Sunday 31 December
Not a sighting, but nonetheless......The Butterflies of Sussex: a twenty-first century atlas, by Michael Blencowe and Neil Hulme was Mark Avery's second choice as Book of the Year, beaten only by Sky Dancer by Gill Lewis (a book about the persecution of Hen Harriers and a subject very close to Mark's heart). Very many congratulations to Michael and Neil, and all involved in the production of The Butterflies of Sussex.
For those not familiar with him, Mark was Conservation Director at the RSPB for nearly thirteen years until he stood down in 2011 to freelance. His blog - Standing up for Nature - is well worth looking at. Members of the Sussex Ornithological Society who are booked into the Society's Conference at the end of January will have the opportunity to see and hear him as he is one of the speakers at that event. (Robin Harris)
You can read Mark's review here. Personally I was flummoxed as to why The Guardian left the atlas off its list of the top 100 non fiction books of all time! (Ed jnr)
Saturday 30 December
One Red Admiral seen fluttering busily outside my mothers kitchen in Haywards Heath today. A brief but very welcome sighting as they pretty much finished in Yorkshire in mid November and we counted that as pretty good going. Happy butterfly filled New Year to my Sussex friends! (Rolf Farrell)
Friday 29 December
Bracklesham: Probably the same Red Admiral put in a very brief appearance this morning in between the heavy showers! (Derek Lee )
A Peacock flew over the garden in Shoreham today. (Marion de Blok)
The work party held at the BC Rowland Wood reserve on 28 December was blessed with very different weather conditions to those suffered the previous day, with wall-to-wall sunshine. It was great to see such a strong turn-out, including a few new faces. A huge amount of work was performed in two areas, including the new birch coppice coupe. The next work party here will be held on Sunday 14 January, although I'll be working elsewhere with the South Downs Volunteer Rangers. Thanks to everyone who came along: Theresa Turner, Anita Cundall, Francis and Tim Squire, Graeme Rolf, Keith Alexander, Gary Norman, Trevor Rapley, Helen, Tom and Chris Corrigan. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 28 December
Bracklesham: Despite the thermometer reading 3 degrees a Red Admiral was awake and flying in a sunny spot.
My latest ever record!
And perhaps the last of the year for Sussex, looking at the weather for the next few days. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 27 December
I was mightily impressed (but not completely surprised) at the level of commitment shown by our volunteers today. Despite early snow, then sleet and rain, the small but efficient team of Theresa Turner, Gary Norman, Jonathan Crawford (Ed Jnr) and Doug Neve coppiced a substantial area of birch on the south side of the rush meadow. We'll be back here again tomorrow, in rather better weather. There'll be a big bonfire and plenty to do, so the cold won't be a problem. Thanks to all for such a superhuman effort today. (Neil Hulme)
I cannot lie, today was a pretty miserable experience, made tolerable by the good nature of my companions. Max, my Jack Russell spent the morning swaddled in a fleece which was then wrapped in a coat, and had just his head sticking out. If he could speak he would have said "Why?" We were creating a new habitat in a place where there was none before, an island of light in the shade of the forest. When I return in this Summer and see the area we cleared bursting with life, I won't be thinking of how cold and wet I was today, but of how proud I am to have played a small part in its story (Ed jnr)
In an exciting development, the Friends of Coldean Woods spent the morning of December 23rd, planting 70 Purging Buckthorn plants, for the usual parade of Brimstone butterflies which grace this woodland every February to April. In a previously Buckthorn free woodland, it will be fascinating to see what comes of this initiative.
Saturday 23 December
The current mild spell tempted me to run the moth trap last night. The photographs show an early Pale Brindled Beauty (I don't normally record this species in my garden before February) and an Acleris ferrugana which has been tempted out of hibernation. (Nigel Kemp http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk)
Free Firewood: We have been coppicing in Rowland Wood in a fairly accessible area, so Neil has been sawing the timber into logs suitable for wood burners. Anyone who comes to the conservation work party on the 27th is welcome to fill their car boot. (Ed jnr)
On Friday we started cutting a block of birch coppice on Rowland Wood, which, once finished, will complete all the work we need to do on the Sussex reserves before year-end. We'll be back here again on 27 and 28 December, so an ideal opportunity to come along and work off some of that festive flab. At various points in the day I was joined by Jonathan, Trevor, Doug, Theresa, Gary and Steve; thanks to you all. (Neil Hulme)
Up from my home in Devon for Christmas in Sussex, I was pleased to see a single Red Admiral on the wing during a dull and murky walk in Footlands wood near Battle yesterday (Friday). This was particularly gratifying as I've now spotted this species flying during every month of this year. Seasons greeting to all! (Rob Bogue)
Devon, a county far to to the west, where almost a quarter of the Sussex Branch committee hail from (including yours truly). With six national first sightings, it was a good year for early butterflies in Devon. Of course now you are in Sussex which this year topped the national table with eight national firsts. Lets hope you see a Brimstone, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock whist you are with us. (Ed jnr)
Friday 22 December
I felt an update on the Brown Hairstreak sites in Burgess Hill was due. As reported previously, the town council have been particularly responsive to the management recommendations put to them and as you can see in picture 1 they have staked out the Blackthorn hedges in sections at Batchelors Farm, so the flailing can be rotated on a 3 year cycle. Having marked out the areas so clearly, it was then a case of rescuing the eggs that would be lost. I’ve collected about 150 eggs and i’ll return them just before the Blackthorn buds in February. As you can see in pic 2, the cut has now been completed. This will generate new growth in 2018 and provide the perfect conditions for the females to lay.
Not content with providing a better habitat they (the Council) have sort to engage the public with help searching and identifying butterflies in the area by illustrating the many different species that can seen around the Green Circle with interpretation boards at most junctions. At the roundabout on Queen Elizabeth Avenue a very nice public seat in celebration of the goal to become the nations centre for Brown Hairstreak maybe :-)
With all the support from the council it’s fitting that our 2018 AGM will be held in the town.
Merry Christmas to all! (David Cook)
Thursday 21 December
The recent mild weather here in Crawley has led to some activity amongst the Red Admiral larvae that I am monitoring. At a nettle bed near the Football Stadium, a 4th instar larva was found out in the open prior to constructing a new shelter. The temperature was 12C with dark cloud and light wind. (Vince Massimo)
Yesterday, 20th December 2017, a Peacock butterfly flying inside my cottage.
I live on the outskirts of Hastings, East Sussex.
I have never seen a butterfly in winter so I was surprised and delighted to have one inside my home.
Happy Christmas to you all and many bright blessings. (Zohar Sylph Bahir)
Thanks. There are in fact five species that hibernate as adults and one of these can pop up at any point during the winter, particularly on a warm sunny day. Many of these butterflies will hibernate in sheds and outhouses, which are relatively warm and sheltered, so it is not surprising you found one in your cottage. (Ed jnr)
Tuesday 19 December
Despite a heavy overnight frost that was still very evident in areas the sun hadn't reached, the temperature around High and Over was warm enough to tempt 2 Wall Brown larva out to feed and sunbathe. These are my first of the winter. The first one I spotted as soon as I started the small search. The 2nd was laying along a blade of grass soaking up the warmth. 3 Moth larva also seen as well as a mating pair of small Beetles. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Monday 18 December
Today was spent in the company of South Downs National Park Authority Rangers Bekah, Chloe, Tom, Matt and Simon, as we worked clearing scrub from the steep walls of the Steyning Bostal chalkpit, which is part of the Steyning Downland Scheme area. With recent heavy scrub control performed by the legendary Flailbot, and grazing with hardy breeds of sheep, this site could become very good in the future. Brown Hairstreak eggs were remarkably easy to find. (Neil Hulme)
Back on the 15th December my family were out in force at Tesco's in Shoreham-By-Sea voting for the Bags of Help "South Downs National Park Authority - Elms for Adur Hairstreak Butterflies" Project, this would see 550 Elm trees of 3 different disease-resistant cultivars planted at Lancing College to support the White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly. What the project description fails to mention in Tesco's is that it would see the participation of upto 6 Schools and 2 Colleges in planting these Elm trees, as part of the Forest School Programme, whilst at the same time we would be educating children and college age students about the life-cycle of both White-letter Hairstreak and Elm, highlighting their importance within the local landscape. As a joint project between Butterfly Conservation - Sussex Branch and the South Downs National Park Authority we would also hope for member participation to plant the Elm trees later in 2018/2019.
The project vote is at Tesco Extra (Holmbush Centre) & Tesco Express (Upper Shoreham Rd) only until 1st January 2018. Between my family we received 23 tokens on our visit to Tesco's by splitting up the shop at the check-out. Important - you need to ask for tokens at the check-out as they are not offered out. Please vote if you can! (Jamie Burston)
Sunday 17 December
On Saturday I spent the day counting Brown Hairstreak eggs on the Knepp Wildland, as part of the annual butterfly monitoring programme. Many will be aware that this species enjoyed a spectacular population explosion there in the summer, with an unprecedented number of adult Brown Hairstreaks being recorded. Unsurprisingly, this was reflected in the egg count, with the eggs-per-hour find rate rising from the 2012-2016 average of 1.8 (which is a low figure for West Sussex) to 30.6; an increase of 1600%. I also found two pairs of Blue-bordered Carpet moth eggs on the Blackthorn. (Neil Hulme)
Friday 15 December
On Tuesday 12th December, Jamie Burston and Nigel Symington and a group of Biology students and staff from Worthing College came together to plant seven disease resistant Elm trees â€“ variety Lutece - in the college grounds. This was the outcome of a project where students and members of Butterfly Conservation came up with a detailed plan to site and plant the trees as the White-letter Hairstreak is a butterfly solely reliant on Elm trees to complete its life cycle, supporting successive generations year after year.
Between 1976 - 2014 the White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly saw its population declined nationally by ninety-six percent, due to Dutch Elm Disease, a fungus which kills Elm trees, spread and carried by a host beetle. Consequently infected Elm trees were cut down to restrict the spread, causing further decline in butterfly numbers.
"Lutece" Elm trees are a special variety of Elm tree which can survive infection, therefore continuing to support future generations of the White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly. The Elm trees that were planted are now only 100-150 cm in height but in 20 years time could be as high as 12.5 metres and could ultimately could be as high as 30 metres.
We are delighted to have received such strong support from students and staff of Worthing College for this local conservation project.
As sightings are few and far between at the present time, I thought members might be interested in seeing a photograph of a Oburthur's Grizzled Skipper taken in the French Pyrenees in July this year. I believe this species may be slightly larger that the Grizzled Skipper. (Douglas Neve)
Sunday 10 December
Another successful woodland working day in Coldean Woods. Next session we are planting Buckthorn for Brimstone butterflies (23rd December 2017). (Dan Danahar)
Here are a couple of pictures taken from a early morning flight between Gatwick and Portugal on the 9th April this year. Picture 1 is a view looking east from west of Petersfield. Butser Hill is to the right a third of the way up and Beachy Head is top centre.
Picture 2 was taken a moment later. Foreground bottom is the area of Downs around Duncton Down and Glatting Beacon. Further up you can pick out the Arun and Adur gaps with the Cissbury/Chanctonbury block between. The river Adur is visible at Shoreham as is the Palace Pier and Brighton Marina. Further along the Ouse gap is discernible as is the Beachy Hear area.
And somewhere down there, someone is thinking "I really hope I see a Large Tortoiseshell in North Stoke today". (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 06 December
Colin knight has written in, and suggests that Douglas Neve's Japanese butterfly (29th November) is a Powdered Oakblue, Arhopala bazalus. I found this video and think he must be right.(Ed jnr)
Sunday 03 December
Update -"South Downs National Park Authority - Elms for Adur Hairstreak Butterflies": This week a member asked me how we were doing in the Tesco's Express at Shoreham, so I popped in today to check. The bad news is that we are clearly in third place. On the plus side we we did have 47 pence in assorted coins plus a button, whilst our nearest rival could only manage 36 pence, so we are way ahead on that front. At the Tesco's Extra, helped by a friendly smile, I managed to put in 12 blue tokens this week, which is a personal record. If you can beat this, I would love to hear from you. Unfortunately at the Tesco's Extra we are still trailing. (Ed jnr)
Friday 01 December
Rowland wood: Are we nearly there yet...?
Well yes, very nearly. But please bear with us for just a few more days. Most of the cutting and clearing has been done, but there are still some areas that are being made good to smooth over the depredations of heavy forestry work, so there are still some heavy machines at work in the wood.
What a difference it has made! Wide rides have been opened up and widened and the stumps mulched out so that the ground can be mown in future. Sunlight is let in which will encourage the growth of larval food plants. Previously cleared areas have been mown, and the cuttings collected, to allow a more diverse flora to develop. Very sensitive areas, which might contain fritillary larvae, have been further cut by hand - the picture shows the new, wide rides in the background which were previously overgrown, dark and damp. So thanks to our contractor Ian Hampshire for all the trouble he's taken to leave us such a magnificent habitat, and to Reserves Manager Jayne Chapman for setting up and overseeing all this work. We will advise further when the wood is safe for visiting again, but till then be prepared to be amazed. Be very amazed!
One Brown Hairstreak egg on a low blackthorn outlier near the carpark at Ditchling Common, TQ 33761 18036 observed on Sunday 26th November. It was the only piece of blackthorn I looked at on my walk, an after thought really, so I was surpised and thrilled to see an egg. I didn't have anything with me to photograph it I'm afraid. I'm an experienced bh egg recorder in north Dorset, I live in south Somerset and was visiting someone in Burgess Hill.
Thursday 30 November
Many thanks to BC Sussex stalwart Paul Day (who I believe was working at Heyshott Escarpment yesterday) for his help cutting Hazel coppice at Church Copse (Clapham) today. We were working alongside the regular cutters, led by SDNPA ranger Bekah. I'll be back here on Thursday 21 December, to avoid Christmas shopping, so please get in touch if you would like to join us. I stayed on for a while, to tend the fire and watch a beautiful sunset. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 29 November
Yesterday (28 November), the fabulous Brighton Conservation Volunteers returned to help with restructuring work in Rowland Wood, with BC volunteers Trevor Rapley and Dave Cook swelling our numbers. This was the second of four BCV visits planned for winter 17/18 and their contribution is proving vital in laying the foundations for what I'm certain will be a very bright future for the BC reserves in Sussex.
This highly effective army completed the clearance of the wet ride most favoured by Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, prior to its regional extinction; this is one of the rides where we don't want the heavy machinery to work.
Elsewhere on the reserve, Ian Hampshire is near to completing his four-week marathon, aided by the 'heavy artillery'. Thunderbirds 2 and 4 have now left the site, having completed their work, and a cut & collect machine has recently been in to clear some rides of dense Bramble and open up the structure of the densely vegetated part of the 'rush meadow', to increase floral diversity.
Also joining the fray is 'Mr Mulcher' (pictured), which is grinding stumps and lying debris, to facilitate future maintenance.
Many thanks to the BCV, our volunteers, Ian Hampshire, and BC Reserves Officer Jayne Chapman. (Neil Hulme)
Attached is an unidentified Hairstreak photographed in Hiroshima on a recent visit to Japan, which appears to have a certain similarity to our Purple Hairstreak. Hopefully I will be able to identify this species in due course. (Douglas Neve)
Tuesday 28 November
Last Thursday I went to The Natural History museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibition which was simply outstanding and is well worth a visit . There was a very clever picture of male Winter Moths in flight against the stars above.
Now it just so happens where i live is free of light pollution and near as dammit at this time of year about 5.00 p.m there are loads of male Winter Moths flying around . Although nice to see the female is far more interesting , being flightless with vestigial wings . After searching a few Oak trunks nearby I found a mating pair and got a shot of this curiosity .
(Richard Roebuck )
Monday 27 November
I regularly monitor the life stages of the White Admiral in a wood that I manage near Flimwell, East Sussex.
Now that winter is on its way, I have put together a sequence of photographs that may be of interest to readers of this website.
They can be viewed on my blog at http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk (Nigel Kemp)
Sunday 26 November
Another visit to the cemetery wall site in Crawley today found an egg laying Red Admiral. She was there between 12.00 and 12.30 and was seen to lay at least 15 eggs, including one on an already overloaded sprig. The air temperature was 8C, but at the base of the wall it was measured as 14.7C.
1 Red Admiral in the garden in the morning sunshine. (Jon Ruff)
Saturday 25 November
1 Red Admiral basking in a sheltered corner of Chailey Common around midday today. (Chris Hooker)
I was back at the cemetery site in Crawley today. The sun was shining, but it was only reading 7C, so I was a bit surprised to see a female Red Admiral who appeared at 12.25. She basked for a few hours but did not lay any eggs. From her markings, I was able to confirm that she was the also seen here on 19th and 23rd November. I completed a revised egg count, which was done over the course of two days, and the total now stands at 439 eggs along the length of the wall. Only a few are newly laid since the last count, the others must have been there all along. I found that the eggs are easier to see if they are viewed in shade. Sunshine tends to make them blend into the leaf. Some are darkening-up in preparation to hatch. (Vince Massimo)
A solitary Red Admiral braving the strong breeze at Mill Hill today and a slightly tatty one on the fence when I got home. (David Cook)
A Red Admiral appeared near the "dragon seat" St Leonards Forest, Horsham today then cleared off when the clouds built-up several minutes later. It was defiantly warm enough at several spots in the forest today but this was the only butterfly seen, so quite lucky really. (Patrick Moore)
1 Red Admiral briefly in the garden today. (Jonathan Ruff)
Thursday 23 November
On south side of Gatwick Airport, 1 Red Admiral basking in warm sunshine, alongside a red dragonfly. (Jonathan Ruff)
Today at the cemetery site in Crawley there were two female Red Admirals. One was observed to be egglaying. The temperature was approximately 12C, but with a brisk wind.
A beautiful bright but breezy walk round Windover Hill and Lullington Heath on wednesday. Three Red Admirals passed us on the way and as usual Winchester Pond did'nt disappoint. A bright Comma sat at our feet in the sunshine out of the wind for twenty minutes and there were still a few dragonflies about. (Tessa Pawsey)
Many thanks to Trevor Rapley and Doug Neve for helping out at Rowland Wood yesterday (22 November). In addition to dragging and burning-up brash, their presence meant that I could set to work with the chainsaw. We worked on a particularly damp and environmentally sensitive ride (where SPBF bred in 2011), from which we would prefer to exclude heavy machinery. We managed to fell almost all of the target trees, allowing much more light in and creating ideal habitat for the new SPBF population.
Our contractor, Ian Hampshire, is making great progress elsewhere in the wood; harvesting conifer blocks, widening some existing rides and creating some every impressive new ones. The aftermath of heavy forestry work always looks brutal, but Ian's work is exceptionally neat and tidy, and once each area has been tidied up it will recover very rapidly. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 22 November
Doug Neve and myself assisted Neil Hulme with clearance work in Rowland wood today.
Neil kindly gave us a tour of the widened and newly created rides, and we were able to
see some of the heavy machinery in action.
Better still the weather was almost perfect, and in all 3 Red Admirals and 3 Brimstones
were seen, not bad for November 22nd. (Trevor Rapley)
Two Red Admirals in the garden this morning, disputing landing space on sunny windowsill. Photo taken on phone through window. (Peter Atkinson )
1 Red Admiral in garden battling against the wind this morning. (Jonathan Ruff)
Tuesday 21 November
Today (and yesterday) I joined Chris Letchford of the National Coppice Federation www.ncfed.org.uk Sussex and Surrey Group www.coppicegroup.wordpress.com and our industrious helper, James, in cutting the second Hazel coppice coupe in a new cycle on the Angmering Park Estate. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary habitat produced by last year's cut is exceptionally good, so we are optimistic that this species will naturally colonise the site from Rewell Wood, hopefully within the next few years. Cutting coppice is a hugely satisfying hobby and is a great way to keep fit. For those, like me, who are prone to SAD, it is the best possible medicine. Every other Thursday (next 30 November) there is the opportunity to join a coppice cutting party at Church Copse, Clapham (details will appear on the BC Sussex website).
(Neil Hulme http://www.ncfed.org.uk)
Rowland Wood still rumbles to the beat of heavy forestry machinery as the clearance and ride widening work continues. The fallen beech tree has been cut to allow access for the machines along that ride: the cut sections have been carefully placed on the side of the ride, the same way up as before, so as to minimise any disruption to invertebrates that have made this their home. Where conifers have been cleared, the logs have gone off to the sawmill but the brash is piled into large bonfires so that the floor of the ride is clear to allow new larval food plant growth to develop. Meanwhile work carries on well into dusk as the machines work with the aid of powerful floodlights. (Nigel Symington)
1 Red Admiral in the garden,despite the overcast conditions. (Jon Ruff)
Monday 20 November
A Clouded Yellow at Newhaven Cliffs this afternoon enjoying the sunshine and several Red Admiral around and about. (Sue Cross)
mon 13/11/2017. 12.02pm 1x Painted Lady and 1x Red Admiral feeding on Hebe flowers in front garden of bungalow in Eastern Ave, Polegate. E.Sx. (Peter Farrant)
Sunday 19 November
Handcross. Red Admiral enjoying the sun in the courtyard by the house at Nymans Gardens. (Martin buck)
Today I joined some lovely people called the "Friends of Bevendean Down" on a conservation work party at their Nature Reserve on the edge of Brighton. They were accompanied by a Brighton and Hove Ranger. We were digging up hawthorn and wild privet roots on a steep embankment, which was hard but rewarding work. Afterwards Geoff Stevens gave me a tour of the site. In March we reported how local farmer Stuart West was using his heavy machinery to clear the parts of the site of thick scrub and expose the chalk below. Today Geoff was able to show me the work Stuart had done on the site in the past fortnight. Without the dedication of the Friends and the help of people like Stuart, this lovely little nature reserve would not exist. A big thank you to all of them. (Jonathan Crawford)
A further visit to the cemetery wall nettle bed at Ifield, Crawley today found an egg-laying female Red Admiral. She was observed to lay 3 eggs at around 12.30 and she stayed basking on the wall until 2.30. A full count along the whole length of the wall produced 192 eggs. (Vince Massimo)
A slight frost in Seaford followed by a bright sunny morning when a Red Admiral was resting on the wall of my south facing bungalow. It then visited dianthus and lobelia flowers before flying away. (Stuart Ridley)
A couple of doors down from me in Horsham is a large tree-stump covered in flowering ivy, within which live two maybe three Red Admirals. These I have seen every sunny, warm (ish) day for the last 5 or so weeks. Hopefully they will over-winter. I will keep my eye on them when I'm around.
Moving now to St Leonards Forest, Horsham. Today I visited four suitable areas, suntraps, all of which had a Red Admiral basking or taking minerals from the damp ground. Again I will watch these areas over the coming months. (Patrick Moore)
1 Red Admiral in the garden in the sunshine, feeding on the mahonia for a change. (Jon Ruff)
Saturday 18 November
A return to Mill Hill in glorious clear blue skies on Friday produced 5 Clouded Yellow (3 males flying together), a slightly tatty Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell. (David Cook)
On Friday 17th Nov the sun came out and a stroll around Newhaven Cemetery produced x4 Red Admirals and this lovely Comma. (Steve Dawson)
Thanks, as always, to the trusty South Downs National Park Authority staff and Volunteer Ranger Service, and BC volunteer Paul Day, for their efforts at recent work parties. On Thursday (16 November) a group of nine continued coppicing Hazel at Church Copse (Clapham), to create a new home for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary. A different group were out the following day, cutting Sweet Chestnut at Rewell Wood. (Neil Hulme)
Friday 17 November
1 Red Admiral in the garden for most of the daylight hours, feeding on buddleia and viburnum. (Jon Ruff)
A Red Admiral and Speckled Wood today in sparkling sunshine here in Crawley. Also, a survey of a likely site for Red Admiral eggs produced over 100. They were all on tiny plants growing tightly against the south-facing wall of the graveyard of a church in Ifield, which is a neighborhood of Crawley. In the summer, this location was a hot-spot for Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock larvae and it looks like the nettle bed has been strimmed in the last 8 weeks because the re-growth is still only very low.
The sheltered southern slopes of Cissbury Ring were positively warm in the sunshine. 4 Red Admiral, 2 Clouded Yellow and 2 Small Copper, one of which was of the form caeruleopunctata. (Lindsay Morris)
Looking back through our records for this year, between 21 May and 11 October, Hummingbird Hawkmoth were seen in our East Dean garden (TV562984) on 42 days usually nectaring on Red Valerian, Lavender, or Buddleia. All have been recorded on the national BC website's migrant page and in David's i-Record entries. (Carole & David Jode)
Thursday 16 November
1 Red Admiral seen in the garden as the weather improved in early afternoon. (Jon Ruff)
Almost a week since my last visit to Mill Hill in very similar conditions except less breezy this afternoon. First Male Clouded Yellow at the southern end of the lower slope and the female and second male at the Northern end. Up to the middle path and found another Male now roosting. 3 of the 4 remain in remarkably good condition. (David Cook)
Wednesday 15 November
1 Red Admiral briefly in garden today, preferring the Viburnum. (Jon Ruff)
Huge thanks to South Downs National Park Authority staff and the Volunteer Ranger Service for their help improving and expanding Pearl-bordered Fritillary habitat on the Cowdray Estate yesterday (14 November). Bracken was brushcut, Chestnut was coppiced, lying brash was lifted and burned, and conifers were pruned to allow more sunlight into woodland edges. One area, kindly cut by the ever-helpful estate last winter, is so rich in violets that they have formed the most extensive carpets I've ever seen - it's now up to the butterflies to do their stuff and show their appreciation. (Neil Hulme)
Monday 13 November
Update -"South Downs National Park Authority - Elms for Adur Hairstreak Butterflies". Katrina pointed out to me that there was a second bin at the Tescos Holmbush centre. The first bin is near the cigarette counter and we are a long way behind the nursery. The second bin is on the wall near the checkouts. We are still trailing here, though it appears to be much closer. (Ed jnr)
Not quite cold enough at Seaford for a frost in the early morning but the temperature rose to 8 degrees this afternoon when a Red Admiral rested on my south-facing bungalow wall before flying away in an easterly direction. (Stuart Ridley)
I forgot to take my notebook on a walk from North Lancing to Broadwater. I needn't have worried as I only came across 3 Red Admiral. That's it then. I intend to hibernate until March. Please do not disturb. (Lindsay Morris)
Just 1 Red Admiral in the sun here today, feeding on Escallonia Bifida. (Jon Ruff)
Sunday 12 November
Many thanks to everyone who came along to the BC reserves today, to help continue the major restructuring work. Ed Jnr and I brushcut a large area of Bracken on Park Corner Heath, while the rest of the team beavered away cutting new SPBF habitat in Rowland Wood. Volunteers today came from as far afield as Australia (a new BC Sussex record). Having missed the BC national AGM on Saturday, this was an opportunity to pass my own thanks and congratulations to Theresa and Gary, who picked up richly deserved Outstanding Volunteer Awards.
We also took the opportunity to have a look at the excellent progress made with heavy forestry work by our contractor, Ian Hampshire. There's a lot of wood coming out, and a lot of light going in! (Neil Hulme)
Some 250+ members attended Butterfly Conservation's AGM and Members' Day held in Cheltenham on Saturday. They witnessed the presentation of the Outstanding Volunteer Awards to Gary Norman and Theresa Turner, which they had earned by virtue of their extraordinary efforts over a long period of time in successfully breeding Small Pearl-bordered
fritillaries for re-introdcution into Park Corner Heath and Rowland Wood. The award was presented by Butterfly Conservation Chairman Dr Jim Asher, after which Gary and Theresa posed together with the other award winners, Tricia Atkinson of Gloucestershire Branch and Barry Shaw of Cheshire and Peak branch. Finally, the winners lined up with Jim Asher and Butterfly Conservation Chief Executive Julie Williams.
Meanwhile out of the limelight Dr Dan Danahar and his wife Libby manned a stand and sold copies of 'The Butterflies of Sussex'. (nigel symington)
Saturday 11 November
My visit to Mill Hill yesterday, in what was arguably, perfect warm autumn conditions, with a North Westerly breeze and 15c. The butterflies thought otherwise and after a thorough search only came up with 2, now very tired, Clouded Yellow in the corner of the bottom slope. Making my way back to the car park I bumped into Trevor in the meadow to the north by the road. We chatted for a bit and then a pretty fresh Meadow Brown joined us. Our commonest butterfly rarely provides a memorable moment unless of course its in November! (David Cook)
Last of the Common Blues? Looking like a moth whilst in flight, it became apparent it was a rather ragged Common Blue when it took a rest on the rudbeckia in our garden. (Simon Rayburn)
Typical! I just updated the last sightings this morning and figured that the Common Blues were over for this year on 28th October. I shall have to go back and change it before I get a flood of emails ever so politely pointing out my error. (Ed jnr)
Friday 10 November
A morning visit to Shoreham harbour was more in hope than expectation. The visit did produce five Red Admirals,
and surprisingly a Humming Bird Hawk Moth, which was darting between Honeysuckle flowers
It would seem that the Clouded Yellows have now gone from Shoreham..
A later visit to Mill Hill produced another surprise, a Meadow Brown in good condition. My first ever November specimen. (Trevor Rapley)
Today 10 Nov.Speckled Wood seen in garden. Sharpthorne Crescent, Portslade. (Sally Milne)
1 Red Admiral in the garden today. (Jon Ruff)
Cissbury Ring. Sunny, but breezy. 15 Red Admiral, 4 Clouded Yellow, 3 Small Copper, including a newly burnished individual. (Lindsay Morris)
Thursday 09 November
Update -"South Downs National Park Authority - Elms for Adur Hairstreak Butterflies". Unfortunately the nursery school in Lancing we are competing with for Tesco funding seems to have gathered a lot of tokens this week, which is disappointing as we are now a long way behind. I shall keep plugging away and hope for a miracle. I hope you will join me. (Ed jnr)
Just 1 Red Admiral on the buddleia today in the late morning sunshine. (Jonathan Ruff)
Wednesday 08 November
Today I met BC Reserves Officer Jayne Chapman, Sussex Branch Chair Nigel Symington and our wonderful contractor, Ian Hampshire, to look at progress with major restructuring work on the BC Rowland Wood reserve. Rowland Wood is currently closed to visitors for obvious health & safety reasons, but we'll be providing regular updates on progress. Work is focused on the more remote parts of Rowland Wood, where good butterfly habitat (particularly for Small Pearl-bordered and Pearl-bordered Fritillaries) is currently in short supply; not for much longer! The rides and box-junctions in the more familiar parts of the reserve are also being improved through widening. The reserve will be closed for about three weeks, but the volunteer work party on Sunday 12 November will still go ahead, as Ian and his team take a well-earned rest. Despite the use of these impressive 'Tonka Toys' , the fine tuning of the habitat management work will still rely upon the critical input of our trusty volunteers, particularly over more sensitive areas. Please observe all exclusion zones, warning signs and barriers. (Neil Hulme)
Trees that are not to be felled are marked with tape so as to give soft edges to the rides. Meanwhile the felled timber is collected from the site and stacked ready for transport to the sawmill. (Nigel Symington)
Sawdust flies as this half-million-pound harvesting machine begins the felling of a mature block of conifers in order to make more habitat available for Fritillaries. Fully grown trees crash to the ground and are cut into large logs all in the space of a few minutes, so once seen you'll appreciate the need for all the 'keep out' signs posted at the entrances to the wood.
Work is expected to continue for around 3 weeks. (Nigel Symington)
Tuesday 07 November
An overnight frost followed by a bright sunny morning in Seaford this Monday. 2 Red Admirals and a Peacock were feeding on Verbena Bonariensis for some while before going their separate ways. Later in the morning I was surprised to see a Large White fly over heading northwards. (Stuart Ridley)
Monday 06 November
Here are a further couple of pictures from Mill Hill today. (Patrick Moore)
I detoured slightly on the way back from posting a letter on the off-chance of seeing a butterfly in Wish Park, Hove and found 3 Red Admirals on the north side. I saw the second and third sunning themselves on the ivy on the back of our fence just after I'd disturbed the first from its spot by the path. We went shopping at Holmbush in the afternoon and annoyingly forgot to ask for a token. The problem with Tescos is that they never offer their tokens at the checkouts, whereas at Waitrose on their green token schemes they often do. (John Heys)
Overnight temperature had dropped to freezing but clear skies soon melted the frost off. A solitary Red Admiral in my back garden indicated how hardy some species are. With 10c at midday I headed off to Mill Hill where other spotters (Patrick, Paul and Andy) were already on site. We counted at least 10 Clouded Yellow (some in fresh condition) several Red Admiral and a Large White. (David Cook)
A penguin eyes up a Red Admiral just visible sunbathing on top of a rock at Drusillas. It got away, to join another one seen over the site. (Jon Ruff)
We had a good look around Thorney Island today in what turned out to be a glorious sunny day and recorded the following species. Clouded Yellow 1, Speckled Wood 2 very worn individuals and 26 Red Admirals. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
There were at least three Red Admirals and one Peacock in my Storrington garden today. (Martin Kalaher)
I forgot to post this. At a conservation work task with the South Downs Volunteer Rangers with Neil Hulme in Tottington Wood, Neil pointed out this Brimstone that he had spotted settling into some ivy to hibernate. Tough to see with its camouflage. 25 October 2017.
Today we had the first frost of the year here in Crawley. However the sky remained clear for the rest of the day, which raised temperatures to around 11C. A local walk produced 4 Red Admirals and a female Speckled Wood.
sun 05/11/2017. 1x female Red Admiral seen egg laying on freshly cut nettles along side of road at 12.17pm. on junction of Eastbourne Golfing Park and Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne. E,Sx. TQ 6169 0168 (Peter Farrant)
On Sunday I took a walk through Eartham Wood, primarily to enjoy the autumn colours. This Beech forest seldom disappoints at any time of year and it's becoming increasingly good for woodland butterflies from late June to September. The section of Roman road (Stane Street) is worth following out onto the open downland towards Bignor, for great views back past Halnaker Mill to Chichester Harbour. I encountered three Red Admirals and a Speckled Wood on my travels. (Neil Hulme)
Sunday 05 November
The usual Pevensey Levels circuit this morning from my plot near Herstmonceux Church to the Hurst Haven ditch and back (via Herstmonceux Castle grounds) produced several Red Admirals, 2 Clouded Yellows, a Painted Lady and a Small Copper. Difficult to believe it's 5th November although daytime temperatures were only a seasonal 11C or 12C with a chilly NW breeze. (Mike Mullis)
One of several Red Admiral sat on my garden fence in Horsham today, sunning itself out of the chilly wind. (Patrick Moore)
Ditchling Common Comma. This little fellow was having one last drink in this afternoons sun before retiring to sleep off the hangover over the winter. (David Cook )
Definitely Sunny Seaford this morning when 2 Red Admirals and a Painted Lady appeared. After feeding on Verbena Bonariensis, Nerines and Dianthus they rested on the south facing bungalow wall or on the patio before moving on. One of the Admirals had presumably been subject to a bird attack as its wings were damaged. (Stuart Ridley)
On footpaths to the north of the A27 between Lancing and Broadwater mostly in the sun, but cool. 21 Red Admiral, 5 Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Peacock, Comma. (Lindsay Morris)
2 Red Admirals on the garden buddleia today, in the early afternoon sunshine. (Jon Ruff)
2 Clouded Yellows, a Red Admiral and a Small Copper on the lower slope of Mill Hill late morning today (Chris Corrigan)
Saturday 04 November
Update -"South Downs National Park Authority - Elms for Adur Hairstreak Butterflies". With no butterflies to count, I popped in to the Holmbush centre to count blue tokens. It seems that voting is a niche activity eschewed by most customers. The current state of the poll is 23 votes have been cast. 12 of these are for the butterflies, whilst the other contenders have 5 and 6 apiece. It is looking good at this stage, though it is still early days and with so few votes recorded, every token counts. If we win, the more tokens we get, the more money Tesco's will give us. (Ed jnr)
Friday 03 November
1 Red Admiral on the buddleia today. (Jon Ruff)
Thursday 02 November
I would like to say a huge 'thank you' to the South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service, who assisted with further habitat improvement work at 'Pete's Wood' near Small Dole today. An early mist soon gave way to wall-to-wall autumn sunshine, as we burned up brash, re-cut Hazel coppice and brushcut Bramble. If Carlsberg made beautiful woods they would probably look like this one (other cheap lagers are available). (Neil Hulme)
Two Red Admirals in the garden, preferring the viburnum today. Three Red Admirals at Tilkhurst Farm off Worth Way. (Jon Ruff)
I went to the Holmbush Centre this evening to vote for Tesco's "South Downs National Park Authority - Elms for Adur Hairstreak Butterflies". The voting has only just started and mine was the third vote cast. Early exit polls indicate that we have twice as many votes as our nearest rival. Though they could also show that the vote is on a knife edge and far too close to call. I just don't know. Anyway, voting is open until 1st of January, so if you are in the area, why not drop in and cast a vote. I shall be popping in regularly to keep you informed of progress. (Ed jnr)
I saw a Brimstone flying in Cuckfield this morning - can this be right? It was definitely a Brimstone and not a Clouded Yellow (I note there have been numerous sightings of Clouded Yellow recently but none of Brimstone?). (Helen Crabtree)
On babysitting duty this afternoon we went to Wish Park, just behind our house in Hove, and saw a Red Admiral on the ivy on our fence. We were quite pleased with that and then a Clouded Yellow flew by and stopped to bask in the sun. Val's phone camera is on its last legs but we did get a few shots, one of which wasn't as bad as the others with a bit of editing. (John & Val Heys)
Several Red Admirals and a fresh Painted Lady in the Beachy Head area this morning. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
A Clouded Yellow at Woodmancote Place near Henfield had found the only buttercu in a swathe of green "lawn"! (Val Bentley)
Wednesday 01 November
Although Southwick Basin was tempting us, we wanted a longer walk so went to Lancing Ring. We went round it to the west, then north on the path on the east side of Steep Down, returning on the east side of Lancing Ring. This was between 11.30 am and 2.00 pm during which time the sun was not very strong and the breeze slightly cool. We saw 13 butterflies:- 9 Red Admirals, 2 whites, 1 Painted Lady and 1 Speckled Wood. Only one of these (a Red Admiral) was on east side of the Ring. There were reasonable numbers of birds around but the angle of the sun made them hard to identify. I think the small flock which we seemed to be chasing around were linnets rather than goldfinches. There was also a skylark up and singing on our way back, a bit unseasonal but very pleasant. (John & Val Heys)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down. 8 Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, Small White. Slim pickings, but any pickings are good in November! And a pair of peregrines put on a master class entitled "How to Scare the Guano out of Pigeons."
Crawley Down - Just 1 Red Admiral in the garden today, despite the sunshine. (Jon Ruff)
A Red Admiral flying over my front garden from our neighbours Ivy covered Hedge into a Spanish Oak on the boundary. Also another Red Admiral flying around a Mahonia bush in my friends garden at Paxhill Close (Janet Wilkes)
Another bright morning in sunny Seaford when several Red Admirals were seen flying through my garden with others staying to feed on Verbena Bonariensis. A Peacock, the first for almost a month, and a Humming Bird Hawk Moth also decided the flowers were worth stopping for. (Stuart Ridley)
Here in Crawley today I counted 9 Red Admiral eggs (including 2 on the potted nettles in my garden). Also 12 larval tents, of which the two checked contained 3rd and 4th instar larvae. These would have developed from eggs that were observed being laid on 18th September. In all cases the eggs and larvae were found in sunny sheltered locations where the nettles had fresh growth. These same sites were also used for egg laying in the summer and it is therefore worth checking such locations over the coming weeks. There were also 3 adult butterflies fluttering about in the weak sunshine.
November started off with bright blue skies and a light southerly breeze and 15c. So where better to go than the basin at Southwick? On arrival it was clear I wasn’t the only who’d thought this, as Trevor was already on site, along with Mark & Ester from Essex. A count of 3 or 4 Clouded Yellow, 10 + Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Holly Blue and Small White plus a Silver Y moth were seen. (David Cook)
Tuesday 31 October
I'm not sure how many Weetabix the Brighton Conservation Volunteers eat for breakfast, but it's more than two. They set to work on the BC Rowland Wood reserve today, armed with scythes, saws, loppers and rakes and, as always, swarmed like ants over every job. By close of play they had achieved at least double what I was expecting, despite having seen them at work before. They will be returning several more times this winter and are making a huge contribution to conservation efforts for the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Hats off to every one of them. (Neil Hulme)
In the space of 3 minutes during a brief spell of sunshine 3 Red Admirals spent a while basking on the south facing wall of my Seaford bungalow before flying away in a southerly direction. (Stuart Ridley)
Monday 30 October
Many thanks to National Park Ranger Simon Mockford and the trusty Volunteer Ranger Service for their continuing help with conservation work for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Rewell Wood. Paul Day, Ed Jnr and I joined them on Sunday, to cut Chestnut coppice in glorious autumn sunshine. I believe there will be a similar event on Friday 17 November, but will confirm in due course. (Neil Hulme)
We had a walk along the South Downs Way from Chantry Hill to Rackham Hill and recorded 22 Red Admirals, plus good numbers of raptors at least 12 Red Kites, 15 Buzzards and 10 Ravens. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
For the past three days there has been a Painted Lady in my Storrington garden. Today's is different from the one I photographed on the 28th. I suspect all three were different individuals. If they are going to attempt the flight back to northern France (and then onwards) they ought to get a move on! I'm fairly sure I haven't had a garden Painted Lady in October before and then I have one on three consecutive days! Mary had a Small Copper in Parham today. It was in good shape. (Martin Kalaher)
A morning walk in glorious sunshine from Lancing to Broadwater, north of the A27. 59 Red Admiral, 7 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White, Clouded Yellow, Comma, Full Stop! (Lindsay Morris)
Rotting apples and six Red Admirals this morning in my garden (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
Sunday 29 October
I spent just over an hour at Mill Hill this morning and saw 8 Clouded Yellows (4 in the bottom section, 3 in the middle and 1 at the top) as well as 3 Red Admirals. (Katrina Watson)
Mary spotted a Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on Hebe in our Storrington garden this morning. There was also a Painted Lady but I wasn't able to get close enough to decide whether on or not it was the same one I saw yesterday. That's 10 butterfly species in the garden this month. (Martin Kalaher)
Spent today at Rewell Wood with the SDNP volunteers and a small party from BC Sussex. We coppiced a new scallop of Sweet Chestnut. A common lizard sat on a log about 5 metres from the fire and watched us work all day long, turning round occasionally. I confess this is immensely rewarding work, though you have to wait a little for the pay off. In late April next year I will stand in this new clearing and watch female Pearl-bordered Fritillaries looking for places to lay their eggs, knowing that the reason they are in that particular spot is because of what we did today. (Jonathan Crawford)
And a huge thank you to the SDNP volunteers for the work they are doing for the PBF. (Ed jnr)
There seem to have been have been many Red Admirals about this year so it was nice to see 3 feeding on Verbena Bonariensis in my Seaford garden this morning. The flowers were also visited by a Comma and a Humming Bird Hawk Moth later on. (Stuart Ridley)
On the Steyning Downland Scheme site, a lone Small Copper basking in autumn sunshine.
