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

For general records, please use iRecord website or iRecord Butterflies app
More details are on our Recording Page

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Also see: National 1st sightings & Archive 2015+

The record warmth of the last days of December continued into 2022

Dec 30 Red Admiral 1 Walworth Garden, SE17 TQ319780 Simon Saville
Dec 29 Red Admiral 1 Surbiton TQ1766 Marian Thomas
Surrey late Red Admiral J Desoutter






Nov 23 Red Admiral 1 Dorking TQ165504 Jenny Desoutter
Surrey late Red Admiral Nov 22






Nov 22 Red Admiral 1 Mercers Lake TQ295517 Gordon Hay
Surrey Speckled Wood November
Basking on a tombstone, Gap Road Cemetery, Wimbledon




Nov 22 Speckled Wood 1 Wimbledon TQ265708 Richard Thomas

The exceptionally mild and sunny weather in the third week of November has brought out a remarkable number of species

Nov 18 Red Admiral 1 Westcott TQ139487 Sandra Preston
Nov 18 Brimstone 1 Denbies TQ145527 Tim Bright
Nov 18 Brimstone 1 Hammerwood Common TQ172465 Roger Lee
Nov 18 Speckled Wood 1 Tooting Common TQ294718 Alan Wilkinson
Nov 17 Red Admiral 1 Clandon Wood TQ045512 Matt Phelps
Nov 17 Small Tortoiseshell 1 Reigate Heath TQ237500 Jo Hurren
Nov 16 Peacock 1 Gt Bookham TQ145517 Tim Bright
Nov 16 Red Admiral 1 Addington Golf Course TQ367643 Peter Frost
Nov 16 Red Admiral 1 Chertsey TQ044667 Steven Penn
Nov 12 Red Admiral 1 Richmond Park TQ186728 Nigel Jackman
Nov 12 Large White 1 Westhumble TQ167513 Tim Bright
Nov 11 Peacock 1 Gt Bookham TQ134545 Tim Bright
Nov 11 Red Admiral 1 Cobham TQ100605 Nigel Jackman
Nov 9 Small White 1 Tooting Common TQ291719 Alan Wilkinson
Nov 7 Red Admiral 1 Denbies TQ155506 Tim Bright/Andy Merritt
Nov 6 Red Admiral 1 Carshalton Beeches TQ268619 Keith Fowler
Surrey late Red Admiral Nov
Nov 2 Red Admiral 1  Surbiton TQ1766 Marian Thomas
Nov 2 Holly Blue 1 Lambeth TQ311801 Ian Cunningham
Nov 1 Red Admiral 1 Warlingham TQ357587 Martyn mance

By the third week of October there were still sightings of Small Copper, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Peacock, and Red Admiral. In the final week the mild weather continued with regular sightings of Red Admiral from London southwards and further sightings of Speckled Wood, Peacock and Brimstone.

Oct 31 Red Admiral 1 Badshot Lea SU861482 Roger Deason
Oct 27 Speckled Wood 1 Spynes Meer TQ299521 Richard Perry
Oct 27 Brimstone 1 Spynes Mere TQ299521 Richard Perry
Oct 27 Peacock 1 Denbies Lodge TQ161514 Tim Bright
Oct 19 Small Copper 1 Lloyd Park, Croydon TQ341650 Martyn Mance
Oct 19 Brimstone 1 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read
Oct 13 Comma 1 Redhill TQ278508 Peter Frost
Oct 12 Meadow Brown 1 Denbies Hillside TQ167513 Tim Bright
Oct 10 Painted Lady 1 Ham Lands TQ166721 Paul Foulkes-Arellano
Oct 9 Small White 1 Horsell Allotments SU989593 Simon Lumsden
Surrey White Admiral 2nd Brood 2021
Late example of unusual 2nd brood
Oct 6 White Admiral 1 (f) Chilworth TQ035503 John Austin

The last week of September saw 19 species still flying, with single examples of Adonis Blue and Clouded Yellow

