Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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Send 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. These sightings are largely unverified at the time of publishing.

Weblink for national 2008 Painted Lady and Hummingbird Hawkmoth survey

Gardening for Butterflies & Moths

Send digital photos of butterflies and moths taken in Sussex to photo 'at' sussex-butterflies.org.uk. Please do not send attachments larger than 1MB.

Click here for the Sussex Moth Group webpages

Calling all 12-16 year olds - check out the Sussex Butterfly Conservation Prize Photography Competition here - closing date 30 September 2008

"Colin Pratt’s Silver Trophy Cup for Sussex Lepidopterists" - here

Next event: 9 Aug Moths at Knepp; 9 Aug Grayling Festival comes to East Sussex

 

 

News for Tues 29 and Weds 30 Jul: On Tuesday I visited Cissbury Ring to try and see a Brown Hairstreak, a species seen here by Mike Snelling the previous day. Congratulations Mike - I believe this is the first adult seen on a site previously only known from ova discovered early last year. Although it was probably too late (and windy) for me to have any joy, I was pleased to see 6 Wall. This butterfly seems to be having quite a good year on some sites. Dark Green Fritillaries are still here in good numbers, although looking rather tired now. Moth interest was provided by a fresh looking Oak Eggar. On Wednesday I returned to Newtimber Hill, with Pauline Richards from Hampshire. Pauline found a nice colony of Wall (5), although we didn't manage to work out where the females were! She also spotted a Silver-washed Fritillary, bringing the species count for this venue to 30 in two visits! (Pauline Richards and Neil Hulme)

News for Tues 29 Jul: A Dusky Thorn was recorded at a moth trap in chestnut coppice in Rother Woods. This first of the year was just one of many thorns recorded on the night – also Purple Thorn, Early Thorn, Canary-shouldered Thorn and September Thorn. Footman species were also extremely abundant. Clay Fan-foot was recorded on the night and has been recorded in all Rother Woods surveyed for moths in July. (Steve Wheatley)


 

Thursday 31 July 2008

The big news from last night's trap in Ringmer was a Garden Tiger, a first for us. I saw it first wedged under the patio door-sill, unharmed...an awesome insect. A good number of species: 41 macros, at least 15 micros and 2 Red-legged Shieldbugs.Other macros: Poplar Hawkmoth, Pale Prominent, Scarce Footman (3), Augusy Thorn, Dun-bar, Pebble Hook-tip 2nd gen, Blood-vein (3), Sharp-angled Peacock, Small Fan-footed Wave, Single-dotted Wave, Ruby Tiger, Least Yellow Underwing, Small Blood-vein, Brimstone (28), Riband Wave (24), Common Footman (14), Flame Shoulder (8), Knot Grass (4), Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (9), Clouded Border (2), Willow Beauty (4). Nut-tree Tussock, Small Waved Umber (7), Silver Y, Buff Ermine (7), Scalloped Oak (4), Large Yellow Underwing (6), Uncertain (20), Common Rustic (28), Dark/Grey Dagger (2), Gold Spot (3), Common Carpet (2), Red Twin-spot Carpet (2), Dark Arches (28), Common Wainscot, Buff-tip, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Bright-line Brown-eye, Common Pug plus at least one other smaller Pug (10), Magpie Moth (2). Micros included Mother of Pearl (4), Endotricha flammealis, Crambus sp (20), Light Brown Apple Moth plus other tortrix sp, Pyrausta aurata (2), Double-striped Tabby, Ermine sp, Plume Moth (2 spp). (John Luck)

News for Weds 30 Jul: The Chalkhill Blues have been slow to appear at Mill Hill this year, as the count of a mere 81 (including two females) plus two male Adonis Blues on the lower slopes indicated. Another 15+ Chalkhill Blues were present over the south-west corner of the Mill Hill Cutting. A pristine new Small Blue settled on still flowering Kidney Vetch on Buckingham Cutting south. The small pyralid moth Synaphe punctalis was frequently seen in a small patch on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Fifteen species of butterfly were recorded without trying. (Andy Horton)


 

Wednesday 30 July 2008

News for Mon 28 Jul: In flowery grassland around Weshampnett Pit (no public access), E of Chichester: numerous Gatekeeper (30+) and Peacock (10-15); also Common Blue (3), Red Admiral (c5), Meadow Brown (c10), Brimstone (1). In woodland rides, 'Open Winkins' on Goodwood Estate (SU906100 to SU908120 and especially 'The Gallop', a wide ride from SU911103 to SU913115 - this latter a very botanically rich and diverse ride, though with no public access): Peacock (20+), Red Admiral (c10), Silver-Washed Fritillary (c12-15), Dark Green Fritillary (2), Meadow Brown (c10), Gatekeeper (c10), Speckled Wood (c5). (Martin Hampton)


 

Tuesday 29 July 2008

 

Clockwise: Silver-spotted Skipper, Newtimber Hill, 27 Jul (Neil Hulme); Chalkhill Blue (x2, female and male) and Dark Green Fritillary Cissbury Ring, 27 Jul (Steve Arlow); mating Six-spot Burnets, Friston Forest, 25 Jul (Sue Robinson); Yellow Shell, Ringmer, 27 Jul (John Luck)

 

News for Mon 28 Jul: A trip to Newtimber Hill in sweltering hot conditions produced my most impressive tally of butterflies this year. Silver-spotted Skipper (50+), Large Skipper (2), Small Skipper (50+), Essex Skipper (not counted), Painted Lady (2), Small Tortoiseshell (5), Red Admiral (3), Peacock (16), Comma (4), Dark Green Fritillary (2), Green-veined White (4), Small White (9), Large White (19), Brimstone (3), Speckled Wood (2), Gatekeeper (50+), Meadow Brown (50+), Ringlet (1), Marbled White (16), Small Heath (2), Purple Hairstreak (3), Small Copper (1) Common Blue (7), Brown Argus (2), Chalkhill Blue (22), Adonis Blue (3), Holly Blue (1) and last, but by no means least, my second UK LARGE TORTOISESHELL. This glided past me around the slope, about level with my feet. Unlike the very obliging specimen I found at Littlehampton Bridge last year, this one wasn't going to stop for a mugshot! The female Silver-spotted Skippers are already out in force (there are far more SSSK than the 50 I counted up to) and I watched repeated 'rejections', successful 'couplings' and egg-laying. The males are being their usual, aggressive selves, constantly squabbling and regularly attacking the numerous burnets. Migrant moths included Hummingbird Hawkmoth (3) and Silver Y. (Neil Hulme)

News for Sun 27 Jul: Made a visit from Essex today to Cissbury Ring where had 12+ Dark Green Fritillaries, 15 Chalkhill Blues, 3 Common Blues, 3 Wall, 5 Brimstone, 3 Brown Argus, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, many Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, at least 20 Marbled Whites, and a couple of Small and Large Whites. The best area was on the west and north west side of the hill in the shallow gully just beneath the top of the hill. From here visited Birling Gap in the hope of early Silver-spotted Skippers but no luck but several hundred Chalkhill Blues on the wing. (Steve Arlow)

News for Sun 27 Jul: Back in sunny Sussex after a couple of weeks' absence. Sunday night's mothtrap produced 34 macros, including 3rd Brussels Lace of the year and 14 micros. Other Macros - Poplar Hawkmoth (2), Rosy Footman, Coronet (3), Dusky Sallow (2), Dun-bar, Dusky Thorn (3), Ear Moth, Yellow Shell, Knot Grass (4), Ruby Tiger (3), Straw Dot, Nut-tree Tussock (2), Brimstone (4), Common Footman (14), Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (6), Riband wave (22), Dark Arches (25), Buff Ermine (5), Common Emerald, Scalloped Oak (8), Magpie (3), Shuttle-shaped Dart (2), Willow Beauty (4), Small Waved Umber, Burnished Brass, Flame Shoulder (3), Common Wainscot (2), Heart & Dart, Common Rustic (11), Uncertain (16), Single-dotted Wave, Common Pug, Common Carpet. (John Luck)


 

Monday 28 July 2008

 

L to R, top to bottom, Attendees, Save our Butterflies Week event Friston, 25 Jul, (Neil Hulme); female Chalkhill Blue postcaeca, downs nr Amberley, 27 Jul, (Neil Hulme); pair of Chalkhill Blues, Windover Hill, today (Bob Eade); Grayling, Windover Hill, today (Bob Eade); Chalkhill Blues helping remove something before you stand in it, Friston, 25 Jul, (Neil Hulme); Brimstone male and Small Blue male, Windover Hill, today (Bob Eade); and Wall, Mill Hill, 25 Jul (Neil Hulme)

 

   

 

A very hot morning at Windover Hill and Windover Hill produced enormous quantities of Chalkhill Blues. I had lost count within 5 minutes of leaving the car!! There were also plenty of Meadow Brown and Gatekeepers. 11 Grayling were seen in total, all of these except 1 was in Windover Hill. 3 Brimstone also in Windover Hill along with Small Skippers. No Silver-spotted Skippers seen. 1 Common Blue and on the path halfway between the car park and the reservoir on the right hand bank going up there were 7 Small Blue. 3 Dark Green Fritillaries were also seen . (Bob Eade).

Newhaven Tidemills - Went to look for Wall - but no luck. Plenty of Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Large White, Small White, spotted one Essex Skipper with it's black tipped antennae...but no Wall. It was *very* sunny!! (Danny McEvoy)

Even more spectacularly, the number of butterfly species seen on 27 July 2008 has to be increased by one to 22 species, as a second brood male Adonis Blue was identified on the lower slopes of Mill Hill (Shoreham) and one was seen there yesterday as well. My visit was to look for the main emergence of Chalkhill Blues and make a count on the 1.2 acre transect of the lower slopes, which came to 68 males. The main emergence is expected in the next few days. (Andy Horton)

 

News for Sun 27 July: 1 Silver-washed Fritillary (Michael Funnell)

News for Sun 27 July: Raced to Park Corner Heath to put some pens in The Shed. The reserve was alive with butterflies - look for Silver-washed Fritillaries on the track to the reserve. The patch of Ragwort & Marsh Thistle next to the shed was packed with butterflies nectaring - quite a sight with many Silver-washed Fritillaries, Peacock, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Comma, Brimstone, Large White, Green-veined White and a Holly Blue all getting their fill. Also on the reserve a rare visitor - a Marbled White. At Windover Hill the weather was too hot to survey Grayling. As I sat there a male Grayling came and landed on my knee and gave me a chance to learn more about the behaviour of this rather strange species. I sat watching him for almost an hour as he chased after anything that flew past - butterflies, moths, bees - and returned faithfully to his position on my leg - their behaviour and interactions with other animals (and humans) is fascinating. Then I sat and watched a female Grayling for half an hour. She did not move once. At the bottom of Windover Hill I found a tiny Grayling which was 100% Grayling but only 50% the size - making it about the size of a Chalkhill Blue. Is there nothing this butterfly wont do to avoid being seen?! Oh - and just to add to the confusion the track up Windover Hill has quite a population of that classic high, chalk downland species the Speckled Wood (?!) flying around and pretending to be Grayling. Odd. (Michael Blencowe)

News for Sun 27 July: Ten people attended the walk to the Lower Horseshoe and Rifle Range behind Steyning, run for the benefit of both Butterfly Conservation and Steyning Downland Scheme supporters. Despite excellent weather conditions, it was meeting some of the local characters for the first time, and not the butterflies, that made the event so enjoyable from a personal point of view. When I first surveyed the area in 2007, there were at least some important species 'holding on' here, albeit in very low numbers. Unfortunately the habitat is very 'out of condition' and the small areas suitable for butterflies (and much of the calcicolous flora) have become further diminished and fragmented. Exacerbated by the poor summer weather of 2007, the majority of species have gone beyond 'tipping point'. Wall, Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus and second brood Dingy Skipper, all of which were seen at this time last year, failed to show. The number of Marbled Whites could be counted on the fingers of one hand, and the Common Blue and skippers were found only in small, localised groups. I believe that there are some conflicting issues regarding land usage, but unless some intensive grazing can be re-established, the potential beauty of this area will remain latent. On the way home I decided to visit the Downs behind Amberley, which tell a much happier story. I met a nice couple up there who are just starting to get interested in butterflies. Those of us who have studied them for a long period should never forget that identifying the various species 'from scratch' is initially a quite daunting prospect! So I pointed out some of the features of the Small, Common and Chalkhill Blues and the Brown Argus. Of course it doesn't make matters any simpler if the first female Chalkhill Blue you look at is an aberrant form! I managed to get some reasonable pictures of this aberrant postcaeca. (Neil Hulme)

 

News for Sat 26 July: Took a long walk through Friston Forest on Saturday and found a large colony of Marbled White and Common Blue in an area of the Forest I had not visited before. Up on Windover Hill the Grayling numbers are starting to increase - 22 were seen as we strolled around the Dean. A single Painted Lady was seen on the Gallops at Butchershole Bottom. (Michael Blencowe & Clare Jeffers)

 

News for Fri 25 and Sat 26 July: On the way home from the Butchershole Bottom field trip, I stopped in at Mill Hill. Unfortunately the Chalkhill Blues at this site have been hit very hard by the 2007 weather, and numbers continue to disappoint. The Wall is doing considerably better here and I counted 12, comprising 9 males and 3 females. Also of note was a second brood Dingy Skipper on the lower slopes. On Saturday I started at Botany Bay, just over the Surrey border, where I met up with Polly Mair and Max and Fiona, filming for 'BirdGuides'. Polly not only got some great shots of her first Wood Whites, but she also found a nice female Purple Emperor for the cameras. Happy days! Afterwards we returned to Mill Hill, to meet up with Brian Henham and Andrew Burns. Several newly emerged female Wall had boosted the total to c.15 and we watched them ovipositing, locating several of the greenish white, globular eggs. The second brood Dingy Skipper was again located, along with the first couple of pristine, second brood Adonis Blue. (Neil Hulme)

 

News for Fri 25 July: Thank-you to all the people who joined me for the walk at Friston on Friday. Neil has already reported the details (thanks Neil). I'd recommend a return visit to the Gallops area now that the sun is shining again - there's over 1000 Chalkhill Blues flying there at the moment: it's quite a spectacle. As Neil mentioned the number and variety of butterflies at this site make it one of the most important in Sussex.

I promised I'd post details of the moths caught in the Robinson trap and my home-made Mothmatic 2000: Pebble Hook-tip, Olive Crescent (5!), Green Silver-lines, Rosy Footman, Clouded Magpie, Buff Arches, Brown-tail, Dark Arches, Small Fan-footed Wave, Dingy Footman, Privet Hawkmoth, Ruby Tiger, Garden Tiger, Common Footman, Spectacle, Poplar Hawkmoth, Yellow-tail, True Lovers Knot, Buff-tip, Flame Shoulder, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Common Wainscot, Copper Underwing sp., Coxcomb Prominent, Large Yellow Underwing, Drinker, Hoary Footman, Small Phoenix, Dagger sp., Coronet, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Dusky Sallow, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Buff Ermine, Four-spotted Footman, Lobster Moth, Campion, Broad-borderd Yellow Underwing, Peppered Moth, Black Arches, Barred Hook-tip, Silver-Y, Brown-line Bright-eye, Bright-line Brown-eye, Nut Tree Tussock, Peach Blossom, Burnished Brass, Riband Wave, Scarce Footman, Dot Moth, Snout, Pine Hawkmoth, Least Carpet, Kent Black Arches, Chinese Character, Swallow-tailed Moth, Knot Grass, Small Magpie, Blood Vein, Lackey, Uncertain, Clay, Common Rustic, Slender Brindle.  (Michael Blencowe)

 


 

Sunday 27 July 2008

 

News for Fri 25 Jul: News for Friday 25 July: The BC 40th Anniversary, 'Save Our Butterflies Week' walk to Butchershole Bottom (Friston Forest) was a roaring success, despite 'marginal' weather conditions. Led by our very own 'Pied Piper', Michael Blencowe, a whopping 39 people formed a long, sinuous string across this prolific chalk grassland site, later taking in the outskirts of the forest itself. Caroline Clarke and myself helped field questions from many of those attending a BC walk for the first time (we hope you will all come again sometime), while back at HQ (Michael and Clare's place), Clare prepared to 'water the troops'.

Despite overcast conditions the Chalkhill Blues were here in abundance, appearing from the grass in great clouds. At the far corner of the grassland area we found a few Common Blue, Marbled White and Small Copper, and en route some of us discussed the eternal problems with differentiating Small and Essex Skipper. Some giant Great Green Bush Crickets 'wowed' the party before we entered the wooded section of the walk. Peacock, Comma, Ringlet, Gatekeeper and a Dark Green Fritillary were all seen before we headed back to HQ for tea and biccies (many thanks to Clare and helpers). Michael then ceremoniously divulged the contents of his moth traps, proving that his own design, which looks like something from 'Scrapheap Challenge', was just as effective as the expensive shop-bought variety. A full list of species will appear shortly, but highlights included Olive Crescent, a female Four-spotted Footman, Clouded Magpie, 3 Garden Tiger and the usual 'show-off' hawkmoths.