Also, in my garden, on windfall fruit pile, 20+ Red Admirals and a Comma. (Pete Varkala)
Saturday 28 October
On a walk up to High and Over yesterday a surprise was a Holly Blue. Also seen were several Clouded Yellow at High and Over, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and Brimstone. Later in the day 2 Clouded Yellow seen at Tide Mills. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Red Admiral in Ashenground & Bolnore Woods, Haywards Heath (Kim Berry)
For the last six years have been checking the blackthorn in my garden wildlife hedgerow for Brown Hairstreak eggs with no luck until today, amazing find! A case of providing the right plants, attracting our amazing wildlife, eventually. (Paul Stevens)
There have been a lot of Red Admirals in the garden this October. This afternoon there were at least four, nectaring on Verbena Bonariensis and Viburnum. Pride of place though was a Painted Lady on the VB. I'm pretty sure this is my first October garden record. (Martin Kalaher)
There was a cold wind on Mill Hill this morning and very little seemed to be flying. I did see three Clouded Yellows and a couple of Red Admirals. (Jonathan Crawford)
A brilliant morning was spent at Shoreham Harbour today.
On arrival, at the bottom of the steps, 3 Clouded Yellows greeted me. Over the morning about 8 were seen.
One example was quite fresh. The only other species seen were 3 Red Admirals. No Common Blues at all. (Trevor Rapley)
Yesterday, 27 October, while cutting our wild-flower meadow in the hamlet of Gay Street, near Pulborough, I saw what I thought was a Clouded Yellow. Because I wasn't sure, I didn't count it as a first sighting for 2017 but this morning I saw it again in the marigold bed, next to the meadow, and managed to photograph it to confirm the sighting. This brings my total sightings to 25 this year beating the previous best of 22 in 2013. I also saw another late species, a Small Copper yesterday, plus several Peacocks and Red Admirals that are more likely to still be around this time of year. So, thanks 2017 for my best year for different sightings. (Chris Page http://www.g4bue.co.uk/en/Butterflies/)
Last night I had 2 new moths on our Littlehampton balcony: Common Marbled Carpet (Dysstroma truncate aka Chloroclysta truncate) and Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) plus an old favourite: Beautiful Plume (Amblyptilia acanthadactyla). On 25th I watched a Red Admiral so busy nectaring on Ivy that it totally ignored my mini camera held a few inches away from it. (Colin Knight http://www.colinknightimages.com/Nature-Photography-UK/Moths)
Yesterday, which was a brilliantly sunny day, I attended the BC bespoke woodland leadership training, with Neil Hulme and a range of other collogues. Most of the day, the course leader (Alex Livingstone) gave us excellent training but this was inside. During the last hour of the session we went out and in the autumn sunshine a Comma flew by whilst this Clouded Yellow lazily flew around after Neil disturbed it from the grass, as we walked through a rugby pitch. Its an iPhone image, so not amazing.
During a hot, sunny walk below the cliffs at Bexhill on Friday we spotted about 15 Red Admirals, 13 Clouded Yellows, three Small Whites, two Painted Ladies, two Small Coppers, two Speckled Woods and a single Common Blue. Very different from the almost total absence of butterflies still on the wing at my home on Dartmoor! Rob Bogue and Katie Hammond. (Rob Bogue)
Welcome travellers and thank you for your sighting. We had 13 species reported at a Sussex site on Thursday, which must be close to a record. This is also a third of the total number of species found in Devon. One day winter will come calling and put an end to it, but not this weekend I hope. (Ed jnr)
Painted Lady in garden (very good condition) , with 3 Red Admirals. Small Tortoiseshell on railway line, with several Red Admirals, 3 Speckled Woods and a Comma (John Gilbert)
Friday 27 October
fri 27/10/2017 had a walk around Markstakes Common and some of nearby fields looking for Brown Hairstreak eggs, but none found, most of the hedges have been trimmed. so was going to leave, got on motorcycle and headed up Markstakes Lane when I noticed some nice looking blackthorn along edge of lane, so decided to turn back, parked up at 12.40pm and had a look, soon found 1x BH egg at 12.47pm laid at waist height, marked with green string, and continued searching, at 1.28pm found another 1x BH egg at chest height, marked this with green string as well. their both on south facing side of hedge. these are my most easterly BH eggs. TQ 396 184 and TQ 395 184. also saw 4x Red Admirals, 2x Speckled Woods, 1x Comma and 1x Hornet. (Peter Farrant)
Crawley Down - 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Red Admirals in the garden today, feeding on buddleia "Sungold". The Admirals also nectared on Erisymum, Escallonia bifida, Viburnum and Verbena. (Jon Ruff)
Only one variety but at least seven Red Admirals either passed through or stayed to feed on perennial wallflower Bowles Mauve or Verbena Bonariensis in my Seaford garden. (Stuart Ridley)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down in glorious sun. 30 Red Admiral, 5 Speckled Wood, Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady, Comma. (Lindsay Morris)
Thursday 26 October
The day (25th) started really quite Grey and overcast but the forecast was a major improvement. So off to Mill Hill where the sun and light breeze made for very warm conditions. And the Butterflies thought so too with 13 different species seen. Brown Argus, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Common Blue, Clouded Yellow, Wall Brown, Small Copper, Small White, Brimstone, Peacock, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Comma seen. Mostly singles of each except Clouded Yellows (3) and Red Admiral (7) and the majority in the meadow next to the North car park. (David Cook)
Stanmer Park Road, Northern End. Whilst planting a tree in my friend's back garden this morning, 2 Red Admirials fluttered by. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
East Sussex, Beachy Head, Shooters Bottom, Eastern Side.
Whilst watching Ring Ouzels this afternoon, a fly over Red Admiral also seen.
Temperature 16-17degrees with very light breeze (Janet Wilkes)
I spent an idyllic day on Thursday working with the owners (Pete and Sally) of a private wood near Small Dole, where we were ably assisted by South Downs Volunteer Rangers Alison, Mark, Jim and Ian. While re-cutting Hazel coppice and burning up brash, we were visited by 4 Brimstone, 2 Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood. The conservation work here has been going on for many years, but has accelerated over the last few winters, thanks to the regular help offered by the SDVRS. As you can see, the undergrowth now has a varied structure, which is ideal for supporting a wide range of butterflies, moths and other wildlife. (Neil Hulme)
FLAILBOT FOLLOW-UP: A reminder that National Park volunteers will be at Mill Hill on Friday (27 October), to help with clean-up duties (raking debris) after Flailbot. Please phone Phillippa Morrison-Price (SDNPA) on 07917 602371 if you can make it, meeting in the upper car park at 10.30 am. I'm elsewhere that day, with other volunteers, but any help you can give them would be much appreciated. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 25 October
After seeing Steve Dawson's report from Nymans on Sunday myself and a friend decided to go today. We counted a total of 43 Red Admirals, 2 Peacocks and 2 Commas mainly nectaring on flowers. (Katrina Watson)
Tuesday 24 October
I first visited Southwick Basin on Sunday morning and found only a couple of Common Blue, a Small Copper and several Red Admiral bracing themselves against a very strong wind whipping along the Basin. I decided to move on and headed up to Mill Hill in the hope that some of the sheltered areas would produce. Another 7 Red Admiral and a couple of Clouded Yellows were found and numerous Dragonflies in the sheltered meadow just beyond the North car park. (David Cook)
Sunday 22 October
Red Admiral and Small Copper in our garden today near Broadbridge Heath. (David Bridges)
There were 4-5 Red Admiral in my Storrington garden today and one obliging Comma. The Red Admiral I photographed had half of one antenna missing! (Martin Kalaher)
A beautiful walk today from Litlington around Lullington Heath and Friston forest. We saw half a dozen Red Admirals and a couple of Speckled Wood during the course of our walk. The highlight was the numerous dragonflies as we sat in the warm sunny shelter of Winchester pond for our cup of tea. Four of them delighted us by deciding that we were the sunniest warmest things to sunbathe on. (Tessa Pawsey)
On a brief visit to Mill Hill where it was blowing a gale I found one Red Admiral at the bottom (and two dragonflies). At the field by the top car park I found one Red Admiral and one particularly glittery looking fresh Common Blue. (Katrina Watson)
A pleasant stroll this afternoon around the National Trusts Nymans Gardens yielded x37 Red Admirals. x1 Comma & x1 Speckled Wood. All taking advantage of the sun on this lovely afternoon. (Steve Dawson)
Saturday 21 October
Yesterday at about 11.00am we saw a Red Admiral exercising vigorously outside Lancing Manor Leisure Centre despite the strong gusty wind. (John & Val Heys)
Friday 20 October
Despite the strong wind today I headed up to the High and Over area and actually managed 5 species!! My main target was the Wall Brown, as ever, and one female was seen. 2 Speckled Wood, 3 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock and at least 4 Clouded Yellow seen. On the bird front 2 Ravens were displaying and 2 late Swallows were seen.
Is this Wall Brown going to be the final sighting of this species in 2017? If not, please send in the sighting!! Although Storm Brian could put pay to any more. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
I was slightly surprised to see at least 5 Red Admiral, 1-2 Comma and 1 Peacock in the garden this afternoon. They were nectaring on variegated Ivy and Verbena Bonariensis. (Martin Kalaher)
My Butterfly Conservation 50th Anniversary calendar arrived this morning. November features a picture of an Adonis Blue taken by Sussex branch member Bob Eade. You can get your copy of the calendar here. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday (Thursday) I joined SDNPA ranger Chloe, local 'regulars' Barry, Boaz, Derek, Tony and Robin, Paul Day, and a very welcome new addition to the 'Clapham Coppicers', Judith. We continued working on one of two coppice coupes we hope to get cut this winter, which we will need to complete if we are to see the return of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary. However, there is much to do in order to meet this target, so any help you can give in helping achieve this goal will be much appreciated. Please look out for further work party announcements. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 19 October
Despite the gloomy conditions today I thought I may as well head up onto the local downland to see if anything was feeling brave. As far as butterflies went it was just a single Red Admiral. However, whilst hoping for a roosting copper on Greenway Bank I disturbed a Vestal. After following him for a short while he settled on a grass blade in the open. Just a shame about the poor light and the breeze!! This is the first one I have come across that wasn't in a moth trap. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Wednesday 18 October
At last we've seen our first butterflies since coming back from a "holiday" helping with babysitting in Switzerland 8 days ago. Even on sunny days there's been none in our garden in Hove. This afternoon, the weather perked up and it was quite warm, so we walked to Southwick basin where the cloud promptly obscured the sun again. However we did glimpse 2 Red Admirals both flying away from the bank and south across the harbour towards the power station. We saw fair numbers of butterflies on our Swiss trip, mostly the same as were flying here then ie wall butterflies, Red Admirals, small and Large Whites. The nice surprises were a bath white, a bright male blue which appeared from my bad photos to be an adonis and a female blue which came out much better is more likely something else - see the photo. (John & Val Heys)
Yesterday I dropped in at Mill Hill, where the South Downs National Park Authority was waging war on the excessive Wild Privet and scrub regrowth on the lower slopes. The Flailbot (a remote controlled cutter) was being operated by a local contractor, and doing a great job of clearing the vegetation. Where it has cut over areas of rank grass and brambles, there is quite a lot of debris to be raked off. National Park volunteers will be there next Friday (27 October), to help with clean-up duties, so any assistance you can give would be much appreciated. Please phone Phillippa Morrison-Price (SDNPA) on 07917 602371 if you can make it, meeting in the upper car park at 10.30 am. (Neil Hulme)
Excellent stuff. Well done to the SNDP. Now where can I get one of those Flailbots...
Tuesday 17 October
I spotted a Red Admiral resting on the external wall of our Littlehampton flat this afternoon. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Horsted Lane, Sharpthorne, RH194hx
Small, blue, very pretty butterfly caught my eye (silver studded Blue judging by photos) in our field off Horsted Lane Sharpthorne. Rather delayed report! (Joanna Hudson)
Thanks for your sighting Johanna. You almost certainly saw a Common Blue - which is a travesty of a name for a very pretty butterfly. The Silver-studded Blues were over by the 30th. In East Sussex they are only found on a few heath land sites on Ashdown Forest. (Ed jnr)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down - I persevered through the cloud and rain to get about an hour of decent brightness. 18 Red Admiral, 4 Small White, 2 Clouded Yellow, 2 Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood, Comma. (Lindsay Morris)
Cissbury Ring. Monday 16th October 12.30. A Red Admiral flying around the area near the first fenced Yew Tree. (Janet Wilkes)
Monday 16 October
This morning with the temperature at 10.00 reaching 21c, I was hopeful of finding some Butterflies if I could find
somewhere out of the wind. I chose the north side of High and Over, and this proved to be fruitful.
Several Speckled Woods and 3 Red Admirals were seen. Most unusually I saw 3 Brimstones a male and 2 females.
The warm conditions probably coaxing them out of hibernation. (Trevor Rapley)
Forecast was for bright, warm (22c) and breezy conditions and when I left home that’s exactly what it was. On arrival at the Basin and just beyond the sandy bank, just 3 male Common Blue. I made my way down to the far end by the storage tanks and quickly spotted the Clouded Yellow helice nectaring at low level and a bright male patrolling. A Red Admiral and a Small White we’re also seen. The weather then dramatically changed as the Sahara dust cloud whipped up by Hurricane Orphelia virtually blotted out the sun and became very eerie. (David Cook)
I spent much of the day with the Graffham Down Trust volunteers, burning up brash and clearing woodland edge scallops on the GDT reserves. When the sun finally appeared, so did a few Speckled Wood, Comma and Red Admiral.
On the way home I stopped off at Petworth Park, where the Fallow Deer rut is now underway; plenty of belching and other ungentlemanly behaviour witnessed. (Neil Hulme)
It was nice to see Small Coppers on Marsh Ragwort at Chesworth Farm, Horsham. I counted six of them in the warm autumn sunshine. (Dave Verrall)
RSPB Pulborough Brooks. After a morning on with Heathland amongst the "Deceivers and Blushers". A Red Admiral flying across the Car Park was a surprise. (Janet Wilkes)
For those of you who don't know, "amethyst deceiver" (Laccaria amethystina) is a purple mushroom, whilst the "blusher" (Amanita rubescens) is a brown one. (Ed jnr)
Sunday 15 October
I remember searching this field near Wisborough Green during the 2010-14 atlas survey for 30 minutes before I found a lone Brown Hairstreak egg. Today the first blackthorn sucker I looked at held 8 eggs. Hopefully this is indicative of a good egg-laying season in 2017 for this species. (Michael Blencowe)
Despite a rather gloomy morning the sun appeared during the afternoon for awhile at Thorney Island, and we recorded the following species. Clouded Yellow 3, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 12, Speckled Wood 4. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
Only a Speckled Wood and a Red Admiral at Cissbury. But it was good to see the ponies grazing on the 2200 year old ramparts, which will be of great benefit to butterflies, Mill Hill was a bit better with Meadow Browns and Common Blues. I also saw a Small White, a Wall Brown, a different Small Copper from yesterday, whilst a Clouded Yellow treated me to a fly by. (Jonathan Crawford)
Saturday 14 October
Crawley Down -despite the lack of sunshine here today 1 Large White, 1 Small White and 1 Peacock on the verbena. 1 Red Admiral on buddleia. (Jon Ruff)
Sat 14/10/2017. between 3.50 and 3.55pm watched a female Red Admiral lay 4x eggs on a small nettle patch in our back garden near compost bins. after she left to sun herself on flower pot I moved in. and located 13x eggs including the four seen laid. top temp. in garden 17c (Peter Farrant)
A mixed day. Mill Hill seemed full of litter and dog crap. The amount of privet growth this season has been quite extensive, particularly on the steep slopes which are peppered with young plants. I know extensive work is planned this winter by the SDNP. I hope it is enough. I did see a few Common Blues and Small Whites. I saw a Wall Brown looking in remarkably good condition and a Small Copper and a Red Admiral. Anchor Bottom was quite desolate except for a couple of Wall Browns. There were no butterflies at Bostal Road chalk pit, Steyning. However I was cheered to see a small herd of Jacobs sheep heartily engaged in conservation grazing. It would be lovely to see these sheep on Mill Hill but I guess there are too many dogs.
Later on the way back from the supermarket I could not resist checking out the site opposite Shoreham Power station. Apart from a Small White there were no other butterflies. However I was delighted to see that the local Anglers had taken part in a litter pick which had transformed the site. I counted 29 black bags of rubbish ready for collection. So if there are any anglers from Southwick reading this. Well done. (Jonathan Crawford)
Despite sunshine at home, High and Over was under cloud. I did however see two sparring Wall Browns,
which were swept over the side of the hill by the breeze.
I also discovered this very fresh Clouded Yellow, which was completely motionless. Nothing else seen. (Trevor Rapley)
My walk from Seaford to Cuckmere started off very murky, but by Hope Gap the sun came out and the butterflies. The temperature was significantly higher in the valley, like a summer’s day. Delighted to see three Clouded Yellow chasing each other, plus a Small Copper, a very battered Common Blue and at least three whites flying around. Nothing stopped still long enough for a photo though. Red Admiral on the walk up Cuckmere to the pub. Never expected to see so many butterflies half way through October. (Sylvia Davidson)
Glad to hear you got to the pub Sylvia! (Ed jnr)
Friday 13 October
Janet Wilkes has asked me to remind to all who post sightings and can I.D. Ring Ouzels to please post these Ouzels sightings on to the Ring Ouzel Study Group Website found at www.ringouzel.info.
These sightings in Sussex provide valuable data in helping to chart migration routes. Ring Ouzels should be seen on the South Downs during the next 2/3 weeks.Its always good to see Sussex mentioned on the Website.
(Ed jnr )
Despite the cloudy, breezy conditions I did manage to see a few butterflies at High and Over/Cradle Valley today. The Wall Brown 3rd brood continues with a tatty female at High and Over and a very fresh male along the valley, showing there is still a bit of life left in the season. A Clouded Yellow and Red Admiral were at High and Over and along the valley a Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown. There were also a few Migrant Hawkers and Common Darter, a Brown Hare and 3 Roe Deer. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Thursday 12 October
thurs 12/10/2017. found this Peacock hibernating in our garage in Polegate, E.Sx. on old motorcycle tyre a few inches off the ground. whether it stays there for the winter I'll have to wait and see. (Peter Farrant)
Seen on the southern slope of Highdown (John Turton)
Red Admiral (Alan)
As Polonius says in Hamlet, "Brevity is the soul of wit". Thankyou Alan. (Ed jnr)
This afternoon I walked the Cissbury Ring / Canada Bottom area in sunshine and a stiff breeze, Red Admirals braved it all. There were other butterflies to be seen in warm sunny spots out of the wind. Comma, Speckled Wood and a Brimstone on the wooded northern flanks of Cissbury Ring, Meadow Brown, Small Copper and a Small White on the Ring itself.
I met some NT volunteers doing an excellent job removing and burning shrubs and other growth which should help the butterfly population in years to come. Thank you to you all. I also had a close encounter with what I think is a Migrant Hawker dragonfly, although I stand to be corrected. (Patrick Moore)
At Shoreham harbour today I found the Clouded Yellows still going strong. The helice seen last Friday was still there.
At the other end of their colour range was a very bright, lemon yellow specimen, which was very fresh.
Also seen two fresh male Common Blues, and a Peacock.
While my wife and I spent a while on a seat on our patio in our south facing Seaford garden a Painted Lady appeared, stayed for about an hour alternately feeding on various flowers, mainly perennial wallflower Bowles Mauve and Verbena Bonariensis. (Stuart Ridley)
An all too brief walk to Castle Hill via Woodingdean, with my elder and wiser brother Paul, was enlivened not by the hoped-for Ring Ouzels, but by a surprising number (13) of Small Copper, quite a few in excellent condition, two in cop. Also in the sun were 8 Red Admiral, Peacock, Meadow Brown. (Lindsay Morris)
Wednesday 11 October
On Saturday the Murray Downland Trust stalwarts brought their strimmers, rakes and pitchforks to the Dorothy Stringer School for the annual grass cutting party at the Liz Williams Butterfly Reserve. I joined Peter Atkinson and Dan, Libby and Indie Danahar to clear the reserve of much of this year’s growth. Hopefully next year’s butterflies will appreciate the effort!
This morning I joined MDT members and Paul Day at Heyshott escarpment for a different type of strimming and burning. The wind was perfect for keeping the fires roaring with brambles and wood for fuel. No butterflies seen, but a few moths flew up.
Tuesday 10 October
RE the report of a Painted Lady swarm in Denver, Colorado, mentioned on this site on October 6, the butterfly illustrated in the photograph, which is presumably(?) a member of the swarm, is indeed a Painted Lady Vanessa cardui, and not an American Lady Vanessa virginiensis as suggested. We shall be keeping a lookout here on Vancouver Island so see if any of them arrive here. Thanks for posting the Denver news - I hadn't seen it elsewhere. We have had a few American Ladies here on Vancouver Island this summer (and your own Sussex Patrick Moore found one here in 2015), but they are not part of the Denver swarm. (Jeremy Tatum http://www.vicnhs.bc.ca/?cat=8)
Monday 09 October
sun 08/10/2017 Whitebread Hole, nr Eastbourne, E.Sx. sun out and quite warm, but clouded over later. butterflies seen:- 2x Large Whites, 8x Small Whites, 7x Small Coppers on same bank between 12.53 and 12.55pm, 3x Red Admirals, 3x Common Blues all females, and 3x Clouded Yellows including a helice, this was very white looking when in flight, it was a bit tatty and looked smaller, so at first i thought it was a moth. (Peter Farrant)
Sunday 08 October
For a short while in Marlpost Wood, Southwater this afternoon there was absolute silence, broken only by leaves falling through the thinning branches and undergrowth. There were also Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Comma enjoying the patches of sunshine, and myself clomping through the mud. (Patrick Moore)
Several Red Admiral, a Comma and a Large White seen during today's A27 Arundel Bypass protest rally and walk through Binsted Park. (Neil Hulme)
Butterflies of note at Thorney Island this morning included, Clouded Yellow 10, Common Blue 1 male, Red Admiral 7, Speckled Wood 2, Small White 12, 8 Small Copper. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
Gorgeous Peacock and Painted Lady at Mill Hill this afternoon. Also saw a couple of Wall but they were very skittish, even in dull weather. (John Williams)
Quick trip to High and Over where were the Wall Browns were showing well in the sun. Also saw Red Admiral, Small White and a Painted Lady flyby. On the way home, at Shoreham Power station there were a few Common Blues and the briefest glimpse of a Small Copper beneath a cloudy sky. (Jonathan Crawford)
Saturday 07 October
This afternoon I again visited one of my favourite butterfly habitats on the Downs just above Willingdon village in the hope of seeing Clouded Yellows. I didn't see any of this species however saw my first ever Wall Brown here together with a Small Copper, Comma, several faded Common Blues, a Meadow Brown, several pristine Red Admirals and dragonflies. (Douglas Neve)
Today on Mill Hill I saw a couple of Meadow Browns and a Red Admiral despite the adverse conditions. (Jonathan Crawford)
Friday 06 October
While doing some pre-wader counts at Thorney Island today I recorded the following butterflies. Clouded Yellow 4, Red Admiral 12, Common Blue 1 male, Speckled Wood 4, Meadow Brown 1. (Barry Collins)
Pre-wader? Answers on a post card please.
Update: Janet Wilkes writes
Pre Wader Count. Barry was getting ready to do a Bird Survey. Having a wander around to see what types of species were about e.g Dunlin. Little Stint, redshank, Curlew etc.
Last evening I e-mailed Dave Cook to congratulate him on the heavily marked Clouded Yellow image posted yesterday.
He replied, and suggested we meet at Shoreham to try and relocate it. In this we failed, but we did find 3 Helice and a
mating pair of Clouded Yellows.
Also we saw several fresh Common Blues, Whites, Red Admirals, and 2 Small Coppers. (Trevor Rapley)
Highdown Hill was sunny, but most of it has been mown. 33 Red Admiral, 11 Speckled Wood, 6 Common Blue, 3 Small Copper, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Comma, 2 Peacock, 2 Large White, Clouded Yellow, Small Heath, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Small White. (Lindsay Morris)
American Painted Ladies on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41528521 I think these are Vanessa virginiensis rather than our own Vanessa cardui. (Ed jnr)
Numbers are dwindling fairly rapidly but there have been a few butterflies in my Storrington garden in the first week of October. Eight species as follows: Large White (4+), Small White (2), Small Copper (1), Red Admiral (4-5), Peacock (2), Comma (1), Speckled Wood (1) and Meadow Brown (1). In the past few weeks Verbena Bonariensis and Michaelmas Daisy have provided most of the nectar but in the past few days Ivy has taken over and although we have quite a lot of Common Ivy it is variegated Ivy that has stolen the show. The latter is east facing and well protected from the wind and when the sun shines it is covered in Honey Bees and a fair few butterflies. This is where I saw both the Speckled Wood and the Meadow Brown. From memory I don't think I have seen either of these two species in the garden, in October, before. Mary had a 8-9 Small Copper (on Ragwort) and a Meadow Brown in Parham yesterday. (martin kalaher)
Dukes Mound Butterfly Walk; Large Whites galore getting up to all sorts, and 1 Red Admiral. A walk along to the Roedean Butterfly Bank yielded 1 Red Admiral and a very late or very early Cowslip. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Today we decided to visit Rye Harbour NNR, but for a change enter from the Winchelsea beach end, pretty breezy at first ,managed to find a Small Heath ,a fresh Comma,a couple of Peacocks and Small Whites ,also of interest were several 50+ "Charms"
of Goldfinches.On the return walk we walked along the bungalow lane ,and was pleased to find 4 Clouded Yellows ,several Peacock and Red Admirals + a bonus Painted Lady , feeding on The Ivy clumps along the lane,further along we passed a few clumps of Everlasting Pea ,but no matter how hard I looked I couldn't magic up a Long tailed Blue !! We also saw many mainly Small Whites ,and a couple of Large . Regards Allan.Ward. (Allan Ward)
On Thursday, Paul Day and I met South Downs National Park rangers Becka and Chloe, and local volunteers Barry, Boaz, Derek and Tony, to start cutting this year's Hazel coppice coupes at Church Copse, Clapham. This will be a fortnightly fixture, every other Thursday throughout the winter (start 10.00 am), creating ideal habitat for Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Common Dormouse and other wildlife. All are welcome to join us in this important work. Paul and I focused on an area which was coppiced only a few years ago, but this earlier-than-normal cut is designed to bring part of the wood into a cycle which will suit PBF. After driving to the site through lashing rain, we were blessed with warm autumnal sunshine throughout the day. A couple of Speckled Wood and a particularly fine Comma paid us regular visits. Let's hope that the A27 Arundel Bypass Options 3 and 5A http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/conservation/arundel-bypass/ don't sever the PBF network we're trying to create. Many thanks to all who came along. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 05 October
This afternoon I walked the Cissbury Ring, Monarchs Way, Canada Bottom area. There were Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood and Small White to be seen in pockets along most of the route. However the most favourable butterfly area was the south-west facing ramparts of Cissbury Ring where there were Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Clouded Yellow and Small Copper. I also nearly knelt on an adder whilst taking a "looking up" photo, which slithered down at pace to a lower lying clump of vegetation. I am uncertain who was more startled! (Patrick Moore)
It was good to see a Clouded Yellow in my Seaford garden this afternoon. A Peacock was present from 10 o`clock until 5 o`clock alternating between feeding on various flowers and resting on my warm south-facing patio. 3 Small Whites, 1 each of Painted Lady and Red Admiral were also seen as well as a Humming Bird Hawk moth. (Stuart Ridley)
St Leonards on Sea.Speckled Wood and Large White seen in my South Facing Garden today during a prolonged sunny period. Sadly no Painted Lady although my garden overlooks the sea and has Butterfly friendly Plants. (Janet Wilkes)
I paid Southwick Basin (Shoreham Power Station) a brief visit this morning after the spell of rain. A good number of butterflies around with 2 Comma, 2 Red Admiral, 8 Small White, 1 Small Copper a couple of very fresh Common Blue and 5 Clouded Yellow including this pairing to be seen.
It was on the 22nd October last year that I found a Clouded Yellow pairing at this site. (David Cook)
2 male Brimstone at Lancing Ring were my 16th butterfly species for this October. Also enjoying the sunshine were 38 Red Admiral, 23 Speckled Wood, 4 Comma, 3 Wall Brown, 2 Large White, Clouded Yellow, Peacock, Small White. (Lindsay Morris)
Since Sept. 16th I have had large numbers of Red Admirals visiting an Ivy bush in my garden at Coombes,1.5 miles north of Lancing College.On the 16th there were 20+ Red Admirals, 4 Commas, 2 Small Whites, 2 Peacocks (also one English 7-spot newly hatched Ladybird and one Volucella inanis, many bees from a wild bees nest two yards from the Ivy, other bees, wasps and hoverflies). On Oct. 3rd there were 25+ Red Admirals and those mentioned above but joined by one Speckled Wood. On Oct. 4th I counted 35 Red Admirals (with a friend to witness I was not exaggerating) plus Commas, Peacocks and the Speckled Wood.
Today after a very heavy shower of rain and strong winds at 11am there were 26 Red Admirals plus Commas and Peacocks. (Brianne Reeve)
Wednesday 04 October
A Circular walk from South Hill Barn via Hope Gap and around the Cuckmere produced 2 Clouded Yellow, a Painted Lady and a Speckled Wood at the field edge by Harry's Bush (Janet Wilkes)
At High and Over this morning several pleasant surprises awaited me.
A total of 6 Painted Ladies were seen, along with many Red Admirals.
But the prize of the day was a very relaxed female Wall Brown. (Trevor Rapley)
A single Hummingbird Hawkmoth in my Brighton garden today. It was before 9am and quite chilly. This is the third I've seen over the last couple of weeks. Very difficult to photograph! (Caroline Clarke)
Tuesday 03 October
Two Small Coppers flew up from the ground (mating?) while we were working on the heath at RSPB Broadwater Warren today. (Alan Loweth)
A good start to the day with a Painted Lady sunning itself on my drive at 8.20. Cissbury then delivered with 13 butterfly species. 25 Small Copper, 18 Red Admiral, 11 Speckled Wood, 10 Meadow Brown, 8 Clouded Yellow, 8 Common Blue, 4 Comma, 3 Small Heath, 2 Large White, Wall Brown, Peacock, Brown Argus and another Painted Lady. Also Hummingbird Hawkmoth. (Lindsay Morris)
Southwick Basin - 2 Clouded Yellows, 4 Red Admirals, 2 Common Blues and 6 Whites. Too far away to get positive ID. All too active or too far away to get any photos.
Mill Hill- 3 Clouded Yellows, 3 Red Admirals, 2 Walls, 2 Common Blues, 2 Meadow Browns and another 6 Whites, again couldn't get a positive ID. Also, 1 Slow Worm. A trio of photos. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
The third brood Wall Browns at High and Over are still going strong, but only one male was in good condition.
Also a fresh Large White ( with some wing damage ), and a fresh Small Copper were seen.
A later visit to Tide Mills found things very quiet, except for a few Common Blues. (Trevor Rapley)
The butterfly activity is still pretty good at High and Over with 20 plus Wall Brown seen this morning as well as 6 plus Clouded Yellow, 3 Common Blue, 2 Small Copper, 3 Red Admiral and a few Small White. One mating pair of Wall Brown also seen with the male looking as though he had read the Kama Sutra with him looking uncomfortable when I first spotted them. As the sun was going in and out at the time they moved a couple of times before they got in the more orthodox position!! (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
On a windy but sunny walk from Church Norton to Siddlesham Ferry in the morning produced up to 60 Red Admirals, several Painted Ladies, Speckled Woods and a Small Copper, all sheltering on the sunny side of the bushes. (Brian Cox)
Monday 02 October
A morning trip to Arlington Reservoir was more about looking for birds than butterflies. However, I was pleased to see 2 Wall Brown, 1 Small Copper and a Comma just north of the dam. (Chris Bird)
Lancing Ring on a bright and breezy morning yielded up 52 Red Admiral, 28 Speckled Wood, 4 Wall Brown, 4 Comma, 3 Small Copper, 3 Peacock, Clouded Yellow, Large White, Small White, Silver Y. A close encounter with a female Sparrowhawk tried to lure me back to the dark side (birdwatching), but I will remain true to the faith (at least until the first frost). (Lindsay Morris)
A brief visit to Steyning Coombe in the late morning sunshine yielded a fresh-looking female Wall Brown nectaring on what's left of the Devil's-bit Scabious - the second I have seen up here in recent days (the other was a male). Presumably both third brood, which appears to be new for this site. Also three Red Admirals, two Speckled Woods, a Peacock, a Comma, a Meadow Brown, and a Brown Argus nectaring on Ivy flowers near the allotments in company with more Red Admirals and two Small Whites. Lastly a Clouded Yellow targeting dandelions on the cricket field. So why did I leave my camera at home? (John Woodward)
Saturday 30 September
I got to Mill Hill about 3pm today. I saw several Walls, Common Blues, Meadow Browns a White and a single Small Copper. (Katrina Watson)
A belated selection of images taken at Mill Hill and Southwick Basin last week to end September with. Contrasting weather between the visits to the 2 sites over 2 the days, with Mill Hill being warm sunny albeit a bit breazy and Southwick, cold and overcast following overnight rain. Mill Hill producing a nice variety with Small White, Small Copper, Comma (taken with flash on showing the remarkable colours of the underside), Clouded Yellow, Wall Brown, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Adonis Blue (very tired female), Meadow Brown and Peacock. Great to meet Katrina, Trevor and Jerry, who also enjoyed some late season action.
Southwick produced just 4 Clouded Yellow, 2 Common Blue and a single Red Admiral. (David Cook)
In the brief window of bright weather this morning I headed off to High and Over.
Despite a stiff breeze, about 8 male Wall Browns, all worn to some degree,
a Painted Lady plus several fresh Red Admirals were seen.
With this possibly being the last day of the season for me, I could not resist a short trip tor Southwick basin, where there were more Common Blues and at least four Clouded Yellows as well as a Small Copper. The latter being my second favourite butterfly and always a pleasure to see. (Jonathan Crawford)
After a couple of weeks off my feet I managed a short walk on Mill Hill this morning.Despite cloud and wind there were a good number of Common Blue and Meadow Browns. I also saw Red Admirals, a Peacock, a Speckled Wood, a Small Copper and a Comma. Seven species on the last day of September. (Jonathan Crawford)
Friday 29 September
I went to Mill Hill on Wednesday. It was a pleasure to meet Jerry and finally meet David Cook. I saw this Peacock and it has just been pointed out to me it is ab. diopthalmica (extra blue spot on the hindwing) Also seen were Walls, Clouded Yellows, Meadow Browns, Small Heath, Common Blues and Red Admirals. (Katrina Watson)
I found these two moths on a bin in Horsham this morning. I can't remember the last time I saw mating moths. I have no idea what they are. Apologies for the poor mobile phone picture. (Patrick Moore)
Comma butterfly seen on lavender (Annabel Noton)
Thursday 28 September
Eighteen butterfly species have visited my Storrington garden in September, the 18th a very ragged Painted Lady that could barely fly. I don't think it is going to make it across the Channel! (martin kalaher)
After visiting some of the regular hot spots for Clouded Yellows, without success,
I decided to visit Shoreham Harbour for them this morning. All told about 8 were present,
including 3 in the air together, all looked to be quite fresh.
Other notables were several fairly fresh Common Blues, including a new female, and several
very fresh Red Admirals. Also seen but not photographed, a fresh Brown Argus. (Trevor Rapley)
Tuesday 26 September
Michaelmas Daisy isn't exactly part of my wildlife gardening but since I planted them in the "conventional" bit of the garden, next to the patio - then that's OK. Every year, in early autumn, they provide a huge amount of nectar for butterflies, bees and an assortment of other insects. In the past 2-3 days, 8 butterfly species have visited their flower heads. Today there was both male and female Brimstone and also Speckled Wood (not sure I have seen this species on MD before?). I am making progress with my local Brown Hairstreak egg survey. Over the past few years I have restricted my count to just the garden and two strips of Blackthorn in the neighbouring fields. It's around 135 metres in total and I have completed half of this. Yesterday I checked 18 metres of hedgerow and found a further 23 eggs. Therefore, so far, 107 eggs in 63 metres of Blackthorn hedgerow. Methinks it's been a good year for this species! Mary and I walked over to the far end of Parham and back today and recorded 3 Small Copper, 1 Meadow Brown and 1 Comma. (martin kalaher)
Today was probably my last opportunity to get out looking for butterflies this year, as practical conservation work begins in earnest. For me the 2017 season ended on a high, with plenty of Wall on show at Mill Hill. I suspect the third brood is now approaching peak here, with a total of 17 seen (10m, 7f). The day started well, with a bundle of 5 males along the path leading northeast from the upper car park. Other enthusiasts had the same idea and I spent an enjoyable afternoon with David Cook and Dave Miller, hunting down the better specimens, including some recently hatched males. At least half-a-dozen Clouded Yellow, some in good condition, were also present, along with many third brood Common Blue. As I watched the sun start to sink, I thought about the many highlights of the year. If the August weather had been better, I'm sure there would have been a few more. (Neil Hulme)
I disturbed one Red Admiral quite early this morning in our Hove back garden, another flew over me near the seafront in Worthing and what may have been a Speckled Wood headed determinedly westwards on the beach there. In the afternoon, one Small White joined me briefly at the County Cricket Ground in Hove. (John Heys)
sun 24/09/2017 had a search around South Common and near South Street, South Chailey. E,Sx. after a lot of searching found 5x Brown Hairstreak eggs well spaced over area, this is near the Brown Hairstreaks eastern limit out from the west, so it's nice to find them, no adults seen here this year though. my most easterly egg is at TQ 38934 18382, all marked with green string, so if you see string in a hedge take a closer look and see a BH egg. oh and Sarah picked 1lb 8 oz of blackberries. (Peter Farrant)
An afternoon visit to High and Over was very worthwhile, with two pairs of mating Wall Browns,
a female Wall and several fairly fresh males.
Also seen, one each of Common Blue, Red Admiral and Comma. (Trevor Rapley)
Monday 25 September
Very Grey but warm day at Mill Hill. Very little about and until this beautifully fresh and stunning female Common Blue made an appearance and happily posed. (David Cook)
A stroll around the outskirts of Seaford revealed a range of aged and very fresh butterflies. Easily the most numerous being Red Admirals. There were also a few fresh Comma's, and around 6 Wall Browns including a brand new female. In Amongst the very tired Meadow Browns were a few very fresh individuals. Large Whites were relatively common and the three Common Blues I saw were on their last legs. Strangely Speckled Woods were very scarce in stark contrast to seeing lots only two days previously.
A thorough search of the ramparts and meadows around Cissbury Ring produced 31 Small Copper, a few of which were still in mint condition. Common Blue, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Wall, Clouded Yellow, Small White, Comma, Peacock, Painted Lady and Red Admiral (heading south) were also seen. The National Trust's programme of mechanical scrub-cutting and grazing with ponies will hopefully revitalise some areas, particularly for the shorter turf species. (Neil Hulme)
Nice fresh female Red Admiral at Chingford Pond, West Sussex on Sunday afternoon. (John Williams)
Sunday 24 September
At High and Over this morning at least 2 very fresh Clouded Yellow seen as well as around a dozen Wall Brown. Small numbers too of Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Copper and Small White. Over the past few days good numbers of Wall Brown and Small Copper in the Greenway Bank area. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Over the past couple of days there have still been quite a few butterflies in my Storrington garden as follows: Large White (1), Small White (1), Small Copper (1), Red Admiral (4), Peacock (4) and Comma (3). I completed the Brown Hairstreak egg garden survey recording 84 fresh eggs in 45 metres of mostly Blackthorn hedgerow. There were also at least a dozen of last year's eggs (Grey with a hole in the middle!). As my garden record was 41 eggs (in 2016) I think I can safely say that particular record has been smashed! Mary had a Holly Blue in nearby Parham. (martin kalaher)
A single Hummingbird Hawkmoth in my Brighton garden today. (Caroline Clarke)
Four pristine Clouded Yellows at Halsey’s Farm, Pagham North Wall on Saturday. (bart ives http://organicbirder.blogspot.co.uk/)
For the last few weeks there have been numerous Red Admirals in the garden and locally feeding on Black Berries .
But after a bumper crop of Wild Plums in the garden, the fermenting fruit has become a magnet to insects . Today was very warm and still and there were in excess of 15 Red Admirals feeding on the fruit and flying frequently around the garden with the occasional impressive dog fight . I also counted about 8 Commas , two Peacocks and a Speckled Wood.
I had also collected some fallen fruit which was particularly attractive to the Peacocks . Having staked out this impressive butterfly display for several hrs I hung on till after 5.00.
I have always been curious as to where they go at night to roost . As expected there was a steady stream of individuals as all the Butterflies headed off from the feeding site .
Many of the Red Admirals followed a tree line high up flying due East . I
noticed one Comma and one Red Admiral settling high up on an Oak tree
sunbathing in the last rays of the days sunshine .
Eventually I saw several Red Admirals fly high up into an Oak and then they basically flew under branches or leaf fronds and settled, hanging vertically .
The odd Red Admirals which flew into large open Ash trees flew round and round before departing the tree , presumably for somewhere more suitable to roost .
Any way a fascinating afternoon .
( Richard Roebuck)
Saturday 23 September
Val & I took the bus to Southwick Basin (Shoreham Port) & then walked up to the Downs (as far as Southwick Hill Tunnel) and back home to Hove via Portslade. At Southwick Basin we saw 21 Common Blues (2 female), at least 2 Clouded Yellows, getting on for 10 whites and just as we were leaving 1 Red Admiral. The next best place was Cross Roads Rest Gardens (Southwick) where our first sighting was a Speckled Wood on ivy and then around a dozen Red Admirals enjoying the ivy, a Large White, a Small White and several other whites. After that whites appeared fairly frequently almost everywhere except on the open Downs and the odd Red Admirals flashed past occasionally. In our garden in Hove for the past couple of weeks we've had regular visits by whites (mostly small) but nothing else. (John & Val Heys)
Seen today in Ashenground & Bolnore Woods, Haywards Heath - Red Admiral, Common Blue, Large White, Speckled Wood, Comma chrysalis (Kim Berry)
A sunny walk from Lancing to Cissbury Ring was amply rewarded with 41 Small Copper (all but one at the Ring), 27 Red Admiral, 21 Meadow Brown, 16 Common Blue, 8 Small Heath, 7 Speckled Wood, 4 Comma, 3 Clouded Yellow, 3 Brown Argus, 2 Peacock, Wall Brown, Brimstone, Small White. The latter two were seen alive only briefly, as both were taken by large round bodied spiders. (Lindsay Morris)
Highlights form a wander around St Leonards Forest, Horsham today included Comma, Small Copper as well as Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and both Small White and Large White. (Patrick Moore)
Beautiful Peacock butterfly, lovely sunny afternoon but a little fresh. (Sandra Vincent)
Dungeness RSPB,Red Admiral, Female Meadow Brown and 6 Speckled Wood around the Willow Trail. 2 Clouded Yellow at the Point Dungeness. seen on 21st September.
