My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Painted Ladies in a different county!

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I'd seen some Painted Lady butterflies in my garden. It would appear that we've been invaded by them. Steve Gale at Northdownsandbeyond makes reference to them in his post where he'd seen them in his garden and where Graham had seen about 50 flying north through Ashdown Forest. Equally Frank at The Early Birder mentions that he saw a goodly number of them at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve in East Sussex.

Well - I was down in West Sussex today spending a day with my mother. "Oh look", says I "at all those Painted Ladies flying through the garden" We started counting 8; 10; 15; 20; 26; we carried on until we reached 50 and stopped counting and, spellbound we watched for several minutes. There were definitely in excess of 60 being blown along on the South West wind! Utterly amazing sight. Several of them stayed around in the garden and seemed to favour a patio area where many dandelions were growing. They also like the verbena in one of the hanging baskets! Magic!

And Jackie has just emailed me this link from the BBC news!

And whilst be entranced with all the flutters, I noticed a parent Dunnock up on the fence - having a preen.

It was then joined by a youngster and the adult flew off. I waited hoping for a feeding shot, but the parent didn't return whilst I was watching.

A bit of floral colour around Mum's garden.

Well given that I didn't expect to use my camera today, I was delighted to have another "back garden" wildlife adventure :D


Liz said...

Lovely Photos Tricia, and a Clematis Majorie!!! Oh how I want one but they don't seem to be very popular!!!

Apparently there were over 1000 Painted Ladies in an hour counted on Sunday... In Strumpshaw Fen!!! grrrrrrr, I just missed them, can't believe it *cries* It must be such an amazing sight :)

Pete said...

love the dunnocks

The Early Birder said...

Looks like another 'bumper' interuptive year for Painted Lady's. Dunnocks are definitely 'in form' this season.

mick said...

How great to see that many "Painted Ladies" flying by. Beautiful flowers - but the birds on the fence are my favorites!

Phil and Mandy said...

Very nice photos again. Phil

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
So it is an invasive year for the painted lady!! Cool, get your macro lens ready! Cool! The BBC link is awesome too! Thanks for sharing.
Well done on the Dunnock!!

Steve Gale said...

Painted Ladies normally bring rarer things with them! Keep those eyes peeled and the camera lens off Tricia!

holdingmoments said...

Beautiful pictures Tricia.
This is one invasion I'm really enjoying, such a lovely butterfly.
I find it incredible that such a small insect, weighing practically nothing, can travel so far.

Anonymous said...

Great pics, Tricia.

Regards the Painted Lady invasion, there`s been an estimate of 15 million making it into the country, since the weekend.

Warren Baker said...

They are everywhere Tracie!! later in the year they will breed, and the new ones will look much brighter - get the camera ready!

Midmarsh John said...

Seeing all those Painted Ladies must have been a wonderful sight. The only insect invasion I have seen was over 30 years ago when hover-flies came across the North Sea and there were literally thousands of them.

Great pictures of the Dunnocks.

oldcrow61 said...

What a sight it must have been to see all those butterflies. Great pictures. Your mums flowers are lovely.

Randy Emmitt said...


What a lovely event you are in for. We get Painted ladies here in the southeastern US from the western US, they arrive in numbers about every 5-10 years. We never get the kind of numbers you are getting.

Yoke, said...

Well, is it me, or is the multitude of Painted Ladies when cash is short? (near recession years)
Love the photos and story. Your mum must really love her house/garden.

I've awarded you a One Lovely Blog Award on BOW today.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely, lovely photos Tricia. I am hearing so much about them, I sat in the garden yesterday in the hope of seeing at least one, but all I got was.....COLD!!

Tricia said...

Liz - Thank you. And thanks for the Clematis ID - it's Mum's neighbours which she benefits from! Sorry you missed the flutters.

Pete - thanks - they were rather posing which was great!

Frank - first Bumper year that I've observed - twas great.

Mick - it was an unbelievable sight!

Phil - thank you

Chris - Macro lens is standing by for a windless day!

Steve - I shall keep watching with eagerness! With or without camera lens Lol

Keith - thank you. I couldn't agree more - just how do they cross all that water apart from anything else!

John - Thank you. It was amazing to see them all as it must have been for you watching hoverflies.

OC - Thank you - still can't quite believe we saw what we did. Mum loves her garden even though she can't do anything herself these days.

Randy - We may get them more frequently but it's the first time I've seen them like this!

Yoke - not sure about the connection with the recession but.... you never know.

And thank you very much for your award - I'm very flattered :D

Jan - Thank you very much. Oh dear - I do wish you'd seen some rather than getting cold!!

Tricia said...

Warren - I shall certainly have camera poised - hopefully I will see some new ones!

NatureStop said...

Hi Tricia..thank you so much for dropping by and all your kind words.Loved your blog and the Painted Ladies look great and so did the blooms at your mom's.Will be at Tricia's Tales again. Have a lovely day!

Old Wom Tigley said...

I hope these beauties blow this way.. ha!. I am in awe of your Dunnock shots.. these are stunning little birds and so often get over looked.

Andrew at Quicksilverbirds said...

Always good to see the painted ladies arrive en mass as they did this weekend. Cracking photos Tricia, have you changed your camera?

Tricia said...

Hi NatureStop and great to see you here. Thanks for the kind comments and please do pop in again.

Tom - they are very characterful birds and fun to have around and watch!

Andrew - the most amazing sight and one I'm so glad I was there for.

I did upgrade to a Canon 50D but that was some months ago.

I'd like to think it's my photography skills that are improving!

Tricia said...

Hi Dean - that's quite an amazing number to have visiting us in the UK - how wonderful!! And thanks for the information :D

Rajesh said...

Amazing snaps of beautiful flowers and colorful butterfly.

Tricia said...

Thanks Rajesh - it's a great time of year for both flutters and flowers :)

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