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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 24/07/16
42

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

Latest News &
Updates - 28th June
Join the Big Butterfly Count!
15th July - 7th August
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 30th July, Fence Wood, Hermitage, Berks - for White Admiral and other summer species.
and
Sunday 31st July, Oven Bottom, Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon - for butterflies of high summer

~ 24th July 2016 ~

From Charlie Jackson: "I counted around 20 second brood Small Blue on a quick visit to Pitstone Church End, Bucks on Saturday morning (23rd July). Plenty of Gatekeepers there but only a single Common Blue. At Ivinghoe Beacon there were impressive numbers of Chalk Hill Blues with several pairs mating. I counted over 50 individuals on a small bank off the chalk track leading up from the bus stop on the B489 on the North side of the Beacon."

Chalk Hill Blue, Ivinghoe Beacon, 23-Jul-2016 (© Charlie Jackson)
Small Blue, Pitstone, 23-Jul-2016 (© Charlie Jackson)
Chalk Hill Blue
Photo © Charlie Jackson
Small Blue
Photo © Charlie Jackson

From Peter Kendall: "Went to Wishmoor Bottom, Berks this morning (24th July), around 18°C and mostly cloudy (at least 7/10ths) but intermittent sun. Saw two Grayling (in Berkshire) and not much else - a few Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and distant Whites."

Grayling, Wishmoor Bottom, 24-Jul-2016 (© Peter Kendall)
Grayling
Photo © Peter Kendall

~ 23rd July 2016 ~

From Ewan Urquhart: "Bernwood Forest, Bucks, 23rd July, 0830-1100hrs. Sunny and hot. Seen were Purple Emperor 1, Silver washed Fritillary 11, White Admiral 3, Red Admiral 8, Purple Hairstreak 13, Comma 1, Large White 9. Reasonable numbers of Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper though not so many as in past days. "

Purple Hairstreak, Bernwood, 23-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Purple Emperor, Bernwood, 23-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Ewan Urquhart
Purple Emperor
Photo © Ewan Urquhart

From Dave Wilton: "Nice to see a little bit of activity at last in the garden here at Westcott, Bucks. 13 species were recorded today (Saturday 23rd July), comprising Essex Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, White-letter Hairstreak, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Marbled White, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Two White-letter Hairstreaks were seen at the same time (they’ve been active on our elms since the 16th) and one of them came down briefly to nectar on brambles, permitting a half-decent close-up photograph instead of the usual long-range shot of a silhouette sat at the top of an elm!"

White-letter Hairstreak, Westcott, 23-Jul-2016 (© Dave Wilton)
White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Dave Wilton

~ 22nd July 2016 ~

From Wendy Wilson: "Early this morning, July 22nd, I went to the urban area between Slough and Heathrow expecting to record just a few common species. My first stop was Crown Meadow, Colnbrook, Berks, where I was pleased to see 14 species including many fresh-looking second brood ones. I was admiring a newly emerged male Common Blue when I was distracted by a pristine Brown Argus nearby, both species I haven't seen for a while. A brilliant Small Copper ab. caeruleopunctata, the first in my square this year, glinting in the sun was a very welcome sight. Also there were Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, Peacock, Comma, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood and Essex Skippers which outnumbered the Small Skippers. After a while, four or five Emperor Dragonflies arrived and flew back and forth low down over the vegetation. They paid particular attention to the clumps of knapweed, knowing just where to seek breakfast! Most of the butterflies sensibly went into hiding except the Whites and the Meadow Browns who didn't seem too bothered. There were also good numbers of common species in nearby Horton and Poyle, just east of Slough, Berks, including two Red Admirals beside the M25 at Poyle. "

Brown Argus, Colnbrook, 22-Jul-2016 (© Wendy Wilson)
Essex Skipper, Colnbrook, 22-Jul-2016 (© Wendy Wilson)
Small Copper, Colnbrook, 22-Jul-2016 (© Wendy Wilson)
Brown Argus
Photo © Wendy Wilson
Essex Skipper
Photo © Wendy Wilson
Small Copper
Photo © Wendy Wilson

From Ewan Urquhart: "Seen at Bernwood Forest, Bucks, 22 July, 1100-1230hrs, in and around the car park during sunny intervals: Purple Emperor 1, White Admiral 2, Red Admiral 1, Purple Hairstreak 3, Silver-washed Fritillary 6, usual good numbers of Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper. "

From Mick Jones: "This afternoon (22 July) whilst surveying at BBOWT Dancersend Reserve, Bucks I saw two White-letter Hairstreaks along the boundary of Dancersend Waterworks with Northill Wood. They were high in the canopy, flying between Wych Elms and Ash trees. In the same area there were a number of Silver-washed Fritillaries. "

From Peter Cuss: "I recorded a single White-letter Hairstreak at Hose Hill Lake, Berkshire (SU647694) on 19th July. "

From John Holdbrook: "On Tuesday July 19th I walked round Brasenose Wood, Oxford, Oxon. There were a lot of Green-veined Whites fluttering low in the vegetation on the paths, which I assumed were females laying eggs. I saw Meadow Browns, Ringlets,a single Speckled Wood and about 10 Silver-washed Fritillaries flying very actively. I also saw 2 White Admirals flying around the oaks. "

~ 21st July 2016 ~

From Tony Croft: "At Rushbeds Wood, Bucks today July 21st, among the many Silver-washed Fritillaries flying along the rides was this lovely female of the valezina form. "

Silver-washed Fritillary, Rushbeds Wood, 21-Jul-2016 (© Tony Croft)
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Tony Croft

From Katy Dunn: "We saw this lovely Lime Hawk caterpillar at Hambleden, Bucks today (21st July). "

Lime Hawk larva, Hambleden, 21-Jul-2016 (© Katy Dunn)
Lime Hawk larva
Photo © Katy Dunn

From Harry Appleyard: "This afternoon (21st July) I paid another visit to the North Bucks Way. Sadly I did not manage to spot the Purple Emperors I saw there last week but it was not a bad day for butterflies by any means. I came across lots of the usual suspects for this area including several Speckled Woods, two Commas, two Red Admirals, several Large Skippers and plenty of Meadow Browns and Ringlets. I also spotted at least five Silver-washed Fritillaries, most of which were hanging around the large bramble bushes on the edge of the nearby woodland, along with a fresh Peacock. A little later on I decided to walk down to Whaddon, Bucks and spotted a large number of Large Whites from a public footpath on farmland, one of which I was able to photograph laying eggs on the crops nearby. "

Silver-washed Fritillary, North Bucks Way, 21-Jul-2016 (© Harry Appleyard)
Peacock, North Bucks Way, 21-Jul-2016 (© Harry Appleyard)
Large White, Whaddon, 21-Jul-2016 (© Harry Appleyard)
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Harry Appleyard
Peacock
Photo © Harry Appleyard
Large White
Photo © Harry Appleyard

~ 20th July 2016 ~

From Michael Hunt: "Romer Wood, Bucks 17th July. Today's visit found in 15 mins for the count I submitted for the Big Count: 7 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 5 Marbled White, 5 Meadow Brown, 17 Ringlet, 5 Silver-washed Fritillary, 2 White Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Large Skipper, 4 Black Hairstreak, 1 Gatekeeper, 3 Small Skipper, 1 Purple Emperor, 1 Brimstone."

From Michael McNeill: "A hot sunny day on 18th July prompted a walk around Moor Copse, West Berkshire where a good number of butterflies were spotted. 12 species were recorded including one Six-spot Burnet. There were large numbers of Skippers, Small Skippers (75+), Large Skippers (25+), Meadow Brown (25+), Ringlet (50+), Marbled White (50+). In addition there were 5 Red Admiral, 1 Brimstone, 5 Large White, 5 Small White, 1 Comma and 7 Silver-washed Fritillary in 3 different locations, all very active and difficult to photograph."

Silver-washed Fritillary, Moor Copse, 18-Jul-2016 (© Michael McNeill)
Red Admiral, Moor Copse, 18-Jul-2016 (© Michael McNeill)
Marbled White, Moor Copse, 18-Jul-2016 (© Michael McNeill)
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Michael McNeill
Red Admiral
Photo © Michael McNeill
Marbled White
Photo © Michael McNeill

From Michael McNeill: "I received a brief visit from a White Admiral in my garden in Upper Basildon, West Berkshire (SU590767) on 12th July. Unfortunately, it did not stay long enough for a photograph."

From Chris Brown: "14th July, Crowsley Wood, Sonning Common, Oxon (SU735795): Large Skipper 7, Small White 1, Comma 5, Silver-washed Fritilliary 8 (5M 3U), Speckled Wood 1, Red Admiral 1, Meadow Brown 11, Ringlet 112+ (I gave up counting), White Admiral 1." 17th July, Millennium Green, Sonning Common, Oxon (SU713794): Small Skipper 45, Essex Skipper 2, Small White 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Comma 1, Marbled White 14, Meadow Brown 20, Ringlet 1, Gatekeeper 16. 19th July, Millennium Green, Sonning Common, Oxon (SU713794): Small Skipper 83, Essex Skipper 3, Small White 1, Small Tortoiseshell 5, Marbled White 8, Meadow Brown 7, Gatekeeper 14.

