Saturday 17 July 2021

Big Butterfly Count

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.

We thought we had identified it, but looking at photos on moth websites, I'm not sure, so if you know what species this is, please let me know in the comments!


betty-NZ said...

My, what a wonderful variety of butterflies!

eileeninmd said...


The butterfly count sounds like a fun time, I need to find a good spot for finding the butterflies. Loved the photos. Take care, have a happy day! Wishing you a great new week ahead.

Lowcarb team member said...

It is encouraging to see many local councils in the UK are encouraging wild flower beds and meadows to help our wildlife ... so important.

All the best Jan