Beauty in the form of a butterfly
PUBLISHED: 11:01 25 August 2006 | UPDATED: 22:07 28 May 2010
Keep an eye out for a rare visitor, the Camberwell beauty butterfly, over the next month or so. Several have been spotted around the country and one has even been seen in Peterborough, so there is every chance that one might grace the Fens. These migrants
Keep an eye out for a rare visitor, the Camberwell beauty butterfly, over the next month or so.
Several have been spotted around the country and one has even been seen in Peterborough, so there is every chance that one might grace the Fens.
These migrants may have been brought here from Scandinavia, carried across the North Sea on easterly winds.
This continental butterfly is very dark above with a purple tinge and the wings are broadly bordered with a yellow strip. It gets its name because it was first discovered in Camberwell, London, in 1748.
Buddleias and flowers in gardens are as good a place as any to discover one, so keep your eyes peeled as there really is a better than average chance it seems this year to find one. Please let us know if you do see one.
I have seen them in Poland before, but to see one on home soil would be a real treat. I will be scouring all the 'butterfly bushes' I come across for the next few weeks.
August was decidedly wet and this has kept a lot of the vegetation nice and fresh. I have been frustrated to find that several of the beautiful meadows I've been exploring have been cut. It is so sad to think of what happens to all of the creatures that have lived there and have laid their eggs in the vegetation that has been cut down.
One particular meadow close to home has been full of grasshoppers and bush crickets and the adults must have been forced to make a rapid hop for freedom. Sadly, finding suitable alternative habitat is not so easy these days.
On a more cheerful note, it is great to see all of the young birds about now and forming flocks in the countryside.
I spent some time walking along a lovely mature hedgerow with scattered oak standards along its length one evening and found a brilliant variety of species in one flock.
There was a brood of bullfinches calling silently to one another, a total of five species of warbler (lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, chiffchaff, willow warbler and reed warbler), yellowhammers, reed buntings and blue tits.
It is a treat to discover such a large mixed flock and watch the birds working their way through the bushes in search of insects.