Bedfordshire Sightings 2009

November 2009

15th: A lone Clouded Yellow nectared on the only buttercup in a field near Leighton Buzzard (D&SI).

7th: A Painted Lady spotted in an Ampthill garden (DW).

2nd: A Clouded Yellow stopped briefly to feed at The Lodge, Sandy (KF).

October 2009

30th: A torpid Red Admiral moved to the safety of a hedge in Pegsdon (JK).

29th: A Painted Lady flying though the MOD base at Chicksands (SR).

28th: Three Painted Ladies heading south at The Lodge today, and a Small Copper on the old heath (DOM).

25th: A Painted Lady in good condition spotted on the Greensand Ridge path in Maulden Wood (SB&BN).

23rd: A Comma, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral all spotted at The Lodge during lunchtime (MW).

22nd: A Clouded Yellow, Red Admiral and Painted Lady all in Southill (PD).

18th: A Small Tortoiseshell flying near Stopley Common (BE&VE).

16th: 2 Peacocks, 6 Red Admiral and 6 Small Copper on the old heath at The Lodge, Sandy today (MD).

14th: Two Speckled Woods still flying at Duck End NR (DW).

13th: A male Clouded Yellow was spotted on Biggleswade Common, together with a Painted Lady (DOM).

11th: Two Red Admirals on Ivy in Brickhill, Bedford (B&YA)

10th: One each of Large White, Red Admiral and Painted Lady on Ivy in Brickhill, Bedford (B&YA)
A Clouded Yellow was on the Greensand ridge path in Maulden Wood/Heath today (AH).

4th: A Clouded Yellow was in a clearing in Maulden Wood. Elsewhere in the wood were Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral (SC).

September 2009

Very few butterflies have been reported in September as the season comes to an end. There are still a few whites around, and Small Coppers on the heathlands.

29th: A Clouded Yellow was in Linslade Wood today (SH).

27th: A late season Brown Argus seen laying at Rowney Warren today. Several Small Coppers around too. Just two Small Whites on the final walk of this year's Old Warden Tunnel transect (KB).

25th: A male Brimstone spotted at The Lodge (IKD).

24th: Up to four Small Coppers at The Lodge (MD).

23rd: 2 Red Admiral and 2 Comma in the Memorial Garden and Small White and Small Copper on main flower border at lunchtime at The Lodge (MD).

20th: Five Small Coppers on Cooper's Hill and an insomnulent Peacock (KB).

18th: Pair of Small Coppers in the ha-ha and a Peacock at Jack's Pond at The Lodge (NW).

9th: One Large White and one Small Tortoiseshell in an Ampthill garden (DW).

1st: 29 Speckled Woods, two Red Admirals, two Painted Lady, one Large White, one Small White and a male Brimstone at Chicksands Wood.

August 2009

29th: Two Chalkhill Blues seen on Warden Hill (DS).

On the Old Warden Tunnel transect were 4 fresh Comma, 5 Common Blue, 1 Painted Lady, 7 Small White, 1 Gatekeeper, 5 Large White and 10 Speckled Wood (KB)

Fresh Comma and Small Tortoiseshell on Bedford garden buddleia (KB).

27th: Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Small Copper in the Lodge gardens (IKD & DFD).

22nd: About 20 Chalkhill Blues on Galley Hill near the 14th hole on the golf course, and a couple also seen on Warden Hill (DS).

21st: On the Buddleia at BRCC Old Warden were 12 Large White, 6 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Painted Lady, 1 Comma, 1 Peacock and 1 Red Admiral (RL).

20th: A helice Clouded Yellow at Dunton Lane lake site, east of Biggleswade (RR). [There appear to be a high proportion of helice around this year, or else it's very good at getting itself noticed!]

16th: A fresh-looking Dingy Skipper seen at Knocking Hoe today, a rare example of a second brood. (GB). [Possibly the latest ever Beds record, the previous latest being 11/08/1997].

At Duck End NR today were Green-veined White - 1, Small Copper - 1, Gatekeeper - 30, Peacock - 1, Brown Argus - 1, Common Blue - 30, Red Admiral - 1, Speckled Wood - 3 (MB&AB).

A Silver-washed Fritillary spotted at Stratton Park, Biggleswade (RR).

Another male Silver-washed Fritillary wandering the rides of Putnoe Wood, Bedford (AD).

11th: There were plenty of butterflies in Ledburn Road Sandpit today, the totals being: Brimstone - 1, Clouded Yellow - 4, Comma - 1, Common Blue - 49, Gatekeeper - 3, Green-veined White - 3, Large White - 15, Painted Lady - 7, Peacock - 1, Small Copper - 3, Small Tortoiseshell - 7, Small White - 13 (AW).

In an Ampthill garden today were Gatekeeper - 1, Large White - 7, Painted Lady - 5, Peacock - 8, Red Admiral - 1, Small Tortoiseshell - 2, Small White - 1 (SG).

9th: 30 fresh Painted Ladies on a Luton garden buddleia this morning (MM).

In Claphampark Wood this morning were Painted Ladies by the bucketful, all three whites, Small Skipper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Gatekeepers by the dozen, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Woods (8 of which were performing a spectacular ariel ballet), and several Silver Ys feeding on thistles. While walking back a Purple Hairstreak was seen fluttering on the ground, probably nearing its end (AM).

A possible helice Clouded Yellow at Felmersham Gravel Pits NR this afternoon (CG).

On Warden Hill today were Clouded Yellow - 1, Common Blue - 5, Painted Lady - 15, Small Heath - 2, Small Tortoiseshell - 1, and Small White - 3 (AB&DB).

A Silver-washed Fritillary was seen on the main ride of Maulden Wood today (RO).

8th: On a moth-trapping event at Stockgrove Country Park a Purple Hairstreak was tempted down to a vertical sheet (AB&MB).

A Silver-washed Fritillary just south of the northern monument was the highlight of a walk in Chicksands Wood (NW).

Two Wall Browns were seen on the railway footpath at Rookery Pit South today (SB).

