Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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Sun 31 Dec

Just when you thought that we MUST have had the last butterfly records of the year by now, here they are! A very happy New year to all of you, and here's to the first records for 2007, which may not be that far away. Adrian

Today, Red Admiral struggling in the wind, School Hill, Lewes High Street, 11.45am (Crispin Holloway)

News for Sat 30 Dec: In my garden near Lewes, Sussex, at 11.30 this morning a Red Admiral on rotting apples. Not around for long because the sky soon became overcast again. At about the same time my daughter had one in her garden near Pevensey, also in E.Sussex. A little later the rain started and the S wind became a severe gale SW with heavy rain. (John Holloway)

Sun 24 Dec

1 Red Admiral in Peacehaven garden (Adrian Thomas)

Tues 19 Dec

News for 18 Dec: A Red Admiral in our garden in Edburton. Moth highlights recently have been 5 December Moths on 13th and up to 4 Winter Moths most nights (Tony Wilson)

News for 17 Dec: A Red Admiral seen on 17th Dec at Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods, Horsham. Certainly the latest that I have ever seen. (Sam Bayley)

Sun 17 Dec

Andy Adams has confirmed that he thinks the micro moth photographed by David Jode on 13th is a Light-brown Apple Moth.

A Red Admiral in a bramble-lined sun trap in Stansted Park (Martin Hampton)

Lower Vert Wood - one Red Admiral basking in the sunshine on a woodland track. (Michael Blencowe)

Single Red Admiral basking in gentle warmth of early afternoon sunshine, also feeding on over-ripe bananas today at Westfield near Hastings after another frosty night. (Ralph Hobbs)

Sat 16 Dec

Can't add a definite confirmation but our moth trap in Worthing was visited by a moth identical to David Jode's this evening. (John & Shena Maskell)

Weds 13 Dec

Moth, as per photo, seen in our East Dean conservatory. Flew off through a bedroom at dawn the next day. (David Jode)

[This looks to me like the Light-brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, the introduced pest moth from Australia, but then I struggle (gallantly) with micros. Can anyone confirm this? Adrian, Webmaster]

Tues 12 Dec

Despite the wind and rain there were two December Moths on my back door in Edburton as I returned from work this evening (Tony Wilson)

A Red Admiral flying today at about 1.30pm at Little Butts, Bewl Water, Wadhurst, despite the brisk wind. Also earlier in the day a queen bumble bee and worker feeding on Arbutus in Wadhurst. Both records are amazing for the time of year. (Andy Adams, Wadhurst)

Sun 10 Dec

Sandgate Park, Storrington, 1 Red Admiral (Sam Bayley)

Sat 9 Dec

On a bright afternoon I walked around Kingley Vale where near the village of West Stoke at Stoke Clump I saw a Peacock basking in the late winter sunshine. This was my first sighting of a Peacock since October, the usual butterflies I tend to see at the moment are Red Admirals. (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)

Fri 8 Dec

I quizzed Tony Wilson about his outdoor light, which has featured in many moth reports from Edburton this year: "The light is just outside the door on a white wall, only 60W and I leave it on all night. However, I don't think any of those make a great difference. I think its because there are not really any other lights around here - no street lights and my two neighbours turn theirs off so it's often pitch black apart from my light. Also any moths coming over the top of the Downs will see it as the only light for about a mile. I've managed about 160 species just at that light in the last 2 years with the best of many migrants being Dewick's Plusia and Scarce Silver Y. The other thing is I check it every day just by going out in the morning to work. The thing I can't work out is that I never get large quantities of moths - very rarely over 10 but they are often all different and often unusual - the Dewick's Plusia was one of two moths, the other being a Delicate! and the SSY was on its own."

It is very difficult to single out one highlight from what seems to have been a wonderful year for both butterflies and moths. I suppose the high-point should be the small, extremely attractive moth (although you would not believe this from my photo!) which I found in my moth trap on the night of 27th Sept. This turned out to be a Beautiful Marbled (Eublemma purpurina) which was the first for Sussex. This certainly caused an adrenaline rush. There isn't really a low point although I missed all the Camberwell Beauties despite a few efforts. (Mike Snelling)

Weds 6 Dec

My wife had a Red Admiral in our garden in Edburton today and 2 others last week (she can't remember which day!). Also the odd Winter Moth and Sprawler at the outside light (Tony Wilson)

Red Admiral sighted today basking and flying by Bewl Water on the Wadhurst side of the reservoir at 1.00pm. (Andy Adams, Wadhurst)

An immaculate Red Admiral in gardens along Keymer Road in Keymer village, flying and resting in the sunshine at 11.30. (Malcolm Le Grys)

News for Mon 4 Dec: A Red Admiral seen in our East Dean garden during a respite in the weather. (Carole Jode)

Mon 4 Dec

3 Red Admirals out in the sun at Arundel WWT this morning, one nectaring on ivy flowers and two nectaring & resting on blooms of viburnum bodnantense (Malcolm Le Grys).

