 Gatekeeper, 5 Meadow Brown, 1 Brown Argus (nectaring on small patch of fleabane at the edge) and a Vapourer moth. Also, a large Wood Ant nest in the centre of the wood. Then at the NE corner of
Ellen's Wood (TQ599912) 10 Purple Hairstreak, 15+ Gatekeeper, 15+ Meadow Brown, 4 Green-veined White, 1 Large White, 2 Comma and 2 Red Admiral. No sign of any rarer woodland butterflies but most of the rides throughout this area could do with opening up. Then onto:
Great Warley: Headley Common and Green Lane (TQ586913) 4 Red Admiral, 3 Comma, 1 Peacock, 3 Green-veined White, 1 Large White, 1 Speckled Wood and 6 Purple Hairstreak. Also male Emperor Dragonfly over the pond by the Headley Arms. Colin Jupp
Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL836255) Cracking day had at Marks Hall with 20 species seen. 1 Purple Emperor seen in trees at aforementioned grid ref. 4 White Letter Hairstreak sharing same canopy. 2 Purple Hairstreak , 1 Silver Washed Fritillary on edge of Crowlands wood, 4 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue, 1 Small Copper, 60+ Gatekeeper, 30+ Meadow Brown, 15 Ringlet, 20 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 6 Speckled Wood, 5 Essex Skipper, 4 Small Skipper, 1 Large Skipper, 4 Peacock, 2 Green Veined Whites, 15 Large White & 20 Small White. Kevin Ling
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) 21 deg patchy sunshine. Another walk 2.30-4pm side to side of the reserve and back, to look for Silver-washed Fritillaries. We were delighted to see at least two at same locations as seen last year. First was in sunny glade on track leading away to left of noticeboard near car park. A male SWF was being repeatedly driven away by a very aggressive new-looking Comma. It settled briefly (2 photos attached). Whilst watching we saw what we believe to be another male SWF go past rapidly, but it may have been another Comma, as colour was almost identical. Later, near Alexandra's Pond, another male SWF flew by but did not settle. As both sightings were some way from the side of the reserve facing Marks Hall, Coggeshall (where there is a known colony) and close to where seen last year, we can but hope that these are homegrown from last years sightings. Also seen were: 20+Meadow Browns, 20+ Gatekeepers, 4 Red Admirals, 4 Speckled Woods, 3 Commas, 2 Purple Hairstreaks, 2 Peacocks, 1 Ringlet, 1 Small Heath, 1 Large Skipper. Also many whites various not logged, and a few Small/Essex Skippers. Colin Davis
Southey Wood (TF111025) 3-5 Silver-washed Fritillaries. 14 other species included Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Comma, Holly Blue, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Peacock and Brimstone. Matthew Webb
Warboys (TL3080) Have watched in the garden, this morning: Small White 3, Large White 2, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 3, Gatekeeper pair, Comma 1 and Small Copper 1. The Small Copper is the 18th species to visit our garden this year. (Brown Darter x1 in St.Ives). Colin Munns
Langford Locks (TL80J) Spent an hour this afternoon along the Chelmer west from Langford Locks: 6 Red Admirals, 2 Peacocks, 2-3 Commas, 1 Brown Argus, 1 Speckled Wood, 15+ Meadow Browns, 12+ Gatekeepers, 10+ whites (mostly Green-veined but at least 1 Small). Simon & Pat Cox
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) am transect. Small Skipper 7, Essex Skipper 5, unidentified skippers 5, Small White 13, Green-veined Whites 6, Common Blue 2 (fresh males), Peacock 1, Gatekeeper 51, Meadow Brown 7, Small Heath 2. Moths: Shaded Broad bar 1, 6-spot Burnet 1. Then onto:
Howe Outfall, Dengie Coast (TM028026) 1-3pm - followed up late 90s Grayling sightings from the area, but none seen. Some bare gravel tracks and thin grass, but the sea wall was generally covered with thick grasses so habitat for a colony was not obvious. Plenty of clovers, so huge concentration of skippers, most of which were Essex. Totals: S/E Skippers 150+ of which 2 were Small Skipper and 28 were Essex. Brown Argus 1, Red Admiral 4, Peacock 3, Gatekeeper 55+, Meadow Brown 20+, Small White 25+, Green-veined White 10+. There were vast fields of lucerne, but no Clouded Yellows and just 2 Latticed Heath moths, also a Silver Y. Then onto:
Rainham Marshes RSPB (TQ543788) 6-7pm Really pleased to see 2 male Wall Brown along the concrete sea wall here. Also Red Admiral 1, Peacock 1, Meadow Brown 11, Gatekeeper 16, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 1. S/E skipper 7, Essex Skipper 1 & Holly Blue 2. Rob Smith
Mepal: Old Bedford River (TL447828) The following were recorded this morning around 10.30am a couple of miles north of Mepal along the old Bedford low bank and beside the small wood which I think has the name of Hall Plantation: Ringlet 2, Comma 2 or 3, Small Copper 2, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Meadow Brown 6, Gatekeeper at least 12 with 2 being females, Speckled Wood 5, Small White 9, Brown Argus 2, Red Admiral at least 12, Peacock at least 14, Wall Brown 2 (both males). Paul Fisher (NB Note from Editor: If visiting, please keep to public rights of way).
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF0704) I visited Barnack Hills and Holes this afternoon. There were at least 50, probably 70+ Male Chalkhill Blues and a couple of females. At one point, fourteen assembled on a dog faeces together. A large fritillary flew past at speed, almost certainly a Dark Green; I had seen a number of Silver-washed earlier in the day on a walk I was leading in Fineshade Wood, Northants, so am pretty sure. Also of note were 3 Small Coppers, 3 Brown Argus, 4 Common Blues (one pair "in cop"), a pair of Marbled Whites, again "in cop", a Holly Blue, as well as the more common Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large and Small Skippers, Peacock, Red Admiral and Whie species. Doug Goddard (Northants County Recorder)
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries seen by Bob Jarman.
Wall Wood NT (TL5218) Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1, Ringlet 3, Gatekeeper 5, Speckled Wood 1, Small Skipper 2 & Green-veined White 1. Then onto:
Hatfield Forest (TL52F) for an hour's walk about on the western side: Silver-washed Fritillary 5 (1 male, 2 female and 2 fly-bys), Meadow Brown 25+, Ringlet 40+, Gatekeeper, 25+, Large Skipper 3, Small Skipper 1, Small/Essex Skipper 8, Brown Argus 2, Small White 1, Peacock 3, Speckled Wood 3 & Comma 1. Moths included Shaded Broad-bar 2, and 6 spot Burnet 1 plus Brown Hawker 2 and Southern Hawker 2. Tony Moverley

Saturday 23rd July
Harold Hill (TQ541928) 2 male Common Blues near Carter's Brook. Then:
Upper Bedfords Farm (TQ524922) Late afternoon; overcast with no breeze (or sheltered here). 31 Meadow Brown, 27 Gatekeeper, 1 Small Heath, 1 Speckled Wood, 5 Brown Argus, 1m Common Blue and 2 Small Copper. Please note: no public access. Colin Jupp
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 15:00-15:40. Overcast with a cool NE wind blowing. No Insects flying. Those seen, were along the pathways. 1 Large White, 8 Meadow Brown & 3 Gatekeeper. 24 Six spot Burnet moths, 3 Blue Zygo spp. (all males) & 1F Common Darter. Mike Harris
Kings Dyke Nature Reserve (TL250974) (including West Face Quarry): Wall Brown 8 (all male and looking as though recently emerged), Gatekeeper 50+, Meadow Brown 15+, Speckled Wood 6, Red Admiral 10+, Peacock 15+, Green-veined White 10+, Large White 2, Small / Essex Skipper 6, Brown Argus 30+, Common Blue 5 & Small Copper 1. Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne
Brampton Wood (TL1870) Weather cloudy but still and not too cold: Large Skipper 1, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 8, Meadow Brown 12, Small White 1, Brown Argus 2 & Purple Hairstreak 2. Alex Petter
Broom Hill, West Tilbury (TQ654778) 9.30am hunt for Wall Brown – none seen at this disused gravel pit, but although only 14C and breezy, the sunshine brought out: Meadow Brown 5, Gatekeeper 1, Small White 2, Red Admiral 6, Painted Lady 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1. Then onto:
Linford Pits (TQ664799) 10.30am Wall Brown 1+ - a fresh male, possibly 2 others in flight along the top of the footpath, Speckled Wood 3, Gatekeeper 20, Meadow Brown 4, Small White 2, Green-veined White 1. Later at:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 2pm transect, cool start, NW breeze but then sunny intervals: Small Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 1, S/E Skipper 3, Green-veined White 2, Brown Argus 1 (first I’ve seen on transect this year), Red Admiral 3, Comma 6, Speckled Wood 10, Gatekeeper 71, Meadow Brown 29 (incl mating pair), Ringlet 2, Shaded Broad Bar moths 4+. Then onto:
Gallows Corner, Harold Wood (TQ5390) Wider Countryside Survey 3:30pm: barely 17C, light cloud cover. Gatekeeper 11, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 1. Rob Smith
Wall Wood NT (TL5218) A cool NW breeze but a brief spell of sunshine brought a few butterflies out: Speckled Wood 7, Meadow Brown 5, Ringlet 9, Gatekeeper 6 and Large Skipper 1. Tony Moverley

Friday 22nd July
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 5-40-6.30pm Wall Brown survey - 1 pristine male at TQ688812, still there when I left under cloudy skies. Earlier, a pair of Red Admirals wafting around the ivy at Mucking church, Comma 2, Peacock 1, Essex Skipper 1 and 15+ Gatekeeper along the creek embankment. Rob Smith
John Weston EWT (TM2624) Including the lane from Walton Hall: 2 Common Blues, 1-2 Brown Argus, 8 Red Admirals, 1 Comma, 1 Ringlet, 25+ Gatekeepers, c8 Meadow Browns, c.6 Speckled Woods, 15+ whites including 1 Green-veined, 2 Small & 2 Large, 20+ S/E Skippers (only ones id’d were Essex). Simon & Pat Cox
Fleam Dyke (TL553537) Sunny for most of the day but just before we got there in late afternoon, it clouded over and became all cold. All butterflies had gone to roost so we resorted to looking for roosting skippers: Small Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 3. Alex Petter
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Sunniest day of the week - Red Admiral 3, Peacock 4, Small Skipper 1 (attempting to fly with a crab spider attached to it), White spp. 3, Meadow Brown 21, Ringlet 7, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 19 (incl. first female), Purple Hairstreak 1. Rob Smith

Thursday 21st July
St Osyth (TM144159) In our garden: single Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral & Speckled Wood. Simon & Pat Cox

Wednesday 20th July
Lexden, Colchester (TL9624) 2 Purple Hairstreaks, single Red Admiral & Gatekeeper & 3 whites in relative’s garden. Simon & Pat Cox
Harold Hill (TQ548926) 13.45-14.15 sunny intervals. A male Silver-washed Fritillary in my garden, nectaring on Buddleia but often only briefly at each flower so difficult to get a good photo; also flew into neighbouring gardens and adjacent Hatter's Wood. My second garden SWF record (previously a male on 17th-18th Aug 2006). Also this afternoon up to 12 Red Admirals, 4 Peacock, 2 Comma, 3 Gatekeeper, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 worn male Large Skipper, 1 Purple Hairstreak and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Colin Jupp

Tuesday 19th July
Ingatestone (TQ654993) A first Holly Blue of the summer and then Peacock 1, Small White 3, Green-veined White 1, Meadow Brown 1, Gatekeeper 3 and Small Copper 1. Rob Smith
Fleam Dyke Transect (TL548541) Chalkhill Blue 1 section 7, Dark Green Fritillary 2 [1 each section 6 and section 7]. Lots Small White, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown, and a few Ringlet, Brown Argus, Red Admiral, Brimstone, Large & Green-veined White, Essex Skipper, a single Comma and Holly Blue. Vince Lea

Monday 18th July
Long Lane, Spaldwick (TL127723) 3pm... fairly overcast but lots of butterflies. In particular 30+ Gatekeepers... more than I have seen there in 5 years. Also 10+ Meadow Browns, 2 Ringlets, 2 Red Admirals & 1 Small Copper. Charles Nicol
Thrift Wood EWT (TL792018) George Fletcher the Warden reported seeing a Silver Washed Fritillary in the wood. He thought it probably was a male but it took him by surprise so he couldn't be certain. Richard Bigg

Sunday 17th July
Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL840260) Despite the poor weather, the Branch field trip produced a very respectable total of 16 species on the day: Dozens of Meadow Brown and Ringlet, lesser numbers of Gatekeeper, Red Admiral (3), Green Veined White (3), Speckled Wood (2), Purple Hairstreak (4), singles of Large Skipper, Essex Skipper, Small/Essex Skipper, Large White, Small White, Comma and Small Copper, and of course Silver-washed Fritillary (7) and a Purple Emperor (several photos attached). Richard Bigg (Click here for Trip Report).

Saturday 16th July
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) Saturday evening after the rain, along one small section of path, all basking on the West-facing gravestones, 3 Comma and a Red Admiral. Earlier this week - several Holly Blue (with some very small specimens), Small and Green Veined White, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and at least 3 Red Admiral. Plus the odd Meadow Brown and Ringlet. Nick Ballard
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 3pm transect after a long rain spell, hay-cutting also probably suppressed numbers. Iffy start and end but warm sunny intervals in mid-sections: Essex Skipper 2, S/E Skipper 3, Large Skipper 12, Small White 1, Green-veined White 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Comma 2, Speckled Wood 9 (good show!), Gatekeeper 20, Meadow Brown 23, Ringlet 7, and 2 Shaded Broad-bar moths. Rob Smith

Friday 15th July
Hanningfield Reservoir (TQ727971) Near the Field Centre: In the tops of the line of tall Wych Elms opposite the Field Centre, several White-letter Hairstreaks were flitting about. Nearby, there were 4 Gatekeepers, I Comma & 2 Speckled Woods. John Smart
Devil's Dyke: Burwell Cutting (TL5765) Early AM. Hundreds of Chalk-hill Blue along the Cutting and beyond. Also several Small White, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Small/Essex Skipper and Ringlet, Gatekeeper, with 3 or 4 Common Blue and Small Copper, 2 Peacock, 1 Comma and a Brimstone. Then:
Fleam Dyke (TL553537) PM. Still 2 or 3 Dark Green Fritillaries flying, with 15+ Small White, the odd GVW and at least 3 Large White, plus 3 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 5+ Brimstone (several females), a few Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small/Essex Skipper , but no Chalk-hill or Common Blue seen on that section (several photos attached). Nick Ballard
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL4482) Thanks to Phil Bromley who advises that Environment Agency works on the Bank are likely to make finding any Wall Browns improbable! (see attached photo)
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 2 White-letter Hairstreaks on elm near bowling green and a low level Purple Hairstreak; also 4 Speckled Wood plus singles of Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, Comma, Green-veined White, Large White and Small White. Colin Jupp
Epping Forest: Barn Hoppitt (TQ398943) A male Silver-washed Fritillary resting on bramble along woodland ride. Then onto:
Epping Forest: Fairmead Bottom (TQ407957) another male Silver-washed Fritillary feeding on bramble flowers. Andy Froud
Brampton Wood (TL1870) In a couple of hours this afternoon saw White Admiral 7, 5 on 1 patch of bramble on main ride all looking fresh. Silver-washed Fritillaries 2, Small Copper 3, Brown Argus 2, Essex, Small and Large Skipper in good numbers. Plenty of Whites as well as Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet. Purple Hairstreak seem to be on every Oak with 20+ in the meadow area alone on the small oak trees but no Uncommon Blues. Large numbers of Peacocks and Red Admirals (over 20 on the thistles by the pond.) [photos attached] Roger Orbell
Langdon Hills (TQ68Y) Nice warm day: 6 Brown Argus, 5 Small Copper, 1 White-letter Hairstreak, 1 Brimstone, 4 Large Skippers, 3 Commas, 5 Red Admiral, 4 Peacock & 2 Speckled Wood in a two hour photographic sesion. Dave Blackwell
St Osyth (TM1216) Short walk this pm produced 1 Painted Lady, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Comma, 1 S/E Skipper, 1 Large, 3 Green-veined & 3 Small Whites. Simon Cox
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF0704) I visited here late morning in warm, sunny but breezy weather conditions. I located good numbers of Chalkhill Blue with up to six in view at one time and ca 25 overall. Also, about 20 Marbled White, 3 Brown Argus, 1 Common Blue, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 10 Meadow Brown, 1 Gatekeeper, 6 Small White and 1 Large White. Ron Harold
Friday Wood, Colchester (TL9820) A visit this morning provided the following butterflies: Small Skipper 10, Essex Skipper 1, 3 spp whites, Purple Hairstreak 12, Small Copper 2, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 2, White Admiral 3, Red Admiral 5, Peacock 2, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 6, Gatekeeper 16, Meadow Brown 70+, Ringlet 22. Also, at:
Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL8426) earlier I saw 7+ Silver-washed Fritillaries. Martin Peers
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Very warm and sunny, with heather coming into flower. Red Admiral 2+, Peacock 2 (very ‘in your face’), Comma 4, Large Skipper 3, Small/Essex Skipper 3, White spp. 4, Meadow Brown 20, Ringlet 14, Speckled Wood 1, Gatekeeper 4, Purple Hairstreak 2 and the first Small Copper I’ve seen here this year. Rob Smith

Thursday 14th July
Madingley Wood (TL4059) Clouded Yellow seen by Bob Jarman and Bill Jordan.
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ68V) 6.15-7pm. Lovely still evening with hazy sunshine. Finally found a summer Wall Brown, a female strangely, in less than perfect condition, basking on flowers near the top of the sea wall at TQ693810. Also a Marbled White at TQ688811. Others: Peacock 1, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Red Admiral 1, Comma 2, Meadow Brown 6, Gatekeeper 2, Ringlet 1, Essex Skipper 1 (& 10+ unidentified), Green-veined White 1 (& 5+ other whites). Rob Smith
Another Silver-washed Fritillary on Hardwick Wood (TL3557) transect this week, this time a fabulous valesina form female! Several other (normal) SWF's have been seen by another local at the site this month. Also on transect, a Marbled White (site first) and single Purple & White-letter Hairstreaks! Vince Lea

Wednesday 13th July
Garnetts Wood, near Great Dunmow (TL6318) It was a fairly warm sunny day and this female Purple Emperor (photo attached) was sitting on a nettle on a ride in the Hazel coppice with Oak stardards area of the wood. Tom Hamilton
Castor Hanglands (TF1201) despite cloudy and windy weather, Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, Meadow Brown (20), Gatekeeper (2), Ringlet (35), Large Skipper (7), Red Admiral (3), White Admiral (1), Brown Argus (7), Common Blue (3). David Withrington
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF0704) Small White (7), Green-veined White (7), Large White (5), Marbled White (17), Meadow Brown (10), Ringlet (20), Small Skipper (4), Large Skipper (3), Peacock (1), Small Copper (4), Brown Argus (7), Common Blue (5), Chalkhill Blue (15 – all male). David Withrington

Tuesday 12th July
Little Baddow (TL7806) A Camberwell Beauty briefly on garden petunias. Unfortunately it had flown off by the time I got my camera. Paul Baker
West Mersea (TM0013) During a walk round the seawall this morning, I noted 1 Small Copper, 1 Essex Skipper & 2 S/E Skippers, c6 Meadow Browns, 2 Gatekeepers & 5 Small Whites. Simon Cox
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Thick cloud, but warm enough. Meadow Brown 20, Ringlet 14, Gatekeeper 1, Peacock 3, Comma 1, Green-veined White 2, Large Skipper 3, Small Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 2, and a Ground Carpet moth. Unfortunately I disturbed a Large Skipper onto a Labyrinth Spider's web that promptly shuffled the poor skipper down to a grizzly end (photo attached). Rob Smith
Hockley Woods (TQ8392) 2 Red Admiral, 5+ Ringlet, 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Essex Skippers & many Large Whites. Ray Walker.
Thrift Wood EWT (TQ791017) 11 Purple Hairstreaks moved down from an adjacent oak onto an Ash Tree to feed in the mid-afternoon. John Smart.

Monday 11th July
Wat Tyler CP (TQ7386) 1 Wall butterfly, 2 Gatekeeper, 1 Brown Argus & 5+ Small Skippers. Neil Phillips
Saffron Walden (TL548378) For the first time in six years, since I moved into my present house I have seen a White letter Hairstreak in my garden, seen feeding on honeydew on dead rose flowers. Peter Chugg
Epping Forest: Barn Hoppitt (TQ396944) A male Silver-washed Fritillary resting on bramble in a very small woodland glade. Andy Froud
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden today: 8 Red Admiral, 4 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock, 2 Purple Hairstreak, 3 Large White, 3 Green-veined White, 3+ Small White, 3 Meadow Brown, 1 Gatekeeper, 2 Large Skipper; plus 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths, 1 Brown Hawker, a large hoverfly Volucella zonaria and a Crab Spider Misumena vatia (on Buddleia). A total of 14 Red Admirals were nectaring on Buddleia front and back yesterday. Also female Common Blue briefly on lawn 9th July. Then an evening visit (11th) to:
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ531905) Overcast and humid. From 19.15hrs c20 Purple Hairstreaks over oaks mainly in NW and NE corner and 2 Red Admirals. Also a Gatekeeper here on 9th. Colin Jupp
Phyllis Currie EWT (TL723182) 2 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Ringlet, 10 Large White, 3 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 1 Small Copper. Ray Walker.
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) Very surprised this morning to find a Marbled White, the first ever recorded, in the long-grass at the north end of the Cemetery, right here in the City Centre! It spent 1/2 hr patrolling before flying over towards Blossom Street (photo attached). Strange year - mind you, I met a local resident yesterday, who reported seeing (for the second year running) a "large orange butterfly - not a Comma" at her New Street Allotments (TL464588). When I showed her pictures of various frits, she immediately picked-out the male Silver Washed. Although quite surprising, it is not unbelievable, given the good season for SWF and where they have already been seen this year...... Nick Ballard

Martin Peers recorded a few butterflies during a walk round his final TTV for the Bird Atlas today, as well as visiting Broak's Wood near Halstead:
Broak's Wood (TL73V) Small Skipper 4, Large Skipper 12, Large White 13, Small White 4, Green-veined White 19, Purple Hairstreak 5, Red Admiral 18, Peacock 1, Comma 5, Speckled Wood 6, Gatekeeper 11, Meadow Brown 17, Ringlet 76.
Kirby Hall (TL73T) Small Skipper 2, Large Skipper 1, Large White 12, Small White 60, Green-veined White 3, Brown Argus 1 (also 1 with 6 Small Skippers at TL7357), Red Admiral 12, Painted Lady 1, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Peacock 1, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 2, Meadow Brown 15, Ringlet 6 (8 species of dragonflies at the Willow Ponds, TL7357, included 12 Small Red-eyed Damsels). Martin Peers

Sunday 10th July
Langdon Hills: Coombe Wood (TQ678862) The male Silver-washed Fritillary with the damaged wing was still visiting the same area (see Andrew's report on 3rd July). A second was possibly seen here too. Andrew Cox
Barnack Hills & Holes (TF0704) 3 Chalkhill Blues, c.20 Marbled Whites, Small Copper, Lots of Ringlets & Meadow Browns. Don Gardener
Epping Forest (TQ4299) 'Rifle Butts' ride, Honey Lane Quarters - during morning 'run' almost stepped on 1 female Purple Hairstreak resting on ground - encouraged it to fly into trees, also Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood & 2 Small Skipper. Nigel May
Woodredon Estate (TQ4299) 3 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 1 Painted Lady, Gatekeeper. Nigel May
Fleam Dyke (TL553537) 1 Dark Green Fritillary at least, Balsham side of A11 footbridge. David Hopkins
Fleam Dyke (TL553537) At 15.15, 1 Dark Green Fritillary & 2 Brown Argus (photos attached). Kevin Wilson
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 10.30am - best conditions this year. At least hazy sunshine, 18C and very light breeze. Small Skipper 6, Essex Skipper 3, S/E skipper 27, Small White 33, Green-veined White 16, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 4 (I never know why they're so attracted to sea walls), Gatekeeper 17, Meadow Brown 40, Small Heath 3. Is anyone else noticing a particularly deep, beautiful orange of the Gatekeepers this year? The dry spring may have darkened some species' colouration. Rob Smith
Langdon EWT: Dunton Plotlands (TQ6687) The weather was around 20C, with intermittent sun. I had a look at seven sites where White-letter Hairstreak had been recorded before, but I only recorded it at two of these: TQ664874 (just to the east of Hillcrest Avenue ) - 8 individuals (5 nectaring on bramble and 3 in canopy of elm) and at TQ661875 (just to the south of second avenue) - 2 individuals, (both nectaring on bramble). By the time I reached another known spot above the lake (TQ661878), it was cloudy and I didn't record any. I thought I had seen one in the canopy of elm, but when I looked with binoculars it was a Purple Hairstreak! I also looked at a new site (TQ662876 - first avenue - I think!) where the warden, Jonathan Wisbey, recorded some individuals earlier this week, but I didn't have any luck. Zoe Ringwood
Wanstead Flats (TQ404865) Marbled Whites, first witnessed on 4th July at nearby Wanstead Park (TQ411871) by Jennifer Charter, single Marbled White sightings have occurred on 6th July by Nick Croft and then by Paul Ferris on 9th July (photo attached) at the same location at the east end of the SSSI on Wanstead Flats , near Centre Road. The last sighting was on the flowers of Calluna vulgaris. Sent in by Paul Ferris
Had a short walk at Hatfield Broad Oak (TL545166): 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Peacocks, 1 Comma, 2 Large Skippers, 1 Essex & 2 S/E Skippers, c10 Meadow Browns, c10 G-v Whites & 1 Large White. Simon & Pat Cox

Saturday 9th July
A few butterflies seen today, while doing some roving records for the Bird Atlas. Red Admirals were definitely on the move: Baythorne End (TL733427) Small Skipper 6, Large Skipper 2, Large White 2, Small White 20, Green-veined White 8, Brown Argus 1, Red Admiral 3, Comma 2, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 20, Ringlet 6, Speckled Wood 1. Then:
New England (TL706434) Small Skipper 7, Essex Skipper 4, Large White 8, Small White 30, Green-veined White 2, Red Adrmiral 22, Small Tortoiseshell 16, Meadow Brown 22 & Ringlet 4. Martin Peers

Hatfield Forest (TL52F) Graeme Smith reports: [Numbers in square brackets refer to counts made on Monday 27th June]:
481 Ringlet [235], 192 Meadow Brown [380], 22 Large White [49], 6 Small White [18], 26 Green-veined White [18], 78 White sp. [17], 32 Red Admiral [3], 0 Small Tortoiseshell!!! [34], 3 Comma, all hutchinsoni [9], 1 Peacock fresh [0], 0 Brimstone [0], 10 Silver-washed Fritillary (7[8]m, 2[3]f) [11], 5 Common Blue [0], 7 Brown Argus [0], 3 Small Copper [1], 1 Purple Hairstreak [2], 28 Small Skipper [29], 0 Essex Skipper [0], 24 Small/Essex Skipper [21], 61 Large Skipper [91], 13 Speckled Wood [118] & 3 Gatekeeper [0]. A total of 1,009 butterflies of 17 species; this would have thrashed my count from a few weeks back if I had not been rained off. A few other bits n bobs that are worth a mention: 8 NB 5-spot Burnet all worn, 7 Mother of Pearl, 6 Shaded broadbar, 3 Southern Hawker, 3 Common Darter (a yearlister for me) & 2 Azure Damselfly caught to ID.

