I Saved the Best for Last

And now for the best of the bunch…

I had a Small Copper again this year! Woo hoo.

This particular one seemed to have just emerged, its colours were absolutely breath-taking. I just wish you could all see it for yourselves.

The photos do show some of the stunning iridescence, however they were far more beautiful in real life. I wish I could’ve kept the butterfly in an enclosure to enjoy for eternity.

For the second year running I also had a Holly Blue, it would seem the Ivy coming through from my neighbour has a use after all.

Holly Blues are perhaps the most frustrating of all the Blues as they only open their wings in weak sunlight… Every time I tried to catch its wings open, it decided the shutter of my camera wasn’t to its liking and either closed its wings or flew onto another bloom! Yet it allowed me to get super close at all other times (as proven by the macro shots).

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden


14 thoughts on “I Saved the Best for Last

  1. Lovely photos Gwirrel, the Small Copper is a stunning butterfly isn’t it! This is the first time we haven’t had a Holly Blue, or rather, we haven’t seen one, but there is still time, there is plenty of holly and ivy here for them to enjoy. After photographing the Small Copper here, that is another one not seen again, but can’t grumble as we have had plenty to photograph. Everyone seems to be saying that it has been a good year for butterflies, I hope the same applies to the bees.
    I hope this works this time, I’ve been having such problems with WordPress!

    • Hi Pauline,

      I love the Small Copper, especially after seeing it so close this year and its colours were just magnificent. So hard to describe it, and I really wish the camera had shown the full spectrum… Anyway, hopefully I’ll have more in future.
      Normally I see the Small Coppers twice in a year; I assume a first and second brood but this year only saw the one – that isn’t to say there weren’t two though… Just, I didn’t see one! They normally also love the flat-topped Aster and previous years I’ve usually photographed it on the Sea Holly and Aster.
      I think for some Butterflies yes, it’s been an amazing year. Still not a single Red Admiral here which is highly unusual and no Painted Ladies, but that’s typical as I rarely see them. Also, Speckled Woods have been sparse and sadly my Gatekeepers were probably at about half their typical numbers. So I’m a bit mixed in opinion tbh. Oh but we’ve had lots and lots of Whites! Just wish I’d get Brimstones visiting!

  2. I feel so ignorant about butterflies after reading all your posts and Pauline’s too. That Holly Blue is stunning but so is the small copper – would I recognise them if they were in my garden? I really am not at all sure 😦

    • Hi Cathy,

      Ah well you see I’ve always been a bit fanatic with Butterflies and know most of them. Of course I’d struggle with the rarer ones that I’ll never see in a suburban garden. But there are excellent butterfly ID websites – ukbutterflies and britishbutterflies to help you along.
      You might not recognise the Holly blue, I’m unsure. I’d say it’s quite different from most other blues though as its underwing pattern is not as colourful/pretty as the other blues and is really quite plain. But the other pointer will be that they don’t often open their wings when feeding unless in weak sunlight. So if you see a Blue, refusing to show its pretty wings I’d probably say it’s a Holly Blue 🙂

      The Small Copper – you should definitely recognise. There aren’t many similar flutters to it. Unless you count the fritillaries but they’re much larger and also usually seen on scrub/wasteland and not often in gardens. I guess you may possibly mistake it for a Comma, but it’s much larger and has jagged wings.

    • Hi Angie,

      Thanks very much 🙂
      Do you have many areas nearby where butterflies can lay eggs? Any scrub/wasteground for them? I think living near parks/grassland are best for this, and you’ll get a much wider variety of visitors as a result.

  3. What amazing photos. I don’t think I have seen a small copper. I love butterflies. I have a dream that I can spend several months travelling the country trying to see all our native butterflies.

    • Hi,

      Awwww, a lovely dream indeed! Hrm, I’d love to see a white admiral and purple emperor. I guess I wouldn’t complain about having Swallowtails in my garden too 😉

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