Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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Please send in your Sussex butterfly and moth sightings to sighting  "AT"  sussex-butterflies.org.uk (type the email address manually into your usual email system and replace "AT" with @). This page is updated as often as possible, usually daily. Red sightings are first of the year, purple are moths.


If you would like to send in digital photos of butterflies and moths taken in Sussex for our galleries, please see the Species page for the correct format to submit your photos in, and to see which photos we need.


IMPORTANT: The email addresses for all contacts on this website have now changed. All retain the suffix "@sussex-butterflies.org.uk". The address to send your sightings now has the prefix "sighting" and not "sightings".

Can you help identify these photos?

Do check out the review of the conservation work the Sussex Branch undertook in 2006 and see all the things that are being done to protect our butterflies, moths and their habitats.

Weds 30 May

The butterfly galleries are now up to date - that's 250 photos so far by dozens of you all taken in Sussex, of all the commonly occurring species except the poor forgotten Small White! You will see for example 16 photos of adult Red Admirals, but none of any of their other life stages, or of them mating or egg laying - there lies your challenge. Poorly represented species still include Large White, Meadow Brown, Essex Skipper, Wall and Marbled White, and several others, so plenty to be looking for. Adrian 

I found a Elephant Hawk-Moth by my back door the other afternoon. When I moved it to a safer place I noticed it was very 'sluggish'. I took a couple of photographs of it and, when I had a close look at them, I noticed the moth had what appeared to be white mites on its thorax. I have attached the photos - does anyone have any idea if they are mites? Would it be the reason why it seemed sluggish? (Steven Teale) Image of moth and close-up of its battered thorax below

Tues 29 May

Very close to where I had marked the position of eggs, found at the base of Cissbury Ring in early January, I found this Brown Hairstreak larva, together with a much smaller specimen. Despite knowing approximately where to look, they are remarkably difficult to spot, secreted below blackthorn leaves. (Neil Hulme)

Surprisingly few butterflies out today in bright sunshine. Maybe yesterday's torrential rain and a brisk wind put them off: 4 Red Admiral, 1 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Wood and 6 Speckled Yellows. Also a Yellow-tail moth larva feeding on bramble. Photo by Miles Clarke, age 10. (Caroline, Miles and Ed Clarke)

Mon 28 May

News for Fri 25 May: Friday night's moth catch was the best of the year for me. There were over 90 moths in the Actinic light trap There were many new species for me but the highlights were an Evergestis limbata (which is a scarce migrant) and a Figure of 80 (both below) (Mike Snelling)

Sun 27 May

It seems that rain has stopped play for a few days! Chance for me to catch up with the Galleries, so expect dozens more Sussex photos online soon. Adrian

Sat 26 May

News for Friday 25 May: While walking on the Downs behind Amberley, we came across this Buff-tip, taking an afternoon snooze while pretending to be a broken twig. (Neil, Eric and Mark Hulme)

Fri 25 May

Below the photo of the Buttoned Snout that was found at Rudgwick on 17 May (per Sam Bayley):

65 Adonis Blues fluttered around in the late afternoon sunshine on Mill Hill. That was 37 males and 16 females in an acre on the lower slopes plus 10 males and 2 females above the ridge. About a dozen Small Heath were seen with five them above the ridge, and a Wall was seen in the scrub to the north of the lower slopes. I spotted my first Cinnabar of the year in the long thick grass south of the Reservoir on Mill Hill. The Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, was fading rapidly. (Andy Horton)

At Warnham LNR, 2 Grizzled Skipper were seen on the meadow being the first records for three years at this site, with only two previous records of singles in other areas of the reserve. Another moth trapping session at Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods, Horsham last night was very successful with highlights being Dingy Shell, Pale Oak Beauty, Bordered White (lots), 3 Satin Lutestring, May Highflyer, Miller, 1 pristine Alder Kitten, 1 Satin Wave, 1 Mocha, 3 Rosy Marbled, 2 Marbled Brown, 2 Broom Moth, Small Seraphim, 1 Gold Swift, 1 Ochreous Pug and 1 Dioryctria abietella. What will we find in June? (Sam Bayley)

News for Thurs 24 May: At Park Corner Heath - 10-12 Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, 3 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Green Hairstreak and 1 Small Copper. (Bob and Matt Eade)

Thurs 24 May

News for Weds 23 May: Having spent most of the day surveying for Duke of Burgundy, the vast majority of which are now faded and tatty, it made a pleasant change to watch well in excess of 50 Adonis Blue (one of which below), collecting to roost on the upper slopes of Mill Hill. Most of these are still pristine, and as the last rays of evening sun played on their wings, they shone like sapphires amongst the tall grasses. Low numbers of Wall, Grizzled Skipper, Common Blue and Small Heath were rather overshadowed by comparison. Earlier in the day, while in Whitcombe Bottom at Harting Down, we saw a Polecat. This rare mammal has reappeared in Sussex over the last few years, having been absent since the late C19th. (Neil and Eric Hulme)

News for Weds 23 May: Abbots Wood: 10 Pearl-bordered Fritillary (looking past their best), 2 Brimstone (M), 2 Small White, 1 Large White (Carole & David Jode)


Weds 23 May

Blunts Mill & Paiges Meadows transect: Large White (1), Small White (2), Small Copper (4), Common Blue (23), Red Admiral (1), Peacock (1), Speckled Wood (1). Also hornet, orchids, mating large red damselflies, common blue damselflies and broad bodied chasers. (Paul Lister)

Two traps were run on the evening 22/05/07 in Mill Pond Marsh, Pagham Harbour LNR. Highlights were; Flame Wainscot 3, Silky Wainscot 6, Least Black Arches 1 and Orange Footman. Also trap at centre new for year were Obscure Waincot 2 and Lime Hawk-Moth. (Ivan Lang)

News for Tues 22 May

I received a call from Ian Barnard on Sunday, who although unsure, believed he had seen and photographed Marsh Fritillary in Ashpark Wood, a species sadly long-extinct in Sussex. Having seen his pictures I realised he was correct and visited the woods to have a look myself. A male and probably two females were flying. These butterflies are unofficial releases and there is no possibility of them representing a natural colonisation. Butterfly Conservation does not condone such releases. Re-introductions, where deemed appropriate, should always follow the guidelines recognised by numerous conservation bodies, and be performed in consultation with the relevant site management agencies and landowners. Certain criteria should always be met, including the prior preparation of suitable habitat and the creation of a specific management plan, in order to ensure the conditions for a sustainable population. Undocumented releases can, in some cases (e.g. Pearl-bordered Fritillary, SPBF), hamper conservation efforts, by artificially skewing survey data, on sites where habitat management is in progress. Those responsible may be well-meaning individuals, but we would respectfully ask that such releases are not performed, and if the butterflies represent unwanted, captive bred stock, that they are disposed of in another manner. Please report any sightings of this species.

Aside from the above, my visit to Ashpark Wood produced a Wood White (below), 8 Grizzled Skipper, 7 Small Heath, 2 Brown Argus and a Painted Lady, amongst the more commonly encountered species. A late visit to our reserve at Park Corner Heath, provided excellent photo opportunities for the 11 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary on the wing. (Neil Hulme)

News for 17 May

A BUTTONED SNOUT came to a bedroom light in Rudgwick on the night of 17th May, representing the first record for West Sussex since 1965 and only the fourth record since then for all of Sussex. It was of the form unicolor and a photo will follow. (Sam Bayley)

Tues 22 May

At Iping Common, there are plenty of Speckled Yellow and Common Heath moths on the wing by day now. It is worth noting that records of Common Rustic/Lesser Common Rustic and Marbled Minor/Tawny Marbled Minor are not separable without genitalia examination! (Sarah Patton)

A full day of sunshine at last! Took a hike around Friston Forest today taking in Windover Hill and Lullington Heath too. Small Heath (7), Common Blue (30+), Dingy Skipper (3), Speckled Wood (8), Green-veined White (1), Small White (1), Large White (1), Red Admiral (9), Peacock (3), Adonis Blue (1), Small Blue (1), Small Copper (4), Green Hairstreak (2), Grizzled Skipper (1), Brimstone (1), Comma (2) as well as Cinnabar, Burnet Companion, Common Heath, Speckled Yellow, Mother Shipton and larvae of Drinker and Six-spot Burnet (Michael Blencowe)

Mon 21 May

Sightings for trap run on the evening of 20 May at the visitor centre. 49 species from 157 moths trapped with 15 species new for the year. New species for year: Crambus pascuella 1, Heart and Club 1, Small Square Spot 6, Sandy Carpet 1, Buff Ermine 1, Cream-Spot Tiger 3, Thistle Ermine 1, Peppered moth 1, White-point 3, Smoky Wainscot 1, Pinioned streak snout 4, Common Rustic 1, Common Marbled Carpet 1, Dwarf Cream Wave 1, Uncertain 3 (Ivan Lang)

News for Sun 20 May: I had a new record for the garden a Grizzled Skipper. This brings the cumulative total for the past two years to 24 species. I live on the edge of Storrington, within a couple of miles of two very good downland sites. (Martin Kalaher)

Sun 20 May

A quick visit to the hill by my house in Edburton today produced a Green Hairstreak, 4 Dingy Skippers and a Brown Argus. In the garden there was a Wall and this Mullein attracted to the outside light. (Tony Wilson)

Despite the wind, I managed to see some butterflies and moths on Wolstonbury Hill today. Those spotted were Burnet Companion and Mother Shipton, Grizzled Skipper, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Common Blue, Adonis Blue and a female Green Hairstreak on bramble, which pointed its antenna downwards and laid a green egg to match its wings! (Alexander Henderson)

