GH, GK and BG walked transect 26, the final one for 2022, on Sunday afternoon. It was good to have GK back in the team after a few weeks' absence. The forecast sunny weather didn't quite materialise and we had to make do with a hazy sun trying to penetrate varying amounts of high cloud – pretty much the same as we've had for several recent transect walks.
The autumn decline continues and our butterfly sightings were similar to those reported over the past few weeks. We recorded 5 Meadow Brown, and 1 Brown Argus,, 1 Common Blue and 1 Speckled Wood.
This was the poorest year for butterfly numbers since we started recording back in 2016. The spring figures were on the poor side of average and then the severe summer drought made the situation worse as the butterflies' food plants died in the extreme heat. There's a possibility that, with the plants being drought-distressed, this year's caterpillars may not have been able to find the food plants they rely on to build themselves up for over-winter pupation, resulting in fewer butterflies in 2023. We'll find out in 6 months' time when we start the next transect season.
Survey by Graham H, Graham K and Brian Gardner
submitted to Butterfly Conservation (UKBMS).
Report by Brian Gardner. Pics by Graham K and Brian G.
Click pics to enlarge.
Here you'll find details and pictures from the team carrying out our regular butterfly surveys (known as transects) over 26 weeks during Spring and Summer.