Latest Sightings in Lincolnshire

This page is dedicated to sharing first butterfly & moth sightings, unusual sightings and indeed anything you feel might be of interest to others!

If you have any news about what you have seen or if you have a photo to share, please send to Dave Wright davewright49@icloud.com

If you have been recording butterfly and/or moth sightings throughout the year and wish to send them to us, please see our Recording Page. We use this information to monitor how well different species are faring, and concentrate our effort on the butterflies and moths that need the most help.

Please Note: These sightings are not picked up as actual records - Please send a full record, with all details, for any of this year's sightings.

We welcome any photos you send in. However, any photo sent, is on the understanding that the Branch has permission to use it to promote Lepidoptery in all media forms - Website, Newsletter, Twitter Account, Slideshow, Display etc.


April 2018

Sunday 22nd April: First Painted Lady in Lincolnshire this year.

  • Dennis Tyler emailed: "Had a Painted Lady today at Eagle near Lincoln."
  • Toby Ludlow messaged: "Had a brace of Speckled Wood today at Kirkby Moor LWT nature reserve."
  • Andy Sims emailed: "Highlights from last night at Swanpool - 2 Lunar Marbled Brown, 1 Brindled Beauty and 1 Herald. The last two species were both new for the year."

Saturday 21st AprilEmperor

  • Karen and Sarah Hand emailed: "Had a few hours walking round Kirkby Moor LWT nature reserve. Not much to see early on, but once the sun came out we saw a couple of male Emperors, Acleris hyemana and the larva of Heath Rustic on the heather, and lots of larval cases of Coleophora laricella on a larch tree. Also spotted an Adder, Pine Ladybird, Heather Ladybird, Heather Shieldbug, dozens of Green Tiger Beetles, a Muntjac deer with a fawn and lots of Brimstone butterflies flying about."
  • Steve Palmer messaged: "Purple Thorn in the trap this morning, a new species for my garden in Healing."

Friday 20th AprilHolly Blue

  • Dave Wright reported: "Three 'firsts' for the year this morning and all in the garden - 1 Large White, 1 Green-veined White and 2 Holly Blue."
  • Ian McGlynn emailed: "Along Grantham Canal between Harlaxton and Grantham, at least 20 Orange Tip and 1 Holly Blue."
  • Steve Palmer from Healing messaged: "Seven species in the trap this morning, the highlights being 1 Herald and 1 Oak-tree Pug."

Thursday 19th April: Soaring temperatures and butterfly firsts!Small White

  • Toby Ludlow emailed: "Had four 'firsts' today on the 'White' front for 2018, which has taken my species total to 8 for the year. Had my first female Small White, my first mating pair of Small White, my first Green-veined White (male) and my first Large White (also male).
  • Dave Wright reported: "Five species of butterfly this morning at Cleethorpes Country Park, including 2 Small White."
  • Timothy Bagworth from Spalding emailed: "Finally caught some moths in my garden, 7 moths of 7 species, including a Blossom Underwing. There was also a Great Diving Beetle in the trap."
  • Freddy Johnson emailed: "Female Brimstone in my Bracebridge Heath garden today and a Holly Blue."
  • Brian Hedley emailed: "Male Orange Tip in garden here at Marton this afternoon plus 2 Small White."
  • Linda and Alan Woodward from Lea, near Gainsborough emailed: "At last, our first Orange Tip sightings of the year - at least 2 males flying along the railway track at the bottom of the garden, as we were waiting for the Flying Scotsman to pass by! But an even bigger surprise, was a Holly Blue nectaring on heather. Also seen in the garden today were Comma, Peacock, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Small White."
  • Pete Smith emailed: "Further sightings from Heighington today - got five yearly firsts in the form of Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange Tip (two males fighting) and Holly Blue, all in my back garden in glorious spring weather! Great to see, amazing what a couple of days of warm weather can bring!
  • Phil Bowler reported: "On the hottest April day since 1949, I was trudging through Chambers Farm Wood and was very surprised to see only 1 Speckled Wood (most of the main areas covered, including dappled ones for this butterfly). Was equally (pleasantly) surprised to see no less than 7 male Orange Tip. Spring has finally come and brought summer with it! Also seen: 1 Orange Underwing moth at ground level, 8 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 13 Brimstone (8 male and 5 female) and 1 Green-veined White. Yesterday, I had a mating pair of Green-veined White in my butterfly garden at Amber Hill."
  • Cliff Morrison emailed: "My first Holly Blue of the year in my garden today."
  • Andy Sims emailed: "Highlights from last night at Swanpool were - 1 Lunar Marbled Brown, 2 Streamer, 1 Water Carpet and 1 Purple Thorn."
  • Chris Dobson from Langworth emailed: "Had one or two decent records last night, nothing new for the garden but species I don't catch regularly - Waved Umber, Brindled Beauty, Pine Beauty and Streamer."
  • Phil Lee reported: "A few weeks ago I posted a record of Orange Underwing, seen at Crowle Moor. Rex johnson advised me of their rarer cousin the Light Orange Underwing, which is found at only a couple of places in Lincolnshire, one being Wickenby Wood. The books say that Light Orange Underwing flies a couple of weeks later, so I visited Wickenby Wood today where I managed to net a couple of Underwings. I attach both photos which show a Light Orange Underwing with its feathered antenna and Orange Underwing with its serrated antenna. The hindwing undersides confirm the id's. Note the Light Orange is more worn and the Orange almost mint contradicting what the books say. I suppose moths don't read books?" 
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Wednesday 18th April: Warmest day of the year!

