Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Counting butterflies!

While DD is away at camp, DS and I have been getting out and about into the local countryside as much as possible. As well as our trip to Warnham on Saturday, we visited a country park in our own town on Sunday and today we visited the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks. We particularly wanted to get involved in the Big Butterfly Count run by the Butterfly Conservation Trust.

Butterflies in the UK are having a tough time. Long term problems such as habitat destruction and climate change combined with the recent dreadful summers has led to 75% of UK species being in decline. The idea behind the count is to "take nature's pulse" as butterfly numbers are great indicators of the health of the environment. It is really easy to take part. There is even an app available on the website. (Thanks to Gill from Frugal in Derbyshire for pointing this out!) All you need to do is to spend 15 minutes in a sunny spot and count all the butterflies you see, then upload the results onto the website. Simples!

Until this summer, I could possibly have identified a cabbage white, (which isn't even it's real name!), and a peacock butterfly. Over the past few days we have identified lots of different species, and DS has photographed quite a few:

Common blue - such a beauty!
Gatekeeper - one of mine!
Large skipper - actually quite a small butterfly.
Meadow brown feeding
Green-veined White

Peacock - I took this one!

Caterpillar of the Cinnabar moth - identified thanks to iSpot
Painted Lady
We've had a lot of fun, and DS is revelling in his new hobby. The Big Butterfly Count only runs until August 11th, but it is well worth getting involved if you can spare the time.


  1. Lesley your photographs are quite stunning. My husband had remarked that there seemed to be more butterflies around this year. We both love them as there is something which magical about them in every way. I would have loved to have been involved in this and will have a look at the app you suggested, thank you so much, a wonderful post
    Lots of love

    1. Thank you Dorothy! DS has loved taking the photos. It is teaching him patience and persistence, which are not normal qualities a ten year old boy possesses! I feel that I appreciate butterflies a lot more now that I can actually identify some of them. Lesley x


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