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Painted Lady Influx


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Posted
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl
  • Weather Preferences: warm and sunny, thunderstorms, frost, fog, snow, windstorms
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl

Has anyone heard of the influx of Painted Lady Butterflies we are experiencing? many millions have been heading north as good winter rains over the Atlas mountains in North Africa have resulted in a bumber brood of Painted Ladies spreading throughout Europe looking for new breeding territories. I read a report of upto 18,000 were seen in Norfolk flying through, about 50 every minute. As I understand it these arrivals will then breed and if the conditions are right within a month many more will emerge. I think the last time it happened on a large scale was 1996, but this could be even bigger than that. I haven't seen any up here yet, but have any NW members down south sighted any?

edit: found an article on the subject http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009...gration-britain

Edited by James M
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Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

:lol: I didn't see this thread yesterday and have been doing a little butterfly research online this afternoon. The reason for research being that I saw at least 12 butterflies fluttering over / landing on a stoned driveway while out working this morning. I wasn't sure what species they were and my Googling revealed them to be.... Painted Ladies :lol: !

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Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

They arrived here on Sunday and bank holiday Monday. I was amazed by the numbers, in the many hundreds just flying in as I was walking along the sea cliffs near Brook (IOW). Back to work on Tuesday near Ryde and they were there too :gathering:

They seem to be in very good condition, most years they are quite tattered after only a few days. The most I have seen for a good few years.

Russ

Edited by Rustynailer
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Posted
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex

Saw one today in Southsea, Portsmouth, surprised - that's an orange red admiral? was my first thought, but no, a painted lady, in excellent visual condition.

Edited by Chris Knight
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Posted
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl
  • Weather Preferences: warm and sunny, thunderstorms, frost, fog, snow, windstorms
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl

Here's an article from the Butterfly Conservation. http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/arti..._for_years.html They're asking for people to take part in Painted Lady count that is taking place this weekend. I'm thinking of having a go, if I see any that is (none yet), with the weather improving might be in luck this weekend.

Edited by James M
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Posted
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and storms
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.

My daughters were given a butterfly kit for Christmas. This involves sending off for your caterpillars which then feed in a plastic jar medium, until they pupate and turn into adult butterflies. We currently have five small, but rapidly growing caterpillars. And yes, you may have guessed it but they are indeed Painted Ladies! So there will be another 5 to add to the thousands migrating here. I hope there is some food left for them!

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Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

Just so's you know what your looking for! :doh:

pl1.jpg

(Note: this was taken in Sept 06 and would have been a local brood)

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Posted
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl
  • Weather Preferences: warm and sunny, thunderstorms, frost, fog, snow, windstorms
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl

Great photo, I remember thinking there were alot in 2006 as that was a good butterfly year, god knows how many there are going to be later in the summer.

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Posted
  • Location: LANCS. 12 miles NE of Preston at the SW corner of the Bowland Fells. 550ft, 170m approx.
  • Location: LANCS. 12 miles NE of Preston at the SW corner of the Bowland Fells. 550ft, 170m approx.

Bowland, Lancs. Saw one Painted Lady briiefly on the morning of Bank Holiday Mpnday, 25th. It flew away northwards. I was surprised how strongly it flew. Almost as powerfully as a bird. I wondered if the hot plume last weekend had helped to bring the invasion? By the way, not seen any Small Tortoiseshells this year. Only one or two seen last year. Usually we have lots emerging from hibernation on warm sunny days in springtime. Also only seen one Peacock butterfly.

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Posted
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts

How interesting! We had 7 or 8 sitting on the ceanothus in the garden on Bank holiday monday: I had assumed they had just hatched!

What a fantastic thing to think that they had come all that way :D

EDIT: Just checked James M's butterfly conservation link and, as well as the weekend, they also want people to record whenever they see them, even if it's already happened. Have just added mine and it would seem that BH monday was Hertfordshire's butterfly day!!!

Edited by Roo
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Posted
  • Location: chellaston, derby
  • Weather Preferences: The Actual Weather ..... not fantasy.
  • Location: chellaston, derby

yep loads of them.... a good sign? it was 95 when we last had such a huge influx and that summer was great! :unsure:

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Posted
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire

Saw one in my front garden the other day. Have seen a few Cabbage Whites in my back garden too. No swarms of anything though.......

(remember the ladybirds back in mid 1970s anyone? There were squillions of 'em cadging a ride on my bus! It was actually quite scary.......in your face, in your hair etc. :o )

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Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL

None up here yet, but I hope we do get some to help with pollination, because this weekend just gone I was sat in our garden, which is looking nice and flowery right now, when I became aware there was something missing - no buzzing at all, and on closer inspection I was shocked to realise there was not one single bee to be seen anywhere, not even bumbles, which is very unusual. Was it the easterly breeze, or a knock-on effect of last winter, or something more serious ? Where are the bees ???

