Sunday 30 December
Two Beautiful Plume Moths in our sunlounge yesterday. One came into the kitchen & had to be taken back out. No sign of any (or any additional corpses) today. (John & Val Heys)
Saturday 29 December
Found this male Small White outside our Bexhill flat today - although quite torpid it was very much alive. (Nicholas Turner)
Monday 24 December
Thank you Jonathan "(Ed jnr)", for updating our wonderful website throughout the year - Merry Christmas to you! (Jamie Burston)
A Peacock was enjoying the Christmas Eve sunshine at lunchtime today flying along a hedgerow on the outskirts of Warnham. (David Bridges)
We had our family Xmas meal yesterday & I took our 5 year old granddaughter into the sunlounge in an attempt to interest her in lepidoptera. I pointed out Beautiful Plume Moth number 14 almost invisible roosting on a rosemary sprig. She looked at it for a nano second, then said "there's another over there gaga" & ran off cackling. I looked up and she was quite right. There was a 15th moth on the window. In all the party chaos doors were left open both to the kitchen & the garden. The next time I saw one of the moths it fluttered past me while I was in the hall on the computer. I have restored it to the sunlounge, but there was only one in there this morning. We've had a daffodil flowering in the front garden for a couple of days now, which is the earliest we've ever had. (John & Val Heys)
An unseasonal but festive looking Kidney Vetch flower in my garden today. Happy Christmas. (Mark Cadey)
Sunday 23 December
Surprised to see a Red Admiral today flying adjacent to the June borders at Nymans Gardens in Handcross. It seemed particularly interested in the plastic bunting and fairy lights in that section. (Martin Buck)
Saturday 22 December
sat 22/12/2018. 1x Red Admiral flying around front door of bungalow in West Close, Polegate, E.Sx at 9.34am. this was a nice sight as my last RA was in mid November. (Peter Farrant)
Wednesday 19 December
Of the 13 which we've seen on the wing in our sun lounge, there are still 2 live Beautiful Plume Moths. The 11 deceased are laid out on the window sill as they have the knack of dropping dead in easy-to-find places, which is very useful for keeping a count. I doubt that there will be any more emerging. We were serenaded by black redstarts as we awoke each morning on an autumn holiday in Switzerland last year. We'd never heard nor seen them before & were impressed. It's a bit tiny in the picture but I thought it might make a change from another Beautiful Plume Moth. (John & Val Heys)
Perhaps we should start a Black Redstarts sightings page! (Ed jnr)
Please can someone identify this butterfly (Graham Hicks)
Colin Pratt, county recorder for Moths informs me that this is the day flying moth Mother Shipton. If you look on the wings you can see the witches face that gives this moth its name. (Ed jnr)
Monday 17 December
I was visiting Newhaven Harbour Station this morning when a Female Large White gently flew past me very slowly just a few feet away , she was in mint condition and was either newly emerged or may have been struggling slightly at the low temperature, it was sunny with an air temp of 10 degree c. I was about to leave and then saw a stunning Black Redstart fly down from a dilapidated building and commence snatching flies from a Bright green hoarding - I was surprised and my spirits uplifted by these encounters on the morning of 17th of December .
Dr John Feltwell adds "P. brassicae is still breeding on coastal cabbages, in their 3-4th generation, and with a sunny day like today, late adults will be on the wing. Maybe it is too much to assume that Pb came over with a wave with Black Redstart but you never know. More likely hatched locally and was enjoying the sunshine. Nov Dec adults are surely well known." (Ed jnr)
Yesterday we all had a good time at the Bevendean work party but I had the feeling that Geoff had a little bit too much fun with his Flame-thrower as the secret arsonist emerged and baked us some delicious potatoes. As it was the last work party for me this year I thought I would take a moment and to close my first butterfly season (during which I saw 41 butterfly species, a number of moth species and a few caterpillars) I would like to say thank you to all who helped me with identifying these beautiful little flying wonders. I also have to mention the Atlas what proved a huge help and source of information to me. It is a most beautiful book packed with lots of practical information so in the unlikely event you don't already own a copy Christmas is your chance to get one! Besides learning more about butterflies in the new year I also have the mission of seeing the missing species of Purple Emperor, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Silver-studded Blue and Wood White. Until then I just keep my eyes peeled for whatever we may find during the winter months such as the half-a-dozen Plume moths who were disturb by us at yesterday's work party. (Istvan Radi)
In my considered opinion here is no such thing as "too much fun with a flame thrower". I am afraid you will have to visit Surrey to see the Wood Whites as the small number in Sussex are out of bounds. However I think you can add Black Hairstreak to your list as we now have 46 species in Sussex if we can hang on to the Grayling. This obviously means that a 2nd edition of the Atlas is desperately needed. Thanks for all your posts this year. (Ed jnr)
Friday 14 December
The cold overnight weather hasn't killed off all the Beautiful Plume Moths in our sun lounge yet. Having brought in some rosemary, which they like, it's been very hard to get a reasonable photo as the camera wants to focus on the plant sprigs & not the moth, but the final attempt today wasn't too bad. This afternoon there were 4 alive and 9 dead plumes. Tonight is likely to see off one or two more. (John Heys)
This is a sighting of an interesting article from the U.S. about a wonderful effort to save Miami Blue butterflies which were thought to have become extinct in their unique habitat - see the link. (Colin Knight https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/miami-blue-butterfly-extinct)
Wednesday 12 December
During a flying visit from soggy Devon to equally soggy Sussex last weekend I was at least rewarded by the sight of a single Red Admiral flying in moderate rain in a Robertsbridge garden. (Rob)
Tuesday 11 December
Many thanks to the fabulous Brighton Conservation Volunteers for their magnificent efforts on the BC Park Corner Heath reserve today (11 December). We continued working over the far, lower level slope where our own volunteers cleared small trees and scrub last Sunday, and started by burning up some large piles of brash. By the end of the day an area of almost 0.25 hectare had been completely cleared, creating a substantial area of breeding habitat for fritillaries and other species. The combined efforts of BC and BCV volunteers over the last couple of winters have reclaimed a very extensive area of lowland heath from the encroaching scrub and I'm confident that the butterflies and moths will show their appreciation. (Neil Hulme)
Very suprised to see this Red Admiral fly past my car and land on a mahonia bush to feed at crawley rugby club in ifield avenue that I forgot to alter my camera settings so pic is not as sharp as I'd like (David Long)
Despite the frosty start today, it warmed up really well in the sunshine. I decided to do a scrub clearance session at High and Over and during a break I thought it was worth having a quick look to see if any Wall Brown larva were venturing out. I have never seen any before the 18th December so I did think it was unlikely. However, in the first tussock I checked, and after only a 2 minute hunt I came across a young larva of just under 1 cm in length. For another 15 minutes or so I only found one more. There was plenty of danger for the young larvae in the tussocks with several spiders found. However, this wet weather has meant some good fresh growth for them to nibble on and hopefully plenty will see it through the Winter successfully. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
A Red Admiral was feeding on Viburnum Tinus in my Seaford garden this morning. The temperature was less than 10 degrees so it was a nice surprise. (Stuart Ridley)
Monday 10 December
I found another dead Beautiful Plume Moth this morning but Plume number 8 was still around probing the scabious flower. By this evening the sunny day must have worked its magic as number 8 had 4 new Beautiful Plumes to keep him company, 3 of them clustered on the rather tired looking scabious. (John & Val Heys)
16 people braved a chilly wind on our last scheduled conservation work party for 2018 at Park Corner Heath. We worked to extend the area of open heathland from the plateau down into the valley to the north-west. This is an area where we often see butterflies emerging a little earlier due to the slightly warmer micro-climate. So it's great to provide routes between here and the plateau for butterflies to move about. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank on behalf of the branch, all those volunteers who have so kindly given their time to participate in conservation work this year. It makes a massive difference. As a small reward for this work party, we enjoyed cake and mince pies thanks to Helen, Andrea & Keith. Looking forward to seeing you all next year. Keep your eyes posted on the website for conservation work party details. (Colin Gibbs)
Sunday 09 December
I did a lot more in our garden in Hove today & Val & I also walked to Sainsbury's in Benfield Valley, but despite the bright sunlight didn't have any sightings outside. However, in the sun lounge two Beautiful Plume moths were out and about. Later I found the corpse of number 6, so these are numbers 7 & 8. At one stage they were both on the verbena. By mistake I had cut down the last field scabious flowering outside. I had been intending to put it in a pot inside, but then it occurred to me to put it on the window ledge near the verbena & the next time I passed one of the plume moths was on it. When I came back so was the other. Their probosces are so thin they are almost invisible, but close up I could see they were probing the scabious, enjoying a change from their usual nectar source. I'll try a bit of rosemary next as that is coming back into flower. The mulberry tree is behaving oddly. Although the leaves have fallen it has mulberries in several places trying to ripen. (John & Val Heys)
Saturday 08 December
My Daughter pointed out this Red Admiral also enjoying our festive family outing to Tulleys Farm this morning. (David Cook)
On 5 December, when I checked in the sunlounge one more Beautiful Plume moth had died but number 6 was still on the wing. And then I spotted number 7 as it fluttered past my eye. I suspect number 6 is no more (although I haven't found the corpse yet). Yesterday & today only 1 Beautiful Plume moth flew out of the geraniums when I shook them a bit. (John & Val Heys)
Today (8 December) I joined a large and industrious group of Graffham Down Trust and visiting volunteers (about 30 in all) on the GDT reserves. We made excellent progress in opening up an old and very overgrown ride through an area of Hazel coppice. Work in this area will benefit a wide range of species, including Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Drab Looper moth and Hazel Dormouse. (Neil Hulme)
As recent local sightings have dropped in number lately I might be allowed to post these two pictures from an earlier trip of mine to the Peak District. I use the rainy winter days to sort out my 1000s of pictures so I just realized that I took a photo of a Swallow-tailed Moth and the caterpillar of a Small Tortoiseshell (or at least I think it is that). They might be of interest to some. (Istvan Radi)
Vince Massimo writes that the larva y is a Red Admiral. Thanks Vince. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 05 December
I saw a Red Admiral on platform 2 at Barnham railway station while waiting. It was my first butterfly in some (feels like a very long) time. (Istvan Radi)
I forget to mention in my report from yesterday, that Tim and I saw a Red Admiral and two Peacock, while taking a break from our hard labour. I also enjoyed goods views of a female Merlin crossing Deep Dean. (Neil Hulme)
Tuesday 04 December
Conditions were almost identical to a last Friday, so returned to Mill Hill in the hope of a December Clouded Yellow. On arrival I found Vince Massimo thinking along the same lines. Sadly we didn’t see one. We did find, the now orange, Clouded Yellow egg, laid on the 15th November. I was rewarded with a Peacock just after Vince had to leave.
Oh nearly forgot to mention, the 29 Herdwick Sheep that have been moved to a different part of the hill. :-) (David Cook)
The battle to save the chalk-based race of Grayling in Sussex stepped up a gear today, as I joined Tim Squire of the South Downs National Park Authority and the SD Volunteer Ranger Service for a conservation work party at Deep Dean. Working around the edges of an area where ponies have recently been used to strip away the invasive Tor-grass, we mattocked out a large number of features to mimic the excavations of rabbits. The spread of Tor-grass and reduction of bare ground and scree have been identified as prime candidates in explaining the drop in Grayling numbers over recent years, with both threats probably reflecting a reduction in rabbit numbers due to mortality caused by lagoviruses. The changes in habitat are sufficiently great that they can clearly be seen via remote images taken over the last ten years. Many thanks to all who became rabbits for the day. (Neil Hulme)
A Red Admiral seen briefly in my front garden this afternoon. Conditions overcast and around 9°C. (Mark Colvin)
A Red Admiral was resting on a white towel that was drying on the washing line but flew away shortly afterwards. The first seen in my Seaford garden since mid November. (Stuart Ridley)
Monday 03 December
Yesterday (2/12/18) I checked on our Beautiful Plume moths in the sunlounge. Number 3 died a couple of days ago so I was surprised to find number 4 with 2 new friends, numbers 5 & 6, all very visible. This morning I couldn't see any of them dead or alive, but after I'd gently roughed up the geraniums one flew out. Quite sunny for short spells in our back garden this morning & very mild. Strawberries & blackberries are still appearing, although not really ripening. We did a lot off hacking back & cutting down, but didn't disturb any butterflies or moths. Saw the news item on the Seaford Elm plantings at around 6.45pm. Hoping they will all thrive. (John & Val Heys)
I have received news that today on BBC South East Today, there should be coverage of the 'Elms for Armistice' project in Seaford, which I've been involved in, assisting the Seaford Tree Wardens, on behalf of our Sussex Branch. It would be worth checking the 6.30 and 10.30 showings as I'm not sure when it will be covered. Information on the 'Elms for Armistice' project, here (Jamie https://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/news/#82)
Please consider taking just a few seconds to add your name to this important petition which objects to the environmentally damaging route currently being favoured by Highways England, based on a consultation so seriously flawed that it's having to be re-run. More cost-effective and less damaging options are available, saving woodlands, meadows and chalk streams from destruction, and saving a wealth of wildlife including Purple Emperors, White Admirals and Dormice. (Neil Hulme https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/a27-arundel-bypass)
We may have been low in number, but the small team that worked so hard on our Park Corner Heath reserve on Sunday (2 December) achieved a huge amount. Many thanks to Paul Day, Jonathan Crawford and Gary Norman for their efforts. We cleared the majority of saplings and small trees growing over the area favoured by our rich reptile fauna, to reduce the increasing level of shade which would eventually cool the ground and make it less suitable. However, we left sufficient scrub and blankets of collapsed Bracken to afford them refuge when they become active in the spring.
A tour of both reserves revealed that violets and other important larval foodplants, and nectar sources for adult butterflies, are appearing in abundance across most of the recently created habitat. (Neil Hulme)
Friday 30 November
Today at Lancing seafront I carried out an extensive search for butterfly pupae along the timber shingle barrier running from the caravan parks in the west to the eastern end of Widewater Lagoon. The total for the day was 13 Large White pupae and a tatty hairy brown caterpillar (which is probably a Ruby Tiger). The pupae were all on the shaded northern side of the barrier and varied in colour and all but one were in a vertical position. Unfortunately I did not have time to stop at Mill Hill, so missed the Clouded Yellow.............
Also, on the subject of pupae, I am fairly sure that David Harris' pupa of 27th November is a Green-veined White rather than a Small White, (Vince Massimo)
13c and a relatively light but warmish breeze and clear skies on Mill Hill produced a very fresh Male Clouded Yellow and a Peacock. (David Cook)
And 29 herdwick sheep I hope? (Ed jnr)
2 Red Admiral nectaring on viburnum in my garden today. My first for 12 days! God rest ye merry butterflies, no matter which stage of the life cycle you are a-wintering in! (Lindsay Morris)
Wednesday 28 November
Yesterday Val noticed that our 3rd Beautiful Plume moth had managed to sneak into the kitchen. I was going to catch it to put it back into the sunlounge when I noticed another Beautiful Plume on the other side of the kitchen door waiting for me to open & let it in. So I left number 3 up on the kitchen wall. That means we've had at least 4 plumes emerge in the sunlounge. Number 3 evaded us until this evening when it turned up in the hall & it's now back in the sunlounge with number 4, which was on the wing while I was depositing number 3 by the geraniums. (John & Val Heys)
The South Downs National Park authority are looking for volunteer warden "Lookerers" to keep an eye on the sheep at Mill Hill over the winter. If you live in the area or can visit occasionally you can sign up by contacting Assistant Ranger Jasmine Owen at Jasmine.Owen@southdowns.gov.uk.
You can find a full description of what is involved here. It does mention that there are 24 sheep. There are actually 29. I know this because I have been "lookering" every morning before work. It is fascinating to watch as the sheep strip everything that is green from the bushes and shrubs, in clear preference to the abundant grass. It is essential to the long term future of Mill Hill that the sheep grazing is a success, as the sheep are managing habitat in a natural way that cannot be replicated by humans. Any help looking after them would be an important contribution to the ecology of the site.
Tuesday 27 November
While tidying up the garden this weekend a very pretty Small White pupa that had spun up on an old Agrimony stem was saved from an otherwise horrible death in the compost heap. (David Harris)
Addendum from Dave "Oops! Looking at that pupa again it is actually a Green - veined White, P. napi, and not the Small White originally described. "(Ed jnr)
Plume moth: On the wall in my kitchen for at least 24 hrs now... Hailsham, East Sussex (Liz Hankins)
After a weekend away, yesterday we found 2 of our Beautiful Plume plume moths dead in the sun lounge, but the third was still going strong. The first date we noticed one of them was 5th November. They've lived for about 20 days. I don't know how long they take to go from egg to moth. Maybe we'll have some more in flight before we put the geraniums back in the garden around the end of March. I suppose I should look for eggs, but our geraniums have so many blemishes that this would be quite difficult. I'm going to have breakfast instead. (John & Val Heys)
Thursday 22 November
Many thanks to the wonderful Clapham Wood Coppice Group, who made excellent progress cutting more Hazel to benefit the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and other woodland wildlife at Church Copse. Today we said goodbye to National Park Ranger Becka, who is moving to an equivalent post in Hampshire; she'll be sorely missed and we wish her every success on her new patch. The next meeting of the group will meet in Clapham Church car park at 10 am on Thursday 29 November. Any new faces will be enthusiastically welcomed. (Neil Hulme)
Someone else remembers Biggles! By the time he was at the front the Taubes were sitting ducks as they were not armed, but one did do the first bombing raid on Paris, I think, and another was more crucial to the course of the war as it spotted a Russian army advance which otherwise would have caught the German forces by surprise. Instead Tannenberg was a Russian defeat. Plume moths have a much less warlike history. (John Heys)
Tuesday 20 November
I was interested to see the comparison between certain pterophorid moths and an early German monoplane. Just a few weeks ago I had remarked on this and I asked local butterfly/moth enthusiasts if they could tell me which aircraft I was thinking about. Jochen Moehr put me on to the Rumpler Taube - a 'plane whose shape I had remembered, though I had forgotten its name. I first heard about the Rumpler Taube not through a model aeroplane kit but through Biggles books. The similarity between it and pterophorid moths is quite striking. (Jeremy Tatum http://www.vicnhs.bc.ca/?cat=8)
Good to hear from you again Jeremy. Hope it is not too cold in British Colombia.
For those of you who are wondering what a Plume Moth looks like. Here are are couple if pictures.
Monday 19 November
Quite warm & very sunny on the sea front in Brighton this morning, but no butterflies. We made up for this with 3 Beautiful Plume moths all out at the same time in our sun lounge as the sun went in & black clouds gathered. One of them I disturbed from the geranium pot when I was doing the watering, but the other two were already visible. From the top they remind me of one of the Airfix kit first world war planes I made in the 1960s, the German Rumpler Taube. (John & Val Heys)
Sunday 18 November
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering & dancing in the breeze Val & I saw not a host of golden daffodils but a single Brimstone. Actually it was in the most sheltered, least breezy clearing on the slope to the east side of Westwood Lake at Wakehurst Place gardens around noon. We also walked the lakeside loop of the Loder Valley Reserve & didn't see any hint of anything else despite full sunshine from 10.45am to 3.15pm - a long enough stay to incur the full £10 car parking charge. (John & Val Heys)
A couple of visits to Mill Hill over the weekend drew a blank for anything but Clouded Yellows. Today there were at least four, maybe five.
It was great to see the Herdwick Sheep have arrived on Mill Hill. The South Downs National Park Rangers can't be praised highly enough for putting thing them there despite the enormous numbers of dog walkers on the site. Due to it's steepness Mill Hill has never been ploughed. If you peel back the more recent scrub and trees you are left with ancient downland flora and fauna that developed over thousands of tears of sheep grazing. Today's sheep are keeping up that age-old tradition, which is why I greeted them with a smile. (Jonathan Crawford)
A lunchtime walk around Cissbury Ring produced 2 Clouded Yellow on the south facing ramparts. Earlier there was a Red Admiral in my Horsham garden. (Patrick Moore)
This morning in glorious sunshine seven volunteers did more scrub clearing on Cardboard Hill Bevendean Down. (Geoff Stevens http://bevendeandown.wordpress.com)
And a big thankyou from us to each and every one! (Ed jnr)
A belated post for this sleepy Male Common Blue found resting at the Northern end of the southern slope of Mill Hill on Thursday afternoon. Given its condition, is it possible this could be still be around for a few more days? (David Cook)
2 Red Admirals in the garden today. One I think the same as yesterday, the other this much fresher example. Both feeding on buddleia and occasionally winter viburnum. (Jon Ruff)
Yesterday (17/11/18) I saw a Red Admiral in Stoney Lane, Kingston while I was walking to Shoreham station. I was on the lookout for more at Lewes FC's ground as it's quite rural & we have seen a few butterflies during games, but although it was sunny it was maybe a bit too cool by then. Nothing for Lewes either as they went down 0-1 to Haringey Borough. (John Heys)
Saturday 17 November
One Red Admiral in the garden today, feeding on buddleia "Sungold" and sunbathing in between feeding peiods. Also a day flying micro-moth feeding on the buddleia. (Jon Ruff)
David Hanson sent in this clipping from the "Daily Telegraph" on 14th December. The newspaper picked up on a news item on the national website written by Steve Wheatley. Thanks for sharing it with us David. (Jonathan Crawford)
Friday 16 November
Clearing up leaves in my back garden in North Chailey yesterday (Thursday) morning I was very surprised to see a Holly Blue. A Holly Blue in mid November - is that even possible?
There is a small third brood of Holly Blues though they are normally over by now. However we have had Brown Argos, Common Blue and Meadow Brown in the past seven days, so to be honest anything is possible. I think Dave Harris is still hoping for a Long-tailed Blue. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 14 November
Val & I have fitted in a trip to Spain & can thoroughly recommend Seville. We were given a fantastic butterfly welcome on the afternoon of our arrival by a Two-tailed Pasha which was getting the best out of any wine residues on a kiosk we were passing. Around the town during our stay we saw several Red Admirals & whites, the nice blue in the third picture (I think it's just a Common Blue but we never got a good look at the underside), a possible long-tailed blue (I'm still checking the not great pictures we got of it) and a half a dozen or so fast moving small-sized jobs which darted all over & wouldn't settle (maybe Lang's short-tailed blues?). Did we get to see currently the second best team in Spain beat Espaniol 2-1 with a last gasp goal? Although our hotel was next door to Seville's ground, we discovered that the match was a sell-out apart from the 70 euro seats, so we celebrated Val's birthday with a meal out instead and saved 100 Euros. Today I've been out mowing our lawns & got as hot as we were in Spain, but no butterflies, although the Beautiful Plume moth is still hanging around in our sun lounge. (John & Val Heys)
There were 5 Red Admirals and 2 Peacocks still on the wing at Thorney Island. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
This afternoon (14 November) I couldn't resist a visit to Cissbury Ring, to see Our Beloved Flailbot in action. The National Trust has done a fantastic job in attacking the scrub within the south-facing coombe at the NE corner of the site, which we identified as an important target at a meeting in October 2017. The work done last winter has already brought rapid rewards; the steep slope above the track hosted good numbers of Wall Brown, Small Copper and a few Adonis Blue and Clouded Yellow this summer. With Flailbot now clearing a much larger area of scrub, this is undoubtedly a site to keep a close eye on in the future; I suspect it will become very good, very quickly. As Darren Sercombe, the operator, guided Flailbot through a patch of scrub, I watched a male Brimstone make a timely exit from its path. It was good to see that the ponies are still doing a great job of browsing scrub around the ramparts. (Neil Hulme)
At Mill Hill today it was good to meet Kirsty Gibbs, and later Dave Cook.
And a splendid day was had, considering the late date. The highlight of the day
was a female Clouded Yellow on an egg~ laying mission.
All told 6 Clouded Yellows,3 Common Blues, 1 worn Brown Argus, and a flyby Brimstone were seen.
Dave also spotted a Comma.
Myself and Nigel Kemp had a good stroll out over Pevensey Levels today where a Peacock was spotted looking for a hibernation spot. Several Red Admirals were also spotted along with quite a few Common Darters. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
For those of you who don't know: the Common Darter is one of the most common dragonflies in Europe. (Ed jnr)
Lancing Ring has had half its grassland mown, and showing their appreciation in the warm sunshine were 3 Red Admiral and a male Brimstone. (Lindsay Morris)
A Brimstone has just flown through our garden in Frant. (Alan Loweth)
Yesterday (13 November) the BC reserves in Sussex were again visited by Mike Fearn and his fabulous Brighton Conservation Volunteers. The team of 14 was split, with one group burning up a vast quantity of brash in the recently created/extended Oaken Glade in Rowland Wood, while the other group continued the restoration of lowland heath habitat on Park Corner Heath (PCH).
One or two visitors have recently queried why we are now clearing so much vegetation, including a few (albeit inferior quality) oaks from Parris Plateau on PCH; I've felled three over the last two winters, from in front of the hut, with the last going yesterday. I think it's important to explain that this area was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) to preserve this small patch of grassy heath habitat, which formed part of a once much larger area within the Vert Wood complex, before its near total destruction by post-war and post-1987 'blow down' clearances and coniferisation. We must hold on to what remains of this rare habitat and the rich fauna and flora it supports, including the reptiles which thrive on the more open and warm ground here. In addition to the images from yesterday's conservation work party, I've appended a pair of images taken as recently as 2007, which demonstrate the type and extent of the heathland habitat we're now reclaiming. We'll soon be clearing the young birch and buckthorn (Brimstones prefer the very small regrowths) over one of the favoured areas for Adder, Grass Snake and Slow-worm, but if we were to leave the vegetation to mature much further, the ground will become too shady and cool to support them.
So where are Oaken Glade and Parris Plateau, I hear some ask? At a recent meeting, all of the main rides and open spaces on our reserves were named, and Bob Foreman will soon be publishing a map to show where Skipper Corner, Long Furlong and Boggy Ride are. This will help communicate where you've seen the butterflies, moths and other wildlife which are already reacting in a very positive manner to the recent habitat work.
My thanks go to Mike and the Brighton Conservation Volunteers, and to Jonathan Squire and our own volunteers, who worked on the reserves last Sunday. (Neil Hulme)
A lunchtime return to Mill Hill produced just one rather shy Specked Wood and a friendly Clouded Yellow in pretty good nick. (David Cook)
Tuesday 13 November
Between Lyons Farm and Cissbury were a male Brimstone and a Red Admiral. At the Ring were a fine Painted Lady and a Red Admiral. It was exciting to see a Bomford Flailbot laying waste to the scrub above the rifle butts. Also spotted à Patrick Moore who had additionally seen a Clouded Yellow. (Lindsay Morris)
I'm delighted to have found 5 White-letter Hairstreak eggs this morning on 'Sapporo Autumn Gold' trees in Brighton, the benchmark of disease-resistant elm cultivars. During 2019 I hope to study the butterfly life cycle in more detail on this cultivar. (Jamie Burston)
Seen on Cissbury Ring this afternoon; Clouded Yellow (1), Painted Lady (1), Flail-Bot (1) and Lindsay Morris (1) (Patrick Moore)
Next time, don't feel you need to hold back on pictures of the 1350kg Bomford Turner Flail-bot with its lively 50 bhp Perkins engine delivering 140 newton metres of torque at 1800 rpm. It would be nice to see it operating at its 55 degree maximum working angle which fully utilises the tandem piston pump hydraulics at 2900 psi. It's mid-November so I would even be happy with a picture of Lindsay for my website (though if you could squeeze the flail-bot into the background that would be better still). As always, pleased to see pictures of the butterflies as well, so thank you for them too. (Ed jnr)
Monday 12 November
2 Red Admiral and 1 Painted Lady, Kingston nr Lewes.
Dark Bush Crickets still chirping - just.
It has been unseasonably warm but cold weather could be on the way by the end of the month! (Crispin Holloway)
10 days since my last visit to Mill Hill. The bright and breezy conditions produced 2 Clouded Yellow, Brown Argus (probably the same insect from 2nd Nov) another fresh Common Blue and a Red Admiral. (David Cook)
While I was gardening this morning I was very surprised to see a Painted Lady flying around my Seaford patch. It eventually settled to feed on Verbena Bonariensis flowers. Most of my Verbenas are self sown and pop up in most borders so they are very useful food sources this late in the year. (Stuart Ridley)
I attach photos of Jamie's Outstanding Volunteer Award at Saturday’s BC AGM at Nottingham which Sue and I attended. You will see from the group photo how unusual it is for a young BC member to receive this award. It was wonderful to see someone who is the future of Butterfly Conservation receive the recognition he so richly deserves for his hard work on behalf of the endangered butterflies of Sussex. It was great to be able to support Jamie and his father who attended along with Sussex members Dan & Libbie, Nigel (the new BC National Treasurer) with Carola, and Neil. (Colin Knight)
Hear, hear (Ed jnr)
Saturday 10 November
A quick trip to Mill Hill this morning with the car thermometer at 13C. With the sun out it was much warmer and I quickly spotted a Meadow Brown. A short while later a Peacock flew by. There were several Clouded Yellows and perhaps half a dozen Common Blues of both sexes. One male looked remarkably fresh. I saw an moth which I was unable to identify. The curious thing about it was that at rest it beat its wings relentlessly, I presume to generate heat. (Jonathan Crawford)
Bob Foreman pointed out that this is obviously a Silver Y which is generally not shown open winged in guide books. However it is on the Buttefly Conservation website. (Ed jnr)
2 Red Admirals today basking on the electric buggy at Nymans Gardens. Are they attracted to the paintwork because it is white? Or it is warmer because the sun warms it up? Either way it is a pleasure to see butterflies in November and this is the 4th time this month I have seen them in the formal gardens. (Martin Buck)
Friday 09 November
fri 09/11/2018 had a look near Spithurst, E.Sx. along footpaths to Burtenshaw's Wood and around fields looking for Brown Hairstreak eggs, none found, so paid a return visit to east facing hedge where ide found 3x BH eggs last Sunday, (TQ 42069 18766) and within a few minutes (12.11pm) found on a single stemmed sucker 4x more BH eggs laid at height of 1ft 8 1/2inches to 2ft off ground, four laid along stem in a space of 5 1/2 inches. seven BH eggs in small area of hedge. (Peter Farrant)
At Drusillas zoo, 1 Red Admiral seen in the Giant Anteater enclosure. It managed to escape unharmed. (Jon Ruff)
The anteater or the Red Admiral? I have been buzzed by the latter and it is a fearful thing when it sets it mind to it. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday (8 Nov) a Red Admiral was flying around my garden before feeding on Verbena Bonariensis then resting in the sun on a Viburnum leaf. (Stuart Ridley)
Thursday 08 November
Cissbury Ring was blustery but sunny. A tractor with a hedge cutter was pulverising the scrub in a broad swathe along the southern boundary track. Bodes well for butterfly seasons to come. 4 Red Admiral, 2 Clouded Yellow, 2 Small Copper. Only 43 days to the winter solstice... (Lindsay Morris)
The National Trust are putting a lot of effort into managing Cissbury and I am sure it will pay off. (Ed jnr)
I was out planting some bulbs this morning and looked up just in time to see this Red Admiral flit by. As usual, I had my camera nearby. I think a Speckled Wood flew past too, but I lost it? (Philip Booker)
Planting bulbs for next year! Is it that time of year already. Where does the time go? (Ed jnr)
We have notice a Red Admiral in our south facing garden this morning and keeps settling on our passion flower plant, (David O'Regan)
On Tuesday (6 November) I joined a large flock of jolly farmers from the Arun to Adur (A2A) Farmers Group, which is doing much to benefit wildlife across the area, including butterflies, farmland birds and arable wildflowers. The event was hosted by the Somerset family at Castle Goring Farm and we toured much of the estate, looking at hazel coppice (being worked with a view to restoring a population of Pearl-bordered Fritillary), areas of arable and pasture, and the lovely sweeping slope of chalk grassland at Long Furlong. The latter area has been grazed by cattle and sheep for the last four years, following a period of c.15 years without any livestock on. I suspect there are now some interesting butterflies here, so I'll be taking a closer look next summer. (Neil Hulme)
Tuesday 06 November
Seeing Jamie's message reminds me that Val & I regret we won't be able to make the AGM either. I was going to ask Jamie if the shrub like growths (see pictures) which are in the westerly extension of the Shoreham Port road leading off Church Road Portslade are elm suckers. I don't recall there ever being any large elm trees there which have been lost to disease or cut down. I can answer the St Anns Well gardens query - it's in Hove. Before the unitary authority of Brighton & Hove came into being on 1 April 1997, it was within the boundary of the Borough of Hove and owned by Hove Borough Council. Unusually, Dyke Road Park a little further north was owned by Brighton Borough Council even though it was just across the border in the Borough of Hove. If my memory serves me right, Brighton informally asked whether Hove would like to have it (and thus become responsible for its upkeep) but the offer was politely declined. (John & Val Heys)
Neil Hulme writes "John’s and Val’s images show small suckering growths of Wych Elm". Thanks Neil. (Ed jnr)
Just a few minutes of sun from 14.15 on a breezy dull day at Cissbury Ring was enough to entice out 2 Clouded Yellow, Small Copper, Red Admiral. Top of south east coombe.
I regret that due to unforeseen circumstances, I will not be able to attend our Sussex Branch AGM on Saturday 17th November.
Those that were interested in visiting my art stall can view all available art on my online shop, looking for a Christmas present? Link to my shop is provided, a percentage from each sale goes towards the purchase of disease-resistant elm trees, to conserve the White-letter Hairstreak. Wishing everyone a great time at the AGM! (Jamie Burston https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JamieBurstonArt)
Not quite butterflies but I found two tiny caterpillars in St Ann's Well Garden in Brighton (or is it Hove already...). The greenish-yellowish one was under attack from an even smaller insect. I guess they shall be moths one day but does anyone know what kind of moth? I also found something in Wild Park yesterday what I think to be a spider's egg case? Could anyone confirm this please and maybe the species too? Thank you. (Istvan Radi)
Neil Hulme writes "Istvan’s larva appears to be that of the Common Banded Hoverfly Syrphus ribesii; a common species which feeds on aphids in the larval stage. I wouldn’t be confident in assigning his spider egg sac to a species". Thanks Neil. (Ed jnr)
Small Copper butterfly seen in Warnham, Horsham. 02/11/2018 (Paul Mitchell)
Common Blue butterfly, Warnham, Horsham. 05/11/2018 (Paul Mitchell)
Small Copper seen in Warnham, Horsham. 05/11/2018 (Paul Mitchell)
Still two Clouded Yellows near Longmere Point, Thorney Island on Monday. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
Having brought our geraniums inside, we now have at least one Beautiful Plume in the sun lounge. (John & Val Heys)
Monday 05 November
sun 04/11/2018 along footpath/track between Spithurst Road and Markstakes Lane, E.Sx. after much searching of blackthorns found 3x Brown Hairstreak eggs at 12.34pm, two side by side, the third about 3/4 of an inch farther along twig, at a height of 3ft 9in. these are my most, most, most, most easterly BH eggs at TQ 42069 18766. today mon 05/11/2018 saw 1x Red Admiral feeding on Michaelmas daises in Nursery Close, Polegate. (Peter Farrant)
It had to happen sooner or later! No butterflies at all on a warm sunny walk around Lancing Ring. Still dozens of dogs, however! May I take this opportunity to thank the weather, all the butterflies and all the butterfly people for an interesting and rewarding season. Ed Jnr rules, ok? (Lindsay Morris)
Oops, I think I misprinted Dean Lewington as Lewingtom and pressed send before I could correct. (John Heys)
On Friday 2 November, Val saw a Painted Lady in Clive Avenue, Worthing near West Park School. We didn't see anything despite the sunshine when we went to watch Crawley Town being thrashed 0-4 by MK Dons on Saturday. Amazingly Dean Lewingtom, who we first saw playing for Wimbledon at Selhurst is still turning out for MK Dons. I wonder if he is any relative of Richard Lewington the butterfly artist? (John & Val Heys)
Picture is poor quality so added a filter. Any idea what it might be? Would love to know (Rachel)
Thanks Rachel, this is a Peacock.They hibernate, so you can see them on sunny days throughout the winter.(Ed jnr)
Sunday 04 November
Yesterday (3rd November) I popped down to Mill Hill again finding a handful of Common Blue, at least 3 Clouded Yellow and a fresh Meadow Brown. Earlier I'd wandered along the beach front towards Lancing looking for Large White larvae and pupae, finding 2 of the former and 1 of the latter. I also had a single Red Admiral flyby walking through town (Paul Atkin)
Two quick visits to Mill Hill this weekend with the dog.. Yesterday as Katrina mentioned, there were several Common Blues and I saw 4 Clouded Yellows at the same time. I also saw a single Speckled Wood. This morning weather conditions were not advantageous for butterflies so I was surprised to see a single frigid Common Blue which I snapped with my phone. (Jonathan Crawford)
A less than thorough search of the lower part of Mill Hill yesterday revealed several Common Blues including a very fresh looking specimen and a single Clouded Yellow. More dragonflies were seen than butterflies. It was also a pleasure to bump into Paul. (katrina watson)
Saturday 03 November
I saw a nice fresh Red Admiral basking in the sun on Saturday afternoon on the edge of a meadow by Madgeland (Southwater) Wood. (John Williams)
Brig, the leader of Friends of Bevendean Down sent me this picture of a Clouded Yellow she saw at the back of her house in Bevendean today 3rd November (Geoff Stevens)
We spent a couple of hours this afternoon walking around Stansted Forest mainly in square SU7511 and recorded Red Admiral 5, Speckled Wood 2 very worn individuals. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
Another Red Admiral feeding on Verbena Bonariensis in my Seaford garden today. Earlier this morning a Painted Lady was resting in the sun before moving on.....to Europe perhaps? (Stuart Ridley)
I am spending most of my time seeking out raptor species but this rather nice Red Admiral came into my Storrington garden yesterday, so I took a photo. Whilst up on my local downland there was a Clouded Yellow (near The Burgh) in pristine condition. Also a Speckled Wood, nearby. (Martin Kalaher)
Out of curiosity I have just checked my Wall Brown records since I took over as the species champion, and my latest record was 28th October. That was in 2015. Therefore, the sightings at High and Over and Lancing yesterday was the first November records for me to report. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Friday 02 November
We had the first frost of the season here in Crawley this morning, but the sun was shining and the wind was light, so I travelled down to the coast for a final day out. On the seafront at Lancing, Large White larvae could still be found feeding on Sea-kale or wandering around on the shingle barrier looking for a place to pupate. A search of the north side of the barrier located 8 pupae. Then on to Mill Hill where I bumped into David Cook who pointed out a mating pair of Brown Argus to me. After he had left I managed to add another 2 Brown Argus females to the list as well as a second Meadow Brown and a Red Admiral. I will not duplicate his pictures but will add two that may be of interest. The temperature reached approximately 12C at Mill Hill, but it felt much warmer at the bottom of the sheltered slope. (Vince Massimo)
I didn`t expect to see a Large White in November but one was in my Seaford garden resting in the sun on a Viburnum leaf, followed later on by a Red Admiral. A Humming Bird Hawk Moth appeared in mid-afternoon and stayed for some time feeding on Verbena Bonariensis and perennial Salvia plants. (Stuart Ridley)
maybe of interest if not seen already. (David Long)
verb: interest; 3rd person present: interests; past tense: interested; past participle: interested; gerund or present participle: interesting
1) excite the curiosity or attention of (someone).
2) persuade someone to undertake or acquire (something).
Now I would be surprised if any of our members found this unpleasant film interesting, but thank you for drawing our attention to it. (Ed jnr)
Today was just too good to stay at my desk and so headed to Mill Hill. Under clear blue sky and light wind, it wasn’t long before I had my first, albeit brief, sighting of a fresh female Common Blue as I was walking down the steps towards the lower slope. By the time I reached the northern end I had 6 male Clouded Yellow under my belt. In the bottom corner were numerous mix of Male and female Common Blue, most in various states of ‘worn’ but one male stood out as a minter. On my return I spotted what I initially thought was a Common Blue pairing when who should show up but Vince. He and I spent the best part of an hour discussing this very late phenomena for a Common Blue pairing when we suddenly noticed the possibility that one of them could actually be a Brown Argus (you’ll see what we mean in the photos as the tell tale figure 8 is very in distinct on the male). The pair then rotated 180* so we got a good view of both sides and realised they they were in fact both Brown Argus. A very fresh Meadow Brown was also seen along with a very large Small White and. Red Admiral. (David Cook)
The sun was out, the sky blue and six species of butterfly on the wing. Cissbury Ring southern ramparts and the eastern flank was where I headed this afternoon to see Clouded Yellow (7) Red Admiral, Small Copper, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood and a Meadow Brown. It's November! (Patrick Moore)
Near perfect conditions after a slight frost saw 5 species of butterfly around the southern parts of Cissbury Ring and down to the A27. 9 Clouded Yellow, 6 Small Copper, 4 Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, male Wall Brown. A wasp nest was very busy and a hornet added to the fun. (Lindsay Morris)
I just managed to fit in a stroll from home today, walking up to High and Over and Cradle Valley. On the way I saw my first of several Red Admiral, during the walk I was just shy of double figures on this species. At High and Over things got a little more interesting with a male Common Blue seen. Being this late in the season there was a slight hope that it may have been something with a long tail!! A Clouded Yellow also put in an appearance. However, the main reason for the visit was a hope of seeing my final Wall Brown of the year. I checked out all my favourite spots without luck. Just as I was about to give up I spotted a female that was still looking to lay a few eggs, sunning itself between stints where it was fighting for the best spot with a Common Darter. This means the 3rd brood this year has run into November and is at the moment 8 weeks and one day long. There is still a chance for a few further sightings before it hits the wall!! (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Three Clouded Yellows were found at Southwick this chilly morning.
Another Butterfly flew right over my head, the only brief glimpse I had
suggested a Small Tortoiseshell, but I am far from certain about that. (Trevor Rapley)
Yesterday (1 November) I joined a small but enthusiastic group of six, to continue cutting hazel coppice at Church Copse (Clapham Wood), to create suitable habitat for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and other woodland wildlife. Some of the more mature 'regulars' have hung up their billhooks after working here for many years, so we're desperately seeking a little more help (tools and guidance provided). We meet on Thursday mornings at 10.00 am in the car park of Clapham Saint Mary the Virgin (TQ09550664), usually on every other Thursday throughout the winter. However, the next two conservation work parties here will be on the Thursdays of 22 and 29 November. The work is led by the South Downs National Park Authority, so BC attendees such as Paul Day and I work as part of their Volunteer Ranger Service on this project (with benefits for regular participants). Any assistance with this greatly rewarding project would be much appreciated. (Neil Hulme)
On Wednesday (31 October) I made a brief visit to Rewell Wood, to catch up with a group of South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) rangers, who were busy cutting a scallop into the edge of the Sweet Chestnut coppice beside the main W-E ride in the southern area, just north of the sawmill. A team effort involving the Norfolk Estate, SDNPA staff, South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service, Kenny the resident woodsman, Plumpton College, contractors and BC volunteers, guided by the BC Fritillaries for the Future Project, has now created a 1km stretch of prime breeding habitat for Pearl-bordered Fritillary along this publicly accessible ride; this will be a site to watch in the spring of 2019. Thanks to Becka, Chloe, Kate, Tom and Simon of SDNPA for their ongoing and enthusiastic support for this work. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 01 November
Yesterday (31 October), Steve Wheatley (BC Regional Officer) and I joined a team from the Forestry Commission, to sign off on the completion of an ambitious woodland enhancement project. The Veolia funded 'Pearls of Charlton Forest' is a partnership project conceived as an offshoot of BC 'Fritillaries for the Future' (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ernest Klienwort Charitable Trust and our members/supporters) and sits within an even larger area encompassing Heyshott Escarpment, Heyshott Down and Graffham Down. This conservation effort, conducted on a truly landscape scale, will benefit a wealth of wildlife, including butterflies such as the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Duke of Burgundy, Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper. Rare moths, including the Drab Looper, which has been assisted by another BC project in the area, will also benefit greatly.
This is the largest conservation project I've ever been involved with, and I came away full of optimism for the future of this part of Sussex; I suspect the benefits will be felt far beyond the project area in years to come. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved (too many to mention individually), including funders, partners, volunteers and contractors.
The project has involved the creation of wide rides, huge scallops along woodland edges, and vast box-junctions, which are now being maintained on a rotational basis. These images provide just a snapshot of the work, which extends over several kilometres. Just a few years ago, this was mainly dark and cool 'Speckled Wood country'.
