Upper Thames Branch - 2018 Butterfly Sightings

BUTTERFLY SPECIES RECORDED THIS YEAR : 23

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This page shows recent butterfly sightings in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The first reported sighting
of each butterfly species is shown in bold red text. Please remember to send all your records to the UTB Records Officer.

The next field trips are:
Saturday 26th May - Lardon Chase, Berks
Sunday 27th May - Wicken Wood, Bucks

Note to contributors: if possible, please include an OS grid reference with your reports.
If you are submitting photographs, a maximum of three per report please. David


~ 22nd May 2018 ~

From Michael McNeill: "22-May-2018: A warm (22°C) sunny day at both Lardon Chase and The Holies, West Berks. Lardon Chase: Adonis Blue 11 (inc 2 females), Common Blue 25+, Small Blue 1, Orange-tip 5 (inc 1 female), Small Heath 2, Dingy Skipper 2, Small Copper 1, Brimstone 2, Brown Argus 1.
The Holies: Adonis Blue 10 (inc 1 female), Common Blue 10, Green Hairstreak 7, Dingy Skipper 15+, Brimstone 2, Speckled Wood 3."

From David Hastings: "22-May-2018: I visited Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon this morning. In just over an hour I saw eleven species: Green-veined White (4+), Brimstone (7), Orange-tip (2), Large White (1), Small White (1), Peacock (1), Speckled Wood (3), Small Heath (2), Small Copper (3), Common Blue (4) and Brown Argus (2)."

~ 21st May 2018 ~

From Kevin Booden: "21-May-2018: I visited Blue Lagoon, Milton Keynes, Bucks today looking for Small Blue and Green Hairstreak. I found 2 Small Blue, 5 Dingy Skipper and a couple of Mint Moths, but the amazing find was seeing a Duke of Burgundy near to the site of the Small Blues. It must be 20 miles to the nearest DOB colony."

~ 20th May 2018 ~

From Dave Cleal: "20-May-2018: I went to Yoesden Bank, Bucks late morning today. 3 Green Hairstreak, 12 Dingy Skippers, 7 Common Blue, 2 Small Blue. I then went to Smalldean Lane. It was quite hot by now and there was little activity, however Duke of Burgundy appeared to be the most active, 6 seen. Also 1 Red Admiral, 4 Dingy Skipper and 1 fresh Grizzled Skipper."

From Gerry Kendall: "20-May-2018: A dozen people took part in the traditional search for Spring Butterflies at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on a lovely warm still day with light winds. We saw our four target species, Dingy and Grizzled Skipper, Green Hairstreak and Small Blue. And there were a good number of other species: Brimstone, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Small Heath. Very many thanks to all participants."

From Peter Cuss: "20-May-2018: A visit to Lardon Chase, Berks (SU586808) today. Common Blue out in good numbers and a fair amount of Dingy Skippers and Small Blue, two Adonis Blue, Brimstone, Small White and a Small Copper."

From Dave Ferguson: "20-May-2018: I found 2 Grizzled Skippers at a site to the west of Bulstrode, Bucks (SU981882) this morning. I also found 4 Dingy Skippers and 6 Green Hairstreaks, so the site is of local importance. It consists of rough grass and scrub on a sandy soil. It does not seem to be used for anything. There is a public footpath running through it.
I also had 11 Grizzled Skippers on the south-east slope of Lodge Hill, Bucks (SU796999) on 13 May."

From Jean-Paul Brouard: "20-May-2018: I went for a morning walk at Lardon Chase, Berks (SU587809) today. Butterflies seen were Dingy Skipper (6), Large White (1), Brimstone (2), Small Heath (1) Green Hairstreak (2), Small Blue (only 1 female ovipositing on one of the few Kidney Vetch plants in flower), Common Blue (50+) and Adonis Blue (3 males and 2 females)."

~ 19th May 2018 ~

From Peter Clarke: "19-May-2018: Arrived at Bison Hill, Beds (TL000184) car park at 9:55 am. Almost immediately saw 4 Green Hairstreaks together on a hawthorn bush on the left at the top of the steep slope. Butterflies were more active between 10 and 11 than in the afternoon. Overall, I counted 8 Orange-tip, 12 Green Hairstreak, 20 Dingy Skipper, 30 Duke of Burgundy, 2 Large White, 2 Brown Argus, 8 Brimstone (more females than males), 1 (tatty) Small Copper, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Small White, 1 Grizzled Skipper and 1 Holly Blue."

From Martin Kincaid: "19-May-2018: I visited Blue Lagoon Nature Reserve, Milton Keynes, Bucks (SP868326) today. Sad to see this once superb butterfly site now very neglected. Areas that used to be full of butterflies now heavily scrubbed over and most of the old paths through the grassland are now impassable. I was there for 2 hours and eventually managed to find a single Green Hairstreak by tapping mature hawthorn shrubs. I also saw 2 Small Blue (where there were once dozens), 4 dingy Skipper, 4 Brimstone (all female), 3 Orange-tip, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Speckled Wood and 1 Brown Argus. On the plus side, I did see 2 Latticed Heath moths which I have not seen here for many years, as well as a Mother Shipton and numerous Burnet Companions."

From Sandra Parkinson: "19-May-2018: My first sighting at Chalkhills Farm, Oxon (SU643777) of Adonis Blue (male) today. Managed to get close enough to check the fringing on the wings. Also saw a Small Heath nearby, but this was not my first sighting here.
I rarely see any of the May Adonis brood here - usually only the August one. Although Horseshoe Vetch grows in the CWS on the farm, I always see Adonis in the other pasture fields, where it doesn't grow. I have usually seen Common Blue by now, but not this year, and I have been away for a week."

