Butterfly Obsession

As you can tell if you know me personally or just by looking on this website, you would know I am ever so fascinated by the natural world, especially the animal side of it. Recently, butterflies have caught my attention a lot more. According to the Butterfly Conservation there are 59 species of butterfly commonly seen in the British Isles. Butterflies are from the Lepidoptera order of insects.

A few weeks back a common butterfly, the gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus flew into my garden and I was rather invested in watching it as it flew around the chive and mint plants. I managed to take a few decent photos of it, which helped me identify it as I am not the greatest when it comes to butterfly identification.

A male gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

Not long after that, I had a 3rd year university project that I needed to do in the New Forest, around Beaulieu Road Station. For anyone who knows and those that don’t, the New Forest is a fantastic place with a variety of habitats that hold an abundance of diversity, including insects and butterflies.

It was here that I encountered a few more species, the meadow brown Maniola jurtina, large white Pieris brassicae and common blue Polyommatus icarus, as well as more gatekeepers.

A day after being in the New Forest, I was back in Reading for a few shifts at work. The campus at the time was overgrown with long grasses and buzzing with insect life (at the time of writing this, just shy of a week after this, the majority of this grass had been cut down, which is very disappointing). Within the grasses and also flittering around the brambles and thistles were more butterflies, meadow browns, gatekeepers and ringlet butterflies Aphantopus hyperantus being the most common. However deeper into the grassy areas there were a lot of common blues and a few beautiful small coppers Lycaena phlaeas.

I also managed to see this large brimstone butterfly Gonepteryx rhamni in my garden.

A brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni

Considering I have seen all these butterflies (all photos on this page are around a week apart maximum) in a short time, I would say I am very fortunate but also that it is easy to spot some very pretty animals in the UK.

I also acknowledge this is my first post in over a year, life can really keep people busy sometimes.

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