| Upper Thames Branch|
Butterfly Sightings 2015 - BC Upper Thames Branch
This page is for recent
butterfly sightings in the BC Upper Thames Branch area, to show what's
BUTTERFLY SPECIES RECORDED
TO DATE – as at 19/05/15
12/05 - Five of our UTB Key Species (see the "Champions" page of this website for more information), are now on the wing: Small Blue, Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper & Duke of Burgundy. Please send your sightings to the appropriate Species Champion. Thanks, Wendy
~ 19th May 2015 ~
Gerry Kendall sent the following Field Meeting report: "There was intermittent sun and some wind for the Field Trip at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on 17th May. Nevertheless, the seventeen participants found all four of our targets: Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Small Blue. There were another ten species to give a reasonably satisfactory total for the day. Perhaps the biggest surprise was a Painted Lady which paused long enough to be admired on its migration north. The full list of species was: Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Brimstone, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Small Blue, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Painted lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Small Heath."
Robin Carr sent the following Field Meeting report: "The butterflies seen during the field trip to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on Saturday 16th May by 22+ people were: Duke of Burgundy 14, Brimstone 3, Orange-tip 2, Green Hairstreak 7, Dingy Skipper 14, Grizzled Skipper 4, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 1, Small Heath 2, Speckled Wood 1 and Small Tortoiseshell 1."
David Hastings reported the following: "I attended the field meeting at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on Saturday 16th May. Species seen by me were Dingy Skipper (11), Grizzled Skipper (1), Duke of Burgundy (8), Brimstone (5), Orange-tip (1), Green-veined White (several), Large White (1), Green Hairstreak (7), Holly Blue (3), Small Tortoiseshell (2) and Small Heath (1). In the afternoon I visited Pitstone, Bucks, where I saw Dingy Skipper (15), Grizzled Skipper (1), Brimstone (4), Green Hairstreak (8), Small Blue (50+), Common Blue (4), Peacock (1) and Small Heath (5)."
Chris Carter sent this news: "On Saturday 16th May at about 3.30pm a large sandy-brown butterfly flew fast and purposefully northwards against a stiff headwind over the adjacent paddock and across our garden in Alvescot, west Oxfordshire. It exactly followed the height and course of the great Painted Lady arrival of 2009 when I counted dozens in a short period. I can't claim irrefutably that it was a Painted Lady but really it can't have been anything else. Is this a harbinger of more to come, I wonder? No more seen so far."
Derek Wilkins sent this update: "Out for about 2 hours on Saturday 16th May from 2.30pm - pleasantly warm but breezy at my usual patch on the north side of the Thames near Windsor & Eton, Berks. Saw good numbers of Peacocks, Brimstones & Small Tortoiseshells, smaller numbers of Large, Small and Green-veined Whites and Orange-tips plus several Small Coppers, 2 Commas and my first Painted Lady of 2015 - 10 species in total - not bad for a rather breezy couple of hours! By the way, I saw my first Common Blue of 2015 (a male) on Monday 4th May about 2pm - thought it was another Holly Blue at first but got close enough to identify it positively - seen in the large meadow north of the lane to the Swan Rescue Centre just west of the railway viaduct."
Chris Naish sent the following news: "A bit of a late report as I’ve been away, but I saw a Dingy Skipper on a lunchtime walk around the Harwell, Oxon site on Wednesday 13th May. It was at the back of the site where the old pre-fab estate used to be."
~ 16th May 2015 ~
Dennis Dell sent this report today: "I was at Beacon Hill and Steps Hill, Bucks on the 12th May from 3pm until 4.20; the weather was fine, sunny, breezy, 20 degrees. Dukes of Burgundy  were seen at most of the usual hotspots in the sheltered scrubby areas lower down on Beacon and Steps Hills. Other species: Brimstone , Green Hairstreak , Orange-tip , Dingy Skipper , Peacock , Holly Blue , Large White , Small White , Small Heath , Grizzled Skipper ."
John Holdbrook reported the following: "I went to Swyncombe Down, Oxon on Wednesday May 13th and saw a number of Brimstones and Peacocks, a Green Hairstreak, a Small Copper and 3 Dingy Skippers. There were also a number of Whites which I was unable to identify exactly."
Dave Turnbull sent this news: "An hour and a quarter visit to Pitstone, Bucks today (13th May) revealed many Dingy Skippers, Grizzled Skippers 10+, about 7/8 Green Hairstreaks, newly hatched Small Blues in double figures but one somewhat worn, a Brown Argus, 2 Small Coppers, 3 Common Blues, a Small Heath, a Holly Blue, Brimstone, Peacocks and a Cinnabar moth."
Tim Alps sent this report on 13th May: "I thought I should report seeing 2 Small Blues at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks this morning, 13th May, as I haven't seen them here before. They were at the same spot where the Dukes of Burgundy can be found near the cattle grid. I should also mention that I saw my first Small Blue of the year at Pitstone, Bucks on May 4th."
Karen Saxl reported the following on 13th May: "Feeling really joyful as I have just seen my first 2 Small Blues of the year – perched in grass on the embankments near the Hagbournes, Oxon. Also saw a Holly Blue at Hagbourne cemetery and a number of Orange-tips and some Green-veined Whites. The grass doesn’t really seem as tall as I remember it being at this time of year, but the kidney vetch is just starting to take off though I suspect that the two Small Blues are probably going to spend most of the next couple of days buried deep in the grass keeping dry."
~ 12th May 2015 ~
Ian Johnston sent this news: "I sighted the following at the Blue Lagoon Nature Reserve, Milton Keynes, on 11th May 2015: 5 x Dingy Skipper, 2 x Grizzled Skipper, 1 x Common Blue, 1 x Holly Blue, 7 x Orange-tip, 6 x Brimstone, 5 x Large White, 4 x Green-veined White, 3 x Peacock, 1 x Small Tortoiseshell. Weather: mostly sunny, warm, breezy."
