Tuesday 31 May 2011
Had another short walk at Cissbury today in unsettled weather. Butterflies seemed less numerous but Dingy Skippers, Brown Argus etc appeared in small numbers. The cooler temperature seemed to slow down the butterflies and I managed to get reasonable photos of Adonis and Painted Lady (above). Also saw 3 Meadow Browns. The Adonis numbers have increased slightly - I saw 5 during this truncated walk. (Mike Snelling)
News for Wednesday 25 May: Common Blue - 15, TV560983, East Dean. Holly Blue - 2, TV560983, East Dean. Green Hairstreak - 1, TV560983, East Dean. Small Heath - 1, TV560983, East Dean. Holly Blue - 1, TV559981, East Dean. (Cassie Jode)
Monday 30 May 2011
At Kingston Nr Lewes, E Sussex this afternoon in the garden a Meadow Brown. This is the first time I have recorded one in May, have there been any other sightings yet this year? Also a male Adonis. It has been a cloudy day with a max temp of 16.3° and still without a drop of rain. Warmer weather is on the way. (John Holloway)
I visited Iping Common today and saw my first ever Silver-studded Blues. They are beautiful little creatures! (photos above) (John Williams)
I visited Stedham Common today and it took quite some time to locate a Silver-studded Blue. At about 12.30 things started to warm up and I saw 20 plus Silver-studded Blues including females which were harder too spot as they are brown. Most looked in very good condition and once again I noticed the males varied in size.
I was planning to go to Patrick Roper's 'Caterpillar Masterclass' on Saturday but couldn't make it. An illustrated account of the event can be found on the Rother Guardians blog here http://rotherguardians.blogspot.com/
Sunday 29 May 2011
Despite the strong winds, low temperature and 100% cloud cover I was still confident that I could find some Silver-studded Blues at Iping Common. If you know the patches of rejuvenating heather that they inhabit, a careful search of any sheltered features nearby will usually turn them up. It's still very early in their flight season, and numbers are still low, but after a 30 minute hunt I found half-a-dozen hunkered down. In the few minutes that the cloud thinned and the temperature rose a little, one obligingly opened his wings for me (photos above). (Neil Hulme)
Saturday 28 May 2011
I had planned to go to East Blean today but nearly bottled out because of the windy overcast conditions. Sunday appeared better. However my excitement got the better of me and I duly set off. Things were looking grim, especially on arrival where it was cold and windy and nothing was on the wing. I spent my time watching numerous colonies of wood ants which appeared to be thriving with some nests 4 feet across. I even found a partly dug out bumble bees' nest which wood ants were now raiding and dragging out the unfortunate bumble bees clearly outnumbered. I also saw some unusual shield bugs on various flowers, large red weevils and a longhorn beetle. After one and a half hrs I felt the temperature rise slightly and with a bit more patience eventually found the beautiful Heath Fritillaries (above). What was initially disappointing turned into a perfect photo opportunity as they just sat still rarely actually flying. So who dares wins. Fantastic trip. (Richard Roebuck)
News for Saturday 21 May: On a trip back to Hampshire following my move to Pendeen in Cornwall I ventured brieftly into West Sussex where I walked the length of Inhams Lane, West Stoke (SU835090) while en route to Goodwood races. Many Whites were flying and a single male Orange Tip, perhaps my last sighting this year. My count was: Small White (16), Green-veined White (1), Orange Tip (1), Speckled Wood (2) and Common Blue (1M 1F). (Richard Symonds)
Friday 27 May 2011
Details of the transect walked today at Bedelands Farm, Burgess Hill:
Thursday 26 May 2011
Visited Iping Common today and dodged a few heavy downpours. Due to the rain and the wind there wasn't much flying but down amongst the heather the Silver-studded Blues were emerging (above). The Silver-studded Blue has a very intimate relation with ants and while we watched this emergence ants were running all over the butterfly - attracted by liquid on the butterfly's body. The ants provide protection for the butterfly during the emergence while it is preparing itself for its first flight - a particularly vulnerable period for any insect. (Michael Blencowe & Jane Willmott)
News from the butterfly haven: The Small Blue has done very well on the butterfly haven this year. As can be seen from the graph of daily counts, they first appeared on 1st May assuming a peak abundance of 36 individuals on days 6 and 8. Since that point the numbers have reduced to an average of 11.8 per day, with the slight suggestion that the abundance peaked again around 21st May, before declining once more. A general observation has been that low counts have corresponded with cool, windy or wet weather.
... In addition to this news, as previously reported we have had at least one Green Hairstreak ovipositing on site for a 10 day period before disappearing. Yesterday I found a new female yet again ovipositing on Lotus corniculatus. I tried to see the egg that she laid but either my eyesight is too poor or I did not give credit for her abilities to conceal the egg, but it was impossible to locate. Fortunately I was off to the Booth Museum to photograph some British Butterflies and so took this sprig with me, as there must be many hundreds of eggs on site by now, with the intent to photograph it at the Museum. I am grateful to Gerald Legg for his time & expertise because he has just e-mailed me these images.