Recent news: One Red Admiral still around the garden on fallen apples despite the strong winds Sun 3 Dec (David Bridges)

1 Dec: Rusper - 1 Silver Y and 1 Diamond-back Moth. 2 Dec: Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods, Horsham - 1 Red Admiral. 3 Dec Warnham LNR - 1 Silver Y (Sam Bayley)

2006 Highs & Lows: High – lifetime tick for Pearl-bordered Fritillaries in Abbots Wood - an emotional moment. Low – Failing to see Brown Hairstreak either at Povey House or Ifield. (Danny McEvoy). Anyone else got favourite (or not!) butterfly/moth moments from 2006?

Fri 1 Dec

Recent News

1 Red Admiral flying around at Warnham Local Nature reserve on 30 Nov, 1 Silver Y in moth trap at home at Rusper the previous night (Sam Bayley)

In our East Dean garden during early morning sunshine, 29 November - 2 Red Admiral,  30 November - 1 Red Admiral (nectaring on Valerian) (David Jode)

Weds 29 Nov: Single Red Admiral noted flying across our school playing field in East Worthing (John Maskell)

Thurs 30 Nov

In my garden at Kingston near Lewes at least one Red Admiral has been seen on 23 of the last 29 days. In the middle of the day, even when cloudy and once when raining, one has usually come down from the old apple trees above for its daily fix on rotting apples. Then, when we were having lunch today, one flew to the window (24th day) and got caught in a cobweb from which I managed to rescue it. Yesterday (29 Nov), in her Lewes garden, my daughter had a Red Admiral and a fine Peacock. (John Holloway)

Red Admiral flying past buildings at Sussex Police HQ (in Lewes on the edge of the Ouse Valley) today. (Steve Wheatley)

Weds 29 Nov

A Red Admiral was  in a garden on Old Salts Farm Road, South Lancing. I may have disturbed it while trimming some Ivy. The sun was remarkably and notably warm, there must have been sightings of butterflies all over the place! (Ray Hamblett http://lancingnature.blogspot.com/)

Mon 27 Nov

A Red Admiral slowly fluttering around the eves of my house today, no doubt searching for somewhere to 'hang up' for the winter. (Neil Hulme)

News for Sun 26 Nov

Newhaven allotments. Red Admiral, and yes, a Harlequin Ladybird. (Danny McEvoy)

News for Sat 18 Nov

One Red Admiral in sun on trunk of a cherry tree in Kingston near Lewes. (Leonie Mercer)

Sun 26 Nov

Tattered Red Admiral in my Peacehaven garden and, less welcome, my first two Harlequin Ladybirds - the map of their spread (on the Harlequin Survey website - www.harlequin-survey.org) since the first records in 2004 is astonishing, and the website also explains how Harlequin larvae can eat Lepidoptera larvae as well as aphids, fruit etc. (Adrian Thomas)

Sun 19 Nov

Red Admiral at Old Lodge S.W.T. Reserve yesterday and Queen's Park Brighton today Colin Piper). A very washed out Painted Lady sunning itself on a grave in Church Norton Churchyard. Also 3 Red Admirals in the location. (Chris and Juliet Moore)

Sat 18 Nov

Red Admirals on the wing this morning in the sunshine, one in my Keymer garden nectaring on winter-flowering pansies and two flying and basking in sun around Ditchling (Malcolm Le Grys).

Two Red Admirals today in my Edburton garden on crab apples + on 14th a Silver Y of the form nigricans (Tony Wilson)

Weds 15 Nov

2 Red Admirals by Cockshut stream in Lewes (Michael Hawkins).

Tues 14 Nov

I found a new moth for Sussex this year at Warnham Local Nature Reserve, Horsham. It is a tortrix moth called Acleris logiana. It was only known from birch woodland in the Scottish Highlands until a couple of years ago when one was found in a moth trap in Hampshire. Since then only a handful of individuals have been seen outside Scotland including one in Essex, one in Berkshire and two sightings of individuals in Surrey. I came across this species on 21st October whilst leading a birch thinning conservation work party at the reserve and we saw about 30 of these disturbed from the trees. I managed two catch a couple and have managed to get them verified. This is the first time more than one has been seen outside Scotland and a breeding site to boot. I went looking through another section of birch woodland at the reserve today and managed to find another one! This species over winters as an adult and could be worth looking for in a birch woodland near you in the spring up until the end of April. These south-east sightings are possibly thought to be migrants from the continent looking to set up home, which would make sense considering how scattered the sightings are, although this is just speculation at the moment. A good couple of photos can be found on www.ukmoths.org.uk. (per Adastra group, Sam Bayley)

Mon 13 Nov

News for Sun 12 Nov 2.15, Mill Hill, Shoreham four Clouded Yellows and one Red Admiral. Image of former attached resting on my finger, albeit somewhat bedraggled. (Paul Lister)

