Saturday 28 August 2010

Butterflies and Moths (9): a Small Turnaround Trend for the Small Tortoiseshell?

We have heard many reports of the decline in numbers of this beautiful butterfly, (though it may be making a small comeback - see this newspaper report); but judging by a report from North Wales (and here), we weren't alone in seeing (what for us were) record numbers this afternoon in the beautiful gardens at Aberglasney in Carmarthenshire.

Do let me know if you have also seen anything approaching 'swarm' proportions! It was a joy to behold. The Small Tortoiseshells were joined by a sprinkling of Peacocks, Red Admirals and Small Whites. On this note, my thanks to Brian of Devon and Cornwall Viewpoint in the Tamar Valley for informing me that his August observations correspond with my own. You can read Brian's post here.

My thanks to David Gill for taking these photographs for me (on account of my fractured arm...).


Crafty Green Poet said...

what a wonderful sighting, I love small tortoiseshells and lovely to see so many. I've seen more than usual this year (of all butterflies except commas) but nothing like this!

brian in the tamar valley said...

Your observations Caroline very much mirror mine down here on the Cornwall/Devon border. After several years with hardly any butterflies on my buddleia this summer has turned up trumps and yes it's the small tortoiseshell which has been the dominant species. I've also been lucky enough to see red admiral, peacock, comma, brimstone, a painted lady and silver washed fritillary on this bush which has certainly made up for previous disappointments!

Interesting how certain years can be particularly successful for one individual species.

Mary said...

I like those tortoiseshells...very pretty! Glad to see you have so many of them. Great photos!

Anonymous said...

The tortoiseshell butterflies are so pretty! And it's such a pleasure to go through these photographs. I'm now familiar with the Peacock butterfly from blogposts. Great captures!

J said...

I hardly saw any Small Tortoiseshells in Swansea last year, yet there were loads this year. For Painted Ladies, it was the other way around!