Monday 30 December
A visit today to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, reconfirmed that the charms of modern and contemporary art are largely wasted on me. I was however drawn to one item by the Mexican artist Carlos Amorales called Black Cloud which featured four rooms filled with thousands of paper cutouts of butterflies and moths. What it is all supposed to mean, of course, I cannot tell you. Happy New Year. (Jonathan Crawford)
I walked along the seafront at Lancing today in the hope of possibly seeing a butterfly. Nothing was on the wing, but I did discover two Large White pupae on the inside of a bike store (one looked a bit dead). The larvae undoubtedly came from Sea-kale plants which are growing nearby. (Vince Massimo)
Around 13:30 this afternoon while watching a Red Kite just south of Crawley,I was surprised to see a Red Admiral flyby and land nearby. (Alastair Gray)
Sunday 29 December
My first thought was a Comma as well but we shall never know it for sure. A big "thank you" to Martin Kalaher for the quiz, I had fun trying to answer all the questions but once again I only reached the rank of the White Admiral. I guess I should put in some more effort to learn all the names of food plants...could be a New Year resolution :) (Istvan Radi)
Friday 27 December
Rather tatty Comma on ivy at a field edge near Steyning. (Pete Varkala)
Wednesday 25 December
A Red Admiral seen flying along Eastbourne Promenade TV607976 just after 11am today in full sunshine around 7c.
Chris & Mary Barnett also saw a Red Admiral today in their Seaford garden TV498998. (Carole & David Jode)
Tuesday 24 December
How about a Comma disturbed in hibernation for that mystery butterfly? Can't recall seeing one myself in the winter months - the last we saw was in September, but at least Commas are decidedly orange & they overwinter in adult form. The alternative is a Small Tortoiseshell, for similar if slightly less orange reasons. It's nice to imagine that it was even more exciting, but it probably wasn't! The pictures are the only Small Tortoiseshell we saw in our garden this year (2nd July) & a Comma, also in our garden (21 July). Happy Christmas & best wishes to everyone for the new year from Val & me. (John Heys)
Monday 23 December
With it being a gorgeous day for once, well, out of the wind anyway, I had a little search around High and Over. The 2nd tussock I looked in I found 2 Wall Brown larvae but then I didn't find any more except the one that I found on the 13th that was still doing well.
I was just about to give up when a Peacock flew past me, probably my final butterfly of 2019 and of course the decade.
In the tussocks there were several spiders active that will hopefully not find the larvae.
A smart Firecrest along Cradle Valley was good to see as was a Bumble Bee and a Shieldbug. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Sunday 22 December
A Christmas mystery... I went for a walk at Beeding Brooks and while watching the geese enjoying the flooded fields a butterfly flew past me out of nowhere. Unfortunately it didn't land and I didn't get a a good look but it was definitely not a Red Admiral as it was clearly orange-ish colour. But looking at the "Last seen" dates, no orange butterfly should be around at this time so I will be haunted by this sighting for many days to come and I am not looking forward to the sleepless nights! Anyone could make a brave guess with regards the species? Thank you, and wishing a happy Christmas to All of you! And joining Tessa, I thank Jonathan for his efforts to keep the website going and making sure that all the sightings are published as quickly as possible! (Istvan Radi)
Friday 20 December
With thanks to all contributors, recorders, transect walkers, work party attendees, committee members and helpers, conservation partners and our wonderful webmaster. May Santa visit you all. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 19 December
No sightings just Thanks.
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to these pages this year and in doing so increased my knowledge and pleasure in the butterflies of Sussex. They have sent me to new places to look for butterflies and and given me helpful tips in how to find butterflies and identify them better when I get there.
The standard of photography is wonderful. And of course huge thanks to our lovely Ed jnr for making it all possible. (Tessa Pawsey)
Wednesday 18 December
Continued (ben greenaway)
As autumn turns to winter Purple Emperor larvae start taking on their winter colours - it has been a pleasure and a privilege to follow them this far - fingers crossed the majority make it through the next few months unscathed - 30 on the books - no losses so far...... (ben greenaway)
Horsham, St Leonards Forest, a lucky sighting and photo of a Red Admiral around lunchtime today. (Patrick Moore)
The final pics (Martin Kalaher)
After this batch of photos, I promise not to send anymore. Each photo has a story to tell (of the butterfly kind!), which I thought might be of some interest. Before I begin I should perhaps qualify the comments that I made yesterday, regarding butterfly watching in the Paderne area of The Algarve. There are plenty of butterflies if you want to see Small Whites and Clouded Yellows but for most of the other species on offer a fair amount of legwork is required. I spent around 24 hours in the field, visiting all the best spots that I knew and still only achieved 35 species, with most of the butterfly colonies tiny, and I do mean tiny - often just one or two adults to be found on any given day. This brings me on to "hill-topping". I confess that I hadn't quite grasped what this means, until this year. Basically, it's where uncommon butterflies congregate for the purpose of mating; a bit like a lek, but without the numbers. A sun-exposed, sheltered spot is chosen and if you lucky enough to find a hill-topping location, then you are more-or-less guaranteed to find unusual butterfly species (but not necessarily the same ones) each time you visit. The meadow I found had a Two-tailed Pasha, Swallowtail, Ilex Hairstreak and Blue-spot Hairstreak. I'm not suggesting that any of these species are rare but they are difficult to find and photograph in this part of Portugal, so a hill-topping site is worth finding. Otherwise, the Wall and Silver-studded Blue were found by a river estuary (coming from Sussex, not a place I would expect to find them), and the Marsh Fritillary and False Baton Blue were on or beside hot, dry tracks. The Monarch was one of several and since they can always be found in a particular roadside meadow, there must be a well-established breeding colony there. (Martin Kalaher)
Tuesday 17 December
This moth turned up at the window in the rain in Crawley Down this evening. (Jon Ruff)
Many thanks to Mike Fearn & The Brighton Conservation Volunteers (BCV) and Richard Farran of the Sussex Branch for another highly productive day (17 December) on the BC reserves at East Hoathly. We cleared 'The Christmas Tree Glade' (see map) in Rowland Wood to provide more breeding habitat for the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and other species. Finishing well ahead of time, we then cut some south-facing scallops into the woodland edge at the eastern end of 'Big Beech Ride', where Pearl-bordered Fritillary females showed a liking for the area following their spring 2019 reintroduction. This was the last visit by BCV for the current management season and I'd like to thank them on behalf of all at BC Sussex for their invaluable assistance over the last few months. Happy Christmas to them all. (Neil Hulme)
Every couple of years or so, Mary and I join our friends in their villa in the Algarve. The location is west of Paderne, about 30 miles from the coast, and one might describe it as rural Algarve. As the naturalist in our party I get to choose the timing of the visit, which is usually the third week in April, co-coinciding with raptor migration through the Castre Verde region. This year I thought we might do something a bit different, by visiting in early May. The weather is usually settled by then and there was a chance of finding a few butterflies. For the first time I took my butterfly camera along to try my luck, and since I like the diminutive skipper family I will offer six photos of Lulworth Skipper, the commonest skipper in that area. Given the warm climate, thin soils and lovely flower meadows, one might expect to see butterflies by the thousand. Sadly, not so, for large swathes of the meadows are ploughed every year to reduce the risk of grassland fires. All the photos are male Lulworth Skipper, except the sixth photo, which is a rather worn female. (Martin Kalaher)
Red Admiral - Birdham (Jeremy Greenwood)
Monday 16 December
One very active Red Admiral in blustery conditions at Mill Lane, Rodmell, on Saturday 14th Dec. (Sue Cross and Dave Harris)
Friday 13 December
Whilst working in a friend's garden just south of Hollingbury Park, a Red Admiral settled for a few minutes on a sunny window-sill. As I went to grab the camera, it flew off. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Whilst checking High and Over for the clearance work I want to do over the Winter I had a 30 minute search for Wall Brown larva and found a single one resting in a sheltered spot. An unknown moth larva also found as well as a baby frog hopper type and a large Bumble Bee also seen on the way up there. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
While clearing out sheds prior to moving house ( we've gone all the way to Newick) I found two Peacocks hibernating on planks of wood in one of the sheds (Nigel Symington)
Tuesday 10 December
Birdham nr Chichester: Red Admiral at midday on its last legs (Jeremy Greenwood)
Monday 09 December
A quick search of a few small Blackthorn shrubs growing in the middle of one of the Warnham butterfly fields (TQ154340), and close to our transect route, produced several Brown Hairstreak eggs today including two 'double yolkers'. Great to find these as I did not see an adult Brown Hairstreak in the fields this year! Also, as our local farmers are currently blitzing most of the hedgerows along Warnham's country lanes at the moment, the Blackthorn in the butterfly fields is even more precious. The only problem is that soon we shall be flailing and removing vegetation from both fields to ensure we continue to provide good habitat for our Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers. I shall need to find a way of marking all the Blackthorn bushes so that our excellent contractor can see and avoid them from his tractor cab! (David Bridges)
My thanks to Theresa, Helen, Andrea, Rosie, Colin, James, Richard, Richard, Gary, John, Ian, Ian, Mark, Keith and Bob for attending another highly productive conservation work party at Park Corner Heath on Sunday (8 December).
We initially split into two groups, with one completing this winter's coppicing and scrub/Bracken control on Parris Plateau, while the other worked in Mitchell's Ghyll, where additional flow retarding features and an access bridge were constructed. We all ended the day working in the copse which runs along the ghyll, where we completed thinning operations to allow more light through the canopy. It will now be much easier for butterflies to move through this lightly wooded area into surrounding parts of the Vert Wood complex. We have now completed all work on Park Corner Heath for this winter and will move to Rowland Wood in January.
All of the main rides, glades and other features on the reserves have now been given names; these can now be seen on the very smart reserves map which Bob Foreman designed and has now mounted on the main reserves noticeboard.
Although no butterflies were seen on the day, I was delighted to see a Kingfisher perched on Reedmace in the PCH pond; this was the first I've ever seen on our reserves. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 04 December
Yesterday at Barrington Road footpath in Worthing I saw a Red Admiral. This was just after 11.00am. It was in good condition, sunning itself on low nettle regrowth. It wasn't still around at 2.45pm when I passed that way again, even though it was still very bright. (John Heys)
Tuesday 03 December
A fast flying Red Admiral at High and Over today completed my target of seeing a butterfly in every month of 2019 in Sussex. A stunning Firecrest was also seen at High and Over on a perfect Winters day. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Sunday 01 December
One & sometimes 2 Beautiful Plume moths are continuing to pop up at various times of the day & night (when I leave the lights on long enough) in our Hove sun-lounge. There's just one this morning. My Brother had a Red Admiral in his garden in East Preston on Friday. (John & Val Heys)
Yesterday (30 November) I visited Rewell Wood, to see how this winter's commercial and conservation activities are coming along. On the Norfolk Estate it's sometimes difficult to separate 'commercial' from 'conservation', as all commercial forestry operations are conducted with conservation in mind. I know of no better example of this in the UK.
With my five-year-old in tow (he did well to walk more than two miles in boggy conditions, but loves it in the woods) we first looked at the rolling programme of scalloping and ride-side mowing along the main W-E ride in the southern part of the wood. Many thanks to Simon Mockford and colleagues from the South Downs National Park Authority (and Volunteer Ranger Service) for the former. This bridleway is the best place for visitors to view the Pearl-bordered Fritillary each spring, negating the need to wander onto private land.
We then caught up with the current Sweet Chestnut coppice cuts (please keepwell clear of ongoing forestry operations). The brash is now being harvested for biomass, which reduces waste and significantly increases the area of fritillary breeding habitat per hectare. The sequence of commercial cuts is designed, as best as possible, to facilitate the movement of butterflies from year to year, further assisted by the programme of ride widening throughout the wood.
I'm now getting very excited about the prospects for a very large area (c.9 hectares) which has been open for many years, but recently replanted with conifer species and mixed broad-leaves (tubed). Working in close co-operation with the Estate (many thanks to Peter Knight, Mark Aldridge and Tony Hart), we have incorporated a pattern of unplanted areas, which will form wide woodland rides in the future. As the new plantation develops it will, for some years, provide additional breeding habitat for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and many other species, including Grizzled and Dingy Skippers, Green Hairstreak and Small Copper (and birds such as Nightjar and Woodcock). Control of competing plants, while the trees become established, is already providing the perfect conditions for violets to flourish.
Elsewhere, ride widening continues, conducted by both contractors and the resident woodsman, Kenny, who is as much a part of the fabric of Rewell Wood as some of the mighty Beech.
I know of some of the estate's future plans, which will guarantee even further improvements for butterflies and other wildlife here, so last year's peak count of more than 300 Pearl-bordered Fritillary may be far from the best we'll see. I suspect that a well-hidden and small colony of Duke of Burgundy is likely to expand, having already spawned a new colony at the adjacent Fairmile Bottom, where excellent management by WSCC, assisted by the cattle of local farmer James Seller, is creating a real gem for butterflies, moths and orchids.
Working with so many enthusiastic partners sometimes makes the job of a conservationist rather easy, and always a pleasure. My thanks to everyone involved, past and present.. (Neil Hulme)
I think that is a DB 990 Selectomatic, probably the 1971 model, in the last picture.(Ed jnr)
This Peacock was tempted out of hibernation to enjoy the sunshine at Rowland Wood on Friday 29.11.19 (Nigel Kemp http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk)
Saturday 30 November
Friday 29 November
A welcome relief to see some sunshine and about lunchtime a Red Admiral was flying around the wall garden at Nymans in Handcross. It was obviously enjoying being able to stretch it's wings for a while... (Martin Buck)
I like reading butterfly books. Maybe not cover-to-cover, but I like to dip in and out when the mood takes me. This morning I took delivery of Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies by Peter Eeles (I had intended going to the AGM to hear his talk, but a winter lurgy stopped me in my tracks). This book is truly exceptional and anyone who is at a loss to know what to buy this Christmas, order your copy now! In 20 years time when natural scientists look back at the books that opened our eyes to the wonders of the butterfly world this book will be in the top three (and The Butterflies of Sussex will be one of those three). We are lucky to have such talented naturalists, who can also write to such a high standard (the two talents do not always go together). (Martin Kalaher)
Thursday 28 November
Thought I’d share some pics from an extremely wet Southwater. I’m currently monitoring a dozen or so Purple Emperor larvae - hoping to get that up to 20 next week. Some great hibernation spots, and some not so good! One pic of a cat still active on tues - I’m reliably informed that 26/11 is the latest record for an active cat. (Ben Greenaway)
A walk along the seafront at Lancing today produced three Painted Lady larvae (all 5th instars). Two were basking on their Mallow foodplant and the other was on a wall. The first one is the same individual seen moulting to 5th instar on 8th November. They have survived thus far because they are in very sheltered locations, but are unlikely to complete their development (particularly #2 which is clearly injured). There was also a 5th instar Small White larva and a Ruby Tiger caterpillar (also both on walls). The White may reach pupation if it's lucky, while the Ruby Tiger will go into hibernation. The temperature at the time was 11C in sunny conditions and all the larvae were taking the opportunity to get some warmth.
Red Admiral seen on Sunday afternoon in Horsham Town Centre at The Forum on the metal sculpture opposite TX Max. (janet Wilkes on behalf of Ginette Fuller)
Over the years I have spent a lot of time looking for Brown Hairstreak eggs and trying to fathom out what is about a certain location that interests the female to do a spot of egg-laying. The two obvious requirements are morning sunshine and shelter from the wind. So, east and south-facing hedgerows. One can find eggs on a north-facing hedgerow, provided the hedge is low in height and the Blackthorn is bathed in sunshine by mid-morning. Even west-facing hedges may have the occasional egg, but it does seem to be morning sunshine which is critical, which isn't surprising bearing how cold it can be in late April/early May. The freshly-emerged caterpillars need the external warmth of the sun to get going and then presumably the heat created by digestion is enough to sustain them for the rest of the day. I am not sure what is the balance between daytime versus night-time feeding but my suspicions are that in the early stages of development the warmth of the sun is very significant. My garden record stands at 85 eggs, including 45 in a 15 metre stretch of hedgerow. None of these eggs would have had any sunshine after 2.0 pm, and many of them no sun after 11.0 am. Now and for the next four-five weeks is a very good time to go searching. Clearly one can find the eggs well before now but it is easier once the leaves have dropped. Choose a fairly dull day as the eggs are not easily seen in brilliant winter sunshine. Once we are into January the emerging buds confuse the eye (my eyes at any rate), so now is the time to have a look. What prompted this post was the discovery of four eggs on a single self-seeded sapling. It is growing by a path and isn't the best place to have a Blackthorn shrub (those thorns are very sharp and destructive). The loppers were hovering when I thought I had better check it first, and sure enough four eggs followed (so it has a reprieve, for now). This is also an excuse to show the aberrant male Brown Hairstreak that appeared in the garden on August 1st this year. I have written a short article about this butterfly, and this article is likely to appear in one of the publications at some point. (Martin Kalaher)
Many thanks to the 13 hardy volunteers, including Mike Fearn & the Brighton Conservation Volunteers and our own Richard Farran, for braving the heavy rain to attend a work party on Park Corner Heath on Tuesday 26 November.
We split into two groups, with one continuing the coppicing and scrub control along the northern edge of Parris Plateau. The other group mimicked the work of Beavers, by building a series of dams and lodges along the stream ghyll using pre-cut timber and brash, following the felling of some dangerous, wind-blown trees. These water retention structures will improve the habitat for mosses, liverworts, fungi and Ferns. A little further 'thinning' of this woodland block is planned, to create new habitat for semi-shade-loving species such as White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary. The work will also increase the 'permeability' of this compartment, allowing the easier dispersal of butterflies, including the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, into the adjacent (private) woodland, where much habitat improvement work has recently taken place.
With the assistance of Vert Wood Community Woodland, Fountain Forestry and some private owners, I believe that we can restore the fauna and flora of more than 100 hectares of the Vert complex to levels not seen for three or four decades. (Neil Hulme)
Monday 25 November
One Red Admiral snapped with my phone yesterday on the Downs south of Steyning. (Jonathan Crawford)
Too wet for me to be on my allotment so I've just read the new addition to the News section about this year at Park Heath Corner and the reserve. Really inspiring and an enjoyable read, thank you. (Tessa Pawsey )
Sunday 24 November
Today we have had 2 Beautiful Plume moths in our sun lounge (Hove). The first to be spotted was on a nice new fluffy roller about to be used for painting our kitchen, which seemed an odd place to settle. (John & Val Heys)
Friday 22 November
We brought the geraniums from the garden into our sun-lounge in Hove about 10 days ago & for the last 3 or 4 days we've had a rather sedentary Beautiful Plume moth in there. From it's high up position we've been able to see the incredibly fine feathery bits under its wings. The only butterflies we've seen recently were "fakes" when we walked from Shoreham to Worthing last week - a guest house with a giant Red Admiral & a giant Small Tortoiseshell & a bus advert with a monarch & (I think) a plain tiger. We walked the path down to Litlington in April this year and it seemed quite butterfly friendly although we didn't notice any Wall Browns. Shame that it's been messed with. We did spot the brewery - designed with function rather than beauty in mind! (John & Val Heys)
Thursday 21 November
No butterfly sightings to report during a circuit of my favourite Litlington walk on the Downs but we were a bit concerned to find that the farm track leading east from the site of the Long Man Brewery is being re-profiled. In the summer we normally see a few Wall Brown butterflies along it's sunken length, the bare flint and soil of the track being well sheltered by it's raised grassy banks. Now it has been solidly filled in and levelled off at the surrounding field height, the grassy banks scraped flat. Presumably this is to facilitate the use of the ever increasing size of farm machinery that farmers feel they have to use.
I found myself hoping that the track will sink again to provide shelter and that the birds foot trefoil and knapweeds will hang on long enough to re-emerge. Whether the Wall Browns will still be around then is a thought that worries me. It is only a short stretch of track which has been radically changed but as fragments of good habitat are all we have it seems to me that every fragment counts. (Tessa Pawsey)
Monday 18 November
Cheered by a quick visit from a Peacock butterfly as I sat having a cup of tea in the sunshine on my allotment in east Brighton today. (Tessa Pawsey)
Sunday 17 November
On my way to the work party at Bevendean I saw a Humming-bird Hawk-moth in a private garden on Upper Bevendean Avenue (I have seen it written in 3 different ways so forgive me if this is not the correct way). (Istvan Radi)
You nailed it! (Ed jnr)
Friday 15 November
Our contractor, Ian Hampshire, has been hard at work in Rowland Wood over the last week, conducting the annual programme of ride and glade maintenance. This autumn, most of the rides and open areas have received a lighter touch, following the period of major restructuring in late 2017 and more intensive management over the winter of 2018/2019. However, several rides have been given a more thorough working over with the mulcher, as the log piles and trunks still lying around from much earlier operations have imposed an unrealistic burden of management by hand. Recent history has shown how rapidly these rides will recover. The ability to now manage all rides with a tractor will free vital volunteer time for fine tuning of the habitat.
The mulcher has also been used to open up the track down to Park Corner Heath, which has become increasingly shady and wet. It wasn't that many years ago that it was possible to drive a Morris Minor down to the old hut, but you'd need a rugged 4x4 to make the journey today. It will take a while to settle down, but the greatly increased penetration of sunlight will make the track (and new glades along its southern edge) highly suitable for White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary, as these areas once were.
Even more exciting is the work we have performed in Sandpit Wood, to the immediate south of the reserves, by kind permission of Fountain Forestry and the owner. Please remember that this area is private property, and out-of-bounds to our members and visitors. Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary has already penetrated the wider Vert Wood complex and numbers are set to grow, following the reconditioning of >0.75 km of rides.
I would like to thank Ian Hampshire, the manager and owner of Sandpit Wood, and all volunteers (BC and Brighton Conservation Volunteers) for their work and cooperation so far this winter. However, there is still much to do, so please come along to the next BC conservation work party on the reserves (8 December).
Wednesday 13 November
Monday 11th November A Red Admiral flying along the hedgerow in the Mid Morning Sun at Knepp. Also seen by Stephen Chandler. (Janet Wilkes)
Tuesday 12 November
With the temperature at 7 degrees this morning I was very surprised to see a Red Admiral battling against a strong wind in my Seaford garden. (Stuart Ridley)
Hove, 11.30am today - as we sat down inside for a late coffee a Red Admiral appeared outside the window and stayed long enough for me to get my little camera. Last week we had a look at the plans for the redevelopment of the HMRC site at Barrington Road Worthing & were pleased to see that the "green" stretch of Barrington Road is to due to remain a foot and cycle path. (John & Val Heys)
Monday 11 November
The urban side of Malthouse Lane. 1 mint-condition Red Admiral this morning in my friend's back garden. (Graeme Rolf https://www.flickr.com/photos/128321708@N03/albums/72157649396241380)
Glad to see a Red Admiral zig-zagging around in the breeze on my allotment in east Brighton today. (Tessa Pawsey)
Sunday 10 November
And here's a picture of the entire group, minus the photographer, Theresa Turner. (Neil Hulme)
Many thanks to all 17 who turned out for the Remembrance Sunday conservation work party at Park Corner Heath, with our two-minutes period of reflection marked by a distant cannon. The team continued coppicing and clearing scrub along the northern edge of Parris Plateau, and we said farewell to a few more unwanted Turkey Oaks. Along with the 'regulars', it was great to see some new faces today. The impressive progress made can at least partly be attributed to the excellent cakes provided by Andrea and Carola - thank you. Wildlife included Brimstone, Red Admiral, Common Toad and a Goshawk (size suggested female), which is the first I've ever seen in East Sussex. (Neil Hulme)
Val, our younger daughter Ele & I did a walk starting at Upper Abbey Road by the Royal Sussex Hospital, heading north past Whitehawk Hill mast, going round the Brighton Borough Cemetery (north of Bear Road) & ending at the bus stop in Bevendean near Lewes Road. It was sunny nearly all the time but warmish only in sheltered spots. The one butterfly we saw was a Red Admiral flying near St John's RC School in Whitehawk Hill Road. Plenty of bees & wasps on some of the ivy in the cemetery - & four different coloured ladybirds on iron railings as we descended to Bevendean. As I couldn't snap a butterfly I hope I'm forgiven for a couple of ladybird pics. I don't recall seeing the orange ladybird before. The guide I found says it eats mildew. (John, Val & Ele Heys)
Friday 08 November
A walk along the seafront at Lancing today produced 3 Red Admirals. One was laying many eggs in a sheltered spot; one was on the beach and another was flying determinedly north (against the wind). I also found a 4th instar Painted Lady larva in its tent on Common Mallow, which had moulted to 5th instar a few hours later. The temperature during these observations was 9C in sunny conditions and with a cool northerly wind. (Vince Massimo)
A Peacock was seen in the car park at Pulborough Brooks visitor centre. The poor thing was barely able to fly. (Istvan Radi)
Hour or so wandering around Highdown, saw half a dozen Red Admirals sunning themselves. (John Holt)
Thursday 07 November
Hat trick of Red Admirals on a circular walk taking in Houghton Forest, Slinden and Rewell Wood (where much coppicing was underway) (Chris and Helen Corrigan)
Three Red Admiral seen in beautiful sunshine at Eartham Wood today (7 November). Butterflies may have been in short supply, but autumnal colours were not. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 06 November
One Red Admiral seen flying around the Coati enclosure at Drusillas. (Jonathan Ruff)
It was such a lovely morning that I decided to hike over my local Storrington downland, to partake of some exercise and to see what birds were around; and for me, one female and two male Sparrowhawks, were the birding highlights. Apart from the birds there was also a minimum of eight Red Admirals, scattered all over the place, but with Common Ivy the common denominator. (Martin Kalaher)
I'm delighted to hear about Jamie Burston's well deserved award. He may still be young, but his disease-resistant elm tree legacy will outlive him. Congratulations, Jamie, and thank you on behalf of the White-letter Hairstreak. (Neil Hulme)
I am pleased to be able to tell you that Sussex branch member Jamie Burston has been chosen by Sussex Wildlife Trust to receive the 2019 'David Streeter Award for Natural History in Sussex', which is awarded to a an individual young person who has made an outstanding contribution to conservation or Natural history in Sussex. Jamie has been given the award in recognition of his work on the conservation of the White-letter Hairstreak. Congratulations Jamie.
Brown Hairstreak, female - Plumpton Lane, Plumpton - between 21st Sept - 20th Oct 2019
After moving into our new house on 13th September, I started seeing a female Brown Hairstreak on an almost daily basis when sunny, flying through our garden, often right past first floor window, often following the same route, and also once in trees in meadow behind our house. The photo I took on the first day (attached) is the only time I managed to see it settled. In hindsight I think I saw it flying at least one time before that date without being sure what it was. The last day it was seen was on 20th October at close range flying past french windows. (Nick Ostler)
Tuesday 05 November
We had a stroll around Goring / West Worthing this afternoon. At first it was very sunny, although only warmish in sheltered places. We didn't see anything until just before 3pm when I popped along to the Barrington Road footpath area where the grass & undergrowth on both sides of the path have recently been cut. I was rewarded with 3 Red Admirals, 2 on ivy and one on an evergreen leaf, all in good condition & sunning themselves. As I retraced my steps the sun went in, unsettling the last one which began to flutter and take a bit of nectar. Tomorrow redevelopment plans for the large HMRC site in Barrington Road are due to be on show at the Goring United Reformed Church from 2pm to 8pm & the developers are intending to submit a planning application for 296 new homes to Worthing Council in a few weeks time. I hope that the Barrington Road footpath will retain its relatively wild green status & not be shown as a new road, but I'm not holding my breath. HMRC are due to move out in March 2021. (John & Val Heys)
sun 14/07/2019. Snatt's Road, Uckfield. E,Sx. having found a Purple Emperor territory here in July 2018, so thought I'd pay another visit, the first on sun 30/06/2019 where a PE was briefly seen at 1.56pm. Thurs 04/07/2019 saw one at 3.18/ 3.43/ 3.47 and 4.02pm in territory. then on the sun 14th 3x PE seen including two chasing over territory, and a first for me at this site a male settled in oak wings flat open, which I managed to photograph at 3.14pm. these sightings were made between 2.12 and 4.05pm, intermittent sunshine. (Peter Farrant)
Sunday 03 November
A male Brimstone and a Red Admiral in my Storrington garden today. (Martin Kalaher)
A Painted Lady on the seafront near Galley Hill. (Nicholas Turner)
In our back garden in Hove much of today - warmish, at times sunny, but no butterflies, just a single Beautiful Plume moth, disturbed from an area where I was picking up bits of rosemary trimmings. (John & Val Heys)
Speckled Wood during a sunny interlude. (Ian White)
Long-tailed Blue near the beach at Church Norton, the western side of Pagham Harbour, no B L Pea in sight ! Pictures by Sandra Hill. (Chris Janman)
At least one Peacock survived the bonfire night storm and seen in a Crowborough garden today! (Harvey Osler)
Birdham: Red Admirals still flying in what has been a bumper year here for this species (Jeremy Greenwood)
Late morning two Red Admirals were flying around Whillets Meadows by Weir Wood Reservoir,later a Speckled Wood was noted. (Alastair Gray)
As I wasn't in the mood for a proper walk I just popped down to the Pavilion Gardens in Brighton where I had a nice surprise. A small butterfly was flying around a plant and landed to feed. I couldn't get any closer without stepping across the fence and I only had my phone with me but I am pretty sure it is a Holly Blue! And thank you Tessa, after Google-ing your suggestion it does look like a Ruby Tiger. Would be nice to see and adult individual one day. (Istvan Radi)
We have had Holly Blues popping up in November on this website in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, though none before then though late October butterflies were reported. The latest sighting is 16th November in 2016 and 2018. (Ed jnr)
Saturday 02 November
Apologies for late notice - after the Bank Holiday weekend (25/08/2019) I forgot to send this in. Very excited to see this Brown Hairstreak in our Lewes suburban garden. It stayed for ten minutes mainly exploring a self seeded blackthorn 18" high. I didn't see any eggs at the time but will hunt over this one and others in the garden when the leaves fall. Planting native plants really does help! (Allewes)
Friday 01 November
I think Istvan's caterpillar is that of a Ruby Tiger moth. (Tessa Pawsey)
Thursday 31 October
Yesterday (30/10) I saw two Red Admirals in Stanmer Park, Brighton. Today I went for a walk in Shoreham where I did not see any butterflies but found this caterpillar what I cannot identify. Any suggestions? Thank you (Istvan Radi)
Boo! (Neil Hulme)
sunday 27th october, Red Admiral x 2 on SDW on Rackham Hill near Amberley.
Wednesday 30 October
Many thanks to Mike Fearn and the Brighton Conservation Volunteers, and BC's Richard Farran and Richard Bickers, for their magnificent efforts on our Park Corner Heath reserve yesterday (29 October). We continued coppicing small trees and clearing Bracken and scrub along the northern edge of Parris Plateau. Gorse was cut back to the south of the old hut site and several more invasive Turkey Oaks were felled. These pose a threat to both the open nature of the rare lowland heath habitat here, and our own native oaks. I was pleased to see that heather is now clearly spreading away from the main patch and some new growth was spotted in the NW corner of the reserve. There is no doubt that the ground flora is now improving in response to the more intensive management over recent years. Among the numerous species of fungi seen, were Fly Agaric, Shaggy Parasol and Hedgehog Fungus. (Neil Hulme)
Saturday 26th Garden, Newhaven - Comma, egging Red Admirals, Small White, Long-tailed Blue, male
Sunday 27th - Newhaven Cliffs - over a dozen Red Admirals coming in off the sea; one Small Copper. Site X - four Long-tailed Blues (2 males, 2 females); Garden - Peacock and at least five more Red Admirals heading north. Great to see the sun and blue sky for a change!
(Sue Cross and Dave Harris)
Tuesday 29 October
Butterfly records for Sunday 27th Oct at Thorney Island. Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 12, Speckled Wood 1. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
Monday 28 October
sun 27/10/2019. Burgess Hill, W.Sx. after having a full English breakfast at the beefeater up the road, re-visited the Brown Hairstreak habitat in the Victoria Business Park on the corner of York Road and Charles Avenue, last time I was here on the 8th September counted 25x eggs in the car park of Energy and Carbon Management. today found 12x more BH eggs here. Total 37. Found 6x more BH eggs near stream area, total here 40x. a grand total of 77x BH eggs. 1x Red Admiral seen. Sarah didn't pick any blackberry's as they've all gone over now. (Peter Farrant)
Sunday 27 October
Speckled Wood at Mill Hill (Jonathan Crawford)
Red Admiral seen at A27 railway bridge, Arundel at 11.15 (John Heys)
Having a walk on the ouse in pidinghoe, saw this Red Admiral on the church wall. J (John Holt)
The down side of having enjoyed a summer of downland butterflies is that now my walks on the downs feel as though they are lacking one of the layers of joy. However, today the Red Admirals tried to make up for this.
There was one flying wonkily up Elm Grove in Brighton at 7:30am, one as we crossed the A27 by Berwick Village, one just behind the village, two on Berwick railway station, one on Lewes railway station and four on an ivy hedge near my allotment in east Brighton at the end of the day, 10 altogether.
But the highlight was a Small Tortoiseshell basking on a sign at Berwick railway station. As I have only seen a handful of Small Tortoiseshells all summer I was really delighted to see this one. (Tessa Pawsey)
Red Admiral and Brimstone near Blackcap this morning (Ian Seccombe)
I just saw a Painted Lady at Shoreham-by-Sea train station. Presumably waiting for the 10:43 Victoria service. (Istvan Radi)
Friday 25 October
In the wind and drizzel there was a fresh-looking male Common Blue, must be a 3rd generation individual. I nearly trod on it whilst planting some plugs on a verge!
No nectar or blooms in the imedate vacinity
Thursday 24 October
Cissbury Ring.Nr the Metal Fenced Yew Tree. A Brimstone and 2 Red Admiral flying around in the midday sun on Tuesday.
Wednesday 23 October
Two Red Admirals seen flying along the SDW near Kithurst Hill this afternoon. It was quite warm so I took my jumper off. I promptly lost the jumper (russet coloured) somewhere between the hill and Amberley. I would like it back if anyone spots it! (Ian Seccombe)
Tuesday 22 October
Val & I had a quick look down at Fishersgate / Shoreham Port opposite the power station this afternoon - I've included a picture for anyone who isn't familiar with the area. There didn't appear to be much everlasting pea still in flower. It was warm, sunny & windless, but after disturbing a rat & a few grasshoppers, the only butterflies we saw were a Small White & a Red Admiral. There were a couple of stonechats around too and a dragonfly. At the Barrington Road footpath in Worthing it wasn't very promising (the sun had temporarily gone in) until a flock of long-tailed tits disturbed a Red Admiral. We saw another Red Admiral a little further west where A259 Mulberry Lane becomes Goring Way. (John & Val Heys)
5 Red Admirals and a Peacock sunbathing on salvia and verbena at Nymans Gardens (Martin Buck)
Unsurprisingly, Butterfly numbers in the gardens of Herstmonceux Castle, were well down than on my last visit several weeks ago. Never the less, a very Fresh Red Admiral, several Peacocks and two Small Coppers were found. A surprise sighting was of a very fast, darting Humming-bird Hawk-moth. (Trevor Rapley)
A walk around Lancing Ring and south-east Steep Down was in calm sunny conditions but with a very heavy and persistent dew. Lancing station was graced by at least 2 Long-tailed Blue seen on the north side of the track as far west as you can see. Nice to meet Ben Greenaway again, though sadly he had to leave before we had spotted any L-tB. The supporting cast for the day was 14 Red Admiral, 6 Speckled Wood, 2 Clouded Yellow, 2 Brimstone and a Small White. (Lindsay Morris)
We had a look around Thorney Island this afternoon and recorded the following species. Painted Lady 2, Red Admiral 15, Peacock 1, Small White 3, there was also 200+ Harlequin Ladybirds around the church yard. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Peacock, a male Brimstone and quite a few dragonflies (some of them still mating) were the non-bird highlights of Pulborough Brooks reserve today. (Istvan Radi)
Took a stroll around Green Ridge today in the sunny weather. Saw maybe 10 Red Admiral, a Speckled Wood, a Large White or Female Brimstone (flew by too fast for ID) and this Peacock who settled on the Green Ridge board for posterity! (Harvey Osler)
Crowborough: There were actually 2 five minutes after this picture was taken (Lauren Noakes)
Monday 21 October
Over the weekend of 19th and 20th I was at Lancing where some Painted Lady larvae were still to be found (1x3rd instar, 2x4th instar and 2x5th instar) on Common Mallow, Tree Mallow and Burdock in sheltered locations. An adult was also seen flying eastwards along the beach on 19th. If the weather holds, the first adults from these could start emerging in early November. There were also six Red Admirals egg laying on nettles growing in the shelter of south-facing walls. On Sunday 20th the wind direction changed from a south-westerly to a northerly and I was surprised to see two Red Admirals coming in off the sea, despite having a headwind, and there were several more on the beach. I now see that this ties in with sightings made the same day at Newhaven and Seven Sisters which reported the same behaviour. Other observations were of two Ruby Tiger larvae on the same nettles the Red Admirals were using and four Large White larvae still feeding on Sea-kale. I will do a detailed check for pupae in November. (Vince Massimo)
Yesterday (20 October) I paid another visit to the Knepp Wildland, primarily to enjoy the deer rut. The Reds have now finished their business for the year and are no longer charging around or bellowing, but the Fallow are still going strong. There is plenty to see for those interested in fungi, including rarities associated with the ancient oaks in the Middle Block. Although common, I found a particularly nice example of Beefsteak Fungus. Butterfly interest was restricted to a single Red Admiral, which was busy laying eggs on nettles growing along the base of a south-facing hedgerow. I've also seen a few Peacock and Comma here in recent days. (Neil Hulme)
Sunday 20 October
A lovely Red Admiral at Meadow Farm Gardens. RH201DF (Charles Langdale)
Saturday 19 October
When the sun came out in Hove this morning I spent some time gardening & saw no butterflies. As soon as I had sat down to lunch a Small White flitted past the back doors. It stayed long enough for me to rush out & track it down with the camera. I went to watch Lewes FC v Cray Wanderers in the afternoon - brilliantly sunny at the Dripping Pan, a few flowers still available, but no butterflies & Lewes lost 2-3. There was an article in the Argus today about the proposed improvements at Valley Gardens in Brighton & I did spot 3 butterflies in the artist's seductive impression of how it will look. Not Monarchs & all are showing their undersides. Two are probably meant to be White-letter Hairstreaks although they have a distinct hint of Black Hairstreak. The third looks more like a small fritillary than anything else. It would be great if the landscape elements of the scheme could deliver all these! (John & Val Heys)
The warm sunny intervals today brought out at least 6 Red Admirals feasting on the plentifful overripe apples, and verbena, as well as a Speckled Wood and a Comma (Harvey Osler)
With the autumn sunshine on ivy today, in my Crawley garden there were at least 5 Red Admirals and a Speckled Wood. Hundreds of hoverflies and similar insects showing what a great resource ivy flowers are at this time of the year. (Anthony Bennett)
Friday 18 October
A Red Admiral flying, between the downpours, in our East Dean garden (TV562984) around 2pm today. (David Jode)
Wednesday 16 October
Horsham, St Leonards Forest one Small Copper sitting atop a Common Ragwort in the rain this afternoon. (Patrick Moore)
Knepp Wildland Deer Rut: Although butterfly sightings are on the wane, there's plenty of other exciting wildlife to enjoy in Sussex. In response to Ed jnr's request, here's some information about access for the deer rut https://knepp.co.uk/public-footpaths-bridleways
Please park in the walker's car park near New Barn Farm RH13 8NN at TQ152201 where there is a modest charge of £2 for the day. Please keep to public and permissive footpaths and bridleways and do not stray. The Red Deer rut has been underway for some time and the Fallow have now started. Please be aware that the Red Deer here are huge and potentially dangerous. Photographs should be taken at a safe distance and from a position where a refuge point can be easily reached. If you are causing the animals to move, you are too close. Both species can be found in the Southern and Middle Blocks, both of which can be accessed from the car park. Enjoy the rut but please ensure that the deer can be allowed to do their stuff undisturbed. (Neil Hulme)
Sheepcote Valley, Brighton - 20/09/2019: A bit late reporting this one as I've been away. I think this was my first sighting of a couple of Wall Browns this year? One looked very fresh, the other, not so. There was also a very faded & battered Painted Lady (Philip Booker)
Love the almost clearwing Painted Lady. Well worth the wait. (Ed jnr)
During a brief sunny period at Pulborough Brooks. 2 Speckled Wood flying around the trail. (Janet Wilkes)
Yesterday (15 October), while on the way to Knepp to enjoy the deer rut, I made a detour to Lancing Station, to see if the Long-tailed Blue is still flying here. Three very active males were present on the north side of the track, clearly visible through binoculars. (Neil Hulme)
More about the Deer rut please. (Ed jnr)
Tuesday 15 October
Horsham, St Leonards Forest sunshine between showers this afternoon bought out several Red Admiral and a single Speckled Wood, which I tried to photograph form all angles in case it's the last of the year. I always do this and have never quite understood why. (Patrick Moore)
Had just enough time in Lewes for a quick walk above the allotments at Malling Down. Hoped to see a few species but only a Red Admiral and Speckled Wood showed their presence. (Martin Buck)
In the briefest of sunny spells after the earlier rain, a couple of Red Admiral feasting on Ivy flower and a Small White nectaring in someone’s from garden. (David Cook)
Monday 14 October
In light drizzle this afternoon was surprised to see a Red Admiral flying around the reception building at Nymans Gardens. (Martin Buck)
This individual used the garden site as photographed over a period of three days in early August.
I cannot identify the species, I would like to know where its home location would normally be. (MARTIN SMITH)
That is a Painted Lady. You can read about their amazing long distance migration here.(Ed jnr)
We were sitting in our so-called sun lounge at around 11.30am this morning. Hove was beset by cloudy skies and a strong breeze, although it was quite mild & no longer drizzling. "There's a butterfly over near the buddleia!" says Val - and so there was - although it disappeared rapidly. A Red Admiral. (John & Val Heys)
Dear friends of the Liz Williams Butterfly Haven,
due to issues beyond our control, we are having to cancel the management of the butterfly haven this Saturday 19th October.
Instead we hope to undertake the management in the new year.
We will keep you informed.
