Counting butterflies is now a daily happening for on Blackheath. Or anywhere I might be, because it is time of year when the Big Butterfly Count happens.
Butterflies – the big count
I have been doing the count since its inception. And it is a great piece of citizen science. We, the citizen, get out there counting butterflies. Get the numbers in the field log, the totals into Big Butterfly site and await the results later in the year.
You don’t have to an expert to take part. Besides by the end of August, after a month of tallying, you might be.
So far so Marbled
All the regular butterflies have put in an appearance. As in most years Gatekeepers lead the table, along with Meadow browns. Likewise, there are Essex, Small and Large Skippers, Common blue and Small copper. Furthermore Speckled wood and whites are also in attendance. Over the next few weeks hopefully other regulars will appear like Commas and maybe even a Painted Lady.
During the next few weeks surprises might be always in store. The butterfly bank has already been,been graced with the fluttering of a single Marbled White. This is the second year running I have witnessed one of these beauties on the heath.
Let’s hope a few more turn up.
Counting wherever I can whenever I can
I will count wherever I can. Yesterday I was up in the City and spent 15 minutes in Finsbury Square. Even here there are butterflies to count. A few Small whites were in flight amongst the lunch times workers. Next week I shall visit a few green roofs. in the hope that I witness a few species enjoying more elevated feeding stations. I have even been known to do a count whilst waiting for a train at Greenwich or Lewisham.
Citizens Science in action
The Big Butterfly Count is very easy to take part in. So start counting the butterflies over 15 minutes, hit the website and input your sightings. The website is easy to use. Now in its sixth year and so be sure to take part. In doing so, your data will be helping the Butterfly Conservation get a snapshot of the state of butterflies in the UK.
So get out there and count. You will not regret it.