Some time ago now I discovered this fabulous website which covers all of the butterflies found in Switzerland. I then read that the website authors, Vincent and Michel Baudraz, have also produced a book, though only in French, which helps novices like me to identify the different species. It’s not foolproof of course, as you sometimes need to see the both the upperside and underside to get an absolute fix on which one it might be.
Anyway, I ordered a copy and it arrived just after I returned from holiday. So, to test it out, I went out along the path behind our chalet one evening last week to take a few photos. On returning, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy the book was to use* and that I had managed to photograph 9 different types of butterfly in just an hour and a half.
*Essentially the identification part of the book works by asking you if the butterfly conforms to certain broad criteria (white, yellow, blue, predominantly red or orange, etc) and depending upon your answer, you’re pointed to another section, which asks more detailed questions. This is repeated until you narrow it down to the exact butterfly. Each section is accompanied by wonderfully accurate drawings to help you identify which section to go to next. Towards the back of the book there are again beautifully detailed drawings of each one, showing both the male and female, upper and lower wings, to help you confirm your identification.