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Butterfly Sightings 2016 - BC Upper Thames Branch

First Sightings    Sightings Archive    NEW!  Submission Guidelines for Butterfly Reports

This page is for recent butterfly sightings in the BC Upper Thames Branch area, to show what's
on the wing now. Please also remember to send all your records to Jim Asher, UTB Records Officer.
The first reported sighting of each butterfly species is shown in red text.
Email your sightings

BUTTERFLY SPECIES RECORDED TO DATE – as at 27/05/16
23

Click photo for larger image

Click photo for larger image

Click photo for larger image

Green Hairstreak
Photo © David Hastings
Orange-tip
Photo © Mary Payne
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Richard Wheeler

Latest News &
Updates - 28th April
White-letter Hairstreak Project 2016
Peter Cuss, UTB White-letter Hairstreak Species Champion, has set up an exciting new project to try and protect the White-letter Hairstreak from further decline in the UTB region. Peter needs our help to monitor known colonies, search for new ones and plant elms resistant to dutch elm disease. Click here for more details about the project and to see how you can get involved ...

Next field events:
Saturday 28th May, Lardon Chase, Streatley, Berks - Targets: Adonis Blue and other Spring butterflies
and
Sunday 29th May, Pitstone Hill and Aldbury Nowers, Bucks - Targets: Spring butterflies

NEW! Submission Guidelines for Butterfly Reports

~ 27th May 2016 ~

Andy Bolton sent these sightings: "Seen on 26th May on the A34 N/bound embankment near Chieveley Services, Berks (grid ref SU478726) were Common Blue 6 (inc. 2 female), Green Hairstreak 2, Orange Tip 1."

This news was received from Judith Barnard: "6 Wood White and 2 Common Blue were noteworthy at Wicken Wood, Bucks today (27th May)."

Charles James sent this report: "A pilgrimage to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on 23rd May was rewarded with 4+ Duke of Burgundy males and female at SP960159 (National Trust volunteers had counted 8+), and 5+ at SP961171 (parking down by the cattle grid). Also Small Heath (3) and Grizzled Skipper (4)."

Duke Of Burgundy ♂
Photo © Charles James
Duke Of Burgundy ♂
Photo © Charles James

David Gantzel sent these sightings: "Holly Blue and Orange-tip in garden in Hazlemere, Bucks on 24th May. One Holly Blue in garden at Hawkslade, Aylesbury, Bucks on 24th May."

Phil & Frances Skinner sent this news: "We went to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on Sunday 22nd May, 12-3. Weather sunny intervals, light winds, up to 17 C. We saw Duke of Burgundy (6) at two spots along the lower western path. We also had pristine Brown Argus (2), several Green Hairstreaks close to the cattle grid (including 6 flying together), Grizzled Skippers (2), several Dingy Skippers, Small Heath (4), Orange Tips, many Brimstones, Common Blue (1) and Holly Blue (1)."

Brown Argus ♂
Photo © Phil Skinner
Duke Of Burgundy ♂
Photo © Phil Skinner

~ 25th May 2016 ~

Nicholl Williams sent this report: "Today (24th May) after work I went to Yeosden Bank, Bucks and saw a few butterflies: 2 Small Blues, 3 Common Blues, 5 Brimstones, 2 Orange-tips, 2 Peacocks and a couple of Dingy Skippers."

Brimstone ♂
Photo © Nicholl Williams
Small Blue
Photo © Nicholl Williams

These sightings came from David Fuller: "Seen in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks on 22nd May was a Painted Lady. A visit to the private site at Cookham, Berks on the 23rd produced Speckled Wood 5, Peacock 3, Orange Tip 3, Small White 1, Red Admiral 1 Green-veined White 3 and Holly Blue 3. In my garden on the 24th I saw Holly Blue 2, Orange Tip (male), Green-veined White 3 and Small White 1."

Ian Johnston sent this report: "A visit to the Blue Lagoon, Milton Keynes, Bucks this morning (24th May), yielded 3 x Small Blue (2M+1F), 1 x Grizzled Skipper, 2 x Common Blue (both female), 15 x Dingy Skipper, and 1 x male Orange-tip."

This report was sent by Mick Jones: "I checked Salden Railway Cutting, Bucks on May 20th in the hope that scrub clearance prior to work to reopen the line might be restoring the fortunes of butterflies on the site. No Grizzled Skipper yet, but saw Orange-tip (15), Green-veined White (4), Brimstone (2), Small Copper (2), Common Blue, Peacock and Speckled Wood."

Nick Board sent this news: "I took a trip to the private wood near Wicken, Bucks today (23rd May) to look for Wood Whites of which I only saw two. There appears to have been a large amount of "clearing" taking place along the rides in the area. I hope that their food plants have not been destroyed in the process and that the Purple Emperors will appear later this year."

Orange-tip ♂ & ♀
Photo © Nick Board

Gerry Kendall sent this report about the field trip at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on 22nd May: "Eight enthusiasts attended the field meeting. We succeeded in finding our main targets, Dingy and Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak. However, Small Blue was elusive, with only one possible sighting. Nevertheless, a total of 14 species was very reasonable. These were: Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Orange Tip, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Small Heath."

Nick Bowles sent this report about the field trip at Pitstone, Bucks on 21st May: "4 members turned out to walk around the disused quarry by Pitstone Church. Early rain had given way to thick clouds, scuttling past in a strong wind. None the less we set out to see if we could find any roosting butterflies. After the first 25 minutes we were beginning to think we would draw a blank. However, we started to find small groups of Small Blues wherever the bushes and longer turf gave shelter. By the end of a walk of just over an hour and a quarter we had seen well over 50 Small Blues, almost all motionless but latterly one actually flying and a few basking with wings apart. The only other Lepidoptera was a Mint moth, or Pyrausta aurata."

