Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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Saturday 31 August 2013

An early evening visit to Mill Hill to look for roosting butterflies didn't disappoint with lots of Common Blue roosting in the tall grasses on the lower slope. Supporting cast included Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Large White, and my target, Adonis Blue. Although unfortunately I didn't see any myself another chap had seen good numbers of Clouded Yellow around the site. The light at this time was just beautiful. A photo above and also here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/. (Leigh Prevost)

This morning we went for a walk around East Side, Newhaven along the beach to see what we could find. We were rewarded with the usual whites and blues but were pleasantly surprised to see quite a number of Clouded Yellow. We then went onto Windover Hill in search of that mystical beast, the Swallowtail. Alas we could no locate this beauty. But were were rewarded with Grayling, Silver-spotted Skipper, Clouded Yellow, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath Wall and Adonis Blue. We then ventured onto the Sussex Ox for some light refreshment with discussions on the Swallowtail's whereabouts etc. (Nick Linazasoro & Drew Easton)
Editors note: I believe the red mites on the Gatekeeper and Grayling in Nick's photos are the larvae of a species of mite - Trombidium breei - that parasitises a number of butterfly species but seemingly with little detriment to the affected butterflies.

It's been a good week for butterflies for me which started with a Clouded Yellow along the banks of the Ouse in Lewes on Wednesday 28th. Then on Thursday I came across a pair of Silver-washed Fritillaries in Abbots Wood including one that looked quite fresh. On Friday I had a walk on Malling Down after work and found good numbers of Adonis Blues along with lots of Common Blues and Meadow Browns. I also stumbled across a Small Copper. And then today, Saturday, I stopped off at Steyning Rifle Range after a run and big thanks go to Neil, who happened to be there and helped me to get my eye in with a few Brown Hairstreaks. After several visits over the past 3 years it was nice to finally get a good look at this elusive butterfly! (Chris Hooker)

Friday 30 August 2013

Today I visited the Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve at Malling Down with BC Sussex Chair Nigel Symington. Crispin Holloway, who has walked the transect here for many years, had alerted me to the exceptional number of second brood Adonis Blue currently flying in the deep coombes above Lewes, and we were not to be disappointed! We saw many hundreds, representing a small proportion of the total population. Conditions for photography were very difficult and the strong wind whisked away many desirable specimens, including a stunning female with huge, blood-red lunules along her rear wing margins. The steep slopes of Malling Down have never been easily accessible, but at the moment a visit is highly recommended. (Neil Hulme)

A wonderful Brown Hairstreak landed in my garden for a few seconds today in Barns Green. Later we went to Warnham Mill ponds were we saw a particulary large Silver-washed Fritillary in the Butterfly ride. It looked in a poor state, lacking colour and could barely get off the ground. (John Coxon)

News for Wednesday 28 August: About 5.30pm on Wednesday my wife had a brief but close view of a male Silver-washed Fritillary, on Verbena bonariensis just outside our kitchen window. It looked quite bedraggled, so probably a different individual from the one I saw on Sunday (she is a moth-er, so looks at insects with an expert eye). (Richard Holmes, Udimore, Rye - TQ880184)

Thursday 29 August 2013

By far my latest ever Silver-washed Fritillary was seen in Stanmer Park, Brighton today. It was so worn and bleached that it looked practically white, feeding on a Buddleia and allowing quite a close approach. Nice one to see as always, there was also a Clouded Yellow here but fairly quiet otherwise. (Liam Curson)

Wednesday 28 August 2013

With the recent discovery of Silver-spotted Skippers lining the A27 from Waterhall - Mill Hill Crispin Holloway and I decided we'd visit a few of the areas between these new discoveries and previous colonies to fill in a few blanks on our Sussex Butterfly Atlas. At Anchor Bottom and Room Bottom there was plenty of habitat which looks perfect for Silver-spotted Skipper but we just couldn't find any. We then moved further east to the area around the Southwick Tunnel but could not find any in the valleys here either. It is interesting that in their journey to Mill Hill, Benfield and Waterhall it seems they have certainly lived up to their name and skipped some potentially good sites. Despite no skippers it's certainly an amazing year for Wall - they were everywhere, as were Clouded Yellows. This little expedition took me to a few great sites in Sussex which I've never visited before but I'll certainly be visiting again. (Michael Blencowe & Crispin Holloway)

Amongst the many Small Tortoiseshells and Commas and Whites there was a rather faded Silver-washed Fritillary on the buddleia in the garden where I work north of Shoreham TQ196063. I also saw a couple of Clouded Yellows fly by. (Tessa Pawsey)

Today I returned to Steyning Rifle Range for another go at finding the Brown Hairstreak. Things took a little while to get going but our patience was rewarded when several females came down to pose for photos and lay some eggs.
I think it's probably safe to say that a great time was had by all, and what a great bunch of people to spend the day with, I hope to see you all again next year.
A couple of the BHS were still in remarkably good condition and hung around long enough for us to get some decent photos. (James Arnott)

Another B.C. member, Trevor Rapley, and I visited the Rifle Range near Steyning today in the hope of sighting Brown Hairstreaks. It was our fourth visit there this year; however we were a little apprehensive this time as we were aware that fellow B.C. members had visited the location on the previous day without sightings, despite the weather being ideal.
We arrived the main habitat at about 11.00 hrs. and were joined shortly afterwards by others including B.C. members Katrina, Nigel, Neil, Clare and James. As there had been no sightings at the main location for a while, Nigel and I decided to check another know Brown Hairstreak habitat about 500 metres to the west. Soon after arriving there we sighted a single female, which may have laid an egg or two while we were observing it. Fortunately, it stayed at low level for about twenty minutes enabling us to take many photographs. This specimen (left-hand image above) was in reasonable condition and was judged by Neil to be 8.5/10 on his condition scale.
After about 45-minutes we retuned to the main habitat and were informed that there had been three or four sightings there at low-level enabling photographs to be taken. A further sighting of a near perfect (9.9/10) B.H. (right-hand image above) occurred at about 14.15 hrs. which stayed at low-level for a while enabling photographs to be taken.
Those present appeared to be having an enjoyable day in fine weather, with sightings of the target species and with a congenial group of fellow enthusiasts. (Douglas Neve)

At Pulborough Brooks RSPB today 17 Clouded Yellows, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Brimstones, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma, and numerous Small & Large Whites, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, Common Blues. (Malcolm Le Grys)

Whilst cutting some grass at Buchan Hill, Pease Pottage a small butterfly went past me and settled, on closer inspection it was a worn Purple Hairstreak. (Chris Prince)

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Today I counted 8 Small Tortoiseshell in my Hollingbury garden. Yesterday (26th August) I saw 2 Clouded Yellow, 1 Small Heath and 11 Chalkhill Blue, some very large in size at Hollingbury Hill Fort, Brighton - TQ322078. (Jamie Burston)

There were several Brown Argus and Common Blue (pictured) roosting in the late evening sun at Worms Wood near Middleton-on-Sea (SU969010). (Paul Cox)

For the third consecutive day there was a Clouded Yellow in our Storrington garden. Mary watched it nectaring on Buddleia. Perhaps of more interest (because of its location) was 1-2 Clouded Yellow seen in Hailsham today. I was visiting my mother (who lives in bungalow suburbia) and whilst out in the back garden a male Common Blue flew past (in itself a bit unusual) and for some reason it got into an altercation with a Clouded Yellow. A couple of hours later as I was packing up the car a Clouded Yellow fluttered around me before alighting on Choisya. It was amazingly well camouflaged. I called my daughter over to have a look at it and despite the fact that it was only two feet away I struggled to re-locate it. I have seen something similar for Brimstone and Euonymus. I wonder just how many Clouded Yellow have located our towns and villages? I suspect rather a lot. (Martin and Mary Kalaher)

A female Wall Brown seen egg laying along the West Sussex Literary Trail north west of Lavant at SU856095. In the five years that I have lived in West Sussex the nearest sighting I have had to this of a Wall Brown was a singleton in Rewell Wood 4 years ago. (Alan Wingrove via Tom Dunbar)

A trip to Steyning Rifle Range at 16.00 on Tuesday had a single battered female Brown Hairstreak come down. It settled in some grass and then attempted to probe any substrate it could with its proboscis. Shortly after it returned to the canopy, above the Blackthorn. (Dan Danahar)

At Ditchling Beacon 13 Clouded Yellows seen during half-mile walk west of the car park. (Malcolm Le Grys)

Some friends who are active in the Sussex Moth Group, came over to see us from Hastings, mentioning 4 butterflies they had never seen. So we started at Malling Down, Lewes, where we saw hundreds of Adonis Blue, and plenty of Silver-spotted Skippers. Then to High-and-Over where we found Wall Brown and more Silver-spotted Skippers. Then on to Windover Hill, hoping we might be lucky in finding a Grayling. Last week I had found one after 30 minutes walking around, this time we had success after only a few minutes, half way up the chalk track to the reservoir. This obliging beast settled on my trouser leg, then hopped into my gaping pocket, leading to some amusing comments "here's one I prepared earlier, just in case ...". A great day and all four target species found. (Mike Kerry)

Elephant Hawk-moth larvae in Steyning garden, found on ground whilst weeding TQ174105. (Mike Warren)

Recent news: I enjoyed seeing the European Swallowtail on Saturday afternoon when the damp weather held it in place on Windover Hill (photos: http://bit.ly/17gtXQl). The Clouded Yellows are now past their best but it is still wonderful to see them flying at Kithurst Hill. It was a thrill to find Richard Knights aberrant Chalkhill Blue at Kithurst 19 days after he took his photos. I have seen many Brimstones, especially in the meadow just south of Whiteways car park (TQ000107) where I watched five nectaring within two square metres. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

More recent news: 23rd August: my transect at the Butterfly Haven turned up a couple of nice suprises. In addition to: Large Whites 3, Small Whites 3, Small Copper 1, Common Blue 63, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 1 and Meadow Brown 25, I also encountered a female Clouded Yellow and a male Chalkhill Blue. I recorded a Chalkhill four times as i walked the transect route but I believe that it was actually the same male frantically trying to find a mate and thus flying all over the reserve.
On Sunday Libby & I visited Kithurst Hill, here we saw Chalkhill Blues, Common Blues, Large & Small Whites, Meadow Browns, a Small Copper, a single Small Heath, a Silver-washed Fritillary and about 4 or 5 Clouded Yellows, all of which were male. (Dan Danahar)

News for Sunday 25 August: A lovely Brown Hairstreak at Pulborough Brooks. Easy to see by the nature trail where it is crossed by the public footpath behind Fatingate. Clouded yellow here too. (The Corrigans)

More news for Sunday 25 August: One individual Argynnis paphia (Silver-washed Fritillary) seen briefly, feeding on buddleia in our garden, 13.00hrs on Sunday. (Richard Holmes, Udimore, Rye. TQ880184)

News for Friday 23 August: Last Friday morning I was carrying out my butterfly transect in Rudgwick and I was lucky enough to find a female Brown Hairstreak in an area where I had found eggs in the last two winters. Sadly, the landowner had been in and flailed the Blackthorn edge along its entire length, vastly reducing the egg-laying potential this year. This ill-timed piece of countryside-damaging is not the only event of this kind to have befallen my route since April and I calculate that, out of the ten sections, five have been adversely affected by this kind of work either along the route, or in land adjacent to them. (Robin Bassett)

Monday 26 August 2013

Amazingly I had yet another Clouded Yellow in my garden today. It alighted just in front of me but by the time I had sorted out my camera it had flown off. However, I was more than pleased to have a female Brown Hairstreak land a few feet from me. Unfortunately I was wedged between the Hawthorn hedge and the Blackthorn, so in effect I was too close for a quality photograph (and I was in charge of my grandson!). Anyway a half decent photo. Currently 25 garden species this year. (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Wanted to let you know I spotted a Brown Hairstreak in my garden this morning. Grid reference TQ1451331097. I understand you have had discussions in the past with WSCC Highways concerning the cutting of the hedge bordering the A264 Broadbridge Heath bypass, however the hedge has still been cut quite severely every year. It wasn't, however, cut last winter due to the wet weather and this is now the first time I have seen one of these butterflies! (Kirsty Lloyd)

Argynnis paphia f. valesina (Silver-washed Fritillary), meadow on top of The Downs, managed by Graffham Down Trust. (Margaret Hibbard)

On a short walk at Bevendean Down this afternoon I was pleased to see good numbers of 2nd brood Adonis amongst the many Chalkhill and Common Blues also seen was a Brown Argus and a Wall Brown, several Clouded Yellows and a few Meadow Browns. (Geoff Stevens)

We headed out this afternoon to check some of the 'blank' atlas squares for blue butterflies and Silver-spotted Skipper. At Pangdean we hiked to an isolated bit of downland which is being sheep grazed. It certainly looked ideal for our downland blues (and the skipper) but we couldn't find any. Nice spot for Wall though and the surrounding scrub was alive with redstarts, warblers and flycatchers. Down at Waterhall (just north of Brighton) the sheep-grazed banks were rich with nectar and alive with butterflies. I don't think I've ever seen so many Brown Argus in one small area and over 20 Clouded Yellows too. Here, nectaring on Field Scabious, we found a lovely Silver-spotted Skipper. A new square for the atlas for this species and, with recent Downland sightings at Benfield and Mill Hill, more proof that this butterfly has had a huge range expansion in 2013 (Michael & Clare Blencowe)

I took a walk around Cissbury this p.m.and saw 9 Clouded Yellow and one late Dark Green Fritillary. Also saw 30+ Small Tortoiseshells (all fresh-looking) - mainly nectaring on 3 Buddleia bushes. Another 17 species were seen. (Mike Snelling)

Sunday 25 August 2013

31 of us attended the BC Sussex and Steyning Downland Scheme walk around the Rifle Range, all hoping that the cloud would lift sufficiently to encourage the elusive Brown Hairstreak down from the canopy. This year, despite some brighter spells which were sufficient to activate most other species, we were beaten by the weather. However, we did see Wall Brown, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood (a good number of freshly emerged specimens), Small Copper, Large White, Small White and Meadow Brown. Geoff Eaton and Lee Slater made their visit from Surrey more than worthwhile, by staying on to enjoy some afternoon sunshine and recording Clouded Yellow (including the pale form helice) and... Brown Hairstreak! (pictured). Thanks to all who attended, particularly our guests from as far afield as Kent and Surrey. (Neil Hulme - Images by Geoff Eaton)

This morning I was greeted by a rather weak slow flying Clouded Yellow passing me in the garden. Luckily she alighted on a hedge so I could take some pics and she sat there for about half an hr. I am pretty sure it's a female and secondly as she was absolutely pristine perhaps a U.K. bred individual. I have lots of clover in the garden and in the near vicinity. She later joined the throng of butterflies on the other side of the hedge nectaring on Fleabane, alongside a female Small Copper. I did notice amongst the crowd a midget sized Small White, well half normal size anyway. Near Small Dole on the downs I visited an Adonis Blue colony I know and saw at least 20 second brood individuals males and plenty of females. Not to be out done there were hundreds of Common Blues especially on large patches of Hemp Agrimony, loads of Brown Argus, both of these have bounced back from poor previous years and every buddleia was covered in Small Tortoiseshells another species which appears to have suddenly seen a far better season. In addition I saw at least 20 Walls, a few Peacocks, one Red Admiral, female Brimstone (you don't see many of those amongst all the recent males) Large and Small Whites about 5 Chalkhills, reasonable numbers of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers a couple of newly emerged Speckled Woods and at long last about five Small Heaths some of which were newly emerged. I then popped down to the buddleias on the Downs link at Shoreham to see Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, a pristine Red Admiral, a Painted Lady and two very smart Holly Blues on Hemp Agrimony. A male Brimstone tussling with a Clouded Yellow and more Clouded Yellows and Common Blues at Shoreham Cement Works. Great afternoon. (Richard Roebuck)

Can it get any better? After seeing reports of a European Swallowtail in East Sussex (Windover Hill) on Friday and Saturday, and with the heavy rain and cold temperatures seemingly set in, I thought I'd chance my luck and see if it was still present Sunday am. Arriving at just before 7, Gary and I trudged up the very steep chalk path to the site. An hour later and completely shattered after a seemingly fruitless search hiking up and down the slopes in the pouring rain, I'd all but given up. But luckily there were others searching and they eventually found it, just to the side of the main path. Oh how easy it could have been! It was seemingly in the same spot as it had been on Friday and Saturday, and wasn't moving fast! Maybe a tad worn but I never thought I'd see a Swallowtail in Sussex so well chuffed :-) Photo below and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/. (Leigh Prevost)

On the shores of Ardingly Reservoir today, in square TQ3329, a Clouded Yellow, Meadow Browns, Large and Small Whites and Common Blues. (Helen Crabtree)

It is three years since I last had a new species for the garden so I was delighted today to have not one but two sightings of Clouded Yellow. The first, a male was at 2.30pm and then another male at 5.0pm. I was fairly sure the latter was a different butterfly as it appeared smaller with less distinct black margins to the wings. The garden list now stands at 30, with 24 butterfly species seen so far this year.
I shall be interested to see how we do this year for Brown Hairstreak. I have surveyed 700 metres of hedgerow in Storrington for the past three years with egg counts of 110 (2010/11), 103 (2011/12) but only 5 (2012/13). In 2011/12 I had 31 eggs in my garden alone, but just one egg last winter (and that was predated, presumably by a bird). If the Storrington situation is anyway representative there may not be many adults around this summer? (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Saturday 24 August 2013

My thanks to Michael for alerting me to the Swallowtail near Wilmington. Unfortunately I was unable to join Michael, Neil, Clare and the butterfly finder David Bradford on Friday night but fortunately the poor weather meant it was still there on Saturday when I was able to get there. It even had the decency to open its wings!! (Bob Eade)

Friday 23 August 2013

While driving back from work Clare and I were debating what to do this evening. Oddly enough 'running as fast as I can to the top of the Downs' was not one of the options but, after receiving a phone call from David Bradford, that was exactly what I found myself doing. David had discovered a Swallowtail that had settled and appeared to be getting ready to roost - so with light fading - we raced across to join him. Despite almost having a mild heart attack after running for 30 minutes up a chalk slope the reward was worth it - the first Swallowtail I've seen in the UK since I was 12. Beautiful! (Michael Blencowe)

Today's sightings at Ladies Mile NR, Brighton - Clouded Yellow 1, Small White 3, Large White 7, Small Copper 2, Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 30+, Chalkhill Blue 2, Holly Blue 4, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 1, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 12, Marbled White 1, Meadow Brown 27 and Gatekeeper 1. (Jamie Burston)

At the north-west corner of Frampton's Field, Old Shoreham, it was possible to fight my way through the Brambles on the route of the old footpath to Mill Hill on to an area which I have named Mill Cutting (SW) where in an area of about twenty square metres of bare chalk bank covered with clumps of Horseshoe Vetch, Cotoneaster and the leaves of Mouse-eared Hawkweed, there was a fabulous showing of too many Chalkhill Blues to count accurately as I lost count at thirty, but estimated to be forty including ten females (I gave up counting these at seven) plus occasional Common Blues of both genders to confuse the count. This count extrapolates to 800 Chalkhill Blues per acre which is the maximum density expected in a good year (and not seen on Mill Hill since 2003). Most of the Chalkhill Blues were rather worn and tattered with a few with just minor damage. The pairs were courting and the females were laying eggs. There were also frequent Silver Y Moths.
PS: I thought I saw a Silver-spotted Skipper ten days earlier, but I was not sure. (Andy Horton)

Crawley Down  a Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on buddleia in the very early morning sun, a rare visitor here. Sadly it did not return.
Large numbers of Small Tortoiseshells in the garden this year, but this is offset by a remarkable absence of Red Admirals. (Jonathan Ruff)

Walked along & near the Downslink path today, from north of Shoreham to south of Upper Beeding, which we've done many times before. Only 15 different species compared to 24 on our much longer walk in East Sussex on 21/8, but this was pretty good as it wasnt sunny most of the time. Nice to see a Clouded Yellow, a Painted Lady and a good sprinkling of Small Tortoiseshells, but the 2 Wall butterflies were the stars, as I can't recall seeing any on this stretch of the walk in previous years. Otherwise blues predominated - plenty of Common Blues, a few very smart Brown Arguses (should that be argi?) and more than 10 Holly Blues. Also seen  Large, Small and Green-Veined Whites, Commas, Red Admirals, Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns and a Gatekeeper. (John & Val Heys)

In 2012 I didn't record a single Common Blue on my Rowland Wood and Park Corner Heat transect, worse still, I didn't actually see a Common Blue at all in 2012! I am glad to be able to say this year I have been a little more fortunate. My first Sussex Common Blue since 2011 was back in June at Park Corner Heath (hooray!) and since then things have just got better. Today I counted 15 in one section of the transect (there were plenty more in the vicinity but only 15 could be counted in the transect). I had a bit of trouble sorting out the females from Brown Argus of which I made a certain identification of 4 in total. Two of these were in one of the newly opened-up parts of the wood, a once dark and gloomy junction between two rides that in previous years might just have yielded a Speckled Wood. I also counted 3 Wall, each in a different section as wall as Clouded Yellows, Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, Brimstones, Chalkhill Blues, Small Coppers, Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshells, a Peacock 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries, Small Heaths and lots of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. A thoroughly enjoyable few hours on our lovely reserve. (Bob Foreman)

The photographs above show a very tatty blue butterfly in my meadow near Pulborough (TQ0618B) today. I have only seen Common Blues in the meadow this summer and am wondering if this could be an Adonis Blue, in which case it would be a new sighting for me here? Unfortunately the edging to the wings, where the identification between the Common Blue and the Adonis Blue can usually be made is missing, but the underneath of the wings has more of a brownish background (like the Adonis Blue) than the grey background of the Common Blue. Thanks for any suggestions.
The other photograph is another Clouded Yellow seen feeding on dandelion in the meadow. (Chris Page)

Thursday 22 August 2013

A mating pair of Wall Brown at High and Over today as well as an egg layer. All this time trying to find a Wall ova and then I get 2 together!!!! (Bob Eade)

Male Brimstone disturbed from flower bed at Buchanan Hill, Pease pottage. (Chris Prince)

After my anguished appeal for Small Tortoiseshell sightings locally, I found not one but two on their favourite foodplant, buddleia growin just by my washing line around the corner from the lavender bushes in Ringmer Road yesterday afternoon. The lavender seems to attract cabbage whites in droves, but have only seen one Vanessid, a Painted Lady on them in the last few days. Is it just impossible for other species to reach the nectar in lavender flowers?
Last week had my second encounter by day with an Elephant Hawk-moth, this time a fully-grown caterpillar which was seemningly intent on committing suicide by heading for a building site in Broad Street North in Seaford across the pavement to pupate. Managed to divert it into loose soil nearby. Earlier in the Summer a Small Elephant Hawk-moth, newly emerged I should imagine, managed to crawl up the sleeve of my jacket as I sunbathed just outside the new Southease YH, after an eye operation for cataracts. This hostel should be a good base for entomology studying in this area, there are extensive beds of nettles, blackberries and other foodplants nearby. And cheap too, only £20 for B and B as a member! (Bob Brown)

News for Wednesday 21 August: Apologies to Michael and Francesca, but the Silver-spotted Skipper at the Benfield Valley reserve could well be the same one we reported 2 days earlier! We did more walks on 21/8 which included 3 Silver-spotted Skippers at High and Over, another on the Lullington Heath and 3 Clouded Yellows in that area. What surprised us most was the large number of Brimstones especially in Friston Forest  at one clearing alone there must have been between 30 and 40 in the vegetation fluttering from one flower to another. Sadly they were just too mobile to catch in focus on our little camera. (John & Val Heys)

Wednesday 21 August 2013

I started and finished my tour of local sites at Mill Hill, where I hoped to photograph the second brood Adonis Blues. My brief morning visit was an instant success; only 10 metres from the car park I found a beautiful female opening her wings wide to the morning sun for the very first time. When I returned in the evening the patches of longer grass and herbs along the lower slopes of Mill Hill were crammed with roosting butterflies. Large communal roosts of Adonis, Chalkhill and Common Blues were a joy to sift through in the calm conditions. The biggest and most welcome surprise of the day came just as I started to descend the steep scree slope at Mill Hill. At 6.10 pm most of the butterflies were already at roost ... but not the Silver-spotted Skipper which landed at my feet! County Recorder Colin Pratt can find no historic records of the species here, and it has certainly been absent since at least the 1930s. I was delighted, as this is the third new site for Silver-spotted Skipper I've found in the last few weeks. (Neil Hulme)

