Nottinghamshire Flutterings 28th April 2016 Little to report.

Nottinghamshire Flutterings 28th April 2016  – Little to report.

Not much news over the last ten days, hardly surprising given the colder weather over the last six or seven days.

There has been no further sightings of Green Hairstreak at Toton Sidings….  yet!

My thanks to those of you emailed their thoughts and to the sixteen of you who completed my mini survey. Despite the small numbers the results will help guide me.

The first question was about whether I should release the Green Hairstreak news at all given that this seems to be the only colony in Notts –

Should I stay quiet and not publicise the GHS records at all – 33.33%

Should I just tell the Nottinghamshire butterphiles I know personally – 26.67%

Should I publicise the GHS records and site on ‘Flutterings’ so that the records are freely available to all – 40.00%

The second question was, assuming I publicise the site openly, how much web site detail should I provide to enable visitors to find them –

Not applicable – I do not think the GHS records / site should be made public  – 21.43%

Just give the site name and no specific directions – 14.29%

Provide accurate site details just to those who ask me – 57.14%

Provide an open six or eight figure grid reference in Flutterings – 7.14% (one person)
I am pleased that these ‘results’ and the comments I have received  pretty much reflect my own opinion.

Perhaps the most compelling arguments for spreading the news are

a) HS2 will flatten the site so depriving all of us the pleasure of seeing GHS there in the future

b) the site holds a healthy population of Dingy Skipper so, HS2 aside, it is best to direct those wanting to see GHS to where they can be found.

During the warmer weather just before the cold snap I received:

28 Brimstone records including a count of 6 at Vicar Water from Matt Smith.
7 Large White records
24 Small White records
9 Green-veined White records
21 Orange-tip records comprising 47 individuals, 11 seen by Sean Brown on 21/04/2016 at Barton-in-Fabis
9 Holly Blue records from Stapleford (Ian Dunn), Sherwood area of Nottingham (John Knifton), Carlton (Jenny & Steve Smith), Chilwell (Sean Browne), Naturescape Wildflower Farm (Jane Howe), Wollaton (Peter Acton), Ruddington (Chris Overton) and in Bestwood (Antoni Lachetta)
51 Small Tortoiseshell records (187 in total), 16 at East Leake Meadow Park (Brian Johnson) and 11 at Sandybanks NR (Antoni Lachetta)
61 Peacock records (195 in total), highest count of 16 a Toton Sidings (Sandy Aitken)
18 Comma records
3 Speckled Wood records from Carlton (gardens of Jenny & Steve Smith and of Bridget Terry) and Edwalton (Chris Overton)

Orange-tip 160427 by Brian Johnson

Orange-tip 160427 by Brian Johnson

Orange-tip 160427 underside by Brian Johnson

Orange-tip 160427 underside by Brian Johnson

May you flutter on………



A Stuttering Start to Spring

Orange Tip - male

Photograph by Richard M. Jeffery

Update Number 7

So far the arrival of spring has come in stops and starts, with warm sunny days interspersed with cold and wet days. It’s hardly surprising, therefore that butterfly sightings have been fewer than anticipated for this time of the year and appear to be concentrated on certain days, with some days producing no sightings at all. We are currently experiencing dry, sunny days accompanied by a keen west or north-westerly breeze and occasional frosty mornings. Only sheltered sites are yielding numbers of any significance. The forecast is for more of the same, and a return to arctic winds by the end of the week. It will be interesting to see how our local Lepidoptera respond.

We are now two weeks into the butterfly transect season with mixed results coming in. Close scrutiny has been required to monitor the daily weather forecast, and on some days even hourly forecasts, to select the best time to walk the transect. My first visit to Bardon Hill Quarry started in glorious sunshine, coupled with one of those keen chilly winds, and this soon deteriorated into a cold and overcast afternoon. The result? No butterflies. The highest numbers in week one came from Great Glen where David Scott recorded 10 butterflies (1 Brimstone, 2 Comma, 3 Small Tortoiseshell and 4 Peacock). David Foulds noted 5 Small Tortoiseshell and a Brimstone at Brocks Hill CP. Pick Triangle Wood produced a single Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell, whilst another single Peacock accompanied by 3 Small Tortoiseshell were spotted at Sence Valley. Donisthorpe Woodland Park saw just one butterfly, a single Small Tortoiseshell, and the new transect at Croft Hill resulted in a single Brimstone being seen right at the very start of the route. The other new transect at Sarah’s Wood gave up a single of both Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell.