Phyllis Currie EWT (TL7218) Sightings this morning along meadow edge and in woods on bramble – 14 Meadow Brown, 5 Skippers (probably Essex), 2 Ringlet, 5 Small White, 1 Large White, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Red Admiral & 3 Comma. Ray Walker
Wanstead Flats (TQ407863) The first Painted Lady I have seen this year (photo attached). Paul Ferris
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) 5+ Silver-washed Fritillaries (mostly at the southern end of the reserve) 4 Comma 2 Holly Blue Gatekeeper Red Admiral Still lots of Ringlets, Marbled Whites, all three skippers etc. Stuart Elsom
Weeleyhall Wood EWT (TM12K) This morning produced 4 White & 2 Red Admirals, 1 Comma, 2 Large Skippers, c25 Meadow Browns, 1 Ringlet, 1 Gatekeeper, 5 Purple Hairstreaks, c10 Green-veined, 15+ Small & 2 Large Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) am transect, breezy, sunny intervals. Small Skipper 17, Essex Skipper 2, S/E Skipper 22, Large Skipper 3, Large White 3, Small White 5, Green-veined White 9, Purple Hairstreak 3, Small Copper 1 (first here this year), Red Admiral 1, Peacock 1, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 43, Ringlet 34. Then onto:
Gallows Corner, Harold Wood (TQ5390) Wider Countryside Survey: 17+C but generally cloudy: seemed quieter than previous years: 1 each of Small Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Then onto:
Davy Down, North Stifford (TQ593799) 2pm, sunny. Ringlet 4, Red Admiral 1, Gatekeeper 2, Essex Skipper 2, Green-veined White 2, Small White 1, Brown Argus 1 and a Yellow Shell moth. Then onto:
Grays Gorge EWT (TQ608790) Painted Lady 1+, Red Admiral 2, Peacock 1, Brimstone 1 (f), Green-veined White 1, Large Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 1, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 4 & Ringlet 12. Then onto:
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ688813) 4-5pm, (occ sun, breezy) check for Wall Browns, but none seen. As last weekend, Commas, Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells battling for territories along the earthen bank. Surprised to see a Speckled Wood on an exposed section of embankment near the sluice (TQ692808). Rob Smith

Thursday 7th July
Bar Hill (TL384637) To my complete surprise I watched a Purple Emperor today at 17:40 for about 3 minutes feeding on the ground here, just a stones throw from where I work at Domino! Ben Stephen
Editor adds: This is well outside the normal range for this species so its provenance is questionable.
Magog Down (TL487531) Marbled White 10, Gatekeeper 7, lots of Small/Essex skipper, 2 confirmed Small Skipper and lots of Meadow Browns. Alex Petter
Brampton Wood (TL1870) Good numbers of butterflies seen this afternoon: Silver Washed Fritillary 5, White Admiral 4, Gatekeeper 7, White-letter Hairstreak 3, Purple Hairstreak 20+ mostly high up, Red Admiral 6, Peacock 1, Holly Blue 1, Large ,Small and Green-veined Whites, Small, Large and Essex Skipper lots, plus good numbers of Ringlets and Meadow Brown (several photos attached). Roger Orbell
Devil's Dyke: Burwell Cutting (TL5765) Great couple of hours this afternoon: 45 Chalkhill Blue, 70 Ringlet, 3 Small Heath, 2 Small Copper, 1 Brown Argus, 40 Large White, 20 Meadow Brown, 3 Gatekeeper, 10's of Large, Small and Essex Skipper. Stuart Elsom

Tuesday 5th July
Epping Forest: Hawk Wood (TQ387957) 2 Silver-washed Fritillary flying together up and down Woodman's Ride, especially over bramble patches. Imogen Wilde
Epping Forest: Fernhills (TQ391972) A Marbled White flying along the Green Lane next to Fernhills. Jeff Hillier
Epping Forest: Fairmead Bottom (TQ407958) A male and female Silver-washed Fritillary spotted feeding on bramble and courting, stayed at the same site for 2 hours then move on. Then onto:
Epping Forest: Sunshine Plain (TQ422991) A single Marbled White seen by Ashley Pinnock.
In addition, Ashley reports:
The City of London Corporation, who manage the Forest, have records of a female Purple Emperor being found trapped in one of the Forest Keepers Lodges and then released. A further 3 sightings of Silver-Washed Fritillaries in different locations around the Forest. We are having a very good year for Purple Hairstreak, Ringlet and Meadow Brown in particular this year. Good numbers of Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper and also Small Copper. Many whites on show and Orange Tips earlier on in the year and nice to see the Small Tortoiseshell on the come back this year in The Forest.
Tydd St Giles (TF426163) Good day in my garden: Large White 3, Small White 2, Green-veined White 1, Holly Blue 1, Red Admiral 4, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 1, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 1 & Ringlet 1. Plus 2 Humming Bird Hawk Moths Plus 1 that got away. Not a Comma or Wall but almost certain it was a Fritillary but too brief a glimpse to be able to identify. Norman Villiers
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) 1 male Silver-washed Fritillary on a brief visit on the first bramble patch to the left just inside the entrance. Also hordes of Marbled Whites on adjoining Sugley Wood meadow (TL248538). Duncan McNiven
Horndon-on-the-hill (TQ6682) Carried out the WCBS on this square today. It is an arable area with rape, wheat and potato crops, the margins however are fairly wide with grass and wild flowers. I recorded Green Veined White 2, Large White 6, Meadow Brown 10, Small White 98, Essex Skipper 2, Small Skipper 2, Small/Essex Skipper 10, Large Skipper 2, Small Tortoiseshell 3, and Red Admiral 1. Then on to :
Basildon (TQ7091) This WCBS square is 75% walking along roads and the other 25% across playing fields. I recorded Small White 6, Green veined White 2, Meadow Brown 6, Small/Essex Skipper 1, Red Admiral 1 & Speckled Wood 2. Richard Bigg
Devil's Dyke: Burwell Cutting (TL5765) 14:30-15:30 Numerous Chalkhill Blues and Small Skippers, manty Meadow Browns, a few Small Heaths and Brown Arguses, one Marbled White. Jeff Riley
Block Fen GP (TL48G) The first Painted Lady of my season appeared in Block Fen GP at 17.45 tonight, flying strongly 10 minutes ahead of this evening's weather front and associated rain. Rob Partridge
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Very warm today - Small Skipper 5, Large Skipper 7, unidentified skippers 7, Red Admiral 1, Meadow Brown 29, Ringlet 27, Green-veined White 1 & Purple Hairstreak 2. Rob Smith

Monday 4th July
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) First Essex Skippers out in the Cemetery (8+). 5+ GVW, 2 Red Admiral, one Comma and the odd Small White, plus 4 Gatekeeper and 2 Speckled Wood. Also several 2nd brood Holly Blue (first seen on Saturday), along with a few MB and Ringlet. Nick Ballard
Langdon Hills CP: Northlands Wood (TQ68X) Purple Hairstreaks (several), Silver-washed Fritillary (1 male, possibly more), White Admiral (1), Red Admiral (2), Peacock (1), Comma (1), Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Marbled Whites, Green-veined Whites, Small Whites, Large Whites, Large Skippers, Small Skippers, Essex Skippers and, the one that got away, a possible Wall Brown (a bright, smallish "fritillary" that was probably a female Wall, far too nifty to hang around while I tried to get to the spot it had just vacated; if not this species, I know not whatever else it might have been, given date and location). Rod Cole
Duxford: SW area (TL44M) A Marbled White this evening between Duxford & Crishall Grange. James Hanlon
Chigborough Lakes (TL877086) There were at least 30 Purple Hairstreaks this evening around 7pm, flying around the tops of various oaks, also 2 Red Admirals and 1 Comma. Steven Stuart
Ferry Meadows CP (TL1497) 3+ Purple Hairstreak in the Oaks and Ash between Oak and Coney Meadows at the southern end. Plus 3+ White Letter Hairstreak in the Elm trees by the visitor centre. Don & Andrew Gardener
Cambourne transect (TL315594) Finally, following the "nearly but not quite" of two weeks ago, today we were lucky (goaded into action by others, I probably would have been lazy and not gone out if other people had not been keen) - we had one Marbled White on transect. Louise Bacon
Walthamstow Filter Beds (TQ3588) 15+ Large Skippers, 2 Red Admirals, 4 Meadow Browns, 5+ Large Whites, 3 Small Whites & 2 GV White flying around 'in cop'. (Please note: No public access to this site). Dan Barrett
Fulbourn: New Shardelowes Farm (TL537542) 1 White Letter Hairstreak seen on Elms at entrance to New Shardelowes Farm at 9.55. Kevin Wilson

Sunday 3rd July
Rob Smith, the Essex butterfly recorder, has sent in the following reports for a wide search of Epping Forest, an area where we receive relatively few records:
Epping Forest: Jacks Hill (N) (TQ433997) These areas of dry heathland are dominated by very coarse grasses, heather and bracken, but have some rides with bramble: Ringlet 4, Purple Hairstreak 13, Meadow Brown 57, Large Skipper 32, Small White 4, Large White 1, Green-veined White 1, and a Silver Y moth. Then onto:
Epping Forest: Broodstrood (TQ4398) A less harsh area, but bracken dominates some of the open areas: Large Skipper 8, Red Admiral 1, Meadow Brown 15, Peacock 1, Small White 3, Ringlet 1, Purple Hairstreak 4 (photo of upperside attached). Then onto:
Epping Forest: Connaught Water (TQ4095) Occasional White Admiral sightings from here, but none today. This wooded area with rides opens out onto meadows to the west: Large Skipper 11, Ringlet 30, Small Skipper 15, Meadow Brown 26, Green-veined White 5, Purple Hairstreak 2, Large White 1, Red Admiral 3, Comma 4, Speckled Wood 2. Then onto:
Epping Forest: Warren Hill (TQ410954) More diverse rides and heathland area, promising White Admiral country, but none seen: Comma 2, Red Admiral 1, Meadow Brown 11, Speckled Wood 3, Green-veined White 1, Peacock 1, Ringlet 2, Purple Hairstreak 1, Essex Skipper 1, Small Copper 1.
Rob additionally visited:
Belhus Woods & Belhus Chase (TQ5682) Silver-washed Fritillary 1 (a tatty female), Ringlet 32, Meadow Brown 9, Green-veined White 1, Large Skipper 2, Comma 3, Small Skipper 7, S/E Skipper 14, unidentified whites 6. Then onto:
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ6881) 4.20-5.15pm search for Wall Browns – none seen, but there were 2 Marbled Whites near the stream bridge. Also lots of nymphalids fighting out territories along the earthen path heading south - Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Commas. Rob Smith

Langdon Hills: Coombe Wood (TQ678862) 3 Silver-washed fritillary; they were in an area called The Park/Coomb Wood. Two were males (one was intact, the other had most of its lower left wing missing). The 3rd was a female & this also had some damage to its lower left wing. Andrew Cox
Roman Road (TL523523) (Relatively short 'flowery' stretch). Dark Green Fritillary 1 (photo), Gatekeeper 1, Brimstone 2, Ringlet 2, Meadow Brown 10+, Skippers 2 & Whites 10+. Alan Coulson
Linton (TL559469) In garden 4 Small Whites, 5 Green-veined Whites, 3 Ringlets, 1 Red Admiral and 1 male Brimstone. On the 29th June I was very surprised to see a White-Letter Hairstreak in the centre of Cambridge at St John's College School (TL439589). I am not sure if the W-L hairstreak has been recorded in this part of Cambridge before. Alex Petter
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) 8+ Silver-washed Fritillaries in Gamlingay Wood this morning. Hundreds of Marbled Whites in the meadow near adjoining Sugley Wood too (TL248538). Stuart & Jill Elsom
John Weston EWT (TM2624) Single Red Admiral, Comma & Large Skipper, c.20 Meadow Browns, 7+ Ringlets (photo attached), c20 Small/Essex Skippers of which several Essex & probably at least 1 Small, c20 Small Whites, 2 Common Blues. Simon and Pat Cox
Stour Wood RSPB (TM1931) 5-6 Silver-washed Frits today, same as before. We saw at least 10 White Admirals, but didn't go through the whole wood. Also Ringlet, Meadow Brown, only 1 Hedge Brown, 1 Peacock, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Small Skipper, several Large Skippers, 0 Commas. Fewer butterflies than I would expect in a normal year (having done a guided walk in similar conditions at this time for many years in the same place), presumably more fall-out from the drought killing off larval host plants. Many plants well behind, some way ahead, amazing response to the drought. Rick Vonk

Saturday 2nd July
South Woodham Ferrers (TQ805971) 1 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on Betony and Field Scabious. Chris Rawlings.
Monks Wood (TL2080) I am 95% certain I saw a Silver-washed Fritillary along one of the main rides, mid-morning. Unfortunately it did'nt stop. I hung around in the area for quite awhile but it did'nt return. Had lots of experience with Frit spp of late having spent a lot of time searching for butterflies in Croatia and Slovenia. Also one White Admiral same area, tons of Ringlets and good numbers of Large Skipper to boot. Ron Harold
Phil Bromley adds: I can confirm Ron Harold's sighting of a Silver-washed Fritillary in Monks Wood (TL2080) - unfortunately it was a male. Attached photo of the one in question is courtesy of Rosalyn Payne. Phil Bromley
Harold Hill: Central Park (TQ544922) Early pm: 3 Small Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 6 Large Skipper, 4 Small White, 3 Green-veined White, 2 Large White, 2 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 4 Meadow Brown, 5 Ringlet. Later a 2+ hour visit to:
Brentwood: Nags Head Lane Fishery (TQ564912) 5 White-letter Hairstreaks - 4 on elm and a female nectaring on Creeping Thistle. 32+ Small Skippers inc 11 nectaring on Black Horehound flowers, 5 Essex Skipper (+ 18 unidentified), 4 Large Skipper, 6 Small White, 3 Green-veined White, 1 Large White, 2 Purple Hairstreak, 4 Comma, 38 Meadow Brown and 20 Ringlet. Moths included 12 Shaded Broad-bar, 1 Cinnabar (+ larvae on ragwort) & 5 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet. Colin Jupp
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL17V) At least 3 silver-washed Fritillary butterflies at 11.00am this morning at north end of wood just off the main ride. John Lindsell
Tolleshunt D'Arcy (TL9212) Rather surprised to find a White-letter Hairstreak in my garden this afternoon. There is a large Elm in the garden so fingers crossed for more? Andy Cook
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) 9+ Silver Washed Fritillary, 2+ Purple Hairstreak, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Red Admiral, 100+ Ringlets and Meadow Browns. Don & Andrew Gardener
Goldhanger (TL906084) 9.45am Small Skipper 2, Large White 1, Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, Meadow Brown 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1. Then onto:
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 11.30am F2SE, cloudy 15-19C. Good conditions for identifying whites and skippers. Small Skipper 26, Essex Skipper 11, unidentified skippers 28, Small White 29, Green-veined Whites 14, Common Blue 1 (tatty f.), Gatekeeper 2, Meadow Brown 27, Small Heath 7. Moths: Latticed Heath 1 (my first of year), Silver Y 1, Cinnabar larvae 2. Then onto:
Bushy Hill, South Woodham Ferrers (TQ813984) 2pm, sunny, Meadow Brown 12, Ringlet 24, Comma 2, Small Skipper 4, unidentified skippers 27, Purple Hairstreak 2, Small Heath 1, Small White 2, white spp. 5, Large Skipper 2, Gatekeeper 1, and a male Marbled White – just the one, but I thought this was a possible site as I heard from Graham Smith that there were colonies lower down on the Crouch (Marsh Farm?) and at Burnham-on-Crouch park. Then onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common transect (TQ571907) 3pm transect - cloudy again, but a steady 18C. Small Skipper 22, Essex skipper 10, unidentified skippers 21, Large Skipper 1, Large White 1, Small White 2, Green-veined White 1, Purple Hairstreak 2, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 1 (fresh), Comma 8, Speckled Wood 1 (fresh), Meadow Brown 74, Ringlet 35. Moths: NB 5-spot Burnet 2 and Shaded Broad-bar 14, all in Tylers Wood meadow (TQ571906). Rob Smith
Hatfield Forest (TL52F) Visited Hatfield forest today, from the southern entrance at 09.45, along the eastern edge of Emblems coppice no Silver washed here as nearly all the bramble has been taken out. At the far western end of the ride, between Emblems and Lodge coppice where some bramble has been left, 6 male Silver-washed Fritillaries and one female, in cop with one of the males; another 2 males in Lodge coppice, again most of the good bramble has been removed. In the ride between Lodge coppice and Beggars Hall, 3 males and one female, one of the males had a strange pale patch at the end of its left forewing. Laurence Drummond
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries - some incredibly fresh so presumably newly emerged, 20 Marbled Whites, 1+ Purple Hairstreak. Dozens of Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Essex, Small and Large Skippers. Photo's of the Frits will be on my website this evening. Stuart Elsom
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden am: Hummingbird Hawkmoth(s) at 09.40 and 10.45, 1 fresh Peacock, 3 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Large White and a Ringlet (also 1 on 30th June). Colin Jupp

Friday 1st July
Epping Forest: High Beach (Paul's Nursery area) (TQ411979) A Purple Emperor (female) Flew up from the garden of the Forest keepers lodge opposite Spearman's pond, before entering an open bedroom window. Tristan Vetta
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 2 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White, 3+ Small White, 3+ Green-veined White. Other recent sightings end of June: 1 Ringlet on 30th (my first here); 2 Comma, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Meadow Brown & 1 Purple Hairstreak on 29th. Colin Jupp
Paxton Pits NR (TL16W) Pair of Purple Hairstreaks mating, halfway along Meadow Trail by path to river 8pm. 50+ Meadow Brown, 3 Ringlet, 15+ Large Skipper. Also large numbers of Cinnabar larvae on Ragwort here. Stuart & Jill Elsom
Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ683872) White-letter Hairstreak 7. A search was made of the canopy of a clump of dwarf sized, but healthy, elms on the mid-slopes covered in dense scrub. There was an area of bramble below and two of the insects flitted down to feed on the nectar, affording close views. 6 Commas & 2 Red Admirals were about in the immediate area. John Smart
Fairlop Waters CP (TQ460905) 2 Large White, approx 12 Small White, 1 Gatekeeper, 3 Small Skippers, 1 Essex Skipper, approx 10 other Small/Essex Skippers. Kathleen Black
Canvey Island: Garden World Garden Centre (TQ775835) In the butterfly garden, 2 Painted Ladys, 1 Comma, 1 Large White, 6 Marble Whites, 2 Small Tortoieseshell. 2 Red Admirals, 4 Essex Skipper, 4 Meadow Browns, 1 Peacock & 1 Hummingbird Hawk moth (several photos attached). Dave Blackwell (who additionally comments that there must be a population explosion of Marbled Whites at West Canvey Marsh RSPB (TQ774842) at the moment; I have never seen so many in any other year, there are thousands.)
Thorndon CP environs (TQ6091) 40+ Purple Hairstreak seen this evening (6.30-7.30pm) starting with 5 at Little Warley Common Woods (Hartswood side) (TQ603916), 9 on the south side clearing (TQ602914), 11 along Thorndon north approach (TQ606915) and 15 in and around the heathland restoration area (TQ612911), mainly on oak, but also on ash, lime and birch - anything tall that was catching the evening sun. Then onto:
Little Warley Common (TQ607905) 7.45pm - 2 more Purple Hairstreak, 1 Small White, 2 Meadow Brown and 3 Small Skipper. I thought this sheltered corner at the bottom of the slope could attract Marbled White as there's lots of knapweed here, but none is in flower yet which is probably a good indicator of their absence. Rob Smith
Belfairs NR: Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ8187) 10 White Admiral, 3 Purple Hairstreak, 3 Heath Fritillary, 50+ Ringlet, 8 Large Skipper, 4 Comma and a Brimstone. Andrew Woodhouse
Walthamstow Filter Beds (TQ3588) In a piece of 'meadow' measuring a few square metres found 3 Small Skippers, 2 Meadow Browns, 1 female Common Blue (stunning blue example), 2 Small Whites, 3 Large Whites, 1 Red Admiral. (Please note: No public access to this site). Dan Barrett
Phyllis Currie EWT (TL7218) Second visit this week and noted the Ringlet population is still in abundance despite the Trust having mown the main two wildflower meadows since my last visit! (I understood you did not cut the wildflower meadows until the seeds had set?) Seen also 2x Speckled Wood, 1x Red Admiral, 3 x Essex Skippers, 1x Green-veined White, 1x Small White, 3x Large White and 1x Gatekeeper. Ray Walker
Buttsbury (TQ662984) I walked a little further along the thistle-lined banks of the River Wid today, so although I saw more Small Torts than 2 weeks ago, they were less dense and in a variety of states: Small Tortoiseshell 29, Comma 1, Red Admiral 3+, Large White 1, Small White 28, Meadow Brown 9, Ringlet 6, Large Skipper 4, Essex Skipper 1, Small Skipper 1 & S/E skipper 2. Rob Smith

June 2011

Thursday 30th June
Benfleet Downs (TQ78X) Branch Field Trip led by David Chandler: White-letter Hairstreak 40, Purple Hairstreak 5, Comma 8, Green-veined White 8, Large White 2, Small White 2, Large Skipper 12, Essex Skipper 10, Small Skipper 5, Ringlet 30, Meadow Brown 20, Holly Blue 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1, Peacock 2, Marbled White 15 & Red Admiral 1. Plus Hummingbird Hawkmoth, numerous Roesel's bush crickets and Meadow grasshoppers, and a Slow Worm under a roofing felt refuge 'tin' (3 photos by John Lepley attached). Click here for the trip report. Tony Moverley
Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL8426) Up to 20 Silver-washed Fritillaries on a cloudy, breezy day. No Purple Emperors, but they have been seen this year. Ringlets are also abundant here this year. Joe Firmin
Laindon: St. Nicholas Church (TQ687895) A 40 acre site of scrub, bramble, tall grasses and elm trees growing in the wide hedges. The wilderness factor is encouraged by the church to promote wildlife. It’s in their ecumenical mandate. The elms remain healthy until they begin to mature, as evidenced by the stark leafless tree skeletons that characterize the site. On the lower wind protected slopes, two elm trees held White-letter Hairstreak 60 metres apart. Spiralling courtship was observed. An additional elm tree, some 300 metres away, also had White-letter Hairstreak activity. I probably only saw some 9 individuals total. One, obligingly settling for binocular scrutiny. Also present, 1 Small Heath. John Smart
Stour Wood RSPB (TM1931) Rick Vonk reports lots of White Admirals now pretty well everywhere in the wood (normally have c. 30 territories) and a few more Silver-washed Fritilliaries than last year (in 5 different locations).
A pleasant few hours this morning produced the following sightings:
Boxted Hall (TL93W) Small Skipper 10, Essex Skipper 4, Large Skipper 10, Large White 2, Small White c50, Green-veined White 3, Small Copper (997326) 2, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 16, Ringlet 10. Then:
Nayland: pumping station reserve (TL973338) Small Skipper 2, Essex Skipper 2, Large Skipper 1, Large White 2, Small White 20, Green-veined White 2, Purple Hairstreak 2, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Meadow Brown 16, Ringlet 1. Martin Peers

