Evington Butterfly Watch

There are some great places in the Evington Community Nature Reserve for spotting butterflies. Just take a walk over the fields off Swinstead Road and Newhaven Road; have a look around Evington Park and the village green and you’ll also see plenty around the arboretum and golf course (stick to the public footpaths!). Of course, you should see some in your garden, especially if you’ve turned some of it over to wild flowers, water features, and flowering shrubs and trees.

If you have images of and information about butterflies you’ve seen, please email them to us and we’ll include them below. If you need help identifying them, try this web-site or have a search for the many online charts available.

Small Tortoiseshell
March 2021

Small Tortoiseshell

We spotted this on the edge of the permissive footpath, alongside the field, behind the bungalows on Newhaven Road. You can’t miss its red/orange wings with distinctive patterns – especially the black and creamy-white bars. This butterfly ‘over winters’ in the UK, which means it finds a snug place to hibernate and then comes out when the temperature improves. We think this is why this one made an appearance during the recent warm spell. They breed and lay eggs in spring and in summer so you will see lots of them around, right through till Autumn. If you have any nettles around your garden, leave a few to grow as the small tortoiseshells’ caterpillars feed off them
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Peacock butterfly
April 2021

Peacock

One of these beauties arrived in our garden on Sedgebrook Road today. It’s a very easy butterfly to spot if it keeps still for long enough. While it’s flying it appears very dark underneath but you can glimpse that it has markings above. Once It lands, the patterns on the wings are very clear and you can see how it gets its name. This photo is from last year and isn’t the one that we spotted today – the little devil flew off, just as I lined up a shot. We’ll get a 2021 peacock image sorted as soon as we can!
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Orange Tip butterfly
April 2021

Orange Tip

Look closely at the centre of this image – enlarge it if you can – and you’ll just about see a little speck of orange on a white butterfly wing. This is an orange tip butterfly which we spotted as we were working on the Garden of Hope on Davenport Road. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a close-up before the little critter flew away but hopefully we’ll get another shot another time! The butterfly with the orange-tipped white wings is the male of the species; the females’ wings being white with thinner, black tips and a single black spot. The female is easily confused with other white butterflies – especially the small white but the green, veined pattern on the underneath gives it away as an orange tip female. We’ve also seen these butterflies recently, round the edges of the field behind Delaware Road.
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Ringlet butterfly
July 2021

ringlet

With recent months being cold, windy and wet at various points, there’s been little opportunity to spot butterflies. Luckily one or two have obliged us by keeping still long enough for a photo! This is a male ringlet; you might just be able to see the small ring patterns on the wing – they’re more prominent on the females’ wings and the underside of the male. This one was fluttering around the borders of a field on the edge of Evington – accessed through the kissing gate on Swinstead Road.
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Comma butterfly
July 2021

Comma

The comma butterfly has lovely colours with the added bonus of distinctive serrated-shaped wings. They can be found in the bramble patches by the Spinney – accessed via the public footpath off Newstead Road.
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Cinnabar moth
July 2021

Cinnabar Moth

Cinnabar is a compound of mercury and is often found as crystalline rock, deep red in colour. The cinnabar moth shares this lovely colour. Much smaller than most butterflies but as brightly coloured, this cinnabar moth was chilling out on a front-garden wall on Davenport Road. Commonly found in wasteland and gardens – maybe you’ll see one soon!
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Buff Tip moth
July 2021

buff tip Moth

It looks like a bit of silver birch bark but the dinky little legs gave this away as a moth. When the wings are unfurled, you can see the buff-coloured tips which are on the right in our picture. Spotted this one on our front door – quite a surprise!
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Meadow Brown butterfly
July 2021

Meadow Brown

Readers of our blog and people who pass our front garden will know that we have dedicated one section of lawn as a mini-meadow. What better than to find a meadow brown butterfly posing beautifully in our mini-meadow. It seemed very much at home amongst the grasses and lesser trefoil flowers. We can only see the underneath of the wings here but its very distinctive brown colour and bright ‘eye’ make it unmistakable.
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Speckled Wood butterfly
July 2021

Speckled Wood

The speckled wood butterfly is a big favourite of ours, due to its speckled pattern. This one fluttered by on one of our walks over the fields by the edge of the village. Luckily it settled beautifully on a leaf in the hedgerow and we got a good photo. We’ve also seen these in the Spinney off Newstead Road and there are plenty in the woodland by the natural burial ground on the road from Scraptoft to Keyham.
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Red Admiral butterfly
July 2021

Red Admiral

Our next door neighbours have a beautiful, big buddleja bush and it’s a great butterfly attractor. This red admiral paused for a moment or two, to pick up some nectar and we just had time to nab a photo. You can see the red stripe and white spots on the wing that show it to be a red admiral.
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Large White butterfly
July 2021

Large white

Often known as the ‘cabbage white’, the large white butterfly is very common in our gardens. We got the shot of this one as it nestled on to our mini, native-hedgerow. You will most likely see white butterflies. The large white female is distinguishable from the male by its double black dots and black rim on each of its wings. The small white butterfly has the one distinct dot plus one faint one, and is, well… smaller.
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Small Skipper butterfly
July 2021

Small Skipper

Skipper butterflies are small but quite colourful. The photo depicts one that visited our garden in Sedgebrook Road and decided to explore one of our our teasel flowers. It wouldn’t open its wings but we got an image good enough to help us identify it. We think it’s a small skipper but it could be an Essex Skipper – have a look and see what you think!
Click here for more info – small skipper
Click here for more info – Essex skipper

Gatekeeper butterfly
July 2021

Gatekeeper

Another colourful butterfly with very distinctive markings. This gatekeeper was being very territorial around our herb garden – fighting of a small tortoiseshell that wanted to share its space. It was constantly on the move and we only got a fleeting glimpse but the underwing markings on our image are quite distinctive. the territorial behaviour and bright browny-orange markings suggest this one is a male.
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