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

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2020 First sightings

10 Species to date

* indicates a national first

Large Tortoiseshell
25 March

25 March

Speckled Wood
24 March

Large White
22 March

13 March

Small Tortoiseshell
13 March

Small White
13 March

12 February

10 January

Red Admiral
03 January

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Tuesday 31 March

Freezing wind but one tatty Red Admiral about (Simon Buck)

Monday 30 March

Here in Hove, our next door neighbour's younger daughter has keen eyesight & a good clear voice. Alerted by her enthusiastic shout of "There's a butterfly daddy!" I broke off from my weedathon & looked over the fence. There indeed was a Small White circling their garden. So on behalf of L, this is her first ever butterfly report. (John Heys)

After yesterday's cold gale with assorted hail and snow, it was a relief to see a couple of Peacock, my earliest ever Humming-bird Hawk-moth (on aubretia) and a wonderful Firecrest in my North Lancing garden. No Comma or Brimstone though, which have been regular recently. I have yet to see a Red Admiral this year. (Lindsay Morris)

Saturday 28 March

Rather amazingly saw these today near my house. (Patrick Moore)

This is not a sighting but it is Michael Blencoe related!
A friend had told me of the Corona diaries which he is writing for are the Sussex Wildlife Trust website during this time of emergency staying in. She said they would really cheer me up and she was right. You may all already be reading them but I wanted to make sure that everyone knows about them because they are uplifting, funny and informative as one would expect from Michael.
The question is " Is Michael Blencoe National Treasure ? " (Tessa Pawsey)

At Mill Hill there was a diminutive PCSO with a cheerful disposition and an enormous Police SUV turning away cars, but I managed to break on through to the other side, because I was on foot. Later there were two police constables at the bottom of the hill checking vehicles. Strange days indeed. In the end, I could only find a few Peacocks braving the wind on the hill. I suppose we have to take it as it comes. (Jonathan Crawford)

Half a gale blowing today but this Peacock managed to find a sunny spot out of the wind (Simon Buck)

Saw my first Speckled Wood of the year on Thursday in Friars Oak Fields, Hassocks on my 1 hour exercise break whilst WFH. Saw at least 3 Small Tortoiseshells there on Wednesday, but none on Thursday or Friday. Plenty of Peacocks though. (Neil Woods)

Although a bit chillier and blowy yesterday, a Small Tortoisehell settled down nicely for a photo-shoot on Sharpsbridge Lane, Piltdown. (Harvey Osler)

Friday 27 March

Hey folks, I just thought Id check in to see how everyone is doing during this unprecedented and challenging time. Im sure everyones as frustrated as I am that you cant get out into the countryside at this time of year. Its spring and the furthest Ive walked in the last ten days is the end of my cul-de-sac and back! While the Sussex branch of Butterfly Conservation is dedicated to conserving our countys butterflies wed also like to conserve our members too! So please follow the current restrictions. Im lucky to have a (small) back garden so Im staying put there until this is all over. Today I saw my first Brimstone. Im always excited to see my first Brimstone every year but in this current situation it was akin to some sort of religious conversion. I usually see my first Brimstone in February but this year that pleasure had been delayed a month because, up until this week, the weather in 2020 has been awful. (Remember the old days when all we had to moan about was the wind and the rain?). After chasing around the garden after the Brimstone I managed to get one photo. Ive had a terrible, sad week. Ive never been happier to see a butterfly as I was today. Wishing everyone all the best. Stay safe, stay sane and stay home! (Michael Blencowe)

We were outside in our back garden in Hove having a late morning coffee when we both looked up & saw a nice female Holly Blue flit in & settle down. I didn't have our little camera as I hadn't been expecting anything to turn up, so I dashed inside & was back before it had gone. What's more I got a reasonable picture. Normally we don't see our first Holly Blue until mid to late April. Whereas the garden is often relatively mild in winter, it's slow to really warm up in spring. I hope she lasts long enough for the blokes to arrive. She didn't come back. Val may have seen a white from the lounge window yesterday & is more certain that a Red Admiral made two very speedy visits today. Despite spending a lot of time in the garden over the last 3 days (the weeds are taking a hammering this year) I've only seen the Holly Blue. (John & Val Heys)

Small Tortoiseshell in my North Chailey garden this morning, my sixth garden visitor this week. (Ian Seccombe)

A Large White in the garden today brought up my 6th species for the year. Not particularly exciting but a sign that nature is still there. Hoping for a few more new species next week after the weekend cold spell. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)

Mary and I went for one of our regular walks from Storrington, across the Parham Estate and around the Rackham Plantation, and back. We saw the following: Peacocks (13), Comma (4), Brimstone (3m), Small Tortoiseshell (2). It's early days but Small Tortoiseshell seem to have had a reasonable start to the year. (Martin Kalaher)

Shoreham by Sea: Saw this Small Tortoiseshell besides the foot path this morning just before the wooden bridge. J (John Holt)

As Spring slowly gets going, I've seen these three in my garden, all photographed on one day. (Philip Booker)

Thursday 26 March

Just three butterflies today, along the Cuckoo Trail in Hailsham.
First was a settled male Brimstone, and nearby a basking Comma was found.
The only other butterfly was an out of reach Peacock. (Trevor Rapley)