Yesterday evening's trap produced 28 macros, dominated by Heart & Dart moths and also included two Hawkmoths - Privet and Small Elephant - Alder Moth (new for me and also probably for location), Large Nutmeg, White-point, Rustic Shoulder-knot, White Ermine, Buff-tip, Shears, Common Swift, a very early Common Rustic, Mottled Rustic, Pale Mottled Willow and Grass Rivulet. (photos above) (John Luck)
News for Sunday 22 May: Mullein (above) moth caterpillar on vegetation at bottom of lower slope of Mill Hill. Also Holly Blue and Brimstone in Steyning TQ175105. (Michael Warren)
Wednesday 25 May 2011
Popped briefly to Park Corner Heath today to see the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries. In addition spotted my first ever Brimstone caterpillar and also a Yellow-tail moth caterpillar on Alder Buckthorn. On Wolstonbury Hill last night saw one of several Six-spot Burnet moths on fence posts preparing to pupate. Last week I saw my first ever Orange Tip caterpillar - in the past few days I have seen 35+ of these in various places. The highest no was 5, various instars, on one Garlic mustard Plant. Either it's a good year for Orange Tip or I have finally got the timing correct and my eye on the ball (photos above). (Richard Roebuck)
The first Small Blues I have noticed have appeared at Cissbury. Four were seen today and one in a different area yesterday. The Large Skippers are increasing there - 7 noted so far, but Adonis numbers remain fairly low - only 3 (possibly 4) seen today. There are still a good number of species still on the wing there but the only fairly numerous ones now seem to be Common Blue and Small Heath. (Mike Snelling)
In my Moth Trap at Vines Cross TQ596178 Eyed Hawkmoth and Green Silver-lines. Both a first for me (photos above). (Neville Richardson)
Meadow surveying in Barcombe;
News for Tuesday 24 May: Yesterday I visited East Blean Wood near Canterbury to see the Heath Fritillary which emerged a week ago. The clearing next to the car park (TR19336433) was teeming with more fritillaries than I have seen in one place before. I observed six tumbling in an aerial group, mating pairs and half a dozen nectaring on the same head of bramble flowers. I walked along the woodland paths and only saw one Common Blue, one Large White and one other HF. HFs were also nectaring on ox-eye daisies in the car park. (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)
Tuesday 24 May 2011
A few wanderings over the last few days have seen my first Meadow Brown of the year whilst surveying with Michael on the 24th. Large Skippers have been seen at woodland near Barcombe as well as Downland above Offham and at Park Corner Heath. Also at Park Corner the taras Grizzled Skipper seen along with Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries (above) which yesterday included a mating pair that was split up by another male trying to get into the act!! Hopefully not before the pair had done what was necessary. (Bob Eade)
Slope above Butchers Hole CP: I was admiring and counting the Adonis and got to 23 when my attention was caught by what turned out to be a male Small Blue (99.99% sure looked just like Colins photo!). My impression was that it had recently emerged - it was clinging tightly to a plant and mostly kept its wings closed, clearly showing the pale blue undersides. The slopes are covered with horseshoe vetch but the nearest kidney vetch I know of is about half a mile away. Also saw some Common Blues, very dingy Dingy Skippers and played god by freeing a very fresh looking Small Tortoiseshell from a spiders web, hoping I was not depriving an endangered spider of its favourite prey! (Susan Suleski)
Lovely time in Park Corner Heath/Rowland Wood today.
On a lovely walk, albeit blustery, we saw our first Painted Lady (above) of the season, resting on the South Downs Way between Cissbury Ring and Chanctonbury Hill. (Maggie and Steve East)
Regarding Colin Knight's picture of a 'fly with green markings' this appears to be a specimen of the Green-legged Sawfly (Tenthredo mesomelas). (Mark Colvin)
90% sure Colin Knight's green fly is Thick Legged Flower Beetle, Oedemera nobilis. The male has thickened joints in the rear pair of legs. They are unusually numerous this year,and show up particularly well in yellow flowers, buttercup and dandelion for example. (Graham Parris, Isfield)
Monday 23 May 2011
I took an early lunch break today and headed to Park Corner Heath, still inspired by Barkham's book to see all the Sussex butterfly species I can this year. I was motivated by a break in the clouds that followed me all the way along the A27 & B2124 until I got to the woodland. On arrival I was pleased to meet up with Bob Eade, I have long been impressed by his photographs. During 20 minutes we saw about 10 individuals Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (above) and the weather conditions were near perfect for easy photography. Although we looked for it, we did not see the aberrant Grizzled Skipper by the hut.
News for Sunday 22 May: I visited Kithurst Hill/Springhead near Storrington yesterday afternoon and was astounded by the number of Small Blues, mainly at the top of the meadow. There were also Common Blues, an obliging Green-veined White and a fly with green markings (id appreciated if anyone knows) (photos above). (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)
Sunday 22 May 2011
Butchers Hole Bottom: Seen today despite the wind! Lots of Common Blues, Grizzled Skipper, The Snout and a Yellow Shell (photos above). (Heather Maryson and Debbie House)
I visited Park Corner Heath on Sunday afternoon and first saw the resident ab. taras Grizzled Skipper, just a few yards from the hut. Then just a couple of yards beyond that, I found a most obliging Small Pearl-bordered which sat on the same bramble flower for the entire 90 minutes I was at the site! (John Williams)
The Large Skippers appeared today at Worms Wood (SU969010). I saw three while briefly walking along a small section of the hedgerow/grassland. (Paul Ingate)
Around Plumpton (Very windy conditions).
News for Saturday 21 May: Levin Down Transect - Large Skipper and Painted Lady - great to see. (Ann Griffiths)
More news for Saturday 21 May: We went to East Sussex on Saturday and decided to visit Arlington Reservoir and Park Corner Heath. After the sun appeared in the early afternoon, Arlington revealed more than 30 Common Blues and I counted at least 8 Brown Argus and 2 Green Hairstreak. Going on to Park Corner Heath BC Reserve, I bumped into a couple looking intently at a black ladybird on a leaf eating a caterpillar. They were in doubt as to its identity, I have checked and found it to be a Harlequin Harmonia axyridis conspicua. We saw more than 10 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and a Grizzled Skipper with what I think is the taras aberration (above). (Colin & Lucia Knaggs)
Saturday 21 May 2011
The BC Sussex trip I led on Heyshott Escarpment on Saturday was probably my last outing for the Duke of Burgundy this year. The warm spring and very early emergence dates have made being in the right place at the right time very difficult and our target species was all-but-over. However, our tally of 9 albeit faded Dukes would have been cause for celebration only a couple of years ago, prior to the population explosion here. Similarly the Green Hairstreak, Grizzled and Dingy Skipper, Small Copper, Brown Argus and Speckled Wood were thin-on-the-ground and looking tired we are firmly in the June Gap. Considerably fresher were the numerous Common Blue and Small Heath we also saw. A single Red Admiral passed through quickly and Green-veined Whites patrolled the lanes at the base of the slope. But there is more to Heyshott than the butterflies and we enjoyed a fine selection of orchids including Fly (above), Greater Butterfly and White Helleborine. And then there are the views across Sussex, which are second to none on a sunny morning. Most importantly, I would like to think that the 14 who attended the walk enjoyed it as much as I did. It might be time to say farewell to the Duke, but as I returned to the car I was happy in the knowledge that its been another very good year for the species in Sussex. (Neil Hulme)
On the BC walk around Heyshott Escarpment today, we were lucky enough to see lots of butterflies present including the wonderful Duke of Burgundy (above). We saw a total of 9 DoB's plus the following Brown Argus (1), Common Blue (many!), Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak (3), Green-veined White (2), Red Admiral (1), Small Heath, and Speckled Wood.
