Tuesday 30 July 2019

Painted Ladies everywhere plus nature surveys

There are painted lady butterflies everywhere in Edinburgh at the moment, every street seems to have a painted lady fluttering along, even when there seem to be no flowers around at all.

The Painted Lady is a long-distance migrant, giving rise to the most spectacular butterfly migrations observed in this country. Every year, it travels from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, recolonising continental Europe and reaching the British Isles. Sometimes, like this year, there are loads of them. I took these photos furing an early lunch in Inverleith Park, I tried to get different views of them to show their beautiful patterns

 The photo below is my favourite as it shows the long tongue, curled up, which you should be able to see clearly if you click on the photo to enlarge it. I entered these records into the Big Butterfly Count - if you've seen any butterflies recently you can enter your records here.

I was also happy to see several common blue damselflies in the grass (my first for the year)

and this sweet family of mallards on the pond

I was also delighted to see a group of 20 or so swifts flying very low around a corner of Stockbridge. (This is the first time I've seen them flying so low in this area of town though there are always a couple flying high in Stockbridge at this time of year). Three of the swifts flew into and out of three different nest sites, which was lovely to see. I entered those sightings into the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) swift survey, which you can find out about here. Like painted ladies, swifts are long distance migrants to this country and they are declining in numbers and this RSPB survey wants to try to help understand what is causing this. So if you see any swifts please consider filling in this survey!


RG said...

There was a big flock migration of Painted ladies up the pacific coast of No Am. this spring too!

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky. Those butterflies are GORGEOUS!!!!...:)jp

Lowcarb team member said...

Beautiful butterflies, and nice to see the family of Mallards.

All the best Jan

Rambling Woods said...

Amazing butterflies... We count them here too.. Michelle