Now comes the task of monitoring such a large area. I will be setting up a fixed route over which butterflies, day-flying moths and other wildlife will be recorded, and welcome any assistance. This will require considerable time and a quite high level of fitness, but the rewards should greatly exceed the effort. Anyone wishing to be involved should contact me over the winter. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 31 October
A circular (ish) walk south of Berwick Village in hazy sunshine, cool wind, warm valleys and low sun shadows had two butterfly highlights. A Clouded Yellow in the big meadow at France Bottom TQ 505026 which still had some wild basil in flower and a fairly smart Brown Argus on what I think of as the butterfly bank where the Green Way descends north east from The Comp. Not many flowers left for nectaring now. (Tessa Pawsey)
No sign of any at Portslade Station & we were too far from the ivy at Worthing Station, but there was 1 Red Admiral on ivy at the west end of the footpath section of Barrington Road Worthing at 2.45pm. It was still there when we went back that way at 3.15pm. I see the temperatures are due to rise again next week - might be 15C on Wednesday - so there's hope for those butterflies still hanging on! (John & Val Heys)
In relatively short periods of breezy sunshine, often milky, I managed, with the great help of Patrick Moore, to find 5 species of butterfly around the south side of Cissbury Ring. 8 Clouded Yellow, 6 Small Copper, 2 Red Admiral, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood. I keep expecting to go out and see nothing, but it hasn't happened yet! (Lindsay Morris)
I spent a most enjoyable few hours on Cissbury Ring today with Lindsay Morris where we watched butterflies on the south facing ancient earthworks. When the sun shone there were Clouded Yellow (4), Small Copper and a Wall Brown. (Patrick Moore)
Tuesday 30 October
Many thanks to National Park Ranger Alison Pitts, her trainees and the Volunteer Ranger Service for their hard work coppicing Sweet Chestnut and managing Bracken at a wood near Fernhurst today. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary has been saved from the very point of extinction here, with greatly improved numbers recorded this spring. I suspect that the species now has a bright future on the Cowdray Estate, which has been hugely helpful in assisting conservation efforts. (Neil Hulme)
Yesterday I only saw two Red Admirals at Pulborough Brooks and I thought that was bad. But a quick visit to Southwick at lunchtime today produced nothing but a flock of fat house sparrows and a few starlings. I wonder if the "sudden" cold made all the butterflies perish? (Istvan Radi)
Monday 29 October
This morning on the seafront at Lancing, I searched for Large White pupae on the timber shingle barrier, finding 4. Some of the caterpillars were still active on their host plants and will undoubtedly still be around in November. Out of the ordinary was a moth larva which I should know (but am unsure of) but possibly Hebrew Character. Yesterday afternoon brought showers but with the added bonus of some striking rainbows springing out of Brighton. (Vince Massimo)
Lancing Ring in breezy cool sunshine only had 3 Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, Comma, Peacock. (Lindsay Morris)
Curiously, none of these butterflies were one of the five species seen at Mill Hill over the weekend. So that is nine species recorded on the Adur in the last week of October (Ed jnr)
A stroll around my local area in the cold, but sunny conditions turned out to be rewarding with a female Wall Brown on Greenway Bank and 4 different Red Admirals, 3 of which were also on Greenway. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Sunday 28 October
7 Celsius when I arrived at Mill Hill around eleven am for a quick visit.The sky was more than half full with grey clouds, which coupled with the cold north wind meant that butterflies seemed an unlikely prospect. However shorty after arriving at the bank a Common Blue flew by. This was soon followed by a couple of Clouded Yellows and several Meadow Browns. More Common Blues followed before I spotted two Wall Browns. (Jonathan Crawford)
Fresh fecund female Painted Lady on Pevensey Levels on 24th October (Nigel Kemp http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk)
While doing my wader counts at Thorney Island on Saturday in very cold conditions. We had a Clouded Yellow and one Red Admiral still on the wing near Longmere Point. (Barry and Margaret)
Saturday 27 October
The car thermometer indicated that the temperature was 6C when I pulled up at Mill this morning for a quick visit, so I did not expect to see any butterflies. However the warmth of the sun on my back as Ii headed down the bank made me wonder if I might be in luck. Sure enough one of at least four Clouded Yellows put in an appearance. There were also half a dozen Common Blues and a couple of Small Heaths which were looking remarkably good for this time of year. (Jonathan Crawford)
Only two butterfly species seen on a walk around Lancing Ring & Steep Down. It was about 8 Centigrade with a northerly breeze and increasingly cloudy. 4 Red Admiral were joined by a plucky female Common Blue. (Lindsay Morris)
The temperature outside was no more than 7 degrees when a Red Admiral flew into my Seaford garden, fed on Verbena Bonariensis flowers and rested on my south-facing wall before flying away. (Stuart Ridley)
Over the weekend of 20th and 21st October I made some observations on Lancing beach which I needed to research before posting on this site. At that time I was monitoring Large White larvae in the wild which were feeding on Sea-kale (Crambe maritima) on the shingle beach. The plants can grow to within a few metres of the high water mark, but those used by the larvae were tucked-up against a south-facing wooden shingle barrier. Whilst searching for pupae on the wooden barrier on 19th October 2018 I located a larva at rest and seemingly preparing to pupate. However, the following day it was clear that it had been parasitised, as 4 grubs of the Braconid wasp Cotesia glomerata were emerging from its body. These wasps lay multiple eggs into the bodies of young larvae and after the eggs have hatched the wasp grubs feed on the tissues of the living larva. They avoid the vital organs, keeping it alive until it is fully grown at which time they break through its skin.The caterpillar will die immediately or soon afterwards and the wasp grubs then spin yellow cocoons nearby from which the adult wasps will emerge 7 to 10 days later. On the morning of 21st October there were 4 cocoons alongside the caterpillar. By the afternoon one cocoon had fallen away and another wasp grub was emerging from the body of the caterpillar. However there were also 2 adult wasps present with their ovipositors inserted into the cocoons, and these were soon joined by another wasp which, although larger, was probably of the same species. The most likely explanation is that these wasps were using the first parasites as hosts for their own young. These are known as secondary hyperparasitoids, the most obvious candidate in this case being the Ichneumon wasp Lysibia nana which is well documented as parasitising Cotesia glomerata.
Thursday 25 October
Further pictures from Cissbury Ring. (Patrick Moore)
wed 24/10/2018. 11.20 - 2.10pm. had a look around some hedges east of Barcombe Cross and to the north of the Anchor Inn for Brown Hairstreak eggs, some likely looking areas, no eggs found except for what looks like an eaten BH egg? or is it a spore of some sort, (I've included a photo of an eaten BH egg for comparison). this was on a blackthorn along a south facing hedge shown in first photo. Then it was back to Tutts Farm nr Chailey to finish off searching the rest of south facing hedge where id found 3x BH eggs last sunday. Between 2.51pm and 3.03pm found another 3x BH eggs, so my most most most easterly BH egg is at TQ 41586 19096. there laid at heights of between 1ft 9in to 5ft 8 1/2 in. (Peter farrant)
I returned to Southwick this morning. The Clouded Yellows were less active in the cooler conditions of today, and spent much time basking and nectaring. A nice surprise came in the form of a fairly fresh Common Blue.
It was good to meet John Heys at Southwick, and put a face to a name.
There were 2 Red Admirals in Wish Park on the nettles behind our house at around 11.45 am when I set off for Shoreham Port. I walked west to east from the Schooner Inn (?) in Southwick to the Wellington Road/Church road traffic lights at Portslade & had the pleasure of meeting Trevor Rapley early on. In the section between the pub & the first property up on the south side of the A259 I saw 6 Clouded Yellows, 3 Red Admirals, 5 whites (maybe all Small Whites - the only one close to me was - 3 popped up at the same time towards the east end of this section), 2 Common Blues (one quite fresh) and (nice surprise) high up the bank but unmistakeable a Brimstone. East of those properties on the A259 and up to the traffic lights at the end of the undercliff walk I saw a further Red Admiral, 2 Small Whites & 4 Clouded Yellows, mostly on the grassy bank by the concrete steps. A further Red Admiral appeared by the advertising hoarding at the trafffic lights. It was about 1.30pm by now. Later in the afternoon Val & I also saw a Small White in Hove along New Church Road. (John & Val Heys)
There were at least half a dozen Red Admirals in my garden all day yesterday, feasting on Ivy. Plus I saw one Speckled Wood and what I believe was a Holly Blue which buzzed my twice but I couldn't get a photo. (Philip Booker)
Wednesday 24 October
Up at Deep Dean and Ewe Dean, east of Alfriston today: 3 Wall Brown, 2 Clouded Yellows, plus Brimstone, Red Admiral, Small White, Painted Lady. The butterfly season keeps on going! (Steve Wheatley)
With the weather being so warm this afternoon I managed to get out for a short spell to see what was about at Tidemills. Apart from a few Red Admirals heading south I only saw a couple of Large Whites and one very worn Speckled Wood! The site appeared to be largely devoid of life. On the way back into Seaford I saw four Clouded Yellows on the roadside Embankment and one even came within range of my lens. With the weather set to turn cold at the weekend this is might well be my last Butterfly photo of 2018? (James.A)
Eastbourne today with the granddaughter, as the Sovereign Centre pool has a wave machine. Although we also spent quite a bit of time in the sunshine between there and the Redoubt, all the butterflies we saw were at the Princes Park (Wartling Road) children's play area where it's quite sheltered. There were at least 3 maybe 4 Red Admirals, at least 1 maybe 2 Clouded Yellows (looking amazingly like the fallen leaves) and 2 whites, one of which was probably a Large White. Fifty years ago I used to play stoolball near there & the margins by Wartling Road have usually been a more promising area for butterflies than the actual coast. More footballers... I wonder if Tottenham's Eric Dier could be a Monarch? He's robust enough, has migrated north from Portugal & I suspect he'll reverse migrate eventually. (John & Val Heys)<>
But is he partial to milkweed? (Ed jnr)
I went to Southwick this morning and bumped into Paul and later Trevor. I saw Clouded Yellows including a Helice form , a Common Blue, a Small White and a Red Admiral. The highlight was Paul finding 2 Clouded Yellow Eggs.
Paul and I went on to Mill Hill, although I could only stay for a short time I saw a Wall Brown, a Small Copper , some Common Blues including a very fresh one, Red Admirals, Brown Argus and a Meadow Brown. (katrina watson)
Up to 12 Clouded Yellow at Southwick today. Also 2 Common Blue, 1 small and Large White, 2 Red Admirals and a Peacock. 2 female Clouded Yellows seen - this one rebuffing the attention of a male. (Mark Jones)
On a walk round Lancing Ring & Steep Down there were ten butterfly species in the calm warm sunshine. 21 Red Admiral, 7 Speckled Wood, 3 Clouded Yellow, 3 Common Blue (including in cop), 3 Small White, 2 Wall Brown, 2 Comma, Small Copper, Brimstone, Peacock. On the previously discussed topic "footballers-as-butterflies", surely Anthony Knockaert would be a Panthonus Cattleheart? A straight red card? Oh, come on ref... (Lindsay Morris)
Tuesday 23 October
Quite sunny at the Bluebell Railway, but fairly cool too. We only saw two butterflies. Val caught a brief glimpse of a white from the train and earlier we all saw a Red Admiral as we were sitting outside at the good but underused play area by Kingscote Station. It could be somewhere in the picture attached. There's a small but even better indoor play area in the restored elephant coach at Horsted Keynes station. Kids for a quid this week & enough trains each way to spend time at both play areas. I got the date wrong on my last posting - it should have started "Yesterday, 22 October..." (John & Val Heys)
Yesterday, 22nd October, I left Val shopping in Sainsbury's, Benfield Valley, Hove and in the car park I saw a Large White nectaring on buddleia. From platform 2 at Portslade station it was still possible to see that there were 3 Red Admirals basking on the ivy at platform 1. They were put in a flutter when the non-stop GWR train raced through. As there's also a lot of ivy on the north side at my destination, Worthing, I crossed under to platform 1 where I counted 12 Red Admirals This was at about 4.30pm. None around when I caught the last train back at 11.27pm having seen Eddi Reader in concert with my daughter. I'd never heard of her but she & her band were very good. She was in Fairground Attraction which may mean more to anyone 20 years younger than me. Off to the Bluebell railway with the granddaughter today so hopefully will be able to report some butterflies from there next. (John Heys)
Perfect. (Ed jnr)
These were on a Farm in Saddlescombe (Philip Booker)
Monday 22 October
sun 21/10/2018, to the east of South Street, Chailey, E.Sx. 4x Brown Hairstreak eggs found today, the first at 12.07pm along south facing field edge behind Markstakes Farm TQ 40501 18642, the other three found along driveway to Tutts Farm 2.00 - 2.27pm, between TQ 41520 19108 and TQ 41561 19101, this last egg is my most most easterly sighting, also 4x Red Admirals, 3x Hornets, 1x WHITE squirrel and 1x Camel. not a sighting you make every day. (Peter Farrant)
On Sunday 21st October on Lancing Beach and promenade there were 12 Red Admiral, 3 Clouded Yellow, 3 Small White, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Common Blue and 1 Small Copper. Also, checking the nettles which were growing in the shelter of the south-facing walls of the car wash and tyre-fitting buildings on the seafront, I found them loaded with Red Admiral eggs. The previous day (20th October) there were similar numbers and species, but these included a mating pair of Clouded Yellows and a male Large White. There are also still numerous Large White larvae feeding on Sea Kale which is growing on the shingle. (Vince Massimo)
When I arrived at Southwick this morning the temperature was 11c. according to my car. But this did not deter the Butterflies, with two Clouded Yellows found straight away, altogether six were seen. The real prize, however, was a very fresh and placid Painted Lady, that allowed close approach many times. Many Red Admirals were flying at high speed, except for a worn ab. bialbata, basking on the path. No Common Blues were found today. (Trevor Rapley)
On Saturday, 20 October Val & I visited Lancing Football Club's ground at Culver Road to watch Horsham v East Grinstead. (Horsham are having a new ground built up there, but like Spurs's, it's not ready yet.) In the third minute, this Speckled Wood landed at the side of the artificial pitch and as Val turned on her phone camera to get the picture, Horsham's first goal went in. She missed it, but at least I was able to describe it - an acrobatic own goal by Grinstead's number 6. Although he redeemed himself with an equaliser 3 minutes later, he ended on the losing side. Yesterday, 21 October, at Portslade Station's platform 1, on the ivy, a Red Admiral was out sunning itself at 8.40am as we started what turned out to be an epic 4.5 hour journey to south London involving 3 trains, 3 buses and a signalling fault. We did see a couple of whites up in London, but there's no sign of any butterflies in the sunshine in our garden to day, 22 October. (John & Val Heys)
I spotted this little one on a tree's leaf. Any idea what kind of caterpillar is it? Thank you. (Istvan Radi)
Sunday 21 October
Visited several sites in and around Shoreham in today’s lovely sunshine, including the beach, the harbour and up to Mill Hill. Most abundant were Clouded Yellows, with 40-50 seen, then Red Admirals 20+, also Small White, Small Copper, Common Blues, Brown Argus (Mill Hill), Comma, Painted Lady, Meadow Browns (some surprisingly fresh, even males), Walls, Speckled Woods and Small Heath, two at Mill Hill. A fabulous day for this time of year! (Mark Bunch)
Single Small Copper, Clouded Yellow and Small Heath on/at edge of a recently-cultivated arable field on a beautiful sunny afternoon at Mountfield (Grid Ref TQ743202). The Clouded Yellow was the first I've seen here this year. (Robin Harris)
Saw a Wall Brown at the top end of Petworth park. Not far from the car park. First time I have seen one around here. (Frances Bassom)
One each of Speckled Wood, Clouded Yellow and Brown Argus on a late afternoon stroll round the north side of Beeding Hill above Room Bottom (Chris Corrigan )
I only managed a couple of short trips to mill Hill this weekend because of other commitments. I was disappointed to see a moron had sprayed what might loosely called graffito on the visitors board. I am perplexed by their motivation, as I was by the person who had clearly sat on a bench to admire the view but felt it appropriate to leave their tissues on the ground beside where they were sitting.
On a more positive not, the SDNP are introducing sheep to the site to try and tackle the invasive privet. This will be a challenge for the dog walkers. Steve Wheatley and I met with the rangers who manage the site a few weeks ago. They are extraordinarily passionate about the work they do and do a tremendous job attempting the impossible task of managing the site on a pittance. It is a crazy world that places so little value on maintaining sites like Mill Hill.
Butterfly wise, it was the usual suspects as pointed out by Katrina yesterday. The highlight for me were a couple of male Brimstones who looked quite exotic after watching so many Clouded Yellows whizz by. One caught my attention because he was very keen to get into the middle of quite inhospitable bushes. I followed him for a while until he eventually found what he was looking for. As it was midday I wondered if he was finding a sight for hibernating rather than roosting. I shall go back and check next weekend. (Jonathan Crawford)
A circular walk south of Berwick Village in east sussex in warm sun was enlivened with two Clouded Yellows and a very faded Small Copper in France Bottom. On the Green Way leading to Blackstone Bottom TQ489025 we saw a couple of Brown Argus, one of which was egg laying on helianthemum. (Tessa Pawsey)
Ashenground & Bolnore Woods, Haywards Heath - 5 or 6 Red Admiral butterflies higher up around the oak and ivy, several coming down to land in the sunshine. (Kim Berry)
Over the last three days (18 - 20 October) I've been at the BC Rowland Wood reserve, guiding the mowing of rides and glades by our wonderful contractor, Ian Hampshire (who performed the major restructuring works last winter). By working so closely with him, we were able to get every pass with the cutter in precisely the desired place, to optimise the improvement of breeding habitat (for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and other species), while avoiding some margins, to reduce the extent of the 'collateral damage' which is inevitable when any invasive woodland management takes place. Different cutting devices (which produce different effects) were used in different areas, which, alongside the works performed in the summer months, will produce the most varied mosaic of microhabitats, to suit as many species as possible.
On behalf of the Branch, I'd like to thank Reserves Officer Jayne Chapman, for her invaluable help with contracts, logistics and plenty of the physical work we conducted well away from Ian's rampant tractor. I'd also like to thank Stuart Sutton (FC) and Tim Squire, who helped with chainsaw work over this period. Together, we have opened up a large new glade to the south of the Rowland Wood lake, in an area which SPBF has shown a clear liking of, during both its broods.
Despite so much being achieved, there is still a great deal of work to be done on the reserves this winter, so every additional hour that our trusty volunteers can give will be most appreciated. I'm already getting excited about we might see at Park Corner Heath and Rowland Wood next summer, building on the excellent year that butterflies had here in 2018. (Neil Hulme)
Saturday 20 October
I went to Mill Hill for just over an hour late afternoon. On the Hemp Agrimony was one Comma and one Red Admiral. Seen at the rest of the site were Clouded Yellows, Common Blues , Brown Argus (I think) Small Heaths and Meadow Browns. (katrina watson)
Perfect warm sunny still conditions, but not that many butterflies up on Lancing Ring & Steep Down. 24 Red Admiral, 6 Speckled Wood, 6 Small White, 2 Clouded Yellow, 2 Wall Brown, 2 Common Blue, Small Copper, Comma. (Lindsay Morris)
Delayed report from Wednesday 10th October, ten days ago, when I walked from Denton nr Newhaven to Alfriston, via Bo-Peep, and came across a Clouded Yellow on the edge of a field, soon followed by a Wall Brown, if I've identified them correctly.
The first photo shows the rough location alongside the path (top left) towards the top of Gardener's Hill. The second is nearer to the spot (E 546938 N 103553 approx) on the edge of a ploughed field looking northwards towards Firle Beacon. The last photos aren't very sharp but were all I could manage at the time. Not sure if of interest but decided to submit them anyway. (Christopher Smith)
Thanks Chris. Yes you have identified them correctly and bitterfly sightings are never too late and always of interest. (Ed jnr)
Friday 19 October
This afternoon I visited Cissbury Ring in lovely sunshine and managed to see 11 species of butterfly. Most were around the north east, southerly facing bank mentioned before and on the southern ramparts. There were; Speckled Wood, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper some very fresh, Painted Lady, Common Blue all worn, Clouded Yellow, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Comma and surprisingly a Brown Argus. There was also a Humminghawk birdMoth. (Patrick Moore)
We had a good look around Thorney Island today and what a beautiful day it was. We recorded 8 species of butterfly they were, Clouded Yellow 7, Painted Lady 2, Brown Argus a very fresh looking individual, Common Blue 1 very worn, Small Copper 4, Small White 8, Red Admiral 36, Speckled Wood 2. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
Val suggested Shoreham Beach for a change, so we walked it from west to east between about 2.30pm & 3.15pm, starting south of Ferry Road & reaching the Coastguard Building by the Adur's mouth. We then headed back west as far as the footpath causeway across Widewater, doing our best not to double-count the length we'd already done & finishing around 4.15pm. Most of our sightings were on the initial walk eastwards. We made our way quite close to the properties there rather than staying on the board-walk. We saw 23 Clouded Yellows (2 helice), 9 whites of which at least 2 were Small Whites, 2 Small Coppers, 5 Red Admirals, 5 Painted Ladies & 11 Silver Y moths. Of the three Clouded Yellow pictures forwarded, the first is an ordinary Clouded Yellow and the other two the 2 helices. Although we saw them in much the same place, I think they were not the same butterfly as the spots are different shapes, but my picture of the second specimen isn't so well in focus so I'm not 100% sure. We also saw lots of lizards on or near the walls of the properties backing on to the beach, 50 or 60 at least - more than all the lizards I've ever seen before added together plus a Brent goose and 3 little grebes on Widewater. (John & Val Heys)
I visited Rowland Wood today where heavy machinery is again at work mowing the rides. Thanks to Ian Hampshire for his painstaking work and to Jayne Chapman for negotiating the contract and overseeing the work. Neil Hulme and Stewart Sutton were again at work with chain saws clearing further glades which will provide more ideal habitat for fritillaries next spring. (Nigel Symington)
A short walk on the eastern side of Lancing Ring was notable for a fresh-looking helice Clouded Yellow. Also present in the perfect calm conditions were 40 Red Admiral, 15 Speckled Wood, 4 Comma, 2 Wall Brown, Small Copper, Brimstone, Small White.
TQ 439 134 near Cock Inn A 26 - 3rd Gen? Brown Argus. (Graham Parris)
Unfortunately this Sundays Conservation Work Party at Bevendean has been cancelled. Future Work Parties will carry on as normal. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday (Thursday) I was off up to London on the first cheap train & by then (9.48am) there were at least 3, maybe 4, Red Admirals on the ivy at platform 1 of Portslade Station. (John Heys)
Thursday 18 October
Spotted two hummingbird hawk moths at Sussex Prairie Gardens near Henfield. (Jason)
A walk up to and around the south side of Cissbury Ring in very breezy sunshine was graced by eleven butterfly species. 22 Speckled Wood, 19 Red Admiral, 16 Small Copper, 14 Wall Brown, 7 Clouded Yellow (including 1 helice and 1 ordinary female), 5 Common Blue, 4 Painted Lady, 2 Small Heath, 2 Meadow Brown, Brimstone, Peacock. This climate change lark is simply the best fun ever... (Lindsay Morris)
Wednesday 17 October
Val & I have been in a very rural Wiltshire village for a long weekend where we saw precisely 1 butterfly (Red Admiral) despite it being quite hot & sunny at times. Back in Hove today, there were only several dozen bees & some flies on the ivy at the bottom of our garden this morning. But the season for urban butterflies isn't quite over yet. In Worthing in the afternoon we saw 2 Speckled Woods by the Barrington Road footpath, one on the way to school & one on the way back. The second specimen was brighter & had a nick in its wing, so definitely not the same as the first. (John & Val Heys)
A beautiful warm and sunny walk from Litlington. Several Small Coppers, a Common Blue and a Wall Brown as we walked along the north edge of Lullington Heath. Lots of Red Admirals anywhere there was ivy in flower and three male Wall Browns as we walked up the steep north side of Folkington Hill. Lovely to look down into Deep Dean and see the hardy horses ( or ponies ) grazing in the fenced off area, hopefully eating lots of tor grass and making nice warm patches for next years Grayling. (Tessa Pawsey)
A very fruitful day was spent at Southwick today, despite a bank of cloud threatening to scupper things early on. When the sun did break through, a definate five, possibly six fresh Clouded Yellows, and a fresh male and female Common Blue were found. Several Red Admirals and a very fast flying Painted Lady were seen in the air. (Trevor Rapley)
Many thanks to the Brighton Conservation Volunteers for their hard work yesterday (17 October), managing Bracken, Bramble and saplings on our Rowland Wood reserve. While they worked their way along one of the key rides, I started to enlarge a glade which the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary showed particular interest in this year, during both its first and second broods. The sunshine brought out 3 Speckled Wood and a male Brimstone. (Neil Hulme)
Tuesday 16 October
I spent yesterday (15 October) on the Knepp Wildland with my brother, who was visiting from Antwerp. In generally overcast conditions we saw just three butterflies (two Red Admiral and a Small Copper), but there were bigger attractions on offer; the Red Deer rut is well underway and the Fallow are now joining the party. (Neil Hulme)
tue 16/10/2018. Markstakes Lane, near South Street, Chailey, E.Sx. found 4x Brown Hairstreak eggs (11.56am/1.37pm/1.46pm and 2.05pm) along south facing hedge, between TQ 39517 18427 and TQ 39679 18408, the forth egg found at TQ 39679 18408 is my most easterly egg. Between 12.08 and 1.13pm had a look at the east and west facing sides of a nearby hedge in field, with sucker plants growing out from it, it looks ideal but no eggs found, could be that this area is just on the easterly edge of BH range. I found 2x BH eggs in lane last year. (Peter farrant)
Thorney Island: We managed to count a few butterflies this morning in bright sunshine in square SU7601 before the cloud and fog rolled in. They were Clouded Yellow 4, Red Admiral 3, Small Copper 2, Small White 2. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
With ‘wall to wall’ sunshine, a light breeze and temperature touching 20c you could be forgiven for thinking it was the Mediterranean and not Southwick. The butterflies liked it too with Red Admiral, Small White, Small Copper, Common Blue, Comma and Clouded Yellow gracing the air. (David Cook)
Only if you were completely bonkers! (Ed jnr)
Before the cloud rolled in at 13.00 I managed to find ten species of butterfly around Lancing Ring and Steep Down in warm sunshine. 32 Red Admiral, 9 Wall Brown (two in cop), 7 Comma, 7 Speckled Wood, 4 Small White, 3 Common Blue, 2 Clouded Yellow, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Small Heath. (Lindsay Morris)
In a couple of hours at Tidemills this morning, two Clouded Yellows were seen. Both were quite lively in the warm sunshine. The one that allowed me close approach was very fresh indeed. Also several Red Admirals were seen flying at high speed. (Trevor Rapley)
Still a couple of Wall Brown flitting around our garden in Berwick (near the station) when the sun is shining.
Monday 15 October
An afternoon visit to High and Over, produced four male Wall Browns.
On leaving at about 4pm about eight Red Admiral were seen dogfighting,
near the car park. All those in my images are all poised ready to launch,
rather than basking.
Nice and warm in the garden today. Not a lot of variety but a couple of Small Whites fed on Verbena Bonariensis as did a Red Admiral and a Clouded Yellow during the afternoon. Another Red Admiral was feeding on Viburnum Flowers earlier in the morning. (Stuart Ridley)
Sunday 14 October
A total of 17 people gathered today on Park Corner Heath for the first conservation work party of the season, under the leadership of Jonathan Squire. We cut a large area of scrub on the plateau in front of the hut. 2 Male Brimstone were seen flying over, and we also found 1 frog, 1 toad, 1 Grass snake, 1 Common Plume Moth, 1 Silver Y moth, 1 male Vapourer moth, and several interesting plants: wood sage, both slender and trailing St John's Wort, Devil's Bit Scabious, and some well nibbled violet leaves. Also one nibbled Fly Agaric. (Nigel Symington)
A late Humming-bird Hawk-moth today in the garden was a surprise, as was this very smart bug that was found walking up the patio door. Successfully transferred to a leaf for a photo. It is a Western Conifer Seed Bug that was first imported into the Country in 1999 from America. It is now becoming quite widespread apparently. In the very dull conditions today it was a surprise to see anything!! (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Preston Park Rock Garden; In reply to Barry Collins' sighting of Box-tree moths coming to Sussex, I saw one at the Rockery last week and pointed out to Andy the gardener there. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
First ever (adult or larval) Box Tree Moth sighting, in 9 years of collecting in Sussex. Happy to share my 2018 records if someone emails me on firstname.lastname@example.org (Hugh Colville)
Another late afternoon walk around Cissbury Ring yesterday (13 October) produced plenty of butterflies, including Wall Brown, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Peacock, Common Blue and Small Copper. I didn't perform any accurate counts, but Wall Brown and Small Copper remain present in good numbers (probably 15-20 of each), with one or two examples still in excellent condition. I also found four Clouded Yellows in the eastern coombe, which behaved impeccably whenever the temperature dropped during cloudy periods. (Neil Hulme)
Saturday 13 October
I had my moth trap on overnight (12th/13th Oct) in my garden at Leigh Park, although it is just over the border in Hants. I thought you should know I caught a Box Tree Moth this species has become a real pest in peoples gardens in the London area, and it is only a matter of time before it turns up in Sussex if it has not already. (Barry Collins)
Friday 12 October
A walk round Lancing Ring & Steep Down in overcast, very breezy but very warm conditions. 16 Red Admiral, 10 Speckled Wood, 8 Wall Brown, 3 Small White, Common Blue, Comma, Peacock. (Lindsay Morris)
Thursday 11 October
About eight fresh Red Admirals and several Speckled Woods, in good condition,
were seen at a blustery High and Over this morning, including an ab.bialbata.
But the find of the day must go to a freshly emerged male Wall Brown, which was
well down in the undergrowth, so no photo unfortunately. (Trevor Rapley)
I finally caught up with the Red Admirals in the garden.
(No more holiday Butterflies - No More holidays) (Philip Booker)
This Speckled Wood was in the garden yesterday as were two Red Admirals. I couldn't get my camera sorted quickly enough to capture the latter.
I also disturbed one this morning which flew off. D'oh!
I thought you might like this photo of a Swallowtail, I took in Mykonos. One of only two Butterflies I saw in ten days (plus a Humming Bird Moth) (Philip Booker)
Thanks. We normally do "holiday butterflies" in mid winner when our skies are grey and empty. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday (10 October), it was so warm and sunny that I couldn't resist a late afternoon walk around the ramparts of Cissbury Ring. I didn't leave the car park until 4pm, but still ended up seeing a large number of butterflies. The steep, crumbling banks of the south-facing coombe on the east side of the hillfort were particularly productive, with constant chases between Wall Brown, Small Copper and Clouded Yellow (including the pale form, helice). Although most of the Wall are now showing signs of wear and tear, I was surprised to see fresh examples of both male and female. As the sun started to slip below the horizon, the basking butterflies were illuminated by that beautiful warm light which typifies autumn. (Neil Hulme)
A glorious day (October 10th) : time to start birding at Pulborough again. Instead, a pristine Red Admiral, then a very fresh looking Common Blue dog fighting with a pretty worn Small Copper. Then ,out the corner of my eye, something seemingly buff and plain dropped into the grass a few yards away ,and out of sight . But before spooking it ,recognised the most worn Brown Hairstreak probably still flying. Latest sighting award? (William Gemmell)
Possibly. We will have to wait and see. Perhaps someone else will rise to the challenge. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 10 October
A look around the Whillets Meadows at Weir Wood Reservoir this afternoon found just 3 Small Coppers on the wing.(25 Species recorded on site this year) (Alastair Gray)
On a glorious sunny walk from Kingston Village to Lewes spotted plenty of Speckled Woods and a couple of Red Admirals and Small White. Then a quick 45mins up to Malling Down and on the area I think is the Snout saw at least 2 Clouded Yellows in battle and what I assumed was the same individuals pass me a further 6 times. Then two further Clouded Yellows above the allotments where there were at least 3 Wall Browns. 2 Small Coppers and a Large White too. Plus masses of ladybirds. In the supridingly hot westher the Clouded Yellows were doing Mr MacHenry impressions so a photo was totally out of the question. (Martin Buck)
Only a couple of Small Whites in my Seaford garden today but a Red Admiral and a Painted Lady decided to spend most of the afternoon either feeding or resting before flying off. (Stuart Ridley)
Today I visited my local Brown Hairstreak hot-spot in Ifield (Crawley). When I was there last January I rescued around 90 eggs after Blackthorn suckers were cut in one of the fields. I checked the remaining suckers today and found them loaded with eggs, so took away some stems before they were strimmed. I only selected those with groups of eggs and left the singletons, which I will go back for on another day. The final count was 38 eggs on 8 stems. They will be returned to the wild next March. (Vince Massimo)
With the temperature being unseasonably warm today I managed to have a brief look around Bishopstone near Seaford. If you know where to look you can find good numbers of Red Admiral there at this time of the year. So it proved, I saw well into double figures, most looked very fresh but in the very warm sunshine they all kept their wings firmly shut. I also saw a few Commas and one very fresh Brown Argus that unfortunately didn't hang around for a photo. In fact I saw more fresh butterflies than I had anticipated with a few brand new Speckled Woods too, and then the surprise of the day, at least 10 Meadow Browns including a mating pair that kept being pestered by an overly enthusiastic male. (James.A)
The, now ,very famous area of Hemp Agrimony at Mill Hill was host to about 10 very fresh Red Admirals, including one ab. bialbata. No sign of any Painted Ladies or Peacocks this morning.
Later a fresh Comma made a brief visit. (Trevor Rapley)
A walk in glorious warm sunshine around Anchor Bottom and Beeding Hill. 12 butterfly species seen. 12 Clouded Yellow (two in cop and an egg-laying female), 21 Common Blue, 6 Red Admiral, 8 Small Heath, 5 Wall Brown, 2 Brown Argus (one a newly emerged female), 3 Brimstone, Small Copper, 2 Painted Lady, Peacock, 3 Speckled Wood, 4 Meadow Brown. I was singing "I had my thrill on Beeding Hill" and "Anchor Bottom butterflies make the rockin' world go round." Apologies to Fats and Freddie. Luckily there was nobody about! (Lindsay Morris)
Thanks Lindsay, glad someone had some fun in the sun today. (Ed jnr)
Roedean Old 9-hole Site; A slow lap around the site to gently exercise a torn calf muscle yielded 1 Small Toroiseshell, 1 Small White and 1 Common Blue. No photos as they blew past me in the wind, failing to settle. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
It's nearly mid October, and so far this year I haven't seen a single Clouded Yellow. On this lovely warm day, I went to Hope Gap to try to put this right, and was almost immediately rewarded by the sight of one flying purposefully northward in the warm breeze coming in from the sea. Altogether, I saw about 15, including one that posed for me with the sunlight coming through its wings.
I also saw a surprisingly fresh female Meadow Brown, a Small Heath, a Small Copper and another comparative rarity this year (at least for me), a Peacock. (Andy Wilson)
Yesterday I spent a few hours in my Storrington garden and managed to record six butterfly species as follows: Brimstone (1m), Large White (1), Small Copper (1), Red Admiral (1), Peacock (1) and Speckled Wood (1). Today, in the garden, I added to the list with Comma (1). I tramped over Chantry Hill today and saw remarkably few butterflies, just seven species as follows: Small White (1), Small Copper (1), Brown Argus (1f), Red Admiral (1), Peacock (1), Comma (1) and Speckled Wood (1). The most interesting record was the Comma (in pristine condition) which was nectaring on Devilsbit Scabious in the middle of the middle combe, far away from hedgerows and the like. There was a lot of Wild Basil in flower (in the middle Combe), which I was pleased to see. The other observation of note was 40-50 Hornets whizzing around an Ivy-clad mature Ash. I'm not sure any Honey bee or Wasp feeding on the Ivy would have lasted very long. As Hornets (like many Bumble bees) can fly around in cool conditions I suspect many butterflies get hoovered up whilst in a torpid state. I have seen more Hornets this year than any previous year. (Martin Kalaher)
Warm walk up Blackcap and around Ashcombe bottom this morning. Sightings included Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Small Copper and a Clouded Yellow. Is this the 'helice' form? (Ian Seccombe)
Looks like it. (Ed jnr)
Tuesday 09 October
One Small White on the south side of Kingsway, West Hove, this morning. No butterflies at all in our garden while I was having lunch on the lawn, despite ideal conditions. Two more whites in West Hove as we drove off to Worthing in the afternoon, probably both Small Whites. Val & I walked along Barrington Road, Worthing to reach West Park school seeing no butterflies, but a Speckled Wood flew overhead as we waited for our granddaughter at the school & the reverse trip along Barrington Road was quite productive - 3 Speckled Woods, 1 Large White & 1 Red Admiral. The weather forecast suggests tomorrow may be the last really good day for 2018's butterflies. (John & Val Heys)
I went for a short walk at Southwick and found only a handful of blues and saw two Clouded Yellows in flight. In the last couple of weeks I have seen 10-15 CYs but only one stopped for a rest and obviously that's when I didn't have my camera with me so I really wonder how everyone else is getting their beautiful close up pictures of resting Yellows?
Overcoming my frustration of not being successful with a CY photo I walked down to Widewater Lagoon in Shoreham where I saw no butterflies. But on my way back to the train station I found 3 Painted Ladies on the seafront what was nice. (Istvan Radi)
A walk from Lancing Ring to Cissbury Ring and down to Lyons Farm in glorious warm sunshine. 14 butterfly species identified as 38 Wall Brown, 28 Small Copper, 18 Speckled Wood, 11 Red Admiral, 6 Common Blue, 5 Painted Lady, 4 Clouded Yellow, 4 Meadow Brown, 3 Brimstone, 3 Comma, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Small Heath, 2 Peacock, Adonis Blue. Also about 10 Silver Y. (Lindsay Morris)
Monday 08 October
sun 07/10/2018. Sovereign Park, Eastbourne seafront, E.Sx. between 1.16 - 1.55pm saw the following butterflies:- 11x Common Blues (m), 3x Clouded Yellows (m), 5x Small Whites, 1x Large White and 7x Small Coppers (all female) including one that laid an egg on a sorrel leaf. (Peter Farrant)
Yesterday, 7th October on Lancing seafront I found several Sea Kale plants with Large White larvae feeding on them. Also seen along the length of the promenade were 5 Clouded Yellow, 4 Small White, 3 Common Blue, 1 Peacock and a Small Copper, mostly at Widewater Lagoon. While walking on the Downs above the village, I also encountered occasional swarms of Harlequin Ladybirds which would give you a nip if they landed on you. There were lots of Wall Browns up there too as reported by other observers. (Vince Massimo)
A short walk on Cissbury Ring last friday produced several Wall Brown and Small Copper. A single Male Brimstone, Peacock, Large White and a couple of Speckled Wood (Janet Wilkes)
Seen in our East Dean garden (TV562984) recently during the recent fine weather;
Male Brimstone - 5 October (very fresh looking)
Humming Hawk-moth - 7 October
(Carole & David Jode)
A walk around the downland near Horseshoe Plantation (TV5695) preparing for an RSPB walk on 10 October produced the following;
Clouded Yellow - 3
Brimstone - 1
Small Heath - 3
Red Admiral - 1
Small White - 2
Small Copper -1
Speckled Wood - 2
Common Blue - 2
(Chris & Mary Barnett)
Sunday 07 October
I saw two Red Admirals and one Comma on a visit to Michelham Priory this afternoon. (John Williams)
Quick visit to Mill Hill at lunchtime. Despite the wind the site was warm and I saw quite a few Wall Browns of both sexes and several Clouded Yellows, perhaps four or five. Also seen were Small White, Small Coppers, Common Blues, Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, Speckled Wood and a Peacock. (Jonathan Crawford)
During a short walk on West Wittering beach I saw one Clouded Yellow and two Red Admirals. These latter ones were flying out to the sea probably to cross the bay. Then an even shorter visit to Mill Hill around 4:30pm to see 3 Red Admirals on the Hemp Agrimony. (Istvan Radi)
Despite the slight chill in the air, as the wind was north-ish, Val & I walked to Fishersgate & the bank overlooking Shoreham Port. We were rewarded with at least 5 different butterfly types. Just west of Church Road, Portslade, we walked from the A259 Fishersgate Terrace down the concrete steps with the divide in the middle (they have a grassy bank either side) to the port road at the bottom. On the bank we saw a Small White & 2 Red Admirals. Walking west along the port road & past the oil terminal we saw 4 Red Admirals, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Common Blue, 1 Small White & 2 other whites. Further west (from the rather steep path which goes down from the A259 Albion Street - near a small Brick building - to the steps by the pub at end of the grassy & shrubby area) we saw 1 white, 2 Common Blues, 1 Small Copper & 1 Red Admiral plus an interesting bird. (Stonechat in autumn plumage was our best guess, but it seems sleeker than they usually appear to be.) Finally, back at home in Hove I disturbed a Red Admiral in the garden. There seem to be more of them around at last. (John & Val Heys)
Perhaps the most surprising butterfly at Lancing Ring was a mint male Brown Argus. In bright sun and out of the breeze there were also 19 Wall Brown, 19Speckled Wood, 13 Red Admiral, 2 Small Copper, Painted Lady, Common Blue. (Lindsay Morris)
Saturday 06 October
In the absence of anything on the wing today here is the Pale Tussock caterpillar mentioned yesterday. (Martin Buck)
More of those please! (Ed jnr)
A walk along the south downs way between Eastbourne and Beachy Head produced 10 species: 20+ Small White (mostly along Eastbourne seafront), 1 Large White, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 2 Common Blue, 10+ Small Copper, 1 Brown Argus, 5 Speckled Wood, 5+ Wall Brown. The Walls are centered along a sheltered stretch of path between TV594963 and 591917. An egg laying female was also found at TV601970. I also spent a couple of hours at Newhaven Tidemills after where I added 2 Small Heath to the days tally, another Cloudie, another Common Blue and 4 Walls including a mating pair.
For completeness, on a trip to Mill Hill on the 26th September 2 male Walls were seen here TQ211065 (Paul Atkin)
We've been to Hove shops today - no butterflies, but I like the idea of Gordon Strachan as a Small Copper. Dukes of Burgundy may not have committed tax fraud but they've had the benefit of quite a bit of public money. David Beckham could be a Peacock what with his fashion styles & spending plenty of time on the wing. How about Gareth Southgate for a Speckled Wood? Always there when needed, smartly dressed, but rather understated in terms of charisma. (John & Val Heys)
Yesterday (5th October) we were able to carry out an urban butterfly spot both from the 700 bus between Hove & Goring & on foot in the Goring area before collecting our granddaughter from school. Having seen absolutely no butterflies in our garden in the morning, we started very promisingly at the bus stop on the south side of Kingsway in Hove opposite Roman Road. Val saw a blue which settled briefly on a fluffy sort of Old Man's Beard type seed head & opened its wings nicely - it was a female Holly Blue. Very unexpected. Our next sighting was on the sea front in Worthing, a white. Eventually we saw a total of 5 whites but all too far away for species identification. As our bus travelled up Grand Avenue in Worthing we had another surprise - a yellow butterfly with no hint of orange or black - a Brimstone. Finally, walking along the service road south of Goring Road, I saw 2 Speckled Woods circling up together and a Red Admiral. Although it was still very sunny on our journey back (& on to the Amex for Albion's tense 1-0 victory over West Ham) we saw no more butterflies. Having travelled to watch both Glen Murray & Lionel Messi knock in goals this week I was pondering what their butterfly equivalents are. I think Glen Murray's a Red Admiral - big, well-travelled, rugged & reliable, while Messi could be a Duke of Burgundy - small but feisty, uncommon, quick & thrilling to see. (John & Val Heys)
But I believe that unlike Messi, no Duke of Burgundy has ever been convicted of tax fraud. Small Copper - Gordon Strachan? (Ed jnr)
Friday 05 October
On an enjoyable circular walk from Ditchling to the Beacon and back spotted plenty of Speckled Wood and Red Admirals, several Small Whites, Commas and Small Coppers and a Meadow Brown, Common Blue and Peacock. And a Pale Tussock caterpillar in full punk gear... (Martin Buck)
During a walk round Highdown Gardens (A259 near Ferring, W Sussex) this afternoon we saw plenty of Speckled Woods, a Large White and 2 male Southern Hawkers battling over a pond. (Colin Knight)
Today (5 October) I enjoyed what will probably be my last outing of the year specifically to look at butterflies, as the conservation work party season is now underway (my thanks to Paul Day for helping coppice hazel at Church Copse yesterday). However, the butterflies seem far from ready to throw the towel in, and some sheltered areas of Cissbury Ring were impressively busy for October. As a result of the National Trust's recent scrub clearance work, and grazing by both ponies and cattle, some really good areas are developing (e.g. TQ142079), away from the southernmost compartment hotspot.
