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 2012 season

Month

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

Number seen per Month

5

6

7

5

9

8

7

6

Cumulative

5

8

9

10

15

16

16

16

2012.jpgOur first Butterflies of the year fluttered into the garden on the morning of Sunday March 11th on the warmest day so far. First we had a Male Brimstone looking quite fresh taking a tour and returning roughly every ten minutes before having a longer spell away then a Comma alighted on our fence a couple of times before lunch. The Brimstone returned a few more times before the garden became shaded from the sun late afternoon but at least we’re off the starting block! Now spotted a Peacock Butterfly in the Bund and garden on March 23rd. The warm weather is doing our butterflies good as March 26th and the Small White has returned and we’ve also had the Peacock, male Brimstone and Comma also visit! Nice to see us back up to four butterflies for March after a couple of years with either 2 or 3. Even better was to see a Small Tortoiseshell on Tuesday March 27th giving us five butterflies for the month of March which we’ve never had since we began watching back in 2000! That day we also saw a Female Brimstone to add to our tally.

April 1st was far warmer and sunnier than we expected and we were lucky to have a first return of the Male Green Veined White Butterfly whilst a Comma and Peacock also dropped in to see us! Unfortunately the rest of April lived up to its reputation with lots of rain. We had a few brief glimpses of some white butterflies but it was not until April 30th turned sunny and warm did we get some butterflies. Male Brimstone, a Peacock, male Small White and a first return for the male Orange Tip. Confirmation a short while later of a male Large White plus we have had two male Orange Tips in the garden. May was also poor but we did get to see a Female Orange Tip on May 2nd and a first return for the year of the male Holly Blue on May 16th.  However we still have several that have yet to make an appearance for the year.

June was horrendous and so far July has been worse! For June we had just one new return for the year, a Red Admiral on June 30th and for the whole month we only had five species appear compared with last years June when we had 7. Our first butterflies to show during July occurred a few hours before I  began writing this on July 18th! We spotted and confirmed a Ringlet then a quick flyby of a Large Skipper then a white butterfly which we couldn’t identify as it fluttered so quickly in the distance and away before we could catch our breath! And now we’re back to torrential downpours and thunder/lightning so they’ve probably been wiped out!! Good news - from July 23rd to 25th we had hot weather and we have had our first sightings of the Gatekeeper, Painted Lady and Meadow Brown all on the 24th.  We’ve also had the Large and Small White, Comma and Red Admiral so July’s numbers have at least improved slightly but are still down on previous years. August has started OK with 8 butterflies spotted in the garden as of Aug 4th but we’re still missing a few species. On Aug 2nd we had a small skipper type quickly fly into the garden land briefly then fly off. There was no time to get close enough to check the antennae to see if it was a Small or Essex Skipper though but at least we’ve had one or the other! We did confirm it later that day when it returned and it was indeed the Essex Skipper.

After this we had a week at the start of September where we spotted seven regulars then in October we managed six again but had no new returns for the year ending with a total of sixteen species for 2012.

Missing: Speckled wood, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Skipper, Wall, White Admiral and Small Copper.

Webmaster © Paul L Money Feb 19