Taking the Pulse of Nature

One fabulous benefit to the frankly ferocious heat we have been experiencing this week is that it is the optimum conditions for our butterflies.

Right now Butterfly Conservation are asking asking for as many people as possible to take part in the Big Butterfly Count.

This highly enjoyable count is a great excuse to find a suntrap to bask in for 15 minutes and watch these scaley winged wonders. It is a massively successful nation-wide citizen science project run by Butterfly Conservation which helps us assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) we see.

We count butterflies because not only are they beautiful creatures to be around but they are also extremely important. They are vital parts of the ecosystem as both pollinators and components of the food chain. 

Butterfly declines are the canary in the mine – an early warning for other wildlife losses. Butterflies are key biodiversity indicators for scientists as they react very quickly to changes in their environment. Therefore, if their numbers are falling, then nature is in trouble. So tracking numbers of butterflies is crucial in the fight to conserve our natural world.

Please take part and help take the pulse of nature! To take part please go to: https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org

Just this morning on patrol this morning on the Little Ord trail we must easily have seen over 300 butterflies of many and diverse species.

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Green-veined Whites mating. This is a butterfly of This common butterfly of damp areas with lush vegetation. It usually occurs in hedgerows, ditches, and banks of burns and lochs. It might just be me but I am not seeing as many as I have done in previous years.
Dark green fritillary
Dark green fritillary showing these lovely pearled panels on its underwing.

Possibly my favourite big splendid butterfly is the Dark Green Fritillary. This large and powerful butterfly is one of our most widespread fritillaries and can be seen flying rapidly in a range of open sunny habitats. The adults nectar on thistles and knapweeds.

Our butterflies are making this heat a little bit more bearable. Happy butterfly hunting everyone and please remember to submit your records. I have high hopes that my count of 8 species shall be broken instantly.

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