A mild day and the breeze had died down so the downs were amicable for butterflies, if far from ideal. Adonis Blues were mating on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The count in one acre was 31 males and 13 females. I recorded by first Common Blue of the year which was a faded and slightly battered female visiting Horseshoe Vetch, and my first definite Wall left the path by the side of the wild flower meadow north of the northern car park. In bushes on the Pixie Path there were frequent Holly Blues, at least three Green-veined White and at least two Red Admirals. On the northern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting, I recorded just a single male Adonis Blue amongst the Horseshoe Vetch, one Burnet Companion and a Yellow Shell. There was another Yellow Shell on the lower slopes of Mill Hill where just the one Dingy Skipper was noted, and another Burnet Companion. (Andy Horton)

A lumbering female Green-veined White laid three eggs on Garlic Mustard in my Peacehaven garden today, which was clearly very tiring as she then had to retire into the large flowerheads of a Cordyline australis to nectar for an hour. (Adrian Thomas)

News for Sat 19 May:

6-8 Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary at Park Corner Heath (Dave Mitchell, Andrew Burns)

Our moth trap set up overnight on Friday 18th yielded 118 individual moths of 35 species, in our garden in Barcombe. Greatest numbers were Treble Lines (19), Common Wainscot (17) and Pale Tussock (15M and 1 F). Also trapped:- Poplar Hawkmoth (4), Cinnabar (4), Light Emerald (1), Pebble Prominent (1), Scorched Wing (1), Common Swift (3), Orange Footman (2), Shears (3), Bright-line Brown-eye (1), Least Black Arches (1), Snout (1), Lobster Moth (1), Iron Prominent (1), Plain Pug (1), Oak Hook-tip (2), Setaceous Hebrew Character (5), Heart and Dart (3), White Ermine (5), Flame Shoulder (6), The Flame (1), Ingrailed Clay (1), together with 3 micros and an as yet unidentified pug! (Janet and Clive Dickson)

News for Fri 18 May:

Transect  at Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve: Large White (2),  Small White (2), Green-veined White (3), Green Hairstreak (2), Small Copper (13), Common Blue (4), Red Admiral (1), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Speckled Wood (1). Total 30 butterflies, 9 species. (David Pyle)

Sat 19 May

Eighteen people attended today's members-only field trip, to two locations on the Downs near Amberley. Our tally included 3 Duke of Burgundy, 9 Small Blue, 2 Brown Argus, 8 Grizzled Skipper, 10 Dingy Skipper, 2 Common Blue, 3 Speckled Wood, 4 Brimstone, 2 Small White, 4 Red Admiral and single Small Copper, Large White, Green-veined White and Holly Blue. Day-flying moths included Burnet Companion, Cinnabar and Mother Shipton. Some of the party were with me when we saw an interesting species of solitary Mason Bee (Osmia bicolor). This has the appearance of a red-tailed, mini bumble bee and nests in empty snail shells, which it disguises under a pile of dried grasses and thin twigs. A measure of the success of the day was provided when I suddenly noticed that the meadow was strewn with bodies, all happily clicking away at various photogenic butterflies. Many thanks to all who attended. (Neil Hulme)

Photos: Brown Argus on the Downs today (Neil Hulme), Eyed Hawkmoth at Findon yesterday (Mike Snelling) and Small Yellow Underwing at Friston Forest on Wednesday (Michael Blencowe)

News for Fri 18 May: Despite fairly clear skies last night (17th-18th) my moth light trap contained several new species for me. They included Eyed Hawkmoth, Mottled Rustic and Iron Prominent. A photo of the Eyed Hawkmoth is below - in which the eye is just about visible. (Mike Snelling)

News for Thurs 17 May: A sighting of 3 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary was reported in the visitors book at Park Corner Heath for Thursday. (Dave Mitchell)

Fri 18 May

My thanks to Roy Neeve for maintaining the Sightings page while I gadded off on holiday. Just so you are aware, if you send your sighting in using any email address other than the 'Sightings' one and I happen to be away, your records will not go online until my return. Adrian

News for Thurs 17 May

We returned to Holywell, Beachy Head today where we had previously raked out cotoneaster and we amazed to see the slopes covered in horseshoe vetch. Even better we found 3+ Adonis Blues, Common Blues, Dingy Skipper and Red Admiral. This is a tribute to Eastbourne DC and their ranger Dave Pearce. (John Luck)

News for Weds 16 May:

As the sun was trying to shine I felt obliged to check out a field to the east of Friston Forest; Small Heath (18), Common Blue (21), Dingy Skipper (5), Red Admiral (6), Small White (1), Small Copper (3), Green-veined White (1), Brimstone (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1) and a number of moths pretending to be butterflies including the tiny, day flying Small Yellow Underwing (Michael Blencowe)

Broadfield Pond in Crawley. One male Common Blue and one male Large Skipper. (Vince Massimo)

News for Mon 14 May:

Took a morning stroll on the east side of Friston Forest in blustery weather. 9 Red Admiral on the wing and, sheltering in the bramble, 1 Common Blue, 1 Dingy Skipper and 1 Small Blue. (Michael Blencowe)

Thur 17 May

Moth Trap ran at Pagham Harbour LNR. Best numbers of the year so for with 44 species and 170 moth trapped, bringing the reserve total for the Visitor Centre to 106 species for the year: 3 Angle Shades,2  Blood-vein, 4 Bright-line Brown-eye, 1 Brimstone Moth,1 Chinese Character ,1 Clouded Border, 2 Common Wave,4  Double-striped Pug ,9 Flame Shoulder, 8  Heart and Dart, 1 Hebrew Character,  1 Iron Prominent, 9 Marbled Minor, 3 Mottled Rustic, 1  Muslin, 2 Nutmeg, 1 Pale Tussock, 1 Pearly Underwing, 1 Pebble Prominent, 1 Poplar Hawk-moth, 4 Rusty-dot pearl, 8 Shuttle Shaped Dart, 2 Spectacle, 6 White Ermine, 1 Dark/Grey Dagger, 1 Lychnis, 1 Light Brocade, 2 Rufous Minor (early), 11 Common Wainscot,1 Green Pug, 6 Snout, 9 Light Emerald, 5 Vine's Rustic, 23 Treble Lines, 3 Burnished Brass,15 Setaceous Hebrew Character, 3 Tawny Marbled Minor, 4 Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Common Swift, 1 Foxglove Pug , 2 Willow Beauty, 1 Mottled Pug 1, 1 Cream Wave. (Ivan Lang)

Weds 16 May

The improved weather today finally allowed me to continue surveying for Duke of Burgundy, with a site on the Downs near Amberley producing two slightly worn and one newly emerged male, early in the morning. The first Small Blue (2) emerged on this site later in the day. Other, more interesting species, recorded at a number of locations, included Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Brown Argus, Green Hairstreak, Small Heath and Common Blue. Further west along the Downs, a single male CHALKHILL BLUE continued the national trend for unseasonably early emergences. This species is not normally seen in Sussex until early July! (Neil and Eric Hulme)

1 Red Admiral in Harmsworth Crescent, Hangleton (Brighton) today. (Caroline Clarke)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: after last weeks disastrous transect - 1 Orange Tip, 1 Small Copper  and 1  Holly Blue, today the sun came out for a while and numbers are slowly recovering:3 Large White, 2  Small White, 3 Small Copper, 6  Holly Blue, 2 Red Admiral and 3 Speckled Wood. In addition someone in the past week has dug up and removed 7 early purple orchids! This comes after the deliberate destruction, by mowing, of a garden full of green-winged orchids in Haywards Heath. (Paul Lister)

A very tattered and weak Red Admiral grounded in my Keymer garden this morning unable to fly - possibly one of our over-winterers at the end of its lifespan. Holly Blues on the wing in the sun - they seem to be having a good Spring, I keep a lot of mature ivy around the garden and always have a few present but this year there are more around than usual. (Malcolm Le Grys).

After nine days of gales and showers, the sun made a feeble show. A few Small White Butterflies showed on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge, a dozen Red Admirals mostly on the Pixie Path, and the first female Adonis Blues on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Both male and female Adonis Blues were amongst the Horseshoe Vetch and they made short flights when disturbed. The acre count was 39 with about 40% females which is a high proportion, especially as they were not seen mating. Just three Dingy Skippers were noted and a Burnet Companion. One Red Admiral was seen in twenty minutes on Mill Hill. Occasional Holly Blues fluttered around the Ivy on the Pixie Path and on the outskirts of town. (Andy Horton)

Tue 15 May

Last night I was able to set up the moth light-trap for a short period before the persistent rain. Most of the moths were regular visitors but a Cream-spot Tiger and an Alder Moth were attractive additions. (Mike Snelling)

Sun 13 May

Some warm late afternoon sunshine today prompted us to take the dog for a walk on Mill Hill at Shoreham. Several Adonis Blues were showing well along the bottom path but the only other butterflies encountered were a single Dingy Skipper and a female Brimstone. We also about six Adonis Blues yesterday afternoon in Anchor Bottom between Shoreham and Upper Beeding. (Paul & Bridget James)

The terrible weather today didn't manage to stop me seeing a new butterfly species for the year. Whilst at Sandgate Park, Storrington I found 15 Common Blues on a 2 acre meadow all sat at rest on the tops of small clusters of rushes. Could this be a new way of recording butterflies in the future!!! I also did this at night once on this same meadow counting 40 a couple of years ago.(Sam Bayley) Note Common Blues often follow the setting sun and so can often be found in good numbers on the last illuminated patch)

Sat 12 May

Our only sighting during the past week has been a lone Speckled Wood in our East Dean garden  (Carole & David Jode).

There was a brief spell of calmer weather last night (12th) so I put out the moth trap and caught 62 moths of 24 species. They included an Elephant Hawkmoth, Dingy Shears, Cypress Carpet, Mullein, Pebble Prominent etc. (Mike Snelling).

I saw a single Green Hairstreak along the hedgerow path at Warnham LNR today being only the second record for the site. (Sam Bayley).

