The Importance of Recording….

Update Number 2:

Another cold and damp couple of weeks meant that very few sightings have been made since the first Update of the year. A further Red Admiral was seen on the 28th of January (see Update Number 1 for the other two) by Jake Bull in Glebelands, Leicester, and the first reported sighting of a Small Tortoiseshell came in from Susan Bates who spotted one high up on the wall of her Coalville home on the 16th of February. A Brimstone, the first reported of the season, was seen in an Empingham garden on the 17th of February.

We are currently experiencing a mild but wet spell, which may not be good for butterfly sightings, but a cold snap is due by the end of the week, and if this is accompanied by bright sunshine then maybe a few hardy butterflies may show themselves.

I have been looking at the results of the 2017 butterfly transect season and have a few facts and figures to share with you. Last year, we carried out 12 butterfly transects over the season (running from the 1st of April to the 30th of September) and a total of 10,541 butterflies were recorded overall. The top 4 species, as a total recorded in all 12 transects were as follows:

Ringlet                  3585

Meadow Brown   1537

Speckled Wood   1189

Gatekeeper            924

The most prolific transect was the one carried out a Croft Quarry Nature Trail with an average of 93.4 butterflies recorded per visit of a total of 22 species. The highest number of any one particular species was recorded at Sence Valley where a total of 869 Ringlet were noted. Incidentally, the Ringlet was the most popular species in 11 out of the 12 transects, with the only exception being at Cover Cloud, Sandhill’s Lodge where the Meadow Brown took the top slot.

Dingy Skipper are now recorded on 4 of our transects (namely Bardon Hill (3 individuals), Donisthorpe Woodland Park (1), Hick’s Lodge (9) and Pick Triangle Wood (1)).

Marbled White have continued their expansion and are now recorded at Croft Quarry Nature Trail (15) and Great Glen (14). There is every possibility that they could appear on other transects in the near future.

Another exciting find this season was the discovery of a solitary Green Hairstreak on the transect at Bardon Hill Quarry. It has long been suspected that the species ‘should’ be present here as there is an abundance of Gorse, Bird’s Foot Trefoil and a reasonable quantity of Bilberry present. It is hoped that this sighting will be repeated in the coming season (if it does, it will be reported in a future Update).

A transect (walking a fixed route on a regular basis) helps to build up a picture of the fauna (and flora) present on a particular site over a period of time, and by comparing the data recorded over several years, a reasonable assumption can be concluded on the status of each individual species, highlighting those that are prospering and those that are showing signs of decline. This in turn helps to develop future conservation programs on a local and national level. Occasionally, as in the case of the Green Hairstreak at Bardon Hill, an outstanding find makes the effort of carrying out a particular survey even more worth while and most enjoyable.

I know I have requested this many times before, but if anyone wishes to become part of an existing transect team, or would like to help set up a new transect, then please feel free to get in touch. My contact details can be found on the Committee Page of the East Midland Butterfly Conservation website (Butterfly Recorder for Leicestershire and Rutland) or you can reach me via our Facebook page (Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland). If you’ve never been involved in any form of recording before then do not worry as full training can be given.

I would also like to point out here that while we are talking about recording butterflies ‘in the field’, it is just as important to record butterflies in our own particular space, and by that I mean our gardens. Gardens used to be full of butterflies, but even here we are starting to see declines in numbers of some of the more common species. My Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) was virtually devoid of butterflies last summer, and this is worrying. In the next Update I will share a list of key plants that will hopefully encourage butterflies (and moths) to visit your garden. In the meantime, please keep looking for any adventurous butterflies that may make an appearance and please let me know.






First Butterfly Sightings of the Year

Update Number 1

Red Admiral Photo by Richard M. Jeffery

After what seems a very long, cold and wet winter so far, it is encouraging to be able to report the first butterfly sighting in the county. On the 28th of January the sunshine returned and Georgina Bland reported a sighting of a Red Admiral in her Burbage garden, and on the same day, Steve Lee also noted a Red Admiral in his garden in Narborough.

I am not aware of any other sightings as yet, and I am still awaiting my first, but if you have seen a butterfly, or you do over the coming days, then please let me know. You can use my email link on the EMBC Committee Page (Leicestershire Butterfly Recorder) or you can post your sighting on the ‘Butterflies and Moths of Leicestershire and Rutland’ Facebook page. The weather forecast for the next few days predicts another cold snap, but with the occasional sunny spells like today, you never know what may put in an appearance.

The new Butterfly Transect season is only a few weeks away, so if anyone would like to join us in helping to record butterflies on an existing transect in the county, or would like to help set up a new transect, then please feel free to get in touch. They are normally carried out on a rota basis so you’ll only need to commit to an hour or so once every two or three weeks, and the season runs from the first week of April to the end of September. Many volunteers work in pairs, so it can also be a shared experience.  It’s a good way to see and study butterflies in their natural habitat, it gets you out and about in the fresh air and provides invaluable information to help us ascertain the status of our county butterflies.

Remember, these Updates are only possible because of nature lovers like you. It is your information that forms the basis of all the Updates, otherwise, without it, it’ll end up being my personal Blog and that is not what this Blog was set up for.

