Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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Recent sightings

The purpose of this page is to give an indication of what butterflies and moths are currently on the wing within the North East England region. Sightings do not have to be rare or unusual as the purpose is simply to give other website users an indication of what is about and what they can expect to see. If you have sightings to report please send them with the details of what you saw, the date and the location to this link or alternatively by using the contact page of the web-site.

Please note that this is intended only as an informal record of what is on the wing and we strongly encourage you to send your records to the relevant recorder for Northumberland or Durham (see Committee page for contact details and the downloads page for the recording form).

December 2009

December 5.  Michael Eccles saw a Small Tortoiseshell flying through the reserve at Clara Vale at 13.00 in the afternoon. Temperature was about 9 deg Celsius and the butterfly had presumably been disturbed from its hibernation.

November 2009

November 23.  Bob Mawson found three Speckled Wood chrysalises at Trimdon Grange Old Pitheap.

October 2009

October 29.  Bob Mawson counted 34 Drinker Moth caterpillars within an 80 yard strip at Beck Fir Trees (see photo).

October 17.  Late flowering Buddleja weyerana in Malcolm Hutcheson's garden in East Ord near Berwick attracted a number of butterflies: 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Red Admiral, 2 Painted Lady and 1 Comma.

October 8.  Tim Nelson recorded 13 Speckled Wood and 2 Comma at north end of Wynyard WP walk way.

October 7.  Tim Nelson visited Preston Park, Stockton where he saw 14 Red Admiral and 2 Comma.

October 5.  Gordon Brown saw a Speckled Wood flying over his house in Saltburn.

October 4.  Brian Denham saw 5 Red Admirals at Blackwell Scar, Darlington.

October 3.  Jonathan Wallace had a Red Admiral visit his garden in Fenham.

September 2009

September 30.  Tim Nelson recorded 21 Red Admiral feeding on ivy flowers at Preston Park, Stockton, along with 5 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Speckled Wood.

September 25.  Jonathan Wallace found a freshly dead Comma in the street outside his home in Fenham, Newcastle.

September 22.  Alan Janes found a Speckled Wood amongst the willows at St Mary's Island, Whitley bay.

September 15.  Malcolm Hutcheson's tetrad bashing continued at Jacks Law near Duddo where he counted Large White 2, Small White 3, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 3, Red Admiral 1 and Painted Lady 1.

September 12.  Malcolm Hutcheson has been 'tetrad bashing' to catch up with some of our northernmost squares while the weather is good and we still have number of Painted Ladies around.  At Lamberton on the Scottish Border he recorded Large White 1, Small White 1, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 1, Painted Lady 6 and a very worn Wall which is the furthest north he has seen.

September 9.  Alan Davis and Paul Tankard visited Weetslade Country Park, North Tyneside where they counted 1 Red Admiral, 6 Peacock, 5 Painted Lady, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Wall Brown, 1 Meadow Brown, 5 Common Blue, and single Large White, Small White and Green-veined Whites.  In a patch of thistles just north of the car park on the left of the track to High Weetslade Farm they also counted 1 Red Admiral, 2 Peacock, 7 Painted Lady and 12 Small Tortoiseshell.  Jonathan Wallace visited the Spetchells near Prudhoe and counted 3 Large White, 5 Small White, 3 Peacock, 2 Painted Lady, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 3 Speckled Wood.  He also saw 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock and 1 Small White along the riverside.

September 8.  The Sedum in June Atkinson's garden in Ponteland was visited by Painted Lady, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.

September 7.  Malcolm and Ann Hutcheson were delighted to spot a pristine Speckled Wood whilst they were walking along the banks of the River Tweed at Berwick!  Steve Austin counted 30 Small Tortoiseshell in a patch of thistles about 30 feet long at Blackhall.  There were also plenty of Painted Lady and a few Peacock.

September 2.  Malcolm Hutcheson recorded 8 Large White, 10 Small White, 6 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Painted Lady plus Wall Brown at Little Beach, Berwick.  On the same day in his garde at East Ord near Berwick, he counted 3 Large White, 4 Small White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 14 Painted Lady plus Wall Brown.  Malcolm also reported a Speckled Wood seen during the previous week by Fiona Aungier at Kyloe Quarry (about 10 km south of Berwick) indicating that this species seems to be continuing its northward march.