From Ewan Urquhart: "19th July, Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon scarp slope on north side of M40, 1200-1430hrs. Full sun with fairly strong southeast wind. Dark Green Fritillary 1, Chalk Hill Blue 70+ (only one female), Marbled White 40+, Meadow Brown 30+, Small Skipper 30+, Gatekeeper 5, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Peacock 1, Brimstone 1."

Dark Green Fritillary, Aston Rowant, 19-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Chalk Hill Blue, Aston Rowant, 19-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Ewan Urquhart
Chalk Hill Blue
Photo © Ewan Urquhart

From Michael McNeill: "From Nick Bowles’s request to hunt down Chalk Hill Blue butterflies, I visited Lardon Chase, West Berkshire on a hot and sunny day (19th July) and counted 95, including 3 females. Apart from the females, all were on the move, making photography difficult. Other species included good numbers of Marbled White and Meadow Brown with Brimstone, Red Admiral and Ringlet in single figures."

From Alan Adkins: "I can report a number of butterflies today (18th July) seen at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks: Meadow Brown (dozens), Marbled White (many), Ringlet (many), Essex/Small Skipper (many), Painted Lady (1), Red Admiral (2) Silver-washed Fritillary (10), Comma (4), Speckled Wood (1). Highlights were the relative abundance of SWF, and the Marbled Whites."

Silver-washed Fritillary, Chalfont St Giles, 18-Jul-2016 (© Alan Adkins)
Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Alan Adkins

From Andy Bolton: "Seen today 18th July at Shalford Bridge former gravel pit, nr Woolhampton , Berks (SU566651): Large Skipper 3, Small Skipper 3, Marbled White 7, Gatekeeper 6, Meadow Brown 14, Ringlet 22, Small White 4, Large White 1, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1."

From Peter Cuss: "A few more White-letter Hairstreak sightings all from Oxon, on the 17th July. 1 on elm at Park Wood, Mapledurham, SU672770, and 2 on elms in Jacksons Lane, SU693763. Then today (18th July) 1 on elm at Constitution Hill, Mongewell, SU611877 and 2 on elm on the footpath that runs from Mongewell to Wallingford at SU610883."

From Chris Lamsdell: "Black Park, Bucks 17 July: 2 Silver-washed Fritillary, quite a few Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Large Skippers."

~ 18th July 2016 ~

From John Lindley: "I walked a section of the Ridgeway at the end of Rectory Road, just west of Streatley, Berks in the morning of 17th July, and I saw around 10 each of Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Marbled White and Gatekeeper. Also 5 Comma (all Hutchinsoni), and singles of Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. Disappointing numbers of whites, only 2 Small Whites seen. I had a much better afternoon in the wildflower meadow just off the bridle path from Mapledurham to Whitchurch Hill, Oxon where the footpath leaves the bridle path and heads north towards Bottom Wood. Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers were out in huge numbers, at least 100 of each. I also saw about 20 Small/Essex Skippers and 30 small whites. Both my target species were present - I saw 8 Dark Green Fritillaries, mostly very active, and around 20 Chalk Hill Blues (all male). The latter were concentrated into a small area along the hedge just to the east of the gate. Then, on the way back to Mapledurham, 5 Red Admiral, 5 Comma, 2 Peacock and 2 Small Tortioseshell."

Dark Green Fritillary, Bottom Wood, 17-Jul-2016 (© John Lindley)
Chalk Hill Blue, Lardon Chase, 16-Jul-2016 (© John Lindley)
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © John Lindley
Chalk Hill Blue
Photo © John Lindley

From Nick Bowles: "Report on field trip to Bacombe Hill, Wendover, Bucks on 17th July. Four members set out from the Shoulder Of Mutton in Wendover (who had kindly agreed to let us park in their car park) and wandered up the hill, to one of BBOWTs newest reserves. Cloudy skies gradually cleared and despite the strong wind it became warm. We saw 15 species including the rather wonderful Dark Green and Silver-washed Fritillaries but without seeing a single one of the ‘Blue’ family. The information board at the entrance promises glorious views and soaring Red Kites. We couldn’t argue with those. However, it also says that, ...on warm sunny days there are Chalk Hill Blue butterflies among the colourful wild flowers. There were not! Other summer species such as Gatekeeper and ‘new’ Brimstone and Comma, were on the wing, so the lack of all the ‘blue’ species was both odd and sad; and shows that we were a little unlucky. It is a lovely hillside and worthy of exploration but the site is slightly later than many others, as it faces north and is open to the wind sweeping across the Vale. Parking is awkward but the Shoulder of Mutton does good lunches. Other hostelries are available."

From Malcolm & Valerie Brownsword: "This afternoon (17th July) we went to Hackpen Hill, near Wantage, Oxon and saw our first 5 Chalk Hill Blues of the year. We also saw courtship of a pair of Dark Green Fritillaries as well as an additional two in flight. There were approximately 50 Marbled Whites, 25 Small Heaths, 5 Small/Essex Skippers, 8 Ringlets, 12 Meadow Browns and 6 Chalk Carpet moths."

Dark Green Fritillaries, Hackpen Hill, 17-Jul-2016 (© Malcolm Brownsword)
Chalk Carpet, Hackpen Hill, 17-Jul-2016 (© Malcolm Brownsword)
Dark Green Fritillaries
Photo © Malcolm Brownsword
Chalk Carpet
Photo © Malcolm Brownsword

From Richard Wheeler: "Visited Waterperry Wood, Bucks with my family between 4pm and 5pm today (17th July). Weather hot and breezy (c.25°C). Plenty of butterflies seen, including: 14 Large Skipper, 5 Large White, 5 Meadow Brown, 51 Ringlet, 1 Comma, 7 Marbled White, 5 Silver-washed Fritillary (3M, 2F), 7 Purple Hairstreak (including a female perched on grass), 1 White Admiral and 1 Purple Emperor."

Purple Hairstreak, Waterperry Wood, 17-Jul-2016 (© Richard Wheeler)
Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Richard Wheeler

From Ewan Urquhart: "In sunny conditions at Bernwood Forest (Oakley Wood), Bucks on 17th July 2016 (1120-1300hrs) we saw 5 Purple Emperor - with 3 males coming down to the main track beyond the first crossroads, one of which attached itself to a person's boot and remained in situ for twenty minutes. Briefly joined by another before both flew back into the trees. Fourth one in the car park and a fifth cruising the Oaks up a ride off the main track. Also 2 White Admiral, 1 Red Admiral, 22 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 1 Purple Hairstreak, 2 Comma, 6 Marbled White, 1 Speckled Wood, 12 Large White, 1 Small White as well as good numbers of Ringlet and Large Skipper. Another 2 Scarlet Tiger moths on the wing also."

~ 17th July 2016 ~

Request from Nick Bowles : Perhaps some of you that have been looking for Purple Emperor and Silver-washed might try your hand at something which is proving harder this year? Can you find a Chalk Hill Blue? I would love to hear that someone, anyone, has found them.

Karen Saxl sent these sightings: "On the SUSTRANS route from Didcot to Upton, Oxon, this morning (17th July) I had my first sightings of second brood Small Blues - last sightings of first brood were last weekend so not much of a gap this year. Wetter weather means that there is more kidney vetch in flower so may be a good year for second brood - at least for my little colonies. The Marbled Whites have definitely gone past their peaks - still seeing over 50 quite easily - but not getting up into the hundreds. This year I've seen virtually no spread out of the colony so suspect that it's not going to have a good year in terms of the butterfly count. Numbers of whites - mainly Large and Green-veined - are picking up so starting to get a little less excited now when I see one. Small Skippers are starting to pick up and still a few Large Skippers around. Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Ringlets all doing well. Not seeing as many Six-spot Burnets as usual, though noticing a few unhatched cases among the long grass - so may see a few more over the next week or so."

These sightings were sent by Dave Cleal: "Yesterday (16th July) I went to Hodgemoor Woods, Bucks (between Beaconsfield and Amersham). The weather was warm and humid. Ringlet were common around the grassy edges of the wood and far outnumbered Meadow Brown & Marbled White. In the wood butterflies were scarce with just half a dozen Speckled Wood, a dozen Green-veined Whites & 5 Comma. Not one White Admiral was seen, disappointing given that I saw several here a couple of years ago. Best sighting was a Silver-washed Fritillary in the car park interacting with a Comma. I then went to Beacon Lane opposite Wycombe Airpark, Bucks and walked west along the permitted path, there was a stiff south westerly wind. 1 Large Skipper,3 Essex Skipper, 14 Whites, the ones identified were all Green-veined Whites, 60 odd Ringlet, 20 Marbled Whites & 4 Small Tortoiseshell. This morning (17th July) I found a Painted Lady sunning itself in the grounds of our house just north of Burnham, Bucks. Our resident Purple Hairstreaks have been shy of late but I got a maximum of 5, three nights ago."