Dan Danahar (Dan Danahar)
Huge thanks to Andrea, Rosie, James (Colin had man-flu) and Jade (all the way from France), Helen, Richard F, Richard B, Gary, Bob, Jonathan (a.k.a Ed jnr.) on the brushcutter, and Ian (a.k.a. The Grim Reaper) on the scythe, for all their hard work on our Park Corner Heath reserve yesterday. We started coppicing a strip along the northern edge of the plateau and will continue work here on Sunday 10 November. A great deal of progress was made in creating breeding habitat for the Small Pearl-bordered and Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. Thanks to Andrea for cake. In the interim period, on Tuesday 29 October (10.15 start, same target area), there will be a work party with the Brighton Conservation Volunteers - all welcome. (Neil Hulme)
Saturday 12 October
Cissbury Ring. Whilst waiting for Ring Ouzels on Thursday, a Red Admiral was flying around the iron fenced Yew Tree Nr the Flint Mines. An added Bonus to a successful morning. (Janet Wilkes)
Thursday 10 October
A Red Admiral on the shed in my Bevendean garden this afternoon. (Geoff Stevens)
It was sunny but breezy in Lancing Ring chalk pit this morning. I thank the butterfly species who put in an appearance. 17 Red Admiral, singles of Common Blue, Comma, Peacock, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, Large White. The last glowing embers of a long season that started in February and was never dull. Thanks to the butterfly folk I met this year and especially thanks to Jonathan Crawford for keeping the website a scrub-free butterfly wonderland. (Lindsay Morris)
RESERVES WORK PARTY, SUNDAY 13 OCTOBER 9.00 am: I hope to see many of you at the BC PCH reserve on Sunday, where we'll be starting the winter work programme for both PCH and Rowland Wood. After a brief safety talk I'll be outlining plans for the reserves for 19/20, including heavier operations by our forestry contractor Ian Hampshire, and work being conducted within the wider Vert Wood complex. This winter will be critical in ensuring that populations of both Small and Pearl-bordered Fritillary can become further established and start spreading into adjacent properties. We also hope to create the conditions for many other species to thrive, including more recent colonists such as Dingy Skipper, Wall Brown and Dark Green Fritillary. I'll be there until dusk, so please stay for as long as you can. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 09 October
A short, bright, and breezy walk on the Downs south of Charleston Farmhouse had a butterfly highlight of a dozen Red Admiral, probably more, on a fallen tree trunk clothed in ivy in full flower. The rich scent and beautiful sight was enough to lift one's spirits. Plenty of Ivy bees and hover flies and wasps also enjoying the Ivy's bounty. Later we walked along the edge of a field planted with phacelia, radish and sunflower, a picture of blue and white awash with cabbage whites, more Red Admirals and a few luxurious looking Peacock. (Tessa Pawsey)
In mainly sunny but breezy conditions this morning, and with a slight drop in temperature, Lancing Ring revealed 23 Red Admiral, 19 Speckled Wood, 4 Comma, 2 Wall Brown, 2 Common Blue, Small Copper, Peacock, Painted Lady, Large White. Steep Down added 2 Clouded Yellow and 4 Small White. (Lindsay Morris)
Tuesday 08 October
We did a fair amount of walking in Hove this morning on various chores, but saw no butterflies despite it being quite sunny & warm at times. This afternoon Val spotted a Small White (it might have been large) in Goring Road Worthing as we drove to collect our granddaughter. I had a quick look in Barrington Road footpath while we were waiting for her & came across one wind-blown Speckled Wood which briefly found a resting place in the sun. (John & Val Heys)
My thanks to Network Rail for allowing me access to the track-side at Lancing Station today (8 October). Before the company ecologist arrived, a small group of us enjoyed plenty of action through the security wire, with both males and females visible, and chases involving up to three adults. At least six were observed from the car park, with a further three further down the line to the west. As I expected, no freshly laid eggs could be found. However, the very first flower I picked, to demonstrate where the ova are usually placed, held an old eggshell. This was my first ever butterfly outing while dressed in day-glo orange and a hardhat. (Neil Hulme)
I have had garden Painted Lady and Red Admiral most days this October, with the addition of Comma both yesterday and today. It didn't pose on Bowles Mauve for very long but I did manage a photo. Over the years I have read (on this website) some solid recommendations for this Wall-flower and so I thought I would plant some this spring. During the summer and early autumn there would seem to be too many other distractions in the garden for butterflies to bother with BM but currently when the options are limited it is providing much needed nectar. (Martin Kalaher)
Mostly cloudy and cool at Wakehurst Place this lunchtime but when the sun made a brief appearance in the wall garden out popped a Painted Lady and Red Admiral. (Martin Buck)
In a short window in the weather this morning, Lancing Ring could only show me 26 Red Admiral, 7 Speckled Wood, 2 Wall Brown, Peacock, Common Blue. Yesterday, in an even shorter window, I saw a female Long-tailed Blue posing on pea flowers at Lancing Station, with a Small White the only other butterfly seen. Please build some high pressure over the UK to block off these depressions... (Lindsay Morris)
Sunday 06 October
My pleas to spare some rampant Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (liberally peppered with Long-tailed Blue eggs) from being cut back in a Lancing retirement home garden paid dividends today. I saw two Sussex-born females here, with possibly a third in flight. I then moved on to Lancing Station, where the action came thick and fast behind the security fencing. I eventually worked out that there were four females and two males present, although I suspect that might be on the conservative side. (Neil Hulme)
A whistle stop tour of Sussex today. Arriving at Newhaven at 10.30 for a quick wander gave me just a single White! Moving onto Whitehawk early afternoon gave me even less butterflies. Southwick saved the day though with 3 male Clouded Yellow, 2 Common Blue, a Small Copper, a Red Admiral, a selection of Whites (1 Large, several Small) and a surprise visit from a female Wall. (Paul Atkin)
Back to Horseshoe Plantation for one last visit in 2019. The weather was better than I could have expected, sunny with a brisk wind and the air temperature reaching 17 degrees centigrade at one point. On the east side of Belle Tout Wood is a very sheltered spot which held Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Clouded Yellow, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Small White and Speckled Wood. I think that's it this year for me. Looking forward to Spring 2020 in Sussex.
A couple of hours at Whitehawk today yielded Speckled Wood, Comma, Large White, Red Admiral and a nice Painted Lady for myself and John W, but sadly no LTB's. Later, Southwick didn't disappoint. With two Clouded Yellow enjoyed by us and Jonathan. As well as Common Blue (M&F) and Small White. (Andrew Reekie)
Butterflies are in the news again today. Under the headline "Butterfly class for inmates" the Sun included a nice but anonymous picture of a Peacock butterfly captioned "jail wings....butterfly". (I think I was meant to draw from the article how terrible it is that prisoners at a jail in Cambridgeshire are being taught how to spot bees, butterflies & songbirds & grow fruit & veg, although the scheme seems a good idea to me.) Back to East Sussex:- Val & I have seen 4 Small Whites in our Hove back garden, all at different times, 2 Small Whites in Wish Park, 1 Small White by the beach at the west end of Western Esplanade, 1 Small White on the grassy bank above Basin Road South & 1 Small White on the bushes on the north side of Wellington Road Portslade. When our walk reached Vale Park Portslade it got more exciting - at least 4 very active Speckled Woods, plus 2 Red Admirals and another 3 Small Whites. (John & Val Heys)
Decent day for butterflies. In my Piltdown garden today, had a Peacock, multiple Red Admirals, mating Speckled Woods, a female Large White and an unconfirmed Holly Blue, plus numerous moths disturbed whilst mowing the lawn; can anyone identify this one, please? (Harvey Osler)
Colin Knight writes "Harvey Osler's moth looks like a Common Marbled Carpet (Dysstroma truncata) which is noted to be a highly variable species - the colour varies but the basic pattern remains the same." (Ed jnr)
A sunny breezy day in the Lancing Ring area and south-east lower slopes of Steep Down. 31 Red Admiral, 5 Speckled Wood, 3 Clouded Yellow, 3 Small White, 2 Wall Brown, 2 Common Blue, Small Copper, Painted Lady, Comma, Peacock, Silver Y. A walk through Lancing to the station turned up 6 Red Admiral, 3 Painted Lady, 2 Small White, Clouded Yellow, Large White. The finale was a bravura performance by minimum 5 Long-tailed Blue with both male & female wings open and wings closed and a towering dogfight amongst all the frenetic flying. All the action this afternoon (2-2.30) was north of the tracks roughly opposite the clothes recycling point (except the dogfight which was further west). 12 butterfly species for the day. (Lindsay Morris)
A Wall Brown on a brown wall. In Shoreham-by-Sea along the river on one of the wartime pillboxes. (OK, the wall was red but that wouldn't "rhyme"). On the seafront a few Red Admirals, one Peacock, a Small White, a Large White (or a large Small). A tail-less lizard and a complete one soaking up the sun. (Istvan Radi)
The lizard may have been a european Wall lizard which is an invasive species. There is a longstanding and stable population on Shoreham Beach (which used to be called Bungalow Town). More about the lizards here. (Ed jnr)
I met up with Andrew Reekie at Whitehawk Hill around noon to look for Long-tailed Blues. Unfortunately none were seen but we did see a lovely fresh Painted Lady. We then went on to Southwick Basin where we bumped into Jonathan Crawford and a couple of Clouded Yellows. When the sun went in for a bit they settled next to each other allowing some photos. (John Williams)
I visited Cissbury Ring around noon today in sunny but windy conditions, there were Red Admiral, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, some very warn Small Copper, a Brimstone and a Small White also visiting the area. (Patrick Moore)
Mill Hill was warm but windy this morning. Small Coppers(2), Common Blue (3), Wall Brown (1), Small White (1), Speckled Wood (3), Meadow Brown (8), Peacock (1), Red Admiral (10). Later at Southwick Power station there were Lepidopterists (2) ,Clouded Yellows (2 M) and a Male Common Blue and his pretty wife. (Jonathan Crawford)
Climbing the sunny south-facing slope of Steyning Rifle Range this morning I had a brief encounter with a pretty fresh-looking female Wall Brown, presumably third brood? Also several pristine Red Admirals and a Comma enjoying the sunshine and what's left of the blackberry crop. (John Woodward)
Walked my spaniel from Newick to Barcombe and back this morning. On the outward leg i counted 12 Red Admiral and 11 Speckled Wood, plus a few common darters and a lizard. (Ian Seccombe)
When the first Meadow Browns emerge ,summer has arrived. The males are normally quite plain. My sightings are around 28th June. Although they are common, fresh females do have a unique beauty especially early in the their season. Although there is a lot of normal variation I spotted some rather unusual specimens, locally to me in Ashington. These examples could all be seen from a distance and sort of just leapt out at me when i saw them. The first pic for comparison is a fresh nicely marked typical female. The second is the most beautiful Meadow Brown I have ever seen and has been confirmed as Maniola jurtina ab.postfulvosa. The darkness of the nettles made her stand out like a beacon. The third is a very pale female confirmed as Maniola jurtina ab.brigitta . This picture was taken at 07.10 a.m in natural sunlight . I assume the angle of both the sunlight and the butterfly created this slightly surreal effect . I only took one picture and she was gone. In all honesty the pictures do not do them justice as the reality was far more impressive. My great thanks to Colin Pratt for confirming the description of these rather beautiful Meadow Browns .
Saturday 05 October
For the record: Mill Hill mostly gloomy. Painted Lady (2), Small Copper (2), Peacock (1), Red Admiral (1). There were three Meadow Browns, on of which was mint. (Jonathan Crawford)
You all need to read a decent paper as The Guardian butterfly reporter is none other than Patrick Barkham and he always gets the correct pictures and information (Keith Alexander)
Indeed. However I don't think it is the place of this website say which papers are decent. It is much simpler (and more fun) to point out the converse. Many years ago when I was starting out in business a wise old client of mine advised me that "you can never overestimate the laziness of journalists". And I was thinking about that this morning. Here is another example. According to the Daily Mail in the orange box on this page from 2016 "GIANT PANDA NO LONGER EXTINCT". That's a relief, but how did we miss them dying out? (Ed jnr)
Friday 04 October
The only butterflies Val & I have seen today were in the newspapers in connection with the State of Nature Report. It was great to see our 3 regular papers picking up on the report - they all had quite big features on it. Unfortunately the Sun's illustration of a British butterfly in decline was a Monarch, while the i mentioned the Red Admiral was up in numbers but illustrated it with a Small Tortoiseshell. Only the Mirror came out with flying colours - a picture of a declining High Brown Fritillary which looks to my not very experienced eye to be really what it claims to be. Gold star to their picture researchers!
(John & Val Heys)
Thanks for the reviews. What I noticed was how the report disappeared from the front pages of the major news websites in a matter of hours. The Daily Mail website has a page where they have shoehorned in a video entitled "Rare butterflies spotted across the UK for the first time since 2009" which features Painted Ladies, as if some how that ameliorates the current plight featured in the report. The Express website, probably due to the absence of celebrities, do not feature the report at all. They do have a section called "Nature" which appears to be entirely devoted to spiders. They know what their readers are interested in. The Sun online has an info graphic which features a Monarch as their representative Butterfly whilst Moths are illustrated by a Speckled Wood. I want to scream. (Ed jnr)
I had planned to end up at Tidemills today, but as I pulled into the car park at High and Over, in bright sunshine, I could see from there that Tidemills was under grey gloom and the wind speed had increased. It was therefore a great surprise to see upwards of twenty fresh Red Admirals busy nectaring on Ivy blossom at High and Over. As I walked towards the steps three Wall Browns could be seen, but all were worn. In the meadow I encountered a lively, fresh, Peacock which did settle as the weather deteriorated. On the way back to the car a Speckled Wood, still in reasonable condition was found. (Trevor Rapley)
In the 20 minutes of sun this morning in Lancing Ring Chalk Pit I saw most of the butterflies seen on my walk round the local area. But the best was seen later under leaden skies at Lancing & Sompting Cemetery - a mint female Brown Argus. Fabulous! The rest was 40 Red Admiral, 8 Speckled Wood, 2 Common Blue, 2 Peacock, Painted Lady. (Lindsay Morris)
Thursday 03 October
A bright walk yesterday from Birling Gap to Eastbourne yielded 8 Red Admiral, 2 Clouded Yellow, a few whites and a wonderful exhibition ( free! ) of David Nash's wood sculptures at the Towner Gallery. (Tessa Pawsey )
Wednesday 02 October
Yesterday (1 October) I visited Pagham Beach, where Chris Janman recently discovered a couple of Long-tailed Blue (LTB) on Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea growing in front of the seafront bungalows. There's a lot of pea and some Broom (alternative foodplant), so I suspect there have been far more LTBs here than those reported. I found a mint condition female resting on Bramble, but failed to get a photograph before she was whisked away in the wind. I also saw a male in flight on several occasions.
Today I started quite early at Whitehawk Hill TV mast and was soon joined by Mark Wagstaff from Hampshire. While we were chatting a male LTB suddenly appeared from its roosting spot beneath a Bramble leaf, but it remained inactive until the temperature reached about 14 degrees after midday. By this time a large crowd of admirers were on-site. After losing track of it for a while (when they shift they really do move!), more people arrived and it was relocated by Mark Bunch from Essex. Colin Whitehead and his wife (visiting from Edinburgh) reported seeing five LTB at Lancing Station the previous day, so I headed there.
I spotted my quarry immediately upon arrival, seeing three in all. One, a Sussex-born male, cleared the fence and spent about ten minutes on the rough ground to the north of the track. However, when the sunshine returned it flew off before giving me the open-wing shot I was hoping for. Another great day with hopefully more to follow. (Neil Hulme)
A Red Admiral appeared in my south-facing Seaford garden just before 9 am and as it got warmer 2 Painted Ladies arrived spending most of the day either feeding on Verbena Bonariensis flowers or resting on my patio. A couple of Large Whites and a few Small Whites were seen and a Common Blue which was, later, sleeping on a Perennial Salvia flower as it got darker. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth whizzed in, fed for a while before whizzing away (Stuart Ridley)
On a cold but sunny morning there was a very fresh looking Speckled Wood flying around in my Bevendean garden. Later in the afternoon when the sun had gone there was a Comma firmly anchored to the garden bench. (Geoff Stevens)
Single male Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) seen at the Transmitting Station this morning. First found by Neil Hulme. (John Wiltshire)
A lovely sunny day with a total of 12 butterfly species and 2 Silver Y. Lancing Ring & SE Steep Down had 29 Red Admiral, 16 Speckled Wood, 5 Peacock, 5 male Common Blue, 4 male Wall Brown, 3 Clouded Yellow, 3 Small Copper, Comma, Painted Lady, Large White, a few Small White. Finished the day at Lancing Station (many thanks to Nick Moll of London for the lift) where we met with Neil Hulme and saw a male Long-tailed Blue wings closed, wings open and furiously flying to the north of the tracks. Neil seems to be everywhere at once - is there more than one Neil Hulme?! T’would be no bad thing... (Lindsay Morris)
I spent an hour at Horseshoe Plantation in glorious sunshine after all of the recent foul weather, unless you're a duck. I was hoping to see my first Clouded Yellow of the season and I was in luck also 8 Meadow Brown, 5 Common Blue, 6 Small Copper, 2 Large White plus a few dragonflies and many Swallows and Martins gathering for their migration. (Howard wood)
A Wall Brown briefly landed on our Rockery in the sunshine yesterday afternoon in Isfield. They seem to turn up, about every 18 months or so. It would seem they can persist in very low numbers in this area.15 years ago we would see them reliably, albeit in low numbers, from May through to early November. (Graham Parris)
Tuesday 01 October
Members might be interested in seeing this Garden Spider with its unidentified prey, found in our garden this afternoon. Over two hours the prey was gradually reduced in size until it was no more. The spider however didn't seem to be any fatter. (Douglas Neve)
Today in between the showers it has been very warm in our back garden in Hove, if rather breezy, but only a single Large White has visited us. On the subject of climate change, we've been in Edinburgh for a few days. Most frequently seen by us were Speckled Woods. When the Millennium Atlas of Butterflies was published they were not to be seen anywhere near there. The Atlas also described Commas as vagrants, just beginning to crop up in Scotland. On Saturday, I came across two at the same time near Arthur's Seat. In July & August 2019 the only Small Tortoiseshell we've seen anywhere in Sussex was in our garden (credit to Gerald the Park Keeper for his more nettly park) early in June. In 1977 my Brother & I walked from Amberley to Eastbourne between 26th & 30th July. The first entry in my log for all 5 days is "Small Tortoiseshells". (John & Val Heys)
Lancing Ring was warm enough out of the strong breeze for 11 Red Admiral, 5 Small White, 2 Common Blue male, 2 Speckled Wood, Wall Brown male, Small Copper, Peacock, Large White. Also a Humming-bird Hawk-moth and 2 Silver Y. 2 Clouded Yellow at Steep Down. Back to butterfly species in double figures tomorrow maybe? (Lindsay Morris)
Dodging the showers I managed to spend 3-4 hours in the garden today and once in a while had a look at the Michaelmas Daisies to see if there were any nectaring butterflies. There were two Painted Ladies, two Small Whites, one Red Admiral and one Speckled Wood. I'm not sure I have recorded Painted Lady in October before? Also not sure if I have seen a Humming-bird Hawk-moth, but I did today - nectaring on the daisies but only for a few seconds. (Martin Kalaher)
Monday 30 September
Today (30 September) a thinning of the cloud cover was sufficient to persuade me to try Whitehawk Hill for Long-tailed Blues (LTBs). Five others had the same idea, travelling from as far afield as Essex and Scotland! The sun eventually broke through, but none of the late wave primary immigrants, which have been seen here regularly since 10 September, made an appearance; they may have run out of steam during the recent spell of poor weather. After a prolonged search for roosting butterflies on the flower-heads and scrub in both the lekking areas (either side of the TV mast), I changed tactics and started to methodically search the pea plants. When I eventually found a pristine male, I was relieved that Trevor Rapley was still on site, but felt rather bad that all the long distance Travellers had departed! I have high hopes for Wednesday onward. (Neil Hulme)
Tortoiseshells and Long-tails: Ed jnr is right to say that I think climate change is responsible for the demise of the Small Tortoiseshell in SE England.
The phenology of this species has hurtled forward by an unprecedented three-and-a-half weeks over twenty years (at least in Sussex), which I suspect has led to an increasingly high proportion of the first brood (the progeny of over-wintering adults) going on to produce a second brood, with correspondingly fewer going into early hibernation (historically a risk spreading strategy). This second brood appears to be falling foul of desiccated nettle-beds in our warmer summers, such as 2018.
I believe that a string of hot summers will prove disastrous for the species in our region. However, rearguard actions are likely to be fought following cooler, damper summers, so it's the longer term trend which is most worrying.
Following last year's drought, I have seen far more Long-tailed Blues in 2019 than I have Small Tortoiseshells. In the 1970s this would have been considered unthinkable. Exciting as Long-tailed Blues are, we should be very worried.
And thanks to all transect walkers from me too. (Neil Hulme)
A very brief weather window saw me out on Lancing Ring & Chalk Pit looking primarily for L-tB, but alas none was to be seen. Common Blue mating, 18 Red Admiral, 10 Speckled Wood, 4 Wall Brown, 3 Painted Lady, Green-veined White, Peacock, Comma, Large White, Small White. Hopefully some sun, albeit cooler, later in the week? (Lindsay Morris)
Sunday 29 September
Yesterday I had a brief wander round Highdown Gardens in Worthing with a friend and her son. We saw at least 4 Red Admirals, 6 Whites, one Peacock and one Painted Lady. I think I spotted some everlasting pea but no blue butterflies.
Today was quite lean on the butterfly front. I visited Pulborough Brooks and in between showers managed to see 3 Speckled Woods and 4 dragonflies. (katrina watson)
The Long-tailed Blue pupae shown on yesterday's listing has now emerged as a butterfly. (Douglas Neve)
Have just downloaded photos from my camera including this Small Copper (ab. extensa) on 12th September in Burwash, East Sussex. (Nigel Kemp http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk)
Saturday 28 September
A windy couple of hours up Whitehawk Hill this morning found one male Long-tailed Blue plus a Wall Brown and a few each of Speckled Wood and Small White. (Stephen Riggs)
The attached image shows a Long-tailed Blue pupae. This taken today at the Newhaven residence of B.C. member, Dave Harris. (Douglas Neve)
In the parts of Lancing Ring sheltered from the 40mph wind I found 11 butterfly species. 21 Red Admiral, 17 Speckled Wood, 10 Wall Brown, 8 Small White, 4 Large White, 3 Small Copper, 3 Painted Lady, 2 Peacock, 2 Common Blue, Holly Blue, Comma. Also 6 Clouded Yellow at Steep Down. Unfortunately, despite the best and extended efforts of Chris Corrigan and Paul & Gillian from Surrey, no L-tB could be found. Nice to meet you all anyway! (Lindsay Morris)
After a brief view of a Long-tailed Blue at Pagham on Tuesday, i returned today in sunshine and managed to see probably two individuals. (Chris Janman)
First ever Clouded Yellow in my Rusting garden.BN16 3RA (Roger Parsons)
Wednesday 25 September
No cricket in Hove today. The sky has been Grey nearly all day & the wind blowing constantly. Those were the conditions when Val went into sun lounge this morning to hang up some washing. But her eye was caught by a Red Admiral & a Painted Lady on the wing by our buddleia. As she watched they flew away & haven't returned. (John & Val Heys)
now a chrysalis (Rich Bulgin)
Vince Massimo informs us that the caterpillar is a Comma and no longer unknown. Neil Hulme also pointed out that the Comma was from Hertfordshire, possibly the South. (Ed jnr)
Tuesday 24 September
There's a patch of everlasting pea over a front garden fence along Victoria Road in Portslade which is brilliantly in flower - no hint of anything on it this morning. It was sunny in Hove around 1.30pm &, as I went out to look at a Small White in the back garden, a Red Admiral passed me & settled out of sight at the end of the garden, but I managed to find it without scaring it off. Over in Worthing an hour later Val & I saw another Small White & a Speckled Wood in Barrington Road footpath. (John & Val Heys)
An unexpected but welcome break from the foul weather this afternoon (24 September) prompted both Lindsay Morris and me to visit Lancing Ring. We decided to spread our efforts, with him heading for the far side of the wooded summit and me staying to search the chalk pit to the east of the car park.
Fortunately, Lindsay had made a short detour to pick up his mobile, as it wasn't more than about 20 minutes before I found a Sussex-born female Long-tailed Blue. I was delighted that he got back in time to see it, as it was his sighting of a male LTB yesterday which had led me here - thanks, Lindsay! While photographing her, another LTB whizzed past me, but I never relocated it and couldn't determine its sex.
There were plenty of other butterflies on show, including at least half-a-dozen Wall, mostly in pristine condition. We watched a brief but successful courtship and pairing. I went home satisfied that we had made the most of this short weather window. (Neil Hulme)
"In the South Downs National Park of Sussex, on the trail of the Long-tailed Blue” is the furthest I have got with my parody of the Laurel & Hardy song. Luckily I bumped into Neil Hulme at Lancing Ring chalk pit this afternoon and he duly worked his magic by turning up a very fresh female. "That's another fine butterfly you've put me onto." Also 14 Wall Brown seen in a very limited search, including a mating pair. Post-Equinox butterflying rocks! (Lindsay Morris)
On Monday (23 September) I visited a site on the outskirts of Newhaven, to search for Long-tailed Blue. The strong breeze seemed to be suppressing activity, with the five individuals seen being below expectations. However, I did photograph a smart Sussex-born male. A dash to Whitehawk Hill TV mast, to beat the rapidly collapsing weather, was a little too late, but I did briefly see one of the five reported (late wave immigrant) males, before the dark clouds rolled in. (Neil Hulme)
A walk at Lullington Heath produced Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Wall Brown, Common Blue, Comma, Red Admiral, Small White, Large White and Meadow Brown. (Istvan Radi)
Monday 23 September
The last match of the cricket season started at the County Ground in Hove this morning. There were a few sunny intervals in the morning which produced 2 Red Admirals, a Small White & quite a close encounter with a Large White, all up at the top of the members' stand. Then bad light stopped butterflies & eventually play for the day. (John & Val Heys)
The summer was disappearing before my eyes as I arrived in Shoreham-by-Sea at midday today. On the way to Mill Hill I saw Small White, Red Admirals, Peacock, and Speckled Woods; not sure about a couple of little silvery blue ones though. Quite a lot of Small Whites, Meadow Browns, and Small Heaths on Mill Hill. Passed up an opportunity to photograph a fresh Common Blue to get one of at least three or four Walls; and passed up a colourful Wall to photograph the latest Chalk Hill Blue I've seen. My latest sighting had been on Malling Down on 14th September years ago, and I really didn't expect a fairly fresh one at the Equinox. The Walls, Meadow Browns, Common Blues, and Small Coppers seem to be on to their third broods.
Again, there was one Clouded Yellow that evaded me nicely. Probably the same one that gave me the runaround last month until it settled for the night.
There were still Meadow Browns out in the rain as I left. (Neil C)
On my first visit to Whitehawk hill three weeks ago I had instant success with three Long-tailed Blues in an hour. Since then I have been there three times without success, mainly to do with the weather. Today however I had success in spades, with about five LTB'S performing, and saw ' Wall Brown ' type dogfights on many occasions. One male in particular was very keen to defend his patch from intruders, and always returned to the same small area having seen off a rival. Another nice surprise was a very fresh, female, Speckled Wood. A great day until the weather started to close in. (Trevor Rapley)
Unpromising conditions this morning, and neither I nor David Cook & Mark Jones (the latter a rare migrant from Bucks) could find the Lancing Ring Long-tailed Blue. However, much to my delight I found a fresh looking male in the chalk pit, which is to the east of the car park road. It was in a sheltered spot near the eastern extreme of the pit area, just resting on some grass for a few minutes at 13.30hrs. Sadly I had done the transect earlier and didn't see it! Almost makes you feel like cheating! Before the rain came, I also saw 15 Speckled Wood, 9 Red Admiral, 7 Wall Brown, 2 Small Copper, 2 Painted Lady, Peacock, Large White and a few Small White. (Lindsay Morris)
Well if you did cheat on the transect you would definitely get a visit from the butterfly police. (Ed jnr)
This Tomato Moth caterpillar was caught eating one of my outdoor tomatoes this morning. (Douglas Neve)
Saturday (21 September) saw the start of the largest ever hatch of Long-tailed Blue on British soil. Some sites cannot be reported as they are on inaccessible private land, while there is some sensitivity over others, as this species has a habit of breeding in private gardens and allotments; we must be respectful when congregating in urban areas. However, there can be little doubt that everyone who wishes to see this species will have the opportunity to do so over the next few weeks. LTBs should appear at all the sites where it was seen in 2013 and 2015, and many others - just look for the pea! I'm aware of at least 50 individuals flying in Sussex on Saturday and that number is likely to increase. We are currently seeing a mix of Sussex-born butterflies and late arrival primary immigrants, some of which are still laying eggs. (Neil Hulme)
Sunday 22 September
Spent 6 hours yesterday at Whitehawk Hill in the warm sun but with a slight breeze. Many visitors coming and going to see the Long-tailed Blues. The usual spot by the allotments was a little disappointing with only one fleetingly flying past. But on the other side of the mast, just down the hill in a sheltered corner, near the current Travellers (who by the way seem very pleasant) we spotted between 6-10 Long-tailed Blues with in the area (mainly males from what we could identify). All seemed very active chasing eachother up into the air and then landing to take a rest in the heat, although they didn’t seem to be interested in nectering, I did manage to catch just one feeding briefly on a dandelion. A few were reported to be slightly tatty but many were in fairly good condition. I also discovered one with lighter blue markings on the wings which I’m unsure weather they are unusual or not. All visitors and butterfly hunters went home with smiles on their faces. (Kirsty Gibbs)
On Saturday I decided to visit Mill Hill before the promised incoming weather wipes out the remaining butterflies and I was not disappointed. Walking up from Shoreham I first checked the green area just before the bridge what goes over the A27 and here I found 3 Wall Brown, at least 5 Red Admiral, a couple of Speckled Wood and a Long-tailed Blue. This latter one landed in a really awkward position on Bramble and this is the only photo I managed before it took off. I waited about 10 minutes but I did not see it to return so I walked over to Mill Hill. Lots of Small and Large White flying around but the bottom part is still home to a good number of Adonis Blue, Common Blue and Small Heath. Along the middle path a few Small Copper, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Comma and one Clouded Yellow. An Adder crossing the middle path was a great bonus and a very welcome sight! (Istvan Radi)
Saturday 21 September
Sitting out a lot in the garden yesterday (Saturday) recuperating I saw Small Whites coming & going constantly with a lesser number of Large Whites. Much earlier Val had seen 4 Red Admirals, but only 1 Painted Lady. Apart from 1 Red Admiral, I missed them. However we were both outside to see our 12th Hove back garden butterfly species of the year - a Clouded Yellow which moved rapidly from north to south without stopping. A few minutes later a Speckled Wood passed between us, also without stopping, on a west to east flight path. (John & Val Heys)
Hi John...regarding your moth it could perhaps be a Bloxworth Snout. It's the right time for them and without being personal it appears to have a prominent schnozz.. (Martin Buck)
I would like to thank Melanie Pond for identifying my mystery moth as a Dusky Thorn. (Douglas Neve)
Around 1pm this afternoon in warm sunny weather a Female Brown Hairstreak was watched egg laying in Whillet’s Meadow,East Sussex.Could be the individual Seen last week which was also well worn,only second Site Record this summer. (Alastair Gray)
Walking through Markstakes Common early this morning I was astonished to see a male White Admiral in mint condition (so astonished I didn't get a photograph) basking on the ground. I've never seen one here in September before. Presumably a second brood individual. (Ian Seccombe)
Yesterday, we are still getting reasonable numbers of Red Admirals (4), Painted Ladies (3) & Small Whites plus the odd Large White & another Humming-bird Hawk-moth on our back garden buddleia in Hove. Again a single Painted Lady was left sunning itself on the fence at 6pm & we waited to see when it would take off for shelter but our experiment was nullified by a squirrel running on top of the fence which caused it to fly away. Between 3pm & 5pm I visited Southwick Hill - Val let me off the shopping. Despite it being a bit late in the day I saw 10 Small Whites, 3 Large Whites, 6 Speckled Woods, 1 Red Admiral, 7 Meadow Browns (2 mating), 5 Small Coppers & at least 4 wall butterflies. My first wall butterfly was on the east side of the summit as I made my way up & the others were all on the narrow path on the west of the site which has an ideal surface for them. They were as tricky to photo as usual. I hope the chap I had a good chat about butterflies has connected with his youth by finding this website. (John & Val Heys)
Can you tell me what it is? (John Holt)
I'm still seeing plenty of Large and Small Whites and there seems to have been a sudden increase in the numbers of Red Admirals in the last week. I was also a little surprised to see two Wall Browns yesterday, one pretty battered and one which looks like a new generation? Similarly with a couple of Painted Ladies. (Philip Booker)
Went for our usual toddle up the Adur, a couple of whites, a couple of Red Admirals. Got home to find this?. J. (John Holt Y)
Friday 20 September
The butterflies are starting to fizzle out! No big numbers at Mill Hill but highlights included 2 Clouded Yellows, 2 Brown Argus, a Wall Brown and a tatty Chalkhill Blue. (Chris Corrigan)
We were joking this morning about the tiny patch of everlasting pea just down the road from us in Broadwater and whether it would be possible to get the inevitable Long-tailed Blue (fat chance) on the house list. This afternoon, on our way out for a walk on the Downs, we checked it and after a wait of almost 3 seconds a nice fresh one turned up. (It turns out it is possible to get it on the house list with a pair of binoculars and some imagination.) (Mike & Karen Galtry)
Douglas Neve's mystery moth is a male Dusky Thorn (Melanie Pond)
In strong sun, but with a nagging breeze, the north side of Lancing Ring and the eastern edge of Steep Down didn't let me down with 15 butterfly species. Best was a male Long-tailed Blue in the same place as 2 have already been seen hilltopping this summer. This was a new boy with no damage at all. He was only seen briefly at midday and couldn't be relocated in the following hour. The lucerne on the lower southern slopes of Steep Down had a single helice Clouded Yellow amongst at least 5 seen. 15 Wall Brown was a good count considering the limited area covered today. Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, Comma, Small Heath, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Large White, Small White made up the full cast. A visit to Lancing Station resulted in distant views of at least 2, maybe up to 4, Long-tailed Blue from 3.40pm. Also present was true butterfly royalty in the form of Neil Hulme! Oh happy day! (Lindsay Morris)
Can anyone help identify this caterpillar, please? My friend spotted it in her garden in Hangleton on 2nd September and watched for around 15 minutes while it covered itself in soil. (Lesley Daniell)
Toby Ludlow informs us that the mystery caterpillar, posted on the website today, is a Toadflax Brocade (Calophasia lunula). (Ed jnr)
I found these two moths in my trap this morning. The one with delta shaped wings is a Box Tree Moth, one of two found in the trap, which was probably attracted by the 16 Box trees growing in our garden. I have yet to find damage caused by the larvae of this species though. I have been unable to identify the other moth and would be grateful if this could be identified. (Douglas Neve)
On 18th September I visited Kingley Vale (SU8210) where the temperature reached 18°C. Despite the good weather the numbers of butterflies seen was low and with Autumn approaching the decrease is unway. Several Small Whites were seen with a single worn Meadow Brown still clinging on. Totals: Small White 11, Meadow Brown 1, Small Heath 1, Red Admiral 3. (Roy Symonds)
Thursday 19 September
In our back garden in Hove, 4 Red Admirals, 2 Painted Ladies & a few Small Whites plus a moth (Yellow Shell, I think) & a moth wing (Garden Tiger?). The last out in the setting sun was a Painted Lady on the fence, there at 6pm & gone a minute later. In the morning we walked the "undercliff" Shoreham Port route from Church Road Portslade to the Southwick Lock Gates & saw Small Whites, Large Whites, 3 or 4 Red Admirals, a Comma, 3 Speckled Woods, 2 Clouded Yellows, 2 or 3 Common Blues, a Small Copper, a Brown Argus & something brown-orange nearly the size of a small Speckled Wood which didn't settle. There's a fair amount of everlasting pea in flower but we saw no hint of anything on or near them. I was interested to see the comment about wall butterflies on Southwick Hill as I had been thinking of going there again. We used to live not too far away in Portslade, but the few times we went it was rather short on butterflies. I have turned up an entry in my records for 31 May 1982 which has wall butterflies & whites in the plural plus a single blue & a single Small Heath. Not much of a return when we had a 5 year & a 2 year old in tow but it does suggest a long link with the walls. (John & Val Heys)
Had a stroll around Mill Hill, pretty quiet initially on the butterfly front with just a few Small Heath and Meadow Browns seen. As it warmed up, i managed to find 3 Wall Browns which showed nicely. Whilst watching these 2 blue butterflies flew past pretty quickly chasing each other. I managed to get a fairly good view as they went past and appeared very small and Greyish in appearance and i was convinced they were Long-tailed Blues, unfortunatley they did not land but having seen this species abroad i cannot think what else they could be. This was by the car park taking the gravel path to the right towards the road in front of the small wooded area. The butterflies flew towards the road. Worth checking out if in the area (Nick Bond)
Today (19 September) I visited Thundersbarrow Hill, where Patrick Moore found a Sussex-born male Long-tailed Blue yesterday. I later found out that, after a long walk, I had stopped just 200 metres short of where I needed to be! However, compensation came on my return journey, when I found a late wave immigrant LTB (male) in the scrubby compartment at Southwick Hill, nearly a kilometre away (TQ236078). I suspect that the species has been breeding on Common Gorse up here, and further searches may prove fruitful over the coming weeks.
Also seen were Wall Brown (14), Small Copper (4), Brown Argus (3), Clouded Yellow (1), numerous Speckled Wood (many in pristine condition) and a few Small Heath, Painted Lady and Red Admiral. (Neil Hulme)
Yesterday I visited Whitehawk Hill in the morning. Arrived about 9.30 and stayed till 11.30 it was rather chilly and breezy and nearer 11am only saw a couple of flighty Long-tailed Blues briefly that didn’t land or seem to settle, possibly the same butterfly.
So today I got there at 10am and by 10.15 one flew past and landed in the grass. My only chance of a photo. Again possibly the same one, returned, landed, opened its wings and in a flash it was gone. Afterwards it flew past a couple of times but again reluctant to settle possibly due to the breeze although less breezy there this morning and slightly warmer too. (Kirsty Gibbs)
Egg laying second generation White Admiral at Middleton Common, Ditchling this lunchtime. Surprisingly she was selecting honeysuckle in the open canopy near the tops of the mature sloe fringing a meadow rather than the more usual dappled or dense woodland shade.
If she is egg-laying it means there must be at least one more there to find. (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 18 September
Walked along SDW from Devils Dyke to the YHA at Truleigh then back to Poynings via Edburton and the paths to the north. There was a cool breeze on most of the SDW that meant butterflies were at a premium. Spotted Small Heath, Small White, Small Copper, Red Admiral then Speckled Wood, Large White and Meadow Brown on the lower slopes. Plenty of bird life with wheatears flitting from fence post to fence post..surprisingly only a couple of Red Admirals at the Sussex Prairie Garden on the way home. (Martin Buck)
A fantastic walk to day from Saddlescombe-Benfield Hill LNR-Southwick Hill-Truleigh Hill and Devils Dyke-return. Some great surprises amongst the 16 species seen. Plenty Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Small White spread throughout the route. Brown Argus mainly on the wide verge of Dyke Road, along with Small Copper, Small Heath and Red Admiral. Benfield Hill provided stunning flower banks for Common Blue and others.
The first surprise was spotting 6 Wall Brown on Southwick Hill, I've not seen them here before. The second immediately followed; a Long-tailed Blue between Southwick and Thundersbarrow Hills. Patrolling the path and stopping all to briefly to nectar. I took quite a few closed wing photos but only managed one poor picture with open wings before it seemed to disappear. The third surprise was a helice Clouded Yellow around half a mile further up the path towards Truleigh Hill.
Also seen were Peacock, Comma, Large White, a Green-veined White and a single Chalk Hill Blue near Devils Dyke. What a great day out. (Patrick Moore)
At last I managed to get in to the Small Copper festival on this day of glorious weather. Walking along the track to the north of Lullington Heath we came across about 8 Small Coppers, mostly very frisky and combative, with each other and with the accompanying Meadow Brown. We also saw a very smart male Common Blue. All along today's route the flowering ivy was buzzing with beautiful neat Ivy Bees, Colletes hederae, and adorned with Red Admirals. Later at our regular lunch spot, the tiny but beautiful fragment of chalk grassland overlooking Cranedown Bottom we saw female Common Blue along with a male Brimstone. There was also a dense aggregation of the nest tunnels of the Ivy Bees on the dry bank. Along with numerous Small Heath we saw our last Small Copper at the head of Deep Dene. A wonderful butterfly day rounded off with a swim in the crystal clear sea at Bishopstone on the way back to Brighton. (Tessa Pawsey)
4 Clouded Yellow in the meadow opposite Shooters Bottom just before Noon in full sunshine. This is a regular Autumn site for this species. (TV575958). Also a tatty Wall Brown in our East Dean garden (TV562984) around 2pm.
(Carole & David Jode)
At least 30 Red Admiral nectaring on Ivy flowers on the path between Crowlink hamlet and the dewpond on the seward side (TV540972). Full sunshine - hardly any wind. (Carole & David Jode)
Did the Anchor Bottom transect this afternoon - numbers dwindling, but pleased to find a Small Copper and a Clouded Yellow - plus another of the latter off the transect route. Full list: Adonis Blue - 10, Brown Argus -1, Clouded Yellow - 1, Meadow Brown - 28, Small Copper - 1, Small Heath - 18, Small White - 3. Also 3 Wheatear and a family party of 6 Stonechats on the fenceline to the SD Way. (Ray Baker)
Yesterday (17 September) I watched a female Long-tailed Blue through the security fence at Lancing Station. From her quite good (but chipped) condition, determined through binoculars, I suspect she represents one of the late wave primary immigrants seen in Sussex since 10 September. She appeared to be laying many eggs, very quickly, so there's a chance that some LTBs will still be emerging at the start of November, assuming the weather is kind. (Neil Hulme)
Tuesday 17 September
It was so warm & sheltered in our buddleia bush corner this morning that it seemed like being in a butterfly house as Red Admirals, Painted Ladies & whites fluttered fearlessly around us. St one stage there were 7 Red Admirals, 3 Painted Ladies, 3 Small Whites, a Large White & a humming-bird hawk moth. One of the Painted Ladies was fairly whole but almost Grey with age. I got very close to one on the patio - it kept flapping it's wings so one picture has the head & body nicely in focus but the wings blurred with motion. We left Hove for Worthing in the afternoon - we only saw whites there & a single Speckled Wood in Browning Road. (John & Val Heys)
We've had many moths visit our balcony since the amazing Clifden Nonpareil on 1st September. New species were a Delicate (Mythimna vitellina), a Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner (Cameraria ohridella) plus Red Underwings on 14th & 17th. I found the rascal eating our geranium leaves - a Cabbage Moth larva. The Poplar Hawk-moth larvae are still growing though diminished in number - I counted just 5 yesterday. (Colin Knight https://colinknight.blogspot.com/2019/09/littlehampton-moths.html)
Yesterday, despite sore tonsils and a temperature, I visited Whitehawk Hill TV mast. I had the site to myself, which is unsurprising given that the weather had caved in. However, I saw four butterflies, all of which were Long-tailed Blue, including a mating pair! My account is too long for our Sightings Page, but can be read in full in my UK Butterflies diary here http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=148090#p148090 (Neil Hulme http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=148090#p148090)
Up and around Cissbury from Lyons Farm was a cloudless wonderland for 15 butterfly species. 90 Small Heath, 90 Meadow Brown, 57 Small Copper, 24 Speckled Wood, 11 Adonis Blue, 10 Common Blue, 7 Red Admiral, 6 Wall Brown, 4 Brown Argus, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow, Brown Hairstreak, Comma. Small White was the only white identified. (Lindsay Morris)
My first ever visit to SWT Woods Mill today was rather quiet but that is what I expected. During my short walk I saw 5-6 Comma, 4 Small Heath, 1 Small Copper, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Brown Hairstreak and a number of "whites". Dragonflies were also still present. And now back to reading the Newsletter and Martin Kalaher's very enjoyable account of the season. Thanks for both! (Istvan Radi)
Three topical photos: First two Long-tailed Blue pupa and pre-pupal larva rescued from snail - ravaged pea. Last is the start and end stage of a butterfly horror story for the Large White. (Pete Varnham)
Another successful hunt for the Brown Hairstreak (two individuals seen and photographed), this time along a public footpath off Bishopstone Lane, Goddards Green. Also seen: Speckled Wood, Small White, Green-veined White, Comma, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Small Heath.
