| Upper Thames Branch|
Butterfly Sightings 2016 - BC Upper Thames Branch
This page is for recent
butterfly sightings in the BC Upper Thames Branch area, to show what's
BUTTERFLY SPECIES RECORDED TO DATE – as at 31/12/2016
Please remember to submit your garden butterfly records for 2016! You can do this by downloading the form at upperthames-butterflies.org.uk/Forms/GardenSurveyForm2016_Blue.pdf. After you've completed it, please return it to Margaret Price. There is also the national garden recording site at www.gardenbutterflysurvey.org if you prefer to submit your records online.
~ 29th December 2016 ~
Ched George reports that a female Brimstone was seen by the BBOWT work party at Yeosden Bank, Bucks on 8th December, and a Comma was seen in his garden at Radnage, Bucks on 29th December.
~ 22nd December 2016 ~
Brian Clews sent these sightings: "Two butterfly sightings whilst bird surveying, 14th December: 1 Small Tortoiseshell, flying near Amerden Scrapes, Bucks (SU912807), and 1 Red Admiral, sunning, at footbridge, south of West Town Farm, Bucks (SU920800)."
Don Stone reports seeing a Small Tortoiseshell in flight at South Heath, Bucks, on 14th December.
~ 11th December 2016 ~
Nick Bowles sent this sighting: "The work party at Holtspur Bottom, Bucks today (11th December) had a visitation from a Red Admiral."
Dave Miller sent this news: "A friend of mine saw a female Brimstone while out walking in Taplow, Bucks on 9th December."
~ 5th December 2016 ~
Martin Kincaid sent this sighting: "An unusual sighting to report on 1st December. Attending the launch of the Rock ‘n Roll exhibition at Milton Keynes Central Library, the crowds were delighted when a Small Tortoiseshell emerged and proceeded to fly circuits of the exhibition room, landing on a few lucky guests. Looked very fresh and colourful. It was a bizarre but beautiful moment. Not surprised it was woken from hibernation as the place was heated like a sauna!"
~ 26th November 2016 ~
John Ward-Smith sent this news: "Just before mid-day on 25th November a single Red Admiral was seen basking in the sunshine at Felix Farm Trout Fishery, Binfield, Berkshire. A single Common Darter dragonfly was on the wing at the same site."
~ 13th November 2016 ~
Michael Hunt sent this news: "A Red Admiral out in the sunshine here in Buckingham, Bucks today, 13th November."
Don Stone reported the following: "Lee Common, Bucks, 11th November. Surprised to see a Red Admiral in a sunny spot in the garden feeding on Michaelmas Daisies."
~ 5th November 2016 ~
Michael Hunt had 1 Small Tortoiseshell in his garden in Buckingham, Bucks on 30th October and a Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell on 31st October.
Ray Goodearl reported the following: "A little late in reporting this one: on Thursday 6th October a Clouded Yellow was photographed in Downley, High Wycombe, Bucks in a field just above the old West Wycombe station site. I waited about an hour, two Red Admirals were on the wing, on a cloudy day, then along came this gem. My sister had seen it the previous 3 days in the same area."
~ 29th October 2016 ~
This report came from Chris Webster: "Today, October 28th, in a Caversham, Berks cemetery a female Holly Blue was visiting flowering Ivy. A Speckled Wood also appeared, but for a change I saw no Red Admirals."
Michael Hunt sent this report: "A single Small Tortoiseshell in our garden in Buckingham, Bucks twice today (27th October)."
David Hastings sent the following: "I saw a Red Admiral in the University Parks, Oxford, Oxon at lunchtime today (27th October)."
John Lerpiniere reports seeing a Red Admiral flying rapidly SE in Tilehurst, Berks (SU6673) on 27th October.
~ 24th October 2016 ~
Michael Hunt sent the following: "Seen today (22nd October) in Buckingham, Bucks: 1 Red Admiral and 1 Small Tortoiseshell."
Dennis Dell sent this news: "Every day, including today (22nd October), since 10th October, there has been at least 1 Red Admiral feeding on the beijing and buzz buddleias in the garden, even with shade temperatures as low as 9 degrees. On the 11th, there were 3 Red Admirals and one Small Tortoiseshell. On the 17th, 2 Red Admirals were sunning themselves on the choysia - see photo."
~ 21st October 2016 ~
Helen Hyre reported as follows: "Our garden at Bierton, Bucks faces south-east and this week it has been very sunny. On 18th, 19th and 20th October we have seen a Red Admiral, plus a pristine Painted Lady which has stayed for around 2 hours each day."
This news came from Peter Law: "Just a note to say there was a late Painted Lady this afternoon (16th October) at Dix Pit near Stanton Harcourt, Oxon."
Michael Hunt sent the following: "One Red Admiral in Winslow, Bucks on 16th October and one Speckled Wood seen here in Buckingham, Bucks on 17th October."
~ 16th October 2016 ~
Mark Griffiths sent this sighting: "I was surprised to see a Green-veined White today, 16th October, in the garden. Just a short visit to my garden in Garsington, Oxon but I got to see the upperside and briefly the underside."
Helen Hyre reports: "Today, 15th October, in our garden in Bierton, Bucks we saw a Small White, Brimstone and 2 Red Admirals. At the top of a buddleia I saw a Small Copper but by the time I got my camera, it had flown off. There was a Peacock on another buddleia - this is only the fourth sighting in the whole year (the others being on 2nd April, 30th May and 11th August)."
Chris Brown sent this news on 13th October:
"A few remaining updates whilst the dry and sunny weather lasted:
Derek Brown sent this report: "I saw a surprisingly late Holly Blue today (12th October) in Beenham, Berkshire."
~ 10th October 2016 ~
This report came from Adam Bassett on 10th October: "A Meadow Brown was still on the wing on farmland at Little Marlow in Bucks today, October 10th. Seemed quite late, but the weather has been set fair for a while."
