Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
   Upper Thames Branch

Butterfly Sightings 2017 - BC Upper Thames Branch


First Sightings    Sightings Archive    Submission Guidelines    Latest News   

This page is for recent butterfly sightings in the BC Upper Thames Branch area, to show what's on
the wing now. Please also remember to send all your records to Jim Asher, UTB Records Officer.

The first reported sighting of each butterfly species is shown in bold red text.


Note to contributors: if possible, please include an OS grid reference with your reports. Thanks, David

A new spreadsheet for recording garden butterflies is available for downloading. If you prefer to send in records on paper, the old-style form is available as a PDF.

~ 26th March 2017 ~

David Fuller sent these sightings: "Seen in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) on 26th March were male and female Brimstones, Comma, Red Admiral and Peacock. At Summerleaze fields, Maidenhead, Berks (SU888831) I saw two Commas and two Brimstones."

Steve Johnson sent this news: "On March 26th at 4.30pm I saw a Holly Blue fluttering around a yew tree in the garden of the Rose Revived pub, Newbridge, Oxon."

Michael Hunt sent these sightings: "March 25th: one Comma and one Brimstone in Winslow, Bucks at 11am."

David Gantzel sent these sightings: "March 25th: Comma in garden in Hazlemere, Bucks, and male Brimstone in Cookham churchyard, Berks."

David Fuller sent these sightings: "Seen in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) on 25th March: Male Brimstone. On the River Thames towpath (SU906834): 3 male Brimstones, one Comma and one Red Admiral (Very tatty. My first of the year). At Nettlebed, Oxon (SU703867): two male Brimstone together. At Crowmarsh Gifford, Oxon (SU618893): two male Brimstone together. At Oakley Wood, Bucks (SU635885) while driving: two male Brimstones within 100 yards of each other."

David Hastings visited Otmoor, Oxon (SP569126) on 25th March and saw three male Brimstones, two Small Tortoiseshells and a Red Admiral. He also saw a Peacock in remarkably good condition nectaring on grape hyacinth flowers in his garden in Abingdon, Oxon (SU587907)."

Peacock, Abingdon, 25-Mar-2017 (© David Hastings)
Small Tortoiseshell, Otmoor, 25-Mar-2017 (© David Hastings)
Photo © David Hastings
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © David Hastings

~ 16th March 2017 ~

Nick Hollis sent these sightings: "Seen at the University of Reading, Berks Harris Garden (SU737714) on 15th March were 4 Brimstones, 2 Peacocks and 1 Comma. They were on the flower beds and flying into the adjacent Wilderness area."

David Fuller sent this news: "Three Brimstones in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) today (15th March): 2 males and a female (my first female of the year)."

~ 14th March 2017 ~

Ian Gamble sent this news: "Today (13th March) at College Lake, Bucks (SP925155) at about 15:30 I found a Painted Lady sunning itself on the main pathway at the furthest most point from the visitors centre. It remained there for several minutes and I managed to get a picture on my iphone. This is the earliest date I have recorded this species in Britain."

David Hastings visited the University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (SP513073) at lunchtime on 13th March and saw at least six male Brimstones, four Commas, two Small Tortoiseshells and a Peacock."

John Holdbrook sent this news: "On March 13th, on the track by the Oxford Ring Road between Littlemore roundabout and just after Heyford Hill, Oxon (about SP532029), I saw 4 Brimstones (allowing for double sightings), 5 Commas and a White (possibly a Small White). This has been a good area for butterflies in the past. I also saw a Brimstone in Iffley, Oxford."

Wendy & Mick Campbell sent the following: "Yesterday, 13th March in the warm and sunny weather we recorded 27 butterflies of 5 species: a Small Tortoiseshell in our garden in Chearsley, Bucks, then in Bernwood and Waterperry Woods, Bucks: Peacock (4), Red Admiral (1 nectaring on Sallow flowers), Brimstone (6) and Comma (15). Also a small Grass Snake and a Common Lizard sunbathing on the bank of a ditch in Bernwood."

Painted Lady, College Lake, 13-Mar-2017 (© Ian Gamble)
Small Tortoiseshell, Oxford, 13-Mar-2017 (© David Hastings)
Painted Lady
Photo © Ian Gamble
Small Tortoiseshell
Photo © David Hastings

~ 12th March 2017 ~

Richard Hicks sent this sighting: "I saw a Red Admiral flying down Marlow High St, Bucks at around lunchtime on Sunday 5th March."

Roger Newman sent this news: "My first Brimstone (male) of the year seen yesterday (9th March) at noon along a south facing hedgerow near Milton-under-Wychwood, Oxon (SP263169)."

David Fuller sent these sightings: "I saw a Comma and a male Brimstone in my garden in Maidenhead, Berks (SU900833) on 9th March. On the same day at Odney Island, Cookham, Berks (SU901855) I saw a male Brimstone, a Comma and a Peacock".

Brian Clews sent these sightings on 9th March:
"At Cookham Moor car park, Berks (SU895855): a male Brimstone (taken by a Magpie), and two female Brimstones.
At Marsh Meadow pond, Berks (SU892867) : one Peacock, one Comma.
At Cookham, Berks (SU880855) : two male Brimstones.
At Whyteladyes Lane, Cookham, Berks (SU880845) : four male Brimstones, one Small Tortoiseshell"

~ 9th March 2017 ~

David Hastings visited Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (SU467995) at lunchtime on 9th March and saw at least three Commas, a male Brimstone and a Peacock."