Neil Holman sent this report: "With a positive weather forecast we decided today, Monday 23rd May, to venture south to Yoesden Bank, Radnage, Bucks and were handsomely rewarded. In bright sunshine the bank looked stunning when viewed from the treeline at the top of the site and although there were not too many butterflies on view we did manage to spot the following: 4 x Dingy Skipper, 4 x Brimstone, 4 x Large White, 3 x Common Blue, 1 x Peacock, 4 x Small Heath and 4 x Adonis Blue."

Adonis Blue ♂
Photo © Neil Holman

~ 23rd May 2016 ~

David Hastings visited Lardon Chase, Berks on 22nd May: "Species seen were Dingy Skipper (2), Brimstone (3), Orange-tip (1), Large White (1), Common Blue (7 males, 2 females), and at least seven Small Blues (6+ males, 1 female)."

Small Blue ♂
Photo © David Hastings
Common Blue ♀
Photo © David Hastings

Tim & Colleen Watts reported the following: "On 22nd May myself and Colleen went to the largest wood near Leckhampstead, Bucks following up Neil Holman's report of Wood White. We haven't looked for one for about 10 years! We weren't sure if we were in the right wood as there are quite a few in this area, walking the central ride we spotted a flimsy 'white' fluttering just above path level ahead of us, luckily we saw where it landed and got excellent views of a Wood White. It was collecting nutrients from a flattened patch of Horse dung. Colleen took these photos then it flew and perched on grass then Sallow. Then lost it in the bushes and not seen again despite hanging around waiting at the same area on return walk."

Wood White
Photo © Colleen Watts
Wood White
Photo © Colleen Watts

Harry Appleyard sent this news: "While visiting Howe Park Wood, Milton Keynes, Bucks this afternoon (22nd May), I paid a visit to spot where I saw two Dingy Skippers last week (SP 83220 34612). It wasn't long until I found not only two, possibly three Dingy Skippers but also my first Brown Argus of the year, along with a lone male Common Blue and a Holly Blue. A little later on I found another Brown Argus feeding on daisies just outside Water Spinney (SP 83171 33402), a small area of woodland not far from Howe Park. "

Brown Argus
Photo © Harry Appleyard
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Harry Appleyard
Holly Blue
Photo © Harry Appleyard

This news was received from Michael & Diane Hunt: "Noted while nest box checking at Calvert Jubilee reserve, Bucks on 22nd May were Dingy Skipper 1, Grizzled Skipper 2, Common Blue 6"

Jan Haseler sent this news: "I spotted an Adonis Blue at The Holies, Streatley, Berks (SU594798) on Saturday 21st May, roosting on a flower head of Salad Burnet in the wind and rain."

This was sent by Frances Skinner: "I visited Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on an overcast day (20th May) and saw 2 x Grizzled Skipper, Orange-tips, Brimstones and 1 x Red Admiral."

Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Frances Skinner

~ 20th May 2016 ~

Tim Watts reported the following: "On 17th May I visited Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks to try and see my first ever Duke of Burgundy, after traversing Eastern side with no joy tried a lower path on Western side, was about to give up when spotted one, it was smaller than I'd expected and resting on a Hawthorn bush. Then found a sheltered spot and 4 seen here, including 3 battling together, they regularly rested on ground and low in bushes giving superb views. Also seen were 2 Green Hairstreak, 2 Small Heath and many Dingy Skipper."

Duke Of Burgundy
Photo © Tim Watts

Dave Miller sent this news: "I visited Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon, on 15th May for the first time this year. I saw six or seven Green Hairstreaks along the bottom of the slope in the shelter, plus a few Dingy Skippers, Orange Tips, Brimstones and a single Common Blue."

This news was received from Martin Wainwright: "I was interested to see a Red Admiral in the woods at Hughenden Manor, Bucks yesterday (May 17th). We have had Brimstone, Small White, Orange-tip, Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Holly Blue in good numbers every sunny day in the last fortnight at Thrupp, Kidlington, Oxon, plus more modest numbers of Speckled Woods."

Harry Appleyard sent this news: "I found two Dingy Skippers and a Small Copper during the early afternoon today (16th May) in a meadow at the north west region of Howe Park Wood, Milton Keynes, Bucks (SP834344). I've seen Dingy Skippers in Milton Keynes a few times before but never at Howe Park Wood, so they were a very nice surprise."

David Fuller sent this report: "Seen in garden in Maidenhead, Berks on 9th May: Painted Lady 1, Orange-tip 2, Holly Blue 2, Peacock 2 and Small White 1. On May 15th: Speckled Wood 1 (my first in the garden), Holly Blue (male and female), Small White 1, Green-veined White 1 and Orange-tip 2. On May 16th: Brimstone, Holly Blue (male and female), Orange-tip (male and female), Green-veined White and Small White."

~ 16th May 2016 ~

Andy Bolton sent this news: "I saw the following at Paices Wood Country Park, Aldermaston, Berks on 13th May (grid ref SU587637): Orange Tip 2, Green-veined White 3, Brimstone 1, Red Admiral 1, Green Hairstreak 1, Peacock 1."

