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Location: Farley Mount, Hampshire, UK. 21/08/2001.

FujiFilm S1 Pro. 1/400 F56, Sigma 105mm Macro lens.

Location: Hampshire, UK. 02/08/2003.

FujiFilm S1 Pro. 1/110 F16, Sigma 105mm Macro lens.

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Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa Cardui)

One of my favourite butterflies I always enjoy sitting in my garden on a hot summers afternoon drinking red wine and watching this beautiful butterfly feeding on my garden flowers. It is especially attracted to Buddleia they are a long distance migrant species which arrive in numbers every year to the UK, from the deserts of North Africa.

A mass migration was recorded and witnessed in the UK in 2009. In fact is was the biggest in decades, millions spread out all over England, one Nature reserve on the north Norfolk coast recorded 50 arriving every minute.

The caterpillars feed on thistle and in large numbers, this species can be good news as it can cut down on managing thistles by cutting or spraying in Nature reserves.  In September the British-born generation leaves our land on an epic return trip to the hot climate from where there mothers and fathers came from.

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