Cancelation of Weekend Away to Isle of Wight

The East Midlands Branch regrets that due to a sudden family bereavement, Richard Penson is unable to lead this trip. Consequently we have decided to cancel this years weekend away.

Please check our other events listings as we still have a packed program of field trips for the rest of the summer.

Nottinghamshire Flutterings on 27th May 2016: Don’t forget caterpillars!


Holly Blue 160523 female upper by Lynne Demaine

Holly Blue 160523 female upper by Lynne Demaine

Not much to report over the last week or so – numbers are generally low.

No ‘new’ species. I expect Large Skipper will be our next to be recorded.

Holly Blue seems to be doing well in our gardens but disappointingly few Brown Argus records.

Holly Blue 160523 female under by Lynne Demaine

Holly Blue 160523 female under by Lynne Demaine

Toni Lachetta is the only casual observer to have included larvae (caterpillar) nests in his sighting. Please do not forget to record them.


Grizzled Skipper 160519 Staunton by Jean Parrott

Grizzled Skipper 160519 Staunton by Jean Parrott


Here is a summary of the relatively few casual sightings over the last two weeks:

Fluterings 160527 Casual Records since mid May 2016


My thanks to all who have sent in records, particularly the transect recorders whose efforts are so valuable yet very much understated.

Nottinghamshire transects 2016
Attenborough NR Riverside and Corbett’s Meadow – Pete Brewin
Beeston Sidings – Graham Birkett
Bingham Linear Park – Jenny Craig
Bramcote Hills Park – Richard Rogers
Bramcote Ridge – John Appleton
Clumber Park weekly volunteers – Tom Biddulph and his team
Kings Meadow – Mark Searle
Netherfield Lagoons – Sue Cowlishaw & Pat Gartside
Newstead Abbey Park – Phil Burnham
Ollerton Pit Wood – Jane Broomhead
Potwell Dyke – Robin Old & Mandy Hender
Radcliffe Wood – Bill Bacon
Skylarks NR – Roger Freeman
Wollaton LNR – Tricia Rice
Wollaton Park – Richard Smyth
Orston Guide site – Jennie Harrison

Red Admiral 160521 by Damian Taylor

Red Admiral 160521 by Damian Taylor


BFN Richard Rogers


Nottinghamshire Flutterings on 18th May 2016 Painted Lady, Brown Argus and Small Heath.

Three newbies over the last week:

Painted Lady seen at Colston Bassett by Neil Pinder on May 12th, no doubt brought in along with Red Admiral by the warm continental breeze we had a week ago.

Brown Argus was recorded by Graham Gamage along the Flawborough Footpath on May 16th.

Small Heath, one seen yesterday (17/5/16) at Rainworth and another nearby at Hundred Acres by David Shaw.

Small Heath 160517 by David Shaw

Small Heath 160517 by David Shaw

A selection of other sightings:

Dingy Skipper
Records from Bevercotes, Toton Sidings, Bevercotes Pit Wood and Ollerton Pit Wood where Jane Broomhead counted 7.

Grizzled Skipper
A reminder that the Notts Grizzled Skipper project is run by Chris Jackson the Biodiversity Officer for the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group.

Chris Jackson reports:

It’s still less than two weeks since our first sighting in Nottinghamshire (4th May at Staunton Quarry) and already we have received 65 positive records of this species from its known range in Nottinghamshire, sent in by 21 different recorders.”

Records have been received from 12 different locations, with good numbers of records being received from Staunton Quarry and Saxondale Disused Railway. We have also received records from GCR Barnstone Tunnel, Bingham Linear Park, Cotham Disused Railway (at Kilvington), Cotham Station, East Leake Station, Flawborough Footpath, Langar Airfield (Dispersal), Langar Airfield (Bridleway), Rushcliffe Halt and the Newark to Cotham Sustrans Route (by Cotham Landfill).

Sites where increased coverage would be very beneficial are:
The area around Langar airfield (including the bridleway to the east)
Naturescape Community Woodland
Barnstone Disused Railway
The disused railway running from Newark to Bottesford (especially south of Alverton and the length between Cotham and Kilvington)
The southern end of Flawborough Footpath (the ‘triangle’)
Sites around Kilvington lakes
The southern end of Bingham Linear Park

Chris Jackson

Maps of these locations are on the Notts BAG web site

Please contact Chris directly if you have any queries including access arrangements where sites do not have public rights of way.


