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About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

22 July, 2015

Red Admiral: an admirable butterfly | Nature Notes from Dorset

Finding a perfect specimen of a red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), looking straight out of the chrysalis, reminded me just what striking butterflies they are. The markings are similar to the painted lady but the colours so much bolder and vivid. You cannot really mistake this species for any other butterfly, even at a disatnce. 
I always look on the red admiral as a an 'English' butterfly but in fact they are largely migratory. They are extremely hardy insects and some manage to successfully hibernate and we see them emerge in early spring. By April and May we start to see an influx from the warmer south and by the late summer and early autumn we see the offspring of those early arrivals emerge along with yet more immigrants. They love to feed on rotting fruit and, depending on the weather, they can be out and about well into November

Read more: Red Admiral: an admirable butterfly | Nature Notes from Dorset