Enjoy your butterflying.

Nottinghamshire Flutterings 1st November 2017

Seven species species on the wing over the last two weeks:

Small White Grantham Canal 1 Chris Cooper
Warsop Vale 1 David Shaw
Sandy Banks LNR 1 Toni Lachetta
Small Copper Sandy Banks LNR 1 Toni Lachetta
Calverton Pit heathland 1 Martyn Anderson
Red Admiral Thirty records, 67 individuals including
Potwell Dyke Grasslands 9 Robin & Kay Old
Nether Langwith 5 David Shaw
Sandy Banks LNR 4 Toni Lachetta
Southwell 4 Robin & Kay Old
Bennerley 3 Marion Bryce
Wollaton 3 Dave Gilbert
Warsop Vale 3 David Shaw
Cuckney Hay Wood 3 David Shaw
Attenborough NR 3 Richard Rogers
Small Tortoiseshell Southwell 1 Marie Bunting
Peacock Southwell 1 Robin & Kay Old
Skegby 1 David Shaw
Comma Bennerley 2 Marion Bryce
Chilwell 1 Esther Pawley
Warsop Vale 1 David Shaw
Cotgrave Country Park 1 Chris Cooper
Speckled Wood Sandy Banks LNR 1 Toni Lachetta



Nottinghamshire Flutterings update 16th October 2017

Ten species on the wing over the last two weeks:

Large White Eight records including twos at Toton Fields, Bingham Linear Park, Newstead Abbey Park and Carlton-in-Lindrick
Small White Ten records, all singletons from Kirton, Ollerton, Sandy Banks LNR, Bingham Linear Park, Caunton, Bennerley Viaduct Lagoons, Bilsthorpe, Carlton-in-Lindrick
Green-veined White Two singletons, Carlton-in-Lindrick and Worksop
Small Copper Nine on Calverton Pit Heathland 9/10/17 (Martin Anderson) and a singleton at Sandy Banks LNR
Common Blue One seen in Bestwood by Toni Lachetta on 10/10/17
Red Admiral 149 individuals seen at 37 sites including Kirton 30 (David Shaw), Linby 29 (Phil Burnham), Newstead Abbey Park 23 (Phil Burnham), Sibthorpe Church car park 11 (Bill Bacon) and Ollerton 8 (David Shaw)
Small Tortoiseshell Singletons in Kirton, Bingham, Bingham Linear Park and Sibthorpe Church car park
Peacock One seen at Bramcote Hills Landfill
Comma Twenty-six individuals at 15 sites with a max of 5 at  Newstead Abbey Park (Phil Burnham)
Speckled Wood Eleven individuals from 8 sites, all singletons but for 3 at Sandy Banks LNR (Toni Lachetta)




Nottinghamshire Flutterings 2nd October 2017 Small Copper ab. radiata

Nottinghamshire Flutterings 2nd October 2017 Small Copper ab. radiata

Must congratulate Mark Searle for his perfect images of a ‘usual’ Small Copper and a Small Copper aberration (ab. radiata).

Taken at Beeston Sidings on the outskirts of Nottingham.

Thank you Mark.


Here are a summary of some of the records from the last couple of weeks of September:

Brimstone Five records including
Grantham Canal 3 Cooper; Chris
Newstead & Annesley CP – S8 1 Burnham; Philip
Newstead & Annesley CP – S2 1 Burnham; Philip
Radcliffe Wood – S9 1 Goodwin, Paul
Large White 48 records of ones and two except
Bingham Linear Park – S5 4 Craig, Jenny
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 3 Lachetta; Antoni
Small White 59 records putting it in top spot
Welbeck Estate 8 Frost; Roy
Bingham Linear Park – S6 6 Craig, Jenny
Shireoaks Woodlands 5 Pearson; Paul
Green-veined White 16 records all singletons except
Bennerley Marsh 4 Jones, Dave
Bingham Linear Park – S6 2 Craig, Jenny
Grantham Canal 2 Cooper; Chris
Small Copper Six records including
Beeston Sidings – S3 2 Birkett, Graham
Compton Acres 1 Archibald; Laurence
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 1 Lachetta; Antoni
Beeston Sidings – S3 1 Birkett, Graham
Bennerley Marsh 1 Jones, Dave
Brown Argus One record
Calverton Colliery 1 Anderson; Martyn
Common Blue Two records
Newstead & Annesley CP – S6 1 Philip Burnham
Mansfield pit tip 1 Shaw; David
Red Admiral 50 (yes fifty) records including
Welbeck Estate 80 Frost; Roy
Beeston Sidings 14 Birkett; Graham
Beeston Sidings – S2 12 Birkett, Graham
Compton Acres 10 Archibald; Laurence
Sherwood Nottingham City 9 Dennison; Jacqueline
Beeston Sidings – S2 8 Birkett, Graham
Painted Lady Two records
Keyworth 1 McConnell; June
Hoveringham 1 Shaw; David
Small Tortoiseshell 9 records, singletons except for
Bestwood 2 Lachetta; Antoni
Keyworth 2 Fairchild, Sarah
Peacock Two records
Calverton 3 Anderson; Martyn
Keyworth 1 McConnell; June
Comma 23 records including
Grantham Canal 5 Cooper; Chris
Welbeck Estate 5 Frost; Roy
Grantham Canal 4 Cooper; Chris
Compton Acres 3 Archibald; Laurence
Radcliffe Wood – S10 3 Goodwin, Paul
Speckled Wood 52 records including
Compton Acres 5 Archibald; Laurence
Bennerley Viaduct – S5 4 Bryce, Marion
Bingham Linear Park – S7 4 Craig, Jenny
Beeston Sidings – S2 4 Birkett, Graham
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 4 Lachetta; Antoni
Meadow Brown One record (which was double checked)
Netherfield Lagoons – S3 1 Cowlishaw; Sue
Small Heath Two records
Calverton Colliery 1 Anderson; Martyn
Budby Common 1 Dennison; Jacqueline