Week two fared slightly better, especially for the transects walked on the 12th and 13th of April. The top performance this week came at Sence Valley where Tony Teperek recorded 24 butterflies on the 13th, with 10 Peacock, 4 Brimstone, and 2 each of Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Small White. He also noted 4 Orange Tip, which along with several other recorders on the same day was the first reported sighting of this harbinger of spring. The transect at Pick Triangle was walked on the 10th of April and produced the first sighting of a Green-veined White. The Small Tortoiseshell appears to be the star performer on the rest of the transects reported so far, with 7 seen at Brocks Hill, 11 at Pick Triangle and at Great Glen and 5 seen at Croft Hill. It will be interesting to see what week 3 brings with the mixed bag of weather predicted by the Met Office.


Casual sightings have been coming in, and are listed by species as follows:

Small Tortoiseshell: 10 Apr – A.J. Cann, Narborough Bog. 11 & 13 Apr – David Foulds, Oadby. 17 Apr – Steve Lee, Croft Hill.

Peacock: 11 Apr – Laura Hackett, Cosby. 13 Apr – Matthew Harpin, 5 near Ravenstone. 13 Apr – David Foulds, 2 at Oadby. 13 Apr – Bill Bacon, 6 at Bottesford to Redmile old railway line. 17 Apr – Matthew Harpin, 5 at Cloud Wood.

Comma: 10 Apr – David Foulds, Oadby.

Small White: 11 Apr – Laura Hackett, 2 at Victory Park, Cosby.

Brimstone: 11 Apr – David Foulds, 2 at Oadby. 11 Apr – Laura Hackett, 2 at Victory Park, Cosby and 2 at Knighton Park, Leicester. 13 Apr – David Foulds, 2 at Botcheston. 13 Apr – Bill Bacon, 2 at Bottesford to Redmile old railway line. 13 Apr – Matthew Harpin, 15 at Jubilee Wood.

Orange Tip: 13 Apr – Sarah Proud, Lyndon, Rutland Water. 13 Apr – David Foulds, Oadby. 17 Apr – Matthew Harpin, Cloud Wood. 17 Apr – Paul Ruddoch, Memorial Garden, Melton Mowbray. 17 Apr – Steve Lee, Croft Hill.

Large White: 19 Apr – Richard Jeffery, Earl Shilton.

Holly Blue: 19 Apr – Steve Lee, Enderby. 19 Apr – Lyn Bull, Kirby Muxloe.


Please continue to send in your sightings information, and feel free to share any photographs you may have on our Facebook page (Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland).






Nottinghamshire Flutterings on 19th April 2016 – Holly Blue and Green Hairstreak

A brief update to bring you news of two more species on the wing in Notts – Holly Blue and Green Hairstreak

Holly Blue – first seen by Oliver Lockett – a singleton in Newark on 13th April.

Another reported today (also Newark!) by Carl Cornish.

Earlier today I found a single Green Hairstreak at what seems to be the only reliable site / colony we have for GHS in Nottinghamshire.

The habitat is looking tired and frail but that could be because of the cold spring we have had.

I do not want to encourage a birding-like circle of those ‘in the know’ but equally, as the habitat is not looking its best, I don’t really want lots of butterphiles trooping down to the site potentially causing more disturbance. As the site is quite large you have to know where to find them as many already do.

Should I provide specific site details for those who do not? Publicly here or only to those who ask me personally?

Arguably it is better to say exactly where they are to avoid searching and trampling other areas of the site when searching.

I have written a two question survey on Survey Monkey to help give me an idea about what I should do in this situation.

