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


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

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

Can you help identify these photos?

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

Tues 31 July

Below: Dark Green Fritillary at the end of the flight season at Mt Caburn today (Steve Wheatley) and Silver-spotted Skipper at the beginning of its season at Newtimber Hill (Neil Hulme)

A respectable 21 species on Newtimber Hill this afternoon. In the warm sunshine 24 Silver-spotted Skippers buzzed along the west-facing slope, chasing anything that moved. One female was already laying eggs on Sheep's Fescue. Other notable species included Brown Argus, Small Copper, Dingy Skipper, Dark Green Fritillary, Chalkhill Blue and Marbled White. Second brood Common Blue numbers are now beginning to build. (Neil and Eric Hulme)

Brown Hairstreaks have been seen at RSPB Pulborough Brooks over the last few days; they may be encountered anywhere, but one of the best spots is an ash tree on the way to Nettley's hide (leave the visitor centre on the nature trail, turn right at the bottom of the hill, follow the nature trail for a couple of hundred metres, and take the first right to Nettley's hide. Stop immediately after turning right, the ash tree is on your left, opposite a bench dedicated to Peter Prior. Binoculars necessary, telescope recommended. ((Pete Hughes)

During a walk at Cissbury today, I came across a large Emperor Moth caterpillar. (Mike Snelling)

A casual walk from Lewes to Glynde via Mount Caburn NNR: 200+Meadow Browns, 19 Gatekeepers, 11 Marbled Whites, 12 Small Skippers, 8 Common Blues, 6 Chalkhill Blues, at least 2 Adonis Blues, 2 Brown Argus, 6 Small Whites, 2 Peacocks, 3 Dark Green Fritillaires. (Fin and Steve Wheatley)

News for Mon 30 July: Today I performed a survey for the Steyning Downland Scheme ("A Wiston Estate project in partnership with 'A Rocha' which seeks to engage the local community and young people in particular in enhancing the natural beauty of their surroundings for the benefit of the community, the land and its wildlife"). Although some work will be necessary to optimise the habitat on the Downs behind Steyning, an encouraging 18 species were present. The highlight was 8 Wall, a butterfly that has sadly been in decline for some time now. This is the highest number that I've seen in a single location for a while. Also recorded was a fresh, second brood Dingy Skipper. A beautifully marked specimen of the rare Roesel's Bush Cricket was a surprise find, on the southern flank of the Firing Range. This was the mobile, macropterous (long-winged) form (diluta), which occurs in order to assist the species with increasing its geographical range. (Neil Hulme)

Mon 30 July

Bit of sun and out come the cameras! Left to right, Sitochroa palealis at Cissbury (Michael Blencowe), Small/Essex Skipper eaten by Crab Spider (Tony Wilson), Grayling at Chapel Common (Alexander Henderson), mating Chalkhill Blues (Tony Wilson), Garden Tiger at Seaford (Roy Neeve), and the photo with the inset taken at Wilmington shows why our Grayling champion Michael Blencowe isn't recording any Graylings this year ('It's behind you')!

I visited Chapel Common and found a single Grayling. On returning to the spot an hour later it allowed me a photograph. Other butterflies present here were Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Small Copper, Common Blue, Small Skipper, Large White, Red Admiral and Peacock. Heathfield Rough (SU867275) also prooved to be good for butterflies with six species present - Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Peacock, Silver-washed Fritillary and Brimstone. (Alexander Henderson)

Regularly on summer evenings, a Red Admiral will come and soak up the last half hour of sun on our Peacehaven conservatory roof, always perching on the white struts and then wheeling off of mad looping flights, and sometimes having dog-fights with any other Red Admiral . It was only tonight that I found out where it then goes. A Dunncok came pootling through the bushes and disturbed it from within a leylandii. It did some more loops of the garden before heading back in a nice nook on the north east side, hung upside down, gently pumped its wings a few times, and then seems to be fast asleep now! (Adrian Thomas)

News for Sun 29 July: Highlights from my garden in Edburton or on Edburton Hill today included 6 Dark Green Fritillaries, Brimstone, 3 Chalkhill Blues, Brown Argus, 50 Marbled Whites, Ringlet, 10 Red Admirals, 6 Peacocks, Comma + Hummingbird Hawkmoth, 6 Chalk Carpets and 3 Silver Ys. Yesterday both Dark Green and Silver-washed Fritillary were in the garden. (Tony Wilson)

News for Tues 24 July: In my garden near Lewes, two Peacocks were engaged in what appeared to be a courtship chase flying up to about fifteen feet several times then one settled on a buddleia flower and the other, the male, settled beside her with wings quivering. She was not seduced and both flew off out of sight. (John Holloway)

Sun 29 July

Moth galleries now up-to-date through to and including letter R

Spent most of the weekend risking my neck scrambling around on loose chalk escarpments high up on the downs looking for Grayling colonies. I found perfect habitat at Frog Firle and Wilmington but no Graylings. But on Windover Hill this evening I counted 35 Grayling many of which flew over and landed on me. I think they know I'm on their side. Took a group of people from the 'Friends of Waterhall' around the Waterhall Conservation Area, north of Brighton this morning. The sun was struggling to get through the clouds but nevertheless this lovely site produced 7 species; Essex Skipper 3, Marbled White 1, Gatekeeper 18, Meadow Brown 12, Small White 3, Common Blue 3, Brown Argus 1 (Michael Blencowe)

With 3 Buddleia bushes in my neighbour's garden and four in mine, all in flower, I have just seen the first Peacock in my garden, for this year, sunning itself in the late afternoon sunshine on a wall, and the first Red Admiral in my neighbour's garden. They are in fact, the first Nymphalidae I have seen in either garden this year. This is the worst year I can remember for butterflies in my garden in this area of Rottingdean since I first started my interest in Butterflies in 1937.We have had wet summers before, but the persistence and intensity of the rainfall in May, June and July seems to have had a severe effect on our Butterflies in general. (Alan Holden)

At Cissbury today I saw a Chalk Carpet and a Sitochroa palealis - which is a pretty local moth. Also saw a Silver Y. My walk was before it warmed up so butterflies were not numerous but were easier to photograph. Also saw a Wall, 10 Dark Green Fritillaries, about 30 Marbled Whites, as well as 10 Brown Argus, a few very fresh Common Blues, and 15 or so Chalkhill Blues. Small/Essex Skippers were quite numerous - a few of each were ID'd. Whites were scarce and the only Small White I saw was taken in mid-air by a large Dragonfly. (Mike Snelling)

News for Sat 28 July: I spotted an Adonis Blue during a quick trip through Castle Hill NNR (early 2nd brood?). Also spotted several Marbled Whites. Short trip to Sheffield Wood (north of Fletching): Meadow Browns abundant. 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries. (Steve Wheatley)

News for Sat 28 July: The long walk up in the area of Windover Hill this morning was rewarded with several sightings of Graylings. We took our West Highland Terrier with us and was surprised to see a Grayling perch on her tail for about a minute! Few other butterflies were seen in the fairly windy conditions except an abundance of Chalkhill Blues all the way up Windover Hill. (Paul & Bridget James)

News for Sat 28 July: Morning on Malling Down found the weather sunny with occasional cloud and a light breeze roving the valley. 19 species were recorded: countless Gatekeepers, 8 Peacocks, 3 Large White, 2 Small White, 2 Commas, frequent Meadow Browns, 2 Red Admirals, 2 Speckled Woods, 4 feisty Small Coppers, 3 Brown Argus, 1 Small Heath, 1 male Brimstone circling the valley, male and female Common Blues, 2 male Chalkhill Blues, 2 Small Skippers, 1 Large Skipper and best of all 1 Dingy Skipper. Just 1 Ringlet and 1 Marbled White on the lower slopes but unfortunately I was out of time and couldn’t go higher. (Marlon Waters)

News for Fri 27 July: At Horseshoe Plantation (Beachy Head) no sign of any Silver-spotted Skippers. Other species seen included single Small Copper and Dark Green Fritillary, two Brown Argus and several Chalkhill Blues. (Paul & Bridget James)

Sat 28 July

After enduring a bracing goose-pimply gale on Firle Beacon today with not a single butterfly seen for the first hour, I am taking heart and hope you all are with a long-range forecast that is suggesting seveal days of full sun this week and the prospect of something more summer-like just around the corner. Fingers crossed, eh? Adrian


The first Brown Argus of the year was seen at Warnham LNR, a very fresh male, after this species was first recorded here last year. Also, the Brown Hairstreaks should be out any day now, best places to look on the reserve are the visitor centre garden and Walnut Plantation, although new areas of blackthorn were opened up last winter further up the reserve to encourage this species. (Sam Bayley)

Fri 27 July

A bit of sunshine today (it didn't last) so had a quick stroll up Bostall Hill near Alciston; Comma, Small White, Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Dark Green Fritillary, Large Skipper and a Chalk Carpet, a Biodiversity Action Plan Priority species and one of the 5 target species for National Moth Night 2007. (Michael Blencowe)

Bedelands Farm transect: On a very windy but thankfully dry day the following butterflies were recorded: Small Skipper (2), Large White (10), Small White (10), Green-veined White (1), Purple Hairstreak (8), Small Copper (4), Common Blue (1), Holly Blue (6), Red Admiral (1), Peacock (2), Comma (3), Speckled Wood (6), Gatekeeper (273), Meadow Brown (279), Ringlet (1). Total 607 butterflies, 15 species. (David Pyle)

The Chalkhill Blues are not out in force on Mill Hill yet. Should be any day now. (Andy Horton)

Thurs 26 July

Butchershole Bottom: I led my first BC walk today to Butchershole Bottom on the east side of Friston Forest. Wrapped up in waterproofs and woolly hats, the eight people who joined me were prepared for whatever Summer 2007 would throw at us. Hail? snow? A rain of frogs?. The Chalkhill Blues were still out in their hundreds on the banks of thyme and we were able to watch them emerging, mating, dying but mostly sheltering from the wind. Also seen: Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Comma, Essex Skipper, Small Copper, Small Skipper, Marbled White, Red Admiral, Dark Green Fritillary. With the sky threatening rain there was only one thing for it; all back to mine for tea and biscuits and the opening of last night's moth trap. A packed trap of 60+ species included some good looking moths; (Privet Hawkmoth, Elephant Hawkmoth, Lobster Moth, Clouded Magpie, Peach Blossum, Black Arches, Peppered Moth, Brussels Lace, Rosy Footman) which obligingly posed for photographs. A lovely day out despite the blustery weather.

