Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
   Sussex Branch
 
 » Homepage
 » Recent sightings
 » Contact us
 » Events
 » Sussex species
 » Sussex sites
 » Links
Links to the national Butterfly Conservation website
 » National website
 » BC Membership


Send 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.

To send in digital photos of butterflies and moths taken in Sussex, send to photo 'at' sussex-butterflies.org.uk, preferably as jpegs at 72dpi and 180x240 pixels. Please do not send attachments larger than 1MB.

Sussex guide to moth trapping now online

Click here for the webpages on this site devoted to the Sussex Moth Group

 

Sunday 30 September

 

Yes, yesterday was a 'no sightings' day, the first for months, rather than your webmaster being lazy! A bit of sunshine today and a few butterflies and moths decided to fly:

 

Steyning. At 11.30 a Hummingbird Hawkmoth settled on south-facing gable of the roof next door and stayed half an hour. The same or another flew through the garden at 1.25. (This may be my last message to this website as Alison and I move to Brecon in mid-October. Thanks and best wishes to all contributors who have given me lots of interest) (Keith Noble) A warmish fortnight is forecast up ahead, Keith, so chance for plenty more sightings before you go! Best of luck and thanks for all your entries and photos - it is the contributors like you who help keep this site so fresh.

 

Moth trap at Denton overnight: 1 Dusky Thorn, 2 Feathered Ranunculus, 1 Garden Carpet, 1 Large Yellow Underwing, 11 Lunar Underwing, 6 Mallow, 1 Phoenix, 1 Setaceous Hebrew Character, 1 Silver Y, 2 Square-spot Rustic, 1 Willow Beauty. With 28 moths of 11 species it was still a fairly quiet night, but the milder weather brought out a few species that I hadn't seen in a while (along with some Ophion luteus wasps) and I'm still regularly seeing 'new' species. (Steven Teale)

 

Interesting to compare Steven's catch with mine at Peacehaven - 8 Large Yellow Underwing, 4 Common Marbled Carpet, 3 Lunar Underwing, 2 Feathered Ranunculus, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 2 Shuttle-shaped Darts, 1 Square-spot Rustic, 1 Dusky Thorn, 1 Pale Mottled Willow, 1 Willow Beauty, 1 Red-line Quaker. In the garden Red Admiral and Speckled Wood, but more than a dozen Harlequin Ladybirds were not so welcome.  (Adrian Thomas)

 

The AGM at Scaynes Hill on Saturday 29 September presented the usual problems - how do you possibly get around to having a chat with all of the people you want to, in the short interludes between a packed program of talks, member's photo shows, raffle, presentations and formal proceedings?! Ian Beavis (Tunbridge Wells Museum) gave an excellent talk on the butterflies, past and present, from his 'patch' in the Weald. This was well illustrated with some very nice photographs, many of which I believe he has collected himself over the years. Although I am confident that we will still see them all on a regular basis, it was a little sad to see the retirement of Graham Parris, David Pyle and Arthur McCulloch from the committee, all of whom have served the Branch so well. Graham Parris was presented with two photographs of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (below), in recognition of his particularly lengthy service as Park Corner Heath Reserve Manager, Conservation Officer and Branch Contact - a hard act for some of us to follow. On the other hand, the recruitment of Clare Jeffers, Caroline Clarke, Michael Blencowe and Paul Lister bodes well for the future running of the Branch and I'm sure that I can speak for our whole membership in thanking them for offering their time, especially as some have full-time jobs or young families. In many ways the AGM marks the end of the 'butterfly year', but if the sun comes out, there are still some nice, third brood Wall Browns on the wing. Let's all hope for a bit more sun next year! (Neil Hulme)

 

 


 

Friday 28 September

My little moth trap in Newhaven is no match for the full moon. I had ten individual moths last night, of which there were three different species: 1 L-album Wainscot, 8 Lunar Underwings, and 1 Turnip. (Steven Teale)

News for Thurs 27 Sep: One, possibly two, Hummingbird Hawkmoth nectaring on Valerian in our East Dean garden. (Carole and David Jode)


 

Thursday 27 September

 

Canary-shouldered Thorn, Ashdown Forest, 25 Sep (Steve Wheatley)

 

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. In windy but generally sunny conditions, the final transect of the year produced: Comma (3), Small White (1), Red Admiral (2) and Speckled Wood (2). (Paul Lister)

News for Weds 26 Sep: Pulborough Brooks RSPB: 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Small White, 1 (and almost certainly 2) Brown Hairstreak (the one we saw perched was badly damaged by a bird attack), 1 Red Admiral, 3 Comma, 1 Meadow Brown and 13 Speckled Wood. (Jim Steedman)


 

Wednesday 26 September

 

Cissbury Ring transect: The count today produced 30 butterflies of 7 species. The first section and the last two produced zero counts in very cold strong breezes. The other 4 sections had some sheltered spots which contained the following. Common Blue 1, Peacock 3, Comma 1, Meadow Brown 20, Small Copper 3, Wall 1, Speckled Wood 1. (Peter Atkinson)

News for Tues 25 September: Probably my last moth trap of 2007, in Ashdown Forest. Very quiet but a few beautiful moths showed up - 2 x Canary Shouldered Thorn and a Sallow. (Steve Wheatley)


 

Tuesday 25 September

 

We have received a wonderful series of images from Polly Mair which all add something new to the galleries. The first three here are three life stages of Large White, one species that seems not to have excited many contributions to the site before, yet probably one of the most misidentified butterflies. Here is an adult female at Ashurst Wood (15 July), pupa at Ashurst Wood (15 Sep) and caterpillar at Ashurst Wood (8 Sep)

 

 


 

Monday 24 September

News for Sun 23 Sep: Butterfly Transect @ Malling Down Lewes. Not as much as I would have expected - I think the strong wind kept a lot of things down. 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Large White, 1 Small White, 4 Red Admiral (very fresh), 2 Peacock, 1 Comma (very fresh), 51 Meadow Brown, 1 Small Heath. 62 sightings 8 Species. No Small Copper - just a week ago I recorded 7 very fresh ones! (Crispin Holloway)


 

Sunday 23 September

Horsehoe Plantation / Birling Gap  Meadow Brown (9), Speckled Wood (4), Small Heath (7), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Common Blue (3), Small Copper (4), Brown Argus (1), Silver Y (1), Clouded Yellow (1), Small White (2) (Michael Blencowe / Clare Jeffers / Dave Green / Penny Green)

At Gardener's Hill near Norton (TQ465030) today I saw 1 Clouded Yellow, 2 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Heath and 20 Small White. No Meadow Brown! (Steven Teale)

Seaford Head, East Sussex: 2 Clouded Yellows, 2 Peacocks, 2 Painted Ladies, 1 Small Heath, 3 Brimstones, 1 Red Admiral, 4 Common Blues, 1 Comma, 10+ Small Coppers and 20+ Meadow Browns seen on a two-hour walk. (Polly Mair)

At Cow Gap, Beachy Head, 1 Wall and 1 Small Copper, plus several Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, Small and Large Whites (Adrian Thomas)


 

Saturday 22 September

 

Autumnal Rustic, 18 Sep - notice the mite on the antenna, and Frosted Orange, 20 Sep, both at Lindfield (Bob Foreman)

 

Crawley Down: 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Small White and 1 Large White on Buddleia Beijing. (Jonathan Ruff)

Butterflies around Edburton today included 6 Peacocks, 4 Commas, 3 Red Admirals, 3 Small Heaths, 1 Common Blue, Painted Lady, 10 Meadow Browns and a few whites. Best of the moths recently was a Delicate on 17th (Tony Wilson)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect, penultimate report for the butterfly 'year': Large White (1), Small White (3), Red Admiral (3) and Comma (1). New interesting species for our moth trap continue their good run this week with, last night, White-point, Lunar Underwing, Many-plumed Moth and new variations of Common Marbled Carpet. (Paul & Toni Lister)

Last night's moth trap yield at Denton, Newhaven, was still moderate: 45 moths of 17 different species. Highlights included my first Feathered Ranunculus and some more L-album Wainscot. Full results as follows: 1 Brimstone, 3 Double-striped Pug, 6 Dusky Thorn, 2 Feathered Ranunculus, 1 Garden Carpet, 1 Garden Rose Tortrix, 2 L-album Wainscot, 11 Large Yellow Underwing, 1 Lesser Yellow Underwing, 1 Light Emerald, 5 Lunar Underwing, 1 Marbled Beauty, 2 Emmelina monodactyla (Plume Moth), 2 Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3 Square-spot Rustic, 1 Vine's Rustic, 2 Willow Beauty. Congratulations, by the way, to Paul Lister on reaching his centenary of species. (Steven Teale)

News for Fri 21 Sep - Broadfield Pond, Crawley. Breezy and cloudy conditions but managed to see 4 Speckled Wood, 1 Small White and a fresh male Green-veined White. Another male was spotted earlier in the week. (Vince Massimo)

News for Fri 21 Sep - Under an overcast sky, a cycle ride along circular route from old Shoreham up the Coombes Road to Botolphs and a return via the Downs Link Cyclepath was longer than usual (via the Annington Sewer) because the South Downs Bridge was closed for repairs. Butterflies seen on route were frequent (30+) Speckled Woods, six Peacocks, occasional Large Whites and Red Admirals, at least one Small White, one Comma (Coombes Road), one Wall (Upper Beeding east of the South Downs Bridge) and one Clouded Yellow (Downs Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge). Mill Hill was breezy with frequent (15+) Meadow Browns, two Large Whites, three Wall , two Small Heaths and one female Common Blue. Eleven species (Andy Horton)

Recent news: All seems quiet at the moment, the moths have been relatively thin on the ground. Recent highlights from the trap in Lindfield have been an Autumnal Rustic and a White-point on 18 Sept., Frosted Orange 20 and 21 Sept. , Orthopygia glaucinalis on 20 Sept and a Brindled Green and Oak Lutestring also on 21 Sept. (Oh, and of course, lots and lots of Large Yellow Underwings). Also, I thought Paul Lister might be interested to know that I caught a Heath Rustic just down the road Lindfield on 09 Sept. so they are about in the area. (Bob Foreman)


 

Thursday 20 September

 

In my Haywards Heath garden moth trap last night, 12 species including a fresh-looking Frosted Orange, a Burnished Brass (metallic green) and a possible Heath Rustic, although the latter needs far more careful examination, as it seems to be well out of location. This was a great 65th birthday treat, as I passed the 100 species mark since starting mothing in the middle of last April. (Paul Lister)

 


 

Wednesday 19 September

 

News for Tuesday 18th September: A two and a half hour walk around Beeding Hill produced the following butterfly sightings: Clouded Yellow 3, Large White 2, Small White 2, Brown Argus 2, Common Blue 1, Adonis Blue 3 (one ovipositing), Peacock 1, Wall 1 (fresh female), Meadow Brown 40+, Small Heath 2. Beautiful afternoon. (Tim Freed)

 


 

Tuesday 18 September

Still several Brown Hairstreaks behind Crawley Rugby club's ground, Ifield, this morning. (Paul Marten)

Cissbury transect: The count today produced 106 butterflies of 9 species. could have been 10 species if I seen the Speckled Woods that others had seen there today. Adonis Blue 3, Brown Argus 3, Common Blue 12, Large White 3, Meadow Brown 67, Red Admiral 1, Small Copper 13, Small Heath 2, Clouded Yellow 2 (Peter Atkinson)


 

Monday 17 September

 

Three Sallow species at Titty Hill, 16/9/7 (Michael Blencowe). Now we are usually very kind to you on this website and identify them for you, but here's your chance! Your choices are Centre-barred Sallow, Orange Sallow, Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow and Sallow, which all fly at this time of year and are all common.

