The wettest June recently recorded has been followed locally by low numbers of butterflies, especially small tortoiseshell and peacock. Butterfly Conservation will have a better view of the national picture when they collate the results of the annual count.
Ringlets seem to be an exception, and were doing well in early July
Later there were marbled whites on their usual nectar sources (knapweed and thistles)
There have been one or two red admirals
and the occasional peacock, but not the usual numbers.
It’s not all bad news: garden birds have been breeding well, the starling colony is still here, and the skies have been full of swifts, house martins and swallows
and ravens – once confined to the western fringes of the UK because of persecution and perhaps pesticides – have made a welcome return.