Karen Saxl sent this news: "A couple of nights ago (14th July)I got home quite late from work but it had been a good day and wind had been quite low so even though it was around 20.30 I decided to go out (to the SUSTRANS route from Didcot to Upton, Oxon) and see what was going on with the local Marbled White population - managed to see about 90 butterflies in all in - perching in grass and a few in flight - mainly the Meadow Browns doing their last flutter as the sun went down over the horizon and the light changed. Anyway the moon was starting to shine as I headed back which made me think about trying to see if I could find anything by moonlight so resolved to let the moon get a bit fuller and if it was clear go out for a run and see what I could spot so this evening - not quite full moon - but peering through clouds - a bit more wind than I would have liked so 22.15 I set off. Arrived at a good spot around 22.30 and had a look - found 3 without much of a problem - still perched on flower heads amid the grass in a sheltered spot. Moon was slightly obscured by cloud so waited a few minutes for cloud to blow over and looked again - much easier to spot in the moonlight this time round and so found a 4th. 2 were actually perched inside a head of yarrow that hasn't quite opened up yet - and think I must have brushed some grass across the head as one fluttered out as I was watching ... and as the moonlight got a little stronger one perched in some knapweed did a little flutter as I watched. Bit of me that would have liked to stay and see if and when they finally went to bed - so warm and with plenty of moonlight I suspect they might have stayed up all night."

John Lindley sent these sightings: "I visited Lardon Chase, Berks this afternoon (16th July). Chalk Hill Blues were about, but in lower numbers than I've seen here in previous years. I saw around 30, all males. I looked hard for females but didn't see any. Also about 50 Meadow Browns, 20+ Marbled Whites (starting to look a bit tatty now), 2 Gatekeepers (both male), 1 Small Tortoiseshell and a handful of small whites. Overall, there seemed to be far fewer butterflies than in previous years, hopefully numbers will pick up soon."

Harry Appleyard sent this news: "Earlier today (16th July) I joined a local expert and several other people on a butterfly walk along the North Bucks Way between 11am and 1pm, starting from Shenley Wood. In the end we counted 17 species. The highlight of the walk was seeing at least four Purple Emperors flying above the canopy. We saw one chasing another on several occasions and they were settling regularly at the tops of the ash and oak trees above us. Despite it being a little windy at times, we also had good views of two Purple Hairstreaks, one of which was basking on a nearby oak and two White-letter Hairstreaks on a small elm. Silver-Washed Fritillaries were also patrolling, occasionally feeding on hogweed and basking in various trees, three appearing together at one point. Many other common butterflies for this particular area were also seen including Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Large Skippers. There were a few spread around our route in small numbers too, including several summer brood Commas, five Marbled Whites (one pair mating), two Gatekeepers, one White Admiral and one Essex Skipper."

Purple Emperors, North Bucks Way, 16-Jul-2016 (© Harry Appleyard)
White-letter Hairstreak, North Bucks Way, 16-Jul-2016 (© Harry Appleyard)
Marbled Whites, North Bucks Way, 16-Jul-2016 (© Harry Appleyard)
Purple Emperors
Photo © Harry Appleyard
White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Harry Appleyard
Marbled Whites
Photo © Harry Appleyard

Dave Cleal sent this report: "I went to Holtspur Bottom, Bucks this afternoon (14th July), at times it was very hot and sunny. Marbled Whites in good numbers, 2 Small Tortiseshell, Comma, and several Whites (which were more noticeable everywhere today). Couldn't find any Blues of any persuasion but 5 Essex Skippers provided my first photos of them."

Essex Skipper, Holtspur Bottom, 14-Jul-2016 (© Dave Cleal)
Essex Skipper
Photo © Dave Cleal

Ewan Urquhart sent this news: "At Oakley Wood, Bernwood Forest, Bucks on 14th July between the car park and the pond I saw the following from 0900-1300hrs in virtually continuous sunshine: Purple Emperor 4, with one feeding on the ground for forty minutes, White Admiral 2, Red Admiral 2, Purple Hairstreak 5, Silver-washed Fritillary 15+, Gatekeeper 1, Marbled White 1, Small White 2, Large White 4, as well as good numbers of Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper.
At Waterperry Wood, Bucks from 1400-1630 I saw the following: Purple Emperor 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 28, Purple Hairstreak 3, Marbled White 1, Meadow Brown 11, Ringlet 90+, Large White 21, Small White 2, Large Skipper 50+. Also 2 Scarlet Tiger moths there."

Purple Emperor, Bernwood, 14-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Silver-washed Fritillary, Bernwood, 14-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Gatekeeper, Bernwood, 14-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Purple Emperor ♂
Photo © Ewan Urquhart
Silver-washed Fritillary ♂
Photo © Ewan Urquhart
Gatekeeper ♂
Photo © Ewan Urquhart

~ 14th July 2016 ~

David Hastings visited Chazey Heath, Oxon on 14th July: "I managed to spot at least five White-letter Hairstreaks in the elms behind the pub. None of them came down to flowers, though. Then at Lardon Chase, Bucks I saw at least thirty Chalk Hill Blues (25+ males, 5 females) and one Dark Green Fritillary, as well as the commoner species. One Chalkie was happy to sit on my hand. I also saw a Holly Blue in my garden in north Abingdon, Oxon."

Chalk Hill Blue, Lardon Chase, 14-Jul-2016 (© David Hastings)
Chalk Hill Blue, Lardon Chase, 14-Jul-2016 (© David Hastings)
Chalk Hill Blue ♂
Photo © David Hastings
Chalk Hill Blue ♀
Photo © David Hastings

Tim Watts sent this news: "On 14th July I visited Finemere wood, Bucks ,unlike previous trips recently there was plenty of Purple Emperor activity. At 10 a.m one landed in car park, the flew up main ride, landing now and again. At 11 a.m I sat on the pile of stones in the car park to scan the tops of Oaks, glanced to my left and a male Emperor was on stone pile next to me ! It stayed feeding on Fox dung for half an hour, giving many visitors point blank views. At 11:30 two seen together low over car park then high over Oaks. At Charndon, Bucks there was a White-letter Hairstreak nectaring on bramble by the roadside speed limit signs outside the village hall at 12:30. Also 2-3 battling above small Elms next to Calvert Jubilee, Oxon car park. I then tried a field just outside Oving, Bucks that noted had tallish Elm hedgeline border, tried last year and recently with no success but today delighted to find 3-4 White-letter Hairstreaks, a new colony. Also following up a tip from Adrian Cadman, I checked a roadside Elm near Botolph Claydon, Bucks and saw 2 White-letter Hairstreak there too."

Purple Emperor, Finemere Wood, 14-Jul-2016 (© Tim Watts)
White-letter Hairstreak, Charndon, 14-Jul-2016 (© Tim Watts)
Purple Emperor
Photo © Tim Watts
White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Tim Watts

Peter Cuss sent this report: "Searching for White-letter Hairstreak today (14th July) on elms along the A4 between Maidenhead and Reading, Berks and can report the following sightings: 2 at SU811783, Kiln Green. 1 at SU795777 and 2 at SU792775, just before Hare Hatch."

This was received from Steve Johnson: "Stroll through Bernwood Meadows and into Bernwood Forest, Bucks today (14th July) between 11am and 1pm. Here is a list of sightings: Many Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, and Large Skippers. Also 3 Small Heaths, 3 Gatekeepers, 2 Large White, 1 Comma, 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries, and 3 Purple Emperors (1 female, 2 male) flying and settled on faeces and wet mud on the main ride in the centre of the forest."

Purple Emperor, Bernwood Forest, 14-Jul-2016 (© Steve Johnson)
Purple Emperor, Bernwood Forest, 14-Jul-2016 (© Steve Johnson)
Purple Emperor
Photo © Steve Johnson
Purple Emperor
Photo © Steve Johnson

Neil Holman sent this news: "A trip out of area on Wednesday 13th July to Silchester Common, Hants to successfully find the Silver-studded Blue was followed by a quick afternoon visit to Bald Hill, Aston Rowant South, Oxon on the way home. This proved to be very successful despite the inclement weather as between heavy showers I managed to spot a lot of Marbled White, 4 x Dark Green Fritillary, 6 x Small Heath, 3 x Small Skipper and to my surprise 1 x Siver-spotted Skipper."

Silver-studded Blue, Silcester Common, 13-Jul-2016 (© Neil Holman)
Siver-spotted Skipper, Aston Rowant, 13-Jul-2016 (© Neil Holman)
Silver-studded Blue ♂
Photo © Neil Holman
Siver-spotted Skipper ♂
Photo © Neil Holman

Nick Bowles sent this trip report: "As the habitat at the Chiltern Forest Golf Club, Bucks is so wonderful I visit a few times each year (by invitation) and agreed to lead a walk for the club members. Sadly, though 11th July seemed a sensible date to provide sightings of about 15 species, on the day many of the anticipated species seemed to be between broods. It was certainly the case that many species which I normally see there in the summer were absent. We saw Large, Small and Essex Skipper; Small Tortoiseshell, Marbled White, Meadow Brown , Gatekeeper and Ringlet. There were many flowers including four orchid species, plus Red legged Partridge and a Roe deer (in full daylight wandering across the course) among many other diverse forms of wildlife."

Nick Bowles sent this news: "The first UTB Chalkhill Blue was seen 11 days ago; and it was a female which normally emerge about 7-10 days behind the males. So why is no-one seeing any? I tried again today (13th July) and had about 45 minutes of good weather at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks and the adjoining Stepps Hill, Bucks. I saw Large and Small Skipper, Small White, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell (3rd commonest species), Dark Green Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Small Heath. There were no Chalkies in evidence and no burnet moths either, which is equally odd."

