Discover the latest news and sightings from Snakeholme Pit Butterfly Reserve below...
You can report your sightings and send your photos from Snakeholme to John Davison @email
If you would like to visit the site or any of our other sites in Lincolnshire, please take a look at our Events.
Work parties usually run 10 am - 4 pm.
For more details contact Collette Tait firstname.lastname@example.org
Workparties: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, workparties will be on an ad-hoc basis with limited numbers decided on availablity by Derek.
You can also take a look at all the wildlife discovered at Snakeholme, from birds to flowers and everything in between, here:
David Lawrence Drone Video
Snakeholme Pit Blog 2020
9th December: Species list increased with the sighting of 2 Otters on the Reserve.
10th November: Still mild.
2 Willow Emerald Damselflies perched up by the water - frost not killed them yet!
1st October: Phil Lee reports......
The wife and I called in this afternoon after a tour of CFW and were pleased to see that the seasons trimming and pruning back is well advanced.
We didn't see any Butterflies but plenty of Dragonflies on the wing and the attached Pike was seen close to the bank near the old Moorhens nest.
It looked about 18" long in old money although the wife did comment that we fellas always think things are longer than they are!
Can't think what she means?
29th September: Lovely warm day.
Just right for a haircut.....
Not a great quantity of Butterflies - singles of Small & Green-veined White, Small Copper and Brown Argus.
Still lots of Dragonflies about - good numbers of Willow Emerald.
An Owl could be heard across the road at Stainfield Wood and Green Woodpecker was also
heard flying around. A couple of Buzzard circled overhead and Sparrowhawk and Kestrel also flew over.
22nd September: Nice sunny day.
Still some butterflies about including Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Brown Argus, Speckled Wood, Small Copper together with Small & Green-veined White. Disturbed a Grass Snake near the entrance.
8th September: Derek Fox reports.............
On a warm day, it was very pleasing to record 9 species. Over the last few weeks, Whites have been in far bigger numbers than any other species - today saw Small 9, Green-veined 10 and Large 2. Still a few Common Blue on the wing, and one very fresh Brown Argus. It was also very pleasing to see 3 Small Copper although at varying stages - 2 pristine and one well faded in colouration. In addition there were 4 lovely large Red Admirals feeding on rotting fruit and Sloes as well as singles of Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell.Having been absent for a while, one female Brimstone on the Purple Loosestrife. Most butterflies nectaring on Purple Loosestrife, Ragwort and Fleabane.
Ad-hoc workparty managed to rake off the hay from the 2 meadows as well as give the gates a coat of preservative.
1st September: Lovely sunny day.
Plenty of Whites about but only Red Admirals to accompany them.
A few Herald larva and Box Bugs in the insect line.
26th August: Relatively sunny with slight breeze.
Thanks go to Colin who came to give the meadows their annual haircut.
Be careful if visiting as the cuttings will be left to seed for a week or so before being raked off.
A few butterflies about, mostly Small & Green-veined Whites plus the odd Common Blue and Red Admiral.
24th August: Derek Fox reports......
On a nice sunny morning I recorded 76 butterflies of 8 species, the most numerous by far was Small (25) and Green-veined (24) Whites with only 3 Large, lots nectaring on the Purple Loosestrife near the pond edge. Still a few Brown Argus (8) and Common Blues (8) on the wing, favouring Fleabane to nectar on. Not much else on the wing, 2 Red Admiral, 4 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Speckled Wood. Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper appear to have finished their flight period. Brimstone and Speckled Wood both have had a very poor time here, recording figures very low for these two species.
On the plus side, Hugh Middleton saw and photographed a female Brown Hairstreak on Saturday. I did have a good search and tried to locate it but alas had no luck.
22nd August: Hugh Middleton emailed: "Visited Snakeholme Pit LBC Reserve today and managed to photograph a female Brown Hairstreak."
18th August: Cloudy but still warm with sunny intervals.
Definitely the day for Whites. There was a singleton Small Tortoiseshell and Meadow Brown. Later Common Blue, Gatekeeper and Peacock came out.
Southern & Brown Hawker were on the wing as well as Common Darter, Common Blue Damselfly and Willow Emerald Damselfly.
The Robin's Pincushion, also known as the Bedeguar Gall, develops on wild roses after the Gall Wasp Diplepis rosae has laid its eggs in a bud in the Spring. Growing mainly on the stem, it can reach 7 cm across but small galls also occur on the leaves. Each gall has a woody core surrounded by tough, branched green or red hairs. The core usually has many chambers each occupied by a Diplolepis larva.
