DAY 161 (13 SEPTEMBER) – Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta) (Farnham, UK)
Coincidentally butterflies were in the news today. The painted lady topped the table in the Big Butterfly Count 2019 run by Butterfly Conservation. But it was red admirals making a splash in our garden (only at number 7 in the count). This one’s perching on a Japanese anemone. If you zoom in on its head, it’s rather bat-like.
Apparently the males are very territorial (surprise surprise) and fly around the perimeter of their patch (an oval of about 7 x 12 metres) up to 30 times per hour to ward off intruders.
A depressing fact: in northern Europe they are one of the last butterflies to be seen before winter sets in. But we definitely aren’t there yet.