This report came from Mark and Caroline Searle today: "On Sunday 10th May we visited Ivinghoe Beacon and Income Hole in the Chilterns, Bucks on a warm sunny day where we spotted large numbers of late spring butterflies with the particular highlight being 9 Duke of Burgundy both at Income Hole and at various sheltered spots along the fence line heading north east towards the Beacon. Dingy Skippers (50+) were in abundance, along with Grizzled Skippers (23), Brown Argus (13), particularly at the sheltered eastern end of Income Hole, Small Heath (2), Brimstone (6), Peacock (6) Green Hairstreak (2), Small Copper (1), Large White (2) and Small White (2) were also seen. Later in the afternoon around 5pm we ventured over the county border to Aldbury Nowers Nature Reserve and found more Dingy (8) and Grizzled Skippers (3), Brown Argus (2), Small Heath (2), Brimstone (5), Orange Tips (3) and one Green Veined White. A very productive day."
Neil Holman reported the following sightings:
"I managed to make two trips today, 11th May. The first was to
Pitstone, Bucks behind the church, where in warm but changeable weather I spotted
15 x Dingy Skipper, 3 x Grizzled Skipper, 2 x Brimstone, 2 x Orange-tip,
7 x Green Hairstreak, 1 x Small Copper, 1 x Holly Blue, 1 x Peacock and
5 x lovely Small Blue.
Judith Barnard sent this news: "Two Holly Blues, a Speckled Wood, a Large White and a male Brimstone spotted in Willen, Milton Keynes, Bucks today, 11th May."
Miles Attenborough reported the following: "I spent this morning, 10th May, at Steps Hill and Incombe Hole, Bucks and saw 1 Small Heath, 7 Dingy Skippers, 5 Grizzled Skippers, 2 Duke of Burgundy, 3 Brown Argus, 5 male Brimstone. Mostly on the sheltered lower slopes of Incombe Hole as a bit breezy."
Paul Busby sent this report on 10th May: "On a 2 mile walk around College Lake, Bucks nature reserve on a blustery Saturday afternoon (9th May), I saw one butterfly, a Green Hairstreak on a Hawthorne hedge tempted out by a brief sunny spell. Lovely circular walk this afternoon, (10th May), down Incombe Hole, Bucks and around Steps Hill, I was pleased to see at least 7 Duke of Burgundy butterflies at different locations as well as 2 Grizzled Skippers, 3 Peacocks, 1 Large White, a Burnet Companion Moth, at least 6 Dingy Skippers and at least 12 Brimstones (mostly males)."
Keith O'Hagen sent this news: "10th May - Just had a Comma in my Milton Keynes, Bucks garden. My first this year."
Nick Bowles reported the following on 9th May: "A walk for new members around the two reserves in the Holtspur Valley, Bucks (outside Beaconsfield) today (09.05.15) revealed the following species: Dingy Skipper, Brimstone, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Small Yellow Underwing and Pyrausta aurata."
~ 8th May 2015 ~
Andy Bolton sent this news today: "Seen yesterday 07/05/15 on brownfield land within a few yards of the east entrance to New Greenham Park (Berks) business area off the A339. Grid ref SU 503638. Dingy Skipper 2, Grizzled Skipper 1, Brimstone 1, Mother Shipton 1. This is a tetrad on the southerly edge of the Greenham Common area and may be a new location for these species."
Neil Holman sent this report: "I took a late morning trip on 7th May in changeable weather condtions to Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve, Bucks where I spotted 10 x Dingy Skippers, 3 x Grizzled Skippers, 3 x Orange-tips, a Peacock, a Speckled Wood and my first two Common Blues of the year."
Dave Wilton reported the following: "A look at accessible areas close to the newly-constructed incinerator at Greatmoor, Bucks on bank holiday Monday (4th May) produced a handful of sightings of Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper & Brown Argus as well as the usual suspects."
Colin Mather sent this news today: "Hope the weather improves soon but last Monday 4th May I took these photos (below) in my garden in Sonnning Common, Oxon: Large White, Holly Blue, 2 Green-veined Whites pairing and flying joined together. Also saw in total 2 Orange-tip male & female, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Brimstones, 2 Large White, Holly Blue male & female."
~ 5th May 2015 ~
David Hastings reported the following: "On Monday (4th May) I visited Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon, where I saw I saw four Grizzled Skippers, at least four Orange-tips, at least eighteen Brimstones, at least twenty Green-veined Whites, one Green Hairstreak, two Small Coppers, one Holly Blue, five Small Tortoiseshells and at least ten Peacocks. I also visited Cholsey Marsh, Oxon, where I saw one Orange-tip, two Brimstones, four Green-veined Whites, two Small Tortoiseshells and four Peacocks."
Paul Bowyer sent these sightings: "Monday May 4th. An hour break in the cloud produced 10 species in the Bulstrode area in Bucks just to the north of the M40. Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Small Heath, Large White, Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma."
Charles Sharp sent this update on 4th May: "Visited Aston Upthorpe, Oxon again on Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May, and found Grizzled Skipper and Small Copper. Thanks to David Hastings for showing me the way."
James Ford sent the following: "Buttlers Hangings, Bucks, 4th May. Lovely warm morning. 10 Dingy Skippers, 3 Grizzled Skippers, 2 Green Hairstreaks, 4 Orange-tips, 3 Peacocks, 12 Brimstones, 3 Small Tortoiseshell and a single Small Heath. A Mother Shipton moth too."
Luci Mintz sent this report on 4th May: "Here is a sighting for you for 1st May 2015. Not a rare breed but still my first one sent to you so hopefully more to come: a Holly Blue found in Winkfield Row, Berks next to Warfield Park, RG427TE."
~ 1st May 2015 ~
Nicholl Williams sent this news today: "I went down to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on 1st May and the weather wasn't the best. I saw several Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers. I also saw a few Green Hairstreaks and one Large White. A single Holly Blue flew by."