From John Holdbrook: "19-May-2018: I went to the Beacon Hill side of Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon today. I saw several Whites and Brimstones, 5 or 6 Small Heaths, 10+ Brown Argus and Common Blues, a Grizzled Skipper, 2 Dingy Skippers and a Green Hairstreak. By the Ridgeway I saw a Holly Blue. By chance I got a [rather blurry] photo of the Green Hairstreak with its wings open."

From David Gantzel: "19-May-2018: Slightly surprised to see a Holly Blue in High Wycombe, Bucks town centre today."

From Jean-Paul Brouard: "19-May-2018: I spent the morning in The Holies, Berks (SU594798). The Horseshoe Vetch was flowering well, with 3 Adonis Blues present (2 males and 1 fem). Other butterflies seen were Dingy Skipper (20+), Orange Tip (1), Green-veined White (2), Brimstone (2), Small Heath (2), Green Hairstreak (4), Common Blue (5) and Small Copper (1)."

From Dave Cleal: "19-May-2018: I visited Springfield Landfill today, SE of Beaconsfield, Bucks. A bit disappointing on the butterfly front. 3 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Orange Tips & several unidentified Whites. Best of all was a Common Blue."

~ 18th May 2018 ~

From Charlie Jackson: "18-May-2018: I counted a minimum of 320 Small Blues at Pitstone Church End, Bucks this evening, roosting in the last of the sunlight in large groups of between 20 and 40. Quite a sight. Also a few Small Heaths, 3 Common Blues and several Grizzled Skippers."

From David Hastings: "18-May-2018: At Radley Lakes, Oxon (SU522972) today I saw Comma (1), Brimstone (1) and Dingy Skipper (1). At Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (SU509972) today were Orange-tip (6), Large White (4+), Green-veined White (numerous), Brimstone (1) and Peacock (2)."

From Michael Hunt: "18-May-2018: Seen at Calvert Jubilee Reserve, Bucks today were 2 Small Heath, 1 Green Hairstreak, 1 Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood, 3 Grizzled Skipper."

~ 17th May 2018 ~

From David Webb: "17-May-2018: Nice sunny warm day at Crookham Common, Berks SU524645. Saw my first Grizzled Skipper basking in the sun plus Common Blues, Green-veined, Large and Small Whites, one Orange-tip and 2 Speckled Woods."

From Sue Taylor: "17-May-2018: I was out this afternoon, as it was breezy I went to Incombe Hole, Bucks as it was sheltered. I was there 3-5pm and wandered up to the gully as well. I saw at least 9 Duke of Burgundy, 23 Dingy Skipper, 11 Grizzled Skipper, 4 Green Hairstreak, 3 Small Heath plus Orange Tip, Peacock, Comma, Small Tort and Brimstone. On the moth front 2 Mother Shipton and 3 Small Purple Barred. What I shall remember best though was my first small Copper of the season, fresh and lovely."

From Derek Haynes: "17-May-2018: It was a wonderful morning up at Yoesden Bank, Bledlow Ridge, Bucks today, with the following sightings: Over 50 Dingy Skipper, 2 Grizzled Skipper, 8 Green Hairstreak (including an individual with just 1 triangular spot on the hind wings), 2 Speckled Wood, 5 male Orange-tip, 5 Large White, 1 Green-veined White, 9 Brimstone (2 female; 7 male), 2 Small Heath, 1 Holly Blue, 1 very fresh male Common Blue, 1 very fresh Brown Argus and 1 very fresh Small Blue. A lovely sight."

From Nick Board: "17-May-2018: My first two Wood Whites of the year were seen today in a private wood in North Bucks. Warm and sunny although still a chill in the wind. Green-veined Whites were out in abundance, together with a number of female Orange-tips. Another week of warm weather is needed to encourage the Wood Whites to appear in greater numbers."

~ 15th May 2018 ~

From Doug Helsby: "15-May-2018: Sightings at Pitstone Church End, Bucks today were Common Blue 2 (two other observers confirm), Small Blue 10+, Large White 2, Small White 1, Grizzled Skipper 5, Dingy Skipper 3, Peacock 1, Orange-tip 1, Small Heath 4, Green Hairstreak 3, Speckled Wood 1."

From Prem Roy: "15-May-2018: Sightings from North Buckinghamshire today. From Hillesden to Kingsbridge, then Steeple Claydon and back to Hillesden. Warm, 18 degrees and sunny. The most interesting species spotted was a single Dingy Skipper at SP694288 along the gravel track leading westwards from Hillesden to Kingsbridge, this is the first Dingy Skipper that I have seen in the Buckingham area. The long warm west facing track provided an area for the butterfly to sunbathe. I am not sure if the habitat is quite right for a colony, I will try to go again. Plenty of other butterflies, all the whites were out, good numbers of male and female Orange-tips, male and female Brimstones which are still courting (eggs and young caterpillars on Buckthorn at home in Lenborough), a few Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, a Comma, three Holly Blues and a few Speckled Woods."

From Paul Busby: "15-May-2018: Some further sightings from Fairford Leys, Aylesbury, Bucks (SP8112) on a river clean-up session, seeing a Holly Blue and a Large White today."

From David Webb: "15-May-2018: Nice sunny day today at Crookham Common, West Berkshire (SU524645). I spotted 25+ common Blues, quite an impresive sight, plus Green-veined, Large and Small whites, 4 Orange-tips and 4 Holly Blues."