Dennis Dell reported the following on 7th October: "September 30th until October 7th: Every day in my garden in Aylesbury, Bucks there have been up to 3 Red Admirals feeding on a Buddleia "Buzz". This plant is advertised in catalogues as a miniature plant, suitable for pots. A few years ago, I transferred this buddleia into the ground and it has been a revelation. It grows to about 2.5 metres: see photo below, taken two days ago. More importantly, it is covered in flower spikes from June until October, and there are still plenty of blooms now. It surpasses the Beijing Buddleia in terms of longevity of flowering period. The butterflies love it! I also have ice plants and asters in flower, which are visited by the vanessids, but they spend much more time nectaring on the Buzz. Also present in the garden during this last week were a Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, and Large White."
~ 3rd October 2016 ~
Nick Board sent this sighting: "Came across this Red Admiral in my garden today (3rd October) in Chackmore, North Bucks. It was drinking plenty of apple cider and, by the looks of it, a little bleary eyed, ready for a snooze in the afternoon sunshine!"
Chris Brown reported the following:
"Some additional updates but no surprises this time! Despite 2 recent visits to Crowsley Wood the second brood
White Admiral was not seen again (see Chris's report for 22nd September), even though the weather was warm in
full sunshine. Overnights have been decidedly chilly and sometimes wet with some fierce showers.
This report came from Wendy Wilson: "This afternoon, October 2nd, I went to Swan Meadow in Iver, Bucks, without my camera as I wasn't expecting to see anything much. There was a Small White in the meadow itself but in the wild area behind I was delighted to see 3 Small Coppers all nectaring on ragwort in the sunshine. They would have made a lovely photo! Two were fresh and bright and the third was a bit faded. I had only recorded one Small Copper previously in my square this season."
Pat Clissold sent this report: "Please find attached photo (see below) of a Brown Hairstreak butterfly seen yesterday (30/09/2016) in Gavray Meadows, Oxon at 15.06 hours."
Dennis Dell sent the following report:
"We were away for most of September but I thought this catch-up of butterflies in our garden
(Aylesbury, Bucks) might be of interest.
Tony Croft sent this news: "Encouraged by my sighting of a Brown Hairstreak at Rushbeds Wood a couple of days ago I thought I’d try for a repeat performance today, September 30th, at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon. I was rewarded with views of two females, one of which was co-operative enough for this photo (below). As you can see she is faded but reasonably intact. I also found a pair of Brown Hairstreak eggs."
Nick Bowles reported the following: "I went to Inchcombe Hole, Bucks at about 10.30 today 28th September and saw probably my last Chalkhill Blue of the season. Also 8 Red Admiral, 9 Speckled Wood, 2 Common Blue, 2 Meadow Brown and a single Small Heath. Returning to my garden (admittedly in Tring, Herts) I had a couple of Comma and Small White, Brimstone and Red Admiral. So this morning, I saw 9 species which is pretty good for this time of year!"
~ 28th September 2016 ~
Tony Croft carried out his final transect walk of the season at Rushbeds Wood, Bucks this afternoon, September 28th. "The totals seen were Red Admiral 22; Speckled Wood 4; Comma 3; Large White 1; Green-veined White 1; also a late season Brown Hairstreak flitting around an oak tree."
Don Stone reported the following: "25th September, Lee Common, Bucks. At least 6 Red Admirals still visiting our garden, now they've moved on from the rotting plums and turned their attentions to the Ivy."
This news came from Michael and Diane Hunt on 25th September: "On the last transect walk for 2016 in a private wood in Bucks, we encountered 7 Red Admirals and 3 Commas."
Chris Carter sent this report: "On 22nd September we had three Painted Lady on our Buddleja at Alvescot, west Oxfordshire, more than I have seen at one time for several years at least. There were also at least four Red Admirals and one Small Tortoiseshell and two Small Copper on asters and other lower plants. The Buddleja (B.'Lochinch') is interesting this year; many of its early buds were spoiled by aphids (probably) so it has produced this late flush, giving a good opportunity to check on what is around."
~ 24th September 2016 ~
Helen Hyre reports: "23rd September: In bright sunshine and a cool breeze we walked across the fields from Aston Abbotts, Bucks. There are good margins and hedges. We saw 3 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Small Copper (very pleasing as we have seen few Small Copper this year). In the afternoon there were 7 Red Admiral on ivy flowers in Bierton, Bucks churchyard. Many thanks for churchyard surveys received, I'm happy to receive more!!"
The following came from Judy and Terry Wood: "On a recent trip to relatives in Little Chalfont, Bucks we had a very welcome visitor in the garden on the 20th September with a Small Copper - the first we can recall at this location. We believe it was of the aberration form caeruleopunctata with the row of blue dots inside the margin of the hind wing. Other butterflies were pretty scarce that day with only a Red Admiral and a Small White seen in the vicinity."
Chris Brown sent this update on 22nd September:
"A couple of surprises recently. This evening at home (Sonning Common, Berks) a
Painted Lady on the patio feeding on the verbena bonariensis. It has proven to be a good eye-catching
location for that plant this year, both for butterflies and bees. The second surprise, also today (22nd), whilst in
Crowsley Woods, was a single White Admiral, clearly seen both with and
without binoculars! I last saw 2 White Admiral there back in July. I thought they were out of season now.
Hot autumn influences?
Keith O'Hagen had 6 Red Admirals on the ivy in his Milton Keynes, Bucks garden on 22nd September.
~ 19th September 2016 ~
Rob Thomas reported the following: "On 18th September I was surprised to find a pair of Large Whites pairing in my garden at Combe, Oxon. Surely this is too late for the offspring to successfully get to chrysalis stage to overwinter? I also saw a pristine Red Admiral nectaring on the ivy."