Keith O'Hagen sent the following: "A couple of male Orange-tip butterflies at Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes, Bucks this morning, 1st May and this afternoon in my MK garden, a male Holly Blue on the ivy."
David Fuller reported these sightings: "29th April - SU850830 Pinkneys Green near Maidenhead, Berks. A new site for me; Orange-tip male 3, Small White 1, Brimstone 1 male, Peacock 1 and Green-veined White 4 new for the year for me."
John Lindley sent this report on 29th April: "I've been meaning to send the attached photos, showing the variation in markings between individual Green-veined White males. I took these at Moor Copse, Berks on 20th April. In fact, the variation is greater than shown in the pictures - some males had virtually no black at all on their upper wings. There were good numbers of Orange-tips at the same site, including this male (below), which was notable for its extremely small size, it was the same size as a Common Blue! All the others that I saw were of "normal" size. I wonder whether any of our experts have views on this? I was wondering whether an occasional larva might pupate before going through all its instars?"
Charles Sharp sent the following on 28th April: "Visited Aston Upthorpe, Oxon for the first time: No Grizzled Skipper, but an obliging Green Hairstreak and Brimstones having fun!"
~ 27th April 2015 ~
Tim Watts sent this news today: "It's looking very likely we will get hit by a big Painted Lady invasion! From bird sites, thousands are pouring through Scilly Isles and Portland Bill. I'm already seeing a fair few around Bucks, but it would be nice to get them in the garden again this year."
Paul Busby sent this report: "Today, 27th April, I visited Ardley Quarry, Oxon and Aston Rowant, Oxon on my way home from Wales. At Ardley Quarry during a brief sunny spell I saw 2 Grizzled Skippers, a Peacock, a male Orange-tip, a Green-veined White and a Cinnabar moth, whilst later along the Green Sunken Lane at Aston Rowant, bit breezy, cloudy and cool and I saw only 2 Peacocks."
Mary Payne reported the following: "On 25th April around Watermead, Bucks HP19 0FY: 4 Orange-tip, 4 Speckled Wood, 1 Peacock, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, several Small Whites."
David Hastings sent this update: "I visited Ardley Quarry, Oxon on 25th April, where I failed to find any Grizzled Skippers! I did see three Orange-tips (2 m, 1 f), five Brimstones (3 m, 2 f), one Large White, two Green-veined Whites, one Holly Blue, one Green Hairstreak, three Peacocks and three Speckled Woods."
~ 25th April 2015 ~
Andy Hoskins reported the following on 24th April: "Today (24th April) I visited Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks (1.00-2.15pm) and saw 1 Duke of Burgundy and 3 Green Hairstreak. I then visited Pitstone, Bucks and saw 3 Peacocks, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Dingy Skipper and 1 Green Hairstreak."
Derek Wilkins sent this report on 24th April: "Out every day this week and plenty of butterflies. Yesterday, Thursday 23rd April, was the best day - I saw 10 species including my first (at last!) Speckled Wood of the year - rather later than usual. Started & ended around my usual patch but in between walked upstream along the Thames to Boveney village - large numbers of Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Brimstones (about 50/50 male to female). There were good numbers of Orange-tips & Holly Blues, smaller numbers of Large, Small & Green-veined Whites and just 2 Commas. Finally as I neared home I saw the first (& only) Speckled Wood enjoying the dappled sunlight on the edge of some woodland just west of the Swan Rescue Centre (just north of the Thames near Windsor & Eton, Berks). Another excellent Butterfly Walk!!"
Helen Hyre sent the following on 24th April: "On 16th April I had a walk across pasture at Hulcott near Aylesbury, Bucks. The sun had gone in and there was a cold wind. In a 10cm deep depression I saw this Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell sitting close to each other."
~ 23rd April 2015 ~
Richard Wheeler sent this update today: "Further to yesterday’s visit to Ardley Quarry (see report below), I made a fleeting visit to Yoesden Bank, Bucks this morning, 23rd April. It was sunny and c.12-14°C. I saw 3 Green Hairstreak, 2 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Large White."
Bryan Williams sent these sightings:
"On Tuesday 21st April I visited Greenham Common,
Berks. Despite being a sunny day the cold breeze kept the butterfly count down except in the
more sheltered areas, but I did see two Grizzled Skippers, taking nectar from wild strawberry
flowers, as well as 5 Brimstones (3 male, 2 female), 3 Peacocks and singles of
Orange-tip (male) and Red Admiral.
Paul Busby sent this report: "I visted the Holtspur Bottom reserve in Bucks this afternoon, 22nd April, for about an hour on a cooler, cloudier, breezier day than recently but still managed to see 7 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Peacocks and 1M + 1F Orange-tip butterflies."
Tony Rayner reported the following: "Today (22nd April) we had our first Small Copper of the year in our Cholsey, Oxon meadow. Good numbers of Holly Blue, Orange-tip, Small White and Speckled Wood too."
Richard Wheeler sent the following: "I made a quick visit to Ardley Quarry, Oxon at lunchtime today (22/04/15) in search of Grizzled Skipper. I found two, together with 3 Large White, 3 Orange-tip, 5 Peacock and 3 Brimstone."
David Hastings reported the following on 22nd April: "Sightings 18th April: At Aston Rowant (Beacon Hill), Oxon I saw one Orange-tip, about a dozen Green Hairstreaks, three Small Tortoiseshells and seven Peacocks. Then at Aston Upthorpe (Juniper Valley), Oxon I saw three Orange-tips, nine Brimstones, three Green-veined Whites, one Holly Blue, about a dozen each of Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks and two Commas."
~ 21st April 2015 ~
David Gantzell sent these sightings today: "Bourne End, Bucks, Tuesday 21st April: Taking a short walk along the Thames at Bourne End I counted four Holly Blue, just one Peacock and a single Orange-tip."
Andy Hoskins visited Finemere Wood, Bucks for the first time this year on 21st April. "It was between 3.15 to 4.15pm and I saw 9 Peacocks, 5 Orange-tip male, 3 Orange-tip female, 1 Comma, 3 Brimstone, 2 Large White, 6 Small White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Green-Veined White."
