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For previous years' lists and commentaries, often incomplete, click 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 20102009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002; 2001. I seem to have lost the file for 2000.
Some of my friends also keep, or have kept, online year-lists. Tim Cowles, living in the Monts du Lyonnais, publishes his list HERE and Matthew Rowlings, who lives not far from me in Vevey, Switzerland, has his HERE. Another friend, Robin Fox, in Italy, keeps a regularly updated sightings diary HERE.
SCROLL DOWN for the 2022 CHECKLIST or use the menu below to jump to the COMMENTARY for each month.
Following the death of my mother on 15th March 2018, I  moved to England to keep my father company. My recent diaries are therefore very different from the previous ones. No longer do I have alpine species on my doorstep and purple emperor caterpillars in my local woods. No more midwinter visits to Queen of Spain fritillaries in the Rhône Valley or spring trips to nettle tree habitat in Italy! Thank you to everyone who followed the Swiss butterfly years with me. I will try to keep some interest in these pages and hope to get some holidays abroad, but in the short term my diary will record mostly the creatures in and around Woodbridge, Suffolk. I will try to include at least one photo, of nature or scenery, every day, though on past evidence I will fail as the year draws to an end ...

On 4th Sepember, I moved back to Switzerland. I now live in Leysin, over a valley from my old house and in easy reach of all my former butterfly patches. It's a busy time beginning again but I hope the end of 2022 will bring some butterflies!

  1. Peacock (Aglais io) - 13th Feb - Suffolk, UK
  2. Comma (Polygonia c-album) - 3rd March - Suffolk, UK
  3. Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta) - 8th March - Suffolk, UK
  4. Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) - 10th March - Suffolk, UK
  5. Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) - 15th March - Suffolk, UK
  6. Small white (Pieris rapae) - 18th March - Suffolk, UK
  7. Queen of Spain fritillary (Issoria lathonia) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  8. Large white (Pieris brassicae) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  9. Green-veined white (Pieris napi) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  10. Mallow skipper (Carcharodus alceae) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  11. Scarce swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  12. Orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  13. Eastern Bath white (Pontia edusa) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  14. Wood white (Leptidea sinapis) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  15. Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  16. Dingy skipper (Erynnis tages) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  17. Camberwell beauty (Nympahlis antiopa) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  18. Large tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  19. Violet fritillary (Boloria dia) - 24th March - Valais, Switzerland
  20. Nettle tree butterfly (Libythea celtis) - 25th March - North Italy
  21. Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) - 25th March - North Italy
  22. Wall (Lasiommata megera) - 25th March - North Italy
  23. Chequered blue (Scolitantides orion) - 25th March - North Italy
  24. Green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) - 25th March - North Italy
  25. Provençal short-tailed blue (Cupido alcetas) - 25th March - North Italy
  26. Small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) - 5th May - Suffolk, UK
  27. Brown argus (Aricia agestis) - 8th May - Suffolk, UK
  28. Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) - 8th May - Suffolk, UK
  29. Common blue (Polyommatus icarus) - 14th May - Suffolk, UK
  30. Little blue (Cupido minimus) - 14th May - Suffolk, UK
  31. Pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne) - 20th May - Leysin, Switzerland
  32. Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) - 20th May - Leysin, Switzerland
  33. Mazarine blue (Cyaniris semiargus) - 20th May - Leysin, Switzerland
  34. Adonis blue (Polyommatus bellargus) - 20th May - Leysin, Switzerland
  35. Sooty copper (Lycaena tityrus) - 20th May - Leysin, Switzerland
  36. Red-underwing skipper (Spialia sertorius) - 20th May - Leysin, Switzerland
  37. Grizzled skipper (Pyrgus malvae) - 20th May - Leysin, Switzerland
  38. Cardinal (Argynnis pandora) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  39. Idas blue (Plebejus idas) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  40. Safflower skipper (Pyrgus carthami) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  41. Berger's clouded yellow (Colias alfacariensis) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  42. Green-underside blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  43. Provençal fritillary (Melitaea deione bersalii) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  44. Purple-shot copper (Lycaena alciphron) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  45. Black-veined white (Aporia crataegi) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  46. De Prunner's ringlet (Erebia triaria) - 21st May - Valais, Switzerland
  47. Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) - 22nd May - Leysin, Switzerland
  48. Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) - 22nd May - Leysin, Switzerland
  49. Marsh fritillary (Euphydryas merope) - 22nd May - Leysin, Switzerland
  50. Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina) - 22nd May - Leysin, Switzerland
  51. Alpine grizzled skipper (Pyrgus andromedae) - 22nd May - Leysin, Switzerland
  52. Large wall (Lasiommata maera) - 23rd May - Leysin, Switzerland
  53. Southern white admiral (Limenitis reducta) - 24th May - Valais, Switzerland
  54. Northern brown argus (Aricia artaxerxes) - 24th May - Valais, Switzerland
  55. Chapman's blue (Polyommatus thersites) - 24th May - Valais, Switzerland
  56. Spotted fritillary (Meliaea didyma) - 24th May - Valais, Switzerland
  57. Rosy grizzled skipper (Pyrgus onopordi) - 24th May - Valais, Switzerland
  58. Turquoise blue (Polyommatus dorylas) - 24th May - Valais, Switzerland
  59. Marbled fritillary (Brenthis daphne) - 26th May - Valais, Switzerland
  60. Heath fritillary (Melitaea nevadensis) - 26th May - Valais, Switzerland
  61. Iolas blue (Iolana iolas) - 26th May - Valais, Switzerland
  62. Dark green fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) - 26th May - Valais, Switzerland
  63. Meadow brown (Maniola jurtina) - 10th June - Suffolk, UK
  64. Silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) - 15th June - Suffolk, UK
  65. Small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) - 18th June - Suffolk, UK
  66. Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola) - 18th June - Suffolk, UK
  67. Large skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) - 18th June - Suffolk, UK
  68. Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) - 20th June - Suffolk, UK (though probably seen before)
  69. White-letter hairstreak (Satyrium w-album) - 21st June - Suffolk, UK
  70. White admiral (Limenitis camilla) - 27th June - Suffolk, UK
  71. Purple hairstreak (Favonius quercus) - 27th June - Suffolk, UK
  72. Silver-washed fritillary (Argynnis paphia) - 1st July - Suffolk, UK
  73. Grayling (Hipparchia semele) - 2nd July - Suffolk, UK
  74. Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) - 7th July - Suffolk, UK
  75. Great banded grayling (Brintesia circe) - 5th September - Vaud, Switzerland
  76. Tree grayling (Hipparchia statilinus) - 10th September - Valais, Switzerland
  77. Short-tailed blue (Cupido argiades) - 11th September - Vaud, Switzerland
  78. Brown hairstreak (Thecla betulae) - 11th September - Vaud, Switzerland
  79. Southern small white (Pieris mannii) - 18th September - Valais, Switzerland
  80. Pale clouded yellow (Colias hyale) - 17th October - Vaud, Switzerland