Grizzled Skipper 160512 at Saxondale by Colin Bowler

Grizzled Skipper 160512 at Saxondale by Colin Bowler

Grizzled Skipper 160512 at Saxondale by Colin Bowler

Grizzled Skipper 160512 at Saxondale by Colin Bowler

Still doing well, over 40 records during the last week.

Green Hairstreak
Some really encouraging records from Holme Pierrepont, Skylarks NR, Blott’s Pit, Toton Sidings and especially Cotgrave CP and Netherfield Lagoons. Thanks to Richard Smyth, Mark Speck, Lynne Demaine, Sue Cowlishaw, Simon Jenkins and Michael Walker.

Green-Hairstreak 160517 Cotrave CP by Lynne Demaine

Green-Hairstreak 160517 Cotrave CP by Lynne Demaine

Common Blue
Just two records – from Neil Pinder on the GCR at Normanton on Soar and Colin Bowler at Saxondale (a courting pair).

Small Copper
Singles seen at Cotgrave Forest and Clumber Park (Neil Pinder and Jacqueline Dennison)

Holly Blue
Just 20 records, a bit disappointing?

Red Admiral
Eight records from the Old Nottingham Canal footpath, Colston Bassett, Netherfield Ouse Dyke, Beeston Sidings transect, Langar Airfield Bridleway, Rainworth and Strelley wood. Thanks to some of the aforementioned, Graham Birkett and Nigel Wood.

Specked Wood
A definite improvement in numbers with 40 record over the last week.

In addition to those mentioned above my thanks to Toni Lachetta, Brian Johnson, Howard Williams,J Brown, Jane Howe, Jean Parrott, Lorna Griffiths and Paul Pearson.

Note for your diary:  

The Big Butterfly Count starts on 15th July and runs through to the 7th August

2016 species status to date:
19. Small Heath [24/04/2009-10/10/2015] 18/05/16-
18. Brown Argus [28/04/2007-20/10/2006] 16/05/2016-
17. Painted Lady [27/03/1999-15/12/1996] 13/05/2016-
16. Common Blue [11/04/2012-14/10/2011] 8/05/16-
15. Small Copper [16/03/1997-09/11/2006] 7/05/2016-
14. Dingy Skipper [24/04/2009-07/07/2013] 6/05/16-
13. Grizzled Skipper [23/04/2003-26/06/2005] 4/05/2016-
12. Green Hairstreak [06/04/1997-22/06/2013] 19/04/16-


Happy fluttering,

Richard Rogers


Aye, Aye Skipper !

Update Number 9

Dingy Skipper. M.Harpin May 16

Dingy Skipper at New Lount LNR.        Photograph by Matthew Harpin


Spring has finally settled into a ‘normal’ pattern and we’ve enjoyed some lovely sunshine, although there has been a keen breeze to accompany it. As I write this Update, we are forecast a few days of wind and rain (I don’t mind a drop of rain as the garden is very dry at present) and then a settled spell of warm spring sunshine. Hopefully this will lead to the emergence of some of our late spring and early summer butterflies such as the Wall Brown, Small Heath and Common Blue (no reports of any of these have come through, yet).

There have been very few reports of day-flying moths so far, but AJ Cann noted both Latticed Heath and Common Heath at Holwell NR on the 7th of May. The Star Performer of early May has been the Dingy Skipper. Sarah Proud counted 12 at Bloody Oaks Quarry on the 12th of May, along with a solitary Grizzled Skipper. Matthew Harpin spotted 3 Dingy Skipper at New Lount LNR on the 15th and Ben Devine saw 2 at Sarah’s Wood on the same day (this could be a first for this site, and hopefully this can be repeated on our butterfly transect here). On the following day (16th) I recorded 3 (possibly the same individuals as Matthew) Dingy Skipper at New Lount LNR. I have been monitoring New Lount for the last 3 years as a potential site for this diminutive brown butterfly as there is plenty of Bird’s Foot Trefoil and Wild Strawberry present. A singleton was spotted last spring and, with 3 noted this spring there is every chance that it could become a permanent resident here.

Our 15th reported species of the year came in from Matthew Harpin, also at New Lount LNR when he spotted a Small Copper, along with a Red Admiral, Orange Tip and Small White on the 14th of May. On the same day he also saw 3 Speckled Wood at Bardon Hill. Martin Grimes reported a Red Admiral at Lyndon NR at Rutland Water on the 15th.

