I keep a bird list of all the species seen since moving here in 2004, but have never really thought about counting the butterflies I see in the garden. So here's a list of all that I can remember seeing this year.
Small Whites (those two are the good old Cabbage White)
Small Copper (1)
Painted Lady (1)
some Blues (not sure which, probably the common one!)
the occasional unidentifiable Fritillary
(Total 16 species)
and of the pretty daytime flying moths:
Jersey Tiger Moth (1)
Orange Underwing (1)
Not a very good list really - and this year I've not seen any Clouded Yellows which are normally abundant in September, only one Painted Lady, no Tortoiseshells and most worrying, hardly any Meadow Browns, which are usually our most common butterfly. I can only put that down to the early drought and as the caterpillar feeds on various grasses perhaps there was just not enough food for them. On the other hand there were far more Gatekeepers than normal (and yes I can tell the difference!) and they feed on the same things so maybe that's that theory out the window! I can't remember if I saw a Speckled Wood this year or not, but I usually see a few.
Here's a collaged photo of some of the species seen this year (including an insect, not quite right for this blog post but the collage was already made as part of a calender I did for my Mum and Uncle for Christmas pressies!). Click on the photo to see a larger version of it.