| Upper Thames Branch|
Butterfly Sightings 2013 - BC Upper Thames Branch
This page is for recent
butterfly sightings in the BC Upper Thames Branch area, to show what's
BUTTERFLY SPECIES RECORDED
TO DATE – as at 19/05/13
~ Sunday 19th May 2013 ~
Andy Hoskins visited Lardon Chase, Berks today, 19th May: "I spent about 3 hours there and saw 2 Small Copper, 1 Small Heath, 3 Brimstones and 2 paired Green-veined White, which had fluttered up about 15 feet and settled in the top of a Hawthorn. I moved on to Hartslock, Oxon where I saw 3 Orange-tip, 3 Brimstone, 4 Green Hairstreak, 3 Small Heath and 1 Dingy Skipper."
Ian Gamble sent this news today: "The sun finally broke through the cloud cover about 14.00 hrs. on Sunday afternoon the 19th May and so I made a visit to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks. It proved to be the best butterfly day of the year. I saw at least 16 Dukes of Burgundy including several females, 6 Dingy Skippers, 4 Green Hairstreaks, 4 Brimstones and one each of Green-veined White, male Orange-tip, Large White and Peacock."
Chris Naish reported the following: "I spotted a small blue butterfly in my garden in South Abingdon, Oxon today – I believe it’s a Holly Blue – the upper wings, when open, were a bright, light blue but the wings were always closed when stationary."
Peter Law sent the following report: "Sunday 19 May: When the sun broke through this afternoon I made a visit to Swyncombe Down, Oxon. A season's first Small Copper was a good start, but after that things were still pretty quiet. I saw singles of Holly Blue, Large White, Green Hairstreak and Speckled Wood; Brimstone (10+) and a few Small White."
Dave Ferguson went to Stoke Common, Bucks today, 19th May: "The only butterflies I saw were a Speckled Wood and a Green-veined White. At Stampwell Farm (3 km E of Beaconsfield, Bucks) this morning the only butterfly I saw was a Small Heath."
Pete Eeles said he managed to get a couple of hours in at Greenham Common, Berks at around 11am on Saturday 18th May: "The intermittent sun was just perfect for photography with any butterfly trying its best to catch what little sun there was. My target was Dingy Skipper, since I've yet to catch up with them this year. I saw my first about 10 yards from where I parked, and quite a few more throughout the morning. As many others have commented, a freshly-emerged Dingy Skipper is anything but dingy! They're always quite variable in terms of the ground colour, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw - something I first witnessed a few years ago at a private site near Stockbridge Down - an almost-white Dingy Skipper, and my first aberration of the year. Its appearance was most striking when sat next to a female Dingy Skipper that it was courting. Dingy Skipper were by far the most numerous butterflies (25+ seen), with a few Grizzled Skipper (12 seen) also flying. Green Hairstreak was noticeable by its absence."
~ Friday 17th May 2013 ~
David Fuller went to Braywick Nature Reserve in Berks (SU898800) on 16/05/13 and recorded: Orange-tip 4 males, Holly Blue 2 males, Large White and Small White 2.
~ Thursday 16th May 2013 ~
Dave Turnbull sent this report: "I visited Pitstone, Bucks today, 16th May, where I saw Brimstones, Red Admiral, Peacock, Dingy Skippers and Grizzled Skippers and a freshly emerged Small Blue. I also met someone there who had seen 4 Green Hairstreaks."
Richard Wheeler spent a couple of hours at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks over lunchtime today, 16th May. "The weather was warm (c.14°C) with clouds but a fair amount of sun in between. There weren’t great numbers of butterflies about, but I saw: 2 Duke of Burgundy, 5 Green Hairstreak, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 1 Dingy Skipper, 3 Brimstone (1F), 1 Large White, 1 Peacock and 2 Speckled Wood."
~ Monday 13th May 2013 ~
Gerry Kendall reports that the weather was better than the forecast but far from ideal for the Field Trip at Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on Sunday 12th May: "For much of the walk we had very little success, but at the end, in a nettle patch, there was a small flurry of activity including a sight of Grizzled Skipper, so we found one at least of the target species. The moral? Nil desperandum - and never mind the nettles (as long as you have stout boots and thick trousers)! Species seen were: Grizzled Skipper, Orange-tip, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.
Mick Jones reported the following on 12th May: "I was involved in a work party today at Dancersend, Bucks but managed to see 2 Dingy Skippers during one of the sunny periods."
Here are Andy Hoskins' sightings for the
last few days:
David Hastings was also at Aston Upthorpe Downs on 12th May: "I could only find a few butterflies: three Grizzled Skippers, two Orange-tips, one Green-veined White, one Peacock and one Small Tortoiseshell."
Robin Carr reports on the field meeting to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on Saturday 11th May: "Eight people set forth in freezing winds and mainly cloudy skies looking for Duke of Burgundies. Against all the odds 1 Duke of Burgundy was found when the sun shone for a few seconds perching on a bush giving very good views for everyone. It was the only butterfly seen on the whole walk which just about finished before the rain!"