Despite the weather being overcast and windy with occasional showers, a group of 14 braved the elements and attended today's trip to Fairmile Bottom and the periphery of Rewell Wood. Initially, it appeared that we would only see the odd day-flying moth (Pyrausta purpuralis, Cinnabar, Speckled Yellow), with non-lepidopteran interest being provided by a pair of Hobby and a beautifully marked, immature slowworm. Reg Hinks managed to find us a Holly Blue egg and an Orange-tip caterpillar, while 5 minute breaks in the cloud allowed a modest total of 3 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Small Heath and single Red Admiral, Large and Small White. The 'Dunkirk spirit' of those that came along was finally rewarded at the very end of the trip, when a rather battered, female Pearl-bordered Fritillary landed in a glade at the northeastern end of the Fairmile LNR and proceeded to lay an egg! This was a long distance from the part of Rewell Wood where we were meant to see this species, and gratifyingly provided a 'first' for several people. Many thanks to Angela Shepherd of the South Downs Joint Committee for co-leading the walk, and explaining the SDJC habitat management plans for this improving area. Thanks also, to all those that joined us today. (Neil Hulme)

As per usual, there has not been much nectaring during the spring months in my garden - butterflies seem more interested in looking for mates and laying eggs, at this time of year - but a Red Admiral today took thirstily to the big flowerheads of Canaries Giant Viper's Bugloss Echium pininana where a Large White was nectaring last week (Adrian Thomas)

Fri 11 May

Results of transect walked today at Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve, Burgess Hill: Large White (1), Small White (1), Green-veined White (2), Orange-tip (3), Small Copper (3), Red Admiral (2), Speckled Wood (6). Total 18 butterflies, 7 species. Also seen several Burnet Companions and Garden Carpet? Weather conditions not good, very windy and not very sunny. (David Pyle)

Can anyone please help with this moth, thought to be a leaf miner moth, species not known and taken at Bedelands? (Paul Lister).

Now there'd normally be no point in the Webmaster trying to answer a micro-moth question, but  it is worth looking at Alabonia geofrella in the 'A' moths gallery on the Sussex species page which was revised yesterday.  That is how far I have got through adding an amazing 500 (!) new photos to the Galleries, almost all of different species, and thanks mostly to Sam Bayley and Clive Dickson. Good fortune that Paul found a moth starting with the letter 'A'!

Weds 9 May

News for Tues 8 May: In my Rusper garden:  1 Green Carpet, 1 Crambus lathoniellus, 1 Flame Carpet, 3 Muslin, 1 Red Twin-spot Carpet, 1 Broken-barred Carpet, 2 Flame Shoulder, 2 Buff-tip, 8 Treble Lines, 3 Pale Tussock, 1 Oak Hook-tip, 1 Scalloped Hazel, 1 Pine Carpet, 2 Common Marbled Carpet, 1 Brimstone,  1 White Ermine, 1 Great Prominent, 1 Poplar Hawk-moth, 1 Ochreous Pug (only the second I have ever caught - will keep for confirmation) and an as yet undetermined Scoparia sp.   33 moths representing 20 species  (Sam Bayley)

News for Sun 6 May: At Warnham LNR  had the best catch of the year so far:  7 Oak-tree Pug, 1 Maiden's Blush, 2 Pebble Hook-tip, 2 Seraphim, 1 Spruce Carpet, 1 Marbled Minor sp., 2 Clouded Silver, 2 Hebrew Character, 3 Oak Hook-tip, 11 Heart and Dart, 3 Crambus lathoniellus, 1 Mullein, 1 Lesser Treble-bar, 1 Treble-bar, 6 Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3 Pale Tussock, 1 Burnished Brass (aurea), 3 Celypha lacunana, 5 Flame Shoulder, 1 Common Wainscot, 6 Lime Hawk-moth (most ever in 1 night), 4 Pebble Prominent, 4 Alder Moth, 1 Sallow Kitten, 3 Treble Lines, 3 Bright-line Brown-eye, 1 Light Brown Apple Moth, 7 White Ermine, 1 Powdered Quaker, 1 Angle Shades, 2 Iron Prominent, 2 Vine's Rustic, 1 Coxcomb Prominent, 1 Common Pug, 3 Nut-tree Tussock, 1 Poplar Hawk-moth, 1 Common Swift, 1 Common Quaker, 1 Orange Footman, 1 Small China-mark, 1 Pine Hawk-moth, 1 Crytoblabes bistriga, 1 Mottled Pug, 1 Skin Moth, 1 Flame Carpet 1 Caloptilia elongella, 2 Elachista argentella, 1 Tischeria ekebladella, 112 moths representing 48 species. 

Tues 8 May

Results of moth trapping at Townings Farm, Chailey on 5/6th May: Swallow Prominent 1, Lesser Swallow Prominent 2, Pebble Prominent 1, Pale Tussock 1, Muslin moth 2 (males), Flame Shoulder 1, Angle Shades 1, Hebrew Character 1, Red Chestnut 1. Many thanks to Sam Bayley for identifying them. (Karen Pritty)

If any members are going for any of the northern butterflies and need to fill seats or want company, could they phone me on 07799 713212 anytime. Sharing fuel costs benefits everyone and only taking 1 full car instead of two half empty vehicles is better as well. Thanks. Chris Glanfield

Mon 7 May

Moth trap opened today in my Brighton garden: 3 Flame Shoulder, 1 Shuttle-shaped Dart (Caroline Clarke)

Last night the number of moths in my 40w Actinic moth trap reached 57 (19 species). This is nearly treble the numbers I have been seeing recently. Highlights were Lime Hawkmoth, 2 Puss Moth, and a Pale Tussock. The total was boosted by 23 Treble Lines. (Mike Snelling)

Does anybody know what laid these eggs on a Hazel twig, in woodland? Photograph taken 6/5/07. (Helen Crabtree)

Moths at my outside wall light in Edburton over the last couple of nights have included The Coronet, Spectacle, Pale Prominent, Chinese Character and Silver-ground Carpet. (Tony Wilson)

News for Sun 6 May: A Cream-spot Tiger was on the wing today at Thorney Deeps.(Barry and Margaret Collins)

News for Fri 4 and Sat 5 May: Before the weather broke, I managed to have a look at the deep gulley below Chantry Hill and the northern part of Arundel Park. Amongst less interesting species, the former site produced 28 Grizzled Skipper and 8 Brown Argus. The skippers were collecting to roost on dried seed heads, which provide remarkably good camouflage for the butterfly, at a time of vulnerability. As they rapidly fell asleep, their antennae would droop, before being tucked slightly below and against the front edge of their wings. I counted a further 14 Grizzled Skipper in Arundel Park, together with 34 Common Blue, including 2 mating pairs. (Neil Hulme)

News for 1 May: Graffham Down Trust's areas, right on top of the Downs, West Sussex. 1 Common Blue ( in Long Meadow), 4 Small Copper, 1 Green Hairstreak, 3 Orange -tip, 1 Green-veined White, 11 Dingy Skipper, 6 Grizzled Skipper, Brimstones, Speckled Woods, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Peacock. (Biddy and Paul Dimmer, per Margaret Hibbard)

Sun 6 May

Overnight was the biggest moth catch I have had in May in my Peacehaven garden, all common species bar an L-album Wainscot, which is normally not out until July or August (Adrian Thomas)

Mostly overcast and few spots of rain. Sightings at Pickwell, nr Bolney: 1 Common Blue (my first of 2007), 1 Brimstone. 20+ Speckled Yellows. (Caroline Clarke)

News for Sat 5 May: 2 Wood White in Ashpark Wood, near Plaistow (1 female, the other probably male). Also 1 Broad -bordered Bee Hawkmoth. Nightingales still singing loudly. (Margaret Hibbard)

News for Sat 5 May: In a rare patch of sunshine this morning single Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, a Small Copper and two Common Blues just to the east of Horseshoe Plantation at Beachy Head. (Paul James)


Sat 5 May


Last of 53 ( observed ) successfully overwintering Ouse Valley Red Admiral caterpillars hatched and flew today (Dave Harris)


2 Coxcomb Prominent, 1 Grey Dagger, 1 Pale Tussock (male), 2 Maidens Blush, 1 Treble-lines, 2 Poplar Hawkmoths, 1 Elephant Hawkmoth, 1 Cinnabar, 1 Light Brocade and one very fat Common Cockchafer Beetle in the moth trap in Barcombe this morning. (Janet and Clive Dickson)


A brief trip to Laughton Common Wood this afternoon as the sun came out revealed no Pearl-bordered Fritillaries - if anyone has any records from there this year, we would very much like to know. Butterfly numbers in the wood very low, but the warm rides were full of Speckled Yellows. (Adrian Thomas)

News for Thurs 3 May - Ifield, Crawley. A visit in the early afternoon produced 6 Speckled Wood, 5 Small Heath, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Orange Tip (including 1 female), 4 Small White, 3 Holly Blue and 2 Small Tortoiseshell together with a group of their caterpillars which were in an advanced stage of development. Also of interest were approximately 20 Beautiful Damoiselle damselflies found in three separate groups congregated on bramble bushes. (Vince Massimo, via Barbara Perry)


Fri 4 May


Butterfly Conservation members are very welcome to a Chailey Commons Society event on Sunday 6th May from 10am to noon at Townings Farm, Plumpton Lane, Chailey (TQ 376203) which is just south of Chailey Common. We will be running two moth traps the night before and will open them up to identify the catch - help from any moth experts out there would be gratefully received! There is a chance that the BBC will film the event so lets hope the moths co-operate. Hebridean lambs will be on show so sorry no dogs. Further details from Karen Pritty (trips"AT" sussex-butterflies.org.uk)

Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve, Burgess Hill - transect: Large White (11), Small White (7), Green-veined White (1), Orange Tip (5), Green Hairstreak (8), Small Copper (5), Holly Blue (6), Red Admiral (2), Peacock (2), Speckled Wood (3)Also 4 Burnet Companion and 1 Cinnabar and a Hornet. (David Pyle)

Heart and Dart, Miller and Shuttle-shaped Dart in my Lewes garden moth trap this morning (Michael Hawkins).


