Keep up to date on our news
Zoom Talk By John Geesons
In case you missed the first talk of 2022 below is the video of the talk. The "cc" button brings up the subtitles.
Photographic Competition 2021 - Results
To see winning photos of the Photographic Competition go to the Photographic Competition 2021
Photographic Competition 2021 - Voting now open
The closing date has now passed.
To see the entries and find out how to vote go to Photographic Competition 2021.
Photographic Competition 2021 - How to enter
With the restrictions in place this year I hope you’ve been able to take lots of photo- graphs of butterflies and moths in your garden and within Norfolk. Once again, we were unable to hold our usual competition at the zoom Member’s Afternoon in October so we will, hopefully just once more, do it online.
Photographs must have been taken in Norfolk during 2021
Email jpeg files to email@example.com
Include your name and the species name separately in the email
Maximum of 3 entries per person
Deadline for entries is 9 January 2022
All the entries will feature on the Branch website with instructions on how to vote. Winning photographs will be published in the Spring Newsletter.
By entering the competition you also agree that your photographs can be published on our website, social media and other material. Photographer credits will be given.
Members Day 2021
This year we had our Members Day on zoom due the current circumstances. We would like to thank the 37 people who signed into zoom. There was most likely more members as there saw sometimes more the one member watching.
Below are the recordings of the three talks that took place.
Andy Brazil: Highlights of 2020-2021 Norfolk butterfly records
Will Fitch: Butterflies of Wheatfen, Past, Present and Future
Mike Gasson: Swallowtails at Catfield Fen
Members Day 2019 Minutes
Below are the minutes from the last members day in 2019. Due to Covid we didn't hold a members day in 2020.
Please read the minutes before this years members day (details below) and you will be able to questions on the day.
Member’s Afternoon/ AGM 2021
The Committee has realised that we’re not quite out of the “Covid” wood yet and decided to hold the meeting on Zoom. I hope that you will keep the date in your diary and make a point of joining us on
Saturday, 23 October at 2.30pm
Join from14:15 (meeting starts at 14:30)
(Meeting ID: 895 0171 3098 Passcode: 4567)
At this meeting we will, sadly, be saying au revoir to three stalwarts of the Branch.
Judy Dunmore has been our Chair for 22 years and, under her leadership, the Branch has gone from strength to strength. Happily, she will remain on the committee, if re-elected, in an advisory capacity.
Greg Bond has been our moth “expert” for several years, serving as the Branch Moth Officer for many of them. His expertise and sound advice will be sorely missed.
Derek Longe has served the Committee as Minute Secretary for 20 years. He is very much a local wildlife naturalist, and we will continue to look forward to tales from his garden.
Although not strictly an Annual General Meeting, the afternoon will include elections to the Branch Committee for members’ approval. Committee members are elected for a term of three years. At the end of that time they may be re-elected.
Standing for re-election this year – with their current job titles – are
Alan Dawson – Transect Coordinator; Graham Phillips – Treasurer; Jennifer Dawson -Membership Secretary; Andy Brazil – County Recorder; Mike Gasson – Conservation Officer; Kiri Stuart- Clarke – Publicity Officer; Heather Goody; Judy Dunmore
Saffron Summerfield, Aldina Franco (both previously co-opted), David Prince- prospective Wider Countryside Officer and Michelle Walkling – prospective Events Organiser.
If no objections are received prior to the 23rd, all the above will be elected.
If you would like to join the Committee, please get in touch.
The main business of the afternoon will be
- A brief introduction by Andy Brazil highlighting interesting sightings in the last 2 summers,
- An illustrated presentation by Will Fitch, Warden of Wheatfen Nature Reserve, entitled “Butterflies of Wheatfen, Past, Present and Future” with lots of stories about Large Coppers, Swallowtails, Fritillaries etc,
- An illustrated talk by Mike Gasson about Swallowtail butterflies at Catfield.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions via the “Chat” facility on zoom.
The Photographic Competition, which I know many of you look forward to, will be announced nearer Christmas.
Foxley Wood 27th - 28th July 2021
After a drizzly night we once again gathered in the car park at NWT’ s excellent Foxley Wood reserve, this time at least resisting the temptation to check the tree tops for large purple butterflies! Some 15 people were in attendance while we opened the 2 actinic and single MV Robinson trap which Mike Gasson had put out the night before. In total we recorded 98 species from the traps and Stewart Wright later added 19 more from checking for leaf mines and larval cases.
