A bad year for butterflies

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

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

Later there were marbled whites on their usual nectar sources (knapweed and thistles)

Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

There have been one or two red admirals

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

and the occasional peacock, but not the usual numbers.

Peacock (Aglais io)

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

Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Red kites are thriving
Red kite (Milvus milvus)

and ravens – once confined to the western fringes of the UK because of persecution and perhaps pesticides – have made a welcome return.

Raven (Corvus corax)

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2 Responses to “A bad year for butterflies”

  1. I remarked that, too. I’m very sad that I saw so very few butterflies this year, nearly only white ones, some rare peacock eyes and that was it. Hope next year they will be here again.

  2. Not so sure it’ll be a great year for our birds, well at least not for the specialists. Many a corvid brood and raptor species seemingly thrive no matter what the weather. I reckon there will be good news on the second/third brood front though as chiffchaffs and wrens, even whitethroats appear to have young in the hedges around my patch.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell and naturestimeline

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