This is my butterfly from a few days back, the first of November. It is a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta. Not really a British butterfly at all it is a summer migrant, flying in from Southern Europe and North Africa in the spring and early summer and returning home in the autumn. Well that is how it used to be.
If you Google for the UK Red Admiral you will learn that very rarely it will overwinter in the extreme south of England. Well that is also how it used to be.
This might turn into a post about climate change. If I asked you for your childhood recollections of October 24th , say from the 1960’s you probably would not remember anything specific but if I changed that date to November the 5th… People in the UK would have no trouble at all recalling that exact day, forty or fifty years ago. It is Bonfire Night.
I don’t have any specific memories of my own childhood birthdays but I can recall the excitement of bonfire night fifty years ago. It was a night of duffle coats and scarves and woollen gloves. Sparklers, red faces in the firelight and baked potatoes, it was cold.
I have just been reading on the RSPB website that Red Admirals can be seen until October and very rarely into November. When Fizz and I go out this afternoon if the sun is shining we will see Red Admirals. It isn’t rare any more and they will overwinter here in Gloucestershire.
Times have changed and winter is warm.
The last few days the weather has been really fantastic here. Well, it has been cold, with lots of sunshine but we have also had sudden downpours of very heavy rain and then hailstones and then more sunshine. It is very lively and I am really enjoying it.
It is nice that it is cold enough to wear a coat out and that is useful when the rain comes over but I have not even thought about wearing gloves yet, it isn’t that cold.
I am going to be keeping a close eye on the insects as we head toward winter. A friend has been asking about Dragonfly sightings. The Migrant Hawker is often seen well into November and I might do a post about that one soon. I would like to see one for myself.
There are some really good Dragonfly spots around here but we need a sunny day and I need Fizz to get a clean bill of health. I am pretty sure that she is not in season and a mistake has been made, that is good because I can take her to public places but I need her owner to confirm that and that she is happy for me to take her out.
The second dog in this video, Buddy, is a male. Can you see why I don’t think she is in season?
There is just nothing in her behaviour to suggest such a thing.
I apologise for my absence over the last couple of days. A prolonged power cut meant that I lost most of yesterday but also I have had a lot to do getting the farm straightened out for my landlords return 🙂
I will be around to visit you shortly.