From Mark Griffiths: "15-May-2018: At Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon today we saw 15-20 Brown Argus (I assume they were, small and dark and chasing each other), 2 Common Blues, 2 Small Coppers, about 10 Dingy Skippers, and 6 Green Hairstreaks. Also 6 Brimstones, 4 Large Whites and one tatty Small Tortoiseshell. "

From David Hastings: "15-May-2018: I visited Lardon Chase, Berks this morning, but there wasn't much about. One Green Hairstreak, two Common Blues, one Small Blue and two Small Heaths were the only sightings of note. "

~ 14th May 2018 ~

From Neil Holman: "14-May-2018: An early afternoon trip to Pitstone Church End, Bucks today proved very successful. A leisurely walk around the site in bright sunshine produced 9 x Dingy Skipper, 3 x Grizzled Skipper, 4 x Brimstone, 3 x Orange-tip, 1 x Holly Blue, 2 x Green Hairstreaks, 30+ x Small Blue, 1 x Small Heath and 1 x Common Blue. The last two were spotted at grid ref SP943145. "

~ 13th May 2018 ~

From Kevin Booden: "13-May-2018: I went for a walk today at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks. 5 Duke of Burgundy, 6 Dingy Skipper, 5 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Small Heath, 6 Green Hairstreak and my first Brown Argus of the year seen at Incombe Hole. "

From Clive Burrows: "13-May-2018: The following were recorded during a two-hour walk around Ivinghoe Beacon on Sunday afternoon today. I recorded my best tally for a number of years at this site for Duke of Burgundy, with a count of 33. Also a single Small Blue, which I haven't seen here for a number of years. 20 Dingy Skippers and 3 Green Hairstreaks were also noted. "

From Paul Busby: "13-May-2018: Late afternoon walk today along a stream near Fairford Leys, Aylesbury, Bucks (SP8112) and saw 2 male Brimstones and a number of whites including a male Orange-tip, a Small White and a Green-veined White."

From Sue Taylor: "13-May-2018: I unexpectedly was able to get out this afternoon and decided I wanted to see Small Blue and Dingy Skipper, so I went off to Pitstone Quarry, Bucks (SP941148) between 2.30 and 4.30pm. I saw a huge amount including at least 43 Small Blue (including 5 mating pairs), at least 48 Dingy Skipper, 12 Grizzled skipper (including a mating pair) and 4 Green Hairstreak. Also on the moth front a Mother Shipton, at least 6 Cinnabars, a Small Yellow Underwing and a few Pyrausta."

From Martin Kincaid: "13-May-2018: Helen and myself made a visit to our two favourite BBOWT reserves today to see what was about. It was rather overcast when we arrived at College Lake, Bucks but a walk along the 'Time Trail' was eventually rewarded. We saw 8 Green Hairstreak, 3 Dingy Skipper, 2 Green-veined Whites and singletons of Brimstone, Orange Tip and Speckled Wood. However, we were most happy with a tiny, perfect male Small Blue (which was in fact our first butterfly). It looked as though it had just emerged and was easily tempted to walk on my finger. We then went on to Dancersend, Bucks and when we arrived the sky had gone rather dark. We made for the Anthill area where no butterflies were flying. However, we sat patiently for the best part of an hour and when the sun eventually broke through we were delighted to see our first Duke of Burgundy of the year, together with Orange Tip (2), Brimstone (2) and Green Hairstreak (1). We also noted a Green Carpet moth and numerous Pyrausta aurata."

From Karen Saxl: "13-May-2018: Just back from a quick recce of the local butterfly population along the Sustrans Route from Didcot to Upton, and around West Hagbourne. Rewarded with my first Orange-tip larva of the year - plenty of eggs and a few adults around as well. Also, Green-veined, Large and Small Whites and a Comma. Several Holly Blues but the highlight was my first Small Blue, resplendent in charcoal upper wing. Glad I got to see the Small Blue as I had predicted from the state of the local kidney vetch that my first sighting was likely to be this weekend."

From Charlie Jackson: "13-May-2018: There were 3 Small Blues out at Pitstone, Bucks (Church End) at 10.30 this morning. I revisited the site later in the morning when it was a bit warmer, and I counted 6 Small Blues, 10 Dingy Skippers and 3 Grizzled Skippers."

~ 10th May 2018 ~

From James Ford: "10-May-2018: A rather windy day at Buttlers Hangings, Buks today, but still produced 2 Grizzled Skippers, 4 Dingy Skippers, 3 Green Hairstreaks and 2 Small Heaths. Hoping the numbers increase in the forthcoming weeks."

From John Holdbrook: "10-May-2018: I went to the Beacon Hill side of Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon today. While I was there it was rather windy and there were a lot of cloudy periods so I saw fewer species than expected. I did see several Whites, 2 Orange-tips, 2 Brimstones and a Common Carpet moth. Eventually,in the grassy area near the Ridgeway I saw 2 Grizzled Skippers."

From Tom Dunbar: "10-May-2018: I have been looking at the Duke of Burgundy emergence at landscape level this week. First sightings at Smalldean Lane on 6th, with total of 9 adults. Terrific habitat management! Just 3 Dukes on short Ivinghoe visit on 7th. Thirteen Dukes on return to Ivinghoe the following day – comprehensive search. Whipsnade Downs (Beds) late on 9th recorded 16 Dukes. Totternhoe Quarry (Beds) today produced 18, including a mating pair (and a Small Heath). Building nicely!"

~ 9th May 2018 ~

From Stephen Jones: "09-May-2018: Between the west side of Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks and the NT carpark, from about 11.00-12.45 today, I saw 6 Dukes, 3 Green Hairstreaks, 5 Green-veined Whites at rest, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Dingy Skipper, 1 male Orange Tip and 1 Speckled Wood. There were numerous whites but I cannot distinguish one from another while they are on the wing, and there were numerous Brimstones - I stopped counting at 15."