~ Saturday 11th May 2013 ~
Bryan Williams sent this report on 10th May: "I visited Hartslock, Oxon on Tuesday 7th May and found 12 Dingy Skippers, both on the Orchid Hill and on the grass slope further into the reserve and 3 Green Hairstreaks as well as several Brimstones and Orange-tips, 2 Holly Blues and a single Speckled Wood by the gate. In the afternoon I went on to Greenham Common, Berks and after an hour had seen only one Peacock and a few Brimstones and Orange-tips."
~ Wednesday 8th May 2013 ~
David Fearn spent a pleasant morning at Hartslock, Oxon on Tuesday 7th May: "I was hoping for Green Hairstreak but didn't spot any (though one was reported to me while I was there). However, there were a few other good things about: Orange-tip - good numbers, Dingy Skipper - 5 seen, Brimstone - good numbers, Small Heath - 2 seen, one near the Pasque Flowers (in full bloom for anyone interested) and 1 towards bottom of Orchids field. Sighting seems a bit early to me, but definite. Also Peacock, Holly Blue, Grizzled Skipper - 1 seen at bottom of Orchids field and Large White."
Chris Bottrell sent this report on 7th May: "Just back from a day out at Ivinghoe Beacon. In a 4 hour wander (10:00 - 14:00) around the beacon I clocked: Dingy Skipper (11), Grizzled Skipper (6), Brimstone (17), Large White (1), Small White (1), Orange-tip (2m, 4f), Green Hairstreak (18), Holly Blue (1), Duke of Burgundy (1), Peacock (6), Speckled Wood (2). On returning to the car park I met a photographer desperate to photograph a Duke so I took him back to the spot where I had found the one individual. It was still there but what was apparent was the increase in the number of Dingy, Grizzled and Green Hairstreaks. They were everywhere. One Grizzled must have just hatched as it could only just fly. I almost trod on it. However it's next flight took it to a well received dandelion flower which it proceeded to gorge on."
On 7th May Adam Hartley reported that he's had two Holly Blues in his garden in Oxford on a daily basis over the last few days.
Mick Jones was running a work party at Dancersend, Bucks on 7th May: "I managed a walk around the Waterworks before people arrived, then squeezed in a walk around the northern part after the session ended. My tally was: 13 male Orange-tips and 2 females, 13 male Brimstones and 7 females, 8 Peacocks, 4 Green-veined Whites, 3 unidentified whites and 1 Small Copper (a first for me this year - photo below)."
Andy Hoskins recorded the following butterflies during the last
Peter Law paid his second visit to Linkey Down, Oxon (Aston Rowant NNR S) on Tuesday 7 May to see how Green Hairstreak numbers were coming along. "I found 5 of those, just 2 more than on my previous visit here 5 days ago. Also seen were my year's first Grizzled Skipper, 1 Small White and 2 female Brimstone. I then walked around the Bald Hill area of the reserve, coming across 3 more Brimstone and nothing else."
Mick & Wendy Campbell went to check what butterflies were flying at Strawberry Bank, Bucks on 7th May: "It was a very sunny, warm afternoon and our target species of Dingy Skipper (2), Grizzled Skipper (3) and Green Hairstreak (2) were all on the wing although we did have to hunt around for them. The two Green Hairstreak were extremely active, presumably both males as they were spinning round and round each other at a terrific speed. After what must have been 5 minutes one male managed to chase the other off and finally perched on a hawthorn leaf to give us good views. Also seen were Peacock (5), Orange-tip (4), Brimstone (6), Speckled Wood (1), Small White (5, including 4 flying together in a chain) and Comma (1)."
Dave Miller visited Pitstone Hill, Bucks on 6th May: "Walking from the NT car park right across the lower slope on the northwest side of the hill over to Aldbury Nowers, I saw very little. There were a few Brimstones and Whites, but the only thing of note were two Green Hairstreaks. They were probably females, as they were fluttering low on the ground over the slopes and not perching in the scrub as males are wont to do. After spending a productive hour or so with the Grizzled Skippers in the Herts reserve at Aldbury (reported on their site), I saw another Green Hairstreak crossing the county boundary from Bucks into Herts. A record for both counties??"
Nick Bowles reported the following on 6th May: "Over the weekend I saw 2 Grizzled Skippers and 2 Dingy Skippers, 3 Green Hairstreaks, Peacock and Brimstone, Orange-tip, Small White and Green-veined White on transect at Coombe Hill, Bucks plus Brimstone, Orange-tip, Large White and Small White at Aston Clinton Ragpits, Bucks. I also saw masses of Orange-tip and one Large White among Small and Green-veined Whites and my first Speckled Wood at a private wood in N Bucks. Bizarrely I saw only 1 Brimstone all day Sunday and yet I saw about 12 in the stiff wind on Saturday and over 20 today."
Martin & Penny Wainwright have seen the following in Thrupp, Oxon since the Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 4th May: "Orange-tip (more than ten), Brimstone (four), Green-veined White (six), Peacock (six), Small Tortoiseshell (two), Comma (one) and Holly Blue (one). We contributed three Peacocks ourselves by releasing them from a shed where they had been hibernating. I'd clocked one dozing away but didn't realise that there were two more."