All in all it was a very enjoyable event. Many thanks to Michael and Clare, and to Caroline for helping out. After the crowds had dispersed (and a little more sunshine helped things along!), Michael, Stuart Sutton (Forest Enterprise) and I returned to the grassland area to discuss how this could possibly be further improved. By now the Chalkhill Blues were swarming, and the little gifts left by our canine friends were hosting up to a dozen hungry males (yuk!). Butchershole Bottom deserves much greater recognition as a butterfly site, and if we can further extend the suitable areas, it really does have the potential to rank amongst the best in the UK for the species. (Neil Hulme)

 

Purple Hairstreaks, Broadfield Pond, 14 July 2008, Vince Massimo

 

Birling Gap - 4pm. 15 mins to spare so a quick look. Lots of Chalkhill Blues about, plus Large White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, 2 Dark Green Fritillary (which is what I went for really). No Silver-spotted skipper. (Danny McEvoy)

On warm (21.5 C) sunny day, I saw an unprecedented 21 species of butterfly  (three more than the previous largest day tally in the last eight years). Nineteen were seen in two hours in the morning on Mill Hill (Shoreham) and its approaches. There were very frequent Large Whites (50+), Gatekeepers (75+), Meadow Browns (50+) and Chalkhill Blues (70), frequent Common Blues (18), occasional Small Skippers (6) and Speckled Woods (8), with just a few of most of the others like Brown Argus (2), Wall (3), Holly Blue (4), Red Admiral (3), Small Heath (3), Brimstone (3), Small White (3), Comma (2), Peacock (2), and just the one each of Green-veined White, Small Blue and a Ringlet. In the afternoon I visited Anchor Bottom and added one Marbled White and a faded Small Tortoiseshell. (www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2008.html, Andy Horton)

My first visit to Wakehurst Place, and I was impressed by the woodland walks, which I hadn't expected to be quite so grand and wild. Butterfly highlights were several Silver-washed Fritillaries, and nectaring observations of interest were 2 Brimstone and Peacock on Leopardsbane, 3 Gatekeepers on Hogweed, and Ringlet on Water Mint, although most butterfly nectaring was on Common Ragwort, Hemp Agrimony, Marjoram and Black Knapweed. Privet Hawkmoth in my Peacehaven  trap overnight was quite late for the garden. (Adrian Thomas)

 

On a 2-hour stinking hot walk from my Warnham garden to Okewood Hill (just into Surrey) we managed to clock up 18 species of butterfly. This included 1 Common Blue, 2 Holly Blue, numerous Large, Small and Green-veined White, numerous Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper, 10 Speckled Wood, 3 Small Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 6 Comma, 1 Peacock, 1 Brimstone, 1 Purple Hairstreak, 10+ Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 White Admiral, my first 3 Brown Hairstreaks of the year and on return to my garden a Ringlet. Moths seen were Common Purple-and-Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis), 1 Silver Y and 2 Vapourer. (Sam Bayley)

 

Back in action after a couple of weeks away and finally managed to catch the orange-coloured moth that has been in our garden for the past month and evading all previous attempts to be captured. It turned out to be a Yellow Shell, an absolute beauty with orange on both fore and hind-wings (John Luck)

At least 5 Silver-studded Blues at the police training site at Kingstanding in Ashdown Forest today. (Steve Wheatley)

News for Sat 26 Jul: After busking in Horsham (for that is what I do!) checked out Southwater Woods for the fourth time and still didn't see Purple Emperor!!! The Marlpost Lane car park seems to have a Red Admiral living on the gravel there. I think it's taken up residence. More Red Admirals at Madgelands. Spotted Purple Hairstreak in my unsuccessful search for His Majesty. Also many Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large White. Saw a couple of deer which is always kind of nice, it's like bumping into friends that leg it when they see you. I get that a lot. They say Southwater Woods is Premiership division for Purple Emperor but in my experience it's like the Conference league. Butterfly Corner was completely butterflyless. (Danny McEvoy)

News for Weds 23 Jul: A LARGE TORTOISESHELL was seen in a Lower Beeding garden for about 5 minutes around midday feeding on thistle flowers before flying off briskly north on 23rd Jul. (per Sam Bayley)


 

Saturday 26 July 2008

Good numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers today at Newtimber Hill. Subjectively, at least as good as last year. (Tom Ottley)

From the moth trap in my Warnham garden last night: Highlights included a couple of new macro species for me - August Thorn and Maple Pug, both of which I had three of. Also of interest was a Diamond-back, 4 Silver Y, 2 Hoary Footman, 1 Olive, 2 Small Rivulet and 3 Water Veneer. In total I had 564 moths of 109 species. (Sam Bayley)

Recent news: I've just returned from a few days in East Sussex, visiting Abbot's Wood and Beachy Head / Birling Gap. On Tuesday 22 July, we visited Abbot's Wood and amongst the many Purple Hairstreaks at the top of an Ash and Oak tree (situated at the end of the first ride on the right after you walk past the kiddies adventure play area near the Car Park) we saw a single male Brown Hairstreak. No mistaking the orangey-brown underwing from below and the associated markings, especially with several Purple Hairstreak close by. On Thursday 24 July we saw a single (very fresh) Silver-spotted Skipper at Horseshoe Pass near Birling Gap. Also there Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Small Copper, Comma, Green-veined White, Peacock, etc etc. (Paul Hill, former Chair of East Cheshire and Peak District BC Branch)

Recent news: A monthly visit to the Tidemills Nature reserve between Newhaven and Seaford as part of the clean-up gang of "Friends of Tidemills" (FOT) produced a high number of different species for a shoreline environment. Prominent on the vegetated shingle were large numbers of burnet moth sp, plus Small Copper, Common Blue. Further inland Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Wall, whites, and Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were seen, the latter freshly emerged. A visit here is recommended; the FOT meet on the third Sunday in the month usually, from 10-midday. This time 20 sacks of waste, mainly plastic, was collected. (Bob Brown)


 

Friday 25 July 2008

 

Hot and sunny - some 10 Silver-washed Fritillaries on the path up to the reserve, also 3 Peacock, Speckled Wood (4) Large White (many) Green-veined White/Small White (a few), many Gatekeeper and a good handful of Meadow Brown. On the reserve itself only one Silver-washed seen. No White Admiral and a lone Ringlet hanging on, waiting for the reaper for soon his time is due. My daughter (and me for that matter) were excited about the three Adders underneath the corrugated sheets. Those corrugated sheets were a wonderful idea, we should put them everywhere! Each lift of the sheet is a drama, a well of excitement! By the way the pen has disappeared from the shed, so I couldn't write up the sightings in the book. Next person there should leave us a biro, I'll take one with me next visit, but somebody's bound to go before me. (Danny McEvoy)

 

As I entered the Malling Down Reserve at Wheatsheaf Gardens, there were about 8 Peacocks, 3 Commas, Red Admiral(s), whites and browns all whizzing around. Transect results for Malling Down SWT Reserve:
1 Silver Spotted Skipper, 2 Brimstone, 6 Large White, 4 Small White, 4 Small Copper, 6 Brown Argus, 17 Common Blue m,
6 Common Blue f, 32 Chalkhill Blue m, 2 Chalkhill Blue f, 2 Peacock, 2 Comma, 22 Marbled White, 32 Gatekeeper, 217 Meadow Brown, 1 Small Heath, 4 Six Spot Burnet, 357 sightings, 14 species. (Crispin Holloway)

 

At Birling Gap, from 14.45-16.45, in warm, sunny and blustery conditions: Silver-spotted Skipper (3), Dark Green Fritillary (4-5), Marbled White (2), Common Blue (10), Chalkhill Blue (25), Small Skipper (12), Essex Skipper (2), Meadow Brown (dozens), Large White (4), Small White (3), Small Copper (1), Gatekeeper (14), Peacock (1). (Polly Mair)

 

Silver-spotted Skipper, (Polly Mair) and Dark Green Fritillary (Sue Robinson), both at Birling Gap, today. Red Admiral, RSPB Pulburough Brooks, 16/07/08, (Chrissi White)

 

 

On a run along the path between High and Over and Bo Peep for a 2 mile stretch at the back of the Golf Course and heading toward Bo Peep there were today lots of butterflies flying. The stars were good quantities of Wall. At least 10 were seen but as I was running and not actually butterfly watching there were certainly more. There was also many fresh Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and also 5 Marbled Whites just hanging on. (Bob Eade)

 

It was fascinating to watch a Green-veined White egg-laying in my Peacehaven garden today, weakly fluttering around shady borders seemingly oblivious to the large mammal within inches of her as she diligently searched for suitable plants to lay on. She tested almost any green leaf, so I presume she is looking for leaf-shaped objects and then moves in to taste it with her feet to see if it is right. I am now the proud guardian of four or five eggs on fresh Garlic Mustard leaves in a shady spot. (Adrian Thomas)

 

Recent news: The last two nights at Pagham Harbour were very successful, with 444 moths of 95 spp on 23rd and 451 moths of 105 spp on 24th. Highlights included Small Rivulet, Drinker, Oak Eggar, Dark Spinach, White-lined Dart, Cloaked Minor, Sharp-angled Peacock and further specimens of Cochylis flaviciana. Species recorded at the vistor centre this year has reached 268. (Ivan Lang)

 


 

Thursday 24 July 2008

Meeching Quarry, Newhaven: Another visit to the disused quarry. Hot and sunny 4pm. Comma (1), Meadow Brown (many), Gatekeeper (many), Peacock (2), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Common Blue (10+), Marbled White (10+), Small Copper (1), Small Skipper (2), Speckled Wood (4), Small Heath (1)....but the reason we went was for the Small Blue which were doing very well indeed. We're talking 20+, the most common butterfly there save for maybe Gatekeeper/Meadow Brown. This time my daughter rode aloft the shoulders again all the way through the edge of the barley field. Since I was wearing shorts the barley took its revenge on the legs which were bloodied and itchy. I experienced an element of pain for the sake of the Small Blue. (Danny McEvoy)

Over 200 butterflies of 15 species were seen in about two hours on Mill Hill (Shoreham) and the approaches with 37 Chalkhill Blues (including two females seen mostly on the lower slopes. Another notable was the first two of the second brood Brown Argus in amongst the long grass and herb meadow north of the upper car park. Gatekeepers led the count and Large Whites were close behind, both with over fifty seen, and Meadow Browns were not far behind. The only other species in double figures was Peacock . In the early evening I added a Comma and a Green-veined White to make seventeen species for the day and the best day tally of the year. (Andy Horton)


 

Wednesday 23 July 2008

 

News for Tues 22 Jul: Broad-barred White seen at RH20 1DS, at 21.00hrs on my kitchen window. (Linda Monck)

 

News for Tues 22 Jul: I am a SOS birdwatcher, but during a morning visit to Bexhill High Woods (app 09.15) I saw a butterfly I have not wittingly seen before - a White Admiral. I was able to verify my suspicions from an average photo given the dappled shade. (David Rogers)

 

Twenty-one species of butterfly in the vicinity of my garden in Edburton today - Dark Green Fritillary 1, Wall 1, Brimstone 1, Chalkhill Blue 5, Common Blue 4, Brown Argus 1, Marbled White 150, Peacock 12, Red Admiral 4, Comma 2, Ringlet 1, Gatekeeper 50, Meadow Brown 200, Small Heath 2, Speckled Wood 1, Large Skipper 1, Small/Essex Skipper 50 + Large, Small and Green-veined White + Hummingbird Hawkmoth and Silver Y (Tony Wilson)

 

Wild flowers after butterfly management on downs behind Amberley yesterday (Neil Hulme), and Purple Emperor taking sap, Southwater Woods, on Monday (Brian Henham)

 

 

Recent news: Moth trapping at Pagham Harbour: Finally the weather has changed and the number of species is increasing dramatically with 98 species trapped on 22 July behind the visitor centre at Pagham Harbour LNR making this years total 250 species, and including the first ever True Lover's Knot at the reserve.

22 July: Aethes smeathmannianci, Agapeta hamama, Barred Fruit-Tree Tortrix, Buff-tip, Chinese Character, Chocolate-tip, Cochylis flaviciana, Common Wainscot, Common Wave, Coronet, Diamond Back Moth, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Dioryctria abietella, Early Thorn, Epiblema foenella, Eudonia mercurella, European Corn-borer, Gold Triangle, Lackey, Leopard, Light Brown Apple Moth, Nutmeg, Pale Mottled Willow, Pempelia genistella, Sallow Kitten, Satin Wave, Silver Y, Small Fan Foot Wave, Southern Wainscot, Vine's Rustic, V-pug, Water Veneer, Yellow-tail, Yponomeuta Spp, Canary Shouldered Thorn, Small Rufous (see photo), Iron Prominent, Dark Fruit Tree Tortrix, Star-wort (See Photo), True Lover's Knot (First for the Reserve), Long Legged China Mark, Codling Moth, Rosy Footman, Large Wainscot, Cochylis atricapitana, Acleris forsskaleana, Agriphilia tristella, Bloodvein, Buff Arches, Burnished Brass, Clouded Border, Crambus perlella, Dark Swordgrass, Dusky Sallow, Elephant Hawk-moth, Least Yellow Underwing, Lime-Speck Pug, Pebble Prominent, Poplar Kitten, Rusty Dot Pearl, Single Dotted Wave, Trachycera marmorea, Fen Wainscot, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Double Lobed, Dun-bar, Knotgrass, Light Grey Tortrix, Nut-Tree Tussock, Pale Prominent, Pebble Hook-tip, Phlyctaenia coronata, Scalloped Oak, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Willow Beauty, Channel Island Pug, Grey Tortrix, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Mother of Pearl, Ruby Tiger, Thistle Ermine, Phycitodes binaeveia, Browntail, Chilo phragmitella, Orthotaenia undulana, Crambus lathoniellus, Scarce Footman, Riband Wave, Smoky Wainscot, Spectacle, Uncertain, Dingy Footman, Large Yellow Underwing, Common/Lesser Rustic, Flame Shoulder, Rustic, Common Footman and Dark Arches

21 July: Buff Ermine, Ruby Tiger, Small Magpie, Light Grey Tortrix, Channel Island Pug, Cochylis flaviciana, Dark Spectacle, Dark Swordgrass, Delicate, Dingy Footman, Dun-bar, Elephant Hawk-moth, Garden Carpet, Heart and Dart, Lime-Speck Pug, Lychnis, Nutmeg, Pepperded Moth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Diorychria sylvestrella, Rusty Dot Pearl, Lackey, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Chocolate-tip, Grey Tortrix, Buff Arches, Scalloped Oak, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Chinese Character, Common Carpet, Crambus lathoniellus, Magpie, Spectacle, Riband Wave, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Common/Lesser Rustic, Scarce Footman, Uncertain, Flame Shoulder, Smoky Wainscot, Common Footman, Dark Arches, Large Yellow Underwing and Rustic

20 July: Agapeta hamama, Bloodvein, Bordered Beauty, Buff Ermine, Common Wave, Coronet, Crambus perlella, Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet, Early Thorn, Nut-Tree Tussock, Pebble Prominent, Ruby Tiger, Rusty Dot Pearl, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Silver Y, Small Magpie, Snout, Southern Wainscot, Spectacle, Trachycera marmorea, White-spotted Pug, Miller, Small Fan Foot Wave, Dusky Sallow, Eudonia mercurella, Lackey, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Light Grey Tortrix, Riband Wave, Burnished Brass, Chocolate-tip, Grey Tortrix, Uncertain, Buff Arches, Mottled Rustic, Smoky Wainscot, Scalloped Oak, Common Footman, Flame Shoulder, Common/Lesser Rustic, Rustic and Dark Arches (Ivan Lang)

 

News for Tues 22 Jul: First the bad news. During a brief visit to Littlehampton Bridge to look for migrants, I was saddened to see that the main Wych Elm used by the White-letter Hairstreak colony here, has very rapidly succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease. The rate of 'collapse' of this tree is really quite shocking. The population here was decimated by the very strong winds and torrential rains of 6/7 July, and since then I have seen no more than the 2-3 which I recorded today. I fear this may be the 'beginning of the end' for the colony. On a happier note, I was very pleased with the state of the habitat at a site on the Downs behind Amberley this morning. Although butterfly numbers are down following last year's appalling summer, it is very clear that the management work being performed here is beneficial to the flora. The banks and meadows are currently awash with the most stunning array of wild flowers. (Neil Hulme)

 

News for Mon 21 Jul: At a site called Upper Bewbush (TQ2335), to the west of Crawley were the following:- Gatekeeper many, Meadow Brown many, Ringlet approx 10, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1, Purple Hairstreak 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 3M 1 F, Comma 1, Purple Emperor 1, Small Skipper approx 7, Essex Skipper 2, Small White 3, Green-veined White 2, Speckled Wood 10, Six-spot Burnet 1. On the way I saw a Large Tortoiseshell at Ifield Mill Pond as already noted on the website. Also around the general area, I noted approx 20 Speckled Woods. (Andrew Bashford)

 


 

Tuesday 22 July 2008

 

My first Painted Lady of the year at Pevensey Levels today. (Roy Wells)

 

News for Mon 21 July 2008: from www.sos.org.uk - a LARGE TORTOISESHELL at Ifield Mill Pond at 12.30.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in our Southwick garden this morning  and one at Folkington Reservoir yesterday. (Paul & Bridget James)

Crispin Holloway has sent through some fascinating stats from the transect he walks at Malling Down. He expected me to edit it for the site, but I thought many of you would be interested to read it in full:

There is certainly more on the wing now - at last. Quite a few Red Admiral and I saw my first 2008 Painted Lady in my fathers garden (Kingston), Sunday 20th. I have compared recorded sightings this year with previous years at Malling Down - Peacock and Adonis Blue have done very, very well, so far, this year (see below). But the abundance of most other species is still well, well below what it should be.

Malling Down transect results for week 16, Monday 21/7/8 (in brackets Wk15 results 13/7/8): 4 Small/Essex Skipper (1), 2 Brimstone (0), 7 Large White (5), 3 Small White (4), 6 Small Copper (2), 4 Brown Argus (0), 3 Common Blue m (0), 1 Common Blue f (0), 6 Chalkhill Blue m (0), 5 Red Admiral (0), 7 Peacock (1), 1 Small Tortoiseshell (0), 1 Comma (0), 1 Painted Lady (0), 1 Speckled Wood (0), 31 Marbled White (34), 26 Gatekeeper (2), 105 Meadow Brown (66), 0 Small Heath (1), 0 Ringlet (8), 5 Six-Spot Burnet. Week 16 total 21/7/08: 214 sightings, 17 species, (Week 15 total: 124 sightings, 10 species).

 

Totals for weeks 1 to 16 (first week in April to 21st July).

2008 Total for weeks 1 to 16: 732.

2007 Total for weeks 1 to 16: 429.

2006 Total for weeks 1 to 16: 1122

2005 Total for weeks 1 to 16: 1269

2004 Total for weeks 1 to 16: 1497

2003 Total for weeks 1 to 16: 1893

1986 - 2007 Average Total for weeks 1 to 16: 1450

The 2008 total is better than 2007 but it is still almost half that of the 1986 to 2007 average. 2007 was the worst year, for almost all species, since monitoring started at Malling Down in 1984. This year some species have recovered quite well but others are still suffering.