Francis Gomme sent this update on 21st April: "Two, possibly three Dukes of Burgundy at Ivinghoe, Bucks this morning, 21st April, plus Grizzled Skippers and Green Hairstreaks."
James Ford sent this report on 20th April: "A beautifully warm day at Buttler's Hangings near West Wycombe, Bucks. The initial walk to the reserve threw up 20+ Peacocks, 7 Orange-tips, 5 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Large Whites and 27 Brimstones (mainly females) around the surrounding field edges. The site itself was bathed in sunshine and the following butterflies were seen 24 Peacocks, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 17 Brimstones, 6 Orange-tips, 2 Large Whites, 3 Green Hairstreaks and 3 Grizzled Skippers. A male Emperor Moth made an appearance also alongside a Ruby Tiger moth."
Colin Mather reported the following: "I spotted a Holly Blue in my garden in Sonning Common, Oxon this evening, Monday 20th April."
Neil Holman sent this report on 20th April: "I enjoyed a couple of hours at Incombe Hole, Ivinghoe, Bucks today (20th April). In glorious sunshine I was lucky enough to see the following; 1 x Comma; 20+ Peacock; 8 x Brimstone; 1 x Small Tortoiseshell; 3 x Grizzled Skippers; 1 x Green Hairstreak and one gorgeous Duke of Burgundy."
Mary Payne reports seeing her first three Orange-tips of the year, all within close proximity of each other in Stoke Mandeville, Bucks on 20th April.
~ 18th April 2015 ~
Mick Jones sent this news today: "Working at Dancersend Nature Reserve, Bucks today (18th April) I saw Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Green-veined White, Orange-tip and Speckled Wood, but the highlight was my first Green Hairstreak of the year in a sheltered clearing. On my transect, which is more exposed, I only recorded one Peacock!"
John Lindley reported the following today: "On 18th April whilst out walking near the river at South Stoke, Oxon in strong sunshine with strong breezes, I saw this interesting behaviour next to an overgrown blackthorn hedge - a group of about 6 to 8 Peacocks (hard to count) spiralling up to a height of about 30 feet, then diving rapidly back to about head height and seeming to fly off in different directions, only to gather together again and repeat the process. I watched them do this 5 or 6 times before the dogs got bored and we moved on. I noticed large numbers of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells flying around the large nettle beds in the area, hopefully a good sign for the next generation. Also on the wing were 10+ Brimstones, 4 male and 2 female Orange-tips, 2 Small Whites, 2 Green-veined Whites, 5-6 Commas and a courting pair of Speckled Woods. My hibernating hornets have finally vacated the shed and it was good to see a queen Hornet today busily chewing wood from one of my fence posts."
Francis Gomme sent these sightings today: "Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers plus Large Whites, Small Whites and Orange-tips at Grangelands, Bucks this morning, 18th April."
~ 17th April 2015 ~
Bryan Williams sent the following report: "Walking around the gravel pit at Spade Oak, Bucks today (17th April) I saw 12 Peacocks, 4 Commas, 7 Speckled Woods, my first of the year and all very fresh, 4 Green-veined Whites, 5 Orange-tips flying through the stand of wild cherry trees by the railway line and a single Small Tortoiseshell."
Francis Gomme reports seeing Green Hairstreaks at College Lake, Bucks this morning, 17th April.
Ben and Jenny Hobbs reported the following: "We walked to Juniper Valley (Aston Upthorpe, Oxon) on 15th April. Could not find any Grizzled Skipper, but did see a “blind” Peacock aberration, with only 2 spots. Also about a dozen Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Comma, 1 Orange-tip female and plenty of normal Peacock."
~ 15th April 2015 ~
Bryan Williams reported the following: "I visited Basildon Park, Berks (NT site) today (15th April) and walked round the boundary path; a large number of Brimstones (38) – eight of them female, 18 Peacocks, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Orange-tips – all male and a single Holly Blue. There were also a lot of bee flies (Bombylius major)."
Paul Bowyer sent this news on 15th April: "April 14th - My garden in Flackwell Heath, Bucks Large White, Holly Blue, Brimstone (male and female), Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.
Paul Busby reported these sightings on 15th April: "I saw a lot of butterflies late afternoon, although only 3 species on an hour's walk on a sunny blustery day at Steps Hill, Ivinghoe, Bucks. There were at least 27 Peacocks, 10 Small Tortoiseshells and 2 Brimstones."
Ian Johnston sent the following on 15th April: "I sighted the following at the Blue Lagoon Nature Reserve, Milton Keynes, Bucks on 15/04/2015: 20+ Peacock, 11 x Brimstone (M&F), 7 x Small Tortoiseshells, 10 x Orange-tip (M&F), 3 x Small White (including a ‘mud-puddler’), 2 x Speckled Wood, 1 x Green-veined White. Weather – very warm, with cloudless skies."
David Fuller sent this update: "Today, 14th April, in my garden Maidenhead, Berks: male Holly Blue, Brimstone, Orange-tip male, Peacock 3, Comma and Small white. Then at Romney Island Windsor, Berks SU972781: Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 5, Brimstone 1, Small White 1, Red Admiral 1 and Holly Blue 1 male."
David Hastings sent this report on 14th April: "I saw the following at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon today: at least 14 Brimstones (including one ovipositing female), two Small Tortoiseshells, at least eight Peacocks, two Green-veined Whites and an Orange-tip."
Steve Lockey sent this news on 14th April: "A Large White seen in the garden at Garsington, Oxon today 14/04/15.
Dave Cleal reported the following on 14th April: "9th April Small White in the garden, also 10+ Peacocks on Dorney Common, Bucks, 4 Brimstones and 2 Small Tortoiseshells. Speckled Wood in the garden today (14th April). I also saw a Holly Blue in Kintbury, Berks on Sunday 12th April."