Saw eight male Scarce Foresters at Southerham SWT yesterday evening. They were up Bible Bottom on the south facing slope. Easy enough to ID with a net and a hand a lens but several of them were obliging enough that I could creep right up to them with just a hand lens. Also hundreds of Adonis Blues. Photos and details on my blog:
Recent News: Large Skipper at Beacon Hill LNR, Rottingdean (above, left) and Mother Shipton (above, right) Wildpark LNR, Brighton 18 May. (Peter Whitcomb)
Friday 20 May 2011
18 butterfly watchers joined me today for my walk around the Frog Firle area. Good sunny conditions were enjoyed with a cooling breeze in parts. Wall Brown was the main target and we saw 3 at High and Over before setting off towards The Comp. At least 17 Wall were seen throughout the walk. Several fresh Grizzled Skipper seen as well as many Dingy Skipper. One of the group was Mark Colvin from Plaistow who had never seen a Green Hairstreak. By the end of the walk he had his eye well in as we lost count of Green Hairstreaks we had seen. They were everywhere!! In total 20 species were seen. My thanks to all that turned out for the walk and the generous donations that has raised £66 towards the Rowland Wood project (photos above). (Bob Eade)
A trip to Hunter's Burgh, Folkington, today, saw several species mating, including Brown Argus and Dingy Skipper (photos above). (Bob Coleman)
Details of the transect walked today at Bedelands Farm Burgess Hill, species recorded:
News for Thursday 19 May: Visited Cissbury Ring in the hope of increasing my tally of species for the year with Small or Large Skipper on the hit list. Butterflies in abundance and saw 17 different species but unfortunately nothing new. My count for the day was as follows:
More news for Thursday 19 May: On Thursday I visited Cerne Abbas near Dorchester. As soon as I entered the meadow at the bottom of the Giant Hill I saw Marsh Fritillaries (above) darting everywhere. They varied in condition from fresh to old and there were many very small males. Another visitor said they were smaller than last year. In addition I saw my first Large Skippers of the year. There were also Small Coppers, Common Blues, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Small Heaths. Speckled Woods, Orange Tip, Whites and Brown Argus. The Small Heaths were larger than I have seen before (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)
Thursday 19 May 2011
Another article in The Guardian that is likely to be of interest:
Saw a Small Skipper on Whitehawk Hill, east Brighton, on 19 May (TQ332047); had a good look through binoculars and was able to distingusish from Essex Skipper using Tom Ottley's guidance (particuarly slightly hooked antennae and scent mark on wing crossing vein). (Nigel Bowie)
I saw my first Meadow Brown of the year today in Brightling and here's a picture (above) I took today of two Common Blues mating. (Katie Walker)
In Calcot Wood Spithandle Lane many Speckled Wood and Speckled Yellow moths TQ175151 and 3 Large Whites further west TQ 168152, Common Blues at Warnham nature reserve. Last month there were Orange Tips around Steyning bypass TQ185104 & TQ165125. (Michael Warren)
Sightings today at Beacon Hill Rottingdean:
This morning on the Downs Link I saw my first Large Skippers at 7.00am nectaring on Herb Robert and saw my last surviving Brown Hairstreak caterpillar whom I feel sure is in the last instar and may have a chance of pupating. I also discovered that the head is at the small end, not the humped end as you may suspect (photos above). (Richard Roebuck)
Meadow surveying in Buxted:
News for Tuesday 17 May: Beside stream opp Woods Mill TQ216142 5 newly hatched Common Blues, old Dingy Skipper, 3 Small Heaths. (Michael Warren)
Tuesday 17 May 2011
News for Saturday 7 May: When I traveled to see the Wood Whites on May 7th I also saw these moths, Micropterix calthella (above), in the middle of a buttercup flower. There's a lot of them around this year. They're pollen feeders and as far as I'm aware they are particularly partial to buttercup, I guess because of the solar warming effect in the cup of the flower. Its quite incredible to see so many tiny moths in just the one flower, I can count 25. They are like a watchmaker's greatest miniature creations, each brushed with gold leaf. (Dan Danahar)
Monday 16 May 2011
"Butterfly revival could be threatened by cuts, warns charity" is the headline in today's Guardian, an article by Patrick Barkham here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/16/butterfly-revival-threatened-by-cuts.
Speckled Yellow (above) seen today in abundance at Abbots Wood. (Heather Maryson)
At Ebernoe Common today (mostly in furnace meadow) many Common Blues and Small Heaths, plus tatty Dingy Skipper, pristine Grizzled Skipper, Speckled Wood, Green Hairstreak, Red Admiral and most remarkable of all, a Large Skipper (in May!). Moths we found were Yellow Shell, Oak Hooktip, Brown Silver-line, Silver-ground Carpet and a fabulous dancing 'swarm' of Nemophora degeerealla. (Peter Hughes)
Weekend news: Had an enjoyable weekend out and about in Sussex. On Saturday I joined Mike Pepler and Jim Barrett at a Rother Guardians meeting in Mill Wood near Peasmarsh. Despite the weather being a bit cloudy Mike and Jim lead a very interesting tour of this woodland which is being managed for wildlife. Jim's report from the day can be read here http://rotherguardians.blogspot.com/ On the way home I surveyed a few more tetrads and added some new Orange-tip squares to the atlas - the OT's are very much in their larval stage now feeding on the Garlic Mustard seed pods. On Sunday it was the first meeting of the newly formed Park Corner Heath / Rowland Wood Management Board. I convened the meeting in the shed at Park Corner Heath (we had an agenda and everything!) and then we toured our reserve looking at the current condition and habitat suitability and discussed proposed work for the future - all in all it was an extremely positive meeting. I am sure some of you will be distressed by the pictures of the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary which fell prey to the Crab Spider. In the past I would have dealt with the unruly arachnid straight away but in my new role on the management board I would like to assure you that the subject of this particular Crab Spider will be raised as an item at the next board meeting, and, if deemed a threat to butterflies (and if a majority vote is received) the spider will receive a formal written warning. (Michael Blencowe)
News for Saturday 14 May: Steve East visited the butterfly haven and saw an Adonis Blue on Saturday. I have yet to see on myself but we did find a female Fox Moth (above) on the same day just outside the Butterfly Haven. (Dan Danahar)
More news for Saturday 14 May: Paul Cox & I spent a rather blustery Saturday morning at Cissbury Ring. We saw plenty of Small Heath and Common Blue. Also two Green Hairstreak. These two were low down on the grass & flowers & behaving very differently from the very territorial males we had seen on previous occasions this year. We supposed they might be females. Other sightings were Red Admiral, Large White, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Brimstone, Brown Argus, Small Copper. We were disappointed not to see any Wall but were pleased to see a very sedentary, pristine Cream-spot Tiger moth (maybe newly emerged) and a nice Mother Shipton (photos by Paul Cox, above). (Paul Ingate)
Sunday 15 May 2011
We have just seen a Purple Hairstreak in our garden - location deep in Oak and Beech woods in Kirdford.