Lancing Ring and parts of North Lancing in bright sun with a NE breeze. Sheltered spots delivered 21 Peacock, 8 Comma, 7 Small Tortoiseshell, 7 Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Small White. (Lindsay Morris)

Wednesday 25 March

Only one butterfly seen today at Ditchling but it was my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year. On a dandelion at the recreation ground. (Martin Buck)

For the last two days I have taken a stroll along the Cuckoo Trail in Hailsham.
Yesterday a good dozen Peacocks and one Comma were found.
Today I found my second Small White of the year, and four more Peacocks,
one of which landed on Blackthorn, just above my head, this allowed for two unusual images. (Trevor Rapley)

While taking our daily exercise today on Ashdown Forest, I came across two Red Admirals in pristine condition on the Roman Road (the Wealdway) near Greenwood Gate Clump at TQ476310 (Nigel Symington)

My daily exercise was in the Copsale and Nuthurst area today where I was joined by Brimstone, Comma, a Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and a surprise Orange Tip who totally refused to stop for a photograph. I tried to get a picture by pointing my camera in his direction and hoping for the best but failed. I was also joined by an Orange Underwing. (Patrick Moore)

I saw one Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock, 2 Commas, several Brimstone and a big fat bunny rabbit in Coldean Woods today. (John Williams)

It appears that the Wall Brown larvae are now suddenly getting harder to see, possibly as the larvae are moving off preparing to pupate, or maybe turning more nocturnal. Due to this only a couple were found today, although one was showing very well as it was busy feeding up on grass.
The cool breeze may also have kept some of them deeper in the tussocks.
My first Ancylis comptana of the year was also spotted.
Other than that just a single Peacock seen there and a Comma in the garden. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)

Today I walked in a local woodland and saw 3 species: 21 Brimstones - 20 males and one female which put on a wonderful aerial display with a lucky male. Also 6 Peacocks and a Comma. A buzzard soared overhead, a woodpecker drummed away and lizard and a 7-spot ladybird crossed the path. (Colin Knight)

At least my 'enforced gardening' is leading to more wildlife sightings at home! This morning we had our first Orange Tip in the garden (on outskirts of Broadbridge Heath) plus three other butterflies today, Brimstone, Comma and Peacock, and loads of Bee Flies! (David Bridges)
That's it! Spring is definitely sprung if someone has seen an Orange Tip. The next things we need are Grizzled Skippers and Green Hairstreaks. (Ed jnr)

Our elder daughter has just seen a Red Admiral in her back garden in Worthing. The cat was showing interest but it flew off in time (the Red Admiral not the cat). (John Heys)
A flying cat would have definitely knocked Corvid 19 off the front pages (Ed jnr)

On a lovely (local) walk in the Mayfield area for human and dog exercising purposes I was pleased to see what I initially thought was my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year. Imagine my delight when getting a bit closer I realised it was a in fact a Large Tortoiseshell. Just enough time to get a photo before it flew off. (Richard Farran)

On 22nd March I walked Stansted Forest (SU7410) in the early afternoon where I recorded 5 male Brimstones and a single Comma. (Roy Symonds)

Tuesday 24 March

A lovely Brimstone in our Shoreham garden today. Wonderful! (Chris Corrigan)

A relief to see a bright male Brimstone in our Cuckfield which was later followed by a very worn Red Admiral on my constitutional north east of the village. (Martin Buck)

Humming-bird Hawk-moth. Denton. ?? (Sue Cross)

Not sure if there has been a female Brimstone reported so far, but I had a brief view of one today on the outskirts of Storrington (unusually, not in my wildlife garden!). I did see a Peacock in the garden, just my second garden species this year. (Martin Kalaher)

I have a Peacock in my Horsham garden. (Patrick Moore)

I drove a couple of miles to Stanmer Park today for my daily exercise. There were a few people dotted about in ones and twos but loads of space between people, so it was good to see people acting sensibly. I saw a Peacock and a Comma. (John Williams)

Lancing Ring and Steep Down in full sun - 28 Peacock, 8 Brimstone, 6 Comma, 3 Small Tortoiseshell. Three attempted matings - Peacocks twice and Small Tortoiseshell. Spent twenty minutes with the latter, but he seemed a bit timid and she was more interested in the nectar from white dead nettle. Life goes on! And butterfly monitoring, in a sadly restricted way. (Lindsay Morris)

A walk to and from my local site (Broadfield Pond) in Crawley at lunchtime produced 5 Brimstone, 1 Small White, 9 Comma, 3 Peacock and the first Speckled Wood of the season. (Vince Massimo)

Another fine, male Brimstone flew across my garden today, heading for the Erysimum. A beautiful brilliant yellow. What a tonic! (Nigel Symington)

Humming-bird Hawk-moth in Worthing garden at lunchtime. As usual I failed to get a photograph. (Ian White)

Good walk from Shoreham up over the wooden bridge,heard and finally saw a curlew. By the dogs trust a Small White and I think a Small Tortoiseshell. (J&L Holt)

My government mandated exercise was on Mill Hill this morning. There were a few people about but everyone kept their distance. I saw three Small Tortoiseshells, which is more than in the whole of 2019. Also seen were two Brimstones and two Peacocks. (Jonathan Crawford)

Here's the photo of this morning's Holly Blue.at Knowlands (Nick Lear)