David Hastings sent this news: "At RSPB Otmoor, Oxon on 18th September I saw at least eighteen Red Admirals (more than last weekend), but only four Commas. Also two third-generation Small Coppers, three very worn Common Blues and one Small Tortoiseshell."
The following came from Tom Dunbar prompted by Nick Bowles' report of 8th September: "During an Aylesbury (Bucks) 4 hour survey on 12th September I recorded 116 butterflies – 47 Small Whites; 8 Large Whites; 33 Small Tortoiseshells; 26 Red Admirals; 1 Painted Lady; 1 Speckled Wood. Urban butterfly surveys in late September /early October have been a regular activity of mine for many years."
~ 15th September 2016 ~
Nils Beaven sent these reports:
This report came from Nick Bowles on 14th September: "In approximately 2 hours I walked around the Ivinghoe Hill, Bucks complex and saw a good range of species for mid-September. Most were in the deep valley of Inchcombe Hole but there were butterflies in all parts of the complex. Only the ‘gulley’ parallel to the road between the cattle grids was disappointing, with only Red Admiral and Speckled Wood. Species seen were: Clouded Yellow 2, Brimstone 6, Large White 1, Small White 16 and Green-veined White 1, Common Blue 8, Brown Argus 23, Chalk Hill Blue 9, Red Admiral 2, Painted Lady 1, Small Tortoiseshell 17, Speckled Wood 5, Meadow Brown 11, Small Heath 6. No sign of Small Copper or Holly Blue."
Michael McNeill sent the following: "September 12 - my garden Buddleia in Upper Basildon, West Berkshire produced a Small Tortoiseshell, a Red Admiral, a Painted Lady, a Small Copper and two Hummingbird Hawk-moths, all at the same moment. A trip to Langbourne Valley the same day saw good numbers of Speckled Wood plus, on the way home, in Yattendon, West Berkshire, a Clouded Yellow flying fast across the road. Small numbers, but some exciting species."
Don Stone saw the following: "13th September, Lee Common, Bucks. Late in the afternoon on rotting plums in our garden were at least 10 Red Admirals, 2 Speckled Woods and a Comma. Never seen Red Admirals in such numbers in the garden before!"
Ewan Urquhart sent this report: "Following were on three buddleias in our garden at Kingham, Oxon on 10th September: Small Tortoiseshell 12, Red Admiral 1, Comma 1, Small White 3. Tortoiseshells still there today 13th September."
This news came from Michael and Diane Hunt: "Sightings today 13th September at Hyde Lane Pit, Foscote, Bucks. A walk through a set-aside field revealed 7 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Large White, 2 Small Whites, 4 Green-veined Whites, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Brimstone."
Neale Fraser sent the following on 12th September: "Just wanted to let you know that I saw a Red Admiral at the end of our garden in Emmbrook, Wokingham, Berks in early September. We have lots of Large Whites in the garden but haven't seen many other varieties which is unusual."
~ 11th September 2016 ~
David Gantzel saw the following on Sunday 11th September at Hazlemere, Bucks: several Large White, one Speckled Wood, one Red Admiral.
David Hastings reported the following: "At RSPB Otmoor, Oxon this morning (11th September) I counted at least twenty-five Commas and sixteen Red Admirals - I've never had numbers like this at Otmoor before. Other species seen were Speckled Wood (11), Green-veined White (7), Large White (3) and Small Tortoiseshell (3)."
Richard Wheeler visited Ardley Quarry, Oxon on Sunday morning (11/09/16). "I went with my two boys in warm and sunny weather (c.17°C). Butterflies seen in 1.5 hrs included: 14 Small White, 21 Speckled Wood, 3 Red Admiral, 7 Comma, 1 Large White, 1 Brimstone (M), 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Small Heath, 5 Common Blue (incl. 1F) and 1 Painted Lady."
Chris Brown sent the following on 10th September:
"Some further reports on the two main areas I record frequently. The Crowsley Wood Silver-washed Fritillaries
have now come to an end. My last sightings were 2 very worn males, half their normal wing spans and so faded and
ragged yet still flying so well, making full use of some self-sown buddleias. The usual explosion of Speckled Wood
has emerged to replace them. I was delighted to see a Hummingbird Hawk moth working over every flower floret
on some verbena bonariensis I grow on my patio, last Thursday evening. 10 minutes of furious activity just a few feet away!
~ 9th September 2016 ~
Nick Bowles sent this news: "I saw a late female Silver-washed Fritillary in a private wood in north Bucks yesterday (08.09.16) whilst walking the transect. I don’t actually know, but probably my latest Silver-washed Fritillary in Bucks. I have seen them flying in September before but I suspect only in the first week. Otherwise there was little to see, as you might expect at this time of year. Even the normally productive Devil's bit Scabious was very nearly empty of all butterflies. 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Small White, 2 Brimstone, 2 Large White, 3 Common Blue plus several Speckled Wood and Green-veined White."
In contrast to Nick's experience above, Mick and I made an 'out-of-area' visit to Barbury Castle, Wilts (SU15-76) on 7th September and were lucky enough to see a very impressive number of butterflies on the Devil's Bit Scabious: 199 Small Tortoiseshells, 6 Red Admirals, 5 Painted Ladies, 7 Common Blues and 5 Small Whites. Also, on the walk up to the Castle we counted 19 Small Tortoiseshells nectaring on dandelions plus 2 Speckled Woods, 6 Small Heaths and another 3 Small Whites. A grand total of 252 butterflies for the day! Wendy
Judy and Terry Wood travelled down from North Northants for their first visit to Yoesden Bank, Bucks on the 7th September. "We arrived in time for the sun to come out and spent 3 hours on site during the late afternoon. We saw 1 Chalkhill Blue, at least 7 Adonis Blue, over 20 Common Blues including a mating pair and a female ovipositing, 9 Brown Argus, 6 Small Copper, 1 Clouded Yellow, 9 Large White, 17 Small White, 2 Brimstone, 1 Comma, 2 Red Admiral, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 36+ Meadow Brown, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Small Heath, a late and very worn Gatekeeper and 2 very worn Silver-washed Fritillaries – a total of 17 species and well worth the trip! There were also 4 Silver Y Moths."
