Sunday, 13 November 2011

Late Holly Blue

Holly Blue in mid-November - what's going on?

The butterfly season should be well and truly over by now, so I was amazed to see a pale blue shape skip past the window this morning and land in the garden. Fortunately I had the camera to hand and was able to document my latest-ever Holly Blue, a species whose flight period is usually over by the end of September. Quite how unusual a local mid-November record is I'm not sure - there is no clue to latest dates in Plant's The Butterflies of the London Area (1987). So if anyone out there has more information, please leave a comment - I'd love to know.


  1. I saw a female holly Blue on the last day of October in Greenwich, the latest I've ever seen - in terms of weather it's been a strange year, still relatively mild even now.

  2. Hi Dominic. 2011 was a fantastic year for Butterflies. I think the various 'Indian Summers' we experienced caused multiple broods of butterflies as i saw the Great Orme race of Grayling well into October which would suggest a 2nd brood and they are usually only single brooded at the start of summer. Similarly I saw a Peacock on November 30th! I believe that many species decided that the warmer weather would be suitable for a second or third brood hence why so many people saw late butterflies last year. Similarly my local patch in Lancashire had Lancashire's latest ever dragonfly on the wing in the 2nd third of November.

  3. Thanks for the comments. 2012 seems to have started where 2011 left off, with plenty of early butterflies on the wing in the atypically warm period in the second half of March (seems like a long time ago now!)



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