A Clouded Yellow (helice form), Comma , Brimstone Male, Meadow Brown , Speckled Wood , Small White , Gatekeeper , Chalk-hill Blue Male - 6, Small Tortoiseshell , Common Blue , Large White , Brown Argus , Painted Lady - lots, Peacock were present around Sharpenhoe Clappers (DW&MW).

Another Clouded Yellow (helice form), Brimstone, Meadow Brown , Small White , Gatekeeper , Chalk-hill Blue Male - 10, Small Tortoiseshell , Small/Essex Skipper , Common Blue , Large White , Painted Lady - lots, Peacock , Chalk-hill Blue Female - 4 in the Totternhoe area (DW&MW).

7th: A worn male Silver-washed Fritillary turned up on a buddleia in a Haynes garden today, and was photographed (SK).

6th: A hobby repeatedly swooped at a Painted Lady about 100m above Broom until finally catching and eating it after half a dozen attempts. (SB)

3rd: A Clouded Yellow was watched for 30 seconds from the footpaths between Biggleswade and Dunton. (GW)

Gatekeeper - 1, Large White - 1, Painted Lady Pair - 1, Painted Lady - 9, Peacock - 5, Small White - 2 counted in an Ampthill garden (SG).

2nd: 9 Gatekeeper, 15 Large White, 8 Common Blue, 8 Painted Lady, 2 Green-veined White, 4 Meadow Brown, 10 Peacock, 4 Speckled Wood and 1 tatty Ringlet seen on the Old Warden Tunnel transect today (KB).

A Clouded Yellow spotted at Kensworth quarry. (RD).

July 2009

A request for records of Wall Brown on the BNHS newsgroup on 23rd July flushed a report of one from early May in Upper Caldecote. By coincidence, one was reported on 23rd July from Rowney Warren, and another on 31st from Coronation Pit. Good to know the species is still hanging on in Bedfordshire. Please keep a look-out for it during August, especially in the clay pits of Marston Vale.

31st: In the northern 1km square of Coronation Pit were Common Blue - Female 4, Common Blue - Male 6, Gatekeeper - 11, Large White - 5, Meadow Brown - 9, Painted Lady - 11, Peacock - 5, Small Skipper - 1, Small White - 6, Small/Essex Skipper - 2, Small/Green-veined White - 9. In the southern 1km square were Common Blue - Female 1, Common Blue - Male 1, Gatekeeper - 5, Green-veined White - 1, Large White - 2, Meadow Brown - 5, Painted Lady - 7, Peacock - 2, Small Copper - Male 1, Small Tortoiseshell - 1, Small White - 2, Small/Essex Skipper - 1, Small/Green-veined White - 3, Wall - Male 1. (AW). [The Wall Brown is especially pleasing as this is one of the few sites in this region where is can still be found - KB].

28th: A few Silver-washed Fritillary reported from Washers Wood today (RN&PS).

92 Painted Ladies, 33 Peacocks, 30 Meadow Browns, 26 Large Whites, 22 Green-veined Whites, 18 Gatekeepers, 10 Speckled Woods, 6 Ringlets (5 very worn, 1 newly emerged), 5 Small Skippers, 3 Large Skippers, 2 Purple Hairstreaks, 1 Essex Skipper, 1 Common Blue, 1 White Admiral, 1 Purple Emperor in King's Wood, Heath and Reach (TS).

A Clouded Yellow was spotted in Sewell Cutting this morning (EC).

25th: Common Blue - Male 1, Gatekeeper - 30, Large White - 8, Painted Lady - 19, Peacock - 5, Small Tortoiseshell - 2, Small White - 6, Small/Green-veined White - 7, Speckled Wood - 2 recorded in Vandyke Rd Cemetery, Leighton Buzzard (AW).

Silver-washed Fritillary photographed. Purple Hairstreaks seen and also a White Admiral in King's Wood, Heath and Reach (MP & DB).

Four Painted Lady and a Peacock in an Ampthill garden (SG).

23rd: Several encounters with male Silver-washed Fritillaries, one Purple Emperor investigating sallows 4-5m high, and lots of fresh Painted Ladies and Peacocks were the highlights of a brief afternoon visit to King's Wood, Heath and Reach (KB).

During 2.5 hours in Chicksands Wood today were seen 52 Ringlets, 46 Meadow Browns, 21 Commas, 15 Green-veined Whites, 13 Speckled Woods, 11 Peacocks, 11 Large Whites, 9 Small Whites, 7 Gatekeepers, 7 Large Skippers, 6 Painted Ladies, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Essex Skipper, 1 Brimstone, 1 White-letter Hairstreak, 1 Purple Emperor (for a total of four seconds). (TS).

Brimstone - 1, Comma - 1, Common Blue - 1, Gatekeeper - 26, Green-veined White - 1, Large White - 9, Meadow Brown - 5, Painted Lady - 28, Peacock - 16, Ringlet - 1, Small Skipper - 1, Small Tortoiseshell - 2, Small White - 8, Speckled Wood - 4 seen at Bromham Lake LNR (CR).

The first report of a Bedfordshire Clouded Yellow, with one, possibly two, seen at Wigmore Country Park (MR).

A Wall Brown unexpectedly popped up this afternoon in Rowney Warren (AM-H).

22nd: Comma - 3, Common Blue - 6, Gatekeeper - 30, Green-veined White - 25, Holly Blue - 1, Large White - 5, Meadow Brown - 2, Painted Lady - 1, Red Admiral - 2, Ringlet - 1, Small Copper - 1, Small Tortoiseshell - 1, Small White - 33, Speckled Wood - 25 in total recorded in the Ivel Navigation/Henlow area today (DA).

One female Holly Blue seen at The Lodge. (AH).

20th: Gatekeeper - 25, Large White - 10, Marbled White - 4, Meadow Brown - 10, Painted Lady - 5, Peacock - 6, Ringlet - 3, Small Skipper - 1, Small White - 3, Speckled Wood - 4 seen at Bromham Lake LNR (CR).

18th: Comma - 3, Gatekeeper - 9, Green-veined White - 3, Large Skipper - 3, Marbled White - 2, Meadow Browns, Purple Emperor - 3, Purple Hairstreak - 12, Ringlets, Silver-washed Fritillary - 2 females, Small Copper - 1, Small Skipper - 2, Small White - 2, White Admiral - 2, in King's Wood Heath and Reach (AW).