~ 7th May 2018 ~

From Steve Johnson: "07-May-2018: Seen at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon today 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Brimstone, 8 Green Hairstreak."

From John Barnes: "07-May-2018: Seen at Rushbed Woods, Bucks (SP667156) 1 x Orange-tip, 1 x Speckled Wood and numerous white species flying too fast and never landing long enough to identify."

From Francis Gomme: "07-May-2018: Seen at Grangelands, Bucks (SP826045) today were Grizzled Skippers (5), Dingy Skippers (10+) and Green Hairstreaks (4)."

From Dominic Mackenzie: "07-May-2018: A stunning day at The Holies, Berks. Saw my first Green Hairstreaks (3), Dingy Skippers (14) and Grizzled Skippers (12) of the year together with Brimstone (8), Large White (2), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Orange-tip (6) and a single Mother Shipton moth."

From Jean-Paul Brouard: "07-May-2018: Spent the day at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (SU542833). I saw Grizzled Skipper (17+), Dingy Skipper (8), Orange Tip (7+), Large White (1), Small White (3+), Green-veined White (a few), Brimstone (10+), Peacock (5), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Comma (1), Small Copper (5), Green Hairstreak (16) and Holly Blue (1)."

From Nicholl Williams : "07-May-2018: I went out to a field on the road from Marlow to Lane End, Bucks opposite Widmere Lane. I saw a Green Hairstreak, a Brimstone, a Red Admiral, 3 Orange-tips, a Holly Blue, a couple of Large Whites."

From Charlie Jackson : "07-May-2018: Pitstone Church End, Bucks is starting to come to life. After drawing a blank yesterday I found 5 Grizzled Skippers, 3 Dingy Skippers and 3 Green Hairstreaks this afternoon. On the South West slope of Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks I saw a single Duke of Burgundy, 1 Dingy Skipper and 2 Grizzled Skippers. "

From Sue Taylor : "07-May-2018: I was on site at Bradenham, Bucks most of the day, wow it was hot!
At Smalldean Bank (11.15 to 12.30 approx.) I saw 7 Dukes. Steve Jones was there slightly earlier than me saw between 4 and 6. Another volunteer Kate Davis saw 3 today. The ones I saw were mainly towards the top half of the bank none seen low down, more were seen closer to the farm end but one was right at the far end. One Grizzled Skipper near the car park entrance. One Green Hairstreak at the far end of the site.
At Park Wood Reserve (2.30 to 3.30pm) Dukes just 2 but seen together at the top of the bank, Bradenham end of the field. 3 Green Hairstreak."

From Peter Cuss : "07-May-2018: I saw 2 Greeen Hairstreak today at Cavesham Lakes, Oxon (SU740754). "

~ 6th May 2018 ~

From Paul Bowyer : "06-May-2018: Eight members met at Homefield Wood, Bucks on a glorious spring morning for the first field event of the year. Orange Tips and Green-veined Whites were the most frequently seen species. Multiples of Brimstone, Holly Blue, Peacock and Speckled Wood were noted. Single specimens of Small White, Green Hairstreak and Green Carpet were foundI Thanks go to Harry Mathews for spotting Comma and Grizzled Skipper from his private list. An enjoyable outing but it was felt the season had some catching up to do."

From Clive Burrows : "06-May-2018: The following butterfly sightings this morning at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks : 25 Green Hairstreak, 1 Grizzled Skipper and 8 Duke of Burgundy, including 2 aberrations. "

From Charlie Jackson : "06-May-2018: I found my first Dingy Skipper this morning in Incombe Hole, Bucks. Plenty of Grizzled Skippers and good numbers of Green Hairstreaks. 3 Dukes still present. "

From Peter Cuss : "06-May-2018: I took another trip to Wytham Woods, Oxon (SP456081) today. Very pleased to see 20+ Green Hairstreak."

From Margaret Bolton : "06-May-2018: I saw this Dingy Skipper at Sands Bank LNR, Bucks (SU834934) today."

From Michael Pitt-Payne : "06-May-2018: I visited St John's Churchyard in Stone, Bucks (SP748210) and recorded the following species at around 1.00pm today - Brimstone (1 male & 1 female), Green-veined White (4), Orange-tip (4 male), Holly Blue (5), Speckled Wood (2)."

~ 5th May 2018 ~

From Jean-Paul Brouard : "05-May-2018: Today I went for a morning walk to the Holies, Streatley (SU593798). Butterflies seen were Dingy Skipper (2), Green Hairstreak (4), Small Copper (1), Brimstone (4), Green-veined White (1), Orange Tip (2) and Speckled Wood (1)."

From Sue Taylor: "05-May-2018: A walk after lunch around Incombe Hole, Bucks and Steps Hill, Bucks on the Ivinghoe complex netted 2 Duke of Burgundy, 13 Grizzled Skippers (incl. one mating pair), 4 Peacocks, numerous Orange-tips and Brimstones, but possibly my favourite moment was when a Green Hairstreak decided to land on me. Elsewhere I saw Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White and Holly Blue. Eleven species, now we are getting there!"

From Charlie Jackson: "05-May-2018: I spent a couple of hours in Incombe Hole, Bucks this morning accompanied by Kevin Booden. We counted at least 15 Grizzled Skippers and 3 Duke of Burgundy. We also saw 4 Speckled Woods, several Green-veined Whites and good numbers of Green Hairstreaks. Brimstones were everywhere. I found a single Grizzled Skipper at Pitstone, Bucks (Church end) this morning."