Many thanks to Neil for another delightful butterfly walk around Steyning Downs and to the Steyning Downland Group for all their hard work improving the site and creating such excellent butterfly country. Our first butterfly sighting was a Holly Blue seen fluttering around the fenced off patch of Wild Plum and Blackthorn, where we hopefully will see some Brown Hairstreak activity later on in the year.
I visited Rowland Wood today. There was sufficient sun for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries to show themselves and I counted around 16 in two hours. One unfortunate fresh specimen was killed by a Crab spider. A Cream-spot Tiger moth and a Grizzled Skipper aberrant (ab Taras) were a bonus. There were plenty of Speckled Yellow moths (photos above). (Colin Knight)
My wife and I found a Cream-spot Tiger (above) resting by the path that ascends from Warren Glen towards Firehills, Hastings Country Park (at 2.05pm on Sunday 15 May). We hadn't seen one before, but were able to identify it at the visitor centre as we had taken a few photos. (Stephen and Maggie Freeman)
I managed to grab nearly 4 hours over Frog Firle today. I was well rewarded by my first sightings of the year of six Wall (Brown) and 3 Small Blue. There were lots of Speckled Wood and Small White as well as a handful of Green-veined White, Dingy Skipper and Green Hairstreak. There was also a couple of Large White and Red Admiral, one Peacock as well as several "blues", Adonis I think (photos above). (Nick Linazasoro)
At Park Heath Corner today we saw several Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (including one being attacjed and killed by a Crab Spider) and a number of Common Blues. Also seen were 1 Brown Argus, 1 Grizzled Skipper, (poss. ab taras abberant), 1 Speckled Wood, and 1 Brimstone. There were also lots of moths about, including a Cream-spot Tiger (photos above). (Leigh Prevost)
This year the expanse of Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa, on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was extremely disappointing. It was already past its prime and the flowers were only showing about 20% of their usual brilliance after an extended dry spring.
News for Thursday 12 May: Above are photos of a group of 3 Small Blue in my garden in Kingston near Lewes. The mating pair were being observed by an inconsiderate additional male.
More news for Thursday 12 May: Red Admiral - 2, SU780176, Uppark.Cinnabar Moth - 1, SU780176, Uppark. (David Jode)
Saturday 14 May 2011
Re. Martin Kalaher's observation of many Green Hairstreaks this year, have seen three in unexpected spots myself, one on a roadside verge off the A26 North of Lewes, one in Harveys Lane TQ 470 150, and one nectaring on Bowles Mauve Wallflower in our garden. (Graham Parris, Isfield)
A bit too cool, breezy and cloudy for lots of butterflies
After a dog walk this morning watching Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers in a meadow, I returned home and was surprised to see in our front garden a Green Hairstreak nectaring on a Mountain Corn flower Centaurea. This is my first record ever for our postage stamp suburban garden and indeed my Henfield area, a pristine Red Admiral also arrived. Inspired by Dan's recent report, I then set off for Oaken Wood at Plaistow. After a cloudy cold start I was rewarded with 15 Wood Whites (this one's on Greater stitchwort), a mating pair of Ermine moths, loads of Speckled Yellow moths, an aptly named Greater Butterfly Orchid and narrowly missed seeing a Broad Bordered Bee Hawkmoth, aaaahhh! This is beautiful reserve and well worth a visit, albeit slightly over the border (photos above). (Richard Roebuck)
News for Friday 13 May: Returned to Rewell Wood to see Pearl-bordered Fritillaries as part of my quest to see all UK butterfly species during the season.
More news for Friday 13 May: Red AdmiralI visited Mill Hill to do my weekly butterfly transect and I recorded: 182 Adonis Blue, 2 Brimstone, 6 Dingy Skipper, 4 Green Hairstreak, 2 Grizzled Skipper, 3 Holly Blue, 2 Large White, 1 Orange Tip, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Small Heath, 1 Speckled Wood and 10 Common Blue. The Adonis Blue were mating all over the lower part of the hill (photos above). (Colin Knight www.seapic.com)
Friday 13 May 2011
Park Corner Heath: Visited today and saw 6 fritillaries which we believe were Small Pearl-bordered. Photo of underside of one above is clearly SPBD
I have seen lots of Green Hairstreak this year but it's always nice when one turns up in the garden (above). Viewed at leisure as it was nectaring on Columbine (Aquilegia Vulgaris). (Martin Kalaher)
Details of the transect walked today at Bedelands Farm, Burgess Hill, species seen;
News for Tuesday 10 May: 4-5 Wall Brown at Chantry Hill. One seen nectaring on Buttercup. (Martin Kalaher)
Recent news: Sunday 08/05/2011. Cloudy, not much on the wing.
Thursday 12 May 2011
A cool breeze blowing on Frog Firle so a much reduced stroll. 3 Wall at High and Over. I then went to Cradle Hill part of Frog Firle and found a single Small Blue, the first I've had at this site this year. I checked the tops of some Garlic Mustard to check for signs of Orange Tip activity and was pleased to find a larvae on nearly every plant. A Lackey Moth larva was also good to see. Hopefully I will be able to show the Orange Tip larvae on my Frog Firle event next Friday (photos above). (Bob Eade)
Freshly-emerged Large Skipper in my Storrington garden today at 4.40pm. Two minutes later, armed with my camera (darn- was not able to find it). 90 mnutes later still no photo. Maybe tomorrow. (Martin Kalaher)
Wednesday 11 May 2011
Today while out on an expedition with the Sussex Botanical Recording Society at Hastings Country Park (Fairlight TQ8511) we saw a Green Hairstreak butterfly and a Cream-spot Tiger moth. (Jim Barrett)
Tuesday 10 May 2011
Lunar Double-stripe (above) taken at MV light in our Bracklesham garden last night. 2nd confirmed record for West Sussex. (Derek Lee)
A Green Hairstreak flying around the forecourt of the garage on Malling Hill in Lewes today (Michael Blencowe)
At least 30 Wall Brown seen between Bo Peep Bostal and the next valley along. After walking up the Bostal walked along the top of the hill towards Alfriston to the next valley. The most Walls were along the top with several seen together as well as a mating pair. In the next valley an Adonis Blue was also seen. The first of these I have seen on these slopes. Too many Dingy Skippers to even think about counting and also large quantities of Small Heath. 12 species in total. (Bob Eade)
This evening we had an evening stroll after work up to Mill Hill, Shoreham to see what delights awaited us. We were not disappointed. We found one Dingy Skipper, two Grizzled Skipper, two Cinnabar moths (our first of the year), about ten Small Heath and about 50 Adonis Blue (also our first of the year). We dedicated the walk to our great friend "Eddie-Baby" who unexpectedly passed away at the weekend (photos above). (Nick Linazasoro & Martin Fuller)
Monday 9 May 2011
Nothing too exciting seen on a visit to Park Corner Heath and Rowland Wood this afternoon - Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Brimstone, Large White - but I got a couple of nice shots of a Green-veined White nectaring on bluebells (above). Also there were numerous Speckled Yellow moths fluttering about. (John Williams)
I had an enjoyable short walk at Cissbury today during which I saw 13 species of butterfly. The highlights for me were 8 Wall Brown, 3 Red Admiral and my first Adonis Blue there. The Skippers (Dingy and Grizzled), Green Hairstreaks, Brown Argus etc seem to be doing very well this year.
