Upper Thames Branch - 2018 Butterfly Sightings



First Sightings Sightings Archive Submission Guidelines Latest News

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.

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

~ 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."

[Sightings for 2017 are available here ]