The stars of today were Wall Brown (33; my best count at Cissbury for many years), Small Copper (41), Clouded Yellow (5) and a late Brown Hairstreak. The impressive total of 16 species also included Brimstone (5; the warm sunshine seems to have roused a few from their slumbers) and singles of Adonis Blue and Brown Argus. (Neil Hulme)
I had a dauntingly long list of chores for today so I decided to go for a nice walk instead... I headed to Arlington reservoir first where I saw a good number of Wall Brown and Small Copper, a few Common Blue, a Large White, a very nice and bright male Brimstone, a few Small Heath and of course Speckled Woods. Then I walked across to Abbott's Wood where I found some more of the already mentioned species and on top of that a Red Admiral and a female Brimstone. Although I wasn't really after pictures today I managed an in-flight photo of these dragonflies and a departing Wall Brown. Other highlights were a Kingfisher, a Tree-creeper, a Hobby, five Buzzards and hundreds of wet cobwebs. (Istvan Radi)
A sunny afternoon after work as I cycled out of the woods found a couple of walls, a Brown Hairstreak, Small Heath, Peacock, Speckled Wood and a Clouded Yellow or two. (Tim Squire)
A walk up Malling Down beginning on the south-facing slope of the valley above the allotments resulted in a good variety of sightings - started with Meadow Brown including a mating pair, Common Blue, Small Heath and Small Copper. I counted four Clouded Yellow flying backwards and forwards very fast across the slope, never stopping for a photo of course, just too busy. Carried on up the Snout, which was quiet apart from a few Common Blue. Over towards the chalk pits, things livened up with quite a few Wall Brown, Small Copper and a couple of Silver Y moths. Had a walk through the chalk pits and added Brimstone and Red Admiral to my list. On the way back down the south-facing slope above the allotments found this big caterpillar, not sure what that's going to be? Apologies to anybody within about a mile radius startled by a loud shout of "your much too old to do that sort of thing" - I was shouting a my old dog as she went after a rabbit then realised that Malling Down acts as a kind of megaphone and even if you talk normally you can be heard a long way away. (Sylvia Davidson)
I made a detour via Southwick, on my way to Wiltshire this morning. On arrival there was apparently nothing about, sometime later a Clouded Yellow was spotted in the air, and it sent up another from the vegetation. This specimen turned out to be a very fine helice ( apart from a very small nick ). The original Clouded Yellow was found to be very fresh indeed. (Trevor Rapley)
On Wednesday the 4th of October I decided to have a look around Tidemills, to my surprise I saw a healthy population of Wall Browns, some of them still very fresh indeed, including a mating pair! I also saw two Clouded Yellows shoot past. Seeing as I only had enough time for a brief visit I decided I would return for another look today. On this occasion things turned out to be rather different. After counting double figures of Wall Browns only two days before I struggled to find a total of five today! It would seem that the female Wall Browns had gone elsewhere, perhaps they didn't find Tidemills a suitable location to lay their eggs? After that disappointment I was pleased to see the number of Clouded Yellows had increased since Wednesday with a possible five seen. They even allowed me to get close enough for a few photos, it was still quite cool and everything was covered in dew. Other species seen over my two visits were Small Heath 2, Small Copper 2, Red Admiral 2, Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 2, Common Blue 4, Large White 7. (James. A)
A walk around Lancing Ring & Steep Down in glorious sunshine and no wind was rewarded with 13 butterfly species. A magnificent 7 Clouded Yellow, 27 Wall Brown, Painted Lady, Small Copper, Small Heath, 3 Brimstone, 7 Common Blue, 5 Red Admiral, 18 Speckled Wood, Comma, 4 Peacock, Large White, 8 Small White. (Lindsay Morris)
I thought you might like this too? (Philip Booker)
Thanks Philip, it is my considered opinion that we can't have too many pictures on the sightings page, especially of Small Coppers in flight. In a few short weeks there will be very few butterflies to see, so we need to make hay now whilst the sun is shining. (Ed jnr)
Was doing some planting in my back garden when this Small Copper flew in. Its the first Copper I've seen in my Garden this summer/Autumn. Note the Shield Bug close by in the first photo. (Philip Booker)
Thank you. I have noticed that Small Coppers perhaps have a predilection for yellow plants, though am not sure if this is because there seem to be more yellow plants around at this time of year. (Ed jnr)
Thursday 04 October
A Small Tortoiseshell in our East Dean garden (TV562984) nectaring on red valerian mid-morning in full warm sunshine. A rare sighting for us this year. (Carole & David Jode)
And everyone else too. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 03 October
Today I walked from the car park between Bignor Hill/Glatting Beacon along the Monarch's Way to East Dean then north to the South Downs Way which led me back. I managed to see 13 butterfly species the most interesting being a Wall Brown possibly a female close to the car park at su 97132 12920. I failed to get a picture as she didn't stop long enough when nectaring. Other species seen included Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small White and Peacock amongst others. A few Brown Argus and Clouded Yellow in the same area as above. My picture is where the Wall Brown was seen. Straight ahead is the path to Glatting Beacon, behind me is the SDW to the east, to the left is the SDW, west. (Patrick Moore)
While birding at Thorney Island today we recorded the following butterfly species. Clouded Yellow 9, Common Blue 12, Small Copper 7, 18 Small White, Speckled Wood 3, Meadow Brown 1, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 6. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
A walk from Lancing Ring to Cissbury Ring in at least some sun gleaned 15 species of butterfly. Wall Brown 27, Small Copper 20, Common Blue 10, Speckled Wood 10, Clouded Yellow 5, Meadow Brown 5, Red Admiral 3, Painted Lady 3, Peacock 2, Small White 2, Green-veined White, Adonis Blue, Brimstone, Small Heath, Brown Argus. (Lindsay Morris)
And that's why I haven't updated the last sightings for a while. There seems to be no end to this season. (Ed jnr)
Roedean Old 9-hoe Site. A quick cycle through revealed 1 Large White and 1 Clouded Yellow. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Plenty of Wall Brown action at High and Over this morning, including two brief sightings of mating pairs, both on the wing. Another very fresh male was found resting on a fence post. (Trevor Rapley)
West Wittering: A walk along the foreshore footpath yesterday produced singles of Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady plus a few Small and Large Whites. (Derek Lee )
Tuesday 02 October
The weather looked rather dubious early this morning, but a few holes in the cloud later on persuaded me that a trip up to High and Over might be worthwhile. The Wall Browns hardly responded to the eventual warm sunshine, but a fresh, female Comma, a Red Admiral and two reasonably fresh Speckled Woods, did. As I headed for the car I noticed an unusual Wall Brown sparring session, closer inspection revealed a mating pair, with a second male trying to get in on the act !. As seems to be normal when a mating pair takes flight, it was the female that did the flying, with the male towed through the air. (Trevor Rapley)
Monday 01 October
I just found this moth on my train at Pevensey&Westham. He did not have a ticket so I had to ask him to get off at the next stop... (Istvan Radi)
Visited Lancing Ring yesterday 30/9/18 with my Daughter. The sun was out with patchy cloud and slight breeze. A perfect day in my opinion. We encountered lots of Small Copper, Wall Browns , Speckled Wood and a few Common Blues. Also a few dragonflies still hovering around coming close to us to investigate. (Kirsty Gibbs)
I went to Cissbury Ring this afternoon to have late lunch with the Browns, Wall Brown. In fact there were quite a few, 31 I counted in all. However lunch was gate-crashed by Clouded Yellow (5) one of whom stopped charging around when the sun went in and sat with me. There were also Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and a very high speed Painted Lady. (Patrick Moore)
Walk up to Blackcap and down into Ashcombe Bottom on Sunday yielded one each of Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady and Common Blue with a handful of Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Small Heath and Small White. (Ian Seccombe)
The Wall Browns are still doing well at High and Over, about ten seen this morning, including two fresh males and one female. All others looking a bit tired. Two fresh Commas were indulging on Ivy blossom. (Trevor Rapley)
On Saturday I wandered around High and Over for a while seeing plenty of egg laying Wall Brown as well as a couple of males. I then saw a Small Copper that was clearly egg laying. Looking closer several eggs were seen on the leaf the Copper had chosen, some hatched, as well as signs of feeding larva on the leaf. The next leaf also had eggs on it, as this leaf was half eaten I turned it over to find a larva of an unknown species. I had also found a Knot Grass larva sitting on a stem of Devil's Bit Scabious.
Earlier in the week a very smart Pale Tussock larva was found on the Pevensey Marshes. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
I finally managed to get to Mill Hill on Saturday 29th September and bumped into John Williams who kindly directed me to the patch of late-flowering Hemp Agrimony which was attracting a variety of species. I also walked all the upper and lower paths and counted around 15 Wall Browns plus 3 very battered female Blues which were not Common Blues (and assumed to be either Chalk Hill or Adonis). I also managed to find the Peacock pupa thanks to the detailed directions provided by David Cook. Only after I located it did I realise that someone had kindly marked the nettle plant with a white spot of Tipp-Ex (or else it was a very accurate Seagull). As suspected, the pupa has been parasitised (as evidenced by a large hole in the left side), but it is a very rare find nevertheless.
Sunday 30 September
At last, yesterday (29/9/18) I saw an urban Red Admiral in Browning Road, Worthing & I was told there was a second one nearby. No sign of anything, even whites, where we were in Worthing today, despite being outside laying concrete for far longer than was good for our back muscles. (John & Val Heys)
I also went to Mill Hill this morning and saw a Painted Lady, 2 Peacocks, a Red Admiral and Common Blue on the Hemp Agrimony. Elsewhere I saw a Clouded Yellow, some Wall Browns, Small Heaths, more Common Blues and Meadow Browns. (Katrina Watson)
After a busy day yesterday, I just about found the energy to stumble around Mill Hill today. Red Admiral, Furry Peacock, Painted Lady, Small Heath, Small White, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Small Copper, Clouded Yellow and Wall Brown were all to be seen. The walls were particularly widespread and I counted more than a dozen. (Jonathan Crawford)
Some late summer beauties today at Mill Hill yesterday seen together with Vince Massimo who was down from Crawley. The patch of Hemp Agrimony must have been the same one that Trevor found. (John Williams)
Saturday 29 September
Crawley Down -finally a Hummingbird Hawk-moth in the garden today on buddleia "Beijing" along with 3 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 2 Small White and 1 Large White. (Jon Ruff)
Ashenground & Bolnore Woods, Haywards Heath - initially I thought they were both female Common Blues, one with blue coloration and the other with brown coloration but now I'm leaning towards male Brown Argus for the brown one, which is a first sighting for me in this nature reserve. (Kim Berry)
Tottington Wood failed to provide a second brood White Admiral, and having found only 2 Speckled Wood and a Comma I decamped to Beeding Hill. Here there were 9 butterfly species including 5 Wall Brown, 25 Common Blue, 4 Small Copper, 2 Adonis Blue, 20 Small Heath. Anchor Bottom chipped in with Clouded Yellow amongst others, making 13 species for the day. (Lindsay Morris)
Not a lot of butterflies in my Seaford garden but quite a few Whites, 3 Common Blues and singles of Painted Lady, Comma, Red Admiral and Peacock. Most fed on either perennial Salvia and Verbena Bonariensis or rested in the sunny parts of the garden. (Stuart Ridley)
A visit to the sunny south-facing slope of Steyning Rifle Range this afternoon was enlivened by five or six Wall Browns of both sexes, including one very fresh male. Plus two Peacocks, a Small Copper, a Small Heath, and five Common Blues. (John Woodward)
Following Lindsay's report of a large number of Wall Brown in the Lancing Ring to Steep Down area, I've spent the last three days (26-28 September) up there, seeing more of this species than I have for a very long time, and far more than I've ever seen in the third brood. A full report can be found in my UK Butterflies diary at http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=137538#p137538
My thanks go to Lindsay for doing the pioneering work. (Neil Hulme )
Friday 28 September
Female Small Copper and Common Blue, one of each, seen feeding on Sedum (ice plant) on Roedale Valley Allotments, Brighton. Nearby at northern end of Hollingbury Park, a single Speckled Wood was observed on patrol. (Jamie Burston)
Yesterday I complete the last transect of the year at Mill Hill. Nine species were seen on the transect. Small White, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Clouded Yellow, Peacock, Painted Lady and Red Admiral. I returned in the evening and added Wall Brown to the list amongst others. There is something about the way the autumn colours suit some butterfly species. (Jonathan Crawford)
We've had a brief trip to Wiltshire, Vale of Pewsey and, just as in Sussex outside the special sites, there are very few butterflies. No Red Admirals & the like despite the sun & plenty of flowers in the villages. We've seen some whites & a few Speckled Woods plus rather unexpectedly a couple of Brimstones & a Humming-bird Hawk-moth but absolutely nothing else. (John & Val Heys)
I found these Small White shells on the underside of a Sycamore-looking tree's leaf in Wild Park, Brighton. Any idea what they might be? I suspect some kind of a moth. (Istvan Radi)
Colin Knight writes "the eggs on leaf may be shieldbug eggs. I have found similar identified as Hairy Shieldbug eggs (Dolycoris baccarum)" (Ed jnr)
Thursday 27 September
On a walk from Amberley to Chantry Hill, Red Admiral, Peacock, Wall Brown, Large and Small Whites, Common Blue, Small Heath, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Brimstone and a whizzer by-er which I think was a Small Tortoiseshell. Enjoy seeing other peoples butterfly photos, so am working on taking photos myself, having bought a Lumix TZ90 compact zoom camera this week. The 300 page instruction manual arrived today so it may take some time! (Denise Diston)
These were all seen today at Woods Mill (Philip Booker)
I was really pleased to see my first Humming Bird Hawk moth of year feeding on the white Valerian in the garden at Turners Hill this afternoon .
I already had more excitement on the approach to Mill Hill then in the whole Newhaven area as two Red Admirals and several Wall Browns were visible on the field just before crossing the bridge above the A27. Upon entering the nature reserve 3 Painted Lady were chasing each other and eventually they settled on the Lilacs (I believe they are Lilacs...). Two minutes later a Clouded Yellow flew across in front of me but wouldn't settle for a picture so I kept walking toward the north top end. I found several Wall Browns, Common Blues, Whites, Small Heaths, one tiny butterfly what I think was a Brown Argus but didn't open its wings for long enough, a second Clouded Yellow, Peacocks and more Painted Ladies. Anyone going up to Mill Hill should find the flower patch at the end as you are likely to find quite a few butterflies feeding there. I got to that end just before 3pm and on the small patch of flowers there were 3 Peacocks, 5 Red Admirals, 2 Painted Ladies and a Common Blue all feeding next to each other! Just as I decided to leave a Small Copper landed in front of me what was a perfect end to the day. (Istvan Radi)
This morning my first destination was the Ouse Estuary Nature Reserve in Newhaven where I arrived way to early and had to walk around for over an hour to see my first butterfly of the day. It was a Wall Brown followed by an other two. From here I crossed over to the Tide Mill area to look for Clouded Yellow with some success as two were seen. Also present Common Blue, Small White, Large White, Wall Brown but no Long tails unfortunately. It felt really quiet here with the highlight being a Seven-spot Ladybird still covered by mildew so after a few hours I jumped on a train and visited Mill Hill. (Istvan Radi)
An accident on the A27, caused a 7 mile queue this morning.
Consequently my late arrival at Southwick had given the Clouded Yellows time to warm up In all a definite three, possibly four were seen. I then followed Dave Cook up to Lancing Ring, here, many male Wall Browns were seen, again all very active. The prize however was the discovery of a mating pair of Wall Browns..
In West Worthing yesterday afternoon (26/9/18) we saw around 10 Large Whites between Browning Road & West Park School and a Painted Lady in Marlborough Road. In our daughter's back garden in Browning Road there was a Speckled Wood still flying between 5pm & 5.15pm. (John & Val Heys)
Wednesday 26 September
At the bottom of my Bevendean garden feeding on the ivy blossom there was a Red Admiral a Comma and a Speckled Wood in the late afternoon sunshine. (Geoff Stevens)
A last - a Clouded Yellow. We went to Pagham RSPB reserve today and what a wonderful place in the sunshine. In addition to the Clouded Yellow, there were at least 10 Red Admirals, at least 20 Speckled Woods, loads of whites and a supporting cast of Holly Blue and Painted Lady. (Martin Buck)
The final transect at the Gatwick north-west zone today ended with a flourish. The star was a female Clouded Yellow (f.helice). Also contributing to the modest total were 2 Small White, 6 Small Copper, 3 Common Blue, 1 Brown Hairstreak, 2 Speckled Wood and 1 Small Heath (Vince Massimo)
This evening after work I had a look at the roosting butterflies on Mill Hill. I found half a dozen Small Copper and many more Common Blues. There were still one or two Wall Browns about too. (Jonathan Crawford)
I had an absolutely fabulous time at Mill Hill today. A patch of Hemp Agrimony was host to several
Red Admirals, Peacocks and Painted Ladies. All were in superb, fresh condition. Also of note was a flyby, pure white Helice Clouded Yellow, and a good showing of Wall Browns.
I was also shown the now famous Peacock pupae. (Trevor Rapley)
14 species of butterfly identified around Cissbury Ring in glorious sunshine. 79 Small Copper, 38 Common Blue, 24 Wall Brown, 20 Small Heath,19 Speckled Wood, 19 Meadow Brown, 6 Red Admiral, 5 Clouded Yellow, 3 Brimstone, 2 Brown Argus, Peacock, Painted Lady. No Beluga whales or Pogbas. (Lindsay Morris)
Tuesday 25 September
A handful of Clouded Yellows on the Downs today. A lot of Small Coppers at Willingdon. Can someone identify the female blue please? Whites, Small Heath, wall and a Meadow Brown also seen. (Tim Squire)
With the sun shining and for me recently, a rare opportunity to get out I managed a quick Wall Brown count on my regular circuit. This is the first time I've done a 3rd brood count on the circuit, and following a good start near the steps at High and Over where 13 were seen it then became obvious that the bad weather over the weekend has knocked a few of the butterflies back. On Greenway, where I have seen several over the past 2 visits last week, I only saw a single specimen, although it was a very fresh female. A few were also seen along the Comp including a mating pair. Back at High and Over the wind had got up which put pay to any more being seen in that area. In total 30 Wall Brown were seen, 3 of which were females, so lagging a little behind the superb number that Lindsay achieved today. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
The seafront at Lancing today produced scores of Small White, but the next most numerous species was Clouded Yellow. There were 2 males and a helice female just west of Lancing sailing club, a male at Widewater Lagoon and a mating pair on the shoreline shingle nearby. Also at Widewater Lagoon was a male Wall Brown and a Small Copper, with a Common Blue nearby. (Vince Massimo)
At Batemans, Kiplings House this afternoon and nice to see a couple of Commas. Plenty of Small Coppers fighting over the sedum. Plus Large White, Small Whites, Speckled Woods and a Red Admiral. (Martin Buck)
Dukes Mound Butterfly Walk TQ 33104 03443. So many Large Whites and Small Whites, it looked like it had started snowing at one point. Also, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Painted Lady and 2 Holly Blues.
Cliff Top TQ 33788 03353. More Large Whites and Small Whites.
Roedean Old 9-Hole Site TQ 34698 03205. 1 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue (Female), 2 Clouded Yellows, 3 Small Heaths, 4 Small Whites.
Sorry, no photos as it was more of a bike ride than a photography trip. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Our first Clouded Yellow of the year along the Salterns Way footpath between Birdham and Itchenor. (Derek Lee)
Speckled Woods feeding on very well rotted figs in my garden. (Maria Dixon)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down - in the fabulous Autumn sunshine were 12 butterfly species including 52 Wall Brown, Clouded Yellow, 27 Red Admiral, 7 Small Copper, 10 Common Blue, 4 Peacock, Comma, 4 Small Heath, Brown Argus, 25 Speckled Wood. (Lindsay Morris)
I’ve seen 5-6 Clouded Yellow Butterflies feeding on coastal wildflowers today and yesterday on Bexhill Beach. I’ve never seen them here before. (Maria Dixon)
Mill Hill 25th September Part 2.
I’d been keeping an eye on an area at the very North central end of Mill Hill as there’s a very fresh bed of Hemp Agrimony. My previous visits hadn’t revealed much but today was different. With Kirsty in tow we rounded the corner and were confronted by a fantastic display of about 20 very fresh Red Admiral, 8 Peacock and 3 Comma all happily nectaring in the now warm sunshine. Unfortunately for Kirsty she had to drag herself away to get to work on time. I stayed on in the hope I would get all 5 of our over-winterers. This wasn’t to be but Wall Brown and Painted Lady joined the party and a very unexpected, Brown Hairstreak.
I moved down to the bottom slope where I found several fresh Clouded Yellow including a very smart Clouded Yellow Helice.
It looks like this week could produce a late season bonanza for all to enjoy! (David Cook)
Very tatty Painted Lady at Chanctonbury Ring this afternoon along with a Comma and a Speckled Wood. (Pete Varkala)
Tuesday 25th September part 1.
I met up with Kirsty Gibbs first thing this morning as she’d expressed an interest in seeing the 2nd brood Peacock pupae and had failed the day before trying to locate it. Enroute from the car park we encountered several Wall Brown in aerial dog fights, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Common Blue and Speckled Wood. Having located the pupae and Kirsty getting her ‘fill’ of photos, we made our way back to the top car park meadow where she’d seen Clouded Yellow earlier. None were seen so I suggested alternative area before she had to leave for work. (David Cook)
Seen at Falmer Pond (Philip Booker)
Clouded Yellow at Littlehampton West Beach this morning. (John Ward)
Two Speckled Woods spiralling in my Bevendean garden midday, when the intruder was beaten off the victor settled and
was somewhat the worse for wear. A Comma flew through but did not stop. (Geoff Stevens)
At High and Over this morning many, worn, male Wall Browns were patrolling, but among them was one fresh specimen. Also a single Small Copper, several Speckled Woods, and stunningly fresh, vibrant, female Red Admiral were seen. (Trevor Rapley)
Monday 24 September
With the strong sun & northerly wind I reckon it could have been interesting at Southwick basin, so I hope someone will have been there today. I had too much else to do & stayed in Hove. I did take my lunch in the back garden & was just thinking I'd been rather unlucky - nothing was around - when I saw something dark had landed nearby. At last, I thought, an autumn Red Admiral and then I put on my glasses and saw it was a Speckled Wood, which was just as exciting really. Shortly after the sky above me was full of butterflies, well 2 anyway - a Large White & possibly a Small White spiralling up together. Just before I went in a Small White appeared. Later, from about 3.30pm, I spent 2 hours doing jobs in the garden, but didn't see any more butterflies. I heard part of an interview on Radio 4 this morning about the Butterfly Count where the low numbers of Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper & Small Copper were being lamented. I'm not sure the Small Copper is really doing so badly - there seem to have been plenty around after the count finished. (John & Val Heys)
Cissbury Ring was rather good this afternoon in the sunshine hosting over 50 Small Copper, 17 Wall Brown (the most I have ever seen here) and 4 Clouded Yellow. I didn't count the following butterflies, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Small White, Large White, Small Heath, Comma and Meadow Brown. (Patrick Moore)
Whilst spending some time watching the insect bonanza around the Ivy covered walls of the Fattengates Courtyard a passing volunteer drew my attention to a 'butterfly of interest'. It was a female Brown Hairstreak, slightly worn of course, she was resting on brambles and then flew up onto the ivy flowers running the gauntlet of Hornets before flying off upwards clear of the wall. Red Admiral, Peacock and Speckled Wood were also present. (Bob North)
more pictures (Istvan Radi)
Making the most of the sunshine I went for a walk to Lullington Heath where I was very pleased to find a very good number of butterflies including plenty of Small Heath, Small Copper (a blue-spotted form as well), a Wall Brown, 5-6 Red Admirals, a few Comma, Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, Meadow Browns, a few Large White and Small White. Then in hope of some refreshments and Clouded Yellows I crossed Friston Forest to Birling Gap where I did get my coffee and cake but saw no CYs. Still encountered a few individuals of the above mentioned species and hundreds of hirundines. Also found two caterpillars. One at Lullington and the other one on my way to Eastbourne. This latter one had rather long hair on its top/back. Any guesses would be appreciated. Oh, and I spotted this foamy little ball in the grass. Any idea what it might be? (Istvan Radi)
8 Walls at top of south facing slope in Anchor Bottom. All males and looked to have only recently emerged. (John Gilbert)
Another visit to High and Over this morning produced some Butterfly variety.
The Wall Browns were found in good numbers but were mostly worn, except for one fresh male,
and three more females. It was good to see a fresh Red Admiral, a Comma and a single Common Blue. (Trevor Rapley)
Looking around the Whillets Meadows at Weir Wood today,I found 11 Small Coppers including a mating pair,5 Common Blues,5 Speckled Woods one each of Green- Veined White and Large White,2 Commas,1 Red Admiral and the first site record of a Willow Emerald Damselfly.
Last year the latest sighting for a Brown Hairstreak was 19th September. Today I saw a female butterfly flying across one of the meadows at Ifield, Crawley and then basking high on a tree (so no photo). Also recorded were 10 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White and a Small Copper. (Vince Massimo)
Each year we often get one or two second and third brood Wall Browns in our garden near Berwick Station. This year there have been a few more than usual - including one today necturing on buddleia. I presume these are wanderers from the large colony at nearby Bo Peep, but it would be nice if they bred more locally. (Chris Bird)
Wall Browns seem to have had a good year. The food plants are listed as Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum), False Brome (B. sylvaticum), Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), bents (Agrostis spp.) Wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus). So if you have any of those you may be in luck. (Ed jnr)
After the rain the sun! My grandson joined me on a local (Burgess Hill) dog walk and helped me find Small Copper and Common Blues in abundance :-) (David Cook)
Sunday 23 September
I didn't expect to see any butterflies today, especially with 11C on the thermometer and a strong north wind, but when the sun came out I thought Mill Hill was worth a try. The butterflies were focused in the northern corner which was sheltered from the wind. In a short hour I saw Clouded Yellow (2), Wall Brown (at least four male and female), Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Brown Argus, Small Copper and Small White. (Jonathan Crawford)
When the sun popped out this afternoon I popped out as well into St Leonards Forest, Horsham. I found Common Blue all female, Small Copper, the same slightly damaged Meadow Brown seen on Friday and Speckled Wood. (Patrick Moore)
It was a privilege to take part in Chris Packham's People's Walk for Wildlife in London yesterday (22 September), which started with many inspirational speeches, particularly those from youngsters. https://twitter.com/BellaLack/status/1043591775036891136. For me, Bella Lack (15) was the brightest of many stars. It was great to see such a strong presence of Butterfly Conservation people, including quite a few from BC Sussex. The peaceful march through London, to the loud tune of bird song played by many of the 10,000 participants, ended with more speeches, before a 200-point manifesto for wildlife was presented to Downing Street. Shockingly, the main stream media universally claimed the size of the march to be just 'hundreds'; such inaccurate reporting of numbers (much backtracking overnight) hasn't been seen since the US Presidential inauguration! Even worse, neither the BBC nor ITV bothered to cover the event, which rather highlights the difficulties in raising wider awareness of the plight of British wildlife. This seems like a good opportunity to emphasise the value of all the work done by our own volunteers, as a new work party season begins. I'd also like to thank the immense generosity of all those who bid for lots at the BC 50th Anniversary dinner at Eltham Palace the evening before, where c.£12,000 was raised for the cause. And thank you to every one of our members, all of whom contribute to our work. (Neil Hulme)
Friday 21 September
Butterflies are becoming few and far between in St Leonards Forest, Horsham especially in this afternoons high wind and showers. However I managed to find Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Common Blue, a Large White and a Meadow Brown. (Patrick Moore)
I went for a walk in the morning to Southwick along the canal to look for LTB or at least their eggs but no luck. I did get to see two Clouded Yellow, one Painted Lady and a handful of blues. After that I walked around in Hollingbury Park, Brighton inspecting the nettle in search of Peacock chrysalis as I saw a good number of caterpillars there earlier this year. Again no luck but I saw a very nice Red Admiral enjoying the sunny spells and plenty of Speckled Wood still around. Low quality photo was taken by my phone. (Istvan Radi)
A very windy walk, but mostly sunny, around Lancing Ring & Steep Down. 36 Speckled Wood, 23 Wall Brown, 9 Common Blue, 8 Red Admiral, 6 Small Heath, 5 Comma, 5 Small White, 4 Small Copper, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Peacock. (Lindsay Morris)
As the strong wind this morning was battering the front of my West facing house, I gambled that the East facing hedge at High and Over would offer some protection. And so it proved, with a good showing of male Wall Browns, and the prize I was after, a lovely fresh, third brood female Wall. Also seen, two fresh Brown Argus, two male Common Blues, quite a few Whites, several Speckled Woods and a flyby Painted Lady. (Trevor Rapley)
On Wednesday morning around 11 a.m. walking down Cavell Avenue in Peacehaven, I was surprised to see what looked like a freshly emerged Common Blue male hovering around some low bushes. (Bob Brown)
Thursday 20 September
A slightly hasty lunchtime trip to Mill Hill with Dave Cook - for me to see any butterflies I can as I am slightly starved of them in W Yorks at the moment and for Dave to relocate the Peacock pupae as posted by Neil Hulme on the 16th. We both did OK though, despite being cunningly marked, the pupae took quite a long time to re-find! Anyway, Small White, Comma, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Common Blue, Wall and Red Admiral all had a go at fighting the strong winds during briefly hazy sunshine. Yorkshire butterflies seem less friendly in these conditions........ (Rolf Farrell)
Having given up mid-afternoon on Sussex's failing attempt to beat Warwickshire & gain promotion, we were cheered up by the sight of a Small White in Pembroke Crescent, Hove braving the literal & metaphorical gloom . (John & Val Heys)
seen in my house 4 miles from sussex border, unable to id from the usual uk moth sites so after googling brown and white moth
finally came up with BOX TREE MOTH, a moth slowly spreading out of london where it has colonised and is now regarded as a
pest because of the damage the caterpillars do to box tree shrubs and hedge's, so sussex beware (david long)
Wednesday 19 September
5 years of searching: On Monday 17 September I finally found Small Copper eggs, lots of them! 24 eggs counted on one sorrel plant, 12 eggs on another sorrel plant and 1 egg on another, that is 37 Small Copper eggs all located within a 30cm square! Plus another egg nearby = 38! A friend has pointed out how the eggs look like golf balls, this takes miniature golf to a whole new level, especially as they were found at the edge of Hollingbury Park Golf Course! On my walk I saw 5 adult Small Coppers, including 2 definite females. The photo shows 6 Small Copper eggs, 2 of which have hatched with an additional 2 eggs located out of sight on the underside of the leaf, 8 eggs on a single leaf, a species which is obviously doing very well at the moment! (Jamie Burston https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/470732567/small-copper-butterfly-on-patrol?ref=shop_home_active_4)
Val & I were in Worthing yesterday afternoon & a bit early for our allotted task of collecting the granddaughter from school, so we strolled along the footpath section of Barrington Road near Durrington Station. It's a little urban oasis of green & we were not entirely surprised to come across 2 Speckled Woods. (John & Val Heys)
Tuesday 18 September
Due to the wind instead of going up to Mill Hill I opted for bird-watching at Widewater Lagoon LNR where I found a Painted Lady, a Small White. Then I walked across to the Adur Rec Ground where I saw a beautiful brand new Red Admiral, about two dozens of Speckled Wood and Small White. Also found this little moth and a critter what I believe to be a Meconema meridionale (southern oak bush cricket). (Istvan Radi)
Solitary Clouded Yellow seen nestling in the grass at Southwick Basin on Saturday, before zooming off into the distance. (Alan Beard)
The highlights of a couple of hours on Cissbury Ring (17 September), in glorious autumnal sunshine, were 73 Small Copper (including two mating pairs) and 7 Wall Brown. Plenty of Small Heath and a few third brood Common Blue were also seen, together with some now faded Adonis, including egg-laying females. (Neil Hulme)
Monday 17 September
The penultimate transect of the year at the Gatwick north-west zone today produced 29 butterflies of 8 different species including 3 Brown Hairstreaks. However the highlight of the day was finding 2 male Willow Emerald damselflies. (Vince Massimo)
St Leonards Forest, Horsham played host to Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Small Copper, Common Blue, Small Heath, Small White and a Red Admiral in the warm sunshine this afternoon. (Patrick Moore)
I went for a walk around Seford Head N.R. and Cuckmere Haven and had the most amazing weather for it. The dominant species seemed to be the Small Heath and Small Copper but low numbers of Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Chalk Hill Blue, Small White and Large White were present too. Disappointingly I could not find any Clouded Yellow what was my target species for today. I shall try Mill Hill tomorrow... (Istvan Radi)
A walk round Lancing Ring and Steep Down in near perfect warm sunshine turned up the following among the 15 species of butterfly. 28 Wall Brown (in cop included), 13 Small Copper, 7 Adonis Blue, 7 Small Heath, 6 Red Admiral, Painted Lady, 2 Brimstone, 32 Speckled Wood, Brown Hairstreak, 19 Common Blue, 2 Peacock. Apologies to those of you desperate to experience proper autumn weather! I shall continue to make hay... (Lindsay Morris)
sun 16/09/2018. fields behind Friars Oak pub, Hassocks, W.Sx. counted 25x Brown Hairstreak eggs today, nine in field one, this is sixteen in total including last weeks seven. and sixteen in field two, including ten in a very small area which consisted of a blackthorn growing though a bramble bush (TQ 30362 16653). a total of 32x BH eggs have been found, but no adults seen. butterflies seen: 1x Clouded Yellow patrolling all afternoon, 2x Speckled Woods, 1x Large White, 2x Small Coppers, 1x Small Heath and 4x Swallow's overhead. and not forgetting, Sarah picked 2lb 15oz of blackberries. a grand day out. (Peter Farrant)
We like fields behind pubs. I am surprised that there are not more sightings from them. I suppose their proximity to the pub is the answer. (Ed jnr).
After watching a few Wall Brown this morning at High and Over I spotted the marker that I had placed by the Clouded Yellow egg that James and I had seen laid on the 6th September. I thought I might as well have a quick look to see if there were any signs of larva. Amazingly, there was one of the tiniest little larva there. At first I didn't think it was a Clouded Yellow larva until I got home and checked some images on UK Butterflies website of the 1st instar. Hopefully there are several more on the site from the egg laying butterfly we saw. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
An early visit to High and over revealed a very healthy population of third brood Wall Browns. On one occasion eight males could be seen flying and sparring near the steps. And they were found in four locations over hillside, including one male in the car park. A very striking female Common Blue Commanded attention, but unfortunately grass blades were always in the way, creating a shadow across the wings. (Trevor Rapley)
It's been so sunny & warm this morning (& not as breezy as it will be later) that I've been looking out for butterflies in our back garden in Hove. So far only one measly white (probably a Large White). This was such a poor return that I've walked the best bits of Wish park in terms of butterfly potential. Enough nectar sources but not a single butterfly. We did a lot better out of Sussex yesterday at Osterley house where we saw more than a dozen Small Coppers in the formal gardens, a few Speckled Woods & whites and even a Red Admiral. It's years since I've been there. The National trust has done a lot to improve the gardens so well worth a visit when in bloom. (John & Val Heys)
Visited Mill Hill on Saturday with my daughter in the afternoon, weather was warmer than I expected. After a brief chat with Trevor Rapley, my daughter and I met up with David Cook who was accompanied by Neil Hulme, all looking for similar species. My quest was to see a Clouded Yellow and Wall, and I was not disappointed. I was over the moon to capture my first sightings of these to say the least. I shall return in hope of finding more. Also sightings of Small Copper, Painted Ladies, Adonis Blues, Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, and Large Whites and Peacock flittering around. (Kirsty Gibbs)
Two Clouded Yellows seen on Sedlescombe allotments. (Jonathan Warner)
Sunday 16 September
I spent the whole afternoon tramping around the Cissbury area which was fantastic once the sun came out and stayed. There were quite a few Small Copper around, I did intend to count them but gave up at 37 or was it 53? There were also Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Small Heath, Small White, Large White, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock and Speckled Wood. A Meadow Brown egg laying was rather interesting to follow. To continue with the list there were also Wall Brown, Comma, Holly Blue and a single Brown Hairstreak. Worth a visit especially when the sun is out. (Patrick Moore)
I could only get up to Cissbury first thing when it was cloudy and windy. Managed to see a few Small Coppers. Later in the afternoon on Mill Hill I found a pair of old "Ranger" 7-15 zoom Binoculars in a place only lepidpoterists would visit. If the owner wants them back please drop an email to email@example.com. If not I will add them to the raffle at the AGM. (Jonathan Crawford)
My plans to return to Cissbury Ring today (16 September) changed when David Cook contacted me, to let me know that he'd located a second brood Peacock pupa at Mill Hill. David first spotted numerous caterpillars here a while back, and I narrowly missed the opportunity to photograph them on 13 September, when the last one had headed off to pupate earlier in the day. Mark Jones spotted it hanging up below a nettle leaf as he left the site, and today guided David to the precise location over the 'phone. It's hard enough to find Peacock pupae at the best of times, so to locate one from the occasional, partial second brood is a rare event. The adult butterfly should emerge in early October. Plenty of Wall were seen, including some freshly emerged males, and I found a female Brown Hairstreak laying eggs near the top car park. (Neil Hulme)
During our monthly litter-pick at Tidemills this morning I disturbed a Clouded Yellow which quickly flew to another spot to shelter from the wind. The amount of litter collected is much less than previous years which is a good thing. Back home in my garden a few Large and Small Whites flew in, some feeding on Verbena Bonariensis and perennial wallflower Bowles Mauve. A Common Blue, a single Speckled Wood and a Wall butterfly also appeared. I have seen more Walls in the garden than previous years so it seems to be a good year for them. (Stuart Ridley)
Standen, East Grinstead: Small Coppers (Kim Berry)
A male Adonis Blue still in reasonable condition on the path above Horseshoe Plantation at Belle Tout this morning. Also a Clouded Yellow near the Beachy Head Hotel. Elsewhere on the headland, one Comma, good numbers of Small Heaths and a few Meadow Browns and Common Blues. (Simon Linington)
Had a short walk in the meadows Beeding side of the Adur, not expecting much. No A List celebrities but quite a few busy Speckled Woods, several nice Peacocks, a tatty blue and a reasonable showing of Small Coppers. These largely in the shelter of a Blackthorn hedge. Also a lady bird hunkered down in a holly leaf. (Simon Buck)
Today I joined Dave Harris and 8 other people cutting wall cotoneaster on the Northern embankment of the Buckle Bypass, near Seaford. Hard on the ankles as the site is so steep! But we were working in full sun as the embankment is South-facing. Numerous Common Blues - mostly males in pristine condition - flew around us. A Clouded Yellow made a high speed fly past, while Brimstone and Meadow Brown were sighted in the distance. Careful examination of Broad-leaved Everlasting pea in the area failed to show up any long tailed blue eggs. We uncovered this Fox Moth caterpillar which was carefully relocated to a fresh plant of salad burnet outside the work area. (Nigel Symington)
Yesterday we explored the extensive grassland at Petworth Park. There were Small Heath everywhere but we found Small Coppers only in the few areas which had flowers amongst the grassland, and these were few and far between. After lunch we visited North Stoke. It was quite hard to look for butterflies due to the extraordinary numbers and behaviour of four different species of raptor. I suspect a Sheep carcass was behind this festival. There were plenty of whites as well a quite a few Small Coppers, Commas and the odd Common Blue. A fresh Red Admiral was a welcome sight. (Jonathan Crawford)
Saturday 15 September
It was harder going at Mill Hill today (15 September), probably due to the much windier conditions than yesterday. Fewer Wall were seen (14), but my count did include a mating pair. Mating pairs of Meadow Brown and Small Heath were also encountered, together with a few Clouded Yellow and Small Copper. On the way home I made a late afternoon visit to Cissbury Ring (south side) where, in very short time, I counted 67 Small Copper, as many were preparing to roost. I'll return for a fuller count, as numbers must now be very high over the entire site. (Neil Hulme)
Took the bus up to Devil's Dyke for a short walk, ended up walking for five hours it was so glorious up there. Plenty of Small Heath as I walked over to Newtimber hill and a few Small Copper. Very many more butterflies over on Newtimber Hill, lots of pristine Small Copper, and quite a few battered Adonis Blue, lots of Small Heath, and a few Common Blue and Meadow Brown. Other highlights were a fantastic ivy bee nest, the autumn gentian just coming in to flower (sideways photo) and possibly the best blackberry bush in Sussex. (Sylvia Davidson)
The fine weather today did not produce the number of Butterflies one might have expected.
In nearly three hours at Southwick, only one distant Clouded Yellow was seen. But on the plus
side Common Blues did show well at Southwick and Mill Hill. I also found four male Wall Browns,
a Small Copper, and several Brown Argus at Mill Hill.
It was probably the constant cool breeze that kept numbers low.
A walk from Lancing Ring via Steep Down to Steyning Rifle Range included 15 species of butterfly. 3 female Brown Hairstreak still looking good was a nice way to finish, and 7 third brood male Wall Brown included one on The Monarch's Way, the rest nearer the start. (Lindsay Morris)
Friday 14 September
I had a very lucky encounter with a Hummingbird Hawk Moth this afternoon, at High and Over.
At least my camera managed to ' freeze ' the body of the moth.
Also four very fresh male Wall Browns braved the breeze and occasional weak sunshine, as did
a fresh Large White. (Trevor Rapley)
Thursday 13 September
Mill Hill was wall-to-wall with Wall Brown by the end of today (13 September), as a large hatch of third brood butterflies is underway. I arrived before 11 am but couldn't drag myself away before 6 pm, although it felt like I'd only been there for a couple of hours. David Cook and Mark Jones dropped in for a while, with Mark doing us proud by finding a mating pair. My final tally of 21 Wall Brown included just four females, so there are probably plenty more to come. They were spread over the entire site, at all levels, including the paths running north from the top car park.
There were plenty of other species on offer, including Clouded Yellow (3), Adonis Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue (some third brood), Brown Argus, Small Copper, Small Heath, Meadow Brown (including three mating pairs), Green-veined White (third brood), Small White, Peacock and Red Admiral. I had hoped to photograph the second brood Peacock caterpillars that David Cook recently found here, but they've all headed off to pupate. (Neil Hulme)
A follow up visit to Southwick Basin with Mark Jones this morning produced only 2 Clouded Yellow. A fresh Red Admiral and good numbers of Whites and Common Blue. We decided to head up to Mill Hill in the hope and expectation that the Wall Brown would be putting on a good display. We weren’t wrong. They seemed to be popping up everywhere from the northern end of the middle slope. Neil Hulme joined in the fun and after getting a shout from Mark that he’d got a pairing I headed off to find him whilst Neil went looking for his stick! The female looks to have an extra eye spot so is most likely an aberration. (David Cook)
On a walk from Kithurst meadow to Chantry hill, a few Speckled Woods, large and Small Whites. Lots of Meadow Browns and Small Heaths, a couple of Brown Argus and Small Coppers, 3 chalkhill blues that had seen better days and a Comma (Denise Diston)
At Worthing for most of the day. Plenty of Small Whites & a few Large Whites everywhere. In Clive Avenue near West Park School a Clouded Yellow flying strongly south-east to north-west up and over a bungalow. In a rather shaded garden in Browning Road, a Speckled Wood. As I was pondering the complete lack of Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells & Peacocks anywhere we've been over the last few weeks, I did catch a glimpse of something which could have been one of these, or possibly a Comma, but it was too far & too quick for a positive i d. (John & Val Heys)
A walk from Lyons Farm up and around Cissbury Ring in glorious calm sunshine. 15 butterfly species seen including a fabulous 110 Small Copper, 4 Wall Brown, Clouded Yellow, 158 Small Heath, 22 Speckled Wood, 56 Common Blue, 46 Meadow Brown, 3 Brimstone, 7 Adonis Blue, 2 Brown Argus, Comma, Red Admiral, Holly Blue. (Lindsay Morris)
Until today my record for Small Coppers seen in our Broadbridge Heath garden was eight, and that was many years ago.This afternoon we managed to count 17, although there may have been more. They kept moving! They have been attracted to two large areas of Devil's Bit Scabious I have grown in place of a traditional lawn. Apologies for my photos - I am no photographer - but I thought an image or two of this garden habitat might be of interest to anyone looking for an excuse to do less lawn mowing. Also in the garden today there was a female Brown Hairstreak and Comma, plus, in the bird department, a Marsh Tit feeding on Honeysuckle berries, or at least the seeds of these. (David Bridges)
Very pleased to report that at least three pristine Small Coppers were feeding on Devil's-bit Scabious growing on the SWT Waltham Brooks Reserve in between the Sewage Works and the Pedestrian Railway Crossing. One of them was the gorgeous form caeruleopunctata; the first I've seen. Lots of Speckled Woods around too, and the odd Small Heath. (Chris Skinner)
I had something of a Wall Brown extravaganza at High and Over this morning.
On arrival they were performing on the famous steps, and sending one another up.
One battle in the air consisted of five males, again right near the steps.
Assuming that it was third brood Walls that were seen today, many were worn, or tatty.
Only one female was spotted, no photo unfortunately.
Another Butterfly of note was an almost derelict Clouded Yellow, which still managed to fly.