 

 

News for Sun 16 Sep: Park Corner Heath: few Speckled Woods and 1 Comma on the track, 1 Small Copper near the hut. Also, 3 adders, 2 grass snakes, 1 lizard and several slow worms under the mats. (Kevin, Caroline and Miles Clarke)

 

News for Sun 16 Sep: At the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill, north of Shoreham, near the Devil's Bit Scabious, I was attacked by a swarm of twenty or so Common Wasps and despite making a run for it, I was stung at least six times mainly on my scalp and the stings could be felt four hours afterwards. It felt like a very strong itchy nettle sting after six hours had elapsed. There were just three male Adonis Blue and 30 Meadow Brown noted, but I made my exit from the downs earlier than I normally would under an overcast sky. Other butterflies on the day included another dozen more Meadow Browns, at least four Red Admirals (two on Mill Hill, two on the Pixie Path), five Speckled Woods (mostly on Mill Hill), one Comma (on the Pixie Path) and frequent Large Whites almost everywhere. (www.glaucus.org.uk, Andy Horton)

 


 

Sunday 16 September

Recent news: I decided to reduce my carbon footprint this year and holidayed in sunny West Sussex renting a cottage at Titty Hill near Fernhurst. Managed to squeeze my MV moth trap into my suitcase and ran some traps around the area. Highlights included (11/Sep) a very fresh Pine Hawkmoth, (14 Sep), Oak Lutestring 25 in the trap, (16 Sep) Sallow, Centre-barred Sallow and Pink-barred Sallow added a bit of colour. 36 species were caught in this farmland habitat over 5 nights. (Michael Blencowe)

News for Sun 16 and Sat 15 Sep: With the flowers rapidly disappearing at Poverty Bottom (Newhaven), so too are numbers of butterflies. On Saturday I saw only 8 Meadow Brown, 1 Gatekeeper, 7 Small White, 1 Large White, 1 (very fresh) Peacock, 1 Comma. I also saw a nationally scarce Hornet Robber Fly (Asilus crabroniformis), a sinister-looking fellow. Sunday was very quiet: just 6 Meadow Brown and 15 Small White. It's the first time since July that Meadow Browns haven't been the dominant species and I saw more Goldfinches than I did butterflies! A sure sign that seedheads have taken over from flowerheads. (Steven Teale)

The flight-time of the Single-dotted Wave in Sussex Further to the query by Darryl Perry on the above, this moth is "Usually single-brooded, flying mainly from mid June to early September. An occasional partial second emergence flies along the coast during the last three weeks of September. The adult has been seen in every week from the second week of June to late September" (in "A Revised History of the Butterflies & Moths of Sussex"). (Colin Pratt)

News for Sat 15 Sep: In my Crawley garden were the usual whites together with a Red Admiral, Comma and a rare visit, for this year, from a pristine Peacock which did justice to the Michaelmas Daisy, Buddleia and Sedum. (Vince Massimo)

 

News for Sat 15 Sep: Pagham Harbour - Clouded Yellow heading west on beach. 2 Holly Blues next to church yard. (David Buckler, Farnborough)

 

News for Fri 14 and Sat 15 Sep: Pagham Harbour - Ran Traps over the last two nights with moderate success despite cool evenings with 45 species on the 24th and 38 species on the 15th. The highlights were the third and fourth Dewick's Plusia, Feathered Ranunculus (first for the reserve this year) and I trapped a Single-dotted Wave on the 15th. Also another late flier is the Flame. (Ivan Lang)

 


 

Saturday 15 September

12 butterfly species in garden today (the most since April 29th!). Pick of the bunch good numbers of mint condition second generation Peacocks nectaring on ivy flowers. (Dave Harris)

News for Fri 14 Sep: Results for the Skinner trap in Denton: 2 Brimstone, 2 Double-striped Pug, 1 Dusky Thorn, 1 Feathered Brindle, 1 Garden Rose Tortrix, 8 Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Lesser Yellow Underwing, 2 Lunar Underwing, 1 Marbled Beauty, 1 Marbled Green, 1 Plume Moth (Emmelina monodactyla), 2 Setaceous Hebrew Character, 1 Snout, 4 Square-spot Rustic and 1 Tawny-speckled Pug. Total catch was 30 with 15 different species. I suspect the Feathered Brindle was a separate specimen to the one I have previously recorded. There are differences between both specimens that cannot, in my opinion, be explained by wear or scale-loss. (Steven Teale)

News for Fri 14 Sep - Plant nursery at Laughton - 1 perfect Clouded Yellow, many Small Whites, few Red Admirals. (Caroline Clarke)

News for Thurs 13 Sep: Trapped in Portslade Garden: Only Setaceous Hebrew Character, Large Yellow Underwing. However, I also trapped Single-Dotted Wave which, according to Waring's book, only flies until August. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has trapped this species - what with the late Poplar & Privet Hawkmoths, there is no guessing what other species will turn up late....Mother Shipton at Mill Hill!!! (Darryl Perry)

My partner doesn't like moths in the house in Peacehaven, so leaving the back door to the lounge wide open at night with lights a blazing is not a good idea. I've told her but still she chooses to do it. Still, it gives me an excellent opportunity to use my Moth Field guide (the BWP one by Paul Waring and Martin Townsend). Since all moths are brown it took me some time to locate two species: Square-spot Rustic and Lesser Yellow Underwing. Not surprisingly the book tells me they're common, I have not discovered a new species in the living room. (Danny McEvoy)

Variation within the Lesser Yellow Underwing in Sussex Further to Bob Foreman's query on the above, his photograph depicts a classic example of a Sussex ab. sagittifer Cockayne. Aside from colour variants, specimens exhibiting prominent black transverse lines across the forewings - ab. sagittifer - have always been scarce in the county. Nonetheless the form has been recorded from Hove in 1945, Peacehaven in 1978 and 1997, Crowborough in 1985 and 1991, Lyminster in 1988, and at Rye Harbour and Walberton (Arundel) in 1997 (from "A Revised History of the Butterflies & Moths of Sussex"). As no more have been seen since, Bob's example is the first here for 10 years. (Colin Pratt)

 

A review of Sam Bayley's mothing September so far at Warnham LNR:

1 Sep (203 moths of 45 species) Highlights: Water Veneer 1, Pinion-streaked Snout 5, Webb's Wainscot 1, Coronet 1, White-point 4, Dotted Clay 1 (1st for me and site)

3 Sep (29 moths of 17 species) Highlights: White-point 1, Dark Sword-grass 1

9 Sep (198 moths of 42 species) Highlights: Poplar Hawkmoth 1 (very late), White-point 1, Rush Veneer 1, Webb's Wainscot 4, Orange Swift 1 (1st for year), Frosted Orange 2 (1st for year)

10 Sep (76 moths of 24 species) Highlights: Poplar Hawkmoth 1 (different individual from day before), Old Lady 1

14 Sep (55 moths of 11 species) Highlights: Oak Lutestring 1

Rusper Garden

12 Sep (35 moths of 25 species) Highlights: Spindle Knot-horn (Nephopteryx angustea) 1

13 Sep (86 moths of 19 specis) Highlights: Oak Lutestring 1, Autumnal Rustic 2 (new for site)

 

Shelley Wood Meeting: The night started off overcast and fairly warm for the three hours of darkness, but then cleared and quickly turned cold. After a bumpy start when my generator decided to go kaputt and I had to drive back home to get the ancient, old faithful which still proved worthy, the moths started to come in. The two traps that I put out both attracted very much the same catch from this wonderful 50 acre woodland, but not a great deal of species, in fact only 19!!! Although from this there wera three very worn Pinion-streaked Snout, one Water Veneer, one Notch-wing Button (Acleris emargana), my first Pink-barred Sallow of the year, one White-shouldered Smudge (Ypsolopha parenthesella) and an amazing 164 Oak Lutestring including one of the form nubilata. This was quite interesting considering that we only caught one Large Yellow Undering and one Square-spot Rustic which are by far the commonest moths around at the moment. (Sam Bayley)

 

 


 

Friday 14 September

Below is a photo of what I think may be a Lesser Yellow Underwing ssp. sagittifer which is apparently normally only found on the Isles of Scilly or Lundy, I caught this one on 5 Sept. in Lindfield. I've shown it to Sam Bayley and he agrees that it certainly looks like the image in Waring but is uncertain of the species variation so he suggested I send it to you for posting in the hope that it might elicit more opinions. (Bob Foreman) Please email your thoughts back to the sighting address

Also below, Jan Hein van Steenis' Clouded Yellow helice at Beachy Head (8 Sep), Ivan Lang's Porter's Rustic at Pagham Harbour (7 Sep), and Steven Teale's Galium Carpet (13 Sep)

News for Thurs 13 Sep: I was quite excited about what I would find in my Skinner trap at 05.30 on Thursday morning, what with the new moon and weather so clear and calm, and especially after having recorded the Feathered Brindle a few nights before. Maybe I was getting a bit too cocky - the moths punished me by keeping away! My total catch was a paltry 36, of which there were 11 different species: 2 Double-striped Pug, 2 Dusky Thorn, 1 Feathered Brindle (must be the same individual as before), 6 Flounced Rustic, 1 Galium Carpet, 7 Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Lunar Underwing, 1 Purple Bar, 1 Setaceous Hebrew Character, 7 Square-spot Rustic, and 5 Vine's Rustic. I know it's still early days for me, but I had three new species that I hadn't previously seen (taking the list up to 66). I was a bit perplexed by the Galium Carpet because I thought the flight period was over. Has anyone else seen any? (Steven Teale)


 

Thursday 13 September

 

Grey Dagger larva found by 7-year old Lucas Foreman in an apple tree at Lindfield (Bob Foreman)

 

 

Last nights moth catch was fairly small and had an autumn feel. It contained 1 Mottled Umber (an early one), 2 Centre-barred Sallows and 3 Dusky Thorns. The total catch (48 moths) was a marked contrast with that on the 7th when there were nearly 280 moths in the catch. Just a few degrees difference in temperature makes an enormous difference! (Mike Snelling)

 

News for Weds 12 September: Brown Hairstreaks still being reported at RSPB Pulborough Brooks (per SOS website)

 


 

Wednesday 12 September

Just out of curiosity, I checked how many species were seen after this date in 2006 in Sussex - a surprising 21. These were the last dates - Small Skipper (14 Sep), Chalkhill Blue (23 Sep), Green-veined White (26 Sep), Brown Hairstreak (26 Sep), Brown Argus (26 Sep), Small Heath (30 Sep), Adonis Blue (8 Oct), White Admiral (that amazing second brood 15 Oct), Speckled Wood (16 Oct), Meadow Brown (23 Oct), Common Blue (27 Oct), Small Tortoiseshell (29 Oct), Comma (5 Nov), Brimstone (5 Nov), Large White (5 Nov), Small White (5 Nov), Clouded Yellow (19 Nov), Painted Lady (19 Nov), Peacock (9 Dec), Red Admiral (31 Dec). So still plenty to play for! - ed

The site's first photo of the 'nationally scarce B' Feathered Brindle from Steven Teale at Newhaven, 9 Sep, and an ingenious way of recording size in photos!

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. In gloriously calm, sunny conditions (oh to have had such earlier in the year) numbers continue to decline: Large White (1), Small White (1), Common Blue (1), Peacock (1), Speckled Wood (3) and Meadow Brown a mere (3). 10 in all, comprising 6 species. (Paul Lister)


 

Tues 11 September

26 Clouded Yellows at Thorney Island today,plus another 5 at Pilsey Island.(Barry Collins)

Ifield, Crawley. A visit during the afternoon to look for Brown Hairstreak only produced an interesting late sighting of a very fresh female Green-veined White. On the way home however, I called in at Broadfield Pond where surprisingly I found a female Brown Hairstreak, only the second sighting I have had here in the last three years. (Vince Massimo)

News for Mon 10 Sep: I went dusking with my new eco-friendly wind-up headlamp in the hills above Denton last night (8.30-10.30 pm) and saw a couple of Square-spot Rustics, 3 Brimstone, 2 Purple-bar, an Old Lady and something wonderful... several newly-emerging Flounced Rustics at varying stages of emergence (it's probably got a special name - but I don't know it!). A awe-inspiring sight! (Steven Teale)


 

Mon 10 September

 

Please remember to send all images to the email address 'photo' at the usual suffix, 'sussex-butterflies.org.uk' so that they can be turned around for use on the website as swiftly as possible. Thanks.

 

Two fab larvae: Broom Moth at Park Corner Heath BC reserve (9 Sep, Michael Blencowe) and Elephant Hawkmoth at Sompting (8 Sep, Tony Wilson). The Yellow Belle at Edburton on 8 Sep (Tony Wilson) is the first time a photo of this moth has appeared on this website.