We have also received a photo from 21 Oct from Andy Adams at Wadhurst of a Crimson Speckled, the same day that Mike Snelling recorded one at Findon of this exquisite but very rare moth

Sun 12 Nov

Red Admiral still around in the garden on 12 November, now on crab apples (Broadbridge Heath) (David Bridges)

Red Admiral at Belle Tout (Beachy Head) (per www.sos.org.uk)

Sat 11 Nov

No sightings received for today or yesterday,  so I have taken the opportunity to update all the Galleries with some wonderful photos received over the last few weeks. Almost every butterfly and moth gallery has been added to, and all can be accessed from the Sussex species page via the side menus. This year over 100 butterfly photos have been sent in of 42 species, and photos of well over 60 species of moth. Thank you everyone who has contributed. Note the mystery images link above for those we still need to put names to, and thanks to Tony Davis for correcting a couple of the names.

Your challenge next year is to fill in the gaps, whether it be species, sexes, colour variants, angles or life stages we don't yet have photos for! Here's a little taster of some of the most recent crop of images taken earlier this autumn - Red Admiral at Crawley Down by Jonathan Ruff, Small Copper at Hastings by Joe Dickens and Striped Hawkmoth at Hailsham by Chris Ball (Adrian Thomas, Webmaster)


Thurs 9 Nov

Eleven Clouded Yellows, including one form helice at Mill Hill this afternoon (15:00hrs). Despite the beautiful weather they were rather sluggish, spending most of the time on either warm scree or the wooden boards of the steps and tilting themselves perpendicular to the sun's rays. (Neil Hulme)

One Painted Lady on central reservation of dual carriageway in middle of Brighton, plus two Red Admirals nectaring on Abelia grandiflora in Pavilion Gardens today (Adrian Thomas)

Weds 8 Nov

Moths trapped at Pagham Harbour on night of 7 Nov, showing how many species are still on the wing, albeit in small numbers: Autumnal Rustic 1, Barred Sallow 1, Dark Chestnut 1, Feathered Thorn 1, Large Wainscot 1, Lunar Underwing 1, November Moth 3, Red-line Quaker 2, Rush Veneeer 2, Udea ferrugalis 13

Mon 6 Nov

About 7 Red Admiral were seen on a journey across Buckingham Park, Shoreham, to Mill Hill and back, although none were seen in town. Also, 11-13 Clouded Yellow were seen on Mill Hill (6-8 on the lower slopes and one on the ridge by the Reservoir) and on Old Erringham pasture (4). One of the Clouded Yellows had white upper wings but conventional (if slightly paler) underside, and one was a faded yellow and very tatty. They were very flighty, rarely stopping for more than a few seconds at each flower, and on the lower slopes of Mill Hill they visited Devil's Bit Scabious and Autumnal Hawkbit and Wild Basil. On the Old Erringham pasture, two of them were courting rising together vertically, and their preferred nectar plant was Dandelion. They appeared to be resident in the area, rather than just passing through. One of their caterpillar food plants, Common Bird's Foot Trefoil, is abundant on Mill Hill. (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2006.html)

Sun 5 Nov

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen in Belle Tout Wood, Beachy Head this morning. (Matt Eade)

Red Admiral and Hummingbird Hawkmoth in our garden in Kingston near Lewes. We have seen a number of the latter this summer but I did not expect to see one this late particularly as we have had three frosty nights this week. (Leonie Mercer)

In the warm sunshine this morning several butterflies collected together around the fermenting crab apple trees in my Edburton garden - 3 Red Admirals, 2 Commas and a Peacock as well as a Common Darter. (Tony Wilson)

In Lower Vert Wood today 1 Red Admiral and a Brimstone hiding in an oak tree (Michael Blencowe)

Still getting daily visits by at least two Red Admirals to my garden in Crawley Down and today they were joined for a short time by a large (emperor type) dragonfly also seen on the wing at roof top level; it seems to me to be very late in the year to see these. (Jonathan Ruff)

Today I saw 2 Red Admirals at around 11:15 in fresh condition on the top of Treyford Hill. This autumn seems to have been very popular with this species. Most of my sightings in the past two weeks seem to have been Red Admirals, almost at the exclusion of other species. (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)

Sightings for the 4th Nov Pagham Harbour LNR: Turnip Moth 1, Pearly Underwing 1, Dark Chestnut 1, November Moth 1 (Ivan Lang)

Sat 4 Nov

A single Red Admiral still buzzing round the bramley apple windfalls in my garden on a cold and frosty morning at Broadbridge Heath.  Also a Peacock out and about in the garden last weekend (David Bridges)

Found 13 Herald moths overwintering on the beams in the moulding shed at Ebernoe Brickworks this afternoon (Michael Blencowe)

In the garden here at Westfield - still 8 Red Admirals making use of over-ripe bananas on the bird table yesterday in the sunshine. At least 6 again today after a second frosty night. One hornet also feeding regularly both days. (Ralph Hobbs)