August 2009

Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary  With the flight season of this species now over it is of interest to give a preliminary comment on how it has fared this year.  Dave Liddle reports that the season began with a spell of reasonable weather and numbers were up by about 50% compared to the two previous transect seasons.  The season appeared to end rather abruptly with few lingering individuals.  Encouragingly there was evidence of the species moving from core sites onto neighbouring areas, some of which have been created through habitat management work undertaken by volunteers.  More detailed analysis will be given in the annual butterfly summary.

August 27.  After searching for an hour and a half Bob Mawson observed 2 Purple hairstreak's at Fox Cover.  He also recorded a Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood.  Jonathan Wallace saw 2 Purple Hairstreak at the Nine Arches Viaduct, Derwent Valley as well as 1 Wall Brown, 3 Peacock and 3 Large White.

August 25.  Bob Mawson photographed a Comma caterpillar feeding on nettles on Raisby Way.  Mike Coates recorded another impressive concentration of vanessids in Harwood Forest near the village of Harwood where he saw 69 Painted Ladies, 82 Peacocks, 6 Red Admirals and 8 Small Tortoiseshells on Hardhead Thistles along a half mile stretch of the track.  He also recorded 1 Ringlet and 12 Whites.  At Hauxley Nature Reserve on the Northumberland Coast, Mike Jefferies saw 2 Speckled Wood flying along the hedges to the west of the main hide.  Alan Davis made a brief trip to Gosforth Park Nature Reserve which produced 2 Green-veined White, 2 Wall Brown, single Peacock and Painted Lady plus a Speckled Wood near the members hut.

August 24.  Malcolm Hutcheson visited Sharper's Head, north of Berwick and recorded 5 Large White, 8 Small White, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 18 painted Lady and 2 Wall Brown.  Steve Austin observed Wall Brown and Painted Lady at Blackhall.

August 22.  At Scremerston near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Malcolm Hutcheson recorded 14 Large White, 16 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 24 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 49 Painted Lady, 2 Meadow Brown and 12 Wall Brown.

August 19.  Becky Hetherington and Frances Mudd saw and photographed second generation Dingy Skipper at Bewes Hills, Gateshead where there were also plenty of Peacock, Painted Lady, Wall Brown and a few Common Blue.  Tim Nelson saw and photographed Brown Argus at Cowpen Bewley WP.  This seems to be a remarkable year for this species but Tim reports that there is no sign as yet of a second brood of Brown Argus at Dormans Pool Quarry site where the species was recorded earlier in the season.  At Cowpen Bewley he also recorded Wall Brown, Small Skipper, Small Heath, Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood.

August 17.  Mike Jefferies recorded a Speckled Wood on the wooded stairs leading up from the Ouseburn Farm, Newcastle to the 'City Stadium'.

August 15.  Christine Wright observed a Wall Brown on the north bank of the Tyne at Ovingham.

August 14.  Over the past week Gordon Brown has had numerous sightings of Large and Small White on Buddleia in his garden at Saltburn (a maximum of 5 at any one time) as well as 12 Painted Ladies, 8 Peacock, 5 Red Admiral and, in the adjacent meadow, Green-veined White.  During the same period at Wilton Chemical Site he has recorded 14 Painted Ladies on a large white flowered buddleia, together with 8 Peacock, 5 Large White, 5 Red Admiral, 2 Small White and 4 Grayling

August 13.  Mike Richardson recorded the following at Farley Haughs near Corbridge: 4 Speckled Wood, 32 Wall Brown, 4 Meadow Brown, 10 Peacock, 4 Painted Lady, 7 Small Copper, 6 Large White, 8 Small White and 14 Green-veined White.  Mike Coates witnessed a remarkable concentration of vanessids at Longframlington Common; in a patch of thistles approximately 60 feet by 45 feet he counted 10 Red Admirals, 50 Painted Ladies, 60 Peacocks and 180 Small Tortoiseshells.  Steve Austin found a Grey/Dark Dagger on his garden shed near Houghton le Spring.

August 12.  Bob Mawson found and photographed Small Tortoiseshell pupa at Raisby Way.

August 9.  Tracy Vinton reported an abundance of Large and Small White in her garden at Rowlands Gill. 

August 8.  Bob Mawson recorded 1 White-letter Hairstreak and 4 Purple Hairstreak at Fox Cover, Trimdon.  Sylvia Brennan photographed a Red Underwing Moth at her home in Hartburn, Stockton.

August 7.  After several hours spent searching over several days, Steve Austin succeeded in getting good views of 2 White-letter Hairstreak on elms below the bridge in Durham City.

