Tag Archives: Buddleja

Blue tits and Butterflies

Well as you can see I do like my butterflies, but it wasnt planned to have butterflies on almost every post on Natural Ramblings; its just what Ive been able to capture over the last week or more.

All my 6 Buddleia bushes are almost in full bloom and thank goodness they are all staggered; meaning my beloved bugs get to have food and supplies for a bit longer.

Well as I mentioned weve had some gorgeous hot weather over the past few weeks up until the last few days when weve had some heavy storms and sadly some of the butterflies are looking a bit worse for wear.

These delicate insects struggle enough to get from catapillar to butterfly especially in my garden with approximately 8 great tit and blue tit fledgelings, Ive been watching the poor parents run ragged with mouthfuls of caterpillas…eeep, I cant even find these caterpillas to phptograph….I need to follow those parents with my camera 🙂

A few photos I managed to capture of my Bluetit fledglings, I had to smile at how chubby he is compared to Mum and Dad and his 2 siblings seen either side. Is it just me or does he remind you of Orville..”I wish I could fly”

(Please click for larger images)

So with loads of chicks to feed my sudden butterfly explosion is dwindling as I type, but how can I choose who I would rather live, I adore my birds and insects, it has to be a balance with nature and you can never choose. But I still have a sad fleeting moment when I see a mouthful of wriggling caterpillars being stuffed into that gaping mouth. But then an immediate aww his gonna be a chubby one when you see his cute yellow fluffy face.

(Please click for larger more detailed images)

Back to our bad storms we had a few days ago I was photographing the butterflies and found this poor ragged Tortoishell buttefly feeding…yes you guessed it…on my Buddliea… 🙂

The fascinating thing was about this injured Tortie was that as I watched him I started to notice the many Comma butterflies bombard the poor thing knocking him clean off the flower sprigs. They were either being territorial or they sensed a weaker butterfly. I had to flap so hard to get back up onto another flower but within seconds to be knocked off agaon. It took all my will power not to protect him. I had to watch painfully as he struggled to fly to his next flower…Sadly I feel he wont be with us much longer.

The Tortoishell Butterfly Nymphalis urticae is another popular UK butterfly with its distinct mosaic effect colouration and beautiful blue spots around the edging of its wings. If you want to attract this gorgeous bug to your garden, you should not only grow Buddleia and Sedum spectibile but let the nettles grow nearby as they larvae need their food too. Dont clear away all your nettles its a the larval foodplant of many butteflies and insects.

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

This is one of the evil culprits as beautiful as they are!

Take some time out in your day…to just watch…its great theraputic value for you to lose yourself and you get to see some fascinating things; you are always learning with wildlife however large or small.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings more Bees, hatching ladybirds and Swallow fledglings….maybe a few more butterflies.

Thanks for coming by


Butterfly Diaries #1

Peacock Portrait

Peacock Butterfly Inachis io on Buddleia

This is the first post of my new set of photos, I’m at my happiest when I’m outside photographing and I want to share with you the amazing mix of insects I have in the garden and surrounding fields. All of sudden in the last few week we have had gorgeous hot sunny weather and of course this has brought out all the bugs.  Ive had the camera almost permanently glued to my hand everyday for the last few weeks and and managed to capture so many different kinds  of insect and now I cant wait to get out every day; its an addiction.

So this is part one of a regular series of The Butterfly (and moth) Diaries which will be followed by the Bee diaries.

Its been such a fantastic few days of hot, hot, hot weather and in one day, actually in one hour I managed to find over 8 species of butterfly. The Peacock, Red Admiral, The Comma, Tortoishell, Frittilary, Large and small white and a skipper. It may have something to do with my 8 foot high Buddliea bushes mind you and wonderful scented butterfly attraction. I have to say too I wish I could add bloggascent to this post as it smells absolutely amazing outside right now. Even as Im typing the Buddliea scent is wafting in through my window, no wonder the insects love it.

Red Admiral on tree stump

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta on old tree stump.

This Red admiral was just stunning, his orange markings almost glowed in the late sunlight

Red Admiral on Buddleia

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta on Buddleia about to take off.

Red Admirals are one of the nations favourites here in the UK with its bold colours and distinctive markings and of course one of the larger butterflies we have. As a photographer I find them easier as they are not so flighty as the smaller ones, which you can end up following round for hours. This little guy was quite happy for me to photograph him.

Interesting Fact; Red Admirals can be found lapping at fallen apples during the Autumn in search of food.

Red Admiral closed wing

Red Admiral closed wing

The Red Admiral has the most stunning outer wing colouration yet once closed its has the most amazing camouflage with its tell tale pink and blue flash and raggedy leaf effect.

Detailed Red Admiral underwing

Detailed Red Admiral underwing

This colouration almost looks tatty and faded and can easily be missed when sitting in a tree or bush.


The pink and blue flash really shows up here, yet nowhere to be seen on the main wing colouration, nature really is beautiful.

Red Admiral cute face

Red Admiral cute face

I had to include this shot as I loved the detailing on its face, butterfly eyes are just gorgeous with its spotted patterning.


Comma Nymphalis c-album (Nymphaidae)

Another easily recognisable butterfly is the bright orange and raggedy edges on the wings of the Comma Nymphalis c-album (Nymphaidae) making it quite unusual.

I loved that these two were sunning themselves on one of our fence posts, they stayed here for hours enjoying e warmth.

Comma and Peacock butterflies sharing the Buddleia

This was so lovely to see two species so close as generally as soon as wings touch they are off, these two sat for a good ten minutes working their way round each tiny Buddleia flower, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Comma underwing

The distinctive white Comma on the dark brown underwing that gives this butterfly its name.

I wanted to show you this image in more detail as it has the most gorgeous dried deaf leaf effect underwing, this camouflage is just amazing. Behavior-wise you can even see it arches its head to follow the clean curve shape of a leaf.

Comma V-wingI loved the striking orange of the Comma against the background bright green bracken.

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeus (lycaenidae)

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeus (lycaenidae)

One of my more exciting finds was this adorable Small Copper, its orange colouration is stunning as it flutters around the garden. Behaviour-wise I saw it knocking other butterflies off the flowers, as they are extremely territorial; despite being so small. It actually dive-bombed a Peacock just minding its own bushiness on my Buddleia. knocking it clean off the bush.

Small White Pieris rapae (Piridae)

Small White Pieris rapae (Piridae)

One of Europes if the worlds most common small butterfly the Small white, sadly the lava is a pest of cultivated plants belonging to the cabbage family and can cause alot of damage in vegetable gardens and fields; but in contrast is much loved and welcomed in most cottage garden borders . You cant miss this adorable bright white butterfly as its flits from flower to flower and you know when Summer is here when you see these little guys around.

This one in particular has quite a split in its wing at the base, but it certainly didnt effect its flying ability, fingers crossed it wont get caught in the storms tonight.

Isn’t it typical we fight to get these gorgeous insects into Summer by wishing for great weather, growing the right plants for them. We sigh with relief to get amazing sunny hot weather for weeks so they can breed, they just hatch and then we have torrential storms, so I’m suspecting we will be losing alot again.

Fingers crossed for continuing good weather.


Coming next is my Bee Diaries and many more Butterfly images.

Thanks for stopping by.