The questions are anonymous so if you have any specific comments please email me directly.
Our 2016 species status to date:

12. Green Hairstreak [06/04/1997-22/06/2013] 19/4/16-
11. Holly Blue [15/03/1998-23/10/2011] 13/4/16-
10. Orange-tip [17/03/2011-28/08/1998] 13/4/16-
09. Large White [22/03/1998-02/11/2010] 13/4/16-
08. Speckled Wood [17/03/2011-05/11/2014] 30/3/16-
07. Green-veined White [17/03/2011-08/10/2008] 26/3/2016-
06. Small White [25/3/2016-31/10/2007] 25/3/16-
05. Comma [06/02/1998-24/11/2011] 20/3/2016-
04. Peacock [03/01/2013-29/12/2015] 10/2/16-
03. Brimstone [11/01/2005-27/12/2015] 7/2/16-
02. Red Admiral [25/01/2014-29/12/2011] 29/01/2016-
01. Small Tortoiseshell [12/01/2016-24/12/2001] 12/01/2016-

[ ] indicate first and last dates in Notts records dating back to 1995.
Richard Rogers

Notts Flutterings 14th April 2016 – first record of Large White and Orange-tip.

Two newbies for 2016, both from yesterday, 13th April:

Male Large White seen in his Wollaton Garden by Richard Smyth.

Male Orange-tip seen by Brian Parkes at Attenborough Nature Reserve.

Both are nearly a month later that the first sighting I have on record.

I would have expected to have received records by now for
Holly Blue [15/03/1998-23/10/2011]
Small Copper [16/03/1997-09/11/2006] (a possible was noted at Clumber Park last week)

‘Due’ soon are
Green Hairstreak [06/04/1997-22/06/2013]
Grizzled Skipper [23/04/2003-26/06/2005]

These species have observed during the last week or so:
Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood.
My thanks to the following for recent records:
Antoni Lachetta, Bernard & Maureen Featherstone, Brian Johnson, Brian Parkes, Damian Taylor, Dave Griffin, Dave Morton, David Shaw, Graham Birkett, IADunn, Jack Dennison, Jane Howe, Jean Parrott, Jenny Craig, Jerry Clough, L Archibald, Lorna Griffiths, Paul Pearson, Pauline Bradford, Peter Acton, Richard Smyth, Rob Thatcher.
2016 species status to date:

10. Orange-tip [17/03/2011-28/08/1998] 13/4/16-
09. Large White [22/03/1998-02/11/2010] 13/4/16-
08. Speckled Wood [17/03/2011-05/11/2014] 30/3/16-
07. Green-veined White [17/03/2011-08/10/2008] 26/3/2016-
06. Small White [25/3/2016-31/10/2007] 25/3/16-
05. Comma [06/02/1998-24/11/2011] 20/3/2016-
04. Peacock [03/01/2013-29/12/2015] 10/2/16-
03. Brimstone [11/01/2005-27/12/2015] 7/2/16-
02. Red Admiral [25/01/2014-29/12/2011] 29/01/2016-
01. Small Tortoiseshell [12/01/2016-24/12/2001] 12/01/2016-

[ ] indicate first and last dates in Notts records dating back to 1995.


Some photos including an excellent image of Green-veined White by Mark Searle (see above) and an unusual sighting of a Peacock nectaring on Bluebell by Pauline Bradford.


Peacock 160412 nectaring on Bluebell by Pauline Bradford

Peacock 160412 drinking in a very muddy watery hollow by Pauline Bradford

Richard Rogers

Grizzled Skipper Training Course

Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Group (NottsBAG) are offering a FREE training course to help volunteers with identification and surveying for Grizzled Skippers.

Working with our partners, Butterfly Conservation and Sustrans, I am pleased to inform you that we have arranged to run a FREE training event on Saturday 7th May at Balderton, near Newark.  The attached poster provides a few more details.