Sep 30 Painted Lady 1 South Godstone TQ354468 Richard Stephens
Sep 26 Clouded Yellow 1 Chipstead TQ270572 Brian Gardner
Sep 22 Adonis Blue 1 Denbies Hillside TQ136500 Mark Goodwill
Surrey Brown Hairstreak Tolworth Court
Surrey Brown Hairstreak Tolworth Court2





Sep 21 Brown Hairstreak 16 Tolworth Court Farm TQ199649 Stephen Reisbach
Marian Thomas

Tolworth Court Farm Fields continues to be a hotspot for Brown Hairstreaks. Stephen Reisbach and Marian Thomas found 16 females around the site, most clustered around TQ199649.

Surrey Long-tailed Blue Croham Hurst Croydon



Sep 18 Long-tailed Blue (f) 1 Croham Hurst, Croydon TQ338533 Stephan Moris

On the 15th September, the start of the second half of the month, there were 22 species reported: Small Copper, Small Heath, Brown Hairstreak, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Holly Blue, Brimstone, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Peacock, Comma, Silver-washed Fritillary, Grayling, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady, Red Admiral (for details, see iRecord)

Sep 13 Purple Hairstreak 1 Mogador TQ240530 Gordon Hay
Surrey painted Lady Sept
Sep 12 Painted Lady 1 Chessington TQ182600 Nigel Jackman
Sep 12 Gatekeeper 1 Colekitchen TQ084489 Adrian Thompson
Surrey Clouded Yellow J Desoutter
Sep 11 Clouded Yellow 1 Denbies Hillside TQ145499 Jenny Desoutter
Surrey Adonis Blue Newlands Corner
Adrian Clark

First sighting of Adonis Blue on Newlands Corner West transect

Sep 11 Adonis Blue 2 Newlands Corner West TQ036490 Adrian Clark/ Nicola Sainsbury

We reach the latter part of the season when latest sightings become relevant. In the first week of September, there were still 24 species of butterfly on the wing in our area. For example, all six Blues were still active (Chalkhill, Adonis, Common, Small, Holly, Brown Argus), plus a probable accidental import on Sweet Pea, a Long-tailed Blue at the Muslim Peace Garden in Woking.

Surrey Long-tailed Blue Woking Peace Garden 2021
Sept 5 Long-tailed Blue 1(m) Woking TQ015598 Philip Osso
Surrey Brown Argus ab graafii
Aug 22 Brown Argus ab. graafii 1(m) TQ016493 Pewley Down Field Trip, photo Andrew Kingston

Brown Hairstreak completes the list of 44 butterflies now associated with Surrey. This year we can add Large Tortoiseshell and Marsh Fritillary.

Surrey Brown Hairstreak Epsom Common
Jul 27 Brown Hairstreak 1 (m) Epsom Common TQ195519 Maurice Jones
Surrey Clouded Yellow Headley G Margetts
Gary Margetts, this example seen Headley 27th July


July Clouded Yellow Along the North Downs from July 19
Jul 21 Silver-spotted Skipper 1 Mickleham Down TQ184540 Philip Shorrock
SWF valesina
Jul 20 Silver-washed Fritillary
fem form valesina
1 Bookham Common TQ128564 Gary Margetts
Jul 9 Chalkhill Blue 4 Denbies Hillside TQ152500 Bill Downey
Jul 9 Grayling 1 Barossa Common SU887632 Geoff Pierce
Jul 2 Purple Emperor 2 Bookham Common TQ126568 Colin Kemp
Jul 1 Gatekeeper 1 Ashtead Common TQ176605 Frank Boxell
Mick Rock's photos of Essex and Small Skipper provide us with a useful reminder of the difference between the two species. Just look at the antennae
Surrey Essex Skipper