  • Dave Wright reported: "Decided to walk in and around Louth today, on what turned out to be the warmest day of the year so far. Not surprisingly, lots of butterflies about including Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Brimstone. However, the highlight was my first Small White of the year at St Mary's Old Cemetery." 
  • Mark Johnson phoned: "Today at the Grimsby Crematorium I had 2 Small White, my first of the year."
  • Graeme Baker emailed: "Male Orange Tip seen patrolling drainage ditch at Harby Lane, Eagle, near Lincoln."

Tuesday 17th April

Ian McGlynn emailed: "My first Small White of the year at Braceborough Great Wood today."

Monday 16th AprilMarsh Fritillary Larvae

Pete Smith reported: "Marsh Fritillary larvae very much in evidence at Little Scrubs today - counted 79 in the original reserve, plus 35 in the reserve extension, all in small groups or as individuals. Mostly between 12mm and 18mm in length so nowhere near full grown yet."

Saturday 14th April

  • Alan Dale from Low Hameringham emailed: "Tawny Pinion - only the second specimen for the garden, the first being four years ago."
  • Mark Wainwright emailed: "Trapped main car park in Chambers Farm Wood. Clear and cold night so was pretty slow. Caught 139 moths of 16 species, including 2 Lead-coloured Drab and a single Frosted Green, the first of the year at this site."

Tuesday 10th April: First for Lincolnshire!

Dotted Chestnut (Stephen Howarth)Steven Howarth from Dyke, near Bourne emailed: "The moth records from my garden keep getting better. The latest session added two new species, Pale Pinion and Dotted Chestnut, the latter I believe is the first record for Lincolnshire. As a species which has been spreading northwards in recent years, its arrival was probably expected but I'm very happy to be the first to catch one. I guess it won't be long before other records follow."

Sunday 8th April

Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe emailed: "So many new species for me over just a few days, having never seen Red Chestnut or Shoulder Stripe and now topping 30 and 12 respectively. This morning, I had 128 moths of 14 species, including a Dark Sword-grass."

Saturday 7th AprilSatellite

  • Steve Palmer from Healing messaged: "A good moth haul in the trap, included a new species for the garden, Shoulder Stripe."
  • Brian Hedley emailed: "Moth trap (15w actinic) in garden at Marton produced 56 moths of 12 species, including Early Thorn, 2 Satellites, Twin-spotted Quaker, 2 Red Chestnut, Shoulder Stripe and Diurnea fagella."
  • Alan Dale from Low Hameringham emailed: "Another quiet night brightened up by Water Carpet and Diurnea fagella."
  • Karen and Sarah Hand emailed: "We put a trap out at a friend's house near woodland in Partney and had a reasonably goodLC Drab catch of 87 moths of 10 species, including March Moth, Dotted Border, Small Quaker and Lead-coloured Drab. The trap at home in Addlethorpe only produced 7 species of which the best was Twin-spotted Quaker."
  • Mark Wainwright emailed: "Trapped with Mark Johnson at the Fiveways area of Chambers Farm Wood and had a decent catch for a change, with some fairly extreme numbers caught and recorded. Was nice to see the Pine Beauty, which I make to be about three weeks late. Using several traps we caught over a 1000 moths of 28 species, including 663 Small Quaker, 298 Common Quaker, 59 Diurnea fagella, 16 Engrailed, 29 Oak Beauty, 59 Clouded Drab, 21 Twin-spotted Quaker, 25 Chestnut and 15 Pine Beauty."