The species which have done better this year are: Brown Argus - only a little bit better than 2007. Common Blue - I have recorded two and a half times as many as I did by this time last year but they are still well below what would normally be recorded. Adonis Blue - ten times as many as those recorded in 2007! If all is good it could be the best Adonis year since 1997! (at Malling Down). Peacock - two times as many this year compared with this time last year. 2008 could be the best year since 2001! Marbled White - fractionally better than 2007. Meadow Brown - I have recorded two and three quarter times as many as I did by this time last year! (Crispin Holloway)

Broadfield Pond Crawley. No sightings of the Camberwell Beauty today. It appears to have moved on. (Vince Massimo)

 

Comma in Brighton garden today. Also a Clouded Yellow in Hastings country park close to the cliff edge on 16 July (Sanderson Topham)

 

Windover Hill - 6 Grayling on south facing hill, 6 Dark Green Fritillary, 50+ Chalkhill Blue, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, numerous Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Large and Small White and less numbers of Small Skipper, Peacock and Red Admiral. At High and Over there were around 50 Chalkhill Blues on one slope which is an increase from last year. Also of note at the coastguard cottages there were two Essex Skippers. (Matt Eade)

 

News for Mon 21 Jul: 3 Wood White (probably all males) wood near Plaistow. (Margaret Hibbard)

 

News for Mon 21 Jul: This morning I met up with Brian Henham to look at the now famous Purple Emperors of Southwater Woods, later being joined by David Dancy and then Susie Milbank. The Emperor season is sadly nearly over for another year and numbers are tailing off sharply. One male was present at the Madgelands Master Tree, but it was the almost constant action from two females (one still in good condition) at 'Butterfly Corner' that kept us entertained. For a whole hour the first female either sat low in sallows or gracefully wheeled in tight circles, often only a few metres above our heads, periodically visiting a hazel sap run at low level. The second female appeared about an hour later, providing both Susie and David with equally good views as she eagerly feasted. Both butterflies 'nodded' rhythmically as they pushed their proboscises deep into crevices in the bark. The effect of imbibing the sap was quite amazing. The butterflies, which had entered the hazel full of power and grace, came out fumbling, stumbling and barely capable of flight! They got caught up in branches, fell off leaves, hung upside down by only a couple of legs and generally cavorted around like a couple of drunkards! We all managed to get some photographs. Brian and I later moved on to Mill Hill, where the numbers of Chalkhill Blue seem very low this year. A good number of fresh Wall are now on the wing here, but they retained their reputation for being the most difficult species to photograph, with nonchalant ease. Pristine Peacocks were seen at both venues. (Neil Hulme)

 

News for Mon 21 Jul: A trip across the downs north of Shoreham yielded over 200 butterflies of 14 species, with special note of six Walls at six different locations and the first two male Chalkhill Blues on the upper meadow of Mill Hill which was dominated by Peacock . My journey took me from Slonk Hill Farm to Mossy Bottom where I saw my first Painted Lady of the year. Gatekeepers were the most numerous butterfly. (Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2008.html, Andy Horton)

 


Monday 21 July 2008

 

Warm weather ahoy! Let's hope more of you have success like Vince did today.

 

Chalkhill Blue male and mating pair, Kithurst Hill, 19 Jul (Polly Mair) and male Gatekeeper, Vert Wood, 20 Jul (John Williams)

 

 

Broadfield Pond, Crawley A CAMBERWELL BEAUTY was seen at 2.15pm at the northern end of the site where the stream passes through a big grating (TQ 258355). It seems to have established a small territory, returning to the same favourite perches during the afternoon and feeding on nearby Purple Loosestrife. It was quite a tatty specimen and was easily approached as it basked in the sun. It was still there when I left the site at 5pm. I will try to forward photographs next weekend. (Vince Massimo)

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on Lavender in north Seaford today. (Matt Eade)

 

Small Tortoiseshell seen today on Buddleia at my garden in South Mundham. The first I have seen this year. (Phil Down)

 

News for Sun 20 Jul: On a walk round Bevendean Down this morning there were good numbers of the usual browns, skippers and Chalkhill Blues and a couple of Common Blues and lots of Six-spot Burnets, but best of all a pair of Dark Green Fritillaries in Hogstrough Bottom, the first I've seen there for several years. (Geoff Stevens)


 

Sunday 20 July 2008

Butterflies were common (135+) for the first time this year, with 14 species (equal most in a day this year) of which the most notable was the first second-brood Common Blue on the upper meadow of Mill Hill, three Wall on Mill Hill and a Chalkhill Blue count of 17 (including one female) on an acre of the lower slopes. Gatekeepers had the highest count of 47. (Andy Horton)

Southwater Woods: 2 White Admiral (one laying eggs on shaded honeysuckle as they do), many Silver-washed Fritillaries, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White. No Purple Emperor, though a chap told me he saw one just before we came back to the car park. We missed it. 2 Peacock and a lone Ringlet. Twas basically a dull day with a smattering of sunny bits. I took my smelly shrimp paste again but no luck. My daughter, as usual, was perched upon my shoulders for most of the time, which prompted the field of cows to be extra curious about the giant human with two heads. This turn evoked fear from my child, which made the cows come even closer. I didn't run, but it was a close shave. White Admirals lay their eggs on the edge of the leaf on the top, a piece of information I didn't know. (Danny McEvoy)

Impressive numbers & species of butterflies at Ebernoe Common this morning. At one time I had Purple Emperor, Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral & Purple Hairstreak all jostling for position on the same bramble bush. Numbers were - Purple Emperor 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 15 including one with no black markings at all, Purple Hairstreak 5, Comma 2, Holly Blue 1, White Admiral 5, Gatekeeper 50+, Meadow Brown 100+, Speckled Wood 3, Ringlet 4 & a few Large Whites. (Tim Duffield)

 

News for Sat 19 Jul: Had a two hour walk in the meadow, near to the car park, at Kithurst Hill - intermittent sun and cloud with quite a strong north-westerly breeze: Marbled White (4), Chalkhill Blue (6 male and 1 female) including one mating pair, Ringlet (3), Meadow Brown (14), Large White (2), Small Skipper (5), Essex Skipper (1) (Polly Mair)

 


Saturday 19 July 2008

Two Hummingbird Hawkmoth, nectaring on several different plants, seen together on the cliff path above Holywell (TV601970) at 4.30pm. (Carole & David Jode)

Female and male Silver-studded Blue at Iping Common today (Richard Symonds)

 

 

In my garden in Edburton today my second Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year, Dark Green Fritillary, Comma, Red Admiral, 3 Peacocks, 2 Marbled Whites + the usual browns and skippers. Nearby one Edburton Hill another Dark Green Fritillary, 2 Walls, 30 Marbled Whites and 4 Peacocks (Tony Wilson)

 

18 new photos in the moth galleries today including 9 new species, two of which were from Mike Snelling: Haworth's Pug, Grass Rivulet, Yarrow Pug, Scallop Shell, Minor Shoulder-knot, Dotted Grey Groundling (Athrips mouffatella), Marbled Bell (Eucosma campoliliana), Barred Marble (Celypha striana) and Diamond-back Marble (Eudemis profundana). Thanks to Colin Pratt and Tim Freed for confirming the identities of most of my photos. We now only need another seven more species to break the 600 species barrier! (Bob Foreman) Remember many of the photos are now 'clickable', revealing a larger version of each image

Today I visited Iping Common (SU849219) for around an hour arriving at 13:40. The weather was warm and sunny when I first arrived but clouds soon appeared and there was light rain before I left. The numbers of Silver-studded Blues have fallen dramatically with most in poor condition. The attached photos are of two in the best condition. Count: Silver-studded Blue (4F 3M), Gatekeeper (1F 4M), Meadow Brown (2) and Ringlet (1). (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)

News for Weds 16 Jul: Littlehampton Bridge. Another visit to try to photograph White-Letter Hairstreak. 2 or possibly 3 individuals were seen flying but none landed within 10 feet of the ground. Other sightings included a lone Purple Hairstreak in a nearby oak as well as 1 Holly Blue, 4 Red Admiral, 5 Comma, 3 Peacock, 6 Small White, 2 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 6 Gatekeeper, 3 Small Skipper and 2 Speckled Wood. (Vince Massimo)


Friday 18 July 2008

 

In our Mill Hill moth trap last night highlights included 2 Poplar Hawkmoth, Dot Moth, Early Thorn, Blackneck, and Knotgrass. There was also one Privet Hawkmoth flying around our garden in the late evening and last night may have marked the end of our Elephant Hawkmoth season as it was the first trap since 24th May when we have not caught one. (Dave and Pen Green)

 

Recent news: The moth trap sightings from Pagham Harbour for the last few days have been as follows (Ivan Lang):

12 Jul:Agriphilia tristella, Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Buff-tip, Channel Island Pug, Clay, Common Carpet, Common Wainscot Crambus lathoniellus, Elephant Hawk-moth, Flame Shoulder, Herald, Mottled Rustic, Pepperded Moth, Phlyctaenia coronata, Poplar Grey,Poplar Hawkmoth,Purple Bar, Ruby Tiger, Snout, Thistle Ermine, Yellow-tail, Udea fulvalis, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Burnished Brass, Common/Lesser Rustic, Dark Swordgrass, Dioryctria abietella,Pebble Prominent, Riband Wave, Rusty Dot Pearl, Scarce Footman, Small Magpie, Diamond Back Moth, Lackey, Light Grey Tortrix, Lime-Speck Pug, Smoky Wainscot,Spectacle, Grey Tortrix, Rustic, Silver Y, Uncertain, Large Yellow Underwing, Common Footman and Dark Arches

13 Jul: Agriphilia tristella,Channel Island Pug, Clay, Elephant Hawk-moth,Phlyctaenia coronata, Snout, Thistle Ermine,Yellow-tail, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Pebble Prominent, Riband Wave, Rusty Dot Pearl, Archips podana, Bloodvein, Browntail, Buff Arches, Buff Ermine, Chinese Character, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Dot Moth, Mother of Pearl,Pebble Hook-tip, Spinach, V-pug, Euzophera pinguis, Dun-bar, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet, Meal Moth, Endotricha flammealis, Gold Triangle, Trachycera marmorea, Yponomeuta sedella, Yponomeuta Spp, Aethes rubigana, Flame Shoulder, Herald, Mottled Rustic, Clouded Border, Dark Spectacle, Nutmeg, Willow Beauty, Eudonia mercurella, Scarce Footman, Small Magpie, Diamond Back Moth, Lackey, Silver Y, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Scalloped Oak,Dingy Footman, Crambus lathoniellus, Grey Tortrix, Common/Lesser Rustic, Dioryctria abietella, Light Grey Tortrix, Smoky Wainscot, Lime-Speck Pug, Rustic, Large Yellow Underwing, Uncertain, Dark Arches and Common Footman

14 Jul: Agriphilia tristella, Channel Island Pug, Snout, Riband Wave, Chinese Character, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Willow Beauty, Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Pepperded Moth, Barred Fruit-Tree Tortrix, Bramble Shoot Moth, Common Pug, Early Thorn, Emmelina mondactyla, Green Pug, Light Arches, Lunar Spotted Pinion, Royal Mantle,Schoenobius giganitella, Single Dotted Wave, Swallow Prominent, Vine's Rustic, Ebulea crocalis, Svensson's Copper Underwing, Double Square Spot, Epiblema foenella, Elephant Hawk-moth, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Browntail, Mother of Pearl, Dun-bar, Small Magpie, Silver Y, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Light Grey Tortrix, Ruby Tiger, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Yellow Shell, Rusty Dot Pearl, Eudonia mercurella, Grey Tortrix, Common/Lesser Rustic, Lime-Speck Pug, Spectacle, Trachycera marmorea, Scarce Footman, Lackey,Agapeta hamama, Crambus lathoniellus, Smoky Wainscot, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Rustic, Uncertain, Large Yellow Underwing, Common Footman and Dark Arches

15 Jul: Barred Fruit-Tree Tortrix, Bramble Shoot Moth, Green Pug, Light Arches, Single Dotted Wave, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Trachycera marmorea, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Pebble Prominent, Bloodvein, Buff Arches, V-pug, Meal Moth, Aethes rubigana, Nutmeg, Common Wainscot, Poplar Hawkmoth, Agonopterix alstromeriana, Heart and Dart, Kent Black Arches, Scoparia ambigualis, Small Bloodvein, Bordered Beauty, Marbled Green, Poplar Kitten, Cochylis flaviciana, Pempelia genistella, Cnephasia conspersana, Snout, Riband Wave, Chinese Character, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Lunar Spotted Pinion, Vine's Rustic, Elephant Hawk-moth, Dun-bar, Silver Y, Ruby Tiger, Grey Tortrix, Flame Shoulder, Mottled Rustic, Dark Spectacle, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Mother of Pearl, Rusty Dot Pearl, Lime-Speck Pug, Spectacle, Scarce Footman, Dingy Footman, Dioryctria abietella, Chilo phragmitella, White-spotted Pug, Light Grey Tortrix, Common/Lesser Rustic, Agapeta hamama, Crambus lathoniellus, Lackey, Browntail, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Smoky Wainscot, Scalloped Oak, Uncertain, Large Yellow Underwing, Common Footman, Rustic and Dark Arches

16 Jul: Green Pug, Shuttle Shaped Dart, Bloodvein, V-pug, Common Wainscot, Agonopterix alstromeriana, Heart and Dart, Scoparia ambigualis, Bordered Beauty, Snout, Chinese Character, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Vine's Rustic, Silver Y, Mottled Rustic, Dark Spectacle, Agapeta hamama, Common Pug, Early Thorn, Epiblema foenella, Small Magpie, Eudonia mercurella, Thistle Ermine, Archips podana, Buff Ermine, Pebble Hook-tip, Spinach, Yponomeuta Spp, Diamond Back Moth, Common Carpet, Brimstone, Clay Triple Lines, Crambus perlella, Light Brown Apple Moth, Red Twin Spot Carpet, Rhomboid Tortrix, Water Veneer, Agriphila straminella, Dusky Sallow, Agriphila geniculea, Southern Wainscot, Cochylis molliculana, Trachycera marmorea, Nutmeg, Kent Black Arches, Elephant Hawk-moth, Dun-bar, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Spectacle, Dioryctria abietella, Chilo phragmitella, White-spotted Pug, Light Grey Tortrix, Crambus lathoniellus, Channel Island Pug, Dark Swordgrass, Least Yellow Underwing, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Ruby Tiger, Lackey, Browntail, Buff Arches, Dingy Footman, Scalloped Oak, Mother of Pearl, Acleris forsskaleana, Flame Shoulder, Scarce Footman, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Riband Wave, Grey Tortrix, Uncertain, Lime-Speck Pug, Smoky Wainscot, Common/Lesser Rustic, Rustic, Large Yellow Underwing, Common Footman and Dark Arches

News for Weds 16 Jul: I led a butterfly hunt to Green Ridge for 30 Year 2 (age 6 to 7 years) children from Westdene School, Brighton. Green Ridge is a managed strip of downland sandwiched between the A27 and the outskirts of the city (TQ291 087) and is 5 minutes walk from the school. Species seen were Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Large White and loads of Small/ Essex Skipper - the most I have ever seen in the small area covered. There was also one lone Cinnabar. (Caroline Clarke)

 


Thursday 17 July 2008

 

I posted the wrong link to Michael's Grayling Festival yesterday. Please help me escape his wrath by visiting the page in your hordes: Sussex Grayling Festival 2008

A lone Marbled White in the meadows at the Loder Valley reserve, Wakehurst Place. A rare vistor to the reserve. Only the 3rd l've seen. (Steven Robinson)

News for Weds 16 Jul: Birling Gap - Horseshoe Plantation 4pm. Sunny day - very disappointing butterflying! No Dark Green Fritilliaries to be seen, and no White-letter Hairstreaks on the elms at HSPlantation. In fact very few butterflies to be seen. Having said that there were 3 Commas at Horseshoe Plantation along with a pair of Marbled Whites. Gatekeepers are about as well. I would expect to see a lot more though. Where have all the butterflies gone? (Danny McEvoy)

 

News for Tues 15 Jul: Shoreham area. As so often happens when one butterfly species ceases (the Small Blues were not recorded) than fresh butterflies appear with a new brood. The new ones were the occasional Holly Blues in Shoreham town and the outskirts, one Wall over the A27 dual carriageway north of the Dovecote Estate, and a Brimstone on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The occasional Peacock were fresh as well. Chalkhill Blues were just beginning on Mill Hill with 24 strong-flying males noted. The fourteen butterfly species recorded in an hour and a half was the most in a single day this year. The first female Chalkhill Blue was seen on 13 July. (Andy Horton)

 

News and Photo from 4th July: Neil Hulme and Caroline Clarke give staff and pupils of Downsbrook School in Worthing a few facts about butterflies and moths before setting off on a butterfly hunt around Cissbury Ring.

 


 

Wednesday 16 July 2008

 

 

The first Grayling at Windover Hill today, a day later than the earliest last year (Michael Blencowe)

Bob's photo of the Large Tortoiseshell was enough to get Neil Hulme and myself scampering up Windover Hill today. Up on the hill the Chalkhill Blue numbers were building and two females were seen. There were some stunning Small Coppers and a newly emerged Small Blue as well as a lot of active Dark Green Fritillaries and Commas and the first Brimstone we have seen in a few weeks. A single Chalk Carpet was seen and another nationally rare moth, Yellow Pearl Mecyna flavalis , were seen in their hundreds - this site being one of the best in the country for this species. Peacocks were out and looking great but Bob's Large Tortoiseshell was nowhere to be seen. After the traditional butterfly hunter's lunch of pasties from Alfriston Post Office we headed into Friston Forest to find our own rarity but the weather took a turn for the worse - however we were able to confirm the presence of White-letter Hairstreaks high in the elms in the south of the forest. But the highlight of the day for me, unsurprisingly, was a butterfly sitting on a pile of chalk on Windover Hill trying not to be seen - a Grayling - the first of five. I returned home to find a message from David Burrows that he had also seen a Grayling today on his Lullington Heath transect (probably shortly after I saw mine). This species was not recorded on the reserve in 2007 so it is great to hear they are still hanging on at Lullington. So I can now declare the 2008 Grayling Festival officially open! - please check out our Grayling page for more information on this butterfly and the Grayling events lined up for the coming weeks.

