Big Butterfly Count is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment simply by counting the number and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) we see.
As I had seen recently on social media that Holyrood Park (around Arthur's Seat) was full of butterflies at the moment, Crafty Green Boyfriend and I made a trip there today.
We certainly weren't disappointed! It was hot and sunny this morning, though a strong breeze stopped it getting too unbearable (though probably meant we saw fewer butterflies than we might otherwise have done!).
We looked in various parts of Arthur's Seat and in all of them saw plenty of butterflies. We saw several meadow browns:
a few ringlets
a few small heaths (a species I have only seen previously here once)
several small skippers (a species that not so long ago was never seen in Edinburgh and suddenly now they're everywhere!)
and a grayling (which is a species I've never seen anywhere other than round the Arthur's Seat area)
I'll record all the species we saw on the Big Butterfly Count website!
We were impressed by the number of cinnabar moth caterpillars we saw too! These brightly coloured caterpillars only eat ragwort.
Yesterday I was walking with a friend along an odd little section of abandoned railway line and saw this caterpillar and several others like it
They seem to have eaten away at the umbellifer plants and created large coccoon like structures.