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Thistle be a butterfly invasion

Painted lady

They’re here!!! – a once every 10-year migration of Painted Lady Butterflies, and we have seen them in our new eco project and woodland, how amazing is that?

I had no idea about this until I looked it up when we got home, all I knew was that as we walked the dogs around there were clouds of these beautiful butterflies hovering over our heads and landing on the thistles. I can honestly say that I have never seen so many butterflies in one place at any one time and am totally in awe that they decided to visit us. My photo is lousy, but we decided to just enjoy the situation rather than worry about getting the best photo possible.

Apparently, these tiny butterflies fly at speeds of up to 30 mph and at a height of 1km to reach our shores from Africa en route to the Arctic Circle, a trip of over 7500 miles, its very hard to believe that these fragile creatures can undertake such a journey. The last migration was in 2009 when 11 million painted lady butterflies migrated to the UK. They arrive each year from Europe but approximately every 10 years we get a ‘Painted Lady Summer’ when millions of them arrive en masse.

After doing some research I have found out that there is an annual Big Butterfly Count which we will now be taking part in to record our part in this amazing phenomenon. If you wish to take part too here is a link, and it runs until the 11th August, so you’ve still got time to participate.

www.bigbutterflycount.org

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