First Holly Blue today south side of Knowlands Wood, Spithurst, Barcombe. Previously seen here in the past few days several Brimstones, Peacocks and Commas,a single Small Tortoiseshell and a Speckled Wood near the sewage treatment plant west of Knowlands Wood. Photos to follow. (Nick Lear)

Monday 23 March

A quick scan of the Marline Valley today in Hastings and i got a lovely surprise, two little Commas. First butterfly pictures of the year. It begins! (oscar pratley crighton)

On Saturday Val & I saw what was more likely to be a Comma than anything else in the undercliff walk at Fishersgate opposite the Shoreham Port oil storage tanks. Today we did our last country butterfly walk until further notice from the Prime Minister. We started at Pycombe Street & trecked to Wolstonbury Hill. While still on the path to the Hill I spotted a hint of orange a bit above the path which turned out to be a definite Comma. This was at about 3.00pm. A little further on above the chalk quarry Val saw another butterfly in the field between the path & the quarry - probably a Small Tortoiseshell. Although very sunny on the Hill, it was a bit more exposed, quite late in the day & breezy - no butterflies there. (John & Val Heys)

I was enjoying the unusual sunshine in Wiltshire yesterday and was delighted to see this Small Tortoiseshell land nearby. This is my first butterfly of the year. (Colin Knight)

Carried out my SOS Marsh Tit survey in Tottington Wood this afternoon. As well as seeing a Marsh Tit I also saw a Peacock and Comma. Realised that one of the beauties of being a birder or butterfly watcher is we know the places where very few people go, which makes social distancing easy peasy!!!! (Chris Corrigan)

Comma, Peacock and Brimstone in St Leonards Forest Horsham today. (Patrick Moore)

Where do you go when you need to maintain a 2m minimum distance between yourself and the next person? My children had hoped to take their mother to Cote's restaurant for a Mother's Day treat but that was clearly off the table (forgive the pun). Instead they decided to make her a picnic and so they asked me where we could go? This was a gift for me for I knew the place, immediately.
A few years ago Gary Norman observed a Large Tortoiseshell, in the spring, at the southern entrance to Lullington Heath NNR (I think this is managed by Lou Parkinson - is that right Lou?). So the next spring Neil Hulme and I went back to this location to see if we might be lucky. I have returned to this site every spring since hoping to see an English Large Tortoiseshell. I've seen them regularly in the Greek spring and so I now know what to look for.
The topography, around the ride that runs from Lullington Heath, shields the banks on either side of it against fluctuations in temperature. This means that the microclimatic conditions at ground level are near the optimum, even though the spring sunshine is often watery and not that intense.
Consequently, I have learn't that this is a very good location to see butterfly hibernators that have awoken early. We saw about three Brimstones but because they were all males looking for females none would stop for a photo opportunity. However, Peacocks were quite abundant and I even saw the odd Comma. Every movement, every tussling beech leaf that fell to the ground was examined, in the hope that it might be a Large Tortoiseshell.
Sadly, it was not to be. I did see some Long-tailed Tits and two very tame Fire Crests or Gold Crests (I don't know the difference) but no Large Tortoiseshells. If we have a colony along the coast, this is as good a place as anywhere else and so I live in hope. I will return to Lullington Heath next spring but perhaps in April.
It was a delightful day and we saw very few people about. However, I consider myself a responsible individual who takes all the appropriate action to avoid the spread of the C-19 virus and I think that our actions endangered no one but I can't help wonder what the ethics are about this? Today, I went to the local Coop store and very few customers seemed to be adopting the 2m rule.
Should we, seasoned, field naturalists be out in the open? I think we should because all of the butterfly enthusiasts I know are responsible people but I wonder how many would agree with me? (Dr Dan Danahar)

Fore Wood RSPB reserve near Crowhurst really felt like early spring today. Although the air temperature was only 10 degrees it was very sunny and the wood has several sheltered warmer spots. Large swathes of Lesser Celandines and also Wood Anemones in flower together with some early Dog's Mercury. Several Peacocks and Commas were seen and one each of Holly Blue (male) and Small White. (Nicholas Turner)

A walk around the butterfly hot-spots in Crawley today produced 4 Brimstone, 1 Large White (f), 1 Small White (m), 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacock and 7 Comma. (Vince Massimo)

Sunday 22 March

What a wonderful spring day! But chilly NE wind.
Together with the Chiffchaffs singing, at least 3 species of solitary bee, bumblebees, bee fly, ladybirds, and hoverflies I saw in Kingston nr Lewes 2 Peacock, 2 Brimstone (both male), 1 Comma and my first Small White of the year! (CRISPIN HOLLOWAY)

Sunny weather for a cyle today Amberly, Burton Mill Pond and back via Bignor. 6 Yellow Brimstone, 4 Comma and this one Peacock warming up on some tarmac (Simon Buck)

2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacock seen today. (Harvey Osler)

Able to combine splendid isolation and social distancing with an afternoon visit to Mill Hill. It was boiling hot at the bottom of the slope and if this carries on we must be in for a super early Grizzled Skipper. None found today though - just 3 Peacocks (at least) and a Small White. What a joy to see some Spring butterflies! (Chris Corrigan3)

Despite a cool breeze and an exposed site I witnessed at least five Small Tortoiseshells,
Two Peacocks and a Small White, which touched down just long enough for identification.
All seen at Halnaker, West Sussex. (Trevor Rapley)

