This page, edited by Ken Owen, is for first/notable sightings. Please email Surrey Branch with date, species, number, site, grid ref, your name and any comment.

For general records, please use iRecord, via computer or APP
More details are on our Recording Page

Facebook & Twitter have more photos:
see links on our Social Media page
Also see: National 1st sightings & Archive 2015+

Nov 13 Red Admiral 1 Redhill TQ284496 Raymond Dill
Nov 12 Peacock 1 Lloyd Park TQ344650 Martyn Mance
Nov 10 Peacock 1 Thursley NNR SU905413 Bryony Chapman
Nov 10 Peacock 1 Clandon Wood TQ048512 Matt Phelps
Nov 10 Brimstone 1 Ashtead park TQ193583 Keith Lelliott
Nov 9 Peacock 1 Langley Vale TQ206564 Keith Lelliott
Nov 9 Humming-bird Hawk-moth 1 Raynes Park TQ228693 Paula Redmond
Nov 8 Brimstone 1 Epsom TQ205614 Katherine Kreuter

The warmth and sunshine of our first virtual AGM day, Saturday 7 November, brought an unprecedented number of sightings:

Nov 7 Brimstone 1 Ashtead TQ184587 David Allcock
Nov 7 Brimstone 1 Sheepleas TQ090515 John Andrews
Nov 7 Brimstone 1 Nutfield TQ309523 Michael Jones
Nov 7 Peacock 1 Westborough Woods SU978507 John Clarke
Nov 7 Peacock 1 Farthing Downs TQ303574 Peter Conway
Nov 7 Red Admiral 1 West Horsley TQ087527 Anita Bathurst
Nov 7 Red Admiral 1 Unstead SU994456 Steve Chastell
Nov 7 Peacock 1 South Croydon TQ355368 Martyn Mance
Nov 7 Peacock 1 Brambledown TQ180580 Keith Lelliott
Nov 6 Red Admiral 1 Godalming SU962446 Peter Osborn
Nov 5 Peacock 1 Chobham Common SU980646 Sue Michelmore

November dawned wet, yet again, and then, finally on the 4th, we were treated to wall to wall sunshine

Surrey Comma Nigel Jackman
Nov 4 Comma 1 Winkworth Arboretum SU994416 Nigel Jackman
Nov 4 Brimstone 1 Thursley Common SU900413 Anne Norton
Nov 4 Speckled Wood 1 Lloyd Park, Croydon TQ341649 Martyn Mance
Nov 4 Red Admiral 1 Thursley SU914419 Tom Forster
Nov 4 Red Admiral 1 Guildford SU985526 Stephen Williams
Nov 2 Red Admiral 1 Surbiton TQ170660 Marian Thomas
Nov 2 Speckled Wood 1 Box Hill TQ173513 Graham Revill

During the third full week of October, (18th - 24th), despite frequent rain, temperatures remained relatively mild and periods of sunshine brought evidence of nine species still flying - details below

Oct 28 Speckled Wood 1 Hackbridge TQ280658 Andy Merritt
Oct 26 Peacock 1 Shalford TQ002464 Clive Couzens
Oct 25 Speckled Wood 1 Epsom Common TQ188601 Robb Reeves
Oct 25 Red Admiral 1 Lingfield Nature Reserve TQ386439 Richard Stephens
Oct 22 Small Copper 1 Denbies Coach Road TQ150014 Graham Revill
Oct 22 Clouded Yellow 1 Denbies Hillside TQ143018 Graham Revill
Oct 22 Red Admiral 1 East Sheen TQ210754 Debbie Williams
Oct 22 Peacock 1 Blatchford Down TQ101407 Jo Hurren
Oct 19 Meadow Brown 1 Dorking TQ151501 Helen Middlemas
Oct 19 Peacock 1 South Croydon TQ340639 Martyn Mance
Oct 19 Brimstone (m) 1 South Croydon, Bramley Bank TQ353633 Martyn Mance
Oct 19 Speckled Wood 2 South Croydon, Bramley Bank TQ353633 Martyn Mance
Oct 19 Small White 1 Surbiton TQ170660 Marian Thomas
Oct 18 Brown Hairstreak (f) 1 Watercolour, Merstham TQ302523 Gordon Hay
Oct 17 Small White 1 Godalming SU975447 Cath Maddison
Oct 16 Red Admiral 1 Brookwood SU946571 David Calcutt
Oct 16 Speckled Wood 1 Brookwood SU946571 David Calcutt
Oct 15 Common Blue 1 Brockham Quarry TQ197511 Helen Middlemas
Oct 15 Holly Blue 1 Godstone TQ349516 Ken Owen
Oct 15 Speckled Wood 1 South Godstone TQ354468 Richard Stephens
Oct 15 Small White 1 Reigate TQ243487 Jo Hurren

Though temperatures dropped considerably by the second weekend of October, Oct 9 saw Small Copper (Homethorpe and Albury), Red Admiral (Copthorne), Speckled Wood (Mitcham), Peacock (Holmethorpe) Oct 10 Speckled Wood (Wimbledon Common), Oct 11 Small White (Walworth and West Ewell).