 

 

A female Brown Hairstreak in my Keymer, Hassocks garden at 1pm, fluttering around my bed of soapworts then alighting to bask in sun on the foliage before flying off - superb close views and the first that I have ever seen here. (Malcolm Le Grys).

 

News for Sun 9 September: On a warm and sunny morning with later long spells of cloud at Malling Down the highlight was a beautiful, very active, Clouded Yellow near the top of the Down. There was typical profusion of 120 Meadow Browns but also good numbers of 11 Small Coppers, 7 Small Heath, 7 Large White and 12 Small White. No Gatekeepers. 10 male Adonis Blues and 7 females - some sunning themselves others laying eggs. Also, 7 Common Blue males and 8 females; 1 Brown Argus but no Chalkhill Blues. 2 Silver-spotted Skippers on the lower slopes, 1 Small Tortoiseshell on loose chalk rubble, 3 Speckled Woods and 2 male Brimstones complete the tally. (Marlon Waters)

 

News for Sun 9 September: A more successful night in Denton, but still with a moderate number of species (17) and moderate total catch (56). Species included: 1 Double-striped Pug, 2 Dusky Thorn, 1 Feathered Brindle, 1 Feathered Gothic, 7 Flounced Rustic, 3 Garden Carpet, 1 L-album Wainscot, 14 Yellow Underwing, 3 Lesser Yellow Underwing, 1 Light Emerald, 1 Lime-speck Pug, 2 Pyrausta purpuralis, 1 Rustic, 3 Setaceous Hebrew Character, 9 Square-spot Rustic, 2 Vine's Rustic and 4 Willow Beauty. I was very pleased to see my first Thorn species at home, but very excited to find my first scarce species: the Feathered Brindle - a moth of coastal habitats - and L-album Wainscot (although Waring suggests the Wainscot may be an immigrant). It was great to have some quality species after the rather bland results last Tuesday. Interestingly, I noticed in Waring that the normal flight period of the Double-striped Pug is over (August), but that there is an occasional flight period in the south-east during September-October. Could this be another example of flight periods in flux due to the poor summer? (Steven Teale)

 

News for Sat 8 September: A visit to Beachy Head–Belle Tout–Birling Gap on Saturday was not entirely successful (no certain Adonis Blue, no skippers...), but I did see (amongst others) 7 Clouded Yellows (mostly below the lighthouse) including a female 'helice', (only) 1 Painted Lady, plenty of Chalkhill and Common Blues and 1 Brown Argus. My first visit there, so I couldn't concentrate on butterflies alone, of course. (Jan Hein van Steenis, Essex)

 

News for Thurs 7 September: Moth trap at the visitor centre, Pagham Harbour. Once again good conditions with 513 moths of 54 species. The major highlight of the evening was a PORTER'S RUSTIC 1 (possible first for Sussex – being checked out). Also Dog's Tooth 1, Dusky Thorn 1, Large Thorn 1, Maiden's Blush 1, Red Underwing 1, Rush Veneer 2, Dark Sword-grass 1, Delicate 3, L-Album Wainscot 3, Rusty-dot pearl 12, White-point 25, Vine's Rustic 31, Large Yellow Underwing 73 and Setaceous Hebrew Character 90. (Ivan Lang)

 


 

Sunday 9 September

The weekly Shoreham butterfly count produced ten species including 35 Adonis Blues, 5 Chalkhill Blues, 7 Common Blues and 9 Small Heath all on Mill Hill, with a surprise Peacock seen near Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. (Andy Horton)

3 Red Admiral, 2 Large White, 1 Small White and 1 Meadow Brown around the garden in Crawley Downs most of the afternoon, on Buddleia Beijing and very occasionally Buddleia Auriculata. Also a Speckled Wood seen passing by. (Jonathan Ruff)

Park Corner Heath Reserve Work Party Work started today at PCH to get the reserve ready for the 2008 season. A team of 9 BC volunteers went to work on a dense area of birch/hawthorn/turkey oak/bramble which was last coppiced way back in 1995. Today's work let the sunlight back in to this area and will encourage the growth of violets for our fritillaries. Not many butterflies seen despite the lovely weather but Miles and Ed Clarke found a Broom Moth larvae and 5 Adders. Thanks to everyone who attended; it was good to see some new faces joining the work party. And there were two other 'new faces' on the reserve; a Kingfisher and a Wasp Spider - both new records for PCH. Next work party October 14th.

A beautiful morning over Poverty Bottom, Newhaven, but nothing spectacular to report: 33 Meadow Brown, 12 Small White, 5 Small Heath, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Common Carpet. (Steven Teale)

News for Sat 8 Sep: On the south side of Edburton Hill this afternoon there were 12 Clouded Yellows, including two mating in flight which wouldn't let me get close enough for a photo, 1 Adonis Blue, 6 Common Blues, 4 Brown Argus, Peacock, 10 Small Heaths, plenty of Meadow Browns and a Small Copper + 3 Silver Ys. Also moths by the outside light last night included Chinese Character, Yellow Belle, White-point, Burnished Brass and Feathered Gothic. (Tony Wilson)


 

Saturday 8 September

 

Took a stroll up to Windover Hill for 'just one more look' at the Graylings there. Seven were seen gliding around the slopes. (Michael Blencowe & Clare Jeffers)

 


 

Friday 7 September

After seeing Colin Pratt's report about Poplar Hawkmoths,  I thought I should let you know I caught a nearly pristine one in the trap in Lindfield last night (photo below). A much better night all round in comparison with the past couple of nights - 32 species and only 50 Large Yellow Underwings. (Bob Foreman)

Bevendean Down in warm overcast weather very few butterflies 15 Meadow Browns, 1 Small Heath 2 Common Blues, 2 Chalkhill Blues, 4 Adonis Blues, 2 Silver-spotted Skippers. (Geoff Stevens)

News for Thursday 6 September: Silver-spotted Skipperooni (no, not a new species, just Danny's excitement showing through - ed) at my allotment in Newhaven, above the cemetery. I have never seen one there before, which goes to indicate how well the boys with the silver spots are doing this year. It was yesterday . PM, about 2 o'clock. Ther were many whites doing the rounds there too and a soaring red admiral or two, but the SSS was the surprise surprise! (Danny McEvoy)

News for Thurs 6 September: Moth Trap, Friston Forest: Conditions looked good for moth trapping last night (warm, muggy, cloudy) so I dusted off my big ol' home-made moth trap and gave it a go. 200 moths (exactly!) mostly: Large Yellow Underwing (62), Light Emerald (23), Common Wainscot (14) Snout (12) and amongst 40 other species the immigrant Delicate (1). I have been recording Coronet here in traps over the past week (3 last night) and others have also been recording this moth from other parts of the county. Similar to the hawkmoths discussed below these are very late records for a single-generation species which flies June-July. The fresh condition of some of these individuals would suggest a second generation. (Michael Blencowe)

 

News for 5 & 6 September: With the weather conditions turning very warm and humid, the catch of moths in the last two evenings has been much better. On the 5th at total of 456 moths were caught of 56 species and on the 6th at total of 821 moths were caught of 62 species. the highlights were@

6 September: Grey Pine Carpet 1, Orange Swift 1, Large Wainscot 1, L-Album Wainscot 2, Ruby Tiger 3, Blood-vein 8, Brimstone Moth 50, Large Yellow Underwing 73, Snout 76, Setaceous Hebrew Character 104, Clancy's Rustic 1, Pearly Underwing 1, Large Thorn 1, Silver Y 2, Delicate 4, Dioryctria abietella 11 and White-point 36

5 September: Canary Shouldered Thorn 1, Dusky Thorn 1, L-Album Wainscot 1, Oak hook-tip 1, Orange Swift 1, Small Dusky Wave 1, Frosted Orange 1, Phlyctaenia perlucidalis 1 (to be confirmed), Delicate 1, Diamond-backed Moth 1, Dioryctria abietella 6, White-point 11 and Rusty-dot Pearl 20 (Ivan Lang)

News for Thursday 6 September: Large numbers of Small White around our East Dean garden in the last couple of days. Only other butterflies being seen in the garden are a small number of Red Admiral and Large White. During the six years that we have lived in East Sussex some years we have had almost daily sightings of Hummingbird Hawkmoth from mid-June until mid-August in our garden. This year sightings have been extremely rare but singletons we seen on 31 August, 1 and 2 September. (Carole and David Jode)


 

Thursday 6 September

 

8 Clouded Yellows between Birling Gap and Shooters Bottom. (Bob Eade).

News for Wednesday 5 September: Frog Firle, 3 Silver-sSpotted Skippers, 3 Common Blue, 4 Small Copper as well as numerous Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Whites, Large Whites, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, Comma, Chalkhill Blues just hanging on. Also a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Later another Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the garden feeding on lavender. (Bob Eade)

News for Tuesday 4 September: Have now caught a second late Privet Hawkmoth. Not only that, but a Poplar Hawkmoth has also just appeared - and it also is the latest ever in Sussex since at least 1850. (Colin Pratt)


 

 

Wednesday 5 September

 

Clouded Yellow on Devil's-bit Scabious, Kithurst Hill, 4 Sep (Neil Hulme)

 

 

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: in windless, overcast and humid conditions numbers recorded continue to decline. Small White (4), Small Copper (1), Common Blue (1), Red Admiral (1), Speckled Wood (2) and Meadow Brown (12), 21 in all, comprising 6 species. (Paul & Toni Lister)

 

News for Tues 4 Sep: A gigantic traffic-jam on the Lewes Bypass and beyond let to a spur-of-the moment plan change and an unexpected visit to Malling Hill instead of our planned Silver-spotted Skipper survey near Willingdon, and we were rewarded with SIXTEEN species: 7 Silver-spotted Skipper, 2 Painted Lady, 11 Red Admiral (including 8 together on Hemp Agrimony), 1 Comma, 2 Brimstone, 1 Large White, 1 Green-veined White, several Small White, 12 Common Blue, 1 Adonis Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 5 Small Copper, 15 Small Heath, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 (very aged) Gatekeeper, and numerous Meadow Browns. Also several Silver-Y, Common Carpet and Pyrausta purpuralis. (Jim Steedman)

 

News for Tues 4 Sep: The moth trap in Newhaven yielded a modest number of moths last night: 32 moths of 12 different species. These included 1 Brimstone, 1 Common Marbled Carpet, 7 Flounced Rustic, 1 Grey Dagger, 1 Hedge Rustic, 1 Lime-speck Pug, 3 Setaceous Hebrew Character, 10 Square-spot Rustic, 2 Straw Underwing, 3 Vine's Rustic, 1 Willow Beauty and 1 Yellow-barred Brindle. (Steven Teale)

 


 

Tuesday 4 September

This afternoon I walked from Kithurst Hill to Amberley Mount, to see if the Silver-spotted Skippers had advanced any further westwards than we are currently aware of. I didn't find any, but dozens of pristine Red Admiral and a Clouded Yellow made the trip more than worthwhile. On a sunny, late summer day, the views along this stretch of downland are hard to beat. (Neil Hulme)

Ten species of butterfly put in an appearance in the weak sunshine including 36 Adonis Blues (33 males and 3 females) on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, Old Shoreham. Just a single Chalkhill Blue fluttered around Old Erringham pasture near the gate to Mill Hill Nature Reserve. 18 Common Blues in the middle area of Mill Hill and very frequent Meadow Browns on the downs and Adur Levels. Devil's Bit Scabious was in flower on Mill Hill and this attracted frequent Meadow Brown. Eight Small Heath were seen on the lower slopes with a further two on the upper part of Mill Hill. (Andy Horton)

Still fourteen species of butterflies on the wing at Thorney Island today, they included: Two Speckled Wood,54 Meadow Brown,11 Small Heath,1 Red Admiral,1 Small Tortoiseshell,1 Painted Lady, 8 Peacock,1 Comma,12 Small White,2 Large White, 7 Clouded Yellow, 3 Small Copper,6 Common Blue and 2 Holly Blue. Also 24 Autumn Lady's-tresses. (Barry Collins)

At Poverty Bottom (Newhaven) between 5 and 6pm: 24 Meadow Brown, 2 Small Heath, 2 Small White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Comma and 1 Agriphila tristella. (Steven Teale)