August 6.  At Hauxley Nature Reserve Alan Davis and Paul Tankard recorded 2 Small Skipper, 29 Large White, 19 Small White, 21 Green-veined White, 1 Small Copper, 48 Painted Lady, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Red Admiral, 7 Peacock, 1 Comma, 7 Wall Brown, 22 Meadow Brown and 2 Small Heath.  Later on the same day they visited Bywell Bridge, where they observed 2 White-letter Hairstreak in the Wych Elms by the riverside.  Tim Nelson reports recent counts of Grayling in excess of 60 individuals at the Reclamation Pond on the North Tees Marshes.

August 5. Mike Coates recorded 5 Small Copper and 2 Common Blue on the slopes at Weetslade Country Park near Newcastle.  Chris Harlow recorded 2 Small Skipper at Hepburn Woods near Chillingham, Northumberland.

August 3.  Malcolm Hutcheson began the month with a walk along the coast path from Berwick Golf Course, past Needles Eye and on to Marshall Meadows before returning along the railway. Over three hours he recorded 224 Small White, 96 Large White and 50 Green-veined White.  He also recorded 2 Small Skipper, 16 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 16 Peacock, 26 Painted Lady, 25 Meadow Brown and 1 Wall.  The Small Skippers and the Wall were the most northerly sightings of these species that Malcolm has recorded.

July 2009

July 31.  After recent heavy rain, Michael Eccles noticed a large drop in numbers of Meadow Brown at Kibblesworth where he counted 14 along with 5 Grayling, 20+ Small Heath, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock, 2 Painted lady, 1 Comma, 2 Small Skipper, 3 Large White and 9 Green-veined White.

July 28.  At Wingate Quarry Michael Eccles recorded 9 Small Skipper, 20+ Meadow Brown, 20+ Small Heath, 4 Ringlet, 9 Marbled White, 4 Large White, 3 Small White, 2 Green-veined White and 1 freshly emerged female Common Blue.

July 25.  Philip Jordon had single Painted Lady on four occasions on Buddleia in his garden in Garden Village, Gosforth.  He also had a Meadow Brown fly into his house.

July 24.  Philip Jordon observed a White-letter Hairstreak at eye level on a Sycamore beside the Tyne between Clara vale and Wylam.  Jonathan Wallace visited Hawthorn Dene where he recorded 25 Meadow Brown, 12 Small Heath, 5 Ringlet, 6 Small Skipper, 3 Comma, 1 Painted Lady, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Common Blue, 3 Large White, 3 Green-veined White and 4 Small White.

July 23.  Harry Fowler visited Wingate Quarry where he recorded about 60 Meadow Brown, 20 Ringlet, 6 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Comma, about 40 Small Heath, 8 Marbled White, 10 Small Skipper, 4 Common Blue and 4 Large White.

July 19.  Sylvia Brennan visited the Jewish Cemetery near Hartlepool Headland where there were vast numbers of Meadow Brown, 10 - 15 Painted Ladies all in very good condition, a couple of Small Tortoiseshell and lots of Silver-Y Moths. At Dorman's Pool on the same day she observed at least 4 Grayling, several Small Copper in very good condition, a couple of Paited Ladies and a single battered Common Blue.  Michael Holmes recorded a Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on Buddleaia at Slaley Hall, Northumberland.  Jonathan Wallace recorded 4 Commas at Big Waters as well as numerous Meadow Brown and Small Skipper and a single Small Tortoiseshell.

July 15.  During the week Gordon Brown observed up to a dozen Grayling, half a dozen Small Skipper, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Small White and four or five Meadow Brown on an area of waste ground with Buddleia within the Wilton Chemical site.

July 14.  Jonathan Wallace visited Thrislington Plantation NNR where there were numerous Common Blue, Small Skipper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Small Heath as well as several Northern Brown Argus, a few very fresh Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Comma.  He also saw Shaded Broad-bar, Yellow Shell, Chimney Sweeper, Six-spot Burnet and Latticed Heath moths.

July 13.  Dave Wainwright recorded one (possibly 2) Purple Hairstreak on a small oak tree near the visitor centre at Low Barns Nature Reserve.  At Wingate Quarry, Bob Mawson recorded 3 White-letter Hairstreak and 9 Marbled White.

July 12.  Alan Davis took a walk from Kirknewton up on to Yeavering Bell and saw lots of Ringlet and Small Heath as well as 6 Small Tortoiseshell on thistles near the track up to Yeavering Bell.  In the village by the old school there was a Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on valerian by the roadside whilst, just outside the village 6 Red Admiral were on a Buddleia bush.