Nicholl Williams sent this report: "I went down today (13th June) to the area of woodland around Lane End, Bucks. I saw a mass of Large Whites (almost as if an invasion has happened). Also my first few Gatekeepers, more Small Tortoiseshells, dozens of Ringlets, Marbled Whites and a few Red Admirals. I counted 12 Silver-washed Fritillaries. I saw 4 Large Skippers."

Silver-washed Fritillary, Lane End, 13-Jul-2016 (© Nicholl Williams)
Large Skipper, Lane End, 13-Jul-2016 (© Nicholl Williams)
Silver-washed Fritillary ♂
Photo © Nicholl Williams
Large Skipper ♂
Photo © Nicholl Williams

John Chapman sent this news: "Widmer End, Bucks, 10th July: Thought I should report that my wife and I saw in excess of 50 Meadow Brown butterflies, in fact we saw so many in the space of 2 fields, we finally lost count. Most seemed to be enjoying the rain drops on the long grass. Conditions sunny, but quite windy. Also saw 4 Comma butterflies, one Small Tortoiseshell and a Large White."

~ 12th July 2016 ~

David Hastings visited Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon on 11th July: "Conditions were not great, with a fairly brisk NW wind, but there was some sunshine. There were many Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites and Large Skippers about. I had a brief glimpse of a White Admiral, and found just one each of Small and Essex Skippers, Gatekeeper and Purple Hairstreak. However, Silver-washed Fritillaries were quite numerous, with at least ten being seen. I also saw three Commas and six Large Whites."

Gatekeeper, Whitecross Green Wood, 11-Jul-2016 (© David Hastings)
Silver-washed Fritillary, Whitecross Green Wood, 11-Jul-2016 (© David Hastings)
Gatekeeper ♂
Photo © David Hastings
Silver-washed Fritillary ♂
Photo © David Hastings

Ewan Urquhart sent these sightings: "Bernwood Forest (Oakley Wood), Bucks today 11th July 1115-1330hrs: Purple Emperor 2 (possibly 3), Silver-washed Fritillary 6+, Comma 1, Purple Hairstreak 4, Large White 2."

Julia Huggins sent this report: The field trip for White Admiral and other butterflies took place on Saturday 9th July under grey skies and in windy conditions. Despite this nine people joined me for a walk around Bowdown Wood, Berks. Unfortunately the conditions were not good for White Admirals and the best we achieved was a couple of silhouettes against the grey sky! However we did see numerous Ringlets and Meadow Browns, and many other things including a Clouded Border moth and Earthstar fungi."

~ 10th July 2016 ~

Ewan Urquhart sent the following: Bernwood Forest (Oakley Wood), Bucks today 10 July 1130-1400hrs: Intermittent sunshine from 1200 onwards. Purple Emperor 2, 1 briefly in Car Park @ 1132 but flew off into surrounding Oaks without settling. Another just beyond the first crossroads feeding on dog faeces by track from 1320-1354. Also Silver-washed Fritillary 7, Comma 1, Purple Hairstreak 2, Large White 1, usual complement of Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Large Skippers."

Purple Emperor, Bernwood Forest, 11-Jul-2016 (© Ewan Urquhart)
Male Purple Emperor in flight
Photo © Ewan Urquhart

Chris Brown sent this report: "10/07/16 Millennium Green Sonning Common , Oxfordshire (SU713794): Small Skipper 52, Large Skipper 1, Marbled White 61, Meadow Brown 6, Ringlet 3, Gatekeeper 2, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Forester Moth 6 and Six-spot Burnet 2."

~ 9th July 2016 ~

Karen Saxl sent this update: "This coming Wednesday (13th July) sees the last planned evening walk along the Didcot-Upton Railway line - last Wednesday, 6th July there were a few of us - myself and a few locals including a family that I see walking regularly. The weather was good and had been all day so everything was still quite active and flying up in response to vibrations as we went past. Numbers of Marbled White, Meadow Browns and Ringlets and Large Skippers are good - still seeing the odd Small Blue - though we didn't actually see one that evening. Still not much by way of Whites but now seeing a few Small Tortoiseshells. On the 13th July we meet at the carpark at the village hall in East Hagbourne - aiming to leave at 1800. If you are planning to come then let me know - Karen Saxl 01235-812574."

Dave Cleal sent this news: "I went to Springfield landfill, Bucks this afternoon (9th July) just south of Beaconsfield. 5 Small Skippers, 5 Marbled Whites, Meadow Brown & Ringlet were common but not prolific. 2 Small Tortoiseshell & one Green-veined White."

Small Skipper
Photo © Dave Cleal

David Fuller went to Knowl Hill Common, Berks on 9th July. "Although it was overcast and breezy it was 20 degrees and I saw the following: Marbled White 43, Meadow Brown 28, Ringlet 20, Small Skipper 9 and Large White 1, so not bad for no sun!"

Ewan Urquhart sent these sightings on 9th July:
"05 July Bernwood Forest Bucks, from 1400-1600hrs - Black Hairstreak 1, White Admiral 2, Emperor Moth larva 1 crossing the track also Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Marbled White and Large Skipper in good numbers.
06 July Finemere Wood Bucks, from 1000-1200hrs - Purple Emperor 1, Red Admiral 1, White Admiral 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 15+, also Marbled White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper in good numbers.
07 July Chazey Heath Oxon, late afternoon - White-letter Hairstreak 4, mainly flying above elms but one nectaring on brambles.
08 July Bernwood Forest Bucks, in one hour of intermittent sunshine from 1200-1300 - Purple Emperor 2 possibly 3, White Admiral 1, Red Admiral 1, Silver-washed Fritillary 3 including a valezina, Purple Hairstreak 2, also many Ringlets and Meadow Browns."

Black Hairstreak
Photo © Ewan Urquhart
White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Ewan Urquhart
White Admiral
Photo © Ewan Urquhart

Alan Gudge passed on this news: "I am pleased to report that a Purple Emperor was recorded on 8th July in a polytunnel in the garden of Mike and Helen Hall which is adjacent to the South Meadow on Moorend Common in Bucks. It was obliging in revealing both the upper and lower wing surfaces. In the subdued light in the polytunnel the male purple sheen was only revealed by shining a torch on it. This will encourage locals to look out for more sightings of Purple Emperor on the common."

Purple Emperor
Photo © Helen Hall

Wendy Wilson sent this report: "On the 7th July a sunny morning at Langley Park in Bucks yielded 60 Ringlet, 57 Meadow Brown, 8 Large Skipper, 6 Small Skipper, 5 Small White, 3 Large White, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 1 each of my first Purple Hairstreak and Essex Skipper of the year. Several of the usual grassland species were disappointingly absent however. On a brief visit to nearby Black Park in the afternoon I was pleased to see a Silver-washed Fritillary and 3 White Admirals, both my first of the year. Also seen were 5 Ringlet, 4 Meadow Brown, 2 Purple Hairstreak, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White, 1 Comma and (surprisingly for this wooded site) a Marbled White."

Peter Cuss sent this update: "Saw 4 White-letter Hairstreak on elm at the Earth Trust, Little Wittenham, Oxon, SU 558 928 (7/7/16)."

Nick Bowles sent the following on 7th July: "I went to Grangelands, Pulpit Hill and the Kimble Rifle Range (Bucks) today and searched hard for Chalkhill Blues. None. Nor any Dark Green Fritillary. In fact there were few butterflies of any type. Most numerous were Marbled White and Ringlet with a few Meadow Brown and Small Heath and one or two Brimstones (old brood) and single Large White and Speckled Wood. I think I saw one Large Skipper. Considering that I was on these sites for over an hour I was disappointed to see so few butterflies. The flowers were looking very good though - with about 20 Musk Orchid in the masses of Fragrant and Pyramidal."

This report came from Graham and Bridget Elcombe: "6th July: Chenies, Bucks: On the path along the River Chess, West of Chenies (on the frontier with Hertfordshire!): no rarities, but for the record we saw seven species: Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Large White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Skipper and Marbled White."

~ 6th July 2016 ~

Nick Bowles sent the following: "Today, 6th July, I was looking for Black Hairstreak and White-letter Hairstreak in new locations in the morning and then for Dark Green Fritillary and Chalkhill Blue in the afternoon at one of their better sites. I walked most of the fields of 2 farms just outside Quainton, Bucks this morning in sunshine and light winds and despite one tantalising 'is it isn't it' moment saw no hairstreaks (neither Black nor White-letter) that I can confirm. They were the target of the hunt. Both farms had Small Heath though and better numbers of Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Large Skipper than I would find at Ivinghoe Beacon later. In the afternoon I went to Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks and saw three Dark Green Fritillary, one in Inchcombe Hole and two on the NW face of Stepps Hill. There were no Chalkies though there were some late Common Blue and good numbers of Marbled White. I walked all around the SW and West faces of the Beacon Hill too, but no joy with either target species there. Pleasing numbers of Small Tortoiseshell at all locations today and at home in my garden there are at least three - but that's in Herts.."
Chalkhill Blue is about in our countryside again (see Karen Saxl's report below). Please let Nick Bowles know of any sightings and about all visits you make to suitable habitat - even when you see none. Thanks, Wendy.

Chris Bottrell sent this sighting: "I was in Bernwood, Bucks at 08:00 this morning, 6th July, and walked an awful lot of it. No luck on seeing Purple Emperor until I got back to the car park at 13:30 only to be greeted by one nectaring on mud!"
Purple Emperors are starting to appear in a number of UTB woods now. Please remember to send all your sightings to Dennis Dell, Species Champion for the Purple Emperor, or to this website. Thanks, Wendy.

