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 2011 season

Month

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

Number seen per Month

3

11

7

7

14

14

6

2

Cumulative

3

11

11

13

17

18

18

18

2011.jpgMonday March 21st and our first butterflies (in the bund at the back) for the year were the Comma and Peacock. Tuesday 22nd and  a Male Brimstone flutters through the garden at around 10:10am whilst the Peacock and two Commas also visited the garden by lunchtime. Into April and so far just the Peacock and male Brimstone have been spotted. Wed April 6th and Peacock, Male Brimstone and plus first return to our bund/garden of the Small Tortoiseshell. April 9th and the return of the Male Orange Tip and a female Brimstone whilst Sunday 10th saw the our first sightings of a Male Holly Blue and Male Small White in the garden and bund. Monday April 18th and the return of Large White, Green Veined White and Speckled Wood plus first sighting in April of the Comma. Good Friday and we have now seen the first return of the Red Admiral and Easter Saturday we also saw for definite (because I photographed it!) the female Orange Tip. May 1st and in just one day we’ve had 7 different butterflies so the month is off to a great start! Most of May was cloudy or cool so not many seen and now as we go into June we’re still low on numbers. Good news though is that we did see the first return of the male Large Skipper on Sat June 4th! June has been very disappointing and we’re now over the half way mark of the month and have only seen the Large Skipper and a fleeting undetermined  white but on the morning of the 16th we did have a female Large Skipper and only hope the weather improves! Slight improvement as we had better weather on Monday 20th and spotted a bedraggled male brimstone, a fresh Male Large Skipper, female Small White  and a Red Admiral!  Tuesday 22nd and shock when for some stupid reason the Council have mown the thin strip between us and the Bund, weeks before they normally do and just before the Ringlets and Meadow Browns would have appeared. We’re furious and have put in a complaint as they shouldn't be doing this until after the wild flowers and grasses have flowered and seeded. We can only hope we get those Butterflies return but they do depend on the grasses at the back of us (as does the skippers). Monday 27th June and a bedraggled Ringlet has appeared , lets us hope it is not the only one of that species!

July has had a few reasonable days so far and we’ve at least managed one new return so far on July 2nd when we spotted a Meadow Brown come into the garden. By July 12th we stood at just 8 different butterflies and we’re well down on previous years. By the time the end of July came we did have a few sunny and warm days and were lucky enough to spot the first return of Gatekeeper, Essex Skipper and Small Skipper all on July 24th with a welcome return in the month of the Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood. This brings us up to a total of 17 species of butterfly so far for the year and 14 for July. As of Aug 2nd we’ve had five species in our garden for August and we’ve noticed a significant and dramatic drop in the Ringlets, Meadow Browns and the Small/Essex Skippers with nowhere near the normal numbers spotted for the time of year since the grass was cut back in June. August was a very poor month weather wise but it was especially noticeable that the main ‘grass’ loving Butterflies have either disappeared or not turned up. By the end of the month we would have expected several new returns but by early September we were still awaiting the Painted Lady, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Wall Butterfly and the White Admiral. However we had either a female Common Blue or a Brown Argus and both of us saw something close to the house flitter by us in early August but we couldn’t decide between the two which it was so we are technically at 18 species for the year! We did however have two definite butterflies in October, a  male GVW and a male Brimstone and we also suspected a Red Admiral but after that there were no more to be seen for 2011.

 Missing: Painted Lady, Common Blue, Brown Argus (see above), Small Copper, Wall Butterfly and the White Admiral.

Webmaster © Paul L Money Feb 19