11th August: Hot day and full sun for a change.
Small numbers but a few varieties about. Most abundant was Gatekeeper but also Large, Small & Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Common Blue.
A few moths about including Common Carpet, Shaded Broad-bar, Grass veneer, Blood-vein and a nice Puss Moth larva.
10th August: Derek Fox reports.........
On a nice sunny day my expectations were high. Still plenty of Whites on the wing, Green-veined - 14, Small - 11 and Large - only 5. They appeared to be a new brood of G.V.W.s but Large in decline. I did catch a group of Whites near the pond edge mud puddling, mostly males. The most pleasant surprise was to see a small emergence of Common Blue - 10 and Brown Argus - 9. Three females were busy egg-laying on Trefoil near the open day plinth, sadly I only recorded 1 Small Copper. Ringlets and Skippers appeared to have finished their flight period but still recorded 16 Gatekeepers and 6 Meadow Browns, all going down in numbers. Only saw 10 Peacocks, they also seem to have already gone into hibernation, which is really early. Also 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 tatty Red Admiral and 2 Comma, these three species all between broods, so hopefully will see more on my next visit.
4th August: Heatwave - bah humbug!
Only a few Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small & Green-veined Whites flying.
28th July: Warm with sunny intervals but veeeerrry brrreeeezzy!
Large White and Gatekeepers seem the most common but others included Comma, Holly Blue, Small Skipper, Brimstone, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Ringlet and Meadow Brown.
Small flock of Goldfinch braving the swaying branches.
25th July: Derek Fox reports......
At last I managed to do my week 17 Transect with sunny conditions on every section, so it was my best result this season.
166 butterflies of 15 species, so I had an exciting visit.
Two new species were White-letter Hairstreak and Silver-washed Fritillary. Most abundant were Gatekeeper, 47, the best number I have recorded for many years, 34 Meadow Browns but only 15 Ringlets, as their flight period is always a lot shorter than Meadow Browns. Nice to see 34 Peacocks all looking really fresh, favouring Hemp Agrimony and Lesser Knapweed to nectar on, likewise the 2 Commas and 2 Red Admirals. The usual Whites, Large, Small and Green-veined, which seemed to favour all the sections near the meadow, as the bank area is quite sparse of nectar. I only recorded 4 Skippers which was disappointing, 2 Small and 2 Essex.One fresh male Brimstone on section 11, hopefully more will emerge this next week. Of most concern are Common Blues and Small Coppper as they have been in decline here for a few years now and there were very few early sightings. On the plus side, I did record 2 Brown Argus.
22nd July: Overcast again with spots of rain but a few sunny intervals.
Lots of Meadow Brown, Ringlets, Whites , Peacocks, Comma and a nice-to-see Brimstone. Highlight though was a White-letter Hairstreak on the Hemp Agrimony.
A few Shaded Broad-bars about as well as Latticed Heath. Dingy marking the emergence of the first Footman.
All species quoted yesterday still around.
21st July: Linda & Alan Woodward visited.......
Paid a visit to Snakeholme this morning. The weather wasn't as brilliant as had been forecast (surprise, surprise!) but we still managed to see what we had gone for - Willow Emerald. We haven't seen them there before but we managed to see quite a lot of them. I should think we probably saw at least 8 adults (but they are difficult to see among the grass) and a lot of newly hatched individuals that we disturbed and that were then easier to see - a couple of dozen at least.
We also saw Common and Ruddy Darter, Emperor and Brown Hawker, Red-eyed, Common and Azure, Blue-tailed.
The Brown Argus butterfly was nice to see despite the sun hardly shining.
15th July: Weather changeable again, was supposed to be sunny but turned to rain.
Still, managed to get the paths cut and new "Deep Water" signs in place.
Ringlets did not mind the rain and were flying about. Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper were all perched up sheltering.
New record for the Reserve was a Scarlet Tiger Moth.
7th July: Cloudy & overcast but still quite warm.
Lots of Ringlets and Meadow Browns about together with Large, Small & Green-veined White, Large & Small Skipper, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and my first Gatekeeper of the year.
Disturbed a Little Egret on the beck first thing and nice to hear Skylark singing again. Came across a Moorhen nest near to the bank.
6th July: Derek Fox reports..........