Purple Emperor
Photo © Chris Bottrell

Phil Foxon sent this update on 6th July: "White-letter Hairstreaks are still there. A disappointing evening at Charndon, Bucks (SP6725 2485) yesterday. Situation much improved between 10:30 and 11:30 this morning. Numerous sightings of White-letter Hairstreak on the West side of the road. Positive identification through binoculars. Minimum number present - 3, probable total - 5. Hopefully numbers will increase."

Peter Cuss was looking for White-letter Hairstreak again today, 6/7/16 and saw 3 at Nunhide Lane, Sulham, Berks SU 647 735 (thank you Jan Haseler for pointing me in the direction of those superb elms)."

The following report came from Trish Glenn on 6th July: "Just to say I saw a Purple Emperor male on 5th July around 12 o clock at Bernwood Forest, Bucks and then today around the same time same place another Purple Emperor danced around me, landed on my foot and gave me a great view of the underside of its wing. Photos were taken on my iPhone as I am not really an avid butterflier just a person who walks my dogs there every day and loves nature!"

Purple Emperor male
Photo © Trish Glenn
Purple Emperor female
Photo © Trish Glenn
Purple Emperor female
Photo © Trish Glenn

Chris Brown sent this report: "Crowsley Wood, Sonning Common, Oxon SU 735 795. 5/07/16: Small Skipper 2, Large Skipper 1, Comma 2, Silver-washed Fritillary 3 (1M 2U), Speckled Wood 2, Marbled White 1, Meadow Brown 11, Ringlet 54 and White Admiral 2."

Rob Thomas sent the following: "In an update to my report of 30 April of two Orange-tips pairing in my garden in Combe, Oxfordshire, I was delighted to find a chrysalis on 5 July. As you can see from the photo it is only attached to a flimsy plant at the top having come loose at the base, so I am concerned for its welfare. Any suggestions on what I can do to help would be welcome."

Orange-tip pupa
Photo © Rob Thomas

David Fuller reports seeing about 35 Meadow Browns at Odney Island, Cookham, Berks on 5th July.

Karen Saxl sent this update on 5th July: "Didcot-Upton Sustrans route (Oxon). Well, it's a bit of a strange state of affairs when seeing a Green-veined White is the highlight of a walk but whites seem to be few and far behind so ... also saw over 200 Marbled Whites, a couple of dozen Meadow Browns and Ringlets, Large Skippers, Small Skippers, a Small Blue (pretty sure it was on the same piece of grass as the last one I saw!) some Small Tortoiseshells and Gatekeepers ... and a Red Admiral just as I left the house. The warm weather for a few days seems to have brought them all out in larger numbers though still not seeing Common Blues and Brown Argus ... and a long time since I saw a Peacock.
On Sunday 3rd July I went up to the Devil's Punchbowl at Letcombe Bassett near Wantage (Oxon) - dozens of Small Heath - lots of Marbled White - Meadow Browns, Ringlets, a Garden Tiger Moth and a couple of Fritillaries - didn't stay put long enough to be sure but probably Dark Green - also saw a Chalkhill Blue as I walked from the car park."

Peter Law sent the following: "5th July: This male Purple Emperor was found by dog walkers just before noon today on the main track through Oakley Wood, Bucks near the car park. I was called across but the butterfly then took flight. After the other people moved on I relocated what I assumed was the same individual about 300 metres further down the track. It was at first very flighty moving restlessly back towards the first spot. But it then settled down and allowed a very close approach. Other butterflies seen here by me today were 4 Silver-washed Fritillary, many Ringlet, a few each of Meadow Brown and Large Skipper and a single Speckled Wood."

Purple Emperor
Photo © Peter Law
Purple Emperor
Photo © Peter Law

Peter Cuss sent this update: "Still on the hunt for White-letter Hairstreak on 4/07/16, tried looking in Swains Wood as it has been recorded here in the past, but no luck. Dropped in at Homefield Wood, Bucks which also drew a blank then on to New Farm near Henley, Oxon, 735 835 and saw 2 White-letter Hairstreak. On 5/07/16 I can report 2 seen on the elm at Whittles Farm lane, Oxon, SU 672 784 and a new site, 2 on elm at Widmore pond, Sonning Common, Oxon, SU 712 805."

Phil Foxon reported the following: "Enjoyed a pleasant hour beside Great Moor Sailing Club, Bucks this morning, 4th July. Dark Green Fritilliaries in flight whenever the sun was not obscured by cloud. Butterflies nectaring on thistle. Activity is centred at SP679 253."

Peter Cuss sent this report: "Maidenhead Thicket, Berks field trip, 3rd July: started out at 13.00 pm; 13 participants. 20 degrees and cloudy to start with, with increasing sunshine. Target species: White-letter Hairstreak. We went to the spot where I had seen two a few days ago: a solitary elm, next to an ash. Between 14.00 and 14.30, two White-letter Hairstreaks seen on hornbeam opposite that elm, on the other side of the track. Two additional specimens seen further down the track, flying swiftly along. One returned to the elm and ash later. SP8498880860. Other species: Marbled White [4], Ringlet [>50], Meadow Brown [5], Silver-washed Fritillary [5], White Admiral [3], Large White [2], Large Skipper [3], Red Admiral [1], Small White [1], Small Tortoiseshell [2], Comma [2]."

David White sent this news: "Came across a colony of at least 5 Purple Hairstreaks at the top of an oak in Peppard Common, Oxon SU705818 on July 3rd late afternoon."

~ 3rd July 2016 ~

This news came from Dave Cleal: "A new garden tick for me, Purple Hairstreak today, 3rd July, in the tops of Oaks at the back of our abode just north of Burnham, Bucks."

Richard Wheeler sent this update: "I stopped at Bernwood Forest, Bucks with my family today (03/07/16) – walking the main ride up to the pond and back between 4:30pm and 6pm. Despite good weather (c.20°C, sunny with passing cloud), we didn’t see as many butterflies as I’d hoped. However, at SP612113 my 10-year old son exclaimed that a Black Hairstreak had settled on the track, and he was right! It was quite worn and fluttery and spent some time flying and landing near ground level, perching or nectaring half-heartedly, before moving on (even crawling onto my hand at one point). It’s the first time I’ve seen this butterfly at Bernwood, and not at all where I would have expected to find it. In terms of other butterflies seen, only Ringlet and Large Skipper were present in good numbers; also seen: 1 White Admiral, 1 Marbled White, 1 Meadow Brown."

Black Hairstreak
Photo © Richard Wheeler
Black Hairstreak
Photo © Richard Wheeler

Colin Mather sent this news on 3rd July: "In my garden Scarlet Tiger moths pairing. Down at my local common at Sonning Common, Oxon three Meadow Brown, one Ringlet, one Marbled White and three Small Skippers. Hoping there will be more soon."

Scarlet Tiger moths
Photo © Colin Mather
Ringlet
Photo © Colin Mather

Wendy & Mick Campbell reported as follows: "We went to Waterperry Wood, Oxon this morning (3rd July). There was no sign of Purple Emperor but we did see a Silver-washed Fritillary, 2 White Admirals and reasonable numbers of Large Skippers and Ringlets. Then we went to Little Wood, Oxon and in ideal conditions we saw 3 Purple Emperors in 10 minutes, two in the main ash tree territory seen in a slow chase. The third was in a smaller ash tree and then flew across to the oaks on the edge of the field where it remained until we left. On our way back through neighbouring Piddington Wood we were very pleased to find a Black Hairstreak nectaring on bramble flowers, the only one we've seen in Piddington Wood this year."

Charlie Jackson reported the following: "In the warm sunshine at Finmere Wood, Bucks today, 3rd July, I saw my first Purple Emperor of the year along with 4 White Admirals and 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries. Also good numbers of Marbled Whites and Large Skippers. A few Red Admirals and 3 Small Tortoiseshells."

Purple Emperor
Photo © Charlie Jackson
Purple Emperor
Photo © Charlie Jackson

Peter Cuss sent this news: "On 2/07/16, I saw 3 White-letter Hairstreak on an elm at the edge of woodland at Caversham Park Road, Berkshire SU 733 763. Not aware of any previous sightings here so a nice find! Looking for White-letter Hairstreak today (3/07/16) in the morning at Purley Rise, Berks I saw 2 at SU 6554 7624 and a further 9 starting at SU 6517 7615. These are both in the hedgerow that runs along the Oxford Road/Purley Rise that runs between Reading and Pangebourne, a fairly long way with a lot of elm in various stages of tall/dying/regenerating. I will be going back soon to walk the whole length to see how far the White-letter Hairstreak have colonised but had a limited amount of time today. Potentially a very good site despite being a major road. In the afternoon it was off to the UTB field trip at Maidenhead Thicket, Berks where we managed to see 4 White-letter Hairstreak in weather that was much better than originally forecast!"
Please remember to let Peter know about your White-letter Hairstreak sightings for the project he's doing this year - see the notice above to find out more about the project. Thanks, Wendy.