Highlights included several Mere Wainscots and Small Dotted Buffs, Plain Golden Y, a couple of Large Emeralds, 18 Poplar, 6 Elephant and a single Pine Hawkmoth as well as impressive numbers of Minor Shoulder Knots and uncountable numbers of Common and Dingy Footmen., mostly from the MV trap which had been strategically placed at the cross junction of 2 rides. Probably though the most important sighting was the very recently new for Norfolk Elachista adscitella which mines Tufted Hair Grass.
National Moth Night 8/9th July 2021
With the focus this year on wetlands and reedbeds the Butterfly Conservation reserve at Catfield fen was an easy choice for an event, which unfortunately had to be limited to 30 people because of current restrictions.
The morning dawned quite fine, despite the unwanted “biblical” deluge which swept across the reserve while Mick A’Cort of the RSPB and Mike Gasson were trying to put the traps out. Happily they succeeded so we had six traps to open that morning.
Catfield is a wonderful site for moths and although affected by the previous night’s conditions numbers and variety from the traps did not disappoint with 91 species in total. For most the visually attractive Elephant Hawkmoths (24 recorded), the local Lempkes Gold spot (9) and single Eyed and Privet Hawkmoths and Peach Blossom were the highlights but everyone was also able to admire local specialities like Dotted (31) and Small Dotted (40) Footmen and Reed Leopard (28) as well as a number of very special micro moths such as Acleris lorquinana and Epinotia cruciana.
So despite the earlier torrential downpour and the restrictions on numbers it was a successful morning, for which special thanks are due to Mick (and his mate) and Mike for putting out and retrieving the traps and Andy and Andrew for recording everything on the lists, a copy of which is available on the moth page.
Talk on Grayling Butterfly in the Brecks — in decline or under-recorded? By Sharon Hearle
On Wednesday 5th May we had our second zoom talk on the Marsh Carpet Moth given by Sharon Hearle. If you missed the talk you can see it below. Click the play arrow at the bottom left of the picture to play the video.
Talk on March Carpet by Sharon Hearle
On Wed 3rd March we had our first zoom talk on the Marsh Carpet Moth given by Sharon Hearle. If you missed the talk you can see it below. Click the play arrow at the bottom left of the picture to play the video.
The branch is looking for a Moth Officer
This position and the time it takes are very much what the holder would like to make it but generally as a minimum it might include: -
- Organising several moth trap opening events in the County. This can include setting traps the night before, collecting them in and opening them for members. The branch has a few of its own moth traps and can generally call up others where required and are normally able to help with putting traps out etc and identification if needed.
- Submission of records from these events to the Norfolk Moth recorder and to meeting attendees.<
- Attendance at Group committee meetings and the AGM
- Contribute occasional articles for the Branch newsletter, website, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Occasional liaison with Head Office/Conservation staff regarding moths in the county
- Liaison with Norfolk Moth Survey and the County Moth Recorder with whom we have a good working relationship.
If you would like to help, then please, in the first instance, contact Greg Bond at @email or on 01263 579520
It is with deep regret that the Branch announces the death of Roland Rogers who passed away, after a short illness, just before Christmas at the age of 93. Roland had been associated with the Norfolk Branch for 30 years serving as Chairman and Treasurer. An obituary will appear in the Spring Newsletter.
Thank you for your continuing support during the difficult times of 2020Whilst we have not been able to have our normal mixture of indoor and outdoor meeting many of you have keep in touch via our social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter. It has been great to see your photos, read your sightings and help with ID questions. We know that with more people using zoom to keep contact with family, friends and work the use of social media has increased. If you need help with social media then please use the Contact Branch section on the home page.
Updated guidance for butterfly and moth recorders relating to Coronavirus Covid-19
04th June 2020
Further significant changes and clarification relating to outdoor activities have been made to the government restrictions that were brought in March to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Across the UK, the key message remains to stay at home as much as possible and to follow social distancing rules. However, the specific details vary from country to country.
In England and Northern Ireland, it is now possible for butterfly and moth recording to resume for people who are not shielding or self-isolating.
In Scotland and Wales, it is also now possible for people who are not shielding or self- isolating to resume butterfly and moth recording. However, guidance in Scotland and Wales remains more restrictive in terms of travelling, so you should only record at sites within your local area (roughly 5 miles from home).
Recorders in all four nations must, at all times, continue to observe the appropriate social distancing guidelines for their country. This includes remaining at least two metres away from anyone outside your household. If you have coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home. Restrictions on the number of people from other households that you can meet vary across the UK so check the current guidance from the websites below.
You should also be aware that nature reserves and other sites may not be open to the public or may be maintaining local restrictions that do not permit butterfly and moth recording. Further advice on staying safe outdoors is available.