One Purple Emperor seen in Chicksands Wood, east of the southern monument (DS).

15th: At least half a dozen Purple Hairstreaks flying around oaks in clearing to east of The Lodge gardens. (IKD, DFD)

14th: Two Purple Emperors seen on sallows on the ride east of the southern monument in Chicksands Wood (RB).

Several sightings of Purple Emperor above the canopy in King's Wood Heath and Reach, and two male and one female Silver-washed Fritillary on brambles, with many White Admirals (KB).

13th: Eight Purple Hairstreaks counted over 3 oaks in Bramingham Wood (DS).

12th: The first report of a Chalkhill Blue, from Warden Hill (DS) and of 38 at Houghton Regis Chalk Pit (AW).

Chalk-hill Blue - 38, Comma - 1, Gatekeeper - 7, Large Skipper - 1, Large White - 8, Marbled White - 2, Meadow Brown - 9, Painted Lady - 1, Ringlet - 8, Small Tortoiseshell - 7, Small White - 6, Small/Essex Skipper - 17 at Houghton Regis Chalk Pit (AW).

A female Purple Emperor seen in an ash about 100m south of the northern monument at Chicksands Wood. Half a dozen White-letter Hairstreaks at the southern monument, and a fleeting glimpse of a possible, but unconfirmed, Silver-washed Fritillary (IW)

An amazing 22 White Admirals counted in West Wood, plus one male Silver-washed Fritillary (TS).

Three fresh new brood Peacocks seen today, one in Maulden Wood and two at Mowsbury Hill LNR (KB).

11th: Essex Skipper - 4, Gatekeeper - 10, Holly Blue - 1, Marbled White - 5, Small Tortoiseshell - 3 North of Bramingham Wood (DS).

10th: Combining photographic and gender evidence from two observers suggests 4 male and 2 female Silver-washed Fritillaries in King's Wood, Heath and Reach. Also one Purple Emperor seen in each of two 1km squares (AW).

Highlight of a visit to Chicksands Wood were 2 Purple Emperors, a male and then later on, a female, Both were watched absorbing minerals from along tracks. The sightings were some distance apart. Both were in a pristine condition. Other Butterflies recorded.... White Admiral 5, Red Admiral 3, Painted Lady 1 (very fresh), Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 1, Comma 25+ (fresh), Small White 1, Green-veined White 15+, Large White 10+, White-letter Hairstreak 5 (fresh), Small Skipper 2, Large Skipper numerous, Meadow Brown a few, Ringlet Very numerous, Marbled White 4, Gatekeeper c10, but surprisingly scarce compared to previous years (SW).

9th: In King's Wood, Heath and Reach were:
SP9229: Comma - 2, Green-veined White - 3, Large Skipper - 2, Large White - 1, Marbled White - 1, Meadow Brown , Purple Emperor - 1, Ringlet , White Admiral - 2.
SP9230: Meadow Brown , Ringlet , Small Skipper - 2.
SP9329: Comma - 3, Gatekeeper - 1, Green-veined White - 1, Large Skipper - 3, Large White - 1, Marbled White - 2, Meadow Brown - 15, Purple Emperor - 1, Ringlet - 30, Silver-washed Fritillary Male - 1, Small Skipper - 1, Speckled Wood - 1, White Admiral - 7 (AW & RN).

In the South Mills area were Small Tortoiseshell 15, Meadow Brown 3, Ringlet 2, Peacock 2, Painted Lady 2, Gatekeeper 1, Small Copper 1, Large White 1, Comma 1, Small White 1. In Ickwell were Small White 60, Green-veined White 45, Ringlet 17, Large White 12, Large Skipper 9, Comma 8, Meadow Brown 6, Small Skipper 3, Gatekeeper 1, White-letter Hairstreak 1 (TS&AA).

Interesting how the different types balance out. I was literally tripping over Small Tortoiseshells on the paths and field margins around the Barton Hills area. Meadow Brown, Ringlet and the collective Whites are most numerous, but the Small Tortoiseshells are next up. I also saw Small Heath, Comma, Painted Lady, Red Admiral and Gatekeeper. It was rather blustery up there today. (AR).

7th: Third-hand report of two Silver-washed Fritillaries and two Purple Emperors seen in King's Wood, Heath and Reach (per AW).

6th: A colony of Marbled White found at Water End Wood, near Cople. (per NW).

East of the southern monument in Chicksands Wood in early afternoon a female Purple Emperor was observed searching the sallows, but not seen to lay (IW).

5th: Masses of Ringlets in College Wood and Chicksands Wood, but no hairstreaks seen. Several sightings of White Admiral near the southern monument. A few fresh Gatekeepers and Red Admirals, plus Essex Skipper. (AM).

4th: White Letter Hairstreak - 4, White Admiral - 2, Purple Emperor - 1, Marbled White - 1 all east of the southern monument in Chicksands Wood in early afternoon (DS&DB).

Watched horrified as a White Letter Hairstreak was trampled underfoot by a woman jogger on the main ride near the northern monument in Chicksands Wood at lunchtime. Earlier a White Admiral had sucked minerals from my left boot and five fresh Commas seen together on one pile of fresh dog excrement! (KB).

3rd: By the River Lea at East Hyde today were Comma - 1, Gatekeeper - 1, Large Skipper - 2, Meadow Brown - 10, Small Tortoiseshell - 2, Small White - 4 (DA).

White Admiral - 2, Red Admiral - 2, Purple Hairstreak - 4, Ringlet - 30 at a private wood in Studham (DS).

Large White - 2, Red Admiral - 2 in a large Ampthill garden (SG).

2nd: Nine Purple Hairstreaks seen at a private wood in Studham (DS).

12 Marbled Whites today at 1pm around blackthorn on Sutton Mill Road, Potton (DOM).

Meadow Brown - 2, Large White - 1, Ringlet - 2, Gatekeeper - 3, Marbled White - 4, Small Tortoiseshell - 1 in a Stopley garden (AB&DB).

1st: Large Skipper - 5, Meadow Brown - 20, Speckled Wood - 6, Ringlet - 100, Marbled White - 5 by the Ouzel Brook in Milton Bryan (DA).