Last nights catch highlights at Warnham LNR (25th Jul): 1 Rusty Dot Pearl, 1 Dark Spectacle, 2 Rush Veneer, 1 Poplar Kitten, 5 Webb's Wainscot, 1 Mouse Moth, 1 Beautiful China-mark, 1st Square-spot Rustic (autumn is here already!) (Sam Bayley)

Weds 25 July

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. On a depressingly overcast, windy day with threatening rain we still managed to see: Small Skipper (6), Large Skipper (1), Large White (1), Purple Hairstreak (1), Small Copper (1), Speckled Wood (1), Gatekeeper (52), Meadow Brown (181) and Ringlet (2), a total of 246, comprising 9 species. (Paul & Toni Lister)

News for Tues 24 July: The afternoon transect walk at Cissbury Ring recorded the following counts: Small Skipper 9, Chalkhill Blue 16, Common Blue 1, Brown Argus 1, Brimstone 3, Dark Green Fritillary 6, Gatekeeper 26, Marbled White 10, Meadow Brown 27, Peacock 6, Red Admiral 1, Ringlet 2, Small Copper 2, Small Heath 9, Speckled Wood 2, Large White 1 (Peter Atkinson)

Tues 24 July

A total of 16 species at Folkington Reservoir this morning comprised: Meadow Brown - 37, Gatekeeper - 23, Ringlet - 1, Marbled White - 4, Large White - 6, Small White - 5, Peacock - 1, Red Admiral - 1, Small Tortoiseshell - 1, Comma - 2, Speckled Wood - 2, Chalkhill Blue - 1, Brown Argus - 2, Small Skipper - 4, Essex Skipper - 1 and Large Skipper - 1. Two Commas and a Holly Blue at Offham, near Lewes. (Paul James)

Following several requests, I hastily arranged a re-run of the 'washed out' trip to Southwater Woods, in a last attempt to try and connect a few people with the Purple Emperor. Despite fine weather, overall butterfly numbers were pitifully low for this excellent venue, clearly reflecting the poor conditions throughout this summer. 8 Silver-washed Fritillary, 6 Purple Hairstreak and 3 White Admiral were the best sightings, amongst a pre-midday tally of 14 species. By 12:05 hrs all had left, leaving me chatting to Phil and Noreen Evans, where we had parked the cars. Of course the inevitable (for 2007) happened! At 12:10 hrs a male Purple Emperor appeared above us and perched in an oak. Within a minute, another male flushed it from the canopy and a fierce dogfight ensued, with the combatants spiralling upwards to a height of 40 metres or more. (Neil Hulme)

Butchershole Bottom: After spending a wet day in West Sussex yesterday and only seeing five butterflies, my spirits were lifted this morning as I found myself amongst thousands and thousands of Chalkhill Blues up on the Downs. They flew up at every step while others fluttered around my head. I felt like I was in one of those Disney cartoons! Hopefully they'll be around in good numbers for the Butterfly Conservation walk there this Thursday. Also found 5 Grayling at Windover Hill and, despite an extensive search, 1 Grayling at Lullington Heath. Can any visitors to the Heath please keep an eye out Grayling and send in their records to this page and sussexgrayling@aol.com. (Michael Blencowe)

Leading a group of 11 enthusiastic children on a butterfly hunt to Green Ridge, Brighton we saw Marbled White, Comma, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Also, hundreds of Red Admiral larvae on nettles. (Caroline Clarke)

At Newtimber Hill today, 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoth (together in Chalk Pit), 3 Silver-spotted Skipper, at least 3 Dark Green Fritillary, 1 pristine Dingy Skipper (2nd generation?), and good supporting cast, including Small Copper, Chalkhill Blue, etc. (Jim Steedman)

Ifield, Crawley. A visit here between 1.30pm and 3.30 pm produced the first Brown Hairstreak of the year, a male, basking in a tree. There were also 4 Purple Hairstreak. (Vince Massimo)

Further to the brief discussion about the flight-time of the Pine Hawkmoth in Sussex: The collated records of the Pine Hawk moth in Sussex since its first arrival in the county during the late 1910's show that the flight-time is "mainly from mid June to mid August, although feral adults have been seen during every week from late April to early September" (in "A Revised History of the Butterflies and Moths of Sussex") (Colin Pratt).

In the intermittent spells of sunshine, fourteen species of butterfly showed in Shoreham and the downs including a Small Blue on the Buckingham Cutting, a Brown Argus and 34 Chalkhill Blues on Mill Hill. Peacock were frequently seen. (www.glaucus.org.uk, Andy Horton)

Mon 23 July

News for Sun 22 July: I bumped into Ian Barnard, Dave and Lyn Sadler while ascending Windover Hill, so we all set off for an area nearby where I have previously seen good numbers of Grayling. We 'filled our boots', seeing at least 23, which indulged in courtship display (face to face wing-flicking), egg laying and finger-sitting (photo courtesy of Ian Barnard). Amongst a total of 16 species, we also saw a Clouded Yellow (form helice), Small Blue, Wall (3), Small Copper (3) and Dark Green Fritillary (11), together with good numbers of Chalkhill Blue and Marbled White. For those interested, I will be making a last ditch attempt at showing people Purple Emperor in Southwater Woods, on the morning of Tues 24 July, following Friday's washout. Meeting 10:00 hrs at the originally designated location. (Neil Hulme)

Sun 22 July

Moth galleries now complete up to letter 'O' - access them via Sussex Species on the main menu to the left

On a walk this morning down and back up the lower valley to Cuckmere Haven I saw good numbers of Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper (at least 20 of each) as well as Small/Essex Skipper (2), Marbled White (4 - one on a thistlehead with two Painted Ladies), Chalkhill Blue (9) and at least 25 Six-spot Burnets , many feeding on Rampion on the slopes at the NE of the valley. (David West)

Laughton Common Wood: Of 12 species, most noteworthy was Meadow Brown which was rising by the dozen from patches of bramble blossom. In total several hundred were seen - is it a bumper year for them out on the transects? Only 3-4 White Admirals and 3-4 Silver-washed Fritillaries, and 2 Ringlets, and skippers notable by their absence (Adrian Thomas)

Re correspondence regarding separating Small and Essex Skippers, a couple of years or so ago there was some discussion on the 'UK-leps' Yahoo discussion group. In brief, another identification feature that works in most instances is the gradation of orange on the under fore-wing, often visible from a distance of a metre or so: in Small Skipper the orange grades to a clear olive-buff band at the underside tips, whereas in Essex Skipper the whole fore-wing underside is a uniform orange. Certainly all Small Skippers have buff tips but not every Essex Skipper seems to be uniform orange. The method works less well once the skippers start getting rather worn. The discussion also noted that the shape of the antenna tip is slightly hooked in Small Skipper and rounded/clubbed in Essex Skipper. Also, in the early days of the Sussex Branch (late 1980s or early 1990s) we used the term 'Smessex Skipper' for those specimens where there was definite doubt as to the ID (e.g where the underside of one antenna tip was black but the other wasn't - they do occur quite frequently!) (Jim Steedman)

News for Sat 21 July: Highlights from the moth trap at Warnham LNR: Dotted Fan-foot 1, Webb's Wainscot 1, Rusty-dot Pearl 1, Small Rufous 1, Rush Veneer 2 (Sam Bayley)

News for Sat 21 July: I just spent a lovely Saturday traipsing Malling Down with the clouds scooting overhead. Peacocks, Red Admirals and Commas were having their usual tussles above the stinging nettle patch before the allotment. Large Whites flitting overhead, a Speckled Wood resting. Frequent Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites and to a lesser extent Ringlets all over the hills. 3 Small Coppers in separate locations, 2 Common Blue females and 1 male but somehow managed to miss the Chalkhill Blues. As well as a Large Skipper I filmed 1 Silver-spotted Skipper in the longer grass. I also filmed what I think is a Brown Argus with a rather tatty right side rather than another Common Blue female. (Marlon Waters)

Sat 21 July

Re. Small/Essex Skipper joint name: We always used to call them Smessex skippers. 'Sussex' is too confusing as you're into the realms of a sub-species (Portland Blue.......). Re. are the Pine Hawkmoths late - we've been getting them since 4th May! (Sarah Patton).

Re Small/Essex Skippers: Perhaps we need to look to another birding precedent - 'Phylloscs' for Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. In the case of Small and Essex, using the Latin generic name would be 'Thymelicuses', which would undoubtedly get shortened to 'Thymelics', and would rule out Large and Silver-spotted. I know, I know - it would not rule out Lulworth! But then Smessex does sound like a condition rather than a butterfly ;-) (Adrian Thomas)

Thought I'd try a new location for me - the 'Open Access' coombe north of Mount Caburn near Lewes. It was a glorious steep sweep of downland thick with Marjoram, Wild Basil, Greater Knapweed, Betony, Pyramidal Orchid etc, and hopping with Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Marbled Whites and small numbers of other common species, but only one blue (Common - no Chalkhills despite some Kidney Vetch) and one Dark Green Fritillary. Also one Wall. (Adrian Thomas)

News for Weds 18 July - Broadfield Pond, Crawley 20 Green-veined White, 12 Speckled Wood, 10 Meadow Brown, 10 Gatekeeper, 10 "Sussex Skippers", 1 Large Skipper, 1 Common Blue (this male is the first of the summer brood seen here), 2 Holly Blue, 1 Small Copper, 2 Brimstone (M & F), 1 Peacock, 6 Comma, 1 Large White and 1 Purple Hairstreak (this was a tatty female egglaying in a favoured tree, but I have yet to find the main colony). The following day I saw 3 more near the same location. (Vince Massimo)

News for Mon 16 July - Crawley A wandering Marbled White was spotted alongside the A23 close to the roundabout adjacent to Crawley Town Football Club. (Vince Massimo)

Fri 20 July

The first Pine Hawkmoth of the year (a little late?) in the trap in Lindfield this morning. At least it makes a change from the usual trap full of micros and very little else that I seem to have been getting of late - much easier to identify at any rate. (Bob Foreman)

News for Thurs 19 July: Found a Red Data Book moth, the Olive Crescent, in Friston Forest while out with a torch and a net (Michael Blencowe)

News for Thurs 19 July: Took notice of the dire weather forecast and walked the transect on Thursday in lovely sunny weather, recorded the following butterfly species and numbers. Small Skipper (2), Large White (4), Small White (3), Purple Hairstreak (2), Holly Blue (2), Red Admiral (1), White Admiral (1), Small Copper (1), Comma (2), Speckled Wood (3), Gatekeeper (208), Meadow Brown (334), Ringlet (11).Total 574 butterflies, 13 species seen. (David Pyle )

Andy Horton suggests the shorthand for Small/Essex Skipper should be Sussex Skippers.

