Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A British Garden | Butterflies

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in a British garden, Butterflies were all around the Buddleia, it was easy to see why this is often referred to as the butterfly bush. Saturday had been a lovely day, Sunday continued in the same vain, warm and pleasant, I spent the afternoon chasing Butterflies with Jo-Jo.

We had decided to get a closer look at all these delicate flying creatures and discover exactly what species we could identify.

The Peacock Butterfly
Many of those present were easily identified as the Peacock Butterfly, a familiar sight in gardens across the British Isles, with quite spectacular eyes on the upperside of the wings that give this butterfly its name. The eyes are for defense as they appear very threatening to predators.

The Painted Lady
The next most prevalent were the Painted Lady, a species that amazingly originates from North Africa.

The Red Admiral
The striking colours of The red admiral, another relatively common species found throughout Britain. Although considered to be a resident species now, large numbers of the ones we see are migrants from the European continent.

The Large White
In lesser numbers now though they were more numerous in previous weeks were the Large White, or Cabbage White as they are more often known. Gardeners will recognise this as a pest due to the fact the caterpillars love to devour the leaves of brassicas.

The Small Tortoiseshell
Just a few of these Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were found, again this was observed as a species with vivid colours and markings used to scare away would-be predators.

We caught a few specimens so that we could get a close look at them but were very careful and let them go none the worse for their experience. In preference to the old practice of killing the butterfly then pinning it to a board for display I chose to take a few pictures with my camera.


  1. You will notice that not only is the red Admiral able to read, but it can do so upside down.

  2. So beautiful!

    When I was a child I would come across all sorts of butterflies but these days it appears that they have dwindled somewhat.

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Hee hee...a reading red Admiral!
    Wonderful photos!
    I am still trying to capture butterflies in photos..I usually get the rock or flower where they were..LOL

  4. Great pictures, we do not get to see many Butterflies nowadays.
    The eyes on the peacock butterfly make it look very menacing.

  5. These photos are beautiful, you must have so much patience!

    This year I have noticed butterflies and caterpillars like never before. Mind you there is certainly a lot of buddleia up here on this hill and in the woods :-)

  6. Thank you all for these encouraging comments. I really enjoyed the afternoon I spent capturing these and many more pictures of the Butterflies. I do not think I have ever seen as many Butterflies has there has been this year on these particular Buddleia bushes.