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Butterflies Page 29

Image Taken on 05 Jul 2017 at 13:53    Image of day on 23 Aug 2017

Next to each other on this Buddleia flower head a Small Tortoiseshell and Comma Butterflies quietly share the food for several minutes. Note the white 'comma' on the underside of the Comma Butterfly on the right that gives it it's name.

Ref: 20170823_df3_20170705_1353_190 tortoiseshell butterfly and comma butterfly sharing buddleia flowers(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 26 Aug 2007 at 11:20    Image of day on 19 Sep 2007

While 'yesterdays' dragonfly was hawking this butterfly came down to drink. We half expect the dragonfly to attack it (yes - they can catch & eat butterflies on the wing) but it didn't.

Ref: 20070919_d01_20070826_1120_194 tortoiseshell butterfly drinking from pond(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 16 Jul 2019 at 13:30    Image of day on 05 Sep 2019

The camouflaged underside of the Tortoiseshell butterfly blends well with the foliage which the orange top side does not. Safer to feed like this then.

Ref: 20190905_df3_20190716_1330_010 tortoiseshell butterfly feeding from blackberry flower(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Jun 2017 at 15:25    Image of day on 16 Aug 2017

An unusual good show of Tortoiseshell butterflies over the meadow includes this one with the proboscis down in a lump of moist soil, probably extracting useful minerals that it doesn't get from it's 'fuel' diet of nectar.

Ref: 20170816_df3_20170624_1525_022 tortoiseshell butterfly feeding from clump of moist soil(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 09 Jul 2021 at 15:09    Image of day on 18 Aug 2021

The Blackberry flowers are now abundant, and this Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly isn't going to skip the opportunity.

Ref: 20210818_d73_20210709_1509_105 tortoiseshell butterfly feeding on blackberry flower(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 25 May 2020 at 10:50    Image of day on 19 Jun 2020

While this Tortoiseshell Butterfly is feeding on a Blackberry flower the photographer has time to move round to get these two different perspectives on the same event. On the right you can see the proboscis reaching down into the flower.

Ref: 20200619_df3_20200525_1050_026+034 tortoiseshell butterfly feeding on flower (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Aug 2013 at 17:45    Image of day on 16 Oct 2013

A pristine Tortoiseshell butterfly feeding on our trusty white Buddleia flowers. After several years of very low numbers it is nice to see several again.

Ref: 20131016_a77_20130825_1745_519 tortoiseshell butterfly feeding on white buddleia 3 of 4 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Mar 2014 at 12:19    Image of day on 11 May 2014

Considering that this insect is about 6 months old after winter hibernation, its in pretty good condition, here feeding on the blossom.

Ref: 20140511_df2_20140330_1219_006 tortoiseshell butterfly on blossom(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 17 Aug 2012 at 16:15    Image of day on 25 Sep 2012

A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly finally appears. 10 years ago we had hundreds of these at once along the hedges enjoying the bramble flowers, but the numbers have gradually reduced to the odd sighting. We still have the bramble flowers - how little we understand of species dynamics.

Ref: 20120925_df1_20120817_1615_064 tortoiseshell butterfly on buddleia (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Apr 2015 at 12:20    Image of day on 30 May 2015

Butterflies seem to be doing very well here this Spring. Many are in much better condition than normal after their winter vigil - the winter was unusually benign. A few years after we planted our hedges we saw hundreds of Tortoiseshell Butterflies on the various hedge blossoms. Last year we hardly saw any, but already we have seen a decent number. This Tortoiseshell butterfly was sunning itself on a piece of weed infested shingle that has probably got nice and warm.

Ref: 20150530_df3_20150414_1220_175 tortoiseshell butterfly on overgrown shingle(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 17 Jun 2017 at 08:18    Image of day on 11 Aug 2017

Here is one of about 20 pristine Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies feeding on a Privet flower at the Road entrance to the local farm. Being surrounded by many fluttering butterflies was something not experienced since the 1990s at freshly growing Blackberry hedges.
Seeing Privet as a good nectar source when permitted to flower will change the way we manage the 10m or so along our concrete track.

Ref: 20170811_df3_20170617_0818_048 tortoiseshell butterfly on privet flowers at north of farm entrance(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Jun 2019 at 10:17    Image of day on 12 Aug 2019

The Tortoiseshell Butterflies have created their next generation. This one was feeding on Privet flowers, and we show here the completely different upper and lower wing surfaces. On the right the flowers are 'burnt out' in order that you see some details on the really dark bottom of the wing.

Ref: 20190812_df5_20190622_1017_170+172 tortoiseshell butterfly on privet flowers showing top and bottom of wings (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Sep 2019 at 12:21    Image of day on 26 Oct 2019

What used to be seen by the hundred here, this lone Tortoiseshell Butterfly perches on the edge of a small sunflower.

Ref: 20191026_df3_20190902_1221_026 tortoiseshell butterfly on small sunflower petal tip(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 23 Aug 2016 at 13:42    Image of day on 11 Oct 2016

Atypically choosing this long flowering yellow Buddleia while the white variety is still in flower, a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly glows even against the orangey flowers.

Ref: 20161011_e65_20160823_1342_031 tortoiseshell butterfly on yellow buddleia(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 10 May 2019 at 15:59    Image of day on 11 Jun 2019

This Tortoiseshell Butterfly has lost some of it's scales, but has mostly avoided the birds. After stoking up on this Dandelion it will continue the search for a mate.

Ref: 20190611_df5_20190510_1559_096 tortoiseshell butterfly overwintered and faded feeding on dandelion (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 21 Apr 2015 at 12:13    Image of day on 09 Jun 2015

An unusually tidy Tortoiseshell butterfly, for an over-wintered individual, on a piece of rotting wood. The wings are at about a right angle to one another so look foreshortened in this top view. We have been surprised by how much dead wood we get from such a young wood - several trees have died for no easily determined reason (and others from known 'plagues') though most are fine. Unless there is risk to creatures, fences, ponds or adjacent plants we tend to leave them as they become 'insect cafes' for many species. If we have to cut them we add them to wood-piles all over the site for the same purpose.

Ref: 20150609_df3_20150421_1213_232 tortoiseshell butterfly perched on dead wood with wings at about 45 degrees(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 05 Sep 2021 at 11:03    Image of day on 17 Oct 2021

This pic of 5 white butterflies crowded on to a single stem of still flowering Blackberry perhaps captures the delicacy a bit better.

Ref: 20211017_df3_20210905_1103_114 5 white (small and large) (of 7) butterflies clustered on single blackberry stem(r+mb id@768).jpg




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