Everyone knows that Swallows migrate from Africa to Europe every year to breed and then return in Autumn. It's less well-known that we have at least two butterflies that make a similar journey. The Painted Lady - Vanessa cardui - often makes single appearances on the hedgerow, but I have been monitoring recent reports of millions of Painted Lady sightings in Majorca, Italy, Switzrland, France, England and the south of Ireland. Today I watched as dozens flew past, still heading due north, and at a furious pace. A few stopped to nectar on ornamental daisies in my garden, so I rattled off a few shots.
Hopefully these will breed and lay their eggs on thistles so that we get a local generation in August/September.