Thurs 3 May


News for Weds 2 and Thurs 3 April: Lynn Fomison of BC Hampshire joined me on Thursday, to help count Duke of Burgundy on some of our few remaining Sussex sites. We ended up on the Downs near Heyshott, where we saw two males and enjoyed the panoramic views in brilliant sunshine. On Wednesday, a further two were on the Downs behind Amberley, constantly scrapping with this Small Copper. The blue studs on its hind wing are characteristic of the aberrant form caeruleopunctata. These are lacking in the normal variety. (Neil Hulme)

On the Downs near Amberley today at least two Duke of Burgundy, several Dingy Skippers, Small Copper, Comma and Red Admiral. (Paul James)

Brown Argus (m) seen in our East Dean garden, following our first of the year on Mon 30 April, and our first Small Heath of the year seen in our East Dean garden on Tues 1 May (David and Carole Jode)

Sightings @ Bates Green Farm (TQ551 078): Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, Small White, Large White, Peacock, Red Admiral and Holly Blue. Didn't count numbers as in charge of 11 boys! Also, large damselflies - most likely female beautiful demoiselle. (Caroline Clarke)


News for Weds 2 May: Brimstone and Angle Shades in my Lewes garden moth trap this morning (Michael Hawkins).


On Mill Hill, only occasional Burnet Companion, Dingy Skippers, Grizzled Skippers and the pyralid moth Pyrausta nigrata with just about eight of each seen on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in thirty minutes. It was blowing a Force 6 at times so this may have discouraged the butterflies. The Adonis Blues were now starting with seven seen, one Holly Blue, a few Peacock were still in flight, at least one Red Admiral, one male Brimstone, one Large White and I disturbed a resting Clouded Yellow. The Horseshoe Vetch is still two weeks from its peak. The small pyralid moth Scoparia pyralella was seen a couple of days ago on Mill Hill.



Weds 2 May


I noticed your comment about "glamour species" to be on the lookout for this month and thought I should send you a shot of what must surely be one of the most glamorous (a female Emperor) which came to my moth-trap in Lindfield last night. To say I was surprised is something of an under-statement! Over the past few nights I've been seeing a lot of different species but not vary many moths in total - everything seems to be coming in ones and twos. I've recorded 31 different species over the past for nights. (Bob Foreman www.littlesnails.com/Moths)


I made a quick trip to Lancing Clump and the meadows to compare the flora and fauna with Mill Hill. Alas, early in the year meadows are not as good as rabbit warrens and the only butterflies I saw were one Small Heath and two probable Walls. Speckled Woods were frequent in the woods. There were frequent Red Admirals, Holly Blues and Large Whites and occasional Peacocks over the meadows and paths. A Brimstone moth flew strongly in the sunshine. On the Adur Levels there was one Brimstone, one Orange-tip, frequent Green-veined Whites and occasional Small Whites. (Andy Horton)


[I would not normally publish records from Surrey, but this report of a Small Skipper is ridiculously early: Living in East Grinstead I find the North Downs sometimes more convenient to visit. Yesterday (1st May) I went to Ranmore Common near Dorking which I know is in Surrey so the information cannot be used but I thought you might be interested in the butterflies seen there. The most unexpected was a Small Skipper which seems early. There were many Dingy Skippers, Green Hairstreaks and Small Heaths. Male and female Adonis Blue in small numbers. Phil Evans]


Night of April 24-25: Brimstone and Nut-tree Tussock in my Lewes garden moth trap. (Michael Hawkins)



Tues 1 May


No sightings today, but some interesting notes from Neil Hulme on butterflies photographed this weekend: Note how the first Green Hairstreak is holding its wings at an angle. They often tip their wings over until they are precisely perpendicular to the sun's rays, in order to get the maximum warming benefit from weak sunshine. When photographing this species, try reducing your exposure setting, as this will accentuate the beautiful emerald colouring of their highly reflective wings. Late on Sunday I photographed some Purple Emperor larvae (see News for Sat 21 April). The largest of these are now close to 4cm long, in their fifth instar (phase between moults) and approaching pupation. This could mean exceptionally early adult Emperors at the start of June or even end May! (Neil Hulme)



What to look for in May

  • Butterflies: It has been such an amazingly advanced season so far that many of the species we would expect to see for the first time in May such as Adonis Blue, Small Blue and Common Blue have all been seen already. Nevertheless, they will all now head towards their spring peak, and species still to emerge this month will be Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Wood White. It will be interesting too to see if some summer species begin to emerge by the month-end - Large Skipper and Meadow Brown may be on the wing by the fourth week. We could see some species go over early too, with maybe the year's farewell to Dingy and Grizzled Skippers and Orange-tips.

  • Moths: The number of species attracted to light traps should increase markedly, with some of the 'glamour' species such as some of the Hawkmoths now being found regularly.


Mon 30 April

My first Dingy Skipper today at Southwater CP, where I also found a female Glow-worm and a pair of mating Harlequin Ladybirds out of interest and a Miller moth that had been attracted to the security lights. Whilst in the trap at Warnham LNR another Lime Hawkmoth and my first Green Carpet of the year and a Small Copper on the meadow. (Sam Bayley)

3 Brown Argus one of "Butcherlands" fields at Ebernoe (Margaret Hibbard)

See Gallery pages: three photos of Duke of Burgundy taken by Paul Marten (first two) and Neil Hulme on the Downs near Amberley in recent days. "You will see that the underside shot of the Duke reveals only 2 pairs of 'walking legs', indicating that it is a male. The front pair are vestigial (an evolutionary underdevelopment) and these tiny structures are held high against the butterfly's chest. Along with strongly territorial, combative behaviour, this is one of the best methods of differentiating the sexes, as the female has 6 fully developed legs. (Neil Hulme)

News for Sat 28 April: 38 PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARIES at Abbots Wood (Dave Mitchell)


Sun 29 April

Sightings in our East Dean garden for 1 Holly Blue.  Our first of the year Common Blue (f),2 Red Admiral, 6 Small White,1 Green Hairstreak-the second in our garden this year. It is suitable for a colony. We will watch closely. We would like to thank David Pyle for an excellent field trip last Friday. (Carole & David Jode)

At Warnham Local Nature Reserve I found a Common White Wave that had just emerged and was still pumping up its wings, c20 Adela reamurella and my first Speckled Yellow of the year, whilst at Southwater Country Park I saw my first two Burnet Companions and my first Green Hairstreak. (Sam Bayley)

I saw an unprecedented sixteen species of butterfly in a day in April. My tally included the first Brown Argus of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill (Shoreham-by-Sea). Adonis Blue and Clouded Yellow were seen, but the exceptional report was of 14 Burnet Companion, a larger number than usual, amongst the familiar skippers. (Andy Horton)

Amberley 6 Dingy Skippers, 3 Green Hairstreaks, Holly Blue, Green Veined Whites, Orange Tip, Peacock, Red
Admiral and Brimstones.  At Mill Hill 20+ Dingy Skippers 6 Grizzled Skippers, 5 Adonis Blues, 2 Clouded Yellows, Peacock, Holly Blue and Small Heath. (Ian Barnard)


Frog Firle 3 Common Blues (Nigel Kemp)


Cocking Quarry 2 Small Blue, 26 Dingy Skipper, 1 Green Hairstreak, 3 Brimstone, 2 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Large White. (Paul and Pam Callaway)


Sat 28 April

At Warnham Local Nature Reserve a male Emperor moth flew over the meadow at about 6 pm. I also put the trap out in my Rusper garden for about an hour just to collect a few moths to show at a guided walk I was leading this morning and caught 13 species, 3 of which were new for the year (marked with asterisk):  1* Skin Moth (Monopis laevigata), 1 Silver Y (my second of the year), 1 Angle Shades, 1* Small White Wave, 1 Light Brown Apple Moth, 1 Iron Prominent, 1 Common Pug, 1 Flame Shoulder, 1 Oak-tree Pug, 1 Brimstone, 1 Grey Pine Carpet, 1* Seraphim and 1 Brindled Pug. (Sam Bayley)


Brighton Garden 1 Brimstone moth, 1 Flame Shoulder moth , 2 Holly Blue, 3 Orange-tip, 2 Small White. Holly Blues and Orange-tips seem to be particularly abundant so far this year. (Caroline Clarke)

Pagham Harbour  4 Angle Shades , 1 Brimstone Moth, 6 Common Quaker, 1 Diamond-backed Moth  2 Double-striped Pug, 3 Flame Shoulder, 5 Hebrew Character, 5 Nutmeg, 1 Powdered Quaker, 3 Rusty-dot Pearl, 7 Shuttle Shaped Dart, 3 Spectacle, 9 Muslin, 1 Turnip , 1 May Highflyer, 1 Mottled Rustic, 2 White Ermine, 2 Puss Moth, 1 Mullein Wave, 1 Purple Marbled, 1 Clancy's Rustic. (Ivan Lang)

Mill Hill in slightly breezy but warm sunny weather. A minimum of 20 Dingy Skippers and 10 Grizzled Skippers. Also 2 Clouded Yellows, 2 Holly Blues, 3 Peacocks, 2 Commas , 8 Brimstones, 4 Green-veined Whites, Small White, 2 male Adonis Blues, 1 Green Hairstreak, 4 Small Heath and a Speckled Wood. (Tom Ottley)

Fri 27 April


2 Waved Umber, 1 Nut-tree Tussock in my Brighton Garden (Caroline Clarke)


Bedelands & Paiges Meadows LNR weekly butterfly transect in windier conditions 4 Large white,4 Small White, 2 Green-veined White, 9 Orange Tip, 3 Holly Blue, 2 Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood  and 8 Adela reaumurella moth.(Paul Lister)


Trapped at Fernhurst last night, very poor numbers due to the windy conditions, but Poplar Hawkmoth and Buff-tip were new for the year. The latter is about a month early. (Sarah Patton)

Our first Field Trip report of the season at Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve, Burgess Hill  After a cloudy morning the sun came out on cue at 1200. 15 members walked the transect/field trip. During the 2 hour walk, we were rewarded with sightings of the following species. 18 Large White, 2 Small White, 3 Green-veined White, 31 Orange Tip, 1 Clouded Yellow, 4 Green Hairstreak, 9 Small Copper, 5 Holly Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 9 Speckled Wood.  A total of 84 butterflies and 11 species plus 3 Burnet Companion. A very pleasant walk that was enjoyed by all who attended. My thanks to all who attended. (David Pyle)

Stewards Copse, Binstead, Arundel, West Sussex. a cluster of 30 to 40 Adela reaumurella moths on young brambles semi open site. (Yvonne Henderson)

Mill Hill, Shoreham 11 Dingy Skippers, 2 Brimstones (1 male and 1 female) and the welcome appearance of two (or three) bright Clouded Yellows. Red Admirals seemed to have now replaced the Peacocks. I saw a Comma three days ago. (Andy Horton)


On a walk from Bo Peep to High & Over (near Seaford) the following were seen. Orange-tip, Dingy Skipper, Speckled Wood, Wall, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Holly Blue, Green Hairstreak, Large White, Small White, however the highlight was a dark coloured, almost orange coloured Clouded Yellow. Earlier in the week Common Blues seen at High & Over and Vert Wood. (Bob Eade).


