2011 Butterfly sightings

Having rediscovered my page of butterfly sightings for 2010, it prompted me to wonder what this year will hold and when the early sightings are likely to appear. I'd forgotten how many great butterfly finds we had last year, favourite sites for 2011 included, Otley Chevin, Brockadale Nature Reserve, St John the Baptist Church in Adel, & in Kirkstall, Headingley Station Allotment & Kirkstall Hill

Comma - First of the year at Nan Whin Woods where I took this photo of a Comma feasting on a piece of poo......lovely. Nearest to home was one in the back garden in July.

Common Blue - This slightly worn blue at Brockadale Nature Reserve, & over 40+ seen in Jersey in September.

Dark Green Fritillary -  A restless butterfly, constantly on the go, but nevertheless great to see this lovely orange butterfly amongst the wildflower meadows of Brockadale Nature Reserve.


Grayling - In the previous year I'd only ever encountered individuals only but on our trip to Jersey I was lucky to find a colony of 15+.

Green Hairstreaks - Otley Chevin, 27 April, 20+ green hairstreaks on the Chevin amongst the heather and bilberry, a local must see. In the previous year we caught a fleeting glimpse of one at Adel churchyard, so this was a much improved sighting in terms of how easily observable they were over a period of  minutes.

Holly Blue - (how do you do). I was chuffed to find my first Holly Blue of the year in the churchyard at St John's Churchyard in Adel in May, I'd caught a glimpse of it on a previous visit but thought I'd imagined it. This one was found busying itself in a holly tree. Another local(ish) spot was in Lawnswood Cemetery and surprisingly on a number of occasions in my neighbours garden around a large clump of well established ivy. Bolton Percy Station Nature Reserve provided the closest views of this HB on bramble leaves which is where this photo was taken.

Large Skipper - In June I found a colony of 12+ Large Skippers on Kirkstall Hill, less than a minute away from home on a sunny, bramble covered patch of land set back from a very busy main road.

Marbled White - Brockadale Nature Reserve, end of June.

Map - Rarity of the year, spotted on our Jersey trip, it wasn't until our return that we managed to identify this as a Map butterfly. Last year's rare find was a Swallowtail in Norfolk & apparently this is rare even for Jersey, who knew!

Meadow Brown - A nice Kirkstall allotment sight, this Meadow Brown feeding on Marjoram flowers on my patch.

Orange Tip - A dainty Orange Tip feeding on Forget me nots in St John the Baptist Churchyard in Adel.

Peacock - My first butterfly sighting of the year in the second week of April, was from my bedroom window, a bona fide Kirkstall Creature.

Red Admiral - The first of the year for me at Lawnswood Cemetery, 25 April, lots of them around this year the closest to home, St Stephens churchyard in Kirkstall. A little burst of flash helped to capture the beautiful detail on the underwing.

Ringlet - Regularly seen on the allotment and in long grasses, this one feeding on bramble flowers.

Small Copper - St John the Baptist churchyard in Adel is my favourite place to find the Small Copper, these ones appeared at the end of May, with other sightings at Rodley and Bolton Percy Station.

Small Heath - 8+ Strensall Common,York

Small Skipper - 15+ at Brockadale Nature Reserve

Small Tortoiseshell - This one basking in the late afternoon sunshine on a discarded palette on Kirkstall Hill. Why anybody would want to drag a palette to the top of the hill in the first place I haven't got a clue, hardly a handy place for a spot of casual fly tipping but a suitable spot for butterfly sitting.

Speckled Wood - A lover of dappled shade and probably one of the most abundant local butterflies, seen 20+ at Nan Whin Woods, regularly 10+ Lawnswood Cemetery, St Stephens Churchyard Kirkstall, Queenswood and a popular sight around the edges of my allotment plot in Kirkstall.

Wall Brown
On a trip to Jersey in September we encountered over 15+ Walls, more than I've ever seen in one spot.

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