Grizzled Skipper Training Day Details

Grizzled Skipper Training Day Poster

The event will be a chance for you to learn more about the ecology of this important butterfly species and to understand survey techniques to identify Grizzled Skipper on the wing and to recognise where to look to find Grizzled Skipper egg laying sites.
After being on the course it is hoped that the skills you gain will enable you to get involved in survey work in May and June.
If you are interested in booking a place then please feel free to contact me.  Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Chris Jackson

Leicestershire & Rutland Green Hairstreak Project 2016

The State of the UK Butterflies Report for 2015 shows that the Green Hairstreak has suffered a 40% decline nationally since 1976. We would like to ascertain the status of this delightful butterfly in the county in 2016 and request your help in recording its whereabouts and highlighting any potential new sites where it could be found. Last year the butterfly was recorded in Charnwood Lodge (Timberwood Hill and Colony reservoir), Warren Hills, Ullesthorpe Stewardship Farm, Bittesby Wood, Ketton Quarry and Asfordby Hill. It was also seen on the Butterfly Transect in Sence Valley. It is hoped that the Green Hairstreak will be seen again at these locations this season, but it is highly probable that the butterfly is present elsewhere in the county.

Green Hairstreak 02

Photograph by Richard M. Jeffery

This is where you come in. On your walks, cycle rides and butterfly treks could you please look out for sites that could potentially host populations of Green Hairstreak. It is a butterfly of various habitats, but look out for its larval food plants which include Bilberry, Gorse, Rockrose, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, and even Dogwood and Buckthorn. The adults can be found nectaring on Thistles and Knapweeds. Any butterfly sightings during the flight period, which is usually throughout May and June, but can be earlier, should be reported either directly to my email address at or via our Facebook group, Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland, where any photographs you may have can be shared too. The first reported sighting in 2015 was on the 18th of April at Warren Hills (SK45821519), so, depending on weather conditions, we may shortly see our first Green Hairstreak for this year. Results will be collated throughout the summer months and will be reported in the East Midland Butterfly Conservation Autumn Newsletter, and also on these pages.

This will be one of our key projects for 2016 and any information you can provide, however great or small, will be greatly appreciated, will be instrumental in helping to monitor this delightful butterfly and in planning for its future requirements by determining whether any conservation actions are necessary.

Thank you.

Nottinghamshire Flutterings 5th April 2016 – first records for Specked Wood.

Hello butterphiles,



Our 8th species for the year was seen during the last week: Speckled Wood seen by Dave Jones at Bennerley Marsh on 30/03/2016.



The twenty-six week transect season has started and I am really pleased to say that eighteen have been set up this year (thirteen last year).

I have been contacted by ‘Gilly’ who has been hoping to set up a transect at Shireoaks reclaimed pit or Langold pit but she needs some help. Are there three or four volunteers who might be interested?

A transect visit typically lasts under an hour and ideally there should be twenty-six weekly visits through the transect season. Choice of day within each week is up to the volunteer and is weather / other commitment dependent. One additional volunteer would mean thirteen visits, two others nine visits etc.  Let me know if interested please.


2016 species status to date:

08. Speckled Wood [17/03/2011-05/11/2014] 30/3/16-
07. Green-veined White [17/03/2011-08/10/2008] 26/3/2016-
06. Small White [25/3/2016-31/10/2007] 25/3/16-
05. Comma [06/02/1998-24/11/2011] 20/3/2016-
04. Peacock [03/01/2013-29/12/2015] 10/2/16-
03. Brimstone [11/01/2005-27/12/2015] 7/2/16-
02. Red Admiral [25/01/2014-29/12/2011] 29/01/2016-
01. Small Tortoiseshell [12/01/2016-24/12/2001] 12/01/2016-

[ ] indicate first and last dates in Notts records dating back to 1995.


Records received since last time (26th March), Small Tortoiseshell records coming out tops:

Flutterings 5th April

My thanks to all who have contributed to these records.


Some photos (please keep their size small, aim to keep them under 0.5MB please):

Comma 160331 Peter Acton

Small Tortoiseshell 160329 by Pauline Bradford

Comma 160331 Jean Parrott


Keep on fluttering…..

Richard Rogers