|Holly Blue, 25 July 2016.|
Considering just the counts I did in our own garden:
- 2014: 10 counts, 10 species of butterfly, 66 individual butterflies
- 2015: 12 counts, 13 species of butterfly, 108 butterflies as well as some moths
- 2016: 10 counts, 8 species of butterfly, 61 butterflies and a 6-spot burnet moth.
The average number of individual insects of the 20 target species seen per 15 minute count during big butterfly count 2016 was the lowest recorded since the project began in 2010.
|Large White, 25 July 2016.|
|Butterflies recorded during 12 counts in our Uckfield garden.|
In 2015, gatekeepers had been the most numerous butterfly in both: my counts (47 individuals) and nationally. However this year this species had tumbled to a miserable 4th in both. I've certainly missed seeing them dancing in our front gateway.
|Speckled Wood, 31 July 2016.|
|Red Admiral, 21 July.|
An Guardian article on the Big Butterfly Count says:
“The drop in butterfly numbers this summer has been a shock,” said Richard Fox of Butterfly Conservation. “When we have cold, wet summers, as in 2012, we expect butterfly populations to plummet, but that wasn’t the case this year."
“The summer months were warmer than usual, yet most Big Butterfly Count participants saw fewer butterflies. Perhaps the very mild winter had a negative effect, or the cold spring, or perhaps the impacts of intensive farming and pesticides are really hitting these common species now.”
We can only hope for better next year.