Despite a wet spring and all the indicators looking like it was going to be a bad year for butterflies, 2013 ended up being one of the best year for butterflies that I can remember. I managed to see 41 species in Britain this year, 2 new species added and my current British list stands at 48 species, I guess I will be making the effort to see 2 new species next year to bring me to the magic 50 mark. 2013 will no doubt be remembered for the Long tailed Blue invasion which saw many people, me included adding this attractive butterfly to their lists and many a photo opportunity. It may be a few years until this next happens, we shall have to wait and see. I was lucky to get a number of pleasing shots of some fresh British born Long tailed Blues which a few are posted below.
Long tailed Blue
Probably beating the Blue was the sighting of a Swallowtail at Reculver, a stunning fresh specimen which I was lucky to get to see and photograph for an hour or so before it moved on.
As well as the Long tailed Blue, another new butterfly for me was the Pearl bordered Fritillary which was seen on a day trip to Abbots Wood in Sussex. I spent a few hot hours in the woods photographing these lovely Fritillaries.
Pearl bordered Fritillary
There were many other highlights throughout the year, photographing Clouded Yellows for the first time, Silver Studded Blues at Thursley Common, 3 Purple Emperors flying around the tops of the Oaks at Dene Park to name but a few.
Silver studded Blue
I will have to get planning for next year for the two new species to add to my British list: Black Hairstreak, Glanville Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Large Blue, Lulworth Skipper are all in the running. Hopefully it will be another bumper year for the butterflies, we shall wait and see!