~ Monday 6th May 2013 ~
Chris Bottrell sent this report today: "A late morning to mid afternoon Bank Holiday Monday bash around some BBOWT Oxfordshire sites new to me in hope of Green Hairstreak. Hitchcopse Pit, it's surrounding wood and promising looking gorse: Brimstone (3), Green-veined White (2), Orange-tip (1m,1f), Peacock (3). A circuit of Dry Sandford Pit: Brimstone (2), Large White (1), Green-veined White (2), Orange-tip (4m,2f), Comma (1), Peacock (1). And finally a look at Lashford Lane Fen: Brimstone (3), Green-veined White (2), Orange-tip (12m, 5f), Holly Blue (1), Peacock (2) and my first Speckled Wood (1) of the season. Then back home a couple of Holly Blues chasing each other around the back garden here in Merton (Oxon)."
Mike Jackson visited Whitecross Green Wood (BBOWT site) on the border of Bucks and Oxon today, 6th May. "I saw 1 Brimstone, 2 Large White, 6 Small White (one appeared to have second brood markings but I couldn't get a photo), 4 male Orange-tips and 8 Peacocks."
Keith O'Hagen sent this news today: "Had 2 butterflies in my garden in Milton Keynes throughout the day. First one a Large White, seen about five times today, and a single sighting of a Speckled Wood. Also, an Orange-tip at my local lake in Milton Keynes, Caldecotte."
Richard Wheeler says he spent a blissful 2 hours with his family at Finemere Wood, Bucks over lunchtime today (06/05/13). "The weather was glorious – windless, warm (16+°c) and sunny. Together we saw more than 40 butterflies, including: 6 Brimstone (all M), 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 8 Peacock, 2 Green-veined White, 14 Orange-tip (incl. 3 F), 2 Speckled Wood, 1 probable Comma, together with 9+ unidentified whites."
Tony Rayner reported the following: "First thing this morning (6th May) there was a Small Copper in our Cholsey (Oxon) meadow. At the moment we have 3 acres of Cowslips!"
Charlie Jackson spent the morning on Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on 5th May: "A great day for butterflies when the sun eventually came out. I recorded 12 species all told including 1 Duke of Burgundy, 4 Grizzled Skippers, 4 Green Hairstreaks, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue and an early Common Blue. The Duke looked very fresh - probably the first one out. Then today, 6th May, I saw Dingy Skippers at Pitstone Church, Bucks."
~ Sunday 5th May 2013 ~
At Steps Hill, Bucks, David Gower saw 4 x Peacock & 1 x Brimstone (male). Around the Ivinghoe Beacon area 1 x Speckled Wood, 3 x Brimstone (male), 1 x Peacock, 1 x Green Hairstreak, 1 x Large White. At Incombe Hole 4 x Green Hairstreak, 3 x Peacock, 2 x Small White, 1 x Large White, 1 x Grizzled Skipper, 1 x Green-veined White, 4 x Orange-tip (male), 1 Comma, 2 x Brimstone (male), 2 x Pyrausta purpuralis moths on dandelions."
Mick Jones visited Salden disused railway cutting (in Bucks) today just after midday, walking west from Salden Wood to where the footpath crosses. "No Grizzled Skipper yet, but quite a few butterflies seen: 14 male Orange-tips and 1 female, 15 Peacocks, 6 male Brimstones and 1 female, 3 Green-veined Whites, 3 unidentified whites, 2 Speckled Woods and 1 Comma."
Chris Bottrell sent the following report: "To add to the Grizzled Skipper sightings. On Sunday 5th May at BBOWT Calvert Jubilee (Bucks) a singleton found in about 45 mins of searching from about 13:30 in the area to the left of the concrete path running from the car park to the top hide. Appeared to be nectaring on rabbit droppings?!"
Paul Bowyer took the first field meeting of the year today, Sunday May 5th, at Homefield Wood, Bucks: "A very pleasing trip with the following sightings: Orange-tip (6) and 3 eggs, Green-veined White (5), Speckled Wood (1), Peacock (7), Brimstone (3), Red Admiral (1), Grizzled Skipper (2) and Green Hairstreak (1). Day flying moths seen were Burnet Companion (1), Mother Shipton (1) and micro Grapholita jungiella (1)."
Dave Wilton sent this news today: "I visited several sites in the Chilterns around High Wycombe, Bucks this afternoon, trying (unsuccessfully!) to get Emperor Moth records. There were few active butterflies at any of the sites but I did see a pristine Dingy Skipper at Buttler's Hangings which was in fact the only thing I recorded there."
Tony Croft was doing a transect at Rushbeds Wood, Bucks this afternoon and saw his first Speckled Wood of the season and a pair of mating Orange-tips on Lady's Smock.
~ Saturday 4th May 2013 ~
Mike Jackson visited Finemere Wood, Bucks today, 4th May: "Sightings included 11 Orange-tip male, 2 Green-veined White, 4 Peacock, 1 Grizzled Skipper and 1 Speckled Wood."
Paul Bowyer walked from Bradenham Church north (in Bucks) to Smalldean Lane and back on Friday 3rd May. "At the Bradenham end I saw Peacock (7), Brimstone (5), Grizzled Skipper (2), Orange-tip (2) and Green Hairstreak (1). At Park Wood I saw Brimstone (7), Peacock (1) and Green-veined White (1). At Smalldean Lane I saw Peacock (2) and Green Hairstreak (3). On the way back along the lower path I saw Orange-tip (1), Peacock (5), Green-veined White (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1) and Common Carpet moth (2). I shall repeat a similar walk in June."
