Butterflies in my garden this year have been few and far between and mainly Large or Small Whites. Recently I spotted a Red Admiral and a Small Tortoiseshell, but not a single Painted Lady nor any Small Coppers. It’s been a relatively warm summer here in Cornwall, with none of the excessive heat found elsewhere in the country so I have no idea why the scarcity of these pretty “flutterbies”.
I was therefore more than happy to see several feasting on the wild buddleia plants growing in the lanes nearby whilst on a walk at the weekend.
(1) The Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) is among the most well-known butterflies in Britain and Ireland. The striking and attractive patterning and its appearance at almost any time of the year in urban areas have made it a familiar species. It is one of the first butterflies to be seen in spring and in the autumn it often visits garden flowers in large numbers.
(2) The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a long-distance migrant, which causes the most spectacular butterfly migrations observed in Britain and Ireland. In some years it is an abundant butterfly, frequenting gardens and other flowery places in late summer.
(3) The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) is a large and strong-flying butterfly and common in gardens. This familiar and distinctive insect may be found anywhere in Britain and Ireland and in all habitat types. They continue flying into October or November and are typically seen nectaring on garden buddleias or flowering Ivy and on rotting fruit.
(Due to the poor quality of these photos I have used a textured filter on those in the gallery and a mosaic filter on the header)