Malcolm Brownsword sent the following: "On our final 2016 BBOWT transect at Hartslock, Oxon on 7th September, we finally saw our first Clouded Yellow of the season. It was in pristine condition. Also seen were one each of Large White, Peacock and Common Blue, 2 each of Small White and Speckled Wood, 23 Meadow Browns and a healthy 12 second brood Small Heaths."
Colin Mather sent this belated report on 8th September: "Down at the local green in Sonning Common, Oxon pairing Common Blues on 13th August. Also I have only seen one Small Copper all year - saw this one on 29th August. Generally a very low count of butterflies this year."
~ 1st September 2016 ~
Keith O'Hagen reported the following: "Just down the road from me in Milton Keynes, Bucks by an underpass, there are lots of Buddleia bushes. Today, 31st August, they were covered in Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and a lone Painted Lady."
Nicholl Williams sent this news: "I went to Spade Oak, Bucks on 31st August to the new area along the stream. I was looking for Dragonflies, but saw immediately a Clouded Yellow passing by, which I followed but soon lost. However, I then walked along the stream and saw 6 other individuals."
David James reported the following: "On 30th August there was a Clouded Yellow tearing up and down Camborne Avenue near the Bedgrove centre in Aylesbury, Bucks (SP839126) at 11.30am."
This report came from Dave Cleal: "On 30th August I visited Springfield landfill south of Beaconsfield, Bucks. I found a colony of Brown Argus - I counted 7 along the central track but it was difficult to be accurate and I got the impression there were more. At Dorney Lake, Bucks there was a single Meadow Brown and a Red Admiral."
These sightings came from Andy Bolton:
David Hastings visited Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (north side) on 29th August. "I saw at least eight Adonis Blues (7 males) and four Clouded Yellows (my 48th species of the year). Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Brown Argus and Small Heath were numerous. There were still a few Chalk Hill Blues and Silver-spotted Skippers about, but most were looking quite worn. I also saw seven Small Tortoiseshells, one Red Admiral, one Painted Lady, a couple of Speckled Woods by the car park, one late Gatekeeper and various whites."
Ben Hobbs reported the following: "29-08-16 - 4 Small Tortoiseshell in Cholsey Churchyard, Oxon, basking on bare soil. 6 Small Tortoiseshell On Buddleia in our garden in Cholsey, (highest number seen at one time over past week). 2 Red Admiral also. Late arriving this summer."
Nicky Reilly sent this report: "I saw a Clouded Yellow in my garden, Beaconsfield, South Bucks, on the afternoon of 28/08/2016. It was flying and looked as though it was trying to oviposit. I observed it for a good 10 minutes. Other sightings that day 2 x Painted Ladies, 3 Red Admirals, 1 Holly Blue, 2 x Small Tortoiseshell, several Whites and 1 Brimstone (male), main nectar plants visited were Buddleja sp. and Verbena bonariensis."
Simon Fenner sent the following: "I had an hour to visit Yoesden Bank (Bledlow Ridge), Bucks on Saturday morning 27th August and it clouded over as I arrived, turning to thunder and then drizzle. However, while still dry I found a few male (5) and female (2) Adonis Blues, as well as Common Blues (10+), a couple of Brown Argus and a couple of tatty Chalkhill Blues."
Chris Lamsdell saw a Painted Lady in Iver Heath, Bucks (garden) on 27th August.
~ 27th August 2016 ~
Michael McNeill reported the following on 26th August: "A brief visit to The Holies in West Berkshire was rewarded with sightings of 3 (possibly 4) male Adonis Blue, all partially worn and 1 female in pristine condition. At one point a Clouded Yellow passed swiftly across the site, keenly watched by 2 juvenile Wheatear. Other sightings included at least 100 Meadow Brown and small numbers of Common Blue and Speckled Wood."
Dennis Dell sent this update: "On 25th August 15 Small Tortoiseshells in my garden in Aylesbury, Bucks were joined by a pristine Painted Lady, all on the Beijing Buddleia."
Chris Lamsdell saw a single Clouded Yellow at Wraysbury Gravel Pit on 25th August.
Helen Hyre reports seeing another Clouded Yellow on 25th August while out for a walk at Bierton, Bucks.
Terry and Judy Wood sent the following:
"On the 22nd August we had a Silver-washed Fritillary in our
Little Chalfont, Bucks garden – first one for several years. Other sightings that
day were 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Large White, 3 Green-veined White,
1 Small White and 1 Holly Blue.
Chris Brown sent this update on 26th August:
~ 24th August 2016 ~
This report came from Nick Bowles: "I visited Bacombe Hill, near Wendover Bucks on 24th August to check the weak Chalkhill Blue colony there. This my third visit in 2016 and still no sign of any Chalkies on the Horseshoe Vetch patches. I learnt that Steve, who was also up there and who walks the transect there, saw a male on the 23rd; but well away from the Horseshoe Vetch. It certainly seems that this weak colony, along with several others, has collapsed and failed after the poor weather in 2015 and again this year. Anyone who has any sightings of Chalk Hill Blue this season and didn’t already email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org please do. Anyhow, in the glorious weather there were two mated pairs of Common Blue and 17 singletons, a good number for this season. And very excitingly a Clouded Yellow at the base of the hill (Wendover side) and presumably another on the plateau (unless it flew very fast). There were also Brimstone 1, Small White 5, Green-veined White 1, Purple Hairstreak 1, Brown Argus 2, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Peacock 1, Speckled Wood 4, Gatekeeper 1, Meadow Brown 6 and Small Heath 2."
