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Yesterday I was celebrating the return of the Sand Martins, today it’s the turn of the butterflies. We’ve had 4 days of wall-to-wall sunshine and daily high temperatures in the mid teens which has encouraged all the small critters we share our world with to emerge and get active. And it’s a wondrous sight to behold!

170409 Peacock & Small tortoisehell

These two, a Peacock (Aglais io) (top) and a Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) (below) were in one of my local parks. They flew in together and sat very close like this for at least ten minutes, after which time I walked on. It’s unusual to see them like this and one of my knowledgeable friends speculated that the Small tortoiseshell might me a confused male, showing an ‘interest’ in the Peacock.

I saw these three, plus another Peacock and some Small whites that were too fast to photograph, on a walk along the local coastal path on Friday. They’re a Comma (Polygonia c-album) on the left, a Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) in the centre – one of eight I saw on this walk, and a Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) on the right. The Painted Lady is a long-distance migrant, flying back to Britain at this time of year from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia so it’s no wonder it’s looking rather battered.

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