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.

The 2010 season










Number seen per Month


















2010.jpgSaturday March 27th and our first butterfly in our Garden, a Male Brimstone during late morning then shortly before lunch a Male and Female Comma settle on our buddleia to mate (they didn’t waste time did they!). The weather has been cooler and poor until Thursday April 8th when we had the male Brimstone, Comma and then the return of the Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell all turn up! Saturday April 10th and all four of the above plus the Female Brimstone and the return of the Holly Blue - couldn’t tell the sex though as it was too quick. Wednesday afternoon April 14th and the first return of the Male Small White in our garden. Friday April 16th and the return of the male Green Veined White whilst with the warm weather up to the 24th helped the male Speckled Wood to return that day. Thursday April 29th and at last the Male Orange Tip has arrived in our garden to bring us to nine species for April - just about made it didn’t he! May 1st and before the rain in the afternoon we started the month with 3 butterflies, Male Orange Tip (and possibly the female!), Speckled Wood and the GVW. May 6th and a good day with several species inc the female Orange Tip allowing me to photograph her - mind you haven’t yet got the male in an image this year!! Saturday May 15th and confirmed return of the Male Large White. Male Orange Tip finally photographed for this year on May 22nd with Female Large White also seen that day. May bank holiday and May 31st we have had several of the Whites but a nice surprise when a Male Common Blue landed in the grass behind us then popped briefly into the garden before landing on our Broom bush to be photographed!

Early June began hot and sunny and we spotted mainly the White’s and the Common Blue but the weather rapidly turned to rain and thunderstorms so it was a nice surprise on the morning of the 9th to see the first return of the year of the male Large Skipper. Despite mixed weather we’ve had the first return of the year for the Male Meadow Brown on the 17th and returns after a few months absence of the Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Small White and Speckled Wood plus the Female Large Skipper up to June 20th. By the end of June we’d added a Painted Lady on the 28th (brief visit!) . July started with sun and cloud but so far we’ve had a new sighting for the year of the Essex Skipper on the 3rd plus, Painted Lady, male Meadow Brown, female GVW and male Large Skipper. We also had a suspected Ringlet on the 1st so hoping to spot it again to confirm its back. The Ringlet is now confirmed along with the Small Skipper on the 4th plus Saturday July 10th became a bumper day for us with Lorraine seeing a Small Copper, then we both see a male Gatekeeper and a surprise visitor that stunned and delighted Paul. In 2001 Paul saw something that looked like a White Admiral fly past and over the bund never to be seen again. After 9 years we’d concluded it may have been a mistaken identity but then Sat July 10th and a White Admiral flew round Paul and landed long enough to be photographed. This now means that we’ve had 23 species visit our garden and bund at the back since we began watching in 2000! August 1st and we’ve already had 10 species in the garden including the first return of a Red Admiral.

By the end of August we had got up to 13 confirmed species and as the weather kept varying so much September saw us drop to just 8 species. October has seen just two spotted but difficult to identify, one was a darkish butterfly that could have been a comma or a small tortoiseshell and the other was either a small or green veined white. Both sightings were quick and they were gone so didn’t hang around. The darkish butterfly was spotted rushing through the garden on Oct 10th and that looks like it was our last butterfly for the year.  

Missing: Wall and Brown Argus

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