Helen Hyre sent these belated sightings today: "On 17th August I saw 2 Clouded Yellow at Ellesborough, Bucks, chasing round in circles. On 18th August we saw 1 (or possibly 2) Clouded Yellow at Pitstone former quarry, Bucks."
This news came from Dennis Dell on the 24th August: "It is good to see the Small Tortoiseshell in good numbers again in my garden in Aylesbury, Bucks. They started to arrive as a crowd on my Buddleias yesterday. As I look out of the window this morning, I can count 11 on the Beijing buddleia, and I have probably missed some. What is particularly interesting is their behaviour towards the evening on hot days like yesterday. From about 6.30pm they started to settle on the rear wall of the house, which faces west and catches the late afternoon and evening sun. The wall becomes very warm to the touch. At one point there were 10 on this wall, mostly with their wings open. They started to leave for their evening roost at about 8pm when the sun had disappeared behind the houses opposite. One remained and was still there at 8am this morning."
Peter Law sent the following report: "24th Aug: Today I paid a much later than usual visit to Aston Rowant NNR (N), Oxon for late summer butterflies. Plenty of, mostly tatty, Chalkhill Blue were still on the wing, together with abundant Brown Argus and fading Meadow Brown. Good numbers of Adonis Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper and Small Heath were also seen, with fewer Common Blue, some Whites, Small Tortoiseshell and a few Speckled Wood near the car park. Last but by no means least what was probably the same Clouded Yellow on different parts of the noisy hillside above the M40. A day earlier at Oven Bottom SSSI on the South Oxon Downs there were plenty of Common Blue and Brown Argus but surprisingly no Chalkhill Blue. A walk from there up to Lowbury Hill then back to West Way farm above Blewbury produced Small Heath in clusters but it was quite windy at the Small Blue hot spot and I didn't see any."
Nicholl Williams sent this report on 24th August: "I went to the Spade Oak lake (Bourne End, Bucks) today and there is an area which looked like a new road, but is instead a new area of Nature Reserve. It probably needs advice for management. It is an area with a stream running through the centre and has new growth of many different species of plants. I noticed several different dragonflies. Lots of Common Blues, various Whites and many Speckled Woods."
Dave Cleal visited Little Marlow Gravel Pit, Bucks on the morning of 23/08/2016. "Certainly 5, possibly 8 Clouded Yellows and one Common Blue (male) noted."
Dennis Dell sent the following observation on 23rd August: "The first Silver-washed Fritillary was seen in Homefield Wood on 26th June. I saw one in a private mid Bucks wood on August 21st and Mick Campbell and I saw another in Oakley Wood, Bucks on the 22nd; both were very worn of course. This makes a flight season of 8 weeks and I suspect more will be reported."
~ 21st August 2016 ~
David Hastings visited Hackpen Hill, Oxon on the afternoon of 21st August: "The weather had improved from the morning, and there was some sunshine although it was still quite windy. Meadow Browns were quite numerous, with about 30 seen in an hour. I saw about 13 Common Blues (including one very blue female), six Small Heath, four Small Tortoiseshell, and one each of Brown Argus, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral and Brimstone. Also three Chalk Carpet moths."
Vicky Robson sent this news: "I just wanted to let you know that we have had 5 Comma caterpillars on our hop plant in Woodley, Berks. We watched them form pupae and now two of them have emerged this morning (21st August)."
Maureen Cross sent this field trip report: "Five of us turned up for the Adonis Field Meeting on Lardon Chase, Berks today (20th August), not expecting much success because of the forecast of rain, gales and storms but as it turned out there was little rain and some good sunny breaks in the clouds when the butterflies flew. We did see Adonis Blues but only 2, one male and one female although there were plenty of Common and Chalk Hill Blues. The Common Blues were mostly fresh but the Chalkhills were very faded having been at their peak in July when on one visit to the Hill I counted 215. Other butterflies seen today were Meadow Browns 43, Small Blue 1, Small Copper 1, Gatekeeper 2 and Brimstone 1. Please email me any Adonis sightings now they are out and about."
Ched George sent these sightings: "Managed an excursion to Lodge Hill, Bucks this afternoon (20th August). Found 3 male and 1 female Chalk Hill Blue on the top. A casual circuit gave 12 Small Heath, 5 Brown Argus, a few Common Blue, 5 Speckled Wood, a female Brimstone, a Gatekeeper, 1 Peacock and several Meadow Browns."
~ 18th August 2016 ~
Colin Williams sent these sightings: "On a site visit to Yeosden Bank, Bucks today (18th Aug) a group of BBOWT staff saw 6+ freshly emerged Adonis Blue in intermittent sunshine. Also seen were 2 Small Copper, 1 late Marbled White, 16 Chalk Hill Blue, 3 Small Heath, 4 Brown Argus and lots of Common Blue. No Small Blues were seen."
Michael McNeill sent this report: "A hot sunny day on August 17th prompted a cycle ride on Greenham Common, West Berkshire. At one point I set up both a Wheatear and a Clouded Yellow, 50 meters to the east of the large tarmac area close to the control tower. On the way home a brief visit to Lardon Chase, West Berkshire, found a pristine condition female Adonis Blue (or possibly a newly hatched female Chalk Hill Blue, if they hatch this late in the season; difficult for me to differentiate as wings never opened). A couple I spoke to had seen a male Adonis Blue the previous day. Other species in good numbers mainly Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, with very small numbers of Small Copper, Brown Argus, Gatekeeper and Brimstone. Garden butterflies in Upper Basildon, West Berkshire, continue to delight over the past two weeks with occasional sightings of Silver-washed Fritillery and Painted Lady."