The 2007 Sussex Grayling Festival!

I'm looking to rustle up a posse of folk and head out into Wild West Sussex on Sunday August 5th to scour the heaths and commons of this great county for the elusive Grayling. The plan would be to rendezvous for a morning briefing in Midhurst and then mobilise all units to locations close to the Surrey border where we will hopefully establish contact with previously reported Grayling colonies. We'll regroup and I'll provide a picnic for lunch (washed down with lashings of ginger beer) before we head off to some other Sussex heaths to try our luck and discover new colonies. Then we'll meet up in a pub to swap sightings and stories. All are welcome, whether veterans or new recruits, no previous Grayling experience is required as training will be provided. It'll be a great opportunity to help in the conservation of this rather strange little insect. Oh, and Clare's promised to bake some butterfly cakes for the picnic. Your county needs you! To enlist contact me at



Thurs 19 July

As the sun came out so did the butterflies with 35 Chalkhill Blues on Mill Hill, North of Shoreham, all but one on the lower slopes, and the first female of 2007. Other notables included faded Ringlets on the south side of the Slonk Hill Cutting, Walls on Mill Hill in the same place as three days earlier, a Clouded Yellow by the River Adur at Upper Beeding and a Small Copper visiting an Ox-eye Daisy on the Downs Link Cyclepath north of the A27 Flyover. Sixteen (possibly 17) butterflies was the equal most in a day this year (Andy Horton)

Adrian’s Small Skipper photo very useful. The books I have are most unhelpful as they do not fully describe, or illustrate, the head on view needed to see the inside underside tips of the antennae. Here is Essex Skipper for comparison, taken at Upper Beeding , 13 July. (Locally Small and Essex share the same fields and I do not attempt to separate them all. Perhaps we need a nice shorthand for Small/Essex, like Commic Tern?) (Keith Noble)

News for Weds 18 July: An afternoon visit to the 'Long Man' at Wilmington produced good numbers of Dark Green Fritillary (12), Small Copper (9), Marbled White (50+) and Chalkhill Blue (50+), amongst a total of 12 species. I watched this second brood, female Wall laying her large, globular, white eggs, before she took a rest on my hand! (Neil Hulme)

News for Weds 18 July: At the eastern edge of the Horseshoe Plantation near Birling Gap today there were good numbers of both Small and Essex Skippers. The photo of a male Essex shows the short straight scent mark and the black tips to the antennae which are not noticeably hooked. This last distinguishing feature was pointed out to me by Matthew Oates and it seems to hold true. Also there were many Chalkhill Blues but sadly no hairstreaks to be seen. (Tom Ottley)

Recent news: Two great nights for moth trapping at Warnham LNR, highlights were as follows:

15 July - 122 species. Kent Black Arches - 1, Browntail - 1 (only third record for site), Spindle Knot-horn (Nephopteryx angustella) - 1, Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella) - 6, Diamond-back Moth (Plutella xylostella) - 3, Satin Lutestring - 1 (new for site), Plain Pug - 1, Hemp Agrimony Plume (Adaina microdactyla) - 1 (second site record), Synaphe punctalis - 1 (new for site), Dotted Fan-foot - 1, Harlequin Ladybird - 1

16th July - 97 species. Kent Black Arches - 1, Small Rivulet - 1, Sallow Kitten - 1, Rush Veneer - 9, Dotted Fan-foot - 1, Silver Y - 1, Small China-mark - 2, Pinion-streaked Snout - 1, Hemp Agrimony Plume (Adaina microdactyla) - 1

The Dotted Fan-foots are only the third and fourth records for West Sussex since 1990. (Sam Bayley)

Weds 18 July

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. In generally sunny, hot conditions with a steadily subsiding wind Small Skipper 8, Large Skipper 3, Large White 2, Small White 4, Green-veined White 2, Purple Hairstreak 5, Small Copper 1, female Common Blue 1, Holly Blue 6, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 2, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 5, Marbled White 4, Gatekeeper 135, Meadow brown 470, Ringlet 50, making 703 in all, comprising 17 species. Increasing numbers of Six-spot Burnet moths were seen, but significantly less than in previous years. (Paul Lister)

Grayling at Windover Hill on 15th, just before it tucked its forewing out of sight, and Small Skipper showing the characteristic orangey undersides to the antennae tip, in contrast to the Essex 'black inkblobs' (Adrian Thomas)

News for Sat 14 July: The Graffham Down field trip was enjoyed by 10 participants. Silver-washed Fritillary, Marbled White, Large and Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Brimstone, Small White and lovely fresh Gatekeeper were seen. Moths identified Small Argent and Sable, Ruby Tiger and Silver Y. Full report on this fantastic site will appear in next newsletter - wonderful flora as well as butterflies - never seen such huge Pyramidal Orchids! (Karen Pritty).

Tues 17 July

Ringlets, Steyning Round Hill, 16 July (Keith Noble)

With the first Grayling of the year having been seen by one lucky/skilful (delete as appropriate) observer, can you help our Grayling Species Champion, Michael Blencowe, find all the others in Sussex. Go to the Grayling page to find out more, see pictures etc.

Quick scout along Green Ridge, Brighton (TQ291 086): 5 Marbled White, 2 Small/Essex Skipper, 1 Small Copper, numerous Meadow Brown. Dyke Road Avenue, Brighton: 1 White-letter Hairstreak bobbing across the road at just above head height. Has anyone seen White-letter Hairstreak in the pavilion gardens at Brighton this year? I haven't so far but they were there in 2006. I looked this morning in bright sunshine (though windy) and didn't see any butterflies at all - perhaps they knew heavy rain was coming. (Caroline Clarke)

News for Sun 15 July: What with being away a lot and bad weather when around there has not been much to report until last Sunday when what I identified as a Large Tortoiseshell flying round in our conservatory. I didn't have a camera handy but did a a quick sketch. It was larger than a Small Tortoiseshell but I only got a good view of the underwings which had dark mottling with rather jagged edged paler bands bands running in a crescent across them. When it flew, quite vigorously, I got a glimpse on the upperwings of "Tortoiseshell" markings on the forewing leading edge and an otherwise rather pale orange background. I released it into the garden and it flew of initially south (towards the sea). I see a Camberwell Beauty turned up in Eastbourne the day before. Like that butterfly this one didn't show any signs of damage. (David West)

News for Sun 15 July: My first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year on one of my buddleias here in Edburton (Tony Wilson)

News for Sun 15 July: Brighton - Swallow-tailed Moth found on house wall at party! (Caroline Clarke)

News for Sat 14 July: A CAMBERWELL BEAUTY was in my garden in Eastbourne at about 1pm. It was near the buddleia hedge at the side of my front path, but it was only when it landed on the stone wall that I could see what it was. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me. I have looked out for it since, but not seen it again yet. It was a beauty indeed, looked fresh and deep velvety, not at all as if it was a migrant which had flown in, wasn't damaged at all. (Alison Jones.)

Mon 16 July

New Sussex Moth Group event added for Sat 4 August - go to Events page for details.

Silver-studded Blue at Kingstanding at the weekend, now becoming quite tatty (Steve Wheatley)

At Mill Hill, Shoreham late this afternoon, in not-especially good weather with virtually no sunshine. Dingy Skipper (2nd Generation - brand new!), plus 4 Chalkhill Blues and another nine species. (Jim Steedman)

Just a few Chalkhill Blues on the wing (about 6 males seen) at Malling Down. Also very fresh Peacocks, some Green-veined Whites and both Small and Essex Skippers. (Tom Ottley)

News for Sun 15 July: Early on Sunday morning I photographed this female Purple Emperor (below), sitting on both Silver Birch and Ash, in woodland close to Arundel. Remember that we have BC trips to see this spectacular butterfly at Warnham LNR (Tues 17) and Southwater Woods (Fri 20). Later in the morning I led a group of 16 people to Littlehampton Golf Course and Littlehampton Bridge, primarily to see the White-letter Hairstreak. Unfortunately we were beaten by the weather, which never fulfilled its promise to brighten up. We saw a few Essex Skipper, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. This was disappointing, especially as some had travelled a considerable distance. Weather issues aside, I will run this trip much earlier next year, as regular visits to the site have shown that the species is nearly over now. Of course the sun emerged soon after our departure and I popped in much later in the day, after doing some shopping. Needless to say......! (Neil Hulme)

News for Sun 15 July: Cuckmere Haven: We (the family) set off early for a Sunday having previous visits thwarted by lack of parking and arrived around 1pm, parked up. Having dragged the kids away from the clear waters where they had spotted several fish and a good sized crab we headed off for the sea. Over the couple of hours we were there, I spotted numerous Meadow Browns, Burnets around a dozen Marbled Whites, only the one Large White, only 6 Small Skippers, 4 Red Admirals, three Dark Green Fritillaries, and a pair of Small Tortoiseshells. The day ended up a glorious sun filled one, a real treat for the small time we were there. (Kev Atkins)

Sun 15 July

Moth galleries now complete up to 'K' - when complete (and luckily I'm now well on course), the Galleries will have 1308 images and counting! Adrian

Results of a survey by Sussex Police Conservation Volunteers at Kingstanding today: Meadow Browns, and Small Heaths abundant. Also several Ringlets and Small Skippers. Silver-studded Blues in low numbers but widely distributed. 1 Red Admiral. and 1 Small Copper (-butterfly, not officer). Total 7 species. This time last year we recorded 14 species. The weather seems to be having a big effect. (Steve Wheatley Conservation Manager (volunteer) Sussex Police)