Monday 16 September
Some shots from East Sussex taken during the past couple of weeks, around Alfriston, Lullington Heath and Friston Forest. I saw variously Small White, Large White, Comma, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Peacock, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper. And on Sunday the undoubted highlight, a fresh Clouded Yellow helice at Lullington Heath. (Andrew Reekie)
Around 11.40am today in Hove it got sunnier than expected & our buddleia was proving attractive. However, the balance of power has shifted. Only 2 Painted Ladies, one faded, the other quite bright, but at the same time 7 Red Admirals. Also 2 Small Whites & a Large White. By 2pm it had been quite overcast for an hour, but several Red Admirals & a Painted Lady were still nectaring. We were in London for the Kew Gardens 10k run on Saturday - as usual the gardens were rather disappointing for butterflies - a few Small Whites & even less Red Admirals. It was noticeable in London that the Painted Lady boom has either finished or never really happened - we didn't see any at all. (John & Val Heys)
In the gloom this afternoon a lone Long-tailed Blue put in a brief appearance above the perennial sweet pea close to Lancing railway station. On returning home I found a beautiful but totally unwelcome Boxworm Moth in my garden. Curses. (Lindsay Morris)
sun 15/09/1019. a walk from Markstakes Lane over fields to Tutts Farm and back into Markstakes via Ridgelanda Lane produced 5x Browm Hairstreak eggs, the hedge at Tutts farm has at some point been cut back, I'm hoping the 6x BH egg found last year completed there life cycles?. and 3x eggs in Ridgelands Lane, Chailey. these eggs are six miles from the West Sussex border at Burgess Hill. oh yes and Sarah's still picking, this time 2lb 1oz of blackberry's, (Peter Farrant)
Hummingbird hawk-moth spotted on our Verbena. Hastings East Sussex (David Walton)
Walk around the the boats, recreation ground over the Norfolk bridge, Shoreham saw, large/Small Whites, a Peacock a Red Admiral and then this hummingbird hawk moth. J (John Holt)
Newhaven Tidemills on Sunday produced dozens of Large White and Small White and a single but fresh female Clouded Yellow at the far end by the caravan park. (David Cook)
A repeat walk yesterday (15th) of my Birling Gap-Beachy Head circuit of the 10th - again a still day of even warmer cloudless sunshine. Apart from the Small Heaths and Red Admirals, a notable depletion in numbers of all the other species encountered last Tuesday - except for Clouded Yellows; four sightings over the headland and probably another dozen individuals speeding over the large field of lucerne south of Cornish Farm. Single sightings of Brown Argus (see photo) and Wall Brown were two additions to Tuesday's list. (Nicholas Moll)
Surprised to find at least two Humming-bird Hawk-moths in my central Brighton garden active at 06.30 on an overcast morning when it was barely light. Glimpsed also a Red Admiral starting its day. (Tim Squire)
Sunday 15 September
I saw Wall Brown, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Small and Large White on a brief visit to High and Over this afternoon. As usual the Walls were extremely vigilant and very difficult to approach. (John Williams)
After Friday’s four hour vigil which produced only three glimpses, I was in luck today with two male Long-tailed Blues seen within five minutes of arrival late afternoon today. One conveniently posed on the single remaining - and fading - Everlasting Pea! Thanks Catrina for the encouragement to persist. Nice to see a Spotted Flycatcher too. (David Walsh)
Circular walk via Hope Gap and Harry’s Bush with Stephen and Tim Willmoth produced 2 Clouded Yellow, 2 Small White, 5+ Large White, 4+ Small Copper, 3 Brown Argus,6+ Common Blue, 1 Comma, 5+ Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, 3 Meadow Brown and 5+ Small Heath. (David Walsh)
What a fine day but could be one of the last of summer? The usual suspects in my garden hanging in there: Painted Lady (down to 1), Red Admiral, Comma, numerous Large Whites and Small Whites, Speckled Wood and 2 Small Coppers. (Harvey Osler)
An afternoon trip to Whitehawk Hill yielded 2 Long-tailed Blues but only one stopped for a photo. It was a pleasure to meet David and many thanks for showing me the flycatcher. (katrina watson)
Today I visited the little gem that is Medley Bottom. There are still a few Common Blues and good number of Meadow Brown and Small Heath and Small Whites everywhere. I did manage to find nine Small Copper, but I think it was too hot for them as most of them were nectaring with their wings closed. I was a bit distracted by the tremendous raptor activity. South Stoke was dry and there were only a few Commas, Red Admirals and Peacocks (plus the ubiquitous Small White). (Jonathan Crawford)
After finding our first Brown Hairstreak in the Whillet's Meadow,(Weir Wood Reservoir) last year,I've been searching the same area for the last month with no joy.Then today thinking I'd seen yet another vapour Month fly by,which then landed on some Blackthorn.I investigated and to my amazement it was a female Brown Hairstreak.we have perfect habitat here which will be managed to try and enlarge the small colony we have. (Alastair Gray)
On the reclaimed field on the south eastern lower slope of Steep Down (it was once a landfill site) were a minimum of 8 Clouded Yellow, showing great interest in the lucerne. Also there, a Humming-bird Hawkmoth. If this wonderful weather keeps up, then these summery treats will keep on a-comin‘! (Lindsay Morris)
Site X: Today Sue Cross, Pete Varnham and I saw several newly emerged Long Tailed Blues with evidence of courtship and fresh and recent egg - laying. Presumably these are the progeny of butterflies that arrived in late July or very early August `under the radar`. (Dave Harris)
Saturday 14 September
I spent a very pleasant afternoon at Cissbury Ring listening to Test Match Special and hunting for butterflies. I saw Meadow Brown, Wall, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Small Copper and a lovely fresh Adonis Blue. (John Williams)
Glorious weather up and around Lancing Ring & Steep Down enticed out 17 butterfly species. Amongst which were - 93 Red Admiral, 20 Small Heath, 13 Meadow Brown, 7 Adonis Blue, 6 Wall Brown, 6 Common Blue, 4 Clouded Yellow, 4 Painted Lady, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Brown Argus, 2 Comma, Holly Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Peacock, Small Copper. Also a Humming-bird Hawk-moth and a Wasp Spider in my garden. (Lindsay Morris)
I did the transect at Mill Hill. It was a bit like visiting the ruins of a great empire with disorder and decay everywhere. I love this time of year. There were still butterflies, mainly at the bottom of the hill. I can't give you numbers because the UKBM system is down (more disorder and decay) but butterflies seen include Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Brimstone, Small Copper, Small White, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Small Heath. Outside the transect there were Peacock, Comma and several Painted Ladies.
After that I went to Cissbury and a walk around the outer ramparts brought a further 17 very flighty Small Coppers and some more Adonis Blues. I also saw a 2 Clouded Yellows, a pair of Wall Browns and John Williams who apprised me of the cricket score. (Jonathan Crawford)
Small Copper on a Sedum Flower Head. First ever sighting in our garden. (Howard Mitchell)
While having a break from gardening this afternoon 8 Painted Ladies were, at the same time, nectaring on on two Verbena Bonariensis plants. There still seem to be a lot Ladies about in Seaford. Also visiting were several Large and Small Whites and a number of Red Admirals. (Stuart Ridley)
I wonder if anly of the Ladies featured in the Seaford set film "Hope Gap" starring Annette Benning which was released (to mixed reviews) this week. (Ed jnr)
I didn't think the camera would came out again this season but when a female Brown Hairstreak presented itself, well what could I do? I've never seen one nectaring on Michaelmas Daisy before and I've never had a September garden record before. There have been 12 species in the past two days - Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Brown Hairstreak, Small Copper, Common Blue (m&f), Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown. The Common Blue female was egg-laying. (Martin Kalaher)
Brown Hairstreak still active at Burgess Hill Business Park on Friday 13/09, with one reasonably fresh female making a trip down to sit briefly on bramble at the northern end of the Charles Avenue parkland, plus what was very probably a second seen flying across the grass and up into an oak tree. The northern end of this area is obviously the favoured spot for egglaying, but we were interested to find a single egg on the taller blackthorn at the far southern end. Also seen: Red Admiral 1; Large White 2; Small White 3/4. (PS I hope the sign on the edge of the parkland bit about a new office development for which planning permission's been given doesn't relate to the parkland itself. I couldn't see anything relevant for Charles Avenue on the Mid-Sussex council website and I see from the Satellite view that there's a vacant site behind the parkland, on the corner of Victoria Road, so hopefully the permission relates to this. Does anyone know?) (M Thomas)
Friday 13 September
There were also many Small Coppers present at Herstmonceux Castle this afternoon.
On a sunny afternoon with my good friend Anna Bulbrook, the lower Cuckmere east side was alive with 12 butterflies species including 54 Small Heath, 33 Common Blue, 30 Small Copper, 23 Meadow Brown, 15 Adonis Blue, 7 Wall Brown, 2 Clouded Yellow, 2 Brown Argus. Earlier, and in cloudy conditions, Newhaven Tidemills had been disappointing, but the days total of 14 butterfly species was very satisfactory. (Lindsay Morris)
A four hour stint this afternoon produced three brief sightings of a single Long-tailed Blue close to the allotments near the mast. Also in the area 1 female Adonis Blue - on Everlasting Pea! - as well as 1 Wall Brown, 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Small Heath, 2 Painted Lady, 5 Red Admiral, numerous Large and Small White and 1+ Green-veined White. Other observers reported Brown Argus, Meadow Brown and Small Copper nearby. (David Walsh)
This afternoon I visited the gardens of Herstmonceux Castle, hoping to find some of
the' Summer spectaculars' of the butterfly world.
I was treated to the sight of several very fresh Peacocks, several Commas, and a Painted Lady.
Unfortunately no Small Tortoiseshells were seen. There also many Large and Small Whites,
many of which were fresh. (Trevor Rapley)
One hour wait in the sun at Whitehawk Hill TV tower, rewarded by this solitary LT Blue at 13.00 hrs. (John Ward)
Male Adonis Blue on the slope above the Youth Hostel by the south downs way path going towards Alfriston (Bill Eldridge)
Thursday 12 September
A brief slightly sunny warm spell in Hove at around 11.00am this morning was enough to tempt out 2 Red Admirals, 3 Painted Ladies & 2 Small Whites in our back garden. By school collecting time in Worthing it was cooler & breezier - only the occasional Small White on the wing. (John & Val Heys)
Lured down from London by the weather, I had six hours in glorious sunshine, setting off from Birling Gap at 10.30 on the 10th and getting as far as Whitebread Hollow before returning via Long Down. Multitudes of Large Whites, Small Whites and Small Heaths; moderate numbers of Meadow Browns and Common Blues (the latter rather patchy); 19 Painted Ladies, a dozen plus Red Admirals, 7 Small Coppers, half a dozen Speckled Woods, 2 Clouded Yellows, 1 Silver-spotted Skipper, 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Peacock. (Nicholas Moll)
A window in my kitchen looks over a window box of 'Busy Lizzies'. Beyond that is my rear garden.
This morning at 8.30 I was amazed to see a moth probing the blossoms for nectar , Checking on your website, it was either a Humming-bird Hawk-moth or a bee hawk moth.
Fantastic!! (Sydney Wass)
Wednesday 11 September
As Val & I walked down the steps out of the Cuckmere Inn at Exceat, we decided to abandon going for a walk as it was raining again. At that moment we disturbed a Painted Lady still out nectaring on buddleia. It flew off & returned a couple of times until the rain came on a little heavier, when it gave up. We went home too. (John & Val Heys)
A few photos from my little walk yesterday on Mill Hill. Was a lovely day for Butterflies, although a lot are looking quite tatty now. 1 Peacock 1 Painted Lady, 1 to 5 Large White, Small Copper, Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Green Vein White and more than 5 Common Blue, Meadow Brown. (Jenny Hodgkins )
Dull and windy in the woods around Horsham today, but that didn't stop Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small White, Common Blue, Speckled Wood and me from enjoying them. I found one Speckled Wood without the normal dapples and despite a minor panic on both our counts, me with camera settings and it with survival instincts, managed a few photos. What a beautiful creature. (Patrick Moore)
27 species of moths have visited our balcony since August 28th. The prize was the rare Clifden Nonpariel which appeared on September 1. Last year we had one on August 28th. A Red Underwing arrived on September 10th. Last year we had one on September 4th. The latest one has some strange black markings on one wing. Cabbage Moth larvae like the geranium leaves on the balcony. The Poplar Hawk-moth larvae are growing well. At 16 days old some are 14mm long compared to their hatching length of 9mm, and are much fatter. (Colin Knight https://colinknight.blogspot.com/2019/09/clifden-nonpariel-red-underwing-and.html)
During our wildlife survey at Clayton Farm, Washington we recorded; 4 x red darters, 1 x club tailed dragonfly, 2 x Commas, 1 x Small Copper, 6 x Small Heath, 7 x Large White, 5 x Meadow Brown (Peter Chase)
Tuesday 10 September
Nothing had been on the wing when I went for the papers around 8am in rather cool sunshine. By 9.20am Hove had warmed up & we thought it might be worth checking the buddleia out the back before we went into town. Even from the sun lounge we could see butterflies fluttering all over. We counted 7 Painted Ladies, 3 Red Admirals, 2 Small Whites & 1 Large White, total 13 - as far as I can recall the most butterflies we've ever seen in the garden all at the same time. It seemed they'd just got active & were fuelling up to roam around, as there were only a few around when we returned at lunchtime. (John & Val Heys)
I took this video in my garden yesterday and posted it on youtube (Richard https://youtu.be/QwMISOEDbeA)
A bright sunny morning in Seaford today and 7 Painted Ladies, most of which were in good condition, were feeding on the flowers of Verbena Bonariensis plants. A few Large Whites and Red Admirals, and singles of Meadow Brown and Comma visited my south facing garden. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth spent a few minutes feeding on the flowers of my Ceratostigma bush. (Stuart Ridley)
Finally spotted my first Clouded Yellow of the year immediately followed by two more at Hope Gap on Seaford Head. Also spotted on our walk from Seaford to Cuckmere were Small Heath (loads), several Red Admirals, lots of Large Whites and Small Whites all along the route, Painted Ladies, Common Blue, Meadow Brown and a brand new Wall Brown. And the sun shone all day; glorious. (Martin Buck)
Did the Mill Hill transect this afternoon - usual suspects seen in modest numbers, but pleased to find this Wasp Spider. (Ray Baker)
A very productive morning was spent at High and Over.
About eight third brood male Wall Browns were seen, plus a mating pair.
Also many Red Admirals were enjoying the abundant Ivy blossom.
Singles of Comma, Brown Argus and Holly Blue were seen. (Trevor Rapley)
Went for a walk along the canal near Pett Level this morning, lots of Painted Ladies, a Small Copper, Small Heath, Red Admiral and a Green Veined White amongst all the Small and Large ones which was nice as I hadn't ever seen one before (oscar pratley crighton)
Brighton racecourse: finally managed a visit to see the Long-tailed Blues, only saw two, one very tatty the other in pic was in good condition, they both came to feed on the only everlasting pea flower on one of the 3 clumps of plant (DAVID LONG)
A dozen species seen around Lancing Ring and the old North Lancing churchyard and cemeteries on a glorious afternoon. 99 Red Admiral, nearly all on flowering ivy. Those flying gave no discernible direction of migration. 20 Speckled Wood, 11 Painted Lady, 8 Small Copper, 4 Wall Brown, 2 Common Blue, 2 Comma, 2 Small Heath, Brown Argus (very fresh) and only one Meadow Brown. Also a Humming-bird Hawk-moth and a couple of Silver Y. (Lindsay Morris)
I expect the Red Admirals can't decide whether to stay or go. Probably best if we give them an extension until they make up their mind what the best thing to do is. (Ed jnr)
Brighton Whitehawk Hill: Small White x 2, Large White x 4, Painted Lady x 1, Green-veined White x 2, Wall x1 Small Heath x 7 Long-tailed Blue x 3 (David Phillips)
After half an hour of waiting in good conditions by a row of promising blackthorn bushes near Burgess Hill Cemetery, with sightings of Red Admiral, Large and Small White, Speckled Wood and an unidentified blue (probably a Holly Blue) I was just resigning myself to another failed attempt, when a slightly worn female Brown Hairstreak put on a good show; she seemed to be exhibiting egg-laying behaviour, crawling down blackthorn stems to suitable shoots but I couldn’t find any of those “conspicuous white eggs” – must taking my reading glasses with me in future. (Harvey Osler)
Just got back from a walk up the Adur, these plus some Speckled Woods, Painted Lady's. J (John Holt)
Monday 09 September
Here in Hove, we were sitting in our sun lounge today listening to quite heavy rain beating on the roof when Val said "there's a Red Admiral" but it had flown off before I could see it. Val thinks it was roosting somewhere up in or behind the gutter when the rain began to seep in to its hiding place, so it had to move away despite the conditions. (John & Val Heys)
Painted Ladies were still coming in off the sea at Lancing yesterday (8th September). I noted five egg laying just behind the beach (on Mallow). There were also seven Red Admirals flying determinedly northwards. Four in Shoreham and three others coming in off the sea at Lancing without stopping. This supports Patrick Moore's report from nearby Littlehampton. However, just inland and to the west, at Cissbury Ring, Neil Hulme observed a southerly migration of individuals. (Vince Massimo)
sun 08/09/2019. corner of Charles Ave. and York Road, Victoria Business Park, Burgess Hill. W.Sx. what a beautiful day, sun's out, what more could you want. well counted 25x more Brown Hairstreak eggs, that's 59 in total so far including last weeks 34x eggs. In the Energy & Carbon Management car park counted 15x more BH eggs, total now 26x eggs. 21 of those along south facing hedge, not only that between 12.11an and 12.57pm saw and photographed 4x female adult BH's along this same hedge, each one laying an egg. and 1x female BH seen at 11.57am on blackthorn in fleabane area near stream. 5x BH in an hour. while I was doing this Sarah picked 1lb 8oz of blackberry's. (Peter Farrant)
I just made an unplanned detour as the sun came out and I spotted a Wasp Spider at Annington Sewer and a worn Brown Hairstreak Butterfly in Castle Lane Park, Bramber. (Andy Horton https://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2019.html)
I didn't make any accurate counts during my visit to Cissbury Ring on Sunday (8 September), but I saw about 30 Small Copper and at least 20 male Adonis Blue, some of the latter in areas where I haven't seen the species for many years. Other highlights included a female Brown Hairstreak and a steady stream of Red Admirals heading south.
This site is rapidly attaining some of its former glory (I spent many hours here in my youth) thanks to the excellent management in recent years by the National Trust. The combination of pony grazing, cattle grazing (eastern compartment) and scrub control is likely to bring even greater rewards over the next few years. (Neil Hulme)
Sunday 08 September
At around 10.30am this morning in our back garden in Hove there were 5 different types of butterfly (nearly as good as it gets for us) - 4 Painted Ladies, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Large White, 1 Speckled Wood & a few Small Whites. In the front garden I disturbed a moth - I think it's a rather faded Large Yellow Underwing. On an afternoon walk from Palmeira Lawn, Hove to the Marina, we saw one Painted Lady at Palmeira Lawn & another near the massed motorbikes & sideshows celebrating the London to Brighton Motorbike ride in Madeira Drive. Otherwise it was all Small Whites. Back at home, in the setting sun at 5.50pm, a single Painted Lady was basking on the concrete path we built about 30 years ago. (John & Val Heys)
At least 15 Painted Ladies, mostly badly worn.Also several Common Blues, Small Coppers and Red Admirals in good condition. Numerous Whites and a Wheatear. (John Gilbert)
A fabulous afternoon of calm sunshine up and around Lancing Ring & Steep Down was adorned by 15 butterfly species. 50 Small Heath, 19 Red Admiral, 14 Meadow Brown, 10 Painted Lady, 9 Speckled Wood, 8 Holly Blue, 5 Adonis Blue, 4 Wall Brown, 4 Common Blue, 2 Comma, 2 Brown Argus, Peacock, Green-veined White. More Large Whites than recently and many Small Whites. (Lindsay Morris)
Nursing a bad cold I only managed to get round half of Friston Gallops before my parking ticket expired. I did manage to find 21 Small Copper. I have a modus operandi for finding them there. I look for areas where Small Heath are active and then focus on the yellow flowers, which this butterfly seems to have a preference for. If they are not on the flowers they can often be seen near by. Once disturbed they normally return to the same location, rather than disappear over the hedge and into the next county like some species do. Also seen were Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Small White, Large White, Red Admiral, Common Blue, Comma, Adonis Blue and a single Painted Lady and a late Chalk Hill Blue. (Jonathan Crawford)
A very nice family walk along Littlehampton West Beach around midday following the outgoing tide line and back along the dune line was notable because we all counted at least 9 Red Admirals seemingly coming in of the sea. They all charged across the drying sand and landed on the pebbles only to take off again when approached. We also spotted Painted Lady, Common Blue, Holly Blue, plenty Small White, a Small Copper and a Comma. (Patrick Moore)
On a walk at Beachy Head from Went Hill to Belle Tout followed by a visit to Shooters' Bottom, in the rather chilly though bright conditions this morning (Sunday), I saw 11 butterfly species: singles of Adonis Blue and Clouded Yellow; three Small Coppers; small numbers of Red Admirals, Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Painted Ladies, Large Whites and Speckled Woods; and good numbers of Small Heaths and Small Whites. One of the latter provided a meal for a Whinchat at Shooters' Bottom. (Simon Linington)
Possible Painted Lady noticed in large front garden - seen on yellow flowering weeds and then flying off in very deliberate fashion. (pat webb)
On honeysuckle in my town garden, a Humming-bird Hawk-moth feeding in full noonday sun. Of course he escaped photographic capture. (Christine Burgess)
Saturday 07 September
Not a Sussex sighting, but as I was on a trip to St Andrews today thought i’d record that on a buddleia in town I saw a host of Red Admirals and a pristine Painted Lady. (Harvey Osler)
Six Small Copper seen at Cissbury this morning under largely cloudy skies accompanied by a stiff breeze. Glad to see Adonis Blues dotted about the site. A great testament to the grazing regime and conservation strategy introduced by the National Trust in the past few years. (Jonathan Crawford)
Thursday 05 September
In our back garden in Hove this morning around 10.00am, 4 Painted Ladies, 1 Red Admiral & a Small White. At Parham House near Storrington, this afternoon, Small Whites, a Large White, a Green-veined White, 2 Small Coppers, a Painted Lady, at least half a dozen Red Admirals, a Comma, 2 Small Heaths & 2 Meadow Browns. (John & Val Heys)
Went for a quick walk over Combe Valley in Bexhill. Managed to see at least 9 species, which makes a nice change from the usual fare in the garden. Common Blue, males and females, Small and Large Whites, Small Heaths, about 7 Small Coppers, a Red Admiral at a glance, Speckled Woods and a Clouded Yellow flew over but didn't settle for a picture. A couple of Painted Ladies still hanging around too. (oscar pratley crighton)
Down Cuckmere Haven this afternoon I saw my first Clouded Yellow of the year, at long last, as well as a Small Copper ab. radiata. There was also a White Stork that had probably come from Knepp Estate. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Had a bit of time today and for a change of scenery and headed to Mill Hill. Plenty flying today with Adonis Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Small Heath, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Peacock, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Speckled Wood and the highlight for me, a nice fresh Clouded Yellow. (David Cook)
There were more Speckled Wood than every other species put together in St Leonards Forest, Horsham this afternoon. There were also quite a few Green-veined White, one with really yellow hind wings which I failed to photograph as it kept moving and being blown by the wind until finally heading into a Silver Birch probably to roost. There were also Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Small White, Small Heath, Comma and singles of Red Admiral, Common Blue and Large White. (Patrick Moore)
Adonis Blue just taken now, with my iPhone. The Liz Williams Butterfly Haven just keeps on giving. Please come at 10:00hrs on Saturday 19th October to help manage the site, if you have the time to spare. (Dr Dan Danahar)
3rd brood Wall Brown building slowly at High and Over with 1 female and 2 males showing this morning. Also one tatty 2nd brood male still flying.
Several Adonis Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue and some fresh Brown Argus. Meadow Brown hanging on and many Small Heath also on the wing. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Wednesday 04 September
Inspired by Jonathan Crawford's recommendation a few days ago we included Friston Gallops in our Litlington based walk today and agree that it is a delightful place. Sadly we did'nt see any butterflies which were small, beautiful and coppery but we did enjoy watching a female Adonis Blue egg laying on horseshoe vetch deep in the grass.
We also saw Speckled Wood, male Adonis Blue, male and female Common Blue, lots of Whites, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Red Admiral and Painted Lady despite it being a bit breezy. (Tessa Pawsey)
Plenty of butterflies at Nymans Gardens. Small Tortoiseshell on the summer borders, Red Admirals, Small Whites and Painted Ladies in various spots all enjoying the sun.. (Martin Buck)
After this mornings rain I returned for a quick walk along 3 Blackthorn hedge lines at Batchelors Farm and between 12.48 and 13.09 found 3 Brown Hairstreak laying profusely. I have to admit that I, along with many others, felt that this year was not a good year for this species but today my sightings restored my confidence that, although they had a slow start, things were returning to normal.
The Conservation work that Burgess Hill Town Council have adopted at this location, is paying dividends now and they should be complimented on their continued efforts to help this butterfly flourish. (David Cook)
After many hours of hunting, I finally managed to get to double figures with sightings of Brown Hairstreak, with egg laying females at Ditchling Common and Batchelors Farm (Burgess Hill). Both were pretty battle scarred from wrestling their way through the Blackthorn to lay their eggs. And on the back garden Buddleia, my favourite moth, a Brimstone Moth. (David Cook)
Tuesday 03 September
I've posted a few times before and consider myself fairly knowledgeable with my butterfly identification. I went round to my daughter's in the north harbour at Eastbourne last Friday and saw the largest butterfly that I have ever seen in the UK flying around outside her house until it flew off towards the harbour. It was certainly larger than a 'large' Red Admiral although colouring whilst in flight was kind of similar. The only butterfly that I could relate it to would be a Camberwell Beauty, but having never seen one of these anyway it's difficult to be certain and again I don't know if these have been sighted before in East Sussex. Any ideas would be appreciated. (Jamie May)
Migrant Painted Ladies were still coming in off the sea today at Lancing. Some were laying eggs as soon as they made landfall on the beach, or just behind it. There was also lots of evidence of earlier egg laying activity, with larvae at various stages of development (including a pale form of the 5th instar) on plants growing in the shingle. (Vince Massimo)
The Poplar Hawk-moth larvae are chomping through the willow and poplar leaves and developing a lovely pattern on day 6 since they hatched. We still have many moth species attracted to the balcony light. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Half hour walk around Nymans produced these two, they seem in good nic. J. (John Holt)
When the sun came out this morning at Lancing Ring, Small White,Clouded Yellow( helice ), Small Copper, Speckled Wood & unidentified Blue (not LTB). (John Ward)
We were sad to hear of the passing of John Holloway at the weekend. John has been a great supporter of butterfly recording and conservation in Sussex. John lived at his home 'Benallan' at Kingston nr Lewes for the last 50 years and turned the chalk slopes of Benallan's garden, into a mini-butterfly reserve and recorded an impressive 38 species there. One infamous visitor to Benallan was the Geranium Bronze - you can read about John's encounter with this exotic species on page 266 of 'The Butterflies of Sussex'. John took on the Malling Down butterfly transect from 1986 until 1996 passing it on to his son, Crispin, who continues the survey today. It's one of the longest running butterfly surveys in Sussex. Despite mobility issues John still joined Crispin on the survey until 2013 and, with the aid of his scooter, was still able to enjoy butterflies at High and Over and Abbot's Wood in recent years. (Michael Blencowe)
While looking around Thorney Island for raptors etc. We recorded the following butterflies Clouded Yellow 7, Painted Lady 10+ also still good numbers of Small Heath and Common Blue on the wing. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
Monday 02 September
In Hove this morning 4 Painted Ladies on the buddleia in our back garden, 3 faded and one fresh. We fancied some town walking away from the scruffiness of Brighton & Hove, so hopped on buses to Lewes. Southover Grange Park is looking pretty good - plenty of flowers still & some wild bits - also 3 Speckled Woods, 2 Painted Ladies, 2 Large Whites & many Small Whites. Then we went up to Lewes castle - plenty more Small Whites & 2 Holly Blues. Another stage of the "improvements" at Old Steine in Brighton have begun. Our return bus got a bit clogged up on the way back as the east side is being made two way, I think. Best avoid being in any type of motor vehicle anywhere near there for a couple of years if possible! If the central walkway ends up anything like as good as the one at Bournemouth, that will be great, but I wouldn't take a bet on it. (John & Val Heys)
I'm really sorry Ed jnr, but I saw a Gatekeeper in St Leonards Forest, Horsham this lunchtime, I did take a photo but its pretty poor. There were quite a few species about including Common Blue, Brown Argus, Comma, Small Heath and a Large White to name a few. There was also a Meadow Brown with a seemingly very large eye, see photo. (Patrick Moore)
Up and around Cissbury Ring in sun at first but then turning breezy and more cloudy. Only 12 butterfly species, but some good numbers still. 208 Small Heath, 129 Meadow Brown, 14 Speckled Wood, 13`Adonis Blue, 11 Painted Lady, 10 Common Blue, 8 Brown Argus, 6 Small Copper. Perhaps most memorable was the hugely fearsome Robber Fly Asilus crabroniformis with unfortunate prey. Couldn't find any Wall Brown or Brown Hairstreak, nor any L-tB hilltopping! (Lindsay Morris)
sun 01/09/2019. on the corner of Charles Ave. and York Road, Victoria Business Park. Burgess Hill. W.Sx. found 34x Brown Hairstreak Eggs between 11.55am and 2.12pm. found 3x eggs on the first blackthorn stem searched, so that was a good start. 9x eggs along path by steam, 7x on mound slope, the top is getting very overgrown, so haven't searched yet. the best was 9x eggs found close together on stem in car park of Energy & Carbon Management, I didn't search the other blackthorns there. that's for another day. oh and Sarah picked 2lb 8oz of blackberry's. yes its that time of year again, doesn't time fly. (Peter Farrant)
Around 11am while chatting with Nigel Driver at the West End Car Park at Weir Wood Reservoir,we noticed a large pale butterfly flying with a Large White. As it came nearer we managed to get our bins on it and couldn’t believe we were looking at a Swallowtail Butterfly. It then flew towards us over the Hedge and through the car park before being lost to sight. Who knows if it was a migrant but it was definitely in a hurry. (Alastair Gray)
I bet I know a man who does! Sods law that I added Swallowtail to the "last sightings" yesterday and now one pops up. (Ed jnr)
After last week's failed attempt this morning I paid a quick visit to Whitehawk Hill in the hope of finding a Long-tailed Blue butterfly. But instead of me finding them they came to greet me as soon as I arrived just before 10am well before I managed to switch my camera on. A few minutes later I did find the two (presumably) males as they were chasing each other just to then land only a meter apart again. They posed long enough for a few photos before taking to the air again and flying high up. The spot looks like there was a party or something over the weekend as the grass is all down like when people sit/sleep on it but these two did not seem to mind it as they seemed to prefer the Bramble. Also present a few Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Painted Lady and plenty of "whites". (Istvan Radi)
After returning from South America yesterday, I couldn't resist a sneak view of the Liz Williams butterfly haven. There, during a five minute visit I saw two male Adonis Blues - see the iPhone image attached. This is quite remarkable given that the site is so overgrown!
Now, this leads me to management, the site is in desperate need of some help. Brush cutting and burning would only take one day and I'm planning on doing this during a weekend in October. So, I would be grateful if there are any individuals who would be willing to give up their time to help. If we had 15+ people I think we could do the work in half a day. If you are prepared to help could you perhaps contact me via Dan@Bignature.co.uk.
Thanx Dan (Dr Dan Danahar)
On our circular walk from Canada barn past the burgh , we did observe one Small Tortoiseshell on 1st September along with numerous whites, small or GVW and around 20 Painted Ladies (David Macdonald)
Sunday 01 September
If it's a good moth evening I leave the balcony light on all night and often get some interesting visitors overnight. This morning I was delighted to welcome a Clifden Nonpareil to the fold. Last year we had one on August 28. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Lancing Ring in patchy sun had a third brood male Wall Brown today and a Humming-bird Hawk-moth. Only 11 butterfly species identified. Shameful. I apologise!
That's OK, though you did record 16 Species on September 1st 2018 and 20 by September 2nd 2017, so showing a clear decline since the referendum vote. Probably won't be worth you going up there next year. Still we have had 21 Sussex born butterfly species sighted today, and I think we are only missing Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell of the "common butterflies", though these are sadly not so common any more. There might be a few other species knocking about such as a late Small Blue. Still not bad for September.
Chalk Hill Blue
Ten species seen at Kithurst flower meadow this afternoon: Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Adonis Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Brown Argus, Holly Blue, Small White, Large White and a lovely fresh Comma golden in the September sun. I'm not sure if the second picture is a female Adonis or Chalk Hill Blue. (John Williams)
The views west form Cissbury Ring this afternoon were magnificent; Chichester Cathedral, the IOW, Spinnaker Tower, Ports Down and even the chimneys of Fawley refinery next to the New Forest were clear. I'm sure however that the 15 butterfly species that I found took little or no notice of the distant views. There were Common Blue, Adonis Blue and Chalk Hill Blue, Small White, Green-veined White and a Large White joined by Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Small Heath and Painted Lady. Also a Brown Hairstreak, Small Copper, Brimstone, Speckled Wood and a single Clouded Yellow. Superb. (Patrick Moore)
Humming-bird Hawk-moth briefly visited my Brighton patio this afternoon. (katrina watson)
A couple of really tatty Wall Brown were joined today by a fresh 3rd brood at High and Over. This is a day later than the 3rd brood started in 2017 and 5 days earlier than 2018. With the warm weather over the past couple of weeks I was expecting to see signs today.
There was also some busy egg laying going on by some Silver-spotted Skippers and Meadow Brown. Reasonable numbers too of Adonis Blue in the area. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
At Friston Gallops this morning to see my favourite butterfly, the Small Copper. It was quite easy going early but got harder as the wind picked up. I saw 13 in all, which ranged from very tatty to newly emerged. I am guessing all these would all be be the tail end of the second brood. There can be few places for butterflies better than Friston at the end of summer. Other species seen were Speckled Wood, Brown Argus, Adonis Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Red Admiral, the ubiquitous Painted Lady and a very aged and decrepit skipper which I presumed was an Essex Skipper. (Jonathan Crawford)
Am sure this is a Brown Argus seen in my front garden on Friday afternoon. A very lively little thing! (Angela Bogie)
You are correct. You can see the "8" quite clearly on the third picture. Now please let it go. (Ed jnr)
Saturday 31 August
Could anyone please confirm if this is indeed, a Brown Argus? (Philip Booker)
Neil Hulme informs me "Philip Booker’s butterfly is a female Common Blue. There is no ‘colon marking’ near the leading edge of the hindwing, and the white rim of a spot can just be seen, in a position closer than halfway towards the body on the forewing. These things are easier to point to than describe, but there’s plenty of information on differentiating between these species in ‘The Butterflies of Sussex’." (Ed jnr)
I have a long-tailed story to tell. It started on August 21st when the Poplar Hawk-moth laid eggs in the container I used to show the kids at the Halewick Park, Lancing event (see previous post). There were over 20 eggs. I added willow leaves to the container so that the larva would have something to eat when they hatched, which they duly did on 28th. They were slim 9mm miniatures of the large Hawk-moth larvae we are used to seeing, with characteristic long tails. They ate part of their egg, then whizzed about the container but didn't feed on the leaves. I was worried, and added some weeping willow leaves. Then some goat willow. Finally they were feeding on all 3 varieties. I added some poplar leaves for good measure, and these went down very well. So far so good, my little ones seem content with drying leaves and are growing - 10mm now, a 10% increase in a few days! Not looking forward to their school and teenage years, when they will be demanding more space and more food... Moths have continued to flock to our balcony light including a female Orange Swift, a Chinese Character and a Cypress Pug (full details on my blog). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
I went along to Whitehawk Hill this morning to see the celebrity Long-tailed Blues for myself. In an hour, starting at 9am, three LTB's were located, varying from pretty good condition to thoroughly worn. All were found easily in one small, heavily trampled area. Amazingly these LTB's have frequented this small area for a week, maybe more. There were visitors from Essex and Swindon enjoying the spectacle too, good to meet you all !. (Trevor Rapley)
I finally got round to visiting Whitehawk Hill in Brighton today. It's only a mile from where I live so I had no excuse! I saw three Long-tailed Blues, unfortunately the two that I got pictures of were very tatty. It was also a pleasure to meet Joanne from Brighton and the lady from Aylesbury (John Williams)
Friday 30 August
fri 30/08/2019, Whitehawk Hill, Brighton, E.Sx. managed to take the right grassy path to site and noticed the trampled grass, which is always a giveaway, but nobody about. it wasn't long before first male LTB was seen at 11.33am, I was soon joined by a chap and his wife en route to Bristol from Madeira, they got some photos. Katrina joined the party, and over the next hour or so we managed to see two more LTB, the third at 12.20pm. there were quite a few vertical dogfights, high into the sky until out of sight, the first male usually returning to the same area. the last time I'd seen a LTB was in 2013 at Southwick basin but only a distant sighting, so it was really nice to get close and get some decent photos, and in good company too. (Peter Farrant)
Anchor Bottom still producing good sightings. Adonis Blues were the stars, but also Painted Ladies including one on a cow pat, plenty of Gatekeepers, Small Heaths and one Clouded Yellow. On the way through the alley Commas, Red Admirals and Whites. Autumn Ladies Tresses and Gentians a real treat up there. (Simon Buck)
As trailed by Lindsay, a picture of the guaranteed non-knackered Long-tailed Blue at Lancing Ring. (Mike & Karen Galtry http://mikegaltry.co.uk/blog/)
2 or 3 Painted Ladies were around in our back garden in Hove whenever it was sunny & sometimes when it wasn't. The Small Whites were in evidence almost constantly. Several times three got together & were whirling round & round in an upward spiral. We popped into St Leonard's churchyard again. Saw what must have been the same 2 Red Admirals as they were on the same two gravestones as yesterday. We were a little earlier today & it was a bit less breezy which probably explains why we also spotted 2 Meadow Browns which were not flying yesterday. (John & Val Heys)
About 4 pm today in a light breeze and sun I could not locate the knackered Long-tailed Blue at Lancing Ring (last seen by me on Wednesday). Imagine my huge surprise when walking a dozen yards further towards Steep Down revealed Mike and Karen Galtry with a L-tB of their very own, a reasonably fresh looking male. It posed for a few seconds, but an hour or so later had not returned. Mike got an excellent open winged photo which will appear on his eponymous blog. (Lindsay Morris)
There were still 10 butterfly species in my garden today, with Small White (10) and Large White (5) the main players. A nice-looking male Common Blue came along. It appeared to have abnormally translucent wings for the dots and circles of the underparts could be seen clearly from above. (Martin Kalaher)
I went to Whitehawk Hill this lunchtime. It was a pleasure to see Peter Farrant there who was photographing a Long-tailed Blue when I arrived. We saw three flying together at one point so at least three are still there. (Katrina Watson)
Although the male Long-tailed Blues at the Whitehawk Hill TV mast were still performing well yesterday (29 August), I suspect that the majority of the primary migrants we are likely to see have now arrived, and the majority of eggs have now been laid. On several occasions yesterday, three males were in sight at the same time, but subsequent examination of my images proved that four were present (not all shown). It is certainly worth visiting them this weekend, but by next weekend I suspect that numbers will have dropped off, and they'll all be looking as ragged as some of the old boys already are. (Neil Hulme)
Thursday 29 August
A thorough search of Hammonds Ridge Meadow and The Burial Ground in Burgess Hill today produced just one Brown Hairstreak. Plenty of Small Whites and a few very fresh Comma and a couple of Small Copper were also seen. (David
Very pleased to identify a Long-tailed Blue on the north side of the train tracks from Asda carpark at Lancing railway station. Seemed to be of a male colouration through my bins and perched above the perennial peas in two areas a few feet apart, defending against any fly-by Small White. Directly over the tracks opposite the clothing and shoe banks. A Holly Blue also around. Then on to Southwick Basin, but only a Clouded Yellow for excitement. Shoreham Cement Works gave me a tantalising glimpse of something that looked right for L-tB, but no further sightings. 32 Painted Lady for the day and a brief visit to Anchor Bottom ended with a least 2 Clouded Yellow and at least 7 lepidopterists (the latter smashing the site record for me!). (Lindsay Morris)
I spotted a Long-tailed Blue in my garden in Bexhill last week, only saw 1 female feeding on lavender. (Sophie Streeter)
I went to several sites in Hove today and saw:-
(1) St Andrews Church (near Tescos) on buddleia: 8 Painted Ladies, 3 Red Admirals & 2 Small Whites at 10am.
(2) Benfield Valley (near Sainsbury's) from Old Shoreham Road to Hangleton Lane after 4pm: 1 Comma (in the same place as where I saw one on 24 July & it looked as if it might have been around that long), 1 Meadow Brown (a poor haul considering the amount of grassy wasteland north of the superstore), fair numbers of Small Whites, 6 Red Admirals (on buddleia near Hangleton Lane), 1 rather distant Large White (on same buddleia), 1 Speckled Wood (in same area) & 2 Painted Ladies. The photos are all from Benfield Valley.
(3) St Leonard's churchyard around 5pm: Small Whites, 3 Red Admirals & 1 Painted Lady. (John Heys)
A quick late afternoon walk in St Leonards Forest Horsham, produced a few Meadow Brown, plentiful Small White including a really small example, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Painted Lady, a Brimstone and a Red Admiral. (Patrick Moore)
During a walk today in the Friston Forest area of the South Downs, it was a surprise to encounter this poor old male Silver-washed Fritillary, who looked well past his sell-by date. Other species seen were Painted Lady (dozens of them), Common Blue, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Small Heath and lots of Whites. (Andy Wilson)
Selsey seafront early afternoon. Lots of Small White, 10 Painted Lady, 4 Red Admiral, 2 Clouded Yellow at last ! (Ian Thomas)
Early activity in our Hove back garden, sunny but cool. Before 9.00am 5 Painted Ladies & 1 Red Admiral. The Michaelmas daisy & devilsbit scabious are being visited as well as the buddleia. (John & Val Heys)
Yesterday morning (28/8) in the sunny interval between the early quite heavy rain & the later lighter rain we had 6 Painted Ladies around our buddleia in Hove - more than at any time previously. BBC Radio Sussex's Neil Pringle was mentioning the Long-tailed Blues this morning (29/8) & asking listeners to text in their butterfly experiences. (I've not heard any responses yet.) (John Heys)
Wednesday 28 August
This morning I was interviewed by BBC South East's Yvette Austin, together with BC Sussex Branch members Kirsty Gibbs and Dave Cook, for a news article on the Long-tailed Blue (available for a short while at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00080y8/south-east-today-evening-news-28082019 starting 20:04). Unfortunately a few facts (including Dave's surname) got scrambled, but I was pleased with the amount of airtime we were given. In a few weeks time these old warriors will be replaced by shiny new Sussex-born LTBs.
(Neil Hulme https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00080y8/south-east-today-evening-news-28082019)
Mill Hill - Shoreham-by-Sea.
I arrived late afternoon, having forgone the possibility of the Long-tailed Blue at Hove as time was against me.
Found the Holly Blue being courted on the ivy on the opposite side of the motorway. These were much more compliant towards the camera than the Holly Blues I saw along the same track a month ago. Pretty sure I glimpsed a Wall at the far end of the hill in the farmer's field, but no chance of a photo. The Clouded Yellow gave me the runaround for the best part of an hour before settling down at about 7pm. Chasing it on the slope did, however, allow a good view of late Swifts, and also a Wheatear.