Quite breezy on Cissbury today so most things keeping down. However saw small numbers of several species including my first Brown Argus, Lesser Treble Bar,and Cinnabar. The 8 Holly Blues, 7 Dingy Skippers, 9 Grizzled Skippers and 5 Green Hairstreaks were the best of the other sightings. (Mike Snelling)


Weds 25 April


Remember, this year's first Branch outdoor event is this Friday 27 April 2007, 12 noon, Bedelands Farm, Burgess Hill - all welcome. Check out the events page for more details.


Last night myself, Mike Snelling, Malcolm Stevens and Jon Pickett started our monthly moth survey of Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods with great results. The night was overcast and very mild (2 of us were in t-shirts) and we trapped until just after midnight using 2 125w Robinsons, 1 125w Skinner and 1 15v actinic Skinner with the following results (Species in bold are new for me for the year): Adela reaumurella 3, Birch Mocha 3, Bordered White 1, Brindled Pug 20, Broken-barred Carpet 1, Clouded Drab 3, Common Quaker 4, Early Tooth-striped 3, Eriocrania subpurpurella 5, Incurvaria musculella 1, Iron Prominent 1, Knot Grass 1, Lesser Swallow Prominent 2, Lobster 1, Lunar Marbled Brown 5, Maiden's Blush 1, Neofaculta ericetella 1, Nut-tree Tussock 3, Oak Hook-tip 1, Oak Nycteoline 2, Oak-tree Pug 1, Pale Prominent 3, Pale Tussock 1, Pammene argyrana 1, Pebble Hook-tip 1, Pebble Prominent 4, Pine Bud Moth 2, Pine Hawk-moth 2, Red Twin-spot Carpet 1, Roeslerstammia erxlebella 1, Scalloped Hook-tip 2, Sloe Pug 1, Spotted Shoot Moth 1, Square Spot 1, Syndemis musculana 3, Tawny-barred Angle 1, Tinea trinotella 1, V-Pug 2, Water Carpet 4, Waved Umber 1.

Whilst in my Rusper garden I also caught my first Purple Bar and Brown House-moth of the year. (Sam Bayley)


Houndean Bottom, Lewes: 4 Brimstone, 4 Red Admirals, 3 Peacocks and 1 Small White (Michael Hawkins).


Recent news: At Mill Hill , mating Treble-bars (Tuesday 24), Burnet Companions, Pyrausta nigrata and Ruby Tiger (all Sunday 22). (Paul Lister)



Tues 24 April

Pulborough Brooks RSPB nature reserve: Moth trap last night produced an interesting selection of 33 species including many Great Prominents, several Lobster Moths, Cinnabar, Streamer, Iron Prominent, Early Grey, Frosted Green, Nut-tree Tussock, Lunar Marbled Brown, Peppered Moth, Pebble Hook-tip, Oak Hook-tip, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Mullein, Pale Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Muslin Moth, Maiden's Blush, Dark Sword-grass and Grey Shoulder-knot. (Pete Hughes)

34 species last night at Warnham LNR, the best of the year so far. This included my 2nd migrant of the year, a single Silver Y, also being one of 11 new species for me for the year: Chocolate-tip (4) - my best catch ever in one night, Oak Hook-tip (1), Heart & Dart (1), Bright-line Brown-eye (1), Poplar Hawk-moth (1), Oak-tree Pug (5), Small Clouded Brindle (1), Common Carpet (1),  Agonopterix yeatiana (1), Scrobipalpa costella (1). Also had a beautiful Mocha, only the second record for the reserve. (Sam Bayley)

In intermittent sunshine, I managed to see 14 species including my earliest ever Adonis Blue on the Shoreham Bank. The highlights were the mixed sexes of Orange-tips at Cuckoo's Corner (Andy Horton)



Mon 23 April


Last night, in my Rusper garden, I saw my first Esperia sulphurella during the day, while in the trap I had my first Oak-tree Pug and the ubiquitous Cockchafer. While at Southwater Country Park, I found another Cockchafer, a Common White Wave, a Common Wave and the nationally scarce Mocha (seen a lot at this site) which had all been attracted to the security lights around the building. And tonight looks like it is going to be even better. (Sam Bayley)


News for Sat 21 April Our Treasurer/Membership Secretary David Dancy had thought about ringing me to ask if I had looked for Purple Emperor larvae on a sallow that we had watched a female laying on last year in Sussex. But before he got round to it, eagle-eyed Molly Dancy beat us both to it! I took this photo of one of her 3rd instar (moult) caterpillars, which is firmly attached to the silken pad it has woven over the surface of the leaf, to help maintain its grip. When the branch was slightly agitated in attempting the shot, the caterpillar (thinking a predatory bird may be approaching) reared up, thus foreshortening its silhouette from below, as a defence mechanism. Note the characteristic pattern of leaf damage. I will be leading a field trip to Southwater Woods on 20 July, where the Purple Emperor butterfly may be seen. Similar opportunities exist on our trips to Graffham Down (Biddy and Paul Dimmer) on the 14th and to Warnham LNR (Sam Bayley) on the 17th. (Neil Hulme)


News for Fri 20 April: Bedelands Farm Transect. Conditions rather poor, lack of sunshine. 1 Orange-tip, 6 Speckled Wood. (David Pyle)


Sun 22 April


CLOUDED YELLOW at Mill Hill, with reports from other observers of a Wall  (Andy Horton)


Cissbury Ring transect  produced 15 Brimstone, 1 Dingy Skipper, 3 Green Hairstreak, 10 Grizzled Skipper, 4 Large White, 1 Small White, 3 Peacock, 2 Red Admiral, 19 Small Copper, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Cinnabar, 1 Beautiful Yellow Underwing (Peter Atkinson)

Lower Vert Wood  1 Green Hairstreak, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Orange-tip, 1 Small Heath, 1 Green-veined White,  2 Small White, 4 Speckled Wood ,8  Peacock  and a lot of Brimstone sightings (26 male, 9 female). No sign of any Pearl Bordered Fritillaries yet. (Michael Blencowe)

At Westerton (Grid Ref: SU884 070)  Location: Bridleway between Westerton Village and Rolls-Royce factory. Butterflies seen: 3 Small Coppers, 2 Orange-tips, Despite good warm weather, bright conditions very little else flying. (R Linfield)

At Kithurst Hill 2 Green Hairstreaks, 1 Dingy Skipper, 2 Green-veined Whites, plenty of Brimstones and Orange-tips. Also Large White, Small White, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue. My first Wall of the year at Ovingdean today. (Ian Barnard)

At Mill Hill, Shoreham 2 CLOUDED YELLOWS flying together, 20+ Dingy Skippers, 6+ Grizzled Skippers, several Brimstones, a Green-veined White, an Orange-tip, a Small Heath, a Holly Blue, a Peacock and a Speckled Wood in our Southwick garden. (Paul & Bridget James)

I'm new to this and butterflies don't exactly come up and introduce themselves, do they? However, I am confident that I saw a male Holly Blue enjoying horse dung in Friston Forest yesterday (22 April). During past couple of weeks, have also seen in various parts of Friston Forest several Peacocks (including three together on fox scat), Red Admirals, Brimstones, Speckled Woods, Orange-tips and other 'white butterflies similar size', and Grizzled Skippers, I think. (Susan Suleski)

Frog Firle transect: 5 Wall, 11 Green Hairstreak, 1 CLOUDED YELLOW (HELICE). (Nigel Kemp)


Sat 21 April


A Pearl Bordered Fritillary hunt around Lower Vert was fruitless. There were plenty of Brimstone (20+ male, 8 female), 6 Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood and 1 Grizzled Skipper. But the lepidopteral highlight of the day was a swarm (?) of that long-antennaed moth Adela reaumurella high in the tree tops, hundreds of them dancin' around each other above the birches. An amazing sight (Michael Blencowe)


At least three PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARIES at Rewell Wood today. Also Orange-tip and two Brimstones (Paul & Bridget James)

14 PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARIES and 2 Green-veined Whites at Abbots Wood; my first Small Heath of the year at Arlington Reservoir (Ian Barnard)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows LNR weekly butterfly transect, results for week 3: 2 Brimstone,1 Large White,6  Small White,1 Green-veined White, 13 Orange-tip, 4 Small Copper, 3 Holly Blue, 1 Peacock, 1 Comma, and 5 Speckled Woods (Paul Lister).