On a rather sticky walk just north of Rusper spotted this beautiful new Peacock. (Greg Burgess)

A quick wander around the quieter parts of Buchan Country Park resulted in 4 Commas and 2 Peacocks,and a male Brimstone that I couldn't get near.No Small Torts here though. (Dave Browne)

Three Commas, two Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell, male Brimstone and a Speckled Wood seen during a short walk in the Barcombe Cross / Knowlands area this morning (Sunday). (Simon Linington)

A wander round the Lancing Ring area in brilliant sun, but nagging easterly wind,turned up 14 Peacock, 8 Brimstone, 7 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, Large White. (Lindsay Morris)

A male Brimstone this morning at Woods Mill. Later in the day, 2 or 3 Peacock and a Small White at Mill Hill. No Grizzled Skippers seen by me or Chris Corrigan who was also looking for them. (John Williams)
Two optimists in one place. Not something you see very often these days. I think the Grizzled Skippers need a little longer. (Ed jnr)

A walk around butterfly hot-spots in the southern part of Crawley today resulted in 8 Comma and a male Brimstone. (Vince Massimo)

At Leonardslee Gardens (which is open!!) single Red Admiral and Brimstone flying in the sunshine. (Malcolm Le Grys)

Early afternoon stroll around Abbots Wood yielded 13 Comma and 6 Peacock. Good to see these numbers after the winter we've had. I then went for a quick walk around Hailsham Country Park and found 2 Peacock, a Comma and, best of all, a Small Tortoiseshell. I only had one sighting of TTS here last year so it was nice to get an early one in! (Chris Hooker)

Self isolating and jet washing the patio in my Burgess Hill garden, I disturbed a female Large White and saw Comma in next doors garden, under a clear blue skies and cool breeze. (David Cook)

A male Brimstone seen from a train at Moulsecoomb station this morning. (Istvan Radi)

First Comma of the year for me when a feisty one appeared in my conservatory whilst I as working in there. (Harvey Osler)

Beckley: Comma Brimstone Peacock (Johnnie Owen)

Saturday 21 March

It's good to see that butterflies aren't locked down! 2 Peacock and 3 Comma at Madgeland (aka Southwater) Woods seen this afternoon. (John Williams)

North Stoke was the second muddiest place I had been to this winter. The most muddy place was North Stoke a week ago. What a difference a 7 days makes. 10 inch deep mud miraculously morphs into eight inch deep mud. Still, sheltered and south facing, it was a great place to see both raptors and butterflies. Count for the day at North Stoke and a stroll down the Arun valley to loosely assemble with a bunch of birders was, one Comma, 12 Peacocks and 25 male Brimstones. To be honest it has been a terrible week: so many people I know and work with have seen their livelihoods disappear almost overnight, to be replaced by fear an uncertainty. But today, the first day of 2020 to be longer than the night before, out in the beautiful Sussex countryside and under a warming sun, I could for a moment forget about all of the troubles that currently haunt us and dream about a wonderful spring and summer we have ahead of us. (Jonathan Crawford)

Despite a strong easterly wind this morning, the sheltered Cuckoo trail, in Hailsham, provided 4 Commas and three Peacocks. (Trevor Rapley)

Saw my first butterflies of 2020 whilst walking around Bay View Golf course, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, my favourite butterfly and very welcome as I didn't see any in East Sussex last year. You will see from the pictures, 3 very different shades of orange! (Jamie May)

A Red Admiral and a very tatty Comma were welcome sightings at Washington Comon today. (Chris Hooker)

Mid Morning visit to West Dean 3 Brimstone and no people marvellous !! (Ian Thomas)

A lone Red Admiral. Too quick for a photo. (Amanda McCann )

A Peacock in sunshine. (Amanda McCann )

Thursday 19 March

This Peacock fluttered over the Lesser Celandine, nectaring, until unaware pupils scared it off! (Dr Dan Danahar)

Due to Pen I am having to keep well away from everyone, but keen to catch up on clearing the regrowth from last year I had another good session at High and Over. As I was working on my own I'm sure it would still be classed as self isolation!!

Whilst there I found my first Marbled White larva of the year, a very tiny creature but unmistakeable. Several large Wall Brown larva also seen and I would expect some to start pupating in the next 10-15 days, or maybe even earlier. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)

Finally, after a long wait, I saw the first butterfly of the year in the garden. The first one I actually spotted, a Brimstone flew over without landing, so this Peacock is the official number one. It didn't stay long so I had to snap away before it took off. A few minutes later it was followed by my second visit this year from a Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Philip Booker)

I'm aware my Daphne Perfume Princess shrub is attractive to Humming-bird Hawk-moths and so, when it blossoms from February, I keep my eye out. Sure enough this small one appeared having presumably, over-wintered in the UK I managed a short video and these photos (Philip Booker)

Wednesday 18 March

Yesterday, 17th March I took a walk along the seafront promenade at Lancing. This time last year there were many Large White pupae to be found on the shingle barrier, but today a diligent search found only one. There was also a hairy brown larva which I assume to be a Ruby Tiger. (Vince Massimo)

Visited HolmbushTesco hoping for some hand sanitisers and had better luck with the butterflies. A Peacock, my first butterfly of the year!! (Colin Upton)
If it was looking for bread or pasta it was probably out of luck. (Ed jnr)

