Thursday 2 August 2012

Buddleia in Full Bloom but Very Few Butterflies

Every July and into August the enormous buddleia in the middle of our garden throws out a huge array of blooms and on sunny days over the past ten years we've counted up to two hundred butterflies of different sorts making their nectar visit: Red Admirals, Peacocks, Painted Ladies, Large Whites, Commas, Tortoiseshells and others.

Just not this year. The bush has been in bloom for several days now with its characteristic scent, but there's not a butterfly to be seen. This week I've spotted a few meadow browns and a gatekeeper in other parts of the garden, but the buddleia has remained lonely save a couple of large whites, two red admirals and several large bumblebees.

In an article on Monday this week in The Independent, Dr. Warren of the organisation Butterfly Conservation says this could be the worst summer ever for garden butterflies following two already 'atrocious' years.

So I completed the big butterfly count Butterfly Conservation are asking people to join in with. This involves 15 minutes observation in one place, which can be the garden, a wood or a wasteground and then sending them the results. You can do it once or any number of times until the end of August.

Other people I've spoken with about this year's butterflies are saying the same thing. They've seen very few. One farmer's wife however reported seeing a number of different kinds around her house. So sometime over the coming week I'll make a 15 minute visit and see what happens.

This is an updated version of Buddleia in Full Bloom but No Butterflies, published Monday 30th July on Mark in Flowers blog

Pics: California Poppies, Wild Carrot, Sunflowers and Buddleia - just no butterflies; Looking out for butterflies 30 July 2012

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