Thursday, 20 April 2017

Flight of the Painted Lady !

Yesterday 19th April I decided on an exploratory trip to a new reserve, combined with a so called " Twitch " to a nature reserve in Essex, called Vange Marshes, a relatively new acquisition by the RSPB, taken over, I believe in 2005.

Entrance to the reserve is not the easiest to find, but once you find it, quite impressive habitat. the " Twitch " which I will cover later was for the Black Winged Stilts.

This entry is to cover what I initially thought was an unusual sighting, not a bird, a Butterfly, more about the timing really than the actual Butterfly. 

The Butterfly was the first I saw as I passed through the entrance gate, lots of Green Veined Whites, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell also.

My initial thoughts was that this was a very early sighting for the Painted Lady Butterfly , which is one of those migrant Butterflies usually seen in mid-summer. or so I thought. I know that the Butterfly in any of its life stages cannot survive our winters.
These Butterflies migrate from North Africa, some make the journey in one go stopping for occasional feeding, while others, second, third or fourth generation migrate here in stages. 

Some arrive in early spring, although the main influx arrive late May to early July.

So not as unusual as I first thought, but still a spectacular Butterfly to see and certainly the earliest I have ever seen one.

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