We will continue to monitor advice from the UK Government and the devolved administrations, and will produce revised guidance when the time is right. Please check for any updates at www.butterfly-conservation.org. If you have any queries regarding this advice, please contact the recording team at @email
Thank you for your continued co-operation.
Please continue to follow the latest guidance from your appropriate administration:
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
Sunday 14th June
White-letter hairstreak, Small and Essex skippers and White Admiral reported our country recorder Andy
Saturday 15th June
Dark Green Fritillary reported from Holkham
14th May News Round Up
What funny weather we’re having! One day its sweltering and the next we’re back in our winter woollies.
I’ve printed out a list supplied by County Recorder Andy Brazil of butterflies seen in our area up to 7 May. You may not have seen all of them in your neck of the woods, but they are about, so keep spotting and recording. Next to fly should be the Common Blue and the Swallowtail….and I’ve just heard Swallowtails have been seen already!
Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White,
Brimstone, Clouded Yellow, Orange tip, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper,
Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock,
Comma, Speckled Wood, Wall, Small Heath, Meadow Brown,
Small Tortoiseshell, Large Tortoiseshell
I have highlighted the Large Tortoiseshell because there have been eleven sightings of this rare butterfly recently in Norfolk and Suffolk. Some of you may have seen the write up in The Times:
“Not to be confused with the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, a very common household species which frequents gardens across the UK during the summer months, the Large Tortoiseshell is an immigrant species.”
Kiri Stuart-Clarke, one of the Branch Committee members, says
“We’re asking the public to help us by recording any sightings they make. The weather and wind direction has been favourable for immigration so they could pop up just about anywhere. If you are lucky enough to spot a Large Tortoiseshell either in your own garden or while on your daily exercise you can record your sightings and contribute to our data. Go to Butterfly-conservation.org/mysightings to download the iRecord app. And don’t forget to share a picture of your sighting too.
“It’s important to provide a positive identification when submitting a recording as it could be easy to mis-identify the butterfly as a Small Tortoiseshell or Comma. The native Small Tortoiseshell is obviously much smaller, while the Large Tortoiseshell also has distinguishing features including uneven forewing bars, an extra black forewing spot and is a paler orange in colour.”
And finally, a very early Meadow Brown was spotted in Norwich on 7 May, the earliest ever recorded!
Jen Dawson Membership Secretary, Norfolk Branch
First Green Hairstreak reported and I've now had several Large White sightings so it seems they were just late.
Here's all sightings of Green Hairstreak since 2011. They have been reported in gardens - but not often
From County Recorder Andy
Due to the current circumstances we are unable to produce our Spring Newsletter. Below are three reports covering Butterflies, Moths and Transect. We plan to produce an Autumn Newsletter Later in the year.
Please click the link below the picture to access the articles.
Due to Coronavirus Covid-19 all Butterfly Conservation Norfolk events have been cancelled until further notice.
- You can identify the species you spot the Identify a butterfly page
- We’d love you to share your sightings on Twitter @BC_Norfolk and Facebook @ButterflyConservationNorfolk. Butterfly Conservation will be sharing interesting facts, updates and images under the hashtag #feelbetterwithbutterflies.
- You can also contribute your sightings online to the Garden Butterfly Survey scheme which is run by Butterfly Conservation.
Speaking of sightings, have you submitted all your butterfly and moth records? Why not get out your old notebooks and check if all those records from previous years are safely lodged with your county recorder? You can submit even your old butterfly records online or using mobile apps.
Plant some wildflower seeds for our summer pollinators. Seeds are easy to buy online, or perhaps there’s a few left over in your shed from last year.
Build an Insect A&E. We are encouraging people to help build special areas to support butterflies and bumblebees with the help of Channel 5’s Dr Amir Khan. You can find out more on our website and enter a competition to win some garden plants.
Please look after yourselves
- Roland Rogers receives Outstanding Volunteer award
- Members' Day and AGM 2019
- Annual Chalkhill Blue count at Warham Camp
- Tyrells Wood field trip report
- Holt Country Park field trip report
- Marbled Whites at Cranwich Heath
- Cranwich Heath field trip report
- Moth event at Weeting Heath report
- Moth event at Pigney's Wood
- Kelling Heath field trip report
- Purple Emperor now the 37th species in Norfolk
- World Swallowtail Day at Wheatfen field trip report
- Grimes Graves, Weeting Heath and Cranwich Heath moth events report
- Horsey Gap Walk field trip report
- Pigney's Wood field trip report
- Bradfield Woods field trip report
- Foxley Wood field trip report
- Beeston Common field trip report
- Buxton Heath field trip report
- Butterfly Alert number 8
- Beeston Common field trip report