April 11th 2015, I finally spotted the first butterfly flying. In fact, it wasn’t just one but 5 species. Fair enough to call this day the first spring day of the year.
The first butterfly was a male Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni). After I waited for a moment to get the butterfly settle and take a rest on its wild flight I spotted something else. Something…more interesting. It was a Scarce Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis xanthomelas). I recognized it for sure because size, colors and the way they fly gives clear proof.
I got lucky on the very same spot last year, where I had the pleasure to observe a male Scarce Tortoiseshell from really close. It was a nice surprise to meet this species again. In summer 2015 something seemed to happen, and when the summer generation was expected to fly hardly any sightings were made.
Spending about two hours in the greenery I was able to count 2 Scarce Tortoiseshells (both captured on photos below), 3 European Peacocks (Aglais io), one Orange Underwing (Archiearis parthenias), two Small Tortoiseshells (Aglais urticae) and both male and female Brimstones.
Having the presence of the Scarce Tortoiseshell confirmed I’m now looking forward to finding caterpillars again this summer. Hopefully with less parasites compared to last summer’s findings.