Over the day I’ve had a lot of butterflies in and out the garden. The showier tortoiseshell is rather pretty, but its the speckled woods that has poised for photos multiple time in different positions.
The speckled wood is a common butterfly, but apparently only has scattered colonies in the North so I’m lucky to see them regularly. It’s never going to be the poster species for butterfly conservation, not being colourful or rare enough. But it is still a delightful sight settling in the garden. They vary in colour across the country with different shades of brown and orange rather than cream or white spots in the South.
The name gives away their main habitat, but they can be found through gardens and hedgerows. They feed on honeydew at the top of trees. Normally they only come down to flowers later in the year. However you can see mine fancied my flowers with the proboscis (butterfly tongue equivalent) lapping up the flower.
The caterpillars eat grasses including common couch. They can be found through the year. Numbers are currently good as a result of climate change. The butterfly can be seen April through to October.
The wildlife trust has helped with woodland management. A mixture of coppicing, scrub cutting and nonintervention giving the speckled wood the habitats both the caterpillars and butterflies need.