Speckled Wood seen in my rear garden at St Leonards on Sea during sunny periods all this week.
A Comma, 4 Small Copper and a Red Admiral seen on a private estate at Foxhunt Green ,Waldron yesterday mid morning.
2 Wall and a Red Admiral at High and Over yesterday afternoon was a nice end
to the week. (Janet Wilkes)
Friday 22 September
Plenty of butterfly activity at Batemans, near Burwash. The winner with a count of over 15 was the Small Copper, plus decent numbers of Red Admirals, Large Whites, Small Whites, one Comma and a Clouded Yellow. (Martin Buck)
I returned from holiday yesterday, so today was the only opportunity to do this week's Mill Hill transect and I was grateful for the blue sky: Adonis Blue 7, Clouded Yellow 4, Common Blue, Meadow Brown 11, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper 4, Small Heath 3, Small White 4, Wall Brown . I saw four more Wall Brown after the transect was completed,but they were very skittish. Hopefully they calmed down later after I left as Neil and Patrick Moore were also looking hard for them. (Colin Knight)
Further to the Wall Brown report from Dave below, I continued the patrol at Mill Hill until 4.30 pm, when lack of sightings and a rumbling tummy forced me home. There were further Wall Brown to be seen but few and far between. However there were plenty of other species to enjoy, including; Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, non stop Clouded Yellow, Whites, Small Copper, Small Heath, Red Admiral and Peacock to name most. The views were also well worth the visit, very clear and sunny. (Patrick Moore)
A walk from Lancing to Steyning in stunning sunshine. 13 species of butterfly seen - 61 Red Admiral, 11 Speckled Wood, 6 Meadow Brown, 5 Wall Brown, 4 Peacock, 4 Common Blue, 3 Brimstone, 3 Comma, 3 Small Copper, 2 Painted Lady, 2 Small Heath, Small & Large Whites. Hats off to everyone involved with the Steyning Downland Scheme! (Lindsay Morris)
Arrived at Mill Hill around 10:00 to find Neil already on Wall Brown watch. Our first sighting (a fresh female) had to be chased down the steep slope, only stopping occasionally before disappearing over the bottom hedge. Phil, who made the trip from Petersfield was keen to end a twenty year gap since last seeing a Wall, now joined in, just as there was a lull. Neil left us to it and it was a good hour before things got going again with a tatty male spotted. We eventually tracked down another female and a couple of fresh males. Patrick then took over from me as I had to leave. I look forward to reading their reports.
A really fabulous morning was spent at High and Over this morning.
Judging by the numbers seen, the third brood Wall Browns must be reaching their peak.
On the paths, and in the meadow there must have in excess of 20 males, with 4 females seen.
Two mating pairs were spotted, one pair in the meadow, the other by the fence near the steps.
Each time they flew trying to find a comfortable spot to copulate, it was the female towing the male.
The male keeping his wing closed throughout each flight. (Trevor Rapley)
As it was sunny and calm this morning I couldn't resist going onto the Downs above Willingdon Village again to look for butterflies. Few were evident however I did see two Small Coppers, five Common Blues, One Peacock and several Small White butterflies during the short time I was there. (Douglas Neve)
Katrina's butterfly (20 September) is a Large White - the black marking at the apex of the forewing (just visible) extends halfway down the side margin. Patrick's butterfly (21 September) is a female Adonis Blue - the wing fringes are chequered, black and white. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 21 September
Computer problems prevented me from submitting this picture of a very brown female Common Blue, taken on the east flank of Steep Down on Tuesday afternoon. (Patrick Moore)
The ivy blossom in my Bevendean garden had 4 Red Admirals a Comma and a faded Painted Lady feeding on it today, also seen a Large White (Geoff Stevens)
Friday 22 September
In preparation for winter I have cleared most of the herbaceous borders and meadow area. At a loose end and prompted by Peter Farrant's excellent count of Brown Hairstreak eggs I spend 40 minutes or so carefully examining about 15 metres of Blackthorn hedgerow in my garden. I counted 45 eggs, which is a new garden record (41 in 2016). I have yet to check other parts of the garden. Brown Hairstreaks are curious butterflies. They land on the Hemp Agrimony and I can watch and photograph them for hours on end. They lay lots of eggs and I don't see them. I realise why I don't see them as they are deep in the foliage but with 45 eggs laid one might think that I would spot the odd one. I'll send a photo of hop leaves that have been eaten by something. Is this Comma "damage" or something else, or is it impossible to say with certainty? Perhaps some wise soul could help me out? (martin kalaher)
Wednesday 20 September
A flying visit to Mill Hill produced 3 very fresh female Wall Brown within minutes of the brightening sky mid afternoon at the northern end of the middle path. Unfortunately no males were seen. (David Cook)
I went for a walk at Castle Hill today and found a single white butterfly out like me in the rain. I am not confident to identify it as Small or White but was very pleased to see it. Later when the rain stopped I saw 2 Red Admirals and 2 Meadow Browns (Katrina Watson)
Today I met with BC volunteer Paul and Murray Downland Trust volunteers John, Andy and Mike for the first conservation work party of the season on Heyshott Down. We were strimming and clearing scrub in the Western part of the reserve, in the area known as the Rose Moss Bowl and above.
Future dates continue on Wednesday mornings (mostly - see our web page for details) throughout the winter. (Nigel Symington)
I arrived at Mill Hill rather late on Tuesday afternoon, just as the cloud cover was thickening and David Cook and Trevor Rapley were departing. This made the location of any third brood Wall rather challenging, but I eventually located six, saving the best, a scale-perfect female, until last. It's great to see so many people out enjoying these late Wall as the butterfly season winds down, demonstrating how much we value this once common and widespread species. Long-gone from Surrey, it's sadly on the very point of extinction in Hampshire.
Amongst the faded and tatty remnants of the late summer butterfly fauna were a few little gems, including third brood Common Blue, Small Copper and Brown Argus, all being in fresh condition. I suspect that some of the Peacock are second brood.
Trip south from Surrey to High & Over to see Wall Browns with Ken Owen. 2 Walls sighted when we arrived with a further 8 seen towards midday. Also seen were Peacocks, Red Admirals, one with part of it's chrysalis on its abdomen, a Comma Small Heath and Speckled Wood. Then a short drive to Piddinghoe but no QOS however we did see Clouded Yellows (3) a female Wall, Small Copper's, Common Blues, Whites S & L , several Red Admirals and a Meadow Brown.
A great trip to Sussex with 12 species seen. (Richard Stephens)
Tuesday 19 September
With the forecast this morning for clear spells of sun following last nights rain, a return to Mill Hill and some Autumn gold was on the cards. The first of 3 female and 5 male Wall Brown was seen on the middle path. The others seem to be fairly widely dispersed. A very nice Comma, Small Copper, 3 Clouded Yellows on the top path and 4 in the bottom corner. Bumped into Trevor and continued the search in very pleasant conditions. Several fresh Brown Argus and one very tiny one that could've been mistaken for a Small Blue it was that small. (David Cook)
At Southwick Basin this morning in bright sun apart from Small and Large Whites there were 10 Common Blue (4 female), 3 Clouded Yellow, 2 Red Admiral and 2 Small Copper in cop. (Lindsay Morris)
I spent a fabulous couple of hours at Mill Hill today, and enjoyed the company of Dave Cook.
Among the fresh Butterflies seen were several Common Blues, Small Coppers, Brown Argus,
four out of five Clouded Yellows, many Peacocks and a few third brood Wall Browns.
A total surprise was a female Brown Hairstreak. (Trevor Rapley)
As the weather this afternoon looked good for butterfly photography, with diffused sunlight and almost no wind, I decided to visit my favourite patch of Devil's Bit Scabious on the Downs just above Willingdon Village. I was hoping to see Clouded but none were evident. I was however pleased to see several Common Blues in good condition basking in the sun as well as a few Meadow Browns. (Douglas Neve)
With an hour to kill and the sun in the sky, I headed to Mill Hill this morning. There were still a few butterflies. Peacock, Common Blue, Adonis Blue (female), Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Copper and a Clouded Yellow (Jonathan Crawford)
Wakehurst Place very quiet just 2 Small Whites and an unfortunate Small Copper flushed by a Hornet it flew off safely but being a Small Copper flew back to its perch and was immediately snatched by the Hornet. (Bob North)
Monday 18 September
sun 17/09/2017 Victoria Business Park, Burgess Hill. W.Sx. TQ 29939 18880. three weeks after last visit to this site where I had found 56x Brown Hairstreak eggs, today found another 35x, so with the 6x found on 06/08/2017 this totals 97x eggs. three eggs were found on very small blackthorn plant, I placed my backpack nearby for scale. no adults seen as cloudy, though the sun came out for awhile which produced a Small Copper, 1x Red Admiral, 2x Large Whites, 1x Comma, and a Hornet. oh and Sarah picked 1lb 1oz of blackberries. a good result. (Peter Farrant)
Walked to Cissbury from Lancing. 50% sun until a blasted shower closed play at 15.30. Notable were 27 Small Copper at Cissbury along with 2 fresh female Brown Argus. Also 28 Meadow Brown, 23 Red Admiral, 15 Common Blue (6 female), 11 Small Heath, 5 Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock, Clouded Yellow, Comma, Small & Large Whites.
There were eight butterfly species in my Storrington garden today as follows: Brimstone (1m), Large White (2), Small White (2), Small Copper (2), Red Admiral (5), Peacock (3), Comma (1) and Speckled Wood (1). There was also a Hummingbird Hawk-moth that nectared at around 11.0am and then again at 2.0pm. It was the same one as it had a large chunk out of the left rear wing! Despite the large hole in the wing it seemed to have no difficulty with flying. (martin kalaher)
A great morning in pleasant company was had at High and Over this morning.
In addition to the now usual suspects, a very fresh Painted Lady and a solitary, fresh,
male Common Blue were found. (Trevor Rapley)
Observed a Humming-bird Hawk-moth feeding on a shrub in the front garden. (MARTIN FINCH)
Sunday 17 September
Horsham Park played host to six species of butterflies today; Speckled Wood flew the periphery with Large White and Small White joining them. Some of the flowerbeds were irresistible to Comma and Peacock and a Red Admiral flew over the whole scene. Photos are all mobile phone images. (Patrick Moore)
Sussex University 3-G Pitch.
2 battered Speckled Woods dog-fighting. No photos, but have posted photo of a French Speckled Wood I took in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne last week. They are a lot more orange than our brown ones. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
A walk from Lancing to Steyning was not very productive, but I did see a Clouded Yellow and a Painted Lady on the Monarch's Way. 7 Comma and 36 Red Admiral the best of the rest of 9 species. (Lindsay Morris)
Can someone please remind me of the date and photographer of the American Lady from Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, last year, posted on this Sussex site? We have had two further sightings on Vancouver Island this year. Apparently it is a rarity not only for Vancouver Island but for British Columbia as a whole. (Jeremy Tatum http://www.vicnhs.bc.ca/?cat=8)
The posting was actually on 31st December 2015 but the butterfly was seen on the 26th August 2015. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday, along the coast path from Seaford Head to Cuckmere whilst the sun shone, there were many Small Whites. A few Green-veined Whites and several Large Whites. Also seen were Red Admiral, Peacocks, Small Heath and a solitary Clouded Yellow. I also saw two mint male Commmon Blues.
Today from Glynd to Lewes via Mount Caburn under grey skies, there were less butterflies. However I did see Red Admirals, Small Heath and a solitary Meadow Brown, thus winning the unfeasibly large bet that I had made with my companion that butterflies would be seen. (Jonathan Crawford)
To finish a very enjoyable week in Sussex I went today in search of Wall Brown and Clouded Yellow at Mill Hill. After rescuing an aged gent who had been stuck in a bramble bush for half an hour I spent a pleasant time failing to find the above mentioned but digging up plenty of Common Blues and Adonis Blues in various states of repair. Also many Meadow Brown, a few Small Heath, Large White and Small White. It took until 12:15 for the temperature to warm up enough to deliver a well behaved male Clouded Yellow. This chap sent me continually up and down the bank until I learned to wait for him - then I had a thoroughly enjoyable time chasing after him before overcast sent me off for the 1:48 train at Shoreham - whilst waiting for this I watched two battling Large White get hit by the 13:45 to Brighton but they may have survived as two remained afterwards. Whilst watching one of these, I was a bit gobsmacked to spot a Common Blue in far better condition than the Mill Hill wrecks. This on a not very promising looking long grassed area on the Eastbound platform. (Rolf Farrell)
Saturday 16 September
Third-brood Wall Browns and a Peacock at High and Over this afternoon. I didn't see any female Wall, hopefully they will be out in the next few days. (John Williams)
I visited the Downs above Eastbourne this morning and found two fresh Common Blues,
and two fresh Peacocks nectaring on Scabious. It was surprising to see several Meadow Browns active. (Trevor Rapley)
10 Small Copper stole the show this morning at a mostly sunny Lancing Ring. 11 butterfly species seen. The other highlights were 2 male Wall Brown, a Clouded Yellow and 36 Red Admiral. (Lindsay Morris)
I spent last week visiting High & Over and Mill Hill essentially for Wall Brown as it's always nice to see this species set against Autumn flora. As reported by Bob, James, Trevor and Rolf the numbers at High & Over were probably just about into double figures. I then transferred to Mill Hill later in the week to see how they were fairing. Weather as always plays a big part and found just one slightly tatty male bracing itself against the wind. I returned yesterday, more optimistic, as the wind had all but vanished. With Neil in company with family members, we carried out an extensive search--the reward, just one, very fresh male. It was good to see several fresh Comma 5, numerous Peacock and Red Admiral and a very amiable Clouded Yellow. (David Cook)
Friday 15 September
There are still plenty of butterflies in my Storrington garden with all three Whites, several Red Admirals, Peacocks, Comma, two Speckled Wood and a Small Copper. Also my 15th date for Hummingbird Hawk-moth, which was nectaring on Michaelmas Daisy (I haven't seen that before). So 15 date records from July 1st, an eleven week flight period. (martin kalaher)
St Leonards Forest, Horsham; my favourite photos this week and also one from Cissbury Ring on Tuesday. (Patrick Moore)
Just back from a few days break ,based at Arundel,on the way we stopped at Steyning rifle range ,more in hope than anything else
but was really pleased to see one Brown Hairstreak , but the stars of the show were the Commas ,9 seen in all ,mainly on the Blackberries ,several Red Admirals ,4 Speckled Woods and a single Painted Lady.
This morning we visited Mill Hill NNR. Mainly to look for Round Headed Rampion of which I found around 15 ,so well pleased!
On the butterfly front rather quiet ,but we did see a dozen Meadow Browns ,6 Small Heath and a female Wall Brown in the car park.
This morning I met my brother, niece and nephew, who are visiting from Antwerp, at Mill Hill. We were hoping to see a third brood Wall and soon bumped into David Cook, on the same mission. Wall has been flying for some time at High and Over, but the third brood is only just starting at Shoreham. Having almost failed, I got a call from David, who had just found a freshly emerged male on the middle level. This was the only example we saw, despite a thorough search, but you only need one when they're this good. Other species included Clouded Yellow (4), Adonis Blue (c.10 including a couple of surprisingly fresh males), Common Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, and some very nice Red Admiral, Peacock and Comma in the upper level glades. While David was photographing a Peacock he was outflanked by another. (Neil Hulme)
Lancing Ring and Steep Down in 50% sun provided 13 butterfly species and a Light Emerald moth. 20 Red Admiral, 6 Small Heath, 4 Common Blue, 4 Comma, 4 Meadow Brown, 3 Small Copper, 3 Speckled Wood, 3 Peacock, 2 Wall Brown, Clouded Yellow, Holly Blue, Small & Large White. (Lindsay Morris)
Siddlesham Ferry to Church Norton bird watching ,many butterflies along the way,a common hawker and juv swallows.Rolf Farrell may be interested to know that these were taken on an XT2 +100/400 zoom (Barry Sketchley)
I had a fabulous morning at High and over, with a good selection of species still around,
Including Red Admirals, Peacocks, Large Whites and Wall Browns, also seen, singles of Small Copper and Small Heath.
Most of the Butterflies seen were in good condition.
Thursday 14 September
A total of at least 8 male Wall Browns were seen at High and Over this morning.
Some were very fresh, but the majority were worn to some degree. (Trevor Rapley)
Trip to Ditchling mainly to get some practice with my new camera. Showery Grey weather initially kept things quiet but the eventual appearance of long sunny spells woke up decent numbers of Large and Small Whites, at least 4 Comma, 5 Peacock, 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Heath, 2 Red Admirals and a lovely Painted Lady. Nothing unusual but many of the aforementioned were well behaved and allowed me to get a little more into the hang of the new camera (Fuji XT2). (Rolf Farrell)
There have been more White butterflies in my Storrington garden this autumn compared to previous years. I extended one of the herbaceous borders in the spring of 2017 and a lot of self-seeded Buddleia and Verbena Bonariensis appeared on the newly-exposed soil. The Whites are fond of both but especially VB. I move a lot of plants around the garden, collecting seedlings and then nurturing them so they develop into large productive plants. As a consequence I now have a large clump of Dames Violet situated on this same herbaceous border, which I have further extended. The Small Whites just love Dames Violet. I shall repeat a pic of a Small White egg laid on August 22nd and then a pic I took in the gloom of yesterday evening. Also a pic of 3rd generation Speckled Wood taken on September 10th. (Martin Kalaher)
Wednesday 13 September
Conservation Work party: Seaford - Wall Cotoneaster Clearance
In between the almost inevitable drinking and cake eating a surprising amount of Cotoneaster got shifted at the weekend courtesy of Colin, Paul, Janet, Jim, Clare, Nigel, Sue, Kate and Peter. Hopefully the Kidney Vetch will now get a chance to spread back in to these now bare patches of ground.
There were quite a few butterflies still on the wing in the warm sunshine and these included Small, Large and Green -veined Whites, Clouded Yellow, Wall and Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Common and Holly Blues and Red Admiral. There were also quite a few large caterpillars of the Fox Moth feeding on the copious Salad Burnet, Viviparous Lizards wriggling in all directions, a late Rose Chafer and a wonderful emerald Four - Spotted Orb spider.
Thanks to all who assisted and to Nigel Symington for providing the photographs. No doubt more of the same next year, cake and all!
Went to Warnham expecting to see birds, but very little there as clearing works being done. HOWEVER.... I always look around for the bugs and beasts, and to my surprise saw and photographed a Brown Hairstreak in the overflow carpark. It was a female, crawling down sapling stems probably to lay eggs. Hope they survive to next year! (Yvonne Taylor)
I spent a plesent couple of hours at High and Over yesterday morning looking for 3rd brood Wall Brown's. An accurate count proved difficult but I estimate it was close to double figures. All were males, an extensive search didn't produce a single female - I would imagine a few will emerge soon. Other species seen: Small White (numerous) Small Copper 3, Small Heath 4, Meadow Brown 1, Red Admiral 6, Peacock 2. (James)
A trip to High and Over for Wall with Dave Cook. A decent pic of a Wall has mostly eluded me so far (though I now believe they may be more common in my home county of Yorkshire than previously thought so maybe next year I'll have more opportunities up there) so this was a mostly failed attempt to remedy the situation. New camera/lens doesn't help to be fair and neither did the Walls (at least 5 seen) themselves (as usual). Also seen Large and Small White, 2-3 Small Copper, Red Admirals, Peacocks and a couple of Speckled Wood. (Rolf Farrell)
Tuesday 12 September
This morning I walked around the upper slopes between Dukes Mound and the Marina where there's plenty of ivy in flower and saw 1 hummingbird hawk moth, 10 Red Admirals, 1 Painted Lady, 2 Large Whites and 1 Small White. I've lived in Hove since 1974 yet never walked here before. I crossed the A259 and climbed up to Cliff Approach with a haul of 1 Red Admiral, 2 Large Whites,1 Small White and as I reached Cliffe Approach 1 Small Copper. Back down the slope and a little further east I saw 1 Common Blue and 1 Meadow Brown in the downland field just before the pitch and putt course. I worked my way up hill again along the west end of the course to Roedean Road which produced 1 Small Copper, 2 painted ladies, 1 hummingbird hawk moth, 1 Red Admiral, Large Whites and Small Whites. After heading east between the huge, very expensive and butterfly unfriendly houses of Roedean Crescent I crossed the field in the valley and climbed a little way along a footpath on the east side to avoid a pack of 20 dogs and 4 dog walkers. This paid dividends as I saw 2 Small Heaths and 2 green veined whites which I wouldn't have seen otherwise. After that I headed down and walked back to Brighton along the cliff tops where only a few whites were braving the stiff breeze. (John Heys)
Hooray! More sun and 13 butterfly species today around the Lancing Ring area. 73 Red Admiral, 15 Speckled Wood, 8 Peacock, 6 Small Copper, 6 Small Heath, 6 Common Blue, 3 Meadow Brown, 3 Green-veined White, 2 Comma, Holly Blue, Wall Brown, Small & Large White. Arrived home to be greeted by a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. (Lindsay Morris)
Visited Malling Down today, where the chalk pits are covered in a blue haze of Devil's Bit Scabious. Three Small Coppers started the day, numerous Peacocks nectaring, as well as Small Heath, Meadow Brown and Large White. A rather worn Common Blue, as well as this Red Admiral that looked a sorry sight - large chunks missing from both hindwings, and the tip of one antenna gone. (Nigel Symington)
Monday 11 September
I'd like to thank Andrea and Colin Gibbs for their invaluable help in running the BC stall at the fabulous 'Into the Trees' festival at Pippingford Park on the Ashdown Forest on Sunday. Here's an image taken before the crowds of moth-mad children (moths kindly supplied by Mike Snelling) arrived. We were positioned close enough to Poppy the Woodland Fairy to be highly entertained (very highly) and far enough (just far enough) from the axe-throwing to feel safe. Thanks also to Andrea for baking cakes and biscuits to raise funds for Butterfly Conservation - if you're a baker you too can help the cause (see http://butterfly-conservation.org/13064/bake-for-butterflies.html). (Neil Hulme)
A couple of hours or so shower dodging in St Leonards Forest, Horsham not only produced puddles and mud but six species of butterflies, when the sun shone. Speckled Wood were common, Red Admiral and Small White less so. Comma and Small Copper were a bit jumpy but a Green-veined White posed for a photo without a care in the world. (Patrick Moore)
Oh dear, butterflies in short supply in the chalk pit near Lancing Ring this afternoon. We all had to dodge heavy showers with only the Red Admiral putting on any kind of show with about 20 seen on ivy (41 counted on Saturday). 2 Peacocks, a fresh male Common Blue and a few Large White completed the soggy cabaret. (Lindsay Morris)
On Saturday night we were visited by 9 moths, including 4 new species for our balcony list: Bordered Straw (Heliothis peltigera), Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata), Pearly Underwing (Peridroma saucia), Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum) plus regular visitors Elbow-stripe Grass veneer (Agriphila geniculea), Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella), Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c nigrum), Silver Y (Autographa gamma), Square Spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa). (Colin Knight http://www.colinknightimages.com/Nature-Photography-UK/Moths)
Sunday 10 September
This morning at about 08.15 hrs I visited an area of the South Downs just above Willingdon Village, which the sun was beginning to warm up, and was fortunate to see a mating pair of Common Blues on Devil's Bit Scabious, which stayed long enough for me to take several photographs. The air temerature was about 13 degrees C, and there was almost no wind. Apart from a small number of Meadow Browns, no other species were seen in the short time I was there.. (Douglas Neve)
Managed to get to the Chalk Pit on Bostal Road, Steyning while there was a bit of sun this morning. The predominant species was Brown Argus. I expect this was because these feisty little butterflies was chasing everything that moved and were therefore easy to spot. The things they chased included small, white, Green-veined White, Small Copper , Meadow Brown, Small Heath and Common Blue. I saw a Red Admiral. By the time I got to Anchor Bottom weather conditions had detetriated and I managed to see only a few Meadow Browns and a solitary Small Heath. (Jonathan Crawford)
Yesterday I went to Mil Hill. It was a pleasure to meet Colin doing his transect. I saw a fresh Comma, Red Admirals and Peacocks, Small Whites and a Green-veined White. Also seen were more faded Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, faded blues and a Clouded Yellow. (Katrina Watson)
Two sightings of Eques Tenebris in one day. That has to be a record. (Ed jnr)
I've been biting my nails up in Leeds for nearly two weeks waiting a chance to get down to Sussex and hopefully enjoy a bit of the Queen of Spain party. Finally on Saturday I got down at 10.30 and was immediately rewarded with a fleeting glimpse of the shabbier example nectaring at which point it vanished until it managed to land right infront of me at 12:20 for a grand total of two minutes. A few spectators enjoyed that before leaving me to continue the vigil on my own to no useful end - he made no further definite appearance. His attempts to defend his territory were very sporadic and I wonder if he will still be around today. The other male, seen on Thursday, made no appearance despite clear skies til 3:30. (Rolf Farrell)
Saturday 09 September
This individual was feeding on very ripe blackberries on top of a garden shed. This was the second Red Admiral with the numerals '78' I saw today. I have never noticed it before today on Red Admiral underwings. (Nigel Horsley https://www.flickr.com/photos/49347467@N05/36314859103/in/dateposted-public/)
Painted Lady in Rustington this morning. (John Ward)
As it was a beautiful sunny morning I continued with my autumnal gardening, occasionally taking time out to have a wander around. There were 10 butterfly species in the garden today including third-brood Common Blue and Small Copper. Species with minima as follows: Large White (6), Small White (6), Small Copper (4), Common Blue (1f), Red Admiral (4), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Peacock (2), Comma (3), Speckled Wood(1) and Meadow Brown (1). A total of at least 29 butterflies. The Speckled Wood was possibly the smallest specimen that I have ever seen, the Common Blue was pretty fresh, and one of the Small Coppers moved slowly around the meadow laying eggs! That's 17 butterfly species in the garden this September. What a year it has been! (Martin Kalaher)
Mill Hill: quick visit this morning and saw 1 Colin Knight, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Green-veined White , many Meadow Browns, lots of Adonis Blues generally in poor condition, many Small Heaths , a few Small Whites and a few Red Admirals.
This is not first sighting of a Colin Knight (Eques Tenebris) at this particular location. In fact Colin has been a regular fixture on Mill Hill for many years as it is the site of his weekly transect. The data Colin has gathered is vital to the management of the hill and will help ensure there are plenty of butterflies on Mill Hill for years to come. Thank you Colin. (Ed jnr)
Last night I turned on the balcony light out of habit more than expectation of moths as it was pouring down. To my surprise a moth similar to, but smaller than a Silver Y, was sheltering on the wall. It turnd out to be a Dewick's Plusia (Macdunnoughia confusa), a rarely recorded and recent immigrant (last two decades). A Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) also turned up.
My Mill Hill transect this morning gave me Adonis Blue 17, Green-veined White 2, Meadow Brown 39, Small Heath 3, Small White, moths: Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella). The season is definitely on the wane. I also had some enjoyable banter with Jonathan & hound, also Katrina & Ian. (Colin Knight)
My butterflying activities have been severely curtailed for the past two months (partly because I indulged my other passion and went to see the total eclipse of the sun in America, so I can't really complain!). However, a window in the weather and my diary this morning allowed a visit to Halscombe Farm to try to see a Queen of Spain. In the company of about 5 other enthusiasts, we waited for about an hour and eventually one rather worn individual put in an appearance on the ground by the bonfire site. It stayed for a few minutes before it took to the air, did a little pirouette and then disappeared somewhere to the east. I stayed for another hour but never saw it again. Apparently the same one had been seen about an hour before I arrived, but the second individual seen on Thursday was not there today. (Andy Wilson)
Another return visit to High and Over this morning to see the Wall Browns. Only males were seen, including one that had clearly been in the wars. Along the hedge line, which is a sun trap, it was too hot for comfort, but only 16c elsewhere !. (Trevor Rapley)
Thursday 07 September
Over the past two days there have been eight butterfly species in my Storrington garden with a daily count of around 25, as follows: Large White (6), Small White (6), Green-veined White (1), Red Admiral (4+), Painted Lady (1), Peacock (2), Comma (3) and Meadow Brown (2). A Hummingbird Hawk-moth put in two appearances and for once I managed a photo with non-blurred wings. (Martin Kalaher)
thurs 07/09/2017 checked weather forecast this morning and decided to take a chance at Halcombe Farm, Piddinghoe. I'm glad I did. arrived at field 10.45am, saw my very first ever Q of S frit at 11.05am after I kicked it up from vegetation, I managed to find it and as it was cloudy got some close up photos, the second one seen at 11.19am, two in same vista, as still cloudy more close photos, and no one else about. the 2nd one soon disappeared, then a nice sunny spell, the 1st stayed around bonfire area until 12.10pm then off it went. when it clouded over again. two chaps from London turned up, luckily for them it brightened up again and 1st Q of S frit showed up at bonfire area again at 12.54pm they managed to take some photos, it stayed there until 12.57pm when it flew up after a Small White flew over it. a grand day out. (Peter Farrant)
At High and Over 5 or 6 3rd brood Wall Brown showing today in the sunnier bits. All 3 Whites were out in number as well as a few Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and Speckled Wood. Of the Wall Brown a couple of females were seen. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
St Leonards Forest, Horsham has played host to 12 butterfly species so far this September, however not all of them have put in a appearance on the same day. Most common are Speckled Wood followed by Small Coppers, including the aberration with a row of blue spots on the inner hind wings ab. caeruleopunctatus (I think), I accidentally deleted the picture! Meadow Brown are still about as well as Green-veined White, Large White, Small White and Brimstone. There are also Red Admiral, Small Heath and several stunning Comma. Also a Painted Lady and a Common Blue to add to the numbers. (Patrick Moore)
some more visitors to our Littlehampton home the past two nights: Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens), Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer (Agriphila geniculea), Narrow-winged Grey (Eudonia angustea), Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum), Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata), Square-Spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa) plus a female Speckled Bush Cricket. (Colin Knight)
The chalk pit at Lancing Ring before the rain clouds rolled in held 36 splendid Red Admiral. Also 2 Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Large White. Lancing Ring added 2 Small Copper and a Green-veined White. More sun please... (Lindsay Morris)
Wednesday 06 September
A Clouded Yellow seen flying from a clover field to some reeds nearby in Whatlington. (Adrian Fox)
Quite a few fresh Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, around the Hemp Agrimomy on the upper North side of Mill Hill. And on the lower slope 3 male Clouded Yellow plus one very fresh looking female amongst lots of Small Heath and now tired Adonis Blue. On the way back to the car I found one very fresh female Wall in the grass and a very amiable Painted Lady. (David Cook)
Val & I went to Halcombe Farm in the hope of seeing the Queen of Spain fritillaries. The sun had gone in by the time we arrived and the two gentlemen already there had not seen them in the previous hour and a half of sunshine. We were joined by two other people from Eastbourne and patience paid off as certainly one, maybe two, came out with the returning sun around 12.00 noon. After a 15 minutes of warming up on the earth near the bonfire pile they were off. We left about 2.00 pm and they hadn't come back. There was a brisk westerly wind so could they be heading back to France to escape the next lot of bad weather? We also saw Brown Arguses (argi?), Common Blues, Adonis Blues, Small Coppers, Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, Red Admirals, Clouded Yellows, lots of whites and a Comma. Can anyone help me with the two mating in my 4th picture? We didn't like to disturb them, so are they two Adonis Blues or a female adonis and a male Common Blue? (John & Val Heys)
Arguses for butterflies but I believe the singular is also acceptable as in "a pair of Brown Argus". I think Argi is acceptable elsewhere but have never had cause to use it. There just aren't than many hundered eyed monsters about these days. (Ed jnr).
I spent several worthwhile hours at High and Over today.
It would seem that a third brood of Wall Browns has started there, with 5 males and 1 female seen,
and all in good condition. The number of Whites flying must have been in the hundreds.
Also a few fresh Red Admirals, Peacocks and a single Comma were spotted. (Trevor Rapley)
2 Queen of Spain still present 12:15 today. (Chris Wilkinson)
Tuesday 05 September
Today I spotted a gap in the weather at noon and headed to Mill Hill: Adonis Blue 20, Brown Argus 2, Clouded Yellow, Meadow Brown 31, Red Admiral, Small Heath 18, Small White 2, Moth of Pearl moth (Pleuroptya ruralis). The past few nights have seen plenty of moths on our balcony: Blastobasis vittata, Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea), Brimstone Moth, (Opisthograptis luteolata), Common Plume (Emmelina monodactyla), many Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers, (Agriphila geniculea), Fern (Horisme tersata), Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea), Heart and Club (Agrotis clavis), Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana), Marbled Green (Cryphia muralis), Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella), Setaceous Hebrew Character ( Xestia c-nigrum), Silver Y (Autographa gamma), Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata), Square-Spot Rusti c (Xestia xanthographa), Twenty-plume Moth (Alucita hexadactyla), Yellow-backed Clothes (Monopis obviella) plus a Caddisfly, Glyphotaelius pellucidus. (Colin Knight)
A very dull day in Seaford today but during the late morning and early afternoon a number of Small Whites were still passing through my garden including 8 that lingered to feed on Verbena Bonariensis, Michaelmas Daisy, Lobelia and other flowers then resting in sheltered corner before moving on.This seemed to annoy the Common Blue that has been present for a few days. A Red Admiral also stayed for a while in the sheltered area. (Stuart Ridley)
Hopefully you are referring to the weather in Seaford being dull, rather than Seaford itself. I think tomorrow the weather may be a little better. (Ed jnr)
Monday 04 September
A walk around Arlington Reservoir late this afternoon yielded Small White, Large White, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady and, at last, my first Clouded Yellow of the year. A surprisingly productive half hour considering it was overcast. (Chris Hooker)
Sunday 03 September
Once again I spent most of the day in the garden but found time to have a wander around. There three fresh-looking Comma, two on the Buddleia and one nectaring on Verbena Bonariensis. The latter stayed there for several hours! I planted six hops this spring and all have grown well. I like to think that this is my reward but they may have come from elsewhere? In mid-afternoon a pristine Painted Lady found the Michaelmas Daisy and stayed for a couple of hours, later joined by a Small Tortoiseshell. The total for September in just two days is 15 butterfly species. It seems to me like a long season. There are six nectar-providers still delivering nicely: Buddleia, Field Scabious, Devilsbit Scabious, Purple Loosestrife, Verbena Bonariensis and Michaelmas Daisy. At 6.50pm the Hummingbird Hawk-moth was back on Verbena Bonariensis. It went away and came back again at 7.10pm, by which time all other insect activity in the garden had ceased. I rather suspect this moth breeds in the garden. We have plenty of Hedge Bedstraw, which is one of their larval food plants. (Martin Kalaher)
Hello Sussex group.
I was allowed to migrate to Sussex yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the QofS and the good banter amongst other enthusiasts.
Thought you might like to see this "totally deliberate" (hmmm!) flight shot. Keep up your good work (Keith Perry)
Saturday 02 September
I resisted the temptation to visit Piddinghoe today and instead headed to Ditchling Down. It's been a few weeks since my last visit but was amazed at how the flora has changed. There is copious amounts of Devils Bit Scabious now in full bloom and attracting quite a variety of different butterflies the most notable being very fresh Adonis Blue (both male and female). I've not seen these here before today and will be very interested to see if this becomes a permanent home for them. (David Cook)
A female Brown Hairstreak on the SE side of the triangular wood at The Burgh (east of North Stoke) this morning. It was on the path at the foot of a sloe bush for five minutes. Not sure if this is a known site for this species. (Ken Hearne)
A walk in the sun from Lancing Ring to Cissbury Ring started slowly but was made glorious by 22 Small Copper. Wow! Also a Brown Hairstreak at both Cissbury and just north of Lychpole Farm. A lone Silver-spotted Skipper at Cissbury. In the southern combe there was a surprise male Adonis Blue. That's 20 species of butterfly seen in September so far. Excellent fun! (Lindsay Morris)
I couldn't resist a last look at the Queen of Spain Fritillary, at Halcombe Farm, Peacehaven this morning. There were quite a few other species flying at the same site, including Comma, Small White, Large White and Small Copper. I saw several Clouded Yellows too but they didn't settle. (John Williams)
Friday 01 September
An hour spent above the allotments at Malling Down yielded loads of butterflies. Small Heath were everywhere, there were plenty of Meadow Browns. Perhaps a dozen Small Coppers and two Clouded Yellows. Saw my first silver spotted skipper. A Peacock, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, large and Small White. Had a hard time trying to identify the blues as many were faded and they weren't hanging about. There were plenty of male and female Common Blues, Chalk Hill Blues and possibly an Adonis Blue, pictured? (Martin Buck)
Yes that is an Adonis. There are a couple of places where you can see the black bar cross over the white fringe on the edge of the wing. Common blues can be quite bright but fade quickly which is a give away. (Ed jnr)
At about 07.00 hrs this morning I visited an area of the Downs immediately above the village of Willingdon just as the the sun was beginning to warm up a large area of south-east facing downland. I soon noticed several Common Blue, Adonis Blue and a single Chalk-hill Blue warming up on Devil's-bit Scabious, some of which were quite faded. Also present were several Small Heath, which in the past I have found to be quite difficult to photograph, although this time I was successful. I also saw a single female Marbled White and several Meadow Browns. (Douglas Neve)
It is a busy time of the year for me with lots to do in the garden. I did take regular breaks, wandering around to see what was about. I recorded 12 Butterfly species, with a total of about 28. There was also a Humming-bird Hawk-moth (my 12th sighting of the year). Species as follows: Brimstone (2m), Large White (6), Small White (6), Green-veined White (2), Brown Argus (1), Holly Blue (1f), Red Admiral (4+), Peacock (2), Speckled Wood (1), Gatekeeper (1f), Meadow Brown (2) and Small Heath (1). Perhaps the most surprising was the female Gatekeeper. The Holly Blue was laying eggs on variegated Ivy. I knew that they weren't that fussy about the type of Ivy but this is the first time I have actually seen eggs being laid on the variegated Ivy (of which we have an abundance!). (Martin Kalaher)
I went over to Rowland Wood this morning, hoping for Clouded Yellows, none seen.
But better than that, another Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary was found nectaring on Fleabane.
This one, although not fresh, was in good condition, and very quick.
There were also many fresh Large and Small Whites present, plus some non- stop Red Admirals. (Trevor Rapley)
Surprised to find this Monarch at Selsey Bill this morning, it flew across the path from the direction of the sea and landed on these Tamarisk flowers where it fed for 5 mins or so before flying further into the garden.
(Sarah Russell (via Facebook))
Coincidently, I got an email from Bob Annell, County Recorder for Hampshire this morning and he mentioned his belief that most Monarch sightings in Hampshire were releases. Apparently there is a chap breeding them for weddings at Lee-on-Solent, which is not so far from Selsea. It does look to be in wonderful condition for a migrant which certainly raises eyebrows. We will have to leave it to our own recorder, Colin Pratt, to make a final judgement. Either way, the sighting is welcome here.(Ed jnr)
Thursday 31 August
I was hoping to see if the 3rd brood Wall Brown had started at High and Over on Monday, there was certainly a chance, but some Queens meant plans on Monday changed. I was then unable to get there again until today. On the steps a faded 2nd brood male was battling away with a fresh male that I am pretty confident was a 3rd brood. I was watching him battling away with the faded one when a 3rd Wall Brown flew across. The fresh one then joined the new individual that was obviously a female as they started to mate. It wasn't possible to see the top side of the female but I assume this one was also a 3rd brood!! Trevor joined me to see the pairing and he also photographed the fresh male. If this was a 3rd brood sighting this is the 2nd year running that both 2nd and 3rd brood have been on the wing at the same time. I would guess the fresh male emerged on Tuesday as some of the sparkle had possibly gone.
Some tired Silver-spotted Skippers along Cradle Valley as well as several Adonis Blue and very fresh Small Coppers also seen. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
A quick shower dodging walk in St Leonards Forest, Horsham today produced; Large White, Small White, Speckled Wood which were flying all over the place. Red Admiral, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and a Comma. (Patrick Moore)
I know it's not exactly news, but I thought I'd share my boy's photos from the Queen of Spain site.
He's 8 years old been getting more and more interested in butterflies over the summer and now has a solid understanding of taxonomy and a decent year list!
I let him have my ancient DSLR and creaking old macro lens today for the first time. Also,
Just for fun, a Geranium Bronze identified and taken by him with my camera last week (in Mallorca, *not* Sussex!). (Harry Mole)
Up early like me, at 7.23 am a Red Admiral was perched on the laurel hedge at the west end of Hove Lagoon, sunning itself as there was still a nip in the air. Later in the day, plenty of Small Whites and one Large White between Hove and Brighton Marina, but no hint of anything else. (John Heys)
I was delighted to see the Queen of Spain Fritillary was still at Halcombe Farm, Peacehaven, today, performing to around a dozen keen observers. And a big thank you to the farmer for kindly allowing us onto his property. (Bill Brooks)
Wednesday 30 August
Well it would be rude not to have joined in with the QoS party! Also seen were Brown Argus, Common Blues, Adonis Blues, Small & Green-veined Whites, Small Copper, Meadow Browns, Small Heath and Clouded Yellow. I also managed a Neil Hulme in a classic pose!
In the morning at Tidemills there were countless Small Heath, Small & Green-veined White and a handful of freshly emerged Red Admiral (Paul Atkin)
A Littlehampton resident sent me this photo of a Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) taken in their garden on Saturday. (Colin Knight)
Around 2pm this afternoon (Tuesday) I was dashing up my mothers garden in Maltravers St. Arundel when my eye was arrested by a Monarch butterfly dancing about her flowerbeds. It was a little worn colour wise but still stunning and sadly still quite strong enough to climb up some sixty feet and out of sight over the rooftops.
Tuesday 29 August
As well as frequent visits by up to 3 and on one occasion 4 Small Whites at a time, our back garden in Hove also had a Red Admiral flit quickly through. There was a slightly longer stay by a Gatekeeper which tempted us out of our seats by settling briefly and then popped over the fence as we approached. Had a really close view of a dragonfly in our apple tree, perched inches above my eyes, a common darter I think. Yesterday, in central Worthing at our daughter's there were Small Whites and a female Speckled Wood which appeared to do a bit of egg laying near the house but in quite clever places close to stonework where the eggs may survive the coming weekend's lawn-mowing. Too busy to go looking for the QoS fritillaries, unfortunately, but great to see the pictures. (John & Val Heys)
more Littlehampton moths (Colin Knight)
During the past four days our balcony has been visited by 21 species of moths: Cypress Pug (Eupithecia phoeniceata), Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana), Common Plume (Emmelina monodactyla), Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata), Silver Y (Autographa gamma), Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalis), Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer (Agriphila geniculea), Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata), Poplar Bent-wing (Phyllocnistis unipunctella), Teasel Marble (Endothenia gentianaeana), Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata), Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua), Blastobasis vittata, Rusty Dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis), Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella), Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum), Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis), Yellow-backed Clothes (Monopis obviella), Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea), Marbled Green (Cryphia muralis), Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa).