A single, fresh, Small Copper and many Small Heaths were also present. (Trevor Rapley)
Small Copper in lovely condition relaxing in the sun on a drying pumpkin in my garden. King's Stone Avenue side of Steyning. (Simon Buck)
Wednesday 12 September
I managed to find a single Small Copper and single Common Blue in the afternoon rain in St Leonards Forest, Horsham today. (All mobile phone images so they will probably load lopsided) (Patrick Moore)
Tuesday 11 September
I know they're not butterflies, but I thought folk might be interested to see some of the fungi that were recorded on Butterfly Conservation's Rowland Wood and Park Corner Heath reserves, on a recent visit by Sussex Fungus Group. I've written a blog about it here: http://misidentifyingfungi.blogspot.com/2018/09/mychorrhizal-madness.html (Clare Blencowe http://misidentifyingfungi.blogspot.com/2018/09/mychorrhizal-madness.html)
Monday 10 September
A trip to Mill Hill in very breezy but bright conditions produced a very fresh Painted Lady, good numbers of Common Blue and Meadow Brown but the highlight had to be, what for me has been a very rare sighting this year, a Small Tortoiseshell.
In a patch of nettles several Peacock laval webs were seen along with some very large caterpillars. (David Cook)
We stopped off at Southwick Basin this morning at about 10.30am for half an hour. It was bright & sunny but with a quite stiff south westerly wind. We saw 2 Clouded Yellows, at least 5 male & at least 2 female Common Blues, a Large White and around 15 Small Whites & Green-veined Whites. It was nice to see a lot of grasshoppers too as there are plenty of places where you'd expect to see them these days but don't. (John & Val Heys)
sun 09/09/2018 on corner of York Road and Charles Avenue, Victoria Business Park, Burgess Hill, W.Sx. no adult Brown Hairstreaks seen, but counted 25x BH eggs between 11.45am and 1.50pm, a couple of weeks ago counted 16x eggs, total so far 41 BH eggs. oh and Sarah picked 3lb of blackberry's. only butterflies seen were 3x Small Whites. then we had grub at the Friars Oak pub at Hassocks, behind the pub is a field which has masses of fleabane and young willow bushes and blackthorn hedges (TQ 303 165), a couple of years ago I found 2x BH eggs, this time counted 7x BH eggs, five along south facing hedge and three along east facing hedge between 4.00pm and 4.36pm, butterflies seen: 1x Small Heath, 1x Clouded Yellow, 1x Common Blue (m), 2x Speckled Woods and 1x Hornet. (Peter Farrant)
Amongst the13 butterfly species identified, a tatty female Brown Hairstreak was basking at 13.30 in Beeding Hill chalk Pit. A new site for this species for me. A third brood Wall Brown was seen here and another in Anchor Bottom. (Lindsay Morris)
Large numbers of Sm. Heath 1 Common Blue 2 Clouded Yellows and Passenger Moth (Arthur Greenslade)
Sunday 09 September
I spent a few hours this morning (between 10am and noon) chasing Clouded Yellows at Shoreham Harbour (or Southwick Basin or whatever other name it goes by). Probably half a dozen or so males. Mostly patrolling but some did stop on the small Buddleja's at the eastern end. Also present were at least a dozen or so Common Blues (watched a female ovipositing on medick) and all three species of White
I then moved on to Mill Hill where I found more male Clouded Yellow, at least 3, along with more Common Blues and aged looking Adonis. Best spot here tough were two very fresh 3rd gen Walls. There were also good numbers of Meadow Browns, mostly females who were egg laying like it was going out of fashion. Managed to locate one egg after one flew off. (Paul Atkin)
Brown Hairstreak on raspberry plants on our allotment in Haywards Heath at about 12.30. (David Rose)
There were plenty of Clouded Yellows at Southwick Basin this morning but they were too busy to stop for a photograph. I was fascinated to see a tiny white butterfly flying inside a bush. On close inspection it was a midget Green-veined White. It was about the size of a Common Blue. Later at Mill Hill I bumped into a Northerner who had just seen two fresh Wall Browns. Whilst these eluded me, I did see at least four Clouded Yellows though there may have been more. I saw courstship behaviour on the ground and what i think was egg laying. Other species were fairly abundant and included Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus and a single Small Copper. I also saw an absolute Methuselah of a female Chalk Hill Blue who was so warped by age that she was virtually unrecognisable and resembled nothing like the pictures in the guide books I poured over on returning home. (Jonathan Crawford)
In the Beachy Head area today (Sunday) - still quite a few Common Blues (especially on Went Hill - west side of Birling Gap), a Brown Argus (Went Hill), two Clouded Yellows (one in Shooters' Bottom and one near the zigzag in the road west-south-west of the hotel), two Meadow Browns (Shooters' Bottom), several Small Coppers, at least one Small White and a small number of Speckled Woods. However, the highlight was a Lesser Emperor Dragonfly found by Geoff G near the road zigzag (above) that stayed a number of minutes before disappearing off. (Simon Linington)
With James finding the first 3rd brood Wall Brown on Thursday at the back of Seaford, I was quite keen to do a bit of a hunt today. The wind didn't really help but 7 Wall Brown seen today, this included the same old 2nd brood individual that has been seen several times over the past week, and then 6 more fresh 3rd brood butterflies. I even had a mating pair.
A nice Hummingbird Hawk-moth was also seen which kept landing on the fence posts for a few seconds. It then landed on a bush long enough to get a few shots of. Many species seen including a very tired Silver-spotted Skipper.
(Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
This is a date I cannot ignore and is one that makes so much sense to me, so please save the date: 22nd September 2018. Join Chris Packham in central London for The People's Walk for Wildlfie. It's up to us to protect our wildlife and ensure we have a world where all life can flourish. More details to follow soon with exact location of where we will assemble.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNNbGoxtOxQ (Dan Danahar)
Saturday 08 September
99.9% cloud and an increasing breeze were not ideal conditions to look for butterflies around Cissbury Ring. However, 11 species were seen including 18 Small Copper, 22 Small Heath, 13 Meadow Brown, 8 Common Blue, 9 Speckled Wood, Adonis Blue, Brown Argus, Peacock, Green-veined White. The south west facing compartment was being mown. Complementing the cattle, ponies, scrub bashers and herbicide to hopefully further enhance this extensive and interesting site. (Lindsay Morris)
On Thursday James Arnott and myself spotted a fresh Clouded Yellow at High and Over busy laying eggs. Hopefully these will mature in time to give us all a good end to the year. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
3 Clouded Yellows in the sand dunes at Littlehampton on Thursday but too quick in the sunshine for a photo. 2 Small Coppers egg laying were easier. Also a few Small Whites. (Richard Stephens)
I've been reading about Large Skipper in the wonderful Butterflies Of Sussex 21st century atlas, average flight period extending into August. Had also noted on the Sussex BC website Large Skipper last sighting July 22.
In light of the above, I thought I’d best pass on that I was up on Kithurst Hill watching butterflies on July 25 and saw a lone Large Skipper there. It was one of 23 species I saw.
My apologies for not sending in my sightings for that day. I'm getting to grips with technology now and have just submitted all the sightings from my garden for July and August to the B&Q garden survey! (Denise Diston)
Good stuff Denise and don't worry about getting to grips with technology. I never have, and I've worked in the industry for years. (Ed jnr)
Friday 07 September
About eight Clouded Yellows were seen at Southwick this morning, along with quite a few fresh Common Blue males, and one ' blue ' female. The constant, cool, westerly breeze made things difficult however. (Trevor Rapley)
This Speckled Wood was in my garden this morning, on the edge of Brighton (Philip Booker)
The Downs around Shooters Bottom and Horsehoe Plantation shimmered with Small Heaths at every footstep. Still a male Chalkhill Blue in reasonable condition, modest numbers of Common Blue, a single Small Copper, Large and Small Whites and a few Speckled Woods. (Bob North)
Thursday 06 September
An early morning call from Mark Jones concluded with agreeing to meet at Southwick Basin so he could photograph his 58th species if we found Clouded Yellow. Reading Trevor’s report from earlier in the week and with the weather looking favourable, the odds were good. On arrival, I found 4 on the west side of the steps. Mark arrived and we had to wait quite awhile before he was able to get his shot as the now numerous (12) Clouded Yellow were in no mood to stop. Our patrol also added Small Copper, Large White, Green-veined White, Common Blue and Small Heath by which time we had reached the gas tanks at the eastern end. At this end are some Buddleia bushes. You can imagine our surprise when a ‘little brown job’ plonked herself down on one right in front of us and we jointly exclaimed Brown Hairstreak! She posed briefly before heading on her way.
Anyone who’s visited this site will know, it’s hardly the typical habitat for Brown Hairstreak although there is some Blackthorn present. (David Cook)
Lancing Ring started sunny but deteriorated somewhat. 12 butterfly species including 22 Small Copper, 35 Common Blue, Wall Brown, 7 Holly Blue, 9 Small Heath, 6 Speckled Wood, 5 Brown Argus, Peacock, Red Admiral. (Lindsay Morris)
Despite a collapse in the weather this afternoon (6 September), I still managed to find 36 Small Coppers over just the southern part of Cissbury Ring; I suspect there are now many more present. Amongst the other species seen was another female Brown Hairstreak, this time in surprisingly good condition. (Neil Hulme)
Another amble around my local patch at the back of Seaford revealed a few very aged summer butterflies still clinging on. A single Second Brood Wall Brown plus a very tired Silver Spotted Skipper were seen, plus a smattering of Brown Argus mixed in with some very ragged Common Blues. The enormous number of Small Heath's continues unabated. Adonis Blues were seen far and wide in places I've never seen them before! Thankfully there was signs of some new life arriving to re invigorate the end of the season with a very fresh 'egg laying' Clouded Yellow, followed by a third Brood Small Copper and then a few fresh Common Blues. Surprisingly I only found one each of Comma and Red Admiral. A Hummingbird Hawk Moth caught my eye but vanished the moment I tried to change lenses! I then came across a very nice Angle-shades Moth which I proceeded to take photos of from (yup you guessed it) various angles. Just as I thought I would fail to find my main target for today I finally saw it! A lovely third Brood Wall Brown, quickly followed by a second. With luck these emerging third brood butterflies will manage to avoid the large numbers of Wasp Spiders in the area! (James. A)
Late afternoon walk to Ashcombe Bottom, still lots of Small Heath and Small White, as well as Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Peacock and a solitary very battered Clouded Yellow. (Ian Seccombe)
A visit to High and Over found a male Wall Brown hanging on from the Summer brood.
Also a very fresh female Meadow Brown was very patient for the camera. (Trevor Rapley)
Up to 10 Clouded Yellow up and down, in various states - some fresh males. Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, green veined/small/Large Whites as male and female. And a female Brown Hairstreak on the buddleia right next to the sea. Plenty of blackthorn on the bank but no trees. The most southern Brown Hairstreak? Seen with Dave Cook- we saw it at the same time and both let out various 'not to be repeateds'. (Mark Jones)
Wednesday 05 September
An afternoon with Small Copper and Speckled Wood was most enjoyable in St Leonards Forest, Horsham today. There were also rather faded Common Blue, Small White, Small Heath, Green-veined White and Meadow Brown. (Patrick Moore)
A quiet late summer afternoon in Southwater Woods. Autumn is almost here and haws, blackberries and rose-hips are now mature. A fair number of Speckled Woods on the wing and resting on ground and in oaks. I also saw a very battered but still fluttering White Admiral. A group of lovely white micro moths in remnants of honeysuckle. I'm still learning so am guessing Grass Veneer or similar. (Greg Burgess)
Last night I was delighted to find another large and beautiful moth on our balcony, the Red Underwing (Catocala nupta). Other moths seen the past two days: Light Emerald, Small Dusty Wave, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brimstone Moth, Clothes Moth (Monopis species), Square-spot Rustic, Willow Beauty. (Colin Knight http://colinknight.blogspot.co.uk)
Tuesday 04 September
Inspired by the seemingly large 3rd brood Small Copper sightings from around the county, I decided to return to Batchelors Farm for a look. Sure enough, the small colonies that are ever present here are showing really well. One small area in particular I counted at least 20 fresh individuals mixed in with some Common Blue and Small Heath. Several Speckled Wood were also seen and one, now tired looking, Brown Hairstreak appeared to be egg laying but I failed to find any eggs after she departed. (David Cook)
The Red Admiral on my Buddleia leaf has now turned into a pupa and has amazing and intricate patterns on it. A photo does not do it justice!!
(Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
3 September 2018
An immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterfly was seen flying near the Tollbridge, Old Shoreham in the middle of the day. And another one was seen in the afternoon over Anchor Bottom. Adonis Blues were common over the large expanse of the conservation pastures of Anchor Bottom: I counted 37 (30 males +7 females) in a timed 45 minutes, almost all of them in the central south-facing bank area in the space of 16 minutes. There were many more in the areas I did not visit and Lindsay Morris recorded over one hundred (182) in four hours.
With a different flora to Mill Hill, the Adonis Blues were nectaring on the abundant Rough Hawkbit., noted visiting the diminutive Squinancywort hidden amongst the grasses, attracted to the occasional tall Carline Thistles, once seen on the few Round-headed Rampions, often on the common Small Scabious, seen on occasional Hardheads, one spotted on a Dwarf Thistle, but not seen on the few Devil's Bit Scabious, or the spikes of the orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses. One female Adonis Blue was seen crawling amongst the leaves of Mouse-eared Hawkweed looking for somewhere to drops its eggs (which should on or near Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, leaves).
There were eight species of butterfly seen on the day with frequent Small Heaths seen all over the Anchor Bottom pastures with occasional Meadow Browns. I spotted a female Common Blue on Everlasting Pea near the Cement Works as well as a Small White, Large Whites and a Red Admiral near Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/AnchorBottom.html#2018)
Monday 03 September
A Wall passed through our East Dean garden TV562984 mid-afternoon today...full sunshine. (David Jode)
Third brood Small Copper numbers are increasing nicely in the Seaford area, out of the five I saw 'in the half hour I was looking' only one was showing signs of wear. Hopefully there will be many more to finish of the season in style. (James. A)
Another check at High and Over today resulted in a single Wall Brown, once again, not a fresh 3rd brood!! Still plenty of Adonis Blue on the wing and along the valley a late Silver-spotted Skipper.
On Friday I found a Red Admiral larva on the garage. After it fell off I placed it on foliage in the garden. It was clear it was fully grown and it soon started a half hearted larval web. The next day it had started to turn into a pupa. A further day and it has now become a pupa and looking pretty under a Buddleia leaf. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
A walk round Anchor Bottom and Beeding Hill in still and bright conditions was responsible for 11 butterfly species including 182 Adonis Blue, 139 Small Heath, 38 Common Blue, 3 Small Copper, Clouded Yellow. Finished at the Cement Works with ace snapper Andy Horton, looking for glory, but only finding an Adonis Blue and a Common Blue. Too big, not enough tail... (Lindsay Morris)
Clouded Yellow pale form 'helice' near Rye, E Sussex yesterday in part of wildflower meadow intentionally left uncut for inverts. Also several Meadow Browns and Common Blues still flying. (Ralph Hobbs Hobbs)
This morning I went over to Shoreham harbour, hoping that Clouded Yellows might be on the wing. In all I found three, none of which were fresh, but maybe more will emerge over the coming weeks and take us into late October. As usual the proved tricky to approach in the warmth of the sun. (Trevor Rapley)
Blackthorn is abundant at Knowlands Farm, Barcombe and I have long been hoping that Brown Hairstreak would turn up. Yesterday, Sunday, I spotted a female and watched her as she moved from plant to plant, observably laying, in a west-facing hedge to the south of Knowlands Wood. A lovely conclusion to the season and it brings the total number of butterfly species recorded here to 33. (Nick Lear)
Sunday 02 September
We had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Moore at Steyning Rifle Range this afternoon & chatting about butterflies plus Brighton & Hove Albion's first come back from being 0-2 down since reaching the premier league. We'd arrived a bit later in the afternoon than was desirable. Although it was warm there was not much flying apart from Small Whites, a handful of Common Blues (several males and dark females), a Holly Blue, a Speckled Wood & a pair of Brown Argus (unless dark Common Blue females attempt to mate with each other). While we were searching for Brown Hairstreaks Val spotted a Clouded Yellow & Patrick a very fine spider. Eventually we did track what we thought was a Brown Hairstreak as it popped up here & there, but our only view of it when settled was high up. We got a picture of it but as we don't have a lot of zoom on our camera it's tiny - just below & to the right of the topmost bunch of Sycamore seeds. On the basis that it's (a) the right colour & (b) has darker areas just where they should be, Val & I are satisfied that Patrick can include it in his records as a Brown Hairstreak & we can record that we've seen every British hairstreak species in Sussex in 2018. After Patrick left we came across another Speckled Wood, a few more Small Whites & a Large White. In our garden in Hove it's mostly Small Whites at present plus a nice Comma, last seen on Friday nectaring on clematis berries. (John & Val Heys)
Today (2 September) I spent a few more happy hours on Cissbury Ring, which is probably my favourite venue at this time of year. I never got any further than the SW and S compartments below the ramparts and didn't perform any accurate counts, but I certainly saw in excess of 20 of both Small Copper and Adonis Blue. I also saw large numbers of Small Heath, plenty of Meadow Brown (including two mating pairs) and a bonus Brown Hairstreak. (Neil Hulme)
Today I visited a few sights in the Adur Gap area. First was Anchor Bottom mainly for the Autumn Lady's-Tresses which I've never seen before. Also of note were plenty of Adonis Blue as well as a Small Tortoiseshell amongst others. I then had lunch at Mill Hill where of note, a Silver-spotted Skipper appeared.
I then headed to Steyning Rifle Range where I bumped into Val and John Heys and we looked for Brown Hairstreak, probably rather too late in the day. We may have seen one but definitely spotted a Clouded Yellow. (Patrick Moore)
Began my day at the bottom of Anchor Bottom at 10 am looking for Adonis Blue. Walked up the north facing slope and found first Meadow Brown and then Small Heath, then moved over to southern side and immediately found abundant Adonis Blue, plus hundreds of the orchid Autumn Lady's Tresses. I sat and watched for quite a while and the Adonis Blue really like the orchids, but not enough to stay for a good photo - for once I wanted a photo of an Adonis on something beautiful and not cow pat!
Moved on to Steyning Rifle range after lunch and spotted five female Brown Hairstreak, one of which just landed on the grass next to me when I decided to have a rest. (Sylvia Davidson)
Try going earlier in the morning when the Adonis are waking up, or towards sunset when they are getting ready to roost. Much easier to photograph them then. (Ed jnr)
A bright and sunny afternoon in Seaford today and not vast numbers of butterflies in the garden but some nice ones. Several of both Large and Small Whites, 2 each of Small Copper and Common Blue, and 1 each of Painted Lady, Small Heath and the best one, a pristine Clouded Yellow. (Stuart Ridley)
I've been trying to find Brown Hairstreaks at Weir Wood Reservoir for the last few weeks,there's plenty of good habitat but I don't think there's been any recorded for several years.Then at last late morning I spotted a female coming down low in the meadows at the western end of the reservoir,watched for 15mins egg laying on young Blackthorn be for she made her way back higher up in the hedge.we now know that theres some around so hopefully we can manage the site better for them leaving plenty of young Blackthorn. (Alastair Gray)
I have always had a soft spot for Small Coppers so today I decided to see as many as possible. I think the best habitat in Sussex for these butterflies is Friston Gallops. Arriving just before 10am, there were plenty of Small Coppers to be seen. As the day warmed up they became more elusive. My total count was 41. There was a gap of 35 minutes between the 39th and the 40th Small Copper. The mixture of desperation, determination and hope that motivated my search may be familiar to other lepedopterists. In truth, I was disappointed by the tally. The southern part of the gallops has been cut and cleared and so was devoid of butterflies. This area is more sheltered than the northern end and in the past has had the greater concentration of Small Coppers. If you want to visit the site, the diagonal path across the gallops is the most fruitful place to begin your search.
A couple of Brown Hairstreaks in my garden yesterday. Seemed interested in the plum tree. Might be of interest. King's Stone Avenue side of Steyning (Simon Buck)
Thanks Simon, Brown Hairstreaks are always of interest. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday, while seeking signs of Long - Tailed Blue in a large valley meadow full of flowering Broad Leaved Everlasting Pea (without success) a fresh Small Blue was seen sunbathing in the warmest corner. (Sue Cross and Dave Harris, )
Saturday 01 September
I went on a bird walk to Beachy Head today but the butterflies were perhaps better than the birds. Saw a Clouded Yellow, Adonis Blue and Brown Argus. (Tim Squire)
I visited Cissbury Ring today hoping to see third brood Small Coppers. I did see a few in the ditch below the south-eastern rampart but they were very skittish in the bright sunshine. I also saw a Brown Hairstreak, the first time I have ever seen one on Cissbury Ring. (John Williams)
Spent an enjoyable hour in and aound the Lancing Ring area - our first visit. The views were excellent. There were plenty of Speckled Woods, a handful of Holly Blues, Common Blues, Small Heaths, Large Whites, a Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and this moth whose name escapes me. I am sure someone knows... (Martin Buck)
On the Downs between Lancing and Worthing (but didn't reach Cissbury!) I identified 16 butterfly species. Very glad to find 13 male Adonis Blue on Steep Down along with 4 Chalk Hill Blue. Also 104 Small Heath, 13 Small Copper, 24 Holly Blue, 29 Speckled Wood. Possibly a Fire Bug next to the A27 at Sompting. Tentatively so! (Lindsay Morris)
I am most grateful to Kirsty Gibbs, Harry Mole and David Cook for checking on the Liz Williams Butterfly Haven at Dorothy Stringer School, during August, whilst I was out of the country. Having had a first brood of Adonis Blue earlier in the year I was keen to see if this led to a summer brood on the site. So I was delighted to hear via the 'Butterflies of the Biosphere' Facebook page that this was indeed the case. Of course as soon as I returned home I felt the need to check the site for myself.
I went to the Surrenden Campus on Friday 31st August and within minutes of visiting the Liz Williams site, I discovered a male and two ovipositing females Adonis Blues. With conditions as good as they were I was not surprised by this discovery. Curiosity then got the better of me and so I visited the Butterfly Haven, created in the winter of 2015-16, at the west facing end of Dorothy Stringer School's newly developed artificial turf pitch (ATP). This site has already been colonised by the Small Blue and so I was immensely pleased to discover yet again another male and two ovipositing female Adonis Blues.
In two years we have attracted two BAP butterfly species, on this newly created habitat. This is a remarkable result, even though we have had favourable weather conditions.
I then visited the Varndean Butterfly Haven but no butterflies were seen at all, as this site was exposed to the wind, being high up on the campus. Its also true that this is a small site, with only limited amounts of Horseshoe Vetch, which is not true of the other two sites which have the colonies of Adonis Blue. Either way, quite an achievement considering we started with just an amenity/municipal playing field. I guess the test is, will we see them next year? (Dan Danahar)
Another lovely circular walk from Berwick village via The Comp south of Afriston. Plenty of Adonis Blues, male and female, on the bank just north of the Long Burgh and also on the Green Way track down to Blackstone Bottom. They were mainly nectaring on scabious and the beautiful, if subtle, carline thistle flowers. Also seen were Small Coppers, Brown Argus, Small Heath, a few Chalk Hill Blues and Common Blues. Welcome refreshment at The Cricketers pub in Berwick village too! (Tessa Pawsey)
Just seen a Small Heath on The Drove in Brighton. It was powering up the centre of the road, veered off for a stop in a front garden, then set off again very fast towards Hove. Never seen a Small Heath here before, do they travel far to new territories? This one appeared to be on an urgent mission. (Sylvia Davidson)
Sadly this is more a record of non sightings than sightings. We visited the ride in Abbots Wood that goes 90 degrees from the road going towards the Old Oak pub. We parked in the muddy bumpy lay-by and walked through the wood to the ride. At this time of the year this open wide ride is covered in scabious and other flowers and this time last year, was buzzing with crowds of all the nettle feeders. This morning, as I am yet to see a Small Tortoiseshell this year, we thought we would go and find them. We saw 3 Large Whites and 3 Small Whites and that was it. Not another butterfly to be found. Hundreds of bees, hornets and dragonflies but no butterflies. (Kerry Baldwin)
1st September 2018 - unfolding parasol in garden, giant convolvulus hawkmoth - agrius convolvuli dropped out. Photos taken and identified as above. We have a large garden backed by trees (T.Morrell)
There are just not enough photos of giant moths in the world, so we would love it if you could share yours with us. (Ed jnr)
In the weak sunshine with clouds I visited the lower slopes of Mill Hill where there was over forty Adonis Blue Butterflies with about one third females, frequent Small Heaths and frequent Meadow Browns, a few, mostly worn, Chalkhill Blues, occasional Common Blues, a few Large Whites, one Green-veined White, one Clouded Yellow, occasional 7+ Treble-bar Moths, and frequent, faded to brown, pyralid micro-moths Pyrausta purpuralis. Three mating pairs of blue butterflies were observed. Two pairs were definitely Adonis Blues and probably the first pair as well. Most of the male Adonis Blues were worn and many were tattered and some had lost their blue sheen. The scattered Bird's Foot Trefoil was almost the only flower visited by the Adonis Blues. A spike of Autumn Lady's Tresses was spotted on the lower slopes.
(Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2018.html)
Friday 31 August
Yesterday morning I visited Cissbury Ring after reading Neil's report. In the southern compartment I saw 8 Adonis, but none in the eastern compartment, though my walk was a stroll through the areas rather than a thorough count. There were many Small Heaths and Brown Argus, a very worn Painted Lady on buddleia, Meadow Browns, Whites, Speckled Woods, Small Coppers, Common Blue, Silver Y, Common Grass-veneers. There were 3 ponies doing an excellent job of mowing the lawn for the benefit of the butterflies. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Today I walked the Cissbury Ring area and managed to see 16 Butterfly species and also bump into Neil Hulme carefully counting his coppers! Seen were Small White, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Large White, Small Copper, Brimstone, Brown Hairstreak, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue, Peacock, Brown Argus, Speckled Wood and a Comma. (Patrick Moore)
I spent a very enjoyable afternoon (31 August) with Patrick Moore on Cissbury Ring, chasing Small Coppers and Adonis Blues in the warm sunshine. As expected, we saw Adonis Blue in both the south and east quarters of the site, but the presence of at least one in both the north and west quarters came as a nice surprise and is testament to the excellent management by the National Trust over the last couple of years. Third brood Small Coppers are only just starting here, so I expect the 23 I saw today to be no more than a taste of things to come. By far the most numerous species was Small Heath, which I didn't even attempt to count. This is a fantastic site to visit at this time of year, with plenty of migrant bird interest, including Spotted Flycatcher and Common Redstart. (Neil Hulme)
New to my garden! (Emma-Louise Jones)
A lovel Comma which will be looking to stock up before its winter hibernation. (Ed jnr)
There was intermittent sunshine for my walk around Newtimber Hill, but this didn't seem to bother the numerous Small Heath, with many many pairs of them circling madly around the path. Also saw Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, whites (small and large), a couple of Common Blue and a Red Admiral. Had fantastic views of a kestrel hunting below me. (Sylvia Davidson)
I thought that as today is the end of meteorological Summer, It would be appropriate to spend the day with the last of the Summer Butterfly species to emerge. So it was off to Sreyning Rifle Range for the Brown Hairstreak. In all three were seen. As is often the case this site does seem to attract more than it's fair share of cloud, which probably kept numbers down this morning. (Trevor Rapley)
I checked our balcony around 11pm and was amazed to find a large moth (6x4.5cm) settled into a corner near the light. I saw a small patch of blue and hurried to the computer with photos. I soon identified it as a Clifden Nonpareil (Catocala fraxini) aka Blue Underwing. This rare and beautiful immigrant moth is the one I have long wondered about due to its fame and being Victorian collector's classic target. We now know what all the fuss was about! Also seen: Silver Y, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Square-spot Rustic, Double-striped Pug, Lime-speck Pug. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Because of my relative failure of my photography the previous day, I visited the top plateau of Mill Hill and I spent well over an hour there in the early afternoon, mostly because I had difficulty in finding the spikes of Autumn Lady's Tresses (an orchid). When the sun was out from behind the clouds, so were the butterflies and many more than expected. An estimated 40 Adonis Blues, including a count of 16 females, were everywhere on the one acre upper plateau but were only active when it was sunny. They were exceeded in number by an estimated 50+ Small Heaths, joined by a dozen Meadow Browns, a few Small Whites and at least two Common Blues. Nectar flowers were well spaced out and the Adonis Blues were seen visiting Bird's Foot Trefoil, Rough Hawkbit, Hardheads and Carline Thistle as expected, as well as Squinancywort, Eyebright, and the rarely visited Hoary Plantain and Round-headed Rampion. The first flowers of Autumn Gentian appeared. Two micro-moths were frequently seen: the Common Grass-veneer, Agriphila tristella (probably) or Agriphila selasella, and the pyralid Pyrausta despicata. Grasshoppers were frequently disturbed, most of them identified as green specimens of the Meadow Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2018.html)
Thursday 30 August
This morning (30 August) I returned to Cissbury Ring, primarily to assess Adonis Blue numbers. I found a few more than last time (28), but a higher proportion were females, some of which were probably overlooked during my previous visit (28 August). I was also looking for Small Coppers, but soon became distracted by the abundance of Small Heath, so started counting them; I decided to stop at 150. This easily overlooked species is clearly having a bumper year and I don't recall the last time I saw so many. Best was a bundle of six males in pursuit of a female.
I later moved on to Steyning Rifle Range, where I saw ten female Brown Hairstreak between 11.50 am and 1.30 pm. (Neil Hulme)
A walk to Cissbury from Lyons Farm in calm and bright conditions turned up 14 butterfly species including 185 Small Heath, 92 Meadow Brown, 33 Common Blue, 21 Adonis Blue, 17 Small Copper, 12 Brown Argus, 4 Chalk Hill Blue, 2 Painted Lady. (Lindsay Morris)
At Anchor Bottom today the grass was bejewelled with Adonis Blues soaking up the hazy sunshine and feasting on delicious cow dung. Mmmm. I also came across a Small Heath apparently perched on a scabious flower with wings open, but actually being devoured by a crab spider (Xysticus). The spider didn't like being watched, dropped out of the flower and dragged her prize out of sight. (John Woodward)
I have over-lapping broods of Small Copper in the garden, with fresh ones emerging on the 28th. Otherwise there is still quite a nice selection to be seen, including a very faded Comma (which I mention, as I haven't seen one for many weeks). A garden-first when I spotted a white spider (I cannot remember its proper name) hanging on to and murdering a moth! (Martin Kalaher)
The day started with a female Brown Hairstreak in my Crawley garden at 11.30. Later 5 more were seen on the transect at the Gatwick North-west zone, together with a smart Painted Lady. The long meadow alongside the River Mole has now been cut, but all the nectar sources here had dried up weeks ago. (Vince Massimo)
BHS walk 26th August 2018 Steyning Rifle Range
By a miracle the weather on Saturday was perfect for Brown Hairstreak activity being still and warm, temperatures reached 17.
The day started with a temperature of 8 degrees and felt very Autumnal. At the meeting point at 9.30 there were four of us, but by the time I gave a briefing at 10.00 there were over 30 enthusiasts had arrived, and later other people joined us, swelling numbers to around 40. I had a good omen spotting a newly emerged splendid Comma at about 8.30 which we all filed past .There were plenty of smart Speckled Woods on the track on the way up to the rifle range.
I was convinced that female Brown Hairstreaks would be seen soon after 11.00. Indeed a chap who had travelled the furthest (from Southend) spotted a female sunbathing on a bunch of Ash trees which must have been 60 feet away only really clearly seen with binoculars.
A short while later a female came down to short Blackthorn at the front of the fenced reserve, giving excellent views, spiralling and descending down Black Thorn stems and then egg laying. Indeed several eggs were also discovered during the visit. Possibly 10 - 12 Female Brown Hairstreaks over several hours.
Unlike previous years outings, several Brown Hairstreaks were content with just sunbathing for quite long periods, providing open winged shots for anyone with a camera phone, let alone a camera. I suspect this was due to the lack of warmth the previous day and the need to aid maturation of eggs and continued egg laying. I had mentioned earlier that observing Brown Hairstreaks was hit and miss as they are elusive and distributed in small colonies in suitable Blackthorn and Bullace habitats.
Due the excellent management of cyclical cutting of Blackthorn, to provide prime egg laying shoots, the reserve mangedby the Steyning Downland Scheme volunteers at the Rifle range remains an excellent site to see Brown Hairstreak butterflies in warm still conditions after the golden hour of 11.00 a.m. This site can be visited on any suitable day during the flight season.
It was great to meet so many enthusiastic people an the day which was good fun. The visit was a great success. Of course this was due to the liberal appearance of female Brown Hairstreaks and the unusual patience they showed to inquisitive humans.
For a change of scene, I went over to Burgess Hill for a Brown Hairstreak hunt. Life would have been easier and simpler if I had not met so many fresh Small Coppers whilst searching for Hairstreaks. Two female BH were found, one high up in an Ash, and another which flew into a bush right beside me. One Small Copper should qualify me for membership of the blue badge club. (Trevor Rapley)
On my walk over Blackcap this morning I noticed dozens of Small Heath. Other species seen were Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small White, Small Copper, Speckled Wood and a solitary Painted Lady. (Ian Seccombe)
Wednesday 29 August
As the skies cleared today (29 August) I headed to Steyning Rifle Range, confident that the Brown Hairstreaks would be doing their stuff. I arrived at 12.30 pm and immediately found one sunbathing on a Blackthorn sucker. As the temperature rose the action came thick and fast; at one point I was watching two females when I looked down to see a third sitting on my boot! I saw 12 individuals before the cloud cover returned just before 2 pm. Several freshly emerged Commas were feeding greedily on ripe blackberries, which for me marks the onset of autumn. I'm hoping that there'll be plenty of Small Coppers to come, and a good third brood of Wall, but I think this wonderful butterfly summer has reached its end. I then headed to Anchor Bottom, where many Adonis Blues were doing their best to get airborne. After the epic first brood here, numbers are a little disappointing, almost certainly due to droughting of the foodplant. However, the Autumn Lady's-tresses were far from disappointing, with thousands on show. (Neil Hulme)
Two very tatty 2nd brood Wall Brown were just hanging on at High and Over. Adonis Blue have had one of their best years in recent years at this site with many females now being seen looking for egg laying sites and nectaring on the Devil's-bit Scabious. Small Heath are everywhere and a few Chalk Hill Blues are still just hanging on. A newly emerged Small Copper was also seen along Cradle Valley, still with partly folded wings. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Yesterday (28 August) I visited Cissbury Ring, to see if the autumn brood of Small Copper had started to emerge; it had, with a total of six seen, but I'm optimistic that numbers will increase greatly over the next few weeks. However, the best result was the surprise sighting of so many Adonis Blue, a species which has really struggled for survival here in recent times. The National Trust (NT) has been grazing the site with ponies for a few years now, and the benefits are clearly beginning to show. I found 19 Adonis Blue in the southern compartment at TQ137076. Even better, I found a further five (including a mating pair and an ab. krodeli) in the eastern coombe at TQ142079, above the rifle range. We identified this area as having having high potential at a meeting with NT and Natural England in 2017, and the clearance work and grazing with cattle has brought about a rapid improvement in the habitat. There is much more to do, but things are clearly moving in the right direction. (Neil Hulme)
Tuesday 28 August
Visited the site around lunchtime today with my daughter, and the weather looking propitious hoping to see Brown Hairstreaks. A gentleman almost hiding in the blackthorn told us he hadn’t seen any, so waited around half an hour and our first of the day was spotted. A tatty female but a BH none the less. Also joined us was a man that had driven quite some way to see them and after we had seen our 3rd BH both gentlemen left very happy. But my daughter and I stayed on for another hour or so and I was very lucky to spot another 4. So 7 in total. We left very happy to have found so many in such a short time. (Kirsty Gibbs)
A trip to Steyning downland late this morning was fruitless until the sun showed for more than a few minutes at 1pm, when 3 female Brown Hairstreaks appeared for an audience of four. One gentleman had driven for 3 hours for the show. Also seen were Blood-vein and Dark Strawberry Tortix moths. Visitors to our balcony last night included The Uncertain, Silver Y, Small Dusty Wave, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer and the tiny Poplar Bent-wing. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
A sunny visit to St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon enabled 11 species of butterfly to be seen. Speckled Wood were all over the place and quite a few Common Blue and Brown Argus near the Dragon Seat. Other sightings included Large White, Small White, Green-veined White as well as Small Heath, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Copper and a Red Admiral. (Patrick Moore)
Sat 25/08/2018 Victoria Business Park, Burgess Hill, W.Sx. I forgot to mention in my last report that Sarah picked 3lb 11ozs of black berry's. a grand day out. (Peter Farrant )
I am glad you remembered.(Ed jnr)
Sat 25/08/2018. Victoria Business Park, Burgess Hill, W.Sx. between 11.20am and 1.44pm counted 16x BH eggs including two pairs (eggs laid side by side) and one small blackthorn had four on it. As it was mostly cloudy with a few sunny spells it took awhile for the adults to get going, but at 1.50pm a female seen high in blackthorn doing her stuff, then right in front of me at 1.54pm another female low down at waist height and in lovely condition settling in blackthorn but I lost sight of them, but I managed to take two not very good photos. the third was seen at 2.18pm flying and settling in blackthorn in egg laying mode, but I couldn't find egg. but got a photo of her at rest. the mound area at far right of photo is getting rather difficult to access because of the encroaching brambles. other butterflies seen: 1x Large White, 1x Speckled Wood, 3x Small White and 1x Comma. (Peter Farrant)
A search of Lancing Ring in calm and increasingly sunny conditions found 12 species of butterfly including 4 Brown Hairstreak, 11 Small Copper, 38 Holly Blue, 11 Small Heath, 11 Common Blue, 20 Speckled Wood. (Lindsay Morris)
Preston Park Rock Garden. A quick walk round this morning yielded 4 Small Whites (and a large terrapin!). (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Sunday 26 August
Spent an hour late afternoon up at Anchor Bottom yesterday with my daughter, and we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of Adonis Blue butterflies there were. A really beautiful sight of males and females scattering through the grass. A lovely sight to see and no need for tracking them down. Simply Stunning! (Kirsty Gibbs)
My garden butterfly season is rapidly coming to a close but in the past couple of days there have been 11 butterfly species, including a female Brown Hairstreak yesterday. I didn't actually see it nectaring on Buddleia but it came from a clump of Buddleia located close to the house. In flight it looked interesting, so I pursued it to a perch on Portuguese Laurel, raced off for my camera and then couldn't re-locate it. Fortunately it hadn't gone far and rested on Spindle for a while (albeit around 8 feet away). Species and numbers for the past week as follows: Large White (5), Small White (4), Brown Hairstreak (1f), Small Copper (4), Brown Argus (4), Common Blue (5), Holly Blue (2), Red Admiral (5), Speckled Wood (2), Meadow Brown (4) and Small Heath (4). (Martin Kalaher)
Saturday 25 August
I visited Furnace Meadow at Ebernoe Common hoping to see 3rd brood Small Copper (which I have seen there in previous years). But none were to be seen today, just some Small Heath and a few faded Meadow Brown and Common Blue. I switched to foraging mode instead and picked enough Sloes for a bottle of Sloe Gin! (John Williams)
A walk up to Ashcombe Bottom this morning, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue and Wall on the way up and in Ashcombe itself Comma, Red Admiral, Small White, Large White, Speckled Wood, Small Heath and a surprise Clouded Yellow, first I've seen this year bringing my total Sussex species count to 46. (Ian Seccombe)
On a spontaneous visit to Steyning rile range I spent a lovely day in the company of Neil Hulme and his Young son Jacob, who showed that he is following in his fathers footsteps by directing a visitor a Brown Hairstreak that he'd found. Having already seen two Brown Hairstreaks before Neil arrived we went on to find a total of 9. Lot's of Brown Hairstreaks about for anyone hoping to visit Steyning in the coming days. (James A)
Delighted to see the beautiful Brown Hairstreak for the first time. Many thanks to our informative guide, Richard Roebuck for leading the group. A bright and warm day with barely a breeze brought the butterflies down from the Ash trees then posed contentedly for photos. (Maria Dixon )
Congratulations to Richard Roebuck on the success of his Brown Hairstreak walk at Steyning Downland Scheme today (25 August). I turned up towards the end of the event with my three-year-old son, Jacob, and it was obvious from the many happy faces that the group had done well. People were hanging around chatting, even though there were hairstreaks still posing in the Blackthorn; a sure sign that everyone had had their fill. We headed up to the northern flank where we joined James Arnott in tracking down plenty more, seeing nine here alone. At one point, while James and I were photographing a hairstreak, we noticed that Jacob was now talking to someone about 30 metres away. I was delighted to discover that my boy had found his own Brown Hairstreak and had pointed it out to the grateful hairstreak-hunter! By the time we had dropped in on another local site, the total number of female Brown Hairstreaks seen over the Steyning Downland Scheme area, on both the guided walk and by ourselves, had risen to about seventeen. A few were still in good condition and there will be plenty more opportunities to see this species over the next couple of weeks. (Neil Hulme)
I went on the Steyning event today to see my first ever Brown Hairstreaks. When I got home I nearly fainted when I saw one briefly in the garden and just managed to get a picture on my mobile. (Ian White)
This Marbled White caught me by surprise this morning in Burgess Hill and I only had my iPhone to record this very late sighting. (David Cook)
Friday 24 August
A quick visit To St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon, before the rain happened, was worth it for the Speckled Wood and Brown Argus. There were also Small Copper, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath and rather surprisingly, several Gatekeeper. (Patrick Moore)
Very close to my home is a very narrow country lane, Coldthorn Lane, Hailsham.
Despite being so close I had never explored the area for Butterflies.
Today I decided to take a look. In all I found two Small Coppers, a single Small Heath,
many flighty Speckled Woods, and some worn, male Common Blues. (Trevor Rapley)
Pretty quiet at Lancing Ring this morning with only 11 butterfly species seen. Not much sun and cooler than of late. Only Small Copper, Common Blue and Speckled Wood managed to reach double figures. I drew a blank with Brown Hairstreak (after just one yesterday). (Lindsay Morris)
Thursday 23 August
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
During a walk round Rewell Woods this afternoon I saw Speckled Woods, Holly Blues nectaring on hemp agrimony, Common Blues, Brown Argus, Large Whites and mating Small Heaths. A Juniper Shieldbug hitched a ride home. On 11 August I saw a Drab Looper in Rewell Wood.
Our balcony has received many moths during August including Silver Y, The Uncertain, Common Plume, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers, Heart and Dart, Marbled Beuaty, Small Fan-footed Wave, Light Brown Apple Moth, Dingy Dowd, Twenty-plume Moth, Twin-spot Honey (Aphomia zelleri), Marbled Green, Cloaked Minor, Beautiful Plume, Clouded Border, Bright-line Brown-eye, Starry Pearl (Cynaeda dentalis) on 8 August - a rarity in West Sussex, Cloaked Minor, Skin Moth, Dark-Sword-grass (Agrotis ipsilon), Setaceous Hebrew Character, Cypress Pug (Eupithecia phoeniceata), Small Fan-footed Wave. (Colin Knight)
If you like Speckled Wood then St Leonards Forest, Horsham was the place for you this afternoon. They were in most sunny and dappled clearings. There were also Common Blue, Brown Argus, one Green-veined White and several Meadow Brown. (Patrick Moore)
Excited to see a brown hairsteak in my small Storrington garden this afternoon. Moved here 2 ½ years ago, knew they were in the area, so optimistically planted 3 puny blackthorn whips in November 2016. Was suprised to find 3 eggs last winter, and even more surprised to actually see the butterfly crawling about amongst the now 6ft high and growing well blackthorns this afternoon. It also nectared on nearby verbena and I managed to get this rubbish photo of it on my mobile while it rested in purple loosestrife. It's roughly in the middle, but you may need to zoom in to see it!
(Denise Diston )
Wednesday 22 August
Off we trotted on the transect walk at PCH/Rowland Wood today, where the sun was sulking but 3 pairs of eyes between us instilled a little surge of optimism. It was quiet and peaceful, and the butterflies were also taking easy, occasionally rising lazily from their roosts ahead of us to ensure we did not feel entirely alone.
Consequently, we saw 4 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (second brood), 13 Common Blue, 15 Small Heath, 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue plus 1 Silver Y moth and 1 Light Emerald moth. We enjoyed spotting all the wildlife in the reserve, including a slow-worm and a small grass snake, a couple of hornets, a shieldbug of some kind (ID help please?) sporting a fetching peach outfit, and a garish yellow crab spider (we didn't pander to him for long). Please forgive us if any of the ID is incorrect.
P.S. We said hello to the lost property at the gate (small rubber whale?)
Rosie, James & Andrea (Andrea Gibbs)
An 8 mile circuit south from Berwick village held a delight of butterflies despite, or maybe because of, warm grey weather.