P.S. Sorry about the angle of the first two. Is there any way to rectify this? (Neil Coleman )
A very enjoyable morning was spent at a now well know hill overlooking Brighton ticking off species number 62 on British soil and my first ever Long-tailed Blue (LTB). 3 males are still active, picking fights with each other and any other innocent butterfly that had the audacity to pass within striking distance. Only the tattiest of the 3 sat for any time, possibly enforced retirement! Also present were a number of very fresh Painted Lady, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, various Whites (mostly Small), Common Blue, Red Admiral and several familiar faces plus a local BBC news team. I then moved onto Tidemills for an hour where I found 2 hatched eggs and what I'm presuming is a LTB larval borehole into a developing pod, plus oodles more Painted Lady and Red Admiral (Paul Atkin)
Ever since the end of June, when the Painted Lady influx started, I have been looking for eggs, but with very limited success. As of 22rd August I had found 1 egg on Thistle and 10 on Common Mallow, all of these being on the coast in Lancing. On 23rd August I inspected a small Mallow plant in my newly evolving seaside garden in Lancing and found 57 eggs in various stages of development, some hatching during the morning. This isolated plant is only the size of a large dinner plate and is growing in the shelter of a south-facing wall, with some good nectar sources nearby (where small numbers of Painted Ladies have been seen to congregate daily), which may explain the concentration of eggs on the plant. Egg numbers were seen to increase during the day and by the 26th August there were 80 eggs, with several more hatchings. I am still monitoring things, but there seems to be a high level of predation of the new larvae. Later that weekend I found 6 more eggs on Mallow and 1 on Burdock, but nothing approaching the concentration on my plant. (Vince Massimo)
Whilst carrying out tree survey on fenced off tree planted area counted seven plus Painted Ladies and numerous other butterflies (Peter Chase)
Heather and I did the Anchor Bottom transect yesterday afternoon (hot!!) and quite good numbers : Adonis Blue - 151, Meadow Brown -138, Small Heath - 32, Common Blue - 9, Brown Argus - 8, Clouded Yellow - 5, Small White - 4, Chalk Hill Blue - 3, Painted Lady - 2, plus singles of Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. Lots of other insects off-transect including at least another 5 Clouded Yellow sightings, so seemed quite frenetic.... I had been hoping to keep an eye out for bird migrants in the bushes, but so busy counting that I only managed a couple of Wheatears. (Ray Baker)
I’m struggling with this worn individual butterfly,I think it may be a hairstreak of some sort ,any ideas (Mike collins )
Purple Hairstreak (Ed jnr)
This image of a Common Blue was taken early this morning on the Downs just above Willingdon. (Douglas Neve)
Tuesday 27 August
Another good day with the Long-tailed Blue in Sussex; I managed to see eight individual adults (5m, 3f) at four locations. First up was the Lancing Ring male (TQ17960661) discovered by Lindsay Morris. I then moved on to Whitehawk Hill TV mast, where three males are still present. I took lunch in an undisclosed public house, which had at least 30 eggs on a couple of pea plants in the beer garden (scampi & chips with a Long-tailed Blue side salad in late September). Next on my hit list was Rowland Wood, where a male was located close to the Big Beech. I finished the day at Lancing Station, where three females are still pumping out eggs. (Neil Hulme)
At Whitehawk Hill today still at least 3 Long-tailed Blues, very flighty in the heat but settling once in a while. Earlier in the morning there was also Pied Flycatcher and Redstart showing well and also great views of a Sparrow Hawk hunting low. (Anthony Bennett)
Leaving our back garden buddleia in Hove guarded by 3 Painted Ladies & a few Small Whites, we headed far east to Bodiam, hoping to see a few butterflies incidentally while we enjoyed the castle & its holiday activities for children. The usual Small Whites were around & Val spotted one Meadow Brown while we were having lunch. In one of the towers there were notices about bats & I excitedly called Val & our granddaughter in to see a dark shape flitting around in the gloom. Then it passed through a shaft of light & was revealed as a Peacock butterfly, the first I've seen for ages. Whether it was trying to find a hibernation spot or escape into the baking heat we didn't discover. So no photos from Bodiam, but back home the Painted Ladies had increased to 4, 2 of them very fine specimens, & the Small Whites were still here & there. (John & Val Heys)
sat 24/08/2019. 3x Silver-spotted Skippers and 92x Autumn Ladies Tresses at Whitebread Hole near Eastbourne. sun 25/08/2019. 1x Clouded Yellow helice at Seaford Head, at Tide Mills found 6x Long-tailed Blue Eggs between 1.38 and 2.17pm all on unopened flowers. Returned to Tide Mills on mon 26/08/2019 and found a further 6x LTB eggs between 11.11am and 12,26pm a total of twelve, all on unopened flowers, two eggs had hatched since and another was being nibbled, no adults seen though. oh and my last sighting of Purple Emperor was on tue 06/08/2019 in an East Sussex wood. (Peter Farrant)
Went on guided Wildlife Trust event to Rowlands Wood and Park Corner Heath. We were led by Michael Blencowe who was incredibly informative. Along the way we spotted at least 15 different species including Common Blues, Small Whites and Small Heaths. A singular Brimstone, Small Skipper, and one Red Admiral on the way out. The stars of the show were the two Small Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries still quite happy to be out in the warm weather. (oscar pratley crighton)
A single and very battered Long-tailed Blue seen at Legal & General office in Hove within a wildflower area containing everlasting pea. (Darryl Perry)
Walking the Downslink south from Copsale to West Grinstead Station. 1 Brown Hairstreak on Buckthorn south of Copsale and another flying over the path near the West Grinstead Station sign and disappearing deep into the buckthorn. I had hoped to see more during this 3 hour walk. Has if anyone else has had any success at other sites on the Downslink? (Janet Wilkes)
While walking the dog at dusk just near the Church of the Good Shepherd on Dyke Road, Brighton, I came upon a buddleia that had about 15 -20 Silver Y moths buzzing round it. Wonderful sight and also breakfast/supper for the common pipistrelle bat that I now see almost every night. (Sylvia Davidson)
I was filled with joy yesterday afternoon to watch a female Chalk Hill Blue egg laying on the horse shoe vetch "lawn" I grew from seed a couple of years ago. She did'nt lay many eggs during her two visits to the patch. My Whitehawk hill allotment in east Brighton is on the edge of downland so maybe not too much of a surprise but watching her neat beauty through my binoculars felt such a privilege. (Tessa pawsey)
Monday 26 August
Val & I have managed a proper butterfly walk at last. We started at Mill Hill, walked the footpath through Old Erringham Farm & the road to the east (top) end of Anchor Bottom, along the south slope & back to Mill Hill via the north slope & the road. At Mill Hill we saw plenty of Adonis Blue, Small Whites & Small Heaths, a few Common Blue, Meadow Browns, Painted Ladies, a couple of battered chalkhill blues, a Brown Argus, a Gatekeeper & a lizard. Where the path enters the wooded area there were 2 Speckled Woods. Beyond, on the farmland footpath, we saw plenty of Small Heaths & Small Whites, a few Meadow Browns & Painted Ladies & 1 Comma. In Anchor Bottom & Dacre Gardens we saw much the same as at Mill Hill plus a Holly Blue, a Red Admiral & on our way back 2 Clouded Yellows on the north slope (facing south), which was also a-flutter with Adonis Blues. We found the autumn ladies tresses towards the top of the north side where the grass was a little greener than on the steeper slopes. I discovered back home that our camera doesn't like them - it won't focus on their paleness. At Hove in the back garden, our current regulars - Small Whites & Painted Ladies (3) - were in evidence as we sat recovering in the shade of the apple tree. (John & Val Heys)
A mating pair of Small Tortoiseshell was a surprise in our East Dean garden (TV562984) today. Over the past week or so we have had a constant stream of Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Large and Small Whites, mostly nectaring on Buddleia. Also, the occasional Small Copper, Small Heath, Comma, and Meadow Brown. We are now at 17 species for the year plus Jersey Tiger and Humming-bird Hawk-moth.
Unfortunately nothing has ventured near our Everlasting Pea! (Carole & David Jode)
A selection of photos from Kithurst Hill flower meadow this afternoon. I saw Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Brimstone, and hundreds of Small Whites. I also saw the first Adonis Blue I have ever seen at this site. (John Williams)
Another sunny day in Seaford and several of Painted Ladies visited my south facing garden so it looks like another influx. At one point this afternoon there were 7, mainly feeding on Verbena Bonariensis but others just whizzed through. I noticed that some were slightly smaller than usual. Large numbers of Small Whites appeared as did 2 Small Heath, 2 Meadow Brown with singles of Red Admiral and Common Blue. (Stuart Ridley)
Surprised to see a female Brown Hairstreak alight briefly on a front garden Brick wall on the corner of Sheridan Road and Beaumont Road in suburban Worthing. TQ149040 (Andrew Wood)
Set off early this morning to do the walk from Hassocks station to Wolstonbury Hill. Having missed every recent opportunity to see Brown Hairstreak I planned to try a couple of places I thought might just yield one. There were plentiful Large White, Small White and Meadow Brown on the path to Clayton, plus lots of huge wasp spiders in the meadow next to Butcher's wood. Once on the hill itself there were Chalk Hill Blue, Small Heath, Common Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper and lots more Meadow Brown. The flowers on top of the hill are spectacular, more round-headed rampion than I have ever seen in one place. My first place to try for Brown Hairstreak, a hedge at the base of the hill on the way to the dew pond, was unsuccessful. So headed back to Hassocks (after a stop at the pub) and tried another hedge - this is a hedge along the meadow between Butcher's Wood and Lag Wood, which is almost pure blackthorn. I was just about giving up when in the last section of the hedge, an orange blob suddenly appeared and there she was - a Brown Hairstreak. She hung around for a few photos and then was off. (Sylvia Davidson)
In our Shoreham garden 7 Painted Ladies and a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Migration in action! Does anyone know where exactly the Long-tailed Blue is hanging out on Lancing Ring? I think I must be the only butterfly enthusiast who has failed to see one judging by all the sighting!! (Chris and Helen Corrigan)
Spent over 2 hours here in the heat spotting Speckled Wood x 3, Painted Lady x16, Small Heath x 54, Holly Blue x3, Small White x12, Meadow Brown x32, Clouded Yellow x1, Adonis Blue x33, chalkhill blue x14, Red Admiral x3,Comma x1, Common Blue x2, brown Argos x1. Moths were treble var x1, mint moth x1. (David Gower)
Spent 2 hours here but no luck with Brown Hairstreak although others reported one. Did see Small White x 5, Speckled Wood x3, Small Heath x12, Painted Lady x 4, Meadow Brown x 9, Common Blue x2, Large White x 3 & Silver Y x1. (David gower)
The Long-tailed Blue was in the same place as yesterday on Lancing Ring. A Clouded Yellow was on Steep Down. Amongst the 16 species of butterfly seen, Small Heath building up towards three figures. (Lindsay Morris)
Can’t say how overwhelmed I was this morning to see my first ever Long Tailed Blue at Whitehawk Hill. I could Barely keep my camera still as was so excited. The colours look rather faded in the sunshine but still beauties to see. A very happy sight. (Kirsty Gibbs)
At Thorney Island this afternoon we had at least 5 Clouded Yellows. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
After attending the successful foray led by Richard Roebuck to Steyning (I'm the owner of Hector the Leonberger) a trip up to Mill Hill gave Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Painted Lady and about six Silver-spotted Skippers. Heading back to my home in Devon on the 25th I stopped at Kithurst Meadow where the list was Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Brown Argus, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Small White, Large White, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Painted Lady and a single female Brown Hairstreak. Back in Devon now and I'm suffering from a severe case of chalk downland envy! (Rob Bogue)
The warm windless evenings have brought some interesting moths to the balcony light the past few days: Common Wainscot, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer, Garden Carpet, Light Emerald, Mother of Pearl, Small Dusty Wave, Bright-line Brown-eye, Cabbage Moth, Common Plume, Elder Pearl, Lime-speck Pug, Marbled Green, Pearl Veneer, Rusty Dot Pearl, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Willow Beauty plus a new one: Orange Swift. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
I Joined other enthusiasts to day at Whitehawk Hill yesterday morning and and got a record shot of a long tailed Blue - minus the tails alas Also saw a Clouded Yellow . On my arrival at Manor Hill TQ331045 I walked up the grass verge and a huge grasshopper landed in front of me - my camera was in my ruck sack It was the same size as a locust and then immediately took flight up into a tree . It was very similar as any you would see in Europe Grey brown in colour and when they take flight , look like a small bird , at least four inches wingspan , old money - clearly Whitehawk Hill has the potential
to hold a few secrets of the weird and wonderful that may turn up from the continent.
Early August weather had been awful for Brown Hairstreaks and i hadn't seen any until last Wednesday but, i was optimistic today due to the current run of warm weather. Weather conditions on saturday were perfect, very warm and still. For the 40 enthusiasts and one delightful Leonberger called Hector attended . They had travelled from far and wide and patience and great team effort paid off .
After about 11.15 the first female was spotted . Everyone had excellent views of several females literally within a foot at eye level and observation of egg laying and views of a freshly laid egg.
We saw 5 in a localised area along the reserve fenced area - often on the older Dexter nibbled blackthorns . Just as we were departing there were two females flying together just above the grass level. Having just come down from an Ash tree below the kissing gate . It was now hot , they didn't land and gradually headed back to the shade by the footpath fence. I was pretty sure these were both newly emerged as they didn't go to the blackthorns . All the Brown Hairstreak females we saw were in good condition despite the odd nick in the wings .
So in total 7 females were recorded , in quite a localised area ,in about 1 and 3/4 hrs , a record for recent walks here. No doubt there would have been many others across the whole site . So for anyone wishing to see female Brown Hairstreaks its a good time to go to the Steyning rifle Range between 11.15 and 01.00 and look along the fence line by the reserve area at the bottom of the slope . No doubt Blackthorn areas at Burgess Hill and Ditchling Common may also be worth a visit now . Many thanks to Mathew Thomas and the Steyning Downland team for excellent management of the reserve.
Although the weather seems great now, it's not been so good for most butterflies over the last 3 weeks. Only Small Whites are really thriving. We had 6 in/near our garden in Hove at the same time yesterday which is probably a species record for us. On Saturday, we saw plenty of Small Whites in our travels around the City, but otherwise only a single Red Admiral in our garden, a single Common Blue at St Leonards Churchyard and a single Holly Blue as we travelled back from East Moulsecoomb on the bus from Albion's dismal defeat at the Amex. (John & Val Heys)
Sunday 25 August
Been to Anchor Bottom for as long as I could stand the sun over the last two days. Originally went for Autumn Ladies Tresses and Gentians, successful on both counts. Really good butterfly action. Lots of Adonis Blue, the most numerous butterfly up there, although unphotogenic! Two Clouded Yellows travelling through, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Red Admiral all enjoying the heat. (Simon Buck)
Many thanks to the reserve ranger, for pointing us in the right direction (and for showing us the Autumn Lady's Tresses orchids). The sighting of two Long-tailed Blues near the transmitter mast made the long trip from Essex well worthwhile. Other species in the nature reserve itself were: Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small White, Green-veined White, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Adonis Blue, Painted Lady. (Alan Waddoups)
Slow going again at Steyning rifle range today. In the end I had 5 sightings of Brown Hairstreak, although possibly only 3 distinct butterflies. I also saw a faded Small Copper, a few Meadow Browns and various miscellaneous whites. I enjoyed the company of the 3 people who had come down from Essex to see the Brown Hairstreak, and it's a shame that the site isn't rewarding long distance visitors with the amount of sightings that it used to. (John Williams)
Went on a Butterfly Conservation organised event to Green Ridge. Found a singular Brown Hairstreak which I had aimed to see which was really nice. Just one Brown Argus spotted, along with Common Blues and a lovely fresh Small Copper. A great day had. (oscar pratley crighton)
Roasting in the sun up around Lancing Ring was my 36th species for this site - a rather battered male Long-tailed Blue. It was on the main bridlepath immediately to the west of the main wood defending it's favoured grass stems against all comers. Frustratingly it had a couple of dogfights with similar blue butterflies, but a further definite identification was not forthcoming. Fifteen other butterfly species seen including 2 Clouded Yellow and a Brown Hairstreak. (Lindsay Morris)
18 people joined me for our 'Late Summer Butterflies of Green Ridge' guided walk in Brighton & Hove this morning. The heat of the day made things interesting, however we managed to see a range of target species. We saw Common Blue, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Small White, Large White, Painted Lady, Comma and Red Admiral alongside a possible Holly Blue. There was excitement when a female Brown Hairstreak was spotted low to the ground, which proceeded to make its way along the Blackthorn hedgerow, laying eggs, walking about and resting in the shade, providing some great views. It was lovely to see new and familiar faces, to those that made a donation, thank you! (Jamie Burston)
Eureka! While sat in our Barcombe Cross garden late lunchtime today (Sunday), I saw a small dark butterfly land on some Pyracantha and was amazed to see that its under-wings were orange - a female Brown Hairstreak. Presumably the Pyracantha is similar enough to blackthorn. The hairstreak was continually on the move but posed sufficiently to allow me (eventually) to get the camera into focus. Although it had a hole in its right fore-wing showing the orange patch on the opposite upper-wing, it would be churlish to complain having recently spent many unsuccessful hours looking in suitable blackthorn / ash habitat locally. One was seen by Nick L on nearby Knowlands Farm last autumn so perhaps they're gradually spreading east. Unfortunately, many of our local ash trees are on the way out. Also in the garden this morning were two Painted Ladies and a Small Tortoiseshell. (Simon Linington)
Saturday 24 August
At Whitehawk Hill near the transmission station next to Brighton race course. Saw about 4 Long-tailed Blue! There were quite a few Small Heath and Small Whites my attention was all on the Long-tailed Blues 😎 (Jenny Hodgkins)
This Poplar Hawk Moth was found in my moth trap this morning. (Douglas Neve)
Friday 23 August
I attended an event at Halewick Park, Lancing on behalf of Butterfly Conservation Sussex on Wednesday. It was for kids and plenty of families turned up and I had plenty of interest at my stand where I advised where they could find information about butterfly gardening, butterfly walks and where to see them. I directed them to our wonderful website and "The Butterflies of Sussex by M.Blencowe and N.Hulme" which many of them looked at. I conducted a couple of walks in the adjacent meadow, but it is not a butterfly friendly meadow and we only saw a Painted Lady, Small Whites and a Common Blue. The kids enjoyed seeing the Poplar Hawk moth which arrived on our balcony the previous evening, complete with the eggs she had laid in the container. She has now flown from the balcony and is hopefully laying eggs on a poplar or willow. I called in at Beeding cement works and found a tiny Pea Moth (Cydia nigricana) on an Everlasting Pea flower and Cochylimorpha species moths (9mm long) on the Everlasting Pea. Afterwards I visited Woods Mill and was delighted to find a Willow Emerald Damselfly for the first time. There were plenty of Ruddy Darters flying. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Went to guided walk over High and over this morning. Saw the three main blues, Adonis Blue, Common Blue and Chalkhill Blues in good numbers, though the Chalkhills were looking tired at this stage. Also saw a couple of Silver Spotted Skippers. (oscar pratley crighton)
Managed to locate the LTB eggs Neil found on the 20th in Steyning this morning. I guess the owners might become very confused by the sudden celebrity of their little garden. However the most interesting thing we saw today was a creature gingerly crossing the path to Mouse Lane. It took a moment to realise that it was a grey squirrel with a large bird in its mouth. Beatrix Potter didn't write about that. (Jonathan Crawford)
This morning I drove over to Southwick. I had not been there long when I was joined by Lindsay Morris.We spent the morning patrolling the site, neither of us could believe how quiet it was on the butterfly front. Small Whites were quite abundant, but only three Common Blues were seen, and no Clouded Yellows, although we met someone who had seen a Clouded Yellow yesterday. Some relief was found by the fuel tanks, where the Buddleia was host to in excess of a dozen Painted Ladies, and a very fresh Red Admiral. Some of the fresh Painted Ladies were noticeably smaller than usual, being about the size of a Small Tortoiseshell. Great to meet Lindsay again!. (Trevor Rapley)
A correction on the Long-tailed Blue seen in my garden, yesterday. I asked Neil for guidance on its sex and it is a male (which is perhaps why I cannot find any eggs on the Everlasting Sweet Pea!). My thanks to Neil. Otherwise, the Painted Lady that I was photographing when I was distracted by the blue and an obliging male Brimstone today. (Martin Kalaher)
An enjoyable if hot walk from Steyning to Chanctonbury and back yielded many butterflies but no definite sightings of hairstreaks. There were many Painted Ladies especially on the SDW East of Chanctonbury and a Small Tortoiseshell by the trig point. Also Wall Brown, Small Skipper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Small White and Large White. And one possibly two redstarts near the blue hose over the stile at the rifle range. (Martin Buck)
Having failed to locate Long-tailed Blue at Lancing (only probable of each sex), Southwick Basin (with Trevor Rapley) and Beeding Cement Works (a rare sighting of Pete Varkala), I finished up at Anchor Bottom where I was rewarded with a pair of mating Clouded Yellow and two others trying to get in on the act. About 60 Adonis Blue males and about 10 females amongst a total of 14 butterfly species seen today. Beware! There are now two Wasp Spiders in my garden! (Lindsay Morris)
In my Father's garden in Pound Hill, Crawley his Large White buddleia bush has proved very attractive to Painted Lady butterflies during the last 3 weeks. There have been at least 6 and today there were 4+ despite the number of flowers been much reduced. I finally got round to taking some pictures. A fresh Speckled Wood also settled briefly on the bush. Also bit of a late sighting but 3 weeks ago there was also a Small Tortoiseshell on the bush. (Anthony Bennett)
Photos of cinerea Meadow Brown we found at Thorney Island on 20th Aug to Colin Pratt yesterday. There was also another one there yesterday (22 Aug) (Barry Collins)
Spent Two hours at the Steyning Rifle range site with Colin Mount between 11.30am and 1.30pm today. Very quiet until 12.35 when we saw our first Brown Hairstreak and total increased to four females by 1pm when it went quiet again. (Keith Cutting )
A Silver-washed Fritillary in the grounds of the Blue Idol Quaker Meeting House at Coolham.. Also seen Speckled Wood and Gatekeepers. (Janet Wilkes)
RSPB Pulborough Brooks. An egg laying Brown Hairstreak on Blackthorn Nr Winpenny Hide. (Janet Wilkes)
Thursday 22 August
My final day out with Will Langdon, before he returned to Somerset, turned out to be an epic. We started off at a site in Brighton where there is no public access, after being invited along by our generous host. We immediately made contact with male Long-tailed Blues (LTBs) as they clashed and performed their characteristic vertical jousts, reminiscent of the Duke of Burgundy. It wasn't long before we were treated to a chase of three.
We then performed an egg count over three areas where Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (BLEP) was growing, finishing with a total of 54 ova. Just before leaving, I decided to check a different part of the site, where we again saw three male LTBs in combat.
Our next port of call was the meadow near the TV mast at Whitehawk Hill, although I didn't hold out much hope of success, as the BLEP has been heavily grazed. However, we found a further three male LTBs here, bringing the day's tally to nine. (Neil Hulme)
We spent a lot of the day in Surrey, but before we left we saw in our garden in Hove 2 Painted Ladies, several Small Whites and a Red Admiral with some rather odd rear wing damage which made it look like it had Streamers. (The Small White pictured was actually at Hatchlands Park in Surrey, included as its kin in our garden have not been cooperating for pictures recently.) (John & Val Heys)
Photos from Kithurst Meadow on Tuesday August 20th (Denise Diston)
7 Painted Ladies were in my Seaford garden for the most part of the morning. In the afternoon several Whites, 2 Small Heath and singles of Common Blue, Holly Blue and Red Admiral were also seen.. (Stuart Ridley)
Whilst out looking for the elusive Brown Hairstreak, I spotted yet another nice-looking Painted Lady and thought I might just as well take some more photos, when a blue butterfly landed right next to me - and you've guessed it, I immediately abandoned the PL. I knew more-or-less straightaway that this blue butterfly was not a Common Blue or a Holly Blue, and so at this time of the year there are not too many other options. A quick look of the underparts confirmed the ID - a Long-tailed Blue! Around 10 years whilst on holiday with friends in Portugal I saw about a dozen blue butterflies, nectaring on a garden shrub. Having no European ID book with me I memorised the pattern and back in Blighty I identified the butterflies as Long-tailed Blues. The underside pattern is etched in my brain. Something that caught my attention today was that most of the time whilst nectaring it had its wings partially open (with Holly Blue its almost never and even with Common Blue it is unusual). It also likes Purple Loosestrife, which my garden bees enjoy but are largely ignored by most of the butterflies, except for Holly Blue. I believe this butterfly is a female. It is very faded but does appear to be purple inner third and faded brown outer two thirds. There are also two fairly prominent spots by the non-existent tail. Since we have a fair amount of Everlasting Pea I must keep checking the flower heads (I have not seen any eggs, as yet). This species is new to my Storrington garden and it takes me to 32 species for the season (a garden record) and a cumulative total of 35 butterfly species. (Martin Kalaher)
A couple of hours spent at Rowland Wood and Park Corner Heath this morning, produced 4 Speckled Wood, 5 Painted Lady, 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 10 Meadow Brown, 50+ Small Heath, 3 Gatekeeper, 10+ Common Blue, 20+ Small White, 2 Large White and 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and a pair of Wellington Boots. I was surprised to see the worn fritillaries and the newish boots. I have hung the boots on the back of gate. There are many dragonflies here at present and there are also thousands of grasshoppers. (Howard Wood)
Had a wander round the Steyning Rifle Range area this lunchtime.... Fairly slow going on the Brown Hairstreak front, and an hour or so of diligent searching only led to 2 definite sightings (each egg-laying females) and 2 further possibles. Other sightings included: Painted Ladies, Small and Large Whites, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Brown Argus and Small Heath. Blues were Common Blue, Holly Blue and a single male Adonis.... not sure if this latter species are often seen at the Rifle Range? - a first for me anyhow, although I don't go there very often! (Ray Baker)
I visited the Downs above Willingdon this morning and took this image of a Common Blue on Devil's bit Scabious at about 06.30 hrs. (Douglas Neve)
Wednesday 21 August
Another great day (21 August) spent in the company of Will Langdon. We started by looking at some nice Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (BLEP) plants in a communal garden in Lancing, where I found Long-tailed Blue (LTB) ova in 2015. A far-from-thorough search produced 15 LTB eggs. We then moved to Lancing Station to observe the vast stands of BLEP through the security fence around a supermarket car park, using binoculars. We agreed to masquerade as trainspotters, to avoid being labelled as social outcasts/anoraks/weirdos, and I think we got away with it. Despite being frustratingly remote from our quarry, we got rather excited, as we could clearly see three female LTBs frenetically laying eggs; I suspect there are hundreds of ova present here, or there soon will be. A male LTB was also briefly present, as were several Holly Blues.
PLEASE NOTE: the accompanying image was taken through a gap in the security fence and there is absolutely no access to the BLEP plants on this site.
Searches for adults and eggs at Southwick Basin and Brighton Royal Pavilion were unsuccessful, but the species may well turn up at these locations in the next week or two. (Neil Hulme)
I walked for an hour today at Mill Hill (11:20-12:20) There was a Red Admiral in the car park around the Stinging nettles. I saw many Painted Ladies 30+ Red Admirals x 12, Brimstones x2 males, lots of blues on the slope there, about 3 different ones, a few Brown Argus, probably 60 of the whites , large, and small. 7 Speckled Woods, lots of browns about still too! 1 Peacock, I’d hoped I’d see a Clouded Yellow, Small Tortoiseshells and even a Brown Hairstreak if really lucky! But I wasn’t. Still lovely out on the downs. In the Afternoon I rode to Shoreham from Hove and up the old railway line and onto Steyning. Considering the amount of habitat including buddleia I thought numbers of butterfly’s were poor, probably saw a dozen Red Admirals and 2 dozen Painted Ladies with Whites, not many browns or blues. (Mike Church)
Whilst walking the south downs this morning found a long tailed blue near the trig point on chanctonbury hill. (Mark swann)
A surprisingly cloudy start at the burial ground in burgess hill yielded nothing for the first half hour but slightly lighter skies brought out Meadow Browns, a Common Blue and amazingly small Brown Argus. There were also a few Speckled Woods. When the sun emerged I found an Ash with several Brown Hairstreaks, it's about 50 yards south of the Emily temple statue. Not far from here I came across Trevor but don't think he was any more successful in getting any photos. Later not far from the barn saw a bright new Peacock and several Gatekeepers. (Martin Buck)
A few Painted Ladies were in my garden early this morning but in the afternoon there were 8 at the same time that were either feeding on Verbena Bonariensis and Buddleia flowers or resting in the sunny spots. Looks as if large numbers are arriving this year. Also seen were several Whites, 2 Small Heath and single Holly Blue and Common Blue and a Humming bird Hawk Moth. (Stuart Ridley)
A lovely eight mile circular walk from the car park at the top of Firle Bostal with my friend Joan Wilkes started cloudy but ended sunny. The first butterfly highlights were about ten Wall Brown, mainly male, at the western end of The Comp ( little genuflect to Bob Eade here ). As Bob has noted on this website before the damage done to the track by large farm machinery is a bit brutal.
Then on to Stump Bottom just north east of Denton where we had a lovely time chasing blue butterflies with our binoculars. A mixture of Adonis males, Chalkhill blue, male and female, Common Blue and lots of feisty Brown Argus giving chase to most things. Most of the adonis were up a little footpath up the steepish western slope. The carline thistle are just coming into flower and provided chances for us to watch the butterflies when still. I have a soft spot for the diminutive purple flowers of Autumn gentian which were starting to open on the site. We did'nt see anyone else for the happy hour or so we spent in Stump Bottom.
Today, 21st August, I went to Newhaven Tidemills to find some LTB eggs (an adult would have been a nice Brucie bonus but didn’t materialise). Within 5 minutes of arriving I found my first one and a twenty minute browse of the small amount of pea that’s within reach (most of it is clambering over bramble) I wracked up a total of 9. Not much else was flying, some Small Heath, a few Painted Lady, Red Admirals, Common Blues, Small and GV White, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. I also took a wander over to Newhaven Fort where it was much the same selection of butterflies plus the addition of a single Wall. If you go looking for eggs, beware I found some others which to the naked eye look like LTB but on closer inspection are smooth and oval. Presumably a moth of some sort?
Yesterday (20th August) I visited Southwick Harbour where between 15 and 20 Painted Lady were gorging on the Buddleja at the far end. At least 2 Clouded Yellow also appeared when it warmed up. Small Whites and Red Admirals were also present plus a single Common Blue. No LTB eggs were found on the Everlasting pea. I then moved on to Mill Hill where Adonis Blue were putting on a good show amongst the usual selection of late august hangers on. There were also good numbers of fresh Small Heath here. A walk along the footpath around the horse field on the south side of the bypass yielded good numbers of Holly Blue, mostly females laying eggs like it was going out of fashion!
In reference to John Smith's mystery moth seen at Amberley.
I believe this is a Scorpion Fly - Panorpa sp.
Can you tell me what it is? . (John Holt)
Colin Knight has identified it as Light Brown Apple Moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Ed jnr)
Although the total garden butterfly count decreases by the day, the variety is still good with 13 species recorded today. Most are in a very worn state but a Painted Lady (of the 19th) and a Small Tortoiseshell (today) were both in good shape. (Martin Kalaher)
A crisp Speckled Wood ( late brood female?) , and on the Fleabane in Rowland Wood five Painted Lady-all brightly coloured individuals except one faded & worn ( would this be a migrant?) (Colin Boyd)
Ashington: Nice sunny and hot to day and I had a gut feel at 12.05, but not for food. Immediately I spotted a Female Brown Hairstreak sat on a Horseradish leaf . An exciting hour of Brown Hairstreak behaviour and much egg laying on the garden blackthorns by three!! feisty female Brown Hairstreaks . Fantastic
While on holiday I saw what I suppose to be a clearwing moth while on a walk near Amberley. I would be grateful if you could confirm that this is the case and if so which species. (John Smith)
Red Admiral in Colchester (Leslie Harbottle)
I sat outside around 8.50am to have breakfast. At 9.10am a Small White appeared and settled on foliage . Within a minute 2 Painted Ladies appeared and settled in the sun on a white painted wall conveniently near the buddleia on which they are now nectaring. (John Heys)
Tuesday 20 August
I spent today (20 August) with Will Langdon from Somerset, who is visiting Sussex for a few days. We didn't see everything on our wish list, but we did see some good stuff which wasn't on it.
Our first stop was a private area on the Wiston Estate, which didn't yield the rare moths we were after, but did produce four Brown Hairstreak.
Just before heading up to Steyning Rifle Range, I recalled seeing a Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea plant in a private garden nearby. A quick check from the pavement revealed three Long-tailed Blue eggs.
We finished the day at Anchor Bottom, where Autumn Lady's-tresses are now flowering in abundance. Adonis Blue numbers were modest, but I suspect that the second brood is still far from peak here, with just one female seen. Will then spotted what for me was the highlight of the day - a mating pair of Hornet Robberfly. (Neil Hulme)
4 Painted Ladies on the buddleia in our garden in Hove this morning was a good sign. Painted Ladies turned up at the County Cricket ground too, half a dozen at least & around the same number of Small Whites + something much darker, probably a Peacock. I managed to get a picture of a Painted Lady in the south garden at the cricket ground, on lavender. (John Heys)
This afternoon we had a very striking Meadow Brown variation called cinerea on the southern end of Thorney Island. The same colour as the one seen by by Neil Hulme at Washington in 2012.See page 285 in Colin Pratt book Butterflies and Moths of Sussex Volume 4. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
I visited the Tide Mills at Newhaven today where I met David Cook who kindly showed me a Long-tailed Blue egg. I saw a kingfisher fly along the creek. I then went to the Fort and saw my first Jersey Tiger moth nectaring on buddleia with Painted Ladies. Also a mating pair of Common Blues. Other butterflies seen: Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small Heath, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown. At Beeding Cement works I saw a Kentish Conch ( Cochylimorpha alternana). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
It's a truth universally acknowledged that a man suffers from a cold more than his wife! So holding onto that thought I made a short circuit of Malling Down for a bit of R & R and enjoyed the butterflies and wild flowers, both in good numbers. In no particular order saw Speckled Wood, Large White, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Adonis Blue , Chalk Hill Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Silver-spotted Skipper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Brimstone, Gatekeeper, Small Copper. And a Humming-bird Hawk-moth ond the Buddlia near the end. Also it was a pleasure to meet and chat to Sylvia about all things butterflies. (Martin Buck)
Wandered the Slindon Estate this morning most butterflies looking worn now except for some fairly fresh looking Red Admiral and Painted Lady. Still plenty of Meadow Brown,Speckled Wood,Brown Argus,Common Blue,Small Copper,Small White,Large White,I was surprised to see a late Large Skipper. (Barry Sketchley)
Can someone please explain where the everlasting broad leaved pea is. Spent some time this morning hoping to see the long tailed blue without success, at the Newhaven Tide mills site. (Mr Robert Ludman)
Due to all the weather we have been having recently I hadn't managed to do the 2nd part (August) part of the Wider Butterfly Survey until today. Nothing startling seen, it was a case of everything looking a bit tired, including the surveyor!! I was a little surprised to find 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries still hanging on as well as an extremely ragged Ringlet. However, the biggest surprise was a Large Skipper, the only skipper seen on the survey. A small number of Wall Brown were also good to see. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
What a sight, 20 or so Painted Lady's in one bush in a front garden on Shoreham beach. (John Holt)
In my garden yesterday Trotton Can you identify please? (Jean Bone)
That's a female Silver-washed Fritillary. (Ed jnr)
Southwick : This female Brown Hairstreaks wings were in a terrible condition, but the creature had considerable strength and vitality and still flew surprisingly well. (Howard Mitchell)
Monday 19 August
Sunny much of the day at Sussex county Cricket Ground, but we realised why we were seeing no butterflies when we emerged from the sheltered area we were sitting in to find a pretty constant strong wind blowing. Eventually we did see a mint moth on the lavender in the ground-staffs' little garden at the north end and a weary Small White being blown around in the north west garden. Nothing on the buddleia - nor on ours at home. (Sussex are well on top against Middlesex & may even win tomorrow.) (John & Val Heys)
Yay! Third time lucky, managed to see my first and only (for today) Brown Hairstreak. Steyning Downland Scheme, Rifle Range about midday.
Not much else around today was a bit wet and windy. Couple of whites but they didn’t stop long enough for me to identify and a few Meadow Brown. (Jenny Hodgkins)
Did the Mill Hill transect yesterday lunchtime.... nothing unexpected, but good numbers I thought, particularly in a strong and chilly breeze and only occasional bursts of watery sunshine. It's an ill-wind though, as many insects - particularly Adonis Blues - were basking open-winged, presumably try to gain what heat they could out of the autumn sunshine, so unusually co-operative subjects for photography.
Numbers :Adonis Blue 132, Brown Argus 1, Chalk Hill Blue 28, Common Blue 5, Meadow Brown 122, Painted Lady 8, Small Heath 32, Small White 23, Speckled Wood 2. (Ray Baker)
Some Adonis Blues feeling amorous despite a very strong wind at Malling Down, Lewes this afternoon. (John Williams)
Solitary female Brown Hairstreak in St Andrews churchyard, Didling. (Clare Doherty)
Don't you just love English place names! "Didling is really out of the way, on Bugshill Lane, the dusty old back road between Bepton and Treyford in the shadow of the South Downs." Is there any more evocative poetry or opening line to a novel? And the unrestored church looks magnificent. What a lucky hairstreak to have found its way there. (Ed jnr)
A visit to Deep Dean this morning turned rather unpleasant due to the rain so after finding one Grayling I didn't hang around any longer. Between showers Meadow Brown, Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue, Painted Lady and Small Heath were active briefly. (Istvan Radi)
A search for Long-tailed Blue (LTB) eggs yesterday (18 August) produced mixed results. Newhaven Tidemills was hard going, but I eventually found three ova on the abundant Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (BLEP), much of which is in perfect condition for egg-laying. I suspect that the recent very windy weather and exposed nature of the site has discouraged any incoming LTBs from hanging around for too long here. However, that may change this week, with a return to more suitable weather conditions; I'm hoping that more butterflies will make the crossing. A sheltered site within the town was more productive, with nine eggs found (thanks, Dave, Sue and Pete) and probably many more present. I also found several boreholes which looked like good candidates for where hatched larvae have entered the flowers to feed.
A visit to Whitehawk Hill (potentially the best LTB site in Sussex) was disappointing. Unfortunately the key compartment had been grazed from mid June to late July, removing the BLEP (and more 'appropriate' chalk grassland wildflowers) at a critical time. I also visited Beeding Cement Works, where two more eggs were found.
We have had 1-2 Painted Lady butterflies daily since late July and yesterday we had 3! I live in Portslade. They came to the front garden where there are two Buddleia bushes. R (Sally Milne)
Sunday 18 August
A bit windy up on Southwick Hill today but lovely to see a Small Tortoiseshell along with Adonis Blue, Brown Argus, Silver-spotted Skipper. Also spotted but I have not included all photos; Wall Brown, plenty of Chalk Hill Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath. (Jenny Hodgkins)
Painted Lady 21; Small White 7; Gatekeeper 3; Meadow Brown 13; Large White 4; Small Heath 4; Common Blue 7; Chalk Hill Blue 4; Large Skipper 1; Wall 1; Speckled Wood 2; Red Admiral 3; Brown Argus 2.
I walked for approximately 1 hour along the paths from Butts Brow towards Eastbourne Youth Hostel. (David Beer)
To accompany Jonathan Crawford's report from day at Deep Dean, the two Grayling we saw, plus a Silver-spotted Skipper egg laying and the resulting egg, followed by another, found by chance in the same area. Back at home a Painted Lady in my Brighton front garden. (Jamie Burston)
Three Painted Ladies spent most of the afternoon either resting on my lawn or feeding on Buddleia and Verbena Bonariensis flowers between bouts of rushing about my, and adjacent gardens. Also seen were a number of White butterflies, and singles of Holy Blue, Wall, and a nice surprise, a Clouded Yellow. Not bad for a windy but bright day in Seaford. (Stuart Ridley)
Super excited to spot this Long-tailed blue at Rowlands Wood this morning. (Annie Irving )
Selsey seafront this morning [ sunday 18th] 60+ Small White, 7 Painted Lady, 5 Red Admiral, 1 Gatekeeper, 3 Common Blue . (Ian Thomas)
Outside Front of Bungalow in Friars Oak Road Hassocks (John Kearvill)
It seems that the Brown Hairstreak is having a really bad year at Steyning rifle range. I have now spent 11 hours there (on 3 separate occasions) and only seen one. I wonder if this is the culprit, munching away at prime Hairstreak habitat. I did at least see a nice fresh Painted Lady. (John Williams)
Jamie Burston and I managed to find two Grayling on Deep Dean despite conditions that were verging on the atrocious, and got thoroughly soaked for our trouble. Also seen were Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue and Common Blue and good numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers, plus the usual suspects.
After disappointment at the Rifle Range yesterday I detoured on the journey home to Burgess Hill burial ground. Here, not for the first time, I saw a Brown Hairstreak whilst parking the car in a brief moment of sunshine. It was a tatty female but was soon joined by a more splendid companion. This was my 45th Sussex species of the year (including our honorary Wood Whites).
My second detour, inspired by Dave Harris's post this morning, was to the power station at Southwick. Sadly I could find no eggs on the everlasting pea and every blue I chased down in the windy conditions was a common one. A small yellow moth caught my eye as I was observing Small Whites chasing one another. It was less than half their size, no bigger than a Common Blue. A close inspection showed it to be a tiny Clouded Yellow, my 46th species of the year. Stealing the scene at the power station were the Painted Ladies, who being strong flyers shrugged off the conditions. (Jonathan Crawford)
Following Neil Hulme`s suggestion that it might be a good idea to get out and check the Everlasting Pea locally, Sue Cross, Pete Varnham and I did just that today. We checked out four sites and on two of these were rewarded with some great views of both fresh and hatched Long Tailed Blue eggs. There was even a tatty male nectaring on some pea in the garden on the return from the trip. Thanks for the tip, Neil - most appreciated. Some photos attached courtesy of Pete. (Dave Harris)
Saturday 17 August
Painted Ladies are certainly enjoying the rockery and patio in our Storrington back garden. The sun went in enabling me to count 12 of them this afternoon, whilst they pressed themselves flat against the stones. As the sun came back out, one by one they drifted back up to the buddlehia. Also, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small and Large Whites (Denise Diston)
I spent four hours at Steyning rifle range today without seeing any Brown Hairstreaks, the highlights being the company of Andrew, Trevor and Denise and a nice fresh Meadow Brown. I then went onto Kithurst Hill flower meadow, where I saw Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, and a faded Large Skipper. (John Williams)
Chanced upon this female Brown Hairstreak this afternoon taking nectar on mint plants in our Woodingdean garden. A first for us and the garden. She spent 40 minutes at least,(from when we first found her), very thoroughly going over each flower on one mint stem,
Constantly moving and changing her position in the strong breeze. Then she rose, circled once and flew away. I can’t think where the nearest Blackthorn is around here. (Graham Hubbard, Joan Wilkes)
Just one Brown Hairstreak seen at Steyning today in less than ideal weather conditions, found by Trevor. Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, a couple of Whites and a lovely fresh Comma were also spotted. A shout out to Trevor, John, Denise & hubby, Jonathan and Max the dog. (Andrew Reekie)
I spent more time in the garden trying to see Brown Hairstreak and Clouded Yellow but without any success. There were 12 butterfly species and the pick had to be Painted Lady. There was also a rather gruesome Wasp Spider, trapping rather too many Grasshoppers - but that's nature for you. (Martin Kalaher)
On 15th August I visited Kingley Vale (SU8210) where the weather was a little windy and the temperature reached 20.5°C. Some tree felling work is due to take place shortly. Gatekeepers and Small Whites were common, but the windy conditions may have kept numbers of other species low. Totals: Brimstone 1M, Large White 7, Small White 18, Common Blue 4M, Holly Blue 1, Gatekeeper 16, Meadow Brown 5, Small Heath 3, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 1F. (Roy Symonds)
Brown Hairstreak. I went to hang out washing in the garden and spotted a newly hatched Brown Hairstreak on a white daisy. I am reporting this because I have read in the Butterflies of Sussex Atlas that I am in an area where they are not found. This is North Horsham RH12 6BX No picture because I was not expecting to see this, and had no camera to hand. (Gill Shepherd)
We've had plenty of moths attracted to our balcony light when the evenings have been warm and still, including the first Lime-speck Pugs of the year. A walk through Rewell Woods on 15th gave me the first Small Birch Bell I have seen (Epinotia ramella f. costana). It was difficult to identify at first as it differs considerably from the usual form, but the excellent illustrations by Richard Lewington in the Field Guide to Micromoths of GB & Ireland (Sterling & Parsons) pinpointed it. The buddleia attracted Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and Brimstones. There were plenty of Common Darters by and on the path. During a walk round Woods Mill yesterday I spotted a 5th instar Comma larva on a nettle. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Friday 16 August
further to yesterdays sighting one of the photo's caught her egg laying (DAVE PALMER)
Steyning Downland Scheme. Thursday butterfly count from the Chalk Pit and around the nearby downs. Small White 6, Brimstone 2, Brown Argus 14 (the highlight!), Common Blue 10, Red Admiral 3, Painted Lady 4, Silver-washed Fritillary 2 (not seen regularly here, so pleased with the sighting), Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 8 (most of these looking old), Meadow Brown 16, Ringlet 2, Small Heath 2.
We saw so many butterflies at Herstmonceux Castle gardens yesterday. I was hoping to finally see a Small Tortoiseshell and wasn’t disappointed! We saw at least 5! In the mix were a Brown Argus and Silver-washed Fritillary. Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, Peacocks also abounded on the Buddleia bushes in the scented garden and in the wildflower meadow we saw Small Heaths and so many blues. A Wall Brown was spotted just outside the wooded area. (Maria)
Thursday 15 August
Fortuitous circumstances on Tuesday (13 August) led to the discovery of three Long-tailed Blue (LTB) eggs on one of the Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (BLEP) plants in my Worthing garden. Having noted an impressive BLEP plant tumbling over a garden wall on the way to my son's pre-school, about 600 metres from my house, I set off for a discreet look, and could see two LTB ova from the pavement. We are undoubtedly enjoying a significant influx of this species and all of the Sussex sites which have produced this species in 2013 and 2015 are worth searching, NOW!
Today (15 August) I visited the BC Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood reserves. Highlights included two second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, a photogenic Holly Blue (seen laying eggs on heather), some very blue female Common Blue, a Painted Lady caterpillar, and the stunning scenery we've created here!
A later visit to Cissbury Ring produced 20 - 25 Silver-spotted Skipper (now on the wane), 2 male Adonis Blue and a female Brown Hairstreak. (Neil Hulme)
The Windover Hill, Deep Dean area today produced eleven species in sunny but windy conditions. Grayling (4m,2f) being my favourite. Adonis Blue at Deep Dean were rather surprising I've not seen them here before. Plenty of Meadow Brown, Silver-spotted Skipper and Chalk Hill Blue, slightly less numbers of Wall Brown, with the occasional Painted Lady, Gatekeeper and Small White. Only single Small Heath and DGF. Great views and lovely to share with others, best wishes to you all. (Patrick Moore)
A lovely day at Steyning Rifle Range and Mill Hill. Quite bowled over by the number of Adonis Blue butterflies at Mill Hill. Will be on the train to Manchester tomorrow morning. (Nicholas Turner)
A walk up Chantry Hill Lane for a couple of hours up on a windy Chantry Hill revealed a Dark Green Fritillary. Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small White, Painted Ladies, Red Admiral, Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Speckled Wood (Denise Diston)
I recorded 14 butterfly species in the garden today, a tidy number for the time of year. For me, the highlight was a very fresh-looking Comma but the six Painted Lady came a close second. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth nectared on Buddleia mid-morning and another (or the same individual) was seen in the afternoon. A Red Admiral and a Common Blue were seen laying eggs. (Martin Kalaher)
A walk in the very good company of Anna Bulbrook from Lewes to Blackcap via Ashcombe Bottom. Highlights among the 13 butterfly species were a Brown Hairstreak on Hemp Agrimony to the west of the racecourse, 6 Silver-spotted Skipper on a steep west facing bank at the south-east of Ashcombe, 39 Common Blue, 9 Brown Argus, 4 Wall Brown, 11 Painted Lady, 5 Brimstone. (Lindsay Morris)
Saw most of the big players, Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, star of the show was definitely the three or four Small Tortoiseshells flying around. So happy. All taken at Herstmonceux gardens. (oscar pratley crighton)
Many thanks to Sussex Eye Hospital, who've been sorting out my naughty right eye since February. I can at last see in 3D again which should help the butterfly spotting a bit. The Painted Ladies were taking full advantage of the buddleia in our Hove back garden today. At most there were four - 3 bright new + one a bit older. Small Whites were around too, both in our garden & in Wish Park where we saw a further two Painted Ladies. St Leonards Churchyard had at least two Common Blues, a Gatekeeper & 3 Meadow Browns + Small Whites. As someone born in Yorkshire with Aberdonian relatives via Val, I tend to feel that Unst is really true north - very few butterflies there. I'd love to be able to see Gatekeepers when we visit our Aberdeen but at least they have Meadow Browns. Maybe the Northern Brown Argus would be the best denoter of "up north" as it has north in its name? We've never quite managed to see one yet, just missing out by a week in County Durham last year. (John & Val Heys)
whilst searching for Brown Hairstreak I came across this (female ? ) Queen of Spain Fritilliary on the path south of Round Down just before the bracken (SU 80170 17201). It returned a couple of times to the path to bask around 13:45 then flew further south into bracken and did not return for the next hour at least. (Peter Gammage)
I have had a request from a certain Neil Hulme "We want more ... in better condition please". (Ed jnr)
Tidemills, Newhaven: Long Tailed Blue (F) on everlasting pea 1200 today (Dave Palmer)
Had an unusual sighting in my Steyning garden this morning - a female Brown Hairstreak, which looked like it was feeding on an over-ripe apple! A new species for the garden and a little unexpected, as quite some way from the rifle-range stronghold, and no real suitable habitat to hand, but I'm not complaining! This brings my garden list up to 25 species, which is pretty pleasing, as this is only our 2nd Summer in the property, and really only the first for our embryonic wildlife garden.
