Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Butterfly Counting

The photos above show my 2022 notebook for counting butterflies in our suburban Suffolk garden. Many people prefer to add their sightings straight on the mobile App. as they occur, but I prefer a pen. 
I list each butterfly at the front of my book (date, species, number seen, any special notes etc.) and add a tally-mark at the back. Every so often I upload my data on to the Garden Butterfly Survey run by Butterfly Conservation. The lists at the end of this post show my recordings for July 2022. 
It's good to be reminded that counting butterflies (or birds or stag beetles etc.) can make a difference. The current Butterfly Conservation eNews reminds us that ...

'The data you gather is vital in helping us understand the challenges 

facing our butterflies and moths and we are very grateful 

to all those citizen scientists who help us in this way'


and that ...


'much of what we know about the lives 

and requirements of these incredible insects 

has been discovered by amateur enthusiasts over the centuries.' 

The Grayling has been a new species in the garden, visiting twice so far this August. The photo below shows how well it blends in with our White Buddleia once the flowers are past their prime.



It seems to be a good year for this species in our wider area; we have  David has recorded over 100 in various locations (with my help). The collage below shows the Grayling up in the pine trees, perching on silver birch bark, resting in sandy tracks, pausing in the dry grass ... and alighting on our sleeves.


And here is my garden butterfly list for July 2022, starting with sightings seen most recently and working backwards ... We record each butterfly or cluster in our (wild) garden when we see them, but we often make a point of turning coffee and lunch times into counting sessions.




Sadly we haven't seen any Hairstreak butterflies in the garden this year (so far), despite the fact that we have seen several Green Hairstreaks elsewhere in the county.


Ragged Robin said...

Fascinating reading Caroline. Interestingly your list of species is similar to the ones we get in our garden although I would never see Grayling (extinct in Warwickshire) or Hairstreak! You've certainly done far more Butterfly Counts than me this year! Normally I try and do 5 or 6 but this year with been in Herefordshire so much I've only done one at home!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Wow, that's all very impressive, Caroline! I love green hairstreaks and the thought of having them in your garden is amazing!