Birling Gap: An afternoon visit produced good numbers of Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Small White and Large White. Also seen were 10 Common Blue, 3 Chalkhill Blue, 1 Small Copper, 4 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Painted Lady. 4 Silver-spotted Skipper were mainly found high on the slope, just east of the Belle Tout lighthouse, while approximately 10 Clouded Yellow were seen a bit further to the east mainly in the flowery meadow on the north side of the road. (Vince Massimo)

The Privet Hawk-moth at Peacehaven in early September 2007. Together with a freshly emerged specimen personally seen in the same town at dawn on September 3rd, Adrian Thomas's September 2nd morning specimen at Peacehaven is the latest that this species has ever been seen in Sussex since at least 1850 - but determining the reason of this phenomenon is not straightforward. According to the most detailed early research carried out on this insect, by J. W. Tutt and published in 1904, "On the continent there appears to be in some districts a partial second brood". During the cooler climatic regime of those years the moth's second emergence appeared on rare occasions; Tutt could only quote three examples, which flew in mainland Europe from mid September to early October. He added that, "Generally, however, the time of appearance on the continent agrees with that in the British Islands" (in "A Natural History of the British Lepidoptera"). The most recent research on European S. ligustri, by Danner, Eitschberger, & Surholt in 1998 (in "Die Schwarmer der westlichen Palearktis"), is quite specific - from data which included the years of global warming, the moth occurs in two overlapping emergences from May to August. In our county the Privet Hawk has historically been recorded in a single peak during every week from early May to late August - and it is also listed as a suspected immigrant (in "A Revised History of the Butterflies & Moths of Sussex"). At Peacehaven this year the insect flew from at least June 2nd to August 8th, so the hot April had little effect in bringing this particular species flight-time forward, and there has been no unusually warm weather since. So, were the September Hawks at Peacehaven late-fliers from a single brood, representives of a native second emergence, or even migratory? Only more recording will tell. (Colin Pratt)

The Brown Hairstreak at Burgess Hill To answer Sandra Solly and Barbara Allen's query about earlier sightings of the Brown Hairstreak at Burgess Hill: During the late Victorian era this butterfly enjoyed a distribution that included parts of mid Sussex but during the early decades of the 20th century it disappeared from this area, retreating back to the far west of the county. One of the last encounters came in the year of 1900 when the Hairstreak was "seen flitting over the growth and trees by the plantations at the roadside" "between Burgess Hill and Hassocks Gate" by J. C. Dollman, this being the last unquestionable East Sussex sighting for decades. After finally recolonising parts of mid Sussex during the 1970's, overrunning districts a little further to the east than Burgess Hill, so far as I am aware this elusive butterfly was first reported in the town in 2002 by K. Ruff. (Colin Pratt)

 


 

Monday 3 September

Advance notice: Park Corner Heath Work Party: Sunday September 9th 9am. Butterfly sightings on the BC reserve at Park Corner Heath are starting to fall which can only mean one thing: it's time for us to grab our tools and get the reserve spruced up and ready for 2008! I've made arrangements for 8 months of non-stop sunshine at Park Corner Heath next year to make up for what we have all just suffered but to ensure that the reserve is in great condition for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and other butterfly and moth species we need your help! The first work party of the season will be this Sunday from 9am (and every 2nd Sunday in the month thereafter). Everybody is welcome to come and take part in the management of the reserve; there are plenty of tasks to suit everyone. Please contact Michael Blencowe at sussexgrayling@aol.com or 01323 423711 for more details

Todays sightings were... (at Ringmer Village Green): 2 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood; and...(at Poverty Bottom, Denton): 21 Meadow Brown, 4 Small Heath, 2 Gatekeeper, 1 Painted Lady, 1 female Small White. Very quiet compared to one week ago. (Steven Teale)

Following trapped in Garden in Portslade: Dusky Thorn, Yellow Belle, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Orange Swift, Willow Beauty, Large Yellow Underwing, Double-Striped Pug, Cypress Pug, Copper Underwing, Common Wainscot, Chinese Character, Brown China-mark, Diamond-back Moth. (Darryl Perry)

RSPB Pulborough Brooks: A very obliging female Brown Hairstreak seen intermittently egglaying and basking in the sunshine at approx 1.30pm today in the picnic area above Nettley's hide/wood. In the same area were 3 fresh Commas, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Meadow Brown. Another Brown Hairstreak seen yesterday (Sunday) by Anna Allum at the bottom of the zigzag path below the visitor centre. (Pete Hughes)


 

Sunday 2 September

 

News for Fri 31 Aug: This afternoon at approximately 3pm my sister Barbara and I walked around Green Cresent opposite Tescos car park in Burgess Hill West Sussex and saw a Brown Hairstreak in the top of a tree, Has any body else seen one in Burgess Hill? (Sandra Solly and Barbara Allen)

 

 

Shaded Broad-bar at Heighton Hill (30/8) and Thistle Ermine, Norton (30/8) , both species to look for by day (photos by Steven Teale), Angle Shades in Binsted Wood on 1 Sep (Alexander Henderson), and Clouded Yellow at Birling Gap today (Tom Ottley)

 

Horseshoe Plantation near Birling Gap seemed a magnet for both Speckled Woods (20+) and numerous Migrant Hawker which were just hanging from the bushes. Managed a few photos of Clouded Yellow (6 seen) when one decided to settle for a moment. Also Silver-spotted Skipper, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown , Small Heath. (Tom Ottley)

This afternoon my Crawley garden was visited by a fresh female Brown Hairstreak. Another visited on Monday 27 August. Both took great interest in the leaves of my Viburnum bodnantense before moving on. (Vince Massimo)

Slightly better catch last night in my 40w Actinic trap. There were about 150 moths of 44 species - others are currently in hiding in our study ! These included a very fresh Large Thorn and - unusually for me - 6 different Pugs. No migrants - although there were 6 White-points. On the night of 30th August an Old Lady was in the trap - which was a first for me. (Mike Snelling)

 

The pick from a good moth trap overnight in Peacehaven (110 moths, 21 species of macro) was a fresh second-brood Privet Hawkmoth. I believe they have two broods in Europe, but Waring/Townsend list then as only out in June/July in the UK. Also today 8+ Clouded Yellow at Seaford Head. (Adrian Thomas)

 

News for Sat 1 Sep: A mothing event was held at Pagham Harbour on Sat evening with three traps running, two of the traps were opened in the evening at 11.30 whilst the other was left through the night. 679 moths of 65 species trapped. Highlights included: Rush Veneer 1, Silver Y 1, Pearly Underwing 2, Dark Sword-grass 4, Dioryctria abietella 5, Rusty-dot pearl 14, White-point 24, Pale Mottled Willow 1, Purple-bar 1, Yellow Shell 1, Peach Blossom 1, Dusky Thorn 1, Setaceous Hebrew Character 144, Oak Eggar 1, Orange Swift 1, Maiden's Blush 1 and Carcina quercana 2 (Ivan Lang)

 

News for Sat 1 Sep: In our East Dean garden, overcast 20C. Painted Lady 1, Meadow Brown c5, Red Admiral c5, Small White c5. 1 Clouded Yellow sheltering from the wind between the car park and hamlet at Crowlink. (Carole and David Jode)

News for Sat 1 Sep: The moth trap at Newhaven had 53 moths of 30 different species. These included: Angle Shades, Brimstone, 2 (m&f) Carnation Tortrix, 2 Common Carpet, 2 Common Wainscot, 3 Flounced Rustic, 2 Garden Carpet, female Green Carpet, Large Yellow Underwing (only one!), Light Emerald, Lime-speck Pug, Old Lady, female Orange Swift, Pine Hawkmoth, 7 Rustic, 3 Setaceous Hebrew Character, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Small Dusty Wave, 6 Square-spot Rustic, 3 Straw Underwing, Toadflax Pug, Tawny Speckled Pug, White-point, Yellow-barred Brindle, a Pyralid Trachycera marmorea and an Oecophorid Carcina quercana, the latter two being micro species, and 2 Willow Beauty. The Old Lady was a beauty - my highlight of the night. (Steven Teale)

News for Tues 28 Aug: Birling Gap In the early afternoon, with worsening conditions, I saw the following in the area around Horseshoe Plantation: 40+ Meadow Brown, 25+ Chalkhill Blue, 15+ Common Blue, 2 Adonis Blue (male), 15 Speckled Wood, 15 Small White, 4 Large White, 12 Small Heath, 6 Red Admiral, 5 Painted Lady and 2 Small Copper. Also 5 Silver Y, together with dragonflies 4 Migrant Hawker, 2 Southern Hawker and 2 Common Darter. (Vince Massimo)

News for Sun 26 August: Joint field trip with Kent Branch at Willingdon. There were 30+ people in attendance and the species noted were good numbers of Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Meadow Brown plus Adonis Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Brimstone, Silver-spotted Skipper, Brown Argus, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Small White. We heard mention of Grayling and Clouded Yellow during the walk but personally didn't see any. (Carole and David Jode)

re Michael Blencowe's report of Silver Spotted Skipper (2 at Crowlink dewpond) last Bank Holiday Monday. These were either on or very close to my transect by Crowlink dewpond and in about the numbers I see them there at this time of year. There was another small colony half a mile to the west of the dewpond but they have not shown up in my transect this year. (David Jode)

re the Hoary Footman: I can confirm its presence in the Heathfield area with my first record for the species occurring on 18/7/06. This year singletons have occurred on three occasions; 4/8/07, 6/8/07 and 11/8/07. (Nigel Kemp)


 

Saturday 1 September

 

Now online is the first stab at what I hope will be come a very useful beginners guide to moth trapping. My huge thanks to Michael Blencowe and Paul Lister for giving me such a good starting point for the page but please now if anyone has anything to add, do please email in your advice and experiences, and let's help many more people get the mothing bug! Adrian

 

The few sluggish butterflies on Cissbury Ring today included several pristine Adonis Blues and a very late Small/Essex Skipper, and also a Dark Dagger caterpillar walking across the path (Adrian Thomas)

 

I found only four butterflies in Binsted Wood today: Red Admiral, Large White, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown. However, finding an Angle Shades made up for it! (Alexander Henderson)

 

News for Fri 31 August: Bedelands Farm Transect, in very quiet weather conditions with minimal sunshine: Small White (1), Red Admiral (1), Meadow Brown (3). Total butterflies counted 5 and 3 species (David Pyle)

 

News for Fri 31 August: I ran my new Skinner trap for the first time on Friday night. Notable species included: Marbled Green, Marbled Beauty, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Square-spot Rustic, Brimstone Moth, Tawny Speckled Pug, Toadflax Pug, Brindled Pug, Lime-speck Pug, Garden Rose Tortrix, Cyclamen Tortrix, Willow Beauty. In all I had ~65 individual moths with 22 identified species (18 of which were new sightings to me). Quite a success for a rookie trapper! I saw lots more again last night when Michael Blencowe very kindly showed me the ropes. I guess this would be an opportunity to thank the several people involved with this site who have offered me help and advice so far. You've all made mothing much more accessible for me! (Steven Teale)

 


 

What to look for in September

  • Butterflies - September - or at least the first couple of weeks - is usually still pretty darn good for butterflies, although after this summer things are likely to be quieter than normal. Nevertheless, with all sorts of species hanging on from the summer brood, 15 species still possible in a day, and there are still some second or third broods of several species emerging or yet to emerge, such as Common Blues, Wall, Speckled Wood and Small Heath. By the end of the month, numbers of most species should be well on the wane, however.

  • Moths -in contrast to the butterflies, there are still plenty of species to make their first appearance of the year. Common species in traps include Lunar Underwing and Beaded Chestnut, and there are several other moths in the chestnut and sallow families whose flight season starts now, as well as many late migrants still to be found, although again 2007 is certainly not going to go down as a vintage year!


 

Friday 31 August

 

A lady that came on the Wilmington field trip last Sunday lost her glasses on the trip - they were in a green/brown folkweave case. Did any of the 40 (!) people on the trip pick them up, please? If so, please email the website. Thanks. Adrian.