The Green Hairstreak is coming under closer scrutiny in the county this year, and further to records listed in Update number 8, Carol Arrowsmith reports 2 individuals seen at Asfordby Hill on the 9th of May, along with 3 Orange Tip and 2 Peacock.

Pauline Goodsell recorded 3 Holly Blue, 3 Orange Tip and a Green-veined White in her Stoke Golding garden on the 9th, and on the same day Laura Hackett spotted 2 Holly Blue in her Whetsone garden, 2 Orange Tip in Southey Road Park, and then a further 2 Orange Tip and 2 Holly Blue in Victory Park, Cosby.

Please continue to send in your sightings information and any other Lepidoptera news you may have for inclusion in the next update either via this email address or our Facebook page, Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland. Enjoy your butterflies.

Nottinghamshire Flutterings 14th May 2016 Common Blue on the wing and Green Hairstreak alert.

A quick update:

Our first Common Blue was seen by Lorna Griffiths last weekend.
“They surprised me as I’ve never seen them there before. They were along the passage to my allotment, wide path with nettle, tall grasses, hedge garlic, quite shaded, but always get speckled wood there.”

Dingy Skipper
Records from Warsop Vale (Dave Morton), Bennerley Marsh (Dave Jones), Calverton pit (Martyn Anderson who noted 7) plus a further sighting of 7 at Toton Sidings (Richard Smyth).

Grizzled Skipper
More records from East Leake area (Brian Johnson, Kevin Gibbons and Richard Smyth) and a particularly pleasing sighting at Saxondale (Bill Bacon).

Green Hairstreak
At last some records from other sites!
Simon Jenkins “visited Sky Larks/Blott’s Pit and spotted 10 Green Hairstreak” and John Ellis saw one on the scrubby bank on the north-eastern side of the Netherfield Lagoons reserve.
Richard Smyth spotted 10 across the site at Toton Sidings earlier in the week. Interestingly he noted “three pairs quite well spread out at the southern end in the usual area, plus two in the grass along the side of the main walk, and two individuals in the northern part of the site both females low down looking for egg laying sites)”

Looking back at the meagre 62 GHS records on the Notts database since 1995:
GHS has been recorded in 1996 (once), 1997 (twice), 2002 (x3), 2003 (x4), 2004 (x6), 2005 (x10), 2006 (x3), 2010 (x1), 2011 (x1), 2013 (x3), 2014 (x14) and 2015 (x11).

Prior to this year (2016) Toton sidings has been the most ‘productive’ site with 7 seen on one visit last year by Sean Browne followed the Cotgrave County Park (one visit notes 5 in 2013, a total of 7 records between 2010 and 2014).

Other sites over the years include
Annesley Pit Top, Bestwood Country Park and Sand Quarry (10 records between 2002 and 2006), Bingham Linear Park LNR, Blott’s Pit and Skylarks NR, Bunny Hill at Costock, Carlton Wood, East Leake Cutting, gardens in Cropwell Bishop and Cotgrave, Netherfield Lagoons, Rushcliffe Country Park and Watchwood (near Burntstump CP).

So a plea to anyone visiting those sites (particularly Cotgrave County Park and Netherfield Lagoons) to keep your antennae on high alert.

2016 species status to date:

16. Common Blue [11/04/2012-14/10/2011] 8/5/16-
15. Small Copper [16/03/1997-09/11/2006] 7/05/2016-
14. Dingy Skipper [24/04/2009-07/07/2013] 6/5/16-
13. Grizzled Skipper [23/04/2003-26/06/2005] 4/5/2016-
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-


Richard Rogers


Holly Blue 160512 on Broom by Richard Smyth

Holly Blue 160512 on Broom by Richard Smyth


Speckled Wood 130506 by Pauline Bradford

Speckled Wood 130506 by Pauline Bradford


Nottinghamshire Flutterings 11th May 2016 Small Copper.

Nottinghamshire Flutterings  11th May 2016  Small Copper.

Small Copper has made its way into the charts over the last few days.
Singles seen on 7th May at Cotham (Nick Crouch) and on 8th and 9th May at Toton Sidings (Tim Sexton and Derek and Iris Martin).

Dingy Skipper
Just two more records, again at Toton Sidings. On May 7th Richard Smyth saw two at the southern end of the side and on the same day Karen and Laurence Archibald found two at the northern end.

