Thursday, 13 August 2009

Kirkstall Allotment Sightings

Taking time out from weeding to look out over the allotments I attempted a tally of the white butteflies in the area. Across the 300m stretch I easily counted 40 in two seperate counts but I expect the actual number was much higher, they proved elusive to photograph.
I noted a mixture of Large Whites, Green Veined Whites and Small Whites. A great sight to see but couldn’t quite capture it with the camera. The uninterrupted sunshine and a light breeze made for very busy butterflies, resting for the briefest of brief intervals before zipping off again & often converging in 4s & 5s & engaging in aerial tussles. Favoured pitstops included Lavender, Verbena, Brambles & for savoury interest vegetables such as french beans, potatoes & courgettes.

Here's a Green Veined White on Lavender

Back to a spot of weeding & a small/medium sized orange brown butterfly passed by & rested momentarily amongst brambles on the perimeter fence. On first glance & without reference I mistook it for a Meadow Brown but later recognised it as a Gatekeeper. As well as a first for the allotment, its a first for me too. Result!

Here's a closer view of the Gatekeeper.

I rescued this moth struggling to escape from a bucket of water. Its right wing looked damaged & I left it in shade uncertain about its chances, minutes later it dried off & recovered sufficiently to test its wings which appeared fully functional before settling under nearby raspberry plants for protection, it was gone 10 minutes later so maybe it regained its ability to fly. I’d appreciate help to identify this one.


  1. No help with the moth I'm afraid - looks interesting, and well done for rescuing it - but that pink flower the second White is on looks pretty - is it Pencilled Cranesbill, Geranium versicolor?

  2. Thanks anyway Rob, I think it is. The Cranesbill isnt actually on my patch but it looked so lovely & then all of a sudden the butterfly obligingly settled. L


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