My First Big Butterfly Count for 2022!

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2022!

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 15th July 2022 until Sunday 7th August 2022.  I’d really like to encourage you to join in and take your own Butterfly Count – they’re great fun!  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.   Butterfly Counts are fun and relaxing.  The best thing is, you don’t need to know anything about butterflies to take part in this lovely activity – a Butterfly Count is such an easy thing to do.   You could take a Butterfly Count in your lunch break or take as many Butterfly Counts as you wish – 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

I spent a delightful 15 minutes watching butterflies in my garden this morning.  One thing that did surprise me was I only saw one butterfly on my beautiful Buddleja (Buddleja ‘Ellen’s Blue’), which is in full flower at the moment and is usually covered in butterflies – I strongly suspect that this is due to my Buddleja not having sufficient water in the soil around the plant’s roots to enable this plant to produce its usual supply of nectar.

I saw these butterflies during my first Big Butterfly Count of 2022 in my garden……..

  • 3 Large White Butterflies (also known by their scientific name, Pieris brassicae).
  • 2 Comma Butterflies (also known by their scientific name, Polygonia c-album)
  • 1 Gatekeeper Butterfly (also known by their scientific name, Pyronia tithonus)

I would have liked to have stayed outside and taken another Butterfly Count today, but it was just too hot!

With the hot temperatures we are experiencing at the moment, butterflies are on the move! I was lucky to be standing next to this tatty Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare) when this Comma Butterfly paused for a moment on a flower spike.
There aren’t many flowers left on this tatty Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare) flowering stem, but this Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) was drawn to feed from one of its fading flowers.
This Large White Butterfly (Pieris brassicae), stopped for a moment on my bean frame, where I am growing runner beans and French beans.
There aren’t many flowers left on this tatty Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare) flowering stem and there are plenty of other flowers all around, but this Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) was drawn to feed from one of this Viper’s Bugloss’ fading flowers.
During my first Big Butterfly Count of the year, I observed this Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) spending time visiting the flowers around my wildlife pond. After fuelling up on nectar, this Comma butterfly flew over the pond, before landing in the centre of the pond where this butterfly spent a few minutes drinking from the algae.

How to Help Butterflies & Moths?

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:

Here’s a link to articles I’ve written about plants that are beneficial for bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, and other insects.

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.

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.

See the results of all my Big Butterfly Counts by clicking here.

See the results of my Moth Night Moth Count by clicking here.

For gardening advice for July, please click 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.

Other articles you might like:

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