Friday 6th April

Steve Palmer from Healing called: "Trap in garden overnight for the first time this year produced six moths of two species - 3 Hebrew Character and 3 Common Quaker."

Thursday 5th April

  • Mark Johnson emailed: "I'm off at last - 4 Small Tortoiseshell in the yard at work in North Somercotes."
  • Ian McGlynn reported from the south of the county: "5 Comma and 2 Brimstone at Braceborough Great Wood."

Tuesday 3rd April: Temperatures rising at last!

  • Dave Wright reported: "First Red Admiral of the year in my Grimsby garden this morning, during a brief sunny spell."
  • Dick Lorand messaged: "Red Admiral just passed over my garden on the Humberston Fitties."
  • Stephen Howarth from Dyke, near Bourne emailed: "Since moving to Lincolnshire, I've run the trap quite a few times with mixed success. I've already caught thirteen species, including two which I never had at my previous address in Warwickshire - Yellow Horned and last night Red Chestnut. The latter was one of seven species, the best haul so far, and also included Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Oak Beauty and Twin-spotted Quaker."
  • Karen and Sarah Hand reported: "The two remaining Small Eggars have emerged this afternoon. We plan to release them tomorrow afternoon/evening where the larvae were found near Lincoln." (Please see 2017 Sightings Archive dated 3rd June) "We have also had a Green Arches emerge today from overwintering larvae. Unfortunately, they didn't really stop feeding over winter and have emerged a couple of months before they should have. At least it's nice to add a splash of colour to the early season mothing."

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March 2018

Good Friday 30th March

Adrian White reported: "2 Orange Underwing moths flying in brief sunny spells at Linwood Warren LWT nature reserve this afternoon."

Thursday 29th March

Dave Wright recorded: "With the prospect of decent weather this morning, I decided to visit my local patch in Grimsby taking in Town's Holt and Freshney Bog. I managed to see a total of 28 butterflies, but of only 2 species - 22 Small Tortoiseshell and 6 Comma."

Wednesday 28th March: A very early Early Thorn!

Phil Lee from Misterton writes: "I suppose like others my garden is really taking some time to get going with moths. This morning there was a solitary Clouded Drab, 1 Common Plume and the earliest Early Thorn I've ever had by just one day. Roll on warmer weather."

Monday 26th March: Garden butterflies.

  • Nige Lound messaged: "Brimstone in my Skegness garden this afternoon."
  • Steve Palmer messaged: "My first Comma of the year in my Healing garden."

Sunday 25th March: A Brimstone day!

  • Peter Burnett emailed: "First Brimstone of the year in and around our Fiskerton garden."
  • Rachel Scopes writes: I saw a couple of Small Tortoiseshells, a Small White and a Brimstone in my Horncastle Garden - the first butterflies of the year for me. Lovely warm afternoon!"
  • Alan Dale emailed: "It was definitely a Brimstone day - I too had one do a fly through on a westerly heading in my Low Hameringham garden."
  • Toby Ludlow messaged from the Woodhall Spa/Kirkby Moor area: "Cracking day here, 11 degrees C and my tally for the year is now 22 and 4 species - Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Peacock. Oh, and got an Orange Underwing as well."
  • Freddy Johnson recorded: "A male Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell in the sun in my Bracebridge Heath garden."
  • Simon Johnson emailed: "I saw my first two butterflies of the year in my Donington (Spalding) garden today - a Brimstone and a Comma."

Saturday 24th March

  • Pete Burnett from Fiskerton emailed: "Pottering around the garden this afternoon and found a Pale Pinion, a garden first, sat on some garden furniture near the site of last night's trapping."
  • Mark and Sally Johnson emailed from North Somercotes: "Fourteen moths last night - 5 Hebrew Character, 1 Red Chestnut, 1 Satellite, 4 Clouded Drab and 3 Common Quaker."
  • Martin Gray commented: "Better conditions last night in Broadholme with over 100 moths recorded, including Clouded Drab, Small Quaker, Common Quaker, Shoulder Stripe, Oak Beauty, Grey Shoulder-knot, Yellow Horned and Dark Chestnut."
  • Chris Dobson in response to above emailed: "Can't match your totals Martin, but did manage nearly twenty moths from my Langworth garden, including Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab, Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Oak Beauty and Shoulder Stripe."