Wednesday 29th June
South Woodham Ferrers: Amenity Recycle Centre (TQ801972) 1 Marbled White flying north towards the adjacent Woodham Fen Nature Reserve. In our garden (TQ805971) 1 Ringlet and also Meadow Brown nectaring on Betony and Field Scabious. Chris Rawlings.
Harold Hill (TQ548926) 2 sightings of Hummingbird Hawkmoth in my garden nectaring on Buddleia: 12.45 back garden and 14.30 front. Also 1 Painted Lady, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 2 Large Skipper, 2 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 3+ Small White, 1 Purple Hairstreak and 3 Meadow Brown. Colin Jupp
Hillhouse Wood, West Bergholt (TL9428) White-letter Hairstreak 8, Ringlet 8 (a recent coloniser). Joe & Linda Firmin
Two Tree Island (TQ825851) 22 Marbled White, on a circular walk east of the Car Park. John Smart
Hainault Forest CP (TQ4793) 5 White Admirals, 5 Purple Hairstreaks, 15 Meadow Browns, 2 Large Whites, 2 Speckled Woods and a Comma. Steven Stuart
Blue House Farm EWT (TQ8597) Rob Smith reports that Graham Smith has seen his first (possibly 3) Gatekeepers here today.
High Woods CP, Colchester (TM0026) I'm not sure if this has been recorded at the country park before but we've just seen five White Admiral in three clearings. Brian Goodey
Magog Down (TL490532) 6+ Marbled Whites. Alan Coulson
Hinton Avenue, Cambridge (TL470563) Hummingbird Hawkmoth. It twice inspected a small variegated buddleia, which was in bud but not nearly in flower. I have 3cm long, pale green noctuid caterpillar, with yellowish intersections, which I found on the rib of another buddleia. The case I keep it in now has a marked smell, from the buddleia leaves. It seems to me likely that the Humming-bird Hawkmoth smelt this. Offers on the caterpillar, please! Julia Napier
Ingatestone (TQ654993) A good 5-minute species count at this pea-field margin, with bramble and thistle: Small Tortoiseshell 5, Red Admiral 1, Small White 50+, Green-veined White 1, Ringlet 4, Meadow Brown 2, Large Skipper 1 & Small Skipper 1. Rob Smith

Tuesday 28th June
Epping Forest: Almshouse Plain (TQ404964) A single Marbled White seen by Ashley Pinnock.
Vange Heights (TQ717874) 10 species present, some of them abundant - particularly the Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Ringlets, Small Skippers; Essex Skipper confirmed, Large Skipper (several), Large White, Small White (plentiful), Comma (4+), Peacock (1). Rod Cole
Norsey Wood, Billericay (TQ686956) I finally saw a White Admiral in Norsey Wood at about 10.50 this morning! It was around the brambles on the right, beyond Post 4 of the Norsey Trail - I think roughly where someone saw one last week. It didn't seem terribly large so was presumably a male and had several bits missing from the rear margin of the hindwings, presumably as a result of a bird attack. I watched it for about 20 secs then took my eyes off it and didn't see it again despite staying in the area for about 20 mins. Very frustrating! There were 3 or 4 Meadow Browns in the same area and one fresh Ringlet. Paul Hudson
Phyllis Currie EWT (TL7218) On a fine warm and partly overcast morning 50+ Ringlet, 3 Essex Skippers, 1 Speckled Wood – all in wild flower meadows. Ray Walker

Monday 27th June
Roger Lemon, one of the transect walkers on the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke, reports:
I did both counts today in perfect weather conditions. The interesting news is that I saw two Dark Green Fritillaries on each site, a male and a female in section 6 on Fleam Dyke and two, one only seen in flight, in section 2 on the Roman Road. Numbers of common summer species are beginning to build up now, dominated by the Ringlet. The total counts were therefore the highest for several weeks, details as follows:
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) Small/Essex skipper 4, Large skipper 1, Brimstone 3, Small white 20, Green-veined White 13, Red admiral 2, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Comma 4, Speckled wood 1, Meadow Brown 16, Small Heath 3, Ringlet 40 & Dark Green Fritillary 2
Roman Road (TL520525) Small/Essex skipper 9, Large skipper 1, Brimstone 2, Small White 24, Green-veined White 18, Red Admiral 1, Small Tortoiseshell 6, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 11, Ringlet 37, Dark Green Fritillary 2.

Harold Hill (TQ548926) A Marbled White in my garden nectaring on Buddleia at 11.00 for 2 minutes then continued on along edge of Hatter's Wood. Another welcome garden first, all time list now 26 species. Also 3 Small/Essex Skippers visiting only briefly in the hot weather plus 1-2 Purple Hairstreaks. Later a visit to:
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 14.25-18.35. Very hot and humid, sunny then turning more cloudy from early evening. 15+ Large Skipper, 10+ Whites including definite Small and Green-veined, 1 Red Admiral, 8 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 5 Small Heath, 19 Ringlet. Most abundant were Meadow Browns (200+) and Small/smaller Skippers also 200+ over the site. I returned to the park at 19.30 to check the less active skippers gathering pre-roost in tall grass and confirmed the majority were Small (a few worn males but many in good condition) and in fact only found 1 definite Essex Skipper. With such a humid still evening Purple Hairstreaks were active: c20 over the oaks around the ponds at TQ553929. I watched to see how late they were flying around some of the 'best' trees - the last 2-3 at 21.22hrs which equals my record last year on 9th July! Colin Jupp
High Woods CP, Colchester (TM0027) 2 White Admirals seen by the Ranger. Joe Firmin also reports that this species is now well established in Friday Wood, Berechurch (TL990205) and Welshwood CP, Colchester (TM0226), and in woods at Tiptree - Pods Wood (TL902178) and Layer Wood (TL914181).
Mountnessing, Billericay (TQ657963) Marbled White 1 male, Small Tortoiseshell 6 & Ringlets 2. John Smart
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ6881) 6.45-7.30pm, cloudy, muggy (25C+) storm brewing. Hoping to see early Wall Brown second brood, but none seen. Small Heath 1, Small Tortoiseshell 9, Green-veined White 3 (+ 5 unidentified), Small Skipper 3, Meadow Brown 1. Rob Smith
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF0704) 20+ Marbled White, 4+ Small Heath, Widespread Ringlets and Meadow Brown; while at:
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) 2 Silver Washed Fritillary, 4+ White Letter Hairstreak, 1+ Purple Hairstreak, 3+ Large Skipper, widespread Ringlets and Meadow Brown. Don & Andrew Gardener
Hatfield Forest (TL52F) In 7.5 hours around the forest: 380+ Meadow Brown, 235+ Ringlet, 118 Speckled Wood, 91 Large Skipper, 49 Large White, 34 Small Tortoiseshell, 29 Small Skipper confirmed, [21 sml/esx unidentified], 18 Green-veined White, 18 Small White, [17 unidentified gv/sml whites], 11 Silver-washed Fritillary incl two odd green ones, 9 Comma, 3 Red Admiral, 2 Purple Hairstreak and 1 Small Copper. Minimums of 1036 butties but only 14 species, missing any blues, Small Heath, Painted Lady, WL Hairstreak, Peacock or Brimstone... still no gatekeeper or Essex Skips yet. Graeme Smith
Great Canfield (TL51Z) 1 Speckled Wood, 20+ Meadow Browns, 6 Ringlets, 2 S/E Skippers, c25 Small & 5 Green-veined Whites, 1 Large White; and then:
Great Canfield (TL51Y) 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Large Skipper, 5 Meadow Browns, 5 S/G-v Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Vange Hill (TL718875) This site consists of a series of flower rich grassy meadows separated by hedges and groups of trees, a haven for grassland butterflies. In about an hour and a quarter I saw Meadow Brown (30 - 40), Ringlet (2), Marbled White (12) (2 photos attached), Small White (1), Small/Essex Skippers (50+), Large Skipper (2) and a Red Admiral. Richard Bigg
Ditton Park Wood (TL669575) Purple Hairstreak at 2.57pm on ferns beside main track (photo attached). Kevin Wilson
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) 12 noon, sunny, breezy and very hot (30deg+). Third time lucky for Silver-washed Fritillary. Short on time and on a brisk walk through from side to side, found one wafting around and above a clump of bramble beside Alexandra's Pond, being hassled by a pair of Large Whites. Colin Davis
Hayley Wood BCNPWT (TL290532) 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries (pretty sure different individuals; 1 on old railway, 4 along main ride) (Pics attached) Alan Coulson
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Very hot today, so some species’ numbers suppressed? - Small Skipper 2, Large Skipper 8, Brimstone 1 (fresh male), Painted Lady 1 (also fresh), Red Admiral 1, Meadow Brown 23, Ringlet 5. Rob Smith

Sunday 26th June
Langdon Hills (TQ68Y) Rod Cole has kindly send in the following report for the Essex Field Club trip held today at Langdon Hills (Westley Heights and Willow Park):
On a sunny and warm morning: 11 species encountered, as follows - Common Blue (a few), Purple Hairstreak (single male), Meadow Brown (quite plentiful), Ringlet (pleasing numbers), Marbled White (quite plentiful, especially in Little Kingston and Rough Piece), Speckled Wood (a few - seemingly down in numbers), Red Admiral (several), Small White (several), Large White (several), Large Skipper (several), Small Skipper (numerous - and several netted in Rough Piece all proved to be of this species rather than Essex Skipper, perhaps reflecting the fact that this meadow was cut later on last year, at corresponding hazard to Essex Skipper eggs). Also a few Five-spot Burnet moths. 10 souls attended, on what was a very pleasant trip.

Langdon EWT: Willow Park transect (TQ68Y) Following a transect route prescribed by Rob Smith (I never bumped into the Essex Field Club party that day as the site is so vast...) a total of 306 butterflies of 12 species encountered in a three hour walk: S/E Skipper 127 (but both represented), Marbled White 40, Red Admiral 2, Common Blue 2, Meadow Brown 110, Ringlet 6, Small Heath 1, Speckled Wood 1, Large White 7, Small White 4 & Green-veined White 6. John Smart
Roman Road (TL520525) Julia Napier reports that Roger Lemon saw two Dark Green Fritillaries on the Roman Road, north of Worsted Lodge. One nectaring and one in flight.
He also saw two Dark Green Fritillaries, male and female, on the Fleam Dyke (TL550536) commenting that the possible source, a nearby woodland with quite a lot of violets.
Harold Hill (TQ548926) A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in my garden nectaring on Buddleia at 11.45. Then onto:
Duck Wood LNR (TQ555924) This wood is part of the area with Dagnam Park designated 'The Manor LNR' (a popular local name). 8 Speckled Wood, 15 Meadow Brown, 1 Ringlet, 3 Large Skipper, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Large White and another Hummingbird Hawkmoth nectaring briefly at bramble before whizzing off. Later a visit to:
Thames Chase, Harold Court (TQ562911) East side of site 19.30-21.30. 100+ smaller Skippers in gatherings in long grass, the majority Small Skippers with 4 definite Essex; 6 Ringlet, 40 Meadow Brown, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 5m Purple Hairstreak 20.15, plus several more at TQ557909 flying after 21.00hrs. Also Yellow Shell and worn Burnet Companion. Colin Jupp
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) Single Chalkhill Blue and at least 2 Marbled Whites. Mike Gittos
Billericay (TQ667937) In the canopies of a line of 6 mature oaks adjacent my garden is an extended colony of Purple Hairstreaks. 5 of the oaks are contiguous but the 6th is a “stand alone” some 30 metres away. By chance I had checked the line of oaks the day before and none were apparent. The next day, the blistering hot Sunday, and they were present. I cannot put numbers to them but they were evidenced by their silvery flittings across the canopies and some courtship interactions. This colony was first located some 5 years ago, but never on this scale. John Smart
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) 1pm: 10+ Silver-washed Fritillarys gliding along sunny rides, large amounts of Speckled Wood and a handfull of Small Skipper; also around 10 Ringlet. Paul Perryman
Hempstead (TL63I) 5 Large Skippers, 1 Essex & 4 S/E Skippers, 1 Red Admiral, 8 Small Tortoiseshells,1 Common Blue, 6 Ringlets, 50+ Meadow Browns & approx 20 Small & 5 Green-veined Whites & 7 Large Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.30am transect 20C rising, slight breeze. Small Skipper 21 (I saw some on the muddy ride of Tylers Common, apparently taking minerals), Essex Skipper 1, S/E skippers 58, Large Skipper 4, Large White 2, Small/Green-veined White 14, Common Blue 1 (tatty), Red Admiral 1, Comma 4, Meadow Brown 143, Ringlet 26, White-letter Hairstreak 1 (very tatty, but the first I've ever seen on bramble, this was at noon on a very hot day in Jermaines Wood by which time everything else had seemed to take shelter). moths: Brimstone 2, Shaded Broad-bar 1. Rob Smith

Saturday 25th June
Martin Peers reports the following butterflies were seen in the Wormingford area this morning
Sergeant's Orchard EWT (TL908307) 4 Large Skippers, 6 Essex Skippers, 14 Small Skippers, 4 Small Whites, Small Tortoiseshell, 60+ Meadow Browns, 22 Ringlets, 5-spot Burnets & Cinnabar
Wormingford Airfield (TL917301) 8 Small Skippers, 5 Small Whites, 14 Small Tortoiseshells, 64 Meadow Browns, 3 Ringlets, 2 Small Heaths
Bowdens (TL934327) 4 Large Skippers, 4 Small Skippers, 8 Small Whites, Red Admiral, 3 Commas, 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 20 Meadow Browns, 6 Ringlets.

Romford Golf Course (TQ528904) An evening visit (19.30-21.00hrs) to look solely for Purple Hairstreaks. It was sunny but breezy from the W so most of the activity was on the shaded (E side) of the trees especially where adjoining oaks or ash provided a sheltered hollow in the canopy. Some trees had good numbers of sparring males; total 65+ A few were still flying when I left at 9pm. Colin Jupp
Laindon Common (TQ672928) Ken Adams reported seeing two Marbled Whites on the wing (perhaps the furthest north from Langdon Hills, where now the species is very well established). Rod Cole
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL180702) 20+ Ringlet, 15+ Speckled Wood, 10+ Meadow Brown, 10+ Whites (mostly GV), 10+ Large Skipper, 3 Comma, 1 Marbled White & 1 Silver-washed Fritillary. Ian Shaw
Maldon Wick EWT (TL840054) In the field only: Small Skipper 8, unidentified skippers 17, Meadow Brown 3, Ringlet 6, NB 5-spot Burnet 1. Then onto:
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 20C, mostly cloudy, F4W - Small Skipper 20, Essex Skipper 2, S/E Skippers 10, Large Skipper 1, Small White 10, Green-veined White 1, Painted Lady 1 (pristine), Small Tortoiseshell 1, Meadow Brown 14, Small Heath 3, NB 5-spot Burnet 1, Brimstone moth 1. Haven't had the best of conditions lately, but Meadow Browns seem way down, even on last year. Then onto:
Bradwell Shell Bank EWT (TM0308) Superb field margin flora on walk down (HLS scheme), but very windy, more butterflies around sea wall: Small Tortoiseshell 6, Peacock 1 (fresh & jumpy), Meadow Brown 23, Large Skipper 3, Red Admiral 1, Small Heath 2, Green-veined White 3, other whites 20+ (several photos attached). Rob Smith
Hadleigh CP: Benfleet Downs (TQ778860) 21 White-letter Hairstreak. Andrew Woodhouse

Friday 24th June
Belfairs NR: Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ8287) White Admiral 3, Heath Fritillary 15, Ringlet 20, Comma 2, Meadow brown 10, Large Skipper 1 & S/E Skipper 3. John Smart
Sweyne Park, Rayleigh (TQ8092) Ted Benton & I found 20-30 newly emerged Marbled Whites here this afternoon. John Dobson
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) Following a chat with someone at Burwell Cutting who mentioned it was, "...nice to see the blues again", as she had seen 3 or 4 Chalk-hill Blue sunning on the path on top of the Dyke that morning, and the sun having gone-in, not having seen any myself, I went-on to the July Course. Lots of Small and some Large Skippers around with a few Small Heath and Small and GV White - but it was mostly overcast. Earlier at:
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) (and the field to the south of Reach Bridge, the Dyke and meadow before Reach), 20+ Meadow Brown and Ringlet, 15+ Small White, 5+ GVW, 25+ Small Skipper, 10+ Large Skipper, 5+ Small Heath and a single Red Admiral. Swarms of long-horn moths (Nemophora metallica, I think) along Burwell Cutting on the Scabious (several photos attached). Nick Ballard
Hardwick Wood (TL3557) Whilst on transect, we were amazed and delighted to see a pristine male Silver-washed Fritillary nectaring on bramble flowers, the first ever record for the wood as far as is known. Vince Lea & Louise Bacon.

Thursday 23rd June
Lodge Farm, Elmstead Market (TM02S) Noticed 5 Small Tortoiseshells and a few Meadow Browns whilst checking nest-boxes this am. Simon Cox
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) At last! The heavy rain seems to have stimulated some emergences as I saw 5+ GVW, a Comma, plus 2 Ringlet and Meadow Brown today. Hope the numbers pick-up for SOBW....Nick Ballard
Save our Butterflies Week runs from 23rd to 31st July; Nick is leading a lunchtime walk here on Wednesday 27th July - see Events

Wednesday 22nd June
Tydd St Giles (TF426163) Hummingbird Hawk Moth 1 & Red Admiral 1. Norman Villiers
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) 11-12noon, cloudy, with occasional sunshine, mild. A further trip to look for Silver-washed Fritillaries, but none were seen. However, saw the following: 10+ Meadow Brown, 5+Ringlet, 10+ Skippers, Large, Essex and Small, 1 male Common Blue, whereas arriving back home .....
Gosfield (TL783295) 12.30pm, sunny, breezy, almost immediately saw 3, possibly 4, Small Tortoiseshell. Don't think I have seen as many at the same time in the 12 years we have been there. Colin Davis

Tuesday 21st June
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 3 White-letter Hairstreaks on elm near the bowling green, 1 Comma & 3 unidentified Whites. Colin Jupp
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) Between 11 & 12 on a breezy morning with intermittent sun. 8 Ringlet; 6 unidentified Whites; 30+ Meadow Brown; 30+ Large Skipper; 50+ Small Skipper; 2 Narrow bordered five spot Burnet; 1 Yellow Shell; 1 Blackneck. Ian Phillips
Mill Green Common (TL637013) warm and cloudy. The first Ringlets (2) were out today. Large Skipper 18, Meadow Brown 17, Small Skipper 2, unidentified skippers 4. Couldn't find the two Brimstone larvae that I've seen last fortnight, either eaten or pupated elsewhere. moths: Brown Silver-lines 1. Rob Smith
Woodwalton Marsh BCNPWT (TL212813) Grizzled Skipper still on the wing, Marbled White 20+, Small Heath, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Comma, Green-veined White, Sulpher Clover now in flower (photos attached). Roger Orbell
Stour Wood RSPB (TM1931) A brief visit to see if the White Admirals were flying there yet, produced the following in warm but overcast conditions: White Admiral 1, Red Admiral 1, Meadow Brown 2, Large White 2. Julian Bennett

Monday 20th June
Aingers Green, Great Bentley (TM12A) An hour or so produced 2 Large Skippers, 2 Green-veined & c8 Small Whites & c8 Meadow Browns. Simon Cox
Gamlingay Wood BCNPWT (TL2453) Saw and photographed a male Silver-washed Fritillary in Gamlingay Wood yesterday, so clearly successful breeding has taken place. Also Marbled White, Comma, Essex, Small and Large Skippers, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Narrow-bordered 5-Spot Burnet (mainly in adjoining Sugely Wood meadow). Ian Woiwod
Stanway, Colchester (TL951247) Had a White- Letter Hairstreak sitting on my windscreen this morning in the car park of Seapets. Phil Carter
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL180702) Morning - Many Ringlet, MB and Large Skipper and 2 White Admiral along with a few GVW, Speckled Wood, and a single Comma and RA. Up to 3 WLH also above the rides at any one time, but none came down...on to Bedford Purlieus
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) During a visit today I was joined by Peter & Jan Farbridge and Nick Ballard. The Silver-washed Fritillary numbers are increasing (12+ seen today - all male) and the White-letter Hairstreaks (10+) are beginning to venture down to low level. I left Nick trying to coax a Purple Hairstreak down for a close up photo (several images attached). Phil Bromley
Nick Ballard adds: Mid-afternoon: Met Phil Bromley, with Peter & Jan Farbridge amongst the SWF. Many Large Skipper, Ringlet, MB - with more GVW and Speckled Wood. Two or three WLH came down to the ground or the thistles so managed a few shots. Tantalisingly, the Purple Hairstreak stayed there 1/2 way up a small tree (several photos attached).
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) 1.25pm-3.20pm. Pleased to see 2 Marbled Whites along Devil's Dyke. One along the first section approximately 3-400 yards north west of the main car park, the other on the beginning of the second section. The first Marbled White spent most of its time vigorously pursuing any white butterfly he came across. That behavior would suggest a male! Despite being very active I did manage to take a few pics (photo attached). Kevin Wilson
Thrift Wood (TL792018) After walking the transect this morning when I saw no Fritillarys (Ringlets outnumbered Meadow Brown by 3 or 4 to 1). I went back and walked the length of the glade. I saw only one Fritillary which looked in rather poor condition. (photos attached). Cow wheat is now present in quantity in places not seen previously spreading down the opened up rides. Richard Bigg
Cambourne (TL315594) My first Marbled White at Cambourne (others have been recorded on the site in low numbers of the past couple of years) - If I had been out on transect it would have been on section 6 and new for the transect! Louise Bacon

Sunday 19th June
Suffolk Branch Field Trip to Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL180702) Thank you to everyone that made the trip up to Brampton today. It was great to see so many people from so far afield. considering the recent weather and the very odd Butterfly season. Not the best of sightings but I think most got a glimpse of Black Hairstreaks on 1 of the 4 places they were seen even if we did miss out on the White Admirals seen by others. Also seen were : Essex Skipper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Large Skipper, G V White, Red Admiral, Comma, Purple Hairstreak, W L Hairstreak & Meadow Brown. I hope everyone had a good time and will have better luck next year now they know where and what to look for. Roger Orbell
Stephen & Alison Webb add: Our first visit to Brampton Wood BCNPWT today, we saw large numbers of Large White, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Large Skipper and 4 White Admiral - very impressive, the highlight of the trip. No Black Hairstreak. Thanks to Peter and Roger for their advice.

Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden 1 Red Admiral nectaring on Buddleia and male Large Skipper on Lavender (1 on Buddleia yesterday). A brief visit to nearby
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) another Red Admiral and 1 Comma. All recent Red Admirals I have seen have been immaculate, including 2 at Bedfords Park on 16th June. Then onto:
Weald Brook (TQ562926) walking south to the A12 (14.15-15.45): a pristine, fresh male Purple Hairstreak on the ground near an oak (photographed), 3 White-letter Hairstreaks (2m & 1f) on Wych Elm at TQ563921, Also 1 Brown Argus, 1 Small Heath, 30 Meadow Brown, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 tatty male Common Blue, 22 Large Skippers and 80+ Small Skippers - including at least 25 nectaring on Black Horehound flowers at side of A12 and lots more nectaring on bramble with Large Skippers. Plus 3 Narrow-bordered 5-Spot Burnet & 1 Shaded Broad-bar. Moving onto:
Brentwood: Junction 28 M25 (TQ567924) On verges N and S side of roundabout, I finally found some Essex Skippers (6 or 7, my first this year), plus 30 Small Skippers, 4 Large Skipper, 25 Meadow Brown, 6 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Also Little Egret and Grey Wagtail along the brook here.
Then in a field SW of Putwell Farm (TQ566922) 60+ Small Skippers, most settling to roost in tall grass as evening wore on; 4 Large Skipper, 80+ Meadow Brown, 1 Ringlet. From about 6.30pm 12+ Purple Hairstreaks were flying over oaks and adjacent ash and alder trees. (Please note: No public access to this final site). Colin Jupp

Belfairs NR: Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ815876) The first 4 White Admiral of the season, along with 30+ Heath Fritillary, 4 Large Skipper, a Speckled Wood and a Comma. Andrew Woodhouse
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect, F3SW <17C 20% sun. The Red Admirals were amazing today, some very fresh specimens about. Small Skipper 23, unidentifed skippers 11, Large Skipper 5, Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, Red Admiral 3 and a few others elsewhere, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Comma 7, Meadow Brown 61, Moths: NB5-spot Burnet 3, Burnet Companion 4, Yellow Shell 1 & Blackneck 1. Rob Smith

Saturday 18th June
Langham (TM040343) Before the showers got going, the following were seen near Langham this morning: 4 Large Skippers, 4 Essex Skippers, 6 Small Skippers, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Ringlets & 10 Meadow Browns. Martin Peers

Thursday 16th June
Great Chishill (TL425393) First Marbled White of year (image). Ringlets still in small numbers. Small Heaths as always in good numbers. Meadow Browns males only. Large and Small Skippers. Common Blue one very fresh male, presumably 2nd Brood (image). Jack Harrison

Wednesday 15th June
Thanks to Martin Peers for sending in this report:
While doing my TTV for the Bird Atlas this morning, I came across some good headlands around several fields in this area that had been left for conservation purposes. I found a number of butterflies, as follows:-
Goldingham Hall, Bulmer (TL832400) 4 Large Skippers, 2 Essex Skippers, 10+ Small Whites, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 10 Meadow Browns, 2 Small Heaths (also 2 NB 5-spot Burnets).
Upper Houses, Bulmer (TL837394) 6 Large Skippers, 6 Small Skippers, 10+ Small Whites, Red Admiral, 10 Small Tortoiseshells, Small Heath (also Cinnabar).
Belchamp Brook, near Gestingthorpe (TL824395) 4 Small Skippers, 10 Small Whites, Red Admiral, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, Brown Argus, male & female Common Blue, 6 Meadow Browns, 8 Small Heaths.
Roman villa, near Gestingthorpe (TL828384) Large Skipper, Essex Skipper, 10+ Small Whites, 25 Small Tortoiseshells, 6 Meadow Browns, Speckled Wood, Small Heath.

Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL840260) Joe Firmin reports that the Arboretum curator Jonathan Jukes has seen at least 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries today (following on from yesterday's first sighting of the year).
Thames Chase, Harold Court (TQ557911) Overcast but still pleased with brief visit at 19.30. My first Ringlet of the year (and only butterfly seen), in young plantation near railway line. Colin Jupp
Little Haven EWT: Pound Wood (TQ8288) Near the open cleared area by the first pylon on the wood side of the hedge, THREE Heath Fritillaries - including a male regularly chasing a female (without success). Large Skipper and four Meadow Browns in same area. No butterflies in open area under standard trees to the east - windier and cooler here. Weather sunny intervals. Close views of perched butterflies (photo attached). Paul Woolnough
Brookes Reserve EWT, Stisted (TL808268) 11-12 noon. Sunny with patchy cloud, breezy and cool. We had several sightings of Silver-washed Fritillaries here in 2010 and, following the report of one at the neighbouring Marks Hall yesterday, this visit was to see if there were any here. Regrettably, none seen on a 1-hour circular walk from side to side and covering locations where seen last year. Still, it is early days and will try again in a few days. Other species seen: many Meadow Browns and Large Skippers; 5+ Small Tortoiseshell, a few distant whites unidentified; 2 Speckled Wood; 1 Small Heath; 1 Red Admiral. Colin Davis
Woodwalton Marsh BCNPWT (TL212813) This morning I saw Marbled White (10+), Meadow Brown (10+), Small Heath (7), Ringlet (1), Large Skipper (3), Small Skipper (1), Essex Skipper (1), Grizzled Skipper (2), Common Blue (3), Brown Argus (2) & Green-veined White (2). Phil Bromley

Tuesday 14th June
Danbury CP (TL766045) Thanks to Chris Rawlings for sending in these images of Orange Tip pupae found at Danbury CP. The one on the 7th June was found on an exterior office wall (green form on green background) while the one photographed on the 14th June was on a fence panel (brown form on brown background).
Allington Hill, Hare Park, Six Mile Bottom (TL582588) was delighted to see 5 White-letter Hairstreaks flying around tops of quite tall elms at Allington Hill Harepark, Six Mile Bottom. seen at 9.am. Kevin Wilson
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden am, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Comma and 1 Red Admiral. Then nearby in:
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) Three and a quarter hours from 11.45: 5 White-letter Hairstreaks on elm and ash at The Moat, 32 Large Skipper, 30 Small Skipper, 2 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 2 unidentified Whites, 2 Red Admiral, 6 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood, 11 Small Heath and 220+ Meadow Browns incl. a mating pair. I lost count of the latter and good to see a big improvement already on last years low numbers. Many at the edge of Hatters Wood and in a particularly good field at TQ545931 with lots of skippers, but no ringlet yet. Also 1 Silver Y and 11 species of Odonata, including first Small Red-eyed Damselflies of the year. Then onto:
Warley CP (TQ584927) Approx 16.30-19.00 combined with birding; 18 Large Skipper, 26 Small Skipper + a few unid'd skippers, 1 Small/GV White, 1 worn Common Blue, 2 Brown Argus (male & fem still in good condition), 1 Comma, 28 Meadow Brown plus 5 Purple Hairstreaks flying at 7pm. Moths: 8 Cinnabar, 2 Burnet Companion & 1 Yellow Shell. Then into:
Great Warley (TQ59V) along Mascalls Lane and Great Ropers Lane, 7+ Purple Hairstreaks over oaks until at least 19.30hrs. Colin Jupp
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL180702) A White Admiral on Cross Ride just SW of the 'crossroads' at TL180702 this afternoon. Malcolm Anderson
Stanford Warren EWT (TQ688812) 6.30pm, headed for Wall Brown country after recent news of a possible 2nd-brood sighting at a Thamesside survey site, but none seen, (or subsequently at Linford Pits). But did see courting Small Tortoiseshells on the main path, which eventually headed for the reedbeds, possibly to mate (2 photos attached). Small Tortoiseshell 5, Red Admiral 1, Large Skipper 1, Small Skipper 1, Meadow Brown 1, Comma 1. Rob Smith
Great Chishill (TL425392) First Ringlet of year, surprisingly in garden where they are never seen in any numbers. Complete blank with Ringlets in the meadows. Plenty of Meadow Browns, mostly males except this pair (image attached). Many fresh Small Skippers (image attached) but fewer Large Skippers. NIL Marbled Whites yet. Jack Harrison
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) During a brief visit this afternoon I bumped into Trevor Sawyer, we saw 3 pristine Silver-washed Fritillary and 2 White-letter Hairstreak, the latter remained high in an elm tree. Then at:
Monks Wood (TL28A) An even briefer visit here on the way home produced 2 White Admiral as I entered the wood from the 'Woodwalton entrance'. Phil Bromley
Thrift Wood (TL792018) Seems the Heath Fritillary's flight period here might be over. I saw none on transect and then spent 20 mins walking through the whole glade and only saw one. DID YOU LOOSE A LENS HOOD AT THRIFT? - if you contact me (details on Committee page) I will return it. Richard Bigg
Buttsbury (TQ662984) Superb sights on the riverside thistles - Small Tortoiseshell 24, Large Skipper 6, Meadow Brown 2, Small White 2, Green-veined White 2 & Yellow Shell 1, and at:
Buttsbury Ford (TQ660976) Small Tortoiseshell 7 & Large Skipper 6. Banded Demoiselles at both sites. Rob Smith
Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall (TL840260) First Silver-washed Fritillary of the season here. It took a real liking to our Land Rover. Spending several minutes inspecting the underside and consequently making photography a challenge (photo attached). Jonathan Jukes

Monday 13th June
Home Farm, Great Wilbraham (TL549568) One White-letter Hairstreak seen flying around tops of Elms at 6.pm at entrance to Home Farm just south of Great Wilbraham - my first sighting of one in this area. Kevin Wilson
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) Meadow Brown 30+, Common Blue (male and female), Comma 5, Green-veined White 1, Speckled Wood 10+ along paths, Large Skipper 10+, White-letter Hairstreak one on Brambles being constantly disturbed by Comma (See attached). Peter Scott
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Large Skipper 23, Meadow Brown 23, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Red Admiral 1, Small Skipper 1, Brimstone – 1 adult male (old) and the 2 larvae that I saw last week. Then onto:
Little Hyde Lane, Ingatestone (TL651001) Large Skipper 3 & N.B. 5-spot Burnet 1. Rob Smith
Blue House Farm EWT (TQ89T) Several species on my transect at Blue House Farm are on the wing a good ten days to a fortnight earlier than last year - (last year's date in brackets): Common Blue 9th May (21st May), Large Skipper 1st June (14th June), Meadow Brown 1st June (18th June), Small Heath 9th May (21st May), Small Skipper 9th June (23rd June). Graham Smith

Saturday 11th June
Great Holland Pits (TM21E) 2 Small Tortoiseshells & 2 Speckled Woods and single Red Admiral, Purple Hairstreak, Green-veined White & Common Blue. Simon Cox
Hadleigh CP: Benfleet Downs (TQ781857) The first White-letter Hairstreak sighting on the Benfleet Downs transect this year was a singleton disturbed off an elm sucker I brushed into on my way around. David Chandler
Wethersfield MOD (TL7233) 2-4pm: Sunny, warm. A rare chance to tour the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency (MDPGA) HQ on what was the former RAF/USAF Wethersfield. Members of Braintree Group of EWT were taken round by Ros Gourgey, the Sustainability Manager, amongst other titles she has! Lots of work in progress by a very keen team of employees, there were extensive areas of managed grassland, rough ground and woodland in various states. The following were seen: Small Tortoiseshell 20+, Small Heath 20+, Meadow Brown 10+, Large Skippers 10+; Brown Argus 1 & Peacock 1. Colin Davis NOTE: THERE IS NO PUBLIC ACCESS TO THIS SITE
Nag's Head Lane, Brentwood (TQ564912) Mainly cloudy early evening with cool mod SW breeze at times. In the fishery: 1 White-letter Hairstreak, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Comma, 7 Meadow Brown and a Shaded Broad-bar moth. Nearby at Tylers Common no Purple Hairstreaks flying in poor evening weather but 2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling, plus 2 nice patches of Zigzag Clover in flower. Colin Jupp
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.30am transect. 10C shwrs/16C sun. Small Skipper 9, Large Skipper 9, Common Blue 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 49, Small Heath 2. Burnet Companion moths 5. Then onto:
Langdon EWT: Willow Park transect (TQ68Y) 1pm. Although the Grizzled Skippers are over, the group may walk this transect on occasion through the rest of the season: Small Skipper 1, Large Skipper 3, Common Blue 3, Speckled Wood 1, Meadow Brown 29, Small Heath 4. moths: Burnet Companion 61, Yellow Shell 2. Then onto:
Little Haven EWT: Starvelarks Wood (TQ811891) 13C, but warmer in limited spells of sunshine, which brought out 19 Heath Fritillary, almost all in a few square yards at the east end of the pylons by the meadow. it was cloudy at the north coppice (TQ810893), just a Red Admiral here. In the meadow (TQ812891) Small Tortoiseshell 1, Meadow Brown 13, Small Skipper 1, Green-veined White 1. Across to Tile Wood (TQ815891) where 2 Heath Fritillaries were seen last year for the first time, I recorded the same number in a brief spell of sunshine in the coppice-with-standards area. The Cow Wheat here is very dense, but a little more shaded. The onto:
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 18C - much warmer on 'the coast' but F4 breeze in parts. 4.15pm - a little late, but lovely sights of fresh second brood whites roosting. Small White 6, Green-veined White 3, Small Skipper 6, Large Skipper 1, Meadow Brown 6, Small Heath 5. Rob Smith
Botanic Garden, Cambridge (TL454572) 2x Large skipper, 1x Common Blue, 1x Ringlet and 4x possible Narrow Bordered 5-Spot Burnet moths today (photos attached). Jonathan Stephens
Hadleigh CP, Benfleet Downs (TQ778860) 13 White-letter Hairstreak nectaring on the usual bramble bush near the bottom of the gas pipeline path. Also Marbled White 7 and Large Skipper 4. Andrew Woodhouse
Cottenham Park (TL450684) This afternoon I saw 1 Red Admiral, 5 Meadow Brown, 1 Large Skipper and 1 Small Heath. Ann Piper

Friday 10th June
Monks Wood (TL28A) Ian Shaw reports seeing 25+ Speckled Wood, 3 Large Skipper, 1 Comma & 2 Black Hairstreak.
Harold Hill: Central Park (TQ544922) 14.35-15.15, sunny following some heavy showers. A total of 14 Large Skippers (10m,4f) on bramble near Long Wood and along the brook, also 2 Small White, 1 Speckled Wood, 8+ Nemophora degeerella. Later at:
Harold Wood, Paines Brook (TQ551913) 3 Purple Hairsteaks on oak and Field Maple from 19.30hrs but little flight activity on a fairly cool evening. Colin Jupp
Great Warley (TQ589917) A male Large Skipper at 6.30pm - a first in my small suburban plot and only the second butterfly of the year here. A sure sign that I should cut the grass. Rob Smith

Thursday 9th June
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 2 hours up to midday; at last after three consecutive visits I saw 7+ White-letter Hairstreaks at the S end of Fir Wood on ash and elm, the males often clashing (in this slightly more rural setting out a week later than some other local colonies). Also 108 Meadow Brown, 16 Small Heath, 3 Speckled Wood, 9 Small Skipper, 7 Large Skipper, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue (a small female). Plus over the previous two days: 1 Small Tortoiseshell and Longhorn moth Nemophora degeerella on 8th June and a Purple Hairstreak on 7th June . Colin Jupp
Orton Wistow, Peterborough (TL1496) A Large Skipper reported by Trevor Wilson.
St Osyth: Martin’s Farm (TM11D) Short walk this am produced single Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Small Heath & Meadow Brown. Up to 4 Small Tortoiseshells in our garden daily for the last week (TM144159) & a Common Blue in Lexden, Colchester, on 2nd June (TL92S). Sad to report the death yesterday of Reg Arthur, a very able & dedicated all-round naturalist who has contributed numerous Lepidoptera records from the St Osyth area. Simon Cox

Wednesday 8th June
Navestock, Shonk's Mill (TQ528981) Visited the area with Andrew Stroud and during a Waterways Breeding Bird Survey (River Roding) this evening: 1m Purple Hairstreak over oak at Mill Lane 19.50hrs and 2 Meadow Browns in corner of wheat field. Colin Jupp
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Not much variety here! Large Skipper 27, Meadow Brown 11, Brimstone larvae 2. Rob Smith

Tuesday 7th June
Little Haven EWT: Pound Wood (TQ8288) Counted 140+ Heath Fritillaries today, many mating. Dave Blackwell
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) A walk around the park between 11 - 12 produced Meadow Brown 50+; Small Skipper 12; Large Skipper 4; Speckled Wood 3; Red Admiral 1; pristine hutchinsonii Comma 2; Common Blue males 2; and best of all a White Letter Hairstreak male on the elms near Lower Bedfords Road. Ian Phillips
Hare Park, Six Mile Bottom (TL585589) I was pleased to see two Purple Hairstreaks flying around an oak tree where I had my first sighting of them last year, 6.20pm this evening. Kevin Wilson
Thrift Wood (TL792018) After walking my transect on which I recorded 6 Heath Fritillarys, 4 Speckled Wood and a Meadow Brown, I carried out a Timed Count for Heath Fritillarys. Walking zig-zag fashion through the whole glade. This resulted in a count of 29 in 30 mins. During the count I also saw a Ringlet the first I've seen this year. Richard Bigg
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) Whilst investigating the SE corner of the site, a section I am not familiar with, spotted a Black Hairstreak on brambles (photo attached). Peter Scott
Broak's Wood (TL790315) 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 10 Meadow Browns, 12 Speckled Woods (also a male Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly on one of the small pools near the car park); and onto:
Halstead river meadows (TL812310) 3 Large Skippers, male Common Blue, Brown Argus, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 18 Meadow Browns, 2 Small Heaths and whites. In a garden near Halstead town centre: 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Martin Peers
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) On transect 11:15-12:50, Sunny, 18C-19C but with strong 3/4 SW breeze: Large Skipper 4; Meadow Brown 5; GV White 1; Small White 2; Brimstone 4 (3 female); Comma 1; Small Heath 2; Speckled Wood 1; Common Blue 1. Outside transect - 2 more Brimstone, Small White and Small Heath, plus a Red Admiral and another Comma. Nick Ballard

Sunday 5th June
Woodwalton Fen (TL231849) 3 Speckled Wood. Chris Iles

Saturday 4th June
Braod's Green (TL687124) Spent 45 mins walking round old, back-filled gravel workings. In spite of a strong wind butterflies were flying I saw Small Heath (14), Meadow Brown (12), Large Skipper (6) and Common Blue (5). Richard Bigg
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 11.10-14.30. 1 Small Skipper, 22 Large Skipper, 2 Small White, 1 Brown Argus, 10m Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 1 pristine Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Speckled Wood, 25 Small Heath and 56 Meadow Brown (1 female). A lot of the M.Browns were in amongst bramble along the woodland edge with L.Skippers, sheltered from a fresh NE wind. Brief glimpse of a probable WLH over elm in Fir Wood. Also 7 rather worn Burnet Companions. Then onto:
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 2 White-letter Hairstreaks near the bowling green 15.30-15.50, views of both settled (probably seen here on 2nd very briefly in flight). A worn male Holly Blue nectaring on Mock Orange, 2 hutchinsoni Comma, also 1-2 Large Skipper and 3-4 Speckled Wood in recent days. Moving onto:
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) 2 Small Skipper, 21 Large Skipper, 20+ Meadow Brown, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, 3 Small Heath and Common Blue. I was hoping for White-letter Hairstreak at the Damselfly Pond but very windy there so I tried the Wych Elm on W side (TQ51309175) and from 18.40 prolonged views of 2 perched on foliage, both males. Finally, calling into nearby:
Rise Park (TQ514913) to view the oaks at the N end for Purple Hairstreak, 4 seen between 19.20-19.30hrs. I finished the day with 14 species (only 1 species of white) not bad for early June. Colin Jupp
Ely, A10 verge (TL526795) 1 male Large Skipper & 1 Small White. Chris Iles
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11.30am transect. Very warm, sunny and breezy. Small Skipper 3, Large Skipper 6, Small White 4, Green-veined White 3, Purple Hairstreak 1, Common Blue 6, Peacock 1 (tatty), Speckled Wood 2, Meadow Brown 52, Small Heath 2. Moths: Mother Shipton 1 & Burnet Companion 9. Rob Smith
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL184697) We spent a couple of hours in the afternoon checking several of the monitoring and other sites on which the branch has worked, in less than optimal conditions and saw one or two Black Hairstreaks at each spot we tried. Lots of Speckled Woods looking very fresh, and also one Red Admiral and Meadow Browns along the rides. Louise Bacon, Vince Lea, Paul & Steph Hicking
Coldham's Common (TL474584) Along the south side by the railway, 2 Common Blue (males), several Large Skippers, 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Brown Argus and a single Large White, Comma and Red Admiral. Interesting that when I moved from the non-grazed section into the grazed section, I saw no butterflies whatsoever! Nick Ballard
East Barnwell LNR (TL479583) 8 Common Blue (2 females), 3 Brown Argus, 2 Comma and 3 Large Skippers. Nick Ballard
Nether Mayne, Basildon (TQ706870) Credit to Basildon D.C. for their management of this southwest-facing, flower-rich road cutting, where between 6.45 and 7.15pm the following butterflies were still basking and settling down to roost: Marbled White 20+ (all male), Small/Essex Skipper 30+, the majority were Small Skipper, including females, but 2 were male Essex Skipper, Meadow Brown 1, Common Blue 1 and c.50 Burnet Companion moths, all worn (photos attached). Rob Smith

Friday 3rd June
Earith, bank of Great Ouse (TL396743) 1 Large White. Chris Iles
Wicken Fen (TL5670) 1 male Large Skipper, pursued unsuccessfully by Hairy Dragonflly. Chris Iles
Romford Golf Course (TQ528904) 19.20-20.20hrs; very breezy but 3-4 Purple Hairstreaks in some sheltered areas in canopy of oak on E side of GC (from 20.00). Colin Jupp
Monks Wood (TL28A) Numbers of Black Hairstreak building up slowly (15+ in 2 locations), including some females. Surprised to see a mint male Orange-tip, plus a Large White, a male Brimstone, Red Admiral, 2 Comma (one stonking new specimen), 2 Holly Blue, a couple of Large Skippers & Brown Argus and my first Meadow Brown of the year (photos attached). Nick Ballard
Daws Heath, Benfleet (TQ8188) On an evening ramble around a private meadow (close to Pound Wood), I noted a roosting Small Skipper and Common Blue. Moths noted included Blood Vein, Light Emerald and Straw Dot, plus hundreds of Green Oak Tortrix! Graham Bailey
Great Chishill (TL425390) Clouded Yellow through my garden in South Cambridgeshire at 1105 hours. Jack Harrison
Fairfield, Ingatestone (TQ652993) Very warm today. Small Tortoiseshell 2, Large Skipper 1, Meadow Brown 3, Green-veined White 1 (nectaring on bramble) and several other whites, probably males, patrolling over pea field. Rob Smith

Thursday 2nd June
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL184697) Paid a morning visit and was lucky enough to meet up with Barry Dickerson who was carrying out his regular survey and was able to show me areas 1 and 2 where the Black Hairstreaks are seen. Although conditions appeared to be very favourable there were very few butterflies about and I only saw four of the Hairstreaks in area 2 (in an hour of looking) and none in area 1, plus Green Veined White 1, and several Speckled Wood. Barry thought the main hatch of hairstreaks had not yet started. Richard Bigg
Romford Golf Course (TQ525902) 15.15-16.00; 2 White-letter Hairstreaks on elm by the sunken pond and 1 fresh hutchinsoni Comma on territory occasionally clashing with a darker form individual. Then onto:
Risebridge Golf Course (TQ525911) along the E side: 1 Small Skipper - my earliest ever by a week, 16 Large Skipper (12m, 2f & courting pair), 1 Small Heath, 1 Meadow Brown, 1m Common Blue, 1 Small White, 1 Green-veined White and another hutchinsoni Comma. Then an evening visit to:
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) For 2 hours from 6pm I was viewing tops of oaks for early Purple Hairstreaks and 3 seen: 18.25 near Deer Park; 19.00 S of Visitor Centre; 19.45 eastern corner Wildflower Meadow. 2 males were observed with wings fully open when they settled on foliage in evening sunshine. (My previous earliest was 10/06/07). Also 2 Comma, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Speckled Wood. Colin Jupp
Mill Road Cemetery (TL460582) This morning a tour revealed a Small White and Speckled Wood only. There have been no Common Blue, Small Copper or Brown Argus seen so far;...by this time last year I had seen all three. Nick Ballard

Wednesday 1st June
Harold Wood (TQ553915) On elm along the A12 central reservation 2 White-letter Hairstreaks early pm, also 1 at TQ550913. And near Paines Brook, 5 Large Skipper, 2m Common Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Meadow Brown. Colin Jupp
Fullwell Cross, Redbridge (TQ442901) 1 Hummingbird Hawk flying in my garden at about noon. Kathleen Black
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Large Skipper numbers mounting - 21 seen, also 7 Meadow Brown and a fresh, unmarked Small Tortoiseshell, although lacking usual depth of colour. Then onto:
Little Hyde Lane, Ingatestone (TL651001) Large Skipper 3 & Meadow Brown 1. Rob Smith

Martin Peers saw the following butterflies (and moths) while walking from Daws Hall to Bures this morning:-
Valley Farm, near Daws Hall (TL880365): 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 4 Small Heaths (+ 2 Cinnabars)
Hill House near Alphamstone (TL881362): 2 Large Skippers, 2 Red Admirals, 3 Small Tortoisehells, 3 Meadow Browns (+ Hummingbird Hawkmoth)
near Lamarsh (TL887354): 2 Large Skippers, Brown Argus, 2 Red Admirals, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 4 Meadow Browns, 2 Speckled Woods, Small Heath
Ferrier's Farm Wood (TL893337): Orange Tip, 3 Green-veined Whites, 2 male Common Blues, 6 Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, 6 Speckled Woods, Small Heath (+ Cinnabar)

May 2011

Tuesday 31st May
Monks Wood NNR (TL28A) I met up with Nick Ballard & Jack Harrison primarily to look at the Black Hairstreaks - 10+ were seen over two locations. In the afternoon Nick and I spotted 2 Purple Hairstreak in a nearby oak. Also seen were numerous Speckled Wood (20+), all looking very fresh, plus a single Brown Argus and Large White. Phil Bromley
South Weald, Weald Park Way (TQ576932) Following news yesterday of Andrew Middleton's very early WLH in Middlesex, today I visited a reliable early site here in TQ59 in the hope of a May (!) sighting, and I wasn't disappointed. Between 12.15-13.15 (& 16.00-16.15) during some good sunny spells: 4 White-letter Hairstreaks on elms by the bridge over A12 and along Weald Park Way. Some excellent views, really pristine, very dark males. Also a Large Skipper. (A downside is the spread of DED here since last year). Elsewhere in S.Weald area: Front Park (TQ566936) on set-aside - 2 Brown Argus, 1m Common Blue, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Burnet Companion and nearby in The Oaks (TQ564931) a Speckled Wood and 20 Nemophora degeerella. Also at Brentwood M25 Junction 28 (TQ567925): 1 Brown Argus, 3m Common Blue, 1 fresh Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Small White, 3 Meadow Brown, 2 Yellow Shell, all along a verge with Ox-eye Daisies on N side. Colin Jupp
Woodwalton Marsh BCNPWT (TL212813) After a long drive south along the A1, a 15 minute break here late in the day produced 1 Grizzled Skipper and 2 Small Heath before the sun disappeared. Tony Moverley
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) On transect this afternoon, recorded 5 Heath Fritillarys and another 6 off transect. I was pleased to see that one of the latter was in the area South-east of the glade which was coppiced in 2009/2010. Then onto:
Backwarden EWT (TL780041) Only stayed 15 mins and saw 7 Common Blue but nothing else. Richard Bigg

