Tag Archives: Clouded Yellow

view of a Clouded Yellow nectaring on Knapweed with wings partially closed

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Brian Arnold


On 24/10/18 Brian visited Ballard Down and tells us:

The Swanage Walking Group today walked along the base of Ballard Down, then up Nine Barrow Down near Swanage

There were lots of Clouded Yellows , I counted at least 12 as we walked along. We were all marvelling at how bright and yellow they looked in the sunshine.

Clouded Yellows seem to have done well late this year as many have been reported.

view of a Clouded Yellow nectaring on a Michaelmas Daisy

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona went along to Southbourne Undercliffe on 9/10/18 to see if she could see the Clouded Yellows she had heard were present there.

Her photograph of this lovely butterfly is particularly pleasing shown against the soft colours of the Micheaelmas Daisy it is nectaring on.

Yellow butterfly on rich purple buddlia flower spike

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Mike Skelton.

Black, red and white butterfly on a wall

Red Admiral. Photo: Mike Skelton.

Two lovely reminders that butterflies are to be seen in towns as well as the countryside. Mike comments that these two species have recently been more plentiful than at any time earlier this year. He saw the Clouded Yellow at the Boscombe Cliff Gardens on 25/09/2018, and the Red Admiral, drinking at a seepage at the Manor zigzag in Boscombe (Bournemouth) on 23/09/2018.

Clouded Yellow, RSPB Arne

view ofa Clouded Yellow with wings half closed shoing part of under fore-wing and under hind-wing

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Callum MacGregor

view of Clouded Yellow wings half closed

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Callum MacGregor

Callum saw this Clouded Yellow in the Wildlife garden at RSPB Arne on 27/07/18 and it seems to be the first recorded sighting in Dorset this year. We did show one seen on 1/05/18 but suspected that as it was so early it could possibly have been one of the few that successfully overwinter . Who knows for sure, they are beautiful butterflies to see at any time and with the very hot weather we could expect a large influx from Europe this year as they are a migrant species.

View of a Clouded Yellow on a Spanish bluebell showing fore and hind-wings undersides

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Michael Skelton

A lovely spring Clouded Yellow photographed by Michael at Boscombe Manor Zig Zag on 1/05/18


This is one of our commonest and best known migrant butterflies, though it is known that they can overwinter in the South of England. This could well be one of the lucky ones who made it through our winter, as it is thought that most perish due to damp and frost.

view of |a helice form of Clouded Yellow nectaring on a purple flower showing a little of upperside fore-wing and underside hind-wing

Clouded Yellow  Form helice. Photo: Andrew Martin

Andrew photographed this Clouded Yellow, helice form, at Southbourne Undercliff on 28/09/17 and says:

Hurray, just had my first UK Clouded Yellow form helice for 2017!

The form helice only occurs in the female of the Clouded Yellow  and is similar to the much rarer immigrant, the Pale Clouded Yellow.

view of mating Clouded Yellows

Clouded Yellows mating. Photo: Mike Gibbons

view of a Clouded Yellow female showing fore and hind-wing upperside

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Mike Gibbons

Mike took these photographs of a female Clouded Yellow and a mating pair at Southbourne Undercliff on 28/10/17.

Whilst this species is primarily an immigrant, it is known there is a population at Southbourne on the undercliff that do successfully overwinter. However the majority of the caterpillars and pupa do perish as they are very susceptible to frost and damp .

In good years Clouded Yellows can produce up to three generations in the UK.

view of a Clouded Yellow resting with wings open unusually showing the upper fore-wings

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Mike John Morse

Mike photographed this beautiful Clouded Yellow at West Bexington on 12/09/17.

It is very unusual to find a shot of one with its wings open, giving us an opportunity to see the striking black markings on the upper fore-wings.  This butterfly is a migrant with a fast powerful flight and can be found during warm weather in a variety of habitats. It rests ,roosts and feeds with closed wings, which makes this photograph very special.

Thank you to Mike for responding to our appeal for him to submit it to our Gallery.