Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Please remember, you can raise money for your favourite Butterfly Conservation Branch every time you shop online simply by clicking on the easyfundraising.org.uk logo first and selecting:
"Butterfly Conservation - Sussex Branch".

2018 First sightings

0 Species to date
* indicates a national first

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
15 May

Adonis Blue
11 May

Small Blue
9 May

7 May

Wood White*
6 May

Common Blue*
6 May

Brown Argus*
6 May

Duke of Burgundy
4 May

Pearl-bordered fritillary
4 May

Small Heath*
25 April

Wall Brown
22 April

Dingy Skipper
21 April

Clouded Yellow
18 April

Green Hairstreak*
18 April

Holly Blue
14 April

14 April

Grizzled Skipper*
14 April

Large White
11 April

Green-veined White
3 April

Speckled Wood
31 March

Small Copper*
14 March

Large Tortoiseshell
15 March

Small White
13 March

Painted Lady*
6 March

Small Tortoiseshell*
16 February

25 January

10 January

10 January

Red Admiral
10 January

Atlas Sites

Sites are listed according to their number in the "The Butterflies of Sussex". Sites which have been reported from in 2018 are coloured green.

1Stansted Forest
SU 74700 10500
2Harting Down
SU 79096 18002
3Kingley Vale
SU 82460 11093
4Levin Down
SU 88653 13378
5Heyshott Escarpment
SU 89900 16800
SU 92797 19351
7Eartham Wood
SU 94301 11051
8Rewell Wood
SU 98540 08053
9Fairmile Bottom
SU 98835 09454
10Houghton Forest
SU 99448 11553
11Medley Bottom
TQ 04400 11600
TQ 07000 12500
13Chantry Hill
TQ 08060 12533
TQ 13891 08024
15Steyning DS
TQ 16818 11325
16Anchor Bottom
TQ 20400 09300
17Mill Hill
TQ 21167 07456
TQ 23612 11325
19Benfield Hill
TQ 26167 07852
20Devils Dyke
TQ 26176 10681
TQ 27021 11652
22Wolstonbury Hill
TQ 28100 13800
23Hollingbury Park
24Whitehawk Hill
25Bevendean Down
TQ 33800 06400
26Castle Hill
TQ 37015 06996
SU 92096 29374
28Malling Down
TQ 42164 11255
29Well Bottom
TQ 45300 05500
30Newhaven Tide Mills
TQ 45999 00260
31Frog Firle farm/ High and Over
TQ 50916 01097
32Cuckmere Valley
TV 51613 98238
33Deep Dean
TQ 54300 03000
34Lullington Heath
TQ 54473 01754
35Friston Forest
TQ 51879 00174
36Beachy Head
TV 59467 96037
37Weavers Down
SU 81300 30400
38Chapel Common
SU 8194 2861
39Iping & Stedham Common
SU 85234 21996
40Thorney island
SU 76700 01000
41Binsted Wood
SU 99403 06629
42Ebernoe Common
SU 97576 27836
43Southwater Woods
TQ 15729 25765
TQ 15590 21737
TQ 17200 32700
46West Grinsted Downs Link
TQ 18251 23147
47Woods Mill
TQ 21836 13811
48Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve
TQ 31867 20558
49Markstakes Common
TQ 40116 18362
50Rowlands Wood & Park Corner Heath
TQ 51482 14924
51Abbots Wood
TQ 55781 07267
52Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadows
TQ 31828 24794
53Ashdown Forest
TQ 45901 27803
54Eridge Rocks/Old Park
TQ 55454 35509
55Hargate Forest
TQ 57445 36918
56Batts Wood
TQ 63783 27505
57Fore Wood
TQ 74700 13100
58Brede High Woods
TQ 79400 20200
59Hastings Country Park
TQ 84931 11732
60Beckley Woods
TQ 85800 21900

Send in your sightings

Recent sightings in Sussex

We need your help in the Ashdown Forest next month

The Silver-studded Blue butterfly is a heathland specialist which has been in retreat in East Sussex for many years, and is now found on only a few sites on the Ashdown Forest.

Over the past few years Butterfly Conservations has run a project to study the distribution of these butterflies. As a result, parts of the heath were mowed by the Ashdown Forest staff last year to improve the habitat for these butterflies. We need to monitor the species in these areas.

