Admirable Red


Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) – This butterfly has been quite a close companion in the garden over the last few days. It never strays far when it takes fight, and appears to have got used to me and hardly moves when I approach it. One of my summer favourites.


Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

I Can Hear You!


Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) – I have noticed when I have been out in the field this summer that some butterflies are directly reacting to the sound of my camera shutter and quickly taking flight, and so instantly I get a blur of wings on occasion. I thought it perhaps coincidence, but then asked myself this question: Can butterflies hear?

I discovered that one group of butterflies called the Satyrines, also called the ‘browns’, hear with their wings of all things. They have odd swollen veins on their wings, and ears at the base of them which consist of membranes that are stretched taut over oval holes, and that vibrate when incoming sounds hit them. Acoustic research shows they are tuned to low frequencies like the human voice, so if you do talk to the butterflies, you now they are listening to you 🙂


Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

Please double-click image for a closer look.


On Rainy Summer Days


Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) – 2020 has been full of strange days so far, and the weather here has been no exception. These past few days have felt like autumn rather than summer, with high winds and cold temperatures, and then we have the rain. I think even the butterflies are baffled. I also need to figure out how to tone down the camera shutter ‘click’, because within a split-second of me taking this image the butterfly took to the air and flew off.


Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

Please double-click image for a closer look.


Waving At Mr Brown


Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) – Heatwave here, so out early this morning in the fields, and it is butterfly heaven out there. I had an interesting encounter with this male Meadow Brown butterfly I found feeding on a thistle. 9 times out of 10 I encounter them with their wings folded, but this one had them open for me. As I went to take the shot it shut them. Open again, focusing, shut again and missed again. This went on for a short while, so I decide to wave at it, thinking it would either fly off or flash its wings open to ward me off. It flashed, then closed. Still no shot. I waved again, virtually in its face, another flash, shut again. This went on and on, until finally …. fully open. It may not be as pretty or as fanciful as some of the butterflies out there, but still beautiful in its own special way. Note the darker ‘sex brands’ on the forewings and the faint orange flush.


Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina male

Double-click image for a closer look.


For further interest visit the ‘Butterflies’ page.


Small Copper


Lycaena phlaeas – One of my favourite of the small butterflies, but one I see much too infrequently here. But thankfully, according to Butterfly Conservation, its priority is low and it is not threatened here in Britain or across Europe as a whole. I came across this one in a local field settled on Oxeye Daisy.


Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas

Double-click images for a closer look.


For further interest visit the ‘Butterflies’ page.


Meadow Brown


Maniola jurtina – This was a bit of an odd one. Firstly, it’s very rare I see a Meadow Brown butterfly in the garden. I usually see them by the dozen in the local fields. Secondly, it behaved quite docile. Usually they fly off when you get near them, yet this one only flew a short distance, and it even stepped on my finger and allowed me to tour the garden with it. Maybe it is the thunderstorms in the air. One breaking now as I type this.

Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina

Double-click image for a closer look.


For further interest visit the ‘Butterflies’ page


It Looked At Me


Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) – This is the caterpillar of the aforementioned butterfly. There were a few of them about, quite blatant out in the open and feeding on stinging nettle. You can see why a bird would not want a mouthful of one of these, though, can’t you? This one in particular had its head tucked into the fold of a nettle leaf to begin with, then realising I was close by, it pulled its head out and looked straight at me. It didn’t look too happy about the situation. Double-click images for a closer look.


Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae caterpillar

Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae caterpillar

© Peter Hillman ♦ 14th May 2020 ♦ Near local river, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


A Drink From The Bell


Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) – This male took a fairly long sip of nectar from deep inside the bluebell. I spotted him just off the beaten woodland path where a carpet of blue spread amidst fallen mossy logs.


Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines male

© Peter Hillman ♦ 23rd April 2020 ♦ Local woodland path, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


You may find my Page of Life of interest, which allows easy access to all species of flora and fauna featured on this site, and might be considered a useful reference.


Holly on Holly


Celastrina argiolus – Here we have a female Holly Blue butterfly on holly. She was very accomodating and allowed me to get a few shot in, and even then she did not fly off, so I left her there, a Holly Blue on holly. Double-click image to enlarge.


Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus female

© Peter Hillman ♦ 27th April 2020 ♦ Front garden, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Bluebells & Peacocks


Peacock (Inachis io) – This butterfly was so taken by the sweet nectar of the Bluebell flowers it hardly notcied me at all as I was virtually on top of it with my macro lens. Double-click to enlarge image.


Peacock Inachis io

© Peter Hillman ♦ 21st April 2020 ♦ Local woodland ride, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Sitting On A Bowl of Sunshine


Peacock (Inachis io) – Probably my favourite of all the butterflies I have seen here, and another fond reminder of my childhood, of long, hot and lazy summer days. Double-click to enlarge image,


Peacock Inachis io

© Peter Hillman ♦ 16th April 2020 ♦ Local woodland margin, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Small Tortoiseshell


Aglais urticae – There are a few of these butterflies around at the moment but they are always on the move. I got lucky with this one. One of my favourite butterflies. Double-click on image to enlarge.


Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae

© Peter Hillman ♦ 14th April 2020 ♦ Local field, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Green-veined White


Pieris napi – Now you had the previous ‘Orange-tip’ post, and there were no orange tips … and now you are probably wondering why we got a ‘Green-veined White’ post without any green veins? Well, the green veins are on the underside of the wings, just about seen in the second image. This was taken in the local field. It was a good day for butterfly hunting. Double-click images for a closer look-see.


Green-veined White Pieris napi

Green-veined White Pieris napi

© Peter Hillman ♦ 14th April 2020 ♦ Local field, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Orange-tip


Anthocharis cardamines – I had a very welcome vistor to the garden today, and she spent a while there dazzling me with her beauty. This was a first for me, so I was over the moon. The female Orange-tip can often be overlooked as one of the more familar Cabbage White butterflies, as she does not don the bright ‘orange-tip’ wings of the male, as can be seen in the final image which was taken a few years ago. One to look out for now as they have quite a limited flight season. Double-click image for a closer look.


Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines female

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) male

© Peter Hillman ♦ 14th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Speckled Wood


Pararge aegeria – A few of these around at the moment in the woods. Always a joy to see. The delightfully named Speckled Wood is a butterfly very well adapted to dappled woodland glades, and it can tolerate shade better than most other butterflies.

Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria

© Peter Hillman ♦ 11th April 2020 ♦ Local wood, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Meadow Brown


Maniola jurtina – This is how you tend to find this butterfly – feeding on nectar-rich flora with its wings closed displaying its underwing colours and patterns. Double-click image to get closer.


Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina

Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 16th July 2019
Place: Local field, Staffordshire


Coming To Rest

Comma Polygonia c-album

I love seeing these Comma (Polygonia c-album) butterflies in the garden, and occasionally they briefly settle for a moment or two.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Black & White

Large White Pieris brassicae

It appears it has been quite a good year here for butterflies, which is really good news. This Large White (Pieris brassicae) made a fleeting visit to my garden before fluttering off over the fence to elsewhere.

These ‘Whites’ can be quite a challenge to photograph, especially in bright sunshine. Auto camera setting never seem to work as the whites get blown out loosing the fine lines and detail in the wings, so I always drop exposure on full manual to try and compensate.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Finding Shelter

Cabbage White

Of 2 images. I was sitting in my living room looking out the window when I caught a glimpse of this butterfly as it searched and settled for some shelter between rain showers.

Cabbage White

© Pete Hillman August 2019.

All The Browns

Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina male

Out in the local fields these Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) are flourishing this summer. An odd perspective, I know, but sometimes all you get is all they want to show you before they flutter 🙂


Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer on the images …

July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

A Drink Of Thistle, Thank You

Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola). The fields have been teeming with these lovely little ones. Many thanks to Brian from the brilliant blog ‘Butterflies To Dragsters‘ for accurately identifying this beautiful species.


Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer on the images …

July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Around In Circles

Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

Thankfully it appears to be quite a good year for these butterflies, with me spotting quite a few out in the local fields.


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Showing A Bit of Forewing

Marbled White Melanargia galathea
Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer.


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Butterfly Perspective

Green-veined White Pieris napi
Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

I believe this is the first time I have seen one of these gorgeous butterflies visit the garden.

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer.


July 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Caught In A Deadly Trap

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

I have never seen anything quite like this before. A butterfly snared by a crab spider.

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer.


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Marbled White

Marbled White Melanargia galathea

There were lots of these in the local fields the weekend. This Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) was very intent on feeding from the thistle flower.

Marbled White Melanargia galathea

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer.


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

The Painted Lady Returns

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

I haven’t seen any of these visit for the past few years, so it is always a pleasure when they do.

June 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England

Butterflies And Lavender

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

I have three Lavender bushes in my small garden, and the bees and butterflies really enjoy visiting them. Next year I may consider planting a lavender hedge, if I can make room for one. This butterfly with the twin spots is called the Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus).

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


July 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

With The Butterflies

Green-veined White Pieris napi

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


Green-veined White Pieris napi, July 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

This is a first for me. It is quite a fast-flying butterfly, so I was thankful it took a fancy to this thistle. The golden ground colour of the upperwings is immediately striking, yet the green-washed underside with the pale reflective blotches is also quite something as can be seen in the last image. The pink hue is the reflection from the thistle flower.

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

It favours open country like downland and coastal dunes, but was quite happy where I found it atop the fells.

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


July 2018, Walla Crag, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

A Surprise Garden Visitor Today

Comma Polygonia c-album

This one of those moments when I was just about to photo a flower nestled in the back of the garden border when this beautiful Comma Polygonia c-album butterfly alighted on a flower right before my lens. It was so intent on feeding it hardly noticed me clicking away at all.

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Within The Butterfly Realm

Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines

Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines

One of my very favourite butterflies the male Orange-tip, named so for obvious reasons.


May 2018, banks of the River Severn, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England. © Pete Hillman