Richard Wheeler sent this news: "I visited Yeosden Bank, Bucks at lunchtime today (17/08/16) with my children. Weather fine and sunny (20-25°C). The highlights were 7 Adonis Blue, mostly fresh, among large numbers of Common Blue and Chalk Hill Blue (a good antidote to a summer alarmingly bereft of ‘blues’!) Full count in 2½ hours: 7 Adonis Blue (incl. 1F), 97 Common Blue (incl. 12F), 59 Chalk Hill Blue (incl. 9F), 4 Small Copper, 8 Brown Argus, 159 Meadow Brown, 6 Gatekeeper, 1 Large Skipper, 3 Small Skipper, 1 Marbled White, 4 Large White, 3 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 4 Brimstone (incl. 2F), 1 Painted Lady and 3 Speckled Wood. Several moths also seen, including Silver Y and Common Carpet."
Margaret Bolton sent this report: "I recorded just one male Chalk Hill Blue at Strawberry Bank, Bucks on 31st July, then just one female on 7th August. However, on the visit there [SU819900] on 13th Aug members of Frieth Nat Hist Soc saw 4+ Chalk Hill Blue and 8+ Common Blue butterflies, along with other species recorded, though not counted. Whilst few sightings of Common Blue were reported elsewhere in south Bucks by early August, I did record 8+ male and 1 female on 6th Aug at Fingest Lane roadside verges [SU787914], with a note that there were lots in that area. This was corroborated by Alan Gudge."
Maureen Cross sent this news: "First second brood Adonis Blue on The Holies, Berks seen on 11th August, followed by a second single sighting on the 13th. None so far on Lardon Chase but there is still time for some to emerge there before the Adonis Field Meeting on Saturday 20th August."
Dave Gower sent this news: "Walked along and around the Ridgeway on August 14th from Aldbury Nowers, Northants to opposite windmill and noted 2 x Brown Argus, 49 x Meadow Brown, 6 x Common Blue,1 x Gatekeeper, 1 x Small Heath, 9 x Chalk Hill Blue ( 2 females), 1 x Large White, 1 x Painted Lady."
~ 16th August 2016 ~
Dave Cleal sent these sightings: "Dorney Lake, Bucks, 15th Aug : 7 Common Blues (2 females). Lilley Lee Farm Lane, Wooburn Common, Bucks : Clouded Yellow."
Judy and Terry Woods sent this news: "On the 12th August we visited Grangelands, Bucks for 2 hours during late afternoon and despite very windy conditions we saw 1 Dark-green Fritillary, 6 Silver-spotted Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 3 further unidentified “small” Skipper, 3 Small Heath, 2 Speckled Wood, 9 Meadow Brown, 34 Chalk Hill Blue, 19 Common Blue, 2 Large White and 1 Green-veined White."
Barry Stickland sent this sighting: "We had a female Silver-Washed Fritillary in our garden in Finchampstead, Berks at about 6pm on 14th August."
Judith Barnard sent this sighting: "Spotted around 5 Brown Hairstreak (male and female) on 15th August at Otmoor, Oxon."
~ 14th August 2016 ~
Jan Haseler sent this meeting report: "10 members met at Mortimer, Berks on the cloudy morning of 13 August for a walk through the conifer plantations which straddle the Hampshire / Berkshire border. Target species was the Grayling and the count slowly increased by ones and twos to 29. Most were on the stony tracks and demonstrated their camouflage skills, but the photographers were delighted to see a few on heather flowers on the banks of a sheltered ditch. Other species seen were Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Peacock, Common Blue, Small Skipper, Large White, Green-veined White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Speckled Wood."
Jon Mercer sent this news: "I made my annual foray to Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon on August 11th in sunny, warm and breezy weather. I counted 7 Silver-spotted Skippers in 30 mins at Linkey Down, and 20+ in 45 mins at the main reserve N of the motorway, on the slopes below the car park. Also 70+ Chalk Hill Blues, 4 Brown Argus, 10 Common Blues and 2 Brimstones."
Dave Cleal sent these sightings: "Wed 10th Aug Dorney Lakes, Bucks: just 3 Butterflies seen. 1 Common Blue by the clubhouse. A pristine Painted Lady and a female Brimstone along the causeway. Fri 12th Aug. Jubilee River, Marsh lane to M4, Bucks, 4 Common Blues all males, Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Woods and a Large White."
~ 12th August 2016 ~
Dave Cleal sent this news: "At Little Marlow, Bucks gravel pit today (10th August) were up to five Common Blues in the area of the flower-strewn spit. Seem to be scarce in South Bucks this year."
~ 9th August 2016 ~
Andy Bolton sent these sightings:
"Aston Rowant, Oxon south side (SU726964) 5th August :
Marbled White 3,
Small Skipper 7,
Silver-spotted Skipper 1,
Small White 5,
Large White 1,
Green-veined White 1,
Red Admiral 1,
Chalk Hill Blue 32,
Dark Green Fritillary 1.
Tim Watts sent this news: "On 4th August I visited Gallows Bridge, Bucks, and the hedgerow adjacent to the path to the bird hides was alive with butterflies, mostly Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown but also 3 Red Admiral and 2 Painted Lady. At Calvert Jubilee reserve, Bucks, whilst looking for Brown Hairstreak I spotted a Valezina form of Silver-washed Fritillary. Getting a bit faded/worn it looks like a giant Speckled Wood in flight! It nectared for long time on Brambles at top of steps on the railway bank walk, also Comma, Red Admiral and Painted Lady on same flowering clump. Tried Rushbeds Meadows, Bucks for the 4th time recently, looking for Brown Hairstreak. I got one possible sighting high up in Ash trees, 2 Purple Hairstreak also up in Ash but just glimpsed orange."
