Northants Sightings 2008

December 2008

No reported sightings

November 2008

29th A hibernating Peacock was disturbed from a woodpile in Barton Seagrave.

14th In the Thorplands area of Northampton, a Peacock flew briefly before sunning itself
for several minutes on leaves of a sycamore. A Red Admiral was reported from Pitsford Reservoir.

12th A Red Admiral was on the wing at Sywell Country Park.

8th A very late Speckled Wood was reported from Ravensthorpe Reservoir.

7th A Red Admiral was seen at Summer Leys.

4th A male Brimstone was flying along the High Street in Cranford.

October 2008

24th There were still two Red Admirals in Cogenhoe churchyard.

22nd Two Commas and two Red Admirals were along the disused railway line at Brackmills.

21st Three Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral and a Small White were seen around Thorplands and Lings lakes.

18th Four Small Whites were sunning themselves on a hedge in a Barton Seagrave garden.

12th Large White, Brimstone and Comma were noted at Fermyn Woods Country Park during our winter work party.

11th 6 Commas and 2 Red Admirals were seen at Barnwell Country Park. At Ringstead Mill, Brimstone, Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell were seen.

10th A surprise find on the Brampton Valley Way near Draughton Crossing was a late second brood Holly Blue feeding on ivy blossom, the eleventh species in the county for October. Also along the line were 5 Commas, a Red Admiral and 3 Speckled Woods. In nearby Draughton village, on ivy, were 8 Commas, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and a Red Admiral .

9th In the butterfly garden at Sywell, Small White, 3 Commas, 3 Red Admirals and 2 Small Tortoiseshells were feeding. At Stanwick Lakes, Large and Small White, Red Admiral, Comma and Peacock were still flying.

8th There were still 4 Small Coppers at Bradlaugh Fields, along with a Small Heath, Large White, 3 Commas and 2 Red Admirals. 2 Large Whites, a Comma and 2 Speckled Woods were in Eastfield Park, Northampton. In Great Billing Churchyard, 2 Large Whites, Comma, 2 Red Admirals and 2 Small Tortoiseshells were nectaring. Brimstone, Large White, Comma and Peacock were seen around Thrapston, making nine species for the day.

3rd In a cold, northerly wind and temperatures of 8-11 degrees C., an impressive total of thirty-six Commas were found feeding on blackberries round Ecton Gravel Pits, along with a Red Admiral. A Speckled Wood was also there. In nearby Cogenhoe village were 7 Red Admirals and 2 Commas on ivy.

2nd The first October species were Green-veined White, Comma (3) and Speckled Wood (4) at Pitsford Reservoir.

September 2008

29th A (tattered) Common Blue was still on the wing at Summer Leys, where 15 Commas, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Speckled Woods and Green-veined White were also seen.

28th Four Red Admirals were feeding on ivy near the Britannia Inn, Northampton.

27th Twenty-eight Commas were counted at Stanwick Lakes, one on ivy, the rest on ripening blackberries. Large White, Brimstone, 2 Green-veined Whites, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and 9 Speckled Woods were also recorded on a warm afternoon.
26th At Finedon Callybanks and the old cemetery were Large, Small and Green-veined White , 10 Commas, 3 Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood .
25th A Small Copper was still flying at Harlestone Firs, with Large and Small Whites, 6 Commas and a Red Admiral .
22nd 3 Commas, 3 Red Admirals and a Small Tortoiseshell were feeding on ivy blossom in Little Billing churchyard.
21st 15 Speckled Woods and 6 Commas were seen in Yardley Chase, and on the ivy in Cogenhoe churchyard were 7 Commas, 3 Red Admirals and 2 Speckled Woods. This year Commas are outnumbering Red Admirals on ivy blossom.
20th 8 Small Heath and a tattered Brown Argus were still on the wing at Collyweston Deeps. 15 Common Blues, 3 Smalll Tortoiseshells, a Small Heath and several Small and Green-veined Whites were at Welford Quarry.
A few Small Heaths, 2 Brimstones and 7 Commas were found at Twywell Hills and Dales.
4 Small Tortoiseshell, a Brimstone, a Common blue, 2 Commas and a Speckled Wood seen around St. Crispins and Sixfields, Northampton.
19th A surprise species feeding on Michaelmas daisies in the butterfly garden at Sywell Country Park was a rather worn male Holly Blue, along with Large and Small Whites, Brimstone, 6 Commas, 5 Red Admirals, 4 Small Tortoiseshells and a Speckled Wood .
18th In and around Delapre Abbey gardens were the three White species, 2 Brimstones, 2 Common Blues, 10 Commas, 5 Small Tortoiseshells and 8 Speckled Woods.
15th 6 Small Coppers (plus an egg), a Brown Argus, 5 Common Blues, 5 Small Heath, 8 Speckled Woods , plus six other species, were seen at Bradlaugh Fields.
14th 15 Small Tortoiseshells, 12 Small Heath, 9 Commas, 2 Brown Argus and 8 Common Blues were among the butterflies at Twywell Hills and Dales. 9 Small Tortoiseshells were feeding on buddleia and sedum in the garden in Ashley Way, Northampton.
13th Holly Blue and Small Copper were both seen at Ravensthorpe Reservoir and Speckled Woods still totalled 29 at Hollowell.
11th A Painted Lady was seen flying at Franklins Gardens, during Northampton's first rugby match of the season, and, at one point settled on one of the Sky Sports television cameras. 