Today during a visit to Arundel WWT I spotted a Small China-mark (Cataclysta lemnata). (Colin Knight)
Two Humming-bird Hawk-moths nectared on Buddleia in my Storrington garden today. The 10th date this year. (Martin Kalaher)
sun 27/08/2017 Victoria Business Park, Burgess Hill. W.Sx. 2x adult Brown Hairstreak females seen at 1.10pm and 1.58pm, they never opened their wings, as very warm. the first one seen when I was searching blackthorns for eggs, I was moving the branch about abit when I noticed a small butterfly flying around the end of the moving branch, I stopped moving the branch when I saw it was a female BH, she settled in front of me, out came the camera. the second in same area, along path from bridge to housing estate. I counted 44x BH eggs including 6x found sun 06/08/2017 on mound area to east of bridge, and 17x BH eggs in flat area west of bridge, and 1x BH egg in Inprova car park. 62x BH eggs in total. oh and Sarah picked 2lb 7oz of blackberries. not a bad days work! (Peter Farrant)
Thanks to Dave Harris I also enjoyed the fabulous sight of some Queen of Spain Fritillaries. It was also a delight to chat to Colin Appleton (the farmer) who's kind permission made enjoying these butterlies possible. He went out of his way to give directions and help people find the site. I also saw Cloused Yellows (2) Small Coppers (2) a few Common Blues, and Meadow Browns. (James) (James)
Yesterday, 28th August. One late, lonely Grayling seen but Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper in very good numbers. Also healthy number of Adonis Blue on Folkington Hill. (Bob Coleman)
Monday 28 August
Some shots of the now famous Queen of Spain Fritillary at Halcombe Farm, Peacehaven. I was the lucky person who got a lift from the farmer from the end of Telscombe Road! An amazing morning's butterflying in the company of the usual suspects, including Neil Hulme, Colin Knight, James, Katrina, and Jonathan. (John Williams)
At the risk of the website getting repetitive I thought I would post that I too had the pleasure today of seeing the Queen of Spain Fritillaries in the sun (on a bank holiday too!) A special thank you to Dave Harris for finding them, Neil Hulme for posting about them and the farmer for being so welcoming. It was also good to catch up Bob, James, Colin and Neil and meet other enthusiasts. (Katrina Watson)
A very faded Fritillary put in an appearance in my Storrington garden today. It's flight profile was that of a male Dark Green Fritillary but bearing in mind the date I'll let Ed Jnr (and/or others decide). Also today there was a Speckled Wood, which means I have recorded 16 butterfly species in the garden in the past 8 days. Yesterday there was a Humming-bird Hawk-moth nectaring on Verbena Bonariensis. The 9th date this year for this species. (Martin Kalaher)
Trevor Rapley writes "Martin K's mystery Fritillary looks very much like a male Silver Washed Fritillary." Anyone else got an opinion? Have reflected upon this, I agree with Trevor that this is a Silver Washed Fritillary. I suspect that when a butterfly gets as tattered as this, it's flight pattern cannot be relied on to identify it. I would not be surprised if this was the last of the season. (Ed jnr)
Sightings of several Brown Hairstreaks were made today during a visit to Steyning Rifle Range. Also observed were the larvae of the Buff Tip moth on Bullace to the field side of the fence between the stile and gate. Note the 'V' above the head of the larvae. An image of the Buff Tip moth is shown, which was taken in July at another location. (Douglas Neve)
Following Neil Hulme's report I arrived at Piddinghoe this morning to find James already in action and able to immediately point me to a Queen of Spain Fritillary. Many butterfly enthusiasts arrived during the next few hours, probably 30/40 as there was much coming and going. Neil joined us and gave a good account of the probable reason for the QoS’s presence. A second specimen appeared and there was much aerial combat between the two. In the meadow I saw Meadow Brown, Small White, Large White, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper, Brown Argus. Thanks to David Harris and Neil for spotting and posting this rare Sussex sighting and to farmer Mr. Appleton for welcoming us onto his farm. (Colin Knight)
The three male Queen of Spain Fritillary put on a great performance for the many visitors today (see previous report for location and access details). Two males were regularly seen (sometimes sparring) around the bonfire site, while the third remained more aloof, occasionally being spotted along the track further east.
I would again like to thank the farmer, Colin Appleton, for not only allowing access, but also for directing visitors to the site, and even giving some a lift! (Neil Hulme)
Concentrated on the Halewick Lane site this morning in the hope of finding the Queen of Spain's scattered entourage! 3 Clouded Yellow obliged, including 2 Helice females. Also a Painted Lady, but no sign of Long-tailed Blue. (Lindsay Morris)
Blue Underwing (Catocala fraxini) to light trap, Heathfield on 27/8/17 (Nigel Kemp http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk)
Beautiful Marbled moth found in hotel bathroom at around midnight. Photos included. Moth was released after pictures taken. (Mark Phillips)
Sunday 27 August
A slightly surreal day watching Queen of Spain Fritillaries on the downs near Piddinghoe with my dad and Neil Hulme. A wonderful sight to see then fighting with Clouded Yellows and occasionally fighting between themselves. (Mark Cadey)
Late yesterday I received a phone call from Dave Harris, informing me that he'd just seen a Queen of Spain Fritillary (QoS) on his transect between Telscombe and Piddinghoe. I'm very grateful to Dave for all that followed.
Dave guided me and Ian and Mark Cadey to the site early this morning, before heading off on other business. For an hour and a half we made a thorough search of the meadow, seeing many butterflies including Adonis Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper and Small Copper. The Queen of Spain's travel companions were out in force (at least half-a-dozen Clouded Yellow and numerous whites), but our target was disappointingly elusive.
At 11.15 am I was beginning to lose hope, when a Queen of Spain Fritillary suddenly appeared from the hedgerow at the western end of the meadow. I called the Cadeys over and within a few minutes we were watching two males battling for the best position in what proved to be the lekking area, around a bonfire site.
Inevitably, we spent the entire day there, enjoying these exotic visitors as they repeatedly chased any Clouded Yellow, white (Large, Small and Green-veined) or Common Blue which crossed their territory. We eventually proved, through photography, the presence of three males, with one being in good condition (only seen once during the day).
QoS tends to migrate in mixed sex groups, so I'm hopeful that one or two females (which are more elusive than the males) might be around and will have found some Field or Wild Pansy in the area. I suspect that others will have arrived with the good weather, so it's well worth looking at locations such as High & Over and Tidemills.
Access and directions: Please note that the meadow is private land, but the farmer, Colin Appleton, has kindly agreed to allow access. The main lekking area is around the bonfire site at TQ42130306. The butterflies tend to remain quite faithful to this location from about 11.15 am - 3.00 pm, thereafter spending most of the time nectaring on knapweeds along the top of the meadow, particularly between the fire-site and TQ42320304. Head towards Halcombe Farm from the north of Peacehaven. Please do not park around the farm buildings at TQ42170302 except at weekends and Bank Holidays, as this is a turning area for large vehicles. Alternative parking can be found a little further down the track at TQ42650321. Please note that people are holidaying in the caravans on-site, so please respect their privacy. Good luck!
Nymans gardens. Clouded Yellow plus Red Admirals, Small Whites, Comma and small tortoise shell on Budlia near second-hand bookshop. Sorry image small but only had my phone. (Martin buck)
On Friday evening my balcony was visited by Blastobasis vittata, Brimstone Moths (Opisthograptis luteolata), Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis), Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella), Rusty Dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis), Setaceous Hebrew Characters (Xestia c-nigrum), Yellow-backed Clothes moth (Monopis obviella).
On Saturday morning my Mill Hill transect gave me Adonis Blue 85, Brimstone, Chalk Hill Blue 6, Clouded Yellow male, Meadow Brown 83, Red Admiral, Small Heath 27, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Speckled Wood. Moths: Common Grass-veneer (Agriphila tristella) and Common Purple & Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis). Also 3 Silver-spotted Skippers near the reservoir.At Beeding Cement Works saw a male Adonis Blue. In the afternoon on the west bank of the River Adur between the Beeding footbridge and TQ19810891 I saw 4 male Adonis Blues, including one that was heading seaward at speed. (Colin Knight)
A quick walk over to Hogtrough Bottom at Bevendean on the north east edge of Brighton this morning. The highlights were adonis and Common Blue and Chalk Hill Blue males. Also lots of females laying eggs but I don't know which ones they were. Lovely to see some Autumn ladies tresses orchids and lots of Devils bit scabious just coming into flower.
On thursday I spent a very happy few hours on the west slope of Stump Bottom just north east of South Heighton. The flowers here were lovely, lots of Autumn gentian. Plenty of Adonis Blues and Common Blues and also quite a lot of Small Coppers. The carline thistles were attracting a lot of butterflies and I had a great time with my new close focus Papilio binoculars. Who needs drugs?! (Tessa Pawsey)
Lancing to Steep Down, the latter sparkling in the sun with 8 Adonis Blue. Only 13 species of butterfly seen though, with only whites in any abundance. 2 Small Copper, including an unusual sighting in my garden. Also 3 Brimstone moths and 2 Common Carpet. (Lindsay Morris)
2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillarys seen at Rowland wood reserve this afternoon,along with 3 Brimstones,4 Common Blues,10+ Small Heaths,2 Commas,2 Gatekeepers,2 Meadow Browns,2 Speckled Woods and singles of Red Admiral & Peacock. (Alastair Gray)
On the recommendation of our chairman, I headed to Medley Bottom, near Amberley this morning. It was my first visit to the site and well worth the effort of getting to this remote coombe. The journey also close encounters with Buzzards, Red Kites, Kestrels and a Peregrine. Whilst walking through the long grass I came within one step of treading on a Hare. I am not sure which of us was most surprised. Medley Bottom offered Adonis Blues and Chalk Hill Blues as well as Common Blue and Brown Argus. I also saw Small White, Green-veined White and Large Whites. As well as Meadow Brown there was also Small Heath, Speckled Woods, Small Tortoiseshells, a Comma, several Essex Skippers and a couple of Painted Ladies.
Walking back to the car at Canada Barn I noticed a strange white butterfly. Some considerable time was spent tracking this resolutely airborne insect. Eventually it settled, and turned out to be the Helice form of Clouded Yellow.
As I was in the area, I looked in at the famous South Stoke site. This was quite disappointing with only Whites showing. However the thistle rich field leading to it hosted a large flock of Goldfinches and decent numbers of butterflies. These included five Clouded Yellows. I watched two pairs circle each other and then ascend to a great height. (Jonathan Crawford)
More information about Medley Bottom (TQ044116) can be found in the The Butterflies of Sussex on page 308. (Ed jnr)
This morning I went back to Castle Hill. There seemed to be less butterflies around than on my last visit but still Adonis Blues, Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, Whites, Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Small Coppers, Speckled Woods and one Clouded Yellow. I found a particularly obliging Small Copper which posed for me. (katrina watson)
Stroll through the Railway Lands in Lewes brought me to a magnificent buddleia that was being fed upon by Commas, Green-veined Whites, Peacocks and Red Admirals. Other visitors were a Painted Lady and a beautiful hummingbird moth. (Paddy Austin)
A quick walk around the meadow at Rowland Wood, early before it gets too hot, only someone hasn't told the sun, it's baking. No Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries, but we saw one at Park Corner Heath yesterday. But we did my second Small Tortoiseshell of the year, loads of Small Heaths, a Painted Lady, Large and Small Whites, a beautiful fresh Comma, Speckled Woods, 2 Common Blues, a few Gatekeepers hanging on and a Blood Vein moth (a first for me!). A number of hornets and I have never seen so many dragonflies, or maybe it is just because I never usually look up!!! Oh and a lizard. (Kerry Baldwin)
Yesterday morning a Clouded Yellow flew low by while on Ashdown forest,only my second sighting here this year. (Alastair Gray)
On a baking hot Saturday afternoon at Mill Hill I saw plenty of Adonis Blue, Small Heath, Common Blue, a few faded Chalk Hill Blues, several Clouded Yellow, and some surprisingly fresh Meadow Browns but nothing was settling for more than a nano-second, and in 2 hours I managed only 2 photos, of a Meadow Brown and female Adonis Blue. I would have preferred to arrive later but unfortunately I had to be somewhere else. (John Williams)
Saturday 26 August
A Small Heath yesterday in my Storrington garden and a Holly Blue today increases the butterfly species this past week to 14 and somewhere in the region of 35-40 butterflies in total. I cannot compete with John's lovely pic of a Brown Hairstreak egg but I did capture a 3 egg pic today in the garden when I was cutting back some of the growth that was shading out the garden pond. If my memory serves with right then this is only the 4th or 5th occasion that I have seen three eggs laid close together. (martin kalaher)
I led a second walk today as a volunteer for Steyning Downland Scheme enthusiasts Again weather conditions were perfect and very warm . Several female Brown Hairstreaks were observed flitting around high in the Ash trees Eventually a rather worn female descended to egg lay on small suckers at the far end of the reserve near the end of the tree line .
After she had departed I found one of the eggs and John Woodward got a an excellent picture of this very fresh beautifully sculptured egg .
So another 16 + attendees including two Kent BC members enjoying the Brown Hairstreak Butterfly .
( Richard Roebuck)
Today I spent a wonderful, warm and sunny afternoon on the BC reserves with Ian and Mark Cadey. We initially thought that we had seen the last of the second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary of the year, as a geriatric male on Park Corner Heath seemed to be on his last legs. However, we were in for a nice surprise, later finding a further six individuals flying over the Rowland Wood rush meadow. At least one male and one female were still in pristine condition. Eggs are still being laid and the characteristic feeding damage left on violet leaves by small SPBF larvae was widespread across both reserves.
We also saw some beautiful, dark-coloured Comma feeding on blackberries; a sure sign that autumn is now just around the corner. (Neil Hulme)
I’ve not managed to spend much time at the Steyning Downland Scheme www.steyningdownland.org this year, but I did spend most of Friday there. I was really impressed by the way things have moved forward again, with great progress everywhere.
The Prunus stock is in fine shape (Brown Hairstreak numbers are modest this year, but should recover by next season); the Primula planting (‘Dukes of Steyning’ project) has worked exceptionally well in both the Coombe and Secret Garden (now looking like prime Duke of Burgundy habitat); the Coombe grassland continues to improve in quality, as do Pepperscombe Bank and the floor of the Rifle Range; and the Round Hill chalk-pit and Prunus on the adjacent slope both look in much better shape. I could go on and on ... Congratulations to all involved.
Has all this on-going work made much difference, as measured in terms of the butterfly fauna? Following reports of Adonis Blue towards the top of the Coombe, I focused on monitoring this species, assisted at times by David Cook and Colin Knight. The females are tricky to spot and identify, so probably ‘slip through the net’ quite regularly, but we saw very encouraging numbers in several areas. Adonis Blue is one of our best indicators of chalk grassland quality.
The good news is that the Adonis count reads as follows: Coombe 12 (7f, 5m); north flank of Rifle Range east end 7 (2f, 5m); north flank of Rifle Range west end 1 (f); Rifle Range bottom 1 (m); Round Hill chalk-pit 10 (3f, 7m). That number was later reduced by a particularly large Wasp Spider.
A total count of 31 Adonis Blue is a clear sign that things are now improving very significantly – you would have to go a long way back in time to better this number here. However, I’m certain there’s far more good news still to come as the grazing programme continues.
There were plenty of other butterflies on show including, of course, Brown Hairstreak. Amongst them were a few third brood Green-veined White and Small Copper. Some very nice Buff-tip moth caterpillars can be found along the Blackthorn just outside the fenced hairstreak reserve. Those coming to see the Brown Hairstreak should also pay a visit to the Coombe (continue up the footpath which starts at the bowling green) and Round Hill chalk-pit (via Bostal Road).
Thank you to Richard Roebuck for yesterday, Ken & I drove down from Godstone and it turned out to be a great day. superb female BHS pointed out by Richard, we also spotted 3 more during our visit. We also called in at Mill Hill for the Adonis -Thank you to Colin for the heads up! many flying in superb condition in the sunshine and a Clouded Yellow. Quick stop at the cement works for long tailed blues but only common and another Adonis seen.
Great day and a big thank you to Richard Roebuck. (Richard Stephens)
Silver-spotted Skipper and Adonis Blue seen 100yrds SW on the northern slope near Foxhole Farm,Cuckmere Haven.25/08/17. (Alastair Gray)
Friday 25 August
In my garden in Lower Bevendean a pair of Holly Blues settled on the sedge growing in the pond and a Silver Y on the iris leaves and an unidentified moth indoors. (Geoff Stevens)
Castle Hill NNR produced many Adonis Blues today including several male and females newly emerged. On one of the set aside fields nearby there were also enormous quantities of Small and Green-veined Whites. Near the field a mud patch was attracting some of these that were mud-puddling together. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
In Nymans Gardens (and the woods just north) this afternoon Val & I saw 5 Meadow Browns, 9 Speckled Woods, about 20 whites (most appeared to be Small Whites plus at least one Large White) and 1 Red Admiral. Early this morning, at home in Hove, I rescued a Heart & Dart moth from a spider's web. Over the last week we've only had Small Whites in the garden, but at least they've been regular visitors when the sun's been out, sometimes 2 at once and occasionally 3. (John & Val Heys)
A couple of photos of the same Brown Hairstreak as mentioned by Richard Roebuck, plus a Green-veined White taken on the path up to Steyning rifle range. I did see another two Brown Hairstreak but they were both quite tatty. (John Williams)
more from Steyning, including a pair of Green-veined Whites where the female rejected the male by raising her abdomen. She eventually dropped to the base of the grass where the male couldn't find her. (Colin Knight)
I joined Richard Roebuck’s Brown Hairstreak walk at Steyning Downland and was delighted with the couple of females that we got close-up and personal with, including one egg laying (see photo below). I also saw a Clouded Yellow, Green-veined Whites courting, Small White, Small Heaths, Brimstones, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral larva and then joined Neil Hulme when he counted Adonis Blues on the slope. One male Adonis took salts from a cow pat. Moths seen: many Common Grass-veneers (Agriphila tristella) and a Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternate). A female Common Darter posed. (Colin Knight)
Rather like the Brown Hairstreak Butterfly, good weather was elusive for the planned walk in 2015 (torrential rain) and 2016 ( too windy) However as always patience pays off and today ,perfect, sunny ,warm and still conditions. Over 14 enthusiasts came to the walk today After patience and a lot of searching two were briefly seen after 11.00 a.m.
and then just after 12.00 a pristine
female came down by the fence line of the reserve , offering excellent views for all and plenty of photographs . Slightly later egg laying behaviour was also seen . One of the eggs seen freshly laid , excellent photo by Colin Knight
She was a perfect subject and wasn't at all skittish . A good candidate for a "10" score . Please find attached pic by John Woodward, Steyning Downland scheme volunteer Later another female was spotted by another observer and all being well Neil will may have also found some more .
The reserve is looking great with lots of good Blackthorn and Bullace at the right age for egg laying .
Well worth a visit as the season continues - but remember you need a keen eye and patience to see Brown Hairstreaks - or luck.
( Richard Roebuck)
Took a walk on the bridleway that runs round the base of Wolstonbury Hill to the chalk pit area. The chalk pit area was still full of Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Common Blue and plenty of Large White, but the loveliest surprise was a Brown Hairstreak in the hedge between the chalk pit area and bridlepath - never seen these here before and I even managed to take a photograph. (Sylvia Davidson)
Saw many fresh Meadow Browns, 2 freshly hatched Commas, 10 fresh Speckled Wood, a Brown Hairstreak, several Large White & Small White, 2 fresh Red Admirals, a tatty Common Blue and a lighter (yellow/orange and green) Small Copper on Ling (Mike Warren)
I spent 6-7 hours in my Storrington garden yesterday but gave myself some time off to record butterflies. There were 12 species with a total of about 35, which are respectable numbers for the 4th week of August. There was also a Humming-bird Hawk-moth nectaring on the Buddleia. This is the 8th to date this year, so far. This moth intrigues me for it rarely stays in the garden for more than a minute or so. It clearly likes to nectar on Buddleia and one might suppose that having found a suitable feeding source it would hang around for longer, but it doesn't. There were more in Whites in the garden than any previous day this year and I suspect that there has been a recent cross-channel influx. In general I would say it hasn't been a very good year for the Whites but yesterday there were as many as a dozen Large Whites and Small Whites in the garden at the same time. Having been away I though I had 'lost' Common Blue, Brown Argus and Gatekeeper but I managed to record one of each, the Gatekeeper a female. Some of the Meadow Brown were fresh specimens and most of them were very small, some the size of Gatekeepers. Species as follows: Brimstone (1m &1f), Large White (6+), Small White (6+), Green-veined White (3), Brown Argus (1), Common Blue (1f), Red Admiral (5), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Peacock (1), Comma (2), Gatekeeper (1f) and Meadow Brown (6+). (Martin Kalaher)
Thursday 24 August
My wife and I took a late morning walk on Malling Down today. Despite the general lack of sunshine we were pleased to see 4 Silver-spotted Skipper, 8 Adonis Blue, 3 Chalkhill Blue, 2 Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 5 Small Whites, 30 Meadow Brown and 20 Small Heath. (Terry Wood)
A lovely sunny afternoon on Malling Down today. Many blues in abundance - Common, Chalkhill, Adonis and also Brown Argus. Meadow Browns and Small Heath everywhere, and several Clouded Yellow flying past with their customary impetuousness. (Nigel Symington)
A walk from Lancing Ring to Cissbury in often dull conditions was given a boost by seeing only my second ever stationary Hummingbird Hawk-moth. Only one Silver-spotted Skipper at Cissbury with a supporting cast of 110 Meadow Brown, 64 Small Heath, 42 Common Blue, 21 Speckled Wood, 12 Chalk Hill Blue, 9 Brimstone, 8 Brown Argus, 5 Green-veined White, 5 Red Admiral, 2 Small Copper, Large White, Small White, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell. Also Dusky Sallow and an impressive adder. (Lindsay Morris)
Out balcony was visited by six moth species last night: Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea), Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata), Rosy Minor (Mesoligia literosa), 3 specimens of Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum), Silky Wainscot (Chilodes maritimus), Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata). Also many Common Darters at Arundel WWT today plus a juvenile Water Vole eating lilies on the pond at the front. (Colin Knight)
more from Arundel WWT including a Red Admiral which was sadly about to expire. Also a Comfrey Ermel moth taking nourishment from a very ripe blackberry. (Colin Knight)
Yesterday I visited the area outside Arundel WWT where the new ponds have been formed near the River Arun. A pair of Small Coppers met and the male flapped away at the female, but she was having none of it and flew off. Also seen: Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small White, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Chequered Pearl (Evergestis pallidata), Comfrey Ermel (Ethmia quadrillella), Common Wave (Cabera exanthemata), Common Darter and Blue tailed Damselflies mating. (Colin Knight)
Wednesday 23 August
I went to Castle Hill for he first time today with a friend. I was pleased to find some fresh butterflies. Conditions were terrible for photography with very active butterflies and windy conditions. We saw Small Coppers approx 8, Chalk Hill Blues and Adonis Blues approx in the hundreds, some Common Blues, some whites , many Small Heaths and Meadow Browns, a few Speckled Woods, one Clouded Yellow which looked particularly orange in flight which we got close enough to clearly id but wouldn't stop for a photo, one Wall, one fresh Green-veined White some Silver-Y moths and one Blood-vein moth. (katrina watson)
Today I could no longer resist temptation and headed to Park Corner Heath hoping to see Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. I was not disappointed, in the warm occasionally sunny conditions, I managed to see four. These are the first I have seen, well worth the wait. There were also Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and a Large White. As well as several Adders. Thank you to all who have been involved in the Fritillaries for the Future Project, this is an amazing achievement, that I really hope continues successfully. (Patrick Moore)
I went to Mill Hill and Anchor Bottom today with some of the volunteers who have worked hard over the winter scrub bashing and then coming back in the summer to cut, rake and clear the regrowth. The fruits of their labour were more Adonis Blues than it was possible to count, hundreds at Mill Hill. The whole hill was alive with them and they were venturing into areas where clearance work has taken place which was very satisfying to see. Looks like all the hard the work has really paid off. We then went to Anchor Bottom where we have also worked. Although perhaps the density of Adonis Blue here wasn't quite as high a at Mill Hill they were all over the site and you had trouble not to step on them as you walked down the slope. As it is a much bigger site the total must be in the several thousands. They were up on the north facing slope as well as the south facing slope but perhaps in slightly smaller numbers. An incredible sight. (Tim Squire)
I should like to say thank you to you and all your volunteers. The work is much appreciated by all of us at BC Sussex. (Ed jnr)
On the way back to the airport we stopped at bedelands. Burgess hill at 12-1400 and saw Clouded Yellows and a Brown Hairstreak. Plus the usual suspects. Weather sunny and very muggy and warm with a light wind. Clarification: hairstreak in good condition and seen on brambles just north of bike BMX area. (Paul Sheridan)
Ed jnr is correct. Nigel Horsley's butterfly is a Meadow Brown, rather than Dusky (Hyponephele lycaon). This is a female insect and in H. lycaon the female has an additional, large eye-spot in each rear corner of the forewing. It's always worthwhile questioning the identification of apparently run-of-the-mill species, as someone is going to spot the subtly different Southern Small White in the not-too-distant future. (Neil Hulme)
Thanks Neil. Butterflies come in all shapes and sizes and never look exactly like they do in the guide books. There is no shame in getting it wrong. I am no stranger to this! So if you see something unusual, please don't hesitate to send it in, as it will make us all wiser. (Ed jnr)
Tuesday 22 August
Further to my post on the Brown Hairstreak and using gridfinder, I can confirm the location as TQ30041 22713 (Martin Buck)
tues 22/08/2017 Park Corner Heath, E.Sx. saw and photographed 4x Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, two male and two female. This is the first time I've seen 2nd brood SPBF. it felt rather strange seeing them feeding on late summer flowers. The weather was sometimes cloudy, but when the sun came out very warm, the butterflies were very approachable. none seen on lower slope or Rowland Wood. (Peter Farrant)
Having been away for a week I was keen to spend some time in the garden, doing all the usual chores before the winter chills come along. There were just 7 butterfly species, as follows: Brimstone (3f & 1m), Large White (3), Small White (4), Red Admiral (5), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Comma (1) and Meadow Brown (6). One of the Small Whites was laying eggs on Dame's Violet. This is a pretty biennial/perennial which self-seeds readily but is easily lost to the herbaceous border if there isn't disturbed soil to keep it going. (martin kalaher)
On the path continuing South from Copyhold Lane in cuckfield spotted what I hope is s Brown Hairstreak. Eggs were discovered there last winter so hopefully there is a decent population. Happy to give more exact location if I can work out how to do the coordinates. (Martin Buck)
Yes, that's a Brown hairstreak. I always use gridreferencefinder.com (Ed jnr)
I strongly believe this is a Hyponephele lycaon, Dusky Meadow Brown. It was nectaring today immediately by a woodland edge in Five Ashes. There other Meadow Browns that were being harried by a hornet. (Nigel Horsley https://www.flickr.com/photos/49347467@N05/36341797800/in/dateposted-public/)
Nigel, it would be nice if it was but I am not convinced. Hopefully someone else will disagree. (Ed jnr)
At bottom of the bridleway on the east side of Long Bridge, Alfriston, I briefly saw a Swallowtail flying. (Tim Squire)
Monday 21 August
Popped in to Small Dole reserve on the way to Steyning Rifle Range and saw a very tatty Brown Hairstreak. Followed up with a beautiful condition one at 1300 in the sun very obliging just south of the stile along the the low blackthorn and flowers around. Also a worn fritillary at the rage targets and on the south facing bank just outside we saw a couple of Clouded Yellows.
No photos as I've got a broken wrist and i cant take pics presently. (Paul Sheridan)
On Saturday night 5 moths found our balcony light: Peach Blossom (Thyatira batis), Marbled Green (Cryphia muralis), Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua), Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata), Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana). (Colin Knight)
Nectaring immediately adjacent to woodland in a rough grassland, the first subject, on August 19th., was in the company of other Meadow Browns, but its different colouration on its fore wings was immediately apparent. I only had a couple of seconds to get off one frame before it vanished. It might have been scared by a marauding hornet which was regularly visiting the flowers trying to capture butterflies. The following day (20th) I spent two hours at the same site and captured an image of a Meadow Brown with similar colouration but on the hind wings (pic 1). The hornet was back and successfully captured two Meadow Browns. (Nigel Horsley https://www.flickr.com/photos/49347467@N05/)
Having just returned from a wonderful week in Cornwall (three reports on my UK Butterflies diary starting here. I was keen to see how the Brown Hairstreaks at Knepp were faring. A brief visit on Sunday produced just 6 females and a male, suggesting that the flight season is now well advanced. However, there will still be a few females yet to emerge, so it's well worth attending the events at Steyning Downland Scheme this Friday and Saturday. (Neil Hulme http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=123816#p123816)
Sunday 20 August
Having previously seen a couple of male Adonis Blues on the open slope of Steyning Coombe (TQ 16366 10991) I returned on Sunday morning and found 4 to 5 males plus a female. Might this mean we have a small but viable colony? They were flying in company with some pretty faded Common Blues, plus Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, Red Admirals, Large Whites, and Brimstones. (John Woodward)
Today on the small work party pulling out small hawthorns that are colonising the steep south facing bank known as cardboard hill I saw a few adonis and Chalk Hill Blues, they used to be abundant here but the area has got overgrown with course grasses and scrub. The plan is for the area to be grazed in the near future. In the meantime we are trying to stop it all getting scrubbed over. (Geoff Stevens http://bevendeandown.wordpress.com)
Great stuff Geoff. Your efforts are very much appreciated by all of us (Ed jnr),
I seemed to have a bank of clouds following me around today but still managed to find a few butterfles! First stop was Park Corner Heath this morning where I found a Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary along with Speckled Wood, Small Heath and Gatekeeper. Then this afternoon a trip to the Downs at Folkington yielded several Meadow Brown along with a few Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Small Heath, Small White and Silver-spotted Skipper. (Chris Hooker)
I took a walk with my friend today from Seven Sisters Country Park to Lullington Heath and back. It was my first trip there.We saw Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Speckled Woods, Small Coppers, Common Blues, Commas ,Red Admirals, a single Brimstone and some Whites. Back at the Seven Sisters Country Park there was a Hummingbird Hawk Moth by the visitor centre. Also seen were numerous dragonflies.
First call of the morning was an old flint mine, just outside Steyning, (TQ 16800 10271). It is only an acre in size and quite sheltered and is normally busy with butterflies.I go there to see Wall Browns and was not disappointed with 3 or 4 spotted. Other butterflies were Small White, Large White, Adonis Blue, Peacock , Red Admiral, Common Blue and Brown Argus.
A short trip down the hill took me to Steyning Rifle range where I saw a couple of Brown Hairstreaks and one or two Clouded Yellows. Also a Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.
Heading back to Shoreham I stopped at Anchor Bottom where I pursued a solitary Silver-spotted Skipper until it flue into a squadron of Meadow Browns and I lost it in the frenzy. Also seen were many fine looking Adonis Blues and a few Chalk Hill Blues and Common Blues and Small Heath. I stopped off at the Beeding cement works where the only Blues were Adonis Blues. I finally ended up at Mill Hill and added Brimstone and Comma to the mornings tally. (Jonathan Crawford)
A random selection from Malling Down, Lewes, this afternoon. There were plenty of nice fresh Adonis Blues but they were very difficult to get near enough to photograph! I only saw one rather worn Silver-spotted Skipper so I think they are probably over for the year. (John Williams)
Not much at Southwick Basin this morning so I decamped to Mill Hill where I was glad and honoured to meet our renowned Web Editor. The slopes were very busy with the expected wonders, but a female Brown Hairstreak was a bit of a surprise. Having failed at Mill Hill itself to find Silver-spotted Skipper, I discovered at least 6 on the lower side of the path towards Old Erringham Farm. They were surrounded by Autumn Lady's Tresses, but much preferred Dwarf Thistle. (Lindsay Morris)
A quick walk in St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon just as the cloud moved in revealed a Peacock Moth as well as Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, very warn Gatekeeper, a single Small Heath, Comma and Common Blue most of whom posed for a photo. (Patrick Moore)
Silver studded blue seen whilst walking this morning on Ashdown Forest. Seen also during week out walking in a different location of Ashdown forest. (Penny Hallett)
A rather battered Wall Brown seen in my garden in the hamlet of Gay Street, near Pulborough (TQ0618) on Saturday afternoon. I don't mind it being a bit battered because it is the first Wall I have seen here. This is the third 'first sighting' here this year, the others being a Holly Blue on 6 April and a Brown Argus on 30 July. In fact, so far 2017 has been the best year during the six years I have recorded my sightings here with 24 different species seen, the previous best being 22 in 2013. (Chris Page http://www.g4bue.co.uk/en/Butterflies/)
Excellent, that's what we like to here! (Ed jnr)
Saturday 19 August
Visited Cuckmere Haven this afternoon and, despite a strong wind and the odd shower, plenty of butterflies were flying. Meadow Brown were the most numerous but there were also several Adonis Blue (which I can't recall seeing here before), Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue and Small Heath. (Chris Hooker)
On Tuesday night our balcony visitors included Poplar Bent-wing (Phyllocnistis unipunctella), Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata), Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella), Langmaid's Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthina), Blastobasis vittata, Marbled Beauty (Bryophila domestica), Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana), Square-Spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa), Silver Y ( Autographa gamma).
On Wednesday I visited Anchor Bottom and saw plenty of Adonis Blues, including four on badger scat, plus Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Speckled Wood, Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternate), Small Purple and Gold (Pyrausta aurata). (Colin Knight)
Popped into Park Corner Heath and saw four Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. Saw a fifth in Rowlands wood. (Jonathan Crawford)
Went to Park Corner Heath on the 15th and saw 4/5 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries by the shed but none in Rowland Wood. A couple of egg laying females and this very nice female. (Dave Cook)
My Mill Hill transect was completed this morning before the heavens opened at midday: Adonis Blue 71, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue 2, Common Blue 3, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown 72, Small Heath 31. I had 3 sightings of Silver-spotted Skippers at the top of the hill, all on thistle, plus a female Migrant Hawker. (Colin Knight)
Clifden Nonpareil outside our back doors this morning. Apologies for poor photograph. (Richard Pulley)
Friday 18 August
more from Kithurst meadow. (Colin Knight)
I paid a visit to a very windy and sunny Malling Down this afternoon and was treated to another Silver Spotted Skipper bonanza (after my one at Windover earlier in the week). I saw at least 40 individuals including up to 5 at once and they were mostly in the chalk pits area (although I did see several in the 2 valleys behind the pits as well). Also present were good numbers of Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue and Meadow Brown as well as the odd Small Copper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Brown Argus, Gatekeeper, Small Heath and Common Blue. A very pleasant walk! (Chris Hooker)
The past two days I have visited Kithurst meadow where there were plenty of Common Blues, Meadow Browns plus Brown Argus and Small Whites, also single specimens of Red Admiral, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Green-veined White. I was also fortunate to spot a 5th instar larva of a Dingy Skipper on a seed pod of Bird’s-foot Trefoil. Moths: Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis), Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria), Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata), Small Purple and Gold aka Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata), Red-fringed Conch (Falseuncaria ruficiliana), Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternate). Bonus sightings were a female Roe Deer and a Southern Hawker. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Lancing Ring in sun, but a strong wind, produced 26 Speckled Wood, 20 Holly Blue, 10 Meadow Brown, 8 Common Blue, 3 Small White, 2 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Small Copper, 2 Gatekeeper, 2 Painted Lady, 2 Small Heath, Brown Argus, Wall Brown, Comma. Last two fresh, as were the Small Coppers. A few days now with no Brown Hairstreak. Withdrawals setting in. (Lindsay Morris)
Thursday 17 August
Apologies for the belated nature of this record but having just seen the comments in the brilliant new Sussex butterfly atlas it seems worth recording the sighting of a Wall in the old quarry area at Hastings Country Park on the last day of July. (Rob Bogue)
Wednesday 16 August
I went to Steyning Rifle Range with a friend who was hoping to see their first Brown Hairstreak. We saw five in total between about 12 and 2 . It was a pleasure to meet the gentleman from Kent who found one of them for us. Also seen were Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Small Coppers, Clouded Yellows. Common Blues, Adonis Blues and Commas. (Katrina Watson)
This morning I spent a couple of hours on the Downs above Lewes. The place was alive with Butterflies,
mostly Meadow Browns, but also Silver Spotted Skippers, Common Blues and some very fresh Adonis Blues
Lancing Ring & Steep Down, mostly sunny. Happiest moment was seeing my first second brood Adonis Blue for this year. Otherwise numbers are down a lot, except 14 Holly Blue, 25 Chalk Hill Blue, 15 Speckled Wood. 18 butterfly species seen, plus Hummingbird Hawk-moth and Speckled Bush Cricket. I have been told that the Halewick Lane site is being completely cleared and resurfaced with fresh soil. It will then be wild seeded. Hopefully the end result will eventually be even more butterfly and bee orchid friendly! (Lindsay Morris)
Our neighbour has cut back his buddleia to the ground which may explain why our Red Admiral has deserted us. However, we did have 3 whites flit through our Hove back garden at the same time, which is quite unusual. We've been in Hampshire over the weekend - plenty of Red Admirals seen from our train windows, plus some whites but little else. Yesterday (15/8/17) we trusted the "sunny periods in the morning, cloudy afternoon" weather forecast and went to Balcombe to walk our WCB Survey lines. Although it was very warm, direct sunlight was intermittent. We only saw 7 whites (one being a Small White), 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Common Blues, a Red Admiral, a Gatekeeper, & a Meadow Brown. That's even including butterflies not on the designated walks. Needless to say, there was constant sunshine the moment we arrived back in Hove. (John & Val Heys)
Saw bright Blue just below car park at Church Hill this afternoon - hope I am right in thinking it a Silver-studded Blue.
Also saw Blue on Monday just below Horder Centre.
Saw Small Copper today near Church Hill car park (Hugh Wylam)
Thanks for your sighting Hugh. Sadly I am pretty certain that it was a newly emerged Common Blues that you spotted. The Silver-studded Blues are done for 2017 so you will have to wait until 2018 to see one. (Ed jnr)
On a walk up Anchor Bottom today, I counted 130 Adonis Blues on the South facing slope. I probably only saw no more than a quarter of all that were there. One battered old male had a good day in the sun! Meadow Brown there in abundance too. (Nigel Symington)
A surprise today was a late Essex Skipper near Beachy Head. Yet another 2nd brood Dingy Skipper was also seen. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Whilst Hastings Botany Group were working with Sussex Botanical Recorders on Saturday 12th August at Hastings Country Park that a member of the Sussex Recorders saw a Wall Brown. It is unusual to record one so far East of Eastbourne (Janet Wilkes)
Along Cradle Valley on the 15th August a geriatric Marbled White was still managing to just about fly about. Yet another 2nd brood Dingy Skipper and a couple of fresh Small Copper were also good to see. Silver-spotted Skipper continue to be very abundant and Adonis Blue numbers are picking up, although this is never a big site for these!! More on the blog. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Tuesday 15 August
Great walk on Malling Down this afternoon. Great display of blues today. Small Copper, Brown Argus, Clouded Yellow, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Many chalkhill blue, Common Blue and Adonis Blue. Saw lots of courtship behaviour.
Could you please help me identify the raggy 1st and last photo. Looks like a fritillary but not sure which? Thank you. (Angie Bowey)
I think that is a Dark Green Fritillary (Ed jnr)
An hour at Kithurst Meadow this afternoon had moderate butterfly activity when the sun came out Speckled Wood Common Blue Brown Argus Brimstone Small and Large White Clouded Yellow Small Heath Peacock a female Brown Hairstreak and Meadow Browns. No Chalk Hill Blues and a marked lack of Camberwell Beauties. (Bob North)
After two weeks off because of rain, breezes and other inclement weather, I cycled up to Mill Hill in warm humid conditions in the afternoon. Butterflies were common enough but not very varied. Meadow Browns led the way with over a hundred and fifty, but there were over fifty each of Adonis Blues and Chalkhill Blues, frequent Common Blues and Small Heaths, and last, but not least ,my first Silver-spotted Skipper of the year. This made for eleven species which was not bad after a fortnight of inclement weather. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2017.html#14August)
I walked from Kingley Vale down to the village of West Stoke via Inhams Lane (SU835089) where the temperature reached 21°C. The following were recorded: Large White 4, Small White 4, Green Veined White 1, Holly Blue 1, Speckled Wood 1. (Roy Symonds)
Today I visited Kingley Vale (SU8210), where the temperature was 20°C in the sunshine. Brimstones and Meadow Browns were the main species recorded with smaller numbers common species along with a single Small Skipper.
Totals: Brimstone 6M 6F, Large White 7, Small White 2, Common Blue 2M, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 35, Speckled Wood 3, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 3, Small Skipper 1. (Roy Symonds)
Mill Hill moths (Colin Knight)
I saw this Mint Moth at Upwaltham today close to the 12th century church. (Patrick Moore)
On Monday my Mill Hill transect gave Adonis Blue 70, Chalk Hill Blue 11, Common Blue 6, Holly Blue 2, Meadow Brown 99, Red Admiral, Small Heath 16, Small White 3, Speckled Wood. Then at the top of the hill I saw 2 Clouded Yellows, 2 Painted Ladies, 2 Silver-spotted Skippers, Brown Argus, more of the 3 Blues and Meadow Browns plus 10 moth species: Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata), Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), Dark Strawberry Tortrix (Celypha lacunana), Ginger Button (Acleris aspersana), Lesser Treble-bar (Aplocera efformata), Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata), Long-legged Tabby (Synaphe punctalis), Straw-barred Pearls (Pyrausta despicata), Treble-bar (Aplocera plagiata), Yellow Belle (Semiaspilates ochrearia). (Colin Knight)
Saturday and Sunday we had 11 moth species visit our balcony light: Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata), Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c nigrum), Small Dusty Wave Idaea seriata), Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua), Waste Grass-veneer (Pediasia contaminella), White-point Mythimna albipuncta), Rusty Dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis), Blastobasis vittata, Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana), Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata), Silver Y (Autographa gamma). (Colin Knight)
Monday 14 August
A late afternoon walk around the area by Bo Peep car park: several Common Blues, Chalkhill Blues, Small Heaths and Meadow Browns, 2+ Brown Argus, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Wall Brown, 2 Painted Lady, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Copper, 1 Gatekeeper. There was also a mass emergence of flying ants and a single Tree Pipit flying around calling. (Chris Bird)
Whitebread Hole, Eastbourne: Sun 13/08/2017 saw 3x Silver-spotted Skippers, my first of the year. also 3x 2nd brood Dingy Skippers, one in egg laying mode. a Jersey Tiger Moth that was flying and settling in bushes, when in flight the orange hind wings were really vibrant. and a tatty female Dark Green Fritillary. also in a small area counted 17x Autumn Lady's Tresses. oh and Sarah picked 4lb 14oz of blackberries (Peter Farrant)
This morning I travelled over to Burgess Hill to search for Brown Hairstreaks.