~ 12th April 2015 ~
Nicholl Williams reported the following: "I went down to the field opposite Widmere Lane between Marlow and Lane End (Bucks) today, (12th April). I saw a few Commas, Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks feeding on the Blackthorn blossom. I then went down to the bank near Lane End, and saw dozens of Small Tortoiseshells, a few Commas and lots of Peacocks. I took a few images, one of a Peacock being mobbed by a bee!"
David Hastings sent the following: "Sightings today (12th April) at Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon: one Green-veined White, one Peacock, seven Small Tortoiseshells."
Chris Pickford sent these sightings: "Out today (12th April), looking at beeflies (100+) when I spotted a very handsome Green Hairstreak which landed on a primrose and displaced a beefly I was trying to photograph. Location was Harwell site, near Didcot, Oxon. Other species seen: Peacock (10), Comma (2), Small Tortoiseshell (2) Speckled Wood (1), Brimstone (25) and a Small White. No Orange-tips spotted here yet."
Tony Croft sent this report: "Although it was pretty chilly and windy this morning, (12th April), I went to Aston Rowant, Oxon to see if Green Hairstreaks were around yet. I had several sightings including two in aerial combat over the hillside but mainly in and around the sheltered bramble scrub at the base of the hill."
John Lindley reported the following: "Walking along the river Thames at South Stoke, Oxon this morning (12th April), in bright sun but a very strong southerly wind, I was surprised to see a Clouded Yellow flying northwards at great speed - probably blown over from France by the strong breezes of the last couple of days. Also 2 Comma, 2 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and a Small White. Yesterday, on the Ridgeway just to the west of Goring and Streatley Golf Club (Berks/Oxon border), 3 Commas (including one very small specimen), 10+ Small Tortoiseshells including a group of 4 chasing each other around a flowering Blackthorn, 1 Peacock, 2 Small Whites and a male Brimstone."
~ 10th April 2015 ~
Ian Johnston sent this report today: "On a visit to Lodge Lake and part of the adjoining Loughton Brook in Milton Keynes on 9th April, I spotted 11 x Peacock, 7 x Small Tortoiseshell, 2 x Brimstone, 1 x Comma, 1 x Small White and 1 x male Orange-tip on the wing."
David Gantzel sent these sightings on 9th April: "A walk around the area now known as Widmer Fields between Hazlemere and Widmer End, Bucks on Thursday April 9th produced four Comma, two Small Tortoiseshell and three Peacock."
Neil Holman reported the following on 9th April:
"Today, 9th April, I went over to Rushbeds Wood, Bucks
and over the lunchtime period in bright sunshine I was lucky enough to spot 2 Orange-tips,
5 Brimstones, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 5 Commas and in excess of 20 Peacocks.
I then went onto Finemere Woods, Bucks and spotted another 2 Orange-tips,
7 Brimstones, 6 Small Tortoiseshells, 9 Peacocks and 6 Commas.
Nigel Cleere sent this news on 9th April: "I have just seen a Holly Blue in my garden at Upper Bucklebury, Berks (9th April). A few days ago (exact date not recorded) I had a Painted Lady in my garden."
Peter Law sent this report: "Myself and Ewan Urquhart found a Speckled Wood on Thursday morning, 9th April, at Standlake Common NR, Oxon. There were also many Brimstone flying here."
John Lerpiniere sent this sighting: "A Green-veined White at Fobney, Reading (SU703709) on 8th April."
Derek Brown reported the following on 9th April: "Finally getting some butterflies in our garden in Beenham, Berkshire. Now up to 7 species with our first Green-veined White on the morning of the 8th April."
Jeff Alderson reported the following on 9th April: "On 7th April in my garden on the edge of Oxford, OX4 4ED, I had several sightings of a Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell."
~ 9th April 2015 ~
Nigel Partridge reports seeing a Green-veined White in his garden in Loosley Row, Bucks) on 8th April.
Richard Wheeler reported the following on 8th April: "I visited Ardley Quarry, Oxon with my children this afternoon (08/04/15). The weather was sunny and warm (c.15°C) and we saw: 17 Peacock, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 8 Brimstone and 3 Comma; also, a handsome Bee Fly."
David Fuller sent these sightings on 8th April: "My garden in Maidenhead, Berks today: Comma, Peacock and Brimstone again and also at Eton school, Berks 2 Brimstones together. Then on the 8th April a Holly Blue male seen near my house."
Derek Wilkins reported the following on 7th April: "Monday 6th April out for about 4 hours this afternoon in my usual area north of the Thames near Windsor & Eton, Berks (west of the railway bridge) and saw my first 2 Small Whites of the season also the first female Brimstones of the year (2), they were outnumbered at least 10 to 1 by male Brimstones. Also 20 plus Peacocks, 10 plus Small Tortoiseshells & 3 Commas. Then on Tuesday 7th April out for about 5 hours in the same area - 2 more firsts for 2015 - 4 male Orange-tips & a brief glimpse of a Holly Blue. Also saw 2 Red Admirals, 1 Comma and similar if not slightly larger numbers of Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks & male Brimstones (no females today). A thoroughly enjoyable couple of Butterfly Walks - banishing the memories of cold and grey winter days, also had a fairly close view of a Kingfisher perched by the river on Monday - always a nice bonus!"
Colin Mather sent this news on 8th April: "Mating Brimstones in my garden at Sonning Common, Oxon and also saw one Comma, one Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock 6th April."
John Lindley sent these sightings on 7th April: "The following seen today in the warm sunshine in two large gardens in Goring on Thames, Oxon. 10+ Brimstone, including two females, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Peacock and my first Speckled Wood of the year (the latter in a sheltered "woodland" spot near the Oxford to Reading railway line). All the hibernating butterflies have now moved out of my sheds, but the Hornets are still there."