Monday 30th May
Hadleigh Great Wood (TQ8187) Between 2pm - 3.30pm cloudy with sunny periods, we saw Speckled Wood 6, Heath Fritillarys 40+, Brimstones 2m 1f, whites 1, Large Skipper 1; then onto:
Dodds Grove SSSI (TQ818879) 3.30pm - 5pm, Heath Fritillarys 10, Speckled Woods 3, Large Skippers 2 & 1 white. 5.30pm-6.30pm cloudy now & started to rain we went onto:
Hadleigh Country Park, Benfleet Downs (TQ778860) Speckled Wood 5, Holly Blues 2 & 3 Large Skippers (photos attached). Janet Edmunds & David Jones
Langdon EWT: Willow Park transect (TQ68Y) I started in pretty good conditions (warm sun, 19C and Force 3) at 1145, but the sun became intermittent and had almost gone by the time I finished and the wind became gusty in the more exposed fields. I didn't see any confirmed Grizzled Skippers, just glimpses of two "possibles". Of 24 butterflies identified, as many as 12 were Common Blue. The others included my first Brown Argus, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper of the year. I saw a minimum of 67 Burnet Companion Moths! Many of the fields were looking really colourful with all the early summer flowers in bloom with lots of common spotted orchids. Paul Hudson
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 1pm F4 SW, sny. With the breeze whistling along most of the sea wall and little nectar source about, results were disappointing until a late flurry: Meadow Brown 2, Small White 1, Small Heath 10, Mother Shipton moth 1. then onto:
Hadleigh Great Wood Transect (TQ8187) A first visit here to revitalise a transect (4.15-5pm) resulted in Heath Fritillary 9, Meadow Brown 1, Speckled Wood 5, Red Admiral 1, Brimstone 1. The old hotspots are looking congested, at TQ818878, there were 7 Heath Frits (and about 2 times that off transect as well); at TQ818876, just the one, but encouragingly also a single Heath Frit in the new 'coppice with standards' area at the western end TQ822876. At 5.15pm I had a look in
Dodds Grove SSSI (TQ818879) which is also looking congested. The sun had faded but there were 4 Heath Fritillaries roosting here. Rob Smith

Sunday 29th May
Waterbeach (TL495653) Just seen a 'Hummer' on pink valerian in my garden on a somewhat damp afternoon at 15C. Roger Osborne
Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 11.30-14.15hrs; some decent sunshine at times but very breezy. 18 Small Heath, 6 fresh male Meadow Brown, 1 Speckled Wood, 9 Common Blue (6m,3f), 6 Large Skipper, 1 Red Admiral, 1 worn Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Large White, 1 Green-veined White. Also a White Ermine Moth, 1 immature m Emperor Dragonfly, 2 female Broad-bodied Chaser, 1 Four-spotted Chaser - the last 3 species all away from water. Colin Jupp
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10-11am transect, 17C and sunny int. Large Skipper 7, Common Blue 4 (incl. mating pair), Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 4, Meadow Brown 4, Small Heath 2. Moths: Mother Shipton 1, Burnet Companion 1. Rob Smith
Mill Wood EWT (TQ594786) After last weekend's extraodinary Small Blue sighting in Tower Hamlets (Herts & Middx), I had to check the kidney vetch on the chalk slopes, but just a female Common Blue and a Holly Blue were present. Also 3 Burnet Companion moths and several thick-legged flower beetles Oedemera nobilis on the ox-eye daisies. Rob Smith
Devil's Dyke Transect (TL6161) Quite a breezy walk today saw Common Blue, Small Heath, Orange Tip, Green-veined white, Large White, Large Skipper and Common Heath. Plenty of Common Heath moths out. The most unusual sighting was over a dozen chalkhill blue larvae (12mm long) along the top path - some had been squashed by walkers - not sure why they were there had they been blown there? No sign of ants but will probably go back and have another look. Sharon Hearle
Hadleigh Country Park, Benfleet Downs (TQ778860) A visit this morning turned up a single Green Hairstreak, the first for the site. Also seen were Large Skipper 4, Meadow Brown 1, Common Blue 8, Brown Argus 1 and Speckled Wood 7. Andrew Woodhouse
While walking round different parts of Hamford Water (TM254237) today, I came across a few butterflies (the windy conditions were not ideal!):TM254237: male Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath + whites; TM227224: female Holly Blue. Martin Peers

Saturday 28th May
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL1870) Perfect weather to look for butterflies, strong wind, thick cloud and only 16C but what the hell. Between 3:15 and 4pm had 10 sightings of Black Hairstreak at 3 sights in Brampton Wood BCNPWT. The only other butterfly was 20+ Speckled Wood all very fresh. Lots of Common Spotted Orchids just coming out. Then onto:
Woodwalton Marsh BCNPWT (TL212813) Small Heath 4, Common Blue 5 & Grizzled Skipper 7. (2 photos attached) Roger Orbell
Jermaines Wood (TQ571909) For reasons of hope and addiction, I attempted a transect in barely 13C, breezy and no sun. I did see 2 Speckled Wood heading up but soon abandoned the idea. Finished with a wander through Jermaines Wood and saw about 50 of the beautiful micro-moth Nemophora degeerella (photo attached) in a few small 'swarms' which made up for my stupidity! Rob Smith

Wednesday 25th May
Harold Hill, Carter's Brook (TQ541929) 8 Common Blue (a mating pair, 5m & 1f), 2 Speckled Wood and 1 Small White. Then onto:
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) 14.15-16.30hrs. 3 Brown Argus in Valley Marsh (TQ522919), usually scarce here in spring (2nd brood butterflies more frequent, breeds on adjacent set-aside where cranesbill widespread). Also 4 Large Skipper, 1 Small Copper, 1 Large White, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 worn Peacock (near Lake), a female Brimstone past the Visitor Centre, plus Small Heath and Common Blue in the usual areas. Odonata: 1m Emperor, 4 Black-tailed Skimmer, 5m Broad-bodied Chaser (inc 3 over new ponds excavated last year), Red-eyed, Azure, Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Large Red Damsels. Also on some set-aside land near the park (please note: no public access); Upper Bedfords Farm (TQ525921) 4 Brown Argus, 6 Common Blue, 4 Small Heath, a few Mother Shipton & Burnet Companion moths: and Lower Bedfords Road (TQ522917) 2 fresh Meadow Browns, 2 Brown Argus, 6m & 2f Common Blue. Colin Jupp
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL1870) At 3pm, 3 Black Hairstreak seen by Andrew Maddocks who comments 'My earliest sighting for this butterfly'.
Ingatestone (TQ649985) In a set-aside field: Small Heath 1, Large White 1, Common Blue 2, Small Copper 1, Peacock 1 and 6 white spp. flying over nearby pea fields. Rob Smith
Barton (TL421548) A Painted Lady on transect in Barton this afternoon - looked like a migrant rather than freshly emerged. Louise Bacon
Wivenhoe Wood (TM0322) Lower Lodge Farm: 5 Large Skipper, 1 Green Hairstreak & 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Out through Wivenhoe Wood produced a Common Blue & a Speckled Wood. Julian Bennett

Thanks to Richard Bigg who has sent in this report:
The Heath Fritillaries are flying at Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018). After seeing one whilst walking the transect, although 20 yds or so off route, I went on to Woodham Fen (TL802973). Butterflies were very scarce and I only saw 4 Common Blue, and a Small Heath. I then went back to Thrift and in about half an hour counted 6 separate individual Heath Frits. and there were probably more than that. The interesting thing was that they were all in the uncut areas of the glade, I didn't see any in the areas we brush-cut last January. A couple of photos attached.

Tuesday 24th May
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Very warm in sheltered spots, lots of bramble blossom – Brimstone 2 (m+f), Small White 1, Speckled Wood 2, Large Skipper 5. Rob Smith

Monday 23rd May
Thames Chase, Pages Farm (TQ555901) 13.20-14.35 hrs; bright sunshine but hard going in strong westerly wind. 2 Large Skipper, 8 Small Heath, 5m Common Blue, 2 Brown Argus (1 very worn), 4 Burnet Companion moths. Then in adjacent:
Harold Wood (TQ553902) 14.35-15.50hrs, sunny & very windy. On the sloping 'Summer Meadow' (formerly a Pitch & Putt) several butterflies were nectaring on Meadow and Creeping Buttercups in some relatively sheltered areas. My first (and earliest by a week) Meadow Brown of the year, 18 Small Heath including 5 sparring at one spot, 4 Large Skipper, 1 Small Copper, 5m Common Blue, 1 Holly Blue, 1m Orange Tip (the only 'white' seen), 3+ Burnet Companion and 3+ Mother Shipton. Also 3 Banded Demoiselles at the River Ingrebourne. Calling into
Thames Chase, Harold Court (TQ557911) 17.00-17.30; east side of site, now overcast: 2 Brown Argus and 8 Common Blues roosting plus several B.Companions still active. Colin Jupp

Sunday 22nd May
The Branch field trip to Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ6887) led by Graham Bailey found a total of 7 Grizzled Skippers; a respectable number given the somewhat adverse weather conditions (sunny intervals with a stiff breeze gusting strongly on occasions):
Flax: 2 Grizzled Skippers, 5 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Small Heath, 3 Green Hairstreak & 1 Red Admiral; moths included 7 Burnet Companion, 1 Mother Shipton, 1 Brimstome moth, 1 Straw Dot, 2 Commophila aenaena, 1 Small Yellow Underwing and 3 Longhorn moth Nemophora degeerella.
Great Lodge: 3 Grizled Skippers, 5 Common Blue, 6 Small Heath, 4 Green Hairstreak & 1 Brown Argus; moths included 20+ Burnet Companion, 1 Cinnabar, ! Common Swift and 1 Small Underwing.
Knights: 2 Grizzled Skippers & 2 Common Blue together with 50+ Burnet Companion, 1 Timothy Tortrix and 1 Cinnabar.
Photos taken by Janet Edmunds here
In the afternoon, we moved onto Langdon Hills CP: One Tree Hill (TQ6985)
Summerhouse: 6 Common Blue, 1 Small Copper, 1 Green-veined White & 1 Meadow Brown
Northlands Wood 12 Speckled Wood, 2 Holly Blue, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Large White. Moths included 5 Speckled Yellow, 1 Green Oak Tortrix & 3 Straw Dot (and unfortunately failed to attract any Yellow-legged clearwings to a VES pheromone lure hung in a recent oak coppice area). Click here for the trip report. Tony Moverley

Saturday 21st May
Hockley Woods: Great Bull Wood (TQ8392) 10 Heath Fritillaries together with 1 Holly Blue, 1 Green-veined White and several Speckled Wood. At least 9 Yellow-legged Clearwing moths attracted to a VES pheromone lure. Graham Bailey
Cudmore Grove CP (TM0614) Thanks to Dougal Urquhart, the ranger, who kindly showed me around the park this morning including the various Green Hairstreak haunts. At least 4 individuals were seen, all in reasonable condition. Others: Common Blue 2, Small Heath 4, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 2, Small White(?) 1, Holly Blue 2, Orange Tip 1 (m), Speckled Wood 2. Moths: Mother Shipton 2, Cinnabar 1, Yellow Shell 1. There were also 2 Nightingales singing by the entrance. Across the estuary to:
Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 1.30pm F3, sny int. Small White 9, Small Copper 2, Common Blue 3, Holly Blue 1, Small Heath 11, and a possible Meadow Brown – no other obvious candidates but its flight pattern wasn’t typical. Then onto:
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 3.40pm transect: Small White 1, Common Blue 2 (1f), Small Heath 3 and Large Skipper 1. Moths: Mother Shipton 4, Burnet Companion 4. Rob Smith

Friday 20th May
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 30+ Common Blue, c.10 Brown Argus and at least 6 Small Heath. We spent a large percentage of our time checking up on the vast numbers of Burnet Companion around the site with over 60 seen. Graeme Smith
Hockley Woods (TQ8392) Rochford District Council have set up a trial transect here and report 6 Heath Fritillaries along the ride edges today. Richard Bond
Harold Hill (TQ548926) 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma and 1 Holly Blue in my garden nectaring on Philadelphus coronarius blossom (and 2 Large White on 17th). Later at:
Risebridge Golf Course, Romford (TQ517907) In SW corner of GC this evening: 11 Common Blue roosting, 4 Burnet Companion, 2 Mother Shipton, Also yesterday afternoon in brief visit, 2 Large Skipper and 1m Brown Argus. Colin Jupp
Engine Bank, Mepal (TL4482) An hour and a half in windy conditions with occasional warm sunshine produced no Wall Browns, in fact there were very few butterflies at all: 1 female Common Blue, 2 distant whites and a Speckled Wood, which is a little odd if you know the site. Is it just me or is this last species increasingly appearing in more open situations than it used to? Rob Partridge
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) Brief walk along first section north of the National Stud (July racecourse) entrance/access road (about 10:15 to 10:50 today) - some images attached. Green Hairstreak 2, Brown Argus 1, Brown Argus / Common Blue 2, Common Blue 5, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Small Heath 1, Orange Tip 1 (entrance road rather than Dyke). Ematurga atomaria Common Heath 1 & Callistege mi Mother Shipton 1. Guy Manners
Hutton CP (TQ636959) Just a short circuit to check for roosting butterflies this evening. Found 6 Common Blues close to each other in the most dense and sheltered section of long grass. Rob Smith

Thursday 19th May
Mill Green Common (TL637013) It was almost 3 blank visits in a row here until 2 male Brimstone showed. Also a Silver Ground Carpet moth. Just waiting for the skippers and browns to emerge - 'quiet' isn't the word. Then onto:
Little Hyde Lane, Ingatestone (TL651001) On waste ground by A12 - Common Blue 1, Burnet Companion and Cinnabar moth and a Brown Argus with one of the identifying 'colon' spots almost missing on one side (after Jack Harrison, 17/07/2010). Rob Smith
Barton (TL421548) 3 pristine Large Skipper on transect today, amongst the Small Heaths, Common Blues and Brown Arguses. Louise Bacon

Wednesday 18th May
Romford (TQ524909) Grassland between A12 and Keats Avenue, 2 Brown Argus, 5 Common Blue (4m,1 mainly blue f), 1 Large Skipper, 3 Burnet Companion moths. Also:
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) 12m Common Blue and 2 Small Heath in field N side of Lake (TQ517919); also c15 Burnet Companion, 5 Mother Shipton, 1 Latticed Heath + 3 teneral / imm Black-tailed Skimmers in long grass. A Red Admiral near the car park (TQ519923). All seen mid-afternoon, despite mainly overcast conditions. Colin Jupp
Alphamstone (TL874356) While doing some roving records for Bird Atlas in the Alphamstome tetrad today, I came across a large flowery meadow which - despite the overcast conditions - had 2 Small Heaths and a female Holly Blue. Certainly worth investigating again. Martin Peers

Tuesday 17th May
Walthamstow Filter Beds (TQ3588) 3m Common Blues & 1 Cinnabar Moth during the 5 minutes of sun we managed today. Dan Barrett

Monday 16th May
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) A handful of Brown Argus, pleanty of Common Blues and remarkable numbers of the Burnet Companion moth. Other good day-flying moths were a Mother Shipton and at least 4 Lattice Heath… a fine little moth. Graeme Smith
Harold Hill: Central Park (TQ5492) Brief afternoon visit: 1m Orange Tip, 1 Small White, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Mother Shipton moth. Then onto:
Risebridge Golf Course, Romford (TQ525911) 15.45-16.10; sunny but breezy. On E side of GC, 2 fresh male Large Skippers (ahead of my previous earliest by 7 days), 5 Small White including a mating pair, 2 male Common Blue and 3 Mother Shipton. Colin Jupp

Sunday 15th May
Over Railway Cutting (TL3868) Cool and windy conditions greeted those turning up at the Branch Butterfly Walk around the disused railway (now transformed into part of the Guided Busway) and several nearby mitigation sites just south of Over. However, we were pleased to find a total of 4 Grizzled Skippers roosting on flower heads; other butterflies seen included 5 Brown Argus, 7 Common Blue, 1 Orange-tip, 4 Small Heath, 4 Burnet Companion, 2 Yellow Shell and a single Treble-bar. Click here for the trip report. Tony Moverley
PS Permission was granted for our visit today; At present THERE IS NO PUBLIC ACCESS TO THIS SITE.

Saturday 14th May
Bushy Hill, South Woodham Ferrers (TQ813984) Only a brief 9-9.30am visit to this south-facing hillside overlooking the Crouch valley. But it was very sunny first thing at this site that has a lot of cinquefoil, crmbling slopes and bird's-foot trefoil. Small Heath 2, Large White 1, Holly Blue 1, Orange Tip 1 (f) and a Mother Shipton moth. Rob Smith

Friday 13th May
Martin Peers reports the following butterflies seen this morning while doing the BTO Bird Atlas tetrad in Castle Hedingham - Great Yeldham area:
Near Colne Valley railway (TL773364): 1 Small Heath + several Green-veined Whites
Great Yeldham: Disused railway (TL760377): 1 Brown Argus + 2 Speckled Woods & 10 Green-veined Whites
Great Yeldham: Near Butler's Farm (TL770373): 1 Red Admiral, 4 Orange Tips + 3 spp whites
Kirby Hall (TL777374): Holly Blue, Orange Tip + 3 spp whites
There were also 2 Four-spotted Chaser dragonflies on the wing by the pools at TL758374.

East Barnwell LNR (TL480583) Lunchtime for 2 hours: 5 Common Blue - one very blue female, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Brimstone, 4 GVW, 2 OT's - male, a couple of GH's again, c. 10+ Brown Argus and my first (UK) Small Copper of the year. Also several Burnet Companion moths (several photos attached). Nick Ballard
Houghton (TL288715) Went for a circular walk by the river; quite warm but breezy. In 3 miles saw only 1 Red Admiral, 1 Mother Shipton, 1 Common Blue. Very puzzling. Charles Nicol
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 10 Small Heath on the main area of grassland N/NW of car park (didn't have time to check any fields E side of park where I counted 18 on 7th). Also 1 Comma and 1 Speckled Wood, plus good numbers of Odonata at the Perch Pond: 8 Four-spot Chasers, many Azure, Large Red and Red-eyed Damsels. Then:
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) A Red Admiral late afternoon. Colin Jupp
Langdon EWT: Willow Park transect (TQ68Y) I decided to take a chance this morning despite conditions looking a bit marginal. I saw 19 butterflies, including 6 Grizzled Skipper in Great Lodge, Homefield and Little Lodge. Two of those I only saw in flight, and of the 4 I saw on the ground, 1 was f. intermedia and 1 f. taras. Other species included 3 Small Copper, 5 Common Blue, 1 Green Hairstreak and my first Small Heath of the year. Butterflies were considerably outnumbered by moths - 32 Burnet Companion, 2 Cinnabar and 1 Mother Shipton. Paul Hudson
Mill Green Common (TL637013) It was very warm in the sunshine today, so I was surprised to see 2 sparring Speckled Wood in the exposed centre of the common. There was another in the usual corner, plus 4 Brimstone, one a female. Also a Mother Shipton moth and a Broad-bodied Chaser. Later I found a small Orange Tip larva on Cuckooflower at Shenfield. Rob Smith
Bustard Green (TL6428) 5.00pm overcast no butterflies flying BUT 79 found roosting. Small copper 1, Small Heath 1, Common blue 11 & Brown Argus 66 (5 on Meadow buttercup, 1 on Hogweed and 60 on Meadow Foxtail grass with up to 4 on one flower head). John Oakshatt
Langdon EWT: Dunton Plotlands (TQ663873) On transect: 1 Grizzled Skipper in section 11 ( 4th Avenue ). Mick Coulson
Writtle College (TL673068) 3 Gatekeepers seen on grassland at 9am and another along the edge of an arable field at 8am (TL660076). Although the estate has been dry, there is no obvious parching at the moment and the grass is long here. Alan Roscoe

Thursday 12th May
Stow Maries Airfield (TQ8199) Saw a Wall Brown here - my first for some time - a site which overlooks the River Crouch. It was a rather washed out, wind blown looking individual that seemed a bit weak on its wings, so to speak. Graham Smith
Bustard Green (TL6428) Common blue 8, Brown Argus 20+, pair of Red Admiral in display flight, Brimstone 1 female, Orangetip 2, Small Heath 2 plus a Hornet! John Oakshatt
Harold Wood: Paines Brook (TQ551913) 2m Orange Tip, 1 Large White, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood. A male Common Blue near the brook / A12 on Harold Hill side. Colin Jupp

Tuesday 10th May
Brentwood: Junction 28 M25 (TQ568922) 4 Brown Argus, 1m Common Blue, 2m Orange Tip, 1 Small White, 1 Speckled Wood (a wanderer over the verge) plus 8 Burnet Companion & 2 Mother Shipton moths.
Brentwood: M25 Embankment (TQ573912) Mid-afternoon, good sunny spells. Along the upper section just inside London Borough of Havering boundary: 15 Brown Argus, 5m Common Blue, 1 Small Copper, 1 Small Heath, 4m Orange Tip, 1 Small White, 1 Peacock. Moths: lots of Burnet Companions & Mother Shiptons, 9 Cinnabar and 2 Latticed Heath. Colin Jupp
Langdon EWT: Lake and Meadows (TQ662878) News from the Reserve Officer at the EWT/Butterfly Conservation Work Party site: The Branch scrub clearance work is paying off. 1 positive Grizzled Skipper and a possible f. taras but it shot away too quickly into the scrub. Also a Mother Shipton and a Brown Argus. Mick Coulson
Langdon Hills (TQ708867) Bells Hill private meadow - a male Large Skipper, along with Common Blues, Holly Blues, Green Hairstreaks, Brown Argus (2), Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Brimstones (several, clearly haunting the buckthorn bushes, where the male bushes yield a wonderful perfume of honey when in flower), Orange Tips, Small White, Green-veined Whites, Large White. Then onto:
Hawkesbury Bush (TQ707867) One Grizzled Skipper in the SSSI "orchid meadow". This is not a site where I have encountered any before. This insect might have wandered from the meadows further west. Astonishingly rich meadow botanically, mown every August to address the huge scrub problem latent therein, and then grazed by sheep on the aftermath until after Christmas. Rod Cole
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Brimstone 2, Speckled Wood 1 and a Common Carpet moth. Then onto:
Little Hyde Lane, Ingatestone (TL651001) On waste ground – Green-veined White 1, Burnet Companion moth 1 and several pupating Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet larvae, mainly on Knapweed. Rob Smith

Monday 9th May
Great Paxton (TL205633) Spent 1/2 hour this morning at the railway site. First Small Copper of the year, also single Brimstone, Common Blue, Brown Argus and Large White. Charles Nicol
Harold Wood Park (TQ554902) River Ingrebourne and 'Summer Meadow' (former Pitch & Putt) 13.20-14.50. At least 30 Small Heath, 6-7 quite close together in some sheltered spots with males sparring; 10m Orange Tip, 2 Green-veined White, singles each of Large White, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood. Also 10+ Mother Shipton moths, a teneral Common Blue Damselfly in long grass and a brief flyby female or immature Hairy Dragonfly. Moving onto:
Thames Chase, Pages Farm (TQ561902) in the NE corner of the site near Hall Lane (15.00-15.25): 6 Brown Argus, 2 Small Heath, 1 GV White, 1 Small White, several Mother Shipton. A singing Nightingale here was a nice bonus. A 15 minute visit to a breezy
Tylers Common (TQ565905) - 1 Small Heath, 1m Orange Tip and 1 Speckled Wood. Colin Jupp
Canvey Wick (TQ760835) A visit this morning produced 11 Green Hairstreak, a first for me for the site and the local area. They appeared to favour two discrete areas; the bushes to the south and east of the pond next to Northwick Road and the south-west area of the site where there are a number of concrete blocks and beams surrounded by birch and sea buckthorn. Also seen were Wall 5, Brown Argus 10, Commom Blue 8, Small Copper 2, Small Heath 5, Speckled Wood 3 and Peacock 2. Andrew Woodhouse
Friday Wood, Colchester (TL9820) Steve Rolls (Essex micro moth recorder) reports that he spent a very enjoyable couple of hours in Friday Wood looking for Coleophora larva case`s and stumbled upon this, its a Purple Hairstreak caterpillar (photo 1 and photo 2).
East Barnwell LNR (TL480583) Spent a few hours nosing around EBNR and surprised to find - apart from Brown Argus (12+), Common Blue (4), GVWhite (5), Orange-Tip (6 m + 2 f), Brimstone 5 (4m + 1f), Comma, one very fresh orange individual, Speckled Wood 2 - Green Hairstreak, (1 possibly 2 individuals), which I managed to photograph (3 photos attached). At the end, a fly-by Clouded Yellow, first of the year for me, which didn't settle for a portrait. Nick Ballard
Danbury EWT: Hitchcock's Meadows (TL787048) Just a quick 15 min visit. Warm and sunny but the wind was keeping the butterflies down in the greenery. Disturbed just 3 Common Blue and a Brown Argus. Richard Bigg

Sunday 8th May
Brian Goodey has posted this interesting report on Green Hairstreak behaviour on the Essex Moth Group Yahoo! forum:
High Woods CP, Colchester (TM004266) Spent a very enjoyable morning at High Woods CP and found numbers of females laying eggs on common birds-foot trefoil. This is listed as being a larval foodplant on chalky soils, but I suspect it's also the most common in the Colchester area (the country park is not on chalky soil). We found no examples using broom or bramble, although the males seem to like bramble as territorial stations. We collected thirty end shoots of bft on which we saw ovipositing (ie the female extended her opivositor into the flower buds, but later at home I could only find three eggs (which are pretty obvious to see). This seems to suggest that 90% of attempts are aborted. Inspecting the 'good' shoots, the developing flowers were healthy, greeny-yellowish in colour and of a certain size. In the 'aborted' shoots, the flowers were often smaller and still green, or developed to a stage where the buds where on the point of flowering, or there were signs of damage and/or other insects present, such as thrips, aphids and other larvae. Pretty picky. (3 photos attached)

Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 12.30pm sea wall 20C, occ. sunshine, but steady F4 breeze. Small White 6, Green-veined White 5, Small Heath 8, Common Blue 1 (a female stangely, with a lot of blue). then onto:
Maldon Wick EWT (TL841054) 3pm Red Admiral 2, Common Blue 2, Orange Tip 3, Holly Blue 3, Speckled Wood 1, Green-veined White 5, white sp. 4 and a Four Spotted Chaser by the pond. Rob Smith
Woodwalton Marsh BCNPWT (TL212813) 8 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Small Copper, plus Brown Argus, Orange Tip and Common Blue (3 photos attached). Roger Orbell
On the Peterborough ~ Whittlesey cycleway and fields immediately to the north between (TL238981) & (TL253982) we saw Wall Brown 7, Red Admiral 6, Peacock 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Orange-tip 8, Brimstone 3, Small White 2, Green-veined White 10+, Common Blue 3, Holly Blue 2, Brown Argus 10+ & Small Copper 1. The Wall Browns were seen in the area of (TL248982) on and very close to the cycleway (3 photos attached). Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne
Great Chishill (TL425392) Local meadows in South Cambridgeshire. The trivial amount of overnight rain had clearly triggered a mass emergence. At one point I was almost tripping over Small Heaths (but this is always a good locality). Brown Argus in excellent number for the species. Two Common Blues seen (clearly a little later emerging here than elsewhere) and two sparring Small Coppers – normally quite a scarce butterfly in the meadows and orchards and not seen every year. Also the common whites, Small, Large, Green-veined, Orange Tip, Brimstone. Jack Harrison

Saturday 7th May
Wanstead Flats (TQ404858) 1 Green Hairstreak & 2 Small Heath. Kathleen Black
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11am transect. Small/GV white 3, Orange Tip 2, Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 2, Small Heath 1 (Boyles Court farm - counted 3 on way back), moths: Mother Shipton 6, Silver Y 1. Then onto:
Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ68Y) 20C temperature was fine, and not too breezy, but the % sunshine was low or hazy which obviously put off the Grizzled Skippers in some usually productive sections. Totals: Grizzled Skipper 7 (1 was f.taras, 1 f. intermedia), Green Hairstreak 4, white spp. 3, Orange Tip 1f, Small Copper 1, Brown Argus 1, Peacock 2, Small Heath 2. moths: Burnet Companion 26, Cinnabar 1. Then onto:
Horndon Meadow EWT (TQ672851) A brief visit to this small field more noted for its flora - Common Blue 1, Brown Argus 4, Peacock 1, Orange Tip 4, Comma 1, Large White 1. moths: Burnet Companion 3, Mother Shipton 1. Then onto:
Linford Pits (TQ666800) 3.40, light cloud cover. Wall Brown 1, Green Hairstreak 1, Peacock 1, Green-veined White 1. moths: Treble Bar 3, Speckled Yellow 1. Rob Smith
Hornchurch CP (TQ5283) Between 3.30pm & 5.30pm I went for a walk, was warm but overcast. I came across 10+ mixed whites, 3 Green-veined Whites, 2 Orange tips, 9 Common Blues (6 male & 3 females) & 6 Small Heaths. Also seen assortment of moths (several photos attached). Janet Edmunds
Fairlop Waters CP (TQ460905) 3 Brown Argus (2m,1f) and 10+ male Orange Tips, which have had an excellent spring at the site. Alan Bell
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 13.30-15.00; not much sunshine but warm: 18 Small Heath, 1m Brown Argus, 6 Common Blue (inc mating pair; 4m), 1 Peacock, 1 Comma, 1f Orange Tip, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Small White and several unidentified whites. Also 1 Burnet Companion and 1 Brimstone Moth. Later, at:
Brentwood: Junction 28 M25 (TQ568922) by now completely overcast; 1 Brown Argus, 3 Burnet Companion and my first Silver Y of the year. Then onto:
Harold Wood (TQ556912) After 5pm, on the railway embankment near River Ingrebourne (PLEASE NOTE: no public access to this area): 6 roosting Brown Argus (lots of cranesbill on embankment) plus single Cinnabar, Yellow Belle and Mother Shipton moths. Also, my first Banded Demoiselles (3m,2f) of the year along the river. Colin Jupp

Friday 6th May
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) 2 Small Heath and 15+ Orange tip. Laurence Drummond
Mill Green Common (TL637013) very warm, but little nectar food here. Just a Green-veined White and a Large White passing through and 2 Brimstone – also saw 2 larvae on alder buckthorn about 10mm long, and an ovum. Singles also of Broad-bodied Chaser and a Burnet Companion moth. Rob Smith
Bustard Green (TL6428) 17 Brown Argus, Holly Blue 1, Common Blue 3, 2 Small Heath, 1 Small Copper, Red Admiral 1, web of Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars, Speckled Wood 1, Orange tip 5, Green-veined White 3, Small White 2, Large White 1. John Oakshatt
Great Holland Pits (TM201191) Red Admiral, Peacock, Large and Green veined white, Orange tip, Small Copper, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Brown Argus, Green Hairstreak, Brimstone (1 male). 20 years ago the last 4 would not have been there, but two others might have. Bob Seago

Thursday 5th May
Mountnessing, Billericay (TQ657963) 8 Orange Tip seen by John Smart.
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) 17.30-19.00hrs; warm evening sunshine with much calmer wind than of late. 2 male Common Blues (my earliest for the site), 1 near bridleway (TQ521920) and 1 at roost 18.45 Foxes Hill (TQ514918). Also 8 Small Heath, 3 Small Copper, 12+ Mother Shipton, 1 Burnet Companion and a Latticed Heath. Colin Jupp
St Osyth Priory (TM11E) (PLEASE NOTE: no public access to this area) 1 Holly Blue, 2 Small Whites, 6+ Speckled Woods. Simon & Pat Cox

Wednesday 4th May
Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ68Y)) The weather this afternoon was clear sky and sunshine, but cold, about 15C. There was only a light breeze. My first Grizzled Skipper was a "probable" in Great Lodge field (TQ688872) where I counted 1 each Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Peacock and Burnet Companion. Approaching the foot of Homefield (TQ690874), I found my first definite ab taras, so I lingered here for about an hour and a half to get some photos. My total count for this spot was 16 Grizzled Skippers of which no less than 8 were ab taras. Of course some of these may have been repeats, but I was surprised at the number of ab taras. There were several Brown Argus and one Common Blue about as well. I recorded 5 more Grizzlies in Knights field (TQ688876) (2 ab taras) and 2 in Little Lodge (TQ687874) (1 ab taras). I attach a pdf image with some of the shots I got. If I had continued my slow walk at leg 6, Totoal count: 1 Green hairstreak, 2 Small Copper, 4 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue, 5 Burnet Companion, 4 Orange Tip, 23 (24?) Grizzled Skippers of which 11 were ab taras. David Newland
Two Tree Island (TQ827852) After walking transect at Thrift I went on to Two Tree Island In the hope of Grizzled Skipper or Wall Brown but neither obliged. In the face of a rather cold East wind I was lucky to see Orange Tip (2), Peacock (5), Small White (2) and a single Green Veined White. Richard Bigg
Lexden Park LNR (TL973248) 3 Orange Tips, 1 G-v White & 3 other ‘small’ whites, 4 Speckled Woods, 1 Holly Blue. Simon Cox

Tuesday 3rd May
Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ68Y)) News from the warden, Jonathan Wisbey, who today saw quite a few Grizzled Skipper, including some in Little Kingston field (TQ688868) and possibly one in Yard field, which would be a new area. Also seen were 4 Small Coppers. Rob Smith
Waresley Wood (Brownes Piece) (TL256550) Small Heath 1. Mark Ricketts & Sarah Rodger

Monday 2nd May
Benfleet Downs transect (TQ788858) A male Wall Brown seen on transect today in the woodland ride section. Dave Chandler
Little Warley Common (TQ606905) Sunny but strong breeze: Small Copper 3, Orange Tip 2, Speckled Wood 1, Small White 1, Mother Shipton 1, continuing into Thorndon Park (TQ618893) south to Jury Hill: Large White 1, Comma 1, Orange Tip 1, Brown Argus 4, Small Heath 2, Small Copper 1, Small White 1, Speckled Wood 3. Rob Smith
Mepal (TL439811) Found first Common Blue of year (1, perhaps 2) first Brown Argus, (1/2) Holly Blue (1), Small Copper (2) plus the usual whites. Jack Harrison
Great Holland Pits EWT (TM204190) 11:30 - 12:30 Green Hairstreak 3 (photo attached), Orange Tip 7, Holly Blue 1, Speckled Wood 2, Peacock 2 & numerous Whites. Julian Bennett
Floods ferry (TL355936) Wall Brown 7, Red Admiral 6, Orange Tip 2, Green-veined white 1, Large White 1. Louise Bacon

Sunday 1st May
High Woods CP, Colchester (TM0026) 15 Green Hairstreak seen by Stephen Rolls. Alphamstone: Sand Pits (TL870356) A Green Hairstreak seen today by Jonathan Piers Tyler.
Woodwalton Marsh BCNPWT (TL212813) 8 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Common Blue, 1 Green-veined White, 3 Orange Tip, 1 Brimstone, Stuart & Jill Elsom
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) Late am - early pm: minimum of 11 Small Heath in grassland south of the Visitor Centre, 6 Small Copper (inc 4 Wildflower Meadow), 2m Brimstone, 8m Orange Tip, all three Whites, 1 Comma, 7 Speckled Wood plus 3 Broad-bodied Chaser - my first of the year. Colin Jupp
A walk along by river Brain (TL 771204 - TL 780217) and over railway line to Braintree Garden Centre. Bright and sunny though windy. Butterflies seen - 8 Brown Argus (in two areas), 3 Small Heath, 15+ Orange tips, 2 Large Whites, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Holly Blues, several Green Veined White and Small White plus 5 Speckled Wood butterflies. Val Blamire
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) Fulbourn to A11 1530-1730 14 Green Hairstreaks, 2 Red Admirals, Orange Tips, Brimstones, Whites. Jeffrey Riley

April 2011

Saturday 30th April
High Woods CP, Colchester (TM004266) My wife and I saw around 30 Green Hairstreaks, along part of the National Cycle Network. (If you park at the High Woods visitor centre and walk east until you leave the wooded area, turn right and then left, down hill until you reach the cycle route, which is clearly marked.). All along the path we saw males, often three or four sparring. I've never bothered to check High Woods for this species before and we stumbled across them undexpectedly. The numbers we saw are the highest I've seen anywhere and it was quite a surprise. We also saw a Brimstone (uncommon for NE Essex) and 3 rather tatty Red Admirals. Brain Goodey
Langdon EWT: Willow Park transect (TQ68Y) Despite the strong wind, 3 Grizzled Skippers were seen, 2 in Homefield and 1 in Knight's Field, all in sheltered spots. But for the gusty conditions more would have been seen. Also 5 Green Hairstreaks, 3 in Little Lodge and 2 in Flax Field, and the usual suite of spring-flying butterflies. Also Cinnabar moths were on the wing and Adela reaumurella were flitting around the Hawthorn blossom. Zoe Ringwood
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden - 1 Peacock, 1 Comma, 3 Holly Blue, 3m Orange Tip, 1 Speckled Wood. At nearby Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ555930) In field along west side of Fir Wood: 4 Small Heath, 2 Small Copper, 8m & 2f Orange Tip, 3 Comma, 2 Peacock, 3 Speckled Wood; identified Whites included 5+ Small, 3 Green-veined & 3 Large (2m,1f), also several Mother Shipton. Then near Brentwood, a walk along the
Weald Brook (TQ564922) 7m Orange Tip, 3 Green-veined White, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood. Finally, checking the verge at
Brentwood: Junction 28 M25 (TQ568922) a single pristine Brown Argus, nectaring at 17.40 despite a very cool NE breeze (only butterfly seen). Colin Jupp
Fleam Dyke (TL548541) 11:30-1:30. Walking from bridge over A11 northwards, we saw 18 Green Hairstreaks after passing 2nd gate, having left the wooded area, along with 1 Brown Argus, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 3 Holly Blues, numerous Brimstones, some mating vigorously, Orange Tips and various whites then moved on to:
Devil's Dyke (TL6260) 2:30-4:30. Walking from Stetchworth Park. Saw 1 Green Hairstreak and numerous Speckled Woods in the wooded area. Having crossed the railway, we saw 5 Green Hairstreaks, none marked, 3 Small Heaths, 2 Small Coppers, 2 Red Admirals, 2 Brown Argus, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Dingy Skipper and all usual whites and Orange Tips all within a few hundred yards. Unbelieveable day! Joe and Peter Biggs
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) There were lots of Green Hairstreaks on hawthorn and other unidentified flowering shrubs where the Burwell old railway cutting crosses Devil's Dyke. They favoured sheltered areas out of the wind. No Dingy Skippers were seen here but at Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) they were easy to find on the south-facing bank at section 1 (the National Stud end). Other species seen were Brown Argus 2, Small Heath 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Burnet Companion 3, etc. David Newland
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) 12 Green Hairstreaks on the dyke between the steps leading from Burwell Road and the railway cutting (1500-1600). Jeffrey Riley
Great Canfield (TL51Z) 20+ Orange Tips, 7 G-v, 3+ Small Whites, 4 Speckled Woods; and in (TL51Y) 8 Orange Tips, 2+ G-v & 2+ Small Whites, 2 Speckled Woods & 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Simon & Pat Cox
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) Walked the transect today and recorded a total of 21 Dingy Skipper, 4 Green Hairstreak, 2 Small Heath plus all the other usual suspects. A stunning Emperor moth and Burnet Companion also on the wing. Sharon Hearle
Kings Dyke Nature Reserve (TL250974) 12.00 ~ 16.00, permit required. Wall Brown 3, Speckled Wood 4, Holly Blue 3, Common Blue 4, Brown Argus 30+, Small Copper 5, Green Hairstreak 3, Orange-tip 10+, Green-veined White 30+, Red Admiral 4, Peacock 6, Comma 4 & Small Tortoiseshell 1. Phil Bromley & Rosalyn Payne.
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.45am transect. Sunny and 15C but a gusty NE breeze. Large White 1, Gren-veined White 1, Small White 1, orange Tip 3, Speckled Wood 6. Rob Smith
Chafford Gorge EWT (TQ608790) The Wildlife Trust and local volunteers have done a large amount of work over the last two years at this former chalk pit, scraping large clearings & ‘rides’ and clearing scrub. There is a lot of wild strawberry and bird’s foot trefoil present, but no rare skippers were seen today. Green Hairstreak 6, Small White 2, Green-veined White 1, other whites 14, Speckled Wood 8, Holly Blue 2, Brimstone 6, Peacock 1, Cinnabar 1, Burnet Companion 1. Rob Smith
Mill Wood EWT (TQ594786) southern hillock – Green Hairstreak 7, Holly Blue 1, Speckled Wood 5, Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, white spp. 6. A fair amount of kidney vetch on this wildlife slither. Rob Smith
Anchor Field, West Thurrock (TQ590780) 4-5pm. The narrow footpath leading up towards Chafford Hundred station was sheltered today and very productive, particularly for Green Hairstreak – 6, Speckled Wood 4, Small White 4, Green-veined White 2 (mating), white spp. 13, Orange Tip 5, Brimstone 1, Holly Blue 1, Red Admiral 1. Rob Smith

Friday 29th April
Fairlop Waters CP (TQ460905) A male Brown Argus. Alan Bell
St Osyth (TM144159) Speckled Wood - first this year in our garden. Simon & Pat Cox
Devil's Dyke (TL6161) Afternoon trip to photograph Dingy Skippers. First butterfly I saw was a fresh Brown Argus (a second one seen later). A total of 21 Dingies spotted along the fist three sections, including a mating pair (photo attached) and one which had failed to expand one of it's wings on hatching (damaged pupa?). Also saw 9 Green Hairstreaks dotted along the first two sections adjacent to small hawthorns (none with markings were found), a single Small Heath as well as the usual suspects... Male Orange Tips, 4 unidentified "whites" (another was seen to be a a small white), 3 Brimstones (1 male, 2 females). Also numerous Common Heaths and 2 Burnet Companion moths. Trevor Sawyer
Danbury EWT: Hitchcock's Meadows (TL787048) Orange Tip 12, Green-veined White 2, Small White 2, Large White 1, white spp. 8, Holly Blue 3 (incl female ovipositing on holly), Small Copper 2, Comma 2. Green Hairstreaks are known from Toot Hill the main meadow here, but none seen today. Moths: Burnet Companion 1, Speckled Yellow 1, Mother Shipton 1. Rob Smith
Backwarden EWT (TL780037) Brimstone 13, white spp. 4, Small Heath 1, Holly Blue 1 (f), Green Hairstreak 2. Rob Smith
Waterhall Meadow EWT, Little Baddow (TL758070) Small Copper 1, Green-veined White 2, Orange Tip 5, White spp. 6, Speckled Wood 2. Rob Smith

Thursday 28th April
Orange Tip Colne Pt sewage-wks (TM105133) Simon & Pat Cox
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 1 Red Admiral, 1 Holly Blue, 2 Green-veined White. Also a Comma on 26th April up to 10 Speckled Woods in recent days. Colin Jupp

Wednesday 27th April
Friday Wood, Colchester (TL9820) 6 Green Hairstreaks, 4 Small Copper & Speckled Wood. Andrew Goodey
At Belton's Hill near Spaldwick (TL124741) At 1pm... just looked at the first 100m section adjacent to the roadway: 10 Orange Tips, 2 Large Whites, 1 Comma, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Peacock. This was the best ever showing of Orange Tips in the 5 years I have been going to this site. Charles Nicol.
Danbury Common (TL783043) After walking the Transect at Thrift I spent 15 minutes looking round the gorse on Danbury Common for Green Hairstreaks and was rewarded by seeing one but he flew off over the top before I could bring the camera to bear. Richard Bigg
Fingringhoe Wick EWT (TM048193) 11:00 - 12:00 Green Hairstreak 2, Orange Tip 3, Speckled Wood 5+, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1, L.White 5+ Julian Bennett
Cambourne (TL313592) our first Common Blue of the year whilst doing the regular weekly transect - possibly the earliest we've ever seen one. Louise Bacon & Sian Williams

Tuesday 26th April
Mill Green Common (TL637013) A fresh breeze today. Despite the lack of recent rain, the common is starting to look a bit greener. Speckled Wood 2, whites spp. 3, Green Longhorn moths 20 and a broad-bodied chaser. Rob Smith
RHS Gardens Hyde Hall (TQ783996) c8 Orange Tips, c5 Small Whites, 2 Brimstones, 1 Speckled Wood, Simon & Pat Cox

Monday 25th April
Houghton (TL29647173) Along Thicket just outside bird sanctuary, the first Brown Argus, Roger Orbell
Fen Drayton nature reserve (TL3469) , Small copper x1 map ref 343696, Red Admiral x1 map ref 338692, Comma x1 same ref as Red A, Orange Tips - too many to count 100+ males at least. Peacocks x3, Brimstones x 40 all looked like males!, Holly blue x3, Speckled woods x40, Regards Joe and Peter Biggs
Cranham Brickfields (TQ580874) 9.30am - Green Hairstreak 2, Speckled Wood 2, Orange Tip 3 (2f,1m), Peacock 1, Green-veined White 1. Green Longhorn moths (adela reaumurella) 500 – they do seem to be having a good year! Then onto:
Cranham Marshes (TQ567856) Orange Tip 10 (1f), Speckled Wood 3, Small White 1. Then onto:
Davy Down, North Stifford (TQ593799) Brimstone 1 (m), Orange Tip 3, Small White 3 (incl. a female ovipositing on hoary cress – the youngest plants tended to be used), Green-veined White 2, Green Hairstreak 1 (by car park), then onto:
Broom Hill, West Tilbury (TQ654778) 1.30pm Red Admiral 3, Orange Tip 1, Green-veined White 1, Green Hairstreak 2 – about an 8-minute dogfight, relentless and quite spectacular, but no mating afterwards. The west slopes look superb as grazing keeps this old gravel pit in trim. A hint of a Brown Argus but lost it in flight (there is a strong colony here). Then onto:
Linford Pits (TQ666800) 3-4pm Orange Tip 10, Speckled Wood 2, Comma 2, Peacock 2, Small White 2 (mating), Holly Blue 1, Red Admiral 1, Green Hairstreak 1, Wall Brown 2+ (patrolling males). Speckled Yellow moth 2. Rob Smith
Chafford Gorge EWT (TQ598794) sunny but windy mainly seen on the bank near the centre, facing sun & out of wind, 5 green hairstreaks, 3 small whites, 5 GV whites, 9 speckled woods, 5 male brimstones,1 holly blue, 1 peacock, 1 comma, 20+ orange tips & 50+ mixed whites. Janet Edmunds & David Jones.

Sunday 24th April
Great Henny: Clay Hill (TL861377) 3 Green Hairstreaks flying along Hawthorn hedge, sometimes chasing one another, frequently alighting, usually at the top of the Hawthorns. Weather sunny and about 23 degrees celsius. Dean Morley
Hornchurch CP (TQ545855) Parking at car park off souadrons approach . we was out between 10.30am & 12.30pm & saw 3 GV whites, 20 orange tips, 5 peacocks, 7 speckled woods,1 red adimral, 1 holly blue & 50+ mixed whites. Janet Edmunds & David Jones.
St Osyth (TM144159) First G-v White of the year in our garden. Simon & Pat Cox
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) Between 17.30-17.45 a fresh Small Heath and Small Copper in the grassland SE of the Visitor Centre (TQ521921), my earliest date for SH by 4 days. Also during pm: 1 Holly Blue, 15+ Orange Tip (3 fem), 1 Large White, 2+ Green-veined White, 10+ Small White (and the usual unid'd flybys), 1 Comma, 1 Peacock and 1 faded Small Tortoiseshell. Plus good numbers of Green Longhorn moths, 2+ Pyrausta sp over Cuckoo Flower, 5 Large Red Damselfly and 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly (also early). Colin Jupp
Church End Meadows, Woodwalton (TL2082) At the recommendation of Jack Harrison, Rosalyn Payne and I visited fields at TL206823 (just south of Five Arches Pit & 1km north of Woodwalton Marsh). We were amazed at the number of Grizzled Skippers that we saw (20+). Well done Jack! Also, at Monks Wood NNR (TL28A) our first Small Copper of the year (photo attached). Phil Bromley

Saturday 23rd April
Monks Wood NNR (TL28A) We visited Monks Wood today to look for Grizzled Skippers. We bumped into Roger & Sarah Orbell who said that they had already found a couple. Rosalyn and I found four further specimens, giveing a total of six, which is a good start so early in their season. Phil Bromley and Rosalyn Payne
Gosfield Pits NR (TL787294) 11am, sunny, hot (28deg!), still. 10+ Orange Tips, 1 Peacock, 1 Holly Blue, 2 Speckled Wood. I had hoped to see Wild Violet (there had been a possible Silver-Washed Fritillary sighting in this reserve in 2009). However, none were seen on a 1-hour walk around. Colin Davis
Hampton Hargate, Peterborough (TL1794) Not a butterfly sighting but it's the earliest I've ever seen a Cinnabar moth. Trevor Wilson
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden this afternoon - 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Holly Blue, c4 male Orange Tip, 2 Large White, 1+ Green-veined White and 8+ Small White (numerous whites passing through in the current fine weather). Colin Jupp
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF075045) On the advice of Phil Bromley, we went to Hills and Holes at Barnack before 10am when the green hairstreaks were lower down and slightly less manic, and got a couple of nice shots (attached). This is the first time I've been able to get a decent photograph of this species in the south (they were far more obliging in Scotland!) In the small area we covered, we saw up to a dozen. Peter and Jan Farbridge
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) I went back to Devil's Dyke this morning and recorded 4 Dingy Skipper. One in the first section on Dandelion at the bottom of the Dyke and a further 3 in section 3 also near the bottom of the Dyke. Burnet Companion has also emerged today. Sharon Hearle
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.15 transect, already 17 deg. Brimstone 2, Small White 4, Green-veined White 2, Orange Tip 8 (including females and also saw first ova on cuckooflower), Comma 1 & Speckled Wood 5. Rob Smith
Hempstead (TL63I) c25 Orange Tips, 10+ S/GV Whites (of which at least 1 Small & 2 GV), 1 Large White, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Brimstone, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Peacock, 6 Speckled Woods. En route 2 Orange Tips at Wethersfield (TL73A) & 1 in Great Sampford (TL63M). Simon & Pat Cox

Friday 22nd April
John Weston EWT (TM2624) 4 Orange Tips & 4 Speckled Woods. Simon & Pat Cox
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF075045) Orange Tip, Brimstone, Green Hairstreak (on almost ever bush with 12 seen on 1 Hawthorne at center of reserve) & Painted Lady. 2 Cuckoo seen and good numbers of Pasque Flower if small (very dry). Then onto:
Stone Pit Quarry, Old Suleyhay (TL054983) A Grizzled Skipper. Roger Orbell