~ Friday 3rd May 2013 ~
Wendy Wilson sent this news today: "Whilst working on the information boards, which Mark Duckworth has renovated, at UTB's Holtspur Bottom Butterfly Reserve in Bucks, Mark and I were delighted to see 2 Green Hairstreaks as we don't get many around here. Also there were Orange-tip, Small White, Holly Blue, Peacock, Comma and at least a dozen Brimstones (male and female). There was one fewer when we left though, as a bird swooped down in front of us as we ate our sandwiches and caught one as it flew past, dropping a wing at our feet. The cowslips in the lower field are looking lovely and the violets have been particularly good this year - maybe Dark Green Fritillaries will be back this year."
Ben Hobbs visited Hartslock, Oxon (BBOWT site near Goring/Gatehampton) on Thursday 2nd May: "We saw 1 Orange-tip male and 1 female, plus 3 Green Hairstreak, also Brimstones, Peacocks, and 1 Small Tortoiseshell."
David Fuller was walking along the River Thames towpath in Maidenhead, Berks on 2nd May and saw: Orange-tip male and female, Speckled Wood and Peacock 3. Also, in his garden in Maidenhead: Holly Blue male and Small White (2 together). Then today, 3rd May in his garden: Brimstone both male and female, Orange-tip both male and female, Peacock, Holly Blue male, Comma and Small White."
Peter Law sent the following report: "Thursday 2 May: Today's lovely sunshine inspired me to check out Linkey Down, Oxon (Aston Rowant NNR S) for Green Hairstreak. I was rewarded with 2 flying butterflies and a third newly emerged and drying its wings in the late afternoon sun. These seemed to display an affinity with some conifers near the wooden bench besides the downhill path. The area a little further uphill where I would normally expect my year's first sighting was cut severely pre-season. Also seen were singles of Small White, Orange-tip, Peacock and Brimstone."
Mike Wilkins reports seeing his first Green-veined White of the year in Steventon, Oxon on 1st May. Otherwise, only Small Whites and one Peacock on May Day.
~ Wednesday 1st May 2013 ~
Tony Rayner sent the following report: "We had the first Speckled Wood yesterday (30th April) in our Cholsey, Oxon garden and today (1st May) there were 6 species including at least 4 Orange-tips (3M & 1F)."
Mick Jones was checking the trails at BBOWT Dancersend Reserve in Bucks this afternoon (1st May) in sunny conditions, but still with a biting easterly wind. "I lost count of Brimstones and Peacocks (over 10 of each), but also saw a Comma, a Green-veined White and my first male Orange-tip for the year nectaring on violets in quite thick vegetation."
David Fuller recorded Holly Blue male, Comma, Peacock 2, Brimstone male and Small White 3 in his garden in Maidenhead, Berks today and also a Holly Blue near Boulters Lock, Berks.
Richard Wheeler went to the Westcott railway cutting in Bucks at midday today, 1st May: "It was sunny, warm (c.14°c) and still. During my hour there I saw 6 Peacock, 3 Orange-tip (all male), 1 Small White, 1 Large White, 1 Brimstone and, just as I was about to leave, 1 Grizzled Skipper. I also saw 2 Common Heath moths."
Mick & Wendy Campbell visited Salden disused railway, Bucks this afternoon: "Although it was warm and sunny there was a cool wind coming from the east and, in contrast to Richard's visit to Westcott railway cutting (above), there was no sign of any Grizzled Skippers. However, we were pleased to see 32 butterflies of 6 species: Brimstone (11), Orange-tip (5 - 4m, 1f), Comma (3), Peacock (11), Green-veined White (1) and Holly Blue (1). Also a Common Lizard with its tail missing!"
~ Tuesday 30th April 2013 ~
Derek Brown reported the following: "I spent hour or so at Hartslock, Oxon this morning (30th April) and saw 4x Peacock and singles of Green Hairstreak and Grizzled Skipper, which was a bit disappointing for this time of year."
Bryan Williams sent the following report: "I visited Greenham Common on 25th April, it was sunny, but windy. I saw only one Comma and five Peacocks."
Odney Island, Cookham (Berks), David Fuller saw 2 male Orange-tip and a Peacock on 29th April. Then today, 30th April, in his garden in Maidenhead he had singletons of Peacock, Comma & Brimstone (male) plus 3 Small White.
