Tuesday 21 May 2024

Butterfly survey at Lauriston Farm

It's butterfly season again and I'm involved in butterfly surveys as I was last year. Butterfly surveys are only to be carried out in certain weather conditions: temperature above 17 degrees C if it is dull, above 13 degrees if the sun is out; no rain and not too much wind. Which makes it tricky to find a suitable day here in Edinburgh, which is renowned for not being particularly warm. Yesterday however was perfect and I enjoyed surveying the fields at Lauriston Farm, which I first surveyed last year. 


These fields are part of a rewilding agroecology project and it is amazing to see how the project is benefiting wildlife in the area. 

On yesterday's survey I recorded around 15 Orange Tip Butterflies, 2 Small Tortoiseshells

1 Speckled Wood and several Small White butterflies (all my actual results have been officially recorded).  

I was also pleased to see that many of the buttercups in the fields were hosting small flower beetles and solitary bees (sadly my photos didn't turn out). It's becoming rarer to find flower beetles these days, it used to be that most buttercups and dandelions held flower beetles, but not any more, so it was very nice to see the beetles here. I also saw a magnificent moth, some kind of hawkmoth, I think, but I didn't get a good look at it. 

There were lots of birds about, including a flock of around fifty House Martins with a few Swallows and a Swift, two Buzzards, a Reed Bunting, a Whitethroat, a small flock of Goldfinches, a flock of Jackdaws. A Roe Deer was browsing in one of the fields. 


I'm delighted to have a haiku published on the Shadow Pond Journal website, you can read it here.


Caroline Gill said...

We have also been counting butterflies ... and waiting for the rain to stop! It was warm on Sunday afternoon and we recorded our first Brown Argus sightings of the year. I love the 俳句 ... perfection in a breath!

Sal said...

Lovely to see so many butterflies and birds.
My daughter had a Deaths Head Hawk Moth on the wall of her house, a few years ago.
Sadly, it fell off and died. I couldn’t believe how big it was! My other half kept it and has it in a display case…( bless him!) It makes a good talking point! I’d never seen one until then.