A day working from home meant lunch in the garden, a tiny 20 foot square yard in suburban Peacehaven that only gets sun in the middle of the day. Encouraging then, given all the butterfly-oriented planting, to see 2 Holly Blue, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Gatekeeper, 2 Speckled Woods, 2 Large Whites, 1 Green-veined White (nectaring on Field Scabious), and 1 Marbled White. When I took over the garden in 2002, I recorded just 19 butterflies in the whole year.  (Adrian Thomas) 

 

Recent news: Moth trap over the last couple of nights at RSPB Pulborough Brooks produced amongst others: Broom Moth, Birch Mocha, True Lover's Knot, Scarce Silver Lines, Dot Moth, Festoon, Svensson's Copper Underwing, Early Thorn, September Thorn, Chinese Character, Buff Footman, Common Footman, Nutmeg, Dark Arches, Peppered Moth, Nut-Tree Tussock, Green Pug, Leopard Moth, Scalloped Oak and Ruby Tiger. (Pete Hughes)

 

News for Tues 15 Jul: Two Hummingbird Hawkmoths seen together in our East Dean garden (TV561985) at 6.15pm  nectaring on lavender and purple sage. (Carole & David Jode)

 


 

Tuesday 15 July 2008

 

Below (clockwise): Kent Black Arches, Lindfield, 12 Jul (Bob Foreman); White-letter Hairstreak, Wheatley elm, 13 Jul (Dan Danahar); Gatekeeper, Small Emerald and Scallop Shell, Lindfield, 15 Jul (Bob Foreman); and Leopard Moth pair, Litlington, 15 Jul (Bob Eade)

 

 

 

I walked around various parts of Friston Forest this afternoon, in dull and windy but warm conditions: Chalkhill Blue (2) in very fresh condition, Marbled White (25), Small Skipper (30), Essex Skipper (1), Meadow Brown (34), Comma (3), Gatekeeper (7), Small Copper (1), Peacock (2), Ringlet (7) (Polly Mair)

 

A bit of warm sunshine brought nine species of butterfly into our garden in Lindfield today; numerous Small and Large White, Comma, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell (only the second one I've seen this year), an unidentified Skipper (Large I think), Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and my first Gatekeeper of the year. It's been a fairly busy time too in the moth trap (except for Monday night - very poor catch) the main highlights over the past few nights being Kent Black Arches, Scallop Shell (new species for the galleries) and a couple of Small Emerald. (Bob Foreman)

 

A dull, cloudy afternoon at Park Corner Heath: 1 Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 Large White, 2 unidentified small whites, 1 Brimstone, 5 Meadow Browns, 6 Ringlets, 5 Gatekeepers 3 Speckled Woods. Half a dozen Marbled Whites on the heath at Milton Hyde. (Roy Wells)

 

Whilst out on a run this morning I came across a mating pair of Leopard Moths on the wooden bridge at Litlington. They were still there when I managed to get back with the camera 30 minutes later. Quite a size difference between them with the female twice the size of the male. (Bob Eade).

Southwater Woods were a bit quieter today in cloudy humid conditions. Only one female Purple Emperor seen but still some White Admirals (mostly females) around and still plenty of Silver-washed Fritillaries. Ringlets continue to do well and plenty of Gatekeepers around this year. An unexpected visitor literally dropped in at the car park. It seemed to drop down out of the canopy and crash landed in a bush by the car! This is the fully winged form of Roesel's Bush Cricket and would normally be found in a grassy meadow or road verge. Possibly a migrant? (Tom Ottley)

News for Mon 14 Jul: Broadfield Pond, Crawley. First sighting of Purple Hairstreak this year. 4 were seen both male and female all in good condition, and some coming down to low level for photographs. (Vince Massimo)

Recent news: Single Hummingbird Hawkmoths have been seen in our East Dean garden this year on 3 & 4 April, 26 June, 2 July and 13 July. All have been entered on the National BC Survey (Carole & David Jode) The link to the survey and for Painted Lady is top of the page in the yellow box.


 

Monday 14 July 2008

 

Walked from Butchers Hole CP (Friston Forest) via Lullington Heath to Windover Hill. Nothing out of the ordinary until final location. Walking through valley to a small copse, skirted by Brambles, I noticed 3 Tortoiseshells. One of them was a LARGE TORTOISESHELL, which flew up and into the copse. During the next 2 and a half hours it flew back and forth 6 times, staying at most for a minute, but disappearing for up to 20. Took as many photos as I had a chance to, but only had a pocket digital and the wind was blowing a hooley. Hope attached photo is reasonable. (Bob Coleman).

 

 

The weather forecaster mentioned something about 'High pressure over the Azores' last night and I wondered if we would see some immigration today. So when Bob Coleman phoned me to say he had seen a Large Tortoiseshell (Thanks Bob!) - I immediately rushed out to a warm sheltered ride in Friston which at 6:30pm was still alive with butterflies - including my first two Painted Ladies of the year (Michael Blencowe)

 

 

Being really a bird survey devotee, it was with some uncertainty today that I tackled a butterfly survey along my usual Breeding Bird Survey transect route - a result of a partnership between Butterfly Conservation and the British Trust for Ornithology, and designed to help monitor butterflies in the "wider countryside". I've been surveying birds in the 1-km grid square near Albourne for nine years, but I'm usually there at 6 am in May and June, not midday in July - so I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers of butterflies present. In particular an overgrown field, that I usually curse because the chest-high grass and thistles scratch me and drench me in dew, was alive with Small and Large Skippers, a Ringlet, a Peacock, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, and to my great surprise and delight a Marbled White. Dragonfly and damselfly species can be recorded too, and there were plenty of these at the pond on the golf course (thankfully one is permitted to record "unidentified darter" etc), and then at the edge of the golf course, right at the end of my transect, another Marbled White and a Silver-washed Fritillary!! This was a great experience that I shall look forward to repeating. (Helen Crabtree)

 

News for Sun 13 Jul: The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service kindly gave a lift to the top of one of the 'Preston Twins' (reputedly the oldest English elm trees in the world) and a 130-year-old Wheatley elm in Preston Park, Brighton. As part of the Big Brighton Bio-diversity Butterfly Count, Prof David Bellamy joined me, Dan Hoare and the event organisers - Martin Pett and Dan Danahar - and together we found 10 White-letter Hairstreaks flying high in the tree canopy. Special thanks to firemen Steve, Rick and Craig and to all who attended. (Caroline Clarke)

 

Below: Caroline and David Bellamy don their helmets for a spot of extreme butterflying:

 

 

 

News for Sat 12 Jul: pm. A single Purple Emperor seemed to like the church at Ebernoe. For about half an hour we watched it flying round and settling for long periods on the walls of the church. Botanists may be interested in some Violet Helleborines along the approach track into the carpark. (Peter Whitcomb)


Sunday 13 July 2008

 

Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Small Skipper at Alfriston today (Bob Eade)

 

 

As Caroline Clarke was up a tree in Preston Park I jumped in to lead her walk around the Pickwell estate near Bolney. I was joined by a group of BC members (and a cat called Muggles) as we explored the woodland, fields and lakes of this private estate. Many woodland butterflies were observed in the glades - with Silver-washed Fritillaries swooping down amongst us and White Admiral gliding through the canopy. Thanks to all who attended and to Mike Duffy for allowing access to the site (Michael Blencowe)

 

At least 11 Small Tortoiseshells between Littlington and Alfriston along the river bank today including 3 flying together at Alfriston. Also several Commas, Small Skippers, Meadow Browns, Red Admiral, Peacock and Gatekeepers. (Bob Eade).

 


 

Saturday 12 July 2008

 

My first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year in the garden at Edburton today. Last night a Privet Hawkmoth was nectaring at the honeysuckle at 10pm. Other moths in the garden over the last couple of nights have included Knot Grass, Peach Blossum, Brown-line Bright-eye, Dingy Footman, Common Footman, Shark, Smoky Wainscot, Bee Moth, Small Emerald, Large Yellow Underwing, Engrailed, Silver-Ys, Reddish Light Arches and Yellowtail. (Tony Wilson)

 

Recent news: We put the moth trap out on the night of the 10th/11th in Shoreham and had a good night for us with 48 macro moths of 19 species. The highlights included 3 Elephant Hawkmoths and a pristine Privet Hawkmoth and we also had our first ever Large Emerald, Phoenix and Blackneck. Although it is old news now we caught our first Silver-Y and L-album Wainscot for the year back on 8 July. (Dave and Pen Green)

 


Friday 11 July 2008

2 Ringlet nectaring on Verbena bonariensis and Lavender (photo on Gardening pages) in my Brighton garden and 1 Comma more interested in a brightly-coloured t-shirt flapping on the line in my Brighton garden. (Caroline Clarke)

There seems to have been little activity on the butterfly and moth immigration front so far this year but maybe that's all about to change - there's more Red Admiral and Silver-Y activity around Friston and in the moth trap last night there was an Orache Moth. Although common on the continent this moth is a rare immigrant to Britain - last night's record being only the 7th for Sussex. It wasn't as brilliant green as it should be (see Tim Freed's photo in the Moth Gallery) but if I had just flown across the channel through a storm I probably wouldn't be looking my best either. Also in the trap last night another scarce immigrant Dark Bordered Pearl Evergestis limbata (Michael Blencowe)

On a cool evening, last night's trap produced 16 macros and 4 micros: Macros - Coronet, Elephant Hawkmoth, Buff Ermine (7), Large Yellow Underwing (4), Lime-speck Plug, Early Thorn 2nd gen, Peppered Moth, Dark Arches (16), Lesser Yellow Underwing (2), Clay, Heart & Dart (2), The Flame (3), Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Riband Wave (2), Uncertain (5), Common Rustic, Micros - Mother of Pearl, Endotricha flammealis, Crambus sp (12), Tortrix sp. (John Luck)

Recent news: Following trapped in my garden in Portslade over the last couple of weeks (I'm still waiting for something exciting!): Privet Hawkmoth, Elephant Hawkmoth, Large Yellow Underwing, L-album Wainscot (trapped 28/06/08), Brown-tail, Buff Ermine, Lackey, Silver Y, Mother of Pearl, Heart & dart, Double Square-spot, Scalloped Oak, Nut-tree Tussock, Dusky Sallow. (Darryl Perry)


Thursday 10 July 2008

 

Ringlet and female Silver-washed Fritillary at Park Corner Heath today (Bob Eade)

Friston Forest, mostly sunny, somewhat windy but NO RAIN. Worrying about how the butterflies have survived the last few days and was delighted to see my first Gatekeepers of the year (of course, Michael Blencowe had seen them first!). Five were sunning in a group on a bank. Also lots of Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, 2 fresh Commas, a fritillary (? large), Red Admiral, 2 Small Skippers, several Large Whites. (Susan Suleski)

A short visit to Park Corner Heath around lunchtime saw lots of Ringlets, approx 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries, Gatekeepers, Comma, Meadow Browns, Large Skipper but unfortunately no White Admirals seen. (Bob Eade).

News for 5 July: I saw my first ever White Admiral in my garden in Lewes (Wallands Area). It was resting on giant cream scabious but I also have honeysuckle on the fence nearby. (Elizabeth Thomas)


Wednesday 9 July 2008

 

Another 30+ new moth photos added to the Galleries today (access via Sussex species tab on side menu), most are 'clickable' to give larger version, and including 10 new species of which two I caught last night in the trap: Dark Marbled Tabby Duponchelia fovealis (which is apparently an accidental import on cut flowers and first recorded in this country as recently as 1996) and White-triangle Button Acleris holmiana. New species courtesy of Michael Blencowe are Brown-line Bright-eye, Clouded Magpie, Lappet, Rough-winged Conch, Small Dotted Buff & Small Fan-footed Wave, and Wood Carpet from Ivan Lang. We now have 584 species and 1223 images (58 'clickable') listed. Can we break 600 before the end of July? You moth-ers out there hold the answer! (Bob Foreman)

 


Tuesday 8 July 2008

 

Purple Emperor, Ringlet and Silver-washed Fritillary at Southwater Woods today (Matt Eade)

 

 

Midday - between heavy showers. in field off Clay Lane Fishbourne (SU843051) - 1 male Marbled White. First one we have seen this close to Chichester City Centre. (Richard Harrison & Peter Etheridge)

 

Had my first Painted Lady of the year today, while doing some management work at Thorney Deeps. (Barry Collins)

 

Our first visit to Southwater today. There were plenty of Silver-washed Fritillaries flying beween the showers. Also seen were Red Admiral, only 2 White Admiral, Comma, Small Copper, Large White, Purple Hairstreak, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet. We had just about given up on the Purple Emperor when we spotted one feeding on something horrible that had been left behind by a dog!!!! Considering the weather it was a pretty impressive visit. (Bob and Matt Eade)

 

2 Green-veined Whites flying around our garden pond in Ringmer, today (John Luck)

 

It's Scarlet Tiger madness in Eastbourne! with more reports of this large, colourful moth coming in from across the town. The most recent being from Alan Quinton who saw 3 flying around a patio garden and Phil and Jane who found one on a willow in their back garden in Winchelsea Road. I rushed into Eastbourne to get in on the action and saw one flying along Hartfield Road! It seems this moth has established a strong population in the town. People of Eastbourne - the time has come to throw down your garden tools and let part of your garden grow wild. Nettles and Brambles will help the Eastbourne Scarlet Tiger population to grow - as well as helping other butterfly and moth species too. Keep a look out - you may have a tiger in the bottom of your garden (Michael Blencowe)

 


Monday 7 July 2008

 

Butterfly Conservation Sussex Request for help: Can you help man a Sussex BC stall at the Environmental Fayre to be held at Dorothy Stringer High School in Brighton, Saturday 12th July, 11am to 3pm, please? Sir David Bellamy is expected to be there! Please contact Caroline Clarke on caroandkevsmiled@netscape.net. Any help for any length of time appreciated, and full support given :-)

 

New event added: Fri 25 Jul, Butchershole Bottom. See events page for details.

 

Can you believe this weather?! I always check out the Met Office 15-day forecast, who today are saying, "There is a hint at the moment of a ridge building into the south for the second half of next week bringing more settled conditions." Whoopee!

I have also received some advice today about this page's width, which seemed to have grown recently! Let me know if this fix works for you. - Webmaster

News for Sunday 6 Jul: I was SO impressed that 19 people braved the elements and attended the BC outing to Southwater yesterday, proving that our members are a hardy bunch! We saw only 2 species of butterfly (Meadow Brown and Ringlet) and 2 species of rain (persistent and torrential). In order to add at least a little wildlife interest, we visited a Spotted Flycatcher's nest, to watch the adults feeding some very large, fluffy young. Hopefully my 'virtual tour' of the local Purple Emperors will allow others to return and see them. At least everyone now knows exactly where to look, when to look and what to look for, as I even revealed the location of my 'secret sap run'! I will be on holiday until next Saturday and any of those that attended the walk are welcome to contact me, if they are still having problems seeing the species and wish to meet up for another bash! Thanks to all for maintaining such good humour in the circumstances! (Neil Hulme)


Sunday 6 July 2008

Many thanks to Neil Hume for doing the honours [at the Southwater Woods Event today]. I went with my daughter who sat on my shoulders most of the time and ocassionally poked me in the eye. It poured with rain. Oh dear. Still the main thing is I now know where all the master trees are and what folk are on about when they say "Dogbarking Trees" and "Butterfly Corner". Amazingly there was a brave Ringlet on the loose and a Meadow Brown or two. I shall return!!! It was quite a busy group BTW there were about 19 of us. Thanks once again Neil!! (Danny McEvoy)

News for Friday 4 July: Male Purple Emperor on sallow at 'Butterfly Corner' in Madgelands Wood near Southwater. (Tom Ottley)


Saturday 5 July 2008

The Brighton Fire Brigade kindly took me, Dan Danahar and our respective families up in their lift to the top of 2 elm trees in Preston Park in Brighton to look for White-letter Hairstreak. This was in preparation for next Sunday's Big Brighton Butterfly Count event when - weather permitting - I will be accompanying Sir David Bellamy in the lift to look for this elusive little butterfly. We recorded at least 4 White-letter Hairstreak on the two ancient English elms known as the Preston Twins and a further 20 or so individuals on a mature Wheatley elm. Also 1 Ringlet who wanted to get in on the act but coundn't fly high enough! (Caroline Clarke)

See bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/cities/brighton for details of next weekend's event and other butterfly walks across Brighton and Hove.

Read your [Scarlet Tiger] report in the Friday Herald and believe I may have a photo on my phone - I spotted it outside the rear of the HQ of East Sussex Fire & Rescue in Upperton Lane, Eastbourne a week or so ago. I asked colleagues and others had seen the same on several different days - mine was alive at the time, sadly others said the ones they saw were dead. (C. Brooks)

Scarlet Tiger, Eastbourne, (C. Brooks)

  

Out of the wind the wooded rides of Friston Forest were alive with butterflies today; Marbled White, Small Skipper, White Admiral, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small White, Small Heath, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Large Skipper, Large White, Green-veined White, Comma and Dark-green Fritillary - one of which flew up and over a high elm and as it did a small, dark butterfly shot up from the top of the tree to chase it off - a White-letter Hairstreak? I'll have to stake-out that elm on another day. There were plenty of Silver-Ys around and I saw my first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year too. I'll be running an extra field trip to look at the Butterflies & Moths of Friston Forest for Save Our Butterflies week on July 25th - look for details on the events page soon or contact sussexgrayling@aol.com to book. (Michael Blencowe)

Today at Southwater Woods a total of 14 Purple Emperor continued to entertain the visitors. The number of males over the Marlpost car park has increased to 4 and they were active here until 18:00, by which point the treetops had become a swirling mass of Purple Hairstreaks. Alice Parfitt and I watched one chase a Wood Pigeon, adding to the list of Purple Emperor 'targets' for 2008 (Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch and Long-tailed Tit). But the stars of today's show were the females. At 14:15, after a spell of ovipositing, a fairly worn and battered female landed to probe for moisture near the Madgelands stream. Having lazed around in the sallows at 'Butterfly Corner' for some time, a second female went into 'sap-searching' mode, before locating a 'run' deep within the shade of a hazel. She gorged herself between 15:25 and 15:30, flicking her huge wings to deter a Comma from sharing her feast. (Neil Hulme)

I saw a male Purple Hairstreak today along the west side of Pagham Harbour, flying around & resting on a gorse bush at about 1pm. (Andrew House)

At Frog Firle up to Blatchington Reservoir I saw 1 White Admiral, 1 Small Copper, Gatekeppers, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Small, Essex and Large Skippers, Marbled Whites, Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Large and Small Whites and 2 Silver Y. (Matt Eade)

The numbers of Dark Green Fritillaries between Birling Gap and Horseshoe Plantation have grown further with around 20 flying strongly over the long grass. Also seen was 1 Small Copper, many Marbled Whites, Large Skippers, Small Skippers, Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, Comma, Gatekeepers, and Small White. (Bob Eade).