Three females were found altogether, all within 10 mins. of each other. (Trevor Rapley)
On a pleasantly warm day a number of butterflies visited my Seaford garden including several Small Whites, a few Large Whites, Red Admirals and Meadow Browns, 2 Painted Ladies,one of which stayed from 08.30 to 16.15 nectaring on a group of Verbena Bonariensis with occasional sorties round my and my neighbour`s garden before returning the flowers. There were singles of Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell,and Clouded Yellow, and a Common Blue that stayed overnight resting on the stem of a perennial salvia. I also saw 3 Humming Bird Hawk Moths at separate times during the day. (Stuart Ridley)
St Leonards Forest, Horsham once again played host to not only me but quite a few butterfly species, including; a Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady, many Speckled Woods, Brimstone and Common Blue one of whom I watched egg laying. Also Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Small Copper, Small White and a Peacock. There were also a few very warn and faded Silver-washed Fritillary. (Patrick Moore)
I've been following the growth of this not-so-little chap lately, found feeding on Greater Willowherb at Blackstone Cricket Ground. I think this is the first green form larva of Elephant Hawkmoth that I've seen, the Grey ones seemingly much commoner. I couldn't find him today and assume that he's gone down into the earth to pupate. (Dave Sadler)
Six damselfly and dragonfly species yesterday in the High Weald plus Silver-washed Fritillary, lots of Speckled Woods, Meadow Brown, Scorpion fly. (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
Thanks Peter, there is a definite autumnal feel to your pictures that make me shiver. (Ed jnr)
Sunday 13 August
More butterflies from Malling Down today. Brown Argus, Small and Large White, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, unid. Fritillary. Ones that got away were Speckled Wood, Clouded Yellow and Small Heath. In total 13 species of butterfly seen. Ones that got away were Speckled Wood, Small Heath and Clouded Yellow. Also possible Pyrausta despicata? (Mike Kerry)
I went to Chantry Hill today late afternoon / early evening. It was a pleasure to meet Garry. I saw Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Brown Argus and Chalk Hill Blues, at least 14 Silver-spotted Skippers. (Katrina Watson)
Pleased to see 13 species of butterfly on Malling Down this afternoon including Adonis Blues and one Silver-spotted Skipper and Chalk Hill Blues. Also my first ever Tachina grossa, and pleased to have recognised it on the spot. It was huge! (Mike Kerry)
Went looking for Grayling this morning at Deep Dean. I thought this might bea tall order as David and Janet had found only one on friday. I parked at (TQ 53194 03265) just after 10am and headed up the South Downs Way. It was hot and windless and the ground rippled with butterflies, mainly Chalk Hill Blues and Meadow Browns.
Before leaving home I had done a little research and glanced at the BC national website Grayling page (the Atlas is still in the bedroom) and the first picture of a Grayling on this site was one nectaring on bell heather. Having ascended to Deep Dean, I noticed a patch of heather in the north east corner and immediately went to investigate. As someone whose toast normally falls on the butterside down, I was particularly surpirised to see a Grayling nectaring on the first patch I came to. The Grayling with had a mild infestation of the Trombidium breei mite. This has been reported before at this site. This was the only Grayling I managed to find
I had Deep Dean to myself for two hours before leaving, probably not long before Chris Hooker arrived. Like Chris I was stunned by the numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers, which seemed to be ubiquitous. Likewise the Chalk Hill Blue and Meadow Browns were out in large numbers too. Other species seen included Brimstone, Painted Lady, Brown Argus, Small White, Common Blue and Gatekeeper. On the the lower slope there were still a few Adonis Blues.
Finding the Grayling brought my Sussex species total for 2017 to 44. Of these 42 were found in West Sussex. I had to travel east to see both the Grayling and the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. The one native Sussex species missing from my list is the Wood White. Hopefully conservation efforts underway will mean that one day numbers will have recovered enough to add this to my list. (Jonathan Crawford)
Although the numbers are significantly reduced from what they have been in recent weeks there has still been a nice variety of butterfly species in my Storrington garden. For the week ending August 13th, as follows: Essex Skipper (1), Brimstone (2m, 3f), Large White (3), Small White (5), Green-veined White (1), Brown Hairstreak (1m), Small Copper (1), Brown Argus (3), Common Blue (7m, 10f), Holly Blue (2), Painted Lady (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Peacock (6), Comma (3), Speckled Wood (1), Gatekeeper (10) and Meadow Brown (8). A total of 18 species and 74 butterflies. Pristine Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell were good to see as was the male Brown Hairstreak, nectaring on Hemp Agrimony. I hadn't seen a skipper for 9 days when one flopped at my feet this afternoon, barely able to fly. Interestingly, yesterday there was a very fresh male Common Blue (so they are still emerging). (Martin Kalaher)
Spent a lovely afternoon on Windover Hill traversing the sides of Deep Dean and Ewe Dean. Masses of butterflies with Meadow Browns and Chalkhill Blues competing for the title of most numerous. However the stars of the afternoon were Silver Spotted Skippers and they were to be found over much of both slopes. I have never seen such numbers of them anywhere in the past and would estimate that I saw at least 100 individuals - amazing! Also saw Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Wall and Small Skipper but no sign of any Grayling so I guess their season is now over. (Chris Hooker)
Postman Butterfly (Heliconius melpomene) seen by my mother who lives in a block of flats in Goring by sea. No photo taken but the butterfly was seen within a few inches and having checked UK species and those in Sussex Butterfly houses we have identified that it was defianately this species presumably escaped from Earnley Butterfly Centre (Deborah Carter)
Well you can mistake one of those for anything native!. You are almost certainly right about the butterfly centre. It is not the first time we have had a South American butterfly seen in the near vicinity (Ed jnr)
Slightly tattered Brown Hairstreak and lovely fresh Painted Lady at Knepp this afternoon. I only saw the one Brown Hairstreak in a 3 hour visit - could it be that they are nearly over (already) ? (John Williams)
Gemma from Burgess Hill sent in this photo of a butterfly she saw passing through her garden on Saturday. Gemma said " I am hoping you may be able to help me identify a butterfly I saw in my garden today. I can't find it online or using the identifier so not sure if it might be rare?". It certainly is! - it's a Camberwell Beauty.
I made 2 trips to Southwick (TQ24800500) but no Long-tailed Blue sightings. On 9th I was joined by four other enthusiasts, including David Cook and Katrina Watson. The sight of Common Blues fluttering around gave cause for hope, which was dashed on close inspection. Plenty of tiny Yellow-spot Twist moths (Pseudargyrotoza conwagana) fluttered around the privet. There were plenty of Small Purple and Gold (Pyrausta aurata) and Meadow Browns. Repeated visits to the Everlasting Pea by Beeding cement works have failed to locate any LTBs either. (Colin Knight)
Saturday 12 August
A slump into psychogloom called for some butterfly therapy, so I headed for Mill Hill, to be lifted into the light by the dazzling wings of Adonis Blues, Chalkhill Blues, Common Blues, at least three Clouded Yellows, several Brimstones, a Painted Lady, plus innumerable Small Heaths and Meadow Browns. But the highlights were my first-ever Silver-spotted Skippers, at the top of the hill just north of the reservoir; among which were a female apparently laying eggs in the short grass, pursued over the ground by a male with wings a-quiver. What was he hoping to achieve? (John Woodward)
Male and female Brimstone nectaring on Fleabane at Rowland Wood. Last year this patch of Fleabane was alive with Clouded Yellows but I didn't see any today. (John Williams)
Steyning Downland Scheme, Steyning Coombe: Saw one Silver-washed Fritillary here in windy, cloudy conditions yesterday. Went back today, sunny and warm, and found 3 individuals feeding on Hemp Agrimony. On downland, but close to woodland edge. (Roger Brown)
Visited Rye Harbour this afternoon,bit windy but still bits and pieces on the wing,just through the metal gate (just up from the car park)
there were 6 Holly Blues,5 males and one harassed female,on the reserve itself ,3 -4 Meadow Browns,1 wind blown Small Copper'
a single Speckled Wood ,a single Clouded Yellow and 2 Small Heath,and several Small Whites and Common Blues ,also some good plants ,including Red Hemp Nettle, Sea Heath , and a fantastic carpet of Sea Pea along the shoreline, a brilliant reserve, one gripe
though,was Dog S**t everywhere !! (Allan Ward)
Anchor Bottom and Mill Hill this morning. Saw a curious old Comma with a strange blue/black diamond on its back (Jonathan Crawford)
Crawley Down - a Humming-bird Hawk-moth on the buddleia today. (Jon Ruff)
Several butterflies visited my south-facing Seaford garden either to rest or feed on various flowers. There were a few Small Whites 3 Red Admirals and a couple of Meadow Browns and singles of Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell, Holly Blue Common Blue. The pleasant surprise was a Clouded Yellow that stayed for about ten minutes nectaring on Verbena Bonariensis, Gaura, Lobelia and Helianthus. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth made a fleeting appearance,one of many that have visited since mid July. (Stuart Ridley)
more from Kithurst meadow. (Colin Knight)
On Thursday I visited Kithurst meadow and saw Brimstone, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Green-veined White, Gatekeeper with Red Mite larva (Trombidium breei), Holly Blue female, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small White, Speckled Wood. moths seen: Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata), Pearl Veneer (Agriphila straminella), Small Purple and Gold (aka Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata), Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis). Also a male Common Darter. (Colin Knight)
Intrigued with all the exciting reports of Brown Hairstreaks on the western edge of Burgess Hill, I decided to take a look late this morning, walking south from the entrance to the burial ground. After a long walk around seeing rather few butterflies in the windy conditions, eventually I found about four (a male, two females and an unsexed worn individual) fluttering around the side of an ash tree. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't compare with the superb photos posted earlier by others, my only excuse being distance and swaying branches. (Simon Linington)
Thursday night was warm and dry so we had a great moth night on our Littlehampton balcony: Blastobasis vittata, Bright-line Brown eye (Lacanobia oleracea), Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalis), Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens), Gold Spot (Plusia festucae), Rusty Dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis), Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum), Silver Y, (Autographa gamma), White-point (Mythimna albipuncta). (Colin Knight)
On Thursday we visited Chantry Hill a cool N.E wind with few butterflies flying some Chalk Hill Blues,Brown Argus Small Heath,Meadow Browns and a very worn Dark Green Fritillary.Medley Bottom a bit more sheltered with plenty of browns Common Blues,Chalk Hill Blues 4 Small Tortoiseshell and a Clouded Yellow.On Friday Mill Hill with better weather lots of Adonis Blue at least 3 mating pairs,Chalk Hill Blues,Silver-spotted Skipper,browns and 2 Clouded Yellow. (Barry Sketchley)
Friday 11 August
I volunteered to help a fellow Sussex member see the Grayling at Deep Dene on Windover Hill. The conditions were pretty near perfect but it took nearly 2 hours to locate one. An all too brief glimpse after the slog up the hill was not what Janet had hoped for and it begs the question as to the strength of the colony or were we just too late in the flight season.
Some consolation was found with an egg laying Wall, dozens of Chalkhill Blue including numerous pairings. Silver-spotted Skippers could be described as prolific and a couple of fresh Small Tortoiseshells and a Brimstone, rounded off the morning. (David Cook)
On a short walk to Hog Trough Valley Bevendean this morning I saw many Meadow Browns a few Gatekeepers and Small Heaths,
Common Blues and a few Brown Argus lots of Chalk Hill Blues, many nectaring on carline thistle and 5 Adonis Blues. As a reminder that the season is coming to an end the autumn gentian is flowering. (Geoff stevens http://bevendeandown.wordpress.com)
Two hours spent walking around Abbots Wood in nice sunshine and very little wind - lots of Silver-washed Fritillary and good numbers of Red Admiral, Peacock, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White. But the highlight (and the reason we went) was a single Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary - picture taken on a iPhone so apologies. (Nicholas & Josh Turner)
I was hedge-cutting and the like for much of the day but found time to wander around my Storrington garden to see what was around. There were 15 butterfly species including 5 Brimstone (2m & 3f) and a male Brown Hairstreak. I am doing a survey of the female Common Blues and so far have photographed 21 different second brood individuals, which is quite a lot for a meadow 14 x 17 metres. (martin kalaher)
Lovely sunny morning at Cissbury Ring today, although quite breezy high up and then becoming rather too windy for comfortable butterfly spotting from around midday. After quite bit of searching found 1-2 Silver-spotted Skipper in areas as reported previously. There were a scattering of Chalk Hill Blues 25+, few Common Blue,50+ Meadow Brown including on walk up to ring, many worn individuals, 15 + Small Heath and at least 3 Brimstone.
Then walked to Chanctonbury Ring, but conditions not ideal in the wind, butterflies included 2 Painted Lady and 1 Wall. Near Chantonbury there was a Hummingbird Hawk Moth on a buddleia. (Anthony Bennett)
Today I visited the Devils Dyke area. I first walked the south facing north side of the Dyke valley, south and east of the summit pub. Here of interest were Common Blue, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper amongst others. This looked like a great area for Grayling, however, unsurprisingly I saw none. I then moved on the Access Land to the east of Mount Zion which I mentioned last week. Here of interest were Wall Brown, Small Heath, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue, disappointingly no Silver-spotted Skippers. This area was full of sheep and quite well grazed. I then moved on again to Southwick Hill via Cockroost Hill (Wall Brown) where once again Wall Brown, Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue and Painted Lady put in an appearance. Finally there were Wall Brown at Truleigh Hill. (Patrick Moore)
A sunny morning walk to Lancing Ring and the south side of Steep Down. The latter being the Halewick Lane reclaimed refuse dump site, where I was concentrating on the everlasting pea. No luck with LTB! Unfortunately contractors have mown down 75% of the pea plants, but so far have left a strip round the perimeter. Large areas have had soil and chalk dumped on them. I wonder if this is legal in a National Park? 19 butterfly species identified as 31 Common Blue, 21 Meadow Brown, 11 Speckled Wood, 9 Holly Blue, 7 Red Admiral, 6 Wall Brown, 5 Gatekeeper, 4 Brimstone, 3 Small White, 3 Large White, 3 Small Heath, 3 Peacock,, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Painted Lady, 2 Brown Argus, Essex Skipper, Clouded Yellow, Brown Hairstreak, Green-veined White. (Lindsay Morris)
Dukes Mound Butterfly Walk. 4 Red Admirals, 3 Small Whites, 8 Large Whites. All on the Buddleias at the western end. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Despite the generally cool & cloudy weather in Hove yesterday, our Red Admiral popped out briefly in the back garden and a white turned up too. It's much sunnier this morning. The Red Admiral has been busy doing a full nectar extraction from next door's buddleia since 8.35am, the battered Meadow Brown is flitting around and a white has briefly checked us out. Hoping to tempt our granddaughter away from a Paw Patrol DVD for a sea front walk. (John & Val Heys)
Thursday 10 August
Yesterday (9/8/17) our back garden in Hove was sunny enough until 10.00am to tempt out the regular Red Admiral and then the battered Meadow Brown, which stopped long enough for a picture on the agapanthus. Very gloomy and then wet after that. Rather cold this morning so not hopeful of seeing much today. (John and Val Heys)
Wednesday 09 August
I drive past Southwick basin on the way to work each morning, so it was hardly surprising that I find myself there at 8am just as it was warming up. Sadly I did not find my quarry. The only blues was a Common Blues . There were also Meadow Browns, Small White, Large White and a Small Skipper. I strongly suspect i was not the only visitor today. (Jonathan Crawford)
Went up to Chantry Hill this morning to look for Brown Argus. Too many Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Small Heath to count. Some Chalk Hill and Common Blue but no Brown Argus! Highlight of the day was 3 Silver-spotted Skipper - the one I photographed is I think a female as it has a broad thorax and no sex brand on the wing. (Nigel Symington)
Last night was a good moth night on the balcony and included an occasional immigrant, the Scarce Bordered Straw (Helicoverpa armigera). others: Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum), a Blastobasis species, Blastobasis vittata, Dingy Footman (Eilema griseola), Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana), Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella). (Colin Knight)
Arlington Reservior North East Corner Flower Meadow yesterday. 3 Small Tortoiseshell seen on Fleabane and Ragwort. A very pristine Red Admiral sunning itself on top of the Information Board. (Janet Wilkes)
Tuesday 08 August
In our back garden, Hove, between 11.00am and 3pm it was mostly sunny. A fine Red Admiral appeared first and returned frequently. It rested on agapanthus several times. There were at least 2 Holly Blues flitting in and out. One, a female, spent time nectaring on marjoram. Whites tended to pass through without stopping, apart from one Large White. A battered Meadow Brown made a couple of leisurely visits. Just before the sun went for good, an orange butterfly came and went, tantalisingly too quickly to be identified for sure.
(John and Val Heys)
Luckily the sun shone on us at West Dean gardens and we saw plenty of butterflies, especially on the cone flowers. Several Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Large White and Small White, 3 Brimstone, a female Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady. (Martin buck)
A female Brown Hairstreak briefly visited my Crawley garden at 1pm today. (Vince Massimo)
My intention this morning was to follow up on Neil's post from the weekend and head to Mill Hill but as I came through the Downs on the A27 I could see that it was pouring with rain and dark clouds hanging over the area. The coast however looked to be in bright sunshine, so decided to have another look at the power station at Southwick Basin and BOY was I glad that I did!
After an initial search of the Everlasting Pea and finding a single Brimstone and 3 Small White, I pushed on to the 'sandy bank' just beyond the steps. Several fresh Common Blue and after a 'double take', a Long-tailed Blue nectaring. One of those wow moments or as a friend says FMTO (I'll leave you to work that out :-) (David Cook)
For those who don't know, FMTO stands for "Federación Madrileña de Tiro Olímpico". (Ed jnr)
Went up to bo-peep this morning about midday for a picnic to watch the rain come in. It didn't so instead we explored the grassy edges at the top of the lane on the sunny side and it proves fruitful. Too many Chalk Hill Blues to count, 2 Adonis Blues, 2 Holly Blues. A handful of Meadow Browns, 2 Small Whites, 3 Gatekeepers, a few Small Heaths, a Painted Lady, 4 Wall Browns, a Cinnabar moth and 2 Brown Argus. And now the rain has arrived! (Kerry Baldwin)
Last night 4 new moth species visited our exterior light at Littlehampton: Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalis), Langmaid's Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthina), Least Yellow Underwing (Noctua interjecta), Peach Blossom (Thyatira batis). Also seen: Silver Y (Autographa gamma), Blastobasis vittata, Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta), Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana). (Colin Knight)
On Sunday afternoon I spent a couple of hours with the Silver-spotted Skippers again. This time I saw a male attempting to persuade a female to mate, but she didn’t accept the invitation. (Colin Knight)
A quick walk in St Leonards Forest, Horsham this morning produced a Clouded Yellow, funnily enough in the same spot where I saw the first last year. I actually went to see the Common Blues again, numbers of which are building nicely. (Patrick Moore)
Monday 07 August
I couldn't resist another visit to Mill Hill this afternoon, as the male Adonis Blues are providing such a wonderful Spectacle at the moment, as they mingle with Chalk Hill and a few Common Blues. I also found another pocket of Silver-spotted Skippers, but they required considerable mountaineering skills to reach. As I sat looking out over the Adur Valley, surrounded by all these little gems, I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to live in this glorious part of the world. (Neil Hulme)
Great to see such a big turnout for our walk at Beachy Head on Sunday. Over 50 people joined me as we headed out into the fantastic Eastbourne Downs looking for butterflies and other wildlife. The walk was a celebration not only of the amazing butterflies and landscape of Beachy Head but also of the recent decision to not sell of the Downland in this area. We headed over the Downs from Shooter's Bottom recording Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Large White, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell. There was a lovely sight of 10+ Wheatears migrating through too. At Crapham Down we added Wall, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Essex Skipper and Comma to our list. The Horseshoe Plantation hotspot didn't disappoint. The flower-rich grassland here was full of Chalkhill Blues and Silver-spotted Skippers and we also saw Adonis Blue and Painted Ladies. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported this event. (Michael Blencowe)
Hot on the heels of last Friday's Monarch sighting comes a Swallowtail found and photographed by Joey King in his garden at Beckley. (Michael Blencowe)
Several evenings have seen me gazing intently at an oak tree not far from the old hospital site north of cuckfield to the amusement of locals. At 6.30pm there are perhaps 30 silver coloured butterflies near the top of the oak chasing around or spiralling upwards. 15mins later it is all over. I assume they are Purple Hairstreaks but having never seen one at close quarters I cannot be sure. Also saw Comma, Small Copper and several Common Blues as per photo. (Martin Buck)
The larva posted by Peter Farrent looks like the beetle larva of the Drilus flavescens. This is a Na scarcity beetle, although it does seem to have its stronghold in our part of Sussex. (Bob Eade)
The first photo is of a Wall (f) in our garden in Polegate on tue 25/07/2017. the second is a larva seen at Whitebread hole, Eastbourne. on sun 30/07/2017. anyone know what it is. the others were taken in Victoria Business Park, Burgess Hill. W.Sx. on sun 06/08/2017. 1x (m) Purple Hairstreak came down to feed on a blackberry, 3x female Brown Hairstreaks seen, between 2.01 and 2.46pm, all in nice condition, also 6x BH eggs on small blackthorn, and found two BH eggs that were laid last year, both with a neat hole in centre. oh and Sarah picked 6lb 1oz of blackberries. (Peter Farrant)
A single Brown Hairstreak male was seen on brambles in Ferring between football pitch and Greystoke Manor (TQ092026) late afternoon. I can only assume it was a one-off sighting as I couldn't locate any Blackthorn in the immediate vicinity (David Jones)
Dull day blues, not a song but a description of this afternoon in St Leonards Forest, Horsham. I managed to find six Common Blue hiding in plain sight near the "dragon seat" despite the dull conditions. There were also Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood and rather surprisingly a Ringlet. The last I saw in the forest was July 25th. If you look carefully at my picture you can see an egg at the end of the abdomen. (Patrick Moore)
I wasn't sure if I would be writing any more weekly reports for my Storrington garden but there have been some interesting bits and pieces over the past week, so here goes: Small Skipper (1), Essex Skipper (1), Clouded Yellow (1), Brimstone (2m, 2f), Large White (3), Small White (5), Green-veined White (1), Purple Hairstreak (1), Small Copper (1), Brown Argus (3), Common Blue (7m, 9f), Holly Blue (2), Red Admiral (6), Painted Lady (3), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Peacock (5), Comma (3), Silver-washed Fritillary (2), Speckled Wood (2), Gatekeeper (30), Meadow Brown (15) and Small Heath (2). A total of 22 species and 110 butterflies. The "stars" of the week were, of course, Clouded Yellow and Silver-washed Fritillary. Neither stayed in the garden for more than 40-50 seconds! Having not seen any skippers for a week, two turned up on consecutive days. Of the three Painted Lady, two were pristine (British-born) and one very faded (a migrant from earlier in the season). At least four Brimstone was nice and I like to think they emerged from the garden, itself. The same applies to Small Tortoiseshell, two of which were in mint condition. I have now photographed 15 different female Common Blues. (martin kalaher)
On Sunday I visited four sites, primarily to check on numbers of Silver-spotted Skipper and Adonis Blue. The second brood of Adonis Blue at Mill Hill is now well underway, with 30 - 40 males and a few females now flying over the upper, middle and lower levels. I photographed several newly hatched males which were still ejecting meconium; it's always a thrill to sit patiently by these individuals, so as to see their beautiful wings as they are opened to the world for the very first time. A thorough search of the entire site produced only 11 Silver-spotted Skippers; to say that they are widely and very thinly distributed would be an understatement. This species seems to be taking a long time to become strongly established here, although I'm not sure why. Other species included two second brood Dingy Skipper and a Clouded Yellow.
Anchor Bottom was disappointing, with only half-a-dozen Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper and very low numbers of other species. I will be looking into the management of this site, to see if some of its former glory can be re-instated.
A brief stop at Steyning Rifle Range produced a single Adonis and a couple of female Brown Hairstreak in the fenced reserve.
I finished off at Chantry Hill, finding 19 Silver-spotted Skipper and a second brood Dingy Skipper. A few female Dark Green Fritillary were still in surprisingly good condition, and laying eggs at a remarkable rate. (Neil Hulme)
RSPB Broadwater Warren, - Seen from the Car Park around and nectaring on the Buddleia Bush, 4 Peacock, 4 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 3 Brimstone, 2 Silver-washed Fritillary. Around the heathland areas Gatekeeper and Meadow Browns. Also at Decoy Pond 2 x Silver-washed Fritillary and 2 Brimstone.At least 6 species of Dragon and Damselflies at the Pond. Identified for me by 2 RSPB Volunteers recording them. A big thank you to them for a most interesting hour, Bird wise very quiet 2 Woodlark, a Yellowhammer and Long Tailed Tit seen around the Heathland. (Janet Wilkes)
Sunday 06 August
Lots of Chalkhill Blues all the way up Windover Hill and on top. In Deep Dean there were at least 3 Grayling and around 6 Silver-spotted Skippers were seen there and on the Hill. Also seen on the walk were Meadow Browns, Wall Brown, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath and a Painted Lady. (Chris Bird)
On a windy but sunny afternoon I managed to see 7 Silver-spotted Skippers on short grass about half way up Malling Down NR, including a pair mating. Nearby several Little/Essex Skippers . I could not get close enough check the antennae. (Sharifin Gardiner)
Roedean Old 9-Hole Site & Butterfly Bank. 1 Painted Lady, 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small White, 1 Large Skipper, 15 Meadow Browns, 9 Clouded Yellows,19 Common Blues including a mating pair (Only 1 female), and lost count of Small Heaths. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
I am attaching a photo of a Jersey Tiger Moth that just landed on my beech hedge, flaring its brilliant underwing as it did so. I live at Bramble Cottage in the center of Alfriston on Weavers Lane; BN26 5TH (Adam Ford )
Male and female Chalkhill Blue at Malling Down, Lewes this morning. (John Williams)
Littlehampton moths (Colin Knight)
On Friday evening I had some moths visit my balcony light: Poplar Bent wing (Phyllocnistis unipunctella), Galium Carpet (Epirrhoe galiata), Blastobasis vittata. Yesterday my Mill Hill transect gave Adonis Blue 18, Brimstone 3, Brown Argus 2, Chalk Hill Blue 22, Common Blue 10, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown 45, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 5, Small Heath 9, Speckled Wood, Wall, Whites 2 and a Little Roller moth (Ancylis comptana). I then headed to Anchor Bottom and saw Chalk Hill Blues and Meadow Browns, a Comma and some moths: Straw-barred Pearls (Pyrausta despicata), Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis).
Sussex University 3-G Pitch Woodland Edge. Whilst at this venue on Saturday mornings, I combine two interests in to one. Playing football and butterfly spotting. Yesterday, I saw 1 Red Admiral, 1 Brimstone (Male), 5 Speckled Woods, 1 Comma, 1 Gatekeeper and 1 Small White. No photos for obvious reasons. Scored 1 goal! (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
On saturday I was delighted to see a Silver-washed Fritillary on my allotment on Whitehawk Hill Road in east Brighton nectaring on verbena bonariensis. It is the first time I have knowingly seen a Silver-washed Fritillary, the pale bars on the wing showing well. I also saw a female Wall Brown, and less delightedly a Small White INSIDE the brassica netting. Earlier I had been musing that there was no place I'd rather be than here, a little flower filled patch of land right on the edge of the downs with a sea view. (tessa pawsey)
Saturday 05 August
My last two visits to the Knepp Wildland, the most recent being today, have proven highly productive for low-level sightings of Brown Hairstreak, with a total of 54 individuals seen. Most are now nectaring on Fleabane, as the Creeping Thistle has gone over. During the previous visit I recorded 16 females and 17 males, with today's split being 12:9. The majority of females are still in mint condition. The population at Knepp has exploded this year, as a reduction in browsing pressure has allowed the Blackthorn-rich hedgerows and scrub to attain a more suitable condition for Brown Hairstreak. I suspect that Knepp now hosts the largest population in the UK, to add to its Purple Emperor crown. (Neil Hulme)
This Monarch was photographed at Sussex Wildlife Trust's Rye Harbour Nature Reserve by Chris Bentley on Friday. It's always tricky to work out whether Monarchs seen in Sussex are legitimate wild butterflies which have migrated from their Spanish populations or whether they have been released by misguided individuals as cruel (and tacky) wedding decorations. This issue is discussed at length in 'The Butterflies of Sussex' (pp98-101) (recently reviews on Amazon as "The most interesting wildlife book I've ever read"). In the past week there has been a lot of butterfly and moth migration into south-east England from the continent (Chris also recorded the Purple Marbled - a mega-rare migrant moth - in the Rye Harbour moth trap this week) and I reckon this Monarch could well have arrived with them. (Michael Blencowe)
I first dropped by Southwick Basin (Shoreham power station) this morning to check the Everlasting Pea at the western end and walked to the storage tanks at the eastern end. 3 Clouded Yellow, 5 Common Blue a Green-veined White and several Meadow Brown. I then headed over to Mill Hill just before the sky turned Grey. Amongst the many Small Heath, Adonis Blue, Chalhill Blue, a Dingy Skipper, a Red Admiral, I found one male Silver-spotted Skipper at the main spot on the lower path. (David Cook)
Just back from a rather damp and windy Dorset holiday. Today our back garden (Hove) alternated between hot sun and quite cold showers, with Holly Blue(s) and white(s) flitting around every now and then. A probable Speckled Wood flew in one side and out the other. Also Val saw a Red Admiral in New Church Road. Sunniest and also best butterfly day of our holiday was Brownsea Island. It has a stretch of open heath in the middle, surrounded by woodland. Most of the blues flying low and nectaring on the masses of purple heather & ling turned out to be Holly Blues. Very out of character. (John & Val Heys)
With only a few hours to spare this morning and keen to see my first Silver-spotted Skipper of the year, I headed to Anchor Bottom, where Dave Sadler had reported seeing them yesterday. Conditions were perfect and there were plenty of butterflies were out including a Clouded Yellow but sadly not my quarry and I wondered if i wasn't out a little early. So remembering some advice from Neil Hulme, I picked what I thought was the perfect spot for Silver-spotted Skippers and sat down to wait, with my dog. Within 30 seconds one flew down not four feet from me. As is so often the case, once you have seen your first, subsequent butterflies are much easier to come by. In total, I think I saw five,
I checked out the cement works everlasting-pea on the way home and also called in at Mill Hill for my seventh attempt of the year to find Silver-spotted Skippers there. Dear reader, I found none. I did however bump into Colin knight who was doing his weekly transect. It did make me reflect on what a remarkable job the transecteers do and how their dedication should be an inspiration to us all. The most notable thing at Mill Hill was a dead Roe deer blocking the path from the lower car park. I guess it had been hit by a car and stumbled away from the road. the stench was incredible!
I had a lovely walk near Seaford today: setting out from Buckle car park I walked across the fields to Bishopstone seeing plenty of Common Blues, Small Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and a Brown Argus. Continuing on through Norton and Poverty Bottom (you couldn't make it up!) were Wall Browns, Speckled Woods and a pristine 2nd brood Dingy Skipper. Returning over the downs were numerous Small Heaths, a couple of Small Tortoiseshells and a Clouded Yellow form 'helice'. I descended Rookery Hill and called in at the delightful village fete for an ice-cream before returning to the car after a great day. (Anna Grist)
Deer Park Cafe, Sham Farm Road, Eridge.
Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood seen from the Cafe. Red Admiral in the Budlea. Good to see Nevill Estates manage for Butterflies.
NB The 2 1/2 mile Circular Walk around Eridge Deer Park from the Cafe is closed until 25th August due to an Event in the Park. (Janet Wilkes)
While manning the South Downs National Park stand on Eastbourne seafront today I saw two blue butterflies go over the van coming from the sea. I couldn't say if they were long-tailed blue for sure but they seemed to be travelling in from the sea and I can't see the flower beds on the promenade being good habitat for any other blue butterflies. Keep your eyes peeled on those everlasting pea patches. (Tim Squire)
This morning I travelled over to Dave Cook's Brown Hairstreak site in Burgess Hill. Unfortunately this weather was only perfect for about an hour, later thunder was heard in the distance, then cloud and a strong breeze ruined the BH activity. However I was fortunate to watch a female BH. land in a Oak, just above head height. She settled on an acorn for a good 30 mins. (Trevor Rapley)
Following in the footsteps of Dan and Dave, I visited Malling Down yesterday in the hope of finding a place out of the wind where I might find the Silver-spotted Skipper. I failed in the first objective but succeeded in the second! (Nigel Symington)
Wick Street Sussex:I live in Buckinghamshire where the Wall Butterfly is now extinct so I was delighted to see them flying around with 15 other species which included a Clouded Yellow, Painted Ladies, Large, Small & Green Veined Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Red Admirals, Peacocks, Speckled Woods, Commas, Small Tortoiseshells, Common Blues, Small Coppers and a Small Heath. (Michael Pitt-Payne)
Thanks Michael. It's always nice to receive visitors from northern England. Come again in the spring and see out Pearls which I don't think you have either. (Ed jnr)
Thought you might be interested in my sighting of a Purple Emperor. I live in Bepton which is just below the South Downs near Midhurst, I photographed her on the bridleway at the foot of Bepton Down 17/07/2017. (Simon Verrall)
Friday 04 August
Following Neil’s report of the Silver-spotted Skippers at Cissbury Ring I paid a visit there today and saw one at the bottom of the hill at TQ13500760, then I walked to the place where Neil first found the colony a few years ago and had 11 sightings at TQ1376007616. Most were on thistle and 3 landed on cow pats. I spotted one oviposting on sheep’s fescue. There were many Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, Small Heaths, some Brown Argus plus a Speckled Wood, Comma, Red Admiral, Small Copper and an unidentified moth larva. Other interesting insects: a Rove beetle (Platydracus stercorarius) and a Dor beetle. (Colin Knight)
There is a growing community of individuals who share information about butterflies on the "Butterflies of the Biosphere" Facebook page. Through this online discussion David Cook made me aware of the topographically variable Ditchling Downs LNR. This former chalk quarry is a great location for wildflowers and butterflies. I was interested in filming the Silver-spotted Skipper and David was my guide to this site, this morning. We encountered a number of the Silver-spotted Skippers but David soon started talking about his encounters with the Silver-washed Fritillary on this site. For more on this story you will need to visit the "Butterflies of the Biosphere" Facebook page. Later I travelled to Malling Down chalk pits. This was very similar to the Ditchling site, with yet again a varied topography and a wonderful wildflower assemblage. Silver-spotted Skippers where abundant and it amazed me that this was the case, 20 years ago no Silver-spotted Skippers would have been found on North Facing slopes. Climate change is particularly evident when we look at its influence on butterfly abundances and distributions. (Dr Dan Danahar)
Walk from Lancing Ring to Cissbury. Had to wait until Cissbury for sun on a windy day. 23 butterfly species seen, counted as 155 Meadow Brown, 111 Common Blue, 55 Chalk Hill Blue, 41 Gatekeeper, 25 Red Admiral, 18 Small Heath, 21 Brimstone, 16 Wall Brown, 13 Speckled Wood, 11 Silver-spotted Skipper (2 in the flint mines area), 10 Peacock, 10 Brown Argus, 7 Painted Lady, 4 Small Copper, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Clouded Yellow, 3 Small White, 2 Comma, 2 Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Large White, Essex Skipper. Also spotted were Colin Knight and three other searchers for "silver darlings". Plus Dusky Sallow and Treble Bar. (Lindsay Morris)
Burgess Hill Circular Route (Dave Cook's Recommended Site). Just over an hour spent looking at the Blackthorn Hedges. Just the one Brown Hairstreak, plus 1 Small Copper, 11 Common Blues, 2 Gatekeepers, 5 Speckled Woods and 14 Meadow Browns. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Here are a few photos taken in St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon. Hopefully they are as enjoyable to look at as they were to take. (Patrick Moore)
At Woods Mill there was a Brown Hairstreak egg-laying in a blackthorn south of the lake around 1 pm today. Also a Clouded Yellow present. Of interest among 9 species of odonata were a male and a female Willow Emerald Damselflies.
At Anchor Bottom, 3 Silver-spotted Skippers were braving the strong breeze up on the slope. (Dave Sadler)
Attached are images of Common Blues and a Gatekeeper taken at Beckley Wood at about 08.30 hrs one morning last week. The sky was heavily overcast at the time and these butterflies were found to be resting mostly on Common Fleabane. (Douglas Neve)
Thursday 03 August
I found this stowaway on a bunch of bananas purchased from Waitrose this afternoon.
There's not much to go on from the photos but if anyone has any suggestions as to the species I would be interested to hear.
If only we knew which branch of Waitrose! (Ed jnr)
Today I walked from the Devils Dyke (rain/wind) to Benfield Hill LNR (sunshine/wind) where of note I saw a Clouded Yellow and Silver-spotted Skipper amongst others. I then headed towards Cockroost Hill north of Mile Oak. Here in square TQ 2408 is a small area of Access Land on the east flank, accessible by permissive footpath from the Monarchs Way to the north. This area was really rather nice with plenty of flowers and; Silver-spotted Skipper, Wall Brown, Painted Lady, Small Heath, Common Blue, Essex Skipper as well as Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Small Tortoiseshell. Not bad given the now overcast, windy with rain threatening conditions. There is a similar looking area to the east, flanking Mount Zion, but I headed home due to ever darkening skies. Who knows what secrets this area has to give up. (Patrick Moore)
With a strong wind blowing and early cloud I did not expect to see any butterflies in my Seaford garden today but a Speckled Wood (only my second this year) and a Meadow Brown were resting in one of the few sheltered areas. (Stuart Ridley)
This morning I checked on the Blackthorn hedgerows around the Burgess Hill circular route immediately south of the Tesco roundabout in what can only be described as blustery and wet conditions hardly ideal for finding Brown Hairstreak. It wasn't till late morning that I came across this apparently fresh female at rest on a low bramble leaf. After 45 minutes and after stretching her wings, she took a higher perch that provided the unusual open underwing shot. The Circular Route is very accessible with parking close by and is a very pleasant walk with extensive Blackthorn hedgerows to check for Brown Hairstreak or just to pick blackberries. (David Cook)
A terrific day at Old Lodge Nature reserve (TQ469306) with many damsel and dragonfly species, grasshoppers and a raft spider. Some nice butterflies and bees too. (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk)
Wednesday the 2nd given the afternoon rain I visited a small free exhibition called "Flutterby Butterfly" at Horsham Museum. The prints of Dukes, especially, were really rather striking and all available to purchase. I have no connection to the museum only as a satisfied visitor, well worth a visit. (Patrick Moore)
More about the exhibition here. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 02 August
I headed out early this morning to Chantry Hill to get some butterflying in before the predicted rain. I found 20-30 roosting blues near the path and one roosting Small Heath. Some Meadow Browns were still flying in the overcast and windy conditions. (Katrina Watson)
On Tuesday 1 August I walked from Wilmington village to Cuckmere Haven taking in Windover Hill, Lullington and Friston Forest although most of time was spent at Windover area.
Sightings fairly similar to others who have posted, conditions still rather windy but at least 3 Grayling seen in area mentioned by Patrick in earlier posting, keeping down in rabbit scrapes out the wind a lot of the time. Their camouflage is amazing, have attached couple of photos.
Other butterflies seen during the walk included 3 Clouded Yellow at Lullington and nr Long Man. Also 1 Orange Tip seen here. Numerous Chalk Hill Blues, good numbers of Small Heath 20 + and Wall 25+ and about 15 Common Blue. In Friston Forest about 5 Silver-washed Fritillary seen.
On Monday 31 July after reading David Cook's excellent site directions went to Burgess Hill. Brown Hairstreak proved a bit tricky but eventually found 2 in small oaks on West side of path and another coming to flowers on that side too. Also several Purple Hairstreak in the oak trees but all high up. (Anthony Bennett)
I spent most of Monday and Tuesday in the garden extending one of the herbaceous borders and developing a new 'bed' within the wildflower meadow. I had considered doing a Silver-spot survey on Chantry Hill (and will do so within the next few days) but was keen to see if I could add another couple of butterfly species to the annual tally. Taking a break from the digging I was checking out the hop plants (which are now in flower), when a Silver-washed Fritillary floated by just a few feet away from where I was standing. On another break later in the morning a Clouded Yellow flew straight towards me, interestingly flying north to south. It perched briefly to nectar, flew off when I approached, landed again to nectar very briefly and then away to the south and out of the garden. Both of these butterflies were in the garden for less than a minute. That brings the annual total to 30 butterfly species, a new garden record. In 2015 I recorded 27, in 2016 there were 28 species and this year 30 species, so far. Awhile back Ed Jnr wondered how many sites one could record 20 butterfly species in one day. I have never quite achieved the 20 mark for one day but I did record 20 species for the two days of July 31st and August 1st. It's a shame the Open Day wasn't yesterday! I always count myself lucky if I see all five of the 'hibernators' in one day, well yesterday I saw all five within a few minutes of wandering around the garden and then on top of that Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow, Silver-washed Fritillary and many more, with a total of about 90 butterflies. (Martin Kalaher)
Small Copper (transitional form of ab. obsoleta) 31.7.17 on Pevensey Levels. (Nigel Kemp http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk)
I had a lovely time at Knepp yesterday where I was delighted by some fantastic views of some Brown Hairstreaks. Other species seen were. Peacocks, Painted Ladies, Marbled Whites, Large Whites, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Skippers Small Heath, Common Blues and Brown Argus. (James)
In June Trevor Rapley and I visited the French Pyrenees to see and photograph butterflies of this region. Attached are a number of my images including Common Brassy Ringlet, which was found at an altitude of about 7000 ft, and the fabulous Apollo. (Douglas Neve)
And a fine thing to post on a rainy day. Thank you Douglas (Ed jnr)
An afternoon visit to Cissbury Ring confirmed that the relatively new colony of Silver-spotted Skipper (south side) remains healthy, with a total of 28 seen. However, spotting them in such blustery conditions was highly challenging, so I suspect that numbers are significantly better than this. Other highlights included Clouded Yellow (3), Oak Eggar and Hummingbird Hawk-moth. (Neil Hulme)
Outskirts of Shoreham Sunday
With a constant breeze (Force 6) under a cloudy sky, it was not a time to go outside the boundaries of Shoreham. So I didn't, I just made a quick cycle up Mill Hill Road to the outskirts of north Shoreham spotting a Large White Butterfly at the top of Chanctonbury Drive and a Holly Blue and a faded Wall Brown on the Pixie Path. I climbed over the prostrate chestnut fencing to make my way to the Mill Hill Cutting (SW) where I spotted my first female Chalk Hill Blue of the year amongst about a dozen males and a Silver Y Moth.
