As I predicted a few weeks ago in this column, this season has been very disappointing for many butterflies, not helped by the wet weather.

Several species especially small tortoiseshells, peacocks ant the three white species have been scarce with only red admirals, commas and meadow browns showing up well.

Gone are those far off days of my childhood when white butterflies appeared in clouds seeking nectar in my garden.

However, one butterfly namely the gatekeeper, sometimes called the hedge brown (pictured) and a species of high summer has fared exceptionally well this year. A lover of flowery meadows  bramble and buddleia, in July the species festooned buddleia bushes in Bushy Park and other places on sunny days.

Up until about twenty five years ago e gatekeeper was not regarded as a London butterfly at all .Then in 1990 I discovered a small colony on Wimbledon common which I believe was deliberately released.

Since then it has become widespread and abundant, its population even exceeding that of the ubiquitous meadow brown which is larger and duller.

A  very lively species it sports bright orange and buff wings.

The title gatekeeper is derived from its habit of perching at ground level by farmyard gates. If approached it will fly a few metres before settling again repeating the process when disturbed again.

Fortunately one butterfly species has enlivened the summer.