A little north east facing bank at TQ512036 had horseshoe vetch and adonis and Wall Brown among others. The Comp had what I have come to think of as Bob Eades' Wall Browns and the little path from The Comp down to Blackstone Bottom at TQ490026 seemed full of Adonis Blues, both male and female, which often stayed still with wings open allowing really good views with our Papillio binoculars. (Tessa pawsey)
I think of all Wall Browns as Bob's too, just as I think of the White Letter Hairstreak as Jamie's and the Dukes and Pearls as the personal property of Neil. That's because they are great species champions. (Ed jnr)
During a visit to Kithurst meadow yesterday afternoon I enjoyed the sight of many of our summer butterflies fluttering around: Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Heath, Large and Small Whites, Silver-washed Fritillary, Holly Blue, Comma, Speckled Wood plus a Migrant Hawker.and a Ruddy Darter. (Colin Knight)
The transect at the Gatwick north-west zone today was carried out in warm, but cloudy conditions. The highlights were a Small Copper, a Silver-washed Fritillary a Brown Hairstreak egg and a lovely micro moth which I assume to be Oncocera semirubella (Vince Massimo)
we saw these butterflies in Southerham nature reserve, Lewes. Large Skipper, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Comma, Common Blue, Small Blue, Small Heath, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large White, Small White and Green-veined White. (alexander and suzy (my mum))
Thank you for you sightings Alexander, keep sending them in. The Large Skipper is in fact a Silver Spotted Skipper which is much rarer and more exciting. You can find more of them on Malling Down over the hill from Southerham where you might also find Brown Argus and Adonis Blues. (Ed jnr)
Tuesday 21 August
In the garden in Bexleyheath Kent (Donna Hoadley)
It's a Privet Hawk Moth caterpillar. (Ed jnr)
Today (21 August) I visited the BC Park Corner Heath (PCH) & Rowland Wood reserves to monitor second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (SPBF) numbers, probably for the last time this year. While thoroughly searching the entire site I also started making mental notes about what work needs to be done by both contractors and our volunteers this winter; we're going to be busy!
Things started well, with the sighting of four SPBF (3m, 1f) in the upper part of the rush meadow, and a single male in the lower part of the adjacent birch meadow. I then struggled to find more, surprisingly drawing blanks on PCH and the W-E ride to the south of the Rowland Wood lake; both locations have consistently produced SPBF over the last few weeks. However, I had better luck at the west (lower) end of the W-E ride which runs past the fallen Beech, where I found two females at roost in the long grasses. I've never encountered females here before and I hope they've been egg-laying in some of the newly created areas of habitat in this part of the wood. Although I only found a total of seven SPBF, one female was in absolutely mint condition, so must have emerged earlier today. They're there to be found, but do take some hunting out. Over the two broods I've collated more than 300 SPBF sightings on the reserves this season, which certainly gives cause for optimism. (Neil Hulme)
On a lunch time visit to Steyning Rifle Range today my wife and I found this very battered Brown Hairstreak down at ground level egg laying on very young Blackthorn shoots. (Terry Wood)
A walk around the SWT Malling Down Reserve coincided with some late afternoon sunshine. Many of the expected species were seen including good numbers of vividly blue male Adonis Blues and numerous Brown Argus on slopes at the east end of the coombe, and plenty of Small Heaths in the chalkpits. There were also small numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers (some looking quite worn), a few Chalk Hill Blues, one Small Copper and two Red Admirals. (Simon Linington)
While looking around Thorney Island this afternoon we found 4 Clouded Yellows, 2 Brown Argus and still good numbers of Common Blue and Small Heath on the wing. (Barry and Margaret)
Walking to my allotment in east Brighton today my attention was caught by a strange flying insect. When it landed it turned out to be a mating pair of Humming-bird Hawk-moths. Unfortunately they had landed in the road at a bus stop just as the bus was coming up the hill so despite the odd looks from the people in the bus queue I felt I had to move them out of harms way. (tessa pawsey)
A further visit to Steyning Rifle Range this morning produced six female Brown Hairstreaks.
It was rather cloudy most of the time, but a few decent breaks in the cloud was enough to bring
some females down. I was very surprised to have the place almost to myself for most of the morning.
My visit was cut short when I noticed a change in the type of cloud, which produced some very fine drizzle. (Trevor Rapley)
I am told that people in Surrey have more than 40 different words for that kind of cloud. (Ed jnr)
I was delighted and surprised to see a female Brown Hairstreak in my garden yesterday. I live in Sharpthorne Crescent, Portslade.Rather unusual I thought.No photo I am afraid. (Sally Milne)
Visited The Liz Williams Butterfly Haven in Brighton yesterday for an hour with my daughter. Although she wasn’t keen on the amount of beautiful Wasp Spiders we discovered within the area (my daughter is not keen on spiders to say the least), we were so pleased with the amount of Common Blues, Whites, Small Coppers, Brown Argus we saw, and in particular plenty of Male Adonis Blues. The best part of our visit was also our discovery of our very first sightings of the Female Adonis (Kirsty Gibbs)
Monday 20 August
In the hope of seeing Brown Hairstreaks I called in at Steyning Rifle Range this morning on my way to Petworth. I arrived at 11.30hrs with hazy sun, 22 deg C. and light winds. Within a few minutes I spotted a Brown Hairstreak in reasonably good condition near the style. During the 45-minutes I was present this was the only one of this species I saw. (Douglas Neve)
We had a walk along the west side of Thorney Deeps this afternoon and had a record count for this site of a 182 Wasp Spiders. (Barry and Margaret)
Any butterflies? (Ed jnr)
A female Holly Blue appeared to be egg-lay on ivy in Barcombe village this afternoon. A walk up to nearby Knowlands Farm yielded just a few of the commoner species (including a Small Copper) but nothing in any numbers possibly due to the dearth of flowers following the dry weather. There was a brief spell of excitement when a hairstreak fluttered out from the top of an ash on the old railway line (where there is also an abundance of blackthorn) near the south-west corner of Knowlands Wood. After much scanning, it turned out to be a rather worn Purple Hairstreak. It was living rather dangerously as it was surrounded by about 15 flying Migrant Hawkers. In turn, these were the presumed reason a Hobby appeared overhead momentarily. (Simon Linington)
Today (20 August) between 11.15 am and 2.10 pm I achieved my highest ever count of female Brown Hairstreaks on the Steyning Downland Scheme (26). 13 were seen in some of the less visited areas, such as Pepperscoombe Bank and the Round Hill, and a further 13 were encountered on the Rifle Range, which I didn't reach in time to search thoroughly. I could have covered a little more ground had I not come across someone I know, out on a butterfly hunt with her two grandsons. The priorities were clear and I was delighted to find them two Brown Hairstreaks, one of which we tracked for quite a while as she sought out small Blackthorn suckers on the southern flank of the range. She laid several eggs while we watched and she occasionally stopped for a rest and opened her wings wide. "She's beautiful" said one of the boys. I hope they'll want to see more. (Neil Hulme)
Yesterday (19 August) I found this single Brown Hairstreak egg laid on young Blackthorn, at the edge of Hollingbury near Ditchling Road, in Brighton. (Jamie Burston)
Today I walked around Chesworth Farm, Horsham looking for Brown Hairstreak along the many Blackthorn hedges. I found two but also spotted Small White, Large White, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Copper and a Comma. The area is well worth a visit and probably much better if it's sunny unlike today. (Patrick Moore)
fri 17/08/2018. 1x SPBF seen feeding at 2.05pm in Rowland Wood TQ 51211 15000. and 2x SPBF feeding on heather in front of shed at 2.28pm and 2.30pm TQ 51151 14812. Coudy on arrival but had a nice sunny spell. I still can't get over seeing SPBF feeding on summer flowers. (Peter Farrant)
Rowland Wood provided some Butterfly variety this morning.
Including a single Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, a pair of fresh Small Coppers ( male and female ),
Many worn Common Blues, two Brimstones, several fresh Large Whites, the last few Gatekeepers,
And a mating pair of Small Heaths.
Two Small Whites at the same time in our back garden in Hove. One did some nectaring and chose the michaelmas daisy flowers rather than the nearby much larger buddleia. Later, a Comma rejected the michaelmas daisies in favour the buddleia. When I was pointing it out to Val we found there were two Commas, I think the first occasion we've seen 2 Commas in the garden at the same time. (John and Val Heys)
Sunday 19 August
On my way home this evening I called at Mill Hill, hoping for a few Adonis Blues.
The sunny hillside was hot, despite a fairly strong wind.
This made photography tricky, but a few Adonis obliged for the camera.
One deformed male had obviously had a hard life. Many males were found
varying from reasonably fresh to very worn. Many Meadow Browns were present. (Trevor Rapley)
I've not been down to Sussex since the Black Hairstreak bonanza so it was a welcome opportunity to get a chance to pop over to Malling Down on Friday (taking an unsuccessful gamble that I might pick up Brown Hairstreak over the weekend). It was somewhat idyllic with, if I remember correctly, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown, Wall Brown (fleetingly), Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue (in large numbers), Common Blue, Brown Argus (also large numbers) and Small Copper all present. And none of the hibernators at all. Still, the Brown Argus (Argii?!) were particularly welcome as I'd not actually managed to see any this year until now! The sheer number of butterflies in action was a delight; at one point I had more than 20 buzzing around me covering most of the above species at once. It was like being in a very second rate Transylvanian meadow which is actually a good thing (Malling was just short of the half dozen or so Fritillary species to measure up - I've just been on a Greenwings holiday there and the difference in butterfly population is staggering with a single meadow delivering 10 species of Fritillary and a random roadside lunch stop featuring Southern Purple Emperor, Hungarian Glider and Scarce Swallowtail for example - and no managed sites visited at all). Makes you realise what a mess we have here....... (Rolf Farrell)
Seeing as the weather has been so poor during this weekend I finally had a chance to sort through my images from last Friday - 17th of August. In fact the weather when I arrived at Steyning on Friday was not very promising either but I still found 2 Brown Hairstreaks under some rather ominous clouds. Approaching midday and with sightings having dried up I decided to have a wonder about leaving the main group of Hairstreak watchers behind. Mercifully the weather started brighten up and the Hairstreaks suddenly woke up! I saw a further 8 in total 7 females and one very worn male just above head height. A highlight for me came when I found a pristine Female basking, she stayed around for a good few minutes allowing me to get some photos. This was followed by some egg laying activity where I saw several females busily depositing the next generation. On the way back to the car I spotted a huge and very handsome Privet Moth Caterpillar posing a little too conspicuously for it's own good. (James A)
I had hoped to walk the transect at Mill Hill this morning but the weather was not suitable. However once the sun came out in the early evening I headed straight up the hill.The butterflies were particularly active, i guess because they had to cram a whole days work into an hour or so. Outstanding were the Adonis Blues (male and female) , but also seen were Small Heath, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Chalk Hill Blue. (Jonathan Crawford)
Saturday 18 August
Last week I spent several days in Eastbourne during which time I spent a couple of days searching for butterflies in the Beachy Head / Birling Gap area on 12th and 14th August, overall I saw a fantastic total of 27 species and I was amazed by the sheer numbers of butterflies which were seen in this area and in the best spots there were so many butterflies flying all around me that I had to be very careful where I walked, the areas around Beachy Head and immediately east of Horseshoe Plantation both proved excellent for butterflies but the meadows about 1km further east from Horseshoe Plantation between Shooters Bottom and the Beachy Head Hotel was without doubt the best spot for butterflies in this area, I don't think that I have ever seen so many butterflies anywhere else in the UK before (certainly not up in Scotland where I live) and it actually brought back amazing memories from my last holiday to the French Pyrenees (Ariege Department) where clouds of butterflies could be seen virually everywhere I looked and I can recall seeing approx 95 species within 10 days on that holiday which was truly exceptional.
List of the 27 species, 24 species were seen in the Beachy Head / Birling Gap area while the other 3 species (*) were only seen around Eastbourne.
Adonis Blue, Brimstone (*), Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue, Comma (*), Clouded Yellow, Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Dingy Skipper, Essex / Small Skipper (?), Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Holly Blue (*), Large White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Silver-spotted Skipper, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Copper, Small Heath, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Speckled Wood, Wall Brown. (John Candlish)
Thanks for you sightings John. I am glad you had a good trip. I think you probably got the downland set for this time of year. (Ed jnr)
I visited Steyning rifle range under cloudy skies this morning, more in hope than expectation. There were quite a few Speckled Woods, some quite fresh but I didn't see a Brown Hairstreak. (John Williams)
Friday 17 August
At Kithurst Meadow this afternoon a female Brown Hairstreak spent half an hour working her way along the Blackthorn beside the roadside fence, resting frequently with he wings open. Still many Common Blues and Brown Argus, a female Holly Blue was feeding and a very worn Silver washed Fritillary visited. There were also a lot of Small Whites and a Red Admiral. (Bob North)
A late afternoon visit to Anchor Bottom produced good numbers of Adonis Blue. This site is probably the best site for this butterfly in the South Downs. I have visited twice and in windy and cloudy conditions and have been able to find many roosting in the grass. I am not sure the numbers are as good as last year when I witnessed the incredible spectacle of thousands flying on a sunny day 18 August but you are likely to see many adonis here. These butterflies thrive in the short cropped turf that this site has thanks to the grazing. The farmer has both cattle and sheep grazing the site which is what is needed for chalk grassland management on the Downs. If you visit you will also see the handiwork of the South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service and the National Park Authority who clear invasive scrub and have recently been cutting the regrowth that comes up on the areas of previously cleared scrub. This combined with the grazing enables the recovery of the short turf, a component of which is the horseshoe vetch that is the Adonis Blue caterpillar food plant. Most of the Adonis Blues appear to be on the north facing slope. You would normally expect to find them on hot south facing slopes but I only found a couple on that side today. You will note that there are ant hills on the north facing side and not the south. I theorise that the butterflies are on the north side because of the symbiotic relationship it has with the ants. The ants protect the caterpillar in return for a sweet secretion that the caterpillar produces. This is an incredible valley and bucks the trend of most other chalk grassland sites which are under grazed or not grazed at all and are slowly being lost to scrub. Visit this weekend if you can to see the most amazing butterfly of our chalk grassland which is so special to the South Downs. (Tim Squire)
Grayling: Thank you to everyone who has helped monitor Grayling numbers over the last month; it seems that its (rather short) flight season is now over. The data collected has provided a very clear picture of the butterfly's current status in Sussex and we have every reason to be concerned about its future. We can only hope that a rescue plan proves effective in preventing its loss, but the situation does look rather bleak. (Neil Hulme)
Walked over the south facing slope of Deep dean this morning from 11 until 12.30. No Graylings were seen. Other species present included Small Heath, Chalk Hill Blue, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Adonis, Silver-spotted Skipper, Wall Brown, Small White (Ian Seccombe)
This morning's visit to Steyning Rifle Range started well, with the first female Brown Hairstreak obeying site rules and appearing just a minute or two before 11.15 am. Two more showed shortly afterwards, but then a bank of cloud moved in and the action cooled down. I headed to the much sunnier Knepp Wildland to check on Brown Hairstreak numbers there, and things looked promising as a female flew straight into my face as I reached the first Blackthorn hedge! I found a further three nectaring on Fleabane before the clouds moved in. A brief stop at another site on the Downs produced four more, but it seems I would have done just as well by staying at the Rifle Range, where the hairstreaks later reappeared in good numbers when the sunshine returned. (Neil Hulme)
Wolstonbury Hill this afternoon was busy with butterflies as below plus Speckled Woods on the wood margins. Hundreds of field grasshoppers too. To spot Autumn Lady's-tresses orchids was my reason to go on the hill but none were found. (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
On a walk in the West Bevendean part of Bevendean LNR this morning I found several Adonis and Chalk Hill Blues and Brown Argus and Common Blues and Small Heaths and a few Meadow Browns. (Geoff Stevens)
We looked at the weather forecast & decided it was worth driving up to Balcombe to walk our 2 WCBS lines for August provided we'd done them by 11.30am. On the "official" line walks we saw 10 Small Whites, 7 Speckled Woods, a probable Meadow Brown, a Holly Blue, a Large White and 3 male Common Blues. The total was 23 which was 6 more butterflies than on 15 August 2017 with 2 different species from last year (Holly Blue & Large White instead of Red Admiral & Gatekeeper), but vastly less than the 177 butterflies we saw on 6/7/18. We did make other sightings off the lines, including a nice female Holly Blue and a wall butterfly on a very fine wall - a bridge over the railway tantalisingly 10 yards beyond our walk line. The cloud was over the sun by the time we left at noon. The weather forecasters on the BBC got it right. (John & Val Heys)
The 11.15 Brown Hairstreak at Steyning Rifle Range this morning with Neil Hulme & others. (John Ward)
Went back to Deep Dean this morning for just over 2 hours starting at 9.30. Weather was sunny with 1-2 oktas of cloud, 20 C, wind SW2-4. Explored areas 1a-h, 2a-c and 3c but found no Grayling present. I think their flight season is now over. However, I saw plenty of other butterflies with good numbers of Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue, Small Heath and Silver-spotted Skipper along with the odd Small White, Large White, Small Copper, Wall Brown, Painted Lady and a very old and tatty Small Blue (the first one I've seen up there for about 3 years). (Chris Hooker)
Thursday 16 August
A mid afternoon walk in St Leonards Forest, Horsham proved to be most exciting in the rain as I managed to find Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath and a Meadow Brown all like most of us, waiting for the weather to improve. (Patrick Moore)
Wednesday 15 August
I wasn't expecting to see any butterflies on an evening walk over to Arlington Reservoir from Berwick, so was pleased to see a Wall Brown at TQ5298306853. Also 2 Small Heath. (Chris Bird)
I am just going through the photos I took today at Deep Dean and found this one. When I took the picture I thought it was just a faded Brown Argus whose black marks gone white but now I read the description in my guide book and there is no mentioning of this kind of change so I started to hope for an "exotic" Northern Brown Argus who got lost but then I ended up with the most likely answer what is a faded female Chalk Hill Blue. Could anyone confirm this please? (Istvan Radi)
You can hope all you like for a Northern Brown Argus but your not going to find one round here. Come to think of it, I would have said the same thing about Black Hairstreaks six months ago. I think you are right with the Chalk Hill Blue though. It is one species which exhibits an enormous amount of variety (Ed jnr)
12 species of butterfly seen when the sun belatedly shone on a blustery Lancing Ring, including 37 Holly Blue, 24 Speckled Wood, 21 Common Blue, 15 Meadow Brown, 7 Wall Brown, 5 Small Heath, 2 Painted Lady. (Lindsay Morris)
Further sightings from today at PCH/Rowlands Wood (Vincent Oates)
Following a swift overnight fishing session with my daughter, Rosie, we decided to make a quick call at Park Corner Heath and Rowland Wood reserve to look for SPBF. It was warm and overcast and a tour of the heath provided no sightings for us, nor a couple from Norfolk, who had made the trip specially. We finally finished on the meadow and found one SPBF on the ride alongside the wood and, subsequently, another individual bang in the centre of the meadow (where we also met up again with the couple from Norfolk and made their trip worthwhile). Whilst photographing the second SPBF, my daughter pointed out a Wasp spider feeding on a sizeable grasshopper and we subsequently spotted another three in the space of three square metres. These spiders have only been recorded in Britain since 1922 and are fairly scarce, so may interest some of you. (Vincent Oates)
I arrived at 08:45 and due to overcast conditions I started to inspect the bushes on the top of Deep Dean. Then at 9.30 the sun put in a brief appearance what brought all the butterflies out and for half an hour there was a frenzy of mating and feeding. All the butterflies but the Grayling. I covered the best part of the South facing slope zigzagging from one patch of bare ground to an other but nothing. Then at 11am I walked down to Ewe Dean on the main path but no luck there either. On my way back to Polegate I once again stopped and had a quick look at the top of Deep Dean but I had no luck whatsoever so at 11.45 I called it a day. It was overcast with a breeze, the temperature was a humid 20 Celsius. (Istvan Radi )
Tuesday 14 August
Blackstone Down is a long finger of chalk grassland between Alfriston and Firle that has mostly gone to scrub. There are however some good remnant bits of chalk grassland and I saw Adonis Blue flying there during a brief burst of sunshine. This is very encouraging and the remaining bit of chalk grassland I looked at was very nice and worth trying to save from further degradation. On the slopes of Firle Escarpment where there is a battle to control tor grass I saw no adonis but did pick up common and chalkhill blues plus wall, Small Heath, Small Copper. I thought there were Brown Argus but think they may have all turned out to female Common Blue. (Tim Squire)
On 6th August I saw a Comma laying eggs on the potted nettle in my Crawley garden. Today they all hatched and I counted 9 larvae on the undersides of the leaves. Fairing less well are my Large White eggs. Despite hundreds being laid, there are no larvae. Many eggs have been predated by slugs, but it was unusual to see a Harlequin ladybird also taking an interest. Any larva that hatches seems to be taken by wasps. Also today, a walk in woods near Gatwick Airport produced two Orange-tip pupae on Garlick Mustard stems situated in shady conditions. Both were green and stood out against the parched ground and dead stems.
Today looked like a write-off for butterflies as the weather refused to live up to the forecast, but as I headed back towards home there appeared to be just sufficient sunshine to make a visit to Steyning Rifle Range worthwhile. It was getting on for 1.30 pm before I arrived, but for 45 minutes there was a flurry of Brown Hairstreak activity, with six different females being spotted by various members of the small group present; three others had been seen prior to my arrival. If the sun shines, this coming weekend should provide plenty of hairstreak action, and there should be plenty still flying for Richard Roebuck's guided walk here on 25 August. (Neil Hulme)
Another entertaining day a Steyning Rifle Range started slowly owing to a mixture of leaden skies
and brief spells of bright sunshine. The last hour of the Brown Hairstreak hunt produced the most
Butterflies, as the weather improved. Indeed the weather played it's part in ensuring that the females
seen either perched or basked for long periods, allowing all admirers good photo opps.
One of my images, taken from above the Butterfly, shows the tail display to attract snacking Birds away from the head.
Just after lunch I spent a happy 40 minutes or so lurking by the blackthorn enclosure on Steyning Rifle Range with congenial company (Trevor Rapley, Neil Hulme and others. Six female Brown Hairstreaks put in an appearance, despite the somewhat gloomy conditions, and three more were seen earlier. As one of the locals tasked with managing the blackthorn (I have the scars) I was relieved to see that we hadn't overdone it with the loppers! (John Woodward)
I also visited Deep Dean today from 11AM to around 2.30PM and unfortunately saw no Grayling despite zig-zagging the entire slope more times than necessary. There were however Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Chalkhill Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper, Small Heath, Small Copper, Speckled Wood and Adonis Blue to be seen. I then headed to PCH and saw with others, 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. (Patrick Moore)
I spent quite a few hours in the garden today, weeding one of the herbaceous borders and moving seedlings around. I was also hoping for Clouded Yellow (which I didn't get) but there was a Humming-bird Hawk-moth on the Buddleia, as there was yesterday, and that was my first garden sighting of the year. Last year the first sighting was on July 1st and with all the good weather we have had this summer I rather expected to see more. Most of my garden plants flowered early and finished early, so I'm grateful to Devilsbit Scabious which is flowering nicely. This is an interesting British native as it seems to do well in wet conditions, grows nicely on chalk and also does well in the very dry sandy soil that I have in my garden. Ten butterfly species in the past couple of days but numbers diminishing rapidly. (Martin Kalaher)
I visited Roland Wood and Park Corner Heath this afternoon. Ths sky became quite overcast soon after my arrival, however many Common Blues were seen on the Fleabane at Roland Wood. As I reached PCH the sun finally emerged and a single Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary was seen. (Douglas Neve)
Paid a visit to Deep Dean this morning but saw no Grayling. There were good numbers of Meadow Brown and Silver Spotted Skipper though along with some Adonis Blue, Wall Brown, Small Copper, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue and Small Heath. (Chris Hooker)
Monday 13 August
As Trevor reported, an unexpected joint visit to Rowland Wood and Park Corner Heath proved difficult to start with but as the sun broke through we were able to locate our quarry with 3 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary seen. Also seen were significant numbers of Common Blue, Small Heath, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Small White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and a very smart Painted Lady. As the weather worked against us we departed the reserves and headed off.
Back in the Burgess Hill and the weather much improved, I decided to nip up to Batchelors Farm. My arrival, although quite late in the day (2.30pm) did produce 3 egg laying females to the left and right of the entrance gate. It really is worth checking the Burial Ground, Tesco fields, Nightingale Meadows and of course Batchelors Farm over the next week as there has been a sudden increase in Hairstreak activity as has also been reported from Steyning. (David Cook)
Appearing this afternoon in the St Leonards Forest, Horsham humidity were, in order of appearance; Speckled Wood, Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small White, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Comma, Brimstone and last and actually least in number a Large White. All were seen along the track known as Micks Run and around the Dragon Seat. (Patrick Moore)
Another visit to Steyning Rifle Range today (13 August) produced numerous female Brown Hairstreaks, with some bursts of frenetic activity whenever the sun broke through. I didn't keep an accurate tally, but suspect I saw about eight individuals just in the vicinity of the fenced-off area of Prunus. Just after 2 pm I finally managed to get up onto the northern flank of the Rifle Range, where I found a further five in as many minutes. Although some are rapidly collecting nicks and scratches, several of those I saw were still in mint condition. Some of today's visitors saw Brown Hairstreak for the first time, and went home very happy! My thanks go to the Steyning Downland Scheme volunteers for keeping the Blackthorn and Bullace here in such great condition for the butterfly. (Neil Hulme)
I went over to Rowland Wood this morning, and soon met up with Dave Cook.
After a lot of searching we eventually found a female Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, and two males near the hut at Park Corner. Later a mating pair of Common Blues was seen in Rowland Wood. Many worn Common Blues were also present. (Trevor Rapley)
Several more Brown Hairstreak were seen today at Steyning rifle range, in between the showers. Plus I've added a bonus shot of Neil Hulme in action! (John Williams)
Went looking primarily for female Brown Hairstreaks before the heavens opened at Lancing Ring. None found! Of the 12 butterfly species identified Holly Blue excelled with a minimum of 30. (Lindsay Morris)
Sunday 12 August
I visited Mill Hill today around lunch time. Under leaden skies I saw a few Adonis Blues basking open-winged trying to absorb what little heat there was. I stayed about an hour before the rain set in. (John Williams)
I only had a brief opportunity to get out and about yesteday and decided to pay a visit to Blunts Wood in Haywards Heath. This has proved to be a good location for Brown Hairstreak in the past but even though conditions were favourable, it didn’t produce, so I had to be content with Meadow Brown instead and got this rather unusual male ab grisea-aurea and a pairing. Also a rather tired female Purple Hairstreak (David Cook)
The annual Steyning Rifle Range Brown Hairstreak festival is now underway, with the site performing spectacularly well yesterday (11 August). I arrived just after 11 am and spotted a pristine female sitting in the first stand of Blackthorn I approached, which was quickly joined by a second. The action came thick and fast and the combined efforts of a search team including Tom Parker, Gary Norman, Trevor Rapley, John Williams and James Arnott located a total of 16 egg-laying females, before activity ceased just before 2 pm. The majority were in perfect or excellent condition, although a couple of tattier examples were seen later in the session.
Gary and I then moved on to the Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood reserves, to monitor numbers of the second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. We were surprised (and very pleased) to see more than we expected, and it was clear that butterflies are still emerging; four were so fresh that they must have emerged earlier that day. Despite weather conditions varying between unsuitable and borderline, we saw 11 individuals in a couple of hours. We only searched over the most promising areas, so I suspect there are a few more present. The top of the rush meadow, the W-E ride just south of the lake and the patch cleared of Bracken in front of the PCH hut were most productive. We were relieved to see plenty of fresh violets following the recent wet weather, providing a critical improvement in the breeding prospects for this second flight - just in time!
Plenty of other species were seen, including Wall, which seems to have gained a firm foothold here. I'm delighted by the rapid response of the wider butterfly fauna to the recent restructuring work. (Neil Hulme)
Some of the 16 Brown Hairstreak spotted by myself, Neil, Trevor, James, and Gary on Saturday morning. (John Williams)
Saturday 11 August
Today I got some Brown Hairstreak photos at Steyning rifle range - which means that this year, for the first time ever, I have managed to get a picture of all 5 Hairstreaks - and all in Sussex too! (John Williams)
Walked up Malling down today. Saw plenty of butterflies, but many were looking very battered. There was a Wall Brown and a Chalk Hill Blue that I was amazed could still fly as they had so little left of their wings. Saw plenty of Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Small Copper and Meadow Brown as I walked up the valley. Saw a Clouded Yellow that I managed to get as a blur in a photograph. Although there were some Silver-spotted Skipper near the bottom end of the allotments, they really increased in number as I climbed the Snout, this was also where the Chalk Hill Blue began to appear. (Sylvia Davidson)
Hard to beat this trio. (Jon Warner)
Surprised to find a Wall on my Chailey Common (Lane End) transect this morning. I don't think its been recorded here before. (Ian Seccombe)
I spent a very enjoyable few hours at Steyning Rifle Range today, searching for Brown Hairstreaks. In all I found three, but the experienced regulars present found more. It was agreed with Neil Hulme that the total for the day was sixteen females. In addition I found an immaculate, fresh Speckled Wood.
It was my first visit here, as a new member of BC and I wanted to see some butterflies other than the regulars who visit my garden. On the edge of the wood, I saw a Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood. Around mid-day, As I left the shade of the trees and walked up onto the sunny Downs I immediately spotted a Wall butterfly, a Clouded Yellow (flew off before I could photograph it!) and later, lots of Common Blues, and Adonis Blues, as well as several Small Heaths, lots of Gatekeepers and a few Brown Argus’. (Maria Dixon)
After a couple of wet and windy days it was good to see the butterflies again and during the morning several Small Whites visited my Seaford garden. I have had a few sightings of Wall recently including a very worn one this morning and another fairly fresh looking one this afternoon. Until this year they rarely visited. Also seen were a few Large Whites, 2 Meadow Browns, 1 each of Red Admiral, Holly Blue and Common Blue, the latter thinking my kitchen doormat was a good place to rest. It`s better outside Mrs Blue so you ought to leave! She did. (Stuart Ridley)
Every year I usually get a few Brown Hairstreaks visiting my Crawley garden, sometimes laying eggs. Today I found a female that had alighted on my neighbours front hedge. A more unusual sighting for this part of Crawley was that of a male Brown Argus at Rathlin Road pond which was only the 3rd one I have ever recorded there in nearly 20 years. (Vince Massimo)
Whilst in the poly-tunnel at Seaford Community Garden on our Wednesday morning session I rescued a very bedraggled Wall Brown from a spider's web. First sighting of a Wall here, I remember in the 1960's they were a very common species but latterly much rarer. (Bob Brown)
Thursday 09 August
After the rain came the sun and driving home from work I figured Mill Hill would be a good place to enjoy sunbathing butterflies. This proved to be the case, despite a strong wind. (Jonathan Crawford)
Think this is a Blue moon butterfly, llypolomnas Bolina, Eggfly. Male. Spotted it on my buddleia in my small Garden on the Folders Lane Estate near Ditchling Common. It spent most of afternoon flying around and settling on my shrubs.
Is this Butterfly native to this country? or do you think it flew in from across the channel? or maybe its escaped from captivity?
I think you are right, it is a male Blue Moon. Unfortunately not a Sussex species nor a natural immigrant. It is found from Madagascar eastwards to Australia so there is no chance that it got here of its own volition. For this reason we don't count it as a first sighting. Normally we get exotic Asian butterflies sighted near Chichester because there is a butterfly centre at Earnley, from which they occasionally escape. In this case I have no idea of its origin, but if someone else knows I am sure they will drop me a line. Still a fantastic thing to find in your garden. (Ed jnr)
As per Istvan Radi's post of Tuesday 24 July we were the couple he met who mentioned 2 sightings of Grayling outside of Deep Dene. Hope it is ok to send via this system? I have checked back via my sightings book and diary and one sighting was 4 August 2013, we found a Grayling on the path going up towards the top of Windover just as the path starts turning towards the top, away from Ewe Dene. We were very surprised and delighted to find one there. The other sighting was around the same year, but unfortunately as I wasn't there I didn't note it down. My partner runs regularly on a circuit up from the car park past the reservoir, up over the top to the trigpoint above the Long man where he saw a Grayling. He reckons it was about the same year. In the future, should we see anymore outside of Deep Dene, we will report and long may they continue and make, for some of us, a hard climb very worth it! (Kerry Baldwin)
Thanks Kerry, sightings of Grayling are so precious that we would love to hear about them both in Deep Dene and outside. 2013 was a hot summer too, and I wonder if they go over to the north face of Windover when it gets too hot in Deep Dean. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 08 August
I'm very upset to report that I have just found the caterpillars of Box moth (Cydalima perspectalis ) on one of the box trees in my garden on Hampden Road, Brighton. It's taken twenty five years for the tree to get to 9 foot high and apparently the caterpillars can defoliate the trees completely. The RHS garden website says the moth has only been found in Britain since 2008. (Tessa Pawsey)
It was not my intension to post any sightings today from St Leonards Forest, Horsham. Only a Wall Brown put in an appearance at the Dragon Seat (TQ2172 3187) which was really quite exciting. I've never seen one in the area before. So as I am now posting I may as well mention that there were also Common Blue, Brown Argus and Gatekeeper also at the Dragon Seat. Other butterflies included Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, plenty of Speckled Wood, Green-veined White as well as both Large and Small White. Also a very warn Silver-washed Fritillary. One Gatekeeper was Small Heath sized only when it opened its wings at rest did I realise. (Patrick Moore)
This afternoon I visited Roland Wood and Park Corner Heath. I made my way first to the Common Fleabane strip in the north-east corner of Roland Wood where I lucky to spot a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and a Wall Brown together with numerous Common Blues, Small Heaths and Meadow Browns. Close to the hut at Park Corner Heath I later spotted two further Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, which were very active and difficult to photograph. (Douglas Neve)
A quick tour of BCs site at Park Corner Heath and Rowland Wood to find Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. Many Common Blues in evidence, also Small Heaths and Meadow Browns, until we finally spotted the intended target at the back of the top field near the road/car park. Looking slightly tired, but still very active and the first time i've seen one in that location (normally see them on the heath itself). (Vincent Oates)
A short visit to Wild Park, Brighton this morning between 09:10-10:00 produced a Purple Hairstreak on the small oak tree near the (almost fully dried up) dew pond, a very small number of other butterflies and most importantly a few individuals of my target species for the day namely the Brown Hairstreak. At the location provided by Jamie I saw a very faded one on a tree and almost immediately two more on the neighboring tree. The latter two did not settle in sight so no photos of those, only a silhouette of one of them.
As for Batts Wood...when I got home and calmed down I did some research and apparently I was supposed to follow the Blue Arrow Bridleway from Witherenden Farm not the Yellow Arrow footpath. And I also should have mentioned that once in the Woods the paths are all good. But I attached a photo of the footpath leading into an impenetrable cornfield... (Istvan Radi)
Tuesday 07 August
No problems with access to Batts Wood from the footpaths from Witherenden Road. On 14 July we did the circular route from the footpath at Pound Bridge through Batts Wood and back onto Witherenden Road to the east. Plenty of butterflies in the long straight ride along the south edge of Batts Wood including at least 7 Silver-washed Fritillary. (Richard Farran)
Today I popped into Park Corner Heath-Rowland Wood on my way to Deep Dean. There was a single Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary next to the shed nectaring on the Heather. I managed one picture!
I then walked from Wilmington to Deep Dean via the summit of Wilmington Hill arriving about 12.30. It was hot, very hot with a distant rumble of thunder and cloud build up to the south. I found no Grayling for the first hour of zig-zagging.Then after the first rain shower two males appeared along the top bush line and after the following hail storm two flew down the slope. Only one further Grayling appeared, I left at around 15.30 before the next cloud bank arrived. Totals 2m, 1f, 2 un id. (Grayling seen in 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d. nothing in 1e, 1f, 2a and 2b). It seemed that numbers were building from mid afternoon onwards when the temperature dropped. However the weather failed me! (Patrick Moore)
Malling Down. From 13.30 - 17.00 hrs, 25 degrees. Lots of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Common Blues and Small Heaths. About 20 Silver-spotted Skippers, 30 Chalk-hill Blues, 3 Adonis Blues, 1 Small Copper, 1 Painted Lady, 3 Wall Browns, 4 Small Whites, 1 Large White, 7 Silver Y moths and a Wasp Spider. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Escaping the madness of the gas main replacement in Cuckfield if only for a few hours I arrived at the Burial Ground in Burgess Hill about 10.30. Unusually it is one of the few places where you can watch butterflies from the comfort of your car because it is in the 2 oaks in the car park where the hairstreak action could be witnessed. A few flew off southward but it was too hot to give chase. A gentleman joined me briefly and he left minutes before a Brown Hairstreak came into perfect view and on an adjacent branch Purple Hairstreak did the same. In vain i checked the other master trees as suggested previously by Dave Cook but did see some Small Coppers and Common Blues and plenty of Speckled Woods.
It was approaching noon when I arrived at Bachelors Farm in the searing heat. Drew a blank on hairstreaks but again a number of Common Blues and other usual suspects. The views towards the Downs are wonderful. A special thanks to Dave Cook for detailed maps of the master trees which cut out some unnecessary walking in the hot weather. (Martin Buck)
Those members who have visited my Storrington garden on Open Days will appreciate that I have a large deciduous hedge (on the southern border) that appears to somewhat unruly. I cut it back once a year in early August, and so I did today. Pausing to wipe the sweat from my brow a rather faded and tatty male Brown Hairstreak stopped by within 2-3 feet of me to say hello. Now that was very nice for that takes the total count for 2018 to 31 butterfly species. I believe that is a national record for a garden and am more then happy to be told otherwise, for then I will try harder to encourage more butterflies into the garden! I took a few photos yesterday of butterflies waking up in the meadow (plus a Holly Blue later on in the morning). (Martin Kalaher)
Having done my Big Butterfly Count at midday I was astonished to see this female Brown Hairstreak in my Ferring garden where it has been nectaring on solidago for several hours. My plot is about 10 minutes walk from the sea. I've planted several blackthorns so shall be examining the twigs later. Other firsts for the garden this year were Marbled White ovipositing in the meadow area on 26th June and ovipositing Large Skipper on 8th July. (Tim Freed)
Yesterday (6 August) I joined David Cook, Kirsty Gibbs and her (impressively patient) daughter for a Brown Hairstreak hunt around the Burgess Hill Green Circle. In all we saw the best part of a dozen males high in various master trees, with most being on the Burial Ground site. Four females were also seen in the master trees, with just one settling low in the shade of a Bramble for a few minutes. It wasn't until much later in the day that we finally found one egg-laying at the Batchelors Farm site. Brown Hairstreak males have behaved rather differently to last year, when unprecedented numbers of freshly emerged butterflies were photographed low down, particularly at Knepp; not so this year. The big difference in behaviour has clearly been driven by this year's lack of nectaring opportunities. Although (now faded) males are descending to feed on Hemp Agrimony (where present) as it comes into flower, the thistles had already seeded due to the intense heat, and the Fleabane flowers were already 'dry'. However, the behaviour of females has remained remarkably consistent. Although a handful of females have been seen in Sussex through late July, they have been freshly emerged individuals, soon retreating to the canopy. It is only now that the females are starting to egg-lay, to precisely the same timetable as in previous years. This has held true over the twenty year period surveyed by the 1990-1994 and 2010-2014 Sussex atlases; although we've seen some remarkably early males, the female Brown Hairstreak refuses to be hurried. Peak female activity is expected, as always, to be through mid and late August, but we should start to see a few more this week.
I then headed to our Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood reserves, where there are plenty of Common Blues and Small Coppers to be seen, together with the odd Wall and Painted Lady. However, my target was second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, of which I saw four (3m, 1f). I had to wait until 7.30 pm before they finally closed their wings. (Neil Hulme)
Falmer Station, Brighton: On the cycle to the gym I stopped by the Railway side to spot the following: (Philip Booker)
I was parked for a few minutes at the edge of Sheepcote Valley, on the edge of Brighton. (Philip Booker)
6 August 2018
An early afternoon truncated visit to the lower slopes off Mill Hill was just too uncomfortable with the excessive warmth and drenching humidity. In a one third of an acre transect, I found an unplanned count of 133+ lively male Adonis Blues, about 30+ Chalk Hill Blues including five brown females, 25+ Common Blues, 60+ Meadow Browns 15+ Gatekeepers 15+ Small Heaths, occasional Small Whites, four restless Clouded Yellows, two Wall Browns, a few Speckled Woods (over the southern steps) and a Treble-bar Moth. At one stage thirty Adonis Blues surrounded me. On the southern top of Mill Hill, there were occasionally more Chalk Hill Blues, Meadow Browns and a pyralid micro-moth: a Pyrausta despicata. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2018.html)
Monday 06 August
From 13.00 to 16.00 I plodded about on Weavers Down, vainly hoping for a Grayling to show. The habitat looked perfect to me - lots of short dry grass with much evidence of rabbit and mole. I did manage to see 11 butterfly species, including a Clouded Yellow, 52 Small Heath, 8 Small Copper, 65 Common Blue, 4 Brown Argus, 17 Gatekeeper, 120 Meadow Brown. (Lindsay Morris)
And thank you for visiting the last of the Atlas sites. That's all 60 accounted for in 2018, so we now know they Atlas authors didn't make any of the sites up! (Ed jnr)
A brief visit to Steyning Bostal chalk pit and adjacent downland this morning before the serious heat kicked in revealed an encouraging number of Wall Browns (maybe 10), plus a Painted Lady glowing in the sunshine. (John Woodward)
A most disappointing and frustrating visit to Batt's Wood (site No. 56). I walked from Stonegate but the public footpath is in such a bad shape that very often is doesn't actually exist. Several signs are removed and gates are locked so have to climb over or squeeze through next to it. Walkers don't seem to be welcome in this area... As for butterflies I have never seen such low numbers in an Atlas site. I counted 31 Speckled Woods, 6 Gatekeepers, 4 Meadow Browns, 1 Small White and 2 Large Whites. I don't think I will make the four-hours long round trip anytime soon again. The highlights were a few deer and two Nuthatches and an aerial display by 3 Buzzards. (Istvan Radi )
Sorry about that Istvan and thanks for the warning. It would be interesting to hear from any locals about access to the site. (Ed jnr)
Filby: hi i found this in my living room this morning , is it a moth or butterfly ? can you identefie it please (Moira Cox)
It is definitely a moth, probably a Large Emerald (Geometra papilionaria) and I have just discovered that Filby is in Norfolk, so we are both a little wiser today. We are a site for Sussex sightings but you can get assistance here https://www.norfolkmoths.co.uk/ (Ed jnr)
I visited to Rowland Wood & Park Corner Heath on a very hot Saturday morning. Nothing much doing at PCH except for a Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Rowland Wood was much better, 20-30 Common Blues, 1 Wall, 2 Brimstone, Large and Small Whites and 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries in Ride S. (Howard Wood)
I am guessing that it wasn't you who put "nothing good" in the sightings book on saturday! (Ed jnr)
Sunday 05 August
Val & I have been up in the north east for a bit and visited a Durham site where we were told we would have seen northern Brown Arguses if we'd been 3 or 4 weeks earlier. We were able to console ourselves with dark red helleborines instead which are so magnificent that I can't resist attaching a picture as they can't be seen down south. However, we did see what I'm now sure was a brand new ordinary Brown Argus (female) at Barnard Castle fairly nearby - I checked last night in the Butterflies of Sussex how to tell them from brown female Common Blues. This turned out to be very useful today when we visited family who have recently moved into a house in East Preston which is virtually in the country and has a garden well protected by trees and shrubs. In quite a short time we saw Small Whites, Large Whites, a Comma, a Red Admiral, several Speckled Woods, a Gatekeeper, a Meadow Brown, 3 Holly Blues and best of all a female Brown Argus nectaring on golden rod. Having so recently revised the identification features I was able to nail it before an annoying bee disturbed it and thwarted my attempt to get a decent photo. I was luckier with one of the Speckled Woods. (John & Val Heys)
Rushed up to Cissbury this afternoon to look for the phone I lost there on Friday. I found it, along with 3 Brown Hairstreak, 2 in the south east part of the moat and one near the top of Tenants Hill. They were all very faded and on Hemp Agrimony. 2 Humming-bird Hawk-moth, a hornet, 7 Small Copper etc, but no Clouded Yellow today. (Lindsay Morris)
I tramped over Chantry Hill today and between "the Hill" and my garden recorded 20 butterfly species as follows: Silver-spotted Skipper (35), Dingy Skipper (1), Clouded Yellow (1), Brimstone (1f), Large White (many), Small White (many), Green-veined White (3), Small Copper (4), Brown Argus (350), Common Blue (500+), Chalk Hill Blue (35), Holly Blue (2), Red Admiral (1), Painted Lady (1), Comma (2), Speckled Wood (20), Wall Brown (3), Gatekeeper(6), Meadow Brown (500+), Small Heath (150). With so many comments about high numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers I expected more, the second-brood Dingy Skipper was a first record for me and the Clouded Yellow my first for the year. I usually see 1-2 Speckled Wood on this walk, so 20 or so was a lot. Everywhere there was a combination of sunshine and shade there was another one (on the walk to Chantry, not on Chantry itself). No Fritillaries seen. At home, one of the delights is in the early evening when there are so many "Blues" roosting. Two evenings ago there were 12 Common Blues, 5 Brown Argus and a Small Copper. They like the seed heads of Ox-eye Daisy. (Martin Kalaher)
There was an influx in Hampshire of Clouded Yellows on the 31st we found 10 in Wiltshire and 6 here in Hampshire I mention in order to alert observers. (Ted Raynor)
Thanks Ted, we are beginning to have them reported here too. (Ed jnr)
At least 30 Silver-spotted Skippers around Horseshoe Plantation (TV 56087 95866), Belle Tout, this morning including five that were down beside the main path. Additionally, nine were seen in short grassland on the west side of the car park at Shooters Bottom (TV 57381 95571). Photo attached of one that might be described as suffering a 'bad hair day'. Also in the area were three Wall Browns, one Small Copper, and two Small Skippers (looking very worn). On Went Hill near Birling Gap (TV 55141 96613) there was a Painted Lady and what appeared at times to be 'clouds' of Common Blues. (Simon Linington)
Istvan and I got up to Deep Dean around eight thirty this morning, having seen two Humming-bird Hawk-moths on the South Downs Way as we climbed up. We quickly found two female Graylings near the top of the south facing slope, both in scrapes. Not long afterwards a couple from Essex showed us the scrape where they had seen a male Grayling. It was their sixth trip to Deep Dean and their first Grayling. We were soon joined by Mark and Ian Cadey and together we surveyed the entire south facing slope, finding only one more male Grayling, once more in a scrape. We then surveyed the north facing slope which was full of butterflies but no Grayling. Highlights were one Dark Green Fritillary, one Clouded Yellow, a few Small Coppers and Wall Browns, and plenty of Silver-spotted Skippers and Chalk Hill Blues. At the bottom of the valley Common Blues were also abundant.