July 11.  Tim Nelson recorded an excellent count of 11 White-letter Hairstreak at Hardwick Dene, Stockton.  On the same day he saw 6 Grayling at Dorman's Pool, including a mating pair, as well as a fresh Small Copper.  Bob Mawson recorded a Dark Green Fritillary on Raisby Way.  Jonathan Wallace saw two White-letter Hairstreak at Bywell Bridge.  Sylvia Brennan visited Wingate Quarry where she recorded 6 Marbled White, lots of Ringlet and Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small Skipper and Small Heath.

July 9.  Tim Nelson and Sylvia Brennan independently report Grayling at Dorman's Pool, North Tees, Sylvia seeing four or 5 in the evening (see photographs).  Tim reports that Grayling have been flying on the site since 30 June.  Tim Nelson also recorded Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Ringlet and Common Blue at North Gare along with many hundreds of Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet Moths (photograph).

July 6.  Alan Davis and Paul Tankard braved the foul weather to visit Sweethope Lough where they recorded 30+ Ringlet.  They then went on to Harwood Forest near Winter's Gibbet where they saw 6 Large Heath on suitable habitat and, on grassland near the road, 6 Small Heath and another Ringlet.  Meanwhile at Houghton Strother GP Mike Richardson counted 180 Ringlet, 25 Meadow Brown and 10 Small Skipper.

July 5.  Bob Mawson found and photographed early and late instar Painted Lady Caterpillars at Charity Land, near Trimdon.  Jonathan Wallace recorded 80+ Meadow Brown and 72 Small Skipper at Big Waters as well as 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Painted Lady, 1 Comma, Small White, Silver Ground Carpet moth, Latticed Heath moth, Silver-Y moth and numerous Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet moths.

July 4.  Tim Nelson reports Comma, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell on the wing again in Stockton on Tees.  Shaun Hackett noted the continuing spread of Speckled Wood into Northumberland with a sighting of one in Upper Coquetdale in the visitor car park of Holystone Forest.

July 3.  Michael Eccles visited a site near the A68, Durham and recorded 15 Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, 1 Dark Green Fritillary, 12 Meadow Brown, 20 Ringlet, 20+ Small Heath, 1 Red Admiral and 2 Painted Lady including one egg-laying on a thistle.  At Hardwick Dene, Stockton, Tim Nelson recorded a White-letter Hairstreak.  From the north of the region Malcom Hutcheson recorded Dark Green Fritillary at Cocklawburn Dunes where he also saw 45 Common Blue, 63 Ringlet, 34 Meadow Brown and 4 Small Heath.  At Cheswick Dunes he recorded Dark Green Fritillary, 12 Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 10 Ringlet, 18 Meadow Brown and 7 Small Heath.

July 2.  Bob Mawson found and photographed Painted Lady eggs at Saltholme RSPB Reserve, Teesside.

July 1.  Bob Mawson recorded White-letter Hairstreak near Charity Land, Trimdon.  He also recorded Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock caterpillars at Beck Fir Trees.  Mike Richardson recorded 80+ Ringlet, 40+ Meadow Brown, 2 Small Skipper, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Orange Tip and 4 Painted Lady at Houghton Strother GP near the River North Tyne.

June 2009

June 30.  Bob Mawson rounded off the month with a sighting of 2 Marbled Whites at Wingate Quarry.  On the same day, with Les Rowell, he recorded Red Admiral at Beck Fir Trees.

June 28.  Bob Mawson recorded Small Skipper at Wingate Quarry.  on the same day Michael Eccles recorded 1 Large Skipper and several Small Skipper at Kibblesworth as well as 1 Ringlet.  He commented on the low numbers of Large Skipper at the site this year.

June 26.  Michael Eccles saw and photographed White Letter Hairstreak near the Thornley Woodland Centre.  Hummingbird Hawkmoth still present in Harry Fowler's Hartlepool garden.

June 25.  Harry Fowler had a Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding in his garden in Hartlepool.

June 24.  Alan Tilmouth recorded 4 Ringlet and 6 Common Blue as well as Yellow Shell and Clouded Border Moths on the north bank of the River Sleekburn to the west of the former Blyth Power Station site.