 

Thursday 30 August

Early morning birdwatching at Shooters Bottom (Chat Vale, Beachy Head) was quiet so between 8 and 9am starting with full sun and finishing with full cloud cover we switched to butterflies and saw the following: Red Admiral (2), Small White (1), Meadow Brown (10-15), Small Heath (5-10), Common Blue (5-10M), Chalkhill Blue (1M) (Carole & David Jode)

The Hoary Footman in Sussex Further to the query from Chris Ball about the status of the Hoary Footman in Sussex, this is one of the county's recent success stories. Up until very recent years this moth was only sporadically recorded along a few barren parts of the East Sussex coast, both as a rare resident and as a suspected episodic immigrant. The first inland sightings were also the first to be made in the whole of West Sussex, these coming from J. T. Radford at Walberton in 1996 and 1999. During the early years of the present century the Footman started to appear regularly across a large swathe of the eastern vice-county. By 2005 the insect was fairly common at Wadhurst and Heathfield, and even as far north as Crowborough. At the present time the species is well established in the county to the east of an imaginary line drawn from Crawley to Ditchling. Whether or not the current colonies of the Hoary Footman across East Sussex were all established via migration from the Continent, or were only seeded in the far east, subsequently colonising in a westerly direction, is uncertain. Future records made well into West Sussex will suggest the latter. (Colin Pratt)

Brown Hairstreak female in our back garden at Upper Beeding this morning for the first time ever. Sadly, by the time I'd fetched a camera, it had hopped over the hedge and didn't come back! (Jim Steedman)

News for Weds 29 August: David Burrows reports a mint condition CAMBERWELL BEAUTY in Friston Forest near West Dean (per Graham Parris)

News for Weds 29 August: Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: in windless, generally overcast conditions: Small White (3), Small Copper (1), Common Blue (4) and Meadow Brown (41), 49 in all comprising 4 species. This time last year we counted Common Blues by the dozen; this year we can't even manage to use the fingers of two hands! There are similar reports from other sites. What on earth has happened! (Paul & Toni Lister)


 

Wednesday 29 August

 

Had 15 Clouded Yellows on the southern end of Thorney today,plus another 5 at Pilsey Island.(Barry Collins)

Mating Meadow Browns and mating Small Whites at Stump Bottom, 26 Aug, by Steven Teale. Both are species for which few photos have been submitted for the website, presumably because they tend to be such common and ubiquitous species they get overlooked, so it is great to see behavioural shots like these  

Just got back from Poverty Bottom (TQ464024), where I saw at least two Silver-spotted Skippers. I also saw 1 Red Admiral, 3 Common Blue, far too many Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper to count, ~12 Large White, a Gold Y, 1 Agriphila tristella and a Spotted Flycatcher - but I didn't see any lepidoptera in its beak, so we're ok! (Steven Teale)

News for Tues 27 August: At Heighton Hill (TQ474043) I saw 3 Silver Spotted Skippers (at last!), 1 Red Admiral, ~25 Meadow Brown, 4 Gatekeeper, 1 Agriphila tristella and 1 Shaded Broad-bar. (Steven Teale)

Webb's Wainscot (Archanara sparganii) : In reply to request about status of Webb's Wainscot by Daryll Perry. Quote from Colin Pratt's 'A Brief History of Sussex Butterflies and Moths' (1999):

"Status - Resident. The moth usually occurs singly in the adult stage, although fairly common to common near reedbeds; larvae are more regularly commonplace. Well distributed within a few miles of the coast, especially in East Sussex, but less so in central districts and completely missing from vast areas of the county. Extremely local."

Single-brooded, flying mainly from late July to early September, occasionally from mid-July to early October. Larvae feed in the stems of wild yellow iris, common club-rush and bulrush.

The distribution maps that accompany this effectively show a distribution along the coast with a hook coming up the Arun valley and circling off towards Haywards Heath.

From my own experience, I catch it regularly throughout its flight season at Warnham LNR (lots of suitable reedbed and not a previously recorded site for this species in the above publication), but have also caught it singly in more unusual locations, such as my Rusper garden and Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods, Horsham, both at least three or four miles from suitable habitat, so presume it can also wander. I also suspect that it may be more common in the county than records suggest, due to the fact that it isn't readily inclined to come to light traps, but that is pure speculation. (Sam Bayley)

The Silver-spotted Skipper in Sussex: Adrian Thomas was quite right to flag up the importance of the fact that this butterfly has now colonised West Sussex as far as Kithurst Hill, but the pivotal years were decades ago. During the Victorian era colonies existed all along the downs, from Eastbourne to the Hampshire border, although all of the foremost colonies were in East Sussex. Numerical levels were always episodic and local extinctions were even reported during the 1870s. All generally remained well until at least 1947 - but within five years about 90% of the historical western colonies had disappeared. By 1952 there were only four known surviving colonies west of Lewes. The insect's last stand in West Sussex was in the Arundel district, and these establishments endured for some time, but here the last Silver-spotted Skipper of the era was seen during the mid 1970s. Meanwhile, in East Sussex, at the middle of the 19th century this butterfly literally flew in thousands at Lewes and Brighton - but a century later here too the species started to seriously decline. By the 1970s, it only survived at Lewes and all around Wilmington, the famous slopes at Windover Hill becoming the leading Sussex settlement ever since. There is no doubt that at its lowest point the butterfly was close to extinction in the whole county. Immediately after the final western colonies died out, the Skipper commenced a revival in its two surviving eastern bastions. By 1979 the insect had bridged the River Cuckmere and reached High and Over and Seaford Head, by 1982 it was well established in the Eastbourne area, and by 1991 at Alfriston. In 1991 C. D. Thomas and T. M. Jones performed an intensive survey of our eastern downs, searching all former, current, and potential, sites. The team discovered about 20 colonies. Over following years the Silver-spotted Skipper continued to push westwards along the downs. By 2000 it has overrun Castle Hill at Woodingdean, and within a very few years the species had crossed the vice-county border back into West Sussex at Newtimber Hill. There is an earlier record for Newtimber, during the early 1990s, but irresponsible secret introductions cloud the natural timing of the insect's return. And now, in 2007, the Silver-spotted Skipper has arrived in the Kithurst Hill area. And the future? Well, that depends upon why the butterfly died out in the first place - and that is disputed. (Colin Pratt)


 

Tuesday 28 August

One of my little photo missions this year has been to try and capture the blue on Adonis Blue that you only get (it seems) if you are at 90 degrees to the sun, that ridiculous glinting sky-blue that screams 'Adonis' in an instant. I've not got that perfect one yet, but here, 'unPhotoshopped', is the best so far from Beachy Head yesterday, 27th (Adrian Thomas)

On garden buddleia in Crawley Down at lunchtime today, 5 Red Admiral, 2 Painted Lady, 2 Large White, 1 Gatekeeper and a rather dishevelled female Meadow Brown. (Jonathan Ruff)

c12.30pm there were 2 Adonis Blue and 2 Clouded Yellow between Lewes Golf Club house and Mount Caburn. otherwise just Meadow Browns perhaps c150 seen. (Michael Wilsdon)

News for Monday 27 August: Congratulations to Alice and Pete on their discovery of Silver-spotted Skipper at Kithurst Hill. I retraced their steps and found four, including three females, one of which was laying eggs. This represents a giant leap for skipperkind, amounting to an incredible 18 Km westwards shift from their stronghold at Newtimber Hill. Next year will prove very interesting along this stretch of Downland. Amongst the 12 species I recorded were Clouded Yellow, Adonis, Chalkhill and Common Blue. Bucking the trend this year, I counted 53 Brown Argus, a species I've seen in good numbers on a few sites. (Neil Hulme)

 

News for Mon 27 August: An evenings trapping at Sussex Police's Training Facility in Ashdown Forest: Flame Shoulder, Iron Prominent, Pine Hawkmoth, Common Marbled Carpet, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Common Carpet, yellow underwings, August Thorn. Plus many more I couldn't identify - but I'm learning. Also, 3 Pyrausta purpuralis - a chalk grassland species (larval foodplants include thyme and corn mint). I think this might be a new species for Ashdown Forest. Found in an area near lots of concrete (added in the mid 80's) where several calcicole species are found. (Steve Wheatley)

 

News for Mon 27 August: Seen during brief walk along top of beach between Widewater and South Lancing: total of 4 Painted Ladies in flight, basking in sun on pebbles and nectaring in seafront garden, single Small Tortoiseshell and Clouded Yellow nectaring in garden, many Small Whites around. (Malcolm Le Grys).

 

News for Sun 26 August: After the BC walk to Windover, I scoured Stump Bottom and Norton Hill (both to the north of Denton, Newhaven) and saw the following notable species (as well as hundreds of Meadow Brown): >50 Small Heath, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, several dozen Large and Small White, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Adonis Blue, 4 Small Copper, 10 Common Blue (male and female), 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Pyrausta purpuralis, >20 Pyrausta despicata, 1 tatty Tawny-speckled Pug (on my kitchen window), 1 Agriphila tristella. Sadly, no Silver Spotted Skippers, which was my target species for both forays. (Steven Teale)

 

News for Sat 25 August: Following moths trapped in my garden in Portslade on the night of 25th Aug: Common Wainscot, Large Yellow Underwing, Copper Underwing, Brimstone, Willow Beauty, Garden Tiger, Mother of Pearl, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Orange Swift. I also trapped what I believe to be a Webb's Wainscot. I know that this is a 'nationally B' status but not sure of the status of this species in Sussex - could anyone enlighten me? (Darryl Perry)

 


 

Monday 27 August

 

The sighting by Alice and Pete yesterday of Silver-spotted Skippers at Kithurst Hill is particularly significant as it represents another leap westwards for the butterfly as its range expands.

On a walk from Friston to the sea via Crowlink; Meadow Brown (120), Red Admiral (17), Small Heath (12), Small White (17), Common Blue (28), Comma (1), Small Copper (4), Speckled Wood (4), Large White (3), Painted Lady (2), Chalkhill Blue (1), Silver Spotted Skipper (2 at Crowlink dewpond) and the moths Yellow Shell (1) Silver Y (5) Yellow Belle (1) and Pyrausta despicata (1) (Michael Blencowe)

Horseshoe Plantation, Beachy Head: There were more butterflies in the sheltered patch of downland just east of Horseshoe Plantation than seen the rest of the walk around the area. Several Adonis Blues were in immaculate condition, plus Chalkhills, Commons and Brown Argus making a bevy of blues, but no Silver-spotted Skippers seen, surprisingly. (Adrian Thomas)

News for Sun 26th August: The Windover Hill Grayling colony were still active; mating and egg-laying. 13 were seen on a visit to the site. (Michael Blencowe)

News for Sun 26 August: A wander around Ambersham Common yesterday produced lots of very fresh Red Admirals (15+) as well as a couple of spanking new Painted Ladies. Supporting cast a fresh Brimstone, Large White, a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. (Sarah Patton)

 

News for Sat 25 August: At Aldwick beach on Sat 25th Aug many Painted Ladies, probably recently arrived, nectaring on the red valerian and chasing one another furiously across the shingle. About 15 in half an hour's slow ramble along a 150 yard sample of beach. Also 2 Red Admirals and a female Clouded Yellow (normal form) (Ralph Hobbs)

 

News for Sat 25 August: The mothtrap produced 38 species with large numbers of Large Yellow Underwing and Setaceous Hebrew Character and included Orange Swift x 3, Angle Shades x 3, Burnished Brass x 2, White-point x 2, Purple Clay x 7, Spectacle x 2, Ear Moth, Cypress Pug, Knot Grass and Rosy Footman. (John Luck)

 


 

Sunday 26 August

 

Photos taken today: Brown Hairstreak (Steyning, Keith Noble) and Small Copper and Adonis Blue (Cissbury Ring, Neil Hulme)

 

 

 

It was very much a case of 'Last of the Summer Wine' on Cissbury Ring today, with an expected 'grand finale' of twenty species showing. The highlights were fresh Adonis Blue, numerous Small Copper and a Clouded Yellow. Good numbers of Small Heath, Brown Argus and Common Blue were present, together with Chalkhill Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Speckled Wood. (Neil Hulme)

 

Single Clouded Yellow and about 5 Painted Ladies were pick of the (poor) bunch at Beachy Head/Cow Gap today (Adrian Thomas)