Jun 24 Essex Skipper 1 Molesey reservoirs NR TQ122685 Mick Rock
Jun 24 Essex Skipper 1 Ashtead Common TQ176600 Frank Boxell
Surrey Small Skipper M Rock
Jun 23 Small Skipper 1 Hurst Meadows TQ142689 Mick Rock
Jun 23 Small Skipper 1 Hutchinson's Bank TQ379619 Kevin Turner
Jun 23 Small Skipper 2 Dukes, Box Hill TQ184510 Ken Owen
Jun 23 Purple Hairstreak 1 Ashtead Common TQ181595 Nikki Campana
Jun 16 Silver-washed Fritillary 1 Bookham TQ133568 David Hasell
Jun 15 White Admiral 1 Epsom Common TQ185608 Field Trip
Jun 13 White-letter Hairstreak 1 Tooting Common TQ288715 Alan Wilkinson
Jun 13 Marbled White 1 Denbies Hillside TQ134500 Peter Carlill
Jun 13 Marbled White 3 Dukes, Box Hill TQ184510 Ken Owen
Surrey DGF Kevin Turner


Jun 12 Dark Green Fritillary 1 Chapel Bank TQ386606 Kevin Turner
Jun 11 Ringlet 1 Wotton TQ14 Helen Thomas
Jun 11 Silver-studded Blue 2 Fairmile Common TQ118617 Dave Page
Surrey Black Hairstreak Gareth Tilley
Jun 10 Black Hairstreak 1 Epsom Common TQ189603 Gareth Tilley
Jun 5 Meadow Brown 1 Hurst Meadows TQ142689 Mick Rock

Marsh Fritillary: after several unauthorised introductions last year, particularly in Hampshire and Surrey, there have been late-May sightings in Surrey and other counties north and south of the Thames.

May 31 Large Skipper 1 Nonsuch Park TQ233641 Paul Tiller
May 29 Clouded Yellow 1 The Moors, Merstham TQ529202 Gordon Hay
Surrey Glanville Fritillary 2021


Surrey Glanville Frit 2 M Wills
May 25 Glanville Fritillary 1 Hutchinson's Bank TQ538161 Martin Wills
Surrey Large Tortoiseshell 2021 Liz Burgess
May 12 Large Tortoiseshell 1 Hutchinson's Bank TQ379619 Liz Burgess
Surrey Small Blue 2021
May 11 Small Blue 1 Hutchinson's Bank TQ381616 Andy Simes
May 11 Adonis Blue 1 Denbies Hillside TQ137500 David Hasell
May 9 Wood White 1 Botany Bay, Chiddingfold SU980343 James Driver
Surrey Common Blue 2021
May 9 Common Blue 1 Denbies Hillside TQ135499 Gordon Hay
May 9 Common Blue 1 White Down TQ118489 Jo Hurren
Surrey Brown Argus 2021
May 9 Brown Argus 1 Denbies Hillside TQ136500 Gordon Hay
Surrey Duke of Burgundy 2021
May 7 Duke of Burgundy 1 Chapel Bank, New Addington TQ386538 Stephan Morris
Surrey Small Heath 2021
May 1 Small Heath 1 Dukes, Box Hill TQ184511 Ken Owen
Apr 27 Small Copper 3 Fairmile Common TQ116617 Dave Page
Apr 26 Painted Lady 1 Nr Oval TQ305775 Amanda Holden
Surrey Painted Lady Riddlesdown
Apr 25 Painted Lady 1 Riddlesdown TQ337594 Michael Rowland
Surrey Green Hairstreak Richmond Park
Apr 23, first London Green Hairstreak, Richmond Park (TQ194714), Steve Read
Surrey Dingy Skipper Netley Monument


Apr 22 Dingy Skipper 1 Netley Monument, Shere TQ078485 Francis Kelly
Surrey Painted Lady Barnes
Apr 22 Painted Lady 1 Barnes TQ226770 Penny Smallshire
Surrey Orange-tip

Continuing high pressure during April brought consistently dry weather and extended sunny periods, but the emergence of butterflies has been hindered by the consistently below average temperatures. Nonetheless, 22 April, at Horton Country Park, Castle Hill Nature Reserve and a short stretch of adjoining land (TQ190634), Nigel Jackman observed  20 Orange-tip (17m, 3f), 4 Small White, 2 Peacock, 1 Brimstone, I Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue and 1 Comma. Quite a hot spot.