From Charlie Jackson: "05-May-2018: I found a single Grizzled Skipper at Pitstone, Bucks (Church end) this morning."

From Stephen Jones: "05-May-2018: Today I saw my first Duke of Burgundy this year at Bradenham, Bucks (SU820988). It was at about 11.30 am. and in warm sunshine. But it was just the one - I searched the area for another 45 mins and didn’t see any others. I expect this sudden warm weather will bring out plenty more."

From Pat Clissold: "04-May-2018: I watched an Orange-tip egg being laid on Cuckooflower at 1.07pm today at Gavray Meadows, Oxon (SP597221)."

~ 1st May 2018 ~

From David Hastings: "01-May-2018: I visited Otmoor, Oxon this morning. Butterflies took a little while to get going, but eventually I saw about a dozen Green-veined Whites (including a mating pair), around seven Orange-tips (inc. one female), five Speckled Woods (inc. one female), and four Peacocks."

From Harry Appleyard: "01-May-2018: Saw my first Painted Lady of this year, on a recently-dried field near the Shakespeare Park building site in Kingsmead, Milton Keynes, Bucks. It was basking on the ground near one of the fences. Managed to get a single record shot before it flew towards the middle."

~ 27th April 2018 ~

From Christopher Brown: "19-Apr-2018: At Crowsley Wood, Sonning Common, Oxon (SU735795) Brimstone (2 male, 1 female), Orange-tip (2 male, 1 female), Peacock (3), Comma (1).
21-Apr-2018: At Millennium Green, Sonning Common, Oxon (SU713794) Brimstone (1 female), Holly Blue (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1)."

From Sue Taylor: "26-Apr-2018: At College Lake, Bucks today, sun and cloud and quite windy, but I still managed to see my first Green Hairstreak, Speckled Wood and 2 Green-Veined Whites of the season, plus Orange tip male and female."

From David Hastings: "26-Apr-2018: A couple of hours spent in Bagley Wood, Oxon (SP513015) today produced six male Orange-tips, one Large White, at least five male Green-veined Whites, one Peacock, four male Speckled Woods and three male Holly Blues."

From Dominic Mackenzie: "25-Apr-2018: A short walk through Edmund's Green in Bracknell, Berks today saw my first Spring butterflies: 4 Speckled Wood, 2 Holly Blue and a single Orange-tip."

~ 24th April 2018 ~

From David Webb: "22-Apr-2018: I was pleasantly surprised to see a Painted Lady come into my garden in Crookham Common, Berks (SU524645) today, and bask in front of me on the stone path. Other butterflies seen were Holly Blue, 5 Orange-tips, 6 Large Whites, 1 Small White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 male Brimstones. "

~ 23rd April 2018 ~

From Charlie Jackson: "21-Apr-2018: At Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks today there was a single Green Hairstreak and a Holly Blue. There was also a Green Hairstreak in Pitstone Churchyard, Bucks.
22-Apr-2018: At Ivinghoe Beacon today were were 2 Green Hairstreaks and 2 Holly Blues, as well as a Large White, a Peacock and several Brimstones."

~ 22nd April 2018 ~

From David Hastings: "22-Apr-2018: Seen at Standlake Common, Oxon this morning were at least eleven Brimstones, three Orange-tips, two Green-veined Whites, two Speckled Woods, one Small Tortoiseshell, one Peacock and two Holly Blues."

From Wendy Wilson: "22-Apr-2018: Orange-tips were out in force among the Cuckooflowers in Denham Country Park, Bucks (TQ049863) today. I saw at least 5 females laying eggs and 13 males zooming round chasing away 3 Green-veined Whites which were also trying to get at the flowers. Other species there and by the nearby railway line in Denham were 2 Small White, 3 Brimstone, 4 Holly Blue, 3 Peacock, 1 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 3 Speckled Wood. Back home in Chalfont St Peter a Brimstone was ovipositing on my buckthorn."

From Miles Attenborough: "22-Apr-2018: I visited Incombe Hole, Bucks this morning and saw 4 Green Hairstreaks (three of which gave me nice photos), three Peacocks, 1 Comma and around 10 Brimstones. No sign of Dingy or Grizzled Skippers. Three of the hairstreaks were on the south-facing side of trees in a sheltered spot at the base of the steep climb out at the northern end (Grid ref SP959156)."

From Michael Hunt: "22-Apr-2018: Here in Buckingham, Bucks this morning my first Holly Blue for this spring."

From Peter Cuss: "22-Apr-2018: Went to Wytham Woods, Oxon (SP457082) today and can report Green Hairstreak, Orange-tip, Peacock, Brimstone, Comma, Speckled wood and White-letter Hairstreak (larva)."

From Michael Hunt: "21-Apr-2018: A single Speckled Wood (my first this spring) seen along Buckingham Railway Walk, Buckingham, Bucks (SP693334) today."

From David Gantzel: "21-Apr-2018: A Holly Blue in the garden in Hazlemere, Bucks today."

From David Hastings: "21-Apr-2018: A trip today to Aston Rowant NNR (north side) this morning produced at least eleven Brimstones, two Green Hairstreaks, one Small Tortoiseshell and one Comma."

From John Holdbrook: "20-Apr-2018: This afternoon along the cycle track from Littlemore roundabout by the Oxford ring road, I saw up to 10 Orange-tips (including a mating pair), 2 Peacocks, 2 Holly Blues, a Speckled Wood and a number of Whites which didn’t settle so I couldn’t identify them."

