Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2021!
Have you taken a Butterfly Count this year? Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from until Sunday 8th August 2021; so you still have time to participate in this lovely activity. The weather this summer has been absolutely atrocious; so far, I’ve only managed to find one 15 minute period that I was able to take a Butterfly Count in between the heavy rain showers!
I’d really like to encourage you to take your own Butterfly Count, as I find this such a happy and relaxing activity and I’d just love to share this uplifting joy with you! A Butterfly Count only lasts for 15 minutes – this activity won’t take up much of your time – you could take a Butterfly Count in your lunch break. If it’s sunny, make the most of the good weather – why not spend an entire afternoon watching butterflies?
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 during 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. However, it’s a little bit different if you’re taking a Butterfly and Moth Count in a static location, say for example, in your garden or at your allotment, where you’ll remain in the same area. For this type of stationary Butterfly 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 otherwise you might be counting the exact same butterfly time and time again! If you don’t see any butterflies or moths at all it will be disappointing, but it’s still important to record this result and let Butterfly Conservation know.
You can take as many Butterfly Counts as you want. What could be more relaxing than spending a day counting butterflies and looking for day flying moths?
My Big Butterfly Count in my Garden
This was the first Big Butterfly Count I’ve managed to take in my garden this year, as the weather has been so atrocious and it hasn’t been easy to find a 15 minute period where it hasn’t been raining! During this Butterfly Count in my garden, I saw these butterflies and moths…..
- 2 Peacock Butterflies (Aglais io)
- 4 Large White Butterflies (Pieris brassicae)
- 2 Small White Butterflies (Pieris rapae)
- 2 Gatekeeper Butterflies (Pyronia tithonus)
- 1 Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)
- 1 Box-tree Moth (Cydalima perspectalis)
- 1 Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata)
To read more about Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’, please click here.
My Big Butterfly Count at Ranmore Common
If you’re interested in butterflies, you might want to see the photos I took during my first Big Butterfly Count of 2021 at Ranmore Common……..
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.
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! Grow 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.
- Grow nectar rich flowering plants with simple, single flowers where the plant’s nectar and pollen is available to insects. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Agastache ‘Blackadder’, Buddleja, Buddleja ‘Pink Delight’, Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’, Dahlia ‘Classic Rosamunde’, Dahlia ‘April Heather’, Verbena bonariensis, lavenders, Hedera Helix (Ivy), Knautia macedonica, Knautia arvensis, Inula hookeri, Hylotelephium spectabile, Hebes, and Scabious. These are all fabulous plants for bees and butterflies!
Plant the best plants for butterflies, moths, bees, and other insects
If you’re interested in this topic, I’ve compiled a list 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.
Other articles that may interest you…………
See the results of all my Big Butterfly Counts by clicking here.
See the results of my Moth Night Moth Count 2021 by clicking here.
For information on how to plant a meadow or flowering lawn, please click here.
Read about more brilliant plants for bees and butterflies, in this article.
Even more ideas of plants for pollinators can be found here.