Grizzled Skipper 160508 by Richard Smyth

Grizzled Skipper 160508 by Richard Smyth

Grizzled Skipper 160508 at Kilvington by Mark Searle

Grizzled Skipper 160508 at Kilvington by Mark Searle

Grizzled Skipper

Records have been received Staunton Quarry, Normanton, Langar Airfield, Flawborough Footpath and the Great Central Railway line.
Chris Jackson is the Biodiversity Officer with the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group – he runs the Grizzled Skipper project.
Chris reports “It appears that GS are beginning to be seen across the south of the county and given another bout of good weather hopefully this pattern will continue.” He has “received 21 positive records from three of the four GS meta-populations in Nottinghamshire, consisting of a total of 26 individual GS butterflies.”
I had to look up the term metapopulation!! Wiki explains that a metapopulation consists of a group of spatially separated populations of the same species which interact at some level.

Doing particularly well this year.  55 records since the beginning of May – 239 individuals at 18 sites.
Chris Overton comments “I can’t recall seeing quite so many round here before, in the same way that there seems to be far more Garlic Mustard growing than I remember seeing before” and Toni Lachetta “this is already the best Spring I have seen for orange-tips”.

Green Hairstreak 160507 Toton Sidings by Derek Martin

Green Hairstreak 160507 Toton Sidings by Derek Martin

Green Hairstreak
Many have visited Toton Sightings with success. On Monday Steve Keller saw “5 Green Hairstreaks including 2 that were incop for ages (until another male came along and wanted a piece of the action!!)” and I have also received two records of female ovipositing.  Disappointingly no records from elsewhere in the county.

Common Blue – still no confirmed sighting but Richard Smyth reports a likely at Toton at the weekend.

Red Admiral
One record of a “quite a fresh looking specimen” from East Bridgford (Adrian Dutton) has to have been a 2015 model and another from Bestwood (Toni Lachetta). The only other RA record this year was at the end on January.


Other species since the beginning of May
Brimstone 38 records comprising of 81 individuals
Large White 21 records / 31 individuals
Small White 32 records / 62 individuals
Green-veined White 17 records / individuals (20+ seen along the Nottingham Canal near Cossall by George and Tam Cox)
Holly Blue 36 records / 57 individuals
Small Tortoiseshell 29 records / 108 individuals
Peacock 52 records / 122 individuals
Comma 14 records / 9 individuals
Speckled Wood a rather poor showing of 19 records / 38 individuals.

So the 2016 species status to date:

15. Small Copper [16/03/1997-09/11/2006] 7/05/2016-
14. Dingy Skipper [24/04/2009-07/07/2013] 6/05/16-
13. Grizzled Skipper [23/04/2003-26/06/2005] 4/05/2016-
12. Green Hairstreak [06/04/1997-22/06/2013] 19/04/16-
11. Holly Blue [15/03/1998-23/10/2011] 13/04/16-
10. Orange-tip [17/03/2011-28/08/1998] 13/04/16-
09. Large White [22/03/1998-02/11/2010] 13/04/16-
08. Speckled Wood [17/03/2011-05/11/2014] 30/3/16-
07. Green-veined White [17/03/2011-08/10/2008] 26/03/2016-
06. Small White [25/3/2016-31/10/2007] 25/03/16-
05. Comma [06/02/1998-24/11/2011] 20/03/2016-
04. Peacock [03/01/2013-29/12/2015] 10/02/16-
03. Brimstone [11/01/2005-27/12/2015] 7/02/16-
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.


My thanks to Adrian Dutton, Antoni Lachetta, Ben Moss, Bernard & Maureen Featherstone, Bill Bacon, Brian Johnson, Chris Overton, Damian Taylor, E Backhouse, George and Tam Cox, Graham Gamage, Iris & Derek Martin, Jane Howe, Jenny & Steve Smith, Karen Archibald, Marion Bryce, Pauline Bradford, Peter Acton, Phil Cadman, Richard Smyth, Sean Browne, Steve Keller and Tim Sexton.

Richard Rogers

Holly Blue 160509 Toton Sidings by Derek Martin

Holly Blue 160509 Toton Sidings by Derek Martin


The Darling Buds of May

Update Number 8

Orange Tip on Bluebell. Photograph by Richard Jeffery

The weather, as usual, is a key player in determining what happens to our local wildlife, and the fate of Lepidoptera is probably more weather dependant than most. There was a flurry of butterfly sightings on the 20th and 21st of April, before the weather turned cold, wet (including sleet and hail, I must add) and windy, and nothing was then reported until the first week of May. The sudden rise in temperatures over a couple of days encouraged butterflies and recorders out into the open. The leaves on the trees have come forth in forty shades of green and the flower buds have burst open to gladden the heart of any nature lover.