We would like to set up single species transects radiating out from the mowed areas. The transects will be less than a kilometre in length and will need to be walked once a week for six weeks from early June to mid-July. Two people can share a transect which reduces the commitment to three walks. As the Silver-studded Blue is likely to be the only blue butterfly on the heath during the flight season, this is something suitable for absolute beginners.

If you would like help or want more information please contact volunteer@sussex-butterflies.org.uk

Ed jnr

Friday 25 May

I popped into St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon to see if the Grizzled Skipper numbers had risen, they had. I counted at least 9 in the small area of meadow which they seem to favour. There were also several Dingy Skipper, the first Common Blue I've seen in the forest this year as well as Brimstone, Speckled Wood and a Peacock. Plenty of Speckled Yellow moths and a Burnet Companion were also flying. (Patrick Moore)

Mill Hill. 7.15 am to 11.00 am. Very damp, very still and 14 degrees C.. Countless Adonis Blues. 1 Small Heath. 3 Dingy Skippers. 3 Cinnabar moths. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)

More from Wild Park (Istvan Radi)

I went for a walk in the afternoon to Wild Park, Brighton and I was treated to a most pleasant surprise. While trying to take a picture of a blue, I found a group of 6 Dingy Skippers in the high grass. Some of them looking brand new some of them quite worn down. I am not sure what they were doing but these two were sort of playing and then they would settle on this grass facing each other. I also found a Brown Argus, a Small Copper, 6 Common Blue, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Red Admiral, 15-20 Small Heath and a few white butterflies. Plenty of moths too. And I heard a cuckoo. (Istvan Radi)

I was delighted to be awarded the H H Bloomer silver medal at the Linnean Society of London last night, for my butterfly habitat restoration work and films on @ukbutterflies. Then I saw Linnaeus' own holotype for the Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius) in the society's vault! (Dr Dan Danahar)
Congratulations Dr D. Though I expect you were disappointed that you didn't get to wear a pointy hat. I would have been. (Ed jnr)

Cissbury Ring was mostly overcast but warm and calm. 36 Common Blue, 26 Small Heath, 25 Brimstone, 22 Dingy Skipper, 6 Small Copper, 6 Holly Blue, 4 Wall Brown, 3 Grizzled Skipper, Adonis Blue (male and female), 2 Green Hairstreak, 2 Red Admiral, Brown Argus, Speckled Wood, a few Small and Large Whites. Also a few Cinnabar, a Common Carpet, Speckled Yellow (dozens), 2 Cardinal Beetle. (Lindsay Morris)
Really good to see Adonis Blues at Cissbury. I know that the National Trust has been working hard to improve the habitat for them on the site, and hopefully it is beginning to pay dividends. (Ed jnr)

On the Mill hill transect today with conditions overcast and damp, there was a solitary Small Heath at the top. Things were a bit better on the lower half where the tally for Adonis Blues was 184. (Jonathan Crawford)

This afternoon at Site 1 in Abbots Wood, I managed to achieve my ambition of seeing Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary flying together in Sussex. Conditions were warm but rather overcast, so they were reluctant to fly, but I saw several Pearls. One very fresh Small Pearl was also seen, which stood out because of its much brighter background colour. (Andy Wilson)

Today (23rd May) I visited Stansted Forest (SU7410) walking a circular route around one of the main tracks. The temperature was around 16°C with a strong breeze, which may be the reason for the Brimstone to be unusually absent . Totals: Small White 7, Green Veined White 4, Orange-tip 1M, Speckled Wood 2. (Roy Symonds)

A trip to Kithurst meadow before the rain started yesterday gave me 2 moths: Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata) and Yellow-faced Bell (Epiblema cynosbatella). At Rustington's Brookfield Park I found many tiny Yellow-spot Twists (Pseudargyrotoza conwagana) and a Long-horned moth (Adelid) eluded a photo, but I know where it lives... On our balcony we had Shuttle Shaped Dart (Agrotis puta), Silver Y (Autographa gamma) and Yellow-backed Clothes Moth, (Monopis obviella). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)

Trip to Rowland's Wood on Wednesday from Surrey. Great to see all the hard work is paying off with lots of new habitat for butterflies.
We found at least 6 Small Pearls which stopped long enough on Bugle for some pictures. On the way back we called in at Abbott's Wood and found some Pearls busy egg laying - Great day out and a tribute to Neil and his team from Sussex! (Richard Stephens)