~ Friday 26th April 2013 ~
Dave Wilton, Brown Hairstreak Champion sent this review of the 2012 egg hunting season: "The first of our monitored Brown Hairstreak eggs at Otmoor hatched on 24th April. With the cycle having begun again for 2013, I thought it might be worth giving a quick run-down of our achievements this Winter. Eggs seemed to be a little bit harder to locate than in previous seasons but, thanks to our intrepid band of searchers, we still managed to find evidence of the butterfly in 13 new kilometre squares, two of them near Waddesdon, three close to Bicester, four around Weston-on-the-Green and four more in Oxford. Our population is now known to cover 344 kilometre squares and over the past six seasons we have obtained at least a single egg record from all 344 of them. Those kilometre squares translate into 111 tetrads (see map), each one of which was visited this Winter. Eggs were successfully found within 102 of them, the other nine edge-of-range tetrads proving unproductive although just because we couldn't find eggs doesn't mean there weren't any there! Our regular egg transects were completed at seven sites, producing mixed results. Those at Shotover (Slade Camp), Bernwood Meadows and Rushbeds Wood showed an increase over the previous year's results while those at Marston Meadows, Otmoor and Lapland Farm showed a decrease. Shotover Plain was at least consistent in bringing in a zero return for the second year running! Finally, some of you may recall that my garden in Westcott, Bucks was visited by a female Brown Hairstreak on 25th August last year and she left behind an egg laid, rather surprisingly, on a sloe berry. It was later sleeved to protect it from the local bird population and when checked again just over a week ago the sloe (now shrivelled to half of its former size) had fallen off the branch but the egg itself had clearly survived the Winter."
~ Thursday 25th April 2013 ~
Tony Rayner sent this news: "At last we have a few butterflies! On 25th April we had our first Orange-tip (male) and a Holly Blue in our Cholsey (Oxon) garden. Also 2 Early Thorn moths in the moth trap."
Ched George visited Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks at 4pm today: "It yielded a solitary Peacock. Conditions were warm and sunny, probably 20 degrees C."
Ben Hobbs reported the following: "One (only) male Orange-tip at Moore Copse, Berks (BBOWT) this afternoon, possible female also, not confirmed. More than a dozen Peacock and a few Small Tortoiseshell and Commas, plus 2 or 3 Small White. More than 20 Peacock at Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (BBOWT)."
This report came from Wendy Wilson: "I saw my first Speckled Wood today 25th April, at Caps Wood, Tatling End, Gerrards Cross (Bucks). Also today on the footpaths alongside Southlands Quarry, New Denham were 4 Small White, 1 Brimstone, 6 Peacock, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Comma. On Tuesday 23rd I watched 4 Small Tortoiseshells fighting each other for a single female at Ashley Green; after about ten minutes all were exhausted and the winner settled down with his prize (see photo)."
David Fuller sent this update: "Sightings around Berkshire for 25th April, 3 of them new for me this year: Woolmans Wood, Hedsor SU912869 - Holly Blue male, Speckled Wood. My garden Maidenhead: Comma, Peacock 2, Brimstone male and female together, Orange-tip male, Small White male, male Holly Blue. Maidenhead Thicket SU849804: Brimstone 3 male together, Peacock, Orange-tip male."
~ Wednesday 24th April 2013 ~
Tony Speight sent this news today:
"This morning (24th April) on Sands Bank, High Wycombe
(Bucks) in conditions that weren't really the best for butterflies (quite a cold westerly wind,
temperature about 12 degrees and at best hazy sunshine). No surprise that numbers were low but I was
expecting to see more than one butterfly and I wasn't expecting my only sighting to be a
Richard Wheeler paid a fleeting visit to Ardley Quarry, Oxon this afternoon (24/04/13). "The sporadic sunshine yielded 1 Comma, 2 Small White and 5 Peacock."
Dave Wilton sent the following report: "It was nice to have some warm sunshine in which to complete the butterfly transects at Finemere Wood, Bucks on Tuesday, 23rd April. Over thirty were seen, with the expected supply of over-wintered Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock & Comma being joined by Orange-tip (two males, my first newly-emerged species of the year). An added bonus back at Westcott was a Small White active in the garden."
~ Tuesday 23rd April 2013 ~
David Gantzel reported the following recent sightings in Bucks: "Brimstones: One male at Lane End on April 20th, two males at Prestwood, one male Great Kingshill, two males Widmer End and a male and a female at Hazlemere, all seen today, Tuesday April 23rd. Also one Peacock seen in Hazlemere today."
David Hastings went to Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon this morning, 23rd April, and saw a Green-veined White, one Comma, three Peacocks and three male Brimstones.
David Fuller sent these reports: "22/4 - My first Holly Blue this year was a male at SU908847 along the River Thames towpath towards Cookham, Berks. I also saw a Peacock there and another in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks. Then on 23rd April I had visits in my garden from a Comma, 2 Peacocks and 2 male Brimstones."
~ Sunday 21st April 2013 ~
David Hastings saw the following in Oxfordshire over the weekend: "On Saturday 20th April I visited Farmoor Reservoir, where I saw half a dozen male Brimstones along the riverbank. Then at Dry Sandford Pit I saw one female and at least five male Brimstones, a Comma, a Small Tortoiseshell and at least seven Peacocks. In addition a Small White appeared in my garden in north Abingdon. On Sunday 21st April I visited Churn, where I saw three Peacocks and two Small Tortoiseshells. Finally, at Aston Upthorpe Downs (really on the bridleway leading to Juniper Valley) I saw at least thirteen Peacocks, two Small Tortoiseshells and two Commas."
In David Fuller's garden in Maidenhead, Berks today (21st): Male and female Brimstone, Comma and Peacock.
