Late this summer Ireland, and presumably the UK, witnessed an influx of Painted lady butterflies (Cynthia cardui). Swarms of them descended in August, presumably from Spain from which they migrate north. We did not seem to have the masses land here in northern Wexford but there were plenty around and there are still lots to be seen.
They do not breed this far north which make you wonder by they bother to make the long journey except to find nectar. They traditionally like thistles but in the garden single dahlias and rudbeckias seems to be suitable substitutes.
They are certainly beautiful and very welcome in the garden.
A better known visitor is the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) . I only saw one specimen with a damaged wing when I had my camera out but it was busy foraging in the unseasonably warm and sunny weather this week. I hope they have built up good reserves of food since the week ahead is forecast to be wetter and windier.