16 Nov 2013

16 Nov 13 - Mid November Butterflies

It's not unusual to see Butterflies on the mild, sunny days in November locally. What is more unusual is seeing 3 different species on the wing. Still it brightened up an otherwise quiet walk out to Old Harry. First seen was the expected Red Admiral. At least 2 of these regular late Autumn species were on the wing in the sun. They overwinter as adults and can occasionally be seen on the wing on warm, sunny days in the winter. The earliest Butterfly I've seen in the UK was a Red Admiral on the wing in Poole Harbour on the 11th Jan 2013.
Red Admiral
Another species that overwinters in the UK as an adult, but in smaller numbers, is this Peacock.
Peacock: This individual has clearly seen better days
The biggest treat was seeing 2 Clouded Yellows also flying along the field leading to Old Harry. This is an immigrant Butterfly which appears in varying numbers from Southern Europe and in good years (like this year) can be seen well into the Autumn & is one of my favourite British Butterflies. They won't overwinter as adults in the UK, but with the numbers present this Autumn, we will hopefully see them locally bred adults next Spring & Summer.
Clouded Yellow
Clouded Yellow