Michael McNeill reported the following today: "At last a warm sunny day and good sightings from my garden in Upper Basildon, West Berks. 3 Brimstone, including 1 female, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock and 1 Comma. Also 1 female Orange-tip at Pangbourne Meadows. 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 3 Peacocks at Moor Green Lakes adopting an aggressive attitude towards any smaller insects within range!"
Mick & Wendy Campbell saw the following during a walk from Bledlow to Lodge Hill via Routs Green, Bucks today: "Brimstone (6), Peacock (3), Small Tortoiseshell (1) and Comma (1). A cold wind across the Chiltern Hills was keeping the air temperature down to 14C for most of our walk."
Wendy Wilson sent this news: "A lovely sunny weekend, 20th/21st April, to enjoy at last. Around Iver and Iver Heath, Bucks I recorded 28 Peacock, 13 Comma, 8 Brimstone, 3 Small Tortoiseshell and my first Small White and Orange-tip of the year. The Orange-tip was a male on the M25 embankment near Iver. Most were fighting aggressively for territories, but I managed to photograph these three nectaring on the few flowers available."
Paul Bowyer sent the following: "On Saturday 20th April at Cocksherd Wood Britwell, Slough (Berks): Large White, Peacock and Comma. Then at The Millie, Haymill Slough: Peacock (10), Comma (7), Brimstone (2), Small Tortoiseshell (6), Small White.
~ Saturday 20th April 2013 ~
Steve Croxford sent this news: "Today, Saturday the 20th April, I saw my first Holly Blues of the year at my parents garden in Chinnor, Oxon. Also seen were a Peacock and several Brimstone."
David Fuller sent the following report: "A female Pied Flycatcher got me out of the garden to Dinton Pastures, Berks (SU784720) and I saw a Comma and male Brimstone there on 19th April. I also had a male Brimstone in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks."
Helen Hyre saw her first Comma of the season on a gusty afternoon at Ascott House (NT), Wing, Bucks on 17th April.
~ Wednesday 17th April 2013 ~
Nicholl Williams sent these sightings: "Today I walked down towards strawberry bank through Moor Wood, Bucks. The blossom there hasn't really started. I saw 1 Brimstone, 2 Commas and 7 Peacocks. Not really much at this time."
David Fuller had the following butterflies in his garden in Maidenhead, Berks today: Peacock 2 spiraling together, Comma 1 and Brimstone 1 male.
Mick Campbell saw a Small White in his garden in Chearsley, Bucks today, 17th April, during a sunny spell. It landed in a flower border long enough to get a close-up view but then flew off over the fence and didn't return.
John Ward-Smith sent the following report: "16th April - At last I have had a couple of butterflies – a Comma and a Peacock – in my Bracknell, Berkshire garden. In bright afternoon sunshine, T=17C, they struggled against a strong wind."
~ Tuesday 16th April 2013 ~
David Fuller had both Comma and Peacock again today in his garden in Maidenhead, Berks.
~ Monday 15th April 2013 ~
Helen Hyre says she saw 2 Small Tortoiseshells flirting in her garden in Bierton, Bucks this afternoon.
Sarah Bryan reported these sightings around Bucks:
Dave Morris sent this sighting today: "I thought I'd report the one and only butterfly I've seen so far this year, in my Seer Green (Bucks) garden yesterday, a Brimstone."
Doug Kennedy reported the following on 15th April: "Today I walked Eastwards along the Thame from Cuddington, Bucks for a mile or so and saw: 2 x Small Tortoiseshell, 1 x Brimstone and 2 x Peacock. I was hoping to see some Orange-tips but there was no sign. There is a place further along the river where they tend to appear in numbers and I'll go there later in the week. I saw a couple of Brimstones in my garden during bright weather towards the beginning of the month."
~ Sunday 14th April 2013 ~
Dennis Dell sent these sightings today: "On rough grassland between Fairford Leys, Aylesbury and Golf course: Small Tortoiseshell , Peacock . On Golf Course: Comma , Peacock . Also a Brimstone  in my garden in Aylesbury."
David Hastings reported the following: "I visited Otmoor, Oxon today (14th April), where I saw two Brimstones, two Peacocks and a Comma. I also visited Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon but there wasn't much sun by then and I only saw one Brimstone and one Peacock there."
David Fuller sent this report today: "As I was in the Scottish highlands birding in the first week in March I missed the few warm days so my butterfly season got off to a slow start, but today in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks: Comma 2, Peacock 2, Brimstone both male and female. Also of interest a Brambling male, Bullfinch female, Blackcap male, Siskin 3 males and 1 female all on the feeders, plus 3 species of Bumblebee. What a great time!"
Jim Asher went for a 5km walk around Marcham, Oxon this morning: "During a couple of spells of sun, I saw a total of 6 Brimstones (all males), a Small Tortoishell and a Peacock. My best day of the year so far! Spring may be on its way..."
This news came from Tom Stevenson: "At long last my first transect survey at Ewelme Watercress Beds, Oxon and better than I expected with Brimstone (2), Small Tortoiseshell (6) and Peacock(2)."
Helen Hyre saw the following today: "Sunday 14th April (morning) Brimstone in my garden in Bierton, Bucks (second Brimstone of 2013). Then at 2.20pm, first Small Tortoiseshell in my garden, although there was one a week ago about 2 metres beyond our garden fence."
