Butterfly Survey August 2013
Simon Jackson and I conducted a first butterfly survey at Sharphill Wood today. We are both novices, having attended the course at RCP recently, so we may have missed things.
Conditions were fine and warm, except for a moderate wind on the eastern side. We walked the main path north from the Wheatcroft entrance to the north entrance, and then walked outside the margin down the west side to the southern entrance and back to the Wheatcroft entrance. At the end I walked for a while up the eastern side, but saw very little, perhaps because of the wind.
Species and numbers seen:
– Speckled Wood – 16 (predictably, this was the only species seen on the central path);
– Green-veined White – 6;
– Large White – 7;
– Common Blue – 2;
– Peacock – 1.
There were lots more unidentified whites, but they settled rarely and briefly. I expect we saw about 100 whites in total.
We will endeavour to conduct another survey during September.
Next year we should consider surveys throughout the season, although weekly transects, as preferred for the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, are likely to be too onerous unless we have a pool of observers.
Other sightings included lots of swallows overhead and many dragonflies, particularly by the southern corner.