#BigButterflyCount

I’m a bit behind with my posts as I’ve been so busy – 3 holidays in as many months should mean I’m refreshed and cheery but instead I feel pretty knackered! I’ll be updating my blog over the next few days with posts about my trips to Scotland & Germany, as well as various other things I’ve been up to.

This is just a quick one to mention my participation in the #BigButterflyCount this year. Butterfly Conservation started this national survey in 2010 and last year over 44,000 people took part. This year I downloaded the app and used it to help identify my butterflies as well as submit my sightings – very easy and useful!

On 3rd August, Marcus and I walked along the canal from Beeston and spent 15 minutes trying to spot butterflies and day flying moths on one of the quiet stretches before the Marina. I’d left my glasses at home and didn’t find it as easy to spot them as Marcus but I got a few good pics and managed to identify most although I’m still having trouble with the differences between large and small whites. We recorded a total of 15 butterflies in as many minutes including Comma, Peacock, Large & Small White and Small Tortoiseshell. Not too bad!

It was a really nice afternoon spent together in the few hours break I had between shifts and I appreciated the chance to be outside in the sunshine; reminiscent of the #30DaysWild challenge. National surveys like this are fantastic opportunities for educating and engaging the public with our natural world; encouraging kids to get involved and the chance for fun outdoors family activities,  as well as providing scientifically important population statistics.

I was disappointed not to spot any Common or Holly Blues as I’ve seen a few of these species in that area before and was hoping to log them on the survey. Typically, about half an hour afterwards, a blue butterfly of some sort fluttered past but I was quite strict with myself of sticking to rules of the 15 minute survey  and didn’t add it to my record!

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) found previously at the same site.

You may remember my post about the peacock caterpillars I found on my commute. A couple of weeks after these photographs were taken I was horrified to find that the verges home to all that life had been completely strimmed to ground level. I’m currently in the process of writing a letter to my local councillor and I’m hoping that I can help her realise the importance of protecting our pollinators and suggesting that next year the nettles could be cut back at a more appropriate time later in the year.

All images subject to copyright. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.

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