June 23.  Alan Tilmouth found 2 male Ringlet, 1 Meadow Brown and 2 Large Skipper in a damp meadow adjacent to Howburn Woods at Pegswood Moor, Northumberland.  Alan Davis was at Havannah LNR near Newcastle where he recorded 58 Common Blue, 29 Meadow Brown, 2 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Small Heath, 2 Wall Brown, and a Large Skipper.  On the same day at Weetslade Country Park he saw small numbers of Common Blue and Meadow Brown as well as 2 faded Painted Ladies.

June 21  Gordon Brown recorded 4 Ringlets at Marske Mill Meadow as well as a number of Chimney Sweeper Moths.  Philip Jordan found several dozen Chimney Sweeper Moths in a meadow next to the River Font near Morpeth.

June 16.  Michael Eccles recorded 2 Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary at a site off the A68.

June 15.  Michael Eccles saw 3 Ringlets, 5 Meadow Browns and 2 Large Skippers at Stillington Nature reserve near Stockton on Tees.  He also recorded Common Blue.  Gordon Brown recorded a Common Blue on a roadside on the Wilton Chemical Plant.

June 14.  Paul Mawson, Frank Barber and Bob Mawson found a Ringlet on Raisby Way.  Jonathan Wallace recorded 2 Meadow Browns at Hedley Hall Woods, Tanfield where he also saw 3 Painted Ladies, 3 Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Wall Brown and 1 Large Skipper.  Later on the same day he visited Paradise SNCI, Newcastle where there were still 4 Dingy Skippers flying as well as several Common Blue, Small White, 1 Large Skipper and 1 Painted Lady. There were also large numbers of Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet Moths.  Dave Wainwright was at Simpasture Junction where he saw Dingy Skipper, Small Heath, Wall, Large Skipper and Common Blue as well as Cinnabar Moth and larvae of Mullein moth.  He also recorded Dingy Skipper, Small Heath, Common Blue and Large Skipper from The Snipe, Newton Aycliffe.

June 12.  Michael Eccles recorded 18 Northern Brown Argus at Bishop Middleham Quarry as well as 8 Small Heath, 8 Dingy Skipper, 13 Common Blue, as well as 3 Large White, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Green-veined White and 3 Wall Brown. On the same day he visited Kibblesworth Ponds near Birtley where he found a very worn Peacock plus 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Painted Lady and a number of Common Blues and Small Heaths.

June 11.  David Anderson visited Bishop Middleham Quarry where he recorded 9 Northern Brown Argus.  He also saw 7 Common Blue, including a mating pair, 1 Painted Lady and 3 Dingy Skipper.

June 10.  Keith Smith added Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary to the season's tally with sightings of singletons at two locations in the Wark Forest area.

June 9.  Bob Mawson added Meadow Brown to the list of species he has recorded so far this year at Raisby Way.  Meanwhile on a cool, overcast day Michael Eccles recorded 7 Common Blue, 1 Small Heath and 1 Northern Brown Argus at Bishop Middleham Quarry.

June 8.  Bob Mawson found Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars at Charity Land, Trimdon.

June 6.  Malcolm Hutcheson recorded 3 Painted Ladies in a new tetrad at New Water Haugh near Berwick.  He also recorded 3 Large White, 2 Small White and 3 Orange Tip.

Roger Norman reports that during the week two new Dingy Skipper sites have been discovered in the Newcastle area.  Also that Speckled Wood has been recorded from two new locations in South Northumberland.

June 4.  Bob Mawson found a White-letter Hairstreak chrysalis on an elm leaf near Charity Land, Trimdon.  His photograph has been added to the gallery.

June 2.  Dave Wainwright was at Greenabella Marsh on Teesside where he had the impressive count of 200+ Common Blue, 70+ Small Heath, 17 Dingy Skippers, 20 Wall Brown and a male Brown Argus in pristine condition.  He also noted Cinnabar and Mother Shipton Moths as well as pupae of Burnet Moths and a Drinker Moth caterpillar.

June 1.  Malcolm Hutcheson was at Cheswick Dunes near Berwick where he recorded 1 Large White, 2 Small White, 2 Small Copper, 3 Common Blue, 6 Small Heath and 10 Painted Ladies.  At Cocklawburn duneson the same day he saw 2 Large White, 1 Small White, 2 Common Blue, 1 Small Copper, 10 Painted Lady and Small Heath.

