A Spring in the Step.

Update Number 2

Brimstone on Hyacinth. Photograph by Richard M. Jeffery

The past two weeks have been a period of ‘first’ sightings for many of us, and as a result, I can now confirm that all 5 of our overwintering butterflies have been recorded in the county. What a difference a little sunshine makes.

Species number 3 for the year was reported by Paul Ruddoch when he spotted a Peacock in Scalford Road, Melton on the 4th of March. Further sightings of Peacocks have been noted by Toby Carter who saw 2 individuals at Melton Country Park on the 9th, Graham Bowers with his first butterfly of the year at Donisthorpe Woodland Park, and on the 13th March by Paul Ruddoch at Melton C.P, Sarah Proud at Lyndon Reserve, Rutland Water and by yours truly in our Earl Shilton garden.

The Comma became species number 4 to put in an appearance with Adey Baker’s sighting at Burbage Outwoods on the 6th of March. Paul Ruddoch recorded a Comma in Melton C.P. on the 9th, as did Steve Lee in his Narborough garden on the 13th.

The Brimstone was certainly the most prolific of all the butterflies over the last couple of weeks, and becomes species number 5 to be recorded in the county. The 9th of March seemed to be the day when the Brimstones emerged, as reported by Lynne Beaumont in Blaby, and by Toby Carter (5 individuals) and Paul Ruddoch, both at Melton C.P. Karen Antcliffe noted 3 at Knossington on the 12th and then a couple more the following day. Also on the 13th sightings were made by David Foulds at Oadby, Craig Howat in Oakham, Steve Lee in Narborough, Sarah Proud at Lyndon Reserve and 3 individuals spotted by Paul Ruddoch at Melton C.P.

Sightings of the Red Admiral were limited to a mere one, as reported by Sarah Proud at Lyndon Reserve, Rutland Water on the 13th.

The Small Tortoiseshell, as reported in Update Number 1, was our first recorded sighting of the year on the 2nd of January, as reported by Rhys Dandy. This sighting has since been confirmed as the first sighting of the species in the UK this year. Since the last Update, further sightings have come in from Paul Ruddoch at the Memorial Gardens, Melton on the 9th, and by Toby Carter at Melton C.P. and Steve Lee at Lower Grange Farm, Hugglescote on the same day. Two more sightings were made on the 13th with David Foulds noting one in Oadby and Craig Howat recording another in Oakham.

I will close with perhaps the most remarkable sighting of the winter so far. Since the first Update, Alison Rhodes has reported a Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on Winter Honeysuckle and Sweet Box in her Anstey garden on the 17th February. Early, yes, but welcome, most definitely.

As the Spring season progresses I am sure that more sightings of the above species will come in, but keep your eyes peeled for the Small White, Speckled Wood and even Holly Blue. It can only be a matter of time before these little fellas put in an appearance.

Thank you for your continued input, sightings information and positive comments. This Newsletter is for YOU and simply would not be possible without you. I await your news with baited breath (I really must get out more).

Nottinghamshire recent sightings as of 2/3/17 corrected


Seven records received since last update on 17th Feb including first Comma for the Notts year.

Red Admiral 17/02/2017 Netherfield Lagoons 1 Jack Dennison
Red Admiral 19/02/2017 Aspley 2 Ken Acton
Peacock 18/02/2017 Lound 1 Phil Cadman
Comma 21/02/2017 Collingham Gravel Pits 1 Doug Aston
Red Admiral 20/02/2017 Nottingham University Main Campus 1 Mark Searle
Brimstone 26/02/2017 Kilvington Rail 1 Mark Searle
Brimstone 26/02/2017 Cotham 1 John Green


I have included the species this time!



Nottinghamshire Flutterings 17th Feb 2017 – Brimstone Day

Three separate records of Brimstone today though not the first for the Notts year.

Records received since 2nd Feb:

Brimstone 03/02/2017 Hoveringham Railway Pit 1 Andrew Prezslak
Peacock 04/02/2017 Toton 1 Brian Parkes
Red Admiral 04/02/2017 Calverton 1 Sue Jones
Brimstone 17/02/2017 Colwick 1 Michael Walker
Brimstone 17/02/2017 Cotgrave 1 Neil Pinder
Brimstone 17/02/2017 Burton Joyce 1 Bob and Glenis Beck



When Skies Are Grey?