Mill Hill Sunday
A large cloud blocked out the sun and sent a large shadow over the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This tends to send the butterflies into hiding and then they are only seen if actively disturbed. This gives disappointing numbers of butterflies at the peak time for numbers in the whole of the year. I battled though the Privet on the lower slopes and I only recorded 53 male Chalk Hill Blues plus one mating female on a 90% coverage of my transect acre. I was surprised to record my first eleven second brood male Adonis Blues. A Wall Brown visited a Dwarf Thistle. If the numbers were disappointing the variety with 18 butterfly species was good.www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2017.html#31July (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2017.html#31July)
Tuesday 01 August
A good range of butterflies seen in the national trust gardens at Standen. Red Admiral, Peacock, Brimstone, Small White, Large White, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, silver washed fritillary, Comma , Ringlet, Small Copper. (Martin buck)
I made my first visit to Windover Hill today and was rewarded with two sightings of my target species, Grayling. The stars of the day were undoubtedly the Chalkhill Blues which I was seeing at a frequency of about one every two to three seconds - so well over a thousand individuals during my three hours there. Also seen where Silver-spotted Skipper (3), Common Blue (only 6, much less numerous than the Chalkhills), Wall (1), Brimstone (2), Painted Lady (2), Small Copper (1) Gatekeeper (8), Meadow Brown (100+), Small Heath (2), Peacock (1) and Small Tortoiseshell (1). (Bill Brooks)
Beautiful Demoiselles at Woods Mill (Colin Knight)
My transect at Mill Hill this morning yielded Adonis Blue 17, Brimstone 4, Chalk-hill Blue 22, Clouded Yellow, Common Blue 17, Gatekeeper 14, Green-veined White 2, Holly Blue, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown 38, Painted Lady, Red Admiral 3, Small Heath 12, Small Tortoiseshell. I then called at Woods Mill and enjoyed seeing a male Ruddy Darter, a male Common Darter plus 6 male and 1 female Beautiful Demoiselles in one place, and a Speckled Wood. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Female Clouded Yellow observed a.m. on Monday, 31 July feeding and resting on fleabane at the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks in West Sussex. (Nicki Kent https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentcapture/)
There was a slightly worn and quite pugnacious Small Blue at Beachy Head this morning that I found with John Cooper's help not that far from the Beachy Head Hotel. Both Brown Argus and Painted Lady were also seen there. A Silver-spotted Skipper was around old ant hills between Shooter's Bottom and Hodcombe with more near Belle Tout Wood. I was pleasantly surprised to find a second-brood Dingy Skipper near the top of the wood. An extremely worn Dark Green Fritillary was in the area between the wood and Birling Gap and there were also good numbers of Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue and Small Heath Butterflies widely around the headland. (Simon Linington)
Today I headed up Windover Hill for the annual Grayling pilgrimage. Conditions were breezy but sunny and Grayling could be seen mainly sitting in "rabbit scrape"s on the steep south facing Tennantry Ground to the south of the summit. However the Chalkhill Blues stole the show for me, on the South Downs Way above the reservoir they were everywhere. It became rather worrying to put my boots down for fear of standing on one. Amazing to experience. There were also Silver-spotted Skipper, Common Blue, Small Blue, Brown Argus to name but a few. Also Dark Green Fritillary east of the Long Man chalk figure and Wall Brown below. (Patrick Moore)
Kithurst Meadow today,Brown Argus,Common Blue,Chalk Hill Blue,Red Admiral,Peacock,Comma,Silver-washed Fritillary and Brimstone. (Barry Sketchley)
Chantry Hill this morning,amongst the many Small Heath was a very light coloured one,lots of Gatekeeper,Meadow Browns,Brown Argus,Chalk Hill Blue,Common Blue,six-spotburnet and pyrausta aurata and purpuralis. (Barry Sketchley)
Chalk Hill Poos, anybody? These seen at Castle Hill NNR today, whilst Nigel Symington and I collected Yellow Rattle seed for our various habitat restoration projects. Here we also saw Adonis Blue, Dark Green Fritillaries, Wall Browns. We also stopped off at the south facing embankment on the A27 between Falmer and Lewes to view the Adonis there and finally a trip to Deep Dene revealed just the one Silver-spotted Skipper. (Dan Danahar)
Monday 31 July
This morning I released two adult female Vapourer Moths at Springhead Hill, these being the progeny of Vanessa the Vapourer which my daughter Mia bred through from a caterpillar last year (see http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=114242#p114242 for photo story). I placed the two virgin females on Bramble leaves, about a metre apart, and started the stopwatch. By 4 minutes 20 seconds both had been paired, demonstrating the species' incredible powers of pheromone attraction. By 5 minutes 30 seconds a total of seven males were on the scene. It is common in Lepidoptera for rival males to attempt to usurp a copulating male, by forcefully trying to part him from the female, but things are rather different with the Vapourer. Before long, one of the females was joined to two males, and the other to three! I carefully checked to confirm that they were all fully engaged.
Mating with more than one male appears to be a method of ensuring that genetic diversity is maintained. As the females are flightless, and don't ever move more than a centimetre or two after hatching, it is quite likely that the first male she mates with is a sibling. However, by accepting more than one male there is a much greater chance that less closely related genes are also transferred. The Vapourer truly is a weird and wonderful moth! (Neil Hulme)
At a spot south of Ditchling Village is a place called Ditchling Down on the north facing South Downs and 3 years ago I found, what was then, a small colony of Silver-spotted Skippers. I've checked every year since and the colony seems to be spreading. They're only just emerging now. The walk up from the car park has some sheltered rides that are in full blossom now and attracting numerous other species. It's well worth checking out. TQ32570 13444
On Greenway Bank a minimum of 4, and probably at least 7 Clouded Yellows this morning. Also at least 3 2nd brood Dingy Skippers. I've now hit double figure numbers of these over the past 3 weeks, not bad considering the 1st brood was not particularly good this year. I was hoping for some Adonis Blue as this is a better site for Adonis than High and Over, where I saw some last week. Hopefully they will appear soon!! Wall Brown numbers were still good with over 30 along The Comp. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
West side of Pagham Harbour this morning.Meadow Browns,Gatekeeper,Large White,Small White,green veined white,Painted Lady,Red Admiral,Comma,Common Blue,Holly Blue,Small Copper,Brown Argus,and a Shaded Broad-bar moth. (Barry Sketchley)
Lancing Ring breezy but mainly sunny this morning. Couldn't nail a Brown Hairstreak, but did manage 40 Common Blue, 33 Meadow Brown, 32 Gatekeeper, 19 Wall Brown, 12 Speckled Wood, 10 Holly Blue, 8 Red Admiral, 5 Large White, 4 Brown Argus, 4 Small Copper, 2 Clouded Yellow, 2 Green-veined White, Small White, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Burnet Companion. (Lindsay Morris)
I have been monitoring the rise and fall of the butterflies in my Storrington garden for the month of July. For the week ending July 29th the daily minima were as follows: Small Skipper (2), Essex Skipper (2), Brimstone (1m), Large White (4), Small White (3), Green-veined White (1), Small Copper (1), Brown Argus (5), Common Blue (8m, 11f), Holly Blue (3), Red Admiral (6), Painted Lady (2), Peacock Comma (3), Speckled Wood (1), Gatekeeper (30), Meadow Brown (15), Ringlet (1) and Small Heath (1). Therefore 19 species with a minimum total of 105 butterflies. For the whole of July there were 23 species. Yesterday there was a very faded Speckled Wood in the garden nectaring on Hemp Agrimony. (martin kalaher)
On Saturday morning I visited Mill Hill, to snatch a couple of hours butterflying before the predicted collapse in the weather. Website MC JC (Ed Jnr) was already there, but neither of us managed to spot the hoped-for Silver-spotted Skipper (please let us know if you see one here). Second brood Adonis Blues are only just starting, with about half-a-dozen seen. Just before leaving I watched a female Adonis make her maiden flight, but she only managed about five metres before being accosted by an amorous male.
On Sunday I met Katrina Watson for a hairstreak hunt on the Knepp Wildland. Conditions were very tricky, with high winds and long periods of cool, dull weather, but we eventually managed to find a total of 11 (6m, 5f), with the best action being reserved for the final half-hour. In one small area we found three females, two of which were in perfect condition. One specimen was particularly obliging, repeatedly dropping out of the Blackthorn to pose for us. (Neil Hulme)
Sunday 30 July
In search of Brown Hairstreaks we started at the Rugby Club in Burgess Hill, walking through West Park Nature Reserve there were a few flying in the tall Ash trees near Malthouse Lane. Then we walked out onto the Green Circle picking up some Brown Argus among the Common Blues and reaching my favourite 'Hairstreak Ash tree' at TQ29301905. Took a while for the sun to come out, then 5 or 6 were seen and a female low down. Another 3 seen at Dave Cook's spot by the cemetery and a flyby of a Silver Washed Fritillary on the way back to the car.
In the afternoon we went to Wolstonbury Hill. Very windy, but did manage to find 4 Silver-spotted Skippers and Chalkhill Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Dark Green Fritillary, and Painted Lady in some sheltered spots. 15 Wall Brown seen here too and 1 Clouded Yellow. (Mark Cadey)
This morning I went to Knepp and met Neil Hulme . I had been on a couple of occasions and had been unlucky with the weather and not seen any. Neil, however, changed my fortunes spotting 10 (I think) and I managed to spot one myself. Even better one of the ones he spotted was a fresh female who obligingly flew onto a flower for us. I had a wonderful morning. (Katrina Watson)
I followed Dave Cooks instructions and headed off to Burgess Hill this morning as i was keen to see my first Brown Hairstreak of the morning. When parking the car, I was surprised to see a Brown Hairstreak fly down to a branch six feet off the ground right in front of me. I was only there for ten minutes and saw two others. Also in the car park I saw a what I believe is a Red Underwing.
Popped into Mill hill on the way home hoping to see skippers but was disappointed. However I did see a Wall Brown and a Clouded Yellow as well as the full set of Blues (Common, Holly, Chalk Hill, Adonis and Brown Argus) (Jonathan Crawford)
We saw 5 Clouded Yellows this afternoon at Thorney Island, despite very windy conditions and 34 Seals were hauled up on the mudflats in Chichester Harbour. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
My first ever sighting of a Brown Argus in our wild-flower meadow in the hamlet of Gay Street near Pulborough this afternoon (30 July). Unfortunately the picture of the front wings wasn't in focus! This is the second first ever sighting this year, the first was a Holly Blue back on 6 April. I also saw a number of Common Carpet moths, suggesting they have been breeding in the meadow. (Chris Page https://www.g4bue.co.uk/en/Butterflies/)
While on Ashdown this morning I had my first Clouded Yellow Butterfly of the year fly by. (Alastair Gray)
Lewes railway land reserve. Saw a couple of Privet hawk moth larvae (3rd instar I think) feeding on teasel. Can't find any reference to this being a foodplant so thought it worth a mention. (Ray Pyne)
Walked late morning / early afternoon from High & Over along the north side of Cradle Hill (sheltered from the moderate SW wind) and then past the edge of Rathfinny Vineyard. A very good range of butterflies including: at least one male Adonis Blue; singles of Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow; reasonably large numbers of Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Wall Browns; and small numbers of Brown Argus, Green-veined White, Silver-spotted Skipper (perhaps 10-15 seen), Small Copper, Small Heath and Speckled Heath. (Simon Linington)
Saturday 29 July
For many years I have had a niche-fascination with the variety of female Common Blues that inhabit my garden meadow, so this year I thought I would try and photograph every female CB that comes my way. Today I managed at least 11 different females and 6 or more male Common Blues (one of which was half the size of a 'normal' one, so small that I had to think about Small Blue - but it wasn't to be). In a couple of weeks time (if Ed Jnr will allow) I may publish all the photos so that other aficionados may enjoy the results (and everyone else have a groan!). Otherwise this morning there were a dozen butterfly species including Small Heath, which I haven't see for awhile in the garden. Painted Lady and Holly Blue provided me with some nice pics. (Martin Kalaher)
Despite the poor forecast, Peter, Janet and I optomistically went to Tugley Wood today in search of second brood Wood Whites. We were not disappointed! We had great views of about 12 males and females; either nectaring or fluttering about along the track and 1 in the meadow area. We also saw a White Admiral, ~6 Silver-washed Fritillaries, a Ringlet, a Green-veined White and numerous Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. We also heard and then located a couple of Marsh Tits feeding on thistle heads. We headed to the Wey & Arun Canal for lunch and watched male and female Banded Demoiselles in the reeds. Rain didn't stop play until mid afternoon. (Anna Grist)
Thanks Anna. For those of you who, like me, are unfamiliar with the geography of northern England, Tugley Wood is in a place called Surrey. (Ed jnr)
I spent a couple of hours this morning - before the rain started - exploring a six metre conservation strip at Knowlands Farm, Barcombe. I have not previously been convinced of the value of these strips but htis one certainly earns its keep just now. Seventeen species of butterfly including an aberrant Meadow Brown, a dozen or so Brown Argus (the first here this brood), a newly emerged Painted Lady and a single Clouded Yellow. the species were Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Clouded Yellow, Large White, Green-veined White, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, Comma, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Small Heath
In the warm but breezy conditions this morning the butterflies were making the most of the conditions before the rain started with several mating pairs of both Chalk Hill Blue and Meadow Brown. Silver-spotted Skippers were busy with their courtship but no actual pairings were observed. Yet another Dingy Skipper was seen along with many Wall Brown and 3 Small Blue. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Went up to Windover Hill to see Grayling but no luck before the rain came in. Did see lots of other butterflies though. Plenty of Chalk Hill Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, 1 wall, 2 Dark Green Fritillary, 1 Silver-spotted Skipper (up on the top of the hill where the South Downs way goes through), 2 Small Copper, Gatekeeper, 1 Brimstone. Some photos of some of these including some explicit chalkhill blue mating action. In one you can see a globule of what I can only guess is a stray bit of sperm on the back of the male. Also an attempt at a threesome. We found a female chalkhill with a badly unfurled wing on the path which when placed on a scabious flower immediately started nectaring. (Tim Squire)
Hoping to see some butterflies before the weather turned nasty, we went to Mill Hill and bumped into one of the authors of a rather good book about butterflies in Sussex who had had the same idea. On Milll Hill we saw second brood Adonis Blues as well as several Clouded Yellows, Common Blues, Chalk Hill Blues and Brown Argus amongst others.
At home in Shoreham there was a pair of Holly Blues in my garden. Once the rain has set in we decided to do an experiment to see which butterflies were waterproof, and headed for Cissbury. Despite steadily falling rain the count was Maadow Brown (8), Gatekeeper (2) Red Admiral (2) and one pluckly little Brown Argus who was refusing to give up his patch whatever the weather. (Jonathan Crawford)
I had half an hour this afternoon to check out one of the Burgess Hill sites for Brown Hairstreak. This particular spot is easily accessible for those who don't or can't walk long distances. It's situated on the Burgess Hill Green Circle Route by the Buriel Ground on the west side of town at TQ29444 18738. Considering it was raining at the time it didn't interrupt this male from nectaring at low level.
Two Brown Argus butterflies on the edge of the field immediately south-west of Knowlands Wood near Barcombe just before the rain arrived today. Also a few Silver-washed Fritillaries still around Knowlands Wood where it has been a good season for them. (Simon Linington)
Friday 28 July
Brickfield Nature Reserve Fairwarp, several Common Blues, spotted at least 5 (Camilla Hilton)
I did not expect to see any butterflies in my Seaford garden today but a Common Blue appeared this morning, nectared on a verbena bonariensis before flying to shelter in some shrubs. (Stuart Ridley)
It is a miserable day and I don't think there will be many posts today so i thought I would share this page with you. It is Country Life Magazine's Simple guide to common caterpillars. I am not sure they share the definition of the word "common" as the rest of us. (Ed jnr)
Thanks to Tom for showing us round the garden at Paddockhurst and the meadows he has created. Two Silver-washed Fritillaries were great, a beautiful Large Skipper, a very faded Meadow Brown and a Ringlet meeting a spidery fate. A pair of Common Blue damselflies added interest. (Tim Squire)
Thursday 27 July
The day started well with a Humming-bird Hawk-moth nectaring on Buddleia at around 8.45am. This is the sixth sighting this season. They remind me of large bumble bees in that they can operate quite happily at relatively low temperatures and in dull conditions. Otherwise the star of the day was Painted Lady, which was seen on four occasions over a seven hour period. Fresh specimen(s), so I imagine British born? We had a prolonged garden passage this year from May 21st until June 17th, so plenty of time to produce the next generation. Whether I saw 3-4 different individuals or just the one that kept coming back I will never know! Interestingly, they were drawn to Verbena Bonariensis rather than the Hemp Agrimony a few feet away. (martin kalaher)
With all the excitement around the Brown Hairstreak sightings, I thought I'd tackle something that gets very little attention and headed up Windover Hill. One could be forgiven for thinking it would be a waste of time this morning, with a strong wind and little sunshine but with the help of my walking companions (dogs) set off. Amongst all the Meadow Browns that took to the air as we passed, it was clear the Grayling were also showing nicely. The trouble was the wind was blowing them about 20-30 yards further on and this made it difficult to track them down once they landed. Persistence paid off in the end. Here's a selection. (David Cook)
I forgot to mention that on Tuesday whilst at Knepp, apart from seeing the same as Bill Brooks, we were also lucky enough to see two late flying female Purple Emperors. We flushed one from a puddle on the track adjacent to one of the tree platforms and the other was feeding on a sap run in an oak tree on the track mentioned by Neil Hulme in his recent posting. (Chris Hamilton)
Swanborough & Kingston Downs Butterfly Conservation walk led by David Harris, assisted by Steven Teale
18 butterfly and 11 Moth species were seen.
Small Tortoiseshell (adult & larvae),
Parsnip Moth (larvae),
Satin Grass-veneer (Crambus perlella ),
Satin Grass-veneer (Crambus perlella f. warringtonellus )
Red Twin-spot Carpet,
Broom Moth (larva)
Wednesday 26 July
Yet more Brown Hairstreak pictures from Knepp. As all the pictures we have seen so far on this website are of the underside of this wonderful butterfly, we thought you might like a couple of upperside pictures. Thanks to Colin Knight for posting his Blood Vein moth picture. John photographed a moth whilst waiting for the Brown Hairstreaks to perform and we're pleased that we correctly identified it as a Blood Vein. (Chris & John Hamilton)
more Knepp species. (Colin Knight)
Yesterday I checked the Everlasting Pea at Beeding Cement Works but saw no sign of Long-tailed Blues yet. Common Blues were mating on the flowers. I then headed to Knepp where I met David Cook who pointed me in the right direction for Brown Hairstreaks. I met Neil Hulme doing a Brown Hairstreak count and he took me on a tour of sites where I saw 9 males and a female plus a Purple Hairstreak, all nectaring on thistle. Other butterflies seen: Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Gatekeepers, Green-veined Whites, Brimstone, Ringlets, Meadow Browns including one with a white hind underwing. Moths seen: Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), Chequered Pearl (Evergestis pallidata) and a Blood-vein, (Timandra comae). (Colin Knight)
With yesterday being the best day of the week I thought I would quickly check out the High and Over area. Butterflies of interest were 2 2nd brood Dingy Skippers battling amongst themselves, 2 Clouded Yellows, 2 Adonis Blues and several egg laying Wall Brown. I have now seen 5 different 2nd brood Dingy Skippers in the area. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Guidance for finding Brown Hairstreak at Knepp: The population explosion of Brown Hairstreak at Knepp https://www.kneppsafaris.co.uk/ has obviously caused a great deal of interest, as this usually difficult-to-see species has become unusually easy to see. However, it is important to note that only the Longhorns, Tamworths, Exmoors and deer have the unrestricted right to free-roaming over the Wildland. Some areas of the site are sensitive, due to the reintroduction programme for the White Stork https://knepp.co.uk/white-storks and the presence of breeding birds or birds of conservation concern. Unless you are on an organised Knepp Safari, with a guide, or are an official Wildland wildlife surveyor, please keep to the public and permissive rights of way which cross the estate. The most convenient way to find Purple Emperors (now finished for the year) or Brown Hairstreaks (females now emerging) is via the Purple Emperor Parking scheme https://www.kneppsafaris.co.uk/Information/Purple-Emperor-Car-Parking which provides parking for the day, a map and refreshments at the Go-Down. The track between TQ147206 and TQ142203 is particularly productive in warm, sunny weather. Search the Creeping Thistle heads systematically along the trackside, and the Blackthorn-rich hedgerow, but please don't venture more than a metre or two into the fields to the south of the track. Many thanks for your cooperation. (Neil Hulme)
Tuesday 25 July
Today (25 July) I was myself given a guided walk of Green Ridge in Brighton as preparation for my ''Keep the Ridge Green Butterfly Walk'' this Sunday. Annabeth Horsley, a volunteer of the 'Friends of' group kindly showed me around. During our visit we recorded the following species: Essex Skippers 10, Small White 3, Brimstone 2, Gatekeeper 7, Meadow Brown 23, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 2, Common Blue 20, Holly Blue 1, Small Copper 2, Brown Argus 1 and male Wall Brown 1. Additionally Burnet Companion 1. Today's Wall - it's official shortened/modern name (which I don't agree with) is probably the first record for the site, I'll be sending Bob Eade extra details of my sighting given he is Species Champion for the butterfly. Annabeth also conducted a Big Butterfly Count. Despite there being a lack of obvious master trees, I believe Green Ridge is just waiting for someone to spot the first Brown Hairstreak, there is a great amount of suitable breeding habitat, I can't see why they wouldn't be present, I was certainly keeping an eye out for them! (Jamie Burston http://www.keeptheridgegreen.com/)
Good start at 7.45am seeing a Red Admiral in Saxon Road, Hove, followed by a Meadow Brown in our back garden at 8.45am and shortly after a Holly Blue on Michaelmas Daisy. Later, Val & I went for a walk from Sainsbury's in Benfield Valley, Hove to Devils Dyke. We saw 19 different species of butterfly. Best was a Brown Hairstreak on the north fringe of the Benfield Valley Nature Reserve just before the golf course ends and the open fields start. There is a notice board mentioning them a bit further south by the hedgerow of blackthorn and I know people have seen their eggs, but we’ve never seen the actual butterfly there before. We were gazing at a nice Peacock when Val saw it landing nearby. We saw many Common Blues, Gatekeepers & Meadow Browns. The others we noted were in much smaller numbers:- Red Admiral & Small Heath (up to 10 of each), Marbled White (1), Speckled Wood (3), Comma (1), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Peacock (2), Painted Lady (1), Brimstone (1), Holly Blue (1), Small Coppers (3), Small Whites (2), Brown Arguses (2 - one posed nicely) and up to a dozen skippers of which there were at least 2 each of Small Skippers & Essex Skippers.
(John & Val Heys)
Although there were 16 butterfly species in my Storrington wildlife garden today I think that in terms of numbers and diversity the "peak" may be behind me. We shall see. There always seems to be something to report of interest and today that was the number of Brown Argus seen in the garden. I count myself lucky if I see two different individuals but today there were 4-5. There were about 70 butterflies in total. Skippers are in very sharp decline and the Browns are also declining. The Whites are in the ascendancy, especially Large Whites. (martin kalaher)
Beautiful Painted Lady in Stanmer today. It seemed to disappear when it closed its wings.
Steyning Rifle Range. Still no Brown Hairstreaks. I did find both a Brown Argus and a Meadow Brown with a red mite on each of their heads which I found a bit worrying. However, everything else seems unaffected. These being a Speckled Wood, 1 Ringlet, 12 Common Blues, 5 Small Whites, countless Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, of which two were mating. Lastly, right up the top of the hill by the seat in the corner, 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
About 20 male Wall Browns and 2 females were seen at High and over this morning.
In a nearby meadow many Chalkhill Blues, including a mating pair were observed. (Trevor Rapley)
If you want to see more about the habitat restoration work we do for butterflies
St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon was full of butterflies. Large numbers of Gatekeepers lined the verges along with Meadow Brown and Ringlet. Small Skipper and Large Skipper joined them as well as Common Blue, Ringlet, Large White, Green-veined White and Small White. Brimstone, Peacock and Small Copper were seen and Silver-washed Fritillary along with Speckled Wood, Marbled White and Comma. Once again the White Admirals stole the show, I watched them for over an hour patrolling a bracken/bramble filled clearing, sunning themselves on branches overlooking it and in combat with other species as well as themselves. Fantastic. (Patrick Moore)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down mostly sunny. 23 species seen (Ringlet and Small Skipper not identified today). Highlights were 180 Gatekeeper, 78 Meadow Brown, 73 Wall Brown, 69 Common Blue, 18 Chalk Hill Blue, 13 Red Admiral, 12 Brown Argus, 10 Speckled Wood, 7 Holly Blue, 7 Marbled White, 6 Small Copper, 3 Clouded Yellow, 3 Painted Lady. Also Burnet Companion, Six-spot Burnet (in much lower numbers now), Dusky Sallow and our dear old friend Hummingbird Hawk-moth. (Lindsay Morris)
I finally tracked down the Brown Hairstreaks at Knepp today - initially in the Blackthorn hedges near the central tree platform (21). On returning towards my car I found another two along Green Lane, just 75m South of the Countryman Lane entrance, again nectaring on thistles under the Blackthorn hedge. Also seen: Comma (2), Gatekeeper (possibly 100), Large and Small White, Peacock, Small Copper, Common Blue and Small Skipper (Bill Brooks)
Is it a yellowing birch leaf or a Clouded Yellow butterfly? I went to Iping Common to see Silver-studded Blues but there was none. (Tim Squire)
Monday 24 July
photos from Anchor Bottom (Colin Knight)
I spent a very enjoyable day on Friday at Park Corner Heath with Neil’s group of enthusiasts gathering up bracken. On Sunday I visited Steyning Downland Scheme and was delighted to see the Brown Hairstreak haven in superb condition for the butterfly with lots of young prunus, plus their nice new sign boards. Plenty of butterflies around, except the main target! I then joined Chris Corrigan’s tour of Anchor Bottom and was rewarded by good company, splendid weather, at least 4 Clouded Yellows and plenty of Chalk-hill Blues. By the time I did my Mill Hill transect at 12:40 the clouds had rolled in making for a relatively poor count: Chalk-hill Blue 3, Common Blue 3, Gatekeeper 17, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown 13, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral 4, Small Heath 8, Dusky Sallow moth (Eremobia ochroleuca). (Colin Knight)
I flushed a Jersey Tiger from vegetation on the southern end of Thorney Island near Longmere Point this morning. (Barry Collins)
A damp walk down the footpath opposite Woods Mill was rewarded by an unusually cooperative Wall Brown, presumably feeling somewhat under the weather. Also a perched Green-veined White, lots of Gatekeepers, a couple of Common Blues, a Peacock and a Painted Lady. I've also attached a couple of pictures of the glorious Chalkhill Blues on Anchor Bottom, taken during Sunday morning's hugely enjoyable chocolate-fuelled excursion with Chris Corrigan. (John Woodward)
Back in 2012, I approached the Brighton & Hove Parks Department with a novel idea; if the residents of Coldean were to help manage Coldean Woods for nature conservation on a regular basis, they should be allowed to keep the wood they cut. The Parks Department agreed to this idea because there was a perceived need to actively involve more residents in Brighton & Hove with the management of all the urban woodland we have in the city. The work that the 'Friends of Coldean Woods' went on to do was seen as a pilot scheme, that could in the long term incentivise other residents within the city to manage their local woodlands more effectively because they could get access to free fuel as well.
If any individual within our group of Coldean residents originally came solely for the wood, this incentive soon became of lesser importance to them. Within a very short while our interests in the natural history and more significantly the conservation management of the woods grew. Back in 1987 when the notorious hurricane flattened so much woodland in the south east, much of Brighton & Hove woke up that morning to devastated landscapes where once fine woodlands stood. Consequently, pioneer tree species like Ash and sycamore seized this opportunity and grew en masse, forming 30 years later monocultures of similarly sized trees, dominating many of Brighton & Hove's urban woodland fringes.
Our Coldean group has spent a lot of time thinning these trees over the last five years but we have been limited by the need to acquire a licence (from the forestry commission) to fell the larger trees. Thus, our glades - essential for encouraging woodland butterflies back into this habitat - have never been fully open. They are dotted with a few dominant trees, marring the potential for a positive impact on the woodland floor, in nature conservation terms.
Now I have had a great summer this year, filming the Swallowtail butterfly in the Norfolk broads, the Heath Fritillary butterfly on Exmoor and even filming the caterpillar of the Large Blue butterfly being picked up by the red ant, Myrmica sabuleti but nothing could have been more thrilling for me when yesterday a Silver-washed Fritillary glided over the canopy of Coldean woods and into one of our glades. It flew confidently around the glade for some time, alighting on a couple of plants growing in the field layer before eventually making a mammoth climb out of the glade and back above the canopy.
If you are unaware of the local history of this species I would suggest that you watch this videowhich I made with Paul Gorringe just over two years ago
So whatever, the outcome of our felling licence application, I predict that we can all expect an expansion of the Silver-washed Fritillary from its stronghold in Ashcombe bottom (near Lewes) along the various pieces of fragmented woodland, into the city. Ten years from now, if not sooner, the Silver-washed Fritillary could become a familiar insect in many of our more open urban woodlands.
(Dr Dan Danahar)
On Sunday I made a brief visit to the Knepp Wildland, before leading an afternoon event for small wood owners. I met Matthew Oates, who was just leaving, but had counted a total of 52 male Brown Hairstreak around Master Trees during an early morning survey. I then bumped into Dave Sadler and we performed a search for Brown Hairstreaks at low level, nectaring on Creeping Thistle. We rapidly located 6, including an early female. During our travels we also found some very nice Brown Argus. (Neil Hulme)
Butterfly numbers at my wildlife plot next to Herstmonceux Castle grounds seemed to be hitting a new peak in the past few days - never seen so many in the 24 years I've owned this place so a good time for a species count yesterday (Sunday morning 23/7/2017) while the sun was out. With help from Theresa Lux (who'd also spotted my first ever White Admiral here at the beginning of this month), we managed to find 18 species in just over two hours searching in and around the knapweed and fleabane patches, wild flower banks (field scabious and wild marjoram), the buddleia bush and throughout the extensive nettle and bramble patches higher up the plot. Yesterday's total marginally betters the 17 species found here by Michael Blencowe and myself in 2010 (and again in 2013 with help from my elder daughter on that occasion) although Theresa had to take my word for the female Silver-washed Fritillary that flew up and down the woodland edge of the plot without stopping for a photo yesterday (a species last seen here in 2013).
Butterflies recorded yesterday were: Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Wall Brown, Comma, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Copper and Large Skipper. Moths included: Red Twin-spot Carpet, Six-spot Burnet, Shaded Broad-bar, Straw Dot, Mother of Pearl, Chrysoteuchia culmella and Pyrausta aurata, A Small Tortoiseshell was seen feeding on wild marjoram on the wild flower bank only on Saturday afternoon (22/7), while at the beginning of the month, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper plus the first ever White Admiral were all seen here fleetingly. Bizarrely, a Marbled White turned up here on 6/6/2017, either blown across from the Downs near Polegate or a stray from the small Pevensey Levels colonies not too far away.
Earlier yesterday morning, on a brief circuit of this northern end of Pevensey Levels via the Castle grounds and back via Herstmonceux Church, I located only my third Clouded Yellow of the year - this one a helice form female which fed briefly on ground-level red clover, creeping thistle and fleabane in one of the recently cut grazing meadows.
Sunday 23 July
Thanks to Chris Corrigan for leading the walk at Anchor Bottom this morning (see previous postings). I photographed a few of the 17 species we got today. We saw both female Common Blues and Brown Argus which can potentially be Confused but these photos show the strong contrast between the brown and the orange on the smaller Brown Argus which you don't get on the Common Blue female. The Butterfly Conservation members are much easier to distinguish by looking for the distinctive headwear and optical equipment. (Tim Squire)
From 9.30am to 1.00pm Val & I did an oval walk from Offham near Lewes up to the gallops near Landport Bottom, on towards Blackcap and back to Offham via Mount Harry. Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Common Blues & Red Admirals were most numerous and just about everywhere. Ten wall butterflies and four Small Coppers were dotted around the walk. Chalk Hill Blues were quite common on the way up from Offham. There were half a dozen Brimstones on the track by & beyond the gallops and in this area we also saw four Speckled Woods, one Small Skipper, one Peacock, one Large White and one other white. Two Small Heaths appeared just beyond Mount Harry. By then it was quite cloudy so it was a really nice surprise to see a Purple Hairstreak as we passed along the edge of the wood which curves down to Offham. I got a few pictures of an interesting Meadow Brown (on the slopes up to Blackcap) which appeared to have rather white lower wings when it flew. (John & Val Heys)
After a quick trip to Mill Hill, I joined Chris Corrigan and a dozen others at Anchor Bottom to look for Dark Green Fritillaries. I should like to thank Chris for organising this event. Although we didn't see any fritillaries, it was, as ever, an interesting and enjoyable excursion. (Jonathan Crawford)
Today was the BC event at Anchor Bottom billed as a mission of rediscovery of Dark Green Friitillary. This turned out to be a mission of hopeless optimism rather than rediscovery! On my one 2016 visit in fritillary season I failed to find any and I had already failed twice in two visits in the run-up to the walk. Sadly I think the species may have disappeared from this site but would love to be proved wrong.
However, a big thank you for the 12 people who turned up to help me search as we spread out across the site in hope! There was a bar of chocolate as a prize for the fritillary finder but to raise spirits we ate it anyway!
We did have a good morning - the first butterfly seen was a Clouded Yellow (my first of the year). We had repeated sightings (including 3 together at one stage) but as they zoomed around the valley it was hard to know how many were involved.....I thought it might be 10 but more realistic and sensible group members thought 4 or 5.
Full list (in rough order of appearance)...I wasn't counting so group members may vehemently disagree with the estimates! If so..please correct! But these are roughly the numbers I saw (apart from the two I have owned up to missing)
Clouded Yellow - 4-5
Small Tortoiseshell - 2-3
Gatekeeper - 2
Brown Argus - c10 (probably more, lots of rock rose and Anchor Bottom is a good site for this species)
Small Heath - 3
Common Blue - lots
Meadow Brown - lots!
Chalk Hill Blue - c20+
Large White - 1
Red Admiral - 2
Painted Lady - 1
Essex Skipper - 1 (thanks to Colin Knights camera!)
Peacock - 1
Wall Brown - 2
Marbled White- 1 (I missed this one...)
Comma - 1 (....and this one!)
I hope I haven't missed any (but please say if I have). This is a site which doesn't get that much attention but has lovely flowers and a good range of butterflies. The Dark Green Fritillary is just waiting to be rediscovered and we failed to find any Silver-spotted Skippers which do occur on the site.
Thanks everyone for coming along, we had fun if not fritillaries! However, although I have been less than serious in this account this was an extremely useful visit to clarify the status of the fritillary on this site. If there are any good photos please do post them on the website.
Park Corner Heath. During a beautiful couple of hours this morning, 1 White Admiral, 2 Holly Blues, 7 Ringlets, 17 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 1 Clouded Yellow, loads of Meadow Browns and even more Gatekeepers. In the middle of the large clearing, north of the little car park, there is a lone Buddleia. This was alive with Red Admirals along with 1 Peacock and 1 Silver-washed Fritillary. I also spotted a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Male Brown Hairstreak nectaring on thistle at the Knepp estate, plus a soggy Chalkhill Blue at Kithurst flower meadow. (John Williams)
A guide butterfly walk at Beacon Hill LNR this morning was enjoyed by children and adults alike. Common Blues seemed to outnumber Gatekeepers, but we wondered where all the Meadow Browns are. Surely this is the peak period for them? Highlight was two Clouded Yellows - the first recorded at this site this year. (Peter Whitcomb)
Female long-tailed blue on a single everlasting sweet pea plant in our Hassocks garden at around 10.30am. Some record shots taken before it flew off north. (Gary Faulkner)
2 butterflies were seen in our meadow. (Christine Straker)
Thanks Christine. These are male common blues, which is of course a travesty of a name for such a pretty thing (Ed jnr)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: At Old Lodge yesterday. Saw about 6 male blues and 2 female blues flying around the heather stands along the top ride (Ed Richardson)
Saturday 22 July
Yesterday (21/7/17) we had at least 2 Meadow Browns in our back garden in Hove at the same time (one battered and one not) and for the first time for a couple of years a Speckled Wood. The former seemed to like winding up the latter by occasionally straying from their preferred part of the garden to his. The Red Admiral was still around (but not the Comma), Holly Blue(s?) came and went and there were fleeting visits by a white and a skipper. This may not sound great, but for where we are it's quite a step forward to see browns/Speckled Woods around the garden most of the day. On Monday (17/7/17) we took our granddaughter to the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway off Lottbridge Drove. Fifty years ago, as far as I can recall, this was flat, open farm land not noted for butterflies. I think it may then have been used for landfill. Now the site containing the railway and children's play areas is a mix of trees, grassy areas, a lake, formal gardens and some raised wooded areas. We can recommend it as vary good value if your children/grandchildren are not really interested in the animals at Drusillas, with the added bonus of plenty of butterflies. On Thursday (20/7/17) we took a trip just over the border to Surrey on what I thought would be an ill fated quest by my brother to see a Purple Emperor. As we were rather more successful than I expected, I can't resist Val's picture of me and my friend from Botany Bay. (John & Val Heys)
A big thank you to all the butterfly enthusiasts that braved the dire weather conditions to have a look at my wildlife garden. It was wonderful to meet you all! I'm sorry that I wasn't able to influence the 'weather gods' in a favourable way. Maybe next time. After Ed Jnr suggested that I might like to have an Open Day I was in two minds whether to stage the event in early July (lots of lovely flowers in full bloom) or late July (lots of variety of butterfly species). Maybe next time I will show off the flowers. Believe it or not, four days ago I recorded 18 butterfly species on a warm sunny afternoon, with a total count of about 90 butterflies. Thanks for coming. Martin and Mary Kalaher (Martin Kalaher)
And thank you very much too, Martin. (Ed jnr)
Friday morning started with a visit to Deep Dean near Alfriston. There were heaps of chalkhill blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Meadow Brown, some Marbled White and a we also caught a glimpse of a few small/Essex Skippers. The afternoon was spent wandering around a few rides in Friston Forest. Saw lots of Silver-washed Fritillary, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Peacock, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Marbled White, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Common Blue and Red Admiral. A visit to one of the rides earlier in the week also included a Painted Lady and a White Admiral. All in all a good day! (Patrick Austin)
A big thank you to Martin Kalaher for opening up his famous butterfly garden to BC Sussex members today. Lots of people read Martin's updates on this website and many were keen to see the garden for themselves - by lunchtime Martin had received 40-50 visitors - many of whom had travelled many miles across Sussex. Martin is understandably very proud of his wildlife-rich garden and gave guided tours of the borders and meadow, He has also thoughtfully put out illustrated signs to explain what was growing and which butterflies would benefit. And it isn't just butterflies. The garden attracts plenty of moths, bees, hoverflies and other pollinators. Wonderful stuff! Thanks again to Martin for hosting this event. (Michael Blencowe)
Near Black Hill car park: I have pictures on my phone but dont know how to upload them. From what I have seen it looks like a Chalk Hill Blue. (Brian Gavin)
Reading this sightings page you'd think that The Knepp Estate is the only place to see Purple Emperors in Sussex. I've never been and, after the Atlas project, I still have the spirit of exploration in me. I have have been out finding plenty of Emperors elsewhere this Summer. Yesterday I took a shortcut cross-country along Wineham Lane and spotted two Emperors from the car at Kent Street. I investigated further and stumbled upon the tiny Shermanbury cemetery in Frylands Lane. Within 2 minutes of walking through the gates my notebook read: Meadow Brown, White Admiral, Gatekeeper, Purple Emperor, Ringlet, Purple Hairstreak, Large White, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Brimstone Silver-washed Fritillary. I was spotting species faster than I could write. There were a lot of butterflies squeezed into 500 square metres. (Michael Blencowe)
Every year I would get 1 or 2 Wall Brown in the garden. That was until about 3 years ago when the visits stopped. With this year having such a good 2nd brood I was hopeful that I might get a visit, and that happened this morning with a male patrolling around the garden and avoiding the cat. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Friday 21 July
Whitehawk Hill. The lower section was very productive. There is a little hot-spot at TQ 33196 05107 which is right behind the wooden gate at the bottom of the west scarp, half way along the second football pitch down. You can park in Haybourne Road and just walk 50 yards across the pitch and there's the gate. 2 Small Coppers, 6 Speckled Woods, 7 Common Blues. Lost count of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Chalkhill Blues, of which only 3 were female. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
A quick check of Woods Mill this afternoon found pockets of butterflies in the sunny pockets. Lots of Gatekeepers along the paths and hedgerows, a couple of Silver-washed Fritillaries and in the meadow area a couple of Small Coppers and Common Blues. (Paul Sharman http://paulsharmanoutdoors.com)
In a visit of just under four hours I managed to photograph an incredible 18 male Brown Hairstreaks,
at the Knepp Estate this morning. I even had the good fortune of briefly meeting the man himself,
Sir Charlie Burrell . My sincere thanks to him for creating such a wildlife haven. (Trevor Rapley)
To Knepp with Dave Cook. We'd barely got out of the car before the worlds most chewed Purple Hairstreak made an entrance. And, 50 yards down the lane two Purple Emperors made a fleeting appearance. The one in my terrible picture is male. Otherwise, ignoring large numbers of Meadow Brown and Gatekeepers, a decent count of Ringlets and Whites of various sizes plus Small Skippers and one Large, the day belonged to the Brown Hairstreaks (8) and a couple more (less raggy) Purple Hairstreaks. I think I will go back for more...... (Rolf Farrell)
I visited the Cissbury Ring and Canada Bottom area this afternoon and rather like Steep Down mentioned in an earlier post it was quite breezy. However there were lots of butterflies to be seen and enjoyed. There were plenty of Wall on the Canada Bottom path as well as Cissbury where I've never seen them before. Other highlights were Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary both worn and immaculate, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Red Admiral and a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Also seen were loads of Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Whites, mainly Small White but also Large and Green-veined and Small Copper. (Patrick Moore)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down walk in very breezy sunshine. Of the 24 butterfly species seen, the highlight was a male Brown Hairstreak nectaring on bramble at midday. Also noteworthy - 53 Common Blue, 30 Red Admiral, 26 Wall Brown, 11 Chalk Hill Blue, 8 Small Copper, 4 Painted Lady. (Lindsay Morris)
Went for a walk around Windover Hill this afternoon. Found 3 fresh looking Grayling on the west slope of Deep Dean and a further Grayling and a Silver Spotted Skipper on the east slope of Ewe Dean. Also saw good numbers of Chalkhill Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper along with 2 Wall Brown, a Small White and a female Brimstone. (Chris Hooker)
I have been seeing good numbers of Wall Brown over the past week or so and seeing the report of 54 seen by Lindsay Morris from the Lancing area I have been itching to get out for my 2nd brood count on my 4 mile circuit. Today was the first day I was able to do it and although the weather was far from perfect, with strong southerly winds, the Wall still performed with a record count of 115. That was despite the bottom of the valley being much less productive than the 2 or 3 shorter visits and the wind blowing straight onto the scarp.