Peacock, Dry Sandford Pit, 09-Mar-2017 (© David Hastings)
Photo © David Hastings

Other sightings reported on 9th March:

    Lucy Kanachowski saw a Brimstone fluttering around her garden in Aylesbury, Bucks this morning. She also saw a pair of Commas in the afternoon.

    Phil Foxon reported Brimstones on the wing at Twyford, Bucks.

    David Gantzel saw two male Brimstones at Hazlemere, Bucks.

    Adrian Buckel saw one Brimstone, one Small Tortoiseshell and one Red Admiral in his garden at in Over Norton, Oxon (SP316284).

    Louis Powell saw one Small Tortoiseshell in his garden in Caversham, Berks .

~ 8th March 2017 ~

Louis Powell sent this sighting: "I saw a Brimstone fly across the back garden in Caversham, Berks around lunchtime on 20th February.

~ 5th March 2017 ~

David Hastings saw a Comma in his garden in Abingdon, Oxon at mid-day on 4th March."

~ 1st March 2017 ~

Chris Sayers sent this news: "A Small White came into my house in North Maidenhead, Berks on 24th February. It died later that evening so is a positive identification." [NB this doesn't count as a first sighting because the butterfly was only seen in Chris's house]

~ 26th February 2017 ~

Glenis Boxall sent this sighting: "A Small Tortoiseshell was by our front door at Farnham Royal, near Slough, Bucks, this morning (24th February). It flew off into the sunshine. My first sighting this year. "

~ 21st February 2017 ~

The mild and sunny weather on 20th February produced these sightings:

    Michael Pitt-Payne saw a Brimstone fly across his garden at 11am in Stone, Bucks.

    Diane Hunt saw a Small Tortoiseshell in Buckingham, Bucks.

    Dave Wilton saw three male Brimstones in his garden in Westcott, Bucks, Bucks before 11am: "They were patrolling an ivy hedge within which they had presumably been hibernating".

    Peter Edwards saw a Red Admiral in Savernake Forest, Bracknell, Berks: "It was flying low in amongst dead bracken and brambles along one of the forest rides".

    Nicholl Williams saw a Brimstone and a Peacock in Amersham Old Town, Bucks: "Good to see the first butterflies of the season".

    Don Stone saw Brimstones in Lee Common, Bucks and Latimer, Bucks.

~ 20th February 2017 ~

John Whitworth sent this sighting: "I saw my first Brimstone of the year in a friend's garden in Wolvercote, Oxford at 10:40am on 17th February."

~ 16th February 2017 ~

David Hastings saw his first butterflies of the year today: "Two Commas were out and about in the sunshine in the Oxford University Parks, Oxford at lunchtime on 16th February."

Comma, Oxford, 16-Feb-2017 (© David Hastings)
Photo © David Hastings

~ 14th February 2017 ~

Derek Wilkins sent this sighting: "Saw my first butterfly of the year on Monday 13th February at 12.25pm - a Red Admiral in perfect condition on the north side of Alexandra Gardens in Windsor, Berks. It stayed near where I was sitting for about 15 minutes, enjoying basking in the sunshine (as I was too!) with occasional short flights. Managed to get close a couple of times, not too surprised to see it as there was some shelter from the chilly breeze. Eventually after about 15 minutes it disappeared. "

Dave Turnbull sent this news: "I saw my first butterfly of the year today 13th Feb, a pristine-looking Red Admiral at Hockeridge woods near Ashley Green, Bucks. Conditions were sunny, windy and about 6C."

~ 11th February 2017 ~

Terry and Judy Wood sent this sighting: "We had our first butterfly of the year on Tuesday, 7th February - a Small Tortoiseshell on a sunny but very cool day in Little Chalfont, Bucks. It headed off over the woods towards the Chess Valley."

~ 3rd February 2017 ~

Peter Daltry sent this news: "Not quite the "full thing" yet but here is a photo of one of two Orange-tip pupae found in my Prestwood, Bucks garden on 1st February. One is attached to an oak sapling; the other on a gooseberry bush. Interestingly both are orientated exactly facing north, and are about 1 metre apart."

Orange-tip pupa, Prestwood, 01-Feb-2017 (© Peter Daltry)
Orange-tip pupa
Photo © Peter Daltry

Mary Payne sent this sighting: "A large, dark butterfly whizzed past me at the Weston Turville reservoir, Bucks on Tuesday Jan 24th (a very sunny day). I’m pretty sure it was a Peacock."

~ 22nd January 2017 ~

Steve Woolliams sent this sighting: "Pristine Red Admiral seen by Mary Woolliams and Douglas Finch at Larkrise Primary School, Oxford, Oxon at 3pm on 20th January. It was basking on a sunny wall."

~ 19th January 2017 ~

Peter Edwards sent this report: "This Red Admiral was sighted in Crowthorne Woods, Crowthorne, Berks, just after 1pm on Tuesday 17th January."

Red Admiral, Crowthorne Woods, 17-Jan-2017 (© Peter Edwards)
Red Admiral
Photo © Peter Edwards

~ 18th January 2017 ~

Martin Kincaid sent this sighting: "I saw my first butterfly of the year – a pristine Peacock – flying around the reed edge at Walton Lake, Milton Keynes, Bucks at 12.15 today (18th January). It was a beautiful sunny day but very cold so hopefully it soon found shelter again."

[Sightings for 2016 have been archived.]

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