11JUL11 Painted Lady 13JUL11 Red Admiral
 
I guess every lepidopterist (and bouncer) has those tantalising moments when a butterfly zips through the nightclub door, then disappears into the crowd without showing its ID. That’s what happened to me way back on 5 May when a big ornage butterfly sailed over my head and beat its way through the air over a hill, never to be seen again. It could only be a Painted Lady – but I wasn’t sure. Something similar happened on 25 June when something looking very like a Red Admiral sprung out of the path and disappeared over a hedge.
 
But thankfully, they’ve decided to slow down and I finally got photos of both (as you can see above). I’m on holiday on the South Down coast, the best place in Nornia to see the summer migrants, and I’m up to 4 Admirals and 2 Ladies since 9 July, plus the aforementioned glimpses which I’ve decided to put down as definite records. So as it turns out, the Painted Lady was No. 8 on my British List, while the Red Admiral was No. 18. That of course shifts the order of sightings in previous blogs, and so my butterfly list for 2011 climbs steadily on:

2011 BRITISH BUTTERFLIES: 21
          Ireland: 19

(But that was before a dark horse rose out of the sandy mists a few days later. Another blog coming right up!)