"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Big Butterfly Count

Butterfly Conservation, in association with Marks and Spencer, has organised a nationwide survey of butterflies again this year between 16th and 31st July. Last year when the survey was first launched 10,000 people participated and recorded 210,000 butterflies and day flying moths.

The idea of the survey is to help assess the health of the environment as butterflies react rapidly to changes and are, therefore, excellent biodiversity indicators. The survey may reveal decreases in particular species which can act as a warning of other potential wildlife losses. The count will also help show trends in species so that action can be taken for declining species and also show how climate change is affecting butterflies.

All you have to do is pick a location, such as your garden or a park or wood, and look for butterflies and moths over a 15 minute period and then enter your records on the website. There is an interactive map so you can check what other species have been seen in your area.

If you are interested in taking part the website can be found at:


I watched our garden for 15 minutes at lunchtime today seeing 1 red admiral, 2 speckled wood and 2 large white. The holly blues and small whites decided to put in an appearance after the 15 minutes had ended! - Very reminiscent of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch when all the interesting species descend just after the hour is up!

Speckled Wood

and a very poor record shot of a Large White which only alighted and kept still for about a nano second!

Edit - Many thanks to Dean for pointing out that this is a Green-veined White!


Dean said...

Lovely photos, Caroline. But is that Large White not a Green-veined ?

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Dean.

Oops re: id! I've had another look at the photos and checked some id guides and I think you may be right. Unfortunately, I didn't get a look at the underside of the wings which is the id feature I usually use. Size wise it seemed a bit big for Green-veined but it didn't hang around for long and I was that busy trying to take a photo I could have over judged size.

Thanks for the help :D As always its really appreciated.