Wednesday, 8 April 2009

My Butterflies

Following on from Shabby Girl's comment on the posting And now I'm it, I am happy to use that as an excuse to tell you about my butterfly hunting exploits.

I have always been interested in butterflies and the first ones I can recall seeing were the typical Cabbage Whites and Small Tortoiseshells which were common around the garden of our Liverpool home. Then I gradually became able to identify Red Admirals, Peacocks and some of the other brightly coloured ones that would appear occasionally. In my early teens I started taking photos of them and by the 1970s I was keen to photograph as many as I could.

This was helped in the late 1970s by living next to a piece of waste land which attracted a lot of butterflies and then being a voluntary warden at Ainsdale Nature Reserve where the uncommon Dark Green Fritillary could be seen.

With a chap called Bob Murphy I set up a Merseyside Branch of the fairly newly formed British Butterfly Conservation Society (now Butterfly Conservation) of which I became a life member. Bob and I organised field trips to various places which enabled us to add a few more species to our growing lists. Not that ticking off the list was the principal objective. Conservation, education of the public and recording of all species, common or rare, were the main objectives.

By the late 1980s I had spotted over thirty species of British butterfly and since there are only about sixty altogether I was quite pleased with that total. Even more pleasing was the fact that I had photographed all but two of them. Now the total is 39 (plus two more seen in captivity along with many other exotic species). The two I haven’t photographed are the White Admiral and the Small Blue and, as you can see from this composite picture, one or two others like the Purple Hairstreak are fairly poor. (If you click on the picture it will enlarge.)

I should love to see some more species but as I can no longer drive it seems unlikely that I’ll add more than one or two to the list. Nevertheless, I shall carry on taking photos of the species that I do spot and, rare or common, they continue to give me great pleasure.


  1. These are gorgeous pictures! I've been sitting here trying to decide which is my favorite. I can't decide; they're all amazing.
    When I was a little kid, we had multicolored lantana that we called Trix plants. It was always covered with Skippers. I was so young that I thought it was a name my brothers made up!
    I learn something new every day!!!

  2. You've really captured some beauty, haven't you? Gorgeous!!!

  3. Amazing, stunning, wow, what else can I say? Most of them I have never seen. Also, I didn't even know blue butterflies existed!

  4. Oh, Scriptor-these are so beautiful! I too have always been interested in butterflies, moths and skippers, having collected them as a child, over forty years ago. I stopped because I couldn't stand to kill them. Now I collect only with my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beautiful and stunning shots! My kids loved looking at the different colors.


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