Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Creeping Thistle flower

Big Butterfly Count – our first 15 minute survey

This weekend’s warm and sunny Sunday was the ideal time to kick-off our Big Butterfly Count for 2014. We made our first count on a patch of reclaimed industrial land right on the edge of our village.

Small Skipper butterfly on Creeping Thistle flower
Small Skipper butterfly on Creeping Thistle flower

In the past this land was part of the mineral railway line that carried coal from local mines. Now it is a grassy walkway bordered by trees on one side and on the other, a field area, part of which is kept mown by the local council and part of which includes a large patch of Rosebay Willowherb interspersed with several species of grass, the common Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense, Broad-leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius, Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium and some brambles.

Ringlet butterfly on bramble leaf
Ringlet butterfly on bramble leaf

Our fifteen minutes of sunny surveying netted us a reasonably healthy number of butterflies in this spot.

  • 7 Small Tortoiseshells
  • 10 Small Skippers
  • 8 Meadow Browns
  • 2 Ringlets
  • 1 Small White

 

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Creeping Thistle flower
Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Creeping Thistle flower

If you’ve not heard about the Big Butterfly Count, there’s still plenty of time to join in. Please take a look at my previous post about it for more information or visit Butterfly Conservation’s website.

Hopefully the sunny weather will stay with us for our annual butterfly counting.

J Peggy Taylor

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