I can’t believe it’s August already! I have finished my placement and I am back home for 3 weeks. Then I’ll be volunteering for the RSPB in the Lake District which is very exciting. I have seen lots of different butterflies in July, and I am hoping to see some more in August. Continue reading to discover some August wildlife to spot in the UK.
August is a quiet month for birds as they are moulting which means they are tired. Therefore, August is the month of rest for them! Birds moult annually when their old feathers have been used and they need new ones. House Sparrows spend August wandering through farmlands to eat the ripening grains. Other birds migrate now that summer is coming to an end and the colder weather is setting in. Some birds such as Swallows and Swifts take advantage of ants that mate during this time and use them for an extra snack. A few species of birds sit on an ant’s nest to get a nice massage from them as they crawl over the feathers! For us, sunbathing gives us a good dose of Vitamin D, and this is the same with some birds. They sunbathe to absorb vitamins, but also to help any damaged feathers.
It is nearing the last couple of months of the butterfly season which I am not looking forward to. Some species have come back for a second brood, and quite a few butterflies are still seen.
Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)
The Dingy Skipper butterfly’s main brood is from late April to June, but they sometimes have a second brood in August! It has a variety of habitats such as dunes, woodlands and heathlands, with its biggest habitat being on sunny south-facing slopes. The Dingy Skipper does look very similar to the Grizzly Skipper but the latter is smaller and has a more chequered pattern. Over the years, their population of them has decreased. This is because of the decline of their foodplant, Common Birds-foot-trefoil.
Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
The Green-veined White butterfly sometimes has as many as three generations from July until October. It favours damp areas, so is often seen near water. They are a very common butterfly, found across Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. They have quite a few foodplants, which is why they are so common. A few examples are Hedge Mustard, Charlock and Wild Radish. The butterflies love most flowers too, specifically lavender which is a good source of nectar.
My parents went to the Lake District in May and saw quite a few so I am hoping to see some too!
Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)
The Clouded Yellow butterfly is a migrant from Europe and is a regular visitor to the UK. It is mainly seen in southern England, but does work its way up north, and is scattered through Ireland. You are most likely to see them from June through to the end of October. They have a few foodplants, including Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil, cultivated Clovers and Lucerne. The butterflies favourite habitats are flowery places, near the larval foodplants.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
The Small Heath butterfly is one of the most widespread grassland butterflies. They prefer places that have dry, light soils, with a mixture of grasses growing. They can be found on cliffs, woodlands, dunes and heaths. These butterflies also can have up to three broods. Often, there is one in the north and three in the south of England. They can be seen from late April to September in the southern sites. They feed on a variety of flowers, but always with their wings closed.
Continue reading: August wildlife to spot in the UK
Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops)
The Scotch Argus butterfly is relatively common across Scotland, especially on the western side. You can see them from late July to early September. Scotch Argus butterflies don’t like heavy grazing and dense stands of conifers which are thought to be the reason they are mainly in Scotland. There are a couple of colonies in England that are thriving. The butterfly is very dark which makes it easier to identify.
Grayling (Hipparchia semele)
Another species on the August wildlife list is the Grayling butterfly. It is one of the best butterflies at camouflaging themselves! They are seen throughout the UK, but mainly along the coasts in different habitats. Such as cliffs, saltmarshes, and acidic heaths. They like dry and bare land with plenty of sunlight to rest open-winged. You can see them from early July to mid-September. Some of the foodplants they like the best include Tufted Hair-grass, Early Hair-grass and Red Fescue.
Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja)
The Dark Green Fritillary butterfly is found in flower-rich places such as grasslands, moorlands, dunes and scrub. They prefer damp places that other fritillary butterflies don’t like. It is seen scattered throughout the UK, but it has and is declining. The butterfly is first spotted from early June until early September. Their caterpillar foodplants include Common Dog-violet, Hairy Violet and Marsh Violet.
White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)
The White Admiral butterfly occurs in mixed conifer and deciduous plantations, as well as mature broadleaved woodlands. They thrive in hot summers, but their range of tolerance to the shade has increased their habitat area. The butterflies are seen from mid-June until the end of August. They are mainly in the south of England, with recent expansions to the west midlands. The Purple Emperor butterfly has a similar elegance and is sometimes found in the same habitat. Their only foodplant is Honeysuckle, which is normally in shady areas.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
The Small Copper butterfly is found in small colonies such as on flowery hillsides, woodlands, chalk or unimproved grasslands. It flourishes in hot and sunny spots, in some years there are three or four broods produced. They can be seen from late April until November, but like with a lot of other butterflies, they are declining. Small Coppers have a wide range of habitats throughout the UK apart from in the northern parts of Scotland. Their main foodplants are Common Sorrel, Sheep’s Sorrel and sometimes Broad-leaved Dock. Common Fleabane is one of their favourite nectar sources.