October began with heavy rain. Oct 3 Small White; Oct 5 Small Heath, Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Peacock; Oct 6 Brown Hairstreak, Red Admiral; Oct 7 Small White, Red Admiral, several Speckled Wood, Peacock, Common Blue, Brimstone, CommaClouded Yellow, making 11 species (see iRecord).

Although the weather has turned autumnal, September 28/29 produced periods of sunshine and warmer temperatures. 15 species were noted on iRecord: Small White, Green-veined White, Large White, Brimstone, Small Heath, Small Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Clouded Yellow, Brown Hairstreak, Comma, Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown

Surrey Clouded Yellow (helice)
Sep 22 Clouded Yellow helice 2/5 Headley TQ207538 Richard Stephens
Gary Margetts

With continued good weather, 18 species were seen over the weekend of Sep 19/20: Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Clouded Yellow, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Small Copper, Silver-spotted Skipper, Brown Hairstreak.

Surrey Brown Hairstreak Marian Thomas
Sep 20 Brown Hairstreak 7 Tolworth Court Farm Fields TQ200651 Marian Thomas
Stephen Reisbach
Sep 20 Silver-spotted Skipper 1 Denbies Hillside TQ134500 Gordon Hay

As we move into the latter part of September latest sightings of butterflies become notable

Surrey Small Tortoiseshell S Godstone R Stephens
Sep 17 Small Tortoiseshell 1 South Godstone TQ354468 Richard Stephens
Surrey Clouded Yellow Headley






Sep 16 Clouded Yellow 2 Headley TQ203542 Richard Stephens

The weekend of 12/13 September with continuing warm weather saw 20 species still on the wing : Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Comma, Clouded Yellow, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Blue, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Small Copper, Silver-spotted Skipper, Brown Hairstreak. Brown Hairstreaks were noted, for example, across the county at Farnham, Denbies Hillside, Merrow, Purley, Redhill, Oxted, Carshalton, Ottershaw and Horton Country Park (Nigel Jackman's photo).

Surrey Brown Hairstreak Nigel Jackman


Sep 13 Small Blue 1 Ewell TQ233631 Marian Thomas
Stephen Reisbach
Sep 12 Small Blue 1 Walworth TQ326776 Simon Saville






Nigel Jackman caught this Asda promotion (Sep 11) - a free Small White along with its larval food plant


Surrey Small White Asda food

Though one might believe that the season is rapidly drawing to a close, 25 species were recorded in the first four days of September (see iRecord). On the 7th, 15 species were noted at Hutchinson's Bank, including two Small Blues.

Aug 18 Short-tailed Blue fem Rotherhithe TQ363803 Craig Knox

Lavender Pond Nature Reserve: photos on Surrey Butterflies Facebook group. Only 17 British records since 1885, mostly in Dorset/Hants. This is a presumed escape/release.

Surrey Adonis Blue Martin Hutchinson's Bank
Aug 16 Adonis Blue 1 Hutchinson's Bank TQ617538 Martin Wills
Clouded Yellow helice
Jul 28 Clouded Yellow fem helice 1 Headley TQ191539 Gary Margetts
Jul 28 Wall Brown 1 Colley Hill, Reigate TQ246520 Paul Huckle
branch field trip
Surrey Adonis Blue 2nd brood
Jul 23 Adonis Blue (2nd brood) 5 Box Hill Dukes TQ184511 David Hasell
Surrey White-letter Hairstreak seeking sponsorship
Jul 23: White-letter Hairstreak seeking sponsorship, Prince's Covert. Nigel Jackman
Jul 22: Further Clouded Yellows at Banstead and Headley.
Surrey Dingy Skipper 2nd Brood
Jul 21 Dingy Skipper 2nd brood 1 Quarry Hangers TQ319536 Gordon Hay

With the sighting of two Clouded Yellows, all Surrey and SW London's previously accepted 42 species of butterfly have now been seen (5 days earlier than 2019). This year there has also been the discovery of the Black Hairstreak colony on Epsom Common. In addition, there have been sightings of a Camberwell Beauty, Marsh Fritillaries and Duke of Burgundy, the latter two presumed to be unofficial releases.

