They weren’t here yesterday, but they are today: painted lady butterflies. At least ten are fluttering around the Wheatland Farm wildlife pond.
These pretty butterflies are summer migrants, originating in North Africa and moving north, even as far as Iceland, over multiple generations within the year.
The adults that have just arrived here in Devon may breed, producing fresh buttterflies by August. Some years see massive influxes of painted ladies to the UK, others hardly any. Apparently, it’s looking strong for 2019 so far.
Back in 2017 we spotted them at Wheatland Farm in early June.
And their preferred plants? Thistles and nettles, plus a helping of brambles . That’s another reason why we leave patches of these plants at Wheatland Farm.
This time last year: Picking wild strawberries. They are important for some butterfly speices too
This time in 2017: A moth moment