The Butterflies of our garden & bank at Horncastle

  Note that 1st visits for the year are marked in red.

Where noted the sex of the butterfly is mentioned as some species can be quite different between Male and Female and whichever is spotted second is highlighted with green.

The table below is a record of the number of different Butterflies we have seen for each month of the year so follow the table to check on our progress through the year. The Cumulative number records the total number of different UK Butterflies seen at home through the year.










Number seen per Month


















2013.jpgWell we got our first Butterfly of the year on April 2nd, a Peacock fluttering through the Garden and then gone just as quickly. The weather through March was awful so it was not really surprising that it took this long to get our first into the garden. We then had to wait until Wednesday April 10th for our second new visitor for the year, a male Brimstone, a welcome flash of colour to brighten our day. Nice surprise on Sunday morning April 14th in blustery, but sunny conditions, when the Comma and a Brimstone turned up (2 Commas in fact!). We then had to wait until almost the last day of the month for all 3 to return again followed by a female Brimstone and what looked like a Small White.

May 2nd to 5th and we’ve confirmed the return of the Large White and the male Green Veined White along with Comma, both Brimstones and the Peacock but surprisingly we haven’t yet had a Small Tortoiseshell or Orange Tip :-(   Should have waited a day as May 6th, a glorious sunny Bank Holiday in the UK, we get a couple of male Orange Tip’s arrive! We also saw something that could be a Speckled Wood but it was a fleeting glimpse and couldn’t confirm! As of June 2nd we haven’t confirmed or spotted the speckled wood so we’re doubtful about that but can confirm that on May 31st we had a Holly Blue fly around Paul next to our Lilacs!

June saw a real drop in sightings and sadly we had no new returns at all which is most unusual. July has at least given us some warm and sunny days with the result that we’ve now had four more Butterflies return for the year: a Male Large Skipper on July 5th and then on the 10th in quick succession, a Ringlet, Speckled Wood and a male Meadow Brown with a female Meadow Brown seen on the 12th. We’ve still not had a Small Tortoiseshell though :-(  

July ended with us at least getting the Essex Skipper (July 18th) then on the same day a Small Skipper, luckily Paul was able to get close enough to both of them to check their antennae to tell them apart! Then next day we had a male Gatekeeper arrive. Into August and we’ve had may of the previously returned Butterflies turn up and on August 1st we had the first return of a Red Admiral. So far into August by the 9th we’ve had 11 species visit. At last on Aug 11th we’ve had a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, a bit bedraggled but it’s finally back! Nice to see a fresh male Brimstone and several Peacocks come back on Aug 13th.  Some butterflies are leaving it late but on Aug 26th we had a Small Copper butterfly land in our garden but flew off before I could get the camera, that’s not been seen since 2010 so we’re pretty pleased. Then on the 27th we finally had a Painted Lady come to the Buddleia after all the reports of others seeing several we finally got one here! Although the first day of September has not exactly been warm we have had  five different species visit: Small Tortoiseshell, M & F Large White, Female Green Veined White, Female Small White and a Red Admiral! By the end of September we’d had 9 species visit but October gave us a surprise when we ended up with 6 species with one of them newly returned for the year when Paul saw a White Admiral fly into the garden, quickly flew round then up and over the fence and gone on Oct 7th!

In total we had 20 species return for 2013 which considering the initial weather was awful and for once we had no butterflies in March, is impressive!  Missing for the year:  Wall, Brown Argus and Common Blue.

The 2013 season

Webmaster © Paul L Money Feb 19