Surrey Grizzled Skipper S Morris

Apr 20, Grizzled Skipper, Hutchinson's Bank, Stephan Morris

Apr 19 Green Hairstreak 2 Denbies Landbarn TQ137499 Bill Downey
Apr 17 Grizzled Skipper 1 Whistlers Steep, Oxted TQ388544 Sonya Miller-Smith
Apr 4 Large White 1 Bookham Common TQ123560 Eleanor Heys
Apr 1 Painted Lady 1 Blatchford Down TQ103485 Cathy Mead
Surrey Green-veined White
Apr 1 Green-veined White 1 Spynes Mere TQ308523 Gordon Hay
Surrey Speckled Wood Steve Read
Apr 1 Speckled Wood 1 Richmond Park TQ194714 Steve Read
Apr 1 Speckled Wood 1 Beddington Farmlands TQ286663 Andy Merritt

At the end of March, the warmest days of the year so far occurred, with temperatures into the low 20s, and further Holly Blues appeared on 30 March in Berrylands, Petersham and Chiddingfold

Surrey Orange-tip Howell Hill
Richard Donovan
Mar 29 Orange-tip 1(m) Howell Hill TQ238618 Richard Donovan
Mar 29 Orange-tip 1(m) West Ewell TQ195641 Robb Reeves
Mar 29 Orange-tip 1(m) Leatherhead TQ164561 Keith Lelliott
Mar 29 Orange-tip 1(m) Hydestyle SU976411 Robert Daniels
Mar 29 Holly Blue 1 Woking SU983581 Neil Bew
Mar 22 Small White 1 Wandle Edge, Carshalton TQ283654 David Warburton


Surrey Brimstone Headley Warren
Surrey Comma Headley Warren






Surrey Peacock Headley Warren







We then had to wait until 22nd March for butterflies to be seen across the county and south London in any number. The most notable location was perhaps Headley Warren where 6 Brimstone, 3 Comma and 3 Peacock butterflies were noted by Gary Margetts and Richard Stephens (all photos)

Surrey Brimstone Gordon Hay



The stuttering start to the season continued during the early days of March with widespread sightings of a Brimstone on the 9th, along with Comma and Peacock. The first photo of a Brimstone below (by Richard Stephens) taken on the Lingfield Nature Reserve reminds us of his recent talk to our group on the development of the site, (now accessible on line). The second (right), on the same day by Gordon Hay brings out the remarkable camouflage ability of the butterfly

Mar 9 Small Tortoiseshell 1 Burgess Park TQ334780 Simon Saville
Surrey Comma Steve Read
Feb 23 Comma 1 Richmond Park TQ193711 Stephen Read
Surrey Red Admiral Gordon hay

Feb 20-23: Fourteen Brimstone were noted across the county and in outer London, from Haslemere in the west to Hutchinson's Bank in the east, along with a Peacock and a Red Admiral (photo Gordon Hay, Mercer's Lake, Redhill).

Feb 6 Small Tortoiseshell 1 Farnham, West St. Cemetery SU831463 Richard Angliss
Feb 5 Peacock 1 Banstead, Beecholme Rec. Ground TQ243604 Peter Camber

The last noted sighting of 2020, was way back on 13th November, of a Red Admiral. After a particularly wet and cold start to the year, the 2021 season began with three species appearing, tricked by the first gloriously sunny day of the year, 22nd January, only for a heavy frost and snow to follow two days later.

Jan 22 Red Admiral 1 Chertsey TQ045660 Martin Foale
Jan 22 Brimstone 1 Woodmansterne TQ276600 Susan Davies
Jan 22 Brimstone 1 Norbury Park TQ149542 Mike White
Surrey first Peacock
Jan 22 Peacock 1 Hutchinson's Bank TQ381538 Martin Wills