Taking 15 minutes amongst the butterflies daily …What could be a nicer way of spending some time outside just now than watching and counting butterflies? Yes, the annual survey of these wonders (launched by the Butterfly Conservation organisation in 2010) has begun.
This year’s Big Butterfly Count runs from 19th July to 9th August. It is an enjoyable, therapeutic way for your average punter to help ‘take the pulse of nature’ (since butterflies react very quickly to changes in the environment).
With the sunny weather this week the sightings have so far been good. My son spotted (and photographed) this moth on the wall of our house for instance. Sadly, I missed it, since I was at work.
But here are some others that I’ve photographed in the garden over the last week or two:
Plus, this rather wonderful, large moth flew in to the house the other night, attracted by the conservatory light. It is a Swallow-tailed moth:
Additionally, we’ve recently seen various large whites and a red admiral, but not taken pictures.
We’ve not seen any peacock butterflies yet though. However I did take this surprising shot yesterday of a real peacock crossing the road in the next village.
I’ve seen him once before. According to a friend, he apparently hangs out there and is not quiet about it! I’ve no idea where he comes from.
So there you have it. Today I start counting, which is slightly more troublesome, since a lot of these butterflies are to be found flitting around the meadow patch. They slide between grass blades and pop out somewhere else or swirl around in little tornadoes, looking for mates. It is all good fun though. If you are interested, download the ID sheet or free phone app and start adding to the interactive sightings map.