The Big Butterfly Count

Here's the perfect excuse to chill out in your garden or any outdoor space this week. Butterfly Conservation have organised the Big Butterfly Count and are looking for everyone to spend just 15 minutes on a sunny day counting the butterflies seen in that time. The website's great for helping you with identification and is the ideal place to record your results.

Like the RSPB garden birdwatch held every January I hope this will become a regular event. Many of our butterflies are endangered so anything which helps to gather masses of information about what's where is going to be most useful for conservationists.

I've already spent my 15 minutes in the garden and spotted:
  • 2 large white
  • 5 small white
  • 1 peacock
  • 3 meadow brown
  • 1 wall
Sadly the myriad of small tortoiseshells and the odd red admiral didn't make their usual appearance. Nor did the comma I see from time to time and we're not having the mass invasion of painted ladies like we did last year. But that's what happens with snapshots: it's the mass recording by as many people as possible that gives the full picture.
The count continues until 1st August, so why not make it part of your weekend's activities? You then have until the end of August to send in your findings.

The picture is of a small tortoiseshell butterfly and is courtesy of Uwe Horst Friese via Wikimedia.


  1. I'll hopefully comment properly over the weekend as I'm having problems using my Wordpress identity!
    Flighty xx

  2. Sounds like a fun and relaxing survey. I've been watching the butterflies around here, and I swear I keep seeing the same individuals over and over. There don't seem to be as many as three years ago, when the populations seemed to peak. I worry about the butterflies.

  3. My list is getting longer as the summer progresses - saw 12 species in one hour on the coast path the other day including a small copper that I haven't seen for a while.

    If you want a really good spot locally there often are white admirals at Somerford Common near Minety.

  4. It's good to see another mention of this! They chose the right week as I'm seen more than I usually do during the week.
    My tally was similiar to yours! Flighty xx

  5. Flighty - good to see you despite your WP problems!

    MMD - I'm worried to so I'm planning a garden revamp to include even more bee and butterfly friendly plants

    Mark - thanks for the info. Don't know Minety that well, so it sounds like a good excuse to get up there next summer


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