Tuesday 17 March

Visited Stansted Forest (SU7410) on 16th March in the Spring sunshine where the temperature in the afternoon reached 12.5C. Walking the main tracks I recorded a total of 9 male Brimstones and 3 Commas. (Roy Symonds)

A further visit to the Cuckoo Trail this morning produced the most unexpected Small Tortoiseshell.
Not only were they very hard to find in East Sussex last year, this one was the first I've ever seen at this location, and I visit this site every Spring. Also seen this morning about six Commas, and four Peacocks. No Brimstones though. (Trevor Rapley)

It was quite cheering this morning (Tuesday) to see two Commas that were completely oblivious to the gloomy news and enjoying the heather flowers in the sun at the front of our house. They were briefly joined by a Peacock and then a Brimstone which added to the occasion. (Simon Linington)

Monday 16 March

On the first day that felt like spring spotted a male Brimstone by the bookshop in Nymans Gardens. Then an hour walk in Nymans Woods I uncovered 6 Peacocks, 3 Commas and a few others too fast to identify. (Martin Buck)

Saw my first butterfly of 2020 today - a Peacock sunning itself despite a chilly breeze at Stanmer Park, Brighton. (Sorry for the crummy mobile phone photo). (John Williams)

Peacock on patrol at Hurst Gardens; good to get off the mark this year finally. (Harvey Osler)

As we had lunch in our garden today, I saw my first butterfly of the year, a Brimstone. Was it heading towards the Erysimum that I've just planted?? (Nigel Symington)

Horsham, St Leonards Forest; Comma 4, Peacock 4 and Brimstone 1. What a great result. At last the enjoyment of selecting your favourite photos to post online, all the time knowing that they don't quite convey the thrill and excitement of your experience in the field. (Patrick Moore)

Couldn't resist going out again. This time to Lane End Common near Newick where I saw three Comma and two Peacocks, bringing my sightings for the day up to 26. (Ian Seccombe)

We walked the public paths in Tottington Wood, Small Dole between 10.30am & 1.00pm today. It was sunny & still all that time. Having spent an hour seeing & hearing only birds, at 11.30am the first Brimstone appeared on the north/south path (almost exactly the same time as we saw a Brimstone in Emsworth on Saturday). Numbers grew steadily along that path & we could also see them in the distance along the private path heading past the lake. There were probably 10 to 12. Also near the lake path were 2 Commas. On our way back, just to the west of the north/south path we disturbed a Peacock. We did get a few pictures, but rather poor ones from distance. (John & Val Heys)

To make the most of the fine weather today I went out twice.
The first visit was to the Cuckoo trail in Hailsham, where three Peacocks, a patrolling male Brimstone and a very battered Comma were found ( extremely battered ! ).
After lunch I went over to Rowland Wood, here two Commas, and at least two Peacocks, in great condition, were seen. Also I had a brief glimpse of another male Brimstone.

This afternoon I went over to Rowland Wood, here two Commas, and at least two Peacocks, all in near perfect condition. Another non stop male Brimstone was seen briefly. (Trevor Rapley)
This year we are going to have a competition for the "Most Battered Butterfly in Sussex". Your Comma currently heads the leader board. (Ed jnr)

My first butterfly sightings this year in Ashenground & Bolnore Woods, Haywards Heath - 2 Peacocks (Kim Berry)

Around and about the Lancing Ring area, in glorious sunshine, were 14 Peacock, 12 male Brimstone, 6 Comma and a Small Tortoiseshell. That's more like it! Hit me with your Spring , baby! (Lindsay Morris)

Walked up to Blackcap this morning then down into Ashcombe Bottom - 19 Brimstone and 2 Peacocks (Ian Seccombe)

I saw a Brimstone about 10.30am today 16th March 2020 in Bn13 (Pam Byrnes)

Saturday 14 March

Seeing a Peacock in the sunshine on a visit to Lancing Ring today starts my butterfly year. (Stephen Riggs)

I saw a Small White flying erratically around the hedge on my allotment in east Brighton today.
I surprised myself by greeting it cheerfully, not my normal response to a cabbage white. (Tessa Pawsey)

I went for a short walk at Mill Hill today and as soon as I entered the reserve I saw a butterfly but it was distant and in flight so I did not have a chance to identify it. After an hour or so just as I was leaving I spotted a Comma near to the place I saw the unidentified one earlier so I presume it was the same individual. I also saw something what I thought to be a moth but looking at photos on the net I am made to believe it was a Caddis fly. It was good to see some other signs of spring: bees, bumblebees and a Ladybug. (Istvan Radi)

Friday 13 March

Glory be, a day of sunshine and only gentle winds, hurray. Happy to see a Peacock on my allotment on Whitehawk Hill in east Brighton. Also two male Anthophora plumipes, also known as the Hairy footed flower bee.
I like Ed Juniors idea on the Forum of showing how much various good butterfly sites have changed by comparing what they look like now with old photographs, though unfortunately there will be a fair few which have changed for the worse due to neglect. (Tessa Pawsey)

This morning I found butterflies 2&3 of this year so far. The first was a couple of weeks ago, a Red Admiral was seen at Halnaker, but no camera with me. A visit to the Cuckoo Trail in Hailsham this morning produced a Comma, and a very worn Peacock, plus a single Bee Fly was seen. (Trevor Rapley)