John Lindley sent this observation: "Holly Blues are clearly having a good 2016 - I've seen about 20 today (16th May) in various gardens in Goring (Oxon), Streatley (Berks) and South Stoke (Oxon). Several seemed to be strongly attracted to my mower - I spotted three settled around the petrol filler cap at one garden. I've never seen this behaviour before with this species."

This report came from David Ferguson: "A visit to Springfield Farm Landfill near Beaconsfield, Bucks on 15th May produced 1 Painted Lady, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacocks, 7 Orange tips, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Common Blues, 1 Holly Blue and 2 Small Coppers."

John Lindley sent this report: "I took a walk up Juniper Valley at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon today (15th May) - 10 species but all in low numbers. 3 Grizzled Skippers, 2 Brimstones (1 Male, 1 Female), 1 male Orange Tip, 1 Small White, 1 Green Veined White, 1 Small Copper (very small so probably a male), 1 Green Hairstreak, 1 Comma, 2 Peacock, and 2 Small tortoiseshell (both very tatty). The Green Hairstreak was on what I think must be a favoured spot - the same Elder bush that I've seen them on many times over the years. It was in feisty mood, chasing away flies and bees before returning to the same spot each time."

Neil Holman sent this news: "A quick trip late morning on Sunday 15th May, in bright sunshine, to the main ride that separates Wicken and Leckhampsted Woods in North Bucks produced the following sightings: 2 x Small White, 1 x Large White, 4 x Green veined White, 6 x Orange-tip, 1 x Holly Blue, 2 x Peacock, 6 x Speckled Wood and surprisingly 2 x Wood White. "

Wood White
Photo © Neil Holman

~ 14th May 2016 ~

Nils Beaven sent this report: "I went for an evening visit (5.45-6.30pm) with my brother Lars, to the Homefield Wood meadow, Bucks and saw a couple of Dingy Skippers taking in the last evening sun. I was surprised to see a fresh Grizzled Skipper female appear to do the same. I think it was too late in the day for the Green Hairstreaks. However just as we were about to leave I saw my first Common Blue of the season which had perched itself ready for, I imagine, it’s first roost."

Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Nils Beaven
Dingy Skipper
Photo © Nils Beaven
Common Blue
Photo © Nils Beaven

Robin Carr reports on the UTB Field Trip to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on 14th May: "Ten people turned up on a cold windy morning which steadily improved. We recorded the following species: Duke of Burgundy 9, Dingy Skipper 15, Grizzled Skipper 4, Orange Tip 3, Speckled Wood 3, Holly Blue 3, Green Hairstreak 1, Brimstone 1, Peacock 1, Green-veined White 1, Small White 1, Large White 1 and Small Heath 1."

This report came from Charlie Jackson: "Despite a cold wind there was plenty of sun today, 14th May, so I made a mid-morning visit to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks. In sheltered spots a found 5 Dukes of Burgundy, a Holly Blue and a single Green Hairstreak as well as plenty of Dingy Skippers. I also found a Small Heath, my first of the year. At Pitstone Church End, Bucks I came across a single Common Blue and several Dingy Skippers. Small Blue numbers have risen dramatically since last weekend - I counted 38 including 14 on one clump of Wild Clematis. No Green Hairstreaks there unusually, numbers being quite low this year."

Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Charlie Jackson
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Charlie Jackson
Small Blue
Photo © Charlie Jackson

Richard Wheeler reported the following: "While bicycling with my children in Spiceball Park in the centre of Banbury, Oxon this afternoon (14/05/16, intermittent sun, c.13°C), we saw: 1 Red Admiral, 1 Orange Tip, 1 Large White, 1 Green-veined White and 3 Holly Blue."

Orange-tip egg
Photo © Richard Wheeler
Large White
Photo © Richard Wheeler

~ 13th May 2016 ~

Neil Holman sent this sightings report: "A quick trip to Calvert Jubilee Reserve, Bucks today, Friday 13th May in bright but windy conditions proved surprisingly rewarding. I spotted 4 x Green Hairsrteak, 12 x Dingy Skipper, 5 x Grizzled Skipper, 1 x Small Copper and 1 x Common Blue."

Dingy Skippers
Photo © Neil Holman
Common Blue
Photo © Neil Holman

Malcolm & Valerie Brownsword reported as follows: "On our second transect of the year at Hartslock, Oxon. this afternoon, 13th May, we were fortunate to see our first Common Blues (later than average, I would say) and also our first Small Heaths. Our complete list was 19 Dingy Skippers, 8 Brimstones, 2 Orange Tips, 2 Green Hairsteaks, 3 Common Blues, a Red Admiral and 16 Small Heaths. In addition we saw 2 Mother Shipton Moths."

Mother Shipton Moth
Photo © Malcolm Brownsword

Judith Barnard sent the following: "May 12th: Spotted Orange-tip eggs at Howe Park Wood in Milton Keynes, Bucks along with Speckled Woods."

Orange-tip egg
Photo © Judith Barnard
Speckled Wood
Photo © Judith Barnard

Dennis Dell sent this report: "12th May - slopes below Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks. Mixed cloud and sun; 21 degrees, stiff breeze, 13.35 to 15.35. Duke of Burgundy, 10, all males, widely distributed. Orange Tip 7; Brimstone 16; Green-veined White 4; Holly Blue 4; Dingy Skipper 12; Speckled Wood 1; Peacock 5; Grizzled Skipper 2; Small Heath 1.
May 13th - Pitstone Quarry, Bucks. 14.30 to 15.30. 14-15 degrees, north wind, only partly sunny. Non- ideal conditions. Small Blue, 31, nearly all seen on the steep chalk face at the north end of the quarry, where the foodplant [kidney vetch] is common; Dingy Skipper 14; Small Heath, 1; Common Blue, 2; Large White, 1."