Karen Saxl sent these sightings today: "12.30-12.45 Just got back from a short cycle-ride/walk down the Sustrans route South of Didcot, Oxon and path into West Hagbourne – Near West Hagbourne I saw 2 male Brimstone – 1 Peacock. On the way down, just by East Hagbourne Cemetry I saw 1 Small Tortoiseshell and on the way back I saw 3 nectaring on colts foot. Earlier in the day (10.45) I’d seen 2 Brimstones (again, think they were both male, but sightings were more fleeting) on a footpath just East of Didcot. To date all sightings have been Brimstones on the odd sunny day so has been good to see the species count go up a bit. Does this mean Spring is finally here?"
~ Friday 12th April 2013 ~
Peter Law sent his first sighting of the season: "As the day warmed up last Saturday 6th April, I thought it likely that I would find my year's first butterflies and so paid a visit to Bagley Wood, Oxford. I often have early sightings here and was rewarded with 5 male Brimstone and a rather sluggish Red Admiral viewed from access points to this private site. This was almost 4 weeks later in the season than my first Brimstones of 2012."
~ Wednesday 10th April 2013 ~
Dave Maunder sent the following reports from around Bucks: "On Saturday 6th April I saw my first Brimstones (4) of the year and a Small Tortoiseshell in Aylesbury. I also saw my first Comma of the year at Finemere Woods turning circle on 8th. Then today, 10th April, in Aylesbury I recorded:- Brimstone (1); Comma (3) and Small Tortoiseshell (13) - so has spring really started?"
~ Sunday 7th April 2013 ~
Helen Hyre sent this news from Bierton, Bucks: "On Saturday 6th April at 12.57pm I saw my first butterfly of the year (yes, really!). A male Brimstone, stunningly bright. Brimstone has been the first in the garden for several years but this is 2-4 weeks later than 'normal'".
~ Saturday 16th March 2013 ~
Paul Furtek sent this report on 30th March: "As the weather was slightly warmer this morning (above zero!) I decided to brave my attic. To my surprise, I was greeted by the sight of a newly hatched Small Tortoiseshell which had obviously hibernated over the winter. Not surprisingly, it didn't seem too keen to fly away when I opened the window!"
~ Saturday 16th March 2013 ~
The following came via Jim Asher from Phil Shaw:
"I was just browsing your web page having been advised of it by my colleague Richard Wheeler who
often contributes to it and thought I would pass on an unusual occurrence (for me) that happened
last year. On September 10th 2012 (a very hot day) I had 8 species of
butterfly on the same buddleia bush in my back garden in Shutford, west of
Banbury Oxon. They were Brimstone, Small White, Large White, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Comma,
Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. Is this a record for one plant??"
Tom Stevenson sent the following report: "I don’t remember having seen a Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on snowdrop before – photographed at Ewelme Watercress Beds (Oxon) nature reserve on Thursday, 14th March. Perhaps I will keep a list – coltsfoot and snowdrop so far this year."
~ Saturday 9th March 2013 ~
David Gantzel sent this report on 8th March: "One male and one female Brimstone in my garden in Hazlemere, Bucks on Tuesday March 5th."
~ Wednesday 6th March 2013 ~
Dave Maunder says his son saw a male Brimstone at his school in Aylesbury, Bucks on 6th March.
Tony Rayner sent this report today: "Tuesday 5th March - at last some butterflies. Single male Brimstones seen at Greenham Common (Berks), Tidmarsh (Berks), Moulsford (Oxon) and back home in Cholsey (Oxon). Several Woodlarks singing at Greenham."
John Holdbrook reported the following sightings: "A Small Tortoiseshell at top of Beacon Hill, Bucks above M40 on Monday March 4th; a Comma at Otmoor (Oxon) and a Brimstone at Sydling’s Copse (Oxon) both on Tuesday March 5th."
David and Pippa Lloyd saw 1 male Brimstone at Harvest Ride/County Lane roundabout, in Warfield, Berks at 1.30pm in bright sunshine on 5th March.
Martin Banthorpe sent this news: "One Brimstone seen in the garden of Hughenden Manor, Bucks during a visit there on 5th March."
Mick Jones reports seeing 3 Brimstones flying around gardens in the centre of Mursley, Bucks on 5th March.
Tom Stevenson sent this report on 5th March: "Today I saw a Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell down my allotment in Benson (Oxon) then 3 Brimstones, a Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock on the Ewelme Watercress beds nature reserve."
~ Tuesday 5th March 2013 ~
Mike Flemming reported the following: "Isn't it amazing what a day of warm sun can do after all the dull coldness of recent weeks? I saw a Brimstone in my Abingdon, Oxon garden at lunch time today, so set out immediately for Dry Sandford Pit, with its splendid sun-trap along the old quarry face. I was not disappointed! Five species were present and all photographed: Brimstone, Comma, Peacock (several), Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. The Brimstone did not seem at all concerned about providing a perch for a solitary bee (a notable inhabitant at this site). In addition, three Buzzards were mewing overhead and Primroses were in flower - a really splendid location on a great day! What a pity that rain is forecast for the rest of the week."