(Links in the commentary are to pictures of the particular butterflies referred to)

1st: One of the large white caterpillars (and here) on the curly kale is full grown and almost ready to pupate. There are still several unhatched red admiral eggs on the nettles in the garden. In the afternoon, we went out to wooded heathland. There were so many people and dogs about I was unsurprised to see few birds but I did catch this stonechat in the distance. On the way home, as we crossed the Deben, I photographed the first sunset of 2022.
2nd: A day of mixed sunshine, cloud and occasional rain. Here is Minnie in the meadow in the morning. The large white caterpillar is still on the kale. I didn't notice yesterday (though it was clearly visible), but he has a disturbing constriction at the tail end. During a sunny spell in the morning I was lucky to get this shot of a wren in our garden.
3rd: A beautiful day early on, though it clouded over later and the temperatures are dropping. The large white caterpillar is still on the kale.
4th: The large white caterpillar.
5th: Bright but cold in the morning. In the afternoon it clouded over (the white dot in the bank is Minnie). It was flood tide on the Deben - I've never seen the river so full at that point. The large white caterpillar is clinging beneath the midrib of a kale leaf. It is conceivable it hopes to pupate there but it may just be lying torpid because of the cold.
6th: Another bright and cold morning. The large white caterpillar was feeding again.
7th: High tide on the Deben. The large white caterpillar was still feeding.
8th: Wet and miserable from early. The large white caterpillar had gone back to resting up beneath the leaf.
9th: The large white caterpillar is still there!
10th: The large white caterpillar had disappeared by the time I looked this morning - presumed off to pupate! The alternative, of course, is that a hungry bird had him for breakfast. In the afternoon, under heavy cloud, we took a walk along the river. Here is a little egret and here an avocet.
11th: Another grim day. Here is Minnie on her enforced walk along the river, and here a teal sifting the mud.
12th: We took our afternoon walk to Martlesham Heath. Here is a solitary magpie surveying his territory. We saluted him. It was a beautiful sunset.
13th: Today we wandered over land between Martlesham and Bealings, taking in some tracks we hadn't followed before. There were hundreds of rabbits about, enjoying the sunshine, so Minnie had to be on the lead for part of the walk. Here is a flock of linnets caught in the afternoon sun.
14th: A beautiful day, from morning to evening. In the afternoon we took a walk near Ufford (and here). Despite the wall-to-wall sunshine, no butterflies took to the air.
15th: In the morning I cycled Minnie to the two sites in Ipswich where I saw female brown hairstreaks last year. Despite searching hundreds of blackthorn bushes, I found not a single egg. I'm not sure what the reason is. Perhaps they lay in different places or parts of the bush here in England from in Switzerland. Or perhaps these introduced colonies are not really viable. The Orwell was shrouded in mist and covered in ducks and waders. These included my first pintail since I came back to the UK in 2018. Pintail used to be a regular winter feature on the Deben and I had been worried by their absence. They clearly prefer the Orwell.
16th: In the evening there was 100% cloud cover but the moon could still be seen, with all her markings, through the cloud. These pictures - here and here - don't do justice. In both cases, the moon is behind the clouds, not in a gap between them.
17th: A bright morning and beautiful all day. Here are a curlew, an avocet, a dabchick and the usual ruff on the Deben.
18th: A beautiful, frosty morning.
19th: I had to leave my bike in Martlesham for its annual service, so walked Minnie back to Woodbridge through the woods and then along the river (and here). Here are a curlew, probing deeply, and a kestrel just about to plummet into the grass.
21st: Morning and night today.
22nd: The moon over the cemetery this morning. In the evening, I saw my first adult lep of the year - this angleshades moth.
23rd: A grey day. Here and here are some godwits on the Deben.
24th: Another grey day! Some more godwits on the Deben (and here).
27th: A fine day with fairweather clouds (and here).
28th: A cloudy afternoon walk along the river. Among the black-tailed godwits on the mud were a few groups of bar-tailed godwits (and here). Here is a bar-tailed godwit with a black-tailed godwit behind.
29th: Wonderful cloud formations over the reeds just upstream of Wilford Bridge.
30th: A blue tit was busy lining a nest beneath bark on a recently cut bough of oak, overhaning our garden. It was a beautiful day, with plenty of flies on the wing - but no butterflies. The maximum temperature was about 7°C, though it felt much warmer in the sun. A red-hued sunset promised good things for tomorrow too.
31st: January closed blustery, bright and cold. The now-familiar ruff (and here) was close to the bank, away from his usual bend in the river. Here are two bar-tailed godwits with a black-tailed godwit behind.

1st: Quite cold and a little windy, but often bright. Here is Minnie on our afternoon, heathland walk.
3rd: Some of the black-headed gulls are now showing almost complete summer head markings. Here is Minnie on our afternoon walk.
4th: Leo over the trees in the evening, taken with my iPhone.
5th: Cycled to Tunstall to look for white admiral hibernacula. I found a few possibles but nothing certain - I couldn't see inside any. Here is the kind of honeysuckle leaf I was counting as a possible. I have seen very similar in Switzerland with tiny spiky people inside.
6th: Windy, rainy, sunny, cold - a bit of everything today. As we set off on our afternoon walk I knew there would be rainbows during the afternoon, and so there were. In fact, there was at least a partial rainbow in the sky most of the time. Here, it looks like a bolt coming out of the cloud, and here it is seemingly striking the trees as we reached Woodbridge. At other times it was complete and intense.
10th: On a cold, grey day, here is a grey plover on the mud. Here and here are some bar-tailed godwits - this little group seems to be resident on our river.
12th: Cold but bright trip to the woods in the afternoon. While looking for purple hairstreak eggs I found this cocoon on an oak twig.
13th: First butterfly of the year: a peacock, that took to the wing in St Mary's church towards the end of the morning service. It can be seen bolting behind the altar in the YouTube video of the service (click on the link to start the video a few seconds before it appears). It was cold and windy outside so it was probably better off inside, where it might find a sheltered place to go torpid again for the rest of the week (assuming the heating only comes on on Sundays).
16th: My birthday. Crocuses and a bee in the morning; full moon in the evening.
17th: A grey plover in bright sunlight on the Deben.
18th: A great-spotted woodpecker drumming in the meadow in the morning. During the day, storm Eunice struck, splitting in two the largest of the white-letter hairstreak elms.
21st: The hairstreak elm is completely split in two down the middle - half standing proud, half  lying on the ground. The area is cordoned off, but some branches have fallen outside the fencing. I quickly found a hatched white-letter hairstreak egg on one twig.
22nd: In the morning, I collected the fallen branches and took them home to put in a bucket of water, just in case it is possible to keep any caterpillars alive long enough to find and return to a healthy tree.
23rd: A smart pheasant on a hayroll by the river.
26th: An egret fishing in wetland at Bromeswell.

For family reasons I have very little opportunity to get out at the moment. I will try and keep a few pictures coming, especially of any butterflies.

