Where are the butterflies?

WE may have enjoyed a succession of hot, sunny days but there have not been many butterflies about.

Tilly the Jack Russell and The Happy Moonraker have seen the occasional brimstone and tortoiseshell and that’s about it. No peacock butterflies, no orange tips, and no red admirals this year.

So it was a delight to see this large tortoiseshell land on a box full of artificial flies. Thank goodness it didn’t impale itself on a hook and it soon realised its mistake and fluttered off, for these brightly coloured confections contained no nectar for it to enjoy.

1 butterfly R wi fishing flies 8 13

Perhaps there are more moths about. This smart brown caterpillar, which will be an elephant hawk-moth next year, was near the back door and proved most interesting to Tilly. She picked it up and soon put it down again, so perhaps it didn’t taste too good.

2 Elephant hawk moth caterpillar 27 8 16

The lime hawk-moth was unexpectedly in the forecourt of a petrol station. Although photographed in broad daylight, it may have been drawn there by lights during the previous night.

3 Lime hawk-moth in the Midlands 12 6 10 R

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