Standing watching my nephew play football (Varndean Playing Fields, Brighton) in bright sunshine (pretty cold though) - 3 Red Admiral and 1 Clouded Yellow. (Caroline Clarke)

A Comma in my Edburton garden today feeding on crab apples (Tony Wilson)


Fri 3 Nov

The sunny afternoons are still bringing out Red Admirals in my garden. Two seen today (3 November), feeding on small pink/white flowers of a shrub which I think is viburnum and resting on the seed heads of clematis tangutica (picture). They came back several times, appeared in good condition flying strongly even though there was a frost here in Crawley Down on 1 November. I have not noticed any butterflies this late in the season, hope they continue to thrive.(Jonathan Ruff)

Weds 1 Nov

Southwater Country Park: Enjoying the bright, hot and sunny day today 3 Red Admirals and the first Painted Lady that I have seen since the end of September, all looking very fresh. (Sam Bayley)

In the Pagham trap, Tues 31 Oct, Beaded Chestnut (1), Diamond-backed Moth (1), Large Wainscot (2), Lunar Underwing (1), November Moth (3), Udea ferrugalis (12) (Ivan Lang)

Sun 29 Oct: From the Bus on the way to Brighton, Telscombe Cliffs between the Telscombe Tavern and the Badgers Watch, my first Clouded Yellow of the year. Yes I know, astonishing since there have been billions of them everywhere, but it really was my only one of the year. On the seafront at Brighton there were a number of Red Admirals at intervals. (Danny McEvoy)

On 2 June 2006 I walked a circuit from a car park named DROKE, (East of East Dean in West Sussex) map ref square SU 9212, south to Selhurst Park, NE via Stane Street, NW via Upwaltham, Crown Tegleaze, (South Downs Way) south via woodland to Oxen Down then Droke. I was continually accompanied by Speckled Yellow moths throughout the day. I walked the same route 8 days later with a party of others and did not see a single one! From what I remember, both days had similar weather. (John Ford)

What to look for in November

By November, things are very quiet, both for butterflies and for moths. The likeliest butterfly is the Red Admiral, which should be seen on any sunny, still and warm day - this is quite a recent phenomenon, and they now successfully overwinter in good numbers. Any other butterfly species is notable, the most likely being Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow and Comma. For a very few moth species, such as November Moth and Winter Moth, we are now into their main flight period, but there are sometimes a few late stragglers of other species too, and Plume Moths can still come to house lights.


Tues 31 Oct


1 Painted Lady in Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, nectaring on Geranium (Adrian Thomas)



Mon 30 Oct

Moth trap results from Pagham Harbour: Beaded Chestnut (2), Dark Chestnut (1), Large Yellow Underwing (1), Lunar Underwing (1), Pale-shouldered Brocade (larva), Rush Veneer (2), Silver Y (4), Udea ferrugalis (4) (Ivan Lang)

A Holly Blue and two Clouded Yellows at Widewater Lagoon. (Paul James)

In somewhat gloomy light conditions this afternoon I was surprised to find 5 Red Admirals in flight together in our Worthing garden. This represents a maximum count for this species in our garden. (John Maskell)

Large White flew weakly north through Peacehaven (Adrian Thomas)


News for Sun 29 Oct

On Sunday in the vicinity of the Cowdrey Ruins in Midhurst during the mid afternoon, I saw 1 Red Admiral and 1 male Brimstone in the autumn sunshine. (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)

A caterpillar of the immigrant Convolvulus Hawkmoth was rescued from being squashed as it slowly crawled across Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. (per Andy Horton)

Sightings of one or two Red Admirals every day for the last few days - today's individual, feeding on Bramley windfalls in the garden here at Broad Oak Brede, looked as if it was from a new brood as in perfect condition. Even on one of the really gloomy days earlier in the week I've seen an occasional Red Admiral. Although the weather has been very mild, I'm surprised that they venture out in such low light levels as I understood that their vision is limited in those conditions. (Stuart Cooper)

In my garden in Edburton today there was a Small Tortoiseshell on Californian Lilac (which shouldn't be flower!) + 5 Red Admirals and an amazing gathering of 50 Harlequin Ladybirds looking for hibernating sites. Also a Clouded Yellow flew in front of my car at Poynings. (Tony Wilson)


Just the one butterfly sighting at Lower Vert Wood today: a fine looking male Brimstone

Found 13 Herald moths overwintering on the beams in the moulding shed at Ebernoe Brickworks this afternoon

I walked from Birling Gap to Shooter's Bottom (Beachy Head) this morning and saw 5 Clouded Yellows, about 25 Red Admirals and 1 Painted Lady. (David West)


A Hummingbird Hawkmoth near Hope Gap, Seaford Head (Matt Eade)


News for Sat 28 Oct

Whilst in Music Zone in Eastbourne there was a Hummingbird Hawkmoth flying around. Fortunately it settled and I managed to catch it and release it outside. (Bob Eade). (One was also reported from Jessops in Brighton during the week!)

ews for Thurs 27 Oct


A Crimson Speckled was just east of Horseshoe Plantain (per Paul James).