Other species seen of note was another 2nd brood Dingy Skipper, 2 egg laying Dark Green Fritillaries and good numbers of both Brown Argus and Silver-spotted Skipper. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Thursday 20 July
Having just returned from my 2 week holiday in Greece where it was too hot, (42c at times), I only managed 20 different species, I headed over to Knepp where the weather started cloudy with some drizzle and at 18c felt like winter. As it brightened the reward was many Gatekeeper, some still very fresh Meadow Browns, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Painted Lady, Purple Hairstreak and Brown Hairstreak taking advantage of the warming sun. Sadly no late Purple Emperor were seen. As I was making my way back, I bumped into Matthew Oates who had only seen one and commented it was probably the last of the season for Knepp. (David Cook)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Have been looking for these since your poster requesting sightings as I walk often on the Ashdown Forest and today I saw one Silver-studded Blue butterfly about 100 yards south of the Hollies Car Park, Ashdown Forest on the 20th July at about 3 pm. (Dorothy Helme)
Thanks for your dillegence Dorothy. Glad you finally saw one (Ed jnr)
We experienced a rather dramatic day at knepp. We witnessed Purple Emperor tumble downs and a trouser by two individuals as well as a male and a female dance. In total we saw 6-7 OR specimen on our first visit to Knepp. We will certainly be visiting again. (Justin Kent)
Wednesday 19 July
more Mill Hill butterflies and moths (Colin Knight)
Due to the recent good weather I have been out and about but not made the time to post recently so here is an update on the past 3 weeks for my transects at Mill Hill on July 3,8,18. At the time of the transects sun % was 10%,0%,100% respectively and the temperature 21,27,32 (average for the transect at the time it was done). The temperature at the sheltered bottom of the hill is always higher than the upper slopes and yesterday both the average and the high (42) at the bottom were the greatest since I started in 2011. This may be reflected in some interesting counts for yesterday. The counts for the 3 weeks were: Brimstone 0,1,7; Chalk-hill Blue 0,2,30; Comma 1,0,1; Common Blue 0,2,50; Gatekeeper 29,58,14; Green-veined White 0,2,5; Large Skipper 1,1,3; Marbled White 9,21,1; Meadow Brown 10,20,23, Painted Lady 0,0,1; Peacock 3,1,3; Red Admiral 2,5,5; Small Copper 0,0,1; Small Heath 0,4,7; Small Skipper 0,1,0; Small White 3,3,0. A reliable witness yesterday reported a Clouded Yellow on a part of the reserve not covered by the transect. The Common Blues clearly loved the heat yesterday but the Gatekeepers were well down in numbers and Marbled Whites were almost absent.
The following moths were recorded: July 3: Rosy Footman (Miltochrista miniata), Common Grass veneer (Agriphila tristella), Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata), Cinnabar larvae (Tyria jacobaeae); July 8: Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae), Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis). (Colin Knight)
TQ118132. Peacocks, Commas, 10 Silver Washed Fritillaries, huge number of Gatekeeper, 6 Marbled White, Small Skippers (Mike Warren)
TQ173111. Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral, 2 Cinnabar moth caterpillars on groundsel (Mike Warren)
TQ175106. Red Admirals, Peacocks, Comma, Brimstone (Mike Warren)
River polo field Smaller Copper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown (Mike Warren)
Firstly, let me say how delighted I am to see Brian White's photographs of a Purple Emperor rejection drop. We met Brian very briefly at the end of our day to hear he had driven all the way down from Bolton purely for PE's and was desperate to see them. Andrew, Justin and I also had an opportunity to see a "drop" on the 12th, the day before Brian's. Amazingly the male and female sat on me for a few minutes whilst those present happily got their shots. My thanks to Andrew Hayes and Justin Kent for supplying the shots of the PE's and the mating Gatekeepers (Phil Lowe)
The Following Butterflies were recorded at Butts Brow / Butts Lane, Willingdon late afternoon 17/7/2017
Meadow Brown , Gatekeeper, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Comma, Peacock,
Two very fresh Brimstone, a few Small Heath, numbers of this species seem to be down on last year at this site, Common Blues,
Small Skipper , Large Skipper, Marbled White , Chalkhill Blue, and two Small Copper, Great to see this lovely butterfly back again after a poor 2016 season, I only managed to see one of these last year and that was out of county at Ashley Heath reserve in Dorset. (Roy Meller)
Here are some of the fantastic images of the 'rejection drop' taken by Bolton photographer Brian White http://brianwhitephotography.co.uk/index.htm on the 13 July Knepp Purple Emperor safari. An already-mated female is seen trying to out-manoeuvre two amorous males. (Neil Hulme)
Three Purple Emperors seen at Knepp yesterday together with a dozen or so fresh Small Heaths, two Purple Hairstreaks, Large and Small Skippers, Red Admiral, Peacock, mating Green-veined Whites, Comma, Marbled White, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Small Copper, Ringlet and countless Gatekeeprs and Meadow Browns. I called at Kithurst Meadow on my way back, where I saw ten Chalkhill Blues (some already looking worn), Brown Argus, Common Blue, Marbled White, Red Admiral, Small White and Brimstone (Bill Brooks)
Abbots Wood. Yesterday we had a two hour stroll around the wood. 18 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 5 White Admirals, 20 Meadow Browns, 5 Ringlets, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 1 Comma, 7 Common Blues, 1 Grayling, 2 Purple Hairstreaks and more Gatekeepers than you could shake a stick at. Lots of large Dragonflies all through the wood. Also, a toad! Photos not much. Just record shots of the ones I could get near to. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
I got back from bird-watching early afternoon and then wandered around the garden to see what was around. I didn't manage to see the male Brown Hairstreak but it may have popped in during the morning. As the females are now probably emerging locally it won't want to be too far from the Master tree, wherever that is? The nearest decent-size Ash is about 600 metres away, on the edge of a copse next to a meadow full of Common Fleabane and various thistles. I doubt it flies all that way! I have a good-size Field Maple in the hedge. I will have to check it out when the sun shines again. In my wanderings around the garden I counted 18 butterfly species including Purple Hairstreak, which is a new species for the garden! It must have been nectaring on one of the flower heads by the pond or even taking salts from what is now an almost dried-out pond. It flew just 2-3 feet away from my left elbow, up to the largest Oak tree in my garden, whizzed around the lower branches before entering the 'heart' of the Oak and out of sight. I shall be pursuing this little fella until I manage a photo. That is now 28 species for the season with a cumulative total of 34 species over the past 8-10 years. For anyone who intends coming to my Open Day on Saturday (I do hope the weather is kind!) please either park in the driveway or preferably by the laurel hedge which fronts the property next to us. We are the second property on the left in Kithurst Lane, so it means driving past a few metres and parking up on the left-hand side of the road. Just walk up the driveway. Avoid the front steps as they are steep and there isn't a hand rail. There are no particular hazards in the garden. There is a small pond but it has only a foot of water. The only hazard is the road. If you bring children please look after them. I am happy to look after my grandchildren when they visit but draw a line after that. I'll repeat this message on Friday. (martin kalaher)
Tuesday 18 July
The fixed route, timed count survey I performed today demonstrates very clearly how the Knepp Wildland project is benefiting the butterflies (and other wildlife) of West Sussex. Of the 24 species recorded, highlights included Purple Emperor (10), Brown Hairstreak (8), Purple Hairstreak (43), Silver-washed Fritillary (2), White Admiral (1) and Clouded Yellow (1). Most of the emperor action was again centred on oaks which are bleeding sap, as the now exhausted and ragged females take on life-extending nutrients. One of these 'feeder trees' hosted four females and a male at the same time. A few empresses still have a little left in them yet, and retain their regal looks while perched low amongst the oak leaves, while others look ready to make their final flight. Brown Hairstreak males continue to drop in unprecedented numbers and may be found wherever Creeping Thistle grows close to the Blackthorn-rich hedgerows. Over the last few years the improvements in the Knepp butterfly fauna have accelerated; it is now fast becoming exceptionally good. (Neil Hulme)
A single Clouded Yellow was very active in the wild area of the garden in Turners Hill this afternoon . This is second one I have seen in the garden this year but none elsewhere. (Tom Parker)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Single male seen along ride at TQ410335,Lumbston Stone. (Alastair Gray)
A visit to North Stoke in very warm conditions today produced the following species:-
100+ Meadow Brown, 20+ Gatekeeper, 5 Small Heath, 1 Speckled Wood, 15 Common Blue, 3 Holly Blue, 1 Small Copper, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Small Skipper, 8 Peacock, 8 Comma, 15 Red Admiral, 1 Small White, 20 Green-veined White, 5 Large White, 15 Brimstone and a Silver-washed Fritillary. I also found some first-instar Comma larvae under some Hop leaves. (Vince Massimo)
Butterfly highlight of visit to RSPB Pulborough Brooks today was a Purple Hairstreak that had not read the books! We first noticed it at about 11.30, on what was a hot sunny day, on a patch of thistle flowers by the zig-zag path down the hill. Were able to get close views of the underside (but sadly no camera with us). It was still there when we returned at about 13.30. Gatekeepers were the most abundant butterfly but also saw Meadow Browns, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Common Blue, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Small Skipper, Small Copper, Speckled Wood. (Colin Booty)
Nine people and Max the Jack Russell joined me on Saturday to search for Silver-studded Blues on Ashdown Forest. The aim was to visit a number of areas which had historical but no recent records for this species, and to improve our understanding of the butterfly’s distribution on the forest to inform targeted conservation measures.
Starting by Wren’s Warren, we first covered a section of the Vanguard Way running southwards towards King’s Standing. Although there were some promising areas of heather habitat here, the only blues we found were Common along with common browns and skippers. A Painted Lady added a splash of colour while a pair of Tree Pipits was an interesting sighting.
After a swift lunch, we visited a known Silver-studded Blue colony by Smugglers car park and quickly found four elderly male butterflies sheltering amongst the heather in now cool conditions. As we were leaving, a black tail slithered across the path in front of us – a tantilising glimpse of what was possibly a black adder.
We then split into two groups – Steve Wheatley taking a western party to search for Silver-studded Blues by the A22, with me leading a group to Church Hill at the north-eastern edge of the forest. Neither party was successful although the weather had deteriorated by now.
The field trip finished with a brief visit to the Poundgate area in the south-eastern part of the forest. Five Silver-studded Blues were found here, including two butterflies in a heather compartment area west of the known distribution. It was a good way to conclude and many thanks to everyone for their diligent searching throughout the day.
Species List: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Small White, Small Copper, Common Blue, Silver-studded Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper.
(Paul Johnson )
Thanks Paul, and a big thank you to everyone who took part. (Ed jnr)
I got so excited when I encountered 5 of these Blue wing butterflies on a walk today on the downs just outside Lewes. Then I read on your website that the true Silver studded Blue only exist in Ashdown forest, so I guess what I saw was ordinary Blue WIngs
Yes, a pair off Common Blues, but still delightful creatures (Ed jnr)
Walking back from my allotment at the top of Whitehawk Hill Road in east Brighton today I walked through the adjacent area of chalk grassland. The Brighton grazing herd had just been moved onto it to graze for the next month or so. There were Meadow Browns flying about and a very small butterfly which obligingly landed so that i could see that it was a rather worn Small Blue. I think it is the first time I have been able to positively identify a Small Blue on this patch, though there are patches of kidney vetch on the site. I hope the newly arrived sheep don't munch any of it's offspring. (Tessa Pawsey)
Very pleased to see a Silver-washed fitillary in my garden today and others posted on my blog (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
The highlights of 25 butterfly species seen on a sunny, breezy morning walk around Lancing Ring & Steep Down were 54 Wall Brown, 39 Common Blue, 15 Chalk Hill Blue, 2 Clouded Yellow and my first Dark Green Fritillary of the year for this walk (must have been poor observer effort previously, as this was a very faded fellow). (Lindsay Morris)
Sighted in Westfield, East Sussex (Linda Booth)
Levin down: Dingy Skipper 5 (Alan Wingrove)
White-letter Hairstreak noted 08.30 garden of Torfield Cottage, Hastings. (Sharon Bigg)
Monday 17 July
The Brown Hairstreak season is now well under way on the Knepp Wildland. Matthew Oates and Harry Drew headed out early to count the males around 'master trees', while I spent several hours in one place, observing hairstreak behaviour. 'Master trees' are usually Ash or Field Maple but at Knepp, perhaps unsurprisingly, they also use sallows.
The sallow in my image held at least a dozen males this morning, which zipped around this and adjacent trees until retiring to the crown and becoming inactive just before 10 am. After resting for an hour they began to drop into the Creeping Thistle and Fleabane to nectar. At one point I had four males feeding within a patch of flowers little more than a metre square. The combined total of male Brown Hairstreaks this morning was 51. Matthew and Harry also saw a male Wall, this being the 34th species recorded on the Wildland since 2005. Purple Emperor activity continues to wane, but a female-heavy count of 20 was eventually achieved, with many visiting sap bleeds. (Neil Hulme)
Butterflies in my Bevendean garden today included Red Admirals, Peacocks, Commas, Meadow Browns,Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Large Whites, green veined whites and one fresh looking male Brimstone in the sun on a rhubarb leaf close to a purging buckthorn. (Geoff Stevens)
A visit to the Knepp estate to search for Brown Hairstreaks today,
resulted in four males, mainly on creeping Thistle. Surely at least two weeks early!. (Trevor Rapley)
Purple Emperor in the car park at the west end of Weir Wood this afternoon (Alastair Gray)
A 7 hour walk from Washington to Kithurst Flower Meadow and back including Chantry Hill produced 23 species. 15 species seen at Kithurst , including 50+ Chalk Hill Blue, Brown Argus and 2 Silver-washed Fritillary. Plenty of Marbled White in several locations and Dark Green Fritillary and Chalk Hill Blue in reasonable numbers at Chantry although I did not survey the whole area here. Not so many Skippers around but one Essex Skipper I saw seemed bit unusual in that it had 1 usual black antennae but the top half of the other one was white. Great to see so many butterflies at main two locations, shows what a great job has been done for butterflies and insects in these areas. (Anthony Bennett)
Just north of Lancing Manor is MacIntyre's Field (TQ 18779 06013). My latest new site for White-letter Hairstreak. Just one female seen this evening, nectaring on bramble. Oh happy day! (Lindsay Morris)
This field, with a border of wild flowers, is attracting plenty of butterflies, hoverflies and bees etc. Butterflies seen there in the past week include Holly Blue, Small and Essex Skippers, Small and Green-veined White, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue. Moths include Celypha striana and Pammene aurita. Hovers include Volucella inanis, V.pellucens, V.zonaria, Baccha elongata, Chrysotoxum festivum. Other finds include Phasia hemiptera and Liparus coronatus. (Mike Kerry)
At Chantry Hill this week the total butterfly count was quite modest at around 400-500. Last year on a similar date it was around 7,500! The Dark Green Fritillary count was down from last weeks total of 71 to just 43, of which about two thirds were female. I looked for Silver-spotted Skippers but found none. There is one small area of flower meadow which always delivers. It is only about 15 metres by 40 metres but is full of diversity and today there were 15 butterfly species in this one small area. I was watching a male Brimstone nectaring on Marjoram when another large yellow butterfly flew by. I assumed it was another Brimstone but it turned out to be a large Clouded Yellow, my first for the year. Otherwise Chalk Hill Blue was the most numerous species with about 110 present. All male except for one female. Including my garden there were 22 species for the day. (Martin Kalaher)
Saltdean Oval East Bank, Behind Lido, Brighton Outskirts. Another "Big Butterfly Count" as follows; 23 Six-spot Burnet moths, 15 Small Skippers, 16 Common Blues, 23 Meadow Browns, 3 Small Whites, 1 Large White, 2 Clouded Yellows and 2 Silver Y moths. I also took a photo of a moth caterpillar that needs identifying. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Colin knight reports that the moth larva looks like a Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata) (Ed jnr)
Clouded Yellow flying around strongly, not resting. TQ 4918 0066 (Mike Kerry)
An absolutely glorious afternoon in St Leonards Forest, Horsham made even greater with the abundance of butterflies. Gatekeepers were everywhere, Meadow Brown and Ringlet keeping them company. Brimstone were back in force and numbers of Red Admiral building. Peacock and Silver-washed Fritillary chased along the rides frequently attacked by Large Skipper and Comma. One Large Skipper(I think), was almost albino or perhaps old and faded although still full of energy. (see pic) There were also Common Blue, Essex Skipper, Whites and Speckled Wood. However what stole the show for me were the White Admiral. Last year, I hoped to see one on a walk in the forest, this year I wonder how many will be seen. I shall return soon. (Patrick Moore)
Today in company with my father, Roy Symonds, I visited Houghton Forest (SU9911), following an aborted visit on Saturday which resulted in a heavy shower just after we started walking. We walked a large circuit taking two and half hours where the temperature reached a maximum of 24°C. Many Silver Washed Fritillarys were flying, while compared to almost the same day last year when we visited, Ringlets and Meadow Browns were lower in number. More Gatekeeper and Commas were flying, the latter almost all in fresh condition. Sadly we did not see any Purple Emperors, as their flight period must be all but finished judged by their early emergence this year. Happily we did see the Emperor's cousin - eight White Admirals a few of which were imbibing from damp soil. A hot day with plenty of butterflies, before my return home to Cornwall.
Totals: Brimstone 4M 5F, Large White 5, Small White 11, Holly Blue 2, Gatekeeper 20, Meadow Brown 31, Ringlet 56, Speckled Wood 5, Comma 16, Peacock 7, Red Admiral 14, Silver Washed Fritillary 62M 26F, White Admiral 8, Large Skipper 8, Small Skipper 3. (Richard Symonds)
I decided this morning to take up Ed Jnr's challenge to nominate a site where 20 or more species can be seen on a single visit, so I spent 3 hours wandering all over Friston Gallops. There were literally hundreds of Chalk Hill Blues -- nearly all males but a few females as well. Gatekeepers were also present, if anything in greater numbers than the Chalk Hills. There were also plenty of Meadow Browns still about, a few Ringlets and Small Heaths, which are now rising in numbers again as the new generation starts flying. A lot of skippers were also flying, both Small Skipper and Essex Skipper.
So, overall, I saw the following: Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Wall Brown, Small Heath, Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Clouded Yellow, Small Skipper and Essex Skipper -- a total of 20 species. I think with more sharp eyes and better observers than me, you could probably add another 3 or 4 species on this site at this time of year. (Andy Wilson)
Thanks. I thought no one read the rubbish I write!. I suspected Friston would deliver,so thanks for confirming that. (Ed jnr)
Amongst the many butterfly species being seen at the Liz Williams Butterfly Haven now; Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Speckled Wood, Small Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Small White and Large White, I was also surprised to see a Clouded Yellow followed immediately afterwards by Humming-bird Hawk-moth. Just perhaps, the Long-tailed Blue and maybe even better, is not that far away? (Dan Danahar)
Over the past couple of weeks it's been noticeable that the number of Gatekeepers visiting the garden has been a significant improvement over the past few years , with males appearing before females Today we visited Marline Valley , Sussex Wildlife trust nature reserve in East Sussex . beautiful hillside meadows , rich with plant and insect life . The Gatekeepers across the meadows were the commonest butterflies and possibly ran in to the 100s . Also seen Common Blues , newly emerged Small Coppers , a very large Painted Lady sat on a mole hill , Burnet moths and dragonflies including a superb Blue coloured dragonfly which may have been a chaser or a skimmer alas it didn't land . In certain areas especially against a higher fence line there were masses of Goat willow - and perhaps potential PE habitat in the future ( Richard Roebuck)
Sunday 16 July
Joined the butterflies for beginners event - my first BC trip. Despite the cloudy skies the butterfly project at Warnham had plenty to see. After warming us up with the Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns we moved onto single examples of several other species. A most interesting morning, informed by David of course (Nick L)
Yesterday (15 July) I lead morning and afternoon guided walks at Hollingbury Park in Brighton, to look for White-letter Hairstreaks. In the morning 12 people joined me, the weather wasn't looking promising, despite this we headed off in search of the butterfly, the wind was a problem at times, in the tennis glade within the woodland (pictured) where sheltered from the wind, I suggested we search for the butterfly on the Hemp Agrimony flower heads, this worked as the group saw two males down on the the same plant, it was only later that we realised why one of them wasn't moving - Crab spider. Luckily the other stayed around for everyone to have a good look before it return to the nearby elm tree. I then gave an illustrated talk with my photos covering the life-cycle of the White-letter Hairstreak - now well rehearsed for a repeat in the afternoon. The cloud brightened and the wind eased by the time I had finished the talk, we headed back toward the Walnut tree ''hotspot'' where we found three butterflies, seen feeding on the Creeping Thistle and resting up in one of the taller suckering elms. Due to the cloud cover one was tempted onto warm hands, thus highlighting the White-letter Hairstreaks small size.The walk was well timed as light drizzle fell as the morning walk came to a close. I popped home and was back out to lead the afternoon session, the drizzle had stopped but was still overcast, I was joined by 7 people this time as we began our search, the butterflies faded appearance made them easily blend in with gone to seed Creeping Thistle flower heads, despite this we managed to see three butterflies, clinging and walking around on the Creeping Thistle plants. It was a delight to meet everyone and a pleasure to share my local knowledge of the White-letter Hairstreak. The majority of those that attended had never seen a White-letter Hairstreak before, I'm pleased I could assist in the experience. Some of those that joined me were Lower Roedale and Roedale Valley Allotment tenants, neighbouring sites, as part of my work with them I received donations specifically towards the purchase of disease-resistant elm trees for the sites. Other species seen: Small White, Red Admiral, Comma, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue, Common Blue and Essex Skipper. (Jamie Burston)
A big thank you to the twenty two people who made our Bevendean Blues walk today a success. The weather was cloudy and a bit breezy but warm. This meant that the chalkhill blues did’nt seem quite as numerous as on previous walks but the ones we saw stayed still for longer! Our first siting was of a Small Blue and by the end of the walk we had seen seventeen butterfly species. These included Common Blues, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Small Heath, Dark Green Fritillary, essex , small and Large Skippers. The chalkhill blues were mainly at the top of the valley where the horseshoe vetch grows well. A couple of people who took part on the walk expressed an interest in coming along to our next workday on August 20th at which they would be most welcome. Details will be posted on the Friends of Bevendean blog. Tessa Pawsey, Photographs are by Sarah Stevens and Patrick Bonfield. (Geoff Stevens http://bevendeandown.wordpress.com)
Hollingbury Park on a cloudy humid morning delivered 5 White-letter Hairstreaks on creeping thistle and I think hemp agrimony by the plyground and tennis courts. This was in conjunction with Jamie's walk who was a mine of information about this butterfly. There were only 4 white letters when we left thanks to a devious white spider that attacked one from below. That's nature for you! (Martin buck)
For the week beginning July 10th I recorded 20 species of butterflies in my Storrington wildlife garden, as follows: Small Skipper (6), Essex Skipper (6), Large Skipper (4), Brimstone (1m, 1f), Large White (3), Small White (3), Green-veined White (1), Brown Hairstreak (1), Small Copper (2), Brown Argus (2), Common Blue (5), Holly Blue (1), Red Admiral (5), Painted Lady (2), Peacock (7), Comma (3), Marbled White (1), Gatekeeper (35), Meadow Brown (25) and Ringlet (1). As predicted the male Brown Hairstreak did return today. I suspect it will came back every day for as long as the Hemp Agrimony is in flower. (martin kalaher)
Roedean Old 9-hole Site, West of Roedean School. I did a 15 minute quick walk in and around the butterfly bank to report to the "Big Butterfly Count". The count I submitted was as follows; 2 Marbled Whites, 9 Common Blues, 34 Meadow Browns, 31 Small Blues, 5 Small Whites, 19 Small Skippers, 3 Small Heaths, 4 Gatekeepers and 20 Six-spot Burnet moths. If you haven't been to this site, it's a little gem. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
18 people joined me for today's BC Sussex walk to Eartham Wood, during which we performed a 15 minute count for the Big #ButterflyCount. That short period provided us with 10 species, including a female Purple Emperor, White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary. It was pleasing to see so many White Admiral (c.17), reflecting the best season for this species since 2010. Other butterflies included Large Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Green-veined White, Brown Argus, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet. One of our group also found a very nice full-grown Comma caterpillar. Given the generally overcast conditions, I think we did rather well. Thanks to all who attended. (Neil Hulme)
Despite Tuesday's persistent rain I decided to venture across to Knepp on Wednesday in the hope I would get some late sightings of Purple Emperor. Young Harry at Knepp (bless him, haha) suggested I'd have a poor day as the PE's were now declining in numbers and sightings. All expectations were surpassed, within a 10 minute walk from the Centre I had a female, albeit broken and tired, sit by me in the scrub of the hedge-line. From there through to White Admiral corner the sightings continued with a beautiful tumble-down male and female in an attempt to couple. Delightfully they decided to join me and sat on me for a few minutes (awaiting those shots from Justin and Andrew who very kindly took shots of the experience along with Katrina Watson - Katrina has very kindly sent hers on to me, a big thanks to her) A fantastic day with a personal count of 20+ (Phil Lowe)
Terrific walk from beachy head to birling gap lots of insect life, Gatekeepers 10+, Meadow Brown 20+ Chalk Hill Blue 12+, Marbled White 10+ a fantastic Painted Lady like a jumbo jet!!! I could of watched it for hours. Dark Green Fritillary x 3 Among the thistles, six spot Burnett too many to count 30+ And many skippers as I'm still new to butterfly spotting could someone please let me know which one is on my photo? Many thanks, I'm really enjoying hunting for butterflies. (Angie Bowey )
That is a small skipper Angie. The easiest way to tell is to look at the antennae. From the photo I don't think the underside is black. There is an article here. This page is also very useful. Just remember guide books are just guides and there is often quite a bit of variation within species. I would also like to point out that everyone gets it wrong from time to time, especially with skippers, so don't worry about making mistakes. The more you see the easier it gets. We look forward to seeing more of your sightings in the future. (Ed jnr)
After six hours on Ashdown Forest yesterday I thought a short walk on Mill Hill would a nice change. The sky was cloudy and there was some wind. However their were plenty of butterflies to see. These included Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Small White, Green-veined White, Large White, Comma, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Copper, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Brown Argus, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Heath and Marbled White
Returning later in the afternoon I saw a Speckled Wood, a couple of Wall Browns and a Clouded Yellow, my first of the season. On the lowest slopes there was speedy skipper but I was unable to track it down.
This made 20 species in one day on this small patch of East Sussex. I can think of a few more species that could probably have been seen there today with a little more effort. (Jonathan Crawford)
Do you know a site where you can see 20 or more species in one day? If so I'd love to hear about it as I will be redoing the Sites page soon. The ones I know for sure are Cissbury, Lullington Heath, High and over/Cradle valley, Malling Down and Mill Hill. I suspect Knepp and the Chantry Hill complex would also deliver a high number of species. (Ed jnr)
The Purple Emperor season may now be waning, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit the Knepp Wildland. The place is currently awash with hairstreaks and, at one point on Friday, I saw three species sitting in close proximity. Purple Hairstreak numbers have fallen from peak, but are still very high, while only a few, tatty White-lettered are still flying. Most of the excitement is now being provided by the Brown Hairstreak, the males of which are dropping down to feed on Fleabane and Creeping Thistle. I suspect that this unusually co-operative behaviour is being driven by a shortage in the arboreal food-supply, caused by this long, hot summer. I joined a search team of Matthew Oates, Derek Longhurst (visiting from Australia) and Harry Drew to look for these beauties, with a combined total of 16 male Brownies being recorded at low level. Many people were caught out by this year's unusually early Purple Emperor season; I would encourage Brown Hairstreak fans to start looking now! (Neil Hulme)
Some pictures from the Ashdown Forest Silver-studded Blue Hunt yesterday (Jonathan Crawford)
Saturday morning I went to Chantry Hill a bit too late for roosting butterflies (apart from one Meadow Brown). After an hour the Meadow Browns started flying followed by Gatekeepers a few Marbled Whites some Skippers, a few Chalkhill Blues and a single Dark Green Fritillary.
Saturday evening I spent just over an hour at Friston Gallops. My time was spent mainly photographing but I counted at least 65 roosting blues nearly all Chalkhill within 2 metres of a small area of the main paths. I suspect someone doing a more thorough count of the whole site would find hundreds. Also seen with about a dozen Meadow Browns, 3 Marbled Whites, and a few skippers. (Katrina Watson)
Saturday 15 July
Not the most auspicious of days for observing butterflies but as I was in the garden preparing a new bed within the meadow I spent a few minutes wandering around to see what was happening. Mostly, not a lot! I did spot a 'new' second-brood female Common Blue, so I went in-doors to fetch my camera. No great surprise that when I returned the Common Blue was not to be found. It was windy, cloudy and the butterflies were hunkering down. I then had a look at the Hemp Agrimony and took a pic of what I think is a 'Giant Hoverfly' (Ed Jnr will tell me what it is) when a Brown Hairstreak landed beside me just 2 feet away. Unfortunately, it didn't stay long (about 30 seconds) but enough time for a couple of photos. July 15th is 25 days earlier than my previous earliest garden record. If previous experience is anything to go by then this BH will come back again and again. They find Hemp Agrimony irresistible. (martin kalaher)
Friday 14 July
The last Knepp Purple Emperor safari of the year was a great success, with a total of 26 individual emperors seen on Thursday afternoon. We were treated to a superb grand finale, when an already-mated female performed a spectacular rejection drop from a great height, with two amorous males spiralling down in pursuit. Several times she tumbled to the ground, only to rise up once more and repeat the process; the males sometimes take a while to get the message. We had some very good photographers with us and some amazing in-flight images were taken (to be posted here once forwarded). As always, His Imperial Majesty entertained the crowd, by chasing birds, rival emperors and Red Admirals.
There were plenty of other butterflies on show, including three species of hairstreak; Purple, White-letter and Brown. The Brown Hairstreaks (3) were in excellent condition and included a freshly emerged female. A male Essex Skipper was particularly obliging, allowing us a close-up look at the key identification features.
The 2017 Purple Emperor safaris have been a joy to lead; Matthew Oates and I will probably increase the number next year, as they seem to be getting more popular every season. Thank you to all those who came along; I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. (Neil Hulme)
In our back garden in Hove the sun kept coming and going, but we still saw a Holly Blue, a white and our reliable Comma. Having found a place to settle it must have stayed about an hour, during which time a white letter hairstreak flitted past it and up into our big old apple tree. This is in a sheltered spot and they definitely like it there. The hairstreak was too high up for my pictures to be any good and when I chucked a little apple to dislodge it, it paid me back by heading off to the park. (John & Val Heys)
As I am having an Open Day next week I have been busy sorting out a few things in the garden. I spent quite a lot of time just wandering about hoping for a Fritillary or a Clouded Yellow - but it was not to be. However, for the second time this year I did see a Small Copper laying eggs on the Common Sorrel in the back "lawn". A solitary Brown Argus was in the meadow and the first second-brood female Common Blue put in a brief appearance. (martin kalaher)
I have been "confined to barracks" at home in Seaford for the last three weeks following a bunion operation, mainly sitting on the settee with my leg resting in the raised position. It has given me the chance to see which butterflies stay for a while or simply pass over. Today there were quite a number of Large Whites, several Meadow Browns, a couple of Gatekeepers that have been in the same area for a few days, a Painted Lady that stopped to feed and two Common Blues, one of which has been around for 5 days but struck lucky today when female appeared that he mated with. He has been very territorial, chasing whatever intruded on his patch, including the Painted Lady and Large Whites and even a bumble bee. I have also seen 1 Green Veined White, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Small Copper and a couple of Speckled Woods plus the usual more common butterflies, in the last three weeks (Stuart Ridley)
Yesterday was a butterfly rich day spent filming in the Liz Williams butterfly haven with CNN International, as part of their Going Green series to be broadcast 26th July 2017. A diverse array of different species were seen and filmed (along with the children of Dorothy Stringer School) including; Small & Large White, Small Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Essex Skipper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and for the first time on one day; multiple sightings of the Marbled White. (Dr Dan Danahar)
Thursday 13 July
Fifteen species shown on my blog (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
This afternoon (13 July) I had some free time to assess the White-letter Hairstreaks at Hollingbury Park for my upcoming Saturday walks. In total I saw 1 female and 5 male White-letter Hairstreaks, feeding on Creeping Thistle, Bramble and Hemp Agrimony. It soon became clear that the population is at a late stage in the flight period, with all of them showing varying degrees of wear and tear! It perhaps didn't help having to provide a date for the walk before the caterpillars had even emerge from their eggs in spring! Next year I'll allow for better flexibility of dates. Superb work by Lindsay Morris, finding a new site for White-letter Hairstreak, adding to last years success in North Lancing. Additionally really pleased to hear from Terry Wood regarding White-letter Hairstreak over at Hastings this year. Keep the sightings coming! (Jamie Burston)
The Comma, Red Admiral and skipper put in appearances in our Hove back garden this afternoon. The skipper popped up in front of me out of the blue to nectar on our marjoram and this time was able to check it out - an Essex Skipper. It is so brilliant at being there and then not that I feel we must have been seeing the same one for the past week. However, the highlight was earlier as I was putting out the table for coffee and disturbed a different female Common Blue from Monday's female. (John & Val Heys)
I spent a couple of hours in the garden this afternoon doing some bits and pieces but found time to take some pics and count the butterflies. There was a total of 15 species. Numbers for Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma are on the rise, whilst the skippers are in decline, as is Marbled White. (martin kalaher)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down. 24 species of butterfly, the highlight for me being a new site for White-letter Hairstreak - 2 at the pumping station between the bostal road and Steep Down. Plenty else to gorge myself on - 150 Gatekeeper, 32 Marbled White, 30 Comma, 29 Common Blue, 26 Peacock, 15 Red Admiral, 10 Wall Brown, 3 Small Copper, 3 Holly Blue, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow, my first Chalkhill Blue this year. Dusky Sallow, hare and quail for dessert. Delicious! (Lindsay Morris)
Having completed my 'Wider Butterfly Survey' around Friston Forest I thought I would venture over to Deep Dene in the hope of seeing some Grayling. It took quite a long time and the climbing about in the warm conditions was hard work. I was just about to give up when a Grayling took off from under my feet, it wasn't long though before it had done the usual Grayling vanishing act. Before I had left I did see another 2. The Chalkhill Blues along the valley between the forest and Deep Dene was full of Chalkhill Blues with clouds of them taking off from the ground as they took salts from various droppings. Also lots on the hard core surfaces. I haven't seen anything like this since the famous clouds above Butchershole Bottom a few years ago. It would be well worth checking that area out!!
This morning I came across a Silver-spotted Skipper roosting at Cradle Valley. As the sun warmed him he opened his wings wide to take advantage of the conditions. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Hastings - White-letter Hairstreak. My wife and I took a walk late morning today in the wild area behind the Hastings Torfield allotments hoping to find a White-letter Hairstreak. Most of the tall Elms here are now dead and, after last year's failed search, we were very happy and somewhat surprised to actually find a pristine specimen nectaring for long periods there on bramble flowers. (Terry Wood)
Kipling Gardens. A quick walk through showed 3 Common Blues, 2 Small Whites, 1 Large White and 1 Meadow Brown.
Rottingdean Pond. One quick lap revealed 1 Brown Argus, 1 Red Admiral and 3 Large Whites. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Wednesday 12 July
I visited Knepp this afternoon with a friend who had never seen a Purple Emperor. I thought it was bit of a gamble so late in the season but as it turned out there were still plenty about. It was a pleasure to meet Phil and a highlight was two coming down from a tree together and landing together on his jeans. Other highlights were seeing large numbers of Purple Hairstreaks and some fresh Commas. Also seen were Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, Red Admirals, Marbled Whites, deer and a black rabbit. (Katrina Watson)
Sadly, tomorrow (13 July) is the last of this year's Knepp Purple Emperor safaris, and we're set to go out with a bang. Of the last three events, run on 6, 8 and 9 July, we only had to struggle on one, but still saw 16 individuals. On the other two walks we were blessed with emperors in abundance, attacking birds, dragonflies and other butterflies.
Even today Matthew Oates recorded 24 individuals in just a couple of locations. Much of the action is now centred on 'feeder trees', where the tipple of oak sap is causing violent brawls as closing time draws nearer. Up to half-a-dozen emperors (both male and female) are congregating around these trees, and some of the inebriated butterflies seem barely capable of level flight as they depart.
Yesterday we watched a middle-aged couple meet on a sap bleed, before tumbling to the ground in a heap. The emperors of Knepp may no longer be pristine and full of power and grace, but they're still entertaining the crowds and will do so for at least another week. A few are still coming down to meet the visitors, with one lucky chap enjoying a double-trousering today. It will soon be over for another year, so get there if you can.
A lovely afternoon in St Leonards Forest, Horsham shared with Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Gatekeeper and Small Skippers. There were also Silver-washed Fritillary charging around, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood, some very fresh Large Skipper, Comma, a stunning Small Copper, two Common Blue and a White Admiral which I think was egg laying (see picture which was rushed). (Patrick Moore)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: A silver studded blue was sighted in the hedge just past the tree clump at King standing (Mrs Street)
Malling Down on Tuesday just before the rain set in. Saw 2 Small Copper, at least 10 Marbled Whites, lots of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, a Ringlet, a Peacock, Red Admiral, Small White and the butterfly in the photo which I took to be a Chalk Hill Blue, it was a pale washed out blue when it flew away. (Martin Buck)
I came, I saw and I concurred. It is indeed a Chalk Hill Blue (Ed jnr)
Tuesday 11 July
Despite the poor weather today roosting Blues and a newly emerged Silver-spotted Skipper brightened up my day!! More on my blog. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
sun 09/07/2017 on a walk between Belle Tout and Birling Gap saw hundreds of Six Spot Burnet Moths, i've never seen so many, mostly on Greater Knapweed flowers. and got a Dark Green Fritillary on my finger, in full sun as well, now there's a novelty, also along Eastbourne sea front saw this Jersey Tiger moth on wall. (Peter Farrant)
Ringlet in the rain, Lower Beeding mobile phone picture. (Patrick Moore)
Having been doing the Crowlink Transect for about 15 years I saw my first Ringlet sighting at this venue with one definite and one possible around a fairly remote downland bush at TV536973 (David Jode)
Thank you for your sighting David, and thank you for doing the transect. It is important work and much appreciated. (Ed jnr)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Ten Silver-studded Blues (eight males, two females) on and by the forest ride running between the Vanguard Way at New Pond Cottages and Crow's Nest Clump. (Paul Johnson)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project:Five Silver-studded Blues (three males, two females) on the Vanguard Way to the north-west of New Pond Cottages. (Paul Johnson)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Three male Silver-studded Blues on the Vanguard Way south of New Pond Cottages. (Paul Johnson)
Dining with the Emperor - Countryfile 9 July with John Craven: Now available on BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08y72pv/countryfile-northants
We spent yesterday morning on Chantry Hill and Kithurst Hill.The wind made photography challenging.Plenty of Dark Green Fritillary,Small Skippers,and browns,a few Chalk Hill Blue and a micromoth pyrausta despicata. Kithurst had more Chalk Hill Blues,a few Common Blues,some Large Whites,a Small Copper,both sites had plenty of six- spot burnet. (Barry Sketchley)
Just to say that i was pleased to see a Wall Brown on my allotment on Whitehawk Hill Road in east Brighton on sunday (Tessa Pawsey)
Monday 10 July
Some old friends and new in our back garden in Hove this morning. The Comma, the Red Admiral, the small/Essex Skipper and two different Meadow Browns (one male, one female) plus several whites and finally a female Common Blue which I chased here and there taking pictures. On looking at these I saw she'd been egg laying on our white clover. Now I won't be able to mow the lawn for a couple of weeks! She did eventually visit the birds foot trefoil and black medic which I'd been cultivating specially but she preferred the low-down clover, not the patches I'd allowed to grow bigger. We popped along to Ditchling Common in the afternoon and saw 25 or so Meadow Browns, about the same number of Gatekeepers, a few Speckled Woods, at least one Ringlet, 4 Marbled Whites, 3 Large Skippers, a dozen of the little skippers (only one identifiable - Essex Skipper), 8 Commas, a few whites, 10 Small Coppers, 2 Common Blues and 4 Purple Hairstreaks (only one close up). (John & Val Heys)
Twenty two species recorded at Blackcap and Ashcombe Bottom today. Meadow Brown numbers seemed down but they are being replaced by Gatekeepers. On the bostal slopes 118 Chalkhill Blues with 70 Marbled White. While in Ashcombe Bottom there were 31 Silver-washed Fritilaries along with 3 Purple Hairstreak and 3 White Admiral including a super fresh looking one. (lee walther)
I went on my weekly 4 hour tramp from home to Chantry Hill and back to Storrington. My principal target species was Dark Green Fritillary of which there were 71. Last week there were just 36 and only 2 females. This week there were approximately 45 females, so the numbers are clearly going up sharply. Last year I recorded a site record of 212 and I rather doubt we will get close to that, but you never know. Otherwise there were 3 Chalkhill Blue and 20 species in total. There was a very noticeable decrease in numbers with a significant decrease in Meadow Brown, Marbled White and Small Heath. (martin kalaher)
Plenty of Silver-washed Fritillarys showing,best was 8 together,probably 15-20 seen this afternoon. (Alastair Gray)
A Wolf loose in Marstakes Common this morning. Well actually a Wolf Spider.
Some pic's from this morning's conservation activities can be seen at
https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/ (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
We have small patch of about and acre, in the garden where I work , which has been left to re-wild . It attracts far more butterflies than the established meadow I sowed many years ago. It is very good for large and Small Skippers, Ringlets , Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. It is on the edge of woodland and attracts Speckled Wood and silver washed fritillary too. Alder's and willows and now getting established and are up to 12 foot high. I went to check for female Purple Emperors today at just after 2pm and found a single female working it's way around the willows. It is the first female PE I have seen on my home patch having seen males on a few occasions in the last 20 years.
At weekend I visited Knepp estate and saw single figures of Purple Emperors , most female , many around the young willows in the early afternoon . We also saw a single Brown Hairstreak feeding on thistles amongst the willow saplings. (Tom Parker)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down in breezy sunshine. Highlights of 21 butterfly species were 26 Peacock, 16 Red Admiral, 14 Comma,11 Common Blue, 6 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Wall, 4 Small Copper, 3 Painted Lady. Also Hummingbird Hawk-moth. No Chalkhill Blue or Brown Hairstreak yet... (Lindsay Morris)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: 15:00 10th July 2017.