3rd: A lovely day, especially in the morning, when this comma was flying in the garden.
6th: A treecreeper in the forest (and here), amazingly camouflaged against the birch bark.
8th: From inside, I saw a single comma and two red admirals in the garden. The weather was bright but cool, with a wind, and nothing hung around.
10th: It never got really warm today - maximum 13°C or perhaps 14°C - but it was very sunny and in the morning several commas (and here - a different individual) were parading in their usual sunspot in the garden and occasional male brimstones were drifting through. I also saw something darker - a red admiral or peacock, but it was too poor a view to be sure. At one point a male and female comma were showing great interest in each other but by the time I had got my camera they had zoomed off to some secret place and I didn't see them again. I was able to get a walk around the river in the afternoon. The winter waders are still there, including the single ruff that has been hanging around all season.
14th: My father died at 11h00 today, at home, surrounded by his family. A red admiral flew past when we toasted him in the garden, and brimstones, commas and peacocks were greeting the chilly, spring day too.
15th: A slightly warmer day than yesterday. There was much to be done, but I took Minnie out in the afternoon to look for small tortoiseshells. We found some, including this female oviposturing (she spent a long time on this nettle but I found no eggs after she had gone) and this male (I think) nearby. In the garden, peacocks, brimstones (males, roding) and commas were all parading.
18th: A small white flew through the garden early, so I ran to check my pupae in case they were beginning to turn. They weren't - but I did discover that the tits had actually eaten several of them through the mesh (pecking holes in it) and had knocked others to the ground inside the cage. I gathered these up carefully and put them in the fridge, to keep them safe until I could reattach them properly.
19th: I attached the four pupae I had in the fridge to a stick and put it back in the cage. Each was attached with a blob of glue at the tip of the abdomen, then with some cotton gently tied over the abdomen. This worked very well last year. Here are all four of them back in the cage. Here and here are some of the holes where tits (I presume tits) had pecked through and eaten their brothers and sisters. I'm writing this up a week after the event, but I remember small whites were flying commonly through the garden, and peacocks, brimstones and commas were all on the wing.
23rd: Leaving the UK in bright sunshine, I flew to even sunnier Switzerland for a couple of days' break. I arrived in the mountains in early afternoon, but up there the temperature was too low for butterflies despite the sun.
24th: Today was spent in the Rhône Valley. I arrived at Martigny station at 08h45, when it was still very cold. The first Queen of Spain flew at 09h15, followed by many more (and here) during the walk. This mallow skipper was flying in the vineyard at about 09h30 and I saw another later too. A few small tortoiseshells flew, as well as a single green-veined white, a single large white, half a dozen small whites and an orange tip. I raced round the walk so I could catch the 11h18 from Martigny to further up the valley. There, much more was flying, partly because it was by now much warmer. Immediately, I saw the first of many eastern Bath whites - though none stopped long enough for a photo - as well as more large whites, small whites and green-veined whites. I didn’t have to wait long for my first wood white, after which I continued seeing them throughout the afternoon. Orange tips and brimstones were common. No blues were flying but I did see a single small copper. Surprisingly, neither grizzled skipper nor rosy grizzled skipper was on the wing, but both mallow and dingy skipper were about in small numbers. Initially I saw no large tortoiseshells, and at my usual large tortoiseshell site saw just a single Camberwell beauty (and here). After that, though, I saw three large tortoiseshells, of which just one touched down very briefly. Queen of Spain fritillaries were the commonest butterfly by far; I saw just one violet fritillary. Other species out in reasonable numbers were small tortoiseshell, comma, peacock and speckled wood.
25th: Today's mission was nettle tree butterflies, which I haven't seen since 2018, when I moved to the UK. So I got up early - very early - and got to Domodossola at 09h12. I then set off for walk to my favourite nettle tree site. On the way, I saw little - a few whites, brimstones, small tortoiseshell. In the village just before site, two nettle tree butterflies span past me, one landing distantly in a nettle tree. These were the first of many, mostly seen in flight or landing high in the nettle trees, but one or two coming lower (still distant). Here and here are two different individuals. Large tortoiseshells were out in reasonable numbers but never came to ground and were not as common as usual. I got just one photo. In the vegetation around the path, chequered blue (and here) was probably the commonest species, with wood whites coming a close second. There were also small whites, large whites, green-veined whites and small coppers, with green hairstreaks becoming increasingly frequent as the day warmed up. Walls were frequent and holly blues were trundling around the place, often flying high into the trees. I saw a few Provençal short-tailed blues without photographing any. That didn’t worry me, as I thought I would see plenty at my lower site in the afternoon, but when I got there I found most of it had been cleared and the rest was inaccessible, so no joy there. The other species seen were comma, Queen of Spain and peacock. It was a warm day, feeling hot because of all the hill-climbing. After failing at the low site, I headed for the scrubland near Domodossola. That was very dry and close-cropped and almost nothing flew - just the odd white and a few Queens. All the pictures for 24th and 25th March were processed on my iPad, on the train to Geneva on 26th March. I have many more, but realistically I won't get them processed soon, so thought I should post while I could ...
26th: Returned to the UK.
28th: An egret and  the familiar ruff (and here) along the Deben. The ruff looks brighter and white than he has been looking over the winter.

9th: A tiger moth caterpillar crossing a path in the sandlings; a stonechat nearby.
10th: Commas, peacocks and brimstones in the garden, with a few small whites flying through. I visited a local site where orange tips usually fly early but saw none - just more peacocks and commas, with some small tortoiseshells too. Here is a kestrel, watching the show, and here Minnie, taking a well deserved drink in the heat of the afternoon.
11th: The first local orange tips are flying, in the garden and in the meadow. The godwits along the river are in beautiful, golden summer plumage,
12th: My father's funeral. Poor weather had been forecast, but in the event it was sunny, with some cloud.
13th: My first nightingale of the year was singing on Martlesham Heath. There were very few butterflies - a few peacocks, commas and whites - but I did find this glow worm larva walking across a track.
14th: The first small white - a female - hatched in my cage and I released her into the sun.
15th: A second small white - a male - hatched in the cage. The garden was alive with brimstones, peacocks, small and large whites (and here) and orange tips. In the woods, peacocks, commas and green-veined whites were flying with the first local speckled woods of the year. A distant muntjac along the track grazed peacefully - so I put Minnie on the lead then! Here is the Good Friday moon.
16th: A woodland walk in the afternoon. It was beautifully sunny, but little was flying apart from peacocks, commas and whites. Here is a green-veined white. Again the moon seemed full in the evening. I found my first white-letter hairstreak caterpillar of the year - a tiny third instar, I think.
17th: Another beautifully sunny day, with peacocks, whites, orange tips, commas and the first local holly blues of the year in the garden. In the evening I found another white-letter hairstreak caterpillar, on a different tree from yesterday. This one still shows touches of pink.
18th: A white-letter hairstreak caterpillar in the evening.
19th: In the morning, another of my small white pupae looked coloured up. By the afternoon it had hatched and I took it out to rest on garlic mustard.
20th: A tiny white-letter hairstreak caterpillar in the evening.
22nd: A female small copper on the heath.
24th: Visited Ipswich parkland, where brimstones turned out to be incredibly common. Here are four tumbling in the air, here a female supping at dandelion, and here a female laying on low shrubs. There were a few small coppers about but no other Lycaenids. Here is a mating pair of large whites - this species is very numerous this spring - and here a green-veined white. There were a few small tortoiseshells about and even some red admirals.
25th: A beautiful summer black-tailed godwit on the Deben and a white-letter hairstreak caterpillar with friend in the meadow in the evening.
26th: I found my first large red damselfly of the year today, seemingly torpid on a shady pavement in town. I picked it up and took it to the meadow to warm up - which it did almost instantly, and flew off before I could get a natural photo.
29th: A white-letter hairstreak caterpillar in the evening.
30th: I went looking for April green hairstreaks on the last possible day, without finding any. It was partly sunny and partly cloudy, and rather cool. Speckled woods were out in good numbers but very little else was on the wing. Here is an orange tip, and here a brown silver-lines, showing perfect crypitc colouration against the brown leaves. 