Helen Ingall reported a Brimstone in her Loughborough garden on the 19th of April, and a Comma the following day. The 20th of April also brought forth a Peacock at Stuart Court, Kibworth, as seen by Brian Thompson, and also, on a busy day for Laura Hackett, a Small Tortoiseshell in Enderby, 2 Brimstone and a Peacock in Victory Park, Cosby, 3 Small Tortoiseshell in Shady Lane Arboretum, Evington and finally another 12 Small Tortoiseshell in Willow Park, Wigston. On the same day, I noted 5 Peacock braving a strong breeze on Warren Hills. On the 21st of April, Matthew Harpin recorded a Speckled Wood, a Comma and 7 Peacock at Charnwood Lodge, and then 3 Orange Tip and 8 Small Tortoiseshell at Coleorton.

As the temperatures warmed up in early May, Paul Ruddoch encountered a Green-veined White at Melton Country Park on the 3rd of May. The following day (4th) I saw the first reported Green Hairstreak (species number 12) of the season, with 4 individuals on the wing at Bittesby Wood. On the same day, Bill Bacon recorded 5 Green-veined White, an Orange Tip, a Peacock and 4 Brimstone at Plungar. On the 5th of May Tim Burke photographed a pair of Green-veined White at Lucas Marsh, Oadby.

The 7th of May turned out to be a key day for some of our rarer species, with the first Grizzled Skipper (species 13) being seen by Sarah Proud at Ketton Quarry, the first Dingy Skipper (species 14) recorded by AJ Cann at Holwell and 10 Green Hairstreak noted by John Haddon at Bittesby Wood. On the 8th of May AJ Cann also visited Ketton Quarry where he noted a pristine Grizzled Skipper and 5 Green Hairstreak. The 8th also yielded a Holly Blue in the Melton Mowbray garden of Karen Antcliffe, a Speckled Wood in Lyn Bull’s Kirby Muxloe garden, and 4 Orange Tip, a Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood on the bluebells in Burrough’s Wood, Ratby.

The 9th of May proved to be the hottest day of the year so far, and brought forth numerous butterflies. John Eaton’s visit to the Croft Hill Nature Trail produced many Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone and Peacock. I walked the butterfly transect at Croft on the same day and noted all of the species recorded by John. Holly Blue, Green-veined White and Small White were photographed in the Enderby garden of Steve Lee. Helen Ingall reported Holly Blue, Orange Tip and Green-veined White along the Grand Union Canal, and Tim Burke recorded Green-veined White, Brimstone, Orange Tip and Speckled Wood on his walk from Saddington to Smeeton Westerby.

As temperatures are due to drop under the influence of North-Easterly winds later this week, it will be interesting to see how these newly emerged butterflies will fare. Please keep your sightings information coming in, and as the season progresses, for those of you with an interest in moths, also send in any sightings of day-flying moths.

Remember that information can be submitted directly to me by email or via our Facebook page (Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland).


Here is a provisional list of the ‘First Sightings’ of each of the 14 species reported for Leicestershire and Rutland so far:

1 – Peacock – Ibstock – Graham Bowers – 09 January

2 – Brimstone – Moira – Graham Bowers – 16 January

3 – Small Tortoiseshell – South Kilworth – Derek Spicer – 11 February

4 – Red Admiral – Sapcote Garden Centre – Richard Jeffery – 25 March

5 – Comma – various – various – 25 March

6 – Small White – various – various – 02 April

7 – Large White – Wigston – Laura Hackett – 02 April

8 – Green-veined White – Pick Triangle Wood – Sue Howitt & Rob Davis – 10 April

9 – Orange Tip – various – various – 13 April

10 – Holly Blue – Stoke Golding – Pauline Goodsell – 13 April

11 – Speckled Wood – Pick Triangle Wood – Andy Large – 19 April

12 – Green Hairstreak – Bittesby Wood – Richard Jeffery – 04 May

13 – Grizzled Skipper – Ketton Quarry – Sarah Proud – 07 May

14 – Dingy Skipper – Holwell – AJ Cann – 07 May