May 2009

May 31.  A slew of sightings from various locations as well as continued fine weather brought May to a conclusion.  Gordon Brown found a number of Chimney Sweeper Moths flying on the Marske Mill meadow at Saltburn.  Tim Nelson reported that five Brown Argus have been seen at Dorman's Pool and they have been seen mating.  He also saw Large and Dingy Skippers, Small Heath, Wall Browns, Painted Lady, Peacock and lots of Common Blue.  Dave Wainwright was at Souter on the coast near South Shields where he saw 1 Common Blue, 8 Wall Brown, 2 Large White, 3 Painted Lady and 3 Silver-Y Moths.  Trina Barrett recorded Painted Lady to the east of Wolsingham.  Roger Norman recorded 9 Painted Ladies at Saltholme and 8 species in total.

May 30.  Martin Sidwell reported the discovery of three Brown Argus at Dorman's Pool, North Teesside where he also recorded Large Skipper, Dingy Skipper, and good numbers of Small Copper, Wall, and Large and Small White. He also referred to reports of a Brimstone at the RSPB's Saltholme reserve on the same day although he did not see it himself.  Trina Barrett recorded 2 Painted Ladies at Tunstall Reserve.  Meanwhile Dave Wainwright found Green Hairstreak (2) still on the wing at Hedleyhope Fell where he also recorded 1 Dingy Skipper, 3 Painted Lady, 2 Orange Tip, 2 Small Heath and a Cinnabar Moth.  Jonathan Wallace visited the Spetchells, Prudhoe where he saw 8 Speckled Wood, 1 Dingy Skipper, 1 Large Skipper, 2 Small Heath, 2 Wall Brown , 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Orange Tip and 2 Painted Ladies.

May 29  Cumbrian Marsh Fritillaries.  Michael Eccles reports that Marsh Fritillary is now on the wing at the Finlandrigg Nature Reserve near Carlisle if anyone is interested in making the trip across to see them.

May 29.  Bob Mawson found a newly emerged Large Skipper, still inflating its wings on Raisby Way (picture added to gallery).  Large Skipper was also seen by Jonathan Wallace at Bishop Middleham Quarry where he also saw lots of Dingy Skippers as well as Common Blue, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Large white, Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Small Heath Painted Lady and Peacock.  On the same date Malcolm Hutcheson recorded 2 large Skippers in a new tetrad at Lickar Dene near Bowsden in north Northumberland.  He also saw 21 Large White, 11 Small White, 12 Green-veined White, 12 Orange Tip, Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshell.  Trina Barrett recorded 2 Painted Ladies in a field to the east of Wolsingham.

May 24 -28.  Painted Lady Migration.  Ian Island returned from a trip to Mallorca where he saw huge numbers of Painted Ladies passing through the Albufera Reserve on 24th May continuously for the five or so hours that he was there (but only one the following day!).  On the 28 May Jonathan Wallace was in Kent where he saw large numbers on the wing all heading northwards and there have been newspaper reports of large numbers of migrating Painted Ladies in the south of England (3000 per hour past Portland Bill).

To what extent will this invasion reach the North East?  Anyone wishing to help track the scale and extent of the migration is encouraged to send observations of any Painted Ladies to Butterfly Conservation's 'Migrant Watch' project.  Any sightings can be submitted but in particular members are invited to participate in a UK-wide timed count between 11.00 and 13.00 on Saturday 30 May.  For details of how to participate and where to send your records (including any zero counts) go to the following link.

May 28  Terry Coult recorded three Painted Ladies at Newton Aycliffe.  An Angle Shades moth that Jonathan Wallace captured as a caterpillar feeding on Elder in his garden on 24 April emerged as an adult and was released back into his garden.  Trina Barrett had one Painted Lady and a Speckled Wood in her garden at Wolsingham.

May 26  Michael Eccles visited Kibblesworth Landfill site where he saw 3 Large White, 2 Small Copper, 4 Common Blue, 15 Small Heath, 1 Comma and a washed out Painted Lady.

May 25.  Mike Jefferies recorded 4 Painted Ladies in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle.  Bob Mawson also recorded one at Trimdon Grange and Jonathan Wallace saw a rather battered looking one at Big Waters near Brunswick Village.  In the north of the region Malcolm Hutcheson recorded a Painted lady at Needles Eye, along with 9 Large White, 10 Small White, 2 Green-veined White and a Wall Brown, the latter a new tetrad record.

Trina Barrett recorded a Speckled Wood in her garden at Wolsingham over the bank holiday weekend.  Meanwhile, at Needles Eye north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Malcolm Hutcheson observed 9 Large White, 10 Small White, a Small Tortoiseshell, a very worn Painted Lady and - a new tetrad record - a Wall Brown.