10th Survivors of the recent deluges at Summer Leys were several of all three White species , a Brimstone, 5 Common Blues, a Small Copper, 16 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Red Admirals, 5 Commas, a Meadow Brown and c. 8 Speckled Woods. All of the Red Admirals and Commas were feeding on ripe blackberries.
1st Forty Small Tortoiseshells were on the wing at Summer Leys, the majority feeding on a patch of water mint by the Toad Pond. Also notable were c. 20 Common Blues , 3 Brown Argus and a Comma.

August 2008

30th 42 Speckled Woods were counted at Hollowell Reservoir. A Brimstone moth and Large Yellow Underwing amongst many moths caught in a moth trap in Duston.

29th Three Holly Blues were on the wing in Weston Mill Lane, Northampton, and a further two in Weston Favell village.

28th Two Small Coppers were among the butterflies at Pitsford Reservoir.
26th In the quarry area at Fermyn Woods Country Park were an Essex Skipper, 6 Brown Argus, 6 Common Blues and a Small Copper.
24th Small Copper and Holly Blue were recorded at Sulby Reservoir.
23rd Counts at Welford Quarry included 4 Essex Skippers, a Small Copper, 5 Brown Argus, 181 Common Blues, a Holly Blue, a Red Admiral and 10 Small Heath. Two Holly Blues were also noted in Duston village. Fifteen species were recorded in Salcey Forest, including Essex Skipper, 20+ Common Blues, 4 Brown Argus, a Holly Blue, 4 Red Admirals and c. 15 Peacocks .
22nd By the stream near the main Nene Barrage lake in Northampton were a Small Heath and larvae of Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell .
21st At Sywell Country Park, in the butterfly garden were 6 Red Admirals, 8 Peacocks, 3 Commas and a Small Tortoiseshell, with 4 Small Coppers round the reservoir.
20th Good numbers of butterflies at Summer Leys included 13 Large Whites, 4 Brimstones, 19 Common Blues, a Brown Argus, a Small Copper and 17 Peacocks .
17th Forty plus Common Blues at Twywell included a large proportion of females and a number of eggs were found. 5 Brown Argus, a Small Copper and 2 Small Heath were among other species present.
16th Eleven species were found on a butterfly walk in Bradlaugh Fields, Small and Essex Skippers, a Brown Argus, 3 Small Coppers and 3 Small Heaths being the key ones.
14th A Purple Hairstreak seen in Harlestone Firs is a new site record. 4 Red Admirals, 3 Commas, a Small Tortoiseshell and a Painted Lady were feeding on buddleia near the Britannia Inn in Northampton.
11th White Admiral, Large Skipper and Ringlet were still on the wing in Yardley Chase, where Purple Hairstreak was also recorded. A Silver-washed Fritillary was reported from Wakerley Wood and a Painted Lady from a garden in Kingsthorpe, Northampton.
6th At Summer Leys, 30+ Common Blues, 5 Brown Argus and 5 Small Coppers were among species on the wing.
4th A White-letter Hairstreak feeding on hemp agrimony was the highlight of 14 species recorded in Yardley Chase. This was in a different section from the one recorded on 28th July.
3rd Extensive searching of the sallows in Fermyn Wood with Matthew Oates yielded only two Purple Emperor eggs, indicating a poor season this year by Fermyn standards.
1st A Privet Hawk-Moth was seen sitting by a moth trap in a Duston garden.    

