Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Vanessa Returns

The Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

Just occasionally we get a mass invasion of Painted Lady in the UK and my records show that the last time was 2009.  I recall that if one found some, it would be dozens at a time and collecting suitable photographs was easy. Since then I only ever see the odd one in each year, in fact I think it has only been one a year since 2009 and mostly I find that odd one at the Woodland/Heath Reserve that I visit regularly.

This week I visited the Woodland/Heath in question. It was a warm sunny morning, but due to the time of year I did not expect to find much in the way of butterfly life.

Bizarrely, while I was looking around an open heath area I heard the sound of a Mute Swan and soon observed it flying over. I took a few shots and then looked back down on the nearby flowers. There it was, a Painted Lady Butterfly. It was in reasonably good condition and I took as many shots as I could in case it made off. I then continued on my walk around the area and found quite a variety of other butterflies which I will post about subsequently. On more than one subsequent occasion I found the same Painted Lady again and took more shots. So I had plenty to choose from for this post. 

Due to its wingspan I am inclined to think this one is a female. An average for a female is 70mm as opposed to a male which is 64mm.














32 comments:

  1. As you say Roy, it's not often that we get to see this beautiful migrant and it's always a pleasure when we do. I've been lucky enough to see just two this year. Maybe next year will be 'one of those years'?
    You've made the most of your encounter and captured some great images...[;o)

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    1. Thanks Trevor, yes always a pleasure to find one of these.

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  2. They really are a stunning butterfly Roy.
    Plenty of excellent pictures there.
    I've only seen a couple this year.

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  3. Ah, that explains why I haven't seen any over here this year. They are all on holiday in the UK.

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    1. Only found one Steve, but the last time we had an invasion it was quite amazing to see.

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  4. Stunning images Roy! Only seen a couple of these beauties myself this year.
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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  5. lovely set of pictures. I have only seen one this year.

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  6. Brilliant shots again Roy. Haven't seen a Painted Lady for years.

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  7. Thanks John, we could do with another mass invasion.{:))

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  8. Fantastic photos Roy and this Painted Lady has the most exquisite markings.

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  9. Lovely series Roy, lovely colours and poses too. I think I've only seen 1 this year in NL and 1 in CZ and I wasn't able to make a decent photo. But looking at yours makes it all okay for me.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Marianne

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  10. Stunning shots Roy, have not seen one this year buy have been getting a few Red Admiral Butterflies..
    Amanda xxx

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    1. Thanks Amanda, yes I have seen a few more Red Admirals recently.

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  11. Lovely photos of a lovely butterfly. Quite a while since I've seen one.

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    1. Thanks Alison, yes a rare event for all of us for a few years now.

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  12. Great series of photos of this Painted Lady.
    I like the collages also very nice put together:-)

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  13. Bonsoir Roy
    Superbes photos ! Ce papillon est très beau et j'aime beaucoup la dernière photo. Bravo l'ami !

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  14. Fabulous shots of this Painted Lady, Roy. Beautiful.

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  15. Beautiful! I saw a couple here today, also. They are one of my favorites.

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