Wendy Wilson sent this field trip report on 2nd July: "There was a cool breeze and little sunshine for our field trip to Iver in Bucks today, so few butterflies were showing themselves. However, after training our binoculars on each of the three groups of elm trees along the walk, we were delighted when Ray Goodearl eventually spotted two White-letter Hairstreaks - our target species for the day. Also seen were Comma, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large Skipper, Brimstone and a Silver-washed Fritillary (a first for the site as far as I know). Carol Gibson of Iver Parish Council kindly joined us on the walk and told us about the disease-resistant elms the council is planting at Swan Meadow near the start of our walk. The butterflies will appreciate these in years to come."

The following came from Phil & Frances Skinner: "Thanks to Peter Cuss’ earlier report, we visited the elms behind the Packsaddle pub, Chazey Heath, Oxon on 2nd July. In cool breezy conditions, with sunny intervals, we had two sightings of White-letter Hairstreak, one low down in an elm on the golf course side. A first for both of us, celebrated with lunch in the pub."

White-letter Hairstreak
Photo © Phil Skinner

Judith Barnard sent this report: "At Rushbeds Meadows, Bucks today (1st July) there were good numbers of Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Marbled Whites along with 3 Common Blue, 1 Small Heath, 3 Large Skipper & 3 Five-spot Burnet Moths."

John Holdbrook sent the following: "Yesterday June 30th. I walked round the fields next to Brasenose Wood in Shotover [Oxford]. I saw the expected Meadow Browns, Ringlets a Large Skipper and Marbled Whites which were only in the field near the Ring Road. While I was in the field at the bottom of the hill a Clouded Yellow flew in and settled for a few minutes on a clover."

Clouded Yellow
Photo © John Holdbrook

~ 30th June 2016 ~

Tim Watts sent this news: "On 30/6/16 I visited Finemere Wood, Bucks. At 10:30 glimpsed one of my target species in tops of Oaks, it landed and with binoculars confirmed it was a White Admiral. Later I saw my first Silver-washed Fritillary sunning itself on edge of main ride before nectaring on thistles and my first Gatekeeper of the year. The biggest surprise was a small probable hairstreak that flew across main ride ahead of me. It landed and stayed on a Hazel leaf for some time giving good views - it was a pristine Black Hairstreak. No Blackthorn along this bit and first one I've seen along the main ride."

Silver-washed Fritillary
Photo © Tim Watts

Dominic Mackenzie sent this report: "An afternoon visit to the wild flower meadow at Edmund's Green, Warfield, Berks today, 30th June, was rewarded with my first Purple Hairstreak - apologies for poor photo. Also 1 Large Skipper, 5 Ringlet, Comma and 6 Meadow Brown."

Purple Hairstreak
Photo © Dominic Mackenzie

Graham Elcombe visited Homefield Wood, Bucks on 30th June and saw: Silver-washed Fritillary, 2 (or possibly 1 X 2); Ringlets, too many to count, and all pristine: Red Admiral 1, Large Skipper 3 or 4; Marbled White 1."

David Hastings sent this update: "I visited Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (north side) this morning (30th June). Weather conditions weren't all that good. I saw six Dark Green Fritillaries (four males, two females), which were nectaring on thistles. Other species seen were Specked Wood, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Ringlet and Common Blue."

Dark Green Fritillary male
Photo © David Hastings
Dark Green Fritillary female
Photo © David Hastings

Nicholl Williams reported the following: "I had a little free time today, 30th June, and went down to the downland area near Lane End, Bucks. I saw many Ringlets, Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods. A few Common Blues, Small Heaths, 1 Large White. No Fritillaries or Purple Emperors yet."

Marbled White
Photo © Nicholl Williams

The following came from Peter Cuss: "I went to Maidenhead Thicket, Berks SU 850 807 today (30/6/16). Managed to see 2 White-letter Hairstreak in the brief bit of sunshine as well as Silver-washed Fritillary, Marbled white, Ringlet and Meadow Brown."

Tim Watts sent this news: "Between 27/6/16 and 28/6/16 at Calvert sailing lake, Bucks I searched for Black Hairstreak and found individuals in 2 new spots making a total of 5 areas where they have been found, over a 400 metre section of grounds. Interestingly, despite looking none spotted in flight over/amongst the Blackthorn but all found by scrutinising the Bramble flowers and finding them nectaring. Most sightings between 11:30am-1pm.
On 28/6/16 there were 3-4 Dark Green Fritillary, 3 seen together, all nectaring on Creeping Thistle, and a very worn Painted Lady. Although it's nice to get a photo in pristine condition fascinating just how worn and battered they do get, makes you wonder how long it's been here, what journey it's been through and how many predators it's managed to avoid! Numerous Marbled White and 2 Scarlet Tiger Moths also seen. On the same day our first Hummingbird Hawk moth of the year visited our Whitchurch, Bucks garden."

Black Hairstreak
Photo © Tim Watts
Painted Lady
Photo © Tim Watts
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Tim Watts

David Hastings sent the following: "I visited Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon today (28th June). I recorded Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Ringlet, Small Heath, a fresh Comma of form 'hutchinsoni', and a male Brimstone. The latter was flying around as though it was searching for females, which seems unusual for a summer brood individual. I saw another Comma in my garden in north Abingdon, Oxon."

Comma
Photo © David Hastings
Marbled White
Photo © David Hastings

~ 28th June 2016 ~

Simon Fenner sent the following: "I spent yesterday (Mon 27th) down in Oxfordshire, starting with a very wet (to knee level) walk along the paths of Whitecross Green Wood towards the pond area, but was rewarded with sighting of 1, possibly 2 Black Hairstreaks, eventually visible at rest high in blackthorn. Lots of fresh Marbled Whites and Ringlets active in the damp grass as well. I then went on to Bernwood, Bucks and walked down to the M40 compensation area. After about an hour of searching and as I was about to rejoin the main wood, I spotted a Black Hairstreak which after a brief sit on an open leaf, flew in amongst the branches and walked up and down the area for 15 minutes making it very hard to photograph in spite of relative proximity. As I reentered the wood (near the turning circle), I glanced up into the canopy of an oak and saw a large black and white butterfly gliding around, though sadly it came to rest out of view and didn’t move for the 10 minutes that I remained. So it was either a White Admiral or a Purple Emperor, but I can’t confirm which!"

Black Hairstreak
Photo © Simon Fenner

Chris Brown sent these sightings: "Crowsley Wood, Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, SU 735 795, 27/06/16: Small Tortoiseshell 1, Large Skipper 1, White Admiral 2, Meadow Brown 2, Small White 1 and Ringlet 1."

Karen Saxl sent this update from Didcot, Oxon on 27th June: "Had a pleasant evening walk last week - best bit of the day - just a small stretch - lots of Marbled Whites just hanging around - a few fluttering - some Meadow Browns, Large Skippers, Common Blue and a Small Tortoiseshell (seem to be few and far between this year) - also had a good look at the 3 different species of orchid growing along the stretch we walked. Went out this evening after work - so started about 20.00 - saw over 70 Marbled Whites perched in the grass - a number of Meadow Browns in flight (seem to take off when the sun goes down for a short burst and it was getting quite dull), a Ringlet and a few Large Skippers ... in a stretch about half the length of last week's walk."

Ched George reported the following: "Visited Bradenham, Bucks today (27th June) in good sunshine. Found only one Dark Green Fritillary, a handful of Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Marbled Whites. There were a few Small Blues and a Large Skipper. A distinct lack of nectar flowers in bloom but dogwood finished flowering."

Steve Croxford sent this news: "At a private wood in north Bucks there was quite a lot of Black Hairstreak activity on 27th June. I saw about a dozen adults in the 45 minutes I was there. Also of interest I saw my first White Admiral of the year."

This report came from John Holdbrook: "On Sunday June 26th I went to the meadow in Sydling’s Copse Nature Reserve near Oxford. There were enough sunny spells to see a lot of Ringlets and Meadow Browns, 10+ Marbled Whites, a Large Skipper, 2 Speckled Woods and a Silver Y moth. Meadow Lane Nature Park in Oxford has an area of long uncut grass where on Monday 27th June there were a large number of Marbled Whites flying as well as Ringlets and Meadow Browns."

Peter Cuss reports seeing his first White-letter Hairstreak of the season on 26th June. "Two were seen in the elm near the Packsaddle pub, Chazey Heath, Oxon. SU 695 770."

Richard Wheeler sent the following: "I visited a couple of Black Hairstreak sites in north Bucks between 4pm and 5pm on 25/06/16. Weather was intermittent sun with showers, c.19°C when the sun was out, and saw a total of 5 Black Hairstreaks. Other butterflies seen included several Meadow Brown, 1 Marbled White and 1 Ringlet."

Black Hairstreak
Photo © Richard Wheeler

~ 26th June 2016 ~

David Hastings visited Bernwood Forest, Bucks on 26th June: "I walked all the way down to the M40 comp area, but only managed two brief sightings of a Black Hairstreak. Other species seen were Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Marbled White and Speckled Wood."

Large Skipper ♀
Photo © David Hastings
Meadow Brown ♂
Photo © David Hastings

John Williams sent these sightings: "3 Black Hairstreaks spotted near the pond in Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon on 26th June - camera shy so poor images, but definite sightings. Also 21 Marbled White, 2 Large Skippers, 4 Speckled Wood, 17 Meadow Browns and 2 Ringlets. Nice weather with some sunshine – at last! "

This news was sent by Malcolm and Valerie Brownsword: "Having abandoned our Homefield Wood, Bucks BBOWT transect after 30 minutes on 24 June due to heavy rain, we returned on the 26th ‘fingers crossed’ regarding the weather. We were rewarded by seeing our first Silver-washed Fritillary of the year. We also saw 6 Large Skippers, 1 Large White, 5 Speckled Woods, 5 Marbled Whites, 18 Meadow Browns and 28 Ringlets."