A butterfly hunt around Cissbury Ring with 12 pupils from Downsbrook School and their teachers in bright sunshine yielded 12 species of butterfly: Small Copper, Marbled White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large White, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Heath, Small Tortoiseshell, Large Skipper and Small Skipper. Also 3 species of day-flying moth: Cinnabar, Large Yellow Underwing and Silver Y. (Caroline Clarke and Neil Hulme)

News for Friday 4 July: A few hours at Littlehampton Bridge produced some limited White-Letter Hairstreak activity, with 3 or 4 individuals being identified. Unfortunately none came down from the tree canopy. Other sightings included 4 Red Admiral, 3 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Small White, 2 Large White, 2 Green Veined White, 2 Gatekeper, 6 Meadow Brown and a Smallish Skipper. (Vince Massimo)

Silver-washed Fritillary valezina, Southwater, 03 July, (Neil Hulme) and Wood Carpet, Pagham, 04 July (Ivan Lang)

News for Thursday 3 July: White Admiral along bridleway and woodland nr car park areas this week. Many Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Large Skippers around the trail with a few Common Blues, Small Tortoiseshells and Small Coppers today. (Pete Hughes RSPB Pulborough Brooks)

News for Thursday 3 July and Friday 4 July: Following another good day at Southwater yesterday (3 July), when sightings included 13 Purple Emperor and a mint condition valezina Silver-washed Fritillary (green, female aberration), Southwater Woods was still producing well today (4 July), despite more subdued weather. Males were very active at Marlpost car park, Dogbarking Master Tree, Madgelands MT, the lane adjacent to 'Sleepy Warren', Crookhorn Lane and 'Butterfly Corner' (Tom Ottley photographed head-height, perched male). At least 3 males spent the morning 'sallow searching' along the slope down to the stream in Madgelands (total for woods 16). The highlight was a pair 'in cop' at the Madgelands assembly area. A female was pursued up the adjacent North Ride at 10:15 and copulation was immediately initiated as she alighted in the upper reaches of the ash. At 11:08 a determined effort to usurp the copulating male was made by one of the other 3 butterflies 'on station'. A violent beating of wings continued for a full two minutes, before the pretender accepted defeat. Although other males often alighted for a closer look, no other interventions were observed. They were still joined several hour later, at which point I had to leave to co-lead a school party at Cissbury Ring. Valezina was again spotted early in the morning, but continued to be camera-shy. (Neil Hulme and Tom Ottley)

News for Tuesday 1 July and Friday 4 July: Pagham Harbour: Moths Trapped on 1st July 2008: Acleris forsskaleana 1, Angle Shades 1, Archips podana 1,Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing 1, Browntail 1, Buff Ermine 1, Cabbage Moth 1, Common Pug 1 Common Wainscot 1, Common/Lesser Rustic 1, Crambus perlella 1,Cream Bordered Green Pea 1, Dark pectacle 1, Dark/Grey Dagger 1, Diamond Back Moth 1, Early Thorn 1, Emmelina mondactyla 1, Eyed Hawk-moth 1, L-Album Wainscot 1, Least Yellow Underwing 1, Leopard 1, Light Brown Apple Moth 1, Lunar Spotted Pinion 1, Lychnis 1, Mottled Pug 1, Obscure Wainscot 1, Orthopygia glaucinalis 1, Phlyctaenia coronata 1, Pinion Streaked Snout 1, Poplar Grey 1, Ringed China Mark 1, Rusty Dot Pearl 1, Scarce Footman 1, Schoenobius giganitella 1, Shoulder Stripped Wainscot 1, Silver Y 1, Small Square Spot 1, Smoky Wainscot 1, Strawberry Tortrix 1, Swallowtail Moth 1, Sycamore 1, Syndemis musculana 1, Water Veneer 1, White Plume Moth 1, Barred Fruit-Tree Tortrix 2, Blue-Bordered Carpet 2, Bright-Line Brown-Eye 2, Chilo phragmitella 2, Common Wave 2, Dioryctria abietella 2, Flame Shoulder 2, July Highflyer 2, Lime-Speck Pug 2, Magpie 2, Mother of Pearl 2, Pebble Prominent 2, Setaceous Hebrew Character 2, Short Cloaked Moth 2, Willow Beauty 2, Agriphilia tristella 3, Common Emerald 3, Grey Tortrix 3, Heart and Dart 3, Light Arches 3, Scalloped Oak 3, Small Magpie 3, Bramble Shoot Moth 4, Brindled Pug 4, Dot Moth 4, Elephant Hawk-moth 4, Chrysoteuchia culmella 5, Tawny/Marbled Minor 5, Thistle Ermine 5, Common Footman 6, Uncertain 6, Rustic 7, Buff Arches 8, Burnished Brass 9, Flame 9, Spectacle 10, Crambus lathoniellus 11, Green Pug 11, Snout 11, Riband Wave 13, Agapeta hamama 15, Mottled Rustic 19, Large Yellow Underwing 29 and Dark Arches 31.
Moths Trapped on 4th July: Agapeta hamama 1, Archips podana 1, Barred Straw 1, Bramble Shoot Moth 1, Brimstone 1, Chrysoteuchia culmella 1, Common Pug 1, Common/Lesser Rustic 1, Crambus perlella 1, Dark/Grey Dagger 1, Dot Moth 1, Double Lobed 1, Grey Tortrix 1, Herald 1, July Highflyer 1, Light Brown Apple Moth 1, Lime-Speck Pug 1, Pepperded Moth 1, Pinion Streaked Snout 1, Poplar Grey 1, Rusty Dot Pearl 1, Sallow Kitten 1, Scarce Footman 1, Swallowtail Moth 1, Sycamore 1, V-pug 1, Light Grey Tortrix 1, Rosy Wave 1, Kent Black Arches 1, Rhomboid Tortrix 1, Flame Carpet 1, Wood Carpet, 1 (First for the Reserve), Coronet 1, Crambus lathoniellus 2, Flame Shoulder 2, Green Pug 2, Riband Wave 2, Small Magpie 2, Thistle Ermine 2, Yellow Shell 2, Bright-Line Brown-Eye 3, Common Footman 3, Elephant Hawk-moth 3, Light Arches 3, Setaceous Hebrew Character 3, Willow Beauty 3, Lackey 3, Lesser Yellow Underwing 3, Buff Arches 4, Dark Spectacle 4, Nutmeg 4, Scalloped Oak 4, Spectacle 4, Burnished Brass 5, Silver Y 5, Smoky Wainscot 5, Tawny/Marbled Minor 5, Uncertain 8, Flame 10, Heart and Dart 10, Snout 12, Large Yellow Underwing 18, Mottled Rustic 18 Rustic 33 and Dark Arches 39.
(Ivan Lang)


Friday 4 July 2008

The story of the return to Sussex of the Scarlet Tiger at Friston Forest has hit the headlines with features about the moth on TV and in local newspapers this week. Today's story in the Eastbourne Herald prompted Michael Bentley of Eastbourne to email me about a colourful moth he had seen a few days ago in his back garden - from his photo I was able to confirm it was indeed a Scarlet Tiger - so keep an eye out over the next few weeks and keep your camera handy - there's tigers on the loose! (Michael Blencowe)

Scarlet Tiger, Friston Forest, (Michael Blencowe).

  

A nice range of butterflies in the flower meadow at Kithurst Hill on Friday 4 July; Large and Small White, Large and Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Comma and Small Heath, with the highlights being at least a dozen Marbled White and a couple of Chalkhill Blues. We added a couple more species, Gatekeeper and Silver Washed Fritillary, over at Woods Mill. (Anna Allum and Jan Fisher)

My first definite Gatekeeper Butterfly of the year spent a long time fluttering around the Privet on the Coastal Link Cyclepath (north of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge) and it never did settle for a close look. There were at least two more along the cyclepath to Upper Beeding which also hosted occasional Meadow Browns (6+), two Marbled Whites, frequent Large Whites, a few Small Whites, three Small Tortoiseshells, occasional Ringlets and a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar on a Ragwort plant, on a rapid cycle ride which did not involve stopping. (Andy Horton)

A fleeting visit to Vert Wood, Laughton for only half an hour produced 5 White Admirals, 2 Silver Washed Fritillaries, 2 Large Skipper, 2 Comma, 5 Ringlet and 10 Meadow Brown - all within 50 metres of parking. (Tim Duffield)

Had a lot of new moth species for my garden list at Friston this week - highlights have been Silvery Arches, Drinker, Brussels Lace, Leopard Moth, Lappet, True Lover's Knot, Ghost Moth, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Olive Crescent, Lackey and Brown-line bright-eye (not to be confused of course with Bright-line brown-eye) and Orange Pine Twist (Lozotaeniodes formosanus) (Michael Blencowe)

Today I visited Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve (SU828103) for a total of 2 hours. The temperature was 18 degrees but towards midday a strong breeze had developed. The path heading towards the reserve was adorned with White Campion, Creeping Thistle and Welted Thistle which was popular with the Whites. I observed a female Small White oviposit and managed a photo of the egg. In the grassland areas of the site Meadow Browns and Ringlets were plentiful in addition to odd Marbled Whites. I saw my my first Gatekeepers of the year an immaculate male and female flying around Bramble blossom. Totals: Small White (32), Large White (12), Green Veined White (4), Meadow Brown (55), Ringlet (38), Marbled White (13), Gatekeeper (2), Speckled Wood (1), Comma (2), Red Admiral (1), Small Copper (2), Large Skipper (5) and Small Skipper (3). (Richard Symonds)

News for Thurs 3 Jul: White Admiral x1, Hurstmonceux, TQ6365014018, (R P Wells)

News for Thurs 3 Jul: Nine species of butterfly and skipper in as many minutes were seen from the southern side of the Slonk Hill Cutting embankment to the southern Buckingham Cutting, Shoreham, included my first Small Skipper of the year, see clearly as it settled on a flower and opened its wings. Earlier a Large Skipper had settled, but it still needed a practised eye (in the absence of the camera which was broken) to differentiate them. On the orchid-covered north-facing bank Ringlets (15+) outnumbered Meadow Browns (10+) with a few undetermined Skippers, a few Large Whites, one sparring with a Marbled White and a Comma Butterfly. On the Buckingham Cutting, south, there were the usual frequent Small Blues (15+) two Speckled Woods in the overgrown hedgerow area, with my first Silver Y Moth of the year. Later a pristine Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly settled by Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. (Andy Horton)


Thursday 3 July 2008

New today! A section of the website all about gardening for butterflies and moths in Sussex. But this is where your input is going to be invaluable. We'd like your help to recommend what works here in Sussex, and what doesn't. We hope you'll really enjoy contributing. Just click the flower icon top right. Caroline Clarke/ Adrian Thomas

Took my daughter to see the Small Blue at Meeching Quarry Newhaven at around 4.30 today. Saw one individual. Also Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper and one Large Skipper. (Danny Macavoy)

Last night's moth-trap produced 36 macros and 4 micros including two rare ones - Brussels Lace (below) and L-album Wainscot plus Privet Hawkmoth, 4 Elephant Hawkmoth, 3 Poplar Hawkmoth, Brimstone Moth, 5 Willow Beauty, 4 Peppered Moth including 1 dark form carbonaria (below), 2 Snout, 2 Early Thorn, 3 Buff-tip, 2 Buff Arches,10 Heart and Dart, 3 Spectacle, 23 Dark Aches, 3 Buff Ermine, 4 Scalloped Oak, Lychnis, 3 Common Footman, 3 Clouded Border, 16 Uncetain, Small Magpie, 2 Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Bright-line Brown-eye, Riband Wave, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 4 Dot Moth, 2 White Point, Burnished Brass f juncta, Barred Straw, Yellow-tail, Mottled Rustic, Knot Grass, 2 Common Wainscot, The Flame plus 1 Pug (to be id'd) with Micros: Apple/Orchard Ermine, 12 Crambus sp and 2 further species. (John Luck)

 

Silver-studded Blue, Iping Common, (Matt Eade)

A visit to Iping Common produced several Silver-studded Blues. Although most were past their best there were still a few in good condition. Also present was a spectacular Golden-ringed Dragonfly and also 7 Crossbills. We then went over the border to Botany Bay where we saw 6 Purple Emperors as well as the expected woodland butterflies. As is the case with Southwater the Purple Emperors seem to be doing well in Surrey as well. (Bob and Matt Eade)


Wednesday 2 July 2008

Apologies to those who have been sending photos recently that haven't made it onto the site yet - we have had some problems with file transfer, hopefully close to solving. Also of housekeeping, please note that photos and sightings go to different people - if you have a sighting with photo, send it to both addresses please. And if you can write your entries as they are going to look on the page, that would be most appreciated (and thanks to all those who are already). You'll note that we never abbreviate species names - new people are logging onto the site daily, may of whom are new to butterflies and moths, for whom a SWF or LYU means nothing! Thanks :-)

My wife and I plus two NZ friends had the great privilege of joining Neil and Matthew at Southwater Woods yesterday and had the awesome experience of a male Purple Emperor perched on the ground. Our friends will doubtless think that this is a fairly normal event. It was certainly or first ever sighting of this superb insect on a perfect day. Conversation at one point turned to other butterflies including Small Tortoiseshell, which is not doing very well at present. Today at home the weather was mainly wet, but when the sun shone later in the day, what should appear but this very butterfly perching on one of our Hebe bushes, being a NZ plant this reminded us of our friends. A couple of hours earlier, a Swallow-tailed Moth appeared on our kitchen floor. I took it outside and managed to take two photos before it flew away. (John Luck)

Plenty of Marbled Whites and Gatekeepers in field just off Frog Firle. Also seen Meadow Browns and between Littlington and Alfriston 3 Small Tortoiseshell, one in immaculate condition. Small Heath were also showing. Not bad considering the weather. (Bob Eade).

In my garden at Kingston near Lewes this morning one Holly Blue. In Waitrose car park in Lewes this morning an unidentified black or very dark butterfly or moth fluttering around mainly at about seven or eight feet but without settling. It was about the size of a Chalkhill Blue. Appeared too dark and large for a Vapourer. Any ideas anybody? (John Holloway)

News for Tues 1 Jul: Saw my first Painted Lady of the year in our garden in East Preston, near Littlehampton, about 600 metres from the sea. (Martin Mirrors)

News for Tues 1 Jul: Enjoyed yesterday's trip so returned to Southwater Woods today (minus 5 year old daughter) to see if we could see more Purple Emperors. Arrived quite early (10am) on a hot sunny day and immediately noticed more butterflies than the previous day (especially White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary). Our luck was in as around 10:30 a Purple Emperor came down to the ground and proceeded to 'feed' on and around some horse dung and then disappeared back into the tree canopy. Luckily managed to get a few photos. Couldn't believe our luck when 20 minutes later we had another photo opportunity further up the track (not on dung this time). Later on at a distance we saw (probably the same individual) at ground level again!  (Simon & Fran Fletcher)

News for Tues 1 Jul: Male Purple Emperor at Buchan Country Park. (Damian Pinguey)

News for Tues 1 Jul: This morning I met up with 'Purple Emperor Guru' Matthew Oates, Max and Fiona (filming butterflies for 'BirdGuides'), the Steedmans, the Lucks (and their friends visiting from New Zealand!) and BC Committee member Caroline Clarke. Matthew, Jim and Judith have seen many an Emperor in their time, but most were hoping for their first sight of this wonderful butterfly - and they were not about to be disappointed! If the sightings elsewhere in the woods by Chris and John Hamilton (3), and the Fletchers from Seaford (early morning 'grounded' male - congratulations on becoming 'Purple'!) are added into the equation, careful analysis of the many multiple sightings gives a total of about 20 Purple Emperor! Jim and Judith had one male down briefly and we later saw a rather worn female 'on the deck'. But the highlight was a pristine male, which we tracked through the woods between 15:45 and 16:05. It landed repeatedly, probing for mineral salts and occasionally entering the woodland, searching for sap runs. As it performed tight turns around us it flashed the most brilliant shades of vivid purple. Even for the most seasoned butterfly-hunters, a quite remarkable day! (Neil Hulme and party)

News for Tues 1 Jul: A long hot and sweaty walk around Lullington Heath this afternoon yielded numerous Dark Green Fritillaries, Marbled Whites, common Skippers and a single White Admiral. On the South Downs Way leading up to the site, we saw a single Small Tortoiseshell and a handful of Speckled Woods. Had a Comma in my garden in Broad Oak later in the day - also one Small Tortoiseshell and a Cinnabar last week. (Stuart Cooper)

News for Mon 30 Jun: First trip to Southwater woods with my wife and daughter hoping to see Purple Emperor. Neil Hulme kindly provided directions. Species seen (didn't count precisely so rough estimates used) include Comma (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Meadow Brown (lots), Large White (1), Purple Hairstreak (1), Speckled Wood (5+), White Admiral (10+), Silver Washed Fritillary (10+) and Purple Emperor (2 males). So a successful visit. (Simon, Fran & Amy Fletcher)