2nd:  A white-letter hairstreak caterpillar in the meadow (and here, showing more of the leaf damage).
3rd: A sedge warbler by the river.
5th: First small heaths flying on the heath. Here is a green-veined white. I had gone looking for green hairstreaks but found none today, even though the broom is out and the first hawthorn flowers are bursting.
6th: My first glimpse of a local green hairsteak (first for the year, that is). This very distant shot shows one nectaring on hawthorn. Small coppers and speckled woods are common in the woods, with peacocks and the odd red admiral flying too.
8th: First brown argus of the year (and here) on local heathland. Here is a white-letter hairstreak caterpillar photographed on our evening walk. First painted lady of the year.
9th: A yellowhammer in full voice.
10th: A white-letter hairstreak caterpillar.
A white-letter hairstreak caterpillar by day, perfectly camouflaged on a leaf bud.
12th: The same white-letter hairstreak caterpillar as yesterday, but this time photographed at night.
13th: In the forest, several green hairstreaks (and here - the same individual), as well as a few small heaths. Lots of speckled woods and peacocks, though the latter are now looking rather tatty.
14th: I was free in the afternoon, so cycled to the Ipswich little blue site, to see if they were flying. The kidney vetch was in full flower but at first I thought the butterflies were absent, as I walked a couple of times round their patch without seeing one. Then I ventured into the patch a metre or two to photograph a green hairstreak, and as I did so a fresh, male little blue flew up and landed not far away. His upperside was liberally dusted with blue scales. I saw about three in total, but it was clear they were using the late afternoon to sun, not fly, which is why I had initially seen none. Also new for the year were common blues - about three males cruising over the meadow. Here is a brown argus (and here). There were lots of brimstones around still, and a few small coppers.
16th: On our afternoon walk round the river, I spotted a female comma laying an egg on elm (an elm that also hosts white-letter hairstreaks). I watched her lay, then took this photo of the egg. Here's a sparrowhawk high in the sky.
17th: A walk along the river near Wilford Bridge. Common blue damselflies (that was a male - here is a female) are now common here.
18th: Green hairstreaks flying near the Deben, at a site I haven't seen them before. About half a dozen were flying around bramble, rather inaccessibly. Here is a record shot.
20th: After spending last night in the Gatwick Holiday Inn, I caught an early plane to Switzerland today, to spend a week teaching, meeting my students at their graduation and of course watching butterflies. I arrived at Leysin in the early afternoon, and after leaving my things in school accommodation set off up the hill to see what the local scene looked like (and here). Almost immediately I saw pearl-bordered fritillaries and walls, and I'm fairly confident a couple of large walls, though none stopped or came close enough to see. New for the year was Glanville fritillary, which seemed to be reasonably numerous in the woods and meadows just above the school. The commonest blues were common and mazarine, with a few Adonis and little blues too. I saw just one green hairstreak. Small heaths flew over the meadows and in a woodier part I saw a single sooty copper. There weren't many skippers on the wing but I did see at least one red-underwing skipper and a couple of grizzlies. There were some huge, dark commas, looking more like large tortoiseshells in flight, but which were definitely commas. Other butterflies seen were red admirals and small tortoiseshells, as well as the odd painted lady, and there were lots of small and green-veined whites. I didn't venture high as I had to be back down to meet someone in the late afternoon.
21st: I headed down to the valley today and along to my old cardinal haunts. As hoped, there were plenty of these around - here is a male, and here a female. As I walked through the vineyards I saw Provençal short-tailed blues, including some that looked a lot like short-tailed blues but couldn't be identified because the relevant bits of the hindwing were eaten off. Other blues on the wing included Adonis, idas and common (here is one resting on my solar charger). I looked for Iolas blues at the usual site but saw none. The bladder senna were overgrown with other trees and bushes but there were enough for it still to be habitable. I think I was just unlucky (I didn't have much time at the site, as I wanted to move further on up the valley afterwards). A few green-underside blues (and here) were feeding on the bladder senna. I saw my first safflower skippers of the year, as well as lots of dingy skippers. As I headed back for the train I met another entomologist who was photographing this lovely purple-shot copper. Shortly before this, I found a Provençal fritillary taking minerals on the ground near a trough (and here). I have seen these in this part of the valley before, but they are much scarcer than further east. This chequered blue was flying nearby. Continuing up the valley, I stopped at my main Provençal fritillary site. By now it was windy and photography was very difficult, but I saw at least half a dozen - here and here are a couple more pictures. Camberwell beauties were abundant here - I saw at least 10 different individuals, all tatty but nonetheless energetically defending territories. My first black-veined whites of the year were on the wing here and Eastern Bath whites were cruising around (never stopping). Brimstones were particularly common. Throughout the walk, speckled woods were in evidence and painted ladies were ever-present. More green-underside blues, common blues, little blues and Adonis blues, with good numbers of Provençal short-tailed blues too (and here), and a single green hairstreak. Queen of Spain fritillaries were constant throughout the day and there were a few swallowtails about - also very difficult to photograph in the wind! I saw my first - and almost certainly last - de Prunner's ringlets on this walk, all now looking very end-of-lifey but able to fly.
22nd: I had a presentation to give in the evening, so stayed in the Leysin region today, climbing up to the top of the local hills. For most of the day, the commonest butterflies were small tortoiseshell, green hairstreak (and here - they were flying at all altitudes) and pearl-bordered fritillary. Orange tips were also common, and other unremarkable species at lower altitudes were wall, small heath, common blue, little blue (also common at altitude), dingy skipper, Queen of Spain and speckled wood. Berger's clouded yellows were flying over the meadows but not yet high up the mountain. I saw a single clouded Apollo at the base of an interesting stepped slope but it never paused for a picture. At the top, this marmot posed nicely (and here) and I had excellent views of red kite hunting (and here). Other birds included ring ouzel and alpine chough. On the way back down, I investigated a sheltered, damp meadow rich with leafy plants, where Glanville fritillaries were flying. I found marsh fritillaries there too, then grizzled skippers, including this beautiful ab taras. This persuaded me to put my bag down and spend more time here. The next species to appear was Duke of Burgundy, of which I saw up to half a dozen individuals (even though there were no obvious cowslips or primroses). Just before I left the spot, a fresh alpine grizzled skipper settled very amenably on rocks in front of me. Blues included little, common and Adonis. I thought I had a mountain dappled white a little higher up, visiting this plant, but the abundant orange tips, including wandering females, make me unsure in hindsight. Throughout the walk I saw the occasional swallowtail.
23rd: A rainy day. I went to Monthey for some shopping before coming back for some teaching and then for graduation. I saw my first confirmed large wall of the year in the village.
24th: The forecast was generally bad but it looked better along the Rhône Valley so I headed eastward today. I arrived at my site while the track was still in shade but quickly found a southern white admiral undeterred by the cold, flying along a track and pausing occasionally on the rocks. A few whites and Queen of Spain fritillaries were venturing out too. Then it cleared up properly and I spent much of the time in bright sunshine. New species for the year included spotted fritillary, rosy grizzled skipper, marbled white, northern brown argus, Chapman's blue and turquoise blue. I finally got a photo of a settled large wall too! Other butterflies on the wing included Berger's clouded yellow - rather common over the grassy hillsides - orange tip, scarce swallowtail, speckled wood, Adonis blue, Provençal short-tailed blue, green hairstreak, eastern Bath white, dingy skipper, safflower skipper, comma, small tortoiseshell, painted lady and small heath. Again, I had to be back early for teaching, but it was a very worthwhile day.
25th: With bad weather forecast in the valley, I stayed local again, finding at least part of the day sunny up the mountain. It was cold, though, and apart from the dozens of green hairstreaks and small tortoiseshells, very little was on the wing. Before I got back down to my taras meadow it was heavily overcast so I followed a different route, just to explore. Here is a chamois, photographed in poor light. This painted lady posed on the track for me near the village.
26th: For my last day, I chose to try again for Iolas blues in the Rhône Valley. It was a beautiful day and his time, I was more successful. I saw the first one (and here) in the vineyards, visiting one of the widely scattered bladder senna plants to be found there. Later, at the site I visited on 21st, I saw a further three males, all within about a minute (I know there were three different individuals, as the first two came through chasing and sparring, closely followed by a third). I got just this one, head-on picture. Cardinals seemed to be everywhere (and here) and I also saw my first heath, marbled (and here) and dark green fritillaries of the year. At one site, there were dozens of idas blues, all flying around what I think was Lotus pedunculatus. There were lots of females, often laying eggs. Here is a female laying, and here one of the eggs she laid. During the day I saw lots of little, Adonis, common, Provençal short-tailed and green-underside blues. I had to be back in the evening to prepare and give a presentation, but for all the time I was in the valley the sun shone and I saw almost everything I had hoped to see. The last butterfly I photographed as I left the site was this turquoise blue.
27th: Up at 04h00 to pack and catch the 05h26 down to the valley, then the train to the airport and the plane to Gatwick. Spring break over ...