Robert Norris sent these sightings: "An afternoon visit to Stoke Goldington Wood, Bucks on 8th August yielded 2 White-letter Hairstreaks, one of which was sitting on a bramble bush. The only Elms here are less than 3 metres high so they are probably easier to see here than most other places. Also one Silver washed Fritillary, Green veined Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and a few tired looking Ringlets".
Judith Barnard sent this news: "Today (8th August) at RSPB Otmoor, Oxon (SP570127) we spotted one Brown Hairstreak. Other notable species were a Painted Lady and Red Admiral. Also at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (SP598147) on the 8th we spotted a Brown Hairstreak along with a female Silver-washed Fritillary and about 5 Purple Hairstreak".
~ 8th August 2016 ~
David Hastings visited Greenham Common, Berks on 6th August. "The target species was the Grayling, of which I saw a dozen in a 2-hour period. There were also good numbers of Common Blues and Gatekeepers, a couple of Small Coppers and a Small Heath. I also visited Fence Wood, Berks on the same day. Notable sightings here were seven or eight Silver-washed Fritillaries, two Painted Ladies and at least fourteen Peacocks."
~ 7th August 2016 ~
Martin Kincaid sent this news:
"I made a couple of butterfly trips over the weekend and was pleased to note that the White-letter Hairstreak
is still on the wing in Milton Keynes, North Bucks. On Saturday 6th August
I visited Blue Lagoon Nature Reserve in Bletchley. 3 White-letter Hairstreaks were quickly found atop a large elm tree on
the western boundary of the reserve. Five fresh Holly Blues, about a dozen Common Blues and a single Brown Argus
were the other highlights.
~ 6th August 2016 ~
Mark Jones sent this report: "6th August. Simply wonderful morning at Bald Hill, Oxon. Just within 25m of the gate on the path at the bottom of the hill 16 species were seen - plenty of lovely flowers and moths too. Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Silver-spotted Skipper (probably the most common butterfly higher up the hill), Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary, Large White, Small Skipper, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Copper, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper, Small White, Chalkhill Blue and Brimstone. If I can count the Green-veined White and Speckled Wood I saw near the car park, that's 18. I've done the 59 this year and I can honestly say one of the best sites."
Melanie Pond sent the following: "We had an enjoyable visit to Aston Rowant, Oxon today (4th August) despite the overcast and rather blowy conditions. We were very excited to see our first ever Silver-spotted Skippers. A pristine Brown Argus was another highlight. (PS: We found a large lens cap in the top wild flower meadow. Am happy to post it to the owner.)"
Malcolm Brownsword saw 13 species on transect at Homefield Wood, Bucks on 3rd August including 28 Silver-washed Fritillaries, which he remarks was 10 more than Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown!"
~ 3rd August 2016 ~
Judith Barnard sent the following: "At Rushbeds Wood, Bucks today (3rd August) we saw the following noteworthy species: 1 Marbled White, 3 Painted Lady (at SP666154), 8 Red Admiral, 5 Peacock, 1 Purple Hairstreak (at SP666154), 8 Silver-washed Fritillary, 4 Speckled Wood, 1 Comma, 1 Silver Y Moth as well as Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Whites, Brimstone, Skippers. At Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon the noteworthy species were 3 Purple Hairstreak, 6 Brimstone but no Brown Hairstreak!"
David Hastings found a fresh summer-brood Painted Lady in the University Parks, Oxford, Oxon at lunchtime on 3rd August.
Chris Brown sent these reports:
Malcolm Brownsword reports on the field trip to Oven Bottom, Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon on 31st July: "On a sunny morning, 21 members enjoyed the experience of seeing about 20 species of butterfly as well as a few moth species during a three and a half hour walk from the grain drier building. We walked towards the foot of Juniper valley, forked right uphill to the dew pond, then turned right and walked half a mile along Icknield Way to the SSSI Oven Bottom on the right. Species I recorded here and on the rest of the walk numbered 19, but in such a large party I am sure I missed a few - I know I missed a Dark Green Fritillary which is on Jim Asher’s more thorough list. In addition to the butterfly species listed below we saw the following moths: 2 Silver ‘Y,’ a Barred Straw, a Shaded Broad-bar and an Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar. Several Roesel’s Bush Crickets (the relatively rare green form, I believe) and numerous Saddle-back Harvesters were also seen. Butterflies seen were: about 10 Marbled Whites, a similar number of Meadow Browns, 2 Ringlets, 3 Gatekeepers, 5 Brown Argus, one Common Blue, 3 Small Coppers, about 12 Chalk Hill Blues, a single Holly Blue, two Red Admirals, one Small Heath a single Small Tortoiseshell, ten Large Whites, smaller numbers of Green-veined and Small Whites, two Brimstones and about 20 Small/Essex’ Skippers (several positively identified as either Small or Essex). A single Comma on the way back to the grain dryer brought my own total to 19 species."
~ 31st July 2016 ~
Shelagh Harlow reported the following: "I went to Otmoor, Oxon at 4.30pm on 31st July to catch some of the sunny snatches before Monday's forecast rain and lo and behold, just as I got into the Roman Road a group from Northamptonshire were photographing a Brown Hairstreak. On vegetation under one of the big oaks on the right. It was the only one I saw despite hanging around for another hour and a half with several sunny patches, but it was definitely there!"
The following came from John Lindley on 31st July: "I visited Aston Rowant (south side), Oxon today to look for Silver-spotted Skippers. I saw 10+, mostly males. Also 50+ Small/Essex Skippers, 20+ Small Whites, 5 Green-veined Whites, 1 male Large White, 1 female Brimstone, 1 male Chalk Hill Blue, 1 Dark Green Fritillary, 100+ Meadow Brown, 100+ Gatekeeper, 20+ Ringlet, 2 Small Heath and a handful of Marbled White. Burnet Moths were everywhere, I saw at least 200."
David Hastings sent this report:
"I visited both sides of Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon, on 30th July.
I saw a total of 21 species. Meadow Browns were the most numerous with over 120 seen. Chalk Hill Blues
were a close second with over a hundred counted, mostly on Beacon Hill. There were also good number of
Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Small Heath, Marbled White, Brimstone and Large White.
On Bald Hill I found at least twenty Silver-spotted Skippers and a similar number of Six-spot Burnets.
I found some fresh-looking Common Blues and Brown Argus and a single rather worn Small Copper.
Richard Wheeler sent the following news today, 31st July: "Just back after a couple of nights camping with my family near Uffington, Oxon (below the White Horse). The weather was warm and sunny with intermittent cloud, c.20-25°C. Plenty of butterflies seen, including – I’m happy to say, after alarmingly few ‘blues’ of any type this year – good numbers of Chalkhill Blue. This morning (31/7/16), a 1hr walk up to the White Horse and back via the ‘Shepherd’s Steps’ drovers’ track yielded 50+ Chalkhill Blue (including 6F – see pic). Other butterflies seen included a solitary Small Blue (the first I’ve seen here), good numbers of Marbled White, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown, fewer Large Skipper, Small/ Essex Skipper and Ringlet, together with several Large White, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell."
~ 29th July 2016 ~
Mick Jones sent the following: "Whilst walking through Bittams Wood at Dancersend Reserve, Bucks today (29th July), I saw three Purple Hairstreaks on an oak tree at the side of the ride. Two were the usual small splodges high in the canopy, but this one explored lower branches just long enough for me to get a half-decent shot!"
Richard Wheeler visited Rushbeds Wood, Bucks on 27th July with his two children. "The weather was warm with some cloud, c.22°C. In 1.5 hours along the main ride and in the newly-mown meadow, we saw: 26 Ringlet, 156 Meadow Brown, 4 Gatekeeper, 3 Marbled White, 12 Large Skipper, 5 Green-veined White, 2 Large White, 31 Silver-washed Fritillary (20M, 11F), 2 Peacock, 1 M Brimstone, 1 White Admiral, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Silver Y moth, 1 Shaded Broad-bar, 1 Spotted Longhorn Beetle and 1 frog in the stream that winds through the wood."
Tim Watts sent the following: "On 24/7/16 myself and Colleen visited Finemere Wood, Bucks. We had 2 flight views of Purple Emperor including my first well away from the main ride on North side of wood. We walked on to Romer Wood, Bucks and sat and watched a spot where I'd seen Purple Emperor last week from 12-2:30 p.m. Over this period we had a definite 3 Purple Emperor. First one flying around tops of Ash/Oak/big Sallows was very worn and I think male. Later we had a large pristine one flying amongst Sallows regularly and later still 2 pristine females together in the same line of Sallows. They would land on a leaf for a while then move to another leaf, which I took to be egg-laying. We also saw 5-6 Silver-washed Fritillary including a Valezina form, many Purple Hairstreak and 2 worn White Admiral. On 27/7/16 there were 2 White-letter Hairstreak battling above Elms next to the reserve car park at Calvert jubilee, Bucks."
Chris Brown sent these two reports:
~ 26th July 2016 ~
Derek Brown sent this news: "The Grayling seems to be doing well this year at Greenham Common (Berks), with 13 seen in 30 mins this morning (26th July) in the area between SU494648 and SU503647. Part of this area has been cleared of Gorse over the last few years and it seems to be helping. Numerous Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown also in this area but little else."
Robert Norris visited Stoke Goldington Wood, Bucks on 25/7/16: "Several Silver-washed Fritillaries along the main ride today. Hard to count as they were very active. Stacks of Green-veined Whites, Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers. Also Small Skippers, Large Skippers, Large Whites, Red Admirals, Peacocks, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White and a few freshly emerged Brimstones."
Margaret Bolton sent this report:
"Following requests from Nick Bowles for sightings of Chalkhill Blue, I went to Strawberry Bank, Bucks [SU 819 900]
on 18th July and again today, 24th July. I expected to see
a few there at some point this summer, as in previous years. However I saw no sign of them on the 18th, and only this
single worn female today, upper and under side of same individual (I judge her to be Chalkhill largely by the
remaining “broken” fringes as well as the underside spots, and the fact that I think the possible look-alike
Adonis Blue would be an unlikely find at this site). I had seen the male Chalkies at Aston Rowant yesterday,
so knew exactly what to look for."
~ 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."
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."
~ 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. "
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!"
~ 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. "
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. "
From Katy Dunn: "We saw this lovely Lime Hawk caterpillar at Hambleden, Bucks today (21st July). "
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. "
~ 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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
~ 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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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:
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."
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.."
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!"
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!"
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."
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.
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."
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 , Ringlet [>50], Meadow Brown , Silver-washed Fritillary , White Admiral , Large White , Large Skipper , Red Admiral , Small White , Small Tortoiseshell , Comma ."
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."
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."
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."
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!"
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."
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."
~ 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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
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."
~ 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!"
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."
~ 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."
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."
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. "
~ 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. "
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."
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."
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. "
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."
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. "
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. "
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"
~ 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!"
~ 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."
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."
~ 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."
~ 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."
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."
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."
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."
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!
~ 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)"
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."
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."
~ 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)."
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)."
~ 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."
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."
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."
~ 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)."
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."
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. "
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."
~ 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."
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. "
~ 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."
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."
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."
~ 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."
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."
Judith Barnard sent the following: "May 12th: Spotted Orange-tip eggs at Howe Park Wood in Milton Keynes, Bucks along with Speckled Woods."
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.
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."
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."
~ 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."
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."
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."
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’."
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.
~ 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)."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
~ 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."
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 April – Peacock, 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!"
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."
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."
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."
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),
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
~ 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.]
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