Langdon EWT: Willow Park transect (TQ68Y) Butterfly Conservation and Essex Wildlife Trust teamed up this morning in perfect conditions to begin a new transect principally devised to monitor the Grizzled Skipper on a 2-mile circular route through the Park. There were 6 Grizzled Skipper recorded, including 1 form taras, although several others were seen by the large team assembled including a mating pair in Knightsfield. Great Lodge, Little Lodge, and Home fields also recorded skippers. Others seen: Brimstone 2 (both F), Small White 2, Green-veined White 5, Orange Tip 2, Green Hairstreak 4, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 5, Speckled Wood 2 and a single Burnet Companion moth. Thanks to BC members Zoe Ringwood, Paul Hudson and John Smart and to EWT wardens/volunteer Jonathan Wisbey, Mick Coulson and Nicola Shearer. Rob Smith

Ramsey Marsh transect (TL945060) 2.30pm sea wall transect: Small White 6, Green-veined White 18, Orange Tip 10, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 2. then onto:
Bradwell (TL995057) A good 9 species recorded on a short walk along the footpath: Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 1, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 1 (fresh-looking, migrant?), Small White 1, Brimstone 1+, Comma 1, Orange Tip 4 & Green-veined White 1. Rob Smith
Harlow (TL477065) It is surpprising what you can see in unproductive-looking habitat. I sat on the edge of an arable field just south of Harlow (TL477065) for half hour lunchtime and saw Orange Tips 10-7M,3F, plus Green-veined White 4, Speckled Wood 1, Red Admiral 1 and Small Tort 1. Also 2 Holly Blue nearby. I have seen hundreds of Orange Tips this year,and still enjoy every one. Mark Bunch
Orton Wistow, Peterborough (TL1496) A Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Orange tip and Holly Blue. Trevor Wilson
Devil's Dyke: July Course transect (TL6161) Walked the DD transect today in more glorious weather. Horseshoe vetch and Milkwort just beginning to flower but not much nectar otherwise- 25 butterflies in total Holly blue, Orange Tip, Peacock, GV White, Small white and Brimstone. Two Green Hairstreak seen and plenty of Common Heath Moth but no dingy yet. Sharon Hearle
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) A morning trip to Devil's Dyke (Newmarket July Racecourse end) hoping to find Dingy Skippers. A slow methodical search along the first two sections and back again failed to locate any (plenty of Latticed Heath moths though). Any day now, I'm sure they will start. We desperately need a little rain soon as it is looking particularly dry there. I also spent some time in the areas where I have previously found Green Hairstreaks, but again none seen. The number of hawthorn bushes for them to survey their territories has been diminished considerably. Judging by the sightings at the Burwell end, I would have thought a few would have been out by now(?). I did see a few other butterlfies though: Male and female Brimstone, 3 "whites" (Unidentified) and 3 male Orange Tips. Also 4 Pasque flowers in bloom. Trevor Sawyer

Thursday 21st April
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) 12 Speckled Wood, 2-3 Holly Blue, 5m Orange Tip, 5 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Comma & 15+ Adela reaumurella. Colin Jupp
Orton Brick Pit (TL164932) I saw (and photographed) a Green Hairstreak in a hawthorn bush. David Withrington
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) Between 2.00 - 4.30 pm :- Speckled Wood 30+; Orange Tip males 30+; Peacock 4; Small Tortoiseshell 1; Red Admiral 1; Holly Blue 2 ( 1 def. Female); Comma 1; Large white 2; Small White 2; Green-veined White 3; Unidentified flying Whites 20+. Ian Phillips
Hampton Hargate, Peterborough (TL1794) A Red Admiral here today. Trevor Wilson
Chignall St. James (TL664097) Old back-filled gravel workings now a weedy wasteland and looks interesting but saw nothing unusual in 45 mins walk - Peacock (3), Orange tip (9) and Green veined White (1) then on to:
Broads Green (TL689126) More old gravel workings. Spent 30 Mins to record Orange Tip (15) (photos attached) and Green-veined White (1) Many unidentified Whites flying at both sites. Richard Bigg
Fleam Dyke (TL5454) Walked the Fleam briefly from the A14 to the railway cutting today; usual suspects - several Green Hairstreak, GV & Small White, 10+ Brimstone (4 females) with 5 or 6 male OT's ( plus 2 females), 2 Speckled Wood and a single Holly Blue and Peacock. However, I also saw this spectacular individual - about 1cm long with antennae 4cm long (photos attached). Anyone any ideas? Nick Ballard (Editor: it looks like one of the longhorn micro moths of the family Adelidae, probably Adela reaumurella)
Great Chishill (TL425393) Two Red Admirals (first of season for me) three Large Whites (also firsts) plus all the usual, ie scores of Orange Tips, 10 or so Green-veined Whites, Brimstones, Speckled Woods, single Comma, single Holly Blue. No Small Heaths yet in this prime habitat. Jack Harrison
Mepal (TL4480) A Wall Brown was disturbed whilst sunning itself on a tram line in a field of winter wheat near Mepal this morning. Orange Tips numerous here with at least 8 males along a quarter of a mile of The Rushway. Speckled Woods also doing well there with 10 counted earlier in the week. This afternoon a Holly Blue was seen crossing open arable fen near Wardy Hill, looking somewhat lost. Rob Partridge

Wednesday 20th April
Weeleyhall Wood EWT (TM12K) 5 Speckled Woods, 1 Small Tortoiseshell & c.10 S/GV Whites. Simon & Pat Cox
Vange Heights (TQ7187) Morning visit revealed remarkable numbers of Orange Tips, Green-veined and Small Whites and Brimstones, plus 1 Holly Blue (1st of the year) plus several Peacocks and Speckled Woods and a possible Large White, but not confirmed. Rod Cole
One Tree Hill CP (TQ6986) This afternoon, a single Grizzled Skipper in Johnson's West meadow. Rod Cole
Barnack Hills and Holes (TF075045) Between 10.00 and 11.30 We only checked the western half of the reserve. We counted 34 Green Hairstreak flying low around the larger Hawthorn. Also 4 Holy Blue, 4 Brimstone, 1 Speckled Wood, 6 S/GV whites. Rosalyn Payne & Phil Bromley
Woodwalton Marsh (TL212813) Our first Grizzled Skipper of the year, 4 Orange-tip, 4 Brimstone, 2 S/GV Whites. Rosalyn Payne & Phil Bromley
Tort Hill, Sawtry (TL173838) 5 Holly Blue, 1 Speckled Wood. Rosalyn Payne & Phil Bromley

Tuesday 19th April
Many thanks to Phil Macmurdie who has sent in the following report on the GREEN HAIRSTREAK PROJECT:
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) Arriving at 11am what a stunning day, which started in near cloudless conditions at an even 23deg C temp. with the lightest of breezes - what could be better. Our Green Hairstreak study started so well the previous week, could it get better? Early signs are yes. Two females were netted and marked south of the Burwell cutting 1/2 way between the road and the cutting, around a small buckthorn bush - same site as found last year although the birds foot trefoil which was present in 2010 could not be found. Further sightings were made at the top of the dyke by the gate entrance. However one in the cutting, the north bank and specifically the stand of hawthorn which is behind the cutting bounding low hedge is used extensively as perch points. Often 3 and 4 GH's were seen clashing and spiralling in their tight knit formation, often whirring about me as I'm trying to net them. A good number (13) of new captures were made here and marked, in addition to 8 re-captures from the previous week.
After a brief lunch, we then continued back up the dyke and north towards Reach. Further captures and re-captures were made, on the buckthorn bushes about 50 yards from the cutting, then more captures on the ivy covered hawthorns and blackthorns as the dyke path approaches the next gate. A total of 47 individuals have been marked at this end of the dyke so far, excluding recaptures. Some of which have been sighted and photographed by other observers - to which we are most grateful for the evidence.
Other sightings were Holly Blue 3, Brimstone 25+, Small White 5, Large White 1, Orange Tip 25+, Red Admiral 1 (a pristine individual), Peacock 3, Comma 1 & Small Tortoiseshell 3.
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) What a different story. Only 2 sightings, and captures (at least a 100% capture rate). One lone female just before the fir trees on the second section and a lone male caught at the second gap at the previously well utilised hawthorn copse. Given that the GH was more abundant at this end of the dyke in 2010 it remains to be seen what will happen for the rest of this season. Other sightings were Holly Blue 2, Brimstone 10, Small White 3, Orange Tip 9, Peacock 2 & Small Tortoiseshell 1. No Dingy Skippers yet.

Heybridge Pits (TL865070) My first Holly Blue and numerous Orange Tip. Russell Neave
Langdon EWT (TQ6887) 4 Grizzled Skippers seen today in the fields in Willow Park. Jonathan Wisbey
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) I saw lots (10+) of Green Hairstreaks at the Reach end of the Devil's Dyke today, some of which I think were marked (photos attached). There were also many Holly Blues, Brimstones, Orange-tips, one Comma and some Green-veined Whites. Paddy Grove
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) This lunchtime numerous sightings of Holly Blue (8+ individuals) some looking tatty already. Plus 3 male Orange-Tip and 4 Speckled Wood and at least 1 (possibly 2) Small White. Also, a male Green Woodpecker, loudly proclaiming ownership by flying from tree-top to tree-top and challenging all-comers with his own clattering, cackling interpretation of what passes for a "call" (5 pics attached). Nick Ballard
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Very hot. Peacock 2, Large White 1, Green-veined White 2, Orange Tip 2, Brimstone 5+ all male except for one female ovipositing on alder buckthorn - a large established bush on the woodland fringe and a small, exposed sapling were both used. Mid-laying, the female was leisurely pursued by a male high into the canopy until he finally got the message. Rob Smith

Monday 18th April
Harold Park (TQ559914) A male Brimstone and 2m Orange Tip near the River Ingrebourne; also in the area 5+ Small White, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood and Comma. Then at nearby
Thames Chase, Harold Court (TQ562912) East side: 1f Brimstone, 2m Orange Tip, 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Peacock and 3 Comma; plus on west side (TQ558911) - 5+ Green-veined White, 3 Small White, 3m Orange Tip, 2 Speckled Wood. Also a Large White, male Orange Tip and Green-veined White along Ivy Lodge Lane (TQ559906) where there were 20 Green Longhorn moths on Field Maple. Colin Jupp
Danbury CP (TL768049) 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Orange Tip, 2 Green-veined White and 1 Small White. Chris Rawlings
Writtle (TL60Y) Walked from Writtle to Chelmsford across the fields this afternoon and noted Orange Tip (5), Peacock (6), Brimstone (2), Small White (1), Green-veined White (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1) and Speckled Wood (2). There were a number of unidentified whites flying also. Richard Bigg
Wivenhoe Wood (TM035222) Adjacent to the railway station 11:30 - 13:00: Orange Tip 3, Holly Blue 2, Speckled Wood 2, Small White 4, Brimstone 1, Peacock 1 & Comma 1. Julian Bennett
Devil's Dyke transect (TL616616) Walked the Devil's Dyke transect today in warm, sunny weather. I recorded numerous Orange Tip, Brimstone and Green-veined White, 1 Peacock, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Green Hairstreak (no marks) and 20 or more Common Heath moth. There were no Dingy Skippers but I am sure it won't be long before one is seen. Sharon Hearle
Buttsbury (TQ662984) Pleasing numbers of Small Tortoiseshell along the banks of the River Wid today- 5+ here, also Orange Tip 2, Green-veined white 2, Peacock 1, white spp. 3, and near
Buttsbury Ford (TQ660976) Small Tortoiseshell 3, white sp. 2 & Peacock 1. Rob Smith

Sunday 17th April
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) Cloudy conditions 7/8 cloud cover, probably prevented any of the Green Hairstreaks from making an appearance, however several other species took advantage of the dry weather. Brimstone 19, Peacock 1, Green-veined White 8, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Orange Tip 10, Large White 4, Small white 8, but no Green Hairstreak. Phil Macmurdie
Chigborough Lakes (TL877086) My first Speckled Woods on the wing, several Orange Tips and a Red Admiral. Russell Neave
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) A slow 4 hour walk from Swaffham Prior through to Reach, back along Devil's Dyke and back to the car produced the following: Green Hairstreak 2, Holly Blue 4, Painted Lady 1 (my earliest ever in Cambs, maybe even UK), Orange Tip 11, Large White 3, Brimstone 6, Speckled Wood 4, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 2 and Comma 2. Also a cracking Oil Beetle near to Reach was probably Meloe proscarabaeus, I photographed it (attached) and I'm awaiting a firm ID from an old friend who's a very experienced coleopterist. Stuart & Jill Elsom
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden and along the edge of adjacent Hatter's Wood (10.50-12.00): 3+ male Orange Tip, sometimes 'sparring' with passing whites; min. of 3 Large White, 6 Small and 2 Green-veined with up to 5 smaller whites seen at once, 1 Comma, 1 male Holly Blue (also fem yesterday). Plus 8-10 Green Longhorn moths and a male Large Red Damselfly (nearly mature) - my earliest date for this species. Nearby in
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) several Orange Tips at The Moat, including 1 female on Garlic Mustard + Grass Snake. Then a late afternoon visit to
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) no less than 10 Speckled Wood along the north section, 5 Orange Tip (inc. female courted by 2 males) and 2+ each of Large, Small and Green-veined White, also 1 Comma. Colin Jupp
Brookes Reserve EWT (TL808268) Sunny & warm. Another walk from side to side again found very few butterflies: 3 Orange Tips inc 1 male, a Large White, several Green Veined Whites and a rather small and damaged/deformed Speckled Wood. What may have been a Small Tortoiseshell and/or a Peacock were twice seen at some distance (4 pics attached). Colin Davis Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) I walked the northen stretch of Devils Dyke today between 2-3pm approx. Saw at least 6 green hairstreaks on stretch of Devils Dyke heading north from Burwell railway cutting before the next gate heading north. May have been up to 10. See attached photos including one marked individual which was on a low elder bush on right of track maybe 100 yards before gate mentioned above. Also another two individuals on low bushes next two steps from devils dyke down into railway cutting heading north (i.e. just south of cutting). James Smith
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) I went to Burwell end of Devil's Dyke to try for Green Hairstreaks (around the crossroads of the dyke and ditch). Saw 11 different Green Hairstreaks in all (photo attached). None of the 6 I saw close enough to check had been marked during the population study. The others were spiraling around at the tops of the bushes at the bottom of the dyke. 3 insects were seen at the NW edge of the crossroads (crosstrack?), whilst the others were in the SE section of the dyke itself. Also a Peacock, 4 Male Orange tips, 2 (unidentified) whites and 7 female/1 male Brimstones. The female Brimstones were all patrolling the top of the dyke, egg-laying on buckthorn. Trevor Sawyer
Hornchurch CP (TQ5283) From 4pm - 6pm, windy but hot in sheltered spots: Our sightings where 11 Speckled Woods, 15 Green-veined Whites, 4 Small Whites, 7 Orange Tips, 15+ mixed whites, 5 Peacocks, 2 Commas, 2 Small Tortoiseshells & 1 Holly Blue. Janet Edmunds & David Jones
Fleam Dyke transect (TL548541) Transect walk scored a massive 60 butterflies this morning - loads more outside the recording area. 30 Brimstones plus other common species, and 4 Green Hairstreaks, 3 Holly Blue and several Small Eggar larval webs. Vince Lea & Louise Bacon
Orton Longueville (TL165965) 2 Holly Blues 'sparring' along our ivy-covered fence this morning (photos taken yesterday attached). Peter and Jan Farbridge
Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ687874) News from the warden, Jonathan Wisbey, who has today seen 2 fresh Green Hairstreaks in Little Lodge field. Rob Smith

Saturday 16th April
St. Osyth (TM144159) The first Orange Tips of the year (2) in our garden today. Simon & Pat Cox
West Bergholt (TL9627) Joe Firmin reports that a neighbour has seen a Painted Lady today.
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 11.30-12.30pm transect during splendid spell of sunshine. Brimstone 2 (m), Small White 2, Green-veined White 8 (incl. mating pair), Orange Tip 9 (m), Peacock 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 3. Then onto:
Langdon EWT: Willow Park (TQ687874) to resurrect Graham Bailey’s Grizzled Skipper transects (after last week’s early sighting on the 10th April at a private site in Cambs), but none seen. It became cloudy, so just Brimstone 1, Peacock 2, seen in Little Lodge field. Then onto:
Linford (TQ6678017) 3-4pm: Comma 4, Peacock 8 (incl. courting pair), Speckled Wood 1 and Green-veined White 4. Rob Smith
Thrift Wood, Bicknacre (TL792018) Walked the transect in full sun and dead calm conditions. 3 Speckled Wood (photo attached), 2 Brimstone (1m, 1f), and a Peacock. A quantity of Cow Wheat is showing in recently cleared areas. Then onto:
Danbury Common (TL783043) to look for a Green Hairstreak but clouds had built up and the sun gone - the butterflies also. I disturbed three Peacock none of them in very good condition, just out of hibernation I guess (photo attached). Richard Bigg
Spaldwick (TL127723) Went to Long Lane, Spaldwick at midday: saw 4 Speckled Woods, 4 Orange Tips (3f, 1m), 1 Comma & 2 Holly Blues. Charles Nicol
Welney WWT (TL59M) Whilst attending a BC Regional meeting: 2 Peacock, 3 Green-veined White, 3 Orange Tip, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Brimstone (and the undoubted highlight was a Water Vole in the pond on the east side of the visitor centre). Tony Moverley et al

Friday 15th April
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) Cloudy with some hazy sunshine breaking through around 13.30: 3 Speckled Wood, 2m Orange Tip, 2 Green-veined + 1 other White. Colin Jupp
Ingatestone (TQ650993) Distinctly cool and cloudy, but still disturbed a Speckled Wood that flew high to roost in a conifer. Then saw a smallish white flying around the higher branches of a poplar, more typical of green-veined behaviour. Rob Smith

Thursday 14th April
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Fairly cool and cloudy. But did catch a fleeting glimpse of a Speckled Wood in a moment of hazy sunshine. Rob Smith
John Weston EWT (TM2624) Peacock & Small White here today while in our garden near
St. Osyth (TM144159) a Holly Blue. Simon and Pat Cox

Tuesday 12th April
Lexden (TL9624) Holly Blue in a garden. Simon and Pat Cox
Burwell Railway Cutting (TL575652) Spent a couple of hours in the area around the junction of Dyke & Cutting to introduce my sister to Green Hairstreak and despite the breeze, 10+ seen - none were marked that I could see. Also a couple of GVW and Brimstone with a single Speckled Wood and Peacock. Nick Ballard

Monday 11th April
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden: 1 Comma, 1 fem Holly Blue, 1m Orange Tip, 2 Large White, 3 Small White plus several unidentified whites. Also Speckled Wood in the bluebell wood at Wickford Drive (TQ549923). Colin Jupp
Orton Longueville (TL165965) 1 Holly Blue in our garden. Peter and Jan Farbridge
Kings Dyke Nature Reserve (TL250974) Permit required (available free from reserve manager Philip Parker Associates, King's Lynn Tel: 01553 630842). This nature reserve has got off to a good start for me, between 11.00 & 14.00 today I saw Green Hairstreak 7 (pic attached), Peacock 20+, Comma 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Brimstone 2, Small / GV White 6, Large White 1, Orange-tip 1, Speckled Wood 3 & Holly Blue 2. I think this is going to be a very good location for the Green Hairstreak as there is an abundance of suitable habitat. It also looks very promising for some of our other ‘less common’ species; I shall be making regular visits this year. Phil Bromley
East Barnwell LNR (TL480583) A Common White Wave (Cabera pusaria) seen and photographed by Nick Ballard (2 pics attached).
Danbury CP (TL7604) An Orange-tip. Chris Rawlings
Gosfield (TL783295) At 11.20am, hazy sun, breezy, 18 deg. My first Orange Tip this year, a male, flew through my garden. Colin Davis
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) Between 2-4 pm: Peacock 4, Orange Tip male 4, Speckled Wood 2, Comma 6+, Whites 6+ (very reluctant to settle) and finally a Red Admiral, just as it started to cloud over. Ian Phillips

Sunday 10th April
Langdon EWT: Dunton Plotlands (TQ6687) We went to Langdon, parking at the Visitor centre, Lower Dunton Road, at 1.30pm until 4.30pm. On our walk we saw 9 Peacocks, 8 commas, 10 Orange Tips, 5 mixed White, 1 Large White, 1 Small White & a male Brimstone. Also seen was a grass snake. Janet Edmunds & David Jones
Bedford Purlieus (TL0499) At least 5 male Orrange tips, 3 Brimstones (photo attached), 2 Comma, 1 Holly Blue, plus Peacock and Small White. Peter & Jan Farbridge
Brampton Wood BCNPWT (TL17V) Lots of Peacocks around with a supproting cast of Orange Tip, Comma, Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone and Speckled Wood; plus Orange Underwing Archiearis parthenias (less likely Light Orange Underwing A. notha) (pics attached). Roger Orbell
Crown Lakes CP, Peterborough (TL1994) Holly Blue, Comma and Orange Tip while in our garden at:
Crowtree, Farcet Fen (TL238925) Brimstone, Green-veined White, Peacock, Small Tort, Comma and Orange Tip. Steve Dudley
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) Went to Devil's Dyke at Burwell to look for Green Hairstreaks, but couldn't find any, even after 2 hours of searching, so we shot off to the July Racecourse section of the Dyke (where at least I had more of an idea where to look). We walked along the dyke as far as the steps and back again, but only saw one Small Tortoiseshell, a Peacock and a few Latticed Heath moths. Trevor Sawyer

Many thanks to Phil Macmurdie who has sent in the following report on the GREEN HAIRSTREAK PROJECT:
Caught somewhat on the hop with the exceptionally early start to the Green Hairstreak season, we went dusted down the net, field notebook and pens etc and made our way to Devil's Dyke to continue on from last season's mark and release project (Click here for more information).
Devil's Dyke: Burwell End (TL5765) Arriving at 11:30 at the Burwell End of the dyke - we caught and marked a total of 23 individuals, with several re-captures. The Green Hairstreaks were often seen in 2's and 3's spiralling and clashing, I lost count of the number of times my somewhat poor / rusty catching technique let me down, although one instance in particular was remarkable, having missed the same individual 5 times, he returned to the very same ivy leaf each time, finally I scored a hit, marked and released, guess what - returned to his same perch point. A number were also seen and caught on the buckthorn bush and the ivy covered hawthorns on the north part of the dyke towards Reach. Other sightings - Many 20+ Brimstones, 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 5 Peacock, 9 Orange tip, 4 Holly Blue. + some Latticed Heath moths. Then onto:
Devil's Dyke: July Course (TL6161) However our buoyant mood was somewhat tempered as at the racecourse end, despite bright warm sunshine - no sightings, not even at well gap on the hawthorn scrub. The conservation work during the winter has removed much of the silver birch beneath and around the fir trees, which were good perch points, but it will be interesting to see where the Green Hairstreaks will turn up at this end of the Dyke.
Sightings of marked individuals: If anyone sees Green Hairstreaks that have been marked, the Burwell cutting ones are marked with small black spots this year - I would be grateful for a description or better a photo with the exact bush / location of sighting. Phil Macmurdie (Editor's note: Send them to the and we'll pass them onto Phil)

Saturday 9th April
Cudmore Grove CP (TM0614) On his blog Mersea Wildlife, Dougal Urquhart reports 'The recent warm spell saw this Green Hairstreak butterfly on the wing by the path near the hide. This is certainly the earliest date one of these has been seen at the park, as they're normally on the wing here during May. The first Holly Blue of the spring flew past the hide in the morning, while elsewhere the Peacock, Comma and the Small White were also seen.'
Botanic Garden, Cambridge (TL454572) 4 Speckled Wood, 4 Holly Blue, 1 Brimstone & 1 Orange Tip (pic attached). Jonathan Stephens
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) Approx 12.30-15.30; glorious sunshine with mod easterly breeze: 2 Holly Blue near the lake (my first of the year), 8 male Orange Tip, 1 Large White, 4+ Small White, 3+ Green-veined White, 2 Speckled Wood, about 8 each of Comma and Peacock by mid-afternoon. Frustratingly, flushed a possible Painted Lady from the sloping path east of lake at 14.30, viewed against bright sunlight as it went off so not 100% certain. Also Green Longhorn moth Adela reaumurella near Visitor Centre. Colin Jupp
Burwell Railway Cutting (TL575652) Glorious day: Met Jack Harrison at 9:00am to look for Green Hairstreak, one of our favourite butterflies. And they were out; we saw 12+ in a 100m stretch of the ditch-bottom from the gate in the Cutting. At one time we both had a pair, sometimes three, whirring above our heads. Initially the Hairstreaks were warming-up on the small nettles and other plants in the bottom and sides of the Dyke; by 10:30am or so, they were a bit more flighty and tended to settle higher-up on the bushes, but still approachable. (Last year my first sighting in that place was 17th April). Also saw a few Brimstone (2 females), Green Veined White, Orange-Tip (males) with a couple of Peacock and a single Speckled Wood, and Small Tortoiseshell (pics attached). Nick Ballard

