Sunday, March 06, 2016

Garden Butterfly Review 2015

There was a lot of talk this year of another possible mass invasion of Painted Lady butterflies similar to the year 2009. It did notch up its second best Big Butterfly Count performance across the country, but this wasn't really reflected in my own garden sightings. Only singletons were recorded in the garden during May, June and August.

The biggest change was the number of months (5) when the Holly Blue was recorded. This was a record for this butterfly, and the first dates when seen were as follows:
April 17th : May 4th : June 24th : July 31st : Aug 7th.
There are normally two broods for this species - Apr/May and July onwards.
Therefore the one seen on June 24th could have been a late first brood or an early second brood.
My sightings seem to reflect its joint highest Big Butterfly Count total (151% increase on 2014).

August was the most prolific month this year with 10 species seen, and this equals the record for that month set in 2009. Overall, 14 species were noted for the year (13 average) and 36 first dates when a butterfly was recorded (30 average) making this a good year for garden butterflies.


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