In the sticky humid sunshine, there were frequent bright Peacock just about anywhere there was Buddleia, even in the middle of Shoreham town. On Mill Hill, the Chalkhill Blues were just beginning with sixteen on the lower slopes and two of the second brood Wall. Twelve different species. (Andy Horton)

A Grayling on Windover Hill just above the reservoir today, keen to settle on clothing! Great to feel a bit of warm sunshine and see the butterflies responding, with still several Dark Green Fritillaries on the wing, 2-3 tatty Peacocks, and plenty of Marbled Whites, Small Coppers and other common species. The moth trap overnight in Peacehaven was very poor, however, both in terms of number of species and total individuals - glad therefore for Poplar Hawkmoth, new for the garden (Adrian Thomas)

News for Sat 14 July: My first Clouded Yellow since the beginning of May was on the Adur Levels at Upper Beeding. Fourteen species of butterfly (Andy Horton)

News for Fri 13 July: The moth group meeting at The Mens (a very unrecorded area of Sussex) was attended by 4 members, with a total of 5 traps. With a warm still night we were expecting a good haul, but like most of this year this was not the case. If you don't record micros this certainly wasn't the night for you, without a single Hawkmoth, only a couple of geos and maybe 20 species of noctuid. Although we did manage a couple of Festoons and 3 Small Black Arches (Nationally Scarce A) which was new for me. Micros on the other hand were in plentiful supply, especially Pyralids, including hundreds of Endotricha flammealis, lots of varieties of Eudemis profundana and really exciting was finding 3 Esperia oliviella, a rare dead wood feeding species. In total we probably caught around 70 species, appalling for such a good weather night in July!! While an exciting catch in my Rusper garden last night (14th Jul) was a Shark. Although I have seen one before this is the first that I have actually caught. (Sam Bayley)

News for week to 15 July: Finally, managed to get some sustained moth this week at Pagham Harbour and bring the year total up to about 245 species. The highlights of the week are Mere's Wainscot (8th), September Thorn (9th), Brown-veined Wainscot and Four Spotted Footman (10th), White-speck (12th) and Festoon (first for the reserve), Kent Black Arches and Sycamore (13th)

Sat 14 July

Dark Green Fritillary, Brown Argus and Chalkhill Blue from a Shoreham District Ornithological Society outing to Cissbury this morning. We looked at more butterflies than birds, about 20 species including plenty of DGF (20?, generally more worn than this one) and new Argus, and just a few fresh male Chalkhills. (Keith Noble)

Due to rainy nights, only tried out my trap for first time for a while last night. Quantities disappointing; main traps one Privet Hawkmoth and 2 Small Elephant Hawkmoths. 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries in Spithandle Lane Ashurst yesterday, plus numerous Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. (Stanley Allen)

Binsted Wood/Tortington Common: Meadow Browns, Peacocks, Gatekeepers were in abundance as well as Essex Skippers in some areas; I also saw: Large White, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Comma, Silver-Washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Blood-vein, Clouded Border (around sallows and wet-woodland), Perinephela lancealis, Cinnabar larvae (on Ragwort) and a Muslin Moth larva (on Wood Sage). (Alexander Henderson)

News for Fri 13 July: Transect walk at Bedelands Friday. After a cloudy start the weather picked up to give some sunny periods although it was very windy, the number and species of butterfly recorded is as follows. Small Skipper (6), Large White (27), Small White (6), Holly Blue (2), Red Admiral (2), Comma (3), Speckled Wood (9), Marbled White (1), Gatekeeper (100), Meadow Brown (568), Ringlet (26). Total 750 butterflies, 11 species. (David Pyle)

News for Fri 13 July: Lynn Fomison of BC Hants came over the border to meet me in sunny (at last!) Sussex. We started the day at Southwater Woods, where we saw 3 Purple Emperor, including a female laying eggs. Moving on to the valley behind the 'Long Man of Wilmington', we saw good numbers of Dark Green Fritillary (20+), Small Copper (15), Marbled White and Chalkhill Blue. Amongst the day-flying moths was a stunning Forester spp. I'm no expert on moths, but based on habitat and size, I suspect it was a female Cistus Forester. (Neil Hulme)

Fri 13 July

Between Steyning Kings Barn and Priory and Saltings Fields, Upper Beeding, this afternoon: Small and Essex Skippers 15, Large Skipper 1, Clouded Yellow 1 (photo attached), Brimstone 1, Large White 11, Green-veined White 1, Small White 2, Small Copper 2, Holly Blue 1, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Comma 3, Red Admiral 1, Peacock 10, Speckled Wood 3, Marbled White 9, Gatekeeper 16, Meadow Brown 86. Eighteen species, none of them unusual, but isn’t it good when the sun comes out! And about 40 Six-spot Burnets and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Keith Noble)

The next indoor meeting of the Sussex Moth Group is at 7.30 pm on Monday 16th July at Woods Mill SWT. As long as the weather is favourable we will also be running some moth traps on the reserve for after the meeting. All are welcome. The full programme of Sussex Moth Group events is now on the main Sussex BC Events page.

Remember tomorrow's BC event is at Graffham Down at 10.30am. Full details on the events page, and please note the correction to the event at Warnham LNR on 17th, with walks in the morning and afternoon.

Weds 11 Jul

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. In overcast conditions with some short sunny periods: Small Skipper (8), Large Skipper (3), Large White (6), Small White (12), Small Copper (3), Holly Blue (4), Red Admiral (2), Comma (1), Speckled Wood (2), Marbled White (5), Gatekeeper (32), Meadow Brown (522) and Ringlet (77), making 677 in all, comprising 13 species. Also Six-spot Burnet moths. (Paul Lister)

Here are the aberrant Comma and White Admiral from Southwater from Neil Hulme:


Tues 10 Jul

Between Bramber and its bypass is a field which was sold off at great profit as 220 separate lots, and is now tall rough grass with patches of thistles and many other plants. There are plenty of butterflies too, including today about 30 Marbled Whites, more than I have seen before in this valley, about 50 each of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, about 30 Small/Essex Skippers and 7 Peacocks. (Keith Noble)

20+ Meadow Browns in a small un-mown area at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes, plus 1 Small White and 1 Speckled Wood. We've also had common-spotted orchids and pyramidal orchids - amazing what can be achieved by simply not cutting the grass.

News for Fri 6 - Sun 8 July: On Friday I met Purple Emperor guru Matthew Oates in Southwater Woods, where we watched 3 male and 1 female. The female indulged in a frenetic bout of laying, depositing perhaps half a dozen eggs, one of which we found and photographed. Visits on Saturday and Sunday produced 2 and 3 male Purple Emperor respectively. The 'run' of aberrants in these woods continued, with 2 White Admiral semi-nigrina (dark form) and a very rare Comma aberrant, suffusa. Having first seen suffusa with Matthew very late on Friday, I returned with my father, David and Molly Dancy early on Saturday. A full two hours of skulking in shady woodland passed, before she finally emerged to smile for the camera! (Neil Hulme)

News for Sat 7 Jul: Police Training Facility in Ashdown Forest: Silver-studded Blues in low numbers but found to be far wider distributed than previously thought. Small Heath, Meadow Browns and Large Skippers abundant. Several Ringlets and whites. Only 1 Red Admiral. There were abundant blues but all really worn and difficult to id. Also Large Yellow Underwing and Marbled White Spot. (Steve Wheatley)

Mon 9 Jul

Vines Cross TQ6017 there were numerous amounts (lost count) of Meadow Browns along the footpath from Vines Cross to Warbleton Church.The habitat is mostly hay meadows and wheat fields. (Janet Richardson)

News for Sun 8 Jul: A Clouded Yellow at the far end of Swanbourne Lake, Arundel. (Paul James)

News for Sat 7 Jul: Streat, East Sussex. A rather worn male Purple Emperor resting for several minutes on a window frame of the house. Photos taken but not very good. Its condition was nowhere near as good as the one we saw last year. (John Eastwood)

Sun 8 Jul

Field trip to private woodland, nr Bolney. 11 species seen: Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral, Peacock, Essex Skipper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Small White, Large White, Red Admiral, Comma. Special thanks to the landowner for allowing us unrestricted access for our field trip. Please note that there is no public right of way other than on the bridleway. (Caroline Clarke)

Butterflies at Beachy Head between Birling Gap and Belle Tout rather worryingly low, despite the sunshine - Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites in particular appeared to be scarce, just one Common Blue, and Gatekeepers and Small Heaths the only species in any numbers. About half a dozen mobile Dark Green Fritillaries around. Of the migrants, one Painted Lady, and a Clouded Yellow reported. Also Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Adrian Thomas)

At last the sun came out! Highlights around Edburton today were 3 Dark Green Fritillaries in the garden and adjacent meadow + female Brimstone, Small Copper also in the garden and nearby Purple Hairstreak and Painted Lady. Best of the moths in the garden last night were an Old Lady and a Scarce Footman (Tony Wilson)

My first Chalkhill Blue of the year was on the lower slopes of Mill Hill on a cloudy day. It was one of twelve species seen in the first hour. (Andy Horton, http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html)

Sat 7 Jul

Birling Gap A visit to the area around Horseshoe Plantation between 11am and 1.30pm in sunny but windy conditions produced only one confirmed sighting of a White-Letter Hairstreak. There were lots of Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Small Skipper and Small Heath. Others noted were, 12 Dark Green Fritillary, 12 Gatekeeper, 12 Small White, 3 Large White, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Comma. (Vince Massimo)

News for Fri 6 July - Broadfield Pond, Crawley, In the sheltered areas away from the wind were 15 summer-brood Green-veined Whites including a mating pair, also 2 Large White, 15 Meadow Brown, 7 Large Skipper, 10 Small Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 2 Speckled Wood, 5 Comma and 1 Small Tortoiseshell. (Vince Massimo)

Fri 6 Jul

Private woodland at Pickwell, Bolney: walking the course for Sunday's field trip I saw 9 Silver-washed Fritillary, 3 White Admiral, 1 Comma, 2 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Peacock. Also, hundreds of Meadow Brown and numerous Ringlet. (Caroline Clarke) And with the promise of fine weather at the weekend and lighter winds, should be a good trip!

