Counting butterflies

We have been taking part in the Big Butterfly Count over the past couple of weeks. The idea is to record which butterflies you see during 15 minutes, to give a snapshot view on butterfly population and how they are faring, especially after last year’s washout summer and this year’s cold spring.
We have really enjoyed taking part, and the boys have been learning a lot about butterfly spotting. Even Littlest one can spot a Large White from afar, and today saw a ‘Shopkeeper’ (a Gatekeeper!)

The churchyard offers a variety of habitats for butterflies, from open grassland, to shaded overgrown areas. The garden has lots of nectar rich plants and being sheltered from the wind, is quite a suntrap.
So far we have recorded
Speckled Wood : Large White : Ringlet : Small White : Holly Blue : Green-veined White : Meadow Brown : Small Tortoiseshell : Gatekeeper : Peacock : Comma

The recent warm weather seems to have given butterflies a real boost (as with us all!) and we have been fortunate to be able to record good numbers. However there have been some notable absences, such as Painted Lady and Small Copper which I have seen here in previous years. I shall continue to keep my butterfly spotting eyes open!