Painted Lady butterfly. | Neville James-Davies
Everywhere I go at the moment I am seeing Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui). This is the most I have seen of this migrant for a long time. Just recently I took a drive to Cap de Formentor to where the road is blocked off just before the lighthouse, and I explored the little headland there, where I counted at least a dozen flitting about. It was also nice to see Pallid Swifts here, and a Blue Tit in the Cistus bushes, a bird found at altitude on Majorca, not like in the gardens back home. Wandering around Alburcutx Tower, Son Real beach and the Albufereta Marsh all saw good numbers of Painted Lady's with some Brimstones mixed in too. Flying up to 30mph, these strong fliers migrate from North Africa into Europe, and can cover up to 100 miles a day. They are the world's most widely distributed butterfly and are often called Thistle Butterflies, due to Thistles being their preferred food plant. As lovely as it is seeing and hearing the birds, it adds to the scene when there are butterflies present in good numbers as well.