Safari Sunday

Butterfly season is under way here; and although not in last year’s numbers I’m pleased to see any Butterflies.

The Gatekeepers have arrived too, although so far the most I’ve seen at once is 4 and I believe mostly males – perhaps one female spotted yesterday. So far I’ve seen no Peacocks or Admirals and only one Small Tortoiseshell and a Comma twice. I’m still waiting for a small copper to arrive – but I think that’s pushing my luck!

We also had a pair of Small Skippers arrive a couple of weekends ago… None seen since though, sadly. And this one decided to sunbathe for me; just a shame it had its bum to me!

At the moment the only regulars are Gatekeepers; but I do also regularly see Whites (which rarely stay still), Meadowbrown and the odd Ringlet.


And finally for today (because I have to keep you waiting for the rest) a Green-veined White resting on the Corncockle:

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

18 thoughts on “Safari Sunday

    • Hi Donna,

      I love seeing Bees; but quite possibly I love seeing Butterflies even more, especially as these days they seem to be relatively rare – even more so this year after such a poor spring and early summer.

  1. I really need to work on my butterfly identification skills! Their numbers have been increasing since we moved in (there weren’t any our first summer in Spokane when there was just lawn and a few shrubs in the yard), but I don’t know the names when my kids and I notice them. So we’ve enjoyed lots of little white ones and a few yellow/black and yellow/orange ones this summer.

    • Hi VW,

      Not to worry if you don’t know all the Butterflies; you’ll enjoy seeing them just as much! Our numbers peaked last summer, but then it was also a very dry spring and summer last year but also I think because of other factors such as neighbours behind leaving their garden to overgrow and providing plenty of larval food for many species.

    • Hi Ronnie,

      I don’t tend to see so many whites here – last year I mainly had Green-veined whites. I guess no one grows brassicas around here so we only get the odd few.
      They’re not the easiest to catch and there is definitely an art to sneaking up on them! But I also know that as summer continues they will slow down and it’ll be much easier to get close to them.

  2. I think all our butterflies have come up to you, hardly see any here at the moment, but then it is back to being cold and wet, so not very surprised!

    • Hi Pauline,

      I think I’m just lucky around here with waste ground nearby – well, not really waste ground but grass and woodland, not really a park as such but fields where kids can play football and such. So there’s overgrown areas as well as an alley – path- gennel – ginnel – no idea what you may call it ‘down south’ nextdoor but one also means overgrown areas as often found along them. I’m not sure, but I do know last year I saw more butterflies than I’ve ever seen in my life and this year with all the rain I’m thrilled even to have one.

  3. I love butterflies and it has been such an awful year for them. I have noticed a few more about in recent weeks and I was out with the camera this morning trying to get some photos but a heavy downpour defeated me! Great shots.

    • Hi,

      Yup, it’s been a shocker of a year for them – and us! So I’m amazed I even have one, let alone have some of the lesser common species like Ringlets. I’m thinking at most I am likely to see perhaps 6 Gatekeepers at any one time this year – already seen 4 at once – and hope the females arrive soon and get laying eggs for next year!

  4. Lovely flutter photos Liz! A good selection too. Don’t despair, all the ones you mention should have a new emergence over the next few weeks including Small Copper…I haven’t seen one of those this year yet either.

    • Hi Jan,

      Yep, the small Copper doesn’t normally arrive until around this time now, so I’m hopeful I’ll see one at least – it always visits the Sea Holly and Flat-topped Aster and they’re blooming now…. Maybe I’ll be lucky. I’m also hopeful that the Commas have laid on the Nettles and I’ll get to see some babies again – and maybe catch one emerging this year!

    • Hi Janet,

      Numbers seem to have reached a plateau for the Gatekeepers; the maximum I’ve seen is still 4, I guess that’s better than nothing and if any are females then we’ll hopefully see numbers rise next year.

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