Sunday, July 31

There were just 3 Gatekeeper butterflies in my garden after lunch, plus a Silver-Y moth.
Gatekeeper butterfly on Field Scabious flower

This female Gatekeeper butterfly was on one of my Field Scabious flowers.

There was no wind and clearly, it was warm enough for a few butterflies to be on the move. We decided we would go and look for some more down in the woods. We walked along Overley Ride in Cirencester Park and nearly every Ragwort plant had at least one Gatekeeper, Ringlet or Meadow Brown butterfly.

Gatekeeper butterfly on Ragwort flower
Ringlet butterfly on Ragwort flower
Meadow Brown butterfly on Agrimony

Meadow Brown butterflies were often amongst the grass and sometimes on other plants, along with a few Large Skipper and Small Skipper butterflies.

Small Skipper butterfly on Agrimony

I'm still puzzling over my wildflower books trying to identify the other plants!

I saw several Large White butterflies, one Marbled White butterfly and one Holly Blue butterfly on Ragwort.

Holly Blue butterfly on Ragwort

Altogether, it was a very satisfactory outing! It will take me a few days to load all the best photos onto this website.

Saturday, July 30

A female Holly Blue butterfly was feeding on a Hebe flower in my back garden just before lunch.

Holly Blue butterfly on Hebe flower

When I disturbed her, she moved along to one of the Hyssop plants instead.

Holly Blue butterfly on Hyssop flower

There was a Gatekeeper butterfly feeding on another Hyssop plant (plus a couple more Gatekeepers on the Field Scabious) and a Large White butterfly on another Hyssop. That butterfly moved along to one of the Lavender plants.

Large White butterfly on Lavender

A Peacock butterfly was also basking on the Sedums but I couldn't ignore the kitchen timer telling me that I needed to serve our lunch!

Friday, July 29

A gloomy, miserable day but there was a Meadow Brown butterfly and Gatekeeper butterfly on the Field Scabious in my back garden.

Thursday, July 28

The day started wet with a snail squeaking across my window. By lunchtime, the sun was shining periodically but the wind was gusting. While lunch was cooking, I popped out into the back garden to look for butterflies.

Meadow Brown, Comma and Peacock butterflies

I found a Meadow Brown, Comma and Peacock butterfly basking on the Sedum spectabile. Here they were having a rest from the wind. The Comma flew off to feed on Buddleia Lochinch and the Peacock on another Buddleia. The Meadow Brown butterfly had been feeding on Marjoram. This was the first of the summer brood of Peacock butterflies to be seen in my garden and consequently, it was in good condition. The Meadow Brown butterfly, by contrast, had lost it's hindwings.

An investigation around that part of the back garden, resulted in the discovery of a mating pair of Gatekeeper butterflies on Field Scabious.

Mating pair of Gatekeeper butterflies

Also spotted a Holly Blue butterfly a few minutes later in the back garden, which means that along with the Whites, there were 7 species of butterfly in my back garden this lunchtime. (but no Small Tortoiseshell!)

Holly Blue butterfly

A quick tour of the front garden yielded another Comma butterfly on Buddleia Lochinch, which then went to feed on Hebe aurea and Ceanothus 'Gloire de Versailles' too.

Tuesday, July 26

The butterflies were keeping a low profile in the garden this morning but they were here.

Large White butterfly

Large White joined the Small White butterflies today - dominating in butterfly numbers. A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly can be certain to be found in my garden somewhere. There were Meadow Brown (see photo) and Gatekeeper butterflies at the front and a Meadow Brown at the back.

Meadow Brown butterfly on Marjoram

When I went out this afternoon, there was a Red Admiral as well as a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Buddleia Nanho Blue.

Saturday, July 23

There were a number of Small White butterflies, a couple of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, a Comma and a Gatekeeper butterfly in the garden today.
Along the path to town, I saw a Comma butterfly and several Small White butterflies, plus a Speckled Wood butterfly.

Thursday, July 21

A Small Tortoiseshell was on Buddleia Nanho Blue and a Gatekeeper butterfly was on Verbena bonariensis in the front garden when my daughter came home from school.

Gatekeeper butterfly on Verbena bonariensis flower

Along with the Large White butterfly that I saw earlier, that makes possibly 9 species in my garden altogether today. It seems to me that the Buddleia bushes and other plants are flowering earlier than I would expect; this increase in butterflies would normally happen in about 7-10 days time, so the butterflies seem to be arriving early too.

Saw a couple of Meadow Brown butterflies chasing one another from an upstairs window; went outside to get a photo and took one of a Small White butterfly as well.

Small White butterfly on Verbena bonariensis flower

I use the Small White butterfly for size comparison - see my list of British Butterflies in size sequence. What's so exciting about a photo of a common white butterfly? Just go and watch one for a few minutes and you'll realise that they can be quite challenging to photograph.

A few minutes later I noticed 3 male Small White butterflies fighting over a female. Here she is with the winner!
Mating Small White butterflies

They are nicely camolflaged on the Dogwood bush.

Popped out into the back garden again just after lunch and found a Comma butterfly on my other Buddleia Lochinch.

Comma butterfly on Buddleia Lochinch

And here's another view of the same butterfly...

Comma butterfly on my trouser leg

Perhaps I shouldn't wear turquoise-coloured flip-flops! The white comma-shaped mark gives this butterfly it's name.

An Essex Skipper butterfly was found on my Buddleia Lochinch in the back garden at lunchtime.
Essex Skipper butterfly on Buddleia Lochinch

There have been quite a few butterflies about in the garden today. A Red Admiral butterfly was on another Buddleia, plus a Small Tortoiseshell, Small White butterflies and possibly a Brimstone here too.