Thurs 5 Jul

Apart from the outrageously early specimen we saw on the 16th May, we watched our first (male) Chalkhill Blue on the Downs near Amberley this morning. At one point, as soon as it landed, it was 'mounted' by two, excited red ants, possibly because it still carried traces of the attractive amino acids that the pupa exudes, to gain their protection. Later at Southwater, despite the continually dull weather, we saw 4 Purple Emperor, including our first female of the year. We also saw a very unusual, aberrant White Admiral on the ground. Although the pattern and colouration was normal, it was absolutely massive, approaching the size of a male Purple Emperor! (Neil and Eric Hulme)

Good catch last night: highlights were Delicate 1, Privet Hawkmoth 1, (only the third site record in over 100 years of records!), Scarce Silver-lines 1, and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on buddleia in the courtyard at 7.30 this morning. (Sam Bayley)

News for Weds 4 Jul: Beachy Head TQ 5996. Despite strong wind I was surprised to find at least 8 Marbled White and 10 Small Skipper,  1 Peacock. (Janet Richardson)

Weds 4 Jul

Green Ridge, Brighton (TQ291 086): 2 Marbled White feeding on clover, 6 Meadow Brown and 2 Small White. 1 Burnet spp. Owned by Brighton and Hove City Council, Green Ridge is a narrowish band of downland sandwiched between houses on the outskirts of Brighton and the A27. For more info see www.keeptheridgegreen.com. (Caroline Clarke)

Over the last three days, my first second brood Holly Blues, first Small Copper and Gatekeeper seen in Shoreham in between the rain showers. The downs on the 4th were rather sparse in a Force 6 Strong Breeze. (Andy Horton

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect. In warm, muggy conditions with occasional sun and some rain: Small Skipper (3), Large White (1), Small White (2), Small Copper (1), Common Blue(1), Red Admiral (1), Comma (2), Marbled White (3), Meadow Brown (326) and Ringlet (50), making 389 in all, comprising 10 species. Also seen: Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnets, Yellow Shells and my first Six-spot Burnet, which in previous years has been present in huge numbers breeding mainly in South Meadow. (Paul Lister)

Tues 3 Jul

White-letter Hairstreak Recording Project - Request for Volunteers

Herts and Middlesex BC are co-ordinating a national survey of the White-letter Hairstreak (WLH). Target 10km squares have been randomly selected across England, Wales and the south of Scotland within which a further 1km square area has been identified as an initial area to be surveyed. Volunteers are needed to visit the target areas to record the presence of both Elm (the WLH foodplant) and WLH. Eight of these target 1km squares fall within or along the borders of Sussex. They are:

SU7906 - West of Chichester SU9009 - East of Chichester

SU9816 - Near Amberley

TQ2226 - Near Leonardslee Gardens

TQ4705 - Near Firle TQ6623 - Near Burwash

TQ7118 - Near Battle

TQ9323 - Near Rye

If you live close to one of these areas and would like to help with the project please see the Herts and Middlesex webpage for details.

(Caroline Clarke, WLH Species Champion)


News for Mon 2 Jul: Preston Park, Brighton - 2 White-letter Hairstreak finally appeared despite wind and very short bursts of sunshine. Pleased to see them on the tall, narrow Jersey Elm trees that line the western edge of the park. Also, 1 Red Admiral - very friendly, sat on my shoulder! - and 1 Speckled Wood. (Caroline Clarke)


Mon 2 Jul

News for Sun 1 July - A White Admiral and 2 Silver-washed Fritillary at Warnham LNR today, also 2 Red Admiral, 1 Large Skipper, 2 Comma, 2 Small White, 2 Ringlet, 2 Green-veined White and 2 Large White. While a quick walk round the Quarry area at Southwater CP produced lots of Cinnabar moth larvae, disturbed 8 Shaded Broad-bar, 1 Blood-vein, 1 Silver Y, 1 Small White, 3 Large Skipper, 7 Small Skipper, 4 Ringlet and my first 2 Essex Skipper. (Sam Bayley)

News for Sat 30 June - Southwater CP - 1 Marbled White (only wildlife I saw all day here in the rain!) (Sam Bayley)

Sun 1 Jul

In very windy conditions at Cissbury Ring this afternoon we managed to find seven species of butterflies including 1 - 2 Dark Green Fritillaries. Also 2 Ringlets, 2 Peacocks, a very tatty Painted Lady, Small Heath, several Marbled Whites and lots of Meadow Browns. Also a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. The fritillaries were in the ditch on the west side of the ring. We then visited Preston Park, Brighton but were unsuccessful with White-letter Hairstreaks. Speckled Wood, Comma and Red Admiral there. (Paul James, Dave & Penny Green).

Park Corner Heath: Although the weather was mostly awful today there were some (brief) patches of sunshine during which the reserve came alive with Ringlet, Peacock, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown. I counted around 10 Silver-washed Fritillary some already looking rather tatty. However, one immaculate pair were certainly in the mood for love and performed their amazing display flight - surely the most impressive behaviour of any British butterfly; the female flying jerkily while the male loops around her. A surprise was the discovery of a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary on the plateau. After an early start to the SPBF season and the recent weather we thought they had come and gone but it seems they are still hangin' in there - although Graham described this rather worn individual as 'almost transparent'! (Michael Blencowe, Clare Jeffers, Dave Mitchell, Graham Parris). Editor: Anybody got any other vote for the species with 'most impressive behaviour'?!

A late afternoon visit to the bridge at Littlehampton produced my first Essex Skipper of the year. Plenty of Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and a few Small Tortoiseshell enjoying the last rays of sunshine. (Neil Hulme)

My first Small Skipper and my first Six-spot Burnet Moth of 2007 were on the Downs Link path south of the Buffer Stop in Shoreham town. The flowering Buddleia attracted frequent butterflies and seven species were seen in an hour including Comma, Peacocks, Red Admirals and Marbled Whites. (Andy Horton)

Despite rain in the morning, I visited Iping Common on Sunday at 14:15 for around 45 minutes, where the weather improved enough for the sun to make brief apperances. Silver-studded Blues were still present, although they were starting to look a bit worn. I did however see a fresh looking female resting during an overcast period that walked onto my finger! Several Large Skippers, Ringlets and Meadow Browns were flying when the sun came out and also a immaculate Marbled White which was too active for me a get a photo. My count was:4M 1F  Silver-studded Blue, 4 Ringlet, 3 Meadow Brown, 8 Large Skipper and a Silver Y (Richard Symonds)

News for Fri 29 June: Bedelands Farm Transect. Small Skipper (2), Large Skipper (1), Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (1), Marbled White (1), Meadow Brown (232), Ringlet (38). Total 277 butterflies counted, 7 species. (David Pyle)

What to look for in July

Butterflies: After the lull in June, July gathers real momentum on the butterfly front. Heading for their peak are Small Skipper, White Admiral, second brood Small Tortoiseshell, the golden and less-raggedy hutchinsoni summer form of the Comma, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Ringlet. Joining the fray are from early in the month are Essex Skipper, Purple Emperor, and Purple Hairstreak, and, by the end of the month, we can expect the first Graylings, Silver-spotted Skipper, Chalkhill Blues (bar the ridiculously early one we had this year!), the next brood of whites, Small Coppers, Brown Argus, Holly Blues and more. By the last week of the month, 30 species in a day is very possible; in 2006, Michael Blencowe got 31 without using a car! Beat that!

Moths: While the number of moths and the number of species recorded at traps continues to increase, it is often not quite as dramatically as the butterflies. Common and widespread species include Dark Arches, Shuttle-shaped Dart and the tail end of the Heart and Dart season. Look out for Brown Silver-line anywhere where there is Bracken - it is easily disturbed by day. And Narrow-bordered Five-spot and Six-spot Burnets can be abundant on downland flowers jostling with Marbled White butterflies.

Sat 30 Jun: 35.5mm of rain in Peacehaven, the biggest day total in five years of recording - no wonder there were no butterfly records!

Fri 29 June

A very worn Delicate last night (29th June) could it be a migrant? I have had a couple of pristine ones over the last few weeks which I assumed to have been locally bred. The rest of the catch was: 59 Water Veneer (an exceptional amount for one night), 6 Clouded Border , 1 Nephopterix angustella, 1 White Pinion-spotted, 45 Uncertain, 3 Common Wave, 10 Heart + Dart, 7 Dun-bar, 4 Snout, 5 Dark Arches, 6 Rustic, 1 Yellowtail*, 1 Poplar Hawk-moth, 3 Southern Wainscot, 1 Common White Wave, 10 Celypha lacunana, 11 Chrysoteuchia culmella, 1 Straw Dot, 7 Mottled Rustic, 8 Smoky Wainscot, 1 Clay, 4 Aleimma loeflingiana, 2 Buff-tip, 4 Large Yellow Underwing, 3 Elephant Hawk-moth, 1 Minor Shoulder-knot, 1 Chinese Character, 1 Phycitodes binaevella*, 2 Common Footman, 3 Bramble-shoot Moth, 3 Helcystogramma rufescens, 1 Buff Arches, 1 Scorched Wing, 1 Fan-foot, 1 Round-winged Muslin, 1Barred Red, 1 Single-dotted Wave*, 1 Flame, 1 Heart + Club, 1 Caloptilia robustella*, 1 Burnished Brass, 1 Dingy Shears, 1 Green Pug, 2 Emmelina monodactyla, 1 Lackey, 1 Garden Carpet, 1 Riband Wave, 1 Double-striped Pug, 1 Oak Nycteoline & 1 Euzophera pinguis .  * = new for year (Sam Bayley)

David Burrows reports a Large Tortoiseshell seen opposite the entrance to Herstmonceux Castle. (per Graham Parris)

Thurs 28 June

We have also gone live today with the webpages for the Sussex Moth Group. The group is independent from Butterfly Conservation, but we have close links and clearly much shared interest, so we are pleased to be able to offer this service to them. You can access them from either the Home page or the Species page of this website.

Here it is, Neil's Large Tortoiseshell at Littlehampton Bridge on 26 Jun.