Friday 8th April
South Woodham Ferrers: Garden Of Remembrance (TQ817979) 1 Peacock and 1 Small White. Chris Rawlings
Fleam Dyke transect (TL548541) A perfect day with butterflies to match. Brimstones were out in force with 21 in the transect and many more out of range, particularly towards the bottom of the dyke. Saw my first Orange Tips and Speckled Wood of the season but best of all was a Green Hairstreak, two weeks earlier than last year but in exactly the same place, on scrub in section 3, just before the gate onto Mutlow Hill. Also there was a Holly Blue by the footpath from Fulbourn to the Dyke which was waiting for me again on the way back! Unfortunately none in the transect. Exact counts were as follows: Brimstone 21, Green-veined White 6, Orange tip 2, Green Hairstreak 1, Peacock 3 & Speckled Wood 1. Roger Lemon
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904) Early afternoon: 1 Speckled Wood, 1m Brimstone, 2 Peacock, 1 Comma; several Whites including 1 Small & 1 Green-veined identified. Also a male Orange Tip yesterday, nectaring on Greater Stitchwort. Colin Jupp
Devil's Dyke (TL575653) Near the Burwell Cutting: 2 Green Hairstreaks (spiralling), just north of cutting (2 pics attached). Also 10+ Brimstone, 1 Holly Blue, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Orange Tip. Alan Coulson

Thursday 7th April
Woodwalton Marsh BCNPWT (TL212813) Orange-tip 2 (male), Brimstone 3 (2M, 1F), Green-veined White 1, Peacock 1 & Comma 1. Then to:
Tort Hill, Sawtry (TL173838) Speckled Wood 1, Holly Blue 1, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 1& Small White 1. All in all a nice selection of spring butterflies (pics attached). Phil Bromley
Wandlebury CP (TL4953) Holly Blue, Peacock, 2 Orange-tips (male), 3 Commas and 5 Brimstones (male). Kathryn Dawson
Fowlmere RSPB (TL4045) Small Tortoiseshell 1+, Comma 1+, Peacock 1+, Holly Blue 3, Green-veined White 1 and Brimstone 2. James Hanlon
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) My first 2 Speckled Wood of the year; yesterday several Holly Blue (1 female identified), with the first Large White, with at least 1 Small and 2 Green Veined Whites, along with 4 Brimstone and a single Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on red-dead nettle. (They mowed the Cemetery today; no flowering dead-nettle there now.) Nick Ballard
Gosfield (TL783295) 12.15, sunny, 20deg. My first Blue of the year, a Holly, flew through my garden, pausing briefly on a fence covered with ivy. Colin Davis
Ingatestone (TQ69P) Field margins – Small Tortoiseshell 5, Peacock 4, Orange Tip 1m, white sp. 1. Probably shows a paucity of other nettle-feeders, but nice to see Small Torts heading the count for a change. Rob Smith
Lark Rise Farm CRT (TL4155) A Speckled Wood. Vince Lea

Wednesday 6th April
St. Osyth (TM144159) First Small Tortoiseshell of the year in our garden. Simon and Pat Cox
Danbury CP (TL7604) 2 Brimstone, 4 Comma and 1 Red Admiral. Chris Rawlings
Harold Hill: Central Park (TQ5492) In about an hour up to midday, a male Brimstone, 3 Peacock, 1 Comma, 1 Small White and 2 unidentified whites. 2 further 'white sp' on my way to
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) where between 13.00-16.15hrs: 2 male Orange Tips - 1 nectaring on dandelions near the Nursery (TQ521923) plus 1 near Damselfly Pond (TQ521918); 2 Speckled Wood - 1 near Round Pond & 1 Lower Bedfords Rd Wood (and thanks to Daniel Bridge from the Visitor Centre for photographing both 'firsts of year'). Also male Brimstone, 1 Small or GV White, 5 Small Tortoiseshell which including a pair in courtship (nettle bank near Lower Bedfords Rd) and totals of at least 12 Peacock and 13 Comma. Up to 3pm I had seen relatively few of the last 2 species, then in the final hour or so numbers picked up in some sheltered spots in the southern area of park - although very warm it remained quite breezy. Finally an evening visit to
Gidea Park Sports Ground, Romford (TQ532904): 1 Green-veined and 1 Small White nectaring on cherry blossom (at 18.00), plus 2 Comma & 1 Peacock. Colin Jupp
Brookes Reserve EWT (TL808268) 11-12.30, sunny, 24deg, breezy. I reported last summer several sightings of Silver Washed Fritillaries here, which possibly flew in from nearby Marks Hall, Coggeshall, where there is a colony. I noted that there was a possible breeding environment at Brookes with Wild Violets being present at the base of sizeable trees. This visit was to see the extent of these violets, now they were in flower. There were millions of them, plenty at the bases of large trees, and widely distributed throughout this 60-acre reserve! Fingers crossed that we may find some breeding here this summer! (pictures attached).
Also seen were huge areas of Primroses, some Ladies Smock/Cuckoo Flower and a small sprinkling of Wild Strawberry. Saw very few butterflies, though, in a one-hour circular walk from one side of the reserve to the other and back. Just 3 Peacocks and 1 Small Tortoiseshell, none of which settled for a photo, plus one mid-sized bright ginger item which paused too briefly to get a view, let alone a picture. It was too small and wrong flight pattern for a Comma and too ginger and too large, and probably a touch too early, for a Small Copper but with similar flight pattern. Perhaps a moth? Colin Davis
Whittlesey (TL267974) Two Holly Blues today in the Windmill street area of Whittlesey. Trevor Wilson
Burwash Manor Farm, Barton (TL45D) Couple of hours round here produced 5 Brimstone, 3 Small Tortoiseshell and single Peacock & Red Admiral. Vince Lea
Collier Row, Romford (TQ4990) River Rom walk between 1 - 2 p.m: Male brimstone; 2 Small tortoiseshell; Comma; 2 male Orange tip; 8+ Whites of which 2 def. Small White. Ian Phillips
Coe Fen (TL448578) This lunchtime, went back to Coe Fen looking for Orange Tip butterflies... Unexpectedly, I found a female first (didn't think they would be out yet) which was resting on a Cuckoo Flower. When I returned about half an hour later, she had gone, but there was a male searching around the same area. Not sure where she had gone, but he meandered off casually to try his luck elsewhere. Also saw 6 or 7 Small Tortoiseshells and 5 Brimstones (4 male, 1 female). Fabulous weather and the butterfly season is definitely coming to life. Trevor Sawyer
Stratford (TQ378836) At the Greenway by City Mill River: Small Tortoiseshell 1, white spp. 4 (in flight). Then near main station (TQ383841) Small Tortoiseshell 1. Rob Smith
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Surprisingly little about on this very warm day - Peacock 3, Brimstone 1(m) and Small Tortoiseshell 1. Rob Smith

Sunday 3rd April
Fleam Dyke (TL545545) A14 to Fulbourn: midday, 12C-14C, intermittent sun with a slight SSW breeze; sheltered, warm and humid along the bottom of the Dyke in the sun. Several Brimstone (1 female) and Peacocks along the bank, with 5+ Comma around the railway cutting, with a single Small Tortoiseshell, Holly Blue and Green-veined White (positive ID). (I think sheltered micro-climates anywhere do help explain early sightings). Also greeted with the sight of a Hen Harrier (female) working along the Dyke as I was in the bottom of the ditch; I don't know who was more surprised!. Nick Ballard
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 1 Small Tortoiseshell - only butterfly seen late am during some sunny spells, though breezy. Then later at
Thames Chase, Harold Court (TQ562912) 5 Comma and 3-4 Peacock along the (sheltered) east boundary near the Fishery, between 14.00-14.15hrs. Colin Jupp
Fairlop Waters CP (TQ460905) Two male Orange Tips seen by Alan Bell (sighting submitted by Colin Jupp)
Harlow (TL459120) One Holly Blue along the Three Forests Way by the river. Laurence Drummond
Alresford Single Peacocks at TM063198 & TM056205 (and yesterday near St Osyth/Colne Point at at TM105133 & TM111149). Simon Cox

Saturday 2nd April
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my garden this pm (12.00-13.30hrs) 1 male Brimstone, 2 Comma and all three whites - 1 definite Large White (which didn't settle), 1 Green-veined which settled briefly on plum tree blossom, plus Small White (1 settled & several flight only views of probables). Saw my first Small White of 2011 at Gooshays Drive (TQ545915) on 28th March. Colin Jupp
Jermaines Wood/Tylers Common (TQ571907) 10.45-12pm transect. Breezy, but plenty of hazy sunshine, 15C. Brimstone 2 (m+f), Peacock 4, Comma 5. Majority of butterflies sheltering in Jermaines Wood, including this small Peacock specimen. Thanks and apologies to Univ. of Kent student Nicole Lechiara for doing the recording whilst being dragged through the horse-squelched mud of Tylers Common. Then onto:
Ramsey Marsh, near Steeple (TL945060) 2pm sea wall transect. Breezy but a whopping 19C. Peacock 5, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Small White 1. This winter has seen a big tidy up of the sea wall in front of the houses, removing all bramble and broom plants. Understandable that the Council want to prevent garden creep, but a loss to nesting sparrows and nectaring Holly Blues. Witnessed the strange sight of a Backswimmer (Notonectidae) scrambling on a car bonnet; didn’t realise that they can fly. Then onto a casual visit to:
Mill End, Bradwell (TL995057) 4pm - Peacock 6. Rob Smith
Coldham's Common (TL474584) Saturday afternoon: Warm and overcast with very occasional sun. Along the south side of Colham's Common, at least 2 Peacock, 4 Small Tortoiseshell and a Comma. Then at
East Barnwell NR (TL479583) 5+ Comma, and single Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell. Nick Ballard
Barton (TL399549) Today had one fresh Green-veined and one fresh Small White in the polytunnel at home as well as a Peacock. There was also a Small White in there a few days ago. I think these early whites (and possibly those in other gardens) could be early-emerging due to being in an environment such as a polytunnel which warms up earlier in the season.......I reckon the Peacock just sauntered in for a bit of a warm! Louise Bacon
St. Osyth (TM144159) Up to 3 species in our garden so far: Peacock & Small White today, and a Comma on 24th March. Simon & Pat Cox

March 2011

Tuesday 29th March
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Saw my first Small White in the Cemetery today, along with 3 Brimstones and a Peacock (2 pics attached). Nick Ballard

Friday 25th March
Devil's Dyke & Burwell Cutting Hazy sunshine with occasional cloud: Nothing seen flying in the Cutting. On the Devils Dyke, Reach end, at TL573654, I came across a bank of nettles, where I watched a displaying pair of Small Tortoiseshell for a few minutes. The first male was joined by another, and, as they sparred above the female (who closed her wings and just sat where she was) they were joined by 3 or 4 more males. For a minute or so, I was treated to the sight of a whirring, fluttering mass as they battled each other along the bank, one eventually returning to the female; but the magic had been broken and she flew off, persued by her suitor. A couple of Peacock were also basking in that area and one male Brimstone also seen. Later down at the Reach/Swaffham railway bridge (TL572650), where a sheltered field-edge and corner is covered in nettles, I saw at least 5 more Small Tortoiseshell, with at least 4 Comma and 3 more Peacock. (pics attached) Nick Ballard
Harlow: Town Park (TL4511) 09.00-10.00: 1 Peacock and 1 Small White. Laurence Drummond
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Peacock 3, Comma 3 and lots of bee-flies. No Brimstones on the green today, but still getting them crossing the road on the short drive to and fro - (TL640005) - 1 at Fryerning and 1 just behind Ingatestone High Street (TQ650997). Rob Smith
Gosfield (TL783295) In my garden at 10.30am, sunny, warm, my second butterfly of the year, a Small Tortoiseshell, alighted briefly on Heather blossom. Colin Davis
South Bretton (TL1699) Today at different locations in South Bretton, I have seen a total of 2 Brimstone, 2 Comma & 1 Small White. Don Gardener

Thursday 24th March
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) 2m Brimstone, Peacock, 5 Comma (late am - early pm visit with Geoff Pepper) and in Central Park (TQ544922): 2 Peacock, 7 Comma mid-afternoon. Colin Jupp
Ferry Meadows, Peterborough (TL151970) A male Orange Tip flying near to the Ferry Meadows railway station, Peterborough. Anne Eagle
Wicken Fen NT (TL5570) 3 Hour walk on the Adventure Trial. Gave numerous Brimstone (20), 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Peacock and a single male Holly Blue. Colin Maynard
Crowtree, Farcet Fen (TL238925) Three species of butterfly in our garden today: 2 Brimstone, 2 Peacock & 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Steve Dudley
Wandlebury CP (TL497535) 2 Commas & 6 Brimstone. Kathryn Dawson
Ramsey (TL280852) On a mile walk around the field accessed at the junction of Field Road and Blenheim Road, I saw Small Tortoiseshell 14, Peacock 8, Comma 2 and Brimstone 1. It makes a pleasant change for the Small Tortoiseshell to be the most common butterfly spotted, at one point 4 were seen spiraling around each other. I watched a pair going through a courting ritual for the best part of an hour until they disappeared deep into vegetation. I also saw a very relaxed grass snake. (Photos attached) Phil Bromley
Cambridge: Coe Fen (TL448578) Today at lunchtime: 2 Brimstones (male), a Peacock and 1 Small White (male). Followed this last insect for ages waiting for it to land, just to make sure. Trevor Sawyer
Hutton, Brentwood (TQ69H) A bedraggled Peacock feeding on flowers in my garden this am. Catherine Hull

Wednesday 23rd March
Latton Wood, Harlow (TL4707) In the woods at the top of Latton Common, Harlow: spring has at last arrived, with lots of Comma's - up to 6 visible at once! Brimstones are scarce here, so it was good to see 2 males together - my first ones. Also my first Peacocks were on the woodland paths - up to 3 together. Also two widely seperated Small Torts, my first of these too. Plus lots of Orange Underwings and Bee-fly's, and a newly arrived singing Chiffchaff kept me company. A great day! (3 pics attached) Mark Bunch
Waterbeach (TL495653) A Brimstone in the garden, Roger Osborne
New Shardelows Farm (TL537542) 5 Brimstones seen between 10.30am-12.10pm. Also 1 Small Tortoiseshell seen early afternoon. Kevin Wilson
Harold Hill (TQ548926) A Peacock nectaring on Hyacinth in neighbours garden at 10.45; then a visit to Central Park (TQ544922) late am - 1 male Brimstone and 2 Comma. Then onto:
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) My first full site count of the spring 12.30-17.15hrs (combined with birding) with the following totals: 2 male Brimstone - Nursery Wood and Damselfly Pond (+ 1 seen from Visitor Centre by staff), 1 Small Tortoiseshell - SE corner of Lake (TQ518918), 1 Red Admiral E of Lake, 21 Comma and 9 Peacock, the last two species mainly mid-afternoon territory holders with several nectaring on Prunus cerasifera and Sallow. Also 2 Orange Underwing on Silver Birch in Nursery Wood (TQ523923) early pm. Colin Jupp
Ramsey ~ Ramsey Heights (TL2484 ~ TL2784) On a 3 mile walk along the bridleways and lanes from Ramsey to Woodwalton Fen, I had regular sightings of Brimstone & Peacock, 10+ of each. Also seen were Comma 6 and Small Tortoiseshell 3, the latter were only seen on the edge of built up areas.
On a visit to Woodwalton Marsh (TL211813) yesterday, I was surprised to see that all the elms in the NE corner of the reserve had been felled, these elms supported a small colony of White-letter Hairstreak and, I believe, White-spotted Pinion Moth. Phil Bromley
Editor's note: Phil Bromley's comments regarding the elms were passed onto the Wildlife Trust and Matt Hamilton has kindly sent us the following response.

Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) At least 6 Brimstone (1 female), 2 Comma, 2 Peacock (first in the Cemetery) and (at least) 3 Holly Blue, the earliest I have recorded this species in the Cemetery (pics attached). It was interesting to note that the Holly Blues (all males) headed for one particular large laurel bush; I have seen them around this before, spiralling and sparring above. I wonder if, like some other butterflies, they gravitate to a "master" tree (or bush) where they know they are more likely to find a mate...? Nick Ballard
Yaxley (TL1992) A male and female Brimstone in Mulberry Close, a Small Tortoiseshell in St. Peters Road and several Peacocks in the general area. Trevor Wilson
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) 12 Peacock, 10 Comma and 2 male Brimstone between 1.30pm & 3.30 pm. Ian Phillips
Warboys (TL3080) My first Peacock of the year today at 12.50pm. Colin Munns
Wivenhoe Wood (TM0322) 10:30am: At least 2 Brimstone flying and 3 Comma. Julian Bennett
Gosfield (TL783295) At last, my first butterfly of the year! A male Brimstone passed through at 11.55am. Sunny, still, 15deg. Colin Davis

Tuesday 22nd March
Yaxley (TL1992) A Peacock seen in Birch Road. Trevor Wilson
St. Ives (TL3071) 2:15pm - Just seen a Large White in Mum and Dad's back garden, but briefly as it settled onto a shrub before flying off over our heads. Colin Munns
Bedfords Park LNR (TQ5292) A male Brimstone near Nursery Wood (TQ522922) at 11.30 & 14.30, another male near the lake (TQ518928) at 14.25, plus a total of 12 Comma & 2 Peacock in three areas - Nursery Wood, Wildflower Meadow and Lake; also Bee-fly. Ian Phillips, Geoff Pepper, Colin Jupp
Barnwell West LNR, Cherry Hinton (TL478585) At least 2 Brimstones flying. Keith Edkins
Hare Park, Newmarket (TL583588) Between 11.30am-12.05pm, I saw 6 Brimstones on the wing and 1 Peacock butterfly sunbathing.at 2.40pm. A Small Tortoiseshell flew past our garden, my first of the year. Kevin Wilson
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) At lunchtime - 4 male Brimstone and my first Small Tortoiseshell (pic attached) of the year for the Cemetery, nectaring up in a cherry tree. Nick Ballard
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Not quite as warm and sunny as yesterday, but increased activity – at least 3 male Brimstone, 6 Comma basking and sparring and at least 1 Peacock. Also similar lizard movement in the heather as yesterday. Rob Smith

Monday 21st March
Kelvedon Hatch (TQ5798) A Brimstone in the garden today. David Jobbins
Harold Hill (TQ548926) Once the sun broke through at midday, 2 (probably 3) male Brimstones appeared over my garden and neighbouring gardens (12.20-13.00). Also Peacock and Comma. Colin Jupp
Yaxley (TL193926) A male Brimstone in Apple Tree Close. Trevor Wilson
Mill Green Common (TL637013) Warm and sunny - a male Brimstone patrolling the north edge, a small Comma basking on bramble and the first Peacock on a log, barely opening its wings. Also another male Brimstone on the road nearby (TL639010). Rob Smith

Sunday 20th March
Harold Hill: Dagnam Park LNR (TQ5593) Hazy sunshine with increasing cloud 13.40-14.25hrs; 1 Peacock in the area of scrub and nettles near car park, 1 Red Admiral near the ponds at TQ552928, also 2 Comma. And on nearby
Maylands Golf Course (TQ560923) 1 Small Tortoiseshell at 15.10hrs. Colin Jupp

Saturday 19th March

Rainham Marshes RSPB
(TQ5479) A CAMBERWELL BEAUTY photographed on the fence by the Butts Hide by David Preston. See the reserve blog for story and photo.

Upminster (TQ560903) A Small Tortoiseshell, flying above the road junction of Shepherds Hill and Hall Lane, Upminster next to Pages Wood. Kathryn Dawson
Harold Hill (TQ548926) In my front garden 1 Comma nectaring on Hyacinth flowers at 12.25 and later 2 in back garden. Then onto Central Park (13.25-14.10) where along
Harold Hill: Central Park (TQ5492) 4 Small Tortoiseshell & 4 Comma, plus another Comma near Long Wood.
Also 1 Comma at 14.30 along the brook on Harold Wood side of A12 at TQ552912. No sign of any Peacocks in 2+ hrs but 4 Small Torts encouraging for a first sighting of the year. Colin Jupp
Stirtloe (TL195665) At lunchtime 4 male Brimstones, 1 Peacock & 1 Comma. Charles Nicol
Cambridge Botanic Gardens (TL4557) 2 Brimstone and 2 Comma (2 photos attached); and a Brimstone in Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge (TL466566). Jonathan Stephens
Danbury EWT: Pheasanthouse Wood (TL787066) A Comma sunning itself at the bog for at least 2 hours. Rob Smith
Also at Danbury EWT: Poors' Piece (TL7806) Comma 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1 and Brimstone 1 seen at the marsh by Peter Batey, Graham Smith (and others).
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) This afternoon - 3 Comma in the Cemetery, basking on the warm gravestones (two photos attached). Previously on a bike ride via Fulbourn, Great Wilbraham, Bottisham - at least 8 Brimstone (all male) and a couple of Comma. Nick Ballard
Foxton (TL4148) For the second Saturday in a row, a male Brimstone through Foxton garden today - actually stopped briefly this time (flew through 5x last Saturday, or there was more than one). Guy Manners
Orton Southgate, Peterborough (TL1494) A Comma and a Peacock in Orton Brimbles (TL1596). Trevor Wilson

Monday 14th March
Great Chishill (TL426395) Comma in a favourite hollow - the same spot every year. Temperature was only 12 degs with noticeable wind so I had not expected to see any butterflies except in this one spot. Jack Harrison
Harold Hill: Central Park (TQ5492) 2 Comma basking near Long Wood at 11.40, my first of the year. Colin Jupp

Saturday 12th March
Paxton Pits NR (TL16W) 3 Comma and a Brimstone. Jamie Wells
Ingatestone (TL69P) A male Brimstone reported by Graham Smith.
Magdalen Laver (TL5108) Male brimstone in my garden this morning. Tim Green
West Bergholt (TL9627) In my garden this morning, a Comma butterfly was seen, my first butterfly of the year. It flew strongly and settled briefly on the flowers of Mahonia sp. It, or another, reappeared about an hour later. Philip Smith
Chelmsford (TL706086) one Comma in Sixth Avenue, Chelmsford this morning, plus a few bumblebees. Glyn Evans
Fyfield (TL570069) A Brimstone from the garden of the Queen's Head, Fyfield at 12.30 today. David Jobbins
Bar Hill (TL36R) Whilst walking in Bar Hill this morning, I saw 4 Brimstone butterflies. Nick Richardson
Comberton (TL388543) A Brimstone. Tony Roberts
Rayne (TL7422) I saw a male Brimstone along the north verge of the A120 at the Rayne junction today; surprisingly no butterflies at Marks Hall. Laurence Drummond
Godmanchester (TL248701) A Comma seen in the garden today. Roger Orbell
Orton Brimbles, Peterborough (TL1596) A Comma here today. Trevor Wilson
Wicken Fen NT (TL5570) One, possibly two, male Brimstones this morning and a female at Barton (TL399549) early afternoon. Vince Lea
Stansted Airport Lagoons (TL550216) A male Brimstone (my first of the year) and another 2 Brimstone in Sawbridgeworth (TL478149). Mike Harris

Friday 11th March
Ramsey (TL284849) A Small Tortoiseshell in my garden today. Phil Bromley
Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB (TL3469) 1 Brimstone along Oxholme Drain & 1 Comma sun-bathing on Holywell Ferry Road. Andy Cotton
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) In the sun at lunchtime - my first Brimstone in the cemetery this year. Nick Ballard

Thursday 10th March
Whittlesey (TL279978) A Peacock and a Brimstone in Teal Road. Trevor Wilson

Wednesday 9th March
Comberton (TL385565) A Brimstone. Tony Roberts

Monday 7th March
Orton Longueville area, Peterborough (TL19T) Two Peacocks seen today. Trevor Wilson

Friday 4th March
Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge (TL460582) Fly-by Nymphalidae at 2:30pm when temperature c 8C/9C (but warmer in sheltered places). Most likely a Small Tortoiseshell. Nick Ballard

February 2011

Friday 25th February
Comberton (TL388543) 2 Brimstone. Tony Roberts
Chelmsford (TL6907) A Brimstone flying around the garden today - first of the year. Jean Curtis

Thursday 24th February
Anglesey Abbey (TL5362) Two Brimstone. Nigel Agar
St. Ives (TL3172) A Red Admiral - first this year. John Le Gassick
A Brimstone butterfly in my Cottenham garden (TL4567) earlier this afternoon. Vicki Harley
One Peacock fluttering around the garden this sunny afternoon here on Farcet Fen (TL2392). Steve Dudley
Manningtree (TM106314) A Red Admiral in the front garden. Although it was a sunny afternoon, this was seen in the morning when it was still quite cool with light cloud cover. Keith Everard.
Saw my first butterfly this year on the old St. Neots road in Hardwick (TL380596) A brimstone searching along the grass verge. Trevor Sawyer
Peacock in the orchards just north of Leverington Common nr Wisbech (TF423100) Louise Bacon
I saw my first butterfly of the year, a Peacock Butterfly at 11.30am, between Fulbourn and the A11 (TL5354). Kevin Wilson
Fleam Dyke (TL545545)For an hour or so, two male Brimstones patrolled the section just before Mutlow Hill. Once the breeze picked-up and the temperature fell below 13/14C all action stopped (2 photos attached). Nick Ballard

Monday 14th February
Madingley Hall, Madingley (TL392604) Red Admiral - first 2011 sighting for me. Kathryn Dawson

Sunday 6th February
Great Bursted, Billericay (TQ683925) 2 Red Admirals seen in the garden by John Bright.

January 2011

Tuesday 18th January
Meldreth (TL375465) First butterfly of the year - male Brimstone seen flying along a sunny, ivy-covered wall. Jim Reid

Thursday 13th January
Peterborough (TL192987) I have just seen a Red Admiral on the wing in the grounds of Peterborough Cathedral. There are some repair works going on and scaffolding up and I suspect someone disturbed a hibernating one perhaps from a crevice, so you may not want to 'count' this as a first sighting. I won't be upset! Stella Baylis

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