3 Silver Studded Blue butterflies spotted (at the same time) 100M south of Hollies car park. (Martin Briggs)
06/07/2017 I saw two Monarch crossing my garden in Steyning, but not seen since. (Mike Warren)
Michael Blencowe says that there is an old Chinese proverb "One Monarch makes a sighting - two Monarchs make a wedding". While it is nice to see these enormous butterflies, they were probably released at a local wedding or a similar type of event so sadly we can't count them as a first sighting. (Ed jnr)
New butterflies yesterday in flower meadow ion addition to Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Marbled White: 5 Silver Washed Fritillary, 2 Red Admirals, many more Small Skipper and Gatekeeper, Large White, Small Heath. TQ118132 (Mike Warren)
Further to Michael's gripping report on the Graffham Down picnic, here's my (heavily cropped) photo of her imperial majesty, snapped when she landed in a sallow behind and to the left of the crowd in Michael's group shot. Looks to me like she's laying an egg. (John Woodward)
Sunday 09 July
At 9am we were in our quite small front garden in New Church Road, Hove, about to set off for a day in Hampshire, when Val spotted a Meadow Brown. They are infrequent visitors to the back garden but unheard of in the front. Equally unusual, it ignored the grass and settled on a sedum flower head which hasn't come into flower yet. In Hampshire we noticed a Comma laying eggs on a nettle plant and found one of the eggs. I thought that might be worth showing even though it's not Sussex, but it's not very easy to see. It's pretty central - the slightly blue blob, on the very tip of a jagged point of the big leaf - near the lowest of the holes in the little leaf behind. (John & Val Heys)
I'm afraid I don't know enough about them to have identified what type of Fritillary this is maybe high brown or silver washed? But we saw several of them in Leechpool & Owlbeach woods in Horsham on saturday 8th July. (Harriet Taylor)
Hi Harrier, thanks for your sighting. This is a Silver-washed Frittilary. Unfortunately the High Brown Fritillary hs been extinct in Sussex for almost 30 years (Ed jnr)
Ashdown,Five Hundred Acre wood . 7 Silver-washed Fritillarys on main ride. (Alastair Gray)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: 5 Males on path behind radio station.TQ477290 (Alastair Gray)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Still 2 Males along main track heading south from Hollies car park,200yrds from car Park on Left.TQ461284. (Alastair Gray)
50 people joined me today for our walk and picnic on Graffham Down. The event started with a moth trap opening. We recorded an impressive 140 species in the trap including rarities such as Olive Crescent as well as many hawkmoths and the first Garden Tiger I have seen in a while. Then we wandered the reserves looking for butterflies amongst the flower-rich meadows. Sadly we didn't see a Purple Emperor in the conifers where we usually spot them but we were all pleased to find some shade where we could sit for our picnic. While enjoying my cheese sandwich and a glass of cider someone pointed out a butterfly sat in a young Rowan. I spat out my cider when I looked up to see a big female Purple Emperor was sat above the crowd. She must have been watching us for quite some time. I yelled out and everyone was on their feet. Satisfied that she had grabbed our attention she launched herself off the tree and flew in circles just inches above our heads. Amazing! Thank you for all who came along today. (Michael Blencowe)
For the week beginning July 3rd there have been 19 butterfly species recorded in our Storrington garden, as follows: Small Skipper (8), Essex Skipper (8), Large Skipper (8), Brimstone (1), Large White (2), Small White (2), Green-veined White (2), Small Copper (2), Brown Argus (1), Common Blue (1m, 1f), Holly Blue (2), Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (1), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Peacock (3), Comma (3), Marbled White (10), Gatekeeper (15), Meadow Brown (30) and Ringlet (3). Also three sightings of Humming-bird Hawk-moth, with another today. Also today my eagle-eyed grand-son spotted a butterfly low down in the hedge and it turned out to be a Brown Hairstreak! (Martin Kalaher)
Another visit to Cradle Valley this evening produced a surprise in the sight of a Dingy Skipper, a 2nd brood I assume. What must be an unusual sight of a Dingy Skipper nectaring on Viper's Bugloss. Chalkhill Blues were going to roost despite the warmth of the evening. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
That would be the 25th species of butterfly on this site today.(Ed jnr)
Westfield Avenue North, Saltdean. This piece of Council maintained land is meadow-managed and a little gem for butterflies. If you're passing Saltdean, it's only a few minutes in land and it's well worth a visit. You can park right next to it. Grid ref. TQ 38794 03232. I spent about 45 minutes there today.
If you're into Six-spot Burnet Moths, there were hundreds. Butterflies were 1 Small Copper, 2 Gatekeepers, 6 Small Skippers, 15 Marbled Whites, 4 Small Whites, 40 Small Blues, 9 Common Blues and countless Meadow Browns. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: my wife spotted the butterfly at about 12.30 about 50-60mtrs east of camp hill clump. unfortunately I did not have a decent camera with me to get a photo as it was flitting about & I was unable to get close enough with my phone. next time we do a walk on the forest i'll be sure to take my camera (Alan Tritton)
Thanks Alan, your sighting is much appreciated (Ed jnr)
A mid afternoon visit to the Southwater Woods area provided 18 species including Purple Emperor high up in an oak. There were also Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral, Small and Large Skippers. Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Whites, Red Admiral, Peacock and Purple Hairstreak. A few Silver-washed Fritillary were egg laying at the base of trees, I took a snap-shot, not brilliant but interesting nonetheless. (Patrick Moore)
We had a walk along Cradle Valley and the surrounding footpaths today. We saw Small Skippers, Essex Skippers, Large Skippers, Small Whites, Large Whites, Gatekeepers, Small Heath, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Peacocks, Red Admirals, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstones, Painted Lady, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blues, Comma and Dark Green Fritillaries. The Brown Argus' was relatively numerous with about 20 spotted and were particularly conspicuous due to their garrulousness. We bumped into Bob Eade who has also seen Wall Browns, Holly Blue , Silver-spotted Skippers and a Small Copper but these eluded us. That makes a site tally of 24 species for the day. Wonder what the record is? (Jonathan Crawford)
Another Silver-spotted Skipper that had just emerged along Cradle Valley this morning. Also a very fresh Painted Lady on Knapweed. Chalkhill Blues numbers are still down a little, although hopefully will continue to grow. The first females on the site seen today. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
An overgrown and abandoned fruit cage is a magnet for bees and butterflies in my Cuckfield garden RH17 5LN (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
Saturday 08 July
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Male sitting on the heather by the path down to New Road (Tyler Farrow)
Silver-washed Fritillaries abound this year at Knowlands Wood, Barcombe but this is the first Valezina form female I have seen for a couple of years. (Nick Lear)
Delightful walk up from Lewes to Ditching road through N.T. reserve up to Blackcap on S.Downs. Many freshly emerged Chalk Hill Blues in pristine condition. Also many Marbled White. Wild flowers/orchids also excellent. This site has come back to its full potential after some misjudged grazing regimes. Many thanks to those responsible. (Robert Ludman)
This morning did my usual stroll around the Slindon Estate/Eartham Wood ,Silver-washed Fritillary,a few worn White Admirals,Peacocks,Red Admirals,all the usual browns,1 female Purple Emperor, my 1st in this wood this year,a few Large Whites ,Green-veined Whites,Large Skipper,Small Skipper.Also a Painted Lady and a full grown Painted Lady larva.On the Slindon Estate the N.T. have a large piece of carved limestone ,some moths have found this a good roosting place,today there were 3 Broad-barred Whites and a Knot Grass. (Barry Sketchley)
Friday 07 July
Steyning allotment TQ172113: Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large White, Comma (Mike Warren)
North of Woods Mill , TQ215138 Along the footpath beside the stream there were many Ringlets, several Marbled White, several newly hatched Peacock, Meadow Brown, 2 Comma, Large White, several Gatekeeper and a Speckled Wood, several Small Skipper (Mike Warren A.R.P.S.)
The Silver-spotted Skipper seen by Bob Eade today and the Brown Hairstreaks of Harry Mole and John Prodger have just been confirmed as national first sightings. This means that unless the good people of Kent manage to find a Scotch Argus this year, Sussex will have had more first sightings then any other county. (Not that anyone is really counting.) It demonstrates what a wonderful place this is for butterflies and what a tremendous community of butterfly enthusiasts we have posting to this site. (Ed jnr)
In and around the Dew Pond (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
We walked our WCB Survey lines at Balcombe in the prescribed way today. Putting the lines on the map on the BC website and all the other info in the database will be struggled with in due course. A helpful lady in charge of a bracken burning group near the start of our first line in Balcombe was sending me a text, but it hasn't arrived. She wanted to know what we'd seen, so I hope she finds this website as I did mention it. We did spot more exciting butterflies than we'd expected, but only briefly in most cases. We saw 54 Meadow Browns, 22 Ringlets, 3 Gatekeepers and 4 unclassified browns. There were 7 skippers of which 1 was definitely large and 1 Essex. We saw 1 Comma, 1 unclassified orange (probably a Comma) and 6 unclassified whites, none of which would stick around to be identified.
The best bit came when we'd stopped briefly for a drink on our first line (on the road, before the railway bridge, near a forest track and some log piles). A Red Admiral flitted by, then a large fritillary zoomed around (probably silver washed), followed by a rather stately White Admiral and finally a Purple Hairstreak darted here and there, all quite close, but not stopping for photos. We didn't see anything different away from our lines.
Back home in Hove, sitting sipping tea in the shade of our apple tree, a White-letter Hairstreak came down from it onto our scabious. I failed to get a picture and disturbed it so comprehensively that it flew off and didn't come back. Afterwards a Red Admiral made several brief sorties round the garden before we went in.
(John & Val Heys)
Cissbury Ring area produced 17 butterfly species today as well as a Humming-bird Hawk-moth. I was quite happy to see not only a Common Blue but a Chalk Hill Blue as well. There were Dark Green Fritillary around the flint mine pits especially on the Buddleia all moving at high speed and not stopping long for refuelling. I hung round there longer than planned and had to shorten my walk, which given the heat probably wasn't a bad thing. (Patrick Moore)
Amongst the many Meadow Browns, Small & Essex Skippers at Medmerry today were at least half a dozen second brood Common Blues. (bart ives https://selseybirder.blogspot.co.uk/)
There was a second-brood female Brown Argus in the garden meadow this afternoon. Also a male Common Blue but it was nectaring on Potentilla and shunning the meadow! (martin kalaher)
Brown Hairstreak @ Knepp today. I saw there was another sighting today. Seems early, any earlier this year? (Harry Mole http://www.backgardensafari.com)
This Brown Hairstreak visited our garden pond briefly today. Fortunately, My camera was not far away! (John Prodger)
A White-letter Hairstreak (female) at Rathlin Road pond, Crawley (TQ25776 35551). This is the first time I have ever seen this species in Crawley. (Vince Massimo)
Gazing vaguely into my small garden just off Elm Grove in Brighton this afternoon my eye was caught by butterfly movement around a clematis viticella. Looking through my binoculars i was delighted to see a White-letter Hairstreak resting on a flower. I should'nt have been surprised given that I can see the elm trees lining the aforementioned grove but I was. (Tessa Pawsey)
A short, but good session at High and Over this morning. My first 2nd brood Wall Brown started things off on a positive note, followed by a further 5. All near the carpark. All looked as if they had been out for 2 or 3 days. I then found a near fully grown Emperor larva walking across the steps. 4 mating pairs of Marbled White seen, quite a few Chalkhill Blues and then what I was really hoping for, my first Silver-spotted Skipper of the year. 2 years running that I have seen my first 2nd brood Wall Brown and 1st SS Skipper on the same day!! The Skipper gave the impression it had only just emerged but it soon flew off at breakneck speed, not to be seen again. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
In early June I cut back a small patch of nettles and within days a Small Tortoiseshell started to lay eggs. Yesterday, there were at least 100 Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars on the nettles. Although the odd Green-veined White is in my Storrington garden most days I rarely seem to have the opportunity to photograph this species. Yesterday I had a bit of luck as one landed right by me and started to nectar on Field Scabious. My wife Mary spotted a Humming-bird Hawk-moth nectaring on Broad-leaved Sweet Pea. That's out third sighting in the past week or so. (martin kalaher)
Thursday 06 July
At around 12.45 pm there were 5 butterflies just by the east side of Sainsbury's in Benfield Valley, Hove: a Red Admiral, a Meadow Brown and a Ringlet, plus 2 others which were probably Ringlets. Otherwise, we were at home in our back garden in New Church Road most of the time. We had a great butterfly day - I think 7 different types is tie with our previous record. First was a white letter hairstreak on scabious around 10.00am which posed nicely. They've turned up here 5th, 6th & 5th July for the last 3 years. We saw another at about noon on bramble which may have been a different one, but my photo evidence is not conclusive. The others were: a Red Admiral, a small or Essex Skipper, a Small White, at least 2 different Holly Blues, a Meadow Brown and our regular Comma which unlike the others only turned up in the afternoon. My gardening disturbed the white from its roost at 8.45pm. (John & Val Heys)
This is a correction to the location of a white letter hairstreak Val saw yesterday. I put it down as being north of the Olive Road bridge over the railway, Hove, but it was on an elm just north of the pedestrian tunnel under the railway, between Victoria Road & Vale Road Portslade. (John Heys)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project:Two male and one female Silver-studded Blues at the east end of the track beside New Road (Barry Walter)
Excellent stuff: thanks for all your sightings Barry (Ed jnr)
One male Silver-studded Blue on the track from Crows Nest Clump to New Road car park (Barry Walter)
Wednesday 05 July
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Nine male and two female Silver-studded Blues on the track from Doves Nest to Crows Nest Clump (Barry Walter)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded Blues project: One male Silver-studded Blue on the track beside New Road near the path to the car park (Barry Walter)
Thursday 06 July
A walk from Lancing to Cissbury in the sun. Most surprising was a female Orange Tip to the east of Cissbury. Other highlights among the 22 butterfly species seen were 6 Dark Green Fritillary, 7 Brimstone, 10 Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, 12 Comma, 6 gloriously fresh Peacock, Silver-washed Fritillary. Glorious, though not one blue of any kind! (Lindsay Morris)
At around grid reference 258355 there is a reasonable open grassland area with various flowers, scattered bushes and oak trees. Used as a short cut for walking the area looked worthy of more investigation.
12 different species of butterfly were recorded in a 2 hour visit around noon and a 1 hour evening visit from 7pm.
Species included all three Skippers, highest number of Small but also several of Essex and Large. Probably on site about 35 + Skippers and they showed especially well in 2nd visit when they were settling down at end of the day. This was when I was able to confirm earlier suspicions that there were some Essex Skippers too.
Also 1 Marbled White, 1+ Small Copper, the usual numerous Meadow Brown, 10+ Ringlet, 1 Brimstone, 2+ Green-veined White and a few Purple Hairstreak high in oak trees on later visit. (Anthony Bennett)
St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex. Butterflies seen around the edge of our small rear garden. Red Admiral on Honeysuckle that climbs up the fence a.m. Small Copper and Meadow Brown also seen a.m. Early afternoon a Black and White Butterfly flew down from our neighbours belt of Spanish Oaks at the edge of the wood copse and disappeared into brambles on our steep bank- It was a White Admiral, unmistakeable, bins not needed. Any comments appreciated. I Holly Blue also seen around an Ivy covered trunk of a Spanish Oak. A Gatekeeper feeding on brambles completed the trio (Janet Wilkes)
We went to Ebernoe Common today ,many Silver-washed Fritillaries flying ,about 6 White Admiral ,4 Holly Blues,a lot of Meadow Brown,Gatekeeper,Small Skipper,some Speckled Wood,Ringlet and a Clouded Border and Mother of Pearl moths. (Barry Sketchley)
Foxhunt Green, Waldron. East Sussex.
During a short walk around parkland and a private garden this afternoon Several Gatekeeper and Ringlet, feeding in Blackberry Bushes. Small Skippers in uncut grasses.Meadow Browns everywhere too many to count (Janet Wilkes)
Yesterday after work I saw seven to eight White-letter Hairstreaks on the thistles just above the children's playground at Hollingbury Park. Also one Small Copper which chose a bit of ragwort. (Tim Squire)
Yesterday (5 June), at about 9.15 just as I was about to go to Hollingbury to look for White-letter Hairstreaks, I had a brief glimpse of one in our Hove back garden on the apple tree. At Hollingbury between 9.40 and 10.10 I saw Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Marbled Whites, skippers (all those I could identify were Essex), a Speckled Wood and, just as I was about to give up, a white letter hairstreak rather high up. Although I was stung by nettles, I got a surprisingly good picture. While I was off at the cricket in Arundel, Val saw a White-letter Hairstreak in Olive Road (north of the bridge) and our regular back garden Comma. Despite the rather manicured and well cut grass, plenty of butterflies were flitting around the cricket ground but I could only identify Meadow Browns and a Peacock. Sussex underwhelmed with the bat & could be struggling in the field today. (John & Val Heys)
Wednesday 05 July
The Purple Emperor is still going strong at Knepp, although hot and sunny mornings can be very slow now. Today followed this pattern, but by the time I'd bumped into John Woodward, of Steyning Downland Scheme www.steyningdownland.org fame, things were livening up. We got some fantastic views of His Imperial Majesty through John's telescope. I later met a couple I know through Steyning U3A, just in time to share a point-blank view of an empress dropping to the ground in an attempt to shake off an over-enthusiastic male; later repeated by another female in exactly the same spot. At one point I saw three females laying eggs in a sheltered sallow grove.
The highpoint for me today was watching a pair of males doing almost non-stop battle over the pond beside the barn on the green lane. I was mesmerised for an hour, during which they were in combat flight for about 45 minutes. And I won't forget the White Admiral which I spent an hour photographing as it repeatedly perched within a metre of where I stood. I'll be back again as soon as possible to drink in more of Knepp's magic. (Neil Hulme)
16 species of butterflies in my Storrington garden this week including a second brood Holly Blue. (martin kalaher)
Clouded Yellow at Anchor Bottom this evening. Earlier in Tottington Woods a White Admiral and 10 Silver-washed Fritillary. Also, a Humming-bird Hawk-moth at Beeding Hill. Only Essex Skipper and myriad bees on the lathyrus at the Cement Works! (Lindsay Morris)
An early visit to Iping Common this morning showed one very fresh and immaculate Silver-studded Blue and several other worn insects of both sexes. On Stedham Common, 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries ganged up and drove some Gatekeepers off a patch of bramble. Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites also in attendance, and a plentiful chorus of yellowhammers and long tailed tits. (Nigel Symington)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Glad to see 3 frenetically flying in heat in same place as yesterday's report. Thank you for that. (R.Ludman)
A lovely afternoon spent butterflying in St Leonards Forest, Horsham. Most enjoyable were the Marbled Whites, Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral and Holly Blue. No less enjoyable were Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Large and Small Skipper, Red Admiral, Small Copper, Brimstone and Large White.
Yesterday I was able to spend a short time in the Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton and managed to see White-letter Hairstreak tree-topping, happily one came down to visit a Holly-Hock quite close to me. (Patrick Moore)
Hollingbury Park Woods - Western Outside Edge.
10 White-letter Hairstreaks. Lots of Large Whites and tons of Ringlets including a mating pair. 2 Commas. 1 Very tatty Holly Blue. 2 Red Admirals. 2 Gatekeepers. 2 Small Coppers. A few Meadow Browns. 5 Speckled Woods. 6 Small Skippers. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Single male Purple Emperor on oak bench and then flew to ground at my feet before disappearing back up into oak canopy around 10.30am. (steven robinson)
The Warnham Butterfly reserve, off Tilletts Lane, has really joined in this year's purple party. Plenty of Purple Hairstreaks on view today plus multiple sightings of Purple Emperors including a female searching round the sallows in the first field for suitable egg laying opportunities. Also recorded were Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Essex, Small and Large Skippers, Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Peacock, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Large and Small White, Comma and Small Copper. Equally pleasing is the clear evidence of breeding success for several pairs of Common Whitethroat and Yellowhammer, plus sightings of other species of farmland bird e.g. Bullfinch, Linnet and Kestrel - and Slow Worms. (David Bridges)
While trimming the edges of our rose beds in the hamlet of Gay Street, near Pulborough yesterday afternoon, I came across this small moth in the grass. It isn't in my daytime moths book and so I assume it is a night moth that I disturbed, but I cannot find it in my night moth books either! Can anyone tell me what it is, please? (Chris Page https://www.g4bue.com/en/Butterflies/)
I arrived at Birling Gap this morning at about 06.20 hrs in the hope of seeing Dark Geen Fritillaries. I didn't see any of this species however I did see my first Chalk Hill Blue of the season. (Douglas Neve)
On Monday & Tuesday of this week we wandered the paths of the Slindon Estate and Eartham Wood ,excellent butterfly country especially the regenerating woodland,lots of Meadow Brown,Marbled White,gate keeper,Commas doing well.In the woods numbers of Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral have really dropped since the mini heat wave with only 2 tatty White Admiral seen on Monday.plenty of Ringlet,Small Skipper,green veined white,1 Small Copper,1 Common Blue,a Broad-barred White and Light Emerald moths. (Barry Sketchley)
Tuesday 04 July
During a visit to Beckley Wood yesterday morning numerous Ringlets and a smaller number of Gatekeepers, Silver-washed Fritillaries and Small Skippers were seen. (Douglas Neve)
Waiting peacefully at Sainsbury's car park, Benfield Valley Hove, for our granddaughter to be delivered, a Gatekeeper appeared on the small grassy area near the petrol station. A minute later it was off, as men arrived with a mower, a strimmer and a hedge trimmer, noisily blasting away at the site and belching out petrol fumes. In our garden in New Church Road, Hove a Comma was in and out all day (looks like the one from last week) together with (I think) a summer generation male Small White. Early in the morning the Comma nectared on roses - not usually popular choices for butterflies in my experience. I thought I saw a skipper, but it buzzed off very quickly and Val thought she saw a Holly Blue, which I definitely saw it later on. So the summer generation is about 2 weeks early. I also saw a hornet hoverfly. Around noon, we were in Worthing for 2 hours. I walked to Beach House Park and Homefield Park but the only butterfly I saw was a white in the hospital grounds nearby, which are allowed to run a little wilder than the parks. I may head to Hollingbury tomorrow if I can fit it in before the cricket at Arundel, as we've had not a hint of white letter hairstreaks in our garden this year. (John & Val Heys)
Knepp Wildland Update: The Purple Emperor safaris have run post-peak season this year, due to the exceptionally early emergence. However, numbers have still been very impressive, with 56 emperors seen on Saturday 1 July and 62 on Sunday 2 July. Matthew Oates, Harry Drew and I continued our surveys into the evenings, adding a further 16 and 5 to these counts. There are still plenty flying ahead of the coming weekend, but the action is likely to tail-off during the following week.
The Purple Hairstreak has performed just as well as the Purple Emperor this year, with vast numbers observed particularly after 6.30pm. They have been unusually cooperative in dropping down into low vegetation, to either search for moisture or nectar on Bramble blossom. The first of this year's emperor eggs have been located and during our travels we've seen good numbers of Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Comma, Small Skipper and Essex Skipper, together with a few Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral and Small Copper. Other highlights have included Elephant Hawk-moth and a very photogenic >Roesel's Bush-cricket. (Neil Hulme)
Shown is an image of a female Purple Emperor seen on a track at Botany Bay, Surrey, on Friday. (Douglas Neve)
Nice photo from up north. Thanks (Ed jnr)
A reasonably healthy population of Dark Green Fritillaries near Birling Gap, early this morning. Both male and female were seen. Many Marbled Whites, Small Skippers and Meadow Browns were also present. (Trevor Rapley)
A note for Hollingbury Park/White-letter Hairstreaks: Tomorrow, Wednesday 5th July is looking brilliant for a visit if you can make it to the site between 10am and 6pm, sunny and low winds, just what you want for seeing them low down on Creeping Thistle and Bramble. Focus searches on Creeping Thistle towards the children's playground along the edge of the wood at the scallop bays and on patch of Bramble where still in flower, from the bottom near the children's playground upto the underground reservoir, all along the edge of the wood to the side of the green. This may prove a better opportunity to see them than my guided field trip on the 15th July. If new to the site, look at my guided field trip information and map to help with the location - the site, located off Ditchling Road, Brighton. (Jamie Burston)
Today whilst at my Huntingdon elm study site I watched a White-letter Hairstreak cross from the trees over the road, increasingly dropping in height. Just as I thought it would go into a private garden it turned around and placed itself down on the bumper of the residence car. She was either after shelter or more likely the warmth that the car was giving off. She settled for just a minute before crossing the road in another direction to be lost from sight. Back on the 1st July I was at the Dew Pond of Wild Park searching for Purple Hairstreaks, this site has greatly under-performed based on the stories I'm hearing, seeing very little activity, even in the high canopy. I was however treated with the sight of a teardrop Ringlet and Swifts swooping down to take a drink from the Dew Pond. As I've previously mentioned in my posts, on the 2nd July the Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods had a volunteer work session, I've since asked for White-letter Hairstreak photos that they might have taken whilst working. Out of those I received I was amazed to see that Judy Richardson had taken photos of a mating pair! With her permission I'm pleased to share the photos with you. (Jamie Burston)
Ditchling Common. 12 Purple Hairstreaks. Many, many Meadow Browns. 5 Ringlets. 1 Red Admiral. 1 Common Blue. I Comma. 2 Large Whites. 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries. Countless Small & Essex Skippers. A few Large Skippers. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
My back garden in Hailsham, at last two butterflies today: a Large White and visiting the fleabane which is just flowering, a Gatekeeper. (Kerry Baldwin)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down - plenty to see in the sunshine. 120 Meadow Brown, 65 Ringlet, 59 "meadow" Skippers, 57 Marbled White, 38 "Whites", 22 Gatekeeper, 22 Small Heath, 14 Comma, 13 Peacock, 12 Small Tortoiseshell, 11 Large Skipper, 8 Red Admiral, 5 Common Blue, 5 Green-veined White, 4 Small Copper, 4 Essex Skipper, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White, Small Skipper, Holly Blue. (Lindsay Morris)
An interesting day so far with a very early start at Windover/Deep Dene. On the way up a Roe Deer with 2 fawns were good to see. I then found a nearly fully grown Meadow Brown larva in the long grass. Also my first Chalkhill Blue of the year. Around 30 Dark Green Fritillaries and several fresh Small Coppers. Mecyna Flavalis are now flying in the valley and 6 Forester Moths at the top of Windover.
It was then onto a White-letter Hairstreak search, not easy in the Seaford area any more following the majority of Elms dying off. However, 2 Hairstreaks were seen, one in the Cuckmere area and the other just around the corner from home. Both colonies I found a few years ago, but both are only just hanging on. Both butterflies were females and were nectaring on Bramble. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Found 12 Silver-studded Blues (10 males and 2 females) along the forest ride which runs parallel to New Road between the Poundgate car park and the A26. Some butterflies looked fresh, others rather worn. (Paul Johnson)
Photographed in Hornshill Wood near Tismans Common (just the one spotted). I somehow caught this one coming in to land, then got a slightly obscured shot of its underside. (Mark Jones)
Visited Stansted Forest (SU742110) today where the temperature was 19.5°C. I walked the tracks on the edges of the woodland, as as I saw no activity among the trees. Totals: Gatekeeper 2, Marbled White 20, Meadow Brown 35, Ringlet 4, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 2, Small Skipper 5. (Roy Symonds)
Monday 03 July
After 3 years of searching in Southwater Woods we finally got lucky on Sunday with a male Emperor flew circles round us and entertained us for 20 minutes.
On Sunday I visited Toad's Hole Valley between A27 and King George VI Avenue (Snakey Hill), Hove. At foot of the steep sandy access path (TQ278075), turned immediately right onto a narrow grassy track which was alive with Ringlets, at least 20–30 within a short distance. Interesting site because of its sandy soil and, whenever I've gone, totally deserted. If visiting, go soon as planning permission is underway for building development although the SW steep slope will be conserved as it is an SNCI site. Best access is from Downland Drive by gate opposite Burwash Road, Hangleton. (Yvonne Dedman)
A first 2017 sighting of a Small Copper in our wild-flower meadow at Gay Street hamlet, near Pulborough (TQ0618) on 2 July. I saw this caterpillar on the underside of a buckthorn leaf in the hedge around the meadow. I was hoping it was the caterpillar of the Brown Hairstreak (that I have seen on the hedge the last three years) but on checking my books, I see it looks nothing like it (in fact it looks more like the Purple Hairstreak). Can anyone tell me what caterpillar it is, please? (Chris Page https://www.g4bue.com/en/Butterflies/)
A poor record shot of a Purple Empress high up on a tree trunk in Madgeland Wood. She flew overhead before settling, and was huge with no flashes of purple, which is why I think she's an Empress. I also saw millions of Meadow Browns and Ringlets, quite a few Silver-washed Fritillary but only two rather worn White Admirals. Is the season for them over already, at the beginning of July? (John Williams)
Sunday 02 July
Today (2 July) whilst the sun was shining I stayed very local, making two short walks to see White-letter Hairstreak activity during the morning and afternoon. First I went to my Huntingdon elm study site and recorded two males dog-fighting at around 11:30am. My friend Gemma, whilst at the trees, told me that around the 22nd June she saw two White-letter Hairstreaks flying around her back garden, witnessing them both land on the same Privet flower directly opposite each other. Gemma definitely knows the species well, I've shared every stage of their life-cycle with her and her family.
I then moved onto my favourite and best performing trees to see ariel activity, I wasn't disappointed as between four trees I quickly counted eight individuals, the best sight was of a swirl of four butterflies all together. I believe I witnessed one, maybe two females, briefly flying and residing lower down on one of the Elm trees, resting in peace away from the frantic males above. Next to the trees growing out of a front garden hedge, brambles provided a vital point for refueling males, taking a pit stop in preparation for the fighting ahead. Amazingly in both the photos with Brambles, attached, there are two butterflies in each, in person at the time I had only notice one, clearly a case of spot one, get one free, I'm more than happy with that deal, the best thing of course is that these moments of joy are completely free!
I then headed home for some dinner, after I had finished, I popped into the back garden only to notice a small butterfly about to settle. I raced up the garden steps and began to search for this butterfly, my attention was drawn to the purple Hebe, where right in front of me I was looking at a White-letter Hairstreak! The individual briefly took nectar, taking off just as I had returned with my camera, it flew along the Bullace hedge and crossed the garden out of sight, fantastic! My garden White-letter Hairstreak had traveled 93 meters/ 305 feet from the nearest Elm to reach the Hebe, no issues with travelling for nectar!
In the afternoon I headed out with my dad, Jeff, back to my favourite group of trees, by this time the sun had shifted and the wind, much stonger, together we witness White-letter Hairstreaks flying around the top of a smaller, sheltered tree, 3 meters above us we had views of upto four flying together and two instances of dog fighting, they rose up high into the sky before breaking off, they would drift softly down then suddenly bolt with enthusiasm sharply downwards. In both instances one of the butterflies didn't return to the small tree or the large Elms but rather decided to head outwards into the surrounding front gardens to be lost from sight. Another memorable year, and the third consecutive strong year for White-letter Hairstreak. Dutch elm disease has followed due to the hot late spring, this weather helped the breeding beetles that carry the fungus/disease.
To add to today I received brilliant news from one of the members of the 'Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods', the volunteer group witnessed lots of White-letter Hairstreaks on the very Creeping Thistles that they helped to manage and encourage whilst out working in the morning. What a fantastic group of people! (Jamie Burston)
I had a pleasant afternoon wandering around Friston Forest and saw 17 types of butterflies: Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Small Copper, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath. I also saw a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and Six Spot Burnet and so all-in-all a successful time I would say. (NICK LINAZASORO)
A butterfly in our garden 2 days in a row! This morning I thought at first it was a Small White but it was behaving more like a green veined white and after I'd taken a few pictures I came down in favour of a summer brood female green veined. I hope that's correct. After this we were at our Worthing daughter's Command which meant a trip to Beech Gardens Haywards Heath where we used to take her 30 years ago. I was impressed with how these gardens are being managed now - a mix of formal flower beds, lawns, impressive trees and lots of areas where the grass has been allowed to grow without getting too out of hand. We saw at least 30 Meadow Browns and a dozen of the smaller skippers - all those examined (about half a dozen) were Essex Skippers. A Red Admiral, several whites and a probable Comma flitted past. High up in the trees there was a small very pale butterfly with bluish tinge - maybe an early second brood Holly Blue rather than a late first? The streets of Haywards Heath appear to be more conducive to butterflies than Hove or Worthing as we saw several Meadow Browns and a Speckled Wood. However, even Worthing managed to produce a single butterfly when we arrived there at around 3pm, although it shot past us too fast for identification. (John & Val Heys)
A quick note for the records: two female Purple Emperors seen today at Marlpost Wood. Both at head height in Sallow possibly egg laying, before rapidly heading off into the canopy. I managed to see the first through binoculars albeit fleetingly. No pictures I'm afraid. (Patrick Moore)
Found a colony of Marbled Whites and Dark Green Fritillaries in Eridge Park, near Tunbridge Wells. This site is accessible via an older section of the Whitehill Wood footpath, which I followed by accident. Whilst I was there, I saw about 30 of each species, as well as uncountable numbers of Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath. I assume this area is not really meant to be open to members of the public any more - which is a real shame, because I do not know of any other places to see these two butterflies in my locality. (If there are any other such sites within a 10km radius of central Tunbridge Wells, I would be very interested to know). (Barry Walter)
The Atlas shows three tetrads close to Tunbridge Wells with Dark Green Fritillaries and two with Marbled Whites, the latter being slightly further away. Please can you submit these sightings using I-record. (Ed jnr)
Last night I had a visit from two interesting new moths: a European Corn Borer, Ostrinia nubilali. Given our location by the coast it may be an immigrant. The second is a tiny micro-moth which is either a Four-spotted Obscure (Oegoconia quadripuncta) or a Scarce Obscure (Oegoconia deauratella). There was also a Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata) and a Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella). At Ditchling Common today I saw Purple Hairstreaks, Comma, Red Admiral, Purple Emperor, Green-veined White, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Silver-washed Fritillary and Meadow Browns. (Colin Knight)
After visiting Iping Common, my search for Silver Studded Blues took me to Stedham Common (SU858219) where, as with the low numbers at Iping Common, none were seen. A few Silver Washed Fritillarys kept company with Meadow Browns.
Totals: Large White 1, Meadow Brown 5, Comma 1, Silver Washed Fritillary 3. (Roy Symonds)
Paid a visit to Iping Common (SU8422) today, mainly to see Silver Studded Blues. With this species emerging early this year, I think they may be almost finished as I only recorded a total of 9. A total of 9 different species were seen, however including a fresh Dark Green Fritillary in a wooded area close to the car park, which I manged to photograph.
Totals: Large White 1, Small White 2, Silver Studded Blue 6M 3F, Meadow Brown 11, Ringlet 2, Comma 1, Dark Green Frtillary 1, Red Admiral 2, Small Skipper 7. (Roy Symonds)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded Blues project: Single male Silver-studded Blue basking in the late afternoon sun. Also observed it to be rubbing its hind wings together on several occasions. I sometimes find a female appears when they do this but not on this occasion (although I had a good look deep in the heather for one). (Chris Hooker)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Single male Silver-studded Blue flying briskly between patches of heather. Eventually lost sight of it as it flew deep into an open area with no paths (I couldn't keep up!). (Chris Hooker)
Ashdown Forest Silver-studded blues project: Single male Silver Studded Blue basking in the sun in a patch of bell heather about 50m off path. (Chris Hooker)
I undertook a Dark Green Fritillary on Chantry Hill today but found just 36. On June 26th I counted 40. I hope they haven't already reached their peak. I suspect not. I did identify two females (my first females for the year), the first in flight (but it didn't stop), with the second rather more obliging as it went about its business of egg-laying. Otherwise all three meadow Skippers and about 230 Marbled Whites. Back home in Storrington there were 12 butterfly species in the garden, with a total of about 85 butterflies - approx. 30 for the three meadow skippers, 10 Marbled White ( a new garden record) and about 30 Meadow Brown, plus others. I enclose a photo of a Comma (as it was obliging) and a Small Skipper nectaring on Broad-leaved Sweet Pea (which I have not seen before). Also about 100 Bumble Bees in the garden this afternoon. (Martin Kalaher)
A morning stroll down a local lane in Barnham without camera, on a couple of buddleia bushes were Commas ,Red Admirals, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell,and a humming-bird hawk- moth, along the lane saw Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood. Returned later with camera - most had gone but did see this Small Magpie [anania hortulata] (Barry Sketchley)
Went to Littlehampton Golf course this morning to look for White-letter Hairstreaks. Long after we had given up hope we started to see them around TQ0168601280. There were about six individuals both flying and sitting on leaves and I was able to take my first ever photograph of this species. We also saw a Green-veined White as well as many other species along the footpath.
After lunch at the George in Burpham we headed for Cissbury, where we were bowled over by the meadow land on the western side of the hill fort, and never made it to the top. Here we saw a number of Dark Green Fritillaries, which never settled, as well as a couple of Small Coppers and numerous Marbled Whites feasting on clover. One small patch had about a dozen butterflies on it. There were also Small Skippers and Large Skippers, Gatekeepers and numerous Whites.
On the way home I popped into Mill Hill and saw one Chalk Hill Blue. I also saw a few Small Heaths and a Small Tortoiseshell. This bought the weekend total to 24 species. You've got to love July!
Friday at Southwater Woods I saw 9+ Silver-washed Fritillaries, 3 White Admirals and numerous Marbled Whites in the meadow adjoining the woods. I also saw many Ringlets and Meadow Browns plus a few Comma, Small White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Gatekeeper. (Sherie New http://www.naturegallery.org.uk)
Saturday 01 July
Belated report (due to computer problem) - Chalk Hill Blue and Marbled White on a dull, sometimes drizzly, Thursday (29th June) evening at Kithurst flower meadow. (John Williams)
A Comma turned up late afternoon yesterday (30/6/17), in our back garden in New Church Road, Hove. No chance to look for anything in Sussex today, as our London daughter wanted us to meet at Box Hill. We did see 15, possibly 16 different butterfly types, the most unexpected being a couple of female Brimstones. I've sneaked in a picture of a Surrey Essex Skipper which I didn't manage to scare off while trying to take the picture because it was busy mating with another hidden behind it. (John Heys)
the rest of the butterflies and moths from Ditchling Common and Littlehampton. (Colin Knight)
Following David Cook’s impressive report about the Purple Hairstreaks at Ditchling Common I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday at the site and was impressed by the number of PHs seen. On Friday a female Silver-washed Fritillary landed, and on Saturday a male SWF spent the whole day acting like a Spitfire over the whole site. Many other species were also seen: White Admiral, Ringlet, Marbled White, Small White, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Comma, Red Admiral. Moths: Large Fruit-tree Tortrix female (Archips podana), Inlaid Grass-veneer (Crambus pascuella), Green Oak Tortrix (Tortrix viridana), Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella). Last night we were visited by a Rosy Footman (Miltochrista miniata) for the first time.
I think Barry’s moth is a Long-winged Pearl (Anania lancealis) (Colin Knight)
There were 13 butterfly species in my Storrington garden today, with four different 'Whites'. The species with minima as follows: Small Skipper (6), Essex Skipper (6), Large Skipper (6), Large White (2), Small White (2), Green-veined White (1), Small Copper (1), Red Admiral (2), Peacock (1), Comma (1), Marbled White (7 and a new garden record) Meadow Brown (25) and Ringlet (3). A Humming-bird Hawk-moth was on the Buddleia yesterday and was back in the garden today having a look at Broad-leaved Sweet Pea but I wasn't sure whether it nectared on the latter. Regarding the pics I concentrated on the Skippers. (martin kalaher)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down. Increasingly cloudy but saw 63 Meadow Brown, 60 Marbled White, 23 Ringlet, 18 Small Heath, 19 Small Tortoiseshell, 12 Comma, 6 Red Admiral, 4 Green-veined White, 4 Essex Skipper, 4 Large Skipper, 2 Small White, Small Skipper, Small Copper. Lots of Skippers and Whites unidentified. Also, 3 Silver Y, Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Common Carpet. Plenty of everlasting sweet pea on the old tip site (Halewick Lane) should Long-tailed Blue reach us... (Lindsay Morris)
Crawley Down - a Humming-bird Hawk-moth on the buddleia today. Very few butterflies though. (Jon Ruff)
Arriving at Knepp this morning just after ten, conditions were not promising, with full cloud cover and a strong wind. However within a few minutes of arriving I realised that the leaf falling on blackthorn was in fact a Purple Hairstreak. It was the first time I had seen one so close and the first of dozens we saw today. We saw many low down and on the foot path north of Benton Place farm there were five or six on the ground and on low cover mixing it up with the other butterflies and with no intention of returning to the canopy. Walking back to the car we even saw one on the track which climbed onto my hand.
There were many Purple Emperors. I only have ten fingers and stop counting after that. Most were high up but a few were lowe down and we were able to identify both male and female. I think it is the first time I have been to Knepp and found the Emperors outnumbered the Emperor spotters.
Other species seen were Gatekeeper, Small White, Large White, White Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Peacock, Ringlet, Comma, Marbled White, Meadow Brown and perhaps one or two other species. An amazing day in a wonderful place. So many butterflies!
Despite the cloud and strong breeze a White-letter Hairstreak, 2 Gatekeepers and the usual Meadow Browns at Hollingbury this morning. (Chris Corrigan https://twitter.com/ChrisCorrigan3/status/881102795600003072)
Friday 30 June
A lunchtime walk around Abbotts Wood - around the Abbotts Amble path - resulted in the sighting of at least 10 Silver-washed Fritillaries, one White Admiral, two Red Admirals, a Comma, a Silver Y Moth, and numerous Meadow Browns. (Chris Bird)
After the surreal experience provided by David Cook, seeing multiple Purple Hairstreaks dropping down to photographic levels in the morning at Ditchling Common. I went to Wild Park to see if I could witness a similar occurrence late afternoon, unfortunately this wasn't to be the case. I had one strong year for seeing Purple Hairstreaks low down, this was back in 2011 when I saw five low down over a few days in July, sadly following this I haven't been treated to such close-up sighting at Wild Park, making my trip with David ever the more memorable and the feeling of the excitement and utter joy is yet to leave me.
Wild Park did produce a nice surprise in the form of a Dark Green Fritillary, disturbed from long grass in the coombe, clearly disgusted by my actions the butterfly flew far into the distance, drifting up high around the crown on the largest Oak tree and eventually settled further along the grassland slope.
On the 26th June I visited Hollingbury Park in the morning and afternoon, producing sightings of multiple females, easily outnumbering the males seen low down feeding predominantly on Creeping Thistle and also Bramble. There were very fresh and some rather tatty individuals of both sexes to be seen. I advised Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods again this year to manage the Creeping Thistle, I joined them earlier in the year to fulfill the work and I'm really pleased with the outcome, the work has tripled the amount of Creeping Thistle near the Walnut tree, which I subsequently saw them feeding on. I believe the weather since my visit on the 26th June has subdued activity, this should mean that those I saw in better condition should still be around, based on current weather forecasts (subject to change) for Brighton, it might be worth visiting Hollingbury Park on Sunday 2nd July between 12 midday and 6pm, it currently gives the lightest winds and sunny intervals for that particular day. (Jamie Burston)
This afternoon my intention was to walk a circular from Chantry Hill, however I was seduced by the Dark Green Fritillaries on the steep north facing scarp and ended-up staying there all afternoon. What a wonderful place. (Patrick Moore)
Some moths from this morning's walk around Fairmile Bottom/Rewel Wood,a Drab Looper,a Beautiful Carpet,and one unidentified yet. (Barry Sketchley)
This morning we walked around Fairmile Bottom and Rewel Wood ,Marbled Whites too many to count,about 7 Dark Green Fritillaries,lots of Small Skippers,Small Heath,Essex Skippers,Ringlets,Meadow Browns,2 Silver-washed Fritillaries,1 White Admiral 2 Red Admiral,4 Gatekeepers. (Barry Sketchley)
I'm fortunate to live very close to Ditchling Common and this gives me the opportunity to get to know the area pretty well and I've the over the last couple of years have got to know the best places to see the Purple Hairstreak. This year has been particularly good and yesterday I shared some time over there with our Hairstreak Champion Jamie Burston whom I knew would appreciate getting up close to some of these. The exact location for others who wish to enjoy them is TQ3338718192. This is a small enclosed glad