I went to Steyning rifle range today (21.08.13) to look for Brown Hairstreaks. There was a good atmosphere there with many people there doing the same thing. I saw five in total before stopping for lunch. (Katrina Watson)

2 Clouded Yellows at Sidlesham SZ858965 and SZ858970 a.m. 1 Clouded Yellow at Bignor Roman Villa SU988146 p.m. (Colin Shields - visiting from W Yorks)

Surprised to see a very fresh looking Marbled White today in Lewes (Michael Blencowe)

Today in 1-km square TQ2423, Meadow Brown, Large and Small Whites, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Peacock (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Common Blue (2) and Clouded Yellow (1). (Helen Crabtree)

Great excitement this morning with the appearance of a Silver-washed Fritillary nectaring on buddleia then common myrtle in our Bracklesham garden. Shortly after seeing the Silver-washed we had a second "new for garden" with the arrival of a Clouded Yellow which kindly remained long enough for me to dash indoors and grab my camera. (Derek Lee)

Last chance for Mill Hill as the numbers are fading fast.
Hundreds of butterflies of eighteen species were out in the sunshine on Mill Hill. They were everywhere but the numbers were less than half that of a week earlier. Adonis Blues (74 per acre) now exceeded the Chalkhill Blues (58) and Common Blues (Est 55) on the lower slopes.
Two Clouded Yellows flew continuously over the lower slopes and I never saw either of them settle, not even once. There were frequent female Common Blues, but I could not find a Brown Argus.
It is the ninth successive year that Chalkhill Blue numbers have been very disappointing for reasons unknown. Adonis Blues numbers have held up every year though. Numbers are always hour counts per transect acre. More reports with pictures: Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List.
20 August 2013: I made a rare visit to Lancing Ring Nature Reserve where there were white butterflies, Speckled Woods in the shade and over a hundred butterflies in the meadows. Wall Browns were widespread with 25+ seen in an hour. Brown Argus were not identified by the colon spots. All seen were female Common Blues which was the most frequently seen butterfly. (Andy Horton)

Following Douglas Neve's report of Tuesday, I spent 2 hours at Rowland Wood today, and clocked 14 butterfly species, mostly on the Fleabane (Brimstone, Clouded Yellow, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell (very fresh), Small Skipper, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Wall Brown, but also Speckled Wood, Small Heath and an elderly Silver-washed Fritillary nearby. (Mike Kerry)

News for Tuesday 20 August: The best butterfly year since the last century!
A total of 1613 butterfly sightings & 17 species recorded Tuesday 20th August on the transect at Malling Down, Sussex Wildlife Trust Reserve, Lewes making it the highest single count since 1 August 1999. Almost every species is having a very good or best ever year.
Here is what was recorded on Tues 20th:
1 Essex Skipper (ovipositing),
140 Silver-spotted Skippers (The most ever recorded. Majority around the spoil mounds in Green Pit and on the Snout),
2 Brimstone,
10 Large White,
47 Small White,
2 Green-veined White,
8 Small Copper (doing well after a poor start to the year),
27 Brown Argus,
316 Common Blue (total for year so far 661, possibly the best year since before the transect started in 1984),
74 Chalkhill Blue,
83 Adonis Blue (yet to peak, probably many more around in the next week),
7 Small Tortoiseshell (total of 32 to date, best year since 2004),
2 Speckled Wood,
6 Wall (looks like it will be the best year since 2002),
27 Gatekeeper,
857 Meadow Brown (the most recorded on a single count since 1st Aug 1999),
5 Small Heath.
It is very possible Malling Down has the largest population of Silver-spotted Skippers in the the county, if not the largest one of the largest. That is amazing considering they only recolonized Malling Down in 1999.
A total of 32 species of butterfly have been recorded on the Malling Down transect this year. (Crispin Holloway)

More news for Tuesday 20 August: A photograph of a Silver Y moth seen in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618). (Chris Page)

News for Sunday 18 August: Small Tortoiseshell (ab. alba) seen near Lewes. Any yellow/amber pigment has been replaced by white. (Nigel Kemp)

Tuesday 20 August 2013

As part of our South Downs Blues Festival targeting Adonis, Chalkhill and Small Blues for our atlas I visited some sites yesterday including quite a few chalk embankments along the A27. The target blues were found at a number of sites - as well as the omnipresent Clouded Yellows. While we were at Benfield Hill nature reserve near Hangleton we found a Silver-spotted Skipper zipping across the sheep-grazed turf. This is the first record for the site and congratulations go to the volunteers of the Benfield Wildlife and Conservation Group who work hard to ensure that this lovely downland nature reserve is managed well for butterflies and other wildlife. There's not many places in Sussex where you can find Silver-spotted Skipper and Brown Hairstreak sharing the same site! Read more about the reserve at www.benfieldwildlifeandconservationgroup.wordpress.com
This Silver-spotted Skipper represents another great leap for skipper-kind, it's almost 3.5km to the nearest known colony at Devil's Dyke (Michael Blencowe & Francesca Petts)

3 Clouded Yellows, 1 Adonis Blue, 3 Wall Brown, 5 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Brimstone etc. How can I get off work and do more of this, rather than rush around for a few minutes at lunchtime? (Lindsay Morris)

For the 2nd time in a fortnight I've been lucky to get a Jersey Tiger in the moth trap. This one even left some eggs in the pot. In the afternoon I did my Wall Brown count again on my standard route and beat my record again with an amazing 105. (Bob Eade)

Early am at Kithurst Hill again; lots of Chalkhill and Common Blues. The Chalkhills were all fairly worn, including this one, which I think looks like a good candidate for ab. parallela? Good numbers of Brown Argus, in good condition too, plus Small Tortoiseshell, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large White, Small White, Small Skipper, and my target for the day 3 Clouded Yellows. Later in the afternoon, another 6 separate sightings of Clouded Yellow at Pulborough Brooks, plus Peacock, Speckled Wood, and Brimstone to add to the day's tally. Will post some photos here also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/. (Leigh Prevost)

A fellow B.C. member, Trevor Rapley, and me visited Roland Wood this afternoon in near perfect weather conditions. On the Fleabane to the north of the recently cleared area we had sightings of about 30 Brimstones, all in pristine condition, 15 Clouded Yellows and nine other species of butterflies. Attached is an image of the large caterpillar found by Trevor on the ground, which we believe may be the larva of the Privet Hawk-moth. (Douglas Neve)

At least 30 Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on buddleia in our garden in East Dean (TV562984) at 10am this morning.
We have lived here for over 12 years and our yearly total of this species has not reached 30 before! More like the Nineties in the Chilterns. (Carole & David Jode)

Yesterday (19/8) we walked up Benfield Valley (Hove). The best butterfly bits were in the field just north of the bypass footbridge  plenty of Common Blues etc with a highlight of one Silver-spotted Skipper. Today (20/8) we went further afield to the downs west of Jevington. Plenty of butterflies to see again, including two Silver-spotted Skippers (one above Folkington and the other above Willmington). We had resigned ourselves to not finding a Grayling which was what we really wanted to see. We were on our way back down to Jevington and the South Downs Way was about to be swallowed up by trees and shade, when we went back a few paces to check a butterfly attracted to a neat pile of dung. Hey-presto it was what we'd been looking for - I even managed to get a picture which missed out the dung. Like others we've noticed far more Small Tortoiseshells around than usual - we counted 18 on one buddleia in Jevington and there were plenty in evidence on the seafront in Eastbourne. (John & Val Heys)

News for Sunday 18 August: On Sunday afternoon, a Clouded Yellow beside the Adur at TQ199177. (Helen Crabtree)

Monday 19 August 2013

At Widewater today, a Monarch lazily flapped northwards over the coastal path at c1000hrs and was soon lost to sight over the lagoon.
Also there were 2 Clouded Yellows. Another Clouded Yellow on the Downs Link at Beeding and a Silver-washed Fritillary. (Dave Sadler)

On our way back from WWT Arundel - we stopped off for a cuppa at Whiteways Roundabout (TQ001109). Whilst there, we were delighted to see a Swallowtail floating round the car park. (Fran & Martin Ellis)

14 Small Tortoiseshells on buddleia in my Keymer garden today, by far the largest number for many, many years - a single first appeared on 4 August, and numbers have increased daily. (Malcolm Le Grys)

A nice start to the day with a garden record of 15 Small Tortoiseshell, all on Buddleia. Walked over to Chantry Hill and had a Clouded Yellow on the way, feeding on thistle. Tramped around Chantry Hill for 3 hours. It is very good value right now. There is Marjoram everywhere and the butterflies just love it! Species seen with approximate numbers: Small Skipper (10), Silver-spotted Skipper (12), Clouded Yellow (6), Brimstone (12), Large White (30), Small White (50), Small Copper (3), Brown Argus (125), Common Blue (150), Chalkhill Blue (90), Painted Lady (1), Small Tortoiseshell (35), Peacock (11), Comma (1), Speckled Wood (2), Wall (4m), Marbled White (4), Gatekeeper (15), Meadow Brown (800), Small Heath (120). There were Common Blues and Brown Argus everywhere. The Wall Brown were nice to see (I still haven't seen a female at this location).
Got home and Mary told me she had more than 20 Small Tortoiseshell on a small Buddleia next to the Catholic Church in Storrington. Between us we had 70+ for the day! (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Female Brimstone seen today in Domewood, Copthorne. (Chris Prince)

A trip to Hayling Island gave me two male and one female Clouded Yellows and a micfromoth, Cochylis molliculana. A brief walk on Thorney Island showed one Clouded Yellow. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

Sunday 18 August 2013

Nice female Wall Brown at Cradle Valley but too windy for many butterflies today. The moth trap has been going well with the probable migrant Four-spotted Footman male and female. More pictures etc. at http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.com/. (Bob Eade)

Started off today at home showing a friend two Clouded Yellows and lots of Small Tortoiseshells at home in Ashington. A short stop at the Rifle Range Steyning accounted for numerous Small Tortoiseshells, Lots of Common Blues and my first Wall of the year and 5 Wasp Spiders on the south facing bank and a no show for Brown Hairstreaks as it clouded over. A quick lunch at Washington where I spotted a mint, very large Red Underwing moth high on an eave of a house. An improvised sock throwing exercise only resorted in it moving further round the eve of the building. Headed for Shoreham Cement Works where there are lots of flowering Everlasting Pea and strangely lots of Common Blues attempting to nectar on the flowers and one Brown Argus, a long shot for a Long-tailed Blue perhaps. Then went to Shoreham Beach just to see if anything interesting was about. First sighting a very worn Essex Skipper, a new sighting for this site, lots of Large Whites including several mating pairs and lots of eggs on Sea Kale and 5 Clouded Yellows. I Spotted a European Wall Lizard sat next to a last instar Garden Tiger moth caterpillar (woolly bear) so couldn't resist an unusual pic. Slightly further on, a pristine newly emerged female Garden Tiger moth sat on a wall, absolutely stunning. It was very windy and could only spot a few Silver Y moths and Common Blues and between the fort and Bognor Pier I reckon there were 100 Kite surfers making a spectacular addition to this front. (Richard Roebuck)

Went on a flower course today on the downs behind Goodwood but got distracted looking at butterflies.
A good showing which included
Brown Argus
Adonis Blue
Chalkhill Blue
Common Blue
Silver-washed fritillary
Small White
Meadow Brown
Small Tortoiseshell
Clouded Yellow
All at SU870109. (Nigel Symington)

This afternoon we did a circular walk mostly on the north facing slopes of Fulking Escarpment seeing 13 different species of butterfly. There were many Chalkhill Blues in varying degrees of newness, whereas the 18 Walls and 6 Small Tortoiseshells were all very fresh. The 3 Dark Green Fritillaries were very battered. Despite this, the first one I took a picture of was quick to fly up and challenge anything which invaded its space. The third one was higher up the slope in a more exposed position. Usually the dark greens are off like a shot when I get anywhere near them but I was able to tempt this one onto my hand to warm up for five minutes or so. At the end of the walk we came across a large caterpillar  is it a Fox Moth? Looks good to me. ed. (John & Val Heys)

Went for a walk this afternoon on the Downs around Folkington and Windover Hill. Plenty of butterflies as usual with good numbers of Wall Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Chalkhill Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus and Silver-spotted Skipper along with the usual array of browns and whites. Also counted 24 Grayling behind Windover Hill which is the most I've seen there. A freshly emerged Brimstone greeted me as I made my way back down the Downs to Folkington towards the end of my walk. Another enjoyable afternoon! (Chris Hooker)

Saturday 17 August 2013

Another Swallowtail was reported and photographed near Eastbourne on Thursday afternoon. There seems to be another wave of good weather heading up to us from the south - anything could happen in the next 5 days. With the county saturated with Clouded Yellows (and a few Swallowtails and Long-tailed Blues) it's worth checking gardens and local buddleias over the next week as you never know what else may turn up. (Michael Blencowe)

Talking of which...

Graeme Rolf, of Brighton & Hove City Council sent this photograph (of a Swallowtail) taken by Andy Jeavons at Berwick Church on Thursday 15. (Dan Danahar)

Long-tailed Blues in Newhaven garden this morning, putting paid to planned strim of Everlasting Pea... (Dave Harris)

This afternoon I led a walk on Cissbury Ring for the Worthing Downlanders, an organisation "dedicated to supporting and defending the ownership and control of all Worthing Council's existing downland estate, and supporting the management of this downland estate for public purposes, free of built development", see www.worthingdownlanders.org.uk. Fourteen of us braved the dull, windy and ultimately wet conditions in an attempt to see a few butterflies. When faced with such a negative weather forecast I always do my best to prepare in advance, which entails spending an hour or two looking for roosting butterflies and marking their position. Undoubtedly the best find was a Silver-spotted Skipper, a species which has only just colonised the site. The fact that this specimen appeared to be a freshly emerged female augers well for the establishment of a population here. (Neil Hulme)

A good look around the recently cleared area at Rowland Wood produced these species Small Tortoiseshell, Clouded Yellow, Small Skipper, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Small White, Silver-washed Fritillary and Speckled Wood. (Arthur Greenslade)

I am based in Hove and have just seen a Gatekeeper land very close to me. I am not a regular observer so I identified it through markings recorded on butterfly sites. It is probably no coincidence that we have blackberry bushes in flower! (Ken Pearson)

Thursday 15 August 2013

I've had a lovely butterfly day in the garden where I work just north of Shoreham Airport, Peacocks, Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, Small/Large Whites, Meadow Browns, a male Brimstone, two male and one female Wall and a Common Blue laying eggs on the medick in the lawn. Gardening is a great job. TQ196063. (Tessa Pawsey)

A fabulous female Common Blue and an egg laying Clouded Yellow at Castle Hill, Newhaven today. (Bob Eade)

On the section of my transect that runs across the northern side of the newly created clearfell block near the entrance of Rowland Wood, Clouded Yellows were the most abundant species of butterfly today, I recorded 18 in total (including 2 helice). In the same section I also counted 7 Chalkhill Blues (5 male, 2 female), 6 Small Tortoiseshells and a few Common Blues, neither of the latter two were seen last week. It would appear that time is nearly up for Rowland Wood's Silver-washed Fritillaries with only one, rather tatty female seen, I didn't see a single White Admiral today. The species count for the past two weeks was raised to 24 with the addition of 3 Purple Hairstreaks (all at low level) and a solitary Comma. Finally, if anybody happens to know the species responsible for the small, vacated cocoon that was encountered on a birch leaf, I'd be very interested to hear from them. I believe it is an Ichneumon but the closest matches I can find are all from the United States. (Bob Foreman)

I went for a long walk in this afternoon's sunshine starting from Folkington and doing a circular via Butts Brow, Friston Forest and Windover Hill and there were butterflies aplenty! Wall Browns were showing pretty much along the whole of my route as were Chalkhill and Common Blues. However, the real action started when I reached Friston Gallops. Here I found a late and tatty Small Blue, 4 Painted Ladies and 6 Clouded Yellows (my first for 15 years!). There was also a Marbled White. I would have been more than content with that but towards the end of my walk I came across a pristine Grayling enjoying the afternoon sun on the Downs near Folkington. There were also several Silver-spotted Skippers here. A great afternoon! (Chris Hooker)

Recent News - 14 August: I visited Ladies Mile near Brighton. I saw 19 species on my walk, 3 Small Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 1 male Brimstone, 4 Large White, 1 Small White, 3 Brown Argus, 17 male and 2 female Common Blue, 6 Holly Blue, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady and now just the one caterpillar seen, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock, 1 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Marbled White, 8 Meadow Brown and 5 Gatekeeper. What interested me was I also saw 5 Small Coppers, they seem to be having a great year as including these and at other local sites I have seen 12 (summer brood). Also 3 Male Chalkhill Blues, as far as I'm aware this is a first for the site, again having the best year yet as just across at Hollingbury Hill Fort the best count was 27, as previously posted (6th August), in previous years the best you could see is 3 if you were lucky.
11 August: I visited Ladies Mile near Brighton. I had a idea of what I might see, it then came true as I saw 2 Clouded Yellows, other butterflies of note were a single Large Skipper, 7 Common Blue and 3 Marbled White, these seem to be holding on longer then previous years which is nice to see locally. Out of 6 Painted Lady eggs I saw a female lay back on the 18th July, I managed to find two caterpillars, both in tents they constructed on Creeping Thistle, it was interesting to see that they were different sizes, and yet laid on the same day. (Jamie Burston)

News for Sunday 11 August 2013: Since discovering the Silver-spotted Skipper on Cissbury Ring (3rd August) I've spent many hours searching for the species across other potential sites in the area, without much success. I had already drawn a blank at Washington Pits (4th August), so I was doubly pleased when determination paid dividends during a return visit on 11th August. I only found a couple of specimens, but one was a male, which suggests to me that the butterflies emerged here this August. I'm fairly sure these are the progeny of a pioneering female which visited the site in 2012; I suspect that it's only the females which head off in search of pastures new, unlike for instance the Chalkhill Blue (why do the males do that?). This location (TQ128119) is 4 Km from the nearest known established colony at Chantry Hill, and almost precisely the same distance from the Cissbury Ring find. My thanks to Martin Kalaher for helping with the local SSSk search. (Neil Hulme)

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Saw this Silver-washed Fritillary outside the office today in Riverside industrial Estate in Littlehampton, GR:TQ01800244. (Celia Curtis)

Brown Hairstreaks seen today on the ash tree by the turning to Nettley's hide (per Gary Trew). The fleabane on the trail from the visitor centre continues to be utterly irresistible to many Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, Common Blues, Gatekeepers, Painted Ladies, Small Coppers, Brimstones, Whites etc and the occasional Clouded Yellow. Best for me today however was a Vestal on the heath. (Pete Hughes)

Today in 1-km square TQ2524 I saw Meadow Browns (4), Small Whites (3), Gatekeepers (2) and another Clouded Yellow. In TQ2525 I saw Meadow Browns (11), Small Whites (10), Gatekeepers (9), Common Blues (3), A Small Tortoiseshell (1), Peacocks (2) and amazingly more Clouded Yellows - two more together!!
What is going on with Clouded Yellows at the moment? Is this an explosion or an irruption or an invasion or what? Does anybody know?? (Helen Crabtree)

Abbots Woods: I spent a couple hours wandering around the woods and the most common butterflies were Large and Small Whites, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. Also saw 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries (I think), 5 Common Blues, 1 White Admiral, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Wall, 1 Speckled Wood. (Susan Suleski)

Brown Argus trio and Silver-spotted Skippers at High and Over/Frog Firle. (Mike Kerry)

Tuesday 13 August 2013

I am not usually involved in these things, but for the first time in the 25 years I have lived in this house, I have just seen a Purple Emperor (female) in my back garden which is bordered by alder and willow woodland. I thought you might like to add this to your records! TQ393394. (Chris Payne)

A quick visit after work to see my son in Broadfield, Crawley this afternoon produced a very unexpected and unusual sighting. While watching him working on changing a car engine he then commented that a Butterfly had settled on his box of sockets. I was somewhat taken aback when on closer inspection this turned out to be a Purple Emperor, certainly not what I was expecting but a welcome bonus nonetheless. (Robert Horne)

Seem to be seeing Clouded Yellows everywhere at the moment. On Sunday at Saddlescombe (TQ269118) there were maybe 6 just in a small area either side of the road. One was the pale helice form, a blurred top shot confirmed this. In Burgess Hill (TQ292194) on Tuesday there were 3 Clouded Yellows, a worn Silver-Washed Fritillary and just as I was going home, a battle worn Brown Hairstreak sitting on a thistle. (Mark Cadey)

Regular visitors to this website will no doubt be fed up reading about Silver-washed Fritillaries in my Storrington garden but it has been the most amazing year. To re-cap, previously we have only seen one at that was approximately 4 years ago. This year there have been 8-9 sightings. Two days ago there were two on Buddleia, both on the same flowering stem. They knocked into each other and then went spiralling up and over the house and far as I could tell went far away. I went round the house and there was another feeding on a different buddleia. I have managed four photos so far and the four images show four different individuals. The nearest colony is about 1 mile away but I don't think it is a large colony (I don't see many SSF at Chantry Hill or Kithurst Hill).
Yesterday I checked downland just to the west of Kithurst Hill for Silver-spotted Skipper but didn't find any. I did have very close views of two female Clouded Yellow. Both seemed to me to be rather large individuals. One was the usual colour form but the other was 'helices', which I have to say was rather stunning.
In the early part of the year I didn't connect much with Small Tortoiseshell. I am pleased to say that in the past few days there have been plenty, with 7 in the garden 2 days ago and several seen on my downland walk yesterday. I returned to Sullington Hill today for two reasons. The first was to make sure I hadn't missed any Silver-spotted Skippers when I visited a few days ago. None seen. The second was to see if there were any more Wall butterflies. The other day there was just one but today 2-3 males. No females seen.
Also 7 Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady and a fair variety of other species. (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Since August 2nd I have been visiting Kithurst Hill to see Clouded Yellows which have been showing there most days. On 8th I saw a male, female and helice form in the meadow. The Large and Small Whites and Silver Ys have been present in large numbers and plenty of Painted Ladies have been present. My Mill Hill transects for the past 2 weeks have shown increases in Wall and Common Blue and the emergence of second brood Adonis Blue today. A Clouded Yellow flew across my car as I drove up the hill this morning and I found a male and female flying at the bottom of the hill. Mill Hill Transect results (previous week in brackets): Adonis Blue 4(0), Brimstone 1(0), Brown Argus 4(3), Chalkhill Blue 49(50), Comma 0(2), Clouded Yellow 2(0), Common Blue 69(40), Gatekeeper 8(46), Large White 7(5), Meadow Brown 294(224), Painted Lady 6(3), Peacock 5(8), Red Admiral 2(2), Small Heath 6(6), Small Tortoiseshell 8(6), Small White 11(7), Speckled Wood 0(1), Wall 3(1), other whites 1(4). (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

Another B.C. member, Trevor Rapley, and me visited Beckley Wood between 10.30 and 15.30 hrs. today, following the successful field event held on Saturday. We were fortunate to sight a total of 17 species of butterfly. These included at least 100 Peacocks, many Silver-washed Fritillaries, Painted Ladies and Green-veined Whites. We also saw 6 Clouded Yellows, 5 Brimstones, 2 White Admirals, Small & Large Whites, Gatekeepers, Small Tortoiseshells and single specimens of Small Skipper, Purple Hairstreak, Small Copper and Speckled Wood. Trevor managed to photograph the Purple Hairstreak, however this turned out to be very worn. As we were leaving we met a couple who showed us images of two Purple Hairstreaks taken at low level near the oak trees at the site entrance. (Douglas Neve)