Sun 29 Oct

Seaford Head. A lovely warm day produced 15+ Red Admiral on a walk from Seaford Head down to Cuckmere Haven and back. Along the way at Hope Gap we saw Clouded Yellow (at least 5 individuals), 1 Peacock, 1 Painted Lady and 1 white - probably a Large but too far away to be sure. (Caroline, Miles and Edward Clarke)

Seven Sisters. Along with regular Red Admirals were 3 Painted Ladies and 2 Clouded Yellows, with one of the Painted Ladies determinedly trying to mate with a Red Admiral! (Adrian Thomas)



Fri 27 Oct

In my garden at Kingston, near Lewes today was a fairly worn male Clouded Yellow feeding on remains of knapweed and small scabious. Also a Red Admiral on rotting apples and another flying relentlessly south at a higher level. (John Holloway)

Red Admirals and Common Darters still around my Steyning garden, and in a local walk of 1 hours this afternoon I counted 10 Red Admirals and 4 Darters. More unexpected were a Small Tortoiseshell sunning on a roof, and below it a Southern Hawker buzzing round and even bumping into a glossy blue BMW. (Keith Noble)


Three Clouded Yellows in a sheltered valley south of Edburton Hill this morning + 11 Red Admirals. Three more Red Admirals in my garden in Edburton on the rotten bananas and a Rusty Dot Pearl at my outside light. (Tony Wilson)


News for Thurs 26 Oct


At Pagham Harbour - 13 Clouded Yellow, 20 Red Admiral and 1 Painted Lady. In the moth trap, 2 Angle Shades, 1 Beaded Chestnut, 3 Blair's Shoulder Knot, 1 Dark Sword-grass, 4 Delicate, 1 Feathered Thorn, 6 Large Wainscot, 1 Large Yellow Underwing (and 1 caterpillar also), 3 November Moth, 6 Rush Veneer, 3 Silver Y, 2 Turnip, 36 Udea ferrugalis, 1 Yellow-line Quaker (Ivan Lang)



Thurs 26 Oct

Malling Down - 3 Red Admiral flying around a large patch of nettles close to the chalk pits. (Caroline, Miles and Edward Clarke)

One of the many Red Admirals in Abbots Wood today (Peter Clinch)



Sightings from moth trap on the evening of the 25 Oct at Pagham Harbour LNR: Beaded Chestnut (3), Delicate (4), Lunar Underwing (2), Red-line Quaker (2), Rush Veneer (3), Sallow (1), Scarce Bordered Straw (1), Silver Y (3), Turnip (2), Udea ferrugalis (26)



Weds 25 Oct


Sussex Branch Butterfly Conservation members please remember that the deadline for contributions to the winter newsletter are due with Yvonne McCulloch by 31 Oct.


News for 23 Oct


After the rain, the tally was two Red Admirals disturbed from amongst Nettles on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, Old Shoreham, two Meadow Browns on the Devil's Bit Scabious on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and a very bright yellow Clouded Yellow fluttered across my view as I tried to photograph the Meadow Browns. Both Meadow Browns were damaged but did not look particularly tattered or old. In Lancing town an unidentified white butterfly fluttered across my view as I cycled along. (Andy Horton)



Tues 24 Oct


I think yesterday's larvae photos are of Convolvulus Hawkmoth caterpillars. The larvae of many hawkmoth species, including Convolvulus, show a wide variety of colourforms and markings (natural variation, foodplant, temperature? may all have an influence) and these may change through the moult stages. So base and even stripe colour alone is not a consistent or totally reliable ID feature. As early as 1775 Moses Harris recognised both the more usual, green form and a form that is blackish brown, with ochreous bands and streaks. There are a good number of these (adults) around this year and an Arundel friend has a damaged pupal case, found at the local WWT centre approximately ten days ago. The large size and 'free' tongue casing led him to describe it as "like something from the film Alien". (Neil Hulme)


Despite cool and windy conditions I spotted a Red Admiral in my garden today (Roy Neeve)



Mon 23 Oct

On a recent visit to Iford I came across two of this black hawkmoth larva. They were on a concrete road at the base of the downs just over the old Lewes-Newhaven road (the one on the west side of the Ouse) from the village of Iford. The road had a crop of swedes on one side and arable on the other (peas had been harvested). One larva was slightly larger than the other and was about 2.5 inches long. I've not been able to identify them from any books. The eye pattern is the same as that of Convolvulus Hawkmoth but that's about the only similarity with that species. Can anyone help please? (Martin Robinson)


8 Red Admirals on a 3 hour walk round the Adur estuary, Widewater and Shoreham. Also 1 Painted Lady on ivy by the house boats. (Chris Corrigan)



Sat 21 Oct


An interesting selection of moths in my trap this morning. Brick, Red-line Quaker, Dark Chestnut were new but the most colourful one was this Crimson Speckled (Mike Snelling)

News for Sun 15 Oct, 1 incredibly late White Admiral, Leonardslee Gardens, Mannings Heath (per Sam Bayley)


Fri 20 Oct


Death's-head Hawkmoth at Moth Trap, Brede (per Graham Parris)

Sightings at Mill Hill, Shoreham: Warm sunshine out of the breeze after a very wet morning: 1 Red Admiral; 1 Meadow Brown (very tattered) and an amazing 10 Clouded Yellow (Caroline, Miles and Ed Clarke).