1st: I have seen more local (Suffolk) small tortoiseshells this year than in recent years. I photographed this one today in town. When I was young, small tortoiseshells were very common. In the last few years, they have seemed rather scarce and I haven't seen them at this particular location since my return from Switzerland. Here is a painted lady in the meadow in the morning.
2nd: I visited local sandlings this afternoon, for green hairstreaks and other woodland butterflies. The first garlic mustard plant I checked out as I walked along the main ride had this orange tip caterpillar on it (the white blur in the background is Minnie!). Along the gorse and broom path I soon found green hairstreaks - not fresh, but out in good numbers. I continued to see them for some while, including along paths where I haven't seen them before. In the more shady parts, where there was no gorse, they were hanging around on bramble. Other species flying were green-veined whites, red admirals and small tortoiseshells, with speckled woods and small coppers still common. I thought I saw an early purple hairstreak but I cannot be sure it wasn't just a green hairstreak flying around oak - they often do this. There were also holly blues about but I don't think I would have confused one of these with a hairstreak. Here is a female broad-bodied chaser.
10th: First meadow brown of the year, near my house.
13th: Meadow brown in Fen Meadow.
15th: I've been looking after an extra two dogs for over a week now, and have had no real chance to look for birds or butterflies (I walk them, but they aren't trained nature dogs like Minnie!). Today, I took Minnie alone to Martlesham Heath to look for silver-studded blues, leaving the other dogs at home. Although it's obviously the very beginning of the season, I did see two individuals, this male (and here) and this female. They were flying very near each other, so that's enough to make babies for next year ... Here is a female black-tailed skimmer from the same site, and a chiffchaff chiff-chaffing in a tree.
18th: Cycled into Ipswich in the morning, to see if marbled whites were flying yet. They were, though in very small numbers. Here is one. To the best of my knowledge, this town park is the only place in Suffolk they fly ... Other new species for the year were small skipper (out in reasonable numbers), large skipper (just a few) and Essex skipper (much less common than small skipper, though they will be more common at this site later). Small tortoiseshells were common - this year they seem to be doing really well - and the first hutchinsoni commas were out, mostly sitting at distance on bramble, sunning.
20th: Ringlets were out in the woods. I had gone looking for the first silver-washed fritillaries but saw none. Instead, red admirals and painted ladies were common and there were a few large and small skippers around. This beautiful hutchinsoni comma (and here) was one of many. Stonechats were sitting around on bushes and stems, cracking stones together. Here is a female and here a different individual.
21st: First white-letter hairstreaks flying in the canopy of the master tree in the meadow. I saw at least 4 individuals, but probably more were there. They kept landing out of sight but I did manage this one proof shot on full zoom.
24th: Hutchinsoni commas seem to be everywhere at the moment. That one was on bramble by the river. There are lots in the garden, defending sunspots in exactly the same places they do in spring.
27th: Recent days have seen more and more summer butterflies fly, including meadow browns, small, Essex and large skippers, commas and peacocks. Red admirals and painted ladies are common. Today, after a mostly sunny morning, I went looking for silver-washed fritillaries at a buddleia site. It turned out the buddleia weren't yet in flower here and the weather was very iffy - some sun but mostly cloud and even rain - and I saw no fritillaries. But while exploring a corner of the forest I've never visited before, rich in honeysuckle and bramble, I did see a female white admiral diving into bushes to lay and occasionally nectaring. There was no sun at this stage. It will be a good place to return on a sunny morning. I also saw my first purple hairstreaks of the year, tumbling above a birch. One landed apparently out of sight, high in a tree, but I took a zoom shot of where it had gone down and found it was there in the picture.