Today I saw another Clouded Yellow in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618). This one gave me an opportunity to photograph it as it briefly landed on a late flowering red clover in our wild flower meadow.
Our buddlia bushes are now in full bloom attracting many butterflies daily. Other flowers we are growing also attract the butterflies but the buddlia is by far the most popular. Yesterday, we had a Silver Y moth on one of the bushes, in addition to Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Comma, Meadown Brown and Gatekeeper.
I have commented previously about the encouraging larger number of Small Tortoiseshells seen in the garden this year, but disappointingly I have seen much fewer Red Admirals this year. Is this illustrative across Sussex or just here near Pulborough? Regards (Chris Page)

Here's an odd one...Hellingly Village: I am afraid I do not have a photo but have seen a really large Fritillary, possibly 160 mm in my garden, I have looked on several sites to see if anyone else has seen/reported it. A friend has also seen large butterflies at Abbots Wood, not far from me. Have you had any reports, I assumed that some had escaped from a butterfly farm? (Gill Riches)

News for Sunday 11 August: Grid reference: TQ350260: Silver-washed Fritillary seen in garden on the northern boundary of Lindfield Conservation Area, first recording of this butterfly in the garden since 2006. (Terry Oliver)

More news for Sunday 11 August: We went for a walk on Sunday in Tottington/Longlands Wood at Small Dole. One of the first butterflies we saw was a Purple Emperor  flying briefly round and then settling with wings open on a shady part of an oak tree. This was near the pond close to the open area by the industrial estate, not where we'd expected to see one although then we noticed lots of bushes of the willow family so it made more sense. We went on to the increasingly overgrown ride in the woods where we didn't see any more Emperors but there were at least 3 White Admirals. Other sightings:- a Clouded Yellow, a Small Copper, plenty of Meadow Browns, a few Gatekeepers, a Ringlet, a Small or Essex Skipper, all three types of White, Common Blues, a Holly Blue, a Peacock, a couple of Speckled Woods, half a dozen Commas and quite a lot of Silver-washed Fritillaries some so pecked they almost looked like Commas. As we went back past the pond & open area a Purple Emperor made a brief but spectacular appearance above our heads to round things off nicely. (John and val Heys)

Not sure we should allow this, but as it's making a wider point, I guess it's ok...
News for Saturday 10 August: At last this Summer I saw a fresh Small Tortoiseshell, but sadly it was whilst walking from Goudhurst in Kent through a hop-field. It was on the ground at the base of a hop-plant. I beileve Tortoiseshells do eat hop which is of the nettle family. There was only one though seen imn about 6 miles of hiking. (Bob Brown)

Monday 12 August 2013

It's a good start to a day of butterfly surveying when you open your front door and there's a Wall flying around your front garden. Yesterday we surveyed some squares in the west of the county for the atlas trying to fill a few gaps on the Chalkhill Blue map. We found a small colony of Chalkhills still present on The Trundle near Goodwood but could not locate any at Cocking Quarry. Whilst leading a walk at Iping Common we found one late Silver-studded Blue. At all three sites Clouded Yellows were present - my first since 2011. (Michael & Clare Blencowe)

I received an interesting record yesterday from Tony Moore who found a male Silver-washed Fritillary on his buddleia in Selsey. For many of us this species may be regularly encountered elsewhere in Sussex but it is almost unheard of on the Manhood Peninsula south of Chichester. Looking at our atlas data the nearest record we have to Tony's Selsey garden is 14km away. This could well be the first ever record for Selsey. (Michael Blencowe)

The first Silver-washed Fritillary of the year that I saw on 9 August in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618), came back to one of our buddlia bushes today (at least I think it was the same one!). This time it gave me a chance to photograph it.
So far this year I have seen 22 different species in my garden compared with 20 for the whole of 2012, thus suggesting this is a better year for butterflies than 2012 - no doubt mostly due to the better weather. I have been particularly encouraged this year by the large number of Small Tortoiseshells, especially in the last couple of weeks, after reading they have been in decline in recent years. (Chris Page)

I saw a Clouded Yellow today at TQ245192. This butterfly was flying south at some speed, but nectaring in a hedgerow at the same location I also saw a Brown Hairstreak, and there was a Brimstone at TQ249195. (Helen Crabtree)

I spotted another Clouded Yellow today, this time at Woods Mill (TQ219133) during a short lunchtime stroll, also spotted were a couple of Common Blues, Small and Large Whites, 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries, a White Admiral, a Red Admiral, a Painted Lady, 5 Small Tortoiseshells, a Peacock and lots of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. (Bob Foreman)

News for Sunday 11 August: Bracklesham: 2 freshly emerged Holly Blues nectaring on Tansy in the garden here, and a Jersey Tiger which had been nectaring on Buddleia. (Derek Lee)

Sunday 11 August 2013

A walk back home to Ringmer from Glynde this afternoon turned up several Wall Browns on Mill Hill [close to the Glyndebourne wind turbine], a Holly Blue in Chamberlaines Lane [Ringmer], and a few Chalkhills on the track up to the Caburn ridge from Home Farm, Glynde. Also several Commas, Small Tortoiseshells, etc. (Steve Diserens)

It only took a brief stop (primarily for an ice cream) at Gills Lap on Ashdown Forest (TQ467317) this afternoon to see one of Sussex's seemingly ubiquitous Clouded Yellows, also seen were 7 or 8 Gatekeepers a similar number of Meadow Browns 3 or 4 Small White and a Common Blue. When we got home we saw yet another Clouded Yellow in the garden in Lindfield (TQ348248). (Bob Foreman)

Beckley Wood Event, Saturday 10 August 2013: Well the day threatened to be overcast as we assembled at our meeting point in Beckley Woods, near Rye, in East Sussex. We got off to a good start with some beautiful fresh Peacocks and majestic Silver-washed Fritillaries nectaring on the hemp-agrimony adjacent to our assembly point. It was not long until the first Large White and Small White butterflies were seen too.
Beckley Wood is not conducive to walking a circuit so we walked out along the rides from our central base and back again. However the location mattered little as there were butterflies in abundance. We soon had Gatekeeper, Small Skipper and Painted Lady to add to our observed species list.
Meadow Browns, Ringlets and a Small Tortoiseshell were then observed followed by a Clouded Yellow. I missed the Clouded Yellow on the first occasion as I had remained back by the cars in case of late arrivals.
As with most other woodland this week the numbers of Peacocks were very high. Easily over fifty were seen, and almost ubiquitously where nectar sources were available. What pleased me greatly was the same could almost be said for the Silver-washed Fritillaries. One male Silver-washed Fritillary with a damaged wing followed me down the ride like a pet dog.
On the second leg out from base camp I finally got to see the Clouded Yellow, my first this year. A Common Blue was then spotted by Richard. Along a section of ride-way that was cleared by Steve Wheatley and his volunteer party four years ago we saw another good crop of Peacocks and a veritable host of Green-veined Whites. However the zenith of the walk was a White Admiral sunning itself on a plant stem. It was totally unperturbed by our presence and posed for many pictures. Stuart managed to get a picture with his phone, and this was tweeted with in seconds to his butterfly fan base in Massachusetts in the United States of America; technology hey!
I was particularly pleased to see so many butterflies in Beckley Wood as this marks the fruition of the monumental conservation effort by Butterfly Conservation in this woodland four years ago.
Another cheerful aspect to this walk was the large number of Bumblebees seen and migrant Hawker Dragonflies are having a bumper year too.
So many thanks to Stuart Cooper for leading the walk, the Forestry Commission for allowing us parking access and to Georgina, Richard, Ed, Rod, Heather and Doug who participated in this walk. A special thanks also to Doug Neeve who took the photographs for our use and who remained behind after the walk was over to record some of the species we did not see earlier, namely Red Admiral, Comma and Speckled Wood. (Jim Barrett: Rother Guardians)

More news for Saturday 10 August: Very early am at Kithurst Hill, West Sussex. The meadow was full of roosting butterflies, mainly Chalkhill and Common Blue, plus a good number of b>Brown Argus. Supporting cast included: Marbled White, Large, Small, and Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, and a single Silver-washed Fritillary. Alas no Clouded Yellow but looking for a single roosting butterfly in a 1 hectare field is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. More photos here as I process them: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/. (Leigh Prevost)

News for Friday 9 August: I spotted a Clouded Yellow in Bexhill at 4pm on Friday. Also seven Painted Ladies on one Buddleia bush on the same day at the same time. (John Gent)

Saturday 10 August 2013

On my normal circuit around The Comp and Frog Firle 81 Wall Brown counted today despite the weather not being 100% ideal. Some fresh Small Tortoiseshell also seen. (Bob Eade)

Female Purple Emperor Tottington Wood just south of footpath crossroads near Small Dole. (David Plummer)

Today I went into the garden because my Mum said she saw the little brown Butterfly again, as I went to the top of the garden my Dad shouted out that it was on the first Buddleia I had passed, I went back and had a look, and found a skipper, I thought nothing of it until I realised, I was actually looking at a Silver-Spotted Skipper (nearest known site over two miles away). After a few minutes it flew off so I went to the other Buddleia, my Mum was right after all as I soon spotted the White-Letter Hairstreak, it turns out it's not a one off visit, I have a feeling I'll see it again soon, I think this will make for a unusual Big Butterfly Count, as this is what I was doing at the time. (Jamie Burston)

News for Friday 9 August: I saw 4 Brimstone butterflies, 2 male and 2 female in my garden today (TQ219384). (Sue Matthewson)

News for Thursday 8 August: Was working in Arundel on Thursday and around 3.45pm I noticed a blue I didn't first recognise. I only got a brief view before it flew and checking my app I identified it as a female Long-tailed Blue. Panic set in before it flew back and I took some record shots on my iPhone. I had to leave it at 4pm but returned at 5.15 with 3 friends. Unfortunately the 2 bushes of sweet pea were now in shade. All day Friday, every time the sun shone I checked the bushes but no further sign. (Chris Glanfield)

Friday 9 August 2013

Things are getting a little extraordinary 'round these parts... Long-tailed Blues at Pett, Swallowtails in Steyning and Chalkhill Blues in Rowland Wood - whatever next!!!??

An ovipositing female Long-tailed Blue was found and photographed in a back garden in Pett village, nr Rye today. The butterfly did not stick around but did manage to lay eggs on Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea in the garden. A search on the same foodplant further along the road turned up another egg. (Trevor Buttle & Ralph Hobbs)

Today was my first opportunity to get to Rowland Wood since returning from holiday. I had been itching to get over there having read all the exciting reports from the past couple of weeks. I have to confess I hadn't noticed the report of a Chalkhill Blue from Douglas Neve so I found myself in a state of complete incredulity when, while walking the transect a rather worn female Chalkhill Blue landed on a Common Fleabane flower right next to me. A few seconds later, my wife, Jo and son, Lucas called to me that there were two unusual looking blues on the track ahead, these turned out to be two male Chalkhill Blues. I was completely astonished. I had already recorded a pristine Wall and Brown Argus, a rather tatty Dark Green Fritillary, half a dozen Clouded Yellow (including 2 helice) and a couple of Painted Lady so I would have been more than content to have left it at that but Chalkhill Blues... The first three were found on the northeastern side of the large clearfell area near the entrance to the wood, later on the transect I recorded another, much better condition female Chalkhill Blue in one of the rides on the opposite side of this area. Other species recorded: Small and Large Skipper, Large, Small and Green-veined White, Brimstone, Small Copper, White Admiral, Peacock, Red Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet, 20 species in total - not bad. (Bob Foreman)

A short trip to Old Lodge resulted in many butterflies in the car park nectaring on the fleabane. These included 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries, a fresh Peacock and a bright Painted Lady as well as the many Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. More can be seen at my new blog http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.com/ if you have a few minutes to waste!! (Bob Eade)

Do Butterflies have their own Calendar? In 2012 I saw my first Brimstone and my first Silver-washed Fritillary of the year on 9 August in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618).
Today, I saw my first Brimstone and my first Silver-washed Fritillary of 2013 in my garden! A coincidence or what? I also saw Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White and Small White in the garden.
Meanwhile the Large White caterpillars are growing fast on the radishes which have now been completely taken over by them. I have planted another row of seeds with a cloth over them so we will have some for ourselves! (Chris Page)

In my Storrington garden yet another Silver-washed Fritillary on Buddleia. I have photographed three out of the five seen so far and these three have all been different individuals. Also four Common Blue, including a mating pair.
Sullington Hill and hoping for Silver-spotted Skippers but no joy there, even though the habitat is very suitable. However, there was a male Wall 'on territory', and I'm not sure if Wall has been recorded there in recent years? No doubt someone will enlighten me. Also 17 Common Blue, so I didn't have to worry too much about this species. Yet another Clouded Yellow.
Two Small Copper at Rackham Hill (yesterday) and another two today at Sullington Hill. All in very nice shape, so maybe a few more to come. I haven't yet seen one at home this year which is very unusual (22 species so far this year but time is running out!).
New garden record for Peacock, now 14. Correction for my posting a few days ago when I mentioned Clouded Yellow feeding avidly on Field Scabious at Kithurst Hill; it was Small Scabious (only a small detail, but worth getting right!). (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Thursday 8 August 2013

This is my first sight of a Swallowtail in my 77 years . I presume it must be a migrant. I watched it for half an hour today 8th aug. in my garden in Steyning. I would be interested to know of other sightings. (Lawrie Smalley)

Kithurst Hill Nature Reserve: About noon Thursday this Chalkhill Blue was active at the reserve meadow. It was pointed out to me by Clive Griffin who was uncertain what butterfly it was. I managed a few images with a Canon compact camera. The insect is presumably female and I wonder whether the aberration is nameable. (Richard Knight, Ditchling)

On the 6th I was out in the garden looking at a Comma, when a pristine Brimstone flew past followed by a Holly Blue and then a female Purple Emperor glided over the garden. This was extra special as it was also my Birthday, what more could you want... However on Thursday, all sort of things happened. Firstly in a break from work I had close encounters with pristine male Brimstones and yet another Clouded Yellow in the field at the rear of my garden, not to mention Small Coppers, Large Whites etc. However I had made a plan to visit Wolstonbury Hill on Thursday with Jamie Burston to check how the Silver-spotted Skippers were doing. We clocked up around 20 in difficult windy conditions and a few more species, helice Clouded Yellow 1, Silver-spotted Skipper 20+ including cow pat sitting individuals, Small Skipper 2, Chalkhill Blue male around 100, Chalkhill Blue female 30 plus, Common Blue male 20 plus, Common Blue female 4, Small Blue second generation 1!!!!!, Brown Argus 1, Painted Lady 3 including a courting pair, Speckled Wood 3, Peacock 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Meadow Brown numerous, Dark Green Fritillary all worn 7, Large White 2, Small White 1. Additionally, several moths, chalk downland specialists including an amazing sight of lots of male and female Pyrausta aurata, leading to mating pairs in the early evening, an interesting sight. Butterflying at its best. (Richard Roebuck - photos by Richard & Jamie)

In Ringmer Road Seaford only 200m or so from the beach is a patch of lavender outside a small terraced house which faces South-East. In the afternoon it is partly-shaded but two days ago about 5.30 I passed it and was amazed to see it covered in bumble-bees, probably well over 150 but impossible to count individually! There were no butterflies though, but this morning on the way to the library in full sunshine there were art least a dozen Large White butterflies and one Painted Lady.
Given that although this is residential there a very few areas to grow vegetables, my suspicion is that this is a watering-hole for those flying in. Would be interesting if they could be "painted" in some way to track them. Has this been attempted? Would have thought a small spray of colour on a wing wouldn't do much harm.
Tinkers Park bus/rail ralley last Saturday produced a few Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers but nothing notable - the steam and smoke from the traction engines must have discouraged them! (Bob Brown)

A male White Admiral today in a garden along Effingham Road, Copthorne today. (Tom Simon)

Today I had a garden first as a Small Skipper visit Buddleia.
7th August - I had a garden first with a female Silver-washed Fritillary that visited Buddleia, I managed a record shot before she moved on. later I visited Hollingbury Industrial Estate Reserve and saw a single Small Blue.
6th August - White-letter Hairstreak landed on my garden Buddleia (as previously posted, record shot above)
1st August - I found a Emperor Moth caterpillar near Carden School, Hollingbury. Link to Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHvc_6vPjL8. (Jamie Burston)

Hundreds of butterflies fluttered around the parched lower slopes of Mill Hill. Sixteen species were seen on a sunny day, all but two on the downs. Chalkhill Blues were out in force with over two hundred seen. Both Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were everywhere with estimated numbers at about a hundred an acre for each. However, the highlight of the day was a Dark Green Fritillary restlessly patrolling over the lower slopes by the bottom wayward hedge. It was joined by a bright Clouded Yellow. The first of a handful of male second brood Adonis Blues were also spotted.
Butterflies were courting and three species were seen in mating sequences: Common Blues, Meadow Browns and Chalkhill Blues. About ten Marbled Whites were still in flight. Bright colour was also provided by fresh specimens of a Painted Lady, a Peacock Butterfly and a Red Admiral. The other species were Speckled Woods, the three common Whites, Small Heaths. (Andy Horton)

Crawley Down : Silver-washed Fritillaries are a far more frequent visitor to the garden buddleia than in previous years, with visits almost every day, but they are getting a bit worn now. Also on Worth Way in mid July this skipper was seen which is not the normal type seen round here. Perhaps a silver spotted? - I think this is actually a very well marked female Large Skipper, ed. (Jonathan Ruff)

I counted 140 Clouded Yellows in a lucerne field yesterday at Thorney Island. Today there was still in excess of 100+ on the Island plus 1000's of Silver Y and 3 male Oak Eggar on the wing. (Barry Collins)

News for Wednesday 7 August: As you can see, despite the Garden Tiger declining over much of the UK, this species seems to be doing well in North Portslade. A total of 8 in trap on 7th August. (Darryl Perry)

News for Tuesday 6 August: Two Clouded Yellows seen at Rowland Wood one appears to have a white upper wing maybe "helice" type. (Arthur Greenslade)

More news for Tuesday 6 August: A rewarding visit to the new clear felled area in Rowland Wood this morning. Clouded Yellows flying all over the site. Difficult to estimate numbers, but I twice had three in sight at one time, also saw one helice specimen, so would guess there were low double figures. The Fleabane is attracting swarms of butterflies, notably many Gatekeepers, arn't they doing well this year, also Female Silver-washed still in good condition, one each of Painted Lady, Common Blue Female, Small Copper, and Small Heath. (Graham Parris, Isfield)

Wednesday 7 August 2013

....And Johnson takes the century! At close of play yesterday Neil Hulme's impressive Emperor tally had taken us tantalisingly close to 100 tetrad (2km x 2km) squares in Sussex which contain a record of the Purple Emperor.
Paul Johnson has been helping with the atlas on the Sussex / Kent border near Tunbridge Wells and emailed in his 2013 records today. By his own admission Paul's been having a good season up there in his local patch and his records of Purple Emperor from the Hartfield / Eridge Green / Frant area have now added 5 new tetrads to our total - taking us past the 100 mark and beyond! Getting over 100 tetrads for such an elusive butterfly is quite an impressive feat - my goal was to try and get over 50 tetrads over the 2010-14 survey period. With a total of 1024 tetrads in Sussex this now means that your nearest tree has a 1 in 10 chance of having a Purple Emperor on top of it. Admittedly these odds are rather skewed to West Sussex which, it seems, is home to 80% of our Sussex Emperors. Thanks again to Paul for his records and for everyone who has contributed. The sun's still shining and the Emperor is still flying - can we get to 200 by the end of the weekend? (Michael Blencowe)

As the Purple Emperor score keeps rising Neil Hulme has prematurely sent in his 2013 survey records (and some he has received from others) to add to our total. Neil's been doing a lot of work out there in the field monitoring the Emperor during this bumper purple year. We can now add a further 5 new tetrads to our tally from areas on the Knepp Estate, in Houghton Forest and on Bignor Hill. This takes us to an impressive 99 tetrads for Purple Emperor so far on our 2010-14 atlas survey. Just one more for the century! (Michael Blencowe, with thanks to Neil Hulme, Matthew Oates, Alison Skelling and Rob Thurlow)

This afternoon I needed to relieve the boredom of the office and paperwork so, despite the grey cloud cover, I headed back up to Chantry Hill near Storrington. In some of the more sheltered spots almost every flower and seed-head supported a roosting butterfly. No Swallowtail, Pale Clouded Yellow or Long-tailed Blue just yet (keep your eyes peeled), but I was more than happy to track down a few more Silver-spotted Skipper. Congratulations to all on reaching the Purple Emperor Sussex century. (Neil Hulme)

Above is an image of a white butterfly observed nectaring on Ragwort near Steyning this afternoon. It was much smaller than a Small White and probably about the size of a Chalkhill Blue. It has been suggest that it may be an aberration of a Green-veined White. Any help on identifying this butterfly would be appreciated. (Douglas Neve)

Having missed the Grayling walk , I decided to go to Windover Hill looking for my first Grayling sighting. I saw more butterflies flying than I have seen before - mainly Chalkhill Blues. I also saw many Gatekeepers, some Meadow Browns, one Large White and one Wall. Finally I found a single Grayling which posed for photos then flew onto my Rucksack. (Katrina Watson)

Yesterday in Hove we saw a Clouded Yellow on the seafront near the King Alfred and 3 Holly Blues dancing round each other in our back garden. Throughout central Hove we had fleeting glimpses of Holly Blues and less easily identifiable butterflies/moths  much more to look out for than usual. In the afternoon, on Ditchling Common Val spotted an Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar on rosebay willow herb (picture attached) and I found a Clouded Yellow in the more open part of the common (west side of the main road). Most of the likely butterfly types (except hairstreaks) were around, including a couple of Silver-washed Fritillaries and many Peacocks. The bracken was very high and all enveloping in many places, making some of the walks virtually impassable. Today despite the lack of sun in our garden there have been a few Whites, a Holly Blue and the first Speckled Wood since 12 August last year. (John & Val Heys)

News for Tuesday 6 August: The weather for the Ashcombe Bottom Adventure was perfect, warm but not too hot and 100% sun. A phenomenal 28 species of butterfly were recorded on the long but gentle walk. Up the Warningore Bostal to the top of Blackcap and down through Ashcome Bottom. I dont think there have been many occasions when I have seen so many species in one day. Unfortunately we didn't see Small Tortoiseshell or a Wall, too early for Adonis and we were never able to confirm any Essex Skipper sightings. It was really great to have Lee Walther, National Trust ranger, who joined us for the first part of the walk up the top of bostal sharing his knowledge and speaking about the management of such a superb site. The bostal banks were alive with chalk grassland butterflies. Loads of Chalkhill Blue and Marbled Whites, Small Skippers (possibly some Essex as well), several Small Blue, Clouded Yellows, Painted Ladies and Silver-spotted Skippers. Then in the woods of Ashcombe Bottom. Every few yards the spectacular Silver-washed Fritillary, Comma, White Admiral, many Brimstones and a Purple Hairstreak. There is potential habitat for Purple Emperor, it would be worth checking again next year. At the bottom of Ashcombe Bottom we were back into grassland with Silver-spotted Skippers, Brown Argus and Common Blue. Then at the end of our return through Ashcombe Bottom a pair of Silver-washed Fritillary flew in a courtship dance. The female flying in a straight line and the male following her closely, repeatedly looping under and over her.
Here's a video by Louise Holloway of Silver-washed Fritillary at Ashcombe Bottom 3 August 2013: http://youtu.be/g0k-YdlVwEI.
Nigel Symington kept a list of species seen on Tuesdays walk:
Small Skipper,
Large Skipper,
Silver-spotted Skipper,
Clouded Yellow,
Large White,
Small White,
Green-veined White,
Purple hairstreak,
Small Copper,
Brown Argus,
Common Blue,
Chalkhill Blue,
Small Blue,
Holly Blue,
Dark-green Fritillary,
Silver-washed Fritillary,
Red Admiral,
White Admiral,
Painted Lady,
Marbled White,
Speckled Wood,
Meadow Brown,
Small Heath,
28 species is fairly impressive, there were also several moths including many Silver Y, Six-spot Burnet, Purple and Gold (Pyrausta) family along with birds such as Turtled Dove and Buzzards. Crispin Holloway)