Monday, July 18

There were a couple of Gatekeeper butterflies in my front garden today. I saw several white butterflies passing through too.

Sunday, July 17

Every time that I've gone out into the back garden today, there's been a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly somewhere. I've also seen quite a few Small White butterflies today and a Gatekeeper butterfly called for a brief rest this morning.

It's recycling day tomorrow, so I've been busy filling my garden-waste wheelie-bin this evening. I've been dead-heading Hebe and Buddleia plants.

I've also been busy updating some of the main butterfly-pages of this website today. I'm about half way through this huge task...

Saturday, July 16

Did you go down to the woods today? I did after lunch. There were Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Large Skipper, Comma, Red Admiral, Large White, Marbled White and possibly Small and/or Essex Skipper butterflies in the woods. There were also Silver-washed Fritillaries, which were what I'd gone to see. Thanks Frank for the excellent directions. The Fritillaries moved fast and there was no possibility of a photo using my digital camera but I did use my old film camera when one butterfly came to rest. They like bramble flowers, so it's not easy to get nearer when they briefly touch down. Here are a few pictures of some of the other butterflies in the wood:

Ringlet butterfly

Large White butterfly

Large Skipper butterfly

Now I'd left a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly guarding my back garden but when I returned, I spotted a Large Skipper on my Verbena bonariensis too.

Large Skipper butterfly on Verbena bonariensis

Walked to town late in the afternoon and saw two blue butterflies dancing above my head along the path opposite my house. I'd been wondering where the blues were...

Friday, July 15

Every time that I walked out into the back garden, which I did frequently throughout the day (keeping the washing line full), I saw one or two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies. Around mid-day I also spotted a Comma butterfly on Buddleia Lochinch, a Large White butterfly around my patch of Field Scabious and a Red Admiral butterfly by the fence.

Today is the first anniversary of my admitance to hospital - an urgent referral - to treat Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. My thanks to all my well-wishers, blood donors, and my doctors & nurses. (see my homepage too).

Thursday, July 14

I've just returned from a trip to Dorset where I'd gone to find a Lulworth Skipper butterfly. I think this is one:

Lulworth Skipper butterfly

I saw this Skipper amongst the low vegetation on the coastal cliff edge. The Lulworth Skipper is found along the Dorset coastline to the west and east of Lulworth Cove.

I stopped at various places in Wiltshire and Dorset. Meadow Brown butterflies were out in force with a good number of Marbled White butterflies too. I saw Gatekeeper and Ringlet butterflies from the Satyridae (Brown) family and a number of Skippers too. It is difficult to tell the difference between Small Skipper and Essex Skipper butterflies. It depends on the colour of the underside of the antennae. I think this is an Essex Skipper:

Essex Skipper butterfly

I saw several Red Admiral butterflies and a couple of Comma butterflies, some White ones including a Green-veined White butterfly but none of the blue butterflies at all.
One butterfly got my attention. I thought at the time that it was probably a Dark Green Fritillary and I tried to get some photos but it was very lively. Here are my not-up-to-the-usual-standard results:

Dark Green (probably) or High Brown (possibly) Fritillary butterfly
Dark Green (probably) or High Brown (possibly) Fritillary butterfly

I've been wondering since whether it might have been a scarce High Brown Fritillary. It was flying around between four groups of knapweed plants & swooping down to annoy the Meadow Brown butterflies on their flowers. The day-flying six-spot burnet moths were outnumbering the butterflies on these plants and on the thistles.

Six-spot burnet moths

The nearest that I got to a butterfly yesterday was when a Skipper landed on the blue lid of my water bottle hanging from the strap of my camera bag on me; my camera was in the bag at the time so I didn't get the photo!

I looked over every flowering Buddleia bush that I passed in Wiltshire/Dorset without sign of any butterflies. When I got home, I found two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on my plants.

Saturday, July 9

Watering the garden this evening, I disturbed a number of moths including 2 Scarlet Tiger and a Silver-Y.

Scarlet Tiger Moth

A Small Tortoiseshell was on a Hebe plant in the back garden, both yesterday and today.

Thursday, July 7

Today I had my first sighting of a butterfly on the Buddleia Nanho Blue in the front garden; a Red Admiral butterfly called by. Buddleia Lochinch is in flower at the front and Buddleia 'Black Knight' too. The Hyssop bushes are beginning to flower too.

Scarlet Tiger Moth

This dead Scarlet Tiger moth was on the pavement outside the front garden gate. It seemed an appropriate image for this sad day.

Sunday, July 3

This afternoon I found a Meadow Brown butterfly on one of the Hebe plants in the front garden.

Meadow Brown butterfly on Hebe

I liked this photograph because the butterfly is partially hidden/camoflaged by the new immature flower-spike of the Hebe.

The Buddleia bushes are beginning to flower in my garden. I caught a photo of a Meadow Brown butterfly on Buddleia Lochinch in the back garden this morning.

Meadow Broiwn butterfly on Buddleia Lochinch

I've been busy, not only mowing the grass, but also filling our garden-recycling-bin. A Ceanothus bush and our Firethorn bushes had blocked access to parts of the front garden and needed cutting back. The Buddleias, Lavenders and Marjoram are making it difficult to move around the front garden too!
I've also been cutting back the Red Valerian which will self-seed itself all over the garden if allowed. I cut back the Sweet Rocket plants too as there were no flowers left only seed pods. It's all looking much tidier and it's very satisfying to have filled our council-provided wheelie bin - this time last year I filled a skip. I'm glad our garden waste is now being recycled.