Then did the Anchor Bottom transect, with the bulk of sightings being Meadow Browns, but also 25 Adonis Blues, a couple of lingering Chalkhills, 9 Painted Ladies, 3 Walls, 4 Small Heaths and a couple of Brown Argus. Surprise sighting was a very pale Clouded Yellow - so pale that when I first saw it distantly, I assumed it was a White - with virtually white upper-wings and a very heavy black margin... so presumably helice. (Ray Baker)
On 13th August I paid a visit to Houghton Forest where the weather was hazy sunshine. My walk took 2.5 hours following a circular path. Still many Silver-washed Fritillarys were on the wing with only a handful of Meadow Browns seen as they gradually reach the end of their flight season. A total of eight Painted Ladys were seen busy feeding on Hemp Agrimony flowers. My totals were: Small White 9, Green-veined White 2, Gatekeeper 8, Meadow Brown 4, Speckled Wood 1, Painted Lady 8, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 3, Silver-washed Fritillary 20M 19F. (Roy Symonds)
Wednesday 14 August
A Purple Hairstreak was feeding around the apple trees in my Barcombe garden on Tuesday. Like quite a few of the butterflies now it was looking rather weary, tatty and past its best (but then the butterfly looking back towards me probably held a similar view). By way of contrast, there were several incredibly smart-looking Painted Ladies seen on a subsequent walk around the Knowlands Farm area to the north of Barcombe. Additionally on the walk, in fairly bright conditions, were: moderate numbers of Small White, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown; several Common Blues, Small Heaths and Speckled Woods; two each of Brown Argus, Small Copper and Red Admiral; and singles of Brimstone (a male), Peacock, Silver-washed Fritillary (a very worn individual), Comma and Wall Brown. The latter seems to be really quite a scarce species in the area. (Simon Linington)
Butterfly/Dragonfly walk yesterday, Painted Lady, walls, Meadow Brown, some beautiful damsels. (John Holt)
Tuesday 13 August
Saw plenty of butterflies on Ditchling Common but sadly no Brown Hairstreak. Colourful Painted Lady's, bright Common Blues, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, a tiny Gatekeeper amongst many, Small Coppers, Small Heaths, Small White, Red Admiral, Speckled Woods and loads of dragonflies. (Martin Buck)
A particularly slack turn around for my visit to Mill Hill last week.... But anyway, worth it for sheer numbers of species; Silver-spotted Skipper, Small, Large and Green Veined White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Lady.
I feel I must comment on a remark of our valuable editor regarding the Gatekeeper "If some one from up north (and I mean well beyond Croyden) saw one it would make their day. (Ed jnr)". I live in Yorkshire, a part of the country considered by most people who aren't Scottish to be in the North. We have plenty Gatekeepers and do not need to specifically cherish those of Sussex (though the ones knocking around in my mothers garden were a great pleasure to me!) (Rolf F)
I live in Sussex and once was working in Airdrie in Scotland where a group of local staff were excited about heading "down south" for the weekend. "Where?" I enquired. "Blackpool!" they replied. It is all relative in this United Kingdom. You can see the Gatekeeper distribution map here. There is a clear divide between north and south. Perhaps we should use Gatekeeper distribution as our definition for these two cardinal points. (Ed jnr)
Went out into our 25x40ft Storrington garden early this afternoon. Delighted to find 10 Painted Ladies nectaring on the buddlehia in-between sunning themselves on our rockery and patio. Also Comma, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Large White, Small White (Denise Diston)
During the afternoon we decided to have a good look around Thorney Island. Species of note were Clouded Yellow 3 our first this year, Painted Lady 32, Small White c1000+. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
A visit to the Liz Williams butterfly haven this morning in bright sunny conditions produced a staggering number of Painted Lady plus Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small White and Meadow Brown and Chalk Hill Blue. The rather aged Painted Lady was seen egg laying. (David Cook)
Lancing Ring in mostly sun hosted 14 butterfly species, the highlight being 2 Brown Hairstreak. A first for my garden was a magnificent Wasp Spider in the marjoram, and a Humming-bird Hawk-moth was also present. Can't believe it is mid-August and I haven't seen a Clouded Yellow yet this year. Never satisfied...! (Lindsay Morris)
Headed over to Malling Down in hopes of seeing the last brood of the Adonis Blue, as I came to butterflies late this year. Within moments of arriving I spotted one. I continued further where I found a Small Blue, at least 2 Painted Ladies, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Silver Spotted Skipper relaxing in the next field over. On my way out I passed a buddleia which had an array of species including 2 Red Admirals and a Silver-washed Fritillary. (oscar pratley crighton)
On 11th August I visited Stansted Forest where the weather was cloudy but with some sunny spells, the temperature was 19°C. I walked through the woodland paths before walking the length of the wide ride where most species were seen. Totals: Small White 10, Green-veined White 2, Common Blue 2M, Gatekeeper 8, Meadow Brown 14, Speckled Wood 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 4. (Roy Symonds)
Monday 12 August
I spent a few more hours in the garden but didn't manage any further views of Brown Hairstreak. I am gratified to see a website photo showing Brown Hairstreak nectaring on Wild Carrot. In my garden I only ever see BH on Hemp Agrimony and once that goes over I don't expect to see any more hairstreaks. Wild carrot grows rather too well in my garden and I tend to pull out most of it but having seen Ben's photo maybe I will leave more of it alone (or at least the ones that appear close to the hedge). There were at least 11 butterfly species in the garden today but with a rapidly plummeting total count. The only very fresh butterfly was a female Meadow Brown which I thought was a bit of a stunner. (Martin Kalaher)
Hello. We’re BC members trying to get to grips with moth id. In our the trap in the garden last Saturday were these two moths. Can anyone help with identifying them please? Many thanks. (Matt Farmer)
A good selection in the garden yesterday in Bracklesham . On the buddleia several Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and Commas. In the long grass a pair of Common Blues, a Brown Argus plus fading Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. However the absolute highlight was spotted by my daughter who pointed out a “nice blue butterfly“ on some flowering tuberous pea. I immediately dashed indoors to grab my net and managed to catch a Long-tailed Blue. Apparently the second record for Sussex this year and definitely a new one for the garden. (Derek Lee)
Sunday 11 August
For one reason or another i’ve done very little butterflying since peak emperor time, but today I did at least manage to do the Big Butterfly Count with my daughters at a rarely visited area of scrub on the edge of Brighton. Numbers were modest with the welcome exception of Brown Hairstreak (not on the chart of course), which seem to be doing very well - 4 individuals seen nectaring in a little over 20 mins on site. Eggs were hard to find at this site over winter, so I can only imagine that sites such as Ditchling Common, where eggs were plentiful (enabling me to monitor many larvae right up until they disappeared to pupate around mid June), must be performing very well? The closest i’ve managed to Ditchling was a quick op at the Princess Royal on Tues where a lovely fresh Brown Hairstreak fluttered into the car park - only adding to my sense that the area must be knee deep in them.
No stunning abs (that really was something Martin), but I include the poor phone pics for the record. (Ben Greenaway)
I took so many photos in St Leonards Forest, Horsham today that the internet probably isn't big enough to cope if I posted them. There were many Meadow Browns, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper with a few rather worn looking Ringlet and Silver-washed Fritillary. Fresh Large Skipper were joined by older Small Skipper with Common Blue, Holly Blue and Brown Argus. Whites identified were Green-veined White and Small White. There were also Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and Brimstone. Only a single Painted Lady completes the list. What a great afternoon. (Patrick Moore)
On 9 August, our Sussex Branch, Butterfly Plot on Roedale Valley Allotments in Brighton, produced the following whilst conducting a Big Butterfly Count: 1 Small Copper, 2 Small White, 5 Large White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Meadow Brown and 1 Red Admiral. Included were to two extra special species seen on the Butterfly Plot, my first ever sighting of a (single) male Chalk Hill Blue and 3 Brown Argus, a special species for me to see on the plot, as it was the first ever butterfly I saw on the plot when I first took it on! (Jamie Burston)
It was quite windy with heavy showers at times at Thorney Island today but we still managed to see quite a few butterflies. Species of note were Small White 450, Holly Blue 14, Painted Lady 8. (Barry and Margaret Collins )
This moth caterpillar seen today by a friend in Burgess Hill. (Jon Ruff)
The day after I saw the white Gatekeeper in my small back garden 9/8/19 it returned to feed on the marjoram and I took this shot of the underwings with the wings folded. Since the windy weather I haven't seen it again. I didn't receive any feedback so I presume they are common and not worth reporting. (Roger Martin)
I spent four hours at Steyning rifle range today, and saw just one Brown Hairstreak, which was spotted by Andew Reekie. The weather was breezy and cool with only intermittent sun shine. (John Williams)
I spent a couple of hours at Park Corner Heath / Rowland wood this afternoon. I saw 3 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (all at Park Corner Heath), one Silver- Washed Fritillary, 3 Painted Ladies, one Common Blue, one Red Admiral and lots of Gatekeepers. (katrina watson)
Another couple of hours in the garden but no sign of any Brown Hairstreaks. A Painted Lady was obliging as was a Purple Hairstreak (seen on 12 consecutive days). There were many Small Whites flitting around. (Martin Kalaher)
Sitting on the path by the Adur Shoreham cement works. These, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell. (John Holt)
Visited Anchor Bottom yesterday under exceptionally blustery conditions. It was interesting to see two kestrels sitting on the ground like pigeons. We did not expect to see any butterflies so were surprised to find a Small White, a female Wall Brown, a Red Admiral, two Painted Ladies and more than a dozen Meadow Browns. (Jonathan Crawford)
Saturday 10 August
Only a daft butterfly would be out today (bound to be one somewhere), but yesterday we did see the female Common Blue hanging around in our Hove back garden again & a Meadow Brown in Wish Park, Hove. (John & Val Heys)
On 7 August we had a new moth visitor on the balcony, a Tree-lichen Beauty (Cryphia algae) plus six regulars. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
During visits to Steyning Downland on 6 and 9 August I saw Cinnabar larvae, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Yellow Shell, Common Footman, Common Nettle-taps, many Horse Chestnut Leaf Miners on nettles by a Chestnut tree covered in brown leaves by the path. Many juvenile common lizards were on mole and ant hills, also a Blue-tailed Damselfly cleaning itself on a nettle. In the enclosed prunus area I spotted a tiny moth, 2mm long, dancing around on a bullace leaf. It is a Stigmella species but there are many which look identical. Scrubland Pigmy (Stigmella plagicolella) has prunus as its foodplant so it may be this. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Friday 09 August
With impeccable timing, as I prepare to head back to Manchester, the second brood Adonis Blue appeared at Horseshoe Plantation today (two males). They were constantly buffeted by the burgeoning wind and are probably in for a bit of a shock tomorrow. With a worn Dingy Skipper and Small Blue there was a return to early summer feeling. Wall Brown also here but proving tricky to photograph. (Nicholas Turner)
After around 16 hours of patient observation I eventually managed to see another aberrant Brown Hairstreak, this one a female. I was up my stepladder ( I seem to live up there at the moment) when this very interesting butterfly flew towards me. Even from 7-10 metres away I was getting excited and then it landed on some Dogwood, 5-6 feet from where I was perched. Naked eye at 5-6 feet it seemed to have the same (or very similar) markings as the male, seen on August 1st. It then opened its wings for 7- 8 seconds revealing a beautiful dark chocolate sheen with large orange/gold patches on the fore-wings. It appeared to be in such fine condition that I rather suspect it emerged today. Then a gust of wind threw it off balance and away it went, not to be re-located. Otherwise both Silver-washed Fritillary and Dark Green Fritillary. I've never seen both of these in the garden on the same day. Purple Hairstreak, now seen for the 10th consecutive day and also seen feeding on Blackthorn, and I assume feeding on honeydew. I couldn't find any aphids, so that got me confused. Also mating Common Blue and a nice Ruddy Darter. (Martin Kalaher)
Hi, can you tell me what it is? (John Holt)
It is a Mint Moth (Ed jnr)
On Thursday (8 August) I spent most of the day at the Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood reserves, waiting for the grey cloud to lift. However, there was periodically sufficient sunshine to get things moving, particularly later in the afternoon. Highlights of the day were two Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (one on each reserve), a male Wall Brown (a rare sight in woodland) and the currently ubiquitous Painted Lady. (Neil Hulme)
Visited Kingley Vale (SU8210) today where the weather was overcast with brief sunny spells and temperature was 19°C. There were a few butterflies in flight, others were found at rest. Totals: Small White 5, Common Blue 3M, Gatekeeper 2, Meadow Brown 22, Ringlet 2, Small Heath 3, Red Admiral 1. (Roy Symonds)
Thursday 08 August
Small Heath, Adonis Blue and Chalkhill Blue at Mill Hill this evening. The Chalk Hill Blue underside is an abberation I believe. (John Williams)
It was a pleasure to bump into Istvan on Windover Hill today and most enjoyable searching for Grayling. We managed to find 12 (6 m, 5f and 1 that flew away before I could read its name tag). All were towards the top bush line of Deep Dean. Unfortunately the rain set in rather earlier than forecast and we decamped earlier than planned. (Patrick Moore)
Saw this beauty at Birling Gap today 8th August 2019 (Pete Mills)
A walk up and around Lancing Ring & Steep Down in equal sun and cloud produced my first 2 Brown Hairstreak of the season, both on Hemp Agrimony. Also 50 Wall Brown, 43 Chalk Hill Blue, 25 Common Blue, 35 Small Heath, 15 Red Admiral, 11 Painted Lady, 7 Comma, 3 Peacock, 9 Speckled Wood, 3 Brown Argus amongst 14 butterfly species. (Lindsay Morris)
The weather was slightly disappointing for the Rowland Wood / Park Corner Heath transect walk this morning - it started out bright but by the end was distinctly overcast. Highlights were a single Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, a Wall, 3 Silver-washed Fritillary. Other species : Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Ringlet, Meadow Brown and just short of 100 Gatekeeper. And an impressive Wasp Sider on the heath. (Richard Farran)
1 Small Tortoiseshell! That makes two this summer. We had a round walk from Bignor, up the hill and back down again, so covering a variety of habitats. Plenty of Gatekeepers keeping us company all the way around. Small T S encountered on a lane near the top, but wasn’t photogenic. 4 Common Blues, 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 8 Commas, 2 Peacock, 4 Red Admiral, several Small and Large Whites, 3 Brimstones. Plenty of dragonfly including one flying overhead with a captured butterfly in its grip. (Simon Buck )
I saw this white Gatekeeper in my back garden at 4 Seawaves Close, East Preston, Littlehampton, West Sussex, about 1645 today.
I've never seen one before; are they more common than I thought? (Roger Martin)
I had a very enjoyable afternoon at Rowland Wood, the highlights being three very fresh Painted Ladies and a very blue female Common Blue. Later in Park Corner Heath a single male Small Pearl was being observed by Neil Hulme and Dick from Seaford. Despite my best efforts no SPBF images were obtained. (Trevor Rapley)
Val & I did our August WCBS survey of Balcombe (TQ3030) this morning. We were let down by the weather forecasts on TV last night which said sunny morning and cloudy afternoon. The reverse has been the case as we've been basking in the sun in our garden in Hove this afternoon. Whereas in July we saw over 370 butterflies in Balcombe, today in warm, fairly still & occasionally sunny conditions we saw 35. These were 17 Gatekeepers, 7 Meadow Browns, 3 Speckled Woods, 4 Red Admirals, 1 Peacock, 1 Comma, 1 Large White & 1 Small Copper. We also saw a violet helleborine which was exciting as we've not seen one before. Our garden has done better today considering nothing is ever very plentiful in it - six different species (best this year, I think) - 3 Small Whites at the same time, 2 Holly Blues at the same time, 1 Gatekeeper, 1 Red Admiral, 1 fresh Painted Lady, and a nice female Common Blue which was very interested in our scabious / birdsfoot trefoil area as well as the rather dead marjoram flowers in the picture. (The Gatekeeper prefers the marjoram still fully in flower.) (John & Val Heys)
At last a day off when the forecast was encouraging enough to set out on a butterfly-hunt so I headed to Deep Dean. I parked at Wilmington car park and once on the footpath I straight away saw a few Wall Browns and unidentified blues. Getting closer to the Long Man diversity and numbers increased: Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Chalk Hill Blues and Common Blues all put in an appearance. I think the Meadow Brown could be an ab. illumunata? Approaching the hill top I stopped to photograph some CHBs, a very fresh looking Painted Lady and a Small Copper when I had the pleasure to meet Patrick Moore. Soon we saw half a Dark Green Fritillary nectaring on something and being quite flighty despite missing most of his wings. At Deep Dean itself Patrick kept finding Graylings one after an other and I am sure he will submit a detailed report so I just want to say a big thank you to him once again, especially for pointing out the Grayling egg to me! Plenty of Silver-spotted Skippers to be seen as well as a couple of more fritillaries. What I have noticed today was the lack of Wasp Spiders compared to last summer (probably due to the grazing and lack of long grass). (Istvan Radi)
Warnham LNR. My first Brown Hairstreak of the season on nettles near the Woodpecker Hide. (Janet Wilkes)
On Tues 6th walked around Rewel Wood to see what the Buddleja may have attracted, there were many Painted Lady,6 on one bush, some Red Admiral and Peacock many Silver-washed Fritillary,1 or 2 Comma, plenty of Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper.
A Blood Vein and Dingy Footman moths. (Barry Sketchley)
I was looking out of my lounge window in sunny Seaford at 7.50 am today when 4 Painted Ladies were feeding in the Buddleia flowers. It seems that they are still coming in. (Stuart Ridley)
Wednesday 07 August
Two part day. Morning at Nymans where there were two bright Painted Ladies , a Comma, Small White and Large White just on one patch of the tall verbena. Then at Wakehurst in the afternoon where there was a bright Holly Blue and Red Admiral in the wall garden.
In reply to the moth question earlier today then I think it is a mint moth which is also partial to salvia/sage. (Martin Buck)
I travelled over to Birling Gap this afternoon. I saw one lonely Marbled White, lots of Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, Small Coppers, a few Brown Argus, a Brimstone, Speckled Woods, Gatekeepers,but the jewels among these (for me at least) were the new species that I hadn't yet photographed this year or had seen at all, a Small Blue, Wall Browns, Silver-spotted Skipper and an old Dingy Skipper. Someone there was kind enough to show me around and where and when to see the species here. Lovely :) (oscar pratley crighton)
I have spent at least 12 hours wandering around the garden this week, in an attempt to see the aberrant Brown Hairstreak but without any success. What I did see today in the late afternoon was a very nice Small Tortoiseshell (almost as rare!). As I was clearing out a blocked drain, at the time, I didn't have too much time for taking photos. Also some some female Common Blues, that always intrigue me. There has been 4-5 Painted Ladies over the past week, some in good condition and some not ( so some locally-born but some not). The second generation Holly Blue have been more numerous this year than ever before. Purple Hairstreak seen every day, for the past eight days. (Martin Kalaher)
Today along westerly path on the Adur in Shoreham, Common Blue, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady. Can you tell me what the moth is. John Holt (John Holt)
Chalk path from Goodwood to Lavant this morning Good number of Chalkhill Blue 35 + also 6 Painted Lady, 6 Small White, 8 Common Blue and good numbers of Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. (Ian Thomas)
Tuesday 06 August
We have been away in Herefordshire - no chance of any Camberwells there but we did find a friendly Comma which wanted to help with the map reading. I discovered my sweaty hands were also rather attractive to the exotic species at the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo (near Symonds Yat). Back to normal life today. It was quite breezy but generally sunny & warm in Hove. While we were shopping in central Hove Val saw a Red Admiral & a Holly Blue & we both saw several Small Whites. In our back garden I saw more Small Whites, a Holly Blue, a Painted Lady & (our 11th garden species of the year) a Speckled Wood. A lot of sawing noises were coming from Wish park, so I popped round hoping it wasn't an elm tree coming down. It wasn't, and I had the added bonus of seeing a male Common Blue & a Meadow Brown on the west side of the butterfly bank plus a few more Small Whites. In the 3 or 4 years it has been present, the butterfly bank has had few butterflies on or near it - hopefully this is changing as it becomes more mature. (John & Val Heys)
My first Silver Spotted Skipper found at Mill Hill NR near Shoreham. I saw about 3 in all. Plus a couple of photos of Painted Ladies enjoying the sun. I know it’s not a butterfly but also saw this fabulous looking wasp spider. (Jenny Hodgkins)
On Saturday I visited Cissbury Ring and met Mavis who was also pursuing the Silver-spotted Skippers. I saw 6, including a courting pair, plus 6 Painted Ladies, a female Common Blue, Small Heaths, Meadow Browns, Brimstones, courting Chalk Hill Blues, Gatekeepers, Small Skippers and a Red Twin-spot Carpet moth. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
I was very pleased to see a female Wall Brown on my allotment on Whitehawk Hill Road in east Brighton today. Also to have plenty of time to watch a bright and beautiful Painted Lady nectaring on alliums through my binoculars, like glorious stained glass.
Also watched an Emperor dragonfly chew it's way through a honeybee, not so pretty! (Tessa Pawsey)
Today I spent 2 hours from 11.00 - 13.00 looking for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Park Corner Heath. I manged to find four, three of which I photographed. Their smaller size compared to the spring brood seemed to enhance the exquisite beauty of this butterfly. As I was leaving I found it easier to locate them (maybe I had my 'eye in' by then) but I suspect there were more that I missed. When I got home I read the relevant section in Blencowe/Hulme to remind myself of the recent history of this butterfly and how privileged I was to see a butterfly that was very recently declared extinct in Sussex in 2014. I live in Manchester but visit Sussex frequently to keep an eye on my elderly Mum. The Sussex Butterfly Conservation website and work of the volunteers is simply unrivalled in the UK (but I am sure you have heard this many times before). (Nicholas Turner)
My first Brown Hairstreak of the year was found today at Steyning. (Trevor Rapley)
Walk around Harting Down Good Numbers of Small Heath, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper ( pride of sussex it is !) plus Common Blue, Red Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small White, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Small Skipper. Despite being mostly overcast and windy (Ian Thomas)
Late morning at Highdown produced this Brimstone and this moth?. Numerous great whites, Peacock, Red Admiral, chalk blue, coppas. Up on the downs Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns. All in an hour or so. (John Holt)
Did the Anchor Bottom transect this morning - not ideal conditions with only intermittent sun and a stiff breeze, but pleased to see 3 Silver-spotted Skippers. Mainly Meadow Browns counted, but also Wall Brown, Common Blue and Chalk Hill Blue, Painted Lady and Small Heath. (Ray Baker)
Monday 05 August
Roosting Chalkhill and Adonis Blue at Mill Hill this evening. Also seen: Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Painted Lady, Common Blue, Brown Argus. Photography was tricky in the stiff breeze. (John Williams)
Painted Lady on buddleia bushes behind Park Cameras warehouse in York Road, Burgess Hill. (Roy Ticehurst)
Just over the border into Hampshire last Saturday 3 August I was leading a butterfly walk for Chichester Harbour Conservancy at Sandy Point LNR (south-east tip of Hayling Island) when I spotted this male Chalk Hill Blue (picture 1 with a dead flower head of Sea Pink partially obscuring the right wing and old flower heads of Rat's-tail Fescue to its right). Sandy Point LNR is a coastal heathland site with no Horseshoe Vetch. In the entry for Chalk Hill Blue on this website is the statement 'the occasional male is prone to wander and may be seen far away from the nearest breeding site'. So where did he come from? The Isle of Wight? There have been south-westerly winds. Portsdown Hill, Portsmouth? Oxenbourne Down at Queen Elizabeth Country Park? Or maybe Levin Down? In which case he would be a Sussex butterfly after all! (John Arnott)
I was surprised and delighted to see a Purple Emperor in the Garden where I work in Turners Hill , this afternoon. We do have some good habit for them and have had sighting for a number of years but I thought I had missed my chance of seeing one in the garden this year. When I got back home there was Small Cooper feeding on the Marjoram under the Buddleia, which a first for garden at home. (Tom Parker)
We had a walk around our allotted Steyning Downland Scheme butterfly survey area yesterday, taking in the Steyning Chalk Pit and nearby downs. The grazing seems to be giving the long-time swamped plant life a boost and the progress is starting to look good. No majorly exciting sightings but providing steady reasonable numbers of butterflies. Small and Large Whites, a few Small Coppers, lots of Gatekeepers, Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Ringlet, Small Heath, Red Admiral, 30 Common Blue, 12 Wall Browns, 3 Brown Argus. Just back from Norfolk where Hemp Agrimony seems a major nectar source, Sussex seems to have plenty, but underutilised, maybe our marjoram is first choice? Hopefully I have my Argus v Common Blue correct? (Simon Buck)
Yesterday morning I visited Woods Mill for about an hour and a half in the hope of seeing and photographing different species of butterflies, however saw only a few Gatekeepers. I did however see several Banded Demoiselles in courtship mode. (Douglas Neve)
"saw only a few Gatekeepers...". Gatekeepers are the pride of the Sussex countryside and no praise is sufficient for these beautiful little butterflies. If some one from up north (and I mean well beyond Croyden) saw one it would make their day. (Ed jnr)
Can some one please tell me the best place to see Adonis Blues if you leave near Hastings? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Ed jnr)
On Sunday (4 August) I took my kids to one of their favourite places; the Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood reserves. I searched for second brood Small
Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (seeing a male and female in front of the PCH hut) while they expanded their collection of deer bones. As always, the reserve's rich reptile fauna kept them happy, with multiple sightings of Adder, Grass Snake, Common Lizard and Slow-worm.
The Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were surprisingly difficult to spot. As is sometimes the case with second brood butterflies, the two we saw were minute (not much larger than a Small Heath), but very fast in flight. Other butterfly highlights included a male Chalk Hill Blue, a female Wall laying eggs, two female Dark Green Fritillaries and several freshly emerged Painted Ladies, showing that intense colour seen only in just-hatched individuals. (Neil Hulme)
Sunday 04 August
News for 2 August: I'm greatly indebted to Peter and Terry Atkinson for the 'phone call on Friday, which resulted in me being up a stepladder in someone's garden for the second day in a row! Peter had spotted a Camberwell Beauty on his neighbour's Buddleia from the kitchen window and suggested that I might like to visit; I ran half a mile back to the car. I am equally grateful for the hospitality of their neighbours, who must remain anonymous.
The neighbours, who are not butterfly people, revealed that it had been in and out of both their front and back gardens since at least 31 July, at one point coming into the house through an open door (probably searching out a suitable hibernation spot). Although they had noted its exceptional beauty, they were unaware of its identity or rarity.
I was given very generous access to their High Salvington (Worthing) garden on the understanding that I wouldn't trigger a stampede of 'twitchers' to this very quiet residential area, which happened to be the road I lived in during the 1970s. As it turned out, this was the last couple of hours during which the butterfly was seen.
It was a surreal and immensely enjoyable couple of hours; a very large female Camberwell Beauty served with coffee and biscuits (thanks, Terry). This was only the second I've seen in 50 years of butterfly watching, the last being at RSPB Pulborough in 2006.
As with all such sightings these days, provenance is an issue. However, the timing is spot-on for the natural movement of this species, as has been the weather, bringing many migrants to our shores, including notable influxes of Bedstraw Hawk-moth and Dark Crimson Underwing, and the odd Queen of Spain Fritillary (Kent) and Swallowtail. I've just heard news of another Camberwell Beauty in Lancing last week, the details of which I'll be pursuing. This is a good time to be out looking along the coast. (Neil Hulme)
Finally got my act together and did our annual walk from Alfriston to Windover Hill and back. Meadow Brown, Wall Brown, Small Heath, Common Blue, Speckled Wood and Small White just outside Alfriston. Then plenty of Chalk Hill Blues on the path up to Windover joined by Gatekeepers, dark green frittilary. By now it clouded over but still saw 2 Grayling and a good number of silver spotted skippers. On the way down a Red Admiral and two bright Painted Ladies flew past. There were also several more Wall Browns both on Windover and the path back down. Rounded of as usual with tea and cakes in the village. (Martin Buck)
Today during a visit to Abbots Wood I found myself looking at two Silver-washed Fritillary aberrations that happened to land in front of me at the same time. Happily I managed to photograph them for the record. One is ab. valezina and was indeed a very pretty butterfly as it flew around pursued by a male. When flying it appeared to be dark Grey and white on the top but only settled with its wings closed. The other is (I think) a male ab. nigricans. It was a little worn but lacked any colour and really didn't look like a SWF at all. Fortunately colour was in abundance with the pristine Painted Lady butterflies. Yesterday (3rd August) I found a late White-letter Hairstreak at Horseshoe Plantation. It was in surprisingly good condition and the first one I have seen 'low down' despite much searching. (Nicholas Turner)
Lots of good stuff to see on a walk around Frog Firle on Saturday. Including Wall Brown, Silver-spotted Skipper, Red Admiral and of course, Painted Lady. (Andrew Reekie)
A great walk on Windover Hill today. Flurries of Chalk Hill Blues flying up at every step, some looking rather lived in but all busy chasing the ladies (she got away), pairing and ovipositing. Several Grayling seen, one rather covered in red mites but another free of them. Also Silver-spotted Skipper in good numbers, plentiful Meadow Brown, one rather battered Dark Green Fritillary. And a Marbled White as we came back to the car park (Nigel Symington)
I spent another five hours today trying to re-locate the aberrant Brown Hairstreak but without any luck. I recorded Purple Hairstreak for the fifth consecutive day. Not much to look at but I will enclose a couple of photos (taken yesterday). There have been at least three different individuals, easily separated by their wear and tear. One nectared for an hour this morning, on Hemp Agrimony, just 2 feet or so from my step ladder. What I did see today was a very handsome male Wall Brown. Unfortunately it didn't stick around for a photograph. I'm not quite sure when I last saw a Wall Brown in the garden as prior to 2010 I sent in my records to BC but didn't keep a copy. So, 10 years as a minimum. it just goes to show that if one spends enough hours then the rewards are likely to come along. That's 31 butterfly species in the garden this year. That equals the garden record set in 2018. I am on the lookout for Chalk Hill Blue (seen in 2018) or Clouded Yellow (not seen in in 2018). (Martin Kalaher)
Dozens of Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Peacocks, seen on the Buddleia bushes at Herstmonceux Castle gardens yesterday. Also saw lots of Blues in the wildflower meadow there. (Maria)
Popped over to Ditchling Common on Thursday to catch up with Dave Cook and the Brown Hairstreaks. The former was present but the latter absent though Purples were seen knocking around the tree tops. Not too much else seen aside from Small Skipper and Common Blue. On Friday to Malling Down to look for Chalkhills, Silver-spotted Skipper, Brown Argus, Adonis Blue and Wall. The Chalkhills were out in reasonable numbers, Silver Spotted Skipper in large numbers along with a handful of Brown Argus and three Wall. Adonis were hanging back. I have also been enjoying the company of about 5 fairly tame Gatekeepers in my Mothers garden in Haywards Heath. (Rolf Farrell)
Saturday 03 August
At Park Corner, on a cloudy day with sunny intervals we were pleased to see one Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary nectaring from the area of heather along with many Gatekeepers and Small Heaths, close to the chairs (where shed used to be). This was the only SPBF we saw but hopefully others will emerge.
Also along main ride heading north from the parking area in Rowland wood there were three Silver-washed Fritillaries and several Ringlets, one of which, a worn individual landed on my neck, perhaps seeking moisture, before returning to its usual habitat! (Dirk Cogan)
I spent a very pleasant few hours today amongst the Silver-spotted Skippers and Chalkhill Blues at Malling Down, listening to Test Match Special on my phone. (John Williams)
I know its only 'honorary Sussex' but never having seen a Wood White, I decided to visit Botany Bay / Tugley Wood just over the border into Surrey this morning following reports from a birding friend that he seen a number in the area on Wednesday. What a delightful little butterfly! Given its slow, dancing flight, it must be one of the easiest species to keep up with when on the move. Eventually, I got my eye in to spotting perched individuals in the vegetation. In total, I counted a maximum of thirteen on one sweep of the area but probably saw many more. Most were males with the White Spot on each antenna but I also saw several females. During the three and a half hours, I only encountered one dog walker, a cyclist and three horse riders, so it was a very peaceful spot. There were plenty of other butterflies present despite the high cloud including at least eight Silver-washed Fritillaries, several Ringlets and singles of White Admiral, Peacock and Brimstone. (Simon Linington)
Whether or not we will see the swarms of Painted Ladies being seen in Scotland and the North of England
remains to be seen. But today I found a sole, fresh Painted Lady in Rowland Wood, the first for some weeks.
Also present, among the many Gatekeepers, were a fresh male and female Common Blue ( the female frantically
depositing eggs ), a Small Copper and quite a few Small Heaths plus a fresh male Brimstone.
At home, a Peacock spent ages on a Buddleia flower spike in my garden. (Trevor Rapley)
Epsom : Not sure what this is called???
I am sure the Surrey branch will be able to identify this Jersey Tiger Moth for you. (Ed jnr)
An update from the eastern end of the South Downs in sunny and warm weather yesterday at Horseshoe Plantation on Beachy Head. The Silver-spotted Skipper colony seems quite healthy although I do not quantitative data to back up this observation. Butterflies are present both sides of Belle Tout wood and across to Birling Gap with a total of ca. 20. Some roost very close to the car park with the abundant Chalk Hill Blues which is convenient. Several pristine Painted Lady which seem to vary considerably in size. Also Wall (1), Small Blue (1), Brown Argus, Small Copper, Common Blue, Brimstone, a few Dark-Green Fritillary, Peacock, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Comma, Small White, Large White, Speckled Wood & Small Heath. The Marbled White seem to have finished and there is no sign yet of the second brood Adonis Blue or Dingy Skipper. It never ceases to amaze me how such a diverse range of butterflies can occur in such a relatively small area of downland. (Nicholas Turner)
When you look at the shadow, you can clearly see a bat! Who new! I believe this is a large tortoise shell butterfly or so I've been told, very rare in the UK. Could you confirm please, many thanks. (Toby Robyns)
Unfortunately not. It is a Comma. (Ed jnr)
Each year I conduct an annual Chalk Hill Blue survey along Home Farm Road, off the Lewes Road in Brighton. Walking a set route looking along the verges and banks. My 2018 totals for 27 July were:86 males and 4 females (90 all together) on 27 July 2018. This year I conducted my search using the same route on the 29 July with my friend Sue Brockbank, our total was 5 females and 160 male Chalk Hill Blues, conducted between 11:39 to 12:15, 36 minutes. I then added in two new survey areas along Home Farm Road, which produced a further 36 male Chalk Hill Blues, giving an overall count of 5 female and 196 male Chalk Hill Blues, all combined we had 201 Chalk Hill Blues, this producing the largest population of any single species of butterfly I'd ever recorded at one site, seen within my 10 years of looking for butterflies! It was butterfly heaven! Note, they disappear in overcast conditions then erupt into flight when the sun appears! Home Farm Road is at (TQ3300707431), if travelling by Bus in Brighton, you want Bus No. 23, 24, 25, 50U or 78, servicing "Ringmer Road" stops, see the yellow circle for the bus stops on the map whilst the blue arrow points to Home Farm Road. The best spots for Chalk Hill Blues are at: TQ 32878 07331, TQ 32976 07391 and TQ 33046 07500 - copy these over to here for best accuracy on location: gridreferencefinder.com
Today (2 August) me and Sue repeated the walk but didn't count the Chalk Hill Blues, joined this time by Peter Whitcomb, we easily saw between 300 & 400 Chalk Hill Blues along Home Farm Road, we noted a good few more females this time in the mix, numbers are yet to peak, with more females expected to emerge! Other butterfly species seen today around Wild Park LNR (including Home Farm Road) were: Brown Argus (approx 3), Chalk Hill Blues on combe slope (6), Common Blue (approx 8), Dark Green Fritillary (1 Female), Small Skipper (6), Gatekeeper, Holly Blue (2), Small White, Marbled White (4), Meadow Brown, Painted Lady (3), Peacock (1), Red Admiral (3), Ringlet (1), Silver-spotted Skippers on combe slope (3), Silver-washed Fritillary (1 Male & Female), Small Heath and Speckled Wood (2). 18 Species. The Fritillaries were all seen along Home Farm Road, all being a first for this section of Wild Park LNR, I observed that a male Silver-washed Fritillary was trying to court a female Dark Green Fritillary!
A warning, the enclosed slope area in the combe of Wild Park LNR is badly infested with ticks, brought in by the earlier grazing sheep, making the search for Silver-spotted Skippers both unpleasant and brief, it is most likely my last time I will sadly attempt to go there, being my only reachable local site by foot, we were horrified as we watched them crawl up our socks and trousers! Photo shows a tick that I found, taken from my sock once I got back home. (Jamie Burston)
A timely reminder about ticks. Earlier in the week Colin Knight sent me a link to an article about ticks in New Scientist which is worth a read. (Ed jnr)
Friday 02 August
A Jersey Tiger on the house window at 2pm in a rural location on the edge of East Dean, East Sussex close to the South Downs. Also seen inside the house on 30 July. (Ruth Maxwell)
During a visit to Hampshire yesterday I saw many fresh Small Tortoiseshells. Last night we had 15 moth species on our Littlehampton balcony: Angle Shades, August Thorn, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brown-tail, Dingy Dowd, Garden Carpet, Marbled Green, Pale-streak Grass-veneer, Poplar Bent-wing, Rush Veneer, Rustic, Rusty Dot Pearl, Silver Y, Willow Beauty and an unidentified micro-moth. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
I spent at least 4 hours in the garden today trying to re-locate yesterday's Brown Hairstreak, but with no joy. In previous years if I see a Brown Hairstreak on Hemp Agrimony I have generally found it again on the same flower heads on subsequent days. Hopefully I'll see it over the weekend? Otherwise, a fly-through Silver-washed Fritillary brings my garden total to 30 butterfly species. I recorded 20 species just today with 50+ Gatekeepers a new garden record. The total number of butterflies in the garden was around 140, also a garden record. There were three Painted Ladies, all pristine, and so perhaps the invasion that was forecast has begun? I also had a Humming-bird Hawk-moth, my third this year. (Martin Kalaher)
A walk around the Slindon Estate this morning via Eartham Wood and Bignor Hill c20 Silver-washed Fritillary,1White Admiral,Meadow Brown,Gatekeeper and Brown Argus too many to count,Common Blue 4,Brimstone c6,Painted Lady 5,Red Admiral 4,Peacock c8,and 2 Small Tortoiseshell in an area where they could be seen by the dozen just a few years ago. (Barry Sketchley)
Purple Emperor feeding on fresh horse manure, no photo taken but a long sighting as it just didn’t move despite my proximity! Seen just west of Steyning very close to a 30 acre field where the margins have been left for about 5 years with oak, ash and various willow growing amongst bramble and wild flowers. (Lynn Garner )
Nice Brown Argus pictures today ..... along with the usual suspects: Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Painted Lady, Small Skipper, Speckled Wood, Large White, Small Heath and Common Blue. (Harvey Osler)
On a cloudy early afternoon, again I chose the short route down by the ridge path to the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Butterflies were common on my short visit to Mill Hill. Despite the far from ideal conditions I recorded ten species of by butterfly including over a hundred each of Chalk Hill Blues and Gatekeepers in about an hour. it should have been the peak time for Chalk Hill Blues so the numbers were disappointing, again. The first ten of the second brood Adonis Blues emerged. (Andy Horton https://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2019.html#1August)
Thursday 01 August
What a strange day! On the way back home from a job interview, I picked up a voicemail from Martin Kalaher - "would the image of an aberrant Brown Hairstreak I've sent you be of any interest?". I reserved judgement until I got to my computer - "yes, it would!". After picking myself off the floor, I arranged with Martin that he would call me if it reappeared, as I headed out to count Silver-spotted Skippers on Cissbury Ring. I was approaching the ramparts and heading for a chat with a chap from Essex, who was enjoying his first sightings of this species (we met later, giving me the opportunity to explain my odd behaviour), when my 'phone went off. I immediately ran back down the hill, in the style of Forrest Gump. Unfortunately I was too late to see Martin's extreme and extremely beautiful aberrant, but I did very much enjoy my first (and long overdue) visit to his stunning wildlife garden - it was heaving with butterflies. Despite the wide range of species on show, I was particularly taken with a beautiful female Meadow Brown. I hope to receive another call from Martin tomorrow. Once back on Cissbury Ring, it didn't take me too long to count 150 Silver-spotted Skippers. (Neil Hulme)
I visited Madgeland (Southwater) wood this evening. The hay meadow has been mown and the hundreds of Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites have all vanished. I hope that some of their eggs have survived! But I did see a female Silver-washed Fritillary and Red Admiral basking in the evening sunshine. (John Williams)
A few hours spent at Cissbury Ring in overcast and slightly breezy conditions produced 3 firsts for me this year. They were 8 Wall Brown, 4 Silver-spotted Skipper and 1 Brown Hairstreak. Along with these were many Chalk Hill Blue, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Heath, 4 Speckled Wood, 2 Common Blue, 3 Brimstone, 3 Dark Green Fritillary, 1 Marbled White, 4 worn out Painted Lady and 1 fresh one, 5 Red Admiral. The Brown Hairstreak was totally unexpected. There were plenty of Stonechats, Yellow Hammers and a few Ravens. (Howard Wood)
I'll let the pictures do the talking, for an aberrant male Brown Hairstreak nectared on Hemp Agrimony in my Storrington garden today. If I tell you that the flower heads were between 7-8 feet off the ground you will excuse me if the photos are not quite as crisp as I would have liked. Perched on a step ladder I nearly fell into the garden pond and was also close to decapitation when a Wood Pigeon flew its usual route and didn't realise my head was in the way! Neil was suitably impressed (but the Bumblebee prevented a viewing) and no doubt he will let everyone know what this one is called (if indeed it has a name). Since I find dozens of Brown Hairstreak eggs in the garden every winter there is every likelihood that this individual emerged from the garden, which makes it even more pleasing! (Martin Kalaher)
I hope our Hon Ed will allow this Grayling Image.
It was not taken in Sussex, but is on the shirt of regular contributor Patrick Moore. (Trevor Rapley)
With time quite restricted at the moment I was anxious to get a 2nd brood Wall Brown count in. Yesterday late afternoon I saw plenty along Cradle Valley, so today I managed the 4 mile circuit.
It was in the end quite disappointing with just 59 seen. High and Over produced a good start but the Comp was very poor with a lot of tractor movement going on at the moment. 3 times a tractor and trailer went past as I was walking along, and I've noticed before that Wall Brown do not like this type of disturbance. At least this time insectisides were not being transported!!
Along Cradle Valley very few seen despite the good showing yesterday late afternoon. Many of those seen yesterday were females on egg laying missions so I may experiment next time by doing a later count to see if that works.
On a positive note I did see a very fresh Painted Lady and a newly emerged Adonis Blue with the wings still a little curly. Also large numbers of Silver-spotted Skipper. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Wednesday 31 July
A walk on Cissbury Ring in the wind this afternoon was quite fruitful: Meadow Browns, Chalk Hill Blues, Gatekeepers, Small Heaths, Walls (5), Common Blue, Red Admirals, Marbled Whites, Small Skippers. moths: Antler Moth (Cerapteryx graminis) nectaring on ragwort, Yellow Shell, Six-spot Burnet. The glorious views are always a bonus. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
I found 41 Silver-spotted Skippers on the southern flank of Cissbury Ring today (31 July), under cloudy and cool conditions; I suspect there are plenty more around. Many were trying to warm up on dried cowpats. The poor conditions precluded a wider search of the site.
