Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Old Moor RSPB butterflies

The last of my pics from our visit to Old Moor RSPB Nature Reserve. After last week's close encounter with the singular Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) at Kirkstall Abbey it was fantastic to see them in big numbers at Old Moor. We must have seen over 40 across the reserve, constantly flitting to and fro between birds foot trefoil flowers, their iridescent wings shimmering blue in the strong sunlight.

A Painted Lady, its markings complemented by the glazed ceramic in the background.

A tattered Green Veined White on Himalayan Balsam

The reserve has a range of water habitats & outstanding waterside vegetation.

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus), the underwing pattern has two discrete white dots whereas the Meadow Brown has one.

This Speckled Wood, down but certainly not out. It kept on battling with the Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown in the vicinity.

I'd appreciate help with whether these are Meadow Brown or Gatekeeper. The first one has the two white spots on the forewing, so I'm thinking 1 is Gatekeeper, 2 & 3 Meadow Brown. For some reason I manage to get myself confused with the forewing patterns of the two.


  1. An outstanding set of butterfly pictures. I am amzed by now they keep going even when their wings are so broken.

  2. Thank you Emma. Aren't they incredible creatures, in the case of the Speckled Wood there seemed to be more air than butterfly & the lack of wing structure didn't appear to impede its flight whatsoever. L

  3. Nice selection of 'flutters'. No need to get confused, your ID was correct. Just need to remember that bright orange markings on a female Meadow Brown are virtually absent on the male. Frank.

  4. Thank you Frank that's great, it gives me a bit more confidence & the point about the bright orange marking for female MB's is a good point to remember. Linda


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