Friday 20 April


Abbots Wood: my first visit to this great location produced wonderful sightings of the PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARIES  and Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoths. (Paul Lister)


1 Small Heath ,1 Silver Y moth and a very early Small Purple-barred as well the same butterfly species seen on 18th (see below), all at Cissbury (Mike Snelling)



Thurs 19 April


1 Dingy Skipper (Margaret Hibbard) and 1 Grizzled Skipper (Biddy Dimmer) at Graffham Down Trust Reserve

Here's the first of Neil's photos of the Queen of Spain Fritillary from yesterday, left extra large so that you can get your eye-in for finding your own. It's such a weird year that it seems anything is possible!

For those wishing to visit Rewell Wood to see the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, PLEASE NOTE; Please keep to the bridleways and avoid entering into the coppiced areas. There are plenty of Pearl-bordered Fritillary working along the bridleways, giving ample photo opportunities. These are easier to photograph in the late afternoon as it cools down, and the PBFs tend to emerge from the coppiced areas to get the last heat of the day along the tracksides. Rob Thurlow (Forest Enterprise) does regular PBF counts for the wood, so there is no need for others to assess the population. If entering the wood from the South (A27), walk through the gate, up the track, then turn left at the bridleway T-junction. You will see plenty of PBFs from the bridleway, a few hundred metres from the junction. When parking, having turned off from the A27, please do not park opposite or near the house. Access to the wood is regularly required by large timber vehicles, so please ensure that they can pass freely. It is better to park on the left, up against the wire fence, as these vehicles can pass more easily on the flatter surface to the right. Happy hunting! (Neil Hulme,BC; Rob Thurlow,FE)

Today at Rewell Wood we saw 8 PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARY, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 6 Orange-tip, 3 Peacock, 3 Brimstone and a Holly Blue. (Neil Hulme)

Seen today on a wander through Flatropers Wood - Orange-tip (M) and one or two Peacocks as well as a number of Brimstones. The males were flying up and down the woodland edge under the power lines, whereas the females were laying on the Alder Buckthorn. After pursuing one of the females for a while I managed to get a shot of her laying and a close-up of the egg just laid under a leaf bud (you can check out Stuart's photos at www.altview.co.uk/gallery2). Over the last week I have seen a Speckled Wood in the front garden here at Broad Oak Brede (near woodland edge), male Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, male Orange-tip and a Holly Blue. (Stuart Cooper)

Binsted Wood: Orange-tip, Holly Blue, Peacock, Speckled Wood; Rewell Wood: Orange-tip, Peacock, Speckled Wood and PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARY. The most of these that I saw at any one time was three, although they were to be found around most areas of young Sweet Chestnut coppice. (Alexander Henderson)

Mass hatching of overwintering Ouse valley Red Admirals now well underway. Good numbers now on the wing, remainder at, or about pupal stage. (Dave Harris)


News for Weds 18 April: A visit to the Downs near Storrington on 18 April, turned out to be truly memorable. Having photographed the same male DUKE OF BURGUNDY that I first saw on 16 April, we were returning to the car at 4:15 PM when I noticed a medium sized, ginger butterfly that, just for a moment, I thought might be a Wall Brown. However, it was just 'not right', so I chased it across the meadow until it flopped into the grass. As I got closer I could scarcely believe my eyes! The 'square' wing shape and fritillary patterning left me in no doubt that this was a (female) QUEEN OF SPAIN FRITILLARY. We watched her basking in the late afternoon sun for 10 minutes. Although we only had the opportunity to photograph her topside, I had several glimpses of the huge, silver, rear underside spots. At one point, while sitting in the grass above Viola sp., she became very excited and vibrated her wings rapidly. The whole experience was made all the more pleasurable, in that I was able to share this magic moment with my father, who initiated my passion for butterflies over forty years ago. (Neil Hulme)


Weds 18 April

On the Downs today my father and I photographed a pristine, female QUEEN OF SPAIN FRITILLARY. This may well be one of the earliest ever records for the species in the UK (Neil Hulme). Photos to follow!

Abbots Wood: 3 PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARY (timed count 12.30pm). These were probably the first this year as none were seen there on either Monday or Tues this week (first record last year was 5th May). Also in Abbots Wood today: 6 Peacock, 1 Comma, 2 Brimstone, 2 Orange-Tip, 1 Green-veined White. (Mike Mullis)

Today at Cissbury I saw 11 Grizzled Skipper, 8 Small Copper,4 Green Hairstreak, 2 Holly Blue, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock, 14 Brimstone, plus a Peacock and a Large White and 3 Speckled Wood. Also saw a male Emperor Moth and a Pretty Chalk Carpet (which is very early) (Mike Snelling)

At Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods, Horsham today 12 Speckled Wood, 2 Brimstone and my first Small Copper. While at Warnham Nature Reserve I had the great sight of an impressive male Emperor Moth coming to a female that was sat in a cage in the courtyard at 17.30 and were allowed to MEET and are now spending the night together! Also here, 2 Orange-tip, 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Small White and 1 Brimstone. (Sam "Matchmaker" Bayley)

News for Mon 16 April: Herstmonceux 1 Red Admiral (Mike Mullis)

News for Sun 15 April A member has reported the sighting of a WHITE ADMIRAL near Ebernoe Common. He confirms that it was unmistakable and raises the question again as to the breeding cycle following the very late sightings last year. (per David Dancy)


News for Tues 10 April: A Clouded Yellow on the undercliff at Cow Gap, near Beachy Head (John Kerby)


Tues 17 April

My first 2 Small Coppers of the year at Roedean; also 4 Small Whites and a Speckled Wood behind Ovingdean Church (Ian Barnard)

News for Sun 15 April: A walk along the lower slopes of Mill Hill nature reserve produced 3 Peacock, at least 4 Grizzled Skipper, at least 2 Dingy Skipper, 3 Brimstone and 1 Small White (Caroline and Ed Clarke)



Mon 16 April


The hibernating Camberwell Beauty found at Peasmarsh was released on Good Friday, in the garden where it was originally found. Showing poor taste, it was last seen heading towards Kent (interestingly one was seen at RSPB Blean Woods near Canterbury on Easter Sunday - Adrian). Congratulations to David Burrows, who successfully nursed his guest for 65 days, to a most satisfactory conclusion. (Graham Parris)

Our first Large White of the year seen in our East Dean garden plus one Orange-tip (F). (Carole & David Jode)

At Rewell Wood today (11:00-15:40):- 15 Peacock, 11 Brimstone, 11 Orange-tip, 8 PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARY, 3 Holly Blue, 1 Small Copper, 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Jim Steedman)

Today I visited three sites in this heatwave! First in the morning walking from Fairmile Bottom into Rewell Hill woods: Brimstone (4M), Orange-tip (4M 2F), Small White (1) and Peacock (4). Next before midday I walked in Houghton Forest and saw: Brimstone (7M 1F), Orange-tip (8M 1F), Small White (1), Peacock (4), with single a Red Admiral and Comma. Also a Common Lizard in the bracken. In mid afternoon I returned to Stoke Clump near West Stoke village and saw: Small White(9), Brimstone (8M), Holly Blue (4), Peacock (3) and a single Comma. (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)

Rewell Wood and the Waterwoods: Orange-tip, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White and Adela reamurella flying around Broom. Swanbourne Lake: Brimstone, Grizzled Skipper. (Alexander Henderson)

On the Downs near Storrington today, an exceptionally early, male DUKE OF BURGUNDY, 6 Grizzled Skipper, 3 Dingy Skipper, 23 Brimstone, 9 Peacock, 3 Orange-tip, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Small Tortoiseshell (Neil Hulme).


3 Grizzled Skippers and 1 Small Heath on the Frog Firle transect (Nigel Kemp)


News for Sun 15 April: Our first Holly Blue of the year seen in our East Dean garden. (Carole and David Jode)


Twelve species of butterfly  in Shoreham and the outskirts during the day including the first Small Heath and two Dingy Skippers of the year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Over twenty Grizzled Skippers, many visiting Dog Violets, and some were mating in the short herbland amongst the beginnings of Horseshoe Vetch. Frequent Pyrausta nigrata.  (Andy Horton)


I trapped the following on the night of 14 April in my garden in Portslade: 1 Lime Hawkmoth, 2 Nut Tree Tussocks, 2 Hebrew Characters & 1 Angle Shades. Silver Y also seen during the day. (Darryl Perry)

35 species in the Pagham Harbour trap, with the highlights being: Diamond-backed Moth 4, Flame Shoulder 4, Herald 2, Nut-tree Tussock 2, Pale Prominent 2, Pearly Underwing 1, Red Chestnut 2, Silver Y 1, Swallow Prominent 1, Streamer 1, Early Thorn 1, Lesser Swallow Prominent 1, Muslin 1, Chocolate-tip 1, Waved Umber 1, Least Black Arches 2, V-Pug 1. (Ivan Lang)

News for Sat 14 April: 27 species trapped at Pagham Harbour with the highlights DEWICK'S PLUSIA 1, Streamer 1, Purple Bar 1, White-shouldered House Moth 1, Spectacle 1, Silver Y 3, Dark Sword-grass 1, Chinese Character 3, Brimstone Moth 4 (Ivan Lang)

In the trap over the past week in my garden in Lindfield: Last night's (15th) catch included a Great Prominent and a Lobster Moth, have also had a Puss Moth, Muslin Moths, Nut Tree Tussocks, Shuttle-shaped Dart and an Early Thorn as well as the usual list of Quakers and Hebrew Characters. The full details of catches can be seen at www.littlesnails.com/Moths. (Bob Foreman)

Sun 15 April

In Lower Vert Wood this morning 6 female & 3 male Brimstone, 3 Peacock and that little micro-moth with the shiny green wings and the crazy, long antenna Adela reaumurella. This afternoon at Kingley Vale NNR; Orange-tip, Brimstone, Peacock, 1 Small Copper & 1 Grizzled Skipper (Michael Blencowe)