1st: A mostly cloudy day with some sunny spells. In the afternoon, we went back to where I had found the white admiral on 27th. Two white admirals passed through, bouncing past shrubs then up and over the trees. At this stage there was little sun and most things were sitting around - the exception being the many hutchinsoni commas, seemingly constantly engaged in battles. Large skippers adorned the bracken and bramble leaves, while small skippers kept more to the grass. Apart from the commas, only ringlets, speckled woods and meadow browns seemed to be generally on the wing. I then moved to my nearby silver-washed fritillary site, where I soon saw three males (and here - the same individual). When the sun came out, a white admiral bounced through here too, pausing on bramble just long enough for me to get proof shots through the vegetation. Sadly, it was never out for long. I saw another white admiral just before I left. Other species evident here - mostly, again, just sitting around - were red admirals, speckled woods, ringlets and more commas. I need to come back on a properly sunny day, when I'm sure white admirals and silver-washed fritillaries will be much easier.
2nd: I revisited yesterday's site in the afternoon. At first, it was hot and sunny and in the space of about half an hour I saw probably 4 white admirals at what I call 'honeysuckle corner'. I saw another on my way back to the main ride and the silver-washed fritillary site but then the weather turned and I saw no fritillaries. I did see my first grayling of the year and got another absurdly distant shot of a purple hairstreak in the canopy. Commas are abundant at the moment. Many of them are huge, very lightly marked hutchinsoni individuals, cruising around like fritillaries. There are also lots of red admirals around, as well as all the speckled woods, meadow browns, ringlets and skippers.
3rd: On a Woodbridge walk I heard two male turtle doves purring and got some shots of one of them (and here). In the meadow, at least 8 white-letter hairstreaks were dancing above the elm. I shot off many pictures, in the hope of catching them on leaves or in flight, and did manage to get a few proof shots. Here is one. They were never settled for more than a few seconds, so it was a matter of luck and quantity. Here is a grainy shot of one in flight and here another one peeping over the canopy. They very rarely come down lower at this site.
4th: A trip rather late in the day to the white admiral/silver-washed sites. None of the latter, and just two of the former. The second landed on my camera hand, and stayed while I gently got my phone out of my left pocket and turned on the camera ... Then it flew just as I was about to photograph it! I saw a single painted leady. These seemed to be quite common earlier in the year but not so much now. Perhaps there will be a big emergence shortly. A few graylings flew but it is clearly still early season for them.
5th: Many white-letter hairstreaks dancing jigs above the elm tree in the meadow again today. Here is the same turtle dove I photographed on 3rd (and here), and here a small copper on ragwort in the meadow.
6th: A cloudy day, and I didn't expect to see any butterflies on our afternoon walk in the forest. For that reason, we didn't go out to the usual white admiral/silver-washed site but stayed closer to home. Against expectations, not only were there a lot of butterflies flying - ringlets, meadow browns, speckled woods, red admirals, small tortoiseshells, painted ladies, graylings, whites and skippers - but I saw my first white admiral for this site. It was a female, diving into and then flying around a dense patch of honeysuckle. 
7th: I revisited yesterday's site, on another warm but often cloudy day, and this time saw no white admirals but several silver-washed fritillaries zooming around bramble near the honeysuckle. I saw one or perhaps two males quite frequently over a period of half an hour, but they never stopped longer than a second or two. I also saw a female nearby, disappearing over bracken into the woods. The first gatekeepers of the year were on the wing.
8th: Back to my main white admiral/silver-washed site. This time, for the first time ever, there were no white admirals, but I saw several silver-washed fritillaries, always in flight. One was a female, flitting around in dappled shade before zooming into the woods.
9th: Another hot day, this time without much cloud in the afternoon. I visited my newest silver-washed/white admiral site and stood and waited while Minnie sat in the shade. For about half an hour, I had only infrequent glimpses of one or perhaps two silver-washed fritillaries - presumed male - swooping through, often attended by angry commas. It (or they) never stopped to nectar, though I was waiting by a bank of bramble. Then suddenly I spotted a white admiral dive deep into honeysuckle. It was impossible to follow or photograph her properly while she was in dense mass of bramble, blackthorn and honeysuckle, but I got this record shot. After a few minutes inside, she then emerged sat on a leaf a moment in the sun. I lost her a bit, then she reappeared on the other side of the track, still diving deep into honeysuckle and bramble. This doubtless explains the tears in her wings. After a while, she again emerged and sat on a leaf. If she laid eggs, I didn't find any. Then another individual appeared (and here). Continuing on our walk, we saw dozens of graylings. These have emerged en masse over the last week. Other species flying were red admirals, commas, small tortoiseshells, large, small and green-veined whites, large and small skippers, meadow browns and ringlets. A long way from our first white admiral spot, I saw at least two more, of which just one paused long enough for a piccie.
10th: Male white-letter hairstreaks are still easy to see, though not to photograph, above their master elm.
11th: A male silver-washed fritillary was frequenting brambles in Fen Meadow, in the middle of Woodbridge, today! He rarely settled visibly, but I did get a couple of proof shots (and here) for the record. This species really has extended its range in Suffolk!
12th: A painted lady in Fen meadow in the morning.
19th: After a week spent working hard in the house, I finally got out again today. I headed for the silver-washed woods, where plenty were to be found. Here, here, here, here, here and here are some shots. Hutchinsoni commas are still looking beautifully golden, and still abundant. I was mostly focusing on the fritillaries, but did take this nice shot of a long-tailed tit in full voice!
20th: A distant shot, into the sun, of one of our turtle doves. I think at least two males have been purring here. Here is a curlew sifting mud in the Deben and here the ruff, presumably newly back from his breeding adventures. Here is a godwit in his shiny breeding plumage, and here two together.
21st: An egret fishing in the shallows of the Deben.
22nd: At least a dozen male silver-washed fritillaries on the wing in the buddleia ride in the woods, as well as an abundance of other butterflies - skippers, browns (including hundreds of graylings), commas, small tortoiseshells, peacocks, red admirals, painted ladies and whites. Some of the silver-washed fritillaries were very tatty (and here - a different individual) but others were still in reasonable flying nick (and here - a different individual). Here is one of those tatty ones with a red admiral in the same shot, and here the same individual showing the ride. Here is a red admiral flat out on the ground.
23rd: A common blue in the meadow in the morning and a grayling in the woods in the afternoon.
25th: Sunset today.
28th: Not especially warm, nor sunny. On a trip to my favourite buddleia ride I found no silver-washed fritillaries or white admirals, though browns, whites and vanessids were out in force. Here is a painted lady and here a gatekeeper. In the morning I could spot no male white-letter hairstreaks above their tree, but I did see a single presumed female launch out and dive into the foliage further down - presumably to lay eggs.
29th: Sunnier than yesterday. On a trip to the same woods, I saw a single, male silver-washed fritillary (and here, with Minnie) but no white admirals. Other butterflies were abundant, including hundreds of graylings, gatekeepers, meadow browns, speckled woods, commas, large whites, small whites, green-veined whites and red admirals.There were still large skippers around but I didn't consciously see a small skipper. It has been hot and sunny continuously for so long I think some species have run their course more quickly than usual. But the sheer number of butterflies along the buddleia ride was a delight to see. Here is a cluster on ragwort. In the morning, I photographed this unknown caterpillar on Poa, desperately looking for green foliage. I moved it to some shady, still living grass not far away.
30th: A speckled wood and a red admiral by the river.
31st: The new moon setting behind the trees (and here).