Wendy Wilson sent this report: "Lovely warm sunny day today, 7th April and seven species were on the wing around Langley and Iver, Buckinghamshire. Six of them - Brimstone, Orange-tip, Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood - were in St Mary's churchyard Langley Marish, which is an oasis in an urban area near Slough. The seventh species was a Small white. Elsewhere I found the greatest numbers nectaring on blackthorn and plum blossom; five Peacocks were on one bush on wasteland near Iver."
Tony Rayner reported the following on 7th April: "Both today and yesterday our Cholsey (Oxon) patch seemed awash with early butterfly species in the following order of abundance - Small Tortoiseshell; Peacock, Brimstone (all male); Comma and Small White. Today on the outskirts of Hampstead Norreys, Berks my first and only Orange-tip of the year."
David Gantzel sent this report on 7th April: "Easter Monday April 6th Hazlemere, Bucks. Male Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock all in my garden."
Pam Hughes writes that she saw her first Peacock butterfly on 6th April and also 2 Brimstones enjoying the sunshine in Bicester, Oxon.
Miles Attenborough reported the following on 7th April: "Saturday the 4th April Bray Pit Nature Reserve, Berks Grid Ref: SU 906 787 - 2 Brimstones."
~ 6th April 2015 ~
David Hastings sent these sightings today: "I visited Stratfield Brake, Oxon today, 6th April, where I saw three Peacocks and four Small Tortoiseshells. At Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon I saw three Brimstones, two Small Tortoiseshells and a Comma. Finally in my garden in north Abingdon, Oxon, I saw my first Small White of the year, also two Peacocks, three Small Tortoiseshells and a Comma."
Nick Board reported the following: "I came across these two (see photo) in my garden today in Chackmore, North Bucks. The Small Tortoiseshell followed the Peacock around the garden for about 5 minutes settling from time to time next to each other in the warm sunshine. A case of mistaken identity I feel!!"
This report from Cliff Grove came via Paul Bowyer: "Monday 6th April, Jubilee River Path, Dorney (Bucks): Orange-tip, Brimstone, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell."
John Ward-Smith sent these sightings: "The beautiful weather today, 6th April, saw five species on the wing in our garden in Bracknell, Berkshire: Holly Blue, Peacock x 3, Comma x 2, Brimstone and Small White."
David Fuller sent this report: "Today, 6th April, in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks: Comma; Peacock at last, not one but three; male and female Brimstone and a Small White again - this time it landed for a while so I could I.D. it as a male."
John Lindley reported the following today: "Good numbers of butterflies today, 6th April, at Goring and Streatley Golf Club (Berks/Oxon border): 30+ Brimstones, including 5 females, also 20+ Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Peacock and 1 very battered looking Red Admiral."
Michael McNeill sent this news today: "Apart from the usual suspects which first appeared from 5th March in single numbers, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Peacock and Comma, a warm sunny day today, 6th April, in my garden in Upper Basildon, West Berkshire, produced my first male Orange Tip of the year as well as 6 Brimstone, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock and 2 Comma, accompanied by my first Bluebell of the Spring."
Peter Cuss sent the following on 6th April: "Walking today near Holmes Farm, Oxon (OS 159, 655 785) saw my first Orange-tip of the season as well as Peacocks (8), Small White (2), Comma (2) and several Brimstones."
Tony Croft sent these sightings today, 6th April: "I've just carried out my first transect of the season at Rushbeds Wood, Bucks in the warm sunshine and had a pretty good result. Brimstone 15; Peacock 33; Comma 10; Small Tortoiseshell 6 and one beautiful male Orange-tip."
Nicholl Williams sent this report on 6th April: "I went to Spade Oak (Bourne End, Bucks) and then nearby Crowne Plaza in Marlow, Bucks today and saw plenty of Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks. Also 1 Comma and 1 Small White.
Bryan Williams reported the following today, 6th April: "A lovely sunny morning, I visited the Millennium Arboretum in Wokingham, Berks and saw six Peacocks, two Commas, a male Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell and returning home (in Wokingham) saw a Holly Blue in my garden."
~ 31st March 2015 ~
Steve Lockey's short walk through Rushbeds Wood, Bucks at midday on 30th March produced 2 Brimstone males flying down the walks and a Comma sunning itself.
~ 25th March 2015 ~
David Fuller sent this news: "The Comma was in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks again on Sunday afternoon, 22nd March. Then on 23/03/15 I had a male Brimstone - my first of the year - and a Small White. This is also my first of the year and is one week earlier than last year's sighting in my garden."
Jim Asher sent this report:
"The final Aston Upthorpe work party of the season took place on
Sunday 22nd March - it was very helpful to enable us to complete
the work on ‘Section 7’ this season. We look forward to seeing if the butterflies appreciate it!
Thank you all for turning out and for your work on other work parties this season too. (See photos
are on our Facebook page.)
Nicholl Williams saw the following on 22nd March: "I saw a few butterflies today outside the Crowne Plaza in Marlow, Bucks: "One Peacock, several Commas and Small Tortoiseshells."
David Gantzel sent this sighting on 22nd March: "A male Brimstone in Hazlemere, Bucks on Friday March 20th."
Neil Holman reported the following on 22nd March: "During an early afternoon walk in bright sunshine around College Wood just outside Nash in North Bucks on Friday 20th March my wife and I spotted four Commas and then when we arrived home in Buckingham we were greeted by a Small Tortoiseshell in our front garden. Let's hope it's the start of a super butterfly season!"
~ 20th March 2015 ~
Wendy Wilson sent this news: "I went to Otmoor, Oxon RSPB reserve this morning (20th March) to view the solar eclipse as we were under a thick blanket of cloud at home. I'm glad I did as a man in the car-park had set up his scope and kindly let me view and photograph it in his camera screen. While walking on the Oddington side of the reserve afterwards, I found two Brown Hairstreak eggs and spotted my first Comma and Brimstone of the year."
Nicholl Williams reports seeing two Small Tortoiseshells at Spade Oak, Bourne End, Bucks on 20th March.
