Butterflies Update June and July



The less reliable weather during early July coupled with the return to a more normal lifestyle for some may have limited opportunities to spend time outside so there were fewer reported butterfly sightings at the start of the month. However as the month progressed these have increased with quite a variety reported including some seen for the first time this season, and in a wider range of locations. 

Red Admiral: My favourite this month is the Red Admiral which visited the flower bed adjacent to CCG’s community orchard in Charlton Park but chose to settle on the yoghurt pot rather than a flower.They are fairly widespread in SE7, and in addition to the parks they have also been seen in the gardens in Eastcombe Ave and Troughton and Wyndcliff Rds.

Holly Blue: Fewer this month though still occasional visitors to Troughton Rd and Eastcombe Ave.

Small Tortoiseshells: still present though also in fewer numbers but seen on the Highcombe allotments and Bramshot Ave. 

Peacocks: the summer brood is now emerging and so far seen in the parks, the allotments, and Troughton Rd.

Commas: quite frequently around SE7 throughout the month, specifically Bramshot and Eastcombe Ave and Troughton Rd.

Meadow Brown: this month in Bramshot and Eastcombe Ave.

Speckled Wood: still an occasional visitor to Troughton. Rd.

Gatekeeper: – the first sighting the season, reported in Troughton Rd and Eastcombe Ave. 

Whites: remain the most widespread and very frequently seen in parks and gardens throughout the area. Their identification isn’t easy but in addition to the Small and Large Whites, we believe a white photographed in Eastcombe Ave is a Green Veined White – a first for us this season.

Jersey Tiger Moth: another season’s first, so far spotted in Troughton Rd and Bramshot Ave.

Gypsy Moth: in spite of looking quite impressive, perhaps a visitor we are less keen to host. Seen in Inverine Rd, at one time it was a notifiable species by DEFRA.


Many thanks, once again, to all contributors. We appreciate your continued involvement, allowing us to build up a picture of what we have locally, which actually seems to be quite a lot. With your help, we look forward to seeing what August brings.


You may know that the Butterfly Conservation Organisation is currently holding its Big Butterfly Count and invite you to join in. This is running until Sunday August 9th. Details here:




Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this update, with information about what you have seen. On days when the sun comes out, so do the butterflies.

Perhaps the most exciting was the Painted Lady, seen and photographed in Troughton Road and Maryon Wilson Park.
According to the Butterfly Conservation website ( https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/painted-lady) it is a long distance migrant finding its way to Charlton from North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. Astonishing.
It was also exciting to see a Comma, Meadow Brown and Small White visiting the Station Garden.
Commas and Meadow Browns are now seen much more frequently across SE7, specifically in Troughton Road, Eastcombe Avenue and the Maryon Wilson/ Maryon parks.
Small whites are now numerous and have also been seen in Bramshot Avenue.
Brimstones have been seen again occasionally in Eastcombe Ave and Troughton Road and Small Tortoiseshells and Holly Blues have made more regular appearances in the gardens of both roads.
Red Admirals have been spotted again in Troughton Rd as well as Maryon Park as has the Speckled Wood.
Finally the mint moth is still enjoying Charlton’s mint and oregano in many gardens.
Though we haven’t had an update of butterflies in Wyndcliff Road – surely there are some – damsel flies and stag beetles are reported to have been seen there.
If you’re wondering where the Peacocks have gone, Simon Saville, Chair of Surrey & SW London Branch – Butterfly Conservation, informs us that the summer caterpillars are now to be seen on nettle patches in parks, gardens and elsewhere and that the butterflies won’t be laying any more eggs this year. The ones that eventually hatch from these caterpillars will spend the whole winter as adults, hibernating in deep foliage, outhouses etc. They will then lay their eggs next spring and then the caterpillars will be searching out more nettles. If you have it in mind to create a more butterfly friendly garden, Simon reminds us that nettles are not only beneficial to Peacocks but they are also the food plant for Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Red Admiral and Painted Lady caterpillars. No doubt this is why the butterflies reported here have most frequently been spotted in parks and gardens in close proximity to the railway line.
Once again we invite you to share your sightings with us with / without a photograph. If identification proves difficult, the website https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/identify-a-butterfly
usually helps and we look forward to sharing the July results with you.