Spring has arrived: While on gardening leave today saw two each of Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell, one male Small White and a couple of Red Admiral chrysalids. The Nymphalids were all in a badly ravaged and worn condition indicating a rough hibernation this year. (Dave Harris)

Wednesday 11 March

2020s best butterfly day yet! A Brimstone and a Peacock in my North Lancing garden this sunny morning. Well done to them for surviving the winter and not drowning or being blown away! (Lindsay Morristown)
Like the new name! I have also had an account of a Comma in Haarlem, Netherlands but I don't think that counts. Still shows they are out there. (Ed jnr)

In Crawley today, a male Brimstone avidly searching a bank of ivy for females (only a very poor photo obtained). Also, whilst returning rescued Brown Hairstreak eggs to the wild, I found several empty eggs which hatched in April 2019 (having been laid in August 2018). Such is the toughness of the eggshell that some of these can still be found intact. (Vince Massimo)

We now have rather a lot of doubt about our granddaughter's sighting of a white butterfly in the school playground (Worthing) a week or so ago. Yesterday as she got into her car seat she said "At playtime I saw a rainbow coloured butterfly going over the school. Actually it was a family of rainbow coloured butterflies. And a family of gold butterflies. And a family of silver butterflies." The trouble is she likes to tell you what she knows you want to hear. Here in Hove today it's currently very sunny & in sheltered areas quite warm. I've seen a few bees but no butterflies. (John Heys)

Monday 09 March

Finally got my 2020 butterfly season started with a Brimstone along the track between Worthing Golf Course and Cissbury Ring before if clouded over this morning. (Nick Oliver)

Sunday 08 March

A Peacock butterfly was seen today during the conservation work party at Rowland Wood reserve Near East Hoathly. Sorry no photo this time. (Andrea Gibbs)

My first butterfly of the season turns out to be a Peacock in North Sussex,a bit tatty but nonetheless most welcome after that long wet Winter,which of course may not be over yet......It actually took to flight as well at 10.5 degrees C, and about 10 minutes of sunshine.Bewbush,Crawley. (Dave Browne)

Friday 06 March

Our first butterfly in the garden this year 1 Peacock (Ian Thomas)

With warm sheltered sunshine in a Felpham garden just minutes ago, this caterpillar caught my attention on the tip of a rosemary branch. Will consult the guides to identify this evening. (Brian Birch)
Hope it doesn't catch the eye of a passing Blue Tit. My guess is the Angle Shades Moth. (Ed jnr)

Saturday 29 February

Our granddaughter said she saw a white butterfly in her school playground in Worthing on Thursday 27th Feb. I think it was very sunny at times on Thursday if rather cold in the wind. Although at 6 she has a fertile imagination, the unprompted mention of a butterfly & the detail that it was white rang true. So if it was not a small piece of paper being blown around, it could have been a Brimstone seen from sufficient distance not to look very yellow. We have seen a Brimstone not too far away from there in the past. (John Heys)

Friday 28 February

I was having lunch in the sportsman pub Amberley when this moth/ butterfly which was flying around the conservatory. What is it please? (David Gilbert)
That is a very early small magpie moth. (Ed jnr)

Tuesday 18 February

A rather bedraggled Peacock in our Seaford garden this afternoon. (Polly Mair)

Saturday 15 February

This is a picture I took in August last year in my garden; not a great picture of the "underwing" but you can clearly see a hint of blue and I am sure I saw some blue in flight. Having just had a moth guide for Christmas, I was checking out my pictures and the only near match I can find is the Clifden Nonpareil which (a) appears to be rare to the point of being almost extinct locally and (b) the markings don't quite seem to match. Can anyone confirm? (Harvey Osler)
The two Colins, Knight and Pratt, both inform us that this is a Red Underwing. Thanks guys. (Ed jnr)

Members might be interested to see a magnified image of the wing scales of a Peacock found dead in a spider's web and photographed by fellow member, John Flowerday.. (Douglas Neve)

The moth listed by Claire appears to be a Box Tree Moth. Reported to have been accidentally introduced to the U.K.from the Far East in 2007. (Douglas Neve)

Claire's black and white moth seems to be a Box-tree moth. I have seen them travelling on the London to Brighton train. (Istvan Radi)

Ed jnr mentions the Norfolk Swallowtails. Doug Neve and myself had a fabulous
three days at Strumpshaw Fen watching and photographing the Swallowtails in early June 2019. (Trevor Rapley)

Friday 14 February

Saw this few times back in September in garden, not seen before or can find this one, so distinctive. (claire)

I think this is a Garden Tiger, although dead, found today inside office foyer, so dont know how long been there, but in good condition. (claire)

Wednesday 12 February

I was wondering if somebody could identify this mating pair of butterflies, photographed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, some years ago. Tabuk is located in the North West of the country and is at an altitude of about 2,500 feet. (Douglas Neve)
Colin Knight informs me that this Saudi butterfly is Pontia glauconome. Thanks Colin. (Ed jnr)

During a bright but breezy walk from Southease station to Lewes we were surprised and delighted to see a female Brimstone flittering about in the sheltered sunny graveyard in Glynde. The tree trunks were thick with ivy and the grass was full of snowdrops, daffodils and primroses so I presume the warmth of the sunshine had stirred her from her slumbers. (Tessa Pawsey)

Sunday 09 February

Continued... (Ben Greenaway)

Another selection of Purple Emperor larvae from Southwater/Knepp and surrounding area. So far losses have been quite high, with 20 from 52 disappearing without trace over the last couple of months - titmice no doubt accounting for the majority. The variety of colour forms seem endless, as they continue to colour match their surroundings as winter progresses. Im hoping those that have made it this far have chosen the best spots, and predation will taper off from now on, but with so many factors in play, any predictions should be taken with a pinch of salt - time will tell....... (Ben Greenaway)

Saturday 08 February

I don't expect to see any butterflies or moths in the garden on my birthday. However, yesterday the grass on our back lawn here in Hove was so long that I decided to mow it. I disturbed a tiny moth, which I think is a Summer Fruit Tortrix. Val pointed out that it & its ancestors & offspring are probably responsible for the damage a lot of our apples & plums suffer, but I didn't have the heart to obliterate it. I moved it to a safer place out of the way of the mower. I think it's supposed to appear in June & August/September & yet here it is out and about in winter. (John & Val Heys)

Friday 07 February

A lone Red Admiral flying high above the road a Twyford north of Broadhurst Road in Horsted Keynes. (Martin Buck)

Thursday 06 February

A Red Admiral. Flitting from garden to garden along Whippingham Road in Brighton. (Amanda McCann )

Off the mark today with 3 Red Admirals at a reliable spot for early sightings in Tilgate Park, Crawley, where they were taking advantage of nectar from Daphne shrubs. The first one was seen at 11.05 and the third had arrived by 11.25 and there was very little interaction between them. The air temperature was 8C at the time and the wind was calm. (Vince Massimo)

Tuesday 04 February

Carried out another round of Fixed Point Photography today at Rowland Wood, to provide information to support our grant claims. Not particularly cold but there was a strong wind. Butterflies were too sensible to be seen, but we did flush a Woodcock in Wild Service Ride, saw a Bumblebee in Christmas Tree Glade and heard and saw a Raven over the North end of Woodcock Ride (Nigel Symington)

With the mild weather continuing yesterday a slightly longer search at High and Over for Wall Brown larvae produced 5 new ones as well as 3 of the original 6. This is my highest count so far this year as the larvae were feeding more in the open and having grown a bit they are also becoming slightly easier to find.
One allowed close-up views and one looked good as he fed on the outside of the tussock and was visible from a little distance away. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)

Sunday 02 February

Red Admiral flying amongst traffic in the roadworks at Pease Pottage this afternoon. My earliest ever butterfly sighting! (Chris Hooker)

Saturday 1st Feb. - Extremely active Red Admiral in the Tor Park / Glynne Road area of Peacehaven. (Sue Cross & Dave Harris )

Saturday 01 February

At last. Red Admiral kicks of a new season at nymans Gardens, Wall garden at handcross (Martin Buck)

Friday 31 January

A Red Admiral in my garden at Blount Avenue, East Grinstead on 29 January 2020. (Ann Turner)

Thursday 30 January

During a walk around Wakehurst Place yesterday we came across a Red Admiral enjoying the sunshine and nectaring on the flowers of a Daphe Bholua. (Alan Loweth)

Wednesday 29 January

Hooray! My first butterfly of 2020 was a Peacock in my sunny North Lancing garden. May the coming season be long and fruitful! (Lindsay Morris)

Tuesday 28 January

Another busy morning today at the Warnham Butterfly Fields with 24 volunteers hard at work along a section of our butterfly transect route, through the wooded part of the site. This path had become very overgrown and dark, and today's task was to open up the path and create some small glades. Hopefully, this work will make this part of the site suitable for Brown Hairstreak again as a lot of Blackthorn will now get a bit more sunshine in the coming months! Many thanks to all the hardworking Horsham Green Gym members and our Warnham Butterfly Project volunteers for their efforts today which are very much appreciated. (David Bridges)

Saturday 25 January

Despite it being very cool and dull today and the light breeze blowing onto the area where I have been monitoring the Wall Brown larvae 5 of the 6 that I have found so far this Winter were showing well. All have also grown a bit this week. The only one of the 6 that I couldn't find is in a larger and denser tussock so is hopefully well and just snuggled down in the warmer grass. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)

Wednesday 22 January

Val & I have just returned from a few days in Aberdeen. On Monday we came across a street (Osborne Place) with some special elms in it which may be of interest to elm specialists. I wonder if global warming will ever see White-letter Hairstreaks established that far north? On Tuesday, it was very mild for January. Amazingly, on a walk quite high up & out in the middle of nowhere we disturbed a butterfly. It was in a very sheltered warm spot by Birse Castle. Probably a Small Tortoiseshell & duly reported in the proper place. We certainly didn't expect to see our first butterfly of 2020 up in rural Aberdeenshire. (John & Val Heys)

Tuesday 21 January

My first butterfly of 2020. A Red Admiral flying around ivy in our East Dean garden (TV562984) in full sunshine. (Carole Jode)

A Red Admiral was flying around outside the Arundel WWT centre early this afternoon. (Barry and Margaret Collins )

Monday 20 January

Red Admiral , 1 seen, on 12th January 2020 at 14.00 on damp washing in courtyard of my mother's bungalow in East Preston , West Sussex (Grid ref TQ073027). I live in Cambridgeshire but visit my mother frequently. (Bryan Nelson)