Brimstone - 1, Comma - 1, Green-veined White - 2, Green-veined White Female - 1, Green-veined White Male - 1, Green-veined White Pair - 1, Large Skipper - 3, Marbled White - 5, Meadow Brown - 6, Red Admiral - 1, Ringlet - 20, Small Tortoiseshell - 6, Small White - 4, Small White Female - 2, Small White Male - 2, Small White Pair - 2 by the Ouzel Brook in Dunstable (DA).

On the edge of the John O'Gaunt Golf Course were 4 Marbled Whites, also several Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Large Skipper, Small White and Small Skipper (ST).

June 2009

30th: About 19 hairstreaks counted in Northill, those positively ID'd all being White-letter Hairstreak, five in a roadside hedge and the rest in Home Wood. Later, another seen laying in Maulden Wood. Judging by the numbers we missed the first flight by at least a few days. Time to check Elms near you for activity. (KB)

Two Purple Emperors seen on the main ride at Chicksands Wood (JA & others).

29th: In Eggington today were Comma - 1, Green-veined White - 1, Large Skipper - 12, Large White - 7, Marbled White - 10, Meadow Brown - 38, Painted Lady - 6, Red Admiral - 1, Ringlet - 106, Small Tortoiseshell - 3, Small White - 6 and Small/Essex Skipper - 2. (AW).

28th: One Purple Hairstreak in Marston thrift today (CH&MH).

Comma - 1, Large Skipper - 12, Large White - 1, Meadow Brown - 25, Ringlet - 15, Small Tortoiseshell - 1, Speckled Wood - 6 seen at Apesfield Farm (AW).

Gatekeeper - 2, Large White - 2, Marbled White - 15, Meadow Brown - 15, Ringlet - 6, Small Tortoiseshell - 1, Small/Essex Skipper - 2 on raod verges in Clifton (JE).

27th: In King's Wood, Heath and Reach SP9330 were: Comma - 1, Large Skipper - 3, Meadow Brown - 3, Speckled Wood - 5, Ringlet - 4. In SP9230 were Large Skipper - 2, Meadow Brown - 2, Red Admiral - 1, Speckled Wood - 1, Large White - 1, Ringlet - 5, Marbled White - 1. In SP9229 were Large Skipper - 4, Meadow Brown - 5, White Admiral - 1, Speckled Wood - 7, Small/Green-veined White - 1, Ringlet - 6, Painted Lady - 1. In SP9329 were Comma - 2, Large Skipper - 8, Meadow Brown - 21, White Admiral - 2, Speckled Wood - 11, Ringlet - 19. (AW). [Many thanks to Andy for making the effort to record each 1km square separately].

Gatekeeper in Priory Country Park (KB).

At 10am+ saw 46 Dark Green Fritillary, probably many more about at Sharpenhoe Clappers. They were generally basking and warming up so easy to see and photgraph. Saw 13 species in total, 32 Meadow Brown, 110 Ringlet, 97 Marbled White, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath, 4 Speckled Wood,2 Painted Lady, 2 Large Skipper, Large White, Small White. Later in the day went to Pegsdon Hills, saw 16 species here, only 2 Dark Green Fritillary, but pleased to see 13 Small Heath. The 3 extra species here were Brimstone, Peacock, and 5 Common Blue. (PG).

Green-veined White - 2, Large Skipper - 10, Small Heath - 1, Meadow Brown - 100, Speckled Wood - 2, Ringlet - 15, Marbled White - 100, Small Tortoiseshell - 1, Common Blue - 1, Large White - 3, Painted Lady - 1 in Bromham Lake LNR. (CR)

24th: About 30 Small Tortoiseshell along the River Ivel near Warren Villas (SB).

23rd: A few Marbled Whites in Claphampark Wood today (AM).

21st: The first Essex Skipper, in Elstow (KB).

20th: One Small Tortoiseshell and also Peacock caterpillars south of Langford Mill today (PT).

In the area of Palmer's Wood (Old Warden) were Painted Lady-, Speckled Wood-1, Meadow Brown-1, Large Skipper-1 and a fresh Small Tortoiseshell (KB).

19th: Chimney Sweeper - 1, Large Skipper - 2, Meadow Brown - 2, Red Admiral - 2, Speckled Wood - 20 in Chicksands Wood (JB).

Ringlet, Marbled White, and Small Skipper seen in the Sharpenhoe area (AR).

6 spot burnett - 2, chimney sweeper moth - 1, Common Blue - 1, Large Skipper - 5, Large White - 2, Marbled White - 3, Meadow Brown - 5, Painted Lady - 1, Peacock Larvae - lots, Red Admiral - 1, Ringlet - 10, Small White - 1, Speckled Wood - 5 at Old Warden Tunnel NR (JB).

18th: Black Hairstreak - 3, Brown Argus - 1, Common Blue Female - 1, Common Blue Male - 1, Large Skipper - 10, Large White - 1, Meadow Brown - 5, Ringlet - 4, Small Heath - 10, Speckled Wood - 17 at Marston Thrift (AW).

2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Painted Lady, several Ringlets, many Meadow Browns, Large Skippers and Common Blues in Claphampark Wood today (AM).

17th: Large Skipper - 1, Marbled White - 1, Meadow Brown - 1, Ringlet - 1, Speckled Wood - 2 at the entrance to Totternhoe Quarry (GB).

At Marston Thrift were Speckled Wood-30, Meadow Brown-5 and Large Skipper-1. No Black Hairstreak seen in the overcast conditions. (KB)

16th: A Dark Green Fritillary was seen at Barton Hills today along with Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Common Blue, Large Whites and Burnets (AR).

A Large Skipper seen in Old Warden (SP).

One Red Admiral and three Meadow Browns in Maulden Wood. Also one Large Skipper and several Meadow Browns in Marston Vale Millennium Country Park (AB&MB).

On Moleskin (near Sharpenhoe Clappers) today were Brown Argus-3, Common Blue-3, Meadow Brown-2, Large Skipper-1 ,Speckled Wood-2, and Small Heath-1. On the field overlooking the A6 were Meadow Brown-11, Dark Green Fritillary-2, Brimstone-3, Common Blue-5, Small Heath-4 and Speckled Wood-1 (KB).

