The Big Butterfly Count started on Friday. Organisers say it’s the world’s largest butterfly survey.
This is another fantastic citizen science project, and taking part is easy: find a sunny spot and spend 15 minutes counting the butterflies you see and then submit sightings online at www.bigbutterflycount.org.
Butterfly scientists will use the data gained over a three week period to assess where conservation efforts should be targeted in the future. The data is crucial to butterfly specialists wanting to learn more about the population and habits of various butterflies. Countryfile Magazine (17 July 2020)
The dates are chosen as optimal dates to spot butterflies, and in this the experts are quite right – there’s a bonanza of butterflies and moths about these days. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about these beguiling flying bugs – and there’s lots to learn.
Identification isn’t always easy as butterflies tend to look substantially different depending on whether the wings are open or closed. Some types look quite different depending on whether they are male or female.
We saw one moth flying in the fading light of dusk that was so large that at first we thought it was a bat!
Others have also shown up: Heath butterflies, and the spectacularly coloured, striped and spotted Jersey Tiger moth. What a beauty! We’ve still not seen the blue coloured British butterflies, but we’re going to be keeping our eyes open.
This vivid Jersey Tiger moth took up residency at our plot on Saturday, and after flitting about a bit around the raspberry patch, decided to land and take an afternoon snooze on our newest raised bed at the allotment.
So there you have it! Why not get yourself out into nature in the next couple of weeks and do your best to spot and identify the butterflies you see around you. It’s a fun thing to do, and really helps environmental conservationists to get a better picture of the overall health and distribution of butterfly populations.