Marbled White
Photo © Malcolm Brownsword
Speckled Wood
Photo © Malcolm Brownsword

Brenda Mobbs sent this report: "We had a very successful walk at Holtspur Bottom, Bucks on 25th June. There were 10 of us. We saw Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns in large numbers. Other species seen were Small Blues, Small Tortoiseshells, Ringlets, Common Blues, Large Skippers, Small Skippers, Speckled Woods, Gatekeeper and Brown Argus. A couple of moths were identified as Yellow Shell and Common Plume."

Christopher Brown sent these sightings: "Millennium Green, Sonning Common, Oxon (SU713794) on 19th June: Small Skipper 2, Large Skipper 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1. On 26th June: Small Skipper 1, Large Skipper 1, Marbled White 3, Meadow Brown 2, Ringlet 2, Small Heath 1, Forester Moth 2."

~ 25th June 2016 ~

Tim Watts sent this news: "Today (24th June) I visited Calvert Jubilee BBOWT reserve, Bucks for the 3rd time looking for Black Hairstreak near the S/E corner entrance gate. At 10:45 one came out of Blackthorn to nectar on the pathside wild Privet. On the adjacent sailing club grounds (where we'd had our first Black Hairstreak record last year) I found 4 individuals. The first one really took me by surprise, spotted flying over the out of water boats by car park, it nectared on Bramble. 3 others seen a long way from here all nectaring, in overcast conditions on Bramble, near to old Blackthorn clumps. 2 seen close together nectaring but know at least 3 as these 2 were immaculate and had just photographed one in the same spot with a chunk out of its left wing. Also seen were 1 Dark Green Fritillary, 3 Marbled White, Grizzled Skipper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and a Scarlet Tiger Moth. On 23rd June I saw 3-4 Black Hairstreaks at the Hewin's wood drain area, active in very overcast conditions but only fleeting views high in Blackthorn and small Oaks. Take wellies if you go! Tried 2 areas both days for White Letter Hairstreak but no joy yet. "

Black Hairstreak
Photo © Tim Watts
Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Tim Watts

~ 22nd June 2016 ~

Tony Croft sent this report: "During an optimistic visit to Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon on June 22nd in very dull weather I was delighted to see my first Ringlets of the season. Also flying were several Black Hairstreaks, Marbled Whites and a Common Blue."

Brenda Mobbs sent this sighting: "I saw a couple of Ringlets in Penn Wood, Bucks this afternoon (22nd June)."

This news was sent by George Warner: "Tuesday 21st June about 3 pm: the sun came out briefly during a 30 minute search by a small patch of trees with grass, scrub and wild flowers beside the footpath leading towards the Ridgeway just west of West Ilsley, Berks. I saw 3 Ringlets, 5 Small Heaths, and one each of Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, and Large Skipper. "

Ringlet
Photo © George Warner

Dave Wilton sent this news: "During a search for Forester Moth at BBOWT’s Lapland Farm, Bucks over lunchtime today (Tuesday 21st June) I stumbled across this fresh Dark Green Fritillary in the eastern meadow, not something I’d expected to find there! Despite the overcast conditions there was plenty of activity from Common Blues and Meadow Browns, along with a handful of Marbled Whites and a single fresh Small Tortoiseshell. Noteworthy amongst several moth species recorded were five Foresters and a single Marsh Pug."

Dark Green Fritillary
Photo © Dave Wilton

Nick Board sent this report: "Spent an hour or so at Oak Tree Farm, Bucks this morning (21st June). It was overcast, temp 18c and I was not full of optimism but it turned out to be a very worthwhile visit. Met Adrian Cadnam and we managed to see minimum of 4 Black Hairstreaks, active and nectaring on wild rose blossom, all within about a 10 metre area. They looked to be newly emerged."

Black Hairstreak
Photo © Nick Board

Chris Hilling sent these sightings: "College Lake, Bucks on 19th June: Common Blue (1), Marbled White (2), Meadow Brown (4), Small Heath (3), Small White (1), Speckled Wood (2)."

Tony Croft sent this report: "While carrying out my weekly transect survey at Rushbeds Wood, Bucks on June 19th I came across a Black Hairstreak feeding in an oak tree. I also saw my first Marbled White and Meadow Browns of the season in Lapland Farm meadows, which incidentally are looking stunning at the moment."

~ 19th June 2016 ~

Karen Saxl sent this news: "Well, saw my first Marbled White of the year on 15th June along the Didcot-Upton Sustrans Route, Oxon. The walk in the evening didn't happen as it was teeming down come 18.00. Looks like weather should be more favourable this Wednesday - and the numbers of Marbled Whites are starting to build up - saw well over 40 today (19th June) despite the weather being quite dull and blowy - also some beautiful Large Skippers and some Small Blues around. Not seeing much of whites at the moment ... and saw my first Small Tortoiseshell for a few weeks this morning. Also seeing Meadow Browns - though not seen a Ringlet yet ... a small number of orchids around as well (lesser spotted, bee and pyramid) - wildflowers do seem to be doing well - wetter weather later suiting them after a few years of dry periods around this time. So, for anyone who wants to see how butterflies prepare for bed I'll be waiting at Hagbourne village hall at 18.00 this coming Wednesday. "

This news was sent by Ian Stevenson: "Saw my first Silver-studded Blue for 2016 at Wildmoor Heath, Berks today (19th). It was too cloudy and cold for a timed count but its good to know they are on the wing. Unusually the first one was an immaculate female rather than a male as in previous years. Fingers crossed for an improvement in the appalling weather. "

Silver-studded Blue
Photo © Ian Stevenson

David Hastings visited Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon on 19th June: "Species seen were Large Skipper (4+), Large White (1), Green-veined White (1), Black Hairstreak (2), Common Blue (1), Speckled Wood (7+), Meadow Brown (2), and Marbled White (1). These are pretty low numbers for the second half of June - no doubt due to the awful weather experienced last week. At least the sun came out for a bit today."

Black Hairstreak
Photo © David Hastings
Marbled White
Photo © David Hastings

John Friendship-Taylor sent this news: "I paid a visit in between the showers to Ardley Quarry, Oxon today (16th June) between 1pm - 2pm. Sightings included a single Marbled White, 2 Ringlet, Small Heath & 2 Large Skipper at SP53692715 around the slopes by the railway. "

Marbled White
Photo © John Friendship-Taylor

Judy and Terry Wood sent this report: "Despite the weather conditions at Bradenham, Bucks on the 15th June with a stiff breeze and heavy rain threatening we were pleased to see 37 Small Blues which varied from very tatty to very fresh and we observed mating activity. As we kept to the paths and only visited the 1st field there must have been many more on site. Also seen were 3 Common Blues, 8 Meadow Browns, a Large Skipper, 3 Burnet Companion and a rather tired Peacock. "

Large Skipper
Photo © Judy & Terry Wood
Meadow Brown
Photo © Photo Judy & Terry Wood

Martin Kincaid sent this news: "I was pleasantly surprised to see a Clouded Yellow flying rapidly at Stonepit Field, Milton Keynes, Bucks (SP845422) on 15th June. Seems a slightly unusual time of year to see one? I gave chase but it was too quick for me and my camera. The only other butterflies seen in hazy sunshine were two Small Blues but I was able to find some eggs of the latter on the flowers of Kidney Vetch. "

~ 15th June 2016 ~

Mick Campbell sent the following report: "I visited Drovers Lane at Rushbeds, Bucks this morning, 15th June, as there were some reasonably sunny spells. After a short time watching the blackthorn I saw my first Black Hairstreak of the season. It flew up to a large oak tree and disappeared into the canopy. A further two made an appearance later on. There was quite a bit of activity between these two until the sky clouded over and I left before the rain started."

David Fuller sent this sighting: "Odney Island, Cookham, Berks today (15th May) my first Meadow Brown of the year: a male."

~ 14th June 2016 ~

Karen Saxl sent this news: "Well, saw my first Large Skipper yesterday morning (11th June) on the Didcot-Upton Sustrans Route, Oxon .... and saw a second one this evening but butterflies seem to be few and far between so may be a question of showing people where to look this Wednesday - possible that a few Marbled Whites might be about by then as the knapweed (which seems to co-incide with their emergence) is just starting to come out. Did see a Small Blue this evening (12th June) - but it was an egg - which may not be a bad thing as it's unlikely it will have moved before Wednesday so should be able to show people what to look for - think there were actually two on the kidney vetch head. I came back home the long way round via Harwell and calling on a friend and was amazed to see a Meadow Brown perched in the middle of the patio doors."