Bryan Williams saw his first butterfly of the year today. "It was a Comma at the Millennium Arboretum in Wokingham, Berks this afternoon (5th March)."
Mark Griffiths sent this news today: "The warmer weather tempted out a male Brimstone here in Garsington, Oxford - spent most of its time flying around the ivy-covered wall opposite our house."
Nicholl Williams sent this report today: "I saw a Brimstone in Cliveden and then another in Lane End, Bucks. I then went to Spade Oak outside Marlow, Bucks and saw a Comma and a Small Tortoiseshell, which I took a rather poor photo."
Dennis Dell says his sightings today in Fairford Leys, Aylesbury, Bucks were a Brimstone [male] and a Small Tortoiseshell.
Mick & Wendy Campbell recorded their first butterflies of the year today: "Driving back from Maidenhead this morning we saw 3 Brimstones - one in Bourne End, Bucks and 2 in Long Crendon (Bucks) where we also saw 2 unidentified nymphalidae flying over the hedges (possibly a Comma and a Small Tortoiseshell). Another Brimstone flew through our garden when we got home and then later in the afternoon we saw a Small Tortoiseshell during a walk along the Salden disused railway line in Bucks."
Mary Payne sent the following report: "No wonder so many butterflies wanted to come out today (5th March). I've been out walking and I got so hot that I had to take off my coat! I was delighted to spot several Brimstones whizzing about, plus one Comma and one Peacock all in the vicinity of Buckland Village, Bucks SP8812."
Nigel Partridge reports seeing a Brimstone and a Comma in his garden in Loosley Row, Bucks this morning, 05-03-13.
Abby Fettes saw a Brimstone enjoying the sunshine in her garden in Witney, Oxon today.
Richard Wheeler reported the following: "Glorious day here today (5th March) in Witney, Oxon and I've just seen my first butterfly of the year: a Brimstone bobbing along outside the council offices (Woodgreen)."
This early sighting came from Richard Comont: "I saw a male Orange-tip in my back garden in Sutton Courtenay, Oxon (SU504941), on 27th February. It flew across the garden, basked briefly on the fence, and then flew off. No sign of any more since!"
~ Monday 4th March 2013 ~
Dennis Dell reports seeing a Small Tortoiseshell at Fairford Leys, Aylesbury on this lovely spring day (4th March).
~ Sunday 24th February 2013 ~
Roger Newman reported the following: "I saw my first Red Admiral on Tuesday 19th Feb while on a Chiltern Society work party in a clearing in coniferous woodland at Weedonhill Wood, Bucks (Forestry Commission) west of Amersham at SU945994."
~ Tuesday 19th February 2013 ~
Graham Elcombe saw his first butterfly of the year this afternoon, 19th February: "It was a Comma in good condition, at Chenies, Bucks."
Dave Wilton sent this news: "At about 1pm today here at Westcott, Bucks I was just thinking that it was a typical "Brimstone Day" when a male Brimstone duly appeared from out of the dense honeysuckle by our kitchen window and went off on a local sortie in the sunshine. The outside air temperature was only 8C but with no wind it would have been somewhat warmer close to the south-facing wall of the house."
Tony Croft reported the following: "My garden in Easington, Bucks was visited by two butterflies today (19th February) in the brilliant sunshine. The first was a Small Tortoiseshell on a clump of yellow crocuses and then a Comma basking on the house wall."
~ Saturday 2nd February 2013 ~
Tony Rayner says he was surprised to see a Small Tortoiseshell flying around the edge of his Cholsey (Oxon) meadow yesterday, 1st February.
~ Tuesday 15th January 2013 ~
Dave Maunder says his wife Jo found a Red Admiral on their windowsill in Aylesbury, Bucks on a cool, dull afternoon last Wednesday, 9th January.
~ Friday 11th January 2013 ~
Steve Croxford sent this report: "I saw a these two Peacocks enjoying today's sun on the edge of Waddesdon Manor, Bucks this afternoon, 9th January."
Darren Seaman sent the following on 9th January: "Just seen a Red Admiral land on my van while in Chorleywood, Bucks. Not quick enough with the camera though."
~ Tuesday 8th January 2013 ~
Michael Swaine reported the following:
"I'm not sure if this counts as a sighting or not - but on 7th January I
found a very dopey Small Tortoiseshell on the landing of a block of flats in
Tarragon Drive, Oxford. How it got there I have no idea, but it
was very much alive. The temperature outside was about 8 degrees, somewhat warmer inside."
Mike Flemming sent this sighting: "A Red Admiral flew past the window in my Abingdon (Oxon) garden at about 1pm today (6th January). I rushed out with a camera but it disappeared into some Ivy and I did not disturb it. My first butterfly of the year and, hopefully, the first of many!"
~ Thursday 3rd January 2013 ~
Alison Lawrance sent the following: "Just to report that on New Year's Day whilst visiting friends in Wargrave, Berks I saw a Peacock butterfly - no picture unfortunately as it didn't settle for long."
~ Tuesday 1st January 2013 ~
Well done to Tom Stevenson for this early sighting: "Thought I would try and get in the “hall of fame” with a record of a Brimstone here in Benson, Oxon today (1st January) – amazing what a little bit of sunshine does!"
[Sightings for 2012 have been archived.]
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