Surrey Clouded Yellow 2020
Jul 17 Clouded Yellow 2 Hutchinson's Bank TQ381617 Martin Wills
Surrey Jersey Tiger 2020








Jul 17   Unusual sighting of a Jersey Tiger during the morning rush hour at East Croydon Station.  Three more were noted in the street outside the station, 7 days later, Jul 24 (István Rádi)
Surrey Brown Hairstreak open wings 2020
Jul 17: Brown Hairstreak (m), Tice's Wood Nature Reserve on the same day (site 1st). Dina Burford
Surrey Brown Hairstreak 2020
Jul 17  First clear photo this season of a Brown Hairstreak, Bookham Commons. Colin Kemp
Surrey Silver-spotted Skipper
Jul 13 Silver-spotted Skipper 1 Dorking TQ165504 Jenny Desoutter
Jul 12 Brown Hairstreak 1 Tolworth
Court Farm
TQ198648 Marian Thomas
Surrey Silver-washed Fritillary ab sylvia
Jul 11 Silver-washed Fritillary
ab nigricans
1 Bookham TQ127563 David Hasell
Surrey Comma ab reichstettensis?
Jul 6 Comma ab. suffusa 1 Bookham TQ125563 David Hasell
Surrey Grayling 2020
Jul 3 Grayling 10 Dawney Heath SU946566 Steve Simnett

Following Peter Cureton's exceptionally early sighting of a Gatekeeper a month ago, one of three notified to Butterfly Conservation from around the country around the same date, we have now reached the time when we would hope to see the butterfly flying

Surrey Gatekeeper
Jul 1 Gatekeeper 3 Thames Ditton TQ148660 David Hasell
Jul 1 Chalkhill Blue 1 Pewley Down TQ008489 Steve Simnett
Surrey Purple Emperor

This Purple Emperor first flew into Les Evans-Hill's cottage. He then caught a photo on the wall outside.

Jun 26 Purple Emperor 1 Putney Heath TQ2272 Les Evans-Hill
Surrey Ringlet ab caeca? Gary margetts
Jun 24 Ringlet ab. caeca 1 Headley Warren TQ192540 Gary Margetts
White Admiral semi nigra
Jun 23 White Admiral
ab obliterae
1 Bookham Common TQ127564 Gordon Hay
Jun 21 Purple Emperor 1 Horton CP TQ193628 Pamela Harwood
Surrey Black Hairstreak
One of Surrey's new found colony of Black hairstreak (5th June)

Black Hairstreak.  A specimen was first noted on 28 May on Epsom Common.  During the following five days of very warm sunny weather, there were several more sightings, peaking at approximately 25. Three were still to be found,  9 June. As this butterfly has a very short flight period and spends most of its time high up in dense thickets of blackthorn, it may simply have been overlooked in the past. It is impossible to say how long it  has been flying on the Common, though it is assumed that it was introduced at some point.

Surrey Unusual coupling Small Tort and Meadow Brown

Jun 13 Unusual coupling: Small Tortoiseshell & Meadow Brown, South Godstone. Trevor Sears

Surrey SSilver-washed Fritillary (f)
Jun 13 Silver-washed Fritillary (f) 1 Bookham Common TQ129567 Mick Rock
Surrey Essex Skipper
Jun 12 Essex Skipper 1 Burgess Park TQ328777 Simon Saville
Jun 12 Purple Hairstreak 1 Richmond Park TQ198739 Sarah Elliott
Jun 9 Ringlet 1 Forestdale TQ368624 David O'Brien
Jun 2 Silver-washed Fritillary 1 Bookham TQ130563 David Hasell
Jun 2 Silver-washed Fritillary 1 Chiddingfold SU984338 James Field
Jun 2 White-letter Hairstreak 10 Tooting Common TQ288715 Alan Wilkinson
May 31 Gatekeeper 1 Brookwood Cemetery SU954563 Peter Cureton
May 30 White Admiral 1 Epsom Common TQ188602 Stephen Nevard
May 29 Small Skipper 1 Riddlesdown TQ337593 Michael Rowland
Surrey Dark Green Fritillary
May 27 Dark Green Fritillary 1 Chapel Bank TQ387602 Martin Wills
May 27 Dark Green Fritillary 2 Newlands Corner TQ039490 Eloise Stradling
May 27 Marbled White 1 Hutchinson's Bank TQ381615 Martin Wills
Surrey Silver-studded Blue
May  26 Silver-studded Blue 2 Fairmile Common TQ119617 David Hasell
May 25 Meadow Brown 1 Riddlesdown Quarry TQ337593 Michael Rowland
May 25 Meadow Brown 1 Hurst Meadows TQ143688 Mick Rock
May 22 Pearl-bordered Fritillary 1 Oaken Wood SU987337 Paul Huckle
Surrey Large Skipper
May 19 Large Skipper 2 Denbies Hillside TQ137500 Marian Thomas
Surrey Small Heath ab Pale form
May 17 Small Heath, pale form 1 Denbies Hillside TQ140503 Gordon Hay
Surrey Green Hairstreak