News for Mon 30 Jun: Mini, impromptu BC field outings are breaking out all over the county! I dropped in to Littlehampton Bridge late morning, to find a group of BC 'regulars' looking for White-letter Hairstreak. Up until this point they were doing a fair job of hiding, but while chatting, I noticed an odd arrangement of silhouettes in a low ash tree. Closer inspection proved them to be a mating pair of Hairstreaks! The photograph I managed is far from great, but it certainly has rarity value. I stayed for a while and the activity increased sharply. At one point there were 9 males in the air dog-fighting. I came to the conclusion that there were about 15 in total. I was later given a very enjoyable tour of the National Trust area around Slindon by Katie Archer. Travelling along small wooded tracks in a '4x4' is a great way to see a lot of butterflies quickly! We rapidly notched up Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral, Marbled White, Ringlet, Comma, Large Skipper and Common Blue amongst others. Thanks to the local National Trust staff for their hospitality. (Neil Hulme)


Tuesday 1 July 2008

Scarlet Tigers in Friston Forest, Jun 2008 (Michael Blencowe)

Apart from the butterflies at Cissbury Ring (see Neil's entry for Sunday), there are also some attractive moths. The Forester is usually shown in the books as green, but catch the light right and they appear a vivid iridescent blue (photo below). (Tom Ottley)

Very hot day in Brede Woods: Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Skippers, Large Skippers, Small White, White Admiral, Ringlets including mating pair. (Janet Richardson)

Did one of my transects at Bevendean today in warm sunny weather. 6 Small Skippers, 2 Large Whites, 5 Chalkhill Blues (my first this year), 4 Speckled Woods, 50 Marbled Whites, 6 Gatekeepers, 38 Meadow Browns, 35 Ringlets. (Geoff Stevens)

I have been checking daily and I'm pleased to say that the Silver-washed Fritillaries have finally emerged in Hoe Wood at Woods Mill - last year I first saw them in Hoe Wood on 19 June so they are quite a bit later this year. A couple of White Admirals also in Hoe Wood. A female Purple Hairstreak was seen just outside the main buildings here on Friday 27 Jun. Also plenty of Marbled Whites and Narrow-bordered Five-Spot Burnets in the meadows here. (Pen Green )

News for Mon 30 Jun: Saw three Small Tortoiseshell at North Acres, Streat - they used to be very common but we haven't seen any for some ten years here. Also Large Skippers. (John Eastwood)

News for Mon 30 Jun: Took a fleeting trip to Ashdown Forest, skirting the perimeter of Kingstanding. 6 male Silver-Studded Blues seen, all within 12 feet of the fence. On the way back to the car, saw a seventh on the verge opposite Smugglers CP. Only other species, Large Skippers and Small Heaths. (Bob Coleman)


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  Essex Skipper, Purple Emperor, Chalkhill Blues and Purple Hairstreak, and, by the end of the month, we can expect the first Graylings, Silver-spotted Skipper, the next brood of whites, Small Coppers, Brown Argus, Holly Blues and more. By the last week of the month, 20 species on a sunny day should be easy, and 30 species in a day is possible with a bit of planning; in 2006, Michael Blencowe got 31 without using a car (achieved on 29th). 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.

 


Monday 30 June 2008

An after-work walk on a warm evening around Friston and we found hundreds of Small Skippers roosting in the long grass - sometimes 6 to a grass stalk - alongside Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns. In the forest 5 Scarlet Tigers were seen - including a mating pair - "Hey baby - fancy recolonising Sussex?" (Michael Blencowe & Clare Jeffers)

Following my article in the Spring newsletter, I was contacted by BC member, Brian, who told me about a colony of White-letter Hairstreak he had seen at St Ann's Well Gardens in Hove. Brian and I met there this morning and recorded at least 6 individuals flying around a pair of immature red horse chestnut trees. They could be seen by the naked eye and we also got some very good views with binoculars. A nearby mature Wych Elm tree (foodplant for White-letter Hairstreak) was swaying in quite a strong breeze and we suspected the butterflies had decamped to the more sheltered horse chestnut trees to feed and search for a mate. Later in the day, I saw a further 3 White-letters on a mature English Elm tree on the main London Road into Brighton (a previously recorded colony).

To find out more about spotting White-letter Hairstreak butterflies in Sussex, follow the links to Sussex Butterfly Galleries (via Sussex Species) and click on 'gallery' for White-letters. I also have details of elm trees with potential for supporting colonies of this butterfly in parts of East Sussex including around Seaford, Alfriston and in the grounds of Sussex University. If you have a chance to go out looking over the next month or so, Sussex BC would very much like to receive any new records of this possibly under-recorded butterfly. (Caroline Clarke, White-letter Hairstreak Species Champion, email caroandkevsmiled@netscape.net)

News for Sun 29 Jun - Found a pristine White Admiral sunning on the road about 100 yards from my house and continued on to walk around north Warnham finding others blowing in the high winds along with several Purple Hairstreaks and my first Silver-washed Fritillaries and swarms of Meadow Browns and Ringlets. (Sam Bayley)

News for Sun 29 Jun: Visted Park Corner Heath yesterday with 7 year old daughter. Two Red Admiral, 2 Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 White Admiral, many Ringlets, many Meadow Browns...but the highlight for my daughter wasn't the butterflies but the two Adders under the corrugated sheets! I expected to see Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries but no luck, I thought there would be more Silver-washed Fritllaries as well. (Danny McEvoy)

News for Sun 29 Jun: An early morning trip up to Cissbury Ring provided me with three 'firsts' for 2008; Dark Green Fritillary (6), Essex Skipper (1) and Small Skipper (5). Marbled White (30+) numbers have started to build, including just one female. She had already been mated, and after being constantly accosted by amorous males, she finally went off to hide in thick scrub. (Neil and Eric Hulme)

News for Sat 28 Jun: Today I met up with Dan Hoare (our SE Regional Officer), to show him around a couple of our currently 'hot' sites. We started off at Littlehampton Bridge, where the White-letter Hairstreak have finally begun to appear in numbers. We counted 6, either dogfighting, flittering around the top of Wych Elms, or sitting in low ash trees, constantly fidgeting to angle their wings to the sun. We then moved on to Southwater Woods to watch the Purple Emperor. 2 males were in residence at the Marlpost car park, 1 was sitting in the canopy above Crookhorn Lane, 1 was lazing in the Dogbarking Master Trees, 2 fought over the Madgelands Master Trees and I later spotted a male (with characteristic wing-tip damage) 'sallow-searching' over an adjacent ride. The first females of the year were also spotted. One was exiting a sallow at very low level as we parked at Madgelands, and a further female (post-'cop'?) rejected one, then later another male, while sitting in the crest of an ash, adjacent to the Master Trees. 9 Purple Emperors in a day can't be bad! (Neil Hulme and Dan Hoare)

News for Sat 28 Jun - In my Warnham garden and the little field at back found first Purple Hairstreak which unfortunately had a dodgy hindwing (although this didn't seem to impede its flying ability), my first male Vapourer and an impressive group of four Bee Orchids up to a foot high! These are thanks to Michael Blencowe and Dave Green who spotted them. (Sam Bayley)


Sunday 29 June 2008

Sightings for a walk around Cissbury Ring in bright sunshine but very windy: 30+ Meadow Brown, 2 Dark Green Fritillary, 3 Ringlet, 2 Small White, 11 Small Heath, 6 Marbled White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Large Skipper, 2 Large White. (Kevin, Caroline, Miles and Ed Clarke)

My overnight moth trap produced the first garden record of Pine Hawkmoth - for a coastal tree-poor location such as Peacehaven, I presume this is either a dispersing individual, or perhaps the very few pine trees in Peacehaven support a small population. Perhaps I would have had more but for my bete noir of mothing - cats - one of which again had half collapsed the trap in the night (Adrian Thomas)


Saturday 28 June 2008

In warm, sunny, yet blustery conditions on the Downs to the north of Denton & South Heighton this morning (10.30-14.30), we clocked up a very satisfying 16 butterfly species: Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White (inc mating pairs), White-letter Hairstreak, Small Copper, Common Blue, Red Admiral larvae, Peacock larvae, Comma (f. Hutchinsoni), Dark Green Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet (not 100% on this one) and Small Heath. The White-letter Hairstreak were abundant in number at one of two sites found today (on English Elm) and may constitute a significant colony within the county. Well worth further investigation. (David Harris and Steven Teale)

Driving from Newhaven to East Grinstead this morning means a wait at the traffic lights in Lewes. And there as I waited I spotted my first Meadow Brown of the year. Sigh. Summer is over already! (Danny McEvoy) No, see it as summer just beginning, Danny! Ed

And so it was that after weeks of battling brambles and nettles and seeing nothing my hopes had started to fade. Had the caterpillars I saw previously been parasitised by an evil chalcid wasp? Were the conditions simply wrong for pupation? Had I dreamt the whole thing? And then on a windy late-June afternoon I saw before me a sight that made my heart stop. Looks like we've got a new moth in the county! Scarlet Tiger; 3 seen patrolling and at rest in Friston Forest. (Michael Blencowe)


Friday 27 June 2008

Had 2 Essex Skippers and 2 Gatekeepers on the wing at Thorney Island today.(Barry Collins)

News for Thurs 26 June: I walked 3 miles covering the footpaths radiating from Horsley Farm near West Marden (SU765136). Many Meadow Browns were flying along the bracken and bramble hedgerows, while in the damp woodland areas Speckled Woods were abundant. I also saw two Ringlets my first sightings for this year. Large White (1M), Meadow Brown (34), Speckled Wood (17), Ringlet (2), Comma (1) and Large Skipper (3). (Richard Symonds)


Thursday 26 June 2008

Sussex is currently 'leading the pack' for the mighty Purple Emperor this year. Seven of us had fantastic views this morning, as they fought almost constantly over two of the four locations I eventually saw them in. Activity (2 males) was slow over the usually-favoured Dogbarking Master Trees. But I was delighted when Malcolm and Barbara (who I know have put a great deal of effort into seeing the species over the past few years) had to delay their departure, after discovering a further pair beating the daylights out of each other over the car park. Congratulations! This pair fought almost constantly for an hour and a half. Tom Ottley and I then went round to the Madgelands Master Trees and the action here was instantaneous. I later saw three in hot pursuit, each within inches of each other. A solitary male over 'Butterfly Corner' made a total of 8, double my best tally for the woods last year (it looks like the species is set to do well in 2008). But the grande finale was yet to come! I returned to the Marlpost car park and at precisely 15:15hrs, a Purple Emperor launched itself at a Great Spotted Woodpecker which came low over the canopy! It chased it across the canopy clearing and down the ride to the east. Having spent the most-part of the day, fighting, showing off, sunbathing and 'cleansing' the area of woodpeckers, they finally 'turned in' at 15:30hrs. A day to remember! (Neil Hulme)

Plenty of photos to come from the last couple of days, but here is Olive Crescent on 22 Jun and True Lover's Knot on 19 Jun, both from Friston and both by Michael Blencowe. Oh, and if you want some challenges for photos to take for the galleries, then so far the following butterflies only have two photos each - Small White, Large White, Wall and Purple Hairstreak, with just 3 White-letter Hairstreaks.

On a long walk from Seaford to Windover Hill and return via Littlington. There were plenty of Marbled Whites at the Seaford end. Meadow Browns were numerous in some places, however in Windover Hill near Windover there was only one Marbled White. Lots of Small Heath were in this area along the bottom of the valley and a few Meadow Brown. There were probably more butterflies that were hanging deep in undergrowth to avoid the strong winds. There were 7 Small Tortoiseshell seen on the walk. No Dark Green fritillaries at all which was surprising. (Bob Eade).

A single White Admiral and plenty of Silver-washed Fritillaries in woods near Warnham at lunchtime today. Nearby, one of two fields where I discovered new Grizzled and Dingy Skipper colonies this year has been sprayed, killing off a fantastic mix of wildflowers. (David Bridges)

At 1430 hrs, my wife and I saw a single, fresh White-letter Hairstreak feeding on bramble flowers in warm sunshine with a moderate SE wind at Littlehampton Bridge at the location Neil took us to last Sunday. As a newcomer to Sussex this was a first ever for me, and as this butterfly fed at close quarters in the sunshine, the colours on its wings changed as it moved and I saw green as well as pale almost metallic grey, far more beautiful than the pictures in various books. It made me wonder how I could get involved planting resistant Wych Elms in this lovely county, as several of the trees close-by had succumbed. We also saw a single Comma hutchinsoni, several Red Admirals and Speckled Woods. I need some advice on a suitable camera to purchase so I can show & confirm these sightings! (Roger Martin) Be great to know what cameras people are using to get their great shots - I'm still using an 'old' (in digital terms) Nikon Coolpix 4500 because it can get me within 2cm for some great macros - Ed

News for Weds 25 Jun: 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Alfriston Clergy House; 1 Small Tortoiseshell at Stanmer Park Nursery. (Caroline Clarke)

Recent news: Recent Moth Trap highlights in our Shoreham-by-Sea garden included one Privet Hawkmoth and five Elephant Hawkmoths on 24 June, along with our first Small Emerald for the garden, another Cypress Carpet and our first Broad-Barred White for the garden. Whilst walking along Shoreham Beach on 24 Jun we spotted some caterpillars making light work of Purple Toadflax. They turned out to be Toadflax Brocade and on a more thorough search on the evening of 25 Jun, we found a total of 35 caterpillars feeding on Purple Toadflax on the shingle to the east of Shoreham Beach Church. Also Marbled White in the Little Meadow at Woods Mill on 25 Jun. (Dave and Pen Green)


Wednesday 25 June 2008

News for Tues 24 Jun: Birling Gap - 6 Dark Green Fritillary, 4 Large Skipper, Common Blues, numerous Small Heath, Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns but still no sign of the White-letter Hairstreaks at Horseshoe Plantation. (Bob Eade)

News for Tues 24 Jun: Pagham Harbour LNR moth trap: Barred Yellow, Angle Shades, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Clouded Border, Common Carpet, Common Wainscot, Dark Spectacle, Diamond Back Moth, Dioryctria abietella, Double-Stripped Pug, Lychnis, Mottled Beauty, Mottled Pug, Nutmeg, Pinion Streaked Snout, Satin Wave, Schoenobius giganitella, Single-dotted Wave, Smoky Wainscot, Square-spot Rustic, White-point, Clouded Buff (first for the Reserve), Blue-Bordered Carpet, Royal Mantle, European Corn-borer, Phlyctaenia coronata, Leopard, Short Cloaked Moth, Spinach, Barred Straw, Dot Moth, Agriphilia tristella, Peppared Moth, Chilo phragmitella, Archips podana, Bramble Shoot Moth, Brimstone, Buff Ermine, Clouded Silver, Common Footman, Common Wave, Crambus lathoniellus, L-Album Wainscot, Light Brown Apple Moth, Rusty-dot Pearl, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Silver Y, Straw Dot, Water Veneer, Fan-Foot, Barred Fruit-Tree Tortrix, Elephant Hawkmoth, Light Arches, Small Square Spot, Common Emerald, Agapeta hamama, Buff Arches, Eudonia pallida, Flame Shoulder, Uncertain, Scalloped Oak, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Spectacle, Tawny/Marbled Minor, Green Pug, Riband Wave, Burnished Brass, Thistle Ermine, Willow Beauty, Heart and Dart, Dark Arches, Rustic, Mottled Rustic, Large Yellow Underwing, Snout and Flame (Ivan Lang)

News for Tues 24 Jun: I spent another highly enjoyable day in Southwater Woods. The emergence of female White Admiral has swelled their numbers and a thorough sweep of Madgelands, Dogbarking and Marlpost Woods gave a total count of 26. Silver-washed Fritillary numbers are still to build, with only 6 males seen. There was a mass emergence of Purple Hairstreak (30+) and late in the day they formed swirling groups above several mature oaks. But the most exciting news is the unexpected (and quite early) emergence of Purple Emperor. Two males briefly appeared at the Dogbarking Master Trees, followed by the later sighting of a solitary male in Madgelands Wood. (Neil Hulme)


Tuesday 24 June 2008

A couple of hours at Windover Hill, produced Small Heath (50 +), Large Skipper (12), Marbled White (11), Meadow Brown (7), Common Blue (5M), Dark Green Fritillary (4), Small Blue (4), Brimstone (1F) and Brown Argus (1). (Bob Coleman)

Took a walk to the lake at Abbots Wood this afternoon; as I got lost the planned short walk lasted over 3 hours in the end. However I only saw 3 White Admiral, 2 Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 Red Admiral, 15 Meadow Brown, 5 Speckled Wood. (Polly Mair)

My first half a dozen Ringlets of 2008 were discovered on a long grass verge on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Cement Works, Upper Beeding, on the more sheltered western side of the cyclepath. Meadow Brown (33+) were frequently seen. I saw over fifty butterflies for the first time this year of six species. (Andy Horton)


Monday 23 June 2008

Pleasant walk round Southwater Woods with Neil this afternoon. Female White Admirals just emerging now. One was struggling in long grass so Neil gave it a helping finger (photo). In return it flew to the top of the nearest tree and refused to come down for more pictures. (Tom Ottley)

This morning I saw my first summer brood Small Tortoiseshell at Ferring Rife and my first Marbled White of the year on the Downs at Amberley. I later met up with Tom Ottley and then Jack Harrison ('on tour' from Cambridgeshire) and Max and Fiona (filming for 'Birdguides') at Southwater Woods, where the White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary continue to show well. While Jack and I had a post-session pint at the 'George & Dragon' at Dragons Green, we saw our first (3) Purple Hairstreak of the year, fluttering around the crest of the adjacent oak. (Neil Hulme)

I saw about six Large Skippers (6) and countless Meadow Browns in an adjacent field. I returned in the afternoon and I saw one Small Tortoiseshell (probably the same one), three Large Skippers (3) along the Rife and in that field upwards of 15 Large Skippers and two Burnet spp on the wing, but they were too far away to properly identify. (Colin Knaggs)

While visiting Sussex from Barnet I took a trip around some great sites in the county; Horseshoe Plantation, Windover Hill, Park Corner Heath - and recorded 19 species of butterfly: Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, White Admiral, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Grizzled Skipper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Large White, Small Blue, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Small Heath, Speckled Wood (Andy Reynolds)