1st: Joyeuse Fête Nationale! Searching where I had seen a female white admiral diving into the shade of honeysuckle some weeks ago, I found a white admiral caterpillar today. It was perched on the end of a rather grotty leaf but there were plenty of nice ones to move onto and it seemed quite happy where it was. Periodically, it moved to the flesh of the leaf and nibbled, before moving back to its platform at the end. This picture shows the context. Here is a great-spotted woodpecker elsewhere in the woods and here a small copper in the heather.
2nd: Starlings on bramble by the river - there were hundreds gathered there. This rather aged small copper was in the local meadow, defending his spot as vigorously as when he was young ... Here is the crescent moon in the evening.
5th: In the morning, this brown argus passed through the garden. In the afternoon, I revisited the woods where I found the white admiral caterpillar on 1st August. He was still there, now having demolished considerably more of the leaf he was eating.
7th: I checked on the white admiral caterpillar again today. He was still in the same place, and still more of the leaf was eaten. Here is a small copper, feasting on ragwort, and here another with some gatekeepers. The ragwort in the woods was covered in gatekeepers: here are three. I will shortly be returning to Switzerland, where this species is largely absent - certainly, it is absent from my part of Switzerland. I will treasure these memories!
9th: The white admiral caterpillar is still feeding.
17th: Over the last 10 days I've had little time to get out. Today, for the first time I was able to get as far as the woods and check on the white admiral caterpillar. It has made its hibernaculum and is tucked away inside it. Here is the hibernaculum from another angle, and here closer up.
19th: Clouded yellow flying along the river wall near Kyson Point.
[I hope to complete August little by little during September. Preparations for going back to Switzerland took up almost all my time in late August but I did have some opportunities to say goodbye to my Suffolk butterflies]

5th: First full day back in Switzerland, having arrived last night with my sister and a friend. After unloading all my belongings from the van, we all set off for the Grand Chamossaire, to take Minnie for her first Swiss walk in over four years. Low down, we saw adonis and chalkhill blues, and clouded and Berger's clouded yellow. Up the mountain, at least one mountain clouded yellow was still flying. As we came back up the hill to Leysin (where I now live) on the train, I spotted my first great banded grayling off the year, flying by the railway.
9th: I took Minnie to Villars, where I had business to sort out, and walked her back through our old purple emperor woods. We didn't find any caterpillars today, but we didn't have very long to look for them. Large walls and speckled woods were flying in the woods and a single silver-washed fritillary briefly nectared before zooming off.
10th: It was raining in the morning and looked set to be cloudy all day, so I got on with unpacking and sorting things out in the new flat. But as the day drew on it brightened and I decided to go to the Rhône Valley and visit some old haunts. When we (Minnie and I) reached the valley, it turned out to be very sunny, and it stayed so for the rest of the day, though a strong wind made photography difficult. We visited a rosy grizzled skipper site but found no skippers at all were on the wing - not even mallow. Instead, there were Adonis, chalkhill, common, Chapman's and turquoise blues, flying in local clusters in the meadows. The first blues I saw were turquoise, in a little group of four of five, all chasing each other. There were very few chalkhill. Clouded and Berger's clouded yellows were both common, and tree graylings were too, though not in the numbers I see them in later in the year. I saw a couple of ordinary graylings during the walk. The only fritillaries flying were Queen of Spain - which flies throughout the year - and spotted, of which there were plenty, zooming around and briefly nectaring. Wall and speckled wood were the other browns, and small whites were the only white until I saw a Bath white as I walked back along a rocky track. In general, I think, numbers of butterflies were down in comparison with the same time in other years, especially given what a lovely day it was. Maybe the drought and continual hot weather shortened the season.
11th: In late morning I cycled from Leysin to Le Sépey looking for likely butterfly spots. This turned out to be very difficult, as it was steep downhill all the way, and I found nothing good at Le Sépey. So I cut my losses, took the train to Aigle and headed off to a favourite site for long- and short-tailed blues. These didn't disappoint. Long-tailed blues (and here, and here) were numerous (males only), darting around agitatedly, spiralling up into the air in pairs and occasionally nectaring on sainfoin - for seconds at a time. Short-tailed blues were even commoner, and there were both males and females. I watched this female (and here) carefully laying eggs on bird's foot trefoil. Here is one of the eggs she laid. Finally, I visited a nearby site where I find brown hairstreak eggs in the winter, in the hope of seeing an adult. I didn't have much time before heading off for the train and teaching, but did find this beautiful female. She was huge - about the size of a meadow brown - and brilliant in colour.
17th: I've had a lot to do, getting settled in Switzerland again after so long, and up here in Leysin (1300m) it is mostly past the end of the butterfly season. Today I searched locally for sallow and honeysuckle, finding both - but as yet no evidence of purple emperor or white admiral caterpillars. Minnie did get a good view of her first alpine black squirrel since her stay in England. Like UK grey squirrels, it swiftly climbed its tree and was in no danger from Minnie. In the distance, the mountains are showing fresh snow. These mountains are in La Vallée Blanche in France. These are the Dents du Midi, here in Switzerland.
18th: Set off for the Rhône Valley today, arriving shortly after 10h00. It was still cold - just 9 degrees - but it was very sunny. First, I made for my autumn cardinal spot, but cardinals started appearing long before I got there. Everywhere near the vineyards they were cruising around, sunning (and here) or nectaring - almost all males but a couple of females - sometimes nectaring in groups of four or more. Most of the buddleia was over by now but at one site in particular there was still masses and this, as expected, hosted many more cardinals. There is no doubt at all - the species is really thriving here now. It was by far the commonest butterfly seen today. Other species flying were large and green-veined whites (I didn’t see any small or southern small at this first stop), wall, large wall, speckled wood and tree grayling, peacock, red admiral and Queen of Spain, clouded and Berger’s clouded yellows, and chalkhill, Adonis, common and idas blues. Moving further along the valley, I hoped to see eastern Bath whites - and I did, though only a couple, neither of which stopped. Instead, I added southern small white (and here) to the day (and year) list, as well as grayling and a surprise southern white admiral. I saw this when I came out to Switzerland in May (24th May), suggesting that there might have been two broods this year. Alternatively, a wet early summer might have resulted in a long, protracted emergence (before the recent heatwaves). I don’t have enough data. The commonest blue at this second site was Adonis, which was glinting brilliantly on grass and flowers all over the meadow.
19th:  In the afternoon, after watching the Queen's funeral, I took Minnie up the local mountain to the spot where I found taras, Duke of Burgundy and several species of fritillary back in May. Despite the wall-to-wall sunshine, it felt cold up there, and very little was flying. There were a few brave Adonis blues (and here - a female), a number of Berger's clouded yellows, and some clouded yellows. This clouded yellow was hanging motionless beneath a plant as if already torpid, though the sun was still shining.
26th: Lots of work and rain, so no chance for butterflies. Here is a black redstart during one of the dry periods today, when Minnie and I could take a proper walk.