Update Number 1.

Small Tortoiseshell.                                     Photograph by Richard M. Jeffery

Sunny skies have been few and far between this winter. Well, they have certainly been outnumbered by the grey ones in my experience. It goes without saying, therefore, that butterfly sightings are a bit of a rarity in the county so far. The honour of reporting the first sighting of the year (to my knowledge) goes to Rhys Dandy who spotted a solitary Small Tortoiseshell sunning itself in the precinct at Coalville on the 2nd of January. What happened to the poor little creature after that is anyone’s guess. Since then, 2 more Small Tortoiseshells have been seen by Pete Leonard in Scalford on the 20th January, and today (7th February) Margaret Adams saw a Red Admiral in her garden in Broughton Astley. We could certainly do with a few more sunny and crisp days to tempt some more out to play.


Exciting plans are afoot to create 2 new butterfly banks in the heart of the National Forest. East Midlands Butterfly Conservation, in conjunction with the Black to Green Project and other sponsors hope to have the butterfly banks in position by the end of winter, or early spring at the very latest. One will be situated at Moira Furnace alongside a recently planted wildflower meadow, and the other will be located in nearby Donisthorpe Woodland Park. It is hoped that with the correct siting and suitable planting, the Dingy Skipper may move in. A Dingy Skipper was recorded on the butterfly transect at DWP in 2015 so there is a distinct possibility that this may happen. Work is due to commence over the next two or three weeks and I’ll keep you updated on progress in future posts. If anyone wishes to help ‘hands-on’ then please feel free to get in touch.


The new butterfly transect season will soon be upon us. We are actively looking for new volunteers in the county to become part of the recording teams. We may even be able to set up new transects. All visits are carried out on a rota basis so, depending on how many are in a team, your commitment could be to walk your route once every three or four weeks, hopefully in decent spring or summer weather, and counting butterflies as you go. A pleasant way to take a walk in the fresh air and contribute some invaluable information in the process. The season runs from April 1st to September 30th. If you would like to volunteer or would like more information then please contact me.


Please continue to keep a look out for early butterflies and let me know as soon as you can, either by using the email link or via our Facebook Page: Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland.



Group of people looking for Grizzled Skippers during a Field Trip to Bingham Linear Park

2017 Branch Field Trip Program

The East Midlands Branch 2017 Field Trip Program is now available at East Midlands Butterflies Events



Nottinghamshire Flutterings on 22nd October 2016

Nottinghamshire Flutterings on 22nd October 2016


Red Admiral 161015 Langold by Pauline Bradford

Records from the last week:

Speckled Wood 14/10/2016 Bramcote  garden 1 Phil Carter
14/10/2016 Toton Sidings 1 Mark Searle
16/10/2016 Gedling 1 Adrian Dutton
Comma 14/10/2016 Toton Sidings 1 Mark Searle
 – 19/10/2016 Barnby Moor 4 Rob Johnson Feeding on Ivy by Chesterfield Canal
Painted Lady 18/10/2016 Langold 1 Pauline Bradford
Red Admiral 14/10/2016 Bramcote garden 2 John Appleton
14/10/2016 Toton Sidings 1 Mark Searle
16/10/2016 Bestwood garden 1 Antoni Lachetta
18/10/2016 Kirklington 7 Robin Old on ivy
19/10/2016 Barnby Moor 1 Rob Johnson Feeding on Ivy by Chesterfield Canal
21/10/2016 Chilwell garden 1 Rob Thatcher
Small Copper 14/10/2016 Toton Sidings 3 Mark Searle 1 pristine
15/10/2016 Sandybanks LNR 2 Antoni Lachetta
15/10/2016 Leen Cutting 5 Mark Searle 2 reasonable lookers
Brimstone 20/10/2016 Wollaton garden 1 Keith McGraw seemed to be laying eggs



Painted Lady 161018 Langold by Pauline Bradford


See you at Conkers!




UK Moth Recorders’ Meeting 2017

ThMoths Count Logoe programme for our UK Moth Recorders’ Meeting 2017 has been finalised

Lyttelton Lecture Theatre, Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham.

Saturday 28 January 2017

To see the line-up for the day click here.

Advance booking is essential via www.butterfly-conservation.org/UKMRM. Registration is £10.00 per person and includes morning tea/coffee and a buffet lunch all subsidised from Butterfly Conservation budgets.