Small Blue
Photo © Dennis Dell
Small Blue
Photo © Dennis Dell
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Dennis Dell

Mick & Wendy Campbell visited BBOWT's beautiful Warren Bank Reserve near Wallingford, Oxon on 12th May. "Sunny, but a cool wind was blowing, however, once on the reserve we found plenty of warm corners and recorded the following: 1 Peacock, 12 Dingy Skipper, 1 Green Hairstreak, 3 Small Heath, 5 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Brimstone, 2 Common Blue, 1 Brown Argus, 1 Orange-tip and 1 Holly Blue. Other species seen on the way to the reserve were: 1 Green-veined White, 2 Small White, 1 Large White and 2 Red Admiral."

James Ford sent the following: "Butterfly transect walked at Buttlers Hangings, Nr West Wycombe, Bucks on 12th May - nice warm day, a little windy, the following butterflies were recorded: 47 Dingy Skippers, 2 Grizzled Skippers – hard to come by until one landed on my shoe - 28 Brimstones, 3 Holly Blue, 7 Green Hairstreaks and an Orange Tip. A walk on the 6th May offered up 3 Dingy skippers and 14 Green Hairstreaks – so an influx in Dingies over the warm period."

Grizzled Skipper
Photo © James Ford

Chris Carter sent the following: "We have been following the fortunes of this male Large White since he pupated on the outside of our conservatory at Alvescot, west Oxfordshire, last autumn having evaded my defence of our sprouting broccoli. He emerged yesterday (11th May) but did not fly until this morning. Two of his compatriots are still to emerge, one having lost the silk girdle and so hanging like a Tortoiseshell; a fourth evidently came to grief leaving a cluster of yellow parasite cocoons."

Large White
Photo © Chris Carter

~ 9th May 2016 ~

David Gower sent these sightings: "8th May: After visiting Aldbury Nowers I headed to Incombe Hole, Bucks seeing 1 x Brimstone, 1 x Burnet Companion Moth on the way. At Incombe I recorded 6 x Brimstone (4 male), 5 x Orange Tip (4 male), 8 x Dingy Skipper, 1 x Grizzled Skipper. I headed to Ivinghoe Beacon and on the way noticed 1 x Holly Blue, 3 x Peacock, 8 x Orange Tip (5 male), 4 Brimstone (males), 5 x Dingy Skippers, 1 x Small Tortoiseshell. Lastly at Ivinghoe Beacon there was no sign of Dukes of Burgundy, but I did see 9 x Brimstone (7 males), 3 x Peacock, 9 x Dingy Skippers, 3 x Holly Blues, 3 x Orange Tip (males) and 1 x Speckled Wood."

Ben Pateman sent this report: "A single Small Heath at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks at the widening of the path, about 200 yards along the hedge-lined path that begins just above the road that enters the beacon - where Dukes of Burgundy, Grizzled and Dingy Skippers and Green Hairstreaks are generally seen and were seen and photographed this morning (Sunday 8 May). Unfortunately, I couldn't photograph the Small Heath, but saw both the topside (in slow 'winking' flight) and the underside for a couple of seconds."

The following came from Andy Hoskins: "I visited the lower path below Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks today, 8th May, between 11.45 13.00, in hot sunny conditions. I saw 2 Dukes of Burgundy battling for territory, plus 3 Holly Blue, 1 Orange Tip, 1 Dingy Skipper, 2 Grizzled Skipper and 4 Brimstone. Back at home in Winslow, Bucks I found a Scarlet Tiger moth caterpillar on a cotoneaster bush by my front door."

Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Andy Hoskins
Scarlet Tiger Moth caterpillar
Photo © Andy Hoskins

Wendy & Mick Campbell visited BBOWT's Watts Bank reserve near Lambourn, Berks on Sunday 8th May. "It's the first time we've been to this chalk grassland slope and it was well worth the effort. We recorded Brimstone (6), Orange-tip (4), Peacock (1), Red Admiral (1), Green Hairstreak (4), Dingy Skipper (6) and finally a nice surprise of Small Blue (3) flying along the track edge leading to the reserve."

Paul Bowyer reports on the field meeting to Homefield Wood on 8th May: "Ten members attended our first field trip of the season. It was the hottest day of the year so far and the sun shone throughout our walk. Butterfly species seen while walking the woodland rides were Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Large White, Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood. On the small flower-filled downland clearing Small Heath, Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skipper were spotted by some hawk eyed butterfliers. Small Tortoiseshell and Comma were surprisingly missing."

Steve Johnson reported the following: "Sunday morning, 8 May - Aston Upthorpe, Oxon I recorded 2 Green Hairstreaks, 2 Dingy Skippers, 1 Small Heath (with a mishapen wing), 2 Mother Shipton moths, 10 Brimstones, 5 Orange Tips, 2 Peacock, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell."

Small Heath
Photo © Steve Johnson

David Hastings reported the following: "I saw the following at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on 7th May: four Grizzled Skippers, four Dingy Skippers, at least fourteen Brimstones, four Red Admirals, two Peacocks and one Small Tortoiseshell."

Grizzled Skipper
Photo © David Hastings
Dingy Skipper
Photo © David Hastings

Richard Wheeler sent this update: "I went back to Ardley Quarry (Oxon) again yesterday (07/05/16) with my family. The weather was warm and sunny (though clouded over later). Temperature c.20°C. We saw: 16 Brimstone, 2 Green Hairstreak, 4 Orange Tip (incl. 1F), 3 Green-veined White, 3 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 6 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Large White and 12 further unidentified ‘whites’."

