Saturday, 5 August 2017

Butterfly counting

It's a lovely day outside..after a couple of dreary wet, windswept days the sun is shining on us. So today I will resume my butterfly counting.
I am asked to find a quiet spot somewhere in my garden for twenty minutes and record how many butterflies flutter by.
I did this last year and found it both soothing and interesting. I have my iPad page ready with all the common butterflies pictured to enable me to name them.
Last week off I went. After a twenty minute sit I recorded not one. Last year during each twenty minute period I saw one or two colourful candidates..the more common ones, cabbage white, red admiral etc fluttered by. Jotted them down.
This year so far nothing.
On days when I'm not actually counting I have seen some but during my counts......nothing.
There are a lot of flowers out. Fruit is ripening on the trees but there really are not the clouds of bright colour that I suppose I took for granted in previous years. I didn't have to go out with a paint brush to do the fertilisation of the fruit trees this year...something has been doing the job judging by the amount of fruit fattening on the trees. There are plenty of bees buzzing but remarkably few butterflies.
The butterfly society are anxious to get people like me recording what they see, or don't see. I got an email from them thanking me for my zero count.
So wherever you are in the British isles they would be grateful for your numbers too. Details are easily found on the internet.
If these delightful summer flutterers are in danger we need to be aware I think...
First butterflies then bees? This should ring bells of alarm for us all. what next?
What are we doing to our climate to cause this effect? What ever it is we need to stop doing it I think.
We are the custodians of this beautiful earth...we need to look after it!
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