Green Hairstreak - TN22 4EA: 3 yesterday - 2 on a bramble patch at edge of a wood - the other in the adjoining field.
Wall Brown were showing well along The Comp today with 15. At this point I was thinking that there was a good chance of a very high 1st brood count, however, with none on Greenway Bank and even stranger none on High and Over, the count for the circuit was 20. Still pretty good but not as high as it could have been. The breeze was probably the reason that High and Over had none as well as it being a little later in the day than I usually get there. 18 species were seen with at least 10 Adonis Blue on Greenway and 2 more singletons seen on both Cradle Hill and High and Over. Lots of Brown Argus and Small Heath but still no Small Blue here yet. (Bob Eade)
Adonis Blues at Malling Down are very early, some are even looking a bit worn! They are doing surprisingly well considering the second generation in 2010 was less than that recorded in the first generation, I think they will peak about a week earlier than normal (may be next week).
Many Wall near High & Over Car Park, and along the track which goes W past the Seaford Golf course, also Speckled Wood, Small White and Red Admiral. One Pearl-bordered Fritillary in a patch of nettles at the bottom. Later I found small patch short turf with plenty of Horseshoe and other vetches and trefoil. To my delight in about half an hour I found (approximate numbers):
Common Blue - 2, TV544975, Crowlink, 2, TV543976, Crowlink, 8, TV539978, Crowlink, 18, TV538978, Crowlink, 5, TV538977, Crowlink, 4, TV537975, Crowlink, 1, TV537974, Crowlink, 3, TV536973, Crowlink, 1, TV537973, Crowlink, 1, TV538974, Crowlink, 8, TV538972, Crowlink, 5, TV540972, Crowlink, 11, TV541973, Crowlink. Brown Argus - 1, TV538973, Crowlink. Small Heath - 1, TV538973, Crowlink. Small Blue - 1, TV538978, Crowlink. Large White - 1, TV538977, Crowlink. Dingy Skipper - 1, TV537976, Crowlink. Comma - 1, TV540972, Crowlink. (David Jode)
Recent sightings: Pair of mating Green-veined Whites on a bridleway off Bramlands lane Woodmancote at 5.00pm 06.05.11. Lovely Small Copper, Kithurst Hill 30.04.11 and two of many Small Blues at Kithurst Hill on Sunday (photos above). (Richard Roebuck)
Sunday 8 May 2011
News from the Butterfly Haven: A new species was recorded today at the Butterfly Haven, a male Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) (top, left) was seen sun bathing in the rank grassland area of the reserve. This brings the total species list to 21 species for this site now and this particular individual is 15 days earlier than the earliest Sussex record for 2010, when it was first seen on 23 May. I also recorded 36 Small Blues (bottom row - photos by Neil Hulme), 12 Common Blues, 1 Brown Argus, 2 Small Whites and 1 Green Hairstreak. This Green Hairstreak has a recognisable mark on its hind wing and so I can confidently say that its the same female that was first seen on 1st May. Since then I have observed her repeatedly laying on Lotus corniculatus, on at least four different days.
We took advantage of the late sunny afternoon to visit Lancing Ring LNR for the first time. In over two and half hours from 2pm until 4:30pm we spotted 7 Red Admirals, 1 Peacock, 4 Brimstones, 6 Holly Blues, 1 Wall, 1 Speckled Wood, 10 Small Heath, 1 Small Copper, 15 unspecified Whites (probably large whites), 5 Small Blues, 28 Common Blues (of which 4 were females), and 5 Brown Argus. (Colin & Lucia Knaggs)
A Small Heath in our East Dean garden (TV562984) on Sunday. (Cas & David Jode)
Our annual pilgrimmage to the Amberley Working Museum produced six Brimstones and six Red Admirals a Grizzled Skipper, a couple of Holly Blues and a pair of Peregrine Falcons. Pleasingly the Bristones were mostly on the banks by the railway as we chugged by, and the Red Admirals were in the sunny glades of the upper nature trail. (John Coxon)
I was wondering what to do today as I had a bad sinus headache all day. It got to late afternoon and I thought shall I go back to bed to sleep it off? Like heck! I ventured to High and Over instead in order to do some late day butterfly spotting. I wasn't really expecting much as it had been slightly drizzling. However, I was rewarded by just a few sightings, but boy were they good ones! I saw my first Common Blue (one) and Small Heath (two) of the year. They were so dosile that I could gently handle them. I also saw one Green-veined White, two Small White, one Large White, two Red Admiral, one Dingy Skipper and still a bush full of Brown-Tail Moth caterpillars. Not very many sightings but I got some close up photos and amazingly my headache had gone! (photos above) (Nick Linazasoro)
News for Saturday 7 May 2011: The weather was sunny/cloudy/threatening rain at times. In fact in Brighton and Hove we have been blessed by rain at night and sun during the day over the last couple of days. Anyway, it seemed perfect Wood White weather and after a quick chat with Neil for advice, I was headed towards a woodland near Plaistow. On arrival I parked up next to a car with a BC sticker in its window (always a good sign) and started to walk into the woods. The weather conditions had become overcast and I was beginning to think that it would be difficult to find anything, when I came across Paul Cox and Paul Ingate in one of the woodland rides. Thankfully they had seen two Wood Whites earlier and were currently watching their third ovipositing on some vetch. We chewed the fat for a while and then I left them to it, hoping to find a Wood White for myself. We had a gentlemen's agreement that we would call if either of us found anything of interest.
