Sunday, 29 August 2010

Small tortoisehells in abundance

In recent posts I have been recording my huge pleasure in seeing so many butterflies on my buddleia this summer. Earlier on it was a very broad range of species I was observing but now the small tortoiseshells are easily outnumbering the others, in fact at any one moment there seem to be more of them than all the others put together.

Past experience has informed me that there are large numbers of bloggers with a particularly keen interest in wildlife. Moreover many of them incorporate photos in their blogs. Out of curiosity I thought I would see if other folk were seeing such numbers of small tortoiseshells this year. Happily Google is very good at helping to find what bloggers are saying. Not only is there a special section for blogs when you call up their search engine but there is a sort of sub-menu which gets you to the more recent entries.

So it was with great delight that I found Caroline Gill's blog 'Wild and Wondeful' here Not only were Caroline's observations in line with mine but, as you can see from the link, there are some really superb photos of this incredible butterfly as well. She posted this yesterday but I notice on Friday there were photos of the 'Painted Lady' butterfly. I'm pleased to say that at least one of these has turned up in the garden. It's interesting that certain years can be especially good for one particular species.

Now not such good news I'm afraid. I heard the other day that greenfinches are in serious decline right now. Some conclusion has been reached I think for the cause although I can't recall exactly what - must do some research on the reason. Although the wheezing sound that these finches produce could hardly be described as a beautiful song at least it was something I could recognise and always typified the sound of the garden in the summer. Sadly I can't remember hearing any in the garden or nearby this year. I really hope that, like the small tortoiseshells, they will come back in numbers again.


Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, Brian, for your very generous words. I was so delighted to find that someone else - you - had also noticed the influx of Small Tortoiseshells. I don't know whether this is just a flash in the pan or a real sign that things are not quite as bleak for this species as we had been led to believe. I sincerely hope the latter.

Incidentally, the photos were thanks to my husband, David - as I have been out of (photography) action with a fracture in my arm.

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