I later moved on to the Knepp Wildland, to say goodbye to the Purple Emperor; just one of each sex seen. There were a few very smart Red Admirals on parade. (Neil Hulme)
I visited the Deep Dean area today in far from ideal conditions, rain and strong winds but it did settle for sunny spells and strong winds around noon. I counted 16 Grayling (13m, 3f) all towards the top of the slope in Deep Dean. I also forgot my camera so all pictures were taken with a mobile phone.(and may download upside down) Other species included Silver-spotted Skipper, DGF, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown Gatekeeper and Chalk Hill Blue. (Patrick Moore)
Over the past week I have recorded 21 butterfly species in my Storrington garden. I have seen more Gatekeepers this year with peak daily counts of around 40. The second-brood Holly Blues also seem to be doing well with at least 4 in the garden. Otherwise today's special treat was a female Purple Hairstreak nectaring on Hemp Agrimony. I have a 20+ year old Oak that is growing well but despite my best endeavours I cannot convince myself that there are resident Purple Hairstreaks. However, I do get visitors, as for today. (Martin Kalaher)
On the nights of 25th and 28th July we had 36+ species of moths round our balcony light. Three of these were new visitors: Toadflax Brocade (Calophasia lunula), Fen Wainscot (Arenostola phragmitidis), Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Walk from Mid Sussex Ramblers' programme
Thu 01/08/2019 14:15hr. Bushy Willows car park (TN22 3JD, TQ472303) A Silver-studded Blues meander.
A meander around Ashdown Forest in search of rare Silver-studded Blue butterflies. 174m of ascent and descent 4.7mi/7.5km
Leisurely Peter L, 01444 415367 or 07842 537361
(Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/2018/06/ashdown-forest-butterfly-conservation.html)
Tuesday 30 July
First wall butterfly of the year seen yesterday (28/7/19) on Chailey Common but would not settle long enough for a photo! (Harvey Osler)
Several entries from yesterday at https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/ (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/)
Whilst washing up and gazing through the window at the Horsham rain today, I wondered where my garden butterflies were sheltering. When " as if by magic a Gatekeeper appeared", sitting in foliage waiting for the sun. A nod to Mr Benn from my youth. Roll on sunshine. (Patrick Moore)
I walked local woodland paths yesterday and found a buddleia that took me back to my childhood (a long, long time ago!) when there was a buddleia near our home that was always covered in butterflies in summer. Yesterday the visitors were Silver-washed Fritillaries, Red Admirals, Peacocks, a Brimstone and the first Humming-bird Hawk-moth I have seen this year. Along the paths I also saw Gatekeepers, Silver Ys, Small Purple and Golds (aka Mint Moth, Pyrausta aurata), Pearl Veneers, Cinnabar larvae and a Eucosma species moth. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Identify please?? At Loseley House Gardens Guildford Surrey on Verbena Plant (Heather Booth)
We are a Sussex sightings page so you will need to get someone in Surrey to identify your Red Admiral. (Ed jnr)
Monday 29 July
Another hot and sweaty session at Deep Dean today (29 July) provided more important information on the resident Grayling population and particularly the butterfly's egg-laying preferences. With valuable input from Malcolm, Tom and Bob's party, a total of 22 individuals were recorded, suggesting that the population has stabilised, at an albeit perilously low level. On the ascent, Malcolm photographed a female below the reservoir, highlighting the importance of getting Ewe Dean back under heavy grazing. A couple more Grayling (males) were seen on the chalk track up to Windover Hill, so the species is now dispersing. Lullington Heath is well worth searching by those with a pioneering spirit.
Aside from those females I've watching laying on Sheep's-fescue, I've also seen quite a few eggs laid on wiry rootlets, matching Patrick Moore's observations. Today I saw three eggs being laid on rootlets protruding from the overturned turfs cut when we made the artificial rabbit excavations. Many Grayling are using these man-made features to thermoregulate or rest in. The cuts into the upper scrub line are also proving their value, with many individuals seen here. I'm becoming increasingly confident that our management plan is a good one.
I later moved on to the BC reserves, where I found a rare aberrant Gatekeeper, ab. albidus. No sign of second brood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary yet, although the poor June weather may have scuppered their prospects this year. (Neil Hulme)
At Kithurst meadow from 8.30 - 10.30 this morning. Silver washed Fritillaries, Red Admirals, Peacocks, Comma, Brimstone, Green veined white, Small White, Large White, Essex Skipper, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeepers, Ringlet, Chalkhill blues, Common Blue, Brown Argus,Marbled White, Weasel chasing a baby rabbit, Walking over to Chantry Hill added Small Copper, Dark Green Fritillaries, Painted Lady, Small Skipper and a Peregrine whistling past me as I sat on the path looking either side of the ridge. (Denise Diston)
Neil Hulme asked for Silver-spotted Skipper sightings outside the southern compartment at Cissbury, so I accepted the challenge and found one by the metal-fenced Yew tree in the flintmine area, 5 on the western slopes and 2 in the southwestern meadow. I counted 8 Silver-spotted Skipper just on the transect route through the southern compartment, so the numbers must be high here. 21 butterfly species seen with the highlights being a Silver-washed Fritillary, over 100 Chalk Hill Blue, 23 Wall Brown, 17 Brimstone, 17 Common Blue, 27 Small Heath, Dark Green Fritillary. 81 Wall Brown in partial count of Lancing Ring & Steep Down yesterday. (Lindsay Morris)
After a couple of lazy hours in my Seaford garden 8 different species seen including several Small Whites, a couple of Large Whites, Gatekeepers, and Meadow Browns, singles of Wall, Holly Blue, Common Blue and Peacock. The Wall and one of the Gatekeepers were very tatty. (Stuart Ridley)
Kithurst Hill was awash with wildflowers and butterflies today. I spent an hour and a half in the meadow around midday today and have never seen it looking so good. I saw a total of 20 species: 1 Painted Lady, 10 Dark Green Fritillary, 3 (pristine) Small Copper, 7 Marbled White, 16 Brimstone, 6 Small White, 2 Green-veined White, 14 Large White, 29 Meadow Brown, 20 Gatekeeper, 8 Peacock, 10 Ringlet, 16 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 25 Chalk Hill Blue, 3 Brown Argus, 6 Small Blue, 5 Common Blue, 1 Holly Blue and 4 Large Skipper. I didn’t notice any Small Skippers which rather surprised me. Very large numbers of Round-headed Rampion around Kithurst this year. (Polly Mair)
Humming-bird Hawk-moth sighted in my garden in Holburn Street, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB10 7GX on Saturday 27th July 2019. (Not sure if this is a rare sighting, but it's the first time I've seen one in Scotland!) (Charles Main)
Strictly speaking this website is only for sightings in Sussex. Aberdeen is covered by the East Scotland Branch. However I can see that they have not updated there first sightings page for more than a month hand seem focused on the south around Edinburgh the Lothians, and you may not have much luck with them. So we in Sussex would love to know what butterflies and moths visit your garden in Holborn Street, Aberdeen, an exotic granite location that is further away from us than Geneva. (Ed jnr)
some more photos if I may... (Istvan Radi)
1st class brushcutters can post as many pictures as they like. That's a new rule. (Ed jnr)
Had a pleasant afternoon walk in Wild Park, Brighton. Still good numbers of Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood and different whites. A few Small Heath, Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blue, Small Copper, a few unidentified blues and probably one Brown Hairstreak but as the breeze wouldn't stop moving the high up branch I couldn't get a better photo of it (it was in the area where Jamie located them last year). Oh, and one Brimstone not be forgotten about! And of course plenty of day flying moths. (Istvan Radi)
Following on from Douglas Neves report from Ditchling Common today, the most unexpected act of a Silver-washed Fritillary egg laying along a quiet ride, including one on me! (Pictures courtesy of Kirsty Gibbs) (David Cook)
At the Whillet’s Meadow At Weir Wood Reservoir a surprised fresh looking Male ChalkHill Blue this morning,(First Record for reserve). (Alastair Gray)
Being on the Hampshire/Sussex border I hope I am allowed to comment in response to the recent moth ID request. I have had a very similar moth on my window recently which I have identified as the Box-tree moth - apparently a pest and introduced to this country as recently as 2007 -CYDALIMA PERSPECTALIS. I could be wrong but it looks remarkably similar. (Pauline Richards)
This week is the 20th Anniversary of the Castle Hill Group and Castle Hill Nature Reserve at Newhaven. Starting the celebrations early was this very worn specimen of White Admiral showing an interest in the Honeysuckle. It is the first record of this species on the reserve. It might be lacking a bit of colour, but was nevertheless a most welcome sight.
(Pete Varnham, Sue Cross, Dave Harris)
Prior to my Visit to Wolstonbury Hill i looked at the moth trap from the night before and there were three moths of interest - not rare but personalities all of their own. Firstly a Large Emerald - similar size to a Peacock but a superb vision of 1970s Bathroom Avocado Green ( and one of my all time favourite moths ) secondly, arguably Jamies Burston's current favourite moth, a super female Oak Eggar if not cartoonist material, a suitable Doctor Who alien character and lastly sadly ,unfortunately deceased, a Drinker Moth which can fit any bodies imagination of the surreal . This is what you find if you visit the Dark side .
Those of you who are not regular readers of the Plymouth Herald may not have seen this story about Oak Eggar Moths and the zombie virus. (Ed jnr)
This morning Trevor Rapley and I visited Ditchling Common where we were later joined by Kirsty Gibbs and Dave Cook. We were hoping to see Brown Hairstreaks, however only one was seen in flight, which didn't settle. We were however fortunate to see a Silver-washed Fritillary laying numerous eggs during the 15 or so minutes we were observing it, including one on Dave's jeans! (Douglas Neve)
Bright fresh Painted Lady by Rosier Wood, Billingshurst on 23rd July, coincidently at the spot where I saw my ONLY Small Tortoiseshell of the year, back in March. Fingers crossed for a late summer brood. Five Silver-washed Fritillaries also seen on the woodland edge here. (Alan Birch)
Here's a challenge for an expert to take up: my daughter snapped this "huge moth" (her words) last Wednesday on her window in Brighton. Question: what might it be? A moth or a large butterfly? The underwing is translucent with the sunshine glowing through it, so tricky to identify. BUT, if anyone out there could have a go at actually identifying it, I'd be very pleased! (STEVE SMITH)
Walking up a side-street in the centre of Lewes last Wednesday, I found my first ever White Admiral. Of all the places to find one! It was clearly exhausted, and I rescued it from the road and placed it in the shade of a garden. But the encounter made my day...my week! (STEVE SMITH)
I found a 10 x 23mm Loupe at Deep Dean. Nice to know someone is keen to get up close and personal. If it is yours, drop me a line at email@example.com (Jonathan Crawford)
Sunday 28 July
We did a lot of work in our back garden (Hove) today. A few Small Whites, a Holly Blue, a Red Admiral, a Meadow Brown & a Gatekeeper were the sum total of our sightings, but at least the Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown spent a lot of time in & around the garden. I felt a bit mean as I was mowing the lawn, although I have left some taller areas of grass etc. The Meadow Brown seemed just as happy investigating the cut areas as the longer bits, whereas the Gatekeeper tended to land on leaves of plants in the borders. (John & Val Heys)
I was a little late to the purple party. However a visit to Knepp provided me with a few purple treats. The first were not purple at all as they were two female Purple Emperors (only the males are purple although I did notice that there is a bit of purple to the antennae). The first I spotted from a tree platform. It was soaring through the willow canopy presumably looking for somewhere to lay eggs. The second was feeding on sap from a wound on a small oak tree by a path corner. It once came out to alight on a sunny bramble but otherwise spent the whole half hour I stayed there feeding on sap. When flies or wasps approached too close it saw them off with a bat of its wings.
The second purple encounter was with Purple Hairstreak. Two or three only.
The most incredible spectacle were all the Gatekeepers. Thousands in every field in the southern block. The habitat there is perfect for them I guess with loads of brambly edge habitat.
I was inspired to go and visit for the first time in a while because I am reading the book Wilding which tells the story of the project at Knepp. An incredible transformation from sterile arable and dairy farm to wildlife haven for species otherwise in steep decline in our intensively farmed landscape. Best site in the country for a number of butterfly species plus nightingale and turtle dove. We desperately need more Knepps, or at least a little bit of Knepp on every farm, to reverse the terrible ecological disaster we are facing. (Tim Squire)
Saw this Brown Hairstreak today during a walk on Green Ridge, just west of Westdene Windmill (John Kirby)
Visit to the lovely Windover Hill and Deep Dean today to search for Grayling. A bit tricky as it was windy so every butterfly that lifted off tended to be whisked away over the horizon! We did see 2 Graylings (one of which seemed to have a bright red mite attached to it). Also Chalk Hill Blues, Dark Green Fritillaries, Silver-spotted Skippers and many more. This is a lovely area of chalk grassland full of flowers and the grazing, scrub clearance and artificial rabbit scrapes looked good. Well worth a visit and hopefully the Graylings would be easier to find on a calm day. (Chris and Helen Corrigan)
A few of the butterflies I’ve seen today at Combe Valley Country Park. Uncountable numbers of Whites and Gatekeepers, several Commas, a Meadow Brown and Small Heath which I didn’t manage to photograph. (Maria)
I spent another fruitless couple of hours today at Ditchling Common in search of Dave Cook's Brown Hairstreak. Despite some periods of warm sunshine I only saw Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood and a couple of Purple Hairstreak. At that point a woman decided that Hairstreak alley was the perfect place for a picnic for herself, her child and two dogs; so I took my leave. (John Williams)
Quite overcast so I didn't expect much when I went to Marline Valley near Hastings. I was giving up, having seen a Gatekeeper or two and a few Small Whites. I was on my way back when I found a few Skippers and a Small Copper.This lead me further where I found a load of Meadow Browns (obviously), Common Blues, male and female, and a pair of Gatekeepers mating, this made me super happy! (oscar pratley crighton)
Having been very unwell in recent days, I was determined to get out of the house for a short while this morning. High and Over being reasonably local seemed an ideal spot. And I had yet to catch up with the summer brood Wall Browns. I manged to count seven males accurately, until the Sun appeared. Then all hell broke loose, many more males appeared and were squabbling amongst themselves and the many Hedge Browns present. Having given up counting I came away with the conclusion that the summer brood is doing very well. (Trevor Rapley)
I arrived at Deep Dean a little after half eight this morning. Conditions were overcast and windy. Over the next few hours the clouds refused to budge and only occasionally broke to allow sunlight through. I managed to find three Grayling (2m 1f) but they were not budging. The only way to find one was to practically step on it. They seemed to have moved down to the lower slopes where it was warmer (25C) but it was still too cool for them. There were a number of Silver-spotted Skippers, they were difficult to see and harder to photograph but I must have spotted more than a dozen on the short grass to the right of the gate. Also seen were Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Gatekeeper, Small White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Wall Brown and the ubiquitous Chalk Hill Blue. Also seen was a Spitfire in D-day colours and a US WW2 fighter ugly enough to be Grumman Wildcat.
After Deep Dean I did the lancing Ring transect which was rater subdued due to the cloud. Pick of the bunch was some fresh Comma. A trip to the Southwick tunnel lay-by, where conditions were grey and windy, showed that the Small Blue colony is doing well with perhaps a dozen seen. I also saw a Small Heath and thought "I have not seen one of them for a while". Finally, I saw the biggest Adder I have ever seen curled up on a Dreadnought cast iron drain cover. Big enough to make me jump. (Jonathan Crawford)
Is it appropriate to post a walk that I shall lead tomorrow? In case yes this is the gist of the text that has been sent to my private "nature walks" email group, modified for Butterfly Conservation Sussex
Monday 29th July is forecast to be possibly the best day next week for butterflies spotting. Peter Lovett will be wandering Wolstonbury Hill then on a "Butterflies, bees and flowers Walk", which he invites members to join.
Monday 28th July 2019; Wolstonbury Hill, Five km, 200 m ascent and descent. "The Pride of Sussex" our county flower and other lovely flowers are in full bloom now.
Please see https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/2018/08/butterflies-and-other-wildlife-of.html for some of what can be expected to be seen.
Be aware also of the risk of ticks. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000640l/disclosure-series-1-9-under-the-skin on a smart TV or PC. There are deer on the hill.
Start time 10.20 hr; Duration three hours at a leisurely pace but note 200 metres ascent and descent: not a walk to get fit, you need to be fit already to enjoy this stroll.
Bring water and a snack.
Location the old A23 at the end of the cul-de-sac at Pycombe where the South Downs Way footbridge crosses the A23 up the old road from The Plough pub.
Grid Reference TQ287128
See this link for where you need to drive to get to the parking area near the end of the cul-de-sac.
https://goo.gl/maps/dDK5L9RpN1iiv6jBA (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/2018/08/butterflies-and-other-wildlife-of.html)
Probably not. (Ed jnr)
A respite from the recent heat and despite the rain , I set off to Chantry hill yesterday morning to find Painted Lady Caterpillars following recent invasions . After a quick search on thistles , the droppings hung up on a thin mesh of silk were fairly obvious accompanied by fairly well grown caterpillars - so a good sign for masses of Painted Ladies in late August
September . The Flowers on the Downs were stunning .
In response to Gerry’s comment (below), I shall quote from ‘The Good Book’ (pp. 158 & 160), with the kind permission of the authors : “The males are a bright orange-brown colour, decorated with black spots, blocks and Crescents. The female is a noticeably duller shade and the ground-colour may be much paler around the margins. She is also more heavily marked.” This is indeed a female DGF, showing a particularly well-developed example of this feature. (Neil Hulme)
Despite the inclement conditions yesterday, a brave and spirited group of six tackled the arduous climb up Mount Caburn and were somewhat surprised to meet quite a few ramblers along the way. Incongruously we even managed to see some butterflies and moths in the pouring rain! Common Grass Veneer were plentiful in the wet vegetation, Cinnabar caterpillars winked from damp Ragwort stems, and a couple of Parsnip larvae were sheltering in the developing seed heads of Hogweed near the seat at the top of the climb. With increasing precipitation a rapid descent was made to Oxteddle Bottom where we stopped to chat with American tourists who were admiring the impressive shoals of toad tadpoles in the concrete dew pond. Surreal!
At this stage it was decided enough was enough. Susie and Steve split to catch the train home while the rest of us retraced the route up Caburn Bottom - and of course the rain stopped! Meadow Brown started to appear, a few Chalkhill Blues flew up, a Small Blue egg was spotted on Kidney Vetch, and a nice colony of Crescent Plume moth fluttered around Restharrow. Six - spot Burnet were also very much in evidence, and the odd Hedge Brown was flushed up. Dropping down Caburn Hill Sue pointed out a Wall Brown sheltering in the lee of a hedgerow, but by now minds were set firmly on tea and cake at the Little Cottage Tea Rooms.
Steve, Steve, Sue, Pete, Susie, David and Dave. Hopefully better weather next year!
Saturday 27 July
I'm sure Amanda Fuller is correct in her report of a migrant Swallowtail at Turners Hill. One was seen on farmland near Petersfield on 25 July and the timing/weather is spot-on for a movement from Continental Europe. (Neil Hulme)
Huge butterfly that we can only seem to identify as a Swallowtail in our back garden in Turners hill on the High weald in Sussex. (Amanda Fuller)
This afternoon I visited Ditchling Common in the rather optimistic hope of spotting Dave Cook's Brown Hairstreak. The weather was cool, cloudy and sometimes drizzly and needless to say the only butterflies I saw were a couple of Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper. (John Williams)
At Kithurst meadow on Friday early afternoon, I came across this bright specimen at the furthest area from the gate. I thought at first that it was a Dark Green Fritillary - the size is right and the shape is right, but the colouration is more like a washed-out imitation.
My 'Butterflies of Sussex' book (Blencowe and Hulme) which I mostly use for identification, shows both male and female Dark Green Fritillaries with very little white on the upper wings, and says that the female of the species is more heavily marked and duskier in appearance. However, a wider search of the subject e.g. 'Wildlife Insight' and others on the web shows that this image is indeed a female Dark Green Fritillary. Some confusion here maybe? (Gerry Slack)
An inaugural submission from Felpham, known for William Blake, sailing and ice cream but not butterflies.
With clearing skies after lunch on an otherwise overcast day, my wife and I returned once more to the churchyard at St Mary's for the purpose of witnessing a noteworthy butterfly sighting. Earlier in the week we counted two Speckled Woods and were pleased to increase the count to five this time. Save for the individual with a damaged forewing, which we had imaged previously, they paired up and treated us to their flight dance in the sunny glade near the west end of the church. Unfortunately, they did not oblige by settling together for a group photo! Whilst we have invariably walked through the churchyard twice a day in high summer for the past six years, only the ubiquitous "Whites" can be recollected and joined by a few Red Admirals later in the season. In total, we have seen 11 species this summer within the boundaries of the churchyard and another two no more than 200 metres away.
The highlight, undoubtedly, has been the Gatekeepers, probably numbering more than 60 at their height with a small mingling of Meadow Browns and a Ringlet. Would the change in grass management this year account, at least in part, for this sudden increase in numbers? (Brian Birch)
Friday 26 July
re earlier note - I think it is NOT a Black veined Moth but a Carrot Seed Moth Sitochroa palealis. New to me anyway! (Peter Whitcomb)
On the Snout at Malling Down this afternoon. When the sun made a brief appearance there were Chalk Hill Blues everywhere and amongst them Silver-spotted Skippers, probably 60 or more. Most of the shorter grass on the lower half of the Snout. Also present were Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers, a few Marbled Whites but also a Brimstone, Small Heath. Large Whites, Small Whites and Red Admirals were also spotted. (Martin Buck)
Changeable conditions for my transect count at Beacon Hill LNR, Rottingdean this morning. Just over 100 counted with 62 Gatekeeper predominating. Good to see fresh male and female Common Blues and just a single Marbled White. Disappointing not to find any Chalk Hill Blues today. A white moth was flighty but I managed a shot - believed to be the rare Black veined Moth? (Peter Whitcomb)
Warm but sunless and rain stopped play at 17.00hrs. Lancing Ring & Steep Down highlight was 67 Wall Brown. I imagine I would have reached a ton of more if all areas had been searched. Quite a few females. Only fifteen butterfly species seen, but it was very evocative to hear Quail calling. Summer may have peaked already, but it still has a long way to go... hopefully! (Lindsay Morris)
I visited Windover Hill/Deep Dean today arriving at the top during a heavy shower and thunderstorm. Despite this there was some sunshine during which the butterflies and moths appeared. Species of note included Grayling (m7, f8), Silver-spotted Skipper, Chalk Hill Blue, Wall Brown, DGF, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Marbled White. I didn't see another person the whole time but did share the valley top with a fox. (Patrick Moore)
Rather gloomy Friday and late in the day to check out Tottington Silver Washed Fritillaries. Only saw one but it didn’t hang around. Three White Admiral helped, one Red Admiral, plenty of Gatekeepers as everywhere, several Meadow Browns, one Speckled Wood, one Ringlet. Apologies for the single bad photo! (Simon Buck )
There was plenty going on at Stump Bottom (north of Denton, East Sussex) this afternoon despite the overcast but warm conditions. 13 Dark Green Fritillary, 25+ Chalkhill Blue, 9 Wall, 3 Common Blue, 1 Small Blue, 5 Marbled White, 4 Small White, 30 Gatekeeper, 18 Meadow Brown, 1 Peacock and 4 Small Skipper. (Polly Mair)
I saw plenty of Silver-spotted Skippers, some in the act, despite relatively cool and cloudy weather at the Snout on Malling Down early this afternoon. (John Williams)
I’m just back from a few days away and as yesterday was just too hot (and jet lagged) for me to venture out and with early rain this morning, I decided to head over to Ditchling Common at lunchtime and see what was about. As it happens not much, other than loads of Gatekeeper and a few Meadow Browns waiting for some sun. That was until around 13:00 hrs the distinctive flight of a Hairstreak flying around. I gave chase in the hope it would land—it did! What I hope, is this is the first of many Brown Hairstreak, landed on the bracken and posed for half an hour in the aptly named Hairstreak Alley and a Male too!
When Neil Hulme gave this area the name last year, I’m pretty sure he didn’t expect that all 5 Hairstreaks would be seen and photographed within the 20 metres or so. (David Cook)
After seeing our 9th butterfly species this year in our (Hove) back garden yesterday morning (25/7/19), the 10th turned up an hour or so later - a Gatekeeper which came & went for an hour or so. A worn Six-spot Burnet moth was hanging around too. Not sure we've ever had a burnet in the garden before. In Victoria Park Worthing at about 1.15pm yesterday our granddaughter again spotted a lime hawk moth caterpillar on the path. (John & Val Heys)
It was a relief to arrive in Shoreham as it clouded over and started to rain. There was enough sun for butterflies, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a female Dark Green Fritillary on the buddleias beside the river (no photo as I was on the phone). No upperside shots of Wall till past seven o'clock when a female was diving in and out of tussocks of grass and nectaring. (Neil Coleman )
Thursday 25 July
Yesterday (24 July) evening I found 17 Silver-spotted Skippers in the most southerly compartment of Cissbury Ring, although I'm sure that the hot weather will have triggered the emergence of many more by now. I suspect that the species may have spread to other parts of the site due to ongoing improvements in the habitat, so would appreciate hearing from anyone who finds them beyond the squares TQ137076, TQ137077, TQ136077 or TQ135076. (Neil Hulme)
Summer brood of Wood White in Sussex on 23rd, although they have been seen in Surrey Chiddingfold Forest from 13 July. (Margaret Hibbard)
While having a coffee and a cake in St Ann's Well Garden in Brighton & Hove I noticed a Purple Hairstreak flying around a tree quite low. He was very tolerant and didn't seem to mind me taking a photo with my phone. I cannot upload the video of him having some snacks but here is a photo of him and the tree. (Istvan Radi)
Apologies for presenting my earlier image as a Jersey Tiger. I believe the attached image shows a Jersey Tiger. Unfortunately it closed its wings just before I took the photograph. (Douglas Neve)
At last, a Large White in our garden in Hove - our 9th different species of butterfly this year. (John Heys)
White-letter Hairstreak in my Hove garden this morning (many large elms in the street out front). Nectaring on ragwort. I thought it looked more male than female with its indistinct 'W' and short tails, though I understand the nectaring is more likely to make it female. Either way it looked to be in good nick. (Nigel DP)
This Jersey Tiger moth was found in my trap this morning. Apparently until recently this species was found only in the Channel Islands. (Douglas Neve)
I think that is a Garden Tiger Moth (Ed jnr)
Wednesday 24 July
Val & I saw 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Meadow Browns, 4 Gatekeepers, half a dozen whites (probably all Small Whites) & 2 Commas in Benfield Valley, Hove, south & east of Sainsbury's. In our back garden Small Whites and a Holly Blue were in & out regularly, a Comma was around for 5 minutes or so & a Meadow Brown made several appearances. At about 6.30pm it was looking to bed down for the night near the loganberries & I got a better look at it plus a couple of pictures. It looks ok with wings closed but on its last legs with them opened. (John & Val Heys)
A walk up and around Cissbury with 21 species of butterfly in hot sunshine. The highlights being over 100 Chalk Hill Blue, 5 Wall Brown and 17 Silver-spotted Skipper. (Lindsay Morris)
I visited the Windover/Deep Dean area around midday today and managed to see 11 Grayling.(7 male, 3 female and 1 unidentified).
It was very warm but there was a breeze from the south west. Also in the area were, DGF, Chalk Hill Blue, Red Admiral, Peacock, Meadow Brown, not so Common Blue, Small Copper, a Speckled Wood and a few others.
A few sightings during a brief sunny spell from St, Mary's Church, Fittleworth on 20th July on a visit from West Cornwall while staying with family. Unfortunately all my butterfly recording from other sites were over the border in Hampshire! Large White 2, Gatekeeper 8, Meadow Brown 5, Small Skipper 1. (Richard Symonds)
On Monday night 24 species of moths visited our balcony light.They varied in size from 5mm long to macro moths. Conditions were perfect for them - warm and windless. In contrast, last night the breeze kept most away and I had just 3 species. Monday's list: Blastobasis species; Bright-line Brown-eye, Lacanobia oleracea; Bud Moth, Spilonota ocellana; Cherry-bark Moth, Enarmonia formosana; Cloaked Minor, Mesoligia furuncula; Common Carpet, Epirrhoe alternata; Dingy Dowd, Blastobasis adustella; Double-striped Pug, Gymnoscelis rufifasciata; Elder Pearl, Phlyctaenia coronata; Eudonia species; Fern, Horisme tersata; Inlaid Grass-veneer, Crambus pascuella; Least Yellow Underwing, Noctua interjecta; Light Brown Apple Moth, Epiphyas postvittana; Marbled Green, Cryphia muralis; Marsh Dowd, Blastobasis rebeli; Mother of Pearl, Pleuroptya ruralis; Pug species; Rosy Tabby, Endotricha flammealis; Satin Grass-veneer, Crambus perlella; Shuttle-shaped Dart, Agrotis puta; Spindle Ermine, Yponomeuta cagnagella; The Clay, Mythimna ferrago and one unidentified micro moth. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
At 21.30 and still at 28 degrees saw 3 male Purple Emperors on Green lane at Knepp One holding a territory in the tall Oaks by the gate had several scraps with another arrival. Not content with this, a group of squeaking swallows arrived hotly chasing a sparrow hawk. As the swallows went over the tree the male PE launched in to attack mode, which perhaps was not wise. The second male eventually left the trees following the hedge line up the road presumably to the next tree line 100 yds away. There were lots of Purple Hairstreaks active many low down in an ash where i found a group visiting a sap bleed on an Ash bud. I departed at 21.50 and the PE were still active. (Richard Roebuck)
A slow, ponderous walk along the bridle path on the southern block at the Knepp estate ostensibly looking for Purple Emperor. In three hours saw just two high up in oaks on the path. I was told that a thunderstorm on the Friday 19th had decimated the butterflies. A good view of a male Redstart and a hunting weasel but the heat meant few butterflies flying until late afternoon. I found Purple Hairstreak and a single Brown Hairstreak (which I thought I caught on camera but can't find it now). At Southwater Woods in amongst the numerous Ringlet and Gatekeeper were good numbers of White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary. A few second brood Common Blues on the path. Is it my imagination but there are many more males about than previousl? (Greg Burgess)
Tuesday 23 July
Our granddaughter has kept reminding us that we promised her a present at the end of her first year at school. We were walking through Victoria Park Worthing on our way to the shops when she told us to stop because there was a caterpillar on the path. She was quite right too. I think it's a lime hawk moth - limes are plentiful there. Earlier in the day I went out into our garden in Hove but quickly turned round - flying ants everywhere. Not a good day for butterfly spotting, although I did see a Holly Blue & a Small White as I rushed back inside. (John & Val Heys)
Like mad dogs we spent a little time on the Lancing Ring this lunchtime before the heat drove us away. Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were most abundant but we saw quite a few Peacocks and a couple of Red Admirals. Marbled Whites and Large Whites too. A few Chalk Hill Blues and Common Blues and under the trees Speckled Woods. Plenty of skippers, everything flying at 100 miles an hour. (Martin Buck)
Two more pics today in my garden. (Martin Edward Kalaher)
After five hours of sanding down, washing, and then painting a garage door, I allowed myself a bit of wandering around my Storrington wildlife garden. And I could not be more delighted! (Martin Edward Kalaher)
A quick trip to a new woodland (Marline woods, Hastings) to see what i could find. I found numerous Meadow Browns without much surprise, countless Gatekeepers, always a lovely shade of orange flitting everywhere. Later on i found a Red Admiral, a Large Skipper. Lastly, two Peacocks happily feeding which was lovely to see as i usually find them merely showing off. (oscar pratley crighton)
Many thanks to Istvan Radi (on brushcutter), Andrew Burns (safety watch) and the amazing Brighton Conservation Volunteers for their work cutting bracken at Park Corner Heath and Rowland Wood today. Despite the searing heat (30+ degrees) we managed to clear some large areas to expose violets, ahead of the predicted second brood of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. I'm expecting the first to emerge in five or six days time, but the size of the partial second brood (or its appearance at all) may have been affected by the poor weather in June. Please keep your eyes peeled. (Neil Hulme)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down in the hot sun. 25 butterfly species including 24 Wall Brown, most of which were hiding wings closed in the shade at the side of the paths rather than their normal basking. Only 7 Chalk Hill Blue seen at Steep Down. (Lindsay Morris)
A hunt for Grayling was a little disappointing today with only 3 seen. 2 male and 1 female. It was just too hot for them and they, and many other butterflies were hiding in the small Wayfarer bushes. In fact the female Grayling that took off from under my feet headed straight for the shelter of a bush. Only myself and Andrew Burns were stupid enough to be there!!
I was however compensated with quite a rare sight of a Gynandromorph Chalk Hill Blue. I saw it in flight and it was clear what it was straight away. Unfortunately every time it landed it kept tightly closed due to the heat. Eventually though a male came along and was duly rejected by the interesting one that gave me a split second to get the shot!! I also got an under-side shot of the male side. This is interesting too as it shows the female side is slightly larger, as it would be in a normal female. After seeing Andrew we searched for it for some time, but with so many Chalk Hill Blues around it was the needle in a haystack scenario.
Along the bottom a large group of male Chalk Hill Blues on sheep poo was also a good sight, especially after I was checking the photos back home and I spotted the 2nd brood Dingy Skipper joining in!! (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
We spent the morning on Chantry Hill,most species seemed to lower in number than is usual for this site as they were about a fortnight ago also.Dark Green Fritillary were the exception,6 Silver-spotted Skipper though only 1 stopped for a certain I.D. (Barry Sketchley)
Seen along the Adur by the recreation ground, no idea of the first one but a nice Peacock. John (John Holt Yuri)
First one is a Jersey Tiger Moth (Ed jnr)
Yesterday afternoon I visited Kithurst meadow which is in splendid condition and covered in chalk downland flora. I saw 17 species of butterflies: Brimstones, Brown Argus, Chalk Hill Blues, Comma, Dark Green Fritillary, Essex Skipper, Gatekeepers, Green-veined White, Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Peacocks, Red Admirals, Ringlets, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Skipper, Small Whites, Speckled Wood. moths seen: Dark Strawberry Tortrix (Celypha lacunana), Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
In response to Douglas Neve's question on 22nd July, I suspect that the hitch-hiker is just a stray Pollen Beetle (not a parasite). (Vince Massimo)
I was really fortunate to bump into Neil today (Monday) at Deep Dean as he quickly found me a couple of male Graylings and gave me an impromptu masterclass on the species and its habitat requirements. During the morning walk up from Wilmington and back, some of it in overcast breezy conditions, I noted 19 butterfly species including: singles of Wall Brown, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Brown Argus, Speckled Wood and Small Heath; two each of Silver-spotted Skipper, Small Copper, Red Admiral, Small Blue and Common Blue; quite a few Dark Green Fritillaries and excellent numbers of Chalkhill Blues. In addition, one thistle head held six Six-spot Burnet moths. (Simon Linington)
Monday 22 July
I spent much of today (22 July) in Deep Dean, counting and observing Grayling; my total of 17 individuals included four females, which I followed to determine egg-laying site preferences. It was very satisfying to find the males repeatedly thermoregulating in the artificial rabbit scrapes we made last winter. The scrub work along the top of the slope also appears to be beneficial, with quite a few males holding territory amongst the woody litter and bare ground here. The pony grazing has certainly knocked the Tor-grass back, but more work is needed next spring, early in the growing season. (Neil Hulme)
Philip Booker's 'Lead Belle Moth' (July 15) is a Shaded Broad-bar, Scotopteryx chenopodiata (Colin Knight)
Around thirty of us spent a great morning on Sussex B.C and Friends of Bevendean Down‘s annual Bevendean Blues butterfly walk on Sunday (21st July). A mixture of sunny spells moved towards greater cloud cover meaning there were less butterflies in flight, but this led to opportunities to see settled Small Coppers, marbles whites, Ringlets, Meadow Brown, Speckled Woods, Common Blues 6 spot burnet moths and a considerable number of chalkhills. These including females laying. At present there are a large number of round headed rampions out amongst the other downland flowers, and a trip up here is highly recommended. Thank you to all involved for a great morning. Photos courtesy of Patrick Bonfield. (Geoff Stevens)
These images of Chalk-hill Blues were taken near Birling Gap at about 07.00 hrs this morning. As you will see the butterfly with its wings closed appears to have something black attached to a fore-wing, which may be a tick. Does anybody knows what is likely to be? (Douglas Neve)
In answer to Nigel's question, Pigeons, you need to net. (Paul Day)
Sunday 21 July
Today (21 July) I performed my first Big Butterfly Count of 2019, with one of the deep coombes at Chantry Hill living up to my expectations. I decided to wait until I'd bagged something of note, such as a confirmed Essex Skipper, before starting the 15 minute count. What I didn't expect was a huge Purple Empress gliding majestically over the flowery slope! Within a few minutes a male Clouded Yellow (my first of the year) came zooming past.
My final tally, comprising 132 individuals of 21 species, included: Purple Emperor (1), Clouded Yellow (1), Dark Green Fritillary (17), Silver-washed Fritillary (1), Marbled White (8), Chalk Hill Blue (5), Common Blue (1), Brown Argus (2), Small Copper (2), Small Heath (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Red Admiral (1), Peacock (3), Meadow Brown (33), Gatekeeper (26), Essex Skipper (1), Small Skipper (12), Large Skipper (1), Large White (5), Small White (9) and Brimstone (1).
Chantry Hill is currently awash with colourful flowers, including one of my favourites, Field Scabious.
Managed to get a couple of hours in Park Corner Heath today (21/7). Almost had the place to myself! Lots of Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Ringlet. Also several Silver-washed Fritillary (but hard to photograph!), Small Skipper, Large White and Peacock, and one Speckled Wood. Also lots of grass moths - the only one I photographed is Agriphila selasella, I think. In the distance (crossing the road) a small group of deer, and one adder under one of the corrugated sheets. (Dennis Chanter)
We spent a lot of time in our back garden (Hove) today. Only small numbers of butterflies, but 5 different species (highest this season) bringing our species total to 8 in 2019. Small Whites (3 at once at one stage), a Red Admiral, a male Common Blue & probably a female later on (Common Blues are infrequent visitors, so very chuffed), a Holly Blue & a Comma. A shopping trip to Portslade gave us an excuse for visiting St Leonard's Churchyard which has plenty of butterflies at present - Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Whites, Ringlets, 3 Speckled Woods, a small or Essex Skipper, a Red Admiral, a glimpse of a male Common Blue, a six-spotted burnet moth & (nearby) a Holly Blue. The churchyard also contains the grave of Sir Charles Aubrey Smith, the cricketer who captained Sussex & England (just one test in 1888/9, which he won) & then carved out an acting & film career, notably as Colonel Zapt in the best (1937) version of the Prisoner of Zenda. (John & Val Heys)
I visited Windover Hill and Deep Dean today where Grayling numbers seem to be rising nicely. I reached 12 before I retraced my steps and therefore stopped counting. I bumped into James and spent a great afternoon talking butterflies and observing Grayling as and when they appeared. Cheers James. (Patrick Moore)
Joined up with several others this morning (Sunday) at Spithurst to see how work on improving the floral diversity of the churchyard was going. Quite apart from stunning displays of Betony and Agrimony, and a decent quantity of Saw-wort, we noted 14 species of butterfly: a female Purple Hairstreak lounging on a bracken frond; a Wall (encouragingly on the wall of the old church); singles of Common Blue, Red Admiral, Brimstone, Ringlet, Brown Argus and Essex Skipper; small numbers of Peacock, Small White, Large White and Marbled White; and large numbers of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. (Simon Linington)
Saw Marbled Whites and Chalk Hill Blues everywhere, (even saw male and female of the blue ones which was really special). A few Small Whites, Skippers and a Small Copper graced me with its presence right at the last moment. A great time had at the Bevendean Downs. (oscar pratley crighton)
Earlier this year we had a large conifer removed from our garden. It left a round piece of bare earth which I resolved to make into a butterfly garden. I sowed all the annuals recommended by Butterfly Conservation, plus any others in the garden centre that were labelled as 'butterfly friendly'. I now have a mass of colour, but yesterday and today were the first days that I've seen any butterflies on them. We've had Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper (many of each), Comma, Peacock and Red Admiral. I also planted some cabbages but they are being eaten as fast as they grow up - Large White also seen in some numbers, but they haven't laid any eggs yet and I can't see any caterpillars. What is eating them?? (Nigel Symington)
Fishbourne PO19 3QW
Meadow Brown (1)
Painted Lady (1)
Cabbage White (2) (Terry Farrell)
We were out on the west path of the Adur, Saturday evening, when this butterfly settled on the path, about the size of a Red Admiral, and aMarbled White.looked it up but no idea. John (John Holt)
Worn out Painted Lady. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday afternoon sunshine brought out large numbers of butterflies in my father-in-law's garden in Alfriston for the Big Butterfly Count. I saw lots of Meadow Browns, many Gatekeepers, a few Ringlets, one or two Common Blue, a Peacock, two Red Admiral, two Large White, one Small White, three Marbled White, a Small Copper, a Small Skipper and three Commas in close proximity spiralling together into a sky at one point. (Tony Gould)
Saturday 20 July
I went just over the border to Chiddingfold Forest today in the hope of seeing a Purple Emperor before their flight season ends. I saw an Empress gliding amongst the Sallows at the high point, though not in camera range. Finally I came upon a male on the ground, who was very fidgety but I did manage to snatch a couple of shots. I also saw lots of Silver-washed Fritillary, a few second brood Wood Whites, plus all the usual suspects! (John Williams)
This dew laden Chalk-hill Blue was photographed at Birling Gap early on Friday morning. I arrived at the habitat far too early and had to wait until the light was sufficient to take photographs. (Douglas Neve)
Friday 19 July
Many thanks to Colin Pratt for confirming that our Medmerry moth of the 17th is a Bright Wave the 2nd Sussex record ! All credit to Maureen who spotted it while I was away with the birds. (Barry Sketchley)
It's strange to think that by July 18th the best may already be behind us but in my Storrington Wildlife garden this may be so. The rain of the past 24 hours has been very welcome but the downside is that the flower heads received quite a battering and many of the plants are rather bedraggled. On the upside I have recorded 22 butterfly species in the past week with some good-looking second brood Brown Argus and Common Blue. The cumulative total for the season is 28 species with butterflies such as Silver-washed Fritillary, Clouded Yellow and Brown Hairstreak still to come (I hope!). I usually reckon on daily counts of 100+ butterflies in the garden in late July. Last year the peak daily count was just 70 and I have recorded those numbers already. I have three substantial clumps of Buddleia (in the conventional part of the garden) and they can attract very large numbers which can easily boost the numbers by 30 or so. Yesterday I had my first "definite" Humming-bird Hawk-moth, which had a look at the Buddleia but then proceeded to nectar from Everlasting Pea, instead. I have plenty of both Hedge Bedstraw and Lady's Bedstraw, so maybe I will spot some egg-laying. Finally, a Red Admiral spent quite some time on the patch of Sting Nettles yesterday, so I imagine it must have laid an egg or two. (Martin Kalaher)
Seen at Monks house Rodmell yesterday, there werer many, a couple of of coppas and a couple of Speckled Woods. John. (John Holt To)
Thursday 18 July
A surprising number of butterflies at Nymans Woods after the rain had passed over. Highlight was the Silver Washed Frittilary but also saw Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small White, Large White, Marbled White. (Martin Buck)
Marbled White, Essex Skipper and Chalkhill Blues at roost this evening at Kithurst Hill flower meadow. It was quite breezy so I spent a long time looking at butterflies waving to and fro in the camera view-finder! (John Williams)
A Dark Green Fritillary and Peacock seen at The Highwoods yesterday. We also spotted a White Admiral but no photo unfortunately! (Maria Dixon)
Nice surprise to see a Small White just now in our Hove back garden, despite the wind & gathering gloom. I left it at about 6.35pm sheltering amongst the scabious. Yesterday out there we saw Small Whites, Holly Blues (2), a brief flash of a Comma & a Meadow Brown which visited several times over an hour. On Tuesday at Shoreham Beach there were plenty of Small Whites and one rather large and fine Peacock. (John Heys)
White letter Hairstreak on pavement 10am. Saltdean Vale at Hawthorn Close, Saltdean, Brighton. Climbed onto my hand!! So close up and no doubt re species. I put it out of harms way onto nearby Elm tree leaf. (Nicky Ilsley)
And the final version. (Dr Dan Danahar)
Examples of butterfly related art, produced by @DorothyStringer year 7 to 9 students, after their visit to the Liz Williams Butterfly Haven, on our Wild Art enrichment week. (Dr Dan Danahar)
While photographing the Spoonbill at Medmerry I quickly took this moth with a long lens hence the poor focus however on checking references Think it could be Ochraceous Wave or Bright Wave both of which are rare.A more expert opinion than mine would be welcome. (Barry Sketchley)
Beautiful butterfly walk south from Berwick Village to France Bottom yesterday despite the muggy heat. Lots of Chalkhill blues along the sunken chalk track leading up to the Long Burgh with quite a few females too. Common Blue, Brown Argus, Marbled White, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper, Small Heath, a few Dark Green Fritillary, velvety Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Comma.