Weds 27 Jun

On the orchid-covered southern bank of the Slonk Hill Cutting, Shoreham-by-Sea, I spotted the languid flight of my first Ringlet of 2007 (Andy Horton)

News for Tues 26 Jun: Having seen reports of several Large Tortoiseshell (which I believe came in recently with a small influx of Clouded Yellow) on both the Sussex and Hants websites, I decided to try and find one myself. Despite this being a 'long shot', I reckoned that the best chance would be in a river valley (which I suspect act as 'funnels' for migrating butterflies, as well as birds), somewhere near the coast, with an abundant nectar supply and with lots of nymphalids already about. Littlehampton Bridge, where I've spent some time watching White-letter Hairstreak, fitted the bill. After searching for an hour, my father and I were about to leave for Southwater, when I disturbed an immaculate Large Tortoiseshell (photo to follow) sunbathing on some wasteland. After watching and photographing it for about an hour, it headed off in a northerly direction (not there today). When we eventually got to Southwater Woods, we ended the day off nicely with our first Purple Emperor of the year, in the upper reaches of a known 'Master Tree'. (Neil and Eric Hulme)

News for Tues 26 Jun: 4 White Admiral and 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries resting on Bramble flowers in Binsted Wood  (John Knight)

Tues 26 Jun

Bravely ventured out to Park Corner Heath (6:30-8pm) on what turned out to be a pleasant evening. Never seen the pond there so full! Gatekeeper 1 male, Ringlet 4, Meadow Brown 1 and the moths Scarce Footman and Kent Black Arches which is a 'Nationally Scarce B' according to the book. (Michael Blencowe)

Preston Park, Brighton - 5 White-letter Hairstreak on ancient elm. Two further White-letter Hairstreak on mature roadside elm tree on corner of Preston Road and Withdean Court Avenue, Brighton. Butterflies seen in morning (10:45 to 11:30am) flitting around upper branches of elm. Scanned with binocs to see them on sheltered side of tree in sunshine. They stand out well against the sky so have to get the right angle! Would have walked right past without even noticing them if hadn't known what to look for. (Caroline Clarke)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: In breezy and generally overcast conditions meadow browns again in evidence in every section of the transect: Small Skipper (3), Large Skipper (15), Small White (1), White Admiral (1), Marbled White (4) and Meadow Brown (354). Last week I reported seeing Five-spot Burnet moths, but as these have been extinct in Sussex for several decades, what I saw were almost certainly Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moths. Although the evidence is far from definitive, the separation of the middle pair of spots suggests the narrow-bordered. Unfortunately, I was unable to see what they fed on, as they were all far too busy mating, but the numbers have increased this week and, if the past few years are anything to go by, they will further increase significantly. (Paul Lister)

News for Sat 23 Jun: Moths trapped in garden in Portslade on 23rd June: Privet Hawkmoth (2), Heart & Dart (11), Barred Straw, L-Album Wainscot, Barred Yellow, Leopard Moth, Peppered moth (2). (Darryl Perry)

Mon 25 Jun

Yes, butterflies were seen today, would you believe!

Five Marbled Whites on Southwick Hill this evening. (Bridget James)

Sun 24 Jun

Ok, so where's our summer gone! A few more days of this and June's average daily max temperature looks like it is going to be less than April here in Peacehaven. Moth Galleries A through to D now complete - dozens of new pics - so you can see what I've been doing during the wet! Adrian

Bedelands Farm nature reserve - continuous rain didn't quite stop play at the Bedelands Farm field trip today. We disturbed a few Meadow Brown in the long grass and saw Cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort. Thanks to all who braved the bad weather! (Caroline Clarke)

News for Sat 23 June: Small Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady and several Ringlets at Washington Chalk Pits. White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary in Hoe Wood, Woods Mill and a Small Tortoiseshell round the lake. These are my first sightings of Small Tortoiseshells in Sussex in 2007! (Paul James)

News for Sat 23 June: There was some sunshine at Park Corner Heath today; but also a lot of wind and some thunder! Ringlet 45, Meadow Brown 4, Speckled Wood 1, Large Skipper 5, Small Heath 3, Comma 1, Painted Lady 1, Brimstone 2, Red Admiral 2, Large White 1. (Michael Blencowe)

News for Weds 20 Jun: Disturbed a Blackneck from some grassland at Southwater Country Park whilst doing an orchid count which was a first for me. (Sam Bayley)

Sat 23 Jun

Just had my first Ringlets of the year at Fernhurst - nice to see quite a few of them as I reckon it underwent a severe decline in West Sussex. Also a single Marbled White and loads of Meadow Browns. (Sarah Patton)

News for Fri 22 Jun: Transect details of Bedelands Farm: Small Skipper (1), Large Skipper (7), Large White (4), Small White (1), Common Blue (1), Holly Blue (1), Red Admiral (1), Painted Lady (2), Comma (4), Speckled Wood (2), Meadow Brown (300), Ringlet (3). Total 327 butterflies, 12 species. Also saw today a Silver-washed Fritillary at Wakehurst Place (David Pyle)

Fri 22 Jun

We found a Eyed Hawkmoth resting on our Worthing garden fence this morning at about 0700. (Bill Sellers)

News for Thurs 21 Jun: I photographed a LARGE TORTOISESHELL feeding on privet flowers at Crouch Gardens, Seaford. I was able to take several exposures, though at no point did the butterfly fully open its wings. As we had southerly winds earlier in the week I imagine that the butterfly might have ridden them from France, and so is less likely to be captive bred. (Keith West)


Thurs 21 Jun

News for 20 Jun: Preston Park, Brighton: 2 White-letter hairstreak. (Caroline and Ed Clarke)

News for 20 Jun: Between Steyning and Beeding this afternoon my first Clouded Yellow of the year, and roughly 30 Meadow Browns, 20 Large Skippers, 10 Small Tortoiseshells, 5 Commas, 2 Red Admirals, 2 Large Whites and one Green-veined White. (Keith Noble)

News for 20 Jun: 1 Clouded Yellow University of Sussex campus, Falmer (Crispin Holloway)

Weds 20 Jun

At least 6 Dark Green Fritillaries in the 'ditch' at Cissbury Ring, keeping out of the wind. (Tom Ottley)

On a sheltered site near Chilgrove, 31 male Dark Green Fritillary spent the afternoon careering up and down, searching in vain for females. Amongst the abundant Marbled White and Meadow Brown were the first Small Skipper that I've seen this year. Yesterday, following a tip-off from Paul Marten, I saw the almost totally black, aberrant form of White Admiral (semi-nigrina) at Southwater Woods. (Neil Hulme)

A Clouded Yellow today in the coppiced part of Hoe Wood at Woods Mill, along with numerous Silver-washed Fritillaries and one White Admiral. Also Marbled White present in the meadow at Woods Mill. (Penny Green, Alice Parfitt & Mike Russell)

Tues 19 Jun

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: After a week off visiting the Farne Islands & Lindisfarne (an enormous swarm of Painted Ladies on Inner Farne, in addition to all the other wonderful wildlife) it was back (on my own) counting butterflies on a sunny but windy day- Large Skipper (22), Common Blue (2), Red Admiral (1), Marbled White (3) and Meadow Brown (358) present in all 14 sections of the transect. Also good numbers of Five-spot Burnet sp moths. (Paul Lister)

Today in the coppiced area of Hoe Wood at Woods Mill: 4 White Admirals, 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 1 Large Skipper, 3 Meadow Brown. In the meadow at Woods Mill: 1 Small Heath, 4 Meadow Browns (David Plummer and Penny Green)

Mon 18 Jun

Loads of photos coming in - apologies that they are taking a while to get onto the site while I am working on other pages. If there is anyone who would like to take on the role of Picture Editor for the site, volunteers are welcome. Don't worry - the big batches are all done, so it is just a matter of editing and tagging new pictures as they come in (about half a dozen a week). You don't need web skills - just image editing ones (preferably Photoshop), and to be willing to receive images by email. Full (simple!) instructions given - estimated time needed about 30 mins to 1 hour per week. Email me at the sighting address if you would like to find out more about what is involved. Adrian

Advance notice of new event organised under the auspices of the new National Moth Recording Scheme run by Butterfly Conservation: CHALK DOWNLAND High and Over, Seaford, East Sussex, Introduction to Chalk Downland Moths Workshop 28 July 2007 10.00–16.00. Booking essential: 01929 406009 or nmrs@butterfly-conservation.org. The workshop leader is Dave Green.

On Mill Hill and the Lancing Ring meadows, the emergence of the Marbled White seems to have begun with 11 and 6 seen respectively. Two Pyrausta purpuralis from the lower slopes of Mill Hill were the first positive records of this attractive small pyralid moth this year. Other butterflies in and around Shoreham included 11+ Small Blues, 8+ Small Heaths, one pristine male Adonis Blue, 2 Common Blues, one Red Admiral, 3 Large Whites, 3 Meadow Browns and a Painted Lady. A few Silver Y and one Cinnabar Moth in just under an hour. (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html)

News for Sun 17 Jun: A stroll around Castle Hill NNR from 3pm 'til 6 under grey skies: Marbled White (30+). Dark Green Fritillary (4), Red Admiral (2), Meadow Brown (60+), Small Heath (5), Adonis Blue (6), Painted Lady (2), Small Blue (6), Forester (1), Six-spot Burnet (1). There was plenty of Burnet larvae amongst the grass and Burnet Companions were plentiful (Michael Blencowe)

Sun 17 Jun

At a site north of Littlehampton we watched approximately 20 White-letter Hairstreak, which were either chasing each other around the Wych Elms, Ash and Field Maple, or were engrossed in nectaring on bramble blossom. Moving on to Binsted Woods we saw White Admiral (4), Silver-washed Fritillary (2), Purple Hairstreak (1), Marbled White (1) and Ringlet (1), amongst the more common species. (Neil Hulme and Ian Barnard)

A pristine, freshly-emerged Purple Hairstreak sitting on a blade of grass at Fernhurst today! Lots of Meadow Browns in the long grass, but nothing else. (Sarah Patton)

Sat 16 Jun

Park Corner Heath: Spent more time sheltering in the Shed than walking around the reserve. Ringlet 1, Speckled Wood 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1, Red Admiral 1, female Orange Moth 1 (Michael Blencowe)

News for Thurs 14 Jun: Plenty of Silver Ys appeared at dusk in my garden in Edburton with at least 30 feeding on privet, lavender, verbena, honeysuckle and red valerian (Tony Wilson)

News for Thurs 14 Jun: A Gatekeeper at Frog Firle and also 10+ Large Skippers. Also of note, Heath Fritillary are out in Blean Woods, Kent. (Matt Eade)

