My Big Butterfly Counts for Butterfly Conservation in 2019

Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count 2019

Time seems to pass so quickly in the summertime.  I have written this post, simply to remind you, that you have just a few days left to take a Butterfly Count, for the Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count 2019.

Taking a Butterfly Count is one of my favourite summer activities.  Butterfly counts are free and they’re great fun to do, too!  A Butterfly Count is a lovely activity that everyone can take part in – butterfly counts are fun for children and adults of any age.  This is something you can do as a relaxing activity by yourself, or why not share the joy with your children or grandchildren?  You could also take a Butterfly Count with your neighbours, your co-workers, or your family and friends.

A butterfly Count lasts for 15 minutes; although you could take multiple Butterfly Counts and make the activity last all day, if you wanted.

A Large White Butterfly, which is also known by its scientific name of Pieris brassicae, is pictured as it feeds on the nectar produced by these Verbena bonariensis flowers.

Big Butterfly Count 2019 Dates

The Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday 19th July 2019, until Sunday the 11th August 2019.

Why count butterflies?

The information gathered from all the Butterfly Counts across the nation, will help Butterfly Conservation identify the species of butterflies and day flying moths that are becoming more scarce; the results will show which butterfly and moth species are succeeding or recovering.  The Big Butterfly Count is important, as it helps Butterfly Conservation to be better informed and therefore more able to protect these beautiful creatures.

A Gatekeeper Butterfly pictured as it rests on a rose leaf. This butterfly species’ scientific name is Pyronia tithonus.

How to take a Butterfly and Moth Count

It only takes 15 minutes to take a Butterfly Count.  You can choose to take your Butterfly Count in your garden, at your allotment, or in the gardens of your school, college, or university, in a forest or woodland, at a park, or nature reserve, or even whilst you’re taking a walk!

A Large White Butterfly, which is also known by its scientific name of Pieris brassicae, is pictured as it feeds on the nectar produced by these Verbena bonariensis flowers.

Butterfly and Moth Identification

Don’t worry if you’re not a butterfly expert – you’ll find easy to use butterfly and moth identification charts on Butterfly Conservation’s website.  There’s even a Big Butterfly Count app, which will help you to identify, count, and submit your results – you can find it at both the Apple and Android app stores.

Counting Butterflies and Moths

If you’re taking your Butterfly and Moth Count on a walk, then each time you see a butterfly or moth you record it – so if you see three Peacock Butterflies, you record these as three.  But it’s a little bit different if you’re taking your Butterfly and Moth Count in a static location, say for example, in your garden or at your allotment, where you’re stationary in one place.  So, for this type of stationary count, if you see three Peacock Butterflies at once, you record these as three, but if you see a single Peacock Butterfly three times, you record this as one Peacock Butterfly – this is to make the count more accurate – as you may be seeing the exact same butterfly time and time again!  If you don’t see any butterflies or moths at all, it’s still important to record this result.

You can take as many Butterfly Counts as you want.  What could be lovelier than a day counting butterflies and looking for moths?

This is a Mint Moth, which is also known by its scientific name of Pyrausta aurata.

Results of my 2019 Big Butterfly Count

I took this Big Butterfly Count in my garden.  I observed the butterflies and moths that came to feed from my Buddleja ‘Pink Delight’Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’, and Verbena bonariensis plants.  During this Big Butterfly Count, I saw the following butterflies and moths:

  • 3 Large White Butterflies, which are also known by their scientific name of Pieris brassicae
  • 1 Peacock Butterfly, which is also known by its scientific name of Aglais io.
  • 1 Gatekeeper Butterfly, which is also know by its scientific name of Pyronia tithonus.
  • 1 Mint Moth, which is also known by its scientific name of Pyrausta aurata.

A Large White Butterfly, which is also known by its scientific name of Pieris brassicae, is pictured as it feeds on the nectar produced by these Verbena bonariensis flowers.

Using the Smartphone App, it only took a moment of my time to send Butterfly Conservation the details of my Big Butterfly Count.

How to Submit the results of your Butterfly Count

If you’re taking part in your own Big Butterfly Count, please don’t forget to submit your results on Butterfly Conservation’s website,   Butterfly Conservation will use your butterfly recordings to discover how the UK’s butterflies are faring this summer.  Butterfly Conservation will use this information develop methods to help create a brighter future for butterflies.

Butterfly conservation ask that anyone who wishes to take part in this year’s Butterfly Count, records their sightings and sends the results in to their butterfly and moth experts, who will study the findings to evaluate the growth or decline of our British butterflies and moths.

A Peacock Butterfly, which is also known by its scientific name of Aglais io, is pictured as it feeds on the nectar produced by Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’ flowers.

Ways to help butterflies, moths, and other insects

I love butterflies and moths!  If you love butterflies and moths too, there are many ways you can help them.  Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Avoid using any pesticides or insecticides; these kill butterflies, caterpillars, and other insects.
  • To have butterflies we need caterpillars!  Try growing caterpillar food plants in your garden or allotment.
  • Nettles are a great food plant for Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Painted Ladies, and Red Admiral caterpillars.  Nettles growing in a bright and sunny location will attract butterflies to lay their eggs; these plants will be a useful food plant for caterpillars.  Whereas butterflies won’t lay their eggs on nettles that are growing in a shadier location, away from the sunshine.
  • Grow nectar rich flowering plants that produce simple, single flowers, with nectar and pollen that’s available to butterflies, moths, and other insects.  Here are a few ideas of plants you can grow for butterflies and moths: Agastache ‘Blackadder’Buddleja, open centred Dahlias, Verbena bonariensislavenders, Sedums, Hebes, Hedera Helix (Ivy), Knautia macedonica, Lonicera (honeysuckle), Knautia avens, and Scabious.
  • If you’re interested in growing plants for bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects, you might be interested in a list I’ve compiled of a wide range of different plants that provide nectar and pollen for butterflies, moths, bees, and other insects.  I’ve included photographs and details of how to cultivate each of these butterfly and bee plants, here’s a link.

A Large White Butterfly, which is also known by its scientific name of Pieris brassicae, is pictured as it feeds on the nectar produced by these Verbena bonariensis flowers.

Other articles that may interest you…………….

You can see all of the posts I have written about my Big Butterfly Counts, if you click here.

You can see the results of my other 2019 Butterfly Counts, if you click here.

To see the results of my 2016 Big Butterfly Count by a group of Buddleja davidii plants, please click here.

To see the results of my 2015 Big Butterfly Count, please click here.

To see the results of my 2015 Big Butterfly Count at Pewley Down in Surrey, please click here.

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