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Though second-brood butterflies are still looking pristine, many of the others are now well past their best, as life is tough for such fragile creatures. Some butterflies are so battered that I’m amazed they’re able to fly at all, yet this Gatekeeper and Ringlet were still moving from plant to plant.

Birds looking for an easy snack often attack butterflies and it’s easy to see the tell-tale signs of bird pecks on butterflies’ wings, like those on these: a Ringlet, Comma, Small copper and Peacock, and another Gatekeeper.

200812 birdpecked ringlet

200812 birdpecked gatekeeper

Is it the blazing sun that has caused this Essex skipper’s orange to fade so dramatically or has it lost most of its wing scales?

200812 faded essex skipper

I’m 99% sure this is the same Brown argus, seen first on 1 August and again on 10 August. It already had some bird pecks when I first saw it but, nine days later, it was looking rather faded and more than a little ragged around the edges.

This Painted lady is looking battered, bird-pecked, faded and jaded, perhaps the affects of a long migration journey, or simply a tough life well survived.

200812 jaded painted lady