Seen in Rowney Woods near Saffron Walden, Essex

The buddleia has now come into flower in the back garden and the butterflies are taking full advantage of it. At one point we had four of these small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) feeding on one flower – trouble was there was quite a breeze which was freaking them out so catching them proved to be quite tricky…

I take a lot of photographs every day, but rarely publish more than one or two. Indeed I have a lot of photographs that I haven’t even processed which seems a shame, so here’s, hopefully, the first of a few catch up posts.

Yesterday we had a great walk around Rowney Wood, a lovely wood between Thaxted and Saffron Walden – you’ll find it almost opposite the main entrance to Carver Barracks as you head towards Debden in Essex. We spent around an hour strolling around the woods and saw many species of butterfly, all of which are shown in this image.

Of the butterflies going clockwise from top left we have:

  • Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
  • Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)
  • Large Skipper (Ochlodes faunu)
  • Comma (Polygonia c-album)
  • Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
  • Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

There was a species of butterfly that we often see in the woods but didn’t see yesterday which is the Peacock (Aglais io)…that’s the caterpillar you see here – there were hundreds of these busily devouring nettle leaves.

The bluebells are well and truly out in Essex now. These were taken in a small wooded area around Quendon this afternoon.

A few more picks after the break…

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We have been inundated with Peacock butterflies over the last few weeks in our garden in Great Dunmow. Despite the cats best efforts at catching them they have continued to visit the budlea that they seem so fond of.

I really liked this main picture, because you really don’t see many shots of Peacock butterflies from this angle:

Of course, it would be wrong not to show you the butterfly in all its splendour as well:

A Peacock Peacock on our wall in Great Dunmow


154/366 Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

Popped over to one of my favourite bug areas today over in Little Bardfield and saw plenty of Banded Demoiselles and Mayflies, along with a collection of beetles and this butterfly, a speckled wood:

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)


I’m full of cold and miserable so let’s warm up a bit.

This was taken on a lovely summers day – 30th July to be precise and was taken in Little Bardfield in Essex. I like the fact that the butterfly is sharp and the daisy is out of focus, but I do wish I had taken one with both sharp as well – often a mistake I make – not shooting all permutations of a picture.

Still…I feel a lot warmer now.

This Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) was photographed in Rowney Woods a week and a half ago, but it is becoming more and more common to see these throughout the year. Previously these would only be present in the UK between May and September so it will be interesting to see if this is one of the last Red Admiral’s we see this year or if we continue to see them into autumn and beyond.

Having been out looking for some butterflies to photograph with my new macro lens it was typical that, on returning home to Dunmow, we should immediately spot a Red Admiral fluttering around the back garden. Of course. as soon as it saw me with camera in hand it legged it into next doors garden! Not to worry, I was still able to get some pictures leaning over the 5 foot wall that separates our gardens.

As you can see, typical of the Red Admiral it had made for the buddleia and it very obligingly stayed there for a good 5 minutes.

Red Admiral on Buddleia Vanessa atalanta

Red Admiral on Buddleia Vanessa atalanta