Butterfly Count (2)

From 1.10 to 1.25 forgot to make a note of the time for the last one. It was slightly windier, about 8kph (5 mph) from the south. Temperature had climbed to 23 from 20, though the sky was slightly overcast. I really must remember to be more scientific.

Three Red Admirals.

Three Large White.

Five Small White.

Four Small Tortoiseshell.

Three Peacocks.

No Comma this time, though Vicki did catch a Green Veined White and a tatty Meadow Brown in the polytunnel (both released back into the open air unharmed). I didn’t actually see them whilst watching so better luck next time.


Green-veined White

It was harder to take photos this time as they stayed deeper in the shrubs to keep out of the wind, because the wind was shaking the ones that perched where I could actually get a shot and because I was using Camera 2 (the batteries ran out in the new one). Camera 2 is OK, but having leant it to the group to take pictures of the bantams this morning I started off in Magic Scene mode with Beauty Setting. It’s not the most responsive setting for butterfly photography.

We have a lot of whites in the polytunnels, and they are quite good for capturing other species for us. We had a lot of Speckled Woods and Silver Y moths in there last year. We’ve also had Small Copper, Hummingbird Hawk Moth and Small Skipper in the tunnels. In fact the only Small Skipper we’ve recorded here was in the small tunnel.

This morning we disturbed a large moth with markings like a butterfly when we walked in to the office. It paused for a moment after fluttering, folded itself into a moth and then took off and disappeared before I could get the camera. A search of the internet suggests an Orange Underwing (but it’s the wrong time of year) or a Garden Tiger (but it was much plainer, and brown, when it folded its wings). It’s very frustrating.

However, I did see a Mint Moth, after saying I couldn’t find one at the moment. That’s where Camera 2 came into its own. It seems to focus better at smaller distances. The moth started on mint but I took the picture while it was on marjoram. I’m glad to see it, but a bit worried as by this time of year Β can sometimes see six or eight of them at a time.


Mint Moth on marjoram




17 thoughts on “Butterfly Count (2)

  1. Pingback: Learn about Butterflies Day March 14 – stbarbebaker

  2. Julia Davis-Coombs

    What’s the one with the huge eye spots at the top of this post? I think I saw one of these Saturday on a (Gower) coastal walk (maybe 1/4 mile inland at that moment), though it may have been more purple and less brown. (Sorry, only had my not-smart phone with full memory on me, and was so excited by how beautiful it was that I didn’t even _think_ of trying to take a picture anyway!)

    1. quercuscommunity

      That’s a Peacock. There can be variations in colour so it’s quite possible yours was a different colour.

      We have two colours of Small Tortoiseshell on the farm and I know Ruby Tiger moths are redder in the south than in the north. (Isn’t that just typical!)

      You should be able to get Peacocks in the garden if you have a buddleia.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Easy steps for seeing a Mint Moth.
      (1) Wait until evening.
      (2) Pour a long drink.
      (3) Sit by a clump of mint, thyme, oregano or marjoram.
      (4) Tell Jackie it’s research.
      (5) Look out for a small moth about half an inch across.
      (6) Repeat.


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