Vanessa atalanta, the red admiral or previously, the red admirable, is a well-characterized, medium-sized butterfly with black wings, orange bands, and white spots. The red admiral resides in warmer areas, but migrates north in spring and sometimes again in autumn.
In northern Europe, it is one of the last butterflies to be seen before winter sets in, often feeding on the flowers of ivy on sunny days. The red admiral is also known to hibernate, re-emerging individuals showing prominently darker colors than the first brood.
The butterfly also flies on sunny winter days, especially in southern Europe. It is known as an unusually people-friendly butterfly, often landing on and using humans as perches.
Over the last week, we’ve had some unusual weather, with temperatures hitting 20 Degrees Centigrade, due to a warm wind blowing up from the Mediterranean. As a result of the welcome warmth, a few butterflies have been seen in local gardens. I captured this one in a local forest.
Sadly, the warmth hasn’t lasted in the UK. Temperatures have plummeted, as a prelude to Storm Freya hitting these shores. Batten down the hatches!