May 24.  Sylvia Brennan saw a rare alba form Small Copper at Dorman's Pool (photo posted in the Gallery) as well as four Common Blue, 2 Dingy Skipper, 1 Peacock and a few normal form Small Coppers, Whites and Wall Brown. Earlier in the day at Tilery Woods, she saw just one Speckled Wood and a few whites

Jonathan Wallace checked out some waste ground near to the Metro Centre and found 1 Dingy Skipper, a pair of mating Common Blue, 5 Small Heath and 5 Wall Brown. He also saw several Treble-bar Moths and a Mother Shipton Moth.

On the same day Malcolm Hutcheson was at Woodend near Berwick where he recorded 2 Large White, 1 Small White, 3 Orange Tip and a Wall Brown.

May 23.  Jonathan Wallace saw 14 Dingy Skippers at Paradise SNCI, Newcastle, along with Small Copper, Wall Brown, Orange Tip, Small White and Peacock.

May 22.  Michael Eccles added Small Heath to the season's list with a singleton at Trimdon Walkway where he also saw 3 Peacock, 2 Large White, 2 Small White, 10+ Green-veined White, 1 male Orange Tip, 2 Speckled Wood, 8+ Small Copper, 10 Wall Brown and 9 Dingy Skipper.  He also visited Bishop Middleham Quarry where he saw 2 Large White, 1 Orange Tip, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Comma, 1 Peacock, 8 Dingy Skipper, 1 Common Blue and 7 Wall Browns giving him an impressive haul of 12 species for the day.

Meanwhile Sylvia Brennan recorded Common Blue at Greenabella Marsh, North Gare as well as 'plenty of Wall Brown' at Saltholme.

May 21.  Bob Mawson recorded a Common Blue at Raisby Way to add to the tally of species seen for the year.

May 20.  At Berrington, near Berwick-upon-Tweed Malcolm Hutcheson recorded 4 Large White and 5 Small White, 8 Green-veined White, 7 Orange Tip and 2 Peacock.

May 16.  Sylvia Brennan saw and photographed Small White, Dingy Skipper, Small Copper and Wall Brown at Dorman's Pool. See her pictures in the Photogallery. She also recorded Cinnabar Moth.

May 13.  Tim Nelson exceeded his totals of the 11th at Dorman's Pool with an impressive 56 Wall Brown, 41 Small Copper and 7 Dingy Skippers! Jonathan Wallace recorded 17 Wall Brown, 5 Small Copper and 6 Dingy Skipper at Paradise SNCI, Newcastle as well as several Treble-bar Moths.  In the north of the region at Beal, Malcolm Hutcheson recorded 10 Large White, 10 Small White, 14 Green-veined White, 3 Orange Tip, 2 Peacock and a Wall Brown, the latter a new tetrad record.

May 11.  Bob Mawson added Small Heath to this season's list at the Lime Kiln next to Raisby Way.  Meanwhile Tim Nelson had an excellent count of 35 Wall Brown and 14 Small Copper at Dorman's Pool, North Tees Marshes, as well as 2 Dingy Skippers and 1 Peacock.

May 7.  Darren Archer saw four or five Green Hairstreaks on moorland to the south of Edmundbyers. He also reported numerous male and female Common Heath Moths on the older heather.

May 6.  Bob Mawson found Painted Lady and Wall Brown at Raisby Way.

May 2.  Tim Nelson was at Dorman's Pool, North Tees Marshes where he saw 1 Wall Brown, 4 Small Copper, 1 Dingy Skipper plus Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and a good mix of whites.  Jonathan Wallace saw two Green Hairstreaks at Knitsley Fell.

April 2009

April 29.  Dave Wainwright and Brian Pollinger brought the month to a close with sightings of Small Copper and Dingy Skipper along with Orange Tip and 'the usual whites' at Stargate Pond. They also recorded a Small Copper at Crawcrook Quarry.  Later in the day Dave disturbed a Pebble Hook-tip Moth at Path Head Quarry.  Roger Norman reports that single Speckled Woods are being reported in Northumberland Park, Tynemouth in late April and Orange Tip being seen in many locations.

April 25.  The tally of species on the wing continues to increase with Bob Mawson recording Small Copper and Dingy Skipper at Raisby Way (see pictures in the gallery).  Dave Wainwright, Tim Nelson and Jonathan Wallace saw several Green Hairstreaks at Hedleyhope Fell.  At Prestwick Carr, Peter Fletcher found a sudden abundance of Orange Tips, recording over twenty during an hour's walk.

April 23.  Jonathan Wallace had a Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla on his kitchen window in Fenham, Newcastle.

