Today’s was the fourth successive BMS transect count in which 400+ butterflies were recorded. 27 Common Blues represented something of a recovery from the appalling numbers so far this year, while a Brimstone, something of a local rarity, was recorded, as were 14 Peacocks and 11 Red Admirals.
A Wall Brown was seen this morning and other locally notable species, this year at least, were Painted Lady and Holly Blue, while a few fresh Common Blues and Brown Argus were evident in the Whitehouse.
On the face of it, 525 butterflies on this morning’s transect walk, elevating this year’s total to third best in the last ten years, was a good result. However, the principal species continue to be limited to the grassland species – small skipper (124), Gatekeeper (158), Meadow Brown (151) and Marbled White (42) – and apart from 10 Small Whites all other species were in single figures, including just two Small Heaths.
At least 55 Red Admirals were scattered around the Estate this morning, many basking in early sun on hawthorns in the Oasis like hastily-arranged fridge magnets. The transect showed a further improvement with 476 butterflies, and although the same remarks as were made on Tuesday applied to today’s assortment the much improved numbers of the last two weeks have elevated this year’s total so far to 6th place in the last ten years.
The transect walk this morning produced another increase in numbers with a total of 431 butterflies. As with last year (and most recent years, in fact) the grassland generalists predominated, with 135 small skippers, 106 Meadow Browns, 91 Marbled Whites, 21 Gatekeepers and 25 Small Heaths making up 87% of the total, with Small White (22) and Small Copper (12) the only other species in double figures.
The BMS transect this morning showed a welcome improvement, with 270 butterflies in all, including 50 small skippers, 51 Marbled Whites, 93 Meadow Browns and 33 Small Heaths, though numbers of all other species remain very low.
Although numbers continue to struggle a Clouded Yellow was seen near the Chequers this morning.