A Visit from a Painted Lady

I was thrilled to spot this gorgeously exotic visitor in the garden during my final Big Butterfly Count at the weekend - this is the only picture I managed before it flew away! 

This is a Painted Lady butterfly, a migrant visitor to our island, flying here from North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia. Sadly, it cannot survive our winters, and the numbers that arrive here fluctuate widely year to year.

Some years, however, they arrive in great numbers, and can cause quite a lot of excitement in the butterfly world! This year is said to be a bumper year - let's hope my visitor returns to the garden so I can snap some more pictures!