Discover the latest news and sightings from the Southrey Wood butterfly reserve below...
You can report your sightings and send your photos from Southrey Wood to John Davison at: @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 party times usually run from 02.00 till 4.00 p.m. However, any time you can give would be welcomed!
Sundays - 10.00 am -3.00 pm
10th November - 8th December - 12th January - 26th January - 9th February - 23rd February
View the Southrey Wood Blog 2018
Southrey Wood Blog 2019
Workparty continued brushcutting & raking off the ride.
20th September: Peter Cawdell reports......."This is usually a good time to see Commas in numbers as they are quite obvious nectaring on the remains of blackberries amongst the briar patches. Today I spotted 23 on the Transect which sounds a lot but is actually a bit low compared to recent years. The highlight was a Clouded Yellow flying purposefully south to north along the main ride. I think it was just passing through."
23rd August: Peter Cawdell reports...."Remarkable numbers of Red Admirals flying today - actually counted 294!
Pete Smith had alerted me to his recent find of several White Admiral larvae. These included a couple on exactly the same sprig of honeysuckle where I followed the progress of one last Autumn and this Spring on this blog.Today I was able to see 2 larvae on leaves with typical feeding damage and them resting on the protruding mid-rib. There was another similar leaf unoccupied ... apparently predation is 'brutal' at this stage. This was on Section 5, I found another unoccupied home on Section 9.
Peter's White-letter Hairstreak pupa finally hatched last week
Quite a few butterflies about in between the showers including 3 White Admiral.
There was also a Latticed Heath Moth and larvae of Elephant Hawk-moth and Pebble Prominent.
4 people attended the workparty where overhanging branches were cut back on the BC Ride.
2 Silver-washed Fritillary were enjoying the Thistles at the end of this ride. Other butterflies on the wing included White Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Small Skipper, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet and all the Whites.
16th July: Peter Cawdell reports...
A rewarding Transect this afternoon when I recorded Silver-washed Fritillary for the first time. There was a male flying along the edge of the main Ride up from the Horncastle Road, but this was after I had spent half an hour watching and trying to photograph another very active male at the West end of the New Ride in our BC Lincs Coppice Area. It had staked out some perfect habitat territory, unfortunately along with a Comma, and they spent most of the time chasing each other off their perches. Brief spells were spent nectaring on the tall Marsh Thistles in the Ride. It is about 70 years since this species was last resident in Southrey Wood.
Peacocks are now flying and also Essex Skipper. There were 2 Purple Hairstreaks down on the gravel - one male, one female - but both a bit worn.
2nd July: Pleasant morning with quite a few White Admiral flying, not so much settling. Meadow Brown and Ringlet plentiful, as were Painted Lady.
Dragonflies were also on the wing with Four-spotted Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer.
28th June: Jill Hall reports...."Several White Admiral butterflies on the wing today at Southrey."
25th June: Workarty cancelled due to rain.
21st June: Peter Cawdell reports......
My Butterfly Transect this afternoon produced the first White Admiral of the season when a fresh male descended to nectar on bramble flowers. Another first were a couple of Ringlets. Meadow Browns had increased in numbers to half a dozen. There were a couple of Speckled Woods and a newly hatched male Common Blue, and also a very active Painted Lady. The White-letter Hairstreak pupa had still not hatched but it is very dark coloured now. Sunshine was in short supply but it didn't seem to bother the Broad-Bordered Bee-hawk Moths who continued to buzz round the Ragged Robin flowers regardless. Again there were a couple of Cinnabar moths in evidence.
17th June: Peter Cawdell reports.......
Just 11 butterflies made an appearance this afternoon during my Butterfly Transect. This was the first suitable butterfly weather for some time but the improved temperature of 22C was spoilt somewhat by a gusty Southerly wind. Along the main Ride from the Horncastle Road there were 2 Painted Ladies, a Red Admiral, a male Large Skipper and a female Orange Tip, plus a Large White. There was also a fresh Meadow Brown - my first sighting of this species this year - which Is a true summer butterfly. A few Broad Bordered Bee Hawk Moths were humming around the expansive stands of Ragged Robin and a Cinnabar moth made a few characteristically clumsy fly- byes.