News for Sun 22 Jun: Diplock’s Wood (Wannock Coppice) nr Polegate: this is a small ‘ancient wood’ and last winter a small area was coppiced by the BTCV. This has proved a real bonus for butterflies. The wind was so strong, I wondered if it was ‘safe’ to wander in the wood, so it was wonderful to find the sheltered, sunny coppiced area filled with Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Speckled Woods, 3 Commas and a White Admiral. (Susan Suleski)


Sun 22 June 2008

18 'hopefuls' turned up to the BC field outing to Littlehampton Bridge this morning, expecting to see the White-letter Hairstreak. Despite the poor forecasts throughout last week, the sun shone! However, the species had no respect for my planning and is yet to emerge at this particular site! (two weeks later than in 2007). Apologies to all those that came along (my fault - not Caroline's!), but at least you all know exactly where to look when they finally show themselves (watch this space). Butterflies were a bit 'thin on the ground', with a handful of Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper. The best of the bunch was a freshly emerged, summer brood (hutchinsoni) Comma and a sleepy Eyed Hawkmoth. After Littlehampton I went up to Southwater Woods, which was considerably more productive! 18 White Admiral, 2 Silver-washed Fritillary, 4 Comma, 50+ Speckled Wood, 50+ Meadow Brown, 2 Ringlet, 4 Large Skipper and 4 Red Admiral. (Neil Hulme)

After spending too much time this year moaning about the lack of butterflies it was a wonderful experience to find myself in the middle of a cloud of 60+ Marbled Whites as they settled in to roost alongside 20+ Small Skippers and other species in a sheltered spot near Friston - the meadow was alive with butterflies - I put my camera away and sat and watched the spectacle (Michael Blencowe)

Cold and overcast along the Rife this afternoon. I managed to disturb two Meadow Browns (2) and found a sleepy 5-Spot Burnet species on the clover. The Peacock caterpillar colony seems to have suffered from discarded grass cuttings, I only saw two there today, I hope the larger ones had already pupated. (Colin Knaggs)

Ashpark Wood, near Plaistow, included 1 Silver-washed Fritillary, 4 White Admiral and 3 Ringlet. (Margaret Hibbard)


Sat 21 June 2008

Friston Forest. Grey and very blustery. Only a pair of Ringlets and later one alone, and several Speckled Woods in the Forest itself. Then as I came out of the woods onto the southern end of the gallops, there was a flock of over 15 Marbled Whites – very pretty! Walking around the gallops area, I saw over ten each of Meadow Browns and Small Heath, several Skippers (Large, I think), 1 Common Blue (?) and 1 Marbled white alone at the northern end of the gallops. (Susan Suleski)

At Shooters Bottom, Beachy Head 2 very fresh Small Tortoiseshells which was a surprise. Also 2 Large Skippers, Meadow Browns and Small Heaths. (Matt Eade)

Four Small Tortoiseshells around nettles at Horse-eye Level, Pevensey, today. Yes, FOUR. Can you believe it?! (Adrian Thomas)

The launch of the national Garden Moths Count was marked in the Rother Woods Project area by a survey in the wonderful gardens of Great Dixter House near Northiam last night. Light showers dictated where we put the 3 traps and things got off to a slow start but we soon managed to find 7 of the 20 target Garden Moths Count species, including the Mullein caterpillar. We recorded 45 species in total and an exciting late visitor was Green Arches (a new photo for the moth gallery). Garden Moths Count runs until 6th July and anyone can get involved. See www.mothscount.org for all the details. (Steve Wheatley)

News for Tues 17 Jun: This morning I visited Iping Common (SU849218) for 2 hours. The Silver-studded Blues have have now reached good numbers. I saw four mating pairs as well as a few newly hatched males whose wings were drying in the sun. The blues were mostly found in the areas where the heather has been cut low. Silver-studded Blue (78M 7F), Meadow Brown (2) and Large Skipper (1). (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)


Friday 20 June 2008

News for Thurs 19 Jun: Only a handful (18) of butterflies on my Beeding transect walk in the afternoon in sunny but quite windy conditions, but they included a beautiful pristine Dark Green Fritillary sheltering in long grass. (Jim Steedman)

News for Thurs 19 Jun: Butterflies seen during a Sussex Wildlife Trust visit to Ebernoe Common, West Sussex, included four White Admiral (1 at the church, 3 in the woodland glades), as well as a host of Meadow Browns, Ringlets and a few Large Skippers. A young grass snake was also a highlight taking advantage of the sunshine in the glade system. (Dr Dan Hoare)

News for Tues 17 Jun: A Dark Green Fritillary at Birling Gap, Beachy Head this morning. (Bob Eade)

News for Mon 16 and Tues 17 June: News from the national White-letter Hairstreak project on tour in Sussex! On Mon 16th we visited the Hambrook target in SU70. It was sunny but the night had been cold. Nothing was seen so we decided to visit Chidham. After a little waiting, a White-letter Hairstreak flew out some elm and down the road. We feel the elm at SU783062 deserves another visit so if anyone would like to visit the elm and watch ideally first thing in the morning, all offers of help are welcomed. The next target was in SU90. The elm we stopped at was alongside the A27, but thanks to a conveniently placed footpath we were able to view the elm through binoculars from the other side of the two carriageways. After about 15minutes in good sun, Andrew picked up movement through his binoculars and White-letter was confirmed three times. Next was SU91 - the entire 10km has hardly any elm so we had been quite pleased to find any elm. We watched the elm close to Coates church, and after some cloud (with rain) two White-letter were seen clashing on two occasions. This was the success of the day, as the elm was at such low levels, but they were still seen. We continued on to Bolney in TQ22. This also has almost no elm, but we had found a medium tree beside the old road at Bolney on an earlier visit. We arrived mid afternoon and nothing was seen, it then rained for an hour and then turned sunny again. If White-letters had been present we would have seen them. We therefore decided to return again today first thing. We arrived by the elm at 8.15 (we left at 6.30 to get round the M25), it was still quite fresh but sunny and warmer than the previous morning. We waited about 20 minutes and then a single White letter was seen jittering around the edge of the elm. We know that some of the targets have recent records but some haven't had any records for some years - we have had a good two days out. There is one final target in TQ62 - there is almost no elm! If anyone wants to try and visit the square and find White-letter - they would be most welcome! It's the worst 10km square we have encountered so we are putting a provisional 'White-letter' not found on our map! The map can be viewed here (Liz Goodyear and Andrew Middleton)


Thursday 19 June 2008

Preston Park, Brighton: 6 White-letter Hairstreak seen on 3 elm trees (2 on each tree) - the 'Preston Twins', ancient English elm close to Preston Manor and a Cornish elm at the southern end of an avenue of trees along the west border of the park. Intermittent sunshine and quite windy conditions. Colonies of this butterfly recorded on all three of these trees last year. Scanned other mature elms in the park but no sightings. (Caroline Clarke)

News for 18 June: In the Friston moth trap last night (18th June) 2 Olive Crescent. This extremely rare UK BAP species is only resident in a handful of woods in Britain (in Essex, East Sussex and Kent). After stumbling across this moth at Friston last year I'm hoping to find in 2008 that the species is established here. Steve Wheatley will be leading an event to look for this rarity in Brede High Woods on July 5th (see Events). Also of interest in the trap: loads of Red-necked Footman and a True-lovers Knot (Michael Blencowe).

Butterflies around Edburton today included 2 Marbled Whites, 20 Meadow Browns, 5 Large Skippers, Brown Argus, 4 Common Blues, 2 Small Heaths, 3 Dingy Skippers, 4 Speckled Woods and a Red admiral, and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet. Moths in the garden over the last couple of nights have included Swallow-tailed Moth, Small Elephant Hawkmoth, Green Pug, Heart and Dart and Common Emerald (Tony Wilson)


Wednesday 18 June 2008

Single Small Tortoiseshell along footpath between Keymer and Ditchling this afternoon. Also I must belatedly record a Wall that accompanied me along Lodge Lane, Keymer near to Lodge Farm on 4 June, typically for this species flying for short distances and repeatedly alighting on ground. (Malcolm Le Grys)


Tuesday 17 June 2008

Pretty well covered most of the accessible parts of Upper and Lower Vert Wood (incl. Laughton Wood). Most seen butterfly was the White Admiral (9), seen fairly well spread over the area. Then Speckled Wood (7), Meadow Brown (7), Large Skipper (5) and a solitary Small Skipper. (Bob Coleman).

At Southwater Woods today I saw 11 White Admiral, 50+ Speckled Wood, 50+ Meadow Brown, 3 Large Skipper and a Red Admiral. If had to watch only one species for the rest of my life, then it would have to be the White Admiral. They (all males) spent the afternoon gracefully searching the rides for a mate, manoeuvring and gliding with the ease that only this species can achieve. (Neil Hulme)

I spent a lovely 3 hours at Park Corner Heath, on a warm, sunny but windy afternoon: Silver-washed Fritillary (2), White Admiral (2), Ringlet (3), Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (5), Large Skipper (7), Meadow Brown (2), Speckled Wood (3), Brimstone (1 egg-laying). (Polly Mair)

Results from Rother Woods Project National Moth Night event (Sun 8 June):

We set up 5 traps in 5 very different orchards over 10 miles of the Rother Woods Project area. The NMN target habitat was orchards. We chose orchards close to ancient woodlands.

Over 500 moths came to the traps. 106 species were identified. 1 Red Data Book species - Scarce Merveille du Jour and 2 nationally scarce species - Festoon, Rosy Marbled. The most abundant species were Straw Dot (43) and Clouded Silver (29). The richest site was a derelict and overgrown orchard near Beckley (252 moths, 62 species). The most intensively managed orchard had the lowest moth diversity. 5 species were present at all 5 orchards – Brimstone, Flame, Large Yellow Underwing, Straw Dot, and White Ermine (a BAP research target species). A BIG thank you to David Burrows, Stuart Cooper, Mike Feeny-Brown and Patrick Bonham for running the traps and identifying the moths that I couldn’t. (Steve Wheatley)

 

THE RED-NECKED FOOTMAN (Atolmis rubricollis L.) IN SUSSEX

In 1999 a review of the 150 year long history and then current status of the Red-necked Footman in Sussex since 1970 declared that it was "A suspected occasional immigrant to both halves of the county, the species is currently resident in West Sussex but is presumed extinct as a native in East Sussex since about 1972. The moth usually occurs in singletons, although it is sometimes fairly common amongst deciduous woodland near Arundel; rare in the east of the county. Extremely local and distinctly episodic in appearance." (in "A Revised History of the Butterflies and Moths of Sussex"). All this remains true, as no retrospective records have come to notice that challenges those statements.

But since then there has been a veritable explosion of Sussex sightings and colonies, almost certainly sourced by a still continuing series of migrations from the continent. So far as local breeding is concerned, in East Sussex a colony at Beckley had been refounded by 1999 and here by 2005 half a dozen specimens would come to mercury vapour light (D. Burrows). Several Red-necked Footman at a time were also seen in Hastings Country Park in 2006 (N. M. Hall) and it has also reappeared at Vert Wood (M. Blencowe). Meanwhile, in the insect's western headquarters at Rewell Wood, on some nights in late June 2006 it was the commonest moth to mercury vapour light - it could be seen in dozens (J. T. Radford). (Colin Pratt)

 


Monday 16 June 2008

I read with interest about the Red-necked Footman being possible extinct in Sussex! Having been butterfly mad for the last 40 years (I am 45!) moths have always eluded me. I thought I'd sort this out and bought the Richard Lewington book - the Moth Bible - can't remember the full name, but it was expensive. . In my Newhaven garden on Elphick Road I found a delightful moth with was identical to the Red-necked Footman but had a yellow neck instead of a red one. I had a look at Moths UK and sure enough there it was. So it would seem the Red-necked Footman is thriving in Sussex these days. My garden is a tiny thing near the town "Centre". (Danny McEvoy) [Danny's book is Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, and remember there is now a spiral bound concise version.]


Sunday 15 June 2008

Today in cool sunny conditions along the Rife in Ferring I spotted two Meadow Browns (2) and one Holly Blue (1). I didn’t find my main quarry but did however manage to find a colony of upwards of forty Peacock caterpillars (40+) browsing on nettles. A neighbouring garden also delivered up three Large White caterpillars (3). (Colin Knaggs)

Large Skipper and Ringlet, Downs near Amberley. (Neil Hulme)

This morning 9 of us met for the BC members-only field outing on the Downs at Amberley, led by Reg Hinks. What Reg doesn't know about the early stage life-cycle of the Blues isn't worth knowing! We were soon treated to the sight of Small Blues laying, and found a number of their pretty blue-green eggs amongst the florets of kidney vetch. He then rapidly located a mature Holly Blue caterpillar on dogwood. Despite relatively overcast conditions we also saw Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Dingy Skipper, Large Skipper and a very fresh, velvety Ringlet. Cinnabar and Burnet Companion were also present, along with a few 'micros' and I will be receiving a list of these from Bob Palmer. A warm welcome to the South to Bob, who has just moved down from Aberdeen. As the moth-recorder for that NE corner of Scotland for 40 years and with a keen interest in 'micros', Bob will be a valuable new asset to the Sussex Moth Group. Many thanks to our leader for the day, Reg. (Neil Hulme)


Saturday 14 June 2008

Magpie moth inside a friends house at Sidlesham this morning. (Richard Symonds)

Park Corner Heath: With the temperature dropping and a brisk wind blowing across the plateau it certainly didn't feel like summer to me today - but the first of the summer butterflies are starting to put in an appearance with White Admiral, Ringlet and Silver-washed Fritillary all flying on the reserve (the Fritillary was first reported in the reserve sightings book on Thursday 12th). Elsewhere on the reserve a number of distinctive Mullein caterpillars (above) were found. (Michael Blencowe)

Walking over the Downs at the back of Denton this morning I saw: Marbled White (8) and Meadown Brown (12) - my first of the year for both of these species. Also: Large Skipper (8), Common Blue (7), Speckled Wood (2), Peacock and Small Heath (6). Moths seen: Meadow Grey (Scoparia pyralella), Lesser Treble Bar (5), Cinnabar (2), Common Carpet, Common Heath, Burnet Companion and, for the second week now, a Clouded Buff. (Steven Teale)


Thursday 12 June 2008

Below: Red-necked Footman (Vert Wood, 11 Jun, Michael Blencowe) and Spurge Hawkmoth (Shoreham, 9 Jun, Dave Green)

Friston Forest: chilly with sharp showers. Did not expect any butterflies and was delighted to see two Ringlets, widely separated, both looking very fresh. (Also saw my first Meadow brown on a wide, sunny ride in Friston Forest on Sunday 8th.) (Susan Suleski)

Recent news: Highlights in our Shoreham MV moth trap over the last couple of weeks have included 1 Lime Hawkmoth on 30th May and small numbers of Elephant and Small Elephant Hawkmoths since the beginning of June. In recent nights we have also had Lilac Beauty, Cypress Carpet, Yellow Barred Brindle and Peppered Moth. However, our most exciting moth to date, and probably for the rest of our mothing days, was one we caught on the evening of the 9th June. Looking through the trap the following morning at 7:00am, after turning off the light and covering it at 4:00am, we took out the very last egg carton and on turning it over, a Hawkmoth hopped out and tried to fly off. We managed to catch it and initially thought it was a Bedstraw Hawkmoth although we were unsure of our ID and recognised how rare these are. We took some hurried photos and then had to dash off to work but decided to put the moth in the fridge for the day as we were not certain of our ID. Once at work Pen re-read the description and checked some other books and realised that it could be a Spurge Hawkmoth. We returned home and checked it and it certainly appeared to be a SPURGE HAWKMOTH! (photos to follow) If so this is the most exciting moth we will probably ever find; it's all downhill now with Heart and Darts and Large Yellow Underwings all the way (apologies to you Large Yellow Underwing lovers). Finally, there have been small numbers of Mother Shipton in the meadows at Woods Mill. (Dave and Pen Green)

News for Weds 11 Jun: After a late night moth trapping in Abbots Wood (where highlights included Beautiful Golden Y and Four-dotted Footman) I spent this afternoon at Park Corner Heath. During the sunny spells the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were active as were 6 Large Skippers and 5 Meadow Browns. I spent an hour of my life staring at a pheromone lure tied to a birch tree - but it failed to attract any clearwing moths. My faith in lepidoptera was restored however by the discovery of a RED-NECKED FOOTMAN - a moth that had, until a few years ago, been declared extinct in East Sussex but is again established in Vert Wood (Michael Blencowe)


Wednesday 11 June 2008

Amongst 41 species recorded on Monday night here in a Robinson MV trap at Broad Oak, a Sword-Grass (awaiting confirmation). This is a UKBAP species, so it would be useful to know from whence it came. I will trap again at the next available opportunity in the hope of catching it - or possibly more! Being somewhat new to mothing, I didn't know at the time how scarce it was! I've set up a blog at http://bredebutterflies.wordpress.com as an adjunct to the Rother Woods Project site. Other species recorded were: Treble Lines, Light Brocade, Dark Arches, White-Point, Treble Bar, Dusky Brocade, Pale Tussock, Bright-Line Brown-Eye, Vine's Rustic, Square Spot, Foxglove Pug, Broken-Barred Carpet, Buff-Tip, Great Prominent, Brimstone Moth, Peppered Moth, Straw Dot, Lobster Moth, Lime-Speck Pug, Elephant Hawkmoth, Peach Blossom, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Shoulder-Striped Wainscot, Clouded Silver, Clouded Border, White Ermine, Pebble Prominent, Angle Shades, Large Yellow Underwing, Buff Arches, Figure Of Eighty, Mottled Beauty, Heart And Dart, Burnished Brass, Ghost Moth, Willow Beauty, Scorched Wing, Garden Carpet, Sword-Grass, Hebrew Character, Orange Footman (Stuart Cooper)

On the 1066 Path near Boreham Street today the hay meadows were lovely with many flowering plants and grasses, a few Ringlets and Meadow Browns too numerous to count, not exactly clouds of them but almost! (Roy Wells)

While doing my Bevendean transect midday today, 6 Large Skipper, 1 Dingy Skipper,6 Common Blue, 10 Speckled Wood, 2 Marbled White, 6 Meadow Brown, 1 Ringlet, my first this year, 3 Small Heath. Following the disastrous season last year our Adonis are almost non existent so far this year. (Geoff Stevens)

One White Admiral on the wing in Hoe Wood at Woods Mill today. (Pen Green)


Tuesday 10 June 2008

I spent the afternoon looking for Silver-studded Blues at Iping Common. Numbers are yet to build and a lengthy search only turned up 4 males (2 of which below). A few of us are meeting here tomorrow morning at 9.30, when hopefully there will be a few more on the wing. Anyone else with an interest would be welcome to join us. (Neil Hulme)

A walk from Birling Gap to Shooters Bottom and return saw several Common Blue, Speckled Wood, 1 Adonis Blue, 1 Small Blue, 1 Meadow Brown, 2 Dingy Skipper and many Small Heath. I was hoping for possibly early White Letter Hairstreak and Marbled Whites but no luck on either front. (Bob Eade).

