Today was a beautiful summer day with Bumblebees and Red Admirals in the garden. In recent years studies have reported a decline in insect populations. Entire species have gone extinct but in most cases this decline involves reductions in abundance. Therefore it is a great joy to have such a lot of bumblebees in the garden along with foreign visitors such as the Red Admiral.
Every year butterflies are blown off course due to warm Southeast winds and end up here in Iceland. In the end of May an unusually large numbers of Red Admirals have been seen in South and Southeast Iceland. Here these big colourful butterflies always attract a lot of attention and several of them have been here in our garden.
The Red admiral is a native to almost all of Europe but the North is not a suitable habitat. Once here they start losing their numbers, some are eaten by birds and the weather is not always suitable, not even in the summer.
The Red Admiral is not a native of Iceland but every once in a while they come here with the Southeast wind. They are common over most of Europe and North America. They migrate from South Europe to Central and Northern Europe but Iceland is probably too far north to be their number one choice here in the North Atlantic.
We first spotted this Red Admiral here on May 5 and to this day, June 23, it is still here. We of course do not know if it is always the same one, but we like to think so.