Female Grayling TQ 54318 03119
Female Grayling TQ 54355 03151
Male Grayling TQ 54438 03189
Male Grayling TQ 54239 02912
Leaving Deep Dean we checked out the scrapings on Windover Hill for Grayling and drew a blank. However we did find large numbers of Wall Browns. We were also disappointed to discover the Long Man of Wilmington is made out of painted breeze blocks which was apparently done in 1969, replacing Victorian brickwork.
On the way back Istvan and I called in at Park Corner Heath and almost immediately saw a single Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary in front of the shed. It was hot and the butterfly declined to be photographed.
Tried to beat the heat with a morning walk at Batchelors Farm but failed - glad I took some water with me. Thanks to David in an earlier post for pointing out the best places to search for the Brown Hairstreaks. I saw a few and finally found one who was willing to perch for a while in the open albeit at some height. There were a few Common Blues, Small Coppers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and whites around also. (Paul Sharman https://paulsharmanoutdoors.com)
I too went to Mill Hill yesterday morning, and good to bump into Jonathan Crawford and, as a newcomer to Sussex, get some gen about some of the local sites. My sightings were similar, but did also see a solitary 2nd-brood Dingy Skipper. Got home to find this Painted Lady in my Steyning Garden. (Ray Baker)
A Brown Argus flew into our conservatory in the hamlet of Gay Street, near Pulborough, on 4 August. This is only the second year I have seen the Brown Argus here (the first was last year) and we are hoping our wild-flower meadow is the reason. A moth also flew into the conservatory and after buzzing around for a few minutes, settled long enough for me to photograph it. After looking through my 'Britain's Day-Flying Moths' book, I am unable to identify it and am hoping someone with more knowledge than me is able to tell me what it is, please? Could it be a night-flying moth that was disturbed? (Chris Page http://www.g4bue.co.uk/Butterflies/)
Having seen two Humming-bird hawk-moths today, my first thought is that this what your moth is.The only thing that seems different from the standard pictures is the red patch on the back of the head, which have been caused by attempting to leave the conservatory. Anybody else got any thoughts? (Ed jnr)
Silver Spotted Skippers seem to be having a good year. I only saw them twice at this site last year and they seemed to be much more localised than yesterday when I found my first one right at the bottom of the hill, almost by the car park. TQ 43268 11405 (Harry Mole https://www.instagram.com/wannabephotoguy)
An over wheeling number of blues (common, chalkhill and Adonis) at Castle Hill yesterday including this doubly aberrant chalkhill. Plus at least 8 Wall, 1 Dark Green Fritillary, a few Small Heath and one very battered old Small Copper. (Harry Mole Https://www.instagram.com/wannabephotoguy)
I am guessing "over wheeling" is a spellcheck error as "overwhelming" probably makes more sense. However I see my role as editor largely restricted to correcting spelling mistakes in butterfly names (i.e. Chalk Hill Blue) so have left it as it is. (Ed jnr)
Saturday 04 August
This afternoon I visited Kithurst Meadow then walked a loop via Medley Bottom and North Stoke. Highlights included Adonis Blue (not huge numbers but several at Kithurst and more at Medley), Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Large, Small and Green-veined White, some very small Brown Argus at Medley. Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Peacock and Comma at South Stoke. A helice Clouded Yellow failed to stop for a proper photo, There were also Brimstone, Small Skipper, Small Heath, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper. (Patrick Moore)
An early and shortened 'beat the heat' walk from Litlington alongside Lullington Heath had four Wall Browns amongst the usual downland butterflies. Lovely to see a Humming-bird Hawk-moth egg laying on a white flowered bedstraw. Later while having a swim at the beach in Bishopstone on the way home we were cheered to see a Painted Lady flying in from the sea. Such a feat of endurance for such a flimsy seeming creature to migrate so far. (Tessa Pawsey)
It seems along with others that I'm seeing regular Common Blues in our Crawley garden this summer,including both male and females this afternoon.still several Holly Blues and Small Whites too.And loads of Mint moths. (Alastair Gray)
Did the transect at Anchor Bottom this morning. Nearly six hundred butterflies, though unfortunately most of them were Meadow Browns. An earlier trip to Mill Hill led me to hope that Anchor Botttom might put in a good show for Adonis Blues, but these were somewhat muted with only 99 recorded. I did see a Clouded Yellow, my 44th Sussex Species of the year. Other highlights were a pair of mating Wall Browns and quite a few Brown Argus.
After that i went to Burgess Hill to look for Brown Hairstreaks. It was hot and there was little moving except the Common Blues on feebane in the meadows. Back at the Burial Ground car park where I had spotted hairstreaks last year in an oak, I noticed one again. I hung around a while. They were flying briefly but always landing out of the sun and out of sight. At one point the sun was obscured by a cloud and I counted six. In addition there were three Purple Hairstreaks in the same tree.
The Brown Hairstreak was the 45th Sussex species for me this year. Once again the only one I am missing is the Wood White, which is too precious to visit. Whilst on the subject, I spoke to Margaret Hibbard, species champion, earlier in the week. She told me that the second brood Wood Whites were doing really well and unusually were showing in larger numbers than the first brood. She also mentioned that she had found three Wood Whites in a place they had never been recorded before so it looks like they are pushing out. (Jonathan Crawford)
This afternoon I went over to Rowland Wood, and found the most magnificent, fresh and scale perfect Painted Lady I have ever seen. This specimen is surely ' home grown ' , and not from across the Channel, to be in such fine condition.(Trevor Rapley)
I expect you are right Trevor. However I do remember the Mount Caburn Swallowtail incident earlier this year, where Mr Hulme suggested that a butterfly could cross the channel and still look immaculate. (Ed jnr)
I went looking for the Brown Hairstreak at the Knepp estate and Steyning rifle range today but no luck at either, just these less exotic beauties. (John Williams)
Had a lovely cycle ride on the West Grinstead Downs Link (Atlas site 46 tick!) from Copsale to Henfield and back in the sunshine today with my youngest son. It could be renamed Speckled Wood Link as it has the perfect dappled light and we counted over 30. Also over 20 Large Whites, about 6 or so Silver-washed Fritillaries, one Brown Hairstreak, two Common Blues, one Red Admiral, one Comma, two Small Whites and two Meadow Browns (plus one deer!). It is a lovely path and was a railway line so is very flat. I can also recommend the Cat and Canary pub in Henfield (which is right on the Downs Link) for its food, drink and friendly staff! No pics as camera currently kaput. (Tony Gould)
/Thanks Tony. Only two left now. Weavers Down at the extreme west of end of Sussex and Batts Wood at the extreme east. Perhaps we are all just centrists at heart. (Ed jnr)
There have been 19 different butterfly species in my Storrington garden over the past 4-5 days, with Speckled Wood and male Chalkhill Blue adding to the list, today. This is only the second time I have recorded a Chalkhill blue, the first record on 28/07/2014. This year there have been five "Blues" in the garden - Common Blue, Holly Blue and Brown Argus as "residents" and Small Blue and Chalkhill Blue as "visitors". I have so much Kidney Vetch in the borders of the meadow I am hoping for a breeding colony of Small Blue. I am working on it! In 2018 I have recorded 30 butterfly species in the garden, which equals last years total. I am awaiting Brown Hairstreak and Clouded Yellow. Note that this butterfly is nectaring on Ragwort, a plant that may do harm if in a hay mix but otherwise is an important wildflower for many of our insect species. (Martin Kalaher)
My first Brown Hairstreak of the year on the west side of Rusper Road playing fields, Crawley. It was in high up in an Ash master tree at TQ24603 37064 where they are regularly seen every year. Meanwhile, in my Crawley garden I have had visits most days of this week from Common Blues which is unusual. Also reporting that a new transect has been set up on land controlled by Gatwick Airport, east of the railway line. It basically follows a line around the Y-shaped lagoon at the water treatment works there. Species have included White Admiral (now finished), Silver-washed Fritillary and White-letter Hairstreak, but a reminder that, whilst presently in Sussex, all transect records are submitted to Surrey because the site is in Vice-county 17 for recording purposes. (Vince Massimo)
Barrie Puttock 1 Wall Brown Knepp Castle Estate TQ 1428 2041 (Barrie Puttock)
1 Grayling Windover Hill 50.80946, 50.80946 (TQ 54044 03376)
1 Grayling Windover Hill 50.80833, 0.18514 (TQ 54055 03250)
The time was 14:39 and the temperature was about 30C. The time for the second sighting was 14:45 temperature was similar. Please note that both of these sighting were on the South Downs Way track. (Barrie Puttock)
An early morning walk around Rowland Wood and we found several Common Blues, including a few still roosting which was nice, time for a close study. Lots of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Small Heaths. 1 Ringlet, Large White, green veined white, a Speckled Wood, a Dark Green Fritillary, 2 Silver Y moths and the highlight - a Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary. Not bad for a ‘beat the heat’ walk! (Kerry Baldwin)
Apart from the Fritillary, these are a few of the butterflies which have regularly visited my Bexhill garden in the last week. (I’ve Recently joined BC and happy to be here! ) (Maria)
And we are happy to have you here too. (Ed jnr)
Friday 03 August
I went to see the Kittiwakes at Splash Point, Seaford today and then ventured up Seaford Head and walked over to Hope Gap, roundabout and back. There were plenty of Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Gatekeepers, Common Blues, Chalk Hill Blues, Small Whites, a Painted Lady and a Clouded Yellow en route. I saw a couple of Wall Browns at the Head and the Gap ends, also Small Copper and Brown Argus at Hope Gap. A glorious walk on a beautiful summer's day. (Anna Grist)
Whilst visiting friends, in Fernhurst I took a walk around the local cricket and football pitch. Plenty of Large and Small Whites, Meadow Browns and dancing around the trees, some Comma butterflies who eventually slowed down and allowed me a close up . Martin Neil (Martin Neil)
I was very pleased to see a female Wall Brown on my allotment today on Whitehawk Hill Road in east Brighton today. That seems pathetic compared to Lindsay's wonderful sightings but as I have'nt seen one here for ages I reassured to think that they are still hanging on on my patch. (tessa pawsey)
I have recorded 17 butterfly species in the garden over the past 3-4 days. The most unusual (I suppose) was a Silver-washed Fritillary, which flew past me heading south. For this year, just as unusual, was a Small Tortoiseshell, which was nectaring on Buddleia yesterday. Remarkably, this is only the second garden Small Tortoiseshell I have seen this year, the first of which was on April 17th. I was out all day but on my return managed to find an egg-laying Common Blue. (Martin Kalaher)
At last a Painted Lady spent some time in the garden (Theobalds Road, Burgess Hill), browsing on the Verbena bonariensis. A Common Blue turned up when I was photographing the Painted Lady! (John Prodger)
Only 18 butterfly species see on a circular walk from Lyons Farm via the southern area of Cissbury Ring, but happy to see at least 5 Clouded Yellow, 28 Wall Brown, 65 Silver-spotted Skipper, 6 Small Copper, 66 Small Heath, over 200 Common Blue, 4 Painted Lady, Humming-bird Hawk-moth. (Lindsay Morris)
Due to some train cancellations I only got up to Deep Dene around 10:30 today and as Ed.jnr already mentioned it I didn't find any Graylings in areas 1A,1B,1C and 1F despite checking every patch of bare ground. I also noticed the very high number of Silver-spotted Skippers. Last time I was up at Ewe Dean there was lots of them there but I didn't notice any in Deep Dene. It looks like they spread successfully. I wish the Graylings would follow suit. Unlucky for me there are plenty of "big fat" Wasp Spiders on the slope. I also found some bigger moths of which one I think is a Clouded Buff but I cannot find the other one in my guide book. Any ideas? On my way back to the station I had a little detour to check 2B but no Graylings there either. A good number of other butterfly species otherwise. (Istvan Radi)
An early morning visit to Rowland wood found many roosting Common Blues.Despite the strengthening sun they were still in the same position as last evening. As well as many fading Gatekeepers, some fresh Small Heaths were present. I found one battered Butterfly fluttering in an Oak, it took several guesses as to what it might be. I finally settled on a Female Silver-washed Fritillary. She still had the Command of flight and shot off at high speed. Several female Brimstones were seen on Thistle flowers. No second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were found. (Trevor Rapley)
On the 2nd of August I made it up to Deep Dene for a couple of hours to see how the Grayling were doing. It quickly became evident that they are now in their final stages. I walked the main escarpment from one end to the other. I didn't see a single Grayling, although with camouflage as good as that anyone could easily miss a few! My technique was to try and spot any on the wing, and cast my shadow over as many scrapes or rabbit burrows as possible. Having failed to find any on the escarpment I wondered along the scrub line at the top where I finally saw one. Knowing that in previous years Grayling usually decamp from the escarpment near the end of their flight season on to the top of Windover Hill I made my way to the chalk path where I found a further two very worn individuals, one of which escaped my lens making a count three in total. The most notable sight at Deep Dene were the incredible numbers of Silver Spotted Skippers, probably the most I have ever seen there. I then went onto Rowland Wood PCH where I saw three - possibly four second brood Small-pearl Bordered Fritillaries. By now the temperature was approaching 30 degrees and the Fritillaries were not stopping. (James A)
I am glad you saw some Grayling yesterday. Istvan has just been up there and drew a blank today which is worrying. We are going there for 9am on Sunday morning if anyone wants to join us. (Ed jnr)
On my morning walk with the dog along the Adur I saw three Brown Argus and a Wall Brown by the river near the A23 flyover.
First time I have ever seen these by the river, normally because it is too early for butterflies. But today it was 23C. There was also the smallest male Common Blue I have ever seen. About the size of my little finger nail. (Jonathan Crawford)
I must get out of the habit of pressing "Enter" after I've inserted a picture! Now where was I? Ah yes, and plenty of Speckled Woods in the shaded path areas. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Indeed. But glad to see you made the effort to complete the post. (Ed jnr)
Burgess Hill Green Circle (Burial Ground Region). From 10.00 am to 12.00 pm, 25 degrees C. Unsuccessful hunt for Brown Hairstreaks. However, 1 Small Copper, 1 Brimstone (Male), 1 Red Admiral, 2 Commas, 1 completely knackered Purple Hairstreak, several Large Whites, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadown Browns, Common Blues and Brown Argus. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
On a walk this morning over the area covered by my old Bevendean B Transect that includes Cardboard Hill and the seldom visited area between The Avenue and Bevendean Crescent I saw a Humming-bird Hawk-moth Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, a Ringlet, Brown Argus, Common Blues, and lots of Chalk Hill Blues, a few Speckled Wood, a Small Copper, and a few Small Heath and Large and Small Whites and a big fat Wasp Spider. (Geoff Stevens)
2 brief, Brown Hairstreak sightings today at Batchelors Farm Nature Reserve. Here’s a short clip of an ovipositing female.
Seaford East Sussex: Speckled Wood butterfly (Linda Lammiman)
Several Wall Brown egg laying observed today at High and Over. Seeing one in a scrape, obviously looking to lay, I was surprised to find 2 eggs left next to each other on a Dandelion Clock. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
On Monday 30th July I was visiting my sons at Wick Street Farm and took the opportunity of carrying out a Big Butterfly count with one of my sons who is aiming to encourage butterflies on the property. We located 17 species of butterfly and one Humming-bird Hawk-moth. We were delighted to find two Walls, but were disappointed that there was not a single Peacock to be seen on the 21 acre site. There are Purple Hairstreaks flying round a number of the large oak trees on the farm but there was two much wind to be able to observe them while I was there. The extensive clumps of Fleabane on the site are an excellent source of nectar as will be seen from the pictures I took. (Michael Pitt-Payne)
Thursday 02 August
On a walk into Hogs Trough Bevendean, after pushing through rather a lot grazing cattle there were still plenty of Common Blues and Meadow Browns but the chalkhill blues were fewer fewer and looking rather worn but there were good numbers of second brood adonis also seen were Small Heaths, Brown Argus, gate keepers, various whites and Speckled Woods, 6 spot burnet moth and a Silver Y moth. (Geoff Stevens)
Northiam: I didn't take a picture but on investigation it was definitely a hummingbird moth hovering above a large clump of phlox. (Rosina Adkins)
Late afternoon a female Wall Brown suddenly appeared on the Buddleia in the garden nectaring. 2 Humming-bird Hawk-moths also here on and off during the day. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
With reports from the Lancing area of large numbers of Wall Brown, (Thanks Lindsay), I ventured out to do a very quick walk around the 4 mile circuit of Frog Firle. I had to abort twice last week which was a shame as it was evident today that numbers are almost certainly past peak with most of the butterflies looking past their best!! One of the problems with a long hot spell is where they complete their life-cycle in double quick time!! Some areas of the walk were down more than I would have hoped. The Comp for instance has suffered this year from heavy farm traffic, occasionally also some dreaded chemicals for spraying on the crops has gone along there which I'm sure hasn't been beneficial to human or butterfly!! Wall Brown certainly do not respond well to this type of disturbance which is possibly one of the reasons they are struggling nationwide.
Having said all that I still had my 3rd best count since I started doing this in 2009 with a count of 85 (30 down on 2017) so I was well pleased really. I just hope that there is enough good quality grass for the young larva to feed on.
Other species seen were good numbers along Cradle Valley of Silver-spotted Skipper and Chalk Hill Blue, however, our local Adonis Blues were conspicuous by their absence!! (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
"The Pride of Sussex", our county flower is flowering now on the South Downs and buterflies like Silver-spotted Skippers are flying too. Lots more pics at https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/ (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
Butterflies seen around Frant- On the Buddleia-Butterfly Tree near the disabled car parking space at the Church 2 Painted Lady, a Comma and a Peacock. 4 Speckled Wood around the Churchyard. A Common Blue in the grass opposite the Memorial Hall.
Visits to Hargate Forest have been curtailed due to incidents highlighted in the press recently. If any member needs more details please email me. (Janet Wilkes)
For those of you who are perhaps not up to date with the local news from Tunbridge Wells, a serial "flasher" has struck seven times in Hargate Woods recently and remains on the loose. (Ed jnr)
The slopes immediately west of Horseshoe Plantation, Belle Tout near Birling Gap were alive with downland butterflies this morning. In an area not much more than 100m x 100m we estimated that we'd seen 200+ Chalkhill Blues, 100+ Common Blues, 50+ Silver-spotted Skippers plus a supporting cast of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Whites, Small Heath, Small Copper (1) and Wall (1). Additionally, there was a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. On the edge of the plantation were Brown Argus (1), Green-veined White (1), Commas (about 3) and a few Speckled Woods plus a Southern Hawker dragonfly. (Simon Linington & John Gowers)
I went for a walk around Mill Hill nature reserve this weekend and found....a go pro camera and power bank! If you've lost it, or know friend who has get in touch! I've charged it back up and can see who it belongs to but don't know who you are! Please like and share! (Mat Armstrong https://www.facebook.com/groups/MillHill/search/?query=go%20pro%20camera%20)
Wednesday 01 August
A search of Highdown Hill revealed only 18 species of butterfly. Unable to locate any species that would have got me excited (such as Silver-spotted Skipper, Brown Hairstreak, Adonis Blue, Chalk Hill Blue etc.) but that's butterflying! 115 Common Blue, 52 Small Heath, 7 Holly Blue, 6 Painted Lady were notable. The café has sadly closed down. (Lindsay Morris)
I walked from Milton Street to Windover Hill and Deep Dean this afternoon to look for Grayling again. I walked virtually the same zig-zag path as last week and encountered 4 females, 4 males and 3 unidentified Grayling. Two females were egg laying. Regards to all I met on the hill and I hope they found what they were after. There were also another 16 species of butterfly to be seen in the area, so well worth a visit. (Ed, I will email further details) (Patrick Moore)
Today (1 August) I started at Deep Dean, to continue monitoring Grayling numbers. With the help of several others I struggled to a deeply worrying tally of three (2m, 1f), all of which were quite old butterflies. The Sussex Grayling is in serious trouble, so any further sightings would be most welcome, and vital in determining just how critical the situation is. There's plenty more to enjoy up there, including numerous Silver-spotted Skippers and the first second brood Adonis Blues, so it's still well worth a visit.
Things were considerably better on the Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood reserves, where I recorded a wide variety of species (25), including Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (5, including 3 egg-laying females), Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Wall, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Small Copper, Purple Hairstreak, Holly Blue, Common Blue and Brown Argus. Two female Oak Eggar moths were sitting quietly on vegetation, while several males were seen flying at high speed. (Neil Hulme)
1 August 2018. I cycled up to Mill Hill about midday for the annual count of Chalkhill Blues on the fixed one acre transect on the lower slopes.The 30 minute count recorded 51 male Chalkhill Blues. This was a very low day count but not the worst recorded which was 30 in 2016. They were even outnumbered by male Adonis Blues which were counted at 58. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2018.html#1August)
Regular visitors to these pages will recall my postings from last year referencing the conservation work done by Burgess Hill Town Council to protect and increase the numbers of Brown Hairstreak at Batchelors Farm Nature Reserve on the south side of Burgess Hill. It’s still early days but numbers I’ve seen in this area are definitely responding well. Here’s another female seen today, unusually at 17:10pm.
It’s a pleasant walk for anyone who fancies having a look around. Check out the Blackthorn hedges between the markers on the map shown here and also the Ash, Oak and Field Maple master trees.
Easy access and parking at TQ 31200 17908. Follow the path to the pond and turn left and over the railway bridge. Batchelors Farm is directly in front of you with the Water Tower in the distant field. (David Cook)
About three hours walking deepdene this morning covering areas 1a,1b, 1c and 1d in the company of Neil I found only one female Grayling hiding in the scrub in area1c near the top of that area.Quite a few walls on the way down. I then joined Neil in Rowlands wood where we observed several SPBs both male and female quite active. I also found a lovely little Viper. (Peter Jarman)
In the extreme heat last week the meadow was brimming with beautiful butterflies...fritillary , whites, Brimstones, skippers , Meadow Browns and many blues. And many beautiful Chalk Hill Blues like this one. (Kirsty Gibbs)
This rather tatty two spotted Meadow Brown could not keep away from the mint growing next to our pond (off Theobalds Road, Burgess Hill), last Tuesday. (John Prodger)
Morning walk on Harting Down Today (1 Aug) Lots of Common Blue Meadow Brown Small Heath 3Brimstone Red Admiral Peacock, 6 silver washed fritillary 2 Speckled Wood 4 Large White Green Veined White lots of Small White Clouded Yellow 6 Gatekeeper Small Tortoiseshell (Ian Thomas)
Three Painted Ladies were feeding on one of my Buddleia bushes at the same time at around 9 o`clock this morning. During the day I have also seen a number of Small Whites, a few Meadow Browns and 1 each of Gatekeeper, Large White, Common Blue, and a second Wall this year in my Seaford garden. (Stuart Ridley)
In my back garden in Hailsham on a large patch of fleabane, this afternoon I have a female Common Blue. First time I have seen this butterfly in my garden so very happy! (Kerry Baldwin)
My thanks to Paul Atkin for reporting the Wall Browns he saw at Tide Mills. This is an area of particular interest as the butterfly was once numerous here, but in recent years has all but vanished. I did start to get reports last year of their return from a few people, although what the impact for them will be once the concrete blocking factory arrives we will have to wait and see.
I am also interested if anyone sees any Wall Brown the other side of the railway line on the Ouse Estuary Project. This also was once a very good site for them. (Bob Eade - Wall brown Species Champion http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
On the turn of the month, the Chalkhill Blues were expected to reach peak numbers on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but for the fifteenth successive year the numbers have been terribly disappointing. Under a cloudy sky, a third of an acre transect at the northern end of the lower slopes recorded an estimated (part counted) 60 blue males and two brown females with not many more than a hundred seen over the hill. Adonis Blues were about 30, but of the twelve species of butterflies seen the ubiquitous Meadow Browns led the way with 400 seen and many more hidden. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2018.html#31July)
The garden is well and truly entering its end-of-season quiet phase. The recent high winds and heavy rain battered the meadow and scattered more-or-less all the flower seed that was waiting to drop. There are still butterflies to see and pursue with a camera but there are fewer opportunities. One of the little games I like to play at this time of the year is to see how many different female Common Blues I can photograph. I am fascinated by the colour variation. One of the photos shows a very pale individual. Initially, I thought it was just faded but since there is very little wear of the hairs of the white outer border I changed my mind and decided that it more-or-less emerged that way. In my articles on wildlife gardening I have mentioned that Musk Mallow is a lovely wildflower for both the meadow and the herbaceous border. However, looking through my photo albums I realised that I had never managed to photograph a butterfly nectaring on the flower head. This year I have been more successful as I realise that Brown Argus and Common Blue are both regular visitors (if other preferred flowers are not available). The other characteristic of Musk Mallow is that it is not fazed by high winds and heavy rain and remains proudly upright when storms have petered out. We often talk about the resilience of butterflies and after the weekend I thought the meadow butterfly numbers would have plummeted but not a bit of it and as soon as it brightened up there were around 5 male Common Blues, 4 female Common Blues and 3-4 Brown Argus - all going back to their business as if nothing had happened. (Martin Kalaher)
Tuesday 31 July
A morning wander on Malling Down found amongst dozens of Chalk hill & Common Blues my first second Gen Adonis of the year. Also lots of Silver-spotted Skipper (50+ over the whole sight observed). Walls, Meadow Browns, Small Heath, Brown Argus, a single Small Copper, fresh Painted Lady & all 3 Whites also seen.
A slight detour home via Newhaven Tidemills (looking for Clouded Yellows mainly) found more Small Heath, Common Blues, Red Admirals and the surprise appearance of at least 3 Walls (1.2). Not sure if Walls have ever been recorded here before but 1 of the females was definitely in laying mode. 1 M&F seen here TQ45880025, 2nd F seen here TQ45440044. Finished the day with a Hummungbird Hawkmoth as I was leaving (Paul Atkin)
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
This morning I checked Fairmile Bottom and saw Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Small Heaths, Gatekeepers, Painted Ladies, Large Whites. moths seen: Straw Dot, Satyr Pug larva (Eupithecia satyrata) on Slender Knapweed, Common Purple and Gold, V-Pug larva (Chloroclystis v-ata) on Hemp Agrimony, Light Brown Apple Moth, Red Piercer (Lathronympha strigana). Later I visited Kithurst Meadow where I saw Silver-washed Fritillaries, Small Whites, Large Whites, Common Blues, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Clouded Yellow, Commas, Red Admirals, Brimstones, a Small Copper, Brown Argus and a female Long-tailed Ichneumon wasp (Gasteruption jaculator). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Humming-bird Hawk-moth. I have seen this today feeding on Verbena and a Buddleja
I met up with Trevor Rapley today to do a thorough search of the Blackthorn hedges around the Burgess Hill Burial Ground on the west side of town. The early signs looked promising in the oaks by the car park (marked red) with males seen dicing with Purple Hairstreaks high up. Following the path in a northerly direction, headed towards point 1 on the map, as this was a bit of a hot spot last year. A couple of possibles in the Ash and a brief encounter with a female low down. We made our way around to point 3 (just visible) and here found an Oak and Ash master tree that had several males again dicing with Purple Hairstreak. I also found a female in the scrub in front of this area at point 5.
We checked most of the fleabane on our walk but only found Common Blue, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Small Whites, Gatekeeper and Meadow Browns nectaring. (David Cook)
A walk up and around Lancing Ring and Steep Down was made glorious by 110 Wall Brown. Full support was given by 2 Brown Hairstreak nectaring on hemp agrimony, 2 Clouded Yellow (one a delicious helice), 5 Painted Lady, 2 Hummingbird Hawk-Moth. 19 species of butterfly seen including that current rarity a Small Tortoiseshell. Couldn't find any Adonis Blue yet and the everlasting pea was devoid of diminutive blue migrants. (Lindsay Morris)
This is a correction to yesterdays sightings. It was a Common Blue that I should have reported not a Small Blue. (another senior moment......worrying!) (Stuart Ridley)
Thanks Stuart.When you don't worry, it's the time to worry (Ed jnr)
A fresh male Clouded Yellow alongside the Northern Perimeter Road at Gatwick this morning. (Vince Massimo)
A good day butterfly spotting in my semi-wild garden in Lewes: Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Comma and Small White made up the current crew of regular sightings. In addition there were 2 Brown Argus (clearly distinguishable from the female Common Blue also present) flitting around the wild geranium and to cap it all a lovely fresh Clouded Yellow on buddleia.
Also watched a Humming-bird Hawk-moth on buddleia outside the Linklater Pavilion in Lewes this morning. That's the 5th sighting this year in Lewes this year. (Ray Pyne)
Monday 30 July
These sightings were all in the Woodingdean Castle Hill Nature Reserve area
Small Skipper (I think?) (Philip Booker https://1drv.ms/f/s!ArU6MTVhfwxBhfhFdLlKyo02yyJYTw)
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
During a walk in Houghton Forest this afternoon I saw worn male and female Silver-washed Fritillaries, Green-veined White, Large and Small Whites, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, 4th instar Comma larvae on nettle and a White-spotted Pug larva on an umbellifer. Plus Silver Y and Pearl Veneer moths. Also seen: a lacewing larva, leafhoppers (Evacanthus interruptus and Eupteryx urticae), and Mirid bugs (Liocoris tripustulatus and Plagiognathus arbustorum). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
After the very wet and windy weekend I was surprised to see 9 different species in my Seaford garden this afternoon, namely several Small Whites 2 Meadow Browns and one each of Gatekeeper, Brown Argus, Large White, Painted Lady, Small Blue, Wall and Speckled Wood. The latter 2 are not frequent visitors to the garden but nice to see them. (Stuart Ridley)
Dark Arches, Apamea monoglypha - dead on my bedroom floor.
(Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.co.uk/)
Sunday 29 July
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
Before the rains came we had many visitors to our balcony the past week including a new one - Small Grey (Eudonia mercurella). Others included Blastobasis vittata, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brimstone Moth, Brown House Moth, Channel Islands Pug, Cloaked Minor, Common Wainscot, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer, Knot Grass, Light Brown Apple Moth, Marbled Beauty, Marbled Green, Meal Moth, Silver Y, Small Purple and Gold aka Mint Moth, Twenty-plume Moth, Waste Grass-veneer, Yponomeuta species. (Colin Knight)
In the middle of Orange Tip season I purchased a new pair of walking trousers which are supposed to be waterproof. As I left to test them this afternoon in St Leonards Forest, Horsham; "Take a camera dad, you never know" was the shout from the family. I'm glad I did for despite high winds and driving rain I found a group of Common Blue sitting it out at the "Dragon Seat". Rather odd taking pictures of butterflies in the teeming rain I have to say. The trousers worked well. (Patrick Moore)
I visited Kithurst meadow on my way back from a camera sensor cleaning course at Cameracal, West Chiltington yesterday afternoon. Plenty of butterflies seen and a few moths, including Chalk Hill Blues, Brown Argus and Straw Dots (Rivula sericealis). I hope they are well hunkered down today! (Colin Knight)
Saturday 28 July
On Thursday (26 July) I paid another visit to Deep Dean (Windover Hill, Wilmington) to monitor the ailing population of chalk-based Sussex Grayling, where I joined forces with Patrick Moore and Lindsay Morris. Between us, we could muster no more than 8 individuals (all male), although the butterflies were clearly doing their best to hide from us (and the heat) in rabbit holes, scrapes and shrubs. I'm hoping that the subsequent rain will trigger a substantial emergence of particularly females, but observations over the last two weeks give cause for real concern. The chance meeting with Tim Squire (SDNPA) allowed us a useful opportunity to discuss habitat management issues on site, as it is becoming a little clearer where some of the problems may lie.
As I made my final ascent of the steep slope I flushed what I initially thought was a mating pair of Silver-spotted Skippers, but it soon became apparent that this male skipper hadn't been as lucky as first appeared; a rare Downland Robberfly had the hapless butterfly in a Vulcan death grip.
I then visited the BC Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood reserves where, among many other butterflies, I spotted a second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. My fears for any breeding opportunities for a second brood were somewhat alleviated the following day, when a trip to Drusillas Park with the kids ended with a rain storm, which swept over the area.
My final stop on Thursday was at the Knepp Wildland, which seemed strangely quiet after recent weeks. I toured most of the hotspots which have given so much pleasure since mid June, during the best Purple Emperor season I've ever experienced, and may ever experience. I saw just one reasonably conditioned female and a fragment of a male. Time to say goodbye for another year. (Neil Hulme)
With all the national first sightings in for 2018, Sussex has once again topped the provisional county list. Last year we had seven national firsts. This year we managed an astounding ten, which was far more than anywhere else and probably a record. In fact if Mr. Hulme had his way it would be eleven as Head Office don't count the Large Tortoiseshell and he does.
2018 Leaderboard Sussex 10 Derbyshire 6 Cumbria 4 Devon 4 Hampshire 3 Norfolk 3 Oxfordshire 3 Cornwall 3
Already too warm by 11:00 am yesterday , the butterflies were all very active on Mill Hill. Fourteen species of butterfly were spotted including 47 Chalkhill Blues, a dozen Adonis Blues and a Silver-spotted Skipper. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2018.html#27July)
Colin Knight writes that the micro looks like a Satin Grass-veneer (Crambus perlella f. warringtonellus) (Ed jnr)
Friday 27 July
10 species of butterfly seen on a patch of rough ground by the Alfriston road in Seaford today. Small Copper, Green Veined, Small, and Large White, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Brown Argus (lots of the last two) (Mike Kerry)
Spent a couple of hours at Burgess Hill green circle from 10am hoping to see a Brown Hairstreak. Did the section from the burial ground and the fields behind it round to Tesco. Everything was moving so fast in the heat and the only hairstreaks on view were purple. Plenty of Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, a few whites, a Small Copper, a silver washed fritillary and a Red Admiral. (Martin Buck)
A couple of good home sightings on 22 July.. We are at TV562984 (East Dean).
A Chalk Hill Blue in the garden, possibly 2 or 3.
Jersey Tiger in the house. At least six sightings here during July. (Carole & David Jode)
Silver washed Fritillary (Valezina). Seen on the Abbots Trail walked anti-clockwise from the car park, on the way back from the lake, along the main path. Also Purple Hairstreak, similar area (on 26th) and photo of one on the 16th taken along main path by lake. (Marilyn Dewar)
The garden meadow is now dominated by a handful of Common Blue and another handful of Brown Argus. I wander around the garden hoping for Brown Hairstreak and Clouded Yellow but have yet to see one of either. However, it is only July and there is plenty of time yet. In my garden there is a very strong association between Brown Hairstreak and Hemp Agrimony and as a result of the hot dry summer much of the HA has failed to flower, and the plants that have flowered are going to seed very quickly. The Buddleia is looking good but isn't attracting any great numbers of butterflies. Yesterday there was Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Comma and Peacock, all on Buddleia and Brimstone on Everlasting Pea. There were 13 species in the garden. The photo of Brown Argus has some interest as the "Figure of Eight" can be seen but the inner circle is very small. (Martin Kalaher)
I was surprised to see a female Purple Emperor flying in the shade of a large group of willow's in the garden at Turners Hill today. (Tom Parker)
Approaching thunder scuppered my plan to go on to Steep Down from Lancing Ring. Around the latter I could find only 15 species of butterfly, the highlights of which were 38 Wall Brown, 69 Common Blue, 10 Brown Argus, 4 Painted Lady. Yesterday, in the very bottom of the Deep Dean oven, I was lucky enough to have a Grayling land on my binoculars, but we only managed two sightings. I saw 11 Silver-spotted Skipper between here and the SDW car park, at several sites. What a population there must be! Also 3 Small Blue and 7 Wall Brown. I was surprised to see a Silver-washed Fritillary amongst the several Dark Green Fritillaries in Deep Dean. (Lindsay Morris)
I bumped into Neil in Deep Dean yesterday (26th) and despite the heat helped to conduct a zig-zag sweep of the south facing slope for somewhat difficult to find Grayling. Despite several fleeting sightings most were hiding from the heat within or just outside rabbit burrows towards the valley floor. For one "over-too-soon" moment a Grayling landed on clothing, rucksacks and camera, wonderful. Totals for the day reached 8, yes 8. Worrying isn't it? (Patrick Moore)
Yep. (Ed jnr)
Thursday 26 July
I saw only one Grayling at Deep Dean but it was with a Neil Hulme so that was good. A fortunate meeting as we had a very useful talk about the management of the site. Too busy to photograph the Grayling itself even though it landed on my leg at one point! Did get some nice shots of a silver spotted skipper though. (Tim Squire)
With the midday mercury nudging 35c and low humidity (33%) these Purple Hairstreak were seeking moisture by the pond at the entrance to Batchelors Farm today. I sat and watched for about an hour in the hope that the female Purple Emperor i’d seen earlier in the week would make an appearance but alas she didn’t. Seeing the Hairstreaks though was a very entertaining. (David Cook)
With an arrival time of 09:30 I entered Binsted Woods (No.41 in Atlas) from Binsted Lanes and I found the first Silver-washed Fritillary at SU 99544 06971 followed by an other 15 of them at SU 99307 07234. This latter spot is the end of a clearing where the electricity poles are running and the trees have been felled so there is plenty of Fern, Bramble and wildflowers for the butterflies. This corridor runs all the way to SU 98940 07282 where I counted an other 6 SWFs. In this area there were a few Meadow Brown, Large White, Small White, Gatekeeper, a Red Admiral and one male Brimstone. Along the path at SU 99208 06898 I found yet an other bunch of SWFs and I saw a Purple Hairstreak high up on an Oak tree. I also ventured out onto Binsted Park SU 99064 06400 what was buzzing with MBs, Skippers, and all kind of blues. In the woods the dominant butterfly was the Speckled Wood with 30+ seen. Unfortunately I cannot confirm the presence of the PE or WA but I guess that is due to the time of the day.
I left at 12 noon and walked back to Arundel and popped in to the WWT Center where I saw a fishing Kingfisher and a Grass Snake lurking in the murky water of the reed. (Istvan Radi)
Two beautiful Jersey Tiger moths attracted to my moth trap last night, in my Eastbourne garden. My first sighting of this moth. (Robert Coleman)
Wednesday 25 July
Following a habitat management meeting at Rewell Wood with Norfolk Estate Forester Mark Aldridge, this afternoon (25 July) I headed up to Cissbury Ring to monitor the Silver-spotted Skipper, which colonised the site in 2012 (first observed 2013). Since then, numbers have been highly variable, largely reflecting the condition of the sward (too rank in damp summers) in the SW compartment, which is in dire need of grazing. In poorer years the species retreats to the southernmost compartment, where I saw most, but not all, today (some in Shipdens Holt meadow and within the ramparts). Silver-spotted Skipper is clearly doing very well this year and I easily beat my previous best count with a tally of 128, including three mating pairs. Although the currently occupied area is relatively small, the action rivaled the best I've experienced at Malling Down and Newtimber Hill. The place was buzzing with skippers and I watched chases of up to six or seven males in pursuit of a female. However, you need to 'get your eye in', such is the speed at which they move in this heat. Other highlights included Wall, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Copper and a second brood Dingy Skipper. (Neil Hulme)
This afternoon despite the heat I went Silver-spotted Skipper spotting on Newtimber Hill. Also of note there were Chalkhill Blue above the old quarry as well as Dingy Skipper and Wall Brown in and around it. A total of 19 species were recorded. (Patrick Moore)
Up and around Lancing Ring and Steep Down were 90 Wall Brown. A Clouded Yellow and a Brown Hairstreak stood out amongst the many other butterflies. It's well worth doing the Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count. My nephew Joe (S.E. London) sat by his pond for 15 minutes and photographed a Purple Hairstreak (his first encounter with this species) drinking from a lilly pad! (Lindsay Morris)
In our Crawley, Poundhill garden today a Silver-washed Fritillary a first for the garden.3 male Holly Blue,female Common Blue,Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and several each of Small & Large Whites. (Alastair Gray)
Wall Brown female on Water Mint, TQ51151471, 50m south of the Shed. (Francis Kelly)
Plenty of Silver-spotted Skippers at Mailing Down, on the hill immediately East of the allotments - too fast to count but I would estimate 60+. Plenty of chalkhill blues. Also seen on the reserve but in smaller numbers were Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Brown Argus, Common Blue and Essex Skippers. Saw one of Dingy Skipper, Comma, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Small White, Large White, Small Copper and Gatekeeper. The area was full of butterflies but even at 11.30am it was too hot to stay long. (Martin Buck)
Tuesday 24 July
A few pictures of the 14 species seen in St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon. (Patrick Moore)
There's been a lot going on at the BC Park Corner Heath and Rowland Wood reserves over the last two days. On Monday (23 July) I was joined by Andrea Gibbs, Bob Foreman (on the mower), Nigel Symington, Graeme Rolf and Doug Neve, for a day of Bracken control on Park Corner Heath. Similar work was conducted today (24 July) by Mike Fearn and a dozen of his Brighton Conservation Volunteers, this time on Rowland Wood. My thanks go to everyone who took part; a huge amount of Bracken clearance was completed, despite the intense heat. Summer cutting will allow some areas to become more grassy and herb-rich, which will suit the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. A partial second brood of this species is likely (late July and August) given the hot summer we're experiencing, so the cut will also make more violet accessible. The drought conditions are very worrying (rain please), but the plants in semi-shade around the Bracken margins will hopefully prove usable. It was encouraging to see a couple of female Dark Green Fritillary immediately start laying eggs in the newly cleared area on Park Corner Heath yesterday. During my walkabout I also saw plenty of Common Blue, Brown Argus and Small Heath, together with a few Silver-washed Fritillary. Andrea and Gary Norman have both seen Wall on the reserve recently, and Gary has reported a second brood Dingy Skipper; the first time I've heard of one in a woodland setting. (Neil Hulme)
My watching brief was to look after two grand-children but it did allow me to pop into the garden once in awhile. There were 13 butterfly species and around 70 butterflies in total (with Gatekeeper contributing about 30). The female Common Blue in the photo appeared very blue in flight, but very brown when perched. There was at least one male Small Copper on territory, as well as a minimum of 5 Common Blue and 4 Brown Argus, resident. One Red Admiral on the Buddleia was nice. Still no Small Tortoiseshell. It would seem that so far this year they have had a disastrous season. (Martin Kalaher)
Roedean Old 9-hole Site. A few more pictures. I forgot to mention a handful of Small Skippers! (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Roedean Old 9-hole Site. Between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm, 25 degrees C.. The constructed bank was alive with Meadow Browns, Small Whites and Common Blues, accompanied by a lesser number of Brown Argus and Small Blues. Elsewhere over the meadow were several Small Heaths, a Green-veined White, a Small Copper and a Wall Brown. There were also a couple of Six-spot Burnet Moths on the Scabious. One Common Blue seemed to be a spider's breakfast!
