GH, GK and BG's last butterfly transect of 2023 was walked in Monday's fine warm weather, which brought out butterflies in good numbers for so late in the year. Our total count of 34 butterflies from 7 species boosted our grand total for the season to 4,481, a marked improvement over the scores for the past two years – our best results were those of 2018 and 2019 which both topped 5,700.
This year's 26-week season got off to a rather poor start when unfavourable weather caused us to miss 4 weeks of counting in April and May. This poor early season weather also held back our butterflies, so that our sightings were down on the usual for the time of year, but in June the count numbers rose satisfyingly when the right combination of rain, sun and warmth brought ideal conditions for the butterflies and continued until the end of August. It should be noted that this year's high count total was partly due to the higher than normal numbers of Meadow Browns and Brown Argus but, on the other hand, it was a poor year for Ringlets and Chalkhill Blues. In summary, after last year's record heat and drought we were concerned that there may have been a detrimental effect on the butterflies' success in breeding and the availabilty of their feeding plants in 2023 but it appears that we need not have worried.
Survey by Graham H, Brian Gardner and Graham K submitted to Butterfly Conservation (UKBMS).
Report by Brian Gardner. Pics by Graham K.
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.