~ 20th April 2018 ~

From Michael Hunt: "20-Apr-2018: 4 Brimstones, 1 Peacock, 2 Orange-tips, 1 Large White seen at Padbury Wood, Bucks (SP719302) today."

From David Gantzel: "18-Apr-2018: Male Brimstones and male and female Orange-tips seen in Hazlemere, Bucks.
19-Apr-2018: Male Orange-tip and Peacock seen in Hazlemere, Bucks."

From Kevin Booden: "19-Apr-2018: I visited Ivinghoe, Bucks (SP959163) looking for spring butterflies today, saw 4 Brimstone, 5 Small White, 2 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral, and my first Green Hairstreak of the season."

From Neil Holman: "19-Apr-2018: A trip today to Incombe Hole, Ivinghoe, Bucks proved very rewarding, after a very slow start. Numerous Brimstones were flying in the bright sunshine and also spotted were 3 Peacocks and a singe Red Admiral. However, just before midday my luck turned and at the Steps Hill end of the hole I was lucky enough to see and photograph 3 Green Hairstreaks."

~ 19th April 2018 ~

From David Hastings: "19-Apr-2018: A couple of hours at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (SU550844) this morning produced at least twenty-five Brimstones (10 males, 15 females), two Peacocks, four Small Tortoiseshells, two Commas and a male Green-veined White."

From John Rust: "19-Apr-2018: Saw our first Holly Blues & lone Orange-tip, one week earlier than last year, in Benson, Oxon today."

From David Webb: "19-Apr-2018: Butterflies seen today at Crookham Common, Berks (SU523645) were 2 male Brimstone, 1 female Brimstone, 1 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Holly Blue, 3 Large White, 1 Small White and 1 male Orange-tip."

From Michael Pitt-Payne: "19-Apr-2018: I saw the following around 11am today in Stone churchyard, Bucks (SP748210): One Small Tortoiseshell, one male Orange Tip, and one Female Brimstone."

From Martin Kincaid: "18-Apr-2018: Gordon Redford and myself spent a couple of hours in Shenley Wood, Milton Keynes, Bucks (SP 824357) this afternoon looking for Light Orange Underwing moth. We saw a few likely candidates flying high around aspens but no close views. However, we were pleased to see our first Orange-tips (2) and Speckled Wood (1) of the year. Other species were Brimstone (8), Peacock (3) and Comma (2)."

~ 18th April 2018 ~

From David Webb: "18-Apr-2018: Seen today at Crookham Common, Berks (SU524645 ) in the sunshine were 2 male and one female Brimstones, 3 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 male Large Whites. "

From David Hastings: "18-Apr-2018: I spent an hour at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (SU467995) at lunchtime today, where I saw at least five male Orange-tips, nine male and two female Brimstones, five Peacocks, three Commas, two Small Whites and one male Large White. "

~ 17th April 2018 ~

From Marcus Rhodes: "17-Apr-2018: Seen around Silwood Park, Berks (SU944686) this lunchtime were 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Comma, 1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock & 1 Small Tortoiseshell. "

~ 14th April 2018 ~

From Michael Hunt: "14-Apr-2018: Seen at Hyde Lane Pit, Buckingham, Bucks today were 1 Comma, 1 Orange Tip, 1 Brimstone and 2 Small Tortoiseshell. And in our garden in Buckingham, Bucks 1 Large White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Brimstone."

From Karen Saxl: "14-Apr-2018: Good to have had a spring day. Walked the Chilswell valley, Oxon transect with Phil Penson today and had our first sightings for Green-veined White and Orange-tip (male). Also saw some Peacocks, several Small Tortoiseshells and Brimstones (both male and female). We also spotted a small Scarlet Tiger moth caterpillar whilst walking through the fen area. Earlier in the day I'd also seen a Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Brimstone around south Didcot, Oxon."

From David Webb: "14-Apr-2018: 2 male Brimstones and one male Large White seen at Crookham Common, Berks (SU5264) today."

From Paul Bowyer: "14-Apr-2018: Seen at Flackwell Heath Cricket Club, Bucks (SU897892) were Holly Blue, male Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell."

From Nigel Partridge: "14-Apr-2018: Whilst out in our garden today in Loosley Row, Bucks (SP817007) in the welcome sunshine I saw our first Holly Blue of the year feeding on Brunnera macrophylla."

~ 11th April 2018 ~

From Chris Brown: "05-Apr-2018: The first warm sunny dry spring day of the season at Crowsley Wood Sonning Common, Oxon (SU735795) produced 4 Brimstone (male), 2 Peacock, 6 Comma."

~ 9th April 2018 ~

From Peter Law: "06-Apr-2018: Whilst gardening in the sunshine today at King's Copse Park, Garsington, Oxon I witnessed two male Large Whites emerge from underneath my park home. Both flopped onto nearby blooms, then after a few minutes flew up and away. I thought this was early and having just checked the sightings log find this may be the year's first sighting. Last autumn there was a huge brood of Large White larvae on weeds just outside the boundary fence and as one panel was down many of these pupated on the walls of my home. All of those were eaten by birds but it seems some that concealed themselves effectively have survived to adulthood."

~ 8th April 2018 ~

From John Lindley: "06-Apr-2018: Sightings from Goring-on-Thames, Oxon today were one very small male Green-veined White, 10+ Brimstones including two females, one Peacock and one Small Tortoiseshell."