Some Cinnabar moth caterpillars were merrily munching on the occasional Ragwort plant. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
There were 2 Clouded Yellows and 150 Small Whites on the southern end of Thorney Island this morning. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
A circular walk from Lyons Farm via Cissbury. Some highlights from the 28 butterfly species identified were 33 Silver-spotted Skipper (all in the usual area (TQ 13733 07675) except one up on the flint mines), 2 Clouded Yellow, 129 Common Blue, 109 Chalk Hill Blue, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 6 Small Copper, 8 Wall Brown, 4 Silver-washed Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Hummingbird Hawk-Moth, 19 Small Heath, 10 Brimstone. (Lindsay Morris)
Following on from my report of a sighting of a Dark Green Fritillary at RSPB Broadwater Warren on 14 July, I saw another today nectaring on buddleia outside the RSPB 's Wealden Office at Sham Farm Business Units, Eridge Green which is situated within the Eridge Park Estate (TQ563338). (Alan Loweth)
As I am doing a night shift today I had time to quickly go up to Ewe Dean and look for Graylings. I arrived just before 9am and stayed until about 11am and spent my time in Area 3C and 3B mostly on the top and in the middle with NO sightings.Temperature was around 22C and no clouds. I am not an expert but even I noticed the huge difference between Deep Dean and Ewe Dean as in the latter is covered with dense knee-waist high grass and it also lacks exposed soil/rocks. On my way back to Polegate I stopped at Deep Dean for 10 minutes in the hope that I wouldn't have to leave without seeing at least one Grayling and I did see one at TQ 54330 03104 what is Area 1A I think. Plenty of Wall Brown, Silver-spotted Skipper and Chalk Hill Blue though. I also met a couple who told me that they have seen Graylings in Ewe Dean twice in the last 5 years, hopefully they will get in touch with the details. (Istvan Radi)
Hot sticky day at Woods Mill with little to show for it . On way out , tried the dried out dipping pond for dragonfly activity -- ruddy darter and golden ringed were very welcome . Then ,on a sunlit area of the moist pond bed ,a Common Blue, followed amazingly by a Purple Hairstreak, then a Brown Hairstreak ! (William Gemmell)
Clouded Yellow At goodwood trundle midday (Ian Thomas)
We spent yesterday morning on Chantry Hill where we saw a dozen or so Silver-spotted Skippers, Dingy Skipper, Small Skippers, Chalk Hill Blues, Brown Argus, and some very worn Dark Green Fritillaries. (Barry Sketchley)
23 July 2018
With the humid warm weather approaching a health risk, perhaps a visit to Mill Hill was ill advised, but I wanted to check up on the number of butterflies in the afternoon on the parched downs. Butterflies were lively and a full report is available on the Mill Hill page.
Chalkhill Blues were all over the upper meadows and middle slopes in the early afternoon, but not so numerous on the parched lower slopes where most of them are usually found. Second brood Adonis Blues were a surprise this early in the year and a second brood Dingy Skipper was always a rare find. Thirteen species of butterfly was equal to the most in a day this year, but still nothing special. (Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/MillHill2018.html#23July)
Monday 23 July
A search round Lancing Ring and Steep Down was notable for a whopping 86 Wall Brown amongst the 25 butterfly species identified. Also a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth and my first Clouded Yellow of the year. (Lindsay Morris)
I have had 18 butterfly species in my Storrington garden over the past 4-5 days. The slightly unusual ones today were Silver-washed Fritillary on Buddleia, a faded Painted Lady and a Speckled Wood. I mention the latter as I haven't seen any in the garden for weeks/months. The record which is probably the most interesting is that of a Common Blue egg-laying on Dogwood. Prof Thomas tells us about all sorts of legumes but no mention of hedgerow plants. Any thoughts anyone about this? (Martin Kalaher)
I thought you might like to see this photo of a Dark Green Fritillary taken by visitor David Saunders at Broadwater on 14 July near the Decoy Pond. I have seen in the Butterflies of Sussex that there is a population in some tetrads south of Tunbridge Wells and I recall some years back someone saying that they had seen a Dark Green Fritillary on the border between Broadwater and SWT Eridge Rocks, but this is our first confirmation of one being recorded in Broadwater.
(Alan Loweth Office Manager & Volunteer Co-ordinator)
Nick Linazasoro's caterpillar from 22nd is a beetle larva, Drilus flavescens. The male ends up as a small beetle but the female is wingless and similar to a glow worm female. I know this because we occasionally get them on my Brighton allotment site. Penny Green wrote about them, there are not many records of them in Sussex, possibly because they get over looked. (Tessa Pawsey)
And thank you too Tessa. (Ed jnr)
Some of the other species found on Windover hill this morning.
Chalk Hill Blues must now be in their thousands, over the whole area. (Trevor Rapley)
I set out for Windover hill very early this morning, in order to make the climb in cooler conditions. Graylings were my target, but on arrival there were many other distractions, so much so that the sun was fully up when I arrived on the Gayling site. In all I found 10 Graylings, 6 on the ground and 2 pairs in chases. They were all seen over the full length of the path below the Gorse thicket. (Trevor Rapley)
The unidentified larva that Nick put up from Malling Down is actually a beetle larva, Drilus flavescens. It is a rare, NA classified beetle, although its stronghold does appear to be in the Lewes area. (Bob Eade)
Thanks Bob (Ed jnr)
Wall on a wall near Arlington (TQ5524206418) (Judith Barnard)
Wall at the top of Deep Dean, Windover Hill (Judith Barnard)
Silver Washed Frittillary flew past me in Lewes Town Centre yesterday whilst I was busking!
Sunday 22 July
I managed to spot this Small White whilst watering the patio flowers this evening, it's still there as I write this (10PM) (Patrick Moore)
The usual low numbers in our Hove back garden but as we were having a family get together we were outside for most of the day and saw good variety:- Small Whites (best 3 at same time), Holly Blues (best 2 at same time), 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Six-spot Burnet moth (may be a first in our garden), 1 Light Brown Apple Moth and at least 2 Common Purple and Gold moths. (John and Val Heys)
Here are a few more Malling Down photos for you to enjoy. (Nick Linazasoro)
Here are a few more Malling Down photos for you to enjoy. (Nick Linazasoro)
Went for a peaceful stroll around Malling Down, Lewes and saw Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Silver-spotted Skipper, Small Copper, Small Heath, Small Skipper, Small White, Speckled Wood as well as Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata), Cinnabar Moth caterpillar and an unidentified caterpillar. (Nick Linazasoro)
The first Clouded Yellow I've seen this year, two over a meadow beside carpark at Chalkpit Lane Goodwood (Ian Thomas)
Correction to the date (18th July) of my first Grayling on the path up to Windover Hill (TQ 53941 03533) (Judith Barnard)
My second Grayling seen in Deep Dean (TQ 54369 03165) (Judith Barnard)
My first Grayling seen on the path up to Windover Hill (TQ 53941 03533) (Judith Barnard)
Ashenground & Bolnore Woods, Haywards Heath - lovely to have a Peacock included in my Big Butterfly Count and sooo excited to see a male Silver Washed Fritillary (not included in the Count) as not seen one in my local woods for several years. Also sighted: male Common Blues, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large Whites, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites, Ringlet and 6-spot burnet. (Kim Berry)
Yesterday evening looking for roosting Chalk Hill Blues I came across this male ab at High and Over. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Visited Malling Down yesterday between 1030 and 1300 wanting to photograph Silver spotted Skippers and Brown Argus. Parked in the car park on the B2192, spent most of the time on the south facing slopes south of the of the golf course. About 10 Silver spotted Skippers seen plus many Brown Argus,Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, Essex Skippers and Small Skippers, Small Heaths, 1 Dark Green Fritillary and 1 Peacock. (Jonathan Warner)
It was both hot and windy at Malling Down, Lewes this afternoon, making photography very difficult. Fortunately there were a couple of Silver-spotted Skippers that stopped for more than one nano-second and I managed to snatch a few photos. (John Williams)
In Jul17 we went on a BC organised walk which introduced us to the butterfly reserve on the edge of Warnham village (not the nature reserve on the way into Horsham). I thought I'd go back today but of course everything is baked dry by the weather with large cracks in the ground. Few flowers left but turning right immediately after the entrance to the field brought me to a large bramble bush that still had flowers on it. There was something big and fritillery like gliding about but it didn't stop long enough to see properly. Many Meadow Browns, some in a bit of a tattered state. I also got a Ringlet on ragwort and then something else that I now believe to be a Purple Hairstreak but happy to stand corrected (Nick Layt)
Yep. PH it is. (Ed jnr)
I decided to forego a trip to Deep Dean this weekend (I'll return in mid August after a short holiday) and instead paid a visit to the Ashdown Forest this morning to carry out another SSB survey (even though I was not expecting to find any!). It was very quiet on the butterfly front with just Gatekeepers, a Meadow Brown and a Ringlet showing. And then I reached site 3B and immediately up flew a male Silver Studded Blue; I couldn't quite believe it! In the next 5 minutes at the same site I found 9 more SSB's (giving a total of 8 males and 2 females) - amazing! I also added Small White and Large Skipper to my morning's list from the same area. I then moved on feeling optimistic but all went quiet again. Eventually I caught up with 2 more male SSB's, one at site 5B and the other on the track at TQ 478287 giving a total count of 12. Both females were worn but some of the males at 3B looked really fresh. A lovely walk made all the more special with these sightings and my curiosity aroused as to why 3B should have had so many late SSB's when they were pretty much absent everywhere else. I'm looking forward to returning next year to see how they are faring. (Chris Hooker)
Chris has been part of a most excellent team surveying the Ashdown Forest for Silver-studded Blues this summer. More about the project and the sites Chris visited here. (Ed jnr)
I went to Chantry Hill today between 7 and 8.30. The butterflies were already very active on arrival. There was a hot air balloon flying in the distance. From the main pathI saw 5 Silver-spotted Skippers, lots of Meadow Browns including a mating pair, didn't count the Chalk Hill Blues but I would guess about 20, 2 Small Coppers, 2 Marbled Whites, 2 Dark Green Fritillaries, 3 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blues, a few other skippers, Gatekeepers, 2 Small Heaths and a Large White. (katrina watson)
I have been doing other things as regards the natural world and as far as butterfly observations are concerned haven't strayed from my Storrington garden. Although the date is only July 22nd it seems more like August 10th with many of the native wildflowers in rapid decline. The garden is generally very quiet. In the last week of July I usually have a few days when the total garden-butterfly count exceeds one hundred. Right now I would be lucky to count 35. It has been a glorious summer in the garden but it seems to finishing early. The highlights of the past week have been emerging Common Blue and Brown Argus. On the 18th there were five male Common Blues all freshly-emerged and all reluctant to fly. Having emerged late afternoon they appeared to decide that going to bed was a better option than trying to fly around the meadow. The other highlight is a regular small roost of the above two species with Small Heath and Small Copper thrown in some evenings. The Buddleia is in its full glory but with very few insects nectaring. Not only has the garden butterfly population crashed, the bumble bee numbers are also considerably down compared to a week or two back. (Martin Kalaher)
I set out on Saturday to look for Brown Hairstreaks at Knepp. Unfortunately I didn't see any, but I saw a nice female Gatekeeper, and also bumped into Trevor who made the welcome suggestion of a pint of shandy at the Countryman! Later I went to Kithurst Hill to see some Chalkhill Blues, and a mating pair of Common Blues. (John Williams)
Saturday 21 July
Today I arranged to go with 2 friends and their son to Castle Hill. The only time that worked for both of us was in the middle of the day. I was hoping both to catch up with them and give then a window into the butterfly hobby experience and hopefully share some of my enthusiasm. I think I at least had a modicum of success in my mission with my friend getting very good at spotting Gatekeepers. We were beaten back by the heat early though.
Seen today were Small Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Chalk Hill Blues, Brown Argus, Marbled Whites, Dark Green Fritillaries, a single Dingy Skipper, a single Small Blue, some skippers, a Speckled Wood and some Burnet moths - six-spotted I think.
Aberrant Chalkhill male at Bevendean from last weekend (Harry Mole)
Spent an hour trying to photograph Silver Spotted Skippers at Malling Down today. I wasn't counting but there must have been dozens of individuals including ovepositing females. I managed to find an egg. (Harry Mole https://www.instagram.com/wannabephotoguy)
Here are some more photos from my Seaford Head, Rathfinny, High & Over amble. Enjoy. (Nic Linazasoro)
Here are some more photos from my Seaford Head, Rathfinny, High & Over amble. Enjoy. (Nick Linazasoro)
Here are some more photos from my Seaford Head, Rathfinny, High & Over amble. Enjoy. (Nic Linazasoro)
Went for a wonderful stroll around Seaford Golf Club and the Rathfinny Wine Estate area and spotted Adonis Blue, Brown Argus, Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Large Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Silver-spotted Skipper, Small Copper, Small White, Speckled Wood and Wall. Also spotted were Cinnabar Moth caterpillars and Six-spot Burnet Moth. Also of interest were several Blue Hawker and Black Tailed Skimmer dragonfly. (Nick Linazasoro)
Having seen my first and only Grayling on Wednesday afternoon, I decided to revisit Deep Dene today accompanied by my wife, Sam, our youngest daughter, Rosie and our spaniel, Dottie. Checking along the west hillside about halfway up, we soon spotted one, then more until we'd counted four different individuals. Many other butterflies in evidence including hundreds of Meadow Browns, various whites, Gatekeepers, Small Coppers and many blues, including Chalk Hill Blues on pooh (see picture). (Vincent Oates)
Went to Wilmington this afternoon to see if we could spot a Grayling. Success. We saw one at 4pm on the top of Windover Hill just above Deep Dean. Also many Chalk Hill Blues, Dark Green Fritillaries, Marbled Whites, Wall Browns, Silver-spotted Skipper, and best of all, the Small Copper. (Elizabeth Japes)
Silver-spotted Skipper at Cissbury Ring this afternoon, very warm & a little breeze.I saw about 8 in an hour at TQ137076. There were many other species around. (John Ward)
This morning I visited Knepp. As soon as I arrived a Purple Hairstreak flew down from an Oak
and landed low down on Sallow. Later I met Simon Withers, as we talked a very tired old female
Purple Emperor gave us a wonderful flying display, swooping low down and around us.
She landed several times, usually out of sight, then grounded several times. I was not expecting
to see an Empress so late in the season. In all I saw three over the course of the day. (Trevor Rapley)
Chalk Hill Blues at Deep Dean (Jonathan Crawford)
I got to Deep Dean this morning just after half eight. It was cloudy and not particularly warm though there was still a lot of butterfly activity. Not long after arriving I saw a Chalk Hill Blue emerges from the grass dragging his wings like a wedding train. I put him on my bag and he walked across it trailing meconium. After watching him for some time I wandered off to look for other butterflies, leaving my bag behind. As I was leaving I remembered earlier sightings about Graylings responding to sweat. I had worn my hat climbing the hill and it was quite damp, so I thought I would leave it by the bag.
There were quite a few newly emerged Chalk Hill Blues, and these are easy to identify because they fly erratically two inches off the ground. I guess they are like toddlers learning to walk. Anyway, they are easy to photograph because after a few seconds they stop and open their wings, which are of course perfect.
Returning to my bag and emergent Blue, I found a Grayling sitting in the middle of my hat. The first of my day despite completely overcast skies.
Over the next couple of hours the weather brightened and I managed to see a total of 10 Grayling including three in the air at the same time and a mating pair. I was trousered several times and even the dog was "pawed" twice. I was even successful with the hat trick a second time. One male was so persistent that I wondered if he had a mineral deficiency. I also experienced the disappearing trick where Ii saw a Grayling settle and knew it was two feet in front of me but just could not see it until it moved off.
Other species seen were Dark Green Fritillaries, Common Blue, Wall Brown, Silver-spotted Skipper, Small Copper amongst others. (Jonathan Crawford)
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
On 17 July I recorded a micromoth from Rewell Wood as a Dark Strawberry Tortrix. Then I spotted a more likely id, the rarely recorded Moss Marble (Celypha aurofasciana) which was confirmed by Sussex county recorder Colin Pratt. Other records from Rewell Wood yesterday: Brown Argus, Gatekeepers (one with a 'bleached' part on the forewing), Meadow Browns, Common Yellow Conch (Agapeta hamana), Long-winged Pearl (Anania lancealis), Small Purple and Gold (Pyrausta aurata). Our balcony visitors last night included Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta), Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata) and 3 new species: Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita), The Uncertain (Hoplodrina octogenaria) and Hawthorn Ermel (Paraswammerdamia nebulella). (Colin Knight)
The once not so Common Blue and Brown Argus butterflies delayed my quick walk in St Leonards Forest, Horsham by several hours on Friday afternoon, they were everywhere near the "Dragon Seat". The weather looked set for rain, the clouds rolled in, the light failed but the Blues and Argus came out. Here is a small selection of the photos I took... I took a lot! (Patrick Moore)
Friday 20 July
A Female Purple Emperor seen very closely for several minutes, laying eggs on the underneath of the leaves of a goat willow at the edge of the middle lake at Five Oaks Fishery, Mill field Farm House (TQ107287). (Ian Woolsey)
First time we've seen White-letter Hairstreak in Hotham Park, Bognor Regis - enjoying the wonderful cottage garden flower bed near the Lodge at the main entrance. Is it a regular in Hotham Park? (Duncan Reavey)
White-letter Hairstreak sighted on PROW between Barnham Rd and Eastergate Lane. resting on old mans beard. Seen whilst undertaking a bumblebee transect. First seen in walking this route for 10 years. (Nigel Madge)
Today whilst in the area I looked for Brown Hairstreak at Green Ridge - Brighton/Hove. I was delighted to find a smart looking male perched on Blackthorn, seen from the green, near the Hill Top Cafe car park, Dyke Road Avenue. The butterfly was exactly at (TQ 28624 08050) when the grid reference is copied over to: https://gridreferencefinder.com/
A day after my initial sighting, I returned on the 18th July, to an area just off the Ditchling Road, Brighton, here I was pleased to see two male Brown Hairstreaks, the second spotted by my friend, Suzie. Again they were located at (TQ 32362 08504). Both different, "Male 1" was paler and larger, whilst "Male 2" was strongly coloured but smaller, some good variation, probably down to the weather during the pupa stage. "Male 1" was seen below head height for over an hour! - Perched on Blackthorn leaves and also feeding on a dainty umbellifer species.
Catch-up: Having seen a Small Blue lay eggs in the garden back on 21st June, on the 16th July, I located a single caterpillar! Within hours of finding it, it disappeared from the Kidney Vetch plant, I can only assume it's gone off to pupate, what bad timing on my part to have missed it's departure! My search of the caterpillar was inspired by the photo taken on the Bevendean Blues walk.
Back on the 15th July, I arrange an event for my fellow Woodbourne Meadow conservation volunteers/friends, having seen Purple Hairstreaks the previous day, I was keen to share where they were active, as until now the species had hidden from us at Woodbourne Meadow (Brighton), despite searching every year, for 8 years. Finally I was able to confirm their presence! We found them most active between 7.30 and 8.00pm, mostly seen flying between an Oak and a Sycamore within the wood at (TQ 32167 08271). The previous day I also saw the Purple Hairstreaks flying around the following areas of these trees, but with less frequency: (TQ 32179 08294, TQ 32211 08285, TQ 32222 08313 and TQ 32245 08321).
Back on 5th July I counted 4 Purple Hairstreaks in the evening around the dew pond area of Wild Park LNR, Brighton. Istvan should be interested to know that the best locations to see evening activity is on the "Master Oak" (TQ 32545 07744), "Small Ash" (TQ 32542 07723) and particularly the "Big Ash" (TQ 32522 07759). It's been my local Purple Hairstreak study/observation site for 8 years now.
(Jamie Burston https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JamieBurstonArt)
Took a walk up Castle Hill, Brighton, this morning looking for Chalk Hill Blue. Strange weather, including some bits of water that dropped from the sky occasionally, think its called rain. Saw plenty of Chalk Hill Blue, but the highlight was the nice number of fairly fresh Wall. At one point I could see at least four on the narrow chalk track ahead of me lined up with about a metre between them. As I walked they rose and then settled back behind me. Also plenty of Gatekeeper and Ringlet, a few Marbled White, a male Common Blue, couple of Essex Skipper, Silver Y moth, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, and Small White. (Sylvia Davidson)
Yesterday (19 July) I spent six hours covering almost every square metre of Deep Dene (Windover Hill, Wilmington), in an attempt to accurately determine the numbers of Grayling present, and to see if there are any potentially negative changes in the habitat since I was last here a few years back (there are).
As many will be aware, we have serious concerns about the long-term survival of this unique chalk-based population, so collecting as much data as possible is the first step in any remedy. Thanks to all those who have already been reporting from the site, but it is important that survey visits are spread throughout the flight season, particularly through early and mid August, so please hold some effort in reserve!
Timing is important; during this early, male-dominated stage of the flight season, the butterflies become far less active from c.11.30 am onward, and are almost 'invisible' by early afternoon as they shelter from the heat. During my visit I recorded 24 Grayling, only two of which were females. At 9.00 am I witnessed an impressive chase of five males, which tend to glide down the slope in search of females, before returning to the upper level near the gorse-line; they are very mobile, making counting tricky. I enjoyed a total of seven trouserings throughout the day, as the males sought salts from my jeans. I expect numbers to peak 7 - 10 days from now.
It took me some while to reach Deep Dene, as there was so much of interest to see during the climb up Windover Hill. Highlights included some very fresh Wall, some rather older Dark Green Fritillary, and large (but not huge) numbers of Chalk Hill Blue, many of which were drying-off their recently unfurled wings. During my visit I also saw six Silver-spotted Skipper (including a mating pair) and two second brood Dingy Skipper. As always with this site, the wildflowers and views were breathtaking.
Thursday 19 July
I was doing a summary of what had turned up in our back garden in Hove over the last 15 days or so when it all vanished, so this will be briefer. In our sun lounge this morning a Silver Y moth and in the garden regular visits from Small Whites, an early Speckled Wood joined by another, a brief flash of a Comma and 2 Holly Blues at the same time. Seeing 2 of the same species at the same time in our garden is not very common except in relation to the whites, so a pair of Speckled Woods and a pair of Holly Blues was a bit exciting. (John & Val Heys)
Purple Hairstreak in lots of Oaks, Holly Blue patrolling and nectaring. Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Comma spread fairly evenly, Large White and Small White in most sunny areas and Common Blue in the flower beds. That in a nutshell was Horsham Park this afternoon. (Patrick Moore)
We've had 28 species of moths on our balcony the past two days including Bud Moth (Spilonota ocellana), Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis) and 3 new ones: Large Clover Case-bearer (Coleophora trifolii), Pebble Hook-tip (Drepana falcataria), Wormwood Pug (Eupithecia absinthiata).
Whilst walking near the Kingly Vale Nature Reserve I spotted a Grayling as well as a Male Brown Hairstreak. (Charlie Mouland)
Charlie sent this in yesterday, and I delayed publishing it whilst I consulted with wiser men. I am assured that this is feasible though if it is true, quite an extraordinary find. Still, we have had more than our fair share of those this year. This would probably not be a chalk Grayling as found at Deep Dene, but the acid heath variety, possibly a migrant from Hampshire. According to Colin Pratt the last sighting was at Weavers Down in 2011. (Ed jnr)
Forgot to mention a Purple Emperor seen to land in the Oak tree next to the railway bridge at TQ 31228 17692 whilst train spotting with my youngest Grandson yesterday afternoon around 14:30 (David Cook)
After reading Jamie Burston's report about the Hairstreaks in Wild Park I got really excited. This park is at my doorstep and I go there very often but I have never expected to find such treasures on the treetops. I have known it for a few years that the meadows are rich in butterflies but today after work I was inspecting the trees rather than the grass and Bramble. I arrived at 12:40 and in the same time it became cloudy but I still managed to find the Purple Hairstreak on the small oak tree. No luck with the Brown Hairstreak but on my way home (4pm-ish) I did find an other two Purple ones on a different oak tree at TQ 32579 07619. Apart from that the usual good number of more common butterflies all over the place. Also a Blood-vein moth and this brown one what I do not know by name.
Seeing a single Silver-spotted Skipper earlier this week whilst pursuing Grayling, I thought today, with a bit of cloud cover, it was worth checking out Ditchling Down. I checked several of the most likely and found 2 males.
Back to Burgess Hill and taking note of Jamie Burston’s afternoon fresh Male, I walked the East side of the Burgess Hill circular walk and found this very obliging and fresh female Brown Hairstreak. (David Cook)
Deep Dene: Trousered by a Grayling at TQ5406 0285, there were 4 of them skirmishing. (John Ward)
The Painted Lady was seen in Parham Gardens today and the Meadow Brown was in Bignor Park on Tuesday. (Graham Hicks)
White Admiral sighted on High Weal Landscape Trail in wood between Pickwell and Pickwell Farm about 11 A.M. Never seen one before so v pleased to see it and find it is high on the butterfly conservation (Bernard Plaister)
My husband saw a Purple Emperor whilst out cycling a week ago, and today while cycling near Duncton Mill he is sure he saw a Swallowtail - it was very big and we have seen them abroad so he is sure that's what it was. (Mrs Paula Little)
Brown Hairstreak on the margin on my garden pond today in suburban Lancing, before flying off southwards. My gardens is one tetrad south of the distribution shown in "The Butterflies of Sussex". I must get the planned Blackthorn hedge planted this winter! (Adrian Thomas)
A trip to Rewell Wood on Tuesday afternoon was rewarded with Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, a Brimstone, Silver-washed Fritillaries, Whites, Large Skippers, Peacocks, Ringlets, Speckled Woods. moths seen: Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata), Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), Dingy Footman (Eilema griseola), Hemp-agrimony Conch (Cochylidia rupicola), Large Skipper male (Ochlodes sylvanus), Pearl Veneer (Agriphila straminella). (Colin Knight)
A second visit to see white letter hairstreaks turned up zero. A few other butterflies on the thistles that were going over and some ragwort. Small White and Gatekeeper and Commas (Tim Squire)
After seeing on his blog the Bob Eade has seen silver spotted skipper I went to Sheepcote to look for the small population there. It was windy and not much flying and no sign of sss. Meadow Browns were all I saw on the slope. I got a nice Small Copper and Comma near the woods. (Tim Squire)
Only one Grayling for me. It was a bit windy and the only one I saw was one I flushed. Lots of Dark Green Fritillaries egg laying. (Tim Squire)
Wednesday 18 July
I arrived at Deep Dean shortly after 3.30PM in sunny very warm conditions. I spent the next hour and a half zig-zagging the slope, and found 4 Graylings, plus another probable fly-by. They particularly liked to settle in the chalk scrapings. Not a huge figure, but very welcome, and I know earlier visitors have seen more. One of the pictures is of a Grayling in its unique chalk habitat. Lots of Chalkhill Blues, many of which were already going to roost when I arrived, sitting out the heat. But, as it cooled,a few opened their wings. A most enjoyable afternoon and evening down from Essex. (Mark Bunch)
Wednesday saw Team Buck (one keen the oyher less so) descended upon Alfriston in pursuit of the Grayling (non piscarian variety) at Windover Hill. Careful planning of the route, ample supplies of water and the promise of tea and cakes at the end (irrespective of the outcome) saw us set off on a warm, sunny morning. Downright lies about the distance (no more than 1.5 miles) and steepness (not very) started to unravel when we reached a car park that would have considerably shortened the distance. At this point clouds of chalkhill blues appeared and momentium continued interspersed with 'not much further' claims that lost their credibility as we edged ever closer. The views of course are amazing and to cut to the chase, we spotted 5 Grayling on the SE slope at Windover in the same coordinates already provided by previous visitors. The descent was easy and the tea and cakes at the Apiary cafe excellent. Mission accomplished and a wonderful morning enjoyed. (Martin Buck)
I thought it was interesting to see this Garden Tiger moth in the heart of Whitehawk in my garden. (Katrin Tweddle)
And you were right. (Ed jnr)
On a walk on Friston Gallops this afternoon one had to be careful where one trod so as not to tread on a Chalk Hill Blue. Mainly males evident but some females, all the subject of fierce aerial tussles. Also present were Common Blue, Brown Argus, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Copper, Dingy Skipper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Brimstone and Small Skipper (Nigel Symington)
I arrived at Deep Dene at around 9am this morning and immediately saw two Grayling, this is a good start I thought! I then began a systematic search from one end of the valley to the other along the escarpment. I was pleased to note that the Grayling were present all along one end of the scarp to the other. Between TQ544031 to TQ540028 and extended right down almost to the bottom at TQ544030. At one point I saw 5 Grayling sparring!! A very welcome sight indeed. I then met Ian Seccombe, we compared notes and both agreed that the Grayling are certainly into double figures. Even taking the inevitable double counting into consideration. Some were obviously very fresh - suggesting that there may be more to emerge. Just as I was about to leave I met a nice chap called John Warner, it was his first time looking for Grayling at Deep Dene so I was rather amused when he casually said "oh look it's a mating pair!" this being something I've been trying to see over many years up there but never have! The very strong breeze blew the pair away so I gave chase, they briefly landed on a twig "for all of 5 seconds" allowing me to get a really nice shot of them. A great day, many thanks again John. Lastly it was interesting to note that a lot of the males were sporting a pronounced and more dazzling white stripe than usual. (James A)
A walk from Lancing Ring to Steep Down and east on the SDW to Dacre Gardens was best for Wall Brown (15). Only 17 butterfly species identified. Wretchedly, no L-tB at the Cement Works. Are the wheels coming off? (Lindsay Morris)
I went to Castle Hill in the midday heat. I saw Meadow Browns, Chalkhill Blues (lots), Common Blues, Gatekeepers, Whites, Skippers, 5 Small Coppers, 2 Small Blues, 2 Red Admirals, 5 Dark Green Fritillaries, one Peacock, one Dingy Skipper and one Speckled Wood. (Katrina Watson)
I arrived at Deep Dene just after 8am this morning, it was blustery but warming up rapidly. I found my first Grayling at 08.15 - couldn't miss it as it landed on the barrel of my camera (TQ5431 0305). This was the first of four that I saw on or near the path that runs down towards the northern end of the valley. I found one at the far north end of the valley (TQ 5449 0315) and a group of three down the slope at the southern end (TQ 5422 0289). Apart from those three all my sightings were above the path with one right at the top (TQ5438 0319). By 09.45 I had seen 10-12 individuals (the blustery conditions made it difficult to be sure that they were unique). All looked fresh and none had red mite. I met James Arnott at that point and we saw another four or five before I left at 10.30. In total I would estimate that I saw at least 12 individuals. Other species I saw included three very fresh Silver-spotted Skippers (near the fence line at the top), Chalkhill Blue (en masse), Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Small Copper, Small White, Large White, Brimstone, Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper (Ian Seccombe)
Tuesday 17 July
A few pictures from Cissbury Ring this afternoon, where, out of the wind there were large numbers of butterflies, both species and amounts. (Patrick Moore)
I'm not surprised if you now dread the length of my sighting reports! Sorry everyone!
Today (17 July) I went for a walk with my friend, Lesley Goodfellow, to the dew pond area of Wild Park LNR, Brighton, between 10am and 11am, to look for low down Purple Hairstreaks and we struck silver! Two seen on the small Oak located at (TQ 32501 07752). However it was this female that we saw below head height for 40 minutes! She did multiple practice runs of egg laying - nothing produced. Hilarious in the way she would strut and then suddenly race along the branches, as Hairstreaks do, they love to have a walk about (see photo descriptions).
She was seen low down during sunny and cloudy intervals (changeable). No mobile with me so I couldn't share the news with anyone! Last seen low down 6/7 years ago at the same location, the wait is finally over!
After walking away from the dew pond in a state of shock and amazement, having seen the Purple Hairstreaks, me and Lesley couldn't believe our luck when this assumable newly emerged male, Brown Hairstreak, perched right in front of us by an area to the side of Ditchling Road, Brighton, at (TQ 32362 08504). Our jaws dropped. If you visit, please let me know how you get on! The time was 11.45am at this point, sunny and sheltered from the wind. Further along the path we were surprised to see a female Wall (Brown) sitting ahead of us on the path, seen at (TQ 32370 08571). I've seen them along the road verge before, but not here. Notably 8 Common Blue, 2 Brown Argus and 1 Marbled White in the same area. Furthermore a Painted Lady seen on the Hollingbury, Hill Fort, Brighton, at (TQ 32223 07983), earlier in the day I had one also visit my garden. Thinking about today's sightings, certainly brings a smile to my face. (Jamie Burston https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JamieBurstonArt)
Amongst the usual suspects of high summer at Mill Hill near Shoreham, were at least 2 second gen Dingy Skippers. Good numbers of fresh Peacock, Red Admiral and 1 Painted Lady. Also seen was a rather impressive Gatekeeper ab. (Paul Atkin)
By the time (11:45am) I walked up to Deep Dene the wind picked up and it was overcast so I did not have too much hope to see anything but non the less I decided to walk around a little bit but an hour and a half later I was ready to call it a day when at 1:10pm I spotted my first ever Grayling!!! It was resting on a stick on the ground next to a small bush (TQ 54318 03077) where others have seen Graylings too. I took a few not so great photos but watching this little fella for around 10 minutes was more important. When it took off to chase a Chalk Hill Blue away I lost sight of it but 15 minutes later I found an other one what I presume to be the same individual as it was very close (TQ 54255 03042) to the first location. There was an other gentleman taking pictures of it so hopefully he got some decent shots and will share it. Also, as I always walk up from Polegate station via Folkington what I think used to be an other location for Graylings, could you please post some grid reference numbers where to look? (Istvan Radi)
This man walked from Polegate Station to Deep Dean just for the Grayling! Respect. (Ed jnr)
After yesterday’s exertions at The Long Man I opted for a local walk today and spent a couple of hours searching for Brown Hairstreak on the west side of the Burgess Hill circular walk. Only one male seen in overcast and windy conditions. (David Cook)
Took a detour through Dyke Road park, Brighton (or possibly Hove I think the border runs through it) on the way to work, just to see what was about - first 2 Meadow Brown, then a Speckled Wood and then a lovely white letter hairstreak floated down to potter around on the geranium leaves at ground level, where it posed for close-up shots with my phone.
I have been taking a detour through this park for a while now, and although only a small section is planted with flowering plants I have now spotted 11 species in total, including the WLH. Pretty good going for a small park and there may be more yet. For some reason my phone photo is loading oddly - need to turn your head by 45 degrees to see it properly (Sylvia Davidson)
Monday 16 July
Chalkhill Blue, Common Blue and Brown Argus in the evening sunlight at Kithurst flower meadow. (John Williams)
Circular walk from the car park at Darwell Wood between 9 and 10.30 this morning: 2 White Admiral, 3 Silver-washed Fritillary, 9 Brimstone, Comma, Peacock, Large White, Common Blue, plus multiple Gate Keeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Speckled Wood. (Richard Farran)
more pictures, Eridge (Istvan Radi)
I payed a visit to Eridge Old Park (54) where I have never been before so it was a great day out despite not having time to explore the rocks on the other side of the road. I am not trained in transect walks so what I did today was using the grid reference numbers from the Atlas and tried to slowly walk in a more or less straight line from Eridge to Frant and on a different route back to Eridge where I had to catch the train. I only counted the butterflies what I disturbed by my walking past despite that I could see more on the field in the distance so it is not a scientific and full report but it hopefully gives a good impression of how rich this place is in butterflies! Also it is a huge area and although quite remote it is so well worth the visit that I might even go back again in the coming weeks! On my list there are 19 species for today. I tried to broke up my route into four sections but here I will just give the totals. Meadow Brown: 210, Small White: 24, Large White: 28, Ringlet: 19, Gatekeeper: 125, Comma: 11, Brimstone: 3, Small Skipper: 6, Essex Skipper: 22, Large Skipper: 2, Speckled Wood: 13, Small Copper: 1, Small Heath: 4, Peacock: 2, Holly Blue: 2, Silver-washed Fritillary: 13, Dark Green Fritillary: 5, Purple Hairstreak: 18, White Admiral: 12
Unfortunately no luck with the Emperors ans White-l HSs but maybe if someone just focused on the Elm trees instead of trying to explore the whole area there would be sightings. I would mention that almost all of the Oak trees had PHs up in the canopy but if it was not on my path I did not count them. I have a few grid reference numbers where I saw the most interesting things if needed I can email it to Ed.jnr. (Istvan Radi)
Two Atlas sites. Must be my lucky day. Please email me your sightings, Istvan , I will make sure they go into the record. We will be doing transect training in the Spring. (Ed jnr)
sun 15/07/2018 Paygate Wood, Uckfield, E.Sx. between 11.54am-12.54pm. 1x Purple Emperor still flying over and around territory oaks at 12.11/12.22/12.23 and 12.44pm the last being the best sighting as it was longish and relaxed in open area, then headed north and over territory oaks. (Peter Farrant)
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
The past two night's 28 moth species visited our balcony, including 6 new ones: Least Carpet (Idaea Rusticata), Lesser Wax Moth (Achroia grisella), Marbled Piercer (Cydia splendana), Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa), Grey Knot-horn (Acrobasis advenella). (Colin Knight)
In addition to the event "Surveying Seaford's White-letter Hairstreaks" which was back on the 26th June. I personally conducted two further surveys in Seaford, looking for White-letter Hairstreak colonies whilst assessing the health of Elm. My survey back on the 5th July produced my first White-letter Hairstreak at 10.34am with one White-letter Hairstreak flying around the Wheatley elm outside house number 34, Chyngton Way, with a follow-up second sightings at 10.37am. The next sighting was at 10.48am, with one in the canopy, on the Wheatley elm outside house number 28, Chyngton Way. Lastly at 11.08am and then again at 11.11am I saw one in the canopy of the Wheatley elm (photo attached) outside house number 15, Chyngton Way. Thanks to Michael Blencowe for the lift to and from Seaford and to Ann Roe who later join me with Michael for photos on her birthday, attached one of her photos, a White-letter Hairstreak "typical dark Triangle" flying above a diseased Wheatley elm along Chyngton Way.
Some of the trees along Chyngton Way, mentioned above illustrated a scenario that I hadn’t come across with such clarity. White-letter Hairstreaks (at least the males) are clearly not able to tell that the tree they live on is infected or even dying from Elm Disease. The fact that these butterflies were still faithful to the diseased trees makes me think that there might actually be some value to diseased elms as a habitat to continue breeding - given that there are areas on a diseased tree which retain healthy foliage going from one year to the next based on the fact that some elms have a slower rate of dying from the disease. Some elms are killed much quicker than others, so won’t work for all cases. This may explain why you might still find White-letter Hairstreak occurring amongst infected elm trees, such as in the countryside, where Elm Disease isn't managed. A thought provoking possibility. To be clear these are my own views and in no way represents the views of Butterfly Conservation. I believe Elm Disease should be managed where possible, as this helps to slow or stop its spread to further Elm trees, as I've witnessed first-hand.
Now onto my survey conducted on the 9th July! Thanks to Diana Windley, Seaford Tree Warden for giving me a lift to and from Seaford, whilst also joining and assisting me in the survey.Firstly at the Memorial Garden off Kings Mead Lane, we looked at a Wych elm located at (TV 48026 99825), here I was demonstrating to Diana where you would expect female White-letter Hairstreaks to lay their eggs, and sure enough, after looking on three different branches, I located a White-letter Hairstreak egg within reaching distance to show her, photo attached. The egg was found in a typical position, on the scar band between this and last year's growth.
At the edge of Carlton Road, a tall, but more slender elm produced a sighting of a White-letter Hairstreak at 10.48am, seen flying and resting up in the canopy. This tree is located at (TV 48028 99700). On the elm trees along Belgrave Road, situated between Kedale Road and Kingsmead (road) - (TV 48147 99743 along to TV 48202 99774) we searched for the butterfly, this location was where 3 to 5 White-letter Hairstreaks were seen back on the 26th June, during the "Surveying Seaford's White-letter Hairstreaks" event, attached, a photo taken by Mike Kerry during the event. I sadly noted that Elm Disease has since taken hold on these elms. Despite this we saw 1 White-letter Hairstreak flying on the elms here, in front of house number 41 (Headland View) Belgrave Road at 11.01am.
At 11.53am there was a very brief sighting of a potential White-letter Hairstreak seen flying around elm foliage overhanging the pond at the far western end of Sutton Drove, located at (TV 48597 99496). Wildflowers around the pond could be a good source of nectar for the White-letter Hairstreaks to feed from, allowing for potential close views, this or in future years. Nearby, along Blatchington Road we had 1 White-letter Hairstreak seen at 1.15pm on healthy elm, then at 1.16pm saw 2 or 3 White-letter Hairstreaks flying together on the same tree, then a few minutes later at 1.19pm we had two male White-letter Hairstreaks dog-fighting with each other. The elm they were using is exactly at (TV 48443 99391), just west of where Chichester Road meets Blatchington Road. Moving along Blatchington Road, we came to a group of elm trees (multiple trunks in close proximity), the middle of the group of elms, located at (TV 48381 99347), just east from the Auto shop. Here at 1.37pm we saw 2 male White-letter Hairstreaks dog-fighting, after they broke apart, one eventually landed at the tip of a leaf, which made for clear viewing, I took a photo, attached. Here we had multiple sightings of individuals flying around the canopy. Blatchington Road, a hotspot of activity. Note, there are opportunities to see White-letter Hairstreaks low down at close proximity, if they visit Bramble blossom, Buddleia or Ragwort flowers to feed, plants all seen whilst walking along Blatchington Road, especially towards the eastern end, along the road edge between Chichester Road and Avondale Road.
Moving onto Alfriston Road, there was a grouping of elms within close proximity, opposite house numbers 3 and 5 along Alfriston Road, approximate grid reference is (TV 49303 99829), house numbers are a more reliable reference to the location. The tree(s) were a hotspot for White-letter Hairstreak activity. 3.02pm - two males dog-fighting. 3.06pm - one seen flying. 3.08pm a group of three definitely seen flying together (possibly four).
I attach a photo sent to me by Sue Robinson, who took this photo of a female White-letter Hairstreak feeding on Marjoram in her back garden, on the 11th July. She also had a male feeding on Marjoram that same day. The sightings were towards the northern end of Firle Road. It would be great if you could help to survey for the White-letter Hairstreak along Firle Road, at and past the junction with Firle Grange (road), especially heading north on Firle Road, looking at the elms around the Bowden House School area and beyond for White-letter Hairstreaks. There should still be a week and a half left of the White-letter Hairstreaks flight period for this year to check, please send all sightings of White-letter Hairstreaks in Seaford to me, it will help my work as White-letter Hairstreak Species Champion. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
With my assistance the Seaford Natural History Society has kindly produced a PDF document which you can view by visiting their website (http://www.seafordnaturalhistory.org.uk/). The PDF contains maps showing the distribution of Elm across Seaford, I would be particularly interested in White-letter Hairstreak sightings from the areas covered by maps "Seaford 2", 4, 7, 8 and 9. To access the PDF, visit the Seaford Natural History Society website and click on "WLH (PDF)" located under "Local Events" on the far right-hand side of the opening page.
Finally, I have produced content for the White-letter Hairstreak, Sussex Species page, covering information on how to survey for White-letter Hairstreaks on Elm trees, as seen in "Part Six" at the bottom of the page, viewed here: https://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/species/white-letter-hairstreak.php.
(Jamie Burston - White-letter Hairstreak Species Champion)
This afternoon I paid a visit to Ebernoe Common (site 42) for the first time. What a fascinating place, woodland, meadow and hammerponds. There were Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Gatekeeper everywhere as well as Silver-washed Fritillary along most of the rides and paths. Also Small, Large and Green-veined White. Other sightings included Comma, Purple Hairstreak, White Admiral a single Purple Emperor and Holly Blue. I also heard a Turtle Dove. If visiting take a map, there are a lot of very inviting paths. (Patrick Moore)
Thank you Patrick. Five left. Anyone want to place a bet on which one will be last? (Ed jnr)
My report pretty much mirrors Jonathan’s from the weekend with a start time of around 9:00am at Deep Dene, with the first Grayling seen just after at TQ 543 030. It was very interested in Bertie my dog and seemed determined to land on him even though he was walking about. My attempts to photograph this were thwarted by a flat camera battery. Lesson learned—start the day with a fully charged one!! I’d walked down as far as the scrub at the eastern end without seeing another and instead enjoyed the fresh Brimstone, Small Coppers, Essex Skippers and Chalk Hill Blues nectaring. The shade offered by the shrubs giving my dogs a break from the intense sun.
It was on my return walk along the lower slope that my 2nd was encountered. This one kept landing on me!!
Bob Eade and Mark Colvin were seen higher up the slope and we joined forces around 10:15 by which time many more were on the wing including a very large female. I left them to it around midday as I’d run out of water (the dogs were very thirsty) and had a count of 8.
As I was leaving, 1 Silver-spotted Skipper up by the gate. (David Cook)
Two more pictures from Sunday's Bevendean Blues walk. (Geoff Stevens)
Sunday 15 July
This morning I visited the Tugley Wood complex, whilst I realise this is all in Surrey just a stone's throw form the Sussex border, I was rather pleased with this Wood White picture and wanted to share. (Patrick Moore)
A big thank you to the 14 people who braved the heat to come on the Bevendean Blues walk today. What a nice group of people seem to be attracted to butterflies and conservation.
Despite the high temperature on the south facing chalk grassland slope there were still plenty of butterflies to be seen.
Skippers, large and Small Whites, Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Small Copper, Small Blues, Common Blues, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blues, Speckled Woods a Brimstone and some day flying moths such as six spot burnet and Silver Y.
The highlight for me was someone finding a Small Blue caterpillar on a kidney vetch seed head.
The grassland was very dry, going a bit crispy on the steepest slope where the horseshoe vetch is abundant. I hope they have deep roots.