More news for Tuesday 6 August: On Tuesday at Steyning, I was fortunate enough to see my first Brown Hairstreak of the year, and my first in a few years. It appeared to be a freshly emerged female so was in pristine condition, despite a few missing scales on one of its forewings (see photo). Other butterflies seen included Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Comma, Green-veined White, and Marbled White. We also had a Grass Snake just inside (and later outside) the reserve. (Leigh Prevost)

Tuesday 6 August 2013

First off I would just like to say a big thank you to Crispin Holloway for letting me gate crash his Ashcombe Bottom Adventure where I learnt a lot more about Silver-spotted Skippers then I knew before. After lunch I had to go to Ditchling Down and while I was litter picking the 'wild' camp sites (not official) I saw the following species; Chalkhill Blue in the low hundreds, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Large and Small White, Peacock, Red Admiral and Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow 1, Small, Essex, Large and following Crispins advice of where to look Silver-spotted Skipper 1, Marbled White, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Ringlet, Comma, Brimstone and possibly a Small Blue but I could not positively id it. (Lee Walther)

Peacocks in Paradise: Today in Barnes Wood I recorded fifty-four Peacocks in a four km square tetrad. This far exceeds my previous best of fifteen or so in my first summer recording butterflies in 2009. If Peacocks were the top-billing today, then Painted Ladies were the support act with eleven counted in total. Also present were beautiful fresh Commas, Brimstones, Common Blues, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Whites galore. One Small Copper, one White Admiral and eight of the UKs most majestic butterfly, the Silver-washed Fritillary, completed a memorable afternoon of Butterfly recording. (Jim Barrett)

This morning I returned to Steyning Rifle Range, knowing that a few more Brown Hairstreaks would have emerged (I saw two females here on 4th August). It didn't take long to find the first, but she didn't hang around for a photo shoot. The second was more co-operative and I even had time to 'phone a couple of friends to let them know of its location, both arriving in time to get a few pictures. Sadly, the upper surface was blemished, detracting from one of the beautiful orange wing flashes. No complaints about the underside! At 2pm, when I considered it unlikely that more would appear, I headed to Chantry Hill. It's a joy to be out on the Downs at the moment, with flowers and butterflies at their best. Although it was primarily the Silver-spotted Skipper I'd come to survey (c.25 seen), it was the beautiful, freshly emerged Common Blues I spent most time photographing. (Neil Hulme)

This is a tale in two parts. I checked the garden before hiking off to Chantry Hill and was delighted to see yet another Silver-washed Fritillary nectaring on Hemp Agrimony. This is the fourth sighting of this species in the garden in the past week, involving at least two different individuals. I managed to photograph two out of the four sightings. Unfortunately it was in a mild skirmish with a Painted Lady and decided to leave me, allowing just 30 seconds or so for a quick photo. On my return from Chantry Hill I had Marbled White nectaring on Buddleia. I think this is the latest date I have had this species in the garden and in previous years the MW have disappeared before Buddleia flowers.
Chantry Hill was very good value. Species and approximate numbers as follows: Small Skipper (50), Essex Skipper (2), Silver-spotted Skipper (6) - including a female ovipositing, Large Skipper (8), Clouded Yellow (1), Brimstone (7), Large White (15), Small White (20), Small Copper (3), Brown Argus (5), Common Blue (20), Chalkhill Blue (100), Painted Lady (5), Peacock (4), Dark Green Fritillary (12), Wall (2m), Marbled White (20), Gatekeeper (200), Meadow Brown (500), Ringlet (4), Small Heath (6). The Wall pleased me as I managed to miss the first brood at this site. A couple of Silver-spotted Skippers were nectaring on Marjoram, which I haven't seen before. It has seemed to me that Common Blue was having another very bad year so today's tally was very welcome. The same goes for Small Copper and the three I saw were all pristine, so maybe there are more to come.
Also at home Red Admiral and Holly Blue, making 24 species for the day. (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Sightings at Tide Mills, Seaford: Small White (scores), Common Blue (30), Meadow Brown (20), Gatekeeper (12), Small Heath (4), Essex Skipper (4), Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Copper, Clouded Yellow. (Mike Kerry)

On the outskirts of Burgess Hill I followed a female Clouded Yellow feeding on Fleabane for 15 minutes before she flew off over a hedge. There were quite a few Painted Ladies too, as well as Common Blues and Purple Hairstreaks staying just out of camera range. TQ292194 Also I have included a picture of a Grayling egg from one of my visits to Windover Hill over the last 2 weeks. (Mark Cadey)

Today I went out looking locally for Butterflies generally around the Hollingbury Golf course area and its Hill Fort and around Wild park including the dew pond, I initially went out to look for Wall Brown and Brown Hairstreak in suitable habitat I found earlier this year but failed on both counts, I meet a friend, Gordon and I ended up on a Five hour walk. I was extremely pleased to see the following - Large White 50+, Small White 20+, Small Skipper 19, Essex Skipper 3, Meadow Brown 30+, Gatekeeper Male 50+ and Female 3, Marbled White 16, Speckled Wood 3, Common Blue Male 7 and Female 2, Chalkhill Blue Male 24 and Female 3, Comma 2, Peacock 4, Red Admiral 5, Painted Lady 2, Small Copper 5, Brown Argus 1, Dark Green Fritillary Female 1, Purple Hairstreak 3, Brimstone Male 1, Ringlet 1 and Silver-Y Moth 11.
Once I got home I went straight into the back garden and saw the following - Meadow Brown 6, Gatekeeper Male 3 and Female 2, Large White 20+, Small White 15+, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 1 and a single Comma, this wasn't near off being Fritillary size and 2 Comma caterpillars that I found on the hops I planted two years ago. I then saw a Butterfly come into the garden and I recognised it's flight, I got excited when it came to land on one of the purple Buddleias, it was none other than a White-letter Hairstreak, it settled for about a minute and I managed a record shot just before it flew off (photo will follow soon) . 10 minutes later I saw it again hovering in the middle of the garden before it flew off next door, the nearest Elm Tree is between 15 and 20 meters away, this individual was particularly mobile as at one point it flew over the roof of the house, seeing one in the garden made my day. (Jamie Burston)

In my garden in Bevendean I noticed this pair of Green-veined Whites and was struck by the contrast of colour, am I the only one who is mystified why all the books illustrate the underside of the whites as bright yellow where as most I see are certainly not. (Geoff Stevens)

Butterflies were very common (over 500 in 90 minutes) for the first time this year on Mill Hill around the middle of the day. Sixteen species were seen on the downs. Meadow Browns led the way with over an estimated 270 actually seen, followed by a count of 135 Chalkhill Blues, and nearly a hundred Gatekeepers making up the bulk of the total. There were frequent Large Whites, Marbled Whites, Brimstones, Common Blues and Red Admirals, with occasional Peacocks, Painted Ladies and Small Whites. The lower slopes were evenly distributed with butterflies, but the middle slopes had a special attractive Buddliea tree almost inaccessible by Brambles and Stinging Nettles and covered in Red Admirals and other butterflies including a Comma.
The frequent clumps of Marjoram on the middle slopes proved to be attractive to most of the butterflies. In the shade there were a few Speckled Woods and a solitary Ringlet. A handful of Small Heaths were spotted in the short vegetation. In the meadows there were frequent Silver Y Moths and the Six-spot Burnet Moths were still to be found on the Knapweeds. Small (or Essex) Skippers and Green-veined Whites were few. It was only a passage journey and if I waited around I could have added to the list. Full Butterfly Report: http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2013.html#6August2013. (Andy Horton)

Recent News: Last week was great for butterflies here in the garden. Over the course of the week there were Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper in the back garden here in Broadbridge Heath.
Yesterday I saw my first Brown Hairstreak of the year just up the road (again Broadbridge Heath).
On Sunday we went to the Queens Head in Barns Green and spent a pleasant hour or so enjoying lunch and watching butterflies on the buddleia. Again there were Large and Small White, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Red Admiral and Brimstone. (Susie Milbank)

News for Saturday 3 August: Today we visited two different sites as one of us had never been to either sites before and one of us had not been there for a year or so. We visited Windover Hill in the hope of discovering that master of disguise the Grayling. We were successful in locating at least a dozen Grayling. I noted that this year none of the individuals we saw had those red mites on them as they did a few years ago, so that was good news. We also saw lots of Chalkhill Blues as well as the other usual suspects.
We then ventured to Cast Hill, when we saw a few fast flying Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White, Ringlet, Small Skipper, Chalkhill Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Peacock, etc. (Nick Linazasoro & Drew Easton)

News for Sunday 28 July: Today I went for a pleasant wander around Friston Forest and observed Comma, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Peacock, Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown, Chalkhill Blue, Gatekeeper, Brown Argus, Ringlet, Red Admiral and Dark Green Fritillary. (Nick Linazasoro)

News for Saturday 27 July: Today I went for a walk around the Arlington Reservior and spotted Marbled White, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Peacock and Six-spot Burnet. (Nick Linazasoro)

Monday 5 August 2013

Huge thanks to Jim Barrett for minding the website so ably and efficiently while I was away, Bob

And today's Purple Emperor results. A second Emperor report from Steve on Blackdown where a nocturnal emperor was found recently. This site is certainly befitting of the Emperor's status - the highest point (and the highest Emperors) in Sussex. Nigel reports an Emperor just north-east of Haywards Heath and another Emperor reported indoors just north-west of Haywards Heath. No doubt the website editor is kicking himself as Nigel's record was just 400m from his house (yup...). Meanwhile the atlas map is getting more purple by the day. We're now on 94 tetrad squares. Time is running out - but there's a few days of sunshine coming up so there's still everything to play for if we're hoping to get to 100 tetrad squares this season (Michael Blencowe)

Common Fleabane is flowering in profusion just outside my garden and is extremely popular with many butterflies. So I was astonished to see a very pale whitish Clouded Yellow, helice form (ran inside grabbed my camera and it had gone AAaaaaaaaaaHHH!! ) and a female Silver-washed Fritillary being harassed by a Painted Lady in bright sunshine, in land at Ashington, anything's possible this year. (Richard Roebuck)

Silver-washed Fritillary seen today in New Domewood Copthorne. (Chris Prince)

The missing photos... (by date)

Saturday 3 August 2013

(Douglas Neve, Rowland Wood)

(Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Friday 2 August 2013

(Neil Hulme, Chantry and Springhead Hills)

(Andrew House, Pagham)(not clickable)

(Simon Quin, Crowborough)

Thursday 1 August 2013

(Peter Atkinson, Worthing)

(Chris Page, Pulborough)

(Jim Barrett, Wilmington)

Wednesday 31 July 2013

(Douglas Neve, Windover Hill)

Sunday 28 July 2013

(Leigh Prevost, Hollingbury)

(Chris Page, Pulborough)

Friday 26 July 2013

(Chris Page, Pulborough)

(Gary Norman, Friston Gallops)

Sunday 4 August 2013

Absolutely loads of Silver-spotted Skippers on Sunday at Malling Down amongst several other species. (Andrew Burns)

Following an unsuccessful trip to Chantry Hill on Saturday to see the Silver-spotted Skipper as a result of some bad planning, I returned on Sunday evening at 6PM. Sunday had been a hot and sunny day, so I was hopeful that I would be rewarded. I was not disappointed. A few initial sightings were all but too brief but as the temperature started to fall I soon found a roosting individual who posed nicely. Photo above and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/.
Other butterfly species were also performing well over the weekend, I had wonderful close up views of roosting Chalkhill Blues, Marbled Whites and Small Skippers, as well as Small/Large Whites, Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Browns, Small Heath, and a handful of fly-by Dark Green Fritillaries. There were quite a few different moth species as well, but unfortunately I was unable to identify the majority. (Leigh Prevost)

Near Alfriston 3 White-letter Hairstreaks nectaring on bramble. One was in very good condition considering how late it now is in their season. (Bob Eade)

4 Clouded Yellow in Anchor Bottom (Chris and Helen Corrigan)

Purple Emperor photos (above) taken on private land near Gay Street. (Mike Davidge)

I photographed these lovely Painted Ladies enjoying the sunshine in my garden in the Meads Area of Eastbourne today there were at least four also a couple of white butterflies but they did not settle there was also a lovely plump bumble bee. (Tandi)

Big Butterfly Count at the Wild Flower Barn, Herstmonceux, 15:30: Found 18 butterfly species in a quick, late afternoon dash around the plot yesterday (had necessarily strimmed all the paths the previous evening). In order seen (with overall totals): Red Admiral (2), Peacock (10), Painted Lady (8), Gatekeeper (9), Meadow Brown (12), Ringlet (3), Essex Skipper (3), Common Blue (1), Large White (12), Small White (4), Green-veined White (1), Clouded Yellow (1), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Comma (8), Small Copper (1), Brimstone (1), Speckled Wood (1), Chalkhill Blue (1).
Unfortunately only the first sixteen species counted for the BB Count as the Speckled Wood and Chalkhill Blue were found 20 mins and 30 minutes in! The latter is only the second record in 20 years at the plot, the last one appearing in identical weather conditions (warm, breezy southwesterlies, 24ºC) in 1996 (presumably blown across the Pevensey Levels from the South Downs near Eastbourne?). Also noted were Silver-Y moth (6), Blood-vein (2), Mother of Pearl (3), Migrant Hawker (4), Brown Hawker (2), Southern Hawker (1), and Common Darter (2). (Mike Mullis)
P.S. the two Clouded Yellow pics are one and the same butterfly!

And the hits keep coming! I received these Purple Emperor reports today. One amongst the tomatoes in a greenhouse at Hawkhurst Court near The Mens nature reserve. Another on a windowsill in Rusper. A third was spotted by a pest control chap as he was setting a fly lure. The lure lets off a rotten smell to attract the flies and no doubt the Emperor couldn't resist! (www.redtopflycatcher.co.uk). Thanks to Ralph, Jon and Julia for the sightings. We are now on 92 2km tetrad squares for Purple Emperor in Sussex since 2010. Can we get just 8 more before the Emperor's flight period ends? There's only a few days left - so next time it's sunny stick the stinkiest thing you have out in your garden and see what you can entice in. (Michael Blencowe)

In two sessions totalling about four hours during 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday (3rd and 4th August), I recorded the following species here at Knowlands Farm, Barcombe: Small Skipper, Clouded Yellow, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, White Admiral, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, Comma, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet. Nineteen species and I managed to photograph all except the single Brimstone (which danced briefly with a Clouded Yellow). Earlier in the week I have also seen Green-veined White, Purple Hairstreak, Small Tortoiseshell and Small Heath. (Nick Lear)

A record shot of a Clouded Yellow at Pagham Harbour near the Long Pool. 4th August. (George Kinnard, Roger Billings and Liz Billings)

RSPB Broadwater Warren
Neil (Hulme) commented on 2 August that White Admirals were in short supply in the county this season. At RSPB Broadwater Warren they have, however, been seen more regularly on our UKBMS transects than for a number of years. This morning one was nectaring on buddleia in the reserve car park.

When my wife and I got back to our garden in Frant after finishing the transects we saw our first Painted Lady of the year. (Alan Loweth)

Clouded Yellow at Thorney Island
We spent the morning at Thorney Island this morning from 10:00 to 12:15 and found thirteen Clouded Yellow in a field sheltered from the strong South-West winds,I expect this is only the tip of the iceberg. We will have another look when the wind calms down, other species of note included twenty Large White, humdreds of Small White and two Painted Ladies.

In the afternoon we had a walk around Lumley Seat SU765108 from 12:45 to 14:00.The highlights were one Painted Lady,two Red Admiral,seven Large White, forty Small White, four Meadow Brown,twenty Gatekeepers, one Silver-washed Fritillary, also some very vocal juvenile Buzzards. (Barry and Margaret Collins)

Seaford Sightings
Painted Ladies are visiting the Buddleia in our Seaford garden this weekend. Butterflies have shown very little interest in our Buddleia in recent years, but we cut it back very vigorously last winter, and it's attracting them again. Several Silver-Y on the lavender, a Pyrausta Aurata came into the kitchen last evening (Aug 3rd), and an amazing multi-plumed moth into the bathroom, a first for me. I count twenty-four plumes, but I think it's called a Twenty-plume moth. (Mike Kerry)

Sightings for Saturday 3 August
Thought I would do an early evening check at Grinders Wood, near Dial Post. It is a mixture of Semi-natural Ancient Woodland, Oak standards and Hazel coppice next to an Oak plantation; in the middle is a clearing with a pond and lots of flowering plants surrounding it. I was hoping for a Purple Emperor and lo and behold the first butterfly I saw was a Purple Emperor evading the attentions of a Spotted Flycatcher who unsuccessfully tried to catch it! Other butterflies seen were one Silver-washed Fritillary, Red Admiral, Comma, Gatekeeper, Large White and Large Skipper. No Purple Hairstreaks, maybe it was too windy for them? (Lee Walther)

Steyning: TQ175105 several Peacocks and Painted Lady on buddlea. Single Holly Blue, Ringlet, Gatekeeper and Wall butterflies in back garden.
Between Henfield & Albourne: TQ238181 large numbers of Painted Lady, Peacocks, plus a few Red Admiral, Comma, Small Heath, Wall & Gatekeeper butterflies in 6 acre garden. (Mike Warren)

News for Saturday 3 August 2013: On Saturday I completed one of several surveys I perform on the Knepp Castle Estate, where Sir Charlie Burrell is running his innovative re-wilding scheme. Highlights of the day included Clouded Yellow, my first Brown Hairstreak of the year (male and female), and several Purple Emperor.
In the 2012 Butterfly Report I speculated that the weather conditions during the Silver-spotted Skippers flight period were conducive to its attempts to move further through the Sussex landscape. So later in the day, and bearing in mind the recent sighting of a Silver-spotted Skipper at Springhead Hill, I decided to stop at Cissbury Ring, just in case. Ulrika! I spotted a female almost immediately, followed by 5 different males. This ratio of sexes suggests a recent colonisation, with these 2013 butterflies having emerged on-site. The area where I found them, the south-facing slope just below the ramparts (TQ137075), is approximately 6.5 Km from the Chantry Hill colony. I hope they manage to gain a firm foot-hold, as the habitat appears ideal for the species; it could do very well here. (Neil Hulme)

Saturday 3 August 2013

One.....and the Purple Emperor records keep pouring in! I've received reports of Purple Emperor this week from all across Sussex Barcombe, Washington, Durfold, Warnham, West Dean, Lodsworth and I'm awaiting location details of other emperors found in greenhouses and conservatories. These butterflies are everywhere at the moment - but it wont be long now until they're gone for another year. Keep an eye on the treetops! (Michael Blencowe)

Two.....Among the flurry of reports I've received of incoming migrant Painted Ladies and Clouded Yellows there has been one sighting of a Swallowtail in Friston Forest this afternoon. (Michael Blencowe)

Three....There's been heatwaves, thunder and downpours this week - but one thing you can always be certain of is that it's always windy on Windover Hill. Today's Grayling Festival hike up the hill was certainly breezy and after downpours earlier in the day the butterflies seemed to be laying low. The walk up the track was sprinkled with mating Chalkhill Blues and we managed to find some Small Blue eggs amongst the kidney vetch. At the top the Grayling certainly did not disappoint and well over twenty were seen at very close (eye-to-eye) range but the wind up at the summit meant that many that were flushed were blown straight to Kent. Dark Green Fritillaries were still on the wing and we had some great views of a sheltering Silver-spotted Skipper too. Thanks to all who came along to visit the Grayling - many of whom were meeting this wonderful butterfly for the first time. (Michael Blencowe)


High Weald Chalkhill Blue....again!
This time last year, I found a stray male Chalkhill Blue in a flowery meadow near Coggins Mill, Mayfield while carrying out a private butterfly survey locally. I was back at that Mayfield site yesterday doing the last of my Weald surveys for 2013. I kept the Chalkhill Blue meadow 'til last this time as it was close to where I'd parked and I wasn't expecting a repeat appearance. Although it was well past 5pm when I finally got there, the first butterfly I saw was, amazingly, a male Chalkhill Blue! It was obviously pretty lonely and frustrated as it chased after anything and everything - Gatekeepers, Essex Skippers, a Meadow Brown or two and remarkably, even a moth. The only butterfly it didn't seem interested in was a solitary male Common Blue!

The other main highlight yesterday was a fresh emergence of Painted Lady butterflies locally, with at least ten different ones seen around several meadows there, with three together on one patch of Lesser Knapweed. Other species seen yesterday included Brimstone, Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper, Large Skippers, Small Skippers and Essex Skippers and all three 'Whites'. Previous highlights were two seperate Marbled Whites at another private site to the east of Mayfield on 22nd July, along with a White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary also at the same site that day.

At my Herstmonceux plot on Thursday 1st August, there were ten different species (including another Painted Lady or two) all nectaring on one buddleia bush at 8am on a hot and sultry morning. This was only the tip of the iceberg though as there were loads of butterflies nectaring on bramble blossom when I walked around the extensive bramble patches in the upper meadow. There were Red Admirals, Commas, Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells, as well as all the usual Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, various 'Whites' and Large Skippers, Small Skippers and Essex Skippers plus a freshly emerged female Common Blue. Highlight last Sunday afternoon (28th July) was a Silver-washed Fritillary on the same patch of brambles. It was my first sighting of this species in twenty years at the plot. (Mike Mullis)


East Sussex Butterfly Reserves
During a visit to Roland Wood and Park Heath Corner this afternoon between 13.30 and 16.35hrs., I was fortunate to observe twelve Silver-washed Fritillaries, four White Admirals, two Clouded Yellows, six Painted Ladies, two Red Admirals, two Ringlets, numerous Gatekeepers, several Small Skippers and a single male Chalkhill Blue. The Painted Ladies and Silver-washed Fritillaries were nectaring on Common Fleabane and Bramble blossom respectively.
(Douglas Neve)


Garden Sightings
Today in my garden in Storrington I was delighted to see my buddlea bushes teeming with butterflies. I saw many Peacocks, Large Whites and Small Whites, a Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, two Painted Ladies and a Comma. Some of these I have never seen in my garden before. (Audrey Kemp)

Over the past two days I have recorded fourteen species of butterfly in my Storrington garden: Small Skipper (2), Brimstone (1m, 1f), Large White (8), Small White (6), Common Blue (1 female egg-laying on Birdsfoot trefoil), Holly Blue (1), Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Peacock (6), Comma (1), Silver-washed Fritillary (1), Gatekeeper (10) and Meadow Brown (6). This is only the second Silver-washed Fritillary recorded in the garden, the previous one was approximatley four years ago. It favoured Hemp Agrimony over Buddleia, although the former is in a much more sheltered spot as there was quite a breeze today. (Martin Kalaher; Storrington)

Friday 2 August 2013

A Proper Summer
Abundance and diversity were words seldom used in the context of butterflies during the 2012 season, but it's remarkable just how quickly many species have recovered this year. Although Common Blue, Small Copper and White Admiral have been in short supply in Sussex this season, I witnessed an abundance and diversity of butterflies in the conservation meadow at Springhead Hill yesterday, where the situation looked healthier than for many years.

An hour visit slowly turned into a four hour visit, as Colin Knight, Mark Colvin and I wandered through a stunning display of wild flowers and clouds of whites, blues and browns. Between us we collectively saw twenty-eight species in this golden hectare, including Silver-spotted Skipper, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Clouded Yellow, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Small Copper, Small Blue, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Purple Emperor, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath.

The Silver-spotted Skipper discovered by Mark (Colin later found a female) is a significant find, representing another 1 km shift westwards in the Sussex range of this species. The habitat isn't particularly suitable for it, so I imagine the colony will remain small and might be vulnerable to cool, damp summers. However, it does suggest to me that we should be searching better habitat to the west. Male and female Clouded Yellows, a stately Empress and some very large, fresh Painted Ladies were amongst the numerous highlights of a wonderful afternoon.

Later I visited Chantry Hill, a little way to the east. Butterflies were also seen in impressive numbers here, including about twenty Silver-spotted Skipper. A three-way chase between a male Silver-spotted Skipper, Clouded Yellow and Dark Green Fritillary was a first for me. It's great to have a proper summer again! (Neil Hulme)


Yesterday I reported seeing Painted ladies and a Clouded Yellow at Ashington, so yesterday evening I did a survey of a local natural meadow. Silver Y moths were extremely numerous.

