Butterflies: August 2014
Although numbers are declining, particularly after so much unsettled weather, 2 Clouded Yellows were seen this morning and a couple of freshly-emerged Small Coppers were recorded.
The BMS Transect produced a Clouded Yellow and totals of 11 Brown Argus and 11 Speckled Woods in a total of 97 butterflies, maintaining 2014 as the second best year since the current Butterfly Transect was established 8 years ago.
Where the Environment Agency have created new spillways to surround the flood alleviation scheme on New Downs they have stabilised the new structure with matting that has been impregnated with clover and bird-foot trefoil seed, amongst other things. As a result, the Clouded Yellows that arrived in June have clearly bred, giving rise to an emergence of no fewer than 49 today – the best numbers since 1967.
The main feature of Butterfly Transect Day was the large number of Speckled Woods around the Estate, with 15 on the transect alone (the record annual total is only 56). Brown Argus were also numerous, but most species are diminishing and Small Heath remains notably scarce, as it has been for a month now.