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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady...Doorstep Butterfly Invaders !

As you may or may not know, there has been a recent influx of butterflies from the continent lately. I know some people will be up in arms "they come over here, drinking our nectar "..but the influx of Clouded Yellows really has been quite exciting. It's been a good few years since the last invasion of any significance, and getting to see one locally became a priority by last weekend.
 Around 6 pm last Sunday I twitched a find made by my blogging patch neighbour JK. Despite a bit of panic on arrival when the Yella Fella slipped away, we relocated it and I had good views and a record shot.

Clouded Yellow

The weather Saturday was not butterfly friendly, so I concentrated on the birding. I was done and dusted for the day when a message from fellow local birder TH informed me there was a couple of Wheatear down on the paddocks,( probably put down by the gloomy drizzle). I was there in 5 minutes and grateful for the heads up.


 The venerable informant had also mentioned a good spot down the road for Clouded Yellows, so with the weather looking brighter Sunday I scooted a few miles Southwest to the site he had alluded too. Finding a field full of Fat Hen as described, it was chuffing with Whites, and soon I had counted 4 Clouded Yellows. Those I photographed were a little worn, but I managed to observe at length a very smart male. They really shift, and I settled for observation rather than chasing my tail trying to photograph them.
Also on the wing were Common Blues, including some nice blue females, as well as Small coppers and Speckled Wood.

♀ Common Blue

 However, the highlight  of the morning was finding a Painted Lady, my first of the year, and only my second ever.

Painted Lady

 I was in for a couple of Surprises when I stopped off on my patch on the way home. Not only did I find the second colony of Purple Hairstreak in successive weeks, but also spotted my second Painted Lady of the day. Just like buses ey ? !


  1. Its been a good year all round for butterflies, looks good this week for more too!

  2. Yes, compared to last year it has Warren. The only exception up here for me has been Brown Argus and Red Admiral. Common Blue's seem to have picked up a bit in this second generation.