This morning I was in Brighton and at 8.30 saw a Painted Lady in Clarence square off West street. On the way home late afternoon I saw seven Painted Ladies on a buddleia at the junction of Dyke Road and Old Shoreham Road. Curiosity had got me so I checked out a buddleia on the downs link path at Shoreham , sure enough more Painted Ladies and lots of Red Admirals.

I also saw Commas and large numbers of Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells , Whites and a Holly Blue . There are loads of Large Whites about at the moment so this all points to migration from the continent especially as we have warm South West winds.

So I would expect more Painted Ladies and Clouded Yellows to be seen . So worth checking a buddleia near you . It also appears promising for catching migrant moths as a Convolvulus Hawk Moth was also seen recently. (Richard Roebuck)


Seaford Walk
Yesterday afternoon I decided to follow up some reports of wild damsons, and also see how our new vineyard north of Seaford was progressing. I walked north along Blatchington Road and as soon as I accessed the Blatchington golfcourse down the track I was amazed at the myriads of wayside butterflies, a patch of rampion sustaining Large Skippers and Small Skippers, a Common Blue, countless Gatekeepers and a fresh-looking Painted Lady. This continued until I gained the north-facing slopes opposite the vineyard which appear to be cropped regularly. Cattle were seen to graze there.

Here the hedgeside produced Blues, Skippers, Gatekeepers in huge numbers, and the star, a pristine Brimstone. More Painted Ladies and one solitary Peacock were found at a patch of shaded thistles. Once in the open the Chalkhill Blues appeared everywhere. Sadly and rather worryingly not one Small Tortoiseshell was seen out of the thousands I observed, nor even a Comma. My walk ended at High and Over, after probably one of the most productive butterfly treks in recent years. But where are all the Tortoiseshells?

On July 15th I helped pick litter at Tidemills, between Seaford and Newhaven. Large numbers of Whites appeared to be flying in off the sea. Some then attempted to lay aggs on the sea-kale. Whilst obviously a brassica, would this not be too salty for the caterpillars? (Bob Brown)


Crowborough Garden
The last two days have been very active in my Crowborough garden. Today, on my buddleia, all at the same time there were Peacock (7), Comma (2), Red Admiral (2), Brimstone (3), Large White (3), Meadow Brown (4), Silver Washed Fritillary (2), Painted Lady (2), plus Large Skipper (2), and Small Skipper (4), and Gatekeeper(4) on the lavender. (Simon Quin)


Painted Ladies
A single, bright Painted Lady at Suntings Farm today, along Chuck Hatch Lane near Hartfield. (Tom Simon)

This evening in the rain at Pagham Harbour, I was surprised to see three or four Painted Ladies sheltering under the oak trees on the west side - my first sighting this year of them. (Andrew House)

Sixteen very fresh Painted Ladies this morning at Seaford Head followed by two Clouded Yellow at Peacehaven in the afternoon. (Matt Eade)

In the moth trap this morning was a smart Jersey Tiger, an unexpected bonus along with an Oak Eggar and many other moths. A fresh Painted Lady has been in the garden all day as well nectaring. Grayling were numerous on Wilminton Hill including a mating pair and two Grayling also seen on the path up to the site including one well away from Wilminton Hill. (Bob Eade).

31 July; Pulborough Brooks RSPB Nature Reserve
On Wednesday, I saw a single Clouded Yellow feeding on mayweed near the visitor centre. A very fresh painted lady also noted near the trail at West Mead. (Peter Hughes) {Sorry Peter, I missed this one on Thursday:- Sub Ed}


The World’s most Beautiful Butterfly
Recent news: It’s great to see the world’s most beautiful butterfly, the Peacock, doing so well at the moment. I counted at least sixty on buddleias in the northern part of Rewell on Thursday 1st August, where they jostled for position with numerous Silver-washed Fritillary, Brimstone and occasional Red Admiral and Painted Lady. This morning (Friday 2nd August) I was surprised to see a female Gatekeeper in my small, central Worthing back garden (TQ144028) – unusually urban for this species. (Neil Hulme)

Thursday 1 August 2013

Big Butterfly Count I
An excellent day for butterfly spotting in the garden. I logged twelve species including the first new species seen in my garden for nine years: Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and first time in twenty-six years Dark Green Fritillary (photo to follow when Ed gets back). All except Holly Blue were on Buddleia. This was for the Big Butterfly Count sponsored by M&S. Their sponsorship contribution to Butterfly Conservation funds is related to the number of people who submit counts so please do!
(Peter Atkinson)

Big Butterfly Count II
I decided to spend fifteen minutes or so walking around the edge of a bean field by the side of a copse, at the rear of my house, where there are wide uncut margins and lots of thistles and other flowers at the field edge.

It was very warm with light breeze. Butterfly activity was fantastic and as well as large numbers of the common species I got some rather special visitors too.

Small White 15, Large White 33, Peacock 22, Meadow Brown 24, Gatekeeper 18, Small Skipper 13 , Large Skipper 3 , Essex Skipper 2, Comma 3 , Ringlet 2, Small Copper 1, Marbled White 1 Common Blue 2, Purple Hairstreak 1( oak tree), Small Tortoiseshell 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1 , Painted Lady 2, Clouded Yellow 2 and a single worn Six-spot Burnet.(Ashington)

That's nineteen species. It goes to show that with sympathetic farming, wide untreated and uncut field margins and kind weather, butterflies thrive. Mind you the thistles at the edge of the field did escape the sprayer.

Lastly the first Holly Blue seen of summer brood at Woodmancote his afternoon (TQ2414)
(Richard Roebuck)


Mill Hill Transect
Yesterday morning I completed my Mill Hill transect with the following results: Brimstone 4, Chalkhill Blue 110, Common blue 2, Gatekeeper 16, Green-veined White 1, Large White 2, Marbled White 2, Meadow Brown 138, Peacock 11, Red Admiral 3, Small Copper 1, Small Heath 1, Small Skipper 1, Small White 1, Wall 1, misc whites 9, also Silver Y 5. Chalkhill Blues, Meadow Browns and Peacocks have increased since last week, and this was the first second brood Wall on Mill Hill. I then visited Chantry Hill and recorded Brimstone, many Chalkhill Blues and worn Dark Green Fritillaries, Gatekeepers, Large Skippers, many Large Whites, Meadow Browns, Red Admiral, Small Heath, 3 Silver Spotted Skippers and a pristine and very beautiful Clouded Yellow (photo on my website) landed in front of me and nectared on thistle long enough for some shots. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)


A Conflict in the Garden!
This year, for the first time, I created a small vegetable plot in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618), and have been growing some salad vegetables. During the last few weeks, I have noticed Small Whites and Large Whites frequenting the Radish plants and assumed they had mistaken them for Cabbage plants (I haven't any Cabbage plants in the garden).

Yesterday I noticed some of the radish leaves had been eaten and closer examination revealed Small White caterpillars happily eating away.(On the top side of another leaf were a cluster of yellow eggs, which I believe are those of the Large White.

I see from my butterfly book that it is not unusual for the Small White and Large White to lay their eggs on radish leaves, in addition to the more common brassica (cabbage) plants.

This is the first conflict between my new vegetable garden and my interest in butterflies and moths, and I guess it is likely to increase as I grown more vegetables. I have persuaded my wife to forego the remainder of the radish plants in the interests of the butterflies in return for promising to sow more radish seed! (Chris Page)


A Day of Firsts
Well, after a week of posting other folk’s sightings on this Website I decided I would get out and about myself. So today Katie Walker and I went to Wilmington on the Downs. First of all, what fantastic views; From the top of the Downs the cars and lorries on the A27 looked like models set in a diorama of corn yellow fields, lush green woods and huddled farms and villages. Arlington Reservoir laid a cool and inviting azurite blue in the near distance and, no kidding; on the hazy far horizon I could see Barnes Wood over twenty kilometres away.

I had not seen a Chalkhill Blue butterfly until today. Now I have seen hundreds. We also saw Red Admirals, Small Whites, male and female Brimstones, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, male and female Common Blues, Small Skippers, a couple of Dark Green Fritillaries, a Small Heath and a Marbled White.

Until today I had not seen a Wall Brown before either. Katie suggested that at a distance a good description of the Wall Brown is "as halfway between a brown and a fritillary". That worked for me, so another notch on the tally stick.

But the best was left for last. Along an escarpment of short cattle grazed grass, pock marked by little patches of bare chalk, possibly the result of rabbit excavations, a butterfly crouched among the stones. This butterfly was the Grayling. We saw at least half a dozen.

So today, thanks to the Downs, I saw three more species for the first time. I am a devoted fan of the woodland of Rother, but the Downs are well worth a visit once in a while too. (Jim Barrett)


The Butterflies of Mill Hill and the outskirts of Shoreham
Butterflies were far too many to count on the outskirts of town and Mill Hill in the humid warm sunshine. I did attempt to count the Chalkhill Blues on the one acre transect on Mill Hill and it came to eighty of the blue males and no females noted. There was a big surprise with my first definite Dark Green Fritillary in Shoreham, flying very strongly over the southern part of Mill Hill, over the Ragwort without settling. Altogether, I managed to spot twenty different species of butterfly with sixteen of these on Mill Hill. This was my second highest species tally ever in about an hour and half of butterfly watching. Gatekeepers were probably the most numerous and common amongst the scrub and hedgerows. However, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, Holly Blues, Marbled Whites, Large Whites, were all frequently seen and there were at least dozen each of the brilliant Peacocks and male Common Blues.

In the shade of the trees at the top of The Drive, north Shoreham, I noted my first of two of the impressive hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) this year.

Full Butterfly Report here (Andy Horton)


Migrants have been active today with large numbers of Silver Y moths, but much better was a Hummingbird Hawk moth in the garden and a very fresh Painted Lady on Cradle Hill. (Bob Eade).

Twelve Peacocks on the Buddleia in my Storrington garden. This is a record for the garden. Twenty three species at Kithurst Hill. Pretty much the same species reported by Neil Hulme a few days ago. However, there was a Clouded Yellow in excellent condition. Any other species and I would have said it was freshly emerged. It was feeding avidly on Field Scabious. (Martin and Mary Kalaher; Storrington)

A good show of vanessids in our garden today, despite a brisk wind. One each of Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Painted Lady, and eight Peacocks. (Graham Parris; Isfield)

Wednesday 31 July 2013

On Tuesday 23rd July I reported seeing Purple Emperors at the top of a large oak tree near my home in Ashington. Today, eight days later, I saw again a single male circling at about 5.30(pm).

In addition I have a very large horseradish plant in there garden which has numerous small, white eggs on the leaves and I also found one late instar caterpillar deep in the foliage.

There was also a nice batch of large white caterpillar eggs which recently hatched but alas all the tiny caterpillars have disappeared presumably predated . Horseradish is a member of the Brassica family so ideal for Large White and Small Whites to lay eggs on. (Richard Roebuck)

Found my third type of Pyrausta at Frog Firle today, July 31st. This one was Pyrausta Nigrata (previous were Pyrausta Purpuralis and Pyrausta Despicata). Also a Gallium Carpet today. Scores of Gatekeeper, also Essex Skipper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Large White. (Mike Kerry)

At last, the 2nd brood of Wall Brown are starting to show with two seen at High and Over today. (Bob Eade)

Another B.C. member, Trevor Rapley, and I visited Windover Hill this afternoon between 15.30 and 18.15 hrs. We were fortunate to see in excess of Twenty Graylings including a mating pair as well as numerous Gatekeepers and Chalkhill Blues together with several Silver-spotted Skippers. The sky was overcast and a light to moderate wind was blowing throughout our time at the site. We noticed that the Graylings were still active when we left at about 18.15 hrs. (Douglas Neve)


Previous News
Update for July 25th Now that I've identified them from my photos; Pyrausta Despicata and Chalk Carpet moth at Frog Firle, Seaford. Update for July 28th Four to five Magpie moths and one Small Magpie moth at Blatchington Golf Course, Seaford. (Mike Kerry)

Butterflies seen on 27 July to 28 July
(TQ176105) Steyning: Second generation Brimstone, plus Red Admiral, Comma, Peacock and Large White.
(TQ330048 to TQ345055) Brighton Racecourse: Comma, Common Blue, Marbled White, Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.
(TQ345055 via TQ3404 to TQ352039) scattered Marbled White, many Large White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet, isolated Small Heath and Small Copper.
(TQ3503) approaching Ovingdean: Marbled White, many Large White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet, isolated Small Heath and Red Admiral, Large Skipper, Small Skipper.
(TQ3502 & TQ3602) approaching Rottingdean: Marbled White, many Large White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet, some Small Heath, isolated Small Skipper, Small Copper.
(Kettering: A Lime Hawk moth caterpillar on pavement beneath a lime tree). (Mike Warren)

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Previous News
Sunday 28 July:A pair of Small Whites mating in my garden near Pulborouogh.(TQ0618) (Chris Page)

Monday 29 July 2013

Previous News
Sunday 28 July:While walking along the main track in Houghton Forest (SU998108) we saw a male Purple Emperor fly overhead, giving us a brief flash of purple. (Alison Skelding)

Sunday 28 July 2013

Target One Hundred
We took a hike today from Horsted Keynes to Kingscote. A great walk through some lovely Sussex scenery. We recorded butterfly species along the way to fill in some gaps for the Sussex Butterfly Atlas. A Kingscote we jumped on the Bluebell Railway and headed back to our starting point. The sallow-lined network of fishponds just north of Horsted Keynes looked like a likely place for Purple Emperors so I kept an eye on the canopy as we passed by. Sure enough I had a brief glimpse of the Emperor high above the anglers - another purple square on the Sussex Butterfly Atlas. We now have 83 tetrads in Sussex where Purple Emperor have been found since 2010. Can we get to 100? (Michael & Clare Blencowe)


As I had a few hours to spare around lunchtime I decided to pop into Hollingbury Park to see if there were any White-letter Hairstreaks about. I didn't get a chance to look last year so it has been a couple of years since I saw my last one. It took a while to see my first today but once I got my eye in they seemed to be everywhere, I even had two on one thistle at one point! I estimate I had ~15 sightings but whether they were different individuals it is hard to know. I suspect not but there were certainly good numbers present, if not fairly tatty ones - and considerably more than I have ever seen at this site. Some photos here (Leigh Prevost)

A Hummingbird hawkmoth feeding at flowers of honeysuckle and jasmine in my Keymer garden. (Malcolm Le Grys)


Butterfly and Moth Walk, Swanborough Hill, Saturday 27th July
Starting with a look at Red Admiral eggs on Wall Pellitory, walkers topped up on tea and biscuits before girding their loins for the steep North - East ascent of Swanborough Hill. Taking frequent stops en - route to admire the numerous butterflies, moths, caterpillars and their foodplants, a fine species tally began to emerge. It soon became evident that Marbled White and `Smessex` Skippers were having a bumper season, and it wasn`t long before eagle - eyed members discovered the target species, Chalk Carpet.

The heat and sunshine remained until lunch close to Juggs Road Bostal on Kingston Hill. Three Purple Hairstreaks fighting around the Ash tops kept everyone guessing as to their larval foodplant - the nearest oak is at least half a mile away. Sallow? Sweet Chestnut? Gingsters Pie and Cheesy bits were going down well! With the threat of imminent rain the walk turned into something of a sprint down through The Street Woods, with a brief stop to admire a beautiful Dark Green Fritillary sipping from Stemless Thistle. At Kingston Church a wedding party lifted the spirits for all, but we won`t go into that... By this stage the rain was lashing down.

Luckily local artist Mary Smythe once again provided cream scones and tea in her delightful garden cottage at the end of the downpour, most apprecated by all. Thank you, Mary.

A total of 21 butterfly species were seen: Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Hedge Brown{More commonly known as the Gatekeeper-sub Ed}, Small Heath, Ringlet, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Large White, Green-Veined White, Small White, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Small Blue ( eggs only ), Small Copper, Purple Hairstreak and Dark Green Fritillary.

Nine moth species were observed, as follows (singletons unless stated): Blastobasis lacticolella (London Dowd), Eucosma cana (Hoary Bell), Crambus perlella (Satin Grass-veneer) (too many to count!), Agriphila straminella (Straw Grass-veneer) (thousands!), Pyrausta nigrata (Wavy-barred Sable), Chalk Carpet (Scotopteryx bipunctaria) (7), Scorched Carpet (Lygdia adustata), Cinnabar(Tyria jacobeaea) larvae (hundreds) and Silver Y (Autographa gamma) (4). Other than the target species, the highlight was undoubtedly the Scorched Carpet. This spindle feeder was possibly a member of a colony which has been recorded since 2000 to the east of Lewes across to Laughton and Halland and up to Chailey (where my only other record of this species was made in 2011 at Markstakes Common). The species must be present in lots of un-worked locations nearby; it's a good record for Swanborough. (Steve Teale and Dave Harris)


Previous News
July 27th I was driving home from work this afternoon - before the thunderstorm - and passed a bank of sallow trees on the eastern edge of Ditchling village. Feeling lucky I pulled over, grabbed my binoculars, got out of the car and looked high into the ash trees behind the sallow. Straight away I saw a pair of battling male Purple Emperors. Buoyant after this discovery, and now feeling rather cocky, I decided to make a detour on the way home and headed north from Ditching. When I found the next woodland on my route I stopped, grabbed my binoculars once more and scanned the tree line. Lo and behold another male Purple Emperor. Two new squares on our Sussex Butterfly Atlas map and more confirmation that the Emperor is alive and well in the Ditchling / Westmeston / Plumpton area. 2013 is really turning into a bumper year for this butterfly - if you're out in the countryside over the next two weeks it's worth keeping an eye on the treetops (Michael Blencowe)

Saturday 27 July 2013

Yippee! One White-letter Hairstreak in my Brighton garden today. It was resting on some gravel for a few minutes - great to see them close up. Probably newly emerged as it was in very good condition. (Caroline Clarke)

Mary and I had a brief look at Chantry Hill and had at least a dozen egg-laying Dark Green Fritillary in an area of approx half an acre. Given favourable weather conditions I suspect that this could be a one hundred plus Dark-Green Fritillary site in the next two to three years. We shall see. (Martin and Mary Kalaher:(Storrington))

Hundreds of butterflies fluttered over the lower slopes of Mill Hill around midday. In some places, I thought I would tread on the butterflies with an estimated three hundred and fifty plus Chalkhill Blues on the parched down. There was as many Meadow Browns and frequent Gatekeeper and Marbled Whites. (The actual acre transect count of Chalkhill Blues was 78, M76 F2, but I arrived too early and lots more appeared from the short dense vegetationas the sun came out.) Eleven butterfly species were seen in just over an hour.
(Andy Horton :Full Butterfly Report Here)

I spent two hours spent at Castle Hill NR Woodingdean;lots of butterflies seen! Small/Essex Skippers many hundreds if not thousands; Large Skippers still some about perhaps 20; Silver Spotted Skipper 2 definitely seen; Meadow Brown lots; Ringlet 10-15; Speckled Wood 2; Gatekeeper circa 30; Marbled White circa 200; Dark Green Fritillary 30-40; Chalkhill Blue around 200; Common Blue 6; Small Blue 3 ( presumably 2nd brood ); Small White circa 50; Large White 3; Green Veined White 2; Peacock 4; Red Admiral 1; Small Tortoiseshell 2; Painted Lady 2 ( both very fresh probably newly hatched ).
Twenty species seen altogether and I was surprised not to see Small Heath or Brimstone, and rather disappointed not to see Small Copper, though I did see a Holly Blue in transit to the site. (Mark Senior)


Previous News

Twenty-eight species in one day? (Friday 25 July)
My third visit in a week to the Gallops after last Saturday's 'Friston Canter' butterfly walk plus last Friday's dress-rehearsal. This time I repeated the intended circuit all over again but with Cliff and Judith Dean for company. We found twenty-four species all together but more to the point, loads and loads of butterflies .... Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Marbled White, Speckled Wood, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Essex Skipper, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Small Blue, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral, White Admiral, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Brimstone, Small White, Large White and lastly, Green-veined White.

I didn't attempt to re-calculate the Chalkhill Blue numbers, Blencowe-style, but I think it's worth upping Gary Norman's 'hundreds' (of Chalkhill Blues) to 'thousands'. The male/female ratio was still approx 4:1 or even 5:1 but there were plenty of mating pairs (of butterflies) over the rabbit-grazed, horse-shoe vetch areas of flowery downland turf. Still plenty of Dark Green Fritillaries too although some of the males are getting a bit tatty now. There were probably too many highlights to list but a mating pair of Small Blues was up there with them, along with White Admiral (2) and Silver-washed Fritillary (3) along the Friston Forest rides (the latter twice appearing at the 'view point' over Lullington Heath and Friston Forest). Fresh 2nd-brood Peacocks and Brimstones were just out too (look out also for Spear Thistle and Greater Knapweed flowers covered in 6-spot Burnet moths).