Leesha with Elephant Hawkmoth! Park Corner Heath National Moth Night event, Sun 8 Jun (Michael Blencowe)


Monday 9 June 2008

Caught 24 species in my moth trap at Thorney Island, on the night of 8-9 June. Some of the highlights were Elephant Hawkmoth, male Festoon,Spinach,3 White-Point, Obscure Wainscot and Peach Blossom. (Barry and Margaret Collins)

8 Elephant Hawkmoths overnight last night my highest count of these yet. (Stanley Allen)

News for Sun 8 Jun: At Mill Hill, Adonis Blue 5 males, Large Skipper 1, and Speckled Wood 1. Adonis Blues very active (Sezar Hikmet)

 

News for Sun 8 Jun: Full report from National Moth Night - Morning After at RSPB Pulborough Brooks: Five species of hawkmoth provided the glamour for our national moth night events at RSPB Pulborough Brooks. We set a 'warm up' trap on the Friday night and examined the catch with our teenage Phoenix group, finding: Elephant Hawkmoth, Lime Hawkmoth, Privet Hawkmoth, Treble-lines, Buff Ermine, White Ermine, Cinnabar, Spectacle, Snout, Brimstone, Common Swift, Barred Yellow, Light Emerald, Lobster Moth, Pale Tussock, Buff-tip, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Sharp-angled Carpet, Burnished Brass, The Flame, Small Angle Shades, Green Oak Roller, Beautiful Hook-tip, Straw Dot, Flame Shoulder, Heart and Dart, Brown China-mark, Common Wainscot, Clouded Silver, Small Seraphim, Small Magpie and Grey Pine Carpet.

Our national moth night trap yielded another fine collection: Elephant Hawkmoth, Eyed Hawkmoth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Buff-tip, Light Emerald, Rufous Minor, Cinnabar, Brimstone, Poplar Kitten, Common Swift, Snout, Peppered Moth, Burnished Brass, Buff Ermine, Rustic, Common Wainscot, Clouded Border, Foxgolve Pug, Silver Y, Bright-line Brown-eye, White-point, Angle Shades, Light Brocade, Small Square-spot, Peach Blossom, Green Carpet, Maiden's Blush, Pale Tussock, The Flame, Clouded Silver, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Treble-lines, Blotched Emerald, Middle-barred Minor, Pale Oak Beauty, Flame Shoulder, Heart and Dart, Broom Moth, Small Angle Shades, Satin Wave, Broken-barred Carpet, White Ermine, Lime-speck Pug, Green Oak Roller, Scorched Wing, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Sharp-angled Carpet, Mottled Rustic, Spectacle. Two moths we couldn't decide on were either Poplar Grey or Sycamore and one macro moth defeated us entirely - photo to follow! Many thanks to everyone who turned up to help 'unpack' the trap, go through the identification and recording with me - especially our helpers Adrian, Jackie (along with Andrew and Katie), Russ and Chris. (Anna Allum -RSPB Pulborough Brooks)

News for Sun 8 Jun: A brief but disappointing trawl around Malling Down this morning provided single figure numbers of Adonis Blue and Common Blue. Single sightings of Dingy Skipper, Brown Argus, Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Green Hairstreak. The fresh Large Skippers were lively and eye catching. (Dan Calder)

News for Fri 6 Jun: On the thin strip of intermittent horse pasture to the east of Mill Hill, adjacent and parallel to the A27 dual carriageway on the northern side, was covered in swathes of Bird's-foot Trefoil. My first Large Skipper of the year looked very fresh and quite lively on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, but one of the two Dingy Skippers was very dingy and worn. (Andy Horton)


Sunday 8 June 2008

Thyone Outram (SDJC Elm Warden) and I joined forces this morning to lead an outing for 'The Friends Of Wolstonbury Hill'. In beautiful weather I paid my first visit to this picturesque Down and although butterflies were not abundant, seventeen of us saw all the species we had hoped for. Adonis Blue (4), Small Blue (5), Common Blue (c.15), Meadow Brown (3), Speckled Wood (c.15), Small Heath (5), Dingy Skipper (4), Grizzled Skipper (2), Large Skipper (2) and Large White (1), together with Burnet Companion and Speckled Yellow moths. We also saw Fragrant, Common Spotted and the very rare Man Orchid. Thanks to Hilary Pulham and 'The Friends' for inviting me.

Afterwards it was straight on to the 'Springwatch' event at Stanmer Park. Thanks to Caroline Clarke for organising this event for BC, and to all those that helped out on the stall. With many of us stretched by numerous events at this time of year (hopefully Michael Blencowe has found some time for sleep by now!), such assistance is greatly appreciated. The Sussex Moth Group stand next door was equally well catered for and we were collectively swamped with fascinated visitors, young and old. There is little doubt that a number of future moth enthusiasts became 'hooked' today. (Neil Hulme)

Highlights of the public National Moth Night 'Morning After' traps at RSPB Pulborough Brooks included Eyed, Elephant and Poplar Hawkmoths among the 51 macro species identified. Great to have participants from across the age spectrum (we think every decade was covered from the first up to the eighth!), and seemingly a surprise in every eggbox! (Adrian Thomas and Anna Allum)

An ambitious and fascinating National Moth Night in Rother Woods with traps running in five very different orchards, pus a morning event at Great Dixter House to open the traps. It will obviously take a while to get all the results together but highlights for me included Scarce Merveille du Jour and Scallop Shell. A massive thank you to David Burrows, Patrick Bonham, Mike Feeny-Brown and Stuart Cooper for running the traps. Also a big thank you to the orchard owners (especially Great Dixter House) for hosting the event. (Steve Wheatley)

Park Corner Heath National Moth Night and The Morning After: There was a good attendance at our reserve for National Moth Night from people (some of whom had travelled from Brixton!) and Moths (over 100 species if you include micro-moths). Last night, after an introductory moth lecture we toured the reserve hunting for moths in the evening (as well as bats, glow-worms and snakes) and this morning the contents of the three traps were emptied, identified and photographed. In the traps were (deep breath): Ghost Moth, Festoon, Heart & Dart, Buff Arches, Mother of Pearl, Angle Shades, Pinion Streaked Snout, Red Twin-Spot Carpet, Alder Moth, Dwarf Cream Wave, L-album Wainscot, Poplar Grey, Bordered White, The Flame, Buff-tip, Small Yellow Wave, Clouded Border, Pale Oak Beauty, Mottled Pug, Little Emerald, Satin Lutestring, Sliver Ground Carpet, Common Wave, Common Wainscot, Coronet, Small Angle Shades, Treble Lines, Buff Ermine, Peacock, Green Silver-Lines, Pebble Hook-tip, Eyed Hawkmoth, Coxcomb Prominent, White Ermine, Peppered Moth, Lobster Moth, Brown Silver-Lines, Green Carpet, Pale Prominent, Alder Kitten, Rosy Marbled, Brimstone, Large Emerald, Orange Footman, Spruce Carpet, Straw Dot, Common Swift, Common Marbled Carpet, Slender Pug, Marbled White-Spot, Broken Barred-carpet, Sharp-angled Carpet, Foxglove Pug, Scorched Wing, Sharp-angled Peacock, Tawny-barred Angle, Pale Tussock, Pine Carpet, Flame Carpet, Large Yellow Underwing, Birch Mocha, Miller, Willow Beauty, Small Square-spot, Iron Prominent, Ingrailed Clay, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Elephant Hawkmoth, Broom Moth, Peach Blossom, Marbled Minor, Pine Hawkmoth, Pebble Prominent. Thanks to all who came along and took part! (Michael Blencowe)

This morning I visited Iping Common (SU849218) to search for the Silver-studded Blue. Despite the hot conditions I only saw a single male which settled long enough for a photograph but then was on the wing again. Plenty of moths were flying amongst the heather including the common Speckled Yellow. (Richard Symonds)

 

On one of my Bevendean transects mid day today I had my first Marbled Whites (4) of the year, otherwise only a few Meadow Browns, 1 Common Blue, and 1 Speckled Wood. (Geoff Stevens)

News for Sat 7 Jun: Birling Gap. Painted Lady (1) and Hummingbird Hawkmoth (1) (Ben, Rob and Frosso from Brixton)


Saturday 7 June 2008

A dog walk on the Downs to the north of Denton this morning produced the following sightings: Large Skipper (4), Small White (3), Small Blue (2), Common Blue (>20), Adonis Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood (5), Small Heath (7), Common Carpet, Cinnabar (5), Lesser Treble Bar (2), Burnet Companion (3), and undoubtedly the highlight - a male Clouded Buff. New moth species in the trap last night: Riband Wave (f. remutata), The Flame, Cabbage Moth. (Barry & Steven Teale)


Friday 6 June 2008

Recent news: Things are pretty steady with the moths in Newhaven at present, although at least one previously (personally) unrecorded species seems to turn up every morning! Notable visitors in recent days include Marbled Coronet, Privet Hawkmoth, Small Elephant Hawkmoth, Clouded Silver, Iron Prominent, Galium Carpet, Netted Pug, Bright-line Brown-eye, Grass Rivulet, Small Square-spot, White Point, Mottled Rustic, Marbled Minor and Small Magpie. Heart & Dart, Shears, Willow Beauty and Light Brocade are the dominant species over recent weeks. I've also had my first Large Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Common Wainscot of the season. Butterfly species seen on the Downs to the north of Denton this week: Large Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Small Blue, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Small and Large White, Speckled Wood, Small Heath. Day-flying moths have included Cinnabar, Mother Shipton and Burnet Companion (but no Burnets as yet). (Steven Teale)

News for Thurs 5 Jun: Pagham Harbour: Bright-Line Brown-Eye 1, Flame 1, Nutmeg 1, Swallow Prominent 1, Yellow Barred Brindle 1, Green Pug 1, Cream Spot Tiger 1, Snout 13, Rustic 1, Small Square Spot 20, Treble Lines 1, White-point 2, Pale Tussock 1, Shoulder Stripped Wainscot 1, Dusky Brocade 1, Common Wainscot 1, Lychnis 1, Oak Green Tortrix 1, Burnished Brass 1, Buff Ermine 1, Small Magpie 1, Willow Beauty 1, Thistle Ermine 1, Crambus lathoniellus 1, Clouded Brindle 1 (first for the Reserve, and first for this website's galleries), Mottled Rustic 2, Poplar Grey 2, Tawny/Marbled Minor 2, Straw Dot 2, Angle Shades 3 Clouded Border 3, Vine's Rustic 3, White Ermine 3, Large Yellow Underwing 4, Flame Shoulder 5 and Setaceous Hebrew Character 12 (Ivan Lang)


Wednesday 4 June 2008

Sightings around Edburton/Truleigh Hill this afternoon were Green Hairstreak, 4 Dingy Skippers, Large Skipper, 8 Common Blues, 10 Small Heaths, 2 Walls, Peacock and Speckled Wood + 2 Foresters, 2 Cinnabars and 2 Burnet Companions. Moths in the garden included Burnished Brass, Snout, plenty of Straw Dots, Common Marbled Carpet, 2 White Ermines, Shears and 2 Pretty Chalk Carpets (Tony Wilson)

A morning visit to Ashpark Wood produced a Wood White, 6 Grizzled Skipper, 4 Small Heath, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Brimstone and a Large White. Just over the border, at Botany Bay, as many as 10 Wood White were flying. On the way home we dropped in to see the Small Blues on the Downs behind Amberley. Numbers are slow to build here this year, and the population appears to have been hit by last year's appalling weather. One individual was exceptionally large (size variation is very common in this species), easily the size of a Common Blue. (Neil and Eric Hulme)

Park Corner Heath: There was an emergence of female Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries after midday today- some were observed unfurling their crumpled wings and making their first flights. A real pleasure to watch. I'm sure the 15+ males, that have been patrolling for the past two weeks, are happy too. Also on the reserve Painted Lady, Large Skipper, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Peacock, Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Green-veined White. Mick Sinden, visiting from Kent, had a rare opportunity to photograph a Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth  (Michael Blencowe)

We were greeted at about 2:00pm by a Red Admiral (1) and Speckled Wood (1) scrapping over who would get the best spot in the sun at the entrance to Southwater Woods. I saw my first Comma (1) of the year, but he was a bit camera shy, and a bit later on we saw more than ten Large Skippers (10) on clover and purple vetch, a Cinnabar Moth (1), and a couple of blues. When we got back to the car a couple of hours later, the same two were still vying for position. (Colin Knaggs)


Tuesday 3 June 2008

Frog Firle. In warm muggy conditions with the odd bit of sun there was a fresh emergence of Speckled Woods. 17 seen, also 4 Common Blue, 3 Brown Argus, 4 Small Heath, 4 Green Hairstreak inc. one still in very good condition, 1 Large Skipper and one Small Blue. (Bob Eade).

News for Sun 1 Jun: Ash Park . At least 3 Wood Whites were seen in slightly overcast conditions as well as a Holly Blue, Small White and Speckled Wood. At nearby Oaken Wood which is just over the Surrey border another Wood White and several Speckled Woods. (Bob and Matt Eade).


Monday 2 June 2008

News for Sun 1 Jun: Six species of butterfly were recorded in Shoreham and Mill Hill included 23 each of Small Blues and Adonis Blues and one Brown Argus. (Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2008.html, Andy Horton)

Photos from the Park Corner Heath Open Day: Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries by Michael Blencowe and Polly Mair; attendees and Brimstone larva by Clare Jeffers, Large Skipper by Polly Mair, and the seemingly popular Cream-spot Tiger by Sue Robinson. Also Wood White by Bob Eade at Ash Park on 27 May:


Sun 1 June 2008

Park Corner Heath: Early visitors to today's Open Day at the reserve were in for a treat; a male Golden Oriole which flew off North after spending time singing from behind 'Peter's Seat'. Amazing! Throughout the day the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries behaved perfectly (an estimated 15 were seen), the Nightingales sang, the Brimstone caterpillars munched and the moth traps were overflowing! Hundreds of moths had us pawing through the i.d guides all day. I was asked by some visitors to print the list on the site - so here it is; Angle Shades, Cream-spot Tiger, Eyed Hawkmoth, Scorched Wing, Poplar Hawkmoth, Lobster Moth, Pale Tussock, Peppered Moth, Brown Silver-line, Willow Beauty, Orange Footman, Clouded Silver, Coxcomb Prominent, Pale Tussock, Heart & Dart, Buff Ermine, Common Swift, Oak Hook-tip, Iron Prominent, Clouded Border, Large Yellow Underwing, Green Carpet, Puss Moth, Alder Kitten, Flame Shoulder, Pebble Prominent, Treble Lines, Orange Moth, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Light Emerald, Peacock, Satin Lutestring, Green Silver-lines, Alder Moth, Birds Wing, Hebrew Character, Scalloped Hazel, Buff-tip, Pebble Hook-tip, Small Angle Shades, Silver-ground Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Coronet, Marbled White-spot, Common Marbled Carpet, Foxglove Pug, Sharp-angled Peacock, Spruce Carpet, Rosy Marbled, Sallow Kitten, Dwarf Cream Wave, Little Emerald, Ingrailed Clay, Light Brocade, Sycamore, Pinion Streaked Snout, Garden Carpet, Grass Rivulet, Pale Oak Beauty, Heart & Club, White Ermine and Blood Vein (and 5 huge Great Diving Beetles which scared the life out of me when they hit the trap!). Thanks to everyone who attended and helped out during the day - especially Dave Mitchell, Derek Barber, Clare Jeffers and David Burrows (Michael Blencowe)

Last night's trap produced 32 species + 1 unid micro: Lime Hawkmoth, Shark, Light Brocade, Orange Footman, Pale Tussock, Angle Shades (6), Brimstone Moth (2), Snout (5), Treble Lines (10), Marbled Minor (5), Spectacle (2), Shears (7), Shuttle-shaped Dart (4), Heart & Dart (14), White Ermine, Purple Clay (4), Vine's Rustic, Common Wainscot (2), Garden Carpet, Set Hebrew Character (2), Burnished Brass, Small Square Spot (7), Mottled Rustic, Freyer's Pug (3), Uncertain, Flame Shoulder, Common Quaker (2), Udea olivalis (4), Evergestis forficalis, Marbled Orchard Tortrix, Common Marble (4). (John Luck)

Only two butterflies today near the River Arun at Broadbridge Heath, a Red Admiral and a Green-veined White.  There were several day flying moths around, include a couple of Mother Shiptons. This is a great place for Odonata, with hundreds of Banded Demoiselles, and plenty of White Legged, Blue-tailed, Common Blue, Azure and Large Red Damselflies as well as Scarce Chaser Dragonflies.  Grid Reference TQ144301. (Suzy Milbank)

News for Sat 31 May

Had my first Meadow Brown and Large Skipper on the wing at Thorney Island today. (Barry Collins)


What to look for in June:

  • Butterflies: As summer progresses you expect butterfly numbers to grow and grow, but June is in some ways a bit of a lull before the fireworks. It is the tail-end for many spring-flying broods, and too early for late summer butterflies, but there are some new species to be found. Watch for the first Ringlets, Marbled Whites and White Admirals in the first fortnight, and both Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks if we are lucky, with Purple Emperor possible by month's end. Meadow Browns should increase, and Large Skippers will probably reach their peak. 
  • 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 common burnet moths in good numbers.

 

Earlier Sightings

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Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)