Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Butterfly Count 2020

Red admiral
Red admiral

Paul Loughnane, Secretary of New Ferry Butterfly Park, has just collated butterfly records for 2020. It has proved to be one of the poorest years ever – apart from Red Admirals. However two new species were recorded at the Butterfly Park, an Essex Skipper and a Purple Hairstreak. So there was a little more diversity in species but a drop in abundance.

Purple hairstreak
Purple hairstreak. Photo: Wikipedia

The numbers may reflect fewer recordings than usual due to Covid19 but the wet weather in July and August will also have had an effect.

This year Pat Thurston has started carrying out regular transect monitoring and his report is below.

Essex skipper
Essex skipper

New Ferry Butterfly Park, Transect Report

Pat Thurston

The first counts were not carried until late May and so a full season of monitoring has still not been carried out on this transect. However, despite its relatively small size and its urban location, this transect has a variety of habitats and is very well managed. As well as a good planting of various larval food plants there are also good sources of nectar throughout the season. Most predominant species are small white and speckled wood. There are very healthy populations of gatekeeper and meadow brown and other meadow butterflies such as common blue, and small and large skipper are also present. Of note, whilst not recorded on my transect counts this year, there has been a confirmed sighting of the Essex skipper during a separate study. Hopefully it will be possible to carry out a full set of counts next year.

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