15th: Large Skipper - 3, Marbled White - 1, Meadow Brown - 21, and the first Small Skipper at Bromham Lake LNR (CR).

14th: The first Ringlets showed today, in Linslade Woods (BH) and Old Warden Tunnel (KB). No Marbled Whites yet at Old Warden Tunnel.

In Ampthill Park a Grizzled Skipper was again found at this new site, plus 1 Common Blue, 2 Large Skippers, 2 Meadow Browns and 83 very large Peacock larvae near to pupation (KB).

Third-hand report that Black Hairstreak may have been seen at Marston Thrift today (per SB).

An early Gatekeeper seen in Sandy today (JA).

4 Small Blues on Warden Hill, Luton today. (DS)

On the track through Sandy SMith NR today were 12 Meadow Browns, 12 Common Blues, 1 Small Heath, 3 Large Skippers, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Brown Argus and a worn Painted Lady (KB).

13th: The first Marbled Whites were seen today, at Bromham Lake LNR (AM).

12th: On the Sharpenhoe Clappers transect today were Meadow Brown 6, Speckled Wood 16, Small Heath 6, Brimstone 15, Large White 1, Small White 6, Green Veined White 1, Peacock 1, Painted Lady 1, Common Blue 19, Brown Argus 3, Holly Blue 1, Green Hairstreak 3, Dingy Skipper 2, and a fresh male Dark Green Fritillary. (DC)

At Marston Thrift today were Large Skipper - 9, Small Heath - 3, Common Blue Female - 1, Speckled Wood - 7, Common Blue Male 7, Painted Lady - 1, but no Black Hairstreak (AW).

7th: Common Blue - 14, Large Skipper - 1, Small Heath - 9, Large White - 1, Brimstone - 4, Small White - 2, Speckled Wood - 6, Peacock - 1, Meadow Brown - 6, Painted Lady - 1, Small Tortoiseshell - 1 (fresh), Dingy Skipper - 1 and the first Dark Green Fritillary of the year, all at Sharpenhoe Clappers (PG).

Common Blue - 2, Small White - 3 in Buttercup Meadow, Luton (AB&DB).

6th: Brown Argus - 1, Small Heath - 1, Speckled Wood - 1 on Bison Hill (JB).

4th: speckled Wood - 2, Red Admiral - 1, Painted lady - 1 seen in TL1132 while bird atlasing (AB).

2nd: The first Meadow Brown of the year, seen at The Lodge (ED).

Near Galsey Wood/Thurleigh Airport were Brimstone - 2 adults and 4 larvae, Speckled Wood - 5, Large Skipper - 1, Common Blue - 2, Orange Tip - 2 larvae, and Grizzled Skipper - 1 (KB).

1st: Brimstone - 3, Common Blue - 5, Large White - 2, Small Blue - 3, Small Heath - 6 in Warden Hill (TL0826), and Brimstone - 2, Common Blue - 2, Large White - 4, Small Heath - 1, Speckled Wood - 5 in Warden Hill (TL0925) (MM).

Comma - 4, Common Blue - 20+, Large Skipper - 6, Grizzled Skipper - 6, Large White - 4, unidentified whites - 20+, Painted Lady - 20+ , Small Heath - 8, Speckled Wood - 3 on Sharnbrook Summit NR (HG&JG)

May 2009

Note: Only a few of the more "scientific" Painted Lady reports have been included here, as there are far too many to report otherwise. The BNHS newsgroup has a running commentary on what many are reporting.

30th: On the BNHS field trip to Bromham Lake today were 7 Common Blue, 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Brown Argus, 1 Small Heath and 1 Large Skipper. Oddly no Painted Ladies! (KB).
Stopped into Bromham Mill later, to find 3 Painted Lady and 1 Peacock (KB).

29th: In the Totternhoe area today were Speckled Wood - 2, Peacock - 2, Small White - 1, Common Blue - 42, Dingy Skipper - 3, Orange Tip - 2, Large White - 1, Small Blue - 282, Painted Lady - 21, Small Heath - 1, Brimstone - 1, Green Hairstreak - 1 (TD).

An emergence of Large Skipper at Claphampark Wood has meant quite a few on show today. At Felmersham NR Male and female Brimstones, a pristine Red Admiral, and at Browns Wood, Peacock and Small Heath. (AM)

Ian's latest: "The Painted Lady migration is up and running again. I've just been getting about 85 per 5 minutes going across the fields here. Interestingly there are definitely a few going in completely the wrong direction i.e. SE. I also noticed that the Painted Ladies were agitated and active at 5am this morning." (IW).

28th: At Sundon Chalk Pits today were Peacock - 2, Small Heath - 3, Brown Argus - 1, Brimstone - 5, Small Blue - 93, Green Hairstreak - 1, Dingy Skipper - 12, Green-veined White - 1, Painted Lady - 75, Common Blue - 207, Large White - 4. (TD). (Glad that Small Blue has now shown up after being absent last weekend).

Latest Painted Lady update from Ian: "Definitely more going through this afternoon than Sunday or Monday. I've just had 1847 going through on my 250 metre transect in an hours recording, about 3 times as many as the previous totals. My maximum number was 478 individuals in 5 minutes, almost too many to count".

Steve Williams writes: "During a timed count between 1550-1650 this afternoon near Castle mill, Bedford, a total of 340 [Painted Lady] passed, all were heading between WNW-NW. They were arriving from a SE direction One or two pitched down in fields to nectar but did not remain for long before continuing. A few passing over the garden were travelling in more of a NW direction.

27th: No Painted Lady reports received today. The weather was probably a factor.

26th: The flood of Painted Lady records slowed to a trickle today, with far fewer being observed in the blustery conditions, but 13 seen in half an hour over 100m at Mowsbury Hill (KB).

