Friday 11 January 2013

January Butterflies

I did not expect my first post of 2013 to be so early for a British sighting but following a report of a Painted Lady butterfly on the Island on the 1st of January,I visited Wheelers Bay at Ventnor in the hope,but not expectation of seeing one myself.
Today was the first completely sunny day since the first day of the year,although temperatures have been very mild.In fact at the bay it felt like a spring day with cloudless skies and warm sunshine.The south facing cliff is covered in places by Winter Heliotrope which is now in flower and there were three Painted Ladies to be found  nectaring on the flowers.All were in excellent condition and the question is,have they flown in from the continent or have they recently emerged as a result of summer egg-laying on the Island? Whatever the answer it is wonderful to see them in January.