We have our own remarkable migrant in the Painted Lady which comes all the way from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. I didn’t see any last year, in fact their last big year was 2009 which was when I took the photograph below of a Painted Lady on a Corn cockle in my garden. This flower used to be a weed of cornfields before the advent of herbicides but it is now virtually extinct in the wild. I sow it in my own miniature herbicide free ‘cornfield’ or annual bed and I have a small quantity of self-saved seed if anyone would like some.
The 10 butterfly species I recorded in my garden in 2011 is also referenced in the Garden Survey Findings in Butterfly Conservation Ireland’s 2011 Annual Report. Overall, I have seen 12 different species in my garden and my immediate aim is to get this up to 15 or 16. This will require planting specific larval foodplants and providing the right conditions.