Common Spotted Orchids and Yellow Meadow Vetchling are now in full flower along many of the rides and the Marsh Thistles are nearly out. It is getting towards that humid feel of the woods which I associate with the White Admiral flight period ... but a few more days to go yet. Within our Coppice Reserve there were just 3 Speckled Woods and a male Brimstone flying. The White-letter Hairstreak pupa is about to hatch and there were at least 5 Brimstone larvae on an Alder Buckthorn shrub.
Red Admiral Immigrant
& Last years Peacock
still hanging in there
Not many butterflies around on today's transect but plenty of interesting things to see indicating plentiful days ahead. The White Admiral larva has now disappeared .. no doubt gone off to pupate in some out of the way crevice in the tree bark. Expect to see adults on the wing from the middle of June. A White-letter Hairstreak larva I found a week ago has now pupated and is well hidden amongst the Wych Elm leaves. Orange-tip eggs are ripening to bright orange beneath the Lady's Smock flower heads and Brimstone larvae are sprinkled at the tips of the Alder Buckthorn leaves.
There were some butterflies - a few remaining Green-veined Whites, a couple of Brown Argus, a Speckled Wood, male and female Orange Tips, and several Marsh Fritillary eminating from the population explosion at nearby Chambers Farm Woods NNR. I was delighted to see an active Red Admiral .. a vanguard for the usual early June immigration of this species.
Some lovely fresh dragonflies out as well.
May 28th: Philip Johnson saw 8 Marsh Fritillary.
Andy, Peter & myself turned out for the workparty and managed to finish brushcutting the ride and cut back the encroaching scrub.
Judging by the flora, the ride has certainly improved.
Lots of Orange-tip about together with Green-veined White, Peacock, Brimstone and Speckled Wood.
Early-purple Orchids are now in full flower.
Pete's White Admiral larva continues to grow.
April 24th: Peter Cawdell reports.......
"The White Admiral larva that Pete Smith found earlier ... I have been keeping an eye on this caterpillar since it left its winter hibernaculum about a month ago. It has survived the cold spell and is now feeding on the honeysuckle leaves every day, very near where it started life as an egg last summer. This is on section 6 of my weekly butterfly transect. Sorry about the poor picture but I left my better camera at home! Another highlight this week was nearly stepping on a Grass Snake basking on the New Ride which we have just cut on our work afternoon.
Early Purple flower spikes now number 106 in our special deer protective enclosure. Also 2 the other side of the Primrose Ride and 26 along the ditch-side at the side of the Viking Way that runs to the south of the wood. Still several of the overwintered butterflies flying ... Peacock, Comma, and Brimstone and a few 2019 edition whites - Small (inc. a mating pair), Green-veined and Large Whites, and Orange Tips. Only 1 Speckled Wood sighted so far. The Brimstones are also laying eggs on the Buckthorn."
Quite a nice day for the first Spring/Summer workparty. 5 volunteers turned out and we managed to cut and rake a section of the Ride as well as cutting overhanging branches and regrowth to let the light in and encourage the flora. It seems to work as the flowers are looking spectacular at the moment and more to come as the Early Marsh-orchids are just starting to show colour.
A couple of Peacocks were flying as was a Buzzard overhread and the Lizard basking on a log.
March 10th: Last workparty of the winter, so a mad rush to get all the brash cleared away. Thanks to all who helped out over the year.
February 25th: Peter Cawdell reports...."Comma fluttering around in the strong sunshine. landing on the dried vegetation I was raking up near the seat area.
Brimstone male flying on the Main Ride from the Horncastle Road. Pete Smith showed me a tiny White Admiral larvae he had found, half out of its hibernaculum, attached to a withered honeysuckle leaf ... amazing eyesight he has! He photographed it with his 'phone (below)."
February 24th: Peter Cawdell saw 2 Peacocks, out of hibernation and flying around. Colts-foot, a good nectar source for these early butterflies, is out flowering already.
February 17th: A lovely sunny day as 7 volunteers continued the Winter work.
February 3rd: Southrey Wood was one of the clues in Radio Lincolnshire's Pirate Gold treasure hunt. Here Steve Green meets Rachel Baynton with the next clue in the hunt.
Steve then returned to help the other 9 volunteers who turned out on this cold but beautiful morning to continue this year's work.
January 6th: A few volunteers dusted off the cobwebs and tried to shed a few seasonal pounds by continuing the work on this winter's square (?).