1st: Rain all day. Trip to Papiliorama. As usual, I was able to photograph a few species I hadn't seen there before, including Charaxes candiope, Hypolimnas usambara (and here) and I thought Archaeoprepona amphimachus, though when I looked through previous pictures I found I had already photographed and identified it. I added these new species to my butterfly house guide here. Among the many other species were Parthenos sylvia (here in context, and here the blue form), Morpho peleides, Catonephele numilia, Eumaeus toxea (the only Lycaenid at the Papiliorama), Doleschalia bisaltide, Vindula dejone (that was a female - there were plenty of males too), Cethosia cyane (here is a female), Papilio demodocus, Idea leuconoe, Athyma perius, Papilio polytes, Euploeia crore and Danaus plexippus. This moth has been identified as Egybolis vaillantina.
Rain most of the day, but in dry spells a single wall (cold and torpid, but fresh) and a single red admiral.
3rd: Up the local mountain, several Adonis blues, a couple of common blues and a single Berger's clouded yellow. Occasional red admirals flying around Leysin.
5th: Sunny and warm all day. Red admirals cruising around Villars (where I taught in the morning) and Leysin.
6th: Still lots of red admirals, as well as large white and small white. I saw a Queen of Spain from the train up to Leysin near the vineyards.
7th: With poor weather forecast for the weekend, and no lessons until 16h00, I went to the valley today to see if the cardinals were still around. It was hot and sunny - up to 23° C - and plenty of butterflies were on the wing. At first, it seemed the cardinals were over, as none were flying in the general vineyard region where they had been so common on 18th September. Instead, Queens of Spain (and here) were the commonest butterfly, followed by red admiral and then perhaps clouded yellow (here is a helice female). But when I reached the real cardinal headquarters I found four or five still present, flying around like ghosts - pale shadows of their earlier selves. They rarely stopped, and when they did it was always very briefly and usually in impossible places to photograph, but here and here are a couple of record shots. The commonest blue was Adonis, with a few common blues too, but no idas or Cupido species. Lots of walls and a single speckled wood were flying around, as well as a fair few Berger's clouded yellows. A few small whites completed the picture (maybe southern small white too, but none stopped).
14th: I found brown hairstreak eggs today (and here), on blackthorn in Leysin Village, not far from my house!
15th: Lovely, sunny weather forecast for the Rhône Valley today, but in the event it was all cloud and rain! No butterflies were flying and the only lep I saw was this beautiful spurge hawk moth caterpillar (and here), digesting its food in the gloom and cold. Here is a red kite (and here), hunting over the same slopes, and here a lovely chaffinch. With no obvious prospect of improvement, I headed back on the train, only to find it suddenly got sunny and I could see whites flying outside. So I continued to Montreux, then cycled back to a favourite pale clouded yellow site in the hope of seeing one of these. There were none, despite the lovely weather - just a few clouded yellows in the clover fields, nectaring on dandelions.
17th: Still keen to see more Colias, Minnie and I headed in the direction of Les Mosses today, wondering if moorland clouded yellows might still be on the wing. They weren't, though there were plenty of ordinary clouded yellows about and lots of red admirals, all heading south-west. This one paused to take minerals on a track in the woods. When we got back to the bus, we found more clouded yellows were flying, with some much paler ones among them. At first, I took them to be mountain clouded yellows, but it soon appeared they were not, and I believe they are pale clouded. I don't think Berger's clouded yellow flies here, and all the jizz was for pale clouded. It's not 100%, but I'm quite confident. Here is a water pipit from elsewhere on the walk.
19th: Up my local mountain, at 1600m, Berger's clouded yellows (and here) and Adonis blues (and here) are both flying still.
23rd: Back in Woodbridge for a week to sort out affairs. Here are a grey plover and a little egret on the Deben.
25th: A rather poor shot of today's solar eclipse. I had no tripod in Woodbridge, so had to hold the camera with one hand and the binoculars with the other, making focusing difficult!

2nd: The Grand Chamossaire, viewed from our afternoon walk around Leysin.
4th: The Grand Chamossaire with fresh snow, viewed from my balcony in Leysin.
5th:  Snow fell yesterday so today Minnie and I went up the local mountain to enjoy it. Here, here, here, here and here are some pictures.
6th: After spending yesterday in the snow, I dropped down to the valley today for the end-of-season butterflies. I began the walk at about 11h45 and within minutes was seeing butterflies. Along the rocky walk towards my main site there were Adonis blues (and here), clouded yellows, Berger’s clouded yellows, a couple  of painted ladies, a single Queen of Spain, a single small copper, a single grayling - my latest ever, I think - and most strangley, this very late comma. On the site itself, Adonis blues (and here) were quite numerous, accompanied by Chapman’s blues (and here, with Adonis blue) and a few northern brown arguses. Clouded yellows were also common, including at least one helice, and there were a few Berger’s clouded yellows too. Here is a clouded yellow with an Adonis blue. I saw no more graylings, but a single tree grayling flew past me at one point. There were numerous walls - mostly females but with a few males. At one point, a larger fritillary flew down the hill and passed me close by. It had a very gliding flight, allowing me to see sex brands quite clearly, and was a pale, faded orange in colour. Because of the sex brands, it must have been silver-washed or high brown, and my intuition at the time was silver-washed, even though that species normally glides less. Here is Minnie trotting along during one of the frequent cloudy spells. Full day list: Clouded yellow, Berger’s clouded yellow, small copper, Adonis blue, Chapman’s blue, northern brown argus, painted lady, comma, Queen of Spain, silver-washed fritillary, wall, grayling, tree grayling.
11th: In a field near Leysin, clouded and Berger's clouded yellows were enjoying the sun and nectar on a warm bank. This is the only photo I got, of a Berger's clouded yellow.
12th: I went back to yesterday's sunny bank in the morning and got photos of both clouded yellow and Berger's clouded yellow.
13th: I went down to the Rhône Valley today, for another dose of late season butterflies. Surprisingly, though it was sunny (but cold, and sometimes windy), I saw no Queens of Spain - or indeed any fritillaries. Other things were flying, though. Clouded yellows (here are two together) and Berger's clouded yellows were probably the commonest, with this female apparently laying eggs (I think that is an egg in the picture - I searched the plants, but hadn't noticed this one right next to where I first saw her).  Red admirals were not quite omnipresent but not infrequent either, and there were surprisingly many painted ladies (and here). The only blue I found was Adonis - and only males. They are very worn now, but when they fly they still gleam deep, irridescent blue. Walls were reasonably common still and there were a few small whites. As I left the site, I saw a single, male large white fly past, looking very fresh. Here and here are two of the many lizards scuttling around in the watery sun.