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I received the results of The Big Butterfly Count today and thought some members would be interested in the findings.

The Gatekeeper secured its second big butterfly count win (having also taken top spot in 2011) with its highest abundance since the project started in 2010. Large White numbers improved considerably and the species reached second place after its lowest position last year (6th). Ringlet achieved its second highest position since big butterfly count started, while the 9th place for the Comma was its best result yet.

Green-veined White, on the other hand recorded its lowest big butterfly count position, the first time it has been outside the top 10.

The 2015 results for all 20 of the big butterfly count target butterfly and moth species are shown below:

1 Gatekeeper
2 Large White
3 Meadow Brown
4 Small White
5 Peacock
6 Small Tortoiseshell
7 Ringlet
8 Red Admiral
9 Comma
*10 Common Blue

11 Green-veined White
12 Speckled Wood
13 Large Skipper
14 Holly Blue
15 Six-spot Burnet
16 Marbled White
17 Painted Lady
18 Brimstone
19 Small Copper
20 Silver Y

The big butterfly count will return again next summer (15 July – 7 August) to enable us to identify longer term trends in our butterfly species. With your help, we can make it even bigger and better in 2016.

This photo is of a Gatekeeper, one of many spotted in my garden in the Summer. Shame I didn’t see many more different species though.

There is a lot more information on the Butterfly Conservation site.

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Most interesting Shirley, will show OH as he is a keen butterfly watcher, sadly we saw very few this year, except for a couple of exotic that flew in to the conservatory.. It was mostly Brimstone, Comma and the meadow brown and the Holly Blue.......hoping for better luck next year...:-D ;-)

9 Oct, 2015


Thanks for this Shirley ,We didn't see as many butterflies this year , I'm pleased to be able to say we had plenty of Bees though !

9 Oct, 2015


Interesting Shirley. Thank you.
I haven't seen so many butterflies this year either. But as with you Amy, I seem to have had loads of bees; in fact I still do. And my coup was seeing the Tree Bumblebee. A real treat.

9 Oct, 2015


I'm not very good with identifying butterflies as I'm about to demonstrate.
I always referred to the one in your photo labelled Gatekeeper as Meadow Brown so, it shows what I know!!

9 Oct, 2015


Paul, you've got me wondering about the ID now! Apparently Gatekeepers have more orange on their wings than Meadow Browns. I could be wrong and need to investigate it now! :o)

Right, the Gatekeeper almost always has 2 white spots in the black spot so now we know!

Dotty, same here really with very few around this year :o(

Amy, definitely lots of Bees and Hoverflies around.

Diggin, I recall your Tree Bumblebee, a lovely find for you.

9 Oct, 2015


I agree about the bees outnumbering the butterflies. My bees are really benign, but wasps suddenly about a month ago, got stung on my neck, just dive bombed me.
Thanks for the info, Shirley.

9 Oct, 2015


Oh right, complicated, isnt it Shirley...ha ha.
I think, probably gatekeepers might be smaller than meadow Browns.

9 Oct, 2015


I count myself very lucky as I have identified 13 different butterflies in the garden this year. Plus a moth that I have never seen before. We see many more in August but that is probably just our neck of the woods. The most we have seen in our garden this year was the Peacock.

9 Oct, 2015


Me too...Peacocks and Red Admirals, and the occasional tortoiseshell and Cabbage White. I have never seen a Comma in my life...nor a gatekeeper! I will try to join in next year though. Fascinating info Shirley, thanks!

9 Oct, 2015


No gatekeepers here this year and we rarely see a comma. One or two Red Admirals but lots of tortoishells where we usually have more Red Admirals. Far fewer Speckled Woods - probably because we cut down the brambles. All the whites were very late hatching this year. Not a single peacock, sadly. Its interesting how sightings change from one district to another isn't it?

9 Oct, 2015


Very interesting reading all these comments ... I have only seen a couple of the small blue ones which is disappointing for this area. Many whites around recently though.

10 Oct, 2015


Very interesting have a friend that's into butterflies think they do a count in the Wyre forest.

10 Oct, 2015


Peter, thanks for looking in.

10 Oct, 2015


Thanks for the information. I'm sorry to say I don't always know the names of all the ones I see, but I do know I've seen a lot fewer of all kinds this year, sadly.

10 Oct, 2015


The long spells of wet cold weather would not have helped.
I used to see Commas on the allotment years ago. Very exciting. Hope for a drier summer next year.

11 Oct, 2015


Here here.

11 Oct, 2015


I'll try to remember that about Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns, Shirley - they are SO alike! It's just lovely to see butterflies in the garden, whatever variety. We've had plenty of Large Whites, a few Gatekeepers (I think!) and Brimstones; just one Painted Lady and two Chalk Hill Blues.

Last week we were in Cornwall, and on a walk near Par saw a Speckled Wood (OH took a photo, and we looked it up in our book at home).

12 Oct, 2015


Very few butterflies this year, sadly. Lots of bumble bees though. Love these!

12 Oct, 2015


Sheila, I agree with you on how similar they are! How lovely to have seen a Speckled Wood, none in my garden this year, yet plenty a couple of years ago. This afternoon I was removing the brown leaves off the Pelargoniums in the front pots, got such a surprise when one moved. It was a very well camouflaged Moth!

Eirlys, thanks for looking in on this blog. Lots of Bees and Hoverflies here.

12 Oct, 2015


Thanks for this blog Shirley..
Very few butterflies here this year, more bees though which is good and plenty of hoverflies, only saw two ladybirds all year and hardly any moths, once again no wasps, thats been the same for the last two years, I find that very strange as we used to get loads especially around the apple trees, I certainly don't mind them giving my garden a miss, lol, also not a single hornet or damsel flies visiting the ponds this year....

15 Oct, 2015


Sue, it seems a lack of Butterflies around all parts of the UK doesn't it? I agree about the very few Wasps too, although there was a really 'dozy' one resting on a terracotta pot the other day so I left him there, no point in disturbing him!

19 Oct, 2015

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