Author Archives: Lyn Pullen

Peacock and Comma at Happy Bottom

Peacock on a flowering bush

Peacock. Photo: Elaine Conlon

Comma butterfly on a tree trunk

Comma. Photo: Elaine Conlon

Taken at Happy Bottom Nature Reserve (what a great name!), which is a Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve near Corfe Mullen, on 26/03/2017. Elaine reported “three pairs of Commas and one singular Comma amongst Peacocks, Red Admiral and Brimstone. Spring must have arrived!




Marsh Fritillary Caterpillars on Fontmell Down

A huddle of spiny black caterpillars on dry grass

Marsh Fritillary caterpillars. Photo: Gordon Cryer

Taken at Fontmell Down, in North Dorset, on 15 March. We will see the adult butterflies on the wing some time in May. The date can be quite variable – for more details see our First-sightings page .

Red Admiral in Wareham

Red Admiral in between the puffs of pussy willow

Red Admiral. Photo: Elaine Conlon.

A butterfly seen on 19/03/2017, despite it being a windy day, on a pussy willow in a sheltered spot in Bestwall, Wareham. A good reminder that willows are good for early nectar – and they are the foodplant for quite a few moth caterpillars.  Elaine also reports seeing an adder and a stag – what a good walk!



Help needed at Lankham on 15 Feb

Lots of small black furry caterpillars among dry grass
Marsh Fritillary caterpillars at Lankham on 7 February 2017. Photo: Nigel Spring.

Tuesday February 7th, Lankham Bottom Butterfly Reserve:  a beautiful almost spring-like day and possibly the earliest recorded date for Marsh Fritillary larvae on this site sunning themselves in a cluster on the southwest facing slopes of the reserve. Continue reading

Butterfly photos

We are always a little concerned that people think there are expert butterfly photographers, and if you are not an expert, you can’t send in photos. You can. ‘Experts’ probably have good cameras and some technical knowledge, plus a lot of patience to get their shots, but they also take a lot of duff shots – remember, you only see the best ones.

I’m Lyn Pullen, the main editor of this website, and I’m far from an expert, though I have got a good camera which does a lot of the work.  I thought I’d share a few of my less-than-wonderful shots in the hope of encouraging you. I’d love to see some of your ‘failed’ shots – do send them in, hopefully we’ll cheer up these gloomy February days!

I’ll skip the numberous ones which are just out of focus.

This is one of the ‘I’m so focussed on getting the butterfly I don’t notice my own shadow’ shots.

Area of heather, with the shadow of a photographer

While this is the shot-taken-during-an-earthquake:

Heath and grass landscape, on a slope

And this is one of the ‘I’m sure there’s a butterfly in there somewhere’ shots. There is actually a Small Copper in the bottom left. I can’t share some of the others, because even I can’t find the butterfly in them!

A slightly out of focus Small Copper against the ground

I’m sure you’ve all had the bit-of-grass-got-in-the-way shot:

Silver-studded Blue on a grass stalk, with another grass stalk in the way

And, of course, there’s the one that got away….

Brimstone just flying out of the picture

Sigh! Still, at least in the digital age, the failures aren’t as expensive as they used to be.

Do dig out some of your more memorable failures and share them!