Butterfly Count

Just been doing a butterfly count.

Six Red Admirals, the most we’ve ever counted here at one time. Four on the blue buddleia and two on the red one.


Red Admiral

Five Large Whites. Could probably have made it more if I’d looked in the polytunnel, as there are often six or eight there, but you are supposed to stay in one spot for the count.

Two Small Whites. They seem to prefer the periwinkle to the buddleia.

Two Small Tortoiseshells. It’s not been a great year for them. We did see a lot on the lavender before the count started but they have gone. Traditionally this has been our commonest butterfly (despite population dips elsewhere) but not this year.

One Peacock. Sometimes rivals the Tortoiseshells for numbers but not this year so far.

One Comma. The first of the year. It just goes to show the benefit of taking time to look.



It’s not a bad selection, but it’s a strange year for our two commonest butterflies. At least we have a surge in Red Admirals.

Meanwhile there are no Mint Moths about at the moment, despite seeing several early on in the season and there were no Gatekeepers/Meadow Browns flying during the count.

I will try again in the same place this afternoon and see if it makes a difference.


14 thoughts on “Butterfly Count

      1. clarepooley33

        Our lavender all comes out at the same time and has finished now. I have plenty of other herbs in flower but not many visitors sadly.

      2. quercuscommunity

        Though it’s a weed and a foreign import I have to say that the buddleia far outstrips all other plants for attracting butterflies. I feel like a fraud, but I’ve taken cuttings and I’m planting more for next year. having said that, the strip of lavender in the growing area was fantastic a couple of weeks ago.

        We had a good day a couple of weeks ago – 16 Small Tortoiseshells in one go plus Large Skippers, Meadow Browns and a few whites. back.https://wordpress.com/post/quercuscommunity.com/10726

      3. clarepooley33

        We have one buddleia which was here when we moved in and is an attractive pink but doesn’t seem to attract as many insects as the good old weedy mauve one as seen on railway embankments. We have two small newly purchased buddleias, one of which has a couple of buds, so we’ll see what happens.

      4. quercuscommunity

        The blue/mauve ones are good – the reddish one is OK and the white one is OK too (though ours was slashed to a stump by a volunteers gardener. Never had a pink one or one of the darl purple ones to compare.

      5. quercuscommunity

        The blue/mauve ones seem to do best. We have a red one that is OK, but not as good as the blue one. The white one was OK before it was attacked by a volunteer gardener. Never tried pink. My dad’s neighbour had a dark purple one (Dark Knight, I think) but that never seemed to attract many. I will see what the internet has to say on the subject… 😉

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