July 2008 29th Two Silver-washed Fritillaries were seen in Fineshade Wood.
28th Seven Purple Hairstreaks, one White-letter Hairstreak and five White Admirals were found in Yardley Chase. Marbled White was reported from two sites near Woodnewton in the very north-east of the county.
27th Essex Skipper, two freshly emerged Brown Argus and eleven Common Blues were among species at Summer Leys. Fourteen species were seen in Duston, Northampton, including Holly Blue.
From Fermyn Wood came reports of three Purple Emperors egglaying, plus a Silver-washed Fritillary.
26th A total of twenty-five species were recorded at Barnack Hills and Holes and Bedford Purlieus, just beyond the county boundary. At Barnack, notable were c.15 Chalkhill Blues and a very fresh Painted Lady, and, at Bedford Purlieus, a Holly Blue and at least four Silver-washed Fritillaries. Both Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks were taking honeydew from a roadside elm, overhanging our county boundary!

4+ Purple Hairstreaks, Holly Blue, Marbled White and 17 Small Tortoiseshells were some of the species seen in Nobottle Wood.

25th Essex Skipper, five Small Coppers and four Common Blues were among species in Harlestone Firs.

24th In Fermyn Wood, both Purple and White-letter Hairstreak were taking honeydew from an ash tree, a few White Admirals and a Silver-washed Fritillary were flying, but there were no sightings of Purple Emperors from several observers present. Holly Blue was seen at two different locations in Thrapston.
A Silver-washed Fritillary was recorded in Fineshade Wood.

23rd Purple and White-letter Hairstreak, White Admiral, newly emerged Brimstones (2) and Peacock were noted in Yardley Chase. In Ashley Way, Northampton, there were two Holly Blues, one laying eggs on the same alder buckthorn used earlier in the year by a Brimstone. Another Holly Blues was near the Weston Favell Centre, and three Silver-washed Fritillaries were seen in Bedford Purlieus just outside the county.
4+ Purple Hairstreaks and a White-letter Hairstreak were found at Nobottle Wood.

22nd Essex Skipper, Purple Hairstreak, 7 Marbled Whites and two second generation Common Blues were among species seen in Salcey Forest. A Holly Blue flew across a garden in Ashley Way, Northampton. At least a dozen Small Tortoiseshells were on the wing at Twywell.

21st 6 Purple Hairstreaks and 7 White Admirals were recorded in Bucknell Wood, and 3 Purple Hairstreaks in Hazelborough Forest along with 18 Large Skippers still on the wing. A second generation Holly Blue was seen in Barton Seagrave.

20th Seventeen Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Essex Skippers, a Painted Lady and Small Copper were seen at Sywell Reservoir. Silver-washed Fritillary (male) was again seen in Fermyn Wood. An excellent count of 19 Small Tortoiseshells was made near Brafield.

19th Good numbers of Purple Hairstreaks and 4 Purple Emperors were reported from Fermyn Wood.
19th Eleven Small Tortoiseshells, c. 40 Gatekeepers , 2 Commas, a Red Admiral and c. 20 Small Skippers were among ten species seen near Weston Mill in Northampton.
18th 18 Marbled Whites were recorded at a long-established site near Great Brington. 16th Hunndreds of Small Skippers, with some Essex, were flying in Bradlaugh Fields, Northampton, with 7 Marbled Whites, 6 Small Tortoiseshells and more common grassland species.
15th Ten Purple Emperors, c. a dozen White Admirals , including an aberrant obliterae, a few Purple and four White-letter Hairstreaks were seen in Fermyn Wood.
13th Many observers saw Purple Emperor on the ground in Fermyn Wood and males were searching the oak canopy for females. You can follow the Purple Emperor season by visiting A dozen White Admirals were seen and Silver-washed Fritillary was on the wing. The first positive sightings of White-letter Hairstreaks were made, and there were a few Purple Hairstreaks on the wing.

10th Some spectacular Purple Emperor activity was seen in Fermyn Woods today, with three, possibly four, pairs being seen in courtship. A failed attempt was observed for several minutes high in a conifer, before a pair was seen to land and mate at the top of an oak, with a further male in attendance. "Oak edging" was observed, as well as the usual male activity on the ground.
8th Two White Admirals were among species seen in Yardley Chase.