Delighted to see a handful of smart Small Blues along the path along France Bottom where I had seen them earlier in the year.
Also a red kite mobbing a buzzard. (Tessa Pawsey)
Wednesday 17 July
I visited Stedham Common early in the afternoon to seek out Silver-studded Blue. I found what I was looking quite quickly although the density was low with maybe six males and one female . This was a new Sussex butterfly for me so I was hesitant with identification. There is a lack of bright orange studs on the under wings. The conditions were humid and mainly clouded. (Greg Burgesss)
Today I visited the Windover Hill and Deep Dean area and am pleased to report the sighting of six Grayling. (3m, 2f, 1 n/k)
Other species included, DGF, Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Peacock, Marbled White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Small Copper and a few others. There were also plenty of those rare but locally abundant moths whose name I cannot remember and probably can't spell. (Patrick Moore)
A walk at Mill Hill saw numerous Gatekeepers and Ringlets but was more surprised to see some Peacocks and Brimstones along with (I think) a Chalk Hill Blue. There were a few Chalk Hill Blue Eggs in the grass too. (Philip Booker)
At long last I made it to the Knepp Estate where plenty of purple action was going on but mostly Hairstreaks. Eventually I did see two or three Emperors as well although they were busy dog-fighting high up. I found about a dozen or so insects what I presume to be some kind of moth. They were flying above a stream or resting on the leaves of water plants. Anyone knows what they might be? I also witnessed something I have never seen... I sat down under an oak tree to eat my biscuits and have a sip of water when a butterfly gently descended from the tree and landed not too far from me. So I got my camera and had a closer look. I quickly realised that the butterfly was not flying on its own but it was carried by a wasp who once on the ground started to cut the Meadow Brown (the two white dots would make it a Gatekeeper but everything else is MB) up into small pieces! The Beauty and Beast, a new horror movie in the making. (Istvan Radi)
Huge numbers of butterflies between Birling Gap and Belle Tout lighthouse. These included Red Admirals, Dark Green Fritillaries, Marbled Whites, Small Skippers and Painted Ladies. Large White and Small White and Gatekeepers. Lots of chalkhill blues. Earlier at East Dean we saw many of the above plus Small Heaths, Common Blues and Brown Argus, Meadow Brown an7d Ringlets. (Martin Buck)
In the morning we called in at Knepp for half an hour. Even in that short time we saw a Purple Emperor, several Purple Hairstreaks and masses of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. Also Marbled Whites and Speckled Woods. Probably others thst I have already forgotten! (Martin Buck)
A visit to Parham Gardens this afternoon brought out the butterflies both in numbers and varieties. Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell. Holly Blue, Small Copper, Large White, Marbled White. Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper. A bright new male Brimstone. Wow. (Martin Buck)
Chalk path to Lavant Large numbers Chalkhill Blue, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, and Marbled White.also Small White 8,
Large White 6, Silver Washed Fritillary 7, Painted Lady 2, Small Skipper 8, Small Copper 2, Peacock 4,Ringlet 2, Small Heath 2. (Ian Thomas)
I wonder if you could help me.2 days ago I saw a pure black butterfly in my garden.I live in West Sussex. Are they very common.?. I looked them up on the internet.It says they mean death or changes in your life.Could you give me anymore information on them Please? (Madeline)
I walked up to Deep Dene from the Wilmington Long Man car park this morning, meeting Patrick Moore on the way up. The main excitement was seeing a few Grayling in Deep Dene itself. The first Grayling I spotted on the ground turned into a Wall Brown when I got close but I'm very confident about the next two which were in flight gliding down the slope. The third (female?) was on some dung near the path and I managed to photograph it. Other species seen were Peacock, Red Admiral, Large White, Green Veined White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Small Skipper, Chalk Hill Blue, Wall Brown, Dark Green Fritillary. (Ian Seccombe)
Purple Hairstreak (female ab. flavimaculatus) seen near Hailsham on 10/7/19 (Nigel Kemp http://eastsussexwanderer.blogspot.co.uk)
Yesterday (16 July) I made what will probably be my last visit to Botany Bay this summer, primarily to look at the second brood of Wood White. The emergence is still in its early days, so they proved quite difficult to track down. However, by late afternoon I'd seen four individuals, including a female which I watched rejecting the advances of a male and occasionally laying eggs.
The appearance of second brood Wood White usually coincides with the end of the period during which the male Purple Emperor regularly comes to ground, and when their fast and furious morning flights subside (thereafter it becomes an 'afternoon butterfly'). This season is no different and the single opportunity to enjoy a male emperor on the forest road may prove to be my last for 2019. Fortunately, this individual spent more than an hour on one of my baits and entertained a large number of happy visitors.
My thanks to Dawn & Jim for showing me the spectacular Broad-leaved Helleborines on site. (Neil Hulme)
Tuesday 16 July
The Marbled White with red mite parasite was photographed on the Downs just above the village of Willingdon at 19.30 hrs this evening. (Douglas Neve)
I have been in Turners Hill for 26 years and today is the first time I have seen a Marbled White in garden where I work. It brings the total species list for garden to 24 with 2 other species just outside the boundaries of the garden. The meadow and woodland area now have small but established population of Common Blue and Small Cooper and I saw my first second brood Small Cooper today. The Silver -washed Fritillaries are far less numerous this year and I have yet to see a Purple Emperor in the garden this year despite a number sighting in previous years. (Tom Parker)
Purple Hairstreak in distress on the path but what was going on? A parasite emerging/slug slime/injured by passing human? (Louise Holloway)
Friendly Small Blue having a feed on perspiration? (Carl Small)
A walk from Lyons Farm to Cissbury Ring and back in glorious sunshine. Highlights of the 22 butterfly species were 35 Chalkhill Blue, 3 Wall Brown, 13 Dark Green Fritillary, 13 Brimstone, 23 Speckled Wood, 4 Small Copper, 14 Red Admiral, 7 Brown Argus, 5 Common Blue, Holly Blue, 5 Comma. Gatekeeper was the commonest butterfly, but if I had counted them I'd have missed the last bus! (Lindsay Morris)
Saw 1 Peacock, Red Admiral, countless Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, lots of Small and Large Whites and a Skipper. (oscar pratley crighton)
A walk along the West Side of Pagham Harbour proved interesting today where a small Oak which hangs over the shore held at least 6 Purple Hair streaks all active at midday.The one pictured flew down to the salty mud and appeared to be probing for salts.Gatekeepers 100,s,Meadow Browns,Small Skippers,c10 Peacock,2 Red Admiral. (Barry Sketchley)
Went for a walk across Amberly Wildbrooks today 16/7/19 and found the following,a Holly Blue, Meadow Brown,Painted Lady, Peacock and a Ringlet all in the same area. (Graham Hicks)
The first Holly Blue I've seen in the garden for a few weeks.
Presumably a second generation? (Philip Booker)
There was a new record for Chantry Hill with a Dark Green Fritillary count of 217. I thought there might be a good count as numbers have been high, elsewhere in the county. I didn't attempt to sex every DGF but they can usually be separated fairly easily and I thought there were probably less than ten females, which means that the peak daily count for this species is likely to be much higher in the next 7-10 days, when more of the females emerge. I also saw just the one Silver-washed Fritillary. A couple of pics of a female Brown Argus (at home), which refused to open its wings. (Martin Kalaher)
Rather belatedly, I had a Hornet Moth in our garden last week, until this morning I hadn't appreciated how scarce they are in Sussex (Barry Clough)
Monday 15 July
We've been watching Dave Cook in the Painted Lady TV programme which has just been repeated on BBC 4 - great report from Crete & was it Ditchling Common? With our daughter & son-in-law we did see some Painted Ladies yesterday along with 17 other butterfly species. But that was at Box Hill which is a lot less in Sussex than Botany Bay so I'd better say no more. Today was a gardening day here in Hove. It was quite cool at first & the sun came & went a lot. It seemed that our haul for the day would be the odd Small White & 2 moths dislodged by our work - I think they are a Spindle Ermine & a Square Spot, but please say if I'm wrong. Then at around 2.30 it got a lot warmer and there was (for our place) a sudden rush of butterflies - a Comma on the buddleia, 2 Small Whites at the same time spiralling around each other & our first Holly Blue of the second generation - possibly more than one as it kept re-appearing regularly. We did have a look in Wish Park for hairstreaks - no luck yet. (John & Val Heys)
This afternoon (15 July) I set out to record as many species of butterfly as I could on a single site; something I haven't attempted for quite a few years now. As I only had a couple of hours to spare, it had to be a local site, so the obvious choice was Springhead (Kithurst) Hill.
I managed a total of 26 species, which included Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Silver-washed Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Purple Emperor, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Small Copper, Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Common Blue and Chalk Hill Blue. I think that would be hard to beat in July, but it's certainly possible at locations such as Newtimber Hill, Friston Gallops and Cissbury Ring.
Springhead Hill is currently well worth a visit just to see the wildflowers; the meadow and banks are a riot of colour. There is a very good crop of our county flower, Round-headed Rampion ('Pride of Sussex'), which is particularly common along the road bank.
Horsham, St Leonards Forest. Today I walked to suitable places for Purple Emperor within the Forestry Commission part of the forest. I saw one. The first within the commission area for many, many years. There were of course many other species to watch and enjoy my favourites being Ringlet and Small Skipper. (Patrick Moore)
I saw this in our butterfly haven at Dorothy Stringer school (Jem)
That's a Gatekeeper, Jem. (Ed jnr)
This is another butterfly I saw in the butterfly heaven at my school today (Marbled White). We didn't have any last year.(Elliot Bailey)
That's a Marbled White, Elliot. (Ed jnr)
A wonderful walk in Adur valley near Small Dole looking to hear or see Turtle Doves but numerous butterflies along Wood Mills Stream. A glimpse only of turtles but several moments of wonder with insects. Just the two photos as camera out of focus for some reason. (Greg Burgess)
Butterflies I found in our school's Butterfly Haven at Dorothy Stringer, Brighton. (Millecent Felstead)
I took this picture of a chalkhill blue in the butterfly heave in school my teacher said you might like to see it! (Elliot Bailey)
Indeed we would, Eliot. That is a male Chalk Hill Blue currently residing at Dorothy Stringer School. (Ed jnr)
This pair of mating Wood Whites was photographed at Botany Bay on Saturday 13 July. (Douglas Neve)
Brighton My Garden: Very busy day in the garden, including a Hummingbird Hawk moth and the first Small Tortoiseshells, I've seen this year. (Philip Booker)
Whitehawk Hill Brighton:Again, an evening walk. Not high numbers but decent variety (Philip Booker)
Brighton Racecourse: Was late in the afternoon, so not much on the wing, although I think I saw an Essex Skipper, pictured below? (Philip Booker)
Woodvale Cemetry Brighton: Lots of Marbled Whites, Ringlets and Small Heaths in particular. (Philip Booker)
Bob Eades' Silver-spotted Skipper seen on Saturday pretty much brings to an end the first sightings for 2019. With only the Scotch Argus remaining, it is pretty much safe to say that Sussex has topped the leader board at this stage, for the third year in a row.
|Hampshire & IOW||8 (5 & 3)|
Matthew Oates saw the first Sussex Brown Hairstreak of the year on the Knepp Wildland yesterday (14 July), along with 40 Purple Emperor. (Neil Hulme)
Sunday 14 July
Fore Wood near Crowhurst is now a good place to see White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillary as well as Purple Hairstreak.Most of the latter are inevitably high up in the Oaks but this one drifted down momentarily to allow its picture to be taken. Also here are good looking Peacocks, Green-veined Whited and a 'Pale' Comma. The Skippers behaved very well today at Beachy Head and Horseshoe Plantation in the slightly cooler conditions allowing better photo opportunities. Many Chalkhill Blues and Dark Green Fritillaries as well as as Brown Argus, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Small and Large White. (Nicholas Turner)
I spotted about 15 Ringlets off Silver Lane, between Bishoptone and Seaford. Had never seen so many before in one place. It was difficult to get a good photo as they were constantly flittering about. Very dark on the inner wing, almost black so I don't know what variety of Ringlet they are. Possibly European. (Tim Berrett)
Saw a female Brimstone briefly nectaring on the purple loosestrife in my Storrington garden today. I planted 2 Buckthorn whips last autumn to do my bit. Also, Small White, Large White, Peacock, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Marbled White, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers enjoying the Marjoram (Denise Diston)
At Knepp wildland today sightings were Speckled Wood x 4, Meadow Brown x 24, Gatekeeper x 69, Ringlet x 26, Marbled White x 15, Small White x 3, Comma x 1, Large White x 3, Red Admiral x 3, Small Skipper x 1, Purple Hairstreak x 3, White-letter Hairstreak x 2, Purple Emperor x 3. Moths were Cinnabar x 2. (David Gower)
A slightly belated report but then the Emperors have been getting far too much attention so I thought I'd post some more of the Hairstreak variety of Purple. This was Tuesday with Dave Cook. Nice also to catch up with Mark Jones and Trevor Rapley and finally meet Kirsty. OK, this wasn't Monday but the Purple Hairstreaks were still showing off their upper wings and it was almost like seeing a new species! On Wednesday morning before heading into London for a meeting I popped up to the meadow on Wickham Way, Haywards Heath on a mission to find more and, as I thought, they were there behaving similarly to those at Ditchling but only for a short while before the overcast spoiled the day. (Rolf Farrell)
Chalk Hill Blues are building up in numbers at Deep Dean, Ewe Dean and the South Downs Way. A few females were out, mostly attached to males. The Dark Green Fritillaries numbered in their hundreds. I sat down at Ewe Dean to admire the view and drink some water and counted eleven in my immediate vicinity. I even found a newly emerged female thanks to the attentions of a passing male.
On Deep Dean the Mecyna flavalis is reaching plague proportions again (as Bob Eade pointed out in 2018). This moth is described as scarce which makes one wonder what is it about this Valley? Other species seen were Small Copper, Small White, Green-veined White, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper and Large Skipper (Jonathan Crawford)
Dark Green Fritillary - male. Rescued from our conservatory in Brightling, East Sussex, this morning. Must have come in yesterday. We're adjacent to fields that are not being cropped this year and opposite woodland. (Harriet Kinloch)
Several readers have pointed out that this is a female Silver-washed Fritillary. Thanks (Ed jnr)
The first Silver-spotted Skipper of the season found at Seaford yesterday. A lovely little male. Female Chalk-hill Blue also now appearing. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
On Wednesday I visited Knepp and saw plenty of Purple Emperor hopefuls. After tramping along many paths without success I met Phil and we returned to the main path where we stopped and looked hopefully at the tree tops. A PE then circled us and landed on an inviting dog poo. The PE stayed for 10 minutes then flew off. We stayed around hoping for a return visit and back he came, this time for 30 minutes. We decided the poo should be listed as it had special qualities. We were able to share the experience with other enthusiasts. Moth highlights were a mating pair of Cock's-head Bells (Zeiraphera isertana) and a Red-barred Tortrix female (Ditula angustiorana). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Saturday 13 July
Three late evening photos, in my Storrington wildlife garden. (Martin Kalaher)
Some late afternoon Chalkhill Blues at Friston Gallops. (John Williams)
Walked around the Chelwood and Millbrook sections of the Ashdown Forest this afternoon. Although it was cloudy there were plenty of butterflies to be seen. Species recorded were Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Large White, Marbled White and a single Silver-studded Blue. (Chris Hooker)
Trevor Rapley and I visited Botany Bay today in the hope of seeing and photographing Purple Emperors. We saw several of this species at high level together with a single female briefly on the ground near the Triangle. We also saw a single Purple Hairstreak, numerous Silver-wshed Fritilleries, White Admirals and several Wood Whites, including a mating pair. (Douglas Neve)
Doug Neve and myself visited Chiddingfold forest today.
Among the highlights was a Purple Hairstreak on bracken, three Wood Whites ( including a mating pair ),
two pairs of mating Ringlets and a male Purple Emperor which only touched down for a second and then
flew onto the back of my jeans ( Nothing to do with a lack of personal hygene, or dirty jeans but perhaps
my washing machine needs replacing, as my jeans were clean on today!.). (Trevor Rapley)
Lovely walk around Batt’s Wood this morning in mainly cloudy but bright conditions - 4 White Admiral , 3 Silver Washed Fritillary. 2 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Large Skipper, 3 Small Skipper, 1 Large White, an abundance of Meadow Browns , Ringlets and Gatekeepers and the highlight a very docile male Purple Emperor taking moisture on the path. (Richard Farran)
On Friday morning (12 July) I visited Botany Bay, primarily to enjoy the male Purple Emperors which are still coming to ground. While there, I saw the first (2) male Wood Whites of the second brood.
I later joined a cameraman working for Big Wave Productions, to film some of the more extreme aerial antics of Purple Emperors at Knepp. They put on a spectacular show for us. The footage will be included in a short film for the South Downs National Park Authority. (Neil Hulme)
Friday 12 July
On Thursday (11 July) I spent the morning at Botany Bay and the first butterfly I saw was a Purple Emperor on the forest road, but its posture immediately appeared unnatural. Closer examination revealed that it was an empress in the last moments of her short life, as she was being killed and dismembered by a posse of hungry wood ants; macabre but fascinating to watch - I didn't intervene. She was 'recycled' within a couple of hours. The other Purple Emperors (4) I saw on the ground were all either 'day 1' or 'day 2' males, indicating that the protracted emergence continues. I then moved to Knepp, where Matthew Oates and I led the last of the 2019 Purple Emperor safaris, during which more than 30 were seen. The safaris may be over for another year (our thanks to all the wonderful people who joined us), but the emperor season still has much to give. (Neil Hulme)
East Sussex Marbled White. A visit to Iden Moat today highlighted the presence of the locally rare Marbled White. Also seen Large Skipper (pictured), Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet,Painted Lady, Peacock,Comma, Red Admiral, Small White (T.Wood)
On Wednesday (10 July) I returned to Botany Bay, which some say is in Surrey. I again teamed up with Ben Greenaway and we enjoyed another day searching for emperors, with surprisingly few other enthusiasts around. More pristine males were seen on the ground, but they were outdone by a very large empress searching for moisture. White Admiral numbers are good here this year, with many visiting the forest road surface. I also found two mating pairs of Ringlet and was pleasantly surprised by the presence of three Dark Green Fritillary (2m, 1f). (Neil Hulme)
On Tuesday (9 July) I spent the morning at Botany Bay (allegedly just in Surrey) with Ben Greenaway. Despite this being a late Purple Emperor season, which started slowly, I was nevertheless surprised at how many of the males are clearly still emerging, based on this and subsequent visits; we saw two on the ground which can have been no more than 24 hours old. I then moved on to Knepp, where Matthew Oates and I led another Purple Emperor safari, during which we witnessed a courtship flight and pairing, high in an oak. We later went back out and confirmed that the happy couple were joined for three hours and fifteen minutes. By this time our combined tally for the day had reached 62 emperors. (Neil Hulme)
For a change of scene can I suggest the Sussex Prairie Garden near Wineham. We saw Peacock, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Small Skipper (I think), Silver-washed Fritillary, Comma, Gatekeeper, Small White, Large White and more nectaring Purple Hairstreaks that you can shake a stick at. The garden is surrounded by oaks and they were flying from the north facing oaks onto the yellow daisies in particular but other tall plants too. (Martin Buck)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down with plenty of sun and 24 butterfly species. Highlights were 4 Wall Brown, White Admiral, 36 Peacock, 3 Dark Green Fritillary, 114 Gatekeeper, 10 Red Admiral, 2 Painted Lady, 6 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Brown Argus, 2 Small Copper, 92 Marbled White, 2 Holly Blue, 5 Green-veined White, 55 Ringlet. (Lindsay Morris)
I was just about to click the camera button on a White-letter Hairstreak at Hollingbury Park this afternoon when it was chased off by this Essex Skipper. Fortunately I have taken a couple of reasonable shots of WLH this year already so I wasn't too cross. I didn't see any others in the brief time I was there. (John Williams)
A visit to Buchan Park today produced plenty of Small and Large Skippers, 5+ Ringlet, many Speckled Wood and 1 White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary. No sign of any Emperors of the Purple variety but 8+ Emperor Dragonfly at the boundary pond and 1 Lesser Emperor which was a real surprise. Also Emerald Damselfly, Brown Hawker and 2 Brilliant Emerald. (Anthony Bennett)
On the Slindon Estate from N.Wood to Bignor Hill today there were good numbers of Meadow Brown, Ringlet ,Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood,Silver Washed Fritillary ,3 White Admiral and about 10 recently emerged Brown Argus.Just 1or2 each of Peacock,Red Admiral and Comma. (Barry Sketchley)
We walked to Sainsbury's in Benfield Valley, Hove this morning and found 5 or 6 Essex Skippers & several Gatekeepers in the not very exciting location of the grassy bank by the traffic lights at the busy Old Shoreham Road/Hangleton Road junction. Between there & Sainsbury's, following the higher path east of the store rather then the car park path, we saw Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, a Comma, Small Whites, 2 Speckled Woods & possibly some Ringlets, but the likely candidates would not rest to be identified. I've had lunch in our garden - intermittent sunshine - & saw only a Small White. (John & Val Heys)
Nothing terribly exciting, but hopefully of interest....
We moved to Steyning 18 months ago, and inherited a medium/large garden which was mainly laid out to lawn. Didn't much like that, so set about building some wildlife-friendly features - a couple of ponds, flower borders etc, and set aside roughly half of the garden to try to create a wildflower meadow. Fair to say that the latter is still a work in progress, but delighted by how quickly the wildlife found the facilities, and we had a decent list last Summer - inc Painted Lady, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Wall, White-letter Hairstreak, Silver-washed Fritillary (a stray I suspect!) and some decent dragonflies including Four-spotted Chaser and White-legged Damselfly.
The reason for the post is that things are continuing to develop and, over the last few days, have seen 3 new species in the form of Large and Small Skipper, and Marbled White.
If anyone has a small area of garden going spare, I would recommend giving it a go - we've been delighted - and easily the most interesting part of the garden! (Ray Baker)
Thursday 11 July
Yesterday morning (10/7/19) we went to Cissbury Ring with the sky grey & unpromising. However, the lower slopes & footpaths on the north side were sheltered & warm. We lost count of the Meadow Browns flying - several hundred maybe. One of these had very white hindwings (see photo). There were high numbers of Marbled Whites & Ringlets (the one pictured with heavy left side damage was flying perfectly well). Large Skippers must have been around 30 & there were about the same number of smaller skippers- we only identified Essex Skippers here. We also saw a few Small Heaths & Small Whites, 3 Painted Ladies, 2 Gatekeepers, a Red Admiral, a Comma, a Small Copper & a Brown Argus. Walking round east to south it was windier with far fewer butterflies to see but we added Small Skipper to the list. As we made our way back to the north west entrance the sun came out and we disturbed 3 Dark Green Fritillaries, making a nice climax to the sightings. The sun was still shining in the afternoon at Barrington Road footpath, Worthing, tempting out 2 Commas, 3 Small Whites, 3 Meadow Browns, a few skippers and 2 Speckled Woods. (John & Val Heys)
An extremely fresh 2nd brood Dingy Skipper seen today at High and Over. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
On a walk around Knowlands Wood near Barcombe this morning (Thursday) in increasingly warm and humid conditions, John Gowers and I located two oak trees that really seemed to be alive with Purple Hairstreak activity. Although some hairstreaks came down low to hoover up honeydew off of the oak leaves, they all resolutely kept their wings closed. Additionally in the wood were about 15 Silver-washed Fritillaries and three White Admirals. On the nearby farmland were good numbers of Small Skippers, a single Essex Skipper plus a fair range of the expected butterfly species. (Simon Linington)
Male Purple Hairstreak, Abbots Wood this morning. (Trevor Rapley)
Spent a lovely day yesterday at Knepp wandering about and getting a crick in the neck. We were enormously lucky that a male Purple Emperor was on a piece of poo on the path twenty yards from the entrance and it was so engrossed that we watched from a couple of feet away. Soon after we came across a Purple Hairstreak resting low down on a hedge so again got excellent views. After that it was all looking upward into the tree tops along the Green Lane and seeing Purple Emperors flitting about like bats and the smaller silvered confetti of Purple Hairstreaks. In the Sallows area we did'nt have to look quite so high and a couple of times the larger females flew quite low near us.
It was a great place to wonder along the paths enjoying the abundance of Skippers, Gatekeepers etc in the rambling open areas and at one point a passer by brought our attention to the distance purring of turtle doves. A great day out. (Tessa Pawsey)
This Marbled White was photographed at 06.00 hrs this morning on the Downs immediately above Willingdon Village. (Douglas Neve)
Wednesday 10 July
I have all three meadow skippers in the garden meadow, with Essex Skipper the most numerous. To follow a few pics most of which show the male's short straight sex brand. (Martin Kalaher)
The 2nd brood Wall Brown has started at High and Over with a male on the steps. The 2nd brood last year also started on this date in exactly the same spot!! (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
A glorious morning spent at Horseshoe Plantation & Beachy Head, the type you want to bottle up and save for a rainy Winters day.
Many Skylarks and Corn Buntings singing, beautiful flora and a breeze to keep you cool. On top of that the butterflies were abundant. Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small White, Large White, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Small Heath, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue and my main quarry 15 to 20 Dark Green Fritillary. (Howard wood)
Kithurst meadow looked wonderful yesterday with many butterflies on show: Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Peacock, Red Admiral, a few Chalk Hill Blues, Large Skippers, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Brimstone, Whites. Moths seen: a Pebble Prominent larva (Notodonta ziczac) on Goat Willow, Dark Strawberry Tortrix, Translucent Pearl (Paratalanta hyalinalis). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
Had a fascinating few hours this afternoon at Knepp watching Purple Emperors , Red Admiral and even a Purple Hairstreak visiting a sap run. It was very high and a stretch with my camera let alone the light , but nevertheless a few record shots of this great behaviour. Also great to show other visitors what we could see and special thanks to Mark Colvin a fellow Corfu bandit and we suspect Woody Woodpecker. The last shot by chance, was a lucky triple Royal Flush .
Tuesday 09 July
Two short walks today in near perfect conditions brought out a good number of butterflies. In the morning it was Millennium Wood, Cuckfield and saw Small Skipper, Marbled White, Large White Small White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Silver-washed Fritillary and a few Gatekeepers. In the afternoon at Paiges Meadows, Haywards Heath saw most of the above plus Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Painted Ladies. (Martin Buck)
Horsham, St Leonards Forest. Aren't Ringlet beautiful? They fly along next to you and then another appears and you follow that, then another even more plain chocolate velvet, then yet another. Today there were more than even Meadow Brown. Stunning.
The Silver-washed Fritillary were kind enough to stop and refuel for a while and the skippers were everywhere. White Admiral didn't stop and nor did the whites. The western toe-end of the High Weald is well worth a visit. (Patrick Moore)
Having been away for six days I was delighted to see just how the garden has matured. I was going to send in some pics of Essex Skipper, when an obliging male Dark Green Fritillary came close by, and whilst it only stayed for around 40 seconds I managed to click enough times to get some photos. The garden is full of butterflies with a minimum species count (in just 90 minutes of wandering around) of 18 species. (Martin Kalaher)
Humming-bird Hawk-moth feeding for several minutes on red valerian in my Keymer garden this afternoon. (Malcolm Le Grys)
Had a great walk round Knepp today. Large numbers - estimated at 30+ - of Purple Emperors flying, sadly all high up in the trees and could not entice any down to the ground, even with a generous helping of rotting fish.
Purple Hairstreaks also abundant - lost count of these, but found this one individual that was sitting on the ground and very reluctant to move. Was it sick or genetically deformed in some way? It didn't behave as if it was newly emerged. Also a full supporting cast of Ringlets and other species. (Nigel Symington)
Not a sighting but there will be an extra work party at Bevendean Downs on the 14th July, this Sunday from 10:30 if anyone feels like coming alone. All is welcome and all help is appreciated! (Istvan Radi)
Saw 16 species of butterfly around Bignor Hill and Black Jack wood whilst doing a recce for a walk I'm leading on Thursday (spaces available if people are interested email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info) the highlights were undoubtedly 3 Purple Emperor with 2 of those seen on the ground and at least 18 Silver-washed Fritillaries in the rides. Can't wait for Thursday to see if I can get a picture this time. (Lee Walther)
We visited Chantry Hill and Kithurst Meadow this morning, despite the cool breeze there were many Dark Green Fritillary ,Meadow Browns,Marbled Whites,Small Heath,Ringlet and Small Skipper.A first for me on this site was a Forester moth.
Kithurst had Common Blue,Chalk Hill Blue all of the browns and skippers and a rare Var. Albiflora Pyramidal orchid (Barry Sketchley)
I popped over to Abbots Wood early this morning to look for Purple Hairstreaks, And quickly spotted three low down, two females and a male. Unfortunately the male, which was displaying full purple, escaped as I was adjusting the camera ( very bad language at this point ).
I then drove over to Ditchling Common to meet Dave Cook at the Purple Hairstreak hot spot there. No more were found to photograph, but we did see two Purple Emperors in the air.
Back at the car park I was thrilled to see two, fresh, Small Tortoiseshells feeding on Creeping Thistle.
For me the Small Torts were the find of the day, if only because they doubled my count of Small Torts in East Sussex this year!.
So far this year I have seen the following in my garden:Brimstone(2), Peacock (4), Holly Blue*, Common Blue, Large White* (2), Small White* (2), Red Admiral, Comma* (2), Male & female Orange Tips, Painted Lady, Silver Washed Fritillary* (1), Ringlet*, Meadow Brown* & Gatekeeper*, Speckled Wood*
*= today (Michael Warren)
The Sunday (7 July) morning Knepp Wildland Purple Emperor Safari was conducted under cool, damp and grey conditions and it looked likely that Matthew Oates and I were about to lose our 100% record of showing the target species to visitors. However, we managed to glimpse three just before heading back to base, and there is always plenty more to see at Knepp. I offered to take the group out again during the afternoon and about half were able to join me for a re-run under increasingly warm and sunny conditions. This time we were much more successful, clocking up 43 Purple Emperors. We also discovered the now famous sap run on the Green Lane, which has hosted up to five emperors at a time, and may do more.
After taking a group from Steyning out to Knepp on Monday morning (8 July) I decided to travel to Botany Bay for a change of scenery. Two emperors came to ground and the rides were littered with male Silver-washed Fritillary. (Neil Hulme)
Monday 08 July
Here are some distant pictures of Purple Emperor (I counted 30) and others taken at Knepp earlier today. (Patrick Moore)
An update on Horseshoe Plantation near Beachy Head. Today saw four brand new male Chalkhill Blues and an Essex Skipper in addition to the burgeoning flock of butterflies that include pristine Brown Argus, Comma, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary, Small White, Large White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Small Heath & Speckled Wood. Also dropped in at Ditchling Common where I managed to photograph a Purple Hairstreak but not the fast moving and high flying Purple Emperor. (Nicholas Turner)
I set out for Kithurst Hill this evening hoping to get a picture of a Chalkhill Blue with its wings open, which I did within 30 minutes of arriving on site. It doesn't usually work like that! Plus a Meadow Brown and Marbled White at roost (John Williams)
When I visited Abbott's Wood this morning I thought I walked into the middle of a military exercise as the place was packed with Admirals of Red and White color and all of them of 5 star quality! Their orders were dispatched and delivered by the fast flying Fritillary Postal Service and the numerous winged soldiers were busy carrying out all kind of warfare activities including but not limited to scouting, raiding, refueling, dog-fighting and all the rest. Not a boring minute while watching all the action! Now I just need to find the Emperor who is obviously behind all this with intentions unknown! (Istvan Radi)
Todays walk was the West Bank of the Arun from Littlehampton to Arundel and back.Gatekeepers seemed to occupy almost every yard of the way with plenty of Meadow Brown,Marbled White and a few Ringlet,1or2 each of Red Admiral,Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.There were many Small Skipper,Essex Skipper and Large Skipper and 3 Shaded Broad-bar moths. (Barry Sketchley)
Today was all about Purple Emperor. I waited by the pond as one had set his patrol route around the Oaks and Sallow but after an hour or so of waiting he refused to take up a perch. So heading back to the car park and just by the bridge one was down on the deck. After several pics on something unsavoury, it decided to check me, my rucksack and camera bag out and a couple visiting from the New Forest—once he had a taste he wouldn’t leave us alone and spent about half an hour with us, much to their delight. (David Cook)
Yesterday 7/719 it was disappointing at Arundel cricket ground as rain & cloud delayed the butterflies as well as the cricket. Eventually we did see 1 Small White, 1 probable Ringlet & 1 Meadow Brown, the latter as late as 18.24. (Australia A had the better of the cricket, unsurprisingly.) Today I was having lunch in our garden in Hove keeping one eye open for hairstreaks, but seeing only a Small White when suddenly a second Small White swooped on the first and stayed long enough for me to get a picture. (John & Val Heys)
Sunday 07 July
A single Chalk Hill Blue at Mill yesterday constantly mobbed by Common Blues as soon as he took to the air. The pick of the Anchor Bottom transect butterflies was a fresh Small Tortoiseshell. This evening, when the sun came out, the skies darkened over the oak trees at Knepp as the Purple Emperors and Purple Hairstreaks took to the air. (Jonathan Crawford)
For those of you who live on the 'eastern' side of East Sussex I highly recommend Fore Wood in Crowhurst (site number 57 in the Blencowe/Hulme book) which is owned by the RSPB. Both White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary are present and although the numbers do not compare with Abbots Wood this is a very peaceful, relatively small and delightful ancient woodland which few people seem to frequent - you can easily pass an hour without meeting anyone else. If you are feeling adventurous you can walk from Bexhill via Combe Haven to Crowhurst and then onto Fore Wood, via an excellent pub. Another favourite of mine, and much more well known, is Horseshoe Plantation near Belle Tout on Beachy Head. Simply just large numbers of butterflies at present, highlights being two White-letter Hairstreaks (which steadfastly refused to come down from up on high), 1 Small Blue, many Dark Green Fritillaries, newly emerged Gatekeepers and Commas, a couple of Brown Argus and several mating pairs of Marbled White which can be easily photographed. Round-headed Rampion are now also in flower here. (Nicholas Turner)
To Littlehampton to see White-letter Hairstreak. Got slightly muddled looking for the spot but was rescued by the awesome Mavis who took me straight to them. At least a couple busied themselves teasing with "near yet far" parking places on the Elm. Eventually, after a couple of aerial battles I saw two hurtle over the tree top and land together on a leaf about 15 feet up. First time for me to view any mating Hairstreaks so they are forgiven for not coming down further. And that for me was the end of the action as I never saw them in flight after that. Plenty of Small White, Meadow Brown, Ringlets and fresh Gatekeepers distracted less than the opportunity to laze on the beach for a bit. A pleasant spot; I'll be back..... (Rolf Farrell)
To add to Dave Cooks report of our trip to Ditchling and Spithurst; no written content to add so I'll just post the pics! (Rolf Farrell)
Many fritillaries, also Marbled White, I'd be grateful for identification of the former! Thanks (James Newmarch)
Dark Green Fritillary (Ed jnr)
Some more from last weeks walks. (Barry Sketchley)
Beginning at Hassocks station I took the path beside the railway, past Butcher's wood and into the meadow beyond. The meadow was pretty lively with Marbled White, Meadow Brown, and Small Skipper, with a lower frequency of Ringlet. The path carries on beside the railway, past Lag wood and to Clayton, with intermittent sightings of Red Admiral, Marbled White and Meadow Brown. On New Lane past the Jack and Jill pub, the hedges yielded my first Gatekeeper of the year. The first bridle path up to Wolstonbury and up into the woods was punctuated by Speckled Wood and the ubiquitous Meadow Brown. Up in the orchid meadow a massive bramble patch was providing great food and the area was full of Meadow Brown, Comma, Small Skipper, Ringlet and Marbled White. Up on the hill itself - so many Marbled White and Meadow Brown, plus Small Skipper, Large Skipper and a Silver Y moth. The question is - is it possible to have too many photos of Marbled White sitting on knapweed and thistle? (Sylvia Davidson)
Of course not. We did once get a complaint that there were far too many photos on the sightings page. But it is not like cake or alcohol. You can't have too much and there are no known ill effects. It is more like joy or kindness - more is always better. (Ed jnr)
Yesterday 6th July I walked from Amberley to Lewes mainly along the South Downs Way. I saw 17 species of butterfly some in large numbers. There did seem to be higher numbers west of the River Adur but it did get very warm east of this point. Here are a few observations.
Set-aside seems to have a very beneficial effect on some species; for example approaching the Bostal Road, Steyning there were upwards of 6 Dark Green Fritillary, I've never seen them here before. However I know that the set-aside in this area got ploughed out last winter which has reduced the numbers of Marbled White. Last year there were 10s and 10s, this year only a handful. Perhaps set-aside should be mowed.
There were also DGF on Clayton Hill, not seen here by me before, again on set-aside. East of Ditchling Beacon butterfly numbers reduced, this area is heavily ploughed.
For interest, distance 30 miles, walking time 10 hours, pints of beer consumed in Lewes, plenty.
Some photos from the past weeks wanderings. Eartham Wood/Slindon Estate had high numbers of Meadow Brown,Ringlet,Marbled White,Silver-washed Fritillary fewer White Admiral than usual and unusually a Dark Green Fritillary holding territory on one of the rides harassing all passing SWF,s.Fairmile Bottom/Rewel Wood slightly lower in numbers of all species but Marble Whites and Small Heath.Houghton Forest had the lowest populations of all with R.S.P.B Pulborough doing well. (Barry Sketchley)
Saturday 06 July
I saw my first Chalkhill Blue of the year this afternoon at the Kithurst hill flower meadow. The Marbled Whites were very flighty as usual but occasionally settled on the purple flowers (whose name I don't know). Also seen: Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Large White, Brimstone, Small Skipper. (John Williams)
The left hand track down from Hollies car park - 3 males seen about 3 hundred yards down.
The track above Ellisons pond - at least 3 males and 1 female seen on the right hand side at the junction of paths halfway up the hill. (Graham Nichols https://www.flickr.com/photos/103689821@N02/)
A trip to Knepp did not disappoint with lots of Purple Hairstreaks, 8 or 9 Emperors and one Neil Hulme all seen. Chantry Hill lived up to its billing too with plenty of Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Small Skippers and Dark Green Fritillaries. The latter were far too busy to stop until of course I had given up and was walking up the road to my car when there was one on the roadside verge who was more than happy to give a photo opportunity. Finally a visit to Kithurst Meadow produced a first Chalk Hill Blue for me this year as well as a rather sorry looking but defiant upper half Red Admiral. (Tony Gould)
Visited Stansted Forest on 5th July where the temperature was 24°C. As the afternoon progressed the skies became more hazy. I walked most of the main tracks. There were noticeably more butterflies flying in the grassland areas than in the woodland rides. A total of 11 different species were recorded; Brimstone 3F, Small White 5, Gatekeeper 1, Marbled White 34, Meadow Brown 45, Ringlet 11, Speckled Wood 1, Red Admiral 2, Silver Washed Fritillary 1, Large Skipper 1, Small Skipper 3. (Roy Symonds)
Two Purple Emperors getting hot and bothered with each other at the Warnham Butterfly Fields this afternoon.Good to know that Warnham's PEs are just as feisty as all the others. Also Red Admiral, Comma, Small Heath, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, loads of Purple Hairstreak and Ringlets, and a long-awaited Gatekeeper, hopefully the first of many? Sadly, no day-flying moths at all. (David Bridges)
One Red Admiral, one Comma, one Large Skipper and dozens of Meadow Brown butterflies in the garden. 06/07/2019 Warnham (Paul Mitchell)
This White-letter Hairstreak was seen and photographed at Hollingbury Park just after noon today. Several others of this species were were seen up to 12.20 hrs, however up to 12.50 there were no further sightings.. (Douglas Neve)
Spurred on by a recent posting I got up early to get to Birling Gap and Went Hill hoping to be in time for butterflies and before a lot of people. Between 9 and 10am there were plenty of butterflies between Birling Gap and Belle Tout back away from the cliffs. Lots of Marbled Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Small Heath, Dark Green Fritillaries, a few Large Skippers and a very annoying drone. And two spitfires doing victory rolls for those of you who like that sort of thing.
The south slope of Went Hill down to Birling Gap was really beautiful, a carpet of thyme, birdsfoot trefoil, squinancywort etc, as impressive as Hebridean machair. Sadly there were only a couple of Small Heaths and a Large White around all this abundance of blossom. (Tessa Pawsey)
At 9.30 very warm and sunny nearly trod on a fresh male about 20m from the entrance gate at Botany Bay
but he was persistent and despite disturbance from other walkers he came back again and settled. So i got some nice side on shots before his majesty departed . I Met up with other enthusiasts and we followed another male to the right and from just after the junction eventually settling by the muddy pool by the bend . He settled in a pool of sunlight and looked stunning the way he was lit . The only issue was although stationary he kept opening and closing his wings controlling his temperature . So it was a case of pressing the shutter and hoping to catch the open wings . At home one of the images was about right or rather luck . The main thing was that rather than sitting on a piece of dung or a man made track this was more natural and perhaps how things use to be for a male Purple Emperor looking for minerals in a forest . So i avoided cropping the image to catch this splendid moment .
Friday 05 July
We have chosen some not very good butterfly days in the past to do our Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey square at Balcombe, but today was warm, sunny & still for much of the time. This is a summary of the sightings which we'll be sending in when I feel mentally strong enough to tackle the on-line system:- 283 Meadow Browns, 45 Ringlets, 23 Small Whites (2 may have been large), 23 Large Skippers (very few would stop to be identified, but those that did were large & there were no obvious smaller types), 3 Painted Ladies, 3 Red Admirals, 1 Marbled White (quite a surprise, but from the map in Butterflies of Sussex they do crop in this area), 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Common Blue (very new looking specimen which we like to think represents our 2nd grandson, who also emerged today, just after breakfast time), 1 Small Heath, 2 potentially interesting but frustratingly unidentifiable high fliers and 1 Gatekeeper (which was seen away from the recording routes). (John & Val Heys)
With Rolf Farrell visiting from Yorkshire we first headed Ditchling for Purple Emperor and Purple Hairstreak. Numerous PH seen, mostly high up and 5 or 6 Purple Emperor around the oaks and Sallow by the pond with one settling briefly on the wet mud. A solitary Dark Green Fritillary also seen just to the North of the pond.
On to Knowlands Wood where many Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral we’re flying including a pairing. Fresh Large White were seen in reasonable numbers too. (David Cook)
This afternoon I visited Horseshoe Plantation, near Birling Gap, in the hope of seeing and photographing White-letter Hairstreaks and Dark-green Fritillaries. At 12.45 hrs at the north-east corner of the planatation I saw a single White-letter Hairstreak perched on Elm at a height of about two metres, which was too high for me to photograph. Moving over to the west side of the plantation I saw a small number of Dark-green Fritillaries, however these didn't settle long enough to be photographed. I was lucky enough however to spot and photograph a pair of mating Marbled Whites. (Douglas Neve)
I visited the honarary Sussex site of Tugley Wood in Chiddingfold forest today. The highlight was two close encounters of the Purple kind, plus my first shot of a White Admiral this year, and a Wood White (not sure if this is a late first brood or second?). Last but not least a lovely Ringlet posed for me on a Fern. (John Williams)
My early morning walk in search of Turtle Doves in the Arlington area was unfortunately unsuccessful but along the paths there was plenty of butterfly. After the official walk I changed my target species and spent some time in Abbott's Wood where I found a spot at Gate Wood along Robin Post Lane where I had close encounter with a minimum of 15 White Admirals and several fritillaries of both Silver-washed and Dark Green types. High in the oak trees there were Purple Hairstreaks as well. I also found a single Speckled Wood what was a welcome sight. Starvation drove me to the local tea garden where apart from seeing more distant and one not so distant Purple Hairstreaks I chatted to a gentleman who claimed to have seen a Grayling at Deep Dean a couple of days ago what I thought to be a little bit too early but not impossible. After refreshments I drove over to Wilmington from where I walked up to the Long Man and Deep Dean. Plenty of Meadow Browns on the way up but Deep Dean itself was shockingly disappointing. I was hoping to find an early emergent Silver-spotted Skipper but I barely found any butterflies. A couple of Marbled Whites, Silver-washed Fritillaries, Meadow Browns and skippers but in very low number. I wonder if this is down to the grazing by the ponies and sheep who were there working hard for the better future of the place. The fields around DD were busy but another disappointment was the lack of CHBs. (Istvan Radi)
Two White-letter Hairstreak seen again today on the top of the ivy at Torfield cottage, Hastings. Also two humming-bird hawk moths feeding on lavender flowers. (Sharon Bigg)
Spent most of this evening in a meadow watching hundreds of Marbled Whites going to roost . Despite having plenty of roosting places in the masses of very tall grasses they did like to roost together where ever possible sometimes 3 or 4 to a single plant stem. The meadow was last mown about three years ago ,but fortunately its not used or grazed and has naturally re-wilded with not a single blade of awful rye grass present !!! The grasses are two to three feet tall and very vigorous the Small Skippers are just emerging so expecting hundreds of them shortly as well .