~ 7th April 2018 ~

From Dave Wilton: "06-Apr-2018: There was just enough hazy sunshine to walk my first butterfly transect of the year this afternoon in some private woodland near Grendon Underwood, Bucks. 25 individuals from three species (Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell & Comma) was just about as expected, although I was disappointed not to find a Peacock. Don't tell Nick Bowles, but I committed the cardinal sin of stopping the transect for ten minutes when I saw a pair of Commas chasing each other through some quite dense low-growing vegetation. The female then settled and after a very quick "antennae massage" from the male they paired up at the base of an ash sapling and were then very tolerant of me pulling numerous grass stems out of the way to get the picture below."

From Dave Cleal: "05-Apr-2018: 1 Peacock and 1 Tortoiseshell along the Roundmoor Ditch on Dorney Common, Bucks today."

From Mark Griffiths: "05-Apr-2018: After a few Brimstones earlier this year we had a male Brimstone, two Small Tortoiseshells (one in hot pursuit of the other), a Comma and a Peacock in our garden in Garsington, Oxon (SP580023) today."

From Trish Glenn: "05-Apr-2018: One Comma seen in Bernwood Forest, Bucks today."

~ 5th April 2018 ~

From David Hastings: "05-Apr-2018: Between midday and 1pm at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (SU467995) today I saw at least three Brimstones, two Commas and a Peacock."

From Colin Mather: "05-Apr-2018: A Brimstone in my garden in Sonning Common, Oxon this afternoon (SU708799)."

From Tom Dunbar: "05-Apr-2018: Rosaleen Dunbar had two garden sightings in Aylesbury, Bucks today, an active Small White seen twice and a resting Small Tortoiseshell on the lawn. I walked Gait Barrows and Arnside Knott at the same time and didn't see a thing!"

From Wayne Bull: "05-Apr-2018: Two Small White seen today along the cycle track between Heyford Hill and Rose Hill roundabouts on the Oxford ring road."

From George Warner: "05-Apr-2018: At least 2 male Brimstones in my garden in Upper Basildon, Berks, today; there seemed to be several about and they were later joined by my first Small White of the year."

From Michael Hunt: "05-Apr-2018: At last a Brimstone in our garden in Buckingham, Bucks in spring sunshine!"

From David Fuller: "05-Apr-2018: Seen in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) today were 2 Peacock, 2 Brimstone and 1 Comma."

From John Holdbrook: "05-Apr-2018: I walked along the cycle track by the Oxford ring road between Littlemore and Heyford Hill roundabouts this afternoon. After the recent poor weather I was very pleased to see up to 10 Brimstones, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Commas and 2 Small Whites."

From Abby Fettes: "05-Apr-2018: Spotted two Peacocks, a Small Tortoiseshell and a male and female Brimstone enjoying the sunshine in the garden in Witney, Oxon (SP 352100) this lunchtime."

From David Webb: "05-Apr-2018: A male Brimstone seen at Crookham Common, Berks (SU5264) today in the sunshine."

~ 31st March 2018 ~

From Marcus Rhodes: "26-Mar-2018: Two male Brimstones out around Silwood Park, Berks this afternoon (SU943691 & SU938694)."

~ 27th March 2018 ~

From John Ward-Smith: "26-Mar-2018: I had two garden sightings in Bracknell, Berks today, the first of the year. At lunchtime, a male Brimstone flew through. Then, mid-afternoon a Comma visited and stayed a while to soak up the sunshine."

From Dave Cleal: "26-Mar-2018: A Brimstone through our garden in north Burnham, Bucks today."

From David Gantzel: "26-Mar-2018: At last! A male Brimstone in my garden today in Hazlemere, Bucks. "

From Michael Hunt: "26-Mar-2018: Here in Buckingham, Bucks today in the sunshine were 4 Brimstones and 3 Small Tortoiseshells. "

From David Hastings: "26-Mar-2018: I saw at least three Brimstones and a Peacock in Horton-cum-Studley, Oxon (SP600122) this afternoon."

From Neil Manthorpe: "26-Mar-2018: My first butterfly of the year - flying fast across our garden in the Daws Hill area of High Wycombe, Bucks - a male Brimstone."

~ 25th March 2018 ~

From David Fuller: "25-Mar-2018: A male Brimstone today, went to roost on my greenhouse in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833)."

Michael Hunt sent this sighting: "25-Mar-2018: A Brimstone seen this afternoon in the "Heartland" area of Buckingham, Bucks. 13 °C at last!"

~ 21st March 2018 ~

Kathy Warden sent this sighting: "21-Mar-2018: One Brimstone seen in flight over ivy/scrub on the sunny, south-facing bank around the West Berks council Market Street offices car park in Newbury, Berks (SU471667) today."

Michael Hunt sent this sighting: "21-Mar-2018: One Small Tortoiseshell in the garden here in Buckingham, Bucks today."

Andy Hoskins sent this sighting: "21-Mar-2018: Today's warmth, 10°C, and sunshine brought this Small Tortoiseshell to my garden in Winslow, Bucks (SP774282)."

David Hastings sent this sighting: "21-Mar-2018: I saw a male Brimstone flying in north Abingdon, Oxon this morning (at about SU509989)."

~ 17th March 2018 ~

Andrew Clarence sent this sighting: "16-Mar-2018: One Comma and one fast-flying male Brimstone were seen in my garden at Whitchurch, Bucks today. Also, one of the hibernating Small Tortoiseshells has just woken up."

David Fuller sent these sightings:
"16-Mar-2018: A male Brimstone in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) again today".
"15-Mar-2018: Comma in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) again today".
"14-Mar-2018: A male Brimstone in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) today. Another one was seen in Cookham, Berks".
"13-Mar-2018: Comma and Peacock in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) today".