If anyone wants to give team Sussex Wood Whites a run for their money, 27 or even 28 species may be possible on this walk over the next week or so without haring around in a Land-rover for eight hours! We didn't find Small Heath or Painted Lady yesterday (seen last week) and missed out on Silver-spotted Skipper and Grayling (just a short detour away over at Windover Hill). Second-brood Wall Brown must be due out soon and surely there's a Purple Hairstreak oak somewhere in the forest too. And who's to say a Clouded Yellow or two aren't going to turn up any day now ....
(Mike Mullis)


July 25th. Several Pyrausta Purpuralis moths, and Cinnabar caterpillars at Frog Firle, Seaford.
July 26th Six Small Blue at Butcher's Hole Bottom, Friston, plus some Large Skippers, Small Skippers and Essex Skippers, and hundreds (thousands?) of Chalkhill Blue. Also Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large White, 6-spot Burnet (hundreds).(Mike Kerry)

Friday 26 July 2013

The Graylings near Wilmington Hill are out and about in good numbers. I saw about 20-25 there today. They are very friendly/inquisitive. One settled on my knee, two settled on my rucksack, and one investigated the sandwich I was eating. (John Kerby)

I went to Friston Gallops today, I saw my first Silver Spotted Skipper of the year, hundreds of Chalkhill Blue, Small Blues, Brown Argus and a lot of other common grassland species. (Gary Norman)

In my garden and meadow near Pulborough (TQ0618) I saw a Red Admiral and a Green Veined White (both the first of the year), Peacock, Small Tortoishell, Large White, Small White and lots of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, including a mating pair on a buddlia bush. I also saw lots of Six Spot Burnets, which together with the Gatekeepers, seem to have settled in our meadow this year. (Chris Page)

News for Thursday 25 This afternoon the cloud cover dispersed so I did my Mill Hill transect with the following result: Chalkhill Blue 63, Comma 1, Dark Green Fritillary 1, Gatekeeper 60, Green-veined White 1, Large White 1, Marbled White 16, Meadow Brown 116, Red Admiral, Small Heath 1, Small White 2, inidentified Whites 8. Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Chalkhill Blues continue to increase, but the big news is the Dark Green Fritillary which is the first I have recorded on Mill Hill. It settled a couple of times, then flew off strongly and left the area. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

Thursday 25 July 2013

1 shiny new Silver-spotted Skipper stood out amongst all the Small Skippers on Blackcap near Lewes. Chalkhill Blues, Marbled Whites, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Large Skipper, Peackock, Common Blue and 1 Dark Green Fritillary also seen. (Mark cadey)

Scarlet Tigers are having a good season with a single seen at Abbotts Wood and double figures along a ride in Friston Forest this week. (Bob Eade)

News for Wednesday 24 July: I started the morning at a beautiful, isolated spot just west of Petworth, where Michael Blencowe recently discovered a small colony of Purple Emperor. It didn't take long before I'd notched up a couple of males, so headed off to look (unsuccessfully) at other potential Emperor sites within Petwork Park. I'm sure they're in there somewhere, but the rarity of suitable sallow precludes a population of any size. In the afternoon I visited Springhead Hill, where I recorded 24 species including Essex, Small and Large Skipper; Brimstone (newly emerged); Large, Small and Green-veined White; Small, Common, Chalkhill and Holly Blue; Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma; Dark Green and Silver-washed Fritillary; Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath. Best of all was a large Empress observed laying eggs from close quarters. A quick visit to Chantry Hill a couple of km away confirmed the presence of approximately 50 Dark Green Fritillary, as recently reported by Dr Martin Kalaher. The recent change in grazing regime is clearly bringing spectacular results here. (Neil Hulme)

News for Tuesday 23 July: A late sightings report, On Tuesday while working with volunteers Ragwort pulling (leaving some for the plentiful Cinnabar caterpillars) on the north scarp of Black Cap, Lewes in warm and muggy conditions. I saw more butterflies than I think I have seen before, there were clouds of them flitting around the grassland in large numbers. 19 species while at work was pretty good going I think. The most numerous were Meadow Brown 600+ and Marbled White 750+ with groups of 10-15 flying together. The other species spotted were Ringlet 10, Large White 25, Small White 3, Green-veined White 2, Brimstone 1 stunning male, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 3, Dark Green Fritillary 1, Small Skipper species c50, only 1 Essex positively Identified, Large Skipper c50, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 3. In Ashcombe Bottom 1 Silver-washed Fritillary was present and 3 Chalkhill Blue on the sides of the Bostal seen while driving off site. Also spotted where large numbers of Six-spot Burnet and at least 10 Silver Y. (Lee Walther)

Wednesday 24 July 2013

4 Wood White (males and a female), the first of the summer brood seen in a Sussex wood near Plaistow. (Margaret Hibbard)

Beacon Hill LNR: Whilst doing my weekly transect count a Humming-bird Hawk-moth amongst about 100 Six-spot Burnets and about 400 butterflies counted. Highest counts were 145 Meadow Brown, 80 Gatekeeper and 76 Marbled White but only 1 Common Blue. (Peter Whitcomb)

A pleasant lunchtime stroll around the nature trail at Pulborough Brooks today was made terribly exciting by the appearance of a Purple Emperor. We believe this is the first confirmed sighting certainly in my time working here (7 years now!) I had paused on 'hairstreak corner' looking up at one of the ash trees where we often see Brown Hairstreak - no sign yet though - and the Emperor flew overhead, back around and then west over some large oaks. It was interesting to read that Michael had seen an emperor in the vicinity too.
Continuing with the purple theme, Purple Hairstreaks can be seen around the oaks at various locations around the trail, and the zig zags and our newly seeded meadow are popular with a good selection of Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Small Skipper and Large Skipper. Comma, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Large and Small White also seen. Not bad going for a half hour lunch break. (Anna Allum)

Following yesterday's report, I went this afternoon to Friston Gallops (aka Butchershole). Conditions were sunny and warm, though with a pleasant cooling sea breeze. Chalkhill Blues were present in very large numbers, especially in the areas which were more sheltered from the wind. The entrance to the site up from the car park and the area to its right are good. Also, if you want a longer walk, the far south-west corner of the gallops is also favoured.
Many of the males were gathered together on the ground, getting moisture from the soil or less pleasant substances. I saw one group with over 20 individuals within a few inches of each other. There were a few females also present, but the majority (at least 95%) were males.
As well as the Chalkhills, I saw Small Blue (3), Small Skipper (20+), Gatekeeper (50+), Meadow Brown (50+), Marbled White (4), Small Copper (1) and one rather faded Dark Green Fritillary. Six-spot Burnet moths were also abundant. In some areas, nearly every flower of ragwort, field scabious or knapweed had at least one on it, often several. (Andy Wilson)

Lots of butterflies on the Rifle Range at the moment including Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Marbled White, Large & Small Skipper, Large & Small White, Small Copper, Brimstone, Peacock & Red Admiral. Following on from Susie Milbank's recent sighting of a Purple Emperor here, a new species as far as I know, I spotted a pair of Dark Green Fritillaries this afternoon, again a new species here I think. (Pete Varkala)

Today I visited the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway Adventure Park (TQ613012), I saw a few butterflies and thought it was worth sending in for the Atlas. I saw the following: Red Admiral (2), Comma (4), Large White (5), Meadow Brown (3) and Gatekeeper (5).
22nd July: I again visited the Dew pond area of Wild Park and saw Purple Hairstreak (4, possibly more) in the canopy of the same ash tree. On this occasion I took a video which you can view here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzlKl3FRuhk
21st July: I visited the Dew pond area of Wild Park and saw Purple Hairstreak (3) in the canopy of an ash tree (TQ32510775).
18th July: I visited Ladies Mile Nature Reserve (TQ319093) top field and saw the following: Marbled White (30+), Meadow Brown (7), Small Skipper (6), Gatekeeper (7) and Large White (3). I then moved onto the back path which follows the edge of the A27 (TQ318095) along this stretch I saw Marbled White (3), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Comma (2), Speckled Wood (1), Meadow Brown (10), Gatekeeper (14), Large Skipper (1) and Small Skipper (4).(Jamie Burston)

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Today Paul Gorringe found a recently deceased male Silver Washed Fritillary amongst a tray of bird's-foot-trefoil in the greenhouse at Stanmer nurseries. (Dan Danahar)

On a walk along the banks of the river Rother between Camber & Rye - Marbled White, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper. TQ933 197
Walk over Devil's Dyke & woods around Poynings - Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Peacock (my first of the year), Small Tortoiseshell. (Caroline Clarke)

A short visit to High and Over again this morning gave great views of heavy rain falling nearby and the sound of thunder. However, hardly any rain fell in Seaford and I was greeted near the gate by a Ringlet with flat opened wings. Many Chalkhill Blues again including at least 7 mating pairs. A fresh Red Admiral and Peacock also seen. (Bob Eade)

Work today took me into London, hot and steamy with the threat of thunderstorms with ominous black clouds. Not surprisingly the many tall construction cranes were devoid of activity. I couldn't wait to get back home to semi tranquillity. After seven I took the dogs for a walk to go to check out Purple Hairstreaks on a huge Oak not far from the end of the garden. At 7.15 I was astonished to see a Purple Emperor at the top of a mighty Oak fighting with a Purple Hairstreak. The Oak which I reckon is 100 feet tall is located unusually where the tree line splits creating a neat East facing vista. Suddenly another Purple Emperor flew out across the vista flying 150 feet to a another line of trees. This takes my local tally to 6 Emperors in the local area. I live next to the A24 and my home is in the middle of a tree line of old Oaks and Ashes on either side Agricultural land. This is not your typical forest with nice wide rides, it's been shaped by agriculture over generations. However it does have the benefit of old thick Sallow stands in damp sheltered areas as well. The point being is that clearly Purple Emperors inhabit our general landscape and not necessarily big forests with nice sheltered rides. It's taken me a couple of weeks to check where the Purple Emperor leck could be after numerous visits at the best time of day however I didn't reckon on this time of day. contd...

On another note our Web guru has banned pics of off piste species and quite rightly so but the unexpected things sneak in and I think that's great. However I was privileged to be involved with the Butterfly race to launch the big Butterfly Count. Part way through strangely I found a Hawk-moth caterpillar on my hat whist sat in a car. It was later identified as a Humming-bird Hawk-moth Caterpillar. Its thriving on Bedstraw I have found in local woods. But the relevance, however bizarre, is that its proof that Humming-bird Hawk-moths, a common migrant, breed in the U.K. So here's a pic of HBHM on my hat. ("Fred " was reasonably popular at last night's moth meeting, born in Hampshire raised in Sussex a good start.) (Richard Roebuck)

I don't know if Butchershole is going to beat its own Chalkhill Blue record this year but, in case anyone is wondering, I saw a huge number there today particularly in the area on the right as you get to the site from the car park. They seem very keen on Field Scabious  every flower had Chalkhill Blues on it, up to 7 per flower. They also seem to like Ragwort  and dog mess. I also saw 7 Small Blue there too, presumably a second brood. (John Kerby)

John also adds...
Nice to see the Citrus Swallowtail. We lived in Malawi years ago and saw it frequently. My only question is whether this one - judging from the underside - might be the Indian version, P. demoleus (aka Lime Butterfly, Lemon Butterfly et al). They must be closely related, possibly varieties of the same species, I dont know.
Shortly after John's observation arrived in my inbox Alex got back in touch with the following:
I've just found out this is actually a Lime Butterfly, not a Swallowtail as I initially thought!
And then Colin Knight e-mailed:
Re. the Swallowtail at Ivy Lake, Mark [Colvin] and I have photographed Papilio demoleus (Lime butterfly) at Earnley Butterflies (http://www.earnleybutterfliesandgardens.co.uk) not far from Ivy Lake, Chichester: http://bit.ly/12gKvYI. It matches the photographs on the sightings page.
Well, that's pretty well unanimous, Excellent. Thanks to all.

While we were driving along the road between Pulborough Brooks and Pulborough a Purple Emperor swooped across the road and over the car. It seems like a good year for The Emperor this year so - while I had some time to spare in West Sussex - I visited a woodland site near Petworth which I always thought looked great for Emperors. I had visited this area in spring last year and, due to the lovely sallow-edged glade, made a note to myself to pop back at an appropriate time and check for Emperors. We walked into the glade and saw our first Purple Emperor within seconds - with a possible further 2 Emperors up in the oaks. I love it when a plan comes together. (Michael Blencowe)

Monday 22 July 2013

As I have stated before, posting photos of exotic species is normally not allowed during the 'season' but this one was seen in Sussex...
I'm pretty sure I saw 1 (if not two) Swallowtails yesterday afternnoon at Ivy Lakes, Chichester. This one appears to have lost part of it tails, but I'm pretty sure its a swallowtail? (Alex Walker)
...You are right about it being a Swallowtail Alex, but the butterfly in your photographs is, I believe, a Citrus Swallowtail, Papilio demodocus normally only found in sub-Saharan Africa and this one has probably escaped from a nearby tropical butterfly house. ed. (happy to be corrected on this identification)

News for Sunday 21 July: A walk around Steyning Rifle Range today turned up a real surprise when I saw a Purple Emperor flying around the tree tops on both my way in and way back at TQ1702811170. Also present were good numbers of Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small and Essex Skippers, Marbled Whites, Small Whites, Large Whites, a Peacock and a Red Admiral. No sign of Brown Hairstreak yet. (Susie Milbank)

The first photograph (above) shows a White Plume Moth that I disturbed today in a pile of brushwood that I was getting ready for a bonfire, in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618). A good job I found it before I lit the bonfire!
The other photograph shows a Large Skipper that visited our conservatory today, the first spotted here this year after no sightings in 2012. After the Small Skipper that I 'rescued' in the conservatory on 17 July, I am wondering what the attraction is in there for the Skipper butterflies? (Chris Page)

White Admiral on my delivery in Domewood, Copthorne today. (Chris Prince)

Plenty of Chalkhill Blues at High and Over, both male and females as well as lots of Marbled White and Gatekeepers. Essex Skippers also showing along with lots of Six Spot Burnet Moths. (Bob Eade)

Only our third ever sighting of the Chalkhill Blue was made at the Butterfly Haven today. (Dan Danahar)

On Thursday I did my Mill Hill transect and noted record numbers of Marbled White and Gatekeepers. I then visited Hollingbury Park and spent an hour with 3 White-letter Hairstreaks. On Friday I joined the Big Butterfly Race and had a brilliant day  see http://colinknight.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/butterfly-drive.html Today I visited Southwater Woods and saw the Silver-washed Fritillary f. valensina laying eggs on oak trunks and also Small Whites laying. One Purple Emperor flew above the master tree by Trout Lane and another whizzed along a foot above the path at the Marlpost Road end. (Colin Knight)

On Sunday at Pangdean Lane Meadows on the outskirts of Burgess Hill TQ292194, spotted a large butterfly skirting along a line of oaks. Thought it might be worth hanging around in case I could get a better look. Further down in a corner where another line of oaks join saw the same again. This time it flew around the tree and down onto a shady branch so I could get a good look at it and confirm it was a Purple Emperor. Then it was joined by another on the same branch and a bit later saw another flying along a line of sallows.
On Monday evening 1 seen flying defending the same tree. Also saw 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 2 new Holly Blue and lots of Purple Hairstreaks. All within a mile of my house. (Mark Cadey)

News for Sunday 21 July: Photograph of one of several Marbled Whites on a dying Ox-eye Daisy in my one acre wild flower meadow near Pulborough (TQ0618). I only saw one during the whole of 2012 (that I wasn't able to photograph). Similarly with Gatekeepers, I only saw one here in 2012, but there are many here this year. I only created the meadow in early 2012 so could they have decided to live here?
The next photograph shows a pair of mating Six-spot Burnets. Again, I only saw one here last year so could they too have decided to live here?
The next photograph shows a Shaded Broad-bar in the meadow that I haven't seen here before. The final photograph is one of two caterpillars feeding on a weeping willow by the pond on the edge of the meadow. I noticed something had been eating the leaves of the willow tree and saw the caterpillars. I will try to identify which moth they are (any suggestions?) - It's a Puss Moth caterpillar, ed.. (Chris Page)

More news for Sunday 21 July: My father, Roy Symonds reports the following sightings from a 3.1 mile circular walk made in the vicinity of Horsley Farm, West Marden (SU7614) where the temperature reached 23 degrees. The walk made by way of well known footpaths, mostly bordering farmland with well established bramble and bracken hedgerows, included areas of mixed woodland. Small White (20), Green-veined White (2), Large White (2), Meadow Brown (49), Ringlet (9), Speckled Wood (9), Gatekeeper (2), Marbled White (2), Silver-washed Fritillary (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Peacock (1). (Richard Symonds)

News for Saturday 20 July:All last week, I'd been quietly concerned about leading Saturday's planned butterfly trek around Friston Forest and Lullington Heath for BC's 'Friston Canter' event, given the recent sweltering weather. So much so that I tried out the route solo the day before - definitely a very hot and sweaty hike on Friday with no less than four big uphill climbs in clear blue skies and temperatures possibly exceeding 30ºC... mad Dogs and Englishmen indeed. Nevertheless it seemed do-able and I jotted down eighteen butterfly species to give us something to aim for the next day.
Come the day and only six people turned up (butterfly spotters obviously aren't daft), plus an elderly dog but not a mad one, thankfully. Given that one person was already hobbling (and due an imminent hip replacement) and another couple had the old Alsation in tow with a fur coat totally inappropriate for hot weather, I was only too pleased to drastically modify the planned circuit. And so the 'Canter' became just a gentle stroll northwards along the Friston Gallops and back, with occasional, very short forays into Friston Forest's shadier rides to try and see some of the rarer species. To be honest, there were so many butterflies along the Gallops it would have taken us about three days to do the planned route at the same pace, such was the interest and wealth of wildlife along the paths. More to the point, we could so easily have missed out on quite a few of the species found, had we stuck to the original route and endured a gruelling hike instead.
Thankfully, the butterfly total (18 species) from Friday's hot and sweaty hike was well beaten on Saturday's gentle stroll (20 species), when Dark Green Fritillaries started appearing in droves mid-afternoon just as the sun finally appeared for more than two minutes (it was generally much cooler and cloudier on Saturday's walk). Other species on Saturday included Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Small Copper, a very fresh male Brown Argus (the last two species both missing on Friday), Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue (loads but mostly males), Comma, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Small, Large and Essex Skippers, Green-veined White (also missing on Friday), Small and Large White. Species seen on Friday's hike but missed on Saturday's stroll included Silver-washed Fritillary (2) and Painted Lady (2).
Our butterfly walk also included a fair bit of a moth-spotting too... Six-Spots Burnets (loads), Forester (several), Pretty Chalk Carpet, Yellow Shell, Common Purple and Gold, Pyrausta Pupuralis (an attractive and very visible micro), Common Grass Veneer, Agriphila tristella (a very common micro) and the inevitable Silver-Y's. And several more interesting moths escaped a positive ID... A supporting cast of wildlife included a Dor Beetle across the main path, a Robber Fly, several Dragonflies (Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker and Emperor  the latter catching a Marbled White on Friday and an unfortunate Meadow Brown on Saturday), a Common Blue Damselfly and a distant Hobby flying through the valley below. All in all, a very productive, leisurely few hours on the Downs. (Mike Mullis)

News for Saturday 20 July: Another sighting of a White Admiral in Lords Wood, Udimore (TQ875185) at noon on Saturday. (Richard Holmes)

News from the weekend: A visit to the Holingbury Park at 17.00 0n Saturday gave up at least 8 White-letter Hairstreaks, two no one thistle floret at one point. A walk into Wild park also revealed a single darting Purple Hairstreak.
A visit to on the morning (9 to 12) of Sunday to Warningore Woods, revealed White Admirals, Silver-washed Fritillary and Purple Hairstreaks all in low abundances but unfortunately no sign of Purple Emperor activity. Other species seen include: Large White, Green-veined White, Large Skipper, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Gatekeeper. (Dan Danahar

News for Friday 19 July: A Purple Emperor flying in the canopy of a line of Oaks (and chasing off a Kestrel at one point) along West Hill lane, just north of Ardingly Reservoir on Friday at about 11:30. (Tom Simon)

Recent news: Following trapped from 19th - 21st July - first half decent session this year: Vapourer, Beautiful China-mark, Privet Hawk-moth, Elephant Hawk-moth, Buff Arches, Heart and Dart, Riband Wave, Buff-tip, Lackey, Buff Ermine, Common Marbled Carpet, Green Pug, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brown-tail, Coronet. Identified micros included Endotricha flammealis, Spotted Shoot Moth (Rhyacionia pinivorana) and finally lots of cockchafers in trap - by far the most I have had in 11 years! (Daryl Perry)

Sunday 21 July 2013

I had a surprise today! Whilst my parents arrived home from the supermarket with some bags of shopping, Dad spotted a large butterfly at the front of our house. Grabbing the camera I dashed outside to find a (rather tatty and worn) male Purple Emperor resting on the paving in our tiny front garden. Only had chance to take a quick photo before he took off and few across the road, along the disused railway line and into the woods opposite our terraced house, (edge of Midhurst, West Sussex). A fantastic 'garden tick'. (Sophie May Lewis)

Six-spot Burnet moths, Meadow Browns, lots of Small Skippers, Large Whites and Gatekeepers, a few Small Tortoiseshells all on eastern side of the ring. Also some lovely Cinnabar moth larvae. Also, on Saturday Dark Green Fritillary and Marbled White, all seen west side of Cissbury ring. (Rhian Standley)

On a baking hot stroll around Iping Common today there was still lots of Silver-studded Blues on the wing - along with Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Brimstone, Silver-washed Fritillary, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood. (Michael Blencowe)

Today it was an early morning White-letter Hairstreak - on my route back from the paper shop, shortly before 9am. It landed briefly on the carriageway at the junction of Saxon Road and Kingsway, Hove (TQ269047). However high up I look, I only seem to see them when they are on the ground. Unfortunately they are very well camouflaged against metalled roads - as soon as it took flight properly it quickly became invisible. They seem to be dispersing southwards with the combination of hot weather and winds tending to be from the north. Not great prospects for this one. There are no elms along Kingsway and if it crossed the road to the seafront it wasn't going to find any there either. In the afternoon, Val and I went for a walk up the track from Offham near Lewes and saw the sort of stuff we'd expected, including Chalkhill Blues, plus half a dozen or so Silver-washed Fritillaries, which we hadn't expected. One of them was quite dark but not as dark as the variety recently posted in the sightings gallery. (John & Val Heys)

On a very warm Sunday evening at Mill Hill, a good variety of butterflies on the wing including firsts for the year in the form of Chalkhill Blue, Gatekeeper, Painted Lady, and Essex Skipper. A small colony of the latter was a surprise find close to the first car park, approx. 30m in from the wooden gate on the right-hand side in the long grass. I identified at least 5 individuals but I suspect there may have been a few more present (this was around 7:45pm). Other species seen included good numbers of Meadow Brown, Wall Brown, and Marbled White, as well as Large White, and Small Tortoiseshell. Loads of Burnett Moths either in the midst of emerging or just emerged. More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/. (Leigh Prevost)

I had a good look at Chantry Hill today but mostly focussed on a Dark Green Fritillary count. My understanding is that in the past sightings have been restricted to ones or twos. Anyway, today there were 40! My guess is that the real count was more like 55-60 as many of the females would have been overlooked. There seems little doubt that the cattle grazing has helped a great deal as subsequent to all that 'poaching' there are violets everywhere. Also 200+ Marbled White, hundreds of Skippers and Meadow Brown in the thousands! (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

After a short walk along boundary road TQ318318 came across up to 15 White Admirals in a sunny woodland ride. Today I went to Worthlodge Forest TQ313351 and saw 2 White Admirals and about 14 Silver-washed Fritillaries, including a female laying 3 separate eggs low down on the north side of some birch trees. (Thomas Parker)

Recent news: On Friday I decided to spend my lunch hour at Hollingbury golf course in Brighton looking for White-letter Hairstreaks. I saw two in about 45 minutes, which was a relief as I didn't see any in several visits last year.
On Saturday I was lucky enough to see a Silver-washed Fritillary form valesina at Southwater Woods. At first I thought it was a giant Speckled Wood! Strangely enough she seemed as fascinated by me as I was by her - flying round me several times and landing on my t-shirt! (John Williams)

Saturday 20 July 2013

1 Grayling seen at Windover Hill today. Also 1 brand new Red Admiral, a lot of Dark Green Fritillary (they seemed to be the most numerous butterfly in some places), Chalkhill Blues, Marbled Whites, Small Skippers and Gatekeepers. Plenty of Mecyna flavalis moths, Six-spot Burnets and about 12 Foresters seen. (Mark Cadey)

Spent all day with female Purple Emperors watching them egg laying in Sallows and pairs of other Emperors falling out of the sky in graceful courting pairs of which I saw four. To get certain shots I had to use ingenuity and after a bit of trial and error to get an open wing shot of a female from the top of my beloved Discovery which is probably the best car in the world to have today. As female Emperors flew around one appeared to fly very low past me along a newly cut ride and then dropped to the ground. I raced after it only to discover it was a female Silver-washed Fritillary valesina form. This only the second one I have ever seen. Who would have thought the colour brown could be such a beautiful colour. Fantastic day again. (Richard Roebuck)

Although the sun was hardly out at all, it was sheltered enough in Tottington & Longlands Woods near Small Dole for us to see: 2 Large Skippers, 1 Small Skipper, 2 Whites, 1 probable Purple Hairstreak, about 5 White Admirals, 1 live & 1 dead Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Comma which settled briefly on my t-shirt just under my chin, about 7 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 2 Speckled Woods, some Gatekeepers and numerous Meadow Browns & Ringlets. At several places in Longlands Wood shrubs had been pulled down and some were partially blocking the paths. I think they were all sallows. Have there been reports of Purple Emperors there & is someone looking for eggs? contd.

After our trip to Tottington Wood this morning, we were sitting in the garden at home. It was nearly 5pm & quite sunny. We'd had whites in and out (probably all small - not settling), a couple of Holly Blues (not unusual) & a Meadow Brown (infrequent in our garden). I looked up to a slight flutter of wings just to my left. A butterfly landed on the lawn 3 feet away and there was the first White-letter Hairstreak we've seen in the garden since we moved here in 1988, walking towards me through the grass. Val didn't see it very well, but I did get some rather rushed pictures (one above) before it flew away which they were sufficient to convince her. Details - seen at TQ271052; not sure where it came from; not sure which direction it went; no elms directly in our garden; several big ones nearby in Wish Park and the street elms round here haven't been pruned this year yet. (John and Val Heys)

News for Friday 19 July: Taken on Friday at the triangle area in Botany/Tugley Woods. Male (Purple Emperor)fed on baited (fish paste spray) ground for several minutes, seemingly reluctant to open his wings in the heat and then took off and settled about 8 feet high in a nearby field maple. It stayed there posing for another 10 minutes before flying down to resume feeding. Magic moments for all present! (George McCarthy)

Friday 19 July 2013
Sorry for the slight delay in the website updates, I had an important engagement with our colleagues in The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Branch... Full report will appear here soon.

