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Talkback: Butterflies in the garden

Peacock butterflies that have overwintered in my garage are having a great time on my winter(?) -flowering heathers. They love feeding there as much as the painted ladies do later on at the phuopsis. I do attempt to photograph my butterflies but they are not so accommodating as the flowers and,on sunny days when they are out in force, my shadow tends to get in the way and when I move, the butterflies scamper. Ah well, this is one art I shall have to work hard at mastering - I do like looking at pictures of my butterflies in the dead of winter.


  • Butterfllies are so beatiful,they make summer like robbins make winter.They always bring a smile to my face.I am not lucky enough to have them overwinter in my outbuilding but i get them in the garden, mostly Painted Ladys.I have had plenty of fat bumble bees over the last week or two and am looking forward to the butterflies.
  • I have seen the first peacock butterfly this year - on Tue 13/04/2010 in my back garden in Swansea
  • We have seen a Comma and a Peacock butterfly in recent days - obviously ones that have overwintered and responded to the warmth of the sun here in the Midlands. There are many large bumblebees too. These insects must need to feed after their winter hibernation. What are they feeding on? All most gardens seem to have round here are bright daffodils and primulas, neither of which are of interest to them.
  • i have many peacock butterflies in my garden and many other species that i am not yet familiar with. problem is i have a cat which is good at catching them. i am devestated by this. any advice? the butterflies seem to love the rubble in the corner of my garden. there are loads of them that sit there they are beautiful.
  • Here at Arduaine, on the west coast of Scotland, we have Peacocks, Red Admirals and Small Whites already taking advantage of the (very) recent floweing brought on by a few days of warmth.
  • I returned from Tennerife last weekend to find that my garden was in full spring glory. Sitting in the garden on Saturday afternoon, I spotted two peacock butterflies and an a lovely yellow one which definitely wasn't a cabbage white. Could anyone please enlighten me?
  • Peaceful - you probably saw a brimstone yellow butterfly, bright yellow is the male and greenish yellow the female. They overwinter here and mate in the spring so you should look out for both sexes. Their food plant is the buckthorn so either you or your neighbours have one or they are in your nearest hedges. They are as big as the cabbage white. I look forward to seeing them every year and was worried as they were late mating this year.
  • I too have seen several brimstone yellow butterflies. It is so cheering after the awful winter we have had!! I can't wait for the warmer, longer days to start when we can really watch for lots more beneficial wildlife!
  • Hi!
    I was wondering if anyone has seen any yellow dung flies yet this year. I am currently studying them and I haven't seen any in the wild since last autumn. I am fairly new to the project but I have heard that April is usually one of the peak times for YDFs but maybe the cold winter has caused a delay... Anyway I would be very grateful if you could let me know if any have been spotted.
  • Well, it's a damned shame that the Gardener's World presenters aren't on the same page as this blog.

    Tonight's episode - Friday 23rd April - just closed with the presenter telling viewers to "feed juicy fat caterpillars to the birds".

    Way to go. Even my 12 year-old daughter caught it for what it was and said "did he *really* just tell people to do that?!"

    And here, on your page, an article on "Butterflies in the Garden". Perhaps you could have a word, and educate said presenter about bio-diversity, and our woe-fully declining butterfly and moth population.

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