David Fuller sent the following sightings: "In my garden in Maidenhead, Berks on 18th March two Red Admiral nectaring together. I've now seen 6 different Red Admirals this spring. Also a Comma in my garden this afternoon, 20th March."
~ 17th March 2015 ~
David Hastings saw three Peacocks and one Small Tortoiseshell in the Oxford University Parks, Oxon on 12th March.
Dave Cleal reports that on Saturday 7th March he had 2 Red Admirals in Woolman's Wood, Wooburn Common, Bucks.
~ 13th March 2015 ~
Keith O'Hagen sent this report: "I had a Peacock butterfly enjoying the sun and Crocus in my Milton Keynes garden this afternoon, 12th March."
David Fuller sent these sightings: "2 Red Admiral along River Thames towpath in Berks SU906836, on 11th March and a Small Tortoiseshell resting on sailing boat sunning itself at Queen Mother Reservoir nr Datchet, Berks SU016775 on 12th March .
Mary Payne reported the following: "On March 10th I spotted 2 Small Tortoiseshells - either fighting or mating - and a Peacock in Buckland Village, Bucks."
Judith Barnard sent this sighting on 10th March: "I spotted a Comma today in Willen, Milton Keynes (SP877411) at 13.00."
David Hastings sent this news on 9th March: "I saw a Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock in the Oxford University Parks, Oxon at lunchtime on 6th March, and at least four Brimstones at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon on 7th March."
John Amatt reported the following on 9th March: "My first butterfly of the year - a male Brimstone at Hodgemoor Woods, Bucks last Thursday lunchtime, 5th March. I was surprised and cheered to see it, when everything was looking so brown. Although spring has sprung since. I see the crocus, daffs and tree blossoms all started to come out this weekend."
Derek Wilkins was out again in Saturday's fine weather (7th March): "I saw the first Brimstone at 11.30am and in the next 2 hours lost count of how many more along the lane leading to the Swan Rescue Centre and nearby meadows (just north of the Thames near Windsor & Eton, Berks). On several occasions I could see 4 or 5 at once - the ivy covered trees & shrubs on the north side of the lane must be a good area for hibernating as I've seen good numbers early in previous years. About 12.30pm saw a Red Admiral in the same spot as Friday's sighting. Then just after 2pm saw two more "firsts" for 2015 - a Comma near the railway bridge that crosses the lane. Five minutes later I spotted a Peacock basking on the warm brickwork of the same bridge! There were still a few Brimstones about but none after 2.30 - all of today's were males as were Friday's. Altogether a very enjoyable day with the added bonus of warmth too!"
~ 7th March 2015 ~
The warmer weather brought our first two butterflies of the year to our garden in Chearsley, Bucks today (7th). Mick spotted a male Brimstone in flight and then a Red Admiral sunbathing on the soil of a flower border. Time to dig out the recording book, binoculars and walking boots! Read more news on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you see. Wendy
Jim Asher sent this news:
"I received the following report from Geoff Ryder: 'I'm sure there will be lots more sightings today
(7th March) but I had my first Brimstone of the year in my garden
at Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire - would you believe the same day
as last year!'
John Warren sent this report: "On 7th March I saw the following: Blake's Lock Reading, Berks - 1 Small Tortoiseshell, Donegal Close Reading - 1 Brimstone, Henley Road and Almond Drive area, Reading - 2 Small Tortoiseshell courtship flight; Caversham Lakes AKA Henley Road, GP - 2 Peacocks."
David Gantzel saw a male Brimstone in Stoke Mandeville, Bucks today Saturday March 7th.
John Lindley sent these sightings on 7th March: "Three species on the wing in today's warm sunshine in South Stoke, Oxon: three Brimstomes (all male), one Small Tortoiseshell and one Red Admiral. Also a few early Mason Bees and a Queen German Wasp."
Derek Wilkins says that the last couple of days have been quite good: "On Thursday 5th March I saw my 3rd species of 2015 - at 11.45am the first Brimstone of the season appeared and as I got closer another joined it (both males) and they fluttered around together for a minute or so before flying off in different directions. Location - north of the Thames near Windsor, Berks, a sheltered spot just off the lane that leads from Eton to the Swan Rescue Centre a few yards west of the railway bridge. Then on Friday 6th March just before midday I saw the first of several Brimstones (at least 5 over the next half hour) all flying along the sunny side of the lane that leads from Eton to the Swan Rescue Centre (west of the railway bridge). About an hour later I saw a Red Admiral in the same spot as last Friday (the sheltered glade near the Swan Rescue Centre) - got really close and it was in even better condition than last week's. As I headed for home just after 2pm another Red Admiral flew swiftly past me and 15 minutes later near the Windsor Leisure Centre a Small Tortoiseshell flew by a couple of feet away. A very enjoyable butterfly walk!"
~ 3rd March 2015 ~
Mary Payne sent this sighting: "Today, March 3rd, I spotted a Brimstone on the main road through Western Turville, Bucks. Spring is coming!"
Abby Fettes reported the following: "This morning, 3rd March, I spotted a Brimstone whizzing past my window tempted out by the sunshine at West Oxfordshire District Council Offices in Witney (436141, 210801) and my colleague Phil Shaw then saw it fluttering around the car park. I don’t think it would have hung around for long though as it is only 5 degrees here this morning."
~ 28th February 2015 ~
This news came from Huw Morgan on 28th February: "On 17th January - I was astonished to see a Comma in my back garden in Kidlington, Oxon. Admittedly it is south facing and enclosed, but the thermometer was indicating 5 degrees. It spent a few minutes flying round, and then rested on the wall in the sunlight."
Derek Wilkins saw his second butterfly of the year yesterday (Friday 27th February), just before midday. "It was a Red Admiral and, apart from a couple of very small nicks to the left hind wing, it was in very good condition. Watched it for about 15 minutes basking in the strong sunshine and from time to time flying swiftly around - it even landed on me briefly! Location - a sheltered sunny glade on the north side of the Thames near Windsor, Berks close to the Swan Rescue Centre. The shelter from the mature trees and hedges makes it a good spot for early and late sightings! Popped back around 1pm and it was still there enjoying the fine day, as I was, even though it was only around 9 degrees."