Last night's moth trap at our Ringmer garden produced 19 species plus 2 unidentified: Lime Hawkmoth 1 (an absolute beaut), Brimstone Moth 6, Hebrew Character 10, Angle Shades 2, Early Thorn, Herald, Lunar Marbled Brown, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Mullein 2, Waved Umber, Bright-line Brown-eye, Scalloped Hook-tip, Flame Shoulder, Common Quaker 9, Small Quaker 3, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Early Grey 3, Oak Beauty (old specimen), Lead-coloured Drab. (John Luck)

Castle Hill NNR (Woodingdean) - You can imagine my surprise when the overly-orange small 'Comma' flying low towards me over the downland sward paused  briefly, proving to be a Pearl-bordered Fritillary. It was fresh, fit and flighty, and headed north low into the western coombe. I presume it is from an unauthorised release, my understanding being that Sussex's downland PBFs disappeared in the mid 20th Century. I'd be intrigued to know if anyone has an alternative theory? Other highlights: 9 Dingy Skippers, 2 Small Copper, and one of the Dingy Skippers had a tussle with what was almost certainly a Small Purple-barred, which shouldn't be out until late May. And male Orange-tip in my Peacehaven garden was the first in the six years I have been here. (Adrian Thomas)

Last night's moth catch (14th April) in my Rusper garden included my year firsts for Early Thorn, 20-plume Moth (2), Spectacle, Great Prominent, Swallow Prominent (2), Grey Pine Carpet, Foxglove Pug and a beautiful unusual form of Acleris literana as well as another Red Chestnut. (Sam Bayley)

News for Sat 14 April: Ardingly Reservoir: Large White 2, Small White 2, Orange-tip 3, Brimstone 4, Peacock 9. Total 20 butterflies, 5 species Also a Lizard sunning itself on a bare patch of ground. (David Pyle)

News for Fri 13 April: Bedelands Farm transect: Large White 4, Small White 2, Orange-tip 18 (all males), Red Admiral 1, Peacock 1, Comma 3, Speckled Wood 2. Total 31 butterflies, 7 species. (David Pyle)


Sat 14 April

Walk over the Caburn downs this afternoon (east of Lewes) produced 1 Holly Blue, 3 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Small Copper and surprisingly 1 Silver-Y as wind has not been from the south for some while. At home in Ringmer, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Peacock and 1 Orange-tip (male) which have all been seen several times over the past week plus female Orange-tip on April 8. (John Luck)

Perfect night for a moth trap last night, unfortunately my bulb blew up shortly after turning the trap on...but not before a Sharp-angled Peacock had flown in. In Friston Forest many male Brimstone (I've only seen 1 female so far this year), Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma and 1 Green-veined White (Michael Blencowe)

Preparing Sussex Police's Training Facility at Kingstanding for the return on the Exmoor ponies this afternoon. Spotted 2 Orange-tips, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Small White, 4 Red Admirals, and lots of Speckled Woods. (Steve Wheatley)

Ashplats Wood, East Grinstead - Male Orange-tip (3), Holly Blue (1), Peacock (2), Comma (1), Brimstone (2) Speckled Wood (1). Also on Thurs 12 April, St Leonard's Forest - Male Orange-tip (2) (Michael Funnell)

At Mill Hill today early afternoon on the lower slopes at least 10 Grizzled Skippers also 2 Dingy Skippers. Plenty of Peacocks and Brimstones also 4 Small Whites, 1 Comma and 1 Small Tortoiseshell (Ian Barnard )

2 Small Coppers at Belle Tout, Beachy Head, and Brown-tail Moth caterpillars starting to strip various bushes (Adrian Thomas)

Have just seen my first Speckled Wood in my Seaford garden. Also 3 Holly Blues yesterday (Roy Neeve)

More early moths in my Rusper garden last night (14th April) - 2 Spruce Carpet, 1 Chinese Character, 1 Lobster, 2 Nut-tree Tussock and my first Flame Shoulder of the year. (Sam Bayley)

News for Fri 13 April: Our first Clouded Yellow of the year coming in off the sea the over the playing field at Horseshoe Plantation. Then a Clouded Yellow coming in off sea above Holywell, Eastbourne. Our first Speckled Wood (a very small specimen) of the year at Cow Gap where we also two Peacock. Also, in the above areas two Burnet moths but don't know which. Aren't they very early? (Carole & David Jode)

Ran a moth trap last night at the Pagham Harbour visitor centre. Continue to get some early emergence records. Good number of species after a slow start to the year but numbers still low. Agonopterix alstromeriana 3, Brimstone Moth 1, Bright-line Brown-eye 1, Chinese Character 2, Clouded Drab 2, Common Quaker 14, Dark Sword-grass 1, Diamond Back Moth 3, Double-stripped Pug 1, Early Grey 2, Emmelina monodactyla 1, Flame Shoulder 1, Hebrew Character 7, Herald 1, Mullein 1, Nutmeg 1, Nut-tree Tussock 2, Pale Prominent 2, Pale Tussock 1, Powdered Quaker 2, Rusty-dot Pearl 2, Silver-Y 1, Small Quaker 1, White-spotted Pug 1.


Fri 13 April

Some really early moth emergences at Fernhurst over the last few days: 12th April - Mullein, Lobster, Iron Prominent. ; 11th April - Lesser Swallow Prominent, Poplar Kitten, Nut-tree Tussock; 10th April - Spruce Carpet (Sarah Patton)

Horsegills Wood, Rusper - 1 Holly Blue, 4 Orange-tip, 2 Brimstone, 1 Large White, 1 Comma and 1 Orange Underwing (Sam Bayley)

As the sun broke through at lunchtime, seven species appeared in my Steyning garden – Peacock, Comma, Large White, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Brimstone, Holly Blue. (Keith Noble)

The first Horseshoe Vetch and Milkwort appeared on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with a handful of each seen. Last year the first Horseshoe Vetch was first seen on 1 May. This is over two weeks early compared to last year when it was late. In 2004, Horseshoe Vetch was first seen on 20 April 2004 when the first Adonis Blue was spotted on 17 May 2004. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the butterflies were exiguous around midday with a Grizzled Skipper by the Privet and a bright coloured Small Tortoiseshell visited a Hawkbit (or related plant). The first of four Small White seen during the day fluttered over the Pixie Path. My first Large White of the year flew rapidly over the top of Chanctonbury Drive, followed by the first of three Speckled Woods. Two Peacock were seen on the Pixie Path and one on the Waterworks Road where a male Orange-tip and a Holly Blue fluttered by. Nine species, the most in a day this year. 14 butterflies. (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html)

News for Thurs 12 April: 1 Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Brimstone female and Orange- tip male Chesworth Farm, Horsham (Tricia and Mike Hall)


Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows LNR butterfly transect - results for week 2: Brimstone (3), Small White (4), Orange-tip (2), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Peacock (4), Comma (2), Speckled Wood (1) (and on 11th Holly Blue (1)). (Paul Lister)


Thurs 12 April

A pair of Grizzled Skippers courted over the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the first of this butterfly I had seen this year. Other species seen during the afternoon included a faded Speckled Wood on Mill Hill, a handful of Brimstone (Adur Levels and Mill Hill), about ten Peacock (Mill Hill only), a few Small Whites and one Holly Blue (flying across the green in Connaught Avenue, Old Shoreham end). (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html)

Not reported yet in Sussex, but worth bearing in mind - I hear from a reliable source (my twin brother) that Pearl-bordered Fritillaries are out in Devon, in substantial numbers. Suspect they could emerge in Rewell and Abbots Woods about the 23rd/24th, possibly earlier if present high temperatures persist. (Graham Parris).


News for Weds 11 April: Orange-tip (M) and Small White at Bates Green Farm, Arlington. Brimstone (M) beside A259 Friston Forest. Brimstone (M) and Orange-tip (F) around East Dean village. and our first Green-veined White of the year seen in our East Dean garden. (Carole & David Jode)


News for Tues 10 April: Saw two Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus) flying together and nectaring on Dandelion on the clifftop path just west of St Bede's School (near the cafe) at the end of Dukes Drive, Eastbourne in warm sunshine on Tuesday lunchtime. This is the earliest record of this species I'd seen in Sussex by some 6-8 weeks. Further west along the clifftops towards Cow Gap, I saw a smallish specimen Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui) flying over and basking on chalk grassland close to the cliff edge. This is another very early record of this species for me. (Mike Mullis).


Weds 11 April


2 Brimstone and at least 10 Peacock on a walk over Malling Down, nr Lewes (Caroline, Miles and Ed Clarke)

By the Ladywell Stream on the Coombes Road (Adur valley), my first two male Orange-tips of the year fluttering in the distance, over a bed of Lesser Celandine and Dandelions. (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html )

This morning at Warnham LNR, there was a Chinese Character, an Iron Prominent, an Oak Nycteoline, another Herald, a Brimstone moth, another Blossom Underwing, another Frosted Green and 4 Lunar Marbled Brown. There was also a huge Great Diving Beetle. (Sam Bayley)

News for Tues 10 April: One Comma at Powdermill Wood near Battle. One Small White, our first of the year, A22 Polegate. One Brimstone (M) in East Dean village. (David Jode)


Tues 10 April

Last night (9th April) was my best moth night of the year so far at Warnham LNR.  Along with the usual suspects I also caught a Nut-tree Tussock, 2 Blossom Underwing (migrants?), a Frosted Green, a Pine Beauty, a Waved Umber, an Early Tooth-striped, a beautiful Acleris literana and my first ever Puss Moth. In total I caught 203 moths of 27 species. (Sam Bayley)

1 Speckled Wood at Ashpark Wood, near Plaistow (Margaret Hibbard)

News for Mon 9 April: Blackstone Bottom / Cradle Hill - Lots of Peacocks - I saw a minimum of 11. Also 6 Speckled Woods and several Brimstones. Even 'ordinary' people were stopping to watch the speckled woods fighting. (Tom Ottley)

From the Adastra website, another early Small Copper at Friston Forest on 9th, and a couple of Orange-tip records, including several - both males and females - and also Large White at Bignor on 6th.

