Monday, 25 May 2009

Painted Lady

During our visit to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve we saw a lot of Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui) and it seems that there has been an influx of this migrant, from south-west Europe & North Africa, over the past few days. This species is a powerful flyer, travelling at 8-10 mph, often skimming over meadows and hedgerows. In some years they are scarce, in others they are very common so maybe this might be a 'bumper' year.

The Painted Lady does not usually survive our winters in any of its stages, (eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis or butterfly) but the early migrants lay eggs on a wide variety of wild flowers giving rise to a second generation in September and October. These die when the cold weather arrives.


  1. Oh Wow!!! love the shots....I haven't seen any butterflies yet. Only moths I'm I will definatly have to look harder.;)

  2. Frank, these are lovely! Great shots.

  3. Great photos Frank! I have only seen one yellow Butterfly so far and some of those tiny ones. But the pretty yellow one went by my window so fast I couldn't get a photo of it....ha !

  4. Frank,
    They certainly are here in the tens of thousands at least. I saw one every few paces today!

  5. Beautiful butterflies - and photos of them! - and interesting that there are so many of them around right now. (I've just been reading other blogs and news stories about them.)

  6. Crista, with all that sunshine you must have some somewhere.

    Mona & Ginny. Thanks. In view of the windy conditions I was lucky that this individual was hungry!

    Warren & Mick. Looks like a 'bumper' year for them.

  7. Hi Frank,
    You too you got them... Guess what, next day they will reach Iceland Yeh!!! Ok, yes I know, I'm just dreaming!!!
    Nice pictures Frank, hope you will see more (and I guess you will)...

  8. Great shots Frank. I've seen a few round here in the last couple of days; even, surprisingly, very early in the morning.
    I think we are in for a mass invasion of this beauty this year.

  9. Nice shots! Butterflies can be tough. You done good.

  10. My goodness these are so delicate and beautiful!

    I love your photography in general, great to find your blog :)

  11. These are some gorgeous close ups of this butterfly - I loved seeing the detail of her wings!

  12. Such lovely photos Frank, I am hearing so much about them, but haven't seen one here yet, and we have very heavy rain today so not much chance I think.

  13. Chris, I'm sorry you don't get butterflies in Iceland but you do get some great birds so hope that's some consolation.

    Keith, you should get plenty of opportunities with your 'macro.

    Steve B. Thanks, I only had time for these few shots!

    Evita. Welcome & thank you. Please feel freee to drop by anytime.

    Shelly. These are a bit tatty from all that distance travelled. Their offspring later this year will be much more colourful.

    Jan. Keep looking, they can't be far away as there are now 000's in the country & probably more to come on the next easterly winds.

  14. What a beautiful creature. Very nice series, Frank.


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