Green-veined White
Photo © Richard Wheeler

Nick Bowles sent this news: "I was out with the Bucks Invertebrate Group this morning, 7th May, and saw my first Small Copper at Road Farm near Gt Missenden, Bucks along with several Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells and Orange Tip."

Michael Hunt reports seeing: 4 Green Hairstreaks, 3 Dingy Skippers and 1 Grizzled Skipper while on his nest box checking round on Saturday afternoon, 7th May at the BBOWT Calvert Jubilee site, Bucks.

Charlie Jackson sent the following report: "On Friday 6th May I made a trip to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks where butterfly numbers were still low despite a run of hot days. I saw a single Duke of Burgundy plus 1 Green Hairstreak and a Grizzled Skipper. There were a few Dingy Skippers about but little else. Pitstone Church End, Bucks had around 10 Dingy Skippers.
On Saturday (7th) I visited Ivinghoe again and found 2 Dukes of Burgundy as well as a few Dingy Skippers and a Grizzled Skipper. At least 4 male Orange-tips there. Pitstone had really come alive with at least 3 Small Blues and 3 Grizzled Skippers along with a couple of Green Hairstreaks and a few Dingy Skippers."

Small Blue
Photo © Charlie Jackson
Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Charlie Jackson
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Charlie Jackson

~ 6th May 2016 ~

David Fearneyhough sent the following: "When I took the dog for a walk this afternoon, 6th May, I saw 3 different male Orange Tip butterflies on the Ladygrove Estate in Didcot, Oxon which in 22 years is a first for me!"

This report came from Neil Holman: "5th May - On a lovely day I had very successful trips today to Pitstone Quarry and Incombe Hole, Pitstone, Bucks. At Pitstone Quarry I managed to spot 5 x Dingy Skipper, 3 x Grizzled Skipper, 3 x Brimstone, 2 x Orange-Tip, 1 x Holly Blue, 1 x Small Tortoiseshell, 2 x Peacock and 4 x Green Hairstreak. The climb down into Incombe Hole was even more rewarding with the tally including 20+ Dingy Skipper, 20+ Grizzled Skipper, 4 x Brimstone, 4 x Orange-Tip, 6 x Green Hairstreak, 6 x Peacock, 1 x Comma, 1 x Speckled Wood and 2 x Duke of Burgundy (with the assistance of another butterfly spotter)."

Green Hairstreak
Photo © Neil Holman
Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Neil Holman

David Hastings sent this news: "This morning (5th May) at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon, I saw sixteen Brimstones, nine Orange-tips, one Holly Blue, one Green-veined White, one Comma and two Peacocks."

David Gantzel reported these sightings: "Orange Tip 3rd, 4th & 5th May males in gardens in Hazlemere, Bucks. Holly Blue in garden in Hazlemere May 5th. Gomm Valley Nature Reserve, Bucks May 5th - 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Orange Tip male, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Green Hairstreak. Lots of Brimstones, mainly male but a good smattering of females as well."

Peter Law sent this update: "Further to yesterday's post, I returned to Aston Rowant NNR (N), Oxon this morning (5th May) and had 3 Green Hairstreak sightings, though whether these were three individuals I could not tell."

Green Hairstreak
Photo © Peter Law

Lucy Flower reported the following: "I don't usually report my Buckinghamshire butterfly sightings (I live and monitor wildlife in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire). However, I thought it worth sending these through. I visited the Pitstone, Bucks Small Blue butterfly site this afternoon, 5th May (area around SP943147). No sign of Small Blues yet but I did see one Dingy Skipper, Peacock & Brimstone (2). On the west slope of Ivinghoe Beacon (SP958168), I came across a single male Duke of Burgundy (found initially by another observer). Also 2 Orange-tips (m), Green-veined White, Brimstone (3) and Peacock."

Duke of Burgundy
Photo © Lucy Flower

Richard Wheeler sent the following: "I visited Ardley Quarry, Oxon on 4th May in some much overdue sunshine and warmth (temperature c.16°C). Butterflies seen included: 7 Brimstone (incl. 1F), 3 Peacock, 2 Green Hairstreak, 4 Orange Tip and 2 Grizzled Skipper."

Green Hairstreak
Photo © Richard Wheeler

David Fuller sent this update: "4th May Odney Club Cookham, Berks: My second visit and I recorded Peacock 3, Holly Blue 2, Small White 1, Green-veined White 1, Red Admiral 1, Speckled Wood 5, Orange Tip 6 and Brimstone 9. In my garden in Maidenhead, Berks: Holly Blue male and female, Brimstone 2, Green-veined White 1, Small White 1, Peacock 1 and Orange-tip male and female."

Nick Bowles sent this news: "At Ivinghoe, Bucks on 3rd May a largish team of National Trust surveyors scoured the hillsides and coombes looking primarily for Duke of Burgundy, but all we saw was Dingy Skipper 1, Brimstone 3, Orange Tip 1, Holly Blue 1, Peacock 2 and Small Tortoiseshell 3."

~ 5th May 2016 ~

Judith Barnard sent the following: "Today (4th May) at the Blue Lagoon in Bletchley, Bucks we spotted one Grizzled Skipper (see photo - it’s resting on some plastic!). The exact location was Latitude: 51.986026° N, Longitude: 0.738614° W. Also saw about 5 Orange-tips."

Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Judith Barnard
Orange-tip
Photo © Judith Barnard

Peter Law reported these sightings: "3rd May: This afternoon I found a season's first Green Hairstreak at Aston Rowant NNR (N), Oxon on the noisy hillside above the M40. It was my fourth attempt at the site that I have been checking out on sunny days since mid April. When the butterfly didn't re-appear after around 30 minutes I crossed the motorway to Linky Down to see if I could find any more Green Hairstreak there, but without success. I had also checked that site on those previous three occasions. At both sites today a few Brimstone and Orange-tip were also flying."

This news came from Tim Watts: "Today, 3rd May at Calvert BBOWT reserve in Bucks there were 3 Green Hairstreaks showing well, perched on Gorse. One was very freshly emerged with wings still a bit droopy."

Green Hairstreaks
Photo © Tim Watts

Colin Mather sent this report: "This afternoon 2nd May in my garden in Sonning Common, Oxon two Holly Blue, one Small White and Orange-tips pairing."

Orange-tips
Photo © Colin Mather

In David Fuller's garden in Maidenhead, Berks on 1st May: "My first Green-veined White a male, Peacock, Holly Blue a female, Orange-tip both male and female on Honesty and Brimstone male & female again on Honesty."

Rob Thomas reported the following: "Having spotted first a male Orange-tip in the morning sunshine in my garden at Combe, near Woodstock, Oxon then a female, I noticed a few minutes later they were mating. Saturday 30th April. Will now be hoping for eggs on the Garlic Mustard I am allowing to grow."

Orange-tips
Photo © Rob Thomas

~ 28th April 2016 ~

Neil Holman sent this report: "I went for a walk around Pitstone Quarry, Bucks during one of the warmer interludes this afternoon (Wed 27th April) and managed to spot a Dingy Skipper but just as I was about to take the photograph he decided to fly off, never to be seen again!"

Michael Hunt reports seeing his first Orange-tips of the year in Buckingham, Bucks on 23rd April. Also seen were several Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacocks.

~ 22nd April 2016 ~

Peter Kent reported the following: "A Holly Blue visited my garden in Wantage, Oxfordshire again on 21st April 2016. It settled long enough on some ivy for me to get a photograph."

Holly Blue
Photo © Peter Kent

These sightings came from Judy and Terry Wood: "We were very pleased to see 7 species of butterfly in our Little Chalfont, Bucks garden on the 20th AprilPeacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Brimstone (male), 2 x Orange-tip (male and female) and our 1st Holly Blue and Green-veined White of the year. We also saw 2 Holly Blues flying around a large Holly near Flaunden Church (Hertfordshire) later in the day."

David Fuller sent this update: "Today 20/04/16 in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks: my first Holly Blue, a male. Still present: Brimstone, Peacock and male and female Orange-tip, the female is roosting on Bowle's Mauve this evening. Odney Club Cookham, Berks: this is the private club of the John Lewis partnership PRIVATE SITE and I have permission to count the butterflies there. Holly Blue male, Peacock, Brimstone male and female, Comma, Orange-tip male and a Small White."

This report came from Neil Holman: "A trip today (20th April) to Incombe Hole, Pitstone in Bucks did not produce a great quantity of butterflies in the bright sunshine but we did manage to spot two Peacocks, one Speckled Wood, one Orange-Tip, five Brimstone and a lovely Grizzled Skipper. Well worth the trip!"

Grizzled Skipper
Photo © Neil Holman
Speckled Wood
Photo © Neil Holman

Malcolm Brownsword reported the following: "This morning (20th April) Val and I visited BBOWT’s Moor Copse reserve, Berks where we saw 11 Orange-tips (all male) and three Peacocks amongst the bluebells. After lunch we did our transect at BBOWT’s Hartslock reserve, Oxon and saw our first Green Hairstreak of the season, also one Brimstone, one Peacock and one Small Tortoiseshell."

Peter Kent sent this news: "Holly Blue sighted three times in my garden in Wantage, Oxfordshire on 20th April 2016."

John Holdbrook sent this report: "Yesterday [April 19th], I saw 3 Commas, several Brimstones, a Peacock, 3 Speckled Woods, 4 male and a female Orange-tip and a Holly Blue. This was while walking on a track beside the Oxford Ring-road at Heyford Hill."

Tim Hearn sent the following: "19/04/16 - Just seen my first Holly Blue of this year fluttering round the ivy in a garden in Amersham, Bucks."

~ 18th April 2016 ~

David Hastings sent this news on 16th April: "I saw a pristine male Large White in my garden in north Abingdon, Oxon this afternoon. Rather unexpected considering the recent cold & wet weather."

Large White
Photo © David Hastings

The following sighting came from Paul Bowyer: "On Wednesday 13th April I saw my first Holly Blue of the year in our back garden in Flackwell Heath, Bucks."

Mike Flemming sent this report: "My first sighting this year of a Holly Blue in my Abingdon, Oxon garden, at lunchtime on Wednesday, 13th April. Afterwards, the same afternoon, I visited Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon, where several male Brimstones were on the wing and feeding at Bugle flowers. 2-3 male Orange-tips patrolling the quarry face, several Peacocks and a few Commas."

Orange-tip
Photo © Mike Flemming

This update came from Wendy Wilson: "St Mary's churchyard in Langley, Bucks is a delightful oasis in an urban area and is always good for spring butterflies. It certainly didn't disappoint today, 13th April. A Peacock greeted me as I arrived, then as I walked past an old yew tree I disturbed a flock of seven Ring-necked Parakeets which in turn disturbed 2 Holly Blues. Also there were at least 5 Speckled Woods, 2 Commas and a Brimstone."

