I scrambled over my garden fence on Bank Holiday Monday and went exploring around the empty reservoir, where my badgers have their sett, in the hope of catching up with a real gem of a butterfly.
It has been a MUCH better year for butterflies following a couple of awful summers and one feature of the last few weeks has been a big influx of clouded yellow butterflies. This is a true migrant and in some years very few are seen at all. This year looks like being one of the best in my lifetime, so I thought that I really should have caught up with one by now. I'd been scanning the field next to my house where an astonishing estimated 5,000 small whites were in residence in July, but no golden-yellow bonus for me.
I'd only walked up the track 200 yards and a clouded yellow appeared, nectaring on clover growing by the field margin. Thoughts went through ky head of racing back to my garden and trying to add it to my "garden list", but I carried on over the bank. A good walk round this short turfed, flower-rich site produced another five clouded yellows and I went back home a happy man. I also clocked up 60 common blue, which was a pleasing count.
I recommend keeping your eye out for clouded yellows over the next few weeks because it might be a good few years before we get another influx like this - and they are stunning!
I'm afraid I didn't get any pics to share (they are very mobile insects), so do go to our friends at Butterfly Conservation's website to see some.