Sunday 19 January

Very pleased to see my first butterfly of the year today. A Peacock butterfly was in Barcombe basking in the bright, cloudless conditions (though there was still ice on our garden pond all day). (Simon Linington)

Saturday 18 January

On a large circular walk today I was quite surprised to spot a Peacock battling away in the cool breeze at the highest point of the Downs at the back of Alfriston. At one point it settled just long enough to get a quick record shot. Before getting to this point I had seen 3 of the 5 Wall Brown larvae I have found so far this Winter at High and Over. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)

Sat 18/01/2020. my first butterfly of the year, a Red Admiral seen flying and settled in the bright sunshine at 12.40pm. Porters Way, Polegate, East Sussex. (Peter Farrant)

Friday 17 January

Shoreham-by-Sea: Amazingly Large White caterpillars are busy chewing their way through our Purple-sprouting Broccoli! This is all wrong for January when they should be sitting out the winter as a chyrsalis. However, I understand over the last decade there have been increasing numbers of records of caterpillar activity in mid-winter due to climate change. I don't know whether it is good or bad for the Large White, but it is certainly bad for the broccoli! (Chris Corrigan)

Eleven keen volunteers turned up to work at the Top Common, Broadbridge Heath today. Our task was to clear and prepare ground ready for wildflower seeding to create new habitat along the perimeter of BBH cricket ground! Good to see plenty of small Common Dog-violet plants already growing near to where we were working - could be good news for the local population of Silver-washed Fritillary when summer arrives. (David Bridges)

Thursday 16 January

I was surprised today to see a Humming-bird Hawk-moth flying around inside the Whitecliffs Cafe in Saltdean. (Peter Whitcomb)

Red Admiral seen flying over scrub on Whitehawk Hill LNR during the Friends of Whitehawk Hill 'mega-bash' event on Sunday. My, and Paul Gorringe the ranger's, first butterfly of the year. No photo of the butterfly unfortunately but a few of the event. (Richard Bickers)

Monday 13 January

Many thanks to all who attended Sunday's conservation work party in Rowland Wood. Among the 12 participants we welcomed first-timers Gill, Simone and Kevin; it's always great to see a few new faces and we hope you'll join us again.
We increased the size of a south-facing scallop at the eastern end of Big Beech Ride, to the north of Rushy Meadow, creating more breeding habitat for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
As we waited for the fire to burn through, a group of us took a walk around both reserves. I sensed a (completely justified) collective feeling of pride over what we've achieved this winter, with just two more work parties to go. I'll be spending a lot of time here in the spring and summer of 2020.
(Neil Hulme)

Friday 10 January

The warm sun and light breeze woke at least one Peacock today. Seen twice around the fenced water reservoir. (David Cook)

Wednesday 08 January

Work has now been completed at the butterfly fields in Warnham (TQ154340) cutting back some of the rank vegetation and, hopefully, achieving a good mix of habitat that will suit a wide range of species next season including Grizzled Skipper, Purple Emperor and Brown Hairstreak! The fields were alive with birds this morning including masses of Yellowhammer.

A few photographs are attached showing Ben, our contractor, hard at work and the results of his efforts. It is just possible to make out some of our markers signifying where Brown Hairstreak eggs were found last Saturday. Ben has skillfully worked around them!

Further to my last posting from Warnham, the mystery egg batch is probably Scalloped Oak! (David Bridges)

Monday 06 January

Corfu Butterfly Conservation's new website goes live on Tuesday 7th January 2020 (tomorrow) - which would have been Gerald Durrell's 95th Birthday. This is also the the start date for our 5 year butterfly survey, the data from which we aim to use to publish the first Corfiot butterfly atlas. Please join us in this exciting adventure.

follow us on -

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/634400976634167/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ButterflyCorfu

See our website: www.corfubutterflies.org.uk (Dr Dan Danahar http://www.corfubutterflies.org.uk)

Sunday 05 January

A busy morning at the Warnham Butterfly Fields (TQ154340) with a fantastic group of 17 volunteers searching for Brown Hairstreak eggs and marking their location with coloured card. This is so Ben (our contractor) will be able to see them from his tractor cab when he is 'cutting and collecting' rank grass and brambles to maintain and improve the Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper habitat at this site.
In 1.5 hours we found more than 50 Brown Hairstreak eggs in the first field, mostly on scattered and quite young Blackthorn growing across the field. Only a few eggs were located in the hedgerow along Tilletts Lane where the Blackthorn is older. A very strange row of 14 rectangular eggs was also found on Blackthorn in the central hedgerow (see photo). No idea what species this is. Suggestions please?!
A big thank you to everyone who turned out to help with this egg hunt. (David Bridges)

Friday 03 January

Walking in a private woodland on the outskirts of Upwaltham came across a lone Red Admiral enjoying the wonderful sunshine . (John Knight )

I saw my first butterfly of the year today, a Red Admiral. It was feasting on a flowering Hebe in my front garden during a spell of sunshine. (Howard Wood)

Wednesday 01 January

With the weather being very overcast today there was no chance of finding a butterfly at High and Over on the 1st January, unlike last year, but one of the Wall Brown larvae was still asleep on the same grass blade that it has now been on for nearly 2 weeks. (Bob Eade http://bobsbutterflies.blogspot.co.uk)

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