News for Weds 13 Jun: Broadfield Pond, Crawley - Amongst the Meadow Browns and Large Skippers was a very tatty Painted Lady and the first Five-Spotted Burnet of the year. (Vince Massimo)

News for Fri 8 Jun: Transect Bedelands Farm - Common Blue (44), Meadow Brown (11), Painted Lady (1). Considerable numbers of Burnet Companion still active. Hornet also recorded. (David Pyle)

Fri 15 Jun

Preston Park, Brighton. Bright sunshine after intermittent showers, 5:30pm. Solitary White-letter hairstreak flying around upper canopy of one of two ancient elms at northerly entrance to the park off London Road. (Caroline Clarke)

As the sun finally broke through in the late afternoon at Southwater, the woods became awash with butterflies. The main highlight was 52 White Admiral, which were nectaring on almost every stand of bramble. Although fresh, some are already torn, from their constant venturing deep into the undergrowth. Other species included 12 Purple Hairstreak, 3 Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 Ringlet, 10 Comma, 7 Red Admiral, 100+ Meadow Brown, 4 Large Skipper, 2 Painted Lady, 4 Speckled Wood and 1 Large White .(Neil Hulme, Paul Marten, Ian Barnard)

Thu 14 Jun

Last night (14th June) in my Rusper garden, Along with the migrants 4 Silver Y, 6 Diamond-back Moth and 1 Delicate. I also caught a Toadflax Brocade. This is a first for my garden and an unusual record living about a 25 minute drive from the coast. Also caught a Diamond-back Moth, a Dotted Fan-foot and a Large Nutmeg at Warnham LNR on 12th June.(Sam Bayley)

At Southwater Woods today on an overcast but warm day I counted 15 White Admirals, 6 Red Admirals, numerous (20 +) Commas - all very fresh - a single Silver-washed Fritillary and 2 Purple Hairstreaks. Some of the Admirals were nectaring on brambles, others patrolling the rides.(Tom Ottley)

Brighton: female Lime Hawkmoth found by neighbour on wall. (Caroline Clarke)

Wed 13 Jun

At a recently discovered site on the banks of the River Arun, north of Littlehampton, we watched at least 10 male White-letter Hairstreak dogfighting above Wych Elms. If they were not scrapping, they would sit in the upper canopy, constantly twisting and turning on their perches. The 'best of the rest' were some freshly emerged Comma. Moving on to the Downs behind Amberley, we saw our first (8) Marbled White of the year. The first brood Small Blue (5) numbers are now decreasing rapidly here. Last stop of the day was at Iping Common. Despite the now overcast weather, at least 50 Silver-studded Blue were sitting in the grasses around a single scrape, providing easy photographic opportunities. (Neil and Eric Hulme)

Spent a couple of hours looking for adult White-letter Hairstreak around Brighton (Preston Park and Pavilion gardens). Scanned the upper branches of mature elm with binocs. Got a stiff neck and a lot of suspicious looks but no sightings. If you have elm near you the best time of day to look for this lovely little butterfly is around 10am when males often 'dance' around the upper canopy of elm trees. They should be appearing any day now. (Caroline Clarke)

Tue 12 Jun

My first Ringlet of the year today at Combe Down, Clayton. Also 2 Large Skippers, Small Heath and Brimstone. (Paul James)

Mon 11 Jun

Interesting visitors to our Worthing light trap earlier today were single White-point and Treble Brown Spot. (John & Shena Maskell)

New for 10 Jun The moth trap left overnight in our garden in Barcombe contained 336 moths of 62 species on Sunday morning this week! Highlights were Elephant, Eyed, Poplar and Lime Hawkmoth, Four-doted Footman, 3 Figure of Eighty, Lobster Moth,2  Clouded Silver , 2 Green Pug, 10 Dark Arches, 2 Small Fan-foot, 3 Green Oak Tortrix , 1 DelicateShoulder-striped Wainscot and 4 Peppered Moth. Highest numbers were 57 Large Yellow Underwing, 43 Heart and Dart, 26 Common Wainscot, 19 Scorched Wing. We also had our first  (9) Straw Dot of the year .(Janet and Clive Dickson))

Sun 10 Jun

On Sunday morning between 10:30 and 11:45 I visited Iping Common. Upon arrival in the car park I saw a Clouded Yellow take flight from some bramble. On the Common several groups of Silver-studded Blues were flying, while in the scrubby areas Large Skippers were chasing after any other insect flying in their territories. Count:  1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Small White, (27m 2f) Silver-studded Blue, 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 6 Large Skipper. In the afternoon the weather became slightly overcast when I visited Stedham Common. Only 5 Silver-studded Blues were seen. (Richard Symonds)

Marbled White sighted this morning on the Frog Firle transect (Nigel Kemp)

At Southwater Woods the White Admiral emerged in good numbers today, with 8 males constantly patrolling in the hope of finding an early, virgin female. Meadow Brown numbers are building rapidly (50+) and Painted Lady are becoming increasingly common. Other species included 6 Speckled Wood, 3 Large Skipper and 2 Red Admiral. (Neil and Eric Hulme)

My first butterfly of the day was a Large Skipper in a clearing next to the path that runs through a spinney and hedgerows/scrub on the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting. This was my first this year. 19+ Small Blues on the Buckingham Cutting were the most frequent butterfly. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill Local Nature Reserve the first brood of Adonis Blue were almost finished and some of the males had tatty upper wing rims and with an influx of Common Blues  the identification could be tricky. In the one acre transect that were about seven of each species (4 males and 3 females each). My first Marbled White Butterfly of the year fluttered across the lower slopes. There were ten butterfly and skipper species seen. (Andy Horton)

A short walk around Seaford Head produced good numbers of Painted Ladies (at least 30), mostly in only average condition. Also 1 Adonis Blue, 1 Marbled White and numerous Large Skippers. At Birling Gap there was a single Dark Green Fritillary and there was a report from a visiting butterfly watcher of 2 more of these seen at Beachy Head and another 2 near Lullington Heath. No sign of White-letter Hairstreak yet but they are apparently out in Surrey. (Tom Ottley)

Two female and four male Small Blues on the verge opposite the car park of the old Cement works at Shoreham, on Sunday 10 June in the afternoon, together with some Marbled Whites and a Large Skipper. (Chris Skinner)

New for Fri 8 June: Had my first Marbled White of the year at Thorney Deeps.(Barry Collins)

Sat 9 Jun

At Stedham Common today 9 Silver-studded Blues (Bridget & Gareth James) and 1 on Iping Common (Dave & Penny Green, Paul James). At Ashpark Wood Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Large Skipper, Small Heath and Meadow Brown. (Paul James)

I visited Levin Down for an hour from 11 am. The weather was warm and sunny with a temperature of 23 degrees. Meadow Browns were abundant (my first sightings of the year) also Large Skippers (another first sighting this season), these did not settle and appeared to be on the wing continuously. I only saw a handful of Small Tortoiseshells during the whole of 2006 so was pleased to see several flying around scrub at this site. My full count was: 4(F) Brimstone, 5 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Painted Lady, 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 7 Small Heath, 7 Large Skipper and a Pyrasta aurata .(Richard Symonds)

A quick walk around Warnham LNR today between 3 and 4 pm resulted in 2 Common Blue, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Large White, 2 Comma, 1 Painted Lady, 8 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Large Skipper, 15 Meadow Brown and my 1st Silver-washed Fritillary of the year (very early). Also saw 1 female Nemophora degeerella, Alabonia geoffrella, Common Carpet, Burnet Companion and numerous Chrysoteuchia culmella. Whilst the highlights of the moth trap last night were 2 Figure of Eighty, 2 Beautiful Golden Y, 1 Delicate, 1 Pinion-streaked Snout and 2 Dusky Brocade.(Sam Bayley)

Fri 8 June

On the southern side of the Buckingham Cutting, north Shoreham, I spotted the first local Small Blue Butterflies of 2007. At least five were seen flitting amongst the mixed vegetation and there may have been more as these very small butterflies are easy to miss. I also recorded my personal first Painted Lady and Meadow Brown Butterflies of the year on the Downs Link Cyclepath north of Old Shoreham.(Andy Horton)

The transect walk at Cissbury Ring this afternoon recorded the following counts: 7 Adonis, 17 Common Blue, 2 Brimstone, 1 (pristine) Dark Green Fritillary , 2 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Large Skipper, 7 Meadow Brown, 2 Painted Lady, 3 Red Admiral, 24 Small Heath, 9 Speckled Yellow, 8 Cinnabar (Peter Atkinson)

Had a Dark Green Fritillary in the fields between Ovingdean and Roedean today. Also seen 1 Painted Lady, 30+ Meadow Browns, 20+ Small Heath, 10 Large Skippers, 20 Common Blue, 2 Small Blue, 3 Brown Argus and 1 Red Admiral (Ian Barnard)

Weds 6 June

May saw an average of 127 people checking out this website each and every day, looking at a total of just under 10,000 pages during the month. Many thanks to all the contributors who make the website so successful. Adrian

A surprise find in our garden in Seaford today resting on the back of a garden chair, a very tatty Eyed Hawkmoth. (Bob and Matt Eade)

Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows weekly butterfly transect: in sunny but breezy conditions Large Skipper (13), Large White (1), Small Copper (1), Common Blue (14), Painted Lady (3), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Speckled Wood (1), Meadow Brown (24) and Mother Shipton (1), Burnet Companion (4), Cinnabar (1), Hornet (2) and Broad-bodied Chaser (3). Orchids in almost all the meadows are now showing well. (Paul Lister)

Tues 5 June

Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Painted Lady on Buddleia alternifolia. (The Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral were quite worn, could they be ones which overwintered here?) (Jonathan Ruff)

My afternoon's tally of butterflies in the early June lull period consisted of a few Holly Blues on the outskirts of Shoreham, and the usual fare on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with 28 Adonis Blues (18 males, 10 females), and 14 Small Heath, and on the upper plateau area on a breezy sunny just about warm day, I recorded just the one male Common Blue amongst some long grasses in the middle area. A Burnet Companion on the Slonk Hill Cutting North (and another one seen on the Shoreham Bank), a few Yellow Shell and Treble-bar . On the lower slopes of Mill Hill I spotted a Mother Shipton, the first of the year. There were no signs of Small Blues on the Slonk Hill Cutting or Meadow Browns on Mill Hill. (Andy Horton)