5th Purple Emperors and White Admirals were seen in double figures, along with a few Purple Hairstreaks , on our field trip to Fermyn today.

4th There were good numbers of Purple Emperors and White Admirals in Fermyn Woods today, along with a pristine male Silver-washed Fritillary . Purple Hairstreak was also recorded, and three Marbled Whites in the adjacent country park.

3rd The first Gatekeeper and three Small Tortoiseshells were among species at Sywell Country Park.

1st The first White Admirals (max. 5+) and Purple Emperors (max. 3) were reported from Fermyn Wood. There was also a newly hatched Brimstone here, and two Marbled Whites have been around the quarry area for the past few days. 3 Black Hairstreaks, one egglaying, were seen at Glapthorn. Two pairs of Wood Whites were seen in Hazelborough Forest, one "in cop" and one in courtship. There were also two more at Bucknell Wood.

June 2008

30th Approx. 120 Marbled Whites were counted over the whole Twywell site. Also of note were 12 Small Heath and a late first brood Brown Argus .

27th A Marbled White, Small Skipper, 2 hutchinsonii Commas and 3 Small Tortoiseshells were among species at Summer Leys.

26th Both Small and Essex Skipper and 3 Marbled Whites were reported from the Yardley Chase MOD site. Elsewhere in Yardley Chase was a Painted Lady .

25th A late Grizzled Skipper was seen at Twywell.

24th Ten pristine Marbled Whites were on the wing at Twywell. Six were also seen in Salcey Forest, plus a solitary Wood White and a tattered Peacock .

22nd At least ten different Black Hairstreaks were seen today in Glapthorn Cow Pasture, in six different locations. A further eleven were seen in part of Fermyn Woods. Many seen were wing damaged and worn. A very worn Comma was also in Fermyn.

19th 5 Wood Whites, plus 3 eggs, were found in part of Hazelborough Forest. A dozen Marbled Whites were on the wing near Brackley.
18th A Painted Lady , only the second of the year was reported from Thrapston.

17th In the quarry area of Fermyn Woods Country Park were 3 Green Hairstreaks and a Grizzled Skipper, along with the first female Large Skipper and a Ringlet. Two Black Hairstreaks were found in the adjacent thicket area.

16th The first Ringlet of the year was seen near Fotheringhay. A Wood White was seen in Yardley Chase, in a different section from those on the 8th. 4 Black Hairstreaks were reported from Glapthorn and another from Yardley Chase. A Holly Blue and 5 Dingy Skippers were still on the wing in the quarry area of Fermyn Woods Country Park.

14th Brown Argus and Small Copper were among butterflies on the wing at Ditchford Lakes.

13th 6 Large Skippers, a Dingy Skipper, 5 Brown Argus and 20+ Small Heaths were among species seen at Twywell.

11th A Meadow Brown was seen at Summer Leys, along with Small Heath and c. 20 Common Blues .

10th A freshly emerged male Black Hairstreak was seen at Glapthorn Cow Pasture (see homepage). A Holly Blue was still on the wing at Wadenhoe Mill.

9th One Small Blue was seen at its only county site, along with a very early Marbled White . Wood White was not found at one of its former strongholds, Whistley Wood, but a Red Admiral was egglaying there.

8th A count of seven Wood Whites at Yardley Chase was encouraging. A Brown Argus was also recorded there. At Welford Quarry, 154 Common Blues , 57 Small Heaths, 12 Large Skippers and 2 late Orange Tips were on the wing. Two Orange Tips were also seen in Fermyn Woods, along with a Black Hairstreak pupa and a late overwintered Comma. 3 Grizzled skippers, 3 Large Skippers, a Brown Argus, 10 Common Blues and 20 Small Heath were at Twywell.

7th 8 Brown Argus at Twywell was the highest count of this year, seen with 3 Grizzled Skippers and 6 Dingy .

4th Two Large Skippers at Twywell Hills and Dales were the first of the season.

May 2008

29th One Wood White, two Red Admirals, Common and Holly Blue were among the species in Salcey Forest today. Small Copper and Brown Argus were present at Ditchford Lakes.