25th: The Painted Lady spectacle continued today. Ian again counted on a 250m transect and reported 558 butterflies per 100 metres per hour going through today (vs 475 butterflies per 100 metres per hour going through yesterday) (IW).
Tim Sharrock watched as they crossed a 100-m wide open field between Blunham and South Mills, and counted 180 in 30 minutes (15.13-15.43), 360 per hour. All passing at high speed, between knee height and shoulder height, then rising to tree-top height when they come to trees. Spectacular! Brilliant!
No sign yet of the Clouded Yellow migration being reported in Cambs/Essex/Herts.
Another Large Skipper, in Claphampark Wood, along with Orange Tip, Common Blue and Speckled Wood (AM).
Very fresh-looking Painted Lady refuelling this evening on Erysimum in my front garden (KB).

Seen today at Kensworth Quarry were Large White - 7, Dingy Skipper - 2, Small Heath - 7, Brimstone - 2, Large Skipper Male- 2, Green Hairstreak - 9, Peacock - 3, Small Blue - 210, Common Blue - 42, Orange Tip - 2, Painted Lady - 48 (TD).

Half a dozen Brown Argus down the main valley and a couple of Dingy Skippers at Pegsdon Hills (KW).

Seen today on Bison Hill were 2 - Green Hairstreak, 6 - Duke of Burgundy (one female), 5 - Brimstones (male and female), 2 - Orange Tips (male), 3 - Grizzled Skippers, 2 - Speckled Wood, 1 - Green-veined white, 5 - Large Whites, Many Painted Ladies, 10+ - Small Heath, 5 - Peacocks, 1 - Small Tortoiseshell, 5+ - Brown Argus (including a mating pair), 1 - Small Copper (JB)

24th: A very impressive mass migration of Painted Ladies is underway with very large numbers of purposeful butterflies flying roughly NNW being reported across the county. Some reports are: 29 passing through Totternhoe (KB); 175 between 13:05 and 16:00 passing through Coronation Pit (SW); 20+ passing through Sandhouse Lane NR (AB&MB); 100 counted through binoculars every 5 minutes over 200m transect in Cockayne Hatley in late afternoon (IW); About 2 every 3 minutes (37 counted) at Sandhouse Lane NR at around 11:00 (AW); 20 between Beeston and Upper Caldecote (AW).

Ian Woiwod said "I first noticed a migrating Painted Lady at 9.30 am, followed by 3 on my Potton Wood transect about midday. It wasn't until about 3pm that I walked around the outside of my garden and realised quite what was going on. I then did some 5 minute counts using 200-250 metre transects across 2 rape fields between 3-7pm. 90 minutes recording in all produced a total of 1023 individuals, all heading in a roughly NW direction. During a walk across the fields between 7.30-8.30pm I saw numerous individuals which were settling down for the night, although all seemed very restless. No sign of any Clouded Yellows yet but will keep an eye open tomorrow."

The first Large Skipper of the year, reported from Marston Vale Millennium Country Park (BE&VE).

83 Small Blue, 10 Dingy Skipper, 49 Common Blue, 10 Small Heath, 1 Green Hairstreak in Totternhoe area (not the quarry or Knolls). (KB)

10 Duke of Burgundy, 8 Brown Argus, 1 Dingy Skipper, 5 Grizzled Skipper, 13 Green Hairstreak, 15 Common Blue, plus Small Copper, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Small Heath seen on the field trip to Bison Hill (PG).

At Kensworth Quarry today were 74 Small Blues, 9 Green Hairstreaks, 17 Common Blues, 2 Painted Lady, 15 Small Heath, Peacock and Orange Tip (PG).

23rd: Two Painted Ladies whizzed through Moggerhanger Park, and one at Old Warden Tunnel (KB).
Many Small Blues at Totternhoe Quarry, a few Duke of Burgundys, one Small Tortoiseshell several Brimstones, Dingy Skippers, Common Blues and Orange Tips (AM).
80 Common Blue, seen at Sundon Quarry, along with Green Hairstreak, Orange Tip, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue, Large White, Small White, Brimstone, Peacock, Brown Argus, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Small Heath, Peacock. Oddly, no Small Blues seen. (PG).

22nd: Dingy Skipper - 3, Large White - 2, Green-veined White - 5, Orange Tip - 3, Brimstone - 6, Common Blue - 10 (including a mating pair), Small Blue - 6, Speckled Wood - 2 in Sewell Cutting (DG&AW).

20th: A visit to Marston Vale Millennium Country Park produced about six Dingy Skippers and lots of Grizzled Skippers that were being harassed by a fresh male Brown Argus, a host of Common Blues and a Small Heath (AM).

19th: Up to three Grizzled Skippers seen in Ampthill Park, which is good news as this is a new site for the species (SP).
Four Orange Tip eggs on Garlic Mustard in wilstead; One Large White in Wilstead Wood; One Common Blue in Glebe Meadows SSSI; one Holly Blue in Lower Stondon. (AB&MB)
A warm but windy walk this afternoon at Bromham Lake LNR produced 2 Brimstone, a scattering of all three "whites", about a dozen Common Blues (all males) and 4 Small Heaths (AM).
Six Small Blues and two Orange Tips were seen at Totternhoe Quarry (GB).
Small Heath - 2, Common Blue - 2, Speckled Wood - 2, Large White - 1, Peacock - 2 at Bromham Lake LNR today (CR).

16th: Judith filmed a Duke of Burgundy, one of two seen, on the field trip to Bison Hill. Video HERE. Grizzled Skipper also seen. (JB)

15th: Common Blue and Small Heath both seen at Bromham Lake NR today (CR).

14th: The first Small Blue was spotted today at Totternhoe (JM).

12th: Grizzled Skipper - 3, Small White - 1, Small Copper - 1, Green-veined White - 1, Orange Tip -2, Common Blue - 3, Speckled Wood - 3, Large White - 1 at Rookery Pit. No Walls seen. (KB)

11th: A Grizzled Skipper seen in Ampthill Park, where it hasn't been recorded before (AB&MB).

10th: The first Brown Argus reported from two places today; Whipsnade Downs (SB) and west of Cooper's Hill (KB).
At Marston Vale Millennium Country Park today were Common Blues, Small Coppers, Grizzled Skippers and Dingy Skippers, plus and egg-laying Green Hairstreak. (IW)
Brimstone - 4, Orange Tip - 3 males, Green Hairstreak - 2, Speckled Wood - 2, Dingy Skipper - 2, and Peacock - 2 on Pegsdon Hills (EW&AW)
Orange Tip - 20 and Peacock - 2 at Flitton Moor (LC&DC).
Ten Orange Tip females, two males and three eggs found at Glebe Meadows, Arlesey (MB).