Walk from Storrington onto Kithurst hill this morning in warm sunshine produced many Common Blues, Large Whites, Meadow Browns (some still very fresh), a few Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blues, Small Heaths, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Woods, Red Admiral, 2 Painted Ladies, at least 3 SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPERS (1 very fresh) and a Brimstone. (Pete Hughes and Alice Parfitt)

A tatty Brown Hairstreak spent more than an hour by my back door on the same Potentilla where I photographed one last year. It was remarkably tame, even settling on and tasting my hand. On Friday I saw one on Beeding Brooks. (Keith Noble)

News for Sat 25 August: The Buddleia in my Crawley garden attracted 2 Painted Lady, 2 Red Admiral and 2 Large White. Also seen were 3 Gatekeeper and a Holly Blue. (Vince Massimo)

 

News for Fri 24 August: Transect at Bedelands Farm: Despite the bad weather, cloudy, no sun but relatively warm the following butterflies were recorded: Large White (2) Purple Hairstreak (1)?, Speckled Wood (3), Gatekeeper (5), Meadow Brown (11). Total 22 butterflies counted, 5 species. (David Pyle and his team of willing helpers)

 


 

Saturday 25 August

At last some heat, sunshine and still air. Today in the garden, (max number seen at one time) 4 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Meadow Brown and a rather tatty Gatekeeper. All feeding on various buddleia davidii, buddleia crispa and buddleia sungold, many for most of the day. In a meadow beside Worth Way, 2 Common Blue, 1 Speckled Wood and a Large White. At least some have managed to survive the recent rains! (Jonathan Ruff)

West of Alfriston My final 2007 search for Grayling lead us to the valleys west of Alfriston, just across the Cuckmere from their Windover stronghold. No Grayling were to be found. But the sun was shining so I ain't complaining. Silver-spotted Skipper (30+ at 3 sites), Clouded Yellow (3), Large White, Small White, Small Copper, Small Blue, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue (only 2), Adonis Blue (5 at 1 site), Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell (in double figures!), Peacock, Dark Green Fritillary (1), Speckled Wood, Wall (2), Gatekeeper (including a very small female), Meadow Brown (including some very big individuals who glided just like Grayling), Small Heath. (Michael Blencowe & Dave Harris)

The lower slopes of Mill Hill, Shoreham were bathed in weak sunshine, which resulted in a few more butterflies in flight including frequent Meadow Browns, four Chalkhill Blues (including one female), 48 second brood Adonis Blues (including five females, four in mating pairs), 7 Small Heath, a few distinctive Large Whites and frequent small pyralid moths Pyrausta nigrata. The scrub in the north-west added a few Speckled Woods and few Red Admirals. The Triangle area added two male Common Blues but the top meadows and plateau were only sparsely populated by Meadow Browns. (Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html, Andy Horton)

A quick trip to the mini-downland patches at Beddingham Hill proved hard work. Even Meadow Browns were in low numbers (c30), with single Wall, Common Blue, Small Heath, Painted Lady, Peacock, Silver-spotted Skipper and Gatekeeper, plus 2 Red Admirals and 3 Small Tortoiseshells (Adrian Thomas)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: in windless, wall-to-wall sunshine conditions we enjoyed the sight of our first Clouded Yellow of the year, whilst Gatekeepers are now all but over (earlier than the norm). Also seen were Large White (2), Small White (2), Purple Hairstreak (2), Small Copper (1), Common Blue (2), a very worn female Holly Blue (1), Red Admiral (4), Painted Lady (1), Speckled Wood (2), Gatekeeper (4) and Meadow Brown (41), making 63 in all, comprising 12 species. The moth hotel (viz, greenhouse) in our urban back garden has yielded its highest count of the year since we started mothing in April, 77 in all, whilst the highest species count in a night so far has been 16 and the highest individual species count 63 (Large Yellow Underwings). Surprisingly, there have been greater numbers when the nights have been wet! During the past week the following species have been recorded: Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Copper Underwing sp, Garden Carpet, Common Carpet, Willow Beauty, Flame Shoulder, Vine's Rustic, Square-spot Rustic, Common/Lesser Common Rustic, Riband Wave, Common Wave, Old Lady, Double- striped Pug, Common Pug, Yellow Shell, Brimstone, Cabbage, Silver Y, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Maidens Blush, Scalloped Oak, Amblyptilia punctidactyla (plume type micro) and Uncertain. Unfortunately, the majority of the micros go unrecorded despite me having a book from the library on pyralids! (Paul & Toni Lister)

At last I've seen Brown Hairstreaks in Sussex! Two females at Ifield not far from the Rusper Road car park and 3 at Copsale on the DownsLink path - one female, two probable males. Well worth waiting for. (Tom Ottley)

News for Fri 24 August: Moth Trap at Friston: 180 moths of 45 species. The most popular moths in my MV trap: Large Yellow Underwing (51), Setaceous Hebrew Character (15), Clay Triple-lines (9) Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (7) Flame Shoulder (6) Green Carpet (5) Common Wainscot (5) as well as Pine Hawkmoth, Clouded Magpie and a big fat Oak Eggar. (Michael Blencowe)


 

Friday 24 August

Clouded Yellow behind valley Frog Firle late am settling several times and allowing several photos. I have seen 4 yellows this year and all have been in this valley. Also several Silver-spotted Skippers and Common Blues (Bob Eade)

Small Tortoiseshell in my Peacehaven garden this evening, the first since August 2003. It was nectaring on Hemp Agrimony grown from seed collected locally, one of the most reliable nectar plants in my garden, used by whites, browns and Holly Blues (Adrian Thomas)

The transect walk at Cissbury Ring this afternoon recorded the following counts in overcast conditions: Adonis Blue 4, Chalkhill Blue 13, Common Blue 12, Brown Argus 2, Meadow Brown 104, Red Admiral 2, Small Copper 9, Small Heath 12, Speckled Wood 1, Large White 7, Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, Clouded Yellow 1, Painted Lady 1, Small Tortoiseshell 1. The Large Whites were impressive, the Red Admirals tatty but after the count I saw dozens of fresh ones on Hemp Agrimony! The Clouded Yellow (female) was spectacular. Peter Atkinson

Another Brown Hairstreak female in the courtyard at Warnham LNR this morning, flying in the 5 minutes of sun that we had today. (Sam Bayley)

Despite the utterly horrible weather we have been having of late and the almost total lack of butterfly sightings, all is most definitely not doom and gloom. I have been putting out my moth trap every night over the past few days and have seen more moths than than at any other time this summer, ok so most of them are Large Yellow Underwings, but nevertheless there have been new species for the year too. Highlights have been: a Red Underwing, an Old Lady (which although not uncommon is apparently not a regular visitor to light), Copper Underwings (or maybe Svennson's Copper Underwings?), a Mouse Moth and last night amongst the nearly 200 moths, representing 43 species in the trap (including 101 Large yellow Underwings) there was what I think is a Cypress Pug. Not bad for a basic 40W actinic trap. The moral of the story is, most definitely, if you want to remain in contact with our little scaly-winged friends when the weather is ghastly, get a moth trap! (Bob Foreman)

At last some decent numbers last night from the skinner trap I run in my Hailsham Garden with 50+ Large Yellow Underwing and the other usual suspects. Of more interest however was a single Hoary Footman whch is listed by Waring as an occassional immigrant to the south east. Is anyone aware of its status within Sussex? (Chris Ball)

 


 

Thursday 23 August

Apart from numerous rain-drenched Meadow Browns, all I've seen that I've been able to id are three tatty Yellow Shell and a Peacock caterpillar making its way across the stubble of a harvested field behind Denton. I assume it was ready to pupate. (Or emigrate - Ed). Here's looking forward to a decent weekend. (Steven Teale)

And still the sightings drought continues with this dreary cold weather, but at least here is a plethora of fascinating new photos to keep us entertained. The sawfly larvae photo is particularly instructive - note the characteristic resting posture, tail in air, for what otherwise at this range looks like a troupe of moth caterpillars. Hope you're all getting excited about a dry weekend ahead!

 


 

Wednesday 22 August

 

News for 5 August 2007: 112 Chalkhill Blues were seen on Mill Hill and the immediate surrounding area, a figure that is about half total expected in an average year. Most were seen on the lower slopes. The brilliant blue of 11 fresh male Adonis Blues stood out from the paler blue of the Chalkhill Blues. (Andy Horton)

 


 

Monday 20 August

 

What's this then? I head off to BirdFair for the weekend and find that there are no sightings for the whole of an August Saturday and Sunday. Was the weather as awful down here as it was up there (it was more like Glastonbury than BirdFair!)? Thanks to Roy for holding the reins, and the good thing is some interesting photos in the Inbox to expect on the site in the next couple of days. Adrian

 

News for Fri 17 August: Solitary Peacock spending hours on Buddleia Beijing and Buddleia Sungold (Jonathan Ruff)

 


 

Friday 17 August

Park Corner Heath.  The two light traps I ran at park corner heath were mostly dominated by Green Carpet, Birch Mocha, Black Arches and Tawny-barred Angle and also attracted 2 Pine Hawkmoths amongst 35 other species. But the evening will go down in history as the first time my 'sugaring' mixture has attracted a moth. In fact 3 moths spent most of the evening lapping up the banana/molasses/sugar/rum/Newcastle Brown Ale mix I had painted on a log. And there was me worrying I had wasted some alcohol. (Michael Blencowe, Clare Jeffers, Dave Mitchell)

Transect Details – Bedelands Farm. Numbers recorded go from bad to worse, comparisons with previous years suggest that the season is 2 to 3 weeks in advance of previous years, i.e. Autumn has come early. Sightings 1 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Small Copper, 3 Speckled Wood, 50 Gatekeeper, 14 Meadow Brown. Total recorded 70 butterflies 6 species.(David Pyle)

 

Only a few noteworthy sightings this week (up to Fri 17th): Two visitors to my kitchen - an Orange Swift (Hepialus sylvina) and a Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes). Both common enough (according to Waring) but attractive species. 1 Small Skipper - the first Skipper of any kind that I've seen above Denton for several weeks. I can't understand their scarcity when they appear to be present in other areas. There's plenty of good potential habitat where I walk every day and I'm actively looking for them. There are still a few Cinnabar caterpillars (Tyria jacobaeae) munching on Ragwort at Poverty Bottom. (Steven Teale)

 


 

Thursday 16 August

During a walk at Cissbury I saw a second brood Dingy Skipper - which looked pristine.   Also seen were 1 Adonis Blue, 1 Wall, 2 Painted Lady, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and at least 2 Small Skippers as well as c. 50 Common Blues,15 Chalkhill Blues and reasonable numbers of Small Coppers and Brown Argus plus 12 Red Admirals,  but only about 8 Small Heaths.  (Mike Snelling)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. In the past week over half the meadows have been mown (sob!) and numbers are greatly diminished:1 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Speckled Wood , 35 Gatekeeper and 33 Meadow Brown , making 70 in all, comprising 4 species. ((Paul Lister)


Wednesday 15 August

Unsurprisingly, no reports today given the wind and cloud. It has been very encouraging, however, to receive messages about how much people enjoyed the Moth Event at Pulborough Brooks last weekend and are taking up the mothing challenge. I've been thinking of creating a page which offers advice, tips and personal experiences about how to start mothing. I realise you can find such info elsewhere on the web, but it isn't from fellow Sussex moth-ers! So please email me at the sighting address with your own personal advice to others about what traps to use, where to go, pitfalls, how many moths should you expect to catch in a garden, when to do it, what makes mothing enjoyable etc. Thanks. Adrian


Tuesday 14 August

Fantastic shot of a Lobster Moth larva found by Partick Roper in the RSPB's new reserve at Broadwater Warren in the north of the county recently

News for Mon 15 August: Today I set out to Poverty Bottom, just to the north of Denton (TQ465025), in search of Silver-spotted Skippers. I saw: >50 Meadow Brown,12 Gatekeeper,3 Wall, 2 Red Admiral, 7 Large White, 2 (female) Common Blue, 3 Garden Carpet, 2 Silver Y. Sadly, despite checking all the areas of rabbit-nibbled Sheep's Fescue around the numerous patches of bare ground (as explained to me at the recent BC event at High-and-over), I found no Skippers of any kind. Two additional sightings this evening at Poverty Bottom: One Yponomeuta spp. - unable to confirm whether Orchard Ermine (Yponomeuta padella) or Apple Ermine (Yponomeuta malinellus), but leaning towards Y. malinellus. This little fellow sat happily on my finger for a few minutes before flying off to land on a horse! Shame I didn't have my camera. One battered old Painted Lady that, despite its tattered wings, could still fly at speed. I also saw a few Wasp Spiders (Argiope bruennichi) as I walked through the Tor Grass. (Steven Teale)


