Early to Rise

Update Number 2
I’m sure that you’ll agree, it goes without saying that this winter has been one of the most unpredictable for a long time, and has to be one of the wettest in living memory. How have our butterflies fared during this wet winter? Quite simply, most of the overwintering species have stayed tucked away in their winter quarters. On the odd occasion that the sun has shone, it has either been too cold or too windy to tempt them out of hibernation. As for our Spring and Summer butterflies, I wait with nervous anticipation of the weeks ahead to find out how they have coped. Have the ova, larvae and pupae survived the winter rains and associated boggy conditions, or have they been consigned to a watery grave? Only time will tell.
The past few weeks have not, I hasten to add, drawn a blank. The first reported sighting of the year came in on the 9th of January when Graham Bowers spotted a Peacock on the wing in Ibstock Community Orchard. A week later on the 16th Graham’s wife saw a Brimstone in the garden in Moira. My first sighting was of a solitary, somewhat bedraggled Peacock in the car park of Palmer’s Garden Centre in Ullesthorpe on the 25th of January. This little chap was almost overlooked as initially Win and I thought it was a leaf blowing in the breeze. The first two species reported in 2015 were the Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell, both seen on the 9th of February. Neither of these two overwintering butterflies have been reported so far this year, but the odd opportunist may put in appearance if we get a warm, sunny winter day, so I would ask you to keep your eyes peeled.
East Midlands Butterfly Conservation have been developing the Website over the winter months and several changes will be filtered through over the coming weeks and months, so please keep checking. One facility that is now up and running is the County Blog pages. It is planned that the email Updates for Leicestershire and Rutland, and also Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will be posted directly to here. This will save on time spent sending emails out to groups of individuals, as once the Update is posted, recipients will receive an automatic notification email allowing instant access to the Blog. I would like to ask each one of you to visit the EMBC website’s Blog page and ‘Subscribe to Blog via Email’. All you need to do is fill in your email address and you’ll be ready to receive future posts for Leicestershire and Rutland, as well as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire if you wish, by email alert. I will eventually, once everyone has subscribed, stop sending out the email Updates directly, and thus eliminate the risk of your email address being shared.
Please use the following link to go the Blog page and enter your email address where requested, www.eastmidlands-butterflies.org.uk/blog/ , and once you have done so could I please ask you to let me know that you have so that I can update my records accordingly (I don’t want you to miss out on what’s happening in the county).
Please continue to send in details of your butterfly and moth sightings, and they will appear in future Updates.

Notts Flutterings 64 (2016-04) – Brimstone and Peacock

Hello Butterphiles

Two more species on the wing over the last week – that brings us to four species so far this year.

Brimstone [11/01/2005-27/12/2015] 7/2/16-
Graham Gamage noted a brimstone on Sunday 7th February at Alverton

Peacock [03/01/2013-29/12/2015] 10/2/16-
Neil Pinder reports “two on the wing near East Bridgford on 10th Feb 2016” and the same day Brian Parkes saw another trying to find a bit of warmth at Toton.

A reminder that Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell have already been seen which leaves Comma as the only hibernator yet to be recorded this year.

Best wishes to all.

Richard Rogers

Red Admiral and the 2015 records

Hello Butterphiles

Red Admiral [25/01/2014-29/12/2011] 29/01/2016-
Red Admiral became our second adult species to be seen this year on the 29th January. Chris Bradbury saw one fluttering around the pavement out at the back of his house.

Small White [01/04/1995-31/10/2007]
Annie Cheesbrough has emailed to say she “has had six 6 caterpillars of Small White butterflies on our brassicas through the winter. The last live one I saw was 2 weeks ago (23/1/16) on kale in West Bridgford. Can’t find any now though. Goodness knows what they’d have fed on if they’d developed! I’ve certainly never seen surviving caterpillars after frost before this winter.”


I have probably received my final set of 2015 records his week. I have yet to send the finally tally off to Butterfly Conservation so if there are any more records outstanding then please let me know.

These are records from many sources including casual records, the Big Butterfly Count, Transects, iRecord and the WCBS (Wider Countryside Butterfly Scheme).

18782 records of 81504 individuals. See the table below (note you can sort by the column headers)

I wonder how many individuals have not been recorded at all or will be the same individual recorded on different days or by different observers and thus what the true number of butterflies really is in Notts.

Notts 2015 records summary

SpeciesRecordsIndividuals counted
Small White18456698
Small Tortoiseshell16024931
Large White15994876
Speckled Wood13863643
Meadow Brown102010853
Green-veined White9032767
Holly Blue8201358
Common Blue8024450
Red Admiral7591158
Small Skipper3914003
Painted Lady362514
Large Skipper3531159
Small Copper269583
Small Heath196864
Brown Argus114292
Essex Skipper113403
Dingy Skipper87343
Marbled White52271
White-letter Hairstreak41120
Grizzled Skipper39111
Purple Hairstreak3274
Green Hairstreak1593
Silver-washed Fritillary1217
Clouded Yellow77
Purple Emperor713
Dark Green Fritillary34
White Admiral11
Wall Brown11


Richard Rogers

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Grizzled Skipper Work Party 7th Feb

grizzled-skipper_RSJ7167-EditOn Sunday 7th February we will be meeting up for the last time this winter to undertake work at another important site that supports Grizzled Skipper in Nottinghamshire.  The site is another stretch of disused railway line located in the south east of the county, close to Bottesford.

We will be meeting in the morning (7th February) at 10am and working on site until approximately 3pm.  If you are able to come along and help out then I would very much welcome your help.  As usual if you could contact me to let me know that you are interested in coming along and I will then send you details of the meeting point for this particular work party.

As this is the last work party for this winter period it would be great to finish off with another good turn out.

Please see our web page for further details

I look forward to seeing many of you there.