9th: The first Common Blue - 6 and Small Heath - 1 in addition to Dingy Skipper - 20, Grizzled Skipper - 8, Green Hairstreak - 7, Large White - 1, Peacock - 2, and a Small Copper - 1 seen at Marston Vale Millennium Country Park. (TS and family).
Two Green Hairstreaks flitting around the hawthorns in Sandhouse Lane NR (KB).

7th: Brimstone - 1, Large White - 5, Peacock - 1, Small White - 8, Speckled Wood - 4 at Bromham Lake NR (CR).

6th: Speckled Wood - 22, Small White - 4, Brimstone male - 2, Peacock - 2, Orange Tip male - 2, and 28 Orange Tip eggs counted on Lady's Smock in Chicksand Wood (TL1040); Green-veined White - 2, Speckled Wood - 16, Comma - 1, and Peacock - 3 in Chicksand Wood (TL0939); and Peacock - 4, Speckled Wood - 6, Orange Tip - 1, and 23 Orange Tip eggs on Lady's Smock in Chicksand Wood (TL1039) (AB&MB). (An exemplar of how this large wood should be recorded as separate 1km squares - KB)

2nd: Several Duke of Burgundy at Totternhoe Quarry, but little else (AM).
On Dunstable/Whipsnade Downs today were Painted Lady - 1, Brimstone - 20, Comma - 1, Duke of Burgundy - 1, Green Hairstreak - 1, Grizzled Skipper - 10, Peacock - 12, Small Tortoiseshell - 4, Speckled Wood - 12 and unidenitifed whites - 20. (DI & SI)
One Green Hairstreak at Sewell Cutting (DI & SI).
Six Duke of Burgundy at Totternhoe Quarry (DI & SI).
Brimstone - 4 (2m, 2f), Duke of Burgundy - 5, Green Hairstreak - 1, Holly Blue - 1, Orange Tip - 10 (8m, 2f), Peacock - 6, Small Tortoiseshell - 2 and Small White - 4 at Totternhoe Quarry (TS & Family).
One Red Admiral on the Old Warden Tunnel transect in exactly the same place as one week earlier (KB).
Two Small Coppers at Rowney Warren (KB).
Orange Tip laying on Garlic Mustard sown only last year in a Bedford garden - result! (KB)

1st: One Dingy Skipper and eight Green Hairstreak at Pegsdon Hills, and five Dingy Skippers and up to 20 Green Hairstreaks at Knocking Hoe (EG & AM).

April 2009

29th: Three Painted Ladies reported today. One each at The Lodge (KF), Whipsdnade Downs (SB) and Pegsdon Hills (IW).
Four Green Hairstreaks on the Sharpenhoe Clappers transect today, along with Orange Tip - 2, Brimstone - 15, Small White - 5, Green-veined White - 8, Peacock - 1, Speckled Wood - 3 (DC).
Grizzled Skipper - 2, Brimstone - 3, Small White - 1, Green-veined White - 1, Green Hairstreak - 2 and Peacock - 1 on Whipsnade Downs (DC).

26th: While looking at Green Hairstreaks on Pegsdon Hills a rather worn Large Tortoiseshell was spotted and photographed (IS). Its origin is currently unknown.

25th: A Large White, Orange Tip - 3, Peacock - 2, and a Speckled Wood in an Ampthill garden (SG).
One Red Admiral on the Old Warden Tunnel transect. My first of the year (KB).

24th: Duke of Burgundy - 1, Brimstone - 17, Comma - 1, Green Hairstreak - 6, Grizzled Skipper - 5, Holly Blue - 1, Large White - 1, Orange Tip - 2, Peacock - 20, Speckled Wood - 4 and 19 unidentified whites on Bison Hill (MR). One Duke of Burgundy at Totternhoe Quarry (RJH, RM & BP).

23rd: Brimstone - 2, Large White - 6, Peacock - 9, Small White - 9 and Speckled Wood - 2 at Bromham Lake LNR (CR).

22nd: A Holly Blue near Aspects, Bedford.
Four Small Tortoiseshell and three Speckled Wood in Flitton Moor (LC).
One Duke of Burgundy, five Brimstone (2-f, 3-m), two Green-veined White, one Large White, three Peacocks and eight unidentified whites at Totternhoe Quarry (AW).
Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper seen at Marston Vale Millennium Country Park (SP).

21st: The first report of Dingy Skipper at Marston Vale Millennium Country Park today, plus one Grizzled Skipper, four Peacocks, one Speckled Wood and a Brimstone (KB).
On the Old Warden Tunnel transect were seven Speckled Wood, one Peacock, one male Orange Tip, one Green-veined White, one Brimstone and a glow worm larva (KB).
Seven Holly Blues simultaneously in a Bedford garden (AD).
The first report of Duke of Burgundy from Whipsnade Downs (PG)

20th: A Painted Lady settled briefly on dandelions on Studham Common this afternoon (CB&PB).
The are reports of large numbers of Painted Ladies heading north across Catalonia. Lets hope they come this way!
Quite a few sightings of Grizzled Skipper at Marston Vale Millennium Country Park today. Brimstone, Orange Tip and Speckled Wood too (AM).
Four Green Hairstreaks, two Orange Tip, 18 Brimstones, three Large White, five Green-veined Whites, 14 Peacocks, two Comma and seven Speckled Wood on the transect at Sharpenhoe Clappers (DC).
A Holly Blue and Orange Tip in a Luton garden (PG).

19th: Three Grizzled Skippers at Marston Vale Millennium Country Park today, but no Dingy Skippers. Also four Peacocks, three Speckled Woods, one Small White, three Green-veined Whites, two Brimstones, one Comma and two Orange Tips (KB).
A Holly Blue, three Green-veined White, a female Brimstone, and one each of Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood in a Blunham garden (TS).
Two Orange Tips, one of each sex, one Green-veined White, three male Brimstones, one Small Tortoiseshell, one Red Admiral and three Peacocks in farmland between Shillington and Meppershall (JE).

