Fortnight Starting 26th July 2021 Sightings Blog

Fortnight Starting 26th July 2021 Sightings Blog

Your wildlife sightings in Derbyshire the fortnight starting 26th July 2021

We hope you’ve been enjoying the Olympics in between getting out into nature whether thats one of our reserves, the countryside or your own garden like we have.

We’ll kick things off with some of the plethora of butterflies and moths you’ve reported over the last fortnight. The White-Letter Hairstreak butterfly, named after the white W shape on the underside of its wings, was spotted near Cromford and in the Monsal Dale and another species which gets its name from the pattern on its wings, the Clouded Border Butterfly, was spotted near Dronfield. Two species both with eyespots on their wings, the Meadow Brown which has one white pupil in its eyespot and the Gatekeeper which has two were seen in our Lock Lane Ash Tip reserve and near Ilkestone, respectively. Two of the species of moth spotted near Mansfield were the red and black Ruby-Tiger and White-Plum each of which wings are separated into several feathery fingers. Moths spotted near Dronfield include the Bird-Cherry Ermine, which is named after its preferred food source the Bird-Cherry Tree, the Small Magpie which has a yellow body and black and white patterned wings and the Swallow-Tailed moth which gets its name from the pointed tail on its hindwings. If you want to encourage butterflies and moths to your garden see the links below.

Swallow-tailed moth

Swallow-tailed moth ©Vaughn Matthews

Staying on the wing you near Ashbourne also spotted a Nuthatch, which can produce two clutches a year of up to 13 eggs, and a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, a species in the which the males can be distinguished from the females by the bright red patch on the back of their heads. A Red Kite, which often builds its untidy nest on top of an old Crow’s, was seen near Stanage Edge and a much smaller bird of prey, the Sparrowhawk, which has the biggest size difference between males and females of any bird with the females being up to 25% larger, was seen near Derby. Also seen near Derby was the Swift, a species which eats, sleeps and drinks on the wing, only landing to nest.

Sparrowhawk. The sparrowhawk is standing on a collared dove that it has just killed.

Sparrowhawk by Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

As we move into the last month of summer we are also looking forward to hearing about more of the awesome wildlife and plants you’ve spotted across Derbyshire. To submit your own sighting and be featured in a future blog go to

How to attract butterflies to your garden:

How to attract moths and bats to your garden:

Thank you to Ian Beever, Mark Collins, Malcolm Charles Harrison, Angela Griffiths, Alison Pritchard, Amanda Rudd, Katie Bennett, Pete Simpson, David Acklam, Mya, David Hasell, John Stevenson, Paula Sullivan and Julie Howarth for recording your sightings.