Paul Bowyer sent this sighting: "11-Mar-2018: This morning I saw a male Brimstone in our front garden at Flackwell Heath, Bucks (SU894897). The weather had been sunny and warm but clouds had come over. I doubt if we will see it again in the next few days."

Colin Mather sent this news: "10-Mar-2018: Walking just outside Sonning Common, Oxon today I saw what I think is a Peacock chrysalis."

~ 2nd March 2018 ~

Andrew Clarence sent this news: "02-Mar-2018: Nine Small Tortoiseshells hibernating in my spare room cupboard this year. Last year there were twelve, plus two Peacocks".

Small Tortoiseshells, 02-Mar-2018 (© Andrew Clarence)

~ 28th February 2018 ~

Andrew Waller sent this sighting: "16-Feb-2018: I saw a Red Admiral at the edge of woodland to the east of the North Orbital Road, Denham, Bucks (TQ042886) today."

~ 17th February 2018 ~

Tom Dunbar sent this news: "17-Feb-2018: A 90-minute Purple Hairstreak egg search this afternoon at Oakley Wood, Bucks was very productive. 10 eggs on one oak on left at first crossroads down from main car park (SP61225 11469) including one double. Great interest shown by other visitors.

Purple Hairstreak eggs, Bernwood, 17-Feb-2018 (© Tom Dunbar)

Colin Mather sent this news: "16-Feb-2018: Found today a dead Green-veined White in Henley-on-Thames, Oxon in good condition." [NB this doesn't count as a first sighting because the butterfly wasn't seen flying outdoors. David]

Paul Bowyer and Karen Roberts sent this sighting: "16-Feb-2018: We saw a Red Admiral in our back garden at Flackwell Heath, Bucks (SU894897) this morning and wondered if there were any nectar sources close by. We got the answer in the afternoon when we saw it in the front garden on winter flowering heather. It must have been with us for a few hours."

Jed Cleeter reported on oxonbirding.blogspot.co.uk that he saw a Comma at Fyfield Wick, Oxon on 16th February.

~ 15th February 2018 ~

Michael Hunt sent this sighting: "15-Feb-2018: One Small Tortoiseshell on pansies in our garden in Buckingham, Bucks today."

~ 4th February 2018 ~

Peter Cuss sent this news: "04-Feb-2018: Found my first 'new' colony of White-letter Hairstreak of 2018 in a successful egg hunt. The site is just off Muddy Lane, Whitchurch, Oxon (SU639775)."

David Fuller sent this news: "02-Feb-2018: A Peacock was seen by my partner at 11:10am today sunning itself on Lonicera on the towpath at Boulters Lock, Maidenhead, Berks (SU905828). Another Peacock is still hibernating in our conservatory."

Paul Lacey sent this sighting: "02-Feb-2018: I had an immaculate specimen of a Red Admiral flying in my garden on Woosehill in Wokingham, Berks at 1pm today. Quite a surprise, though at least one was in my shed last year over winter."

~ 1st February 2018 ~

Tony Rayner reports that he saw a Small Tortoiseshell in his garden in Cholsey, Oxon on 25th January.

Marcus Rhodes sent this sighting: "28-Jan-2018: Another Red Admiral seen flying at Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks (SU947688) this afternoon, despite rather overcast conditions."

~ 28th January 2018 ~

Tony Croft sent this sighting: "28-Jan-2018: During a work party in the sunshine at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (SP600150) today a Comma was seen flying briefly before settling on a rideside brash pile."

John Lindley sent this news: "28-Jan-2018: I saw a Male Brimstone, flying in the sunshine this morning on a footpath in Little Stoke, Oxon. Also of interest, a small area with several active Buff-tailed Bumblebees - there must have been a nest nearby."

Judy and Terry Wood sent this news: "23-Jan-2018: We were surprised to see a Red Admiral flying in the garden at Little Chalfont, Bucks as it was drizzling and breezy. We assume it had been disturbed from its slumbers but it looked like it disappeared into a large dense conifer so hopefully soon found some shelter."

~ 25th January 2018 ~

George Warner sent this sighting: "25-Jan-2018: I saw a pale Brimstone, presumably a female, fluttering about in the sunshine in my garden in Upper Basildon, Berks today. My first butterfly of the year."

John Shelton sent this sighting: "25-Jan-2018: A single Red Admiral flying in the sun in my garden in north Marlow, Bucks today."

~ 24th January 2018 ~

Colin Mather sent this sighting: "21-Jan-2018: My first sighting of a Red Admiral in west Maidenhead, Berks today, warming up in the sun."

~ 21st January 2018 ~

Dave Wilton sent this news: "The Brown Hairstreak egg-searching team passed another milestone on 14th January with the discovery by Steve Woolliams of two eggs on blackthorn in the recreation ground at Kennington, south of Oxford. This was our 400th kilometre square, the sixth new one of this winter and the most southerly record to date."

Brown Hairstreak tetrad map January 2018 (© Dave Wilton)

~ 11th January 2018 ~

Marcus Rhodes sent this sighting: "10-Jan-2018: A single Red Admiral out flying at Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks (SU945687) this afternoon."

Paul Chandler sent this sighting: "10-Jan-2018: A Red Admiral was seen at Cholsey, Oxon today (via cholseywildlife.blogspot.co.uk)."

~ 1st January 2018 ~

David Hastings sent this sighting: "01-Jan-2018: I had a walk in Bagley Wood, Oxon (SP510020) this afternoon, and was amazed to see a Red Admiral flying about. It landed in a sunny spot about 20ft up a fir tree and fully opened its wings. The air temperature was about 7°C at the time."