Mill Hill nature reserve, Shoreham: Adonis Blues, Small Heaths, my first Meadow Brown (1) and Painted Lady (1) of the year + 1 Red Admiral. Drinker moth larva on path. (Caroline Clarke)

Blackcap Down (near Plumpton): a walk up onto the downs in sunny spells produced Large Skipper (2), Large White (1), Common Blue (11), Adonis Blue (6), Red Admiral (1), Speckled Wood (2), Small Heath (1) and Cinnabar and Burnet Companion . Although not (yet) up to previous years numbers, the orchids are starting to show well. My Haywards Heath garden has today produced its first Painted Lady and last night's moth trap included Small Magpie, Garden Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Heart & Darts and a Marbled Minor. (Paul Lister)

News for Mon 4 June: Good trapping last night - new for the year - Green Oak Tortrix, Small Angle Shades, Green Pug, Small Elephant Hawk, Cream-spot Tiger, Rosy Marbled, Bee Moth, Broom Moth, Varied Coronet, Peach Blossom, Red-necked Footman, Alder Moth, Freyer's Pug, Delicate and Blotched Emerald. The 2 Delicate were almost certainly not migrants, given the almost total lack of migrant activity. It would seem that White-point, Diamond-back, Udea ferrugalis (Rusty-dot Pearl), Silver Y and Deliate are all resident now, and spreading inland. (Sarah Patton)

News for Sun 2 Jun: It is extraordinary how little there is about compared to previous years! Most species that should be on the wing at this time of year are around but in very low numbers. Despite perfect weather conditions on Sun 2 June I recorded very, very little on the transect at Malling Down, Lewes, E Sussex. 2 Brimstone, 1 Large White, 4 Common Blue (all male), 8 Adonis Blue (3 m & 5 f), 1 Red Admiral, 7 Small Heath, 2 Cinnabar (also found 3 dead ones). (Crispin Holloway)

Mon 4 June

In our East Dean garden 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady (Carole & David Jode)

News for Sun 3 June: The following trapped in Garden at Portslade on the night of 3 June: Clouded Silver, Pearly Underwing, Heart & Dart (approx 10), Lime-speck Pug, Green Pug, Lime Hawkmoth, Small Elephant Hawkmoth. (Darryl Perry)

News for Sun 3 June: On the scarp slope near Edburton today there were 3 Green Hairstreaks, Grizzled Skipper, 3 Dingy Skippers, 3 Large Skippers, 4 Brown Argus, 6 Small Heaths, 10 Common Blues and 3 Forester Moths as well as the usual day-flying moths.  Also Poplar Hawkmoth, Oak Hook-tip and Light Feathered Rustic recently in the garden. (Tony Wilson)

News for Sun 3 June: A visit to Park Corner Heath in strong sunshine between 2.30pm and 3.45pm produced 10-15 Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries, 5 Brimstones and 1 fresh Small Tortoiseshell. There were also 4 Speckled Yellow and the following dragonflies:- Broad Bodied Chaser, Black Tailed Skimmer and several large hawkers (possibly Emperors). (Vince Massimo)

News for Sat 2 June: Crowlink Transect produced in good conditions for that site produced only 5 Common Blue plus another one on the walk back to the car park. All male. Earlier on east of Holywell on Eastbourne Seafront one male and female Common Blue. (Carole & David Jode)

News for Fri 1 June: Our East Dean garden - 2 Painted Lady our first sighting this year anywhere. (Carole & David Jode)

News for Thurs 31 May Our East Dean garden - 2 Red Admiral, 1 Small White and our first sighting this year anywhere of a Small Tortoiseshell. (Carole & David Jode)

News for Tues 29 May: Abbots Wood - 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Green-veined White. No Pearl-bordered Fritillary. (Carole & David Jode)

Sun 3 June

Walk over Seaford Head and down to Cuckmere Haven: 10 Small Heath, 4 Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral. 5 Mother Shipton and 1 Speckled Yellow. Also, a male Stonechat posed for us at the top of a gorse bush and a Sparrowhawk swooped over farm buildings. (Kevin, Caroline, Miles & Ed Clarke)

At Chesworth Farm, Horsham today my first Meadow Browns (7) of the year along with 1 Small Copper, 3 Small Tortoiseshell (hardly any this year), 2 Common Blue, 2 Yellow Shell, 2 Mother Shipton and my first Vapourer of the year. (Sam Bayley)

Laughton Common Wood: minimum 2 male (presumably Small) 'Pearl-bordered' Fritillaries, very actively patrolling the bracken in the sunshine and inspecting any bramble leaf that was orange enough to look like a female. For a creature that has tiny little eyes on stalks and flies at 30mph, it really was quite skilful, and these guys were definitely on a mission. Otherwise, butterflies were hard to come by - 1 male Brimstone, 1 Meadow Brown, and a handful of Speckled Woods. Even Speckled Yellows were few. (Adrian Thomas)

News for Sat 2 June: Mill Hill nature reserve, Shoreham: 25+ male Adonis Blue, 14 Small Heath, 3 male Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock. Peacock larvae on nettles. Female blues about equal to males. 1 Speckled Yellow. (Caroline, Miles & Ed Clarke and Stan Hayward-Williams)

News for Sat 2 June: A late afternoon walk at 'High and Over' produced relatively few butterflies. However, the sun was still sufficiently strong to keep 3 Large Skipper on the wing, which were buzzing up and down the pathway from the carpark. On the open area just below here, a single, male Meadow Brown provided me with a second, personal 'first' for the year. (Neil Hulme)

News for Sat 2 June: 12 male Red-veined Darters at Seven Sisters CP (Cuckmere Haven) by the second bend towards the sea where the concrete track goes close to the water. (Keith Noble)

News for Sat 2 June: A Peacock flying and resting in sun in fields between Keymer and Clayton and yesterday (1st) a male Brimstone flying around my Keymer garden . (Malcolm Le Grys)

News for Sat 2 June: A Dingy Skipper was a nice garden 'tick' for me today here in Edburton, my 30th species for the garden. Also a couple of Common Blues. In the fields nearby there was a Large Skipper and a Small Tortoiseshell. The only moths of note this week at my outside light were a Light Feathered Rustic and a Cypress Carpet (Tony Wilson).

News for Tues 29 May: Large Skipper on the wing at Thorney Deeps (Barry Collins)

Sat 2 June

The butterfly galleries are now up and running again (I hope!) - apologies for the problem there. Now just the moth galleries to sort! Thanks to Paul Lister and Roy Neeve for pointing those out. If you do encounter any problems around the website, do let me know, using the email web followed by @sussex-butterflies.org.uk. Adrian

A casual walk along the Seven Sisters (Cuckmere Haven to Beachy Head) today proved very poor for butterfly or moth numbers with the following sightings - c20 Small Heath, 3 Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Blue (a new species for me), 1 Small White, 2 Cinnabar moth, 1 Mother Shipton, 1 Diamond-back Moth and the most surprising sighting being 2 Speckled Yellow (one at the start and one at the end of the walk) which I have only ever encountered in open woodland. (Sam Bayley)

Castle Hill, nr Woodingdean - highlights 1 Painted Lady, 3 Large Skipper, c.10 Adonis Blue, 5 Small Blue, 5 Common Blue, 2 Dingy Skipper (Adrian Thomas)

News for Fri 1 June: Had my first Meadow Brown of the year at Thorney Island today. (Barry Collins)

News for Fri 1 Jun: Four Meadow Browns near top of Beeding Hill yesterday afternoon. Also 1 Clouded Yellow. (Jim Steedman)

News for Fri 1 Jun: Broadfield Pond, Crawley - The Large Skipper count has now increased to 7 including the first female of the year. (Vince Massimo)

News for Thurs 31 May: Broadfield Pond, Crawley - Amongst the 11 Common Blues, 1 Holly Blue, 3 Large Skippers, 2 Small Coppers, 2 Red Admirals, 2 Small Whites, 1 Green-veined White and 2 Speckled Woods were an early Meadow Brown (male) and a very rare visitor, a male Brown Argus. This is only the second specimen I have seen on this site in 3 years. (The other was in the jaws of a crab spider and could not be rescued.) (Vince Massimo)

Fri 1 June

Bedelands Farm Transect, species and numbers seen on transect walk today: Large White (3), Small White (2), Small Copper (2), Common Blue (29), Red Admiral (1), Speckled Wood (3), Meadow Brown (4). Total butterflies seen; 44, 7 species, + innumerable numbers of Burnet Companion and a single Garden Wave. (David Pyle)

News for Thurs 31 May: Sandgate Park, Storrington - 2 Green Hairstreak in mating dance, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Small Copper, 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Silver Y (migrant), 1 Cinnabar and a Burnet Companion.

Southwater Country Park - 2 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Dingy Skipper, 2 Green Hairstreak, c30 Common Blue, c30 Burnet Companion (Sam Bayley)


News for Weds 30 May: In the moth trap at Warnham LNR  a poor catch with the following highlights - 1 Green Silver-line, 1 Rush Veneer (migrant), and 2 Burnished Brass

Rusper garden moth trap highlights - 1 Diamond-back Moth (migrant), 5 Lobster, 1st Green Pug, 1 Silver Y, 1 Green Silver-line, 1st Barred Yellow and 1st Figure of Eighty (Sam Bayley)


News for Tues 29 May: Two male Silver-studded Blues flying on Stedham Common (per Adastra egroup)


What to look for in June:

  • Butterflies: Well, we expected May to throw up some record early emergences after 'Amazing April' but we had just one Large Skipper report and we are still waiting for the first Meadow Brown. Expect Ringlets mid-month - they may do well after the wet spring - and White Admiral too. Small Blues and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries should be holding on. It is always interesting to hear of latest records of some of the spring broods going over too, such as late Brimstones, Peacocks, Green Hairstreaks and Orange-tips
  • Moths: With many more moth species on the wing, it becomes more likely that you will find interesting species attracted to house lights and so resting on the outside of windows or around porches. Probably the most abundant species coming to garden traps will be the Heart and Dart, where even traps in small gardens can expect to turn up dozens. Day-flying moths to watch for include Speckled Yellows in woodland, and Burnet Companion, Mother Shipton and the three common burnet moths in good numbers.


Earlier Sightings

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