You may have noticed - there is the most stupendous influx of painted lady butterflies happening right now. Once you realise - you'll see them everywhere!
I saw my first of the year on Sunday (two at Stanwick Lakes in Northamptonshire) and have seen lots every day since. On Monday afternoon I was at Salcey Forest (again in Northamptonshire) and visited the tree-top walkway - and there were painted ladies flying rapidly northeast at tree-top height at the rate of about one a minute. Yesterday in London I saw two flying along Victoria Street. There are lots in the gardens of The Lodge here in Bedfordshire and they were the main topic of conversation amongst RSPB staff at lunch time.
These are migrants - they've come from north Africa - and this year is one of those exceptional years when painted ladies are everywhere. Butterfly Conservation is tracking the migration closely and would like your help in recording the sightings http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/article/9/100/butterfly_migration_is_biggest_for_years.html .