A record 117 butterflies were seen on July 21st on our weekly survey of butterflies on The Hook nature reserve. After a really tough start to the year, with very poor conditions for caterpillars and numbers of butterflies well down on last year, things have improved significantly in July. We have already seen the 17 species we saw last year and in addition a Painted Lady and, most excitingly, an Essex Skipper. The latter is not a common species in this area, and is difficult to distinguish from a small skipper, but our identification has been confirmed by the Notts butterfly coordinator. The other species seen are: Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Small White, Large White, Green Veined White, Meadow Brown, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Comma, Ringlet, Gatekeeper. Thanks to Dave Pratt for leading the survey and Annette Roe for the photographs.