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Posted
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire
None up here yet, but I hope we do get some to help with pollination, because this weekend just gone I was sat in our garden, which is looking nice and flowery right now, when I became aware there was something missing - no buzzing at all, and on closer inspection I was shocked to realise there was not one single bee to be seen anywhere, not even bumbles, which is very unusual. Was it the easterly breeze, or a knock-on effect of last winter, or something more serious ? Where are the bees ???

Lots of bees on my cotoneaster horizontalis(es|||||||) lately. Absolutely humming with them!

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Posted
  • Location: Kilburn, NW London
  • Location: Kilburn, NW London
Lots of bees on my cotoneaster horizontalis(es|||||||) lately. Absolutely humming with them!

Had a day off and had a spot of sunbathing in the local park, and the clovers were being serviced by bee after bee, compared to the last 2 years where I hardly saw a bee at all.

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Posted
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and storms
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.

The number of painted ladies seems to have reduced here on the south coast. I wonder have they all flown north. Or has the reproductive cycle begun and are they all dying off after mating and laying there eggs so we await the next painted lady boom in August.

Lots of bees this year though and a few too many wasps seen already!

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Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
Lots of bees on my cotoneaster horizontalis(es|||||||) lately. Absolutely humming with them!
Had a day off and had a spot of sunbathing in the local park, and the clovers were being serviced by bee after bee, compared to the last 2 years where I hardly saw a bee at all.
The number of painted ladies seems to have reduced here on the south coast. I wonder have they all flown north. Or has the reproductive cycle begun and are they all dying off after mating and laying there eggs so we await the next painted lady boom in August.

Lots of bees this year though and a few too many wasps seen already!

Looks like all the bees are down south then !!!

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Posted
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl
  • Weather Preferences: warm and sunny, thunderstorms, frost, fog, snow, windstorms
  • Location: Saddleworth, Oldham , 175m asl

Not seen any here yet, perhaps I'm not looking hard enough!

Looks like all the bees are down south then !!!

Plenty of Bees here, our Cotoneaster is humming with Bumbles, wasps, a few honey bees and I think I have seen a few solitary/mining bees too.

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Posted
  • Location: LANCS. 12 miles NE of Preston at the SW corner of the Bowland Fells. 550ft, 170m approx.
  • Location: LANCS. 12 miles NE of Preston at the SW corner of the Bowland Fells. 550ft, 170m approx.

Bowland Lancs. Been lots of Painted Ladies about this last week in the sunshine. Seen them sipping nectar on lilac and chive flowers. We've lots of nettles, marsh thistles and knapweed here around the fields. So plenty of food plants for the new broods during the summer. I do wonder if they are territorial once they have found a suitable place. I saw two having an aerial battle over the veg garden and the loser being chased off.

Very few orange tips this year so far. Just one peacock butterfly. Good number of whites. No small tortoiseshells and only the odd one last year. They really have crashed. We used to have a lot hibernating here and on the first good sunny morning in Spring they would be out investigating early flowers.

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Posted
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level

We have seen alot of them, more than any other species here.

They tend to get trapped inside our polytunnels so are easy to spot.

What do the little buggers feed on?

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Posted
  • Location: Lower Brynamman, nr Ammanford, 160-170m a.s.l.
  • Location: Lower Brynamman, nr Ammanford, 160-170m a.s.l.
We have seen alot of them, more than any other species here.

They tend to get trapped inside our polytunnels so are easy to spot.

What do the little buggers feed on?

My parents - who live in East Sussex - have reported an average of about 30 sightings a day over the last few weeks.

The adults will get nectar wherever they can. They lay on thistles, mallow, hollyhocks and sunflowers.

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Posted
  • Location: chellaston, derby
  • Weather Preferences: The Actual Weather ..... not fantasy.
  • Location: chellaston, derby

i bet they wish they hadnt bothered coming now! lol after a week with very heavy rain around and very cool temps...

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

Guess it'll be another month or so before the arrive here...One tip: don't raise catterpillars in a hamster cage! :lol:

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Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)

Saw one of those Hummingbird Hawkmoth thingies flying past out on the common yesterday ... stunning things and quite colourful - look very much like minnature birds.

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Posted
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and storms
  • Location: Hayward’s Heath - home, Brighton/East Grinstead - work.
My daughters were given a butterfly kit for Christmas. This involves sending off for your caterpillars which then feed in a plastic jar medium, until they pupate and turn into adult butterflies. We currently have five small, but rapidly growing caterpillars. And yes, you may have guessed it but they are indeed Painted Ladies! So there will be another 5 to add to the thousands migrating here. I hope there is some food left for them!

Three out of the five have now climbed out of their chrysalis. It seems all the immigrant painted ladies have either travelled north or died off after mating. I haven't seen one for a couple weeks.

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