Just saw a Neil Hulme on TV (with Nick Baker et al). Does that count as a sighting for Sussex? (Yes, I think it does... ed.) Congrats to the Wood Whites. (Sherie New)

At 3.30pm today I saw a White Admiral (probably male) in Lords Wood, Udimore (TQ875185) sunning itself (briefly) on a bramble leaf. Unmistakable. The first I've ever seen! (Richard Holmes, Udimore, Rye)

Walking up Ditchling Rise in Brighton towards London Road station I spotted this beautiful Scarlet Tiger in a slightly wild front garden. (Steve Wheatley)

Found this Forester Moth yesterday, on a thistle at Friston Gallops, near Butchershole car park. Also saw scores of Chalkhill Blue, 1 Adonis Blue, 2 Comma, many Small Skipper and Gatekeeper and Marbled White and dozens of Six-spot Burnet (Mike Kerry)

Three Purple Hairstreaks showing well in the oaks around Fattengates courtyard Pulborough Brooks RSPB. 19th July 2013 (George Kinnard)

Recent news: On the morning of the 16th I had my biggest catch in the moth trap so far. One particular moth I couldn't find in the books so I e mailed it to Nigel Kemp and Bob Foreman. Both these experts also struggled with the id so it was then forwarded to Colin Pratt who identified it as a melanic form of a Riband Wave. According to Colin this form has not been recorded before in Sussex. Later the same day I came across the ab.pallida Large Skipper that was also a first record for Sussex!! One of those days! (Bob Eade)

Thursday 18 July 2013

At 10am a Purple Emperor came down to the ground and stayed for a few minutes in the garden where I work before heading away TQ332348. Later at home TQ331351 I got my second surprise of the day when a Purple Emperor flew by and headed high up into the nearby trees. (Thomas Parker)

Visited Hollingbury Park, Brighton to check on the White-letter Hairstreaks. About 4 were seen flying high in the ash trees in the woodland area inside the Park (at 9.30 am) where Caroline used to conduct her WLH events and around 10.30 am there were three on the thistles on the western side of the woodland. (Simon Quin)

White-letter Hairstreak on a Hogweed flower at eye level three inches from my nose along footpath beside golf course at Littlehampton West Beach. TQ021013. Checked out the old tip, west of the river by the road bridge for Elms and found more than I expected but no White -letters as yet. (Mavis Hards)

Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) I noticed a burnet moth over the wall in the tall grass of St Leonards Church cemetery, New Church Road, Hove (TQ266053). I can't recall seeing one before in the urban parts of Hove. Today at nearly 3pm I had crossed New Church Road from my house and was by number 147 (TQ272051) when I noticed a small grey-brown butterfly/moth being buffeted by the wind nearly in the gutter. It landed near the middle of the road and I was trying to check it but had to step back for a car. Somehow it came out unscathed from under the car and headed haphazardly across the road at low level with me dodging the traffic in pursuit. My best view of it came when it settled briefly on a chrome hub cap and it was definitely a White-letter Hairstreak. (Checking with the books, it might possibly have been a male rather than a female.) I've seen them elsewhere in Hove but never in 20+ years so near to where I live. The street elms get pruned too heavily & the bigger elms in Wish Park never seemed to have anything on them - I did watch when one of the large ones was cut down a couple of years ago and couldn't see hairstreaks being displaced, despite it being the right time of year. Unfortunately I can't identify a tree which this one might have come from, as it was already at ground level when I first saw it. This was on the north side of New Church Road and having crossed the road with a northerly wind it looked like it would be finding an elm on the south side of the road or even in the park. (John A Heys)

News for Wednesday 17 July July; A Small Skipper decided to visit the conservatory of our home near Pulborough (TQ0618) yesterday. Fortunately I spotted it and was able to release it before the very high heat in the conservatory caused it to die. I Photographed another, on a buddleia bush in my (five acre) garden at Gay Street near Pulborough. (Chris Page)

News for Tuesday 16 July; My father, Roy Symonds visited Stansted Forest (SU745115) on 16th July. A very hot day the temperature in the open being 27.5°C. The following were seen: Small White (12), Meadow Brown (10), Speckled Wood (4), Ringlet (1), Silver-washed Fritillary 8, Small Tortoiseshell (1), Red Admiral (1), White Admiral (7). (Richard Symonds)

Wednesday 17 July 2013

In woods near Ashington at 7.30 Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites were joined at 7.50 with the first Silver-washed Fritillaries and White Admirals and finally joined By iris at about 8.15. As things picked up I saw four iris on the wing together a first for me. At 9.08. One male came to ground interested more in a dog faeces than my carefully crafted and festering smoked haddock concoction (who dares wins and all that). Anyway I spent a good deal of time with him flying around me settling on bushes and returning to the ground. He chose a sunny spot which produced a real photographic problem, initially I took a risk and moved him on. He came down again to a marginally better spot. It was so hot he kept his wings closed only periodically opening them and it was also extremely bright. I had to guess the exposure and guess the timing of when to press the shutter to catch the purple flash. Anyway luck prevailed for a reasonable shot at about 9.30 and then regrettably, I said my good byes. In this hot weather you need to be early, so this explains why I have missed them in the past in the heat of the later morning. I was slightly embarrassed at work a bit later when someone asked why my knees were green ? I said I had been kneeling to an Emperor earlier on. The picture solved the bemusement. (Richard Roebuck)

At last I spotted my first Chalkhill Blue Butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with 14 of the blue males counted in the one acre transect in the heat of the middle of the day. All these new butterflies were restless and none of them settled even for a second. The same restlessness applied to the Marbled Whites with 39 counted on Mill Hill. Twelve species of butterfly and three day-flying moths were seen on a sunny day. (Andy Horton)

One White-letter Hairstreak fluttering around a street tree at The Drive, Brighton - TQ291 053 (Caroline Clarke)

Nice to see at least two White-letter Hairstreaks in my garden at Torfield, Hastings Old Town today. (Sharon Bigg)

Another good day in Hailsham Country Park with the surprise appearance of a White Admiral. Also saw Marbled Whites, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, and numerous Meadow Browns. (Chris Hooker)

After a rather extraordinary day in an entomological context I couldn't resist putting the moth trap on when I got home Quite soon a rather vigorous hawk moth appeared bombing around inside the moth trap. I immediately guessed what it was a Pine Hawk-moth. So as you do, I grabbed it and let it free in the lounge hoping it would calm down a bit. This is only the second one I have ever seen. The last one in Darmstadt, Germany, sat on a Pine trunk 36 years ago, on an exchange visit. So excuse my enthusiasm especially as I have caught all the native Hawk-moths this month, another first for me. 2013 is turning into a really special lepidoptorial year. As Hawk-moths go he may be a bit drab, but side on, quite a cutey really, with the biggest moth eyes I have ever seen. (Richard Roebuck )

News for Tuesday 16 July; Two White-letter Hairstreak at Surrenden Field, Peacock Lane, Brighton - TQ304 076. (Caroline Clarke)

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Just a quick report on the White-letter Hairstreak butterflies I have seen in Brighton so far. I have sighted them at:
- The Twins in Preston Park (09/07/13, 10/07/13, 12/07/13, 15/07/13)
- An English elm in Preston Park near the café nearest to the twins (15/07/13)
- Edburton Avenue on the English Elms down that road (11/07/13, 12/07/13, 15/07/13)
- Osbourne Road on the Huntingdon elms (12/07/13)
- Nectaring on thistles in Hollngbury Park (15/07/13)
On 09/07/13-10/07/13 I spent two days trying to work out what times of day White-letter Hairstreaks are most active. I watched the Twins and on a day with very good conditions (no clouds, very warm) they were active from as early as 8am, with the males doing territorial displays. (Gwen Buck)

Today I visited Hollingbury Park to see the White-letter Hairstreaks, I arrived at 11:30 looking the whole length of the Park, It was only when I got down to the Tennis Glade when I saw my first White-letter Hairstreak down on bramble flowers. I nearly missed it but the sheen on it's wings caught my eye, It stayed down for about two minutes before it was knocked off by a bee, it then flew into the canopy of the woods next to the tennis courts. I then went back up to the area with the creeping thistles on the edge of the woods near the playing area and straight away spotted another. This one was more obliging for photographs and allowed me to look closer, you could really tell how fresh they were by the sheen to the wings and their vivid colour.
Later in the evening I visited Hollingbury Hill Fort on the golf course, the most unexpected Butterfly greeted me, a male Dark Green Fritillary feeding on Greater Knapweed, for anyone who doesn't know this is the first time I've seen them here, I began to think I imagined it when further along I saw another this being a female, I then came across a friend who had seen them a few hours before and mentioned also seeing two, I hope this is the start of them colonising the area and that they flourish in future years. (Jamie Burston)

During a brief visit to Hollingbury Park, Brighton, this afternoon (13.30 - 14.00 hrs.) I was fortunate to spot a single White-letter Hairstreak in perfect condition. Also spotted: Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Meadow Browns. Hazy sunshine, 23 degrees C. and a light wind. (Douglas Neve)

An unusual find of an ab. pallida Large Skipper near Alfriston today along with newly emerged Essex Skippers. Male Banded Demoiselles and Commas were also very evident. A great 2 hours spent. (Bob Eade)

In the lower Cuckmere today, my first Chalkhill Blues of the year, with six found along the footpath that runs the eastern side of the valley. Also a Gatekeeper near the visitor centre, and good numbers of Marbled White and Dark Green Fritillary. (Liam Curson)

Cissbury Ring: Bill Taylor and I walked the transect today and counted 347 butterflies. This included 65 Dark Green Fritillary, 73 Marbled White, 45 Ringlet, 95 Meadow Brown 18 Small Skipper, 13 Large Skipper, and amazingly 1 fresh Grizzled Skipper which we could hardly believe but it sat with wings open. Would this be a late first brood or an early second brood? (Peter Atkinson)

Monday 15 July 2013 (St. Swithin's Day)

White-letter Hairstreaks showing along the Cuckmere valley near Alfriston with up to 7 seen today, probably all male and generally in the treetops. A bit of nectaring did go on the creeping thistle. Large numbers of Gatekeepers around as well. (Bob Eade)

Approximately half-a-dozen Purple Emperors came to ground at Botany Bay during the morning, including two to my moleskin trousers. My daughter Mia Iris and I later saw a further two at Marlpost Wood near Southwater. More at http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4065&start=10000. (Neil Hulme)

Two Silver-washed Fritillaries and one Comma at Warnham mill pond. (Chris Prince)

One Purple Hairstreak (low on vegetation) plus one Gatekeeper, 6 White Admiral, 9 Silver-washed Fritillary and many Small and Large Skipper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown. West Sussex wood near Plaistow. (Margaret Hibbard)

Recent news: I can't resist adding my two-pennyworth to the general Purple Emperor Excitement (PEE?) or maybe less suggestively Purple Emperors Anonymous (PEA). Anyway, having seen Neil's awesome photos of the wonderful PE I had to think back to Tuesday and Wednesday and wonder what on earth I was doing that was so important that it made me miss the start of the PE season. Having kicked myself several times I decided to make amends by trekking out to Botany Bay forthwith (ie Saturday). As I'm sure you all know, it was hot, very hot, all day. It also proved to be my personal best ever day of Purple Emperor sightings. I was lucky enough to see four males on the ground though three out of the four were obviously impatient to get on with the day as they did not stay long. The fourth, though, stayed sipping contentedly for about 10 minutes. Wonderful. Back again on Sunday I saw just one on the ground though more were about in the air. It was a magical weekend and great also to catch up with other butterfly enthusiasts. (Sherie New)

Sunday 14 July 2013

Recent news: Having spent a few days just over the border, on Friday (12th July) I decided to look for Emperors closer to home, in a small, quiet wood near Billingshurst. The morning cloud cover was slow to clear, so I headed off to another site further west (Iping Common) where the sun was already shining, leaving my parents to watch over a couple of belachan baits. I hadn't been at the second site for very long before I received a phone call informing me I was in the wrong place. Later that day I did catch up with the same butterfly my father had photographed in full purpleness, but only managed an underside shot. In the evening I found another male Emperor sitting on a pile of chalk aggregate.
On Saturday (13th July) I co-led a BC Sussex/Hants & IOW walk around Havant Thicket, with Ashley and Jackie Whitlock. 29 of us wandered around this well-managed site in sweltering heat, seeing a wide variety of species, but sadly no Emperors. We were more fortunate at Southleigh Forest on the county border, where 2 males put on a spectacular show for us. Last stop was the Brickkiln Ponds territory near Stansted House, where a single male crossed through the vista at c.3 pm. Thanks to Ashley, Jackie and all who attended.
On Sunday (14th July) it was back to Botany Bay, to lead an RSPB walk with Chris, Helen and Ellie Corrigan. 21 birders were treated to an impressive performance by the Purple One, with several participants seeing their first Emperor. Everyone got excellent views and one obliging male sat at head-height in a hazel, flashing purple every time I pushed a sweaty finger in his face. I stayed into the evening, finally leaving a very active male butterfly at 6.15 pm. At least 10 individual Emperors were seen across the site, with many coming to ground throughout the day. Thanks to the generosity of the RSPB walkers we raised £85 for conservation work by the Sussex Branch. (Neil Hulme)

Neil Hulme kindly guided 21 RSPB members in search of Purple Emperors at Botany Bay on Sunday. Everyone got great views of a perched Emperor which Neil couldn't quite coax onto his finger! Not that anyone minded as this was a "first" for many of the group. The only problem is that we found it quite quickly so my fear is everyone will have left thinking it is always that easy!
Thanks to Neil and thanks to everyone who braved the heat and came along - and donated a generous £85.80 towards the work of Butterfly Conservation. (Chris, Helen and Ellie Corrigan... and Neil!)

Thanks to Neil Hulme and RSPB for a great morning at Botany Bay in search of the Purple Emperor, we were lucky enough to see 4 and one excellent example in close up. The finger in the picture belongs to Neil!! (Arthur Greenslade)

A trip to Botany bay with a number of fellow enthusiasts, we saw 7 individual Purple Emperors and two on the deck. I was quite lucky to get a shot of one male which was in excellent condition and fortunately the angle of the sunlight was kind. (Richard Roebuck)

Yesterday went to Botany Bay in the hope of catching my first Purple Emperor closer than tree top height. Whilst we saw 4-5 individuals, plus lots of Silver-washed Fritillaries, White Admirals, Ringlets, and a lone Wood White, unfortunately the Purple Emperors were staying above head height. Thus, I decided to chance it again today, and was pleased I did as I managed to see my first ever Purple Emperor feeding on ground salts today. Then whilst walking back to the car, another resting at eyeline on some foliage. Wow! Photo above and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/. (Leigh Prevost)

It seems like a switch was flicked and suddenly the butterflies have reappeared! With such glorious weather promised I decided to continue my quest to track down as many local species (to me in Hailsham) as possible.
My wanderings started in Hailsham Country Park on Friday 12th. I added 2 further species to my list for this site; Ringlet and Large Skipper, which brings the site total to 24. But best of all were 3 fresh Marbled Whites so it appears that they breed here. I did see one last year but had thought it to be a vagrant from elsewhere!
On Saturday 13th, I walked the Downs around and behind the Long Man. There were numerous Small Tortoiseshells and Small Heaths. Also present were Marbled Whites but the undoubted stars were the 30+ Dark Green Fritillaries quartering the slopes. All looked in fantastic condition. I then returned to HCP to find 3 Purple Hairstreaks chasing each other around an oak tree.
Today, Sunday 14th, I turned my attention to Abbots Wood. I started at the north end where plenty of Meadow Browns and Ringlets were on the wing, and before long I stumbled upon my first target species, White Admiral. Brilliant, as I've not seen these here before! Then another appeared, and another! By the end of my walk I had seen at least 12 along with 3 or 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries, my other target species for the day. Continuing to the southern end of the wood I came across a lot of Small Skippers along with a Large Skipper and a couple of Essex Skippers (another first for me in this wood). And then yet another first in Abbots Wood for me, a Marbled White. That bought my total of species for this wood to 24 with plenty more possibilities. And that bought an excellent weekend to a close which proved how much variety is on your doorstep if you keep your eyes open! (Chris Hooker)

A while ago I mentioned that I had a Dark Green Fritillary laying eggs last year at Chantry Hill, and that the 'Hill' has been covered in violets this year. Anyway, approx 6-7 DGF today, both male and female. Also on Chantry Hill (with approximate numbers), Meadow Brown (250), Small Heath (50), Ringlet (2+), Large Skipper (50), Small Skipper (20+), Brown Argus (2), Large White (3), Small White (4), Marbled White (10), Common Blue (2m, 1f), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Comma (3), Dark Green Fritillary (6-7 or more?), Speckled Wood (1), Gatekeeper (2), Brimstone (1m). Sixteen species for the day, which I am happy about for July 14th (and all in walking distance). Also a frog on the footpath, whcih refused to give way to me, and a dessicated frog on a steep slope at Chantry Hill (which had no right to be there! - and presumably died of sunstroke!). (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Lindfield (TQ348248): At about 5:15 this afternoon I was idly staring out of the kitchen window when an orange butterfly flew purposefully into the garden. I immediately realised it wasn't the Comma that has frequented the garden for the past few days so I rushed out to see what it was. As soon as I spotted it, it flew up and briefly settled again before heading over the fence and disappearing. However, the very short time I did get to look at it was sufficient for me to identify it with certainty as a Dark Green Fritillary! OK, not quite as exciting as Richard's Purple Emperor encounter but I certainly wouldn't have expected the the first Fritillary I have ever seen in the garden to be a Dark Green. I suspect that this will be a new square on the map for this species and suggests you never know what species you might find, presumably dispersing from their core habitats in this fine weather. This was the second "first" for the garden this week, on Friday I was surprised to see a Six-spot Burnet visiting too.
I took a walk through nearby Costells Wood (TQ366238) yesterday afternoon and the place was alive with butterflies. Here I saw at least 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 4 White Admiral, a Small White, 2 Large White, a Comma, countless Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Small and Large Skippers. One ride I walked along looked as if it should be ideal Purple Emperor habitat, it cuts through tall Oaks and Ash and is lined on both sides with Sallow. I will definitely be returning soon to investigate this possibility further. (Bob Foreman)

News for Friday 12 July: Recent images from the Triangle area (is this in Sussex?) of Tugley/Botany Bay woodland Friday. Arrived around 9.30am weather overcast with no butterflies flying and weather stayed this way until the sun eventually burnt off the cloud about 2 hours later. Pretty soon the first Purple Emperor came down on horse droppings to which I added some urine??. I calculated that there were at least six individuals seen (not all by me) over the next 3 hours. I have been going to this wood for over 20 years and this was my best day ever for these magnificent butterflies.
Richard your under-wing shot has to be absolutely unique and Neil how do you get the purple on both wings at the same time? (George McCarthy)

Saturday 13 July 2013

Today I manned Sussex BC exhibit at the Arundel Wildlife and Wetland Trust as part of the BBC Summer of Wildlife event. I was assisted in the afternoon by friend Linda Holloway and we enjoyed seeing how keen the children were colouring on butterfly and caterpillar cut-outs, and making butterfly id dials. The day was a great success with kids and parents, who promised to contribute to the Big Butterfly Count. I even saw a Red Admiral, Brimstone and Speckled Wood from my shaded area, and avoided being pecked by a huge brood of teenage Canada Geese which invaded the wildlife garden. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

A Chalkhill Blue passed through our garden in East Dean (TV562984) today stopping for nectar before moving on within a minute.
On Friday 12 July:On my Crowlink Transect saw an Essex Skipper at (TV537974). Also, three Dark Green Fritillary in (TV5397) (David Jode)

Whilst doing a spot of dead-heading in my Seaford garden this afternoon a Humming-bird Hawk-moth flew in, briefly nectared on a Salvia, then quickly flew away. (Stuart Ridley),/p>

Whilst checking for White-letter Hairstreaks I came across a Scarlet Tiger Moth near Exceat. TV5171 9967. (Bob Eade)

News for Tuesday 9 July: My father, Roy Symonds, visited Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve (SU824098) on 9th July, where he reported the weather as very hot and sunny, temperature 24°C. His sightings were: Small White 8, Large White 1, Meadow Brown 26, Marbled White 5, Speckled Wood 1, Small Heath 4, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1 and Large Skipper 2. (Richard Symonds)

Friday 12 July 2013

The Big Butterfly Race - 1 week to go

Plenty of White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillaries, including some females and a Purple Emperor up high at Southwater Woods today. The Mill Hill transect produced my first Chalkhill Blue (1) and Gatekeeper (11) of the season, plus 2 very worn Adonis Blue, 2 Large Skipper, 13 Marbled White, 27 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral, 16 Small Heath, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Whites (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

An Essex Skipper on Ox-eye Daisy and a Six-spot Burnet moth on Knapweed in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618) today. (Chris Page)

I was working at my desk at home 3.00 p.m. when I looked out of the window and about 4 feet away was a male Purple Emperor staring straight at me as it sat on the frame of a slightly ajar window.
I initially nearly fell off my chair and then grabbed my camera. I snapped a couple of shots for the record and he then flew off. Racing outside, he had flown up and was sat on the upstairs bedroom window. The worst possible place to try and get a picture especially with the background. Anyway, took loads of shots and twiddled every knob possible to try to get the exposure right especially as it was telephoto stuff.
He sat there for ages probing the glass with his proboscis. At this time of day this side of the house is in shade so a bit cooler. I then suddenly had a bright idea and rushed upstairs. There he was 3 inches away with only the glass between us. I started to calm down a bit fearing a heart attack. Took a few shots, and as you do, studied his remarkable "Proboscis with the flat tip" and swear blind he was staring at me with the dark spots on the underside of his eyes. I then went back outside. It was near on impossible to see the purple sheen from where I was let alone get the right pic but this was a numbers game and one shot caught him about right. He then took off, did a few circles and then flew round the top of the roof and round a large leylandii. Wow. So I thought after the excitement I had better get on with my work and went back into the house. Blow me if he hadn't returned to the same window frame, this was really surreal so I went out and watched him for a bit while he continued to probe the foam seal around the window. Eventually he took to the wing and after briefly sitting in a small sycamore tree headed straight for a 50 foot oak tree nearby. All in all I had his company for about 45 minutes - he may have stayed longer had I not got too bold and got the steps out for a close view outside. Anyway a wonderful encounter and yes the Purple Haze has once again gripped me. (Richard Roebuck)

Sightings today at 3.00 to 3.30 pm at Broadwater Warren Nr Tunbridge Wells: Brimstone 2 (1M, 1F), Meadow Brown 8, Silver-washed Fritilliary 6, Large Skipper 1. (Rob Thomas)

High and Over was the venue for a quick visit yesterday afternoon where large quantities of Marbled Whites are flying. Gatekeepers are also now starting to emerge along with Small Skippers. A single Dark Green Fritillary was also seen. (Bob Eade)

As the sun broke through at lunch time I spotted at least 2 White-letter Hairstreaks fluttering around the top of the elm trees in Pavilion Gardens in Brighton. Obviously more as a colleague saw at least ten later. (Chris Corrigan)

A afternoon walk at Stanmer Park going through the clearing in Great Wood produced 50 + Meadow Brown, 6 Ringlet, 3 Large Skipper and 1 Comma. (Jamie Burston)

My Storrington garden has come alive with butterflies over the past few days. In the flower meadow there has been a maximum count of 15 Meadow Brown, 10-12 Large Skippers, 6 Small Skippers, 2 Ringlet, 1 Marbled White, 1 Large White, 1 Common Blue. I suspect the Small Skipper numbers will increase over the next few days. (Martin Kalaher)

Thursday 11 July 2013

With the weekend looming and the weather forecasters predicting more lovely sunshine, here are a few Purple Emperor pics to whet your appetite, all taken at Botany Bay on Wednesday and Thursday. Venues such as Southwater Woods get very busy at this time of year, so once you've bagged a couple, why not head out to a less popular wood and get one all to yourself. They're far more widespread than they want us to believe and some very good sites were discovered last year. (Neil Hulme)