Dave Wilton reported the following: "On the mild morning of 25th February a male Brimstone was tempted out of hibernation for a short while in my garden at Westcott, Bucks."
~ 25th February 2015 ~
Peter Laws sent this note: "Just to say I disturbed a rather sluggish and floppy Peacock butterfly in my garden in Garsington, Oxon on 18th February. There must have been a hibernator somewhere within the structure of my park home, as I recall a flying Peacock late into last autumn. It still looked in good condition on re-emerging if the two were indeed the same individual."
~ 18th February 2015 ~
Derek Wilkins sent the following report: "Wednesday 18th February - Saw my first butterfly of the year today, just after 11am on the northern side of Alexandra Gardens in Windsor, Berks - a Small Tortoiseshell was flying briskly around despite the cool breeze and a temperature of only about 7C. It settled briefly to bask in the sunshine and looked in good condition, then flew around again before I lost sight of it amongst the shrubs. I was already enjoying the sunshine and the first butterfly made me feel even better!!"
Tony Rayner sent this news: "My first butterfly sighting of the year - a Small Tortoiseshell in our Cholsey, Oxon meadow today, February 18th."
David Fuller saw his second Red Admiral of the year whilst visiting the snowdrops at Stubbings Churchyard near Maidenhead, Berks SU846816 on 17th February.
~ 14th February 2015 ~
The following report came via Wendy Wilson: "Deborah Elliott of Chalfont St Peter sent me this unusual picture of a Peacock spotted and photographed on 12th February by her friend Annik Coatalen Heal at her home in Knotty Green, Beaconsfield, Bucks. It caught her eye as rear sections of both wings are white apart from some black lines. I wonder if anyone has seen anything similar."
Neil Holman sent the following: "Walking back home in bright early afternoon sunshine on 8th February I spotted my first butterfly of the year in Chandos Road, Buckingham, Bucks and it was a Small Tortoiseshell. What a delight so early in the season!"
~ 9th February 2015 ~
Paul Bowyer sent this news today: "The first sighting of the year for my 10K square on Sunday 8th February. A Red Admiral seen by Cliff Grove in his garden in Cippenham, Slough, Berkshire."
~ 12th January 2015 ~
Keith O'Hagen has seen his first butterfly of the year: "11th January - Just had a Peacock butterfly in my Milton Keynes garden, on the ivy. My first of 2015!"
The following sighting from Ann Barrett came via Nick Bowles: "I saw a Brimstone butterfly today 09 Jan 2015 at 11.30 am in a garden in the centre of Lower Brailes, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX155HS."
Dave Wilton sent this Brown Hairstreak update:
"Our searches for Brown Hairstreak eggs have been continuing although activities were curtailed
somewhat over the holiday period. Attempts to re-egg the seven remaining tetrads which have yet to
produce any sightings this winter have unfortunately not yet met with any success. However,
Wendy Wilson and I have managed to find eggs in a few kilometre squares which were last searched in
2009 so they have provided a useful update to our records. Furthermore, today (12th January)
Steve Woolliams discovered a single egg in SP4612, to the west of Yarnton, Oxon, which provides us
with our fifth completely new tetrad for this season.
Our eleventh annual New Year's Day egg hunt at Otmoor, Oxon was attended by 18 participants, including a cameraman from BBC South Today (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH7fauuyPKM&feature=youtu.be). Previous years have produced two counts of more than 100 eggs there but this time we could only find 42. Still, we have had lower totals (24 in 2009 and just 19 in 2012) and there is now so much more suitable blackthorn in the compounds behind our target hedge that all is not lost! Over the past few years Otmoor has actually become one of the most reliable sites for adult Brown Hairstreak sightings, in particular along the continuation of Otmoor Lane behind the car-park.
Two further group egg searches have now been arranged, as follows:
John Lindley sent the following report:
David Fuller recorded his first butterfly of the year on 8th January: "This morning,Thursday 8th January, Alexandra found a Red Admiral caught in a spider's web which I rescued and put in the conservatory to warm up in the strong sun. When I released it it flew strongly away."
~ 8th January 2015 ~
Dave Turnbull reported the first butterfly of the year: "While on a trip 'across the border into Bucks' at about 11.30am on 5th January I saw a Red Admiral struggling in a muddy puddle. I rescued it but it was unable to maintain height as it could only flap its wings slowly as it was about 5 or 6 degrees. This was in Hockeridge woods just outside Ashley Green, Bucks."
~ Wednesday 31st December 2014 ~
Phil Shaw reported the following on 23rd December: "I was attending the Christingle service in Shutford church, north Oxfordshire on 21/12/2014 and sat in a pew next to a poem that has been placed inside the church called “Church Butterfly”. Right on cue a Peacock started fluttering around the church and flew for the whole service. Possibly a contender for last sighting of the year?"
John Lerpiniere sent the following on 21st December: "At Hosehill LNR, Theale, Berks a Small Tortoiseshell flew out across the lake 11am Saturday 20th December."
~ Friday 19th December 2014 ~
Helen Hyre writes: "Today, Friday 19th December, we had a Red Admiral in our garden in Bierton, Bucks at lunchtime. We have had a record year. Our first garden butterfly was on 11th January."
~ Thursday 18th December 2014 ~
John Lindley sent this sighting today: "Yesterday morning, 17th December, in a brief sunny spell on a very mild day, a Red Admiral on the wing around a house in Goring, Oxon. Today (even milder), when the sun came out briefly, another Red Admiral basking on a south facing wall in South Stoke, Oxon. Remarkable that they're not in full hibernation given the cool weather over the previous days."
David Fuller reports a Red Admiral
in his garden in Maidenhead, Berks on 9th December.
David also passed on two other recent sightings:
[Sightings for 2014 have been archived.]
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