On 2nd July I visited Houghton Forest (SU9911) which is a favourite spot of mine to see Silver-washed Fritillarys and White Admirals up close. The temperature was 20°C and I spent 2.5 hours walking the main tracks. Grass cutting and timber operations may have affect the numbers of some of the grassland species along one ride in particular, but overall numbers are lower than usual for the time of the year. The Hemp Agrimony flowers which are a great attraction have not yet bloomed so numbers can only increase from now. Only a single White Admiral was seen and a dozen Silver-washed Fritillarys were seen but a supporting cast of 10 other species were seen. Totals: Brimstone 1F, Small White 2, Marbled White 1, Meadow Brown 60, Ringlet 7, Speckled Wood 3, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 4, White Admiral 1, Large Skipper 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 13, Small Skipper 3. (Roy Symonds)
This fly/wasp was flying around carrying folded up leaf twice it’s size. Eventually buried it in plant pot on our patio in Steyning. Y (Peter Chase)
Thursday 04 July
More fun at Knepp today (4 July) starting with another Wildland safari, during the course of which I counted 45 Purple Emperor. The highlight was when a female rejected the advances of an amorous male, with the pair spiraling down to within a metre of where I was standing. I later walked the Green Lane transect, with a further increase in numbers to 42; males are still emerging and we are yet to see the peak of this year's flight. I counted a further 26 individuals in the Sallow fields away from the safari route, bringing the day's total to 113 emperors. Afternoon highlights included an empress leading a trail of four males, resulting in a high level pairing at Bentons Gorse at 14.40 hrs, and attacks on Great Spotted Woodpecker and Bullfinch. (Neil Hulme)
I can't cap Bob Eade's early morning fritillaries, although Val & I were out & about in London at 5.20am yesterday, as we were off to join the queue for the tennis at Wimbledon. The queuing location is quite rural but we didn't see anything until much later when we were in the stadium area - mostly the occasional Painted Lady. We were very fortunate to also see the 15 year old tennis sensation Cori Gauff - she's very good - definitely a monarch of the courts. Back down to earth today. This afternoon just south of Durrington Station we saw a Holly Blue. A little further on, in Barrington Road footpath, Worthing we saw 1 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, several female Small Whites, 2 Speckled Woods, 4 or 5 Meadow Browns, 2 Gatekeepers (the first we've seen there) & 20 or so skippers (many more than last time). Possibly 1 was a Large Skipper. All the rest were probably Essex Skippers, as the 2 we positively identified were Essex. Back in Hove, I popped into St Leonard's Churchyard, New Church Road, & its associated secret garden. I saw 2 Holly Blues, a Red Admiral, up to 5 of each of the following - Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Essex or Small Skippers (couldn't tell which) - and a Large Skipper. (John & Val Heys)
Stuck at home for most of the day but suitably compensated with a beautifully marked Comma, and a White-letter Hairstreak both laying on Elm in the garden. Did manage a quick dash to Ditchling late pm where newly emerged SWF and PH were photographed. No Black Hairstreak for the first time since the flight began. (Ben Greenaway)
I spent a lovely summer evening photographing Marbled Whites (and a Small Skipper) in one of the flower meadows at Madgeland Wood. The only problem is, by the time they finally calm down (about 8pm) there's barely enough light to get a sharp focus. (John Williams)
Lancing Ring & Steep Down in calm conditions with glorious sun yielded 22 butterfly species including at least one White-letter Hairstreak at the Dankton Lane water works (Sompting). Best of all however, was my thirty fourth species for this area, a White Admiral at Lancing Ring. 25 Comma was a great sight and I saw my first fresh Peacock, Brown Argus and Small Copper for some time. (Lindsay Morris)
An afternoon walk in Wild Park proved to be very pleasant with lots of Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper and Essex Skipper, whites and quite a few Commas. Strangely I did not see any Speckled Woods. They don't seem to be as numerous this year than in 2018. As a bonus I got to watch the local Swifts skimming off insects from the dew pond's surface. I just read in the news the sad update that one of the Preston Twins is being cut down due to the Dutch Elm disease. (Istvan Radi)
Two days later and all 10 caterpillars on the single plant are gone. I presume eaten by a bird. Just one left on another plant, that I’ve been photographing, through the pupation process. Clearly we need more locations suitable within the woodland (open glades) for this species to survive. (Dr Dan Danahar)
There were between 5 and 7 Purple Emperors flying today at the Warnham Butterfly Fields (off Tilletts Lane. Grid Ref: TQ154340; nearest postcode RH12 3RD). All were sighted high up flying among the oaks between the two fields. The supporting cast included Marbled Whites, Silver-washed Fritillaries, Large and Small Skippers and a Small Heath. (David Bridges)
I saw four White-letter Hairstreaks at Hollingbury Park, Brighton this afternoon. At least one had tails. (John Williams)
Morning walk up to Blackcap and around Ashcombe Bottom yielded 18 species - Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath and Marbled White being most numerous as well as Large White (5), Small White (3), Red Admiral (7), White Admiral (9), Silver-washed Fritillary (12), Comma (7), Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Painted Lady, a solitary Brimstone and one Purple Hairstreak. (Ian Seccombe)
A thirty minute walk at Smugglers on Ashdown Forest at 1600hrs and 23 degree temperature, produced one female SSB and two males, all very obliging in the warm conditions and stiff breeze. (Vincent Oates)
Plenty of Purple Emperor action at Knepp again yesterday (3 July) with the single species Green Lane transect producing its season best tally of 31 males on territory. Matthew Oates counted 66 in the Sallow jungles away from the Green Lane (from his total of 76) and I counted 23 in other areas (from my total of 54), giving a minimum combined total of 97. However, it is likely that we together saw well in excess of 100 individual butterflies. Matthew's score sheet included three females. Males are still emerging and females are still hard to find (I've seen just one so far), so I suspect the flight will peak this weekend or early next week. (Neil Hulme)
Wednesday 03 July
I spent a blissful morning at Botany Bay where it was a pleasure to meet Terry, Andrew and the man from Kent (sorry I didn't catch your name) We formed a small Purple Emperor Gang and had 6 Emperor on the ground or close opportunities. I didn't manage photos of all but looks like some were the same butterfly on repeat episodes. 3 different baits were put down all steadfastly ignored by the Emperors today. Plenty of Meadow Browns, Ringlets , Skippers. Silver-washed Fritillaries were seen as well as some White Admirals, Commas, Brimstones, Small Whites, and very faded Painted Ladies.
I went to Knepp arriving about 3.30 . I was fortunate to run into Neil Hulme and Matthew Oates who showed me some more Emperors higher up. There was a large supporting cast of butterflies at Knepp too. (Katrina Watson)
I visited Knepp this morning. The only purple things I saw were the ribbons attached to various trees. But I did have a close encounter with a magnificent stag, who fixed me with a beady eye before turning away. The only butterfly photo I managed was an Essex Skipper.
Later I went to Madgeland Wood. In the cool and cloudy conditions Meadow Brown and Ringlet were about the only species flying, though I did see a nice Comma and Large White. (John Williams)
We saw 2 male Purple Emperors showing well during the late morning at a Assembly Point on the estate. (Barry and Margaret Collins)
A walk from Steep Down via Sompting church to Lyons Farm in mainly cloudy conditions. Whilst unsuccessfully looking for White-letter Hairstreak, I saw 142 Meadow Brown, 87 Marbled White, 81 Gatekeeper, 56 Ringlet, 22 Comma, 9 Painted Lady, 7 Small Tortoiseshell, 7 Red Admiral, 7 Small Heath, 7 Large White, 6 Small White, 3 Large Skipper, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Common Blue, 2 Small Skipper, Dark Green Fritillary, Holly Blue, Green-veined White. Also 3 Firebugs. (Lindsay Morris)
3 short walks on Ashdown Forest this lunchtime and early afternoon. Smugglers yielded no Silver-studded Blues but I was in luck North of layby on New Road where I spotted 12, one where the footpath meets the road and the others on the ascending slope towards a clump of trees. A further 8 were spotted near Ellisons Pond, mostly to the right of the track heading NE. (Martin Buck)
Walked around Belle Tout near Birling Gap this morning (Wednesday) with John Gowers in bright conditions though with a north-easterly breeze. Between Birling Gap and Horseshoe Plantation (Belle Tout Wood) there were several Dark Green Fritillaries and good numbers of Marbled Whites. On the west side of the Plantation was a Small Tortoiseshell, a Ringlet and a good range of other butterflies. On the east side was a Brimstone, a Comma, several Gatekeepers and, in the small area of elms, at least two White-letter Hairstreaks, one of which eventually came down onto head-high vegetation. A subsequent walk up over Went Hill and down into Michel Dene was memorable not for its butterflies but for the array of wild flowers. Overall during the morning, we saw 17 butterfly species including quite a few Small Whites which seemed to be moving over on an easterly passage. There were also several rather worn-looking Painted Ladies present on the headland and dragonflies were represented in the form of a Common Darter. (Simon Linington)
Yesterday I visited Ditchling Common and was pleased to meet David Cook with grandson and Jamie Burston. Also Denise and James who attended my Iping Common walk - they had just seen many Dark Green Fritillaries at Lullington. Butterflies seen at Ditchling: a Purple Emperor above the oak by the lake, where I disturbed a Purple Hairstreak on a low branch, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Small Heath, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Comma, Marbled White, Red Admiral. Moths: The Dun-bar (Cosmia trapezina), and a new one for me: a tiny White-backed Marble (Hedya salicella). (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
A few Purple Emperors starting to show by midday, especially along Green Lane. Also White Admiral (5), Red Admiral (3), Marbled White (>100), Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Purple Hairstreak and Painted Lady (Bill Brooks)
Continuation of Southease visit (Philip Booker)
Went for a little trip to the River Ouse at Southease.
I've never seen so many Five-spot Burnets in my life! (Philip Booker)
Goodwood chalk path to Lavant ,
Good numbers of Meadow Brown,Marbled White, 8 Small Heath, 4 Silver-washed Fritillary 2 Gatekeeper, 2 Large Skipper, 2 Chalk Hill Blue 20+ Ringlet. (Ian Thomas)
Two White-letter Hairstreak noted at 08.30 in canopy of ivy along the south facing wall of Torfield Cottage, Hastings. (Sharon Bigg)
Tuesday 02 July
A Small Tortoiseshell was on the buddleia in our back garden in Hove mid-morning. One did appear in the park last year but otherwise they've not been around for a long time. Hopefully this is another positive sign from letting Wish Park be a little wilder as there are several patches of nettles there now. In the afternoon, in Barrington Road footpath, Worthing, the 2 Commas were present again, along with several Small Whites, a Speckled Wood, a Meadow Brown and 2 skippers - the first we've seen there. One was a Large Skipper and the other may have been too, but it didn't come close enough or settle. (John Heys)
A glorious 12 mile walk today from Saddlescombe resulted in 19 butterfly species. Rather than list them all I will just note the hot spots and highlights.
The South Downs Way immediately west of the start, golden Skippers, Gate Keeper, Marbled White and Dark Green Fritillary in a meadow full of orchids, well worth a visit.
East side of the Dyke Road, full of flowers and Downland butterflies especially Marbled White, DGF and several Small Blue.
Benfield Hill NNR, stunning flowers and as I sat down for lunch I was joined by Marbled White and yet more skippers.
Southwick Hill, Essex Skipper, Gatekeeper and Small Tortoiseshell who appeared in ones or twos all the way to Truleigh Hill.
As John Heys has sort of set a bit of a challenge I have a sighting from 5.46am for Windover Hill this morning when the first of many Dark Green Fritillaries were seen as they started to wake up. The photo was at that time so the sighting would have been a few minutes earlier!!
Needless to say I couldn't sleep. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
A glorious walk over Seaford Head to the Cuckmere River. There were at least 30 Dark Green Fritillaries and many more Marbled Whites, even more than Meadow Brown's. Small Heaths were everywhere. Not far from the Kittiwake colony were a few female Common Blues and much further on through the sunken valley were a cluster of Large Whites. Small Whites were seen in various places and perhaps 6 Painted Ladies. (Martin Buck)
Large numbers of Meadow Brown at Beeding today also 1 Red Admiral, Comma, Large Skipper, 20+ Marbled White, Small Heath, strangest sitting was a Small Tortoiseshell that seemed to be attempting to mate with a Meadow Brown, they didn't seem well interlocked and the Tortoise shell seemed to drag it about in flight (Josh MacCallum-Stewart)
Two further photographs from today at Southwater Woods. (Greg Burgess)
Four hours at Southwater Woods proved a sense of wonder today with many butterflies and day-flying moths on the wind. I hoped to see my first Purple Emperor of the year and was rewarding quite quickly with a male feeding on detritus on the ground. However it proved the only one for which I had good views. There were others high in the oaks. It was good to see good numbers of White Admirals and plenty of Silver-wash Fritillarys . There also seemed to be a profusion of Large Skippers, Marbled Whites, Speckled Wood and occasional : Red Admiral, Painted Lady , a few Ringlets and a single Small Tortoiseshell which had very dark patterned hind-wings. (Greg Burgess)
The Brimstone caterpillars in Coldean woods are reaching maturity. (Dr Dan Danahar)
West Wittering: A walk along the beachside footpath produced a significant number of Marbled Whites - I counted at least 50 just alongside the path. This compares with the 2 or 3 seen in previous years.
Also good numbers of Small Skipper and Meadow Brown but surprisingly no Painted Ladies.
Dozens of Meadow Brown in the garden today. A couple of Whites seen but they didn’t land close enough for identification. 02/07/2019 (Warnham) (Paul Mitchell)
Purple Emperors at Knepp. (Richard Roebuck)
20 plus Silver-studded Blue at the back of Smugglers. Only one female seen, it did seem to be egg laying. All seen either side of the track and up to about 1/2 mile from the car park. Also many Small and Large Skippers, Red Admiral, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small White and a fly by Dark Green Fritillary. A Golden-ringed Dragonfly posed nicely. (Howard Wood)
This beautiful moth was found in my trap this morning. I would be grateful for help in identifying the species as it doesn't appear to be included in any of my reference books. (Douglas Neve)
Ben Greenaway informs me the moth "is a Small Magpie. Not in some field guides as it’s a micro - despite being bigger than some macros". Thanks Ben n. (Ed jnr)
Hundreds and hundreds of Meadow Browns flying around the hay meadow, which used to be a deer paddock. (Peter Lovett https://sussexrambler.blogspot.com/)
Noyiced a similar thing on the Downs Link this morning where they had just cut the hay. It was drawn wo my attention by a dog walker who was surprised to see so many butterflies. (Ed jnr)
I'll bet there aren't many sightings as early as 6.10am. I'd just been for a jog along the sea front - bright but rather breezy. I popped into the west side of Wish Park more out of habit than to look for butterflies & there was the local Painted Lady already up & about. (John Heys)
Monday 01 July
The Purple Emperors of the Knepp Wildland finally kicked off in style today (1 July). While I searched the Green Lane and main hard tracks (26) Matthew Oates worked the Sallow fields (56), giving a total of 82, which included just a single female. I photographed one on the ground in the late afternoon and heard reports of a further three on the deck between 10 am and 11 am.
White Admiral numbers reached double figures (the most I've ever seen in the Southern Block) and Purple Hairstreak was swarming in the oak canopy by 6.30 pm. (Neil Hulme)
Sussex at the County Ground were doing badly (again). I saw a Small White & an unidentified medium sized darkish butterfly before I got bored & decided to check out the local parks for hairstreaks. At Hove Recreation Ground I saw 4 Small Whites and one, possibly 2, Holly Blues - the first high in an elm just to get false hopes up, then low down a bit further on - maybe the same one. In Hove Park I saw 2 Small Whites and (again near an elm but at waste height) another Holly Blue plus a Painted Lady. In the part of Hove Cemetery south of Old Shoreham Road (& mostly at the south end near the railway) I saw more than 20 Meadow Browns, at least 1 Ringlet, a white and at least 4 very fresh Gatekeepers (first I've seen this year). In the cemetery north of Old Shoreham Road, I saw a further 5 Meadow Browns (mostly at the east end) & a Red Admiral also at the east end. Back at home I was picking loganberries at about 5pm when I disturbed a Small White which had been roosting out of sight. No sign of any hairstreaks anywhere. (John Heys)
Purple Emperor seen today up high in the oaks between the two fields. White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary flying in the woods to the west of Warnham. (David Bridges)
I visited Jonathan's favourite woodland ride off Spithandle Lane this afternoon. I saw plenty of Silver-washed Fritillary (though none stopping for the camera), hundreds of Meadow Browns, quite a few Large Skipper and two White Admirals. (John Williams)
Painted Lady, Large Skipper, Comma and many Meadow Brown butterflies in the garden today (Warnham), 01/07/2019. (Paul Mitchell)
I spent this morning at Knepp, and was quite surprised to find nine Purple Hairstreaks low down.
The only Purple Emperors seen, at least by me, consisted of two around the Oaks.
Meadow Browns were in the 100's, but seen less often were Marbled Whites and Ringlets. (Trevor Rapley)
Today in the garden it was mostly Meadow Browns and Ringlets and a single Marbled White which posed for ages.
A Red Admiral, A Painted Lady, and a few Whites flew by, but didn't land (Philip Booker)
Circular walk around Harting Down Huge numbers of Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Ringlet, Small White,Small Heath,
and Dark Green Fritillary, also Large Skipper 7, Small Skipper 20, Red Admiral 11, Common Blue 6, Painted Lady 7,
Silver-washed Fritillary 10, Small Copper 1, White Admiral 2, Brimstone 3
We saw a small blue butterfly and wondered if it could be the Silver-Studded Blue. So sorry you have no picture! (Jenny Chettle)
Without a photo is is hard to say, but if you were around Smugglers then it is highly likely. (ed jnr)
Southwater Woods.Marlpost Wood.
No shortage of Silver-Wash Fritilliary and White Admiral flying around the main path into the wood from Marlpost Road. Also 3 Comma, 1 Red Admiral, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Skippers, Speckled Wood. during and a.m. visit. No Purple Emperor located as yet.
A couple of hours morning walk in the sunshine at Vert Wood produced numerous Meadow Browns and Ringlets, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Large Skipper, 3 Commas, 1 Speckled Wood and countless Silver-washed Fritillaries many White Admirals. I was hoping to see a Purple Hairstreak but failed and then just when I thought I'd spotted one, my very first White-letter Hairstreak came down from an Oak and landed in the gorse in front of me. (Howard Wood)
A rare (for me) photo of a Dark Green Fritillary underside at Ditchling Common this morning. I have more photos of grounded Purple Emperors with all 4 wings purple than these! Not entirely sure if the Hairstreak is Black or White-letter. (John Williams)
That is a Black Hairstreak. It has the distinctive row of spots you can use to distinguish them. (Ed jnr)
Visited Stansted Forest (SU7410) on 28th June where the temperature was 24°C. I walked most of the main tracks where Meadow Browns were flying everywhere. In the grassy areas a dozen Marbled Whites were seen, while in the woodland rides around half a dozen Silver Washed Fritillarys were seen. Totals: Brimstone 2F, Small White 1, Marbled White 12, Meadow Brown 55, Speckled Wood 1, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 7, Large Skipper 2. (Roy Symonds)
With wildflower meadows there seems to be something a bit different happening every couple of days or so. Yesterday's happenings centred around grasshoppers, a colony of Ringlet and a small scabious-like British Native wildflower called Sheepsbit. There are now many 100s of small grasshoppers in the meadow. This year I have been experimenting with different sward heights and so far most of the grasshoppers can be found where the sward is around 8-10 inches high. I enjoy experimenting, just to see what works and what doesn't and one of the things that doesn't work very well is introducing Marjoram and then leaving it on its own. It soon becomes swamped by vigorous grass species and all that effort is lost. By clipping back the grass to a height of 8-10 inches, plants such as Marjoram have a chance of surviving, for a few years at least. This is where the grasshoppers can be seen in such abundance. As for the Ringlets, I love seeing them flying around the meadow, mixing it up with the Meadow Browns. The story about Sheepsbit is an interesting one, for I introduced it to the meadow under the Scots Pines around 13 years ago, lost it to vigorous grass species around 10 years ago but this year it has returned, courtesy of an area of very sparse meadow, where the soil fertility is very low and where I introduced Yellow rattle last year. Also yesterday, a fresh Gatekeeper emerged. That's 25 garden butterfly species this year. (Martin Kalaher)
With the continuing Elm problem along the Cuckmere valley White-letter Hairstreaks have become very hard to find. Following blanking along here in 2018 I was really pleased to find a lovely female on the Bramble. Hopefully enough are hanging on in there and surviving on the scrub Elm. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)
Sunday 30 June
I found these gorgeous female Dark Green Fritillary near Lullington Heath this morning. And walking through a part of Friston Forest, saw Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral. Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral were also flying. (Andrew Reekie)
I visited Madgeland Wood this afternoon. The habitat there has deteriorated (over grown rides) since it's heyday 10 years ago. I saw one Silver-washed Fritillary, three White Admirals, a Comma, two Red Admirals, a Ringlet and zillions of Meadow Browns. (John Williams)
Visited churchyard of Old St Peter's Church, Hamsey about a mile up the Ouse from Lewes. Sitting on a bench sunning itself was a Red-belted Clearwing, which I believe is rarely seen in E.Sussex and so have reported to Sussex Wildlife. (Ray Pyne)
On a too-hot day, I set out to record as many June species as possible at Knowlands Wood, Barcombe and adjoining conservation strips and old railway track.I reached seventeen: Brimstone, Brown Argus, Comma, Common Blue, Large Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Purple Hairstreak, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Heath, Small Skipper, Speckled Wood, White Admiral. I managed photographs of all but three. The B Argus was my first of the year, its photo a poor one and must count as doubtful, I fear..
sun 30/06/2019 Paygate Wood, Snatts Road, Uckfield, E,Sx. East Sussex turns Purple. a brief sighting of a Purple Emperor in territory at 1.56pm. My first PE sighting was on Friday 28th in another East Sussex wood. (Peter Farrant)
I found 3 male Silver-studded Blues on the Ashdown Forest this morning on the ride near to Smugglers car park. Late this afternoon I searched the elms at the the back of my house between Turners Hill and Worth Abbey. There are 2 groups of Elms and I found White-letter Hairstreak on the largest English Elm. (Tom Parker)
We had to stay at home in Hove for a new washing machine, so we set to in the front garden giving the magnolia its haircut. Yesterday hardly any whites...today about half a dozen flitted past (probably all Small Whites). We also had a Meadow Brown go first one way then back the other (unusual out the front as we rarely see them in the back) & Val saw a Holly Blue. After I'd cut the back lawn, I was just picking some loganberries when a Small White landed beside me & posed. I popped out again just after 6pm and a Painted Lady landed on the path next to me, but took off as I reached for my camera and disappeared back to the park. I couldn't resist sending a Silver-washed Fritillary from yesterday even though it was taken in Surrey. It was so hard to find them stationery long enough - we were just leaving Bookham Common when this one gave us ample photo opportunities. (John & Val Heys)
Took my daughter and partner to Knepp in the hope of seeing a PE. Eagle eyed daughter spotted the first Purple Hairstreak, there were many others, and then at a pond halfway down the main ride we saw several Purple Emperors arguing and generally flying around. So a real success. For the record we also saw Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns, Small Skippers, White Admirals and a sole Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Ringlets, Small White. Then we adjourned to the Countryman for lunch. Perfect day. (Martin Buck)
White Admiral flying around bramble flowers at Leonardslee Gardens this morning. (Malcolm Le Grys)
On a walk this morning (Sunday) from Barcombe to Knowlands Farm / Wood in bright, warm conditions saw: large numbers of Meadow Browns and Ringlets; moderate numbers of Marbled Whites; about 10-15 Silver-washed Fritillaries (including one valezina form); about eight White Admirals; a few Red Admirals, Common Blues, Purple Hairstreaks, Small Heaths, Painted Ladies, Large Skippers and Small Skippers; and singles of Comma and Large White. Then onto Spithurst churchyard where there were: good numbers of Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites; a few Ringlets and Small Skippers; and singles of Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Common Blue and Large White. (Simon Linington)
Spent 3hrs today searching locations around Ashdown Forest,East Sussex for Silver-studded Blues.Total of 36 Recorded including three females most still in good condition. (Alastair Gray)
A walk around and through Deep Dean. Quite breezy but beautiful. Amongst others lots of Dark Green Fritillaries, we must have seen well over a hundred. Also my first Chalk Hill Blue (I think?) of the year. (Richard Bickers)
I had my grandson this morning, so where better to go than Ditchling Common! After a scout around finding a nice fresh Red Admiral and a couple of Meadow Brown I took him to one of my favourite spots and found a recently emerged Purple Hairstreak still dying its wings. The sequence of shots shows the development over about 50 minutes where it was happy to sit. (David Cook)
I just spotted a few small caterpillars on my rooftop flower boxes in Brighton but I haven't a clue what they might be. They seem to have little spikes on their body and they are rather fast moving. Anyone could help me out? Thank you (Istvan Radi)
Visted my favourite woodland ride at Spithandle this morning (TQ 16839 15325) There was plenty of action from the dozen or more Silver-washed Fritillaries. Adding to the action were three or four White Admirals just before the footbridge and a rather obliging Purple Hairstreak. Also seen were Comma, Small White, Large Skipper, Red Admiral and Meadow Brown. (Jonathan Crawford)
I visited Botany Bay yesterday morning. No sign of Emperors and this was confirmed by a local enthusiast who had been there since 9 am. However, in the heat of the day, very fresh Silver-washed Fritillaries and White Admirals were coming down to ground, Emperor fashion, seeking moisture. (Andy Wilson)
Saturday 29 June
Another great day (29 June) at the Knepp Wildland started with a Purple Emperor safari on which nine individuals were seen, along with the usual supporting cast at this time of year. Finding emperors was quite hard going, as they (and other species) were clearly seeking respite from the 30+ deg. heat.
A mid-late afternoon survey along the Green Lane transect produced 14 Purple Emperor, two of which were probably re-counts from the morning walk. However, one territory had become occupied by an additional male by the evening, bringing the day's total to 22.
Today was more about quality than quantity. One angry male chased Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Marbled White, Painted Lady and dragonfly from its territory. Another repeatedly chased lumps of earth thrown into the air, ensuring that a number of visitors were provided with their first ever sightings of this species.
White Admirals are also performing well for the crowds; although numbers are modest (5/6) they can reliably be seen in several areas. (Neil Hulme)
We were away most of the day going round Bookham Common with our daughter, but sometime after 6pm I did see a white in Wish Park. The whites haven't got going again yet in Hove & generally. Val did see one from the train (still in Sussex, so it counts) & we saw possibly one at Bookham - every other time up there the "white" turned out to be a female Brimstone. We saw plenty of other butterflies at Bookham & by chance were able to chat with lots of Surrey Butterfly Conservation people who were there looking for Emperors (like us). The good news - there were at least 2 flying; the bad news, they were very, very high up & rather inactive. (John & Val Heys)
I write this report from Ditchling Common today feeling somewhat embarrassed but also really pleased at the same time. Arriving at around 8:45am to try and miss the heat, as neither of my dogs do well when it’s this hot, I found, not surprisingly these days, a few spotters were already on site looking for things Purple. When I mentioned there was a Black Hairstreak down on the bracken, he said he’d already seen one. So I joined him looking for Purple!
On my way back several others were now looking and the Black Hairstreak was still where I’d seen it earlier, so pointed them in the right direction and left. Earlier this evening Jamie Burston contacted me and drew my attention to a tweet from ‘matt’ a birder. I recognised this chap immediately as one I’d shown the ‘Black Hairstreak’ to:
At this point I hadn’t even looked at the photos I’d taken (shown here). I believe this White-letter Hairstreak, is another first for Ditchling Common Country Park and means this is now one of the few places where all five of the U.K. Hairstreaks can be seen at one location.
Small Tortoiseshell, Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral were seen yesterday. (David Cook)
As we were passing through Hollingbury we had a look for the white letter hairstreaks. They seemed oblivious to the searing heat and several were active in an elm before one descended for refreshments on the creaping thistle. (Martin Buck)
The highlight of a very windy trip to Deep Dean and back via Ewe Dean was 69 Dark Green Fritillaries, none of whom stopped to be photographed. Also seen were Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Small Skipper, Small Heath, Painted Ladies, Marbled White and of course Meadow Browns. I was pleased to see the ponies had returned to graze the tor grass. In the late afternoon I went to Knepp via Richards Roebucks new White-letter Hairstreak site at Findon where I saw four of them on an Elm plus a fresh Comma. I arrived at Knepp just after five and by half five was beginning to see Purple Hairstreak and Purple Emperors. It wasn't long before I came across the unruly trio of Matthew Oates and the Hulme boys admiring a White Admiral. Later we were joined by Richard Roebuck. Total tally of Purple Emperors for me was eight though Neil and Matthew had seen more. It was probably a bit hot for Purple Emperor and the Purple Hairstreaks, and the latter only got busy just as we were leaving around 7pm. Tomorrow evening should be better. (Jonathan Crawford)
This morning ten enthusiasts joined me for the tour of Iping & Stedham Commons where we saw male and female Silver-studded Blues. The hot, cloudless conditions meant that the butterflies didn't settle for long, but photos were taken. Red Admirals, tree creepers and a frog were also seen. Afterwards we visited the Sundews and it was only after studying the photos later that I realised that the fly we had seen on one sundew was a damselfly and another was caught below it. The sundews were flowering. Later I found some moths on the shaded bracken and a tree trunk - Brown Silver-lines, a case-bearing Coleophora species, Ground-moss Grey (Eudonia truncicolella) and a Riband Wave. (Colin Knight http://www.seapic.com)
I thought it was about time I had a walk around Chantry Hill, to see what's going on. The chalk flora is quite fabulous, with the north-facing bank between the East and Middle Combe an absolute delight. Just 12 months ago this was 90% rank grass. Not any more. My main aim was to do a Dark Green Fritillary count. Elsewhere, many have been reported, so I was slightly surprised to count just 13 males. There were no females, but that is what I would expect at this early date. Otherwise, it was nice to see both Dark Green Fritillary and Silver-washed Fritillary in the same 10 metre square space (check Chantry Hill on this website for the precise location). At home there were the usual Skippers. (Martin Kalaher)
13 Six-belted Clearwing to pheromone lure at Malling Down near Lewes between 11am - 1pm (Derek & Tracey Barber)
A very nice, if blisteringly hot walk with the BC members at Ipping in search of the Silver-studded Blues this morning. Huge thanks to Colin for guiding us. Photography was tricky as the males really were not sitting for long and constantly on the move. Lots of them flying though, and some nice moths around too. The best of my photo's so far. I need to return for a better shot of the male :) (Kevin Harper)
I spent a hot and fruitless couple of hours this morning at Ditchling Common looking for Purple Hairstreaks on Ferns near to oaks. I then moved onto Hollingbury Park where I fared rather better, spotting this White-letter Hairstreak within 5 minutes of arriving on site. (John Williams)
During a car journey I was pleased to spot the unmistakable glint of silver wings, a single Purple Hairstreak flying around the lower branches of an Ash tree (TQ1539734657) as the car happened to slow down along Oak lined Mayes Lane, Warnham, Horsham, West Sussex. (Jamie Burston)
I pressed 'Enter', too soon. (Philip Booker)
I think we've all done that at some point. (Ed jnr)
Had a great walk at Barcambe Mills until I was chased away by painful Horsefly bites. (Philip Booker)
311 butterflies counted on the Mill Hill transect this morning. 154 of them were Marbled Whites. (Jonathan Crawford)
Finally found my first male Purple Emperor of the season at Knepp this evening at 7.30 He was flying along the green lane Oaks being mercilessly attacked by every Purple Hairstreak present until eventually he stopped in a safe place. Only to be attacked by one Purple Hairstreak who then stood guard - just in case he moved again. Lots of Purple Hairstreak activity and great battles in the air. Finally got a shot that froze four scrappers in flight - which is almost balletic marvellous evening - and its only just beginning. (Richard Roebuck)
Friday 28 June
Ellison's Pond, Ashdown Forest: A 30-minute search for Silver-studded Blues from the Ellison's Pond car park yielded first one male and then this mating pair. Despite the very warm and fairly windy conditions, I was hoping for more. (Chris Bird)
Notice: If visiting Hollingbury Park (Brighton) for White-letter Hairstreaks, please refrain from trampling the Creeping Thistles to the ground, just to take photos, the butterfly will make its way to you if given time! Trampling reduces habitat & yours and others chances! It is disheartening on a personal level to see this happen, having put in the hard work to manage the Creeping Thistles along with the Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods volunteer group to get them to the abundance we see today. (Jamie Burston)
Spent this afternoon (28 June) between 3pm and 4:30pm at Hollingbury Park in Brighton, with my friend Sue looking at White-letter Hairstreaks. Whilst there we saw 4 males and 1 female down on the Creeping Thistle. There was a great amount of White-letter Hairstreak activity around the Walnut Tree, five were seen flying around the Walnut Tree at one point, mainly consisting of males resting and dog-fighting, a great surprise to see a female on the tree as well, seeking honeydew from the leaves. Perhaps the Walnut Tree isn't just for males holding territory but also possibly plays a role as a spot for courtship interaction, more investigation needed! Also seen were Meadow Browns, 3 Commas 1 Painted Lady and 1 Large White.
Yesterday (27 June) saw the first Knepp Wildland Purple Emperor safari of the year and we were fortunate to see a pair of males doing battle just before the end of the event; the species has started late this year, as the cool June weather has slowed things down significantly. However, we enjoyed plenty of action from White-letter and Purple Hairstreaks, White Admiral, Marbled White, Comma and 'golden skippers'. By the close of play in the evening, the emperor tally had risen to seven.
Purple Emperor numbers increased today and 12 were seen on a private safari, with a further four on territory by late afternoon. The best is yet to come. A similar supporting cast was flying, together with a few White Stork. (Neil Hulme)
Humming bird moth on buddlia in garden of my friend's house in Lion Street, Chichester PO19 1LW at 19.30 on 28 June 2019.
(Rachel HAWES )
On a walk this afternoon from Hurst Wickham to Wolstonbury so my first Dark Green Fritillaries on the top and an Essex Skipper lower down. Also seen were Meadow Browns and Small Heaths., Small Copper., Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Marbled Whites and Painted Ladies. (Martin Buck)
The garden wildflower meadow has come alive over the past few days with more-or-less non-stop butterfly activity. I have lost count of the number of Meadow Brown couplings I have seen. In terms of the uncommon/unusual I had my fifth different Green Hairstreak laying eggs on Birdsfoot Trefoil, on the 26th. I witnessed this just the once in 2015 (never before and never since) but this year it has been a regular occurrence. It will be interesting to see what happens next year as regards territorial males? With Ringlet seen yesterday that increases the annual species count to 24. (Martin Kalaher)
Tottington Wood Small Dole in warm breezy sunshine. 14 butterfly species including 5 Silver-washed Fritillary, 4 White Admiral, 2 Purple Hairstreak (and 2 Hornet.) Beeding Hill and Anchor Bottom were uneventful except for a Hummingbird Hawkmoth nectaring on Viper's Bugloss. The old cement works had plenty of everlasting pea in full flower. A peregrine on top of the chimney could, with her phenomenal eyesight, no doubt identify the Essex Skipper, the only butterfly to be seen at 18.30hrs. (Lindsay Morris)
I photographed this lovely butterfly in a lane just off Fairlight Avenue in Ore, Hastings, East Sussex. Please will someone tell me what type it is. Kind regards. (Max)
This is a Speckled Wood and I am glad you pointed out that it is a lovely butterfly because it is, and it is often over looked, especially on these pages. In Sussex you can see them from April to October. They can regularly be seen in gardens, especially if there is woodland near by. (Ed jnr)
I found a small colony of White letter Hairstreaks
opps. Downside Avenue , off Findon road , above the Bus shelter , with males dog fighting mid afternoon. Interestingly they were also spending time in the adjacent lime tree which was in full flower and the main reason I stopped to have look . They are fairly easy to see as the trees aren't too high .
Warnham: Large Skipper seen in the garden 26 June. (Paul Mitchell)
Meadow Brown butterflies have been out in large numbers during the past two weeks. (Paul Mitchell)
5 Red-belted Clearwing near Forest Row coming to pheromone lure between 11am - 1pm. Underside shot shows the ventral surface of the labial palpus coloured white (orange in Large Red-belted Clearwing). 3 Six-belted Clearwing coming to lure between 2.30pm - 4pm at Blackcap on the South Downs. (Derek Barber)
Holly Blue briefly seen in the garden this morning 28 June. (Paul Mitchell)
First time I'd been to Iping Common, so a certain amount of blundering blindly about before I saw my first Silver-studded Blues, but quite numerous once I'd got my eye in for the sort of habitat they favoured. Not an easy photographic subject! (Ray Baker)
A single Painted Lady (a bit faded) was seen on the pathway near our home at approx 11.30am. It didn’t settle long enough for a photograph. (Paul Mitchell)
A single Painted Lady was seen on the garden lavender at approx 08.45hrs. (Paul Mitchell)
Visited Mill hill between 9:40-11:00 wind was very breezy, and the temperature was 22/24 degrees. I was surprised so many butterflies were high up the hill in the grass & thistles given the strength of the wind. There was much less activity on the lower sheltered downs.
Marbled Whites were abundant, 20+Painted Ladies, 6 Red Admirals, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heaths abundant , Ringlets, Meadow Brown abundant, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Gatekeeper and Small Skipper. (Michael Church)
Afternoon circuit of Southwater Woods. Fresh White Admirals (7) and Silver-washed Fritillaries (8) out in reasonable numbers. White Admirals were in continuous motion but the male SWFs posed for a few photos, including this male with an unusual confluence of forewing spots. Meadow Browns were everywhere in uncountable numbers. Other species noted: Large Skipper 9; Purple Hairstreak 6 (up high); Red Admiral 4; Comma 3; singletons of Ringlet, Large White, Green-veined White and Gatekeeper. (Alan Birch)
Page 2 of 2 (Philip Booker)
Sheepcote Valley, Brighton:
After a long walk, on a windy day, I'd almost given up seeing anything other than a lone Painted Lady. Then I walked to where I thought it might be a little more protected from the wind, and it was busy with butterflies and moths.
Page 1 of 2 (Philip Booker)
On 26th June I visited Stansted Forest where the weather was sunny but a little windy, the temperature was 23°C. I walked most of the main tracks and saw a dozen fresh Silver-washed Fritillarys and recorded my first Ringlet sighting this year. No sign of any White Admirals on this day. Totals: Small White 1, Marbled White 8, Meadow Brown 44, Ringlet 1, Speckled Wood 3, Comma 1, Red Admiral 2, Silver Washed Fritillary 12, Large Skipper 1. (Roy Symonds)
Thursday 27 June
Yet another urban butterfly report - Worthing today, as we had to pick up the granddaughter from school. The stretch of Barrington Road which is just footpath was well sheltered from the northerly-ish winds and there I saw 6 Holly Blues, 4 Meadow Browns, 2 nice new Commas & a Speckled Wood. On the corner of Clive Avenue & Marlborough Road a Painted Lady was nectaring on hebe. Val spotted a white from the car in Goring Road. In Victoria Recreation Ground we saw a Speckled Wood & a Red Admiral. Finally, as late as 19.22 there were 2 Red Admirals still dog-fighting in Farncombe Road. (John & Val Heys)
Whilst fishing at Langney Point on Tuesday there were numerous Painted Ladys flying around on the stones some settling on red valerium (Jamie May)
Small Tortoiseshell at Fairmile Bottom this evening. I saw a few Dark Green Fritillary as well but in the wind they were moving far too fast for photographs! (John Williams)
Today I visited Hollingbury Park for WLH - the extensive patches of creeping thistle (well done JB) are just starting to open and both males and females were observed nectaring, although the majority of the activity remained at canopy level. Peacock larvae are just starting to pupate here, a couple of weeks behind the more advanced sites I visit. I can’t remember seeing as many Peacock larval webs as I have this year, although I’m new to Sussex so maybe it’s always like this - either way there should be a strong emergence of Peacocks over the next few days. (Ben Greenaway)
Yesterday (26th) I spent a few hours searching for iris at Ditchling Common - I drew a blank - perhaps you have to be looking for something else to find them there! It did give me the chance to catch up with the Black Hairstreaks I’ve neglected over the last week or so - I was pleased to find many individuals, some (both males and females) looking very fresh. Much egg laying, and canopy activity was observed - the flight season is far from over. Purple Hairstreaks were also common, and also busy egg laying. It was a joy to see them interacting with BH in one particular oak that seems highly favoured by both species. (Ben Greenaway)
Today (27 June) I visited Ditchling Common Country Park with my friend Sue, our primary target species was Purple Hairstreak. Sue spotted the first one down, a male, wings closed until warmth encouraged them open. In another clearing I spotted a female Purple Hairstreak down on bracken to complete the pair. We saw another 2-3 in the Oaks. We observed that they like to land on bracken (on the sunny side of an Oak), out in the open to rest and bask, away from the Oaks themselves. We arrived around 8am and the best Purple Hairstreak activity was had until around 10am for us. Sue spotted a beautiful female Small Copper and between us we saw the following: 2 female Black Hairstreaks, 5 Large Skippers, 2 Small Heaths, 2 Speckled Woods, 4 Ringlets and abundant Meadow Browns. Other main highlights being one of each of Dark Green Fritillary and Silver-washed Fritillary. We bumped into David Cook, a while later after separating, whilst with Sue I explained to her that a particular spot we were looking at seemed ideal to keep an eye out for patrolling male Purple Emperors, within two minutes of me saying this I had a call from David to say he had a Purple Emperor in sight, flying at canopy level. I couldn't see David so asked him for direction as to where he was, it turned out he was just the other side of the tree we were standing by, just missing the action! An unforgettable morning thanks to Sue, providing me with the opportunity to visit this magical site once more! (Jamie Burston)
The elms west of Applesham Farm in Lancing have a south facing bramble patch (sheltered today) which I staked out between 14.30 and 17.40. The maximum count of White-letter Hairstreak at any one time was 5. There was at least 1 and on average 2 or 3 nectaring during all this time. Of note too were 3 Dark Green Fritillary around the flint enclosure south of the elms. The day started well with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth egg laying in my back garden. Another seen nectaring on valerian. (Lindsay Morris)
Week 13 of the Gatwick North-west zone transect today produced 470 butterflies (of which 295 were Meadow Brown), but the highlight was two Six-belted Clearwings. (Vince Massimo)
Some more photos and an apology to the Comma I forgot to mention in the report. (Istvan Radi)
Two hours of joy this afternoon at Mill Hill with dozens of Marbled Whites, Painted Ladies, Small Heath and a good number of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Skippers, Red Admirals, a few Speckled Woods, Common Blues, Adonis Blues, two Small Tortoiseshell, a single Ringlet, a Green-veined White and a Brimstone. Reading my report to check for mistakes it sounds really dry and boring but the place is heaving with butterflies and it was a very busy and happy visit despite the wind making photography difficult. (Istvan Radi)
I was passing, so popped into Fairmile Bottom this morning.... Scores (hundreds probably!) of Marbled Whites, and quite a few Meadow Browns, Ringlet, Small Heath and Large Skipper, but the main object of desire was Dark Green Fritillary, and there appear to be quite a few there. Difficult to get an accurate count as they were ranging far and fast in the strong-ish wind, but I would say a minimum of 7-8, but quite likely to be at least double that number I would think. (Ray Baker)
On Wednesday [26th] while watching little terns at Church Norton we saw dozens of Painted Ladies come in off the sea. (Barry Sketchley)
I found these moths in my trap over the previous few days. I am not an expert in identifying moths, so would appreciate being made aware of any mis-identifications. (Douglas Neve)
A welcome first for our tiny garden on the edge of Funtington - a White-letter Hairstreak nectaring on Common Valerian. First spotted at 15:40h it is still there now at 17:07h busily feeding away. (John Arnott)
A lunchtime visit to Devil's Dyke produced 2-3 Orange-tailed Clearwing coming in to pheromone lure. (Derek Barber)
I had a day with some ' white ' , species today.
Firstly I popped over to Abbots Wood, and during my stay seven White Admirals were seen. All were either nectaring or basking around the bramble patches. Next, I moved on to Hollingbury for the White-letter Hairstreak. Surprisingly only three were
seen, both sexes were present. A female WLH spent two hours