We went again this morning to the Tugley Wood/Botany Bay area. Arriving at 10 am in much cooler conditions than of late, we trudged up and down for two and a half hours with only a brief glimpse of a Purple Emperor at canopy level. Having other commitments in the afternoon, we said goodbye to all the other enthusiasts and started to walk back to the car. Within a few yards we found an Emperor on the ground near some fresh horse dung. He flew around for a while but looked like he would come back. Summoning the rest of the "paparazzi", we waited a few minutes and were eventually rewarded by two prolonged sessions with him on the ground. There were 4 of us clicking away with 3 further onlookers. I was lucky enough to get one nice open-winged shot showing the purple sheen. Quite a surprise for the lady on horseback leading a second horse, who was kind enough to wait while we focussed on the butterfly "royalty". (Andy Wilson)

I have spent some great days at Southwater Woods and Tugley Wood this past week. Plenty of White Admirals at Southwater and Purple Emperors at Tugley. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

Following a discussion at a planning meeting for the forthcoming Sussex Butterfly Atlas with regard to habitats and habitat photographs, this may be slightly left field, but at Southwater I watched a White Admiral under some nettles presumably getting minerals or moisture. I watched it for a while marching about and then took a photo. I say habitat picture because this for me captures the White Admiral perfectly as a creature inhabiting "the light and shade". It reminded me of being in a rainforest in a far off land.
Reference Chris pages pictures of mating Meadow Brown and Ringlet, I also posted a similar pic 12th July 2010 and I have only seen this occurrence once. I have seen similar pics on the web , however it must be fairly rare to witness .Unless anyone else knows differently. When I saw the event I was pretty astonished at the time. (Richard Roebuck)

Another Silver-studded Blue site seems to be surviving on Ashdown Forest - south-east of Old Lodge stream at TQ 460/1 294/5. I have seen it there for years, always in small numbers. Today I saw 3 there, with another about 250m away. On a brief visit to Smugglers afterwards I saw 2 there. All males. Incidentally the Large Skipper and Small Heath populations in those areas seemed very healthy. (John Kerby)

A afternoon visit to the Hill Fort on Hollingbury Golf Course produce a single and very attractive Painted Lady, it kept having to fight off a Small Tortoiseshell so it could bask on the bare path in peace. (Jamie Burston)

News for Wednesday 10 July: Southwater Woods producing plenty of White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillaries right now but only the occasional Small Tortoiseshell. Marbled Whites increasing and skippers in good numbers. Commas being commas and staking out the rides and challenging anything that flies past them. No P.E. seen. One ride rather messy due to timber extraction with logs covering much of the vegetation/foodplants on one side.
If you are up for a challenge see if you can identify this Skipper at http://www.georgemccarthy.com/newsletter.php taken on holiday in Spain. Still interested in your adder sightings and pleased to announce that I am now engaged in a 5 year study of the adders on the Steyning Rifle Range. Tin will be going down shortly. You might be reassured to know they are not in the main area of the brown hairstreaks. (George McCarthy)

Wednesday 10 July 2013

My wife and I called into Tugley Wood at about 5:15 pm this afternoon on my way home from a trip to the West Country. We weren't expecting any action so soon, but a few yards in from the southern entrance, we disturbed a Purple Emperor. He flew around for a while but then disappeared. We decided to press on to the area known as the Triangle, where we met 3 other enthusiasts who had seen several Emperors during the day. On the off chance, some of us then went to the High Point where we were lucky enough to see one on the ground at about 5:45 pm. He stayed for about 10 minutes, then flew away up an oak tree, but after a while returned to land right at our feet, where he stayed for another 5 minutes or more. (Andy Wilson)

Had to go to Petworth today, so, on the return journey I decided to visit Southwater Woods for only the second time ever. The first time in 2009 I saw my first Purple Emperor in 26 years. This time I saw another. The weather had just clouded over as he settled in front of me. He opened his wings a few times but I was unable to capture that iconic sheen. (Bob Coleman)

Spent half an hour around the twin elms in Preston Park today, at least 10 White-letter Hairstreaks flying about. However one landed fairly low down and allowed me to get a quick picture! (Jake Gearty)

I passed by the Hollingbury Industrial estate reserve so I went in for a quick look, I saw 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Ringlet, 2 Marbled White, 2 Meadow Brown, 3 Large Skipper, 1 strongly coloured male Common Blue and 3 tatty Small Blue. In the afternoon I visited again to have a proper look, the reserve is covered in yellow made up of Bird's-foot Trefoil and Kidney Vetch, I now saw 6 Small Tortoiseshell, 7 Ringlet, 6 Marbled White, 4 Meadow Brown, 4 Large Skipper, 7 Small Skipper, 2 Common Blue, 5 Small Blue and 3 Brown Argus. (Jamie Burston)

White Admiral of the year from Tottington woods, near Small Dole. (Pete Varkala)

On a walk his evening, from about 6.45 onwards, every large oak I studied along a bridleway had 2 or 3 Purple Hairstreaks flying near the top (TQ1117). So probably worth a look at an Oak tree near you about this time especially if it's fairly still. In a small field at TQ110171, I counted about 20 Small Tortoiseshells. The field is unused and nettles are growing in profusion. (Richard Roebuck)

My enthusiastic colleague, Jeramy Holtom, saw these Scarlet Tigers in his back garden in Brighton yesterday. He used his camera phone to take the images, hence the quality. (Dan Danahar)

News for Saturday 6 July: Three Dark Green Fritillary were seen together in long grass on Saturday on the cliff edge between Belle Tout and Beachy Head, GR TV570953. The wind was quite strong and the sun was out all day. They cavorted with each other but there were no attempts at mating that we saw. This was a first for us but just a dot on the map for you! (Jerry & Anne Whitman)

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Between Littlington and Alfriston I did my Small Tortoiseshell count again, once again due to the path being closed I didn't manage the whole route. However, 64 were counted despite the brisk breeze keeping some of them hiding in the long grass. My other aim was to look for White Letter Hairstreak and a couple were seen high in the elms. This colony I have been watching for some time and I have never seen any nectaring low down.
Meanwhile I had a text from Matt saying he had a Gatekeeper near Charleston on the edge of Friston Forest. He also had a Clouded Yellow near Arlington. (Bob Eade)

Following on with the roadside verge discussions. I stopped by a junction as I had just seen a Marbled White. Further investigation revealed a small colony and in addition Ringlets and Small Skippers. A mating pair of Marbled Whites gave a photo opportunity. The female was clearly newly emerged as her wings were still quite flexible. I have also included a Habitat picture. I noted that sympathetically the verge has only been mown about 1m from the curb edge, preserving the flowering plants and grasses behind.
And a little later...

It is quite clear that our lovely butterflies are emerging not only on mass but what also could be a narrow window of opportunity. I set off from home early this evening with the hope of getting some pics of newly emerged White Admirals. Although I saw in excess of five individuals in a local wood they were all extremely active patrolling the trees about 10 feet off the ground I watched them for about an 1 /30 hrs. trying not to be distracted by everything else including one Ringlet which unusually had the cream markings you normally see on the occasional Meadow Brown. Commas were extremely feisty having tussles with Meadow Browns, White Admirals, Ringlets, Large Skippers and even Broad-bodied Chasers were fair game for their attentions. Indeed my observations brought up more questions due to seeing a very worn Peacock, especially since the summer generation does not seem to be apparent yet. I digress. Camping out at one bramble patch a White Admiral started to nectar briefly and after each feed was supercharged and off again. I couldn't get near it, but eventually despite wading through the brambles he(?) calmed down and I was privileged to see close up the sheer beauty of this butterfly (seriously, click on the image). Arguably perhaps the most stunning underside of our native species and curiously the evening light showed the blue and purple iridescence at the base of the wings. Also seen Small Tortoiseshells, Marbled Whites and a single Small White and on the way home several courting Small Torts who found the ashes of a large bonfire the perfect place to sunbathe and court and why not. (Richard Roebuck)

Today I spotted the first Ringlet in my garden near Pulborough (TQ0618) for several years. It was mating with a Meadow Brown. Is this unusual as I haven't seen two different butterfly species mating before? After landing on a shrub they settled on the glass of the patio sliding doors and then on the white plastic guttering. (Chris Page)

While studying bees and insects on bramble flowers this morning, I saw a White Admiral butterfly, TQ645102 grid ref, in woodland at the edge of a field, c. 300m south of Herstmonceux Castle, c. 30m south of the 1066 bridleway. (Francis Ratnieks)

Today in the heat of the day I was delighted to see that the crop of Small Tortoiseshells, that I had previously reported upon as caterpillars from the Butterfly Haven, had eventually emerged en-mass. They were in pristine condition and on my standard transect I recorded 11, although there were many more than this. Also recorded were Small Skipper (1) Large Skipper (2) Small Blue (2) Common Blue (2) Small Copper (1) and Meadow Brown (5). (Dan Danahar)

Still 2 Grizzled Skippers near to Saltdean, very worn individuals I could only manage a picture of this one (Grid ref TQ3896003658).
Also, this Dark Green Fritillary first spotted by Liam Curson was flitting around the area of small vegetation next to the west arm at Brighton Marina. As far as I'm aware this is the only record of the species at this site? (Jake Gearty)

East Preston: Had these two Hawk-moths, Poplar and Elephant in the trap this morning. (George Kinnard)

Monday 8 July 2013

This afternoon Gwen Buck (an undergraduate student who is studying the White-letter Hairstreak for her B.Sc. dissertation) and I went to look for the White-letter Hairstreak at Hollingbury Park, Brighton. Despite good weather we saw nothing, so we then moved on to the Preston Park Twins, both English Elms and within 10 mins we saw about 4 individuals flying high in the canopy. The butterflies appeared to be concentrated on the sunny side of the tree. We then moved on to look at some Smooth-leaved Elms, were we saw a single butterfly flying pass the canopy. No White-letter Hairstreaks were seen on a Cornish Elm, where they had been seen in the past. (Dan Danahar)

I visited Southwater Woods this morning where Silver-Washed Fritillaries and White Admiral are now starting to fly. All the individuals appeared very fresh and I saw about 6 of each. Also saw Meadow Brown (numerous), Specked Wood (numerous), Comma (2), Red Admiral (1), Large Skipper (4), Ringlet (3).
Later, at Tugley Wood, it was very hot and little was flying. Saw Silver-Washed Fritillary (2), White Admiral (3), Wood White (4), Comma (1) and Brimstone (1). I was told I had missed a Purple Emperor on the ground at about noon. I hung around but unfortunately it didn't reappear. (Andy Wilson)
As the report of the Purple Emperor is anecdotal I have not marked it in the traditional colours of a "first sighting". ed.

Plenty of Dark Green Fritillaries around Friston Forest where I did my Wider Butterfly Survey. This was the most numerous butterfly and they were in good condition. (Bob Eade)

I visited High Brede High woods on Sunday hoping to see White Admirals or Silver-washed Fritillaries alas this was not to be but in addition to Jim's report I did see two Small Skippers near the smaller car park.
Early this evening I visited my favourite site at Wiston and I counted 5 White Admirals which all seemed in very good condition. I presume these were males as they were busy persistently searching through the small trees. This is definitely an improvement on last year for a single visit in this location. Only one stopped briefly to nectar on bramble flowers. I also saw a single Silver-washed Fritillary which I reckon was newly emerged - it sped off the instant I saw it. With these high temperatures, life cycles accelerate so it may be worth getting out into the woods soon. Also seen Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Large and Small Skippers, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, Red Admiral, Large and Green-veined White.
On a slightly different note, whilst observing the moth trap last night I spotted a the light from a glow worm in the garden. On further investigation I realised that a winged suitor had arrived. I don't know whether she saw stars, but he certainly knocked her lights out, possibly a pretty rare sight - job done or perhaps romance in the Glow worm world. (Richard Roebuck)

Looked around Warningore Wood (TQ381138) with my dad on Sunday morning. No purple butterflies yet, but 12 or so Small Tortoiseshells in a small area leading up to the wood including a Female ovipositing and good numbers of Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Large Skippers along the main ride. In the afternoon at The Gallops, Friston there were plenty of Dark Green Fritillaries mostly just below where the horses run. Also some Marbled Whites, Forester Moths and quite a few Six-spot Burnets.
Monday afternoon/evening I checked out Blackbrook Wood near Burgess Hill (TQ343174) and found 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries and 2 Commas. (Mark Cadey)

Silver-washed Fritillaries and White Admirals beginning to emerge in good numbers today mostly looking very very fresh. More Silver-washed on Eastern side of the road and White Admirals on the West. Sightings: Speckled Woods many
Meadow Brown many (including 1 miniature around half size)
Silver-washed Fritillarycirca 15
White Admiral circa 6
Ringlet circa 5
Small Tortoiseshell circa 5
Large Skipper circa 4
Comma 3
Red Admiral 2
Small Skipper 1
Dark Green Fritillary 1 (a bit worn with some edge damage)
Many of these seen in the company of Andy Wilson with whom we trailed round the Western wood. (Mark Senior)

An evening wander around Cissbury Ring this evening turned out to be quite productive with 12 species recorded between 6-7:30PM. First of the year included at least 3 Dark Green Fritillary, 2 Marbled White, and 1 Small Skipper, possibly a few more. Other species seen included: Meadow Brown, numerous Large Skippers and Small Heaths, a handful of Common Blue and Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Red Admiral, 1 Large White, 1 Dingy Skipper (somewhat of a surprise), and a possible Brown Argus. More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48896022@N08/. (Leigh Prevost)

Sunday 7 July 2013

Anchor Bottom: At least 2 high speed Dark Green Fritillaries in the valley bottom (near the old fence line). Also 2 much more sedate and obliging Painted Ladies. (Chris and Helen Corrigan)

I was rather pleased to see this rather fresh Comma which is the beautiful, bright hutchinsoni form in my garden this afternoon. (Richard Roebuck)

Went with son Carl to the Southwater woods on July 6th., but found very little to get excited about, but one White Admiral resting in the shade under the well known Master Tree, approx. three sightings of Silver-washed Fritillaries, all very mobile, plenty of Ringlets and Meadow Browns and on July 7th. in the Wiston area had one White Admiral, one Female Brimstone, again approx. 3 individual sightings of Silver-washed Fritillaries, one Marbled White, and lots of ( I think ?) Small Heaths (Very similar flight to the Hairstreak family) all flying above 8 - 10 feet and higher, and never landing ?? , and one Female Brimstone. Lots of Small Tortoiseshells Wyckham Lane Steyning, during last week. (Carl and David Geoghegan)

News for Friday 5 July: The Large Skipper has appeared in quite good numbers in Sussex this year, and it now appears that the Small Skipper might also do quite well. In the morning I counted 25 of the former species in a ride at Rewell Wood (Arundel), where Ringlet numbers are also building nicely. In the afternoon I took a walk around Marlpost Wood (Southwater), finding about 20 Small Skipper (pictured) in a meadow full of Yorkshire Fog. In the early evening I stopped beside the A27 at Southwick to photograph the spectacular display of poppies. I know of several more areas along the Sussex Downs where poppies currently appear as huge red patches on the landscape. (Neil Hulme)

More news for Friday 5 July: Visited the Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet site near the Cock Inn, on the A26 north of Lewes. Looked like peak emergence, with an estimated 100-200 in an area about 40 metres square. In places there were 6 per square metre, mainly nectoring on Knapweed. (Graham Parris, Isfield)

Saturday 6 July 2013

High Summer in the High Woods: What a glorious day. And some butterflies too! Fourteen of us meet at the New (Western) Car Park in Brede High Woods (between Battle and Rye) on Saturday. The walk was led by local butterfly and wildlife enthusiasts Martyn Parslow and Dave Monk who know these woods like an insurance claims adjudicator knows the small print.
Martyn and Dave took us down through the woods to Holman's field and from there to what is known locally as the "heathy bit". So we had a variety of habitats to explore including woodland, wildflower meadows and heath.
A Meadow Brown was the first positively identified butterfly, closely followed by Large Skippers, a Common Blue, several Small Heath, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Speckled Wood, a few Ringlets and many more Meadow Brown. A Brimstone showed up right at the end of the walk by way of a finale.
For added value we found a Brimstone caterpillar on some alder buckthorn, we saw a longhorn beetle, a common lizard, a male broad-bodied chaser dragonfly, a 7-spot ladybird (rare this year), numerous damsel flies and Dave Monk found an Puss Moth Caterpillar on some aspen.
I thought I had found a nice brown beetle, but it turned out to be the tiniest toad I have ever seen.
So my heartfelt thanks to Linda, Tim, Peter, Doug, Audrey, John, Linda, Lyn, Heather, Rod, Jamie, Martyn and Dave, whose collective knowledge made this walk as superb as the weather. (Jim Barrett)

Amazingly a Purple Hairstreak was flying around the trees in St Ann's Well Gardens, Hove today. It completely caught me off guard as it flew by and I only managed another brief view of it before I lost it completely. Unfortunately no picture but I shall be returning tomorrow and will hopefully have it perched and wings open (I wish!). In the two times that I saw it, it was favouring the trees just behind the pond. (Jake Gearty)

Today I checked out Southwater Woods for a couple of hours and saw two Silver-washed Fritillaries whizzing along the main path. Also one Ringlet, Meadow Browns, a Large Skipper, 50+ Speckled Woods. Moths included a Common White Wave and an unidentified micro-moth. I watched some amazing Speckled Wood dogfights along the path. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

I walked today from the Smugglers car park in the Ashdown Forest and found 4 Silver-studded Blues along a ride to the west of the car park. There were also good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell and Small Heath and a solitary Brimstone. A very enjoyable hour's walk in the afternoon sunshine. (Chris Hooker)

News for Friday 5 July: On a humid day, eight species of butterfly were seen in an hour including my first Marbled White of the year and still occasional fresh Adonis Blues and courting Small Tortoiseshells on Mill Hill. (Andy Horton)

More news for Friday 5 July: Two courting Small Tortoiseshells seen on the Ox-eye Dasiy in my wild flower meadow near Pulborough (TQ-0618) on 5 July. (Chris Page)

Recent news: A nice selection around the base of the hill at Edburton on 5 July - Clouded Yellow, Dark Green Fritillary, a worn Dingy Skipper, Adonis Blue, 12 Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, 4 Ringlets, 4 Large Skippers, 25 Meadow Browns, 10 Common Blues, 10 Small Heaths, 6 Speckled Woods. Also 2 Cistus Foresters there on 30 June. (Tony Wilson)

More recent news: Visits to a small meadow near Arundel produced two micro-moths and a Clouded Border. My Mill Hill transect yesterday showed the emergence of many Marbled Whites at the bottom of the hill: Adonis Blue 14 (all old), Brimstone 1, Marbled White 13, Meadow Brown 1, Red Admiral 1, Small Heath 23, Small Tortoiseshell 5, Speckled Wood 1. The Marbled Whites were difficult to photograph as they were fluttering around looking for females in the heat, but occasionally I caught one when it dropped into the grass to rest. Afterwards a walk up the path at Anchor Bottom showed many Small Tortoiseshells, some on a mission heading east. There were many among the thistles at the top. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

And a bit more recent news: Green Hairstreak, Cowfold 29/6/13, TQ222234. 10.30 am. damaged, meadow grass, sunny conditions, green underwing tatty.
Wall. Woodmancote 1/7/13. TQ227153. 2.00 pm, good condition, garden. (William Green )

And finally...A note for anyone thinking of visiting Hollingbury park, I went there for two hours, it was clear to see that White-Letter Hairstreaks haven't emerged yet locally. (Jamie Burston)

Friday 5 July 2013

Small Tortoiseshell showed well along the River Cuckmere with 32 seen on a partial count. Unfortunately the path is closed for 6 months between Littlington and Alfriston so my normal count is not easy to do!! Several females seen ovipositing on the nettles right by the footpath. (Bob Eade)

Two Painted Ladies on the path warming up in Newlands Park, Copthorne this morning. (Chris Prince)

Having seen only one Small Tortoiseshell emerge from hibernation it is a pleasant surprise to have our garden here in Fittleworth inundated by a mid-summer hatch; ten at least on just one patch of thyme. Courtship is also in the air so perhaps we shall have another brood before summer is over. (David Connell)

During a short walk on Cissbury - starting at 9.00 a.m. I saw 12 Dark Green Fritillaries. I imagine more will emerge during the day. Only one Marbled White was noted and one Forester moth. Quite a few Burnet moth cocoons were also seen plus 7 Small Tortoiseshells and c 12 Large Skippers and one female Adonis. (Mike Snelling)

A walk around Hollingbury, Brighton produced the following :- 2 Meadow Browns, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Male Common Blue, 1 Small Heath and 1 Cinnabar Moth (Ditchling Road Verge) 1 Large Skipper, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Red Admiral and 6 Small Tortoiseshells (Hollingbury Hill Fort) 3 Meadow Browns and 1 Male Common Blue (Hollingbury Golf Course) 1 Large Skipper and 2 Speckled Woods (Dew Pond at Wild Park). (Jamie Burston)

Thursday 4 July 2013

Spotted my first Marbled White of the year roosting in the late evening sunshine at Worms Wood (SU969010) near Middleton on Sea, West Sussex. (Paul Cox)

b>News for Wednesday 3 July: First sighting of a Silver-studied Blue in the Smugglers colony in Ashdown Forest, probably emerged today but somewhat damaged in the process. Last year was the worst year ever at this site so its good to see that they have survived, although this is a late first sighting. (Simon Quin)

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Working at South Chailey today saw my first Small Skipper of the year amongst all the Large Skippers. Also increasing numbers of Meadow Brown, a few Small Heath, 1 Red Admiral and an unexpected Scarce Chaser Dragonfly.(TQ385170) (Mark Cadey)

During a short visit to Cissbury this afternoon the clouds refused to lift so not a lot was seen. However a Marbled White was seen by the East Gate and there were also few nice Bee Orchids.
There was also a tiny moth Micropterix aruncella nectaring on flowers.This is the first time I have noticed one. (Mike Snelling)

Recent news: I just heard from my brother John, who writes: During our stay at Abingworth Hall, Pulborough, last week, a Painted Lady perched on my paintbox while I was painting, and then onto the painting itself. I'm convinced it was interested in what I was doing. (Jeremy Tatum)

Tuesday 2 July 2013

On my well earned day off, I sneaked over to Friston Forest and the Gallops and was well rewarded with one Privet Hawk-moth, one Cinnabar, one Dark Green Fritillary, two Small Tortoiseshell, several Large Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Common Blue, Small Blue, Meadow Brown and Small Heath. (Nick Linazasoro)

Recent news: Our one acre wild flower meadow next to our garden near Pulborough (TQ0618) is a mass of white with ox-eye daisy at this time of the year. As well as a profusion of Meadow Browns, the flowers attracted a Painted Lady and a Small Tortoiseshell on 29 June. (Chris Page)

Monday 1 July 2013

Southwater Woods was alive with Speckled Woods today, but none of the usual suspects appeared. I saw Green-veined white, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper plus Green Oak Tortrix, Blood-vein and Straw Dot moths, also a Pill beetle and a Roe Deer. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

Here is a photo of a Clouded Yellow taken at Southwater Country Park this pm. I only saw the one. (John Wilks, Horsham)

I checked out the garden and the neighbouring fields and estimated a Large Skipper population of approximately 70-100. Also Meadow Brown (15), Small Heath (5), Common Blue (2m), Small Tortoishell (3), Red Admiral (1). (Martin Kalaher, Storrington)

Recent news: On Thursday I did my Mill Hill transect and found that Adonis have decreased considerably. The highlight was a Clouded Yellow which landed right in front of Andy Horton and me. Results: Adonis Blue 38, Clouded Yellow 1, Small Heath 22, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Small White 1. I also found a micro moth, Cochylimorpha straminea. On Friday I attempted to see the Black Hairstreaks that Mark Colvin had seen and photographed so well the previous day at Bernwood Meadows near Oxford. I saw two Hairsteaks for two seconds fighting and being blown out of the meadow by the wind. In this beautiful nature reserve I found two Blood-veins and a Plum Tortrix. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)

News for Sunday 21 and Tuesday 23 April: (This report was actually sent on 23 April but only arrived in my inbox yesterday...) Two Brimstones seen on 21st April. The first in the centre of Blackbrook Wood TQ34622 17340. The second about half a mile away at TQ34917 16688. Today 23rd April a Peacock seen at TQ31952 19631 in Burgess Hill. (Pearl Carter)

Earlier Sightings

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