   Five Green Hairstreaks in the Lodge garden was quite remarkable

May 9 Green Hairstreak 5 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read
Surrey Painted Lady Steve Read
May 6 Painted  Lady 1 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read
Apr 22 Small Copper 1 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read
Apr 22 Cinnabar Moth 1 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read
Surrey Dingy Skipper
Apr 20 Dingy Skipper 1 New Addington TQ385607 Martin Wills
Apr 14 Green Hairstreak 1 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read
Apr 9 Green-veined White 1 Godalming SU972434 Neil Willis
Apr 5 Large White 1 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read

May 13: movement restrictions lifted. During lockdown we accepted only garden sightings. iRecord sightings included:
May 12 Marsh Fritillary, Guildford University. Interestingly, this is 10 miles east of a reintroduction site in NE Hampshire.
There was another Marsh Fritillary at Denbies, plus others in the south-east. These, along with several examples of Duke of Burgundy in Surrey, are presumed unofficial releases.
May 8 Adonis Blue, Box Hill, 8 May
May 7 Common Blue, Hutchinson's Bank
May 7 Brown Argus, Bookham
May 4 Small Heath, Dollypers Hill
May 2 Glanville Fritillary & Small Blue, Hutchinson's Bank
Apr 22 Grizzled Skipper, Headley
Apr 22 Painted Lady, Sutton
Apr 19 Wood White, Fisherlane

Camberwell Beauty Ash Mike Clifford
Mar 25 Camberwell Beauty 1 Ash SU893514 Mike Clifford
Mar 22 Small White 1 Burgess Park TQ338778 Simon Saville
Mar 22 Orange-tip (m) 1 South Godstone TQ363536 Trevor Sears
Mar 18 Speckled Wood 1 Cheam TQ251626 Sean Hilton

Mar 16: Our prime site, Hutchinson's Bank, had 10 Brimstone, 5 Peacock, 4 Comma and 2 Small Tortoiseshell

Mar 11: The arrival of spring with several species (including the Holly Blue below) noted on the same day for the first time this year: Peacock (Oxted Downs, Hutchinson's Bank), Brimstone (East Sheen, Horsley, 4 on Oxted Downs), Comma (Shalford, Hutchinson's Bank), and Red Admiral (Polesden Lacey)

Surrey Holly Blue David Hasell
Mar 11 Holly Blue 1 Thames Ditton TQ155675 David Hasell
Mar 10 Humming-bird
1 Ashtead TQ181586 Hilary Billmore
Small Tortoiseshell Oxted Trevor Sears

Mar 6: Unusual first photo of a Small Tortoiseshell reading the papers at Oxted Station. Trevor Sears

Despite an extremely wet February, our first Peacock was followed by more, in Balham (11th), Clandon Wood (14th) and Sunbury (23rd).  Red Admirals continued to make sporadic appearances and were noted in Farncombe (2nd), Morden (6th), Putney (7th), and New Addington (18th). A second Brimstone appeared on Bagmoor Common (17th).

Feb 8 Peacock 1 Crowhurst TQ385456 John Madden
Feb 6 Small Tortoiseshell 1 Dorking TQ167495 Les Mitchell
Surrey Glanville Fritillary larvae

Jan 29 Glanville Fritillary larvae feeding at Hutchinson's Bank. Martin Wills

Female Comma
A second Comma, and the first photo of the year                                                                                          
Jan 29 Comma 1 (f) Hutchinson's Bank TQ375623 Martin Wills

The mild weather in the first part of January combined with occasional sunny periods has produced an early start to the season with a Red Admiral seen again on the 18th in Betchworth, and in Chobham on the 29th

Jan 19 Comma 1 White Down TQ128496 Jo Hurren
Jan 9 Brimstone 1 Epsom Common TQ188600 Keith Lelliott
Jan 7 Red Admiral 1 Brixton TQ312766 Simon Saville