News for Friday 6 May 2011: A late report from my father, Roy Symonds due to my house move to Pendeen in Cornwall. At Stansted Forest (SU743110) where the temperature was 17°C, the following sightings were recorded: Orange Tip (1M 3F), Brimstone (1M), Green-veined White (7) and Speckled Wood (1). (Richard Symonds)
More news for Friday 6 May 2011: Kithurst Hill: Fourteen species seen today in the cowslip filled meadow just below Kithurst Hill car park: Small Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Duke of Burgundy, Small Copper, Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip, Large White and Green Veined White. The Small Blues were particularly numerous. This must be one of the easiest sites to see them in Sussex, only 100 yards from the car park! It's the first year that I've seen Small Blues - from their pictures in books I'd thought they were fairly dowdy but actually they are exquisite in their charcoal grey with a dusting of blue (photos above). (John Williams)
Saturday 7 May 2011
Today I visited the Butterfly Haven at Dorothy Stringer to find 1 Brown Argus, 2 Common Blue, 1 Green Hairstreak, and 15 maybe more Small Blue (photos above). (Jamie Burston)
Itchingfield: Cloud again dampened sightings on but managed a Grizzled Skipper, Orange tip, Brimstone, Small White and a Common Damselfly and three Large Red Damselfly. There was also a five minute dust up between a pair of what I presume were Dingy Skippers which made us tired just watching (photos above). (John Coxon)
Seen today while surveying odonata.
Amongst rather more usual species I recorded a specimen of Toadflax Brocade in my mothtrap in Little Common Bexhill last night (6/7May) despite the heavy rainshowers during the night Noted too that many of the micro moths in particular seem very early this year. (Stuart Pemberton)
News for Friday 6 May 2011: A Speckled Wood in our East Dean garden (TV562984) on Friday. (Cas & David Jode)
News for Thursday 5 May: Speckled Wood - 1, TV544975 Crowlink. Common Blue - 3, TV542973, Crowlink, 1, TV539972, Crowlink, 1, TV538973, Crowlink, 2, TV537976, Crowlink, 8, TV533978, Crowlink, 3, TV543975, Crowlink, 2, TV555977, East Dean, 1, TV562984, East Dean. Red Admiral - 1, TV543975, Crowlink. Small Heath - 1, TV533978, Crowlink. Small White - 1, TV537976, Crowlink, 1, TV543974, Crowlink. Grizzled Skipper - 1, TV537976, Crowlink. Dingy Skipper - 1, TV537974, Crowlink. Large White - 1, TV537975, Crowlink. Peacock - 1, TV539972, Crowlink. (David Jode)
News for Wednesday 4 May 2011: I'm delighted to report more good news in the battle to conserve the Duke of Burgundy (above) in Sussex. On Wednesday BC Regional Officer Dan Hoare and I counted 115 Dukes at Heyshott Escarpment, this being another significant increase over the previous year's population. Congratulations to all Murray Downland Trust and BC volunteers involved in this project - and 'thanks' from the Duke of Burgundy himself. (Neil Hulme)
News for Thursday 30 April: Green Hairstreak - 12, TV562957, Horseshoe Plantation. Speckled Wood - 2, TV562957, Horseshoe Plantation. Dingy Skipper - 1, TV562957, Horseshoe Plantation, 4, TV564956, Belle Tout, 2, TV565956, Belle Tout. Grizzled Skipper - 2, TV565956, Belle Tout. Small Copper - 2, TV565956, Belle Tout, 1, TV564956, Belle Tout, 1, TV562957, Horseshoe Plantation. Small Heath - 3, TV562957, Horseshoe Plantation, 1, TV563956, Belle Tout, 2, TV564956, Belle Tout. Red Admiral - 1, TQ560070, Abbot's Wood. (David Jode)
News for Friday 29 April: Pearl-bordered Fritillary - 22 Abbot's Wood. Green-veined White - 1, TQ560081, Abbot's Wood. Small White - 1, TQ560081, Abbot's Wood. Small White - 4, TQ537068, Arlington. Red Admiral - 2, TQ537068, Arlington. Peacock - 1, TQ563017, Jevington. Orange Tip - 1, TQ554069, Arlington. Orange Tip - 1, TQ560075, Abbot's Wood. Large White - 1, TQ560075, Abbot's Wood. Brimstone - 1 TQ560075, Abbot's Wood. (David Jode)
Friday 6 May 2011
Itchingfield: Returned with my camera to a little spot where I saw a Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, several Orange Tips, a couple of Broad bodied Chasers and a Common Damselfly the other day. Unfortunatley the sun went in and only saw two Orange Tips and my first Small Coppers (four) and Peacock of the year. Two suspected Dingy Skippers eluded our stalk!
I did my transect at Mill Hill this morning and counted 1 Holly Blue, 2 Brimstone, 7 Small Heath, 23 Dingy Skipper, 112 Adonis Blue. Most of these were at the bottom of the hill, though I did see Dingy Skippers and Adonis Blue by the top car park. The Hill is covered by Horseshoe Vetch, and I saw a Green Hairstreak, 2 Grizzled Skippers and a Red Admiral later (photos above). (Colin Knight)
Details of the transect walked today at Bedelands Farm, Burgess Hill, species seen;
A visit to Cocking Quarry today produced 60+ Small Blue, 20 Dingy Skipper, 10 Common Blue, 4 Brimstone, 1 Speckled Wood. The whole quarry was dessicated and the area the blues normally use for mud-puddling was unavailable. It was therefore perhaps not surprising to find 25 Small Blue and a single Dingy Skipper mud-puddling much lower down the hill at the start of the entrance track from Cocking village opposite the church. We have never seen them this far away from the quarry itself before. (Paul and Pam Callaway)
News for Thursday 5 May: Susan Suleski and I spent a lovely, sunny afternoon at Park Corner and Rowland Wood on Thursday, admiring all the work done over the winter and just recently by Michael et al, but also found the reserve alive with nature - nightingales singing, warblers warbling and plenty of butterflies: Brimstones, Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, Green-veined Whites, Orange Tips, Brown Argus, Common Blues (pair), Small Heath, Small Whites, a stunning Broad-Bodied Chaser, Emperors patrolling the pond, Common Blue Damselflies and loads of Speckled Yellow Moths. A quick nip into Abbott's Wood en route home for more Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and a pair of very amorous Grizzled Skippers! (Anna Grist)
Thursday 5 May 2011
One Pearl-bordered Fritillary seen this afternoon at Milton Hyde, North of Arlington Road West. TQ566089 (Roy Wells)
I am a sucker for often sticking to the same areas. However, today I finished work early enough to pay a visit to one of my old stomping grounds from over 35 years ago. The Downs just above Offham. I did visit 2 years ago and was amazed then how much was in a small area. I parked the car and saw a Beautiful Demoiselle just outside, amazingly it sat still whilst I got some shots of it. Then upto the small patch of Downs where there were lots of Dingy and Grizzled Skippers including my first ever ab. taras (above). For 90 minutes I had a fab time recording 11 species inc. 1 Wall, 1 Green Hairstreak and several Brown Argus. Also present was a Hairy Dragonfly and 4 Spot and Broad Bodied Chasers. (Bob Eade)
Took my brother Paul to Heyshott Down where we saw 10 x Duke of Burgundies just on the first lower level. Saw 4x Speckled Wood, 4x Common Blue, 5x Dingy Skippers, 2x Red Admiral, 2x Small Heath, 2x Orange Tip.