Chalk Hill Blue (Polyommatus coridon)
The Chalk Hill Blue butterfly is one that I am hoping to see this year! It is only seen in the south of England but is quite widespread there. They occur from mid-July until September and inhabit warm chalk and limestone hillsides. It has declined because of ploughing on their habitat, but also from sheep and rabbit grazing. Chalk Hill Blues love to feed from Knapweeds and Scabiouses, and their only foodplant is Horseshoe Vetch.
Other butterflies in July:
- Holly Blue
- Essex Skipper
- Small Skipper
- Lulworth Skipper
- Silver-spotted Skipper
- Large Skipper
- Large White
- Small White
- Speckled Wood
- Small Heath
- Meadow Brown
- Marbled White
- Silver-washed Fritillary
- High Brown Fritillary
- Purple Emperor
- Red Admiral
- Painted Lady
- Small Tortoiseshell
- Brown Hairstreak
- Purple Hairstreak
- Silver-studded Blue
- Adonis Blue
- Brown Argus
- Northern Brown Argus
- Common Blue
There we have it, the August wildlife to spot in the UK! Such a lot of butterflies are out flying in the upcoming month so hopefully, we see lots.
Which August wildlife are you hoping to see?
Best wishes, Cx
Those are beautiful photos of the butterflies.
Gosh, all those beautiful butterflies! Can’t believe there are so many different types!
That clouded yellow looks so beautiful. There are so many wonderful species to be able to look out for. Thank you for sharing Caroline.
Molly | Transatlantic Notes says
So many wonderful butterflies! I really miss British wildlife and all it’s familiar beauty. Thanks for this!
I always love coming to your blog to see what wildlife is seen during each month. It really opens my eyes and i always look forward to reading it. I’ll for sure be keeping my eyes peeled for these beautiful butterflies and birds. Thank you so much for sharing with us lovely Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
Ooh I love this! I always love seeing all the butterflies out in the summer months, it’s so beautiful. I’d really love to see a clouded yellow and chalk hill blue this month! Thank you so much for sharing x
The Chalk Hill Blues are even more beautiful in real life! x
Mind Beauty Simplicity says
beautiful photos, caroline! 🙂 love butterflies.
Beautiful photos, do you take these? I do love butterflies but one got stuck inside my top when i was younger so they really freak me out now – haha!!
The photos that are credited weren’t taken by me, but I’m trying to replace them once I see the butterflies myself 🙂 Oh no!!
Jenny in Neverland says
Oh I just love butterflies, these are so beautiful. I remember going into a butterfly house once and having them all fly around me, it was magical!
Me too, I’m hoping to go to a butterfly house this week sometime 🙂
Amazing photos! Looking at them is a kind of meditation for me. Thank you 💚
Meadow | https://icons8blog.carrd.co
Me too x
I can’t believe there are these many butterflies available to spot in the UK – it’s like being inside Animal Crossing! Thankyou for sharing these kind of posts Caroline xx
Haha so true! Glad you enjoy reading them x
Ali Duke says
The butterflies are all so beautiful, something lovely to look for when we go out for walks x
Jade MumLifeandMe says
Lovely butterflies! I have seen the green veined whites while out walking my dog. I try to take pictures of the butterflies I see, but they always move when I’m about to take the picture! I think I’ve seen the Dingy Skipper too. Thanks for sharing.
Aw nice, they are so beautiful 🙂
Helen Story says
Beautiful images. I’m based in Wiltshire and walk a lot on Salisbury Plain, which is alive with butterflies. I’ve spotted a few Chalk Hill Blue’s, but couldn’t identify any others. They are an absolute pleasure to see!
Chalk Hill Blues are so beautiful! x
Ah this is lovely, so many butterflies to look out for – will make sure to keep an eye out for some on my next walk! Great post :)x
Hope you spot some x
KEVIN FOODIE says
Your pictures are awesome. I live in NYC for years and is yet to see a butterfly. It’s so refreshing to see your display of the different species of butterfly. They resemble some of the ones we have in Jamaica,
Aw amazing, I would love to see butterflies in Jamaica 🙂
Lisa | Mind and Body Intertwined says
O wow these butterflies are so beautiful! I always love the colourful ones, but the white ones are actually my favourites.
They are all so pretty x
Elements of Happy says
I didn’t know that birds moult. I’ve learnt something. I’m a little scared of butterflies!! Haha
I feel like I haven’t been paying that much attention to butterfly’s! They are quite beautiful. Thank you for sharing these spectacular pictures.
I agree, thank you x