Dave Miller sent this report: "I visited Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon during the middle part of the day on Sunday 5th June. It was quite warm and sunny, with a bit of a breeze, but I saw very little: Brimstone - 2; Small Heath - 2; Brown Argus 2; Common Blue - 1; Painted Lady - 1; Green Hairstreak - 1"

Painted Lady
Photo © Dave Miller
Green Hairstreak
Photo © Dave Miller

~ 12th June 2016 ~

Nick Board sent this report: "I visited the Blue Lagoon near Milton Keynes, Bucks today (12th June) in search of the Small Blue colony. Didn't find them in the time I had available, but some pristine Common Blues and a fresh Painted Lady. When I was editing the photo of the Painted Lady, I noticed a small lizard right in front of it!"

Common Blue
Photo © Nick Board
Painted Lady
Photo © Nick Board

~ 10th June 2016 ~

Dominic Mackenzie sent this report: "Really pleased to find Marbled Whites on the wing at Hartslock NR, Oxon. Three present on 09/06 also 3 Large Skipper and 2 Common Blues."

Marbled White
Photo © Dominic Mackenzie

David Fuller reports another Painted Lady in his garden in Maidenhead, Berks on 9th June.

Chris Carter sent the following report on 9th June: "A fine Painted Lady spent an hour and a half in our garden at Alvescot, west Oxfordshire on Thursday 2 June, feeding on the last of our wallflowers and basking. Since then I have casually seen at least one on almost every day, mostly flying fast and purposefully northwards, so it looks as if there is a distinct wave of immigrants and the likelihood of a good number of home-grown ones later. My photo shows our garden visitor of 2 June."

Painted Lady
Photo © Chris Carter

~ 8th June 2016 ~

David Fuller reports seeing another Painted Lady in his garden in Maidenhead, Berks on 7th June.

Tim & Colleen Watts sent the following news on 7th June: "On 29/5/16 myself and Colleen visited Yoesden Bank, Radnage, Bucks. We saw many Small Blue, 10+ Adonis Blue including 2 females and a Green Hairstreak on a sunny afternoon following a misty morning."

Small Blues
Photo © Tim Watts
Small Blue
Photo © Tim Watts
Adonis Blue
Photo © Tim Watts

~ 6th June 2016 ~

Martin Kincaid sent the following: "On 6th June I decided to check the two known Milton Keynes sites for Small Blue, as numbers have been very poor in recent years. Firstly I visited Stonepit Field, Great Linford, Bucks (SP844423). I was pleased to see a dozen Small Blues here in around 20 minutes, very active on the limestone scrape and even saw one ovipositing. This was encouraging as I have only seen them in two’s and three’s in the last couple of seasons. Other species seen were Common Blue (6), Orange Tip, Small White, Speckled Wood and Painted Lady. Earlier, I had seen 1 Painted Lady and 3 Large Skippers at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve (SP843427). Later I visited Blue Lagoon Local Nature Reserve in Bletchley. Bucks (SP867325), which in the past has supported a strong colony. In an hour I was able to count 28 Small Blues which was a good total. Also seen were Grizzled Skipper (2), Dingy Skipper (2), Green Hairstreak (1), Holly Blue (1) and numerous Common Blues."

Judith Barnard sent this news: "There were 3 Wood White in Stoke Goldington wood (Bucks) today, 6th June."

Wood White
Photo © Judith Barnard

David Fuller sent these sightings: "Sunday 5th June my garden in Maidenhead, Berks: Painted Lady from 11.00 until 18.40 seen at least 15 times nectaring - fourth sighting in the garden this year. Monday 6th June Towpath River Thames Maidenhead: Speckled Wood 3, Holly Blue female and Small Tortoiseshell 3."

Colin Mather sent this report: "On Sunday 5th June at the local green in Sonning Common, Oxon I saw five Small Heath, two male Orange Tips, one Peacock very damaged and one Small White."

Small Heath
Photo © Colin Mather

Paul Fisher (Cambs and Essex Branch) reported the following: "I paid a visit to Pitstone Quarry in Bucks on 5th June. Small Blues were everywhere and in numbers I have not seen here before (last five years). Even before entering the fields there must have been thirty on the roadside verge. One or two exposed, bare damp patches on the ground supported so many, they were like flies fluttering about them. Small Heaths were seen in good numbers together with Common Blues and Dingy Skippers. 1x Painted Lady that looked 'fresh' also seen. I was surprised not to locate any Grizzled Skippers though."

This report came from Wendy Wilson: "On 5th June, I saw five Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral in various parts of the Chalfonts in Bucks, so I am wondering if the southerly air-flow is bringing in the migrants. At the Chiltern Open Air Museum in Chalfont St Giles, I spotted 2 Painted Lady, 1 Red Admiral, 5 Small White, 2 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Brimstone, 4 Orange-tip, 5 Holly Blue, 2 Common Blue and 1 Peacock. I arrived home to see two more Painted Ladies in my Chalfont St Peter garden nectaring on sweet rockets."

Painted Lady
Photo © Wendy Wilson

David Gower sent the following: "I decided to visit Pitstone, Bucks on 5th June to check on the Small Blues and I wasn't disappointed. Totals seen were 204 x Small Blues, 1 x Brimstone male, 25 x Common Blue (3 females), 39 x Small Heath, 1 x Painted Lady, 1 x Peacock, 4 x Small White, 1 x Large White, 18 x Burnet Companion, 2 x Cinnabar, 2 x Silver Y. Also at least 7 x small white moths with faint patterns which I was unable to identify."

~ 4th June 2016 ~

Cliff Buckton reported the following: "A Painted Lady in our garden in Denham, Bucks today (4th June). Very active nectaring on various flowers. Unfortunately a big chunk missing from a hind wing."

Painted Lady
Photo © Cliff Buckton
Painted Lady
Photo © Cliff Buckton

Maureen Cross, Adonis Blue Species Champion, sent this report: "On Saturday 28th May 21 people met on Lardon Chase, Berks for the first Adonis Blue Field Meeting of 2016. Although the sun shone there was a cold NE wind blowing through The Gap onto the hill and the Adonis failed to make an appearance even though they had been seen on other more sheltered sites nearby. Other butterflies were braver and included Common, Small and Holly Blues, Green Hairstreak, Brimstones, Dingy Skippers and a lone Meadow Brown, possibly the first sighting in UTB this year? Moths included: Mother Shipton, Yellow Shell and unknown grass moths."

~ 31st May 2016 ~

Karen Saxl sent this update to her sightings at the old Didcot-Newbury line, Oxon: "30th May: Lots of kidney vetch out now - was a bit slow starting because of the cold - first sightings of Small Blues - after a week or more of searching the odd kidney vetch head - was 4 eggs on 15/5 - followed about 5 minutes later by sighting four adults perched in grass - have seen Small Blues now at both the main colonies - Upton and the ramps between the Hagbournes - plenty of eggs at Upton but too much kidney vetch to realistically look through at the ramps so haven't managed to find the right head yet. Holly Blues seem to be doing well - especially along one of the paths out to West Hagbourne. Have also spotted Common Blues perched in grass - including some sightings after 7pm on one sunny evening last week. Wind really not helping - grass doesn't seem as high as I'd expect it to be at this point - and although the common vetch is doing really, really well, kidney vetch is doing well and birdsfoot trefoil is doing okay the knapweed that is the usual mark for the Marbled Whites appearing is a bit retarded - so guessing they may be a bit late this year - unless the weather warms up a bit ... my tomatoes are all stunted by the cold as well!
I had a report today of 60 Small Blues seen in nettles (sounds very much like the sort of thing they do) at Pishill Bottom, Oxon over Watlington way - on the Chiltern Way. If anyone is in the area - looking back through records past sightings seem to have been a little further north and west."

~ 29th May 2016 ~

David Hastings visited Wicken Wood, Bucks and Ardley Quarry, Oxon on 28th May: "Species seen at Wicken Wood were Wood White (7), Green-veined White (3), Orange-tip (1), Large White (1), Common Blue (2) and Speckled Wood (4). Species seen at Ardley Quarry were Brimstone (3), Large White (1), Green Hairstreak (2), Common Blue (10), Holly Blue (1) and Speckled Wood (1)"

Wood White ♂
Photo © David Hastings
Holly Blue ♂
Photo © David Hastings

John Holdbrook sent this news: "On Friday May 27th I went to the area at the bottom of the Bald Hill side of the Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon. There were quite a lot of warm sunny intervals between clouds and I was a bit surprised at how few butterflies I saw in nearly 2 hours. These were: maybe 15 Common Blues, 4 or 5 Brown Argus, a few Brimstones and eventually an Adonis Blue which was flying in hazy sunshine and settling quite frequently."

David Gantzel sent this sightings: "I saw a Painted Lady at Hazlemere Recreation ground, Berks on Saturday May 28th."

Bryan Williams sent this report: "I visited the Millennium Arboretum in Wokingham, Berks on Friday 27th, little butterfly activity, three whites that didn’t stop flying and one Large Skipper which momentarily landed on some Lady Smock."

Large Skipper ♂
Photo © Bryan Williams

John Holdbrook sent this (belated) news: "On Saturday May 14th I went to Hartslock Nature Reserve, Oxon and saw a number of Dingy Skippers, 4 Green Hairstreaks, 2 Small Heaths, a Common Blue and a Red Admiral. On Monday 16th at the Bradenham, Bucks, I saw 10 or 12 Duke of Burgundys, 3 Dingy Skippers a female Small Blue and several Brimstones."

Small Blue ♂
Photo © John Holdbrook
Duke Of Burgundy ♂
Photo © John Holdbrook

~ 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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