Speckled Wood
Photo © Wendy Wilson
Comma
Photo © Wendy Wilson

Derek Brown reported this sighting: "We had our first Holly Blue for the season in our garden at Beenham, Berks this morning (13th April)."

David Fuller sent the following news: "Today, 12th April, in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks I had a male and female Brimstone, Comma 2, Peacock 1, Small White male first of the year, both male and female Orange-tip first of the year and first time I have seen the female before the male!"

Wendy Wilson reported the following: "My heart sank as I entered the parish churchyard at Iver, Bucks on April 12th as three men from Iver Parish Council were mowing the grass. However, all was not lost; one of the men told me he had just seen 'two tiny little blue butterflies zooming round a holly tree' and a bigger butterfly which 'was a very bright yellow'. These excellent descriptions were enough for me to record 2 Holly Blues and a male Brimstone. I also saw a Small Tortoiseshell there and across the road in Swan Meadow were 2 Peacocks."

~ 7th April 2016 ~

David Fuller sent the following: "My garden in Maidenhead, Berks today, 6th April, Brimstone 1 male, Peacock 2 together chasing each other, Comma 2 chasing each other and Small Tortoiseshell 1 first of the year for me."

Graham Elcombe sent these reports: "5th April - West of Latimer, Bucks, on the footpath above the Chess Valley (995 988), 5 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Brimstone and (seen fleetingly, but 95% certain), 1 Comma.
3rd April - Homefield Wood (nr Marlow, Bucks), at least 5 Brimstones - two on the track, and three in the 'Meadow'."

David Hastings sent this news: "I managed a lunchtime visit to Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon today, 5th April, where I saw 3+ Brimstones, 1 male Orange-tip, 3 Commas and 4+ Peacocks. The Orange-tip was small - only about three-quarters normal size."

Orange-tip
Photo © David Hastings
Peacock
Photo © David Hastings

This report from Brian & Uli Wright came via Jim Asher: "Thought you may like to know we saw our first Orange-tip today , 4th April at HP7 9EZ Amersham, Bucks at 1340!"

~ 2nd April 2016 ~

David Fuller saw the following: "Sightings today, 2nd April, in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks: 2 male Brimstone plus a Peacock; towpath along the River Thames, Berks SU907836 5 different male Brimstone; Cores End, Bucks SU876880 male Brimstone."

The following report came from Mike Flemming: "During a visit to Dry Sandford Pit BBOWT reserve, Cothill, Oxon today (2nd April), I saw five species: Brimstone, male (several), Orange-tip, male (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Comma (~4), Peacock (~4). The Orange-tip was a surprise, flying near the entrance gate but he rapidly disappeared into shrubbery and did not re-appear. Hopefully there will be loads more soon!"

John Lindley reported the following: "A lovely spring day today, 2nd April, in the gardens and footpaths around South Stoke, Oxon yielded six species: 5 Brimstones (all male), 5 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Peacocks and singles of Red Admiral, Comma and Speckled Wood."

David Hastings sent this news: "In the University Parks, Oxford, Oxon today, 31st March, I saw three Brimstones and two Small Tortoiseshells."

Brimstone
Photo © David Hastings

Robert Norris reported the following: "The warm weather today, 31st March, brought out a few butterflies with Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone and Small White all seen at Lathbury near Newport Pagnell, Bucks."

This report came from Wendy Wilson on 30th March: "My first Orange-tip of the year flew out of the wild bit at the end of my Chalfont St Peter, Bucks garden this morning, surprisingly it was a female. I had spotted eggs and larvae on some garlic mustard there last year but never managed to find a pupa. I think it had just emerged as its flight was weak and erratic with frequent brief stops before disappearing over the fence as I went to get my camera."

Peter Kent sent this sighting: "A Brimstone flew round my garden in Wantage, Oxon several times on 25th March without settling."

Bob Tunnicliffe sent the following on 2nd April: "On March 17th Trish and I saw our first butterflies of the year: a Green-veined White (on Vinca) in our (sun-trap) front garden in Stony Stratford, Bucks and 2 Brimstones, also in Stony Stratford."

~ 26th March 2016 ~

John Holdbrook sent the following: "On Monday March 21st I saw a Small Tortoiseshell on a bank at South Hinksey, Oxon. I also saw a Brimstone at the top of Shotover Hill, Oxford on the 25th March."

Judy and Terry Wood sent this report: "The sun and warmth on the 25th March brought out the butterflies in the garden at Little Chalfont, Bucks for our 1st sightings of the year with 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 male Brimstones and 2 Commas with the latter tussling and spiralling."

Comma
Photo © Judy and Terry Wood

Peter Thompson reported the following: "On 25th March (Good Friday), the weather seemed good enough to chance my arm at an early 'Week 0' transect at Lardon Chase, Berkshire, at least partly to see if there were any management changes since last summer. While there was nothing moving actually on the transect, I saw my first Brimstone and Comma of the year, and also a Peacock, 'off transect’. There were very few nectar sources visible, just a few daisies and the odd violet, plus a clump of primroses beneath some hawthorn bushes, so I’m not surprised there was little to be seen; any sensible butterfly on the wing would have been much better off in one of the nearby gardens!"

David Gantzel sent this news: "Friday March 25th - male Brimstone in my garden in Hazlemere, Bucks."

David Fuller saw the following: "In my garden in Maidenhead, Berks today, 25th March, I had a male Brimstone, a Comma (1st of the year for me) and a Peacock (also 1st of the year for me)."

