Butterfly Count 2015

The Big Butterfly Count has only a few days to go. It finishes on 9th August. Since 17th July I have been out counting on Blackheath.

Map of Blackheath - Big butterfly Count areas
Map of Blackheath – Big butterfly Count areas

Blackheath Big Butterfly Count

The map shows the main areas of Blakheath that I cover. Although the Butterfly Count is a summer event, I note observation all year round

The Butterflies on Blackheath

These year I have managed to see the following species:

  • Gatekeeper  –  Pyronia tithonus – largest total 41
  • Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina – largest total 23
  • Essex Skipper – Thymelicus lineola – 10
  • Common blue – Polyommatus icarus – 7
  • Large white – Pieris brassicae – 5
  • Small white – Pieris rapae – 4
  • Small Copper – Lycaena phlaeas – 4
  • Holly blue – Celastrina argiolus – 1
  • Comma – Polygonia c-album – 1
  • Red Admiral –Vanessa atalanta – 1
  • Lesser Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae – 1
  • Speckled wood – Pararge aegeria – 1
Common Blue butterfly female
Female Common Blue butterfly

This beautiful Common Blue female entertained me the other day. In fact it looks like being a really good year for this species.

There are also a few day moths that I have seen including cinnabar, cix-spotted, silver-Y and burnet companion moth. Sadly I haven’t seen any mother shipton moths this year. And the ragwort is full of cinnabar moth caterpillars.

There are a few that have been absent:

  • Ringlet (seen a few over the years)
  • Painted lady
  • Brimstone (usually one or two)

Just before the Big Butterfly count started I had a Marbled White butterfly – my first on Blackheath. Two years ago I even saw a White-letter hairstreak, which was a real surprise.

There are still a few more days until the Big Butterfly Count is over. So there is still time for a surprise.

The more people who take part in the the Big Butterly Count, the more we will know about the nation’s butterflies. So why not get out somewhere in the next few days and count.

Citizen Science in action – you will enjoy it.

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