News for Wednesday 4 May: Visited Malling Down Nature Reserve as part of my itinerary to see all the British butterflies during this season. My original target species for the visit were the Brown Argus, Green Hairstreak and Wall Brown. However I had already seen the Green Hairstreak (Hutchinson's Bank, New Addington on 19 April) and it had become apparent that butterflies were emerging several weeks earlier this year due to the exceptionally favourable spring weather conditions for butterflies. Therefore, buoyed by the evidence of sightings already posted on BC websites, I was hopeful of adding some of the chalk grassland blues to my list of sightings. I was not to be disappointed and by the end of the visit my count for the season had increased by 4 to a total of 21 species.
News for Sunday 1 May: After so many reports of the Green Hairstreak elsewhere, I have been disappointed by the absence of any records for this species in the Butterfly Haven at Dorothy Stringer. If you are a regular reader of this sightings page or indeed if you have received a copy of the Annual report, you will know that a Green Hairstreak was seen ovipositing on Bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) on 23 May last year. Thus, I was hopeful that we might observe some of her progeny this spring, at the Haven. Despite the warm weather that has lead to so many early sightings elsewhere the Butterfly Haven has been fairly barren of anything other than transient species. However, warm has also meant dry and the number of wild flowers in bloom have been minimal. Over the last two nights we have had rain in Brighton, not a lot but enough to increase relative humidity at ground level, amongst the low growing vegetation and encourage the emergence of a whole host of grasshopper and cricket nymphs that were not to be seen on Friday. It would seem that this has also had a helpful influence on the butterflies because I am delighted to report the observation of a single Green Hairstreak at the Haven today. This individual seemed fairly sedentary and unlike the female observed last year seemed intent on remaining on site. It was also fairly fresh and I'm convinced that these two observation mean that it emerged on the Haven. Jeramy Thomas believes that most if not all Green Hairstreak pupa spend the winter in ant nests and this spring a number of ant hills have been seen. As it's still early in the season there is ample opportunity to see more Green Hairstreaks in the days to come.
Wednesday 4 May 2011
On a short walk on the sheltered south facing banks of Bevendean Down this afternoon I saw 5 Adonis, 3 Common Blue, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Blue, 2 Grizzled Skippers, numerous Dingy Skippers, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Small White, 4 Large White, 2 Orange Tip and several Small Heath, also there were day flying moths including Burnet Companion and Grass-veneer. In my nearby garden it has been the best spring for Orange Tip for many years also Holly Blue and Speckled Wood are doing well. (Geoff Stevens)
News for Tuesday 3 May: Abbots Wood: I have been enjoying the Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (and nightingales) in Abbots Wood for several days. I noticed that they had spread to nearby rides and clearings but today found two on the furthest SW ride and then several along other rides and clearings quite some distance from their 'home ride'. There was a stiff NE wind maybe this was spreading them out? On 1 May I counted 30 Pbf in the 'home ride' before I stopped because they were 'everywhere' and I thought I might be double counting some. (Susan Suleski)
News for Sunday 24 April: Thanks to Neil's excellent butterfly tour skills I was able to photograph all of the above species at Rewell Wood and Heyshott downs on Sunday 24 April. PBF only seen at Rewell. (Dan Danahar)
Tuesday 3 May 2011
I was joined today on our reserve at Rowland Wood by the hard working Brighton Conservation Volunteers team. It's always a pleasure to have these folk on the reserve - and we always get a full day's work out of them! Today was no exception and they scoured the reserve for any unwanted debris from the previous owners and squeezed it into a skip. The place looks a lot tidier thanks to the BCV. Also seen on the reserve today Pearl-bordered Fritilary, Grizzled Skipper, Green Hairstreak and an emerging Cream-spot tiger (photos above). (Michael Blencowe)
A very pleasant stroll around my patch today with Steve and Maggie East produced some great sightings despite the steady breeze blowing again. Highlights were 12 Wall Brown inc 2 females. The first Adonis Blues (above, left) on Greenway Bank. Lots of Green Hairstreak, Dingy and Grizzled Skipper, Holly Blue and some smart Brown Argus. In total 19 species seen as well as several Broad Bodied Chaser and 2 Beautiful Demoiselle (above, right). We also saved a sheep and a beetle that had both ended up on their backs!! (Bob Eade)
Steyning Downland Scheme: Dingy Skipper (top left), Green Hairstreak (top right), Wall Brown (bottom). (Pete Varkala)
Seen today around Plumpton.
News for Monday 2 May: On Monday I spent the day at Rewell Wood hoping to find Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. Thanks to Richard Roebuck (who emailed me directions) and to Colin Knight (who showed me where they were), I was not disappointed. I saw such a lot of them that I lost count. I mostly stayed by the edge of the main path next to a patch of Bugle (SU 98794 08251). It was like Charing Cross Station there with PBFs flying past in all directions (while there I also saw a Brimstone and a Grizzled Skipper). It is really hard for me to guess at PBF numbers as individual butterflies might have been hunting around and returning. There were females feeding on the Bugle and several males were trying their best to interest them in a spot of hanky panky. I didnt quite get the photos I was after as all but one of the butterflies I found were in some way battered, notched, worn and torn but I thought you might be interested to see some photos of the frenetic attempts at mating by the males. I dont know if you will be able to see from these small uploads but the female has her abdomen well up in the air and was rapidly fluttering her wings. The male, on the other hand, had his abdomen turned down all ready for action. The portrait shot shows the female being regaled by not one but two males. Now cmon on fellas, were British! (photos above) (Sherie New)
Monday 2 May 2011
Despite the windy conditions, several Duke of Burgundy were on view at Heyshott Down this morning. Other species observed were Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Orange Tip and Brimstone. Photographic highlight of the day was provided by a pair of mating Dingy Skippers (above). (Paul Cox)
I spent the entire bank holiday sitting in my back yard drinking Harveys. Considering our backyard is entirely concreted over and there is no vegetation whatsoever I wasn't expecting much butterfly interest - so I was amazed to see a Dingy Skipper flying around a large clay urn in the corner of the yard. When I investigated it turned out that there were five Dingy Skippers in an area the size of about a metre square fighting for this territory. I've seen other Dingys off the Downs recently - it seems that good numbers on the Downs are pushing some individuals into less than suitable habitats in search of territories. Things must be good for them this year if a cracked urn in my back yard is worth fighting over. (Michael Blencowe)
Although it was a bit breezy today I thought I would make the most of the sunshine and take a trip out to Kithurst Hill and Rewell Woods with my friend Stewart.