Tessa Pawsey wrote the above report and Sarah and Patrick took the pictures with my camera. (Geoff Stevens)
The warm still nights continue to draw dozens of moth species to our balcony light: Brown-tail, Waste Grass-veneer, Burnished Brass, Dingy Dowd, Rosy Tabby, Garden Grass-veneer, Obscure moth, Yponomeuta species, Riband Wave, Yellow-backed Clothes moth, Bright-line Brown-eye, Rosy Tabby, Inlaid Grass-veneer, Meadow Neb, Brown-tail, Meal Moth, Common Footman, Double-striped Pug, Heart and Dart, Knot Grass, Long-legged Tabby, Marsh Dowd, Satin Grass-veneer, Shuttle-shaped Dart, White Satin. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Couple of hours around Cowdray Forest & Greentrees SSSI found 6-7 Silver-washed Fritillarys,3 Purple Hairstreaks,1 Holly Blue,22 Speckled Wood,1 Large Skipper,4 Small Skipper,80 Meadow Brown,40 Gatekeeper,1 Peacock,1 Red Admiral,18 Small White,12 Large White,6 Ringlets. (Alastair Gray)
Big highlight of Lancing Ring amongst 22 butterfly species was a Brown Hairstreak resting in a blackthorn. Also Hummingbird Hawk-Moth.
Saturday 14 July
18 species seen at Friston Gallops between 11am and 2pm today. Most numerous were Chalkhill Blues (although unfortunately it was too warm for them to settle with their wings open). Also Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Marbled White, Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Comma, Red Admiral, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Large White, Small White, Brimstone, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Blue, Small Copper and Essex Skipper. (John Williams)
Today in company with my father, Roy Symonds I visited Stansted Forest (SU7410) where the temperature reached a scorching 25°C. We covered many paths during our 3 hour walk, which included woodland, forest clearings, scrub and grassland. An impressive total of 18 different species were recorded, the main species being Whites, Silver Washed Fritilarys, Gatekeepers, Ringlets and Meadow Browns. In the open grassland areas several Marbled Whites were seen, some slightly worn, while others had significant wing damage. Close examination of settled Small Skippers revealed two Essex Skippers. I looked closely at the many Oaks but was unable to note any Purple Hairstreaks.
Totals: Brimstone 8M 7F, Large White 55, Small White 38, Green Veined White 24, Common Blue 2M 1F, Gatekeeper 32, Marbled White 8, Meadow Brown 46, Ringlet 37, Speckled Wood 10, Comma 9, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 1, Silver Washed Fritillary 49M 30F, White Admiral 3, Large Skipper 1, Essex Skipper 2, Small Skipper 13.
Glad you are having a good trip Richard. Still time to see a few more butterflies before you head back to Cornwall. (Ed jnr)
I went to Deep Dean this morning from about 7.30 -9.30 No points for me for observation as I didn't manage to find the Graylings. I, however, just caught a few Chalkhill Blues still roosting and most were still warming up. Also seen were numerous Meadow Browns And Dark Green Fritillaries (mainly faded), Gatekeepers, a Small Copper, some Skippers, some Marbled Whites and Large Whites (Katrina Watson)
Surprised to see a fresh looking Brimstone on the edge of Vert Wood today (Mike Kerry)
After Deep Dean we went to High and Over andCradle valley which was buzzing with butterflies. These included Silver-washed Fritillaries, Wall Browns, Common Blues and a small but active colony of Small Blues locked into a battle with a larger population of Brown Argus. We saw one Marbled White with 5 Trombidium bree mites and also saw one on a Common Blue, In all we saw 24 species today. (Jonathan Crawford)
Bob Eade writes "I see you say you saw Silver-washed Fritt at High and Over. I have never seen them here despite being there several times a week. There are plenty of female Dark Green there egg laying at the moment. Are you sure it wasn't these you saw. They are quite a bit larger than the males you probably saw at Deep Dean". Bob is probably right as the fresh butterfly was only glimpsed in passing. Thanks Bob for clearing that up. (Ed jnr)
I counted 25 Silver-washed Fritillaries upon arrival at RSPB Fore Wood today then stopped counting and I just enjoyed the sight and being surrounded by them even more of them. More interestingly I also counted 6 Purple Hairstreaks and I was made aware of an other two in a different part of the reserve. My individuals mostly stayed high up on the oak trees but one did come down to waist level for a brief period of time (obviously when I didn't have my camera at hand). I do wonder if there was a chance to see P. Emperors as well given the number of oak trees. Also present 3 Red Admirals (no luck with the White ones), 2 Comma, 1 Ringlet, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Brimstones, Small and Large Whites and one Skipper what I believe to be a Silver-spotted Skipper based on a very visible white line in the middle of the sex brand (unfortunately couldn't get a clear shot of it). (Istvan Radi)
Given it's location it is probably unlikely that it was a Silver-spotted Skipper, Istvan, though not impossible. Female Large Skippers are most often confused with this species. (Ed jnr)
I went to Deep Dean this morning with my old school friend Robert, arriving around nine thirty. On the way up we met Katrina who had done an early shift, and later handed over to Chris Hooker. We walked along the south facing valley side in strips with about three metres between us, which meant we covered most of the northern hillside.
The first Grayling was the hardest to spot but then it became progressively easier. Our total count was nine. I thought none of them had the Trombidium bree mite, but later looking at my pictures I can see that one did.
We didn't find any of the Grayling in the scrapes but instead found them sheltering beneath small shrubs. When disturbed they would tend to seek a shady spot. Once settled they seem unperturbed, so I don't think they were hiding and it is more likely that they were just finding it a bit hot. My guide says that they perform a looping flight, though I am not sure what that means. We did seem a number of them gliding down the hill rather like a fritillary does.
All of the Grayling we saw were seen within the marked area in the photograph. There were also large number Chalk Hill Blues, quite a few Dark Green Fritillarys and a number of Small Coppers amongst other butterflies. (Jonathan Crawford)
Circular walk through Hawksden Park Wood and Rolfs Farm (Mayfield) at 14.00 today. Highlights : 1 White Admiral, 5 Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 Marbled White. Plus Common Blue, Essex Skipper, Brimstone, Peacock, Large White, Small White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Copper, Comma, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue. (Richard Farran)
Thanks to dropping my son for a Duke of Edinburgh expedition and a visit to my in-laws I was able to combine trips to Ashdown Forest and Windover Hill. In the forest I saw 6-8 Silver-studded Blues on the heathland north of the Poundgate car park (thanks for the tip Jonathan Warner!). Then at Windover amongst the hundreds of Chalkhill Blues my highlights were a Small Blue (actually in the disused quarry across the road) and a pair of coupling Dark Green Fritillaries. Sadly no Graylings! (Tony Gould)
Literally dozens of Silver Washed Fritillaries in Vert Wood this morning. Also several White Admiral, and 8 other butterfly species. (Mike Kerry)
The highlights of a walk round Lancing Ring and the north side of Steep Down were 5 Wall, 5 Chalk Hill Blue, 2 Silver-washed Fritillary - my first in Lancing for a couple of years. 24 butterfly species identified, plus a probable Brown Hairstreak. I'll track it down in the end. Resistance is futile. (Lindsay Morris)
I spent about 2 hours across the middle of the day walking around Deep Dean and ended up finding 11 Grayling including 3 having a chase. All were on the SE facing slope about half way up the slope and were spread along about a 300m section starting 100m to the NE of the SW end fence that runs down the slope. I had 2 land on me and another 2 on my clipboard, obviously curious to know what I was up to! Eventually one settled away from me and I was able to get some photos. Also seen were numerous Meadow Browns, Chalk Hill Blues and Dark Green Fritillaries as well as small numbers of several other species. (Chris Hooker)
An early morning visit to Abbots wood revealed four Purple Hairstreaks, low down. One in particular allowed close approach for both open and closed wing shots. Although none of the PH's seen recently are fresh, but many remain in good condition. This was also true of a female Silver-washed Fritillary found nectaring on Ragwort. (Trevor Rapley)
Friday 13 July
With our Bevendean Blues walk on Sunday I had a short walk over the main site to see what was about
today and there were plenty of Chalkhill Blues and other downland butterflies and flowers. (Geoff Stevens)
Another sortie to the southern block of Knepp Wildland this morning. Plenty of Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Small & Essex Skippers etc. We were hoping for early Brown Hairstreaks and many thanks to Matthew Oates for sharing his find with us of a pristine male - the only one we saw. Also Purple Hairstreaks flying high as usual. (Chris Hamilton)
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
Many of the usual suspects have appeared again on our balcony the past 3 days. A Poplar Hawk-moth appeared in the house last night and laid 2 eggs on a lampshade! I hope to nurture the larvae when they emerge. Gatekeepers were seen by the Golf course path. Balcony moths: Brown-tail (Euproctis chrysorrhoea), Meadow Neb (Metzneria metzneriella), Meal Moth (Pyralis farinalis), one of the Obscure moths (Oegoconia species), Rustic (Hoplodrina blanda) and the Privet moth returned. (Colin Knight)
Spent nearly four hours looking for signs of Grayling on windover hill today but no luck yet. Plenty of butterflies and duelling marbelled whites plus scores of Chalk Hill Blues and Dark Green Fritillarys. (Peter Jarman)
Today while visiting my father, Roy Symonds from my home in Cornwall, we visited Houghton Forest (SU9911). When we first arrived at 11:30 the weather was warm, humid with some hazy sunshine. During the course of our 2.5 hour walk the sun appeared reaching a temperature of around 23°C. Ringlets and Whites were everywhere, with good numbers of Silver-washed Fritillarys, but no signs of any White Admirals. I have visited this site during July for the past 4 years and have never been lucky to record a Purple Emperor here, until today. First I found the remains of a Purple Emperor beside the path (at approx SU99261127) and took some photos of possibly a female, as no traces of purple could be seen from any angle on what was left of the wings with the head absent - the final resting place of a regal butterfly.
Later as we were walking out of the forest on a main track towards the car park at 14:11 (at approx SU99961119), a female Purple Emperor flew over my head across the path and disappeared behind a large bush. As I walked along to see where it had flown, I noticed that a sallow bush was growing behind, but no traces of the Empress, but a close encounter which made my day.
Totals: Brimstone 5M 6F, Large White 31, Small White 28, Green-veined White 11, Gatekeeper 15, Meadow Brown 19, Ringlet 72, Speckled Wood 4, Comma 12, Peacock 10, Purple Emperor 2 (1 dead), Silver-washed Fritillary 20M 10F, Large Skipper 8, Small Skipper 6. (Richard Symonds)
Nice to hear from you again Richard. It's been a while. (Ed jnr)
The first of the second generation Small Blues was seen at Dorothy Stringer School today, along with the first ever record of the Ringlet on the Surrenden Campus. (Dr Dan Danahar)
Spent three hours this afternoon scouring the top of the Deep Dene valley looking for Graylings, in places we have seen them before (mostly where scrub clearance had taken place). Alas none seen, although there were plenty of Chalkhill Blues and we counted c40 Dark Green Fritillaries, some looking decidedly tatty. Also 7 Small Coppers.Good luck to all those who look tomorrow... no-one we met saw any today either. (Chris Skinner)
I am sorry, Chris. We all know that feeling.Thanks for looking anyway. (Ed jnr)
more pictures (Istvan Radi)
I spent about 5 hours walking all the paths up and down around Windover Hill and Deep Dean and yet I didn't see any Graylings what is slightly disappointing especially as others did see them (well done to Bob Eade). But not all is gloomy as I did see a LOT of other butterflies. Not a full list just the most interesting and what I can remember: 2x Peacock, 3x Comma, 1x White Admiral, 3x Dark Green Fritillary, 1x Red Admiral, 8-10x Wall Brown, 100s of Meadow Brown, dozens of Marbled White and Gatekeeper, quite a few Small Copper, 10-12x Painted Lady, lots of Small and Essex Skipper (surprisingly to me I didn't notice any Large), plenty of Chalk Hill Blue, some other blues, probably 1000s of Five/Six-spot Burnet moth, a few Forester moth and zillions of other day flying moths of gold, white, brown and mixed colors. (Istvan Radi)
Mill Hill - I couldn't find any Silver-spotted Skipper, but did manage 21 butterfly species including 2 Dingy Skipper in good condition, but is it too early to claim second brood? 4 (fresh) Painted Lady is the most I've seen anywhere this year. (Lindsay Morris)
Roedean Old 9-hole Site. I've tried to promote this wonderful site on here, but as yet, I haven't bumped in to anyone belonging to SBC whilst there. Easy, free on-site parking and a cafe just over the road. TQ347031.
This morning from 11.15 am to 12.15 pm, numerous Large Whites and Small Whites, Essex Skippers and Meadow Browns. A lesser number of Gatekeepers and Marbled Whites. 15 Small Blues, 4 Common Blues, 3 Peacocks, 2 Small Heaths, 1 Brown Argus and lots of 6-spot Burnet moths. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Early this morning I went with Doug Neve to Abbots wood to show him my Purple Hairstreak hot spot.
Despite unfavourable weather, ie. little sun, one female PH was found low down in an Oak.
We then carried on to Knepp where a fresh male Holly Blue was found, along with many Gatekeepers
and Meadow Browns ( some very fresh ). As a late bonus, three Purple Emperors were seen in the air. (Trevor Rapley)
It was a case of Deja Vu today, as last year on July 13th I did my Wider Butterfly survey in Friston Forest followed by a visit to Deep Dene where I saw the 1st Grayling of the year. Today on that same date I repeated the exercise with very much the same results. In Deep Dene I did a zigzag course across the hillside and again, similar to last year I was about to give up when a Grayling flew up. As it already had a red mite attached it is possible it has been on the wing for a few days. At one point another joined it and a small battle commenced.
There were also one or two Chalkhill Blues in the area!! Looking like snow blizzards at times.
In a patch of Viper's Bugloss there were 3 Hummingbird Hawk-moths flying together. My first UK Clouded Yellow of the year was also seen.
As usual there were almost plague numbers of Mecyna flavalis on the slopes. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
The Grayling has landed! I know where I am going to be tomorrow morning.(Ed jnr)
Silver-spotted Skipper seen on a flying visit to Cradle Valley this morning. (Chris Brewer)
I spotted a Camberwell Beauty in Friston Forest at approximately 20:30 between Butchershole Bottom and Friston Pond. It was unmistakably this species, as it was large, had a cream perimeter around the topside of the wings and a purple/burgundy colouring. Maybe has something to do with the hot weather and easterly wind helping them over from Scandinavia? Unfortunately, the butterfly flew up into the trees before I could take a photo.
Location of sighting: https://goo.gl/maps/K61kyQjgh7P2 (Alan Mackenzie https://www.alanmackenziephotography.com)
On Tuesday night our balcony visitors included Dotted Oak Knot-horn (Phycita roborella), Inlaid Grass-veneer (Crambus pascuella), Long-horned Flat-body (Carcina quercana) and the mighty Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinx ligustri), the first Hawk-moth we have ever seen here. (Colin Knight)
Yesterday (12 July) Matthew Oates and I led the last of the 2018 Knepp Purple Emperor safaris, finishing the season in style. We saw a total of 27 emperors, including two 'tumbledowns', in which both female and male spiral down to the ground. Of the many observed on sap bleeds, we were surprised to see a freshly emerged female, which should still be egg-laying in two weeks time. However, it will be very difficult to see Purple Emperors beyond mid next week. Among the wealth of other fauna and flora, we found this funky pink hopper, showing how not to do camouflage. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 12 July
In a line of Oaks near Pease Pottage,Crawley at least 10 Purple Hairstreaks seen,some coming low down on Brambles. (Alastair Gray)
I set out for a walk in St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon to see some of the more common species that live in the forest. I've always enjoyed watching Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Gatekeeper but sometimes neglect to photo them whilst persuing other species. There were also Small Skipper, Essex Skipper and Large Skipper. Large, Small and Green-veined White. As well as Red and White Admiral, Brimstone and others totalling 19 species. (Patrick Moore)
Visited Ashdown Forest to look for Silver Studded Blues yesterday afternoon. Parked at Poundgate car park and walked a circular route north of New road. About 20 males and 1 female spotted. Other species seen included Large and Small Skippers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, a Brimstone, a Peacock and a Clouded Yellow. (Jonathan Warner)
Whitehawk Hill. I spent an enjoyable hour and a half on the lower part of the hill. An abundance of Chalkhill Blues, Meadow Browns, Large and Small Whites, Gatekeepers, Essex and Small Skippers and Marbled Whites. Also, 15 Ringlets, 10 Common Blues, 2 Peacocks, 2 Speckled Woods and 2 Brown Argus. There were also 9 Burnet and 1 Silver Y moths. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
On a walk up Blackcap this afternoon, many Gatekeeper, Marbled White and Chalk Hill Blue. Meadow Brown and Ringlet in the grass, also Six-spot Burnet moth and Cinnabar caterpillars on the ragwort. Plentiful Large White. Dark Green Fritillary in the grass land on the top, and Silver-washed Fritillary in the woodland on the way down to Ashcombe Bottom. Only the Chalk Hill Blue let me take a picture! (Nigel Symington)
I went to Chantry Hill with the intention of counting Dark Green Fritillaries and counted five females before the clouds came and I gave up. Otherwise in the garden there were fresh individuals of Brown Argus, Common Blue and Small Copper and faded specimens of many others (17 species in total). A count of at least 3 Holly Blue was nice. (Martin Kalaher)
Yet another beautiful walk round the Litlington, Jevington and Folkington area, the highlights of which were lots of male Chalk Hill Blues, oodles of Marbled Whites, skippers, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, only a few Dark Green Fritillaries this time, three bright new Small Coppers, a couple of Forester moths, abundant six spot burnet moths, a pair of peregrines with two vociferous young in tow and two kestrels, one of which was very very pale, like a ghost kestrel.
We spent a bit of time at the head of Deep Dean looking at patches of dust dry earth and hoping to flush Grayling but we did'nt. It was hard trying to explain to my companion that we were looking for a butterfly that you can't see. (tessa pawsey)
Well thanks for trying Tessa.(ed jnr)
Back on Sunday 8th July was my 'Green Ridge - Marbled Meadow' guided walk, at Green Ridge in Brighton & Hove. It was good to see visitors from Butterfly Conservation, RSPB, three local Councillors, Brighton & Hove Wildlife Forum and Keep The Ridge Green members. I remember counting 18 attendees. Thanks go to Annabeth for my lift to and from the site and for compiling a detailed list of species and numbers seen, as follows, my own notes in brackets: Essex Skipper (easily a few hundred over the whole site, every Skipper I checked was of this species), Large White 19, Small White 3, Green-veined White 1, Brimstone 1, Marbled White 19, Gatekeeper 1 (plus 3 I saw, including one where orange was absent on it's left hindwing when viewed with wings open, instead of orange it was white), Meadow Brown 26 (had to be more on site), Red Admiral 2 (plus 1 I saw), Common Blue 2 (plus another 2 I saw), Peacock 1, Comma 3, Six-spot Burnet 3 and Five-spot Burnet 2. Many thanks to Colin Leeves for allowing me to share his photos, including this female Silver-washed Fritillary that was feeding on Privet in his garden that morning along Green Ridge (road) which backs onto the site, also seen in his garden the previous day. To my knowledge Silver-washed Fritillaries haven't been recorded from this area of Brighton & Hove before. Many thanks to everyone who came along, you made it most enjoyable, it was great to put faces to some familiar names and for meeting new people. If you visit Green Ridge during this month you may well see Brown Hairstreaks along the Blackthorn hedgerow or feeding on the Creeping Thistle, Bramble or Ragwort flowers, as having found their eggs on site, at the start of the year.
(Jamie Burston http://www.keeptheridgegreen.com/)
Ashurst wood, West sussex White Admiral in my garden at 13.30 today 12th July. I have a large sunny garden backing on to light woodland. (Mike)
(continuation of previous report) (Colin Knight)
I visited Kithurst meadow yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the spectacle of many flowers and grasses up to waist height. I saw 17 butterfly species: Brimstone, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue (2), Comma, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Small White, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Heath, Small Skipper. Moths: Common Plume (Emmelina monodactyla), Silver Y, Six-spot Burnet. At one point 12 Whites were tumbling in the air together, including a Marbled White. Silver-washed Fritillaries flashed by and included a mating pair. (Colin Knight http://colinknight.blogspot.com/2018/07/kithurst-meadows-july-butterflies14.html)
I saw a wide variety of species this morning in just two locations.
Firstly an early visit to Abbots wood produced two Purple Hairstreaks, and among the abundant Butterflies
at Abbots wood a lovely female Silver-washed Fritillary.
I then moved on to High and Over and saw three Wall Browns, many Chalk Hill Blues and a huge, fresh, Large White.
A Brown Hairstreak near the Hanger View point briefly today which pleased everyone on the guided walk. Attached is a back of the camera shot. (George Kinnard)
Wednesday 11 July
I went for an afternoon walk behind Springs Smoked Salmon today at Edburton. In the sunshine the hill was alive with Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Gatekeepers, gliding Marbled Whites, small and Large Skippers, two Commas, a Peacock, small and Large Whites, lots of six spot burnet moths and a couple of what looked like Dark Green Fritillaries. However I saw only one Wall Brown and no blues of any description. Sadly Springs had shut by the time I got back there so no fish supper for me. (Tony Gould)
Thanks Tony, that's another Atlas site. (Ed jnr)
With nothing much of interest on this evening, I popped up top Mill Hill to see if I could find any roosting Marble Whites. I have tried several times recently and have always been too early or too late. This time was no different, though i did spot several Meadow Browns and a dozy Small White. (Jonathan Crawford)
Spent the whole of the afternoon on windover hill and deep dean completely surrounded by many dozens of various butterflies particularly Chalk Hill Blues but no signs of the elusive Grayling yet. I must reiterate what Nigel said in an earlier post that the wild flower display is something to behold at the moment, the downs at their very best. (Peter Jarman) Thanks Peter. much appreciated. Welcome to "Team Grayling". (Ed jnr)
A walk through Wakehurst garden and the Loder Valley gave some nice shots of Silver-washed Fritillaries and other butterflies, Dragon' and Damselfies, Cuckoo Bumblebee, and a Meadow grasshopper (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/)
Tuesday 10 July
University of Sussex - Falmer campus. I've not seen any White-letter Hairstreaks high in the elms recently, but females have been visiting patches of brambles that are still in flower - 2 seen today. Also, 1 Silver-washed Fritillary, 3 Comma, numerous Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and 4+ Ringlets, 1 Peacock, many Whites - most being Small Whites but probably several Large as well. (Chris Bird)
Took an evening walk on Devil's Dyke to investigate whether there is a colony of Purple Hairstreak in the small wood of weather-beaten oaks at the eastern end of the southern slope. And yes there is, what's good is that as the oaks are so stunted and on a steep slope it is possible to stand level with the canopy of several of the trees, which makes looking for them a lot easier. I am very excited by this find as I've sat under those trees for years not realising what was up there. The light was such that they all look brown in the photos though, but I'll be going back as its a good spot. Also saw a mixture of small and Essex Skippers, Marbled White, Gatekeepers, Six-spot Burnet moths, Dark Green Fritillary and Meadow Brown. Also photographed a small yellow and brown moth that I haven't managed to identify yet. (Sylvia Davidson)
A walk up to Cissbury and back from Lyons Farm was notable for 23 butterfly species including 300+ Meadow Brown, 175+ Gatekeeper, 120+ Small/Essex Skipper, 84 Marbled White, 46 Chalk Hill Blue, 41 Peacock, 27 Ringlet, 21 Speckled Wood, 21 Small Heath, 15 Common Blue, 13 Red Admiral, 10 Dark Green Fritillary, 9 Comma, 8 Brimstone, 4 Large Skipper, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Painted Lady, 2 Small Copper, Brown Argus. Silver-spotted were not spotted! (Lindsay Morris)
The accompanying images, taken on the 5th and 6th July, show iris feeding on several sap runs high in the oak canopy at Knepp. More at http://markcolvin.blogspot.com (Mark Colvin http://markcolvin.blogspot.com)
Did a survey around the three meadows at Whillets,Weir Wood on Monday,seen were 31 Small Skipper,1 Brimstone,1 Large White,7 Small White,18 Green-veined White,1 Holly Blue,2 Red Admiral,7 Comma,1 Speckled Wood,18 Gatekeeper,45 Meadow Brown and 83 Ringlets.Only moths 2 Six-spot Burnets. (Alastair Gray)
The transect for the Gatwick North-west zone today produced 509 butterflies of 20 species. The totals were: 11 Small Skipper, 22 Essex Skipper, 58 mixed Skipper, 1 Large Skipper, 11 Large White, 22 Small White, 13 Green-veined White, 5 Common Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 2 Small Copper, 9 Purple Hairstreak, 11 Comma, 5 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 4 Silver-washed Fritillary, 139 Meadow Brown, 29 Ringlet, 157 Gatekeeper, 4 Small Heath, 4 Speckled Wood. However the highlight of the day for me was a Six-belted Clearwing moth. (Vince Massimo)
Thanks Vince. (Ed jnr)
(continuation of the previous post) (Colin Knight)
The warm still nights on 6th,7th and 8th July have brought 46 species of moths to our balcony light, including many new ones to the list. I turned on the light at dusk and leave it on all night. Most moths arrive between 10pm and midnight. I have been going out 5-6am and sometimes several new species had arrived overnight. One morning there was a lot of tweeting from the hedgerow and while I was still on the balcony a sparrow flew past me, grabbed a moth from the wall and settled on the railing a few feet away. The moth was fluttering in its mouth then the sparrow flew off. Cheeky bird! (the rest of the images can be viewed on my blog). (Colin Knight http://colinknight.blogspot.com/2018/07/moths-galore-sparrow-feast.html)
Working in my garden in West St Leonards this morning the following Butterflies seen 4 Gatekeepers, 1 Small Copper, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Meadow Brown and a Skipper near a Stinking Iris could not I.D.?
Many thanks to Paul Johnson. His walk in Hargate Forest last Saturday was most interesting. 21 Species including White Admiral, an egg laying Purple Hairstreak and a female Purple Emperor( a first for me) Silver Washed Fritillary and Dark Green Fritillary to name a few. A pity it was not well supported. It was enjoyed by the few friendly people that did come along.
I went up Windover Hill today to Deep Dene, but no sighting of a Grayling. Other species were very visible in spite of a strong wind. Chalkhill Blue (Many), Small Blue, Small Copper, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Six-spot Burnet moth and some Dark Green Fritillaries flying vigorously between nectaring on knapweed flowers. The walk up is worth it for the wild flowers alone. (Nigel Symington)
Thanks Nigel and welcome to "Team Grayling". You are leading by example, and hopefully others will follow in your footsteps later this week. We are very keen to know when the flight season starts for the Grayling this year. (Ed jnr)
After a week away I was keen to get back to the Frog Firle area to search out 2nd brood Wall Brown and Silver-spotted Skippers.
Around 8 Wall Brown were seen and it was clear they had been out for a few days with some already a little worn.
I then saw at least 7 and probably 8 Silver-spotted Skippers with 3 females. Once again these had probably been emerging over the past couple of days. An egg laying female Dark Green Fritillary was followed by another very fresh female. A 2nd brood Brown Argus was also good to see. Chalkhill Blues are also numerous. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflis.blogspot.co.uk)
An early morning ' beat the heat ' visit to Abbots wood for Purple Hairstreaks proved successful
with three seen at close quarters, two females and one male. I also found a female Gatekeeper
with an unusual brown stripe on the right hand forewing. Several Silver Washed Fritillaries were
present, all showing signs of wear. (Trevor Rapley)
Went up Malling Down on Sunday evening. Marbled Whites in profusion but not sitting still! I saw this pair of Gatekeepers on the way down. (Nigel Symington)
We have been managing Coldean Woods for five years now and the work we have put in, along with the impact of Chalara on the Ash, has made this violet rich woodland a prime location for colonisation by the Silver-washed Fritillary. Last year I observed a single individual scouting the woodland. This year the woodland is much more open and as I walked my dogs through on the 6th July I thought that its about then that we could expect to see some SWF investigating the woods. No sooner had I thought this when a female made herself apparent and spent 20 mins ovipositing on trees at 2 metres above ground level. I managed to get a couple of images with my iPhone. Happy days indeed - two woodland success in one week! (Dr Dan Danahar)
Monday 09 July
I went to the Kithurst Hill flower meadow this evening hoping to see some roosting Chalkhill Blues. I didn't manage to spot any but I got photos of a Comma, Marbled White and Small (or Essex) Skipper. (John Williams)
On the last tree on my walk I just found a Yellow-tail moth (?). (Istvan Radi)
I just finished a short walk in Wild Park, Brighton and found this dry pupa with this black dry something in it. It looks like a dead butterfly's or month's body stuck in the pupa. Any ideas what it might be? (Istvan Radi)
Neil Hulme writes "Istvan’s image shows the remnants of the chrysalis case (black) of a burnet moth, poking out from the cocoon (straw-coloured) within which the caterpillar pupated, and from which the emergent adult has escaped." Thanks Neil. (Ed jnr)
Roedean Old 9-hole Site. Lots and lots of Meadow Browns, Small Whites, Essex Skippers and Six-spot Burnet Moths. Also, 1 Peacock, 12 Marbled Whites and 4 Small Blues.
The Butterfly Bank area has now Wild Marjoram, Scabious, Knapweed and Wild Carrot pushing up through the Kidney Vetch which is going to seed. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
I was working in the garden all day and by tea-time realised I had recorded 15 butterfly species, the high-lights being two sightings of male Dark Green Fritillary and freshly-emerged Brown Argus in the meadow. I haven't seen a Peacock for around two months and then there was one in flight yesterday and four on the Buddleia today. Twenty butterfly species seen in the past 5 days. (Martin Kalaher)
In North Lancing I saw my first Hummingbird Hawk- moth of the year and my first ever Rosy Footman, a real stunner!
Ah Rosy Footman, I am sure I went to school with her....(Ed jnr)
Matthew Oates and I led another two Knepp Safaris to see the Purple Emperor over the weekend, seeing 34 on Saturday and 37 on Sunday. Most of the males are now looking tired, and activity is largely restricted to afternoons and evenings. On Sunday we managed to get very close to a male emperor on a head-height sap bleed; he had only three legs and one foot in the grave, but provided us with the opportunity for images of some interesting behavioral activity. A 'tumbledown' female (rejecting a male's advances) also allowed us to get very close, as she sat quietly on Bramble flowers until the coast was clear. Plenty of others butterflies were also present, including Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Purple Hairstreak and golden skippers. (Neil Hulme)
In my back Hailsham garden at 5.15am, just rescued an Elephant Hawk-moth from a spider’s web on the honeysuckle. It flew off quite happily and I can go back to bed. Hope I got the spelling correct this time, I copied from the BC website? (Kerry Baldwin)
Two gold stars for you: one for rescuing the moth and the other for spelling its name properly. (Ed jnr)
Sunday 08 July
Several other schemes for the day came to nothing so we spent more time in our back garden in Hove than usual. As usual we didn't see great numbers of anything but unusually we had a lot of variety. The hot weather has encouraged butterflies to wander far and wide and Wish Park just behind our fence is much more butterfly friendly. First up before 9.00am was a Small White and they were in and out all day along with a few Large Whites. A Speckled Wood soon followed and hung around a bit in their preferred area, making a short appearance again in the afternoon. The surprise guest mid morning, nectaring on some blue flowers, was a Marbled White, but once gone it didn't return. (We have had one before, a long time ago.) I noticed a Peacock on our buddleia. It powered past us again several times during the day. A small darkish butterfly seen by Val on clover on the grass was a female Common Blue. Then a couple of skippers turned up. It wasn't until the sun went in a bit that one of them settled and could be identified as an Essex Skipper. Next up, a Ringlet which visited several times but infuriatingly wouldn't stop. Fortunately we'd seen enough Ringlets and Meadow Browns flying at Balcombe a few days ago to be sure of its identity and when a Meadow Brown passed through later we were convinced about that too. There had been occasional flashes of orange from a Comma which came to rest during another cloudy moment. The final one we could be sure of was a Holly Blue in the afternoon. Val also saw a large washed-out orange butterfly which was probably a Painted Lady. So that's 11 different - maybe 12 - which is a record for one day in our garden. (John & Val Heys)
I went to Friston Gallops this evening. It was alive with butterflies. I saw Chalk Hill Blues, Small Skippers, Peacocks, Commas, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns. Dark Green Fritillaries, Marbled Whites,Small Coppers, Whites and a Brown Argus. (katrina watson)
I visited Iping Common to see Silver-studded Blue around lunchtime today and managed to see 12, mainly between the car park and trig point. Most but not all were very warn. I then headed off to Woolbeding Common to explore. The views were immense; Heyshott Down west to beyond Butser Hill in a place they call Hampshire, Selbourne Hangers and the sandstone hills which almost surround Milland. Butterflies were plentiful Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Skippers, Whites, Silver-washed Fritillary and Purple Hairstreak, But the highlight were unexpected Purple Emperor, I counted 6 around a group of Oak, there were probably more. All flying to the North West of the difficult to find trig point at Older Hill. The whole area is well worth a visit. (Patrick Moore)
I found this strange butterfly in my Shoreham garden. Amazingly it was alive and kicking and keen to get away, showing how resilient these insects are. Now if only I knew what species it was.... (Jonathan Crawford)
This morning I visited Botany Bay hoping to see and photograph Wood Whites and perhaps a Purple Emperor or two. I arrived at 08.30 and left at 11.20 hrs. During the time I was at the habitat I saw about 10 Wood Whites and a single worn and damaged Purple Emperor on the ground near the Triangle. Purple Emperors on the ground were also seen by others present. (Douglas Neve)
These Wood Whites were of course in Surrey. (Ed jnr)
Went for a well overdue summer stroll up and around Seaford Golf Course and down to the Rathfinny Estate. It's been about a year since my last report and it took me ages to get my eye in again for the little ones. But thankfully got there. I saw Brown Argus, Common Blue, Comma, Skippers (not sure if Essex, Small or Large as lost my touch), Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small White and Speckled Wood.Enjoyed it very much. (Nick Linazasoro)
A walk around Cissbury this morning hoping to see Dark Green Fritillaries was unsuccessful, though there were plenty of other butterflies including Silver-washed Fritillaries, Common Blues and Chalk Hill Blues. There were a lot of female Brimstones and the odd male. On the way home I stopped to admire the expansive everlasting pea at Beeding Cement works. (Jonathan Crawford)
Yesterday (7th July) I walked a circular route from Horsley Farm, West Marden almost reaching Compton Down (SU7614) and back to West Marden. A total of 14 different species were recorded during the walk which took me two and a half hours. Totals: Brimstone 4M 3F, Large White 11, Small White 56, Green-veined White 1, Holly Blue 1, Gatekeeper 2, Marbled White 7, Meadow Brown 32, Ringlet 4, Speckled Wood 6, Comma 3, Red Admiral 3, Silver-washed Fritillary 1, Small Skipper 2. (Roy Symonds)
Really lovely walk along the Green Ridge this morning led by Jamie Burston. Essex Skippers seem to have taken over Brighton this year and Green Ridge was no exception, hundreds of them, so unfortunately all my decent photos are of them (different angles though!). Also seen were several Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, whites (including a Green-veined White), Peacock, Comma, five spot burnet moth and right at the end of walk a female Red Admiral visited the bramble next to us. Jamie spotted a second brood Common Blue as well. Hope I haven't missed anything. Thanks Jamie for a lovely walk, although it was baking up there. Once again I noticed how resilient to drought grassland like that is - the long grass is brown but down near the ground everything is still green and lush - in contrast to everywhere that has has been mown. (Sylvia Davidson)
Fishbourne: I have this butterfly resting inside the house on my kitchen wall. I don't recognise it so would appreciate it if you could advise. (Chantelle Whittle)
Thanks for you sighting, Chantelle. It is not a butterfly. It is a Swallow tailed moth. These start out as pale yellow and as they age turn whiter. Theya re usually nocturnal. (Ed jnr)
more photos (Istvan Radi)
Seaford Head was buzzing with butterflies yesterday morning. I didn't count but lots of Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, all kind of Skippers, Gatekeepers, Small and Large Whites, one Red Admiral, one Peacock, a few Commas and Painted Ladies and a fritillary. Then I walked down to Cuckmere Haven and along the river up High and Over. Along the river there were dozens of different Skippers feeding on the purple flower down on the riverbank (very low tide). Here I saw one Skipper what was much brighter than any I have seen before but as I couldn't get a picture of it I dare not say that it was a Silver-spotted. I also found two blues what are the first ones in a while. Up at High and Over apart from the beautiful view I didn't see much just the same species as before but less abundant in numbers. (Istvan Radi)
Over the past two days there have been 17 butterfly species in my Storrington garden. There has been an influx of Large Whites, many Brimstone have emerged with 3 males and 2 females yesterday, and others such as a second-brood Small Copper and a second-brood male Common Blue. (Martin Kalaher)
Saturday 07 July
In my garden in West Hove today this Comma on my black currant plant 10+ whites on or around the nasturtiums (Michael Church)
A stroll around Southwater woods at lunchtime today revealed 16 butterfly species including 3 Purple Emperor and plentiful numbers of Purple Hairstreak tree topping apart from 1 which luckily visited a low lying Oak branch right next to me. Several Silver-washed Fritillary visited the ground looking for moisture or minerals. Other highlights were White Admiral and large numbers of Gatekeeper and Marbled White in the meadows. (Patrick Moore)
For anyone who is joining me for the "Green Ridge - Marbled Meadow" walk tomorrow (Sunday 8th), regarding health and safety, please can I remind everyone to bring drinks with them to stay hydrated during the hot temperatures forecast. Should you want to buy drinks or food locally there is the Hill Top Café near our meeting point on Dyke Road Avenue. If doing so I would advise that you arrive 10 minutes early so to be ready for the 10.30am start. Please also consider skin protection as the site is mostly open, with limited areas of shade, wearing a hat would be a good idea. Many thanks. (Jamie Burston http://www.keeptheridgegreen.com/)
It was good to be back on Mill Hill for the transect this morning. Fifteen species of butterfly and I was particularly pleased to see 8 Chalk Hill Blues and a couple of second brood Common Blues. The dominant species were Gatekeeper and Meadow Browns, though the Marbled Whites put on a good show. After that it was along to Ashdown Forest for the Silver-studded Blues. Arriving in the morning, I could not match the 150 or so seen by Mark and Ian Cadey earlier in the day, but still recorded enough to make the trip worthwhile. (Jonathan Crawford)
In an early morning walk (7.30 am) at Ditchling country park saw plenty of Purple Hairstreaks whizzing around the canopy. Managed to get a few terrible shots of one that came down slightly lower. I saw what I'm pretty certain was a Purple Emperor - it flew towards me over my head turned and flew away from me at my height for a while before disappearing up into the canopy so got a pretty good look at it. I've never seen one before and this had all the right characteristics - size, pattern, flight type etc. I didn't know they were here, is it likely to be one? Also saw a couple of White Admirals, and lots of Large Skippers, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White, Peacock and Silver-washed Fritillary. Got a photo of a Gold Swift moth - I think they are quite common and love bracken, but its a lovely looking moth. (Sylvia Davidson)
White-letter Hairstreak seen in my Steyning garden this morning.... plus Marbled White and Hummingbird Hawk Moth. (Ray Baker)
A Comma, Small Copper, Red Admiral, Common Blue, Small Whites, Essex Skippers, Gatekeepers, lots of Meadow Browns plus, for the first time here, a White-letter Hairstreak, seen in an Alfriston downland garden today. (Tony Gould)
We live in the North Heath area of Horsham which is now fairly suburban. We had a huge surprise this morning when a Marbled White (probably male) appeared in our small garden. We assume we are a long way from any breeding area and there is hardly any breeze today so where it came from is anybody's guess! We are seeing Holly Blues & Large Whites every day and the occasional Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown & Gatekeeper. (Chris & John Hamilton)
We walked our two WCBS lines at Balcombe yesterday (6/7/18) seeing about twice as many butterflies as last year (7/7/17) although a little less variety. Nothing was settling and it was very hard to tell battered Meadow Browns from faded Ringlets or the types of skipper. The totals for both lines were:- Large White 4, Small White 31, Green-veined White 2, Meadow Brown 103, Ringlet 16, Gatekeeper 6, Common Blue 1, Purple Hairstreak 1, skippers 15. None of the skippers appeared to be large and the only one Val had a fair look at was a Small Skipper, so they'll go down as small on the WCBS record, but last year in the same part of the walk the only one we identified was an Essex Skipper, therefore the 15 could have been a mixture of both. There is nothing worse in butterfly identification than chasing little skippers around when you've just had a bit of laser eye surgery and have blobs floating around an eye! Away from the two lines, we saw plenty more butterflies, the only different types being a Red Admiral and a Silver-washed Fritillary. A good way to spend the wedding anniversary. (John & Val Heys)
Purple Emperor activity on the Knepp Wildland has now become sporadic, with afternoons and evenings being by far the best times to watch the butterfly, particularly around oaks which bleed sap. There is now very little activity on hot, sunny mornings. However, numbers remain high and the sport can still be spectacular if you're in the right place at the right time. During a half-day safari on Thursday 5 July we managed a total of 60 emperors (and a very nice female Purple Hairstreak down low) and a more extensive search on Friday 6 July gave me a total of 81, including several empresses sitting in scrub and a middle-aged male on the ground. As the Knepp Purple Emperor season moves into its later stages, the Brown Hairstreak flight is already starting. (Neil Hulme)
Sitting with my coffee at 8am in my garden in Prince Edwards Road in the Wallands part of Lewes when I was amazed to see a White Admiral swoop around and then sit sunning itself on ivy only a few feet away! Have only seen them at Ashcombe Bottom previously. (Ray Pyne)
West St Leonards on Sea. A Holly Blue on Blackberry Flowers near an Ivy covered fence in my rear garden. Is this a second brood? (Janet Wilkes)
Yes (Ed jnr)
Yesterday , July 6th I rode my bike up to Hollingbury. I arrived at 1230 I was interested to note there wasn’t a single White-letter Hairstreak, on the area I’d seen dozens only a few days ago. I spotted 4 Marbled Whites, 2 Commas, 20+ Essex Skippers, 2 Speckled Woods, Large Whites, Small Whites, a few Green-veined Whites, Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Ringlets were plentiful. 1 Fritillary. I did the adjoining wood, including the allowable part of the golf course. Have to say I was slightly disappointed as the conditions seemed very favourable, but in Hove overnight there had been rain and it was very wet early doors. (Michael Church)
Friday 06 July
I visited Knepp this morning hoping to see Purple Emperors but I only saw one, flying from an oak tree into some Sallows. But I did get a nice picture of a Small White, which I actually have fewer of than shots of Purple Emperors! I then went to the Kithurst flower meadow, where I saw my first Chalk Hill Blues of the year and some fresh Brimstones. (John Williams)
So on Monday (2nd July) I had pupils measuring light intensity, temperature and humidity - at ground level, in the school woodland, to demonstrate the influence of managing woodland structure on the physical environment. Suddenly a White-letter Hairstreak flew down onto a coppice stool and before I could get close enough to take a photo, if flew off. Then in the next glade I saw a female (see iPhone image) desperately trying to get nectar from flowerless bramble fruits.
I returned twenty minutes later, once I had discharged my responsibility for my pupils. I then looked into the canopy of the large Elm that is closest to were I saw the Hairstreaks and lo and behold there were hairstreaks having dog fights all over the canopy.
After 18 years of managing this woodland with the White-letter Hairstreak in mind, I can firmly say, we now have an established colony. This is one of the most exciting developments I have had in my habitat restoration career because its woodland based as opposed to that which I am most commonly recognised for - chalk grassland restoration. The images included here are of some courtship and are frames taken from a video filmed with my iPhone.
I returned to the woodland on Wednesday (4th July) to see more dogfights above yet another Elm within the same woodland. Happy days. (Dr Dan Danahar)
A walk round Lancing Ring and the northern half of Steep Down. 20 butterfly species with highlights 160 Meadow Brown, 96 Marbled White, 63 Ringlet, 48 Gatekeeper, 29 Peacock, 10 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Red Admiral, 4 Green-veined White, 2 Small Heath, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Brimstone. I must admit I didn't look for Brown Hairstreak today, but I will tomorrow! (Lindsay Morris)
Visited Markstakes common early yesterday. Quiet at first but more action as the weather warmed up. In a clearing Purple Hairsteaks were low on the bracken. Plenty of Hedge Browns (aka Gatekeepers), Large Skippers half a dozen Silver-washed Fritillaries and a couple of White Admirals. Moved on to Hollingbury Park. Two very worn White-letter Hairstreak ,several Commas,a Peacock and many Essex Skippers. (Jonathan Warner)
A morning stroll through Lewes Railway land yielded plenty of Peacocks, Ringlets, Meadow Brown, Commas, Gatekeepers and the occasional white (most of which looked quite large) flypast. The buddleia is just getting going here and in previous years I have found this area to be excellent for Peacocks. Out on the brooks the large mounds of bramble were very busy with Gatekeepers and Commas. Blackberries look like they will be good this year as well. (Sylvia Davidson)