Big Butterfly Count 2020

Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count 2020

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 17th July 2020 until Sunday 9th August 2020.  A butterfly Count lasts for 15 minutes, it’s a fun, relaxing and easy thing to do.  You don’t need to know anything about butterflies to take part.

This Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) was enjoying feasting on the nectar of Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’ flowers.

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 highlight which butterfly and moth species are succeeding, recovering, or struggling.  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 Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) pictured during my 2020 Big Butterfly Count.

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 whilst you’re taking a walk!

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 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 spending a day counting butterflies and looking for moths?

This Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) was enjoying feasting on the nectar of Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’ flowers.

Results of my first 2020 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’, Leucanthemum vulgareOriganum onites, and Verbena bonariensis plants.  During this Big Butterfly Count, I saw the following butterflies and moths:

  • 7 Large White Butterflies (Pieris brassicae).
  • 1 Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta).
  • 1 Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album).
  • 1 Meadow Brown Butterfly (Maniola jurta).
  • 1 Holly Blue Butterfly (Celastrina argiolus).
  • 1 Small White Butterfly (Pieris rapae).
  • 1 Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata).
Using the Smartphone App, it only took a moment of my time to send Butterfly Conservation the results of my Big Butterfly Count.  Butterfly Conservation’s 2020 app is much improved from previous year’s app – the new app is easier to use and features pictures of more butterfly species than the old app.

This Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia tithonus) is pictured feeding from Origanum onites, in my garden.

A tatted white butterfly feeding from an Inula hookeri flower, as pictured on the 22nd July 2020.

A Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io) spotted during my Butterfly Count on the 22nd July 2020.

A Small White Butterfly (Pieris rapae) feeding from Verbena bonariensis flowers.

A Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) pictured during my 2020 Big Butterfly Count.

Results of my Second 2020 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’, Leucanthemum vulgareOriganum onites, and Verbena bonariensis plants.  During this Big Butterfly Count, I saw the following butterflies and moths:

  • 3 Large White Butterflies (Pieris brassicae).
  • 1 Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io).
  • 1 Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia tithonus).
  • 1 Holly Blue Butterfly (Celastrina argiolus).
  • 1 Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata).

Results of my third 2020 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’, Leucanthemum vulgareOriganum onites, and Verbena bonariensis plants.  During this Big Butterfly Count, I saw the following butterflies and moths:

  • 4 Large White Butterflies (Pieris brassicae).
  • 2 Mint Moths (Pyrausta aurata).
  • 2 Gatekeeper Butterflies (Pyronia tithonus).
  • 2 Holly Blue Butterflies (Celastrina argiolus).

Results of my Fourth 2020 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’, Leucanthemum vulgareOriganum onites, and Verbena bonariensis plants.  During this Big Butterfly Count, I saw the following butterflies and moths:

  • 3 Large White Butterflies (Pieris brassicae).
  • 1 Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta).
  • 1 Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album).
  • 1 Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia tithonus).
  • 1 Holly Blue Butterfly (Celastrina argiolus).

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 to Butterfly Conservation’s website.  Butterfly Conservation will use your butterfly recordings to discover how the UK’s butterflies are faring this summer.  This is important information that can help Butterfly Conservation’s experts 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.

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