Monday 13 August

Pictures from National Moth Night at RSPB Pulborough Brooks:

Black Arches, Gold Spot, Poplar Hawkmoth

Scalloped Hook-tip, Waved Black (all Anna Allum); mothing in action (Michael Blencowe)

News for Sat 11 August: My National Moth Night trap produced 39 species including 12+ Brimstones, Ruby Tiger, Dusky Thorn, Oak Hook-tip (the one that escaped on the 5th), Lesser Common Rustic, Swallow Prominent, Knot Grass, Peach Blossom, Coronet, Coxcomb Prominent, Pale Prominent, Rosy Rustic, Scarce Footman and 4 micros (2 id'd and 2 in process). (John Luck)


Sunday 12 August

National Moth Night "The Morning After" with Butterfly Conservation at RSPB Pulborough Brooks: Exactly 50 people turned up for the event - thank you to all those who braved an early Sunday morning to come and open up the moth traps for themselves. Eight traps had been running in various habitats around the reserve - heathland, woodland, meadow, garden, and down by the marshes. It was great to see so many people getting stuck in and seeing so many moths that were new to them. Loads of different species seemed to cause a stir, with the Pine and Poplar Hawkmoths much appreciated, as were Burnishes Brass, Gold Spot, six species of prominent, Black Arches, Leopard Moth and Canary-shouldered Thorn. The rarest was probably the Notable B moth, Waved Black. (Email me if you would like the full list). We had agreed to a little friendly competition with Sussex Moth Group over at Warnham LNR to see who could get the greatest number of species, so I hereby declare that Sussex BC/RSPB just pipped SMG in the macro-moth stakes with 79 macro species (with a couple still awaiting verification) to SMG's 71, but the expertise of SMG when it comes to the micros meant that they trounced us 48 species to 6! Thanks to all the staff at Pulborough for allowing us to stage the event, and to the gallant volunteers. And if the experience has turned you on to mothing - even a tiny back garden can turn up 100 species in a year - then why not get your own trap? A simple starter kit with actinic bulb and electrics costs little over 100, and I've arranged with one of the main companies, www.angleps.com, that if you spend over 100 with them this September and quote PUL/ALS/07, then 5 goes to Butterfly Conservation to help save moths.  (Adrian Thomas) 

News for Sat 11 August: Although a cold, misty and depressing evening for August, the five of us that turned out at Warnham LNR for National Moth Night (S did manage to record a fair number of species: 

Brimstone, Clouded Border, Dun-bar, Small Square-spot, Single-dotted Wave, Pinion-streaked Snout, Green Carpet, Small Rivulet, Straw Dot, Peacock, Riband Wave, Pebble Hook-tip, Webb's Wainscot, Copper Underwing, Large Yellow Underwing, Common White Wave, Common Rustic, Lesser Common Rustic, Nut-tree Tussock, Common Carpet, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Small Rufous, Common Footman, Sallow Kitten, Dingy Shell, Round-winged Muslin, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Buff Footman, Iron Prominent, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Bulrush Wainscot, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Olive, Rustic, Peach Blossom, Willow Beauty, Svennsson's Copper Underwing, Black Arches, Swallow Prominent, Dusky Thorn, Blood vein, Small Phoenix, Rosy Rustic, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Small Fan-footed Wave, Scalloped Oak, Coronet, Least Yellow Underwing, Square-spot Rustic, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Cabbage, Spectacle, Dark Arches, Pale Prominent, Common Wave, Scarce Footman, Early Thorn, Mocha, Yellow-tail, Chocolate-tip, Maiden's Blush, Poplar Hawk-moth, Yellow-barred Brindle, Vine's Rustic, Turnip, September Thorn, Double Kidney, Clay and we also found four of our Red Data Book target species, Rush Wainscot   Macro total - 71

Emmelina monodactyla, Meal Moth, Water Veneer, Rusty Dot Pearl, Brown China-mark, Phlyctaenia coronata, Agapeta zoegana, Acleris laterana, Celypha lacunana, Pyrausta purpuralis, Monopis laevigata, Ringed China-mark, Agriphila straminella, Orthotaelia sparganella, Blastobasis lignea, Agapeta hamana, Blastobasis decolorella, Light Brown Apple Moth, Endotricha flammealis, Cyclamen Tortrix, Phycita roborella, Brown House-moth, Epinotia ramella, Gold Triangle, Apotomis betuletana, Bee Moth, Eucosma obumbratana, Hedya nubiferana, Acleris forsskaleana, Epinotia brunnichana, Conobathra repandana, Eucosma campoliliana, Catoptria pinella, Argyresthia goedartella, Elachista maculicerusella, Carcina quercana, Parornix finitimella, Pandemis cerasana, Eudemis profundana, Beautiful China-mark, Epinotia bilunana, Small China-mark, Agriphila tristella, Mother of Pearl, Batia unitella, Argyresthia brockeella, Coleophora mayrella and Pandemis corylana  Micro total – 48  Night total – 119 (Sam Bayley)

News for Sat 11 August: Walked around Edburton Hill during the day and around the garden area at dusk using a torch and net + the outside wall lights. Recorded the following:

Day: 2 Chalk Carpets, Hummingbird Hawk Moth, 2 Six-spot Burnets, Yellow Shell, 2 Straw Dots, Silver Y. Evening: White-point, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Green Carpet, Riband Wave, Cabbage, 3 Silver Ys, 3 Willow Beauties, Dingy Footman, Large Yellow Underwing, Uncertain, Dusky Sallow, 2 Brimstone Moths, Common Carpet (Tony Wilson)

Recent news: I photographed a Carnation Tortrix (Cacoecimorpha pronubana) in my garden the other day, which is in Newhaven, East Sussex. The shot is of a mating pair, but the smaller male (beneath the female) is not that obvious. The female's chrysalis is very obvious to the right. They are on a lavender and I found several other individuals pupating in the same bush. (Steven Teale)

News for Friday 10th August: A single female Brown Hairstreak observed laying eggs near Copsale. Same location last year saw 5-6 specimens a bit later in the season. Nearby there were 6 Purple Hairstreaks around the top of tree. (Bob and Matt Eade).


Sat 11 August

20 species seen today at Malling Down with the sun shining and a cooling breeze. There was the slightly unusual appearance of 1 Painted Lady and 3 Small Tortoiseshells.  For the first time in 3 trips there was 1 Peacock. Typical amounts of Meadow Brown and Gatekeepers but only 1 Marbled White and no Ringlets. 11 male Common Blues, 3 females; 25 male Chalkhill Blues, 4 females; 9 Adonis Blues, 6 Brown Argus. Also, 2 Red Admirals, 4 Small Heath, 4 Small Copper, Large Whites and Small Whites. 2 Small Skippers and 1 Essex Skipper. 1 male Brimstone, 1 Comma and a good batch of 7 Speckled Woods.  Back home in Lewes just before 6pm was a beautiful Red Underwing fluttering from point to point trying to locate a safe or sunny place on the wall. (Marlon Waters)

A short moth trapping session at the police training facility in Ashdown Forest for National Moth Night revealed 3 new species - Antler Moth, Peach Blossom, and Wood Carpet. (Steve Wheatley)

News for Fri 10 August: Following are the numbers recorded on the transect walked at Bedelands Farm: Large White (4), Purple Hairstreak (1), Common Blue (2), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Speckled Wood (2), Gatekeeper (103), Meadow Brown (100). Total 213 butterflies recorded, 7 species. Numbers drastically down on last week. (David Pyle)


Fri 10 August

At last! On a walk from Friston to Windover Hill today I saw a LOT of butterflies of a LOT of species. Chalkhill Blues were in their thousands (especially at Butchershole Bottom). Silver-spotted Skippers were plentiful in colonies from Friston to Windover. And it looked like someone had opened a new box of Painted Ladies! There were plenty of fresh looking specimens everywhere. Also seen Large White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell (1), Brown Argus, Essex Skipper, Brimstone, Small Heath, Green-veined White, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Wall (4), Speckled Wood, Peacock, Dingy Skipper (1), Small White, Comma and Grayling (11); one of which landed on my ear. (Michael Blencowe)

We had a large Oak Eggar on our kitchen window on Tuesday evening. We presume it is a male as it was quite large. Better half presumed it was newly hatched as it was vibrating it's wings. (Audrey Wende)

Ran a Trap last night with better results than recently with 278 moths caught of 68 species bring the reserve total at the visitor centre to 270 spp. Some of the highlights were: Dewick's Plusia 1 (second of the year), Diamond-backed Moth 1, Orthopyigia glancinalis 1, White-point 3, Rusty-dot Pearl 28, Least Yellow Underwing 1, Peacock 1, Treble-bar 1 (new for reserve), Webb's Wainscot 1, Maiden's Blush 1, Catoptria falsella 1, Water Veneer 3 and Flounced Rustic 5 (Ivan lang)

News for Thurs 9 August: I led a group of seven children on a walk to look for butterflies and other wildlife at Ditchling Common Country Park. Butterfly numbers were disappointingly low despite the sunshine. We saw a few Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown together with 1 Comma and 1 Common Blue. Feedback from children about the hour's walk ranged from 'boring!' to 'that was really fun!' (Caroline Clarke)

News for Weds 8 August: I had a brilliant walk from Malling Down To Glynde. Malling Down didn't have an abundance of butterflies, but there were 15 species present: Silver-spotted Skipper, Large White, Brimstone, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Small Heath. Between Cuilfail and Bible Bottom, Chalkhill Blue were present. Mount Caburn had an abundance of downland flowers and butterflies. 10 species were present: Silver-spotted Skipper, Small Copper, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Small Heath. In all a highly recommended route, with easy access by train. (Alexander Henderson)

News for Weds 8 August: Though cloudy, Wednesday afternoon at Malling Down was busy with activity whenever the sun broke through. As well as the usual species (except for any Peacocks) various Blues were out in force flickering and wheeling through the Wild Marjoram. A conservative count of 20 male Chalkhill Blues, 3 females; 25 male Common Blues, 6 females; 12 Brown Argus and 7 fresh Adonis Blue. (Marlon Waters)


Thurs 9 August

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in our Storrington garden (at buddleia) at approx 19.30 this evening. (Pete Hughes and Alice Parfitt)

I spent the morning on a couple of sites on the Downs behind Amberley. Despite the fine weather and an abundance of colourful, flowering plants, the dearth of butterflies was quite shocking. In early August these locations are usually home to a rich and diverse collection of 'High Summer' species. The only 'positive' was a dozen or more Brown Argus in each area. (Neil Hulme)

Two Painted Ladies in my Steyning garden, and yesterday four along the South Downs Way to Chanctonbury. (Keith Noble)


Weds 8 August

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. In generally sunny conditions and light winds the depressing significant fall-off in numbers continues indicating that summer may be over! Large White (1), Purple Hairstreak (2), Small Copper (1), Common Blue (2), Red Admiral (1), Speckled Wood (3), Gatekeeper (97) and Meadow Brown (85) making 192 in all, comprising 8 species. (Paul & Toni Lister)

For the seventh morning in a row I interrupted my breakfast to watch the male Brown Hairstreak flutter dizzily to and fro about the Bird Cherry and Plum , stopping now and again to spread his wings to the early sun. I hope he will soon have some company. (Keith Noble)

News for Tues 7 August: At Folkington Reservoir single Silver-spotted and Dingy Skippers, Painted Lady, male Brimstone, two Brown Argus and two Chalkhill Blues. (Paul  James)

News for Tues 7 August: The first female Brown Hairstreak has been seen in the visitor centre garden at Warnham LNR (Sam Bayley)

News for Mon 6 August: A walk round Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods, Horsham yesterday (7th) saw an amazing 12 Small Copper feeding on the 6 ragworts (only plants in flower), c20 Speckled Wood, c30 Meadow Brown, c20 Gatekeeper, 3 Purple Hairstreak at the top of one oak and a Vapourer. Also of interest was a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Adder and the first site record of Golden-ringed Dragonfly. (Sam Bayley)


Tues 7 August

Please remember to send all photos to "photo" AT "sussex-butterflies.org.uk" for Bob to prepare ready for web use. Many thanks.