Weds 18 Oct

Interesting that after a few days of easterly and south-easterly winds we have a spate of what seems to be a mix of Clouded Yellow species:

In a SW facing downland field near Truleigh Hill this afternoon I came across an interesting collection of Clouded Yellows flying together allowing good comparisons. Three were 'normal' ones, one was a helice female and a fifth was almost certainly a Pale or Berger's Clouded Yellow being pale lemon yellow with less black on the outer wings. Also a Painted Lady and 8 Red Admirals (Tony Wilson)

An extraordinary white aberration of the Clouded Yellow was seen settled on the edge of the towpath at the west end of the Toll Bridge, Old Shoreham. (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2006.html)

Sat 14 October

Pale Clouded Yellow at Newhaven Tide Mills. (Mrs Carol Smith)



Tues 17 Oct

News for Sun 15 Oct 

13 Clouded Yellows at Chidham (Chichester Harbour); 1 Clouded Yellow and 1 Painted Lady inland at Heathfield RFC (per www.sos.org.uk)

News for 13-16 October

Red Admirals seen at about 20 an hour when the sun was out in Shoreham and the outskirts. The downs were no longer the best although four Meadow Browns (16th) were still around on Mill Hill only. At least one male as well. Clouded Yellows every day up to 3 an hour. Others included good condition Peacocks and one good condition Brimstone. There was one Painted Lady and one male Common Blue (15th) on the Adur Levels, and occasional Large Whites (16th). One Silver Y. (Andy Horton, www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2006.html)


Mon 16 Oct


Six Clouded Yellows at Beachy Head today in the field opposite Shooter's Bottom but otherwise just a few Red Admirals in very windy conditions. (Tony Wilson)


News for Sun 15 Oct

A male Brimstone and a fritillary (unidentified) seen at Buchan Park (Dr CM Marsh)

In response to your request for fresh looking Peacocks, the two I saw at Icklesham today looked like they'd come straight off the production line (photo)! Also 5 Painted Lady, 2 Clouded Yellow and many Red Admirals all enjoying the sunshine and Buddleia (Michael Blencowe)


Recent News

Ran the moth trap twice last week (on 12th and 14th) at RSPB Pulborough Brooks and caught a good range of species. Most frequent were Beaded Chestnut, Lunar Underwing, Grey Pine Carpet, Black Rustic, Brindled Green, Autumnal/November Moth, Sallow, Merveille du Jour, Green Brindled Crescent, Angle Shades and Satellite.

Amongst the rest were 3 Convolvulus Hawkmoths, Redline Quaker, Yellowline Quaker, Vestal, Brick, Chestnut, Dark Chestnut, Grey Shoulder-knot, Large Wainscot, Red Green Carpet, Dark Sword-grass, Feathered Thorn, Blood-vein, Rosy Rustic, Autumnal Rustic, White-point, Turnip Moth and December Moth. (Peter Hughes)


Sun 15 Oct

Some late sightings for a glorious autumn Sunday: 12+ Red Admirals, 1 Peacock and 1 Small Copper at Raystede Animal Centre, north or Ringmer. Later in a field at Maynards Green (TQ585186) - another Small Copper, a Clouded Yellow, a Common Blue and several Red Admirals. (Steve Wheatley)

There were 5 Clouded Yellows at Tide Mills, Newhaven including 1 egg laying. (Bob Eade)

In the early afternoon I walked a circular walk in West Marden in the vicinity of Horsley Farm. Over a period of 2 hours I saw the following: Brimstone male (2) female (1), Red Admiral (5) and Peacock (1). (Richard Symonds, Hayling Island)

Friston Forest & Lullington Heath - 2 Meadow Brown, 2 Small Copper, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Clouded Yellow, 1 Comma, plus inevitable Red Admirals (Adrian Thomas)


Recent news

A friend of mine found a live MONARCH on the banks of the Cuckmere River immediately south east of the Golden Galleon Restaurant at Exceat on 30 September. (Charles Rowney)




Sat 14 Oct

My brother, my granny and I went to Preston Park, Brighton, and saw a Painted Lady outside the tennis courts. I saw some Red Admirals at my school as well on Ivy. (Harry Pitt)

Ivy certainly seems to be the flower of choice for many butterflies at the moment. Are there other nectar sources proving attractive currently?


Fri 13 Oct


It is now getting very late for Meadow Brown and Holly Blue sightings, and it would be interesting to know if any of the Peacock records are of immaculate individuals which might indicate that they had a second brood this year like the White Admirals.