24th Ninety Common Blues and 7 Small Heaths were counted at Welford Quarry, and a Red Admiral was seen in Nobottle Wood.

22nd An almost fully grown Comma larva was seen on the Westone estate, Northampton. A Grizzled Skipper was found on the Yardley Chase MOD site.

21st c. 20 Dingy Skippers, c. 10 Grizzled Skippers, 5 Green Hairstreaks, 5 Common Blues, 2 Brown Argus and 15+ Small Heath were among species at Twywell Hills and Dales. A Brimstone was seen egglaying at all levels of a large buckthorn bush here.

18th Two Wood Whites were reported from Salcey Forest.

14th Single Grizzled and Dingy Skippers were seen in a quarry near Kettering.

13th There were 10 Holly Blues in Eastfield Park, Northampton, with good numbers of Speckled Woods and Orange Tips. A Small Copper was on the wing at Bradlaugh Fields, Northampton.

12th There were good numbers of Grizzled and Dingy Skippers in the Old Sulehay area, plus 5 Green Hairstreaks, 2 Common Blues, a Small Copper and 2 Small Heath. At Collyweston Deeps, there were 5 Green Hairstreaks, a Small Copper and the first Brown Argus. 5 Common Blues were seen at Fermyn Woods Country Park in the quarry area. 5+ Holly Blues were at Barnes Meadow, Northampton.

11th Thirteen species seen on our field trip at Twywell included c.12 Dingy Skippers , 8 Grizzled Skippers, 10+ Green Hairstreaks (4 egglaying), 2 Common Blues , a Small Copper and 4 Small Heath .

10th A Red Admiral was among species at Thrapston Town Lake and the first Small Copper seen at Twywell.

8th Eleven species at Twywell Country Park today included the first Small Heath , 4 Grizzled Skippers, 6 Dingy Skippers and a Green Hairstreak. There were 4 Holly Blues at fermyn Woods Country Park.

7th 2 Grizzled Skippers were found on land near Rockingham Speedway. 50+ Holly Blues were reported from near Thrapston, and mint Red Admiral and Painted Lady on a footpath near Isham.

6th A Holly Blue was seen in Barton Seagrave, 10+ at Storton's Gravel Pits and 6 in Abington Park, with egglaying noted again. 4 Grizzled Skippers and 10+ Dingy Skippers were in the quarry area of Fermyn Woods Country Park. 6 Grizzled Skippers and 3 Dingy were at Twywell. A Speckled Wood was egglaying in a garden in Westone, Northampton.

5th Two Holly Blues were seen in New Duston.    

4th There were good numbers of Orange Tips and a Holly Blue along the disused railway line at Brackmills, Northampton.

3rd A Green Hairstreak was see at Twywell Hills and Dales. Six Holly Blues, Large White, Orange Tip and Speckled Wood were found in the old graveyard at Finedon. In Abington Park, Northampton, there were two male Holly Blues and a female egglaying. c.20 Orange Tips were at Stanwick Lakes.

2nd There were six Grizzled Skippers at Twywell Hills and Dales.

1st A female Orange Tip and two Holly Blues were seen in Barton Seagrave. A Dingy skipper was seen at a site near Corby.

April Summary

A mating pair of Small Whites was found on 4th, and the first Green-veined White was seen on 9th. From the middle of the month, sightings gradually increased, Peacock being the most numerous species. Brimstones appeared in good numbers in woodlands with 15+ in Fermyn Wood on 15th and Salcey on 22nd, when five Orange Tips, including two females, put in an appearance. 9 Commas here were the maximum seen at any one site. Two Holly Blues were flying in Northampton on 23rd, along with the first Speckled Wood . There were several more records of both by the end of the month. The first Large Whites were seen from 26th - 28th.

March Summary

A Comma was recorded on 7th and the first Brimstones on 14th/ /15th . Not until the 30th were all four of our hibernating species seen on the same day, with courtship of the Small Tortoiseshell observed.

February Summary

There was little suitable weather for butterflies, but a warmer spell in the second week brought out Small Tortoiseshell (9th) and  Peacocks, with further records on 27th. Records from two sites on 10th were the only Spring sightings of Red Admiral this year.

January Summary

A Peacock was seen in Stoke Bruerne on 27th was the only positive identification, with an unidentified butterfly, probably Small Tortoiseshell, on 24th.