Our first trip out this year looking for Brown Hairstreak proved to be somewhat easier going than usual. Just around the first bend in the path from the RSPB Pulborough Visitor's Centre, I noticed a small orange spot within a Blackthorn sucker. A female had just finished laying and soon moved on for a well-earned bout of nectaring. We later saw 2 males at the top of a tall Ash near the church. Despite good weather, other butterflies were rather scarce. (Neil and Eric Hulme) [See, you could all do Brown Hairstreaking after doing the moths on Sunday...]

Need your whistle whetting for Sunday's big Moth Morning at Pulborough Brooks? Last night's single trap caught 50 macro species including Peach Blossom, Maiden's Blush, Pine Hawkmoth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Iron Prominent, Pebble Prominent and Burnished Brass (per Pete Hughes)

I sympathise with my fellow butterfly gardeners for what is apparently a poor season - through July on the buddleias up to 3 Peacocks, single Red Admirals, the odd Large White and Meadow Brown and that's about it, just a half-dozen Gatekeepers on my marjorams to liven up the proceedings. Even more galling is that after last years Hummingbird Hawkmoth bonanza, when my bed of soapworts attracted constant visits all summer, I rushed out to plant up an adjacent bed of lady's bedstraw - the theory being that they could refresh themselves at the soapworts and then pop next door to lay their eggs. The end result? Two luxuriant beds of soapwort and lady's bedstraw, but not a single solitary Hummingbird Hawkmoth - ho hum, there's always next year I suppose.... (Malcolm Le Grys).

Very windy on Windover Hill today. Graylings only. 3 Surprised to see 3 Small Blues and 1 Silver-spotted Skipper on pathway going towards the top. (Phil & Noreen Evans)

News for Sun 5 August: Just to add to Crispin's fine transect of Malling Down, on Sunday from 9:45 to 13:00 I saw 4 Speckled Woods, 4 Small Coppers, 1 Wall lurking in the shade and 1 Dark Green Fritillary rigorously protecting its patch. Nice to meet you by the way Crispin and thanks for sharing your local info with me! (Marlon Waters)

News for Sat 4 August: Garden Tiger, Rosy Rustic, 2 Brown-tail, Dusky Sallow, 3 Buff Ermine, 2 Nut-tree Tussock, 2 Yellow Shell. All trapped in Portslade Garden. (Darryl Perry)


Mon 6 August

Brown Hairstreak female in the walled visitor centre garden at RSPB Pulborough brooks today (Anna Allum/ Adrian Thomas)

Last night at Warnham LNR 78 species with highlights: Rusty Dot Pearl 1, Poplar Hawk-moth, 1 Pine Hawk-moth, 1 Double Kidney, 1 Sallow Kitten 1, True Lover's Knot 1 (2nd for year), Water Veneer 12, Gold Spot 1, Rosy Rustic 3. Also 2 Harlequin Ladybirds in trap (Sam Bayley)

Three recent moth traps from John Luck:

Sun 5 August: 43 species inc Leopard Moth, Burnished Brass, Ruby Tiger, Blood-vein, Straw Dot, Nut-tree Tussock, Pale Prominent x 2, Grey Dagger, August Thorn, Purple Thorn, Yellow-tail, Dusky Sallow, Lime-speck Pug, Green Carpet, Gold Spot x 4, Flounced Rustic, Clay plus an Orange Ladybird plus one that got away a Hook-tip sp.

Fri 3 August: Trap last night produced 30 species inc Coxcomb Prominent, Burnished Brass, Gold Spot and Oak Eggar.

Mon 30 July: Poplar Hawks x 3, Gold Spot (a beauty), Nut-tree Tussock (2nd gen), Maple Pug, and 3 micros: Light Brown Apple Codling Moth Apple/Orchard Ermine


Sun 5 August

The Sussex Grayling Festival 5th August 2007 On the hottest day of the year a team of 11 headed out to Northwest Sussex to establish the presence of Grayling in the area. After an introductory 'Know Your Grayling' lecture (and Gingerbread Graylings) we headed to Weavers Down on the border with Hampshire; a site that does not seem to have been surveyed for several years. At this heathland site 3 Grayling were seen along with 2 female Silver-studded Blue (including one egg laying) (also Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Small Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Brimstone, Peacock, Holly Blue.) In fields north of Langley a further Grayling was seen egg-laying. Then after a picnic lunch (with lashings of ginger beer) we spread out and covered Chapel Common in the afternoon heat; however no Grayling were found and so we retired to the pub after a very enjoyable and successful day. A big thankyou to all who attended; a full report will appear in the next Sussex BC newsletter. (Michael Blencowe)

This is what I saw today on transect at Malling Down: 7 Small/Essex Skipper, 8 Silver-spotted Skipper, 1 Brimstone, 4 Large White, 2 Small White, 11 Brown Argus, 10 Common Blue (8m & 2f), 32 Chalkhill Blue (30m & 2f), 3 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 6 Marbled White, 30 Gatekeeper, 78 Meadow Brown, 4 Small Heath. 197 sightings & 14 species. 1 Hummingbird Hawk, 2 Six-spot Burnet. According to the previous 23 years of transect data, at this time of year (week 19), I would normally record between 500 to 900 sightings and 17 to 22 species of butterfly. So, 197 sightings and 14 species is really poor and it has been like that all this year, so far. It makes me wonder what will happen next year! (Crispin Holloway)

Cissbury Ring: my first Painted Lady of the autumn, small numbers of Chalkhill and Common Blues, plenty of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, a few Small Coppers, Peacocks and Red Admirals, 2 Small Heaths, 2 Brimstones and a Small Tortoiseshell. (Keith Noble)

News for Sat 4 August: Highlights from the Edburton area were 2 Brown Hairstreaks, 6 Purple Hairstreaks, a worn Silver-washed Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, 6 Holly Blues, Marbled White and 4 Red Admirals. (Tony Wilson)

Silver-spotted Skippers from Newtimber Hill yesterday (Dave and Pen Green)


Sat 4 August

On Newtimber Hill this afternoon there were at least at least 7 Silver-spotted Skippers. (Dave and Pen Green)

News for Weds 1 August - Broadfield Pond, Crawley. 30+ Gatekeeper, 1 Meadow Brown (F), 8 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Copper (this was a blue-spotted variant but had no orange colouring on the hind wing), 15 Green-vVeined White, 1 Large White, 1 Common Blue (M), 4 Holly Blue and interestingly a late Large Skipper (a fresh-looking female). I also made two visits to Ifield, Crawley in search of Brown Hairstreak on 31st July and 3rd August. Unfortunately, although the conditions were favourable, there were no confirmed sightings. (Vince Massimo)


Fri 3 August

Transect Details - Bedelands Farm: Brimstone (1), Large White (10), Small White (2), Green-veined White (1), Purple Hairstreak (5), Small Copper (1), Common Blue (4), Red Admiral (3), Speckled Wood (12), Gatekeeper (280), Meadow Brown (197). Total 516 butterflies recorded, 11 species. (David Pyle)

Trap run at the Pagham Harbour visitor centre last night (2nd August 2007). 59 species trapped, the number of species is increasing however the number of moths trapped remains low. some of the highlights were; 1 Least Carpet (first for the reserve), Mouse Moth (first for the year), 1 Kent Black Arches, 1 Rush Veneer, 20 Rusty-dot Pearl, 1 Clay, 2 Silver Y, 1 Dark Spectacle, Diamond-back Moth and Burnished Brass (Ivan Lang)


Thurs 2 August

Emperor larva at Cissbury, 30/07/07, Mike Snelling

RSPB Pulborough Brooks: One of the more successful nights of the year for moths last night: in the trap were about 50 species including Small Angle Shades, Bulrush Wainscot, Red Underwing, Rosy Footman, Garden Tiger, Pine Hawk', Elephant Hawk', Small Rivulet, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Black Arches, Pebble Prominent, Buff Arches, White-line Dart, Gold Spot, August Thorn, Sallow Kitten, Pebble Hooktip, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Pale Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent and numerous Ruby Tigers and Dun-bars. (Pete Hughes/Anna Allum)

Steyning: A male Brown Hairstreak was in the top of next door’s big Bird Cherry. My garden is about 700m from the typical habitat of Blackthorn hedges on Beeding Brooks. As I have seen these butterflies in my garden in four recent years I wonder if there is a small colony here using the Bird Cherry or Plum, of which there is also a large spreading tree?  (Keith  Noble)


Weds 1 August

Over 2000 different visitors looked at this website a total of 5400 times in July, making over 18,000 page views, so keep the records coming in - there are plenty of people wanting to see them!

Two Holly Blues - both male - one in Kipling Gardens and the other near the bowling green in Rottingdean. Seemed to be 'none the worse' for all the recent wet weather. Most encouraging. (Alan Holden)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: With the summer peak now well past its best we recorded a worn Silver-washed Fritillary, a first for us for this reserve. We also recorded Large White (3), Small White (4), Green-veined White (1), Purple Hairstreak (2), Small Copper (3), Common Blue (1), Holly Blue (3), Red Admiral (2), Speckled Wood (6), Gatekeeper (154) and Meadow Brown (184), making 364 in all, comprising 12 species. Also seen Six-spot Burnets but in vastly reduced numbers compared with previous years. (Paul & Toni Lister)

The Chalkhill Blue acre count on the lower slopes of Mill Hill is the worst this century for the beginning of August with just 61 including two females. There were 15 others on Mill Hill, including another female. Fourteen species on the day. (Andy Horton)

News for Tues 31 July: Having spent the whole of last autumn searching the miles of Blackthorn hedges around Edburton for Brown Hairstreak to no avail, I was pleased today to find two in a cursory look at a large Willow tree in the main blackthorn area - the 36th butterfly species for the area within 1 mile of my house. In the garden and adjacent meadow there were still at least 3 Dark Green Fritillaries, fresh male Common Blue and the now rare Small Tortoiseshell + Holly Blue, 10 Red Admirals, 4 Peacocks, 3 Commas and the usual common species. In the evening both Chalk Carpet and Scorched Carpet flew into the kitchen attracted by the lights. (Tony Wilson)

News for Sat 28 July: The sun actually shone on the Sussex BC field trip to Chailey Common. 24 participants enjoyed a gentle stroll around this heathland site. Heli Gittens, the ranger, explained how the site is managed to enhance the heathland habitat and its wildlife. Species seen: Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown (numerous), Large White, female Brimstone, Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Small Skipper, Purple Hairstreak and a Common Blue. Alas no Silver-studded Blue for the 2nd year running. Common Wainscot also seen. Common Darter were enjoying a large puddle and Digger wasps were numerous on a bare sandy patch. (Karen Pritty)

News for Tues 24 July: The first Adonis Blue seen in July on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was later confirmed by a photograph. (Andy Horton)


What to look for in August

  • Butterflies: By the time July is over, every resident species has emerged at some stage already this year. However, what we have to look forward to is the second or third brood of many species. Reaching their peak in August will be Adonis Blue second brood, Brown Hairstreak, Brown Argus second brood, and burgeoning populations of whites. We also say goodbye to several species - last sightings in August 2006 were White-letter Hairstreak on 4th, Small Blue 11th, Essex Skipper 15th, Dark Green Fritillary 19th, Silver-studded Blue 27th and Ringlet 30th.

  • Moths: unlike the butterflies, there are many moth species still to emerge for the first time. Common garden species making their first appearance of the year include Lunar Underwing and Red Underwing, while Orange Swift, Shuttle-shaped Dart and Setaceous Hebrew Character begin to pick up in numbers and, by the end of the month, traps are beginning to be dominated by Large Yellow Underwings.


 

Earlier Sightings

top of page
Copyright Butterfly Conservation © 2006 Sussex Branch
Privacy and Copyright Statement
Butterfly Conservation is a registered charity and non-profit-making company, limited
by guarantee. Registered in England No.2206468. Registered Charity No.254937.