Large number of butterflies still on the wing in Beachy Head area including single Small Copper, Meadow Brown and Peacock and at least 40 Clouded Yellows including two females of the 'helice' variety. Also Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady at Ouse Estuary Project (per www.sos.org.uk)


15+ Red Admirals, 1 Clouded Yellow at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (Janet Richardson)


1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth in Pavilion Gardens, Brighton. Many of the Red Admirals around seem to be in spanking condition (Adrian Thomas)


News for Thurs 12 Oct

Today, whilst on "playground duty" at the school in East Worthing where I teach, I noted a lot of activity on a sunny mature clump of ivy: 1 Holly Blue, 1 Comma, 1 Painted Lady and at least 32 Red Admirals. Needless to say I took the opportunity to deliver an impromptu lesson on butterflies! (John Maskell)

Recent news from David Jode

Thurs 12 Oct In our East Dean garden - 9 Red Admiral, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

At Crowlink between 2 and 3pm in bright sunshine (16C) 30 Red Admiral - 3 Clouded Yellow - 2 Peacock - 1 Meadow Brown

Weds 11 Oct 2 Red Admiral around East Dean including one flying during the early stages of the morning deluge.



Thurs 12 Oct


1 Peacock was with 3 Red Admirals in the Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, this morning (Adrian Thomas)

Under the midday sun a remarkable air temperature of 16.6 C was attained which brought seven species of butterfly out: Red Admirals (26), Comma (2), Large White (1), Clouded Yellow (3), Meadow Brown (9+), Common Blue (3) and a Peacock (1). All the butterflies were seen in just over an hour on Mill Hill and the approaches to the small public open space nature reserve north of Shoreham-by-Sea. (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2006.html)


News for Weds 11 Oct

Steyning, still a couple of Clouded Yellows (4 yesterday), one pale, nearly white in flight, presumably helice. Is it possible to distinguish helice from Pale and Bergers in the photos of its underside (see Keith's photos)? Also Hummingbird Hawkmoth still daily in garden, often at Abelia. The highest single count of caterpillars in my little garden bedstraw patch was 12, and I think the total was about 20. As you can see from the attached, they grew bigger than the 45mm given in the Collins guide to caterpillars. (Keith Noble) The Porter Guide to Caterpillars of the British Isles gives the full-grown length as 60-65mm (AT)



Weds 11 Oct


News for Tues 10 Oct

Been a bit quiet in the moth trap in Ripe over the past week. Gone are the eggboxes packed with Underwings, the giant hawkmoths and the annoying craneflies. Only had 5 moths in the trap on Saturday night; and three of those were Lunar Underwing! Still, what I am finding in the trap are all new species for the garden. Tuesday evening added Large Wainscot and Red-Line Quaker to the list. I also caught a moth that I'd been hoping to see - the gorgeous Merveille du Jour. And a nice oddity was a Webb's Wainscot, not nearly as gorgeous, in fact it looked a bit ragged, but a Nationally Scarce category B moth, a mainly coastal species which has been recorded more regularly inland recently. (Michael Blencowe) 

Last nights catch of moths was quite small but included Beaded Chestnuts, Scarce Bordered Straw, Silver Y etc and a  Small Mottled Willow. (Mike Snelling)

A Peacock was out in the garden on edge of woodland at Fairlight. Red Admirals the usual with 4 - 5 around fruit trees. (Andy Dinsdale)


Tues 10 Oct

Last night I trapped in both my garden and at Warnham LNR and was quite successful. Highlights: Rusper garden: Silver Y (1), Rush Veneer (1), Ni Moth (1) - this was my first ever. Warnham LNR: Pearly Underwing (1), L-album Wainscot (1), Calamatropha paludella (1 2nd gen.), Acleris forsskaleana (1 2nd gen.), Southern Wainscot (1 2nd gen.) (Sam Bayley)


Recent news from David Jode:

Tues 10 Oct - 1 male Clouded Yellow in our East Dean garden plus a small number of Red Admiral and Whites.

Mon 9 Oct - 1 male Clouded Yellow in our East Dean garden.

Sun 8 Oct - 1 male Clouded Yellow in our East Dean garden. A small number of Red Admiral and Whites in our garden and around the Eastbourne area


News for Sun 8 Oct


Sussex Ornithological Society walk around Thorney Island produced two Clouded Yellows, 20 Red Admirals, a Peacock, and three Small Whites (per www.sos.org.uk)



Mon 9 Oct


Recent News


Two moth larvae from Steve Wheatley on Ashdown Forest on Saturday. The first is Poplar Hawkmoth, presumably the offspring of a second brood this summer. Any ideas on the second, which from above had a thin dark stripe edged with yellow almost all the way down the back?




From Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2006.html

Sun 8 Oct: 13 Red Admirals were amongst Ivy along the on the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge on the Waterworks Road and the nearby Butterfly Copse (with one Comma), by the sides of the on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill, and one on Ivy at Mill Hill. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, there were eleven Meadow Brown all on or in the vicinity of Devil's Bit Scabious in the northern part. 25 butterflies of 3 species.

