The plants in the photo below are:
The yellow flower is Ragwort and more attractive to pollinators such as hoverflies than to butterflies.
The white flower is Queen Anne's Lace or Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), not so attractive to the larger pollinators or butterflies, but small insects can usually be found on it.
The purple flower is Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra), now this one is beloved by butterflies, bees, hoverflies, beetles, you name it, and probably one of the most important wildflowers to have right now. Let it grow in your lawn as it's quite happy to be mown and will still flower low down in amongst your grass!
There's also a Bramble/Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) cane running through the picture top left and the flowers of this plant are very popular with both bees and butterflies and other pollinators.
|Typical wildflowers found in July/August.|
|Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae) -|
I saw one in my garden last year but not yet this year.
|Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) - |
a lifer for me and not yet seen in my garden.
|Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) and a solitary bee on a bramble flower.|
The track dips downhill to cross over a stream in dense shade amongst woodland and despite the warm sunny day, the soil was still wet with water gathered in tractor ruts. Around here not only did I see demoiselles and a beautiful dragonfly, but some Red Admirals were perched on the ground - presumably taking minerals from the soil (although it was not on the wet mud) and others were enjoying some rotting cherries.
Below clockwise from top left:
Peacock (Inachis io)
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) eating a cherry
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)
Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta)
Bordering the little bit of woodland on one side of the stream was a small uncultivated field which only seemed to be being used as a dumping ground for some bales of hay. In it I discovered an unknown to me plant with flowers very similar to the Knapweed flowers. A cry for help on Facebook gave me the ID of the mystery plant - it is Burdock, I assume Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa), as some of these plants were taller than me, and they were teeming with butterflies!
|A Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) showing how leaflike and well camouflaged their wings are, |
and a bumble bee enjoying the Burdock flowers.
|A Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) - I only saw my first one in |
the garden recently to much excitement. Here it is sharing the picture
with a Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
and up top a bug that I hadn't even noticed!
|The derelict house, the track looking back towards it with the orchard on the left and |
the woodland and stream beyond, and the overgrown orchard.
|Probably the most exciting find as it's a lifer meaning I haven't ever seen it before - |
a Sooty Copper (Lycaena tityrus).
|Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) male - cheat photo from my garden on left, |
photos from the walk on the right!
Isn't it the cutest little thing?!
Clockwise from top left:
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)
Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Gatekeepers (Pyronia tithonus)
|You can see how popular the Knapweed is!|
There are daytime flying moths about too and the following are two that I commonly see in my garden, the Silver Y moth below being abundant and around in the garden for several months now. The Jersey Tiger moths appear later but are quite common in high summer, at home having a preference for lavender and coneflowers.
|Silver Y moth (Autographa gamma)|
|Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria) - when it spreads those tiger wings the underwings are a vivid orange/red and quite amazing. In flight you just see the red colour.|
Of course where there is such an abundance of insects there will always be predators. I didn't even spot what was going on in the photo below until I'd looked at it for about the third time! I also saw a Garden Spider with one of the Snout Moths (Pyralidae family) and zooming in on a dead looking butterfly hanging high up in the brambles showed me the legs of a crab spider peeking out from behind the foliage! Photos not good enough for sharing but my superzoom SX50 is brilliant for IDing and showing me just what is going on out of reach.
|A Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) completely oblivious of the spider (Enoplognatha ovata) |
with its beetle prey below.
Obviously where there are nectar rich flowers so there are all kinds of bees and hoverflies, and many other insects. I really only had eyes for butterflies but sometimes I couldn't help but notice other insects and many just appeared in my butterfly shots anyway!
Clockwise from top left:
Helophilus sp. hoverfly sharing bramble blossoms with a Brimstone butterfly.
Unknown species of solitary bee.
Male Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).
|Obviously there were many other insects about, |
but I was mostly just photographing butterflies!
Below are some pictures by the main road showing the kind of flowers that are abundant in high summer when the verges have not been mown (here, predominantly Common Knapweed and Ragwort). The track I took was just in front of the house in the distance beside the line of trees, along the edge of the maize field.
|Showing the wealth of wildflowers on the unmown grass verge and ditch.|
I shall certainly be going back here over the next month to see which species of butterfly are still about as certain flowers, such as the brambles, go over. I also want to collect some seed from the burdock plants as I absolutely have to have that in my garden!
Butterfly species seen (20 in all that I am sure about, although I may well have seen some Large Whites as well):
Speckled Wood (in the woodland area beside the stream)
Now that's not bad! :-)