Seen today while botanical survey in Chailey. 1 Speckled Wood @ TQ396181. 1 Green-veined White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Brimstone @ TQ397181 in small woodland glade. (Jon Wood)
We today visited a site north of Tarring Neville near Newhaven in tetrad TQ40M as part of the ongoing atlas work. Although it is a remote location, it was the only place we could think of that was sheltered from the strong wind. We were there from about 11.30 until 16.50 and were astonished by the diversity of Lepidoptera we found, as follows. Butterflies (18 species, 396 individuals): Grizzled Skipper (30), Dingy Skipper (185), Large White, Small White (7), Green-veined White (4), Orange-tip (4), Green Hairstreak (15), Small Copper (38), Small Blue (2), Brown Argus (62), Common Blue (8), Adonis Blue (2), Red Admiral (5), Peacock (2), Comma, Speckled Wood (3), Wall, Small Heath (23). Moths (19 species): Adela reamurella (7), Tinea semifulvella, Epiblema uddmanniana (Bramble-shoot Moth) larval tents (present in high numbers), Epiblema scutulana, Cydia ulicetana (c.50), Pyrausta despicata, Pyrausta nigrata, Lackey larval webs (2 - c.80 larvae), Common Carpet (21), Green Carpet, Lesser Treble-bar, Brimstone Moth (2), Common Heath (5), Cinnabar (5), Shuttle-shaped Dart, Silver Y, Mother Shipton (2), Burnet Companion, and Small Purple-barred (5). A remarkable day's work. (David Harris & Steven Teale)
During a walk today Orange Tip seen on Cuckoo Trail about 1 mile south of Horam and Speckled Woods where trail meets Horam (photos above). (Graham Mepham)
A sunny but windy day in Brighton today. A walk over Wild Park LNR with Jay Clifton & Heather Smith produced Speckled Woods (4) Small White (2) Large White (1) Green Hairstreak (1) Small Copper (2) and Brown Argus (1) (Temp 15°C). At the Butterfly Haven the majority of the Small Blues (7 in total) were hiding in the rank grassland a the bottom of the reserve, trying to thermoregulate, although some were seen higher up in the banks of the reserve (Temp 16°C). Neil Hulme discovered a female Green Hairstreak and she was ovipositing on Lotus corniculatus, confirming that this species seems now to be established at the Butterfly Haven (photos above). (Dan Danahar)
Visited Mill Hill for second Monday in a row and was not disappointed. Saw my first ever Green Hairstreak (1) - what a fantastic little butterfly (so hard to spot though), and my first Wall Browns (4). Lots of Adonis Blues (all males ), and Dingy Skippers (but too many to count), Small Heath (3), Green-veined White (1), Grizzled Skipper (4), and Speckled Wood (1) (photos above). (Leigh Prevost)
News for Sunday 1 May: An interesting walk around Abbots Wood early morning on Sunday produced 20+ Pearl-bordered Fritillaries feeding on bugle, 1 Large White, 3 Green Hairstreaks and 5+ Speckled Woods. (Kerry Baldwin)
Walking up the East side of Ferring Rife from the beach car park to Ferring Country Centre and then down the west side, skirting around one copse and into the flood lagoons, between 1pm and 2:15pm, spotted 23 Whites (of which at least 5 were Small Whites), 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Red Admirals, 3 male Orange Tips, 5 Holly Blues (at least 2 were female), and 2 Speckled Woods. (Colin Knaggs)
Sunday 1 May 2011
Quite a bit of time spent over the last 2 days on Frog Firle. The wind however has not helped blowing straight onto the site, today especially. However there has still been plenty of activity with over 30 Green Hairstreak showing, several Wall inc. 5 along The Comp. Orange Tip are showing in greater numbers than usual this year on Frog Firle. Today I found 2 females together both laying on what I believe maybe Hedge Mustard. On searching the plant eggs also found. Common Blue and Brown Argus also now just emerging. Grizzled and Dingy Skipper having another superb year here. 18 species seen over the 2 days (photos above). (Bob Eade)
Saw my first Wall Brown this year sunning itself on chalk path early this morning while doing BTO Atlas fieldwork at Rodmell (Mill Hill) TQ 411053. (David West)
Enjoyed a sunny, blustery cliff-top walk Sun. morning on the downs at Whitebread Hollow and Cow Gap finding 4 Small Coppers, several Small Whites, 5 Small Heaths and plenty of Dingy Skippers busy pairing up or seeing off the opposition. Michael asked me to explore east into TV6096 which has to be said is mainly sea (!) but I did see a couple of Dingy Skippers on ground foliage at the "Sugar Lump". Also checked out another new tetrad TV 6098 mainly town/built-up area but found Holly Blues, Small Whites, Speckled Woods and Orange Tips in Gildredge Park.
Spent two hours on Mill Hill on Sunday afternoon, rather windy, saw plenty of butterflies including, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, Small Copper, Small Heath, Brimstone, Peacock, Adonis Blue, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Green Hairstrek, Holy Blues. (Alec Trusler)
Visit to Castle Hill NR Woddingdean today. This site seems rather neglected in reports so thought I would correct the situation somewhat. Dingy Skippers everywhere in substantial numbers, Grizzleds also present. Species and numbers seen:
On a cool breezy day, the Adonis Blues were emerging from the herbs as I strolled along my 1.2 acre transect on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. In 25 minutes I recorded 31 (including four females) and as I waited about eight minutes for the Small Copper to appear, another nine fluttered by. The other butterflies recorded on the transect were one male Orange-tip, six Brimstones, 21 Dingy Skippers, eight Grizzled Skippers, six Green-veined Whites, two Green Hairstreaks (the most I have seen in a day), three Peacocks, five Small Heaths, and two Wall Browns at the southern end. A half a dozen Treble-bar Moths were counted, some of them hiding amongst the new growths of Privet. On the rest of Mill Hill, I recorded four Holly Blues, two more Dingy Skippers, two strong flying Brimstones, two more Wall Browns leaving Mill Hill and fluttering over Old Erringham pasture, five Speckled Woods in amongst the Hawthorn, a courting pair of Adonis Blues, two Green-veined Whites that obliged me by remaining still for a few seconds each, and one Red Admiral. Fourteen butterfly species on Mill Hill. (Andy Horton)
I went to the Pagham area today to hunt for Orange Tips. I was a bit disappointed to be honest because I visited four different sites and only found OTs at one of them (and one en route between two sites). The site that came up trumps was at the Pagham Harbour visitor centre which is a very popular place to go so I expect OTs have already been recorded there. Here is the full count for the day (numbers recorded of each species are in brackets):
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