Sunday, 30 August 2009

Urban butterfly

Yesterday I had one of my best urban butterfly sightings. This Painted Lady feeding on a Buddleia in a car park across the road from Leeds Magistrates Court at the Westgate end of the Headrow. Unperturbed by traffic heading out of Leeds City Centre just metres away, the Painted Lady alternated between feeding on this Buddleia and basking open winged on the pavement below.

Ive seen other butterflies in this area before including Large White & Speckled Wood, but this is the first opportunity Ive had to get a decent pic. I like this side profile in particular because its curly proboscis and antennae are clearly visible whilst there's slight movement in its wings.

And just in case there's any question of unsubstancial evidence to support the sighting, here's Leeds Magistrate's Court in the background.

That reminds me of another urban butterfly sighting was whilst sat at my desk at work. My office is on the 5th floor, facing south, overlooking the centre of Leeds. A couple of weeks ago I looked up and spotted a butterfly at the window, heavily backlit by strong sunshine, it was the size & shape of a Small Tortoiseshell unfortunately it flew off before I could get to the window. Joyce's windowsill is currently home to a thriving herb garden, I wonder whether it was attracted by the fragrance of the luxuriant basil plants?


  1. We were at Wallington, Northumberland yesterday and the south facing wall was alive with butterflies.

  2. I have been so excited to see Painted Ladies this year. And finding more butterflies is on my list of things to do. These are lovely pictures and must have given you as much pleasure as I had in the ones I saw in my garden last weekend.

  3. Hello, thank you both, I never tire of butterflies, even the more common ones. Emma, I think thats a fine 'to do' list.


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