Sat 7 Oct A half a dozen Red Admiral seen in an hour in Shoreham town. Clouded Yellow and a Red Admiral at the Trevor Arms garden near Glynde Railway Station under the shadow of Mount Caburn.

Weds 4 Oct Two Clouded Yellow were on the upper part of Mill Hill.




Sun 8 Oct


News for Sat 7 Oct

Sightings at Mill Hill - 2 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Clouded Yellow. Sightings in my Brighton garden - 1 Comma. (Caroline Clarke)


Sat 7 Oct

A fabulous conservation morning at Sussex Police's Training Facility in Ashdown Forest. 1 Brimstone and several Red Admirals around. (Steve Wheatley)

Laughton Common Wood seemed empty of butterflies this afternoon despite the good sunshine until we found the reason why - an apple tree in the middle of the wood, where an estimated 20 Red Admirals were drinking themselves silly on rotten fruit, plus 2 Commas and 1 Speckled Wood (Adrian Thomas)

In our East Dean garden 10-15 Red Admiral, 1 female Clouded Yellow (Pale or Berger's) (Carole Jode)

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was in my garden this morning in Seaford (Matt Eade)


Fri 6 Oct

Martin Gregory had this butterfly in his garden in East Worthing about 100 metres from the seafront on 6 July 2003, a year in which we had a very hot summer. The butterfly had settled on the White UPVC frame of our conservatory late in the afternoon. The butterfly was the same size and similar in shape to a Painted Lady. After some internet searching, Martin found the following picture taken at the London Butterfly House in November 2004 www.piccies.flybywire.org.uk/ButterfliesMoths/Index2004.html suggesting that the butterfly was a Cracker from Central America.


Thurs 5 Oct


1 Red Admiral in our East Dean garden. 1 Red Admiral at Shinewater Lake in Eastbourne (David Jode)


News for Sat 23 Sep

Highlights of the Adastra recording day at Friston Forest included a White Admiral. The moth traps in the evening included Black Rustic, Sallow, Frosted Orange, Beautiful Carpet, and Red-green Carpet. The most apt moth of the evening was the Barred Hook-tip which is found in Beech woods, especially on calcareous soils and has colonised many areas where Beech is an introduction; in other words, it’s found in places exactly like Friston Forest. (from www.sxbrc.org.uk/news/)


Weds 4 Oct

1 Painted Lady and 10 Red Admiral in our East Dean garden. Red Admiral seen in fair numbers around Eastbourne and Pevensey. (David Jode)


Tues 3 Oct

Our garden at East Dean - 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths, 1 Comma, 1 Small Copper. Crowlink - around 30 Red Admiral, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Small Copper, 1 Common Blue. (David Jode)

Must be one of the latest records - a single good condition White Admiral taking advantage of today's sun, Loder Valley Reserve, Wakehurst. (Steven Robinson)

After the gales and the rain, a probable Vapourer moth flew strongly over Dolphin Road, Shoreham, although it did not settle . Nine species of butterfly were seen during about an hour during the day and these included one pristine third brood male Holly Blue in the Ivy in the Butterfly Copse, 18 Meadow Brown all on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, and in Shoreham town, one each of Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow. The other species were Red Admirals, Common Blues, Large Whites, one Comma and one Small Copper. Nine species of butterfly and about 45 in total. (Andy Horton www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2006.html)


Mon 2 Oct


News for Sat 30 Sep: A few Whites on the wing in the locality (East Dean area). On a walk from Birling Gap to Shooters Bottom there were a few butterflies mostly in the hotspot just to the east of Horseshoe Plantation - 6 Clouded Yellow, 6 Speckled Wood, 5 Meadow Brown, 4 Common Blue, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Small Copper, 1 Comma, 1 Chalkhill Blue.

In our East Dean garden a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and in daylight a Convolvulus Hawkmoth (the latter also seen on 29th) which looks injured. (David Jode)



Sun 1 Oct


Hummingbird Hawkmoth seen in my garden on two occasions this year. First on 12 Aug and second later on in September. They have visited my garden since August 2003. I live in Burgess Hill on the northern edge backing onto farmland and woods, we get a wide range of butterflies and other insects in the garden. (Pearl Carter)



What to look for in October

  • Butterflies: Things now really quietening down, with just a few species clinging on. Of the hibernators, only Red Admiral and Comma are likely to be seen regularly. Other species still on the wing, especially at the start of the month, can include Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Clouded Yellow, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Wall, Small Heath, but you’ll need warm days to see them!

  • Moths: Amazingly, some species are still just emerging, with others very much in the middle of their flight period. Watch out for species such as Chestnut, Brick, Satellite, Mottled Umber, Yellow-line Quaker, Beaded Chestnut, November Moth, December Moth and Winter Moth. Hummingbird Hawkmoths can still be seen on sunny days too.



Earlier Sightings


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