Mon 9 April

A Brimstone moth rescued from a watery grave in the pond in my Haywards Heath garden and drying out on the greenhouse bench. (Paul Lister)

Today I revisited Stoke Clump near West Stoke but was unable to see any Painted Ladies. Despite the warm morning I only saw 2 Peacocks, 1 Small White and a Comma. In the afternoon I walked in the paths around Van Common at Fernhurst and saw a single male Orange-tip (my first this year), plus a male Brimstone and a Peacock. (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)

Shoreham-by-Sea. My personal species tally of butterflies for the year was increased by two with my first Holly Blue on Mill Hill and my first Speckled Wood at the top of Chanctonbury Drive. In the short-sleeves, weather butterflies came in steady dribs and drabs with just the one Small White on the Adur Levels just north of Old Shoreham, about eleven Brimstone , a similar number of Peacocks, and three Commas. Two Pyrausta nigrata were seen flitting between the clumps of Dog Violets on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The six butterfly species was the most in a single day so far this year. Approx. 30 butterflies in the morning. (Andy Horton, Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html)

News for Sun 8 April In our East Dean garden on the only sighting all day was a Green Hairstreak. Our first ever sighting of one in our garden. Previously in Sussex we have only seen them at Horseshoe Plantation and Park Corner Heath although I know that they are fairly common. It was a lucky spot because I was mowing the grass (it is possibly original chalk downland so doesn't qualify as a lawn) and noticed an insect land about 10 feet away. Because of this I was able to home in on it. I called Carole across for a look and waited whilst she went indoors for the camera. Unfortunately it flew off as she came back and a thorough search in the area it landed amongst hundreds of grape hyacinth, valerian etc. proved fruitless. (David and Carole Jode)

News for Sat 7 April: I've recently acquired a new moth trap and I thought I should let you know some of the species it has attracted so far. Friday night/ Saturday Morning as well as the usual Quakers and Hebrew Characters there was a beautiful Purple Thorn and also Muslin Moth. Other catches recently have been a little disappointing. Yesterday's catch (08 April) ran to 6 Hebrew Character and 1 Small Quaker. The full record so far can be found at www.littlesnails.com/Moths/ if you're interested. All were caught in my garden at Lindfield near Haywards Heath in West Sussex. (Bob Foreman).

At Park Corner Heath we saw 2 Peacock and 2 Comma flying together on the track down and on the reserve had 6 Peacock sightings and 6 B sightings. A walk around Abbot's Wood during the early afternoon produced zilch! (David and Carole Jode)

News for Thurs 5 April: Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows LNR, Haywards Heath - new weekly butterfly transect. Results for week 1: Brimstone (3), Small White (1), Small Copper (1), Peacock (3) - two of which were mating in the sunshine. Also seen the following day when logging the precise habitats and pacing out the transect distances a small Comma. (Paul Lister)


Sun 8 April


If you want to check how the first emergence of species compares with previous years in Sussex, checkout the comparison First and last table.


About 50 new photos now in the Galleries, most thanks to Dave Mitchell's load of butterfly photos from 2006.


Lots of butterflies today: Chesworth Farm, Horsham - Orange-tip (4), Large White (1), Small White (3), Peacock (1), Brimstone (1), Red Admiral (1), Comma (1)

Southwater Country Park - Small White (1), Orange-tip (1)

Warnham Nature Reserve - Orange-tip (1), Brimstone (3), Red Admiral (1), Comma (1) and my first Green-veined White of the year (Sam Bayley)

4 male Orange-tips and 2 Speckled Woods were the non-hibernators out in West Dean Woods today (Adrian Thomas)

Peacock, Comma, Brimstone, and Speckled Wood seen at Park Corner Heath today. Female Brimstone seen egg laying on Buckthorn. (Dave Mitchell)

Moth traps at Pagham Harbour: Sun 8 April: Dark Sword-grass 1, Flame Shoulder 1, Clouded Drab 6, Common Quaker 15, Early Grey 1, Hebrew Character 2, Small Quaker 1, Powdered Quaker 4, Agonopterix alstromeriana 1 

Sat 7 April 07: White-spotted Pug 1 (usually not seen until May), Grey Pine Carpet 1 (usually not seen until May), Grey Shoulder-knot 1, Clouded Drab 2, Common Quaker 25, Early Grey 3, Hebrew Character 4, March Moth 1, Small Quaker 1, Powdered Quaker 4, Agonopterix alstromeriana 4

News for 6 April: First Holly Blue in Sedlescombe near Hastings (per Adastra egroup).

Sat 7 April

First pupal hatching from overwintering Ouse valley Red Admiral caterpillars. 4 and a half months from egg to adult; one month as chrysalid. Appeared normal size & colour. (Dave Harris)

Today I visited Stoke Clump near West Stoke village. I saw many Peacocks which were active including a mating pair . Also my first sightings this year of a Speckled Wood and a surprise encounter with a Painted Lady. Totals: Peacock (13), Brimstone (3 males), Speckled Wood (1), Small White (1) and Painted Lady (1). Alongside the roadside I also saw a Small White on the Lower Bognor Road at Lagness and a Holly Blue flew over the car while I was in a traffic jam near the Stockbridge Road roundabout on the A27 at Chichester. (Richard Symonds Hayling Island)

News for Fri 6 April: Whilst enjoying a cold cider outside the Royal Oak in Friday Street, Rusper yesterday (6th April) I watched my first Orange-tip (female) and my first Large White, but saw no other butterflies.

Whilst last night in my Rusper garden, I caught my first Lunar Marbled Brown, Engrailed and Oak Nycteoline of the year, along with Common, Small and Twin-spotted Quakers, Early Grey, Hebrew Character, Chestnut, Streamer, Brindled Beauty, Oak Beauty, Early Tooth-striped, Brindled Pug, Clouded Drab, a big Bumblebee, a Cinnamon Caddisfly and Necrodes littoralis (a large Burying Beetle). It is amazing what other things come to a moth trap. (Sam Bayley)

Three sightings of Brimstone (M) in my East Dean garden today. (David Jode)

Fri 6 April

A walk aroung Edburton this afternoon produced 21 Peacocks, 5 Small Tortoiseshells, 5 Commas, 2 Speckled Woods, 2 Brimstones, a Green-veined White and a Small White (Tony WIlson)

At 11.30 a Clouded Yellow butterfly flew past a house in North Salts, Rye, heading north through the Military Road gardens. There have been many reports from SW England recently. At 14.30 a male Large White patrolling the North Salts gardens (an early date), plus several Small Whites and Peacocks. (forwarded by Ralph Hobbs from the excellent website for Rye Harbour - www.rxwildlife.org.uk)

Several Orange-tips (both m & f) at Bignor today and one Large White. (Sarah Patton)

In my garden near Lewes today 1m and 1f Brimstone, 1 Peacock, 1 Small White, 1 Green-veined White - a very small one which at first I thought was an Orange-tip. (John Holloway).

An active Peacock in my Seaford garden (Roy Neeve)

Male Orange-tip at Offham Church. Very restless - impossible to photograph! (Tom Ottley)

My first Orange-tip of the year, on Honesty, and Holly Blue in my Steyning garden. Also Brimstone, Peacock, Small White. (Keith Noble)

Holly Blue in Peacehaven garden. Single Red Admiral and ground-level Orange Underwing, plus several Brimstones, Peacocks and Commas in Laughton Common Wood (Adrian Thomas)

Pagham Harbour Moth trap run on the evening 5 April 2007: Highlight was Blossom Underwing 1 plus  Silver-Y 1 and Angle Shades 1. Also March Moth 2, Hebrew Character 9, Common Quaker 9, Small Quaker 2, Powdered Quaker 2, Early Grey 1,  (Ivan Lang)

Thurs 5 April

Male Brimstone in my East Dean garden. On Mon 2 April, another sighting of female Orange-tip in same part of East Dean village (East Sussex) as the previous day. (David Jode)

Green-veined White in garden at Heathfield today (Nigel Kemp)

Steyning, 5.00pm, a Hummingbird Hawkmoth hovering above my neighbour’s sun-warmed roof (Keith Noble)

Beautiful day- Orange-tip (M), 2 Speckled Woods, Small Tortoiseshell and Brimstone (M) by River Mole, Pound Hill, Crawley. (David Dancy)

In Wepham Wood today I saw: Brimstones, Peacocks and a female(!) Orange-tip. (Alexander Henderson)

News for Weds 4 April

A very fresh Painted Lady at East Preston this morning. Given the wind direction in recent days, could this have overwintered? (Sarah Patton, via Adastra website).

Weds 4 April


News for Mon 2 April: With a northerly breeze l blowing, butterflies were frequent for the first time this year with 33 in flight of five species: Peacocks, Small Whites, Commas, Small Tortoiseshells and Brimstone. (Andy Horton - The full report is on Andy's web page www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html)


Tues 3 April


News for Mon 2 April: On a walk around Cissbury Ring today, one male Emperor Moth, four Peacock and a Comma (Neil Hulme).


Mon 2 April


Two Speckled Woods and a Brimstone in Rusper Road, Ifield (Chris Prince)


Hummingbird Hawkmoth in Haywards Heath near town centre (Arthur McCulloch)


Sun 1 April

Female Orange-tip in East Dean village (East Sussex) this afternoon (David Jode)

One Comma and one Small Tortoiseshell on Worth Way, Crawley Down today. Also three Brimstone and one Peacock at Leonardslee Gardens, Lower Beeding. The Peacock appeared in fairly good condition but spent long periods resting on a path. (Jonathan Ruff)

What to look for in April

  • Butterflies: Warmer weather should see all five species that overwinter as adults (Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral and Comma) joined as the month progresses by widespread species Speckled Wood, Small White, Green-veined White, Large White, Holly Blue and Orange Tip. Late in the month there is the chance for Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper and Green Hairstreak in their more restricted habitats.
  • Moths: The numbers of moths attracted to light traps increases slowly. Perhaps the most abundant and widespread is the Hebrew Character.


Earlier Sightings


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