Thursday 22nd March

Phil Lee emailed: "The warm sunshine brought out at least 20 Orange Underwing moths at the old Crowle Moor North car park this afternoon."

Wednesday 21st March: "Up and running!"

Dave Wright reported: "Up and running at last, with 2 Small Tortoiseshell along the field margin, bordering the Wybers Wood Estate in Grimsby. Nearby, another 2 in Town's Holt and a single in Freshney Bog."

Thursday 15th March

Alan Dale emailed: "A rare visitor here at Low Hameringham, an overwintered Grey Shoulder-knot, in remarkably good condition after the recent snow and frost. It showed up at a lighted window around 19.00 hrs this evening."

Wednesday 14th March: Two Peacock firsts.

  • Geoff Beasley messaged: "My first butterfly of the year, a Peacock at Far Ings NNR."
  • Steve Palmer called from Healing: "Peacock in the garden, my first butterfly of the year."

Sunday 11th March

Mark and Sally Johnson emailed: "Five moths in the trap this morning - 2 Chestnut, 1 Satellite, 1 Dotted Border and a Pale Brindled Beauty, which is new for our garden in North Somercotes."

Saturday 10th March

Brian Hedley reported: "Moth trap (actinic lamp) in garden here at Marton, produced 7 moths of 5 species comprising 3 Oak Beauty, Dotted Border, Clouded Drab, Common Quaker and Agonopterix alstromeriana."

Wednesday 7th March

  • Andy Sims wrote: "Despite the frost, a Dotted Border was in my trap this morning."
  • Timothy Bagworth emailed: "Just found my first butterfly of 2018, a Small Tortoiseshell in my garden here in Spalding."

Tuesday 6th March

Andy Sims from Swanpool emailed: "Relatively mild night last night, so I put my trap out with the following result - 1 Hebrew Character."


February 2018

Tuesday 20th February

Andy Sims emailed from Swanpool: "A male March Moth was my only catch last night."

Monday 19th February: A milder night in Swanpool.

  • Andy Sims wrote: "A milder night and 4 moths in trap this morning - 3 Common Quaker and 1 Hebrew Character."
  • Adrian White emailed: "At last up and running, well limping really. A wet but mild night with 1 Satellite (white form)."

Sunday 18th February: "Welcome to Lincolnshire!"

  • Stephen Howarth emailed: "I am new to Lincolnshire, living in Dyke, near Bourne, but a regular moth trapper, mainly in my garden and occasionally elsewhere. The trap's first outing since we moved, produced three species to get the garden list off to a good start - Pale Brindled Beauty, Chestnut and an early Common Quaker. Also, had a couple of Agonopterix heracliana at the light by our front door on the same night."
  • Cliff Morrison emailed from Theddlethorpe: "Over the last couple of nights, with a slight frost on 17th and a tropical 2 degrees C tonight, I've had 10 March Moth, 3 Spotted Umber, 2 Pale Brindled Beauty, 1 Dark Chestnut and 1 Hebrew Character."

Sunday 11th February

Cliff Morrison reported from his Theddlethorpe garden: "Despite the frosts and strong winds, I had 1 Chestnut and 1 Early Moth."


January 2018

Sunday 28th January: The first butterfly of the year?

  • Jonathan Bye emailed: "A sunny afternoon in my Sutton St James garden, was made even better by the sight of my first butterfly of the year - a male Brimstone fluttering around ivy in the hedge."
  • Andy Sims from Swanpool emailed: "Just one moth last night, an Eary Moth."

Saturday 27th January

Brian Hedley from Marton emailed: "Trap in garden overnight produced 4 moths of three species - 2 Pale Brindled Beauty, an early Hebrew Character and a Brown House Moth."

Tuesday 23rd January: First mothing session.

Phil Lee emailed: "With the weather feeling a little milder, I took the MV light into Langholme Wood LWT nature reserve for a couple of hours  and was rewarded with 3 Winter Moth, 1 Chestnut, 9 Pale Brindled Beauty, 1 Dotted Border, 2 Satellite (white and orange forms), 5 Spring Usher and the micro moth Tortricodes alternella."

Friday 12th January: The first moth.

Andy Sims emailed: "Caught my first moth of the year last night at Swanpool, a Mottled Umber."