This report came from Wendy Wilson: "March 25th - I saw my first butterflies this morning, all in Chalfont St Peter, Bucks. They were: a Small Tortoiseshell and a Brimstone in my garden, two Small Tortoiseshells in the allotments, a Comma in Millennium Wood and a Peacock on wild plum blossom on Austenwood Common. March 25th is the latest date for my first butterfly sighting since 2008."

Ian Johnston visited the Blue Lagoon Nature Reserve, Milton Keynes, Bucks on 25th March: "I spotted 5 x Brimstone - all males. No other species seen."

~ 24th March 2016 ~

Don Stone reports seeing a Brimstone in his garden at Lee Common, Bucks on 22nd March.

Nicholl Williams sent this news: "I haven't been able to go out spotting butterflies recently, but I saw a Brimstone flying over the roundabout outside Tesco on the Junction 3 (Loudwater, Bucks) of the M40 today, 22nd March. Looking forward to the season getting going well!"

David Fuller reported the following: "Maidenhead, Berks I had a male Brimstone in my garden in today, 22nd March. First for the year for me."

David Hastings spent half an hour in the Oxford University Parks, Oxon at lunchtime on 21st March, where he saw at least three Small Tortoiseshells and a Peacock."

Michael Hunt reported the following: "On 21st March in the morning, first sightings of Brimstone and Comma here in Buckingham, Bucks."

~ 19th March 2016 ~

Bryan Williams sent this news on 17th March: "I visited the Virginia Water heather garden, just inside the Berkshire border with Surrey and saw one Comma, my first butterfly of the year, it was cool, but sunny. Also there were several queen bumblebees, Buff-tailed, White-tailed and Early bumblebees all seen."

Comma
Photo © Bryan Williams

Clare Harvey reported this sighting: "Monday 14th March - a Comma in our horse paddock near Denchworth Wantage (Oxon). Warm sunny dry day."

Malcolm Brownsword reported the following: "At 11.45 this morning (17 March) I saw my first butterfly of the year, a Small Tortoiseshell, in my West Hagbourne, Oxon garden."

Nicholl Williams sent these two Bucks sightings: "The season is about to start. I saw a Small Tortoiseshell at Lane End on 14th March and then saw another one at Spade Oak Lake."

Michael Hunt had his first sighting of Small Tortoiseshell on 11th March in his garden in Buckingham, Bucks.

Mick & Wendy Campbell saw their first butterfly of the season on 11th March - a Small Tortoiseshell flying in a warm, sheltered field corner in Ibstone, Bucks.

~ 14th February 2016 ~

Richard Wheeler reported the following on 11th February: "I was driving through Banbury, Oxon at lunchtime today (11/02/16) when a Small Tortoiseshell gamely bobbed past overhead – yes, the sun was shining, but the car thermometer was reading 6.5°C!"

~ 5th February 2016 ~

Chris Carter sent the following: "I had a brief but unmistakable sighting of a male Brimstone in our garden at Alvescot, west Oxfordshire on Thursday 4th February, our first butterfly of the year. Pleasant sunshine but not overly warm at the time. The very mild winter has meant that a lot of the nectar-bearing winter shrubs that might have sustained our Brimstone have already been and gone. Crocus tommasinianus is out now in profusion but produces mainly pollen, great for bees but it's too early and there are almost none of them around either. I guess it will all work out somehow."

~ 31st January 2016 ~

David Hastings reported his first butterfly sighting of the year: "I saw a Small Tortoiseshell at my allotment in NW Abingdon, Oxon on 30th January. It was nectaring on a daisy flower. The air temperature was about 9C. I took the picture with the camera in my mobile phone."

Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © David Hastings

~ 29th January 2016 ~

Pete Thompson saw his first butterfly of the year on 28th January: "After a frosty and sunny start, and before the clouds gathered, I saw a Small Tortoiseshell in my garden this afternoon (28th January) at Wyfold, S Oxfordshire."

~ 24th January 2016 ~

Derek Brown reported the following: "We saw a Small Tortoiseshell on Saturday 23rd January. However this was indoors at Berkshire Auction Rooms in Midgham and must have been disturbed from hibernation, so I guess this doesn't really count as a first sighting."

~ 13th January 2016 ~

Ched George sent this butterfly report to start the new year off: "I was sawing wood in my back garden in Radnage, Bucks on 8th January when a Peacock fluttered around me and disappeared into the tall leylandii behind me."


~ 31st December 2015 ~

Maureen Cross sent this report today: "I’ve just looked at the web to see that butterflies have been out and about and thought I would add my sighting of a female Brimstone on 28th December 2015, fluttering amongst the snowdrops and crocus in bloom in Goring, South Oxon churchyard!"

~ 29th December 2015 ~

Pete Thompson reported the following: "Two butterflies seen this afternoon (29th December) at Wyfold (South Oxon), one Peacock (in my garden) and one Red Admiral (next door). This mild weather is ridiculous!"

Dave Ferguson sent the following news on 28th December: "At mid-day today, 28th December, a Small Tortoiseshell was flying around the ivy beside our kitchen window in Beaconsfield, Bucks. What with that and a Cowslip flowering in the garden it's a crazy winter."

~ 3rd December 2015 ~

Pete Thompson reported the following: "Yesterday afternoon (2nd December) I saw a single Peacock [butterfly] in my garden in Wyfold (South Oxon), after a sunny morning it had by then clouded over and the temperature was around 13C."


[Sightings for 2015 have been archived.]

  » Sightings Archive

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