A very disappointing day for recording with only a small amount of bright moments, so I only saw 11 species and 82 Butterflies. Ringlets and Meadow Browns the most numerous, 7 Small Skippers, 3 Essex and 1 Large Skipper. All these 5 species very low in numbers. I think, because April/May was very dry, the grasses did not mature enough. There was also 3 fresh Gatekeepers and 2 of these were smaller than usual.
The usual Whites, 2 Large, 3 Small and 5 Green-veined. So this strange season continues, 1 fresh Peacock, the earliest record I can recall for Snakeholme. I did find some larvae on section two but they were all at different instars (how bizarre) and on section 10 one pristine Red Admiral.
30th June: Cloudy but still warm with occasional sun.
Lots of Ringlets about together with Meadow Brown, Small Skipper and a nice Small Tortoiseshell.
The Betony is showing well and Bee Orchid has also sprung up again.
26th June: Derek Fox reports..........
On a very hot and humid day, even the Ringlets and Meadow Browns were sheltering low down in the grass or taking cover in the hedgerow. I have not seen this behaviour before.
I recorded 11 species and 75 butterflies, most numerous were Meadow Brown 23, Ringlet 17, Small Skipper 11 and 1 very worn Large Skipper - they appear to have gone over. The usual white species - 5 Small White, 7 Green-veined White and 2 Large White.
New for this year, one really fresh male Gatekeeper as well as 3 summer brood of Comma (hutchinsoni), 2 Red Admiral and 4 Small Tortoiseshell.
It was nice to observe that all 3 species were all looking to egg lay on the nettles on section 11 near the stream.
Still good numbers of Dragon and Damselflies along the waters edge, with Black-tailed skimmer being the latest. 6-spot Burnet Moths were also out.
20th June: Derek Fox reports..........
On a day of cloud and sunny intervals, I recorded 35 butterflies of 10 species. The highlights being new for this season: 2 Small Skippers and 6 Ringlets, the fresh Ringlets were very dark in colouration.
Other species recorded were 4 Large Skipper, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Large White, 2 Small White and 3 Green-veined White, two of them pairing on section 2. There was also 1 tatty male Common Blue, 11 Meadow Brown and one lone Speckled Wood patrolling his area along the stream.
Still good numbers of 4-spot Chasers zipping along the pond perimeter and to my surprise 2 very fresh Emperor dragonflies, one of them dipping it's abdomen in the water egg-laying on some dead Bullrush. There was also a nice male Banded Demoiselle.
16th June: Paths cut but only Meadow Browns on the wing as the day started cloudy. Common Spotted-orchids now showing.
9th June: Derek Fox reports.........
After a cool wet weekend, butterflies today were only in very small numbers. I only recorded 14 butterflies of 5 species,the highlight being 6 fresh Small Tortoiseshell, all nectaring on Ox-daisy. There were also 2 Meadow Browns, first records for this new recording year and 4 Large Skippers zipping about when the sun appeared. 1 very worn Comma turned up near the end and to my surprise a male Orange-tip, looking quiet fresh.
The banks near the pond looked very colourful with hundreds of Ox-eye daisies in full flower.
Also in flower and pleasant to the eye, 3 or 4 Dog Rose bushes with lots of blossom.
2nd June: Nice sunny day but I think the heat and drought are starting to take their toll. A Grey Heron took off as I arrived but very few butterflies about apart from the odd white, Speckled Wood and Large Skipper.
26th May: Nice sunny day but surprisingly few butterflies on the wing. Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and the usual Whites but the star of the show was a Dingy Skipper.
A nice Brimstone landed for me and I searched out the larvae on Alder Buckthorn.
Whilst searching for the Brimstone, I also came across a group of newly emerged Emperor Moth Larvae.
and one at a later stage of development..........
Common Blue & Brown Argus were also on the wing.
The Reserve is looking good at the moment with a spectacular display of Ox-eye Daisy on the Bank.
19th May: Overcast and cloudy morning with few butterflies on the wing except Green-veined White. Still, managed to get the paths cut at last.
13th May: Good to be out again.
Pleasant with sunny intervals but a bit cold so no butterflies on the wing. I did come across a resting Orange-tip.
Cinnabar moths were also out together with a Yellow-tail Moth larva.
14th March: Spring workparty to tidy the banks. Thanks to Ken.
10th January: Beck water levels seem to fluctuate, have been up again but down at the moment. Lagoon level surprisingly stable.
Still one chap out and about.......