Nottinghamshire Flutterings 13th September – Monarch!

Nottinghamshire Flutterings 13th September – Monarch!

Monarch by Mike Hill

An almost pristine Monarch was photographed by Mike Hill. Perhaps an interesting record of a butterfly which cannot have flown very far!

Gatekeeper tops the charts, good showing of Red Admirals and late Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Ringlets.


Records form the beginning of September include

Brimstone One record
Newthorpe Water Treatment Works 1 Jones; Dave
Large White 44 records including
Idle Valley NR 10 Radford; Mark
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 8 Antoni Lachetta
Ravenshead 6 Burnham; Phil
St Annes Elm Avenue 6 Lachetta; Antoni
Small White 59 records including
Idle Valley NR 23 Radford; Mark
Bingham Linear Park – S8 15 Craig; Jenny
Southwell 12 Bunting; Marie
Bingham Linear Park – S5 12 Craig; Jenny
Bingham Linear Park – S6 10 Craig; Jenny
Bingham Linear Park – S7 10 Craig; Jenny
Green-veined White 30 records including
Idle Valley NR 17 Radford; Mark
Bennerley Marsh (Giltbrook) 7 Green; Michael
Bennerley Viaduct – S3 4 Bryce; Marion
Netherfield Lagoons – S3 4 Sue Cowlishaw / Pam Gartside
Small Copper 5 records
Mansfield Road Cemetery 2 Taylor; Damian
Bennerley Viaduct – S4 1 Bryce; Marion
Bennerley Viaduct – S5 1 Bryce; Marion
Newstead Abbey Park 1 Burnham; Phil
Clumber Park – S5 1 Park volunteers; Clumber
Brown Argus One record
Bingham Linear Park – S7 1 Craig; Jenny
Common Blue 10 records including
Bennerley Viaduct – S3 4 Bryce; Marion
Bennerley Viaduct Lagoons 4 Jones; Dave
Bennerley Viaduct Lagoons 3 Jones; Dave
Idle Valley NR 3 Radford; Mark
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 2 Antoni Lachetta
Holly Blue Four records
Mansfield Road Cemetery 2 Acton; Peter
Ravenshead 1 Burnham; Phil
Warsop 1 Morton; Dave
Mansfield Road Cemetery 1 Taylor; Damian
Red Admiral 33 records including
Idle Valley NR 51 Radford; Mark
Mansfield Road Cemetery 3 Acton; Peter
Mansfield Road Cemetery 3 Taylor; Damian
Bingham Linear Park – S4 2 Craig; Jenny
NCH (Day Brook) – S6 2 Goodwin; Paul
Radcliffe Wood – S10 2 Goodwin; Paul
Bestwood 2 Lachetta; Antoni
Mansfield Road Cemetery 2 Taylor; Damian
Painted Lady Two records
Southwell 1 Bunting; Marie
Blidworth 1 Burnham; Phil
Small Tortoiseshell 11 records including
Idle Valley NR 39 Radford; Mark
Southwell 5 Bunting; Marie
Elton Guide Campsite – S1 4 Harrison; Jennie
Peacock Two records
Idle Valley NR 1 Radford; Mark
Mansfield Road Cemetery 1 Taylor; Damian
Comma 13 records including
Idle Valley NR 17 Radford; Mark
Bennerley Marsh (Giltbrook) 4 Green; Michael
Radcliffe Wood – S10 3 Goodwin; Paul
Speckled Wood 80+ records including
Idle Valley NR 51 Radford; Mark
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 17 Antoni Lachetta
Bennerley Marsh (Giltbrook) 13 Green; Michael
Gatekeeper 3 records
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 3 Antoni Lachetta
Bennerley Viaduct Lagoons 1 Jones; Dave
Bennerley Marsh 1 Jones; Dave
Meadow Brown 3 records
Sandy Banks LNR Bestwood – S1 5 Antoni Lachetta
Idle Valley NR 4 Radford; Mark
Clumber Park – S2 1 Park volunteers; Clumber
Small Heath 8 records including
Calverton Pit 18 Shaw; David
Bingham Linear Park – S6 3 Craig; Jenny
Ringlet Two records both from Clumber Park
Clumber Park – S1 and S2 4 Park volunteers; Clumber


And finally, there two Pollinator Workshops coming up soon which might be of interest: