The UK public has been asked to take part in the world’s largest butterfly count, to see if the nation is experiencing a once-in-a-decade phenomenon – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49041006
The charity “Butterfly Conservation” has said that unusually high numbers of the painted lady butterfly had been spotted flying from Europe to the UK. They usually fly to Britain in the summer, but every 10 years millions arrive in a mass migration.
The charity’s Big Butterfly Count begins today and runs until 11 August.
To take part, you are supposed to spend 15 minutes in a sunny spot anywhere in the UK, counting the butterflies before submitting sightings online or via the app.
I couldn’t be doing with sitting for 15 minutes in a sunny spot – that would be a waste of gardening time in this wonderful weather. I decided I would just keep my eyes peeled for butterflies as I worked and take photos of those I spotted. This wasn’t entirely successful. I saw a “Painted Lady” but had left my phone on the window ledge at the top of the garden, to keep it out of the sun. By the time I ran across the lawn, up the steps and back again, she’d gone.
Then I spotted a “Large White”. She flitted about for ages without landing on anything. Having Googled, I am sure she was a “she” as she had two dots on her wings. I think she may have been looking for somewhere private to lay her eggs, which was difficult when I was looming over her space with a camera! Eventually she must have been exhausted and landed on a nasturtium leaf – so here she is.
I also spotted a “Peacock” and a “Red Admiral” but I couldn’t get a decent photo of them – they just would not keep still! This could have had something to do with Lola snapping at their tails every time they came near us. I did capture (not literally) a “Comma” though. It looks a bit like Lola might have taken a few chunks out of it’s wings but it was well away from her, sunbathing peacefully on our fence.
I have to say my Buddleia, commonly known as the butterfly bush was not doing a good job today. I didn’t spot one butterfly on it. In my opinion it couldn’t look more irresistible to a butterfly if it tried. I’d love to hear whether you’ve had more success with the Big Butterfly Count than I have?