April 22.  Tim Nelson added Holly Blue to the tally of species that have been reported so far this year with one seen at Portrack Marsh and another in his garden in Stockton on Tees.  In addition, at Portrack he saw three Orange Tips, two Speckled Woods, a Comma and a number of Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and lots of whites.

April 19. After several days of cold overcast conditions, fine weather returned.  Alan Davis profited with views of 2 Peacock, 1 Comma, 2 Large White, several Small White and 2 Speckled Wood in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle.  The 2 Speckled Wood were spiraling together in a sunny glade just south of the house by the stepping stones.

April 13. The fine butterfly friendly weather of the Easter weekend continued into the Monday. Tim Nelson saw 2 Orange Tip plus Peacocks and Whites at Portrack Marsh and Tees Barrage, Stockton. Jonathan Wallace saw 5 Orange Tips, 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Large White plus Peacocks and unidentified Whites at the Spetchells, Prudhoe.

During the course of the week Dave Wainwright reported seeing Peacock at Portrack, Small White in Darlington and Orange Tip near the A689. He also reported two Emperor Moths and an early Common Heath Moth from Hedleyhope Fell

April 12. Tim Nelson saw 1 Speckled Wood at Bowesfield Marsh, Stockton on Tees along with Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell and Whites. Jonathan Wallace saw an Orange Tip in Rowlands Gill

April 11. Michael Eccles reported an Orange Tip from Shibdon Ponds.

April 3. Jonathan Wallace saw four Commas, five Small Whites and two Green-veined Whites at the Spetchells as well as a number of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshell.

April 2. Keith Smith reported the first Speckled Woods of the year, three days earlier than the previous record earliest for the region, at the Spetchells, near Prudhoe. He also saw 5 Small White and 4 Peacock.

March 2009

March 31. Jaci Beaven saw a Peacock and an early female Orange Tip in her garden in Alnwick. On the same day Sylvia Brennan reported a Peacock at Tilery Wood, Wynyard, a Comma in the Jewish Cemetery in Hartlepool and 'lots of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshell' in the evening sunshine at Dorman's Pool, Seal Sands.

March 30. Small Tortoiseshell in Alnwick gardens (polytunnel) reported by Jaci Beaven.

March 29. Fine weather again after a period of strong winds followed by heavy rain and hail over the previous days. Four Small Tortoiseshell seen in Derwent Walk Country Park, Gateshead. Two Hebrew Character moths caught in light trap in Fenham. (Jonathan Wallace).

March 16 - 21. The fine weather experienced during this week also produced a number of sightings of single Peacocks in Northumberland as well as up to seven Commas in Northumberland Park, Tynemouth (forwarded by R Norman).

March 21. Tim Nelson saw 4 Peacocks as well as the excellent count of 32 Small Tortoiseshell at Greenvale LNR and nearby grassland in Stockton on Tees . Terry English of Chapelgarth West in Sunderland reported a Peacock in his garage.

March 20. Mick Brennan spotted an early Small White on Greenabella Marsh, Seal Sands. A photo of the butterfly has been added to the photogallery. Jaci Beaven saw a Peacock next to the A1 atr Belford.

March 18. More reports of spring vanessids: Tim Nelson saw a Small Tortoiseshell at Dormans Pool, North Tees and another 5 Small Tortoiseshell at Greenvale LNR, Stockton on Tees. Mick Brennan saw a Small Tortoiseshell at Greatham Creek, Seal Sands area. Dave Wainwright reported three Peacocks nectaring on sallow and a Comma all at Low Barns, Witton le Wear. Jaci Beaven reported a Peacock in her garden in Alnwick.

March 17. Brian Barker saw a Small Tortoiseshell in his garden in West Denton, Newcastle, and Mick Brennan also saw one near the Dorman's Pool hide at RSPB Saltholme Reserve, Teesside. Jonathan Wallace saw a Peacock in his garden in Fenham, Newcastle.

March 16. First 2009 reports of butterflies received (excluding the sighting on the 13th, below). Michael Ecccles saw Peacock and Comma at Shibdon Nature Reserve and the same two species again at Clara Vale Nature Reserve.

March 13. The earliest butterfly report for the year (received so far) was of a Long-tailed Blue Lampides boeticus recorded in a garden in New Hartley, near Whitley Bay. It presumably had an assisted passage to North East England from somewhere warmer, perhaps in a shipment of fruit and vegetables (Report forwarded by R Norman).

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