18th: The second report of a Holly Blue, on Blow's Down (RD).
Four Small Tortoiseshells in Coronation Pit (NW).

15th: Two Green Hairstreaks seen today at Pegsdon by Wildlife Trust staff.
First Small Copper report, from the old heath at The Lodge, along with a female Brimstone and several Peacocks (NW).
Male and female Orange Tip in a Stopsley garden (B&VE)

14th: Claphampark Wood: Peacock, Comma, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Small White and Speckled Wood (AM).

13th: Riseley Woods: Peacock, Orange Tip, Comma, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Small White and Speckled Wood (AM).
Male and female Orange Tips and a Large White in an Ampthill garden (DW).
Three Peacocks and a Small Tortoiseshell on Cooper's Hill. A Green-veined White and a Peacock in Ampthill Park (M&AB).

8th: Another male Orange Tip, in Bedford (SW).
Four Green-veined Whites, one Comma, four Small Whites and two Peacocks at the Lodge (DOM).

7th: The first Orange Tip (male) and a Green-veined White, four Comma and two Peacocks in Lowe's Wood (AW).

5th: The first Holly Blue of the year seen at Priory Country Park by a Ranger (JB).

4th: The first Speckled Wood on the wing, in Shillington (GB).
A few Large Whites, plus lots of Brimstones, Commas, Peacocks and several highly mobile Green-veined Whites in Claphampark Wood (AM).
On the first walk of the Old Warden Transect were seen tw Peacocks, one Small Tortoiseshell and a Green-veined White. A short journey then to Rowney Warren rewarded with six Peacocks, one Small Tortoiseshell, one Brimstone and an unidentified white. One Comma in my Bedford garden (KB).

2nd: Brimstone - 7, Small White - 1, Green Veined White - 1, Small/GV White - 2, Comma - 2, Peacock - 3 on a walk around Pegsdon Hills (SW).
Brimstone - 2 male, Small white - 1, Comma - 1, Peacock - 4, Small Tortoishell - 1 on Wardown Hills (BE).

March 2009

24th: Two Small Tortoiseshells and 1 Peacock at Duck End NR (DW).

22nd: Six Commas, two Peacocks and one Brimstone in Marston Thrift (KB).
Two Small Tortoiseshell and one Comma at Leagrave Common (DB & AB).

21st: Four Commas and three Peacocks on a single willow tree at Rowney Warren (KB).
15 Commas, 5 Peacocks and 3 Brimstones seen in total in Chicksands Wood (the three 1km squares recorded separately) (KB).
One each of Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma at Bromham Lake LNR (CJR).

20th: A male Small White was found basking in lunchtime sunshine in the company of a Red Admiral in a Stopsley garden (JF).
Seven Commas were counted on the main ride of Maulden Wood (AB).

18th: Two Peacocks and a Small Tortoiseshell in Broom (TS).
Two Comma, one Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock at Bromham Lake LNR today (CJR).
A brief fly-by of what was probably a Peacock on Cooper's Hill this lunchtime (KB/SP).
Two Comma, three Brimstones and seven Peacocks in Sandy (DOM).

17th: One Red Admiral (good to hear that at least one made it through the cold snap) at the BRCC offices in Old Warden (RL).
Two Small Tortoiseshells and a Peacock near Wilstead (JP).
One Small Tortoiseshell at South Mills (TS).

16th: A Small Tortoiseshell at Duck End NR (DW).
IW walked his Potton Wood transect route (two weeks before the season officially kicks-off) and recorded 5 Brimstones (4 male 1 female), 7 Peacocks and 12 Commas.
Three Small Tortoiseshells at Dunstable STW, and one Comma and Brimstone in Leighton Buzzard (AW).
One each of Comma, Brimstone and Peacock in a Blunham garden (TS).

15th: The warmest sunniest day of the year so far has resulted in a flood of reports, mostly of Brimstone:
One unidentified white (Small/Green-veined) south of Flitwick - the first hatching of the year, unfortunately not identified to species (DW).
One Brimstone north of Poplars Nursery, Toddington (DW).
One Brimstone and a probable Peacock seen by the Buttefly Conservation workparty on Markham Hills.
One Brimstone in Eversholt (BE&VE).
Three Brimstones at Bedford Sainsbury's (GM) and about a dozen in the Claphampark Wood area, plus two Commas (AM).
One Brimstone in Clifton (AO).
One Brimstone in Wigmore Country Park (MR).
Brimstone and one Comma in Blunham (TS).
One Brimstone in Biggleswade and another in Old Warden (IW).
2 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 6 Brimstones and 4 Peacocks seen on Blow's Down (DOM & MJP)

7th: A Brimstone sunning itself in Cranfield (DB).

February 2009
Summary: Unsurprisingly during the Siberian weather in the first half of the month no butterflies were seen. As winter loosened her grip during the second half, four of the five overwintering species were reported, but oddly no Peacocks(?) which had been the only species reported in January.

28th: Another Brimstone, this time by the Lea at Leagrave Common in Luton (PG).

27th: The first Red Admiral, at The Lodge (LG).
Also the first Commas, two basking in a sunny clearing at The Lodge (CC&LC).
Several Brimstones around today; three at The Lodge (MG,IKD,DFD) and one in Wilden (NW).
A Small Tortoiseshell was also seen by the greenkeepers' sheds at the John O'Gaunt Golf Course near Potton (ST).

21st: A Brimstone was fluttering around near Lawrence Rd, Biggleswade (RL) and another near Tempsford Airfield (GA).

19th: A Small Tortoiseshell was found active inside a house in Linslade, eventually venturing outside through an open window. (JK)

January 2009
Summary: As there were no particularly mild spells, butterfly reports were few, limited to one species only - Peacock.

26th: A Peacock was spotted in Wickes' yard, Dunstable. (GH)
Another, tatty, Peacock was found in the planning team's room at the RSPB, and released into the morning sunshine. (SM)

18th: A Peacock attended the communion service at All Saints, Clifton. (AO)

17th: A Peacock was seen sunning itself at midday in the Avenue, Sandy. (MT)